December 8

Who knows?….

The local pharmacy will close today and all of their medications and prescriptions will be transferred to the pharmacy that just opened up in the local medical center (hospital.)

I have been checking with the new pharmacy and to date they cannot take my insurance.  Since I knew my eye drops would run out before the pharmacy so I went to get my prescription refilled at the pharmacy that is closing.

Imagine my surprise when the co pay doubled.  The first time I got it filled the copay was $10.  The second time the copay jumped to $60 and now it is $120.  The actual cost of the drops is $180.

The pharmacist offered the explanation that Obamacare now accepts BlueCross (my insurance), but they didn’t charge enough so now the copays have increased.

I think this is the first time I have experienced a big cost while also having insurance.  I never really understood from an experiential position just how the lack of insurance affects people.  I have had insurance ever since I first got hired in Cordova as a teacher.  Prior to that we had to rely on the American Baptists for help.  This copay experience brought me face to face with that time when as a family we had no insurance.  It really helps me understand the needs of others.

Think about Jesus.  He came to earth and experienced physically all that we experience–the joys and triumphs, the sorrows and temptations–Jesus understands us better than we will ever realize.  But what a blessing that is because now we can trust in him and stop leaning on our own understanding.  I am awed by Jesus.

Father, thank you for Jesus, for his life, for his experiences, for his love.  I am so blessed.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:5

 

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December 7

Attack on Pearl Harbor 1941………..

It seems likely that most people who were born after 1941 don’t place as much significance on this day as those who were adults in 1941.  I think I remember it mostly from hearing my parents and my uncle who was in the Navy as a young man talk about it.

I know it was a terrible time in the history of our country and I wonder how much students in school today understand the significance of this day.  It seems as though if something doesn’t touch you personally, you tend not to place as much importance on it.  I think we all do this subconsciously.

I am thankful that Jesus’s birth and more importantly his resurrection have touched me in a personal way and I pray that everyone can see that through the importance I place on making it a significant part of my life.

I have had friends who were concerned that my love for Jesus would drive me to be pushy about my faith with their family members.  While I long for everyone to come to a personal relationship with Christ, I try to let my life show this to others rather than using pushy words to convey my feelings.  I want to let my light so shine before others that they know the source of that light in my life.

In Alaska, the darkness increases daily at this time of year and that especially  makes me think about light and our need for it.  I pray others will see their need for the light of the world, Jesus, and turn to him.

Father, thank you for Jesus, the light of the world.  Help me to let your light shine through me, my words and my actions.  Amen.

John 8:12

December 6

Birthdays….

Today is the birthday of my granddaughter in Kansas.  I will be calling to wish her a happy day and singing the traditional happy birthday song to her later this afternoon.  Even though I do not like gift certificates as a whole I did send her one so she could pick out the specific items she has been hoping for.  I had no way of really knowing what color to choose and I thought she might like the fun of looking and choosing for herself.  I certainly hope so.

If I had discovered some ideas a little earlier before her big day, I might have been able to get them myself, but it was just too close to the actual day  and I think when you are kid it is good to be on time.

I am guessing there will be a birthday cake and a special dinner choice, but I don’t really know.  I do hope so.  That would carry on our family tradition, but when part of your family moves away, it seems that those traditions sometimes change.  And that is OK too.  Families have to make their own traditions and it doesn’t work to have grandparents insist on their own traditions.

I am thankful I have good communication with all of my family.  I know so many who do not experience this and I can’t imagine how terrible that would be for me.

Father, thank you for giving me easy and open access to my family and for the joy of knowing we are able to share together.  I am blessed.  Amen.

Hebrews 4:12

December 5

Sinterklaus Day….

Our family started celebrating SinterklausDay when we moved to Cordova.  Typically this day can be celebrated on either December 5 or 6, but the fifth is more common.  We started the tradition of having a knock on the door and then “Sinterklaus” either pushed a box in the door or threw items into the room.

There were always oranges or tangerines, some nuts and candy and a small gift.  Now that my kids and grandkids have moved away I miss this tradition.  I have continued it on a sporadic basis with others, but it is not quite the same.

We have a volunteer who lives with me whose birthday is today. We are celebrating her birthday tomorrow and I plan to use Sinterklaus to help celebrate in a slightly less traditional way.  I will simply place “his” gifts in a bag at each person’s place at the table.

Traditions are an important part of our lives and they help keep us connected as we continue memories which bind us together.  I think this is why Jesus refuted the traditions of the Pharisees which had no real meaning for those keeping the traditions and he sought to establish his traditions based on love.  Since love is above all, any tradition truly based in love can’t be in error.  Traditions based in love are those we must remember and they must replace old traditions which are not founded in love.  This is my guide.

Father, thank you for giving us traditions based in love and help us to keep them as we think of Jesus and the great gift he was to us.  Amen.

2 Corinthians 11:1-2

 

 

December 4

Internet…..

Today is a day I am thankful for the Internet.  I had been waiting for gift ideas for my granddaughter whose birthday is this week and I finally got some.  However, they are too late for delivery so the Internet came to the rescue.  There are gift cards (although not my favorite gift), and other options.

In fact, my daughter in law is going to place the order for me and she thinks it might arrive on time.  Regardless of how it all works out, the Internet has come to the rescue again.

Sometimes the Internet can be a bit of a pain, especially when it is working slowly and all the kids are trying to do an assignment, but overall, it is a pretty good source of help

I’ve been reading how I can be a source of help to others and the Bible has encouraged me to be sure I am not in the limelight.  I need to play second fiddle according to the Message.  For me this means I need to talk less and listen more.  It might be different for another person.  We all have to find our exact place, but I am sure it is there waiting for us to occupy it.

Father, you encourage is at every turn.  Thank you for ways to accomplish our needs and to help us find ways to be a source of help to others.  Amen.

Romans 12:9-10 Message

 

December 3

A first….

I didn’t go to church today which is a first for me.  I was totally ready to go and was waiting for the sand truck.  The hill was really slick and icy and my friend who rents from me and I decided to wait for the sand.  I was looking out the window at the truck and waiting for it to go down our hill when I saw it sliding down the small hill beside my house.  That clinched it for me.  I just couldn’t drive down the hill.  My friend said the same.  I called the Pastor and told him our decision, and he said he agreed with it and that they would miss us.

Since it was the hanging of the greens Sunday and church decorating, they no doubt missed my friend the most as she plays the music, but I am sure they got along OK.  Many people were absent and some had to walk as their drive was precarious too.

We had our own little church service with Scripture, music and a devotion and sharing and then we worked on Christmas and birthday projects together.

It was a nice day.  I made lunch for her and we just had a good time sharing and working side by side.  It was a really peaceful, pleasant day and I was thankful for this blessing.

Father, thank you for your watchcare for us.  Thank you for letting me see the truck before I made my decision about driving.  You are always there to care for us and I am so thankful.  Amen.

Colossians 3:17

December 2

Quiet…

We had two really interesting reactions during the bazaar.  Last night after we had been open for a couple of hours, several people–both men and women with kids–came in and commented on the fact that our bazaar (at that time) was so quiet and pleasant.  We had Christmas music playing and there weren’t a lot of people there.  The big rush had been at the beginning.  We had a couple of chairs out and they sat down and just smiled and said how much they appreciated us.

This morning we had a woman who came early and I told her to come in and shop.  She had the best time.  No one else was there and she just looked and looked and picked things she wanted, commenting all the time about what a wonderful thing it was to be there all alone.  She said many complimentary things, hugged and told me God bless you and all of this is out of character for her in the past.

It was a special blessing for me to see her so happy and so thankful.  She gave a big donation to the Christian Center which was nice too, but I would have been happy without it, just seeing her so happy was a huge blessing.

I have been thinking about ways to be a blessing and encouragement to others and today started with a huge blessing to me.  I am looking for ways to bless others.  I have used food and treats in the past and I am sure I will keep giving them, but I want to find other ways too, like I am always encouraging the kids to find.

Oh, Father, make me a blessing to someone today. Amen.

Matthew 5:16