2021 April 21

43° that felt like 38° first thing this mourning. The sky didn’t look too cheery either.

I received a text message from our previous landlady in Liberty Hill. A package addressed to me had been delivered there. I made arrangement to pick it up.

Operation Liberty Hill was on the way, so we dropped off the box of groceries for their food pantry (see yesterday’s journal). Ella also purchased a new book from their thrift store. She was also searching for something in which to file our documents. Since she found nothing there, she asked to go to Goodwill, once we were done retrieving the package.

On the way to Goodwill, we stopped at Hill Country Community Ministries. I wanted to find out why, the last three times that we tried to connect with them, at their mobile sites, they weren’t there. We found out that they had changed locations. Since we weren’t registered as clients at their headquarters, we were not notified. We now have the current schedule.

Since we were at their headquarters site, we were able to get fresh produce as well as some packaged meals such as sandwiches and salads. We are going to have to eat a lot of potatoes and carrots this month.

Scripture Reading:  James 5:15-16. (Prayers offered in faith will save those who are sick, and the Lord will cure them.) If you have sinned, you will be forgiven. So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God’s approval are effective.

Think: Admitting my sins to myself is hard. Admitting them to God is harder still. But admitting them to others is hardest of all. Why is that? I KNOW that God will forgive and forget sins for which I truly repent. Can I trust my friends to do the same? Can they trust me to do son?

Pray:  Merciful God, break my heart of stone so that I may show mercy to others even as you have been merciful toward me. Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 April 20

This ministry provides (or has in the past) fresh produce at no charge. There are several places around the area where they arrive(d) with a truck full of veggies and fruits on specific days. However, the last two times we’ve gone, no one was there. I tried calling this afternoon and was unable to speak to anyone. I went to their website and it said ‘CLOSED’. I don’t know what to think.

We found ourselves with two hours before going to the next stop on our agenda for the day. It was lunch time and we had coupons for Subway. Rather than sit in the truck, we optioned to eat inside where it was a more comfortable wait.

Leander Church of Christ Food Pantry

provides food for everyone every Wednesday evening. They have a special time for seniors (55+) on the third Thursday of the month from two until three. They were there and passing out food. We did manage to get some fresh produce after all. They had potatoes, carrots, apples, bananas, and onion. The onions will be taken to the common room at the apartments with a FREE sign.

We came home with 2 cardboard boxes and 2 plastic crates of food. That realistically is way too much food for the two of us.

We have an over flowing box of food to re-donate. We’ll take it to
Operation Liberty Hill

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 23:1

The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need.

Think: In reality I am often in need. But the fault is not the Shepherd’s. I wander and do not follow. I often confuse ‘want’ with need. In truth the greatest need I have is salvation from myself. My self centered, self willed life leads me away from the eternal plenty of the Shepherd’s loving kindness.

Pray: Great Shepherd, thank you for loving me even when I’ve failed to follow. Thank you for your salvation. Thank you for providing all that I need. Amen.

2021 April 19

We had time after breakfast for a couple games of Fast Track. I actually managed to win against Ella, Warrior Princess. I comment that I must have gotten her deck by mistake.

Late last Friday afternoon, while removing my hearing aids, the silicone some came off of the hearing aids and stayed in my ears – both of them. Ella manged to extract one from my right ear. However, she was unable to find the one in my left.
It was after hours for our doctor and I couldn’t honestly consider it worthy of a trip to the emergency room. So, I decided to wait until Monday (today).
This morning I called and was advised that I could go online to make an appointment. I did, but the only time when his and my scheduled matched up was this coming Thursday at 3 p.m.

I made the appointment, but the more I thought about having that thing in my ear four more days, the less I liked it. I once again called the doctor’s office and left a message.  They called back and said I could come in today at 2:30.
I am glad to say that it came put off my ear – neither easily nor quickly – but it’s out.
I’m donating the hearing aids. Perhaps they will work better for someone else.
I’ve been told that my ear canals are small and different. Apparently my ears eat earbuds. Did I mention that this wasn’t the first time I’ve had to have the doctor remove something like that from my ear?

Since I was such a big boy at the doctor’s and didn’t cry at all, I deserved to have a treat from Dairy Queen. Ella, needing no justification, got a treat also.

It was a nice day for a drive. The truck batteries needed charging, as well. About 60 miles later and we were home.

This worker paced back and forth constantly for the twenty minutes we waited for the “FOLLOW ME” truck to guide us to the other end of the construction area. I wonder how many miles he walks in a day? And never made it across the road.

Y’all have a blessed day.

©2021Thomas E Williams

2021 April 18

Pastor Lott had another great sermon on beginning again. I really hope that she has plans beyond goods sermons. I pray that we become doers and not hearers only.

I kind of touched on that this morning on Sunday school. I asked how many had come to Cross Tracks Church from another church. All of us! Every one of us joined this church after leaving another church. So, while we enlarged the roll call of this congregation, there was no net gain to the kingdom old God. That’s not the best way to grow a church.

We stopped at Wendy’s for lunch because the only thing I could’ve think of for a quick lunch was chipped beef on toast, also known as s.o.s.

We were low on bread so I started some this afternoon. It finished baking around 8 p.m. Once it was sufficiently cooled, I sealed it for freshness. It was tough to not cut into it and slather it with butter and chow down on it.

Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 5:6-9

6. So we are always confident. We know that as long as we are living in these bodies, we are living away from the Lord. 7. Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight. 8. We are confident and prefer to live away from this body and to live with the Lord. 9. Whether we live in the body or move out of it, our goal is to be pleasing to him.

Think: Paul longed for the day when he no longer needed faith. As faithful a Paul was, he longed for that day when he had the assurance of sight. He wanted to be present with the Lord in a more complete way. But he also reminds us that no matter if present with the Lord or not, we are to live a life pleasing to him.

Pray: Dear Lord, I also long to live with you in glory. Until that day, increase my faith, patience, and love so that I may hear you say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Amen.

2021 April 17

Despite wind and clouds the sun made an early appearance which brightened the morning.

I seldom prepare a lunch that dirties as many plates and pots. I should do it more often.

After lunch we took a short drive to Wal-Mart to buy a $24.95 quilt.
When all was said and done, the $24.95 quilt (and accessories) totaled over $100.00. This it’s one reason I like online shopping – no “bait and switch”.

It might not be pretty weather, but it was a glorious sunset.

Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 6:10-12.    Certainly, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people who have set their hearts on getting rich have wandered away from the Christian faith and have caused themselves a lot of grief. 11. But you, man of God, must avoid these things. Pursue what God approves of: a godly life, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12. Fight the good fight for the Christian faith. Take hold of everlasting life to which you were called and about which you made a good testimony in front of many witnesses.

Think: As a child of God, I have all eternity ahead of me. With that in mind, just how important is that shiny, new, and improved whatsit?

Pray: Forgive us, Father, for valuing our material possessions, above you. They have become our idols. Give us hearts of of love to care more for the poor and needy than accumulating more earthly wealth. Give us instead a treasure in heaven that never loses its value! Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 April 16

This is sunset but sunrise looked the same.

I never set foot pressure the apartment today. Which is why I reached up 1,423 steps or 1/2 mile.

I worked inn the Sunday school lesson for this week and a little for next week. That is the only productive thing I’ve done all day

Y’all have a blessed day.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 April 15

This morning members of the Over The Hill Gang met for the first time in over a year. We had several important things to discuss.
Number one: though the club had meet here for 25 years. we do not own the building. We DO own everything in the building; appliances, furniture, library, games. Silverware, cookware, even the pictures on the walls. This past year the city (which owns the building) has allowed a group to use the building. It is basically a daycare for mentally challenged individuals. This group has been using and abusing the OTHG’s stuff. They even installed a padlock on the front door. The new Mayor (who is also a member) has hired a lawyer to determine what rights and limitations all parties involved.
Number two: when (if ever) do we want to resume our weekly meetings. It was decided to begin immediately, every Thursday.
Number three:  previously we had a buffet style luncheon. During This time of the Covid pandemic it was decided to suspend the buffet. Lunch will be served one person at a time from a limited selection.

After the OTHG meeting, we meet up with Karen and Bill art IHOP. Going out to eat with friends seems wonderful and a little strange, after living in isolation for so long.

The predicted hail arrived this afternoon. They were mostly marble  size though there were quite a few much larger. The largest I saw was the size of a tennis ball. I have not been out to look at the truck.

That’s all for today, folks. Leave us a comment.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 April 14

Ella posted: Life in an apartment is interesting. For the second time since we’re moved in the fire alarms went off. 10:30 at night and we’re all out in night clothes checking to see what’s going on. They say no fire just water.” To clarify: low water pressure in the sprinkler system triggered the alarm last night

Sorry about the picture quality, it is greatly enlarged from the original photograph.

Around six thirty this morning, I heard the deep throaty sound of what I took to be a large truck revving its engine as it came into the parking lot just outside our bedroom window. When I went onto the patio to a look, it was not a truck but a late model Camaro. It was shiny and black with this magnetic sign on the drivers door.
Someone was sitting in the drivers seat with the engine burbling along for over an hour. When I could no longer hear it. I once more went to the patio. The car had moved and was sitting in front of the main doors.
This is the information found on their website, “If a fire protection system fails , that’s when disaster can strike. We care about your safety. Austin fire watch offers the customized, round-the-clock fire watch services you need to protect your property and personnel.

Ella was crowned this morning at the dentist. Now, instead of calling her my bride, I may resort to calling her my queen.

The next stop on our journey was the Leander library. Ella has been devouring books lately. It started after she got a new phone and no longer has Droid TV downloaded on it. This evening I downloaded Kindle to her phone. Now she can create a library she can carry in her pocket.

Wal-Mart was somewhat on our way. We needed Aleve pm and Tylenol pm. Mostly Ella wanted to shop for a quilt. Is it bad that I’m relieved that she didn’t find what she wanted? We’ve already had a 90° day. I don’t see the need for another quilt now … or ever, really.

By now it was lunchtime. Rather than go through the whole, “what do you want to eat? I don’t know, what do you want to eat?” routine that I’m sure you can will relate to, I chose to to to Whataburger. These burgers are worth moving to Texas for. We took them home for lunch.

Like a red rubber ball. Oh great, now I have that tune stuck in my head.
And I think it’s gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball.”

Scripture: Luke 6:27-28 “But I tell everyone who is listening: Love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who insult you.

Think: Am I listening? Do I react with kindness to those who insult me? Do I pray for those who cut me off in traffic? If I truly love my enemy, are they still an enemy? Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Do I look for Christ in others? Can they see Christ in me?

Pray:  Merciful God, I confess that I have not loved you with my whole heart. I have not loved my brother and sister as myself. I have not loved my neighbors, and I have not heard the cry of the needy. I have failed to be an obedient disciple. I have broken your law, I have rebelled against your love, I have not done your will, Forgive me, I pray. Free me for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 April 13

We had no storms, in our area, last night. It does appear from the forecast that we have plenty of chances for the remainder of the week. The Texas Hill Country is in drought conditions. I’m not a fan of storms, however, rain works be welcomed.

Aint no sunshine on the horizon and won’t be for sometime either.

Pancakes with blueberries and whipped cream. Yum!  Can’t make a habit of breakfasts like this, but makes for a nice change of pace on occasion.

Ella was sorting her medications for the next couple of weeks and dropped a handful onto the floor. That’s why I keep the reacher-grabber handy when I sort my pills. It is inevitable that at least one will hit the floor and, unlike Ella, I can’t stoop down and pick them from the floor without a mechanical aid.

I am continuing my studies in preparation for our F.R.o.G.* class study of the epistle to the Romans. And, no the epistles are not the wives of the apostles. Epistles is just church language for letters.  * Fully Relying on God

The Center for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration has recommended a pause in giving out J&J COVID-19 vaccines. The pause comes as an effort to educate patients and medical experts on identifying and treating blood clots.

“Austin Texas Public Health and others will pause Johnson and Johnson vaccine administration after six people suffered a rare blood-clotting condition.” — By Delilah Alvarado, Austin Star-News

I’M CONCERNED about the long term affects of the Covid viruses on people who have seemingly recovered from this group of diseases.
I’m concerned about people’s mental and spiritual health after year(s) of isolation and fear.
The long term financial problems faced by employees and employers, as commerce struggles to rebuild and find new pathways, is also worrying.
I fear the profiteers who are now and will continue to use unfair, possible criminally, practices to take advantages of these circumstances.
And now that so many have been and are continuing to be vaccinated, I worry that the long term affects of the cures may be worse than the disease itself.
This illness is causing so many paradigm shifts and reversals in society, that I wonder what we as a nation and a world will be like in ten and twenty years.

Just before 11 P.M. the fire alarm went off in our building. It took just about ten minutes for the fire department to arrive. In that length of time I heard three different stories about where the fire and/or smoke was coming from. The truth was, it was low water pressure in the sprinkler system. But the alarm sure did bring people out of their apartments.

2021 April 12

We are fully vaccinated against Covid 19.  Curative health services came to the apartments and administered shot number two to those who wanted it.
Meanwhile in the news, “Pfizer’s Angela Hwang said this month that immunity granted by her company’s vaccine lasts at least six months, and so far it’s effective against emerging, more infectious variants. But, she said, booster shots will likely be necessary.”
Here is my question, ” Do you believe that the twice yearly booster shots will be free to the public? If so, for how many years?

See those dark clouds obscuring the setting sun? That it’s a smallish but potentially severe thunderstorm headed this direction.

©2021 Thomas E Williams