Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Psalm for leadership

One of the devotionals I read this week was based on Psalm 72. It struck me as pertinent to our world and national situation today. I took the liberty of paraphrasing verses 1-4 and 12-14. Tell me what you think.

Give our president your justice, oh God, and your righteousness to the leaders of our country.
May they lead your people with righteousness and the poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
May our leaders defend the cause of the poor people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.

May they deliver the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
Let them take pity on the weak and the needy and save their lives.
From oppression and violence help him redeem their lives
For precious is their blood in His sight.

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 in review

I hope you all had a wonderful 2016 and are feeling the blessing of the season of Advent, leading up to the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have enjoyed good health and an active life again this year, thanks be to God.

I’ve managed to get a few books sold, with presentations at book discussion groups, church, and organizations and book festivals in Sun City, Tempe, Payson, and Prescott Valley. I still have far too many stacked in a storage unit, but I’m trying to whittle away at them. My new book has been a bit of a struggle and is taking a long time to get together. I’m hoping to complete needed research and editing and rewriting in the next three to  six months.

I didn’t get to Michigan this year, but I got to spend some time with Ravi and Jennifer, Monneth, and Neil’s families in March. In June I went to the American Library Association Conference in Orlando to promote my books, since that also gave me the opportunity to spend a couple of days with Ricki and Archana and the kids before they went to India. I fulfilled a life-long desire to visit New Orleans in September for the Bouchercon Mystery Conference. I stayed at one of my time-share locations there, so saw a little more of the city than I would have staying at the Conference Hotel. I also took a city bus tour and a paddle wheel cruise on my last day. I should have planned a couple more days, but I enjoyed the time I did have. Guess that’s about all the highlights, except for a couple of overnighters in Phoenix for writer events.

I’m still loving Arizona, my new church and choir, playing scrabble and doing Arts and Crafts fairs with Sharon, being catered to at Alta Vista Senior Living. Of course, I haven’t stopped missing my family and friends, and my wonderful church and choir in Traverse City. Sometimes I feel like a split personality.

I’m hoping and planning to get to Michigan next year around late May early June. Richard and Sally’s son Hunter and Patti and Gunda’s daughter Hayley are both graduating from high school and I want to meet Patti’s first grandchild (Steve and Kayla’s) who is soon to be born.

That’s about it for me. I’m looking forward to finding out what God has planned for me in 2017 and hope you are, too.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Water For the Future

I’m going to try to get my blog started again with things that are going on in my life right now.

One of those things is the Climate Justice event put on by the United Methodist Women’s mission u last month. And one of the topics that hit me hard, because I now live in water challenged Arizona, was our overuse of water as a country.

While we are already experiencing water shortages and contaminated groundwater, it is estimated that between two and seven billion people will face water shortages by 2050. Many of us will not be here by then. Our grandchildren will have to deal with the problem. Are we willing to do a few simple things to help them now?

Because I live in an apartment, I concentrated this time on what we can do inside the house. Actually, I hope we are already doing most of these, and I’m sure you can think of others, but let’s remind ourselves of a few simple steps.

We can turn off the water while brushing our teeth.

Showers take less water than baths (unless we take long soaks in the downpour). We can enhance our savings by getting wet, turning off the shower, lathering up, and turning on the shower to rinse. I have the shower running about three minutes doing this.

We can run the washing machine only when we have a full load, and use the reduced load settings when we need to run it less than full.

Used properly, and only run when it is full, the dishwasher uses less water than handwashing. However, that means we don’t use gallons of water rinsing and preparing dishes for the dishwasher. Instead, we can soak or rinse them using the same water in a container several times. Some dishwashers can handle dishes without rinsing at all, only scraping. If we do hand wash, don’t run the water constantly. Use a pan or sink of soapy water and another of rinse water or wash all the dishes before turning on the water to rinse them.

Keep drinking water in the refrigerator rather than running it from the tap to get cold every time we take a drink.

Get food from the freezer early enough to thaw in the refrigerator rather than thawing it under running water.

We can run the tap water only as fast as necessary to wash our hands and for other incidental uses.

Perhaps you can think of other things to add. If so, leave them in a comment. I plan to start using a bucket to catch the shower water while it is warming up and using that water to water plants and flush my toilet.

 An African proverb says: “Many little people, in many little places, taking many little steps, can change the face of the world.”