2011NovThe April obituary is a standout. Being retired, I also liked August. September is pretty good, too. Perhaps I copy better than I create.

Without question, the terror attacks of November 11, 2011 stand alone as the event of 2011. We have won several skirmishes against the radical forces behind he attack and other terrorist events. There will be no end to this until radical teachers are quarantined  and schools stop teaching that evil is right.Satin has a real stranglehold on exploitable Islamic youth. I fear we are in the process of raising radical socialist Americans who might join or take over from radical Islamists.

January

Mother Hen Update; In the last issue, The Chatter expressed concern and hope for the protective mother hen and her brood. Perhaps Luke 12:6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God” holds the answer.

Good Deeds; The Chatter staff has a young friend in NJ who made a New Year’s resolution to do something good every day of the year. So far, he reports, he has done so. He says his smallest good deed was saying “Have a nice day,” to a total stranger. His largest one was to cover a man fallen in the snow with his own jacket, calling 911, and waiting with the man until help arrived. The man had fallen in the snow and ice while getting out of his car in a parking lot. There is still hope for New Jersey.

Hibernation; Sometimes I think I have joined the bears in hibernation. At times, I like it. At others, I get cabin fever, big time. Whenever I get really down, I look out my window and I think that God made the view and allowed me to see it. I think this sums it up:

"The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."
                              Robert Louis Stevenson

 

February

Special Bible Passages; For a few months, our Pastor and the staff of The Chatter are going to present, on the Pastor’s Word page, some of the most memorable and popular passages in the Bible. We began last month with the Beatitudes and present the 23rd Psalm this month. For nostalgic reasons, The Chatter is using the King James Version of the Bible.

Spring; It may be premature; I hope not. Has spring really sprung? Next month we do the time change thing – spring ahead.

United Methodist Youth Fellowship; The Chatter staff was deeply moved by the baptism last Sunday and the large attendance for it. It reminded us of the ‘Good Ole Days’. If we all tried real hard, maybe we could have a crowd that big every Sunday. Let us try.

Space available; There is some blank space below. You could fill it. Just inform one the staff and your thought will appear in the next issue. If we get too much information, we make the letters smaller and then go to a second page so do not worry about overloading The Chatter.

 

March 

Aid to Japan; The United Methodist Committee on Relief is now active in providing help to Japan. If you wish to donate, make your check payable to ‘Advance GCFA.’ Mail it to Advance GCFA, PO Box 9068 GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068. Write “Japan Emergency, Advance #3021317” in the MEMO space of your check.

E-Mail Trustworthiness; Never accept what you read in e-mails, see in TV commercials, or on the internet as fact without a lot of investigation; the weirder it seems the more likely it is to be false.

 

April 

Obituary; The Chatter staff unearthed this obituary. It is from a 33 AD issue of the Jerusalem Post. The date is unavailable.

May 8; Native American Ministries Sunday (NAMS); If you wish to support this Methodist Ministry send a check to

GCFA
P.O. Box 340029
Nashville, TN 37203 

A Lesson to be Learned; A 54-year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God she asked “Is my time up?”

God said, “No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live.”

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth! Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.

After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.

Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?"

God replied: "I didn't recognize you."

Moral of the story: God loves you the way you are. 

Magnifying Glass; The Chatter staff suggests a magnifying glass might be in order for the image on this page. They apologize for the inconvenience.

Obituary; The Chatter staff unearthed the obituary on the Prayer Page. It seems to have come from a Saturday issue of the Jerusalem Post but the date was unintelligible.

 

May

Bishop Marjorie Matthews; (data by Denver Moore) – In 1958 she was an executive secretary to the CEO of a medium sized manufacturing company and was active in the United Methodist Church of Alma, Michigan. She was divorced and raising (as a single parent) a 10 year old son, Bill, when she heard and heeded her call to the ministry. She quit her job and started back to school. She started her ministry in a country church, Pleasant Valley UMC (the church of my first 45 years of life. Two men in our church did not accept her willingly in the beginning, but three years later they did not want her to leave. She served increasingly larger churches, became a District Superintendant and eventually the first woman Bishop in the United Methodist Church.

Denver believes she had a very successful ministry in any way you choose to measure.

 Author'current comment; This is another exception to the policy of avoiding names. Denver has also left us to join Jesus, God, and all the others in Heaven. Denver knew Bishop Matthews personally and regarded her highly. 

Editor’s Comment; If you think this issue is one-sided toward women, you are right and I hope no one is offended. I believe, without a doubt, that God has given us, the VUMC, this change (a woman as Pastor) as an opportunity to renew our Church. Let us not fail Him. God knows better than we do what we need.

More Women; The Chatter staff presents information and comments on just a few of the women in the Bible.

Phoebe (Romans 16:1) - a deaconess of the Church at Cenchrea (near Greece, maybe in Greece). She was highly regarded by Paul (one of a very few).

Lois and Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5) - Lois, Timothy’s grandmother, appears to have been the first in the family to convert to Christianity: she instructed her daughter Eunice, and both brought up Timothy in the Christian faith; so that he had a general knowledge of it before he met with Paul at Lystra.

Deborah, a Prophetess (Judges 4:4) - One on whom the Spirit of God descended, and who was the instrument of conveying to the Israelites the knowledge of the Divine will, in things sacred and civil. She judged Israel and is believed the first instance of female government on record. Deborah seems to have been supreme both in civil and religious affairs.

Mary Magdalene (Matthew 27:61; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:7; John 20:1) – The one first to know of Jesus’ resurrection. She is the only one mention in all four gospels.

Esther (Book of Esther, particularly 4:14) - Esther 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall their enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes about From another place; This was the language of strong faith, against hope believing in hope. Who knoweth - It is probable God hath raised thee to this honour for this very season. We should every one of us consider, for what end God has put us in the place where we are? And when an opportunity offers of serving God and our generation, we must take care not to let it slip.

Author'current comment; While editing this page, it occurred to me that over the years I have been in "another place" (situation) for reasons then unknown to me.  I am now beginning to understand.

 

June

Sage Words From a Church Member;  When I was at the Board Office, I often heard, "There's a line a mile long of people wanting your jobs". Well, every now and then, a friend would go to door and look out. I'd ask, "What in the world are you doing?" She'd just shake her head and say, "I was looking for ALL those crazy people wanting our jobs".

The Chatter staff thinks volunteer work is its own reward and hastens to add, “Thanks, all of you tireless Church Volunteers for your efforts.” 

Anniversary; This month marks the beginning of my sixth year as the entire The Christian Chatter staff. When I obtained publishing rights (the price was right - free), I had no idea how much work, but also how much fun, it would be to do this more or less monthly. For the entire staff, I wish to thank all of you for making sure most of the copies disappear from the vestibule table each month.

 Author'current comment; The Christian Chatter was an "another place" when I began doing it. 

 

July

Truth is Sometimes A Little Funny; A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. "Reverend," said the young man, "I'm so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip."

The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It's the same in my business."

----------------------

People want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention.

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There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk.

"Only the Ten Commandments." answered the lady.

 

August

Why Do I Like Retirement!;

Question: How many days in a week?
Answer:
6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday

Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?
Answer:
Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb?
Answer:
Only one, but it might take all day

Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?
Answer:
They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

Age has its Benefits; A reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman, asked, “And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?”

She simply replied, “No peer pressure.”

The nice thing about being old is you can hide your own Easter eggs and still have fun finding them.

 

September

A Great Cup of Tea; I heard a story about a mother who was sick in bed with the flu. Her darling daughter wanted so much to be a good nurse. She fluffed the pillows and brought a magazine for her mother to read. And then she even showed up with a cup of tea.

“Why, you’re such a sweetheart,” the mother said as she drank the tea. “I didn’t know you even knew how to make teas.”

“Oh, yes,” the little girl replied. “I learned by watching you. I put the tea leaves in a pan and then I put in the water, and I boiled it, and then I strained it into a cup. But I couldn’t find a strainer so I used the flyswatter instead.”

“You what?” the mother screamed.

And the little girl said, “Oh, don’t worry, Mom, I didn’t use the new flyswatter,. I used the old one.” 

                           Thanks to James Dobson from Home with a Heart

Heaven’s Entrance Exam; A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates. St. Peters says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points you get in.”

“Okay,” the man says. “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”

“That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”

“Three points?” he says. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.”

“Terrific!” says St. Peter. “That’s certainly worth a point.”

“One point?!! I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans”

“Fantastic. That’s good for two more points,” St Peter says.

“Two points!?!!” Exasperated, the man cries, “At this rate the only way I’ll get into heaven is by the grace of God.”

“Bingo. 100 points! Come on in!”

Just a Thought; Last Sunday, we studied about ‘Making the Right Choice.’ I was reminded of a piece of advice from the UMYF page of the April issue of The Christian Chatter. “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” That suggests not all decisions are right as stand-alone choices but are necessary to further the overall end result. 

The October issue was not of general interest.

 

November

National Bible Week;The week of Thanksgiving is also National Bible Week. It is one of the more appropriate observances. What could we be more thankful for than the Bible? A new version of the Bible, Common English Bible,  has just been published. It used 120 translators from 24 different denominations who collaborated with over 500 avid bible readers of varied backgrounds from 100s of churches.

Treat Yourself to the best; The Chatter staff is going to read the Bible next year following the chronological approach at http://www.ewordtoday.com/year/

You are invited to do the same. Many versions, many languages, and several approaches are available.

Trip to Merry Ole England (now Great Britain); There is a Wesley Heritage Tour of Methodist related sites in Great Britain being offered. The departure date will be either September 26th 2012 or November 14th 2012. Black and white copies of the trip are attached. The Chatter staff once traveled in Great Britain and can say that seeing the country, the historical sites, and the folks living there is worth it – but just once for the staff.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from staff at
The Christian Chatter.

 

December 

Phyllis Bays; I must say a few words about this woman who came to mean so much to me. I’m cannot verbalize well so I use the printed word (it gives me time to think and to revise) to say what I have to say.

I met Phyllis for real when I took over The Chatter from Babbette. Before that, she was just a face in her pew. At first I got an Email with the Prayer Corner attached and would call her to go over the Prayer Concerns page. We also updated the birthday and anniversary list, which she kept, and I came to find out her hand was in almost everything our Church did.

Over the years, we got to talking more and more on the phone during those updates. I started confiding in her, knowing nothing would go beyond her. We discovered similar reading tastes and shared several books, some rather unusual. The Houseboat on the River Styx comes to mind. It is a story about historical figures spending eternity together in Hades. Miss Carrie got me to read it back in High School days.

I’d like to think she confided in me, but her real confidant was in Heaven. Now she is with Him and, I’m certain, rolling up her sleeves and pitching in wherever she can, just as she did here.

It is a Blessing to know we have another Guardian Angel looking out for us.

I will miss her.

Author'current comment;  This is another exception to my no names rule. Could you do otherwise? 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes to all of you from staff at
The Christian Chatter.