Here is how my birthday went yesterday. As you may have been able to tell from yesterday’s entry, I was feeling a little down in the mouth. By the end of the day I was feeling much better.
I guess I will start with my Sunday School class. We were learning about forgiveness and how shocked Peter was to hear what Jesus had to say. I like Peter. Even more that the Sons of Thunder, he was not afraid to just up and say what is on his mind, even when he should keep quiet. Jesus had just finished teaching about prayer and forgiveness.
Peter, even though he was a disciple, was still a man, and a manly one at that. Those pictures of Jesus and the disciples where they all look so beatific and have the halos and were painted by homosexual artists in the renaissance, which are the only pictures we have, are wrong. These were all manly men. Galilean fishermen, scoundrel tax collectors called publicans (not to be confused with Republicans), ruffians of other sorts, daydreamers, all led by a carpenter. All good sturdy blue collar men. Think construction crew, except with clean jokes because their leader was not only a carpenter, but God manifest in flesh.
My point in recalling all that being that these were men who understood what to do when someone smites you on your right cheek. When Jesus said, “turn to him the other also”, this was a hard teaching for these men to take. After a while Peter finally couldn’t take it anymore and said, “Lord. How many times shall I forgive my brother, till 7 times in one day?” He was probably thinking he had finally gotten it and Jesus said, “No, until 70 x 7.”
We are instructed to forgive someone for the exact same offense 490 times in one day. A different offense equals a new count. I brought in 490 pennies and while I was talking I started counting them out. Here’s a mote on using props. A cardinal rule I learned long ago and forgot. ALWAYS practice with your props first. I had planned to count out stacks of 10 pennies each while I was talking, but if you use this idea, have them somewhat pre-sorted or pre-counted out. It takes a long time to count out 490. I finally had to have one of my high-energy boys, Connor, take over sitting and counting while I went on with the rest of the story, which is a parable Jesus taught to illustrate what our attitude about forgiveness is versus what it should be.
There was a ruler who took account of what people owed him and found one guy that owed him 10,000 talents of gold, the equivalent of several million dollars. The guy had no way to pay it back and was going to be sold, along with his wife and kids and everything he had. He begged the guy for more time and please don’t sell my kids, etc. The ruler had compassion on the guy and frankly (interesting word choice by The Author) forgave him all the debt. Modern bill-collectors should read this story, eh?
This guy goes and finds a guy that owes him 100 pence, which is a couple of dollars, maybe a five at most. That guy didn’t have it and begged forgiveness using the exact same words but our man threw him into debtor’s prison! For a few bucks after he had been forgiven millions! Well, when the ruler found out about this, he called our man back and gave him to the tormentors.
When someone does us wrong, it is never as wrong as what Jesus suffered. We ought to forgive the way the guy that was owed only a few dollars ought to have forgiven. It took until the end of the lesson to finish counting out the pennies. It all worked out.
Then we went to the Country Buffet. Not my whole Sunday School class, just my family. Can Herb spell “Oink!” Mmmm-hmmm! I love all-you-can-eat places. It’s like a personal challenge. Ben and Isabel got me some Coca-Cola plates and bowls, which was really cool.
There is a law that was passed a while ago called the (I think) Health Information Privacy Act. Isabel was up at the hospital looking over Savannah’s (Who is 4 lbs 13 oz) records and was accosted by a nurse who told her she hadn’t filled out the proper form to do that. Isabel explained that she was the baby’s mother. The law requires that she fill out a consent form, giving herself permission to look at the records! Margaret said she had a client who had had to do basically the same thing. This is stupid.
Went to church early to get Abby there in time for choir practice. During prayer meeting before church one of the ushers came and got me because I had a huge puddle of transmission fluid under the car. Happy Birthday! Oh well. It still runs if I pour a few quarts of Tranny fluid in her every couple of days.
While the Choir was practicing (this out of sequence for a purpose, so you can see the happy ending, rather than the aggravation), Sister Webb, an older German lady in our church came up and told me she had something for me, which was an apple cake! Oh boy! Sister Webb has a reputation for her cooking. Yum!
Also while the choir was practicing Nicole’s mom came up to me and said I had to come out to their car. Nicole was in the choir, so she couldn’t come. Well, I go out there and it wasn’t brownies but it was Brownie Pudding! Nicole had made a pan of brownie pudding for me for my birthday! The choir was letting out and I rounded up Scott W and we rounded up a dish for him to take some. I had invited him over but he couldn’t come, and I did not want to hog them all because I didn’t know if Scott knew about the forgiveness story! Well, I know he does, he knows a LOT about the Bible, but that doesn’t mean that if I would have hogged all the brownie pudding that he would have cared to remember it.
Well, he saved his piece for later because after church he has work to do helping count. Our church by-laws don’t allow only one person to count money, there has to be two and he needs a snack.
I waited until I got home so I could use some utensils since it was chocolate pudding on the bottom and brownie on the top! I got home, poured a tall cold glass of milk and took a generous portion for myself and quoted Carter and said, “Oh Boy! Is this gonna be great!” and commence to dig in. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hoo-Ah! Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They were good, if you couldn’t guess that by now.
As The Good Book says, “Rejoice with him whose mouth is full of brownie pudding for verily he is too busy stuffing his face to rejoiceth his own self.” (Er, um, don’t ask me for chapter and verse on that, I am just sure that it’s in there…somewhere…um, I think…)