June 19, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 1:59 am
I have another confirmation that the decision I made to change churches was God’s will.  The enemy has attacked me with a this cold which is the worst I have had in many years.  He has kept me from attending Bible study, twice, and now tonight there was a special women’s program I was looking forward to and am missing.  It is breaking up though, so I do not doubt that I will be at church on Sunday.  He won’t keep me from that.

God was with me today.  I went downtown for the movie at the Renaissance Court at the Cultural Center, (they showed Crazy Heart(s) I don’t remember if that was plural), and the chorus rehearsal.  It was nice and sunny and warm when I left and I had not listened to or watched the weather forecast, so I did not even bring an umbrella, just a sweater and a sun hat.
After the rehearsal, Carol invited me to have coffee with Tim, herself and some of the other ladies.  They do that regularly but I am usually anxious to get home and unless I am asked feel I would be intruding if I just hung around.  Since she asked today, and offered to get me a coffee, I did not refuse.  It was while we were snacking that a terrible storm came through the Loop.  
When I was ready to leave it was over, with just a little light rain, and that too stopped.  On the bus ride back, which was slower than usual because traffic was backed up, I saw the damage that had been done.  Tree branches were all over and in some places whole trees had been pulled out of the ground.  I thanked God I was not outside or on a bus when that was going on.
My stomach was upset from getting on the bus too soon after drinking the coffee and I had to get off, get a bottle of water and catch another bus before I made it home, but I arrived safely.  When I got in, I began coughing and spitting up a lot of phlegm, which is how I know the cold  is about over.  So, even though I am not at the church service, God was good to me today.   He is every day, even if I don’t always notice it.

June 18, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 2:11 am
I had not remembered that I did not update my blog, until the other site I have it on sent me a reminder that I had not.  Yesterday, I was not feeling well and I did not even go across the street to church for the Bible study, so I did not have anything to write about.  All I felt like doing was sleeping.  I could not even read without dozing off.  I went to bed early.  Today my nose was a lot better but I was coughing up the phlegm in my throat and still haven’t gotten rid of it all.  I did not go out again.  I figured if one day of rest solved the nose problem, another would take care of the throat and I do want to go to chorus practice tomorrow, the last before the date of our concert.  I’m trusting that I will be able to sing. 

I believe it was this morning that I typed up my most recent religious essay, because I was feeling better.  It is about being The Body of Christ, but I have not posted it on any online site.  I may try to find a publisher for it.  It is longer than most of my essays have been.  
I have not done any more work on my story for ICL, because I do not have the material for lesson 4 yet.  There was a delay in them sending it, because I had not paid for a couple of months.  I settled that by charging the full amount for the course, which is what I had done on all of the others I took.  That was a sure way to make myself finish the course to get my money’s worth.  Anyway, it is possible the material came to the business address of the landlord, but they did not call me like they usually do.  I will find out when I go to pay my next rent.   

June 16, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 1:55 am
I have not been feeling well today. The chill I got last night weakened my immune system and I have been sniffling, sneezing and blowing my runny noise all day. My throat also has phlegm in in from the sniffling I’ve been doing and my voice is scratchy.

I did not feel too bad to go on a tour that I had scheduled with the senior center though. We took a bus to the Oriental Institute, where we were given a tour. My favorite exhibits are still the 42 ton flying bull with the Assyrian king’s face and the 6 ton statue of King Tut. It has always fascinated me to see these artifacts from over 4000 years ago, collaborating what the Bible told us about these civilizations.

From there we went to an African restaurant Yassa. The owners are Senegalese. The food was more spicy hot than I am used to, but not so hot I could not eat it, and I enjoyed it. The portions were so generous that I believe everyone in our group had take outs, unless they did not like the food. The restaurant was featured on Check Please and I see why they all agreed that it was good. It is only one straight bus ride from where I live and I have been wanting to go there since I saw that program, but I was hesitant to go alone as the neighborhood is African American and I am Caucasian and would stand out.

Where I live is also African American, but I have lived in it longer than they have, so I still consider it my neighborhood and they are used to seeing me. Those around Yassa are not. Now that I have sampled the food there, though, I will consider going back when I have the money to treat myself to a nice meal.

June 15, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 2:41 am
There’s not much to say about today.  I did my journal writing and then went to get a nice breakfast and visit my bank, so I could have money for things like laundry, (which I am very much behind on), that will not let me use a debit or credit card.  After I did that though, I stopped at a grocery store, (something else I had been putting off), and I bought some meat, vegetables and fruit.  

I went through some papers and tried to make a dent in cleaning out the mess in my hallway, but did not get very far with it.  Except for the little I do get bagged for garbage, I just make more stacks of stuff and move them somewhere else.  It seems like I will never get that under control.  Maybe that is the "thorn in my flesh" to keep me from becoming too prideful.

Tonight, a group of us from church went on the march through the neighborhood.  It was colder outside than I realized and I went over with just the Labor of Love tee shirt over another short sleaved shirt, but I did not want to go back across the street and up three flights of stairs to get a jacket, so I went ahead and walked as I was.  I did get really chilled, but I was glad to be out in the community witnessing for Jesus.

June 14, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 3:36 am
This morning, I did my journal and went to Labor of Love church.  I was not sure how they took in members when I went forward last week, but this week I was listed as a new member in the bulletin, so other than having to be baptized, which I was many years ago, the other only requirement seems to be that you express a desire to join.  There is a class for new members that pastor said will meet three times to explain the beliefs of the church and answer questions and give us contacts for emergencies, etc.
The pastor gave a good message titled "Stop Complaining."  As he said, we do too much complaining, when we should be remembering that God is in control of all that happens to us and if we make Him our priority in our life, He favors us and we have nothing to complain about.  He will see to it that we have what we need and if we don’t have as much as we would like it is because we are not using what we have the way God wants.  As our stewardship improves, He will entrust us with greater responsibility. There were three baptisms today, a man, a woman, and her young daughter.
I did not return to the Printers Row Lit Fest today because there was an afternoon service at church.  So, I stayed for that.  The praise team led us in prayer and song and we shared testimonies.  The choir sang and pastor gave a message about how God changes our lives when we allow the Holy Ghost to take control of us.  He said there should be visible differences in us that will be evident to the people we come in contact with and attract them to want what we have.
The church has been drawing visitors regularly and we need to be able to discern between those who are seeking to have a relationship with God and those who are demon possessed and there to try to divide the church and damage its effectiveness.    

June 13, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 3:31 am
This morning  I did a quick journal entry, had my coffee and oatmeal and headed downtown.  I checked in with the Open Books staff, who were doing all of the volunteers for Lit Fest.  I was a floater, and while other floaters were sent to the Operations trailer to be given jobs to do, I was told to wait because they could have one for me at the library.  A little later I was told to go there and that I would be checking tickets for the author talks.  There was no charge, but people had to register and get tickets to be sure they could get seats.
I was stationed at one set of doors of the main auditorium and another lady was at the other door.  Library staff were also there telling people where to go and to have their tickets out, which almost everyone did.  All we had to do was look to see that they had them.  Each event had a different colored ticket, so it was easy to identify.  I really don’t think they needed us.  We weren’t allowed to go in and listen to the authors either.  We had to stay at the door to be sure no one tried to sneak in without one.  But, none of them had a full capacity crowd, so it would not have mattered and some people with tickets came in very late.
We were told lunches would be brought to us and had a choice of a few different sandwiches.  I had already been given a voucher to get lunch at one of the restaurants on Dearborn and I did not remember to turn it in when they asked me what I wanted brought over.  I could probably put on my Lit Fest shirt, go down tomorrow and use it, but I would feel dishonest doing that.  I only volunteered to work one day.  I may still go down to see what I did not get to today and listen to some authors, or poetry readings.  But I would not want to use the lunch voucher if I was not working.  Besides, I will eat at church.
I was able to go to the last author that spoke at the library, Sara Paretsky, author of Hardball.  I had heard her name but was not familiar with her books.  After hearing her interview, I will have to read them because she wrote about South Chicago, my neighborhood.  One of my favorite new TV series Castle must have been based on her books too, because her main character is a female detective, as is the heroine in Castle.  Castle is a mystery writer working with her for material for his novels.

June 12, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 3:24 am
Sometimes I feel like I should not be bothering to keep up this blog daily, because so many of my entries are saying I did not do any writing with the exception of the journal I keep and the entry for the blog.  But, that is the reason I started it.  I need to remind myself of how much, or how little, writing I do each day.  I have to figure out what my pattern is, or if I am procrastinating.  The discipline of doing at least this much writing reminds me that I am capable of doing it every day.  So, if you read this, I hope you do not get tired of me saying how I was not writing.

Maybe my other activities will interest you, like the chorus I am in and our upcoming concert.  Today we put the music  in the order in which we will sing them and went through most of them from start to finish.  The pianist was with us again and Tim, the director, played parts of the music on a recorder.  They did not play the full instrumental sections, but we have a better idea of what it will be like.  As one woman said, it was our best rehearsal.  It is about time too, because we only have one more before the concert date, (we will go over some pieces before the audience is allowed in on the 25th).  I have a surprise in store for everyone but Tim and Carol, his assistant.  It has not gone as I had hoped, but I will make it up as I go on the day of the concert.  I’ll tell you about that after it is over.

June 11, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 1:54 am
I don’t have any news to report today.  I did get another idea for something I will write about eventually, but I did not write anything to post today, nor did I work on my stories.

I had a short doctor’s visit this morning, just to find out that the medicine he prescribed for my high blood pressure is working.  Then I went to the two writing groups.  I shared one of my blog entries about going to Labor of Love for the first time and my decision to change churches with the journal writing group. 
I shared a religious poem with the poetry group.  While there are people in that group who are somewhat spiritual, most are admitted agnostics if not atheists, but they do not mock my beliefs and they tell me when my writing is at it’s best.  There was one section of the poem that received the most criticism and I can see what they were saying about it.  I don’t think the poem would lose anything if I take that part out.

June 10, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 3:02 am
This morning, I drafted the essay I had outlined and at noon I went across the street to Labor of Love for the Bible study.  Pastor Williams shared verses about the Holy Ghost again and gave his testimony about how he received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues without having come from any church background. He said, he did not know what had happened to him and was skeptical about it until he witnessed it happen to someone else.  I am pretty sure he was sharing this for my benefit, because my church background did not practice or believe in speaking in tongues.  

We were taught it was a one time event for the apostles and is not an active spiritual gift today.  But that does not make much sense to have one spiritual gift no longer being given and yet the rest still are.  Our ministers did not say that it never occurs, but, like all spiritual gifts, it is only given to a select few who God choses to receive it and is not a proof of having the Holy Ghost in our life as this church believes.  We were taught that all who believe are indwelt with the Holy Ghost when they are saved. 
I was using the name Holy Spirit when I referred to the third part of the Trinity, because that was preferred in my other two churches, but this one uses the old King James name for Him, so I am going back to that too.  I also am going to do more of my Bible reading from that version.  I always did find it easier to memorize verses from it because it was not my usual language and I find that often, as I read that version, a word stands out that was given a different meaning in the newer translations, but has more impact in the older version.  The verses I am familiar with, but used to seeing now in other versions, suddenly take on a new meaning to me when I go back and read it in the KJV version again.  I know why the very strict fundamental churches will not use any other translation.
After the Bible study, I headed downtown to the orientation meeting for the Printers Row Lit Fest volunteers.  This Saturday I will be there, helping wherever they send me.  That means I won’t get a chance to hear some of the authors I would like to be able to meet, unless I can catch one on a lunch break. I know that a children’s book author, whose name I often see mentioned in things I read for and about writers, will be there in the morning.  She is the person who I would be the most interested in seeing in person.  But, I may still have a chance to see her.  She may have a need that they will send me to help with.  But, regardless, I know I will enjoy being there and helping out. 

June 9, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccassello @ 2:58 am
Today would have been a good day to stay home and in bed.  Here it is June 8 already and the temperature felt more like early April.  It only got into the 60’s and it was raining off and on all day.  This morning, I outlined an idea I have for another essay and wrote a few more lines to my story draft, but that was it. 

 I went downtown to the writing group I meet with every two weeks and I shared my experience about the IRS audit with them.  We met from 2 to 4 PM and I came straight home from there.  
Tonight, I have spent some time separating papers I was piling up on the table next to my printer and reading emails and writings from the writing forums I joined and now I am working on this blog.  It was not a very exciting day.
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