29 March 2013

Good Friday (Follies)...
Here we go, at week's end and at the doorstep to the high holy day of Easter.
And, we have a very nice forecast for this Good Friday, with temps again comfortably into the mid to high 40s, no chance of precipitation, and sunshine to melt away the last of the snow.
I, for one am glad that this is a "GOOD" Friday, especially after yesterday, which began nicely enough, but turned into one of "those" days.
We had "bunny-sign" yesterday on the patio, and that means Easter and springtime HAS to be near.
The squirrel-patrol, led by "Stubby", came by to get fed as well, and two of them will take peanuts from my fingers (score one for St. Francis of Assisi).
And Mr. Cardinal could barely wait until I got back inside to take on the seed pile I left on our patio. He was peeping his feathered butt off in anticipation of my feeding him, and all the other avian friends we have stop by.
Yes, that was a nice start to the day...
Then, things began to go downhill.
*** I purchased some paperbacks on eBay, and wanted to PAY for them (simple enough), but for some reason, Paypal would ONLY permit me use those "e-checks", which I NEVER use, as I prefer either my credit card or an instant transfer from our bank account ( both of which I've never had a glitch with).
Well, since neither the card OR bank account option was appearing, I decided to call Paypal's customer service and find out what was what.
After a 15 minute wait (I hate that stuff - if my call IS "so important", then hire MORE people to staff the phone lines), I get a nice woman on the line who DOES manage to help me well enough.
Everything on Paypal's end looks perfectly FINE, according to the woman AND her supervisor. Everything checks out perfectly.
So, it MUST be an eBay problem (that would make sense at this point)
I then call up eBay, wait another 15 minutes and get another "warm body" to assist me.
And amazingly enough, THIS person also seems helpful.
(I just cannot be THIS fracking lucky...!)
Thing is, they can't find any problem and suggest a few things to "try"...(I don't like guessing when it comes to money),
But, after hanging up, and trying some things, I can''t find any way to pay for those books. (now)
Now, I'm really in a quandary. I email the seller and explain the problem.
And I go over ALL my personal information carefully, to make sure everything looks as it supposed to. Which it did...several times I read it.
Then, after the SEVENTH run through, I see something that gets me thinking (and that can be dangerous).
I notice the bank account number...looks fine enough...got the right last 4 digits..."ABC" bank...(?!?)
Wait a minute...didn't "ABC" bank MERGE with "DEF" bank not too long ago?
I check our checkbooks and lo, and behold...it says DEF on the damn checks...with a NEW account number...!!
Cripes almighty, no WONDER I can't pay for stuff...my account information needs to be UPDATED, and no one prompted me or sent me one stinking email about it.
So, after all that time, I found out what was "wrong", and attempted to update the account.
(will take 3 days to rout through the systems)
I'll tell 'ya...my damn BRAIN hurt after that clusterf$ck!
First time since 2001 (when I joined eBay) that I had THIS problem...and I hope it's the LAST time, too.
Another reason to despise technology...like I don't have ENOUGH?
Meanwhile, back at the Tylenol bottle...
*** Today IS Good Friday (which should be easy for me to pull off after yesterday...LOL), and with it comes certain "traditions" from when I was a child. Yes, even for this old Methodist, some things were meant to be held in reverence when it came to religion.
And NO meat today, kapeesh?
Here's the WIKI on Good Friday...just because:
God seemed a lot more important to a LOT more people when I was young...
We went to Sunday School at a very early age (and those classes were always FULL). Same went for those upstairs in the main sanctuary.
All the pews were FULL, and it wasn't JUST at Methodist churches...it was the same at Catholic churches, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Baptists, non-denominations, and Synagogues (a day prior, as is tradition).
Least that's what I remember...lots of people. lots of kids, lots of new clothing...and lots of GOD.
All of that didn't seem to hurt us ONE bit,either...we MADE time for church, or more specifically...for GOD.
When I got older, and became a PART of a church (usher, board member, Sunday school teacher, treasurer, and yes, even a fill-in preacher a few times), I grew to learn there are a great NUMBER of ways to serve God (and help mankind).
The services we attended and took part in became a mainstay of our lives, and were something to look forward to.
There are times when I truly miss such days, But God always has plans for your life, and you never know where that might take you.
God knows where HE wants you, and where YOU will do the most good, or in my case...the most "damage"...LOL
We might not enjoy where we wind up, and might even question God from time to time, but we have to hang on to the fact that it's where WE belong (in His name, doing His work, whatever that might entail).
With that said, Good Friday takes on a whole new meaning.
To me, it's a time of solemn acknowledgement of what Jesus did for US...ALL of us.
Mom used to have this 3-hour window (noon until 3 PM) where I was to be "quiet" around the house, I could play, but nothing loud or boisterous.
We even had stores that CLOSED for those 3 hours, too.
Those are traditionally the 3 hours which commemorate the time that Christ hung on the cross prior to his death at Calvary.
And I don't think that THREE hours is a big deal to give up and...
"Be still and know that HE is God."
So, I still follow that lead of mom's...three hours of no rants, no shouts, and no disturbing the calm and the MEANING of the day.
Can't say others around here will be anywhere as "faithful" to our Lord...not in the slightest.
And that's pretty sad.
We'll STILL have the heathenmobile boom cars thumping by, Godless people shouting to and at one another...nothing ever changes for them.
Thing is, I remember a time when NOT going to church on Good Friday or (especially) Easter was frowned upon, and maybe that's why we used to see SO many of the neighbors (of the same faith) at church during that time.
Although most of our neighbors were Catholic, you could tell that everyone of every faith was getting ready to go to church, and the streets were like ghost towns during such times. Few were those that remained home...mostly the aged and infirm.
Whole families gathered in the pews from wherever else they moved to, JUST to congregate at this time of year, more so than Christmas, actually.
And this wasn't in some small town in the Midwest...it was in Philadelphia.
Amazing how far we've come..or is that how far we've fallen?
I think it's a little of both.
I suppose what makes me wonder the most about things today, is how our morality has changed.
Sure, people make some small "gesture" of what used to be normal, but overall, so many just don't have the time to care anymore about things that SHOULD matter in their lives.
My father was a great believer that... "The REAL church is RIGHT HERE" and he would point to his heart.
Now, I wouldn't consider my father a very "religious" man, but he was a God-fearing man, and knew the "ropes" when it came to believing in God.
He would say that many churches "were buildings full of empty PEOPLE", and in many ways, he was right.
Was it better to have the house of God relatively empty, but for a handful of people FILLED with the love and grace of God, or to have a building almost overflowing with people of an empty heart and faith?
That, I'm sure would be (and probably still is) a great debate for many theologians.
Today is a good day to contemplate such things...
*** Lastly today, I got on my soapbox and got to preaching a bit, but sometimes, you just have to say what lies heavy on one's heart.
It IS that time of year when we should be reflecting more about all the gifts that God has bestowed upon each and every one of us.
Some will take today with a grain of salt, while many others of us will want to understand the TRUTH behind what the Bible says to us.
Now, I don't ever think of myself as any type of prophet or preacher...just a simple guy that knows when he hears the truth, and wants to pass it along.
I don't consider myself a "religious" man, either...much like my Dad in that regard.
But, I will speak as the Spirit moves me, and many times, that might be a bit on the pungent and righteously-indignant side.
I make no bones about it...I'm more like the apostle Peter, ready to swing that sword and take an ear or two off along the way.
And yes, I don't swim that well either and am hesitant to "get out of the boat".
But in that, I know I'm not perfect...nor are we all.
We STILL try, though, and even though I've never been a farmer, that's not a bad road to hoe, considering the end result.
Have yourselves a blessed day and a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

On the bank thing- I never have those problems with Three Rivers FCU.

On the Good Friday observance- My new job apparently voted to have July 5th instead of Good Friday, and yet I heard people complaining that "I've never worked a job that I didn't have Good Friday off." Well, I've been in the workforce since 1986 and have probably had three of them off. And today was no exception.

In addition, the last couple of times I checked, my old parish didn't even HAVE a GF noon vigil. Very disappointing.

Finally (almost), I think we are all preachers of a sort- as the spirit calls us. Preach on!

And why haven't you gotten over to NK's blog? I'm waiting to see what your superhero name/power will be!

Bob G. said...

Sorry to hear about NO time off today...
I've had MY share of working holy days, too...goes with the territory sometimes.

God understands.

--I would have chosen IRON MAN, but I know I will NEVER have THAT kinda money at MY disposal...
(like to borrow the suit, though)
--The PUNISHER was a 2nd choice, but I don't know if it's Christian to say: "God's gonna sit this one out".
--BATMAN...again with the MONEY?
(I'd have to hit Publisher's Clearing House's "1 Mil a year for life" deal..and then live LONG enough to make that work.)
--GREEN LANTERN...any alien that comes here won't be looking for me to take over HIS job...he'll be here for COMEDY RELIEF.

And that's the short list...LOL.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and commenting.

Have yourselves a very Blessed Easter weekend up there, and do stay safe.
(and yes chocolate eggs DO go well with Pepsi)

John DuMond said...

Those bank mergers are a major pain in the butt. You'd think that, in this day and age, the bank would inform you of the change so you could update your payment info for e-tailers (Amazon, Ebay, Paypal etc.). I guess customer service in bank-world hasn't reached the 21st Century yet. Gotta love it.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter, Bob.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
The bank gigs are almost as bad as when your credit cards "mysteriously" change from VISA to MASTERCARD...without anyone asking you...!
And they will all but CANCEL a card IF you don't use it within a certain timeframe.
(It's emergency funding)

Talk about falling through cracks large enough to drive a Kenworth!

Thanks for stopping by, and may you (and especially your Missus) have a safe and blessed Easter weekend out there.