Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Two of my grandchildren are at the happiest place on earth. Their excitement sang through my phone today telling me they were waiting to meet Princesses. Our Prince is coming! Keep the oil for our lamps plentiful. The parting of clouds after rain is a reminder that He will come on the clouds one day.

"And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory..."

Mark 13:26

"When Rainbows Smile in the Sky..."

"Well, now, if you walk up and down with your umbrella, saying, 'Tut-tut, it looks like rain,' I shall do what I can by singing a little Cloud Song, such as a cloud might sing..."

Winnie the Pooh

"The world is 'puddle-wonderful" as poet e.e. cummings so merrily put it.

"Too long a springtime finds the birds away,

Too long a winter finds the snow turned gray.

Too long a lingering by the dearest fire

May prove that ashes choke the old desire.

Adventure, though you never did before

If, suddenly, you find an open door."

Ruby Robinson Wise,

my grandmother


It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

"What other time of year can you fly a kite one sunny, blustery day and find yourself building a snowman...the next?... Jesus is your Lamb and your Lion, whenever and wherever you need Him." Life is as changeable as the weather. Draw close to Him through His precious Word.

The trees are blossoming...

"Lord, if you can speak through a burning bush, I guess a singing tree isn't that much of a challenge. Give me eyes to see you and ears to hear you speak."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Prayer is so simple. It is like quietly opening a door,

and slipping into the very presence of God;

there in the stillness to listen to His voice--

perhaps to petition or only listen;

it matters not.

Just to be there in His presence

is prayer.

"When life gives you more than you can stand,


"God will never drop you any farther than your knees.

Pray: praise, repent, ask, yield."

"When Thou didst say,

'Seek My face,' my heart said to Thee,

'Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek.'"

Psalm 27:8

One time in a very weak physical moment, I woke with a very real sense of Jesus sitting on my bed beside me. He didn't instantly heal me. But being aware of His presence meant He saw, He knew, He was with me. This comfort was enough. It was like being very sick as a child and having your mother sitting there with a cool rag for your head. How much more is the unseen present in our lives and it goes unheeded, unrecognized. That is why we need to pause and have moments of prayer, conversation with the God who sees, who cares.

Monday, February 27, 2012

at home...

All the weeks of being puny and thought contagious,

confined me to home. However, I became so very thankful for my home

that it was not a place I wanted to hurry away from.

Favorite comfort food: tapioca!

"There is a certain quiet joy

That comes with tasks well done

About a simple cottage home

From dawn till setting sun.

Blue china, steaming hot from suds,

And pies, fresh-baked, in rows,

Crisp ruffled curtains laundered white,

That beckon when wind blows.

And as I go from room to room

To order each with care,

I wish that in such homelikeness

Some kindly guest could share.

Then on my stoop at eventide

When I take time to sum

The blessings that the day has brought

I find that God has come.

"Those are the happiest family circles which are bound together by intangible,

spiritual ties, in the midst of care, poverty, and hard work, it may be. Whether

rich or poor, a home is not a home unless the roots of love are ever striking deeper through the crust of the earthly and the conventional, into the vey realities of being,--not consciously always; seldom, perhaps; the simplicity of loving grows by living simply near nature and God."

Lucy Larcom

"There are people so poor that the only thing they have is money."

"When I was a child, some said, 'Look, but don't touch.' Beautiful things were just out of reach. But now I'm the grown-up. I make the rules. Beauty is in this house, is meant to be touched. Beauty in this house is meant to touch you."

"We have no coffers filled gold

No mighty name to lead us on

No lofty palace for our home

Nothing but the voice of song.

Music is all the wealth we own

We ask no other gift."

"Unless the Lord builds the house,

They labor in vain who build it."

Psalm 127:1

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thoughts on Missionaries...

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nation..."

Matthew 28:19

In the past, it was common to host missionaries in our home. One persnickity older lady carefully laid out her and her husband's toothbrushes before dinner complete with toothpaste. Unfortunately, little Robin as a 2 yr old wandered into her room-turned-guest room and enjoyed the treat! Once when we hosted another church guest, Robin wandered back into her own room-turned-guest room in the middle of the night and climbed into the bed with the nice strangers: they kindly guided her back to her make-shift bed! When Jay was two, he was impressed with a missionary friend who visited and with toy motorcycles. Soon after a terrible motorcycle wreck befell our friend, and Jay insited on praying for "Bump" nightly for months. Our friend recovered and was able to go on to the mission field.

It was such a privilege to be able to host Rev. Randal Chaney and his teenagers, Nathanel and Marlena. We had blessed fellowship. The kids enjoyed In-Out Burger and Chiptole, new experiences for them. I know you will remember them too in prayer, and some in support, as they prepare to go to Zimbabwe. It makes us count our blessings here as well.

"Happy is the house that shelters a friend."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Not a day passes over the earth, but men and women of no note do great deeds, speak great words, and suffer noble sorrows."

Charles Reade

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles...

The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat, and blood; who strives valiantly; who at his worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat."

Teddy Roosevelt, 1910 speech in Paris

"Of all the 'important' things we do, how many of them have eternal consequences?"

"I am not bound to run, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed,

but I am bound to live by the light that I have."

Abe Lincoln

"The truth is incontrovertibel;

malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it,

but in the end, there it is."

Winston Churchill

Saturday, February 25, 2012

As a connoisseur of water, aqua H2O, I keep jars in my refrigerator even though it has a water and ice dispenser. It tastes better after sitting cold in a glass jar there. A feeling of panic comes over me at a meal without water. I cannot eat without a glass beside me. I am a heavy drinker, of water. A horrible memory of our seminary days in the heat of the summer, was when our icebox broke, and a cool glass of water was not available: lukewarm water turns the stomach. Jesus was familiar with hot, dusty days when a cool drink was hard to come by,

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold I will spit you out of MY mouth."

Revelation 3:16

Cold water for a warm day or hot drinks for a cold day are refreshing. What is the temp. of your life today? Come, drink from the river of life, better than Rocky Mountain spring water!

"It was one of those February and March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold...when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade."

Charles Dickens

"The early mist had vanished and the fields lay like a silver shield...

It was one of the days when the glitter of winter shines..."

Edith Wharton

"Winter came down to our home one night,

Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow..."

Bill Morgan Jr.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I haven't read a book on Kindle, but I've read "kindle" in the Book...

"kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you..."

II Timothy 1:6

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out, It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the spirit." Albert Schweitzer

"There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." Washington Irvin

"A Christian is like a locomotive. A fire must be kindled in the heart of the thing before it will go." M.W. Jacobus

"Unlimited faith is at our disposal. Though the enabling of the Holy Spirit, the believer can serve valiantly, endure patiently, suffer triumphantly, and if need be, die gloriously." William MacDonald

"Thus when the disciples were loosed in the day of Pentecost, they fairly flew...They were loosed (as Lazarus), and like the eagle when freed springs away into the distant and dizzy blue sky; so these men with resistless might and speed flew to the far-away nations where souls were dying and God was calling." Rev. B. Carradine, "The Second Blessing in Symbol"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us,

that we should be called children of God;

and such we are.""

I John 3:1

What could be better than a good Christian novel with castles, and mysteries, the low born and the high born in Scotland or England from over one hundred and fifty years ago? George MacDonald was a pastor and a teacher, as well as an author, born in 1824 in Scotland. His novels are some of my favorite reading. He supported his family, that included eleven children, with his prolific writings. Almost everything he wrote was infused with Christian teachings. He was an inspiration to the likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and Madelaine L'Engle. For many years on a very limited budget, my hobby was digging in old used bookstores: a gem of great value was uncovered when I found an original copy of one of his books thick with the Scottish dialogue. My grandmother also loved the author: one of my uncles was named in part for him. Most of all, George MacDonald instilled a fresh view of the way God loves His children, the way God loves me. Here are some quotes from the man...

"God is not a God that hides, but a God that reveals...That we are in the dark about anything is never because He hides it, but because we are not yet such that He is able to reveal that thing to us."

"I believe and pray that He will give me what punishment I need to set me right, or keep me

from going wrong. I believe that He died to deliver me from all meanness, all pretence, all falseness, all unfairness, all poverty of spirit, all cowardice, all fear, all anxiety, all forms of self-love, all trust or hope in possession; to make me merry as a child, the child of our Father in heaven, loving nothing but what is lovely, desiring nothing I should be ashamed to let the universe of God see me desire."

"I believe that no man is ever condemned for any sin except one--that he will not leave his sins and come out of them, and be the child of Him who is his Father."

"What father is not pleased with the first tottering attempt of his little one to walk? What father would be satisfied with anything but the manly step of the full-grown son?"

"...let us have grace to serve the Consuming Fire, our God, with divine fear; not with the fear that cringes and craves, but with the bowing down of all thoughts, all delights, all loves before Him who is the life of them all, and will have them all pure."

"Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


" walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

-Colossians 2:6-7

Good don't have a highly contagious virus. Bad news, you may have Celiac disease. Isn't that insulting that it bears my name? But if I do have it, it doesn't have me. It is not who I am. Forget "You are what you eat." I admit, I obsess a little over food, but when food makes you sick, it loses a little of its luster. It brings new significance to "Man does not live by bread alone." To be gluten free, could be a path to healthier eating and a healthier life. Not so bad. It will take a little, I mean, a lot of adjustment providing food for a family that I can't eat.

My new saying: "It is what it is." It reminds me of when the most sweet, loving granddog bit the finger of the hand that threw its toy for it: Robin's dog Megan bit my husband a few years ago by accident. The doctor visit that ensued revealed my husband's not such good health. He exercised, lost weight and brought his numbers back down without medicine. God can bring good out of this situation. So, I'm grateful.

"Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for our future."

-Meolody Beatrice

"There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere , and we are all apt to expect too much, but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere."

-Jane Austin

"It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."

"Barn's burnt down--

Now I can see the moon."

-Masahide, 1657-1723

Now that's gratitude!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kindness, Kids, and Critters

"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another...

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions,

and the roots spring up and make new trees.

The greatest work of kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves."

Amelia Earhart

"Life's short and we never have enough time for gladdening the hearts who travel the way I do. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind."

"Have a heart that never hardens and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts."

Charles Dickens

"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."

The reason I began foster care is I loved my animals too much. There were so many children who did not have a sip of human kindness or love that I was convicted. I am still a dog person and a cat person--I would be a horse person if my wildest dreams came true. I can't imagine a life without animals. There was a reason God created the first man and woman in a world full of animals. One of Adam's first tasks was to name the animals. Animals did not kill each other until after the flood, so man had a different relationship with them then. Adam was a dog person, a cat person, a horse person, a zebra person, a get the gist.

I believe it is important in a child's development to learn to be gentle with living creatures. It is a great way to teach kindness. Statistics even show that children with pets have asthma less than those who don't. Becoming a fost-adopt parent, we had to find pets gentle enough to receive little children's attention.

There is a story of young Abe Lincoln who thrashed a young man who he found being cruel to a helpless small animal. His bravery rose to epic proportions in order to help the helpless in the Civil War to end the evil of slavery. William Wilberforce led the battle to end slavery in England before America did. He said...

"If to be feeling alive to the sufferings of my fellow creatures is to be a fanatic, then I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large."

My first cat Midnight, family legend has it, I loved to death. At age two or three, I do remember loving it very much, carrying it around like a rag doll in my arms, but I imagine it lacked proper vet care which attributed to its demise. It was followed by Silver (a giant of a Weimeraner), a much adored Mingtoy (Siamese), Bearli (a Keeshond), Cheyenne-our first baby (a Springer Spaniel), JD (another Springer), JJ (another member of our family, a mini Dauschund), Miss Ruby (another mini), Cody (another Weimeraner), *True Love (a Cheasapeake Bay Retriever), and now Moe Moe (a Weimeraner) and *Sweetie (another mini) and Sallie Cat (a Siamese mix). We've had some wonderful cats too, Gabriel, Columbus, Buzz, to mention a few. *George Washington's favorite two hunting dogs were named True Love and Sweet Lips.

In the small town in Colorado, there are stories in its history of an elk trained to pull a buggy. I've seen pictures of saddles on ostriches. In ancient Chinese literature, it is said that even dinosaurs were domesticated enough for these tasks. Man has always wanted to go back to that tame relationship.

I read a historical account of pioneers out west who built their cabin, cleared their land, and raised their young. One day the young mother put the babe in the cradle in the shade of the porch. When she went out to check on the little one, she found her sleeping along with a rattler which had slithered up beside her. It had a happy ending, but the enmity between a woman and the snake was evident as set forth in the curse of the garden. There is a day coming that "a nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den."

"And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,

And the leopard will lie down with the kid,

And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little boy will lead them.

Also the cow and the bear will graze;

Their young will lie down together;

And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,

And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.

They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain.

For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord...

And His resting place will be glorious."

Isaiah 11:6-10

It's hard to imagine this life depicted here, going back to Eden in the new heaven and earth when we all will get along. Hmm, heaven, animals, babies, glorious...sounds good to me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

"...what woman...loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!' In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

It was too quiet last night. I should have known. Hank went treasure hunting. I don't know what possessed him to pull hundreds of books off his shelves to look for lost things. Sure enough, his clean sweep garnered him with a G.I. Joe and a Star Wars figure and a dollar. He came out wanting me to rejoice with him! I did until I saw his room. Oh my!! His rejoicing soon went to repentance that mom's law of gravity applied to him: what comes down, must go back up. Eventually, he got back to celebrating after his chore was done. It goes to show, God can find His treasures when and where you least expect it. Truely, there is great joy on earth as it is in heaven.

"Seek and you shall find."

-Matthew 7:7

As for the books he cast aside...

"If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle...them, peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your hands, arrange them on your own plan so that at least you know where they are. Let them be your friends; at any rate, let them be your acquaintances,"

-Winston Churchill

"She had been reading, but her book had slipped to the floor, and now she was dreaming with a smile on her parted lips...adventures were happening to her in cloud land."

-Lucy Maude Montgomery

"A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins."

-Charles Lamb

"The reading of all good books is like a conversation with all the finest men of past centuries."

-Rene Descartes

"That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

"A goldsmith of words whose deepest passion has been to rescue the silent experiences of human life from their muteness."

-Pascal Mercier

"You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page

and feel a little as if you have lost a friend."

-Paul Sweeney

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

-Graucho Marx

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Two glad services are ours,

Both the Master loves to bless:

First we serve with all our powers

Then with all our helplessness."

Charles Fox

"For the world's salvation was not wrought out by the three years in which He went about doing good, but in the three hours of darkness in which He hung, stripped and nailed, in uttermost exhaustion of spirit, soul, and body--till His heart broke.
So little wonder for us if the price of power is weakness.
Lilias Trotter, gave up a promising career as an artist to become a missionary

"For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God.

For we also are weak in Him, yet we shall live with Him because of the power of God..."

II Corinthians 13:4

"For we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that

this all-surpassing power is from God

and not from us."

II Corinthians 4:7

Lilias Trotter noted that in Giddeon's battle, clay jars were smashed so that the light within could be revealed in order to route the enemy, victory not won by man's valiant efforts.

That has been my prayer during my time aside due to illness that God would be at work even in my weakness. Like little sleepy two year old Jane said today, "I had good day. I'm happy." What great deeds did she accomplish? Merely, simple enjoyment of God's goodness.

There is nothing sweeter than the tender years of vulnerable childhood.

We are celebrating 200 years since Charles Dickens blessed the world. He loved children. In 1852 England opened their first hospital for children which he was asked to dedicate. His own eight month old died that year, his daughter Dora. In that period of time, one third of the entire population died in infancy, almost one fourth of those remaining died before their first two years. Victorians celebrated their children more than most previous centuries. Jesus set the example of child before His disciples, saying "Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven." God desires our fragile existence abandoned into His care, not for our great accomplishments, but for our trusting love at rest in Him.

"What feeling is so nice as a child's hand in yours? So small, so soft and warm, like a kitten huddling in the shelter of your clasp."

Marjorie Holmes

"To show a child what has once delighted you, to find the child's delight added to your own so that there is now a double delight seen in the glow of trust and affection, this is happiness."

J.B. Priestly

"The baby moon was hanging in the sunset tonight like a boat for the little angels."

Lilias Trotter

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I spy with my little eye

A piece of heaven in the sky...

My brother driving the county snowplow wrote of the lovely winter blue sky at 10,000 feet in Colorado yesterday. Did you see the heavy sky pregnant with rain here this morning? It was not born today, but blown away to waiting mountains. There is nothing man can do that compares with the immensity of the sky. No squadron of jets could carry enough snow to bomb a city to cover it. Look what toothpicks a tornado can turn a town into. The sky is a window to view the constantly changing reminder of God's strength and beauty.

"Glorious, Stirring Sight!" murmered Toad

"The Wind in the Willows"

"Sky is the daily bread of the eyes."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To Thee I lift up my eyes,

O Thou who art enthroned in the heavens!"

Psalm 127:1

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."

W.B. Yeats

"I believe in Christ, as I believe in the sun at noonday.

Not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else."

C.S. Lewis

"For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.

For every truth, there is an ear to hear it.

For every love, there is a heart somewhere to receive it."

Ivan Pani

"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows.

For love is the beauty of the soul."


"If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it.

Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty it will remain with you

all the days of your life."

Frank Lloyd Wright

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful, perhaps more so."

Victor Hugo

"What's the best thing in the world?

June-rose, by May-dew impearled;

Sweet south-wind, that means no rain;

Truth, not cruel to a friend;

Pleasure, not in haste to end,

Beauty, not self-decked and curled

Till its pride over-plain;

Light, that never makes you wink;

Memory, that never gives you pain;

Love, when so you're loved again;

What's the best thing in the world?

Something out of it, I think."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Whose likeness is this...Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's." Matthew 22:20-21

I had my likeness taken the other day. I would highly NOT recommend the portrait photographer: red light camera company. It's the worst picture I ever had taken and by far the most expensive. They got more money out of me than I spent on Christmas for six children, thirteen grandchildren, and one great grandbaby! I just finished six hours of online traffic school to boot for my first, one and only ticket! I'm a California girl, just can't do the California stop anymore. The traffic judge watched the video four times before she decided that my stop wasn't quite 3 1/2 seconds long. I'm a non-violent, peaceful, normally law-abiding citizen who got caught doing something not dangerous, not endangering any one. My bland diet now includes humble pie. Give unto Caesar what is Caesars, even though he doesn't have a palace in Yuba City. I thought about going fishing to catch a fish with a gold coin in its mouth like Jesus, but figured the chances were slim to none. Live and learn and hopefully grow wiser...

"Life is like (red light) photography. You use the negatives to develop."

"We only change when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change."

Dr. Jay Kesler

Don't mind criticism.

If it is untrue, disregard it.

If it is unfair, keep from irritation.

If it is ignorant, smile.

If it is justified, learn from it."

"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves-

otherwise, we harden."


"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful.

Yet, there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening,

ever-ascending, ever-improving path.

You know you will never get to the end of the journey.

But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and the glory of the climb."

Winston Churchill

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.

I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can."

Jane Austin

"Keep your face to the sunshine

and the shadows will fall behind you."

Walt Whitman

"There are far, far better things than any we leave behind."

C.S. Lewis

Thursday, February 16, 2012

One more of my favorite valentine poems...

"I climbed up the door and shut the stairs,

I said my shoes and took off my prayers.

I shut off the bed and climbed into the light,

And all because--he kissed me Goodnight."


"Love quickens all senses except the common."

"It used to be big lessons in tiny houses. Now it's tiny lessons in big houses...When you work outside the home, the children must not think that you are fulfilled outside the home. They must know that the home comes first or home won't be important to them either...Every time God gives you a lesson, there's an exam down the road...If God has allowed your prodigal to be in the pig pen, don't smuggle him hamburgers. God has His faithfulness at stake."

-Margaret Jenson

"We flatter those we scarcely know;

We please the fleeting guest;

Yet we so often deal the thoughtless blow

To those we love the best."

1. a harbor or anchorage or port

2. a place of refuge or rest, a sanctuary

Let this be the definition of your home.

"Home, a dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest."

-James Montgomery

" the definition of God."

-Emily Dickinson

"A house is made of walls and beams,

A home is made of love and dreams."

"In our home

Let love abide,

And bless all those

Who step inside."

"I think everyone must have a first memory of some house, some room,

a vivid picture that will remain deep in one forever."

-Sister Parish

"A house is not a home without at least one bookcase full of books."

"A house that has a library has a soul."


"A perfectly kept house is a sign of a misspent life...

stop worrying about everything being perfectly in its place."

-Mary Randolph Carter and her book

"How to Live Creatively with Collections, Clutter, Work, Kids, Pets, Art, Etc."

I've felt ill for weeks. I've been on the blandest of diets--rice, bananas, white toast. Last night I couldn't take it any more and made chocolate fudge cake! I'm no worse (and no better), but happier! Like the saying goes, "If you are stressed eat desserts ('stressed' spelled backwards)!Dr. J. Gordan Henry said though, "A believer who studies the Scriptures 'hit or miss' will usually 'miss' more than he 'hits.' The Bible is meant to be bread for our daily use, not cake for special occasions." That's true, but sometimes the Word of God is so good, it is better than cake!

" does not live by bread alone,

but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth if the Lord."

-Deuteronomy 8:3

"I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell."

-Walt Whitman

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Belated Valentine Story...

In early centuries, it was a very common practice of families who could not afford dowries or even food to feed their children to send them to convents or monasteries. A large proportion of the population thus survived. Did you know that Martin Luther smuggled nuns out of the nunnery in wine barrels and arranged marriages for them to priests? After he nailed his thesis to the door of his Wittenberg church, the world, and even the nuns, became aware of his discovering of salvation by grace through faith, the gift of God not of works. That attraction of grace was enough for many nuns to desire to leave their positions and priests to feel free to marry. Upon releasing one nun from her barrel, Luther asked whom she wanted to marry. She replied, "Martin Luther!" And so she did. Their table at home was open to constant visitors who discussed theology in lively debates which included her as well as their children. It was a very happy, noisey family. The old beer commercial comes to mind, "Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun!" They had more fun than a barrel full of monkeys!

Martin Luther's verses which changed his life:

"For by grace you have been saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

-Ephesians 2:8-9

The only church had been the Catholic faith and Eastern Orthodox religion up until that time. Martin Luther became the father of Protestantism. The Catholic church had seen vast abuses of selling indulgences to "buy salvation" and teachings of works salvation. This meant war. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives for their faith as it swept over Europe. Kings and queens came into power depending on whether they were Protestant or Catholic. Henry the VIII started the Church of England because he was refused a divorce in the Catholic Church so he began his own church where he was head and could marry and divorce as he willed. This is a very simplistic overview, but truth is stranger than fiction.

In the 1700's, John Wesley, as a ministry student in the Church of England--the only church allowed in England, had helped to organize a method (thus the name, Methodists) of holy clubs in order to discipline himself into Christianity. However, he had no assurance of salvation until he read Luther's theological introduction to Romans of salvation by grace. "His heart was strangely warmed," and he became a changed man from the inside out. Revival spanned two nations with John Wesley and George Whitefield preaching, Whitefield a Calvinist and Wesley, not. John Wesley remained in the Church of England even though he was refused their pulpits. His dilemma came in America where the American Revolution changed Americans views wanting nothing to do with the Church of England: he ordained preachers and put Francis Asbury in charge. They became Methodists named after the holy clubs in the Church of England.

Earlier, John Calvin came along after Luther in the Catholic-Protestant wars and said that this gift of God was only given to the predestined elect, the rest be damned. Unless you were one of God's elect, there was nothing you could do to receive salvation. He believed man had no free-will. To us in the Wesleyan-Armenian vein, this kind of gift of salvation is contradictory to John 3:16, "Whosoever will..."

As long as people are entirely devoted to God, the theology (theology means man's idea of God),

there is no difference. However, the view of God's great gift and our understanding of the very nature of God is vastly different. God is love. He has given human love between a man and a woman as an example of His love. We are to observe the beauty of the union of husband and wife as an illustration of His faithful love for us. However, He also illustrates throughout the Old and New Testaments what happens when a lover becomes unfaithful. He is Faithful and True. God offers His love, His gift, but love is such, people have the free will to refuse His love or walk away from what one has enjoyed in Him returning "as a dog to its vomit." There are constant warnings in Scripture to Christians. We do not lose our salvation by accidently misplacing it, "Oh, where did I put it? I had it just yesterday." We can only lose it by willingly walking away from the Love of our Life. Even then God pursues us (the story of Hosea), but never forces us to come back to Him. To a Calvinist, they either were never a Christian-just mistakenly thought they were, or are a sinning Christian who will persevere to the end. Unfortunately, this has degenerated into a sinning religion in our modern society with a majority of Christians believing they cannot live free of sin, are still saved, and so have an excuse to practice it.

"Sin" in the Bible is often understood to mean, "falling short of the glory of God," which in our humanness can never be obtained in this life, thus we "sin every day in thought word or deed." However, we understand that "sin" can be faithfully translated to mean "willful rebellion against the known will of God." We believe we can in His love and grace come to a deeper love, the submitting of our will to His will to live above this kind of sin, not willfully rebelling against Him, being entirely sanctified, set apart, for Him as a willing bride. This is what is in answer to the dilemma in Romans 7, the "thanks be to God" in response to the "wretched man that I am." Did God truly send His Son to die on the cross, send His Holy Spirit in power so that we remain in a wretched state? Of course not! This is the true Love story!

"Being married is like having a colour television set...

you never want to go back to black and white."

-Danny Peraso

Enjoy a colorful life in your marriage and in Christ!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Genesse, a retreat center for Pastors and Wives, we enjoyed in August.

Moi & Toi

(Me and You)

Solituted for Two!

"Doubt thou the stars are fire;

Doubt that the sun doth move;

Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love."


"You pierce my soul,

I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you."

"To love another person is to see the face of God."

for "love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God...

for God is love."

-I John 4:7-8

"If I had a single flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk forever in my garden."

-Claudia Ghandi

"This sensation of listlessness, weariness, stupidity, this disinclination to sit down and employ myself, this feeling of everything being dull and insipid about the house! I must be in love!"

-Jane Austin, Emma, 1815

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep

because reality is finally better than your dreams."

-Dr. Seuss

"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

"Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worth while."

The sad fact is that the Wesleys did not always have happy love stories...

Susannah wrote, "...'tis an unhappiness almost peculiar to our Family that yr Father and I seldom think alike." John Wesley's first love spurned him for another in his early years when he was a missionary in America (even though he had no assurance of salvation at that time, and his life did not show the grace of God): he even refused to serve her communion which became a scandal, and he was sued by her father. His next true love was thought to be unfit for him. His brother Charles hurried ahead of him and married her off to one of John's good friends. They obviously had a falling out for a while. Later at the constant urging of friends, he made a most unhappy marriage. John Wesley took care of his mother and at least one of his sisters whose reputation had been soiled by a would be lover. It was like one of the sisters in Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice," who ran off with a man who promised marriage but only used her. Charles Wesley though enjoyed the benefit of a happy marriage.

Some of the great love stories in American history can be found in the biographies and letters of George and Martha Washington, John and Abigail Adams, the Sam Houston's, and closer to home, the Bidwells of Chico.

The irony of some of the greatest love stories of all time were written by someone who was never married, Jane Austin.

Monday, February 13, 2012


"I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."

-Jeremiah 31:3

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."

-Mignon McLaughlin

"The measure of love is to love without measure."


"You can't blame gravity for falling in love."

-Albert Einstein

"Love unexpressed is love unknown."

"They do not love that do not show their love."

-William Shakespeare

"To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic."

-Alphonse de Lamartine

"As the moon kindles the night,

As the wind kindles the fire,

As the rain fills every ocean,

And the Sun, the Earth,

So your heart will kindle my heart..."

-lyrics from "The Little Princess"

"It is the things in common that makes relationships enjoyable,

but it is the little differences that make them interesting."

-Todd Ruthman

"In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love, you want the other person."

-Margaret Anderson

Food for the Romantic...Devour
"Old films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random, conversations, architectures, bridges, streets signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows."

-Jim Jarmusch

"Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,

En wrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night and light and half light,

I would spread the cloth under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tred softly because you tread on mt dreams."

-W.B. Yeats (1885-1939)

Remember my post last fall about the bridge in France where lovers place padlocks on its iron bars to symbolize permanence of love? How about giving a padlock this valentine's day!

After we were engaged, announced Christmas vacation in our church near Morro Bay California,

we were crowned Valentines King and Queen at the Valentines Dinner at the Brambles Restaurant in Cambria by our sweet congregation! The Brambles is still one of the finest restaurants on the coast.

Best appetizers, Cool Hand Lukes, Yuba City, CA

The best Caesar salad, the Brambles, Cambria, CA

The best filet mignon, Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA

The best BBQ, Gates & Sons, Kansas City, MO

The best chili rellano, Truckee, CA

The best fondue, Friar Tucks, Nevada City, CA

Best pizza, Pizza My Heart, Santa Cruz & Stockton, CA

The best clam chowder, The Galley, Morro Bay, CA

Best Chinese food, Nevada City, CA

Best spaghetti, Pasquini's, Live Oak, CA

Best breakfast bargain, Waffle Barn, Yuba City, CA

Best chicken alfredo, Dancing Tomato, Yuba City, CA

Best overall inland seafood dinner, Red Lobster

Best mushroom burger, Red Robin

Best consistently good sirloin, Sizzler

Best buffet, Ruthy's, Yuba City, CA

Can you tell I'm hungry?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions."

Deuteronomy 32:11

Do you feel stirrings, like being pushed out of your nest, your comfort zone? Maybe it's the most loving thing that your God can do for you. It's time to spread your wings. Have no fear because He will catch you and carry you. He has more than an eagle eye on you.

As parents, we too must stir up our nest, but be on guard as our young ones test their wings. This doesn't happen in one fell swoop. It must be gradual with added responsiblity from childhood on. Whether it begins with small chores then on to big responsibilities like paying for their own insurance, there is a time for everything. My grandmother used to say that she wasn't going to raise any helpless southern boys, meaning spoiled young manhood from the plantation ways who never got their hands dirty.

"In the family we learn our first lessons of God and man, love and discipline, rights and responsibilities, human dignity, and human frailty. Our families give us daily examples of these lessons being put into practice."

Former President Ronald Reagan

"As much as I converse with sages and heroes,

they have little of my love and admiration.

I long for rural and domestic scenes,

for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children."

Former President John Adams, 1777

"There are three ways to get something done. Do it yourself, hire someone to do it,

or forbid your kids to do it."

Monta Crane

"We're so consumed with the feeding, the dressing, the buckling into car seats, the finding of bathrooms, and the counting of heads that we sometimes forget that there is any greater mission to raising children than making sure the crusts are cut off the sandwiches and that everybody gets a balloon."

Joyce Maynard

"I praise loudly. I blame softly."

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia

Discipline is like the stick a tree farmer ties to a young seedling: it is a guide to growing straight that is held firm to the very small sprout and is loosened as the fledgling tree grows."

Janice Pressman

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I interferred with the mail. While cleaning Hank's room, I came upon a sealed letter to God. I could either put a stamp on it or open it. What would you have done? I opened it: "Dear God, I am going to hell. Please don't let me go." Do you laugh or cry? I waited for an opportunity to discreetly help the child. Soon Hank came home with a guilty conscience and confessed. He had watched a scary movie at the neighbors that he knew we would never have allowed. His sensitive soul has bad dreams after Scooby Doo cartoons! I said, "We only want to protect you. When you disobey us, do we say, 'That's it! You're not our child'?" "No." "God gave us a conscience, so when we are guilty, we can tell Him we are sorry. Neither does He say you are no longer His child." "Okay." A home should be a haven for the acceptance of the imperfect.

" shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up." Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Wear God's valentine, His Word, on your heart.

"If you can talk with crowds & keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much...

Yours is the Earth & everything that's in it, &-

Which is more-You'll be a Man, my soul!"

Rudyard Kipling

"Everyday people share & infuence your life.

Find the right people & you will be a better person for it."

"Be honest,

Count your blessings,

Bear each other's burden's,

Forgive and forget,

Be kind,

Comfort one another,

Keep your promises,

Be proud of each other,

Be true,

Look after each other.

Love matters."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Do you remember making the little valentine mailboxes in grade school and the anguish over whether your valentines were as nice as the rest. The older we got, the competition became stiffer: mine were plain while others had glitter, candy hearts, and lollipops! It became a competition instead of sweet notes. So I turned my thoughts toward cupcakes: a day with cupcakes in school was always the best of times!

"Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.

Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.

Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,

most truthful, and most worthy of your serious consideration."

-Daniel Lord

More Valentines...

"'Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud;

'Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;

'Tis modesty that makes them seem divine."


"But theirs is a home in each other's love

which makes earth a place to cling to for its beauty yet."

"To laugh with you in joy;

to grieve with you in sorrow;

to grow with you in love...;"

-vows from the United Church of Canada...

"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship,

communion or company than a good marriage."

-Martin Luther

The Bible, a love letter from God...

"For your husband is your Maker...with everlasting lovingkindness

I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer."

-Isaiah 54:5-8

"Ten Commandments of Intimacy"

1. Love God first, Matthew 22:37

2. Always speak the truth in love to each other. Ephesians 4:25

3. Communicate clearly and honestly. Matthew 5:37

4. Resolve unhealed wounds from the past and leave them behind. Philippians 3:13

5. Forgive your spouse every day. Luke 17:3,4

6. Resolve any anger every day. Ephesians 4:26

7. When you're wrong, admit it, when you're right, keep quiet! Proverbs 12:15

8. Don't blame or criticize your spouse. Romans 14:13

9. Focus on the positive in each other. Philippians 4:8

10. Find some way to serve your spouse every day. Galatians 5:13

"A woman's heart is like a campfire. If you don't tend to it regular, you'll soon lose it."

Covenant: Break a promise, and you break a heart for a life time! Keep a promise and you touch a heart for a lifetime.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


You are the peanut to my butter,

The sprinkle on my cupcake,

The honey to my tea,

The cinnamon to my sugar,

The icing on my cake,

The ice cream on my cone,

The cream to my coffee,

The butter to my biscuit,

The berry in my jam!

I love you a bushel and a peck!

"I love you as the stars. You are a happy twinkling in my heart."

"If only one could tell true love from false love as one can tell mushrooms from toadstools."

-Katherine Mansfield

"and the two shall be one..."

"...Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."


"There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved."

-Charles Morgan

There is a great surprise after 38 years of marriage to once in awhile find something new I didn't know about my spouse! Here's something you might not know about him. When he was 10 or 11, his family took a camping trip across Europe: in one very small European Peugot, his parents, his visiting aunt, his older twin sisters, himself, his younger sister, and his three year old brother, all eight crammed in.

"No day ever ends if it makes a memory."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tear Water Tea

I drank tear water tea last night like Frog & Toad. I didn't think of things, like they, of cold mashed potatoes, etc., but I ruminated over lost things. Of course there are more important things than lost "things," but I did wander down memory lane...

The first cup I sipped was the thought of Annabelle. She was given me on my eighth birthday, named after a Tasha Tudor book about an antique bisque doll I was enamoured with. My parents found one for a song just like the doll in the book. My grandmother made handstitched, delicately embroidered doll clothes for her: a fancy black velvet blouse and skirt with tiny jet black buttons, a cotton blue and white bo-peep dress with eincee embroidered roses on the hem,

a Sunday-best brown patterned satin blouse and skirt, along with matching petticoats and bloomers for each outfit. Annabelle even wore the delicate cape and bonnet that my grandmother had made for her first born, my mother, at her baby dedication. All my life I thought that if the house caught fire, after my family and pets, she would be the one I would save. Years went by, I married and had children of my own, and they in turn had their children. I let go. Annabelle was passed down to the next generation. She has been lost. I fear that an industrious, strip-mine cleaner of a son-in-law inadvertantly tossed her box. Heavy sigh.

The next tear water tea took cream which spilled over onto the saucer: not a loss, but a creamed bit of property. When I was very young, a Chancellor at the Haskell Indian Institue in Lawrence, Kansas, asked my piano teacher if she knew of any little girls who would enjoy a dollhouse. What a dollhouse! It had been handcrafted by his black servant for his daughters many years before. It was three stories high with nine rooms, wooden stairs with banisters which went from floor to floor, and glass paned windows and paneled door with small knobs. Much of my childhood was spent playing with this treasure, making, buying furniture for it, and arranging rooms. The doll family became my personal responsibility, and no Hunca Munca Mice, like in Beatrice Potter's books, ever took up residence under my watch. It too was passed on to the next generation, who likewise played with mineature domestic tasks. When we moved to our current neighborhood, I was unpacking while my husband went to retrieve it, tied it down in an open trailor and made the Beverly Hillbilly trip. I met a trembling husband who arrived on empty: like a tornado, the house had been lifted up, loosed its bindings, and floated up and out to land smashingly on the highway. We had purchased a new home, but I wasn't about to let my first house go. I sent him back straight away to bring back the pieces. When he arrived at the scene, an elderly couple were just loading up the last broken bits into their car. They were kind enough to let my husband keep peace at home by retrieving it home for me. Finally, my daughter piece by little piece put it back together so that a fourth generation could enjoy its pleasures. Nothing is quite the same, but it has still retained its magnificance.

As an art major, my grandest piece was a huge fifty pound sculpture of a buffalo head. It's shaggy fur had been squeezed by hand through a garic press, one pinch of clay at a time. He was a beaut of a brute. Also on said move, thieves crept in and stole him in between loads. I can imagine his fate as target practice in the orchards where we lived: art appreciation wasn't high on the list for the local yocals. Just like that, he vanished, leaving only tear water tea leaves in its dregs.

Thieves once stole a briefcase full of my writings thinking, I guess, that it might have contained things more to their liking. Instead they flung the pages out over a cow pasture quite near here. Some kind soul walking their dog, found my phone number on a page floating by, which happened to be from another state where I had previously lived. With quite the search, my husbands former secretary was contacted and then called to give the message. Voila! The cows neither read nor tread on the many pages, and they were collected nearly in tact. My tear water tea had two lumps of sugar!

Now we have computers to store that sort of thing. Fine and good...till they crash. Thus, this week I am at a loss. A dear, sweet story of a hedgehog stored there was lost, gone to never-never land.

I don't even like tea. Give me something stronger, coffee, while I take up pen and paper to write my tales of woe.

There were other cups of tear water tea sipped such as when the burglars stole the antique cameo necklace my parents gave me on my twelveth birthday and a necklace my husband brought back from a trip to Israel. I had it merely a week before they stole it. The thieves knew that the sheriff's response out in the country left them time to make off with our possessions which they did on a regular basis.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21

Oh, tonight my son-in-law raised my computer from the dead and dear, little hedgehog story has been saved to be printed another day!

"The greatest thing in life are not "things" after all."

"Collect moments, not things."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

True Love:

Wholly Devoted to Him with an Undivided Heart

"What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy."

-Gary Thomas, "Sacred Marriage"

" the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"

-I Peter 1:15-16

A pastor friend told the story of teaching his child how to weed along side of him in his garden.

Thinking his task done, he looked back to see his son proudly pulling up every living green thing, weeds, good sprouts, and all, beaming with pride. The boy worked along side his father, earnestly trying to please Him, but the result was childishly destructive. Good old dad patted him on the back for his effort and began the task of replanting. God looks at the heart. It is such a gift that our works don't save us.

"If we only have the will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumbles."

-C.S. Lewis

"They who are God's without reserve, are in every state content, for they will only what He wills and desire to do for Him whatever He desires them to do; they strip themselves of everything, and in this nakedness find all things restored an hundredfold."

-Streams in the Desert

"There was a day when I died; died to self, my opinions, preferences, tastes and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God."

-Georg Mueller

"I do not understand the mystery of grace--only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."

" A saint is a window through which God's mercy shines on the world. And for this reason he tries to holy in order that the goodness of God may never be obscured by a selfish act."

-Thomas Merton

A Valentine: "Do small things with a great heart."

A Hymn of the great Welsh Revival

"Let me seek Thy Kingdom only

And my life be to Thy praise;

Thou alone shalt be my glory,

Nothing in the world I see.

Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,

Thou Thyself has set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me,

By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;

And Thy grace my need is meeting,

As I trust in Thee, my Lord.

Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring

Thy great love and pour on me,

Without measure, full and boundless,

Drawing out my heart to Thee."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The only thing worse than being $10 off in the checkbook, is to be 10lbs off on the bathroom scale. It took me 2 months to lose 10lbs and 1 day to gain it back when I went to the doctor's. The good news is that my good HDL is up; the bad news is that my total cholesterol is up too, that's after being a BRAT (the diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.) I continue living vicariously by drooling over recipes online. I'm beginning to believe that looking at recipes is fattening. It's kind of like Beth Moore says,

"In my opinion, a woman only grows lovelier the first four decades of her life.

Then, as the saying goes, she grows wiser."

I found another quote that touched my heart...

"Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies

are the main reason I have trust issues."

"Every guy thinks every girl's dream is to find the perfect guy...

pshh, every girl's dream is to eat without getting fat."

A new fav. verse,

"A false balance (bathroom scale) is an abomination to the Lord,

But a just weight is His delight."

-Prov. 11:1 Haha!

Rather, I should adopt Hebrews 12:1,

"...let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles us..."

Well, there is more to life...

"Laugh often & much;

to earn the respect of intelligent people

and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics

and to endure the betrayal of false friends (bathroom scales);

to appreciate beauty;

to find the best in others;

to leave the world a bit better

whether by a healthy child, or a garden patch,

or a redeemed social condition;

to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. My motto is "Oh, dear, I really ought to do something, but I am already in my pajamas."

A study at UCD found that if people wrote down five things a day they were thankful for, their health improved. It's time to count my blessings...

1. TAXES signed off: sweet!

2. BIRDS: When we moved into our subdivision, there were only baby trees and no birds. It was erily quiet. Now, I love to watch all the birds busy in my backyard. Have you ever seen a sparrow fall to the ground? I haven't. You probably haven't either unless you shot one. But God has seen every single one of them fall. "Are we not more valuable?" Matthew 10:31

3. PIGPEN from PEANUTS: He was always my favorite in the cartoon with his little dirt cloud enveloping him. What do you know, I have my only little resident pigpen! He also is adorable. Another way to describe his mess is "to play with abandon," abandon toys, clothes, dirty dishes all in the name of fun! Last night at bedtime he proudly gave a drawing to his dad. Dad only saw the torn paper edges carelessly thrown on the floor from the sketchbook. Later he saw the picture: it was an army picture of his deceased father with a grave, and a cross with "am sore abort your dad" and "I love you Dad, USA" on it. Priceless!

4. BEING A STAY AT HOME MOM: God has provided a miraculous way, kinda like parting the red sea of ink, for me to be at home raising our two latecomers. We figure we'll get child credit on our taxes and collect social security at the same time in a few years! This has allowed me time for the family and time to write (*hopefully more good news to be announced soon.) I'm still not a gold medal house cleaner, probably more like aluminum: maybe the little Pigpen apple didn't fall far from the tree!

5. CHILDREN: "I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth." III John 4. I love the sign that says, "All this because two people fell in love." In our case, our quiver is blessedly full!

"You may fall from a treetop,

You may fall from above,

But the greatest fall you'll ever have

Is when you fall in love!"


Thursday, February 2, 2012


"You may think the grass is greener on the other side.

But if you take the time to water your own grass, it would be just as green."

Suggestions for watering your own grass...

Kiss Good Morning,

Say, 'I love you,'

Always tell the truth,

Speak kindly,

When you do something wrong, admit it,

Respect one another,

Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire,

Remember when you fell in love,

Fight fair,

Be the first to say you are sorry,

Keep your promises,

Have fun together,

Hold hands every chance you get,

Kiss Good Night!

"It's not too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it."

Philippians 1:6

We are not the same people who married each other 38 years ago, thank goodness. I married a house painter. Growing people change. It is vital that you grow together, not apart. That takes work! I was still in high school when we fell in love. Al was determining to leave the drug life with God's help. I didn't believe in getting married at age 18, so we waited a few days after my nineteenth birthday: such wisdom! Ha!! We had most of college and then seminary ahead of us. Our vows included the vow of poverty! We had been married five years when we went to our first church at $125 a week, plus parsonage. Our first born came a year later. Christians should be the most exciting people to be around as they should aways be growing in grace, not stagnant. How has your journey been? How's the "good work in you" faring? Just as I hope you are not wearing the fashions of the year you were married, neither should you be the same, stuck in a time warp. "The best is yet to come!"