Saturday, April 30, 2016

Is America Fundamentally Being Transformed into China?




My brother, Jay, was correct.  One of his favorite Bible verses was Genesis 1:28 when God said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.”  He believed that it was God’s command to married couples to have lots of children. God has not changed His mind as far as I know.

But here is the problem.   I grew up in a time when we were warned that overpopulation was going to destroy the earth and we were all going to starve to death.  Well, it has turned out that we haven’t starved. Scientists are coming up with new ways to grow more food. But this myth persists. 

Could the same thing happen in the United States that has happened in China?  The policy of one child per family has turned out badly.  China no longer has enough women to marry the overpopulation of men.  This could happen in the United States I fear.

Now there is another theme that the U.S. government wants to push on it’s citizens-- the government wants to force Common Core on all students whether in Public, Private, or Home schools.  All data about students will be collected by the states. The federal government will receive all of this information in exchange for federal money.  If a child frowns when they are asked about homosexuality the computer camera will record this and the child will be subject to reprogramming.

What is the solution?  First of all prayer then Bible reading.  The more we pray and read and study the Bible the more we will learn about God and how He thinks.  My granddaughter reads her Bible in school for her choice during free reading time.  I believe that every Christian should take a Bible with them wherever they go. We should read it whenever we get a chance so that we are not brainwashed by propaganda that our government is spewing out.  Above is a video of a Chinese woman who came to the United States to have freedom. She is afraid we will end up like China. 

God is winnowing out His people.  We are to be in the world but not of the world.  Prayer and Bible study will help us to remain free.  Here is a website for 5 different Bible Reading plans.




Thursday, April 21, 2016

Savor The Moments

Grace Belle Slightam Edson about 1950

Grandma Edson was a small woman.  She could walk beneath the low branches of her apple trees and barely tap her head.  Her hair was as white as the farm house she lived in, and her eyes blue bell blue, like the wildflowers sprinkled over the fields around her fifteen-acre wheat farm in eastern Washington.  She could eat a piece of toast with her coffee at breakfast and smack her lips to convey to us her enjoyment.  Because of her delight everybody else would want a piece of toast too.  She gathered up corn, beets, carrots, and maybe some tomatoes, peas, or green beans every day from the acre truck farm, for our dinner.  The garden was just down the hill from the house and down the hill from the covered well that Grandpa had dug.

Grandma was an organic farmer before it was popular.  She’d plant marigolds around the garden to keep bugs away.  She’d spear stakes into the ground and place empty tin cans upside down on each one.  Early in the morning, she would take a boiling teakettle of water out, take the cans off one at a time, and pour boiling water on the unsuspecting earwigs underneath.

On days when we would drive into Spokane for a picnic with other relatives, or shopping, we drove west, into the sun, on the way back home to the farm each evening.   From the back seat, we would hear Grandma sing in her mellow, comforting voice,

“See, the sun is sinking in the golden west.
Birds and bees and children, all have gone to rest,
And the merry streamlet, as it runs along,
With a voice of sweetness
Sings its evening song.

Cowslips, daises, violets hang their tiny heads,
All among the grasses, flowers are in their beds.
Mothers of little children, as the stars go by,
Hush them by gently singing this little lullaby.”

Grandma’s soft skin wrinkled early and she had developed a hump on her back, which was always there as far back as I could remember.  She wore round steel rim glasses.  On town days, she would don her blue dress and blue hat.  Her purse was large and black and she would always hang on to it as if she might misplace it if she put it down. 

From the time I was thirteen, when I begged my parents to let me go to the farm for the summer, even though they weren’t going that year, Grandma wasn’t afraid to tell me good things about myself.  She told me that I was pretty and she appreciated my politeness.  My mother tried to tell me nice things about myself but she was so busy with five kids she didn’t always have time to think.  So Grandma was the first person who really noticed me-- other than my Aunt Ruth who helped me put on a “show” for the wire tape recorder when I was just five.  (At seven my Aunt Evelyn complimented me for keeping my pants dry when I was playing “raft” in the
nearby gravel pit.  My Aunt Jeanne was amazed at me when I was 7 or 8 and I wouldn’t throw a rock when the boys were treating me poorly. She said my cousin Janet would have thrown a rock.)


EWU mother daughter tea 1961
From left to right Roberta,Grandma Stowell,Grandma Edson, Dorothy, Janet

My cousin, Dorothy, and I, the summer of our 15th year, walked along the hot dry dusty farm road the wind gently blowing the threads on my unhemmed cut off jeans.  Dorothy, as usual, had on smart shorts, which coordinated, with her matching top.  Our tanned legs and feet caused puffs of dirt to float toward Grandma’s house, which by that time of year was surrounded by stubble wheat fields.

“I love being at the farm in the summer,” I said.  “No school, no chores, nothing to do but relax.”  (We did help snap the beans or shuck the corn, wash dishes, and clean up after dinner, but they didn’t seem like chores to us because we were on the farm.)

“I can’t wait to get my drivers license next year,” said Dorothy.  Maybe I can borrow my folk’s car and we can drive around the back farm roads and even go to the drive in.”  (We didn’t know that our parents would make sure we didn’t have a car available, but that my older brother, Jay, would drive us to the drive-in in a VW Microbus.  We’d take cots, set up our row in front of the car, and stretch out while we watched the movie.)

“I’m not getting my license.  I took the written test at the urging of the valedictorian of our class, and failed it.  If I had known I was going to take the test I would have read the book!” (I got my license after I got married.)

To reach the farm each summer Dorothy had come from Fairbanks, Alaska and me from Alexandria, Virginia.  Dorothy was as blond as I was brunette, we were the same height and weight, that summer.  (The summer we were 13 Dorothy was a little taller than I was.)  Even though we were first cousins, we were as close as twin sisters would be.  I had always admired people with blond hair and blue eyes.  Maybe it was because I had two blond aunts, five blond cousins, and two blond uncles.  Everybody in my family had blue eyes, except my mother and me, we had green eyes. We all had brown hair of different shades, except the next to the youngest brother who was a strawberry blond.

We passed the locust tree where we had spent many hours when we were younger.    Uncle Beanie, Grandma’s older brother, had installed a swing hanging from the sturdy branch of this huge locust tree in the side yard. A wooden seat on a heavy rope, which he had tied way up about ten or twenty feet, on a sturdy branch,  hung down almost to the ground.  We took turns swinging as high as we could in the cool shade from the time we were small, until we were teenagers, and the swing no longer appealed to us. 
We spotted Grandma in the garden, “Hey Grandma, is it okay if we pick one tomato each?”
“You girls go ahead,” she smiled, waved, and went back to her gardening.
We each picked a giant tomato, washed them under the cool well water from the hose, and took a bite.
“This is the best tomato I will ever eat!”  I said. 
“Me too,” agreed Dorothy, as she jumped back so as not to get tomato juice on her clean shorts.

After I grew up and got married, my husband and I would pick Grandma up during the Christmas holidays, and take her for a tour of the Christmas lights in Spokane.  She would oo and ahhh and we would appreciate the lights even more just because she was with us.  I want to be just like her.

Now it is your turn.  What are some of your happy childhood memories?

Click here to see the Grace Belle Slightam Edson page on findagrave.com



Friday, April 15, 2016

Collaborating With The Enemy



Christians are at war.  We are at war with satan, evil people, and ourselves.  I know how to combat my own sin by prayer and repentance.  With evil people we pray, have government to protect us, and preach the gospel.  But how are we to combat the world's main occupier-- the prince of the power of the air, Ephesians 2:1-3?

While thinking about this, I recalled a PBS mini-series that I enjoyed watching, “Foyles War,” click here. The enemy activity-- such as a bomb or a spy-- does not happen on occupied turf but in British territory.  So this did not help to show how to deal with an occupying enemy.

Another mini-series called “Island at War” shows a British Island being taken over peacefully by the enemy, click here. The romance between a German soldier and an islander girl that portrayed favorably the German military commander of the occupation further inflamed the debate about the depiction of collaboration in the film.  For more details go to here.

Another instance of collaborating with the enemy was the Vichy government in France. It is one of the best-known and most significant examples of collaboration between former enemies of Germany and Germany itself. For more details go here.

So here is the problem.  The Church is divided.  Some support the view of the occupier of the  “world”--  satan. Some support Scripture.  Here is what Ross Douthat said:

“MODERNITY has left nearly every religious tradition in the Western world divided.
The specific issues vary with the faith, but there is an essential sameness to what separates Reform Judaism from Orthodox Judaism, evangelical churches from mainline Protestantism, the liberal Episcopal Church from the conservative Anglican Church in North America.

In each case, disagreements about the authority of tradition, the reliability of Scripture, and eventually the proper response to the Sexual Revolution have made it impossible for liberal and conservative believers to remain in community or communion.”

So what is a Christian to do?  What am I to do?  To me it looks like the churches that take the view of the “world” are collaborating with the enemy.  They approve of killing innocent unborn babies, approve of gay marriage, and approve of unmarried couples living together in housing that some churches support.  They say they have to do so because the secular population doesn’t understand our religion and can’t be expected to live according to God’s laws.  But what is actually happening here?  The Christians who support these things endorse what "the deceiver" is doing by not standing for morality.   They are worthy of death—Romans 1:32.  I pray that those in The Church who have been working with the enemy, will wake up, and turn away from sin before it is too late.  Meanwhile, those in The Church, including myself,  who refuse to collaborate with the adversary, will need to seek God through prayer and Scripture.  We will need God’s protection and wisdom in dealing with our foe.
















Friday, April 8, 2016

My Take On Revelation 20:1-10


Yesterday was wonderful.  My Dart bus driver got me to my Bible Study class early.  The luncheon afterward was delicious and the fellowship fun.  My faithful husband picked me up after the luncheon and gave me a ride home.  And on top of that I decided that, for now, I’m a premillennialist. 

You may wonder what a premillennialist is.  Premillennialists believe Jesus will return to the earth before the millennium.  (The millennium is the 1000 years that Jesus will reign on earth with His saints.  This is before the destruction of the current heaven and earth and the replacement with a new heaven and a new earth.) During this 1000 years satan is bound and kept  imprisoned.  But everything isn’t perfect yet, even though the believers will be like Jesus. There are still evil people on the earth who do bad things.  Jesus and His saints will judge these people and keep the peace. 

After the 1000 years satan is released and proceeds to deceive the nations once again.  He will organize the people who have hardened their hearts toward God to fight against God.  These nations are given the names Gog and Magog.  Of course satan is defeated and thrown into the lake of burning sulfur.  Evil is destroyed and God exalts Jesus. 

To me it is incomprehensible that satan and the wicked don’t understand that God has given them every chance to turn to Him.  They must block out all thoughts that God is loving and kind yet just.  He is a holy God who will not look on sin.  Sin will be destroyed. 


My conclusion is that this thinking is similar to the twisted confused thinking of the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippians who held Gracia and Martin Burnham hostage for 376 days. Gracia relates in her book, “In the Presence of My Enemies,” how one of their captors was asked why they were holding hostages and extorting money.  He said it was because the government had taken away some land.  He was asked what would you do if your land was given back to you?  He said we would take more land.  Muslims will take over the world he said.  That is the plan he said. 

The thinking of the terrorists is the exact thinking of satan.  The same thing will happen to the terrorists as it will to satan. Some day satan will be thrown into the lake of fire.  The end!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rita Lorraine And Her Magic Violin

We think this was taken when Rita was a teen.

She slumped, weeping, in the azure armchair amidst dozens of vases of roses placed on the dressing table, end tables, and on the floor of her dressing room.  They surrounded her like cascades of water.  Breathing the air was like taking a breath of heavy rose perfume.  Her red taffeta dress crawled over her legs and feet, covering the red velvet pumps.  She was drained, but she had done it.  She had performed the Tchaikovsky. 

Stop!  I confess. This is a fictionalized version as I imagine it could have taken place when my mother-in-law performed with the Spokane Symphony playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major. The performance was probably right after WW II in 1946 or 1947.   She had practiced for an entire year.  She vowed she would never play it again.

Flash back—Rita was 16 in 1933 when she kept a 1-year diary.  At that time her only class was French.  She most likely had a private tutor.  The tutor’s name is never mentioned in the diary.  She relates how she went home to Potlatch after a trip around Idaho and Washington State playing in concerts, attending concerts, plays, and eating with many in the music industry.  She mentions friends--   Billy Norse (her first boyfriend who lived in a big house next to the apartment in Lewiston.  He would sit on the lawn and listen to her practice.She attended Jr. High there and played basketball in school. She was very excited when she was the only one in the class who made a basket.) Maxine, and Claribel were two other friends.  They showed up periodically to play anagrams and to hang out.  In the spring of that year she traveled with her mother to Portland, Oregon and attended a Yehudi Menuhin concert.  He played The Beethoven D Major concerto and the Bach No. 2 in E Major and Mozart, No. 7 in D Major.  Major Alfred Hertz conducted the orchestra.  She went back stage with Mr. Wallin and Mr. Gershkovitch to shake hands with Yehudi. 

 Then in the summer she took the bus to San Francisco and was met by Mrs. Havlicek.  She was invited to various homes for meals and attended more concerts and played at several events. 

In September she went to Mr. Peterson’s house with the Havliceks to try out a “Strad” and a Guadagnini violin.  Mr. Havlicek decided to stay in California and resigned his position at Washington State College.  Rita wrote to her Mother and she came down and they rented an apartment together. She attended the Northbrae Church with her mother. Havliceks rented an auditorium and invited potential students to watch Rita perform.  This is how he acquired new students.

We have no other record of what she did between 1933 and 1940.  We think she traveled to Los Angeles. We think she then met Jes Brown who we think accompanied her on the piano.  They were married in Las Vegas in 1940.   Chris was born in 1942.  Because of WW II Jes enlisted in the Coast Guard we think in 1943.  Rita and Chris moved to Spokane where Rita played for a radio show called “Rita Lorraine and Her Magic Violin.” My Grandmother Stowell was one of her fans and listened every week.  We think Rita was offered a job with the Hormel Girls traveling around the country. Because of Chris she turned them down.  By that time she owned a Gagliano violin.

If I find another diary I will continue the tale in another blog.  Click here if you would like to see her findagrave.com page.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's Friday But Sunday's Coming

Sermon by S.M. Lockridge

When everything looks bleak, when even The Church is being deceived and led astray by false teachings, when the culture has become crude, remember that Sunday is coming.  Keep in mind Ephesians 2:5-6 “even when we were dead in our trespasses, (He) made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”


It’s Friday
Jesus is praying
Peter’s a sleeping
Judas is betraying
But Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
Pilate’s struggling
The council is conspiring
The crowd is vilifying
They don’t even know
That Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The disciples are running
Like sheep without a shepherd
Mary’s crying
Peter is denying
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s a comin’
It’s Friday
The Romans beat my Jesus
They robe him in scarlet
They crown him with thorns
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
See Jesus walking to Calvary
His blood dripping
His body stumbling
And his spirit’s burdened
But you see, it’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The world’s winning
People are sinning
And evil’s grinning
It’s Friday
The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands
To the cross
They nail my Savior’s feet
To the cross
And then they raise him up
Next to criminals
It’s Friday
But let me tell you something
Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The disciples are questioning
What has happened to their King
And the Pharisees are celebrating
That their scheming
Has been achieved
But they don’t know
It’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
He’s hanging on the cross
Feeling forsaken by his Father
Left alone and dying
Can nobody save him?
Ooooh
It’s Friday
But Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The earth trembles
The sky grows dark
My King yields his spirit
It’s Friday
Hope is lost
Death has won
Sin has conquered
and Satan’s just a laughin’
It’s Friday
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place

But it’s Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin’!