Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weaving A Victory

My Great Uncle, Jay S. Stowell, wrote this in 1953—“The church has played a larger part in the making of America than many of us realize and a religiously conditioned patriotism has made her strong and kept her united.  People are religious and, in the last analysis, no better basis for a common life can be found than a faith which is to some extent accepted by rascals as well as by those more worthy.  The clash of religious groups through the centuries has been serious enough, but now we have something still worse, the clash of religion and anti-religion.  The prospects for any genuine world unity will remain poor so long as any large groups rule God out of the picture.”

Wow!  Was he prophetic or what?  In this blog, click here, the question is asked why do so many liberals despise Christianity?  This mentality was obvious in the 1960’s when Bill Ayers decided that the United States was more evil than the Communists. (America is certainly more Christian than communist countries.) Ayers proceeded to bomb buildings here in the United States to protest our killing communist soldiers in Viet Nam who were trying to force communism on the Vietnamese people.  Now his mentality has permeated through the younger generations. See this You Tube where college students are asked if ISIS is worse than the United States. Click here.

Could this be happening because of anti – religious forces?  Since our country was founded on Judeo/Christian values is this the way that the anti-religious people will remove God from our country?  They are saying that evil is good and good evil.

Isaiah 5: 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Because of this way of thinking our military is being decimated.  Click here.  Soon the U.S. will be defenseless and so will those countries that have depended on our military to keep peace in their countries.  ( Check out Germany, Japan, Italy, South Korea.)If we had left our military in Iraq there would be a lot more peace there right now.
Without our U.S. Army we will have no defense when ISIS arrives on our shores.  We must petition God to help the American people to wake up and elect statesmen who will seek wisdom from God for our defense.  Hezekiah, in II Chronicles 32:1-23 protected the water supply, built walls, weapons, shields, appointed military officers, etc.  They did what they could but the most important thing was praying to God.  And God saved them.  

 So no matter what the anti-religious people do, God will prevail.  This quote from “Beowulf” sums it up:

"But the Lord was weaving a victory on His war-loom for the Weather-Geats. Through the strength of one they all prevailed; they would crush their enemy and come through in triumph and gladness. The truth is clear: Almighty God rules over mankind and always has." 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Walking After Wind

Grandma and Grandpa Stowell with Uncle Ernest, my dad, and Uncle Hollis.  They saved letters and pictures to pass down.

In our Precepts study this fall we are studying Micah.  In Micah 2:11 it says,  "If a man walking after wind and falsehood had told lies and said, 'I will speak out to you concerning wine and liquor,' He would be spokesman to this people.” 

I thought this was a curious statement.  I looked in my study Bible to see what the commentary said.  This is the meaning—Anyone who promised great affluence would gain a hearing.  In other words if prophet or pastor insisted that everything was going well and that in everything people would be rich and successful, that person would have a large audience.  People like to be told they are doing everything right and do not have to consult God.

In our country we have been told lies and many believe these untruths.  We have been told that ISIS is not a threat to our homeland.  We have been told that the United States should not try to help other countries because we would only be occupiers and do harm to them. 

The latest falsehood that we are being told is that Christopher Columbus committed genocide when he discovered the New World.  Click here.  Some people are trying to change Columbus Day to a day to honor the Western Indians.  Columbus is being downgraded, I feel, because he saw his accomplishments primarily in the light of spreading the Christian religion. So actually all of these changes being made are being made to take God out of our country.

Here is one example of the progressive secularists trying to demean those who have stood for Judea/Christian values. The new curriculum to teach AP History to high school students has completely removed any reference to any good thing the United States did in light of our Judeo/Christian values.  Click Here for the story.

Edmund Burke once said, “Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” 

But if history is being rewritten how are we supposed to know the truth?

Here is what I think.  Reading the letters from past years would be a way.  I’ve been reading letters that my grandmother Stowell, and my mom, saved over the years.  Some go as far back as 1916. In a letter written in 1916 to my grandpa Stowell in Spokane, WA. his sister, Grace, wrote about planting her garden in Orwell, New York where she lived. 

The letters most interesting to me were the ones written to my dad by his dad when he was in college. Grandpa mentored his boys by giving suggestions about their future.  He didn’t insist that they do it his way though.  He encouraged them to do what they thought best. He signed them “With lots of love from your dad.”

 The letters my dad wrote to my mom during WW II are especially sweet.  He describes the picnics and the songs they sang in those days to keep their morale up. In a letter my dad wrote to my mom the day Japan surrendered, he asked her how she was feeling about all of this. 

Another way to learn about history is to read autobiographies.  To hear about the past through the eyes of the author is like having a close up view of events.

I read “Unbroken,” by Laura Hillenbrand, as told to her by Louie Zamperini.  This was definitely a microscopic view of what happened in our United States military and in Japanese prison camps.  It proves good intentions of the United States by applying Judeo/Christian values to war.  It also shows the lack of Judeo/Christian values in Japan by some of the Japanese. 

Another way to teach the truth about our history is for senior citizens to write the stories of their lives.  This would record for the next generations what really happened.  My children have encouraged me to write this blog.  It is their way to save time, I think, as they can speed-read through when they have time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

If You Stay In A Fancy Hotel In Bora Bora Expect A Gecko Scream--Or Part 6 Of Our Travels

Internet picture

Chris did sail from Mazatlan to Papeete, Tahiti with two other fellows.  (He will write his own blog about that.) After he arrived in Papeete he decided it would be a good idea to fly to Spokane, get me, and bring me back to cruise around the South Pacific.  When I went to the Spokane airport to pick up Chris, he arrived sporting the beard he had grown during the crossing, and wearing his big hat. I didn’t recognize him.  I wondered why this strange guy kept smiling at me as he exited the plane.

He arrived just in time to fix a couple of things. I had managed to break the washing machine in Jes’s rental house in Spokane and Jes’s roommate had bashed a hole in the wall in the stairway when he was moving a desk.  So we spent the next few days buying a used washing machine, spackling the hole, and painting. (Jes and another roommate got their rental deposit back when they moved out because everything was in perfect order.)

Our crew, Rex, was boat sitting but Chris wanted to rush back to Tahiti in time for the Bastille Day celebrations. Since Tahiti was a possession of France we assumed there would be at least a parade. Chris had been in France one summer to see the celebration in Paris. 

Photo by Bobbi

We checked into a hotel right across the street from where Flyaway was moored.  The morning of July 14 nothing happened.  Above is the view from the hotel window.  I assume they don’t celebrate July 14 in Tahiti.

Our first lunch cost about $50.00.  We ordered two sandwiches and two sodas. That was the last lunch out.  Everything is outrageously expensive.

Chris with $25.00 sandwich

We decided to sail to Bora Bora.  I was seasick the whole way.  I had never been that sea sick in my life.  I assumed it could have been that flying so much had ruined my ears, or that the jet lag got to me.  Open water did not agree with my stomach so we stayed around Bora Bora and ate once at Bloody Mary’s. Chris and Rex would take the dingy to town for supplies.

Photo by Bobbi

 Dinner at Bloody Marys
We chose our entree from the display

Bloody Mary's ladies room sink 

We also attended church there.  All the women wore hats and the men wore flip-flops and leisure suits.  Each village sat together and each sang a few songs for the worship time.  The cruisers had a separate section on one side of the sanctuary.  The pastor preached in 3 languages.  After about an hour we decided to slip out and get something to eat.  When we walked past the church 3 hours later, we again heard singing -- they were still going strong.

Post card

 I think this is in Papeete

 Church in Bora Bora

I think this is the church we attended

When it was time to sail back to Papeette Chris arranged for me to stay in the Bora Bora Hotel and then fly back while he and Rex sailed the boat back.

 Post Card

Chris in hotel room doorway

Chris spent the first night with me in the hotel but the second night I spent alone as the plane only flew occasionally.  That night I heard a terrible scream!  It had to be a gecko, I figured.  I had never heard one scream.  I must have scared him, but he scared me worse!  I figured he wouldn’t come anywhere near me so finally I was able to get some sleep.

I took this from the airplane window

I encouraged Chris to keep going to Australia or wherever he wanted to go.  Rex agreed to crew for him. But instead we decided to ship Flyaway back to the states and buy another house.  (Ugh! Horrors! I hate houses!) Chris had no desire to be a long term sailor.  So at that time our choice was to buy a house.  We sold it 4 years later and bought a condo.  It is easier for me but tougher for Chris.  He is on the condo board.

I’m so grateful to God that He enabled us to have the finances to go on this wonderful adventure.  I'm thankful for a safe journey every step of the way. But now I’m ready to be an armchair sailor.  I will now watch all those travelogues my mom sent me before we went on our adventure.  It was her way of trying to convince us to stay home.  So now we will!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Never Walk Between Parked Cars In Mexico--Or Fifth Blog About Our Sailing Adventure

 Chris and Flyaway

This is the fifth blog, in a series of blogs, about Chris and my adventures sailing the “high Seas,” on our boat “Flyaway.”  If you haven’t read them in order, and would like to, click on this link and scroll down to the first one called, “Of Whales, Aircraft Carriers, and Storms,” or click on the link to the right, and start reading from there.

After living in La Paz for awhile I learned that many people in La Paz left their dogs in their cars, rather than locking their cars, and that a dog will bark wildly if you walk next to their car, and also that if you walk on the sidewalk next to a fenced yard there is most likely a dog in the yard who will guard his territory by barking violently.  To solve the problem of dogs in parked cars I would ask Chris to go first between the cars so that the dogs could bark at him.  To solve the dog in yard problem, I just walked in the street.  We believe that each homeowner owned the sidewalk and had to do their own maintenance on it.

When June came it was time to put “Flyaway” to bed, and to fly up to Seattle until September, or until the sea in Mexico cooled down from body temperature to a nice 80.  Each year we either stayed with our daughter in Seattle or eventually we bought a condo in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA.  We sold the condo after eighteen months as we decided that we are not “island” people.  I was spending most of my time riding the ferry and driving down to Seattle to go to specialists because of my health, and Chris had no Home Depot on the island.  So we really only stayed in the condo a total of about 8 months during breaks from the heat in Mexico.

Our next step after a hurricane free summer in Mexico was to return to La Paz and have the bottom of Flyaway painted.  Chris supervised and was fascinated by the Mexican engineering.  The solar panels were ready to go.

Solar panels on Flyaway

The most fun I had in La Paz was when I decided to invite a couple from another boat at the marina along with their grandson to play board games with us on New Years Eve.  Suddenly the party blossomed, and a couple from the “English” church invited us all over to their compound for board games.  We ordered pizzas and played Mexican Train, Balderdash, and other games.  I had so many laughs I count it the best New Years Eve ever.  The teenage grandson made up so many funny definitions of words for Balderdash I couldn’t stop laughing.  I had prayed that our crew, Dan and Debbie, could meet Milton and SuSu, a Christian couple who had been cruising for years as a captain and cook on a 105’ Mexican Yacht.  God worked it out by their inviting us all over. We were warned not to go outside at midnight as the Mexicans shoot their guns in the air to celebrate the New Year.

English church

Then, I don’t remember the date, four friends showed up to help us cross the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan.  The first night after we started out we stayed in Partida.  As I recall a whale fell in love with “Flyaway” and swam around us all night.  He was a loud breather too. 

At seven knots we made steady but slow progress across the sea.  At night the water lights up with luminescence. Four or five out of the six of us went snorkeling in the middle.  (When we got to Mazatlan were were asked by other cruisers if the sharks had bothered us!)  We avoided colliding with unlighted pangas rafted across a large area in the middle of the crossing also.  

  Internet photo

Mazatlan was a much bigger city than La Paz. It had many more marinas to choose from.  We elected to stay at the El Cid Marina.  The bus stop was right in front of the hotel and Time Share Salesman only occasionally propositioned us.  They would ask us if we wanted a free ride to town.  If we accepted we were taken to a Time Share Presentation, which was only about 4 hours long.  We were offered a free meal, which also was about 4 hours long. 

We had several more friends come from Florida and Washington to stay on the boat with us or at time shares nearby, and enjoy the hot tub, riding the bus to the Golden Zone to shop, many restaurants, Old Town, and Central Market.

Internet photo of golden zone

We didn't buy any meat at the market.

We bought masks at a shop in Old Town

Of course we attended fiestas.

Photo by Bobbi

Photo by Bobbi

We enjoyed meals out with other cruisers.  After Chris was finished fixing other peoples boats he began building “Mexican Train” games and painting tiny locomotive game pieces.  Later a group of cruisers got together and rented a bus to take us to Carnival.  We had bleacher seats for the parade and a balcony from which to watch the fireworks.  We saw conga lines of young men running through the crowd, which was shoulder to shoulder with no room to pass, but they passed anyway!

Us with cruiser friends

We thought the floats looked top heavy

They used poles to lift wires so the floats could fit under them

It was around this time that I decided I had, “been there and done that.”  I was not feeling like I wanted to live the rest of my life on a boat.  I encouraged Chris to keep going and sail to the South Pacific and on to Australia if he wanted to.  I flew to Seattle and then our son drove me to Spokane to live in his rental house while his roommates were gone for the summer. 

Next blog will be on the Tahiti trip.