Monday, February 27, 2017

THE WAY IS NARROW THAT LEADS TO LIFE

Photo by Chris Brown

An elderly Christian man was asked if life becomes easier as you age.  He replied, "No, because the Devil is out to get you before you die and he doesn't have much time left."  I read this poem by a blogger today and thought of this verse in Matthew 7:14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."  Praying today that Christians will share the good new about Jesus before it is too late for many.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

YOU CANNOT REASON WITH BULLIES


The video above was brought to my attention today.  It was filmed in 2014.  My Aunt Evelyn taught my brother, Jay, that you cannot reason with bullies.  If you are kind, ignore them, or try to cause them to quite bullying in some other way, and they continue to bully, sometimes you just need to use force to cause them to stop.  Those of us who are not trained in military combat can fight through prayer.  It is a spiritual battle.  Others, who are trained to combat bullies by force, will be called up once again to fight evil.  May God have mercy on us all!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES MADE DIFFICULT

Difficult circumstances--it rains the day your relatives have a garage sale in your driveway


You know you are having a hard time when:

·            The washing machine breaks and then when you go to your parent’s house to wash your clothes their washing machine breaks.  

·      Your 3 year old wets his pants and your 9 month old poops just as you are going out the door to church.  
          
·      You look at your calendar and believe your granddaughter has a concert and force your husband to drive an hour through the rain and you are a week early.

·                   You fall into a ditch and break your foot and then you have to go to court because your 11 year old son got a ticket for not yielding to a car when he was crossing a busy street on his bicycle and he was hit by a car.

·                    Your daughter has to go to emergency at 1 year old when she slips on a wet shower room floor at the Y and knock herself out.


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        Over the years I've had a bad habit of feeling sorry for myself. When I was thirteen my aunt accused me of reading comic books.  Instead of telling her that I hadn’t been reading comic books until my two (E.E. Stowell) cousins had been reading them for a long time, I pouted. (I have never enjoyed comic books.) Then when I was 15  I wrote what I would call a "Letter to God" complaining about my lack of self-control regarding my tongue and my study habits.  It never dawned on me that I should ask God to help me with these things.  The following blog was helpful to me.  Click here to read.







Wednesday, February 15, 2017

FINISHING WELL----LEGACY


Here is a photo of the grave marker for my great, great grandfather Samuel Stowell who fought in the American Revolution.  He left quite a legacy.



We are learning about “Legacy” at church--what will you be remembered for after you are gone?  Our church is twenty years old and our legacy so far is that we are a church planting church.  There have been at least 17 churches planted within that time.  

My parents and grandparents left letters they had written or received for us to explore.  Slowly their legacy of faith and good works is emerging as we read through those that are left to us. 


Chris and I just saw the movie “ Hidden Figures.”  Those women had the right idea— educate yourself above and beyond anybody else,  pick your battles and you will succeed. They did not participate in the protests in 1961. They left a legacy of faith and achievement to us.

The history below was sent to me by  a college classmate, Marcene, who was co-owner with her husband of the pharmacy in Dayton, WA:

HISTORY:  
Susan Be Anthony was born Feb. 15, 1820 in an age when woman were considered inferior to men.  Many restaurants had signs that said “No females allowed.”  Woman could not hold most jobs nor public office, or even vote.  Anthony spent most of her life trying to right those injustices.       Marcene’s note:   In the history of the Elk Drug of Dayton  (the oldest continuing drug store,1889, in the state of Washington), there is a reference to an early pharmacy in Starbuck, WA., which is a small community near by.  The note says that the   pharmacy started in Starbuck at about the same time as the Elk Drug but the druggist was a woman.  The ladies of Starbuck didn’t trust her so she went out of business.   Worse than that, at the annual state meeting of pharmacists held after the turn of the century, it was proposed that more ladies be admitted to the profession.  The protest was loud and clear. . . The claim was that woman did not allow smoking behind the pharmacy counter, they constantly complained of the mess, and they insisted upon good records. 

Once again, women picked their battles and  educated themselves.  This is from a high school classmate—“ You would be most interested to hear about studies done about women physicians (med school entries are half women now). Women are found to have more successful results and fewer complications than men.”

While thinking about "Legacy" I heard about the letter below that Abraham Lincoln had written.  This clearly defines his legacy.  He was born in February so we celebrate President's Day each year with a day off.  He left a great legacy of many wonderful addresses and letters and of course the preservation of the union.  Below is one letter he wrote to Eliza Gurney.  Just as Abraham Lincoln's letter suggests, Eliza Gurney, the widow of the English Quaker Joseph J. Gurney, visited President Lincoln about two years earlier, assuring him of her prayers during a difficult period in the Civil War. About this time, President Lincoln also had written an unpublished memorandum relating the war to the will of God. His 1864 reply to Mrs. Gurney reveals a continuing thread of interest in that topic, which would reach its height in his Second Inaugural Address the next spring.



Executive Mansion,
Washington, September 4, 1864.
Eliza P. Gurney.
My esteemed friend.
I have not forgotten--probably never shall forget--the very impressive occasion when yourself and friends visited me on a Sabbath forenoon two years ago. Nor has your kind letter, written nearly a year later, ever been forgotten. In all, it has been your purpose to strengthen my reliance on God. I am much indebted to the good Christian people of the country for their constant prayers and consolations; and to no one of them, more than to yourself. The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.
Your people--the Friends--have had, and are having, a very great trial. On principle, and faith, opposed to both war and oppression, they can only practically oppose oppression by war. In this hard dilemma, some have chosen one horn, and some the other. For those appealing to me on conscientious grounds, I have done, and shall do, the best I could and can, in my own conscience, under my oath to the law. That you believe this I doubt not; and believing it, I shall still receive, for our country and myself, your earnest prayers to our Father in heaven.
Your sincere friend
A. Lincoln.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

THE MAN WHO PREACHED THE GOSPEL TO PRESIDENT. (VIDEO OF THE MUST-SEE ADDRESS)



The first Thursday in February is the date reserved for the National Prayer breakfast held in Washington D.C.  This year the Senate Chaplain spoke.  Click here to read Joel Rosenburg's blog about it and to hear the twenty some minute sermon.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

MY DAD PART 2

Dad, Jay, Evy 1954

To continue on with the record of the cars my dad bought, and the miles he drove, here the details get a little fuzzy for me.  I do recall my older brother, Jay, purchasing a Nash Rambler at some point.  He was still in high school I think.  Somehow, when my youngest brother, Wayne, was about one year old, that would be in about 1957, my mom, Jay, me, Evy, Davy, and Wayne decided to drive the Nash to Spokane from Alexandria.  My mom refused to drive into Washington D.C. but she would drive 3000 miles across the country.  Jay helped with the driving and I sat in the back seat between Davy and Wayne while they stood on their heads and kicked their feet.  I was charged with holding their legs and feet away from kicking anybody sitting in the front seat in the back of the head. Evy must have sat in front also.  All I remember about that trip was that I never babysat again.  (That might have been related to why I allowed Davy and Wayne to take apart the Baby Ben alarm clock.  My mom asked me if I had been watching them.  I said, “Yes, I watched them take apart the clock.”) I had posttraumatic babysitting stress after that.  Evy took over and was in charge of the boys from then on. 

Dick and Wayne in Virginia 1961

So because we took Jay’s car to Washington, my dad must have kept the VW Microbus in Virginia.  

A few years later in 1961, that bus was to take an epic trip from Virginia to Washington, with eight people aboard. Not only did we have my dad, mom, me, Evy, Davy, and Wayne but my grandfather Edson.  He had been staying with us since December.  We decided to visit his relatives and old hometowns on our trip across country for his sake and to gather some genealogy of the family.  My cousin, Dick, had flown down from Alaska for some sightseeing and band camp.  He arrived about the first part of June and we left on our journey for out west about the 26th of July.  He recalls being soaked one night as he slept outside the Microbus under a tarp, which blew off during a storm. (I notice the storm was on July 29, my birthday. We had all forgotten it. The storm topped it off as a good day to forget!) Dick also remembered that the bus had a difficult time chugging up the continental divide with 8 people aboard.  My footlocker for college was strapped on top. 

Edson relatives in about 1961


Grandma and Grandpa Stowell with the grandchildren 1961



Valentine, Dodge truck, Dad, and Heather in about 1982

My dad was to purchase about three or four more cars in his lifetime. His last vehicle was a Dodge truck. 

Below is the report written by Mom about our trip that summer of 1961. 










Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SHE GAVE ALL SHE HAD



I particularly enjoyed this story by Corrie Ten Boom from her book “Tramp for the Lord.” These verses from Mark 12 could be applied.

Mark 12: 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.[f] 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”


 One Finger For His Glory
We arrived at her apartment by night in order to escape detection.  We were in Russia(in the region of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea).  Ellen and I had climbed the steep stairs, coming through a small back door into the one room apartment.  It was jammed with furniture, evidence that the old couple had once lived in a much larger and much finer house.
The old woman was lying on a small sofa, propped up by pillows.  Her body was bent and twisted almost beyond recognition by the dread disease of multiple sclerosis.  Her aged husband spent all his time caring for her since she was unable to move off the sofa.
I walked across the room and kissed her wrinkled cheek.  She tried to look up but the muscles in her neck were atrophied so she could only roll her eyes upward and smile.  She raised her right hand, slowly, in jerks.  It was the only part of her body she could control and with her gnarled and deformed knuckles she caressed my face.  I reached over and kissed her index finger, for it was with this one finger that she so long glorified God.
Beside her couch was a vintage typewriter.  Each morning her faithful husband would rise, praising the Lord.  After caring for his wife’s needs and feeding her a simple breakfast, he would prop her into a sitting position on the couch, placing pillows all around her she would not topple over.  Then he would move that ancient black typewriter in front of her on a small table.  From an old cupboard he would remove a stack of cheap yellow paper.  Then, with that blessed one finger, she would begin to type.
All day and far into the night she would type.  She translated Christian books into Russian, Latvian and the language of her people.  Always using that one finger….peck…peck….peck, she typed out the pages.  Portions of the Bible, the books of Billy Graham, Watchman Nee and Corrie ten Boom.  All came from that typewriter…that was why I was there, to thank her.
She was hungry to hear news about these men of God she never met, yet whose books she had so faithfully translated.  We talked about Watchman Nee, who was then in prison in China, and I told her all I knew of his life and ministry.  I also told her of the wonderful ministry of Billy Graham and of the many people who were giving their lives to the Lord.
“Not only does she translater their books”, her husband said as he hovered close by during our conversations, “but she prays for these men everyday while she types.  Sometimes it takes a long time for her finger to hit the key, or for her to get the paper in the machine, but the time she is praying for those whose books she is working on”.
I looked at her wasted form on the sofa, her head pulled down and her feet curled back under her body.  ”Oh Lord, why don’t you heal her?”, I cried inwardly. Her husband sensing my anguish of soul, gave the answer.  ”God has a purpose in her sickness.  Every other Christian in the city is being watched by the secret police. But because she has been sick so long, no one ever looks in on her.  They leave us alone and she is the only person in all the city who can type quietly, undetected by the police”.
I looked around the tiny room, so jammed full of furniture from better days.  In one corner was the kitchen.  Beside the cupboard was her husbands “office”, a battered desk where he sorted out the pages that came from her typewriter, to pass then on to the Christians.  I thought of Jesus sitting over against the treasury, and my heart leaped for joy as I heard Jesus bless this old woman, who like the widow, had given all she had.


I Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.