Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Some of the moms I prayed with when my kids were in school.

It was back in the 70's when Fern Nichols was worried about her children entering Jr. High.  She asked another mom to pray with her.  Because of the support and also seeing answers to prayer  Fern believed God wanted her to share this idea with other moms.   From that simple worry Moms in Prayer was born.  God has blessed the ministry.  Now there are Moms in Prayer groups all over the world.

Today as I read the headlines I gathered some stories prayer warriors can be praying about today.  We lay these concerns at the feet of Jesus and leave them there: 

Albert Einstein didn't know anything about love

Iranian spies in Germany targeted Israel Embassy and Jewish kindergartens

Lawsuit Pits Gay Rights Against Religious Freedom

California Poverty Capital of America

Monday, January 15, 2018


On November 2, 1983 Ronald Reagan signed into law a day to honor the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I liked how he quoted Jesus.  He told us that the greatest commandment that God has given us was to love God and love our neighbor. It has been a struggle between good and evil for man ever since the fall in the garden.  Only by God's Spirit can we obey.  May we sing this last verse of the "Star Spangled Banner" today:

"O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Our daughter wanted to use this pose for our Christmas card in 1988.  She believed this depicted my dictatorial attitude and the oppression of the kids.  She had an inflamed metatarsal from playing football. 

1.  Dictator-- a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force.

·       a person who tells people what to do in an autocratic way or who determines behavior in a particular sphere:

As I recall, it was around the year that our daughter became a teenager that she was counseling me on what job would be perfect for me.  She said, “You should apply for a job as a dictator.”

Now I don’t know what that says about me as a mother.  In my experience mothers don’t become dictators. (I didn’t think of my mother as one.)  And I really did not want to become a dictator. But for the sake of my children I became one, according to our daughter.

My class in 1969

Years ago, before Chris and I had kids, I had to become a tyrant when I was hired as a first grade teacher. I was shocked that the majority of the children did not do what I told them to do.  I liked the kids, their parents, and the other teachers.  It was just the stress of trying to keep in mind all the different learning levels, and to keep order in the class that made me dislike the job.  It was like running a marathon while juggling live cats and dogs.  For me this spoiled the vocation.   (My older brother was asked to teach Vacation Bible School one year. He let all the kids go out and play instead of teaching them the lesson.  They never asked him to teach a class again. This would have been my preference when I was teaching.  But I didn’t give in to the temptation too often.  We did do loads of finger painting and also many afternoons of folk dancing though.)

My sister and cousin dealt with my brother.  I didn't want to be involved.

In my growing up years all five of us kids were easy going or compliant. If we were promised a chicken dinner by our parents and we ended up with a hot dog dinner nobody seemed to notice the difference.  We just went with the flow.  (I suspect there were at least two of us who liked hot dogs better than chicken.) I don’t recall any fighting or bickering in any form between us.  Although I do have this one picture of my sister and my cousin trying to keep my next to the youngest brother in line for a picture.  Notice --I chose to ignore the whole thing.  I didn’t want to be in control.  That was for somebody else to do. So when I discovered as a teacher that the majority of children are strong willed, I had to change my ways. 

After three years of dealing with first graders I was exhausted from holding the line against hostile forces in the classroom.  I had to set boundaries against bullying, implement a reward system for hyper kids, help with dressing and undressing kids in winter clothes to go outside, act as a crossing guard, playground teacher, lunch room teacher, do inventory, prepare lessons, bulletin board duty, etc., etc. I finally got smart and appointed committees to put up the bulletin boards, clean the classroom, assist me with grading workbooks, etc. etc.  I see no reason why 6 year olds can’t help out.

So I came to my limit with teaching.  I quit my job.  I went to work at the local library.  The library was the perfect place for me.  (Chris and I always checked out the libraries wherever we were visiting or living at the time.) I reveled in the quietness of the atmosphere and the appreciation I received from helping library patrons.

Strong willed baby insisted on sitting on top of the dining room table.  I moved all the chairs into another room so she couldn't climb up.
Strong willed baby threw temper tantrums when she was removed from the table.

Then, four years later, along came our strong willed daughter. She 
brought me to my knees in prayer.  I prayed and asked God for help.  I joined a mothers of preschoolers  group. I began reading parenting books.  My favorite was “Help, I’m a Parent” by Bruce Narramore.  I got the dictator part down pat.  As a result of firm boundaries for our daughter to press against she knew the guidelines.  She was afraid, from the time she was two or three until she was nine, to get out of bed after I put her to bed at night.  She asked if she could get up to get a drink of water one night after I had put her to bed when she was nine.  I allowed it, as I knew she could put herself back to bed.  (I found out years later that she taught her brother to get out of bed, hide behind the couch, and watch “Mash” when we were watching.  Don’t know what that did to their brains.) Our son turned out to be a compliant child.  When I put him to bed he was glad to stay.  Except, many years later, I found out that he did a little sleepwalking.

In high school our daughter would not get out of bed in the morning until her dad turned on the heat.  But, she said, that if she heard my voice she was up immediately.  A smoke alarm going off would not wake her but my voice would! (My parents gave me a clock radio when I was 12 or 13 so that I could set it to get myself up.  Being the compliant child that I was, I got up with the help of the radio, all on my own.)When she was in college and our son was in Jr. High I joined a Moms in Prayer group.  I still pray for my grandchildren in a group.

So all of this to say I’m retired from my job as a dictator.  I hated that job.  But I loved my children enough to set expectations.  Our children turned out to be God fearing, responsible citizens.

Now, grandchildren are the best.  We let them do whatever they want and then send them home!  (One time we were supposed to help with homework and it went completely out of our heads.  We ended up sending the homework home to be done.) 

I’m finally able to relax.  Now, I learn, that our daughter has become the dictator in her house!    Her older child told the younger one—“You might as well give in as you won’t win!”

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


This was one of my favorite New Year's Eve celebrations.  We were in Japan visiting Jes in 2004.  His little country village had a New Year's party in the town square.

I have wondered where the saying--"Only what's done for Christ will last"-- came from.  Now I know the lines came from C.T. Studd's poem:
Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His judgment seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say, “Thy will be done;”
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all;”
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Photo by Chris Brown
I'm not sure where these books came from.  My parents had these and the book ends as long as I can remember.  Each book is a classic such as "Fifty Best Poems of England."

 I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas.  Maybe you are ready to do some reading.  I have jotted down some of the books I read in 2017.  I enjoy reading fiction but have realized I can’t read many authors today.  The rough language and the immorality of the characters do not make a book enjoyable for me.  Listed are some of the authors I appreciate reading.  I was able to check these out from the library on my Kindle. 

My favorite novel of the year was:

“Where We Belong” by Lynn Austin—I liked the flash backs and the flash-forwards.  It kept my interest.

Some other enjoyable fiction included:

“Rhineland Inheritance” #1
Gibraltar Passage” #2
Sahara Crosswinds #3
Berlin Encounter #4
Istanbul Express #5.  All by T. Davis Bunn

I also liked the following series, which is set in Botswana.  Reading these novels is a good way to learn about their culture:

“The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” #1
“Tears of the Giraffe” #2
“Morality for beautiful girls” #3
“The Kalahari Typing School for Men” #4. These are all by Alexander McCall Smith.  The series continues on with at least 16 more books.

My favorite non-fiction book I read this year was:

“Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown—I identified with the Seattle area where the main protagonist lived and rowed for the University of Washington.  I also identified with the women who he eventually married as she didn’t like housework.  Because she loved Joe Rantz she kept house for a rich employer so she could be near Joe.  When they married she kept house for Joe, as she wanted him to have a good home life.

Other non-fiction:

“When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself” by Steve Corbett. I liked his point that if a community can help their own this will encourage them.  If someone comes in, gives them money, and makes all the communities decisions for them they become discouraged.

“3 Minutes to a Pain Free Life. The Groundbreaking Program for Total Body Pain Prevention and Rapid Relief.”  By Joseph Weisberg. I’m trying this for a year.  I’ll let you know if it works.

“Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World.” By Eric Metaxas.  This was a little too detailed for me.  I skimmed some of it.

“42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story.” By Ed Henry.  It was eye opening for me.  I couldn’t believe that Jackie and his wife would have such a time with public transportation from California to the east coast in the 50’s.  His wife was wearing an ermine coat.  That should have counted for something!

“Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas.  I enjoyed this book.  The details were interesting to me.

“In the Presence of My Enemies” by Gracia Burnham.  It was engrossing to see how much the captives suffered but then God made some good come out of the harrowing experience. In the end Gracia had a house given to her, she makes a living by giving speeches, and the CIA checks with her often about certain terrorists with which she had to deal.

"Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage" by Kay Marshall Strom.  All over the world there are young girls who are abused and killed for being girls.  Strom tells their stories.  Some of the girls are rescued out of horrible conditions.  She has also written about women who have become Christians in cultures where they are persecuted for their faith.  "Daughter of Hope: Stories of Witness and Courage in the Face of Persecution" was written in 2003.  I expect times are even worse for these women.  This one isn't on Kindle.  

Devotional books I like:

"Diamonds in the Dust" by Joni Eareckson Tada
"Behold Your God" by Myrna Alexander
"365 Bible Promises for Hurting people" by Alice Chapin

What books would you recommend?

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Christmas Adam at my aunt's house.

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas Adam…

Since Adam came before Eve my Aunt Emily declared December 23 to be Christmas Adam.  On that night she was able to invite all of her loved ones over.  Most people did not have a conflict with another engagement on that date.

 Cookies by Jessica

The cookies are baked and frosted.  

Christmas 1946

Memories of past Christmases come flooding in. Not sure of the dates.  I am looking for more pictures. I will add them later.

Christmas 1951

Christmas 1960

Christmas 1961

Christmas 1965

Christmas 1966

Christmas 1967

Christmas 1971
Christmas 1972

Christmas 1974

Christmas 1977

Christmas 1980

Christmas 1983

Christmas 1985.  I think this was the prettiest tree we ever had.  It was a living tree.  We planted it in the front yard.

Christmas 1986

Christmas 1993

Christmas 1994

Christmas 1996

Christmas 1998

Christmas 2000

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2011 

Christmas 2012 

What wonderful memories.  God has blessed us with every good and perfect gift from above.  And on top of that He has saved us from His wrath to come.  Jesus came to earth to pay for our sins. If we believe in Him we will live with Him forever.  Joy to the world, Jesus, our Savior, has come and He is coming again.

Here is one of the Christmas card creations by artist and  friend Jim Bornzin.
 It reflects the Joy in Jesus that came to the earth and is coming back again.   

 By Jim Bornzin
 Impressive tree that Jim and Carmen display in their home.
By Jim Bornzin

Friday, November 24, 2017


Jes riding horseback with Wayne's help in Hornbrook in about 1982

Speaking of manure the story about the pessimist and optimist goes like this-- 

Chris riding in 1949 Long Beach, WA

Another story I remember about manure took place in a World War II movie called "Three Came Home."  The women used human feces to fertilize their vegetable garden.

Grandfather Jes owned a horse which he kept at his parents home.  Here is the neighbor girl riding.

When I came down with fibromyalgia I wanted God to take me up to heaven right then.  I thought like Elijah when Elijah was sure Jezebel was going to kill him. He ran away and sat under a broom tree. I wanted to sit under a broom tree like Elijah and have food and water brought to me.

Davy riding bareback in Four Lakes

Another thing I thought about doing was applying to a writers group who sponsored writers to go sit in a cabin in the woods all alone and write a novel.  They would be supplied with food and shelter for several months. I thought that maybe that way I could recuperate from my fibro.

Many people are trying to recover from PTSD these days.  Jesus said that you would have trials and tribulations so don't be surprised.  So when you are given a pile of manure, remember my friend Nan's advice: "Ask God to help you to finish well by keeping you in your senses."  She did finish well by spreading the gospel through her cooking and prayers up to her very last week of life on this earth.

Jesus calls Christians the salt of the earth.  He may actually have meant the fertilizer of the earth.  To read a blog about it click here.

PS When I find the picture of the pony that my dad and Uncle Hollie had I will post that picture also.