Monday, October 21, 2019

WOMAN TO WOMAN

Mom 1957

In the Christian religion we are told in God's word, the Bible, that the older women should teach the younger women.  Fortunately, I had a mom who was a Christian.  She taught me everything she knew up until I left home at 18.  I'm sure my mom and her Christian friends prayed for me but I had no one to go to for advice after I left home. So God put some incredible women in my life.



The first Christian woman who had an impact on my life was Evelyn Christenson.  She came to Spokane to lead a Sunday School teacher work shop.  She had us form groups of 3 or 4.  Then she instructed us to go around our circle and say a one sentence prayer.  I had never prayed out loud before but I did manage one sentence.  

Next I joined Bible Study Fellowship and had many wonderful group leaders pour into me. I was asked every year to lead a group but I turned that opportunity down because it required a commitment of 2 days a week. Dealing with my chronic pain would make that too difficult. 

A few years later Fern Nichols started "Moms in Touch", now "Mom's in Prayer," a group who prays for their children and schools. I joined a group and I learned to pray Bible verses back to God and to pray of one accord.  One mom would pray about something on her heart and anyone else who has something put on her heart by the Holy Spirit will pray about the same subject.  My prayer life grew by leaps and bounds.

After attending a women's retreat and meeting with the speaker one on one, she recommended that I work through Myrna Alexander's book, "Behold Your God." In studying the attributes of God all problems tend to grow smaller in the light of the greatness of God.


Nan and Heather 1994

The next mentor I had was Nan.  Her husband was a close friend of my dad's.  His mother was my dad's first Sunday School teacher. Nan was about 15 years older than me.  Even though we weren't living in the same town I could call her and opine my troubles to her.  She was empathetic and a woman of prayer.  



Kay 2012


Then I met Kay.  She was 92 and still going strong.  I asked her if she would pray with me every week.  We prayed together for 6 years.  A move was necessary so I lost that connection.

In my new location I yearned for a group of praying women to join.  I was put in touch with one group but because of family illness, change of residence, and various other problems the group fell apart.  

It was then that I signed up to mentor a young woman who wanted to be mentored through our church's mentoring program.  God had nudged me out of the receiving group and into the giving group.  I was very nervous but I figured somehow God could take what I gummed up and make it work for good.  I committed to one hour a week which I thought I could manage and not cause my chronic pain to flare up.

I met Deb 6 months ago at a dessert meeting. Through all her problems she has learned the same thing that I have learned--there is no where else to go but to the Lord.  Only He has the words of life!  So after talking to Deb, and hearing her concerns, I recommended that we work through, "Behold Your God."  The process has seemed slow to me as we have only gotten though 1/2 of the book.  But looking back on all the years I have had mentors nurture me I shouldn't be impatient.  So we will keep working through the workbook and God will keep growing both of us to become the women of God He wants us to be.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

GRANDPA SHOT A BEAR

Grandpa in Jennings, Montana 1904

It's all the fault of my paternal grandmother that I'm an indoor sort of person.  She preferred attending movies, Canasta parties, and club meetings over hiking or camping in the great outdoors.  I believe that my mom, dad, and younger brothers enjoyed camping, through all the states in the Union. (They stayed in a hotel in Hawaii though.) My youngest brother missed out on camping in Alaska because that was before his time.  As for my older brother and sister -- I don't recall them relishing a good hike.  My sister did enjoy swimming though.  

So when my son and daughter-in-law traveled to Orwell, New York and looked into the genealogy on that side of the family they discovered that my grandfather shot a bear and sent his mother a bear rug for Christmas.


Apparently he was quite an outdoorsman.  He was also a wonderful gardener.  I didn't inherit that ability or interest at all.

I was glad to read this article which tells us that outdoors is good for the brain.

Another thing that is good for the brain is meditating on our Creator.  Isaiah 26: 3 says:


You keep him in perfect peace

    whose mind is stayed on you,

    because he trusts in you.



If we keep our eyes on God through prayer, Bible study, Christian fellowship, and not looking at the circumstances, we will have considerably more peace. 




Friday, October 4, 2019

BETRAYED AND ABANDONED


I wonder if everyone believes that they were born at an inoppertune time? I believed that my summer birthday was the worst time to be born.  My family was usually on vacation or traveling cross country to visit relatives.  I remember visiting Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Ill. when I was just turning 12.  We were on our way to visit relatives in Spokane. My mom picked up a pen with a feather on the end at the gift shop and handed it to me over the back seat of the car as we sped down the highway.  At least she had acknowledged my birthday!

But when my daughter was 15, my son was 9, and my husband was working long hours I awoke the day of my birthday to see nothing going on.  No cake was being baked.  When my daughter told me she was taking her friend out to lunch at Taco Time I objected.  "It's my birthday," I said.  It made no difference to her.  She left.  My son was playing with legos and didn't notice anything was amiss.

As a result I was feeling sorry for my self.  I pulled down the shades and crashed on the couch.  When my daughter came home she was shocked to see me in this condition as I was usually busy most days.

When my husband arrived home from work he was amazed that there was no dinner ready.  I said, "It's my birthday and I'm waiting for my cake." He went into the kitchen and baked me a cake!  

From then on my daughter always made sure I had a cake for my birthday.  Years later, when we were living on our boat in Roch Harbor in the San Juan Islands, she drove up and baked me a cake on the boat.  My husband had them announce over the loudspeaker during the evening announcements that I was turning 29 on the 29th.

These feelings are nothing compared to what Jesus suffered when He was betrayed by Judas and abandoned by all the disciples, even Peter.  But God had a marvelous plan.  I remind my self about this when I'm feeling abandoned and betrayed.  One verse I cling to is Psalm 37:8-9-- 


    Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.


If I continue to live steadfastly before the Lord some day He will make everything beautiful! 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

THE REST OF THE STORY ON CLIMATE VARIATIONS

Jay 1948


My brother, Jay, wanted to have 12 children.  Sadly he wasn't gifted with any children in his 64 years of life on this earth.  He wanted to obey God and "be fruitful and multiply."  So I am saddened by what some teens are thinking these days.  Some are pledging to have no children.  Here is an article which tells us that having children is one way to combat climate variations.

Dominic Green tells us the rest of the story on Greta Thunberg.  Click here to read the story.  

My dad, a meteorologist, attended weather variation conferences years ago.  I'm sure he would have wise words to say about this.


American Meteorological Association sign

So what is the truth?  The only way we can walk a straight path on this issue is to trust in God and do good.

Genesis 1:28  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”




Friday, September 13, 2019

OPEN DOORS


Last month my family lost the last of my parent's generation.  She was my Aunt Ruth, my mom's younger sister.  Born in 1926 in Spokane she was immediately adored by her two older sisters. The above picture of her was taken in 1927.  She lived a great life which included marrying, rearing three children, singing with her beautiful gifted voice, working as a nurse, living as a widow for many years, keeping up with friends and family, and mall walking to name a few things.

God blessed Aunt Ruth with every spiritual blessing and many natural talents.  Her parents valued music. She was fortunate to take singing lessons from the same voice teacher who coached Patrice Munsel.  Her voice was even better than Patrice's according to her teacher.


Flashing back to my first meeting of her--I was a few months old--at  Grandma and Grandpa's farm-- I was already doing the high kick and attempting to run away.


Aunt Ruth would graduate from North Central High School while living with us in Grandma and Grandpa's town house.  She recalled having to tie the bathroom doors shut so Jay, 3 years old, would not walk in on her.

After WW II my family settled in Burbank, California.  Aunt Ruth lived with us, before she was married, while she worked as a nurse in a local hospital.  She told me that both she and my dad worked shifts and that with only a 2 bedroom house, and three kids, she did a thing called "hot bedding."  That meant that if someone was at work the other person would sleep in their bed.   

Uncle Jack, before he was Uncle Jack, would visit us in Burbank.  One favorite memory of Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jack was when they sang, "I Said My Pajamas And Put On My Prayers," for me.

I was able to serve as a flower girl in Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jack's Spokane wedding.  After our move to Alaska I wore the flower girl dress in "A Tom Thumb Wedding" put on by my school.



Aunt Ruth was one of the few people who sent me a gift for my high school graduation.  It was a manicure set which came in very handy.

In 1965 Aunt Ruth and Diana traveled to Spokane to participate in Chris and my wedding.  Aunt Ruth sang and Diana was our flower girl.




After Chris and I were married and on our way to live in Santa Barbara we stopped by Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jack's.  After a sight seeing trip to a glass blowing gallery they gave up their king sized bed for us to sleep in, and slept with their kids that night.  

Jes recalls that Aunt Ruth and John attended one of his concerts when his college jazz band was touring California.  Another memory he had was, after his graduation from Whitworth, he showed Aunt Ruth around the campus, as it was also her alma mater.

One of my favorite pictures is of the 3 sisters taken in 1997 in Redwood city.

Ruth, Grace, Evelyn


One time, on a visit to my Aunt Evelyn's family in Seattle, she attended church with us.  At the end of the service all the senior women were trying to recruit her for the senior group activities.  She was such a good looking and friendly lady. 

She was the only one in her family to achieve an undergraduate degree.  She carried on the tradition of her ancestors on both sides of the family by working as a nurse.  Two of the great grandfathers worked as medics in the Civil War. 

God opened many doors for her and she went through!  Click here to read her obit.

Revelation 3:8  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.





Thursday, August 29, 2019

SHARE YOUR MASTER'S JOY!



She finished well--my friend Kay.  She would have been 98 in September.  I've lost my prayer partner of six years.  They tell me that I'm the next Kay.  Only problem is I can't find another me.  We were committed to prayer.  The reason being that we were no longer able to serve in any physical duties in the church  such as kitchen, children's program, musical ministry, women's ministry, and many others.  We were the twins-- attending Bible study, church, and praying together every week.  God has a way of removing someone from your life so that you will depend on Him and not anyone else.  He is moving me on to other things.  

Many of Kay's friends from Martha Lake Covenant church showed up for Kay's memorial this last Saturday.  We were thrilled to see the new flooring, large vegetable garden, and remodeling taking place.  Our former pastor, Bill, preached the perfect sermon. Another church was planted in our building and continued to rent to the Seventh Day Adventist church and several others.  And now we have seen what God has done! Here is what I wrote when MLCC closed several years ago.  

*****


Today I feel as if I have been put through a meat grinder.  Not only am I physically wiped out I'm also emotionally drained.  The reason is that another evangelical church has been returned to dust.  The good people of Martha Lake Covenant church put their minds, souls, and bodies, in to keeping the church and the Awana program alive.  But yesterday, after 70 years of faithful ministry, the church was disbanded--each member to go their own way.  

Vanity. Vanity it is all vanity I remember from Solomon's lament in the book of Ecclesiastes.  God didn’t agree with my vision for the church.  For six years my prayer partner, Kay, and I prayed every Tuesday for our families, the church, our country and the world.  I thought God would bring to us Christian refugees from countries where Christians are persecuted.  We were encouraged when one man, who had moved to the United States 20 years ago from Iran, joined us.  Others thought that after the condos were built across the street from the church that those people would join.  We served free food.  We had “Narnia” nights.  We offered free concerts.  We had some visitors but few stayed.  We put new carpeting and paint in the nursery.  We sent post cards.  I don’t remember what all.  With the Awana program and the Vacation Bible Schools we had good attendance but not many came back on Sunday. 

God has different plans and higher plans than we do.  Maybe what God had in mind for us was just being faithful for a time, to learn perseverance, or even to learn how to suffer for Christ.

I was encouraged by Pastor Bill’s final sermon.  He exhorted us to go out and make disciples, baptize, and teach.  This is how we live a life of significance.  He also gave us an encouraging quote from C.S. Lewis--"now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.

We may morn and weep for a while but joy comes in the morning.  Some day God will show us how our prayers and good works have made a difference in many lives. 

*****

And we saw it on Saturday with over 130 attending the service to support Kay's family and to celebrate her life.  Jesus is alive! By the power of the Holy Spirit He will achieve everything He has promised. Here are some pictures Chris shot during our anniversary celebration for MLCC a few years ago.  Click Here to see the link to Kay's obit in case you haven't seen it.


Kay and me














































Matthew 25:23  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

Saturday, August 10, 2019

HEART TROUBLE


I was shocked when in 1966, as a first grade teacher, I found that my class would not obey me.  They looked so innocent too.  Such cuties.  I didn't have a clue.  This led me to recall that at fifteen I had given up babysitting my two younger brothers.  They had taken apart Mom's Baby Ben alarm clock while I was babysitting.  Mom said, "Weren't you watching them?"  "Yes, " I said.  "I watched them take apart the clock.  It kept them quiet!"  Mom never asked me to babysit again.  

Wayne and Davy 1958

When I left home at eighteen, my compliant sister took over the babysitting.  

Evy at 15

I survived three years as a first grade teacher.  Then I left teaching and was hired to work at a library.  This was much more to my liking.


Three years later when my daughter, Heather, was born I was again flabbergasted.  I knew then that Original Sin was true.  Everybody, except Jesus, is born with sin in his heart.  Each one will have to decide in his heart if he will obey God or rebel against Him.  

Because of my strong-willed child I asked God to help me.  I couldn't quit being a mother.  As a result of prayer I joined a MOPS group.  We read "Help! I'm a Parent," by Bruce Narramore.  We worked on the companion workbook together.  By God's grace Heather turned out great! I now pray with a Moms In Prayer group for my grandchildren.

Small temper tantrum

Because of their rebellion against God we have young men murdering innocent people.  Some day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.  I pray it will happen soon.



Exodus 20: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.[c]
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”