Monday, May 26, 2014


In case you haven't seen the marker for my mom and dad at Tahoma National Cemetery.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Of Planks and Sawdust

J.D. Greear says this,"There is a balance here between grace and truthSo don’t judge others by withholding the truth. But don’t judge them by speaking the truth without grace. Instead, give them the grace and truth of the gospel.Truth without grace is judgmental fundamentalism; grace without truth is liberal sentimentality. The gospel combines both."

So I want to take the plank out of my own eye before I attempt to take a speck of sawdust out of someone else’s eye.  In other words--“Judge not lest you be judged.” You might ask, why do I want to do that?   Because when we judge others, we are in jeopardy of being judged in the same way.  We should make peace with God about our own sins before we try to help others to see theirs. 

When I was fifteen I was upset with myself but I didn’t know it was sin that I was bothered about.   I didn’t know how to repent and to be forgiven before God.  Below is a scan of the 2 pages I wrote and hid in my room.  The pages were there for over 40 years. After my parents died I found what I wrote hidden in the backing of the mirror that was in my room.

Well, what would I say to my fifteen-year-old self now?  I’d say that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God but we can be cleansed of all unrighteousness because of what Jesus did on the cross.  All we have to do is ask God to forgive us and He will.  If we believe and follow Christ we will be saved from death.

But living our lives in our own strength just doesn’t work.  We need to ask for help from the Holy Spirit to help us live the life of obedience God wants us to live.  As I know now, we walk by faith and not by sight.  In this life we can ask for God’s help to obey Him, and to use the gifts and talents that He has given us to bring glory to Him.  You may have to do the following suggestion on your journey through life

—“The Christian life is the process of putting down our tour books and trusting the tour guide.” Calvin Sodestrom. 

Sometimes our lives just don’t make sense to us. Then we have to trust Him Who will never leave us or forsake us.

Looking back at my life I realize that I was very naive when my husband and I were married.  In the family of my youth we valued keeping ourselves pure by not being aware of anything that would be known by someone with street sense. Such as, at my high school I’m sure there were kids who smoked, drank, and had sex.  I wasn’t conscious of it at the time.   Another thing I never heard of was pornography, (pictures or movies that stimulate one sexually.)  I was led with my eyes wide open to see images that I had never seen before.  Due to my own pride I pretended like seeing this stuff was OK with me, as I wanted to be thought of as “with it.”

Then James Dobson, PHD. met with Ted Bundy.  He reported that Bundy believed that his involvement with pornography caused him to become a serial killer.  I let my kids, (they were in their teens); know this and as a result one young man they knew threw away his collection of Playboy Magazines when he heard this.

God has been working with me to help me to keep myself pure.  I remember that song we sang as children.  “Be careful little eyes what you see.”  So now I’m beginning to see differences in worldviews.  I can no longer read secular novels or watch secular movies or TV shows where people are jumping into bed with each other and using foul language.  I choose to read only novels written by Christian authors.  When I look at various programs on PBS I don’t watch “Mr. Selfridge” because I sense that the writers have a different worldview than I do. I do watch “Paradise” and hope it will not degrade.  I don’t watch “Upstairs Downstairs" because of the view of the writers.  I do watch “Downton Abbey.”

I’m also learning to be patient with others as God has been patient with me.  My eyes were blind to certain things in my life but God is revealing my sin to me little by little.  John 12:40 says "He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heats, and be converted and I heal them.”

Isaiah 44: 18 says, “They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend.” 

There are certain times, such as with Pharaoh in Egypt, that God will harden a heart.  The Pharaoh had hardened his heart time and time again and finally God hardened his heart.  So eventually it will be too late if we don’t turn.

So we must pray that God will open the eyes of unbelievers and the eyes of believers to see their own sin before it is too late.

Jared Wilson's blog sums it up beautifully :

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trip to Bountiful

It has been decided.  When Chris and I become so senile that we can’t take care of ourselves, our daughter and son -in -law will take care of Chris, and our son and daughter- in- law will take care of me.  What this means is that Chris will live on a boat near a shop.  I will live in a nursing home.  You might ask why we have made these decisions so far in advance?  This is because of the trouble we had with our parents. 

It all started to go downhill for my mother-in-law when she retired. With my mom it started when I got married.  Then on top of that my father-in-law came down with cancer.  Chris is an only child so the care of his parents was his job.  I lost my sister to cancer so the care of my parents was shared between my 3 brothers and me.

The last 10 years of our parent’s lives were tough on all of us.  As in parenting, you can read and read, but when it comes down to it there is no perfect parenting, as there are no perfect parents.  When caring for the elderly, no matter how many books you read, or how much you seek wisdom from God, it all comes down to a learning, or you might say a strengthening experience.

During the time of their decline my parents lived in California and I lived in Washington State.  I would get letters from my mom saying that my brother and his wife were abusing her.  She said that she was starving.  So of course we had food delivered to her and sent prayers and advice.  I suggested that they talk to their pastor, which they did.  But still my mom complained.  The biggest help to me was when my dad wrote a letter to me saying that everything is fine and that I shouldn’t worry.  I took that as advice from the Lord through my dad.  But it is easier said than done.

My parents owned 2 homes and wanted to live 6 months in each.  But, when they were living in their summer place, a woman from their church let us know that my dad was falling, and that they should be moved near to family.  My mom said, “We’re too old to retire.”  She was disappointed that they couldn’t continue to live in their summer place.

During this time I watched a movie called “Trip To Bountiful.”

In it an elderly woman was living with her son and daughter-in-law.  She wasn’t happy living there and she just wanted to go back and visit her hometown one last time.  The town was called Bountiful.   Finally when she couldn’t get any help from her son and daughter-in-law she managed to ride the bus back there.  She found out that her good friend had been able to stay in her own home, and that she had died while out in the field on her tractor. 

So this is my conclusion.  If a person is in their right mind let them live as they want to.  Don’t worry if they are out on a tractor.  Don’t nag or fret about them. If someone lets you know that they need to be moved then move them.  But if no friend, neighbor, or church member thinks they are in harms way then leave them alone. But of course those who have become senile you can’t leave unsupervised. Pray about everything and God will help you through. 

What advice would you give to those who seek to care for the elderly?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Living in a War Zone

We are living in a war zone—a spiritual war that is.  When Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to kill his own people and paid terrorists to attack Israel and the United States, as well as trying to assassinate George H.W. Bush in the 1980’s, we put up with it for a while, but finally after September 11, 2001, we had had enough!    The United States attacked the terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq in the hopes that the terrorists would learn that they couldn’t attack us and get away with it.

But now, when Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, started killing his own people with chemical weapons we drew a red line and allowed him to cross it.  Then we trusted Putin, the fox, to watch the hen house.  The Nigerian school girls have been kidnapped so we tweet “#Bring back our girls.”  And meanwhile, the European Union, instead of helping Ukraine, they voted on a “talent” show.  A bearded man wearing a dress, wins.  That is supposed to tell us that they are tolerant.  Well they are tolerant to the detriment of society.  See this blog by Robert Tracinski--

The United States under its present leadership has also become tolerant of everything except Christianity.

So what is a Christian to do?  I would say do this:

1st –Pray,
I Timothy 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2nd, study the Bible,
II Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

3rd, Confess your sins,
Psalm 51:
3 For know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.

Romans 3:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

4th, forgive as God has forgiven you,
Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

5th, Have faith and do works:
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Matthew 5: 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Ephesians 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.

Jude 1: 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting ; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire ; and on some have mercy with fearhating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

6th, Live Life
Jeremiah 29:5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

We know that God wins in the end.  We can “Cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us.”  Don’t worry –be happy!  God is in control!

What would be your advice as how to live in the midst of all this craziness?