Friday, December 25, 2015


When my children were small, and being the phlegmatic mom that I was, and in teaching them to not kill themselves or anybody else, I could only work on one behavior at a time. When the two year old insisted on running into the street it took a whack on the diapers to get the point across that this was dangerous.  When the crawling baby chewed on the wires attached to the stereo, misdirection worked on that risky activity.

Now in my own effort to change my own behavior and or attitudes I find I can only work on one thing at a time.  Last year, for the New Year, I made a list of refusals—things that I refused to do like being bitter or unforgiving.  This turned out to be a little overwhelming. 

So today, with the New Year right around the corner, it’s that time again—time to store away another used up year.  I’m ready to begin a shiny new one.   This moment in time instead of making resolutions, or coming up with some refusals, I decided to adopt the idea of a couple of other bloggers. They suggest you choose one word that you want God to help you achieve. Click here to read one blog  and click here to read the other one-- in case you want to check them out.

Because of my prayer several times a day—Lord have mercy, how long will you delay?  When will you come and set things right? —I decided I need to become more grateful for each blessing God provides me each day and enjoy the day. In choosing one word to describe what I want to work on this year I chose “thankful.”  I’m praying that God will help me to be more thankful for what He has supplied and to not take every good thing for granted.

Will you join me in choosing your word?

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to [a]God, even the Father;

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How Will The Children Hear The Christmas Story?

We have a starfish topper on our Christmas tree this year.  Most of our ornaments have a nautical theme so, as our granddaughters were decorating our tree, they knew that a star on top was a necessity.  They strapped the starfish on with some of the garland!

They know the story of our dear Savior's birth and how the star guided the wise men to the baby Jesus.  Unbelievably, there are many children who do not know the story. They have never heard the carols of “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” or even “Away In A Manger.” They have never been to church.  The public schools have removed anything to do with Christianity.  Many will never have the opportunity to hear the story.

My prayer this year is that the Christmas story will be told far and wide.  That many who have never heard the story will hear and believe, especially the children.

Several years ago, as I was watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, I heard the song, "In The Bleak Midwinter."  I had never heard it before so was quite taken that Hallmark had included the song in the movie. Click here  to listen to one rendition.  Below is a link to a blog telling how the poem was written.  The music was added later.

Click here to read about the author of the poem.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pain And Purpose

Pray for our president.

When I was five years old the neighbor’s red Chow dog took at least six bites out of my arms and legs. When I was seven I broke my left foot, (I broke it again when I was nineteen, and when I was around forty).  At twenty-two year of age I had difficult relationships with several relatives, which caused not only emotional pain, but also physical pain.  I came down with fibromyalgia in my late thirties.    At twenty-eight I gave birth to our daughter and at thirty-four our son.  These events and others caused suffering in my life.  Some were unpleasant for a short period of time and some were prolonged. Everyone will experience some type of pain in life.

One way to deal with the trials is to write.  Most authors choose a theme which will show the pain which causes conflict—Man versus Man, Man versus Nature, Man versus Society, or Man versus Self, to name a few.  In our narratives we see that distress, often times, will lead to us turning to God or away from God.  We have the freedom to choose.

So now we have the awful experiences of shootings, terrorists, corruption, greed, and other terrible events in the world to deal with on a daily basis. To me it looks like the world and all those who live in it are becoming worse instead of better.  But there is hope, and here’s why—Matthew 24: 4-8:

“Jesus came out from the temple and was going away [a]when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”
As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the [b]end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the [c]Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”

Jesus told us that these things would happen-- but we are not to be frightened.  God is in control and will work all things out for His own purposes—Romans 8:28—“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” All we have to do is ask God for the faith to trust Him.  He loves us.  The proof is that Jesus died to pay the price for our sins and His righteousness rests on us if we believe.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Willing To Die For Jesus

Above is a 10-minute interview of Myriam, a ten-year-old Iraqi Christian.  She survived an invasion of ISIS.  She thanks God and teaches the world a lesson on forgiveness. Watch Myriam as she shares her story of being displaced from Qaraqouish, Iraq by ISIS and forgives them.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Come Up Here

  The whole world seems to be in an uproar right now—anarchy reigns on some college campuses and in some cities—terrorist attacks take place daily someplace in the world—hate rules.  What would God have His people do?  Pray, pray, and pray some more. 

In Paris a pastor wondered what he could do for the people after the terrorist attack last week.  He felt led to go door to door to pray with the people.  See the video here

What should happen to the refuges streaming out of the Middle East?  See the chart above showing that Christians who are currently being wiped out in the Middle East have not been permitted into the United States in any number.  This is a definite prayer request that this situation will be remedied.

I’m studying Revelation with Bible Study Fellowship this year.  In chapter 4 verse 1 God calls to John with a voice like a trumpet –“Come up here!”  In the Spirit John was transported to the throne room of God.  We, as believers, can be in the throne room of God, in prayer, because of what Jesus did on the cross. 

Prayer makes a difference.  Remember the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life?”  When George was missing, prayers went up for him all over the city.  God sent Clarence the angel to help.  We need God’s help now.  Here are some additional suggestions for what God’s people can pray:

Proverbs 22:3 says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  Pray that the leaders of the United States would be prudent.

·      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.

·       Numbers 22:31 That the eyes of The Church will be opened to see the truth about the social sins and false teachings in our churches.

·      Pray for our military, police, and fire fighters for protection and wisdom as they do their jobs.

·      Pray for honest judges and officials.

·      Pray for the media to produce family friendly entertainment. For movie stars to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Reporters to report the facts without bias.

·      Business leaders to be honest and for dishonest people to be removed.

·      Our schools, teachers, and administrators to teach the “Golden Rule.”  For safety, and choice of schools for students.

·      Unity and love in our families.

What prayer requests would you suggest?  God will hear and answer.  We must not give up!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I Can't Believe It Isn't Even Thanksgiving

Aeon Store Okazaka, Japan-- photo by Toby Oxborrow

If you haven’t heard, there have been some complaints that the Starbucks cup being used this season doesn’t have any decorations depicting Christmas on it. I think that the guy who started the hubbub about the red cup just wanted more people to read his blog! The cup doesn't bother me, as I usually don't buy Starbucks coffee!

But what should a Christian do? Christians are supposed to be in the world but not of the world. One Christmas, when I was visiting my son in Japan, I noticed that in Japan at Christmas there are many Christmas decorations. Of course it is all about shopping and not Jesus. Now it is becoming the same here. It is all in God's plan, I believe. He is urging His people to seek Him. God wants us to spend time with Him in prayer. We have nowhere else to go. When the school Christmas concert is all about snowflakes we can start a prayer group to pray for the school and especially the music. They are losing out on some beautiful music by not using the traditional songs. We can try to identify the Christian teachers and give them Christmas cards with the emphasis on freedom of religion. We can pray for salvation for those in power. God holds their hearts in His hand and He can change them as well as our hearts. We need to be filled with God's love for those who are lost. God is working in their lives as well as ours. It's all about perseverance!  And yes, it is about spreading the gospel and making disciples.  Does a protest about a cup do that?  I don't think so.

Here are two blogs I read about the protest: Click here and here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Stone

 Let me tell you why I think that the end of the world as we know it is imminent—according to the Bible.  Ezekiel 38-39 tells about Gog leading all the nations against Israel.    Zachariah 12 relates how God will destroy Israel’s enemies. Currently Russia is allying with Iran, Syria, and others. A One World Government is politically possible. A One World Religion is looking possible as the Pope reaches out to Muslims among others.  Everything is in place. With more and more violence against Israel the time is ripe for God to save His people. See the video below:

 Also, Israel has lost another major ally.  Canada is no longer a friend of Israel because of the election of Justin Trudeau in October. The following video tells the truth about Justin Trudeau and the liberals!! 

In Acts 4 we are told that salvation is found in no one else except Jesus.  11 Jesus is
“‘The stone you builders rejected, which
 has become the cornerstone.’[A]
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 

So, in what looks to be the last days, with the Apocalypse probably coming upon us very soon, it is time for everyone to make their peace with God—and that is only done by confessing our sins to God and accepting forgiveness through what Jesus did on the cross.

We live in exciting times.  God’s people have no fear, as we know that God is working everything out for our good.  He will come in and dwell with all who will accept His free gift.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Another One Gone; Another One Bites The Dust

I have decided that there are two more TV shows that I will no longer watch because the characters are sexually immoral. The story line tolerates this behavior as perfectly acceptable.  A jingle from a weight watcher commercial keeps going through my head--Another one gone; another one bites the dust!  Those shows have bitten the dust for me.   I felt a little disappointment at first -- then my resolve set in. Good-bye TV shows and no regrets!

In the past I continued to watch TV shows where some characters were jumping into bed with each other even though they were not married.  But I drew the line at approval of homosexuality.  Now I’m beginning to draw the line at unmarried people sleeping with each other. It’s just wrong! Saving yourself for marriage is the way to go.

I thought Glenn Beck had a good point on the Kelly File the other night.  See the above video. He said the problem with our country is that we are immoral.  I agree.  We no longer use the Bible as the plum line to direct our laws and lives.  Everyone does what he thinks is right in his own eyes.
I will continue to self censor and pray that my non-watching of certain shows will make a difference in my life and maybe other lives as well.  Maybe if every Christian stopped watching these types of TV shows they would go off of the air. At least our children won’t have to see these things on TV. But now even some commercials are no longer family friendly. I wonder how parents will explain such things to their kids?!

What do you think?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Random thoughts by guest blogger Chris Brown

Chris Brown


I now think the 1948 establishment of the country of Israel got it all wrong. Rather than set the country right in the mid-East, they should have given Israel the SW USA states -- lower half of California, Arizona, and New Mexico (maybe also San Francisco as that city is a total disaster and disgrace to the rest of the country). Think about it. The climate is about the same. The Israelis know how to build walls and fences so there'd be fewer places for illegals to cross the border. The Israel army is really tough and it isn't governed by a bunch of political hacks and cowards -- no PC in that country. So, Israel could also deal with Mexico. The USA would still have access through Texas for trade. And the Israelis are smart enough to solve the water problem!!!

Boys In The Boat
By Daniel James Brown

(My cousin Rinda recommended that Chris read the book.)

 I am worn out. Reading this great book did me in just thinking about what these guys went through.

But, thank you so much for mentioning it to me. Living in this area, and having attended some grad classes at UW, gives me a good perspective of the setting for the book. Even the area in Sequim where I've spent a little time and, in particular, the areas in E. Washington and N. Idaho. I spent a considerable time in the outdoors in both those areas as I was growing up.

When the Kiniksu Forest was mentioned, boy did that bring back a flood memories. In my first two years in college I worked in the forests. One year actually fighting fires in the Kiniksu -- that was one of the defining times of my life because of the stress and the danger. And the following year, I lived at the ranger station in the St. Joe Forest close to the Kiniksu (well during the fire season). When we weren't fighting fires (there were few) we were out doing reforestation work and building trails or rebuilding roads (if you want to call those narrow, rutty, often muddy cuts through the woods roads -- we needed them for fire and other access, so they were quite important). So I can fully appreciate what was written and it is an excellent depiction of the area and the people living there (they are about the same today I would suppose). 

And the details about Seattle and the University were most interesting. Some things I knew, others I didn't. 

I am glad I knew the outcome of the book before I started it. That is probably why I don't read mysteries as I find the journey more important than the destination (if I know the outcome, then the journey to reach the outcome is more interesting for me).

So thank you so much for your recommendation. Now I have to take a few weeks off and find a warm beach I can lie on to recover!!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Honors For Holly

Holly with her boyfriend
High School Homecoming season has come and gone for 2015.  We learned from the news about one Homecoming Queen, the sister of another student, who had Down Syndrome.  (October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Click here for more details). This made me think of my cousin Holly Marie.  (I always called her by both names because my Uncle Hollis, her grandfather, was also called Hollie.) She was adopted as an infant by my cousin Richard and his wife Mary Anne.  She was born with Down Syndrome and several other medical problems.

We were sad to lose Holly six years ago.  She was too young. The child is supposed to outlive the parent.  Here are a few stories about her as I remember her, and those her mom, Mary Anne related at Holly’s memorial service.

I was able to spend a few hours with Holly here and there as she grew up.  Richard’s mother, my Aunt Jeanne, made sure that the relatives could get together a few times a year. (She was Mrs. Hospitality.  I learned much from my Aunt Jeanne.)  One time Aunt Jeanne was babysitting Holly and she invited me and my daughter Heather to meet them at Comstock Park in Spokane, WA where we were living at the time. We had a lovely afternoon and even got ice cream from the ice-cream truck.  I appreciated Aunt Jeanne’s efforts, as I had never been around anyone with Downs.  Holly was an easy toddler and stayed on the blanket we had put down on the grass.  (My daughter on the other hand was off and running!)

Then as an adult her parents were hosting a party at their home in Portland, OR.  I was able to fly from Seattle, where we were living then, to Portland for the day.  I was telling everyone how Holly’s Aunt Janet wanted so much to be there and had even thought about flying down for the day.  Holly was so excited.  She was extremely appreciative that Janet had wanted to be there!

Now here are Mary Anne’s notes from Holly’s memorial:

Honors for Holly

Mary Anne Stowell

One way to know Holly, her sense of herself, her confidence in
her own strength and her clear and simple faith, was through her own

When Holly was 18 she was watching me pack for a trip and
asked where I was going. I was going somewhere for work, but the
destination sounded exotic to her, and she said, "You lucky dog." I
joked back that I was the luckiest person on earth. She considered
this for a few seconds. Then with great confidence said, "No, I am."

When my daughter-in-law and son were expecting their first
baby there was a brief period when a misinterpreted piece of medical
information suggested that their baby might have Down's Syndrome.
Overhearing some bits of concerned conversation, Holly asked what
was happening. I told her we were concerned because the baby
might have Down's Syndrome. If you know Holly, you know she was
a master of many looks. The look she gave me was somewhere
between disgust and disdain, and she said, "So?" "Well," I said, "you
know friends that have Down's like Penny and Dave and Andrew."
"I know what it is, but so what. They can handle it."
"Well," I said, "people with Down's Syndrome sometimes have
heart problems, like Penny."
Holly came right back with, "Well, she can handle it. Just like
me with my muscle problems. I can handle it."
There was nothing more for me to say.

About 3 years ago Dr. Kottingham, the pulmonologist who
cared for Holly called and suggested that Richard and I begin to
consider end of life questions for Holly. He also suggested that we
get legal guardianship of her so that the decisions, should we have to
make them, would be easier from a legal point of view. On our next
visit to the doctor, he brought this up with Holly and we talked of
many things. She was adamant that she did not want to be on a
respirator and expressed herself quite clearly. After the visit we were in the elevator going down to the parking garage. Holly had a way of raising difficult or private issues at inopportune times. And in the middle of the elevator she said, "I just wish you and the doctor wouldn't talk over me."
I said that I thought the doctor had tried to include her. Luckily,
the elevator door opened and we stepped out. But Holly wasn't done.
"I just have one question. Am I going to die?"
"Yes," I said. "You are going to die. Not right now, but that was
what we were talking about."
We continued across the parking lot and after a minute Holly
said, "Well, they are all waiting for me." She began her own litany of
the saints. Grandma Jeanne and Grandpa Hollis, Grandpa
Baldhead, Uncle Dean, Cathy (her birth mother), Orly, OJ, Auntie
Pork and Auntie John, Joanne and Fred (her beloved foster parents)
and all the way down to cousin Tommy, a second cousin of her
Grandma Jeanne who she met once when she was 7. "They are
waiting and when I get there they will have a party for me. They can't
wait to see me." I didn't have to say anything more.

When Holly was 6, my Auntie Pork died. Pork was a family
nickname for my Aunt Ida, a very proper unmarried schoolteacher.
Pork and Holly loved each other and thoroughly enjoyed their time
together. After Pork died, I was talking with Holly about Pork's death,
and she asked what God would say when Auntie Pork entered
heaven. I said I didn't know but asked her what she thought God
would say when God saw her in heaven. Holly didn't hesitate and
said, "Halleluia."
Halleluia, Holly, halleluia.

Now I don’t have to say anything more and you probably don’t have to either!