Thursday, April 30, 2015


With the National Day of Prayer coming up next week on May 7, I began thinking about the prayers I’ve prayed over the years for our country.  I’ve prayed that all of our leaders would turn to God.  I’ve prayed for wisdom for voters.  I’ve prayed for our country to stand for godly values in the world.  I’ve sought God for revival of the people of the United States of America. It is hard to see how my prayers have made a difference, but God assures us in His word that He saves up our prayers.  I have hope that my prayers are not wasted.

 For prayers closer to home it is easier to see results.  But most of the time God surprises me.  Here are some unexpected answers to ordinary everyday prayers.

  • My mom prayed for a friend for my sister.  When God sent a boyfriend my mom said,  “I didn’t mean him!”
  • I asked God for a new winter coat and He got me a job!
  • I’ve been praying that the men of our church would have a zeal for the house of the Lord.  Suddenly Chris and another man in our church started to rebuild the sound system.  They have killed themselves off working 12 to 14 hours days.  I told the Lord I didn’t mean that—I thought that the men should lead small groups for Bible study
  • I prayed that God would give us wisdom for what to do about the batteries in our Prius.  Suddenly, on a snowy day on my way home from Bible study, I had an accident and totaled the car.  OOPS!
  • I prayed that God would make me into a prayer warrior.  It was through Moms in Prayer that I learned to pray of one accord. I ended up leading a group!
  • I prayed that the Lord would make our church fruitful for children’s ministry.  Chris  ordered new banners for AWANA and we ended up with 25 new kids on Wednesday night.  I meant for God to send children on Sunday for Sunday school!
  • I prayed that God would prosper our pastor and his wife and they ended up going into a bbq business.
  • My most recent prayer was for God to raise up a Moms in Prayer group for my two granddaughter's elementary school.  Now we are moving to their area so I guess God is telling me to start a group myself!

There were many other answers that I thought were strange but it all boils down to this prayer by a 
confederate soldier:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey....
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things....
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise....
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God....
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things....
I got nothing that I asked for -
But everything that I had hoped for,
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.

                            Anonymous confederate soldier, US civil war

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Florence Etta Slightam--Pioneer

Aunty with Princess. Copyright Chris Brown

My friend, Marilyn, lost her precious pug dog, Jerry Wu, last month.   He was a very warm, kind, gentle dog who greeted everyone he came across with a kiss or a tail wag.  All who met him will miss him.

Another pug dog who was very loved was my great aunt’s dog, Princess.  Aunty was quite along in years when she received her from the neighbors down the hill. When Princess was born she must have been from an S litter as she was named Sauerkraut.  Aunty changed her name. 
Jay with Aunty and Princess

I didn’t know Aunty well.  She was my mom’s mom’s sister. Anyway, my older brother, Jay knew her better than I did.  He lived with Grandma and Grandpa when he was in college.  Aunty and Great Uncle Beanie lived up the hill in unpainted houses with no electricity or plumbing. Each day they would come down the hill to work in the acre flower and vegetable garden my grandparents grew right below their house.  They would stay for the noon meal and then take leftovers up to their houses.  But on Sunday nights they would stay longer while Grandma and Grandpa watched Lawrence Welk, a TV musical variety show.  Aunty did not approve of the show.  Jay did not like the show, so they would sit in the kitchen and talk.

 Years later what remained of the houses.

Jay told me that Aunty was quite fond of Israel.  She had lived through World War II and had seen Israel become a nation in 1948.  She believed that the Jews were God’s people but for some reason believed that they were Christians.  Jay would correct Aunty but she never gave up on her belief.

Aunty never married.  As I understand the only thing she ever said about it was,” If you can’t have the one you want then don’t take any of them,” or something like that.

Aunty was younger than Uncle Beanie and Grandma. After they had passed on she lived some time in Western Washington with her nephew’s family who she had brought up after his father, one of her other brothers, had died.  Later, she insisted on returning to the house she owned in Spokane.  I would drive across town from where I lived and take her to the grocery store. 

She had dementia I believe.  One time her neighbor called me and told me that Aunty had accused her of painting her bathtub purple.  I called my Aunt Jeanne, who was on my father’s side of the family, and asked her what to do.  She said I should take her to the doctor.  Aunt Jeanne, with her hair pinned up in pin curls, went with me. The doctor said that Aunty probably had a stroke.

A short time later she fell and broke her hip when a great nephew and his wife were visiting.  She died a while after that.

Aunty did not have a very kind way of speaking to some people.  She wouldn’t be crossed by anybody.   My Aunt Evelyn didn’t get along with her, as she was one who shouldn’t be crossed either.  After Aunty’s funeral a big gust of wind came up, the curtains blew up, and a door slammed.  Aunt Evelyn chalked it up to Aunty exiting in a huff.

Aunt Evelyn admired Aunty’s wild roses she grew. She cut a slip from her plant.  So we had a little remembrance.
Grave stone at Fairmount in Spokane, WA

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Our Future Joyous Hope

Nan and our daughter Heather at Heather's college graduation

I John 3:2 “Beloved, Now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”

I miss my friend Nan.  She passed away last year.  One time we were talking about I John 3:2 and she opened up my eyes to this verse.  I was overjoyed when she helped me to realize that I will be like Jesus some day. I get discouraged at times. It seems to me that I daily struggle with lack of compassion. (Yes, I did take my 12-year-old son to get a haircut right after he had two teeth pulled.  Yes, I did make my daughter drive to run errands a few days after she had some wisdom teeth removed.)  I struggle with impatience and self-centeredness.  I’m not a very accomplished listener.   So this verse in I John gives me hope.  Some day I will be like Jesus—that is perfect!  All I have to do now is trust and obey, with God’s help. 

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

The pain of fibromyalgia, as well as compassionate friends, Nan included, has made me a little more sympathetic toward others who suffer. So I confess my sins to God and apologize to others hopefully.  I trust God to make me perfect. God will complete my transformation when I am with Him!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

He Who Has An Ear Let Him Hear What The Spirit Says To The Churches

I watched “The Good Wife” on TV last Sunday night.  I was not surprised when one of the characters said that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.  Apparently their writers are just going along with the liberal line and not checking out the truth.  I weep for all those who continue in sin, do not turn from it, don’t know, or will not acknowledge the truth:

In Matthew 15: Jesus said:
19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”

Fornications means:
1. illicit sexual intercourse
a. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
b. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; MK. 10:11

The majority of the world knows that homosexuality is wrong.  Here is a blog which tells us that if anyone boycotts states where there is a freedom of religion law, they would also have to boycott most of the nations in the world. Click here to read. 

The trials for Christians who know the truth continue.  Here is a you tube telling the story of the florist in Washington State who is being sued out of business for telling some dear customers that homosexual marriage is not something that she can condone because of her Christian beliefs. Click here to watch.

If the writers for “The Good Wife” had studied what the Bible said, they may or may not have discovered this truth.  But there are many who call themselves “Christians” who twist scripture to make it say what they want it to say.  Only those who have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior will have their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit.  God will reveal the truth through prayer and study. In Revelation, the last book of the Bible,  Jesus says to the churches—“He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

  We must keep studying the Word of God so that we can grow spiritually,  know God, and what He commands. John 14:
21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

View From Down Low

My wheelchair just back from a trip. Unfolded and folded.

If you’ve never ridden in a wheelchair try it sometime.  It can be a great experience as kind strangers open doors for you or let you go first into an elevator.  But sometimes it can be a discouraging occurrence. Callous people ignore you, don’t notice you, let doors slam in your face, and avoid eye contact with you.  I’ve experienced both as I’ve ridden in wheelchairs because of chronic pain. 

Pain is a pain.  Most people would do anything they can do to avoid hurting.  I’m one of them. My muscles retain lactic acid if I walk, stand, or move a muscle in any way.  So when Chris wanted me to travel with him by plane for various meetings and outings I declined.  Airports, malls, or any large area that involve much walking causes me so much discomfort I would end up in tears, and be unable to sleep, which made the pain worse.  Chris decided to buy a wheelchair for me and talked me into going with him as I could save my muscles by riding in the wheelchair.  Here are some things to consider if you ride in a wheelchair:

·      You must have strong core muscles, as these muscles will help you to hold yourself steady as you wheel around corners, turns, and down hills.

·      Choose a chair pusher who is patient and willing to go slowly.

·      Never ride over cobblestones or bricks or any pavement that is not smooth, as the bumps will cause you to experience compression in your spine and thus more pain.

There are some disadvantages to riding in a wheelchair.

·      You may have an inexperienced wheelchair pusher pushing you. (One time my cousin took his mom, my aunt, to the San Diego Zoo, in a wheel chair.  Unfortunately he went a little too fast down a hill and she was thrown out of the wheelchair and injured.  I heard that someone who wasn’t experienced in pushing a wheelchair also threw Joni Erickson Tada out of a wheelchair and broke her nose.) So if you are a careful wheelchair pusher you will be in demand.

·      It may be that your wheelchair will be too high or too low for a table at which you might want to sit.  You will have to move to a chair that is the right elevation.

There are some advantages of riding in a wheelchair. 

·      The view from down low is interesting.  When riding in a wheelchair you can identify with people less than 3’ tall.

·      You will always be able to spot the handicap door opener, as it is eye level for you.

·      Your wheelchair may be the right height for a table so you will leave a chair vacant for someone else.

That’s all I can think of right now.  Do you have anything to add?