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!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Understanding the Times

This year I'm studying the book of Revelation with Bible Study Fellowship .   How does Revelation relate to todays' turmoil in the Middle East?  Amir Tsarfati, at the Understanding the Times Conference, helps make sense of all that is happening.  

Amir joined the Israeli army in 1990 and underwent basic training during the first Gulf War. He served almost a year in the IDF Armored (Tank) Corps, and after graduating from the officer's academy in 1992, he was stationed in Jeri¬cho. Shortly afterward, the peace process began and Jericho was the first city transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Amir, then 21, was appointed as active Deputy Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, also becoming one of Israel's military negotiators with the Palestinians. He served approximately six more months after the city changed authority before returning to civilian life. Since 2004, Amir has been consultant to various law enforcement agencies and seminars on homeland-security issues. In 2008 he was invited by the Rochester (NY) Police to lecture at a seminar on terrorism, as the keynote speaker at the Hostage Negotiators Conference. He also held a HLS seminar at the Philippine Military Academy.

Here is a radio program where he explains the prophecies about Israel.

Click on the link to listen:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Digital Kids

Granddaughter wearing brown hat in a play

In the olden days, like in the 1950’s, parents didn’t concern themselves too much with what books their children were reading.  They didn't worry about what TV shows they were watching, or what movies they were attending.   At least, in my family, our parents trusted us to make good choices.  But, in the 1950’s, there was the scandal about comic books.  Some believed that if children were permitted to read comic books this would lead to juvenile delinquency.   (My older brother loved comics. He didn’t become a delinquent until he was an adult!)

For links with more details on comic book banning click here for one article and here for information from Wikipedia.

Although, I believe, times are worse now.  Here’s why.  Up to ½ of the population in the United States do not attend church or they attend liberal churches where the Bible is not studied and discussed.  Bibles had been used as textbooks for schools in the past.  School opened with prayer and the pledge of allegiance. Discipline was maintained to the “tune of the hickory stick.”  But now schools and parents are afraid of lowering a child’s self esteem or offending someone’s belief system.  Anything goes.  We don’t want any boundaries.  Therefore parents must check books, movies, and TV shows before their children see them.  Here is a link to "Plugged In" where books, movies, and TV shows are reviewed.  Here is another site that may be helpful. Here are some book recommendations for middle school children.

The most important thing that a parent can do is pray.  God will guide us if we trust in Him. Or, one could always write or tell their own stories.  My granddaughters like to put on puppet shows, plays, and write their own stories to use their creativity.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Seven gun control myths that need to be put to rest and other topics

This was on Fox and Friends this morning.  What do you think?

Ben Carson responds to GQ article: We should pray for them.

Below is a link to a Fox and Friends video.  Click on the link to see the video explaining how the VA spent millions on art over health care.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Is Putting The Bible Into The Hands Of The Ordinary Person Worth Dying For?

One of the greatest things we can do is to read and study the Bible and encourage others to do so also.  Here is the story of William Tyndale who died in the cause of getting scripture into the hands of the ordinary person. Click here to read the story from Persecution Blog.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Will The United States Stand Up To Russia?

Discussion on The Five September 30, 2015

This has not been a wonderful day or week for the United States.  Russia has invaded Syria and another shooter killed college students. It's times like these that makes one feel that there will never be a most wonderful day.  This makes me think of the time when our  small church group had a discussion about the most outstanding day in each of our lives.  My thoughts about this were in agreement with C.S. Lewis when he said,  

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” 

The best is yet to come in my estimation.

How can the best be yet to come, you may ask?  It seems to me that we have one problem after another.  As a child growing up in the 1950’s we were taught that Russia might drop a bomb on us at any time. At school, along with fire drills, we were trained to duck and cover under our desks.  My grandfather Edson started to dig a hole for a fall out shelter he wanted to build in our backyard. But, through a series of events, including fervent prayer by Christians, the communist regimes in the Soviet Union and East Germany were brought down. See here.

But now, twenty five years later, we have Russia causing trouble in the Middle East, we have more and more lawlessness in the United States—(children must be subject to campus shooting drills), and on and on with more and more troubles.  Will the United States take a leadership roll again to defeat evil!  I pray so. Will we ever have the most wonderful day in our life?   When Jesus comes back and judges His enemies, and wipes away every tear from the eyes of His followers, that will be the most wonderful day.   In the meantime we need to pray with even more fervency!  See the You Tube above and the the 2 below which relate current events happening in the Middle East.