Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Photo by Chris Brown
I'm not sure where these books came from.  My parents had these and the book ends as long as I can remember.  Each book is a classic such as "Fifty Best Poems of England."

 I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas.  Maybe you are ready to do some reading.  I have jotted down some of the books I read in 2017.  I enjoy reading fiction but have realized I can’t read many authors today.  The rough language and the immorality of the characters do not make a book enjoyable for me.  Listed are some of the authors I appreciate reading.  I was able to check these out from the library on my Kindle. 

My favorite novel of the year was:

“Where We Belong” by Lynn Austin—I liked the flash backs and the flash-forwards.  It kept my interest.

Some other enjoyable fiction included:

“Rhineland Inheritance” #1
Gibraltar Passage” #2
Sahara Crosswinds #3
Berlin Encounter #4
Istanbul Express #5.  All by T. Davis Bunn

I also liked the following series, which is set in Botswana.  Reading these novels is a good way to learn about their culture:

“The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” #1
“Tears of the Giraffe” #2
“Morality for beautiful girls” #3
“The Kalahari Typing School for Men” #4. These are all by Alexander McCall Smith.  The series continues on with at least 16 more books.

My favorite non-fiction book I read this year was:

“Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown—I identified with the Seattle area where the main protagonist lived and rowed for the University of Washington.  I also identified with the women who he eventually married as she didn’t like housework.  Because she loved Joe Rantz she kept house for a rich employer so she could be near Joe.  When they married she kept house for Joe, as she wanted him to have a good home life.

Other non-fiction:

“When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself” by Steve Corbett. I liked his point that if a community can help their own this will encourage them.  If someone comes in, gives them money, and makes all the communities decisions for them they become discouraged.

“3 Minutes to a Pain Free Life. The Groundbreaking Program for Total Body Pain Prevention and Rapid Relief.”  By Joseph Weisberg. I’m trying this for a year.  I’ll let you know if it works.

“Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World.” By Eric Metaxas.  This was a little too detailed for me.  I skimmed some of it.

“42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story.” By Ed Henry.  It was eye opening for me.  I couldn’t believe that Jackie and his wife would have such a time with public transportation from California to the east coast in the 50’s.  His wife was wearing an ermine coat.  That should have counted for something!

“Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas.  I enjoyed this book.  The details were interesting to me.

“In the Presence of My Enemies” by Gracia Burnham.  It was engrossing to see how much the captives suffered but then God made some good come out of the harrowing experience. In the end Gracia had a house given to her, she makes a living by giving speeches, and the CIA checks with her often about certain terrorists with which she had to deal.

"Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage" by Kay Marshall Strom.  All over the world there are young girls who are abused and killed for being girls.  Strom tells their stories.  Some of the girls are rescued out of horrible conditions.  She has also written about women who have become Christians in cultures where they are persecuted for their faith.  "Daughter of Hope: Stories of Witness and Courage in the Face of Persecution" was written in 2003.  I expect times are even worse for these women.  This one isn't on Kindle.  

Devotional books I like:

"Diamonds in the Dust" by Joni Eareckson Tada
"Behold Your God" by Myrna Alexander
"365 Bible Promises for Hurting people" by Alice Chapin

What books would you recommend?

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Christmas Adam at my aunt's house.

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas Adam…

Since Adam came before Eve my Aunt Emily declared December 23 to be Christmas Adam.  On that night she was able to invite all of her loved ones over.  Most people did not have a conflict with another engagement on that date.

 Cookies by Jessica

The cookies are baked and frosted.  

Christmas 1946

Memories of past Christmases come flooding in. Not sure of the dates.  I am looking for more pictures. I will add them later.

Christmas 1951

Christmas 1960

Christmas 1961

Christmas 1965

Christmas 1966

Christmas 1967

Christmas 1971
Christmas 1972

Christmas 1974

Christmas 1977

Christmas 1980

Christmas 1983

Christmas 1985.  I think this was the prettiest tree we ever had.  It was a living tree.  We planted it in the front yard.

Christmas 1986

Christmas 1993

Christmas 1994

Christmas 1996

Christmas 1998

Christmas 2000

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2011 

Christmas 2012 

What wonderful memories.  God has blessed us with every good and perfect gift from above.  And on top of that He has saved us from His wrath to come.  Jesus came to earth to pay for our sins. If we believe in Him we will live with Him forever.  Joy to the world, Jesus, our Savior, has come and He is coming again.

Here is one of the Christmas card creations by artist and  friend Jim Bornzin.
 It reflects the Joy in Jesus that came to the earth and is coming back again.   

 By Jim Bornzin
 Impressive tree that Jim and Carmen display in their home.
By Jim Bornzin

Friday, November 24, 2017


Jes riding horseback with Wayne's help in Hornbrook in about 1982

Speaking of manure the story about the pessimist and optimist goes like this-- 

Chris riding in 1949 Long Beach, WA

Another story I remember about manure took place in a World War II movie called "Three Came Home."  The women used human feces to fertilize their vegetable garden.

Grandfather Jes owned a horse which he kept at his parents home.  Here is the neighbor girl riding.

When I came down with fibromyalgia I wanted God to take me up to heaven right then.  I thought like Elijah when Elijah was sure Jezebel was going to kill him. He ran away and sat under a broom tree. I wanted to sit under a broom tree like Elijah and have food and water brought to me.

Davy riding bareback in Four Lakes

Another thing I thought about doing was applying to a writers group who sponsored writers to go sit in a cabin in the woods all alone and write a novel.  They would be supplied with food and shelter for several months. I thought that maybe that way I could recuperate from my fibro.

Many people are trying to recover from PTSD these days.  Jesus said that you would have trials and tribulations so don't be surprised.  So when you are given a pile of manure, remember my friend Nan's advice: "Ask God to help you to finish well by keeping you in your senses."  She did finish well by spreading the gospel through her cooking and prayers up to her very last week of life on this earth.

Jesus calls Christians the salt of the earth.  He may actually have meant the fertilizer of the earth.  To read a blog about it click here.

PS When I find the picture of the pony that my dad and Uncle Hollie had I will post that picture also.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Thanksgiving display created by a Russian Evangelical Christian Church in the U.S.

I was taught that the First Thanksgiving to thank God for His provision in America was celebrated by the Pilgrims.  The Native Americans in the area were invited to join them and they did.  Wikipedia says this, "In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, and also to a well recorded 1619 event in Virginia. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest."

My family made a big deal of Thanksgiving while I was growing up in Virginia. Because we were at least 3000 miles away from our relatives in Washington State,  Alaska, and California,  we would invite other families who didn't have relatives in the area to join us.  One year we rented a hunting lodge.  Another year we had our meal in the basement recreation room of our house on Belleview Blvd.  I haven't found any pictures of our celebrations in those years but I have found more recent pictures.

1992 Redwood City

1995 Seattle

San Carlos 1996

Califronia 1997

Lake Forest Park 1999
Redmond 2005




California 2015



Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  We get to see loved ones, we have good food, we might even sing some hymns (We Gather Together To Ask The Lord's Blessing), and we don't have to shop for presents!

From Wallbuilders: