Monday, August 21, 2017

ECLIPSE PICTURES August 21, 2017 10:21 am







Chris and I were able to get some good eclipse images.   I took the pictures on my I Phone while Chris focused the binoculars on a piece of white cardboard. Here is one raw picture,  one of Chris, and one where Chris enlarged one image in photoshop. 

Chris thinks the blue edge is probably the internal reflections from the binocular optics. And, contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't hurt a binocular to do this, but it can damage a camera sensor.



Psalm 8: 3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[a]

Psalm 148: 3 Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.





Friday, August 18, 2017

DEFENDING THE GOSPEL

Here we are in the late 90's in Hell, on Grand Cayman Island.  

My best friend from high school, Nancy, wrote me a letter back in the 90's before we had e-mail.  She said that her family was going on a trip to-- what I read was, "The Grand Canyon."  Chris had never seen the Grand Canyon and we had vacation time, plus frequent flyer miles to use.  I wrote her back and told her we would like to join them at the Grand Canyon.  She wrote back and said it is Grand Cayman not the Grand Canyon.  I asked Chris if he would like to travel to Grand Cayman instead of the Grand Canyon.  He replied in the affirmative.  

On Grand Cayman Island there is a town called "Hell” which we visited.  I'm glad it isn't the real one.  I wouldn't want me or anyone to go to the real Hell.  But Jesus says you must be born again in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven John 3:16-21.


So when false teachers, such as the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses, come to the door, Christians must be prepared to give the true Gospel to them in love.  Here is a blog, which is helpful when talking to Mormons.  Here is a blog, which is helpful when talking to the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Chris still has not visited the Grand Canyon.


Monday, August 14, 2017

A SAD DAY IN AMERICA





Where have all the Christians gone?  Apparently the majority in the United States are following the ways of this world by everyone, "doing what seems right in their own eyes," Judges 17:6.  Not only do we have Islamic terrorist attacks, gang killings, road rage, assassinations of police officers, school shootings, destruction by anarchists, antifa (anti-fascists) carnage, and workplace violence, now we have white supremacist attacks. We have forgotten God.  Men have become worthless because they do not know the Lord-- I Samuel 2:12

I received this forward from a high school and college classmate who is an alumni of U. VA. Albert Mohler has written this blog today. Darin C. Smith says this; Our nation was founded as a Christian nation in principle and practice. Other countries have long known and appreciated this fact. Displaying the American flag in all public places, including churches, reminds us why this country came, by God’s grace, into existence and who suffered for it. That is, because our ancestors wanted to be able to worship according to their conscience and not under the control of a state-run church.
It was this Judeo-Christian heritage that dictated much of what the Constitution entails. Most, if not all, of the problems we face as a nation can be traced back to the fact that we’ve pulled away from our country’s original values and standards.
Perhaps this is why Psalm 60:4 says:
You have set up a banner for those who fear you.
In Old Testament times, a banner was a flag. God has given a flag to those who fear him and him alone. To “fear” isn’t some Casper-the-Ghost-type reaction, but rather to show reverence and to be in awe of someone or something—that is, God.
In the Lord’s gracious providence, He saw fit to give birth to the United States of America—a place to which people can flee from the bow, from oppression, from tyranny, from bondage, and from servitude.”

But the American people have turned their backs on God.  Many churches are closing due to lack of attendance.  Seminaries are closing as well because of the lack of the need for trained clergymen.  Click here. Have we come to the tipping point where there is no turning back?  I believe that God can send a powerful revival if Christians will keep beseeching God and praying day and night.  It might even take some fasting to get our focus on God and what He can do in our country and in our lives.









Tuesday, August 8, 2017

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

Joni Eareckson Tada
Joni Eareckson Tada is one of my heroes.  Here is a blog about her 50th anniversary in a wheel chair as a quadriplegic. A young pastor in Virginia wrote it. He commented on her thoughts, observations, and her conclusions. They struck a chord with me because I have struggled with chronic pain for thirty-five years.  Relatives and friends have pressured me to expect miraculous healing.  I felt guilty because I wasn't healed.  I have confessed all of my sins in the chance that it was my sin that caused this pain.  Joni had gone through the same things.  We both have had to deal with this inconvenience.

Like Joni I came to the same conclusions.   God does not heal everyone.  He allows the messenger from Satan, such as Paul's thorn in his side, to keep us humble. We have nowhere to go but to the Lord.  I have found over the years that when I get bogged down with bad news -- in my own life, someone else's, or just in general in the world, that the best place to go is to the Word-- “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Reading the Bible assures me that God is in control.  He has a plan and some day Jesus will come back and we will have peace on Earth. The Bible also assures me that God loves me.  If I obey Him and seek Him He will help me to finish well.  So when I need positive thoughts to crowd out the negative thoughts I read God's word and am given assurances that He is with me and will never leave me or forsake me.  Jesus bore a million times the pain that I bear.  I'm privileged to taste a little of His suffering. 


Sunday, August 6, 2017

BIRTHDAY PARTIES



My grandparents on both sides did not have spectacular birthday parties.  Usually my dad and his 2 brothers would bring their mom candy, nuts, or fruit on her birthday and that was that.  I don’t even remember my other grandparents celebrating birthdays.  My parents never made a big deal of birthdays either.  I do have a few pictures of the birthday cakes I had in California and then in Spokane.  So I don’t know why I have always  liked birthday parties.  

Our kids and grandkids threw a spectacular birthday party for me yesterday.  Heather asked me what my favorite ice-cream is.  I said rocky road.  Sammy made a cake with rocky road filling and served rocky road icecream with it.  I thought that when Heather and Jes cleaned my refrigerator, stove, and microwave that was my birthday present.  But then Jessica, Jes, Heather, and Jessie bought me  new sandals.  Samantha made the card and Natalie vacuumed and cleared off the dining room table.  Heather decorated the tables with bouquets of flowers. Jessie made the brisket.  Chris got me walnuts and some white stuff he used to clean the sliding door track.  Some friends of Heather and Jessie’s gave me a beautiful Starbucks cup.  Samantha drew and framed a picture for me. We sang the doxology for our grace.  Along with the brisket we had tossed fresh salad from Jes and Jessica’s farm fresh vegetables. There were also some seasoned green snap beans and also muffins.  

I think this was my favorite birthday party yet! Click here to see the pictures.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

UNCOMMON BRAINS

Me with my 4 siblings.  Grandpa took a back seat.

All three of my brothers wanted to travel to Mars.  (Chris thinks they are from Mars.) My youngest brother attended Space Conferences and met a few astronauts.  He even built a Mars kite.



My dad, two brothers, and my sister received college degrees in science or math.  I was fascinated by their thoughts and inventions. 
  


Jay working on an invention on the back porch of the farm with Auntie, Beanie, Evy, and me looking on.

Jay working on something while cousin Dorothy and I watch.

So today when I read one of my favorite writers, Jared C. Wilson's, essay, click here to read, I was once again reminded of uncommon brains. There are people who seek new things from animal, vegetable, or mineral, every day, on this beautiful yet flawed Earth.


Me in 1985 with my 4 siblings in birth order. Photo by Chris Brown.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

AT MY BACK DOOR


Last night, at about midnight, police made an arrest of a man almost sitting on our back door patio.  There were lights shining into our bedroom window and loud talking.  A lengthy conversation ensued. Our daughter had warned us about living in this neighborhood.  There is probably more crime in this area than in others.  But the price was right. We disregarded the warning.

Now many have warned us that The Church is being deceived and has accepted defiance toward God.  We should have seen this coming. It has happened from the days of Adam and Eve.  Some have chosen not to listen to God.  Some have chosen sin over righteousness.  Here are some horror stories about churches that have fallen into apostasy.

  Many years ago my parents moved to California and began attending a Presbyterian church. They were a little alarmed when the pastor wouldn't allow them to put up a Billy Graham poster about an upcoming event. Then the pastor began saying that the communion service was us offering our bread and wine to God. My dad wrote a letter to the pastor explaining that communion was remembering what Christ had done for us. The last straw came when the pastor forbade my dad to lead a Bible study. My dad formed a secret Bible study group. He was kicked off the Elder Board. When my two younger brothers began attending another church my parents followed them.

Then there was the pastor who, in place of a sermon, was reading stories about a little Irish village and all the residence and characters that lived in it.  There was no mention of Jesus or what He has done. The church shrunk from over 100 down to about 35. The elder board offered him a part time position, as they could no longer afford a full time spot. He decided to leave.  From what I hear he is now a pastor of an Episcopal church.

We are in End Times.  Revelation 22:11
Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”




Monday, July 10, 2017

AN ECCLESIASTES KIND OF DAY




Today I feel as if I have slogged through a storm water drainage pipe.  Not only am I physically wiped out but I'm also emotionally drained.  The reason is that another evangelical church has been returned to dust.  The good people of Martha Lake Covenant Church (MLCC) put their minds, souls, and bodies, in to keeping the church and the Awana program alive.  But yesterday, after 70 years of faithful ministry, the church was disbanded--each member to go their own way.  

Vanity. Vanity it is all vanity as I remember from Solomon's lament in the book of Ecclesiastes.  As it was with Solomon, God didn’t agree with my vision for the church.  For six years, as a member of  the church, my prayer partner, Kay, and I prayed every Tuesday for our families, the church, our country and the world.  I thought God would bring to MLCC Christian refugees from countries where Christians are persecuted.  We were encouraged when one man, who had moved to the United States 20 years ago, from Iran, joined us.  

Others thought that after the new condos were built across the street from the church that those people would join.  We served free food.  We had “Narnia” nights.  We offered free concerts.  We had some visitors but few stayed.  We put new carpeting and paint in the nursery.  We sent post cards.  I don’t remember what all.  With the Awana program and the Vacation Bible Schools we had good attendance but not many came back on Sunday. 

God has different plans and higher plans than we do.  Maybe what God had in mind for us was remaining faithful for a time, to learn perseverance, or even to learn how to suffer for Christ.

I was encouraged by Pastor Bill’s final sermon.  He exhorted us to go out and make disciples, baptize, and teach.  This is how we live a life of significance.  He also gave us an encouraging quote from C.S. Lewis--"now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.

We may morn and weep at the closing of our church for a while --  but joy comes in the morning.  Some day God will show us how our prayers for the church, and good works done by many, have made a difference in countless lives for Jesus, and that we have lived a life of significance.




Saturday, July 1, 2017

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

Marina de LaPaz, Mexico--Chris helped our cruising neighbors every day. Photo by Chris

After Chris added so many improvements to Flyaway, our Halberg Raasy 39', such as weather fax, watermaker, 3 radios, sun covers, you name it we had it, he ran out of projects for our boat. He then began to help the neighbors at Marina de La Paz, (where we lived on our boat for awhile).  He helped them maintain, and rebuild their boats.  One neighbor wanted to add a radio. The entire inside of the boat had to be torn out in order to do so.  (Just the paneling I'm told.) Another neighbor, over in Mazatlan at El Cid Marina, needed stuff done on their boats. ( You can ask Chris about the details.) This involved Chris climbing a mast or helping the neighbor to climb the mast.  You get the idea--anybody who needed help, Chris was there.  (I prayed a lot during this time.)  

This illustrates the fact that for those neighbors who need help, it is possible to help them right where  they are located.  During the ebola outbreak in Africa, Dr. Ben Carson advocated that those people could be helped in their own countries.  The U.S. military moved in and built clinics and our U.S. doctors and nurses traveled over to those countries so the outbreak could be treated.  

Now we have war torn countries in the middle east.  Many, including, Franklin Graham, believe that we can help those who are suffering, in their own countries.  ( Samaritan's Purse in currently doing just that.) But for some reason this has become a political issue.  Those on the left advocate open borders. Those on the right advocate helping those who need help in their own countries.  I am saddened to learn that many Christians are misguided in this area including the Evangelical Covenant Church.  Over 100 Evangelical leaders signed a letter in February advocating bringing all these people to the United States.  Here is an article explaining.  I will be e-mailing those in power to come to their senses about this --and also praying!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

CHESTERTON'S SECRETS TO AMICABLE DISAGREEMENT


Wayne and Meg's wedding--an agreeable bunch

As a child the only arguments between my mom and dad, that I remember, involved a lot of laughing.  Both parents were middle children.  Somehow they avoided conflict if at all possible.  So it was after Chris and I had been married for two years that he asked me to please develop an opinion about something.  I was too agreeable for him. Wanting to please him, I did develop opinions. Now he is sorry for that request.  Below are Chesterton's secrets to amicable disagreements.  Chris disagrees with these suggestions while I agree with them:


Thursday, June 15, 2017

CAN GOD'S PEOPLE HANDLE ANSWERED PRAYER?



Currently, our church, Cascade Community Church, http://cascadechurch.org/, is offering a series on prayer.  But can God's people handle His answers to prayer?  God's thoughts are above our thoughts.  His ways are above our ways. Yesterday, in Alexandria, VA, during a baseball practice for a charity game, several congressmen, and police, were shot by an enraged Bernie Sanders supporter.  God can use an evil event like this for good.  We have been praying for unity for the people of the United States--here was an answer to that prayer.  Republicans and Democrats came together in prayer.  This reminded me of the prayer by an unknown author during the Civil War:

A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER'S PRAYER
Author Unknown,
(Attributed to a battle weary C.S.A soldier near the end of the war)

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 I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed. 


Today I read this blog on Desiring God.  Good thoughts on how to pray for our enemies.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

THE COMING CONVERGENCE




A new movie about end times has appeared on the scene.  Check it out if you are interested.  I think it is very well done.  Above it the trailer.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

MODEST GIRL GETS PRIVATE SCHOOL BATHROOM IN CALIFORNIA 1940


Spokane, WA 1940



Maybe our kids need to ask for private bathrooms at school.  Recently, in 2017, the police found a man in a woman's bathroom at a Washington State park who was naked.  They called the Washington Policy council to ask what they could charge him with since it is legal for a man to be naked in a woman’s room in Washington State.  Above is the story from a 1940 Spokesman Review about the young miss winning a private bathroom. Washington State voters--  sign the new petition I 1552 to get a privacy law on the ballot. Here is a link to an article about the horrifying curriculum being taught to our children.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

PRAY FOR THE EGYPTIAN COPTIC CHRISTIANS


Above is a video from Israel where the murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt is reported.  Not even Fox news reported on it.  Here is a link to an opinion editorial by Matt Walsh wondering why the murder of Christians is not being covered.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

PRAISE REPORT

This morning I received this report from the National Day of Prayer chairman--Anne Graham Lotz. Click on the link to open:  I'm praising God for His answers.  I'm adding this to my supplications for the Church:

Pray for the Church:
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26-27

Here is a heartfelt song about turning to King Jesus for all our problems including terrorist attacks, floods, fire, and all the murders these days in our country and in the world.  May God bless us once again as we acknowledge Him and obey Him.









Tuesday, May 9, 2017

SCOTCH, IRISH, DUTCH, YANKEE

One of the houses Grandpa built

Scotch, Irish, Dutch, and Yankee--that is what my grandfather, Ira LeRoy, my mother's father, told us about our ancestry.  We have been able to find some Scotch, Dutch, and Yankee but have not been able to trace any Irish ancestors.  My grandmother, Grace Belle,  told us to just mark our ancestry as--English.  After all we can trace our family lines back to England on both sides.

My mom's parents both started life out in Iowa and both ended up in Spokane, WA.  Grandma arrived in 1884 when she was just three years old.  Her family is considered a pioneer family.  Grandpa arrived in 1910 when he was about twenty-nine. 

Grandpa worked at various jobs while he was in school before coming to Spokane.


Grandpa as a young man


I don't know what the occasion was for these photos of Grandma and Grandpa.  Maybe these were high school graduation pictures.



Grandma and Grandpa were married On August 16, 1913.  



They traveled to Seaside, Oregon for their honeymoon.  Grandpa invented selfies.  He attached a string to the shutter of the camera and took their pictures.



By 1917 they had two daughters.  Their last daughter was born 9 years later.




This was the house in town that Grandpa built. Photo taken in 1967.

All three daughters moved to far off places because of their husband's jobs.  It was difficult to come home for reunions but they persisted and were able to get together over the years.


Grandma and Grandpa traveled to Mexico about 1940


Grandma and Grandpa along with Aunt Evelyn and Dorothy visiting in CA.about 1945


Grandma and Grandpa with more family in about 1952


1958
1960


1962?

They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary



Grandpa retired


Grandpa built two homes for his family.  He farmed 15 acres of wheat and an acre truck garden. He could play the fiddle by ear.  He taught his girls to type. He made sure his girls had private lessons in elocution and piano.  Aunt Ruth took voice lessons to hone her exceptional talent. Grandpa worked on developing a new strain of pop corn. 

Grandpa made it to Alaska to visit his daughter and her family.  He also made it back to Virginia to visit his second daughter and her family.  I believe he made it to California to visit his youngest daughter and her family.  He did some writing.  I will attach his theme--"Some Important Events in my Life" at the end of the blog. He passed away at 84.

Grandma was always willing to cook us a big meal with all of the garden fresh vegetables and a fresh chicken or rabbit.  We could count on her to have a chilled watermelon for dessert.  Grandma was a wonderful gardener using organic techniques like planting marigolds to keep away the bugs.  She put wooden stakes in the ground with a tin can over each stake.  Each morning she would take a kettle of boiling water, lift the can, and pore boiling water on the earwigs.  Aunt Evelyn said that she planted 1/3 of the garden for the bugs, 1/3 for the family, and 1/3 to sell.

We could count on her for a song.  We loved driving home from Spokane after a day in the city because she would sing "See the sun is sinking in the golden west." Below are the words as we remember them:



I loved my times on the farm whether it was sleeping in the downstairs bedroom with several beds and usually a crib.  Or sometimes beds would be put in the attic for sleeping dorm style.  Or sleeping until noon in the sun on the sun porch off of the living room. Uncle Beanie would take us on long walks to the mailboxes, dump, or apple trees across the road.  I especially liked drinking cold water out of the well across the road.  We used the rusted tin cup left there. The water tasted like pure spring water into which a little rust had been mixed.


Grandma had a pain in her toe.  I kept taking her to the doctor but all he would do was to give her pain pills.  She could not tolerate them so she didn't take them.  She was admitted to the hospital by a podiatrist.  She had gangrene.  She died there.  She was 88.  Below is the obit:






Some Important Events in my Life--by Grandpa
Page 2 is missing the last sentence.  If I find another copy of this essay I will rescan that page.














Sunday, April 30, 2017

GRANDPA MARRIED HIS SECRETARY

Baby Claude 1879


My grandparents on my father's side lived from the time of the invention of the airplane through the development of  Commodore 64. They must have been amazed at everything from color TV to sliced bread! Some other events in 1879, when Grandpa Claude was born to Henry and Sarah in Orwell, New York included the first artificial ice rink opening in New York City.  President Rutherford B. Hays signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue before the Supreme Court. 


Isabel and Mae Wisconsin 1899


In 1899, Grandma Isabel, and Aunt Mae were living in Wisconsin.

Isabel third from left third row 8th grade Wisconsin 1901, 

Grandma was in 8th grade in 1901.

Grandma got her hair caught in fly paper in 1909. She then lived in Vancouver, WA.

I think it was about 1909 when she participated in a beauty contest.
This one must have been taken around 1909 also.



Grandma and Grandpa were married in 1910 in Spokane.  She had been his secretary.  He promised her that she wouldn't have to do wet wash. They chummed around with Grandma's brothers Archie and Will and their wives Mary and Teena.


Claude and Isabel with their 3 boys.  She wanted 6 granddaughters. 


In 1938 or 1939 all the boys had wives.

The United States in 1938 was in a depression with 19% unemployment.  That year  “The War of the Worlds” by Orson Wells on broadcast radio caused a panic.  Nazi Germany’s escalation gave reason for concern.  German troops invaded Austria.


In 1939 the United States began building armaments.  This helped end the great depression.  A World’s Fair was held in New York.  “Gone With The Wind” premiered in Atlanta. 

Grandma kept many diaries over the years.  In her 1938/39 diary I noticed that Grandma and Grandpa managed to take in 2 or 3 movies a week--usually a double feature.  Grandma would ride the bus downtown and meet Grandpa for a matinee.  After TV stations were built they were content to stay home and watch their stories on TV.

Grandma also was very good about visiting sick friends.  She notes their progress in her diary.   One story my mom told happened during WW II when my mom lived with Jay and me in her folk's house on the north side of Spokane. Mom's folks lived on their farm in Four Lakes.  Mom was very ill with flu.  Grandma rode the bus over from the south side to check on her.  She noticed that her bathrobe was open exposing her chest so she took a safety pin and pinned it closed up around her neck to keep her warm.

Grandma was often asked to help with auditing the books for the many organizations to which she belonged.

Sunday, September 3, 1939--Grandma writes in her diary--"England declared war on Germany.  Back still aches."

Friday, September 8, 1939--Grandma writes--"Ernest and Emily's wedding day.  It was a perfect day from beginning to finish. The church wedding, reception in the garden at Huntington's, and the swell dinner at the Grand Hotel.  I've met so many wonderful people."

Saturday, November 25, 1939--Grandma writes "The weather is very mild. David's wedding day. It was a beautiful wedding at 8 pm in St. Paul's Methodist church.  He had 5 ushers.  There were 4 bridesmaids and a maid of honor. Ruthie Edson sang. She has a lovely voice. Between 150 and 200 people attended the reception in the church parlor."


The boys and their wives all had children in 1943.  Grandpa worked at the downtown Post Office.  I thought Grandpa was the Postmaster General.  I learned that superintendent doesn't mean that. 



Grandpa retired in 1949.


Not sure of the date on this.  Maybe 1950?


Grandma ended up with 4 granddaughters.


Grandpa raised African violets.


They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.




Grandpa lived to age 97.  Grandma lived to age 92.