Thursday, January 25, 2018


In the above you tube Rachael Denhollander explains her stand on protecting girls from sexual abuse.  Below is part of her statement in court directed to her abuser before the sentencing.  

In our early hearings you brought your Bible into the courtroom and you have spoken of praying for forgiveness. And so it is on that basis that I appeal to you. If you have read the Bible you carry, you know the definition of sacrificial love portrayed is of God himself loving so sacrificially that he gave up everything to pay a penalty for the sin he did not commit. By his grace, I, too, choose to love this way.
You spoke of praying for forgiveness. But Larry, if you have read the Bible you carry, you know forgiveness does not come from doing good things, as if good deeds can erase what you have done. It comes from repentance which requires facing and acknowledging the truth about what you have done in all of its utter depravity and horror without mitigation, without excuse, without acting as if good deeds can erase what you have seen this courtroom today.
If the Bible you carry says it is better for a stone to be thrown around your neck and you throw into a lake than for you to make even one child stumble. And you have damaged hundreds.
The Bible you speak carries a final judgment where all of God's wrath and eternal terror is poured out on men like you. Should you ever reach the point of truly facing what you have done, the guilt will be crushing. And that is what makes the gospel of Christ so sweet. Because it extends grace and hope and mercy where none should be found. And it will be there for you.
I pray you experience the soul crushing weight of guilt so you may someday experience true repentance and true forgiveness from God, which you need far more than forgiveness from me -- though I extend that to you as well.
Throughout this process, I have clung to a quote by C.S. Lewis, where he says, my argument against God was that the universe seems so cruel and unjust. But how did I get this idea of just, unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he first has some idea of straight. What was I comparing the universe to when I called it unjust?
Larry, I can call what you did evil and wicked because it was. And I know it was evil and wicked because the straight line exists. The straight line is not measured based on your perception or anyone else's perception, and this means I can speak the truth about my abuse without minimization or mitigation. And I can call it evil because I know what goodness is. And this is why I pity you. Because when a person loses the ability to define good and evil, when they cannot define evil, they can no longer define and enjoy what is truly good.
When a person can harm another human being, especially a child, without true guilt, they have lost the ability to truly love. Larry, you have shut yourself off from every truly beautiful and good thing in this world that could have and should have brought you joy and fulfillment, and I pity you for it. You could have had everything you pretended to be. Every woman who stood up here truly loved you as an innocent child, real genuine love for you, and it did not satisfy.
I have experienced the soul satisfying joy of a marriage built on sacrificial love and safety and tenderness and care. I have experienced true intimacy in its deepest joys, and it is beautiful and sacred and glorious. And that is a joy you have cut yourself off from ever experiencing, and I pity you for it.
I have been there for young gymnasts and helped them transform from awkward little girls to graceful, beautiful, confident athletes and taken joy in their success because I wanted what was best for them. And this is a joy you have cut yourself off from forever because your desire to help was nothing more than a facade for your desire to harm.
I have lived the deep satisfaction of wrapping my small children up in my arms and making them feel safe and secure because I was safe, and this is a rich joy beyond what I can express, and you have cut yourself off from it, because you were not safe. And I pity you for that.
In losing the ability to call evil what it is without mitigation, without minimization, you have lost the ability to define and enjoy love and goodness. You have fashioned for yourself a prison that is far, far worse than any I could ever put you in, and I pity you for that.
And this is also why in many ways, your honor, the worst part of this process was each name, each number who came forward to the police with each Jane Doe, I saw my little girls and the little girls that were. The little girls who walked into Larry's office that I could not save because no one wanted to listen. And while that is not my guilt, it is pain I still carry and pain I share with them.
I cried for them, and with every tear that fell I wondered who is going to find these little girls, who is going to tell them how much they are worth, how valuable they are, how deserving of justice and protection?
Who is going to tell these little girls that what was done to them matters? That they are seen and valued, that they are not alone and they are not unprotected? And I could not do that ,but we are here now and today that message can be sent with the sentence you hand down you can communicate to all these little girls and to every predator to every little girl or young woman who is watching how much a little girl is worth.
I am asking that we leave this courtroom we leave knowing that when Larry was sexually aroused and gratified by our violation, when he enjoyed our suffering and took pleasure in our abuse, that it was evil and wrong.
I ask that you hand down a sentence that tells us that what was done to us matters, that we are known, we are worth everything, worth the greatest protection the law can offer, the greatest measure of justice available.
And to everyone who is watching, I ask that same question, how much is a little girl worth? Larry said in court that he hoped education and learning would happen from this tragedy, and I share that hope, and this is what we need to learn.
Look around the courtroom, remember what you have witnessed these past seven days. This is what it looks like when someone chooses to put their selfish desires above the safety and love for those around them and let it be a warning to us all and moving forward as a society, This is what it looks like when the adults in authority do not respond properly to disclosures of sexual assault.
This is what it looks like when institutions create a culture where a predator can flourish unafraid and unabated and this is what it looks like when people in authority refuse to listen, put friendships in front of the truth, fail to create or enforce proper policy and fail to hold enablers accountable.
This is what it looks like. It looks like a courtroom full of survivors who carry deep wounds. Women and girls who have banded together to fight for themselves because no one else would do it. Women and girls who carry scars that will never fully heal but who have made the choice to place the guilt and shame on the only person to whom it belongs, the abuser. But may the horror expressed in this courtroom over the last seven days be motivation for anyone and everyone no matter the context to take responsibility if they have failed in protecting a child, to understand the incredible failures that led to this week and to do it better the next time.
Judge Aquilina, I plead with you as you deliberate the sentence to give Larry, send a message that these victims are worth everything. In order to meet both the goals of this court. I plead with you to impose the maximum sentence under the plea agreement because everything is what these survivors are worth. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


God in his mercy provided a boat and our dream for us in spite of ourselves.

My problem wasn't fearing the future. My problem was in not thinking about it.  When Chris and I got married not either one of us had a job.  We were going to sail off into the sunset with never a responsibility.  Here is a blog by a woman who over thought things.  It resulted in a lot of fear.  The end of the blog tells how to keep that delicate balance between over thinking and not thinking.

Monday, January 22, 2018


This Bible has been in our family for probably over 100 years

Here are some blogs that were of interest to me today.  Maybe you will enjoy them also.

Degrees of reward.  What do you think will be the Christian's reward in heaven?  Here is a blog to check out this topic.

Will your children continue in the faith after they leave home?  Here is a survey with some interesting results.

Are you waiting for Jesus to return?  Here are some other things we may be waiting for.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Some of the moms I prayed with when my kids were in school.

It was back in the 70's when Fern Nichols was worried about her children entering Jr. High.  She asked another mom to pray with her.  Because of the support and also seeing answers to prayer  Fern believed God wanted her to share this idea with other moms.   From that simple worry Moms in Prayer was born.  God has blessed the ministry.  Now there are Moms in Prayer groups all over the world.

Today as I read the headlines I gathered some stories prayer warriors can be praying about today.  We lay these concerns at the feet of Jesus and leave them there: 

Albert Einstein didn't know anything about love

Iranian spies in Germany targeted Israel Embassy and Jewish kindergartens

Lawsuit Pits Gay Rights Against Religious Freedom

California Poverty Capital of America

Monday, January 15, 2018


On November 2, 1983 Ronald Reagan signed into law a day to honor the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I liked how he quoted Jesus.  He told us that the greatest commandment that God has given us was to love God and love our neighbor. It has been a struggle between good and evil for man ever since the fall in the garden.  Only by God's Spirit can we obey.  May we sing this last verse of the "Star Spangled Banner" today:

"O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Our daughter wanted to use this pose for our Christmas card in 1988.  She believed this depicted my dictatorial attitude and the oppression of the kids.  She had an inflamed metatarsal from playing football. 

1.  Dictator-- a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force.

·       a person who tells people what to do in an autocratic way or who determines behavior in a particular sphere:

As I recall, it was around the year that our daughter became a teenager that she was counseling me on what job would be perfect for me.  She said, “You should apply for a job as a dictator.”

Now I don’t know what that says about me as a mother.  In my experience mothers don’t become dictators. (I didn’t think of my mother as one.)  And I really did not want to become a dictator. But for the sake of my children I became one, according to our daughter.

My class in 1969

Years ago, before Chris and I had kids, I had to become a tyrant when I was hired as a first grade teacher. I was shocked that the majority of the children did not do what I told them to do.  I liked the kids, their parents, and the other teachers.  It was just the stress of trying to keep in mind all the different learning levels, and to keep order in the class that made me dislike the job.  It was like running a marathon while juggling live cats and dogs.  For me this spoiled the vocation.   (My older brother was asked to teach Vacation Bible School one year. He let all the kids go out and play instead of teaching them the lesson.  They never asked him to teach a class again. This would have been my preference when I was teaching.  But I didn’t give in to the temptation too often.  We did do loads of finger painting and also many afternoons of folk dancing though.)

My sister and cousin dealt with my brother.  I didn't want to be involved.

In my growing up years all five of us kids were easy going or compliant. If we were promised a chicken dinner by our parents and we ended up with a hot dog dinner nobody seemed to notice the difference.  We just went with the flow.  (I suspect there were at least two of us who liked hot dogs better than chicken.) I don’t recall any fighting or bickering in any form between us.  Although I do have this one picture of my sister and my cousin trying to keep my next to the youngest brother in line for a picture.  Notice --I chose to ignore the whole thing.  I didn’t want to be in control.  That was for somebody else to do. So when I discovered as a teacher that the majority of children are strong willed, I had to change my ways. 

After three years of dealing with first graders I was exhausted from holding the line against hostile forces in the classroom.  I had to set boundaries against bullying, implement a reward system for hyper kids, help with dressing and undressing kids in winter clothes to go outside, act as a crossing guard, playground teacher, lunch room teacher, do inventory, prepare lessons, bulletin board duty, etc., etc. I finally got smart and appointed committees to put up the bulletin boards, clean the classroom, assist me with grading workbooks, etc. etc.  I see no reason why 6 year olds can’t help out.

So I came to my limit with teaching.  I quit my job.  I went to work at the local library.  The library was the perfect place for me.  (Chris and I always checked out the libraries wherever we were visiting or living at the time.) I reveled in the quietness of the atmosphere and the appreciation I received from helping library patrons.

Strong willed baby insisted on sitting on top of the dining room table.  I moved all the chairs into another room so she couldn't climb up.
Strong willed baby threw temper tantrums when she was removed from the table.

Then, four years later, along came our strong willed daughter. She 
brought me to my knees in prayer.  I prayed and asked God for help.  I joined a mothers of preschoolers  group. I began reading parenting books.  My favorite was “Help, I’m a Parent” by Bruce Narramore.  I got the dictator part down pat.  As a result of firm boundaries for our daughter to press against she knew the guidelines.  She was afraid, from the time she was two or three until she was nine, to get out of bed after I put her to bed at night.  She asked if she could get up to get a drink of water one night after I had put her to bed when she was nine.  I allowed it, as I knew she could put herself back to bed.  (I found out years later that she taught her brother to get out of bed, hide behind the couch, and watch “Mash” when we were watching.  Don’t know what that did to their brains.) Our son turned out to be a compliant child.  When I put him to bed he was glad to stay.  Except, many years later, I found out that he did a little sleepwalking.

In high school our daughter would not get out of bed in the morning until her dad turned on the heat.  But, she said, that if she heard my voice she was up immediately.  A smoke alarm going off would not wake her but my voice would! (My parents gave me a clock radio when I was 12 or 13 so that I could set it to get myself up.  Being the compliant child that I was, I got up with the help of the radio, all on my own.)When she was in college and our son was in Jr. High I joined a Moms in Prayer group.  I still pray for my grandchildren in a group.

So all of this to say I’m retired from my job as a dictator.  I hated that job.  But I loved my children enough to set expectations.  Our children turned out to be God fearing, responsible citizens.

Now, grandchildren are the best.  We let them do whatever they want and then send them home!  (One time we were supposed to help with homework and it went completely out of our heads.  We ended up sending the homework home to be done.) 

I’m finally able to relax.  Now, I learn, that our daughter has become the dictator in her house!    Her older child told the younger one—“You might as well give in as you won’t win!”

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


This was one of my favorite New Year's Eve celebrations.  We were in Japan visiting Jes in 2004.  His little country village had a New Year's party in the town square.

I have wondered where the saying--"Only what's done for Christ will last"-- came from.  Now I know the lines came from C.T. Studd's poem:
Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His judgment seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say, “Thy will be done;”
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all;”
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.