July 23, 2004 Growing up in California made me a Californian—but, seriously it’s hard for me to think that now living in Washington makes me a Washingtonian—this is just home to me. But I don’t feel like a Washingtonian.
Now, yesterdays’ blog may have been confusing—as it sounded as if we were in California. Since California’s not in the real world anyway, how can one be very sure about anything when discussing the country of California. It’s sort of like the whole place is a cinema or something. Well, maybe a sinema. What with all the make-believe and the guhlie-men and the Terminator plays the governor—or would that be better stated reversed. Oh, the remarkable and the hard to believe—it’s infinite and surreal. I remember a few years back when my son glanced over at a driver in a red Dodge Viper convertible… at the Saddleback church in Lake Forrest. I’ve always wondered if the man heard Michael’s exclamation: “Ahhhh… suffering for Jesus!”
I do need to make a stop in Sacramento or San Francisco or something, as it seems that when we got married , I neglected to go to the Social Security Admin.’s office to have my name changed. Now, one would think that since we seem to have every piece of paper we have ever received/written, we would be able to find the necessary document for this name change—but no, of all the papers we could be missing, wouldn’t you know that it is our marriage license we’re missing. So—this sudden discovery: this wouldn’t be so ridiculous if we hadn’t filed taxes every year or if I hadn’t been employed in the early years, or that we were audited one year or at the very least, if we hadn’t sent in 11 forms for birth certificates and social security numbers for our children in addition to numerous other government documents over the years. Anyway, it came up this year that that little task hadn’t been completed by the naive bride 26½ years ago—I had more important things on my mind—I was setting up an apartment in So. San Francisco… and it *was* in California, dontchaknow—besides, I had gone to the DMV—what more need I do, I must’ve thought. Poor Wes, if it’s not one thing, it’s ten others. The sunshine and the prospect of lots of it makes it worth it all, I s’pose…
AI bizarre metamorphosis takes place when people go to california—and I’m not sure, but it seems that the heat makes money evaporate and it is so easy to assume a worldly mindset and brokenness over sin seems to nonexistent! The trap of bigger-better-more. All that said, I so love the refreshing sunshine, the wind and the water, and freeways(!) that drivers use for driving, beaches for sand castles, iced tea and laughter with the family, (and this is scriptural, now) “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content [especially if the state is california].” Phi 4:11 (KJV-ps translation). Then the deep down comfort that it’s not home to me anymore and soon we’ll return to the beautiful Northwest: home-sweet-home!
Oh… and my sister in law’s cooking! Dreaming of Carne Asada… and other things… Salsa and Dip Recipes: Salsa Fresca
Ohmy, the matter of Sandy Berger’s lapse in judgment is incredible! Doesn’t it sort of just boggle the mind that a former national security advisor would “inadvertently” remove legal documents—and then admit that some documents were “inadvertently discarded.” Hey, now don’t you feel safe with this level of competence in the upper echelon of government—past or present?? Makes you wonder what Clinton wrote in his recent biography, My Life. What seems alarmingly sad is that Former president Clinton called the controversy a “non-story,” and then is quoted, “I wish I knew who leaked it. It’s interesting timing,” he said. No matter the seriousness of the incident, no matter that vital information was mishandled—and worse, why?!? Pathetic that getting caught or concerns over another “conspiracy” is foremost in the mind of one of the most influential men in America. But then, evasion seems to be his broadening preoccupation in life.
July 21, 2004 Go ahead… Skip today’s blog if you love cats. If there is one thing I hate (okay—hate is rather strong and so I will attempt to refrain from using this word to describe personal intolerance in the future) on this earth, I think for certain, it is cats. I cannot count the ways in which they annoy me. Additionally, and sadly (for me) my family loves these rodents—the more the merrier, in fact! To further compound this pitiful situation: we have more kittens—lots more.
I’m pretty sure that Kittens/Cats/rodents are the gardener’s number one irritation—certainly, above weeds and thistles, even! I will even concede that I prefer moles to cats and moles are absolutely disgusting to me. So… cats. I wouldn’t mind if outdoorsy types distributed this weeks copies of Food Chain Today newsletter to all our neighbors and let them know that dinner’s on the porch! Okay—that’s a graphic as I ought to get here… this is a family page, after all. (Levity… levity—and, to give you an idea of the irriatation, that annoying paw print pattern above—well, it’s almost as annoying as cats themselves! Almost.)
My midwife is coming for a lunch/tea party today. Our daughter-in-law will also be here, (as both friend and current “client”) bringing tasty salads for our luncheon. Now, this is going to be the first time we’ll be getting together for simply visiting. Since I am still in a mid-wife crisis (as it seems I’ll never be preparing for the next series of monthly, then weekly visits to see her), this will be an odd new occurrence. It would be a shock to me now were I to be in need of midwifery care again—though for nearly 26 years, this has pretty much been my biennial expectation and condition! So… the mid-wife crisis continues. Last night all the remaining baby blankets were put away, along with some other items that will no longer have a prominent place in our room. One benefit about having children spanning this many years, though—I’ll never fret over what to do with an empty nest.
July 20, 2004 A few days ago I wrote about that article by Annie Jacobsen of the Women’s WallStreet. I knew that incident warranted a bit more attention than the story was receiving—I mean, surely since I posted it on my blog (O, that was just for hype since I wrote about blogging yesterday and it not being for personal gain or spotlight or aggrandizement)! So, the story’s made its way to the talk shows and national TV. Now, Annie’s written some more about this past week, her experience and what’s transpired in the meantime.
Pictures remind us of why this is an important story. Airplanes-turned-bombs(!!) were flown into huge office buildings—think of the absolute precision, the spot-on accuracy and perfect self-control required to pull off such a feat. Think of the dastardly evil intentions and masterminding that took place months—years prior to that day. Some pictures are worth a million words—and not a dime or a billion dollars could be assigned to their value. This one, “Falling Man” by Richard Drew, is one such photograph. Why are the lessons from that day so difficult to grasp?
While watching a “Gaither Homecoming Video” the other night, one of the children called out, “There’s Guy Penrod!” and little Ami quickly come back with: “Na-awww, that is Jesus!” So, when our family recovered, they continued watching and singing along with the video.
I had the nicest note from Roger Bennett of Legacy-5. O, what an incredible journey-to-health he is traveling. I had written to encourage him and to thank him for journaling this passage in his life. His faith and gracious, grace-filled outlook is so refreshing.
July 19, 2004 Why blog? Community… sharing ideas, encouraging others—it’s sure not a “for personal gain” type deal! I was reading some dialogue between a few who were debating the issue of blogging and why people blog. Apparently Doug Wilson had negatively commented on blogging—about bloggers in general. His comments triggered others to react with their own pretentious pontification—then, they just like one they’re criticizing.
Some mock the “faux intimacy” of the net —[and I am *strictly* talking of straightforward-honest-aboveboard-moral communications here] — and yet we have seen legitimate friendships form “over the net” and become legit face to face friendships. One such friendship formed several years ago over the net with one in Iowa (then to Colorado) with a few face-to-face visits has led to these same friends literally moving here this week to fellowship with us here in Washington. That’s where I see the huge benefit of the net, of blogging, and the ease of communication. Friendship—genuine friendship. I know of a couple of sweet marriages that had their beginnings on the net. Amazing. ‘Course… you know, I *still* have this *HUGE* caution against ANY illicit communication and boy, is there a FINE LINE! A very fine line!
Oh, what trouble is brought on by the tongue! If Cheney’s comment to a senator on the Senate floor wasn’t bad enough (and it was—but is a comment made by millions every day, I suppose), Now Arnold Schwarzenneger’s gotten himself into a tangle by a comment he made about legislators who were acting like girlie-men. It’s sure amazing how petty everyone’s gotten and yet wouldn’t/don’t scrutinize their own words with the same analysis or without bias. We were reading in our family Bible time—a continuation of the passage the children read yesterday in Proverbs. The tongue, no man can tame. The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” And righteousness: “In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found…” (these form Proverbs 10)
We listen to Washington Mutual commercials on the radio… and smile… wamoola. Our son works for WaMu in Seattle and alerts us to new Wamu commercials/films. Our favourites are “Debra” and “Jenn” (films are sometimes slow loading). These have added material for the many conversations around our home… as they often contain old “movie” lines; so, now, we’re often quoting Jenn… and gesturing: “…. no.”
July 18, 2004
This is the day which the LORD hath made;
We praise the LORD for His faithful watchcare and provision and protection over our daughter, our friend, Sean and Jim & Kelli and their family caravanning home to Washington over the last three days—arriving home Saturday night! Today will be filled with many activities, adjustments, unloading and settling in. We’re thankful for all the ways in which the LORD demonstrated His mercy and graciousness to them and His “going before” to meet all their needs. I was amazed at their good timing—especially knowing the very slow speed they’d have to have over the different ranges and mountain passes. I’m still marveling… and smiling. Kathryn became very proficient using (I believe this is the particular one they used) the mapping software —which, I am discovering, is pretty incredible!
I’ve been wondering about that flight… and some other things about air transportation. Apparently, all passengers must remove their shoes—except those wearing orthopedic shoes, in which case, the passenger’s shoes need not be removed during screening. So… you think terrorists know this? :-s So… those 14 Syrians had been hired as musicians to play at a casino in the desert. It’d be pretty easy to find out if they really did play there—I mean if they discovered that the men originally flew on one-way tickets, and returned on one-way tickets, that’d be pretty easy to discover—and what exactly was in the McDonalds bag. The writer gave a plausible explanation—bomb building materials—or practice materials or whatever could be used to turn a plane into a bomb that could kill a whole lotta people. But then, how about this: perhaps too much of what’s in McDonald’s bags kill people—but it’s a relatively slow death. I wonder if they said yes to: do you want that super-sized?
July 17, 2004 This article might make you think twice about your next airline flight! I listened to part of an interview between Annie Jacobsen and John Carlson and was impressed by her candor and congenial manner. While she could’ve exhibited, in a tirade, anger or fear about her flight, she calmly describe the circumstances she witnessed and shared her thoughts on the whole situation. After reading her article, I knew she had good reason to to be alarmed, good reason to report her experience to the authorities and she has very good reason to be suspicious in the future. It’s a chilling article about just what goes on in the skies and the potential for terror on that or any other day. There are several such stories—hard to know what to believe anymore—what’s true, what’s conspiracy, what’s political, what’s a lie. Now, I imagine that there are many who would be tempted to think that Annie’s story is just one more in the plethora of stories or individuals advancing the fear and hysteria or fueling the racial strains or promoting racial profiling. But I’m just wondering… given what we know, post 9/11, given what she described: what would I have thought? How would I have reacted to the circumstances? How would you have reacted?
I guess we’ll just have to see how all this plays out. One thing I do know, and on this I place all my hope, all my trust and all my faith: The Lord is on the Throne, the King of the Universe is my LORD and Saviour: nothing escapes His gaze and nothing happens without His permission—everything sifts through His fingers. I believe God would not have us to live in a spirit of fear—if we love Him, we will obey Him and as it says in 1John 4.18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.“
Well, it seems that Boeing‘s going to add a whole bunch of jobs… my fatalist side says: great, more jobs=double the future lay-offs; double the strike potential. My optimistic side says: great, more jobs equals more spending in this region, more services, more resulting jobs, more apartments———–Uh-Oh——wait: more t-r-a-f-f-i-c. Lots more TRAFFIC!
And while we’re perusing the news… Tim Berners-Lee has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He was knighted in recognition for the far reaching phenomena and benefit of the Internet through his invention World Wide Web. I wonder what life would be like today without the internet—surely communication, knowledge and productivity would be nothing compared to what it is today—However, one industry, to be sure, would not have flourished as it has and that’s the pornography mill—the dark side of the internet with its intricate pipeline and instant ability to pump sewage into every home equipped with on-line computers with just a simple click of a button—and in many cases, no click is needed as multiple screens cascade before the viewer’s eyes. Weakening resolve, desensitizing the conscience and plunging to immorality to new depths as never before. Internet pornography is daily destroying men’s lives, their families, their wives, women’s lives and homes, children’s futures—Pornography is no respecter of persons—it matters not: gain or loss, poverty, wealth, appearance, talent, knowledge, ability—none of these things matter in internet pornography. It’s a ravenous monster leaving an enormous swath of destruction all over the world and only death in its wake. Kin to this dark side is the ability to communicate “incognito” and carry on illicit relationships shrouded in seeming secrecy. The damage done from both pornography and internet relationships is inestimable and the consequences are fathomless. The proliferation has made the p-rnography industry an enormous multi-billion dollar business. The big lie: children are resilient and they get along fine when families are destroyed as a sure consequence of internet pornography and cyber affairs.
But determination and resolve to yield to God —only— can allow for the good of the internet, the benefit of information, the value of communication and the blessing of friendship. Today, in fact, we will welcome home our friends—our friends who are moving here to start a new life, a new life in a fellowship of believers, a new chapter—in part, because my friend Kelli subscribed years ago to a daily Bible study I used to send over the internet. It’s amazing what God will use to draw us to Himself and to draw believers together as family. There is “great gain” to be found on the Internet, to be sure.
Run filters. Use “pop-up” smashers. Guard and guide your children’s internet use! PLEASE, Do not give in to the temptations present every day on the net because like a net you’ll be scooped up and entangled (snap!) just like that!
July 16, 2004 I was trying to locate a good map of Idaho—found a good source here at: worldatlas.com. We had a great chance to talk to our daughter last night; she called from Wyoming where they’d decided to stop for the night. The little caravan is doing well—nearly washed away in buckets of rain, but made good time the rest of the way to Buffalo—the town—we’re praying they don’t have any encounters with buffalo or deer or any other problems. [I just had a reader send a note regarding the advertising on or generated at this site–worldatlas.com—I run such tight filters that I didn’t notice ANY advertising —so, this is FYI—beware of advertising if you do not have tight “security” filters and/or pop-up ad smashers /filters on your computer.]
Well, it looks like Martha Stewart faces 5 months in federal prison and 5 months of house-arrest and a few large bills for conspiracy, making false statements and obstruction of agency proceedings; this, from the “suspicious” sale of stock in ImClone, a biotech company. she reportedly said to the judge, before her sentencing, “I ask that when you judge me, you remember all the good I’ve done.” Pending an appeal, it might be a year before she has to actually “do the time” for this “crime.”
I couldn’t help but make comparisons to That Day… in That Day, many will be saying “…when you judge me… remember all the good I’ve done.”
Titus 3.5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Well, it sure seems to be a boggled mess on the US presidential campaign trail. It’s becoming more and more like a gigantic web. Actually, it’s probably more like another gigantic web of innuendos, double-speak, half truths, out-n-out lies and a whole lotta gibberish alongside all the other enormous webs of political deceit and destruction. I marvel at the comments made on *both* sides of the political river. One candidate argues that there needs be *change* in Washington—mygoodness, that’s where he’s *lived* for a gazillion years! (I get these extreme exaggeration techniques from them!) Then another one said at one time he’d *never* accept the offer to be the running mate and boy, is he running now! Running on a platform that’s a shifty as a deck out on the Pacific. Then we’ve got those who *seem* to have it together… well, it sure seems interesting.
Speaking of webs… Consider this as a possible definition of faith:
More in the: Hhmmmmm… category: Obesity may now be considered a “disease.” According to this article, “The question isn’t whether obesity is a disease or a risk factor,” said Medicare administrator Mark McClellan. “What matters is whether there’s scientific evidence that an obesity-related medical treatment improves health,” he said. Treatment… *successful treatment* will improve health, but whether treatments are successful depends on people’s determination, not government programs or insurance’s increased coverage of so-called- treatments. I’ll tell ya this: I know of one very very successful treatment: elimination of white food! O, but the mind! The will to abstain from all those things… and then doing it!
July 15, 2004 The Northwest trek begins today. Only this time, we’re not going to be tracking Kathryn’s flight on the computer screen. We’ll be “prayin’ ’em home” as they drive. A van pulling a trailer, the blazer pulling a trailer and a small truck—forming a relatively slow-speed caravan to their new home—a new life—a new adventure—here in the Northwest. Bittersweet; I’m sure, for them today as they say good-bye to family and friends. The friends here are so looking forward to their arrival and to what the LORD is doing and will do in and through them. Lately I’ve been thinking that Jim’s doing something other men only dream of doing: gathering his family, pulling up stakes and settling in a brand new area with lots of prospects, lots of potential with nothing “concrete” but a safe-solid place to land and a bunch of “brothers” cheering him on. We say, praise the Lord.
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This is a local weather cam… interesting! This is for you, Kathryn!
Well… looks like the debate is going to linger on. With nearly a 50/50 split, the Senate blocked the passage of the Marriage Amendment. In a roll call vote, the measure was defeated 50-48. Interesting that the two who missed the vote were Kerry & Edwards. Either they’re cowards or they demonstrated their disregard for the family and marriage. This way, in their bid for election, they’ve got nothing to answer to—except their absence on an important measure. It seems that Santorum “got it” when attempting to defend the measure: “It’s not about hate, it’s not about gay bashing,” Santorum continued. “It’s simply about what’s doing the right thing for the basic glue that holds society together.” This measure is about the preservation of marriage *not* “gay” bashing or whatever other group seeking to redefine marriage. Pretty soon… as my friend wrote some time back, people will want to marry their pet or many pets or whatever. The explosion of immoral behaviour will likely be stunning. In the same article, I was amazed at the comment by Nancy Pelosi: “…regardless of how members feel on the issue, Congress is “wasting the public’s time when we have important business to deal with.” More important business to deal with? When judges are making a mockery of the judicial process and are sidestepping rulings and when the moral fabric of our nation is decaying… more important business to deal with? Ah, right. This, I say tongue in cheek: Ms. Pelosi did say that the vote “is a procedural vote one where the vote of Senator Edwards will not make a difference.” Wonder if she’ll regret saying that?
I received in reply to my letter, as I expected, a form letter from the office of Maria Cantwell, one of our Senators here in Washington State. Her reply, in part: “… I oppose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage because I believe it is wrong to amend our Constitution to limit the rights of any Americans. Further, I believe that marriage laws should continue to be decided at the state level.” The irony of this is that no matter what’s decided at the state level, judicial tyranny and the proliferation of rogue judges, make laws effectual and escalates the decline of morality under which our society is already collapsing.
I knew, as there is no true Republican or conservative representation in this state, that our voice wouldn’t be heard or represented. Still, I wrote her a letter explaining the far reaching effects of the demise of the family—-I don’t that federal laws and God’s divine institutions are mutually exclusive; there are, I believe, dire consequences to laws that are counter to His design and the effects of poor legislation will be devastating to our culture.
July 14, 2004 The day draws nigh for the vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment by the Senate. It’s interesting how many angles are being played on this one. I think it’s important for our Constitution to reflect this addition because of the times in the history of our country where there was room for debate over what constitutes marriage. The implications of so called “gay” marriage are astronomical! But this isn’t about “gay marriage,” it’s about marriage. The Bible gives a very clear, a very concise and a very precise definition of marriage and therefore anything deviation is not marriage. Civil Unions are not marriages—yet the ramifications to such legal “unions” would/will have devastating and eternal consequences. It seems that support for the Amendment is not as strong as required for its passage—Senators are giving absurd rationale for their opposition. The issue’s generated all sorts of articles, commentaries and news links. And… the consequences are already coming to pass in so called “gay-marriage” as a couple, married in May, have filed for divorce. How careless, selfish, egocentric and shortsighted are all who would defy God’s design. O, God save our pitiful souls.
July 13, 2004 Steve Sconce got off all right yesterday from Sea-Tac… but not without first spending some last hours here packing, dumping, resorting and repacking with the Rogne’s (missionaries who will join the Sconce’s in PNG next month!) and saying farewell for now to friends and then, to his sweet surprise, his parents, who drove from Eastern Washington to say good-bye to their son who will return to PNG via London, HongKong and Australia! It will be another week before he actually sees his own family there. With many “one last thing’s” added to his carry-on, a violin and a backpack and two large and heavy Rubbermaid Bins duct-taped shut, he made his way though “Check-in” and down the concourse at Sea-Tac. These “good-byes-for-now” are always hard. My surprise couldn’t have been greater when I picked up the phone here at home to greet the caller… to hear Crystal’s voice (in PNG)! Then, O, the blessing of technology: to call Wes (had already left the airport) who called Steve’s brother’s cell-phone and to have them call Crystal back in PNG!! O! Technology! Wes had the number in his call log… remembered having received the call the other day and associated it with Steve’s brother Matt. How grateful we are for the good things the LORD has allowed us to have—the good that can be done with His provisions! Even in all this, there is a measure of sadness. One Day, there will be no more tears, no more sorrow and the LORD will wipe all the sadness from our eyes… In the Day… What a Day… what a Glorious Day that will be.
A lot of comings and going’s! We’re so missing our Kathryn, but we’re so grateful for her opportunity to go help friends pack their home in preparation to move here to the Northwest. They’ll be driving this way starting Thursday. Another friend is flying down to drive with the family, one of the vehicles/trailer back here. It’ll likely take three days! Upon their arrival, there will be many to help unload and get them settled in.
The Federal Marriage Amendment comes up for a vote tomorrow or the next day. It is, in reality, just a exercise in futility. For with the inclusion of doublespeak, the Amendment is weak and written in such a manner as to be interpreted any number of ways—especially with the presentation of two versions of the Amendment being presented. That oughtta send up some red flags! Arrogance of [for] power eliminated genuine purpose. I suppose not all politicians are disingenuous, nor are all intending to speak in such a misleading manner to gain position or notoriety in Congress. It’s a mockery and to be sure, a complete disconnect with morality to say one thing (fully intending allowing for another) and to appear genuinely concerned for the state of marriage and the future of our society and to yet propose alternatives to such an important piece of legislation reveals the double standard. This doublespeak is really indicative of the true position of each who endorse both marriage *and* civil unions which has gained some popularity in the wake of Kerry’s national campaign. Senator Sam Brownback seems to have an inkling of the importance of marriage–of family.
But it is God who sets up Kings and brings down nations and it is God who designed and instituted marriage between one man and one woman. He does not recognize or sanctify man’s deviation from His design. So, in reality, no matter what is accomplished in the Senate, no matter what is done to counter the action, no matter what is said or implied, no matter how many words are exchanged in debate over this “issue,” nothing will change what God has said and/or originally instituted. Nothing will stand against the preparation of the LORD.
This land is my land… This land is your land… If regulations and building permits and installation permits and licenses and permits and insurance and permits and taxes and permits and fees and permits don’t kill home”owners”, then bewilderment just might! And their exasperation—if it doesn’t lead to total apathy—just might lead sane men to commit insane acts! In King county (Seattle & vicinity) there is talk, of a new law, known as the “65-10 Rule” being proposed by the county to call “…for landowners to set aside 65 percent of their property and keep it in its natural, vegetative state. According to the rule, nothing can be built on this land, and if a tree is cut down, for example, it must be replanted. Building anything is out of the question…”
So, then… if one is to buy a piece of land and then of that piece of land to have use of only a portion, perhaps the magnanimous thing to do is to pay property tax on the inhabited portion and allow the other portion of the exploited home”owners” land to just freely exist.
It’s a thrill to participate in the lives of believers who allow a “coming alongside” and an openness for fellowship. So much of life is artificial—pretense and show. But just because that’s normal doesn’t mean we need to live or be like that. It takes courage to risk transparency and it takes boldness to challenge it in others—but more, it takes a willingness to expend the required energy and loyalty is not without cost. In our indifferent culture, that sort of behavior is intimidating and puts people off. Now, I’ve never been skydiving though I watch skydivers every day. And sometimes I think that loving people is like jumping out of a plane and risking the consequences of that jump: it’ll either be graceful with a smooth landing or treacherous with a crash landing. The outcomes depend on who’s packed the parachute and who’s guided the flight, the jump and the timing of the opening of the chute.
July 12, 2004 Our daughter flew to Colorado to help friends pack and move here to the Northwest. Our home fellowship has been so encouraged by their desire to be obedient to the LORD, for their huge step of faith to move here—and to trust the LORD completely for His provision of home, employment, etc., etc. What’s been interesting is Jim’s comments that they’ve moved (in the past) for job relocations and for family but never for genuine fellowship—to live near believers with whom they want to share their lives. There have been so many ways in which the LORD has obviously worked and provided. I suppose this is one of the reasons we wanted to send Kathryn down to help them. Additionally, another friend is flying down to drive one of their vehicles/trailers up here. This has been another great blessing to us all as we’ve watched this gracious act of mercy and kindness—as a response to our friend’s step leap of faith!
July 10, 2004 We sure had a wonderful time with the friends and family gathered here last night for the 8th annual “KlaHaYa Days party” here in our yard. Every year is a delight to us as we see people talking and laughing together—many who only see one another a few times a year! This annual gathering always seems to have a new thread running alongside the old and familiar. The Lord’s be very very gracious to us and we’re extremely aware of His merciful kindness to and on us. O—without the LORD… where would we be today? I shudder to think! We did miss friends who weren’t able to be with us—and of course, many asked about the ones not here or how were things with this or that family. It’s a sweet time of both looking forward and reminiscing. We had a bit of a damper on the party—literally! It sprinkled for a bit and we earnestly prayed for a clearing and the LORD saw fit, I suppose, to grant that request—because it was a very very pleasant evening after that!
Our special guest was not with us as he’d made plans and there was a conflict with the timing. So—I am sorry that the friends and family didn’t get the opportunity to hear from Steve about the work in Papua New Guinea. We *did* have some more things brought for the gathering of gifts to give him to take back to PNG. I believe we’ve now gathered every single thing on the list. I’m so grateful to the LORD and to each one for their generosity. I do know that the family will be so thrilled and so thankful for the blessings of all these things. Laura sewed 4 dresses and other friends added things that were needed and some gave money which I used to buy the items on the list and the *used* champion juicer is just great! We will be giving him all the items and he’ll carry them in 2 Rubbermaid bins — the bins themselves will be useful to them there in PNG!
commemorating Kathryn’s graduation has been quite significant to us and we’ve sure been grateful to those who’ve joined us in celebrating this event. My mother is exceedingly proud of Kathryn and, I suppose, rightfully so; she’s been surely her most devoted fan since Kathryn’s infancy. Since Kathryn loves to read, loves words—poetry, writing, etc., etc. my mom bought her magnetic poetry for graduation and she added other word sets in order that Kathryn might more fully enjoy it.
Much more to write… little time to write it!
There’s much that could be written about these days in our family—in our country—in the world… but wisdom tells me that when one is emotional *and* tired, the better part is the choosing to reflect rather than account for any or all of these or to emotionally pontificate on things that are relatively unimportant in the larger scheme of things. I just continue to reflect on the multitude of thoughts that come from this verse: (Acts 20.24) But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
July 9, 2004 The KlaHaYa Days are here in our little town! We’ve been getting ready and are so looking forward to having a gathering here. We’re looking forward to the guests and the fellowship… honouring Kathryn for her graduation and really, just being able to spend time with family and with old and new friends—plus, taking lots of pics! 😉 We’ll sure miss the special friends who cannot be with us this year. I’m sorry for the others who won’t be able to see them, too and for Kathryn who looked forward to sharing the time with them. Ah.. how our years are sprinkled with disappointments! O, how they cause us to grow and to consider the times we *do* have. I sure know that when disappointments come we really feel stretched and tend to question everything. But God. But God, who is rich in mercy… So we really attempt to value the time—redeem the time, because not only are the days evil as the Word says, they’re short, too!
On the horizon… the vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment is set for July 12. Some argue that the government has no business dealing in the matters of marriage and family choice or it’s not a matter that ought to be up for debate or public opinion. Interesting all the trouble brewing over the same-sex marriages and yet we know this is nothing new. At the inception of the Republican Party in America in 1856 one of the planks in the platform read:
I’m thinking we’ve got parallel situations today—our country sure has veered off course and what is being demanded (in ss marriage/family/rights/etc), is in my opinion, is as bad or worse. In all of this I continue to remember something I shared a few months back—First: God is sovereign and second: Marriage is ordained by God and no matter what people believe about what they’re doing, it’s either right in God’s eyes or it is *not* right in God’s eyes. His Word is clear and His establishment from the beginning is unmistakably obvious.
YAKIMA — Jude Doty has spent the past 15 years whittling his life philosophy down to a motto: home birth, home school and home business. To live by those words, he says, is his right. To fight for them is fundamental…. It’s an incredible story—especially in light of the fact that many homeschooling families home educate so that there will be the freedom to apprentice or train their children in the way they should go… and the way often includes: work. Real work. I’m not thinking that some of the ways this dad’s going about the work are necessarily right and were I to be in his position, I think I’d sure pull in on some of the safety issues—but, nonetheless, I’d still fight for the right to train up the boys how I see the Lord leading and I’d sure be very firm in the conviction to do so.
July 7, 2004 Every now and then there’s a work or a ministry or a person we’re led to support or recommend. We do this as the LORD leads and share as the LORD prompts us to. A woman I’ve come to respect and admire is Nancy Campbell and the ministry of Above Rubies. It’s interesting that I came to read about her a number of years after the fall of a most favourite magazine, Gentle Spirit. I wondered if there’d ever be another “gentle spirit” mag or something near enough to it! I think between the Above Rubies magazine and the Crowned with Silver magazine, there’s a real close similarity to the old GS. O, Crowned with Silver is sure a good publication (and site) and what a blessing it is for women just starting out on the road of motherhood. With all the contradictions being thrown at mothers today—all the attempts to destroy the calling and the home, these magazines are such a gift to wives and mothers! I so encourage the support of these magazines and the ministry of Nancy Campbell. I don’t think anyone can deliver a message to women quite like Nancy! Sweet words! O, that sisters would get a hold of the truths of the Word.
It’s a risky thing to hold an opposing view to a popular trend or practice, but riskier is to voice the view. It’s nothing, really, to hold strong opinions or beliefs—unless they become or begin with conviction; then, there is nothing one can do to hide or suppress deep convictions. Deep convictions dictate behaviour and behaviour is noticeable—especially if the convictions have passion behind them—and more, when the LORD has done a work!!
In the body of Christ there are so many factions and divisions. So many forms and traditions. Sometimes it seems what’s happening is not remotely close to the patterns given in the Bible for believers to follow—to emulate. Lately, I’ve mulled over and over what it is to be a Christ follower; what is it to walk with God? Is it or can it be defined by an organization or denomination or a hobby or a club or even a culture? No—it cannot be, it mustn’t be! Walking with God is a daily decision to yield to Him, to deny self, to listen to His Voice and to obey Him. He is not a man that He could lie—and because He is Truth, He is fully trustworthy and utterly faithful—He absolutely cannot fail. But He is so often missed in the ordering of the day, the schedule or the program—Christ, our Head, is often the last thought to the planning or the decisions. It seems that to stop and consult Him might perhaps throw off the course (perish the thought!) and sadly, it seems that were one to mention Jesus, then perhaps the stifling effect would ruin the production or the program—thus, to truly be a disciple of Christ, one has to decide: go with the flow? go with the status quo? go with the crowd, the trend, the program? Or, walk with Jesus. Period. Wherever He leads, whatever He says, whenever He calls, however He does it: just walk with Him. It’s just Jesus. All the weights of the bag are His.
But what about a purpose? Well, what about a purpose? Is it possible to walk with Christ everyday without walls, without structures, without programs, without institutions, without a guidebook—with only the Bible as the guide?
I think so.
Must one be ‘purpose driven’ in order to walk with Christ? Or does being ‘purpose driven’ take you somewhere else? It’s awkward to hold a view that’s contrary to trends and traditions—but it sure is refreshing! And contrary to what the enemy attempts to convince, there are many believers who’ve come to the very same conclusion and that is that the Church has sure departed from the original intent for the life of the body of Christ. When a man or a woman walks with Jesus—that must be all that matters. All the contentions, all the divisions are surely not of the LORD—but they are of the enemy—the same enemy who attempts to keep Christians busy, busy, busy—divided, divided, divided—isolated, narrow and exclusive. This is not how the body of Christ ought to be— not at all. I understand why there is division—I used to promote it myself! I understand why there’s suspicion and skepticism—I used to be suspicious or skeptical of anyone who held positions that differed from mine. I didn’t start out that way, I grew into that pattern of thinking. I was not so much rooted and grounded in the Word as I was rooted and grounded in the church—read: institution. So rooted and grounded that original thought or personalized revelation of/from the Word didn’t exist.
Now, lest you think I am now ragging on the institution—I am not—truly I am not—I am simply attempting to shed light on the fallacy that the institution *is* the church. The *body* is the church. The building is not the church and what goes on there isn’t church. The building is a nice place for a bunch of people to congregate, yes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the congregation will function or is functioning as a body there—they will *be* there, yes and that may be all. The body, to be a body, must function and mere association does not mean *living* as a body anymore than going to a dinner table means eating a dinner meal. There is so much the “church” is settling for… by default. By default, traditions have replaced the original plan and intent—and by default, traditions are keeping generations of believers from truly experiencing the exchanged life—the joy of living daily in the light of the Word, with Christ as the Head and in genuine fellowship with believers.
I am coming to realize many things about walking with Christ… You know, walking with Christ has nothing to do with “form” and who or what we know. Take for example the first question asked when you discover a person is a “Christian.” Oh? Where do you go to church? And if/when they give a favorable answer: First ________ whatever or First Street Community Church or whatever, that’s an acceptable answer and often is *enough* of an answer for us to just be satisfied and end our line of questioning and often the entire conversation! But… what about asking a person what the LORD’s doing in their life or How’s He been working in/through them lately or where are they reading in the Word and what’s God saying to them in it? Now… that might be too personal—but is it? Really? It ought not be for people who love the LORD and are part of the *same* body of Christ. We are all His children if He is our LORD. Why the offence at the questions, then? If we know Him—we want to talk about Him and *all the more* if it’s with a brother or sister!! But the walls preclude that and the walls divide and separate the body. Oh—this ought not be so!
There are so many deceptions, so many diversions and misconceptions in the church. Sad… nearly nineteen hundred years of sliding away from the original pattern to patterns that are now exactly opposite of the original design. What is accepted and expected is so opposite of the original design and the marvelous blessing the LORD had (has) planned for His children!
July 6, 2004 The fireworks are still lighting up the skies around our home, the thick smoke creating a hazy skyline. It was a blessing to hear the different tributes to soldiers continuing to risk and lay down their lives for freedom—for the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. As I was searching for “Independence Day” traditions, I came across this site: American Family Traditions (fyi: this is *not* a Christian site* —new age—) and read some interesting information regarding some of our countries’ historic documents. Well, on that site there are numerous descriptions of aspects of American life—not through a believer’s lens, but a picture, nonetheless. An ever present theme is freedom!
The Freedom Tower is set to begin construction in New York. The planned tower (the first of possibly five towers) is brimming with symbolism and commemorative effects in its design. The cornerstone, made of “garnet-flecked” granite from the Adirondack Mountains, is inscribed: “To honor and remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and as a tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom. July Fourth, 2004.”
Judicial Forum has a section called “Morality Check,” and what a *reality* check it is! This, from them on some current happenings in California and the continued erosion of the well established—since time immemorial—from the foundation of the world. The non birth mother could claim co-parent status if the parent was presumed or viewed to be the father. Okay—but, this woman is surely not the father. Worse, there is a battle over the custody of the child because the two women are no longer partners. All this twisted logic is made possible by the Uniform Parentage Act of California. But in a cursory reading of the “Act,” it sure looked clear to me that references to “fathers were all *male* definitions. Oh, the LORD gave us the uniform parentage act from the beginning of creation. Men created to be men, women created to be women—that they should leave their father and mother and be joined together. A very simple plan—a very very good plan—that the enemy through man[kind] has determined to confuse and destroy.
July 5, 2004 The Federal Marriage amendment… it’ll probably not be surprising to you who’ll vote in opposition to the amendment, but you may be surprised to see who’s undecided. Here’s a list. There are many under the “big tent” endorsing the amendment—this, to me, isn’t a “religious” appeal, it’s failure would truly have a cultural consequence or redefinition of our society—and with the destruction of marriage and family, this society and nation *will* fall.
July 4, 2004 Happy 4th of July! It’s Independence Day in America!
America… the home of the free because of the brave.
July 3, 2004 We have been trying to get the garden in order, get the weeds under control and work a bit further on more “permanent” raised beds. So, I had the boys use cedar posts to fix an herb bed to contain the weeds… the uh… herban sprawl. So, now the 4′ x 16′ “box” is in and I need to transfer the weeds—or rather, the herbs, to it. One of my little boys helped me, too! He pulled all the weeds out of the long row where the wild flowers (not yet in bloom) are were planted. Now the row is all clean. Really… all clean!
My son Timothy sent this to me:
So much to read… so much to write. O, for time… sweet time.
July 2, 2004 I received a note from Vision Forum about the upcoming National Center for Family Integrated Churches Conference: Uniting Church and Family. I got to thinking… Church and Family—these are not mutually exclusive—the church *is* a family! We’re coming to see the reality of this more and more as we live with, or “walk with” other believers in Jesus. A family is related by a common father. The family of God has God as its Father—in a Christian home, a little church, the head of the family is the father—Christ is his head—the head of the church is Christ! And… Christ is the head of every believer. What an awesome reality and what a joy to anticipate what God will do when believers yield to His authority and Headship!
July 1, 2004 Today’s our son Daniel’s 25th birthday! Mygoodness, a quarter century! How time has passed so quickly! Wes and I were riding back on the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and we saw the little strip of beach where we used to take Daniel and Michael to play with their Tonka-trucks… twenty years ago, or so. We thought the beach looked smaller than we had remembered it. Everything was bigger in those days and the days were longer and the years passed by so slowly. In those days…
Speaking of VANILLA(!) yikes! The recent huge jump in price is sure a shock! We’re looking into buying beans and making our own by buying vanilla beans online. There are so many companies selling beans and vanilla and we’ve looked into buying them on eBay, too!
More later! So much to do around our home!
We sure enjoyed attending the Northwest House Church Conference and hearing a special guest, Beresford Job (and his family), from England. He has a site: House-Church.org which sheds a great deal of light on the original New Testament churches and what have become “traditions of men” today. More extensive links to various aspects of beliefs and the life of the body of Christ in the present day can be found at The New Testament Restoration Foundation website. So many topics … so many articles … so little time! There’s so much available for the encouraging and equipping of the saints: In-Depth Studies (“Equipping the Believer with a Theological Foundation”) website.