I slept very well last night...even got to sleep in..which is a blessing....not much coughing today but I feel tired and a little dizzy...evidently the cold settled in my ears. All is good though.....another good nights sleep should put me on the road to recovery.. I did cut out my Annie doll, poked the holes for the face on the pattern and marked it on the fabric so she is ready to sew.....soon as I get the energy to get the sewing machine together.....I don't have a place to set it up permanently so I keep it in the closet. I set it up at the kitchen table. I have some Ebay auctions closing in a day or so...one bid with a lot of watchers on the others..... My grandfather, James William Barrier, left behind a series of cassette tapes, describing his early life, he was born in 1886.....his father died when he was only 3 months old....his mother remarried but for some reason she did not raise him but he lived with his grandparents in a one room cabin...he never went to school, his grandmother taught him how to read, writing and math. As a young man, he did some cowboy work, and after he married my grandmother in 1908...he homesteaded in Montana, living in a tent through 3 Montana winters with 3 young children. My mother was born as the youngest in 1919 which by that time, the family had moved to Spokane, Wa. He and my grandmother lived through WWI and the Depression...had many struggles and victories which have inspired me greatly.
Why am I telling you this? Because if he had not made the tapes, no one would know... His many adventures would be lost to future generations.......
everyone has a story to tell....everyone...that is why I've been led to make these journal or memory jars which when used, promote recording that story, either in a written journal or on tape. I sell these in my store and on Ebay.... The above old photo is my grandpa, around 1905
well, had a huge coughing fit in the night....then slept for a few hours, it was so nice, warm and cozy...didn't really want to get up this morning but for some reason, my 19 year old son needs me to wake him up for work...he has always been like that, sleeps very heavily...so I am alarm clock mom....I once asked him if when he moves out, how he will wake up...he grinned and said, who's moving out? I think he intends on living here until he's 40. When pigs fly.....
Got a little bit of housework done, mainly putting away more Christmas things..when I got a huge mega headache so sat down for a while... a lot of congestion in my head..my youngest boy, Matt comes in and says, "I got just the thing, Mom", he gets this spray bottle of sinus spray, says..."hold your head back" at this point, I was willing to try anything...he squirts this stuff in my nose with a mega blast..
I was taken by surprise..it poured down my throat...I started coughing, he yells.."Mom,spit it out, quick".. too late..I swallowed it...it started burning throughout my sinuses.....I blew my nose, I gargled, I drank water, I coughed...he said..."guess I over did it, huh?" then he tries to get me to clear my throat and spit like he can..and demonstrates into the sink..sorry, son, I'm a girl, we just can't do that"...I've never been able to, but I really tried which I guess was really funny as he and my husband (who came in right when this was going on) started laughing ...I did forget about the headache!
...about an hour later, the burning ceased (thankfully), I got stomach cramps, and ran running to the bathroom....I don't know if it was a result of the flu, or ingesting sinus spray...or both... it is now evening, and time to sleep...I plan on doctoring myself with plenty of nyquil so perhaps the coughing will be subdued tonight...and the bathroom will get a break.... and Praise the Lord.....no alarm clock mom tomorrow! Its Sunday!
Third day of the flu..feeling better....not so much coughing and no fever....trying to pick up a little and get a few things done....my guys are not the greatest as far as cleaning goes..typical males...getting caught up with laundry and the dreaded cat boxes......think I will take a nap later though.....Alan has jobs today thankfully and one on Monday too....so far...hope we get more calls. I will make this post short but I've been playing around with the idea of making a Annie doll for some reason....coffee dyed some fabric and going to study a online how to... looks like it might be fun and I've got everything, no shopping needed...now if I have the energy to pull out the sewing machine.....sheesh I will put the link for the Annie how to on the side if anyone is interested..
well, my cold turned into the flu and I've been resting for two days...lots of coughing, body aches, slight fever, etc. the whole enchilada ...got up this morning early as I couldn't sleep, got my oldest son off to work, listed a few things on Ebay and fell back into bed, slept the rest of the morning....feel a little better now...
last night while I was battling coughing,in bed, the Lord reminded me of all the other people who were a lot worse off last night, so I started praying for everyone that He brought to my mind....couldn't believe how many there were..from mothers having difficult births, to people who were battling cancer..most of whom I didn't know...not in this country but all over the world....what was amazing to me was while I was praying, the coughing stopped and I was able to go to fall into a peaceful sleep. I wonder if the Lord wants us to pray like that more often?...we get so involved in day to day living, our own families, friends and problems....I wonder who will "stand in the gap" for those who have no one to pray for them...
Hope everyone had a great day yesterday...we had a very nice peaceful day...woke up late and had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and ham/toast....I wistfully remember the Christmases when the kids would wake up early and run into our bedroom, wake us up and jump on our bed, pouring over their Christmas stockings.....their eyes big and excited voices showing us the treasures that Santa had brought them.... They knew they weren't allowed to go downstairs until everyone was up so we'd bundle up in our bathrobes and head down the stairs, they'd peer over the railing to see all the packages under the tree..... after they opened them, we'd get dressed and drive over to my mom's for breakfast...she'd always have a Christmas apron on, and her kitchen would smell of hot coffee....her sister spent the holiday with her, my aunt so if we were lucky, Aunt Alyce would make her wonderful pecan rolls for breakfast.....we have a video we shot one year and I cherish the happy scene of Mama giving our little Matthew his first big teddy bear....the bear was bigger than him and he carried it around with his chubby baby hands, falling on it and laughing. Now the boys are teens, 16 and 19 (almost 20) and sleeping in is the norm....but they still want their stockings of course...not so many packages as when they were little and this being a very lean year just a few. Lots of laughter and we really had a nice day.....roast turkey with all the trimmings and two pies....ate too much..my brother called which was great..he and his family live in Ft. Worth, Texas...I hear from him about once a month or so.... We all feel a little tired this morning, and I woke up with a head cold or at least I think that's what it is.....didn't sleep well, kept waking up.....that kind of cold....lots of things to do today, boxes to break down, clean up, etc. but it will keep...Donny, our oldest went to work, he didn't want to go but did....he works for the Sun City K9 Dog Rescue full time......check the link on the left side to see the dog rescue, they can always use help, donations, etc. the owner is Elizabeth, who is 87 years old, she is an tiny amazing woman, tireless big spirit....
Just a short one today....its Friday, the Friday before Christmas...I made some blueberry muffins this morning for Alan as well as banana bread...all sugar free, of course...the muffins are very good.....I got the recipe from a old Betty Crocker cookbook, 1947 volume...and tweaked it some..... 2 cups flour 1 cup Splenda 2 t. baking powder sprinkle of salt mix this well together...then I usually get my big two cup measure and add 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/4 c. oil, 1 tsp vanilla I mix this together well then add it to the dry ingredients....mix just until blended, no more. Add about 3/4 cup frozen blueberries and some chopped walnuts, about 1/2 cup or so....I don't really measure, fold the berries and walnuts into the batter, I spoon the batter into my muffin tin.... I use the big muffin tins, sprayed with Pam and then bake in a 400 oven for about 20 minutes or until they are nicely browned. They smell so good and are tender/yummy......who says sugar free stuff is tasteless! The banana bread, we haven't tried yet, it looks good so will let you know...I've had mixed results in the past. I plan on making two sugarfree pumpkin pies, and a cherry pie for Christmas..
A Baby's Hug ~
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.
We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'
Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.
I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'
Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'
I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'
I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.
The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'
Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.
My sister in law sent this to me, I can't take credit for it but it struck me this week something about the Jesus movement that is not here now....nobody cared what a person wore, how they looked, ratty clothes, long hair, didn't matter..they were loved and accepted...it was who you knew that was important...Our wonderful Savior...
This is the other traditional recipe Alan fixes for both Thanksgiving and Christmas..its so good, I eat it as a snack....
there are no real measurements but this is what you do...
get about 3 bags of fresh cranberries...sort them out as there sometimes is a bad one.
use 1 large sweet red apple, a large sweet orange and some walnuts, how many is up to you..
get a food processor or grinder, grind the cranberries to a medium grind, then the apple,orange, then the walnuts.....combine together, sweeten this mixture with some sugar to taste, we use splenda or equal, and let it stand for a few hours in the fridge...simple but so so good and you can feel righteous about eating and serving it...pretty color too....I have a pink Depression glass bowl I usually serve this in..the pink and red relish look fantastic together.
For many years, Alan has made several goodies at Christmas time...we always wait for his cranberry/apple relish and his spicy pumpkin bread...unfortunately he can no longer enjoy the bread as he now has type II diabetes and really watches his sweets but he still enjoys baking it for friends and family so here ya go...
Alan's Famous Spicy Pumpkin Bread
3/4 cup butter 2 1/2 cups sugar 4 eggs 2/3 cup water 1 16 oz. can pumpkin 3 1/2 cups flour 2 t. baking powder 1 1/2 t. baking powder 1 t. cinnamon 1 t. cloves 2/3 c. chopped nuts 1/2 c. chopped maraschino cherries Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in pumpkin. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except cherries)..blend wet and dry ingredients together a little at a time...then stir in cherries. Bake in 2 greased (he uses Pam) loaf pans at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done...test with a toothpick, if it comes out dry its done..
this makes two big loaves...you can also split the batter up into smaller ones, for gift giving.
"Suppose you could give a gift to Christ, what would it be? How could you possibly select a gift for the One who not only has everything, but who made everything?
The Wise Men did. They can be an example to us. In addition to the gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they gave the Savior some gifts we can give him today: their hope, their time, and their worship.
The wandering wise men gave Jesus their hope. When everyone else saw a night sky, this small band of men saw the light. The sight of the star sparked a desire in their hearts that send them packing. They went, seeking Jesus.
When night comes to your world, what do you see? The darkness or the stars? Hopelessness or hopefulness? Sometimes, just as he did so long ago, God uses the darkness to reveal his stars--"The light shines in the darkness" (John 1:5). Give God your hope for Christmas.
While you're giving, give God your time. The wise men did. Before they gave God their presents, they gave their presence. It's likely that these men traveled as long as two years before locating the prince of heaven. Before that one incredible moment when they knelt before Jesus, the wise men spent many moments, months, perhaps years searching, in anticipation of that meeting. Just as the wise men devoted themselves to seeking the Savior, so can you: "You will seek him and find him when you seek him with all your heart" (Duet. 4:29).
And when they did find him, the wise men gave Jesus another gift: their worship. Men of wealth, influence, and intellect: what did they do when they saw Jesus? "...they fell down and worshiped him" (Matt. 2:11)
Worship. It's a gift that extends to the giver as well. Through worship, we come to see God more clearly. God invites us, through worship, to see his face so he can change ours. In worship, we simply stand before God with a prepared and willing heart and let God do his work. And he does. He wipes away the tears. He mops away the perspiration. He softens our furrowed brows. He touches our cheeks. He changes our faces as we worship. The wise men sought the child of God, just as God seeks his children. "The Father is actively seeking such people to worship him" (John 4:23).
The gifts of hope, time, and worship. Three gifts the wise still give."
I hope this next year I can give more hope, time and worship to the Lord..let God do His work in me and my family. I pray I can have a prepared and willing heart in whatever God has for us.
I thought I'd pass on a wonderful holiday (or any day) recipe that was handed down to me by my aunt...she was a wonderful cook...they would visit us many Christmases as they were "snow birds" and she'd always make the most wonderful deletable goodies...pecan rolls, cookies, and her famous Salmon Log....as well as bringing down some of their good canned fish that they had caught while fishing in Canada.... This recipe is for the Salmon Log...I have served this many times and everyone loves it...even those who don't really like salmon.. Salmon Party Log
1 large can of pink or red salmon, (remember to take out all the black skin, bones and such) 1 8z. package of cream cheese 1 T. of lemon juice 2 t. grated onion 1 t. horseradish mix this together well and form into a log..the log is usually about 7 to 8" long and about 2" across... then, mix together separately, 1/4 t. salt 1/4 t. liquid smoke 1/2 cup chopped pecans 3T. chopped parsley roll the log in this mixture until the outside is completely covered. Wrap the log in waxed paper (plastic wrap will stick to it) or aluminum foil and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. I like to serve this on a small platter with an assortment of crackers...you could trim the platter with cherry tomatoes for Christmas. Really nice for a buffet or to take to a potluck
The Glad Tidings Blog is now blooming and I am so blessed to be a part of it....in the last year, we have grown close and support one another in prayer and fellowship.
Even though we are far apart from each other physically, we are one in the Spirit....
We all have our different gifts and hope if you haven't seen the creations the ladies have made, please take a look...they are wonderful....each day, 3 of the ladies will show their wares, share what the Lord is doing and we pray it blesses those who visit.
we plan to have a little fun too with free patterns, recipes, etc. there is a free pattern offered this week....check it out! the link is on the right side, under the Blog listings..
While in London, the second trip, we enjoyed many of the sites and sounds of the city...it was the year of the Falkland war, and also the play "Evita" was the big London hit. One night while we were in the flat, we heard young people outside singing....."Don't Cry for Me, Argentina.." We discovered London plays and saw two, "Evita" which was absolutely fantastic and also "Little Foxes" with the still lovely Elizabeth Taylor. It was one of the last plays she did before she retired. More important than that, we went to Hyde Park and discovered speakers corner...its an area of the park set aside for public speaking, anyone can go, get up on a chair, box or whatever and say whatever they want. People drift by, listen, comment or not and go on. Very interesting place...while we were there, we heard someone with an American accent up on a box talking about salvation and Jesus...of course, we had to investigate....it was a Calvary Chapel pastor from LA! there were several hecklers in the crowd, as there always is, giving him a hard time...we both started praying quietly...the heckler got worse, started shouting rather rude and obscene things..no one noticed...we kept praying..when the heckler realized no one was noticing him, he walked away. Alan and I went over to the pastor and introduced ourselves. The pastor asked Alan if he wanted to speak, so he got up and talked about God's great love for each person there, how He longed to be in relationship and how sin had separated man from God,,how Jesus had laid down His life as a bridge between God and man and how we needed to repent and accept Jesus's death....very simple Gospel message....afterwards, he and I counseled several people on a personal level...while the pastor continued preaching....it was great...several wanted to come to church with us but we were unfamiliar with churches in London, didn't know where to go..when the pastor came over again, and told us about the Westminster Chapel, referred the others there as well. The next day was Sunday, so we found out where the church was and went. It was in an old old church building, we sat on one of the upper levels...beautiful organ music that filled the entire room. great worship, we couldn't help it, were so happy and thankful to find fellowship so far from home, we both lifted our hands and worshipped the Lord...the Calvary chapel pastor was there too with his family so here we were about 7 of us, in the upper level, in praise and worship..the only ones that were lifting hands, British people are more reserved. Guess who the guest speaker was? Arthur Blessit! our old friend from the Jesus people concert days... and guess what he spoke about.....praise and worship! we went down and spoke with him after the service...he said he noticed our group and knew we were from California....remembered the Oceanside Jesus People concerts.....
please pray for Britain...God has moved so much in her history, we visited the first Methodist church where the Wesley brothers started, the Salvation Army started there, they have a rich history however now as in most of Europe, the Church at a low point.. They have huge cathedrals, humble village churches, everywhere is reminders of what Britain used to be, ....Reivial is greatly needed.
Just read what I wrote yesterday....we did survive and God has blessed us much. We have always tried to be faithful and search the scipitures to check speakers, teachings, etc to see if they conform....if Mike and Bev had done that....things might have been different... anyway, that was over 25 years ago...... now for some fun stuff.. we were able to go to Great Britian twice, first in 1981 and again in 1983...the first time, my dear mom came along...my brother was stationed in Heathrow at the Air Force base and rented a apartment in a tiny village called Yoxford....the building he lived in was very old, he found writing on one of the walls, from 1617.It had been used for many things over the years, including a post office and a libary. we had to walk up very narrow stairs, the rooms were small but very cozy and warm. I loved it...his wife, Rose, greeted us with tea and biscuits served with pretty cups and a lace covered serving tray. All 3 of us were so amazed at the English countryside, the tiny village and the friendly people. We were like children, exploring and having such fun. One evening we walked down to the local pub, drank Woodpecker cider, and played darts. Another time,my brother took us to a larger pub in a adjoining village, and we had a pub lunch, prawns, chips, sliced tomatoes and baked beans. Chips are French fries. We took several trips to London, saw a lot of the regular tourist sites, the Wax museum, Buckingham castle and the changing of the guards, Wesminster Cathedral, Tower of London, etc. it was wonderful. My mom went a little nuts buying antiques and carrying them home...she mailed her clothes home and carried everything onto the plane or in the baggage compartment. Here's this tiny lady, carrying a pink mirror onto the plane, fortunately it fit in the overhead container. I have it, the mirror glass is actually pink. Its about 3' across...I think it may have been over a dresser at one time. The second trip, Alan and I went by ourselves....we had a month, so had a second honeymoon..rented a flat (apartment) in London, booked a lot of daytours outside of London, and got rail passes. The first day we got there, I went to bed as I was so tired from the long 16 hour air flight. Alan can sleep anywhere, but I just can't, not on a plane anyway. While I was sleeping, Alan walked across the street to Hyde Park and took photos. The apartment had a kitchen, with a tiny cooker (stove) and fridge. We went to the local grocery store and bought a few groceries...our first meal was in the flat, we roasted a chicken. Watched BBC, which was very bleak.....there was only 3 channels of TV...but we didn't care...we were in England! I will tell more about our trip in my next post....it was a more eventful trip than the first one although they were both great. I would love to go again.
at this time, in the mid 1970s to early 80s, there were lots of excess in some ways, and from this came a call for discipleship....there are many websites explaining and giving examples of the discipleship or shepherding movement. Unfortunately, or fortunately as it may be, I destroyed all my notes, tapes, etc. that we had after we got out so I personally can't quote directly....but if you do a Google search, there are many who have chronicled the teaching and times....in some ways, it started out very good....learning from older members of a church can be a good thing for a new Christian......however, it can also lead to abuse and control which is what happened. The name of the church was The Chapel of the Redeemer...although everyone referred to it as "the property". All the married older Christians that were in leadership, were given a few couples to disciple...you could choose in the beginning which leader you wanted to be "under"...we had 4 couples under us. We met once a week for Bible study, and prayer with our group...then we had a leadership meeting once a week with the other leaders to report any problems, prayers and concerns....everything worked fine for a while..but as time went on, we started suspecting things were not as they should be.
We were also getting a lot of flak because we had been married for several years and had no children....according to Bev. women were saved through childbirth ..if you couldn't or wouldn't have children, you were in sin or God was judging you for some sin in your lives. We went up for prayer many times, went to several doctors, and tried for many years to have a baby....spent lots of times in tears every month when nothing happened....nasty things were said to us. Bev studied and became a midwife..delivering several of the babies that were born. (In fact, years later, I went to the funeral of Mike, and there was a couple there that were on their 19th child...all single births. The mother who was close to 40 said she didn't know what she would do if she couldn't have children..).that was just one of the teachings we were dealing with. Mike, Bev and some of the deacons became more and more controlling, to the point, a father had to come to them if he wanted to buy something for his family like a new TV or car..several arranged marriages happened too....all the singles in the church were matched up.
Both of us had grown up in denominational churches with good Biblical backgrounds.Many of the others had not and were able to be swayed into this falsehood. Alan tried many times to talk to Mike about his concerns, but always got turned away or argued with. We were criticized for not going to some of the larger meetings that were held with other like-minded churches...we finally went to one where one of the big names in the movement spoke....when he came on stage, the whole congregation started praising him and lifting their hands to him, like worship....it sickened me and I feel a spiritual oppression I had never experienced before or since. this went on for some time, we really loved all of these people and didn't want to leave, were truly concerned for the welfare of them... our good friends, Kay and Joseph had wisely left earlier and encouraged us to leave but something just kept us there. Finally, it came down to a big meeting...Mike and the other deacons wanted to get a large loan and build a church building, school and meeting hall...it would have cost close to a million dollars...looking at the finances, Alan knew it wasn't possible and he voted against the loan. His was the only no vote.....after the meeting, there were actual physical threats made toward him. One of the deacons said if Mike had given the ok...he would have killed Alan. Looking back on this whole ugly mess, I am still shocked by it. That Sunday, Mike got up in front of the whole congregation and gave a message..at the end, he formally asked us to leave. That was the last time we ever saw him.
We were shell shocked for some time afterwards.....we started driving up to Van Nuys to the Church on the Way...walking into the church there was like arriving at an oasis in the midst of a very dry desert.....I sat in the pew, the sweet worship, music and ministry flowed over me and I was in tears...it was so nice to be home. We went there for most of the summer and then found another Foursquare church much closer to home.
That was one of the most difficult times in my/our lives...sometimes I feel like 10 years were taken from us for that is how long we stayed there. The Chapel of the Redemer is now gone...Mike and Bev have passed away (cancer). They never built their million dollar church...the property was sold and is no more...I think condos were built where the house was and the orange groves, garden, fruit stand are gone.
Today we woke up to rain and cooler temperatures....the wind was there too and our big old elm tree in the front yard was raining leaves...the lawn and the street are covered with them, soggy and golden against the black. Winter has come to Southern California. We don't have as cold as temperatures as you have in other parts of the country but we do have seasons, especially when you leave the coast.
The first year we moved here from the ocean, it snowed...so it does happen. The snow stayed on the ground for about a day or so. The kids had a great time, I took our youngest who was 14 , over into the low hills and we found a large group of kids sliding down the hillsides, making snowmen and having a wonderful time. We both kinda wish we could have moved up here sooner.....such a great area to raise children but circumstances were beyond our control, the Lord had His reasons....
Alan has gotten a lot of locksmith calls in the last 3 days, and he is now the official locksmith of another REO realtor....so we have 3 we are working with. Our business is slowly building up as word gets out. They all seem delighted to find someone local to do this work and want his business cards to pass around to other Realtors..... We both think this is the Lord's doing and we give Him the Glory...
its still tough financially but every month gets better.
Hopefully this can be an example of what is possible with faith. If you
get laid off, just look at it as a new opportunity.
Tomorrow, I think we are going to get into our Christmas boxes and start decorating..I re arranged the living room today and vaccumed really well, making room for the tree...our ceiling is very high there so we have a 12 ft prelit tree...so glad to get it too, for so many years, I was the official light person, remember hours of untangling and testing bulbs....my dad gave me the job when I was 12.
I will get back to the memories...the next part is a difficult one....the church, Mike and Bev took a different turn and things went sideways....we hung around not wanting to leave our church " family" perhaps we stayed too long but its getting late so that will be for another day. Plus we went to Great Britain twice which was and is very cool...
Just a note today.....this would have been my mom's 88th birthday...she passed away about 5 years ago....this photo is of her and my Grandpa in front of his bakery back in the 1930s...she was about 16 when this was taken.... I miss her a lot...we used to have such fun going to the mall, window shopping..she loved shoes and we'd troll all the shoes stores... I know she is with the Lord and in a better place now....here's to you, Mom! Love and miss you...
I've always loved Christmas.....especially now knowing what the day really means...the God came down and became a human to teach us how to live and redeem us back to Himself by His selfless sacrifice on the cross...how can it be He left the glory and light of heaven to become a tiny newborn baby in a humble barn? What great love! someone posted this in our Ebay group and it is so current...had to share
*Twas the month before Christmas* *When all through our land,* *Not a Christian was praying* *Nor taking a stand.* *The "politically correct police" had taken away,* *The reason for Christmas - no one could say.* *The children were told by their schools not to sing,* *About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things. * *It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say* *December 25th is just a "Holiday".*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit* *Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!* *CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod* *Something was changing, something quite odd! * *Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa* *In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.* *As Targets were hanging their trees upside down* *At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.* *At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears* *You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty* *Are words that were used to intimidate me.* *Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen* *On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!* *At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter* *To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.* *And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith* * Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded* *The reason for the season, stopped before it started.* *So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"* *Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.* *Choose your words carefully, choose what you say* *Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!*
Thought I'd take a break from the memories....the Christmas season is fast approaching...not a good time for us as this hasn't been a very successful year....Alan lost his job about 13 months ago, tried so hard to find another but with no success..he studied locksmithing and got his license this late summer and has been working for himself (and us) since....its a slow go but every month he makes a little more...this month he passed the $1,000 mark but we need more than that to make ends meet.
I opened my online store in hopes of helping this to be a better holiday and have been working hard to make his work and mine a success.
I have emailed, written and handed out 100s of flyers and business cards for his business and am advertising mine online in google, prim mart and other places in hopes of making sales.....I've always sold on Ebay and have a 100% feedback record but the fees cut into my profit too much. I've prayed about it and hope the Lord will give me the desires of my heart in making a profit doing crafting....if you are reading this, please check out my store on the link on the right.
the journal jars are a neat thing, I think.....sometimes its hard to know how to start a journal and this is a good jumping off place...there are over 100 questions in the jar....it is decorating in a primitive style but if someone would like it differently, I can do that too....I could do an all white glittery one or a garden themed one also...just about anything you would want. also the Katt family is a hoot and I can make any type Katt ......I have ideas for a chef Katt and a Christmas Katt too. I do embroidery work also and crochet.
Our youngest son is very stoic and says he doesn't want anything for Christmas as he knows we are financially strapped....he is 16 and a real trooper but I would sure like to get him something..he'd love the PS2 Guitar Hero II game..he has a guitar he paid for himself this year and loves to play. I think he is depressed about the whole situation and doesn't even want us to put up a tree or lights...
Our oldest son who is 19 works full time at a dog rescue place and has for the last almost 2 years...he pays us rent which helps and hasn't asked for anything either, but loves to decorate...he's been putting up lights at the dog rescue as its on a main street through town... good kids.....
both our kids are adopted which I haven't gotten to in the posts, yet...we went through quite a trial trying to have a family which might be helpful for others and I promise to get into it later if anyone is interested.
When we last left, my dad had just passed away........I was devastated and mourning deeply as I had been very close to both my parents.......turned to my pastor Mike but he didn't give me much comfort or counsel...in fact, it seemed as if he was very uncomfortable and didn't know how to deal with grief. Perhaps that is why I still have a hurt spot in my heart....I did take much comfort in my faith knowing that the Lord is faithful and Dad was with Him. Mom was heartbroken also and leaned on myself and my brother heavily. My brother had joined the Air Force and was married at 19 with a young daughter and a baby son.
Life went on......
in the late 70s, Mike and Bev outgrew their house as again, the neighborhood complained about all the traffic, meetings, etc going on so they sold their house, Bev's parents sold their house also and pooled their money. They bought a large piece of property out in the Oceanside valley with an orange grove, a fruit stand. one large house, and two smaller homes. By this time, I had quit working and worked full time for the church.....I first worked at a small thrift store they started, then worked at the fruit stand for several years and later at the small school they started in one of the large out buildings.....its was a commune, everyone who lived there, pooled their incomes and shared. We studied the book of Acts and tried to imitate the early Christians. We grew a very large garden on the property, had the orange groves , even had bees and extracted honey to sell at the fruit stand. There were about 50 families involved and as children started coming, a school was formed. There was lots of music always, fun and laughter as well as serious prayer and teaching going on at all hours. It was like being in a huge noisy family...as many of the young people had been on the street, Mike and Bev became like parents to them, something they had never known. At the time, famous evangelists, missionaries would come to rest and recoup.
If you are reading this, and have always wondered what it was like to live in a commune..feel free to ask!
This was a good time but like all good things, it didn't last.....I think human nature, and good intentions got in the way.
Subject: Heaven Heaven Written by a 17 Year Old Boy. This is excellent and really gets you thinking about what will happen in Heaven.
17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. "I wowed 'em," he later told his father, Bruce. It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote." It also was the last thing Brian ever wrote.
Brian's parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager's locker at Teays Valley High School in Pickaway County.
Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them, notes from classmates and teachers, and his homework. Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen's life. But it was only after Brian's death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven.
It makes such an impact that people want to share it. "You feel like you are there," Mr. Moore said. Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.
The Moore's framed a copy of Brian's essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it," Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. "I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him."
Here is Brian's essay entitled "The Room."
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived.
Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I have watched," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me.
One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.
And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room.
I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.
No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes.
Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.
Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, and so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."
I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
At the time, we were still going to the Methodist church and also going to meetings that Mike and Bev Bliss were having....Mike was a pastor also......the Royal Palms Jesus people group had broken up as the building had been sold.....many of the Royal Palms people were looking for a new place to fellowship and naturally went toward Mike and Bev. Their little house across from the church was filled most nights and the neighborhood started to complain...so they put their house up for sale and bought a larger one farther away in a newer neighborhood.
They also started Sunday services....so we kinda quit the Methodist church....not officially but I know now it wasn't the best thing to do but that is looking back 30+ years. I know we probably hurt the Kingsley's as they had been the ones who really been there for us and me...but that is what happened. I heard later they had gotten transferred to Arizona and even later that they had retired....Barbara passed away the last I heard....I would like to talk with Hal Kingsley if I knew where he was and thank him for all his faithful work and pray God blesses him richly.
Anyway....the year was a good one...lots of changes...more and more people would come to the meetings held in the Bliss home, lots of music, guitars, etc. lots of praise and worship..the simple
message of God's love and redemption.....so many came and went but there was always a core
group....we had huge potluck suppers once a week or so....and once a week they had a crafting night where everyone was invited to bring their creations and also to be able to teach others new crafts...I learned how to knit and taught others how to crochet...I still have a large crewel
scripture picture I did which Lawerence (Bev.'s dad) made a frame for.
the teaching was that women should be keepers of the home and submit to their husbands but it was practical too.....men were to also submit to their wives and be a spiritual covering for her.
no one was to lord over anyone else.....but all kneel before the Lord of all.
Unfortunately, in the years to come, this teaching was twisted but all was good for now.
we got a call from my mom about two years after we were married, that he suddenly had breathing problems, had gone to emergency and was admitted.....they had discovered cancer.
He had retired from the Marine Corp and was working at the Oceanside post office. We
rushed to the hospital to find him looking well but hooked up to a hose in his side, draining
fluid.......the doctors said the type of cancer he had, they had never seen before, it wasn't from
smoking (Dad liked an occasional cigar) and they didn't know where it was exactly...inside the
cavity around the lungs somewhere, not in the lungs. At that time, Agent Orange was still
an unknown factor.....veterans were just starting to experience the effects of exposure.
Cancer treatment wasn't very advanced. The only treatment they had was chemotherapy
which in the coming months made him sicker and sicker. He would slowly recover from the
therapy, then his lungs would fill up again, he had to go get them drained over and over again...
this lasted about a year....he lost a lot of weight.
He had always been a Christian...and as the months went on, spent hours studying the Bible, praying and preparing himself and us for his passing....there was a Billy Graham meeting on TV and he recommitted himself to the Lord while watching it. His pastor from the Methodist church would come weekly and pray with him. Alan and I came over as often as we could and I was there that evening, the last evening on this earth that he had, kissed and hugged him then went home. Mom called late in the night saying he has passed away in his sleep. He was only 59.
this was in 1977.
As I type this, tears are running down my cheeks....this was over 30 years ago and still I miss him. Love is truly eternal.....and we have the sure HOPE of being together again as Jesus said
"I am the Resurrection and the Life".
That's all for now, I think.
We were engaged for a year......he didn't have much in the way of material goods, so for an
engagement ring, he gave me his high school class ring which I wore around my neck on
a chain....later, some good friends of ours, took the class ring and Alan's best friends Marine
Corp ring, melted them down and made me a nice gold wedding band.
Speaking of Alan's best friend, his name is Joseph. He was involved in the Royal Palms
ministry with Bob Selby....I had met him at the meetings...he had been gloriously saved.
My best friend Kay whom I have spoken about before started going out with him, and a few months after we were married , they were married......Joseph was Alan's best man and Kay was my maid of honor along with Sandi, who was my matron of honor (she had gotten married to a
military man). Bob Selby ended up marrying Joseph's twin sister, Maria. Joseph's family were Hungarian emmigrants.
During our year, all four of us would go picnicking in the mountains and do other things together. I know once we went to Knotts Berry Farm.
Mom and I prepared for the wedding, Rev. Kingsley married us. My folks were a little worried
about the expense but I have always been the frugal practical sort....it was the time of the
granny dresses and such...Mom and I went into this little boutique and I found the perfect long
granny dress, it was off-white with long sleeves trimmed in heavy white lace, with a white lace
collar...and best of all, it was only $20.00. We had a veil made up and shoes dyed to match the dress.....the colors were burgundy and pink and it was an afternoon wedding. There was a light lunch planned that was catered by a friend of my dads and we did have a photographer. I think the whole wedding probably cost my folks about $600 total.
The cake had three tiers all white with two entwined white doves on the top. The flowers were baby pink roses with burgundy ribbons. They didn't have silk flowers yet or I would have gone that route.
I remember my mom said she wanted to treat me to a day of beauty...I got my long hair done in a up fancy hair do, got my nails done, pedicure, the whole nine yards...I felt like a princess.
We had about 50 guests, many people from the church, friends and family...small by todays
standards but just right for us.......
The wedding progressed fine, my dad was going to walk me down the aisle and I couldn't find him...finally there he was at the back of the church behind a post, watching everything with a
odd look on his face...I whispered, "Dad", he came attention, took my arm and off we went.
When I got up to the front, and turned to Alan, he was in tears......I leaned into him and asked
what was wrong, he whispered, "my mom and dad are here..!" I turned and there they were
on the front pew.....they had flown out from Iowa for a surprise. He hadn't seen them in several
After the wedding, cutting of the cake, photos, etc. we drove over to his little house, now our little house, and changed clothes .
Then we drove up to Santa Barbara for our 3 day honeymoon...that is all the time off we
could get from our jobs. We also went up to Solvang, Ca, a Danish community.
The date? Dec. 1, 1973.
and yes, we are still happily married, as well as Joseph/Kay, and Bob/Maria. We will be celebrating our 34th anniversary very soon.
Across the street from the Methodist church, a new couple moved in......Mike and Bev...they were a very charismatic couple that kids naturally gravitated to......they were Christians, and often let young people live with them as well as they had several of their own children...Mike was a musician and a pastor, played the guitar and there was always lots of praise and singing in their home....much joy and laughter Kay and I would visit occasionally and met a lot of new people.....went to a few Bible studies there too and met a guy who would lead the studies frequently....I thought he was a older guy, soft spoken and good looking with blue eyes and blond hair. He was really on fire for the Lord and spoke with strong conviction...I remember he and Bev were talking about a trip he was going on and she asked if Sharon was going with him....he said no, not this time..I thought Sharon may have been his wife or girlfriend and didn't think anything more about it. EASTER I was in the church choir and we rehearsed for weeks on the Easter Cantata .....I and an older man had solos, I remember our voices sounded good together, his was a deep older baritone and I am a alto soprano .....my part was of John the Baptist..."A voice calling in the wilderness..prepare ye the way of the Lord'... Easter Sunday morning, the cantata was going well, I got up to do my solo, was singing, looking across the congregation and saw the same young man watching me from a back pew. Rather surprised as he didn't normally go to our church, I continued and finished my piece. After church, as I was walking to my car, he (Alan) approached and told me how much he enjoyed the cantata and my singing....that conversation lasted about 3 hours..we just clicked and when I went home (finally) I felt like I had known him all my life.I discovered Sharon was his sister! Also discovered that he had been at all the meetings, Kings Hacienda, Royal Palms, the parade, the bonfire, the free concerts, etc. the whole time but we had never met. He started going to the Methodist church as did Mike, Bev and their family...also Lawrence and Alice, Beverly's parents. We saw each other at the church often but Alan never asked me out......found out later he was just a shy person around girls.....Alice would encourage him to sit by me as she knew he liked me...this went on for some time....until he finally asked me to a musical concert at the college..he pulled up in a Cadillac....he had borrowed it from Mike.....and also brought along Mikes teenage daughter (!!) We 3 went and had a nice time....this was an afternoon concert.....after that first "date" we would go out more often (without the teenage chaperon), usually to concerts, Bible study, take drives and talk, an occasional movie....once we went to the zoo.....no kisses but an occasional hug... finally after 3 months as we were saying good night at my parents house ( I still lived at home) as he stood looking at me for a period of time, I just leaned over and kissed him....(figured enough is enough)...he was surprised but kissed back...and left. The next day, I was teased but told Mike and Bev what had happened and they laughing teased Alan about it...after that incident, he started coming over every night to our house, just to hang out, watch TV and talk....we'd go out occasionally but it was a quiet courtship....he was 23 and I was 22 at the time....... Then one Sunday evening, after church, he proposed on a full moon outside a little guest house he had rented down the street from my parents house. I told him" I'd think about it", literally ran home and talked to my mother. Both of my parents liked Alan, but wanted (of course) to be sure he was the right person for me.......we prayed about it, and the next afternoon, when he came over as he always did, I told him, "Yes!"
Well, when I left you, I was working, going to all these meetings, + church on Sundays...... I went to the local community college, then it was called a junior college...I never knew exactly what I wanted to do, thought about teaching or librarian science.....still rather shy but I did run and get on the student body board for a year......got involved in the Christian club on campus, called the KoinoniaKlub.......we held prayer meetings once a week and somehow got away with putting up huge posters in the student lounge of scripture illustrated by my dear sister (in spirit), Kay, advertising our club and the meeting times....each week we did a different theme, like salvation, the creation story, Noah's ark, etc......got a lot of attention for sure and controversy...which was a good thing and made for some interesting conversations in the lounge. I met a lot of different types of people, atheists, veterans, Christian science, hippies, etc. I think the Lord moved and helped me to become less shy, more self-confident, and grounded in scripture. I've always been a very sensitive, intuitive person, and can relate to others well which has both helped and hurt me depending on the circumstances..... I graduated from the community college in 1972, my grades were not the greatest so no scholarships, and not knowing what I really was supposed to do at the time, got a full time job at the Camp Pendleton PX in the men's department. Dealing with the military was a no brainer for me, being a Marine Corp brat.....I was very comfortable and enjoyed helping inventory/order the ribbons and metals for the men. I was still going to all the meetings but soon things were going to change.....
I am so excited! I opened an online store yesterday and already got a sale! how cool is that? Its very early days but its encouraging......I plan on getting a good banner, better template, etc as I can afford it.....Ebay is getting too expensive for us little folk...their fees hurt! I will still list things occasionally just to keep my hand in but I think a little store is the wave of the future...
I've always loved sewing, and crafting...my grandmothers on both sides were creative people as well as my mother..my mom and grandma taught me to embroider and my paternal grandmother was the big crafter....she made all sorts of things out of recycled materials...she would gather seeds, pine cones, nuts, etc. and do things with them....she made each family a pine cone wreath which
I still have. I didn't realize until late in her life that she knew all sorts of natural cures, etc. and every herb, weed, plant in the forest that had uses. Come to find out her greatgrandparents had
taught her many old folk remedies when she was a girl.....and they had been born not too much
after the Revolutionary war....can you believe it?
During the 70s at a church we attended, we had a night where crafters got together and taught
each other new things...say you wanted to learn to knit, you could get someone there to show
you how....I learned to knit as no one in my family did that....knit some bedroom slippers....we also
brought along any projects we were working on and did them together...it was fun and
I think now people do similar things with scrapbooking....
I am into the primitive look right now and have made a whole selection of bakery items. Hope
you will take a peak at my auctions and I am thinking seriously about my own website where
I would take orders.....
I also do embroidery and love redwork..crochet, and most general crafts..also like making our
own greeting cards....
Family memories are so important and shouldn't be lost....I started making memory jars. and will have them on my store to order........an easy way to start journaling and I was also thinking if you were giving this is an older person who didn't want to write, you could
have a tape recorder and ask them the questions...later transcribe in in a family journal
would be great with photos, clippings, etc. something that could be passed down.
I have a tape of my grandfather, telling of his early days as a cowboy, his grandparents/
family and the Depression years....
I've been trying to remember the early days.. can't quite remember how I heard about the Jesus People meetings but somehow started going to one in Carlsbad, Ca. It was held at a place called the Royal Palms which was a luxury hotel undergoing remodeling...no one was staying there as it was being renovated and was for sale.. the owner was friends with the pastor who was running it. Our meetings were held on Wednesday evenings in one of the small meeting rooms. Bob Selby was the main leader......we usually started out the meetings with prayer, he would read scripture and teach, then we'd pass a KFC bucket around for offerings, lots of singings and guitar playing...then more prayer ...if anyone had a special need, they were brought into the center circle and we'd lay hands on them for prayer... there were healings and such.....testimony time and then more singing....the last part of the evening was an altar call for anyone to accept Jesus..many people came forward each week and the movement grew. Another place we had similar meetings on Fridays nights was at The Kings Hacienda in San Clemente....the leader there was named Bob also but neither of us now can remember his last name.....he knew a lot of groups from the Costa Mesa Calvary Chapel and they would come down occasionally to play. I especially liked Love Song. Calvary Chapel speakers, including Chuck Smith would occasionally come.
"Theologians would make appointments with Pastor Chuck asking him what was the secret formula to the success of Calvary Chapel? Chuck would smile that big contagious smile and say, "Jesus!"
Arthur Blessit came several times. The meetings were generally like the other..lots of singing, worship, a short message and lots of prayers with an altar call...the movement grew with new people coming in weekly......we would do street witnessing on Saturdays. With the Vietnam war still raging, there were lots of new recruits in Oceanside and many became believers. We also held free concerts at the Oceanside Rec Center which is still there. These were about once every few months....there would be several Calvary Chapel bands come and there would be lots of witnessing, counseling going on afterwards and before. The rec center would be filled with standing room only. and its a big big rec center that seats about 1,000. Oceanside has a Fourth of July parade every year and the Royal Palms group one year entered a float....it was our biggest project ever.... everyone helped build a giant hand pointing towards a giant Bible on the back of a big flatbed truck.....we all walked beside the truck and gave out tracts to anyone who would take one. My husband Alan helped build the float, was at the meetings but we never met until later. He also says he has some photos of this time and the float so perhaps we can get them posted when he digs them out. Looking back, I think the main thing about this time was all the prayer...there were no special programs, skits, just the plain unvarnished simple message of Gods love and lots of prayer. We had water baptism many times in the ocean... one night, a special night, there was a huge bonfire held on the beach.....we all threw in the fire all of the worldly things that we had given up....drugs, cigarettes, booze, porn, etc. were thrown in the flames..I threw in my tarot cards, and occult books..and as these things were thrown in, the person would give their testimony... believe me, it was very cool. I will remember it all my life. So I was going to both meetings, Wednesday, Friday and the Methodist church on Sunday, plus the church youth group....going to the community college and working part time at the mall...busy girl... this was about 1971.
Before I go any farther, another memory came up...during this time, we went to our annual family reunion and two of my cousins were there, Susie and Tom..I talked to both of them about the Lord but Susie was just engaged to a Korean man and was converting to Buddism. she didn't want to talk about the Lord at all but went on and on her wonderful man, their life, etc. Tom asked a lot of questions.....and we really had some good talks, he didn't understand about Jesus dying for our sins, and being the bridge to God the Father.. after the reunion, we wrote back and forth for months.....he got into some trouble, nothing serious but it was God nudging him towards Himself.. he wrote me that he had accepted the Lord, was going to church and bible study... Year later, when we were married, we drove up to Portland, Oregon where he lived with his then wife in an old Victorian house..had a great time with them..they were trying to have a family at the time., went to church with them, a church called Bible Temple. then years passed again with no word.....I got an email from my aunt saying Tom's son had died as a young man...so sad...a rare cancer.....Tom was divorced and he had remarried. Then out of the blue, he called, wanting to come down and visit us....we met and he remembered all the letters I had written, said he had kept them all. I found out he had become a pastor of the same church they had been going to when we visited so long ago. His first wife didn't want to be a pastor's wife with the responsibility and had found someone else. He struggled with the divorce, and went to the congregation. He offered to step down but they loved him and wouldn't let him...time passed. He met and married a beautiful woman who stands by him in his ministry. They are true partners His sister, Susie, was a single mom, with two children, divorced and questioning..no longer a Buddhist...she has estranged herself from the family, perhaps ashamed..she is walking a rocky road.
Two roads....sometimes there are times in life when one is faced with choices that can follow you all your life...these times come upon us sometimes suddenly and we only have a second to choose. Two roads ...no one knows the future, but God who is at the beginning and at the end. the Alpha and the Omega, the A and the Z....... "Two roads to choose, the rocky road or the Kings Highway Choose before the Savior comes the road to Glory or the rocky one"
Rev. Hal as he became to be known and Barbara were overjoyed that their patience and prayers had been answered......and went to work nurturing us in bible principals and encouraging
us.....this did cause in a rift in the group as there were some kids that resisted but such a bond had been formed that they remained for quite a time afterward.
At the time, Teen Challenge was a big deal...Bill Bright and others had written the Four Spiritual Law pamphlet which had been printed and handed out to thousands. Kay, others and myself went to the Lake Arrowhead Christian retreat for a week. I didn't have enough money to go but someone at the church paid my way. There we were taught by Bill Bright and others about evangelism, basic principals, etc,. I don't remember any specifics but one thing that stands out was that one evening we wrote out a private list of all of our sins and then stood outside in a circle and threw the lists in the fire....realizing that the Lord had forgiven and forgotten them. We were new creatures. we enjoyed the hot springs that were there and as this was right after Christmas they took bus loads of us to the Rose Parade to do street witnessing. I am naturally a shy person and don't like confrontation.....Kay and I teamed up, gave out a few tracts and talked to a few people...then watched the parade..... afterwards we went back to camp, and they had a meeting with people giving their experiences......I didn't say anything and felt a little shamed..they then pushed people to sign up for overseas ministry which I wasn't interested in and had us all sign up to pray for countries overseas also.
Looking back on the whole week, it was kinda of a mixed bag...we were new believers and not ready to take on the world but it was a good experience all in all. A few weeks later, Kay, Sandi (my other good dear friend) and I decided we wanted to be baptized by emerson according to the scripture. The Methodist church didn't have a pool or anything, they baptize by touching with water....but we insisted so Rev. Hal called another church that had such a pool and all 3 of us were baptized there.
soon afterwards things started to move at a faster pace, the year was 1971 and the Jesus Movement was racing towards Oceanside, the Methodist church and our little youth group.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled." Matthew 5:12
Hal and Barbara were a young couple with 3 children, two boys and a little girl
with "Shirley Temple" long blond ringlets......
she became the darling of the church, at such a young age...I think she was
3 or 4, she gave her testimony about the Lord, and sang hymns. I'd never
seen anyone so excited about the Lord, ever before.
Rev. Hal ran the teen youth group after that, and
he soon came to the reality that the group was really a social club. None of us
really had a serious relationship with God...in fact, just the opposite in some
cases.....so he patiently started with the basics and prayed....a lot and waited.
He got the us kids to do some community activities for the church, I remember
we helped at the annual pancake breakfast, he gave Bible studies, and listened
to us. Some of the kids came from abusive and troubled families...one of my
dear friends came to school with black eyes from her dad. some of the kids had
alcoholics at home. and yet they came to church and no one had listened before.
This in itself was startling to us...and life changing.....
We had a lot of questions....and the Spirit of God worked among us.....
There was a camping trip scheduled and we all went. We played a game..Capture
The Flag....and generally had a good time. I fell asleep in the back of one of the
trucks that a counselor had.......sometime in the night, I was woke up by the sound
of cowboy boots. My best friend, pulled herself onto the flatbed and proceeded
to throw up. Found out some of the boys had brought Red Ripple wine to the
camp out...she was so so sick...this woke up the counselors. of course, we went home
the next morning, early, and had to face Rev. Kingsley.
I have never seen anyone so disappointed as he and his wife were.....I felt really
bad and I hadn't drank! My friend felt worse, the boys shrugged it off and the Spirit of
One Sunday evening, he brought in some little pamplets ...remember in an earlier
post I spoke about the Four Spiritual Law? well, it showed up again..and we
read it....really read it...and one by one we started making the decision to follow Christ.
I didn't right away....part of me fought it....the part that liked the occult. There was a
real spiritual struggle going on.
My dear friend read the pamplet and prayed to accept the Lord into her life.....I knew it and felt
this huge burden...she and I talked...she told me she couldn't be my friend anyone if I didn't
come forward too and that she was praying for me.........that really hurt....I came away
feeling burdened, and that evening, kneeled beside my bed, prayed and asked Jesus into
my life .......the burden was lifted....this wonderful awesome peace and the presence of
God filled my heart, I started to cry...YES! the search had ended and God won.
The next day, I told her, I told the Kingsley's...I told my family, I told my brother, I told everyone who would listen...Jesus is alive!
Our family went to the county fair and while there, a young girl came up to me and asked if I had ever heard of the Four Spiritual Laws.. .she read a little pamplet to me and as I listened, something stirred within me...I prayed with her and asked for more information...she gave me her address and as I walked away, I felt a peace come over that I hadn't felt before.
I was so excited, that Sunday went to church but everything there was the same...the same tired choir, the same dry sermon..and as the weeks went past..... .the peace and excitement I felt died away... I wrote to the girl who had spoken to me and she wrote back that I just needed to get into a good church...but at 14, not driving and no one to really talk to about the change in my life ......the little spark just slowly died away.....
Soon after my dad was stationed again, at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corp base and we moved to Oceanside California... this was the time of the Vietnam War. My dad got orders to go overseas for deployment.... he was in his late 40s by this time and became a agent in ( then) Da Nang buying supplies for the troops... he had an office downtown, lived in a government apartment and would walk to work every morning. He told us about the Agent Orange the government had sprayed on all the trees downtown and how he had to walk through the spraying... .we didn't know it but the exposure would eventually lead to his death some years later...
We started going to the South Oceanside Methodist church ....the pastor was an older man, and his wife was ill... they lived in the parsonage behind the church..... he was a good man at the end of his ministry and nursing his wife took up much of his time...... I prayed so often that I would be led to people who were really serious about God but the time wasn't yet right...I taught 3rd grade Sunday School and got involved in the youth group... spent the next two years or so, completely high school, going to church, working as a nanny summers for a mom with two girls. Always liked children and worked them not only at church but by doing baby sitting and the nanny thing...
Dad came home the year I graduated from high school... he wasn't there for the graduation but soon afterwards. He was a changed man, from being outgoing and involved with his children, he was quiet, and withdrawn from his family... .there was no counseling or help then like there is today...he would talk for hours about Vietnam, until we could hardly stand it and then shut down and sit in the living room staring at the walls...it was a hard time.
I started going to the local community college (it was called a junior college then) started experimenting with a spirituality that was not familiar to my family...the occult. This was the time of Woodstock, the Age of Aquarius, etc. I learned how to palm read, read Tarot cards, astrology, etc. Got to church on Sunday and do astrology readings on Monday...it seemed to fill the void at the time but there was an emptyness still in the still small moments. I started experimenting with smoking also and bought little sweet tasting cigars that I smoked in the student lounge...this didn't last too long as I got tired of smelling like a cigar.....one of my professors commented on it so I quit...think I did that about 3 or 4 months is all. There was a lot of pot smoking around campus...but I knew if I got involved in it, my parents would have been disappointed and didn't want to disappoint them. I didn't date much...I had the same boyfriend through high school but we broke up before graduation....was asked out a lot but was very picky about who I went out with...a good thing looking back on it.. AND THEN.... our pastor retired and a new pastor came to our church.... .Reverend Harold Kingsley and his wife Barbara.....they were different..... ..really different.
As I grew up, the 60s came and I put a link in explaining that period of time much better than I could. Dad was stationed in Barstow, California as manager of the PX and they bought a new home. We all enjoyed desert living and us kids loved going out into the desert to explore the fossil beds, lava beds, and Calico ghost town. Dad would take us out to shoot his 22 rifle at cans and such too. We had a little VW bug and we'd go looking for Indian paintings, fossils and semi-precious stones, we had a calico cat named Rose Bud, a English bulldog named Sgt. Smedley ( we called him Sarge) and a desert tortoise who lived in our backyard and dug a big hole to live in. It was a very happy time for our family but darkness came too. Dad's assistant manager was killed by a coworker who was angry about being chewed out at work....that was bad enough but the worse was yet to come my good friend had a lot of problems with her mother...poor little Susie was a tiny girl, slight of build, with blond hair...her dad was a long distance truck driver and her mom took in laundry for extra money...her mom was very hard on her, Susie had a older brother who still lived at home. Her mom would beat her and she would come to school with bruises and black eyes..then one day she didn't come to school at all.....she and her mother went missing....the sheriff's department went looking for them and they eventually found Susie's body buried in the desert. The sheriff went to their house, searched the property and found the mother buried in their backyard and the older son gone. He was eventually found and the whole story came out....the mother had gone into Susies room while she was sleeping and killed her by stabbing her with a knife ...she then drove out into the desert and buried her. The brother wondered where his sister was, was told she was staying with a friend...the next night, he woke up to find his mother over his bed with the same knife, there was a fight and he killed his mother in self defense...being a kid, he panicked and buried her in the backyard and took off with the family car. His dad came back and found his son in jail and his family gone. to make a long story short...the boy was released. He and his dad moved away and I don't know what happened after that... I will always remember Susie as a sweet good girl who was lots of fun but always sad. They figured the mother was mentally ill for for some time. All of these occurrences came at a time when I really started the search for meaning......the quest that we each go through in life to find out who we are and why we are here. I knew I believed in God.....He had been part of my life since I was little but I wanted to know Him....I felt an alone empty feeling inside that needed to be filled but I didn't know how....in church, in Sunday school, I asked but didn't get a satisfactory answer...and I wanted answers. I wanted answers NOW.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
The first funeral I ever went to was my paternal
grandfathers.....all I remember is gathering at
the funeral home, everyone wearing dark colors
and sitting with my parents, my
grandmother, and other family members behind
a curtain...they wanted me to go down to say
goodbye to Grandpa but I didn't go.....I never
really knew my paternal grandfather...he was
always very quiet and usually just sat in his
rocking chair by their fireplace....found out
later, he had been kicked by a horse
(he was a farmer) years before and
had brain damage...Grandma had to support
them afterwards by selling off their land,
and renting the top part of the house...she
also was a piano teacher...
They had always struggled financially,
my dad said he had been embarrassed to
bring my mother over to meet his family..
they had lived in the barn as the house had
burned down. He said he slept up in the hay
loft and woke up many mornings with icy
sheets and blankets.
Their house was on about a acre of land.
They had fruit trees, and berry bushes....
us cousins used to go out to pick berries
for dessert and ended up eating more than
we picked usually but Grandma didn't
seem to mind. She wasn't the greatest cook
but there was always plenty. I remember
lots of Velvetta cheese and macaroni..spam,
that kind of cooking..nothing gourmet about it...
...we had fun making homemade ice cream at family get togethers, each taking a
turn at the crank.
Grandma had learned to make do all her life and taught us
how to recycle before it became popular......for quilts,
she would go to the thrift stores and buy old clothes,
she would use the fabric in them for the blocks.
She gathered pinecones, seed pods, etc. and made each
family a candle wreath...I still have the one she made us,
hanging on the wall...this was before glue guns...
she used lots of Elmers glue
and it has held up well.
for the backing of the wreath, she used old cardboard
off a box and wired the cones onto it.
I got my love of crafting from her and she inspired me in many ways.
She was a stanch Methodist and I came to learn our family had been Methodists
since the time of John Wesley...she grew up when Methodists didn't play cards,
or do anything on Sundays not related to church....she would never drink or gamble,
and kept the Sabbath.
She played the piano and organ at church as well as sang in the choir.