Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Kingsley's

"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 fact, just the opposite in some 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 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
God worked.

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!

and the journey was just starting

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Search

"But they that wait upon the Lord..."

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 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 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 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
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..
our pastor retired and a new pastor came to
our church....
.Reverend Harold Kingsley and his
wife Barbara.....they were different.....
..really different.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Seek the Lord while he may be found…

Isaiah 55:1-9

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
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 church, in Sunday school, I asked
but didn't get a satisfactory answer...and I wanted answers.
I wanted answers NOW.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

First Funeral

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.
Psalm 23

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.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

San Diego

San Diego
My dad was in the Marine Corps, he had enlisted the day after Japan
bombed Pearl was a good fit for him.....
after the Korean War he was stationed in San Diego. He was the manager
of the PX......San Diego was a small military town in the 50s...
we had a nice little two bedroom house on a (then) dead end street
with a large backyard that overlooked Mission Bay in Point Loma...

Mom stayed home with us kids...most mom's did in the 50s....
I always had a close relationship with her....she was a great mom.....
we'd go downtown to shop on the bus (we only had one car which
Dad took to work), which was a big event for a little girl...
look through the department stores, and have lunch at a diner with a
soda fountain....

I started school kindergarden there and walked to school every day
at age 6. Can't imagine letting a 6 year old walk to school now but
remember this was a different era....I remember counting the tall
palm trees on the way to school that lined the road.....
I remember the classroom had a entire store where
if we were especially good, we were allowed to play in.....
they had shelves of pretend food goods and a cash register.
..I remember getting into trouble once for talking and having to
sit in the corner with a pointy hat, a dunce cap. Also remember
having nuclear war and earthquake hiding under
your desk would help in a nuclear attack...duh....
but it was good to know for earthquakes, I guess....

Mom would always try to make me wear very "girly" clothes... was the time of the poodle skirts, petticoats, mary jane
black patent leather shoes, gloves and hats for church, etc.
I hated it....especially the stiff petticoats.....
she had to struggle to get me dressed up and
I am sure it was frustrating to wash my long hair.....I would hide
under the bed..she'd have to pull me the time I started
kindergarden, she gave up and sat me in the kitchen, and cut away. kindergarden photo shows me grinning in triumph with my
chopped off hair and usual dress was shorts and a
tee shirt, running around the streets barefoot...and yes, we had t
shirts in the 50s. I am sure to my mother, I was a disappointment
, I think she dreamed of a lady like little girl, all pink and bows...
she was always giving me perms and try to make me look like
Shirley Temple....fat chance of that happening...

I did like to play with dolls and my favorite was a
Tiny Tears that sadly has fallen apart......My favorite TV shows
that we watched on a small square screen, black and white of course.
..was Captain Kangaroo, Bozo the Clown, Looney Toons cartoons,
especially Popeye, and Disney- Daniel Boone, Zorro which came
on Sunday nights.
Everything changed of course, when my brother was born........
I don't remember being told about him before he was born..
although mom and dad said they did, I guess it didn't make an
impression. I just remember staying overnight with our neighbor
and them telling me to go home. I was playing and didn't want to go
but did, remember mom and dad saying they had someone to
introduce me to...went into their bedroom and there laying in
the middle of their bed, all swaddled up was this little baby...
.I shugged and went back out to play.....when I came in later
from playing and the baby was still there, it started to sink in...

I realized the kid was there to stay and I had to start sharing
which I wasn't very excited about...6 years of attention down
the drain or so it seemed to me...I suppose my parents
thought I'd be delighted with a baby brother.....not exactly...
we are ok now of course, but I gave him a hard time as
sometimes older siblings do to younger ones.....
Other memories of San Diego
Falling down the hillside at the end of our street, climbing my way
back up and grabbing upwards to put my hand in a cactus, running,
crying home to have dad get the tweezers and pull about 1,000
stickers out of it, or so it seemed...
Dad using his binoculars to see the drive in movie that was below us
.....they were showing a James Bond film.

Our three Siamese cats catching gophers in
the yard....gophers were my dad's nemesis...he would invest in
all sorts of traps, gadgets, poisens, etc. with little positive results...
.finally resorted to the 3 cats....
...they were a natural killers and dispatched the critters in no time....
eating every part but the little tails that they proudly placed
on the patio steps for display...

Dad and his cousin Bill (we called
him Uncle Bill) having fun at Christmas time, using my brothers
new pogo stick on the patio and falling against the plate glass
living room window breaking it and one got hurt.

My mom leading me in prayer every evening, going to the
Methodist Sunday school and church.....Brownie meetings....
.visiting my friend Leslie who came from a wealthy family,
knocking at the front door and being told I had to go to
the servants entrance in the back,...I never realized
we were poor until I visited her. I asked my mom if
we were and she said no, Lesie was the one who was
poor. Leslie parents invited me to a picnic and I went.getting
several gifts while parents found out later it was for
under priviledged children and that was that...said
I couldn't go over there anymore......I've often wondered
what happened to her...

We also went to this wonderful place called Disneyland in
1956..... I have a photo somewhere of me standing next to
the cigar store Indian on main street.I got some Mickey
mouse ears and wore them after that every time Disney
was on TV, especially for the Mousekeeters.

Watching speed boat races at Mission beach, playing in the sand.
I had a little phonograph and records...remembering the
Teddy Bear Picnic song word for word and The Rubber Tree song.
.....also I remember the introduction to the Superman TV show
.."Look up in the sky, its a bird, its a plane...NO! ITS SUPERMAN!"
Life was good.
The last thing that happened at our little house in San Diego
that I recall was we were all in the front yard when a telegram came
....all it said was "Dad is gone, Mom", my paternal grandfather
had passed away. This was in 1958.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Eagles Wings

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they
shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be
weary; they shall walk,
and not faint. Isaiah 40

What is the first thing that you can remember? My very first memories are of
walking on a beach with my mom and dad, feeling the crunch of sand
beneath my bare toes,
the sound of sea gulls and the roar of the waves. I think I was about
2 or 3. I had a little red sand pail and shovel.
Grandma and Grandpa were there too. There
was a long pier with a carnival on it or so it seemed....
I remember a carousel with horses, giraffes, and other animals
going round.
This was probably around 1953. A good time to be a child.

My parents had met back in the 30s and married in 1939. They were
married ten years before I came along, war years..then 6 years later,
my brother was born in 1956.....

I was born in China Lake, California where my dad was stationed. Not too many people have heard of China Lake, there is not much there, except for the military base. My parents had tried for several years to have a family. When they moved to the China Lake housing, they went to the NCO club one evening, an older GI was talking with them and told them that within the year, they'd have a baby girl...well, I don't know if he was a prophet but his prediction came true and I was born, Feb. 1951...a year from the date he said. The day I was born, it rained. Rain is a blessing in the had been 20 years since the last rainfall in that area....every time an important event takes place in my life, it rains. It rained when I was married, and each time, when we brought home our sons.

I found out later the beach was Santa Cruz, California and the pier
really existed...
my parents and grandparents would spend several weeks, every
winter there in a little beach cabin, playing cards, bowling,
and enjoying life. Grandpa was a great one for walking,
he would hike up and down the beach, taking great strides
and I would have to run to keep up with him..