Friday, May 23, 2014

I had no specific reason when I stopped writing this blog a number of years ago.  But recently I found it again and, asking the forgiveness of those who expressed interest, I would like to write again.

I'm 82 now...but I am blessed to be able to continue to live a very normal life.   My children have all married and left our nest for nests of their own.  In fact, their children, for the most part, have left their own nests and are moving along into a third layer of lives.  In a way it seems strange to me that I have grown children, with children, who are having even more children.  
All is well.  Rol and I are in the middle of celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary.  ..can you imagine...where did the years go.  In some ways it each of the years past seem like yesterday. The number of them and the experiences of them are stuffed with challenges and joy. 
Jesus is still central to my life.  He has done many things in the interim since I stopped writing.  I shall spend some time trying to organize my notes and my memory and I shall return here soon  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Revelations from the Sky

Above it All

The size of the universe is amazing!

When Rol and I were sailing in the Caribbean we sometimes found ourselves far away from the lights of civilization.  In that blackness the lights of the universe became crystal clear. ... hundreds, thousands, millions, yea billions of stars and planets appeared above us glowing through the darkness.

Now I live on the Toms River where the fog frequently settles low over the Toms River blocking even the rays of the sun.

But it is all still there...the stars, the planets, the sun have not been moved or erased. So it is with our awareness of God.  He is always there...even when the fogs of life roll in..

Monday, June 17, 2013

Everlasting Gratitude

Yesterday was “Father’s day” …but my mind was my son, Michael.  He was there!!! He was full of fun and laughter!  He gave the party. I shared lunch with His beautiful wife and grown children and I am so grateful! The Lord saved me from more grief that I can imagine and gave me joy and gratitude in its place.
It was a nice, sunny day when we almost lost Michael.  We had been given tickets to the World’s Fair.  We enjoyed the “It’s a Small World After All” ride, ate hot dogs, and then stood in a huge line waiting to get into another show or ride. 
I don’t remember what we were anticipating because what happened next is glued to my memory forever. 

I was holding baby Matthew. Patti and Gail stood in front of their father, Rol. Michael was standing by my right elbow at the edge of the six or seven deep line. Suddenly, Michael wasn’t there.  He had been jerked out of the crowd by a stranger, tossed over that persons shoulder and they were disappearing back down the path to my right. The crowd simply closed in as if nothing had happened.  

I shoved the baby into Patti’s young arms, fought my way to the edge of the crowd, and began to run. There was no time for explanations or decisions.

I could hear Michael crying and his voice drove me to run faster than I had ever run.  The path split, his voice came from the left, and I rounded that bend. I was gaining . I could see the figure carrying Michael on its shoulder.  Michael put out his hands towards me and and I ran even faster. Suddenly the figure threw Michael on the ground and raced on.

I dove for my son, crying, trying to catch my breath and hugging Michael close to my heart.  Rol arrived quickly considering that he had to fight his way out of the closing crowd, carrying the baby and dragging two very young girls along with him.

The person was gone. In some ways I felt relief. I had run faster than I could have imagined. I was grateful to the Lord for giving me the strength. But I wondered, and have always wondered; if I should have left Michael by the side of the path and caught the kidnapper.  What could I..would I.. have done?  I have always felt guilt that I wasn’t that wise or that strong. We never found anyone to report the incident to and I watched the newspapers for weeks wondering if there had been another kidnapping.  Gratefully, there were none

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Healing and Me

Regarding Acts 3 and 4....and me.

  One might think that seeing or receiving a healing would always be received as a happy experience; but this is apparently not always so. Acts 3 and 4 describes a God-granted, instantaneous healing that results, both in cheers and accusations.
Peter commanded a healing in the name of Jesus, extended his hand, raised a lame man to his feet. The lame man’s feet and ankles are instantly straightened. With a leap, he stood up straight, began to walk, leap, and entered the temple. In fact he makes quite a display of himself, walking and leaping and praising God. But Peter is commanded to explain himself to the Temple authorities and is arrested.
  Before this public healing, everything was orderly, routine, and heartbreaking. But God has acted through the reality of His name at Peter’s command and extended hand.  A real leaping miracle-touched man has been released from his crippled condition.
  Are we, today, comfortable with the spontaneity of Jesus’ presence in our lives? Are believers disturbed when God steps down from a symbolic cross and interacts right in the aisle of the church?

  In 1960 while I was pregnant with my third child I was diagnosed with Hepatitis. Neighbors friends and family all received gamma/globulin shots. Few would even enter our apartment.
  I spent most of my time dragging my expanding body through the routine of caring for our two little girls, aged 2 and 3. Every day seemed more difficult than the next.      The final blow was the invasion into our bathroom by a large spider (a tarantula). I killed the spider with one of Rol’s shoes, sat hugging my daughters and weeping.
  The following Sunday Rol checked the girls into the church nursery, and helped me climb the back stairs into the side of the cross-shaped church. 
  Our Pastor, Dr. James Seth Stuart, was already preaching when we finally sat down. He was speaking about the woman who crawled across the pavement to touch the Lord’s robe and how she had been healed.  
  I sat in oue pew listening and complaining to myself that, if the Lord Himself was there in the church, I would gladly crawl across the open space to touch His robe and receive healing. 
  Suddenly I heard a voice say, “Raise your hand and you will be healed.”
  I hesitated. ‘Raise my hand in the middle of a Presbyterian church?’ 
  But I did! …and healing strength flowed over and through me like a warm river.

  At the end of the service, Rol did not have to help me with the stairs. I flew down, gathered my children in my arms, and went home healed. A few months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
  Over the ensuing years, a number of doctors have asked me what level Hepatitis I had experienced.
  But no one knew; and so it was presumed that it had been level A or, at worse, level B.
  It wasn’t until I was 76 years old that a doctor had my blood tested to determine the level. 
  The answer startled us all. It had been Hepatitis C, a killer disease that could have robbed me of life, and my children of their mother. In fact, I might have taken my son with me. The Lord had allowed me to draw healing from His strength…

  Is my story always well received? 
  Sometimes it is received enthusiastically. 
  Sometimes it is treated like a fairy-tale. 
  Sometimes it seems that people are caught between faith and denial. 
They all want it to be true (and it is); but sometimes it doesn’t’ fit into their church’s teaching (or their understanding of that teaching). It didn’t happen at the hand of a pastor (true). The time of miracles is past. I am an unknown (yes) person, unworthy (yes), and sometimes I suffer from other ills (yes)

  But the fact is…by the grace of God…my body was strengthened ..I walk.. I know…
 I hope you gain spiritual strength for knowing that the Lord loves even the least of us and delights in raising us up...Ask and you shall receive! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beggars and Blessings

     The beggar who waited on the stone piazza by the temple gate called “beautiful” could hardly be be considered “beautiful” himself. His body was twisted and weak. He had been carried there to beg alms. (Acts 4)
     He had probably seen Peter before. The fisherman visited the temple daily with his friends. They were a happy group, praising God and greeting others in the crowd.  
     The lame man put out his hand,  hoping to receive a few coins; but he was soon to receive a great deal more. 
     As he reached out for the hoped-for coins, Peter spoke.  ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, WALK”
     Suddenly the beggar’s legs strengthened. He felt the change. He didn’t’ need to struggle. He sprang to his feet. He stood. He took a step. He leaped. He shouted, “Oh, my God! Thank you, Lord”  
    The crowd stared. Some cheered.  Some whispered their hopes to others. Some turned aside unable to bear the  conflict with their unbelief. Many joined themselves to the beggar's celebration. Tears of joy flowed from the eyes of the beggars friends.

     Peter smiled and then grinned. He had seen this happen before.
     He remembered when Jesus had called the twelve together and instructed them to go. “ Go to the lost sheep of Israel. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts.”  “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10).   The power was not Peter’s. But it was his to deliver.     
     The same power is not mine, or yours…it is the Lord's. But it is ours to deliver.  
     Go, Fear not, Prepare not, 
     Make disciples.
Will there be conflict!  Yes!  
      But, “Whoever acknowledges Me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. ."  (Matthew 10:32)

Outside our walls  the world waits, crippled by false values, begging for pennies, unable to enter the place of worship.  
Will I remember what I have experienced?  Will I doubt Him? Will I doubt myself? or will I put out my hand and deliver what I know and what I have seen?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Acts 2: 4   “Those who had received his (Peter’s) word were baptized and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.”

What enthusiasm!
  But what is enthusiasm?  (Acts 2:43) those who experienced it were in continuous awe which was authenticated by wonders and signs. . .It changed their values. . . They sold or shared their possessions because possessions held little meaning compared to the new life they were experiencing.
  But consider today’s use of the word "Enthusiastic": 
Automobile advertisements of cars zooming along curved roads are designed to create "enthusiasm" in potential buyers. (while, in fact I hope that young drivers are not encouraged to emulate the performances of weaving in and out.)
   I’ve recently been watching the Olympics. The athletes and their fetes are truly amazing and I  enjoy watching the runners as they race along the lanes, the swimmers flashing through the water, and the gymnasts flying through the air . But, when the show is over, I go on unchanged and uninspired to do the same. I know I can not attain their strength or precision.
  On the other hand, the experience of those present on that Pentecost were life changing both for them and for those who witnessed the experience. 
  The observers immediately wanted to know how they should respond…and respond they did…about three thousand were baptized on the spot.
  And the enthusiasm continued: They listened with enthusiasm to every word the apostles said.. 
            Day by day they continued with gladness of heart, sharing their meals  and their possessions.  
          Their enthusiasm was life changing…not only for themselves but for those around them. 
 They were inspired (a word that describes being filled with the Holy Spirit). They were devoted. And "The Lord added to their number day by day those who were beings saved." I want to be part of this and by the blessing and power of the Holy Spirit I can be...and so can you!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Babel No More

Fifty (50) days from the Sabbath after Passover, is Shavuot or the Day of Pentecost. Rabbinic scholars believe that it was on this day that God visited His people after their exodus from Egypt and, through Moses, brought the Law down from Mount Sinai. This earthshaking day of visitation, trembling, and betrothal is the birthday of the nation of Israel. Moses brought down the Torah or Law for the nation. But, because of their rebellion 3,000 died under the Law that day.
Acts 2 describes a gathering of Israel for Shavuot …They have come from far and wide….from every nation under heaven. But this crowd is bewildered because each one hears their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—
This is a momentous question…
The law had sent them back to Jerusalem; but years before, because they attempted to build themselves into a nation that would reach the heavens and gain control,  (Genesis 11:3–4_)..God had confounded their speech and made it impossible to understand each other and place themselves over God
Now, suddenly they all understood Peter and each other. The barriers had disappeared. Their conversation was no longer “babbled” Their unity had been reaffirmed, their understanding made possible, and they were called to serve God.
Today many look upon the language of Pentecost as being able to speak in an unknown tongue; but on the Day of Pentecost, human understanding (or hearing) was the issue, not a prayer language.
Where then do we get the justification of praying in an unknown language?
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
On Pentecost, tongues drew the people together. Praying in the spirit causes us to pray according to the will of God, not a creation of our minds. i.e. Speaking His will into being.)