August 26, 2015 | 0 comments

I’ve read several books recently I’d like to recommend.  First is Seduced: The Grooming of America’s Teenagers by Opal Singleton.  I had the pleasure of meeting the author at an International Conference on Missions where Rick and I attended several classes she taught on sex trafficking worldwide and specifically in the United States.  What we learned from Opal Singleton impelled us to connect with a local ministry.  Seduced has a great deal packed into it, including much needed information on internet danger areas, how to spot sex trafficking in your community and how to report this appalling crime against our children. 

Bible Study Fellowship encourages attendees to do a personal Bible study over the summer, and I picked Jennifer Rothschild’s Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything.  I have the DVD with her lectures and she is witty as well as deep.  I also used her workbook.  I highly recommend Hosea...

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August 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Writing sometimes feels like a race to the finish line.  Especially when working on a deadline.  I’ve learned over the years to ask for plenty of time, but even so, I begin to wonder about halfway through if I’m going to finish at all.  The characters by this time are real and they don’t always like what I have planned for them. They talk back.  They dig in their heels.  It doesn’t help to grumble and say, “Who’s in charge here?!”  Actually, this is the best – and worst – part of writing. 

It helps to go out and drive around.  (This makes Rick nervous because he’s concerned I’m not concentrating and will end up in a ditch or T-boned at an intersection.)  I listen to music; my radio is permanently set on KLOVE Radio.   Sometimes I put in a CD.  Today it was Navajo drums and a pan flute playing.  Did I come up with fresh ideas?  I started thinking about a road trip through the southwest. Wouldn’t it be fun...

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August 11, 2015 | 0 comments

Divorce was unusual when I was growing up.  As far as Rick and I remember, none of my friends’ parents divorced.  Fast forward, and our best man said we were one of the few couples he knew who had stayed together.  It does make one wonder what happened to bring about the change.   Maybe it was the 60s when so many bought into the free love movement.  Rick’s grandmother had an old world saying:  “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?”  Sometimes I think women sold themselves a bill of goods, especially when I’m reading so many articles lately about what “hooking up” does to lives, relationships, the confusion that comes, the disillusionment and emptiness some feel after following the crowd. Just because everyone seems to be doing it doesn’t mean it is a good thing. 

What does it take to stay married for longer than a decade?  It’s enlightening to read the anniversary announcements in the local newspaper of couples...

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July 31, 2015 | 0 comments

Sometimes I take a break from reading the newspaper.  I can become very confused and emotional over what I read.   I’ll read one story and then another and another and think:  Isn’t there a connection here?  Or rather -- a disconnect?

The paper reports Cecil the lion has been murdered.  I love animals, all kinds of animals.  I saw lions while we were in South Africa and they are amazing beasts (carnivores, mind you, not helpless kittens).  I was very glad to be in a truck with a guide who had a loaded gun handy.  I’m sorry about that lion; sorry, too, that people want to torture and kill Dr. Palmer.  Zimbabwe officials want him extradited and brought to trial.  How many human beings have died in the years since Robert Mugabe’s regime came into power?  No mention of that backdrop.

 Also in the paper was a news article about a lawsuit over the personhood of chimpanzees.  If a chimp can be a person,...

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July 24, 2015 | 0 comments

A few weeks ago, Rick received an article from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation regarding a stem cell treatment pioneered in Sweden 28 years ago.  It offered hope of recovery of full control of movement in a period of a few years.  The US tried, but abandoned the Swede’s treatment in favor of deep brain stimulation.  But that’s changing now.  Good news. Right?

Members of the Parkinson’s Disease Global Force who met in New York in May to discuss the progress of this stem cell work erupted in applause when it was announced the team’s first patient had just left the operating theatre.  “There’s a real sense within the community that this is a collaborative effort to make cell treatments work, and that there’s real potential to change the lives of hundreds of people worldwide.”  

There is a catch. 

“The transplant depends on fetal cell donations from women terminating pregnancies… It takes cells from at least three fetuses to...

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July 17, 2015 | 0 comments

I know it is part of the American dream to own a home, but sometimes it can be a nightmare.  I’m not just talking about the economy turning homes upside down so they are barely worth the down-payment and not the whopping mortgage.  I’m talking about the little things that can happen, the small surprises:  dry rot, broken pipes, faulty electrical wiring, leaky rooves, dying trees swaying in the wind and ready to fall through your living room. 

My children are learning about these things. 

One recently had to call in a plumber because the toilets weren’t working.   No minor problem, that’s for sure.  Cha-ching!  Another sent pictures of a recent DIY project that created a new opportunity for a professional.  As my son-in-law and grandson traversed the attic to feed wire inside a wall (for cosmetic reasons), my son-in-law slipped and fell through the living room ceiling.  Fortunately, he got caught between two...

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July 10, 2015 | 0 comments

The announcement was made recently that I will be receiving this award at the upcoming conference in Dallas.  When I first received the call from a friend, I didn’t know what to say.  I’m still trying to find the words to express what I’m feeling.  Honored -  yes.  Aware there are others more deserving – absolutely.  Scared – oh, yeah.  

Why?  I can’t quite put my finger on it.  Maybe it has to do with not being finished yet, still being an apprentice, and still very conscious that I have so much to learn – about the craft, about living the Christian life in a fallen world, about everything.

No one achieves anything without help, and I have had lots of help from lots of people over lots of years.  First of all, God gave me the desire to write and the talent to develop.  Rick and I talk about how I was one of the few members in our class (we’ve known one another since grade school) who knew exactly what I wanted to...

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July 3, 2015 | 0 comments

For the past couple of years, our pastor has issued a challenge to read through Proverbs during July.  Thirty-one days in the month, thirty-one chapters in the book.  It is a very straight-forward, practical book about living out faith – and the consequences that come when we don’t.

Here’s what I have gleaned so far:

I can learn wisdom and discipline from God’s Word.  It is available to all.

I can gain insights through the instruction of the Holy Spirit. If I am willing…

In order to gain wisdom, understanding and knowledge, I must first:


              Treasure God’s commands

              Tune my ears to Him

              Concentrate on...

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June 24, 2015 | 0 comments

Sunday, our children and grandchildren spent the day with us in celebration of Father’s Day.  The house was rockin’ and rollin’.  Boys love to wrestle and box.  One of the older cousins stuffed his tee shirt with pillows for the battle with his six year old cousin.  The house was full of laughter – not that we didn’t have quiet conversations, too.  Part of the time, the guys were glued to the Oakland Athletics baseball game.  The girls sat outside and talked.

How important are Fathers?  Our pastor shared some statistics on what happens when a father isn’t in the home or present in the lives of their children:          

              90% of homeless and runaway children

              63% of youth suicides


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June 12, 2015 | 0 comments

Many years ago, when Rick and I moved to Sebastopol, California, there was a small start-up non-commercial radio station, KCLB-FM, offering “positive alternative” broadcasting.  I started listening and never stopped.  The music was important to my state of mind and helped me in my writing.  I listened to it at home and every time I got in the car.   Rick and I became donors.  How can you not when $40 a month paid for an hour of broadcasting. 

KCLB-FM became KLOVE Radio which has spread across the airwaves of America and overseas as well, not to mention the incredible on-line ministries, a teen center in Detroit and pastors on call for those in need of prayer.  It’s been exciting to watch! We still count ourselves blessed to be part of the KLOVE family.

This year, Shannon and I had an opportunity to attend the KLOVE Fan Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.  What a blast!  The Friday concert had thousands on their feet,...

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