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February 7, 2014 | 0 comments

When I was a girl growing up in the fifties and early sixties in a small farm town in Northern California, Hollywood seemed like the most glamorous place in the world.  Once in a while, I’d buy a movie magazine, especially if I spotted a favorite television or movie star.  I had a crush on Little Joe Cartwright (Michael Landon) when I was twelve.  Remember Tab Hunter? Blonde, tan and gorgeous.  One of the first records I bought was “Young Love, True Love”, his one and only hit song. And, of course, there were stars like Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Natalie Wood, Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee, and the still idolized Marilyn Monroe. I’d sit with friends on the lawn and we’d dream of what it’d be like to be discovered on Hollywood and Vine and become famous.

I think my mother secretly wished I’d be the next Shirley Temple.  When I was in kindergarten, she had my hair in curls.  Sadly, mine were thin and tight against my head rather than...

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January 31, 2014 | 0 comments

Every story I’ve written has begun with a question or issue with which I’m wrestling.  I have particular struggles in my faith walk that seem to come up over and over again.  It is easier for me to trust the Lord with my life than it is to trust Him with the lives of those I love.  Why is that?  I know in my head He has a plan for each life, but when I witness slips, fear nibbles its way through my defenses.  I need a strong reminder that God loves the individual even more than I do, and no matter how life may look, God is at work.  I have no control over anything anyway; it is highly practical to let go and let God do what He wills. 

Such is the battle going on in the story of Abra, Zeke, Joshua and other characters in Bridge to Haven.  We often see those we love approaching dangerous waters and we cry out in warning, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen.  Sometimes they’ll even look over their shoulder and spit words of...

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January 24, 2014 | 0 comments

When conception occurs, all the God-designed instructions of what the person will be are set; sex, eye color, physical attributes, intelligence, gifts.  By the second week, the baby attaches and burrows into the wall of his/her mother’s womb. Within the next week, blood vessels and sex cells form.  The foundations for the brain, spinal column and nervous system are established.

The baby’s heart beat can be heard at one month in the womb. Eyes, ears and lungs begin developing.  Tiny arms and legs and a baby’s face develop over the next seven days, and the blood now pumps separately from the mother. Tiny fingers and toes and the division of the brain into three parts for emotional and language, hearing and seeing develop. Seven more days and brain activity is detectable, 99% of the muscles are present and milk teeth form.

By the eighth week, the baby begins to move in the mother’s womb.  Every organ is present, and the skull, elbows and knees begin to...

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January 19, 2014 | 0 comments

I keep hoping 50s fashions will come back in style.  Women looked like women and not starving refugees or sex-trafficked teenagers looking for a john.   Fifties style showed off women’s hourglass figures without showing off a lot of skin.  Dresses were mid-calf full skirts, belted waists (where waists naturally are) and fitted bodices often buttoned-up to the collar.  Less is more, they say.  And that can be true in fashion.  A woman can be more alluring by NOT letting it all hang out.  Sorry if I’m offending anyone, but I’m downright embarrassed when I see a girl who leaves ribs and belly-button bare for all to see and a blouse so low I worry the “girls” will fall out if she stumbles in her platform shoes.  Children often make astute observations.  My grand-daughter gaped when she little.   “That girl has a butt on her chest!”  Yep.  That just about describes the look. 

Men in the 50s wore jackets,...

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January 14, 2014 | 0 comments

These two issues have grabbed hold of me and tear at my heart.  The first came upon me through my own personal experience with abortion. Oh, how a frightened girl will swallow lies that “it will be easy and you can just go on with your life”.  Maybe for some.  It took me years of living with guilt and shame before I sought counseling through a local pregnancy counseling center.  The second issue of human trafficking came upon me through sessions at a missions conference that made me shockingly aware that slavery isn’t limited to distant countries, but still is happening in our own country, our own hometown, maybe even in one of the houses on the block where we live.

In my mind, the two issues are a product of a growing mind-set in our nation comparable to the Biblical time of Judges: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  There is no right or wrong, only what is right for me (whoever me happens to be).  That’s what they say....

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January 7, 2014 | 0 comments

One of the ways I visualize my characters is to post pictures of people on a bulletin board that runs along the wall to the left of my computer.  I found several pictures that fit my mental image of Abra.  One is of an unnamed pre-teen girl with pale green eyes and wild red hair. Another is of a young and vulnerable Winona Ryder that reminds me of Natalie Wood, James Dean’s co-star in the classic “Rebel Without a Cause”.  For Abra’s Hollywood years, I posted several pictures of Rita Hayworth, a 1940s film star famous for “Gilda”.  Abra also shares personality traits with the late Marilyn Monroe.  Though they don’t share the same fate, they were both broken-hearted young women who found it impossible to live a make-believe persona. 

Another main character, Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, is a man’s man with a wholesome image.   I imagined him ruggedly handsome, like James Garner.  Not the young Maverick star, but the older, nothing-...

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January 3, 2014 | 0 comments

Christmas is over.  I’m always a little down when I take the ornaments off the tree and pack away the decorations for another year.  The wheels of Christmas lights are stowed away under the house along with our nativity, the dried up noble pine is on our deck, lower branches cut off so it fit through the sliding glass door. It will wait there in the cold until we drag it out the front door to the curb before January 6-13 for roadside pick-up.

Last night, I worked on my calendar, writing in family and friend’s birthdays, dentist and doctors’ appointments, scheduled events and trips.  It’s already looking like a full year and the first week isn’t over.  Rick and I keep saying we’re going to slow down on the travel, but 2014 is looking very busy already, and we are making good headway on our bucket list. 

I did manage to stay up until midnight.  The neighbors set off their car alarms and hooted and hollered in the street.  A cold bug had...

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December 20, 2013 | 0 comments

Rick and I were married on December 21, 1969.  It rained all day and then cleared for the evening candle-light ceremony at a small New England style church in our hometown.  I am still amazed at how many family members and friends came, considering the time of year.  Who in their right mind plans a Christmas wedding?  (It was the earliest date we could get the church and Rick could get leave from the Marine Corps.) 

The wedding reception took place at a local restaurant.  While the party went on, we headed out for our honeymoon after ten in the evening, rice in our hair, clothes and shoes.  We looked for a motel in the next town, but they were all full.  So we settled into a local motel the next burg.  The following morning, we finished the drive up to the Sierras to Pinecrest.  A foot of snow covered the ground.  Pine branches dipped under the weight.  We gathered our supplies and trekked in to the family cabin....

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December 13, 2013 | 0 comments

I admired Nelson Mandela. He could have come out of prison embittered and ready to fan the flames of civil war and bloodshed.  Instead, he sought to unite the citizens of South Africa and build a nation that would be a beacon to others.  He didn’t go after retribution but reconciliation, and thus inspired hope in millions around the world.  The movie “Invictus” gave us a glimpse of how President Mandela enlisted the Springboks on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.  With so many passionate about rugby and their national team, he knew this would be a way to draw all his people together.   Though he wasn’t able to solve all the problems his nation faces, he showed them the power of mercy and gave all of us hope of what can be when we pull together.

American has had inspiring leaders as well.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln to name a few.  I think of those in my lifetime:  John F. Kennedy...

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December 6, 2013 | 0 comments

Since my awakening that human trafficking is going on in our area and across our nation, I’ve become more sensitive to articles appearing in our newspaper.  In the world section, I read a story on sex workers in France protesting a proposal to penalize clients caught in the act of soliciting a prostitute.  The few men and women in the picture taken in front of the French Assembly in Paris claimed to have chosen this line of work, but I couldn’t help wondering about the thousands of foreign prostitutes from Asia and eastern Europe flooding into France, the vast majority trafficked victims.  Other countries like Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands where brothels are also legal are watching the French.  I imagine most of the countries that legalized brothels thought they would be able to control prostitution, prevent disease and protect the women “in the life”.  Instead, they got organized crime and human trafficking on their front door steps.

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