A Drink of Water

 

I answered a knock on our door. A stranger stood there, a young woman, dressed as a person trying to find her way in life, looking tired, disheveled, and frustrated. “Hi,” I said with a question mark. She had dyed her hair a couple of different shades of red or pink or both. It was tied in  sort of a ponytail but it really wasn’t long enough! I don’t know how to describe her pants. They were black, tight, mainly with holes! Her black shirt was long and rather tight.

She began talking fast. “My phone is dead. I’m trying to find my boyfriend’s house. Can I charge my phone?”

Before I even answered I thought of the electrical outlet on our porch! “Sure you can, we have an outlet right over here.” I quickly moved the old antique buggy parked, covering the outlet. “Plug it in right here.”

She explained her boyfriend lived on this same road but she didn’t know where. She needed his house number. “What’s your house number?” She was very nervous. “Could I have a drink of water?” she blurted out.

“Sure,” I answered. “Do you want ice in it?” She nodded. I went in to get her a paper cup of ice water. But when I got to the kitchen I reached for a glass and filled it with ice cubes and water. A Drink of Water close up

She gladly accepted it. I suggested she sit on our swing. She seemed to relax a little bit. I didn’t see a car so I asked how she got here. “On my bike!” she replied.  Sure enough, there sat a bike in our driveway.

I asked if she’d like to call her boyfriend on my phone. She finally reached him and he gave her his house number. It was about a half mile east of our house. As she walked to her bike she thanked me for helping her out and then said, “My boyfriend is the father of the  unborn baby I’m carrying!”

I watched as she rode her bike down our long driveway to the road. I had so many questions. How far had she ridden her bike? How far along was her pregnancy? Did she ride out here from town, a distance of about five miles? Or did she also live in the country? How did she pick our house to ask for help? Did her boyfriend already know about the baby or was she meeting him to tell him?

Jerry and I had a lot to think about and talk about that evening. We had so many unanswered questions. We were so glad I was able to help her out in even just a small way.

Then we began to get some negative thoughts. What if we were being staked out for them to return during the night? No. This couldn’t be. She was too sweet! She just needed help. I don’t even know her name! I don’t know her boy friend’s name, even though he’s a neighbor of ours!

She is a person created by God. She was mysteriously brought to our door. She and her boyfriend and the tiny baby are being added to my prayer list. God knows their names! God loves them!

 

 

Dad’s Roast Pig Story

This is a story my dad told many times. It’s a true story and he’s Glen.

Dad’s Pig Story

Glen’s first job in a hotel kitchen was as a cook’s helper. He bought a white cap, white apron, neckerchief and Scan_Pic0102 seersucker pants. It was a large hotel, where they served lots of private parties. Jack was the head chef and he was tough!

A dinner was scheduled for one of the most prominent families in the city. It was a dinner celebrating the 80th birthday of the former editor of the city newspaper. Everything had to be perfect.  A roast pig was the main entrée on the menu. Glen was scheduled to be helper of the cook who was in charge of roasting the pig. It was the first time either one of them had roasted a pig.  The pig was delivered to the hotel kitchen. He had been butchered, but the head and feet were still on him. But he was  too long, even kitty-cornered to fit in the roasting pan! The cook said to Glen, “Hey, let’s do something a little different! What if we set him up on his haunches’? I think Jack would like that!” They’d do anything to please Jack, just so they could keep their jobs!  So the pig was set up in the roasting pan. Some blocks of wood were set up under his chest to hold him up. Another block of wood was in his mouth, so they could put an apple in later.  They cocked his head just as they wanted it, but his ears looked out of character, hanging down like pigs ears do! So they took skewers and stuck them down into his ears and pinned them up so his ears were sticking straight up. He was the most alert looking pig! He looked like the dog in the Victor advertising, listening to his master’s voice! They, very carefully, shoved the pan, with the pig sitting up, into the oven.

The cook told Glen, “It’s your job to use a ladle and baste the pig every half hour. “We have to do a good job with this pig, or we could lose our jobs!” So, every thirty minutes Glen pulled the pan out and basted the pig. He enjoyed it and the pig was looking good! It took most of the day to roast the pig.

When it got near time for the banquet everyone was busy and somehow the pig got neglected! But It was time now to get the pig ready, to take him out of the roaster pan and put the apple in his mouth. As Glen opened the big oven door, SMOKE came rolling out! And oh, the poor pig! His ears had been dangerously close to the top of the oven. They were gone! They had crumbled away like crisp bacon! The sticks were still there, but even they were burned. But, that wasn’t the worst! The worst thing was that the skin on his back had bust open and had left a gaping hole in the middle of his back! Grease was popping up out of the hole and his backbone was exposed! The cook shook his head and said we’d better call Jack.”

When Jack got there, he was so angry he couldn’t talk! He just stared at that poor burnt pig!

Well, over in the bake shop was an old man, Bill, who had been a chef, in his day, but now he was old and worked in the bake shop. But he was an artist! He did the ice sculpturing, decorating of the cakes and so on. They had been to him before when they needed help fixing something up. Jack was actually jealous of him,  but now he ordered us to fetch Old Bill. Someone ran to the bakeshop and told Bill to come quickly!

Old Bill came walking over, taking his time. Jack wanted to reach out and grab him! When Bill got there he took a big long fork, stuck it into the pig’s back in several places and then said, “It’s done.” Jack jumped up, waving his arms in the air, “I don’t care if he’s done…what are we going to do about that hole in his back?!”

Bill calmly told them to take the pig into his bakery. He covered a large oval shaped plank with white, fluffy mashed potatoes. They, very carefully, set the pig up, on his haunches, in the middle of it. He, then, filled a large pastry bag, with mashed  potatoes, like one used to decorate a cake with icing! The first thing he did was work on his ears. He pulled the skewers out and threw them away. Then he cut out some ears from heavy brown wrapping paper, put them in place, and covered those ears with mashed potatoes! Then he worked on the face to make it look attractive. He put cranberries in the eye sockets! He put the apple in his mouth! The pig was looking good!

But what was Bill going to do with that hole in his back? They soon found out! He took his big pastry bag filled with mashed potatoes and made the most beautiful saddle right over that big hole! Oh, he was the most beautiful roast pig they’d ever seen! In fact, it was the most beautiful piece of culinary art they’d ever seen!

Glen and the other three men, carefully carried the pig into the dining room. Old Bill followed along behind, with his pastry bag, ready to fix up any part they messed up.  The party was ushered in. They had been to lots of parties and thought they’d seen everything! But they were in for a big surprise!

When they came in and saw that pig sitting right up on his haunches, beautiful saddle on his back, beautiful ears standing straight up, apple in his mouth, they were amazed!  “Oh, Father,” one of the daughter’s exclaimed, “Look what they did for your birthday!” The old man came over and shook his head. He never dreamed they would do anything like that for him!

It was soon time to carve the pig.  Jack had put on a clean apron and cap, found his sharpest carving knife, and was ready to carve the pig. He was smiling from ear to ear! He carved away but stayed away from the saddle on his back! When it was all over, he was given a big tip! In those days, money was scarce but they thought he deserved a big tip! He kept it, too!!! He didn’t even share it with Old Bill!

This is a true story and happened in about 1929. My dad was trying to work his way through college. Then came the big financial crash! That ended his college career. He was fortunate to keep working in various hotels in the kitchen and eventually became a chef! A very good chef!

Years later, after a life-changing experience with God, Glen, my dad, became a minister and this story became a favorite among his listeners, especially young people.

It was a perfect illustration for how God can take a ruined life and make a masterpiece out of it! God can and does!

 

 

 

I’m Ready, Are You?

Another funeral today… the sister of my very close friend. I barely knew the person who died so suddenly, but yet I considered her a friend. We saw each other mainly at family functions: weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. Today was her funeral, her death was so unexpected. She was 78 years old, about a year and a half older than I am.

So another funeral today. There have been so many…! Lorraine, Joan, Lynne, Dean, Norma, Oates, Twila, Jim, another Jim, Jack, Bob, Margaret, Carolee, David, Evelyn, and there are more. These are just the names that came to my mind just now as I’m writing.

These are also close to my age! I didn’t name the folks who’ve died in their old age, upper 80’s and 90’s! Yes, I’m in my middle seventies. But, I don’t feel old! I know I must look old! I get offers of help at the supermarket! When I was in Haiti in June of this year, the wonderful Haitian folks wouldn’t allow me to do anything! They would hold up their hands and say, “Oh, no, Grandma. No, no!” They would then do the task I was needing to do! I do admit to having aches and pains that are new to me, but I’m not ready to die!

Well, physically, I’m not ready to die. Spiritually, I am ready to die! I’m forgiven, I’m born again, I’m living in praise of my personal Saviour! What a wonderful place to be! When my day comes for me to breathe my last breath, I don’t want anyone to wonder if I’m  ready! New haircut  Praise God, I’m ready! Are you?

Change At The Top

Change is always hard… I don’t like change. I like familiarity. This isn’t a political post… I’m not talking about electing a new president. I’m talking about my church. Changing pastors. It’s hard. I’ve been in my denomination, Free Methodist, since I was only about two years of age! So I’ve seen lots of changes.

There’ve been changes in policies and rules, like the negativity of the  40’s and 50’s. A few of them were movies, dancing, make-up, jewelry, bowling, I could go on and on. Today I’m free to do whatever I feel is okay in my personal life. So even though I’m free now, I do very few of those forbidden acts.

What I’m referring to, in this post, is the changing of a pastor. In the Free Methodist denomination, pastors are appointed, not hired by a church. When I was a little girl, it was common for a pastor to be moved after two or three years at the appointed church. My dad was a pastor and we stayed at the church in Des Moines, Iowa for four years during two different appointments! That was unusual!

I want to skip ahead to today. Pastors are still appointed, but the assignment may last for many years.  My pastor was here, in my church, for 20 years! I knew him well, he knew me well. I loved him and his wife. One day in May he made the announcement to a few committee folks (I was on the committee) that he had accepted a church in another state. We would be getting a new pastor. Oh…no…my heart dropped.

The committee I was on and our conference superintendent met numerous times in order for us to give the superintendent a clear profile of our church family and our needs. We  prayed for guidance for the conference committee in searching for a new pastor for us. This went on all summer! We were fortunate in having two assistant pastors who filled the pulpit, so to speak, over the summer.

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Midland Free Methodist Church

Finally as of one week ago, we have a new pastor appointed to our church! He’s not new to us. In fact, he was an assistant pastor here about fifteen years ago!

We, as a committee, were committed to prayer. We knew, without a doubt, that God had a person already picked out for us. We just needed to be patient. So we prayed, we interviewed, we discussed, we prayed…

Finally, another name was brought to us. We were surprised! We hadn’t thought of this person, even though most of us, on the committee, knew him.

Here’s his story. When he first heard our pastor was leaving, he began to pray for our church. After all, he knew us, he had been on staff as an assistant to our pastor, years before. Every now and then, our church came to his mind as he was praying and so he’d include us in his prayers. After a while, he asked God what was going on, why a new pastor wasn’t being assigned! Then he said, the thought came to him that maybe…maybe…he was the pastor to answer the call! He wrote to our conference superintendent telling him this and… the rest is history!

Pastor Gene LeForge has been assigned. This is a big change, but it’s one I can live with. I believe God is in it! “Thank You Lord, for Your guidance.”

My Dad…Part V

“Someday, when the kids are grown, I’m going to take you around the world!” This statement, I remember hearing Dad say to Mother, back in the middle 40’s, finally came true! Scan_Pic0107  This picture was taken in about 1945. I’m the young girl between Dad and Mother. Richard and Lorraine are standing, Billy is on Mother’s lap.

Their first trip, in 1961, was an exciting six-week trip to Europe. Dad was Scottish-Irish; Mother was full-blooded Norwegian, so of course they went to Ireland and Norway.   They kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland! In Norway, they visited relatives who still lived on the farm that had been in the family for centuries! They also went to The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and France.

Coming back home to America they traveled by ship! It was a great ending of a great experience for both of them. Dad was invited to preach on Sunday! It was an unexpected thrill for him.

The next few years had many changes for Dad and Mother. They moved to Colorado where Dad was Conference Superintendent of the Colorado Conference of the Free Methodist Church. They lived in Canyon City and Denver. He wrote several books during that time.

Then they moved to a lovely retreat home on Horn Mountain! He became editor of the magazine: Sermon Builder, a widely used magazine for pastors and church leaders. At the same time, he wrote many articles, stories, and several books. Frank and Hazel, The Adamson’s of Kibogora in 1972 published by Light and Life Press; Repair My House in 1973 published by Creation House;  Geneva and On The Brink by Geneva Sayre with Glen Williamson) in 1974 published by Light and Life Press; Born For Such A Day, The Amazing Story of Western Evangelical Seminary in 1974 published by Le Sabre Press; The Doctor and Geraldine in 1975 published by Church Extension Service, Inc.; Gonzalo of Mexican Missions in 1976 and Brother Kawabe in 1977 published by Light and Life Press.

They traveled to Assisi, Italy where they researched for the book, Repair My House, a biographical novel of Saint Francis of Assisi. Repair my house was a command God had given to Francis concerning the Church. Dad and Mother stayed in a guesthouse run by four Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement. The nuns it interesting that an evangelical minister was writing a book about a Catholic saint and gave valuable assistance to the production of the book.

Other countries they went to for the purpose of researching for books were Japan and Taiwan. “Brother Kawabe”, “Geneva”, and “On The Brink,”

On the way to Japan, they had a layover in Hawaii. They took in a luau and went to see Pearl Harbor. Then on to Japan where they were entertained by Dr. Lavern and Lois Snider. It was a dream come true! They met and ate with new Japanese friends, visited several Free Methodist Churches, and attended a Japanese wedding! Dad was able to do a lot of research on his book, assisted by Dr. Snider.

Taipei, Taiwan was next on the itinerary. They were met by James Taylor, Jr. Then they flew on to Kaohsiung where they were met by Carolyn Winslow and Dorothy Raber. They visited Free Methodist Churches and met wonderful pastors and lay people. One day they visited a heathen temple which made their hearts ache for people who haven’t heard of Jesus. Harry and Ruth Winslow took them to a wedding in Mutan, a mountain village! At a conference meeting of pastors and missionaries, Dad was the speaker, with the conference superintendent as his interpreter.

They took a train back up north to Taipei. It was an excellent way to see rural Taiwan. Rice, sugarcane, pineapples, oranges, bananas, soybeans, cabbage, watermelons, papaya, and persimmons were in abundance. James, Jr. and Leone Taylor and Wilma Kasten met them at the train station. They all enjoyed a delicious Chinese dinner and a good visit. Wilma was their hostess that evening and the next day, before their plane took them to Hong Kong.

John and Ruby Schlosser met them in Hong Kong and showed them all around the large city, explaining cultural ways and the church, as they went.

What a fruitful trip this had been for Dad and Mother. Not only did they meet with missionary friends, they made new friends, explored new cultures, and accomplished lots of research for the books Dad was writing.

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To be continued…

 

 

 

 

Mother

Today, Mother would have been 101 years old! She lived to be 99 years and 5 months. Even though she lived in Colorado and I live in Michigan I was privileged to be with her as she crossed over from life to death.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   I love this picture of her.  I miss Mother so much. But death is a part of life.  She was a child of God. She taught me well. I’m also a child of God. Someday when my time comes, I’ll join her and Dad and many others who chose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. He is our redeemer.

Released

My friend, Phyllis Sorter, has been released from kidnappers!

Phyllis Sorter  I posted this picture of Phyllis in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago asking friends to please remember Phyllis in their prayers. She was kidnapped in Nigeria, Africa. Then we were advised to take all pictures and notices of her kidnapping off the internet, so I did.

Phyllis Sorter has been released from kidnappers, March 6, 2015! This is a definite answer to prayer! Praise God!