Happy Birthday, Pam

Happy Birthday, Pam! photo (9)

My first-born! I hardly knew what was happening! Two hours and twenty minutes total labor time!  A head full of beautiful and manageable black hair! You were special right from the start!

Here you are at three months.IMG_0697 (2)

You’re still special today! You’re a very hard worker and yet, whenever we need you…you’re here!

We’ve had some very special, unforgettable vacation times with you! Malaysia, Canada, Hawaii and Iowa! I wish we could be with you today on your birthday!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Pam! She’s a beautiful child of Yours. Please watch over her as she drives, works, plays, in whatever she does. She’s a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend and neighbor. Please keep her close to You as she trusts in You. I love Pam so much and You love her even more!

World War II Memories – Displaced JapaneseAmericans

Everyone knows about the displaced folks of Japanese descent during World War II. But not everyone has a personal story to tell!

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Japanese were moved to camps,  filled with rows and rows of barracks which housed the Japanese families, against their wishes.

My dad was the pastor of the  Free Methodist Church in Des Moines. Rev. Aoki was the pastor of a Japanese Free Methodist Church in California! It really doesn’t matter how they met…it does matter that they met!

But, let me try to explain the two men meeting. Dad answered the phone one day, the person on the other end had a Japanese accent! He quickly gave his name and his position in the church. Then he asked if he and his wife could come to our house.

My dad didn’t have any prejudice bones in his body. He explained how they could find our house and that they were welcome.

Somehow Rev and Mrs Aoki had escaped the exodus of Japanese people in California! Somehow they made it all the way to Des Moines, Iowa and called my dad, as another pastor, in the same denomination! With the blessing of my parents, they moved into our upstairs. They were a delightful couple.

There were folks in our church who were not happy! Dad patiently and lovingly gave God’s plan of salvation again and explained God’s love for ALL people. Slowly folks accepted them.  Finally, one Sunday evening, at the request of my dad, Rev. Aoki preached a sermon to the church family! Afterward, he received many warm handshakes and smiles. He and his wife were completely accepted into our church family.

I was too young to understand any of the implications. I only remember a very nice couple coming to live with us. They were very friendly and always smiled at me! In discussing this time of our lives with my older brother and sister, they both used the term, underground railroad! My sister, Lorraine, is gone now so our discussions are over. I called my brother, Richard and he, being four years older than I am, remembers many details and carefully explained it all to me again.

I believe with all my heart that God had a plan for Rev. and Mrs. Aoki and my family was included in that plan! What a privilege!

First Sunday of Advent

Today begins Advent. Awaiting the birth of the Savour. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This is the candle of Hope or expectation. We have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promise made to us. Our Hope comes from God.

And again, Esaias saith,  “There shall be a root of Jesse, and He that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles trust.”  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:12-13

Soccer Season – Destroyers

Soccer season is over. FullSizeRender (75) It sure was fun while it lasted… FullSizeRender (76) Armon is the third boy from the left, standing.  The games were always on Saturday AM.    It was okay when they started, but then Autumn set in and cool temperatures.      IMG_0017 (2) IMG_0020 (2)    A butterfly was on the field! A woman rescued it and then sent it on its way before it got trampled by the players!                                                                                   Then really cold temperatures hit! FullSizeRender (49) Jerry and me.  FullSizeRender (44) Elmise and Mama.FullSizeRender (48) Haleigh on her iPhone!   IMG_5011 (2)  Mama and Papa.IMG_0014 (2) Jessica, Ki and Erin. Sometimes good friends came!                                                                      We loved watching the young boys play. Some were very good players and some were only there because their mother’s had signed them up!!! But even those boys got better as the season went by. Our grandson, Armon, shows great ability as a soccer player and as an athlete. He was determined and shows athletic ability! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  He was the goalie in a couple of games.  For these young boys, the positions were traded off so they each had a turn to play each position. In this picture, he was catching the ball just in time. In the next picture, he was down on top of the ball before FullSizeRender (47) it went in for a score! You can see him on the ground with the ball.  Winning or losing is not emphasized in this league, learning the game and learning good sportsmanship is what matters.  Here are the medals each boy earned and received today. I’m showing both sides of the medal. The name of Armon’s team was Destroyers!

FullSizeRender (71)  FullSizeRender (72)   He’s showing Grandpa his medal.FullSizeRender (68)

Beautiful Dahlia Hill

FullSizeRender (6)                                                      In our fair city we have many beautiful parks but nothing is better than Dahlia Hill in the fall! It’s maintained by volunteers and is truly beautiful! Dahlia’s range from all different varieties. It’s amazing! FullSizeRender (13)  I love to take pictures of bee’s in the middle of the flower. I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me! They just let me take their pictures in the flowers! FullSizeRender (11)  IMG_1277 (2)  FullSizeRender (10)  IMG_1288 (2)  0929141417 (2)  I even got this picture with a grasshopper on a Dahlia!  FullSizeRender (9)                         These Dahlia’s and the Bee’s were created by God!

Eyes Closed Tightly…

Last evening I closed my eyes as I began entering the long tube. I kept them tightly closed until I exited the long tube! I was having a MRI of my right shoulder. I don’t know how long I was in that tube but it was a long noisy time. I wish I had timed it. My appointment was at 6:00 PM and I arrived back home close to 8:00 PM. I might have fallen to sleep while in the tube except that it was the noisiest place I’ve ever been in! They gave me ear plugs for in my ears and ear phones for over my ears so I could hear the beautiful classical music being played for me and still the noise was the loudest I’ve ever heard! A lot of the time I couldn’t even hear the music! It sounded like the oldest, noisiest factory ever.

Negative thoughts began to come to my mind. Bad thoughts. Oh what to do… I began to pray. It was mainly a prayer of praise to God for who He is: Creator, my Healer, my Savior, my Rock, Bread of Life, Living Water, Bright and Morning Star, Rose of Sharon, Love, Mercy and Grace, Life, Light, All Knowing, Caring, All Seeing, All Hearing, Ever Present, Omnipresent… Oh, I stopped there briefly! Was He inside that tube with me? Oh yes, of course He was! I thanked Him for being with me. I wasn’t alone! I thanked Him for the medical advances that have been made.

Oh, how I cherish my personal relationship with Jesus. What would I ever do without Him?

The long ordeal was finally over. As I was rolled out of the tube, I opened my eyes. One man had been with me when I went in, now three people were there to help me, if needed. I was a little dizzy but otherwise was fine. I’ll know in a couple of days the outcome of the MRI. Hopefully anything else I have to endure for my shoulder will be less intense than this MRI! Shall I keep you posted?

A Misplaced Kiss

I stopped into the supermarket to buy some pizza sauce and pepperoni so my grand-kids and I could make home-made pizza for Saturday evening supper. It was going to be sooo good! Bacon, ground beef, pepperoni, green pepper, onion, olives, lots of cheese! Sound good? It was! But…back to our stop at the supermarket. I had one grandson with me. He’s a special little guy. The star of his soccer team. Nine years old. He loves to help me out any way he can.

We were at the self-serve check-out, with only a few items. A mother and son were across from us. The boy was about the same size as my grandson but possibly younger. He had red hair and was very fair-skinned. My grandson has black hair and very dark skin.  Okay, he’s black. He’s actually from Haiti. Suddenly the white boy came running over to us, right up to my grandson and began planting a kiss. In his surprise, my grandson flinched and so the kiss actually landed on his shoulder! Thank goodness! The boy turned and walked back to his mother.

We were both in shock! We both turned to look at them. They were looking at us. In hind sight I think I should have gone over and talked to the mother, but in my shock, I finished our business and we left.

My poor grandson, he kept asking me why the boy kissed him. I said, “I didn’t know. He should not have done that.” Why did he do it?

Finally that evening I said, “Color of skin doesn’t make any difference. But sometimes when a person sees someone who looks entirely different they want to express their feelings. So maybe, because that boy is soooo white and you are so dark, he may have wanted you to know color to him doesn’t matter. He loves you!” I told him how sorry I was that that happened and I loved him very much.  Well…he nodded and walked away. I could tell it still bothered him.

How to handle difficult situations…  I don’t know. Thank goodness I serve a God who understands and loves us. I pray for my grandchildren everyday, by name. There are 15 of them and they live all over North America. I’m trusting God to watch over each one of them.

And yes, God knows about the situation I just wrote about. I’m leaving it in His Hands.