Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I was headed to Newberg this afternoon to visit a couple of our patients. I passed by a lavender farm that I have never seen open before. I love lavender--the plant, the color and the scent. So I had to stop and get a bunch to take to the ladies I would be seeing. The kids were manning the booth while Mom took a break. The middle child, a boy, asked if he could help me and seeing I was wearing a dress and high heels, he gallantly asked if he could pick a bouquet for me. I told him that would be very nice of him. He then asked which kind of lavender that I would like. The field was full of several varieties that I had never seen before. I didn't have to think long to say I wanted a little of each. While he was cutting my bouquet, I had to take a few photos of the wonderful field and an artist quietly working with her pastels. I am happy to share the photos, but I wish I could share the delightful scent as well!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I Will Sing the Wondrous Story

I will sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me,
How He left His home in glory
For the cross of Calvary.

Yes, I'll sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me.
Sing it with the saints in glory,
Gathered by the crystal sea.

I was lost, but Jesus found me,
Found the sheep that went astray,
Threw His loving arms around me,
Drew me back into the way.

Days of darkness still come o'er me;
Sorrow's paths I often tread.
But the Savior still is with me;
By His hand I'm safely led.

He will keep me till the river
Rolls its waters at my feet;
Then He'll bear me safely over,
Where the loved ones I shall meet.

Words by Francis H. Rowley, 1854-1952

Francis H. Rowley was born in Hilton, New York, on July 25, 1854. Later he became a Baptist minister and served churches in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Illinois. He has given the following account for the writing of this hymn: I was minister of the First Baptist Church of North Adams, Massachusetts in 1886. The church and community were experiencing a period of unusual interest in religious matters, and I was assisted by a remarkable young Swiss musician by the name of Peter Bilhorn. One Sunday following the evening service he said, "Why don't you write a hymn for me to set to music?" During the night these verses came to me. The original poem began "Can't You Sing the Wondrous Story?" However, when the song was first published by Ira Sankey in 1887, the phrase was changed to "I Will Sing..."

Peter P. Bilhorn was born in Mendota, Illinois, in 1865. With the death of his father, Peter was forced to leave school at eight years of age to help support his mother and family. At the age of fifteen he moved with his family to Chicago, where his voice became a great attraction in concert halls and among his worldly comrades. When he was twenty he was converted to Christ at one of the meetings conducted by Dr. Pentecost and musician George Stebbins. Following his conversion, he was used greatly of God in various forms of Christian service.

The organ he used in services was a small folding organ bearing his name. Feeling the need of a small portable organ for use in the street meetings,he had designed a folding organ weighing only sixteen pounds and had started its manufacture in 1887. This venture proved most successful, and the organs were widely used around the world.

It is estimated that he wrote approximately 2,000 gospel songs. This particular hymn is one of his finest compositions. Peter Bilhorn is also the author and composer of "Sweet Peace, The Gift of God's Love". His evangelistic ministry carried him into all the states of the union, to Great Britain, and to other foreign countries. He preceded Homer Rodeheaver as Billy Sunday's song leader prior to 1908.

P. P. Bilhorn was not only a skillful songwriter and leader but also an earnest soul-winner. One night, while conducting revival meetings in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, he retired to his room but later felt strangely compelled to dress, take his folding organ, and start walking down the street, even though the weather was bitterly cold. Seeing a gleam of light from a basement window, he knocked and was admitted. He found a group of men gambling. Bilhorn began to sing to the men "Where is My Wandering Boy Tonight?" Six of these men made their peace with God that night. "I Will Sing the Wondrous Story" was presented by Rowley and Bilhorn to Ira D. Sankey as a gift. Sankey was so impressed with the merit and usefulness of this hymn that he published it in the 1887 edition of Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs and Solos. It soon became one of the most popular songs in the entire collection.

"God sent His singers upon the earth With songs of sadness and of mirth, That they might touch the hearts of men, And bring them back to heaven again." Longfellow

"The Christian life that is joyless is a discredit to God and a disgrace to itself." Maltbie D. Babcock

Friday, June 23, 2006

Are you right or left brained?

Just a bit of fun to try. If I had taken this many years ago, I would have come out the other way. But I think I became wiser as I have aged. I don't sweat the little things so much anymore. So, what are you?
Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (68%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (38%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by

Hat Tip: View from the Cloud

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Call for Help!

I saw this wonderful project for the fifth anniversary of 9/11 from Gayle over at My Republican Blog. It is a great way to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Please take a look and decide if you can commit to participate.

Original post follows:

I have a project and I need the help of a few bloggers to make it work.

2,995 bloggers.

September 11, 2006 will mark the 5-year anniversary of the attacks that killed 2,996 innocent people on American soil. A few months ago I started wondering what, if anything, I would write in my blog that day. A remembrance? A tribute? Anything I came up with seemed shallow, cliché, not enough.

About a week after the attacks the president ordered all flags returned to full-staff. This seemed too soon to me. A common practice for other deaths had been one day per victim. But when I realized that this would mean flying the flag at half-staff for over sixteen years (remember in those first days the death toll estimate was much higher) I realized that that sort of symbol wouldn’t be healthy for the country. Even with the actual death toll, one day at half-staff for each victim wouldn’t see the flag raised until November 24, 2009.

But any idea I came up with gave me the same pause: Nothing I could do could possibly do tribute to all those people. And in the last five years I’ve heard precious little about the victims, but I’ve heard the names of the guilty over and over.

So here’s my proposal:

I’d like 2,995 blogging volunteers to help me with a tribute to the victims of 9/11. If you’d like to participate, you’ll be assigned the name of someone who was murdered on September 11, 2001. Then on September 11, 2006 you’ll post your own tribute to that person. It can be anything you want it to be: a photo tribute, an essay, a remembrance, a poem…it’s up to you. Then link back to a page I will create which will give the names of all 2,996 victims and links to the blogs that will remember them that day.

But, and this is critical, I don’t want any of us to remember the murderers. Do not refer to the terrorists. Or their organization. Or their goals. Let them fade into nothing. Let them be forgotten. Remember those worth remembering.

What help do I need?

A lot.
  • I need 2,995 bloggers who are willing to participate for one day.
  • I need people to pass on this message to others, because 2,995 people don’t read this blog.
  • I need a name for this goofy thing.
  • I need some sort of graphic or banner we can all drop in our entries.
  • And I need suggestions as to how to make this work.

Anyone game?

I was and I have my name to honor in a post. Are you willing? Click
here or here to be one of the 2,995.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My Soul Mate

On June 21, 1986 my life changed. The day began hot and sunny in eastern Washington as I prepared for my first time away from home. I was to work at a Christian camp for the summer. Lake Retreat was several hours from home in western Washington. I was both excited and nervous about making new friends and being farther from home for an extended time than I had ever been before. My dad dropped me off at camp and got me settled, but he had to leave to get back for a service that evening. It was a long afternoon until more people arrived. My anxiety rose to new highs over the hours.

When the time for dinner came and I went down to the dining hall, it was with great trepidation. A person approached me and introduced herself and asked if she could introduce me to some of the others. We went over to a group of about 8 others and each person said hello. One guy gave a little wave and smiled with such sincerity that I wanted to get to know him a bit better. Over the next few days, our paths crossed during our training. And within the next two weeks, I knew he was the one. I was going to marry him.

Even though I knew he was a great guy and he make me laugh, I had no idea at the time just how much of my soul mate he would become. We married 14 months later. Over the years, I have come to rely on him for my sanity. He is the world to me and I would never want to be with out him.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Father

My dad taught me how to hammer a nail, tape sheetrock, butcher chickens and pour concrete. My dad was the one I would recite my verses to at the end of each school year to earn a trophy. He was the one that made the rules that were firm. As I was thinking about what to write about him, I thought of too many good memories to pick just one. There was the afternoon he taught me to tape sheetrock when we worked side by side and talked about whatever came up. Then there was the day he started teaching me to drive and we couldn’t communicate if the clutch was in or out. Or the sunny afternoon when we were in the Forest City parade, or ice fishing, or camping, or ... There are so many times when we laughed together and other times when we have cried together. My dad is not perfect; he has shortcomings like anyone else. But he is my dad and I am glad he is. So, today is for him and all the imperfect, wonderful dads like him.

I love you, Daddy!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flag Day

We were listening to Lars this afternoon when he talked about this and played the recording. I think it is fitting for both then and now.

Commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance
By Red Skelton

The following words were spoken by the late Red Skelton on his television program as he related the story of his teacher, Mr. Laswell, who felt his students had come to think of the Pledge of Allegiance as merely something to recite in class each day.

"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"

I -- me, an individual, a committee of one.
PLEDGE -- dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
ALLEGIANCE -- my love and my devotion.
TO THE FLAG -- our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!
UNITED -- that means that we have all come together.
STATES -- individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.
AND TO THE REPUBLIC -- a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION -- one nation, meaning "so blessed by God"
INDIVISIBLE -- incapable of being divided.
WITH LIBERTY -- which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.
AND JUSTICE -- the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
FOR ALL -- which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.
And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance...


Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What sitcom character do you want to be when you grow up?

I have been tagged by Rebekah, so here goes. First of all, I want to say that I really don’t want or plan to grow up. So, who would I be? Maybe Cindy Brady, then I could be eternally young and cute, but she could become annoying before long. Maybe Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, she had anything she wanted when she wanted it, but she was really dumb. How about Ohura from Star Trek (not really a sitcom, but oh well). She got to travel all over, but she had to wear really short skirts and deal with Kirk’s machismo. Then there is Aunt Bea, she was a sweet lady, but she had to cook and clean and had all kind of responsibilities. So, as I think through all the possibilities, it comes down to one thing, a sex change. I would be Opie Taylor. Opie had a great dad and a doting aunt. He was adorable and I have yet to find him annoying. He was also a free spirit always trying new things.

So, who would you be? I tag Dee, Clew and Chas. Have Fun!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Twenty Years Ago Today

It is hard to believe that it was that long ago, yet twenty years cannot be that long. Yet I finished High School twenty years ago this evening. I was a bit sad to have the time over. But it was not the most pleasant time either. My dad was the pastor/superintendent of the private school that I attended. Not all of my teachers liked him much and they didn’t have the sense or maturity to let their issues with him stay with him. One’s dislike of my dad spilled over onto me. I was not completely innocent in it, I knew she did not like my dad and I played on that some. But I had my beliefs and I refused to change them to fit her view of the world. I do have many more happy memories of high school. There was playing football during the first snow of the year, softball and volleyball tournaments, state and national conventions, hanging out with my friends and the daily learning of new things.

Even with the good memories outweighing the negative, I would not go back to those days even if I knew then what I know now. Life today is too full, too deep to go back to the days when the unimportant things in life mattered too much and the important things mattered too little. So, I will take life as it is now, even with its complications and nuances.
Photo ~
Back Row: Sheri, Mom, Janelle
Middle Row: Lynette, Me
Front: Melanie

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword-
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps-
His day is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat,
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
O be swift my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on!

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe

In 1861, along with Massachusetts Governor Andrews and a Unitarian Church Pastor, Julia and her husband, Dr. Samuel Ward were invited to watch a military review of federal troops. Following the inspection, as the Howes were returning to the city of Washington, the streets were filled with soldiers singing "John Brown's Body", a song named for one who had been hung for his efforts to free the slaves. Pastor Clarke, also hearing this, said, "Why don't you write some decent words for that tune?" Here's her account of what happened next:

"I awoke in the grey of the morning, and as I lay waiting for dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to entwine themselves in my mind, and I said to myself, 'I must get up and write these verses, lest I fall asleep and forget them!' So I sprang out of bed and in the dimness found an old stump of a pen, which I remembered using the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper."

The words for this hymn were first published in the "The Atlanta Monthly" as the "Civil War Battle Song of the Republic".

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Too Funny

Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, cat sits under a treed black bear in a backyard in West Milford, N.J., Sunday, June 4, 2006. When the bear climbed down, the cat chased it up another nearby tree. Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat. The cat's owners called it away and the bear ran off. (AP Photo/Suzanne Giovanetti)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rose Festival

We are in the middle of the Portland Rose Festival so I thought I would post a couple of pictures of our roses.

Monday, June 05, 2006

250 Miles!

The second week of January, I began tracking the number of miles I was walking. I created a spreadsheet in which I enter the distance and the number of minutes walked. Yesterday I passed 250 miles! I am ahead of my goal for 500 miles this year. I just may have to revise my goal. Who knows where I could end up if I were walking in a straight line for the whole year? It is equal to 5 times to my sister Melanie’s and back! I would be on my way home from Sheri’s in Washington. I am a long way from walking as far as my other siblings though. After all, it is 1,071 miles to Janelle’s, 1,644 miles to Bernie’s and 2,788 miles to Dan’s place. Whew! I think I’ll keep planning a bit smaller than their homes.

Update: To log my miles, I use Map My Run. I just type in my address and log in my walks. It is great since I can use any address.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Tell me the story of Jesus

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word,
Tell me the story most precious
Sweetest that ever was heard;
Tell how the angels, in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth,
Glory to God in the highest,
Peace and good tidings to earth.

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word,
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Fasting, alone in the desert,
Tell of the days that He passed,
How for our sins He was tempted,
Yet was triumphant at last;
Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore,
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected, and poor.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain;
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again;
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see;
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
Love paid the ransom for me.

Lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915)

One of the great powers that influence the world is the writer of favorite songs and hymns. Such a person approaches nearer to the hearts of the people than any one else. Wherever the religion of Christ has found lodgment, the countless songs of Fanny Crosby, the subject of this sketch, have brought comfort to Christian hearts and stirred up inspiration that will abide as long as life shall last.

Read the rest here.