The Worst News Ever

It was the last thing I had been expecting, and the horror of it has only grown in the seventeen years since it happened. For those of you wanting to know how to talk during the tough times, let me tell you that this was one of those occasions when God really does give his children the right words at the right time, though I did feel terribly unprepared.

“Of course, I will be glad to pray for him,” I said.

Who wouldn’t pray for a sick three-year-old who looked dangerously close to death? Having only one relevant question for the man on the other end of the telephone line, I wasn’t anticipating the staggering blow with which, using just a few very thoughtless words, he proceeded to pummel my heart.

This may have been, if not the very last, at least one of the final last-straw moments that forcefully propelled my husband and me from the familiar comfort of the church of our roots and into the frightening world of Spirit-led churches. Looking back, I probably should have thanked the preacher for the insight that his short telephone conversation had afforded me.

But at the time, my primary response was a growing dread, accompanied by the fear that attaches itself to a tragedy that just might not be fixed in time. And time was already becoming terribly short.

Having no personal knowledge of the dying three-year-old’s parents, as gently as I could, I asked, “Has the child been taught to know Jesus?”

Now when I was growing up, maybe I was not anything like your average three-year-old. I know that by the time I reached three years of age, I already relished the Bible, Jesus, and church. By that ancient old age, I had already woven my heart into two favorite pastimes: singing God’s praises at home and in church, and learning as much as I could about God whenever my parents got out their Bibles.

Story time at night was my favorite time of day because that was when my mother would gather my brother and me into her lap, sing songs about Jesus, and read to us from a children’s Bible story book, the kind that showed dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden, and dinosaurs getting ready to board Noah’s Ark. As early as age three (but probably much sooner), thoughts of creation, a fallen world, sin, judgment, Jesus, and redemption filled my mind constantly, favorite television shows and movies notwithstanding.

For some reason, by then I had also deeply imbibed the idea that if I lived a great Christian life, like so many of Jesus’ followers in New Testament times, then somehow my name and my story would be included in the Bible. As far as I was able, I wanted to make sure that mine would be a good story that would make both God and me proud.

I remember sitting many times off by myself, pondering whether or not, like many of the people my parents read to us about in the book of Acts, I would have sufficient faith to die for Jesus, if circumstances required it. What if my faith wavered when the pain became too much? Already, I was discovering within myself an abysmally small pain tolerance, and the thought that I might turn away from Jesus at the point of a painful death absolutely terrified me.

However, I never mentioned any of this to my parents, whom I knew to be strong, brave, hard-working people, the kind of parents who might not quite understand the irrational fears of a three-year-old contemplating a martyr’s death. Though I didn’t know how my parents might react to my desperate dilemma, the one thing that I did know was that I didn’t want them to EVER find out. Whatever it took, I would never allow my parents to know that their precious three-year-old daughter was a dyed-in-the-wool comfort-loving coward. The shock of it, I assured myself over and over, would have just been too much for them. Because if push came to shove, if my amazing parents had had to die for their faith in Jesus, I knew they would have been unfailingly brave to the very end. Oh, how I endlessly longed to be able to say the same for myself!

With this in mind, you can only imagine my miserable surprise upon hearing the preacher retort in a rising voice, “How would that even be possible? He’s only three years old!”

And, I thought, if he hasn’t been taught about Jesus by now, whether he lives or dies, it may already be too late for him.

“Well,” I snapped, “You may be sure that he has already been made acquainted with Mickey Mouse!”

Almost immediately after that, my husband and I began the awful process of “church shopping”, determined that whatever happened, our little ones would be taught to know Jesus from the very beginning of their lives. To do anything less would be to set them up to enter eternity, at whatever age they did enter it, completely unprepared. Which terrible news would come to them already too late.

by Gwennon
February 7, 2018

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Eugenics, Euthanasia and The Resuscitation of Evil Against The Disabled

How well do we love our neighbor? This article provides a very scary answer. Please read prayerfully, and be sure to thank the author if you like it. Thank you.


Eugenics, Euthanasia and The Resuscitation of Evil Against The Disabled

As the year 2017 draws to a close, there will be inevitable reminiscing about the most important stories of the past 12 months. President Trump’s first year will certainly be considered one, if not the number one most important story.

Some might rightly claim that 2017 was the year of the “sexual scandals” that exploded in almost every area of the public arena. When one looks beyond the United States, the tragic economic collapse of Socialist Venezuela might top the 2017 list.

Yet, there was one rather ominous series of events that were virtually ignored in 2017.  These events mark a revival of eugenics and a resuscitation of evil intent against the disabled.

A Eugenics Revival

Eugenics is a pernicious philosophy which makes human existence a commodity. A commodity where each individual’s right to live is twisted into each individual’s worthiness to live.

The most infamous application of eugenics was the…

View original post 1,194 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy Animal

Another marvel of God’s amazing, special creation. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. If you do, please be sure to thank the artist for this lovely photograph. I love the idea of Jesus as the Lion of Judah. Those are the words that came into my mind as soon as I laid eyes on this lovely photo. “He’s NOT A TAME LION,But HE IS GOOD,” (Mr. Beaver’s words from Narnia) also seem appropriate.

Cool Fur Babies

Happy Animal

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Genesis History? The Movie

You know, if one part of the Bible ain’t true, it’s all baloney. On the other hand, if God is God enough to tell us the truth from the very beginning, then we probably ought to believe and put into practice everything He says in the whole Bible. I hope you will find this article helpful. If you do, please go back and thank the author. And if you can also watch the movie, I think you would be blessed by it.

Bible-Science Guy

(4 Minute Read. With video.)


What really happened
In the beginning“?

Did God create the world in six days, or did it take billions of years?
How did the vast diversity of plants and animals originate?
Did Man descend from apes, or was he created in the image of God?
Was there a real Adam and Eve?
Was there a global flood that destroyed the world, or is that a myth?
Why do we have so many different languages?
In short,
Is Genesis really true?
Is Genesis historically accurate?

A new documentary film investigates these vital questions. Theaters nationwide will show
Is Genesis History?
on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

The most attacked book of the Bible has always been Genesis. Today the assaults come from skeptics and liberals as well as from within the church. The Book of Genesis is bombarded with unrelenting skepticism, derision…

View original post 1,417 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Santa on Trial

While Santa is everywhere, we need to remember our real reason for Christmas: Jesus, prepared to give all to save us from our sins. I hope you will enjoy Mr. Camac’s article as I much as I have. Please be sure to thank him for his excellent writing. Also, Merry Christmas!

Jonathan Camac


The big fella.

Every Christmas the big red starts making his appearance. And so we dust off and roll out the red carpet for our hailed guest at Christmas Carols. News Shows. Adverts. Major festivals. Photo shoots. Sporting events. Pageants. Ceremonies. Parties.

Santa’s social stocks go off the freaking charts. 

And amongst all the flashing lights and fan-fare, the true Christmas story appears increasingly irrelevant. God is thrown onto the back-burner. Jesus is once again driven back into his manger on the outskirts of town, as we fill and leave no room or vacancy for the God who came to save the very people who showed him the stiff arm.

It’s not unusual for Jesus to have opposition. Hear that loud and clear. Jesus is no stranger to rejection. Jesus even expected it (John 15:18). But if you’re going to hate on God, at least get your criticisms remotely right…

View original post 1,375 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Shortage

After hearing the words for so long,
I had started to believe them.

It was a problem that no one had thought to plan ahead for. But, oh, how I wish they had!

The problem began at the bank. Actually, they wouldn’t want me to tell you that. Being a private financial institution—and, they would point out, one that treats their customers much better than a bank usually does—they were, technically speaking, a credit union. That is what we ought to be calling them.

So, instead of beginning with, “The problem began at the bank,” I ought to be telling you, “The problem began at the credit union.” But, that’s not right, either. The real problem did not begin at the credit union. It was only revealed there.

Once it had been revealed, the bank people—I meant to tell you, the credit union people—did all they could to ameliorate the problem. That, after all, is what credit union people do, which—they would be quick to point out to you—is one of the vital differences between banks and credit unions.

But despite all their efforts and good intentions, the problem could not be fixed. And, without regular internet service and extra cash, I was not going to be able to fix the problem myself, either. I was running out of time, and I knew that much immediately.

No, the problem had begun several years earlier with a song. It was a song we heard only during cold weather, and, although it was kind of cute, at first I paid little attention to it.

Then I heard my daughter singing it, something about the perfect gift. To be specific, the perfect Christmas gift. To a background of lively music, a girl starts trying to wheedle her parents into giving her the “perfect” gift, a gift that starts out being expensive, and ends up being endlessly inconvenient. At least, to the parents. To the girl, in theory, it becomes a source of endless delight.

Well, if life were a cartoon—or if we were still all living in the Garden of Eden—then this idea might have had possibilities. If only! But, after hearing the song sung at all hours of the day and night, first of all on the radio, then directly from the lips of my own daughter, it was beginning to sound plausible.

In the real world, hippopotamuses—or, should I say, “hippopotami”?—are messy and temperamental. Besides this, when I stop to think of their vet bills and the simply enormous cost of Purina Hippo Chow, not to mention, regular hippo haircuts and mani-pedis, I shudder.

However, the bank—oops, credit union—already had a cute solution to my problem. For only five dollars, I could buy the cutest little plush hippo anyone has ever seen. I didn’t even realize I needed one, until I was standing in line, and there it was, smiling at me, hinting that for the right price, it could come home with me. Of course, I had to have it.

Snatching it up, I announced to Arwyn, one of the tellers, that I was going to buy it. Right after I had made my deposit.

My daughter, Lacey, who likes bossing people, immediately piped up with, “Mom, that’s five dollars! You can’t afford that! Why do we need a hippo?

I already had my comeback: “We need it for Lizzie. For Christmas. You know how many years she’s been singing about a hippopotamus for Christmas. This would be the perfect gift.”

Lacey was not impressed. “Mo—ooo—om!” she groaned. “Lizzie doesn’t want a hippopotamus for Christmas! No one does!”

“That will be five dollars,” Arwyn reminded me. I happily handed it over. The hippo was now legally mine.

Lacey was talking louder now. “Lizzie really doesn’t want a hippo for Christmas!”

“It will be cute. She’s going to love it!”

Before we could leave the bank—er, credit union—I had a few more transactions to make. As we went down my list, Lacey began to pet the hippo. “What are you doing?” I demanded.

She sighed. “That’s an awful nice hippo, Mom!”

Time for a change of plan. Over the years, Lacey and Lizzie, daughters number three and number one, although eight years apart, were so much alike in looks and temperament that my husband and I had started referring to them as “the twins”. Wouldn’t it be fun to buy them the same cute little gift for Christmas?

“Do you have any more of these?” I asked Arwyn. “Looks like I’m going to need two.”

“Let me make a call,” she replied. “We don’t have any more right here. But our other branch might still have some.”

While Arwyn was making her telephone call, Lacey had some business of her own to discuss: “Lizzie doesn’t really want a hippo for Christmas, Mom! And she doesn’t need one, either. She’s getting married. There’s other stuff she needs and wants. You really ought to sell that one back to the bank!” This would have been a great time to remind her that we were at a credit union, and had been going to one for most of her life. But there was no time for that.

Arwyn returned, shaking her head. “The other branch doesn’t have any hippos, either. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.”

I told her not to worry about it. As everyone knows, hippo shortages in America are usually quickly forgotten. Nothing to write home about, as my husband, Sergei, would tell you.

But this one was. As we were walking out to the car, Lacey sighed once more. “That’s an awful nice hippo, Mom!”

Had I made a mistake? Maybe I should be putting the hippo away for Lacey, instead of Lizzie.

At home, I stashed the hippo and tried to forget it during the flurries of last-minute wedding preparations.

The day after the wedding, when family was still in town, some of us went downtown together for some walking and window shopping. I wondered if my hippo might have a companion at one of the stores.

Before I realized what was happening, I found myself in pet store, automatically squeezing a large hippo with a squeaky center. “That’s a dog toy,” my Aunt Kara reminded me. “That hippo might send the wrong message to Lizzie.”

Putting down the hippo, I left the store, thinking she might be right. But where else was I going to find a suitable hippo?

Turns out, nowhere. Like their living counterparts, the plush hippos residing in my city had become secretive and elusive. After searching high and low, I realized that a companion hippo for the one I had already bought was nowhere to be found.

Before I knew where the time had gone, it was time to start wrapping the gifts. One day, Lizzie came over and volunteered to help me. At the last minute, considering how much Lacey had seemed to enjoy and covet the hippo, I decided to give it to her instead of Lizzie. And, since she was there and ready to help, I asked Lizzie to wrap it.

As she was putting the last of the tape on the package, she looked at me and sighed, “That’s an awful nice hippo, Mom!”

December 2011

Posted in Fun, one of my short stories | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Taste of The Caterpillar

When all was said and done, my dog was not very happy. In fact, using the universal dog-sign-language signal built from barred teeth combined with eyes opened as wide as they can go, he let me know just how far from happy he had actually drifted. And I knew exactly how he felt.

Ten minutes earlier, my kind-hearted husband had agreed to give me the treat I had been asking for: a special massage. As we each found a good stopping place in our routine cleaning jobs, he settled into a straight chair in our room, making room for me in front of him on the floor.

Sensing good things might also be headed his own way, our dog “Roosevelt” ambled into the room, making himself at home right in front of me, then rolled over, hinting not terribly subtly that if I was going to be getting good treatment, why shouldn’t I go ahead and share the wealth by giving him what he always wanted: a massage of his own. Within moments, I found my hands massaging and caressing our now-happy canine as I enjoyed my own massage.

My husband said, “That is one happy dog!” To signal his agreement, the dog wriggled a little, indicating that I was free to continue massaging his back for as long as I wanted to contin—make that, until the dog decided he was tired of it, possibly another twenty long minutes down the road.

So, there I sat, not only enjoying a lovely massage of my own, but giving an equally-appreciated massage to the friend in front of me. But this was not the first time something like this had happened. While I was relaxing more and more, smiles filled both my face, and the face of the dog until I was suddenly transported back through time over 30 years before.

Those were the days when the summer dream of almost every single one of my friends in the church youth group centered around our yearly trip to camp, off in the piney woods, where the air was fresh, Triple X root beer (our official camp drink) was still sold in the canteen, and where all the cool kids from church would be thrown together for a series of exciting, enlightening adventures for a whole week at a time. We enjoyed such activities as swimming, horse-back riding, various craft projects, and multiple classes per day of good, solid Bible teaching.

All of these were, of course, wonderful, and even today I remember some of the lessons we learned back then. But, good as these activities were, they were not my favorite reason for going to camp. My top favorite reason for wanting to go to camp was the many beautiful songs we would be cycling through several times a day. Coming from a stellar acapella tradition—it was about the closest thing to heaven I could ever imagine then or since—our campground of choice kept us singing God’s praises all day long in a group of about 150 singers, most of whom had grown up singing in church three or more times per week, and a few of whom were even better trained. I don’t remember a single bad singer ever ruining the four- and sometimes five-or-six-part harmonies and interlocking melodies that echoed constantly through the camp. Now praising God is good for its own sake. But praising God beautifully in a group that beautified both the praises and the process? That was exquisite. I think the only worship that can top those camp singings will be the worship that the redeemed will offer God after we have gotten to heaven.

My second favorite camp activity was “THE CATERPILLAR”, so called because of its appearance. To form the caterpillar, several cabins of campers (as I recall, either all girls, or all boys) would form a circle, placing their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. At the leaders’ signal, this group would slowly ease down into a sitting position, settling each individual onto the lap of the person behind him. Then the fun would begin: we would each massage the back of the person in front of us. After about five minutes of this feel-good-business, we would stand slowly, each person would turn around, we would resume sitting, then we would end up massaging the back of the person who had earlier been behind us. I was always a little sorry when the caterpillar broke up for other activities.

Spoiler alert: in the real world, this massage technique works well only for either the very young, or the still-athletic, but could prove disastrous for the older, out-of-shape set.

Nevertheless, right here in my own home, on a very small scale, my family had managed to replicate it. For exactly ten minutes. Inevitably, this was interrupted by the timer I had set earlier, since I had promised my husband, “If you can give me special treatment for just ten minutes, I promise, I’ll be happy with that.”

Having made no such promise of his own, though, and understanding that the sounding of the timer heralded some sort of change, the dog just stared at me and sighed, while my husband moved off to return to his work. Not that this mattered to the dog. All things being equal, if I ended the dog’s massage now, it wouldn’t be fair. He was right. To be fair, I gave him a few extra seconds of massage time so that his own massage could last as long as mine had before I finally quit and told him to try to be happy with what I had been able to give him.

But the dog and I are already making plans for a new caterpillar experience tomorrow. We just haven’t told my husband yet.

One of many Christmas gifts received by Gwennon
December 3, 2017

Posted in Favorite, Fun, one of my short stories | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment