Archive for May, 2010


May 31st, 2010 Comments off

For a poignant reminder:

USBA Memorial Day Message 2010

Why Pray?

May 30th, 2010 Comments off


Seven days without prayer,

makes one weak.

Mr. Know it All: Church Attendance

May 30th, 2010 1 comment

How many Christian churches in the United States are growing in attendance?

That would be: out of  the 400,000 churches only 15% are growing.

Which means 85% are standing still or losing attendance.

hmmm, Not good.

John Meets the Pope: Part 2 of 3

May 30th, 2010 Comments off

Guest Writer: John Hayter

The guide said, ” We have time to see a church in a nearby suburb I think you will be interested in.”

It was a rather unremarkable but very nice smallish church with a Medieval ambulatory surrounding a small square lawn with a well in the middle.  As we were looking around, a tall thin priest wearing a black cassock and zuchetta (a small skullcap) strolled slowly around the ambulatory, reading his Bible.

The guide asked, “Who does he look like, to you?”

“Hmm….he looks an awful lot like The Pope.”

Well, he did look like the Pontiff, but it wasn’t him. That’s when the guide said, “If you like, the Pope has an audience at 5 PM and I know someone there and I can get you in.”

“By ALL means, let’s get me to the “audience.”

We went back, and inside St. Peters,  my guide conferred with his friend who gave me a ticket. I profusely thanked my guide.  He left and the man took me to the audience hall.  It was a Semi-Private Audience,  in a hall about 40 yards long and 10 wide, one of the smaller ones in the Vatican.  It was in baroque style with doors about 12 feet high, a red velvet carpet running down the middle and a throne at the end.  There were brass poles and a red velvet rope on both sides of the carpet.

At the appointed time the huge doors were thrown open, the Camerlango (the Papal Master of Ceremonies) stepped in, struck his staff three times on the marble floor and announced in Italian, “His Holiness Pope Pius XII.”  He was carried in on what is called a Gestatorial Chair. It was carried on the shoulders of 8 handsome young men dressed in white satin 18th Century Court Costumes.  The Pope was wearing a white cassock, white shoes, and a white zuchetta  skullcap.

They carried him down the aisle to his throne and set the chair down, while the ‘audience,’ mostly apparently Italians, were all cheering lustily.  He ascended the three steps to the throne and they carried the chair out.

Memorial Day, 1913

May 29th, 2010 2 comments

This was taken on Memorial Day, May 30, 1913.  My ancestors met at the  family cemetary.  According to Cindy, who sent it to me, she quoted her Mother-in-law, Maggie: “Mom told me that every memorial day the whole family would go to the cemetary. They would have a picnic and spend the day cleaning up the gravestones, planting flowers, pulling weeds etc.”

My own mother would have been nine months old. Could that dark haired – dark eyed baby held in her father’s arms possibly be Mama? I am excited at the thought.  This is a picture I have never seen before, and am grateful to Cindy for sending it.  Now, I am trying to figure out who some of the others are.  What a great picture.

I wish I could play a game of time travel and be back there with them.  I never got to meet my grandfather, he died a few years after this picture was taken, at age 42.  That is why this picture is even more precious.

More than ‘Just a Note’

May 29th, 2010 Comments off



A friend wrote this to me over twenty years ago.

It remained on the side of my refrigerator for most of those years.

I didn’t understand it for a long, long time,

but now I do,

and I thank her.

I am sharing it with you  because

the inspired truth applies

to you,

as well as to me.

Believe and accept

what God has blessed

and gifted you with,

and that’s when

He’ll start to use and

bless and fulfill

all your

dreams and desires.

Kostbar Kind (Precious Baby)

May 29th, 2010 1 comment

My niece Lori was born in Germany. Her parents, Norma Sue and Darrell were stationed there in the Air Force. I arrived in Kaiserslautern, Germany  to teach when Lori Ann was 9 months old.  Dressed in her German clothes she stole hearts left and right. She didn’t have to steal mine, she had it from the moment I saw her pretty little face.

Arguing Theories

May 29th, 2010 Comments off


I have  two theories about arguing with women.

Neither one has worked so far.

Childhood Preserved: Cindy Bratcher

May 28th, 2010 1 comment


This rocking horse was popular with Gerard in 1926 when he was three years old, and baby sister Cindy found it just as much fun in 1938 when she was four.

Many years later Cindy discovered the horse in pieces, in the cellar of her family home. She lovingly restored the oft ridden pony;  and now has it corraled in her home, a wonderful reminder of her childhood.

I asked her about the restoration:

“I did it all by myself and it was a labor of love.  The red wooden part that connects with the brace was missing and I had to cut one out of wood and paint it to match. That was tricky, but it came out well.  The saddle and reins were missing so I had to make new ones.  His missing tail was fashioned from a hair fall, but it didn’t look right as a mane, so I left it off.

When he was all back together, I gave him a little push to start him rocking. To my surprise and delight, as he rocked back and forth,  I heard the the same squeaking sound that I remembered hearing some 70 years ago, when I was a just a little girl.”

What a terrific way to preserve those childhood memories. Great Job Cindy. I’m sure Gerard would approve.

UCC Cleans Up . . . Car after Car

May 28th, 2010 1 comment

Ryan Thwing is the personable, energetic and dedicated youth minister at University Christian Church.

He knows how to teach, preach, inspire, and to wash cars!  Ryan was in the middle of the action as the young people of the church spent the day washing a steady stream of dirty cars..

Although it was nonstop work, there was also pizza, laughter, blasting Christian music and a spirit of fun.   The reward? At the end of the day the tired bunch of hardworking kids had earned $600.00.

The money will be used to help supplement expenses for special activities of the youth group.  Congratulations Ryan and UCC  Kids, you are terrific!  (and my car looks great too)

Thanks to Lulu Garcia for the photos.

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