Love Finally Discovered!

(By: Dale Rasmussen)

I am the last of six children, born in the Blue Mountain Hospital in Prairie City, Oregon. My mother was 42 years of age when I was born, and she soon became very tired physically and emotionally after my birth. In a sense, she "gave up" and I was reared in a home environment with little discipline, structure, and rules. I also did not have a positive role model of marriage and family life.

During the first two years of my life, I was cared for a lot by my older sister, Lenora. She would feed, change, bathe, and play with me during the evenings when she was home from school. My other brothers and sisters helped a lot with me as well.

I was given a rabbit fur pelt as a small child and I would carry it with me most of the time. I called it my "Kee-ko" and would cuddle it against my face when I went to sleep. I still have a "tiny" piece of it my mother saved all these years, and it was given to me again in 1997 after the passing of my mother. She had saved that little piece of "Kee-ko" tucked safely away in the dresser in her bedroom.

Being the youngest in the family allowed me to watch all of my brothers and sisters leave home one by one, as they matured and went out into the world to establish living on their own. My sister, Lenora, played a mean trick on me when I was young by holding me up in front of the large golden framed mirror hanging on the kitchen wall and say, "monkey, monkey!" I would point into the mirror and repeat back, "monkey, monkey!" It was not until I was older that I realized I was not a monkey...but a human child.

I was a very shy and bashful child. I would hide when people came over to visit in our home. Often, when my family gathered for special holidays and occasions, I would go into my bedroom, out into the yard, into the woodshed, or just walk around town to avoid being around people. If one of them happened to corner me to talk to me, I would swear at them and tell them to leave me alone. Sometimes, someone would slip me a plate of food on these occasions and I would eat it all alone by myself.

I grew up in Bates, Oregon and attended the Bates Grade School. I came home to an emotionally, empty house...and would just go and do whatever I wanted. I remember cutting wood with my dad in the summers. He was not a man who could give good instructions verbally. His method of teaching me was to "watch him." I learned a lot from my dad this way. He taught me a lot about fixing bikes, motorcycles, cars, and other kinds of repairs. We worked hard together cutting and stacking the wood for our winter heating.

When I was about nine or ten years old, I became the "wrong kid" to hang out with in Bates. I learned that if I wanted something...I just went out and got it. I started with stealing small bottles of pop and candy bars. This led to bigger and bigger items. I started breaking into houses in Bates, and stealing larger items of value. Eventually I was stealing stereos and guns.

By now I had a few friends who had joined up with me, and we began traveling to other towns to steal. Mom and dad did not have any control of me and I simply did what I wanted to do. I was very low in self-esteem, and my feelings of self-worth were almost non-existent. I had nothing in common to talk to my parents about, and I know I caused them a lot of heartache and grief...but then...I just didn't care! The only person I thought about or cared about, was myself. So I continued in this pattern of life and became better and better at stealing. I found my self-esteem and self-worth being reinforced through this negative behavior, as I could steal "very good" and not get caught. It was a sense of power and belonging...and I felt little remorse for my actions. I suppose if I were living this time period in the 1990's to the present, I would have been part of a "GANG."

I would often ask myself, "Why am I doing this?" The conclusions I came to and answered in my mind are what I have spoken in the previous paragraphs. It was mostly about self-esteem, self-worth, and attention...because I got very little of that at home. I was a "loner" with no support systems I could relate too.

In Bates, I also learned to party and drink booze. I fit into that kind of crowd comfortably. When my dad retired from the Bates sawmill, we moved to Prairie City into a rented home. This was now my sophomore year attending Prairie City High School.

At the age of 16, the LAW caught up with me in Baker, Oregon. I was with some other teenagers and we broke into a stereo shop. I became a "ward of the court," and was placed into the home of my older sister Flora, and her husband, Jerry Cheadle, in John Day, Oregon.

Flora was working in the Canyon City, Oregon and Grant County Juvenile Court System. It was decided that the home environment of living with my parents was not conducive to my better good. So I was placed into a home where I now had rules, curfews, and schedules to adhere too. This did not go over too well with me. I was so used to my freedom, sleeping my own hours, and coming and going as I pleased, and I soon began to rebel against my new living restrictions. During this time, I was now attending Grant Union High School in John Day, Oregon. I finished my last half of my sophomore year there.

Flora and Jerry were Christians, and I noticed a totally different feeling in their home than what I had experienced before. There was love, open conversations, and open displays of affection physically and verbally. They showed a lot of love and caring for their two children, Jim and Jodi. In a way, I envied them for what they had, but I just didn't know how to get it for myself.

One day, Flora was in the kitchen cooking over her stove and I was sitting at the table talking with her. She was relating to me how much she loved me. I found myself resisting and said, "No one loves me!" Flora would say, "I love you." This conversation kept going on in this fashion as she continued to validate her love and caring for me, and I continued to put myself down and argue that I was not loved by anyone. It became a power struggle with me and I very much wanted to win that dissertation, and so I said, "Do you mean that if I went in and killed your children, that you would still love me?" Suddenly, it all got quiet.  She did not speak another word, and I retired to my bedroom with a grin on my face, thinking that I had won the argument.

Within one half hour there were three big cops entering my bedroom door. They handcuffed me and took me downtown and put me into jail. I yelled and screamed and made all sorts of noise in that cell. They wouldn't tell me anything, or why I had been arrested, and I was demanding to know. In my mind, I could only justify this madness by thinking it concerned one of my previous burglaries. The police soon gave me a choice; either I could shut up and stop pounding and shaking the bars, or they would put me in a straitjacket. So I quieted down. I was left only to my thoughts and suppositions throughout the night, and well into the next day. Flora had explained to me why she had me arrested. It was because of the statement I had made concerning her children and at that point, she felt I was too great of a liability to have in their home. This incident led to my being sent to the Oregon State Mental Hospital in Pendleton, Oregon for a 28-day mental evaluation to determine if I was "sane."

While in this hospital, I learned a lot of valuable lessons. I saw all kinds of people with all kinds of problems. I witnessed alcoholics going through the stages of "drying up." I also remember nights when a drug addict would be admitted to the hospital and put into a padded cell to work out the "withdrawals." This person would scream and call out in great pain and trauma, and would be left alone as the physical body adjusted to the absence of its MASTER. I saw the physically and mentally handicapped that were born with their maladies. I saw the ones that were admitted later in life due to depression, and other mental breakdown conditions. I began to think about the kind of life I was heading for and where I would end up if I didn't change my ways. Still the devil in me wanted to have fun, and I and some of the other people who were being evaluated, would play mean tricks on the less mentally fortunate...and on some of the guards, and medical staff. I figured that if they thought I was crazy, I was going to act crazy and enjoy my stay!

The evaluations came back in the negative, and I was pronounced "sane." Recommendations were made for a structured, disciplined, living environment, providing individual and group counseling.

I was returned to the Grant County Jail in John Day where I was contained for the next three weeks. This gave me a lot of time to think about my life. I really hated all this restriction. I thought about the gun that I would carry inside my jacket when I broke into a store, or a home to steal. I asked myself the question, "What would I do with that gun?  Why was I carrying it?" I thought, "Would I have ever used it?" My rational mind told me I had to make a decision...either I am going to go "big time" or stop. If I continued down that path, I saw only the natural consequence of prison, or death. If I actually did kill someone with that gun, would I die also? I made the decision in that jail cell that I was not going to steal again. I knew eventually that the law would win.

The court placed me in Bend, Oregon as a new occupant of the J. Bar J. Boys' Ranch. I was told this was my opportunity to straighten out my life to become a normal participant of society, and that if I didn't cooperate, then I would be placed in "Mc Claren, Oregon." Mc Claren being the Boys' Reformatory for the more "hardened" young criminals. This court ruling was the scene in which my mother got up and walked out, in a sense disowning my sister, Flora. It was a few years later that the two of them put their relationship back together. But that's another story.

I enrolled in Bend High School as a junior, and started my reform at the Boys' Ranch. There were three stages I had to advance through. Each stage was a progression from the first, and each had more freedoms and gratuities as I advanced my way back into society. Eventually I was allowed to have weekend passes to visit my family. Mom and Dad would drive over from Prairie City, Oregon to pick me up and take me back over there for the weekend.

As it became apparent that I was going to be able to be released, I knew I did not want to go back to Prairie City and to be with the old friends I used to hang out with. There was nothing for me there except my parents, and I was just learning how to establish a relationship with them. It was empty and lonely to entertain thoughts about moving back home. I was enjoying the life of Bend and my new friends. I began to like the Ranch, as there were people who seemed to have a real care and interest in me and my welfare. I started making new friends, and found the group and individual counseling sessions a real support. I could not be released until I could show I had a place to live and could make it on my own.

By now I was completing my third phase at the Ranch and would soon be allowed to be out on my own. One day my dad asked me, "Dale, what are you going to do?" Do you have a place to live?" I told him I knew I was not going back to Prairie City and John Day and would like to stay in Bend and finish my schooling there. Dad said he and mom would like to move to Bend so I would have a home to come to. I told him that was fine, and that is how my parents came to move to Bend, Oregon, and I then moved in with them. I went to work at Bend Mill Works in September 1971, the beginning of my senior year. I went to school during the day and worked the swing shift in the evening.

During the fall of my senior year, I met a girl who later became my first wife. Her name was Penny. She was only fifteen years old and expecting a baby. We soon became friends and started dating. Penny gave birth to a baby girl, and I told her I would marry her and rear the baby as my own. We went to Reno, Nevada with my mom and dad, and Penny's mom and boyfriend on March 18, 1972, and were married. The relationship was totally wrong from the beginning and neither one of us knew anything about responsibility, resolving arguments, and working through marriage problems. She began to see another man, and I filed for divorce in 1973. This was the deepest emotional pain that I had ever experienced in my life up until then.  I immersed myself in my work. I asked for as much overtime as I could get. My plan was to save as much money as I could and buy me a brand new car...a very fast moving car!

By now I knew the party crowd of Bend and was now "boozing it up" more than usual. I was introduced to marijuana and hash drugs. I liked the way I felt when I drank and the illusion of self-confidence and relaxation it seemed to provide. The drugs were even better, because they helped numb the pain. I slipped into a world of imaginary happiness using these vices. The only problem was that when I came down from the temporary fixes, I was left to my same problems and emotions. I felt caged, imprisoned, and locked into my own solitary confinement. I never took any drugs stronger than these two mentioned. I continued the use of drugs discreetly for about six to nine months.

Eventually I made the decision to stop taking them because I did not like the side effects. I felt my sense of motivation and personal zest for life waning...I felt lazy and non-enthused. Goals were no longer important and I just drifted from one day into the next, wasting time away. I knew somewhere I had to find a meaning for life and a purpose to live. But where could I find it? I had tried every way I knew and about everything there was to try, and still no real internal happiness penetrated me.

The car I bought was a Camero, and it was very fast.  I started racing against some of the people in the crowd I hung out with. I had moved in to live with mom and dad after my divorce so I could save most of my money. I added to my car collection and purchased a 4-wheel drive pick up truck. I was the first guy in Bend to put on the "giant" tires. This started a trend and others followed suit. Soon we were racing more and more to pass the time, and continued to party.

I met a girl by the name of Debbie. We had an off-again and on-again relationship for the next two years. We would talk about marriage and call it off. We even tried living together, thinking we could create happiness and find love together. Again this relationship disintegrated when she told me she was going to start dating another man. I was devastated by her choice, because I knew that man and I thought of him to be much less of a person than I was. I couldn't believe I was being replaced so rapidly with that kind of person.

This caused my life to go into a tailspin. I now started thinking about what I would really want in a wife if I could find the ideal person. Again I asked myself the questions, "What is my purpose in life?" I have tried everything there is about life to try: Women, booze, drugs, stealing, law breaking, and parties. Where was the happiness of life found? One day I asked myself the biggest question of all - "Dale, what would really bring you the most happiness?" I concluded that what I wanted most was a wife who really loved me...who would be faithful...and with whom we could rear a family together. "How do I get it?"...I thought. To me it was an impossible dream. I decided, if there was a girl like that, she was going to have to be religious and believe in God. I didn't know anyone like that. Up until now, I had looked for women in all of the wrong places.

I began to reflect back upon the example of my sister, Flora and her family. They were "saved" and Jesus Christ was deep into their lives. I thought if there was a God, then they must know who He is. I remembered the peaceful feeling I felt while living in their home. I called Flora on the telephone and we talked for a long time about life, religion and various subjects. Flora issued me a challenge: "Dale, why don't you try going to church in Bend?" I found myself saying, "I can't, I have a reputation to live up to. I would be so embarrassed if my friends found out I was going to church." However, I ended the phone conversation with a request that my sister pray for me.

Within the next two months, things started to happen! One day I was visiting with an old man in his 60's and I asked him my golden question."What would you look for in a wife if you had it to do all over again?" His reply: "I would look for a religious woman!" I remember how impressed I was with his answer. It verified my own conclusion I had worked out in my own mind two months earlier.

My boss was a Christian man. He minded his own business and didn't impose his religion upon me. I began to ask some questions, just to feel him out. His name was Gary Binder. One day Gary told me about a family that needed help in moving from one house to another. He said some young people from the church he attended would be there. When he mentioned there would be girls, he caught my interest and I found myself accepting the invitation to help offer my assistance.

The family moved from a beautiful farmhouse into a less fortunate home several miles away. I couldn't help think, "Why are they doing this?" It was like they were moving from a "riches to rags" lifestyle. Yet, they seemed to be very happy about it. I don't know all the circumstances as to why they moved -- I just remember they were happy and contented. During the trips of the day, I found myself often paired up with a cowboy-looking guy. We rode in the same vehicle on some of the trips between the houses. I took a liking to this guy. He was very friendly, and had a four-wheel drive truck and seemed to be a man's man.

Later that evening, the family we helped took us all out to dinner at Sambos' Restaurant in Bend. Before we ate our food, he said, "Let's all join hands and thank God." The people gathered hands and prayed. I was embarrassed. I was hoping none of my friends would see me with this crowd. After dinner, the cowboy guy, Neil Ross, invited me to come over to his house where a group of Christian young men and women would be gathering.

I remember how those people spoke to me. They were nice, happy, and fun. I felt they took a genuine interest in me as a person. It did not seem to matter to them that they knew nothing about my past or about me. They simply accepted me for who I was. This aroused my to how they could show caring and concern for me.

Neil invited me to go to church with him the next morning. I said, "I cannot go to church with you. What would my friends think." Then I started to compare my friends to his friends, and all I could think of is whatever they have in their lives is what I wanted in mine, because my friends did not show that kind of happiness and concern. I told Neil I would go if he would pick me up and take me. I did not want any of my friends driving by and seeing my truck or car there.

I entered the church with Neil. The people were praying and worshiping the Lord. I thought, "What is going on?" I looked at their faces and decided that whatever it was, it was real. They know this Jesus. He is real in their lives. I thought of my own life and how phony it was. "I'm a phony," I told myself. "These are the 'real' people."

I looked around and saw a guy I worked with down at the mill. I had always judged him to be a real jerk! I made my way to him and asked, "What are you doing here?" His reply was, "I gave my life to Jesus and it has been changed." I admit, I saw the change in him. The pastor then announced that he was starting a Bible study group that would begin that following Tuesday, for the people who were working swing shift.

That same Sunday evening, Neil and I attended the Nazarene Church. The pastor invited people to come up to the altar and take a stand for Christ. I was really weirded out and I did not want to mess with that. So we left and went out for coffee.

My thoughts kept reflecting back to the Bible study class, and of my experiences of the past two days. Certainly there must be something to this Jesus these people talked about. I could learn more about Him if I studied the Bible. I had not read the Bible. This was all a new experience for me.

The next day at work, I asked my boss if I could go to Bible study with him. I arrived first and no one was there. Soon my boss drove up, and the guy I had seen in church on Sunday, from my work, Jim Mc Cloud. We waited 15 minutes for the pastor to show, and he never came. We found an open window and let ourselves into the church, and I started asking questions, as I had come to get some answers. My first question to my boss was "Why do you treat me with such kindness and respect when none of the other bosses do?" I then turned to Jim and asked, "And you, Jim - what happened to you?" So for the next one and a half hours they told me about their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - how one could be saved by asking Him to come into their life and become Lord of their life.

Jim asked me a question, "Dale, do you know what every Christian regrets?" Of course, I did not know and Jim replied with the answer; "That they waited so long to become saved." That statement stopped me cold in my tracks! "That's the only regret they have?" Then I thought about all of the regrets I was carrying; yet I was not quite ready to surrender them yet.

My boss invited me to come over to his house as there were still two hours before we had to go to work. As we reached the doorway to his home, His wife, June Binder, greeted him with a hug and kiss. "WOW..." I thought, "how would it be to have a wife greet me like that when I came home?!" I watched the way they interacted with each other. They had three teenage children and were married for a long time, and I was impressed with the way they still loved each other. How could love last that long and be real, and what was the basis that kept them together. So I asked them, "How can you still be in love after all of these years?" They explained how they had given their lives to Jesus and made Him the center of their lives and marriage. I thought...I would give anything to have someone to love me the way they love each other.

On November 16, 1976, I went home to my house where I was living in Bend. I started to make dinner for myself. I put a steak on the stove to fry, and stood at the kitchen sink to wash a dish. I looked out of my kitchen window and reflected on the entire weeks' experiences. I began to talk to myself in my mind working through a logical sequence...trying to analyze my position. I thought, "If I am going to ever have what these people have, I am going to have to make Jesus Christ Lord of my life."

Then I found myself thinking these thoughts..."What would my friends think? What would I have to give up? Would I be able to have anymore fun in life?" I don't care! If Jesus is real, I want Him! I am the most selfish, cold, and self-centered person I know. I use people. I am no better than any of my friends; I have tried to change on my own reading self-help books, counseling, etc. I have tried just about everything there is to try in life. I haven't tried Jesus. If He is real, what do I have to lose? They said I can talk to Jesus, just like he were here with me in the room." SO I DID!

I was washing a dish, looking out of the window, and I started talking to Jesus. At that moment, and for the first time in my life, I realized what a sinner I was. The Holy Spirit helped me recognize it and I knew there was no hope without Christ. Then these thoughts began running through my mind; "I am good for nothing. There is nothing I can do to change myself alone. If He is here, He is listening, as loveless as I am." (I felt so cold and empty that I probably would have killed myself within two weeks. I was serious in this thought).


When I got the word, LIFE, out of my mouth, two things happened:

(1) The empty feeling of darkness vanished. I became filled with love. I had never experienced anything like that love anytime in my life.

(2) A feeling like warm oil being poured over my head running down to my feet came over me. My eyes filled with tears. I was crying, and ran around the kitchen. There was no doubt in my mind that this was the most real thing in my life. I was so happy and joyful! I felt I had to tell someone.

I called my boss. His wife, June, answered. I told her my experience and she began to cry tears of joy with me over the phone. Gary came to the phone with great excitement on hearing the news. Together we rejoiced! It was now time to go to work at the mill.

As I walked outside, I saw the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. I grabbed my camera to capture the beauty of the moment. I flew higher than a kite and when I got to work I told anyone who would listen to me about my experience and how they could also be saved. They thought I was crazy. I was just so happy, I wanted everyone to know it! They said to me, "Boy, you are weird, you have lost it!" I said to them, "Just invite Jesus into your life. It will be the best thing that ever happened to you!"

When I got home, I started reading the Bible. It came alive for me. It was as though the Lord spoke alive to me through the Bible. I read into the wee hours of the morning, and thought...I need to go to sleep. Before I went to bed that morning, I called my sister, Flora and shared my experience. She was so happy for me. For the next three weeks I remained on this "high." I attended every church service, Bible study, and kept reading the Bible and praying. I wondered where all the "swear" words had gone. Where did the addictions go? I was literally a "New Creation."

Then: One morning I awakened and there was nothing! Where did Jesus go? What did I do to make him leave? What happened? I called Neil. He read me a scripture out of I John and helped me understand what Jesus was doing. Most people take more time to come to Christ and don't always have it happen just as I did. Probably, my experience happened this way to me because I was serious about taking my own life, if I did not feel love. He allowed me to have this experience to stabilize me long enough, and then start His real work within me. Now it was my turn to learn of Him and to walk by faith and trust.

Neil became my mentor and "discipled" me during my first year in my walk with the Lord. I became saved on November 16, 1976. I met Karil Moxley that following Saturday, November 20. I went to a Christian "hangout" restaurant in Bend called "The Country Kitchen," and was introduced to her. A Christian concert was announced that would be held at Bend High School. Sandi Patti, a gospel singer, and her family were performing and I decided to attend. This was my first Christian concert and I did not quite know what to expect. Karil attended the concert also. After the concert, a group of Christian young people decided to go to a restaurant for a cup of coffee. Karil happened to get into my truck to ride with me. We talked and became acquainted with one another.

We began to date over the next two months, and it was apparent our relationship was progressing quickly. One evening I was driving my car down by Drake Park in Bend. Karil was in her car following me and we were on our way to my house. As I drove along, I thought, "This relationship is either going to have to stop, or keep going." I started to pray and ask God, "What do you want me to do...marry her?" This is the one time I can honestly say that if I ever heard the voice of God, I heard it that night. The answer came in a distinctive audible, "YES."

We went back to my house to park her car. She joined me in mine and we went for a drive up on "Water Tank Hill," just west of Bend. I took out my Bible and started to share some scriptures with her. I read to her Proverbs Chapter 31:10. "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." We continued reading the rest of the chapter together. I also read Genesis Chapter 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." I said, "I love you and I believe God wants us to be together, will you marry me?" and she said, "YES!" I felt very young and immature in the Lord. Karil was only 18 or 19 herself. She came from a Southern Baptist background and I was attending a Pentecostal Church in Bend. We worked through some doctrinal issues. Her mother was not supportive of me marrying her daughter. She was an only daughter, and her parents certainly had good intentions for Karil. They were not too sure of me. The first time I met her dad, Loman Moxley, he liked me and I liked him. I loved to talk about Jesus with him, and he enjoyed it. Eventually he began to feel safe with me and trusted I would be an acceptable husband to his daughter. Thelma, Karil's mother, eventually came around also. Karil and I became engaged and broke it off three times due to my immaturity in knowing how to lead a relationship in the Lord.

My confidence grew in the Lord, and we made plans for our marriage. We married on June 3, 1978, in the First Baptist Church in Bend, Oregon. Neither of us attended that church, it was the one that had the right kind of facilities available to have a reception and house the number of guests we wanted to attend. We bought our first home in Bend in November 1978. I was working for a lumber mill, which was named Brooks Scanlon. One day our assistant pastor and his wife came to talk with us. They told us they wanted to take a different position in another church and would like us to go with them and help support them in this new ministry.

We sold our home in 1979 and moved to Redmond, Oregon. We moved into a section of the Church made into living quarters. It was while living here our first child, Rebekah, was born. All three of our children, Rebekah, Kara, and Landon were born in Redmond, Oregon. I have some philosophies of life I lived by. One was to tuck my children in bed at night with a prayer and talk. I have found this was a good time to get close to my children as they are most receptive to ask questions and listen to the answers, and talk about their days. Both Karil and I tried to make sure at least one of us were always there to be at the bedsides of our children. I also believe in a daddy-daughter date. I liked to take each daughter out on a one-on-one and have a good time. This was a special memory building time and transfers security, love, and caring to the child. Landon, my son, and liked to go out shooting rock chucks, and to target shoot...we call it "plinking."

I believe in staying out of debt as much as possible. I made extra payments on my 30-year mortgage, and now have our home paid for in 15 years. I save cash to buy purchases with...and I shop and do price comparisons so I know I am getting the best buy and quality for my money. I promote regular savings for long term growth and savings for retirement, and for emergencies

Frugality is another of my traits. Around the fence line to the building lot adjacent to my home, of which we own, is a fence built with heating wood. During the years I worked at the sawmill, scrap lumber and logs were available for employees to take home. I have used this wood to heat my home every year we have lived in it. We have not used our electric heat. I have built a "Fort" for my children to play in. Through the years, it has served as a playhouse for the girls as well as every imaginable drama for my son, Landon. The tires, metal, wood, and all materials came from the mill as throwaway scrap. It probably is the best fort in all of Redmond and has served many hours of fun for the entire family.

In the back of my yard are an office and storeroom I built. It serves as a guest room when people come to stay, as well as a get-away for any member of the family to study, pray, telephone, sleep, or just be alone. It mostly is my office, but the entire family enjoys going out there. It provides quiet space and solitude we all need in life. I used to be an avid coupon shopper. There was a day, when I loved to do the family shopping and see how much money I could save shopping at sales and using coupons. I believe in teaching my children through the examples in the scriptures.

In March of 1981, we bought our second home, and I still live in that home as of 2012. I continued working at the lumber mill until its closure in 1994. The mill parts were auctioned and this brought to closure an era of nostalgia in the lives of many families.

For recreation, I like to especially read books on religion, self-help, marriage, and family. In reading these books, I like to find information I can share with others to help build their lives for the better. I also enjoy hiking, exploring, and climbing mountains. My other two sisters, Yvonne and Lenora (Flora my third and youngest sister), call me a perfectionist. They know me to be a very analytical, think-it-through person. I do love my surroundings neat, orderly, and in place. When I work on a project, I want it to turn out right. So I take time to plan and meticulously put my energy into it.

My wisdom for life is found in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." When I die, I want the following scripture engraved in my tombstone: Nehemiah 7:2. "FOR HE WAS A FAITHFUL MAN AND FEARED GOD ABOVE MANY."

I have shared highlights of my life story with you in hopes that it will somehow bless and help you in your journey or search for peace and happiness in your life. If you find yourself living the "fast" life and find your life going nowhere, I encourage you to give Jesus Christ a try. Maybe you've tried everything else like I once did, but now you can see there is no future in that kind of living.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment." The Word of God also says in Romans 14:10-12 that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and that each of us shall give account of ourselves to God. If you find yourself thinking at this moment that you want to know this same Jesus that has turned my life around, I encourage you to begin talking to Him as I did and see what He will do for you! He is no respecter of persons which means He shows no partiality (Acts 10:34).

He is waiting for you to open your heart's door to Him and invite Him in. He wants you to know Him in a personal and intimate way. Can you say in your heart that if you died tonight that you know that you know you would be with Him in heaven? If you can't say yes to that question, I challenge you to make the most important decision of your life - Ask Jesus Christ to come in and make you a new person.

Do you want Him to say to you when you finally do leave this earth "I'm sorry you can't enter into heaven because I never knew you?" (Matthew 7:23) The choice is yours - you either choose life or you choose death. Which will it be?

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW!  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God.  What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.  Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity.
(Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)