Nan and Heather 1971. Photo either by Chris or Ralph.

1993 or 1994 — Nan and Heather. Photo by Chris.

I was shocked.  My “after visit summary” from my new doctor reported that I appeared my stated age!  That is old!  Maybe it is the gray in my hair or the fact that I’ve gained 20 lbs in the last 20 years.  But that is the least of my worries. A college classmate has a wife who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. I am concerned about this disease.

Me with my gorgeous birthday cake by granddaughter Samantha. Photo by Heather.

So now I’m praying, like my friend Nan prayed every day, that God would “Keep us in our senses.”  Nan was the wife of my dad’s closest friend, Ralph, and Heather’s godmother.  She became my closest friend and prayer partner in her later years.  Years ago her aunt had a stroke and ended up not being able to function normally.  Nan said she would rather bleed out from blood thinners, so she wouldn’t have a stroke, then to end up like her aunt. God answered that prayer.  

I last spoke to Nan when she was on her way to hospice care in a hospice facility.  I could tell she was in a lot of pain but, as usual, she was glad to hear from me.  My cousin, Janet’s husband, Alf, as soon as he found out that she was in hospice care, went to visit her.  She was already in a coma.  He sat with her and remembered her love and care for all of us.  She had given him Ralph’s Bible previously.  

My mom had some form of dementia.  Her thinking was irrational.  Arguing with her did no good.  Later I learned from a Facebook post that one should not argue with people who have dementia.  The only statement I could make to her that would bring her to her senses was–  “That isn’t making disciples or spreading the gospel.”  Also, if I wrote out prayers for her this would calm her down.  Some people are helped by listening to their favorite music.

So Nan finished the race well and I daily pray that we shall also.

II Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Jes –photo by Jessica

From Our Daily Bread:

“A man named James took an adventurous, 1,250-mile journey down the West Coast of the US—biking from Seattle, Washington, to San Diego, California. A friend of mine met the ambitious biker near the cliffs of Big Sur, 930 miles from his starting point. After learning that someone had recently stolen James’ camping gear, my friend offered his blanket and sweater, but James refused. He said that as he traveled south into the warmer climate, he needed to begin shedding items. And the closer he got to his destination, the more tired he became, so he needed to reduce the weight he was carrying.

James’ realization was smart. It’s a reflection of what the writer of Hebrews is saying too. As we continue our journey in life, we need to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (12:1). We need to travel light to press on.

As believers in Jesus, running this race requires “perseverance” (v. 1). And one of the ways to ensure we can keep going is to be free of the weight of unforgiveness, pettiness, and other sins that will hinder us.

Without Jesus’ help, we can’t travel light and run this race well. May we look to the “pioneer and perfecter of faith” so that we won’t “grow weary and lose heart” (vv. 2–3).

What do you sense is weighing you down on your life journey? How might you persevere and be free of the weight that entangles?”

Bible Study Fellowship discussion group luncheon

Many years ago a certain 2 year old drove me to my knees.   Before God I confessed that I could not raise this child.  It was beyond my ability.  I asked God to help me.  He sent help in the form of  Bible Study Fellowship or BSF; and a Moms of preschoolers class or MOPS. After learning about Precept Bible study I began studying with this group.  It is a completely different way of studying. 

Recently I received a postcard from Precept.  It suggested an In and Out series for the summer.  It is the perfect choice for people with busy schedules. Here is the link.  

If you have never read the Bible this is a good way to start.  It has changed my life from one of despair to one of hope.

II Timothy 3: 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Uncle Beanie babysitting

How I love to go up in a swing flying high over all the land.  The swing pictured above, made for us by Uncle Beanie, was not a high flying one.  However, he did install another one in that same area.  It had sturdy ropes he threw over the lofty limb of the huge tree near Grandma and Grandpa’s one acre truck garden.  The seat was a wooden one with notches to hold it in place on the ropes. 

Living around a person such as Uncle Beanie–  with an attitude of gratitude — makes life much happier for everyone. Uncle Beanie lived embodying Robert Louis Stevensons saying–” The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should be as happy as kings.”

Uncle Beanie lived with Robert Louis Stevenson’s philosophy that, 

The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

I have found that the only way to do this is by the power of the Holy Spirit which Jesus sent to us to teach us and lead us into all truth. 

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

 If only King George had listened–  things in the United States may have been different.  Here is a You Tube of President Kennedy reading the Declaration of Independence.  The complete text follows.

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Constitution Hall 1991. Photo by Chris.

No woman signed the Declaration of Independence.  For that matter no woman signed the Constitution.  Does that mean that women should not celebrate the 4th of July?  I don’t think so.  But there are some people who say they will not celebrate the 4th of July but will celebrate Juneteenth.  I don’t get it.  Will you celebrate the 4th of July?  

Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

“I heard the heavy metal doors clang shut.  I was sealed off from the entrance behind me. My stomach sank. I was captive but only to my imagination. I clutched my camera ready to shoot the environment and inmates imprisoned at Walla Walla State Prison.” So begins the story of Chris’s visit to Walla Walla Penitentiary.  His tour of the “big house” took place in the 70’s. 

 Chris’s coverage for the Spokane Daily Chronicle, with reporter Bill Morlin, pointed to the need for prison reform.  Today the cry for defunding the police and emptying the prisons has resulted in more crime and more dead police. Here is my attempt to write a blog about the crime wave going on in our nation.   Oh sure, we have always had unlawful acts perpetrated by unscrupulous people.  But now it seems worse.  It is as Chris says, we have “the murder” report on the news every night.  I’ll have to admit that there is less crime in eastern Washington so the news is better over here.  Still it’s not good. 

So last summer I considered joining a group at our church to discuss a book entitled, “Rethinking Incarceration,” published by Tantor Media, Inc. I read the first chapter and was struck by the fact that both sides– the criminals and law inforcement– have evil abounding.  Then I read a review. It said– “Despite the positives of this section of the book, there are some extremely serious negatives, the first of which is Gilliard’s denial of the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA).” As a result I did not join the group.  No need to reiterate hopelessness.

The only answer to the problem of evil is Jesus.  Above is a You Tube of testimonies about how Jesus has made a difference at Walla Walla state pen.  Here is a link to the series on prison reform. Jesus has made the difference in prisons.  Only Jesus can save us.
Acts 4:11″…This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

My dad — 1930’s

Questions I ask people are, “Where did you come from and why are you here?” In other words does your life count for something? I believe it does.  Lately I’ve simplified my life.  I intend to do the good works that God has planned for me, and to point others to Jesus.  Today I think a good work would be to re-write my dad’s obit.   So the following should be much more complete.  I  added my dad’s military service and schooling.  I noticed he had his civilian service overlapping with his military service.  The following is what I could discern from his notes.  


Husband, father, and grandfather David Jay Stowell entered fully into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ on March 11, 2003, in Lacey, WA.  He was the widower of R. Grace Edson Stowell.  They shared 61 years of marriage together. 

Born in Spokane, WA., June 22, 1914, he was the son of Claude and Isabel Snedden Stowell.  He was a 1932 graduate of North Central High School in Spokane.  After attending Whitworth College in Spokane, and playing football for 2 years along with his studies, he transferred to the University of Washington in Seattle.  He received a B.S. in Physics in 1936 from the U.  His many jobs included service in the Military–

1932-1935 Citizens Military Training Camp with the 4th infantry, Spokane.  Sergeant Army Reserve

1932-1942 2nd Lieutenant Army Reserve

1942 1st Lieutenant Active Duty Armored Tank Battalion Desert Training Center with General Patton

1943 1st Lieutenant UCLA Meteorology Training

1944 Captain coordinating briefing units out of Oceanic Air Traffic Control San Francisco. Hamilton Field- Fairfield-Suisun-Mather Field.  Co-author Weather Briefing Manuel for Air Corps

1945 Major in charge of Adak Weather Office and Staff WX Officer 11th Air Force in charge of Aleutian Wx Central after VJ Day

1946-1974 Major Air Force Reserve

1974 Lt. Col. Retired USAFRES 

After completing a job in food inspection at Washington State U, where he lived part of the time between 1936 and 1939, he began working at Felts Field.  After his marriage to Grace in November of 1939, and the birth of one child in 1940, the family moved to Santa Monica, CA., in 1941 where he attended UCLA, and was a weather forecaster in meteorological training.   In 1943 he was activated to duty in Adak. Grace, Jay and Roberta then moved back to Spokane.  In 1947 the family moved again to CA. and purchased a 2 bedroom home in Burbank, CA.  His graduate studies included navigation and math at UCLA. In 1950, the family which now included 3 children, moved to Arctic Village in Fairbanks, Alaska where he served as the weather bureau chief. He studied at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Sydney Chapman Seminars on astrophysics. In 1952, after the birth of a 4th child, the family moved to Alexandria, VA.   He worked first in Washington D.C. as assistant to the assistant chief of the weather bureau. Then in Suitland, Maryland he worked as a heavy weather forecaster.  A 5th child was born in Washington D.C. In 1957 his graduate studies included Public Administration, Management Intern Program, civil service commission. In 1968, with 3 children left at home, the family moved to Redwood City, CA where he worked until his retirement. He attended San Jose State U for meteorology classes. His notes said Micro-Meso-Macro.

His volunteer work included PTA, Band Boosters, Boy Scouts,4H, Salvation Army, Church board of trustees, Hornbrook Senior Citizens, R-Ranch.

His spiritual journey began when he was 2 years old when he attended Sunday School at Corbin Park Congregational church.  He accepted Christ as his Savior in 1931 at a revival.  He joined Knox Presbyterian church. After attending Presbyterian and Methodist churches in Spokane he attended the Congregational church and Pilgrims club when he was a student at the U. of W. Later the family attended Calvary Presbyterian in Alexandria where he was an elder, Sunday School Superintendent, and taught the High School Sunday School class.  After moving back to CA. in 1968 they started attending a Presbyterian church but then later changed to Evangelical Covenant. 

He coped well with his Parkinson’s and congestive heart failure.  He quipped, “If this doesn’t get me something else will.” When he would come to after a black out he would say, “I’m just in time to take a nap.” He enjoyed baking, sharing and eating cookies. He indulged in crossword puzzles and shared them with his daughter Evy. He took the family camping most summers.  

He is survived by 4 married children, Jay, Roberta, Davy, and Wayne; and 5 grandchildren, Heather, Jes, Jennifer, Sarah, and Grace,  4 nieces, and 6 nephews. When he moved back to Washington from California in 2001 he remarked that there are 14 relatives in the area who could visit him. He was predeceased by his wife Grace, daughter Evelyn, parents, and 2 brothers, Hollis and Ernest.

Services will be held at Woodlawn Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, March 15, 2003 with a viewing from noon until the service at 2 pm. A reception will follow at the Panorama City Restaurant.  Everyone is invited to attend. Dave will be laid to rest on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 11 am at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. with full military honors.

Verse he choose for his grave marker:

II Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Because of the shootings in the United States at grocery stores, schools, and churches just in May 2022, my thoughts are clanking together in my brain.  My soul is tormented by the lawless deeds I see and hear.  I grieve for the people. I’m praying! But now what can we do? On the one hand evil is abounding more and more but on the other hand caring people are working as hard as they can to do good. My one thought is that the U.S. should protect schools just as they do in Israel.  My second thought is to then send out ambassadors from  to all the schools and communities.  Above is a video of Rachel’s brother describing how as a result of losing his sister, friends, and classmates in Columbine 15 years ago, he speaks at schools about what kids can do to prevent things like this.  May we all use the power of the Holy Spirit to bring peace and to pray for Jesus to come quickly!

Revelation 22:11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”