The Reverend’s Daughter, Chapter 6 “Reunited”

Marilyn stayed busy going to school, attending church, and playing with the Reckley children. She enjoyed everything about Cumberland, except one thing–she missed her grandparents terribly. Often Marilyn would think of the things they had done together in Greensburg: shopping, taking drives in the country, and cleaning Uncle Crawford’s grave. She missed those times with a deep longing.

But one spring day, Marilyn got some good news. She came home from school and marched into the kitchen. “Hello, Mother. Hello, Dad!” she happily greeted, as she sat in one of the wooden chairs and set her red plaid school bag on the floor beside her.

“How was school today?” Mother asked, taking a tray of cookies out of the oven, a delicacy during war time.

“Oh, just fine,” Marilyn answered.

“How long till school is out, Marilyn?” asked Dad, looking at her over the top of his newspaper.

“One more month,” Marilyn replied sadly, knowing she would miss her friends at school.

“Oh, my,” Dad said, setting down his newspaper. “It’s coming sooner than I thought. We’d better make plans for your summer trip.”

“Summer trip?” Marilyn gasped, her mind spinning.

“Yes,” Dad replied. “Instead of visiting your grandparents for a week, your mother and I have decided that you may spend the whole summer with Mum and Pa.”

“Oh, Daddy!” Marilyn squealed, leaping out of her chair and hugging Dad fiercely. Dad returned to his newspaper as Marilyn gave Mother a quick squeeze before sitting down to eat two hot cookies and a half glass of milk. She ate far too quickly as she excitedly thought of her trip.

“Marilyn, slow down.” Mother reprimanded. “Eat like a lady.” Marilyn obediently slowed down, but her excitement continued to show as she swung her legs.

“Stop kicking the chair, Marilyn.” Mother chided again. Marilyn heard a faint snicker from behind the newspaper.

When school let out, Marilyn waited until the following week to leave for Pennsylvania. She wanted to attend the annual Sunday School picnic that Saturday. Marilyn loved the food and fun that the picnic had to offer. She also enjoyed watching Dad play baseball with the men and older boys, namely Delbert Cogill, Bob Wetzel, and John Clark. When Dad got up to the plate, even the ladies stopped what they were doing to watch. He was an excellent ball player, and regularly hit the ball far over the outfielders’ heads. As a youth, Dad had aspired to be a professional baseball player, but when he got saved, he gave up worldly things. Marilyn was proud of her dad’s decision to follow the Lord.

On Monday Marilyn’s parents took her on the long ride to Pennsylvania. Marilyn could not sit still. She slid from one side of the back seat to the other as she viewed the beautiful Allegheny Mountains around her. Finally they arrived in Greensburg. Marilyn was full of excitement and joy as she saw all the places that she remembered so clearly: the farmer’s market, McCurry’s Five and Ten Cent store, the corner on which Dad had preached, the cemetery where Uncle Crawford was buried, and finally the three-story apartment building where her grandparents lived. Marilyn pushed the heavy car door open, leaped from her seat, and ran up the sidewalk. She pushed open the big wooden door, and then scaled three flights of steps as quickly as she could. Knocking quite loudly on her grandparents’ apartment door, she bounced impatiently. When Mum opened the door, Marilyn sprang into her arms. “Little Marilyn,” Mum cooed, and to Marilyn it seemed that everything was right again.

Dad and mother stayed for one night. They left the next day so that they could be home in time for the Tuesday night fellowship. Marilyn was sad to see them go, knowing she would not see them for the rest of the summer. But Marilyn put those thoughts behind her; she was excited to spend her summer in Pennsylvania.

The days passed pleasantly in Greensburg as Marilyn and her grandparents formed a weekly routine. On Sunday morning they attended Sunday school and church. On Sunday afternoon, Marilyn spent time with Mum while Pa went to minister to the inmates at the Westmoreland County Jail. Then the three of them would go back to church for the Sunday evening service. Every weekday, Marilyn would stay home with Mum while Pa went to work at the glass factory. Almost every afternoon, Mum and Marilyn would walk to the corner market and buy groceries. On Wednesday night, they went to church for the prayer service. Saturday, when Pa was off work, the three of them would go clean Uncle Crawford’s grave.

Marilyn enjoyed playing with Garnet Shaw, a girl who lived in her grandparents’ apartment building. Marilyn and Garnet decided that they were going to learn to swim, so they each paid ten cents at the YMCA and swam for an hour every weekday morning. Both girls did indeed manage to learn how to swim.

When the summer was over, Marilyn was sad to leave her grandparents, but she was delighted to see her parents and the Reckleys again. It was great to be home.

That fall there was a new girl named Doris Marshall in the first grade class. Every day at lunch she would ask various girls for a bite of their sandwiches. Often she would ask Marilyn. One such day, Doris asked, “May I have a bite?” Marilyn looked down at her pickled hot pepper and cheese sandwich. Her parents bought jars of pickled hot peppers just for her, and she did not want to give up one single bite of her delicious sandwich.

“Yes,” said Marilyn begrudgingly, extending her sandwich to Doris. Doris took one bite. As she started to chew, her eyes got big, her face turned red, and she charged to the other side of the cafeteria where the water fountain was. Marilyn could not help but laugh inside. She was sure she would not have to give up any more precious bites to Doris.

One day Marilyn saw a poster announcing auditions for an upcoming school play. After talking to her parents about it, she decided that she would audition. Many of the other children were nervous, but not Marilyn. She sang at church often so she was not afraid to perform. Much to Marilyn’s delight, she was given the lead role in the play. Even though many of the children had trouble memorizing their lines, and Marilyn missed several practices due to sickness, the play was a success. Marilyn looked forward to the next year’s play.

Greater is He

You could think about the darkness
That creeps around at night
You could think of Satan’s army
And the battles that they fight

You could think about the terror
The dart that flies at noon
You could think of sin and sadness
Of trouble, grief, and gloom

But that is only half the story
There is another side too
The side of joy and valor
Of righteousness, of truth

Yehovah can stop Satan’s plans
With just a single word
Greater is He who is in you
Than he who is in the world

Cats

Someone said that cats are more trouble than they are worth, but I think otherwise. Some people are disgusted at how cats bring “presents” to their door, but I am just glad that the cats catch all of the rodents so that they are not populating in my yard! As for cat’s vet fees, we found an inexpensive country doctor. And cat food does not need to be anything fancy; I just give my cats dry cat food. And you do not need to bathe a cat; cats bathe themselves and keep decently clean. Furthermore, cats take care of their own business outside and instinctively use a litter box inside. You do not need to take them on walks or clean up after them. To sum up, cats are hardly any trouble, and any problems they do cause is totally worth having a cute, purring cat at your side.

This Life in Me is Not Mine

This life in me is not mine;
I have given it away.
This sinful world is not my home;
It’s just where I shortly stay.

Who knows what this life shall bring?
Some trials great and small?
Shall my life be full of peace?
My Maker knows it all.

Shall I have my dreams come true
Or shall I live amidst a war?
I just hope whatever comes
It’s what He created me for.

What if I walk through a furnace of fire?
I may not lose a hair.
My soul, my body, and my spirit
Are in His loving care.

He is the King of my life,
He will guide me wherever I go.
He will strengthen me all of the way,
Until He takes me home.

Yehovah Made Us Humans

Yah did not make us robots
To automatically move
To do everything He wants
He gave us the right to choose

Yah didn’t make us animals
Who do their every whim
He didn’t want us to follow instinct
He wanted us to follow Him

Yehovah made us humans
And though we trip and fall
We’re just the way He wants us
And He always loves us all

Yah wants us to love Him
With all of our hearts
But because He lets us choose
We messed up from the start

Yehovah shows His love for us
In that while we still sinned
He sent His son to die for us
For all to come to Him

Guest Post ~ “King of the Forest”

Everyone says that the lion is the king of the jungle. As for the king of the forest, that used to be me.

I was larger than the largest. My neighbors looked up to me.

The animals were satisfied with my bountiful harvest. Many came, and left full.

But now I have been struck with the incurable. Many tried to help, but failed. I am weak; the least are greater than me.

There must be a cure. Hope may be little, but it is still alive. Someday, hopefully, I will rise again. I am the American Chestnut.

~by S. Rose Williams

A New Beginning, Chapter 3

Hello! Here is chapter three of my story, A New Beginning. You can find the first two chapters here.

**************

One chilly night, while all of the children were sleeping, Mr. Walsh came inside with a load of wood in his arms. Mrs. Walsh was washing dishes. “George, what are we going to do with Nina?’ she asked suddenly.

“Well, I have been praying about her–”

“Yes, and so have I, but I do not feel any direction as to where she should go,” Mrs. Walsh said, her face showing an exasperated look. “I do know one thing though, she cannot stay here. She has been having the grandest of times with Annamarie and Katherine and she is quite taken by Susan and Charity. I do not want to tear her from them but it seems we must. I do not know what to do!”

“Elsie, do you realize you interrupted me?” Mr. Walsh asked.

“Oh, no, I did not,” she answered. “What were you going to say?”

“I was going to say that I have prayed about her and I think I know what we should do.”

“You do?”

“Yes, I think maybe we should send her to live with the Cromwell family.”

“Why, yes, the Cromwells! They mentioned at church a few weeks ago that they wanted someone to help them around their house. Nina would be perfect for the job. I shall speak to Mrs. Cromwell about Nina as soon as I can.”

“That sounds good, but there is one more thing: what if Nina refuses to go to the Cromwells? You know she is a very headstrong, opinionated girl. She tried to run away from me when I first found her.”

“If she does not want to go to the Cromwells, we can just explain to her that we cannot keep her and we do not want to send her to an orphanage. She simply will have to go.”

“That should work. She will certainly understand.”

“Good, we can tell her in the morning.”

**************

The next morning Nina woke up and looked around. She saw Mrs. Walsh flipping flapjacks over the fire. “Sorry if I am in your way, Mrs. Walsh,” Nina quickly said, grabbing her blanket and sitting up.

“Do not worry,” Mrs. Walsh said. “You were not in my way.” Then Mr. Walsh came through the door with another armful of wood.

“We never have enough wood to burn at this house!” He said jokingly, even though it was mostly true. So much wood was needed to keep the fire burning. Then Mr. Walsh turned toward Nina and said, “Nina, my wife and I have decided where we want to send you.”

“Where?” Nina said, looking up at Mr. Walsh’s tan, wrinkled face.

“The Cromwell family from our church said they could use some help around their house,” Mr. Walsh said. “You might be just right for the job.” Nina gulped. I do not want to leave the Walshes, she thought. But I should have known I would not get to stay here. She said nothing.

“We will take you to meet the Cromwells as soon as we can,” Mrs. Walsh said. “If they agree to take care of you, then so be it. If not, then you shall stay with us longer until we can find someone else to care for you. Does that sound good to you?”

“Yes,” said Nina, rather hesitantly.

Mrs. Walsh, sensing her hesitation, said, “Do not worry Nina. You will like the Cromwells. They are very nice.” Nina smiled rather weakly and headed out to the horsefield. She ran up to Ranger and stroked his nose, trying not to cry. She had really bonded with Katherine, Annamarie, and Ranger during their races across the field. It made her very sad to think of leaving them. The Walshes had been so kind to her and showed her a love she had not known since her parents had died.

Soon Annamarie came in and called cheerfully, “It is time for breakfast, Nina!”

“Okay,” Nina replied half-heartedly.

“What is wrong?” Annamarie said, wondering what was troubling her friend.

“Your parents want to send me to the Cromwells,” Nina said. “I shall miss you all terribly.”

“Oh, we shall miss you very much as well,” Annamarie said, tears rising to her eyes as the two friends hugged. “I hoped Mama and Papa would let you stay, but I guess it was not meant to be. We will see each other at church though, if the Cromwells were to take you in.”

Later at the breakfast table, Mr. Walsh announced, “Children, I believe we have found Nina a home. We are going to see if the Cromwell family will take in Nina.” The girls looked down at their plates sadly and picked at their food. “You girls should see yourselves!” Mr. Walsh chuckled. “Your faces look as though we are going through a famine, but we have an abundance of food in front of us.”

“We are just sad that Nina has to leave,” Annamarie said.

“Do not be sad,” Mr. Walsh said cheerfully. “We will see her at church, and maybe she could even come and visit us sometime. Now let us enjoy having her here instead of thinking about her leaving.” And everyone did just that.

Triumph

The devil thought he’d done it;
The devil thought he’d won.
He had conjured up a plan
To kill Yah’s only son.

He shared his plan with Judas
And with all the scribes and priests.
They all planned to do it
Before the Passover feast.

But Yehovah knew what was happening.
Yehovah was still in control.
He’d sent His Son for that very reason:
To save all of our souls.

Yeshua cried, “Your will be done”
Then He was led away.
After beating, mocking, flogging;
He was crucified that day.

After dying for all our sins
Our Savior went to the Father
Who gave him all glory and majesty
Honor and power forever

Yeshua took the keys to hell
And set all of us free.
What a wonder, what a joy
That he would die for me!

After three day and three nights
He rose and lives again.
The mortal coils of sin and death
Had no triumph over Him!

We’ve all been bad, we’ve all done wrong
But he came to seek and to save.
He loves us all so very much
He died and rose from the grave!

-Scripture References-

Luke 22:3
Matthew 26:3-5
John 12:27
Luke 22:42&54
Jude 25
Revelation 1:18
Luke 19:10
Romans 5:8

A Light in the Castle by Robert Elmer

The sixth book of Robert Elmer’s The Young Underground book series, A Light in the Castle, illustrates how important it is to give Yehovah the glory for his blessing and not simply account them to luck or chance. This is a fictional story set in 1945 Denmark. The main characters, twelve-year-old twins Peter and Elise Anderson, have just returned from being captured on a German U-boat. When a reporter asks Peter how he made it through such adventures, Peter just says, “We were pretty lucky.” (pg. 10) After receiving an invitation to visit King Christian the Tenth in Copenhagen, the twins and their family hurry to the capital city. On the train, Elise asks Peter why he never says what really happened on the U-boat: prayer and faith. Peter replies, “Okay, so what was I supposed to say?” (pg. 19) As soon as they arrive in Copenhagen, their adventures begin. They find Johanna, a little German orphan, and decide they will watch her until they find her a home. Then two mysterious men follow them everywhere and try hard to steal the antique key that Peter found in his hotel room, making Peter very nervous. Then they go to visit the king. Once again, the king asks them how they made it through all of their crazy adventures. Elise says the truth, that it was God who helped them and protected them. Then the king quotes Revelation 3:8– “…For you have a little strength, have kept my word, and have not denied my name.” Peter begins to realize that he should not deny God the glory He is due. The next day, Peter finds out that the two mysterious men that follow them everywhere are planning to hurt King Christian! The ending chapters are a flurry of activity as Peter and Elise, along with Johanna, rush to help the king. At the end of the grand adventure, another reporter asks Peter what happened. Peter declares that is was not luck. “King Christian was right,” Peter says. “Only God could take care of Denmark. And he took care of us too. Me and my sister, Elise. Little Johanna. Everybody.” (pg. 169) A family takes little Johanna as their own, and Peter and Elise get awards for bravery from the king, thus ending a wonderful story of how we should not be ashamed of or deny God. Elmer does an excellent job of making his characters life-like and enjoyable. I highly recommend this book, one of my very favorite books, to anyone who wants a to read a well-written, morally-uplifting book

~A book report by Faith Williams, July 2018

Far From the Storm by Robert Elmer

Far From the Storm, book number four in Robert Elmer’s The Young Underground book series, is a fictional story of two children living in Denmark during the wake of World War II. Main characters Peter and Elise Anderson, having been through many terrors during the war, are hoping that everything will be perfect again now that the war is over. They soon find out that the anger and hurt from the war did not just disappear, especially after defeated enemies almost kill Peter’s cat and burn their Uncle Morton’s fishing ship. This heartwarming tale draws you into the story and makes you feel as though you are running through the cobblestone streets of Helsingor, Denmark, with Peter and Elise, and you feel a friendship with them. Elmer writes through the eyes of  Peter and you can feel the cry of his heart as he yearns to fly away far from the storm of anger and unforgiveness (Psalm 55:6-8). Far From the Storm is full of excitement, intrigue, and lessons of forgiveness that can captivate any reader.

Excitement is what draws people to books, and this story abounds with exciting elements. Such things as enemies wanting revenge, fires, and mysteries are not uncommon. From the whole city of Helsingor celebrating the war’s end to Peter bursting through the door in the middle of his uncle’s wedding, this book does not lack excitement for one single moment. Even though so much excitement probably would not happened all at the same time, the story is historically accurate. Without the element of excitement, this story would be bland and lifeless.

Intrigue is another prominent element in this book. You are never sure of what will happen next as the children, along with Peter’s best friend Henrik, attempt to find out who started the fire on Uncle Morton’s ship, the Anna Marie. Surprises await on every page and the intrigue pulls you in and makes this book very hard to set down.

Lastly and most importantly, Elmer uses this story to teach us about forgiveness. Peter finds it very hard to forgive the Nazis for all they have done to him, his family, and his country. He tries hard to battle the anger that just will not stop. The Nazis are also angry: angry that they did not win the war and angry at the things that happened to them because of the war. Both parties have to learn forgiveness, the Axis and the Allies. Peter’s anger finally disappears when he saves the life of an enemy who is drowning. He finally learns how to let go of the hurt and forgive those who hurt him.

Elmer’s masterful blend of excitement, intrigue, and lessons of forgiveness makes this book a must-read. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants good, exciting, and uplifting fiction. Far From the Storm has the ability to catch the enjoyment and interest of many children in the future.

~A book report by Faith Williams, July 2018