Mother’s Tabernacle

  I couldn’t imagine where Mother could be. She had come to help Duane and I a few days after Mike was born.  The living room was picked up and empty.  Mother wasn’t in the kitchen.  Mike was sleeping in his crib in one of the bedrooms, a rare but quiet moment.  I was resting

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The Mystery of 508

In Spain, every building had windows with Juliet balconies.  A Juliet balcony is a ‘half balcony’ outside a window, like the one where Juliet stood when Romeo wooed her from the ground. “Just like unit 508,”  I remembered. In April, before our May trip, we heard that our dream unit at Driftwood Sands was going

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Goodbye, 4851

For the first time, I cried as I drove away from a house.  On Friday June 28, we sold 4851 Cross Pointe, our address since October 31, 2005.  A long time record for us. Our first home:  a third floor one bedroom apartment in, as Pam said, “the poverty section” of Broadview, Illinois.  Duane was

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A Time To Cast Away Stones

  That’s me in the khaki trench coat at Victoria Station in London.  One hand raised in the air, the other grasps the red and green suitcases, both carry on.  We travel light. When I graduated from high school, my parents’ gift was a suitcase.  The message wasn’t, “We don’t love you anymore, get out!”

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Mighty Erie May

  “I found one!” I shouted to Duane. A letter my grandmother, May Telford, wrote, dated November 9, 1934, fell out of the soft as velvet manila envelope Uncle Paul had sent me. I was eager to find May’s letters.  Pastor Archie McGilvary,  my grandfather’s biographer, introduced me to them in his pages on Andy’s

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Andy’s Tears

Archie McGilvary, Andy’s lifelong friend, scrawled Andy’s life story of faith in Jesus Christ on pages of spiral notebook paper.  He titled it, “A Twentieth Century Caleb” because like Caleb, when pastor and Bible teacher Andy Telford was 85 years old, in 1980,  he was  “…still wholeheartedly following the Lord.”  (Joshua 14:10 – 14) Andy

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Dear Valerie

Dear Valerie, I loved your book!  I took four pages of notes.  It brought back vivid memories of you, Wheaton and my grandfather.  He, too, was a missionary in South America.   From a letter he wrote to a supporter in 1923: “Within me rose a soul burning passion to reach the unreached of the

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Green Magnolia Memories

Sometimes I feel like my family is falling apart. I comfort myself by skimming Mother’s Bible, one I gave her a few years ago, where she underlined some of the Psalms and Proverbs with red pencil. Mother  occasionally added a family members’ initials, if the verse applied.  Interesting reading (?!). Proverbs 12:7  was not underlined,

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The Bataan Death March Christmas

“It could be worse.  You could be on the Bataan Death March.” Mike and Jeff, one at Wheaton, one at Countryside High, were impossible to Christmas shop for at this age.  I was trying to warn them that the gifts under the tree this year might not be great.  Comparing that to the Bataan Death

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The Christmas Angel

Mother did not sew. Mother cooked reluctantly, loved to iron, planted bright red geraniums in pots for the front step, changed the beds on Fridays, vacuumed, taught school, studied the Bible, taught the Bible, read TIME magazine, and all the assorted things that talented women do throughout life. But Mother did not sew. Dad had

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