Archive for October, 2007

The Fricot Stone yosemite trip oct 07 037

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

“There’s gold in the hills of California!” These words resonated around the world in 1848 and started a massive migration to the wilderness of interior California. Gold seekers trekked from every part of the world and every walk of life to sift the streams for gold. Mining companies brought machines to the mountains and turned camps into boomtowns as they blasted and dug deep into the earth to follow the gold-bearing veins.
There is still gold in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, in historic Mariposa. And we were privileged to view these precious stones and minerals on our recent trip there. This is where explorers John C. Fremont and Kit Carson found the rich Mariposa Vein and opened the first mill to crush ore and extract gold in California. The collection, which began in 1880, contains over 13,000 objects including mining artifacts, rare specimens of crystalline gold in its many forms, as well as beautiful gem and mineral specimens from California and around the world. The collection was moved to Mariposa in 1983 after residing in San Francisco, for over 100 years. The museum became a state park in 1999.
The highlight of the museum was the Fricot “Nugget”, a rare and beautiful specimen of crystallized gold discovered in the American River in 1864. This spectacular 13.8-pound. specimen is the largest remaining intact mass of crystalline gold from 19th century California, when these finds were more common but usually were simply melted down. We also took a trip back in time as we walked through the museum’s mine tunnel which displayed how gold was mined in the mid-1800s.
As I gazed upon the many beautiful stones and gems, I thought about that scripture in Malachi 3:17 where the Lord says, “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts in that day when I make up my jewels….” Another one that came to mind is found in Isaiah 54:11, “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.”
These precious stones go through a period of development and forming deep within the earth, where they experience intense pressure, heat and friction. And yet look at their beauty that is produced. We are like that to God. He looks at each of us as his precious treasures. Sometimes we have to be refined and go through the fires of tribulation to burn off the impurities and become the beautiful gems that can shine and give Him glory.
Yes, touring this museum was a vivid reminder to me of how my God cares for me and is making me into a vessel of honor for His glory.


Azurite and Malachite Stone




Amethyst Quartz 

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Mariposa Trip

yosemite trip oct 07 015

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

Today we just returned from a six-day mountain trip which began last Sunday in the small gold-rush town of Mariposa, only an hour away from Yosemite National Park. Mike and I loved this peaceful town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We stayed here with our friends Mike & Debbie and had fun wandering the downtown streets and checking out the variety of quaint shops. I fell in love with this church and had to take a picture or two. St. Joseph’s church was established around 1863 and is a landmark today. We plan to return to Mariposa sometime and do more exploring in the future. My next post will cover the fascinating mineral museum that we visited while there.

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The other day I was listening to a Christian talk show program about intentional living.  The host had opened up the phone lines and was inviting listeners to call in and share with the audience how they were being intentional.  He explained that the Intentional Life is focused on developing your spiritual, relational and personal skills so that you can embrace Jesus as He desires. 

The first caller was a woman.  She reiterated how one night she was surfing the T.V. channels trying to find something good to watch.  Out of 66 different channels, she just couldn’t seem to find a program that would satisfy.  Her husband noticed what she was doing and suggested that she just turn the contraption off.  She ignored him and continued for another half hour or so to flip through the many channels, not really finding what she wanted.  Suddenly, it was like a light bulb came on in her head, and she realized what a time waster this T.V. was.  Right then and there, she turned it off and packed it up along with their other televisions, and put them in storage.  Now they spend more time together as a family talking, playing games and reading.  She has even taken up knitting.  And she doesn’t miss the T.V.!!!


This is a good example of intentional living.  In our 28 years of marriage, we have never had a T.V. in our home, and we don’t miss it either!  It’s a robber of our time and relationships to name a few.  So I guess you could say that we are being intentional as well.  I am an avid reader, and a long time ago, I intentioned in my heart that I would not read anything else first thing in the morning until I read the Bible and my devotional.  This has greatly improved my spiritual life and walk with God.  Daniel was a man of intentional living.  The Bible says:  “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8)  If we dig deeper into what God desires from us, we can become even more intentional in our lives.  What are some of the ways that you have become intentional, and how has it benefited you, your family, others?

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This Saturday was the culmination of a gathering that my good friend Rachel Armstrong and I had been planning for about a month. It was a get-together of old friends. Some twenty-plus years ago, we all used to live in Fairfield and attend a little church on East Travis Boulevard called Apostolic Faith Tabernacle. Jerry W. Cates was the pastor at the time. This little church was where Mike and I first gave our hearts to God and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost 28 years ago. Pastor Cates baptized us both and also performed our wedding ceremony. He laid the foundation for us as new Christians and imparted to us many excellent godly principles and truths which have kept us all these years.  Although we were all very sad to see him leave this earthly life, we know that Pastor Cates is in a much better place, rejoicing in the presence of the Lord. We look forward to meeting him again someday in the sweet by and by.  David Alvarez has been pasturing the Fairfield church where we still attend for the last 22 years, and we’ve seen wonderful growth and transformed lives. He’s done a great job, and we love him and his wife Tanya very much.

When I found out in August that Pastor Cate’s wife, Linda and her new husband Don Thompson were going to be in the area in early October, I thought it might be nice to have a reunion of the old Fairfield church members. Rachel and Tom Armstrong so graciously volunteered to host this get-together at their lovely home in Lodi. Saturday morning dawned sunny and unclouded. A perfect day for a reunion!

We reached the Armstrong’s home about 4:00 PM. Everything was set up beautifully and well organized, thanks to Tom, Rachel and her sister Karen. There was a canopy set up in the backyard with a long row of tables and chairs; all done up in fall décor. And their home was breathtaking. I told Rachel it should be featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Everyone had a good time. The food was great, and there was much sharing and laughter and catching up on each other’s lives. There were about 38 people total. Mike Muniz really made my day when he thought that my son Jeremy was my brother!! Amidst the hugs and exclamations of excitement over seeing old friends, I think the thing that surprised me the most was seeing Cameron Waage. Cameron was the ring bearer at our wedding. He was only about 4 years old at the time. Now here was this big, tall strapping young man, married and the father of SEVEN daughters!!! His wife Shawna had just given birth 11 days earlier to their 7th daughter. Cameron stated that he is finished. No more babies! The score is 7 girls to zero boys, and the game is over!!

As I look back over this wonderful get together, my mind goes back to an old song that we used to sing in church called “What A Gathering”.

Verse One:
At the sounding of the trumpet……
When the Saints are gathered home.
We will greet each other by the crystal sea.

With the friends and all the loved ones
There awaiting us to come
What a gathering of the faithful that will be

The Chorus:


What a gathering, gathering
At the sounding of the glorious jubilee…..[jubilee]
What a gathering………..gathering
What a gathering of the faithful that will be.

Although I truly enjoyed this reunion, it was just a mere foretaste of an even greater gathering we will experience someday when believers will all be reunited with the One who gave His life for us. He will wipe away all our tears and sorrows. Behold, He will make all things new!

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oatmeal.jpgA Missionary found herself without means, among a heathen people, far from any source of supplies. In her distress, she claimed the promise of God that He would supply her need. She was also in poor health. From a businessman in another part of the country came several large boxes of Scotch oatmeal. She already had several cans of condensed milk, so with these two commodities, she was obliged to sustain life for four long weeks. As time went on, it seemed to agree with her better; and by the time the four weeks had passed, she felt in excellent health. In relating the experience some time later to a company of people, which included a physician, she was asked more particularly of the nature of her former illness. The physician said, ‘The Lord heard your prayer and supplied your need more truly than you realize. For the sickness from which you were suffering, we physicians prescribe a four weeks’ diet of nothing but oatmeal gruel for our patients. The Lord prescribed it for you, and saw to it that that was all you took. It was the proper remedy.” Selected (from Streams in the Desert)

He hath given meat unto them that fear him: He will ever be mindful of His covenant. (Psalms 111:5)

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