Archive for the ‘Family’ Category



This past Christmas, we celebrated the birth of Jesus with a big family reunion. There were 26 of us gathered together at our small home, including a few friends. The next day, the entire family embarked on a 5+ hour drive to Yosemite National Park, where we stayed for a few days in a beautiful 6-bedroom, 4 bath house in the Redwoods. We played games, joked, laughed, cooked, ate, prayed, relaxed, did some hiking, viewed God’s awesome creation, and shared some of our life experiences with one another. There was a lot of love. It was a wonderful time, and we hated to see it end. This was one of the best family reunions I had ever experienced. The times we had together were precious. And even though almost two months have passed since then, the fond memories are etched deeply in my heart.

I wondered, what made this reunion so special? We had had other great reunions before, but this was the first family reunion in which a sibling was missing. An empty chair and plate were at the family table this time. Our dear brother Tommy Joe has been gone over six years now. So this reunion became more dear to my heart because I am further realizing the brevity of life. The bible says, “Whereas you do not know what [will happen] tomorrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4:14. This made me appreciate our time together even more.

From birth, our families are the first social circle we have. My heart contains a priceless treasure chest full of family memories and times spent together. Not all the memories are happy, but most are. The good and the bad, the happy and sad; all combine to make us who we are. Reunion; every heart longs for it. We experience reunions on a daily basis. We leave our homes. Some go to school, some to work, some to play. We return to one another in the evening; content that all the family is together again and safe.

There is another reunion coming where a trumpet will sound, and we who are in Christ will rise up to be reunited with family, loved ones and best of all, with Jesus. There will be no more sorrow or pain. And God shall wipe all our tears away. Scripture confirms it. Many songs have been composed about it. My heart longs for it. What a glorious day that will be!

But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words. I Thessalonians 4:13-18



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Home life ought to be pointing your children to God, not the world.  – Wade Bass

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:1-3




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Last month our dear Mommy turned 78!   We celebrated with a tea party at LInde Lane Tea Room in Dixon, CA  I love the Victorian era decor at this charming, and lovely place.   Our group of 8 were seated in the Teddy Bear Room.  Very apropo since our Mom likes Teddy bears.  I brought some hats and fascinators for us to wear.

Most of us ordered the Royal Tea lunch.  This course began with a small scoop of sorbet.  Then we were served a most delicious chicken soup that contained gnocchi, a potato dumpling, as well as some mouth-watering Italian spices.  After that,  a few 3-tiered etageres were brought to our table.  Laden with tiny sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and dainty cookies and pastries, we truly enjoyed this sumptuous fare.  Of course we each had a cup of tea.  They offered a wide variety of favors.  I chose the licorice mint tea, which was refreshing.   A good time was had by all.   Happy Birthday dearest Mommy!  We love you bunches!

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One of the definitions of the word “filter” is: “any substance, such as cloth, paper, porous porcelain, or a layer of charcoal or sand, through which liquid or gas is passed to remove suspended impurities or to recover solids.”

In our human bodies, we have several filters; organs, whose main purpose is to filter out impurities in our blood. Here are some vital filters:

The Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine.
Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid.
The kidneys are important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function.
Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. The nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule.
The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it prevents blood cells and large molecules, mostly proteins, from passing. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes.
The Liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is reddish-brown in color and feels rubbery to the touch. Normally you can’t feel the liver, because it’s protected by the rib cage.

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.

The Spleen is an organ in the upper far left part of the abdomen, to the left of the stomach. The spleen varies in size and shape between people, but it’s commonly fist-shaped, purple, and about 4 inches long. Because the spleen is protected by the rib cage, you can’t easily feel it unless it’s abnormally enlarged.

The spleen plays multiple supporting roles in the body. It acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system. Old red blood cells are recycled in the spleen, and platelets and white blood cells are stored there. The spleen also helps fight certain kinds of bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.

When I read about these organs and their miraculous role in filtering our blood and keeping us in good health, I can truly say, along with the Psalmist, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well.” Psalms 139:14 (NKJV)

Just as our bodies need filters to protect our blood, organs, and ultimately, our lives, so we need a spiritual filter to sift out the impurities from our souls; impurities that come from the world (1John 2:15), the devil (1 Peter 5:8), and yes, even our own selves. Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it. One of the most vital filters that God has provided to us is His word (The Holy Bible).

Consider the following scriptures:

Psalm 12:6 (KJV) 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Proverbs 30:5 (KJV)
Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

The word pure in this verse is the Hebrew word Tsaraph, which means:
to smelt, refine, test
to smelt, refine
to test
to test (and prove true)
smelter, refiner, goldsmith (participle)
(Niphal) to be refined
(Piel) to be a refiner
refiner (participle)

If we filter our choices through the word of God, we will prosper. The Lord has provided this navigation for us. “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. If we do not filter our decisions through the Word of God, they will chip away at our Christianity. Decisions and choices which may seem trite and harmless can have devastating ramifications if they are not in alignment with God’s will. How imperative it is to guard our hearts and minds with the Word of God. It is the revealed will of God, and a proven tool for filtering out lies and exposing the truth.

Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it [spring] the issues of life.”

Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV)
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


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On November 25, our third grandchild, Simon Richard Mester, made his entrance into the world.  Weighing in at 8LBS 5 ounces and 20 inches long, this little bundle of joy has already won our hearts.  It was love at first sight.  His siblings, Malachi, and Adelaide, are now enjoying the roles of big brother and big sister.  They are excited to have a new member in the family.  Thank God for a healthy baby boy.  Mother and baby are doing well.

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It was December 22, 1982; early in the evening. I was preparing to make lasagna for some friends who were coming to dinner. Suddenly, the lights and power abruptly ceased! We learned later that 70 MPH winds from a storm had caused this interruption. Power companies estimated that more than two million homes and businesses in California, Nevada and Arizona were without electricity as a result. As I gazed out our window, nothing but blackness met my eyes. The darkness was unsettling. Something I had always taken for granted was now gone. I began to ponder the vital part that light plays in our lives. Photosynthesis, for example; the process by which plants absorb sunlight and turn that energy into food. would not be possible without light. Our existence depends on it.

Just as light is necessary for natural survival, so the light of truth is essential for our spiritual well-being. Looking back, we can see how God placed lights; special people in our lives to guide us along the way. Our parents were the first. They nurtured us and illuminated our lives with good moral values, discipline, deep love and more. We owe them so much. Then there were others. Teachers, friends, ministers and pastors enlightened our paths as we left the nest. One light in particular who ignited our young lives was Lydia Miraflor-Thompson and her family. Lydia became a spiritual Mom to Mike and I. She took me in as an adopted daughter after I moved to California. Lydia taught us how to pray and walk close with God. Her young, twin grandsons showed me the importance of hiding the scriptures in my heart when they recited the 23rd Psalm to me. Because of Lydia, we learned to use wisdom. Her daughter Rachel and son-in-law Tom, were matron of honor and best man, and her daughter Evalani, sang in our wedding. All of her eight children and their families have been a blessing to us.


The greatest Light of all, Jesus, came into the world and gave Himself so that whosoever would believe on Him should not abide in darkness (John 12:46). This light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehends it not (John 1:4-5). His light cannot be overcome by darkness. Whoever follows Him shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. He is the Light of the World. The wonder of Christmas is its simplicity. This story holds no pomp and circumstance. Just the simplicity of the Divine. It is humbling to recognize that our human reasoning is often inaccurate, in that which matters. But it’s a good revelation to have. Because then we face the truth that God created us with limited perception, needing His direction, needing His Star in the darkness of night, to guide us. This Christmas, may the light of His life illuminate your heart to become a light to others.

Just one little flame in the darkness,
just one little flicker of light;
Just one small glimmer of brightness,
dispelling the darkness of night.
But, oh, what God did to the darkness
with one little flicker of light;
Oh, what God did with its brightness
When it touched just one other life;
Then two lights reached out with new brightness,
And soon there were four, and then more–
So quickly His light conquered darkness
as new lights flared up by the score.
No longer just one light in the darkness,
no longer just one tiny flame,
Now the world’s aglow with His brightness,
Since the Light of the world, Jesus came.



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Happy Birthday

cropped-big-chair.jpgcropped-anniversary-ahwahnee-41.jpgimagecropped-a-tender-moment.jpgHappy Birthday

Happy birthday to the best husband God could ever give me. My soul mate, the love of my life, and my best friend. I Thank God for the gift of you, my honey!

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Carol’s 50th Birthday Legacy

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In Loving Memory

It is with deep sadness that I write of the sudden passing of my brother Tom in October of this year. Tommy, as we affectionately called him, was the first son and the 2nd child of six children born to our Italian parents. Tom and I were about 14 months apart.
A flood of memories assail me as I recall growing up with my brother. Tom was pleasant, and always giving and generous. I remember when Mom came home from the hospital after giving birth to Johnny, 8-year old Tommy gave his last dollar to Mom as a mother’s day gift. He was always kind and easy to get along with. I never heard him speak a harsh word to anyone.

Tommy was so smart that he skipped a grade. And from 4th grade on, he and I were in the same class together all the way through high school. What fun we had learning French together and doing skits in class. When Tom was 18, he, came to California for our wedding. And while out here, he repented, gave his heart to God, was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost. His life was forever changed. From that moment on, he had a deep love for God and would read the bible and pray regularly as he grew in his newfound faith.

He graduated with honors and a Th.B. in theology from Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tom was regularly involved in his church as a Sunday school teacher, song leader, bible instructor, and a friend to many. Our son Jeremy always loved when Uncle Tom came to visit. Tom lived with us for a few years, and he would often take Jeremy rollerblading and do other fun things with him. He always made us laugh with his antics. In later years, I saw Tom’s faith and service to God deepen. I recall many times at church, hearing Tom let out a loud shout of praise and thanksgiving, with his hands raised high in the air. Yes, we laughed, but Tom had good reason to praise the Lord. For he had drunk deeply from the well of God’s forgiveness and mercy. The Bible says he who is forgiven much loves much. And Tommy surely showed his love for God.

While going through his belongings, I found copies of letters he had sent to family, and friends; telling them about God’s plan of salvation. I also found a 14-page prayer list he had typed. It listed all our family, relatives, friends and church members in detailed order. It even had names of different people he had met at the store or at a restaurant. I’ve seen Tom weep for lost souls. He had a genuine love for people. It showed in all he did. Tom believed that we must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come. Tommy, thank you for being a big part of our lives. While we miss you, we know that you are with the Lord. We look forward to the day when we will see you again on that great triumphant morning when Jesus calls us home.

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