Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today is the day we were scheduled to fly to Shepherds.  A few weeks ago it was apparent to us that it would not be wise to even attempt this trip.  Margie is just not strong enough yet to travel that distance. Another complication added to our decision.  Her knees are in very bad shape and the orthopedist said there is no surgery suggested to help. To stand up from a sitting position is a very painful ordeal, as is climbing stairs. We will be looking into a recliner lift chair soon.  Now back to the subject of "nostalgia".  We always looked forward to this trip to Shepherds.  Not only did we receive valuable information as a representative, but to see the other members of the team and visit our daughter Joy was special for us.  Now we must wait until Margie feels she can travel again. We are praying much for the meetings which start Wednesday at Shepherds.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Changed plans

Everyday is interesting because one never knows what's next.   Our furnace started to show signs of misbehaving yesterday so I just got off the phone with a good friend who owns the company that services our machine.  They will be here tomorrow to check it out.  We must go into town and get some matters taken care of today and I will be writing more letters to supporting churches of Shepherds. Another big item for us is that we are not going to Shepherds, as planned, Nov 30 - Dec 6.   Margie is just not up to flying and being out of our comfort zone so we have cancelled our flight, rental car, motel  & parking reservations.  We appreciate your prayers that the flight cancellation insurance company will accept Margie's doctor's papers sent to them, justifying our cancellation.  When I cancelled the flight, they charged us $150.00.  To reschedule for another flight it would cost an additional $150.00.  So I guess if we get anything back it will be worth the $26.00 spent for the insurance. We'll see.  Thanks for praying about this and for Margie's continued health.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What a privilege

We consider it a privilege being able to attend the church service today.  For so many months we were unable to attend because of Margie's physical condition.  Margie did not have a real good night but finally got to sleep much after midnight. We are sure that after the service she will be happy to spend time in the Lazy Boy recliner and enjoy reading and viewing some prerecorded services.  We normally do this Sunday afternoons.  Our son was here yesterday, caring for some matters in the rental units his father-iin-law has here.  We were glad to have him here for a couple of quick meals and fellowship before he returned to Stanwood, his home. We are grateful to each of you who pray for us.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another quick visit

Our son delighted us with a quick visit and overnight stay.  He and I will enjoy a Starbucks this morning, then he'll be working on repairing some damage recently done to a rental home his father-in-law owns.  Unfortunately his father-in-law is not doing well and yesterday Rawlie came to Ferndale also to get a bed from the old homestead and take to Everett where a mutual friend is caring for John.  Now a word about Margie:  Yesterday she was able to do all the washing, drying, folding of clothes and ironing, plus prepare a simple meal for our son who is with us for a few hours.  Today we prepare for our time at church tomorrow and always look forward to this.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Safe trip

Even though there was much snow up here on the hill, the freeway was not so bad.  We soon noticed that the inclement weather did not keep many people at home. When we were within 500 feet from our son's house, we could not make it up the incline.  After 3 attempts, I called Rawlie, who came in his 4 wheel drive vehicle and got Margie and I sought out another route to reach his house.  It also had a climb to it, but thankfully I made it OK.. We enjoyed our time with the family.  Our grandson Nathan and daughter-in-law Gina, prepared a wonderful meal..Margie provided the pies.  Because of the road conditions, we left at 3:30 to take advantage of the daylight as we traveled home. We are so thankful Margie was feeling well enough to enjoy the day fully.  Thanks for praying.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We are so thankful today for God's blessings on us, our family and nation.  This morning, weather permitting, we will drive the 50 miles to Stanwood and celebrate this day with Rawlie & Gina and the grandchildren and other family members.  If the roads seem questionable for us to drive, our son will come get us. It did snow 2-3 inches during the night here and by mid day is supposed to start melting with milder temperatures forecast.   We are thankful that although for Margie the road to recovery is SLOW, we see progress and are encouraged. You have stood with us so faithfully in prayer and we do not have words sufficient to express our gratitude for this.
We pray each of you has a great day with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You mean -another dental visit?

Oh yes, today I get the crown "installed" on the tooth that was reconstructed after  the root canal.  It's a process isn't it?  I asked the dentist if I could get something cheaper than a gold crown.  NO, was his answer.  Ceramic -like crowns that are also durable, cost even more.   So I have invested in gold for this morning's visit to the dentist. Weather permitting Margie and I will drive to Stanwood to be with our son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren for Thanksgiving.  We are looking forward to that, BUT the weatherman says snow is coming perhaps today and tomorrow.  In the afternoon (Thanksgiving) this will moderate, he says.  If you view this before tomorrow please pray for a safe journey of about 50 miles to be with them.  We appreciate it.  Margie will be making some pies for the meal tomorrow.  We are happy she feels she can do it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Don Mogford, newly appointed west coast representative arrived at or house in the early afternoon and we got right to work on our going over the suggestions I gave him as he starts his new ministry.  The wind chill factor was 5 degrees.  Margie prepared a delicious chicken supper for us.  Donn loaded his rental car, and headed for the airport in Seattle.  We heard reports soon after that he was going to encounter rough driving conditions.  We pray he made it OK.   We are so proud of Margie and her being strong enough to prepare the wonderful meal for us last night.  I would not want her to do that very much because her strength level is not up to it.  But she sincerely wanted to do this for Donn, rather than make it necessary for him to stop along the way for supper. We are glad she did because roads were terrible down south where he was going.  The weather situation is such plus other health concerns that we are not sure we will be heading for Rawlie's place on Thanksgiving.  We will alert you if so.  Thanks so much for praying.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's cold

Yesterday I was able to shovel the two feet of snow out of the driveway so we could get to church.  No, I was not tired nor afraid of a heart attack.  How does one prevent a heart attack shoveling snow? By not doing the whole job in 5 minutes.  We had a great time at church hearing a report of pastor Dave and Jim Hively about their mission trip to Greece where our missionary Helen Steele works.  We spent a quiet day at home viewing a wonderful sermon and listening later on the Old Fashion Revival Hour.  What a blessing that is.  Can anyone play like Rudy Atwood?  Today our good friend pastor Donn Mogford comes to get some information from us on how we did our 11 years representing Shepherds.  He is the newly appointed replacement for us.  We pray he has a safe trip by air from Boise, ID then a good drive from the airport to our town.  Snow is forecast in the Seattle area and the wind chill here in Ferndale is 5 degrees.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ups and downs

It appears Margie's work on Friday left her pretty well washed out yesterday.  I must insist on doing some things she really wants to do. But we are encouraged by what she can do.  We just have to pace her steps more carefully.  I walked down to get the mail yesterday over treacherous ice and snow.  Margie watched every step I took praying I would not fall.  This morning, in a few minutes, I will be shoveling the snow out of our driveway so we can get the car out and get to church. There are snow drifts at least 2 ft. deep.  I am bundled up with plenty of clothing, because the northeast winds are blowing and THEY ARE COLD.  Wind chill now is 18 F.  It is supposed to snow.  We look forward to being able to be in church, IF our car can get down the hill into Ferndale this morning.  Thanks for praying.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fierce winds and snow

As I write, the wind is whipping the dry snow into clouds.  We live at the end of the cul-de-sac and our driveway gets the "benefit" of all the drifting.  If we desire to get out of our driveway, I must shovel snow today.  I have done it many times.  I guess I am just a "chicken" when it comes to getting out into the cold.  Yesterday and today I will continue preparing for Donn Mogford's arrival to get help for his new position as West Coast Representative for Shepherds.  Margie and I are thankful for a warm house.  With over 40 mph winds blowing the furnace gets a lot of work.  It is below freezing now at 8 AM.  Margie did all the washing, folding and ironing yesterday.  I offered to help but she did it all.  We are grateful she CAN.  Thanks for praying.

Friday, November 19, 2010

cooler weather

It snowed a little here last night and more is coming.  I will drive Margie to the beauty shop this morning. I am in the process of applying for a refund on our plane passage to Shepherds.  Even with the cancellation insurance, we may have to pay because we CANCELLED the trip.If so that will be $150.00.  We'll see.  There is so much paper work.  We have to have Margie's doctor sign for this to become effective. And so it goes. Our replacement, pastor Donn Mogford will be arriving Monday for instruction in starting his new position as West Coast Representative for Shepherds.  Please pray he will have a safe trip from Boise, ID by air, then his drive from Sea-Tac airport to Ferndale.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where did the time go?

We know the answer to this.  Time passes by the second.  Our problem is getting anything done before it does.
We are just grateful we can do anything.  Margie paces her self in order to get some desired things done but not get too tired in the process. I continued yesterday with my correspondence to supporting churches of Shepherds. I am also preparing for the visit of Donn Mogford who has replaced us as of Nov.15. He is a longtime friend and will be here at our house, Lord willing Monday to receive some information from us on how we have done this ministry the last 11 years.  Would you please pray for his safety in travel.  They have forecast snow for this area.  Margie continues on each day at a time endeavoring to get strong enough to function in a more normal way.  We thank you for your prayer support.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Every day is a blessing

Margie who has suffered so much with her illnesses said this as we sat in the family room for our devotions.  What a testimony to God's grace.  Yes, we do believe that every day is a blessing.   Yesterday I spent a good portion of the time writing letters of thanks to different ones who participated in our fabulous Shepherd's Sunday at church.  Those memories will linger in our minds.  There was a forecast of snow the end of this week here in Ferndale, so I went to the local tire shop and had our studless snow tires mounted.  While waiting the 1-1/2 hrs. I went to our friends and got their email working for them.  There really is never a dull moment. Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Now the memories

After Sunday's huge day of presenting Shepherds, receiving distinguished visitors from Shepherds, and the wonderful time with our family, yesterday was filled with special memories.We will not forget those precious times.  I went to the church to take down our Shepherd's display and drop off a letter at the Post Office. Margie prepared lunch and did some other chores around the house. I spent some time in the morning, getting our web pages updated and the blog for the day finished.  Today I must change our plane  reservations and see if they will allow to use them at a later date.  As mentioned before, we will not be going to Shepherds this month as previously planned.  Margie is not up to the travel and we are content to be home.   We thank you for your faithful prayer support during this year of her illness.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A day we'll never forget

Sunday, November 14, 2010 at First Baptist Church, in Ferndale, Wasghington was one of the most memorable we have experienced.  Our web site gives all the details and we invite you to look at it.  But in summary, our pastor on a missions trip to Greece gave greetings via video feed.  The chairman of the board presented us with an engraved plaque honoring our years with Shepherds as representative.  All this was before my part in the service.  Then he said there's one more thing, and down the isle of the church came Jim Edgar, Shepherd's board member and Dan DiDonato, V.P. of the Shepherd's Foundation to present us with another plaque and read a letter from Dr. Amstutz, President of Shepherds.  It was a moving time.  Our son Rawlie and his wife Gina treated us all, including the Shepherd's men to lunch at the Red Robiin in Bellingham.  What a day it was and we will never forget it.   We have been so blessed to have a small part in this great ministry.  Margie "survived" the day well and we had a quiet restful remainder of the day at home with sweet memories of the day's happenings.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shepherds Sunday

Today is Shepherds Sunday in many churches across the land.   We have the privilege of doing this in our home church.  Yesterday I went to set up our display.  This is the only time in 2010 we have done a presentation and also the last time as representative. We are looking forward to a great day.   Our family is coming also and it will be nice to have them all in the service. Margie had a good night and we are glad for that.  We appreciate so much your faithful prayer support.

Friday, November 12, 2010

In case you haven't heard

Several know this already, but we have cancelled plans for our trip to Union Grove, Wisconsin to visit our daughter at Shepherds and  attend the end of the year activities and business sessions for church representatives.  Our term of service goes until the end of the year and we really wanted to be there, but Margie's overall health does not permit us to travel.  We are content to stay home.  We are expecting our son to arrive mid afternoon and stay over the week end.  He and his family want to be here for our Shepherds Sunday.   We are so glad they can attend. Margie is doing fairly well.  We are concerned that she feels badly each evening before going to bed and we don't know what's causing this discomfort.  One day at a time we try to figure out these issues that she experiences.  I wish I could "take" them and relieve her.  Please continue your prayers. We appreciate it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Margie saw the doctor yesterday and sadly we report that for Margie's aching knees there is apparently no cure. He suggested she use a thick pillow or cushion in chairs, and some leg exercises to help strengthen things.  We pray that will help and she will get some relief.  From a sitting position, she has MUCH trouble standing up.  Yesterday I had the third session for my root canal tooth.  I had the old filling removed and completely reconstructed.  Then a temporary crown was made.  That session took 3-1/2 hrs.  I go Nov 24 to get the permanent crown "installed".  I am preparing things for our presentation of Shepherds at our church this Sunday (14th)  We appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another session at the dentist

I don't want to be repetitive, but I must tell you that all went well at the dentist.  I had a root canal done on a molar tooth.  Let's pray it "takes" and will endure. I had to come right home and make another appointment with our regular dentist for him to prepare to put a crown on this tooth treated yesterday.  It's amazing that these two days (actually 3) will be the equivalent of a month's salary for a part time worker.  This is much different than the dental work done along the banks of the Amazon years ago when the only drill used was powered by a bicycle pedaling machine (made from bicycle pedals, we are sure).  Ouch, that drill didn't go very fast and you really felt it. I don't even think we had Novocaine either.   I haven't forgotten.   We leave shortly to take Margie to an orthopedist. She can scarcely get out of the chair because of severe pains in her knees.  Please pray she can get some help.  Yes, we have been to a FEW doctors this year.  I think we take first place in that contest. Thanks so much for praying.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Repeat performance

As already reported, Saturday we had a simple meal together with Rawlie's family and Margie thought it would be nice to have them again on Sunday after church.  Rawlie & Gina actually provided the main meal and Margie made a salad.  Two other friends came with them and we enjoyed a nice time together.  Rawlie and I enjoyed a Starbucks early Sunday morning before church.  After the family left our place, Margie & I washed and dried the dishes, and watched recorded church services on our TV.  We spent a quiet evening at home, thanking the Lord for the privilege of seeing our family again.  Next week we'll have them again because I will be speaking at our church for Shepherds Sunday.   

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family visit

What a thrill to have our family here for a few hours.  Rawlie & Gina and Monique are up for the week end.  Yesterday they had lunch with us.  Margie was able to prepare a simple meal which we all enjoyed.  Today we will be in church and have lunch with our family again.  We don't have this opportunity often so enjoy it when it happens.  We are trying Margie on a new medication, non prescription, as a trial to see if it will alleviate the distress of her attacks. We are praying it will help.  Thanks so much for praying.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Work day

Margie is slowly getting her strength back after her recent breathing problems. She was able to wash, dry and fold most of the clothes.  I cleaned bathrooms and the kitchen and vacuumed the house.  She was not strong enough to iron this week, so I'll do that (gladly).  Today, Saturday, our son and his family will have a late lite lunch with us.   We haven't seen them for quite awhile. We don't want Margie to get too tired and not be able to go to church Sunday so we all help her.  She is looking forward to having them.  We never tire in thanking you for your prayer support.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Yesterday the rheumatologist said Margie's lab work came back very positive. We rejoice in this good news. He prescribed a weaker dosage of medication to use on a diminishing scale.  He was pleased with her overall condition and will see her in 3 months.  The trouble Margie had last Monday really left her in a weakened condition.  She is doing pretty well now and we know it is because of her careful monitoring of food intake, medication and pacing herself in the things she does.  This all is an answer to prayer and we thank you who are involved in this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This morning I take Margie to the specialist and he will determine how much he can reduce her dosage of medication. After all the trips we made to clinics, doctors, specialists, etc., it was finally this doctor that brought some relief to Margie's severe neck pain.   We are so thankful for his help.  We'll report tomorrow on what he tells her today.  Margie showed signs of more energy yesterday in that she was in the "throwing away" mode.  She went through quite a bit of things and I loaded the car with packages to drop off at the Goodwill store this morning.   This will be a busy morning because we must be back by 2 PM to conduct the afternoon prayer meeting at the church.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More dental work?

Well, it's my turn again.  After a tooth filling last week, my tooth starting aching.  Yesterday the dentist, after another X-ray and examination,scheduled me for a root canal (my second in two months). That will be next Tuesday. Margie had a pretty slow day yesterday after her early morning breathing problem. It left her pretty well "zapped".  Can you believe the weather in Ferndale? Today it will reach 64 degrees F. and right now the sun is shining brightly. I continue by letter writing and other communication with churches and pastors relative to our Shepherds ministry.  We appreciate so much your support especially for Margie. ( Gasp!!! - Margie just about had another problem as I was finishing this blog but we got it under control)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sorry to report

I  woke early this morning and went to the bathroom, but before I got there I immediately heard Margie gasping for breath. I switched on the light, ran for the emergency help we give her and sat beside her and prayed.  She had such a horrible time trying to get that next breath.  It's a dreadful ordeal to go through.  If it is for me, think what it must be for Margie.  There are so many unanswered questions.  We have sought and found medical help for this problem for years.  But now the prescribed medication does not prevent the incidents like it has for several years in the past.  Please pray we may be able to find the source of this problem.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Routine doctor visit

This morning, Margie shes her doctor again for routine check up and also medication updates.  As you already know we have made plenty of trips to doctors this year.  We have another on Thursday of this week also.  Yesterday was a blessed day as we fellowshipped in our church.  I, Ralph, participated in the Parking Lot Party which was the evangelistic outreach to the community.  It was well organized.  I spoke 3 times using gospel object lessons for the folks who attended.  We thank you for your prayers for this.  Margie was not able to attend because it was over 3 hours long.   We pulled the curtains on our living room and she stayed in the family room and passed the time reading and listening to the radio.