Celebrating 64 Years of Marriage: A Daughter’s Reflection

(Reflections by Becky Brown, for the Siblings)

July 28th, 2015

Today is Papa and Mum’s 64th wedding anniversary, the first anniversary they will be celebrating separately; papa still here on earth with his family, and mama in heaven with Jesus. They started ‘going steady’ when mom was 15 years old which means they’ve been together for 68 years! Wow, that is a long, wonderful time.

It is a tenderly-sad day to think of mama not being here to celebrate with her beloved and us all… but we are grateful for the many years they did have together… and for the model of faithfulness, love and marriage that they left for us all to follow.

Thank you mom and dad for… (in no specific order)

  • kissing each other in front of us, it made us feel secure in your love for one another (and even times when you ‘snuck off to do more than kissing’ (we realized as we got older)… even that set a good example for our own marriages
  • saying “I’m sorry” when you hurt each others feelings
  • taking time for ‘just you’ away together (maybe not that often with a busy family of five, but enough that we knew you loved to be together and we as kids would benefit from your ‘oneness’ once you were back again
  • always staying together. I’m sure there were times when things were difficult and you didn’t get along perfectly but we always knew you would be together, forever and ever… through the good times and the tough times.
  • your teamwork in so many areas of life. Praying together, playing together, planning together. For example the effort of skiing as a family together; the cost and mom packing all the kids clothes and the food and the ‘stuff’ each weekend… and papa patiently teaching us all to ski (and buying one more pair of gloves ‘cause one ‘got lost’ on the way to the slope!)… just one example of teamwork for the betterment of family-life.
  • The effort of making a house a home together… from the double-lot at 35th street, which was always full of adventure, love, laughter and much fun; to the restoration of the Fox Island house and making that home a ‘haven’ for so many; to the wild wonderful adventure of Drommegaard, your Dream Farm… papa reclaiming the fields, mama planting and caring for the plethora of flowers and both of you loving the cows!
  • for just loving to do things together; whether it was cutting letters to make money for a Norway trip, or watching a Netflix, or going out for a ‘treat’, or attending a grandchild’s sporting event, or going to church… and especially for baking all your Christmas cookies together! We will surely miss the lefse which was loving hand-made together by you both.
  • for the support you gave each other in your interests and passions, whether papa singing in the Norwegian chorus or mama loving her ladies through the Cancer Care group to name a very few.
  • the list could go on and on… but most of all, thanks for loving Jesus together, loving each other, and loving us kids… and then our families that came… along with so many dear ones, close to your hearts, all over the world.

We miss you mama on this day. But we say thank you to Jesus for bringing this amazing couple together so many years ago… and we know the legacy of their love and their marriage will have a lasting impact, not only on their family, but so many others as well.

A Peaceful Habitation or a Hectic Home

We all desire a Peaceful Habitation, but it doesn’t “just happen”. It seems strange to say but you have to “fight for peace” if you want it to happen.

There are some wonderful verses in the Bible that speak about living in a peaceful habitation.

Is. 32:17,18 “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Isn’t that what we all want.

Pro. 3:33 “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous.”

Don’t we want our home blessed by the Lord? It sounds like being “righteous” is the key of both these verses. The Isaiah verse talks about the ‘effect’ of righteousness will be peace, and the ‘result’ of righteousness will be quietness and trust forever.

Righteousness seems to be the key, but what actually is righteousness? Webster says, “Righteousness is doing that which is right” and also, “free from sin”. We can do neither of those without Christ.

Jeremiah 23:6 say “The Lord is our righteousness”.

Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness for they shall be satisfied”.

Matt. 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you”.

Now we shall look at some practical ways to have a peaceful habitation, knowing that first we must have Jesus and his righteousness.

Isaiah 30:15-18 “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and in trust shall be your strength,’ AND YOU WOULD NOT, but you said, ‘No! we will speed upon horses’, therefore you shall speed away and ‘we shall ride upon swift seeds.’ Therefore your pursuers shall be swift. A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. THEREFORE, the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of Justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

AT THE THREAT OF FIVE” spoke to me as a young mama of five children. I was not to be frightened by those 5 children, nor the huge task of raising them. I was to be in control and not them of me. I had the Lord with me. These verses are encouraging on that point. Out of context but they spoke to me of this need.

Part of being in control is making wise decisions as a parent, and setting boundaries for our children. We can’t just always ask our children, in a gentle voice, what they want to do, and then go with that decision. We have to see the far reaching aspects of that decision that our children wouldn’t see.

These verses were also helpful:

Deut. 1:29-30 “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or fear of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you.”

Deut. 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them; for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”

I am going to share some thoughts from a diary from May 4, 9, 11, 1978. I was 46 years old. Becky was married and Jane was to be married in June.

[Editors Note: These particular dairy entries were not included in this typed talk.]

Longer term lessons learned from those hectic days.”

  1. Listen to God. What is it he wants me to do.

  2. Talk it over with Dick. Get his approval and support before undertaking. Learning more and more God uses Dick to protect me as I submit to him.

  3. Learning to say No to things PEOPLE ask me to do – if not in line with what the LORD has already shown me I should be doing.

  4. Remembering – His burden is light – Whose am I carrying? Matt 11:28-30

  5. Most important what God thinks of us – not peers and relatives etc.

  6. Learning to take moments of time for myself (what brings me peace)

  7. Take positive steps toward peace – it won’t “just happen”. Lev. 12:14 Strive for Peace with all men.

Striving for peace also could involve some “fighting” for peace. Right now there are so many good things in the world to ‘fight for’ and so many bad things we need to ‘fight against’. Just reading Dobson’s Citizen magazine can really get you riled as to the sin in the world. It can give us a restless, disturbed, fighting heart that we need to turn over to God, in order to be the “peacemaker” in our home. We need to deal with our own restless heart before we can bring peace to our family. We need to ask God to help us with this, as we are called to minister to our family.

Yes the world is changing. When I first wrote this lesson in 1978 life was different that it is now. But we must remember that “Jesus is Changeless”. His truths are changeless. His truths remain the same throughout all the generations.

Heb. 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Psalms 145:4 “One generation shall laud thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”

Ecc. 1:4 “A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”

Learning the difference between Hospitality and Entertaining. Martha was “entertaining” Jesus. Mary was showing “hospitality”. How often do we do the same – wanting the ‘best’ in the name of honoring our guests, but making our family crazy and really doing it in the name of ‘pride’.

Something comes to mind that I learned at one of the first retreats I had ever been to. At the final meeting I could hear women working in the kitchen, behind the scenes. The Lord spoke to my heart saying, “These women have worked hard to make this a pleasant and restful retreat for you. Now you are to go home and work hard to make your home a special retreat place for your family.”

A friend sent me an article quite awhile ago entitled, “What Makes Your Home a Sanctuary?”. It was from an article in the Chicago Tribune and written by Michele Weldon. Now these aren’t thoughts from a Christian paper, but I think they are very true and very noteworthy, and some things that would be helpful for us to apply to our lives.

You can sense it immediately when you walk through the door. There won’t be a sign, or brochure in the front hall. But if it’s there, you can feel it through you; it is nearly palpable, a smell, a feeling, a radiance, a calm. When a home is a spiritual place, it feels real as a golden retriever curled at the foot of a favorite chair.”

(Now we might mean something different than she does by a “spiritual” place, but we want a home that Jesus is present, and that presence is pervasive in our home to others.)

Continued: “When you walk through the threshold of your home, you feel you are safe. Even gardens for a lot of women are their sanctuaries. It is essential to create a small space, a place of retreat. Whether it’s a room, a tent in a yard or a chair with a walkman, it’s a place where I need time for myself in order to be a better human being. When you are out of balance and life is chaotic, and you walk through the door and can’t find a place to sit down, then you are robbing yourself of serenity. My home was always a sanctuary, and I knew everything was OK as soon as I walked in the door. I want my kids always to feel safe when they come home. It’s my special place. It’s where we belong.”

If we can create this kind of a home, it will be one where your children will want to invite friends to come.

To be happy at home is the greatest gift life will ever present to us.”

We hear a lot about “peer pressure” these days, mostly in relation to our children. But I think peer pressure has a lot to do with our having a peaceful habitation. And that is “our” falling in the trap of “peer pressure”. Do we fall into the same trap as our children do?

  1. Wanting everyone to like us. It is a favor to tell our children that no, everyone is not going to like them. Then they are not so shocked and hurt when someone doesn’t.

  2. Trying to please everyone – keep everyone happy.

  3. Not wanting to say no for fear of rejection.

Let us set an example for them as Jesus is our example. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Perhaps someone will be affected adversely by my saying no. Yes that might be likely. Good words on this in Oswald Chambers My Upmost for His Highest, January 11th.

[Editor’s Note: Oswald passage not included in typed talk]

Sometimes we get too busy for our family by doing everything everyone else wants us to do. The little booklet “Tyranny of the Urgent” is very helpful on this point.

Remember this, “The Need is NOT the Call”. So many needs, but we are not called to them all. Only Jesus can show you what is the most important and what He desires you to do.

How do we get all the things done on our “to do” list?

  1. Let Jesus make your list.

  2. Do only what He gives you strength to do.

  3. Do it in the calm manner that he would do it.

There are also allusions – mirages that the world would have us believe.

  1. There will be more time later (60min Father, Cat in the Cradle, Greatest Man I Never Knew)

  2. I shall always be this age. Remember we all have just one year at each age. Remember being 7, 14, 21. And suddenly you are a mother-in-law and then a grandmother and you feel the same inside.

  3. I’ll be a big nothing if I don’t – do this, join this, have this person over, etc.

  4. My child will never be able to play in Jr. High or High School sports if I don’t start him out in preschool sports teams.

Can I trust God to help me in these areas?


The world and common sense say one thing. But God often says the opposite. Sounds crazy – but makes for a happy exciting life, full of glad surprises along the way.

Oh may we follow Jesus in his guidance to make our homes a Peaceful Habitation.


Nine points for raising your children for the Lord

These are just some preliminary points. It’s important to note that you don’t have to know all the answers. We raised our children leaning hard on James 1:5. You don’t have to be afraid of them or of raising them correctly. Let nothing terrify you (Duet. 31:6 and I Peter 3:6).

1. You must know Jesus yourself and have Him living in you. Keep check on your own life in the Lord (Galations 2:20). Is it as fresh and alive as it always has been? (Revelations 2:3-5). Are you spending time daily with the Lord in personal devotions and in the Word?

2. It is important to have a Christian spouse. (II Corinthians 6:14)

3. It is important to attend church regularly and worship together as a family. Dick strongly encouraged the children to sit with us in church and now it is a habit and we do it out of love and joy for each of us. Make sure you are sensitive to the needs of your children in choosing a church. Avail yourself to what the church has to offer. But be most sensitive to that little seed of God in your child and watering it and nurturing it and not be so concerned about what he/she is participating willingly in, in church. Beware of your own pride at this point.

4. Family Devotions. We really feel that faithful daily devotions, especially when the children were small, was a key factor in the building of faith in our children. Be creative with what you do and where you have it. Try the fireside in winter or outside fire in the summer with kerosene lamps. Children are sensitive to atmosphere. Do things of interest to children. Devotional stories, singing, sharing, praying… We also went through all the Laura and Mary stories with one chapter at the beginning of our devotions. Do not let TV rule your time but be aware of Eph. 6:4 and consider the children also.

5. Use daily life to teach them. Joys, sorrows, problems… all with the purpose of teaching spiritual truths (Duet. 6:6-7). As we talked through these points with our children it seems they all felt this point was the most important in their growth. That Jesus was made real in our daily life, and was interested in their daily concerns. As Bart said, “I heard about the miracle of God at Sunday School. About prating the Red Sea, etc., but when He helped me find my lost math book, that was a miracle that I could see.”

If we never laugh or are big grouches spending most of the time yelling at the kids, kids see that following Jesus is no fun and just for sourpusses. John 10:10 has no meaning for them.

If we worry and fret about not enough money, taxes and what the world is coming to– kids see that we cant cast all our cares on Him. That when the chips are down we don’t rely on Jesus. I Peter 5:7 must be real to them. Share family financial problems. If you don’t share the problem with the children they will never rejoice with the answer.

Two verses that we raised our children with and what we consider companion verse are I Thes. 5:18 and Romans 8:28. Learning to pray when bad things happen and saying “Thank you Lord for allowing this to happen and help me to see the blessing in it.”

Making Jesus a part of everything in their lives from finding lost articles, to praying before a shopping trip, before taking a trip in the car, tests at school and class elections, broken hearts and all the hurts and relationships at school, the things they are desiring and friends who are hurting, and the athletic events they are participating in. In fact, ANY AND EVERY part of their life.

As you look for help in the Word don’t be afraid of using the concordance, or saying you don’t know the answer but you will look and see what the Bible says.

6. Pray daily for your children (James 5:16). Let them know you are praying for them. Ask them for requests and soon they will give them to you freely.

7. Be willing to ask for forgiveness and admit mistakes and ask for God’s forgiveness for yourself.

8. Follow God’s plan for discipline. Love them enough to discipline them. It will be harder to accept God’s guidance and discipline if they haven’t experienced yours.

9. Have fun together as a family and make Jesus the center of whatever you are doing! 


Two verses that mean a lot to Dick and I in raising our children and which verse we are seeing fulfilled as we see our children marrying Christian spouses and raising children for the Lord.

Psalm 128 “Blessings on all who revere and trust the Lord, on all who obey Him. Their reward shall be prosperity and happiness. Your wife shall be contented in your home. And look at all those children. There they sit around the dinner table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees. That is God’s reward to those who revere and trust Him. May the Lord continually bless you with heaven’s blessings as well as human joys. May you live to enjoy your grandchildren and may God bless Israel.”

Jeremiah 32:29 “And I will give them one heart and mind to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.”

Memorial Service Videos

The following link will direct you to three videos from the memorial service: link

It is in 3 parts:

1.  The granddaughters singing “On Eagles Wing” (look for dear papa the end who stood alone to give them a standing ovation and a big hug… so sweet!)
2.  The entire service
3.  The slideshow of Grandma Rosy (that was shown at the service)

Email sent February 28th 2015

Below is one of the last emails Grandma Rosy sent to her family before her stroke. This one of thousands of emails that were sent with the hope of encouraging those around her.
Hi Dear Family,
 I wanted to tell you about today and the “glad surprises” all day.  I felt very good last night and was hoping it would last until today  and it has.  The Lord had special words for me in Jesus Calling this morning,Feb.18.  As I have told you before, the Lord had been speaking to my heart the words,  “I Will Be With You”.   And I told you he said the same words to my heart when Dick was going thru the Brain tumor drama.   Not that all was going to be OK  but that He would be with me.  And that was enough then, and it was enough now.  Also He had been giving me great Peace, and Peace seemed to be the key word.  Prior to that Hope was my fixation perhaps,  but it was as tho that was not as important,  and I just felt covered in peace.
Yesterday morning, during our devotional time Bryna called and it was so good talking with her.  Her kids hadn’t come yet so she had a few min. to talk.  Then when she hung up Dick handed me a little bookmark that had been in his devotion book and it was Rom. 15:13, Bryna’s favorite verse.  “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in Hope.”  I called Bryna right back and felt it was a confirmation for her, of that verse, but that it wasn’t really for me,  as Peace was my gift at the time.  But I soon realized that the “hope” was for me.  And that the Lord was giving me back “Hope” and it made me excited.  I still have peace but I have that with hope.  Then I told you about the day yesterday, but today was so special.
As I read Jesus Calling the first words were “I am with you,  (I couldn’t believe it and was so excited).   The whole message is so good and I know that many of you read this devotional.   But these are some of the words that stood out,  “These four words are like a safety net, protecting you from falling into despair.  Because you are human you will always have ups and downs in your life experience.  But the promise of My Presence limits how far down you can go.   ………Yet as  soon as you remember that “I am With You” your perspective changes radically.  ………. you recall that not only am I with you,  “I am holding you by your right hand.”  I told you that too yesterday that even tho I had been in a pit, so to speak I felt the Lord holding my hand. So that was such a good start to the morning.
Just wanted to you know that Hope has returned,  and Peace is continuing.  It is Well with My Soul, keeps going thru my mind and I love that song.  “When peace like a river attendeth my soul”.  And Peace and Hope are flooding my soul.  Just wanted you to know I am in a good place, and thank you all for praying for me.  
Much love, 
Mom/Gr. Rosy/Rosy

Empty Pots

The following are some notes I wrote to myself many years ago, not dated but only, “Monday 5:45am” written at the top. I feel this could have been written even 20 years ago and I feel probably it was in February or at least winter for those empty feelings are often my winter feelings that I have mentioned before. I felt they were important to laying the groundwork for Joyful Motherhood, in that if we don’t feel like being joyful the Lord can fill that need. I am writing them just as I have written them and hope they will be a blessing to you.

2 Kings 4:1-7- borrowed pots- God filled the empty pots with oil- when she ran out of the pots the oil ran out.

My empty pots are:

  • willing myself to set aside early time for the Lord- now an empty gesture but the Lord filled them with oil
  • willing myself to walk each day – no desire. The Lord will fill it with oil of desire and joy and health.

I have first to put down the empty gesture- God will fill it- But I have to make the move.

“You cant steer a parked car”

The Lord showed me the analogy of giving my empty: face, body, house.

Instead of wearing my robe and not fixing my face until I “felt” like doing it- I fixed my hair and face and got nicely dressed. Even though the inside was empty, I trusted the Lord to fill me with emotions that matched the outside.

Likewise the house- what would I have done if I were full of joy? I would have straightened up, built a fire, and put on a record. Well I did just that and trusted God to fill the emptiness… and He did.

Also the song came back to me that I’d been singing- “Jesus, took my empty life and filled it with His love, joy, peace.” I loved how it tied together with what the Lord had showed me.

2 Kings 5:9-14- Story of Naam bring cured of leprosy

v. 13 “If the prophet had told you to do some great things wouldn’t you have done it? You certainly should obey him when he says simply go wash and be cured.”

This verse confirmed by thought from today…. It is important that I am following through with what the Lord calls me to do. It will help me as much as a “great miracle of healing.”

I must first step- then the waters will part.

Give him the empty areas of my life- let Him fill them.

God At Eventide- April 13

Heaven’s Almoner

(Almoner: One who dispenses alms for another as for a prince or the King of Kings)

(Alms: Work of mercy)

“It may not be YOUR need I am seeking to supply at a particular moment, but of another through you. Remember what I have told you before. It is empty vessels that I fill. Into open hands that I place my supply. Too often my followers are so busy clutching their foolish possessions that they have no hand to receive the larger blessing, the needed gifts that I am waiting to pass to them and through them to others. Help all to see the wonderful life that could open out before them. To be Heaven’s Almoner is the work to which I call each follower of mine.”

(Handwritten notes at bottom of page)

  • What am I clutching to so hard that I don’t have time for what God has for me? 
  • Don’t be so hung up on our details that we forget the delights.