Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When The Fire Fell

As most of you know our family spent three weeks at the beginning of this summer doing deputation. We always set out ready to make memories and have exciting adventures. This year we got more than we ever expected. The second weekend of travelling we were ready for a little down time, the plan was to get caught up on sleep and laundry. The church we were scheduled to be at that Sun. morning had an empty parsonage that they offered to us for the weekend. We arrived Fri. evening, had a nice dinner and then kicked back for a relaxing evening. It began to storm outside, which was fine with me cause the sound of rain on the roof just puts me right to sleep. We were sitting in the living room just about ready to head off to dreamland when we heard, felt, and saw a huge explosion. Everything went black, I could hear kids in the midst of nervous breakdowns, but couldn't find them. My first thought was that it was an earthquake, until my dear husband said, "I think we just got struck by lightning". Since the storm seemed to be almost over Harold went out and turned on the lights in van to give us some light. When he shone the lights on the side of the house this is what we saw.

The lightning had dug up the ground,

blown up the phone box,

knocked the door open and the light off the wall,

and turned part of concrete steps into rubble. When we went back into the bedroom, which was on the other side of the screen door and steps, we found this hole in the wall and my suitcase which had been leaning against it knocked over with the contents spilled on the floor.

I almost immediately smelled smoke, but we thought it was just left over from the lightning strike. Harold found a breaker box, flipped a few breakers and the lights came back on. We figured the worst was over so we tried to get our petrified children calmed down so we could get a good night of rest. When we woke up the next morning we immediately began to smell smoke, as we went to the front of the house it got worse. Harold called the pastor who assumed that it was left over from the lightning strike. We left for a few hours to get some laundry done. When we came back the smoke was so thick in the living room that we didn't let the kids go in. Around the side of the house Harold found this hole with smoke billowing out of it.

Harold found access to the attic, but couldn't go up without a wet rag over his face. He found a pole outside to shimmy up on the roof to open the attic access. He quickly realized that it was more than he could handle and called the pastor who called the fire department. Basically what happened is that the lightning came in the phone box, travelled up to the attic, went into the electric lines, set the insulation on fire, and then went back down the wall in the bedroom and exited out the wall and into the steps. All night while we slept the insulation directly over our heads smoldered. The firemen asked for copies of our pictures since they had never seen anything quite like it before. We can now say that we slept all night in a burning house. Looking back we can so clearly see God's hand of protection on us. It doesn't make sense that none of the wood caught fire, there were boards that were charred and too hot to touch, but no flames.

Awhile back a heard someone talk about making a photo album for your kids with pictures of times God had intervened on their behalf. You can pull it out when they are discouraged or start to doubt as a reminder of God's faithfulness. These pictures definitely make the book.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ABC Song (The Two Year Old Version)

Yes, yes I know I've been strangely absent from blog world. Partly due to Facebook and partly due to not being able to find the time. There have been many blog worthy events that I just haven't had time to sit down and put into words. Truth be told I really miss it and am trying to get back into it. As an example of how mixed up and crazy life is right now here's Dylan singing his ABC's. Kind of like me he's having a hard time figuring out how everything is supposed to fall into place, but as we all know life goes on and in a couple of years he'll know them by heart and won't miss a beat. Hopefully I'll do just as well learning the life lessons that I'm being taught right now. I'll try to return soon. Until then please enjoy this jibberish that we call the ABC Song.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Authority Structure

Last night during church Collin became very dehydrated. He asked Harold if he could go out and get a drink. He was told "no" very authoritatively. It is the opinion of my dear husband that we don't walk out of church unless not doing so would draw even more attention to our pew than walking out would. Thinking that my heart might be a little softer than Daddy's he turned to me and whispered "can I go get a drink". "Collin", I said, "Daddy just told you no". "Yeah, but you're older than him so you're in charge", he whispered back. Now I just have to convince Harold that those sixteen months that I was on the earth before him helped me to develop a vast wealth of knowledge that he needs to dip into. Leviticus 19:32 is now my favorite verse, "Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God". For some reason he still clings to Ephesians 5:22, "Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord". Oh well I guess I'll give in to him since his scripture seems a bit more relevant to our relationship, and I really don't want the responsibility. I'll just constantly remind him of the advantages of being married to an older woman. In this picture, that was taken this past weekend, we were called the "old(er) love". I think that means that he's catching up with me anyway.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Last night during congregational singing one of my sons, who shall remain unnamed, looked up at me and said, "Who's Spiro Rinco?". "Who" I asked. "Spiro Rinco" he said. "What are you talking about", I innocently inquired. This was the reply, "We just sang there's a glorious church without Spiro Rinco, I want to know who he is". While trying hard to contain my laughter I explained that it was "without spot or wrinkle". When we got home I told Harold what had happened, he was highly amused because as a child he thought it was "Monce, Puerto Rico". This reminded me of wondering for years what a "Willie Race" was. I always thought it was "one glimpse of his sweet face, all sorrows Willie Race". I'm glad that at some age we learned to pay attention to the words in the hymnal.
I know that some of you have similar stories. Please share!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Western Tale (For my boys)

Many years ago, during the days of Old Yeller, there roamed in the west a "bad guy" that was so ornery that no one wanted to be around him. He was know a Dylan the Dodger.

He blazed a trail across the frontier leaving a mess everywhere he went. Though many had tried to find and capture him, he was always somehow able to escape. That was until the notorious bounty hunter, Ethan the Exterminator, came to town.
Absolutely no "bad guy" ever escaped the quick eye and sharp tracking skills of Ethan. Dylan headed for the hills as soon as he learned that there was a price on his head, but he was no match against Ethan. He was hunted down like a yellow dog and hauled to the county jail. There ruled a sheriff who was loved by all who knew him.
Collin the Compassionate preside over his jail with a firm, but kind hand. Because he had a strong resemblance to Woody, a toy, and was missing a few teeth, Dylan thought he would be a pushover. This was not to be the case. Collin required that Dylan say he was sorry for all the messes he made, help clean them up, and say nightly prayers. A remarkable thing began to happen, Dylan decided that he wanted to be a "good guy". One day he bowed his head in shame and asked God to forgive all his sins. He was a new man.
When the time came for him to go to court he was assigned a very tender public defender, Landon the Lenient.

Having once been a mess making "bad guy" himself he felt very sorry for poor Dylan. He quickly realized that a complete change had been made in the life of this derelict. When it came their turn before the judge Landon pleaded as if Dylan were his own brother. It was a hard decision for the judge to make since Dylan had been such a "stinker". In the end he decided to have mercy and give a full pardon. Today Dylan is know throughout the west for his cheesy grin and remarkable potty manners. He is now known as Dylan the Delightful.

The four heroes joined up to make a team of serious crime fighters, and this is why "folks in the west never get no rest".
This was written for my boys after Career Day at school. They really love my stories even if you thought it was cheesy. This is the only way to illustrate it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hobe Sound Bible College Alumni Association (Fund Update)

Thanks so much for all the interest and activity on the Patricia Bigger Memorial Fund. Not only was Patricia an HSBC alumni, but her parents also. Her grandparents were HIM missionaries in Haiti. Brent and Patricia spent several of their summers travelling in music groups for the college.
I will be leaving this afternoon taking Bro. Miller (Patricia's grandfather), President Stetler, Paul Stetler, and Dr. Churchill up to the Memorial Service. Please keep us in your prayers as we fly. Brent is not only an alumnus, he is also a good friend. Brent, Jonathan Heath, and I travelled together in a men's trio and made many memories. As HSBC alumni let's keep praying for and supporting Brent in this time of unimaginable pain and sorrow.

Harold Martin
Alumni President HSBC

Please see post below for details on the Patricia Bigger Memorial Fund.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Patrica Bigger Memorial Fund

The Alumni Association of Hobe Sound Bible College has set up a Patricia Bigger Memorial Fund. All donations recieved along with a list of donors will be given to Brent Bigger to help defray the cost of funeral expenses. This is a tragedy that no one plans for. Checks can be made payable to Hobe Sound Bible College Alumni Association. Just be sure to include a note or specify in the memo section that it is for the Patricia Bigger Memorial Fund.

Harold Martin
Alumni President

Hobe Sound Bible College Alumni Association
P.O. Box 1065
Hobe Sound, FL 33455

Please pass this on to any alumni or friends that you are in contact with.

Liberty mom, 2 kids die after N.C. accident GreenvilleOnline.com The Greenville News

This is the link for online giving to the Patricia Bigger Memorial Fund. Please pass it on.

Monday, January 5, 2009

All The Dogs I've Loved Before

Once again we are dog owners. Those of you who know the dogs in our past will be shocked to know that we once again have taken a canine into our home. Those of you who didn't have the privilege of meeting our first two dogs are about to become acquainted with them.

First there was Snickers, I got her from a girl I worked with in TN as a gift for Harold. I should have know better than to take a chance on her when I learned that her Dad used to "bob" for the cat in their swimming pool. She was a beautiful dog, but she had a lot of issues and caused me much grief. My most embarrassing story about her is the day my neighbors had their carpet cleaned and left the back door open for it to dry. Snicker's happened to get out of her pen that day and hightailed right into their condo with me chasing her, apologizing all the way through to the poor landlord. We went in the back door and out the front, leaving trail behind us. She was constantly digging her way out of her pen and getting into mischief. The digging meant that she was always covered with mud. Almost worse that the carpet episode was the day our two elderly neighbors drove up to their house, opened their car doors to get out and Snicker's got in with them, mud and all. Harold was so embarrassed he made me go do the apologies. She actually moved back to FL with us, but since we were renting and had no yard for her to play in we had to get rid of her. It was a very sad day indeed.
Here she is attacking me and Ethan while Harold took pictures.

Next came Chandler, who I have no pictures of and have no regrets about it. When an MFI volunteer offered him to Harold I very grudgingly consented. He was ten years old and very set in his ways. He also had very serious nerve problems. We were told that he had been attacked by an alligator as a puppy, therefore he could not handle loud noises. This included thunder storms and firecrackers. He would start shaking uncontrollably and try to crawl on our laps, he weighed about eighty pounds. Loud noises also gave him diarrhea. On the Fourth of July I was fixing food for a cookout and the neighborhood kids were doing fireworks outside our house. He wanted my full attention which I was not able to give him so I locked him in our bedroom. Pretty soon I started smelling something foul, I opened the door to find that he had had multiple episodes through which he had nervously paced around in. I made Harold clean up the whole mess while I tried to control my carnal nature. He also shed more that any dog I have ever seen before, and we had green carpet. Not a good combination. When I became pregnant with Dylan we realized that four kids and an old nervous dog in a trailer wasn't going to work so away he went to some friends of his previous owner.

Now let me introduce you to the newest canine in our lives. His name is Dorado, because he came from Guatemala City. Dorado means golden in Spanish for those of you aren't bilingual. We had talked about getting a dog for the boys, since they asked for one at least twice a day, but weren't sure we were ready yet. Mrs. Duren went to Guatemala and guess what she came back with. The problem was that none of her kids were quite ready for a dog yet. When Emily told me that they were not going to be able to keep him, my heart started softening. My boys had played with him with her boys and were quite smitten. After talking it over Harold and I decided that the time was right, the dog was the right kind, and our house is finally right. We even have a doggy door on our back porch. He is much better behaved at fifteen weeks than our other dogs were as adults. The boys absolutely adore him and he seems to them as well. I called home from work one night, and Harold told me that Dylan was flossing his teeth (the dog's) and he seemed to enjoy it. Dylan has had to deal with getting pushed around a little, but it is somewhat enjoyable to watch.

Please keep us in your prayers as we potty train and housebreak at the same time.