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Past Dynamite News

I was doing some work on my blog sites today and came across this post from November 4, 2007. Some of you may recall that during this time Jerry and I went to Lake Havasu City, AZ. to plant a church, and from the very beginning God honored us with powerful services and dynamic growth. I consider that out of all the decades of our ministry, the three and a half years we were there were some of the most blessed of all our ministry. Much of our work was done with alcohol and drug challenged people.

I weep at this moment as I think of those dear people and their little children. Hard? It was the hardest church work we ever did. Rewarding? Yes, absolutely the most rewarding of all.


CHRIST ALIVE CHURCH Lake Havasu City, Arizona November 4, 2007

“We had rented 40 extra chairs, and on Saturday, Michael met with Jerry and me to set up for the Sunday morning service. When we started putting the chairs out, though, it looked like so many, that Michael’s faith and mine faltered a bit, and we decided to leave about a dozen of them stacked in the hall.

But we had invited lots of people. I had mailed letters to every person who has ever visited our church, we had made and distributed flyers, we had an article in the local paper, Jerry had made dozens of phone calls and personal contacts and Michael had invited everyone of the “Goatheads,” a yuppy, motorcycle group based here in Lake Havasu. Earlier in the week, one of them had called Mike to ask, “Is it okay if we ride our bikes to church?”

“Of course. Not a problem at all,” he had told them.

Jerry and I arrived at the church around 8:30 and there were already a few people there. But it was around 8:45 that we heard the roar of the bikes and soon the parking lot was inundated with motor cycles, so that finally there was hardly room to park.

They came pouring in, and quickly I told Brandon, “Set up the rest of the chairs.” When we had registered and counted, we found that 85 people were at Christ Alive today! Recall that we have only been here 8 months. We were ecstatic.

Brother Pence of Prescott, AZ. has a most remarkable testimony of a healing from cancer. The doctors had given him two weeks to live. He had 22 tumors in his lungs from a cancer that had metastasized from his kidneys.

He had lost 60 pounds, had made all his funeral arrangements even to picking out his casket…Here, he is showing the packet from the mortuary where he had made the arrangements. But God had different plans and has completely healed him! All the tumors have gone, his racking cough is cured, and recently, his doctors declared him completely cancer free. His testimony is incredible.

Ernie, who is pictured here is suffering from pancreatic cancer, and the doctors have not given him a good prognosis. He came to Christ Alive today believing God for a miracle in his own life.

I was touched by the generous response of the audience, and their involvement with worship that to many of them was unfamiliar. They were extremely receptive to the Word of God as it was preached, and to an invitation to join in our Pentecostal worship. All over the room, both men and women were openly crying.

At the conclusion of the very appropriate sermon, Brother Pence invited everyone to the front who needed special prayer. Ernie was the first to leave his seat and head to the pulpit. Here you see him being prayed over.

Please pray for our work here. These people are precious–some of them know God in a measure–others have a very limited knowledge of Him. Jerry and I are desperate to be able to point them to Jesus, the only Saviour.


So, here we are many years later, retired now, someone else the pastor in Lake Havasu City. Both Jerry and I count it the greatest of joys that God called us to do a work for Him among those very dear people.

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Trip to Lake Havasu

“We’ll be there between 5 and 6,” I had told Michael earlier in the day.

“So you’ll be here for dinner. Good.”

Jerry had a late-morning eye exam in Redlands; just before noon he was finished and we pulled onto the 10 freeway heading to Arizona. A heatwave had clamped down around us, so we knew it would be hot in Lake Havasu. It was. When we drove into the city limits, our sleek new car registered the outside temperature as 118. At Mike and Melina’s home we greeted each other, finding it impossible to avoid the usual jokes about the heat, including the line, “See we don’t need our jackets today.”

What a great time we had those days last week visiting with our son and his dear wife. We ate at home. We ate in restaurants. We talked. We played. We went to church. We discussed serious matters. We laughed. We discussed death, and  we talked of Kelly’s baby who will be born in December. Once when we were looking at something he owned, I said to Michael, “You’re a blessed man.”

“Yes, I am, Mom. Far more than I ever expected.”


Melina’s dad Ralph lives across the street, and he and Michael recently flew to Colorado where he bought a red hot rod. We all tootled around in his garages admiring his toys.


He’s working on that old Winnie which Mike says he probably will never take out of the driveway.


We indulged in a fair amount of this.

DSC_0005On Saturday evening Mike helped us onto his beautiful vessel, and we boated 30 miles or so down the Colorado river to Havasu Springs where we had dinner. It was truly a delightful time. The burning heat yielded to the cool of the water as we roared over its surface. The sky lay clear against the mountains that rose in the distance.

“About 35 miles an hour,” Michael answered when someone asked how fast we were going.

DSC_0035Mike and Melina.

DSC_9986Gorgeous loves being on the boat. She is a rescue dog that could not be more lovable.DSC_0054Arizona boasts magnificent sunsets. Added to the beauty of the evening as we headed back to Lake Havasu was this giant orange ball, that as we watched, sank behind the Whipple Mountain Range. Amazing. Truly.

DSC_0072.jpgMichael was up and out of the house by 5:30 on Monday morning. The plan was that at 9:00 we would meet him at Rusty’s Cafe for a final meal before we headed home. I saw Melina scurrying around in the kitchen, and when we prepared to tell her good-bye, she handed over this bag loaded with food. “Don’t want you to get hungry on the way home”

It was filled with fruit, cheese, pecans, fried chicken, fat cookies, and icy drinks. Ate some of the snacks on the way home, and saved the fried chicken for dinner that night. What a family God has blessed us with. What a life.


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News from Sir Winston

I’ve told you before how gracious and generous are the Pastor Robert Allen family, but their generosity almost excelled itself when Sister Allen said to Chloe, “Would you like one of the Shih Tzu pups?” I wasn’t there when they had the conversation, but a few hours later I learned of the potential gift when I too was offered one of the little dogs.


“You’re giving me one of the puppies?” I asked.

“Yes, we often give one to our friends who are in ministry.”

That night I met Sir Winston and Milo . . . and my life has forever changed, for how could I look into such a face, and say, “No, thank you.”

Chloe called her dad for permission. Her dad said, “Yes, but we’ll keep it a secret from your mom,” thus arose the need to delay the earth-shattering news. She picked Milo, a tiny little fella with a beautiful white face.


It was Friday night when we met the pups, and Jerry had said yes, I could have the remaining puppy. I hesitated for all the reasons I’ve mentioned previously.. . . but when we pulled away from Tucson we had two beautiful pups in a big cardboard box and were on our way to Lake Havasu where Mike and Mel were preparing dinner for us. Chloe and I had plans. We stopped at a WalMart the other side of Phoenix for we had to lay in supplies for our babies. Jerry kept Sir Winston in the car: ImageChloe tucked Milo in her purse and nearly caused a riot in the pet section when several people spotted him, called their relatives to see, and even had their picture taken with him. (We’ve learned since that we shouldn’t take them out in public yet, for they are too young for their shots, and they might pick up a disease.)

Chloe and I hid our pups behind our backs when we arrived at Mike’s, said, “1, 2, 3” and then popped out Milo and Sir Winston. Mike grinned . . . laughed . . . and called Melina to come see. We had bought puppy shampoo, so before dinner Chloe and I gave our babies their first bath.


Jerry had preached in Lake Havasu Sunday, we drove home Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon, we had arrived in San Diego, and all the family had been introduced to Sir Winston and Milo. Shawnna was totally surprised, but excited.

From everything I’ve read and with conversations with other puppy owners, I’ve come to think Sir Winston is an exceptional dog. Excuse me while I brag.

1. Yesterday at Pet’s Mart, I bought a kennel for him. With no difficulty at all, he slept in it last night, by the side of our bed. He had his last potty trip at 10;00 . . . and slept without a sound until 5:00 am!

2. He almost never whines . . .

3. When I take him to the back deck, he immediately pees, but to finish his job, he wants to run around and sniff here and there. Our deck is one story high with open sides, and every day he walks a little faster, and I’m afraid he’s going to fall off the deck. So, today, Jerry and I made him a private bathroom. He does not like puppy papers, rather prefers the outdoors. To accommodate both his needs and his wishes, his area has many leaves, dirt, and other plants. I’ll probably put a paper out there, to help him get used to it for the days when freezing rain is falling and he will be forced to such a lowly thing! (He’s just much too elegant for plastic puppy papers; rather he needs a portion of God’s green, cool earth.:) )


Early this morning, Sir Winston got lost. I had been playing with him for about an hour, could tell he was tired and was probably ready for a nap. I worked on my computer for a few minutes, then looked around for him, and he was gone. Gone! I mean. I called, looked under chairs, couches, in the bathrooms, under beds . . . calling all the time. I could not find him. I even went outside, called there. Nothing. Finally I went to the bedroom where Jerry was still asleep. “You didn’t come in here and get Winston, did you?”

“No,” he said as he roused and began to dress.

Sir Winston likes to sleep under my green chair in the dining room. I had looked carefully under there, had even run my hands around on the floor to feel for him. Nothing. Now, I retraced my steps, and decided to move the chair completely out. There. There on the bottom shelf of the bookcase, tucked way far back, he was curled fast asleep.

“You little rascal,” I said as I gathered him up. I took him to Jerry and said, “Winston has been a bad boy.”

I said that two or three times as Jerry was rubbing the thick black and white coat of little Sir Winston, then Jerry quietly said, “Shirley, you’ve scolded him enough.” I smiled inside.

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Hotel Bob Allen and Company

When Jerry called Pastor Bob Allen, secretary of the Arizona UPCI district, last week to inquire about hotels for the Arizona On Fire camp meeting we would be attending, Brother Allen said, “Why don’t you stay with us in our home?” Such a gracious invitation, with the added order that yes, they would be preparing dinner for us, led to our arriving here in the early evening yesterday. We had left Crestline at 9:15 . . . long ways over here to Tucson. Chloe is with us, and when we arrived, these precious people greeted us enthusiastically, and the dining room table was set like this.

untitled (1 of 9). . .and then we gathered around and were treated to a luscious meal.

untitled (2 of 9)Adorable grandson Silas is the star of the place, wearing both a cowboy hat and boots, and with a green pacific securely clamped in his mouth. Sister Allen’s father sat at the head of the table.

untitled (3 of 9)The rooms where we would stay made us feel as though we were in a 5 star hotel. Both Chloe’s room and ours were outfitted with generous hospitality baskets and every amenity we could wish.

untitled (9 of 9)In preparing a hostess gift for Sister Allen, I had made the great sacrifice of picking off the ground pine cones and acorns. 🙂 Well, I did put them in a pretty glass container, and I did give her my finest acorns; the fattest, biggest specimens, including one with a double topknot on his hat, and the other with a feather in his hat.

untitled (4 of 9)Gracious Sister Allen exclaimed over the little things I had prepared for her (turned out we were trading food items!) and she loved the acorns. I was so relieved at that, because although I think the acorns are adorable, I did have the thought cross my mind that she might think: “Acorns, why did she bring me acorns?” 🙂

But she loved them–I could tell she really did–and she spread them out along with her own fall decorations and with the pumpkin cups I had given her.

untitled (6 of 9)untitled (7 of 9)Once more, I am reminded of my splendid abundant life, into which, over the years, have come remarkable, wonderful, loyal friends. How rich am I.

Brother Allen has jury duty today, so we’re all on hold until this afternoon when we will take the Allens out to dinner. Opening service of the camp is at the Conner’s church tonight. In the meantime, I’ve located a State Park just 15 minutes away from here. Think I’ll chug over there and snap a few pictures.

Cheers……have a great day!

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Sunday in Yuma (Day 11 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

Church on Sunday at Yuma’s Pentecostal Assembly. Jerry preached in the morning, Pastor Jerry Rowell in the evening. The presence of the Lord was dear, and often through the day I thought of and read this scripture:

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple. Psalm 27:4






Arizona Firearms Photography Social

Yuma Territorial Prison (Day 10 Summer Road Trip 2012)

On July 6, 1876, the first seven inmates entered the Territorial Prison at Yuma and were locked into the new cells they had built themselves. Thus began the legend of the Yuma Territorial Prison. A total of 3,069 prisoners, including 29 women, lived within the walls during the prison’s 33 years of operation. Severe overcrowding forced its closure on September 15, 1909″ Source: facility brochure

We’ve visited Yuma several times, and although I had always wanted to do so, we had never visited the historic old town area, nor the quite famous Yuma Jail. Today we remedied that situation, and it has left me shaken. Sin is so awful, so painful, so ugly. Crime is devastating, and those who live such lives suffer greatly; their desperate histories that reveal their wretched lives have stirred up something very unpleasant in me. I’m bringing you a few pictures here and will most likely post several more at a later time.

I haven’t processed a picture good enough to post here of inside of the dark cell, (not sure I even can) but let me tell you about it, for it was this part of the jail that so unsettled me. It is nothing more than a dungeon, a cave where prisoners who were causing trouble within the system were thrust. The stay in the dark cell lasted from a few days to several months. The prisoners were fed with only bread and water. There was no furniture; the prisoners had to lie on the bare, cold floor where was the cruel ball and chain. There were no sanitary facilities at all. I am completely unable to assimilate such information. I do not believe I could survive such punishment, but would fold in on myself and die. God help me if I’m ever faced with such a situation.

Perhaps it is a cliche to compare physical chains, locks, and imprisonment to the spiritual chains, locks, and imprisonment satan has inflicted on humanity, but cliche or no, such comparisons beg to be heard–often. Bondage by satan is ghastly, pervasive, and real. The frightening shackles I saw today are as nothing compared to the shackles whose horror is concocted in hell.

This is an image of one of the regular cells where six prisoners were housed. The place was filthy and rampant with vermin. The prisoners bathed once weekly.

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To Sunset (Day 9 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

After arriving in Yuma a little after ten, Jerry set up our rig, I arranged the inside portion of the motor home, then we set down for a light lunch. It was hot, so we stayed inside; temperature reached 112 degrees today.

Remembering we had a Cracker Barrel gift card, being hungry now in the early evening, and not motivated to cook very much, we trekked to our faithful Jeep and drove to Cracker Barrel. I’m ambivalent about Cracker Barrel, although I hesitate to say so for fear of old shoes and rotten tomatoes being thrown my way, for I understand that lots of people revel in the thought of sitting down to a meal in one of these restaurants. Jerry’s food was great (fish and chips), mine was mediocre (chopped sirloin). Cracker Barrel management is brilliant; I give them that, for everyone who enters to have a meal must walk first through the shopping area. Cute things there, reasonably priced. What say you about Cracker Barrel? Of course some will have no opinion, never having had the opportunity to eat at one of these interesting places. I believe there are none in California; probably this one in Yuma is the closest.

The best part of the day now evolved, when heading back toward our rig, I saw this attractive church, set high above the freeway and practically glowing in the magnificent evening light. We turned off, and while Jerry stayed in the parking lot overlooking the Colorado River, where across the way, families were splashing around in that surging cooling water, I climbed many steps to stand before the church.

A firey orb, the sun was setting now showing its splendid glow across one of the numerous agricultural fields here in this area. Jerry was good enough to stop every little bit so I could snap the progression as the sun quickly slipped behind the mountains that loom in the distance.

. . . and day is done.

Arizona Photography Road Trip Journal shopping

Shopping Spree Continues (Day 8 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

A few days ago when the mobile repairman adjusted our brakes, he told Jerry he thought there was a problem with one of our tires. . .Jerry checked suppliers yesterday, and this morning a mobile tire truck would arrive, check the tire, and install a new one if such was needed.

“Think I’ll do a bit more shopping while you wait for the tire man.” I smiled as I made this little suggestion to Jerry at the same moment as I checked on my computer for store hours of Dillard’s Clearance Center. Open at 9:00 the site read, so a few minutes after the hour I pulled in front of the huge store. Nothing. Quiet. No one there. I walked to the door and saw the posted schedule called for the store to open at 11:00.

There was a Ross nearby and a Barnes and Noble, and I thought to hang out at those places until 11:00. I called Jerry, told him what was going on…and went into Ross’s. I had been poking through the dresses for just a few minutes when I saw this! What? It was a cute little summery thing–very pretty. A clerk was passing and I asked her. “Is this dress 49 cents?”

She smiled and said, “Yes!”

I looked around Ross’s a bit more, but finding nothing else I wanted to buy, I headed for the cashier, having a slight sense of embarrassment at buying nothing else. “Biggest sale of the day, I’m sure,” I said to the friendly clerk.

She smiled and explained. “Happens occasionally. If something doesn’t sell for a month or so, drastic reductions are made.” She punched buttons on the cash register and said, “That will be fifty-four cents.” I paid her with two quarters and four pennies.

Well, the thoughts of this buy and the bargains I snagged yesterday at Dillard’s have led me to this decision: If I were a gambler, I would head straight for Las Vegas. 🙂

Edit: June 10 Someone asked to see the dress modeled. Here you go!

Arizona Money Photography shopping Vacation Journal

Shopping Spree! (Day 7 Summer Road Trip 2012)


Dillard’s Clearance Center is less than ten minutes from where we are parked here in Phoenix. Today, I shopped! Today, I found bargains! For a grand total of $49.12, I bought a beautiful red dress, two “patio” dresses, a charming hat, a practical brown jacket, and a magnificent skirt! Top that, if you can!

The cutest item is this hat.


The prettiest is this skirt.

The best buy? This dress originally $129.00, marked down to $9.99, plus 50% off=$4.99!!

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Moon Night

As the evening’s end, Melina said, “We should have had Moon Pies.”

How right she was, and how I wish I had thought of such a treat. You see it was the night of the biggest full moon of the year and to our Crystal Beach property in Lake Havasu where we are staying in our motorhome we had invited the Jarrid Younkin and Mike Buxton families. I prepared a few snacks, then we visited while we waited for the moonrise for we had been told it would be magnificent. We had the perfect place to view the sight.

The moon will officially become full on May 5 at 11:35 p.m. EDT. And because this month’s full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth — it will also be the year’s biggest.
The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a supermoon.
Eliana and Josiah helped us scan the sky for signs of the rising of the moon. Oh, and Mac looked too.
I used the term breath-taking advisedly, for when that spectacular orb began its first showing in the far mountains, it was a stunning sight.
Bulging, and rising quickly, the moon peered over the mountains, the city lights, fastened securely below.
The night was dark; the moon a magical light.
Melina had a little magic going on when she held that brilliant orb in her tiny hand.
It hangs by nothing, does that dazzing moon.
It was time to leave then, and that’s when Melina said, “We should have eaten Moon Pies.” She was right.