Thursday, January 26, 2012


by Joanne Valiando, Beaverton, OR
     I had plenty I could say. Not usually at a loss for words, I was stymied and reduced to tears. My son is a master of logic and he knew just the right words that would shut me up.
     Granted, living conditions were sparse at the moment, but it was a roof and hot meals. Two years before, my marriage had nose-dived in an ugly episode of domestic violence.
     In a protective mode, I separated myself and my teenage son from the situation as I sought the Lord for answers. Five months later, I was in nursing school in a private, accelerated program.
     Now, at forty-three years old, this late bloomer had a better way of providing for my household. All those years as a nurses’ aide and the preparatory sciences had paid off.
     We left Southern California for a smaller community and my son was okay with that decision, I thought.
     As a night nurse, one of the dilemmas I faced was sleep deprivation. This was my emotional state when my son came into the house, awakening me mid-afternoon. Harsh words were exchanged.
     In a terse voice, John’s words caught me totally off-guard. “And what has God ever done for you, Mom?”

Move That Mountain

by Helen Haidle, Tigard, OR
      When I was in junior high, my family lived in temporary army barracks housing where I shared a very small bedroom with my younger brother. My dad’s teaching income just wasn’t sufficient to buy a house, but I longed for a real home and especially a room of my own.            
     One Sunday, our pastor preached a sermon about Jesus and the fig tree, and the words spoken by Jesus came alive to me:
     “If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to this fig tree, but if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:21-22

     For me, the biggest "mountain" in my life was getting out of those army barracks and into our own home. So I began asking the Lord for a house . . . one where I could have my own bedroom with pink walls and flowered curtains.
     For two-and-a-half years, I prayed in faith, trusting God to answer. I trusted God’s promise so completely that when I got up in the morning, I would look out the window at the vacant lot across the street, fully expecting that God could even place a house there for our family.
      In my naivety, I didn’t think about the fact that if God did put a house on that lot, the home wouldn’t belong to our family, but to the owners of the lot!
      One day in May while grocery shopping with my mother, I saw a notice about the Pillsbury Bake-off Contest. I grabbed an entry form and took it home. I sent two recipes to the Baking Contest, but after I mailed them out, I forgot all about it.
2nd Prize Junior winner
 1954 Pillsbury Baking Contest
      In October, I received a phone call from the Pillsbury Baking Company.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Whose Stories?....His Stories

by Helen Haidle

    Everyone has a story—a story with the power to impact us in a special way. When an individual in this book shares what happened in his or her life, one central character emerges: GOD—the God of the Universe!
     Actually, all these stories are God’s stories. God is the Giver, the Revealer, the Redeemer, the Encourager, the Forgiver, the Helper, the Rescuer, the Provider, the Savior and the Friend.

     How this book got started:
     In my early teen years, my mother taught me embroidery. While we sewed together, Mother would recount the inspirational stories of her life. She told me how my grandmother was instantly healed of a terrible skin disease when a traveling "circuit-rider" Assembly of God preacher prayed for her.
     Mother also told how all her  relatives in South Dakota would gather together Sunday evenings to sing hymns and to pray as they struggled through hot summers, failed crops, sickness, and harsh winters.
             Many times, I asked Mother to retell the story of the angel who appeared to my Uncle Johnny shortly before he died of cancer.
   I would ask to hear the stories over and over, especially how the Lord held my mother’s hand at the lowest point in her life (this story is in the book).
      Forty years later, in the hospital and at the point of death, my mother came out of a coma and told the nurse and my brother that she had a vision of a large door in front of her. She thought she was at heaven's gate, so she prepared herself to meet the Lord, asking once again for His mercy and forgiveness and declaring her trust in Jesus as her Savior.
      Then she waited . . . but the door did not open.
      After a pause, Mother said out loud, "Well, the door isn't opening and I'm know I'm not going to die right now. The Lord just told me, 'Not yet, Ella. I have work for you to do.'" After that mother slipped into another coma.
      My mother lived five more years and only God knows how much "work" she accomplished through her prayers and intercession three times a day for all her family, and for many other people. On the day of her funeral, many people asked each other, "Now who will pray for us?"

      A few years before she died, my mother did take time to write out many stories of her life and also about my father's last six weeks of life. I have always wanted to share her stories of faith with others. Some of those stories are in this book.
      My prayer is that these stories and testimonies from my mother as well as from many other people will inspire others to trust God and to write down and share their own stories of God's faithfulness. It's one way we truly give God the glory!