Tuesday, July 20, 2010

21 January 1947

21 January 1947
Tuesday afternoon

“I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him;
the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me, ye can do nothing.”
John 15:5

“Christ in the Life”
Dear Mom,
“As ye have, therefore, received Jesus Christ the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Colossians 2:6

I truly praise God for your letter and Daw’s talk last night, and for the verses that give real victory which I started on yesterday (Second setter now, I am- praise Him!). It all tied together so wonderfully to make a more victorious life evident in the future! In face last week in the midst of my studies I became so belated about my weaknesses I was of hindrance in that respect in way of my studying. I did learn many things of dynamic future spiritual value last week though! I think it did me a lot of good to have to “dig in” even if it was so scattered.

So many things have taken place since I last wrote I ponder on beginning but the most important was meeting Dawson Trottman and hearing him speak! If you read over the Log you recall that he is the organizer of the Navigator group. It was he that worked with the different members of the five first men who began this work. He is connected with the Wycliff translation group too now, and could he ever “go to town” on it. He has been down in Mexico where the first step was taken. Wycliff groups are in Peru and Venesuvela (?) and their next hop and prayer is Siberia! The idea of a “closed door” is their main objective. Mexico was closed but there have been nearly all of the Indian tongues understood so as it could be written in Scripture; incidentally, they began with the Aztec Indians there! I couldn’t begin to tell you al that he said- it was the quickest two hours I’d ever seen or heard of. He could talk about the field too for missions! He said, “Someone as me why I’m here and not over there!” Someone did, and he said he surely wanted to be a missionary and would have gone except his boy’s work wouldn’t let him loose. He says, more and more, his task is evident! He’s one of God’s appointed “go-getters” for missionaries! The Navigators out of Biola will turn out nearly five hundred men for foreign fields in around fifteen years, “should the Lord tarry!” He’s some kind of official of the American Missionary board and he says it really does his heart good to see them go. By the way, did you know there are more women and girl missionaries abroad than men? “Timid souls for soft pastor jobs at home!” He said it gently, of course, but he said in L.A. at one time recently there were 300 Presbyterian’s (ministers) jobless and the field was crying!

Old Daw’s is sure a “regular” guy too. Boy, if there was ever a more rustic, vivacious, husky, guy in the world, I don’t know of him! Oh yes, about him and Biola! Norm says he was never kicked out, he just had too many things on his hands and had to drop it! Wes must have gotten a bum steer, because Norm surely wouldn’t hand me one.

I got some mighty good pointers from Daws about personal work. Here I’d felt so miserable in not doing personal work like I should, and seeing other Christians hard at it humbled me that much more. Even though, if the Holy Spirit should call upon me when talking to someone, I should obey but otherwise, I’m yet so young in my new life, I wonder and watch and study, but am hardly expected to go out and win souls right here and now! Daws gave a good illustration- a soul winner’s method; He walked up to me, thumped me on the chest and said, “Are you a Christian?,” “Why aren’t you?,” “You know if you aren’t you’re going to do, don’t you?” That’s a common method! Even when a person’s saved, his inspiration is to go out immediately and win others which if the Spirit commands is fine but God hardly expects the individual to do that for he’s a mere babe and many of the promises of Salvation are yet unknown until he begins studying the Word and memorizing it. It surely made me alot more assured with victory and gave me a zeal to get going on my study. My excuse as being a babe can’t go on much longer, and isn’t a blind but a seclusion that in time my fruit in glorifying Him might increase. At the present it is all in living and letting the light of miraculous wonder of Christ Jesus shine out in me.

Wednesday morning

I’m miserably slow, please pardon me. I got up early this morning but it was so cold, my fingers were too numb to even hold and manipulate the pen! Jake Bass and his wife are down from the Navigator Home up there in Norfolk. The came down Monday morning to see Daws and then decided to stay over until Thursday. I don’t believe they are any kin to Sheridan’s Basse’s but Jake was a baker in the Navy and his wife and he knew Milton Cunningham quite well. They met him in Narragut when boot camp was up there, and still have correspondence with him. If you see him, tell him I saw them. Jake had been up in the Aleutians where Joe Stephens had been and knew many of the same fellows but at different times, and as Joe took Marge, Norm, Paul, and Jake and his wife to the Chicken Stuffer (for $1.50 you get all the chicken you can eat, with trimmings) they had quite a time together.

With one family out, Webers decided to play with their youngun and just about the time I could sit down and start to work they created music and played “horsey” with Johanna riding one, the other holding her on and there wasn’t much quiet! I didn’t especially care though because sleep hadn’t been very plentiful Saturday, Sunday (Daws came then but has gone to Chicago now.), or Monday nights, so, I got in my eight hours.

Winter never has really come yet. We have cold streaks and hot ones. Today seems like the cold waves have come again! Last year this time we needed three heavy wave blankets; Sunday night a sheet was too heavy, this morning I can sit on top of the radiator and still feel a numbness, if any sensation whatsoever! The sun’s shining too and not a cloud in the sky. That’s the main reason it’s cold. It’s damp and cloudy for a few days, maybe a few light rains, and bingo! It clears off and we freeze!

I tried my utmost to hit all the highspots last week of a normal education. I made a poor attempt and the more I studied, the less I knew because I began to realize what a maze of work I’d forgotten. Section four on the sample test mentioned abstract material; when I opened that test and began work, it was all abstract material. At any rate, it surely missed me. I have never seen vocabulary like that since the Pepsi Cola test. In fact, I think one was drafted from the other! Reading wasn’t bad, Physics was practical but so invalued I was stumped on memory. Math wasn’t hard but it took time, for me anyhow. The craziest thing I saw was the section four! It gave you pictures of lines slanting this and that way, mixed in a few circles and curves and in the answers gave two samples both from one or one form each and said, “what is the similarity?” That’s what I said, “Is there?” It all looked more like a telephone booth’s “doodle” pad!

What you said about studying really went home. I really have to study and not scatter it all over many subjects but concentrate on my Bible, how God speaks to me in it and then a side subject (now to finish my American History!) and a constant review on all the math I’ve had. You might say though that my major is on the Bible. It has to be. With that and prayer growth and Scripture memorization (on my forty second verse today, Praise the Lord!) I can live a more victorious life in Him. And the Lord leading, I’ll be able to win soul’s for Him. It surely is something to pray for and my experiences won’t depend upon so many other’s convictions even though at times they do help. The Lord will provide surely. You know, in these past two weeks when I felt so defeated, I was eager for a more diciple-like life but I thought about my faults so much I actually became self centered or a bit egotistical minded! I’ve been reading “In His Presence” lately and it surely makes prayer more enjoyable and personal.

All this NACP puzzles me. Nor the first two years I’d be just like a civilian in college, even taking some subjects of my own choice. Then would come Navy routine in flight school. It’s such an opportunity to witness and it doesn’t seem possible it might be for me. I will admit my previous ambitions have influenced me. I still intend to learn to fly the Lord willing, V-5 or not. The test was so hard, and the competition so high that if I do make it there will be no doubt in my mind as to whether it is for me or not. I’ll know it is. I know that it is in God’s hands and I’m thankful for it. A life in V-5 does seem strange but I think it is so strange anywhere you go- there’s always corruption and man’s lust.

Incidentally, the word is that the Jacksonville “Home” will be sold and Norfolk used as nearly headquarters within a few months. It’s hard to take but we’ll see if it’s the Lord’s will.

Class starts shortly so I’d best get busy. I pray the Lord’s wisdom and strength will be upon you always,

In Him, your son, Stephen

20 January 1947

20 January 1947
Monday evening

Dear Dad,
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth waste and void; and the darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1: 1-3

Even though the true meaning isn’t what I delight to have it mean,- not that it doesn’t satisfy one’s knowledge of the power of God, but, I look back and recall, that even though I was formed by God’s handiwork and born a regular human being, I too was void, corrupt, and without shape. In my confusion and lust I chose the more visible things before me and truly, I was as one who was blind.

“That (Christ) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:9 When I actually experienced Him, saw my need for Him, and His wonderful love, my blindness was gone, just as scales dropping from before my eyes. Since that, there has been no sorrow, burden, or pain that I couldn’t take to Him and have it taken from me. With Him all my worry and strife disappear. I just praise the Lord tonight, I should more always; I praise Him for you and that gift of a dad He gave to me.

I’m sorry I’ve been such a tardy and poky writer. It’s surely been a hustling, bustling, past week. I had sincere intentions of writing to you on the usual Sunday afternoon and if I hadn’t suddenly gotten lazy I would have. As it went, though, I decided to map for forty-five minutes. The alarm went off too suddenly and I set I up about twenty minutes, and, so on through the afternoon! At last, still too soon, it was “meeting” time and I had to get up! I felt guilty cause I knew I wasn’t especially right and Satan had had another victory and when I got down stairs and we were discussing verses and their various properties, believe me, I really was convicted! We brought up the subject of “longsuffering” and Norm (our supervisor) was telling of his “testing” when he was trying grapple with sleep! “First” he said, ‘Carolyn, the baby would cry out, then the telephone would ring, and then, some guy in boy’s room (me) kept having an alarm clock going off about every ten minutes and he surely got a chance to go over his “longsuffering!” After this, I resolved as I came crawling out of the narrow crack in the deck I’d dropped into, when I set an alarm and it goes off, I’m going to get up! At any rate, to make a long story longer and more inexcusable I just didn’t write and that’s why I say, “I’m sorry.” I was glad to learn a lesson even though some others had to pay for it, before I did.

I heard from Mother tonight and her letter surely went home to my heart. I’m certainly proud my Mom, don’t forget to help her with her housework whenever you can. I wish I could come home every nite myself! I do realize you get pretty tired too, Dad, so you just do what your heart tells you to and don’t listen me.

I finally have the “great test” behind me, and it’s strictly in the Lord’s hands. In fact, when I looked at the first page I knew that it had been since the first book I’d opened to study indirectly for it. In man’s sight my chances are exceedingly slim because it was such a “cooker” and beyond my present mind, and then too, both civilian and Naval competition run so high….? I do believe the Lord can do it if He wills it all. My urge is for it but that’s me. When I’m notified in March I’ll know for sure fist where the Lord wants me in this deal. All I see is the great opportunity and the first two years just like a civilian student in college, where the Lord sends me. If he would say “no,” I can be glad too. It’s just His way of answering prayer.

Did you get the card I sent you after I got back here to Jax? I was suspicious of my inability to write you before now so I sent it.

My motorcycle and motor scooter or bike notions are still being refreshed in every way except financially sound! One thing is that they boosted city zone bus rates up to a dime now! It’s going to make a lot of people dig deeper. I’m still in doubt about a motorcycle. They are mighty hard to stay on the safe side of and even though I do feel sure I could use it in the Lord’s name and be protected, well, it’s hard to arrive at the conclusion without God’s “word!” My foremost reason for transportation is for economy. ‘Cycles burn gas and oil at regular car rates. Scooters are better, but on this motor bike I can get 125 miles to the gallon!- two ounzes of oil every hundred miles! We’ll see.

Dawson Trottman (He’s the originator of Navigation’s) is visiting us this weekend and leaves tonight. We’re going to have a meeting in “commemoration” and I’d best get rolling, and get some songs going. “Bird-singers” leading “maestro”- (laugh now)!

Write (your pencil still works) when you sit a spell. How’s the ranch and all?

May God’s will and blessing be yours,
Your son, Stephen

P.S. How’s the feeding weather? Done anything about Jason? Incidentally send me Mom’s and your Birthday dates will you? I lost my address book.

13 January, 1946

Monday evening
13 January, 1946

Dear Mom,
“Let nothing be done through strife on vain glory but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves; look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2: 3,4

What a miserable wretch I am. How unworthy I am of God’s infinite love and how ashamed I’d be to stand before Him and listen to my evils. Nevertheless, in spite of my severe criticism of others, my failure to “put my nose to the grindstone,” I can have victory in Christ Jesus, and my unrighteousness is forgiven and I can profit by its lesson. Praise God!

This past week has been a flop as far as studying goes! First, night school was moved to another building and our building is secured after hours. I came in town Monday night to the ‘home’ to try to study but with kids squeeling and getting up early to go out to the base I didn’t accomplish “that” much! Tuesday night was spent trying to black out my class room effectively and Wednesday night “unblacking” it, firmly convicted and finally too about tearing down my Lord’s testimony in me, and breaking station rules. Thursday, most of my time was traveling to the home but at last some studying done and Friday a little bit more but at any rate what little studying that’s been done hasn’t advanced my education much at all! – if any! The Lord has some reason in it. I’ll see sometime!

Transportation is my most costly and time wasting problem so, Saturday I resolved a few hours to buy, by some finance company, a motor-bike; well, even if I could have gotten the money there wasn’t one left in town! I couldn’t quite map it out and up till this day’s end I was intending to make this letter for finance’s appeal and in a shameful personage too but I can’t be too sure how long I’ll be in Jax now as they are whooping it up again about the “shipping out Seaman instructor” deal again, and supposedly my chances being away, far away, by the end of the month are probable. I’m going to put in for Specialist of nevertheless and wherever the Lord wants me to go, in Him I’ll prosper and grow. So, before I sent home for funds and get hung with a motor-bike to sell myself, I’m going to make sure of my position.

I wasn’t able to get much of anything done but Christian social work and going to church over the weekend but the coming week seems promising. One thing, my old battle for concentration is on in studying but now I have someone who gives me a true victory over that kind of thing! The noise in evening hours is still around but I got bed around eight thirty and get up at four thirty when even the cockroaches are sleeping! I get in my devotions and some study and when I get out to the base I’m ready to study hard. You know, I’ve been slow on this “draw” but my senses of pulling out resources quickly and widely is getting good practice.

I can say this! Mainly because of my clumsiness and slowness of mind I’ve slumped but if I pass this up-coming test and get into the program it will be strictly God’s will in my life and mind, because my mind certainly isn’t prepared, and not only has God been testing but Satan’s been busy too. It is going to be an aptitude and practically applied acquired knowledge test and with the extremely high number of apt minded Navy students and college and high school students running in the same race, the competition is rough and I’m going to have to have an awfully high grade to succeed. One thing I know, and that is if I try and have faith, God could give me “one-hundred” on it even though I wouldn’t deserve it, and His will, will be finally and plainly shown. I praise the Lord for the opportunity and need prayer strength to keep me on the road to do what He would have me do. I must remember, it all must glorify God, and I pray I will. In all my strife this past week spent trying this and that, the Lord surely has shown me I must be careful in living for Him always.

We had a wonderful Youth for Christ speaker and altogether I heard him speak three times. I’ve never quite seen a Christian so plumb full and flowing over with vim and vigorment! I guess he’d have to be! He was the Field Representative for Youth for Christ National from Chicago headquarters. I went to YFC dinner banquet and heard him, the YFC Rally on Saturday and also he ate dinner at the home Saturday nite; then last night he gave a sermon at Norm’s church and we went over unto the pastor’s house afterward and listened to him until eleven. He never runs down! He was at the home quite a bit and he’s just the type of tolerant, patient but babbling Christian who can speak to your heart and you can tell your problems to. He’s a Baptist minister, married, with a little boy, and has that man got lungs to shout “wit!” I wish you could have seen him.

Well, time’s slipping away and I have devotions and some “sack time” to qualify for. Sending a test separate and also some prayer power tracts- I sure fail the Lord- “I’ve a ‘crowded- Inn’ heart!” I was wondering if you and dad couldn’t have devotions every night; it’s surely a lift? I didn’t help much when I was home to further it- my selfishness, strictly, but try it and pray about it.
John 20:21
May God Keep you and Bless you always,
Your son, Stephen

P.S. Sending “sample” test- looks easy? Anything with studying’s hard for me!

7 January 1947

7 January 1947
Tuesday afternoon

“I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, always in every
supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy.”
Philippians 1: 3,4

Dear Mom and Dad,

I don’t think I’ve ever been homesick (like this) before and I know if it wasn’t for the Lord Jesus my “eternal” home wouldn’t be open for sinners like me. I really don’t see how people put up with me at all. I hope I didn’t cause a whole lot of misery and resentment just before I left. I realize now how immaterial it was, as I had seen those kids during the day, (it was) to take those things to them just before I left and to rush you so. It is those little things which are a pain that I have to get rid of, ‘pronto!’ I hope you’ll forgive me; maybe the Lord made it so big an issue to make an impression on my thick noggin’!

All my inward ‘pangs’ are many times worth the real joy that it brought to be home again. Of course, I again wish I could’ve ridden with Dad more and talked with Mom more and stayed home much more than I did, but I was glad that what running I did was to further the cause of Christ in school or wherever it may have effect in lives. If I start thinking about how wonderful it was, I get wishin’ I was back in Wyoming and when I realize I can’t, I feel “wuss yet!” The Lord is speaking to me along these lines though because when I think of others the Lord can use me to help I forget myself which is a good thing.

All I know is I can never begin to tell you how much being with you meant way down in my heart. It was almost just like making life long friends anew! I think I only halfway knew you or appreciated you until just this leave. I just praise God He could see it fit for me to come home and get to know the folks He has blessed me with. I do hope you haven’t regretted all your kindness and welcome to me. I still can’t figure out why the Lord could see it fit for me, so unworthy a disciple, to have such a wonderful experience but more and more I see plain the care and comfort of God and of His son’s salvation in my life. I just pray others have benefited from my visit other than just me because that was the whole cause and hope of my visit. It seems strange never before in my life have I really enjoyed talking to Mom- when she used to talk before my mind was miles away- this time it meant something. Getting out with Dad and realizing his interests and hopes a lot better just lifted me right up and I really feel I know him now. I don’t believe I can ever stop thanking the Lord for such a “smile” and such a home. I wish and hope I might be more deserving and things were somewhat as goodly for you as they were for me. Well, the dictionary doesn’t have enough words and my time is limited, so I can say, “Thank you from my heart’s bottom” and praise the Lord, for his infinite kindness.

No doubt you would like to hear about my return trip. I do hope you received my telegram- personally I was overwhelmed with feeling and “Arrived okay” was as good as I could do. My trip back was alot more eventful I must admit than going home. Quite abit more confused. I was an hour and some minutes late but a least I had an excuse from the air line.

I got off swell from home and slept right through Casper and Cheyenne stops. I almost didn’t wake up at Denver but they kicked me out and so I chewed peanuts for an hour of waiting! I was quite surprised as I stood in the waiting room to see my old “girl-friend” Wilma Jean Ahlemeyer come in with her folks. I wasn’t sure at first it was she but coincidentally she got on the same plane as I. By that time I was sure it was she, but I never said “book” cause I wanted to find out if she’d recognize me- she sat down in the seat across the aisle form me and very shortly leaned over and asked me if I was me- of course, I said yes! She was in her last year at Arkansas and she’s majored in psychology! We had a talk but we must have bored one another because we both dropped off in sleep in a short time. Armarillo, Texas and we bid farewell and I got another flight to Fort Worth! I came close to missing breakfast but as it would have been hard to face I persuaded the hostess to let me eat on the sly (so other “sleepers” wouldn’t see me!). When I hit Fort Worth I was surprised (I was held there instead Dallas, so Denver said) because I found my reservations had been altered and my plane for New Orleans had left but the Lord was there and I got a seat that someone didn’t show up for. I got to New Orleans right on schedule but as I read my Bible and thought, time went by and my flight was never announced. I hurried to the ticket counter- plane was late and they weren’t sure how late! I waited two long hours, nearly three, - I was supposed to leave at 4:20 and the plane at last left at ten minutes to seven. I think what troubled me most was I couldn’t find any peanuts to buy in New Orleans or anywhere along the line. I don’t know why the sudden craving for them but everytime I woke up, I wanted peanuts. Must have been the Lord’s will though that I be without cause the do seem to be a little greasy for my system! I woke up when the hostess said Jacksonville and some worried sailor asked her what time it was and she said 12:30. As I picked my heart out of my feet and got off the plane I stopped at the ticket counter and they were outfitted for such a thing. At any rate I happily got my certified delay sheet and hopped it to the Air Base right quick. Everything seemed “roger-doger” with everyone and I haven’t heard any complaints and by now I don’t expect too either! I do believe it was just the Lord’s gentle way of telling me not to plan things so close together (again!) because even though it would have been rougher I could have taken the three thirty plane out of home and instead of taking these last two days to get squared away, did it all easily Sunday afternoon and evening. I haven’t had a chance to get going on my studying yet for that reason but tomorrow I commission my new plan! So far it looks favorable.

I was happy to find on my return but one letter (then, a card) awaiting (Edna’s Christmas Greeting) me and even though I am behind quite a few letters I’m definitely going to have to settle on one fairly short letter a day- limit one hour- in order to provide for study period. I hesitate at this writing, thinking of letting it go until after the test but I think a short letter will be a good outlet and keep me well rounded off during each day. That’s one of the reasons I made this letter collectively because I’ll have quite a bit of drill this week end and I then will start my individual letters to you next Monday. Eleven more days until the test. The Lord’s surely going to have to carry me through although I must try to do my part and not make trial of Him. The future is promising in the lord and I pray I will allow Him to use me in His Will. My New Year’s Resolution is to let Christ live in me all the way and not just half of the way, or hardly even that much, as I have been doing.
I’m sending fifty dollars in an enclosed money order which I hope is only a small portion of that coming. We were all paid on the 6th rather than half the station on the 1st and I believe we’ll be paid again the fifteenth. I do want to get my debts squared away quickly. It’s been long enough!

I’m sending a tract which surely interested me! We seldom think of incidentals as the Lord’s lesson. Maybe you read it at home but it’s a good one to pass on and it does sound reasonable even though it’s difficult to understand as many times things are. I’m surely finding that closer personal friendship with Christ is surely the key to a more marked living- a life fuller and less lonely and Jesus’ powers surely have kept me these past few days. I guess I’ve never experienced homesickness before because I never stayed home enough but that’s immaterial because if I can become closer to you no matter how great homesickness might get I’ll stay home more yes next leave (the Lord willing) and love it, ‘pangs’ and all! It’s wonderful!

The love of Jesus satisfieth every longing in one’s heart and praise the Lord for that. I have to hurry into town now, and mail this letter but I’m ever praying for your welfare and further knowledge of him and that God will bless and strengthen you in every strife and battle of the day and against Satan.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:18

Your son in Christ’s love,