Archive for January, 2009

01.28.09

A Martyr for Jesus

Posted in Excerpts at 12:43 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter Fifteen – A MARTYR FOR JESUS

 

orleans-cathedral-built-in-19221

Orleans cathedral built in 1922

And then a stone, about the size of my fist, hit the ground two feet from where I stood, another flew past my shoulder. The rocks hit some of the congregants, and they scrambled toward the house to hide.  I scrambled too.
“Stop, Grace,” my father called.  “Dorothy, Mother, stand up and sing!” he shouted. Dad stood beside us, and the young minister and his wife filed out of the house to stand with us. —
The shouts in the street rose in angry waves, and my bladder pounded in agony.  The crowd was blood-thirsty, their mania swelling and rising with power in an ocean wave.  Like the Christians before me, persecuted by Romans, killed by lions, stoned to death by unbelievers, I, too, would meet my end.
I stopped crying.  I lifted my head and set my chin.  (more…)

01.25.09

Aimee Semple McPherson

Posted in Excerpts at 04:26 pm by admin

EXCERPT -  Chapter Five – AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON

Aimee Semple McPherson Advertisement

Aimee Semple McPherson Advertisement

Ludwig(my grandfather) squirreled away his earning diligently until he had enough to buy a patch of land in Caseville, Michigan.  There, my father got himself a grade school education and an impressive set of sinewy muscles.  He built up his shirt-sleeve knowledge through seven years of backbreaking physical labor on the farm. At eighteen years of age, he set out for Detroit to look for work.
What he found instead was Aimee Semple McPherson. The legendary McPherson was the most visible Pentecostal of the 1920’s.-Irrepressible and complex, she satisfied the public’s need for spirituality, sensationalism, and sex appeal. McPherson was a stylish woman whose passionate sermonizing could mesmerize huge throngs of believers at her tent revivals.  Her multi-day crusades were extravaganzas of praising the Lord, speaking in tongues, and faith healing for anyone who needed it.   Her 1912 Packard—a personal “Gospel Car”— had the words “Jesus is Coming Soon-Get Ready” painted on one side, and “Where Will You Spend Eternity” painted of the other. (more…)

01.25.09

Remembering Vadica

Posted in Excerpts at 12:39 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter Nine – REMEMBERING VADICA

Our Home in Coqueiros Brazil

Our Home in Coqueiros

Vadica came to work for us when she was eighteen, very old for an unmarried Brazilian girl, since most of her peers had long since married and began having babies. …She was kind and good-humored, always cheerful.  The opposite of Mother, Vadica never seemed to have a bad day.
Vadica didn’t live with us, but she came six days a week, and worked constantly from morning until night. The ironing took her a whole day.  She had to coal-fire the iron, and its temperature was then fickle and impossible to regulate.  Often, the clothes were scorched and had to be washed again.  Vadica had fun apprenticing in my mother’s kitchen, where she soon learned to cook like an expert. … (more…)

01.20.09

The Ocean Highway

Posted in Excerpts at 12:36 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter Seven – THE OCEAN HIGHWAY

Drying Engine on Ocean Highway

Drying Engine on Ocean Highway

Aunt Martha’s two eldest sons and a friend of theirs insisted on accompanying us on the journey( to Florianopolis).  This made it possible to take both the truck and our own ‘39 Chevy.
Dorothy and I looked out our windows.  We’d entered a part of our journey when there was no passable road, and the only possible driving route was along the beach.  For the next one hundred miles we’d be doing ocean driving, just like the journey from Rio to Porto Alegre. Except this time there were oven more rivers and creeks flowing down the beach into the ocean, and the ocean was rough, crashing wave after wave onto the shore. All the while the rain came from the South, pelting almost sideways in the driving wind.  The waves were nearly impossible to dodge, and inevitably one finally crashed over the truck, killing the engine.
“Get out! Dad yelled.  “We’ve got to unload the truck!” (more…)

01.17.09

Pedophelia

Posted in Excerpts at 12:33 pm by admin

EXCERPT –  Chapter Six – PEDOPHELIA

Brother Widmer in Front of our Varanda

Brother Widmer in Front of our Varanda

In April of that year(1940), Dad received a letter from the neighboring state of Santa Catarina.  A Swiss missionary, Albert Widmer, invited Dad to visit him in Florianopolis, the capital city of Santa Catarina.
It must have been a heady month for Dad, cruising the mountainous region with Widmer. …The sharp curves and deep ruts of the mountains passes would have raised the hair on anyone’s neck, especially when experienced through the billowing dust on a motorcycle.
Dad loved what he saw….”If you take over for me here,” he told Dad, “I’ll move to Argentina.” (more…)

01.05.09

Praying for my Doll

Posted in Excerpts at 02:31 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter two – PRAYING FOR MY DOLL

Gracie and Dorothy on Car Bumper – 1936

Gracie and Dorothy on Car Bumper - 1936

But she (my sister) didn’t know that I had covered all bases -I’d asked Santa Claus, too. “And Santa Claus doesn’t need money,” I told Dorothy smugly.

“You mean he wouldn’t need money,” Dorothy said, “if he existed.  Which he doesn’t”

Dear Jesus, I hollered at the top of my lungs that night.  Please help Dorothy believe in Santa Claus as I do!  Please make her be nicer to me!  Please let me have the baby doll for Christmas.  I promise to be even better, to obey and follow in your footsteps. With my throat sore from shouting, I felt satisfied and confident. I knew Jesus was on my side. (more…)


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