"Seek first the kingdom of God and what has His approval. Then all (the necessities of life) will be provided for you." The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 33

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Let the first be first

If you are new to this blog and want a taste of it, I suggest you read the earliest stuff (4-16-10 and forward until you lose interest). I led with my best: the stories of my growing up in Hiroshima six years after the atomic bomb, of the yacht--Phoenix--my dad built during our three years there, of our family sailing around the world in it when I was a kid. . . plus animal anecdotes and random fun things. Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have living it!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


My new blog (as of May 15, 2012) is hiddeninjesus.wordpress.com.

I would love to have you join me there. 

Wishing you God's very best of everything,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Hi, His Scribe followers! I leaped to His Scribbler January 1st, thinking some of you would leap with me. It's attractive and comfortable over there, has a totally different feel. It isn't as wordy and it's more intimate and personal. I think you'll like it. I miss you!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you for your company these past 8-1/2 months

NOTE: Your final exam is below. 


Who is This Man? Online Bible study begins on that website January 2nd.

As this year and this blog end, I want to thank those of you who took the trouble to come visit His Scribe this year, including any who have followed anonymously, with or without strong opinions you have kept to yourself, or any who have barged or tiptoed in by mistake.

Hope to meet you on the other side! 

You may be passing the time counting down to midnight, waiting for that dumb ball to fall. Or counting your blessings of the past year and committing the coming year to Him. But if you have nothing better to do, here's your final exam on the Reynolds family and the Phoenix:

Multiple choice: my dad Earle Reynolds was 1) part of a circus, 2) a scientist, 3) a playwright, 4) a championship tennis player, 5) a yacht designer, 6) captain of Everyman III, 7) a convicted felon.

Which Reynolds sibling navigated the Phoenix around the world and how old was he when the trip began?

Which sibling opted not to sail with the Phoenix (because of the peppermint pudding incident--also mentioned here-- which not one of you asked about!) and went back to the States to enter college instead?

Wikipedia has posted three articles about our family, the roving, radical Reynoldses: Earle L. Reynolds, Barbara Leonard Reynolds and Phoenix of Hiroshima. Doing the research for these articles, I learned things I didn't know about our family (like I just learned that my mother had met with President Truman!). Here's one even the navigator of the Phoenix didn't know: When we left Japan to sail around the world, we sold our "Woody" station wagon as a _____________. 

How about this: When we sailed to the USSR to protest Soviet nuclear testing, the Russian Coast Guard insisted on giving us ____________, ____________, and ___________. (You can also find this out in my recently published book, To Russia with Love.)

Which of the following family phrases do you recognize from these posts and how many can you explain? (Not all of them have been introduced on my blog yet. Maybe we'll have this part of the exam again next New Year's Eve.)

Happy New Year! And don't forget, when you mess up next year, as we all will, the Lord gives us New Days and New Hours as needed, too: "His mercies are new every morning!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Making no resolutions

On January 1, this blog will continue on His Scribbler - 2011.   

     I don't know about you but I don't make New Year's resolutions. I just like to plan movement in a certain direction. Then it's harder to fail. And I like to get a running start the last week of December.     
     Like, in the coming year I want more--and less. I want more of Him and less of me. I want to spend more time listening to Him. I'd like to "grow deeper" (as Westmont College puts it).
     I want to spend more time doing the things that matter to Him. I want to be more of a blessing to my husband, children and grandchildren. I want to watch God do more in the lives of people we know--see more of them start following the Shepherd or follow Him more closely, more of them let him heal them at their deepest level and deliver them out of bondage.
     I want to worry less. I want to be less controlling.
     I hope to write less--be less wordy.
     I hope to say less--less that's critical of others, less that's critical of myself. Less grumbling and complaining. Less gossip, less adiaphorons. That's a word my brother Tim just used in an email to me. When I asked what it meant, he wrote back, "Try the OED." So I did, having to turn on a lamp near it and peer through the magnifying glass that comes with our 20-pound, 13-volumes-in-two Compact Oxford English Dictionary. It said, "Adiaphoron. . . Non-essential." Seems to me Tim could have just said "non-essential" but I guess that wouldn't be any fun for him. Anyway, I hope to say less that's trivial and irrelevant.           
     If your resolutions include studying the Bible in the new year and you don't know where to start, you might like to try my weekly study, Who is This Man? I'll run it on Sundays for nine weeks on
His Scribbler 2011. The conclusions which came out of this personal study/meditation were so breath-taking and faith-expanding I developed my study into a study for others. For some years it was used as a correspondence course in our church's prison outreach.
     Lord willing, it will start posting on January 2.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FAMILY: Correction regarding genealogical facts below

     Gina wrote she "just had a huge light bulb go off" in her head. She suddenly realized she and I descended from Oliver Ketcham Sammis through two different daughters of Capt. Nathaniel Webber!
     First OK married Sarah Frances Webber (1827- Jan. 26, 1917), my ancestress, and they had five children. Our line came through their son David Sturges Sammis. Then he divorced her (Gina has the divorce notice), married her sister Jeannie  and they had eight more children. Gina's line came through their son Whitefield.
     So Jeannie the poet, alas, is not in our direct line after all and was not, according to family legend anyway, the one married by her father on his sailing ship--but we get to keep John H. Sammis, the author of Trust and Obey)
     I hope Gina and I are still cousins (and friends)!

(SAMMIS) FAMILY: I have cousins!

     I discovered recently I am related to these people! This year I connected online with Gina Sammis, who turns out to be my third cousin. She is also my first cousin, since I never had any cousins (or aunts or uncles) before! And she only lives about half an hour's drive down the coast. We have gotten together, compared notes, shared pictures, filled in gaps and had lots of fun doing it. (Gina is the cute one in red, flanked by her daughters Alena, Savannah and Chelsea.)
     Gina and I share a humdinger of a great-great-great-great grandfather: Capt. Nathaniel Webber, (1795-1867), commander of the clipper ship Tradewind. Although a sea-captain, he is on my mother's side, not my sea-captain father's.
     An ancestor of mine, he is the father-in-law of an ancestor of Gina's and she has compiled a huge binder of information about him, including a journal he kept (now typed, it is ten pages single-spaced) as (First) Mate aboard the brig President.
     On the President, a merchant ship, Grandpa Webber sailed from New York to the island of Tenerife in "182-," under "Captain B." (By an interesting coincidence, Tenerife is featured on today's Astronomy Picture of the Day.) The round-trip took six months.
     His detailed and absorbing diary is full of examples of "Captain B." making really dumb and dangerous decisions which Webber was constantly trying, by tactful suggestions or secret countermands, to correct.
     The account is so peppered with nautical terms I can feel the deck buck and taste salt spray on my lips.
     He later commanded the clipper ship Tradewind for her second and third voyages in the 1850s. Over her third voyage she was in an exciting race with the clippers Witch of the Wave, Raven, Mandarin, Hurricane, and Comet.
     Commissioned by Jacob Bell, New York and launched August 12, 1851, the Tradewind was the longest and largest U.S. ship of its time.

     Family legend has it that Capt. Webber's daughter Jeannie Olivia Berry Webber (1835-1915) married Oliver Ketcham Sammis (1815-1880) aboard one of her father's ships and that her father performed the ceremony.
     Jeannie was a poet. "Granny O'Reilly's Wake" (put to music by David Braham, April 25, 1884) is long but amusing:

Granny O'Reilly liv'd in a palace,
On the bogs of Barrymore;
You could put your hand down thro' the roof,
And open the parlor door!
Old Granny was an honest dame,
She'd pigs, and hens, and goats;
From a knothole in McClosky's barn,
She borrow'd all her oats!

CHORUS: [sung after each verse]
But oh! we had such lots of drink,
And all for friendship's sake,
And the boys and girls had so much fun! At Granny O'Reilly's Wake.

And, Granny she was neat and trim,
As a piece of brand-new silk,
For she always hung her night-cap up,
Just after she strain'd the milk!
But when at last old Granny died,
They 'laid her out' so neat;
With a 'Rob-Roy' shawl around her head,
 And brogans on her feet.

Then poor Granny was 'laid out'
Behind the kitchen door,
And when they brought the coffin in,
They lay it on the floor.
Said Mary Ann O'Reilly 'Now,
I'll tell ye's waht to do:
Come, now, fall on your knees, you marc'less bastes,
and pray ould Granny thro'!

And then we bow'd out heads and cried,
And would no comfort take!
'Till some-one said 'Let's take a drink!
All for poor Granny's sake.'
And when they all had eat a bit,
And each had got a sup,
Pat Rooney held Mike Duffy while
He screw'd the coffin up!

Then to the Burying-ground we rode,
All in such splendid style!
And we didn't leave a soul behind,
No, never a mother's child!
We laid her then, quite gently, in
Her deep and narrow bed;
And many a houl, and many a groan,
And many a tear we shed.

But what do you think, when we got home,
We saw behind the door!
But old Granny O'Reilly, all laid out,
Where she had lain before!
Some said, 'Why, it's old Granny's ghost!"
They all began to shout!
But sure we'd burried the coffin up!
And let old Granny out!

So there were writers in the family even back then! My "new" third-cousin Gina Sammis is an author in her own right, having published (through HeritageMaker) several delightful hardback books of her family history woven around photographs.

For more on Sammis family, see FAMILY: Trust and Obey, May 10, 2010; FAMILY: My grandfather Sterling, July 21, 2010; and FAMILY: Missy Granny/Family crest, July 22, 2010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Unexpected gift for friends of the Phoenix

     This email just came from a Japanese (hibakusha) friend of my mother's now living in Pittsburgh (boldness added): "My daughter just had 8mm movies transferred to a digital format and guess what.......we have movies of the launching of the Phoenix with you and your parents on it.  It is so exciting....
    "We are going to try to make copies and send it to you.  It was very nostalgic to see the pictures.... almost felt as though I could remember the excitement and all the heat and conversations, the well wishing and then the crashing into the little boat that was too close!!!!

The gods must be crazy--er, sleeping

I send a daily Bible verse to a dozen friends with stressful life situations. This went out yesterday:

"Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:4
Jerry and I took a friend out for Christmas dinner and the only restaurant we could find open was Chinese (shades of A Christmas Story)! I had hoped for festive Christmas decorations; what we got was two huge bare-bellied Buddhas, one of them stretching as if he had just awakened. . . which reminded me of the following (slightly shortened) anecdote we received recently from Jay Bell, one of our Grace Brethren missionaries to the "nations" within our nation: 
                     Why go on a Temple Trip? 
It's one thing to listen to a lecture on world religions, it's quite another to be able to ask questions of one who practices the religion.
It's one thing to visit a religious establishment while on an overseas short-term missions trip. It's quite another to be able to drive to one. No plane fare necessary! No U.S. passports necessary! No inoculation shots necessary!
It's one thing to hear about the number of unreached people groups "over there. Iit's quite another to meet them here.
                Temple Trip story: "We're going to let them take a longer nap " 
Two hundred fifty students signed up for the afternoon trip to the Hindu Temple. Late that morning one of the Hindu priests called and informed us they were going to let the gods take a longer afternoon nap.
"Yikes," I thought, as I approached the podium to make the announcement.
As I looked out over 2,000 high school students I announced, "For those going on the Temple Trip this afternoon, we have to make a correction in the orientation and departure time. We just received a call from one of the priests informing us that they are going to let the gods take a longer afternoon nap."
I watched 2,000 jaws drop. Total bewilderment. I thought that maybe a joke might break the silence. I said, "You know, those aren't bad hours for being a god." Complete silence! They were still hung up on "gods?. . . naps?"
Aren't you grateful that OUR God is the God of Psalm 121:4?