Monday, January 11, 2021


If my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, than I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”

2 Chronicles 7:14

These are the words, the LORD God spoke to Solomon after the dedication of the temple. These are words that we, the citizens of the United States of America, need to heed now.

All of us need to humble ourselves before God.

One definition of humble says: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

That is exactly what we have done. We have decided what we say, goes. What we do is right. That we can make our own decisions, and all else be damned. That we are the greatest country in the world. 

No. No we are not the greatest country in the world. Maybe to our opinions, yes. Have you wondered what the rest of the world thinks of us after yesterdays events? They see us as self-righteous. They believe we got what we deserved. How on earth did we get this so far wrong?

Many in our country believed most everything that Donald J Trump said. Although in fact checking what he says, we have found evidence after evidence after evidence that he lies. I can’t begin to understand him or his theatrics. Could it be that he has spent his whole life trying to earn the love of his father? And that he bullies anyone he chooses because then he can feel better about himself? I have no idea.

What I do know for sure is that if he was trying to earn his father’s love, he chose the wrong FATHER. The thing is we don’t have to do anything to earn Our Father’s love. He loves us just the way we are, grievous faults and all. We have forgotten that ALL men and women, all girls and boys, have been created in the image of God. It makes absolutely no difference the color of our skin, we ARE ALL made in the image of GOD. No one is better than anyone else. No one. He loves each of us with what I call an indescribable love. We are not capable to love each other as God loves us. Oh, but how different it would be if we could.

No one is exempt from God’s love. NO ONE.

We are all the same as far as He is concerned. Whether we are Black, or Brown, or Yellow or White, as the song says: we are all precious in His sight. It doesn’t matter if we are single or married, gay or straight, conservative or liberal, able bodied or disabled, whether we are rich or poor, whether we acknowledge GOD or not; HE LOVES EACH OF US.

The audacity and pride we have to think we are better than others is what is evil and can make us wicked. We become our own god. And that is where everything goes wrong. Have we made ourselves more important than everyone else? With the attempted coup and storming of the Capitol yesterday, it certainly seems that some of us think we know what is best, and we will do whatever it takes-including the violence and mockery that was shown. We will desecrate things because we don’t get our way. Our guy didn’t win. Seriously this is beyond even childish.

We do need to humble ourselves. We need to acknowledge where we have been wrong. We need to remember that we are just human beings; we are NOT God. But, we NEED GOD, now more than ever. We need to renounce our pride, we need to quit pointing out who is wrong. We need to get the correct estimation of ourselves. We need to move on. We need to heal and we need to forgive. 

Forgiveness is not easy. It comes with a huge price, it means we need to stop being angry or resentful. This requires HARD HARD work in our case. We have put politics above people. We have to let go of hatred and ask how to love without conditions. There are so many of us struggling today saying this is not our country, we don’t behave this way. Guess what? Some of us did. Some of us thought about repaying evil with evil.

One of the things that upset me so much was realizing once again that we are a country who believes its White citizens are more important than anyone else. This is as far from truth and humility as we get. This is what we have done from the beginning to our Native brothers and sisters, to our Black brothers and sisters when we began selling them as our slaves, how we treated descendants of Ireland and Italy with disdain. How Latinos have felt mocked, how Asians moving here are judged. White supremacy needs to end. We must move and achieve justice for ALL-regardless of our skin color.

As 2 Chronicles 14:7 states we MUST humble ourselves, and pray and seek God, so that we can be forgiven and begin to heal our land. We deserve to do this for ourselves and for everyone else in our country.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Today, I am angry, at a loss and grieving the loss of another Black man who was killed by a  white policeman who was kneeling on this mans  neck while three other officers just stood by and watched.
George Floyd screamed- or did it slowly become a whisper : “I CANT BREATHE”. I  imgaine as the blood flow from his carotid artery blocked blood to his brain, that his voice got quieter and quieter. Bystandarders were shouting at the police to stop, to let him be, that he cant breathe and someone called an ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. In all reality, he was dead soon after he lost consciousness.
Gratefully, the Mayor of Minneapolis fired these 4 policeman. One for sure is a murderer and the other three are accomplices. They do not deserve any special treatment. They are murderers. Period.
If the situation had been reversed, and four Black policeman were involved killing a white man, they would have probably been shot and killed themselves by this point.
WHY do our Black brothers and sisters have to keep enduring this time and time again? Why is racism still so prevalent in America? It has not stopped since the arrival of the first Black Africans sold as slaves.
Having white skin makes me no better or no worse than anyone else in the world. But why do some white people-aptly called racists-have this hatred and maliciousness against really any people of color, whether they are Black or Brown or Yellow.
I am not better. You are no better.
We all belong to the same human family. All created by God in His image. All deeply loved and valued by God. No one is loved anymore or any less in the eyes of the Almighty.

I am done with the hashtags. They show that we care, but that too, is not enough. From now on, I, a white little bit eldery woman, commit to doing whatever I can to STOP white supremacy, to STOP racial profiling, to STOP racial injustice against any person of color and promise to pursue racial justice and racial reconciliation. I am not quite sure how I will do this but I will. I have read books and just beginning to read BE THE BRIDGE. I will reach out to others for suggestions and help. I will keep trying. I will keep being angry and grieved. I will lament over our racism. I wll lament over not doing something sooner.
I refuse to be like the German Christians in WW II, who heard the trains, knew about the atrocities and killings of millions of Jews at the concentration camps and said not a word.
IF you are a TRUE FOLLOWER of JESUS CHRIST, you too, will quit standing by doing nothing. These men and women of color are weary. So so weary. NOTHING has changed. They cant go running or to a store or even be in their own home, without being gunned down. Put yourself in their shoes-this is SO INCREDIBLY terrible and so sad.
We have been told to love one another as Christ loves us. This includes all People of Color. They are not only our neighbor but our family.
White men and women must be held accountable. JUSTICE MUST BE SERVED.

Reach out in love. BE a do-er. BE a listener. BE involved. 
Just do anything.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Speaking up

I was 19 years old. A sophmore in college having such a fun and independent time. I met up one weekend when I was home with an old boyfriend. We drank way too much and slept together (altho I have to admit it wasn't the 1st time this happened with him). What I did not expect was to find out 6 weeks later that I was pregnant.
I was lost. I was scared. I told him and he asked me to marry him. I said yes. We told our parents and started to plan a wedding.

What I had never anticipated was that during this time-after I found out and before I told him, I began a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I had been raised a Catholic and knew always that God was real. But somehow it was never communicated to me in ten years of Catholic schools, that God wanted to be involved in my life every single day. This was such amazing and wonderful news to me. I will never get over that astounding fact. I am so thankful that a college crush told me about Jesus. I will forever be grateful to him for introducing me to Jesus.

Now, how do I tell my parents? WHAT do I do now?
In those days we had "dorm mothers" instead of RA's or she would have been RD now. She told me that Washington was one of the only states that had legalized abortion. This whole concept was completely foreign to me.

I was a complete mess. Couldn't concentrate on my studies, got 3 D's that semester. What made me lean towards ending this baby's life was that the guy-my now fiancee, made fun of me about my relationship with Jesus. He called me a "Jesus freak", the 70's term for a follower of Christ. I knew this was real and that I would never walk away from Jesus-or was pretty sure I wouldn't.
This boy had cheated on me while we were dating when I was in high school and I wondered if he would cheat on me if we were married. I decided to end our engagement. And with much anguish (and even talking to a pastor who didn't dissuade me against the abortion), I decided to terminate this little life.

Believe me I regret that decision to this day. Adoption was never mentioned as an option. I felt I had no way out.

Which is how many women and young gals feel when they go to have an abortion. We can't see beyond our circumstances at that moment. We feel we have no other choice.
It isn't easy at all. You still are a mess afterwards.
I know with me, that I considered this the worst sin I would ever commit, and it was. 
What I do remember was God's immediate forgiveness on that table. I asked Him to forgive me and He immediately did. 
Yes, I have suffered consequences from my decision. The hardest person to ever tell about this was my future husband and then 22 years later, our three children (Ryan wasn't with us yet). My now husband and almost 16 yr old son basically said the same thing: "If God forgives you, how can I do anything but do the same?".

I am pro-life. I detest abortion. I don't like it. But I know what it's like to be in that desperate situation when you see no way out. I imagine most women in my position feel the same way.
But Pro-life to me means more than just abortion. It means end of life care. It means caring for all lives. Not just Americans. It means treating everyone with respect and valuing them-no matter if they are brown or black or yellow in color. It means caring for people with disabilities, whether they are physical or emotional. 

This weeks decisions in Alabama and Missouri has re-surfaced my feelings of desperation. I hope they mean to convey that children should be wanted and loved and that is all they mean. The representative from Missouri who said there is conceptual rape has been wrongly and grossly misinformed. Being pro-life is more than just about babies.

I have to speak up because we tend to judge people by their words.
I don't care if you judge me. But I do care that you judge women who are desperate, for the LGTBQ population who are different than you, for the immigrants who have a different skin color and are separated from their children as they try to enter a country that offers freedom (or so they heard). 
I don't believe we can speak judgement on people when we haven't been in their shoes, when we haven't experienced what they have had to go through. We can have our thoughts but do we have the right or the responsibility to judge others and speak out about it when we can't possibly understand their lives.

I know abortion is something that grieves the heart of God. I also know He forgives. I know treating immigrants as if they didn't matter and we shame them grieves His heart as well. I know how we treat and respond to people who are gay, the LBGTQ community are God's children, and as with all others, we may not agree with them, but each one of us throughout our world are to be respected and loved, because we are all God's children.

My oldest daughter, who I was really afraid to tell about my abortion said something to me that I will never forget. She offered forgiveness and grace when she told me: "Mom that is not who you are, you are a woman who loves God and shows me God".
That is what I hope we can offer all those who have had to experience abortions.

I don't have the mind of Christ in many things, but I do have an everyday relationship with him for the past 47+ years. I know He loves me in spite of the decision I made all those years ago. I know His complete forgiveness. I know He has used my pain to show others how much He loves and delights in us. I know that Jesus doesn't advocate abortion; believe me I KNOW.
But I also know that it isn't my right to judge others, to put my beliefs on them. I know that GOD calls me to love all and respect them as His children.

Matthew 7:1-2 in the New Living Translation says:

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others.The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

May we not judge but love.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

SO LONG 2018

As we begin a new year, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to it.
2018 was a very different, and often hard year. But there were also many blessings.

2018 brought about an extensive surgery for my 7 1/2 yr old grandson to try and fix his hip. He had been diagnosed with Perthes disease in 2015, but instead of getting better as the doctors had hoped, it progressively got worse, necesitating the surgery. After 3 months, it looked like the surgery had failed, but after 6 months, there was marked improvement and it looks very hopeful.

My sweet mother-in-law, who suffered from severe dementia and Alsheimer’s went home to Jesus on June 5. As we travelled to Texas on June 6, we got word that our son Todd and his wife Katy, had just become parents to a little girl named Maggie Jo. A full circle of life in a mere 24 hours. So many conflicting emotions followed but grateful for the life of Eloise Scudder, because without her, I wouldn’t have met or married Scud, my  partner and love of my life.

Early in the morning of June 30, Scud woke me up to tell me he didn’t feel well. He had never done this in our 42 years of marriage and he reports that I sat up in bed and asked, “Are you having a heart attack?”  Well, it turns out he was. Thankfully we had an ER doctor as the camp doctor that week, and along with our 2 EMT’s, he was life flighted out of Woodleaf at 2:30am. Two very dear friend at camp then drove me to the hospital.
Scud had a 100% blockage of his main coronary artery and some blockage in 3 of the others. The cardiologist placed a stent and told me that he was “glad you took the helicopter and not the ambulance”. I was glad too.
Quite honestly, the next 6 months had me living in fear, that it would happen again. That this time, we  wouldn’t have an MD close by. All sorts of fears besetted me, while Scud changed patterns in his life by getting exercise, losing 20 pounds and being so grateful to be alive.  I purposed that I would not start 2019 with fears and with the LORD’s deliverance, I am anticipating what’s next rather than being afraid that I might lose Scud at a moment’s notice.

2018 was yet another year to watch my daughter who suffers from the debilitating, chronic illness of Ehlers Danlos, to get sicker and sicker. to have 3 procedures of a blood patch to reduce spinal fluid leaks, to other procedures trying to allow her digestive system to work. It is a constant battle to one minute trust God for what He is doing in her life, to agonizing over watching her suffer. I truly believe in a GOD who loves her way more than I ever could and trust HIM with giving her what she needs day to day. But it is struggle.

2018 also brought about some significant losses. Dear friends in Texas lost their son in a terrible car accident, had a dear sweet friend move and lost the best boss I ever had as he took a new position in Young Life. And we are enduring the loss of a family members marriage that has been so hard for all of us.

It is definitely in the hard time of above that I realize God’s faithfulness to me. Begin to understand that HE is ALWAYS with me and that I am never alone. I realize that He loves me and those I love with unconditional love and that His plans are often beyond my comprehension, and YET, He knows what He is doing. I have grown deeper in my love for the LORD because of how HE has held me in supported me this year (and always for that matter!)

But oh there were blessings too. Numerous and wonderful. The picture at the top is the favorite one I took on our “bucket list trip”. In October, we went back east for 2 full weeks visiting dear dear friends and seeing the spectacular fall colors of New York and Vermont. There wan’t a day when we didn’t say to each other: “can you believe this beauty” or God is certainly the brilliant artist”. The colors were incredibly beautiful and you should plan a trip east-especially us Californians because we never see these amazing colors here.
A HUGE THANK YOU to the Hazard’s, Morgan McGhee, YL Saranc Lake and the Kane’s for hosting us.

Even in spite of Scud’s “event” as he refers to his heart attack, we had another incredible year of summer interns who worked tirelessly, one particularly in the middle of the night, without complaining and serving Christ very sacrificially. And another HUGE thanks to the Freemyers for their invaluable service in loving these amazing young adults.
Being an Intern Boss has always been the highlight for me of living at Woodleaf. What a privilege it has been to know and love thee young adults over12 summers. I have learned so much from them and been incredibly blessed being one of their leaders. I truly thank God for the blessings of the college aged kids who have served faithfully over the years. I turned in my resignation by word of mouth in December, that my time has come to an end as one of the leaders. (This time its real WINTERNS). After last summer, I realized how precious life is and I want to be able to see my grandkids more and visit friends too.
One other blessing that brought home the preciousness of ife was achieving 5 years of being cancer free this past September. THANK YOU LORD.

One of the highlights of my year was being chosen to participate in Young Life’s Good Way Cohort. We started in October meeting for 2 days and will meet again for 3 days at the end of January and April. The purpose of this time is to teach us and help us be more contemplative, To listen and not speak as much. To be silent and try to listen very carefully to what God ha to say to us, without us (me) doing all the talking.  This is something I have longed for -for quite some time.

Although 2018 was different, it was also very very good. My two biggest blessings were that God spared Scud’s life and that we have an adorable little girl who actually looks like a Scudder in our family after 3 amazing little boys.
My prayer is that 2019 will draw each of us closer to Jesus Christ and that we will become the person He envisions us to be.

Friday, March 16, 2018


The world today is a far different one than what I grew up in.
When I was in college, in order to look up anything, I would go to the library and ask for periodicals to find research, or go to one of the many encyclopedias that were available.
I wonder today, if people in their 20's, or 30's and even those in their 40's have ever heard of periodicals of literature?
Today if you have a question, you just ask Siri or look it up on your phone or whatever device you are using at that moment.
The technology advances we have today are incredible. I am so mystified at what is available with our fingertips.

Yet I wonder if it is all good. Have we lost the art of communicating? How easy it is to text or snap chat or tell your Instagram story. But do we talk-really talk to people? In surveys conducted, it is known that the generations of Millennials and now Gen X'ers would rather talk via text than on the phone or in person.
For the older generations, we can get puzzled by that. So often in texts or emails what we mean to convey is misconstrued by the receiver. Words are misunderstood, and too often what was meant to be said, is now completely read in a different way.

But I digress. My job as Coordinator of Prayer and Resources for Young Life College/University has me praying for our Young Life College staff, that they would become men and women who radiate Jesus to the college students they befriend and the world around them. That by their very lives, they would convey a person who is quite different from others. I pray that they would seek Jesus throughout their days and that they would be the ones who welcome others regardless of their views on life, their religion, their sexual orientation, their politics etc. I pray daily for our staff and consider it a privilege.
I also as the Resource person, read quite a bit, so that I can recommend books to our staff on all types of subjects. (YL website under leader tools, YLC and Build). The more I read, the more I realize that there are many different sides on many different subjects. Which causes me to return again and again to the premise that in our discipling or mentoring, we need to go to the Bible first and foremost.

Romans 15:4 states:
     "For everything was written in the past was written to 
      teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the 
      Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might
      have hope."

In Young Life, we believe that the Scriptures (the Word of God) are paramount to our faith. The words found in the Bible are the inspired words of God. (2 Timothy 3:16). They are TRUTH. So we, those of us in leadership positions must teach God's truth. In order to teach the truth of God from His Word, we too must be reading the Bible on a consistent (hopefully daily) basis. Seeking to know more of God, more of His pursuit of us, more of His love and grace to us, and more of His instructions and commands to us. Because as Romans 15:4 states, the Word of God was written so that in times of trial and testings, the times of doubt or sorrow, we might be encouraged and find the hope that we desperately need.
But what if we don't know the Word? How then can we encourage others to endure through the hard times? We must be in the Bible for it truly gives us the HOPE of JESUS. The hope that we are not alone, the hope that we will endure, the hope that only can come through Jesus Christ.
The Bible is not just some men's different opinions about God, the Bible is the inspired word of God. All of it, not just the parts we like; the Bible is not a smorgasbord where we get to take and choose what we want to believe.  It is all truth-every single word that is written. That is why we, as the leaders of Young Life College must be diligent in pursuing God's truth. Our college friends believe what they read and what others tell them. Everything they look up on the internet is truth to them. And not everything is.
I believe that we need to be spending time with them in God's truth, either directly talking about what we are reading or doing a bible study that is written by a trusted source. We need to be encouraging them to view the Bible as one of the major resources in their lives, because God will never misdirect them. And obviously we need to remind ourselves of this.
Again and again, I will always stress the importance of God's word. I read Psalm 119 a few times in the year to remind myself of what God says about His Word. This entire psalm is about the significance and importance that God puts on His Word. Maybe it is time for all of us to read it today.

NOTE: Although this was intended for YLC/YLU university staff, it is for all of us.

Friday, March 9, 2018


How many of us have regrets about something we have done? In our teen years, or while in college? Or as we started into the working world? Or in our marriage or raising of our children?
I have to believe that none of us have lives that are perfect; have never hurt anyone, or brought guilt on ourselves.
I , for one, have several of those incidents in my life of 65 years.
WE all have stories of our lives. And we are told our stories need to be told, that no one’s life is meant to be alone. But how many of us in telling our stories only tell the good parts, the parts that make us look favorable to others? The ones that convey the successes and victories in our lives.

In reality, the stories of loss and failure, of shame and guilt, of misunderstanding and regrets are the stories that need to be told. Those of us in ministry need to be vulnerable with our stories to our fellow followers of Jesus.
We need to hear THOSE stories because we need to know that we aren’t the only ones who have failed, who could have done better, who should have known better. But that we have experienced the love and forgiveness and compassion of a GOD who desperately woos us to know that we are His Beloved.
But also, the people who do not know Jesus need to hear our stories that we would rather not tell. They need to hear of the forgiveness and grace of God as much as we do. In fact in the book of Romans it says:
     “ For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of           God to be revealed”
        Romans 8:19

How many people are out there living in shame? Not wanting their stories to be told because they live in fear of their consequences? How many of us NEED to hear that there is a God who deeply loves us in spite of what we have done? Who longs to comfort us and heal us of our past and often times our present as well?

I was one of those people. I had plenty of things I was living in shame with. And I often wonder why God would allow these things to be used for His purposes in spite of me and my choices.
Yes, I was a party-er in high school and part of college.
Yes, I was a 19 yr old girl, who in living in fear, chose to have an abortion instead of marrying the guy.
Yes, I was the mom who yelled at my sons, accusing them of ruining our perfect Christian family, and watched them run away and be distanced from me for a number of years.
Yes, I am one who can be quick to speak and hurt deeply others by my words- those who were my dearest of friends.
Yes, I am one who judges others too quickly.

I am also one who has received the endless grace (the favor of God that I never have deserved) and forgiveness of God. I can’t even begin to describe what it has meant to KNOW and EXPERIENCE God’s love and forgiveness of me. But I do know that no matter what I have done, what I might do, God still loves me. Still loves me as much as He loves you-you with the regrets you wish no one knew.

Those are the biggest wrongs of my life that I mentioned above, but believe me there are many more.
Why has God used me with college kids for years? Because I can tell them that there is NOTHING in all of Life that can separate them from how much God loves them. How much He wants them to know this.
And what about you? Doesn't your story need to be told? Don't you have good parts and bad parts that need to be shared? To let God use your story for His purposes, for His Glory?
Remember, all of creation waits expectantly for the children of God to be revealed; so that they might know that we are like them: flawed, mistake making, living with regrets and guilt, but ones who know the love and forgiveness and grace of the GOD who wants to do the same for them.

Monday, February 12, 2018


I was twenty-five and pregnant with my first child.
I was privileged to be in a Bible Study with what was then called the Divisional Director's (now is called a VP) wife.
Recie was one of a kind. Her eyes always sparkled, her face always welcomed me with a smile so big. She turned fifty the year I met her and it was two years later that she gave me the best advice I ever heard.

I had been a follower of Jesus since my sophmore year of college.  I had been to church, had been in some Bible studies but it wasn't until I met Recie, right after I was married and been invited by her to join a bible study for Young Life wives, that I realized just how important God's Word was.

Recie taught me that God's Word is alive; that it will always be relevant in life-no matter what is going on, whether in my life or in the world.
Recie was a phenomenal gardener. Her yard always was exquisite. Her flowers were incredibly beautiful and full of variety. She worked hard getting the soil ready and discerning the best spot for plants or her flowers. My favorite spot was her strawberry patch. Oh my, those strawberries were amazing. Ripe and so sweet to the taste and there was plenty of them.
I remember going over one Saturday to pick some. I was nine months pregnant and ti was a warm June day. As I picked my way through the patch, I asked Recie what was the best advice she could give me as a new mom.
I was completely surprised when she told me:

"Ask God to give you a LOVE for His WORD".

I was expecting something to the likes of: nap when the baby rests, pray in the middle of the night feedings. So you can imagine my surprise with her advice. Recie then told me to pray frequently this advice. For someone who walked with Jesus for thirty years longer than me (and before I was ever even born), I knew she meant what she said.
So for years I prayed and asked God to give me a LOVE for his Word. Mind you this does not happen overnight and one must put some work into it. One must be in His Word on a regular basis to have this happen; it's not going to happen by osmosis.
Probably ten years went by and I prayed this prayer a few times a week, when all of a sudden, I realized that I truly did have a love for God's Word. My days felt somewhat off if I had not been in the Bible.
Recie Raley was right. Having a love for the Word of God has by far been the best advice I ever received. The Bible comforted me in times of extreme sadness and confusion, gave me HOPE when it looked like there was none. The Bible shows us God's Truth, His path towards righteousness, points out where we are wrong,  and challenges us to inspire to be more like Jesus.
It has stood the test of time, it is always relevant. It always points us to God and convicts us where we need to be convicted. It doesn't change as the times change. It remains the same; like God.
The best advice I could give you or anyone is the same that Recie gave me:
"Ask God to give you a LOVE for His WORD".