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I find it rather cute that Mynita and I go many places together and are called, “The Sisters.” We’ve been close forever. (Note:  Mynita took back her last name “Anderson,” and I’m blonde now. We’ve each lost 30 pounds!)

Mynita Rubel & Effie Gross (Jan. 2016)
Mynita Rubel & Effie Gross (Jan. 2016)  Mynita is two years, two months and two days older than me. I am the baby of the family.  We stay out of trouble (most of the time) by going to church, the gym, and on vacation together. Ours is a very special family relationship. Lasting and loving. 




        Contrastly, take the biblical Aholah and Aholibah found in Ezekiel 23:1-49. Bible scholars have assigned the two sisters to represent Israel and Judah, one nation by birth from Sarah, the same mother. I believe that interpretation to be true, even to their punishment for idolatry.

However, since the Bible is a record of human experience, it seems fair to make connections relevant for today. Here’s what the biblical parable says about the sisters. The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel saying: two sisters were whores (KJV term) in Egypt. In their youth, they gave away their virginity. Aholah (Samaria) being the elder, and Aholibah (Jerusalem) her sister. God claimed them as his own. They had children, both sons and daughters.

Aholah doted on her lovers, playing the harlot with the desirable Assyrians who were clothed in blue, riding horses. She never left the whoredom of her youth; therefore, God delivered her into the hand of her lovers, the Assyrians.

The men who had discovered her nakedness, took her sons and daughters. They killed Aholah with the sword, executing judgment upon her. For her sinful life, she became famous among women.

When her sister, Aholibah, saw this, she became even more corrupt than Aholah in her inordinate love and whoredoms. Aholibah doted on the desirable, young Assyrian captains and rulers in their gorgeous uniforms. She was defiled, increasing her sin, “for when she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion” girdles upon their loins, wearing dyed turbans on their heads, looking like princes.

After seeing paintings of them on the wall, she sent them messages. The Babylonians came and defiled her in their bed of love. Polluted with them, her mind was alienated from them. So, she discovered her nakedness and whoredom; yet, she increased her whoredoms and relished in former days of her youth when she played the harlot in Egypt.

“Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee…thou shall be laughed to scorn” (cf. Ezekiel 23:22-33).

CONSIDER: Pornography and lust played a part in the downfall of the biblical sisters. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon wrote. For Christians: Don’t defile yourself and cause God’s blessings to be withheld. For Truth seekers: God forgives sin. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, go and sin no more. In either case: ask for forgiveness and strength to follow the Lord in his holiness. Resist the devil and he will flee.

Lastly, make no mistake, my sister and I have nothing in common with the biblical sisters named above. Though imperfect, we love the Lord with whole hearts, and we love each other.

Questions: Did someone’s name come to mind who could benefit from this blog post?

Will you share these words with him or her?

Can you praise God for deliverance from sin?

May I pray for you?

Contact me through I am praying for you, dear reader!


Posted in Bible, Pornography, Relationships, Sisters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


One of my favorite short stories is “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published by the Saturday Evening Post in 1920. My mother was 10 at that time, and I’m not sure if she ever got a flapper hairstyle.

I’ve always loved long hair. When a salon stylist once cut my hair really short, I went home and cried for days. So, every stylist since that time has been given a threat…before we come to a complete understanding of how to measure inches on a ruler. Don’t get me wrong, I really like short hair on others, just not on me!

As I wrote on my website:, I will be publishing on this blog some of my writings, especially the poetry. Today, I’m sharing a poem about my godly grandmother, Pearl (McNabb) Smith.

Have you every had a bad haircut? Did you ever give one? Anyone know about a “bowl cut” for boys? or a G.I. cut? Share your experience with me, especially if you like Fitzgerald’s short stories.


They say older women shouldn’t wear long hair.

They say older women shouldn’t show gray.

They say…

Who are “they” anyway?

They, obviously, never saw my grandma remove hair

pins from braids or a bun.

They never watched her glory cascade

past frail shoulders.

They never saw the free-flowing locks tossed

from side-to-side like a weeping willow

in a gentle breeze.

They never saw her reflection in the mirror,

or heard her easy style. “Well, hush my mouth,”

Grandma used to say, untangling many a problem

and smoothing static in her hair and in the air.

They never smelled the sweet scent emitted

from her scalp as I placed a kiss there.

No, they never knew any of that, or learned

to count as Grandma brushed her 100 strokes.

But I did.

Grandma’s hair wasn’t bobbed, dyed, permed, or moussed.

It was long, gray, straight, and beautiful.

What do “they” know?




Posted in Childhood, Effie, family, Family History, Hair Styles, Life Chages, Poetry, recommended reading, Short Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Saylorville Church Tea 6-21-2017 9-50-19 AMCoffee or tea? That was a familiar question when flying on most airlines 50 years ago. Today’s options are numerous, and some come with a price. For years, I gave up coffee altogether and opted only for tea.

These days, I like both coffee and tea in various forms: hot, iced, flavored, or plenty of cream. The only special occasion for me to indulge is waking up in the morning, but a High Tea or Royal Tea is a different matter. They’re special because you don’t get a paper cup at Starbucks or the drive-thru at Dutch Brothers.

In 1989, I was involved with women’s ministries at Saylorville Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. We invited Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II to attend our up-coming High Tea. Our special invitations were uniquely designed with lace and ribbons. This was one of the replies:

I am commanded by The Queen to write and thank you for your invitation to attend a High Tea at your Church.

Although Her Majesty is unable to accept, she thought it was very kind of you to invite her.

It was on official stationery from Balmoral Castle and signed by “Lady-in-Waiting.

I’ll be volunteering at the Maricopa Public Library with my granddaughter, Ashlee, for a Royal Tea. We will help children with selecting and fitting crowns for this special occasion. Everyone should feel like royalty no less.

Last week, Christians remembered the “Crown of Thorns” Messiah Jesus wore at a very different kind of party. Dying on the cross, He was in the company of two thieves. One repented and was promised to be with Jesus in Paradise. Faithful believers are promised various crowns: crown of life, crown of glory, crown of righteousness…incorruptible.

close up of gate of buckingham palace

Photo by Romu00e9o on

I don’t know if I’ll wear a crown at the Royal Tea next week, but when I get to heaven, I’ll wear a crown, because God promised. Like the 24 elders who cast their crowns at Jesus’ feet, that’s what I want to do.

Jesus is “Royalty No Less.” You see, He paid a high price…His sinless life. He is King Jesus!

Do you have a story about a special occasion involving coffee, tea, or crowns? Let me and the other readers know (or you may be in hot water). God bless you, friends.

Posted in Etiquette, God, Jewish, Manners, Messianic, Royalty, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Rescue Babies/The Moses Project

Compare a recent Virginia governor to the wicked Egyptian king in “progressive” biblical times.  Midwives were ordered by the king to kill newborn boys  (Ex. 1:15-22). They refused. God blessed the midwives by giving them their own families. Next, the king ordered all of the people to throw boy babies in the River Nile. The king’s own daughter disobeyed.

A three-month-old boy was placed in a basket and floated on the Nile. When a maid of the king’s daughter heard his cry, she felt sorry for him and RESCUED the baby. The princess named him, “Moses,” meaning: “I lifted him out of the water.”

After watching a news story featuring Virginia’ s Governor Ralph Northam, I knew one thing for sure: America (that’s us, folks) needs to deliver a downright overdue refusal. Babies cannot be murdered before or after birth! We are a civilized country, right?

Dogs are rescued every day, and we applaud those giving their “best friend” a chance at life. Keep up the good work. My family and I have rescued several dogs. But really? Shouldn’t human beings be given even more love? More compassion? A chance to live and grow up to enjoy the kind of life that those who advocate murdering babies have had…a chance to experience love. Just give babies a chance.

For those mothers who do not want their children for whatever reason, please, let someone adopt and love your precious baby. I was able to adopt a baby after having two biological children, and my daughter adopted three ( a boy and twin girls). The babies were of a different race, cocaine exposed, and with learning disabilities, but so lovable.

The Moses Project asks: Will you lift babies out of the water–advocate for babies yet to be born? How about speaking up for newly born babies facing the murderous hand of a doctor? Remember the Golden Rule? Would you have wanted someone to fight for your life? Most of us are glad that we were born and lived. I am. And I didn’t have such a cushy childhood, either. I had lots of  love, though!

You can read the rest of the story about Moses in Scripture, the Book of Exodus. I hope you will, as the Bible is our only source of Truth…and Hope.

baby sleeping in a basket and a round feather surrounding the basket

Photo by Pixabay on


Posted in Bible, Childhood, disabilities, family, God, Judeo-Christian, Soul, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Dance of Motion~~Starlings

via Dance of Motion~~Starlings

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Dance of Motion~~Starlings

At my church last week, one of the worship leaders showed a video clip of starlings in synchronized flight over  Scotland. Some of the fascinating statistics made me think of God’s plan for His people: Christians. A correlation can be made between starlings and the Body of Believers.

Starlings, in their dance of motion, are responding to a predator. They become more synchronized with greater threats. Because they share in a flight for survival, they create and perform at majestic levels.

To watch a flock of starlings is an extraordinary sight. Thousands of birds move in unison like one body of liquid motion. The term is “mpexels-photo-203088.jpegurmurations” and is a result of  thousands of pairs of wings producing a low, continuous distinct sound. In this manner, starlings are splendid singers, making up a heavenly chorus.

More recent scientific tools for video analysis reveal patterns of the starlings’ movement. Their systems are poised to tip and instantaneously become completely transformed. Each starling is connected to and influenced by every other bird in the flock. They move in unison like a single entity, called “phase transition.” When a bird moves or changes speed, so do all of his neighbors, whether they be near or far.

Could they be governed beyond the usual rules of biology? The instantaneous speed in which flocks process signals  simultaneously is still unknown, but in doing so, they create glorious patterns. The phenomenon  transcends science.

Without a leader of the formations, any starling can change the path of the others. All birds in the flock remain equally responsive to signals.

Wouldn’t it be lovely for Christians to join in the dance of motion?

When the evil one comes along, the body of Christ bands together to ward him off. Prayers are whispered in unison producing a distinct sound in the ear of a faithful God. When a neighbor is threatened by financial loss, family disappointment, or failing health all believers in God’s flock petition their Father. Prayers are heard by God even before they are uttered…talk about instantaneous speed transcending science!

Who will take the leadership? Any believer in tune with the Lord cpexels-photo-145919.jpegan do it. I want to be like a starling. How about you?

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Note: Special credit to Derek Brandt;  and

Click on this link (or copy and paste) to watch a YouTube video of starlings in flight: 

Posted in Bible, Birds, Starlings, Effie, God, Life Chages, Music, Scottsdale Bible Church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment