California or Bust! Part 1

A Story of Young Faith, Old Memories and Timeless Treasures


(Previous Campus Crusade Headquarters in Arrowhead Springs, CA)

In 1970, my husband and I joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. We were young believers, wet behind the ears of our faith. Our first assignment was to attend a summer of biblical studies and training in California. As we were leaving Atlanta, we stopped by the home of the couple who had introduced us to Christ, as well as the ministry of Crusade.

Joyce stood in her driveway next to our car, beaming. “You make me think of Abraham.” How in the world did we resemble Abraham? We didn’t feel like Abraham. We weren’t wealthy, traveling on camels with an entourage of flocks, herds and servants. 

   I’ll admit we were a motley crew on an adventure into the unknown. Thank goodness we didn’t have to ride camels to California.  There were, however, seven of us packed in our station wagon. Jay and I, my mother and our four girls (ages 8 months to 11). Oh, and a U-Haul trailing behind us, crammed with our stuff. We didn’t write it on our car, but it whirled in our heads. California or bust!

Traveling with a family in those days was pretty hectic. Especially when we stopped to eat or go to the rest room. At one point, we left our oldest daughter behind at a gas station. Fortunately, someone soon noticed and we were back in a flash to pick her up. You have forgiven us, haven’t you, Mary Beth?

Like Abraham, we didn’t have movies and electronic games to entertain restless children. How did we survive long trips? We had to make do with Cow Poker, I Spy, and Mom’s singing. Hmmm. I wonder if Sarai sang to her children during their travels. Could her songs have been a Hebrew precursor to my offerings? To name a few: *Oh When You See the Hearse Go By, *Found a Peanut, and *A Blue Jay Flew in a Country Story.

We were a bunch of “kids” (except for my mother, bless her brave soul) on our way to a new life. We had no idea what to expect. Where would we live for the summer? How would we pay for everything? And then what?

We had sent letters to potential donors, but didn’t yet know the result. Strangely enough, we weren’t worried. Instead, we could hardly wait to see how God would meet our needs. After all, He’d promised, right? As the kids would say, we were pumped!

Were we thinking what great faith we had? Not really. God had graciously transformed our personal lives, our marriage and our family dynamics. Why wouldn’t we go wherever He led us? After all, it was California, not the other side of the world. Right? And we’d be returning to live in Atlanta. Right?

(Join me next week for Part 2 of Young Faith, Old Memories and Timeless  Treasures.) 


Meanwhile, here’s some Food for Thought:

What are some of your timeless treasures? Truths God has used to generate an ongoing spark in your heart and life? The following is a tribute to a few biblical priniciples about faith. As a new Christian, I cut my spiritual teeth on these timeless treasures. And they’re just as special to me today. I’ve included questions I ask myself as I re-visit these truths. If you’d like, feel free to ask them of yourself, as well. 

F  “. . . Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you . . . .For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  II Timothy 1:6b-7

Has God given you the gift of prayer, teaching, or perhaps serving? Whatever your gift, are you courageously fanning it into flame in the power of the Holy Spirit? Has your gift made you more loving and sensitive toward others? Does God’s gift in you strengthen your faith? Does it motivate you to be more purposeful in your life?

A Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

 Are you in need of a gift from God? Ask and it will be given to you. Are you seeking answers to God’s direction for your life? Seek and you will find. Is there a closed door God has shown you He wants to open for you? Knock and the door will be opened to you.

I “. . . If you have faith the size of a mustard seed . . . nothing will be Impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

It’s not the size of your faith, but the size of your God that counts. Are you asking God to do the seemingly impossible in your life? Trust Him and He will do it.  

T “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18

Do you realize God is working everything in your life for His purpose and your good? (Romans 8:28-29) Have you by faith thanked Him for the difficult circumstances in your life? Giving thanks denotes faith.  

H “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Are your hopes dependent upon God’s leading in your life, not selfish ambitions? Is your certainty focused on God’s sovereignty, rather than your circumstances?

I don’t know about you but this gives me a lot to think about. One thing for sure. The closer we walk with God, the more He will define our faith.



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