Wednesday, July 22, 2015

remember this

 All of a sudden, something from my past, speaks into the lives of those close to me. (ABOVE) my 1987 journal. Remember this, Karl.

In 1974 my dorm room is on the basement floor of Heppner Hall, my first year at the University on Nebraska, in Lincoln. I am 19 years old. On this day I remember being all uptight. Students were making jokes in our room that bothered me, but instead of saying something about it, I stuffed my anger down inside. As I sat on the bed I swung my fist against the wall. Later, after the students had left, my roommate Jeff Taebel said to me, "You need to do something about that." or something to that effect.

Fourteen years later, in 1988 I am taking classes at the Bible Institute of California in Anaheim. (ABOVE, photo standing by school sign with Hispanic class, photo of class in session) I have been taking part in a night class called New Hope, where I am learning about co-dependency, how unhealthy it has been to not feel my anger. I am learning to choose other ways of acting on my feelings. Letting go, letting God handle things that work me all up, let him be my peace. I am 33 years old. My wife and I went to visit my parents during Christmas break in Seward, Nebraska. (The following entry in my journal recounts the inner turmoil I felt)
"I feel angry at Dad for trying to control my life. I thought he had released me from expectations with my art skills. But today Dad opened the issue again. 'Why can't I market my abilities in the states and not end up going abroad?' he asks me. He still believes in what I can do with art, He sees himself as aggressive and me as laidback like Mom. He thinks if I wait too long, my ideas WILL NEVER BE FULFILLED. He sees himself trying - failing - succeeding in motion. And see me in a standstill - neglectful use of my abilities."
"The idea of my wife and myself going ahead for missions bothers him. I explained that he and I are two different people. His efforts work for him. But I am different. And it seems he can only see it from his method of working. And that, if I don't get busy producing and sending and marketing my stuff, that (I will be cursed, in a sense). I will have to suffer the consequences!!!" Immediately after that He controlled, by refusing to show a video promo he had earlier offered to show me. My Dad has to work out his own co-dependency. And I have to work out mine.
 "But I'm angry because I thought this issue had been resolved. Now it's like my peace is being shaken up all over again. It's almost like Dad wants us to be enemies again...I really appreciated my talks with Mom this visit. She's smart and is working out her co-dependency. Dad thinks she has the problem, but he misses his contribution and his own co-dependency. I feel Mom is right on track. I DON'T LIKE BEING CONTROLLED." (December 29, 1988)

Two years pass, my wife and I are still living in the trailer behind Betty Larsen's house in Gardena, California. Her son, Larry, is a classmate of ours at LBIC. (ABOVE, photo front of Betty's House, Betty, Larry, and a drawing of our trailer/home)
During chapel time today, a black five-member drama team from England called "The Acts" does some of their acting for the meditation.

That night, after school and after our jobs, we joined our friends from England back at Betty's house, where they are staying tonight. In photo ABOVE, Brenda and Lurissa from Canada. Jackie, Carol, Marva, Verletta (Mum) Malcolm from North Hampton. Maureen from South Hampton. Victor Gibbons, Karl Marxhausen, Jan Marxhausen.
It was during the prayer and singing time, that happens on Friday nights, that the spirit of God ministered to me as I lay on the floor. During chapel earlier today I felt a knot in my stomach. I asked for prayer concerning that knot. What happened as I lay on the floor, was that a tremor began in my stomach. It then moved up my body to my chest. Then I burst into tears and sobs. After a bit, a deep peace came over my being. I felt like I was sleeping on the bottom of the ocean, so still. Then after some time passed, the cycle repeated, with a tremor that began in my stomach, and which moved up to my chest. Again I burst out in tears and sobs. Soon, a deep peace and rest came over my whole body. And then, the cycle occurred again. The group prayer time had ended long ago. Everyone was off in the kitchen, while I was laying on the living room carpet all by myself. God was having his way with me.

These brothers and sister in Christ were witness to the work God brought in me. The recurring cycle of sobs and peace went on for THREE HOURS and ended around 11 o'clock at night. This was the SAME NIGHT my father Reinhold Marxhausen was making his second appearance on the David Letterman TV talk show (January 17, 1990) There was a sense that pent up grief was being poured out of my heart and was being replaced with joy and God's healing activity. (In the photo BELOW, my brother Victor Gibbons and me in Betty's kitchen.)

It is now 2013. The youth group is reading verses about people in chains and darkness in the book of Psalms. The verses seem like they are written for today. It could be us crying out from our own situations, where feelings are repressed, where anger is stuffed down and held on to, where bitterness towards others smolders. I am 58 years old. I share some of the anger I felt at Dad those years ago. Our group takes turns hefting up a potato sack with a heavy heavy stone inside, the symbolic weight of our own resentment. We talk about forgiveness, letting go, crying out for release, and being open to receive help from One outside our realm of control. We look at the artwork I brought tonight. Students describe what they see in their own words. (My 36 by 24 inch painting on tempered Masonite from 2000, BELOW)

We read verses of an anxious suicidal man in disarray who becomes clothed, calm, and in his right mind. I share how God made a way in my life. Releasing new feelings, songs of hope and joy. How destructive ways of thinking were broken off and his glitter sparkle matrix did something I was unable to make happen. (Collage, Airstrike, 1998, BELOW)

Marvelous, O Lord.
You are that strong. You show me the way to walk in forgiveness. A way closed off that You opened for me. Precious butterfly Holy Ghost. Releasing tears and pouring in peace and joy and altering my reality. Jesus, you, so kind, so able, so generous, yeses through You, You are making. Remember this, Karl.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

said this way

     King David wrote down what he was going through, how he felt, and what God did to help him.

     While looking at Psalms 70, our class of teens said it this way:
"Deliver me from evil. Distract those who wish to hurt me. Make them stop mocking, tormenting, make them stop name calling, bullying. Come quickly, hurry up God. Get me out of this. Let them find You!!"

    We talked about what the author of Psalms 18 was trying to say. Here are phrases our class came up with:
"Thanks for the help, God. I asked God for help, He saved me. The hands of death surrounded me. The waves of dread attacked me. I thought I was a goner."

   In Psalms 148 all types of folks are named and asked to praise God and TO KNOW that HE DOES RESCUE. Here is what we compiled on the easel:
"From His throne, he heard my voice. Peasant or king, emperor or slave, doctors, nurses, lowest oceans, highest mountains. Workers, bosses, presidents, teachers, farmers, mayor, mechanics, police, kids, old fogies, teenagers, chefs, parents, musicians, hair stylists, pastors, deacons, and nursing home residents."

prayer journal entry, January 8, 2014
Carrollton, Missouri

Saturday, July 11, 2015


      Jesus intervenes to save me. He saves me.
      In 1992 I was driving home from Chillicothe frustrated and depressed. The ad sales I thought I could drum up on a Saturday morning had fallen through. This was when I worked for the local Carrollton Daily Democrat newspaper. I was angry inside. The smoldering anger nearly ended my life in suicide.
      As I drove down highway 65 I tried to push the thoughts out of my mind. I prayed for Bible verses. Nothing seemed to help. When I drove down the off ramp at the Carrollton exit I was in a depressed stupor. I entertained how easy it would be to drive past the stop sign in the the ditch and end my life.
     Jesus intervened and stopped me.
     The Spirit led me to a nameless friend and after our talk my day brightened up a lot.
     As I remember that smoldering anger and where I was I wondered: how does someone who does not know Jesus make it through the day??
    Without Jesus there helping me - guiding me to friend - or getting help, I would have been dead by now. Being a Christian and thinking of suicide is a possibility.
    Oh Jesus. I thank You for Your intervention. You save me. I praise You. You are worthy of all praise. You preserved my life. You direct my steps. You love and care for me. Jesus. Thank You, Jesus.

Prayer journal entry, 1992
Carrollton, MO
Karl Marxhausen

heart's desire

      Jesus is my provider.
      In 1986 my wife dearly wanted to have a Christmas tree. We lived in Des Moines, Iowa at the time. We could not afford to buy a real tree. But this was her heart's desire.
      A friend of ours worked for the local 700 Club chapter as a phone counselor. He told us that the chapter was making available live Christmas trees for the poor.
     So, one Saturday I drove down in our VW bug to pick out a tree. I made two trips. One for our friend JJ, a single mother, and one for us. The tree filled that small car.
     Jan decorated the tree with ornaments and later we had the church youth groups over for a Christmas party. It was then that the group leader made mention to the kind of tree we had. He said it was a Scottish pine. One of the best trees you could buy. It was just over six feet tall and the branches spread out nicely.
     When I heard that I was amazed. Jesus gave my wife the desire of her heart. Even though we could not afford it. Jesus notices the desires we have in our hearts. That Christmas Jesus showed us the attention he has for us. It changed our ideas about Jesus. Jesus notices the little private things.

prayer journal entry, 1986
Karl Marxhausen 


    It's one thing to model creativity with youth. It's another thing to watch it flame up and take off.
    Word pictures are like that for me. Perhaps, it's like the collage I take so long to assemble, and then a song or a word of life comes to me and now that abstract collage says so much about the God who loves me and acts on my behalf. The activity of making becomes an unspoken cry or intercession or prayer. It comes back to me with a blessing that I could not have invented. It SPEAKS to me. The word of life that comes is from the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth.
    When these Epiphanies come, I jot them down in a prayer journal. On a day I am glum and depressed, re-reading these gems of light brings the activity of Jesus to mind and declares his concern and attention for one such as I. In Jeremiah 1 verse 12 the author declares: "For I am alert and active, watching over my word to perform it."
    This interaction is truly a marvel. It surprises me. It gets my attention.

     Sometimes I awake in the night to jot down a download of phrases.

     Something that took place earlier in the day comes into focus and it's like someone is beside me, reminding me, revealing something to remember, to latch on to, or celebrate.

    At four in the morning, I awoke and began writing down what came to my mind:
    Behold My hand, Karl. Behold My joy.
The download played back the images of my pastor in the youth room. On his open palms lay two wide cloth strips - he deep in thought - suddenly a flurry of motion. Faster than I have seen him move before, he had set up a folding chair, and was on top of it, pushing the ceiling panels up, and fixing to suspend the two completed efforts of the teenagers. His hands tying the cloth strips around the ceiling bars, figuring it all out on the fly, impassioned, taking the initiative himself, engaged. As I stood by aghast and still. He continued until the two student assemblages were hung up to his SATISFACTION.
      Another download came. A teen standing up, all smiles, holding the upper frame above her head, the long multi-colored cloth strips running down to the bottom frame. Her leg and arm slipping between the parallel strips, her mouth declared "STEPPING OUT OF JAIL." The next word that came to mind was RELEASE!! As in, being freed from bondage or set free from mental oppression.
    The next download was of a teen with many cloth strips tied end to end to end, stretched out, standing over by the room wall, looking at its length and wondering aloud: "I WONDER HOW LONG THIS IS?" He and the girl stretching the full length out to touch opposite walls in the youth room. The next words were curiosity - willingness - eager.
    Then, an older theme from 1998 flashed by and became a declaration or an affirmation of what the length of cloth strips meant. The Pleasantville vision (full text here). In a classroom the teacher explained that there was nothing outside of Pleasantville. The road merely returned back to where it first started. A student asked Bud what was outside of Pleasantville and Bud explained "the roads do not go in a circle but they go on and on." The Spirit of truth interpreted: "they go and on and on deeper in the Holy Ghost. In other words, falling in love with Jesus!"
     The next image was of Bud standing out in the rain, arms extended up, and declaring to the students huddled in the gazebo: "It's okay to come out. It's only rain." The Spirit revealed: "there is nothing to fear when it came to the Holy Ghost and the way he operated, his baptism, his healing, his involvement, the result was the same, he brought us close to himself."
     The notes he gave me on Pleasantville were about being transformed by the Holy Ghost into lovers of Jesus Christ. Where spirituality was expressive. You could use your own words to express your admiration to Him.
     The next scene was in the film where Bud told his TV father Wayne: "Don't you want to tell her she is beautiful?" And Wayne in tears nods his head. The Spirit said: "tell Jesus he is lovely. Go ahead and tell HIM."
     The download concluded. A sense that Jesus was showcasing His activity. Pay attention, remember, celebrate, he was doing something here. "Behold My hand. See My joy."
     By this time I was crying with tears. Grateful. In wonder. Praising the name of Jesus.

prayer journal entry on April 11, 2015
Carrollton, MIssouri
Karl Marxhausen

     Recently I found out that Martin Luther from the sixteenth century valued the rich words that came to him and directed him to his loving Savior. I would like to add that quote here, because I was happy and amazed that the Spirit of truth was sharing with him as well.

"Frequently when I come to a certain part of 'Our Father' or to a petition, I land in such rich thought that I leave behind all set prayers. When such rich, good thoughts arrive, then one should leave the other commandments aside and offer room to those thoughts and listen in stillness and for all the world not put up obstructions. For then the Holy Spirit himself is preaching and one word of his sermon is better than a thousand of our prayers. I have learned more from one such prayer than I would have received from much reading and writing."
     "If the Holy Spirit would come in the course of such thoughts [methodical preparation for worshipful prayer] and begins to preach in your heart with rich, illumined thoughts, do him the honor, let these rationally formulated thoughts, reflections and meditations fade away. Be still and listen for he knows better than you. And when he preaches note that and write it down. In this way you will experience miracles."

 Martin Luther
 From a little treatise, "How To Pray."         Luther's Works, Devotional Writings, Volume 43:193-211. (quote courtesy of God Is Faithful, David Dorpat, Creation House, 2008, p.264)

steel rod

      Jesus helped me pull a steel rod of tension out of my wife's foot.
      It was late on a weekday night. When either one of us needs prayer we pray for each other. Together we invited the Holy Ghost to reveal to us how to pray and what to pray for. We asked for pictures or words that would help us to pray accurately.
      My wife felt tension up and down her left leg. It hurt a lot. As she sat on the recliner in our living room we prayed and waited on Jesus.
      After some time Jesus gave me a mental picture of a steel rod. She and I talked about that. It was like there was this steel rod running from her hip down to her foot.
      Jesus led me to pull on a steel rod I could not see and slowly pul it out from the heel of her foot. My wife said she could feel it go down her leg and out her foot.
      Jesus had given me the picture. He helped me to believe it and act on it. Neither one of us could explain the physical sensations she had experienced.
      The tension was completely gone. Her leg did not hurt anymore. The tension left because Jesus had pulled it out.

      Marvelous are Your works, Jesus. Blessed in Your Name. Thank You for showing us how to pray.
      You are able.
       You are present.
       You heal our wounds.
      You are marvelous.
       You are mighty.
       You are able, Jesus.
        You are able.

prayer journal entry, 1996
Carrollton, Missouri
Karl Marxhausen

because I go

Jesus said it this way:

    Because I go to my Father,  I will send you the Comforter. He will TEACH you all things and will REMIND you of everything I have said to you. john 14: 26

    Because I go to my Father, I will send you the Spirit of truth and he will MANIFEST to you ALL I HAVE SAID. john 15: 26

    Because I go to my Father, I will send the Counselor and he will guide you into all truth. He will SPEAK only what he hears, and he will TELL YOU what is to come. john 16: 13

    Because I go to my Father, the Helper I send to you will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and MAKING IT KNOWN to you.  john 16: 14

    Because I go to my Father, the Advocate will be with you forever. The world cannot welcome him nor take him to heart. But you recognize him, for he LIVES WITH you and WILL BE IN you.  john 14: 16,17

      Because I go to my Father, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these. john 14:12

      Because I go to my Father, and will send you the Spirit of truth, I will do whatever you ask in My name, so the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me anything in My name and I will do it. john 14: 13,14

   Thank you Jesus for being mighty and strong. 
   Thank you for going to the Father, and sending the Strengthener.
    For He opens my heart, he reveals Jesus, he helps me to believe and accept the words of Jesus, and the wonders he does proves and exalts the name of Jesus. So that Jesus may have the following that He deserves.

    For faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.  romans 10:17

    bring it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

what it is

      In 1986, this was a graphic I did for myself to remember what the Holy Spirit was doing in me.

Here is a metal graphic. The names of Reinhold Pieper Marxhausen and members of his family Karl Marxhausen and Paul Marxhausen and Dorris Marxhausen - were stamped into metal plates - and welded together with the names of other citizens. A large orb of humanity. ABOVE.BELOW

Here is a ceramic graphic in the shape of a manger. The etched words on it read: "And for our salvation came down from heaven was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the virgin Mary and was made man."

    In 1966 the artist made these graphics to remember what the Holy Spirit was doing in Reinhold's life.
    To recall who it was that became mortal like Reinhold.
    To declare what the Holy Spirit declares about Jesus - He is real and resurrected from the dead, and draws men and women, boys and girls, to himself.
    To proclaim that Reinhold has called on him and received Jesus as his Savior for the forgiveness of sins.
    To celebrate this living Life Changer, who defeats my grudges, my hatred, my blame, my poison, my hurt against others.
    To sing aloud that He loves me because He wants to.
    To become a lover of Jesus.

    Lovers are being revealed....


       The part of me "that I know about" sticks up just above the water like the small tip of an iceberg. Below the surface, the "greater part of me" is  like a huge submerged iceberg.

       The one that knows me inside and out began to open my mind and my heart, to wonder, to ponder, to ask for help, to seek forgiveness. In 1986 -- The Spirit led me to meet with the pastor and together God made a way. I was thirty years old when I began to deal with resentments and buried feelings. Feelings I had been told to suppress. Feelings I had been asked to suck up and not feel. A poison that colored how I interacted with those around me.
       The Spirit of God is a gentleman. He is not a bully. He will not badger you or defeat you. He does not come to stomp on you or pull you to the ground. But he does seek your hand and make advances. When you are ready, he comes along side and gives you the courage to ask for his aid. He waits for an open heart, he listens for a soft spoken "yes," a whisper of consent. He acts when we give him our permission. For me, logic and reason have kept him at an arm's length. I thought I knew how he worked. Let me tell you, there is so much more. More than my Lutheran teachers told me while I was growing up. 

      During the counseling session the Holy Spirit revealed hurt feelings I had bottled up. Anger at being controlled by mom. Verbal slights. Like I couldn't come up with the answer myself, how I had to do things her way. Anger at high expectations from my dad. If I did art he could love me.  It was my reactions, my choice to stuff down the resentment, my choosing to remember and hold the grudge, blaming dad and mom -- instead of forgiving them. This believer in Jesus had lots of anger at God as well.

     Pastor Al had seen the wonders of Jesus in his own life firsthand. Al led me to Jesus in prayer. The Holy Spirit gave me the courage to forgive my dad first. In a later meeting, forgiving my mom. And still later, forgiving myself. Pastor Al said the prayer. But Jesus restored my life.

no bargaining

    In 1984 we were checking out which church to attend. Hope Lutheran on the east side was where my wife did her Director of Christian Education Internship. She was placed there by Concordia University (formerly Concordia Teachers College in Seward) After her fulfilling her nine months contract, working with the youth and children at Hope, the congregation chose not to hire her. We checked out the Open Bible Church, the New Life Center, the Assembly of God, and a charismatic Lutheran church called Redeemer, just down the street from Drake University.
     I remember calling the pastor on the telephone telling him how my wife and I wanted to attend, and how I had done some religious artwork with the Calvary Lutheran Church for the Deaf, and some larger cartoons that went with the pastor's sermon. I knew he would be interested in this.
     Pastor Hendrickson told me not to bother showing him the artwork. He advised that we come and check out the church services and see if it suited us.
     Not be put off, I told him about banners I could make and offered doing artwork for his church.
     With a gentle voice he encouraged me to come and be. Attend and see what God could do for me. Come and let God minister to you.
     My pitch was not going the way I thought it would. The phone conversation was what not I had expected. After all when I looked at my father and all he did for the St. John's congregation with his art work, and the art pieces he regularly put up in the narthex niche, well, something was amiss here. I mistook the doors that opened up for my father as "privilege." Dad seemed to have this "big following" and I figured it would be that way for me as well. Churches just did not turn down "talent," especially "free" talent.

     We tried the worship service a couple times.

     It became our home church.

     And I learned about the iceberg in me.



"In 1962 I became a colleague with your father at the college.
I’ll never forget the chapel service he gave at Weller.
He told all of us to get up and go outside.
And he said: “I want you to find a four leaf clover.”
We all spread out looking.
The point of his message was this: “Those of you who left thinking you would not find any four leaf clovers probably did not find any. 

Those of you who believed there were four leaf clovers to find probably did find some.
That is what faith is !!! " "       
Jack Duensing      (phone interview, Friday, January 9, 2015)

pages speak life

     In our conversation Betty Runge brought up two books Thursday, June 25th, at Seward, Nebraska. One had a brown cover, she remembered, while the other was green. The occasion was my mother's funeral. Betty and Leo Runge had made the trip in from Ames, Iowa. Leo was my mother's cousin. My grandmother on my mother's side was Amalia Runge Steinbrueck. Dorris Elenore Marxhausen was originally a Steinbrueck from Blackburn, Missouri. A small farming community twenty miles from where my wife and I live.

    As documents, both books were published in 1985. The brown book was sixty-four pages in length. The title was "Runge Book: Pictures and Impressions." It was self-published by son Karl Marxhausen through Christopher Press of Des Moines, Iowa. (See cover, next. Double click on image to enlarge)

    The green book was one hundred and eight pages in length. The title was "I Saw It On My Way Thru: Nebraska Traveler." It was self-published by father Reinhold Marxhausen through Independent Publishers of Seward, Nebraska -- a subsidiary of the Seward County Independent newspaper. The author had his son do the graphics. There was an edition of 1000. It was released on July 7, 1985. (See cover, next. Double click to enlarge)

   The Runge Book was based on drawings of relatives that I made during the three day reunion in August. All of us were housed in a dorm on the campus of St. Paul's College in Concordia, Missouri.

Some graphics depicted something about each person I met. Most were humorous and fun. Some embodied ideas I held at the time. The edition was limited to those who signed up for the book. It was an outlet, a gift, and now also served as a time capsule for my father and my own life.

  The Nebraska Traveler was formed to stimulate imagination among family members, young and old, as they looked out the window of their vehicle on the way to a vacation destination. In the introduction the author aspired to promote the thinking process at all levels, learn how things work, discuss philosophy and art, teach awareness no matter where they were, and much more.  Questions were asked and a place on the opposing page provided room for the participant to write down their thoughts. For example: "Do horses sleep standing up?"

    It was the SINGING RODS that my mind settled on. ABOVE, BELOW.

"In 1962 I became a colleague with him at the college. When there were office spaces at Jesse Hall I had a room on the corner just across from Founder’s Hall, where your dad had an office on the second floor of Founders. All of a sudden I could hear the notes of “Amazing Grace” outside. Your father was throwing metal rods out of his office window down to the sidewalk. They were cut in different lengths. (When they struck the sidewalk they rang out notes) As he threw the rods you could hear the tune of Amazing Grace. That’s when he started to move into that world of sound sculpture."
"I’ll never forgive the national announcer on television. David Letterman did not catch who Marxhausen was. Your father had brought with him the metal rods that he intended to play Amazing Grace with on national TV. Letterman picked up all the rods in one handful and dropped them on the floor altogether. He didn’t give your father the chance to play them (as he had hoped to). And then Letterman ended the interview right there." Jack Duensing   (phone interview interview, January 9, 2015)
This happened the night of January 17, 1990. That was the night I was laying on the den floor of Betty Larson. An important story which I will detail in another post. Click on Youtube link and move ahead on video to the 31:48 minute marker to see that Letterman segment.  Four and a half minutes long.

     My wife and I were plugged into the green house fellowship just off Sixth Street and Forest Avenue, the inner city of Des Moines, Iowa. An older lady Linda arrived to the evening prayer meeting in her wheelchair. David Garcia led the street believers in bible study. Joe Dunn sang about being a green olive tree planted in the house of the Lord from behind his casio keyboard. Terry Sharlach, Michael Calton, Jim, Little David, Curtis, and others worshiped Jesus on the beat-up metal folding chairs, just down the street from the Salvation Army Center. The adult we called Little David stayed at our house for a season.
     I didn't know about speaking in tongues. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was new and interesting. It was nothing I learned about from my Missouri Synod Lutheran teachers.

     I do remember Curtis Manchester. What I admired about him was that he walked the city streets and was able to pray for hours and hours because of this prayer language. My spoken prayers ran dry after a couple of minutes. He had full control over the gift. And the Holy Spirit gave him the ability to praise God fluently in what sounded like foreign language.  It was a wonder to me. I also witnessed raggedy clothed believers of Jesus minister in the group. What I mean by that is some knew scripture very well, and were able to share scriptures that gave hope and comfort to someone who asked for prayer. None of them were ordained. Yet, they were able to speak words of life, say yes to God's presence, with hearts knit together, and came back to meet and sing and pray.

     While living and working in Des Moines I met people and groups of people who were charismatic. Where you could ask for prayer and believers in Christ would pray for you right there. God was close. God was active. Jesus was lifted up and bragged about. The Holy Spirit was credited for opening hearts and making Jesus someone you could get to know. Many lessons were learned. There were surprises. My night job of cleaning office buildings for two years turned into a day job working at Redeemer Lutheran Church.
     By 1987 Jan and I had gone on two team trips with members of that church in a van down to Nuevo Progresso in Mexico. At a family camp we heard missionaries speak about their work, and we took part in a Candidate Retreat in Minneapolis to see if missions was for us. The Lutheran agency World Mission Prayer League encouraged us to get contextual bible schooling. So as to understand the Bible from a culture outside of the United States. Jan already had her Bible schooling through Concordia University in Seward. It was I who needed the classwork. God opened the door for us to attend the Lutheran Bible Institute of California in Anaheim. Sixteen hundred miles from home.

     Back in Nebraska, during the summer of 1987 my mother Dorris Marxhausen enrolled in a college class trip to Nicaragua in Central America through Concordia University. She was studying also Spanish. The back of the above photo read "July 21, 1987. Coke (soda) in a bag"

These photos are in the Marxhausen Estate.