Current Photos

Here I am in all my guises.  I describe myself as a multi-tasker with a short attention span and a type-A personality.  Thus my wide variety of interests and activities.

Besides writing and speaking, my husband and I have a wonderful gift shop, Carlton Gardens, that features yard art (AND clothes and jewelry and pillows and furniture and collectibles and antiques, etc., etc.).

I'm also an artist, specializing in outdoor art.  Identifying myself as an artist might seem presumptuous to serious artists, but it sells.  So I guess that makes me an artist.

Parade of Faith

Below is my baby---the church history text that I have been carrying to term now for decades. Here are the first two paragraphs of the Introduction:
When Saint Bruno in his younger years was studying in Paris the city was caught up in a sea of mourning.  A renowned monastic scholar, much admired for his holy life, had died. But as the funeral cortege proceeded to the tomb, the dead scholar rose out of the coffin and cried out,  “By God’s righteous judgment, I am accursed.”  Utterly astounded, the officiating clerics delay the funeral until the following day.  But the same shocking episode occurs again, and still again, the day after.  So terrified—and convicted of sin—is Bruno that he goes straightaway into the desert to meditate and soon thereafter in 1084 founds the Carthusians, a cloistered order of monks and nuns.  On September 14, 1224, while praying on the mountain of Verna, Saint Francis receives the stigmata—the very wounds of the crucified Christ.  On July 2, 1505, Martin Luther, having been struck down by lightning, promises Saint Anne he will become a monk. Some two centuries later, American evangelist William Tennent awakens in the night realizing the toes on one foot are missing—snatched by the Devil.

The history of Christianity is a fascinating narrative roiling with legends and lies, facts, figures, daring feats and disputations.  Wild and well-nigh impenetrable, it snares the unsuspecting reader by its captivating content. Indeed, having once started down the rabbit trail of church history, it turns into an exhilarating hunt.  That is why studying the subject is not only a serious enterprise but also entertaining—and addictive.

My husband John Worst, music professor emeritus at Calvin College, often joins me in my speaking engagements. Here we are when someone snapped separate pictures of us when we were speaking at Bethel Seminary in San Diego a couple of years ago.

My writing includes not only books but also articles and columns---and poetry.  Here is one of my poems, still a work in progress.

   Broken Jesus

Ceramic mobile hanging in hallway,
Jesus, rainbow, little children of the world:
Red and yellow black and white
They are precious in his sight.

Reaching to dust,
False move.
Broken Jesus,
Shattered rainbow,
Little children maimed.

News blaring:
Water crisis, parched soil, pitiless sun.
Little children crying for bread.
Broken Jesus.

Below are memories from my childhood--what is left of the farm buildings and below is the boarded-up church west of Spooner where I grew up in Northern Wisconsin.

Here lies the remains of the house in which I grew up. An arsonist decided to have some fun late one night more than 20 years ago now when brother Jonnie was using the house as a weekend get away.

Green Grove Alliance Church where I attended VBS and made many friends, now long closed.