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  Thinking on things which produce Life and Light  



For those who see, much is shown;
For those who see, there is much sorrow,
For those who see, much is required.
Such is the way of
Here lies my beloved brother,
Both strong and kind,
Unrelenting and forgiving,
An example, yet a follower
Take heed, dear reader!
For such as these are found among us
Trees of Life!
Dwellers in Christ!
These words are my perpetual garland
Raised to grace forever my brother's ashes,
Though paper and ink eventually pass away.

—Camille Strieby


July, 2000

Dearest Darling Josh,

I was looking for something and happened to stumble onto the story of that momentous day on Hicks Lane:

Feb. 7, 1983
My seven-year-old son, Josh, and I left the house midst a winter storm in the dark of night to pick up Daddy from work. A pot of homemade peacock soup was left to cook on the woodstove while fresh bread was baking in the oven. I figured the food would be about ready for dinner by the time we returned. As we reached the road at the end of our quarter-mile lane, the car stalled. After several attempts to get it restarted, we prayed. Each subsequent effort only revealed a tiring battery. We were left to decide what course of action to take. The rain was pouring buckets-full and we were not with boots, umbrella, or flashlight. If we stayed, no one would know and the bread would burn. We continued to pray... "Mama, I feel we should just stay right here. I feel the Lord will help us if we stay where we are." He spoke with such conviction that I knew he was probably right. Even if not, I could not violate his conviction without damaging his relationship with the Lord. We had just called out to the Lord for help as a virtual "orphan and widow" (with child no less--I was four months pregnant), asking for Him to be our Father and Husband. Joshua's clarity of decision could not be overlooked; his need to obey the voice of his Father was uppermost. We began to sing praises: "I Will Sing Unto the Lord As Long As I Live," "I Will Bless the Lord At All Times," "God Is So Good" (with the verse he created, "God works things right"), "Blessed Be the Lord God of Israel," etc. We both desired to use the opportunity to express our love to God, knowing that these trying moments are the most valuable times to offer Him our highest praise. We continued to pray, realizing this was a sanctified place because of God's unfailing good purposes in our lives. I marvelled at Josh's undemanding petition to the Lord--asking and yet relinquishing in true submission and trust. This circumstance was revealing some of his deepest concepts of God, which the normal routine of life would never have revealed. I rejoiced at this glimpse into his profound understanding of the goodness of God. "I feel so much better when I pray," he sighed. "Now I think I'll lie down and go to sleep because the time passes so much quicker when you're sleeping." About a half-hour later the pouring rain subsided to nearly a sprinkle. I suggested maybe this was the way the Lord was going to help us and that we should run for the house. "No, Mama. I keep feeling we should stay right here and help will come. Let's wait and see what the Lord will do." I continued to pray for wisdom. About five minutes later a car stopped right at our bumper and out hopped my husband. He said he wondered when I didn't show, if the car had stalled. Just when he was convinced that it had, a friend "happened" to come to his place of work and was able to take him home. The rain had now stopped while he jumped the cable to start our car. Back home, I hung my purse and coat and walked into the kitchen just in time to hear the buzzer announce the bread was done. Such precision could only be ordered by the One Who governs the heavens. Blessed be His Name!" Isn't that precious?! There were a lot of details I had forgotten. What is it again that the Lord recently told you about that incident? Blessing of Love,
Josh's reply to the above story...
Thanks SO MUCH! That is an encouragement! It would seem that prayer has been something in my blood for some time! God seemed to say awhile ago that it was at THAT time that I FIRST REALLY
trusted Him! Boy! Things are REALLY moving in the spirit these days!!! What is going to
happen NEXT?!
I love you!



March 17, 2001
Dear Paul and Val~
I heard the news today and I just wanted to send my love. As I was reflecting on the things that Joshua and I used to talk about when we were children I remembered that he told me once when we were about 12 years old, that he often felt he didn't fit in anywhere. I remember thinking at that time that it was indeed true and it didn't seem fair at all. Today as I was praying and asking the Lord why He would take my precious friend, I felt in  my heart that Joshua was asking me not to cry for him because for the first time ever, he feels like he belongs. Joshua truly does belong with the angels. My heart is broken and I fear that Josh may never know how very much I loved him, but in my heart I know that everything is as it should be.
Give my love to Camille and Young Paul (Anthony) and know that my heart and prayers are with you in this difficult time.
All my love~
Muffi-Jo Howell



Josh poses on the red Toyota truck as a kid. This is the truck that Josh drove as a college student at Chico State. Josh loved his truck and liked to drive to the mountains to enjoy God's wonderful creation.




This is the most recent family picture. It was taken for the church directory.
Josh - Age 25
Camille - Age 17
Paul Anthony - Age 15
Paul and Valerie - wonderful age





















           (Josh and future truck)