Songs from the House of Pilgimage

by Dr. Stephen Isaac

bookThis is the biography of Flower A. Newhouse, written by Dr. Stephen Isaac. The story of this Christian mystic is beautifully told, revealing her past incarnations and the unfolding of her mission this lifetime. This book gives a glimpse of an extraordinary initiate and the work she founded at Questhaven Retreat.

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About Flower A. Newhouse

I met Flower for the first time when I was tenyears old. It was 1935; she was on a speakingtour into the Pacific Northwest and had anengagement in Medford, Oregon, where my familylived. My mother, who had been searching for hertrue spiritual path, noticed the advertisement inthe local newspaper and was prompted to attendthe lecture. It was my great good fortune thatshe took me with her. To this day I can relivethat moment which has never dimmed in my memory.The lecture hall was in a downtown building. Wewere sitting near the front in wooden foldingchairs. Suddenly, Flower entered the room. Shewas dressed in white and walked to a chair,turned and looked at the audience, her faceradiant and smiling. I stared at her, scarcelybelieving my eyes. I was sure I was looking intothe eyes of an angel. I remember nothing of whatshe said that night. My eyes alone stored thedeathless impression of this first meeting. Icouldn't fathom the significance of thetransformation that took place on that occasion,but something changed in my life, and things werenever to be the same again. I am told that when Ireturned home that evening, I said to one of myfamily, "I saw an angel."

How did this affect my life? Looking back, itwas as if I had been asleep and that evening Iwas awakened by this wondrous being and remindedthat it was time to set childish things aside andtake up the path once more. I was slow to stir,but the invitation was absolutely irresistible.

I was rather backward in school at this stageof my life, preferring to daydream those hoursaway rather than settle down to the work at hand.Soon after that fateful meeting, my schoolworkbegan to improve, and I took an interest inthings previously neglected. Though a part of mewas still holding back, longing to remain in thesleepy shadows a little longer, gradually thelight prevailed and, more and more, I paid heedto every word from Flower that reached our home.

After that, we would see her each year for alecture visit. These occasions stretched out fora week of meetings in the summertime-called theMedford Hilltop Conclaves, after the name of theranch where they were held. A small group formedto study the emerging teachings that Flower andher husband, Lawrence, were publishing together.Word came in 1940 that they had at last found theproperty so long searched for to establish theirwork-at that time, 440 acres of land with a smallstone cottage in the remote hills near Escondido,California. Soon, World War II brought both theneed and the opportunity for my family andseveral others from the Medford area to move toSouthern California and join the beginning ofQuesthaven Retreat.

For myself, it marked the end of occasionalreminders of life's purposefulness and the onsetof daily endeavor Godward. During the summer of1943 I was privileged to spend several weeks as aguest in the Questhaven home of Flower andLawrence, just before entering the U.S. Army.Those memorable days proved to be the mostinsightful and formative of my life yet. I was tolearn what it was like to live in the presence ofone whose own consciousness was unbrokenly linkedwith the Inner Worlds. As the days passed, Ilistened to her every word and watched her everymovement. Her tranquility never fluctuated; heroutshining love never lapsed. Nor was thereanything about her reminiscent of a fa├žade or ofa preoccupation with keeping up appearances.Everything she was flowed from an inward Sourceunencumbered by guile or ego. The impression thismade on me was profound, penetrating to thefoundations of my being. After these many years,I can still see her cleaning her kitchen, singingas she alone could sing-joyfully and with abeauty belonging to another world.

It was then I realized that what was hers todo, she did with the same spirit and gladness,whatever it was-housework, caring for her pets,attending Lawrence or her guests, answeringletters, preparing a lecture, or speaking to oneseeking her counsel. In all these things she wasone and the same soul. I was to realize hernature was vastly different from mine, and thoughshe understood the nature of others, hers wastrue to the kingdom of her origin. She was indeedan angel among us.

From that point onward, I found my lifechanging and accelerating. I woke up to the factof both my lower and higher selves. The necessityto conquer the former was much on my mind afterthat. A few months later, while serving overseasin England, I received a letter from Flower inwhich she foresaw for me a career in psychology.Nothing could have been further from my mind-oneof those "out of the blue" events thatcharacterize the hand of God turning our lives innew directions. It was to be a rich and rewardingjourney.

As the new knowledge grew, adding itself uponthe foundation of Christian Mysticism laid inplace by Flower, I gradually realized somethingmore. It was not enough simply to acquireknowledge. The more I became aware of Flower'sreality, the more I understood that, withoutapplication, spiritual knowledge was empty. Itnever impressed her what I knew about somethingunless she saw how my life was changed because ofit-how I lived my life differently as a result.Reincarnation, karma, the Hierarchy, the greatinitiations and illumination, the kingdom of theangels, the Inner Worlds and, most of all, thereality of the Living Christ-all of these, ifthey were no more than concepts, missed "themany splendored thing." What counted wasthat you lived by these truths and that theyshaped your destiny. Nothing less sufficed. Shewas like a gardener whose purpose was to fostergrowth, and that alone was worthy endeavor.

Though I have failed more times than I canremember, because of her steadfastness, hertireless exampleship, and her fathomless love Ihave also crossed over thresholds inconsciousness, any one of which would make thisincarnation marvelously worthwhile.

Of all the lessons I've learned as her pupil,not one matches the value of aspiring towardunbroken spiritual integrity-what the Great Onescall centeredness-keeping true to the Presence ofGod, a Presence that is everywhere, in everythingand everyone, always. She exemplifies this in amanner unequaled in my experience. It issynonymous with agape love, and what makesFlower's expression of this love unforgettable isthat it flows out of God's World, not out ofman's. It is the love that the Lord Christ taughtto his disciples, a love that is altogether pureand truthful.

Finally, there was about Flower such a deepimprinting of her life with our Lord Emmanuel,that it rekindled inklings of remembrance inthose around her-perhaps the sense of wonder onewould have felt in His presence or the thrill ofsharing the revelations of the Sermon on theMount to friends in a distant village.Altogether, there was about Flower the mysteriousand unmistakable recreation, awake and alive, ofthis One who was the greatest of earth-bornsouls, the Lord Christ. Of all of her gifts thatwas her finest.

Dr. Stephen Isaac

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About Our Authors


The life and writings of Flower A. Newhouse are those of a Christian mystic, and her insights into the inner realms of life provide us with a path to wholeness that she called "Living the Life." These teachings are not doctrine, but a practical guide to the direct, immediate experience of God. Flower's mission was also to reawaken humanity to the reality of angels, a work she began with her first book in 1937, and added to in many published writings and in recorded lectures.


Dr. Stephen Isaac was a teacher, counselor, and consultant in various public schools, universities, and private industries. Dr. Isaac maintained a life-long interest in Questhaven Retreat, and Flower A. Newhouse, whom he met when he was ten years old. Ordained a minister in this work in 1952, he served as a regular speaker and as its director.


Reverend Phyllis Isaac moved from Oregon as a child with her family to be close to Questhaven Retreat after hearing the Reverend Flower A. Newhouse speak on a lecture tour. She had the privilege of growing up knowing Flower and being a lifelong student of her work. Phyllis moved onto the grounds of Questhaven in 1973 with her husband, Dr. Stephen Isaac, a past director, minister and psychologist, where she has served ever since. Ordained in 1990, Phyllis is a regular Sunday speaker, workshop coordinator, editor, and counselor.


Questhaven and Questhaven Retreat are owned and operated by
the Christward Ministry, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Any amount you spend or give in love helps preserve the nature, heritage and expression of Questhaven. We have operated in this way as a nonprofit with no membership since 1940.