Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Corporate Worship

The key to life-giving corporate worship is private worship. Worshiping God in spirit and truth has alot to do with how I love God when no one sees. Just like being in the Word throughout the week prepares me to hear and receive Sunday's sermon, so being in worship in my home, prepares me to worship God with other believers on the Sabbath. "In spirit and truth" has little to do with emotion and alot to do with setting our love on God and putting all else aside to think about Him and to seek His face. This will look differently for different people. We can have the appearance of worship and be thinking about lunch. Where is truth in that? And we can be very still and not look like we are worshiping but our spirits could be soaring with His in high praise.

For the Father seeketh such to worship Him. O Lord, be worshiped in our midst. Come inhabit the praises of Your people. Forgive us for the times we have pretended to worship You. Help us worship you. Work in us that which pleases You. Amen.

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#11

Written Sept. 18, '08~

Good-morning, what a beautiful day ahead of us.
As King Nebuchadnezzar's army was beseiging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was in prison for suggesting that the king and the nation of Judah should surrender and live, God continued to communicate to the people His message of a future and a hope in spite of their current desperate situation.
In Chapt.32, verses 17-19, Jeremiah replies,"Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them-the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the Lord of Hosts.
You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings."
In verse 27, God answers with assurance, that in the face of impossible difficulty, He had a plan for their future:
"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?"
In chapter 33, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time while he was still in prison (v.3).
"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
As we are about to enter into a completely foreign environment, we need to call on the Lord for spiritual revelation and insight. We need protection and wisdom to effectively minister the gospel of peace and righteousnes. We need to be aware of the "great and might things" which would otherwise be hidden from us, both the beauty and the danger of our surroundings and environment. We don't want to miss anyuthing the Lord has for us on this trip, and not waste a minute of the short time we will be there.
What will you call on the Lord for today? Do you talk to Him often enough that your voice is recognized in heaven? Do you listen for a reply? Have you dared to ask for things that might be out of reach, that result in a response like 32:27~"Are you kidding? Is there anything too difficult for Me?"
We can move out, confident of His response, trusting in the love and power of God to go before us and prepare the way for us to do what He has called us to do, because nothing is too difficult for our God!
Have a great day. See you tomorrow at 1:30. ~Phil

Phil called around 7 this morning. They were just ready to fly out of Heathrow. He and Leon had checked out of the airport and spent some time with Aunt Myrt. I wonder if Leon got his spear through customs. Jr. told Amy that he tried to take a 2 year old along back in his suitcase. He had given his things away and his suitcase was full of things he had bought from the locals in Kenya. Phil think he will be home around 10 tonight. I tried to order something today and my Visa was declined. Then the Visa security agent called and checked out some purchases made outside of the U.S. When they found out that Phil was out of the country, they release my credit card again. I was impressed because he used it this morning and they had cut it off right away. I have one more devotional to write up written on the day they left for Kenya.~I think I will sleep for a week when he comes back. Have had little sleep while he's been gone.

Monday, September 29, 2008


I am waiting for Phil to come home from Kenya. He will fly out of Nairobi tonight around 11 and arrive in Heathrow around 6 in the morning. He will hopefully meet Aunt Myrt in London. He will fly from Heathrow around 1:00 in the afternoon and arrive at the U.S. airport around 4 something. Then, they will drive 3 hours and come home. Today, I have tried to clean a little. I have tried to cook a little. I have done some exercizing and studying. But mostly, I have written. I can't stop writing today. Waiting and writing. Writing and waiting.

Amy said she talked with Jr. one day while he was in Africa. He said that he was bringing a child home with him. He said,"You would love it." She asked,"The child or the place?" Jr. said, "Both."

I think I am waiting to see. Waiting to see how life will change. How can life ever be normal again? What really is important? I am waiting to be held. I am waiting for his cheerfulness. I am waiting to sleep again. I am waiting for his voice. I am waiting for the dogs to not be so jumpy and barky.

I think there have been many times that he has said,"I wish Ann~~~ could see this. " He has probably said this in his morning and my night. Many times, I have woken up and could not get back to sleep. And I wonder what he wants me to see and what reason his soul has cried out to mine. I wonder what I have missed. I am waiting to listen. I am waiting to know.

Little Love Song for Little Hertzler's

I love you, love you, love you
like a frog loves flies.
I love you, love you, love you
like a burger loves fries.
I love you, love you, love you
like the moon loves the sun
I love you, love you, love you
And we've only just begun.

I love you, love you, love you
like the road loves cars.
I love you,love you, love you
like the night loves stars.
I love you, love you, love you
like the waves love the beach.
I love you, love you, love you
And you're just within my reach.

I love you, love you, love you
like a garden loves a hoe.
I love you, love you, love you
like a foot loves a toe.
I love you, love you, love you
like a lion loves the wild.
I love you, love you, love you
I'm so glad that you're my child.

Sweet and Sour

I shared this devotional for our Ladies Progressive Supper. We had a Hawaiian party~a Lou-owl. I can never remember how to spell that word. We served sweet and sour meatballs and pineapple casserole with salty crackers on the top for our main dish.

Matt. 26:36-46~Story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane~

Jesus left us an example~that we should follow in His steps.

~He was clear about His needs. "I am so sad, I could die."
 He could not lie nor did He expand His reality.

~He needed His closest friends and He needed His Father.

Sometimes we go to our friends and not to the Father
 and sometimes we just go to the Father.

  But Jesus wanted and needed both.

He had given His all to these closest friends and now He needed them to give back to Him.

Sometimes, our friends will fail us~we should go to the Father.
Sometimes, we'll fail our friends~we should go to the Father.
Sometimes, no one will fail~we should go to the Father.

When they failed Him, He continued to go to the Father. 
He expressed his disappointment with them clearly,
with words,
 and when they continued to fail, 
He continued to go to the Father.

He did not write them off. 
He did not berate God for giving him sleeping rocks for disciples. 
He went to The Rock and reached out in friendship and authority to His friends after His resurrection and we are here today
 because He built His church on those sleeping rocks who failed Him. 

And through their weakness, the power of God was revealed through the Holy Spirit's work in their lives and God received the glory.

He asked for a way of escape from the bitter cup.
  He resisted drinking that cup~strongly. 
He was close to His Father while He resisted His will.
  He was looking at God's face while He resisted Him.

He surrendered to the Father's will. 
After much struggle, He accepted it.

In life, we hold two cups.
In one hand, we hold a cup of sweetness and good things.
In the other, we hold a cup of bitterness.
There are different intensities to these cups of joy and sorrow.
We need to drink both cups.
Cups do not pass unless we drink them.

Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him~(YOU were that joy)~endured the cross, despised its shame, and is set down at the right hand of His Father.

These two cups make up who we are.

Because our soul is expanded with sorrow and sacrifice,
 it is then also expanded to hold more joy and more grace.
Like a stretched out balloon can hold more air the second time you blow into it.

Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief~
and He was anointed with joy above His brothers.

No one has ever had more sorrow than Jesus.
No one has ever had more joy.

Let us taste fully in life the sweet and the sour;
the sweetness of life and the saltiness of tears.
Just like the sweet and sour meatballs and the sweet and salty pineapple,
the flavor it gives our lives is balanced and full.

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Freeman and Philip's Archives~Take 8

Philip~19 months old~ Bangs himself into the cupboard doors and acts surprized~kind of shakes~turns around and laughs~Impact/reaction Clown Type Joke. Repeats it several times. Showing off for Chelsea.
He loves her so much and she screams when she sees him and runs away. He sneaks over and pulls her hair, keeping his eyes on her mother, Pearl. He likes to hear Chelsea scream. I say,"Say Chelsea." He says, "Chelsea." I say,"Say Mary Lou." He says, "Chelsea."

Freeman says,"I have three girlfriends now; Joy, Kristen, and guess who? "Me~"Allison." Free~"No, she's too old for me...I can't remember her name. She was here with Annika." Me~ "Kendra?" Free~"Yep! Kendra! But don't tell the Mothers."
(Freeman really liked his girl cousins. No use explaining that he couldn't marry his cousins. How does one explain that to a 6 year old?)

Philip had sticky eyelids. One eye was stuck open and the other was stuck halfway shut~sticky from eating lollipops.( I drew a picture in my book.)

Freeman~"I'm going to shoot the hell right out of those wheels."

We were taking the preschoolers back to French Creek Park and went by our house. Freeman said,"Anybody that wants to know about being bred, come to our house." (The dogs had been busy) Joy G. thought he was talking about 'real bread', and was confused.

Freeman, upon hearing about my sis-in-laws tragic death, grabbed my hand and the hand of another beside him and said,"Let's pray." He was two.

Freeman, daydreaming about Kristen,"I'm really stuck with her."

I burned some soup~not that bad. Freeman thought it was pretty terrible. So I lay the heavy on~"There are lots of hungry little children in the world who would be glad to have that." Freeman, not smart alecky, says," Well, if we go find them, maybe we can give it to them."


Excerpt from the book 'Spiritual Mothering' by Susan Hunt~

"Believers can have confidence to approach God because we have been accepted by Him. We have been accepted because of the work of Christ on our behalf. We in turn must extend acceptance to one another. We must be approachable. But people can only approach us with confidence if we have communicated acceptance. It is impossible to encourage one you have not accepted. An attitude of acceptance must be communicated by our words and deeds.

Failure to accept another reveals pride in my own heart: "I know what you should be, what you should do, and how you should do it~my way is right and best." It also reveals lack of trust: "God is not changing you fast enough, so I must help Him.""

The Church

Eph. 3:8~"To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the nations the unsearchable riches of Christ."

Excerpt from The Supplied Life, Bill Freeman-great last name~

"Paul says that he is telling all the nations about these unsearchable riches of Christ. This is how the church happens. This is how the Body takes place on the earth. You do not organize it. You do not name it. You do not set up shop. You do not bring in entertainment. You do not set up programs~nothing like that. That is all a substitute for Christ, and a facade. Instead, you just find people~ordinary people, redeemed people~and gather them together and let the unsearchable riches of Christ flow out. This is the church."

Coming Soon

Has every generation since Jesus ascended into Heaven thought that their generation would be the one that would see Him coming again in the clouds? Has every generation thought that it couldn't get any worse in this world than it is?
I will join the ranks of those who have gone before. They are good company. I think He is coming soon. I think I will not taste death. I think I will hear the trumpet call and go swooping up in the air to meet Him. I think I will be hugged hard in mid-air by Jesus Himself. I can't wait.
But I ask Him to wait. Because not everyone I love is ready. And there are those I love who have those they love that aren't ready. We, with Him, do not want any to perish. So we pray, "Come Lord Jesus, Come." And we pray,"Wait, Lord Jesus, wait."

He can figure it out. He'll come when it is time. Not a moment too soon. Not a moment too late.

And my longing grows. A terrible homesickness within. Come Lord Jesus. Wait a little longer. I can't wait to see you. I want them to see you too. Come. Wait. Come. Wait.

I know! Perhaps He can come almost. Perhaps He can show Himself almost. Perhaps He can be seen more than He has ever been seen before. And in that unveiling, those we are asking Him to wait for will be drawn in. And then, He can really come.

Please Come. Please come and wait.

Pride and Resistance;Humility and Grace

I've been thinking about this. James 4:6b says,"God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."

Again the question is not,'Who's right?' or 'Who's wrong?'
We can be so right that we are wrong,and experience the resistance of God,
and we can humble ourselves when we are wrong and be given grace that makes us right.
Right with God, anyway.
We can also be right and be humble about it and experience the grace of God.
We can be wrong and be prideful in it and experience the resistance of God.
We can be the ones who have done it right and be pointing our finger at the one's who are wrong and God will resist us.
We can have totally messed up our life and the lives of others and if we humble ourselves before God, we will receive His grace.

I hate to be wrong. I hate to mess up. But I think I need to stop worrying about whether I am doing it right and walk with humility before God and wait to see what He wants me to do. Wait. Listen. Be still. Don't respond to the loudest voice but to the still small voice. Don't jump into the crisis at hand. Don't defend myself. Wait. Listen. Be still.

We can look and look but not once will we find where Jesus operated in any level of pride. He said that He could do nothing apart from His Father. This is probably the key to humility; To acknowledge that we can do nothing apart from God and that any good that we have is His goodness. Jesus didn't come to be a Difference Maker. He came to lay down His life and to do what His Father was doing. We want to be people of influence and do great things. We wear ourselves out by striving to make a difference in our world. But Jesus, knowing where He had come from and where He was going, took a towel, and washed His disciple's feet.

But Jesus, knowing where He has come from and where He is going, takes a towel, and washes my feet. Will I receive His humble service?

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace;
Freely bestowed on all who believe
You who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Who said?

Who said,"The main thing is to make sure that the main thing is the main thing."

I have no idea who said that.

Who said,*"To hell with you and your money!"

Peter said this to Simon, the magician, when he offered the apostles money to lay hands on him to give him power. Acts 8:20~J.B.Phillips translation *(These words are exactly what the Greek means. It is a pity that their real meaning is obscured by modern slang usage.)(Note in my Bible~)

Who said,"I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me~"

God, through the prophet Isaiah to the Children of Israel (Is.65:1)
and Paul,(Rom. 10:20) when he was quoting Isaiah.

Why Moses and Elijah?

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 9, we read where Jesus told His disciples what He was going to go through. Eight days later, he took Peter, James, and John off with Him to the mountains to pray. While He was praying, His whole appearance changed. He looked glorious. Moses and Elijah, also in their heavenly splendor, were there with Jesus, talking with Him about all that He must go through and what He must fulfil in Jerusalem.

For the first time, I began to ask the question, "Why Moses and Elijah? What is so special about them that they would be the ones to encourage Jesus and bring Him a glimpse of Heaven?" Could it be that they too, knew what it was like to be human and heavenly? Could it be that they too, were leaders and lovers of the Jewish
people? Were both of them caught up to go be with God without tasting death? How did Moses really die? Jesus had angels comfort Him in the garden, and He had the voice of God affirming who He was. Maybe He needed someone with skin on to encourage Him to go through with it. Maybe they needed to go over the plan again. Maybe they needed to remind Him that He would be with them soon. I don't know. Do you have any ideas? I am sure that there are really good reasons God chose them.

I read in my mother's journal that Moses did make it to the Promised Land. He didn't get in with the Children of Israel, but He got in with the King of Israel, up on the Mountain of Transfiguration.

An accusing finger

Quote by Mow~
"The farther along we are in spiritual growth, the more subtle the temptation grows to condemn ourselves. ~ But Christ says, "You are growing. That is the reason you see more things in your life that are not perfect..." ~ The very fact that we can see our failures and shortcomings is evidence that we are in His Presence which is light.~ An accusing finger is never our LORD's finger."

I remember this quote on our bulletin board at home that my mother had written on my dad's new shirt cardboard.~I think C.S. Lewis said it. " It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us."

Another quote along this line, by Hannah W. Smith~"Christians often make the mistake of looking upon temptation as sin. This brings them into condemnation and discouragement and, if continued in, always ends at last in actual sin. Sin makes an easy prey of a discouraged soul, so that we fall often from the very fear of having fallen."(Christian's Secret of a Happy Life)

Another favorite quote from a man I love~"Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."

New Year's Resolutions~2008

Love God
Give Thanks
Be Content
Do not worry
Eat less
Spend less
Talk less
Drink more

I have these written on a card and propped on my bookshelf. So often, New Year's Resolutions set me up for failure. This time around, I see the list, and am encouraged to do these things, instead of feeling condemned because I have not accomplished some specific goal.

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#10

Written Sept. 17, 2008~

Did you know that humanity is without excuse?
Consider Ps. 19, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork." Parallel that with Jesus' statement about the rocks crying out with praise as He came into Jerusalem. All nature is a testimony to the power, beauty, glory, majesty, magnitude, wisdom, creativity, and the inexhaustible list of attributes of our Creator. As the writer of the Psalm continues, let's pick out a few precious truths to personalize, so we can be enriched according to Proverbs~ wisdom is of greater value than "gold or much fine gold."

We share a common understanding with humanity all over the world. Even though we may speak a different verbal language, all nature is reflecting the work of our creator.

Water flows, trees grow, grass is grazed and the grazers provide food for the food chain. Regardless of the location or specific species, much of nature has a similar function throughout the world. Verse 3 states "There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard." Creation's ability to communicate was not affected by the confusion after the tower of Babel was built.

Verses 7-10 describe the benefits of studying and accepting the law, the testimony, statues and commandments, the judgments and the fear of the Lord. One of the differences between man and the rest of creation is our ability to choose between following God's plan for our lives or rejecting the truth. As His people left Egypt, they were warned not to embrace the religions or heinous practices of the nations they would encounter, and God said some false "gods" required nasty things that never even entered His mind. Here in Psalm 19 we are told that we are warned of danger, greatly rewarded, and our cravings for the finer things in life are satisfied. (v 10,11) If a particular species of animal
were to decide to disregard the built-in warning God provided as part of their instinct, they would soon cease to exist. It is amazing to see the nature documentaries and watch something like sea turtles racing for the surf as soon as they hatch. Who teaches them to avoid danger? Or what if one of the planets or stars all of a sudden decided to chart their own course? They don't have the option to change their mind or their instinct.

In our world today, many people are choosing to disregard the truth and blame other people for the results. Yesterday, Lehman and AIG were newsmakers. It was suggested that our political leaders knew just how shaky these institutions were, and should have warned the public. Finger pointing and accusations; blame somebody else.

But in God's economy, He expects personal responsibility. Verses 12-14 encourage us to seek God's cleansing, and to be blameless and innocent of evil before Him. We must "know the truth" and choose to live as wise and converted individuals, according to verse 7.
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
Have a great day, Phil.

Just got an e-mail from Phil.(Mon-29th) They are in Nairobi. It was 5:30 in the eve there when it was 10:30 in the morning here. He did not get my e-mail about meeting his Aunt Myrt in Heathrow, but I sent another one right away. Also got an e-mail from Terry. She lost her prayer book on the way to Nairobi and was distraught. Pray that she finds it. It is not your ordinary prayer book. I think they will be home tomorrow afternoon/evening some time. Yippee!!!

Humanities Unity

I've been thinking about these things.

As human beings we are united in our insignificance.
 "What is man that thou art mindful of him?"

We are united in our value. "But you have made man a little lower than the angels."
 What amazing dignity God has given to each person on this earth.

We are united in our sinfulness and our need for a Savior. 
"For all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God."

In Christ, in the church, we are also united in our need for forgiveness and justification.

We are united in our spiritual possessions.
  We have in our treasury all the unsearchable riches of Christ.

We are united in our position.
We are seated with Him in the heavenly places. 

We are united in our kinship. 
God is our Father and Jesus is our brother.

We have nothing. We have everything. 
We are sinners. We are forgiven. 
We are crushed. We have dignity.

We are dirt. We are gold.

Jesus prayer recorded in John 17~"I am not praying only for these men but for all who will believe in me through their message, that they may be one. Just as you, Father, live in me and I live in you, I am asking that they may live in us, that the world may believe that you did send me. I have given them the honour that you gave me, that they may be one, as we are one~I in them and you in me, that they may grow complete into one, so that the world may realise that you sent me and have loved them as you loved me.~~~~I have made you known to them and I will continue to do so that the love which you have had for me may be in their hearts~and that I may be there also."

Our unity, then, is the same unity Jesus has with His Father. 
And they have come to make their home in us and reveal their love to us and through us.

  This is the key to the world believing that God sent Jesus.

 Dear God and Jesus, live in me, and reveal your unity and love for each other in and through me to your children who know You and to all those who have the dignity of being created a little lower than the angels. How precious is every one in Your sight.

His Mercies Are New Every Morning...

My friend, Judy Blue-eyes, sent me this letter on Friday. I asked her if I could print it in my blog. You've been reading about Judy and Sammy Jo. Sammy Jo is about 2 months old now and Judy Blue~Eyes is her loving grandmama.

Hi Baby doll,
A few months ago, before I knew Sammy Jo had been conceived, I had a constant prayer going up to God. This prayer was asking Him to bring an infant into my life to love and hold. My arms had been aching to hold a baby again. My youngest grandchild is seven years old, and too big to hold. I missed the smell of baby skin, kissing their little feet, and rocking a baby to sleep, while singing over them, as my grandmother did me.
Even though Sammy Jo has been born out of wedlock, and to such young parents, I know God has a purpose and plan for her life. She has already melted my heart, and caused me to slow down and enjoy life. I treasure every moment with her. I sing praises and old hymns to her while rocking her to sleep. I pray blessings over her, while rocking, and ask God to use her in a special way for His kingdom. I treasure every flutter of her little eyelids, every little grin and frown.
I thank God so so much for blessing me with this precious gift of love!

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I love you so much, and love to share what's on my heart to you. I pray for Phil's safety each day, and that God brings him home to his loving, beautiful(inside and out) wife.
Love, Judy-Blue Eyes

...Great is Thy Faithfulness O Lord~~~

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mother's Journal

Look what I found in my mother's journal written in 1999~

Sept.27~She writes," All the things that I would like to do and may never get done, such as send some of these 'writings' for use in some publications, may be done by one of the girls. And maybe God will say,"You did well that it was in your heart." 1 Kings 8:18. Solomon fulfilled David's dream.
Maybe my blogging of some of my mother's journal is a small part of fulfilling her dream. It makes my heart glad to think it is true.


God brings terrible punishment on Moah for her idolatry and many sins. Jer.48:1-47~Yet while He does it His heart wails like flutes for Moab v 38a~and I think, dear God, why waste Your heart grieving for them? And I think of L~ F~, that awful man that lashes out against Christians and said on TV last night, " I got over being a Christian." I felt like should pray forhim but it seemed so useless. But my dear Father's heart is assuredly wailing over him like a flute, also. ~


Although God loves even while He punishes, we must remember He expects obedience and we cannot presume on that love. In 1 Kings 13~
the poor prophet who disobeyed God's command and believed the lie of the old prophet was killed by a lion. Any word that is given that is contrary to God's Word should not be believed regardless of the age or title of the one who givs it. Then in 1 Chron. 13:9-10 Uzza died beause he touched the ark of God~something that God commanded never to be done. Disobedience again, even though he was trying to do a good thing~to keep the ark from falling. This is also sobering. Both men were seemingly godly and trying to serve God. But they had lost their fear of Him and had become lax in their way of living and obeying.

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#9

Written Sept.16~

Good morning,
Another day closer to our great adventure.
Are you ready? Are your suitcase and carry on bag packed?
In one of His parables, Jesus blessed the servants that were ready and waiting for the master to return, no matter what hour of the day or night.

The fact of the matter is this: when it's time to go, we're out of here. It doesn't matter what we have done to be prepared, time is up. For this trip, we know with reasonable certainty what day we will leave, and what time we will meet to drive to the airport. We have a stated deadline, and have the ability to make it a priority. We can get to a point and say, well, what's done is done and what didn't get done can be done when I get back.
But what about life?
What about our date with eternity?
Jesus indicated those who were ready were pleasing to Him.

What do I need to do today, and continually, in order to have my spiritual "bags" packed, ready to go wherever He calls? How do I prepare for my Master's return, and not be caught without oil in my lamp? What does it mean to keep my lamp burning through the night, and have wisdom to maintain a reserve when others around me are without and are making strong emotional appeals for me to share? In Matt. 25:9 Jeus indicates those who keep enough spiritual resources for themselves are wise, and aren't responsible to meet the needs of the foolish people.

What if God's plan for me doesn't mean "coming back", but moving on to another geographic or vocational location?
Regardless of where we are called, or the duration of service, the daily mission is to be prepared, to be found waiting for the Master, faithful until His return.
God bless you with a great day, Phil.

I am getting really excited about them coming home. I haven't let myself think about it all week, but now the time is getting closer. I wonder if they will drive out to Nairobi today or tomorrow. I have heard that for every time zone crossed, it will take that many days to recover from jetlag. For ex. if they have crossed 7 time zones, they will need a week to get back to a regular schedule. When I got back from Thailand, there was a 12 hour difference. Phil picked me up at 9 that night and I talked for hours because it was my morning. He tried hard to stay awake, knowing that I needed to talk, and not wanting to miss anything. I'm sure we won't hear about everything all at once. Oh~taking melatonin at night is supposed to help with jet lag.
I am going to record Phil's accounting of their adventures on the blog. Oh- I think they are going on a safari today or tomorrow. Fun, Fun. Hope Leon and Phil stay in the vehicle!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Coming Home

Every summer, my mother and father would pack up our family for two weeks of travel around the United States. Half the time, we would spend the night at a motel, for my father's sake, and the rest of the time, we would camp, for my mother's sake. We enjoyed our travels, but my favorite part was the coming home.

During the last day of vacation, we would be determined to sleep in our own beds that night. So we would travel the last few hours in the dark. We always fell asleep but would awaken as soon as our car tires hit the gravel stones that made up our long driveway. We knew we were home.

Eight years ago, we heard about a farm in Va. that was for sale. We had prayed for 'wide and open place, free from restriction'. We decided to check it out. When we began to drive down the long lane of this farm, I heard the familiar sound of car tires on gravel. And again, I woke up inside, and knew that I was coming home.

Three years would go by before we could call this our home. We gave up our dream and then it was given back to us. We waited and prayed and kept the secret of the farm for a whole year before we let anyone else know, just in case it would fall through again. I love our bit of Heaven here on earth. I love our community and church and school. But most of all, I love the lane. When my tires hit the stones, I know I am coming home.

I think there will be some sort of sound like that when it is time to go to my other Home. It won't be leaving of this home but a going in deeper into a Home within this home. There will be another beloved lane; another bed to sleep in. There will be a sigh of relief. There will be a wonderful knowing that I'll never need to leave my Home again.

How I long for my Heavenly Lane. How I long for Home.

Who Said?

Who said,"If you believe, you will see the wonder of what God can do."

Who said,"As your days, so shall your strength be~~~The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms."

Moses spoke these words of Asher. They were some of the last words he spoke before he went up to the mountains to die.(Duet.33:25,27)

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#8

Written Sept.15~Happy Anniversary, Rosalee and Jim!

I woke up this morning remembering the words of Psalm 100~
"We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations."

Truth is powerful. According to the Word, we "shall know the truth, and the truth will make us free." So truth and freedom are connected. Can we have one without the other? Does this mean that as long as we are His people and the sheep of His pasture we will experience God's goodness, mercy and freedom? What is our responsibility to ensure the following generations will want to continue to be His people and the sheep of His pasture? And the question that may more directly apply to our trip, how can we introduce a new person, family, or people group to our good, merciful God who is worthy of all our thanks and praise?

Lord God Almighty, help us to do Your will today and everyday, speak Your words of kindness and truth, live like You would want us to live, and be the good soil that produces an abundant harvest. Fill us today with the Holy Spirit according to John 16:13~ "When the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth..."so that "speaking the turth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him who is the head~Christ~ from whom the whole body , joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." Eph. 4:1, 16

Each one of us has a vital part in the body of Christ, and we should know and effectively communicate the truth.
Have a great day, Phil.

Nanette got a call from Cheri. She said that all was going well and that the guest house would have the finishing touches put on it today. Nanette said that Cheri sounded peaceful which was how I thought Phil sounded too. Let's pray for them even more as they finish their mission, that they would stay in the grace of God and enjoy the trip until the end. They have experienced something the rest of us haven't and I can't wait to hear about it. It might be a bit hard for them to adjust to "regular" life. We might have to give them some time...
Missi said that Leon bought a bow and arrow. Wonder what that looks like...Watch out Farmville!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Please Read

Please read Lindsaysjustjournaling blog listed on my blogsite. Just hit her address or the words,"My face."
It makes me weep with longing to long more to seek His face. Thank you Lindsay, for reminding me about what is really important. I want the whole world to read what you write. I love you, Annie

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#7

Written Sept.14~

Good Morning,
Sunday morning and we will be in the house of the Lord today.
In between the scriptures we looked at in Exodus is the directive from the Lord;
that of keeping the Sabbath.
The first we hear about the Sabbath is when God sent the manna, and the people were told not to even go out and look for it, but to take a day off and rest. El-Shaddai was angry when they didn't believe Him and went out and looked for manna in spite of specific instructions. He was their provider, and could do so much more with their obedience than with their human efforts.
Let's look at the list of benefits in Exodus 31:12-17 of keeping the Sabbath~being obedient of God's desires for us.
First, it is a "Sign for all time that God sanctifies" us, personally and corporately(v13). Next, v14,"It is holy to us", and for the children of Israel; anybody who profaned the Sabbath would be put to death. Anybody caught working on the Sabbath would be cut off from the congregation. This is repeated, re-emphasized in v 15," Whoever does work on the Sabbath shall surely be put to death."
God's plan for His people, His permanent covenant throughout the generations, included the Sabbath as a provision for "rest and refreshment"(v17). similar to His satisfaction after the creation of the heavens and the earth.
We know that Jesus came to fulfill the law, and He is Lord of the Sabbath. What does it mean for us today to keep the sabbath? Do you have a personal understanding with your Father in regard to this? I am thankful His plan for me includes rest and refreshment, not just work, work, work like I would be prone to do. God's best doesn't mean work until you are exhausted, then rest because you have collapsed. That's not rest and refreshment. That's not a plan for a long, happy life.
Tap into God's best for you. Ask Him to show you what it means to enter into His Sabbath rest. Ask Him to reveal His will for your life regarding rest and refreshment.
Personally, I believe this mission trip is part of a Sabbath experience for us; not to try to do things on our strength, but seek to obey His voice, and don't run out to gather stuff when we already have enough for the day. Don't be stressed about tomorrow, rest in God's eternal promise that He will meet all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Haven't heard anything from Phil yesterday or today. My niece, Michelle, saw his truck parked at the church and told her mom,"That makes me miss Uncle Phil." We can be sure that they could reach us if there was any kind of emergency. Wild, windy, and rainy here yesterday and today. Financial crisis in the nation affecting the whole world's money market. And God has promised us enough manna for today. He has promised a Sabbath rest. We are in this world, but not of the world's kingdom. Let not our hearts be troubled. Let not our hearts be afraid, O God.~

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#6

Written Sept.13~

Saturday morning~
Imagine not sleeping all night in Galveston and looking through windows that got blown out in the morning light. Dear Lord, be with those people and help them recover quickly.

The difference between Exodus 3:1-11 and chapter 32:1-11 is striking. God tells Moses in 31 that He will fill individuals with His Spirit to do His perfect will. All they need to do is be available. But even while the instructions for the temple are being carefully written down on stone tablets, the natives are getting restless. Look what happens when they get anxious and jumpy, nervous that things in the leadership team aren't moving along like they think they should be. Of course, when 1.5 million people are piled up in the middle of nowhere like they were, I suppose I might have done some second guessing myself.

The difference between the results of God's plan being implemented and man's idea of what God wants are polar opposites. God expects to be obeyed, and provided a clear directive to Moses in such a way that misinterpretation would be difficult~a stone eraser had not yet been invented. But back at the camp, impatience was rising. It had been 47 days since they had promised (24:7) "All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient." A couple of chapters have passed, and in 32:1 their opinion of God and his servant Moses has changed to "We don't know what has become of him."

If you have investments of any type~stocks, real estate, savings account, cattle, etc. or know people who do, common knowledge is that timing is everything. There is a time to sell, and a time to buy. For the nation of Israel, this would have been a good time to wait for Moses to reappear from out of the cloud on the mountain with Joshua and the Word of the Lord.

What is interesting later on in the chapter is God didn't punish Aaron for his lack of leadership which resulted in the unrestrained action of the people. Apparently, what Aaron did was not a sin against God, because God's response to Moses' personal sacrificial offer was that (v.33) " Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book."

God's way:anointing for a specific work that results in worship that is pleasing to Him at no cost, only obedience.

Man's way:"Give me your gold" to build an idol that looks like what man thinks God looks like, right here~right now. I don't want to wait for the divine anointing. It might not be what I expect. Since I have paid for it, it needs to feel good and exciting to compensate me for my investment.

We read that about 3,000 men died that day at the command of the Lord, and later on "The Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made."

As we prepare for this endeavor, let's purpose to wait on the Lord for His anointing and personal instructions. We can expect great things as we move "In the shadow of the Almighty."

Have a great day, Phil.

Heard from Phil's aunt today who lives in London. She will meet Phil at the information center in the airport at 9:00 Tuesday morning. I visited Phil's truck last night. It's parked in the church lot. I walked around it and looked at his stuff. I gave it a little pat and looked around to see if anyone saw me do it. There was a message on the phone when I got home from my neighbor. She said the sheriff said that there is a rash of robberies in the area. I called Dianna and she promised that she and Steve would come over if I needed them. I slept with the phone beside me and she did too. The boys were already asleep. I'm not really worried, but I want to act responsibly. I'm thankful for our guardian angels with wings and our guardian angels with fur and growls~Sampson and Angel. There was a cricket in the boys room that kept them awake. Michael said that he never came so close to swearing in his life. Philip left their room and came in the house to sleep in the back room. Susan's cricket cage was in there~a symphony of sounds rather than one raspy solo. Philip removed the cages. Over yonder, Michael turned on his lights and stalked the cricket until he got him. We could all use a little more sleep around here.~

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#5

Written Sept 12~

This morning the malaria pill goes down the hatch.
Reading from Exodus 31 and 32~what a story!
First of all, I was impressed with the fact that God personally picked individuals for the work of building the tabernacle, designing and crafting the different items for beauty and function. We don't know if they already had some exposure to this type of work, living in Egypt and working in different industries there. I'm sure they didn't all make bricks. There would have been many other trades that required laborers and hard working assistants.

God says in v6 that He provided wisdom so His commands could be performed. We can ask our Father for wisdom for this adventure, to be effective in our actions, our thoughts, and our words. Let's plan to be encouragers to each other, to John and Terry, and to the people we meet on our trip. The flight may be tedious, but beats walking or swimming. Our bags may not arrive on time, but we have been warned and have the ability to be prepared for that. God has a work for us to do, and I believe we can trust in Him for specific personal direction and ability to complete what each one of us is called to do.

We don't read that those individuals asked God for help. They didn't know at that point that Moses was receiving instructions for a tabernacle or articles of worship. These were all new ideas~ the tabernacle and asssociated items. But they must have had some sort of relationship with God, because He knew their names and their existing or potential talents. So to help Moses with this project, God provided the wisdom so all Moses had to do was tell the craftsmen what had been spoken.

Moses didn't have to tell them step by step. They "got it" from God. Isn't it good when we "get it", or when you are giving someone instruction and they "get it"?

Dear Lord, help us "get it" quickly, and not burden you with continual asking or excuses. Help us put our trust in You, and hear Your voice.
Have a great day, Phil.

Phil called this morning around 6:15.(Sept.24) They had just eaten lunch. He said they were building a stone wall. He sounded really good. He said they were having a wonderful time and that the weather was hot and breezy. He needed to touch base with the Freeman and Philip regarding the business. They are doing things that would be difficult to do even if he was with them. I am so proud of them.
I put him on speaker phone and woke Susan up to the sound of his voice. She woke up immediately and said cheerfully, "Hi, Dad!"

Who Said?

Who said, "A person can receive nothing at all, unless it is given to him from Heaven."

Who said, " How on earth can you believe while you are for ever looking for each other's approval and not for the glory that comes from the one God?"

John the Baptist

My niece Kelly's little boy, Noah James

I met my niece, Kelly, at the Cracker Barrel in Allentown when I was up in Pa. this summer. I got to meet her baby, Noah James. People would stop and ask me if I noticed how he was looking at me. Maybe he thought I looked familiar. I do look alot like my brother, his Grandpa Alan.
Noah James is adorable and sweet and edible, as you can see.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


On Sept. 19, I came home from school, knowing that Phil was on his way to the airport and Michael was about to have his friends come over for his birthday party. Some of my favorite people were waiting for me on the porch. Gil, Lindsay, Emma, and Adison were keeping the dogs company and looking like they belonged. They were going on a Chi Alpha Retreat and were allowing me the joy of keeping Emma for the weekend. Freeman was going as well to lead worship. Lindsay said,"We are trading our first-borns."
We had a great time with Emma. She is so smart. She loves to color, write her letters, snuggle, watch movies, ride the Gator, and suck her pacifier. Philip could hardly bear it when she would call,"Mommy!" whenever he came around. She would run to Susan or I and avoid him as much as possible. She even covered her eyes and averted her face so she wouldn't have to look at him when he was sitting at the table. He is just not used to this kind of treatment from the female species. I thought she was starting to warm up to him by the time she left. She didn't scream when he kissed her.
When Gil and Lindsay came back, she was sitting on my lap. She stayed there when they came in and was friendly to them, but she just kept sitting on my lap. Her mother had the wisdom to know that this was a good sign. Adison kept watching Emma. Adison is 8 months old I think. They played together nicely on the floor. Emma and I shared a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream . We ate popcorn and jelly beans too. Popcorn and ice cream is what Hertzler's have for Sunday supper.

I miss my little Emma. I miss her warm little body snuggled up to mine in my big lonely bed. I miss the little breathing sounds she makes when she just falls asleep. Emma is not bone of my bone nor flesh of my flesh, but it sure feels like she is.

Summer Vacation-going through customs

We've had some interesting experiences while on summer vacation. I have several fond memories that are wrapped around what could have been a very trying experience at the time for my parents.

We went into Mexico for a few minutes to look for a motel. We drove around the block and came back out to re-enter the good ol' U.S. of A. Only it wasn't that easy. The customs office wanted to look through all our stuff. My dad had to get all the suitcases out of the trunk and the storage bin on top of our station wagon. I could tell he wasn't too happy. But guess what he did? He began to auctioneer. Loudly. The Mexican's curious stares did not deter him from having his own good time. I think they thought he was swearing at them.

Another time, we were up in Canada and coming back into the states. My brother had begged my dad to buy some fireworks, but he refused because he knew that we couldn't bring them across the border. When we got to the customs office, they asked us if we had weapons, fireworks, etc. For some reason, this tickled my fireworks brother's funny bone and he snickered. His snicker costs us all kinds of problems. I am sure they searched through our belongings and I remember that my dad had to go into the office. He said that he had to swear on a Bible that he didn't have any fireworks. I wonder now, if he made that up. My fireworks brother is still the Biggest Show on July 4th. I think even the cops come to watch.

Michael~by B.L.Diffenbach

My mother wrote this poem for Michael today. I love it! It describes him perfectly. Michael turned 17 on Sept.19, 2008.


Full of grace
Steadfast of purpose
A smile on his face.
He loves to explore
Down by the creek
Burnished copper curls
On his cheek.

At home in the kitchen
In the fields he is great
Loved as a student
As a fixer first rate
What will he do?
What will he be?
He will follow God's purpose
And we will see.

Mother's Journal

Why does the Lord want us to cling to Him?
"Jer. 13:11b-..that they may become my people, for renown, for praise, and for glory."

11 Sam. 18:33`19:4- David, the man after God's own heart, grieves bitterly again after the loss of a son (Absalom)~reprobate and traitor that he was. Does not our God feel the same when His reprobate children die without Him?!

The time to cry to God for help is the exact moment that we need it~not to wait until we can find a quiet place of concentration, etc.
1 Chron.5:20~"They cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him."

Real Class

I wrote this Christmas, 1993. It is spoken like a conservative rap piece. Motions help but then I really embarass my children.

"It's not the clothes you wear
~ not your nose in the air
That's not class.
It's not the car you drive
It's not the way you arrive
That's not class.
It's not where you go to dine
~ not a house so fine
That's not class.
Can you hire and fire?
Got diploma's to admire?
That's not class.

That's not class
Oh, no, no, no, no
That's not class.
That's not class
Oh, no, no, no, no
That's not class.

It's bein' loving and kind
Bein' thoughtful of mind
It's sayin' thank-you and please
It's doin' right when no one sees
It's The Golden Rule
It's watchin' out for a soul
It's a friendly smile
It's goin' the extra mile

That's real class, baby~ baby
That's real class.
That's real class, baby~ baby,
That's real class.

So don't you fear my dear
If it doesn't a-p-pear
That you got what it takes
'Cause for goodness sakes
It's not the glitter on the outside
But the gold you're made of inside
That's real class, baby ~baby
That's real class.
That's real class, sugar~ sugar,
That's real class.

The Second Question

I heard this teaching from K. Yoder a number of years ago. I was reading the scripture again lately, and am going to try to explain it here.
Joshua 5:13-15~
"And it came to pass , when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to HIm and said,"Are you for us or for our adversaries?"

So He said,"No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." 

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?"

Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.

Like Joshua, when we are facing a conflict,
 we want to know whether God is on our side. 
 We want to know if we are right and the opposing side is wrong.

  Sometimes, we can be watching a conflict in a church body and we can hear the different points of view and we think we have to decide who is right and who God is pleased with.

  We ask the first question or something like it.
" Are you for us or for our adversaries?"
Or "Is this person right or is this other person right?" 
How did the Commander of the Army answer that question?


(NO-I am not for you?
 Or, NO, I am not for your adversaries?
What kind of "NO" do you mean?)

"No, but as Commander of the Army of the Lord, I am now here."

So, it appears, Joshua asked the wrong question as so often do we.
The Commander did not really answer the question that was asked him.
At least, he did not answer the question in the way Joshua had hoped.

So Joshua tried again.
He fell on his face and worshipped,
and he asked a Second Question.

"What does my Lord say to His servant?"
And the answer? " Take off your sandal~the place where you stand is holy." 

  Remember the significance of the sandal in the story of Ruth? 

The surrender of the sandal , according to my Bible notes, symbolized the surrendering of all rights to what went with it. Like removing a hat, this was a sign of humility and respect.

In other words, God was saying to Joshua and now says to us,
"Worship Me. I am here.  Don't be set on being right or winning. Worship Me. Give up your rights. Give up your ownership of needing to be right or of knowing for certain who is right.
  Ask the Second Question,'What do you want to say to me?'
And worship Me by giving Me what is yours."

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down.

Kenya Trip Objectives

Phil asked Johnny Brynan to come up with a clear objective for their time together in Kenya. This is what John wrote on Sept 11. Phil sent it to the rest of the team.

"I think a clear objective for our time together would be that we work in unity to construct guest houses that will be a major benefit to the people of this area. I envision many visitors coming to this neglected area, bringing blessings to the (local people) because of these guest houses. We are going to be the ones to make the sacrifice of love to complete the project. By sacrifice, I mean we will be cramped into our house somewhat like a dormitory. Not much privacy and only one bathroom for twelve people. We do have an outhouse though. But for the visitors who return and for those who visit in the future, they will have a great home base to work from. The underlying theme of this mission trip is to bring the gospel, medical help and encouragement to the people here by way of guest houses. A side benefit will be our interaction with the people here. They will just love all of you, and you them. Another side benefit will be that we will all be drawn closer together as brothers and sisters because of our time together. Not all of us are craftsmen. Some will prepare meals, some are carpenters, some masons, some will help wherever they are needed. We will all share meals together and at night have a devotional and sing under the stars. I know this is going to be a great time for all of us. I am excited about it. Philippians 2:2-5 comes to mind as good verses for this trip. 'Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. '
I would also encourage each person coming to have his or her home church upholding them in prayer. I think it is a good plan for each person to select at least three or four close friends or family members to keep them in constant prayer throughout the entire time. God is ready to do great things through us as we yield to Him.~~Your brother, Johnny"
Please keep praying for the team.

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#4

Written Sept. 10, 2008

Teaching or Doing?

Wed. Morning, trying to get out the door, not enough hours in the day but definitely not enough minutes in the morning.

As we read about our Lord's experience at the hands of the law in Luke 23, we see that in verse 5 , His accusers have saved the most vicious accusation for last: "..He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea..." There are many other references in the gospels to the fact that Jesus' main focus was to teach the multitudes, or to teach His disciples. Sometimes it seems as if He was a bit frustrated with those who followed Him for the miracles, or the free lunch.

James says,
"Show me your faith by your works." Jesus used His works to show His authority. His words were life, and still are for us today. Although the miracles were powerful and lifechanging at the time for those who received them, the words that Jesus spoke and the words that were written as a record of His words and actions while He was here on earth had a continuing effect on ensuing generations. They are still powerful for us today, and will be powerful and lifechanging for new believers and generations to come.

So it would seem as if our actions are important as a declaration of our faith for today, but our words can shape the destiny of generations to come.

Words are powerful.
Have a great day, Phil.

Yesterday, the team travelled 9 hours to reach Johnny and Terry's home in the Pokot Region. They drove on roads and after awhile, there was no more road and they drove on. One of the men said that he was seeing stars like he has never seen them before. Pastor Patrick, an associate of Hopewell Christian Fellowship, drove one of the vehicles, I think. ( The team bought their food in Nairobi, drove three hours, spent the night, and then drove the 9 hours to the Brynan's.)

Today I am working on communicating with Phil's Uncle Dan and Aunt Mert who live in London. The team will have a 7 hour layover in Heathrow on their way home and he is hoping to see them during that time. Yesterday, I was alone most of the day and I missed Phil way too much. The children miss him too. I had some phone time with some dear friends that eve. and it helped to ease the loneliness...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Freeman and Philip Archives~Take Seven

Freeman-5 1/2-"Everybody at church is pregnant...except Mary Lou..she isn't. (Mary Lou was his 2nd mom)

Philip-1 1/2-At bedtime, lays in my arms and tells me about his day with smiles and expressions for about two minutes.

Philip hit me on the nose with a stuffed pig.Me-"Ouch".
Philip-"~~~~happened?" Very concerned and kissed my nose.

Philip dropped his bottle on my toes. Me~"Ouch, you dropped your bottle on my toes." Philip knelt down and kissed my toes.

Freeman says to Philip when he's doing something naughty~"Now get down from there...that's my good boy," and then he pats him on his back.

Freeman and Philip hug and kiss alot. Philip bites alot, too, but I always warn him that if he bites me, I'll bite back and he's pretty careful.

In response to my question, "What does a chicken say?" Philip said,"Bwauk, Bwauk, Bwauk." Philip puts a large sieve over his head and growls, chasing me. I scream,"It's a bear~~~!" He pulls it off. I say,"Oh, it's just Philip." He giggles.

Dropped Freeman off at Mary Lou's. Freeman says,"Know somethin' Mom?" Me-"What?" Free~"God bless ya'."

Freeman~"Fred and Abe are alike."
Me~"Fred who?"
Free~"Fred Rogers and Abe Diffenbach~They both wear the same kind of sweaters."

Freeman~"Mommy, if I wore glasses would I be able to read? Mr. Rogers can read when he wears glasses."

Philip,18 months, growls at me. I said,"What is it?" (scared) He says,"Bear."

Phil's Kenya Devotional~#3

In Acts 8:26-end of chapter we read about Philip's great adventure. In verse 26 an angel of the Lord spoke to him, telling him where to go.

A few things here; one is that in almost every instance where an angel appeared to somebody, they were not just afraid, but greatly afraid. So maybe this was similar to when the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream prior to the birth of Jesus. It doesn't say Joseph was afraid or troubled.

What is it like to hear an angel speak? Have I experienced this without knowing or realizing just how close to heaven I was?

Secondly, the angel gave vague directions. But the directions were accurate enough to have the apostle in the right place at the right time. After he had arrived in the general vicinity, it was the Holy Spirit's turn, and Philip must have been really listening now, because he received specific instruction in order to do and say the right thing.

What an opportunity! He met a man who was searching for the truth, and was able to explain the story of salvation in such a way to this influential individual that he gladly believed the message and was baptized.

But the Holy Spirit wasn't finished with Philip that day. He had other things for him to do. Can you imagine the Ethiopian's surprise when the apostle disappeared, and can you imagine how Philip might have felt suddenly arriving at a distant location?

All this because he was listening.

He heard the angel of the Lord, he heard the directions of the Spirit of the Lord, and he heard the Ethiopian official invite him into his chariot for a ride.

Let's listen, and not let things like vague directions and intimidating officials keep us from following through or sharing our testimony.

Have a great day, Phil

Got an e-mail from Phil this morning, giving some job directions to the boys. He wrote about the elephant orphanage and the other wild animals that they saw. I think they are on their way to The Boonies today.