Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Time Has Come

We signed up with a Christian Care Un-Insurance Company. Our payments are alot less per month and we send our payment to someone else in the organization who is in need. This group is requiring us to be pro-active as far as taking control of our health goes. There are five of us in the family considered to be overweight and we have been put on a strict diet and exercise regime. It's been a bit overwhelming.

We have our own personal trainer via the phone. She calls on Thursday afternoons and checks up on us. We are writing down everything we eat and drink and are also recording what kind and how much aerobic and strength training exercise we accomplish per day. It's been good discipline. We are to start with 30 min. a day of walking or other aerobic activity and work up to 60 min. per day, five times a week. We are also to do strength and core exercises for 20 min. twice a week. I do them every day as well. It's been a bit overwhelming.

The tricky thing is to keep track of everyone's food and exercise. We have nice forms to fill out. Even Susan is writing down everything. I am learning to cook with brown rice again and am limiting our meat intake, fat intake, sugar intake, etc. etc. I made this stuff yesterday. I cooked some brown rice, added some raw carrots, onions, and turnips, a can of salmon and wrapped it in steamed cabbage leaves and put them in the crockpot and covered it with tomato juice. It was downright awful. Really. I had a little bit and told Susan that she could give her's to the dogs when she came to me apologetically, not wanting to hurt my feelings and not wanting to eat the goulash. Phil loved it. Michael didn't mind it. But they are guys. They'll eat anything. It's been a bit overwhelming.

I feel better already. I lost two pounds this week. I've been doing my exercise and eating healthily for the most part. Angela is my personal consultant and she is a great help. She is just a few years older than I am. We are becoming friends in this whole process. She is kind to everyone in the family and builds us up with her words. I believe we are going to do well with this. I just talked with her in the midst of writing this and it's not so overwhelming afterall.

Triple A's~Triple F's

Today, Jan. 29, 2009, Alethea, Angel, and Annette met at Alethea's house for an afternoon of Food, Fun, and Fellowship. We had barbecued chicken breast sandwiches and fries for lunch and blueberry muffins and coffee after lunch. Angel brought her 7 month old nephew, Titus, along and we ate him up, too. These girls are great listeners and precious friends. I can't really repeat what we talked about because I promised...

Every time we've been together we say, "We've got to do this more often." I feel 'better' than I have for awhile. Time with them is what the doctor ordered. Thank you, Alethea, for getting us together. I love you. Annie~

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jan. 23-26,2009~Hertzler Doings

Ryan Petersheim has been down all week, trapping with Philip. They caught 2 red foxes, 2 gray foxes,(kept alive) 4 racoons, 1 possum, 2 skunks, 1 rabbit and a squirrel. (Last year they were more successful.) They built a fire and wrapped the rabbit and the squirrel in bacon and roasted them over the fire.
On Friday night, I went to Dianna's for a movie night with the women from church. We watched 'Return To Me.' Everyone brought food and we had a great time. On Saturday, Phil made a huge breakfast to celebrate Ryan's stay with us. He made hashbrowns, eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits. Freeman spent most of the day tearing the ceiling off of one of the rooms in the old house. We are fixing up a room for him in there and are selling the camper. Phil spent most of the day hauling and spreading manure. John G. came over to get a load to spread on the raised beds that he and Jeanne are preparing for their vegetable garden. Susan and I tore around on the Gator, picking up trash on the lane and our property. It was a nice, warmer day. We took Mickey's cake plate back out to her and she gave us a gift. She gave us a 5x7 framed picture of our family and Tom's family Christmas Caroling in her kitchen. She's gave me one for Tom's and is making another print for me to give to Dad for his birthday this Friday. Rick and Deb G. came over and delivered our rocking chair to us. Deb has done an excellent job reupholstering it. It's beautiful. They picked up some old barn boards from the barn that had fallen down to fix up one of their old barns. Philip and Ryan shot crows and went trapping and Michael was running around taking care of different things on the farm. Susan and I were joined by Phil and we watched 'Sleepless in Seattle' on Sat. eve.
On Sunday morning, General B~ shared his testimony. He was in a special force with our military and was involved in all kinds of rescue missions. Time and time again, he experienced the miraculous intervention of God on behalf of himself and his men who served under him. Chace, Jordan, and Travis came here after church. They bought some things at Walmart and had their own lunch over a fire. Philip was down at the river with his friends, frying up burgers over a fire down there. Kelsey, Whitney, Chad, Zack, Christi, Cynthia, Ryan, and Philip came in to warm up a little after being outside for so long.
Susan had gone home with Miss Lori to study for The Stars test for Missionettes. She missed Abigale's 9th birthday party. The rest of us went to Tom's for a pizza supper. Phil wrote Abby a little poem and we gave her some cash. The Baker family was also there. Don told me he reads my blog and likes it. I didn't know that I had any men in my audience. Before we left, we had a time of prayer with Michelle, who is leaving next Monday for EXCEL~a school type experience for young ladies based in Texas. Phil and I went to church to pick up Susan from Human Video practise.
On Monday, I met Helen in Farmville at Caryn's. We found a dress that might work for Anne's wedding. Yippee! Now we need to find out if the black satin can have a matte finish. We went to Daily Grind for lunch. I ran more errands and picked up the children from school. We are expecting snow tomorrow and the kids are hoping that there is no school. It would be fun to see some real snow. I'd have to take Susan for a spin behind the gator. I'm not sure what I can tie behind it to pull her along, but I am counting on snow before it's here, aren't I.

Phil's poem for Abigale:

Abby had a tabby
that was a tabby cat
Her tabby cat had kittens
She gave each one a hat
That kept them dry in thunderstorms
and shaded from the sun
But the silly little kittens
said 'Mom, these are no fun!
Forget the shelter and the shade
All we really want to say
Is "Happy Birthday, Abby, Abby,
We Hope you had a happy day!'''

I can't believe she's nine already.
She was just born. I was there.
It was snowing and blowing outside
but it was warm and cozy inside.
Happy Birthday, dear little girl.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry

2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger, fresh
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2" strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup fresh or frozen snowpeas
1 1/2 c cashews
Hot cooked rice

In a skillet, heat 3 T. of broth. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, ginger and remaining broth until smooth; set aside. Add chicken to the skillet, stir-fry over medium heat until no longer pink, about 3-5". Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add garlic, carrots, celery to skillet. Stir-fry for 3". Add broccoli and peas; stir-fry for 4-5 " or until crisp-tender. Stir in broth mixture; add to the skillet with the chicken . Cook and stir for 2 ". Stir in cashews. Serve over rice. 4 servings.

Sometimes We Just Sit

Mark 14:32-34~"Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, 'Sit here while I pray.'
And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.
Then He said to them, 'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.'

I wonder how the eight disciples felt when Jesus told them just to sit there for awhile. I wonder if they felt worthless and out of the loop as the favored three followed Him deeper into the garden. They weren't told to watch. They weren't invited to pray. He just said, 'Sit.'

We talk alot about God's will for us. But there is also God's will for God. Jesus had to go through this. It was ordained. And the disciples had to sit and let it happen.

Sometimes we need to just sit. We might feel worthless while we wait.
This night, they sat until they forsook Him.
Several months later, they sat and waited in the upper room.
And after Pentecost, they probably never got to sit again.
Sit when He says sit.
There's no telling what's ahead.

Too Polite With Jesus

I think that we are sometimes too polite with Jesus.

In Mark 3:9,10, it says that Jesus told His disciples to 'keep a small boat ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.'

In Mark 5:27, we read the account of the woman who pressed through the crowd just to touch the hem of His garment.

Mark 4:25 says, "For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

My Bible notes explain it this way.

'Jesus appeals for spiritual perception. Those who receive and assimilate truth will have their capacity for understanding enlarged and their knowledge increased. Those who disbelieve or are indifferent will lose whatever ability for understanding they had, and therefore will continue in ignorance.'

Is. 64:7b encourages us to stir ourselves up to take hold of Him.

Sometimes, we are too willing to let Jesus go to someone else's house and heal their daughter.
Sometimes, we don't press into Him hard enough.
We think that someone else needs Him more.
We think His power is limited and that He only has so much to give.

I think we should press into Him so hard that He either needs to press back just as hard in order not to lose His balance, or He needs to get into the boat so He can say what He needs to say without being crushed by our overwhelming need.

The more hunger and thirst we have for Him, the more hunger and thirst we will have for Him. Hunger and thirst are primal instinctive needs.

  If we are hungry and thirsty, we are most likely not going to take a number and patiently wait.

Press in. 
Stir yourself up.
If there is ever a time that it's all right to put yourself first,
this is it.

He does not run out of who He is or what He does.

Don't be too polite with Jesus.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Book Report~'Your Best Life Now"

"7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential" by Joel Osteen

I bought this book at Baine's Used Bookstore for $4.00, in honor of my dad, who dearly loved this man. When my dad was in a coma, I went into the hospital to see him, and I said cheerfully, "I saw your buddy, Joel Osteen, on television this morning." I looked down and could see crinkles around his eye. I believe he heard me and he responded like that to other things I said that day.

Joel writes like he talks. (Yes, we relate on a first name basis.) He used over 140 scriptural references in this book, and has a prayer in the back for those who want to accept Jesus as their Savior.

His 7 points are as follows:
~Enlarge your vision;
~Develop a healthy self-image;
~Discover the power of your thoughts and words;
~Let go of the past;
~Find strength through adversity;
~Live to give; and
~Choose to be happy.

It is a very interesting book, full of stories and good counsel.
I recommend it.

Book Report~Matthew

Matthew presented Jesus, not only as the Messiah, but as the son of David.
He most likely wrote his gospel in A.D. 50-75.
Matthew quoted 41 O.T. prophesy's that Jesus fulfilled.

In Matthew, 7:21, there is a stern warning from Jesus, that even though we may call Him 'Lord' and have cast out demons and done wonders in His name, that does not meant that we enter the Kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of the Father may enter. We apparently can use His name and work a ministry but not be living in a genuine, obedient relationship with Him.

It is important for Him to know us.

This sometimes bothers me.
How do I let Him know me?

Last week, I read 1 Cor. 8:3.
It says, "But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him."

It comes back to that first love again. Loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength...and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
We can 'do' all kinds of ministry to people, but if we don't love God, it will profit us nothing.
It will profit us worse than nothing. It probably won't help the people we've 'done' it to, as well.

Love God and He will know us.
And we will love Him and be known by Him forever and ever.

Jan.16-18,2009~Hertzler Doings

Michael and Susan did not have school on Friday, due to the cold snap. The heat pumps were beginning to shut down on Thursday. Ryan Petersheim arrived around 9:00 PM. He is spending this week trapping with Philip. They went shopping at Walmart to get their own food supplies. They've been friends since babyhood. Ryan's mother, Freda, is Phil's first cousin on his mom's side. Freeman spent the night at the Bantan's since he was too tired to drive home from Chi Alpha. He called Sat. morn. and we gave him a list for Walmart which included drinking water since our pipes were frozen. It was 4 degrees below 0 on Sat. morning. We flushed the toilet from the tub water I always leave in due to electrical outages and times like this. Michael brought in water from the cow's trough to heat it on the stove so he could make milk to bottle feed his little bullies. There was more than an inch of ice on the river so the boys couldn't even set their beaver traps. Philip had frost on his whiskers after being outside for awhile. I had made alot of food on Friday so it was easy to heat up instead of making more pans dirty. We got water around 4 in the afternoon and I was so happy to run the dishwasher, wash dishes, wash clothes, make cookies and shoofly cake. Everything takes water. It was a nice day though, and we were grateful for electricity. Susan and I played Dutch Blitz and watched a movie. I've been knitting on some scarves as well.
On Sunday morning, the menfolk got up early and went to the Hunter's Breakfast at church. Our contribution was bear scrapple. Delicious. I got to hold Sammy Jo again. She is a nice ice breaker. She helps me through any shyness I sometimes feel at church. Everyone talks to her and she smiles at them.
Our pastor spoke on God's Master Plan.
I used to sing a song with my dad with the words..."I cannot come....I cannot come to the banquet, don't trouble me now...I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow...I have fields and commitments, which cost a pretty sum. Pray hold me excused, I cannot come."
Pastor spoke from Luke 14. We are to compel others to come into the kingdom.
Our faith life is meant to be a faith community. We need each other. Like a redwood forest whose shallow roots are intertwined to help keep it standing during storms, so our lives are to be so entwined with each other. We are to encourage each other. We will either listen to the devil's lies or listen to God's encouragement and it is our responsibility to speak the words that others need to hear. It is not about us. It is about God and what His purposes are. Eph. 3:10 says that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be known. It is His plan to reveal Himself through the church.
This morning, in Bill Freeman's book, 'Supplied Life', the next reading was on that same scripture. (Eph.3:10) This is what he wrote. "The vision Paul opens up consists of God's eternal purpose, which He executed in His Son and which is now being worked out in and through the church. This purpose revolves around the church. The church, as the Body of Christ exhibiting and displaying God's manifold wisdom, is the governing vision that Paul and the apostles were Christian life is not wasted. I am not aimlessly going on. I know why I am saved. I know why I am filled with the Spirit and growing in the Lord. I am saved and growing in the Lord for the purpose of being in the church, which displays the unsearchable riches of Christ and manifests the wisdom of God. The meaning of life centers in living the kind of church life that expresses God to the universe. This is the major thing on God's heart. This is the heavenly vision that directed and controlled Paul, and that he sought to open up to others...Our daily life is intended by God to be the testimony of Jesus--the church. This is the major thing on His heart."
This is a most important teaching. We come to church to hear the Word and be encouraged, to worship God, and to fellowship with each other. This is a safety net and a great place to compel others to come into, especially since it's scary out there. We have to come. We have to hang around. We have to be deliberate with our words and our loving actions. Someone we touch may be walking a fine line. We could make the difference in their lives. No church is perfect, but that is not the point. Even conflict results in relating to others. Even conflict can purify and get rid of the dross in our lives.
Travis, Chace, and Jordan came home with us for the afternoon. They played guitar hero and I am not sure what else. We had hotdogs and macaroni salad and Freeman's famous hot bean dip with chips. I like to make chocolate chip cookies for Chace whenever he comes. Susan and Freeman and I played Dutch Blitz. Not exactly fun, but it was relational. The boys and Michael went to a student leadership meeting in the afternoon. Phil went out and picked up Michael for me. That was nice.
Mon.~Ryan and Philip caught 2 foxes. The river is still frozen. They were able to walk on it. I heard a horrible sound this morning. I thought a crowd of crows was eating a cow. Here, the boys were hiding in the hayloft with their guns, trying to call in the crows, and I shooed them away before I saw that they had a speaker hooked up, calling them in. Sorry, boys.
I'm taking Michael to Wilkes Jewelry Store after school today, so he can design his own class ring. I'll have the little Robeson boys in tow. They are so smart. They could teach at Harvard tomorrow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

God's heartbreak

More gems from my mother's journal:

Jer. 11:15~What right has my beloved in my house when she has committed wicked acts? This term,"My beloved," is heart breaking! The cry of a heart broken Father. Earlier in 4:19, He cries, "My pain! My insides! Let me writhe! Wails of my heart! My heart is torn within Me!~For my soul hears the cry of the turmpet, a shout of battle.
That's where God is when devastation and pain overtakes His people. (It tears Him up.)

More terms of endearment~I have given the beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
Jer. 15:6~I am weary of grieving...I am broken hearted, for I have destroyed My people.

Jeremiah is not easy for me to understand historically, but it is full of God's heart ache for His people. He uses other nations to punish them because they have turned from Him, and when they have turned to Him, He punishes the nations that came against them.
Sometimes, God uses devastating things to bring us back to Himself, and when we have returned, He triumphs over those devastating things in our lives.
His ways are past finding out. A~

Gems from Mother's Journal

This wonderful verse which I need so much in I Cor.1:5~For in Him you have in every respect been enriched, with full power of expression and with adequate knowledge seems more than I feel worthy to claim. But the Corinthians were far from perfect, for Paul says in 3:1~I was in no speak to you as spiritual persons, but as to worldlings, as to babes in Christ. He goes on to list many other problems that they had.

I can pray this through no credit of my own. Ps. 119:58b~ Be merciful to me according to Thy Word. 149a~Hear my voice according to Thy lovingkindness. It's all because of Him.

Psalm 23:2,3,6~He leads me. Goodness and unfailing love shall follow me. He takes care of where we are going and where we have been. He's before us and behind us.

Dear Peter. You now become a "wounded healer". The only one of the disciples God allowed this experience. You were His instrument to bring Dorcas~a woman bubbling over with helpful activities and practise of charities back to life! Acts 9:36,41

Ps. 92:14~In old age they shall still be bearing fruit, They shall be full of life and vitality. This is God's perfect will for His children. How wonderful that would be! How does it happen? Be being transplanted into the Lord's garden. 13a.

Hey Jude

Now to Him who is able to keep you
from stumbling, And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Jude 24

They looked unto Him and were radiant
And their faces were not ashamed.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers him from all his trouble.
The Lord is near to those who have
a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.(Ps 34:17,18,22)

I've been afraid, thinking, "If they can fall, what is to keep me from falling? Who am I to think that I could stand? "
I observe and see that most people who fall were at the wrong place at the wrong time and did not remove themselves from that situation. It makes me want to lock myself in my little chapel and not go anywhere until He comes back.
But my children and family need me and they need to see me kept from falling in the midst of living. This is not a time for hiding out in fear. This is a time for building; for being pro-active. We cannot have an apathetic existence . We either maintain growth or maintain defeat. There are no luke-warm privileges here. God help us! God help our children!
And then, He reminded me, that He is the one who keeps me from falling. If I look at my frailty and fight temptation with my little meager self, I will fall. But HE IS ABLE to KEEP ME FROM FALLING...and not only that, He PRESENTS ME FAULTLESS before His Father's throne which is a big step up from "just" being kept from falling.
It is His work and my job is to listen and obey and be wise and flee if need be.
My job is to cry out to Him when I need help.
My job is to have a broken and contrite heart.
My job is to look to Him and be radiant.

He does the rest and it is a great deal in comparison to what I have to do.
I think I have a choice.
I either live in fear of falling,
or I live in the fear of the Lord.

I choose life, so that I and my children may live.

A Time to Cover...

...and a time to refrain from covering.

Matt. 18:15-17~
"Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
But, if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'
And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector."

The offender is given some chances to make things right before things get broadcasted to the public. He gets at least two chances before it goes before the church.
The reason it is told to the church, is so the church can say something that the offender can hear. And if he doesn't hear them, then he is like a heathen and a tax collector. How do we treat the heathen? Like they are unsaved? How do we treat the unsaved? Like someone we want to attract to Christ? Is a heathen to be avoided? How do we treat the tax collector? Like someone to be tolerated? Like someone we pay our dues to and nothing else? I don't know.

It seems that the offended party is the one that needs to initiate this whole procedure with the hopes of reconciliation. And that hope is kept alive until the offender does not listen to the church. Then he is cut off, or so it seems. If he would ever want to be reconciled, I suppose he'd have to come back through the procedure, seeking forgiveness from the offended party, the two or three witnesses, and the church.

A few verses later in scripture, Peter asks Jesus, "How many times should I forgive my brother who offends me? And Jesus said, "70x7 times."

So, there are times we confront an offending brother
and hold him accountable and there are times we forgive the debt.
It all depends on whether the offense is also an offense to God, perhaps.
It depends on how public the offense is.
It all depends on...
I don't know. I'm just trying to figure it out.

It seems that there is a time to cover and a time to refrain from covering.
God grant us wisdom to know when to do one or the other.

Cover Up

Gen. 9:20-24 tells the story about Noah and his sons. After they got off of the ark, having been on it for a year, Noah became a farmer. He grew a vineyard, made wine, drank it, went into his tent, and became uncovered during his sleep. Ham went in and saw his father's nakedness. I wonder if he went out and said,"Dad's in their naked as a Jay Bird and drunk as a skunk." Snicker. Snicker.

The other two boys took a garment and walked in backwards and covered their father's nakedness, refusing to look at him in this state, preserving his dignity in their minds and in reality. Noah woke up and found out about it and actually cursed his younger son for making fun of him and blessed the boys who covered him up.

Now, to be honest, I am not sure how fair this was. I mean, should Noah have been drunk in the first place? And it is a little funny, to walk into a tent, and see him like that...well, maybe not that funny.

So, I wonder, does this mean we are to cover one another's "nakedness" when we are not acting like we should? Perhaps Ham didn't make fun of him. Perhaps it was the fact that he 'told' his brothers about his father's state. Perhaps, he should have quietly covered him up and told no one about it.

Perhaps, there are times, we should do that too.
How thankful I am for those times others have quietly covered me.

Holy Grief

It seems that one of the ways we can grieve the Holy Spirit is through the things we say. Eph. 4:29~32 reminds us of this.

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."

Sometimes, in the midst of a conflict, I read these words, and it sets me in a right place. Our motivation to be kind and forgiving even to those who "deserve" our bitter words and anger, is because God in Christ was kind and forgiving to us. We turn our focus from our anger and "rightness" and think about the grace of God and how much we are in need of His forgiveness. It makes others offenses seem less offensive when we see them in the light of our own sin and the incomparable kindness of God shown to us in Christ Jesus.

Today's prayer

"Forgive me for trading in the security of abiding in your love for the insecurity of the desire to be loved by others whom I should be loving from the overflow of your love for me. "

Book Report~Ten Fingers For God

by Dorothy Clarke Wilson
"The Life and Work of Dr. Paul Brand"

What a great story!
Dr Brand worked with thousands of leprosy victims on five continents. He developed restorative surgeries to help recover limbs lost to this terrible disease. He invented shoes and other devices to help those afflicted. One of my favorite statements in the book was the very last sentence. I will write the paragraph before it so you can feel its effect.

He and his team had just performed a surgery.

"His gloves were off now. In a gesture expressive of his frustration (due to all those in the world still needing his help) he lifted his hand, its creases lined with little flecks of talcum powder, and impatiently flexed its fingers. Then he looked at them intently. Which one of them had performed that operation? The index finger, perhaps, or the thumb? He laughed aloud. Of course not. They were just instruments, tools of his mind. He could ask only one thing of them, that they be responsive, sensitive, obedient to his will. Just as God asked of him..."

"That's what I am," he thought with sudden clarity, "just a finger. Or perhaps a thumb."

Frustration? Hardly! What more could any man ask of life than the knowledge that he was a finger or thumb among other fingers, and that the hand was the hand of God? "

I love that. We are all part of the hand of God, touching others and bringing hope.
This book is far more valuable than the $.99 tag on the front.
Again, it is yours to borrow, especially if you love reading a story about medical science combined with a heart for God.

From my bedroom wall

Index card with "Today's Goals" written on them.
Oh, that I would reach them.

Abide in Him
Fellowship with Him
Worship Him
Obey Him
Love those around me
Be my Savior's Darling
Be that Eve He longed to talk to~

Ps. 16:3~
"As for the saints who are on the earth,"They are my excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."

Quotes from Mother's Diary

Quotes from Anne Freemantle recorded in my mother's diary, copied onto an index card, hanging on my bedroom wall:

"~He hath taken hold of his evil thoughts in the very beginning and dashed them against the Rock, which is Christ."

"~Satan was straightway driven away by the mention of the Name of Christ like a sparrow before a hawk."

"~Every movement of the mind affects in some degree the body."

"~The lure of the first temptation~to take instead of waiting to be given."

"~If he should happen to fall, overcome by temptation, let him not be consumed by sadness, nor despair of the mercy of Him, "who lifteth up all who fall and setteth up all who are cast down."

Sad and Sorry

The other day, I was telling Jesus, "I am so sad. I am so sad."
I was sad because some of our friends are having a really sad time of it.
Then I found myself patting Him on the back and saying in His ear,"I am so sorry. I am so sorry. I am so sorry that your body was broken for us so we could be whole and yet we remain so broken. I am so sorry that we as human beings treat each other this way when you have done everything in Your power to give us all that we need to be dignified and to treat each other with dignity. I am so sorry that we do not avail ourselves of your grace and your blood. I am so sorry."

My sadness is nothing compared to His sorrow.

It is His tears that need to be wiped.

Nice Surprise

Tom and Wendy Brynan were in Charlotte, NC, for a bus conference and stopped in at our place on Tuesday eve., 12/13, on their way home. They spent the night and stayed until 10:30 the next morning. We caught up on all fronts-family, church, business, and kitchen fiascos. It is so relaxing to be with folks who don't care that your hair is not combed nor that you think you are sick with bronchitis. (which the doctor later confirmed that day.) Our dogs didn't even bark. They remembered Wendy. Wendy is an animal lover. She wanted to bring one of the bunnies home with her. Angel whined at the door until we let her in to see Wendy. Tom was patient through it all. Their daughter, Becky, and Freeman went to school together through their elementary and high school years. When we knew we were moving down, we told our oldest two children that they could tell one person, who was to tell no one for a year. Freeman chose Becky, and she is one of the most talkative people we know. But, she kept our secret and we were proud of her. Tom, Wendy, Phil, and I studied Revelation together in their home many years ago. They have a son, Ken, who is 22. Tom and John Brynan are first cousins.

We like surprises like this...God's gifts of comfort and joy in the midst of every day living.

You didn't say goodbye

You didn't say good-bye.
If I had known you were leaving, I would have locked you up behind bars until your sanity returned. I would have talked some sense into your head. I would have kept you from hurting your wife and your children in this way. I could have kept God from crying like He's been.
But, why do I think I could have been your savior, when you have refused the way out of this dilemna? How could I prevent what God Himself has not prevented?

Yes, I am angry. Yes, I am sad.
But I am also grateful.

Thank you for being our friend while you were.
Thank you for being a role model to my children while you were.
Thank you for being a witness for Christ while you were.
Thank you for the greatness of who you were.
I will remember who you were.
Who are you now?
What a deep sense of loss I feel. What a deep sense of loss we all feel.
Do you know how important you are to us?
Do you know that we cared? Do you know we would have tried to help if we could have seen beneath your shining armor? Did we just not take the time to understand? Did we ignore the still quiet voice that told us you were struggling?
Please forgive us for missing it.
I am so sorry you needed what we did not give.
I miss you as a friend, as a husband to my friend, as a father to my friend's children...
I miss you as a brother.
Please come back to us.
You didn't say good-bye.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From My Kitchen Wall~2008

Hyacinths~Beulah Diffenbach

Oh gathered clumps of the
rainbow's hue;
Though it was enough,
He gave perfume, too.

April~Beulah Diffenbach

April is a capricious month.
How do I know?
Winter jeans and summer shirts
Are hanging in a row.

Meager Ego~ At the very best, a person completely wrapped up in himself makes a small package. ~Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Bravery-True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.
~Due de la Rochefoucauld

Reflection~It is always wise to stop wishing for things long enough to enjoy the fragrance of those now flowering.~Patricia Clafford

1 Chron. 5:20b~He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him.

Do not use many words when you pray. Matt. 6:7

Galations 5:24~ And those who are in Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

James 1:19,20~
Be quick to hear.
Be a ready listener.
Be slow to speak.
Be slow to take offense and get angry.
For a man's anger does not promote the righteousness God wishes and requires.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Psalm of Comfort~#15~Psalm 57:1-3

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trust in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamaties have passed by.

I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.

He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up.
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth."

What we do: trust in God, make our refuge under His wings, and cry out to God.

What He does: provides the shadow of His wings, performs all things for me, will send help from Heaven and save me, reproaches the one who would swallow me up, sends forth His mercy and His truth. (Selah)

Sounds like a win-win situation for us.
Even the things we are responsible for are a comfort to us.


There are two themes that keep coming up in my readings and things that I hear.

#1~I need to really believe in Jesus Christ and really believe Him.

#2~God cares for the poor and needy, the widowless, and the fatherless, and He wants His people to care for them too.

These two truths seem to be really important to God and He seems to really want me to get ahold of them.

Are there any repetitive themes in your life? Please share.

Failure~by Bill Freeman

I was trying to gather excerpts from this devotional, but it is all good.

"And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."

"To know self is part of knowing the Lord. If we do not know the self, we cannot adequately know the Lord. And when we adequately know the Lord, we know ourself-that we are untrustworthy and that there is nothing good in us. So experientially, the more we get to know the Lord, the more we know ourself in God's light. (Psa.36:9~"In your light we see light.")

The Lord humbled the children of Israel and tested them. Their being humbled came about through many testings and failures. It was not that the Lord needed to learn more about them, or get to know them; but they needed to get to know themselves. It was the same with Peter in the Gospels. Obviously, he was a person full of self-confidence, because he had so many opinions. So the Lord allowed him to fail the most.

We may express our opinion, living it out toward our husband or wife, or toward the brothers and sisters. We are so strong. We feel that we are so right. We are convinced that the other person is wrong and we are right. But then in some area of our personal life, we sin. We live in the flesh. We fail. But we may not connect our opinion with our failure. Yet this failure is intended to cause us to open ourself to the Lord and to tell Him, "Lord, I do not know anything. I cannot do anything. I just open to you, Lord, to cast down not only the sin, but all of my opinion." Through dealing with failures in this way, we are brought more and more to the place of having no confidence in ourself but in the Lord Himself."

Like John the Baptist, we can say,"He must increase; I must decrease."
It is human nature to want the opposite.
But with His increase and our decrease there is peace.
Besides, He can handle the increase. We cannot.~A

from "Overcoming Feeling Unloved"

from Beth Moore's book, chapter 5~

Quote by Oswald Chambers~

"No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first."

(Beth)~No one is more pleasurable to be around than a person who has had her cup filled by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only One who is never overwhelmed by the depth and length of our need. Imagine how different our days would be if we had our cups filled by Christ first thing in the morning. During the course of the day, anything else anyone is able to offer could just be the overflow of an already full cup. This person will never lack company or affection because she draws daily from the well of unfailing love. This blessed of all believers will know from experience what the apostle Paul meant in Col. 2:10: "Ye are complete in Him."

Sad Truth

Ecclesiastes 10:1~ Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment,
And cause it to give off a foul odor;
So does a little folly to one respected
for wisdom and honor.

O God, keep us from a little folly...

Book Report~Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

Solomon was the author of the majority of the writing in these books. Even though Solomon was known as the wisest man on earth, he became cynical with life because he was drawn from the source of his wisdom by the availability of too many women. However, we don't throw out the book of Proverbs because Solomon messed up in his life. We keep the good and acknowledge the bad and see God's redemption in the midst of it all. At the end of Eccl. he says that the main thing that is important in life is to "Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, whether good or bad."

As far as Song of Solomon goes...Read it at your own risk is all I can say. WoweeZowee! I had a hard time spiritualizing any of it, and who wants to!!!???

Book Report~"Life and Death in Shanghai"

Written by Nien Cheng~Over 3 monts on the New York Times Bestseller List

Very good book. Picked it up at Baine's book store in Appomattox. If you like history, you will enjoy learning more about the Cultural Revolution and what life was like in China before, during, and after Mao Tse-tung's reign of power.
The front of the book reads, ' The extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman who despite 6 1/2 years of imprisonment and torment in Communist China not only survived but endured and even prevailed'-Time

Since 1983, she has lived in Washington, D.C., where she finished writing her story. I would love to meet her. I wonder if she is still living.
Feel free to borrow my book.

Jan. 9-12~Hertzler Doings

It was great to be back teaching school this week. I love it. I feel the comraderie of other teachers there, who want the best for my children, as I want the best for theirs. On Wed. night, I went to a new Bible Study and learned about the Mormon faith. Each week, we will learn about another religion. On Friday night, Susan, Phil, and I were happy that a new episode of "Monk" was showing. We watched more of him on the Sat. marathon.

On Sat. morning, Phil and the boys went to check out some cattle. They stopped at the Ruritan Club in Pamplin on the way home and got enough Brunswick Stew to last for several days. Sarah came over in the afternoon and spent the night. The girls worked on moves for Human Video. I washed, cleaned, and sewed sleep pants for Michael, Philip, and Susan. I had made Freeman's before he went to school last year.

On Sunday, PR preached about laying a good foundation, using the scriptures in Deut. 6. Some of his main points were as follows:
Actually, all I can remember is his llama story. You had to be there. Now I will look at my notes to get his 'real' message.
1. Laying a foundation does not guarantee a perfect home, but it provides the opportunity for one. (We need to know the Word of God and be grounded in it.)
2. Take ownership of your family's health. If you won't make it the best, who will? Pay attention to detail and be diligent. A home that has laughter, Jesus, and love will be a home that your children will want to model and others will want what you have.

He also said that when we have the potential to be a winner and live like a loser, we will always regret it.
Nobody makes Phil laugh as hard as "The Three Stooges " do, but PR comes in as a close 2nd and I hope I come in 3rd. Oh, well. I just don't have his energy or sound effects going for me.

On Sunday afternoon, Lindsay, Emma, and Adi came over to give Gil some time to work on a project. Lindsay and I snuck out the side door and rode the gator down to the chapel. We sat and talked for over an hour and when we came back, both girls were on the floor sleeping. Susan had done a great job. Phil, Susan, Lindsay, and I played "Pick One" with scrapple tiles. We ate popcorn of course. In the eve, we went out to Farmville. Phil went to the men's meeting, Susan went to human video, Michael went to PR's for Bible Study, and I went to Ruby Tuesday's with Candi. It was a nice day.

On Monday, the kids didn't have school. They stayed home to do homework and I went out to town to run some errands. I went to the chiropractor, had lunch with Dianna, visited Missi, checked out the cute black dress in the window at Esther Mae's, chatted with Linda and Carol, visited Ruth at Benchmark and ate half her lunch with her in the backroom, and of course, went to Walmart. I got some crickets on the way home at Noah's Pet Shop and came home and made taco salad.(Not with the crickets) I'm fighting some sort of lung pain and cough; hope it's just from swallowing a vitamin down the wrong pipes.

News Flash: Riverside Restaurant-Is that it's name?-has a great cold plate of chicken salad, coleslaw, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, pineapple, and oranges. Yummm...

Saturday, January 10, 2009


He had to be exhausted.
What a day.
First, the disciples came to Him and told Him that John the Baptist had been beheaded.
When He heard this, he left by boat to go some place just to get alone.
But the crowds followed Him and instead of becoming invisible, He felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
When it was evening, they were hungry and with the help of 5 loaves and 2 fishes and His disciples, He miraculously fed 5,000 men in addition to the women and children that were there.
He made His disciples get into a boat so they could go to the other side of the lake. After He sent the crowd away, He went up into the mountains to pray by Himself.

When the storm hit the lake, He went walking on the sea, and the disciples thought He was a ghost. He didn't say,'There are no ghosts." And later, He talked about the 'Holy' Ghost, so they must have had some experiences with ghosts under their belts. While trying to convince them that He was Himself, Peter ventured out of the boat and walked towards Him. I guess the 20 foot waves may have distracted Peter and
he started to sink. Jesus caught him and chided him gently for his little faith.
Once He got into the boat, the wind died down and those on the boat worshiped Him as the Son of God.
When the got to the other side, people came from all around, bringing their sick friends and relatives, just to touch the hem of His garment. Those who did were made perfectly whole.
And thus, began another day, in the life of Jesus.
Makes me tired just reading about it!
Compassion for the living caused Him to put His personal grieving for the dead on hold.
Matt. 14:13-36

The Cowardly

Book Finished-1/10/19~'Revelation' by John the Beloved

I've always wondered about the word 'cowardly' in the following verse:

"...But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Rev. 21:8

Perhaps it means that if we are cowardly, we will run away from the testing that is to come. Perhaps we will turn from our faith rather than suffer for it, or run from fighting temptation during the conflict in our souls, and do the easiest thing, rather than the right thing, because it takes less strength to do so.

An interesting note in my Bible says that the word 'sorcerers' in the Greek, refers to those dealing in drugs.

On a happier note, those who overcome will receive the following:
The tree of life
The crown of life
Hidden manna and a stone with a new name
Rule over nations and receive morning star
Be honored and clothed in white
A place in God's presence, a new name, and the New Jerusalem
Share Christ's throne

To overcome, we are exhorted to:
Do the works we did at first
Be faithful until death
Keep the faith
Strengthen that which remains
Be zealous

"It's gonna be worth it...It's gonna be worth it."

This is My Destiny

Beth Moore quotes Dennis Jernigan, in her book, "Praying God's Word." She borrowed them from his book, "This is My Destiny." I liked them too.

"If my Father says something about me, even if I cannot see it yet, I can rest assured it is so...and begin to put on that truth...and walk in it. I can no longer blame someone else for how I view myself. I cannot make the old excuse "that's just the way I am," because it is no longer "the way I am." I take back the stolen ground by simply being in relationship with my Father. His holy genes are now part of my inheritance from Him. I must simply stand and be who He says I am."

"True freedom will only bloom in your life when you put on the truth of who God says you are. Knowing who God wants you to be is not the same as practicing who He wants you to be. When life gets complicated and failures abound, turn your heart and mind back to the basics. Remember who you are in Christ, practice who God says you are, and in time, you'll be walking in the ...hall of freedom."

Book Report~"Loving God"~Charles Colson

The idea of writing up a little book report each time I finish a book is motivating me to finish up my half read books. Chuck Colson founded Prison Fellowship. From 1969-1973, he served as special council to President Nixon. He writes about the lives of different people who loved God well. It's a book worth reading. I found it in our school library.

In Chapt 18, he writes about 'The Holy Nation,'~the church. Here are several sentences that stood out to me.

"What would happen if your pastor was removed and your church building closed or destroyed? Most churches are totally dependent on the pastor and church staff. Youth for Christ president, Jay Kesler, sometimes quips, "The western church is like a pro football game on Sunday afternoon: 100,000 people sitting in the stands watching 22 men knock their brains out on the field." Take away the 22 and there is no game."

The church must equip the laity to take the church into the world."

So much to do.
So little time...

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I've been reading from a birthday gift book from Phil's parents. It's entitled, "Women of the Bible." I was so impressed with the description of Deborah, that I wanted to write it down for all of us. Here goes.

(by Ann Spangler)~

Deborah's character: Her vision of the world was shaped not by the political situation of her day but by her relationship with God. Though women in the ancient world did not usually become political leaders, Deborah was just the leader Israel needed~a prophetess who heard God and believed him and whose courage aroused the people, enabling them to throw off foreign oppression.

Her sorrow: That her people had sunk into despair because of their idolatry, forgetting God's promises and the faith of their ancestors.

Her joy: That God turned the enemy's strength on its head, bestowing power to the weak and blessing the land with peace for forty years.

Key Scripture: Judges 4,5

You'll have to read the Bible to find out the whole story. I don't do violence and this story fits under that category. Think about what her courage did for her people. Think about why they were in despair. Think about God's deliverance. Think about being a Deborah.

The church and daily life

I read something from Bill Freeman's devotional book today.

Bill says,"Our daily living of Christ is a common factor between us all that prepares us for the building up in the church...How we have interacted with Christ in our daily life determines how we will interact with Him in the Body life."

Everything we do, since we are part of His body, affects His body, positively or negatively.
If we feed His body with the Word, we strengthen the body.
If we feed His body with junk, it makes the body sick.
None of us live to ourselves.
All of us are very important.
It matters how we live.

Feeling Motherly

I feel motherly towards Jesus.
I have for quite some time.
Perhaps it is because I played the part of Mary in an Easter Musical.
Perhaps it is because I am the age His mother might have been when He was crucified and a sword pierced her side as well.

When someone praises Jesus around me, I actually feel motherly pride. I want Him to be loved and esteemed. I want people to be saved so He has more lovers of His soul.
I feel sad when people don't like Him.

Today, I read my scriptures aloud. Maybe that's why I really noticed Jesus' words in Matt. 12:20~"For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."

Could it be that I am doing His Father's will and that I am His mother?
Isn't this why we are all family in the Body of Christ? We are His brother and sister and mother. Wow! And what is the will of His father in Heaven?

John 6:29,40~Jesus said,"This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent...and this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Webster says that to believe is to have confidence in the truth, existence, reliability, or value of something.

Do you believe in Him?
Then you are doing the will of the Father
and you are family to Jesus.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My County Tis of Thee

Today, I was teaching the 3rd and 4th graders a Patriotic Medley including the songs, "Home on the Range," "This Land is Your Land," and "My Country Tis of Thee." They were tired from Christmas vacation, so I told them they could sit down while we sang. When we finished singing,"My Country Tis of Thee," I turned from the piano. Caleb was standing straight and tall all by himself, with a patriotic gleam of pride in his eye. Fighting tears, I had them all stand while we sang the last verse.
"...Long may our land be bright, with Freedom's Holy light, Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King."

We were singing "Fairest Lord Jesus" in the first grade class. I asked what the word 'honor' meant. Chris said that it is when you do something you shouldn't have for someone who did not do something for you. It's when you do something nice for someone who didn't do something nice for you. I liked that.
How much more should we honor someone who gave His life for us? I think they got it.
"...Thee will I cherish....Thee will I honor...Thou my soul's glory, joy, and crown."

Kitchen Wall Archives

Run well to the end.

"I have seen too many men fall out on the last lap."~John Bunyan

"Take the water of my time left on earth and turn it into wine, my LORD." ~My Mother

"Your goodness, LORD, Your goodness! May it bring what it brings!"~My Mother

The Lord preserves the souls of His godly ones. Ps. 97:10

"If I have found favor in your eyes, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you." Ex 33

"With my whole heart I have sought you. O, let me not wander from your commandments!" Ps. 119:10 ~ Mother notes, "{Wander}~not a deliberate turning away which we would reject, but an unfocused, unnoticed drift, which is possible even when 'with my whole heart I have sought you.'"

...a sense of brotherhood and community is not derived from the actions and attitudes of others toward us, but our actions and attitudes toward them. ~Beth Moore

But the Word of God is near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so you can do it. Deut. 30:14

He who is noble, plans noble things and on noble things he stands. Is. 30:8

The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Ps. 9:9,10
Those who know the Lord, trust Him.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Treasures All Year Long

The Christmas decorations are put away.
I kept our pretty centerpiece on the table.
I kept out a ceramic statuette of Joseph and Jesus and Mary.
I kept out the basket of cards and newsletters from around the world.
I will put those things away, too, when spring comes.

But there are Christmas Treasures I keep up all year long.
These are the pictures of family and friends, sent to us as a Christmas card.
They're lined up in four rows on my walls~nearly 50 of them!

Everyday, I look at them.
I pray for the families.
I ask God to strengthen their marriages and to bless their children.
I ask for healing and wisdom and financial prosperity.
I ask God to keep them close to Him.
I remember our friendships and the good times we've had together.
I cherish the comfort of their lives well-lived.

Christmas Treasures All Year Long...

Kitchen Wall

I write up verses and quotes on little index cards and plaster my kitchen walls and cabinets with them. Since it is a new year, I thought I would take most of them down, and share them with you before I store them in my "Kitchen Wall Sayings photo album."
I can't put them all in one blog, so here they come, a little at a time.

"He is Victor who is never circumstance-conditioned.
He is Victim whose reactions are determined by what others do to him."~A.Mow

Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, like like men, be strong!
Let everything that you do be done in love. (ICor. 16:13, 14)

Like a sash to the waist, I will cling to you, O God. (Jer. 13:11)

"Blessed are the pure in heart"~ Blessed is the one who has nothing in him for God to censure.

The demonstration of Truth in an unacceptable manner does not make it any less true.
Nor does the demonstration of a falsehood in an acceptable manner, make it any less false.
The demonstration of truth or falsehood in an acceptable manner just makes it easier to receive.

Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is reward for your work. Jer.31:16

Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect (chosen ones), that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.(11 Tim.2:10)


I am reading about 20 books right now. Maybe 15. So, instead of listing them all, I decided to write what I think about the one's I finish. Michael got the book "House" for Christmas. It's by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. I didn't like it at all. I will not read it again. There, I saved you some time if you take my word for it.


How can you be called 'loving' unless you've had ample opportunity to be indifferent?

How can you be called 'faithful' unless your faithfulness has been tried?

How can you be called 'pure' unless you've been sorely tempted with impurity?

The test and the temptation are not the sin.
The giving up, the giving in~that is the sin.

Overcoming Deception

I am on Chapter four in Beth Moore's book, "Praying God's Word." It's entitled, 'Overcoming Deception.' I'd like to share some of my reading from today.

"Sometimes we're very aware of tolerating or even fueling a lie. Other times, we are caught in such a web that we can no longer see ourselves or our situations accurately. It's not always clear when we're being deceived, but one sure sign is when we begin to deceive....Anything we are believing or acting on that is contrary to what the truth of God's Word says about us is a lie. Second Corinthians 4:2 tells us how to respond to such things: "Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God." This passage helps us identify four of Satan's specialties that must be renounced and rejected by the believer in order for him/her to walk in victory:

1. Secrecy
2. Shame
3. Deception
4. Distortion of Scripture

As you consider each one, you can readily imagine how deception permeates all four and how interrelated they are. Satan's plans toward the believer are always the antithesis of God's. Our Redeemer wants to loose us from the closets of secrecy and bring us to a spacious place of joy, freedon, authenticity, and transparency. Satan wants to keep us bound in secrecy where he can weigh us down in guilt, misery, and shame. Oh, beloved, I know from experience that so much of the shame we experience is wrapped up in the secret. In fact, the enemy knows that once we expose the secret places of our lives to the light of God's Word, we're on our way to freedom."~Beth Moore

She notes later that there is a difference between sharing our faults, weakness, and mistakes with others and confessing every detail of every sin to God. Not every believer can handle a detailed confession. Be careful who you share with.

I've noticed that God is in no hurry to expose anyone to public shame. He shows His mercy and grace time and time again to a soul in error, hoping that they will repent and return to the truth. It is only when someone has hardened their heart repeatedly that things that are done in secret are shouted from the housetop.

I think of the verse in Ps. 32:8~"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye." If God can guide you with His eye, your heart is not hardened. If He shows you something, you will repent and change. He will not expose your secret sin unless you refuse to give it up. Let's not wait too long to do so.


"The fact is we are Christians because of who God is and not because of who our brothers and sisters in Christ are."

(Something I heard from a new believer who was helping someone else work through another believer's fall.)


"The fact is we love each other according to what we are and not because of what they are."
from "Say Yes to Life" by Anna Mow

Monday, January 5, 2009

State of Affairs

There are some very good reasons not to have an affair.

My definition of affair would be this:
Loving another person in the way I should only love my spouse.

Perhaps, I will gain something if I have an affair. Perhaps I will gain some excitement and affirmation. Perhaps I will gain a second-chance and get to have two families. Perhaps I will gain some sort of disease. Perhaps I will gain the whole world...

But perhaps,
and most likely,
I will lose my soul.
I will break covenant with the spouse of my youth.
I will lose the trust that they gave me.
I will lose the right to say,'Follow me as I follow Christ.'
I will lose the right to speak into my children's lives.
I will lose love.
I will lose fellowship.
I will lose positions of respect.
I will lose the right to enter into my own house.
I will lose my good name.
I will lose companionship.
I will no longer be able to look God in the eyes.
I will lose road trips, and birthday parties, and graduation celebrations.
I will lose the shared joy at the births of grandchildren.
I will lose the sweet fruit of being faithful in spite of the hard times.
I will lose my reward.

I will devastate people who trusted in me.
They will feel betrayed.
Others who are trustworthy will have to work harder to gain the trust of others.
Some people will turn away from God because I represented Him, and now, I am an offense to His name.

I will have gut-wrenching regret when I come to my senses.
I will grieve every day when I stop playing the game of 'Now you have me-Now you don't' with hell's flames.
Even if my marriage would be restored, I will carry the sorrow of my betrayal every day of my life.

And this is the truth.
You do not have an affair with someone you truly love.
Instead, you love them more.
You love them enough to back away.
You love them enough to pray.
You never ever want them to lose the precious words of Jesus,'Well-done my Good and Faithful Servant. Enter into the joy I have prepared for you.'
You push them towards their family and turn your heart towards your own.
And you trust in God's grace to be sufficient for you, for you, for you.