Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Benjamin Franklin

Last night at our school's Recitatio, Michael's classmates shared declarations made by America's Founding Fathers.
Michael memorized the following statements.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probably that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hearafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."

Benjamin Franklin

Freeman's Archives~Take Eighteen~3+

Freeman held a pretend puppy. "His name is Bull."
Me-"That's a funny name."
Free-"No, it's not a funny name, it's a different name."

Freeman at bedtime-"If you leave me the wolves will get me."
Me-"No, your angel is watching over you..."
Freeman pulled the covers over his head.
"My angel's scared of the wolves too. He's hidin' under the covers with me."

Freeman was with Phil's Uncle Ollie. "Ollie, there's poop."
Freeman~"Sometimes they call it manure."

Freeman and Phil were praying for me when I was nauseated.(Pregnant with Philip)
Free~"..and please get the baby out of her belly soon so she feels better."

"Rain are tears that come down from the sky."

Me-"Freeman, my head hurts. Will you pray for me?"
Free-"Dear Lord, I love mommy's head. Her head hurts and she can't stand it. Amen."

Phil-"Freeman, will you pray?"
Free-"I can't daddy 'cause my nerves aren't all there."

Free-"Mommy! Look at all those doves! Glory to God in the Highest! So many doves!"

Sunday Sermon-Mar.29, '09

"Nick at Night"~by Pastor Frank

Sometimes, the pastors show a video clip of a movie, to give us a visual aid to help us get the point of the sermon. This Sunday, Pastor Lou came out dressed like Nicodemus and Pastor Rob came out looking like Jesus, except that his hair was straight, and it is my personal opinion that Jesus had dark wavy hair. They did a great job illustrating the exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3. I forgot for a moment, that it was an act, and I could easily envision Nick's confusion over Jesus' exhortation that he must be born again.

PF used this skit to emphasize the fact that Jesus related to people on a personal level. Not only was He relational, but the words He spoke to them were relevant for their lives. And not only were they relevant, they had the power to revolutionize their lives if they allowed them to.

"You cannot encounter Jesus and not have a response."

It is good and right that in the church as a whole, there is a new emphasis on developing good relationships with those in the body and with those who come through our doors, searching for the truth. People need to feel like they are accepted and that they belong.
It is also good and right that we are learning to relate to people in a relevant way. We are learning to enter their world, like Jesus, who entered the world of the adulteress woman, by getting down in the dirt with her. "No man condemns you?"
But it can't just end there. "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."
Words of acceptance and relevance, and then words of change; words that contain a future and a hope.

"Relationships are the springboard but not the catch-all."

Our relationships with others and our ability to be relevant to them, must result in their lives and ours being transformed and revolutionized as we fellowship together with the living Christ.

The Prodigal Son 'came to himself' and said, "It would be better for me to go back home and be a servant in my father's house."
"Would to God every one in this room would come to yourself and realize it is not about you....God wants to use you to do things no one has ever done before."

We need to really believe in Jesus and believe He is who He says He is. If we really believe then our actions are going to show our belief. People are going to say, "You're one of them and whatever you have, I want."

Who do you say Jesus is?
Do you really believe it?
If so, it will revolutionize your life.

When I was nine years old, I stood up in a revival meeting to show that I wanted to accept Jesus as my Savior. I remember having the strong conviction that I needed a Savior and I have never lost that conviction. When I came home that night, my mother came upstairs to my room, and counseled me to read John 10. I loved the story of the Good Shepherd who laid His life down for His sheep. Then, I came to John 10:10. " I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly." It's been one of my favorite verses ever since I read it that evening.
I think the abundant life in Christ is revolutionary.
It is life-changing.
Not only will you be saved and go to heaven,
but Life will be better than life even while you live on earth.
It will be full of meaning and purpose and destiny.

Pastor Frank talked about the Woman at the Well. Jesus related to her. The words He spoke to her were relevant to her situation. She believed in Him because of this relevant relating. Her life was revolutionized by believing in the truth. And because of her belief, a whole town was revolutionized.
It can happen here.
It can happen at home.

Abundant life has no apathy.
Abundant life has no mediocrity.
Abundant life is not "Just as I am without one plea..."

Abundant life is what happens to us after we come without one plea...
He loves us too much to leave us 'just as we are...'

He will make us into His likeness.
He will give us His heart and His spirit and His eyes and His mind.
Jesus lived life abundantly.
Our life is hidden with His inside God.

Abundant life is forgetting about ourselves and living our lives knowing that Christ is within us through His Holy Spirit, and we are inside God through Christ Jesus.

As Anna, in the book 'Mr. God, This Is Anna' would say, " God is in my middle...and I am inside His."

Mar.23-30, 2009-Hertzler Doings

Gina was here overnight, on the 22nd, and helped me clean Monday morning instead of the usual Tuesday morning. She turned 16 this month. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said, "A day at the river." So, Monday afternoon, I loaded up the gator with some firewood, matches, newspaper, chair, water, apple, and a watch. I drove Gina down to the river and left her there. She was so happy to have several hours down by the river all to herself.

On Tuesday, I met Lisa H. at the Daily Grind in Farmville. We enjoy each other's company so very much. She is a treasure deep.

On Friday, I hit the ground running at 6 in the morning. I went to school and helped with the Recitatio rehearsal for Cornerstone Christian Academy. I ran out and got groceries and came back and taught four different groups. I had the select choir practicing in the chapel. They each picked a different song and stood in the corners of the room and sang quite loudly. Dr. Hubler came in to collect some of his things and got out as quickly as he could. We do this sort of singing exercise to help the girls learn to keep their tune even if others are singing off-key around them. This is something we would do as a family on our summer trips. One person would sing and the other would sing the same song slightly off tune. It works.

On Saturday, Susan and I worked hard to catch up with some of her Easter Egg orders. We are wanting to be finished with the business, but orders keep coming in.
In the late afternoon, we went to Helton's to meet with the Kenyan team. We had lasagne, salad, and garlic bread for supper. Johnny and Terry Brynan came around 6:30 and visited with those who had not left for Easter Musical practice. Clint and Lynney had a cake made with the words, "Welcome Home, Johnny and Terry," written with icing. I worked with them on their missions pamphlet for awhile. John and I both spilled our cups of ice water on Jr. and Amy's beautiful rug. Terry found a towel in the dryer, which I thought was pretty smart of her. John and Terry stayed at the Helton's for both Sat. and Sun. nights. Susan and I stopped at Walmart on the way home and picked up some baby formula. Susan noticed that the mother rabbit was no longer producing milk for her eight babies. We went out late that night and fed them. Susan said, "This is fun...you and me...out here together feeding rabbits so late at night..." It was fun. I don't think I will be able to part with these bunnies.

On Sunday, after church, we went to Shoney's with the Potter's and the Brynan's. We had a good time hearing about the men's snake escapades and Terry's spit baptism stories. You had to be there. John and Terry came back to our house and Terry helped us with some Easter egg orders that were to be delivered that morning, but had been forgotten. Susan put the baby bunnies in an ice cream bucket and brought them into the house to feed them. We drank tea and ate homemade bread while Phil and Johnny went hunting arrowheads in the lowgrounds. Johnny enjoyed Phil's arrowhead and Indian artifact display we have set up in the dining room. When he first got here, he said, "Don't rush me. I want to take it all in."
I took Terry down to my cottage for a quick peak and then we raced back to church to watch some of the dress rehearsal for the musical. Phil is playing Pilate and he looks great in Purple. Wow, can he sing!
Some of the Kenyan team met with John and Terry in the hallway and made plans for the next time the team goes to Kenya. Pastor Rob prayed for the team and encouraged John and Terry to "Take the land. Be courageous. Step on the land, and go forward." Clint asked them for a 'Wish List'. " Ask for what you need. You have not, because you ask not."
We left them surrounded by folks who love them.
We came home, ate popcorn, fed bunnies, and watched 'Ocean's Eleven.'

I went to bed with my heart full to overflowing.

On Monday, Phil and I met the Brynan's at school, where they shared during chapel time. The little boys wanted to get their hands on Johnny's arrows. John and Terry passed pictures and told stories and showed the children what Kenyan chairs and milk bottles look like. They left for Pa. after a tour of the school. The school gives their tithes of fund-raisers towards John and Terry's work. Johnny shared with the children that there will be people in heaven who are there because they gave money to help them go to school and learn about Jesus.

Phil stayed for Recitatio practice since he wouldn't be able to attend the program in the evening. It took awhile to work out the kinks, especially since we moved everything to the gym.
We didn't leave until close to 11:30, but Phil adjusted his inner thinking and enjoyed the time with me.
The program in the evening was entitled, "For God and Country." It was Mrs. Jones favorite Recitatio. We shared patriotic songs, folk songs, a Latin song, etc. The children performed their Shurley grammar jingles, nursery rhymes, Paul Revere's Ride, The Village Blacksmith, and other things they have been studying.
The older classes had memorized statements by Our Founding Fathers. One at a time, they stepped forward, and with clarity and convincing speech, they shared the vision and heartbeat of those who had founded America upon godly principles and the Word of God. It was moving. Michael quoted Benjamin Franklin several times. I almost thought he was Mr. Franklin, instead of my son, Michael. I was so proud. He said that he actually gave himself goosebumps. He said that Pastor Alvin had counseled the leaders in the youth group, to tell themselves the following when they need to get up and share a devotional. "I have something to share that the people listening need to hear." Michael said that he told himself that truth as he prepared to share Ben Franklin's timeless words. He said, " I actually felt a burden for the people...that they needed to hear what I had to say."
All of the children got up at the end to sing "Fairest Lord Jesus" and "All in All."
It was a lovely evening. It was a wonderful week.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bad Dreams

I used to have bad dreams about my teeth falling out.
They were nightmares, really.
Then, I read somewhere that if you have dreams about your teeth falling out, it means that you have things you want to say and haven't expressed them.
I used to say that someday I was going to write a book called, "What I would have said if I had thought of it quick enough."
My friends who speak well and off-the-cuff tell me that I am fortunate that things come to my mind later rather then sooner.
It has probably saved me alot of embarassment, because many times the things I have thought to say later, are not always that nice, and the person I would have said them to, is no longer around to hear them.

Ever since I started to blog, I have not had that nightmare.
I am getting to 'say' the things I want to say.
It is a nice feeling.
It's also nice to know that some folks are reading what I have to say.
But mostly, I just like being able to say them.
I like being able to complete a thought.
I like being able to erase words I shouldn't have said.
I like going back and editing sentences and clarifying what I really want to say.

The other day, Michael got in the car and said, "I had an awful dream last night. I dreamed all of my teeth were falling out."
With amusement, I told him the supposed meaning of his dream.
"Have you been in a situation lately, " I then asked, "in which you wanted to say something, but couldn't?"
"Yes, as a matter-of-fact, I have," he said.
And he told me the situation and what had been said to him, and what he would have liked to say back, but couldn't because of who said it to him.

I love to hear Michael speak and reason.
I hope his dreams are always sweet.

Trust Fall

I went to Camp Hebron as a summer camper for three years when I was younger and then as a counselor for probably just as many years. We had a ropes course and in the process of working together as a team, we would engage in an activity known as "The Trust Fall." One person would climb up on a stump and the rest of us would gather around behind him with our arms outstretched. The trusting person would fall backwards and we would catch him. It was scary and exhilarating to be the trustee and just as rewarding to be the entrusted.

I was thinking about that today. We as human beings are up a stump as a whole, what with the economy, threats of violence, and warnings of solar flames. I think I am recognizing the potential fulfillment of the frightening things described in the book of Revelation. Could the content of the news no longer be just a shadow of things to come? Could this be the real deal?

I am on the stump. So are you.
I am going to fall backwards, with my arms folded across my chest, my eyes closed, and my body straight;
ready for the fall.
Because Jesus is going to catch me.
Day after day, year after year, He has caught me.

I trust Him;
because underneath are the everlasting arms.
I know them, and they are strong.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I love this farm we purchased

I saw its beauty even when the 75 ton of metal we took to the dump was scattered hither and yon across our property.

I loved it before the multitude of tires and buckets were carried away.

I loved it before the wild flowers were planted along our lane

We bought it.

It is ours.

Nothing could change how I feel about it.

Everyday, when I walk, I find more junk to pick up.

Every time it rains, more glass and rusty nails come to the surface.

I just keep cleaning it up.

I just keep loving it enough to care.

Jesus loved me while I was a mess.

He loved me after He cleaned me up.

He continues to love me as He daily makes me holy.

Nothing He could do to beautify me will make Him love me more than when He first purchased me.

Nothing I could do would make Him love me less.

Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.

Michael's Poem

Michael is studying poetry.
They were reading it in school today and he got very sleepy.
He had to write a poem this evening.
It's pattern of rhyme is A-B-B-A-C-C; ten beats per line.
Here it is.

The Forgiven

Who has created the depths of the sea?
Who was there at the beginning of time?
The one who's forgiven each sin of mine.
He carried the cross for you and for me.
Sins cast as far as the East from the West~
What a wonderful God! How I am blessed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Book Report~Eat To Live

by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

If you are tired of dieting but need to lose weight, this is the book for you.
You will not need to count calories.
If you eat nutrient rich foods, you will soon lose the cravings for foods that are bad for you.
Here's a quick look, but you should really read the book.

Eat raw vegetables(greens)-1 lb. a day.
Eat cooked vegetables(greens)-1 lb. a day.
Eat 3 or more fruits a day.
Eat at least 1 cup of beans a day.
Eat some grains, nuts, and seeds.

The more educated one is in this regard, the easier it will be to make wise choices.
I have two more of Dr. Furhman's books that I am reading now. I apologize ahead of time for not loaning these books out.
To find out more visit him at www.drfuhrman.com
People who have followed his advice have experienced dramatic changes in their health.
Most people can go off their diabetic medications. Diseases have disappeared.

The following is the quick read on the back flap of his book cover.

"Dr. Joel Fuhrman's revolutionary diet is not about willpower, it is about knowledge.
Eat to Live offers a healthy, effective, and scientifically proven Six-Week Plan for shedding a radical amount of weight quickly. The key to the program's success is simple:
When the ratio of nutrients to calories in the food you eat is high, fat melts away. The more nutrient-dense food you consume, the more you will be satisfied with fewer calories and the less you will crave fat and high-calorie foods.
Eat to Live will help you live longer, reduce your need for medications, and improve your overall health dramatically. It is a book that will change the way you want to eat. Most of all, though, Eat to Live will enable you to lose more weight than you ever thought possible."

Our family is in the process of learning more about eating in this way.
We have lost over 100 pounds this past year.
We still have alot to learn.
Old habits die hard, but feeling good is a great reward.

Book Report~'Lessons I Learned in the Dark'

by Jennifer Rothschild

Jennifer spoke at a Women of Faith Conference a year or two ago. I met her when I bought her books. She is a beautiful woman and her eyes are unusually lovely. She became blind in her high school years. I've read this book twice now and I like the depth of her spiritual perception. She is also a singer and writes her own songs. I have selected some of my favorite parts of her writings to share with you.

"We often think that faith is a recipe for getting what we want from God. If that were true, it would mean that if I could just muster enough faith, I would no longer be blind. But faith is not meant to offer an escape from life's difficulties; its purpose is to give strength to endure them. God allows hardship because of His great mercy and love for us, and He often removes it for the same reason. However, we should not thank Him more fervently on the day our difficult gift is removed than we do on the days we carry it. It takes just as much faith to bear a burden as it does to believe that it can be removed."

"One of our most basic needs is to be known. Yet human companionship cannot provide the kind of complete knowing that our soul craves. God alone can do that because, as our Creator and our constant companion, He knows us completely. If we're truly honest, we have to admit that our desire to be known by Him is far greater than our desire to be independent..."

"If the isolation that accompanies blindness compels me to a deeper connection with God, I am the richer. All of us need to treasure anything within us that makes us feel just a little detached from the greater arena of human experience, for it may be the one thing that God mercifully gives us to tie us to Himself and fill our need to be known by Him."

"...He told me that my hope for healing is in Him alone. Therefore, my soul can wait--wait as long as it takes, even if it never happens here on earth. He alone--not my healing--is my rock and my refuge. My deliverance from blindness is not my source of hope...He is."

"...unless God chooses to heal me here on earth, the very first face I'll see with clarity will be the face of Jesus."

You can read more about Jennifer on her website-JenniferRothschild.com

Mike's Boys

Michael, my seventeen year old red-headed son, has six calves, also known as 'Hummies' or 'Boys.'
I want to introduce them to you because they are special.
These calves are Latin calves. Michael named them.
First, there is Leonidous, named after the Spartan King Leonidous. He's the biggest.
And there's Maximus, which means 'the greatest'. He's a little black Angus calf.
Next, there's Aurelius. He is almost all white and he always escapes from his pen. His name means 'gold.'
And there is Marcus. He's the cranky one. We don't know what his name means. He's just your average looking black and white Holstein.
Then there is Odysseus, the son of Jasmine, an older cow Michael raised. Odysseus is named after the hero in Homer's Odyssey.
Finally, there's Pugly. When he was born, he was ugly. He had bulging eyes that made him look kind of scary. Pugly is not a Latin calf.

Since they were around three days old, Michael has been taking care of them morning and evening. They are now over two months old and he is beginning to wean them from milk. They are the cutest little things with lots of personality.

Lovers of Truth

I have a theory. I believe that any one who is seeking truth with all their hearts will find Him.

11 Thessalonians 2:9-12 says this:
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

It appears to me that we can receive or reject the love of the truth and once we see the truth, we can choose whether or not to believe it. It is hard to imagine anyone seeing Jesus and deliberately deciding not to believe in Him. But people did it in His day and they do it today.
It also seems that if they don't believe the truth, that they are not permitted to remain in a state between truth and a lie. If they reject the truth, He sends them delusions, so that they believe the lie. It looks as if we are either believing the truth or a lie. We are not given much opportunity to lounge around in middle ground.

For several months now, I've been studying different religions with some others in our church body. As we've studied the beginnings and concepts of these different beliefs, I have tried hard to understand them. But I couldn't seem to get my mind wrapped around the ideas that my spirit was rejecting. I found them complex and confusing. If given a test on the information, I surely would have failed.

This study made me appreciate Jesus more than ever. Although He is deeper than deep and wider than wide, He is also simple. So simple, in fact, that He says that we must become like children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He invites us to enter into the relationship that He has with His Father. He says, "I have died for your sins because I am holy enough to be a perfect sacrifice. If you receive what I have done for you, then you can have the same relationship I have with my Father. I will live in you, and you will live in me, and God will love you with the same love with which He loves me."

He says, "Love me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself." If we do this, we will fulfill all of the other laws because love works no harm to its neighbor.

Love God.
Love your neighbor.

Perhaps I can share Jesus better with people who are believers in other gods because I have studied a bit about their religions.

But I think I can share Him best because I know Him and I know He loves them so.

If you seek Me, you will find Me, if you seek for Me with all your heart. Deut. 4:29
Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you. James 4:8

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mar. 20-22, 2009; Hertzler Doings

On Friday, after school, Susan went to Lydia's to spend the night. In the morning, they went with Karen to a water park in Harrisonburg. I picked her up around 8:00 Sat. night. Michael went to Edmonstons for Friday night supper and games. He worked in Loy's vineyard all day Sat. Freeman painted at L'arches with Jason. Phil and I worked around the farm and house by ourselves for most of the day. Starting to feel the empty nest syndrome. I planted some pretty purple pansies inside the hollow tree trunks that Freeman put out in the front flower beds. Also planted some lettuce and spinach seeds in the cold frame Phil built for me.

Philip got back from Florida Sat. eve. and regaled us with stories of fishing escapades, etc. He, Zach, Chad, and Joel had a wonderful time together for a week. They stayed with Zach's relatives for most of the time.

After church, Christi and Gina came back home with us. Freeman grilled some burgers and onions and I had some chili ready with corn tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cheese, sour cream, etc. We looked at Philip's trip pictures. Tonight we are going to do that crazy wax experiment. Michael got some big blocks of wax and we are going to melt it in a five gallon metal bucket over a fire and bring it to a boil. Then we'll add some cold water to the boiling wax and there will be an explosion about 50 ft. high. It's a little bit scary. I have some hot dogs and marshmellows to roast over the leftover fires that will be scattered hither and yon. It's not as bad as it sounds but you would not believe it if you saw it. It's a life-changing experience and I am not convinced that it is even legal. :)

P.S. The kids went four-wheeling and gator riding and I took a walk to my chapel in the earlier afternoon. Phil read and slept. In the early eve., before the wax explosion, we watched "Get Smart" and ate popcorn and gorged ourselves on homemade Auntie Anne's cinnamon and sugar soft pretzels. You can find the recipe on line. We were too full to eat hot dogs, etc. around the fire, and will save it for supper tomorrow night. Gina will still be with us since Tony and Ruth are away for a day or two. Anne called and is now discussing tuxedo fittings, rehearsal time, etc with Phil for their wedding on May 9th. Dave, her fiance', wants me to do my Aberinginee's mating call sometime during the service. He says I can do anything else I want as long as I do that. I said that I might do it when Mark says, "Kiss the bride." It would be a real shocker. The kids are winding up the evening with 'The Three Stooges.' It's been a really nice day, but I am way too full from all of those pretzels I ate.

Mar.22, 2009~Sunday Sermon

This was a good sermon. I had to really focus on it because I had two little precious girls on my lap and in my space for the whole service. Adi wanted to help me take notes and Sammy Jo thought my nose drop container was her real bottle.

I can barely read my notes, so I may have to wing it. Two quotes PF reiterated were the following:

"Our greatest hindrances are trembling now in the presence of God."
"Most of our successes are just beyond our greatest fears."

He also said something that I am pondering. He said something about choosing to follow the compass we've been given and letting God deal with the timeline of our lives. No matter how old we are, we have a call of God in our lives, which serves as our compass. It is never too late to follow that call until He calls us home. The way the call of God works itself out in our lives may differ as we age, but it is still what gives us direction and purpose and we never should give up our call and say that we are finished now. Only God can say when we are done. I've been thinking alot about this. Sometimes, we think we've missed it. But, if we were lost in the woods and took out our compass, we would follow the direction that would lead us to our destination. We wouldn't throw the compass into the woods and say that it is too late to find the way home. We would just turn and start walking in the right direction. The compass of God is a merciful compass and every day is a new beginning.

He read from Genesis 11 and spoke about the blessing of confusion. The people on the earth came together to build a huge tower to make a name for themselves. They said that with this kind of unity, there is nothing we can't do. God came down and confused their language and soon they were scattered over the face of all the earth. That was a good thing.

Unity can do alot of damage if it is self-focused.
Unity can do alot of good if it is God-focused.

The Holy Spirit fell on the group at Pentecost as they gathered together in unity, waiting for the gift Jesus told them would come. The Holy Spirit revealed Himself like a rushing mighty wind and by cloven tongues of fire on each head, and they began to speak in other tongues. Many people believed, were baptized, and were added to the church that day, through Peter's message. The Holy Spirit completely changed Peter's perspective. He was no longer focused on self-preservation; He wanted only the things of God and He didn't care what would happen to him because of it.
Jesus prayed that we would be 'one' so that the world might know that God had sent Him and that He loves them just as much as He loves Jesus.
See what can happen when a church is unified. People will know that Jesus is who He says He is. People will know that God loves them just as much as He loves Jesus. Wow.

Disunity-Lots of energy expended putting out little fires
Unity-One big fire with enough love and light to warm everybody up

I liked this. Jesus helped people feel like they belonged and then they could relax and believe in Him if they so chose. For example, the woman caught in adultery was brought before Him. She was probably thrown on the ground. Jesus got down on her level and started writing in the dirt. I used to think that maybe he wrote the names of the men in the circle who had also sinned. But, as Pastor Frank said, if we were to know, it would have been written for us to know. The important thing is this. Jesus stooped down to be with her in the dirt. And as every man's own sinful life was confirmed by their departure, she realized that they were just as bad as she. But, He lifted her up beyond "All have sinned." He said, "No man here condemns you and neither do I. Go and sin no more."

If people know we love and accept them, then they can hear the truth.
If we preach the truth to people without first loving
and accepting them, we will be making it hard for them to hear the truth.

They need to know that they are not condemned by Him before they can hear, "Go and sin no more."

I think people who have never been to church need to feel loved and accepted.
I think people who have been to church their whole lives need to feel loved and accepted.

Christ accepted us; we should accept one another also.

Freeman's Archives~Take Seventeen~15 years old

We just thought about this today and were laughing as we told Gina.
Freeman said I could blog it.
Freeman was a freshman at Conestoga Christian School. He was in choir.
They were sitting down in their chairs.
Freeman had zippered pants. He could zip them off at the knee.
He did so, letting the lower portion fall around his feet.
He pushed his shorts up and leaned over with his arms on his legs.
It looked like he had dropped his jeans.
One girl looked back and gasped.
Others did the same.
Miss Kulp said, "Oh, Freeman."
He said, "Ok," and zipped his pants back together again.
Oh my.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gems from Mother's Journal

Blue journal-1986-88~

Luke 3:4-6b~"For it (the world) has been handed over to me."
1 John 5:19b~"The whole world lies in the power of the evil one."
No wonder there are tragedies. We can't blame that on God.

Jesus does not just improve situations; He makes them best. Case in point-water into the best wine. Jno. 2:10

In reading the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, I noticed that the father divided the wealth between them at the same time-so the elder brother still had his inheritance all this time so he had lost nothing in his brother's escapades although he calls it his father's wealth that had been devoured. And again I am overwhelmed by all that statement in vs. 31-ALL THAT I HAVE IS YOURS can and does mean for us spiritually!
And then the father's sweet statement "My child" instead of "You are very childish in your reaction." And this is Jesus' picture of the Father. And who should know better!

Adjectives describing Stephen in Acts 6:

Little notes

My mother gave me some little notes I wrote when I was about six or seven years old.
I keep them in a magnetic frame on my fridge just to remind myself of what is really important.

"Dear Jesus in
heaven I wish you
would come to
talk with me"


From my Kitchen Wall~2008

Ps. 71:5,6~
For You are my refuge and my hope,
O Lord God;
By you I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother's womb.
My praise shall be continually of you.

Ruth 2:12~
The Lord repay your work,
and a full reward be given you by the
Lord God of Israel,

under whose wings you have come for shelter and refuge.

Arise, my soul, arise!
Shake off thy guilty fears!
The bleeding Sacrifice
In my behalf appears;
Before the throne
my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.
(Charles Wesley)

One Unique Relationship

by Bill Freeman-"The Supplied Life"

I've been re-reading this particular devotional for several days now, and I want to share it with you.

"All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." Matthew 11:27

We do not have a separate relationship with God apart from the Father and Son's own relationship. God is not establishing new relationships with others. He has established one relationship, and that is with His Son. Then He gives that relationship away as a gift. This is the meaning of the gift of eternal life in the New Testament. Eternal life is receiving the Son of God into us and participating in His relationship with the Father. John 17:3 says, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." Also, 1 John 5:20 says, "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."

When we receive eternal life, we receive the Father and Son's very own relationship. Now Christ Himself is my relationship with the Father. You and I do not have a different relationship with God from the one Christ has with the Father. This is why, after the Lord revealed the one unique relationship in the universe between Himself and the Father, He immediately said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt.11:27-28).

This means that there is no longer any need to labor and struggle in our souls, trying to establish our own relationship with God(Rom. 10:3,4). We only need to come to Jesus and learn from Him. When we do, we become one with Him and discover that our relationship with the Father is actually His relationship. We are merging with His relationship with the Father, and this brings rest to our souls.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What Makes Someone Beautiful?

I went out to town the other day to run some errands and I stopped in to see Dee. Her aunt had passed away and she had some other adjustments to make in life, so I had a card for her. She opens her shop, Courage, at 1:00. Two teenage boys were waiting for her on the steps, their skateboards in tow. She was running a little late. We chitchatted a bit and then the one said, "I will give her that card for you, if you trust me." I looked him straight in the eyes and said, "I do. Thank-you." I turned and walked to my car without looking back. For all they knew, I could have had some cash in that card. I couldn't risk not giving them a chance to be trustworthy. I drove by a short time later and the faithful young man was still holding the card, unopened.

Dee called this evening and thanked me for the card. She said that the young men said that a nicely dressed, attractive woman asked them to give it to her. I have to say that I was surprized at the description of myself. I had on my oldest jeans with the bulgy superglue stains , my sneakers, and a button down shirt. I think he thought I was attractive because I trusted him.

I'm being very vulnerable here. I've never been in the Beautiful Women's Club. I've also never experienced the insecurity that my beautiful friends have had-the fear that guys only liked them for their beauty. Beautiful women are some of the most prejudiced against women in America. I've always felt a bit sorry for them.

My mother is a beautiful woman. The guys in high school would line the hallway and sing the old hymn, using her maiden name, "Oh, Beulah Landis, Sweet Beulah Landis..." as she walked by. It was said that she was the most beautiful woman in Lancaster County. But I look like my father and I'm okay with that. He had his own sense of style. I've got his nose, that's for sure. I never even knew my nose was pointy until Miss Derstine, my seventh grade teacher said, in her speech about self-acceptance, "Annette has a pointy nose, and she doesn't mind."
Some time after I was married, a family friend gushed, "Annette, you are so much more attractive now then when you were younger." I just laughed at the insulting compliment, but my mother was upset about that one for awhile.

I remember shopping with my mother ten years ago, or so, and men would hover around just to look at her. She was completely oblivious to their attention. When we went back home to my dad, I said, " All the men look at mother." He said something like, "Tell me about it. I've had to deal with this all my life." I could tell he was proud. She thought we were both nuts.

Phil said to me last week, "You endear yourself to me in a hundred different ways every day." He often tells me I am beautiful but I never get the sense that he is talking about how I look. So, today, I am sorting out what makes a person beautiful.

Kindness is beautiful.
Gracious uncertainty is beautiful as is gracious confidence.
Trust is beautiful.
A smile and a cheerful greeting is beautiful.

I think when someone loves us, we are beautiful to them.
I think when we love someone, we are beautiful to them.

I know an awful lot of beautiful people.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Freeman's Archives~Take Sixteen-3 1/2 yrs old

Free-"The windshield wipers are dancin' with each other!"

Freeman looked at the fridge and very quietly said, "Be quiet."
Me~"What did you say?"
Free~"The fridgerators yellin' at me."

I said, "Oh, dear."
Freeman said, "Don't say that because you're not praying. You should only say that when you pray." (He had been saying,'O my God' and I told him to say that only when he's praying. This was at an earlier time.)
Me~"I didn't say, 'O my God,' I said, "Oh, dear!"
Free~"That means God, too."

Free~"Mommy, remember when I was afraid of the dark? An angel came down and said, 'Be not afraid', and I'm not afraid anymore. (He isn't either.)
I asked Free,"What color were his clothes?"
"What color was his hair?"
"What color were his eyes?"
"They were yellow, too."

"You have a boy baby in your belly." (He was right.)

"You are a perfect mother. You're so precious."

Freeman was out "helping" Uncle Ollie put chicks into the chicken house. He rinsed off his hands when he came in and I gave him a snack-milk and cookies. He kept dipping his fingers in the milk and I said,"You have all kinds of chicken germs in there." Freeman said, "I don't have chicken germs; I have boy germs."

Freeman speaking to a man on the phone, "No, my dad's at work. You have to go to the right and into the corner, and there you will see my dad's van."
Me-"Let me talk to him."
Free-"No, he's a man."
The poor man gave up and hung up.

Free-"Jesus touched me and I feel better. I was sick of being three. Jesus touched me and now I'm four."

Book Report~"Rescued"-audio book

by John Bevere

Many times at night, I listen to a scripture CD or some relaxing music. The other night, I decided to put in the audio book, "Rescued", that Betty Gibbs had lent me. This is not a "book" to go to sleep on. I turned it off, and listened to it another day "when I was sick and lay abed." It's perfect to listen to when you want to rest and not sleep and get your exercise heart rate going for over 30 min.

This is a story about a pastor and his church and a cruise that went bad. As people were leaving this world and going into the next, we're given glimpses as to where they were going. (Heaven or hell) We got a peek into the Great Judgment seat of God and saw how things might pan out on that final day.

I doubted my salvation for several hours afterwards which is especially disconcerting when one feels sick enough to die. But then, with relief, I heard that wonderful still small voice saying to me, "You know better than that." Truly, I had to go back to what I knew. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, then thou shalt be saved." I think it's in Romans. My righteousness, my right to go to Heaven, is based on Christ work at the cross, and my acceptance of His gift into my life.

But, faith without works, is dead. Faith works by love. It really does matter how I live. I need to treat my family right and not twist the scriptures to get them to say something that will back up any of my distorted thinking or actions. Our works will also be judged by a consuming fire and will be found as gold and silver or as hay and stubble when the smoke dies down.

"Depart from me, I never knew you," are words no one should ever hear. And they are words that God has no desire to say. It's time to know Him and be known of Him, this lover of our souls.

I've read another book by John Bevere called "Honor." It's a great book and when I reread it, I'll write another book report.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Report-"Bad Girls of the Bible"

(And what we can learn From Them)-by Liz Curtis Higgs

I picked this book up at Baine's for $3.00.

Liz studied ten women from the Bible and labeled them as fitting under one of three categories.

1- Bad to the bone-included Jezebel, Potiphar's wife, and Delilah
2-Bad for a moment-Lot's wife, Sapphira, and Michal
3-Bad for a Season, but not forever-The woman at the well, Rahab, and the Sinful Woman who anointed Jesus' feet.
And the First Bad Girl award goes to Eve.

Liz included a poem in the back of the book and I will copy it here to summarize the book study.

"Eve had a hunger that cost her a garden;
Potiphar's wife had an appetite too;
Lot lost his mate when her past swirled around her;
Delilah went bad when she snipped a new 'do.

Sapphira fell flat when it came down to money;
Jezebel ordered her husband around;
Michal missed the message in King David's worship;
To the bone, in a moment, their badness was found.


A woman in Samaria found a thirst quencher;
A sinner, a woman, anointed Christ's feet;
Rahab, the harlot, became a believer;
Her sin, like the walls, crumbled down in defeat.

Bad for a season, but no, not forever,
Not these three role models saved from despair.
Made new by God, their changed lives teach the lesson:
If we but ask Him, grace waits for us there.

by Liz Curtis Higgs

You Were the Joy-Scene Twelve

The choir begins to sing:

"Worthy, O worthy
Worthy, O worthy
Worthy, O worthy
Is the Lamb that was slain."

Women-"And honor..."
Women-"And power.."
All-"And wisdom to the lamb that was slain."
(Repeat both portions of song several times)

Choir turns to face Jesus as He appears on a white horse, amidst clouds ( smoke machine) with a crown on His head and a sword in His hand. Gabriel, leading the horse, raises the trumpet to his lips. Jesus cries out, " I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Let everyone who is thirsty, come, and I will give you to drink from the fountain of the water of life!"
Lights go back to cast for a short time and when they are focused back on Jesus, He is holding a little black lamb and is still seated on the white horse. The End.

(Several different versions of the ending took place.)

You Were the Joy-Scene Eleven

Jesus speaks to audience:

"Do you know why I left heaven's glory to be born as a babe among men?
Do you know why I endured the cross and despised its shame?
Do you know what kept Me going?

It was for the joy that was set before Me.
The joy of giving you My love and having you accept it with all your heart.

The joy of knowing I would have you with Me in heaven-forever.

You were the joy set before Me."

Jesus is given a lighted lamp and begins to sing, "You Were the Joy" to the same tune as the "Remember the Joy" song the angels sang to Him. Cast members bring candles and light them on His lamp and go out into the audience and light their candles. The choir joins Jesus in singing to the audience:

"You were the joy,
You were the joy,
You were the joy set before Me.

You were the joy,
You were the joy,
You were the joy set before Me."

Jesus leaves and the choir re-groups and sings Martha's proclamation:

"Lord, we believe
that You are the Messiah
The Son of God who's come into the world.
And we will live with You
Eternally in heaven
No more sickness, sorrow, or pain."

You Were the Joy-Scene Ten

John the Beloved-
"At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden, a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. It was there that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, secret disciples of Jesus, prepared His body and lovingly laid Him to rest.

Our King was dead.
Our hope was gone.
Why get up in the morning?
Why go on?
He who restored life to others-destroyed by death itself.

Three days later, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to Peter and me and breathlessly exclaimed, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put Him!'

Peter and I raced to the tomb and discovered the burial linens lying there, neatly folded. We saw and we believed, but we didn't yet know what Jesus meant when He said He would come back to life.
So, we went home believing, yet uncertain as to what we were believing.

Not so with Mary! She wanted more. She wanted Jesus. She would not let Him go."

Song-"It is Finished"-Mary sings through her song and is joined the second time by Jesus singing a new version of her song. When she realizes it is Him, she also sings it with Him, and runs to get the disciples and the rest of the cast, and they all sing it together.

(Mary Magdelene)
"It is finished.
It is done.
His body's broken
His spirit's gone.
How could they kill Him?
God's only Son-
The battle's over,
Darkness has won..."

"It is finished
It is done.
The battle's over,
The victory's won!
Come see my triumph!
Hell's demons run.
Death now is conquered,
Life has begun."

You Were the Joy-Scene Nine

Song-"A Mother's Lullaby"-
(sung by Mother Mary to her son, after His death)

"If I had to do it all over again,
Would I be Your mother, my Maker?
If I'd known of the pain that I feel right now,
Would I be Your mother, my son?

Now that I understand what he meant when he said,
'A sword would pierce my heart,'
Now that I know what it means
To say, 'Yes', to God,
Would I be Your mother, my Son?

You've been my baby, my toddler, my little carpenter
You've been more than a mother could dream of
Now You're my Savior, Redeemer, my way back to God-
How can I thank You for coming to me?

If I had to do it all over again,
I would be Your mother, my Maker.
If I'd known of the pain that I feel right now,
I would be Your mother my son."

You Were the Joy-Scene Eight


"Surely, this man was the Son of God.
Surely this man was the Son of God.
Look on His face-
Such love and forgiveness.
Surely, He was the Son of God."

Choir crowd joins in singing while Jesus is taken from cross and is laid gently on the ground in front of His mother.

You Were the Joy-Scene Seven


"After we left the Upper Room, we made our way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas was no longer with us, but we didn't understand why he had gone. Only later would we find out the awful truth; his betrayal of our Lord.
The events of the next few days were so terrible,-so devasting,-so wonderful,- so unbelievable.
The moments sped by, yet lasted for an eternity."

Song-"Remember the Joy"-Scenes acted out during song.

"Father, take this cup from me.(Mother Mary echoes first line of each
verse He sings.)
I cannot bear to go to Calvary."

"Remember the Joy
Remember the Joy
Remember the Joy
Set before You."

"Father, they mock Me in disgrace.
Father, the blood runs down my face.

(Angels-chorus-"Remember the Joy...")

"Father, they nailed Me to a tree
Father, my mother weeps for Me."

(Angels-chorus-"Remember the Joy...")

"Father, I cannot see Your face.
Father, I do not feel Your grace."

(Angels sing chorus several times)


You Were the Joy-Scene Six


"Throughout the course of that unforgettable evening, Jesus was intense in His words and actions. He knew we had one last chance to get ahold of His truths; and instead of resting to prepare Himself for what was ahead, He poured His very life into us, before He would lay it down.
He promised us that, although we couldn't go with Him now, He would come back and take us to the beautiful home He would prepare for us.
And He promised to send us the Holy Spirit in His place, to give us comfort, counsel, and truth.
He exhorted us to love each other in the same way He loved us.
And He prayed for us.
He prayed for you, too."

Song-"High Priestly Prayer"


"Father, the time has come
Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You.
Life everlasting I give to Your children
So they may know You, and they may know Me.
I have finished My work.
I want to come home.
Father, glorify Your Son."

"I pray for these You have given to Me,
For they have believed and accepted Me
And they have glorified Me.
Protect them, Father, by the power of Your name,
So they may be one even as You and I are one.
Sanctify them by truth,
Your Word is the truth.
Father, purify Your sons."

"I pray for those who will someday believe
Through the message of these men
May they be brought to complete unity.
So that the world may believe You have sent Me
And have loved them even as You have loved Me.
I want them by My side to see all of My glory.
Father, give them unity."

"Father, the time has come.
Glorify Your Son."

You Were the Joy-Scene Five

"On the evening of the Passover, Jesus gathered the twelve of us together for the Passover Feast. He demonstrated His great love for us by washing our feet. It was very difficult to let Him serve us in this way. Only Peter was brave enough to say how he felt."

Song-"The Last Supper"

"Why should You, the King of Kings,
Stoop to wash my feet?
You should be served by the finest of slaves,
-Be resting in the highest seat."

"Eat my bread, drink My wine
Take all that I've given to you.
Hear My voice, feel My fire,
See My hand of mercy on you.

"I will never leave You, Jesus.
I love you more than my life.
I will stand by and guard You with my sword
Protect you from the tempter's strife."


"I think I understand what you're saying.
You're laying down your life for me.
And even if I would deny You,
Your grace is offered back to me."

(Jesus, then crowd choir, sings chorus)
Jesus offers cup to Judas. He takes it and leaves.

You Were the Joy-Scene Four

John the Beloved-

"The next day, the news that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet Him."
"'Don't be afraid,' Zechariah had said. 'Don't be afraid, O people of Zion. Behold your king is coming, meek and lowly, and riding on a donkey's colt.'"
"It was a wonderful time-a truly glorious experience."

Song-"Triumphant Entry"

"Hosanna! Hosanna!
Blessed is He who comes!
Hosanna! Hosanna!
Blessed is He who comes!

"Blessed is He who comes
In the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest,
He is Lord."

"Welcome to our city, Lord.
May your kingdom come.
Be our King and reign forever,
Rule from David's throne."

"King of Kings, Lord of Lords
Jesus is the King of Kings.
King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
Jesus is the King!"


(This scene involves waving of palm branches, healings, and live animals.) A man dressed as a disciple, Tom Hertzler to be exact, was our official "Pooper Scooper" as he followed the donkey down the plastic runner on the center aisle carpet.

You Were the Joy-Scene Three

John the Beloved-

"After Lazarus was raised to life, many Jewish leaders believed in Jesus. But the ones who did not believe, or rather refused to believe, became even more intent in plotting His death."

Pharisee #1- "What are we going to do, for this man certainly does
Pharisee #2- "If we let Him alone, the whole nation will follow Him,
and then the Roman army will come and destroy us and take
over the Jewish government."

"On the advice of Caiphas they decided it was better for one man to die, rather than the whole nation be destroyed, so they plotted to kill Jesus. Therefore, Jesus withdrew from His public ministry and stayed with His disciples in the little town of Ephraim."

Pharisee #1-(To audience)-"If any of you find out where Jesus is, report
to us immediately, so we may arrest Him."

"As the time for the Jewish Passover drew near, many people wondered if Jesus would come. Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived in Bethany. A banquet was given there in His honor."

"I still weep when I remember how tenderly Mary anointed His feet. He told us it was in preparation for His burial. Somehow, she knew what was in His heart, and she did her best to comfort Him and move Him on to face His pain."

Song-"Jesus, Lover of My Soul"

Lover of my soul,
I cannot bear to look into Your eyes
For they tell me You are leaving,
They say that you are grieving,
Why must you say, 'Good-bye?'"


"So I'll anoint Your feet with the oil of sweet perfume
And I will dry the tears that are flowing down your cheeks.
I'll hold you in my heart even when You're gone.
I'll say 'Good-bye' before they bury You."

Lover of my soul,
I long to stay forever at Your feet
To hear the truth that sets me free,
Your words of peace they quiet me.
Why must You say, 'Good-bye?'"

Lover of my soul,
You love the world as much as You love me.
So, I'll turn Your face to Calvary.
I know they'll hang you on a tree,
But the time has come for me to say 'Good-bye'"