Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hertzler Doings~April 27-May 3, 2009

Phil was planting corn (sweet and field) whenever he got a chance to this week.
We will have 'Incredible' sweet corn in about two months.

28th-Went to Ruritan Club in eve. for "Ladie's Night Out." We were served a nice meal. Before any order of business, we sang "My Country Tis of Thee." One of the members then prayed for the community, asking God to give us wisdom for ways to help our community in the best way. After the meal, a group called 'Heartland' entertained us with their singing and playing guitar. We invited them to the Pig Roast on June 20th. We closed up the evening by standing, placing our hand over our heart, and pledging allegiance to the flag.

29th-Good day at school. This time, when I was teaching the children the Jewish dance to "I lay in Zion..." we danced the whole way around the school in the inside, going through the library and into the office. Mrs. Jones came out of her office, smiling, and the secretarys enjoyed it and clapped for us as we left. Each class that came in wanted to do the same thing, since they had seen the other children do it. I got my exercise in. Try singing and dancing at the same time.
Shopped in town in the eve. for Michael's clothes for Anne's wedding. Went to new group tonight at church, studying 'Answers in Genesis' by Ken Ham.

30th-Planted more garden in eve. with Freeman and Susan. We planted 24 tomato plants, 8 pepper plants, some watermelon plants and seeds, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash, cucumbers, canteloupe, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. The peas, onions, beets, lettuce, radishes, and potatoes are visibly growing. Played Dutch Blitz with Susan and watched two showings of 'House.'

31st-No school today. Michael helped with the golfing fundraiser for CCA. I slept in until 10:30. Must have needed that sleep. Cleaned the house. Made bread dough and made 4 pizzas and 1 loaf of bread from half of the dough. To the other half I added chopped up apricots and prunes, dried cranberries, raisins, zest of an orange and a lemon, sprinkles of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and ground pecans. Really good. Worked on flower bed out front. Walked to the river and back.

May 1-Met Lynn and Makenzie Kiss--- at Noah's Pet Shop and she followed me into Farmville. We parked at Gil and Lindsay's and walked with them and the girls, Nikki and Jack, into the Heart of Virginia Festival. Saw lots of church people plus others. Ate lunch at the Daily Grind. The girls were big spenders and bought matching horse necklaces and earrings, rings, kettle corn, matching scarves, funnel cake, fries, cotton candy, snow cones, etc. They got their ankles painted and some tatoos rubbed on. They got their hair tips sprayed with black spray paint. They had the time of their lives. Went to the river for an hour when we got back and they swam and laughed. They took care of Susan's bunnies and searched for crickets in the dark for the frogs. Chelsea L~~ and a friend came over after 9 and watched a movie with Philip and Michael in our living room. I fell asleep right away and so did Phil and we never heard all the noise. Philip was relieved.

May 2~Makenzie went to church with us and enjoyed the children's service. We had another unique service with alot of ministry at the altar, especially for the 30 years old and under generation. Got to hold Sammy Jo and I took her up to the altar and held her so she could feel the presence of God and get used to it and know it. Although, I know she feels it whenever she's with her grandmama, Judy. Earlier I had held little Ryder Davis and he was worshiping God with his whole being. His arms and legs were going 90 m.p.h. and he held Phil's pen like a drum stick and imitated Chris who was playing drums. His mama decided I needed rescuing. Last week, he held so still and acted like he was sleeping with his eyes wide open and this week, he acted like he had some Mountain Dew in his system. I just loved it.

Had potato soup, toast, and homegrown lettuce salad for lunch. Rested in afternoon. Sam and Lynn Kiss~~~ came to pick up Makenzie around 6:00. They visited for awhile. He works the pipeline and they travel from place to place. We will really miss them when they leave the area. Susan and I are hoping to make a road trip to visit their home in Kentucky sometime this summer. Sam and Phil played and sang some tunes with the guitar. They brought their little dog, Jasper, with them. We brought in some rabbits and the dog was about the same size as the rabbits.
The boys went to see a movie in town in the eve. We've had a really nice day. So glad for the rain.

Glimpses of Michael

Written especially for Grandma Diffenbach.
Michael is my 17-year-old giant-of-a-red-head son.

We had an unusual Sunday service. Philip and Michael were getting goosebumps on top of goosebumps. Mike said, 'It was not possible for me to get any more goosebumps."
They were especially moved by the testimony of the family with the 3 week old baby whose life was touched by God's oil so His lungs could breathe and his calling in life be secured.
Another woman shared how they had lost contact with their one brother for 6 1/2 years. Another brother went to the hospital and heard his lost brothers voice on the other side of the curtain.
Michael asked me, 'Do you know that your hair grows when you get goosebumps? My hair grew an inch longer on Sunday.'

Michael was in chemistry class. Another student, I'll call her Mickey, was getting antsy. Michael thought he'd distract her. "Do you know that it is impossible to touch your elbow to your ear?" he asked.
"That kept her busy for awhile," said Mike.

Last night we went shopping at Belk's for Michael's wedding wardrobe for Aunt Anne's wedding coming up May 9th. A nice lady helped us for nearly an hour and a half. We bought a black pin-striped suit, two shirts, two ties, a belt, dress socks and dress shoes and also a golf shirt. Almost everything was was 'Buy one-get one free' plus I signed up for a card and got another 15% off the final cost. Michael had earlier thought that he would need to buy it all but really had no money. I told him that since he was seventeen years old, that we would buy it for him and he was just so thankful for every little thing. The nice lady said quietly to me, "He is such a pleasant young man."
"Thank you," I said. "He really is."

What's on Your Gravestone?

The story about Enoch has always fascinated me.

We don't know much about him.

Hebrews 11:5 says it this way,
"By faith Enoch was taken away
so that he did not see death,
and was not found,
Because God had taken him;
For before He was taken
He had this testimony,

In other words,
if he had stayed around and died like a normal person,
his gravestone would have been engraved with the words,

Hebrews goes on to say that Enoch pleased God because He had faith in God.
So God just took him because He wanted to have him with Him.

Just think of the funeral costs we could save our family.

Fear Factor

This morning I hit the snooze button.
I closed my eyes and prayed," God, I'm scared. So many people are going through so many things."
I have never heard God speak audibly.
I just hear words in my spirit or get impressions and sometimes it is God I hear and sometimes, it is just me but I think it is God.
But today, in my spirit, I'm quite sure I heard Him say, "Can you honestly look me in the face and tell my you're scared?"
His answer was in the question of this humorous challenge, and
I had to laugh.
Because if I look Him in the face, I won't be scared.
Not as much, anyway.
The more clearly I see Him, the less scared I'll be.
Like the blind man who saw men looking like trees walking (after Jesus touched him the first time), so I see God's face but sometimes through a glass darkly.
I need Him to touch my eyes again so I can see Him clearly and then I won't be so scared.

Ps. 34:5 says, "They looked to Him and were radiant and their faces were not ashamed."

Somewhere in the Bible it says that we see God in the face of Jesus Christ. So His is the face I picture when I want to see God's face.
Some day soon, I'll get to see if the face I imagined is His real face.
Until then, my imagination will have to do.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Book Report~Matthew #2

I already gave one book report on Matthew, but since I read a chapter from one of the gospels every day, I will write more about these books. My Bible notes say that early church tradition attributes Matthew as being the writer of this gospel. Little is known about him besides his name and his occupation as tax collector. "Tradition says that for fifteen years following the resurrection of Jesus he preached in Palestine and then conducted missionary campaigns in other nations." Matthew is thought to be the first gospel written sometime between A.D. 50 and 65.

Matthew tells the story of John the Baptist preaching repentance. (3:1) I found the notes in my Bible about repentance very interesting.

"Repentance is a decision that results in a change of mind, which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action."

"The first call of the kingdom is to repentance. The implications of biblical repentance are threefold:
1) renunciation and reversal,
2) submission and teachability, and
3) continual shapeability. "

"There is no birth into the kingdom without hearing the call to salvation, renouncing one's sin, and turning from sin towards Christ the Savior (Acts 3:19).

There is no growth in the kingdom without obedience to Jesus' commandments and a childlike responsiveness as a disciple of Jesus, yielding to the teaching of God's Word (James 1:21-25).

There is no lifelong increase of fruit as a citizen of the kingdom without a willingness to accept the Holy Spirit's correction and guidance (Eph. 4:30)."

Notes taken from 'The New Spirit Filled Life Bible'-NKJV

Some of the men that Jesus called out to be His disciples were not men that others were particularly fond of. He did not call those who thought they had it all together. He called the sick; those in need of a physician. Those who are needy are the most teachable. "Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, (those who know their own wretchedness) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3 ~ (My favorite beatitude.)

How to Recognize a Psychopath

Fox News had someone on the other day who gave tips about how to recognize a psychopath. I took notes. It could be a she as well as a he.

#1-Does he creep you out?

#2-Does he lie alot?

#3-Does he have a chip of his shoulder? "Everyone is out to get me."

#4-Is he manipulative?

#5-Does he lack empathy?

Webster's definition of psychopath:
" A person having a character disorder distinguished by amoral or antisocial behavior without feelings of remorse."

Confession is good for the soul

I have a confession to make.
I don't usually say the following word,
but I did on this particular day not that long ago.
Michael and Philip left some sort of food mess on a kitchen chair.
I said, not unkindly, "Make sure you clean all the crap off that chair."
They were visibly shocked.
Michael said to Philip, "Our little mommy is growing up."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gems from Mother's Journal

Luke 5:6~Jesus blessed Peter's fishing business by such a large catch that you would have thought he would ask Him to come be a partner. Instead, he leaves it all and goes with Jesus.

A good motto to use for repentance in our nation:
Jer. 18:8-"If that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it."

I was so impressed this morning with the people and the vivid description John gives of them and their emotions and my emotional response. I hate those Pharisees. I have sympathy for Pilate. I shield my emotions over Jesus' death. I thrilled and rejoiced with Mary Magdalene-what a wonderful experience that she would have missed had she hurried away. Thomas, from doubt to triumphant faith-"My Lord and My God!" Peter, hurting and wondering, "You know that I love you." And John, the humble recorder, 'I wrote "that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."

Psa. 123-""So our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He shall be gracious to us." Just keep looking to Him-not the circumstances.

Michael's Archives-21months old

June 17, 1993~Took a walk with Michael in the stroller. Found a freshly dead chipmunk in good shape and showed Michael. He loved this dear thing. Cuddled it under his chin and laid it down and patted it, singing, "All night, All night." He touched his nose to its slightly bloody one and put it in his toy bus and gave it a ride. Because I was becoming increasingly uneasy about chipmunk rabies, I finally underhandedly discarded the poor thing into Mary Ann's bushes. He cried, looking for it and I waited anxiously to make sure Michael didn't start foaming at the mouth or biting more than usual. Several days have passed and I think our chipmunk was a nice, healthy, dead one.

September, '93-2 years old-
Phil shot two doves. Michael fell in love with them, carrying them with him everywhere. I discovered him halfway up the stairs with them in tow. He was taking them to bed with him. I convinced him to lay them on an egg carton and cover them with a paper towel. He said, "Nighty-night" to them. I put them out on the porch after he had fallen asleep.

April 21-26,2009-Hertzler Doings

April 21-Tues. Gena and Ruth here in morn. Dropped off yard sale items at school in afternoon. Michael and Susan wanted to be with me in kitchen after school. "Will you show me how to make this? " asked Michael. Good time and good conversation. Shopped at Walmart with Phil in eve. I can now count the number of times we have shopped together on two hands, I think. I find it so 'romantical'. Stopped at McD's for vanilla ice cream cones. First ice cream in months. Way too much for both of us. Found some yellow, blue, purple and scarlet flowers today.

April 22-Difficult day at school and then a difficult phone call that eve. I did not sleep the whole night. Phil away overnight and not around to help process things. I find a burden growing from this difficult week. It has to do with the students that I come in contact with at school. Do I relate to the students on the basis of their behavior and their grades? Do I give them respect if they are good students and good kids? Or do I relate to them on the basis of the preciousness of their souls? If they would leave our school this year and not come back the next, would they have come to know Jesus at our school? Would they want to have come to know Jesus because of who we are and how we have treated them? Do I speak words of blessing and a hopeful future over them? Or do my words show disdain and anger when they don't behave the way I want them to? Do I respect everyone great or small? Do I use my authority to serve the ones "under" me? Do I really love them? Do I really care about them and their lives and the sorrows and joys they so long to share?

April 23-Happy Birthday, dear Mother. It is hard to believe that you are 84 years old. Thank you for having me and for having all of my siblings. Thank you for sticking with my father through good times and bad. Thank you for reading to me for an hour every night. Thank you for making company food for every meal. Thank you for exposing me to different cultures through the Fresh Air program and by giving hospitality to missionaries home on furlough. Thank you for being an artist in everything you touch and write. Thank you for loving Phil and our children. Thank you for taking such good care of yourself through the years. Thank you for having compassion on the weak. Thank you for taking me for walks in the woods and through the fields and on the railroad tracks. Thank you for everything. I could go on forever, but I'll just love you forever.

April 24-Great day at school. Took time to listen and talk with the children. Taught all classes the Jewish dance that goes with the Cornerstone Hymn-"I lay in Zion...for a foundation...a stone.." You remember the dance? It's like riding a bike. It all comes back...
Ladies Night out at the Daily Grind.

April 25-Phil was on tractor all day. Planted 2 acres of sweet corn and 23 acres of field corn. We prayed that meadow larks nest in the fields would not get run over. We heard them singing the next morning and were so grateful that the machinery in the fields did not cause them to lose their song. Chi Alpha here in afternoon. They played in the river, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire, and played kickball with a gigantic soccer ball. They enjoyed the calves, the chicks, rabbits, and baby quail. Emma reassured Philip over and over how much she loved him by her words, hugs, and kisses. Adi fell asleep as I took her for one last ride on the gator. Freeman begged to hold her and he stood in the closing prayer circle with Adi asleep in his arms. Phil and Gil prayed for the students. It was a wonderful day.

April 26-Got call from Judy on way to church. Tom in hospital. Please Jesus, help them. Heard a number of burdens today. There is so much going much pressure and stress in people's lives. Church service took a different direction. Several testimonies were shared and the altar was open for ministry. Pastor Frank shared just a bit of his sermon. It was about Jesus' first miracle-the turning of water into wine. The main thought that I took away was that when Jesus touches the ordinary (water) He will turn the ordinary into the best. The best is yet to come. He saves the best for last. I was riding my gator the other day, and got that same impression. I felt that God was going to do more with Phil and I in the remaining years of our lives than He has done so far. I do not know what that is. But He is cleansing our family from things that could cause downfall and He is cleansing our lives from material clutter and He is helping us to lose weight and get in better shape physically as well. None of this is pleasant but I do so want to be free to live without encumbrances. Most of all, I think we need to live each day without the encumbrance of the past, whether it is yesterday or last year, or twenty years ago. We need to be free from condemnation and sin. We need to be free from the trap of past successes. We need to let the trophies go. We need to be free to know that "He loves us...oh, how He loves us..." and receive His love with all our hearts. We can't be cleaning ourselves up and then receiving His love. We receive His love and then He cleans us up. That way, He gets the honor and glory for the beauty from ashes that comes out of our lives.
In the afternoon, Alli and Freeman went down to the river and Christi and Philip went fishing. Jordan and Hayley came over and Hayley and Susan went swimming in the river while I read a book about simplifying one's life and got some sun.
Phil wants me to watch 'Negotiator' with him. Sounds like fun.

Friday, April 24, 2009


My friend, Jeanne, said that she gets intoxicated with the smell of freshly mown grass. I do too. She got me thinking about what intoxicates me about spring, and I started making a list. Here it is.


...the scent of Heaven in lacy lavender lilacs
...the scent of green in freshly mown grass
...the scent of earth when rain has come to bless it~
I am intoxicated with spring.

...the sight of fog steaming up from the creek in the low grounds
...the sight of our eagle soaring effortlessly above the norm
...the sight of bluebells blanketing the woodlands ~
I am intoxicated with spring.

...the sound of baby quail seeking shelter in a group hug
...the sound of small frogs peeping in our swamp
...the sound of the early bird chirping to his sweetheart ~
I am intoxicated with spring.

...the taste of watercress on homemade bread with mayonnaise
...the taste of beef that once had roamed our fields
...the taste of onions pulled up before they're ready~
I am intoxicated with spring.

...the touch of soil in my eager hands while planting
...the touch of love from my daughter, sons, and Phil
...the touch of God on the winter snow in my heart~
I am intoxicated with spring.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Yesterday, I sat down to eat lunch on the sofa and turned on the news. It was too awful to watch so I turned on God TV. Rein---- Bonnke was preaching. I soon started to take notes. It was really good. Here goes... (He was preaching from the story of the 1,3,and 5 talents. )

"The man (who buried his one talent) didn't lose his talent; he preserved it. It would have been better had he risked his talent on an investment and lost than to have kept it and hid it."

"I am not worried about leaving a legacy. I want to see Hell empty and Heaven full."

"I am a treasure hunter looking for buried talent. Take out your buried talents and invest them in God so Jesus will have a return on His investment in you when He comes back. Get the shovel and dig it out."

"I don't know how many talents I have. I have less talents then people think. But this I have done. I have helped people find their talents. If you don't want your talents, please loan them to me. I believe I can get a million more souls in Heaven by using your talent."

He was scolded by some people for having women pastors on his team. He said regarding that encounter, "Every time my brain doesn't work so quick, I go one level higher where there is a flame. 'Lord, what do I say?' and quickly the words came. 'If I, as a man, was drowning in a river, it wouldn't matter to me, if my rescuer was a man or a woman.'
We fuss about things that aren't important. Rescue the perishing. Care for the dying. Jesus is merciful. Jesus will save."

"Jesus saves. There is no other Savior. Nobody can take the cross from us Christians. Nobody else died for the sins of the world but Jesus. Therefore, there is no other Savior. Jesus saves. You have to call on the name of the Lord."

"There were two parachuters. The first one jumped out of the plane. He fell rapidly and as he fell, he kept saying, 'I am absolutely safe. I have a parachute on my back.' He was still saying those words a split second before he hit the ground-hard. The second man jumped to a fast conclusion. He jumped out of the plane and said, 'Yes, I have a parachute on my back, but I have to do something with it.' He pulled the ripcord and landed safely on the ground."

"When it comes to your salvation, I have found the ripcord in the Bible. It is Romans 10:13-'Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'"

"That parachute will open.
You will no more fall.
He will keep you from falling."

We've been given talents to make investments so Jesus gets a return on His investment in us when He comes back. That really hits me. Sometimes, we hide our talent because we've been hurt or offended or betrayed and we think, 'I will just play it safe and hide. I might flub up and have to eat humble pie again and I don't want to risk it.'
Just like the man who hid the talent, we might be afraid..."I was afraid..." and we misjudge the character of God, saying that "He is too hard..."
Sometimes, our talent needs to be used in the invisible seasons of our life. We invest the gift given to us into our little children and think that we are not doing something important because no one else sees. But, what is done in secret, is more important than what is done in the public eye. Afterall, a seed is buried in the secret darkness of the soil. It can only grow that way. What is buried in secret will have a visible harvest if it is buried as a seed meant to grow instead of a treasure meant to be hidden.

Bottom line. We get caught up in self-preservation and the whole time we are doing this, people are going to hell.

Jesus never said we had to be perfect to use our talents, nor did He say we have to use them perfectly. We won't. We will fail. But to bury our talents and not use them at all, is a tragic failure with eternal sorrowful results. Our talents were never ours anyway. They were given to us so we'd have something to invest in the lives of others.

Take courage.
Don't be afraid.
A child falls alot when he is learning to use the gift of his legs.
What if he refused to get up after falling?

Let's get out our shovels and dig up our buried treasure.
Heaven waits for a return.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Sermon-April 19, 2009

Pastor Frank reminded us of how Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took the bread and the cup, and gave to His disciples. He raised the bar-not for us to measure up to His level of giving and forgiving and so make us failures, but so that we would live without excuse. He has justified us. He does this even if He knows we may betray Him. And we have a hard time getting along with each other. He laid His life down and served the very one who would betray Him.
"Cleanse us of unforgiveness, bitterness, broken emotions, and hurt feelings. Draw us together as a family." Amen.

Mark 10:46-52~
"Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you." And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight." Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well. " And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road."

Pastor Frank has been encouraging us to go beyond our limitations. "Our greatest victories lie just beyond our greatest hindrances." We set limitations on ourselves because of the things that have happened in life and our perception about ourselves because of those things that make up our life. We limit ourselves because of people's opinions about us. We limit ourselves because we have failed. We have made mistakes and so we hold back so we don't make more.

Consider Blind Bartimaeus.
He lived in Jericho and begged in the outskirts of town. Jericho was known as "The place of the curse." Jesus was passing through. Bartimaeus lived there. (Jesus knows where to find you.)
He was known as 'The Son of Timaeus'. He had never been given his own name.
Timaeus means a thief, robber, a deceiver.
He was laying beside the road, begging.
And, he was blind.
Do you really have it so bad?

Living with limitations, we have to use what we have.
Bartimaeus used a sense that he did have.
He 'heard' that it was Jesus coming.
He operated in his strength-his hearing.

To overcome limitations, we must:

1. Operate in your strengths. You have something God can use. Use it and you will get beyond the limitations you have. You already have things God wants you to use for His kingdom. Use what little you have.

2. ...not listen to other people. There will always be naysayers. "Be quiet. Shut up!" they scolded Bartimaeus. It was selfish of them. They were getting to be with Jesus. Some of them had been healed by them. Bart cried out all the more. Maybe it was good he couldn't see their faces. He didn't allow their looks to intimidate him. This is where we make our mistake. We're worried about people's opinions. Be determined to speak to Jesus and don't listen to the naysayers. Cry out, 'Jesus, help me! My family needs you.' Keep crying out until He sends for you, "Come, get up. What do you want me to do for you?"

3. Realize that Jesus wants to see us. Bart got up and threw off his garment. (I think he had on a beggar's cloak.) His cloak was his protection and security. To shed his cloak he would be exposed. What everyone else thought about him-now they knew.
We try to keep ourselves covered up. We don't want anyone to see our weakness.
What is the purpose of the church, the altar, the table of communion, worship?
It is to provide a place for us to shed our cloaks-to be vulnerable, to seek God's help, to hear other's say, "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you," and so convey God's heart towards us.

What have we learned from blind Bartimaeus?
He received a tremendous miracle because He was willing to use his assets (his hearing, his voice and his desperation), cry out to Jesus, ignore the naysayers, and shed his cloak of identity and protection. He used what he had to secure what he lacked.
I love that Jesus asked him "What do you want me to do for you?"
For some reason, Jesus wanted him to be specific about his need.
Blind Bartimaeus was very clear. "I want to see."
"Go your way, your faith has made you well."
Immediately he received his sight and
joined the crowd following Jesus.
He joined the fickle people who told him to 'shut up' and 'get up' all within five minutes.
He didn't consider for a moment to be offended with them and avoid them and therefore not be able to follow Jesus with them.

Blind Bartimaeus was a blind, desperate, and humble man.
Because of who he was and because of Who came his way,
he became a seeing, rejoicing, humble man.

Spiritual Mathematics:
Desperation + faith +the power of God= a miracle. Your miracle.
April 21-I keep thinking about the garment that Bartimaeus cast off. Perhaps he was casting off his identity as a blind beggar. He knew he'd need never wear that identity again. What cloak of identity do we wrap tightly around us? What garment must we cast aside in order to follow Jesus and receive the abundance of life He has for us? The cloak of success? The cloak of pride? The cloak of sorrow? The cloak of failure? What title of accomplishment or endearment do we hold near? What cloak of excuse do we wear?

April 17-19,2009~Hertzler Doings

April 17-Susan slept until almost noon. She and I went out to town to shop for her dress for Annie's wedding. Found a cute turquoise/black dress at Cato's. Found matching jewelry at Walmart and matching shoes at the shoe store next to Rose's. Coming out of the shoe store, we saw Phil. My heart dropped. Something must be wrong. Uh-oh. I had forgotten to turn on my cell phone. He wanted me to check if the bank deposit was in the car. He needed to get it in and we had forgotten about it all week. So thankful no one had been hurt/died and that Phil was just happy to have found the check. He had traversed the parking lot at Walmart and was starting to check out other parking lots in town. Lindsay, Mia, Emma, and Adi came to our place around 4:00 for a photo shoot down by the bluebells and the river. Mia is an excellent photographer because she is aware of people and the beauty that is in them and around them. She is also thoroughly kind. Lindsay threw stones in the river at the same time Adi would attempt to throw a stone. Lindsay's big stones would plop a split second after Adi's small stones hit the shore. Lindsay would say, 'Good job!' and Adison would giggle. I told Lindsay that Adi would write a book some day entitled, 'How my Mother made Me Feel like a Success Every Day of My Life.'

April 18-Cleaned. Cleaned. Cleaned. So far behind in my house. Clutter overwhelming me in old house and "new." Yard sale this Saturday at our school, Cornerstone Christian Academy. I filled the car trunk with yard sale items and hope to make a delivery like that each day when I pick up the kids from school. Scratched the surface on the clutter issue. BUT, it took me awhile to get here and it will take me awhile to get free.

April 19-Sat outside in the morning with my cup of tea and some devotional books. Birds were worshiping. Two were quarreling. They squawked and scolded. Finally, they flew away in opposite directions. Went to church. Wonderful time of worship. I felt the wings and the winds of worship when Sarah began singing. Had been worried about someone and they were back in church. Had a sweet time of communion. Pastor Frank preached on Blind Bartimaeus. I kept hearing my mother singing, "One sat alone beside the highway begging...His eyes were blind, the light he could not see...He clutched his rags and shivered in the shadows...Then Jesus came and bid his darkness flee..."
Came home and ate meatloaf and watercress sandwiches. Phil and I took a nap on the sofa together and watched different things on TV. Freeman and Alli went for a walk, played Pick One and watched Clouseau and Gena, Susan, and Michael watched a movie and made popcorn and went four-wheeling. We are so thankful for a day of rest.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Book Report-Philemon

Paul wrote this book to Philemon around A.D. 62, during his imprisonment in Rome, recorded in Acts 28. Philemon's slave, Onesimus, had run away. He then became converted to Christianity through Paul in Rome. Paul asked Philemon to forgive Onesimus and receive him back as a brother. He also asked Philemon to prepare a guest room for his upcoming visit.

There is a note in my Bible that reads,"What happened to Onesimus? No doubt Philemon obeyed Paul and forgave Onesimus. Otherwise he probably would have destroyed this letter. He may well have set Onesimus free. Early in the second century Ignatius wrote of an Onesimus who was Bishop of Ephesus. Because Onesimus was a name usually used for slaves, this bishop was probably a freed slave. Perhaps he was the Onesimus about whom Paul wrote."

My favorite part in Philemon is when Paul refers to Onesimus as being 'his own heart.' (vs.12) He dearly loved Onesimus.

Book Report-Titus

Paul wrote this letter to Titus in order to encourage him with his task of organizing, instructing, and appointing leaders for the churches of Crete. He also warned him in regards to false teachers, and gave him instructions on how to exhort men and women of all ages and position.

The verse I take most seriously in Titus is written to the older woman. As much as I, myself, want to be mentored and feel uneasy and inadequate in the role I find myself in, I know that I have to grow up and take responsibility for those who are younger than me in age and faith. Even though I don't have it together, I am becoming increasingly aware that just the crumbs that fall from my table, are enough to feed the hungry. These are the sobering verses.

Titus 2:3-5-"...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not give to much wine, teachers of good things-that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."

It is a sobering word, but it is also a liberating word. Sometimes I feel that I am not doing enough for the sake of the gospel. I could be busier and more visible. This verse encourages me to strengthen the foundations; the home. If the home is falling apart, the word of God will be scoffed at. Oh the freedom, to be a homemaker; to be told that loving my children and my husband is the best thing I can do to keep the gospel pure. Our homes reflect whether or not the gospel is true. The younger generation is watching closely to see how it is done.

Oh God, help me. Help us all to live close to You, so your Word is not blasphemed in our lives. Help us not to be so busy with good and urgent things that we miss what is most important-Our Homes.

My Home is my throne.
My Home is my fruit.
My Home is where He makes me into His image.
My Home is where my Garden of Eden is.
My Home is where God is.

Most Important Thrones

In Matthew 19:28, Jesus told His disciples that when He sits on the throne of His glory, the twelve who followed Him would also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

In Matthew 20:20, James' and John's mother came to Jesus, and asked that her sons could have the thrones on either side of His throne when His Kingdom was established. He told her that she didn't know what she was asking. He told her that indeed they would drink His cup of suffering and be baptized into His death, but it wasn't up to Him to decide who would sit at His left or right. The other disciples were upset when they heard about it.
Jesus responded by telling them that if they want to be truly great, then they should serve others.

I find it interesting that they already had been told that they would have a throne beside Jesus. But then, they wanted the best throne-the one closest to Jesus' throne. And He said something like, "If you really want to be close to me, serve others and give your life for them."

In the garden, the temptation was to take rather then to receive what had been given. God had already given them good fruit to eat. He had already made them in His image. Then the serpent tempted them to eat 'a better fruit' so they would become like God. They were already like Him! He had already given them the best fruit there was.

God does not withhold any good thing from us.
Let us receive what good thing He has given us.
Let us receive our spouses and our children and not long for something more.
Let us receive our church and our community.
He has given us His best for us.
Who are we that we think we know better than God?
He has given us good fruit and a royal throne.
Enjoy His gifts.
Sit down on the throne He has provided.
Eat His fruit.
Drink His cup.
Serve with Him.
Die with Him.
Reign with Him.

Easter Sunday Sermon-April 12, 2009

Notes I took from Pastor Frank's sermon:

Read from John 20-The Empty Tomb

Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene all responded to the empty tomb.
We fit in with one of their three responses.

1. John-He had a relationship with Jesus. He looked into the empty tomb and saw the burial linens lying there. He believed. He had risen 'just as He said.' He didn't need any further evidence. If you are a 'John', you know that you know that you know that Jesus rose from the dead.

2. Peter-He raced inside the tomb while John held back. He saw the cloth neatly folded. In that culture, a folded napkin meant that the person using it was going to return. Peter caught the whole scene. He needed the evidence. If you are a Peter, you need more evidence. You need more proof. You are a bit more skeptical that some.

John and Peter went home. They just experienced something major and they just went home.
There is something more than believing.

3. Mary-She honestly didn't know what to think. She really wanted to believe. She was crying. What does all this mean? Perhaps you feel this way-What is this all about? She hung around and waited. She really wants to see Him. She had an incredible bond with Jesus. He had delivered her from seven demons. Imagine the torment then. Imagine the peace that passes understanding now. She stayed with Him at the cross and held on as long as possible.

You can't expect to get the evidence you need if the only thing you have is religion. We shroud ourselves in religion. Religion tells us that there is an empty tomb. But, what will you do with that empty tomb? Has it transformed your life?

One left believing.
One left skeptical.
One stayed around long enough.
She experienced what no other person has.
First she saw two angels. Where have you put Him? She had not quite connected all the words of Jesus.

There is something about waiting on God. He's not confined to any one's time table.
Jesus was Mary's Rabbi, her way-maker, her healer. Mary saw Jesus but thought He was the gardener. Then He said her name, "Mary." Only He said her name like that. Her name was probably the first word He spoke this side of the cross.
(God came to Eve in a garden. Now Jesus, came to Mary in the garden.)

The only way the Peter's will get the evidence they need is to hang around long enough. If you follow long enough, someone who is following Him, you will get the evidence you need.

Like Mary, you may have been healed by Him; redeemed by Him. Now, you just want to see Him. If you seek Him, you will find Him, if you seek for Him with all your heart.

You believe there is an empty tomb. How does that affect your life? Your face book?
If it hasn't transformed your life, then the empty tomb is just a religion to you.

The Spirit of God reveals Jesus to us.
The Spirit of God is in us.
Tarry a little longer in the Word.
Turn off the TV.
Meet with Jesus.

April 9-16, 2009-Hertzler Doings

Busy week. Spring break. Little time to blog.

April 9-Took Susan to Dr. She also has bronchitis. Went to Babcock House in eve. for CCA's ring ceremony. Whole family went. Other teachers, PTF members, families also there. Great to see Jerry and Sheila again. Took pictures of Clarissa and Michael and their families. Ate. Marcie shared some of the history of class rings. Dr. Hubler presented the rings to Clarissa and Michael and prayed a wonderful blessing over them. Michael loves his blue sapphire class ring. He had to get a ring guard put on it since he's lost over 40 pounds.

April 10-We read the Easter story together as a family. Shared thoughts and a prayer. Philip and Freeman finished laying in the old boards in the old house room we are remodeling. Phil worked up the garden. Phil, Michael, and Freeman planted peas, snap peas, kohlrabi, radishes, lettuce, spinach, carrots, etc. Phil and Mike drove straw to Hertzler's beyond Cumberland. Had truck radiator trouble. Freeman went to pick them up. Freeman out to eat with Alli in eve. to celebrate her 21st birthday. Jeanne came over in afternoon to pick up her chocolate eggs. I took her down to river to share in my joy over the carpet of bluebells. Showed her my little chapel. She loved it all. Called mother in eve. She has diverticulitis. I needed to hear her voice. I've been praying for America and the captain of the navy ship who's being held hostage by pirates. Praying for an Easter miracle. What a symbol he is of Jesus-laying his life down for his friends...being taken captive by sin and death so we can go free. Watched 'My Friend Flicka' with Susan. Zach and Philip went fishing in afternoon.

April 11-Everyone turkey hunting but Mike and I. Trouble with cows. Poor Mike. He later went to Davis' to help them move. Freeman shot a turkey and grilled it for supper. Very good. I made small peanut butter and coconut eggs and made the family Easter baskets of their very own. Susan super cleaned her room. I made mashed potatoes, large salad, and bread to take to Tom's tomorrow.

April 12-Mom called-"The Lord is Risen!" "He is risen indeed!" Our traditional Easter morning greeting. Went to Tom and Helen's after church. We had ham, chicken, sweet potatoes, gourmet mashed potatoes, baked corn, creamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, salad, rolls, fruit salad and cookies for late lunch. Alli came. Philip hid plastic eggs for Susan, Abby, and Serena. Played Pick one. Got some sun. Watched home videos. Tommy and Freeman shot a rifle. It was Helen's 48th birthday. Michael and Philip went to Martin's in eve. to be with Harvest Youth Group. Found out God had given us the Easter Miracle we had prayed for-the navy captain had been set free! Thank you God!

Helen told me a funny story. Their family takes care of a two year old and his little sister. Helen and her older girls were in the kitchen. They heard Abigale-9-teach Zeb how to wash his hands. "You put soap on your hands and wash them with water and you tell those germs to go to hell." They were stunned. Could they possibly have heard correctly? Helen took Abby back to her room and commended her for teaching Zeb how to wash his hands. "Can you tell me what you said to him?" She didn't repeat it. Helen came out and told the girls. " I think it's theologically correct." She told this story to a friend of hers. Her friend said, " Did you hear what Serena said?" "No..." "Serena told my daughter, 'I think your brother likes me.' "Why do you think that?" her little friend asked. Serena replied, "Duh...I'm pretty?" She is too.

April 13-Happy Birthday Alan! Alan is 54. He is my sibling closest to me in age. He was always kind to me and taught me to throw a mean football, shoot baskets, ride horse, spike for fish, etc. I can still hear him saying, "Good throw!" He's one of the world's best auctioneers. He loves poetry and nature and his family and God.
Susan and I shopped in Lynchburg all day. I don't like to shop. I was ready to be done before we were done. Looking for a wedding dress for Susan. Found wedding shoes for me. No dress for Susan. Saw Missi's van at mall and met her at Cracker Barrel for supper two hours later. Cell phones do come in handy. Home by 8:00. Naomi called. Told me funny story. She got stopped by cop in N.J. for talking on cell phone. Fined $130! Just as she was being pulled over, her daughter, who was travelling back from Va. Beach with her dad, texted her, and said they were being pulled over by a cop. Going 82 in a 65 mph zone. Had no license or owner's card with him. Cop asked him why he was going so fast. Said he was trying to get his daughter, Orpah, home. She had run a marathon in Va. Beach. Cop went to check things out. Said, "Mr. P, I'm going to let you go. That marathon your daughter ran in was a cancer awareness marathon. I am a cancer survivor." It became an emotionally charged encounter. Naomi thought this was totally unfair-that she was fined for breaking a law she didn't know about and her dad was let go. She tells the wildest stories about her dad.

April 14,15-Gil and Lindsay brought Emma and Adi here at 6:40 in the morning. Gena came later and washed windows, etc. Michael helped me make homemade pizza. Took pictures of G. down by bluebells. Gena and Susan played "Spoons" with spoons and cards. Emma slept in Susan's bed and Adi slept in portable crib in our room. Philip won Emma's heart. She hugs and kisses him and says, "I love you sooo much." Emma sings, "Yeah, Jesus loves me...Yeah, Jesus loves me..." They draw and play with play dough an hour at a time. Incredible attention span. Emma told Michael that her mommy, her daddy, her Adison, her Liza (dog) and her Emma are all going to come live with us. Emma cried whole way home when Gil and Lindsay picked them up.
Phil went to doctor Tues-sinus infection. Pretty sick man.

April 16-Phil took all four kids to N.C. leaving at 4:00 in the morning to go gem treasure hunting. Great experience. Table full of all sorts of gems and crystals. They want to go back. I went to Daily Grind. Met Helen there for her birthday breakfast. Went to Caryn's for a dress fitting. Could have gone a size smaller! Banked with Ruthie and met Lisa H. for lunch. Went to Flowers and Millers. Picked up Lindsay and Mia and took them along with me to B & M Greenhouse. Dropped them off and went to Goodwill, Lowe's, Cato's and Wal-mart. They moved things around in there and it took me longer than usual. Came home, put groceries away, tidied kitchen and the troops came home. Phil pretty wiped. Philip left to go play a rousing game of Rook with friends. The others laid newspapers and towels on the table and rediscovered their treasures. They have some real gems, literally.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gems From My Mother's Journals

Please pray for my mother. Thank you. A~

Because someone sins and deserves punishment does not mean that we stand passively by and let them "in the hands of the LORD." In Numbers 15:15, 22-Moses pleads for mercy for those deserving death and later sends Aaron into their midst to make atonement and stop the plague of death. Praying. Interceding. Doing.

I always saw this as meaning that if I give out the Word, that Word will accomplish its intended purpose and in part it does. But tonight I see it as God sending His Word to me and His keeping that word to me. My confidence is renewed in the promise He gave me in Isa. 54:13-"All your children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children." Reading Andrew Murray's thoughts in "DAY BY DAY" helped me see this:"WHEN YOU GET A PROMISE FROM GOD, IT IS WORTH JUST AS MUCH AS FULFILLMENT."

This confirms my impression that our basic besetting sin is unbelief. "UNBELIEF IS THE MOTHER OF DISOBEDIENCE AND ALL OTHER SINS AND SHORTCOMINGS-MY TEMPER, MY PRIDE, MY UNLOVINGNESS, MY WORLDINESS." Andrey Murray-"Day by Day"

Book Report-Exodus

Notes taken from NKJV-The New Spirit Filled Life Bible

Author: Traditionally Moses
Date: About 1440 B.C.
Theme: Deliverance
Key Words: Deliver, Sacrifice, Sign, Tabernacle, Sanctuary

Tradition has it that Moses died around 144o B.C. so he most likely compiled this book during the forty years in the wilderness.

Exodus records the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Joseph's family of about 70 had grown into a large nation of millions and the Egyptians became afraid of them and enslaved them. God heard their cry and sent Moses, who had been raised in the Egyptian culture, to intervene for them with Pharaoh, and to take a stand, saying, "Let my people go." Ten plagues ravished the land before Pharaoh's heart was softened enough to let the Israelites go. Changing his mind, he pursued them with chariots and many mighty men. When God parted the Red Sea and His children had crossed it, the Egyptians followed them, only to be devastated by the mud and the water that crashed down on them. Egypt lost their crops, their cattle, their drinking water, their health, and their mighty army due to the stubbornness of Pharaoh's heart.

Exodus records God's provision for His people. His presence was with them; a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He gave them manna from heaven and quail from the sky. He gave them The Law so they would know how to be holy unto God and how to treat one another. God told them how to build the tabernacle and furnish it with meaningful and useful items.

In the New Testament, we are told that we are now the temple of the Living God. When I see how carefully He planned for the tabernacle in the Old Testament, it makes me want to be a holy place for Him to dwell. When God's glory filled the temple, even Moses couldn't go into the tabernacle.

God instructed the workers to use the colors of gold, blue, scarlet, and purple to make beautiful tapestries. This year, I want to plant an array of flowers with those colors, so I can get an idea of the way things looked and perhaps understand why God chose this combination of colors.

One thing I find really interesting is how God chose men and women and filled them with His Spirit and with wisdom to do this creative work. For example, Ex. 35:26 says, "And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats' hair. Ex. 36:30-32 says, "...See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel...and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works....and He has put in his heart the ability to teach...and filled them with skill to do all manner of work."
We may think this was natural talent but God is the one who gave them wisdom and His Spirit so they could do these things.

I've heard that it should have taken only 11 days for the Children of Israel to get to The Promised Land. Instead it took them 40 years. But think of all the things God had to bring them through. They had to learn to obey Him and trust Him and to get rid of a slave mentality. They had to fight smaller battles and win before they could fight the giants and win. God had to make of them a nation who worked together to have a common goal. They had to learn to respect their leaders. There was so much God had to do. He was willing to take His time. He was patient with them and during those times when He had had enough of them and was going to blow them to bits, Moses intervened for them and God heard him. I don't think we have to be afraid to intervene and intercede for our nation either. He can always say,"No." But He looks for a man or a woman to intercede because He is reluctant to judge His people. He is not willing that any should perish.

My favorite verses in Exodus are in Chapter 19:3-6.
"And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priest and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

Peter wrote something similar in 1 Peter 2:9.
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praise of him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;..."
Just as the Israelites were called out of the bondage of slavery, so we are called out of become a people of God.

Yesterday, Phil called my name with urgency. I ran outside and he showed me a bald eagle soaring in the wind. Just imagine being borne on eagle's wings, soaring to new heights, diving to new depths, being carried to God.
I watched and soared and I was free.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Book Report-Lamentations

Notes taken from NKJV-The New Spirit Filled Life Bible

Author: Probably Jeremiah
Date: 587 B.C.
Theme: Suffering as Punishment for Sin
Key Words: Hardship, Sorrow, Sin, Prayer

These laments seem to have been written during the time that God was punishing the Israelites for their sin against Him. Jeremiah helped God's people by giving them "the necessary expression to their grief and to comfort them in it. He also encouraged them to think about the hand of God on them in punishment and helped them to submit penitently to the judgment they deserved until it had passed. Only after the people were completely humbled would they be able to think of restoration."

I'll leave you with these verses from Lamentations 3:22-26.

"Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassion's fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD."

I received a newsletter from David Wilkerson this week. He is a modern day prophet. He issued 'An Urgent Message'. If you are interested in reading it, you can find it on his website

Book Report-Jeremiah

Notes taken from NKJV-The New Spirit Filled Life Bible

Author: Jeremiah
Date: 626-586 B.C.
Theme: Failure to Repent will lead to Destruction
Key Words: Repentance, Restoration

I have always felt pretty sorry for Jeremiah.
His life portrayed the prophesies he gave.
For example, God commanded him not to marry or have any children to illustrate his message that judgment was pending (due to the Israelites disobedience and worship of idols) and that the next generation would be swept away. His message was one of doom but He dearly loved and grieved for the people that he was warning.
He was a youth when he was called to carry the message of judgement to his people. Some branded him as a traitor because of his preaching, even though he had their best interests in mind.

Some of my favorite verses in Jeremiah have helped me in my times of struggle with the dreaded 'fear of man.' So often, I look into people's faces and 'read' what they think of me. It's silly, really, because what is on their faces reflects who they are and what they are going through and has nothing to do with me. I like this verse:

Jer. 1:8-"Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you, " says the Lord."

I love these verses from Jer. 9:23,24-

"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD,
exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight, "says the LORD.

These are some scriptures I felt God lead me to in regard to our move to Virginia.
They are on my bedroom wall, at least I think they are still there.:)

Jer. 32:40,41-

"And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, that I will not turn away from doing you good; but I will put My fear in your hearts so that you will not depart from Me.
Yes, I will rejoice over you to do you good, and I will assuredly plant you in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul."

I am sure God rewarded Jeremiah for his faithfulness.
I am sure He gave him joy for his sorrow, a hundredfold and more.

Book Report-The Gospel of John

Notes taken from NKJV-The New Spirit Filled Life Bible-

Author: The Apostle John
Date: About A.D.85
Theme: Knowing God by Believing in Jesus Christ
Key Words: Believe, Bear Witness, Life

John most likely published his Gospel during his residence in Ephesus in Asia.
John divides the ministry of Jesus into two separate parts; His public ministry and His private ministry to the disciples. He wrote "to lead his readers to a settled faith on the basis of the words and works of Jesus, with that result that they 'may have life in His name.'"

John "presents Jesus as the only begotten Son of God who became flesh. Unique to John is the designation of the Holy Spirit as "Comforter" or "Helper"-'one called alongside.'"

John is known as the "Beloved Disciple", who leaned upon the breast of Christ.
We can do that too.

I love Chapter one-"In the beginning was the Word...the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth...and of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace....No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."

I love Chapter three-"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

John 5:44-
"How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?"

John 6:19-21-
"...and they were afraid. But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they willingly received Him....

John 6:28,29-
"Then they said to Him,'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered...'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'"

I'll close with my favorite because I would copy the whole book if I followed my heart.

John 10:10-"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

I am so thankful you came, Jesus.
I am so thankful that you are coming again.

Book Report-1,11 Timothy

Phil has been using the computer a lot these past weeks. Book Reports have been piling up and today, since he is working over in the old house, and I cannot exert myself due to having bronchitis, I am catching up on some of them.

Author: Paul
Date: About A.D. 64
Theme: Removal of false doctrine, preservation of public worship, and proper leadership in the church
Key Words: Carefulness, Watchfulness, Strength, Commitment

(Some direct quotes from NKJV-The New Spirit Filled Bible)

Paul wrote 11 Tim. during his second Roman imprisonment. If Paul had not spent so much time in prison, you and I would probably not be reading these wonderful letters.
Timothy's mother, Eunice, was married to a Gentile. Timothy was born to that union. Paul and Timothy became close friends and Paul later added him to his apostolic party.

The Timothy books have been a great encouragement to church leaders throughout the entire church age. Paul "encourages pastors to nourish their own souls first in the words of faith and good doctrine and then teach their people the essentials of faith. Practicing godliness in his own conduct, he must bring his congregation to do the same."

Some favorite verses:

1 Tim. 2:1-4
"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
For it is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

1 Tim. 4:12-
"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. "

1 Tim. 6:17-19-
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. "

11 Tim. 1:6,7-
"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

11 Tim. 4:7,8-
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
We can read the Bible like we eat a Happy Meal. We inhale it, barely chew it and quickly swallow it down. We have eaten but have not been nourished-much.
We can read the Bible like we eat a full-course meal. We can take our time and savor each bite and allow its goodness to saturate our souls.
We can read the Bible like we eat a cup of soup. We sip it slowly and take in just a little and are satisfied with the warmth and fullness it brings.

In some seasons of life, we gather the crumbs that fall from the table. In another season or another day, we take in just a little, and our souls are satisfied. In others, we get to eat the whole loaf and drink the whole bottle and we are full to overflowing.

In any given week, I eat every kind of meal there is.
In any given week, I partake of every season.
I eat and I partake and I am satisfied, but I am always hungry for more.

1,11 Thessalonians-Book Report

Notes taken from NKJV-The New Spirit Filled Life Bible-(Some direct quotes)

Author: Paul
Date: A.D. 50 (The first NT book to have been written)
Theme: His past ministry and the future return of the Lord

Paul writes a letter of relief and gratitude. He is thankful over their spiritual growth in the midst of his forced absence.

Some of my favorite portions:

1 Thess. 2:19,20-
"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy."

1 Thess. 3:12,13-
"...may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."

1 Thess. 4:16,17-
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." I can't wait.

1 Thess. 5:23,24-
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it."

11 Thess. 2:16,17
"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work."

11 Thess. 3:5
"Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ."

11 Thess. 3:16-
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all."

I think I might print these verses out and put them on the wall for our family to read while we cook eggs, make toast, and brew tea.

Book Report-Colossians

Notes taken from NKJV-The New Spirit Filled Life Bible-Some are direct quotes.

Author: Paul

Date: About A.D. 61

Theme: The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ

Key Words: Fullness, Wisdom, Knowledge, Mystery

Although Paul had never been to Colosse, he wrote letters to them while he was imprisoned in Rome. Tychicus took his letters to the Colossians, to Philemon and to the Ephesians.
Epaphras, the probable leader of the Colossian church, asked for Paul's help in dealing with false teaching that was threatening the church. This error taught that Jesus was merely one of the semidivine beings that bridged the gap between God and the world; therefore He did not have the authority or the ability to meet the needs of the Colossians. They falsely taught that enlightened believers could achieve spiritual fullness through vigorous self-discipline and special knowledge.
Paul wrote this epistle to expose and refute the heresy; to instruct the Colossians in truth and warn them of the danger of returning to pagan vices, to express interest in the believers and to inspire them to live in love and harmony.
No other book in the NT defends the Lordship of Jesus more than the book of Colossians.
""Jesus is Lord" is the church's earliest confession. It remains the abiding test of authentic Christianity. Neither the church nor the individual believer can afford to compromise Christ's deity. In His sovereignty lies His sufficiency. He will be Lord of everything or not Lord at all."

I remember my mother taking the different translations of the Bible and re-writing her own version of Colossians on an index card flip chart. She would take this on her walk and memorize as she exercised.

Some of my favorite verses:
"..I do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power,..."

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
rooted and built up in HIm and established in the faith as you have been taught,
abounding in it with thanksgiving."

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another,
and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another,
even as Christ forgave you,
so you also must do."

"...pray also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak."

Book Report-The Psalms

I will be taking some notes from the commentary in my Bible-'New Spirit Filled Life Bible'-NKJV.

Authors: David, Asaph, Sons of Korah, and Others
Date: 1000-300 B.C.
Theme: Communion with God in Prayer and Praise
Key Words: Rejoice, Mercy, Lovingkindness, Praise, Enemies, Lord, Righteousness

Interesting notes:
Moses and David wrote some of the Psalms from Ps. 90-106.
David wrote most of Ps. 1-41. He also wrote some of the Ps. 107-150.
Asaph was King David's choirmaster. He wrote a number of the Psalms.

The word 'Selah' is used 71 times in the Psalms.
It comes from a root meaning 'to lift up.'
This could mean an increase in volume, or a pause in the music.
It could also have signified a break in the singing for prostrations. Interesting...

King David organized choirs and orchestras and appointed skilled conductors and composers to lead the worship. He also invented musical instruments.

Worshippers are instructed in the Psalms to clap, lift their hands, bow, stand, shout, and dance.
About half of the OT references to the Messiah quoted in the NT are taking from The Psalms.
The Psalms are well-loved because they combine humanities laments over life's challenges with God's deliverance and comfort in the midst of trouble.
As the reader enters into the heart's cry of the writer, they can also enter into the heart's cry of God for His people and experience for themselves His love.
I like to worship God in a quieter way than some.
But, I noticed something in Ps. 150, the last Psalm recorded.
It's a strong call to worship.
My Bible notes call this kind of worship "extreme praise."
The Hebrew translation of this kind of praise means "to shine, boast, rave, and to celebrate clamorously."
I think I will just write it out for you.

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!

I know how to praise Him quietly.
I press into Him and set my love on Him.
I can see His smile and feel His love.

But I don't know how to praise Him with this kind of abandonment.
It's probably not a matter of 'not knowing how', it's more of a matter of not wanting to be seen in public worshipping Him in this way. It's probably a matter of pride.
Maybe I'll take the box of classroom instruments down to my little chapel
and practice worshipping God where only He can hear.
Maybe He'll tell me to 'Be still and know that He is God.'
Or, maybe He'll join me in my dance.


Blogging gives me an avenue to express my own thoughts and express the ideas of others smarter and wiser than me. Every time I read a book, I am mentored by the author. Every time I hear a sermon I am taught by the speaker. And I, in turn, want to collect what I've learned from them and reiterate it in such a way as to solidify my understanding and so that others can understand it also.

I think blogging is good for my brain. We exercise our arms, legs, and heart when we walk briskly and lift weights. Our brain is a muscle that needs exercise. When I am inspired to write, the words just flow, and I don't have to work hard. When I am writing a book report or trying to capture the essence of a sermon in a few paragraphs, my brain has to work hard, and I think to myself, "This will keep me from getting Alzheimer's."

I write about what we do as a family because I so quickly forget. Life is busy and I want my children to have something to remind them of the things we actually did. I want to tell them about my childhood and their father's childhood. I want them to know the history of the Hertzler's and the Diffenbach's in a tangible sort of way.

Sometimes, I read something in the Bible, and I want to share it with whoever will take the time to read it. I find a treasure and I want you to have it too. My mother has entrusted me with her Bible Study Journals, and I glean from them and share the gems I gather.

I blog because I do not always speak well. I do not always write well, either, but no one is being forced to read my words and act politely about it.

I blog because I battle the scorning words I hear in my head, "Who do you think you are?"
I hear them when I pray for someone, or express an opinion about something, or treat someone "over" me as if they are my peer. I will not give into those words. The day I do, I will stop praying for others. I will stop expressing my opinion and writing my thoughts. I will stop loving the humanity of those who have been placed on a lonely pedestal because of their vocation or position in life.

I write because I know of at least ten people who read my blog on a regular basis, and I have something to say that I think they may need to hear, and I have something to say, that they want to hear, just because they love me.

I checked my viewer status on my profile today. It shows that my profile has been checked into 430 times. This does not mean that 430 people are reading my blog. It just means that my profile has been opened that many times, including the times I have checked into my viewer status. It can be a bit daunting, to think that there are people who are reading what I write. There was a comment on my 'Mother Mary' writing from someone I didn't know. There is so much about cyberspace that I don't understand.

My friend, Lisa H. said, "Who knows? Maybe someone will come upon your blog and come to know Christ through your writings." Wouldn't that be something? I would like that. If someone could read what I write and want to know Jesus, that would be the best thing of all.

And so I write. I write because I want to, and not because I think I am good at it. I write to combat the fear in the question, "What do you have to say that anyone would want to hear?" I write to write and to be honest, I write to be heard. I write to record daily life so that there will be something for my children to read when I am gone. I write so the things in my brain can come down through my arms and type through my fingers so I have more room in my brain to learn more wonderful things. I write because life is too precious to not be shared.

I write for myself.
I write for my family.
I write for you.
I write for God.
I write.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gems from My Mother's Journals

The God of the very last minute~
Acts 12:6a-And on the very night when Herod was about to bring Peter forward (to be condemned for preaching the gospel)....
(He was miraculously delivered from his jail cell by an angel while the church was praying.)
Why do You do that Lord? To test our faith, our sincerity? Peter wasn't upset that You waited so long. He was sleeping. The church was still praying but not really expecting this miracle. You did far more than they asked or thought.

Acts 20:24b-"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself..." This clarifies the statement of LOSING YOUR LIFE-such a position is very liberating really-almost like a butterfly leaving a cocoon; no more being wrapped up in my wants, dreams, and ambitions but free to MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES.
I thank You for that liberating word. I have been counting my life as very dear to myself in so many ways-wanting 'to be done', wanting to run my household with no waste, not wanting to do those things that are threatening to my safe little world (my cocoon), not wanting to express opinions that will set me apart as 'one of those.'

Luke, the physician records in Acts 28 how the people kept coming to Paul for healing.

The presence of others and their concern gives courage even to Paul (Acts 28:15) AND WHEN PAUL SAW THEM, HE THANKED GOD AND TOOK COURAGE.

PSA. 87:7b-ALL MY SPRINGS OF JOY ARE IN YOU is so true. I lived in joy for several days after that liberating word-NEITHER DO I COUNT MY LIFE AS DEAR UNTO MYSELF. O do not let the cares of life choke out that good word.


Joseph, a type of Jesus, is sent by his father, to find his brothers.