Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Ministry of Sorrow

Taken from 'Streams in the Desert'-The Heavenly Life

Sorrow, under the power of divine grace,
performs various ministries in our lives.
Sorrow reveals unknown depths of the soul,
and unknown capacities for suffering and service.

Light-hearted, frivolous people
are always shallow and are never aware
of their own meagerness or lack of depth.
Sorrow is God's tool to plow the
depths of the soul,
that it may yield richer harvest.

If human-kind were still in a glorified state,
having never fallen,
then the strong floods of divine joy
would be the force God would use
to reveal our soul's capacities.
But in a fallen world, sorrow,
yet with despair removed,
is the power chosen to reveal
us to ourselves.
it is sorrow that causes us
to take the time to think deeply and seriously.

Sorrow makes us move more slowly
and considerately
and examine our motives and attitudes.
It opens within us
the capacities of the heavenly life,
and it makes us willing
to set our capacities afloat
on a limitless sea of service for God
and for others... takes sorrow to
expand and deepen the soul.


Taken from 'Streams in the Desert'-F.B.Meyer

"The photograph of God's face
can only be developed in the
dark room."

Strength and Composure

From 'Streams in the Desert', devotional by Margaret Bottome~

There are times when doing nothing demands much greater strength than taking action. Maintaining composure is often the best evidence of power. Even to the vilest and deadliest of charges, Jesus responded with deep, unbroken silence. His silence was so profound, it caused His accusers and spectators to wonder in awe. To the greatest insults, the most violent treatment, and to the mockery that would bring righteous indignation to the feeblest of hearts, He responded with voiceless, confident calmness. Those who are unjustly accused, and mistreated without cause, know the tremendous strength that is necessary to keep silent and to leave revenge to God.

The apostle Paul said, "None of these things move me"(Acts 20:24). He did not said, "None of these things hurt me. It is one thing to be hurt, and quite another to be moved. Paul had a very tender heart, for we do not read of any other apostle who cried as he did. It takes a strong man to cry. "Jesus wept" (John 11:35), and He was the strongest man that ever lived.

Sunday Sermon~May 31, 2009

Pastor Rob preached today.
He asked the question, "What is it that separates the one who soars from the one who sinks?"
I thought perhaps it was what they ate for lunch, but that wasn't the correct answer.

He came to the pulpit with a great burden on his heart; the desire to see believers and non-believers alike, become disciples of Jesus Christ. We are not called to be believers; we are called to be disciples, and we are called to make disciples, and not just get people saved.

How do we become disciples?

#1-Get saved. Repent of your sin. Confess with your mouth that Jesus died and rose from the grave.

#2-Hunt down a spiritual mentor. We need to have deeper relationships with each other.

#3-Take initiative and be intentional about your own spiritual growth.

To be spiritually mature means that we are being conformed into the image of Christ.

He had the Sunday School teachers come up for the next quarter. He introduced them and the subject of their class. Then, he invited folks to come up and talk with the teachers and find out more about the class. I thought this was wise. It broke the ice between teacher and student and helped people to make somewhat of a commitment to come to Sunday School.

Skip Tobin, a missionary in Thailand that Johnny and Janelle worked with said something like this. "When we just get people saved and then send them on their merry way, we inoculate them against the gospel of Christ. We give them a little bit and make them immune to the gospel. We need to make disciples of them and this will cost them and us a great deal more."
Pastor Rob said that sometimes we mark Jesus down like old bananas at the Kroger's grocery store. We make it too easy. Sometimes, Jesus said things to His disciples and they walked away from Him.

So the answer to who soars; who sinks?
The faithful disciple of Christ will soar.
The believer, the one who believes to
just 'get in', will sink.

The line is drawn in the sand.
You have to carry your cross to follow Jesus.
But His yoke is easy,
and His burden is light,
although it doesn't always feel that way.
I wouldn't want to do it without Him,
that's for sure.


I am picturing the timeline of life
in the shape of a volcano.
If I was a penny at the top of the vortex
and was making my way down to the bottom
I would start slowly,
going in big circles,
able to take in the scenery of living
around me.

The closer I would get to the bottom
the faster I would spin,
I would hang on for the ride
knowing that life was not in my control.

I think that is what is happening in the world today.
There is an escalation of technology.
There is an escalation of corruption.
There is an escalation in the furtherance of the gospel.
And there is an escalation of death.

Isaiah 57:1,2 says this,
"The righteous perishes,
And no man takes it to heart;
Merciful men are taken away,
While no one considers
That the righteous is taken
away from evil.
He shall enter into peace;
They shall rest in their beds,
Each one walking in his uprightness."

My mother says that the only way
she can process Abie's death
is to believe that he was spared
of something worse.
We always think that death
is the worse thing,
but for the believer,
our greatest triumph-Heaven
lies just beyond our greatest fear-death.

I am thinking of some things worse than death.
Being unfaithful to one's spouse
would be worse than death.
Turning my back on Jesus
would be worse than death.
Causing others to stumble in their faith
would be worse than death.
These are personal choices we make
that bring death
and they would be worse than death.

There are things that could be done to us
that would be worse than death.
My brother, Alan, when he called about Abie,
said, "Now he won't have to go through
all those things the rest of us have to."
For a moment,
I felt a breath of relief for Abie.
he's got it made.
It's the rest of us who are trying
to catch our breath.

All this to say
that I think we are nearing
the lower half of the vortex.
It is time to be intentional in our living.
It is time to grow up and not be needy.
It is time to be a disciple of Jesus Christ
and no longer be just a believer.
It is time.

I raised my hand like an eager school student,
volunteering myself to God.
"Take me next! Take me next!"
I pleaded.
I sensed that He turned me down.
Unless, of course,
He didn't.
Then you can read this at my funeral.
But, I think I will be here for a little while longer.

I think that very soon,
there will be no where else to hide.
We cannot hide in death, or in prosperity, or in self-sufficiency.
I think I will be near the entrance of His cave
telling people to hurry and get under His shelter.
I think I will know His strength
and His comfort
and His word.

I am a little bit scared
and a little bit excited
and a little bit dizzy from all the spinning.
But, I'm holding on for the rest of the ride.
You hold on, too.

Hertzler Doings~May 29-31, 2009

May 29-Phil talked to his cousin Ed, again today. Ed's brother, Parke, died at 10:00 this morning. My husband weeps as he talks about Parke seeing Grandaddy and Grandma Mast. He thinks of Parke seeing his own mother, Miriam, who is Phil's mother's sister. Phil was with her several years ago when she died. He's wanted to go to heaven more than ever since that day.
Judy came, bringing lunch, her sweet presence, and laughter as we watched a funny movie together.
I am so exhausted. Michael took Susan to a Missionette's sleepover at Miss Kelly's. Have given up on sleeping. But it's ok.

May 30-Sat.~picked up Susan and went to town to run some errands. Mulched front flower bed with Philip's help. Michael mowed and weedwacked all day. Covered in grass and sun-burned when he came in to eat supper. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the floor had just been vacuumed. Nothing seems that important anymore. It's just dirt. Philip helped in the fields most of the day and Freeman was working with Jason Bates. Had spent the night there last eve.
Freeman rotatilled the garden until after dark. We might have a garden afterall.

May 31-Sun-Phone call from Naomi. Francie Kurtz, family friend and mother of one of my dearest friends died this morning at 7:00. She had been sick for a short time. Just a few weeks ago, she helped serve food at Anne's wedding. Naomi told Bev that Francie was going to get a big pink mansion in heaven. They joked about how Francie would gently push Jesus aside, and say, "I'll talk to you later. Right now I have to see Lester." Her husband, Lester, had passed away quite a few years ago. She talked daily of wanting to go be with him. Now, her prayers are answered. I think of little Julie, Bev's little girl, my god-daughter, who will miss her grammy so very much. She would see her almost every day. I want to go the funeral but I am too tired to drive. Maybe I could fly up. I know it would mean alot to Bev, and I know she would say, "Stay home but come up soon and take me to the beach." We've been going to the beach for almost 10 years now. Naomi is taking pink roses to Bev tomorrow from us beach girls-Rosa, Naomi, and myself. We've been with each other through some major situations in life.

Went to church. Pastor Rob preached. Kim was baptized and a young boy was also baptized. Michael went with some of his buddies to Ben Smith's house for the afternoon. Philip went with Christi to a friend's party and Freeman and Alli came here for lunch and an afternoon of the river and popcorn and a movie. I like Alli. I like Christi, too. Susan wrote some e-mail's and watched the movie that Alli and Freeman watched. I talked with Naomi for awhile and then took Phil to Ron and Kathy Martin's. Tom also went with them to Pa. (For Parke's funeral.) Played a rousing game of double-deck Dutch Blitz with Susan in the eve.

Lisa led one of my most favorite songs today. "Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere." I saw Johnny in the courts of the Lord. I saw Abie and Park and Francie and my dad and others, hands upraised, worshipping God without pain or sorrow or even the awareness of those things. Freedom. Purity. Oneness. Holy, holy, holy...Though the darkness hide Thee...won't be true in Heaven. Nothing will hide Him there.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Self-Centeredness of Pain

Have you ever had a throbbing tooth ache,
or a sore big toe?

If so, you know that you can't think
about anything else but
that tooth or that toe.

You become self-absorbed-
the world revolves around your pain.

But, when your trip to the dentist
has been successful,
or that toe is functioning well,
you forget your pain
and go on with life.

But, when a friend says to you,
"Oh, my tooth aches,
my toe is killing me,"
you can know almost exactly
how they feel.

If you denied your own pain
and pretended it wasn't there,
you would be of no help to someone else
when they are experiencing discomfort.

You'd say, "Buck up. Don't be a wimp."
You'd add burden to their sorrow.

The self-awareness of your own pain
 helps you to be generous and kind to others in trouble.

 And you can be a comfort to them
 instead of making them feel worse.

Acquainted With Grief

I love Jesus for alot of reasons.
Right now, I especially love Him
because He is not afraid of my sorrow.
He does not hide from me.

Isaiah, the prophet, wrote of the coming Messiah,
that He would be, "...a man of sorrows
and acquainted with grief."

We pray, "Oh, Lord, I want to be more like You."

Do we really want to be like Him?

Do we want to be familiar with sorrow and grief?

I find that I like deep people;
people who have been through some things in life.
People who have known the pain of loss.
People who listen and lean in with their heart.

These people will not hide their faces
from me when I've become acquainted with grief--again.
These people will not wait to relate to me
until I'm 'myself' again.
These people will risk saying and doing the wrong thing
rather than saying and doing nothing at all.

There is something about sorrow that
makes people want to run.
But Jesus knows about that too.

"...a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were,
our faces from Him..."

I feel like some have hidden their face from me.
Perhaps, they are overwhelmed with their own burdens
and I should be there for them.
Perhaps they are hiding and praying for me.

And I am thankful for those who through
their presence, words, phone calls, and cards,
are helping to lighten the familiarity of sadness.

Surely, He has borne my griefs
and carried my sorrows,
and sometimes,
He uses people.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Cup

Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane,"O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

I never saw this before.
God could have taken the cup away without Jesus drinking it.
But, for Jesus, this particular cup would not pass away from Him
UNLESS He drank it.
He drank it
and the cup was removed from Him once He drank it.

Today, I told God,
"I don't want Rosalee to have to drink this cup.
I don't want her to go through this.
Take this cup from her."

But the cup is hers.
Her name is on it.
It is hers alone to bear.
Others have their own cups to drink.
The cups have all come from the same
manufacturer, but have some
differences that distinguish them.
It is my cup to watch her drink her cup,
and not be able to spare her of this sorrow.

The promise is almost hidden in His words,
but it is there.
"...if this cup cannot pass away from Me
unless I drink it..."
I believe there is a promise
that if we drink our cups
the cup will pass away from us.

There are different ways
to drink from the cup of grief,
someone once told me.
You can sip from it slowly,
putting it down between sips,
taking your time.
Or you can gulp it
and drink it down quickly.
Or you can sip from it sometimes
and gulp from it other times.
But either way,
the cup has to be drunk.

How long will it take
to drink this cup
and have it pass from us?

How did Jesus embrace
the cup He wanted to reject?

What if He had refused
to drink it?

He dreaded it
but at least He knew some of the glory
that would come from His drinking...

We dread it
and we can only hope for
at least some kind of glory
to come from our drinking...

And still I pray," Take this cup from her...
Surely there's been some mistake."

The Promiser

Written by my mother in her journal:

"...But promises may be misunderstood
or misapplied, and, at the moment
when we are leaning all our weight
upon them, they may seem
to utterly fail us.
But The Promiser,
who is behind His Promises,
and is infinitely more than
His promises,
can never fail or change."

Oswald's wisdom

Quotes by Oswald Chambers, taken from my mother's journals:

"Only one out of a crowd is daring enough
to bank his faith
on the character of God."

"If we were never depressed we should
not be alive. It is the nature
of a crystal to never be depressed.
A human being is capable of
depression; otherwise, there
would be no capacity for

Simple Complex Figs

Quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

" I would not give a fig for simplicity
on this side of complexity,
but I would give my life
for simplicity on the other side
of complexity."

How Deep the Father's Love For Us

(Words and Music by Stuart Townend)
Accompanied by harp, guitar, flute, and clear gentle voices.
Beautiful song at the funeral service.

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts no power no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom


shall wipe away all tears...
there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow,
nor crying,
shall there
be any
more pain:
for the
things are

(Written on the front cover of Abie's funeral program)

Hertzler Doings-May 23-26, 2009

I began writing this post last week. Scroll back to older posts if you want to read it.

I Had Forgotten

We all know people who drain us,
literally taking the energy we have
into their black hole of self
and leaving us with emptiness
and a need to retreat.

I had forgotten
that when people come
to a viewing and a funeral,
they come to offer
their comfort and strength.
I had forgotten
how selfless and kind
the giving, sorrowful heart
can be.

I found my strength increasing
as each person told me
they were sorry...
as each person held me close.

I am quite sure
that the closer one is to the painful loss,
the more they can receive
from the comfort and love of others.

I watched my sister
her husband, and children,
gather strength to their souls
as all of their mourners
poured the sweet oil of their presence
and their gracious uncertainty
into the wounded emptiness
of their lives.

I had forgotten
that sorrowful strength
is better than joyful strength
when one's heart is broken.

I had forgotten.


I have strength for all things
in Christ who empowers me.
I am ready for anything
and equal to anything
through Him who infuses
inner strength into me;
I am self-sufficient
in Christ's sufficiency...

And my God will
liberally supply
(fill to the full)
my every need
according to His riches
in glory in Christ Jesus.

(Amplified-Colossians 4:13,19)

The Logic of Faith and Sorrow

If we lose our faith in God
because we perceive that He has taken
from us our son, our brother, our grandson, our nephew...
then it stands to reason
that our faith in God
was based only on the fact
that He had given us
our son, our brother, our grandson, our nephew...

That not being true,
we will not lose our faith.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Sermon-May 24,2009

Gen.28:10-22-Story of Jacob's ladder and the Presence of God

Jehovah-Shamah-The God who is Present

We have the declared presence of God made known through the prophets.
We have the manifest presence of God made known through different manifestations of His power.
But the Realized Presence of God is what changes our life.

Daniel knew about God. But when God showed up in the lion's den with him, he experienced the reality of God's presence and his life was changed.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Obednego knew about God. But then, He showed up with them in the fiery furnace and they didn't even smell like smoke.

Paul and Silas in prison-monumental praise-monumental presence of God and deliverance.

Monumental Praise will only take place when there is a realized presence of God.

When the ark of the covenant was being transported back to the Children of Israel and things went wrong, the ark spent some time in Obed-Edom's house. The presence of God changed Obed's life and the life of his family and he couldn't do enough for God.

God cannot forsake you.
He is present with you no matter what you are going through.
It is who He is. He cannot be contrary to Himself.

In Romans. it speaks of those who search out their own affections.
Jehovah Shamah wanted to be their affection. So God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things they wanted to do apart from God.

Just as Jacob made a monument of stone and poured oil over it as a remembrance of God's presence, so our lives are a monument to God. We are the temple in which He dwells.
His presence is poured out like oil in our lives.
His presence manifests itself in me
and His life is Real in my midst.

Brownie Points and Covenant

I received no brownie points from God today.
I didn't worship Him loudly in spite of my sorrow.
No one could look at me and hold me up as example of spirituality
in the midst of a storm.

But I gave God brownie points today.
Not that He needs them.
But this is what He did for me.

When I could not read His Word,
He spoke words of comfort to me anyway.
When my spirit was face down in the mire,
He lifted my chin.
When I had nothing-no praise, no worship, no prayer
He kept His covenant with me.
I love Him for letting me be who I am-
worshipless, prayerless, numb.

And when I could not sing the theme song to Him,
He sang it to me.
I stood, hands too heavy to raise, eyelids too heavy to open,
and He sang to me,
"I'm pouring out my praise on you..."

"I'm pouring out my love on you..."
"I'm pouring out my praise on you..."
"I'm pouring out..."

I breathed in His love, His praise, and His mercy.
When I cannot sing to Him,
He sings to me.
When I cannot give Him my all
He gives me His all.

When I cannot keep my covenant with Him,
He keeps His covenant with me anyway.
He carries me.
He does not judge my emptiness.

Fighting and Trusting

I find that I am not fighting God
over the death of my nephew
like I fought Him over the death of my
brother-in-law, John.

But I would not trade that experience for anything.
"You can be angry with me," God said.
"But don't turn your back and be angry with me.
Be angry to my face."

And I was.

I pounded His massive chest
and I kicked and screamed and bit and wept.

I even began to love the darkness of my Grief Cave
because I could see Him better in the dark.

I came away blessed and limping.

I don't fight Him so much about Johnny anymore.

But, I am too weary to fight Him on this one.

Not that I think He shouldn't be fought.
I think my sister should and will.
I am just not up for it.

I think we can either fight God and trust Him
or trust Him.
Fighting and leaving are really not an option.
My wounder is my healer.
Where else can I go?

I've decided to look God in the face
and trust Him in this madness.
Not because I am spiritual;
I just can't afford another limp.

But then,
it is not my son who is in the wooden box.
It is not my son whose song is silent.
It is not my son who is gone.

Of Men and Waffles

"Men are like waffles, Mom," Michael explained.
"They are able to compartmentalize situations that come up in life and deal with them one little square at a time.
Women are like spaghetti. One upset strand of spaghetti affects every other strand in their pile of pasta."

I thought about this.
I watched my husband and son's and other men in my life do the waffley thing.
Then a situation arose and I got angry.
But, I had to pull it together because I couldn't allow my one upset noodle to
affect the rest of my life and I had to change-fast.
I thought,"I will think like a man!"
And I did.
I put the anger back into my little waffle square
and took a bite out of the next little square.
It was good and I functioned well.

I was pretty impressed with this whole waffle idea.
I am going to think like a man more often.


Frenzied hysteria
Nerve-numbing noise
Adds insult to injury
~shatters my poise.

Where is the stillness?
This is my quest.
Where is His presence
Wherein I find rest?

The Eye of The Beholder

The emperor paraded down the streets of his kingdom,
strutting his invisible garment, too proud to see
what no one else could miss.

"What a handsome King!"
"What a gorgeous gown!"
"Isn't He lovely?!"
"And check out his crown!",
cried those who didn't want to be left out of believing the best.

But a little child,
so fearless and free,
cried, "The emperor's naked!
No clothing I see!"

The towns people laughed with shame and relief
and in their disillusionment,
they were set free to
see the emperor for who he was
and not for what they hoped he would be.

From then on, the town's people fended for themselves
and loved their emperor
in spite of who he wasn't.

As for the emperor, he no longer
trusted the mirror of his own admiration
nor the praises of men.
He humbly accepted the love of his people
and no longer kept them at arm's length.

The End~

Hertzler Doings~May 23-26, 2009

May 23-Sat.-Susan went shopping with her Easter egg money. Lynney took Susan, April, and Charity out to Lynchburg. Susan got many cute t-shirts, 3 pairs of pants, necklace and earrings (pistols) and a chicklet belt. I went out to Farmville and ran some errands and met with May birthday friends at a Mexican Restaurant. Betty, Alice, Carleen, Carol, and I wrote prayer requests on a sheet of paper and then pulled names out of a pink Mexican hat. Our gift to each other this year will be a year of prayer. Carleen and I pulled each other's names

May 24-Sunday-Went to church. The comfort of friends goes far. They are God with skin on. Came home and went to my chapel and took a nap, wrote some thoughts, and read some Psalms. Blogged. Need to pack for tomorrow's trip and everything in me is avoiding it. Played Farkel with Phil and Susan. Philip is with his Harvest friends and Michael and Freeman went to the movies.

Happy Birthday, brother Abe. I am so sorry that your namesake is not here. May next year's birthday be a better one. Abe (Abie) is my oldest brother. He's around 57 years old I think.
He has no gray hairs. He is cheerful and selfless. He is one of my heroes. Somehow, he holds our family together with his wise and loving ways. I love you, Abie. ( Mother calls him her rock.)

May 25-Left Va. around 10:45;arrived at Weaverland Mennonite Church at 4:45. Changed into dress clothes. Viewed Abie's body. Ate a meal the church prepared for the family. Visited with the viewers and looked at power point presentation of pictures of Abie's life. He knew how to live and make the most of each opportunity. I wish I knew him better.

Went to Mom and Dad's with Susan overnight. Boys stayed with Joe and Karen. Paul, Linda, Katie, Jim, Debra, Jordan stopped in to see us. Micah was there as well.

May 26-Tues.-Boys stopped in at Conestoga Christian School to see their former favorite teacher, Mrs. Horning. Security was high and although the boys in their black suits and probably dark sunglasses were disappointed that they were denied entry (no one knew them there) we were impressed that the school kept the students safety in mind, and sorry that the world has come to such a place as this. The boys left her a voice mail and complained. I guess she will just have to come down to the Pig Roast.

Abie's funeral service-I feel inadequate to describe it. I will try to describe my own personal highlights.

-Amos Stoltzfus sermon-(Rom. 8:18-28)-Amos told four stories including Abie's and said, "What a tragedy! What a tragedy!" after each illustration. One of the stories was about Jim Elliot and the other men who were killed by the Auca Indians in 1956. Amos told some of the 'rest of the story' of three of his illustrations. Steve Saint, the son of one of the men slain by the Auca's, was later baptized by one of his father's murderers. He shared other points of God's redemption and ended up saying, "What a story! What a story!" We understood that although life is full of tragedy, it is also full of God's redemption, and we have yet to see the redemption of the tragedy of the loss of Abie's life, but we will, and we will say, "What a story! What a story!"

-Uncle Paul (my mother's brother) read scriptures. I am not sure if it's the words he reads or if it is the sound of his voice that provides the most comfort. I have always loved his voice.

-The pastor of their church, Brian Martin, read numerous e-mails written by professors, colleagues, and friends. We got quite a picture of Abie's life through their words.

-My favorite, and the hardest thing, was Annika's letter to her brother, Abie. Makes me cry again. It was full of memories and thankfulness. It was full of missing and longing.

-It was nice to see Eugene and Loretta too, good friends of mine from high school. He shared as Abie's pastor from Rockville.

-The songs they chose were 'Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us', 'He Hideth my Soul,' and 'How deep the Father's Love for Us'. I will blog the words of the last song.

-A precious thing that happened-Jim (Rosalee's husband) has a brother who had major heart issues 3 weeks ago. Jim never expected him to come(6-8 hour drive?) but he did come and it did Jim good. I could have kissed him for coming but it's probably good I didn't.

-Katrina, Abie's youngest sister, hugged me hard a number of times, and said, "I love you."

Philip and Freeman were pall-bearers. I think that is an honorable, difficult job.

Abie was willing to work for free for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Huron, S.D.(Just to get the experience.)

He was studying the value of certain geographical areas-potholes-naturally occurring small ponds in the prairie and vital to the duck population. The purpose of this study is to assign a value to different areas so the government can purchase easements on particular properties to ensure the perpetuation of a good viable duck population. (Phil explained this to me.)

As others said, the young man who loved to study every part of creation is now looking into the face of the Creator of the things he loved. I imagine God is happy to have someone beside Him who is as excited as He is about the world He created.

We are so sorry that Abie's co-worker, the other passenger in the vehicle, died a day after the accident.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hertzler Doings-May 18-22, 2009

18th-Phil left for Kansas in afternoon to attend a Conklin Seminar to learn how to apply a certain product to roofs. He spent some time with Uncle Bill and Aunt Kit and his cousins.

19th-Gave myself a vacation day today. Met Lisa H. at Baine's. She helps me find myself. We did a little shopping together, too. Came home and went to my chapel. Burned brush for several hours, sat in sun, and read a children's book. Nice restful day. Michael was sick today and missed the school trip to Monticello.

20th-My brother, Alan, called in the afternoon. He told me that I needed to sit down. He should be a pastor, the way he handles things...My sister Rosalee, has a 23 year old son, Abie, who just moved to S. Dakota to study Wildlife, etc. He was there a week. He was driving the company truck and somehow pulled too close to a tractor trailer truck. The driver tried to brake but was unable to avoid a collision. Abie was instantly killed and the passenger riding with him has life-threatening injuries. This cannot be true. How can this be true? Everything that happened after that is muddled. Dianna came over. Phil flying home. Got ahold of him before he left for his final flight home. Dianna made me a scrambled egg sandwich and sat with me in the dark and listened.

21st-Happy Birthday, dear David. My brother. 46 years old. Trying to make sense of this craziness. How can you lose a child? It's bad enough to lose a dog. How can it be? Phone calls. Trying to find Katrina, their youngest child, who was flying to Munich the day of her brother's death. Probably in the air when it happened. On her way to tell people about Jesus on the streets of Munich. Finally reached her via the school contacts. Dear Katrina.

22nd-Katrina flying home alone today-9 hour non-stop flight. Met at Dulles airport by the college people and her sister, Annika. My sister homeschooled them their whole life and they are all very close.

Last day of school at CCA. Had graduation and awards ceremony. Michael won the Rhetoric award and a Latin award. He was hoping to win the Rhetoric award. Susan did well too. The children sang two songs we were working on-"Coram Deo" and "Cornerstone." Went to a school picnic at the Drinkards bit of heaven on earth. Felt calm and carried. After we came home I went back out to look for funeral clothes. Found several things that will work.
Rosalee and her family are receiving an outpouring of love and prayers.
Mother is not well.
I hate what her body is doing to her.
I hate that she has to go through all of this.
How does a mother watch her daughter go through this kind of sorrow?
So many layers of grief.
It's not right.
Tell me it isn't true.

Laments of the Soul

I try to read my Bible
and the words swim together in my eyes and my spirit.
The only words that make any sense to
me are the verses I have underlined in the Psalms.
Oh, the blessed laments written by the Psalmist.
Thank you, dear David,
for going through the depths of darkness so you
could write words that comfort me now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is it Possible?

Is it possible
that God allows a terrible sorrow now,
to prevent an even greater sorrow later?
Is is possible?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Little Boy Days-Archives of precious memories

Me-"Philip...God is always with you."
Philip-"I know! That's why I can't get to sleep! He's always awake.
Philip-"But in the morning He goes to sleep though."

Michael, in high voice, "Thank you God."
In deep voice, he says, "You're welcome."
In regular voice, he exclaimed, "Mommy! God said 'You're welcome' to me!"

Michael, 4, calls German Shepherd dogs, 'Jesus Dogs.'

Michael, almost 4, swinging, "Mommy, this is not our house."
Me-"Whose house is this?"
Michael-"This is God's house."
Me-"Who told you that?"
Michael-"God did."

Michael, almost 4, says to me, "What happened?" He repeated this several times.
Me-"I spilled this water."
Michael-"You're in Big Trouble," he said matter-of-factly.

Sunday Sermon~May 17, 2009

Ephesians 4:11-16~"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ-from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."

According to this scripture, the gift of offices is given to the church to equip the saints and disciple the church in works of ministry. If ministry isn't taking place, the responsibility falls on the pastor. If people are not equipped well enough to discern between truth and error, the responsibility falls on the leadership.

However, all of us will give an account for the Word we have heard and read and will be held responsible for the things we did or did not do. We are all ministers.

The title of Pastor Frank's sermon was "Monumental Faith."
How do we make a monument?
For example, communion, the table of the Lord, is a monument to remind us of what He has done for us.

It is easier for a pastor to give spiritual milk to his flock than it is to give them meat.
It is easier for the church to slurp down milk than it is to chew meat and digest it.
But it is time to grow up.
We need to grow up.
We have a responsibility to win souls in the Kingdom of God.

Years ago, some laws were formed to separate church and state.
These laws were formed to keep government out of Christianity; not to keep Christianity
out of the government.

In 1863, President Lincoln declared April 30, to be a National Day of Prayer and Humiliation.

We, as Americans, have been seduced by the belief that we have been blessed because we deserve it.

Have you ever watched the TV show, 'Rags to Riches?' ( I watched it once, and it was this same showing that Pastor Frank talked about.)
The show people went into a junkyard and picked out a 1969 Lamanze and bought it for $1,000. They invested their blood, sweat, tears, and $38,000 to turn it into a GTO. They sold it at auction for almost $80,000.
Each of us could be on God's 'Rags to Riches' Show. It is who we are in the kingdom. It is all about His redemption. It's in Him that we live and have anything good in our lives.
All we need to have to witness of Jesus Christ is our own testimony.
No one can argue with the fact that He has taken us from rags to riches; He has healed us and cleansed us and forgiven us. Who else can do that for us?

On top of the Washington Monument are written two Latin words that no naked eye can see.
As you climb the stairs of the monument, you will come upon plaques posted at the plateaus. There are inscriptions written on the plaques that point our nation to the one and only God, and exhortations to return to Him with repentance and mourning.
The two words on top of the monument are 'Laos Deo'.(Not sure of the spelling.)
The meaning? "All Praise Be To God."

Our nation was created so we could worship God.
Our nation was created so I could tell you, "Jesus loves you."
We have bought into the lies that we need to be tolerant of anything that opposes Christianity and God.
We have been obedient to these lies and immorality has increased. Now, there are those who say, "Why don't we just legalize it and get it over with."

If we want to see revival and change in our nation and community, we need to pray.
It is not about us and having God's favor in our lives.
It is about souls being added to the kingdom.

We need monumental praise, witness, and faith.
All praise, honor, and glory are going to Him, whether times are good or bad.

"Give me a burden for souls."
"Give me your heart for the lost."

Sunday Sermon~May 10, 2009

Linda Symanski, John Symanski's wife preached the sermon at Hopewell.
It is a Hopewell tradition that the Sr. Pastor's wife preaches the sermon on Mother's Day.


Willim James quote-"The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."

We want our legacy to look like a bridge-to lead others to their destinations.

A bridge is very supportive; it holds alot of weight; it helps people cross rough waters.

The materials we use to build our bridge needs to be of lasting value.

1-Solid Foundation-Relationship with Jesus Christ.
2-Priorities-Bible study, prayer, relationship with spouse and children
3-The Words that we speak, Our Tongue
What is down in the well will come up in the bucket.

We will leave a legacy based on the things we say (our tongue) and the things we do (our priorities).

Scriptures used: Matt 6:19; Matt. 7:24-26; James 3; Eph. 4:29

Hertzler Doings~May 14-17,2009

Busy Week. All of us tired from the wedding week. Trying to catch up with home and farm and school. Feeling a bit homesick for Pa. family and friends and yet glad to be back home in Va.
Worried about my mother who is running a low-grade temp, losing weight, no energy, etc.

May 14-Thurs-Gil, Lindsay, Adi and Emma came this morning and we went out to C&S Farm in Appomattox to pick our own strawberries . Adi liked to pick the white ones and put them in my box. She liked to squish the ripe ones between her fingers and by the time we were finished, she looked like she had been in an accident and had a head injury of some sort, what with all the red juice running down her face. An 8-month old baby boy came to me when I reached for him. He laid his head down on my shoulder to rest. Adi came to check out who had invaded her territory. I picked her up. He took one look at her and began to scream, trying to back away from her as I struggled to hold onto both of them. I kept telling him that she wasn't bleeding, but he didn't believe me. :) Lindsay called later in the day. She successfully canned her own strawberry jelly. Yippee! I made strawberry shortcake for our supper and we ate most of our strawberries that eve. I froze the rest to make smoothies with orange juice, an apple, a banana, (and frozen strawberries.) Delicious.

Daphne, Brandt, and Amy Edmonston came over in the afternoon and brought me some of their excess plum tomato plants, watermelon plants, and pepper plants. We planted them right away. We had fun talking about becoming self-sufficient in a community sort of way.

The Drinkards-Bruce, Millie, and Bailey came over later in the eve. to check out Michael's calves. I took Millie, Bailey, and Susan down to the cottage/chapel. We had a nice eve. with them.

Friday, 15th-Taught last Friday music class of the year. The older girls sang our Jewish song, "I lay in Zion", while the boys danced together in a circle. It was really neat. One little boy told me today that he will spend the summer in daycare and I told him that I wanted to bring him home with me. He is such a sweet little guy. Sometimes, if the children are acting up, I call them by their first name and my last name. For example, suppose Jack pushes Jill down the hill. I would then say, "JACK HERTZLER!" Jack would say, as they all do, "Hertzler is not my last name." And I say, "It is when you are in trouble." Then they are not sure what to say.

Chace, Eric, and Zach came over and played halo with boys all eve. I'm not sure about halo but they love it and they are here.

John and Jeanne came over in eve. and brought us some homegrown radishes. I had to eat a radish sandwich right away. We had a nice time with them, chatting and looking up praying mantises and other insects in books. They are good friends. I think we could enjoy playing 'library' together-just sitting quietly in a room together, reading, reading, reading. That's how Jeanne and John met-through a book or library club. Jeanne has a blog attached to mine and she is quite a writer. You can order her e-book for beginning gardener's right from her blog.

Sat, 16th-Busy Day. Phil, Susan, Philip, Tommy, and Michael spent much time today replanting the corn fields ravaged by crows. They have sore muscles and are sun-burned. I kept busy trying to clean the house, make bread, make lots of iced tea, etc. Planted more watermelon seeds and some hot pepper plants. I don't move nearly as fast as I used to. Freeman and Gary Christman went to N.C. on Thursday. A friend from The Continentals is getting married this eve. at 7:00 and they are singing in it. Found out that Freeman also sang a solo-learned it today. Someone who was going to sing it in the wedding was unable to come. The outdoor wedding got rained out and the sound system was shorted out.

There was a knock at the door later in the afternoon. My neighbor girl, Ryan, and two of her friends, Brianna, and another sweet girl, stopped in. "Miss Annette, I left my make-up at Buddy's and the prom is tonight. Can I borrow your make-up?" asked Ryan. It was fun to watch Brianna, who is a licensed cosmetologist, apply make-up and work her magic on an already beautiful girl.

Michael got check from Bruce Drinkard for calves today. He feels like a rich man. Tried to do his banking in town but I needed to be there since we have a joint account.

Sunday-the 17th-So good to be back at New Life. Sat in back before church and talked with Alice, my friend who God is healing. She will soon be cancer free. The doctor's report gets better and better. Held little Ryder Davis in church and he kicks and wiggles and I can feel him singing by the vibrations in his little chest. He fell asleep on my shoulder and slept through some of the singing and the Communion Service. When he woke up, Philip wanted to hold him and Philip said, 'He is just a little fur ball.' Rider began to check out Philip's chest-(finding nothing on one side, he checked out the other) which sent Michael into hysterics and Pastor Frank happened to look at Michael just then, and Michael felt a little bad about being a distraction. Michael held Ryder for awhile, too, and when Jamie, Ryder's daddy, picked him up, he reached back for Michael. He is just adorable.

Relaxed at home all afternoon. Freeman and Gary got home around 2:00. Stayed up late watching a Monk marathon.
Next week is last week of school! Summer vacation-here we come!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hertzler Doings-May 4-10

To read more about the wedding and our week, scroll back a few blogs and catch up under the Hertzler Doings-May 4-10 blog. I started writing it on May 4, and finished it on May 12th, but it gets printed in the May 4th slot. Thanks.

Anne's Wedding Day-May 9th, 2009

My sister-in-law, Anne, is 42 years old. David Stott, her husband, is 34, I think. It's nice to be old enough that age difference doesn't matter. If she had tried to marry him when she was 24...well, that would have been a different story. It is the first marriage for both of them. His family loves her and the entire Hertzler Clan loves him. He is into big trucks and auto racing and has an excavating business. Anne's been working at HMEby Trailers for the past I don't know how many years and was recently laid off due to cut backs. This gave her time to get things in order for her wedding.

Anne asked all six of her sister-in-laws to be in her wedding. (She has 6 brothers and no sisters).
Her best friend, Rachel Dick was her maid of honor and David's sister, Tamara Martin was also a bridesmaid. The sister in laws were arranged in order of our husband's ages. I stood next to the maid of honor, Helen was next to me, then Linda, Debra, Janelle, Karen, and Tamara.

We all wore our own style of black satin dresses, shoes, and jewelry. We each carried a bouquet of brilliant multi-colored flowers.
Susan and her cousin, Bradley, were the guest registrars. Abigail and Serena handed out programs. Joseph, Tom, and Paul were ushers. Phil and Jim were groomsmen.

We had fun getting ready in the church nursery. We helped each other pin things together, do our hair and make-up, and calm nerves. Micah, my nephew, was a ring bearer. He had swimmers ear the day before and missed rehearsal. He seemed a bit drowsy as we got ready. His drowsiness made his long eye lashes seem even longer.

I walked down the aisle with Lonny Stoltzfus. He had lost his wife to cancer about a year and a half ago. He has a little girl. He was alot of fun and I had to tell him to stop smacking his gum. My dress was floor length and when we got to the stairs, I handed him my flowers, held up my dress so I could traverse the stairs, and then he handed the flowers back to me. It worked without a hitch. Phil escorted Karen, brother Joe's wife.

When Dad and Mom walked Anne down the aisle, they took their time and enjoyed each moment. When Mark Kraybill asked Dad,"Who gives this bride...?" He said with deliberation and deep emotion, "Her brothers, her mother, and I." Anne seemed to be falling backward right after that and Helen and I whispered to each other, 'Is she OK?' I asked Anne about it later and she said that dad had ahold of her veil and was accidentally pulling her head back. As Anne came up the stairs, she stepped on her dress on each step. When she got to the top, she gave the front of her dress a sharp kick and that got things in place and added some humor to the scene.

Paul played and sang a love song and Jim helped out by pulling out his harmonica and playing along with the chorus. It was great. The congregation sang," Holy, Holy, Holy." It was during the second verse that something happened to me. I took a look at Mom's face(she said later that it was something about the song that had moved her as well) and I heard the words, "Holy, holy, holy...though the darkness hide Thee...". Micah was standing in front of me and I missed his daddy, Johnny, so very much at that moment. I looked at Anne and she was so beautiful and lovely, and I don't know how to explain it all, but I was overcome with the bittersweet emotion of joy and sorrow all wrapped up in one moment. I began to cry. Helen's hand reached up to comfort me, and Linda saw her do that and she began to cry as did Helen and then Debra. Janelle got teary-eyed. I can only imagine what she was thinking. Karen was oblivious to all of it. (I found all this out later.) The groomsmen were not looking like they were holding it together either and Dave almost lost it at one point too. Annie smiled through her tears and said, 'It's OK" and " I love you." I could not believe that I had not stuffed a handkerchief somewhere. Michelle almost brought Kleenexes up for us during the prayer. Meanwhile, I sniffed and wiped my noise and thought about all the pictures being taken and how most of them would have me with my hand to my face. Oh, well. It is a fond memory now because it meant alot to the folks watching and Brandon was laughing at me. He's my sweet nephew who one time told Dave,"She's our crazy aunt. We keep her in Virginia."
The ceremony was short and sweet. Every time Mark detoured a bit from the scripture, Dave gave him a look, and things kept moving right along. We went in to the sanctuary at 11:05 and were out by 11:35. Anne and Dave greeted each person in each row as they dismissed the guests for the reception.
We took lots of pictures and then went to the reception in The Life Center of the church. ( We were married there some 27 years ago. It was the sanctuary of Hopewell back then. Phil helped build the Lifecenter and was working there during the 9/11 tragedy. )

When we walked in with our partners, Vince introduced Helen's partner as Lonny Stoltzfus. He was wrong. So, when we were introduced next, he said, "Annette Hertzler-sister-in-law of the bride, escorted by Lonny Stoltzfus, again." Everyone laughed.

When they introduced Anne and Dave, I got to 'do' my Aborigine's mating call as loudly as I wanted to. I forgot to mention that I had also 'done' it when Mark announced Anne and Dave as Mr. and Mrs. Dave Stott. I could tell by Dave's little grin at the time that he heard me.

There was an open mike and Phil sang, "Forever Young" like a prayer for them. (I turned to Janelle and said, 'That's Johnny." She nodded and smiled, knowing I meant that Johnny is forever young. ) Phil whistled the third verse like a professional and I was amazed. I said to him later, 'I didn't know that you could whistle like that.' He said, "Neither did I." Right after he was done whistling, he said, "Freeman-what are the words to the third verse?" Jim piped up,"May you grow up to be righteous..." Phil started singing. That's when we realized that he was whistling to buy himself some time, hoping that he'd remember the words. Tom and Helen's family sang a great song. They changed some words to a questionable country song. The words escape me at the moment, but they sang well and in parts and Helen's mom, Sandy Shantz, was trying to figure out how they could work it in their Sunday Service. John and Sandy pastor at Spring City.(We called Tom's family 'The Tom-Trapp Family Singers.') The Hertzler brothers got up and sang their own version of 'Stand by Your Man.' They had their arms around each other and were doing hand motions, etc. as they rendered, "Stand by Your Anne" to the smiling couple as they ate cake. The entire Mast Family-Ginny's siblings and spouses, sang the good old hymn, "Love at Home." They sang it at our wedding too.

I discovered my dress was a good dress to walk in and stand in, but sitting on that netting was more than I could bear. I refused to wear it again on Sunday morning. There were other reasons too, which I won't reveal at this time.

It was a wonderful wedding. I loved it best next to mine. And Annie and Dave are going to have a wonderful life together. I should mention, or maybe I shouldn't, that I am quite sure that they didn't save their first kiss for their wedding day. They did not come across as if that was a new experience for them. We had fun banging our bags of candy on the table and hitting our plastic spoons against the water pitchers. They were happy to comply.
I wonder if they do these things in other countries.
It just makes me proud to be an American.
It just makes me proud to be a Hertzler.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy and Kind

We have a great car-pooling system set up.
I take Michael and Susan over to the Robinson's in the morning
and Leanne or Kinkle drive them and their two boys into school.
I go home and have a nice time of quietness and reading.
I watch the news or GodTV and exercise while doing so.

I pick them up from school at 3:00.
I enjoy taking Kincaid, 10, and Parks,8, back home to their mother.
Sometimes, they are quiet and are reading books.
Kincaid takes home huge, cumbersome books that contain more history on one page than I remember from all of my history studies combined.
Kincaid explains all kinds of things to me, using big words,
and grown-up ways. I told his dad, "You know, Kincaid could teach at Harvard tomorrow."
"I don't know about that," said Kinkle modestly.
"I just want him to be happy and kind."
This family is blessed with several generations of happiness and kindness.

Whenever I play classical music at school, Parks and Kincaid are in their glory.
I talked with Leanne about it.
I discovered that when she was pregnant with them, she played classical music all the time.

Last week, on the way home, they began talking about Park's blogsite.
"Parks," I said. "If you start writing more on your blogsite, I will post your blogspot on my blog." (He's only written one time.)
I told them that sometimes I write up stories about the children at school.
"Have you ever written about any of us?" they queried.
I wished I had.
"I've written about Parks class," I said.
Kincaid let me know that he would like if I wrote about him.
He said, " I could use some publicity right now."
I laughed and said that his funny statement was the kind of thing I wrote about.
He asked me today if I had blogged what he had said.
Now, I can answer, "Yes."

I like all of the children at school.
Perhaps, because I travel with Parks and Kincaid, I have a special place in my heart for them. I almost feel like I'm their aunt. I feel responsible for them and look out for them.

Today, Kincaid said that the older he gets, the faster time flies.

He also said that he was dying of hunger and I said, "It's a good thing your family owns a funeral home."
Then I felt bad about that but Michael said it was funny.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lost Art of Listening

I am reading a mentoring book entitled, 'Woman to Woman' written by Edna Ellison and Tricia Scribner. This is what they say about 'The Lost Art of Listening.'

"Why listen? It's good for you as well as your merea. (The person you are mentoring)
One study showed that during talking, blood pressure increases slightly, as compared with the blood pressure while being quiet. Interestingly, during listening, blood pressure drops significantly, not only below readings taken during talking, but also below the blood pressure recorded during quiet times. So listen and lower your blood pressure!"

"As for the benefits to your merea, paying close attention to her verbal and nonverbal messages affirms her as a person of value. Your listening also gives her time to become aware of what she is thinking and feeling."

"If listening is so valuable, why don't we do it more and better? Listening is often misunderstood. Often we think of it as being synonymous with hearing. It isn't. We also tend to think of listening as dry, boring, and passive. On the contrary, listening is hard work. Proactive listening requires you to choose consciously to focus on and seek to understand the meaning of the internal experience your merea is expressing verbally."

They listed several reasons why we don't listen well and encouraged us to work on the things that distract us from listening. They are:

"I'm thinking of what to say next."
"I'm busy evaluating the rightness or wrongness of what is being said."
"I am uncomfortable with silence; I tend to fill in the blank spots."
"I am sometimes to tired to focus."
"It's hard to pay attention (this could range from true attention deficit problems to simply being distracted about matters of everyday life)."
"If I don't like the subject matter, I just tune out."

So, it looks like active listening is good for everyone involved!
Hmm...God's blood pressure must be really low.