Thursday, July 30, 2009

Green Olives and God's Goodness

(Psalm 52:8,9~)

"But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God
forever and ever.
I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name,
for it is good."

Sunday Sermon~July 26, 2009

Pastor Rob started out his sermon today with a meaningful skit portraying how easy it is to be task oriented and to organize our ministry into a time slot instead of realizing that ministry can happen any time there is someone who needs a listening ear and a heart that cares.

The Challenge:
Reach the Lost

So what?
The Gospel Message is easier to hear if first spoken by an act of service.

Basin Theology-
OK. Everyone. Wake up. This is it!!!!~A

#1-Pilate's basin theology-Used his basin to wash his hands of guilt and his involvement with someone who needed him.

#2-Jesus' basin theology-Used His basin to wash His disciple's feet.

There is a pull in our lives to use one basin or the other.
We can either use our basin to wash our hands of being involved in people's lives
or we can use our basin to serve others and bathe their 'feet' from the dirt and grime that comes from daily living in a fallen world.

Jesus' disciples were arguing who was the greatest and Jesus, being the greatest, knowing who He was, where He had come from and where He was going, took a towel...

We still want to be the greatest. We boast about many come to our church, what our church is known for, etc. etc. We like having our little trophies lined up in a show case.

There are three main areas where we, as a church, have an opportunity to impact our culture.
1-Our Time; our schedule
2-Acts of Service; helping others
3-Money; Giving of our financial resources

The Greatest barrier to making an impact in our world is our own selfishness. We put ourselves first. We refuse to take the towel.

If we really want to see the church explode, we've got to be willing to die to ourselves, our money, our need and get our eyes on others. We all know people who need Jesus but we also know people who need our time, our money, and things we can do for them. If we wash people's feet with these resources in a personal way, the gospel will spread. People will ask us why we are doing this and we can share with them that since Jesus loves us, we want to love them too.
I have several thoughts regarding this message.

#1-The Basin Theology is huge. That's why I highlighted it in hot pink. We need to revisit this thought and think about it.
Suppose we have a conflict with someone in our home or in the church. Do we wash our hands of the situation or do we wash the feet of another? One action is impersonal rejection and indifference and the other is entirely personal and full of unconditional acceptance and love. I am going to be thinking about this for awhile.

#2-I think that the most important act of service and time is the ministry of intercession. I worry about the older folks in church who do not have the energy to do anything for anybody and may have no money to give. I want them to know that interceding for the church body and for those who do not yet know Jesus is the greatest ministry that they can engage in.

#3-Acts 1:8-Jesus is telling the disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Ghost comes upon them...they will be witnesses to Him in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. We've always said that Jerusalem is our community but I wonder if Jerusalem represents our own homes. What about acts of service and time given to our own families? Sometimes, the plumber's wife has to wait a long time to get her kitchen pipes fixed. Sometimes, the families of those who serve others have to wait a long time to get their own roof patched or back shed cleaned out. If we make a meal for others, we should make sure our families are fed as well. What a tragedy it would be if we gained the whole world and lost our own loved ones.
And Samaria-Could Samaria represent the places where we would least want to share the gospel; the places and people who we want to wash our hands of and have nothing to do with? Perhaps these people are living in lifestyles we find abhorrent. Samaria is a tough place to show love but we have to go through this town before we can reach more of the world.
It's easier to share Christ in the uttermost parts of the world than it is to share Christ where people have known us all our lives.
Serving our family quietly, invisibly, in our homes gives integrity to our public ministry.
But that's not why we do it.
We do it because God gave us our families to show love to first.
It is at home that we learn to truly serve for the right reasons.
It is at home where we first learn to die to ourselves and live.

#4~Is our church body's root system and trunk sturdy enough and strong enough for our tree to spread out its branches and bring others in? What if our branches are full of new people and the trunk is hollowed out and our roots shallow? What will happen to us when the strong winds blow? How deep are our roots of holiness, forgiveness, faithfulness, and kindness? How can we tell others about the power of God to change lives when our own lives are falling apart? Are those who have called on His name long ago, loving His name more today? Are we growing stronger and deeper in the knowledge and mercy of God? I think about these things alot. Jesus left us with the Great Commission but He left us with a great deal more than that.
There are epistles written just for those who have responded to the Great Commission's invitation. The love of God is wide but it is also deep.
Adi fell asleep on my lap and then Freeman took her so I could write notes. Alli was sitting beside me and held Adi for awhile, too, and then Adi came back to my lap to do some drawing. Suddenly, a warm wetness filled my lap. I looked at Alli in horror. Gingerly, I carried Adi out in front of me. Lindsay met me out back, full of apologies. I soon found out that the only thing worse than warm wetness is cold wetness. When I came back to my seat, I looked down at my Bible, open to John 13. Puddles of you know what making memories on my pages met my gaze. We took Kleenexes and soaked up the puddles and I placed some dry Kleenexes in between the pages. I used Clorox wipes on the pages at home. I told Lindsay about it, later, and she was chagrined. "I'll buy you a new Bible if it's ruined." "It's fine," I reassured Lindsay. "John 13 will be a bit wrinkly from now on, but nothing's ruined." Freeman thinks he was lucky to have just handed her off to me. She looked so innocent, too,..

Hertzler Doings~July 28-Aug.3, 2009

Tues.-Carleen here from 12:30-5. Ate lunch, sat by river and talked, and watched Freaky Friday. Good times. Went to Ruritan Club with Michael in the eve. He spoke without notes for about 5 min. regarding his time at Boy's State. He did so well and I was so proud. Came home early. Erik and Chace came to spend the night.

Wed.-Erik and Chace here all day. I went out to town to stay with a dear old lady and she had us guessing for awhile. Went to Kroger's and then Lindsay's to babysit while she taught violin. I had to sneak away because Adi wouldn't let me go.

Thurs.-Went to chiropractor and then to Lisa H's for lunch and friendship. Came home and Michael was hungry for pizza so we made two homemade pizza's within the hour. We watched the last half of Christy on TV. He mowed the lawn today and is reading his Sherlock Holme's book. He should start work at Kroger's soon, "Unless," as he said dryly," I fail the drug test for some reason." Michael shared today about Andrew's teaching last eve. He said it was deep and followed the principles of logic. 'Faith, hope, and love are all dependent on one another. You can't have one without the other. Love is patient...You are patient when you have to wait in the ER because you have hope that you will get treated and feel better.' That was some of the idea of his message. I want to hear more.

Fri.-Michael and I went out to Appomattox today to get his car's air conditioning worked on. We did some other errands and exchanged some produce with the Hubler's. Made some chocolate chip banana bread in the afternoon. Must give you the recipe. Michael went to a party with the Davis's and will spend the night. I picked up Susan at New Life. She had a great week at camp. "Mom, I missed you, but I could have stayed two more weeks." Went to the Gibb's to pick up the frogs. Skittles died last night. Poor Kelly had to tell her. Susan handled it well and buried him later at home in the pretty box they bought for him . What a good friend Kelly is, to take the risk of caring for Susan's high maintenance frogs, and then to have to be the bearer of bad news. How kind of them to go to the trouble of finding a beautiful box at the dollar store to bury him in. Susan and I watched her camp videos in the eve. She is tan and even more grown up than when she left. Freeman got home early afternoon and went to wedding rehearsal of some friends.

Sat.-Phil, Philip, Ray got home around 3 this morning. Didn't get alot of work done today. Feel like I have company and am just enjoying the presence of those who were absent this week. Susan still basking in camp joy. She made chocolate chip banana bread and unpacked her bags, read a bit, and caught up with her bunnies. Christi came over for the afternoon and is enjoying Philip's presence. They went fishing, played Farkel, and watched movies. Michael got 'War and Peace' in the mail. He figures if he reads 60 pages a day, he will be finished with it by the beginning of school. Freeman's in John and Sara's wedding celebration. I'm fighting some sort of allergy to air conditioning or something.

Sun.-Stayed home from S.S. and spent time with the family. Went to church early. Enjoyed the worship service and PR's sermon. Alli spent much of the time giggling behind her bulletin.
Raced home and got a quick lunch. Phil and the guys had to go places. Alli stayed with Susan and I and we watched movies and made popcorn, taffy, and Aunt Annie's soft pretzels. I think I ate at least four of them. Michael had Gina, Travis, Chace, and Jordan here in the afternoon. They went down to the river and out to see Ice Age 3 in the eve. Judy called and told me to get on Face Book and look at Lindsay's grad photos. Alli got me onto her facebook so I could see the pics. Congratulations!
Janelle called. Micah is starting Kindergarten this year. Hard to believe. Missed Emma's third birthday party today. I'm feeling lousy with a possible summer cold or is it allergies? Didn't want to contaminate the little girls. Missed holding Adi in church today.

Mon.-Happy Birthday, dear Ruthie. Horst, that is. She made a cake for her birthday and took it to the bank to share. Susan and I went over to Bob and Laura Mc~~ and picked a bushel of green beans and a basket of tomatoes. They gave us cucumbers and canteloup as well. What a kind couple they are and truly godly people. They liked Susan's shirt. It says," Live your Life in Such a way that the Preacher Doesn't have to Lie at your Funeral." Something like that. He wanted to buy them for the children in his Sunday School class. Susan and I cleaned and froze green beans and watched a Monk marathon in the afternoon. Life is good.
Michael went for his training at Kroger's. He read 'War and Peace' for several hours.
Michelle called and invited us over for pizza. Lynn Furhman and Jacob and Rachel were there visiting. It was great catching up with her. She looks the same exept she is very blond and very tan. They are enjoying living near the beach in Fla. and seem to all be thriving down there. Lynn and her family were friends of ours in Pa. We moved to Va. and they moved to Pa. Helen and her have kept in close contact through the years. Michael joined us after his training and played Old Gray Wolf with his Hertzler cousins and friends after it got dark. The full moon made it a perfect game to play and I'm sure the little girls had their fill of good scares.

Hertzler Doings~July 20-27, 2009-

Mon.-Missi brought Reagan here last eve. and he spent the day with us. It stormed most of the day. He wanted to go to the river so badly, so I filled my big tub with water, bubbles, and toys, and he played for a long time. Even ate his lunch in there. Robert Miller passed away today after being in a coma for over a week. Robert is my sister in law, Karen Hertzler's only brother. He was in a cycle accident over a week ago. What a battle everyone waged for his life. Now, his battle's over.

Thurs.-Took corn to Helton's and Susan and I got our hair cut. Stopped in at Lindsay's for awhile.

Fri.-Judy and Sammy Jo came for lunch and some time at the river. Sammy Jo really enjoyed the water. Phil and boys came home by 9:00 this eve. It was four years ago, today, that we got the awful news about Johnny Hertzler's death in Thailand. I am happy for you, Johnny. You are where we all want to be. We still miss you and love you dearly.

Sat.-Phil and I had coffee on front porch. He brought home peaches and a giant watermelon and his own cheerful self. Had a nice day together. Mom and Dad home from Paraguay today.

Sun.-Susan and I took her frogs to Kelly. She's watching them while Susan is at camp. The girls took Kelly's rabbit into the pool with them while Betty and I visited. (Robert's viewing at Hopewell in PA. from 3-8. )
New Life's worship service especially meaningful to me today. Missi sang, "His eye is on the Sparrow." I was singing this song yesterday.

Mon.-Dropped Susan off at church for camp. She was so excited. Met Michael at the bank to set up a checking account, met Nolte at the lawyer's office for a check, went to Riverside with Edna and JD paid for our lunch, visited Lindsay and the girls for several hours, and had supper with Candi at Ruby Tuesday's. What a happy day.
Robert's funeral in PA. Unable to go. Church packed. Nearly 500 stayed for lunch. Naomi said it was such a meaningful service. One of Robert's favorite songs is mine as well-"His eye is on The Sparrow." Andy Petersheim shared fond memories. People were laughing and crying. All the best to Robert's family. Surely He has borne your griefs and carried your sorrows...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

When I'm hungry I don't hear you

Sometimes it's hard to concentrate in church because I am so hungry. I eat breakfast and I especially eat breakfast on Sundays so my stomach doesn't growl, but I still get hungry. When I'm hungry, it's hard to pay attention to the Words of God spoken from the pulpit. And I am just a little hungry. I've never known true physical hunger. I'm definitely not malnourished.

When the mission teams shared this Sunday, I heard loud and clear that if we want people to hear the gospel that we have to share, we need to care for their physical need of hunger first. (And perhaps shelter and clothing.) Jesus cared about hungry people. He taught people and fed them when they were hungry. He made enough leftover's so they could pack a little lunch for their long walk home.

Billy Graham, in his book,'Storm Warning', says it this way. "The debate that existed in the church between the liberals who supposedly minister to the body, and the evangelicals, who supposedly minister to the soul, can only be resolved if both sides learn from each other-and from the Bible. If the conservative church will come to see that the Bible also teaches that we must be concerned about both the soul and the body, and if the social church, on the other hand, will begin to realize that social action without the faithful proclamation of the truth of God's Word is futile, we can serve the kingdom of God together. We are called to minister to human bodies and human spirits simultaneously. As many have said, a starving man will not heed the Word unless he can see Jesus in your life; the two are inseparable."

I think it's interesting how Jesus is described in the Bible with food words.
"Bread of Life"
"Living Water"
(and inferred)-"Poured Out Wine"

Bread or rice is a staple in most cultures.
Water is every human beings link to life.

Jesus ministered to the entire human need.
He fed the hungry in body, soul, and spirit.

I think we're afraid to do that.
We don't want people to become dependent on us.
Jesus isn't afraid of people depending on Him.
Why are we?
Probably because their need is greater than our sources.
Their need is not greater than His Source, however,
and perhaps by meeting their need in part,
we will lead them to Him.


Excerpt taken from Billy Graham's book entitled-"Storm Warning."
He spent some time with Mother Teresa in Calcutta.
These are his words describing that meeting.

"When I was introduced to her, she was ministering to a dying person,
holding him in her arms. I waited while she helped him face death.
When he died, she prayed quietly, gently lowered him to his bed,
and turned to greet me."
"We talked till dusk that day. I was surprised to learn how much she knew about me and about our crusades. In her lilting, broken English she asked if I would like to hear some of her experiences with the hungry and the dying. Very simply,
she explained her calling to me. Mother Teresa looks past the physical features of
every needy man, woman, or child, and she says that she sees the face of Jesus
staring up at her through them. In every starving child she feeds, she sees Jesus. Around every sick and frightened woman she cares for, she sees Jesus. Surrounding every lonely, dying man she cradles in her arms is Jesus. When she ministers to anyone, she is ministering to her Savior and Lord."

This would change my life if I did this.
But there is no one dying in poverty around me.

But the frightened are poor in courage...
The unkind are poor in love...
The prideful are poor in security...
The rejected are poor in peace...

Can I look in the faces of the disillusioned around me and see the face of Jesus?
Can I look in the face of one who has wounded me with caustic words and see the face of Jesus?
Can I look in the faces of my children when they have shaken my trust in their judgment and see the face of Jesus?
Can I look at the poverty-stricken faces of the frightened, the unkind, the prideful, the rejected and give them the same love and grace that God gives me when He looks at my poverty-stricken face and sees Jesus?

"Whatever you have done to the least of these my brethren, that you have done for me," takes on a whole new meaning when the least of these has the false appearance of being the 'best of these.'
Even 'the best of these' can be sick of heart, starving for love, needy, frightened and lonely.
Even 'the best of these' needs us to see Jesus when we look at them.


Every where I look, people are having the rugs pulled out from under them.
People are flying through the air and landing on their faces,
on their backsides, and on their knees.
They are breathless and in great pain.

I watch them with sympathy as I, too, tumble awkwardly about.

Are there any more rugs left to pull?

There's a verse in the Bible that says that eventually,
what can be shaken
will be shaken.

Rugs can be shaken.

What's under our rugs?

When the rug is pulled out from under us
anything we've swept under the rug comes
out with a whoof and a poof,
clouding our vision
and delaying our recovery time.
Anything not worked through
now MUST be worked through
and that without a rug to stand on.

I hope my missing rug
will reveal a hard wood floor,
sturdy and polished,
still gracious under the test of time.

I hope my missing rug doesn't
reveal unfinished business,
or unholy ties,
or splintered relationships.

I hope my missing rug
reveals a strong rock surface-
an "on-Christ-the-solid-rock-I-stand" kind of Rock.

All other ground is sinking sand.
And although a rug on top of sand
makes a soft bed
the shaking is coming
and no one likes getting
sand in their eyes.


(Quotes recorded in "A Continual Feast")
(Quote#1- by James Rupert Nance, Esq. 1908-1985)
(Quote # 2-Loosely adapted from a remark by Moss Hart)
(Quote #3-E.B. White)
(Quote #4-Mother Teresa)

"The only bad thing
about makin' a mistake
is to keep on makin' it."

"Every failure I've ever had
is because I said yes
when I should have said no."

"One of the most time-consuming
things is to have an enemy."

"If you judge people,
you have no time to love them."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Report-"Never Surrender"

by LTG (Ret.) William G. Boykin with Lynn Vincent

I finished this last night, shortly before midnight.
I know I've been writing alot of book reports but I haven't
had much time on the computer lately and I'm trying to catch up.
I have read all of these books in the past few weeks
but I'm not completely lazy
although the house could be cleaned
and the 'attic' must be organized.

I can't not read.

If I am in someone else's bathroom
and there is nothing to read even for a half of a minute,
I grab a shampoo bottle and read the ingredients.
I know.
I've got problems.
But this isn't supposed to be about me.

I want to introduce you to LTG Jerry Boykin.
I met him one Sunday at church.
Well, I didn't actually meet him, but he spoke at our church on a Sunday morning,
which is a big deal if you knew our pastor.
He is very careful about who he shares the pulpit with
as well he should be.
I know of a church who wishes they had been more
careful about who they allowed to speak from the pulpit...but
I'm rambling now...

Mr. Boykin was part of the world's premier Special Operations unit,
Delta Force.
The book shares story after story of his adventures
in the Delta Force,
taking out the bad guys and helping to restore
law and order to countries longing for democracy.
He also risked his life many times for America.
Throughout his experiences, he relied on God
and was willing to ask Him the tough questions in life
such as "Why have you allowed this to happen?"

He uses some strong language but it is all cultural language-
the language of the military and of brave men.

I really can't express the sorrow I felt when I read
how our own media used and twisted his own
words against him to expose him falsely
as some kind of religious fanatic.
He was completely exonerated from those charges
just a few years ago.

LTG Boykin has many honors attached to his uniform
and his name but most of his exploits were performed
with very little recognition due to the sensitive nature
of their mission.
I know for a fact that he is an humble man
and is willing to speak into the lives of those who
need it most,
but due to the sensitive nature of
this mission, that is all I can say.

I heard from a school that is hoping to have him be their
first graduation commencement speaker.
If he agrees and things work out,
I will be there, for more reasons than one.

Just buy the book.
I have a signed copy.
If you buy a book,
I think I can get him to sign it for you.

Book Report-'The Child From the Sea'

by Elizabeth Goudge

My mother and I have read a number of Ms. Goudge's books. She is quite the author. You will not just skim through her books because every sentence has words in it that need to be and should be read. Her books often portray a geographical and historical place in time with color and activity which keeps ones attention throughout the entire reading of her story.

"The Child from the Sea" tells the story of Lucy Walter. You will fall in love with her as a young girl and follow her life until its final days. The back cover says it so much better.

" ...tells the rich, turbulent tale of Lucy Walter, secret wife of Charles ll, and mistress-despite-herself to a gallant and reckless Irish nobleman in exile. It is a story filled with the passions and adventure of an age of glory and squalor, nobility and depravity, courage and betrayal. It is a drama that ranges from an isolated castle in Wales, to the pomp and ceremony of London, to the glitter, intrigue and license of Paris."

Any book by Elizabeth Goudge is worth reading just because it is so well-written.
I do believe you will also find a cord of redemption and the finger of God woven into the characters she chooses to represent through her words. You will effortlessly learn some more history and geography, culture and religion, as you enjoy the characters and places in her story.

There is a $.50 mark on the outside of the book cover.
It is worth a whole lot more.
I am sure you can find some more of her books
at the local library.
I'll race you there.

On Bereavement

(Written by Hubert van Zeler, Moments of Light, recorded in "A Continual Feast" by Jan Karon)

Dedicated to those who mourn the passing of Robert Miller:

"It is not that we feel cut off from the bigger spiritual
relationship which survives death,
but from the hundred and one lesser links
which bind people together,
incidental things which when looked back on
seem of enduring significance,
but which were taken so much for granted at the time.

The other person's sense of humor, prejudices, moods,
all that has gone.
For the rest of our lives we shall have to do without
his mannerisms, his shyness,
his ways of pronouncing things.

The voice is silent-
we have expected it would be-
but that the yawns and bursts of laughter
will never be repeated
is almost more than we can bear...

Those moments were not passing moments at all.
They had something in them of eternity..."

I Have Prayed for You

(Book report on Luke)~

Luke 22:31,32-'And the Lord said,"Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."'

I think our names could be inserted here, in place of Simon's.

Wheat is sifted
so the chaff can be blown away, and the grains of wheat
made pure. The wheat berries are then dried,
crushed and ground and made into
bread to feed the hungry.

Jesus was called 'The Bread of Life.'
He was broken and crushed to be made into
the source of life.

Sifting isn't a comfortable process.
Satan asks to sift us because he glories in the chaff.
He loves to accuse us because of the impurities in our life.
But Jesus glories in the wheat leftover from the sifting.
The sifting purifies our wheat.
The sifting purifies our faith.

Jesus prays for us while He allows the sifting.

I don't think any prayer of Jesus could be unanswered.

He says to us something like,"During the sifting process,
you may deny Me, but you will return, and when you do,
strengthen the faith of those around you. Strengthen those
who are going through the sifting too."

Do not think that you have lost your faith
because the chaff in your life is being exposed.
Do not think that you are a hypocrite without hope
of restoration.
The chaff is hypocrisy.
The chaff is being blown away.
What is left is your integrity.
What is left is your faith.
And you will strengthen the rest of us.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Count it All Joy

My friend came up to me at church.
"I've been reading your blog," she said.
"I've been reading about the joys and sorrows of your life."
Then she said, "Count them all joy."
She said it alot better than I just did.
But I felt like she had handed me a gift.

A long time ago,
James, the brother of Jesus,
wrote to the twelve tribes of Israel,
scattered abroad.
"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking nothing."

My friend remembered James.
She helped me remember him, too.
When she said, "Count it ALL joy,"
I heard in her words the freedom
to be glad in the midst of sorrow.
The joy in the midst of sorrow
contains its own reward.
But James goes on to say
that the trials produce patience,
and if you are patient
in your patience,
your patience will produce
wholeness, stability, and riches.

I took the main sorrowful things
out of my soul today
and looked at them
through the light of joy.
They had a whole different feel to them.
I'm not just waiting for them to be 'over.'
There is a whole lot more at stake
than just having my sorrows resolved.
They are, in fact,
sorrows that are wrapped up
in the more difficult sorrows of others.

The destiny of an innocent
is being determined
by the free will of the
not so innocent.

Someone near and dear
to someone near and dear
has stopped breathing today,
and another near and dear
to me is struggling to breathe.

A son who brought only
pride and joy
has been taken in the prime
of his life, and his mother
asks God, "Why?",
and waits for His answer.

Debt marches in for another,
threatening the loss of land
and home.

Seizures surprise two
young men in one home in
the same week,
and their parents fight panic.

Another parent struggles
to bring a child back from
the clutches of evil influence.

The battles are raging
and people are weary.
I know these people.
They are close to me.
It's personal.
The trials are personal.

"Count it ALL joy,"
she said.
She should know.
She's been through enough.
In her patience,
she has possessed her soul.
I love her for her words.
I thank her for her words.

I hold the sorrows of my
family and friends
and think of the trials
of our faith.
I count it all joy
because we have a God
who makes all things
work out for good
to those who love Him.

The working out
requires alot of patient waiting.
I will work on my counting
while I wait.

Excerpts from my own story

I am working through a book entitled, 'The Intentional Woman" by Carol Travilla and Joan C. Webb. Two other friends of mine are working through it as well and we meet together and share what we've written and what we are learning.

The book is, as it says on the cover, 'a guide to experiencing the power of your story.'

We are revisiting our childhood and adulthood and writing about the experiences that have shaped our lives.

I thought that I would record on my blog a list of some of my childhood memories for the sake of my children. It's OK if you read them but it's also OK if you don't. :)

The question is, "During your childhood and youth, what did you enjoy doing?'
My answers were, in no particular order, the following.

~playing with cousins
~making houses in the cornfields with my sister, Rosalee
~walking on the railroad tracks with my mother on Sunday afternoons
~staying overnight at my grandparents and friends
~family trips across the U.S.-camping for my mother, moteling for my dad
~waking up on Christmas morning
~going to Camp Hebron as a camper for 3 years and a counsellor for about the same
~Youth Group fun-camping at Chincoteague, singing around the piano, etc.
~Nature Guilds and Sign Language Guilds
~Reading and Writing
~Choir and singing in Sextet through grade school and high school
~memorizing long poems because I wanted to
~riding in the rumble seat of my dad's Model T(A?) Ford
~cleaning the yard and working in the garden with my family
~playing board games and Dutch Blitz
~visiting people as a family on Sunday afternoons
~riding our horse, Shiloh
~Going places with Grandpa Landis, such as Rough and Tumble
~Going to the New Holland parade
~riding on the caboose on the train-my dad set this up
~Going to retreats and renewal meetings with my mother
~watching Candid Camera and I Love Lucy
~Going to Pine Knot Cabin with family and friends
~my mother reading to me
~I'm sure I'll think of more....

Book Report-"Ordering Your Private World'

by Gordon MacDonald

If I could write down the most important sentences from this book
I would break copyright laws
because I would have to write down most of the book.

This book is a must read for-well, everyone.
If you read it, you will understand the difference
between being called of God
and being driven.
If you read it,
you will learn the importance of a Sabbath rest,
and you will be released from the guilt
that comes when its time to relax.
You will learn that running and finishing
the race with consistency and grace,
is more important that getting a fast start
and being blessed with natural talent.
You will learn the importance of time management,
quietness, training of the brain through study,
and aligning yourself with the purposes of God.

Just go out and buy the book.
Mine is far too underlined
to loan out.

Book Report-'A Continual Feast'

Oh! I love this book. (Another Goodwill find)
Have you ever read 'The Mitford Series' by Jan Karon?
I've read them all.
It's like taking a mini vacation into another place and time.

'A Continual Feast' is a collection of
Father Tim's 'words of comfort and celebration.'
It is full of some of my favorite
Bible verses and quotes.
I feel like I could have written this book-
or at least my mother could have written it.

Here's a quote I like printed right on the cover:

" The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.
The second is to look things in the face
and know them for what they are."
by Marcus Aurelius

There are quotes from the Bible, like I said,
as well as quotes from Augustine, Oswald Chambers,
C.S.Lewis, Madame Guyon, and Hannah W. Smith,
and others.

I am so happy!
What a treasure I've found!

Book Report-'the five people you meet in heaven'

by Mitch Albom

I picked up this book at Goodwill.
I highly recommend it.
This book tells the story of a man named Eddie.
When he dies in an accident,
he meets five different people who
explain his earthly life to him
through their own deep connections
to him while they were alive.
There are surprising twists to the story
and also redemptive outcomes.

This is a reread.
It affected me in unusual ways.
I think you'll like it too.

Book Report-"Rascal"

"Rascal" by Sterling North

I have read 'Rascal' a number of times in my life.
Never have I enjoyed it as much as I have this time.
'Rascal' was a national best seller for 29 weeks.
I can see why.

Sterling takes us back to his childhood-
back to the time when doors were unlocked
at night and keys were left in the ignition of cars.

'Rascal' is his pet raccoon.
You can imagine the trouble the two of them got into.

Sometimes, I read portions of the book aloud to Phil
when we crawl into bed at night.
There are few books written as well as this one.
Susan just read it too.

The following is an excerpt from the book.
I found it especially interesting since we are having trouble with coons eating our sweet corn.

"One serious mistake I made, however, was to give Rascal his first taste of sweet corn. I twisted a plump ear from a stalk in one of my rows, stripped back the husk, and handed the corn to my pet, who had carefully watched the whole performance. Rascal went slightly berserk. No other food he had ever tasted compared to this juicy new delicacy which he was sampling for the first time. He ate most of the first ear, then in a frenzy scrambled up another corn stalk, pulling it slowly to the ground. He wrestled and struggled with a fresh ear, tearing away part of the husk and guzzling greedily as before. Still unsatisfied, he left the second ear half eaten to climb a third corn stalk. He was drunk and disorderly on the nectar and ambrosia called sweet corn."
"I thought Rascal's binge was amusing. But when I told the story to my father, he looked at us both quite seriously and said, "I'm, afraid you're in for trouble, Sterling."

You'll have to read the book for the rest of the story.
You'll be glad you did.
Better yet, read it outloud to someone you love.


Robert Miller
went to be with Jesus
today around 1:43 PM.
No more heartache
No more tears
No more struggles
No more fears...
For him.

The rain keeps raining.
Heaven's weeping
for those of us who mourn.

My dear sister-in-law,
lost her father at age 42
and now her brother
at age 42,
during corn-picking season.

I am so sorry,
My sister.
My friend.
I am so sorry.

I don't know why it happened.
I don't know why it wasn't prevented.
I don't know why.

I only know
that God is with us.
God is here.
I hope you feel His presence near.

Book Report-Ezekial

Notes taken from New Spirit Filled Life Bible~

Author: Ezekial
Date: 593 B.C.-573 B.C.
Theme: Destruction of Jerusalem and Its Restoration
Key Words: Judgment, Blessing, Individual Moral Responsibility

Ezekial means 'God Strengthens.' He was a priest from the Zadokite family.

"The death of his wife occurred about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.
Exiled in the second siege of Jerusalem, he wrote to those yet in Jerusalem about its imminent and total destruction, including the departure of God's presence."

"Ezekiel's message was addessed to a demoralized remnant of Judah exiled in Babylon. The moral responsibility of the individual is a primary theme in his message. Corporate responsibility no longer shields the individual. Each individual must accept personal responsibility for the national calamity. Each individual is responsible for his or her individual sin. It is the weight of the cumulative sin of each individual that contributed to the breaking of God's covenant with Israel, and each bears a share of the blame for the judgment that resulted in the exile to Babylon."

Ezekial emphasized personal responsibility regarding the fall of the nation but also emphasized the divine grace in the rebirth of the nation if the remnant of God's people in the nation would repent. Although the judgment against the nation had resulted in 'dry bones', the repentance of the nation could cause the Holy Spirit to give life to those bones so they could live again.
I love the words in Ezekial 2: 5,6,7. God had told Ezekial to go speak to His stubborn children. "As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse....they will know that a prophet has been among not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks...speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious."

I think sometimes we hesitate to give a strong message to someone who needs it because we think that they won't receive it. But, time and time again, God sent His prophets to speak His words to a rebellious people. Sometimes, they heard it and repented and sometimes, they hardened their hearts even more. But, He gave them another chance to repent and I think that shows what a merciful God He is.

In chapter 36:26, God tells them that He will give them a new heart and put a new spirit within they could keep is judgments and do they could live in the land and be His people and so He could be their God. Vs. 22, He says He will do this for His holy name's sake, which they have profaned among the nations wherever they these nations would know that He is the Lord, when He is hallowed in Israel before their very eyes."

That is just beyond amazing.

Ezekial 9:4 holds strong words to make us think.
"..the Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."

God help us not to tolerate the things that should make us sigh and cry.
God help us not to call abominations a person's choice or a person's journey.
God help us not tolerate the calling of evil, good;
nor the calling of good, evil.
God help us carry His mark on our foreheads
and His words in our mouths.
God help us not to be dismayed
by the looks and the words of those
who want us silenced.
God help us.

Sunday Service-July 19, 2009

We did not have a regular service today.
Instead, three groups of mission teams shared about their trips.
It was a great morning. It always is.

Mission Trip #1-Valley Forge, Pa.
The team members replaced one of the dorm roofs at Valley Forge Christian College.
April's dad noticed her roof when he came to visit her at school.
He decided that his daughter deserved to live under a better roof and went
to talk to the man in charge.
Not only did the team replace the roof;
they also painted a number of the dorm rooms.
Roger Mahan shared his testimony.
(He was in charge of the painters.)
He said at one point, 'I thought I was living life large until I met Jesus.'
He met Jesus in 1978 and because of that meeting,
many others have met Jesus as well.

Mission Trip #2-Monterrey, Mexico
New Life Christian Academy has had its doors open for 25 years.
The school is held in our church and has over 100 students
in grades K-12.
A group of parents, teachers, students, and alumni from the school
went to Monterrey this June 20-27th.
Five churches were represented.
Their primary goal was to share the love of Jesus with the folks
in Mexico. They would go into the Emergency Room of the local
hospital and hand out tacos and then ask their new friends
if they could pray with them about anything.
They would love on them, saying with their words and actions,
"We love you because of the love of Jesus."
Pastor Betty left alot of her heart in Monterrey.
Her passion and compassion for the children
and women and the hurting was evident.
I want to go to Monterrey.

Mission Trip #3- Los Angeles, California
Vertical Edge-The Youth Group, plus a number
of adults just got back from L.A. this past week.
They worked with the Dream Center-
an organization that not only feeds the hungry,
sweeps the streets, cares for the homeless,
and disciples the new believers;
they teach others to do the same.
Pastor Alvin said it this way,
"Because we served them,
we had the right to tell them of Christ."
Dakota said,
"I fell in love with God even more
as I saw His love and mercy for others."
Small things matter.
Sweeping the street matters.
Filling a bag with groceries and handing it to
someone who needs it to stay alive matters.
Keeping the seat open next to you
as you travel through life matters.
Knowing that except for the fact
that the grace of God has kept me
and placed me in this pleasant place,
that the roles could be reversed-
that I could be the one receiving the
bag of groceries and sleeping under a bridge-

We take up missions offerings and send off missionaries.
Today, we got to experience some of the fruit of our labor.
Today, we hammered a nail and painted a wall.
Today, we fed the hungry and caressed a crippled spine.
Today, we swept dirt that will be there again tomorrow,
handed out food to the hungry body
and listened with our hearts to the wounded soul.
Today, we were His body,
seeking and saving that which was lost.
Today, we did it for the least of these.
Today, we did it for Christ.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dear Lindsay-Nightmares

Dear Lindsay,

When I worked at the Children's Home in Red Lake, the children would have horrific nightmares about what happened to them in real life. Some of the children had lived through a fire that destroyed their home and they had nightmares for awhile. We would pick them up as they were screaming in terror, and take them to the closest window. When they could see their surroundings and realize where they were, that helped them get out of their nightmare and become aware of their new reality. We would pray for them too.

When I was a little girl, I had reoccurring nightmares about fire, and my parents let me sleep between them. My mother taught me Psalms 23 and I would say that to myself to calm my fears. Then she discovered that I would often get my sister to read a story from Uncle Art's Bible Story Book about fire. She put a stop to that and my fire dreams were dosed.

So, the next time one of the girls has a bad dream, let them take a look out of the front window. Bring them to bed with you and hold them close. And whisper in their ear, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..." The memory of the nightmare will be extinguished with the closeness of your love and the truth of your words. You will not spoil them with your kindness. You will teach them to be kind.

Love and prayers,
Aunt Annie

Dear Lindsay Letters

Lindsay is a really dear friend of mine.
She is married to a great guy, Gil, and they have two little girls, Emma and Adison.
Sometimes, Lindsay asks my advice and I thought I might
blog some of the answers I give her
via the form of a personal letter to her.
Perhaps another young mother might read
something that will help her navigate
her way through uncharted territory.
I do not think I have all the answers
and most days I am more aware
of what I've done wrong as a mother
than what I've done right.
But I trust the Lindsay's out there
can learn from my mistakes.
People look at our family
and some think that we are just about perfect.
Others know better.
One thing I am sure of-
we have a Redeemer.
Every day,
I need Christ, the Redeemer,
to redeem the mistakes I've made.
For the things we've done right,
we have Him to thank as well.
my family will stand around God's throne
in Heaven,
and together we will worship Him,
"Blessed Redeemer.
Precious Redeemer."
Our imperfections as parents
will perhaps be the very thing
that makes our children look
for the perfect parent.
They will find that
perfect parent
in their Heavenly Father.
So I said all this to say,
'Feel free to read Lindsay's mail.'

One Year

I've been blogging for a year now.
I just checked my profile and it has
been looked at 610 times.
I still am not sure what that
really means.
I hope to have time to write more in
the next few weeks.
I started blogging to record the things
our family does, share gems from my
mother's journal, organize
sermon notes in such a way that
I can read and reread them,
share the gleanings I harvest
from good authors and the Bible,
record memories from my childhood
and my children's childhood,
and express my thoughts about life.
I hope someday my children will
enjoy reading these words
and meanwhile,
if you are just a traveler passing
through my blog site,
and thanks for taking the time...
and if you are a regular reader,
I hope you read words that will
bless you and encourage you
through your journey in life.
Love and prayers,


Excerpt from a prayer by A.W.Tozer-The Knowledge of the Holy~

"Heavenly Father,
Let me see your glory,
if it must be from the shelter of the cleft rock
and from beneath the protection of your covering hand,...
let me know you as you are,
so I may adore you as I should.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hertzler Doings~July 13-20, 2009

Wed.-Praying hard for a situation. Things did not go as we hoped. Had to think of the Children of Israel and Pharoah. God hardened Pharoah's heart. Ten times they thought they were going to be delivered and nine times they were disappointed. Through the plagues, the present and future economy of the Egyptian culture was nearly annihilated. What was left was destroyed when the sea came crashing down. The Egyptians thought they were fighting against an enslaved people. But they were fighting against God and how could they win? God added more words to the Israelites testimonial song of triumph. If things would have happened the way they wanted it to, their song would have been shortened and would not have the depth to it. Do not be disheartened, O my soul. Hope in God. For I will yet praise Him. He is the hope of my countenance and my God.

Thurs.-Phil and Philip delivered corn to Richmond. Michael delivered to Wilbun's. Lindsay, Emma, and Adi came and we picked, husked, blanched, chilled, cut, packed, and froze corn. We also ate alot of corn and later, watched a movie and ate popcorn. We're just plain corny. As was the movie. Adi fell asleep in my arms and I was in heaven, resting and sweating with her almost naked little body next to mine, watching a silly movie with Lindsay and Susan, feeling no pressure to do anything else but what I was doing. I came back to the computer to show Lindsay something and found a miracle envelope that had come in the mail. Tears of relief and a phone call to Phil to brighten his day.

Friday-A battle was won today for some close friends. The war isn't over but this battle was won in an over the top God fashion. I hope to be able to tell their story some day. Froze another 35 quart of corn today.

Sat.-Friday and Sat. lots of folks stopped in for corn and fellowship-The Bates, The Jones', The Masts, The Martins, The Kings, The Loys, The Grunerts, and more. We think it would be fun to have a farm where people stop in for homegrown meat and vegetables all week long. We could get used to this activity.
Susan's friends, Haley and Macaulah, came Friday around noon and stayed until Sunday morning. They stayed in the camper and lived independently, stopping in to make their own homemade pizza's and homemade ice cream. They spent alot of time in the river and played some board games and I think they watched some movies. The girls thanked me for letting them come and I would let them come again.

Sunday-Michael had some friends here for the day after church. They are spending the night. He's taking care of some animals for a family nearby morning and night all week long. Tomorrow, he and his friends are going to King's Dominion for the day. He has a leadership meeting tonight at church. Susan and I relaxed on the couch watching movies and eating popcorn. Another situation has come up for our friends...another battle to be won or lost and all I can do is knit on a special prayer scarf and pray, pray, pray.
Found out that Robert is not doing well-having trouble breathing today. Things do not look good. Pray, pray, pray. His dad died in a car accident at this same age-42. How well I remember that day and the days following his death.
A bright spot is yet to come in our evening. Little Reagan Zook is spending the night and tomorrow with us. I want to show him how to pull and husk his own corn and I'll make it for his lunch. Then we'll go swim in the river. He is such a dear little guy.


Robert is my sister-in-law's brother. (She is married to Phil's youngest brother.)
Please pray for him.
He was riding a motorcycle on Sat. afternoon and a pick-up truck pulled out in front of him.
He is in need of a miracle.
Please check out Janet's blog on my site.
They are doing a blood drive just in his name because the blood bank was flooded with requests to give in his name. He's needed 50 units of blood and they want to build the local supply back to a stable place. If you are reading this in Pa. and live near the Morgantown area, you will get the information you need to help Robert on Janet's blog.
Thank you. Please pray. We so badly want him to live and be whole.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Sermon~July 12, 2009

My favorite thought taken from Phil's Sunday School class:
"Jesus limited Himself when He took on human nature.
Our life in Christ is unlimited when we take on the nature of God."
Excerpt from Pastor Frank's prayer~"...Not only are we fellowshipping with each other but we are fellowshipping with the mercy and grace of God."
Private sorrow has turned into public joy over a 'prodigal' come home.
Furrowed brow is gone and happy words spill out of smiling lips.
His cup overflows and I am glad.~A
Marva weeps at the altar and suddenly, I remember.
Marcia died on this day two years ago. Her twin.
She worships God and holds her sorrow.
She knows her other half is worshipping God too,
and she is closest to her when she worships Him.
Give her joy for her sorrow, O God,
Hold her near.
The Roth's are not here and our body misses them.
Will you be back? No one else can take your place.
Theme for month of July: We should know people who do not know Jesus.

Scripture: John 4:46-54~"So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water into wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him,"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe."
The nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!"
Jesus said to Him, "Go your way; your son lives."
So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.
And as he was now going down,
his servants met him and told him, saying, "Your son lives!"
Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him,
"Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him."
So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him,
"Your son lives."
And he himself believed,
and his whole household.
Jesus' message was the same whether he was relating to the lowliest of the low, such as the woman at the well, or the loftiest of the lofty, such as Nicodemus.
His message was this.
"You need to know me.
You need to be born again."
What a message of hope for the sinful woman.
A new chance, a fresh start.
What a message of confusion for the learned man,
who couldn't figure out how one could possibly
be born all over again.
He thought too much.
I have quite a few notes, but I got stuck on one particular point of the sermon and after that my notes seem disjointed. Therefore, I will share that one particular point with you.
Like a wave on the shore, it is pounding it's thought into my soul, and I do not know the answer.
The thought is this. Jesus said to the father of the sick boy, "Unless you see me do a miracle for you, you won't believe in me."
Will we believe in Him even if He never does another thing for us?
Would I love Him even if He never answered another prayer?
Why do I have a relationship with Jesus Christ?
I've been reading the book of Daniel.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Obednego were men with great faith in God.
They refused to bow down to another god and the king was furious, asking them if they had a god who would deliver them.
They said, "Our God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace and He will do so, but if He doesn't, we would never serve the golden image which you have set up."
I just love that.
They had complete faith that God would deliver them
but they said that even if He didn't,
they would worship Him only.
I think too often we pray for safety and protection
when perhaps we should pray for courage, grace, and boldness
to go through the things that He is not going to protect us from.
Several other thoughts from the sermon:
The man believed in the word that Jesus spoke to him. Don't argue with His word. He will make it happen. PF-"I believe Him. I believe every promise and because I believe Him I am going to go out and live like a believer."
"The consistency of our lives speaks louder than words."
My final thought, well, not my final one, but I am wondering if Jesus just wants a friend who doesn't require a whole lot from Him. Maybe He gets tired of being the answer man. Maybe He would like a friend who listens to Him and cares about Him. Maybe Jesus is lonely for a friend who loves Him unconditionally.

Hertzler Doings~July 6-13, 2009

What a week. Phil didn't get the job in Atlanta afterall. Lots of corn to sell. Could 'the harvest' mean a literal harvest as well as a spiritual one? Prayers for "Ash-den." Milt Howe's death. Robert Miller's accident. Phil's parents to Paraguay. Lots of secret phone calls with "Nelle." Lisa's father died. Mother still has no answers for her 3 month long fever. Thrift shopping with Susan. She found baby clothes for new little baby at church.
Time with Di~ in Appomattox, walking streets, finding ourselves in a conversation with a woman at Baines who wanted to build temples for God all her life. Froze many packs of corn this Monday with whole family helping. There is too much going on to verbalize it now. Perspective is for those who are on the outside looking in. I am in the thick of it and have yet to climb a hill to get some vision. Life is such a mixture of pain and sorrow, joy and suffering. I burrow inside God and hide in Him. He is my seatbelt on this rollercoaster ride of life.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunday Sermon~July 5, 2009

This Month's theme: Know people who don't know Jesus

Scripture~John 4-Jesus met the Samaritan Woman at the well around noon. His disciples went into the city to buy some food while Jesus rested at the well. He asked the woman for a drink of water and she was shocked that He, a Jewish man, would ask for water from a Samaritan woman. He put Himself in a position of need and then He ministered to her need. He spoke her language, asking her for water to fulfill His thirst. He used the environment they were in to minister to her. He went on to tell her that she should ask Him for living water. He would give it to her and she would not ever thirst again. Then, she herself would be a source of water for others. She wanted that. So Jesus told her to go get her husband. He wanted to clear some things up first plus give her more words for her testimony. She told him that she had no husband and Jesus told her that she was right about that. "Not only do you not have 'a' husband, you've had five, and the one you are living with now is not one of those." She realized that He had a prophetic gift and moved the subject into that area. He moved with her and talked with her about worship which led her right into the subject of all subjects-The Messiah. "When the Messiah comes, " she said, "He will tell us all things." He said, "I who speak to you am He."

At this point, the disciples came back, marveling that He talked with a woman. ( Did Jesus ever do anything that was politically correct?) He was no longer hungry but had been fed by the nourishment that comes from obedience to His Heavenly Father.

Meanwhile, the woman, realizing that Jesus fit her very own description of the Messiah, went to the city and said to the MEN, "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" And they came out to meet Him.

At their urging, He stayed with them for two more days, and because of her testimony and His own words, many believed in Him.
For those who have had a true encounter with Jesus Christ, the change will be obvious. They will want to run to others and bring them to Jesus, too.

Many years ago, in North Dakota, in a town of about 800,000 people, there was a struggling business, Wall Drug. They came up with an idea that would bring people in off the highway into their little store. "Free Water," they advertised. Signs could be read along the highway-"50 miles to Wall Drug. Free Cup of Water." "Free Water-40 Miles-Wall Drug." And so on. Suddenly, you were there. It was good to get away from the monotonous stretch of highway and get out and jump around and drink a free cup of cold water, grab a bag of chips, some camera film, and a cola for the road. Before they knew it, 15,ooo people came through their store in a week's time. Why? Because they spoke the people's language. (I remember seeing these signs as a child. Phil remember's the bumper sticker's (bumpah stickah's) that read, "Where the heck is Wall Drug?")
Darkness and sin are not necessarily getting any worse. The light is getting dimmer. We begin to tolerate sin and darkness and then, our light gets dimmer. Darkness can never overtake the light. Light exposes things. When you walk into a room, you bring light.
We have a message that changes eternity. We don't have to apologize for the light of the Gospel.
What we have in our walk with Christ has eternal consequences for ourselves and others.

Why does someone's relationship with Christ change into a religion?
It happens when we become afraid of what other's think. Not everyone is going to like us when we share our faith. Part of that reason is because light exposes darkness. The light of God is in our life. What are we doing with His light?
(Somehow, Jesus, the Light of the World, could meet with sinners and not turn them off. He embraced them, accepted them, and moved them on, without being tolerant of their sin. How did He do this? It was the religious leaders that He offended;those who thought they were full of light and goodness. He did not tolerate their self-righteousness or their religiousity. Those who thought they were right did not like Him, for He exposed their light as darkness. Those who knew they were sinners were drawn to His light. We cannot share the light of Christ unless we know that in and of ourselves, we are not good. We need to know that we are closer to the sinner who never heard of Christ than we are to the self-sanctified-saint filled up with their own goodness.)
How much are we willing to expose our lives to the light of God?
What are we going to do with our encounter with Jesus?
We've hidden so much in our lives that when who we are as Christians is exposed to the world, we are called hypocrites.
Has Jesus told you everything you know about yourself?
Like the woman at the well, can we tell others about our vulnerable encounter with Christ?
In the novel,"The Fall", the main character says something like,"I never cross a bridge at night. Suppose someone jumps into the water. I would either have to jump in and rescue him or go on and suppress the pain." He was afraid to get involved. He was afraid of what it would require of him. We are afraid as well.
(I think we are afraid of disappointing people. What if they are learning Christ's ways from us and we fail? Perhaps, that is the lesson they are to learn~That we will fail them and Christ will not.)
Also, how does this play out in real life? The disciples left everything to spread the gospel.
How do we take care of our families and pay our bills and keep our integrity and our rest?
The reasons why we might not share the gospel include:
#1~We might not be studying enough. We might not have something to share. We might not be splashing in the fountain of living water. We might be drained dry.
#2~The people we know that need Jesus have watched us too long and they don't want to hear what we have to say.
(Along with this goes our own condemning heart. We think we should have it together 'by this time.' We forget the joy of having a Savior and our desperate need for one. We forget that we are kneeling under the foot of the cross and Christ's blood is running down His legs onto His feet and dripping on our heads. Who can imagine that they 'have it together' when they are in this position? One vile sinner beside another vile sinner. I am no better than you. You are no better than me. Thank God we have a Savior. Thank God that He forgives. Holy, Holy God.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hertzler Doings~July 1-7, 2009

This week's highlights:
~Met Lisa H. at Baine's. We caught up with the things going on in our lives; family, book tour, etc. She has given me keys to several treasures in her life and I know where they are hidden and appreciate the trust that's been extended.
~Freeman's 25th birthday-July 2nd. He was born at 2:20 in the afternoon after about 9 hours of labor. We played Luke's gospel during delivery and the doctor told us later that his birth was the talk of the hospital for a year.
~Went to the river with Tom's for our July 4rth celebration. Helen's mother, Peggy, was here, and Helen's sister's son, Donovan came as well. He had a great time skipping stones as did the other cousins. I think Michael could win a Guiness World Record. I'd like to show him off to my syblings because skipping stones was a Diffenbach pass-time whenever we'd find a still body of water. Several years ago he skipped a stone at least 16 times. Last night, it could have been more. We roasted hot dogs and s'mores, and ate potato salad, cucumber salad, bean dip, corn chips, raw veggies, watermelon, steak chips, etc. The children played in the river with their black inner tubes. Serena, 7, came up the river with three tubes. All you could see was her head. She looked like the Michelin Tire Man. Peggy brought fireworks and I returned to childhood again, swirling my sparkler and writing my name in the air. We sang and talked and had a really nice time.
~After church today, Haley came home to play with Susan. Travis, Lee, Chace, and Jordan came over to be with Michael. I made chocolate chip cookies for supper. They sat around the table with their mugs of milk and inhaled their supper in a matter of minutes. Every time Chace comes here, I want to make him those cookies because one winter, Chace was snowed in with us and Johnny Brynan was here as well, and we held church around our kitchen table and had humongous chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.
~A few months ago, our friends were interviewed with NBC Nightly News.. They called today to say that their segment would be on tonight. Their 22 year old daughter took an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and died this past winter. Their younger daughter is Susan's good friend. The town where they live in Kentucky is having a real problem with prescription drug use and too many kids are dying. My friend said that we are losing a generation of kids to this problem. They put their personal pain on hold and courageously spoke out about the drug problem in their town and in America. I wept for our friends as I watched and prayed that their loss would not be in vain. Susan called her friend to let her know we had seen it. She came out of her room and said soberly, "M~~~ says she loves you, mom and dad."
~More tests for my mother this week. We are hoping for some answers by next week.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gem's from My mother's journal

Final page from my mother's blue journal-'86-'88`
I would probably entitle it, "What God Does."

John 3:27~"A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven."

John 6:44~"No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him."

Matt. 16:17b~"Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."

Luke 10:22b~"No one knows who the Son is except the Father and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

Acts 1:39c~"As many as the Lord Our God shall call to Himself..."

Acts 18:14c~"And the Lord opened her (Lydia's) heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul."

Romans 10:20~~"I was found by those who sought Me not, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me."

John 5:21b~"The Son also gives life to whom He wishes."

Jeremiah 24:7~"And I will give them a heart to know Me..."