Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday Service-Aug. 30, 2009

It was a busy morning.

We had two baby dedications and something we call 'The Right Hand of Fellowship.'
New members are welcomed into the church by the church staff and pastors, board members and trustees and their spouses. The leaders line up at the front of the church and as the new members names are called, everyone claps and they come up and make their way through the line, shaking hands and being hugged and hopefully, made to feel welcome into our body.

Sermon-"Intense Effort"-These are the notes I took complete with my own distractions and perceptions.

Main point-"If we want to experience what the early church experienced, we have to do the things they did."

Acts 2:42,43-"And they continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles."

Eph. 2:8-10-"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, least anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Too often we think we are in complete control of our lives.
We think "we are the master of our fate and the Captain of our souls."

Pastor Frank told the story of a man who was riding his donkey one day and came upon a little feather ball lying on the road. Upon closer inspection, he discovered a sparrow lying on his back, with his feet pointed in the air. "Are you Okay?," asked the kind man. The sparrow replied, "I heard that the sky was falling and I am doing all I can to hold it up there."
How foolishly, we, like the sparrow, try to control all the circumstances in our lives.
Grace is the foundation of our salvation.
Mercy is when a police officer let's you off after he's caught you going 20 mph over the speed limit.
Grace is when he invites you home for dinner after he's caught you and given you mercy.
God has not only taken care of the payment for our sin, He has invited us Home.
I think I have the following right:
A perfect passive indicative tense refers to an action that occurred in the past that has present current ramifications.
The past act?-Christ crucified and rose from the dead; forgave my sins
Present tense?-When we believe the action that has already taken place.
I have been saved by faith once I believe.
The process of salvation has already been done.
By grace, I have been saved through faith.
The Cross is not:
Knowledge-even the devils believe and tremble-James 2:19
A Feeling-not based on a positive mental attitude;Faith has to have a substance to it. It must have a subject to it.
Is not faith in yourself-(Unless there is something in yourself worth believing in.) We are born in sin. Our hearts are deceptive. We have a natural propensity to do wrong. We cannot have faith in our humanity. It will fail us.
God gives us a new heart, a new song, and a new name.
God replaces in us what the nature of sin takes from us.
Faith is based on:
A fact-Jesus Christ was more than just a historical figure.
Commitment-Take up your cross and follow Him.
If there is not commitment in the home, there won't be commitment in the church.
In Acts 2, we read how all the people devoted themselves.
To devote means to continue to do something with intense effort.
Before they saw the move of God, they devoted themselves.

They devoted themselves to fellowshipping with each other. Hebrews exhorts us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, especially as we see 'the day' approaching.
The church cannot save you, but the church can help you.
We need each other on this journey.
If two of us agree on anything touching His name, miracles will happen.

The believers devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles.
We need to keep taking personal responsibility to learn, grow, and understand the ways of God.
We need to be able to give an answer for the hope that is in us.
We look so much like the world that no one is asking us questions.

The believers were devoted to caring for one another.
Elton Trueblood, in his book, the name of which I didn't catch, quoted a student's writings.
"It takes courage to care. I keep a secret store of indifference to keep myself from being too involved..."
We are to love the unlovable.
Caring is done with intense effort.
It will cost us something.

The believers were devoted -with intense effort-to worship.
An example of intense worship would be the kind of praising that Paul and Silas did in prison while bound in chains. The earth shook and the prison doors were open and their chains fell off. Not only did the love God and praise Him, but they cared for the jailer and his family after they were set free.
Don't worship God if you don't care for those around you.
Before God can send revival, we have to love each other, be devoted to fellowshipping with each other, care for one another, study the Word of God, and worship Him with intense effort.

(Isn't it interesting how the worship of God and the caring for one another go hand in hand?
The First and Second Commandments fulfilled-'Love the Lord your God with all your heart...and love your neighbor as yourself" appears to be the pre-requisite for a time of refreshing from the hand of God. Revival also seems to bring with it a time of cleansing, and we will really need to love God and each other through that process, won't we?)
We had a special time up around the altar, but some things are too sacred to write about.
I read this on the same morning Pastor Frank preached this sermon. It's from the devotional book by Bill Freeman-'The Supplied Life'.

"...The kind of church life described in the New Testament requires a higher and deeper love than we have in our natural life. We are called to love sinners. We are called to love those who are unfinished, who are still in the process of being transformed. We are called to love weak, and oftentimes failing, saints. Divine love is Calvary love-the love demonstrated on the cross. It is love that flows out to despicable kinds of people-ugly people, hateful people, dirty people, rebellious people, deceived people. The love of God in Christ is all-embracing and full of forbearance and longsuffering. "

"To have the church life that is unveiled in the pages of the New Testament demands this divine love. It is a church life that is beyond the reach of our natural man. In ourselves we do not have the capacity to love one another the way Christ loves us. But that is okay. When we are overwhelmed with the demand of the church life, we are put more and more into contact with Another life that can supply us with divine love. The demand escorts us to Christ."

Hertzler Doings~Aug.31-Sept.7, 2009

Mon.-Phil was home working in the office today. The cool autumn air was invigorating. I went for a walk that was shortened by cold rain. I washed clothes and cleaned the back room where we've all been dumping our things. Phil bought me four mums when he was out running errands. I know just the spot for them.

Tues.-Great day at school. We are studying some music theory, vocal exercises, Fanny Crosby, Mozart, and some music for our Christmas and spring program. I was eating salad at lunch and some of the little girls were begging for some. Interesting. We danced with our crayons on big scrap paper to Mozart's 'Eine Kleine Nacht Musik.' Really fun. Fanny Crosby became blind at 6 weeks old from strong poultices put on her eyes. Walked in Appomattox during my break and found a Webster's dictonary-large-at Salvation Army for one dollar! Walked with Susan later in the eve. Naomi and I talked for awhile about life...

Wed-I've been teaching the children about Fanny Crosby. She has had 5,900 hymns and 2000 poems published. One of my second graders asked me a question, something like this,"If God knew that she was going to love Him so much and do these things for Him, why did He let her become blind?" I told her that I didn't know but that Fannie herself rejoiced in her blindness, because she felt it gave her a close relationship with God. We talked about distractions and how she could focus on her writing when their weren't so many things to see. The little girl who asked me the question is only seven years old. I've noticed many times before that she has a maturity and perception beyond her years. My seventeen year old son can sit down and have a wise conversation with her. I wonder what the future holds for her. Only seven years old and already able to verbalize the age-old question-"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Thurs.-Not feeling that great. Walked to the river with the happy dogs. Barely made it back. Played around with Face book, read 'The Client', washed clothes, picked and froze tomatoes, etc. Decided to give myself a more restful day and not push so hard. It seems like I need Thursdays to recover from teaching Tues. and Wed.

Fri.-Had more energy today. Cleaned the house, made biscotti, whole-grain pizza's and pancakes. Did more wash. Katie Hertzler and Erik Weaver arrived around 4:30. We visited and ate pizza and then they decided to shorten the life of one of our fowl, and the next thing I knew, they were bound for the river to make roast duck for a second supper. I saw white feathers and webbed feet sticking out of the bucket. I hope they de-feather it before roasting it. These cousins do wild things when they get together and they usually have something to do with killing and roasting an animal. Last time, it was an unfortunate snapping turtle that met its maker. They are down there now. I have the house to myself.

Sat.-The kids relaxed and watched some TV in the morning. Ran around on the farm vehicles later and went fishing in the swamp. Freeman and Michael dipped the fish in a corn meal combination. Very good. Katie, Susan, and I made my famous chocolate cake and as soon as I iced it, we had big pieces of it. Oh my word. Later, in the eve., all of the kids here went over to the Martins and played Risk. I picked up Katie and Susan around 9 and we watched 'The Sound of Music.' The guys stayed at Martin's until after 1:00, playing halo.

Sun.-Went to church after a leisurely morning at home. Susan graduated from Kingdom Kid's and next Sunday, she will be with us in church. Went to the Chinese restaurant for lunch. Alli came home with Freeman after church. Erik, Chad, and Joel went snow boarding at Liberty this afternoon. Katie and Susan are doing homework, Michael and Philip are out walking some where, Alli and Freeman are watching a movie, Phil is taking a nap and I am baking a cake and blogging. The cousins are going over to the Martin's for supper tonight.

Mon. Labor Day-Katie and Eric left around 12:30 and got home around 8:20. Took a wrong turn somewhere. Phil and Freeman were making silage. Philip and Michael were setting up decoys for dove season. Susan and I were working around the house. I took a 2 hour nap. Nice mix of labor, rest, and fun for Labor Day. Rained toward evening. Came to grips with my homesickness and realized I am where I am supposed to be.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Have a Dream

Micah 6:8-NKJV-"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you, But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God."

I have a dream.

I dream that one day,
our farm will have greenhouses,
and guest rooms,
and people will come to stay for awhile,
and find themselves restored,
and happy,
and closer to God.

I have a dream.

I dream of a little house
in a nearby town,
with the freedom of time
to help friends of ours
tell people about Jesus
on a secular college campus.
I dream of studying more
and getting a degree or two.

I have a dream.

I dream of going to a foreign country
for a few years,
learning its language,
absorbing its culture and enjoying its ways,
opening our doors
so others can come in,
and eat and dine with Him.

I have a dream.

I dream of hearing the pitter patter
of little feet,
and baby voices calling,
"Grandma! Grandpa!"
I dream of rocking
and singing,
and holding while sleeping.

I have a dream.

I have a hope.

I hope that one day,
I will see God face to face,
and that He will say to me,
"Well-done my good and faithful servant..."
Not because I made a refuge for others,
or got my degree,
or worked with Chi Alpha,
or was a missionary,
or heard the next generation calling my name.

I hope He will say 'Well-done,"..
not because of what I have done,
but because of how I have done them.

I hope that I will have done my doings
with justice, and
mercy, and humility.

I have a dream.

I have a hope.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gems from My Mother's Journals

Everything written is from my mother's '94-'95 red journal-

11 Tim. 3:15-Paul encourages Timothy in the fact that from childhood he knew the Scriptures which would have been the Old Testament only, but even this was "ABLE TO GIVE HIM THE WISDOM THAT LEADS TO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS."
As I thought more about this, I realized that the Pharisees also knew the same Scriptures but even from the time of Jesus' birth, they used the Scriptures to try to prove that Jesus was not the Christ. Jesus said that the Scriptures (O.T.) testified of Him. I want to keep this more in mind as I read the Old Testament.

11 Tim. 4- Dear Paul, knowing that his death is imminent is winding up his affairs. He gives final instructions to Timothy. He seems to be all alone now except for Luke and he appeals to Timothy, v.9,"MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO COME TO ME SOON." He seems to have completely forgotten Mark's former failure, for he writes, v.11, "PICK UP MARK AND BRING HIM WITH YOU, FOR HE IS USEFUL TO ME FOR SERVICE." Mark also was of an humble, forgiving spirit. Remember in Acts 15:38, "PAUL KEPT INSISTING THAT THEY SHOULD NOT TAKE MARK ALONG WHO HAD DESERTED THEM AT PAMPHYLIA AND HAD NOT GONE WITH THEM TO THE WORK." Paul seemed to know how to redeem those who failed and make useful saints of them. Is there anyone with that gift or even that desire today?!

1 Pet. 3:1-6-Peter is giving advice to women on their conduct-not merely being adorned on the outside, (according to American Standard Version, outward adorning is assumed), but also the inward adorning ,v.4, OF A GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT. Not being adorned on the outside certainly does not guarantee this!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I was reading from different places in the Bible and found a reoccurring theme: Extravagance
I am sure we could find extravagance as a theme wherever we would read in Scripture.

Extravagant Exhortation-

Deuteronomy-Moses was forbidden to enter Canaan but he had a strong sense of anticipation for his people. He was exhorting those who had been born and raised in the wilderness; those who had never experienced slavery nor the presence of God on Mt. Sinai to "Go in and possess the land." He exhorted them to do this 35 times throughout the book of Deuteronomy. Thirty-four times he reminded them that 'this is the land that the Lord your God is giving you."

Extravagant Exhortation to take all that God had prepared for them.
Extravagant Glorious Reign

Psalm 72-written by Solomon.
"Glory and Universality of the Messiah's Reign"-

He will judge with righteousness and bring justice.
He will break in pieces the oppressor and His enemies will lick the dust.
He will refresh the earth like showers.
The righteous shall flourish and peace will abound.
He will have dominion from sea to sea.
Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him.
Kings and all nations will bow before Him.
He will deliver the needy and the poor.
He shall live.
The gold of Sheba will be given to Him.
Prayer will be made for Him continually.
Daily He shall be praised.
There will abundance of grain and fruit.
The cities will prosper as well.
His name will endure.
Men shall be blessed in Him.
All nations shall call Him blessed.
The whole earth will be filled with His glory.

Extravagant Glorious Reign of The Messiah
Extravagant Devastation

Amos 5-Describes The Day of the Lord for those who have not repented.

Forsaken by God.
He will break out like fire and devour the house of Joseph.
Justice and righteousness will turn to mulch.
He will rain ruin on the strong and fury upon their fortresses.
You will not dwell in the houses you built or drink wine from your vineyards.
Wailing, mourning, darkness..
It will be as if you had been met by a lion, a bear, or a serpent in your places of normal safety.

Extravagant Devastation on that Great and Terrible Day
But, from Amos as well, Extravagant Grace-

Seek me and Live.
Seek Good and not evil that you may live, so I will be with you.
Establish justice at the gate.
It may be that I will be gracious to you....

Extravagant Grace from the Stricken heart of God
Extravagant Love-John 12:3

"Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil..."

Extravagant Love from the heart of a woman who knew...
Extravagant Sorrow-Acts 20:37

The believer's were saying their good-byes to Paul.
"Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more..."

Extravagant Affectionate Sorrow
Webster's-Extravagant-..."exceeding the bounds of reason or moderation; going beyond what is deserved or justifiable; unrestrained excess, as of actions or opinions...
Extravagant Expectation-

1 Cor. 2:9-"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him."

Extravagant Unexpected Surprises Yet To Come!

Hertzler Doings-Aug.24-30, 2009

Mon.-Went to chiro. in morning. She is trying to help me get my body back in motion after I stepped on Roxy and fell last Wed. Still very stiff and in enough pain that I can't sleep at night. It will get better. Went to CCA's Open House and Susan got her things settled into her homeroom. Makenzie was there and oh, joyful surprise, she will be there for several months at least. Susan didn't know she was going to come to school and she is one happy camper. I made some individual lasagna noodles for supper. Wrapped cheeses and turkey sausage in a lasagna noodle and covered with sauce and cheese. Froze a bunch for future lunches. Phil in Richmond and I missed him more because I knew he was close to home. I wouldn't let myself miss him when he was in Atlanta because then I'd get too blue.

Tues.-First day of school. I have one class around 9:00 and the next class at 12:30. I am counting on getting my blogging done on this day. I am in the computer lab now. I want to teach the children some of the old hymns and add the newer version arrangements. I want to teach them about Fanny Crosby and other composers. Mozart was playing beautiful music at age 4. I am also teaching some theory and some old fun songs. It will be a good year. What a great school to be a part of. Susan has 6 in her class-3 girls and 3 boys.

Wed.-2nd day of school. Went really well. I like the smaller class size. I can give them more attention and let them be more free. Went out to Farmville in the eve. for church functions.

Thurs.-Day at home. So nice. Doing wash, making bread, etc.

Fri.-Picked Susan up at 11:15 and took her to church to meet her ride to The Friend's Retreat in W. Va. Lindsay, Emma, Adi, and I went to the Longwood cafeteria for lunch. Met more students. Gil whistled at Lindsay when we walked in. Ran errands until suppertime. Went back to Lindsay's and she had made individual chicken potpies that were out of this world. Carleen called and informed us that the movie we were planning to watch-Julie and Julia-was not gone to be shown after all. We met Carleen shortly after and went to see The Time Traveler's Wife. Amber and Carol and Stephanie were there too and we had a great time together but the movie was really too weird. On the way home, Lindsay and I saw a familiar vehicle in front of us and we followed the person the whole way home. I think we scared her a little. It was alot of fun.

Sat.-Went out to CCA-school-for the pork roast barbecue fund raiser. Phil and Freeman cooked the pigs. Steve and Mattie came out to get the fat and skin and I had such a nice time with her. I showed her around school and she was very encouraging. I carried a pan of pork in that was covered with foil. When inside, I opened the pan a little bit and a yellow jacket flew out with a piece of pork in its mouth. He was flying low and slow. Cleaned house in the afternoon and got most of the garden things in. Tomatoes are still producing and I need to dig up sweet potatoes. I should wear chest waders to go in there. The weeds are way over my head.
It rained and stormed and then the sun came out but it was still drizzling. We saw a rainbow that looked like it began and ended on our property. Michael and Freeman ran down to stand in it. It stayed that way a long time, brilliant and beautiful. I talked with mother while I laid on my bed, watching the rainbow and its double. Mother is doing better on her meds. Her fever is gone this week. First time since April. She is starting to knit and bake again. So thankful.
Oh-today I got a licorice pipe in the mail from Naomi. She went to the shore with her girls. Every time the shore girls go to the shore, we go up to the boardwalk and the first thing I do is buy a black licorice pipe, in memory of my dad, because that's what I would do with him at the shore. I ate the whole thing as I came down the lane from the mailbox.

Sun.-Great church service. Sermon was based on the idea that if we want to experience what the early church experienced, we have to do the things that the early church did. Phil and I went thru the taco bell drive thru for lunch and then out to visit Rich and Lynah for an hour or two. Philip spent his day with Christi who is going on a short-term missions trip. Freeman and Alli came here for the day and Michael and his friends were down at the river. Phil and I picked up Susan at church around 5:30. Susan, Amy, Haley, Lee, Miss Julie, and Miss Phyllis had spent the weekend at The Friend's Retreat. She especially enjoyed the worship leader-P.A. Lynn's sister. We went from there to the PA picnic at Holliday Lake. Quite a few families have moved down from PA to this area. It was like having a family reunion. We all brought food and the children enjoyed a peanut scramble and the teenagers were playing volleyball against their dads. It was really great to reconnect with old friends that we've known for a long time.

Book Report~Secret Believers

Written by Brother Andrew and Al Janssen

This book was a real eye-opener for me.

This is a story about what happens when Muslims believe in Christ.

I read this book during the same time that my husband and two oldest sons were building a house for a Muslim family in Atlanta. They lived with them and the family took care of all their meals, etc. They became good friends and our families hope to visit each other in the near future. The wife would call me and congratulate me on my wonderful husband and sons. She would tell her teenager that he should treat his parents with the same respect that our sons treated their father.

It is easy to lump people into one group. It's easy to say that "The terrorists were Muslims. therefore all Muslims are terrorists." But, it isn't true.

As I am struggling to write a short essay on the book, in hopes that you will read it too, I've decided to copy what is written on the back page. Because this book affected my spirit in a heavy way, the words to describe it are not coming easily to me. So I will use words already written.

"A young Muslim terrified by nightmares until he is introduced to Isa (Jesus). A former leader in a fundamentalist Muslim movement that persecuted Christians. A privileged young Muslim woman who is held captive by her family when they find a Bible in her possession."

"In his most incredible and eye-opening book to date, Brother Andrew invites you to meet these brave men and women you never knew existed. This is the riveting true story of the church in Islamic countries struggling to come to grips with hostile governments, terrorist acts, and an influx of Muslims coming to Christ. The names and places have been changed to protect the real people in the real places. But the stories are true."

"Secret Believers not only gives you a glimpse of the lives of these courageous believers, it also proposes four practical initiatives for Christians in the West to help these persecuted brothers and sisters. It calls us to join a new kind of jihad, leaving vengeance behind in favor of forgiveness, radical love, and unyielding prayer."
And this from Brother Andrew on p. 240-
"Why does Islam appear stronger than Christianity today? It has everything to do with
the crucial question posed by Islam:Who is God? ....Many times people ask me. "Andrew, how long will this conflict with Islam and terrorism last?" My usual reply is, "It will last until we Christians have found the answer to the question, Who is God? and are able to verbalize it and prove it by our actions that God is not the God of revenge but a God who forgives."
"...have you ever prayed for terrorists ...Prayer is the primary way we wage war."
Please read this book. Not only will it open your eyes to the Muslim world and those who are Christians in the midst of that culture, it will open your eyes to the persecuted church. People are dying daily and being brutally tortured because of their faith in Christ. I worry because we are so spoiled and get so bent out of shape when our rights are violated. We know so little of real persecution. We will need our own Brother Andrew to help us when it comes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Sermon~Aug.23, 2009

Scriptures referred to:

Eph.2:10-"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Jeremiah 18:4- (Had gone to the potter's house)..."And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make."

l Sam. 2:26 "...grew in stature and in favor with both God and man."

11 Pet. 3:18-"...but grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Hebrews 6:1-"..leaving the discussion of elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to


Main point of Pastor Frank's sermon?

We are God's masterpiece, and when He created us, He gave us the gifts and talents He wanted us to have in order for us to fulfill His purpose and plan for our lives. His workmanship is something that has been done.

PF illustrated this point with a story from his childhood. His parents packed up all their children into a station wagon and drove from Maine to Florida to go to Disneyworld. An artist took one of his brothers and sat him in a chair and drew a quick sketch of his profile. He sprayed the drawing so it wouldn't smudge and handed it over to his mother. PF's mother hung it in her bedroom for years.

When the artist was finished with his masterpiece of Brother Dan, he did not make yearly trips back up to Maine to add a touch here and there. He was finished with his drawing when he handed it over.

So it is with God. He breathed His life in us and gave us gifts and talents and set us free to use them or not to use them. His work was complete. We are His 'piece of work.' He will accomplish what He wants to do in our lives if we are willing and obedient.

There is, however, a process that continues until the day we die. It is the process of sanctification. It is what happens when we continue to grow in knowledge and grace, stature and favor, maturity and holiness. Our giftings remain the same, but we grow in the maturity with which we use our gifts. Our thoughts, heart, and attitudes change and we take on the nature of Christ.

(I've seen God's gifts at work in unbelievers and sinners. I've noticed that alot of bartenders have been given a pastoral gift. They are using their gifts in an ungodly setting. One of my favorite pastors in Pa. used to own a bar. Our pastor visited him there and led him to the Lord. The ex-bartender-turned-pastor is the father of one of my sister-in-laws. A bar and a church also have alot in common. It is a gathering around a table to be comforted and cared for. )

In the 18th chapter of Jeremiah, the Lord told Jeremiah to go to the potter's house in order to hear His words. The Lord showed Jeremiah a vessel that was marred so badly that the potter had to remake it into another vessel. God used this illustration to entreat Israel to allow itself to be as clay in His hand.

God took Jeremiah to a familiar place in order to reveal His will to him. Many times we think God wants to use us in an exotic place but God wants to manifest Himself through our lives in the familiar places.

Because it is God who has given us the gifts we have and because it is God who has taken us out of darkness into His marvelous light, we do not have the privilege of comparing the giftings we have with another's talents, nor do we have the right to judge another in their sin. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. It is only by His grace that we are where we are today. None of us deserve His grace nor did He deserve to die.

We can enjoy each other's giftings and callings and benefit from them. His gifts were given to us to bless the body, not to make ourselves look good. We can use our natural and spiritual gifts in the familiar places where we work and make our homes. It is not some place out there where we will use our gifts. It is here, in the now, and in the familiar.

God uses us even when we are fractured. Don't for a moment sit there and argue with God and say that you're not worthy to be used. No fisherman cleans a fish before He catches it. Jesus went after people who did not have their act together. He said to them, 'Come along with me. I am going to make something of you.' They followed Him and He asked them to belong before they even believed in Him. He was not judgmental of sinners. He associated with sinners so He could minister to them. We will not have anyone wanting to follow our way of life if we are judgmental.
The potter has to keep water on his wheel in order to make something of the clay. If a pot is fractured, he needs to add alot of water in order to make the clay pliable to work with. We have to be seasoned well with the water of the Word in order to help others who are broken. And it is the water of the Word that will also help us in our brokenness.

The Key Is....STAY ON THE WHEEL!!!!!
Psalms 1 illustrates the progression into a sinful lifestyle.
'Blessed is the man who does not walk in the way of sinners....
nor stands in their path...
nor sits in the seat of the scornful...'
Like begats like.
Wickedness begats wickedness.
Righteousness begats righteousness.
Hang around the people you want to be like.

(The progression into sin reminds me of the progression into watching a TV show. Sometimes, I have alot to do, and I am out working in my kitchen, and 'Monk' comes on. I listen to the story line for awhile and soon, I come into the living room and stand near the TV and watch a particular scene, and after awhile, I sit down, and embrace the whole show, and do my other activity when the commercials come on. I'm not saying that the TV show is wrong. I am relating a similarity to the progression of becoming engrossed in something. My priorities changed over just because I heard the story line first, then I started to stand nearer so I could see what was going on, and then I got so comfortable with the interruption that I sat down. It is that way with sin.)

There is a security in Christ for the believer. But there are many scriptures warning about the importance of keeping the faith, fighting the good fight, staying pure, etc.
If we follow the progression into sin, as written in Psalm 1, it will lead us into unbelief.
There is not much security for the unbeliever.
How can I stay in the center of the Potter's wheel?
The answer is in Psalm 1:2.
Whatever we delight in is our center.
We are to delight ourselves in the law of the Lord
and meditate on His word day and night.
In Summary:
1. God uses us in the familiar.
2. God uses us when we're fractured.
3. God's work is final. He does not change His mind. He has spoken 'Amen' over my life.
Pastor Frank shared the story of a pastor standing before his congregation.
The pastor said these words (and I think Pastor Frank says them too),
"I am just a man, standing here before you, sharing with you that I am doing the best I can with the life He has given me."
I think there are times that we know God has used us, but I think most times, we do not realize when He has used us. Sometimes the knowing becomes a weight. I think God uses us most when we realize it the least. There are signs that follow those who believe. If they are following us, and we are going forward, then we won't be looking backward, to see the signs that are following us. One thing I do....I press forward...keeping my eyes on Jesus...
If we do these things, we will be used of God.

I really liked this sermon. It answered some concerns I had for the broken body. No matter how broken I feel or how broken our lives are, God can and will use even our brokenness for His glory. I heard the story of a fractured pot. A little girl carried water from the well to the house every day. On the path where the pot leaked, a row of flowers grew. The fracture in the pot gave life to dormant seed.
The water of life is still life-giving water, even when used by a fractured pot.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Report~Numbers

Some notes taken from New Spirit Filled Life Bible

Author: Moses
Date: About 1400 B.C.
Theme: Yahweh's Guiding Presence for the Journey from Sinai to Transjordan
Key Words: Census, Murmuring, Purity, Tabernacle of Meeting

The book of Numbers is definitely in my top five least favorite books of the Bible, but after reading the notes in the beginning of the book, I wish I had paid more attention.

Twelve men went to spy in Canaan, ten were bad and two were good...that's one of the more familiar stories recorded in Numbers.(13:33-"..we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.") Significant words.

Christ is revealed in Numbers as The Provider. He gave them water and spiritual drink.

I have a question. When did the Jewish people stop sacrificing animals for the remission of sins? If they do not believe that Jesus was the Passover Lamb, why are they not still continuing to sacrifice? Maybe they are and I just don't know about it.

I also feel bad for Moses. He struck the rock the second time instead of speaking to it. Water came out of it but because of his disobedience, he was not able to go into the promised land. I think the Israelites had just driven him crazy and he reacted to them and took it out on the rock.
But I understand God's point of view, too. The rock was a type of Christ, and He was only to be struck (crucified) once. Moses messed up the type and for that, he paid.

There are some wonderful verses in Numbers, but my favorite ones are in Chapter 6:24-26-

"The Lord bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."

And I pray that for you, my reader, my friend.

Book Report~Joel

Notes taken from New Spirit Filled Life Bible-NKJV

Author: Joel
Date: Probably 835-805 B.C.
Theme: The Judgment and Grace of God
Key Words: Great and Awesome day of the Lord

"Joel" means "Yahweh Is God".

Joel prophesied in Judah at a time when a plague of locusts had caused enormous damage to plants and crops. A famine took over the land and people and animals were dying. Joel explained this damage as the judgment of God on a people who had turned away from Him.

He used Judah's situation to warn the nations of the world that there will be a time when all of us will be called before God. Although the book of Joel has only three chapters, we are able to see the correlation between what was present day Judah with the future of the church age which we are now in.

Although there is warning about the judgment of God there is also assurance that there will be a day of God's grace.

There are several familiar passages in Joel that the present church body applies to this day.

2:1-"Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand:..."

2:12, 13-'"Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning." So rend your heart...return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness;...'

2:17-"Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give your heritage to reproach..."

2:25, 26, 28-"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,...You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied...And my people shall never be put to shame...And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters all prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions, and also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days..."

3:14-"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness."

3:16b-"But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel."

Sometimes we get excited if a prophecy doesn't come true right away. Joel's prophecy about the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh which was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost hung suspended in time for almost eight hundred years.

Joel's three chapters embrace more time than any other three chapters in the Bible. That's what I think, anyway.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hertzler Doings-Aug. 18-23, 2009

Tues. -Canned 15 quart of venison vegetable soup in oven. 250 degrees for 4 hours.

Wed.-Out to CCA (school) and set up music room. Made some plans for the year. Ran errands in Farmville with Susan. Took Susan to church. Came back to Bantons and listened to Lindsay's violin student's recital. They moved it to their house because of the rain. Everyone else left and I played with Adi and Emma. Lindsay gave us our own private violin piece of heaven on earth as she played her electric violin. Oh, the extravagance of God... Listened to Lindsay read to us all. Lovely evening.

Thurs.-Stepped on Roxy when I was getting stuff out of the car last eve. Fell and twisted everything. Went to the chiropractor this morning and she popped my shoulder and wrist back in-out of joint. Very stiff and sore. Took Susan to Lydia's for an overnighter. Took Michael to Baine's to read 'War and Peace,' met teacher's at Babcock House-PTF's treat, went to the dentist, picked up Michael, let him drive home since I was on antivert meds. Slept most of the afternoon and watched 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' in the eve. Mrs. M called in the eve. to tell me that she appreciates me. I asked her to teach the ladies at our church how to make Christmas candy. We're trying to figure out how to best go about it. So many people have skills that I want to have. Surely, we can teach one another the things we know how to do.

Fri.-Mother started on meds yesterday and seems to be able to breathe better already. Thank God. She's had a fever since April and has felt awful. It has been hard to be here with her feeling that way, and Rosalee going through the sorrow of losing Abie, and a friend and other family members going through such a rough's been a homesick summer. Phil's been in Atlanta for 5 weeks with Freeman and Philip, framing a 9,000 square foot house. Came home on weekends and tomorrow or Sunday, he'll be home for good, for awhile anyway.

Went to school and made music lesson plans. Teaching K/4-12th grade. Finally feel somewhat ready for school year. I love the teachers and staff at Cornerstone Christian Academy. It should be a great year. Picked Susan up from Lydia's. Lydia will be going to the middle school in Appomattox. Susan went with her to help her get registered. A number of teacher's asked Susan where she goes to school and when she told them, they said, "We've heard good things about your school." I thought that was nice.

Shopped for lunch food at Kroger's and bought some snacks. Made a huge batch of macaroni and cheese with turkey kelbasi and am freezing it in containers. That should be a welcome break from lean pockets. Susan and I are going to watch 'Monk' this eve.

Sat-Phil and boys got home at 11:30. They were hungry. Ate BLT's. Philip eats BLCH's. No tomatoes, plus cheese. We took it easy in the afternoon-Phil had gotten up at 3 that morning, and in the eve. went to a Dinner Theatre at church-'Who Dunn Stole the Bride?' It was very well done. The pastor was just plain Dee, which isn't plain at all. Her whole character was centered around her 8 month pregnant belly, her lips, and her eyes. She was a show all by herself. It was fun to watch Greg trying not to laugh.

Sun.-Went to church. Enjoyed the service. Very sleepy. Phil snored like a trumpet last night and I never think to ask him to change his position so he stops snoring. Doesn't work anyway when he's this tired. Phil slept alot this afternoon too, which is good. He's been putting in 12-13 hour days in the hot Atlantain sun. I read, blogged, played some Farkel with Susan and Phil and we're about to do something else soon. Alli was here and bravely tried my chicken corn noodle soup. Some of the boys friends came over and they roasted hotdogs down by the river and are hoping to roast some of the roosters they butchered yesterday. TMI for me, and they showed me a cell phone movie of them cutting off one of the fowls heads right in church! They didn't cut off the roosters head in church; they showed me the movie in church. I was horrified!
Naomi called late afternoon. I miss her so. We have to sit together at the beach soon! We just have to!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday Sermon~Aug. 17, 2009

This month's theme: Bigger than our location

God is bigger than our location, problems, personality, mountains, etc.

We think God is limited by our limitations
but God shows His unlimited power through our weaknesses.

God's desire to use us is only handicapped by our lack of obedience.

"Our methods should never supersede our message."

"Our relationship with God is not predicated on our goodness, but on His goodness."

Scripture-Acts 1:1-11, focus on vs. 8, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

"Thank You for your Word. Speak to our hearts and change our lives today."

The anointing of God is not just for a Sunday; it is for the mundane tasks of life as well. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. God does not change His mind in regards to His plan for your life.

#1-"Unto Me"- You shall be witnesses 'unto Me'...

-We think we do things for Christ. He doesn't need our money, gifts, or talents. It's all His to begin with. Doing something for God indicates He has a need. "Who's doing more for God?"becomes our question, as if we are in a competition for brownie points from Him.

"Whatever you've done, you've done it unto Me," says Jesus.
We do it as if He is standing beside us, doing it with us. When we give a glass of water to someone who needs it, He is doing it too. Unless He washes our feet, we will have no part of Him. Now we do it for others unto Him.

The Greek meaning of the word 'witness' is martyr. You will be a martyr unto me.
Most of us witness when it is convenient to witness.
The disciples were witnesses, and they also became martyrs.

(Webster defines 'unto' as 'to', and he defines 'to' as 'expressing motion or direction toward a place, person, or thing approached and reached.'

I like this. We are witnesses towards Jesus Christ. We move others in the direction of His presence by the witness of our life and words. Oh, that our non-verbal life would line up with our verbal testimony.)

#2-Unto "Me"-You will tell people with your life about Jesus.

Fire fell down on all those who waited in the upper room. Everyone of them did something with that fire because God never wastes His fire.

"3-You "Shall Be'' witnesses unto Me...

When? Right now.

Story: Pastors at a Ministerial Meeting were discussing which speaker to bring in to their community for special meetings. D.L. Moody was suggested. One young minister spoke up, "Mr. Moody doesn't have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit." "No," said an older pastor. "But the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Him."
The believers continued in prayer and supplication in one accord, waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit...How long did they wait? How great was their unity?

How long have we waited? How great is our unity?

Two Titanic's

I have seen the movie 'Titanic' twice in one week. I saw the newer version on Sunday and the 1953 version today. I never saw them before. I've been deeply affected by the lifeboat scenes.

The lifeboat existed for the saving of lives. The very salvation of some lives meant the destruction of other lives. The boats had to move far enough away from the stricken Titanic in order not to be sucked down by the vortex created by the sinking ship.  Yet, they had to stay close enough to rescue the survivors swimming in the water.

Those in the lifeboat who were rescued wanted to return to rescue others. But the captain of their boat told them that the people in the water were so desperate that if they came to rescue them, they would swarm the boats, and the boat would capsize, killing them all. They listened to the cries of the survivors weaken and stayed safely in their lifeboats, knowing that their captain spoke the truth.

One lifeboat captain found another way. He moved his boat up against another lifeboat, and tied them together. He had those in his boat calmly move over into the other lifeboat. Then he and another man went back to look for survivors. They were too late for most of the 1500 bodies floating frozenly in the icy salt water. But they did save six people. Some of us might not even be here if they had not saved one of those six.
It is important to rescue the perishing. It is also important to protect the rescued, especially if they are weak. We cannot send those vulnerable to drowning out to rescue the desperately drowning. They both will drown.

But we can be like the wise captain, who first moved his weak rescued people to safety, and using the tools of his trade-a search light and a megaphone, found those who were still holding on to life, hoping that he'd come.

Testimony of Muslim believer

I am reading a book entitled, "Secret Believers"-'What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ.'
It is written by Brother Andrew and Al Janssen.
I was moved by the testimony of one of the believers. He was in hiding because his family would have killed him for his newfound faith in Christ. At one of the secret church meetings, this is what Ahmed shared.

"' I am your great Lord.' One day man uttered this expression through the lips of Pharaoh's and Caesars. He has reaffirmed it consistently through actions of kings, princes, presidents, and lords. In moments of inebriation from the cup of his own egotism, man, in his historic arrogance, has asserted that he is god. How has mankind deceived himself to such an extreme?"

"In the fullness of time, the one true God, who has no earthly likeness, the holy, eternal, and omnipotent God, chose to become a human being. He chose to come down to us from His high place. He came down from His high heaven to become one of us, to share in our pain and dreams. It's what any truly great king would do to express solidarity with his people. He could not withdraw to his ivory tower. This God of love, filled with compassion and mercy, came down to us. He did not just descend to the atmosphere, no, He came down to our dirt. He walked among us as He still does, doing good. He heals those bound by the devil, whose egotism has overpowered them, blinding them lest they see the light that came into the world. They didn't realize the darkness of their own selfishness. Selfishness is the most repugnant death. It leads down a false path causing one to gain the world and all things while losing the greatest thing-his own soul and the Savior."

"Imagine it. Man asserts his deity and rejects God's becoming man. Where's the logic in that?"

Where indeed? Brother Andrew was moved by the depth of the young believer's insight. Here was a man who understood the gospel. How he wished the church around the world could hear this message and learn more about these wonderful believers!...
At the same meeting, they sang a song that one of them had written, "We who love You are willing to die for You. No sacrifice is too great."
Andrew's eyes welled up with tears, knowing that the truth of these words could be fulfilled at any moment for these believers.
I'm reading the book of Acts right now and when the believers were persecuted for sharing their faith, they prayed for more boldness to share; not for deliverance from persecution.
I am thinking about these things.

Salsa Recipe

5 cups chopped tomatoes, peeled and drained-(pour boiling water over tomatoes and let them sit for a minute; drain, and then pour cold water over them. Makes peeling of tomatoes, peaches, etc. go alot easier.)

2/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup jalapeno pepper, diced
1 or more cloves of garlic, diced
1/2-1/3 cup chopped chili peppers or chili powder (probably not more than 1-2 tsp.)
2 tsp. salt.
1/4 cup vinegar

Mix all ingredients and cook for 45 min. Thicken with cornstarch if you want to.
I dip out some of the mix and put it in the blender, cool slightly, add a tablespoon or two of cornstarch, blend, and mix back into salsa mix.

I usually double the recipe and go heavy on the tomato side. I put the cooked mix in pint jars and put it in a water bath up to its neck and bring it back to boil and turn off the burner and let it sit for awhile. I made 6 pints when I doubled the recipe, and was generous with the tomatoes.
One of our favorite recipes is to take a jar of salsa and a jar of apricot jam and a can of chunk pineapples and simmer that on the stove. Dip some chicken breasts in a mix of flour, salt, and pepper and brown them slightly, then add them to the salsa mix and simmer another 20 min. or so. Serve over rice. Absolutely Amazing Flavor.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hertzler Doings-Aug.11-17, 2009

Tues.-To Lynchburg with Betty, Kelly, and Susan. Shopped until we dropped. Ate Japanese in Food Court. Got lots of books at Goodwill. Found what we were looking for at Ross.

Thurs.-To Judy's for lunch with Lindsay, Emma, and Adi. The girls enjoyed playing with Sammy Jo. Yummy sandwiches, fruit, veggies, plus chocolate cake for dessert. Thanks, Judy.

Fri.-Aug. 14-Our 27th wedding anniversary. I would do it again.

Sat.-Nice day with Phil.

Sun.-to Holliday Lake for Bethany Hertzler's 16th birthday party. Played lifeguard in the lake. Once a lifeguard, always a lifeguard. Taco salad, cupcakes, and ice cream. Tom's camped there all weekend.

Mon.-Phil and the boys stopped at school and helped me move my classroom furniture back into my room. Came home and canned tomatoes. Have to do more tomorrow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I've heard prayers for revival this week. Revival from God will cost us something. Too often we get distracted during the first stage of revival. We put a halt to revival before it has a chance to begin because it is too painful to have our sins exposed to the light of God's purging fire. We think Satan is attacking the church and perhaps he is, but most likely, God is bringing to the surface what has been lurking in dark waters all along. It is His mercy at work.

If we are really experiencing the birth pangs of revival, we will be too busy with our own sins to have time to point a finger at another's sin. Secret thoughts and intents of the heart will be exposed and our blind spots will have to be dealt with. We need to persevere, repent and change, and seek the face of God. We have to turn to Him with all our hearts. We have to humble ourselves; it is better to deal with these things now than to be judged for them later.
Revival is costly, and somewhat scary, but I know it will be worth it.

I believe God will answer our prayers.
May He give us the courage to pay the price.

Webster's-'Revival'-restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, or strength; restoration to use, acceptance; a reawakening of interest in and care for religion~

Webster's-'Restore'-to bring back to a former, more desirable condition; to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor~

Webster's-'Refresh'-to renew the vigor or energy of oneself or another; to reinvigorate or cheer~

Webster's-'Repent'-to feel regretful or contrite for past conduct; to be penitent for one's sins and seek to change one's life for the better, to feel sorry for~

Is. 57:15~"For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

Acts 3:19,2o~"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,..."

We want Him to come dwell with us and visit our streets.
We want the refreshing that comes from His presence to invigorate us and renew our lives.

Contrite heart+humble spirit+repentance+conversion=God's refreshing presence and the revival or our spirits and hearts
No man builds a building without first counting the costs...
No one should pray for revival unless he is willing to pay the price...
We long for you in a dry and thirsty land
We've put our trust in idols and we've exalted man
Without your purging fire we will die within this place
Send a revival, so we may see your face...

We've followed our hearts and they've led us astray
We are guilty and weary of our ways
We confess our rebellion and our shameful disgrace
Send a revival, so we may see your face...

Replace our heart of stone with a heart of faithfulness
Fill us with your spirit, your truth and holiness
Give us the power to finish this race
Send a revival so we may see your face...

Send a revival, Lord, send a revival, Lord
Purify our hearts, so we may see your face.
Send a revival, Lord, send a revival, Lord
Purify our hearts, so we may see your face.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Report-"Icebound"

by Dr. Jerri Nielsen with Maryanne Vollers

When Dr. Nielsen was 46 years old, she decided to take a year off from her hospital work, and go to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. She joined a team of scientists, engineers, geologists, construction workers etc. and bunkered down for many months of winter, functioning as the only doctor on the team. During this time, she discovered a lump in her breast, consulted doctors in the U.S. via e-mail, performed a biopsy on herself, and began chemotherapy treatments.

It is really quite a story. Although there is little mention of Christianity in the book, there were many people who demonstrated Christian behavior. I was moved by the kindnesses and gifts they would give each other when there were no material things left to give. One of her friends would take her on a snowmobile ride to see the sky just because he knew she would like it.

The book is really about friendship and courage and I recommend to anyone who is fascinated by the strength of human endurance, the medical field, and life at the South Pole.

Doc Holliday, as she called herself, was eventually flown to the U.S. for treatment. This took place during the Clinton Administration when something else crazy was happening in the world, but I forget what it was and I can't find it in the book. The Doc and her support group were hoping that the media coverage would be pointed in that other direction, but unfortunately, the media was overly fascinated with her story, and although she had reasons for wanting to keep her privacy, she had to go public. Like I said, it's quite a story.

You can borrow my book. I wonder how the Dr. is today.
She had this experience in 1999 and published the book in 2001.
Aug. 15, 2009-Just looked her up on-line. She passed away on June 23, 2009.
Cancer returned to her bones and then to her brain but she lived like a winner to the end.

Book Report-"Betty Zane"

by Zane Grey

Every time I see the Helton's little boy, Zane, I think of Zane Grey. What a great writer he was. If you want to read about our nation's history in novel form, pick up one of his books. This book, however, is much more than a novel. It is based on stories written by his great-grandfather, Ebenezer Zane, recorded in a musty old notebook his mother found burning in some rubbish in the back yard.

The story is wrapped around the character of Betty, who is a young teenager when the story begins. It tells of Indians and the British, cruelty and human kindness, and the courageous act of Betty to save the lives of others so that there would be a story left to tell.

When I was a young girl, my brother had a whole shelf of Zane Grey books. I hope he still has them somewhere....

Book Report-Hosea

Notes taken from New Spirit Filled Life Bible~

Author: Hosea
Date: About 750 B.C.
Theme: Return to God
Key Words: Sin, Judgment, Love

God chose Hosea, whose name means "Salvation" or "Deliverance", to live out His message for His people. He told Hosea to marry a loose sort of woman who would be unfaithful to him. Even as God would go after His unfaithful children, so Hosea went after his wife, Gomer, buying her back from slavery, even after she was unfaithful to him. Even the names of their children reflected her unfaithfulness to Hosea. I wonder what happened to those children. I wonder what happened to her. I think she eventually received Hosea's love and truly became his bride.

Hosea and Gomer demonstrated in the natural what Yahweh and Israel reflected in the spiritual. He demonstrated the love God had for Israel by the way he loved Gomer.
In spite of Israel's sin and God's judgment on their sin, God promises to forgive them and restore them to Himself. That's why I think Gomer stayed with Hosea when it was all said and done.

I get a lump in my throat when I read Hosea. He must have been some kind of man-to obey God in this matter. I wonder what his options were. I guess he had the same options we all have. He could have said 'No.'

Some of my favorite verses in Hosea are the following:

Chapter 2:19, 20, 23-"I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, In loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD...
And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!'

3:5b-"They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days."

6:1,3-"Come, let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up...Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth."

14:2, 4, 5a-"Take words with you, And return to the LORD. Say to Him,"Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips..."
"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him. I will be like the dew to Israel and he shall grow..."
I love that. "Take words with you..." He makes it almost easy to return to Him. He even gives us the words to say. And then, He responds to those words and heals, loves, and makes us grow and bear fruit. Amazing love, how can it be?...

Dear Lindsay Letters-Priorities and Peace

Dear Lindsay,

I just want to tell you again, how proud I am of you. You do so many things well but I am mostly proud because of who you are.

I love the way I can stop in and feel like I am the only one in your life at that time. I know that many are stopping in throughout your day and you have numerous interruptions but you always make me feel like I am the best interruption you have had so far. Thank you.

If there was just one thing that I could tell young mothers, it would be this: Enjoy your children. Enjoy each stage of development. Never say, "I can't wait until ..." Be content with the self-sacrifice each day requires from you. Loving your children enough to discipline, train, and enjoy them is the greatest work you will ever do. It is not as if you are putting your life's work on hold to wait until you are finished parenting;this is your life's work and it is good. It is not a waste of time.

It is at home where we find out if we really have the gifts of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness.... It is at home where church takes place first-the bearing of another's burden, the caring enough to confront, the true loving that takes place after disillusionment, the blessing and honoring....It is at home where we learn to take the towel and wash another's feet.

Everything you do for your children, you do for Jesus. Do you get up at night and hold a frightened child? Do you get up and give a cup of water to a thirsty toddler? You are doing it for Him. Emma could be Jesus. Adi could be Jesus. Gil could be Jesus. We would be so happy to do these things for Him. Wouldn't we love to wash His dusty robe and feed Him chicken nuggets? Yes, we would.

I think we might be surprised at the rewards we get in heaven. I think we keep an inward list of the great things that we've done or want to do that might impress God someday.
I think that the rewards He gives out someday in Heaven, will have more to do with our faithfulness in the changing of diapers to keep a baby comfortable or teaching a child to pray or reading a favorite book, again. I think the rewards He gives us will have more to do with the invisible acts and attitudes of our lives rather than those things that would bring us praise in the public places we move and live.

Lindsay, as you continue to invest in your family, God will continue to invest energy and wisdom into your life and you will 'get' to do those extra things you want to do all in good time. Loving our families is not on our 'to do' list. We can never check it off once we give birth. Most other things can be checked off. But not this. Loving our families trumps any 'to do' list we may make for ourselves. If we told ourselves, "Today my priority is to love God and love my family," we'd give ourselves great freedom to enjoy our lives. Being faithful to the mundane turns the ordinary into contentment. And then, we have peace.

I love you,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christians and hypocrisy

Josh McDowell and Don Stewart wrote a book entitled, "Answers to Tough Questions." I found it at Baine's Used Book Store the other day. When Pastor Frank was talking about hypocrisy, I looked for some more insight from this book. Here's what I found, and I quote:

"..just because the Church contains hypocrites does not mean that all Christians are hypocrites. With every example of hypocrisy that can be pointed to in the Church, a counter example can be pointed out showing people who are living consistently with the teaching of Jesus Christ."

"It is important not to confuse hypocrisy with sin. All Christians are sinners, but not all Christians are hypocrites. There is a misconception that a Christian is a person who claims that he does not sin, but the truth is that to call oneself a Christian is to admit to being a sinner (l Jn. 1:5-2:2)."...

"People can and do enter the ministry for the wrong reasons, or they can compromise the convictions of faith. When people do this they are wrong, and the Bible denounces this clearly."

"Christianity does not stand or fall on the way Christians have acted throughout history or are acting today. Christianity stands or falls on the person of Jesus, and Jesus was not a hypocrite. He lived consistently with what He taught, and at the end of His life He challenged those who lived with Him night and day, for over three years, to point out any hypocrisy in Him."

"His disciples were silent, because there was none. Since Christianity depends on Jesus, it is incorrect to try to invalidate the Christian faith by pointing to horrible things done in the name of Christianity."

"The non-believer cannot be excused from believing just because it is possible to point to those who simply pretend to be what they are not. Hypocritical Christians cannot be excused on the basis of not being perfect because of the terrible effects hypocrisy has."....

"...People may claim Christianity is true, yet have lives inconsistent with their claim, but this does not necessarily mean Christianity is not true."
I just want to say that I am sorry for the hypocrisy in the church. I think hypocrisy is in direct opposite corners from long obedience. Please don't allow hypocrisy in the church to keep you from knowing Jesus. Let those of us who are hypocrites, pay for our hypocrisy. Don't you pay for it too. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. I go to church because He sought me and saved me and I want to go and worship Him with others who have been sought and saved. We are far from perfect. Otherwise, He wouldn't have been looking for us. It is the sick He came to save and we need Him. I am just so thankful that He came.

Sunday Sermon~Aug. 12, 2009

This month's theme: God is...Bigger Than Our Location

Happy 25th birthday, Lisa.

Favorite worship song today? 'Come Thou Fount'-Old and New Addition.
This was my grandfather's favorite song. I'd play it on the piano and sing it for him. We sang it at his funeral. The anniversary of his death is Aug. 10th.

I look forward to going to church every Sunday. The past three Sunday's we have experienced the power of God during the worship in an extra special way. This week, it seems that it was on God's heart to be present to heal people. Sometimes, He comes as a Comforter or Savior. This Sunday, He came as Healer. He is always with us. But sometimes, we can sense His presence stronger than other times.

PF told us how he met someone who felt like there are hypocrites at our church. (There are hypocrites in every church, but if a hypocrite is standing between you and God, than he's closer to God than you are. ( I borrowed that one.) Also, if you stop coming to our church because of the hypocrites, will you also be a hypocrite to those who are watching your life? Just a thought. We will all have to answer to God for our beliefs and actions. I'll write more about this in my next blog. It's Pastor Frank's turn now.)
Anyway...He shared with the man that we will see hypocrites all around us at church if we come to church and think it is about us. The reason it is called a church 'service' is because we have come to serve.

"We need our own Azusa Street. We need the Holy Spirit to be poured out on Main Street Farmille. When the Holy Spirit comes, He will take what is Christ's and reveal it to us."

Do you love His appearing? Do you love when Jesus shows up?

Acts 1:8 says that when the Holy Spirit comes, we will be witnesses unto Him...not for Him.

Our service was unusual today. PF didn't get to really preach his sermon. There were testimonies of healing and prayer and anointing with oil for healing. Some are desperate for a miracle here on earth. Rebecca brought up her grandson for prayer. He's a sick little baby and needs a touch from God, but when I held him later and he smiled at me, I thought he was perfect just the way he was. It was a wonderful morning. People were more aware of Jesus' presence than they were of their own. The love of God was shed abroad in our hearts for each other. We shared communion as well.
Even so, Lord Jesus, come into our midst. Come to Farmville. Come to Virginia. Come to the United States. Come to the world. We hear you knocking. We know your voice. Come in and dine with us. We love you.

Sorrow and Joy

I read this little story this morning in 'Streams in the Desert.'
I think you'll like it too. I think we need to be content. Some of us are more comfortable in sorrow and some of us are more comfortable with joy. But life consists of sorrow and joy and in the process of living, we should embrace the beauty of both.

Sorrow was beautiful, but his beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the woods. His gentle light made little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss of the forest floor. And when he sang, his song was like the low, sweet calls of the nightingale, and in his eyes was the unexpectant gaze of someone who has ceased to look for coming gladness. He could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to him.

Joy was beautiful, too, but hers was the radiant beauty of a summer morning. Her eyes still held the happy laughter of childhood, and her hair glistened with the sunshine's kiss. When she sang, her voice soared upward like a skylark's, and her steps were the march of a conqueror who has never known defeat. She could rejoice with anyone who rejoices, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to her.

Sorrow longingly said, "We can never be united as one." "No, never," responded Joy, with eyes misting as she spoke, "for my path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom when I arrive, and songbirds await my coming to sing their most joyous melodies."

"Yes, and my path," said Sorrow, turning slowly away, "leads through the dark forest, and moonflowers, which open only at night, will fill my hands. Yet the sweetest of earthly songs-the love song of the night-will be mine. So farewell, dear Joy, farewell."

Yet even as Sorrow spoke, he and Joy became aware of someone standing beside them. In spite of the dim light, they sensed a kingly Presence, and suddenly a great and holy awe overwhelmed them. They then sank to their knees before Him.

"I see Him as the King of Joy," whispered Sorrow, "for on His head are many crowns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of great victory. And before Him all sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness. I now give myself to Him forever."

"No, Sorrow," said Joy softly, "for I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of terrible agony. I also give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him must be sweeter than any joy I have ever known."

"Then we are one in Him," they cried in gladness, "for no one but He could unite Joy and Sorrow." Therefore they walked hand in hand into the world to follow Him through storms and sunshine, through winter's severe cold and the warmth of summer's gladness, and to be "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Long Obedience

Quote by Friedrich Nietzsche-Thoughts taken from 'Every Day Light'-Selwyn Hughes

"The essential thing in heaven and earth is...
that there should be long obedience in the same direction."

Too often, we approach the Christian life
as if we are a tourist,
rather then a pilgrim.

Soul Searching

Do I walk into a room and say in my heart,
"Here I am!,"
or "There you are!"

Do I love people because of who they are
and in spite of who they are
or do I love people for what they do for me
and how they make me feel?

Do I say in my heart-
to God, my family, my friends and co-workers,
"You must increase. I must decrease?"

Do I mind being invisible?

Can I do good things for others
without wanting to let others
know what I have done?

The Soul Searcher Searches My Heart.
He cleanses me with His hyssop.
He gives me His Heart,
His love,
and His ways.

Hertzler Doings~Aug. 3-10

Those relatives of ours who follow 'Hertzler Doings' will need to scroll back aways. I started writing it on Aug. 3, I think.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


It rained 2 1/2 inches last evening and most of it came down on our drive home from Farmville in the dark of night. I put my 4-ways on and straddled the middle of the highway, going about 39 mph during the heaviest deluge.

Today, it is raining again, without the danger that comes with thunder and lightning.
Susan said, "I want to go out and run in the rain."
I said, "Go out and run in the rain."
The dogs joyfully ran by her side,
splashing in the warm puddles hidden in the grass.

After watching their dance in the rain
through the safety of my bedroom window,
I threw caution to the wind.
Michael, Susan and I decided to check out the river.
I put on my hot pink raincoat with the bright plaid lining.
We piled two inner tubes in the back of the gator.

Michael drove his four-wheeler
and the dogs
thought they had died and went to heaven
as we all splashed down to the river.
They cocked their heads to one side;
wondering if we had lost our minds.
Michael and Susan went tubing in the muddy torrent
as I stood under the leaky trees
with the rain making inroads into the flannel lining
of my raincoat.
It was time to come back all too soon.
We came dripping into the house,
using old towels like slippers to move
towards the wonderful hot showers.

I'm making homemade cocoa
to warm up our insides
and to help switch our internal gears
to accomplish the mundane
jobs still demanding our attention
on this beautiful rainy day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

For the sake of Silence

Taken from "A Place Apart" and "O Holy Mountain" by M. Basil Pennington. Quoted in-'Disciplines of the Inner Life,' by Bob Benson and Michael Benson

"Unfortunately, in seeing ourselves as we truly are,
not all that we see is beautiful and attractive.
This is undoubtedly part of the reason
we flee silence.
We do not want to be confronted
with our hypocrisy, our phoniness.
We see how false and fragile is the false self we project.
We have to go through this painful experience to
come to our true self.
It is a harrowing journey,
a death to self-the false self-
and no one wants to die.
But it is the only path to life,
to freedom, to peace, to true love.

And it begins with silence.

We cannot give ourselves to love
if we do not know and possess ourselves.

This is the great value of silence.

It is the pathway to all we truly want.
That is why Saint Benedict speaks of silence
as if it were a value in itself:
for the sake of silence...

Silence is the very presence of God-always there.
But activity hides it.
We need to leave activity long
enough to discover the Presence-
then we can return to activity with it.

Stillness is present throughout the run at every point.
But if one only runs,
he never knows stillness.
God is present in all beings,
but we will never be aware of him
if we never stop and leave behind all beings to be to him."
'Be still and know that I am God.'

I wonder if we cannot know that He is God
unless we are still.

Finding Hope

If you get a chance, please read Janet's blog. She wrote about 'Finding Hope' and I don't know one person who couldn't use her words right about now. She has a crab picture beside her blogsite. Thank you, Janet, for your encouraging words. We give up too soon, don't we.

Gems From Mother's Journal

Taken from her 1994/95 red journal.

This was a week of doing things for others (freezing corn, having Marlin's here for apple dumplings, making apple pies to take as a dessert, buying potatoes for Landis Home's, etc.)
and I wondered why I felt this un-ease instead of satisfaction of 'doing for others-the un-ease of so much not done, I guess. Now I read in Barclay "Daily Celebration" that for Jesus to help others "WAS A COSTLY THING. IT CANNOT BE OTHERWISE FOR US."

In thinking more of the Israelites and the lessons to be learned from their mistakes- They called to God in a major, crisis situation and God heard and delivered them. But how soon their appreciation for His deliverance was forgotten. The mundane drudgery of the daily journey is what became a snare to them and caused their downfall. "AND THE PEOPLE BECAME IMPATIENT BECAUSE OF THE JOURNEY.'" I can identify with that. What a terrible price they had to pay for their impatient complaining and their loss of gratitude for former victories! May I observe and learn-and fear!

I have wondered that if those who are in heaven can really see us as some writers believe, how can there no be sorrow at the suffering of their loved ones here? Maybe it is because they know why God is allowing the suffering and what the end of the story is-the way I feel as I read Job's story about his emotional, physical and spiritual suffering. If I didn't know why he was going through this and the end of the story, I would feel much sorrier for him. Instead I think, 'O dear Job, just wait, glorious days are ahead for you. God has been there all the time. You are His proving ground. It is not what you think. He is not unjust in His dealings with you-not punishing you for sins you didn't commit. He rewards you for coming through this severe testing with your faith still intact.'