Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday Service-Nov. 29, 2009

Favorite Song:" I Love...I love Your Presence..." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Young Adults leaving for Tanzania this week. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Money already available for newest project. " God is expediting His plan." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Prayer excerpt-"Lord, give us a hunger and thirst for You.." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sermon notes interspersed with my own thoughts and interpretations:

The church is going to change when we go beyond receiving information about God and begin to experience His presence for ourselves. Thomas was told that Jesus had resurrected but he needed to experience it for himself. (Jesus gave Thomas the reassurance that he needed:"Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; put it into My side." And with that reassurance, a rebuke of sorts, " Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.")

People want to see the truth; not be told it. What a teacher experience becomes. Sometimes we stop at information and miss out on experience.

We learn from Joseph's life.
He went from survival to success to significance.
When we are surviving and successful, it is all about us.
When we move to significance we are focused on what God is doing.
We are collecting treasure in Heaven rather than treasure on earth.

Do we want this thing to be bigger than ourselves?
The steps we take now will affect generations to come.

Matthew 25 tells the story of the talents.
Let's look at the man who was given the one talent.
He was afraid and took his talent and buried it.
He was unwilling to face the risk of using his talent.

" laugh is to risk appearing the fool... weep is to risk appearing sentimental... love is to risk not being loved in return... hope is to risk despair... try is to risk failure..."

The greatest hazard is to risk nothing.
A man chained to his fear has lost his freedom.

1)-Life is an adventure in responsibility.
Possessions are not belongings;they are for stewardship.
Stewardship and ownership are two different things.

The talents that the servants were given did not belong to them. God wanted them to be good stewards of the talents He gave them.
What we have we do not own.

The servant that was given the one talent took ownership.
He illegally possessed what was not his to have.

God is looking for a faithful steward.
What are you managing for God right now?

Someone who has been trusted with much
must have shown that he was faithful with little.

2)-Life is a treasure of diversity.
Not one of us are alike.
No one else can use your gift like you can.
Zig Ziglar said,"You are the only person on earth that can use your ability."
God will only ask us to manage something within the boundaries of our ability.
(George MacDonald said something like this. If there is in us, a God shaped vacuum that only God can fill, it stands to reason, that there is in God, a vacuum shaped like us, that only we can fill.)
(Having some trouble getting back to black print)

3)-Life is a Giver of Opportunities.
The master said to the servant regarding the talent he gave him,"You could have at least put it into the bank."

Jesus commended the Pharisees for giving a tithe. Then He encouraged them to go beyond the tithe.

300 years after Christ, every known people group was reached with the gospel. For the next 1700 hundred years, people wanted to be taught and fed information. The world population outgrew the church's outreach.
But today, people are realizing that it is way beyond them.
Reinhart Bonnke saw 3 million people come to Christ in one night.
(I think this was in Africa.)

God bless us with a move of Your Spirit that we may experience Pentecost again! Give us more of You!

Pastor described a book he was reading and I didn't quite understand the title but it has to do with an acrostic of the word epic.

E-experience-How can I experience the gospel?
P-participation-Information changed to participation.
I-image-The church must have the image of compassion.
C-connection-Jesus allowed people to belong before they believed.

Jesus didn't say, "Follow Me" after He made them into disciples.
He said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

If God can change my life, He can change anybodies life.
In defense of Thomas' need to touch and see Christ in order to believe that He was no longer dead, I want to point out that in John 11, he was the one disciple who was willing to go to Judea to die with Christ. I think he loved Jesus so much that his despair over His death isolated him from the others. Where was he when the others had met together and saw Christ for the first time? He loved Jesus enough to die with Him and when Jesus died, his hope died and when hope dies, faith suffers, and we then need an extra touch from God to believe again.
Oh Lord,
I do believe in You, without seeing You.
But I'd like to see You too.
I'd like to place my hand on your side
and feel the indentation of the scar where
the sword pierced your flesh.
I want to trace the outline of the wound
on your hand
and kiss the scars on your forehead
imprinted from the crown of thorns.
I want to wash Your feet
and let my tears fall on the nail prints
still visible on your calloused feet.
I want to hold you close
and breathe in the scent
of spikenard, Your Mother's tears,
the dust of the earth and heaven's air.
I want to know You
and the power of Your resurrection
and the fellowship of Your suffering.
I want You.
I need you.
I love you.

Hertzler Doings-Nov.30-Dec.6, 2009

Mon.-Took Susan to physical therapy first thing this morning. Took 2 1/2 hours for paperwork, analysis, heat and sonogram therapy, stretches/exercises. I am glad I took her. She will learn things to help her back for the rest of her life. Spent some time at school figuring out program practices. Came home and studied, rested, and blogged. Blog profile views at 1000. Got Susan at school. Made homemade tomato soup with turkey burger and pasta. Michael working at Krogers. Freeman at Dress Rehearsal. Phil and Philip came home and we sat around, ate soup, and talked. Rainy day. A bit blue, facing Christmas, and feeling Rosalee's loss. Phone call about L's plane. Cried out to God. He answered and spared our friends terrible sorrow. Thank You, Thank You God.

Tues-Good day at school. Ran through program after chapel. Met Lori K. at Baines and had such a nice time with her. Took car to Cardinal after school-it's shaking so badly. Need two front tires. Ordered them and will get it fixed tomorrow. Philip shot the biggest buck in Hertzler History.

Wed.-Another practice for Lessons and Carols at school. Got two new tires put on car. Physical therapy for Susan. Her back is much better.

Thurs.-Another practice. Stayed out in town. Dentist at 2:00. Leanne brought kids to dentist and Michael drove me home. I have to take anti-vertigo meds. Slept until eve. Susan said, "I am glad that you are not like this every night."

Fri.-Another practice. Stayed out in town. Ate by myself at Pino's. Different. Made cookie dough in eve. and got Christmas decor. down from old house. Made veg. soup and chili for Sunday lunch. Watched the last two episodes of Monk. Nice resolution to the story. I guess it's good to stop the show while everyone still loves it.

Sat.-Busy day doing wash, baking cookies, setting up tree and manger scenes. Roger M. here in morning. Told us stories about his life.

Sun.-Went to Christ Church for Sunday Service. Really nice. Took soup to school and shared lunch with the Hubler's, Jone's, Guild's, Matthews, and Blondecks. Margaret brought her homemade rolls. They taste like donuts without the icing. Had our school program, 'Lessons and Carols' from 2-3. PTF had big spread of food after the program. The gym was packed. The kids kept bringing in more chairs. It was wonderful. Everyone works together to make something good happen for the folks who come. I'll write more about the church service and the school program as soon as I get a chance. Came home and made cut out cookies for the cookie bake tomorrow. Made popcorn and watched another Christmas movie with Susan and Phil. Went to bed early and slept well.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Micah is my 5 year old nephew.
He is wonderful.
Here are some funny things he has said this week.

His mommy, Janelle, handed him his vitamin drink.
"Mommy," said Micah. "I didn't come on this vacation for this!"


We were down at the river, building a fire, and found a worm.
Micah held it and said, "You know you can't kill a worm. If you
cut it in half, it just keeps living."
Half a minute goes by and he says, "Eww! It just pooped on me!
Bad worm! Bad worm!"

P.S.-He carried it around until it died.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kool Aid Playdough

Hi Christen!
We had fun on Tuesday, didn't we, making baby Jesus and penguins, cats, and angels out of purple grape kool-aid playdough?! I hope the kids learned the words to 'Silent Night' while they played. Thanks so much for helping me. Here's the recipe you requested.

Kool-Aid Playdough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 pkg. kool-aid powder
3 Tbls. oil

Mix together.

Add 2 cups boiling water.
Stir to blend and knead to make smooth.

Do not eat. You will be tempted to try it out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Ashley, Ashley
Full of grace
Tall as a Princess
Beautiful face

Spirit of Mary
wrapped up in her heart
Loving her baby
God's work of art

Sorrow on sorrow
Blows to her soul
Life can be heartless
Life can be cruel

But I hear His voice
And it says to me
"I will honor her
For she's honored me."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


My heart is full of gratitude.
Therefore, I will give thanks.

Thank you for being a God who searches and rescues.
Thank you that you've always searched for man:
"Adam, Adam, where are you?"
your broken heart cried.

Thank you for continuing to cry out.
Thank you that we can say, "Here I am! Here I am!"
because now You can see us through Christ.

Your face does not hide from us,
and we no longer hide from You.

Oh, to be found by You.
Oh, to be found in You.

Religion is about man's search for God.
But Jesus, He is about God's search for man.
What other God searches and rescues His objects of mercy?
Oh, how I love Him so.

Monday, November 23, 2009


It's hard to know where to begin when telling the story about Janelle's and my trip to Thailand. Maybe I'll begin at the end. As we travelled home, I began to write the letter that the missions support team had asked me to write. I found it in Johnny's box today. I hope to write more at another time about our trip to Thailand. I always think about it at this time of year.

We left for Thailand on Nov. 15 and got home on Dec. 1. Here is my summary letter.

"When Janelle and I began our trip to Thailand, we were hoping to find some closure to this season of unexpected sorrow. Instead of closing doors on sorrow, however, we found that being acquainted with grief opened the doors of redemption.

We were in Det Udom for approximately an hour when we received devastating news-Nee's son, Jack, (7) drowned in a nearby pond soon after our arrival. Nee was John's and Janelle's housekeeper and friend while living in Det. It was a great comfort to Nee to have Janelle by her side throughout the funeral and sorrow-filled days that followed. Please pray for Nee and her unsaved husband and their two remaining children.

Throughout our stay Janelle would say things like, "This is where John and I would come for ice cream," or "This was John's favorite meal." This was bittersweet. Bitter because he was no longer there to do these things with Janelle, but sweet to walk in his footsteps, to see the people he loved, to eat his favorite food (or at least try).

When one gives of himself, there is no losing him, even when he is gone. Many said that John encouraged them, believed the best of them, and helped them love God more. John had given himself away and I saw him everywhere.

On Sunday, we went to the joint meeting at Palenchai. That is where John was headed on July 24, 2005. We pulled off to the side of the road at the approximate place where the accident occurred. I find no words to describe this experience.

Earlier in the week I had written a letter to Mr. Som Pon expressing the desire of the Hertzler Family to forgive him for being the cause of our great loss. (Carol Tobin translated it for me.) Enclosed with the card was a photo of the entire Hertzler family taken in the summer of 2004. When we arrived at the church service, I completely forgot that Mr. Som Pon would be there. The very thing I had dreaded no longer had power over me! Skip Tobin took me over to meet Mr. Som Pon and as I gave him the letter, I could look at him and love him and I knew that I had received a miracle from God. It was much the same for Janelle. Although she did not have opportunity to talk with him, she found that she could look at him and pray for him and hope the best for his life.

Pastor Joi told Janelle that since John's death the church members are volunteering to do more work. They have seen the great sacrifice of John's life and are now more willing to give of themselves.

So on our trip to Thailand to find comfort and closure, we found Redemption and Joy and for this we are truly grateful. Thanks be to God and to all of you whose prayers carried us through."
During the church service at Palanchai, we were served Communion. Sticky rice was our bread. "And Jesus took sticky rice..." they read. We were served 'wine' that tasted like watered down cough syrup. One of the YES Team guys leaned over and whispered,"These cups are shot glasses from WW11." There were red swastikas etched on the bottoms.

After communion, we walked down a trail to a muddy pond. Several people got in the pond and stood looking towards the pastors standing on the bank. The pastors read some scriptures and said a few words and then the people in the water ducked down into the water. They baptized themselves! The pastors didn't want to go their clothes all wet and muddy since there were no showers and they were spending the weekend in the outdoor pavilion.

Mr. Som Pon stood by the bank of the pond with the white edge of my letter sticking out of his pocket. He clapped his hands during the singing and looked like he wanted to jump in. I found out later that he had already become a believer and wanted to be baptized, but Pastor Joi wanted to wait and make sure that it was a genuine change. Several months later, when my in-laws came to visit the folks in Thailand, they had the privilege of seeing him get baptized.

The latest news that I have received about Mr. Som Pon is that he needs our prayers in order to stand firm in his faith. His own unbelieving wife and relatives are begging him to go back to church because his life had become so profoundly different after he accepted Christ. Please pray for him.
To be continued....

Hertzler Doings-Nov. 23-29, 2009

Mon.-Went to church to answer phones for Missi. Her sister was having a baby in Pa. Sold 48 Christmas Musical Tickets. One of our buddies from church called and asked for another secretary. He went on to say that he had bought a shoofly pie from the bake sale and had gotten one for her family. He didn't like his and wanted to give her his pie if she liked the pie. He was going on about how he doesn't like sorghum molasses and I was laughing and telling him that it was Penna. Dutch and after awhile he says,"You didn't make the pies, did you?" And I kept on laughing and said, "Yes, I did." He said,"Jesus (and he meant it), give me another line!" He was a bit mortified and went on to say that it was the molasses that he didn't like, that I was a good cook, etc. etc. Anyway, I told him I'd make him the pumpkin pie that he was hankering for in the first place. Betty G. gave me a compliment today. She said that people are not intimidated by me because I smell good and laugh.

Today, I wished anew that I had a degree in counselling. Sometimes being a friend isn't enough.

Michael went to work after school. Susan did her homework and we watched another Christmas movie-"Fallen Angels." It was a good one. I love when the movie theme is about Reconciliation, especially at Christmas.

Tues.-Taught 6/7, K, 1, 8-12th, and select choir. Very tired. Meg and Leah Davis stopped in at school for a visit. I ran into Lori King at Kroger on my break and we set up a time to meet next week on my Tues. break. It was so nice to see her again and catch up on our family news. She and her husband pastor at Evergreen and we had visited their church when we first moved.
I realized today that I am most perfectly happy teaching music at CCA. It is a wonderful experience to build a child. I want my time there to count. Today, after the Kindergartners and first graders finished practicing their Christmas songs, I gave them homemade Koolaid play dough and told them to make something Christmassy with it. I punched in 'Silent Night' on the CD and hit replay and we formed Christmas trees, baby Jesus, penguins, and cats. I am hoping that they learned the words to their "Silent Night" song for the program. I don't know how they couldn't have. Took Susan back to Dr. Sh~~~. He's sending her to get some physical therapy. Thinks her discs got moved in opposite ways. Therapy should help. Michael working at Krogers again tonight. He looked so tired at school. Janelle and Micah are about to come for their several day visit. The house is clean and it smells good. A candle is burning and I bought a cinnamon broom today. My mind is full of the song, "...Oh Night Divine...Oh Night...when Christ was born." The four girls who sing together in the select choir, blend well and have beautiful voices. My soul soars when I hear them sing.

Wed.-Micah and Janelle got her around 7 last eve. It felt like they had never left. She wrote on face book that it is nice when your relative is also your friend. We went to Farmville today. She interviewed Roger M. for a school project she is working on while I read books to Micah. He is a pleasure to read books to. We went to Roses and found the exact clothes that Janelle was looking for. Susan found her high top sneakers. We got three pairs! Her back is almost normal today. It is wonderful to see her move around freely without crying out in pain. I am not sure if she will need therapy or not after all. We ate lunch at Country Cookin' and ate lots of salad. Also went to Walmart and Micah got to pick out a toy with some money his mom had given him. We came home and put things away and went on a gator ride. Phil, Freeman and Philip were here when we got back. They left last Friday morning to go to NY to hunt deer. Phil got one. Then they went to Pa. to the Lucky 13 cabin to go bear hunting. Mike F- met them there. Phil got a bear. Duck gave them his. The Hunting Gang got 5 bear altogether. The boys are out butchering bear right now and Phil is spending some time with Micah, watching The Three Stooges. We all sat around the table tonight and had a supper of hot dogs, french fries, baked beans, cole slaw, asparagus, and baby tomatoes. It was really nice to all be together again.

Thurs-Thanksgiving Day. Philip and Freeman both shot a deer. Went to Tom's for lunch. Lindsay, Emma, and Adi joined us. Janelle and Micah were with us as well. This is what we had for lunch. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cashew sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, tossed salad, cranberry salad, applesauce, rolls, cranberry sauce, pickles, olives, pickled red beets, Breyer's ice cream, Pumpkin torte, pecan pie, and Mennonite champagne (grape juice mixed with ginger ale) After lunch, Helen and Janelle, Lindsay and the girls and I went for a walk. Lindsay and I came back early because the girls were getting too tired to walk. Tom was having target practice with some of the kids and they were shooting toward the rise in their field which was towards the road. Lindsay said with bewilderment in her voice, "Didn't we just come from there?" Helen and Janelle heard the shots rustling through the bushes. Helen hit the road, flat out, and Janelle squatted. Then they tried to stay behind the cows while they walked, thinking that the bullets would hit the cows first. When they could see Tom, Helen screamed, "Stop Shooting at Us!!!" A truck went by, giving them a wide berth. They didn't look normal what with their strange movements, etc. We were wondering what the neighbors thought with Helen screaming and all. Meredith said, "Can you imagine my parents living in Farmville?" That would be a 'No.' I asked Tom later if he had stopped shooting at his wife. He couldn't say yes or no. Either answer would be incriminating. Phil, Philip and Freeman came home before supper to butcher bear and deer. Our freezer is full now. The rest of us stayed for turkey sandwiches and more mashed potatoes and gravy. I know I gained at least 3 pounds. Came home and got our things put away and watched "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." The little boy in the movie looked just like Micah.

Fri.-Made pancakes for breakfast. Went to the river for lunch and fought with wet wood and finally won and got my fire built after first digging a very large hole. It was really windy. Roasted hot dogs and dodged smoke for several hours while Micah and Susan made a small village with Playmobils and sticks and stones. I took my hot dog stick out of the fire and began eating my hot dog from the stick. Hit my face with the hot metal and now I have a red burn line going down my chin. Relaxed in the afternoon and continued to eat way too much. Phil brought me a beautiful manger scene as an early Christmas gift. He got it from the Benedictine Abbey's Gift Shop. Three wisemen with nativity scenes painted on the lower half of the figurines and along the sides. I've never seen anything like it. Put together, it makes the manger scene. Very beautiful.

Sat.-Cleaning and washing. Michael shot a nice buck which he is making into jerky. Watched "Second-hand Lions" with Micah, Janelle, and Susan. One of my favorite movies. You laugh. You cry. And even the swearing is delightful. Went over to Doreen's and had a lesson in butter making. Janelle worked on her class work and Micah and Susan played games in the afternoon.
Janelle and Micah went to Tom's in the eve. and will be there until Tues. morning.

Sun.-Church in morning. Brunswick stew, popcorn, and Monk marathon in afternoon and evening. Rested all day. Freeman at dress rehearsal for Christmas musical.

Thanksgiving with Janelle

My brother-in-law, John Hertzler, passed away on July 24, 2005. He and his wife, Janelle, were serving as missionaries in Thailand. Their son, Micah, was just a little guy. He's 5 1/2 years old now. Johnny was on his way to a joint church meeting of believers in Palenchai. He was riding a motorcycle. A drunk man, driving a truck, hit him head-on. Johnny died of multiple injuries. He was on his way to preach his first sermon in the Thai language: "The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life for His Sheep."

Janelle and Micah flew back to Pa. and moved in with her parents. Micah would search through the house, crying. He couldn't say the word,"Daddy," but we knew who he was looking for. His daddy played with him all the time. Janelle took a video of the two of them the day before Johnny died. Johnny was pushing him on a swing and saying some Spanish words to him as they played. Janelle showed Micah that video and some others when they were down here one summer.

The mission board encouraged Janelle to take someone back to Thailand with her to help bring some closure to her time there and to go through her belongings and pack up what she wanted to bring home. She asked me to go and Phil looked at me and said, "You should go." A long time afterwards he let me know how difficult it was to let me go. He was aware that he could lose me as well.

So Janelle and I went to Thailand, three months after Johnny's death. We spent Thanksgiving Day with the Tobins and the YES Team and Janelle and I have spent all but one Thanksgiving together ever since then. Janelle and Micah will be with us tomorrow evening and we'll have a few days together. We'll go over to Tom's for Thanksgiving. Another part of our family, The Bantons, will join us there.

While Janelle is here, she wants to interview some folks we know for a class she has. She has requested chocolate and movies and Micah has requested pizza and time together at the river to make our traditional miniature village. We even dig a hole about 6 inches deep and 1 foot wide and build a miniature fire. I hope we have some warm afternoons.

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of Thailand.
I think of Johnny and Micah and Janelle.
I can't wait to see all of them again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


When I eat fruit and vegetables and beans and grains,
I crave more of the same healthy food.

When I eat salty, fried, and sweet food,
I crave more of the same unhealthy food.

Whatever I put in my body,
I crave more of what I've already put in.

When I read the Bible and other good books
I want to read the Bible and other good books even more.

When I read soulish things and watch soulish things
and hear soulish things
I crave even more soulish things.

Whatever I put into my soul,
I crave more of what I've already put in.

Flesh cries out to flesh.
Deep cries out to deep.
Shallow cries out to shallow.
Soul cries out to soul.
Spirit cries out to spirit.

What do we want our body and mind to crave?
What do we want our soul and spirit to desire?

Choose life and eat foods that give hope.
Choose life and nourish your soul.

Sunday Sermon-November 22

Pastor Frank preached about Joseph today.
(Genesis 37-49)

Joseph's life:

For the first 30 years of Joseph's life, he just survived. He had a dream and shared it with his brothers, who hated him for it and other things. When they had opportunity, they threw him into a well to die, but got him out again when they had opportunity to sell him. He wound up in Egypt as a slave in Potiphar's house. He did very well there and Potiphar completely trusted him, but then, Potiphar's wife made a false accusation against him, and he was thrown in prison. The prison guard gave Joseph a great deal of responsibility and he gained favor with the inmates and interpreted some dreams for some of them. They promised to remember him and try to get him out, but they forgot about him. Just about the time Joseph would take a step forward, he'd take two steps backward and he was just barely making it. He was in survival mode but he was faithfully surviving.
Some of us are along the bank of the river of God and we can't even think about going in deeper because we are just trying to remain upright along the bank. We're just trying to keep our eyes open.

There are two types of failure:
1)Character failure-we are in a situation because of our character and the poor choices we have made. We know we have done this to ourselves. God is a God of restoration, and He provides a way of escape for us from ourselves and our own destructive ways.

2)Circumstantial failure-Our circumstances in life beyond our control have brought the taste of failure into our lives.

When Joseph was about 30, he was brought out of prison and planted right in the middle of success. He went from prison to palace in a day, literally. Joseph gained such favor with Pharoah that he placed Joseph as second in command in the whole country. No one could raise a hand or a foot without his approval and when Joseph came around, the command was given to "Kneel Down".
If Joseph hadn't gone through the humiliation and character building that takes place in survival mode, he would never have been able to handle the favor bestowed on him at this time in his life.

(Being successful is what happens to me as an individual.
Significance goes beyond success to benefit others.
If you are significant, you would be missed if you were gone.)

Joseph became successful as he was trusted and exalted in the land.
He became significant when he handed out provisions to those who needed them.

Joseph's life-
Survival mode-1-30 years of age
Success mode-30-56 years of age-He was 56 when he was reintroduced to his brothers
Significant mode-56-110 years of age
He continues to be significant even now, after his death at 110 years of age.
Joseph's significance affected his brothers
and the boundaries of Egypt could not contain their off-spring.
He impacted his family, his community, his nation, and His world!
All from a dream.

God shaped Joseph's character during survival mode.
Joseph proved that he could be trusted with success.

Significance goes way beyond what we could ever dream.
It's not about being successful on a personal level.
It's about something bigger than we can dream.
So go ahead and think and dream.
God is able to do much more than we can ever think or imagine.

When Jacob was dying, he blessed his off-spring.
Of Joseph, he said, "Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
His branches run over the wall..."

A well is like the river of God.
It never runs dry.
If we are like a tree planted by rivers of living water,
we will bring forth fruit in season.
Our leaves will bring healing to the nations
and our fruit will bring wholeness to the partaker.
I think that at any given time, we may have an areas in our life where we are just surviving. We may have another area of our life in which we are experiencing success. And we may be significant during the process of surviving and in having success. We are always 'becoming' and even though we never arrive, we influence people for the better just because we are alive.
Someone asked me if I thought whether people would miss them if they no longer came to our church.
I thought about it and came to the conclusion that the question is not whether they would be missed. The question is, "Do they-(Do I)-notice when others are missing?" Perhaps it is more important to notice that others are missing than to be missed ourselves. Does that make sense? If the spleen left the body, would it be missed? If an arm left the body, would it be missed? Some parts seem more significant than another. But it is Christ's body and He wants all of His parts functioning properly. Any part missing would be missed. It's important to keep the parts you already have in good working order so that you can keep things together when others want to fit into the body that you have.-AH
Some of this sermon is told in my own words and some are Pastor Franks words and my understanding of them. (Disclaimer to protect PF)
Prayer excerpt-..."Let Farmville be a magnet for Your presence."
Pastor Frank shared his vision for the church and his desire for us to be smack in the river of God's blessing and how he feels this could be done. I had heard about this a few days ago, but it is better to hear it from the man with the dream.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who's Responsible?

Mark 4:1-20

Jesus spoke to a large crowd from His own personal platform-a boat floating in the sea. The people gathered around Him facing the sea and He sat comfortably in the boat while sea gulls screamed and little children splashed their feet in the water. He told them the parable of the sower. I wish I could have been there, basking in the sun, smelling the saltiness of the water, and listening to that voice.

There was a sower who sowed seed and some fell along the wayside, and the birds ate it. Some fell on stony ground and the seed sprang up but there was no depth of earth and the sun dried it up because there was no root. And some seed fell among the thorns and the thorns were too strong for it and the seed couldn't grow.
But then some seed fell on good ground, and a nice crop came from the seed, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.

Later on, His disciples and those hanging out with the disciples asked Him what He meant by His seed story. He seemed surprised that they didn't understand.

The sower sows the word. Some people are along the wayside and hear the word but Satan takes away the Word from their hearts before it can do them any good.

(Perhaps these folks are on the fringes and hear the word once in awhile.)

Some have the seed sown on their stony ground, and they are really glad to hear it but they have no root in themselves and only have a little endurance when tough times come because of the Word.

(Perhaps these folks don't dig up their own soil. Perhaps they've allowed the rocks and stones of bitterness and offenses to harden the soil of their hearts.)

Sometimes the Word falls among thorns. The soil is half decent because something is obviously growing there, but the plant that was already in the soil chokes out the good seed. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and desires for other things competes for the attention of the Word and their hearts are divided, and since the thorns had a head start, they win out in the end.

Sometimes the word falls on good soil. And there are different sized harvests that come from this seed. Perhaps the size of the crop depends on how often the soil has been turned and if the stones and rocks are taken away from the surface whenever the soil is turned. Perhaps it depends on how much the soil has been fertilized with good nutrients and how much the light of God's word and the rain of His Spirit have been allowed to effect the health of the soil.

So, who is responsible for how the seed grows?

Not the sower.
Not the seed.
Not the environment.

It's all about the soil.

How is your soil?

It's time to get rid of the stones, and the cares, and the thorns.
It's time to fertilize and give sun and water to your soil.
When the seed of the word of God is sown on your good soil,
it will yield a harvest of more good seed.
Then those seeds can be planted and there will be an even greater harvest.
And then those seeds can be planted....and so on.

"For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have,
even what he has will be taken away from him." (Mark 4:25)

Little Boats

Sometimes, I see something new in an old story that I've read many times.

I was reading Mark 4:35-41. Mark tells the story about the disciples crossing the sea and Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.( I'm glad He had a pillow.) 
Well, a terrible storm rose up and the disciples were getting scared. The boat was filling up with water. They woke Jesus up and said, "Don't you care that we're about to die?" 
So He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace, be still." And the wind quieted down and everything was calm again.

Then He turned to them and wondered aloud, "Why were you so fearful? Don't you have faith?" They were amazed and said, "Who can this be? Even the winds and the waves obey Him."
This is what I never saw before. When they were initially leaving the multitude and getting into their boat
other little boats were also with Him on their journey to the other side.

These other little boats didn't have Jesus sleeping in them when the storm arose. The people in those boats were deeply affected by the storm and by Jesus' calming of the storm. But, if the disciples hadn't woken Him up, what would have happened to them? Perhaps my faith is small too. Perhaps nobody could drown in a sea in which there was a boat with Jesus in it.

I am thinking about this in light of today's economic and political situation.
  I am thinking about the spiritual pressure on the Body of Christ
and the crisis' in homes.
I am thinking that no man is an island onto himself.
 No one has the only boat on stormy waters.

Sometimes, it seems like Jesus is asleep in our boat. We're thankful that He is in our boat, but it seems like He is not caring that we might perish. Perhaps He is looking for faith that believes in Him even if we perish.

Should we let Him sleep or should we wake Him up?
Should we trust that He cannot drown when He is asleep or awake,
so if He is in our boat, we will not drown either?

What about the other 'little boats' who are also making the journey to the other side?
Will they make it to the other side in this storm?
Jesus might not be in their boats.
Is He in their storm?

Should we cry out for their sakes?
Can we wake Him up and still have faith
or should we snuggle up beside Him and sleep
on His pillow
while the waves toss us about?

I want to understand why He asked about their faith.
Did He think they should have calmed the sea?
I don't think He had given them the authority of His name at that point.
He was still showing them that He was God.

I guess I will be who I am-
Fully human and somewhat scared.
I think I will cry out and wake Him up
because not everyone has Him in their boat,
and this storm could put them under.

I will risk His rebuke and trust that my faith will grow
as I see Him rouse from His sleep and speak peace to this storm.

Perhaps, then, the other little boats will have
a greater chance of making it to the other side.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On the Way Home

We were on our way home from school. Parks was making some sort of slurping noise. I think he was sucking his lips back into his mouth. He didn't sound 'normal.'

Kincaid said, "Parks lost his mind in a plane crash."
Parks said, "What plane crash?"
Kincaid and I both said at the same time, "See?"

We got to laughing so hard at Kincaid's made-up joke.
He said Parks was supposed to get mad at the comment
but when he asked,"What plane crash?"
Kincaid just naturally followed with his comment.

Parks got to giggling his quiet uncontrolled giggle
and that got even Michael going.
Parks giggle always makes Michael laugh.

Kincaid had turned his own bad day into a good one
just with a sense of humor.

(Kincaid is in 5th grade and Parks is in 3rd. We carpool with them.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I get a kick out of this verse in Joshua 13:1-"Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: 'You are old, advanced in years,..."

I think God might say to Joshua,...'So it's time for you to retire. Find someone to finish up your job. It's time to rest and golf and write your memoirs.' That would have been nice of God to give Joshua some down time.

But noooo....The LORD continues to say to him..."You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed."

That's exactly what He said. And then He went on to describe to him all of the land that had yet to be possessed and how he should divide it.

I am going to take this personally.

I am going to believe that I will never be too old to keep on
"possessing the land."

And when I take that final breath, I will take it anew in another land
I've been possessing in part my whole life; but now I will possess it completely.

Beulah land will be mine.

Good Rumors

Mark 2:1b-2"...and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door."

When people hear that God is in your house or in your church or in your school, they will gather together and there won't be room to contain them. Are we ready for this good rumor?

Are we ready for structural damage to be done to our house?

Some men tried to bring their paralyzed friend into the house where Jesus was and they couldn't make any headway through the entrance, so they climbed up on the roof and took it apart and lowered their friend through the hole in the roof.

Jesus saw their faith.
He didn't see the structural damage.
He didn't ask if the guy had done something stupid that caused his paralysis.
He saw their faith.
He forgave the man's sins and got the religious folks all freaked out.
"You can't do that!", they said to themselves.

He knew what they were thinking and said,"Why are you even thinking these thoughts? It is just as easy for me to forgive this man's sins as it is for me to heal him, and just so you know that I do have the authority to forgive his sins, I say,"Rise, take up your bed, and go home." And the paralyzed man rose up and took up his bed and went out from their presence, parting the crowd this time.

What a story.
So when God is in your house,
some damage might be done to it's structure
due to the needs of those who want to come in.

But see their faith, not the damage,
and help them meet the Unparalyzer of their souls.

Little Verses

11 Corinthians 3:2,4

"You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men:..."

Paul didn't need a letter of commendation from anyone. All people had to do was to observe the lives of those he discipled. Their strength of character and their likeness to Christ was all the recommendation that Paul needed. And the epistle of those he served was written in his heart by the Spirit of the Living God and was known and read by all men.

The people under our care reflect
to the world who we are and who God is.
v.4-"And we have such trust through Christ toward God."

How much does Christ trust God? He trusted Him not to leave His soul in the grave. He trusted Him to never leave Him or forsake Him and then He trusted Him even when God turned His face from Him.

We have no sufficiency in ourselves, vs. 5,6 go on to say. We are not sufficient in ourselves to even trust Him.

We have trust toward God through Christ and Christ alone.
We enter into Christ's trust toward God
and then we trust God completely.

It's all about entering in to what Christ has in Himself.
We now have Christ's relationship with God.

I am thinking about these things.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Matthew 25:7-Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegrooms is coming; go out and meet Him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps."

The focus on this story has always been the difference between the wise and foolish virgins. But this time, let's consider what it means to trim our lamps. If I was going to trim my oil lamp, I would cut off the edges that are burned. Then my lamp would burn brightly without putting off smoke and fumes. I would be able to see my bridegroom better if he happened to show up in the dark of midnight.

My New Spirit Filled Life Bible has these notes about the word trimmed. It comes from the word, "kosmeo," a word close to 'cosmetic.' It means to beautify, arrange, decorate, furnish, embellish, adorn, and put in order. "Here is a picture of revival before the Second Coming of Christ."

So when we pray for revival, we want our wicks to be revived so our flame burns brighter.
The virgins trimmed their own wicks. So how do we do that? How do we beautify and adorn ourselves for His coming?

I think beauty involves the light within one's face.

The entrance of God's word brings light, and gives understanding to the simple.

I think of the verse in Psalm 34-"They looked unto Him and were lightened and their faces were not ashamed." Another version says that they looked radiant.

Shame-real or imagined-dims our light.
  It's one of those things that make our wicks dark
where the light is meant to burn the brightest.

Fear darkens a face.
Trust softens it.

Perhaps it is not a matter of praying and waiting for revival to come to us.

What if we trimmed our wicks and put our lamps in order?
What if we daily purchased oil to fill our lamps so we'd always have a source for our light?
What if we basked in God's Word and the light from His face?

Then we would experience revival because we would be revived.


Matthew 27:32-"Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross."

There were different cultures represented around the cross. *My Bible notes say this about Simon-"Wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, a black man from northwestern Africa. Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross."

And this is so great. Read this.

"The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts. History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day." !!!!!

Christ's humiliation bought Christ's dignity for us.
He has exalted us and we continue to be honored when we carry His cross.

*The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible-NKJV

Monday, November 16, 2009

Open Doors

1 Cor. 16:9-Paul writes, "For a great and effective door has opened to me,
and there are many adversaries."

Sometimes, when we face adversities, we think the door is closing on that particular job, ministry, or idea.

But everything great that was ever accomplished on earth,
was done with a great deal of opposition to it,
beginning with the birth process.

We need to know what an open door looks like
and continue to walk through it in spite of the obstacles.

We must also realize that the lack of opposition

does not mean the door is open.

I wonder if we could say that the greater and more effective the open door,
the greater the adversity we may face.

I don't know.

That's why we need to be able to hear His voice, saying,
"This is the way. Walk ye in it."

That's why we don't focus on the circumstances surrounding our open door.

Instead, we listen to His voice in our spirit,
in His Word,
and in our brothers and sisters.

And we keep walking through that great and effective door.

Kept Knowledge and other Musings

I was reading in Matthew, chapter 26, and noticed how the disciples and Jesus sang together at their last meal, even though their hearts were breaking. My mother wrote a poem about that. It goes something like this:

"Wouldn't you like to have heard Him sing,
That man from Galilee?
Creator of the Universe,
Master of Land and Sea.
Savior of the sick and sinful,
Bringing Hope and harmony.
Wouldn't you like to have heard Him sing,
That night before Calvary?"

I think He is singing now.
He knows our end from our beginning.
We may as well sing His song.
After He had been arrested, later that evening,
the religious leaders were trying to find someone
who would give false testimony against Jesus
so they could put Him to death.
They weren't looking for true testimony-
just false testimony.
At last two came forward and twisted His words
about the temple, saying, "This fellow said, 'I am able
to destroy the temple of God and to build it again
in three days.'"
Jesus didn't straighten out the meaning of those words.
He knew what He meant when He had said something
akin to them.
Oh, that the only bad testimony against us
would be a false one.
Then they began to beat Him and spit on His sweet face.
They struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, "Prophesy to us,
Christ! Who is the one who struck You?"
And He could have told them who struck Him.
He knew their names.
He knew what they had for supper.
He knew their hidden sin.
He even knew the good things they had done in life.
He could have prophesied and wowed them and caused them
to think twice about hitting Him.
Maybe they would have apologized to Him.
But He remained silent.
He prayed for them, I am sure.

Sometimes, we are tempted to tell what we know.
If we would tell what we 'know' and be right,
then people would think we are spiritual
and close to God.
And sometimes we should tell what we know
in order for change to take place
or so that someone else knows that God
has not forgotten them.

But sometimes,
it is better to keep our mouths shut
and turn our 'knowledge' into
a prayer.
it is our turn to die.
It is our turn to be invisible.
It is our turn to suffer with Him.
Later on, Jesus did tell Peter what He knew.
"Before the rooster crows,
you will deny me three times."
But Peter needed to know that Jesus knew that he had denied Him.
If he had denied Him, and tried to keep it a secret,
he may have gone the way of Judas.
But his sin of denial was known
and known ahead of time,
and Jesus had loved him anyway.
Help us know when to keep our knowledge to ourselves.
Help us know when to speak out what we know.
And help us to do it for all Your right reasons.

Hertzler Doings-Nov.16-22, 2009

Mon.-Made chili for the guys to take on their hunting excursion. Made lots of pureed vegetable soup-3 gallons to serve 50 people for the 4-H dinner at school tomorrow. Michael called from school. He had thrown up and thinks it was because he had some lumpy spoiled cream in his coffee. I wrote about it on face book and got alot of response. Took Susan to see Dr. Tom because I was worried about her back pain. It wasn't mono or her spleen. It was a pulled muscle and her floating rib was out of whack. He manipulated and massaged her back, being the osteopath that he is, and prescribed some strong pain meds and muscle relaxer and ice and heat. She feels better already. Phil, Philip, and Michael are cutting firewood this eve.

Tues.-We are trying to learn all the words to our songs for the school program on Dec. 6. Colored big papers and made airplanes for K and 1st while they listened to "Silent Night" over and over. A mocking bird attacked our car in the parking lot at school. We think he was seeing his reflection and was trying to chase 'the other guy' off. Went out to town during my break and found some treasures(silver chalices) at Salvation Army. Judy called. Court date was changed. More waiting... Too cold and damp to walk outside. Walked and ran in the school for about 20 min. Michael worked on fencing after school while Susan and I helped with the select choir. The 4-H group that raised chickens are eating them at the banquet tonight. We were invited but decided that we could get alot done in the two hours we'd have to wait. They sent an uncooked one home with us and we'll have it tomorrow for supper. We stopped at Chinese Bill's for supper tonight. So tired. Tuesdays are exhausting, as are Wed.

Wed.-Happy Birthday to the most wonderful Mother-in-love in the world!!! My Chinese food kept me up half the night and I ate crackers and tea for most of Wed. Had a great day at school getting our Christmas songs tweaked for the program in 2 1/2 weeks. I love these kids and this school. Susan's back is giving her alot of pain and she misses her friend, Makenzie. She tries to be cheerful. Kincaid made up a classic joke on the way home which I am going to use in all kinds of versions. ( See blog-'On the Way Home') Went to church in eve. Susan loves youth group and they both always tell me what Pastor Alvin spoke about. I met with Sara in the conference room. What a treasure she is.

Thurs-First time for everything. It's my first time of shopping in Lynchburg all day by myself. I had a great time. Bought some clothes for myself at Kohl's. I used to be XL. Now I am in between a M and a L. Went to ACMoore and got supplies to make gifts. Best Buy lost a sale when the guy didn't put batteries in the camera that I wanted to check out. He said that they were dead and that there were no more in the drawer for him. Could hardly believe it. I wanted to see if they have the black and white feature that allows you to pull out one color. I asked him if I should go buy some batteries for him. Oh well. Went to the mall and Sam's Club too. Michael working tonight. Guys are getting ready for bear hunting.

Fri.-Susan in too much pain to go to school. Slept until after 10. Felt better then but still must move slowly. We painted smooth rocks today and wrote words on them-love, peace, start, I love you best, I love you, fear not, etc. We sprayed with acrylic sealer and glued stickers and magnets on them. They look really cute on the fridge. Michael cleaned his cadillac really well and hopes to sell it tomorrow. Naomi and I caught up on phone. Hope to go hear her speak in April and we want to go to Mary's retreat in Feb. That will make it easier for me to say good-bye to Phil's family and mine on Christmas week, knowing that I'll be back up soon to see them.

Sat.-Made pumpkin bars and shoofly pies for young adults missions trip bake sale. Cleaned the house. Watched a movie with Susan.

Sun.-Church. Sammy Jo stayed with me during the worship service. I love her to tears. PF shared his vision for expansion and where he feels God is leading the church. Took Haley, Susan, and Alli to Country Cookin' for lunch. Haley came back home with us and she and Susan played a board game in the afternoon and Haley will go back with Jordan when he goes in for their leadership meeting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Three Things

When I was at the Women's Retreat at the end of October, the speaker, Linda Seagers, shared with the Women's Committee that there are three things required of those who want to be part of Women's Ministry.

#1-We need to love God.
#2-We need to love women.
#3-We need to be slow to take offense. There are many hurting women and they will take out their woundedness on us.

I have thought of this third point many times since then. I pray for the women of our church. I pray that we will love each other and be willing to slide on each other's shoes and walk a mile. I pray for eyes to see what the other one sees. I pray for understanding and compassion. I pray that we will give each other the same grace and mercy that Christ has bestowed on us. I pray for friendship and sisterhood and mothering.

Oh, God. Help us.
Give us unity.
Give us love.
Give us a mouth that speaks kind words.
Give us your eyes to see into the soul.
Give us your eyes to see hidden treasure.
Give us your heart.
Give us your ways.

Catch-Up Blog

Well, it's been a month of Sundays since I've written.
It's hard to know where to begin.
I decided to write a catch-up blog so I could start blogging again on a regular basis. My notebook is backlogged and I could never write an individual blog about all the things I want to write about. This is mainly for my own sake-to declutter my mind, but if you want to read it, you are welcome to.

First of all, Hertzler Doings. The oldest three male Hertzler's have been busy working on the Abbey in Richmond. Philip was foreman on a job on a military base in D.C. setting trusses. It went well for him. He is ready for Christi to come home from Guatemala. Freeman's busy with work, Chi Alpha, and the musical and spending time with Alli. I just found out he is playing Elvis in the musical as well as some other characters. The guys have shot several deer and Phil hit one with his truck and he butchered that one as well. Michael is back to work at Krogers and has been busy working on getting scholarships for Liberty. He is planning to go into their aviation program in the spring of 2010. He bought a used car and wants to sell the red Cadillac before he starts driving this one. He is learning fencing in school and loves it. He and Philip have been fencing all of their lives, but they didn't know the rules before. Susan is happy with the farm truck Phil is allowing her to call her own. She drives out the lane to get the mail. It's just her size. Her grades were very good this term. Makenzie, her closest friend from school, said good-bye to us last week. She and her mother are moving back to their home in Kentucky. We will miss them but we are planning a road trip this summer and we want to fly down to FL. when Sam's job takes him there. I've been busy at school, getting ready for the Christmas Program: Lessons and Carols.

Chi Alpha, the Christian group at Longwood, came over on Nov. 7th for their annual hayride and bonfire. There were over 30 people here so Phil showed Gil how to drive the tractor and Phil pulled a wagon with the four-wheeler. Most of the kids were on a wagon behind Gil and every time he'd start up, Lindsay and I could hear the kids scream. He wasn't so smooth. They got to see our resident eagle and our resident cows. We roasted hot dogs and marshmellows and I showed the Chinese students how to make s'mores. They played some games, like 'Who Can Dance the Best' and "Who can carve ivory soap into something Beautiful.' It was so much fun.

Yesterday, about 70 women got together in the basement of our church and enjoyed a Christmas Craft/Candy Event. I had a table full of candy along with the recipes on how to make them. Other women from church shared their crafts and candy. It was alot of fun and I loved to see the women sitting around talking together. Catherine M~, Amy H~, Lindsay B~, and I are planning get-togethers for the women every 2 months. Oh-we've had a ladies retreat since I've written-chocolate theme-"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good." Lindsay and Julie were my roomies.

The rest of the family has graduated from the program our insurance company put us on to help us lose weight. I am the slowpoke. I still need to lose 2 1/2 inches around the waist and ten more pounds. My blood work has improved however and they are giving me until the end of January to accomplish these other goals. I feel so much better when I eat whole foods. I've had some smidgens of sugar these last few days and I truly cannot handle it.

The main reason I haven't taken the time to blog is because I have been focused on cleaning out the clutter in my life. Carleen has been helping me for several Thursdays. She is such a good organizer and I don't mind letting her see my mess. I've also been focusing on exercising and eating well. A friend told me something that has helped me figure out my priorities. She said that 80% of what we do, others can do. 15% or what we do, we can teach someone else how to do it. But 5 % of what we do, only we can do, and that 5% makes up our core values. I've been focusing on that 5%. But I also have been finding that I am slightly agitated because I haven't had time to write and I don't like feeling this way.

I've been reading some good books. I liked them all and would read all of them again except for the book on Susanna Wesley;her husband was just too annoying and I don't care to remind myself of his behavior. Otherwise, the following books I highly recommend: "The Bible or the Axe," "Two in the Far North", "Red Sea Rules", "Lists to Live By", "George and Laura-Portrait of an American Marriage", "On Hitler's Mountain", and "The Client."

I've finished the following books of the Bible:Acts, Romans, Deuteronomy, Zachariah, Malachi, and Matthew.

Some of the things that have been on my mind and that I'd like to write about when I get a chance are the following:
~We are all missing Phil's brother, Johnny, so very much. We are crying more now than we did half a year ago. Is it because his birthday was Nov. 4? Is it because we found a new batch of pictures? Is it because the eagle, who showed up on our property after his death, is visiting us again?
~Mother is better but needs to be better still.
~My sister and the awful sorrow of the loss of her precious son. How she misses him!
~The danger of an "us" and "them" mentality especially in the spiritual realm. I think we border on being a Pharisee when we look at 'sinners' and don't realize that 'we' are 'them.' Sinners were comfortable with Jesus. Pharisees were not.
~How we non-cussers take the name of the Lord in vain.
~How Ronald Reagan campaigned at my dad's business-New Holland Sales Stables. I need to get that story down. My dad said that his hands were huge.
~The dream I had about having a baby named Kling, and how someone told me that it meant that someone was clinging to me and draining the life from me and how I realized that it wasn't a person, - it was sorrow.
~The ebb and flow in relationships, especially marriage.
~That it takes two to make a marriage work but only one to sabotage it.
~How in the church, it is easier to reach out to the community than it is to heal your own body; It's easier to make new acquaintances than to deepen friendships.
~That not saying 'No' to someone's dream does not mean that you are saying 'Yes.'
~Fanny Crosby-what an amazing woman!
~We cannot pray in faith for our own physical healing when we know we are doing things that promote sickness in our body. Our hearts will condemn us and our faith will be shaky.
~How do those who should be disciplers disciple others when they themselves have never been discipled?

Those are some of the things I've been thinking about.

CCA Smile Files?-These are both about Dr. Hub~~~He's a funny guy. My daughter gets teased by him but she can sure give it back to him. She deeply respects him and he makes school fun for her. The Hubler's had started a school in Phila. some years ago, and they invited their fencing team to come and show our fencing team some fancy foot and 'sword' work. We were all in the gym watching and I was watching Michael. I said to Dr. H.,"I like watching Michael's face because he is so engrossed with what is going on." Dr. H. said, " I would watch his face, too, but it scares me too much." Another day, Susan and him were comparing notes about what he had said about Michael's face and she got very close to him with her face and her finger and glared at him and said, "You know what?....I completely agree with you." Then she sat down. He said, "My life just flashed before me eyes," in an Irish accent. He didn't know what was going to happen to him.
Here's another story about Dr. Hubler. He was all dressed up in a suit and tie and I said, "You are all dressed up. Are you going somewhere?" He said,"I wasn't feeling so well when I woke up this morning so I decided to dress up and sit at my desk with my arms crossed across my chest to save the undertaker some work in case I pop off."
~~~Kincaid said the other day, "Dr. Hubler is the best principal I've ever had." Apparently he had another principal when he was in kindergarten whom he never saw or spoke to. I've noticed that Kincaid and Dr. H. have a little foot game they play. Kincaid steps on Dr. H's foot-hard- and it is a compliment of relationship when he does it. I can't quite figure it out but that's OK. They have an understanding.

I haven't blogged any Sunday sermons for awhile either. This month, Pastor Frank has been preaching from Ezekial 47. In our walk with God, there is a river which represents the way the Holy Spirit is moving. We can play it safe and walk along the bank of the river and be splashed with the water of blessing from those who are deeper in or we go in deep enough to get our feet wet or a little deeper, or we can go in to the middle of the river, where we not able to touch bottom. We are no longer in control but are at the 'mercy' of the current of the river. We can float or swim here and be immersed in the quality and character of the river. It is risky but it's where the healing waters flow that bring life to the dead seas. When we are living in this part of the river, we say the right things to people just when they need it and we are unaware of it. We notice people-notice the 'trees' along the bank. Trees represent people. We treat others with the same mercy and grace with which Christ continues to treat us. We love them and want them to experience everything good that we have experienced in Him. The competition and comparison are gone and we see life through God's perspective and He definitely sees His cup as more than half full.
Pastor Frank also spoke about the four faced creature who worships God at the throne. The human side of their face represents the ability to feel the infirmities and joys of others; it represents our vulnerability and authenticity. The side of the face that looks like a lion represents boldness and authority. The appearance of the ox represents steadiness and strength of character that gets the job done. And the eagle's face represents the ability to see what lies ahead and what lies behind and is able to bring it all together with clarity and wisdom.
God is looking for people who have the character of the four-faced creature. He is looking for those who are compassionate and are able to identify with the humanness of humanity. He is looking for those who are bold and will take risks and who will not shrink back from the authority He's invested in them. He is looking for those who are faithful in their homes and in their jobs and will finish the work they have been entrusted with. And He is looking for those who can see beyond themselves into their communities, their nation, and their world. He is looking for those who see the treasure hidden in their brother's and sister's lives and are willing to mine for it.

I thought of Jesus when Pastor Frank described the four-faced creature. Jesus became human and dwelt among us. He knows and understands every temptation we face. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah-brave and strong. He is like an ox-steadfast-setting His face like flint towards Jerusalem to face the cross. And He is like the eagle. He saw the joy that was set before Him-you and I-and so endured the cross and despised its shame.
I didn't look at my notes while I just now summarized Pastor Frank's sermons so don't blame him if it's not clear. It is my own understanding and take on his sermons and I am still working on understanding this particular message and what it means in my life. Is floating in the river and abiding in Him the same thing? I am also trying to figure out if one needs to know how to swim before he/she should be inspired to jump into the middle of the river. Does the river keep you afloat or does being grounded keep you afloat? Perhaps having the characteristics of the four-faced creature keeps you afloat. I am thinking about these things. Perhaps I am thinking too hard.
Wow. That felt good. Now I can start to write individual blogs again. I can't stop smiling. I needed to write.