Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We Would See Jesus

I came to school on Monday to work on the program and I found a sermon laying around on the table in the lobby. I got a copy made and have read it several times. Dr. Hubler gave me permission to blog excerpts from it.

The text was taken from John 12:20-33. There were Greeks who came up to worship and they came to Philip and said, "Sir, we would see Jesus." The Greeks were strangers to the promises made to the children of Israel. "Yet, these strangers were compelled to seek out Jesus, and getting the ear of Philip, they say, "Sir, we would see Jesus.""

"There is a story told among ministers of one minister who found the words of a simple admonition on his pulpit one Sunday, these words, "Sir, we would see Jesus." What a corrective. It is one that often comes to mind for me. We who preach must remember that the people are not here to see us. They are not here to hear our eloquence, or admire our learning. They are here to see Jesus. But that admonition is a knife that cuts both ways. Far too few people go to church and listen to the sermon in order that they might see Jesus."

....."I hope we can all aspire to be more like the Andrew that we meet in
the Bible. Let us be people who walk like Andrew. What I mean by that is that in the Gospel we find Andrew walking toward Jesus, and that's not all, we find him walking to Jesus with someone. He is one of the two who is a disciple of John the Baptist and yet he follows after Jesus when John points to Jesus as the Lamb of God. Later that day, it is Andrew who is walking to Jesus with his brother Peter. Here, when Philip comes to him with the request of the Greek to see Jesus, he takes Philip to Jesus."...

"It should be our ambition in life to take people to Jesus. I remember the words of an old friend, Roy Chew, on his death bed encouraging me in that way. "It is good," he said,"to take people to God." ...Can you imagine hearing someone say of you,"He took people to Jesus"? Maybe a good prayer for us each time we leave church, and each morning as we begin a new day, would be,"Lord, help me to point someone or take someone to Jesus."
I saw and heard a number of things today that were heart-breaking. I am reminded that the real reason I live and the real reason I am in this particular position of influence, is to create a longing in the hearts of these children to see Jesus. Life is hard. Some little children have rough lives. They won't make it if they don't see Jesus. They won't make it if He's not in their lives. I want my life to make them desire to know Him. I want to lead them to Him so He can place His hand of blessing on their lives. Once they experience the touch of His hand, they will not easily forget Him.

If they would only experience the love and mercy of God through me,
what will they think of the love and mercy of God?

I am thinking about these things.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"For God and Country-The Civil War Years"

Cornerstone Christian Academy Recitatio-March 29, 2010

The following is a quote printed on the program handouts:

"Formal recitation is a tried and true educational tool bringing together different aspects of a child's education. The content of the program teaches important parts of our tradition and provides students with examples of the effective use of language. Students practice the physical aspects of communication. Also, performance builds confidence and provides a point of focus during the school year."

The focus of CCA's one hour long Recitation was 'The Civil War Years.'
Teachers worked with students for weeks, helping them to memorize poetry, names of states, Presidents, facts about Virginia, The 10 Commandments, Civil War letters, and segments from the Catechism.

The K-2nd graders sang 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot', with Miss Christen leading the motions, and 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again' complete with shouts and right handed 'hurrahs.'

The 3rd-5th graders sang 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' which is a coded song that the slaves sang to help each other escape to freedom. 'The drinking gourd' is the big dipper, which points to the north star.
They also sang all four verses of 'America.' "My Country Tis of Thee..."

The 6th-12th graders sang 'Goober Peas' which was great fun, and 'Tenting Tonight' which was quite sobering. Mrs. Jones kept telling them that they looked like they were facing the firing squad. I think they were just plain weary of tenting. I must say that my blood pressure went up during this segment because Susan and some of the others seemed to lose control and began to giggle. I was starting to get mad at my husband and son. I found out later that Dr. Hubler was dancing around in the back, waving a dollar bill, in order to bribe my daughter into smiling. Mrs. Jones was also holding up a sign that symbolized that they were not in front of a firing squad. It's funny now, but paybacks are coming.

All 13 grades sang "Dixie Land", "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", and"Sing to the One True God". They also sang "He Hideth My Soul" with the attending crowd. Fanny Crosby wrote this song and we had studied her earlier this year. Fanny Crosby and Harriet Tubman, the slave who was known as 'Moses' because she helped so many slaves escape to freedom, were both born in 1820. They died in their 90's and had a number of similar experiences in their later years.

During the singing of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," an eager first grade girl began singing the chorus too early. "Glo-", she caught herself and giggled as did some of the rest of us. A boy classmate, standing next to her, put his arm around her and patted her reassuringly. It was precious. It was one of my highlights of the evening. Phil liked it too.

The Select Choir-Susan, Mikayla, Sidney, and Clarissa-sang "What does the Lord Require of You?" from Micah 6:8. I chose this song because if we treated each other justly and loved mercy and walked humbly with our God, there would be no war. They sang three different parts and it was thrilling to the soul to hear their beautiful voices blended together, singing eternal words.

Mrs. Shorter and Mrs. Knauss accompanied the students on the keyboard. Mrs. Loy showed Civil War slides during the different presentations.

Susan's class memorized "An Appeal for the Country" and "The Yank and the Reb." She did a great job and spoke clearly and convincingly in spite of a seriously stuffed head.

Michael's class memorized real letters written by wives, husbands, and sweethearts to those who were in battle or keeping the home fires burning. This was especially moving. They were dressed in historically appropriate clothing and were set up with props that added integrity to the scene. Mrs. Knaus played a moving piece of piano music very quietly while Michael recited his 3 minute long letter. It was written by a man to his wife. He expressed hopes of being with her again and watching their three boys grow up. He also assured her that if should die in battle, that his love for her would be unfading, and the gentle breeze she would feel on her forehead, would be his kiss. He did an amazing convincing job. When he finished his letter, the narrator told us that this man died, a week after he wrote the letter. His wife did not receive the letter until the war was over. I've got a lump in my throat just writing about it.
The first time he read it, it made him cry.
Karen Phelps wrote me today and said that Michael and the CCA Recitatio was the topic of conversation at Cardinal Chevrolet where she works.

All of the children did a wonderful job and the teacher's are already planning next year's Recitatio. I hardly slept Monday night. I remember that the same thing happened to me last year. All night long I heard, 'Follow...the drinking gourd...follow the drinking gourd...For the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedom if you follow the drinking gourd...'

It's really gratifying to work with a group of teachers and students to reach a common goal and have a fun and educational experience in the process.

I love this school.
I love the students and the teachers.
I love the music that we make.

Hertzler Doings-March 29-April 4, 2010

Mon.-Went out to school to practice for The Recitatio and out again in the eve. for the performance. Philip, Christi, and Phil came and we attempted to tape Michael's part for Freeman. Attempts failed but we found another source. Great evening and I'll give it it's own spot.

Tues.-What a day. A day full of meaningful conversations in school and at the drug store and in the Kroger's parking lot where a dear woman came to me asking for help. She told me about her life and blessed me and said she'd pray for us. The lady at the drug store sent up a prayer for her father and we had a good talk about preserving the dignity of an aging parent, esp. one going blind who shouldn't be driving anymore. Walked to the river to make sure I don't miss any of the purpley beauty of the bluebells as they progress from buds to blossoms. Phil was hunting arrowheads.
I just want to say something about Appomattox. It is the friendliest place in the world and there is great kindness there. Since the shootings, people are even kinder. It is as if we are aware that the person next to us may be going through great sorrow, and we want to lighten their load or comfort them. People talk to me as if we have been friends forever. I need to start learning names of people and realize that we could actually be friends for the rest of our lives. In this last Guideposts, there was a quote that said, "Strive to be first: first to nod, first to smile, first to compliment and first to forgive." Appomattox folks practice this ideal.

Wed.-Taught school. We practiced 'Be Thou My Vision' in preparation for graduation. We sang "Low in the Grave He Lay" and other songs of their choosing from the Recitatio. We also played musical mats, played just like musical chairs. They had the option of playing with playdough or coloring while listening to music and I learned all kinds of things about the kids today.
In the afternoon, the high schoolers had a fencing competition. The whole school went out to the gym to watch. Between matches, Mr. Sullivan and I started tossing the basketball into the hoop. When we'd miss, the kids all said, "Aww..." sympathetically. When we succeeded, they would cheer loudly. It was so much fun. Michael said that Dr. Hubler was trying to talk to the competitors and the cheering got so loud he stopped talking. He gave Michael a look and Michael said, "That's my mommy." I am quite sore and need an ice pack. But it was worth it.
Took Mike and Susan to church in the eve. Picked Lindsay up at the Daily Grind after she finished teaching violin lessons. We put Adi in a stroller and walked around the block near the Bantons. Saw Emma in her Rainbow class. Blessed Banton Balm. Thank you God.

Thurs.-Day at home. Dipped eggs for Susan and made pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and sprinkles for my families Easter bag. Washed and cleaned. Picked up Susan and delivered eggs. I tried to get a few people back at school by playing some April Fool's jokes. As I was leaving I said to Dr. H, "I'm sorry about your truck.... Send me the bill." Then I went out the door and walked towards his truck even though I was parked on the other side of the parking lot. I told Mrs. J. that she had a rip in her pants and I had her looking for it for a few seconds before I told her, "April Fool's." Went to Krogers and Southern States where we bought rabbit food and many seeds for $6.00. I want to grow our food year round. We're working on the idea. Susan cut oodles of water cress-about 8 gallons-and we washed and bagged it for market. Phil's taking it over to Tom's and Meredith will take it to work with her. We are raising money to go see Makenzie and her mother this summer. Makenzie called when we were just finishing up. Going to bed early tonight. Completely exhausted.
Guys are working around here this week. Freeman on old house. Philip on milking parlor. He built a shelf and put his antlers and otter mount and skins on it and hung his elk skin on the wall as well as his bear head. Phil's working on the books and the fields. We are having a good time with everyone home. Getting Janelle's permits this week. Land being cleared. Settled on June 19th date for Pig Roast this year.

Fri.-Went to Farmville and picked up Lindsay and the girls. Gil camping. We went to Judy's for the morning and afternoon. Susan and I painted eggs with Sammy Jo, Emma, and Adi. Judy and Lindsay worked on a project in the sewing room. Judy served us fudge and strawberries for appetizers and wonderful tacos for lunch. Then she grilled a nutella, marshmellow, and banana sandwich and we topped them with whipped cream. You can't imagine how good they were! I think I had a sugar collapse after all that and I took a nap on her chair and then moved to the sofa to finish it. As a child, I always liked when company came and stayed past my bedtime. I'd lay in my bed with the door open, listening to the murmur of happy voices as I fell asleep. That's how it felt to fall asleep at Judy's. Brought them back here and we rode to the river on the gator to see the bluebells and throw stones at Angel. In the eve., we went to Trinity Mennonite Church for their Tenebrae service. Ray had candles lit in the front and after each scripture and hymn was sung, he'd snuff out one candle. At the very end, we sat in silence for a minute, and thought about the death of Christ. No one spoke to each other as we left the premises. It was a meaningful service.

I was holding Emma when in the quietness of the holy moments she announced publicly, "My butt hurts." Then, "I have to go to the bathroom." Lindsay took them out the back and after they completed their task, she let them play in the library while she listened to the service. Took her back home afterwards. A friend had sent her several dozen purple and yellow tulips. Such a nice welcome home. Susan and I went to Walmart and it was a zoo. Came home and finally fell asleep after midnight sometime. Again.

Sat.-Washed several loads. Preparing venison, beef, and bear roasts for 4:00 meal at Tom's tomorrow. Also made a roaster full of homemade macaroni and cheese and a lemon chiffon cake. Susan and I planted pansies. Tom, Tommy, and Phil worked on the tractor and planted early sweet corn. Hoping to have some for the pig roast. Philip finished up the trim on our new living room door while Christi watched. They are spending the afternoon together, playing Rook, taking pics of bluebells, etc. Freeman and Alli left for Pa. yesterday morning. They spent the afternoon and eve. with Billy and Becka and Alli had her first taste of 'Dutch Goose'-pig stomach. Today they are antiquing with Aunt Anne and cousins in Adamstown. Tonight, they will be with my family at Shady Maple and tomorrow, they'll go to Hopewell and have Easter lunch with the Hertzler's. Michael is working today. Eric, Chace, Jordan, and Travis are coming in the eve. Hoping to plant more garden today and clean the floors after everyone is finished with the muddy fields. Planted 4 of Hugh's tomato plants. 4 more to go. He said they will keep us in tomatoes all summer.

Sunday-Easter! The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! The Emmaus Road-reminded of that story several different times today. Church. Saw Gena afterwards. 12,000 eggs for 270 kids at church. Came home and took a nap. Went to Tom's for early supper. Kids played Ninja in front yard for a long time. Christi with us there. Helen, Michelle and I went for a walk while Serena rode a bike. Always a good time. Redbuds and flowers blooming everywhere. Mom and Dad are enjoying Freeman and Alli. Want to keep them there with them. They are coming home tonight.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I've been doing much thinking about lukewarmness and how to avoid it.

I am also thinking about the ten virgins and I want to be one of the wise ones,
who had sufficient oil to play their role in the wedding ceremony.

In a marriage,
the couple maintains their love
by adding fuel to their fire.
The fuel in a marriage is kindness and courtesy;
humility and grace; forgiveness and humor.

The fire should keep them both warm.

Too much cheap fuel and too much wind
can make the fire burn too quickly
and passions die out before the comfort
of a maintained fire can be experienced.

Add too little fuel and the fire goes out.

So it is with our relationship with Christ.
We don't want a big bonfire spurred on by too
much emotional spiritual zeal.
One cannot keep up the pace and eventually
exhaustion sets in and the fire goes out.

So, I am thinking about maintenance.

Webster says that maintenance means to keep in existence, to preserve, to keep in due condition, operation or force.

We want to keep our spiritual fires in due condition.
We want to preserve them from flaring up out of control
and from dying down to nothingness.

When I am thinking about something,
it seems like everything I read gives me an answer
to my ponderings.
Or, to say it in terms we are thinking about,
everything I read or hear,
gives me more fuel for a steady fire.

The other day, I read the whole book of Jude in one sitting.

Verse 20 reads like this:
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."

I was excited, because I realized that this was my answer to my questions:

"How do I keep enough oil in my lamp and storage vessel?
How do I keep from becoming lukewarm?
How do I overcome?
How do I keep my fire maintained?

Jude explains it in simple terms.

1-Build yourself up in your most holy faith.

If faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, then we build up our faith by reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God.

2-Pray in the Holy Spirit.

Pray in your own language, prompted by the Holy Spirit, as in Romans 8:15, when our spirit cries out, "Abba, Father..."

Pray with groanings that cannot be uttered as referenced in Romans 8:26.

Pray in a tongue unknown to the one praying, as in 1 Cor. 14:4,14, and trust that even though you do not understand what you are praying, that the Holy Spirit is praying through your spirit the deep things of God.

3-Keep yourself in the love of God.

1 John 2:10 says that 'He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in Him.'
1 John 1:7 says that 'if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.'

I imagine the love of God being like a spotlight, shining down on me. When I leave that circle of light to be unloving to my 'brother', then I am not keeping myself in the light or love of God.

Keep yourself in that circle of love.

4-Look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

If we think we have worn out the mercy of Jesus,
it is hard not to feel guilty around Him.
And when we feel guilty around someone,
we tend to avoid them.

His mercies are new every morning.
Look for His mercy.
Receive His mercy.
Give His mercy.

The book of Jude holds a favorite prayer.

"Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling
and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory
with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Savior,
be glory and majesty,
dominion and power,
both now and forever.

I think that if we keep ourselves in His love,
He will keep us from falling.

Instead of trying to avoid falling,
we should focus on keeping ourselves in His love.

To Him be glory forever and ever, Amen.


I have wonderful childhood memories surrounding Easter.
From the time we were babies until we were much older,
my mother would make up Easter baskets and hide them.

If the weather was nice, we'd find them hidden away
among the pink branches of the flowering crab apple tree
or amidst the yellow forsythia bushes.

If it was too wet or cold, she'd hide them inside.
We'd find them on the stairways or cupboards.
One year I found mine hidden in the record player.

The baskets were full of marshmallow chicks, jelly beans,
and chocolate eggs. Sometimes we'd find our own
box of pop tarts or granola bars.

We would always boil dozens of eggs and paint them for hours.
Our hands were stained for days.

Easter holds many sweet memories for me.
There is however, a bitterness about Easter.
The cup Jesus drank was bitter.
I want the cup of fellowship that I offer Him
to be sweet, since He drank the bitter cup for me.

Just a few hours ago, I read the story of the crucifixion
in the book of Matthew.
Outside, the sky became dark and menacing.
I felt like I was a little girl again.
My seven year old theology was a bit off and I thought
that Jesus was crucified every year.
I would cry in my room by myself on Good Friday,
thinking that somewhere out there,
my Lord and friend was being crucified.

As I read the account today and the sky grew dark,
I began to weep, thinking, "Somewhere out there,
My Lord and friend is being crucified."

And even as I reminded myself
that it wasn't true,
I realized that perhaps it is.
Jesus, keep me near the cross
There a precious fountain
Free to all a healing stream
Flows from Calvary's Mountain

In the cross, In the cross
Be my glory ever.
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunday Service-March 21, 2010

Favorite Song:"I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand..Lay back against You and breathe..feel Your heartbeat..."

Overwhelming moment: Looking over towards Judy during worship and seeing Kenny with Sammy Jo in his arms.

(Pastor Frank's sermon with my perception of what he said along with actual quotes.)

"Living at Room Temperature is a Sin"

When we look at the account of the early church recorded in Acts, we realize that when certain things were lined up, God added daily to the church, those who were being saved.
The methods the church uses today may have changed from the early church, but the message stays the same.

When we look at the story of the 5 foolish virgins and the 5 wise virgins, we see that some asked for more oil than they needed. Who gave them the oil? The groom supplied the oil. Jesus said, "I will take what is mine and give it to you."

If you want to be eternally secure, just keep your hand in His.

( I was looking at the story again this week. The foolish virgins took their lamps but didn't take along extra oil. The wise took extra oil in a separate container, and they also took their lamps. It was time for the bridegroom to come, so they went out to meet him like this. But he was delayed, so they slept. Meanwhile, I think their lamps were burning.
At midnight, the cry went up, "Here comes the Bridegroom. Go meet Him!" So they got up quickly and trimmed their lamps. My Bible notes say that the word for trimmed means 'cosmetic.' It means to beautify, decorate, furnish, embellish, adorn, and put in order. So the bridesmaids trimmed their lamp wicks and filled their lamps up to the top. They wiped off the oil from the outsides of their lamps and shined them up a bit.
That's when those who didn't bring extra oil realized they were in trouble and that's when they wanted to borrow the extra oil from the others. They realized that their lamps were going out. It was not wrong for the wise virgins to deny them the oil. If they gave them their oil, they wouldn't have had enough for themselves. 'Go buy your own oil', they said.
So, the procrastinating virgins actually went out and bought more oil but that made them late and the wedding feast had already started.
The door was closed to them. The groom wouldn't let them in even though they begged.

Jesus was telling the story and He summed it up by saying, "Watch, for you don't know the day or the hour when the Son of Man is coming."

It is important to watch and make sure that your oil supply is sufficient to provide fuel for your lamp to burn longer than you think it might have to.)

If we think we have enough oil, we're done.
Charles Spurgeon, in 1874, said, "If you think you have arrived, you are in the worst condition possible. You are no threat to the enemy because you think you are OK.

The longer we serve the Lord, there is more of a chance for us to become calloused to the things of God. We may stop watching and not even realize that we are missing a good supply of oil.

Scripture-Rev. 3:14-22-Jesus introduced Himself as the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God; (What He tells us is truth and He will be faithful to His truth. ) Usually, Jesus told the story and then the story led into an explanation of who He is. This time He introduced Himself first.

He goes on to say,
"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot...I wish you were one or the other...therefore, I will spew you out of my mouth. You say you are rich and wealthy and have need of nothing and you do not know how wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked you are....Buy from Me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. I love you. That's why I am rebuking and chastening you. Be serious about this and repent. I am standing, waiting for you at the door and knocking. Do you hear my voice? Then open up and I will come in to you and eat with you and you will eat with me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

The church on Laodicea was a prominent, important church in Turkey, made up of extremely wealthy people. There were many magnificent houses near the temple and it is thought that these belonged to the believers. Blindness was prevalent in the dusty land and the Laodiceans had developed an eye balm to keep people from going blind. It was used around the world.
There was no water source nearby, but 6 miles away, there were hot springs, and water was piped in to their community. If the water was not hot enough, they would spit it out.
(Perhaps they should have moved closer to the source, but we don't know the geographical situation.) (My Bible notes also mention that Laodicea was noted for being "a banking center and for the production of a glossy black wool used in clothing and garments. 'The church desperately needed the grace that regenerates, the garments of Christ's righteousness, and Spirit-illumined eyes of the heart.")

He spoke about what they knew.
Gold, garments, eye balm, hot water.
wanted them to get it.
wanted them to overcome.

The Lord speaks to us:

He can reference both the past and the future; He knows our end from our beginning. He says that he'd rather we be cold than lukewarm because then we'd be looking for something hot. If we're hot, we'll be like a fire, looking for more oil to burn.

You say that things are going well and that you are rich. But you are wretched; without value. You are so miserable and won't do anything about it. You are poor and have nothing to invest to get more. You are blind and cannot see your way. You are naked; you no longer have an identity.

the negotiation price is free for us-His blood. 'If you ask, you could buy of me the gold that is tried in the fire.' The measure of your worth is the sum total of what money cannot buy and death cannot take away.

He holds us responsible to do what He says. "Buy gold and white garments, anoint your eyes....Open the door to my voice..."
( provides what we buy...He provides the healing balm...He provides the knock on the door....We must do the buying, the applying, the opening...)

How do you get to be lukewarm?
How does room temperature become the temperature of our lives?
It takes place one degree at a time.
Sometimes in life, something bothers us. We get offended and troubled.
(We stop buying the best. We let the splinter fester into the size of a beam
in our eye. We have too much going on and we don't hear the knock at the door.)
These cares take the place in our minds and hearts that Jesus should have.
Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you.
I read something in 'Celebration of Discipline' by Foster
in the chapter about Worship this week.

"Isaac Pennington says that when people are gathered for genuine worship, "They are like a heap of fresh and burning coals warming one another as a great strength and freshness and vigor of life flows into all." One log by itself cannot burn for very long, but when many logs are put together, even if they are poor logs, they can make quite a fire..."

So I think being with others who are also passionate about Christ is one way to not be lukewarm. You can't be part of a fire and not be hot.

When I reread the passage in Revelation, I decided to hold this particular thought in my mind for the day: "To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also came and sat down with My Father on His throne."

Sometimes, we avoid something so we can avoid something worse.
In this case, we want to avoid being lukewarm so we won't get spit out.

But what if we focused on overcoming?

What if we held the wonderful promise that He gave us in the forefront of our focus.
" If you overcome, you will get to sit beside me on my throne."

When I was a little girl, I would move over to one side of my bed
and hold out my hand so Jesus could sleep beside me.

Oh, that I would keep the simplicity of my child-like faith
wrapped up in this thought-
"If I make room for Him, He'll make room for me.
He'll scoot over so I can sit beside Him on His throne
and hold His out-stretched hand. "

The thought gives me the courage to overcome.
We can finish this wall.
We can overcome if it means sitting beside Him on His throne.

Maybe overcoming is better than being a cup of hot water.
Maybe overcoming is like using your cup of hot water
to make Jesus a wonderful cup of coffee or tea.

Behold, He stands at the door and knocks...

Dining with Jesus after His faithful rebuke
and forthright invitation
is the best way to repent and come out of lukewarmness.

Dining with Jesus is the best way to gain understanding
of what it means to be an overcomer.

Dining with Jesus is the best way to learn
the etiquette surrounding throne sitting.

Invite Him in.
The coffee's brewing.

My Mother's Journal Gems

From her red 1994-1995 Journal:

Thoughts from the book of Samuel~

1 Sam. 3:1-"Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent."
I am wondering who will replace Billy Graham? God may have a young Samuel somewhere that He will use. I hope so. The times are surely the same.

It is interesting that God's voice sounded just like Eli's; not the echoing, profound voice used in plays, etc. Samuel was in bed for the night (when God first called him by name)
but he immediately got up and went to Eli at what he thought was his call-not once but three times. No sign of annoyance or patronizing of the foibles of a nearly blind, aging old man. If he had decided, 'the man is confused, probably the beginning of Alzheimer's,' God would not have been able to speak to him.

And when Eli told Samuel that it was God calling and that he was to go lie down and wait for His call, Samuel did. There is no sign of fear or apprehension even though verse 7 says that 'Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him.' So Samuel was unaware that he was ministering to the Lord.

A fearsome statement in this chapter, v 13-'His sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them.'

1 Sam. 4-a chapter of heartache especially for Eli and his daughter-in-law.
As is often the case when the spiritual has declined, man clutches the form and hopes for "magic." After being defeated by the Philistines and losing around 4000 men they decided to take the ark of God, v.3, 'that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.' No cry to God, and of course, the battle was lost and 30,000 died. Eli had grave concern for the ark of God and at the news of its capture, died. Poor Phinias' wife also. She seems to have been a godly woman and close to Eli for at the news of the capture of the ark of God and the death of Eli and her husband, she went into pre-mature labor and died in childbirth. Her husband had been unfaithful and had caused her grief by his life much more than by his death most likely.

Hertzler Doings-March 22-29, 2010

Mon.-Went with Janelle to Appomattox Public School, the lawyers, and Cornerstone. She left from school to go back to Pa.

Tues. Wed.-School; Recitatio Practice; worked in flower garden. Planted onions, kale, and lettuce in cold frames. We found out that Michael was awarded the Pamplin Ruritan Club Scholarship of $1,000.

Thurs-Recitatio Practice; Home sweet home. Phil has first performance tonight. Easter Musical-"The Promise" at New Life. He plays Pilate and he's so fine. Tonight I am making mushroom lasagne. I am thinking about making three kinds of lasagne for the rehearsal dinner so I will start experimenting now. First chance to get on the computer for over a week; Phil's been working on the books. Phil has been also happily plowing the fields and disking the garden. He made a nice trench for us in the garden and Susan, Philip, and I planted 15 pounds of 3 different types of potatoes.

Fri-Day at home to wash, cook, and clean. Billy Balmer came in the eve. to stay with us for a few days. He and Freeman have been friends since they were babies. Susan, Freeman, Alli, Billy, and I went to the Easter Musical at church-"The Promise". Phil was Pilate. It was great. His scene is tense and riveting. Afterwards, we went to Huddle House to meet Ray and Ruth there. We always laugh so hard when we're together. Since we all four want to go on a cruise to Alaska, we are dreaming about doing that together some summer some year. There is something about Phil and his portrayal of Pilate that makes me feel very...I'm not sure how to say it. I leaned over to him at the restaurant and whispered, "I like authoritative men all dressed up in purple." It made him chuckle which makes me happy.

Sat.-Slept in. Washed clothes. Cleaned house. Cooked. Walked to river with Susan and we picked up a stray dog with tracking device or should I say that he picked us up. Called the number and the owner will come get it tonight. (A friend of the dog showed up later. They happily wagged their tails when they found each other.) Susan's heart broken for poor, skinny, smiling, sweet dog. Phil has two performances today. I want to plant the beautiful purple pansies Phil bought me yesterday, but am not sure if they will handle a heavy frost like we had last night. Billy and Freeman are playing around with their guns, shooting them in, etc. Billy feels like another son; I've literally known him for his whole life. His mother, Helen, sent a German fruit cake along-her specialty. He said this morning that it was in his car and that he will give it to me before he leaves. I said, "Go get it now," and since he was always an obedient child, he said, 'ok', put his shoes on and brought it it. It is halfway eaten already.
Read an e-mail from mother. She is typing up her diaries from 1959, when I was a year old. She said that I was sitting on Grandma Landis's lap in the car and the whole way to our destination, I was going "Ah-haha-ah" at the top of my voice. My sister, Rosalee, who is 5 or 6 years older than me, said, "Aren't you glad she's our baby?" She liked my singing, mother wrote.

Sun.-Church. Left early to go play piano at a funeral at Christ Church in Appomattox. (CCA) Tina's father passed away suddenly after a battle with cancer. Meaningful service full of kindness and goodness. Dr. H. described Mr. Qua~~ as having great soul and great goodness. He said that the Christian knows sorrow in life. Jesus loved Lazarus and hated death. Even though He knew how things would turn out, He wept at the news of Lazarus's death. Our life's timeline looks like this...sin-->death-->resurrection-->judgment-->justification/life. Our sorrow has hope.
Tina gave me flowers and a wonderful note and her daughter Amanda, wrote out a timely verse for me on a sheet of paper where she had drawn pictures and written sweet words. "Be strong, and courageous..." Torrential rain in the eve. Phil's last performance as Pilate in the musical. The Matthews were sitting in the balcony. During the crucifixion scene, when Jesus cried out, a little boy behind them said, 'Mommy, what is that? Is that His heart breaking?' Out of the mouth's of babes. His heart breaking, His flesh tearing.
Watched 'The Fugitive' with Christi, Philip and Susan. Buttered popcorn for supper.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Virgins and Lanterns

I've been thinking about the ten virgins and their lights.

There is a temptation, I think,
to have our lamps lit to attract people to our own light,
rather than to light the pathway for the bride and groom.

But we must keep our lamps filled with oil
in order to do our part
in being the light of the world.

A lantern lit in the darkness
held closely to one's self,
distorts a person's face;
giving it eerie shadows
and an unearthly appearance.

But lamps lit together in a row
can light a pathway
so people know where to go.

No one is meant to be in the limelight.
We are to be the light
that helps the main attraction be seen.

I think too often
we use the light of God
to make ourselves look good.

I am thinking about these things.
I am sorry about these things.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hertzler Doings-Mar. 15-21, 2010

Mon.-Went to school to clean my room and get ready for preschool visitors. The visitors cancelled but I was relieved because my room was messier than I remembered. We are having a tornado drill tomorrow.Guys were pouring concrete when I got home. Freeman butchered the pork today after it has ripened in the coolers for over a week. He smoked some pork and saturated it with sauerkraut and I made mashed potatoes to go with it.

Tues.-Ceiling painted and lights are up in the rec room. I think this would be a great place to have the food for the pig roast. Less flies. Great day at school. A group of preschoolers from a preschool program came to visit and I had them in music for about 15 min. along with the kindergartners from our school. I am passing Janelle's book around at school. She has put words to her sorrow in her book, 'Seasons of Solace.' Those who haven't been able to write their sorrow are brought along through sorrow by the pathway of her words.
Ordered Susan's bridesmaid dress today to Alli's relief. Freeman is all congested and ears are uncomfortable since his trip to Ireland.
On the way home from school today, Susan and I stopped at Kroger's. Michael's math teacher- was there and I had a sudden urge to scare her. I snuck up behind her cart just as someone else was trying to get around her with their cart. In a loud obnoxious authoritative voice I said, "Ma'am, will you please move your cart!" I really did scare her. She told Michael the next day that her heart was still pounding hard as she drove home. Michael told her that he was working that same day at Kroger. He was loading up milk into the refrigerator from the back room and had the sudden urge to grab someone's hand as they reached in for the milk. He had the common sense to realize that it should be someone he knows. Just about that time, the headmistress of our school, came along to get some milk. He decided he shouldn't do that to her. Maybe he was afraid that it would affect his grades. She later said that if he had done that, she would have dropped the milk and screamed. Michael said "Well at least you know where I get it."

Wed.-Great day at school today. Mrs. J. came down to the class to see what large group was singing. It was 5 second graders. It was St. Patty's Day so everyone thought that is why I wore green. I didn't know what day it was. I enjoy being at school but my house needs some attention. Went to Farmville this eve. and took Michael and Susan to youth group and met Missi, Julie, and Nanette at Appleby's.

Thurs.-Went out to school to teach some music class to visiting preschoolers but their teachers forgot to bring them. Typed up Recitatio Information instead. Met Lori K. for lunch at the Chinese Restaurant. We talked for 2 1/2 hours. Decided to go wedding dress shopping together in a few weeks. Her son is getting married the week after Freeman and Alli's wedding. Went out to Farmville and talked with Carol about family with fire. Everything is coming together for them. Michael went with High Schoolers, Reeves, and the Hublers to Yorktown for today and tomorrow. Progress continues to be made in the new rec room. Panels are being stained. Left car at Davis Pontiac. Phil met me there and brought me home. Car needs some work. Watched 'Joe and the Volcano' with Phil and Susan. Fun movie.

Fri.-Worked around house getting ready for company this weekend. Freeman took me to car dealers to get car. I had to wait awhile and when I went to pay, the man kept looking at my neckline. I kept trying to discreetly bring my shirt together at the top. When I went out to the car I looked in the mirror. To my horror, I saw a string with what looked like spider webby things attached to my chin. It looked like chin hairs twisted together and dangled down for a good 5 inches. I do not know what that poor man was thinking. On top of that, my hair had been wet when we left and Freeman left the windows down. I looked like a wild woman-hair all over the place. I am still embarrassed. I don't know why I am even sharing this here except that I think it will make Lindsay laugh. Went to Walmart and came home.

Sat.-Cleaned house and made tortilla mixture, baked corn, and beef stew. Janelle got here shortly before 2. Phil and Susan took her to look at houses Phil built in her price range. They looked at her property also to see where to build the house. Alli and Freeman came here while I was vacuuming and Freeman scared the livin' daylights out of me without even trying. Alli had taken her test today and then they went out to eat and to Target to register items for wedding gift ideas. After Janelle, Phil, and Susan came back, we watched Mr Bean. It was crazy funny. We ate beef stew and corn and cole slaw while we watched. Freeman showed Ireland pictures since we are in a movie mode and tired out. Had a long talk with Mom today when everyone was gone. I needed that. Watched Julie/Julia movie with Janelle and Susan and ate popcorn. 5th viewing. Gil says that I AM Julie Child. Not sure what I think about that.

Sunday-Church. Left quickly to get back to house. Ralph and Sheila Petersheim came with their children, Dan, David, Holly, and Hope. Had lunch together and spent the afternoon talking and walking. Phil completely forgot about the first dress rehearsal.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Service-March 14, 2010

Song-"And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete...Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."

(Pastor Frank's sermon through my perception of what I think he said plus some of my additions . Someone recommended that I say this and sometimes I forget to do so.)

Opening comments:

When Nehemiah and the workers were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, they built the first half of the wall for the sake of the city. When their enemies began to come against them, Nehemiah encouraged them to finish building the second half for the sake of their own family. (Sometimes, things need to become personal, in order for us to find the courage and godly anger to complete a task.)

The way the wall is built is our identity in the Kingdom.
We are not a people who do things halfway.

It is time to beat our denomination weapons into plowshares in order to till the soil and get it ready for seed time and harvest. It is time to lay down our weapons of differences and pick up the sickle as one man and bring the harvest in.
Communion Service-Do not hurry through this process of remembering His life being poured out for the remission of our sins.

When you partake of His 'blood' and His 'body', receive an infusion of joy and healing and deliverance from discouragement and depression.

I felt like I had never heard the familiar communion words before.
It was as if I was having a favorite meal for the first time.
Perhaps this is what it means to have the joy of my salvation restored.

As I watched the people I love receive the cup and the bread,
I received everything Jesus blood had done for them and for me.
I don't want one drop of His blood to be wasted.
All of His blood was poured out for our sin, our sickness, our forgiveness and health.
We need it all and He paid it all.
Why would we refuse what has already been paid for?
Revivals in the past have often centered around a church or a pastor. This is the reason that they fizzled out. The new move of God will have nothing to do with one man or a particular set of four walls.
On May 13 there will be another gathering of pastors in our area.
They will be encouraged to follow the call of God in their lives
and to finish building the wall in their particular community.
Scripture Reading-Matthew 25:1-13-The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

"May we hear the intent of the Spirit through the passage of these words today."

The word 'foolish' comes from the Greek word 'moro-'
which is the root of our word 'moron.'

To understand this scripture better, we look at the culture at the time Jesus told this parable. When a man was espoused or engaged to a woman, he would leave for about a year to get things prepared for the wedding and for their life together as husband and wife. Perhaps he would build a house or make some furniture. The groom paid for everything having to do with the wedding.

The bridesmaids were to hold the lanterns that would light the pathway to the wedding chamber and the pathway back to the brides house where there would be a celebration for several days.

The ten bridesmaids in this story had a job to do as they waited. They were to remain prepared so they would be ready to light the pathway at a moments notice.

Several things happened.

1)-The bridegroom was delayed.
We understand that the bridegroom represents Christ.
Jesus is delayed in His coming back.
He tarries because each day He waits,
thousands of people are being saved.
They are responding to His invitation to a wedding and it's celebration feast.

The church is His bridesmaids.
The Bridegroom is preparing things.
He is gathering pastors together.
He is unifying things for His presence to be revealed.

2)-The 10 bridesmaids looked alike.
They acted alike. They all had lamps and some oil. They were in the right place at the right time. They were called to be bridesmaids.
But five did not have enough oil to finish their task of lighting the pathway.

Augustine suggests that when Jesus used the term 'sleep', it implies death. Perhaps the Bridesmaids had 'fallen asleep' or died and when they woke up on the other side, they were found to be unprepared.
The last thing we want is to wake up on the other side and find out that we were not prepared.
Why the lack of oil?
The five foolish virgins were more concerned about the appearance of being prepared than in actually being prepared. They were more concerned about how they appeared to others than they were concerned about their appearance to their Savior.

Take inventory.
This is what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.

We come to church and act and look the part, but in our hearts, we are more concerned about looking the part and less concerned about Who it is we are worshiping.

The door was closed to keep out the foolish virgins just as the door was closed on Noah's ark to keep out the unrighteous.

The bridegroom had chosen these bridesmaids for this job.
But they neglected the One who had chosen them.

It is important to have the kind of faith that pursues the presence of God.
We need to want to be in His presence so much that we will 'push through a crowd'
or 'cut a hole in the roof', just to be with Him.

3)-You and I can't borrow oil from someone else.
Sometimes we don't want to pay the price to carry the presence of God; we want to be around those who have paid the price and borrow their oil.

Quote from ?-"Wisdom consists of anticipating the consequences."

The wise virgins anticipated the consequences of letting their lamps run out of oil.
The foolish virgins did not.
There are consequences with every decision we make.
The consequences for the foolish virgins?-No matter how much they knocked, they couldn't get in. How terrible the consequence of hearing Him say, "Depart from me, I never knew you."

4)-You can't put it off any longer.
The foolish virgins took the chance that what they had was enough.
Don't take that risk.
Seek God while He may be found.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Keep your lamp filled daily; a continuous filling.
Live openly before the Lord; keep being cleansed.
There is no guarantee for tomorrow.
This could be the last sermon you hear.
Should He delay His coming,
I want to make sure I have enough oil to keep me through the day.

The number 5 represents the 5 senses.
Taste, Hearing, Touch, Smell, Sight-
The reason we need the oil of the Holy Spirit is so our senses are immersed in holiness.
I want to taste the goodness of the Lord.
I want to hear His voice.
I want to touch the hem of His garment.
I want to smell the sweet aroma of His presence.
I want to see His face.
We need to taste, hear, touch, smell, and see the world around us through the oil of the Holy Spirit. The senses that are drenched with the Oil of the Spirit will be alerted to the aroma of sin and want nothing to do with it. We will want to touch what God endorses as holy. Our eyes will know to turn away from evil and look on what is pure. Our ears will hear His voice and not the voice of another. We will know that the taste of sin would be bitter because just the fragrance of it makes us sick.
The senses covered with the oil will warn of what is evil and draw near to what is good.
Pour oil on your senses.

5)-If you don't do it,(keep oil in your lamp) you'll miss it.
There is no second chance.

The challenge for some of us is not getting ready, but in staying prepared.
The world has a way of deceiving us and draining our oil.

There is an urgency in this.
He's coming back and there are those who don't know Him.
Our wall is only halfway built. Our identity is only halfway completed.
Until we hear that final trumpet, we have work to do.

Do you have enough oil to keep you ready?

Priorities change when we are faced with a life or death situation.
When the Titanic hit the ice berg, an old lady asked if she could go back to her room to get a few things before she climbed into the life boat. They told her that she had 3 min. and then her last chance of survival would be lowered into the ocean.
She ran to her room and pushed aside her gold and jewels and reached in the back of her drawer for three oranges.
She made it to the lifeboat in time.
Her priorities had changed.
A short time earlier, her gold was important.
Now, she just wanted to survive.

You either have enough oil, or you don't.

Before God sends in the harvest, we have to allow Him to do something in us.
I understand the concept of needing to have our lamps filled with oil.
I understand the 'why' of the need.
But I don't quite understand exactly how it's done.

There are people who love to be in God's presence and they talk to Him all day long and He talks back and they hear Him say all kinds of things and they are absolute fruitcakes.

And then there are others who love to be in God's presence and they talk to Him all day long and He talks back and they hear His voice and they are absolutely solid as a rock.

The fruitcakes may have the appearance of being full of oil and full of worship and full of fire and the solid as a rock folks may not have the same appearance but their flame burns bright and others are warmed by their light but they might be judged by those who say,"This is the way that it's done. This is the way that it looks," because they don't do or look the right way.

What makes the difference?
How do you know if you have enough oil?
What about desert times and dark nights of the soul?
What about sleepless nights with sick babies and empty emotions?
What about being in the middle of the process of forgiving someone?
What if you are angry with God?
Do we have to be so careful that we are not real?
Do we have to be afraid?
If He carries those who are with young, will He fill their lamps with oil?
Do we not get our oil from the Bridegroom we are waiting for?

I am not sure how full my lamp is with oil, but I am quite sure that I don't have a spare bucket of oil by my side and that worries me somewhat. Sometimes people (not you) call me and I know they want my oil and I feel like I barely have enough oil to keep my flame and you know what? I don't answer the call. I wait until I feel like I have a little bit of extra oil and then maybe, I call them back. I get frustrated with them because they have time to study and read and instead, they call lots of people and try to absorb their oil and I wish I had their time. Give me your time I want to yell at them! Get your own daggone oil!

And as I was thinking about this, I remembered something I read in 'The Celebration of Discipline' by Richard Foster. The Spiritual Disciplines he refers to are the inner disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study; the outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, and the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. I think some of the following quotes from him help explain how to keep our lamps filled with oil. I wish we would all read this book and practice its truths. Here goes:

"One word of caution, however, must be given at the outset; to know the mechanics does not mean that we are practicing the Disciplines. The Spiritual Disciplines are an inward and spiritual reality, and the inner attitude of the heart is far more crucial than the mechanics for coming into the reality of the spiritual life." I love that.

"In our enthusiasm to practice the Disciplines, we may fail to practice discipline. The life that is pleasing to God is not a series of religious duties. We have only one thing to do, namely, to experience a life of relationship and intimacy with God, "the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (James 1:17).

(!!!!!!!!!) "This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines-they are a way of sowing to the Spirit. The Disciplines are God's way of getting us into the ground; they put us where He can work within us and transform us. By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done. They are God's means of grace. The inner righteousness we seek is not something that is poured on our heads. God has ordained the Disciplines of the spiritual life as the means by which we place ourselves where He can bless us."

"In this regard it would be proper to speak of "the path of disciplined grace." It is "grace" because it is free; it is "disciplined" because there is something for us to do...The grace of God is unearned and unearnable, but if we ever expect to grow in grace, we must pay the price of a consciously chosen course of action which involves both individual and group life. Spiritual growth is the purpose of the Disciplines."
Okay, I think I might be breaking copyright laws.

Back to the service.
Back to the altar.
My favorite part was being with that dear family who had lost everything in a fire. I didn't want to leave them because the presence of God was so strong around them. I think it was because they were so broken and vulnerable and their walls were down because they were in shock. I felt His comfort and love for them and I got a glimpse of the back of their Job Book. I know that what will come to pass for them is greater than any good they've ever experienced before. I know those children will love the Lord and do great things for Him. I know that the unity caused by the pulling together of the body to meet their needs will cause God to command a blessing.
It will flow down like oil and anoint our heads.
Our cup will run over. Oil to spare.
Thank you, Thank you God.

Sunday Service-Mar. 7, 2010

Song-"...You're My Portion...

Prayer for the 40 or more pastors who came to our church this past Thursday. Names were 'on the wall' for us to see. Our church prayed out loud for these pastors and their churches and this was very meaningful to me personally. It is a personal dream come true-to have the pastors in the area united in one heart, praying for one another, asking God to send revival to our land. I'd like to see the pastor's wives get together. This can be a lonely role. No one can build the wall alone.

Prayed for missionaries, Bo and Holly, working in India. A young girl in a nearby village accepted Christ through their ministry. When they went back to check on her the following week, they found she had been sold into sex slavery. Dear Jesus, watch over that young girl, and keep her close to you, and deliver her from this evil done to her.

Prayer for Dan and Susan H.-life threatening difficulties for both and young children to raise. Healing, Hope, and Help.
Opening Comments:

Faith is a demonstration of commitment
to be in the presence of the One in whose power we stake our trust.
The woman with the issue of blood got into His presence.
Jesus didn't pray for her or lay hands on her.
She is the one who got in His presence.

PF-"I believe this is the time we'll see a Jesus who will open blind eyes, raise the dead, heal the leper and make the lame walk...Wash out of our systems all this religious and theological junk...The world needs to see a more than a 'Now I lay me down to sleep Jesus.'"

The gleaning time is over.
The time to use the sickle has come.
Last week we looked at Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall.
The workers were so committed to building the wall,
that they didn't change their clothes.
(NKJV says they only changed their clothes on wash days.)

We are so often consumed with our own crisis and needs that we strive after the miracle rather than the one who does miracles.

In the story of the demon possessed man, Jesus sent the man's demon's into the pigs. People came from the town and asked Him to leave. They would rather have had their demons than have the presence of Jesus. Jesus shakes things up. Some of us really don't want that.

The friends who took the paralyzed man and lowered him down from the roof of the house to be in the presence of Jesus, were looking for a healing for their friend. They weren't expecting that Jesus would forgive his sins. When we get in the presence of Jesus, He will first deal with our sins. The closer we get, the more He peels our onion. The closer we get, the more He deals with.

Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Jeremiah was lowered into a cistern with no water. Obedmelech went to the king and said, 'You have thrown 'the Word of God' away and now the Word of God is sinking in the mire.' (This is happening in our society today.) Obedmelech said that this is no way to treat the Word of God. He went to a chamber and pulled out filthy rags, tying them together, and went to rescue Jeremiah. Jeremiah wrapped them under his armpits and gently they pulled him out of the well, one filthy rag at a time.
Tie me up with someone else who is also a filthy rag. Tied together, we'll pull the Word of God out of the pit. God uses filthy rags.

David and Jonathan had such a great love for each other, the Bible says it was greater than the love between a man and a woman. Jonathan had on his princely robe and he gave it to David, who was wearing a shepherd's cloak. David was able to go about and do what he wanted to in freedom, because that princely robe carried the authority of royalty.
Would we be clothed with the presence of God that we could go and do those things in the Kingdom that we couldn't do before.

When you come into the Kingdom, there's an exchange of clothes. You are given a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. You are given a robe of righteousness and the filthy rags are cast aside.

When Jesus was born in a barn, His parents wrapped Him in swaddling clothes-a sign of poverty and brokenness; something to keep Him warm.
However, when this same baby Jesus was laid in a tomb as a grown man, and rose back to life, He left His swaddling clothes behind.
There was a separation in the tomb between the clothes that represented Jesus as the Son of God and Jesus as the Son of Man. And His clothes were folded in such a way that the people of that culture understood that He was coming back.

Our bodies are just clothing for the Spirit of God to dwell in.
Prophecy over your children. Write their names beside Scriptures that you want to see fulfilled in their lives. It will mean a great deal to them if they ever read your Bible, and they will understand why that Word is Rhema in their lives. God's word will not return void.

Beautiful Pottery grown more valuable
with Time and eternal prayer from a Mother's heart:

Isaiah 62:9-12
'But those who have gathered it (the harvest) shall eat it, and praise the LORD; Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts. Go through, Go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples! Indeed the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the world; "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.'
And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD; And you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.'
I add some pottery that I've had on my shelf for awhile.

Is. 57:14, 15-"And one shall say, "Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people."
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."

God's presence is with the humble.
Revival comes to the contrite of heart.

Is. 58:12, 13-"Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In."

Is. 61:4-"And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations."

We are building a wall from the ruins of many generations. I find it interesting that when Nehemiah was directing the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem, more than 40 groups worked simultaneously. Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but isn't it fascinating, that more than 40 pastors came together, with only three days notice, to help rebuild the spiritual wall in this region. The trumpet will sound again on May 13, and they will come together with more workers than before, to encourage the call of God in each other's lives and to hold up each other's arms, lest they grow weary in the battle.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hertzler Doings-Mar. 8-15, 2010

Mon.-Went to Farmville and met Judy in Charlie's parking lot. She was a bit late so I was walking on the trail. She pulled in beside my car and I was a few hundred feet away and hit the panic button. Scared her to pieces. She thought she had hit my car. She was beginning to measure my waist right in the parking lot when an ambulance quietly going by put on their siren. Scared us both. By the time she got to measure my blood pressure, it was too high. I think it was because of all the excitement. After a lunch of taco salad and two desserts, my blood pressure was just right. It was so nice to celebrate her birthday this way and catch up on our news with each other. What a dear friend she is. We've decided, when we die, that we want banana splits served at our funeral meal. We both know this is what the other one wants and we will make sure it happens. I ran some more errands and came back home. Sent my health insurance paperwork in. Went to bed early. Head/sinus stuff going on. Susan has a verbal agreement with Tractor Supply to sell 10 of her rabbits for $10 each. They like that they are so tame. We'll take them in on Wed.

Tues-Decided to teach school even though I feel lousy. Quite a few of the teachers and students have the same thing, so perhaps it has something to do with the change of seasons. Really enjoyed this day at school. Fine tuning the songs for the program in a few weeks. Angela, our health consultant called in the late afternoon. I have officially graduated from the program and our insurance will be cheaper now. She said I look like a million bucks. She was asked by her boss if she has anyone to recommend for a video interview for their program and she recommended us. She said that she never enjoyed working with any family as much as she has enjoyed ours. She said she has seen how much we love each other. I have worried that I won't keep up with what I've learned; that I will just go hog wild and eat everything I see. But the idea of having someone come and video tape us certainly helps. Is it normal to feel unworthy of her affirmations? Do I need to confess that I ate a lot of dessert yesterday and that our family doesn't always love each other the way we should? Is a way of life a way of life because that's who we are most of the time?

Wed.-Saddened by some news today but deepened a friendship in the processing of working through my sadness. Stayed home from church in the eve. Michael and Susan took rabbits to Tractor Supply and she is enjoying having that $100 bill. Then they went to youth group.

Thurs.-Mike and Susan went on a Field trip today to Staunton to see 'The Twelth Night'-a Shakespeare play. They loved it. Michael rode with Rindy, Braxton, and Sam K. She treated them to Chinese food afterwards. Susan enjoyed her ride with the Hublers. The guys are working around here, turning the milking parlor into a rec room. I went to Farmville with Jeanne. We stopped in to see Lindsay and they began to talk 'writing.' Lindsay said, "You have the coolest friends, and I'm one of them." You bet you are my dear. We were standing on her porch and saw someone delivering a meal to the man across the road. I said that that looks like Lisa H. It was. She and Paul do this twice a week. Three writer friends standing within 30 feet of each other. Four if you count me, although I am a different kind of writer than they are. Jeanne and I went to the accountants, the P.O., Walmart, Goodwill, the eye glass place, and Riverside. We were talking about prejudices people have with those who have a different church affiliation than themselves. (Jeanne is a Catholic and attends St. Teresa's in town. ) I told her that I don't have those barriers. She said that she has never met a Mennonite who was judgmental or prejudiced. She said that they always believe the best about people and are generous and accepting. It was interesting to hear that this was her perception and again, I was thankful, not only for my upbringing, but also for the culture of my upbringing. Some times, we take things for granted, when our parents and culture have paved the way to make things easier for us. My parents had missionaries in our home and we were exposed to other cultures through their stories. My mother invited 'fresh-air children' from NY city to spend several weeks with us every summer. Race made no difference.
My father's parents lived next door to Catholics and we would swim in their pool. Mrs. Sedario told my mother about the retreats that were held in their Catholic church. This got my mother to thinking and she began to plan retreats for the Mennonite women in our district. She formed a committee and served faithfully on that committee for 25 years. I benefited from that godly group of women that met periodically around our dining room table, eating hard Wege pretzels and drinking Russian Tea, praying and planning for events. I enjoyed the women speakers that came to the retreats and the things they shared were life changing. My parents weren't religiously Mennonite. My mother was the first women elder at their church. She was also the first woman to serve on the Mennonite High School Board. We got a TV before it was 'legalized' in our church. We didn't do things by the book. Once my father got mad at something the preacher said, and he got up and walked out of church. We all followed him like ducks in a row. (Six more of us.) He kicked the edge of the bench on the way out and I am not sure it was an accident. The preacher had bad mouthed my uncle from the pulpit and I am glad my dad walked out. Life sure could be exciting. How did I get off on all of this? Anyway, I am thankful for my roots and culture and I enjoy the roots and culture of others. I like diversity.

Fri.-Phil's been home working on the books and I've had little time to blog. Today we got ahold of G.Boy--- and confirmed the date and time for him to speak at CCA's graduation. Also, Janelle gave us a 'Yes' today. Michael was so excited. He said, "Praise the Lord. God is so good." He will like having his little cousin Micah around. Dan P. spent the afternoon and eve. with Philip and spent the night here. His parents are coming to visit him soon. Philip and Dan went ice skating at Liberty with the Harvest group. Philip had ice skated once in his life and he took to it like a pro, skating backwards, etc. falling once when someone pushed against him. Michael worked at Krogers. He was pushing carts in and a man came to the door around the same time and Michael motioned for him to go first. The man glanced at his tag and said, "You have class, Michael." He enjoys meeting people and he gives himself fully to his work. He shall stand with kings.

Sat.-Washed, cleaned house, cooked and prepared Chicken curry with rice for tomorrow's lunch. Phil took a long walk down to the low grounds and came back with a pocket full of imperfect arrowheads. Then he said, "I found two perfect arrowheads and the only way I could keep them safe was to keep them in my mouth." He proceeded to gently take them out of his mouth and reverently placed them into my reluctant hand. They were wet and warm. And perfect. Susan dipped eggs and cleaned her room and helped with the cows. I had a wonderful long talk with Mother. She seems so good. Her computer isn't working and that's why she wasn't responding to my e-mails. I worried in vain. Freeman called and was back in the states at Newark, NJ. Flight is delayed 2 1/2 hours. They'll get into DC late. Mark B. plans to drive them all back to the Bantons and then travel to Va. Beach where he has to preach tomorrow. Lindsay thinks they'll get in around 2 or 3. The morning starts an hour earlier tomorrow.

Sun.-Awake in good time. I've been waking too early anyway and maybe I'll get back into a more reasonable schedule with the time change. Good service in church. We stayed at home during the SS hour and heard from Freeman about his trip to Ireland. He got home around 2 this morning. He brought teas and chocolates and a beautiful promise necklace for Susan. Got to hold little Worth today during worship and when he was just about to fall asleep, I took him back to his dad, so if he woke up during the service, there wouldn't be the possibility of a disturbance. He is just so very precious. He kept looking at Susan. I think he loves her. Got to pray for a family at the altar today who have lost everything in a fire this past week. This family is unusually precious and all afternoon, I've been missing those three dear little boys. They are the kind that lean in when you hug them. They are not suspicious of those who want to love them. Ate Judy's lemon cookies on the way home. Oh my. I've had more sugar this past week than I've had for a year. I've got to stop this!!!! Help!!! Ate our wonderful African rice and chicken curry for lunch and saw Freeman's pictures from Ireland on the TV screen. Now I have another place I want to go to before I die. So many places to see. A high school friend who I've reconnected with on face book is in Haiti for a month, restructuring the educational system and helping with the rebuilding of schools. He is posting pictures on face book of the destruction and the people. Through the viewing of photos, I went from Ireland to Haiti within an hour.
Phil is reading 'Josephus.' Alli and Freeman are watching a movie. Kelli and Susan have gone for a hike and now they are in their 'man cave.' (camper) They also hiked to the river. Michael, Chace, and Jordan are here. I made a giant chocolate chip cookie for Chace's birthday. They had hot chocolate and cookies for Hertzler Sunday Supper. It's fun to hear them talk. Michael said Pastor Frank told him that he's looking pretty slick. "I'm going to have to call you 'Slick.'" Philip went to Harvest Chapel today with his Christi. We don't have to go out tonight. I love being home on a Sunday. I love having a day of rest.

Friday, March 5, 2010

More on Adoration

My friend, Jeanne, e-mailed me some comments on my blog 'Worship With Request.' I asked her if I could print them. I liked hearing about how her Catholic church and faith practices Adoration. This is what she shared.
On the first Friday of every month, they put the host (Jesus) out in the church for what is called Eucharist Adoration. They volunteer to spend an hour just sitting 'at His feet' in the church...adoring. That's it. Pray, bless, meditate, adore. She is hoping to take her turn today. She says it is the most refreshing thing to do, like a mini vacation, just to sit in church in absolute silence and peace and adore the Lord. She had to chuckle a little at my post. "It is hard," she says, "to quiet down enough to just adore sometimes and not let your cares and worries fill your prayer time...but it's Okay to do that too."

I think that in the process of adoring, our desires become one with His.
Then, when we do petition Him, our requests have taken on His very likeness.
We pray for things as He would pray for them.

One of these warmer days,
I am going to walk down to my cottage,
and spend an hour in my 'church'
just adoring Him.

I have a friend,
who sometimes sets her alarm
to go off every minute.
Each time the alarm goes off,
she brings her thoughts back to Jesus.

I wonder how hard it will be
to adore Him for an hour.
I may need some type of inner alarm system
to help me bring my thoughts back to Him.

I have a feeling that the more I do adore Him,
the easier it will be to adore Him.
I will find myself adoring Him
when I least expect it.

How long does it take to form a habit?
Perhaps the habit of adoring Christ for Himself alone
is a habit worthy of pursuit.

And even now,
as I envision the investment of sitting at His feet,
I feel His hand on my face
and hear His gentle voice asking me,
"What do you want me to do for you?"

From my heart comes, "I want you to heal Lawrence and my mother and breathe in them the breath of life. I want you to comfort my sister's heart. I want you to build safety nets at church so all those I love, would be kept safe should they fall. I want you to use my son Freeman, to bring your word to school kids in Ireland. I want my children to love you with all their hearts. I want to be taught your word. I want the deep things of God. I want to simplify my life so I can love you better. ..."

I look at my requests.
They are His desires too.
And I adore Him even more.

Humble Casting

I saw something different as I was reading in the book of 1 Peter 5:6,7.

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

How many times have you heard these verses divided into two separate parts?
Rarely have I associated them as being connected with each other.

But what if they are?

What if humbling ourselves has a direct correlation
on whether we are able to cast our cares on Him?

How many of our cares are rooted in pride?
How many of our cares are concerns about how others perceive us?

According to the notes in my Bible,
the word 'care' comes from the word 'merimna'.
'Meiro' means "to divide" and 'noos' means "the mind."

When we have cares,
our mind is divided by anxious thoughts, burdens, and distractions.

A quote from my notes-"'Merimna' means to be anxious beforehand about daily life. Such worry is unnecessary, because the Father's love provides for both our daily needs and our special needs."

The verses before these exhort young people to submit themselves to their elders.
But then it goes on to say that we should all be submitted to one another and we should be clothed with humility because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. If we humble ourselves under God's hand, then He will exalt us in good time.

If we were submitted to others, we wouldn't be prideful, would we?
We wouldn't be so worried about hiding our shortcomings from them.
Instead of waiting for life to humiliate us and worrying about hiding that humiliation,
we'd humble ourselves under God's hand and submit ourselves to others of like faith who are also clothed with humility.

Those clothed with humility aren't judgmental.
They know where they've come from and where they are going
and they just might take out a towel
and humbly wash our feet
if we humble ourselves enough to allow our feet to be washed.

The bottom line is this...
He cares for us.

That's why we submit to others.
That's why we humble ourselves.
That's why we cast our cares on Him.

Banqueting Table

Everyday, God prepares a bountiful table and invites us to feast.
It is up to us to eat.
If we need milk, there is milk.
If we need meat, there is meat.
We don't all need the same kinds of food.
He knows just what we need.
These are some of the wonderful words I ate today.

"My Strong Rock"-'Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily; be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me." Ps. 31:2

No sorrow of men is so deep and dark and bitter as to be without refuge, a rock, a safe retreat. My soul, however deep thy sorrow, however dark thy sin, however hopeless thy lot among men, the Man of Sorrows bore thy sin in His own body on the tree. He carried all thy grief. He is thy "Strong Rock." A strong, safe house, in which I am defended from myself, the world, the devil.'

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee. Amen."
(C.E.Hurlburt and T.C. Horton-'Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord')
"...(We) stagger beneath a weight which He would not f
eel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to Him but as the small dust of the balance. See! the Almighty bends His shoulders, and He says, "Here, put your troubles here." 'Come unto Me and I will give you rest.'
(Charles Spurgeon-'Daily Help')

"The fact is that the same moment which brings the consciousness of having sinned, ought to bring also the consciousness of being forgiven....We can only walk in this path by looking continually unto Jesus, moment by moment; and if our eyes are taken off of Him to look upon our own sin and our own weakness, we shall leave the path at once..."(Hannah W. Smith-'The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life.')

"Love each other as God loves each one of you, with an intense and particular love. Be kind to each other.
It is better to commit faults with gentleness than to work miracles with unkindness."..."If we want others to become aware of the presence of Jesus, we must be the first ones convinced of it." (Mother Teresa-'No Greater Love')
"We can cultivate an inner solitude and silence that sets us free from loneliness and fear. Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment," ..."if we possess inward solitude we do not fear being alone, for we know that we are not alone. Neither do we fear being with others, for they do not control us. In the midst of noise and confusion we are settled into a deep inner silence. Whether alone or among people, we always carry with us a portable sanctuary of the heart."
(R. Foster)
..."One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation, and despair."
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
"Therefore , we must seek out the recreating stillness of solitude if we want to be with others meaningfully. We must seek the fellowship and accountability of others if we want to be alone safely. We must cultivate both if we are to live in obedience."
(Richard J. Foster-'Celebration of Discipline' on 'Solitude' and quoting D.Bonhoeffer)

Hertzler Doings-Mar 1-7, 2010

Mon-Home, working on budget-I love it!-wash-cleaning up.

Tues.- Met Lisa H. at Baine's for another good deep time of fellowship. She kept the tab open as her treat. She said she's always wanted to say, "Keep the tab open." I think it made us both feel rather grown up. Played 'Freeze Dance' with the 8-12 graders-something I normally do with the younger children. I play music and they move to it and freeze when I stop the music.

Wed.-Awake until about 3:30 this morning. "Safety Nets" are weighing heavily on me. I keep praying, asking God to put them in place. Phil and Philip left for Fla. to hunt wild boar with Bob W. at 3 this morn. Alli and Freeman went to the Babcock House in the eve. to celebrate their first year anniversary together. They went there on their first date a year ago. Didn't go to church in eve. Bushed. Watched American Idol with Alli and Freeman.

Thurs.-Happy 13th Birthday Susan! No snow this time around. We went into the hospital during a snow storm on the 3rd of March. All labor stopped when I got there but the doctor refused to let me go home in the storm. I had her the next day. She was always beautiful.
Michael home with sore throat, sinus congestion, and the tiredness of leftover mono.
Went to Farmville to run some errands. Met Candi for lunch at Mercks. Went to Lindsay's for a meeting with other women to plan events for the church women. Had Lindsay take a picture of me. She e-mailed it to me, and I e-mailed it to Angela, my health insurance consultant, when I got home. She called immediately and said how great I looked. She said I should get my paper work in. I felt guilty because I was eating pizza when she called. Good thing the phone doesn't have a camera. Hope to graduate this Sunday/Monday from the program. Philip called and said Phil shot a 250 pound wild boar. He sent the picture. This pig looks like a huge bear. It is longer than Phil strung up. He's bringing it home in coolers. Getting a sore throat. Susan signed up with Face book since she is now 13. Makes her so happy.

Fri.-Michael home again. Feeling a bit better but just laying around. Slept on easy chair last night since the exhaust fumes from the heater out in the barn (drying drywall) is deadly. Catching up on blogging and facebook and getting ready for Susan's party tomorrow. Throat getting better. Freeman packing and doing wash to get ready for his trip to Ireland. All his support money came in to the dollar. Phil shot another boar-175 lb. Alli and Freeman went to see Alice in Wonderland. (Allison Wonderland)
Susan and I watched 'The Silver Chair' and Michael went to work. Went to bed early. Slept 7 hours straight and then two more!

Sat.-Cleaned house. Freeman flying to Ireland today with Chi Alpha group. Susan cooked up pizza toppings. Went to Farmville and picked up Kelly G., Kelli S., Cassidy, and Sara. Took them shopping at Dollar Tree and Walmart. They bought big glasses at Dollar Tree and wore them into Walmart. Brought them back home and they took their things to the camper and went to the creek. Made their own homemade pizzas and acted crazy with silly string, water balloons and a prank phone call to a poor guy. Making Chex Mix for movie time. Kelli and Sara are leaving around 7 after they have some of Susan's birthday cake. Three brownie layers with Snickers and Reeses Peanut Butter Cup ice cream covered with Cool Whip. The Streams-PR, Lisa, and Alli, came to pick up Kelli and Sara. It's interesting- life. Every day, I learn something new, and everyday, there are more people to love. Who would have ever thought that the first person to greet Freeman(and the rest of our family) when we first came to New Life would be his future father-in-law? After that first day, Freeman said, "I don't know where you guys are going to church, but I know where I'm going." Cassidy, Susan, and Kelly watched a movie and then spent the night in the camper. Lindsay sent me a picture entitled 'Mine and Yours' or 'Yours and Mine.' It was a picture of my Freeman and her Adi hugging each other hard. So sweet.

Sun.-It was a cold night for the girls because Susan couldn't figure out how to get the heater working and they were too scared to come in the house in the dark. They got to sleep around 3 and woke up soon after 6. I made baked oatmeal with raspberries, blueberries, and black berries in it for breakfast. Good service at church. Anna came home here with Philip and Michael and Dan came later and they were playing video games in their room on this beautiful sunny day. Susan caught newts for her science class, I went to my cottage and read for awhile, and Phil slept. He is worn out from driving to Fla on Tues. and driving back on Sat. and hunting boar and preparing a bid for a job in the time between. Gil had a message on e-mail this morning that the team had arrived safely in Ireland. Judy didn't get to church to weigh me etc. so we're meeting at Charlie's parking lot tomorrow at 11 and she'll take my vitals before she treats me for lunch. We are celebrating her57th birthday and she wants to treat me to lunch since 'this is what makes her happy.' (Note to self-Achey and tired, joints sore. Wondering if Lymnes is acting up. Even the bump on my head where I got stitches when I was 16 is sore. Should stay off of corn for a week and see if that helps. Popcorn, my favorite, seems to give my joints pain.) Financial Peace class this eve. Taking Anna back to town with us. Busy Busy week ahead.