Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hertzler Doings-April 26-May 2, 2010

Mon.-Great day. Home alone with time to study, exercise, clean up outside and inside, planted more potatoes, sweet potatoes, and grape tomatoes-especially for Micah, and striped tomatoes. Planted pretty pink petunias and other pinks.

Tues.-Wonderful day at school. Ruritan Club in the eve. Michael came along to thank them for the scholarship. A husband and wife sang and their adult daughter helped them. He played a steel pedal guitar that he had made himself. She was a hoot as Phil would say; a truly funny person. We asked them to come to the pig roast. She said to call her and remind her. She was using oxygen and said it was her best buddy after nearly dying a year ago.
Roof completely finished on Janelle's house.

Wed.-Yesterday, a little boy was crying because one of his best friends, a little girl, was mad at him. He felt completely misunderstood because she was angry at something that wasn't even true and she had not allowed him to explain. I used some of the things I learned at the Beth Moore Seminar and told him that no one should have that much power in his life; that Jesus loved him and that was his security; to be nice to her and give her some space; and that tomorrow, they would be friends again. He was almost sitting on my lap during this conversation and another of his buddies had their arm around him reassuringly. And you know what? He got it. He brightened up and was happy the rest of the class. When they asked where Miss Christen was and I told them and said we were going to pray for her, he asked, "Can I pray for her?" And he prayed a prayer I wish I could have engraved in stone. He thanked God for the beauty of the day even as he prayed for her health. He went on and on and ever word was significant. I thought of his struggles with learning and had a sudden revelation that God will use his struggles to call him to a work in which the fruit of compassion will be a much needed entity. I had to cover my face with my hands and hold back the sobs. Today, I saw him walking side by side with his restored friend. I asked him if things were better. He nodded with a gentle smile, and tossed these words over his shoulder, "I guess I showed her who's boss.
Makes me laugh again just writing it.

Ran into a friend at Walmart in the eve. and when she asked me how I was, I decided to tell her about a situation that troubled me and she vowed her prayers and wrote to me later in the eve. and my heart was lifted to a higher idea of how God could really work in this situation. I almost missed it by saying everything was fine but what a blessing I would have missed.

Adina asked me today to share with the young girls about my journey of faith regarding the death of my brother in law. I think this journey will be in a process for a long time. I have no easy answers and am only sure of one thing; God is with me.

Thurs/Fri.-Working around home. Got the fire ready to be lit down at the river. Lisa H., Judy, Crystal T., and Karen P. came for my river party. Quite a few others had wanted to come and something came up and it ended up being just the five of us. We had a wonderful time. Phil took them down to the river on a hayride. He attached the trailer to the 4 wheeler. They stopped at my little chapel and I showed them around. Judy was down alone at the river for an hour, watching and feeding the fire. We all want to do this again soon.

Oh-Ryan and Michael Petersheim and Bronson Fox came down to hunt turkey. They arrived early Fri. morning. I see glimpses of them here and there. Michael brought me hard PA pretzels and his eyes get all soft when he talks about the new 6 week old baby at his house. He showed me lots of videos and pictures. Little Mark looks like a Petersheim.

Sat.-Heart of Va. Festival. Susan with youth handing out invitations to church and D.G. coupons. I ran around with Sammy Jo and Judy and then with Carleen after they left. It was hot and breezy and we had fun. I love to come home to the quiet but there is always something in me that loves the crowd and I always think how much Jesus loved the masses. He saw them as sheep without a shepherd. I also love to see the amazing creativity amidst the artists-especially the musicians, the artists, jewelers, photographers, and potterers. God has so much creativity that He spills it out on millions of people. They think their idea is new but God gave it to them, and there are many more new ideas to be received from Him. I ran into an acquaintance from church whose baby was driving her bunkers because he wouldn't go to sleep and I asked if he'd come to me and he snuggled right in and went to sleep. And now I have a new love-Aden H. Lisa showed me the church offices in the Daily Grind building and I gained an appreciation for the wide scope of work that was needed to get them built as well as the work still needed to get the rooms ready at church. Came home and did some wash, cleaning, and blogging. Watched 'The Princess Diaries' with Susan. Freeman grilled ribs for all the guys.

Sun.-Church. Lunch with Freeman, Alli, Kelli S. and Susan. Watched 007 and went to Financial Peace Class in eve. Michael and Philip made lunch at the river with their guy friends. Bad storms in middle states. 20 inches in a short time at some places. Tornadoes and high winds. Failed terrorist bomb in Times Square. Giant oil spill in gulf. I think we are watching prophecy being fulfilled every time we turn on the news. Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me, Jesus said.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Sinful Woman

In the Asian culture,
there is an open door policy.
People can walk right into your home.

In Thailand,
after Johnny (Phil's brother) was killed,
Janelle came down the stairs
a day or two after the accident
to find a strange man kneeling
in front of the picture of John,
praying to him
and imploring him for forgiveness.
To take a life is unforgivable
in the Thai culture.
In fact, there is no word
for 'forgiveness'
in that culture.

The man,
who had taken Johnny's life
through his drunkenness,
wanted Johnny to forgive him
and had come to his home
to pray to his picture
and ask for something
he didn't understand.

I say all that to say that in the Thai culture
and in the culture of the story I am
about to tell,
people can walk right into your home
because the door is literally open.

Also, in the Thai culture,
feet are considered dirty and disgusting.

If you point your feet towards someone,
you have insulted them.
The last thing one wants to do
is to touch another's feet.

I wonder if it was so in Jesus' day.
Simon was a Pharisee.
He asked Jesus to come to his house
for dinner, so Jesus went.
He sat down on the floor around the low table
with His feet angled behind Him.

A woman in the city
who was a sinner,
heard that Jesus was at Simon's house,
so she took an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,
and walked right up to where Jesus reclined
at the table.

She stood behind Him weeping.

She bent down and began to wash His feet
with her tears, and wiped them
with the hair on her head.

She cried and cried
and with her tears,
she washed His dusty feet.

Then she began to kiss them.

I can just see her doing that.

Not only did she wash His feet,
she kissed His feet,
and then she anointed them
with the fragrant oil.

The very oil that she used to entice men
she poured out on Jesus.

The very oil that she bought with her
earnings of prostitution,
she poured out on Jesus.

She gave it all to Him.
She was never going to use it again.

She entered Simon's house as a sinner.
She washed Jesus' feet as a sinner.

I wonder how she knew Him.
I wonder why she loved Him so much.
There is more to this story than what
is written in The Book.

Of course,
the Pharisee knew what kind
of woman she was
and He didn't think much of Jesus' discerning skills.

But Jesus went on to tell Him a story
of two people who were in debt to the
same person.
One was in a lot of debt
and the other
was not.
"Simon, which one of the people
who owed money appreciated
the forgiveness of their debt the most?"

"Well, the one who was forgiven the most,"
Simon Says.

"That's right," said Jesus.
"Do you see this woman?
She has done for me what you did not do.
She has washed my feet with her tears,
and you didn't even give me water to do so.

You gave me no towel,
but she used her hair like a towel.
You gave me no kiss
and she has not stopped kissing
my feet since I've come in.

You didn't anoint my head with oil
but she has anointed my feet with oil.

It is true, she has many sins.
But I forgive her
because she loves me so much.
She has been forgiven much,
therefore, she loves much.

You have been forgiven little,
therefore, you love little."

Then He looked at that
woman, who had only
understood her value
by her usefulness to men,
and He said,
"Your sins are forgiven you.
Your faith has saved you.
Go in peace."

And they were amazed that
He had the authority to forgive sins.

I love that woman.

In one night,
she poured out all of her sensuality
on the only safe man around.

She gave Him what she had never
given any man ever before.

She gave Him her trust.
She trusted that He would not reject her.

How brave she was in her brokenness.
How courageous was her love.

She went away with a new identity.

Her flask of oil was empty;
her face no longer ashamed.

I love her for what she did for Him.
And I love Him for what He did for her.

Luke 7:36-50

Sunday Sermon-April 18, 2010

I'm a bit late in blogging last week's sermon and I'm a bit tired after being with Beth Moore and lots of ladies all day, so I have decided to write about what I came away with from last week's sermon and the Word, etc. instead of blogging from my church notebook notes.

#1-Malachi 3:1 says, "..the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple.."
Pastor Frank talked about how God will come to those who seek Him. "Make us a seeker of God. May You seek Yourself in me."

Then I kept on reading in Malachi.

"But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner's fire
and like launderers' soap.
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the LORD
An offering in righteousness."

I wrote in my notebook after I read those words,
Or maybe Pastor Frank said this; I'm not sure anymore:

"Just as He cleansed the temple first when He rode into Jerusalem
so He will cleanse the sons of Levi when He comes.
The sons of Levi are the priests; the leaders.
As go the leaders, there go the people.
The priests are the ones who offer the sacrifices.
He will purge the priests as gold and silver is tried
that they may offer to the Lord an offering of righteousness."

We would think that the priests are the pastors,
the board members, the deacons, the leaders, etc.
and we would be right.
But God's Word says that we
as believers,
are a royal priesthood,
a holy nation and that He has made us kings and priests
to His God and Father.
The Word of God was written to all of us;
not just the leaders of the church.
We are all held accountable for what is in the Word.

So we should all be ready for His cleansing work.
I am quite sure He's been doing it for some time
and I am quite sure that He is going to 'step up'
His purging process with fire
and His cleansing process with soap.
I wonder if the soap is what washes off
the remains of the ashes from the fire.

The reason for this refinement
is so that our offerings to Him
would be full of integrity and righteousness,
so that our words of praise in the supernatural
would reflect the life we are living in the natural.

The part that scares me is this:
"Who can endure the day of His coming
and who can stand when He appears?"
No one will be pointing any fingers on that day.
We will all be on our faces.

But if we endure it,
and we are cleansed,
then we will be able offer
to God the
purified wine of our worship
in goblets of gold and silver
that have no blemish.
It will be worth it to Him
and it will be worth it to us.
#2-When Jesus came out of His testing in the wilderness
He was prepared for the ministry. He was ready to be a leader.
It will be the same with us.
I've been thinking about this all week.
These words struck like a good arrow into the depths of my heart.
#3-To obey is better than sacrifice.

This was my own personal lesson.
Many people were up at the altar and I was back with
someone else during the prayer time.
I felt I should sit with this couple who seemed
confused by what was going on.
They are newer to the church.
I felt that I should sit beside them just to be with them.
But I didn't.
I kept on being partially involved with
the sacrifice at the altar.
And I am sorry that I missed it.
I hope I have another chance.
Because to obey is better than sacrifice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hertzler Doings-April 19-25, 2010

Mon.-Took my Sabbath Rest this morning. Read mother's journals. Decided that the best way to do her honor with them is to make her own blog site and enter her writings. Exercised. Walked to the river and laid face down in the sunny sand. This is my altar. The rippling waters. The quiet land. I saw a tree across the river that seemed to be alive. Looking closer, I saw that it was full of monarch butterflies. Dozens of them. And they kept coming from other places and congregated at the one spot. Oh, the extravagance of God. And I think He did it just for me. Ran some errands. Picked up kids. Susan has achievement tests this week. Mike doesn't have to go in until after lunch since he's a senior. Freeman dressed in camouflage and made war on the crows who are eager to eat the new corn sprouts. Philip working on the roof of Janelle's house. Susan and I stopped in to see Ray and him and Philip was walking on the two by four on the edge of the roof. He didn't see us and I didn't want to distract him especially with the nail gun in his hand and Ray 1 1/2 stories beneath him. Planted more garden in eve. with all but Freeman who is at Chi Alpha. Beans, beets, cucs, canteloupe, watermelon, yellow squash, and zucchini. My oldest brother joined facebook today. He asked me to be his friend and I was his first one. Now I'll have to behave. Phil working in fields today. I love his golden faced happiness. Someday, he will get to farm full-time.

Tues.-Picked up Lisa H. in the morn. and we went to our favorite hangout at Baines. Such a good time. Want to get together as families and play 'Dictionary.' We both played it growing up.
Taught school in afternoon and it was a bit rough. I think I tried to get too much done and the younger children were worn out with all the testing. Should have taken them outside after just a bit of music class. Freeman shot a turkey and made it in his special way. That boy can cook!
Found out from Gil that I am on staff next year for leading a small group of Longwood Chi Alpha girls through Cleansing Streams. So excited about that.

Wed.-Didn't sleep much last night. Thinking too much about the day before. Michael called on way to school. He was getting numb and tingly. Got him an appt. right away at Dr. F.'s and she thinks he had an allergic reaction to something. He ended up going back home from school since they cancelled regular classes. He's going to housesit for someone for about a week starting tonight. I'll miss him. Church in eve.

Thurs-Shopped with Lori K. all day in Lynchburg. Found my dress for the wedding, plus jewelry, and shoes. Had a blast.

Fri.-Happy Birthday, dear Mother. She is 85 today. What a lovely Mother and Grandma she is.
I hope you have many more years, Mother dear.
Susan off school. Michael helping with golfing tournament. Made watercress soup and froze alot of watercress so I can make it later. Incredible. Washed. Cleaned. Cooked. Sat. jobs because I'll be at Beth Moore tomorrow. Guys are getting Janelle's house completely undercover. Trusses were finished and half of roof as of yesterday. Phil planting more sweet corn. He's happy and lovable and close to home.
Bronson Fox came down this eve. Turkey hunting with Freeman tomorrow.

Sat.-Beth Moore Satellite Seminar at Cornerstone Christian Academy. 300,000 women viewing from around the country. She gave a shout out to our school at the beginning. At the end, one of the teacher's wanted to get our group to sing, 'In Christ Alone.' Then, the worship leader, led it at the end of the conference. Pretty amazing. 18 women from New Life there. Wonderful day. "So Long Insecurity.

Sun.-Church. Relaxing afternoon. Getting addresses together for invitations. Financial Peace Class in eve.

I'm King!

Have you ever played 'King of the Mountain?'

We played that game alot growing up.

There was a little hill at the property where we
waited for the school bus.

One of us would scramble to the top of the knoll-
just a few steps-
and yell,"I'm King!"

We remained 'King' until
a sybling came and pushed us
off and then they would yell,"I'm King!"

And this is the way the game continued until the bus came.

even now,
I get caught up in playing 'King of the Mountain.'
But I'm getting pretty weary of all the climbing
and the pushing.

I don't want to play anymore.

How do I stop playing the game?

Does climbing the mountain make me fair
game to those who still want to be King?

What if I am climbing the mountain for other
reasons than wanting to be King for a moment?

Do I have to play according to the rules
even if I am no longer playing?

Do I have to give the appearance of playing the game
in order not to be injured while not playing the game?

What a merry-go-round!
What a ferris wheel ride!
I'm sick and tired of this game!
And I am mad, too.

I am walking away 'from this 'King of the Mountain' game.

I'm running my race to a different drummer.
I'm breaking out of the mold.

The bus is here and I'm getting on.

I'm going up to the Mountain of the Lord
where He will teach me His ways
and show me how to walk in His paths.

I'm climbing up to the top to be with the real King.

Here, at the top, no one can jostle Him from His place.
Here, at the top, there is room for all.

Won't you ride the bus with me?
Every valley shall be exalted.
Every mountain and hill shall be made low.

My Worry about Heaven

That doesn't sound right, I know.
One shouldn't have any worries about heaven.

But for years,
I was just a tad troubled with the thought
that I wouldn't get to be alone with Jesus
in Heaven.

After all,
Billions and trillions of people will be there.

But then,
I heard someone repeat the simple scripture
'Let not your heart be troubled;
Neither let it be afraid.
I go to prepare a place for you,
that where I am,
there you may be also.'
Jesus said it to His disciples.

The person went on to explain
that this place Jesus would prepare
was my own special place
where just He and I
could spend time together.

And that took care of my one and only worry about Heaven.

This is What it Looks Like When Someone Loves God

What does it look like when someone loves God?

Some might say,"If you love God, then you'll dress this way."
Others might say,"If you read Scriptures and honor the symbols of the cross and communion, then you love God."
Still others might say, "If you sing to Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; if you worship Him around the throne-then we know you love God."

Dress right.
Do things right.
Worship right.

What does Jesus think it looks like when we love Him?

He said, "If you love me, you will obey my commandments."
Love me with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
And love your neighbor as yourself."

Love is patient and kind.
Love does not envy; nor is it proud.
Love is not rude or selfish.
Love thinks the best about someone and is glad when the truth is good.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This is how Jesus loves us.
This is how He wants us to love each other.

We can dress modestly and lead a quiet
passive life,
but if we do not love our brother,
then we stand alone in self-righteousness,
proud and plain.

We can reverence His Word and His Ways,
but if we do not love our brother,
then the things we do become a list of rules
and sound like vain repetition.

We can worship God loudly around the altar
and seek His face,
but if we do not love our brother,
we are a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

We strive to show God how much we love Him by the way we dress,
the way we live, the way we worship.
We strive to show that we are His disciples by applying rules
such as do this and look like this.

How quickly we can change from one form of religion to another.

This is what it looks like when Heaven comes down:
Sincere love among the brethren.
Prayer instead of gossip.
Making others feel at home.

Jesus loves me.
Jesus prays for me.
Jesus makes me feel at home.

If I love God, I'll love you too,
and you will know I do.
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples;
if you love one another as I have loved you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fell to the Ground

When I was growing up,
we had beautiful art work on our walls.

I remember the picture of Jesus
standing at the door and knocking
and the picture of Jesus
as a boy of about twelve,
and the picture of Jesus
holding the sheep in His arms.

And I remember the picture of Jesus
praying in the garden.

I looked up that picture on-line.
The artist portrayed Jesus as kneeling
with His elbows
on a rock, tranquil face lifted up
to His loving Father in Heaven.

I read four little words in Mark today
that I never saw before.
He was giving the account of what
happened in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus asked His disciples to sit at a specific
spot, and then He took Peter, James, and John
with Him and they went in further.

He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.
"My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.
Stay here and watch."
We know that they were unable to stay awake.

Then Jesus went in a bit farther,
and He 'fell to the ground.'

He didn't kneel serenely by a rock to pray.
He fell to the ground.

"If there's another way, Oh my Father,
take this cup from Me!
If there's another way besides
this narrow way, please reveal it now!

Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done."

face down in the dirt,
His dark locks damp from midnight dew,
robe stained with grass and bloody sweat,
moaning, groaning, weeping,
writhing with torment,
wiping His face on the folds of His garment,
trembling with horror and dread.

Retching Wretchedness.
Lonely Loneliness.
Agonizing Agony.

So utterly human.
So utterly God.

I wish I could have been there with You, Jesus.

I wish I could have been there with You-
groaning in sympathy,
holding your hand,
wiping your tears.
Watching, for God knows what.

Would I have been Your friend in the garden
if I could have been Your friend in the garden?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Except Ye Become

During music class today,
we were learning a new song,
"In Christ Alone."
I was helping some of the younger children
understand the
meaning of the words, "Fiercest Drought."

They understood that fierce
means something that is really, really bad,
and that a drought means you are very thirsty
and needy in a bad time.

"We don't know why bad things happen,
but what we do know is that God is always with us."

"Everything happens for a reason,"
a wise little girl quoted.
I choked back a sob as I looked at her,
knowing a bit of the fierce drought
she may face in the next few months.

I was sitting on the piano bench,
and the little guy to my left
looked me right in the eye and asked,
"Why DO they happen?"

"Well, I don't know.
Sometimes things happen because
there is sin and we live in a fallen world.
People have free will and sometimes
we are affected by their choices.
Sometimes our environment can
make people sick. "

The same little boy said," Sometimes
it's our likes. If we like to travel over
bumpy roads every day,
we can shake up our kidneys
and that can make us sick...
And sometimes, it's our attachments..."

"Oh-like attachments to alcohol...or tobacco..."
And we talked about the things we do
and what we are responsible for.

"I don't think God tries to make bad
things happen to us," I said.
"No," said the wise little girl again.
"It's not like He's up there saying,
'I'm going to make you go through
this bad thing and punish you.'"

I wish I could really capture the conversation
and let you hear their voices and see their sweet faces.

We talked about the meaning of 'the heights of God's
love' and 'the depths of peace'
and that no matter what happens,
God's love will never leave us.

Then we sang the first verse again.

"In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hertzler Doings-April 12-18, 2010

Mon.-Nice day at home, catching up on wash, cleaning, writing. Went to get groceries. A lady asked me in the parking lot if she could ask me a question. Said she worked for the Times-Virginian newspaper. She asked me what I love most about spring and I said, "The bluebells that blanket our land down at the river." Then she took my picture and said that it will be in the Wed. paper. On the way home, Kincaid and Parks were reading the funny stories they made up.

They must have filled in some blanks and then somehow, it makes a really silly story. Parks was going to live in a mansion and make a hundred dollars a month, or was it a year? No children. Kincaid was going to live in an igloo at the beach and be a multi-millionaire with 10 children. His wife was rolled over by a steam roller and they had her mounted on the wall. I said that I am going to have to blog this. I made typing movements with my hands to their mother and said that I was going to go home to write and she said, "Oh, no." She never knows what they're going to say. Parks was in tears the other day in class when he realized that Michael would no longer be carpooling with us after he graduates. I love these dear little boys.

Phil is sealing Janelle's basement and tomorrow the concrete will be poured. Susan and I stopped in to see the progress on the way home from school.

Oh-at Kroger's today, the bagging lady asked me if Michael was coming in today. The check out lady said, "I thought you might be his mother. You look just like each other." They both went on to say what a wonderful, polite young man Michael is. He changes the whole atmosphere in that place. We always did call him 'Sunshine.' The other day, when it was so windy, and tornado warnings abounded, he escorted a frightened customer to her car and went to get the carts. He said, 'I am going to let my hair down.' And soon his long red hair was flying through the air as he skipped around the parking lot. The NJ Kroger lady thought that was so cool. He said that they all had so much energy and I think it was because of on the negative and positive ions flying around in the atmosphere.

Planted some red flowers and yellow snapdragons around the lavender lilac bush. God's tabernacle colors. Walked to my cottage and straightened it up a bit. Spring cleaning time.

Tues.-Great to be back in a schedule and teaching school. Working on 'Be Thou My Vision' and 'In Christ Alone' for graduation songs. Made bruschetta with Susan for supper. Best tasting so far. Allergies are having a bad effect on the respiratory systems at school. Some of the children have awful coughs and some of their eyes are burny and watery. Showed the K's how to make dandelion curley cues today in water. Music class wasn't going so well. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Alan's birthday today. In my mother's diary that she is typing up, she wrote how Alan always took care of me...getting me out of the mud, etc...and that we loved each other so much. He was 5 and I was 2. He's always watched out for me.

Wed.-Enjoyed this day. It is not hard to love teaching when you love the students. They tell me so many things about their lives. In one class, I was helping them to understand the words to 'In Christ Alone.' "Fiercest drought"-what does that mean? And we talked about how God is with us through the hard times of life. Church in eve. with Sara. Always good.

Thurs.-Day at home to study, write, clean, cook, wash. Love those days. Conservationalist Cornelia met with Phil and I in the afternoon. Took watercress over to Helen for market. Have made $40 in two harvestings so far. In eve. Helen and I took Bethany to Dr. F's for her to 'fix' Bethany's whacked out shoulder. My picture in the paper today.

Fri.-'Be Thou My Vision'-Jo-Jo W.F. let me know on facebook that the Locust Grove bell choir played that at Naomi's funeral. I only remember Mother speaking on that day. Then Freeman said that 'In Christ Alone' was sung at Johnny's funeral. Now these two songs are being sung almost daily at school in chapel and music class. So deep they are and rich and full. Bells played one at the funeral of my sis in law killed by a drunk driver and the other sung as a worship song at the funeral of my brother in law also killed by a drunk driver. The songs remain.

BLT's plus watercress, cheese, and onions-summer supper. Plus butter pecan and choolate ice cream. Heard about Dan's accident. Driver fell asleep. Truck totalled. All in truck banged up but Ok. Makes you think about how it could be over in a second. Thank you God for sparing so many people so much sorrow. Cleaning, gardening, walking to river today. Pig Roast invitations to printers. So many people are already saying the date doesn't suit. Good thing is that the place will get cleaned up. And we'll enjoy the presence of those who can come.

Sat.-Cleaned house, washed, cooked, dug up flower garden, cleaned up yard some, finished housecleaning cottage, etc. Susan to Casting Crowns with the Gibbs. Tom, Tommy, Serena, and Abbi came over this afternoon. Tom worked on tractor and Tommy mowed! Serena helped me pick up trash in the barn and yard. Abigail followed Freeman as he was cooking chili for this week's lunches. I remember how much I liked my older cousins. Now they are watching,'It takes Two.' I grilled some sandwiches for supper in the waffle maker. Hope to plant a garden yet tonight, if Tom and Phil can get the cultivator hooked up to the tractor. Phil plowed the lowgrounds today to get ready for planting. Michael at Krogers. Philip with Dan.

Sun.-Church. Went to the Banton's to pick up Emma and Adi so their parents could work on Chi Alpha leadership interviews. Phil asked Emma to help him drive the car on the way down the lane. She said no. Adi said no. He looked at me devastated and pretended to cry. Emma said she'd help afterall, so he got out of the car and took her out of her seat. She drove the whole way down the lane while he exclaimed how well she was doing. No wonder Susan had her own truck to drive around at age 12. The girls knew right where the playdough, paint, and crayons were and after a lunch of hotdogs and macaroni, they dove right in. No thought of a nap. I made some funnel cake type donuts and they were too good. The guys had their friends over and made bacon hamburgers over the fire. Philip rinsed off the old pan he brought back from the Abbey's throw away pile in the river and cooked the bacon and then cooked the burgers in the bacon grease. I heard how good they were from three different sources. They played some rook and watched a movie later on. Alli and Freeman joined us to play with the little girls for awhile in the afternoon. We took Adi and Emma back in the eve. and went to Financial Peace Class and Susan went to her small group. Started reading another Louis L'amour book in the eve. and stayed up too late. I love the whole idea of being a cowboy and this is why. They were always alert but not afraid. One could blog on that, and I will someday.

Janelle's house-outside framing finished and working on framing rooms and closets, etc. People amazed at how fast it is being built.

Celebration Sunday Service-April 11, 2010

Pastor Alvin led worship. He leads worship like my dad auctioneered. When Daddy picked up an item to sell, if you wanted it, you'd better jump in and bid, because he wasn't going to wait on you to make a decision before he sold it to someone else.

Favorite Song: "Let the Worshippers Arise"

Two wonderful 'relief's' came to me today.
Visitation means relief.

Pastor Frank's prayer-"...God, will you cleanse and take out the money changing religious stuff in my life and in the temple of God here."

PF-All cultures understand sorrow and celebration. We understand that the Last Supper was a table of sorrow, but the table that we share with each other today is a table of celebration.

Today we took part in Communion, a mass baby dedication-done nicely I might add, the right hand of fellowship where folks joined this church, and a baptism.

I recorded what the people shared before they were baptized.
Different folks were baptized by different pastors in the baptismal
of our church. A microphone was placed outside of the baptismal
and everyone hope it wouldn't fall in, especially those in the water.

The pastor said, "I baptize you into the death, burial, and resurrection
of Jesus Christ." Then the person being baptized was laid back into the
water and brought back up again. After they come out of the water,
someone who loves them
greeted them with a big towel, a big hug, and dry clothes.
Precisely in that order I do believe.

(Most of the people being baptized were adults.
A few children were baptized by the Children's pastor.
When he baptized Susan several years ago,
he threatened to hold her under the water longer,
but she didn't worry too much.)

These are the wonderful things I heard by those
anticipating baptism.
They were questioned by the pastor,
"Why do you want to be baptized?"
Their Answers:
"Because I love Him and He's powerful."
"I want to commit my life to Christ."
"Because Christ live in me."
"Because it's an outward reflection of my inward commitment to Christ."
"I want all my friends and family to know God is my Savior
and I want to rededicate my life to Him."
"I am ready to commit myself to God...this is an outward expression
of His love. "
"I want to move forward and reannounce my faith."
"I love the Lord and He's my Father."
"Because I love Jesus and I want to obey and honor Him."
"Because the Lord is the person I talk to in the morning...
and at night and I want to be closer to Him."

Pastor Frank baptized the last people and then he just
stayed in the water and talked to us from there.
For a moment, I was picturing how it was with Jesus
preaching in a boat, surrounded by water in the sea
and by people on land.
How did His voice reach to all of those people?

PF-God is a God of order. God expected obedience in the way sacrifices
were performed. The ark of the covenant had to be carried in a certain way.
The tabernacle was set in order with specific instructions
and when the time was right,
the Shekinah Glory of God came to rest in that place of order.

He sent Jesus in the fullness of time.
When things were in order in the Upper Room-
they were in one accord-
the Holy Spirit came upon them.
When the House of God was in order,
He added daily those who were being saved.

As we get things in order here-
families committed to raising their children in a godly way,
baptisms into the faith,
people joining the fellowship,-
we are preparing ourselves for a visitation from God.
(I hope our temple is one where He will not only visit but will dwell.)

Once in awhile, a seeker will seek God with such intensity
that God will step out of His normal way of doing things
and show up to reveal Himself to the seeker.

(I had a sudden understanding. With Janelle and Micah moving down here in June,
without Johnny,
my heart has been raw again with fresh grief. I miss him so much. But suddenly, I thought of how much Johnny sought God. I don't know of anyone who loved and worshipped and sought God more than Johnny. And God stepped out of His normal order of doing things, and instead of giving Johnny the normal 70 some years or more of life, He took him. The Seeker took the seeker home to reveal Himself to Johnny in the way Johnny desired. Johnny found what he was seeking for. I leaned over and said all this to Phil. It made him cry.)

PF-Anticipate a 'Suddenly.'
Suddenly there's a sound from heaven.
Suddenly someone is healed, delivered, saved.
(Suddenly, there is comfort for the broken-hearted.)
"Would you bring a suddenly to your house again?" (Pastor Frank's hearts cry.)

The other wonderful thing that happened to me today was this.

I was thinking about how when Jesus visited the temple,
He made things right.

Sometimes, I am troubled by certain things,
and suddenly I realized,
that if what troubles me
troubles Him,
then He will fix it when He comes.

But if I am troubled about things
that do not trouble Him,
then He will fix my spirit
so I am no longer troubled by what does not trouble Him.

He will either make things right
or He will make me right
so that either way,
I will be relieved by His visitation.

After He cleansed the temple,
the blind and lame came,
and He healed them all.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come.

Safety Nets

This burden just will not go away.

We all need safety nets.
Safety nets catch us if we fall.
Safety nets help us bounce back up.

The area in our life where people cannot touch
is most likely the area in our life where we are blind
and where we will most likely stumble and fall.

Having a safety net means someone is watching my back.

Having my back watched is like having a good solid
knot tied on one end of my safety net.

But, having a safety net also means that someone can
come to my face and speak words of loving truth
without being punished for it.

Having you watch my back ties the net behind me.
Having you free and willing to speak to my face secures the
safety net in front of me.

You are being loyal to me when you watch my back.
You are being loyal to truth when I see your face
and hear your words of admonition.

How sweet it is when one can remain
loyal to a person as well as to the truth.

How sweet it is when one doesn't have to
choose between tying one knot or the other.

Safety nets don't work when there's only one knot.
However painful the knotting of the net,
it sure beats the alternative.

Watch my back, will you?
And come, talk to me.

I Hope they never Know

My mother told me that someone asked my sister
how she was. It had been 7 months since her 23 year
old son was killed in a car accident,
and it was Christmas.
My sister said,"It's hard."
Her acquaintance said with some disbelief,

I just want to smack people.

I told this story to a friend who had lost a son
in a car accident as well.

She said that she had come to the realization that
people only understand if they've gone through it.
"Thank God they don't understand.
I hope they never do."

I keep thinking about her words.

Smacking people never helps anybody much.

But giving them understanding
and a prayer just might.

Words Worth Repeating

Some quotes I've enjoyed lately:

"Learn the lesson that if you are to do the work of a prophet,
what you need is not a sceptre but a hoe."
(Bernard of Clairvaus)

"To inoculate me from the praise of man,
He baptized me in the criticism of man,
until I died to control of man."
(Francis Frangipane)

"The fact that someone LOVES TO LEAD
never impresses me. I want to know,
Do you love THE PEOPLE you lead?"
(Rick Warren)

"Strive to be first:
first to nod,
first to smile,
first to compliment
and first to forgive."
(from the (not-s0) Secret Society of Happy People's
Facebook page)

"We do ourselves and others a disservice
when we make old age something
to be feared.
Life is not a resource
to be used up, so that the older we get,
the less life we have left.
Life is the accumulation
of wisdom, love, and experience
of people encountered
and obstacles overcome.
The longer we live,
the more life we possess."
(Rabbi Harold Kusher)

"I have found that writing my fears
down one by one can often remove the panic
I feel when they are invading me
like a hostile army.
When we look at them lying helpless
in black and white on the pages of our journal,
they often assume their proper size."
(Morton T. Kelsey)

"They also serve
who only stand and wait."
(John Milton)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 4, 2010-He is Risen! Sunday Service.

Favorite Songs-"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus....there's just something about that name"..And..."You're my God and my firm foundation...It is You whom I'll trust at all times..."
(Pastor Frank's sermon, and what
I think he said.)

Scripture-Luke 24:13-35-

Summary of the verses:
After Jesus was crucified and before He had revealed Himself to all of His disciples, two of His followers were traveling to Emmaus, a village 7 miles from Jerusalem. They were talking about the events that had taken place in the past few days. Jesus drew near them and began to ask them what they were talking about and why they were sad. They wondered aloud if He was the only one who did not know the things that had been happening in Jerusalem. "What things?," He asked innocently. So they told Him about Himself. "Jesus of Nazareth was a Prophet and was mighty in word and deed and the chief priests and rulers delivered Him to death and He was crucified.

We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel.

Certain women of our company went to the tomb early this morning and have told us that His body was gone and that angels said He was alive. We checked out their story and it's true but we have yet to see Him!"
Then Jesus rebuked them gently and explained Himself through all of the Scriptures beginning with Moses and going through the Prophets.

They came near to Emmaus and Jesus indicated that He would go further, but they asked Him to stay with them since it was nearly evening so He did.
When they sat down to eat, Jesus took bread and broke it, and gave it to them. (Something, I would assume, that the host would do for the guest.)
Immediately, their eyes were opened and they knew Him and just that quickly, He vanished from their sight.
They said to one another, "Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"
So, even at that late hour, they went back to Jerusalem and found the eleven disciples and others who were gathered together. They told them about their exciting day and how Jesus had come to them and how they recognized Him when He broke the bread.
And just at that moment, Jesus Himself, came and stood in their midst....
but that's another story. Luke 24:36-43.
Looking back to the Triumphant Entry-
When Jesus came into the city, the first place He visited was the temple.
It was not operating to His standard and His zeal for His Father's House revealed itself as He drove all those out of the temple who were buying and selling sacrificial offerings. He said, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves."' Then the blind and the lame came and He healed them all. Between the temple cleansing, the healings, and the loud praises, and Lazarus' resurrection, the chief priests had had enough.
When Jesus comes to visit a city, the first place He will cleanse will be the temple. It might get loud and painful and the normal way of doing things may get messed up.

Are we ready? It will affect every one of us.

The church is on a spiritual walk to Emmaus.
Those followers who were walking to Emmaus were looking at things in the past tense. "He was a prophet...He was doing great things...We had hoped that He was the Messiah..."
And they weren't even aware that they needed more than rescuing.
God is more than a God of Rescue.
Visitation from God means Relief.
He will come and He will bring relief.

Relief from what?
Relief from our sins and strongholds of insecurity.
Relief from oppression and the fear of getting it wrong.
Relief from pride and defensiveness.
Relief from lovelessness and indifference.
Relieve me from myself, O God!

He will come and overturn the normal way of doing things.
God is not going to work in the way we think.
He will not be boxed in.
The church cannot keep thinking of Him in past tense.
We cannot keep saying, "If only...If He had just..."

There was a place on the road to Emmaus where they begged Jesus to stay with them.
He would have passed on by and He waited for their invitation.

He knocks and waits for us to open up the door.
He'll come in and dine with us and
break the bread of life to us
and our eyes will be opened to see who He is.

God is looking for seekers.
He seeks seekers.
If we are a seeker,
He is seeking such as we are,
and when we two seekers meet,
He finds His image in us.
Seek Him while He may be found.
He will not always strive with man.
He will not insist on coming in.

Our eyes twinkle 10,00o times when we blink.
We will be caught up to be with Him with no warning-
'In a twinkling of an eye'...at the last trumpet sound.
The church will be caught up in 1/10,000 of a blink.

It's the reflection of the sun on the moon
that affects the tide.
It is the people that are reflecting the Son
that will affect the change of the tide
in our area.

If we lose our hope,
we are robbed of the evidence of our faith.

Is it,
"We had hoped.."
or "We do hope."?

Can you imagine the Word in flesh telling the story to two?
He shows up to two!
Oh, the extravagance of God!
He expounds scripture to them.
Can you imagine Jesus expounding scriptures about Himself?
Oh, be present with me, and expound the Word, O Word of God.

Elmer Towns explained some things this way.
"Faith->I believe.."
"Love->I give..."
"Hope->I plan..."
"Conviction->I know..."

The apostles didn't pray to be delivered when they encountered persecution.
They prayed, 'Give us more boldness, zeal, hunger, opportunities to share...'

If you become a seeker,
God will show up.
Salvation for others is a residual effect when you seek God.
People will cast off restraints and see Jesus.
If you break bread with Jesus and seek Him,
others will get to eat with Him too.
I walked with Jesus on my Emmaus Road
and I told Him my "I had hoped You woulds..."

'Jesus, I had hoped you would have protected
my friend's family from the evil lusts and intents of another...'
Jesus, I had hoped you would have kept
those drunk drivers off the road on those days...
Jesus, I had hoped you would have gotten him to look
one more time before pulling out...
Jesus, I had hoped that Psalm 91 was a promise of Your protection...
Jesus, I had hoped that I would see your goodness in the land of joy and prevention of suffering rather than in the land of sorrow and redemption...'

I wonder if it is our 'I had hoped you woulds'
that cause us to seek Him.

We think we know who He is and what He is going to do
and then He blows our God box to bits
and we have to try to figure out who He is again.

If we are honest with our blown hopes,
He may call us 'Slow of heart to understand'
but I am willing to hear that
if it means He will reveal Himself to me.

I think Jesus said, "I had hoped you would" to God one time.

"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?!"

I think He was saying,
'I had hoped you would be with me
the whole way through this thing!
I had hoped You
wouldn't turn your back on me
when I became the sin of the world!

Father, I cannot see Your face!
Father, I do not feel Your grace!

I had hoped I would!!!'

In Jesus' worse hour,
God forsook Him.

He took my place
so I would never know
the rejection of God.

He took my place
so I could have His presence
on my Emmaus Road of
'I had hoped you woulds.'

I eat the bread He breaks and my heart burns within me.