Monday, May 31, 2010


I was reading Psalms 50 today.
When the scriptures refer to 'Zion',
we understand that it means the church,
the body of Christ.

I wrote the following verses on a card today.
(Ps. 50:2,3,14,15,23)

"Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God will shine forth.
Our God shall come,
and shall not keep silent;
A fire shall devour before Him,
And it shall be tempestuous all around Him."

This reminds me of the term 'Beauty for Ashes.'
From the body of Christ,
God will bring forth the perfection of beauty,
even as He purges with His refining fire.

This will not be a peaceful, all-is-well type of experience.
It will be tempestuous as He works on the church.
He's going to be speaking.
It will be painful.
There will be ashes.
But there will be beauty because of the pain and the ashes.

"Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."

In the midst of the tempest,
thank God and stay committed to Him.
Cry out to Him in the midst of the pain,
and He will deliver you
and you will glorify Him.

"Whosoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders his conduct and his conversation aright,
I will show the salvation of God."

We glorify Him when we give an offering of praise,
and He will reveal His saving power
to those whose lives reflect His godliness.
There is so much to this passage of scripture.
Does anyone else have a thought to share?

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Blog

Please check out the new blog on my side bar entitled, "Through My Eyes."
It is written by a young woman who is soon to be my daughter-in-law.
(Daughter-in-love as my mother-in-law calls me.)
You will find her writings to be deep and refreshing-
like an oasis in a dry and thirsty land.

Quotes from Beth

I've been reading Beth Moore's book, "JESUS-the One and Only."
I love it because she takes stories about Jesus and makes them
come alive and applicable to my life today.
I have some favorite words that I underlined
that I'd like to share with you.
Thank you, Beth.

"..I just want to be about God. Not about ministry. Not about my own agenda. Not about writing Bible studies. Not about me at all. When all is said and done, I would give my life for people to be able to say, "She was just about God."

"On another Sabbath, Jesus encountered a man with a withered right hand...I don't think it's a coincidence that the man involved had lived a humiliating life of unwelcome rest from effective labor. Christ granted him a rest from his incapacity and futility. The One who created the Sabbath used it to bring restoration to a man weary of uselessness."

"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)
"...nothing will squelch our efforts to seek the approval of others like not receiving it!
Furthermore, those who approve one day can be the same ones who accuse the next day. I encourage you to break free from the traps set by approval and accusation. We are called to live our lives above reproach but expect it anyway. Christ was blameless yet was blamed continually. I think you can trust me on this one: blameless people are rarely those who cast blame."

"Jesus watched as the Pharisees sunk their proud feet into the quicksand of legalism and stood their sinking ground. What a ridiculous scene they created. They presumed to tell the lawgiver Himself how to obey the law."

"Another form of spiritual abuse is using Scripture or the name of God to manipulate others. I have very little doubt we will be called to account for the times we have used God's name to get what we want. Christ despises all forms of human oppression."

"Christ Jesus longs to draw us under the shelter of His wings-so close to His side that we can hear His tender heartbeat. He yearns to lavish us with His possessive, protective love. To cover us from so many unnecessary harms. There is a secret place. Go, beloved, and hide."


I was talking to Michael about some things today
and told him about the thought I had in the midst of
a troubling situation.
He loved what I said and wanted me to write it down.
I wrote it earlier, but I will do a rewrite.
My husband also found it to be a great comfort.
This is it:

"I am troubled.
But, if what troubles me, troubles God,
then He will fix it in His time.

But, if I am troubled by things
that do not trouble Him,
then He will fix me,
so that either way,
I will be relieved.

if need be,
He will remove me from the
troubling situation.

He can take me from trouble,
change the trouble,
or remove the trouble within me.

My Trouble Shooter.
I wonder how many times
He troubles trouble
before trouble troubles me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And in the Night


I was reading my mother's journals and noticed that after my father died, God began to give her a song in the night. She would be singing it in her spirit when she woke up. My father passed away in February of 2004. She is still waking up with a song.

She writes the songs down each day. When I was up visiting, she showed me her list.
I looked it over and said, "Okay, I don't like this. There are too many songs about heaven on this list!"
She laughed and said, "Most of those songs about heaven are on a CD that I've been listening to."
I was slightly relieved.

I love my mother so much.
I want her to stay alive for a long time because I want to talk to her and hear her voice. I love her sense of humor and the way she makes me laugh. She's our wheel in the middle of the wheel and I don't know what any of us would do without her.

I love my mother so much.
I want her to go and be with Him,
and breathe the sweet air of heaven,
free from tangled oxygen cords,
free from the sorrows of life,
free from the contradictions of a failing body
that houses one of the keenest minds in the world.

I want her to go to sleep in her room
and wake up in her mansion in heaven.
I want her to see His wonderful face
and I want her beautiful face to be kissed by Him.

I love my Mother.
All of her children and grandchildren do.
All of her many friends love her also.
And God loves her best.
He knows her end from her beginning.
I will trust her times to Him.
Please notice the new blog I have listed on my sidebar;
IBLieve. This is a pen name for my 85 year old mother.
She has kept Biblical journals for years and years.
She has read the Bible over 50 times in different translations
and taken notes on what she's read.
Enjoy her poetry as well.
Much of her poetry was printed in Christian magazines.
It is a joy to process her journals, not only for their contents
but also because I do not have
to edit them AND she has the most perfect penmanship in the world!

Truly Sexy

In this day and age,
sexiness has a distorted connotation.
the portrayal of sexiness has more to do with one's appearance
and what one is,
or is not,

I think there can be a good sexiness,
a godly sexiness,
if I may say so.

The other day,
a young girl said something about being sexy
and I asked her if she knew what that meant.
I said to her,
"True sexiness is when you are confident, happy, and kind."

It just rolled off my tongue and I've been thinking about it.

I know that nothing makes my husband happier than when I smile at him.
One day he looked at me and said, "I think I love your face most of all."

And kindness dressed in sweat pants is more beautiful
than irritation dressed in perfection any day.

So, young ladies,
don't try to be sexy.
The magazines have it wrong.

Just be yourself and have confidence in God.
Be kind and be happy.
Enjoy your life and be free.

Running Ahead of the Crowd

Once upon a time there was a short tax collector.
His name was Zacchaeus and he was rich.
Jesus was coming into his town of Jericho.
Zacchaeus really wanted to see who Jesus was
but he couldn't because there were too many people around Jesus
and he was too short.

So, he ran up the road ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree.
Sycamore's are wide and open trees,
with low sturdy branches, just right for climbing.

And, lo and behold,
when Jesus got under that very tree,
He looked up and saw Zacchaeus.

He called him by name, saying,
"Zacchaeus, hurry up and get down because
I want to come to your house today!"
Well, Zacchaeus climbed down quickly and with great delight took Jesus to his house.

Now, there were some people there who did not like this.
Zacchaeus was a social and religious outcast among his own Jewish people
because he collected taxes for the Roman government that occupied their land.
He was rich, too, which made them wonder how much money he added
on top of their tax requirements.

They complained outloud about Jesus' choice of companionship, saying things like,
"Are you kidding me?! Jesus has gone to have dinner with that sinner?!"

Zacchaeus had a change of heart when Jesus chose him.

He said, "Jesus, I will give half of what I have to the poor, and if I have unjustly taken anything from anyone, I will pay it back, times four."

Jesus said, "This day, salvation has come to the house of Zacchaeus, son of Abraham. For I have come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Stay with me here a minute.

Zacchaeus had several obstacles between his desire to see Jesus
and the fulfillment of that desire.

#1-His own personal limitation. He was short.

#2-The crowd restricted his ability to see.

#3-The crowd was hostile towards him.

Sometimes, our own limitations get in our way when we are trying to see Jesus.
Sometimes, people get in our way when we are trying to see Jesus.
Sometimes, what people think of us gets in our way when we are trying to see Jesus.

What should we do?

We should run ahead of the crowd.

We should increase our height.

We should want His approval more than we care about what others think of us.

And, we should humble ourselves and be changed when He chooses to seek us out.

Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus
and Jesus wanted to see Zacchaeus.

We want to see Jesus
and Jesus wants to see us.

Zacchaeus had ceased to care about what others thought of him.
He wasn't worried about his dignity.
But when Jesus came,
and Jesus cared for him,
he in turn,
began to care for others.

So, I say to you, to me,
Desire to see Jesus.
Run ahead of the crowd.
Climb the heights.
Don't worry about what people think of you in the process.
Welcome Him into your home.
And have a change of heart.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hertzler Doings-May 24-30, 2010

Mon.-Happy Birthday, brother Abe. Still trying to play catch up. Very little energy. Something weighing heavy on me was fixed today and now it is mostly behind me. So grateful for a friend's help in the matter. Went to bed early. Been in a no-sleeping zone for few days.

Tues-Took my vitamins today and had a much better day after good sleep last night. Worked in garden most of the day. Weeded, hoed, and 'strawed' almost everything. Michael and Susan stuck with me for most of the time. Susan made supper-'pizza' and raw veggies. Michael mowed. Phil and Freeman working at Janelle's and in the fields. Hands are blistered and stained green. So thankful for the energy to work. Was starting to think I had mono.

Wed.-Went to Dr. Forand. Susan needs calcium and thyroid help. Went to Cut-ups to get Susan's hair trimmed. Went to Sam's Club to get things for Pig Roast. Back to True Value and new Walmart in Appomattox. Went to church in eve. Had chest pain for much of the day with some left arm pain. Spent some time in the Farmville cemetery thinking about life and letting go of some of my worries. As I was walking/sitting/musing two deer came to the edge of the woods and we watched each other. A red cardinal was flitting around on the branches above their heads. 15 min. in the cemetery was like an hour at my river. He restoreth my soul. Spent the eve. with Lindsay and Addison. L. helped me make a new blog entitled 'I.B.Lieve.' It will contain some of my mother's writings. It's on the sidebar on my blog and I hope to enter some things into it tomorrow.

Thurs.-Susan slept well last night. I could see it in her eyes as soon as she woke up. I slept well too. Calcium helped. Did lots of odd jobs today and caught up on phone calls and blogging. Entered some things in mother's blog. Got the heat wrap at Dr.Forands. Endurance test. Phil and Freeman put in Janelle's fire place today. Michael at the Watsons, working on year book. Made bruschetta and kale soup for lunch today. French bread pizza for supper. Philip is working with Dan P's work crew this week. Susan's hair cut is adorable and it curls around her face when she does not straighten it.

Fri.-Michael, Susan, and I finished weeding the garden and put straw over the ground between the plants. Now, we wait for the harvest. Started making something for Alli.

Sat.-Finished Alli's gift. Made jello salad and mashed potatoes for the Hertzler lunch tomorrow. Had a family meeting to make Pig Roast plans. Everyone working hard all day. Susan made peanut butter eggs on Thurs. and today we dipped them in chocolate, wrapped them, and put them in gift bags for grad and birthday gifts. Freeman made supper of chicken and french fried potatoes. He loves kitchen gadgets and he bought a french fry cutter and will fry them in is deep fryer. He is smoking the turkey and using a can full of soda and an onion and honey barbeque sauce in the process. I think he should open up a restaurant and call it "Freeman's Grill." Sometimes, our small kitchen frustrates me just a little, because everyone in our family likes to cook-esp. Susan, Michael, and Freeman. Michael said the other day, "We need a bigger kitchen."

Abbi and Serena were here late afternoon and helped Susan feed her 'Mexican's, Carlos and Pedro, her little calves. Trying to vacuum and wash the floors too late in the day. I was singing to the little girls, "They baptized Thomas Trinity this Sunday...Jesus gained a soul.."
They giggled while I gave them another 'crazy aunt' memory.

Sun.-Had a nice amount of time to drink tea and study this morn. Saw the inside of Janelle's house. Beautiful. Went to Trinity at 10:45 to witness nephew Tommy's baptism. Troy and Tyler also baptized. Enjoyed the hymns Tom led and the youth group worship team singing 'Blessed Be Your Name' and other worship favorites. Bethany sang and Meredith played bass. Hands were raised and clapped throughout the songs and it was a time of refreshing. Ray preached on being intentional in being committed. Before baptism, one is already committed to Christ. Baptism is like setting a monument or a mark to commit to never turning back or away from Christ, just as a wedding, sets a monument or mark, to always be committed to the love you have for your spouse before you are married. The baptism; the wedding; are the monuments of love and commitment. My notes are not in front of me and I hope I've done his word justice. People stood around and talked with each other for a long time. Sweet fellowship. Went to Tom's for lunch. Met some spanish speaking folks and once again, I wish I knew that language. The lady came up to us women before they left, and hugged and kissed us. I remember how generous and kind the Mexican culture is from the time we took the Conestoga high school there on a missions trip. We prayed that God would multiply the food because there were more people there than were expected and we had plenty. Bethany and I took a nap on the sofa and when I woke up, Abbi showed me her artwork, Serena showed me her pet wild rabbit and Michelle shared some writing from her journal. Throughout our visit, Freeman and Phil took turns playing on the guitar and we sang from time to time. We had lots of Helen's homemade pies and ice cream for dessert and sweet tea, meatloaf, salad, mashed potatoes, peas, homemade bread and jam, pickles, applesauce, and jello salad for lunch. No wonder I needed a nap suddenly. Came home and looked for Susan's frog, Starburst, who disappeared during the night. We played the piano because usually he starts to sing when we do. Silence. Phil and I took Susan to Kelly's for a birthday sleepover. Cassidy and Sara there too.
Betty and I caught up on life while Phil caught up on sleep. Took a wrong turn on the way home and traveled roads we never have before. ( Took me back to my childhood when a Sunday afternoon past-time was drives on back roads. Everytime we came to a different road, my dad would give us kids turns in telling which way to go. We tried to give directions to the nearest tastee freeze and we usually were successful.) The boys had a number of friends here and made supper down at the river. April was outnumbered but I am sure she held her own. Phil and I made hot tea and buttered popcorn and watched 007-Moonraker.

"IF" by Rudyard and Michael

The following is the poem that Michael recited during graduation. He explained that it was a poem he grew up with. I had them memorize it when I home schooled them and I think they got $20 when they could recite it perfectly. I got a local artist in PA to write, illustrate, and frame it and I gave it to Phil for his birthday one year. The words always reminded me of him and they remind me of some other men as well, but mostly, they remind me of Phil. The painting graces our dining room wall and it's one of our family's greatest treasures.

"IF"-by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies.
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings;
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Michael's Graduation-May 21, 2010

Michael graduated from
Cornerstone Christian Academy at 10:00, May 21, 2010.
Clarissa Hubler was the one other student in the graduating class.

As the children filed in to their places, Michael and Clarissa came to the front and began to sing along with the soundtrack music of 'Be Thou My Vision.' Clarissa sang the first verse, Michael sang the second, and they sang the third together. The other students came up during the third verse and musical interlude and all joined in singing, 'High King of Heaven..' It was thrilling.

The Kindergarten children came to the front at one point and Michael recited, 'If' by Rudyard Kipling. He did so well and he brought the youngest children into the recitation as well as the congregation. Then the K's were robed and given certificates of graduation from Kindergarten to first grade.

Clarissa gave a fine speech about our school and I loved the part where she said that Cornerstone was in a place of small beginnings. What a joy to be part of the school from it's very beginning. These days may be our finest.

The eighth graders also graduated into high school
and some other awards were acknowledged.

The commencement speaker was General Jerry Boykin.
Phil introduced him.
He said, "Ladies and gentlemen, students and faculty, patrons, family, and friends of this school-we are honored today to have as our commencement speaker the man who wrote the US military playbook on counter terrorist operations, and was the commander of all US Army Special Forces. As a nation we are blessed to have such a great man influencing our national leaders in Washington, as well as students and future leaders at Hampton Sydney College where he is a professor. Help me welcome General Jerry Boykin."

General Boykin told several jokes and had a great speech and before we knew it, 30 min. was gone, and he received a standing ovation. He made five points during his speech and they were as follows:

1-Know your values. Take a personal assessment. Live your values; do not compromise. You hurt a lot of people when you compromise your values.

2-Get involved. Live for a cause bigger than yourself. Vote. Help someone else win. Run for office. Get involved with the PTA and the school board.

3-Read. There is nothing more important than reading. Read American History in order to have an identity. Read current events in the US and the world. Last thing at night-read your Bible.

4-Make a stand. When you know your values, are involved, read, and know who you are, then make a stand, regardless of the consequences. When you are persecuted, you will have opportunity to be a witness.

5-Pray for America. I challenge you to pray for America 10 min. a day. Be part of taking your country back. 100 people in 1 million can change that society.

"In Christ Alone" was the final song of graduation. The students were standing around the congregation because of their seating arrangement and I could hear their voices surrounding us with words of truth. What a blessing.
What a meaningful graduation service.


The Work of Man exhausts, demands, condemns, divides, oppresses, and rejects.

The Work of God refreshes, invites, convicts, unites, sets free, and embraces.

May the favor of God rest on the Work of God.
May the works of man blow away, like chaff in the wind.
Even so, Lord Jesus, come.

Hertzler Doings-May 17-23, 2010

Mon.-Left Micah, Mom, and Dad, and spent a lovely day with my mother. Swept garage and worked in flower beds. Ordered takeout Chinese for supper. Mother lost her hearing aid. We went through the weeds, etc. we had pulled and trashed. Couldn't find it. (Still lost) Mother needs to be on oxygen all the time. I can see why that would be frustrating. Eve. with Mom and Dad.

Tues.-Nice long talk with Mom, visit with Karen. Saw Debra and talked with Linda on phone. I have the world's best sister in laws. Went to Anne's and picked up Micah and took him to school. Mom treated Anne and I to the tea room at Ten Thousand Villages. Got rhubarb at 'the Dumpy Farm' and went to Glennwood Foods and got hamloaf and other food-50% less cost than other places. Took Anne home and saw Dave's Peterbilt. Came home. Supper of veg. soup and toasted cheese sandwiches. Went to iHope in eve. to hear Naomi speak. I introduced her. She was amazing. God was too. So good to see old friends. 50-70 women there. I played with Bra---- on the floor. Talked with Mark K. for awhile. Enjoying Ferne's music CD.
iHOPE is a time for women from Hopewell to get together and bring their friends. One woman from the church shares their testimony in a relaxing setting. Naomi took me back to Truman's. This will not be Naomi's last speaking engagement. She has a gift and God gave her great peace. She was not one bit nervous. Ashley, Krissy, and Morgan and Amber have also had opportunities to speak as well. We looked for the redemption when this crisis hit, and God has out done Himself and He's just begun.

Wed.-Left for Va. around 8:17 after a good talk with Mom and Dad. Dad said to me, "I knew God loved Phil when He gave him you." Called Naomi on the way home. So hard to leave her. Talked with Bra---- on the phone. Krissy says she can tell who my new favorite Gli-- is. Stopped at Dr. Tom's in Appomattox to pick up two books from him. He wants Gen. Boyki- to sign them when he speaks at school. Home around 5. Exhausted and emotional. Mike and Susan went to church. I put my carload of stuff away. Couldn't sleep well. Kept swerving to get away from trucks-jumping and waking up poor Phil. Took a Bonine to settle the motion in my head and went right to sleep.

Thurs.-Everyone so happy that I'm home. Mike says, "Real food...!" Went to school to hand in grades and preview video. They were sure I would cry and wanted to brace me for it. The teachers all cried too. New version of 'Great is thy Faithfulness' playing while pics of Clarissa and Michael were shown. Very emotional. Went to Krogers and back home for a nap. Still trying to catch up with cleaning, washing, etc. Susan also exhausted from a number of things. She didn't sleep well because she feared that something would happen to me. Poor dear. She did a great job holding down the fort. Got food together for tomorrow's picnic at the river.

Fri-Michael's Graduation Day! David's birthday! Grad was at 10. Introduced G.Boykin to the Hubler's and Mrs. Jones ahead of time. He talked with Michael for awhile. He gave 5 points during his commencement address. I'll write them up separately. He would use Michael and Clarissa's name as he spoke. He signed Dr. T's books during last song and had to leave immediately afterward. The whole program was so nicely done. It started with Michael and Clarissa singing 'Be Thou My Vision' and then the whole school came up and joined them in the last verse. The final song was 'In Christ Alone.' I felt shakily emotional until Emma came up and sat on my lap and I got her peace and it held me together. I was wishing Dr. H. could hold her a bit. These teachers love the graduates and their parents love them especially. It's hard to see how quickly they've grown and release them and let them go. Came home and went to the river with Tom's family and Jordan and Travis. Phil and I went to the Hublers in the eve. for Clarissa's party. That was a really nice time.

Sat.-Just so wiped out. Cleaned house a little. Worked in garden. Not sure what I did.

Sun.-Church. Gave Dr. T. his books. Inscriptions were perfect and meaningful. Kelli and Alli here. Slept, blogged, went to Financial Peace in eve.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hertzler Doings-May 10-16, 2010

Mon.-Happy 52nd Birthday to me. Call from mother, Rosalee, Linda, and Judy. David and Margaret called and SANG! I have it recorded and told everyone not to erase it. Just recently, the phone message from my oldest brother was erased from last year and I was not happy about that. Card from Diane H. and over 100 birthday greetings from face book friends. I answered each one and was so encouraged by the things they said. I want to be more faithful in sending out birthday greetings on fb.
Having upper respiratory trouble. Can't talk without coughing. Couldn't sing at all yesterday.
Rested today and got some food made and frozen for the week I will be gone. Freeman made specialty burgers and I made homemade fries and asparagus.

Tues.-Phil called in 'sick' for me since I can barely talk. Coughing spasms. Pretty sure it started when they were bringing stuff in from the old van on Sat. So much black mold and dust. Drs. appt. this morning and I hope they give me a breathing treatment. I feel closed in. Dr. gave beathing treatment since no air was getting into my lower lungs. Also put me on steroids, musinex, something like codeine without the sleepy part, and an inhaler. So sleepy and tired.
Kids are being extra sweet. 'I hope you feel better mommy,' with hugs.

Wed.-Thinking through friendships. My life is like a bank. There are different friendship accounts in it. Deposits must be made into the accounts if the withdrawals keep taking place. A friend who only withdraws will soon find their account closed out. Was thinking about that at 1 this morning. Shaky and tired. Work a little, rest a little. Trying to pack and get things together for trip to Pa. Phil is working on blueprints on the kitchen table and he talks outloud to himself. I kinda like it.

Thurs.-Took 8.45 hr. to drive to Mother's, fighting sleep and body numbness by listening to scriptures and getting out to walk. Rosalee came over and we had supper together and caught up on each other's news. Followed R. to Weaverland cementery to see Abie's gravestone. It was beautiful, as far as gravestones go. We actually joked. His stone is a bit close to the neighboring stone and they have obtained 3 plots. R. said that she didn't want to be buried beside someone she didn't know, which struck my funny bone and I said, "Well, you'd have all eternity to get acquainted," and she giggled and made a knock knock sign with her hand as she said the words. Our theology was a bit off but it was a bit of relief after the tears. On the one side of his gravestone, it has Sch----written in large italic letters with the verse, "In His presence is fullness of joy." On the back, it's engraved with his full name with the name we called him. A beautiful wilderness scene with animals, trees, and a lake is etched under his name. R. and her husband and one daughter are leaving for Israel on Monday for 15 days. They will be in Nazareth on the anniversary of Abie's death. Went from there to Naomi's to spend the night. Lisa T. and her girls were there. Ashley showed me pictures of 'Bundle'. I fell asleep in the guestroom, listening to the girls happy chatter.

Fri.-Woke up at 4. Left Bev's at 5:15 and arrived at Ocean City, N.J. at 7:15. We rented a lovely beach home one block from the ocean. 3 full days and 2 nights for $95 each. After Naomi's breakfast of baked oatmeal, fresh fruit, and coffee, we sat around and talked. Three of us walked to the boardwalk and I bought some candy for our parents and family. Came back and ate Rosa's lunch of pulled pork sandwiches and mac salad, chips, fresh pineapple, and sat on the beach for several hours. After showers, we ate at Charlie's on the boardwalk-fresh salmon on salad and sweet potato fries. Got soft ice cream on way back while watching a dark cloud cover take over graying skies. Wild lightning and monsoon rains and thunder for several hours.Watched 'Sahara'. We all love storms and we turned the blinds so we could see the lightning better. Bev and I shared king size bed room. We all talked and laughed and shared things we don't share with others. What a friendship we all have. Naomi and I have been doing this 15 years now and Bev and Rosa joined us probably 10 years ago.

Sat.-ate Bev's homemade mushroom, spinach, and swiss cheese quiche. Contrary to self inflicted rumors, that girl CAN cook! Went to Atlantic City and shopped from 11:30-3:00. The girls helped me find a dress for grad at Dress Barn. Also bought two pair of dress trouser jeans marked down to 14.50 from $50-$58. Went to Crab Trap for supper-Bloomin' onion to share plus salmon, baked potato, mixed veggies and spinach plus salad. Took a nap. Sat out on beach in the eve. but the little gnats were flying in our eyes, nose, and ears and we had to go in. Watched 1 1/2 movies. We're getting old...

Sun.-Woke up at 4:30 very dehydrated. Couldn't stop drinking water and felt dizzy. Ate Crap Trap leftovers for my breakfast. Took a nap after breakfast. Went out to Asbury Kitchen Shop and bought beach napkins. I want to start making plates for the beach girls and add a plate or bowl, etc. each year. Made my taco salad for lunch. Sat out on beach for several hours. came back and washed towels, cleaned house, and packed. While the towels dried, we went out to boardwalk one last time and ate pizza. Bought a lime green sweatshirt to keep warm. Had admired it the first day there. Left at 7 and arrived back at Bev's at 8:45. A wonderful weekend of eating, sleeping, resting, talking, laughing (we were surprised that the cops weren't called in at one point), watching movies, crying, etc. We have seen each other through deaths, sicknesses, and tragedy. We always talk about doing this when we are 90. Bev told me she has never seen me so happy. She thinks that the music teaching job has caused me to bloom. What happens at the beach, stays at the beach, so that's all that I can share. Got to Truman's after Micah was in bed. Dad looks good. Mom still has residual coughing from a bad bout of bronchitis. So good to be back home here with them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Service-May 9, 2010

Song-"Jesus Paid it All"

Margaret S. and Lisa P. honored especially on Mother's Day.
Appropriate and good.
Lisa's word to the women-It is the year of the Lord's favor. If you ask, He will do it.

Video Clip-Mike and Cindy-ministering under the radar on the mission field by the name of a different vocation than 'missionary.' song-"Tend to the broken as if Jesus were there...Let this be our mission to see through His eyes." Sat. May 15-missions banquet at church.

Haiti's president has renounced voodoo as the countries religion. He called for 3 days of prayer and fasting. 250,000 people in 3 days signed a confession to accept Jesus. 101 of those had been voodoo witch doctors.
(Pastor Frank's sermon and my perception of what he said.)

Scripture-Matthew 15:21-28
Jesus had been in the land of Gennesaret and the multitudes came to Him to be healed.
He left there to go to a Gentile region of Tyre and Sidon.
A woman from that area came to Him and cried out,
"Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed."
Jesus didn't say a word to her.
The disciples had enough of her begging and urged Jesus to send her away.
He said,"I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
She came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, Help me!"
He answered,"It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
She was quick and answered,"Yes, Lord, but even the little pet dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table."
Jesus answered her and said,
"O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire."
And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
1) This was an imperfect mother. Her daughter was demon-possessed. There was an atmosphere in the home that invited the presence of demons.

2) Perhaps Jesus had deliberately set up this scenario to demonstrate what great faith looks like.
God is looking for a people of faith.

3) Our name is not important. What really mattered about this woman
was not her name, but that Jesus called her a woman of great faith.
Faith is not about praying and always receiving an answer.
Faith is believing in God even when we don't hear from Heaven.
She bowed and worshipped even while she was being ignored.

4) This woman had a determination and would not take 'no' as an answer.
This woman determined not to be handicapped because of her limitations.
Her limitations served as a catalyst to cause her to seek after Jesus.
She was determined on behalf of her daughter's well-being
to find an answer for her in Jesus.

The term 'dog' that Jesus used was not the derogatory form of 'dog' that was used in that day.
It's meaning is more like a term of endearment for a pet.

The time for the Gentiles was not at hand,
but Jesus moved beyond the timetable to give this woman
a miracle, because she was a woman of great faith.

Know His name.
Don't give up.
Don't get offended, you may miss your miracle.
Worship while you ask.
Worship while you wait.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jesus and Our Senses

Sometimes, when I am down at the river, I quiet myself and think, "What do I hear?"
I listen and I hear birds and the rippling of water over rocks in the Appomattox.
I hear Angel panting.
I hear God.

Then I ask, "What do I see?"
And I quiet myself and look around.
Not long ago, I saw a moving tree across the waters.
It was full of monarch butterflys and they were flying in from every direction.
The tree looked as if it was one of the living trees like C.S.Lewis wrote about in
his Narnia stories.
Sometimes, I see bluebells in their ethereal blue droopiness,
taking over the woods with their beauty.

I breathe in deep and think, "What do I smell?"
I smell spice bushes and damp sand.
I smell dirt and moss and last night's fire.
I smell wild garlic and purple violets.

"What do I feel?"
I feel the warmth of the sun
and the breeze of the wind.
I feel the grittiness of sand
and the tickle of an insect crawling on my toes.

"What do I taste?"
I taste the sweet drop of goodness
at the end of a honeysuckle blossom.
I taste grains of wheat after I've blown
the chaff away.

One of the ways to love God with all of our hearts is to love Him with all of our senses.

Jesus said, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you. The more you hear, the more will be given for you to hear."

The Psalmists talks of those who look unto God.
Their faces are radiant and they are not ashamed.

There are women who loved Jesus so much, that they poured out costly perfumed oil on His feet, and wiped them with their hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of their extravagant love for Him.

After Jesus' resurrection, He appeared to His grieving disciples, and invited them, "Handle me. Touch me. See for yourselves that I am who I say I am.

Jesus broke bread for His disciples and poured out wine, "This is my body broken for you. This is my blood poured out for you. Take and eat all that I've given to you."

So Jesus invites us to hear His voice
and look at His face.
He invites us to pour out the fragrance of our life on Him,
and handle Him and touch Him and see for ourselves
that He is who He says He is.
He invites us to taste His broken body at the communion table.

But He also uses His senses to love us with all of His heart.

"My ear is always open unto your cry."

"You are the apple of My eye."

Through us He diffuses the fragrance of the knowledge of Himself.

"Underneath all things are my everlasting arms.
I have you and hold you from this day forth..."

"Taste and see that I am good."

I want to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I want to love Him with all of my senses.
I want to see Him and hear Him and smell Him and touch Him and taste Him.

I want to love Him the way He loves me.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hertzler Doings~May 3-9, 2010

Mon.-My last Monday to be 51 years old. I like being this age. I'll like being 52 as well. Enjoyed this day at home. Phil, Freeman, and Philip are butchering cow #111. Philip has raised her since she was a day old and he was sad about it until she shoved him around rather roughly as he tried to corral her into a pen. Phil scoured the big copper kettle and raised it above an outdoor fire using the Bobcat and a heavy chain. He put alot of water and salt in it and they've been throwing the bones in there all day. He added some onions, carrots and celery to it and later this eve., I will be canning many quarts of beef broth. It is already 6 in the eve. and it is still cooking. I may be pulling an all nighter and I have to teach tomorrow!

Practiced making the dessert for the rehearsal dinner. It is a layered pudding dessert with flour, butter, and pecans baked as a crust first. Then you add Cool Whip, cream cheese, and 10 x sugar together and beat. Put that on the crust. Beat milk and chocolate pudding together and put that on as the next layer. Cover with cool whip and shredded chocolate. It has an interesting name and I am not sure if I will have the nerve to actually go through with making and serving it. I am getting more conservative in my old age.

Tues.-55 quarts of beef broth. Good day at school. The kids enjoyed and were grossed out when I read about Beethoven's life. What a man! What makes a man great? His work or his character?
Beethoven was always in love. Usually he was in love with a married woman or an engaged woman. One little first grader gravely confessed, "I'm engaged." "Oh, really?" I responded. "What's her name?" He told me. She has a sweet name. Felt funny in my head and stomach and something seems to be going around. The mold count is very high and has the same effect.

Wed.-Phil and Philip built a shelf in our bedroom for the beef broth. Another good day. In order for the children not to get weary of the song they must learn for the program, I vary the method for learning it. But the words are so powerful and meaningful to 'In Christ Alone' that it seems that they don't tire of it no matter how many times we sing it. The children think school is already out. I have to work extra hard to keep them in line. Plus, the more comfortable they are with me, the more they have to tell me, and I could just listen to their stories the whole period. They are getting familiar with at least 5 of Beethoven's compositions. We play 'Musical Mats' and if they get out and can name the piece of music, they get to go back in. What a thrill to hear the students shout out, 'Moonlight Sonata' or "Beethoven's 5th or 9th symphony" or "Fur Elise." Today, I got a thrill, when one of the 5th grade boys yelled out, " Piano sonata #23!" I never did get them all out. They were too sharp.

Took Susan and Michael to youth group in eve. Shopped at Walmart for some shore clothes. Got to get back to eating healthier and doing my exercises. Philip sick today-sore throat and feeling lousy. Freeman housesat for the Bantons from Sunday eve. to Wed. morning. I stopped in tonight to bring the little girls big scrap paper. Adi reached up and held me tight and said, "I go to your house." There is nothing so beautiful as love on a loved one's face. Lindsay said later that she was so disappointed to have missed me. She said, "I could smell you in my house even though you weren't there!"
Michael twisted his ankle today playing kickball at school. We put ice on it right away. He is going to keep it propped up tomorrow while he works on his thesis at home.

Thurs.-What did I do this day? I have lots crossed off on my list.

Fri.-Michael pulled an all nighter and finished his thesis on predestination at 3 this morning. He slept in and missed the pottery field trip. Susan went to the Hout's with some other friends overnight after the field trip. She sounded so happy and said that she made a polka dotted plate for me. I met Lori K. and she helped me with my car in Farmville today. We went to Judy's to get our wedding dresses altered. Sammy Jo had pony tails and was wearing a soft little dress with panties to match. She sat on my lap and was very interested in my purse and its contents. Judy said later that she kept going to the door and calling my name after we left. Lori and I ate at Risoldi's and went Goodwill shopping. My car was finally ready to pick up after 2. Needs $900 worth of work to pass inspection. Went to Walmart to get ready for next weeks events after saying good bye to my patient friend. Came home with a serious headache and didn't do much in the eve. The guys are working on Janelle's house and Michael is working at Krogers. Susan spent the night at the Hout's along with Olivia and Leah. Phil is working in the fields. I love him so.

Sat.-Worked very hard today. The guys were emptying the white van and were bringing things into the house that I haven't seen since we moved. It was a bit overwhelming to try to organize things and do wash and other Sat. jobs. Phil made it all worth while when he came in and said, "How do you do it?...Bring order out of chaos?" Watched 'Miss Congeniality' in the eve. with Phil and Susan. Boys had friends down to the river.
Started sneezing and feeling tight. All the mold and dust from the chaos, I suppose.

Sun.-Mother's Day service at church. Honored Margaret S. and Lisa P. Perfect. Came home and went down to the river for lunch. Roasted hotdogs and marshmallows and had S'mores, potato salad, cole slaw, carrots and dill pickles. Sat around and watched Michael, Philip, and Daniel wrestle on the one blanket. Alli is still engaged to Freeman. I guess she is getting to see our family be themselves and I think she will survive. Susan fished a bit and Phil slept on the sand with a towel over a log for a pillow. Gil hugged me at the end of church and said, 'Thank you for being a mother to Lindsay.' Made me cry and I am so honored. Oh, down at the river, Phil asked each of them to say something nice about me. Let's see if I can remember. Freeman said I was encouraging. Alli-good cook, supportive. Philip-pleasant to be around. Michael-ebullient-I am not sure if that is the right word but it meant happy. I should look it up before someone else does. Susan-fun to be around. Daniel-welcoming. And Phil-I love you so much. Let's pray. He was hungry. Came back and watched Monk and Gil and Lindsay, Emma and Adi came and we just hung out together, talking, etc. Lindsay made a microwave volcano cake in the oven that was out of this world. They are family and we love them dearly.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Service-May 2, 2010

Song-"Into the darkness You shine..Out of the ashes we rise...there's no one like You...none like You....Our God is healer...awesome in power...our God...our God....Water you turned into wine...opened the eyes of the blind...."

Turn the water of my life into wine.
Open my eyes where I'm blind.
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed.
Save me and I shall be saved.
(The following are some of Pastor Frank's words and some of mine as well.)
This is something I've been thinking about all week, and Pastor Frank mentioned something of it today, so I am taking the opportunity to write a little of what I was thinking about.
Acts 6-The disciples were getting caught up in the nitty gritty of church life and they called together the multitude of disciples and told them that it was not right that they should leave the word of God and serve tables. "Seek seven men among you of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
This pleased everyone and among those picked were Stephen and Philip as well as others whom we hear little about. The apostles prayed over them and laid hands on them.
Verse 7 is significant. "Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith." How interesting. Were these the same priests who had earlier condemned Jesus to death?
Stephen was full of faith and power and did many great wonders and signs among the people. Those who wanted to argue with him could not resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. I heard someone say the other day that too often, we would want to take Stephen out of his role and give him the name of pastor or teacher because he showed signs of giftedness. But God wanted to use him powerfully in the place He had called him without changing his title.
But what I really notice in this passage is how the word of God spread when the apostles were able to focus on prayer and to the ministry of the word. Pretty amazing and a relief to those whose calling gets mixed up with duty.
In Isaiah 61, Jesus ministry is described. The ministry He had while He was here is described. The ministry He has now in the church is described. And the ministry He will fulfill upon His second coming is also described. That's what I think anyway.

Verse 3 talks about what He will do for Zion, which is the church.

"To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD,
that He may be glorified."

Pastor Frank said that ashes are a remnant of what was.
God is not moving to restore what was.
He is not into restoring my past.
The Spirit of the Lord takes what the enemy has taken from us.
He reaches into those ashes and exchanges, restores, and
embellishes that which the enemy robbed.
He takes those ashes and gives me Beauty in their place.
Beauty for ashes;
The theme of my life's story and
the song of the Redeemed.

And God does all this-
comforts, consoles, gives beauty for ashes
and the oil of joy for mourning,
gives a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness-
in order that we may be called trees of righteousness
The planting of the LORD,
He does all of this for us
for His own glory.
So we should let Him do it.

He loves the brokenhearted, the poor, the captive, the bound, the mourners,
those burned by life, and those who are heavy laden.
It is the sick He came to save.
All during the service, (and all day and throughout Sunday night)
I kept picturing that beautiful painting
of the loving shepherd, leaning down over a cliff,
trying to rescue the sheep that was lost.
That sheep got too close to the edge.
He wasn't 'in' the flock.
He was on the peripheral and then he was gone.
And Jesus loved Him enough to rescue
Him from the disaster he put himself into.
He held him close to His heart
and did not reject Him.

(How quickly we let people go when they don't see things our way.
How quickly we freeze them out if they dare think for themselves.
How willing we are to push them off the cliff because they don't fit our mold.
Why did the lost sheep get lost?
Did he do this to himself or did we help him get lost?
These are the questions that search my heart.)

Jesus leaves the 99 who are safe in the fold
and goes to seek that one lost lamb,
because He is a shepherd,
and not a hireling.
The Good Shepherd lays His life down for His sheep.
(This was not really the sermon, but this is the sermon I was getting from that picture that kept coming to my mind.)
Judges 17; 18:4-
There was a man named Micah who heard that his mother had put a curse on the person who had stolen 1,100 shekels of silver from her, and he got a little nervous and went to confess to his mother that he was the one who had stolen it. She was so proud of him for confessing his sin that she gave 200 shekels of silver to a silversmith and from that silver, he made a carved and a molded image which she promptly gave to Micah and he used them to set up a shrine in his house along with some other idols. He consecrated one of his own sons as a priest for his household.
"In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes."
Now a young Levite man was passing through and Micah employed him to be his priest. So he lived with the man and became like a son to him. Micah was sure that God would be good to him since he had a Levite as a priest.

In this story, we see what happens in a family when the head of the home calls evil good, and good evil. It started with the mother and continued with the son and eventually the Danites stole Micah's idols and his priest. Then they went to a nice group of people who were quiet and secure and burned down their city and killed its residents and set up for themselves Micah's carved images even though the house of God was in Shiloh. They were to go to Shiloh to worship God.
Instead they worshiped idols in their own home.

Because a mother did not discipline her son when he stole from her, but was willing to call this evil thing good, it affected not only her household, but the household of the Danites, and then in their false security of having their own priest, they destroyed another town. How far reaching does the evil or the good in one household extend? It can affect the church and then the community...the town...a city...the state....and a nation...and eventually, the world.

We are living in a nation that is doing what is right in its own eyes. We are redefining marriage. We are redefining truth. And it started in our homes.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.
Marks gospel relates the story of the wild storm at sea. The disciples were frightened because they were on a little boat out in the middle of the sea and Jesus was asleep with His head on a pillow in the middle of that storm in the middle of their boat! They decided to wake Him up. He rebuked the winds and the waves and they immediately calmed down. He rebuked the disciples a bit too. When they came to the other side of the sea, they were greeted by a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs and no one could subdue him. He saw Jesus from afar and came to worship Him. The demons recognized Him and implored Him not to torment them. Jesus said, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit! What is your name?!" The spirit answered, 'My name is legion; for we are many.' The spirit begged Jesus not to send them out of the country. They asked to be sent to the swine in order to enter them and that's where He sent them and the swine ran off the cliff right into the sea and drowned. So the towns people came out to see Jesus and the man who was no longer demon possessed and they were afraid. They asked Jesus to leave and He did. The man who was now free begged to go along with Him and Jesus told him to go back home and tell his friends what the Lord had done for him, and eventually, that man's witness reached more people than Jesus presence probably would have had He stayed in the pig farming region for a time. The man told his freedom story in the Decapolis which was a ten city wide region.
I love that it says that the man came running to worship Him. The demons spoke through the man and held him captive, but the man knew His deliverer and worshipped Him. The demons worshiped Him also.

The story of the delivered demoniac demonstrates the power of one changed life and how it positively affects one's family and community, and in this case, the world, for surely, much of the world has heard this man's story.

The story of Micah demonstrates the corruption of one life and how it can negatively influence the family, community, and nation.
We may be a product of negative things in our life but we don't have to be a victim of those things. We don't have to keep passing on our pain and affect others negatively because of our experiences.
How so?
Because we have a God who is like no other, who has promised to give us Beauty for ashes, and we can trust Him because He is good.

And because you have set your love upon Him, therefore, He will deliver you.
He will set you on high, because you have known His name.
You will call upon Him and He will answer you.
He will be with you in trouble.
He will deliver you and honor you.
With long life shall He satisfy you
and show you His salvation.

Sounds like beauty for ashes to me.

I saw Him reach into my ashes today
and bring out beauty for someone else's ashes.
Together, He will make us oak trees of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord,
that He might be glorified.

From ashes to beauty.
From broke to an oak.
From captive to free.
From lost to found.

The work of God
is to take us from ~~~~
and bring us to~~~~~.

The work is endless
and yet it is complete.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sunday Service-April 25, 2010

Song-"...Into the darkness you shine...
Out of the ashes we rise...There's no one like You."

Missions video-I was moved by this video clip. I thought about it all this week. Sometimes, we glamorize the work of a missionary. But effective missions work looks a lot like this-Jesus, and Peter, James, and John. I saw photos of missionaries discipling just a few, or even one. This is what works permanent change in individual lives. Jesus had His times with the masses, but it was the few He invested His time in who took His message to the world. It's because of one of those disciples, that I know Jesus now.

(My perception on the sermon and what I think I heard Pastor Frank say.)
(I wish I could figure out how to word the perfect disclaimer-one that would give honor where honor is due and yet leave room for my human error in the process of hearing and writing.)

"Kadesh"-holy-'There is no one like You.
Our God is greater and stronger and higher than any other~~
~consuming sorrow
~you name it

God calls us our new name now.
He calls us by His finished product.
(Just like He called the 'sinner' a new name-'forgiven.'
What a great new name to have!)

What we are experiencing in the Spirit is in direct proportion
to our hunger for the Word of God.

Take a step of faith and a step of works.
Eventually, it becomes as natural as walking
and we will be unable to separate the two.

Faith will cease when we see Him because we'll be like Him.
When we see Him, all that remains is love.

He holds the universe and He mourns when a sparrow falls.
If He is holding us in the palm of His hands,
then we can cry "'Kadesh' , Holy. There is no one like our God!"

Paul, under house arrest, wrote Philippians.
He exhorted the church to 'Rejoice evermore.'
How could Paul rejoice under confinement?
He was learning to know an incomparable God
and his circumstances no longer mattered.

There is no room for other gods.
We're living in a culture of relativism;
tolerance abounds.
There is no one like our God.
He is the King of Kings,
the Alpha and Omega,
The Bright Morning Star,
Our Wonderful Counselor,
The Prince of Peace.

Don't try to bring my God down to an even playing ground.
He will shake things up and you will see that He is 'I AM'-
the God above all.

Phil 1:18-Paul rejoiced that the Word of God was being preached even though those preaching had the wrong motives.
Light overcomes darkness; darkness doesn't overcome light.
Dryness doesn't overcome fire; fire overcomes dryness.
Your fire will catch dryness on fire.
Your light will make the darkness light.
The power of the Word of God overcomes any wrong motive for preaching.
Therefore, rejoice!

Phil 2:17-Paul rejoiced that His life was being poured out.

The Bible says that the latter days will be greater than the former days.
The former days were glorious with salvation.
Someone is about ready to step into an arena of favor,
of power, and of doing the greater things Jesus talked about.
Someone is about ready to step into your latter and leave your former behind.

Story: A family's house was burning. A man's son climbed up to the roof. His father yelled for him to jump. The boy screamed, "But I can't see you!" The father cried, "That's all right. I can see you!"

God can see me even when I cannot see Him.
God can hear me even when I cannot hear Him.

Phil. 3:7-10-Paul just wanted to know Jesus. He counted all else as loss.

Phil. 4:4-Paul exhorted the believers to just 'rejoice.'
Stop worrying about the mouths of lions, the bigness of the giants, prison, chains, depression, your marriage, your children and grandchildren.
There is no one like Your God.
Rejoice in Him.
Help us to understand how big You are Lord.
We try to find our answer in so many things.
The Spirit of God in my life is a stronger opposing force than anything that would come against me.

Thirty-five pounds of chains were holding Paul and Silas in a prison cell.
But they began to sing because they knew the joy of sharing in His suffering.
They worshiped the God who was like no other.
The prison cell could not contain that kind of worship.
And there is no depression or discouragement that can hold you like a prison cell
when you worship the God who is like no other. God looks for a people who love and worship Him just because He's God and not because of what He does or does not do.

I want to experience everything God has for me.
We've lost a generation because we've tried to keep God in a religious box.
I want to look at Jesus.
If we don't know the fellowship of His suffering,
we won't experience His death and the power of His resurrection.
Even as we step into the latter from the former, each latter day
will become a former day as we go deeper into the latter,
and we will be changed from glory to glory
and we will go from strength to strength.

Paul wanted only 'to know Him' and because of this,
he was content in every situation,
because each circumstance-
whether he had much or little,
whether he was full or hungry-
gave him opportunity to know Christ.
I wonder if it would be accurate to say
that when life was difficult,
Paul experienced the fellowship of His sufferings,
and when it was great,
he experienced the power of His resurrection,
so that no matter what happened,
He was experiencing the fullness of Christ
and was getting to know Him
and therefore, he rejoiced.

Truly, it would change our lives if we lived like this.

Waiting Amplified

God waits on us.
We wait on God.

Perhaps Isaiah would have said it this way
when he was in a more talkative mood.
(Isaiah 30:18-Amplified version)

And therefore, the LORD earnestly waits-
expecting, looking, and longing
to be gracious to you;
and therefore He lifts Himself up,
that He may have mercy on you
and show loving-kindness to you.

For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed-happy, fortunate, to be envied-
are all those who earnestly wait for Him,
who expect and look and long for Him,
for His victory, His love, His peace,
His joy and His matchless,
unbroken fellowship!

He expects, looks and longs for us.
And we are blessed if we do the same for Him.
I have this verse by my desk and I read it often.
I love how 'He lifts Himself up' to be kind to me.

He gets up off His throne to show me loving kindness
and tender mercies.
I look for them.
I wait.
And as I wait,
He gives me His sweet unbroken fellowship.

And then I realize,
that this sweet unbroken fellowship,
IS His loving kindness towards me.
It IS His tender mercy.

What better gift could He give me than this?
Thank You, dear holy and merciful God.