Monday, January 31, 2011
Tues.-(1701 pfh) Busy day at school. Worked on some music theory with kids-spelling words with notes on a staff like beg, dead, deaf, etc. Read a story about Johann Sebastian Bach to them. Bach married his cousin-second cousin-and they were so grossed out. He had 20 children and only ten lived to adulthood. His first wife (cousin) bore him 4 children (others died) and she died suddenly. After a time he married a younger woman who loved music and she bore him 13 children. They were a musical family. They named 5 of their boys 'Johann' and two of the girls 'Johanna'. He had 70 some male relatives who were also musicians and 50 some of them were named 'Johann' also. After we practiced our recitatio songs we came back into the classroom and I let them play with playdough as they listened to Bach. Everyone should play with playdough. Select choir is working on a four part harmony folk song and at one point, there are five parts. It's beautiful-'Jerusalem, My Happy Home." It has an Irish lilt but it is American. Susan and I went to Walmart after school and came home and made some supper. I'm hoping for an early bedtime tonight. /Oh, I'm thankful that we had the book that Sara was looking for in the school library and she came and studied and took notes. It was so nice to have her in my world. She is reading on ? so she can read EC's paper intelligently. How many mothers would drive from Rice to Appomattox to spend an afternoon studying so they can understand what their child is writing about?! I am thankful for the funny moment in Select Choir when Graham started singing a song in opera and Susan whopped him and he said, "Ouch!" and stopped singing. It got us giggling and then those two couldn't stop. I am thankful that it didn't ice up or rain for Phil's sake. I am thankful for the nice conversation at lunch and that I got to know one of the other teachers better.
Wed.-Music Day with 4rth and under. Some of the children were concerned that we were singing the words, 'Bloody British' and I had already changed it to 'Mighty British' which upset another child who said that 'mighty' was an antonym for 'bloody' and that we should keep the original word. But the alarmed expression of one of the second graders and the fact that his dad said, 'It's a VERY bad word," and the fact that his dad is a cop and a Christian Cop at that-well, I kicked the original word out the window. I hope I did it soon enough and that there won't be any negative repercussions from not getting my act together sooner! Susan and I changed clothes at school and went to Farmville to hit the bank and Miller's Country Store and then to a Women's Ministry Meeting at 5. Dianna and I went to Ruby Tuesday's for a salad supper and barely caught up with each other at 90 m.p.h. Came home and cleaned up the house and got to bed rather late. I am thankful for the answers to prayer for those in our church-a job for someone who needed one, another contract for someone in the carpentry business, healing of hearing loss, a husband being kinder, a back healed, and more. It's so wonderful to hear the answers to prayer rolling in. I am thankful for the women at our church. I am thankful for a future and a hope.
Thurs.-Up at 5. Put potatoes in the crockpot. Read. Thought about the way God uses brokenness. Broken bread fed the 5,000. The broken vial of perfume poured over His body. His body, broken for you and me. Broken and contrite heart He will not despise. He heals the broken hearted. A broken reed He will not discard. A broken bone can heal stronger than an unbroken bone. Do not fret if you are broken. He heals and uses brokenness. He uses and heals brokenness. Went to school briefly and then met Lindsay for an educational project. Took her to Millie's store and she's having a 50% off sale off everything in the store! Lindsay got a few clothes and shoes for Adi and I got some children's videos. We went to Baine's and worked on a sticker books with the girls and talked non stop over a cup of coffee. Also went to Country Charm and they are having some great sales too. They took me back to school and I taught Art in the afternoon. Oh-at lunch I was telling the teachers how I was asking the high school students questions about the church-Christ's body, etc. and I asked them,"How will Christ make His church without spot or wrinkle and one of them said, "I think He will do it with a word." I wanted the earth to stop for an hour so I could sit and be still and think this through. "Do you mean that He will speak a word like He spoke Creation into being and will create a spotless bride?" Yes, he nodded. Well, I was telling the lunch bunch about this and our resident theologian went and got his floppy Bible and had me read Eph. 5:25-27-"...Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water BY THE WORD, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing..." So this young man was right on. It is by being cleansed with the washing of water by the WORD that the church will become spotless. I love and am thankful for the way God sheds a different colored spotlight on a verse I thought I knew inside outside and upside down and reveals something wonderful and deep and new in an old truth. And He often does it through a child's voice. We had a great time in Art today making "Phil the groundhog" puppets out of paper bags, coloring between the dried glue lines on black paper with chalk, and painting snow and an ice in the background for two black and white penguins. I brought my dehydrator along to speed up the paint drying process. I had the 2nd graders for an hour and 15 min. and it wasn't long enough. I wish I could have them for Art the whole day long. They are the most creative bunch of kids I ever did see. Came home and let the Appraiser into the house. Kind gentleman. I made some burger and added garlic salt, seasoned salt, Mrs. Dash, onion, garlic, salsa, plain yogurt and cheese. We ate that over the baked potatoes. Also made vegetables and a salad and Susan and I relaxed in front of a video of Mr. Toad for half and hour. Phil is getting home late tonight from the Abbey. Oh-maybe he'll see Michael there today. I am thankful for this lovely day at school and the great time with Lindsay. I am thankful that I have this day to love and serve and live. I am not guaranteed tomorrow or even the next minute. So I will love the moment I am in and embrace the experience of what my 'hands' are doing now.
Fri./Sat.-Serious toothache kept me awake most of last night. Made ice cream cupcakes. Washed. Saw the duck mating with a hen just as I was on the phone with Gil and he said that I'll find a sermon in it somehow. What I really needed was a therapist. That was just twisted. Susan woke up feeling heavy headed so I sent her back to bed. She slept from 7 in the morn. until 3:30 solid and I had to wake her up. We picked up Micah and then Serena and Abigail. Susan went with Bethany to New Life's basketball games and I brought the younger set back here for a sleepover. Helen sent homemade pizza along and we watched 'Balto', 'The Prince and the Pauper', and 'Blank Check.' I told them a rather lengthy bedtime story about little bears named Serena, Micah, and Abby, and their adventures with three eagles. I finally gave up settling them down from my perch on the sofa and hit my own comfortable sack. I checked on them at 12:30 and heard snoring. Serena was awake by 5:30 and the others were up shortly afterwards. Micah was giving Philip a hug this morning in the kitchen in the dark when I came out and I said to Micah, 'If you want to know what your daddy is like, just watch your cousin Philip.' Micah got all smiley and quiet and Philip was touched by what he called a huge compliment. I turned on the Stooges and Micah frolicked with them while I made donuts and the girls asked Micah to please sit down. I blogged some of their stories this morning. I wanted them to see the power of the printed word. I showed them what it looked like on my blog and said that 'maybe a thousand people might read what you wrote'. I think it made an impression on them. After a lunch of chicken alphabet soup and toasted cheese sandwiches and carrots and celery and 'Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang', we packed up their belongings and took them home, picking up Susan and taking care of Diesel for Alli and Freeman in the process. Susan and I had a long talk when we got home. Phil and Philip came home and she helped them with wood. I vacuumed and washed the floors and blogged. Michael spent the night at Travis, Chace, and Erik's new 'pad' and sharpened their knives and they made themselves a mighty breakfast. He got many calls from his sales reps today. Philip said he was so proud of him and the way he coached those working under him via the phone. I am thankful that my nieces and nephew just wanted to watch movies. That worked well for me with the toothache I have. I am thankful that PR was born for many reasons but especially for the fact that if he hadn't been born then our Alli wouldn't have been born and what would we do without her? I am thankful for the peace that follows right decisions.
Sun.-Whole face hurts. I think now it's one of four teeth. Good morning at church. Doreen and Graham were there for SS and church. Dianna taught on Service and she impresses me how she can pull things back together. Song-"O Holy God, I stay amazed..." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the eve. we went to a Super Bowl party. Had a nice time. But my whole face hurts. As we were drifting off to sleep I said to Phil, "Thanks for being so sweet." He said, "You must be on drugs." And then we had to laugh. I don't think he feels so sweet. But he is. And I have been popping pain killers as fast as I can, but I don't think that has much to do with me thinking he's sweet. I am thankful for stuffed mushrooms. Oh my word! Brown one pound of sausage, add softened 8 oz. cream cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix and stuff mushrooms and bake and overeat. I am thankful for new friendships and the restoration of 'older' ones. I am thankful that the miracles I see happening have alot to do with the reconciling of relationships. If that's not revival, well...it is. I know He will do more. He is not an unjust Judge. He wants this for us more than we want this for ourselves. When we hurt one another in the church, we are hurting His family. God help us. God forgive us. God fix us. And God make us shine. For Your sake and for Your glory. Amen.
Something I read in my Bible notes made me realize that Jesus refers to Himself as 'I Am' in seven different ways in the book of John. We could think about one of these 'I Am's' a day and we'd have a week of thinking about Him.
I Am the Bread of Life~
(He said this soon after the feeding of the 5,000.)
"I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
I Am the Light of the World~
(He spoke this after the adulterous woman was brought before Him. Her accusers slipped away when He said that the one who had no sin could throw the first stone. He did not condemn her either and told her to go and sin no more.)
"I am the Light of the World. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the Light of Life."
(And spoken after a blind man received his sight-)
"As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World."
(John 8:12, John 9:1-7)
I Am the Door~
I Am the Good Shepherd~
(Spoken after a brief conversation with the Pharisees on spiritual blindness.)
"I am the Door of the sheep. If anyone enters the sheepfold by Me, he shall be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep, and am known by my own."
I Am the Resurrection and the Life~
(After the death of Lazarus; spoken to Martha upon hearing her broken-hearted rebuke, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.')
"I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life~
(Conversation with disciples during the Last Supper spoken in response to Thomas's question, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?")
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)
I Am the True Vine~
(Spoken during or following the Last Supper before going to the garden.)
"I am the True Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. You are the branches...abide in Me and bear much fruit. By this My Father is glorified and so you are My disciples."
Our part and the results?
Feed on the Bread of Life-live forever
Follow the Light of the World-not walk in darkness
Enter through the Door-freedom and safety
Know the voice of the Good Shepherd-know Him and be known
Believe He is the Resurrection and the Life-never die
Come to the Father through Jesus-know the Father
Abide and remain in The Vine-bear much fruit
Not walk in darkness
Freedom and safety
Know Him and be known of Him
Know the Father
Bear much fruit
To be I Am.
To be Himself.
Think on these things.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Mark 6:2,3- The people in Jesus's hometown were asking, "Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Don't we know His family?...And so they were offended in Him."
The wisdom of God and the works of His hands operate together in Jesus and in us.
Those who knew Jesus in the flesh were offended by His strength in Spirit.
They held on to their natural revelation of His flesh and refused to believe He had an anointing from God or that He had come from God in the first place-before they knew Him in the flesh.
We do this to ourselves.
We get a glimpse of the works God could do through us in His great wisdom and we throw unbelief of ourselves and say, "Why me? I know myself. I know my background and my father's house. I know my flesh!"
And because we acknowledge our flesh over who we are in Christ, we do not believe in Him or what works He could do through us and what great wisdom is ours in Him.
We take fleeting temptations that fly over our heads and claim them as personal sin rather than saying, "That's not who I am." Rather than looking on His face, like a pet looks to His Master, waiting for His next Word, we snap at the insignificant gnat buzzing over our heads and miss the ointment from His hands that keep the gnats away.
O God, I am afraid of falling. I am afraid that if you use me like you use Jesus, I will take credit in my flesh for Your gifts. And then I would fall...hard. I don't want to fall. So if I stay on this level ground, I won't fall far. The higher I climb into the heights of Your presence, the harder I can fall. Oh, help my thinking to be right. O God, renew my mind. I'll renew my mind as your word commands me.
Jude 24-"Now to Him who is able to keep me from falling or stumbling,
and to present me faultless before the presence
of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior, Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power,
Both now and forever, Amen.
The Key? Jude 20, 21-
1-Build yourselves up in your most holy faith
2-Pray in the Holy Spirit
3-Keep yourselves in the love of God
4-Look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life
He keeps us from falling.
We use the key He's placed into our hands.
Friday, January 28, 2011
outside of the empty tomb.
The stone had been rolled away
and she was distraught
because the body of her beloved Christ
was no longer there.
She peered in again,
hoping to prove herself wrong.
Two angels were sitting where
Jesus's head and feet had rested.
"Woman, why are you weeping?"
"Because they have taken away my Lord
and I do not know where they have laid Him."
She was so focused on this sorrowful thought
that she did not think twice about seeing angels.
She turned away from them and saw a man.
She thought he was the gardener.
"Woman," he asked, "Why are you weeping?
Whom are you seeking?"
"Because they have taken away my Lord
and I do not know where they have laid Him.
Please, sir, if you've carried Him away,
tell me where you have laid Him,
and I will take Him away."
(Where would she have taken Him?)
And then Jesus said,"Mary!"
And the rest is history.
Good, true, life-changing history.
You can read about it in John 21.
You know what I love?
I love several things.
I love that He appeared to Mary first.
Perhaps she was the one who had been
forgiven the most and so she loved
Him the most.
And I love, love, love the first words
out of His mouth after coming back to life.
"Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you seeking?"
And then, "Mary!"
You know what?
You don't have to keep being tough and strong.
You don't have to keep holding everything together.
Because some of the last words Jesus spoke before
He died were words of concern for a woman.
He entrusted His mother to John the Beloved.
And He knew John would need His mother.
He desires to see you cared for also.
And He speaks His 'first words' to you as well.
"Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom do you seek?"
Perhaps He is not where you thought
He would be.
Perhaps you do not recognize Him
in your surroundings.
And then, He speaks your name.
What is your name?
Once you hear Him say your name,
you will see Him in a different way.
So tell Him why you weep and
for whom you seek.
for He speaks your name.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
This is how Webster defines that powerful little word:
"If not; in any case other than"
I looked up some verses.
They were just what I needed.
I wrote them on a little card and
underlined the word 'Unless' in yellow.
I underlined God's doings in orange-
help, mercy, comforts, law, goodness.
I underlined my humanity in blue-
anxieties, affliction, and lost heart.
I'll do that here.
I read and think on these words
and I am comforted.
"Unless the LORD had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
If I say, "My foot slips,"
Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul."
"Unless Your law had been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction."
"I would have lost heart,
unless I had believed that I would see
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living."
Unless the LORD had been my help....
Unless Your law had been my delight....
Unless I had believed I would see Your goodness....
We have anxieties, affliction, and we are close to losing heart.
But we have the LORD's help, His mercy, His comforts.
We have His law.
We have our belief in His goodness.
Without these mercies,
Unless we had these mercies,
our souls would have settled in silence,
we would have perished in our affliction,
and we would have lost heart.
Unless...then we would have...
Thank God for the hope in that little word.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
This again somewhat refutes the positive confession 'theory.'
"My eye will never see good." Job 7:7
But they did.
"Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning."
And the writer goes on to tell of all his livestock.
"And he also had 7 sons and 3 daughters. And in all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job."
Naomi also did not make any positive confessions about her life but she was blessed with a grandson who became the grandfather of David.
"Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Ruth 4:26.
I'm convinced the Lord desires complete honesty as we relate to Him emotionally.
The Psalms give evidence of this as well.
Read more of my mother's journal writings in the blog IBLieve listed to the right of my blog.
Mothers smell like their babies. Babies get sick or spit up and mother's can get a bit sour smelling by the end of the day. They change poopy diapers and play on the floor. They get dirty from following their baby around inside and out. They forget what it means to finish a sentence. They die to themselves. In the evening, they might take a sweet smelling bath with their baby in tow and come out feeling clean and new and the next day or even sometimes the next minute, it starts all over again. Mother's smell like their babies. I know some mothers like this. And father's too.
Teachers smell like their students.
Farmers smell like their cows, and tractor oil, and the earth.
Doctors smell like their patients and like Lysol.
And so on.
Who are you and what do you do?
Who and what do you smell like?
My son, Michael, works for Cutco. This is a company that's been in business for a very long time. They sell quality life-time guaranteed knives, kitchen gadgets, and cookware. Michael just met the CEO of the company. He said that he is just an ordinary down to earth guy. He goes to the factory every day and knows the workers by name. He gets dirty with them. He smells like them. No wonder this company is successful.
I think we should "smell" like the people we are around. We should know what makes them tick. We should know their happiness and pain.
Mary anointed Jesus with oil just a few days before His death. "In preparation for my burial," Jesus said. Jesus smelled like her. She smelled like Him. They carried the fragrance of each other through His death and burial. When the whip cracked and tore open His dear broken body, the wind of the whip carried a whiff of her love past His bleeding nostrils and it helped Him. Sustained Him.
I want to smell like God. I want people to sniff and say, "Oh, you've been with Jesus.
And I want God to smell like me. I want the angels to say, "Oh, you've been with HER again. The fragrance of her love is all around you!"
We should be close to each other like this too. The oil of comfort we anoint others with should get on us also. We as human beings should smell like each other.
Frightening, isn't it?
But if we really want to live with abandonment, we'll have to push through the fear. Why smell only like yourself your whole life long? Give your fragrance to others and let others give their fragrance to you.
Lindsay tells me that she likes when her kids sit with us in church because they come back smelling like Hertzlers.
And that, my friends, is what it's all about.
Monday, January 24, 2011
God is here and He hears me when I pray.
When I bare my soul to Him, He bears the burdens of my soul.
When I lay my life down at the altar, He alters my life.
When the enemy cites my sins before God,
Jesus brings the sight of Calvary before them both.
My soul thirsts after my dear Father
even as a deer thirsts for the rippling brook.
He'll heal my broken heart.
He is holy and I am wholly His.
I sing a hymn to Him.
It is easier to worship idols when we are idle.
When the vale is darkest, He removes the veil from His face
and I see light.
He increases the might of my smallest mite.
Sing a new song to the One who knew it long ago.
No man knows the hour.
As I wait on Him, He carries the weight of my worries.
Oh, He paid a debt He did not owe.
Can you watch and pray with our Lord for one hour?
Like the sun, the Son shines.
There shall be rain from Heaven and He shall reign over the earth.
He casts my sin into the sea and sees them no more.
My spirit soared when the Sword of the Spirit set me free.
I surrendered my pride and He pried it away.
What sentences can you make with piece and peace; prays, praise, and preys;
passed and past; raise, rays and raze? Loan and lone, missed and mist, plain and plane, real and reel? Help me out! My brain is tired!
Lindsay added, "What about 'When I feel like one piece in a million, I find His peace when I remember He knows My name.'"
Tues.-Good day at school. Kroger was busy due to snow forecast. Philip sick with fever-102-sore throat and chills. Too tired to write. I am thankful for the high school boys and how they sing with all their hearts in music class. I am thankful that they seem like little boys when they play with play dough (while listening to classical music pieces). Some of them always thank me for letting them play with play dough or color. I am thankful that Susan understood that Phil and I need some time to discuss her scheduling interests before making a decision. I am thankful for mother's letter and the words she said.
Wed.-Went into school for one class this morning. Had time to write and enter some of mother's writings in her blog. School was dismissed at 12:30 due to pending snow. We ran some errands and as soon as we got home, it poured down ice. Started snowing around 4:00. Our ground is saturated with rain and puddles are everywhere. I am not going out to church tonight and am hoping they cancel so Susan isn't disappointed. (They did.) Made some sweet potatoes and soy beans for supper to have with salad. Made popcorn to eat while watching a movie with Susan. Michael went over to Freeman's to borrow some movies before the roads get too bad. Philip is still sick. Michael is taking care of him. He doesn't want us to get around him and get sick. Philip said that he can see why you put a sick calf with a healthy calf. He would have gotten so lonely over there without Michael's company. We've been sending over tea and soup. I am thankful for the move 'Amazing Grace' that Susan and I watched part way this eve. I am thankful that everyone is finally home and under one roof. Or Two. I am thankful for the big gloppy snowflakes falling from winter skies.
Thurs.-Woke up at 4:30 when Phil's alarm went off. Couldn't go back to sleep and have a two hour delay. He needs to take care of Philip's cows too and be off at 6. He's working at the Abbey today. I had time to study and make supper before going to school. Back roads were icy. Taught art. K/1 girls made the paint blob/mirror type pictures that K/1 boys and 2nd graders made last week. They just love doing this. 2nd graders finished their long sheet with Jack's Bean Stalk colored on it. It filled the table. I am working on a Jack and the Bean Stalk play with that group on Tuesdays. Then they made things with paper and played with play dough. I watched high school gym class through the window for awhile before lunch until I could stand it no longer and went in and joined them. They were playing volleyball. It's hard to learn how to play volleyball when no one knows how to play. I had to brag and say that I used to be on a volleyball middle school varsity team and we won the trophy. (I also used to be on a high school varsity softball team-played first base and pitcher sub and our team won the trophy. I used to run for track and field, jump the long jump, and throw shot put. The key word here is 'used' to. But my kids might not know this about me so I need to write it down while I am thinking about it. I used to walk on the tops of white fences too in my bare feet. How in the world did I do that? Maybe that's a false memory. I also used to be a life guard and subbed-taught water aerobics and some swimming. ) Anyway. After school, Doreen and Graham met Susan and I at Baine's for a coffee/tea study hour. We'll have to do that more often. That was really nice. / I am thankful for the little girl who turned pink and had a hard time breathing when her favorite boy walked by her to go to the office. I kid you not. I am thankful for the little boy who didn't get to paint last week so I kept him with the girls. He wasn't so sure about the whole thing because they were telling him how handsome he was. "I like his eyes," one said. "I like his eyelashes," said another. I thought about keeping him safe by putting him at a table all by himself but all the paint was on one table. Once they got started on their painting, they stopped thinking about how beautiful he was and started thinking about how beautiful their creations were. I am thankful for my favorite street in Appomattox and the shop keepers who waved to me as they drove by. Doreen said, "Do you know everybody or are they just friendly?"
Fri.-Great night of sleep. Read. Studied. Blogged. Washed. Cooked. Cleaned. Made wild rice/barley salad and Lindsay's quinoa salad that she posted on her blog. Both were great. I made some Italian polenta as well for the first time. Cooked a big pot of black beans and will freeze them in smaller containers. Wrote to Liberty regarding multi-disciplinary degree. It's beautiful outside. Gray clouds moving fast and full sun. It was raining ice this morning when I took Susan to school. Philip is feeling a bit better. Phil is hanging a door at Gilliams and will pick up Susan from school which gives me an extra hour when it's all said and done. Michael is wanting to cook something. He is very tired and is working on cleaning up their male space over there. Phil and Philip were working at the Abbey this morning. Oh! Bev called. That was wonderful. We picked up where we left off and are making plans for going to the shore in April. I am thankful for the promise of a gift coming in the mail. /I am thankful for Bev and that she always sees the bright side. I am thankful for Zane Grey and the great stories he writes.
Sat.-Philip and Freeman are in a squirrel hunting competition today. Lisa S. wrote on face book that she was praying that the little squirrels would be kept safe over at Nate's and Michael wrote, "Too bad you didn't pray for the one's over at the Hertzler farm..." or something like that anyway. We think a squirrel started our fire so I don't think that they are so cute and furry anymore. Their hunting was personal with a touch of vengeance. Alli came and picked up Susan and they went Goodwill shopping in Lynchburg. I tidied the house and outdoors and went to the chiro. I have discovered something of importance during this 21 day fast. I should be feeling better because I am off of sugar, meat, white flour, caffeine, dairy, etc. but I don't feel that great. So last week I added more grains. And I felt worse. So tired. My joints are swollen and my whole left side is in so much pain I could hardly sleep last night even with several Aleve and ice and heat. So...I think, in fact I am 99% sure that I have a wheat and corn allergy. I knew about the corn before because I always get so stiff after I eat popcorn but I was in denial about it because it is my favorite food. Then, when I made some cream of wheat in order to get more iron, because I thought that was why I was so tired, I really got stiff and had a great deal more pain and tiredness. So, I am glad for my health that I went on that fast because I am going to eliminate wheat and corn from my diet and see if that will even help the vertigo situation. If I could sleep on my right side, that would help with the pain on my left shoulder since it is worn out from sleeping only on my left side for 11 years. (I get vertigo if I am on my right side.) Worked on Bible Memory system for several hours, organizing little index cards into a box and larger papers into slip covers and a 3 ring binder. Made some black bean soup which everyone seems to love but Susan and I. Tidied up the reading basket in the bathroom. Finished watching 'Amazing Grace' with Susan. Christi and Philip made some macaroni and cheese. Susan got a lot of nice things at Goodwill for under $30. She had a great time with Allikat. /I am thankful for the warmer day. I am thankful for the hope I feel in regards to feeling better soon. I am thankful that the rooster has no desire to attack me. He's gone after everyone else a number of times. Maybe it's because Freeman told him that he'd shoot him if he attacked his mama.
Sun.-Dianna taught on worship in Journey class. So good. Dorene and Graham came. It took them an hour to get to church.
Freeman and Alli brought us some of their homemade chocolate chip whole wheat bread which Phil ate on the way home, and some banana bread which I hid so he couldn't eat that as well. Alli said that Freeman was talking in his sleep and he said, "Yes, I want ice cream with my salad." After church we went over to the youth center to hear about the mission trip to New York City this summer. Susan wants to go. Michael and Philip and some of their friends went to the Hibachi Grill in Lynchburg. They are breaking their fast today. Susan went to Kelli's. Phil and I took naps. I went for a nice long walk. It is the first day I've had energy to do this for a very long time. The dogs were thrilled. "She's alive!" they shouted. It's 55 degrees and I keep thinking that I am going to hear spring peepers. We got to church late in the eve. due to cattle care and water problems. The downstairs looked packed so we went to the balcony and I led the way to a front row seat. Big mistake. I felt every movement and was up too high and got completely seasick. I tried to forget about my lurching stomach and be part of what was going on but we finally left at 8:30 and Phil rubbed my back while I hurled before we even drove out of the parking lot. Sorry about that. /I am thankful for Julie, who walked around the parking lot during the service with me as I hoped to throw up. I am thankful for Kristen, who I sat beside in the balcony and shared her sweet sympathy and prayers. I am thankful that God keeps His promises in spite of how we feel.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Put two quarts of chicken broth in kettle.
Begin to heat up broth.
Add onion, garlic, celery, potatoes, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, turnip, carrots, cauliflower, etc. or any combination of these things that you may have.
Cook until soft. Let sit off heat for a bit.
Blend in a blender in several installments.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
In the know.
In the inner circle.
Sometimes, in the body of Christ,
there is competition to be "in"
with those "at the top."
Sometimes, people will even try to hurt
others or tattle on them so they themselves
can be "in" and they can kick the others "out."
They are like small children competing
for the limited love of their parents.
I believe that if we knew who we were
"in" with, we would not strive
to be "in" anywhere else.
Colossians 2:10 says that we are
complete "in Him" who is the head
of all principalities and power.
-Can't rub shoulders with anyone
higher than that.
And we're complete in Him- the Head
of all heads? Wow.
The writer of Ephesians says that "In Him"
we are blessed with every spiritual blessing;
we sit with Him in heavenly places;
and we are partakers of His promise.
What more could we want?
And my favorite "in"?
From Jesus Himself, recorded in John 15:15,16~
"No longer do I call you servants, for a servant
does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends,
for all things that I heard from My Father,
I have made known to you.
You did not choose Me,
But I chose you..."
we're high up there with the Highest
and we've got everything we need.
We're in style with that beautiful
white robe of righteousness.
We're in cahoots with Him and what
He desires for the world and His bride.
We are in love with Him and He with us.
He clues us in and tells us everything we need
to know through His Word and His Spirit.
And, we're in the inner circle.
He chose us to be in it
and we are His friends.
If we got a hold of this,
there would be much less envy
and tearing down in the Body of Christ.
There would be a reaching down
and pulling up going on all around us.
And we would be extending the invitation
to "belong" to those on the edges
and the outside
and we'd want all of our fellow believers
to be "in" the inner circle.
When Jesus was here in the flesh,
He could handle three in His inner circle.
But now, through His Spirit,
He is not limited by the confines of His flesh.
We can be nice and near,
like one of the other eight or nine
or we can be in the inner circle,
where He can guide us with His eye.
We can be His Peter, James, and John.
(I want to be John. I want to lay my
head against His chest, and hear
His heart beating.)
This is the "in" group
where I want to belong.
Won't you join too?
Monday, January 17, 2011
"...Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life," writes Henri Nouwen. The reason for this is simple to see: by means of solitude God frees us from our bondage to people and our own inner compulsions.
To enter solitude, we must disregard what others think of us. Who will understand this call to aloneness? Even our closest friends will see it as a waste of precious time and rather self-centered. But, oh, the liberty that is released in our hearts when we let go of the opinions of others! The less we are mesmerized by human voices, the more we are able to hear the Divine Voice. The less we are manipulated by the expectations of others, the more we are open to the expectations of God.
In solitude, however, we die not only to others but also to ourselves. To be sure, we first thought solitude was a way to recharge our batteries in order to enter life's many competitions with new vigor and strength. In time, however, we find that solitude gives us power not to win the rat race but to ignore the rat race altogether. Slowly, we find ourselves letting go of our inner compulsions to acquire more wealth than we need, look more youthful than we are, attain more status than is wise. In the stillness, our false, busy selves are unmasked and seen for the imposters they truly are."
Tues.-Two hour delay. Ice over everything. Philip and Freeman both fell hard because of it. Worked on songs for the Recitatio today. Their favorite song was 'Sarasponda'. They liked the Boom-da's running through the song. Came home and made homemade tomato soup with organic milk that I needed to use up. Also grilled soy cheese sandwiches using Ezekiel bread. Everyone satisfied. Made a pile of sweet potatoes in the oven and kale/white bean soup for supper tomorrow. So very tired. I am thankful for dear teacher friends. I am thankful for Noah and that he is always seeing the big picture. He's about 7 or 8, I think. I am thankful for the student who tried to hug me today with lunch kettle in hand and back pack in the way. I am thankful for little Noemi, and how much her mama's heart longs for her, even though she hasn't seen her yet. I can't wait to see her either.
Wed.-Music Day went well. We started working on their Recitatio Songs in earnest, now that I know which songs each class will sing. They all loved the 'Battle of New Orleans' song. "We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin'...Wasn't nigh as many as there was awhile." I sang it in my best bluegrass style voice and played it roughly on the guitar. I am not sure if I averted a disaster or not in 2nd grade. Seems that my red head preacher man boy decided to clue the rest of the class in to his truth that there is no Santa Claus. He was steady and strong and although all five others were against him, he refused to give up his platform. One little boy, asked me with trembling voice and threatening-to-weep eyes, "Mrs. Hertzler, do you believe in Santa Claus?" I have never stuttered so much in my life. I said this and that and recommended that they talk to their parents. I was wishing the fire drill would go off and almost ran to the Principal's office for back up. One little boy had sound proof that Santa brings him gifts. On the gifts his mother gives him, she has name tags on. On the gifts from Santa, there are no name tags, and every Christmas, he said with a reverent smile, there are gifts for him with no tags on them.
K/1 were rather rowdy. One little darling drew me a pretty abstract picture. She said that it was a 'colorful meeting.' It was indeed. Came home and ate a sweet potato, salad, and kale/bean soup. Headed out to church in eve. Went to Sara's for a visit while Susan was at church. I have never been adored by a cat before but there's always a first time. Their cat, Buddy, sprawled shamelessly on the floor in front of me, begging for the attention of my stocking feet. Sometimes, he jumped up so his head would touch my relaxed hand as it rested across the arm chair, just so he could say that I petted him. He even sprang up to sit on my lap. Sara said that when I left, he sat looking at the door for awhile and then came and sat where I had been sitting. Then he went to the top of the chair where my head had been resting and rubbed the spot with his paws. I know this is ridiculous but I am strangely flattered by all this, especially since she said he seldom gives out these kind of compliments.~~ I am thankful for the humble confession of a child today and his desire to receive my forgiveness. (Not a second grader) I am thankful that the songs are coming together for the program. I am thankful that I only had to tackle one 'S' word today. I am thankful for blue skies and sunny days. I am thankful for Sara and the way she listens to me. I am thankful for her dreams and what God will do with them.
Thurs.-Art today. We blobbed paint on paper and folded them in half and created a masterpiece nothing short of miraculous. It sounded like Christmas each time they opened them up. "OOOAHH..." They each made 4 or 5 paintings and the tables and counter tops were full when I left the room. I will go in when I drop Susan off in the morning and gather them up before the upper grade art teacher arrives. One of the second grade girls realized today for the first time that Sam's mother was also his teacher and hers. I found that astoundingly humorous. Ate lunch with a little girl who was having a bad day, 'but now it's better since you're with me', she said. Had to take a nap this morning in the school library. Went to Walmart after school. Came home and made spinach salad and toasted cheese sandwiches with Ezekiel bread and soy cheese. I put onions in mine before grilling it in the waffle machine. That's the best way to make toasted cheese sandwich. Watched the real 'Pink Panther Returns.' Went to bed early. I am thankful that Michael got a call from Cutco and he is officially branch manager in Danville this summer. He'll get an apartment and have an office. Boo-hoo and hooray. Sad he won't be here much and happy for his accomplishments. One of the mom's at school had Michael over to give a Cutco demonstration. She enjoyed him so much and she recommended a friend of hers for him to go see. This friend told her not to send anyone to her house again. She said that she spent six hundred dollars and fell in love with him, (not necessarily in that order). I remember him coming back from both of those demonstrations saying how nice they all were. I am thankful to get to bed before 9. I am thankful for the little student in Walmart who gave me a hug when he saw me. He's one of several I'd like to have as my own. I am thankful that Michael arrived safely in Richmond tonight. He's headed to Atlanta in the morning for an awards banquet. We were invited as well but it didn't work out to go. Christi's here tonight, watching a movie with Philip. Phil was out working with his cows after building a spring house for Rich today and then headed over to Happy Valley Farm to start a fire in the wood stove so the dry wall dries.
Fri.-Ran some errands after dropping Susan off at school. Had to take another morning nap. Did washing, cleaning, correspondence, etc. Called Annie and had a nice long talk. Can't wait to hold her little miracle. She keeps telling him that his Aunt Annette is going to eat him up and he just looks at her with his big blueberry eyes. I am too selfish to go up the last weekend of this month when Tom's are going up. I want things to settle down and I want to have time to hold both babies without needing to share too much if at all. Sent Makenzie a box full of her belongings back to her in Kentucky at the Post Office. Took a leadership style test and found out that I am a 'Preparer' all the way. Had Phil take it too. He is a 'Proclaimer.' The test helped me understand quite a few other people. Nice relaxing day. Much needed. I am thankful that Philip has some friends coming to spend the night. He is making their breakfast for tomorrow right now, and Susan is helping him. They are going archery hunting for squirrels tomorrow morning. I am thankful for Susan's calmness with no sugar in her system. I am thankful that I got to talk to Annie, Sara, Missi, Dianna, Lindsay, and Judy today on the phone and Janelle on face book. I am coming out of a rough time and don't hate the phone like I did even two weeks ago. Michael should be in Atlanta by now. We haven't heard anything from him. I am thankful that most of the time, no news is good news.
Sat.-So tired. Just want to sleep. I don't sleep well on days when I've taught school for some reason. Slept well last night and could have slept all day. Made a big pot of vegetable soup. Also made a big salad and pureed veg. soup. Tidied the house a bit. Read and rested. Been thinking about faith and love and how they work together. Love Jesus's prayer in John 17. He finished the work God had given Him to do. I want to be able to say that when my time comes. Watched 'Rainman' in the eve. with Phil and Susan. I am thankful for weekends. I am thankful that I can check on line weather without Phil knowing since I am always secretly looking for snow and he is unsecretly wishing for it not to fall. I am thankful for the birds that sing so vibrantly even though their little feet must be cold.
Sun.-Hoses frozen this morning so we had to rush home after church to give cattle water. Stopped in at Janelle's after church to figure out what is wrong with her washer. It's leaking. Kelli came home with us and they dolled Susan up and took pictures. We had some soup and salad for lunch and the girls went to the river and Phil and I watched 'Fly Boys'. The Sandridges lent us some movies. Headed over for a quick visit with Tom's before going to church in the eve.
Church-Pastor Frank said that he feels like a head of lettuce. I guess we ARE what we eat. Sermon Title-The Simplicity of Devotion- Based on John 3:16-
'For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
Perish-To waste-It is possible to perish in this life and perish eternally, by wasting our present life as well as wasting it eternally. We can be believers who are wasting our lives. Do not allow the cares of this world to rob you from living and from bringing forth a one hundred fold harvest of the gifts and talents God has invested in you.
The word 'believeth' means a continual believing. It is present tense. Believe now and continue to believe. Continue to strive after Him.
Examples in Scripture of those who pursued God:
John the Baptist-No greater man was born of a woman.
Paul-Poured out his life as a drink offering to God.
Mary of Bethany lavished her love on Jesus by pouring out on Him the extravagant vase of oil valued at a year's wages. She worshipped Him and understood Him. She was the only one who comprehended that He really meant that He was going to die and she anointed Him in preparation for His burial. The fragrance of that worshipful preparation most likely stayed with Him until the time of His burial. If you were around Jesus those few days after she anointed Him and before He died, you would have smelled Mary, and Mary would have smelled like Jesus, because the oil was on her as well. Although the disciples scorned her actions, Jesus defended her and said that what she had done would always be retold and remembered.
Some time earlier, when He was at their home, Martha was scurrying around and wanted Jesus to tell Mary to get up from His feet and help her but He told her that Mary had chosen the best and He would not take it from her. When we have intimate moments with Jesus, there can be alot going on around us but the time with Him will not be taken from us.
-Mary Magdalene-about 1 1/2 years before the cross, she came into a room and wept at His feet and wiped her tears off His feet with her long hair. A woman's hair was her glory. The men in the room knew Mary as a sinful woman and thought that Jesus must not know what kind of woman she was or He would not have allowed her to come near Him. He knew their thoughts and told them a little story and said the one who loves most is the one who has been forgiven the most debt. Then to her He said, "Go your way. Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has done this."
Timothy and Paul were also examples of those who were more devoted to Christ than their own needs and rights. In the kingdom of Heaven, you don't have rights. You have privileges.
I am thankful for Dianna's Sunday School class and on the teaching on prayer today.
I am thankful for Karalee's phone call this morning and the wonderful news of her engagement to Jeff. We love them both.
I am thankful for Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene. I can't wait to meet them.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Moses fasted forty days and nights on top of Mt. Sinai
and received the law of the LORD.
When he came back down the mountain
and saw the chaos the LORD had already warned him about,
he became extremely angry and threw down the tablets of stone
and broke them.
You can read more about this in Exodus 32.
My point is this:
after Moses had a mountain top experience with God Almighty
and had fasted 40 days and nights,
he encountered a great crisis in the midst of God's chosen people.
He had to regroup, go back up the mountain,
and intercede for the sins of God's people.
He went on to lead them to the Promised Land,
although his anger got the best of him again
sometime later, and because of his disobedience,
he was not allowed to enter the Land himself.
Jezebel was after him because he had
executed all of her prophets with a sword.
After a day of running,
he laid down under a juniper tree in the wilderness
and prayed to die.
As he slept, and angel touched him and said,
"Arise and eat."
By his head lay a cake that had been baked
in the coals and a jar of water.
He ate and drank and slept some more.
The angel of the LORD woke him up
and told him to eat and drink again.
He ate and drank and on the nourishment
of that angel food cake and living water
he lived for 40 days and nights
as he travelled 200 miles to Mt. Horeb,
also known as Mt. Sinia-
the very place where God had revealed Himself
to Moses and the Children of Israel.
There, in a cave, God visited Elijah
in His gentle quiet way and encouraged
the old, despondent prophet
to get back to work.
He gave him three jobs to do
and Elijah returned back to his calling
as a prophet with renewed zeal and boldness
and as far as we know, was never depressed again.
Read more about him in 1 Kings 19.
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
after His baptism,
and there He fasted 40 days.
He was tempted by the devil during His fast
and after His fast was over,
He was very hungry.
The devil tempted him in three specific ways
and Jesus responded to him with the Word of God
and told him to get lost.
After He came out of the wilderness
and out of His fast,
He returned to Galilee,
full of the power of the Spirit,
and began teaching in the synagogues,
which made the religious leaders quite angry.
You can read more about this in Luke 4.
If Jesus was tempted to give into the lust of the flesh-
"command this stone to become bread;"
the lust of the eyes-
"the devil showed Him all the kingdoms;"
and the pride of life-
"throw yourself down from here;"
we should be aware that the devil
will tempt us also.
He tempted Adam and Eve in a similar way.
The lust of the flesh-
"the tree was good for food."
The lust of the eyes-
"It was pleasant to the eyes."
The pride of life-
"a tree desirable to make one wise."
Satan is not creative like God.
His temptations to us will come
under similar categories.
When one is fasting,
one is more alert to the anatomy
of a temptation.
It is after the fast,
when one's guard is down,
when we must watch and pray all the more.
We also see that after these three fasted,
their ministries continued with power
I like what Romana Dean Chatman says in
her book about fasting.
"The reward for right fasting is in the future,
in contrast with the reward the hypocrites
have already received.
The reward is not earned by fasting,
but is bestowed because of God's goodness.
Wimmer gives a beautiful explanation
of this New Testament concept of reward:
'The disciple of Jesus was a slave,
not a hireling,
and as such had no right to a reward:
But as a slave he belonged to the household,
and if he still received a reward,
it was not strictly due to him,
he did not "earn" it,
it was a gift.'"
Jesus taught that three things should be done
in secret; praying, giving to the poor, and fasting.
The reward for doing these things
is a gift given in grace
and is not to be looked upon
as a gift we have earned.
The same three men who went on a 40 day fast
were the same three men who were on top of another
mountain with Peter, James, and John.
Jesus was transfigured before them
and they saw Him as God.
Moses, the lawgiver, -finally
on top of a mountain in The Promised Land.
Elijah, the Prophet, whose life is tied
in closely to that of John the Baptist.
And Jesus-the fulfillment of both the law
and the prophets, shining in glorious light whiteness.
There is so much here-
I cannot wrap my mind around it.
What can we learn about fasting from these three men,
one of whom was the Son of God?
Be prepared for what is hidden to be revealed
among God's children.
The children of Israel did not become idolatrous
overnight; or should I say 40 days.
When you see things you'd
rather not see among the people of God,
remind Him that these are His
children and not yours,
and intercede for them.
Also remember that a fit of anger may cause
God and you some extra work.
When you've run away and are hiding in a cave,
listen for the still small voice of God.
He is a comforter to those who are weary.
Be prepared to return to the ministry
He's called you to with renewed strength
Be led by the Spirit to a time away
and to fasting.
Do not fast on a whim or because someone
told you to.
Be prepared to be tempted by the devil
and be ready to overcome the temptation
with the Word of God.
Be prepared to be full of the Spirit
and ready to minister
and be aware of the fact that the religious
people might not like you.
Do not stir people up to look for fasting's great rewards.
Settle people down to seek His face
and hear His voice.
For He Himself
is our very great reward.
(Scriptures and some thoughts were taken from The New Spirit Filled Life Bible-NKJV-
and the book "Fasting" by Romara Dean Chatham.)
The secret of the sweet,
of the Lord
have they who fear,
revere, and worship Him,
and He will show them His covenant
and reveal to them
its deep, inner meaning.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Tues.-Snowed a bit and freezing rain. No school. Caught up with Judy and Lindsay on the phone. Tidied house and blogged. I am thankful that I could rest today.
I am thankful for time with Michael and how much he is enjoying this extra time with Susan and I. I am thankful that the guys are out working in the barn and that we are all here together.
Wed.-Two hour delay. Schedule worked out that I didn't have to come in to teach the one morning music class since the kids are having popcorn and a movie this afternoon. Reading, Writing, and resting. Went to run a few errands before picking up Susan at school. Took Susan to youth group in eve. I picked up Missi and Lindsay and we went to Judy's. Lindsay took pictures of Judy's sewing room and measured tables, etc. She is going to Ikea on Sat. and buying some things to organize Judy's sewing room. She lays awake at night, so excited, and thinking about how she is going to do it. Now that's a gift. Judy gave me two large pieces of flannel with my new nephews names and birth dates embroidered with machine stitching on the right corner. I am going to make blankets for them. She also gave Michael a gift for grad-a brown towel set with his initials embroidered in orange. He likes them very much. I am thankful for the news of a marriage being mended. I am thankful for the Repairer of that Breach. I am thankful for the time to be with friends I've known for 7 years and a friend I've known for 26+ years and the comfort of them all.
Thurs.-School. Art class. Why can K/1 boys get the concept and skill of weaving and little K/1 girls cannot? Except one. And she was my helper. Couldn't have done it without her. Second graders water-colored coffee filters and we put them on the window to make a stained glass affect. First day with energy since eating healthier. Went to Coleman's and got a bird feeder. I filled it and put it on my little tree by the porch and while I was standing there, the little fluffed up birds came and waited on the branches. How did they know so soon? Went to the library in town as well and got two Poirot movies. Watched one in eve. Exhausting day. I'm thankful that although tears may endure for a night, that joy promises to come in the morning. I am thankful for CCA and my dear teacher friends and all of the students. I love every one of them.
Fri.-Cleaned up the house. Washed. Finished Lisa's book 'Canaan Creed' for the second time. So good. Got hit with a stomach bug early afternoon. Not nice. Michael dropped off Susan at Freeman and Alli's on the way to a Cutco demonstration. They went to Liberty's ice skating rink where the church was partying. Susan enjoyed skating with Mr. Leon who is a master on ice. I am thankful for people who care about my children-praying for them, skating with them, concerned about their education, etc. I am thankful for dear husband, Phil. I am thankful for time with him in the eves., watching mystery movies.
Sat.-Beautiful sunny day. Lost 4 pounds since yesterday. Can't eat. Cleaned house. Made pureed veg. soup, salad. Susan made a big pot of vegetable soup. Watched Princess Diaries with Susan. Took a nap. Made popcorn. Paul and Lisa came over and we played Dictionary and Pick One. Paul helped Phil in the barn before coming in. I am thankful for so many good writers around the table. Lisa won the game of Dictionary. I am thankful that the new shelves in our house have helped me get more organized and I can clean the house quicker now. I am thankful that the benefit of having a stomach virus is weight loss. I am thankful for our dear friends.
Sun.-Church. Kelli home with us. Long nap. Church again in eve.
I am thankful for books by Jan Karon-'The Mitford Series'. I am thankful for my children.