Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Thoughts

The other day I was driving home from somewhere and started having spring thoughts so I was jotting them down as I drove and when I reached our lane, I stopped the car and wrote some more. As I was sitting there, I saw a flock of turkeys, and Mr. Tom himself crossed over to the females and showed off his glorious tail. Maybe the hens weren't impressed but I sure was. These are the words sprawled over my tablet.

Forsythias-Burst of bright yellow in a barren land-
Sunshine one can hold

Hyacinths-Lush lavender loveliness overwhelmed
by passionate purple perfume

New life-Newborn calves exploring the fallacy that 'the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence' and finding it quite lonely once there

Bluebells-a promise of Heaven on earth's humble soil-
Bowing Blue Droopiness soothes my eyes
and fills my soul

Happy Swooping Song Birds exchanging news and asking each other with delight, "How was your winter? Aren't you glad it's spring?"

Do you have any thoughts about spring you'd like to share? What do you love best?

Hertzler Doings~March 28-April 4, 2011

Mon.-Went into school to practice for Recitatio. Came back home to try to reorganize a bit and then went back out to school for the evening program. Everything went very well. We sang songs and recited poems, etc. of Early America. K-2 sang "Yankee Doodle" and "Billy Boy." I accompanied them on the guitar. The last verse of "Billy Boy" answers the question, "How old is she?" The answer is "Three times six and four times seven, twenty-eight and eleven..." and our dear little Sebastian said, "She's 85!" He had done that spontaneously during a practice and we decided it was a keeper." K4 sang the alphabet song with the guitar as well and led the Pledge of Allegiance and also 'The Lord's Prayer.' Third and Fourth graders sang "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore" with sign language. I felt like crying every time they sang the line, "See my mother on the other side...Alleluia." They also sang, "Joshua Fought the Battle..." The girls pushed the guys down at the end when they sang, "And the walls came a'tumbling down." 5/6 graders sang "Sarasponda" and "America"-the round. 7-12 grader boys sang "Blow the Man Down." They choreographed some very realistic looking blows and some of them were 'knocked down' at the end of the song. The girls joined them as did the congregation for "Amazing Grace." We tied in the story of John Newton and his life as a sailor and how his life was changed by God's grace. He wrote Amazing Grace. Then the girls sang, "Simple Gifts." They sounded like a ballerina music box and I kept fighting the temptation to dance in a circle while they sang. The whole school sang "I Love Thy Kingdom Lord" and "The Battle of New Orleans." The audience joined us for a thrilling rendition of "The National Anthem" at the end of the program. Phil's favorite part was the recitation of Psalm 119:1-60 by the 5th-8th graders. He also said that an older couple had their eyes closed during "I Love Thy Kingdom Lord" and they were visibly moved. Mrs. Shorter accompanied most of the songs on the piano and Mrs. Knaus played her own transposed version of 'The Star Spangled Banner.' Her second grade class made the paper chain flag that graced the back of the stage. Oh! Select Choir sang "Jerusalem, My Happy Home." It's a very old American hymn. They sang it in four part harmony and sometimes five. I am sure I am forgetting something. A number of people thought it was our best program ever and the teachers thought that the students performed better during the program than they had for the practices. We were home by 8:30. I am thankful for the sweet grandmother who loved the art lining the hallways. I am thankful that the prelude went so well, with it's guitar, sax, and piano pieces. I am thankful that no one got hurt during the two fall down songs. It was a concern.

Tues.-Enjoyed chapel this morning. Sometimes the words hit me in a new and profound way and this morning was one of those times. What a great salvation we have! What mercy and grace we have been given! We talked about the program during chapel and throughout the music classes. The seventh-twelfth graders appreciated their Klondike bars. I didn't give them as a bribe but when I found out that some of them felt humiliated in having to wear their sailor hats, I decided to sweeten the deal, and told them I was going to get them Klondike bars for wearing them. Some had forgotten I said that and were pleasantly surprised. Others had asked Susan if I really was going to get them kb's. Anyway, I got to eat three today since two different classes ate them and of course there was snacktime. We studied bass clef notes and came up with other sentences for the note names besides 'All Cows Eat Grass' etc. We sang some Easter songs from the hymnal and played 'freeze dance' or musical chairs. I am sure that one of the boys would need some pain meds because he was knocked around quite a bit. It is really hysterical to watch the older kids play musical chairs. If only Mozart could see how we use his music to have too much fun. Went walking with Tina after lunch. After school, Susan and I went to Dairy Queen with Doreen and Graham. Michael made some burgers for supper. Tidied the house. Did some wash. Susan cleaned up her room and gave the puppies baths. Naomi called and we made some shore plans. Whoopie! I am thankful that Angel wants to be back here with me while I write but I am not thankful that she is passing gas. Good grief! I am thankful for the soaring eagle on our property. I am thankful that Phil did not have to have exploratory surgery on his thumb and that he has an appt. in 10 days to see if his body rejected the pressure treated splinter. I am thankful for Lindsay and her freedom to ask.

Wed.-Great day at school. K-4 grade music classes picked songs from the Recitatio program that they wanted to sing. All of them wanted to sing and act out "Blow the Man Down" and they pretended to hit each other and then they fell down at the end of the song. The second graders wanted to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" and I told them they should pray for America whenever they sing that song. So, they took me literally, and when we started to sing it, they went up to the prayer rail and knelt on the cushions and closed their dear little eyes and folded their hands and I felt hope for America again. I've been thinking about how Jesus felt during that last week of His life and the amazing amount of teaching that He poured into His disciples, knowing that His time was short with them. I've been thinking about what I want the children here at CCA to know and it is this. Jesus loves me this I know. And He loves you too. And then after that, to love God and each other would be the other truths I want them to know and experience. But if they don't know His love, they won't be able to love God back or love each other. So, we sang songs about Jesus loving them and we sang a song that I put their names in and they laughed loudly whenever I sang a name. "Jesus, Jesus loves Noah, yes, He does..." So, one of the second graders is getting a new little sister from China this month, so we sang the song for her, "Jesus, Jesus loves Noemi, yes, He does.." Another child said, "I want to sing it for my baby sister" so we sang, "Jesus, Jesus loves Willow, Yes He does.." It was just wonderful and holy and sweet. After school, Doreen and I went shopping for Noemi at Millie's store while Graham and Susan got ice cream cones from Country Charm. I brought Graham home to go to youth group and I get a kick out of how he and Susan can have a serious conversation and yet act so goofy with each other. Lindsay, Jess, and I went to Ruby Tuesdays to celebrate Lindsay's birthday belatedly. We had spring rolls and cheddar fries and Jess ate some blueberry cheesecake. When we came back to church, I went in to check on my Emma and Adi and Emma told me that she loves Philip and is going to marry him and I asked Adi who she was going to marry and she said, "Daddy." And that sounded like a good idea to me. I am thankful that the puppies are so cute and that they growl, bark, and bite, as they pretend to fight with each other. I am also glad that they are sleeping through the night for the most part. I am thankful for my new blog friend, Shanda. Check out her blog "Pieces of Me."

Thurs.-CCA for a day. Families are coming through the school, visiting the classrooms and signing up for next year. In art today, we are making little bird's nests out of melted chocolate and pretzel sticks. Then we are putting on colorful marshmallow chicks and jelly beans and the second graders are mounting theirs on branches and adding crepe paper blossoms. They are so beautiful. We took some pictures and it will be in the Times Virginian next week.Today in chapel, the kids sang, "Savior, He can move the Mountains" and I was overwhelmed again. It was one of my best days at school. We had a shower for Allison and a cake and the idea that she is going to be flying to China tomorrow with her husband to meet a child that is born from her soul but not her body is also overwhelming. I am thankful for rotisserie chicken and how easy it is to make a supper from the same plus tortillas and shredded cheese, black olives, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, sour cream, guacamole, and a quesadilla machine. I am thankful for my mother's kind words about our family in her email letter. I am thankful for CCA and the way it made me feel at home in Virginia.

Fri.-On the way to school, Susan told me that she is going to get a tattoo as soon as she turns 18. I said, "No, you're not." And she said, "April Fool's!" And I said, "That's good, because your liver turns the color of your tattoo." And she thought that would be cool."Dude! That would be awesome!" were her exact words. Went to my dentist all by myself with Lindsay's good directions. Everything is going well with the implant. The tooth that has been bothering me since Super Bowl weekend is still bothering me and I can't get in to the specialist until May to have it taken care of. Hopefully, they'll have a cancellation before then and they plan to call me. Went to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and people are not nearly as nice in Richmond as they are in Farmville and Appomattox. I guess it's the city. I feel badly writing that but there was such an obvious difference in attitudes. Phil picked up Susan from school and took her to Dairy Queen. She loves her daddy so. I came home and took a nap. Phil went with some men to Bug's Island. He'll be back home later tonight. I am feeling so homesick for him. Maybe I am worried about his hand. I realized how quickly something could go wrong the day he woke up with two red streaks going down his arm and his neck was all stiff and his body was in so much pain. A little chemically pressure treated splinter into his thumb and zoom...his whole body basically shut down. Susan went down to the river and took some beautiful black and white pictures of the bluebells using the one color feature. Black and white and blue. Stunning. She takes some of the best pictures I have ever seen anywhere. Angel follows me and settles down next to me with a sigh. I think she can feel my sympathy. The puppies are so big and are walking for real. They bark and growl and yelp when they are hungry. Their eyes and ears are open and I try to walk quietly by without waking them up. Susan and I are going to watch a movie tonight and hold a puppy. I really want to sleep with one but I am worried they will pee into my tempurapedic bed and that would not be good. The house smells terrible and there is hair everywhere. The floor is so dirty. Hopefully, I'll get to it tomorrow. Philip is somewhere playing volleyball. Michael is in Richmond training for Cutco. Freeman and Alli are at the Gibb's for a couples dinner. Gil is taking care of the girls and Lindsay is away on a Minister's retreat. I am thankful for family. I am thankful for the sweet friendliness of small town USA. I am thankful for the second half of the barn roof going up. I am thankful that Freeman helped Susan sight in her rifle for tomorrow's turkey hunt. I am thankful for Annie's call last eve. and for her homesickness for us and how we're going to fix that.

Sat.-Wonderful day to be at home. Freeman called some turkeys in early this morning and Susan shot her first Tom Turkey. Phil was with her. Freeman, Alli, and Susan took it to the taxi-dermist. Windy, cool, and sunshiney. Cleaned the house with a lick and a promise to do more once the puppies are out and about. Made the best potato soup with pieces of asparagus in it. Also made pureed vegetable soup. Janelle dropped off Buddy and she, Micah, her parents, her Aunt Carol and cousin Roydan, went to see 'Ben Franklin' and fly a kite. They stayed and visited for awhile when they came back. Micah had fun with the puppies and when they went to leave, they couldn't find Buddy anywhere, so they went home without him. A crowd of Philip's friends are here for a party. There's probably 20 people here! He bought a big iron kettle at an auction today and made chili over an outdoor fire. They made hot dogs, hamburgers, and s'mores, etc. Now they are in the house playing some board/card games. Phil brought in an extra table. The girls are holding the puppies. It's nice to see the Harvest/Calvary Chapel kids whose parents we have known for such a long time. They are all so grown up. Some of them just got back from a life changing trip to Haiti. This will be a night that I can go to sleep listening to the sounds of talking and laughter. Angel wanted to be out with them so she wasn't that interested in feeding her puppies. We gave one of them some milk from a bottle. He's the biggest one and so he's the hungriest. I am thankful for the faithfulness of God and His provision of friendships. I am thankful that Susan had great hunting success and that Freeman has quite a story to tell. I am thankful for Alli's chocolate covered whatchamacallits-oreo cookies smashed with cream cheese, rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate. I can't think of their names but they were amazing. Bon-Bons!

Sun.-I didn't sleep really well last night. Micah's dog, Buddy, disappeared some time after Janelle's troupes arrived last evening. He is nowhere to be found. I asked for prayer for him in SS class. It's such a mystery. Where could he be? Chris and Alethea did a fine job teaching SS class. I love when people share about their lives. It helps me understand them. We got on the topic of special days, such as Valentine's day, and it seemed to be the consensus that the women desired being treated kindly all year round instead of receiving a special bouquet that will die within the week. I thought of that during worship time. It is important that we worship and love God all year long,-all week long. Why give Him special flowers on a Sunday that will die within the week? Integrity in worship has to do with how I worship Him when no one else is around. Who can judge anyone else's love and worship of God? Who can judge what is done in spirit and truth but the one who Himself is Spirit and Truth?

Pastor Frank shared Job's proclamation in Job 19:25,26-"For I know that My Redeemer liveth, And in the end He shall stand on the earth. Though my flesh be destroyed, yet with my eyes I will see God...How my heart yearns within me.."

He preached on Galations 5:13-26. Walking in the Spirit. We are at war. There are two forces at work; the Spirit of God that raised Christ from the dead is at war with our sin nature. John 4:4-Greater is He that is within us, than he that is in the world. If we surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. The Word of God is meat to us, and our guide, but we must also engage with what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives. He told the story of a plane in flight and how the pilot decided to cut off the flow of gas to the engine. The law of gravity took over and the plane plummeted. So we must also feed the work of the Holy Spirit into our lives and not cut off its flow. When we hinder the work of the Holy Spirit, we end up needing to manage 'the crash' and our energy goes into damage control rather than growth. We also will make up lists of do's and don'ts and become religiously controlling of our own behavior as well as others. There are three present active verbs that describe how we are to relate to the Holy Spirit. Walk. Led. Live.

1. If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, which according to verses 19-21 are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions-biting and devouring one another, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. We may think that we would never kill someone but we would talk nasty about them and both sins are listed as sins of the flesh. It is important to walk in the Spirit and stay close to God and remain in His love. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

2. If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law. Kittles commentary says that 'Led' means 'the process of being prompted by God.' It is our daily duty and privilege to be watchful for the promptings of God. That 'ping' in our spirit when we are engaging in a fleshly activity such as watching certain movies, or saying certain things, is God in our hearts, trying to keep us from doing something that will feed our flesh, and make it harder for us to walk in the Spirit. We're going to feed one or the other. The fruit of the Spirit is much more powerful than the rewards of the flesh could ever be. Feed your Spirit and engage the light instead of fighting the darkness. We engage the Spirit where He is the strongest instead of feeding on the flesh where we are the weakest. When you feel broken, dark, and discouraged, begin to pray in the Spirit and worship Him and in engage in the act of the Holy Spirit at work in your life. You are at war and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through the Holy Ghost.

3. Living in the Spirit-'Living' means what we are doing 'right now.' "Keep in Step" with the Spirit. "Being empowered" by the Holy Spirit. We have a life assignment and we cannot fulfill that assignment without the Holy Spirit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Philip had a date with Emma today in church but she wanted to go to Children's Church with a younger man-Jack. So, he went down to work in Children's Church. He stood her up one week and now she's even. Maybe they'll get it together another Sunday. We went to Country Cookin' with Susan and Kelli and then came home. The girls went hiking, looking for Buddy, and I drove around in my gator looking for him as well and spent some time in my chapel sorting things out. The bluebells and the river help restore my troubled soul. I drove the girls over to the other property to see the bluebells and redbuds. Still no sign of Buddy. Made Gil's ice cream cake and froze it. Went to church in eve. Restless night. I am so thankful for God, who is my glory, my righteousness, and the Lifter up of my head. I am so thankful that when my heart condemns me or other's words condemn me, that He is greater than my heart and their words. I am thankful that it is while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us and that there is no greater love than this-to have Him lay down His life for me. I am thankful that Michael got home from Fairfax around 4 and that he had time to go fishing with Philip. Mitch and Mickey came by while we are away and stayed for awhile to visit with the boys. They brought a check for Susan's trip to NYC and Mitch held the puppies.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This is what it looks like when Heaven comes down~

This Sunday,
a young man was baptized in our church baptismal.
He accepted Christ as His Savior
just a few weeks ago.
Three young women-perhaps his sisters or friends-
came down by the altar
and knelt there with cameras in their hands
to take pictures of this blessed event.
They were not dressed like "church people"
and the one's clothing did not cover her
as well as her body art did.

Tattoos were being read,
camera flashes were going off,
words were being spoken,
"Upon the confession of your faith...",

heads were going under,
hands were being clapped,
and I thought,
"THIS is what it looks like
when Heaven comes down."

with John the Baptist,
we cry out from the prison of our hearts,
"Are you really who You say you are
or should we look for another?"

And He answers and says,
"The blind see and the lame walk,
the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear,
the dead are raised up
and the poor have the gospel
preached to them.
And blessed is he who is not offended in Me."

I think it is interesting that He didn't say to John,
"I told you that I am the truth; just believe."
No, He reminded John of the results
of Who He Was.
The lame walk...
The deaf hear...
The poor have the gospel preached to them...

Sometimes we lose sight of Him
when we are in prison.
Sometimes we lose sight of His Love
when we are invisible and locked away
and others are being healed,
and cleansed and raised up.

But blessed are we
if we are not offended in Him
as He does His work without us
and shows His favor to others.

Blessed are we if we can believe in Him
when we are looking through prison bars
or body art or exhaustion or financial
distress or any other obstacle that comes our way
to tempt us to be offended in Him.

Because He is at work
with or without us
and He assures us that He is who He says He is
by the things that He does
and by the precious people we see kneeling around the altar
taking pictures of their friend in the water.

Hertzler Doings~March 21-28, 2011

For some reason I am unable to print this in separate days. It all runs together. Mon.-Day at home to play catch up. Michael here. Went out to Lynchburg after school and found a few things to complete our wedding outfits for Annika's wedding. Internet not working. I am thankful for pink, yellow, and white blossoms. I am thankful for Phil's delight when he starts a new book. He usually reads it right through. I always have many on the go. I am thankful for children who tell me what is going on in their lives. Tues.-Worked on Recitatio at school. Second graders helped me gather sticks for an art project. We're going to hot glue yellow, pink, and white tissue paper on the sticks to make spring blossoms. I remember doing that in art class. I told the upper grade boys that I would give them Klondike bars for wearing sailor hats in "Blow the Man Down." Some of them are really getting into it. Especially when they fall at the end. Came home and puppies were starving. Angel's mothering instincts are more grandmotherly and she is not sure why she should be nursing them. She is a picture of obedience without the instinct. When she can, she removes herself from them. They are getting milk however, and and are rolly-polly and sometimes their legs hit the ground as they search for their mother's body in the box. I think I'm in love with them. Came home and talked with Phil on phone. He's working in Amherst. He called from the doctor's office. He got a pressure treated wood splinter through the base of his thumb around 11. Now he can't feel his thumb and it really hurts at the same time. Philip came home and made himself macaroni's from a box. I am thankful for CCA and the balance it has brought to my life. I am thankful for the opportunities the children at school have for learning poise on stage. I am thankful that sticks are still the world's best toy. Wed.-Practicing Recitatio. Suddenly got sick around 2 today. Began throwing up, etc. and couldn't teach my last class. Figured it was food poisoning. Some of the teachers would come talk to me through the bathroom door and they offered rides home. Phil came and got me. Was worried I wouldn't be able to go to the wedding because I could hardly walk. Susan went to Lynchburg with Loys and Doreen took her and Graham to VE in the eve. Phil picked them up and met her at Pamplin Exxon around 9:30. Michael was home. He found an office in Winchester. It will be named 'Hertzler and Associates'. Phil went back to the doctor around noon. He had a long red streak going up his arm. Dr. Tom did some exploring but couldn't find anything. They gave him a shot on his you know what. He couldn't believe it. Has an appt. for Monday. I am thankful for kindness. I am thankful for recovery. I am thankful for a good nights sleep. I think it was this day that Philip stopped in at the Bantons. The little girls were at the door chanting, "Philip! Philip!" They hugged him and loved him and he enjoyed it with all the bittersweetness in his soul. They invited him to Chi Alpha. Thurs.-Blood poisoning streak gone as well as food poisoning upset. Back to school to practice Recitatio. Held an art class for a visiting preschool. That was fun. I dried their art work in the dehydrator and it was ready to send with them when it was time to go home. For regular art classes today, we took pastel colored paper and paints and made symmetrical paintings by folding the papers in half and smearing the colors. Also hot glue gunned crepe paper blossoms on sticks and hung both the paintings and blossoms on the display strips in the hallway. Also hung up the waterfall kites. I love looking at all of their art work in the hallway. So colorful. Cleaned up classroom. Walmart. Hair cut. Tidied house as much as I could with 3 pooping puppies and smelly big dog in the house. Did wash and packed. Started reading 'One Second After' by William R. Fors---? It's about EMP's and the devastation that would occur in our society should there be a nuclear explosion. Philip went to Chi Alpha and enjoyed it. I am thankful that I got most of my stuff together for the weekend. I am thankful that the mess of the house is only for a season. I am thankful that the bluebells are starting to bloom. Fri.-Took Susan to school. Finished washing and packing and we picked up Susan from school around noon. Michael and Phil came in to find her. Some of the littlest kids were crying out, "Hi Michael! Hi Michael!" Read my book most of the way to Pa. Got to Joe's in 5 1/2 hours. Held Jonathan Robert. He's adorable. Looks like Micah and Karen and I think his Uncle Robert. Mom had us over for supper. Jim's and Anne and Dave and little David Andrew came. He looks like his cousin, Philip. I got to hold him and feed him and then he pooped on me a little. Anne had to change him and had forgotten another outfit and Mom found a wool outfit that Aunt Mae had knit for Johnny. Mom dressed him in that. The little buttons were scotty dogs. I got to lay down on the sofa with David asleep on my chest. I think I miss that part about my own babies the most. The snuggling together like that. Anne looks great. She's always been involved in the lives of her nieces and nephews and I am hoping to be involved in the lives of my two new nephews. Got to bed around 11. Finished book before turning in. I am thankful for Mom's tears as she dressed David in Johnny's baby clothes. I am thankful that we'll never forget Johnny. I am thankful for the joy that David and Jonathan have brought into our lives. Sat.-Leisurely breakfast of coffee and zucchini bread with Phil and Karen. Logan, Bradley, Michael, and Susan, got up soon after 5 to go to Shady Maple. Logan had to be at quizzing at LMH at 7. Mike and Susan came back and slept for several more hours. Had more time with Jonathan. Visited Debra briefly. Had lunch with Mom and Dad. Freeman and Alli arrived safely. Alli fixed Susan's hair and makeup for the wedding. She does it just right. Annika and Stew got married at Petra. The stage was set simply with the unity candles. The brides had royal blue willowy dresses with straps and a brilliant bouquet of flowers. They had quite a few bridesmaids and groomsmen. Annika had her hair curled and she looked like a Princess. Both she and Katrina are unusually beautiful but are natural about it and not cocky in any way. It was a sweetbitter day. Abie was missed. It will be two years this May. There was a note in the back of the program that Annika had written to him. There were acknowledgments of the lack of his presence throughout the day and we appreciated the importance of that.Rosalee's pastor prayed about their loss and asked for special grace. Don't get me wrong. There was great joy. That's why I call it a sweetbitter day. We went to Mother's in between the wedding and reception. The bridal party went to Pool Forge for pictures. They froze. Mother liked having us at her place. Abie, Margaret, David, Phil, Freeman, Alli, Michael, Susan, and I were there. Mother said, "I like this. I want everyone to move back here." I asked her about stopping in tomorrow and my brother Abe said, "Yes, stop in and make sure you kick the neighbors wall when you're here." I write that because there's a story behind those words and my sister will enjoy them. At the reception, our kids sat at the cousin table. Susan enjoyed talking with Seth. She said that you could really tell that Seth and Karisten loved each other and were best friends. Phil and I sat with my favorite Uncle Paul and Aunt Anne, Bob and Linda Buck, and Titus and Barb Kauffman. We had roast beef, chicken, roasted potatoes, green beans, shoepeg corn, salad, and incredible cake for our meal. The highlight of the reception was Katrina's poem and I will give that it's own place in my blog. We got home before 9 and went to bed. I am thankful that Phil came to bed and sighed, "What a wonderful day!" I am thankful that Phil always says that our wedding was the best after every wedding we go to. I am thankful that when I stood up to go out prematurely in the sanctuary, that I dropped my kleenex, and when I bent down to pick it up, I realized that it was the other sides turn to go out. "Good thing I dropped my kleenex," I said to my sis in law, Karen D. She is so easy to make laugh. I am thankful that she told me that Abbi said, "The Hertzler's are so warm." Sun.-Breakfast of coffeecake, Mt. Dew apple dumplings, and fruit salad with Karen, Phil, and Michael. Susan came over later, having spent the night at Jim's. Gave Jonathan his bottle. He is really a wonderful little baby. Stopped over at Mom and Dad's to say good bye and to hear Dad's prayer for us. The picture he painted of God with his prayer made me cry. Dear sweet family. Rich Deep Heritage. Thank you, Thank you, God. Stopped in with Andy and Lucille for about half an hour. Michael ended up sharpening her Cutco knives that they had bought from Johnny years ago. Went to Mother's and had some time with her. Michael kept marveling about how much Grandma D. and I act alike. Michael showed her his knives and explained his work. She enjoyed that. She gave us more hats that she had knitted. We bought lunch at the New Holland Sheetz and headed home. Michael wanted to know what Susan was doing for Recitation and he convinced her to recite as much of Ps. 119 as she could. He and Phil discussed Rhetoric, Philosophy, the Truth Project, ethics, and morality, etc. on the way home.I wrote down a few things he said in my blogging notebook. "Assumptions are the most dangerous forms of knowledge," is one of the sentences I jotted down. Got home at 4:30. I put some of our stuff away and took a drive down the river to see the bluebells. It's cold here. They had snow this weekend. Made some popcorn and watched a Pink Panther movie with Phil. The house was cold. The fire had been out for several days. I am thankful to be home. I am thankful for our families. I am thankful for Stew and Annika and their glorious love for each other.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Couldn't Believe...

She stood nervously in front of us,
determined to get through her testimony.

She spoke with love and gratitude as she shared
how God had healed her ear
and that she could hear much better now.

The church had fasted and prayed for
several weeks,
seeking God and asking Him to change our hearts.

At a corporate meeting where several churches came together
to worship after the fast, her husband came up to her at the altar
and said, "I want to pray for your ear."

He did and God healed her.

She said, "Now I can hear the children
laughing when they are playing in another room."

It makes me weep all over again
just typing those words.

And a little later, she said,
"I couldn't believe what I was missing."

I had gotten pretty sick at that same church gathering
and had left God's party early.

But He made it up to me,
for as I listened to this young woman,
it was as if God had healed my ear
and I could hear my children laughing
in another room for the first time in my life.

Isn't this what He does?

He healed the lame man and he went walking
and leaping and praising God.
He couldn't believe what he had been missing.

God takes the bitter heart and blows His lovely breath
on it, and it becomes soft and sweet,
and that heart can't believe what it has been missing.

He takes the forsaken one,
whose father or mother or spouse has left it
in one way or another,
and He picks them up and holds them to His cheek
and says, "I am your Father, and Mother, and Spouse.
I'm in your corner against the cruelties of life."

And that sought-out-one learns
to relax and trust and be loved
and they can't believe what they have been missing.
"Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.
The parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water."
(Isaiah 35:5-7b)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hertzler Doings~March 14-20, 2011

Mon.-"Cherish that Matchless Name...that name is Jesus." This particular 'Hertzler Doings' is my one thousandth post. Some bloggers get many hits a day. I get maybe one or two new people checking out my profile daily. Still makes me feel funny. Whenever I am insecure about what I am writing, Lindsay helps me by saying, "Is this something you want to record for your children? Is this something you want your children to read?" And that helps me gain my perspective and remember why I started blogging in the first place and then I go ahead and print what I have written. I have 1765 profile hits. Sometimes I feel like I will never write again; I am just that empty. Other times, I cannot find enough time to write or rewrite what is scribbled in my notebook. Sometimes I think I should wait awhile so I can learn more through what I am studying and thinking. Other times, I have an urgency to share what I discovered that very morning. I am learning. Always learning. I am learning to be brave. I am learning to not be so paranoid. Learning to listen.

I am learning to pray and ask God to have the right people read what I write. I am learning to commit it to Him and not worry. I feel better when I've had a chance to write. I feel antsy if I can't get to the computer. Lindsay says that means I am addicted.~~~

Susan had off school today. She cleaned up the old house and her bedroom after her birthday weekend with her friends. She shared her leftover soda and snacks with the boys and they were very thankful. Michael went to Richmond today. His manager is off and he is doing all the training. He is thinking through many things right now. Philip and Freeman are putting the green tin roof on the new shed. It looks great. Alli came over after work and walked down to the river with Susan. The rooster was ready to attack them when they returned and she got in her car in a hurry. Phil and I went out to Appomattox in the afternoon to sign some papers and I checked in with my dentist in the same building. He is sending me elsewhere to get this bothersome tooth checked. Hopefully, a root canal will fix it. Hopefully, I will not need another implant. He's putting me on another antibiotic and offered pain meds but it hurts so much less than it did before. I am not sure if it's always a benefit to have such a high tolerance for pain. It's been 6 weeks that this tooth has bothered me and now it is obvious that it is not sinuses or the other tooth surgery that is giving me the problem. It just seems wrong to spend this much money on a tooth. Teeth. I made calls for WM and organized some things for the weekend. A man came and fixed our fridge and I have been putting things back in there. Phil and Philip went to the livestock auction to see how cattle are selling so they know when to send theirs.///I am thankful that Susan is here to keep Angel in her box. She seems to be in labor and is shaking. She wants to retreat under the sofa. I am thankful that Susan had a day off school so she could recover from her sugar laden girl crazy weekend. I am thankful for the kind professionals in Appomattox-the mayor who is also my dentist, and our lawyer, who loves to discuss hunting with Phil, and for his sweet secretary whom he fires several times a day. They are all just the best.

Tues.-Phil, Susan, and Philip took watches during the night, trying to help Angel bring puppies into the world. This morning when I woke up late at 7:30, Phil was sleeping on the sofa, Susan was sleeping on the easy chair, Philip was in his bed and Freeman was outside wrapped up in a blanket helping Angel. She had three puppies. The second one had died, so there were two. We went into school late and both Susan and I were occupied in our minds, wondering about Angel all day. I kept having a hard time forming words and communicating since I can't seem to think about a laboring dog and speak at the same time. We found out via phone calls from home, that they had taken Angel to the vet where she had a C-section and they delivered 6 more. One of them made it. The others were too weak. They brought her box into the house but she wants to be on the rug beside Phil's side of the bed, so Phil spent quite a bit of time, laying on his stomach, trying to get her to nurse the puppies. She is still a bit dopey from the anesthesia. We will have her inside for two weeks. Philip and Susan went to bed by 7. Phil and I are going to bed early too. So, we have two males and one female and I want to keep them all. Oh-I bought a six pack of beer at Walmart and I had to fight the religious urge to tell Shirley, my sweet check out lady that I always seem to have, that the beer was for our dog, to help bring in her milk. Susan said it was none of her business and that she could ask if she wanted to know. I thought too, that this dear lady, may have her own cold beer waiting at home, and that I shouldn't act so pious about such things, for there are a number of dear saints, who have no problem praying while nursing a beer, and therefore, I should not have a problem letting them do so. Just please, don't drive. ///I am thankful for the spring rain pattering in the dark night. I am thankful for the coveralls in the dryer and the rackety noise they make. I am thankful that we are right with God because of the righteousness of Jesus and that He has taken our sin and given us His righteousness. In this world, we will have difficulties-not because there is something wrong in our relationship with Him, but because we are in the world and the rain falls on the just and the unjust. And He encourages us to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world.

Wed.-So exhausted from puppy duty last night. Angel wanted to be beside Phil on the floor. She smells bad. Then she decided to come over to me since she's a Christian dog and wanted to hear the man on the CD player reading the epistles. So I could hardly breathe. Plus she kept passing gas and Phil was snoring loudly. It was just too much. I got up and went out to the sofa where the puppie squeals and the heat lamp light kept me awake. Pretty good day at school teaching music classes. Went to a friend's house in the eve. to make some plans while Susan was at Vertical Edge.///I am thankful that German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Boxers go to Heaven when they die. I am thankful for the fun some of the Jr.High and High School boys are having as they sing and act "Blow the Man Down." They pretend to hit each other at the end of each verse and several of them fall to the floor afterwards. There has never been a Recitatio like this in the history of Anglican Education. I am thankful that Angel has just enough puppies to keep her busy. She is enjoying her mix of dried food, canned Alpo, and beer. She's looking pretty happy too.

Thurs.-Phil had puppy duty last night and Susan and I slept. Still exhausted today. Ran errands. Taught Art. Came home and rested. Have much to do before going away for part of the weekend.///I am thankful for the sunny day and the sunburns the hardworking men have around here. I am thankful for the gorgeous music being played outside while the guys work. I wonder if its a sound track to Lord of the Rings. I am thankful that Buddy didn't kill that chicken he attacked and I am thankful that he wasn't killed by the rooster. I am thankful for the little 5 year old girl who wanted me to sit with her at lunch and she wanted to discuss the Twilight movies and why she doesn't watch them.

Fri.-Found out yesterday that the reason the HS/JR. High guys sang the sailor song so well was not because of their new sailor hats but because Susan threatened them by telling them that if they didn't do well, they'd have to sing it until they did, and then they'd miss out on Phys.Ed. and if they did that, she would throw the dodge ball extra hard at them. ;) When Philip woke up Susan this morning, something was wriggling beside her in bed. She had forgotten to put Buddy in his cage and he snuggled in bed with her during the night. She said, "So that's what was crawling all over me in the night!" John and Jeanne, our neighbor friends, stopped in to see us and the barn raising progress, the pigs, cows, and new puppies. That was nice. Later in the day, I went to pick up Lindsay, and we met other women at New Life in the Women's Ministry Team and drove to Bug's Island for a 'brainstorming retreat' in a nice house and beautiful surroundings. We were up rather late, praying, brainstorming, and reminiscing and telling stories. I fell asleep to the wonderful laughter. I loved to do that as a child. When we'd have company and I had to go to bed before they left, I left my door open so I could drift off to sleep while listening to voices talking and laughing.///I am thankful for Lisa's delicious chicken BBQ, baked potatoes, salad, and Michelle's dump cake. I am thankful for the education I received from GenXers tonight. I am thankful that every generation-Builders, Boomers, GenXers, and Millennials-all want to be involved in a purpose beyond themselves and also want to learn from the generations born before and after them as well as their peers.

Sat.-Slept well in a different bed. Other girls were saying that Phyllis and I were snoring off-beat with each other. Well, you can't help what you do when you're asleep is all I can say. More brainstorming. Focused on vision statement and purpose for the Women's Ministry. Ate lunch. More brainstorming. Very prosperous weekend. Came home and went on Gator to O'Brien's to see if the red buds were out. We have a hill of them. They are just beginning to bloom. I don't want to miss a minute of their beauty. Went over to Happy Valley with Phil and looked through the house and walked around while Phil loaded up some old wood to keep it from being rained on Monday. While I was away this weekend, Susan watched a Barlow girl song on utube and watched the piano player and learned how to play the song by watching the upside down piano keys which I can't quite fathom but she plays it exactly as it is played on the CD and she sings it too and I am amazed. She also took great care of the house and dogs and gathered four huge bags of watercress. Susan and I watched part of a Pink Panther movie and ate some popcorn. ///I am thankful to be home. I am thankful for my family and the beautiful place where we live. I am thankful that Michael's office in Winchester will have the business name of 'Hertzler and Associates.' I am thankful for the women in our church and community and the simple yet complex need we all have to love and be loved.

Sunday-God and the rooster woke me up very early. As soon as the rooster saw a light go on in the house, he stopped crowing. He was crowing at 4 this morning! We enjoy our Sunday School class on marriage. Guess what today's topic was? I'm not telling. It was a busy church service-testimonies, baptisms, communion, worship, etc. Pastor Frank didn't have much time. He shared Colossians 3:15-17-"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Remember, that wherever we are-church or out and about, in everything we do and say, that we are representing the Lord...Jesus is the Living Word and He sustains us by His word. He is our ever present help in time of need and He is interceding for us and holding us together by His prayers...In the days to come, God will give us wisdom to understand a deeper revelation of His word. (Deut. 29:29-"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the Words of the Law.")(I asked someone about the revelations that Daniel referred to and he said that there are several kinds of revelation. When Isaiah prophesied about the Christ who was to come, that was one level of revelation. When Christ was revealed in the flesh, that was a deeper revelation of the former revelation. Does that make sense? It's not a new revelation. It's a deeper revelation of what has already been spoken. Fascinating.)
Can't get my black ink back.
Philip and Michael went to Calvary Chapel for their International Fellowship. Susan went to Kelli's for the afternoon. Phil and I were about to settle in for 'old people' naps when Janelle called and said Micah wanted to see the new puppies. Well, that was fun. I ended up holding the one for quite some time. Buddy was happy to be back with us. Angel wasn't so sure about all of us holding one of her puppies, because Alli was holding one too. She and Freeman came over to see the puppies and watch a Pink Panther movie. So we made some popcorn and settled in for a nice Sunday afternoon. Then we went to church in the eve. and had a great time.

Mighty Mites

Mark tells the story of the widow's mite in his gospel. (Mark 12:41-44)
I love this story.

Jesus and His disciples were sitting opposite the treasury and
they were able to see how much money different people
were giving. My Bible notes say that the treasury was located
in the Court of Women. (Hey! That's an idea to bring up
to the building committee!) Offerings were placed in 13
trumpet shaped chests.

Rich people were putting in a great deal of clanging coins
and they were making a great show of it.
A poor widow snuck in and threw in two mites,
worth 1/8 of a cent each.

Jesus called the disciples to Him and said,
"Listen up. This poor woman gave more than all those
who have given to the treasury, for they put in out
of their abundance, but she out of her poverty,
put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."

I looked up 'livelihood' and Webster confirmed
that her livelihood was her 'whole means of supporting life.'

I don't think Jesus was saying that we should literally be
like that woman and give away our last cent
and go home to die.

I think He was saying that we shouldn't go by the
appearance of things. It looked like the rich were
giving more than the poor widow, but they had
much more where that came from,
and she had nothing left.

To whom much is given,
much is required.

we look at how much people give emotionally
and spiritually, and it looks like they are
giving a lot in comparison to others.
But they are just giving a little bit off the top.
They don't feel the loss.
It didn't cost them anything,
but it won for them the praises of men.

And there are others who just give a little bit
in comparison to others, but for them,
it is all that they have,
and they win God's praise.
There would also be those who give a great deal
and in so doing,
have given their all as well.
They do it in secret and God rewards them openly.

people appear to have great "riches",
but in the inside,
they only have two mites,
and when they give it,
we are disappointed,
because we thought they were a wealth
of emotional stability and spiritual maturity,
but in truth,
they have given all that they have,
and in truth,
we are in their lives to give to them,
and not the other way around.

people are giving their riches elsewhere
and only have two mites on which to live.
I'm thinking of the new mother who gives of her
strength and her 'wealth' to her new baby
while the bewildered new father
looks on with dismay at the leftover mites.

And so we understand,
that there are seasons in life.
Sometimes we have riches to spare
and sometimes the little we give
is all that we have.

In the Kingdom of God,
things are not always as they appear
to human eyes.

Oh, God,
give us eyes to see as you see
and give us Your grace to understand.
11 Corinthians 9:7,8~"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart,
not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God
is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having
all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."

Philippians 4:12, 19~"I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.
Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry,
both to abound and to suffer need....And my God shall supply all your needs
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heart after God

David was the youngest in a large family of boys.
He watched the sheep.
He wrote and sang new songs with a harp
and we can read some of those
songs in the book of Psalms.

He killed a lion and a bear and a giant.
He killed thousands of enemies
for his people and his king.
The king gave him his daughter as a wife
because he was so pleased with him.

David was anointed as king but had to keep
on the run for many years
because King Saul was jealous
of him and wanted to kill him
because he knew God had left him
and had gone to be with David.
He knew David was God's new chosen king.

David was very sad when Saul, the king, died in battle.
His best friend, Jonathan, and Jonathan's two brothers,
were also killed on the same day.
All three of them were Saul's sons.

David eventually became king.
He fought wars and did many good things
for God and His people in the land of Israel.

One day he saw a beautiful lady
and arranged for her to come visit him.
Her name was Bathsheba.
They became a little too friendly
and she got pregnant
and David had her husband killed off
(as a last resort)
to try to hide his sin.
God sent a prophet to set David straight
and David repented of his sin.

The son born to this pretty lady died
but they had another son named
Solomon, who eventually became king.

David had lots of family trouble after he killed Uriah,
Bathsheba's husband.
His daughter was violated by her half brother
and David didn't do much about it
so her brother Absalom took matters into his
own hands and blood was shed in the family.
Brother killing brother and the like.

Absalom had to stay away from home for a long time
and David was finally somewhat reconciled to him.
But there wasn't any real peace there and Absalom
thought he could do a better job than David as king
but in the process of the conflict that ensued,
Absalom's long hair got caught up in a tree branch
and David's trusted army captain saw to it
that Absalom breathed no more.

I didn't even tell you about Abigail and her stupid
husband and how David married her also.

In all of this,
through all of this,
David was described as a man
after God's own heart.

When he made mistakes,
He came back to God.
He was always hungry and thirsty for God.

God redeems negative experiences in our lives.
He uses our mistakes.
He forgives our many sins.
And we are always hungry and thirsty for God.
And He calls us a child after His own heart.

God keeps us from making a lot of mistakes.
He keeps us from doing things
that we would have to pay for the
rest of our lives.
And we are always hungry and thirsty for God.
And He calls us His child after His own heart.

My point is this.
David was already a man after God's own heart
when he was all alone in the sheep field,
playing his harp. In fact, it was in these

'anonymous' years that his heart for God was most
likely developed.

Many people suffered from David's sin.
Much blood was shed. Many hearts were broken.
He and his people wouldn't have had to go
through all of that trauma
in order for God to call him a man after His own heart.

And so I say to you,
be a man and woman after God's own heart.
Let Him keep you from sin.
Don't do stupid stuff like looking at naked women
when you should be fighting a battle.

Don't be lazy about defending your own children
because you're too busy with politics and kingdom work.

Don't do stuff that God has to redeem
if you can at all possibly help it.

You can be a man and a woman after God's own heart
without doing things that need forgiveness and that ruin
your testimony.

The blessing of the Lord
makes you rich,
and He adds no sorrow to it.

You are blessed.
Don't add sorrow to your blessing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hertzler Doings~March 7-13, 2011

Mon.-Susan stayed home from school and slept until after 10:30. She worked on her room off and on and slept again most of the afternoon. Freeman and Alli made Philip a mixed berry cobbler and he shared it with all of us. It was delicious. I did some reading, some wash, some blogging and cleaning, and exercise. Phil, Philip, and Freeman are working on the new shed. Philip sent some more cattle to the market and he and Phil went to the auction to see how they sell. Michael said today, "I just wish Jesus were here so I could sit down and talk with Him. I need His wisdom so much." I had to go cry and pray that Jesus would come sit down and talk with Him here instead of taking Michael up to Him for the talk. ///I am thankful for my husband and the way our children look up to him and how thankful they are for his example. Michael was remembering things his dad told him years ago and the direction he's been given through those words. I am thankful for friends who call just when I need them. I am thankful for the humor of God and the way He displays it through a motley group of hens, a rooster, and a duck who is definitely in the midst of an identity crisis. I am thankful for the pigs and the new repertoire of noises, facial expressions, and movements that the boys have acquired since welcoming them to our farm. They give little demonstrations of the pigs behavior. The pigs entertain them and they in turn, entertain us by reliving their entertainment. You have to see it to believe it.

Tues.-Busy, busy school day. I love when I have time to sit in chapel and hear the scriptures and prayers read. We're getting ready for Recitatio and the pressure is on in music class. Susan was in school but wasn't feeling really well. She stuck out the day in part because Graham begged her, "Please don't leave me." She felt sorry for him. (They are just good friends.) I walked in the morning with Tina and someone should have told me ahead of time that she was an athletic director for 12 years. She had me jogging and everything! Ran out for groceries during my one free period and really felt behind the whole day. Made quesadilla's for supper with my new little machine and every one is thrilled with the results. Jordan and Michael were down by the river and came up when it was dark. Philip went to the Financial Peace class. Susan is working hard to catch up on missed school work. Phil gathered plenty of eggs this eve. and is out working with the cows in the dark.///I am thankful that I have my own personal trainer with no cost-financially, that is. I am thankful God answered Michael's Monday prayer today. I am thankful for the chorus of the old hymn 'Stranger of Galilee'-"And I felt I could love Him for ever, So gracious and tender was He! I claimed Him that day as my Savior, This stranger of Galilee." I'm sure Judy will remember that song.

Wed.-taught younger classes in music. I changed some of the words to 'Yankee Doodle' and 'Billy Boy' and they laughed loudly and shouted out the right words. "Can she bake a shoofly pie...CHERRY PIE!.." etc. I made a dinosaur with play dough as we listened to music in K/1. I showed it to the little girl who loves dinosaurs, saying, "It's not a very good dinosaur." She looked at it and said, "That's exactly what it looks like." And I felt good all day. Again, I learn from the little ones the right way to talk and be. Listened to 4-H speeches in chapel and was inspired to begin running, raise chickens, accept cats into our menagerie of animals, etc. The kids did so well. Not feeling great. Fighting something. Kids are sick at school. Met with two friends separately in the eve.before and after church.///Thankful for the two young ladies who help me teach music to the younger children. Thankful that the truth really does set people free. Thankful that those with keys to unlock doors show up at the right time. Thankful for the funny woman who sat beside me during the 4-H speeches and had me 'rolling' in my seat.

Thurs.-Kids dropping like flies with flu/fever symptoms. Turned the waterfall art projects into kites and hung them in the hallway. Hung the 2nd grade batiks on the windows for the light to shine through. Not feeling well. Achey and hot. Took homeopathic flu meds. Took temp when I got home and had a fever. Went to bed at 5 and slept til 6 the next morning.///Thankful for freedom to sleep when I needed to. Thankful that Susan took care of things. Thankful for a warm house. Thinking about marathons and sprints in the spiritual sense of thing. We need to be prepared for both these days. If we are prepared to run a marathon, we will be in shape for the sprint. But if we are only prepared for the sprint, we will not be in shape for the marathon. We need to eat good healthy food to run any kind of marathon. We cannot live on the promise of an eventual feast or something good that will happen someday. We must eat living manna every day, dig our wells deep, and meditate on and memorize the scriptures so we have calories to last the long haul. God give us help and grace to know how to 'eat' His words. 'Your words were found and I did eat them, and they were to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by thy name O Lord.' (Jeremiah)

Fri.-Went into school and found out Japan had a 8.9 earthquake. Tsunami hit and hundreds are dead. We're wondering if friends in flight towards Japan had change of plans. Don't know anything else. Praying and hoping for the best. Cleaned out 'dead' fridge and Philip brought in his little one and I used a cooler and outside fridge as well. Cleaned back porch too. Angel's box is back there now and hopefully, she will successfully have her first real litter of puppies soon. Susan went to bed by 7. Phil put in new toilet in her bathroom. Preparing for her party for weekend. Found out I planned Banton birthday party while I was on dentist drugs and that's why I couldn't remember any of the plans. Thankful that I am not going crazy afterall. Thankful for forgiveness and redemption. Thankful that Philip has a party to go to tonight.

Sat.-Picked up girls for Susan's birthday sleepover. Kelly at Noah's. Kelli at Streams. Cassidy at Church. Sara at Walmart. I could tell where the girls were at Walmart no matter where I was. I peeked my head around to check on them to make sure that Security was not closing in around them. They got their traditional junk food/drinks and we came home and baked the pizza. They have been hanging out and taking walks. Philip brought a forlorn little calf to the house. His mommy doesn't seem too interested in him and he's only a day old. He rather liked me and after following me around for awhile, settled himself at my feet to rest. Philip tried again to get his mama to care for him. We are hoping that I didn't smell too good or perfumey when I was petting him. Cows aren't as picky as birds or rabbits in that matter but we still need to be careful. (Discovered he was a twin. His mommy is doing better with him now.) Michael got home around 5:40 and went to his room to change. The girls hustled over to show him some pictures and I caught them just in time and told them he's changing clothes. They screamed and cried, "Retreat! Retreat!" and scampered stocking footed over damp mud back to their safe room in the old house. Sarah's mother picked her up before dark and then the girls built a fire down at the river and roasted hot dogs and s'mores. Susan drove the gator down so they didn't have to dodge cow pies in the dark. They slept over in the fixed up room in the old house.///I am thankful that Phil walked down to the river in the dark after 9:30 to check on the girls since I was worried about them. He ate a hot dog and started walking back up. Angel had been with them the whole time they were there but started walking back up with Phil. She stopped on the pathway and sniffed around, took a look at him, and went back to the girls. I wonder what she smelled. I am thankful for Angel and her desire to take care of the most vulnerable among us selflessly. I am thankful for the shrieks of laughter I've heard for hours today.

Sunday-Got to SS a little late today, but that's not so bad seeing that time sprang forward this morning and we had 3 extra girls that needed to get ready. Michael made them a big breakfast of bacon, sausage, potatoes, and eggs. We're enjoying our marriage class. Stephanie T. led worship and Pastor Alvin L. preached. Good good good. Sermon was taken from Joshua 5:15-15~Josh. 6:1-5. Joshua had been called to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. He had a busy week prior to a specific event which became his own personal 'Do What?!' Moment. Joshua had a private encounter with a Man who stood opposite him with His sword drawn. Joshua went to him and asked,"Are you for us or for our enemies?" The Man replied,"No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Joshua switched his perspective, fell on his face and worshiped, and changed his question, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" Then the Commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so. Then the LORD (The Commander of the Lord's army) told him to march the Children of Israel-priests, ark of the covenant, singers, etc. around the city of Jericho one time for six days in a row....on the seventh day, march around it 7 times, and then blow the trumpet and shout and the walls will fall down flat, and then go in and take the city. (Joshua would be a great book to read in one sitting.)

PA's points-God wants to do something great through you but He can't until He does something great in you.

1-The Who? God wants to reveal Jesus to you. Joshua encountered Jesus but didn't recognize Him. (He wouldn't have known Him as Jesus because Christ wasn't revealed as Jesus at that point in time. He did however, recognize Him as 'Lord.' The name 'Joshua' means "Yahweh is Salvation" in Hebrew. The name 'Jesus' means "Yahweh is Salvation" in Greek. Joshua was a type or symbol of Christ in the Old Testament. Joshua led the Children of Israel into the Promised Land to possess their inheritance, just as Jesus leads His children to possess eternal life with Him.) How often do we stand in front of Jesus and not recognize Him? We don't recognize Him with that fearless expression and that sword in His hand. He is on His own side. And we want to be on His. Too often we are too busy to recognize Him. We also need to help people to stop seeing us and to start seeing Jesus.

2-The What? God wants to tell you what to do. Joshua was closest to one of the greatest breakthroughs in his life. The 'taking of Jericho' had never happened to him before. Have you ever been near one of the greatest breakthroughs of your life and you didn't know what to do? Recognize who He is, fall on your face and worship Him, and ask the question, "What do you want me to do? What do you have to say to me?" Most likely, the answer will require great obedience and great trust. If we are not willing to obey Him, then we are also not willing to trust Him. (Sometimes our biggest breakthrough looks more like our biggest obstacle. We need a promise and a plan and sometimes an attitude adjustment in between those two p's in order to change our perspective from 'obstacle' to 'breakthrough.')

3-The How? In order for us to recognize who God is and hear His Words to us, we must spend time alone with Him. He is a truth teller. He will tell us the truth. Our part is to submit to Him. What did He say to Joshua? "Take off your sandals, for the place where you stand is holy ground." Joshua was a busy man. We are busy people. But He tells us to take off our shoes and slow down. God wanted His holiness to touch one of the dirtiest parts of Joshua's body. The soles of his sandals were the only thing separating him from God's holiness. God wants His holiness to touch the dirtiest parts of our lives. We must submit to Him in order for this to happen.

It was only after Joshua's obedience that God shared with him His strategy for conquering Jericho.

What is it in your life that God is asking you to submit to Him? What area does He want to connect with His holiness? Recognize Jesus. Worship Him. Surrender to Him. Stop. Take off your shoes. Submit. And be strong and of good courage and carry out His plan.

(I think it is interesting that earlier, (Josh 1:3) God promised Joshua that every place his foot shall rest would be given to him. It was just a short while later that God told him to take off his sandals. Could it be that it was in the surrender of everything to God, including the promised ownership of the land, that the promised ownership was made a reality?
Also, Joshua could have gone ahead in the natural and taken the land that was promised to him. But instead, God met with him, and through that encounter, Joshua's strategy for taking the promised land was most likely changed from a natural war strategy in which he would have received the glory to a supernatural strategy, in which God alone would receive the glory. Sometimes, God gives us a promise. It is natural to go ahead and take 'what is ours' without first acknowledging His Lordship and getting a strategy for receiving what is Promised from His hand and not our own labors. But no longer can we conduct 'business as usual' when there is in front of us a Jericho whose walls need to come down.)
The boys went to Calvary Chapel today to visit some old buddies. I haven't seen them since this morning. Susan has been sleeping all afternoon. Janelle and Micah came and he sat on my lap right away and rocked and rocked. He's getting so long. He is loving school now. "He loves it and he hates it." Sounds pretty normal to me. They brought Buddy. We're watching him while Janelle is studying one last week at EMU. Micah is staying at Tom's for the week. Phil had him watch one episode of the Three Stooges with him. Phil and I watched an old Pink Panther movie and read while we kept the front door open. It's so beautiful outside. I was relieved to get an email from some friends who were flying to Tokyo when the earthquake hit. They were able to land there and had a 2 hour delay and are now in Singapore which was their destination. She said that everyone was very somber over there and that it is a very sad situation. We keep praying for them. PR shared this morning about how Apostle Paul prayed for more boldness and didn't worry about the safety of his life. I was thinking about that with our friends. We want them to be safe and God wants them to be over there to be strength, peace, hope, and light, in a desperate situation. Sometimes, just who we are, brings a stabilizing to a land. If we could only see how God sees. His ways are so much higher than ours. Went to church in the evening. I liked the points about the reasons to have solitude. Solitude gives us time to reflect, create, pray, study, and plan.///I am thankful for the words I heard sung this morning which were the same words I heard in the time of quiet which I find too sacred to print. I am thankful for the women of our church and the way I feel about them. I am thankful for the amazing turn-about of events that occurred for me on face book this week and that God is my most Blessed Redeemer. Thank you, Thank you God.

Crazy about me

I just got off the phone with my friend, Judy, and she told me that yesterday, after she picked up her granddaughter, Sammy Jo, and put her in her car seat, she piped up and said, "Do you know Annette is crazy about me?"

I just love that.

What greater joy can we have than to realize
that our loved ones know that we are crazy about them?


And what greater joy can God have than to realize
that His loved ones know that He is crazy about them?

Dear Old Words

I've been playing the piano and singing
my way through the hymn book.
It's more addicting than face book.
The pay-offs are great.
Read some of the dear old words
I sang today.

"Break Thou the Bread of life,
Dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves
Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page
I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee,
O living Word!"
(Mary A. Lathbury)

I love how we seek Him in the sacred page-the Bible-
and that we also seek Him beyond the sacred page.
What do you think that means?
I see Him written in the hearts of little children.
I see Him in my family.
I see Him in nature.
I see Him in the ordinary.
I see Him anytime there is grace and mercy shown.
One of my mother's favorite hymns
is also my favorite. It always made her cry.
I 'sang it for her' today.
I must use the color purple.

Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than the daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness,
I am with Thee!

When sinks the soul, subdued by toil to slumber,
Its closing eye looks up to Thee in prayer;
Sweet the repose beneath Thy wings o'er shading,
But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.

So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
When the soul waketh, and life's shadows flee;
O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought,
I am with Thee. (Harriet B. Stowe)
He is with us here on earth
and we'll be with Him in heaven.
We will never be without Him
for nothing can separate us from His love.
O glorious thought!
O joy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Traffic Lights and Dollar Bills

Many years ago I was told that the way bank tellers can tell if a bill is counterfeit is to handle only real bills. That way, they can feel the difference in the texture as soon as they come across it. These days they use some sort of marker to check some sort of water mark on the larger bills. But I like the concept. If we want to be aware of falseness, we should handle truth. That way, we'll recognize a false 'bill' when we come across it.

I think I have been on a quest for truth for quite some time. I read and study the Bible. I think it is the real bill. I also read a mixture of other books and search for truth in the words I read. I also search and sift for truth in the things I hear. It's a process. I'll never be perfect at it. I think everyone is in the process of trying to find the truth.

I don't think any of us have a full handle on the truth. We, as humans, "hear" some parts of the Bible "louder" than other parts. That is probably why we have so many denominations representing different doctrines and that is probably why we have divisions in the midst of a denomination. Some issues are more important to us than other issues and we focus on those values and teach them and others do the same with a different set of truths.

So, I've been researching some things and I've come up with my own list of 'Be wary's." Our pastor has been saying to us, "Don't take my word for it, search the Scriptures for yourself." I am often in the process of doing just that and I say the same words to you as you read my list, "Don't take my word for it; search the Scriptures for yourself."

Be Wary:

~Be wary of any ministry that does not have at its
foundation the finished work of the cross of Christ.

~Be wary of any ministry that must have a large glossary
on its website to define it's terms not found in the Bible.

~Be careful when the emphasis of any belief system
has more to do about us and the works we can do for God
and less to do with God and the work He
has accomplished
in and through Christ Jesus.

~Be wary of any book or ministry that is built on
'God's revelation' to that particular author,
especially if it is not a teaching found in the New Testament.

Guard your flock.
Guard your children.
Reread the book of Romans.
Reread the book of Romans.

Be wary when people use blame, shame,
or the name of Jesus
to try to control the responses of God's people.

Most of all,
handle the Words of Life.

Read the Gospels.
Handle Jesus.
Touch Him. Taste Him. Know Him.
Read and study the epistles.

When you hear something that you are not sure about,
look into it; google and read
the positive and negative reviews. If it is true,
it will stand up to inspection. And remember,
there will be naysayers about every ministry.

Don't jump on any pro/con ship quickly.
Always bring everything back to the Word.

If you are not sure if something is true or false,
embrace the truth you do know.

Do not trust
every book just because the author
spoke truth in a book he wrote earlier.

If you are a teacher of the Word,
don't get defensive if someone
is not sure about what you are teaching.
Don't think that they don't love you
if they think differently than you.
Be thankful that you do not have
a bunch of puppets in your midst.

Pray for someone if you think they
are headed in the wrong direction
and trust that they'll pray for you.

Soon after I graduated from high school,
a man of God who had been teaching
a spiritual concept as doctrine,
repented of this teaching,
and said that he had promoted
false teaching.
He asked for forgiveness,
and I think that the Christian Church
extended it to him.

Not long ago, I watched a documentary
about his life. He served God faithfully
to the end and I wept over his faithfulness.
If you would say his name to me,
I wouldn't think about the false teaching
that he promoted.
I would think about his humility and his love
for Christ and the Church.
That is what I remember about that prince
of a man.

And so I trust that if I get off-center with my belief system
God will be a shepherd to me,
and through as many avenues needed
bring me back to the truth of His Word.

I believe that if I am not sure about a newly
revealed revelation,
that I am required by God
to search out the truth.

If I am going to embrace a new revelation
about God, then I must know that its
roots are grounded in the established
revelation of Jesus Christ founded on His Word.

To embrace the new revelation without this
assurance makes me a hypocrite,
a keeper of peace at any cost,
and I do not worship Him in spirit
and in truth, nor do I love my brother.

How can I walk a plankway
of 'faith' into the unknown when I am
still searching to find the floor
on which the plankway must be mounted?

How can I jump when others are watching me
to follow my example
unless I am very, very certain
that no harm will come to them?

Paul says in Gal.1:8,"Even if we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel to you
than what we have preached to you, let him be
accursed." And then he said the same thing again.

My Bible notes say,"Paul's zeal for the gospel is such
that he desires God's judgment to fall upon
himself if he should ever distort it.
His pronouncement of judgment is not a harsh,
personal reaction towards rival teachers.
Rather, he is speaking with apostolic authority,
realizing that the glory of the redemptive
work of Christ and the destiny of souls
is at stake."


Traffic Lights~

Red lights.
Yellow lights.
Green lights.

If you see a red light, stop.
If you see a yellow light,
proceed with caution
or slow down.

And if you see a green light,
go ahead.

I tend to brake in the natural
when I see a yellow light.
Others zoom full speed ahead
in order to beat it.

The gospel of Jesus Christ
and His words to the church
are a green light. Go for it.
But be careful with the yellow lights
that appear when you hear
a different sounding gospel.

Sometimes it is better if you wait
until the light turns green again.

Wait until you've compared the
new revelation with the gospel
that exists. It doesn't mean that you
won't push the gas pedal and eventually go forward.
It just means you are going to wait until
you are more sure.

You're going to wait for the
green light.

Any lover of truth
will have patience while you investigate.

And if the light looks red to you,
don't allow anyone to pressure
you into running its light.

There are cameras hooked up
at the crossings these days
and you'll get caught for sure.

And back to the money, honey.
You can only purchase goods with real money.
If you get stuck with a counterfeit bill,
you cannot use it and the loss is yours.


I share this concern with no one particular
ministry in mind. I've been exposed to
a number of different ideas lately from
different sources.

I share it with love for those who love
to teach truth and those who love
to receive it.

Sometimes I feel Jesus' consuming zeal
for God's house consuming me also.
It burns like fire in my bones.

Perhaps I am wrong to express
my concern for 'The Church' in this way.

Perhaps, I am not.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

(Edward Mote)