Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Paraclete-The Comforter-The Holy Spirit

On Sunday, our pastor was talking about how the Holy Spirit is referred to as our comforter-'Paraclete'. He is not the kind of comforter who pats your back when you are in trouble. He is the kind of comforter who shows up with a mighty army when all is lost.

This morning, I was reading Joel. I copied a verse onto an index card and read it to the boys while they were frying up their incredible homemade sausage. It reminded us of what we heard on Sunday. We talked about 'Paraclete' and Pastor's sermon. Michael had some thoughts I wanted to record. This was his mental response when he heard the explanation of the kind of Comfort the Holy Spirit gives.

"I immediately thought of the Lord of the Rings-The Two Towers-when the good King and his men are at Helms Deep and nearly destroyed by the tens of thousands of armies of Orcs. Then, as the kings make their last stand and ride out of the fortress they look to the east as the sun rises and here comes Gandolf with a mighty army that completely overwhelms their enemies.

I also thought about Psalm 23-"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." It never made sense to me before. The rod and staff are pieces of wood and how would that be comfortable? Whereas, when God uses the rod to protect me, it makes sense that He uses it to beat away my enemies. The staff pulls me back and the rod keeps my enemies at bay."
This is the verse in Joel that I read this morning:

"The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and the earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel."(Joel 3:16)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hertzler Doings~April 25-May 1, 2011

Mon.-Did 4 loads of wash, cooked up Alli's birthday supper-(lasagna, 7 layer salad, garlic bread, hot fudge sundae cake and Michael's Cutco pan vanilla cake with chocolate icing, and Breyer's vanilla ice cream),and edited an article for Janelle and had a nice little visit with her when she came to pick up Buddy. Her website gets over 800 hits a day. (http://www.journeythroughgrief.com/) Makes you realize how many people are grieving around the world. We made plans to talk and walk once a week. Packed for our trip to Pa and the shore. Finished finished spring cleaning my little chapel. Alli came over and she and Susan sat on the rock in the middle of the river and cooled down. Philip and Michael are making 60 lbs of sausage links with the pig that they butchered a few days ago. Delicious. Has a bite to it. Graham came to spend the night and enjoy butchering day tomorrow. When Chelsea dropped him off she said to the boys, "Please don't hurt him." Chelsea is his older sister. We'll take him to meet his dad at soccer practice tomorrow eve. Phil and I went over to Happy Valley to see all the work that Meredith and family have done on the flower beds. It looks amazing. Wow! Michael bought Monopoly-the card game and the kids are playing it while waiting for supper. ///I am thankful that Alli was born. Yesterday in church, her father, the associate pastor, shared how 27 or so years ago, he was an alcoholic laying in a ditch, but because of Jesus, and those who brought him to Him, his life is completely changed. I thought to myself, "Because of what Jesus did in his life, we have Alli," and I am so very thankful. I am thankful that I got so much done today and that I am starting to calm down a bit. I am thankful for my neighbor, Mickey, and for her visit today. She is going to have a very special place in heaven.

Tues.-What a day! Butchering day for pork and scrapple for the freezer. Two pigs within a week of days. The petty bone comes in handy when you are scalding a very large pig and/or cooking pork and cornmeal in a very large copper kettle over a very hot fire. Meredith and Tommy were here for most of the day. Graham and Susan were watching the proceedings. The Shippey's and family came over for a trip to the river and a pork sandwich and puppy fun. Such kind people. Kelly is a chiropractor and she helped me with a very sore muscle. Used the massage table in my chapel. Mark and Eldon Stoltzfus came in the eve. Eldon is the architect for the Shippey's home place next door. He and his dad will spend the night and he'll meet with the neighbors in the morning before heading back to Pa. The boys were going to take Dan cat fishing but the thunderstorm sabotaged those plans. Took Graham to soccer practice in Appomattox. Susan stayed behind to work on her homework and pack for Pa. I am writing this quickly so I can get off the computer because here comes the storm..I am thankful for old friends, like Eldon, who we really got to know well when we planted that church together in Downingtown back in 1982. Our kids are about the same age. His mother and my mother were friends before we were born. Phil took Mark on a gator ride and while I showed the pups to Eldon. I am thankful for new friends, like the Shippey's, who feel like old friends and comfortable shoes. I am thankful for a freezer full of pork, sausage, and scrapple. I am thankful for family, like Tommy and Meredith, and for our dear friend, Dave Plank, who had stood with us while our shop burn down, and stood with us today, watching a fire cook the scrapple, after he whisked my cornmeal concoction and carried it out in a big Rubbermaid container. He was such a great help today. I am thankful, that when Phil was cutting the pig and the knife slipped and slashed open his forearm, he did not have pain, even though he should have had at least 6 stitches. I did my best with band aids after he shaved his arm. I couldn't do it because I was too nervous about cutting him. After we fixed him up, I covered that area with a sock cuff. He was pleased. I am thankful for Freeman who worked hard over 12 hours to roast the pig to perfection. Philip and Michael were here most of the day as well, except when Mike went out to get more supplies. It was a really nice day.

Wed.-Left for Pa. Took us 10 hours-7 stops. We stopped at a mall for lunch, etc. and heard many sirens when we got there. Left 2 hours later and traffic was still at a crawl. Farm vehicle accident about 20 min. down the pike. Glad we were at the mall for those 2 hours instead of being stuck in traffic. Went to BB's in Morgantown and then to Mom and Dad's. Went walking with Linda in Pine Grove Cemetery. Jim and Deb came over to Mom and Dad's in the eve. to visit. Night was stormy. I am thankful for a nice day with Susan, traveling mercies-close call with a tractor trailer, and Johnny's beautiful tombstone.

Thurs.-Mom had breakfast at Reuzit. Susan and I had a nice breakfast with Dad and then went up to see my mother. But first, Susan wanted to stop and see Bev and it was good that we did. Tornado warnings and dark clouds and high winds delayed our trip to Mother's since we would have been headed into the storm. Eventually picked up some Chinese food and Rosalee met us at M's for lunch. Nice visit. Met Mom at Yoders at 2:25 and went to see Anne's renovations of their house and little David. He loves to snuggle. Went to Reuzit and bought more books and some clothes. Stopped at Karen's to see her and hold Jonathon before having supper with Mom and Dad. He fell asleep in my arms. I told his dad that if we put a little dress on him he'd look just like his mother's baby pictures. He didn't think I should do that. Visited with Deb and Jordan. Joe and Jonathan, Paul and Jim, stopped in at Mom and Dad's to say Hello. Left Bev's at 8:40 with Rosa and Naomi to go to Ocean City, NJ. It is our 13th year of getting together for this excursion. Arrived shortly before midnight. House to ourselves. ($87.50 for each of us for 3 nights and 3 days.) Hungry. Ate and went to bed around 1. I am thankful for family, friends, and ocean waves.

Fri.-Bev woke up at 4:30 to watch Kate and William's wedding. The rest of us caught some snippets of it when we woke up. God's best to them both. Went to Atlantic City for outlet shopping. Ate at the Rainforest on the boardwalk. Stopped at Blockbuster for some movies and the corner store. Watched movies and ate supper. I am thankful for traditions. I am thankful that we know each others favorite stores. I am thankful that we like Ocean City's family atmosphere. I am thankful that we didn't get addicted to gambling that time one of us played a dollar and won $80. She stopped playing and they couldn't believe it. She treated us to supper with her winnings and we've never done it again. (Philip went to a Chi Alpha formal dinner. Lindsay took a picture of the backs of Gil and Philip and sent it to me with the question, "Who's Who?" If Gil's hair had been a bit shorter, it would have been even harder to tell.)

Sat.-Lazy breakfast of quiche, fruit, baked oatmeal, and coffee. Drove out to boardwalk and shopped. Chilly and warm, depending on the clouds. Ate pizza. Nothing traumatic happened to any of us. No toilet paper was stuck in anyone's waist trailing like a bride's train for hundreds of people to see. Came back to our own private beach and sat out on blankets and chairs for an hour or two. Saw dolphins and a whole flock of sand pipers. Came back and got cleaned up and went out to eat at Yesterday's. Ordered salmon, potatoes, green beans, and salad. Lovely. Watched 'Salt' in the eve. and 'Wedding Date.' Slept from midnight to 7:20 Sun morn. I am thankful for friends like these. We laugh, talk, cry, talk, sleep, talk, eat, talk, eat, and trust. I am thankful for movies with girlfriends and no men around making comments.(Phil shot a turkey!)

Sun.-Slow breakfast. Went to our own private beach. Back to house for lunch and back out to beach. Weather had cooled considerably and we bundled up and laid back to back. Bev looked like the Grim reaper in her dark hooded sweatshirt and dark blanket. Came back to house and cleaned up ourselves and the house and signed the guest book and headed out to the boardwalk. I went into the jewelry store to look for something for Susan. Found boxer dog earrings. Met two girls from Thailand and shared with them about Johnny, etc. Meaningful time and they were so sweet. They were from Bangkok and attended college in the states, and after spending the summer working at the jewelry store at Ocean City, will head back home. Went to Crab Trap for supper. Ordered baby back ribs. Yum. Got home to Mom and Dad's before 11:00. I am thankful that we did not have an accident even though Bev got seriously hot during the heaviest traffic and insisted on taking things off and turning on the air. She wanted me to steer and I said no way. I am thankful for Bev who always counts her blessings. I am thankful for Rosa, in whom there is no guile. I am thankful for Naomi, and her wisdom and strength and constant friendship. I am thankful for God who started this wonderful tradition and helps make it happen every year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Risk of Loving

I am reading Tom Holladay's book, "The Relationship Principles of Jesus Christ." It's really good. I found it at Goodwill. Not long afterwards, I saw that it was recommended reading on the AG Women's Ministry Website. I want to share something I read that is changing my life. Not only has it helped me to love others, but it is also helping me to love and get attached to my puppy. ~~~~~~~

"C.S.Lewis has made this profound observation: 'To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.'

'You may have experienced deep hurt because you made the choice to love. It would be only natural to tell yourself, "I'm never going to open myself up to that kind of pain again." Of course you feel that way. Who wants to be wounded?
Lewis's statement reminds us that there is an even deeper hurt to be found in not loving than in taking the risk to love.
If you choose not to love, not only will you be hurt, but the people you could have loved will be hurt in ways you may never know.
Take the risk to love! ...No hurt or misunderstanding or sin that has been brought on you could be worth the greater hurt of refusing to love....Keep this in mind: the one relationship you can truly count on is your relationship to Jesus Christ. Lean on your relationship to Him as you take the risk to love others..." ~~~~~

We can make soul vows and miss out on so much of life. We tell ourselves, "I will never allow this to happen again. I will never open my heart to hear from another person or allow them to speak into my life. I will never love anyone outside of these chosen few."
And we build up walls to keep people out and suddenly find that we have built a prison where no visitors come.~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our lives are really not our own. They are God's to do with what He'd like. Oh God, help us to love as You love. Help us to lay down our lives for our friends. Help us to be willing to be hurt again.

"Think of It" and "Permit Even This"

There are two stories I read in the Gospel of Luke that have
 intertwined their way into my spirit and I share them with you here.

~~~~Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues and there He saw a lady who was so bent over that she couldn't straighten herself out. Luke describes her malady as 'a spirit of infirmity.' Jesus saw her and called her over to Himself and said, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity." He laid His hands on her and immediately, she was made straight and began to glorify God.

The ruler of the synagogue was angry that Jesus healed on the Sabbath and he addressed the crowd, saying, "If you want to be healed, come be healed on any work day, but don't come on the Sabbath."
Jesus, politically incorrect and to the point, said, "Hypocrite! You loose your cattle and lead them to water so they can drink on the Sabbath! Shouldn't this woman, who is a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from her bondage on the Sabbath?!"

And when He said these things, all of His enemies were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things done by Him.

~~~~~And the other story~~~ Jesus was wrestling in the garden, praying that the cup the Father had asked Him to drink could somehow in some way be taken from Him. He found His disciples sleeping instead of praying, and as He was speaking to them, a great number of people showed up with torches and ill intents.

Judas, one of His twelve disciples, came up and gave Him a kiss. It was his way of letting others know which man was Jesus. Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of God with a kiss?"
The disciples were stunned; confused with the events that had awakened them from their slumber. "Should we fight? Should we use our swords?" they asked. One of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

But Jesus answered and said, "Permit even this."
And He touched that servant's ear and healed him.

 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you in the temple, you didn't try to take me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness." ~~~~~
There are times in our lives when Jesus intervenes, and sees our trouble, and calls us to Himself, and says, "Think of it! You've tolerated this long enough. Be set free."

And then there are times in our lives that Jesus helps us face our greatest fear and does not deliver us from trouble, but stays with us through it, and He says of the difficulties in our lives, "Permit even this."

How do we know if He is saying, "Think of it! Be set free!" or "Permit even this" when it comes to situations we face?

I think we can always ask Him.
 The disciples asked what they should do and He answered them
 with those difficult words-"permit even this".

The woman didn't ask.
She just came to the place where He was and He saw her and called her to Himself

Stay in His presence and ask.
Ask and stay in His presence.
 And keep on staying in His presence no matter what His answer is.
And keep on staying in His presence even if He never answers. ~~~~

I read something Richard Foster wrote in his book, "Prayer," that found its way into these two stories in my soul. He says, "We can be assured of this: God, who knows all and sees all, will set all things straight in the end. Even better, He will dry every tear. In the meantime He mysteriously takes our sorrow and uses them to heal the world."

And "With spiritual maturity comes the ability to discern between the trials that are a normal part of living under the cross and the injustices of an evil world that demand correction." ~~~~

I think we often live somewhere in the midst of  the mystery of
God's deliverance and God's permission.

I think the real miracle is when He gives us grace to live
with the 'not knowing.'

Some things we will not know or understand
 until we see Him face to face.
And then, we may no longer care.

"Think of it!"

Can we trust Him?
Can we trust His timing?
Can we trust His silence?

"Permit even this."

~~~~ Luke 13:11-17; 22:47-53-NKJV
~~~~Psalm 131

Hertzler Doings~April 18-24, 2011

Mon.-Little noisy puppies woke us up this morning and Philip put them out in their cold wet pen. When I went to feed them, they came piling out of the cage, clamoring for attention. I brought their food into the cage and they happily munched down their warm wet breakfast. Every day, they do something new. I was in my housecoat, and Little Girl (for want of a name right now) grabbed my belt and tugged on it. She loves to scoot backwards. Meredith met Michael here and they went over to Happy Valley where Meredith cleaned up the flower beds and yard to make it look nice for when the owners come. Phil went to the surgeon and he encouraged Phil to live with the discomfort of the splinter being lodged next to his bone. He said there is potential for nerve damage if they proceed with surgery. After working hard all day cleaning up metal from the two barns he burned down, he is ready to go for the surgery. It is so irritating to constantly have the feeling of a foreign object piercing his tissue. It hurts. I feel for him and keep praying that it will come out on its own. Had a little time to blog something I've been thinking about for several weeks. Tidied up the house and headed to Farmville to meet a friend, Frances B., at Chick Fillet. We were sitting outside on this beautiful day and half the church came by. (Not quite true.) It was good to catch up with her. We're planning a road trip to go visit the Banton's when they are settled in their new home. Left from there to pick up Susan. Got the taxes mailed just in time. Cleaned up some more of my little chapel. Alli came to walk and Freeman met us on our way back from the river. The bluebells are dying and I feel sad that I won't see them in their ethereal effervescent beauty for another year. I am quite sure that there will be bluebells outside of my sweet cottage in heaven. I'd like a little cream colored cottage with Williamsburg blue shutters and door. I'd like purple Wisteria draping the fence and lilacs blooming year round and bluebells all along the sides of the house and the river. I'd like spice bushes, lilies of the valley, mint tea, and honeysuckle rambling around in the back yard. And I'd like two white rocking chairs on the front porch so Jesus can stay and talk with me. I'd like the ocean to be my front yard and I'd like lacy cotton valances in the windows. (I am not sure why I am thinking about heaven so much these days, but Mother, if you read this, don't worry. It doesn't mean I'm going soon. It's just that I see heaven on earth mostly in the spring, and it makes me homesick.) Michael's been here most of the day, catching up with computer work, etc. Susan is forming more peanut butter eggs. They are more in demand than coconut and butter cream. Little Girl puppy jumped on the back of Biggest Boy puppy and she pulled him down and bit him and made him cry and I had to intervene. She looks so little and innocent but she's a tough one. I am thankful for the college boys at Chick Fillet who called me "Sweetie" and "Honey" when I got refills for our drinks. I don't think that's ever happened to me before. (Being called sweet names by college age boys at my age.) My mother gets it all the time and she thinks its because she is older. Hmm...Another wonderful thing that happens for my mother all the time is that people trust her. She could forget her money at the check-out counter and they would say, "Oh Honey, that's okay. Bring it to me when you come out to town next week." (I am not sure that it ever happened exactly this way, but I am not far off.) I am thankful for the chatter of the three at home as they visit out in the living room. I am thankful for Philip's amazing singing voice and Michael's silly whistle as they accompany Susan's song she is playing on the piano.

Tues.-Susan and I met Mrs. Houts and Alyssa, Jane, Syndney, and Cheyenne at Pamplin Exxon around 8:30 this morning. Mrs. Jones' brother bought 10 tickets for a tour of the Governor's Mansion at an auction and gave them to her for Christmas. Mrs. Jones drove her car and Mikayla and Clarissa rode with her. (They had a great time touring the Mansion, eating lunch-a club sandwich and fries-at The Tobacco Co., and touring the Capital. (Richmond) Susan enjoyed the architecture of the Mansion and saw it through her father's eyes. They got back shortly after 6:00.)(Mrs. Jones told me later how much she enjoyed being with Susan. "What a delightful girl...") I taught music to the boys today in 7-12 grade and heard some things I probably wouldn't have if the girls had been there. One of the middle school boys shared how a very young boy was intimidating him and I said that the next time he comes for you, do this, and I let out my Aborigines holler right there in that little classroom. To the man, every boy jumped, and then I said, "And in that second that he is jumping in fright like you just did, make your escape." Strikes me so funny every time I think about it. I also gave him some other ideas and I am hoping he is never intimidated by a 4 year old again. I ran out and got groceries and after school, I came home and did lots of odd jobs-wash, making fish and couscous with vegetables, feeding puppies, burning trash, etc. Michael helped put the groceries away. He and Philip hit the sack early. Phil worked out in the fields most of the day. Susan worked on coating peanut butter eggs after supper. The puppies grunt when I pick them up. I think it's because their bellies are so roly-poly. Phil gave them shots tonight while Philip held them and closed his eyes. He has an aversion to needles. The little puppies cried and wailed and Susan comforted them quickly in her willing arms while I cried for the dear little things and cleaned up the kitchen.///I am thankful for the young man in high school who wrote 'Jesus' in his play dough and wished he didn't have to crumble it back up. You'd be surprised how much you learn about a child's life when they are playing with play dough while listening to worship songs. I am thankful for how well the kids did when I quizzed them on composers and compositions. I hummed part of a classical piece and they shouted out the composer and the name of the song. I am thankful for the conversations that occur when you take time to ask questions about the meanings of the words of a song. Like, "Vainly they watch His bed...Vainly they seal the dead..." and "Death cannot keep its prey....He tore the bars away". Soul-thrilling, actually. I really like these kids.

Wed.-The children know that school is just about out and are happy and rammy. My absolute highlight of the month, is the following incident. When I am wanting to teach the children a song, I play it on a CD while they draw or play with play dough. Sometimes they sing along with it and that's always a pleasant sound. I have two high school girls who help me with the younger children. One of the girls had several drawings gifted to her from the K/1 children. I saw the one on the top and asked,"Who drew this?" She told me and I asked her if I could have the picture. Then I asked 'Evan' to sign his name. For reasons I can't go into, it is especially gratifying that this particular child has a firm delightful grasp on the fact that Jesus loves to dance on top of rainbows with a smile on His face and His arms lifted up. I have memorized his crayon drawing and can bring it to mind at will. I found Dr. H. later and said, "I need to show you something." He looked at the picture and said, "That's a keeper." So, we're going to frame it. Hopefully, I will find a purple mat to match the purple sash Jesus is wearing across His white robe. We'll hang it in the hallway and we'll never forget our 'Evan.'

My niece, Abby, won "The President's Award." She broke and made all kinds of records as a soccer goalie for EMU. She is a sweet girl. My brother's first wife was killed by a drunk driver. My mother hung onto Augustine's quote-""He judged it better and more in accord with His power to bring some greater good even out of evil than to permit no evil whatsoever." My brother married another wonderful woman several years later. Abby is their daughter. My mother was talking about Abby the other day and she said, "Abby is definitely a part of that 'greater good.'

Went out to Farmville in the eve to take Susan to Vertical Edge. Did some shopping. Did some praying and singing in the dark. //I am thankful for the little girl who says to me, "I don't like music but I like art." And that is just the way it is. I am thankful that I got to see little Noemi this week. I can't get over how courageous her mama is, and so full of grace. I am thankful for the conversation I had with someone in the computer room this morning who has triumphed over a brain injury. I am thankful that I found lots of good books to bring home in the yard sale room for a donation of my choice. Susan says we need to build a house for my books and keep a library to live in.

Thurs.-Last day of school before a 10 day break. I went to chapel today. Something good happens to me as I listen to the familiar words of the scripture. My guard is not up. I do not need discernment. I can just sit and receive the Word of God and I do. I almost had to leave again because of the way the words affect me emotionally. I am deeply moved and I hope that I am changed. Dr. Hubler shared after the liturgy. He said something like, "Lazarus, was called out of the grave but he had to go back into it again. Jesus, in the Resurrection, rose to a life that could never die again. When we are born again, we have a life that can never die. The hope of the Resurrection provides a pathway for us to follow Jesus through death. He was the first one through and He came out the other side. Now we can too." Clarissa was here today. (Sr. last year) She went to get groceries with me and I heard about some of her good college experiences. She is friends with a Von Trapp girl who is the grand-daughter of Maria Von Trapp-'Sound of Music.' She played a recording of Melanie VT and several of her friends singing at the student center at school. The students play and sing while other students chat and drink coffee. Clarissa and college go well together. She is thriving. She helped me later with art. We dipped and dyed hard boiled eggs after drawing on them with crayons first. We also painted their Mother's Day handkerchief gifts. The younger classes went on an egg hunt today at a retirement home. One of the little boys gave me his candy for Susan, Mr. Hertzler, and myself. Went to Baine's with Doreen and Graham after his hair cut and I found a Jan Karon 'Mitford Series Cookbook.' Doreen got it for me with her credit there at the store after she heard me wondering aloud about the ethics of my buying yet another cookbook. It's basically a brand new book originally priced at $30. I got her to sign it for me in memory of our fun times there at Baine's on Thursday afternoons. Michael made us BLT's for supper. He mowed the lawn and then he and Philip met Erik over at the neighbor's pond to go fishing with chicken livers. Susan played with the puppies and decided to take a quick nap. Should I wake her up? She's been sleeping for an hour and it's just about dark. Phil's been planting sweet corn and field corn. ///I am thankful for this nice spring break. I am thankful for clothing to wash and a kitchen to clean for it means we have clothes to wear and food to eat. I am thankful for the cool evenings with the windows open and the peepers peeping and the sound of puppies horsing around.

Fri.-Slept in! Got myself together and went out to Farmville to run some errands and to have lunch at Longwood cafeteria with Lindsay, Lisa, and Michelle. When I went to meet Lindsay at her house, Gil greeted me with a surprise at the door. He's full of surprises these days. We had a lovely time at lunch and I hope we do it again soon and many times after that. I keep having to remind myself that I am not a college student. Came home and made some pizza for supper. The guys had butchered a pig today. They made sausage and raw bacon pieces and have the loins all ready to grill tomorrow for the Chi Alpha Pig Roast. They ran out in the eve. to get more supplies for the party and Susan rode along. She made some chocolate eggs while I was gone and Alli came over and they watched Miss Congeniality together while Freeman helped with the pig. Phil planted corn most of the day. He was cold and wet when he came in and I made him some hot chocolate to drink after he took a hot shower. While we were playing with the puppies in the evening, we talked about how Good Friday is always gloomy. I told them that when I was little, thought Jesus was crucified every year and I would be so sad on Good Friday. "I bet you were relieved when you found out that wasn't true," one of them said. I remember where I was standing when I found out it wasn't true. It was that significant of a discovery and I have my sister to thank. The boys hit the sack early. Phil is reading a book about slavery that he found in the box of books I brought home. He remembers almost everything he reads. I can't do that. I called and wished my mother a Happy Birthday. I left a message which means someone has her out for her birthday. I keep forgetting whether her birthday is today or tomorrow. Now my dear friend, Naomi, sends me belated birthday cards in April, and my birthday isn't until May, and we have to laugh about that. She just can't seem to remember. I sent my mother a colorful silk butterfly scarf in the mail with the best birthday card ever and she liked them both very much. I am thankful for the fun we have playing with the puppies in the evening and wiping up their little puddles before they walk through them. I am thankful for friends whose lives entwine with mine and that we'll be friends for a very long time. I am thankful for my children and husband and Alli. I am thankful for the dripping of the cold spring rain and the certain hope of a hot bath in the next 10 minutes and the adventure of a new book to read thanks to Alli.

Sat.-Flocks of gold finches enhance my quiet time as I watch them from my desk. They camouflage with the dandelions. Cleaned the house, did some wash, made green beans and mashed potatoes for tomorrow's lunch. Took a nap. Played through 'You Were the Joy' on the piano. Chi Alpha came around 4:30. Philip invited them for a pig roast and kick ball. He knew Gil and Lindsay wouldn't be able to be here for another Chi Alpha gathering and wanted them to be here with Chi Alpha one last time. I took Emma, Adi, and Michelle down to the river and we planted E's and A's dogwood trees on the bank of the river. The kids played a rousing game of kickball. One of the students has seen very little nature and he was busy taking lots of pictures. Another student hurt his foot and needed ice and pain killer. Emma and Adi wanted to come inside. I made them some play dough and we painted big pictures on big papers. Brenna and Alli were with us and it was so relaxing just to color and paint. Meanwhile, Phil was cooking a big copper kettle full of scrapple out back over a fire. He had to use the petty bone to lift up the kettle. I helped him figure out how much cornmeal to add, plus spices, etc. We filled up every available pan and chilled the scrapple in the big fridge cooler. I finished the book Alli loaned me around 11:30 and went to sleep.//I am thankful that Philip has the gift of hospitality. There was a pile of kids here and he knows how to make everyone feel welcome. I am thankful that Michael decided to go over to Happy Valley and fish after the party to have some time alone. He listened to Dave Ramsey on his ipod while he sat there and fished and thoroughly enjoyed himself. I am thankful that Phil got up to check on the mooing cows around midnight and discovered that they were out.

Sun.-Stayed home from SS just to give myself a bit more time to get my act together. I fried some scrapple for everyone's breakfast and also threw a fruit salad together for lunch. Plugged in the crockpots full of green beans and mashed potatoes too. Susan, Phil, and Philip went into church at regular time. Apparently they were asked in Sunday School where they would like to go. Phil said Alaska. So did Dianna. I told Phil that I want to go to the Holy Lands. I really want to go to the Holy Lands. I wouldn't mind Alaska either. Most of all, I just want to go to my little chapel/cottage. If it had a bathroom I'd stay out there alot longer. Maybe it's good I don't have one. Sat in the back at church because we had to leave early and come home. Enjoyed the worship service, especially the song we were singing while portions of 'The Passion' were shown. Deeply meaningful. Plus, little Adi wanted to sit with me and she fell asleep by the second song. Pastor Frank preached on Romans 8:11 and surrounding verses, plus other scriptures. "If that same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." It's pretty amazing. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would take what is His and give it to us. What is Christ's? Life. Hope. Power. Love. Compassion. Righteousness. Strength. Truth. Resurrection! This is the same Spirit that hovered over nothingness before the earth was created by the Words of God. This is the same Spirit that gave words to holy men of old and they were moved to write the scriptures. This is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and it dwells in you and I if we have received Him into our hearts.

1-The Resurrection is the initiation of something new. The old is done away with and all things have become new. The word 'crisis' means 'turning point.' When Jesus was crucified, the disciples experienced crisis. Their dreams and hopes of a new kingdom were crucified with their leader of that kingdom. Their lives would never be the same.

2-The Resurrection is the intention not to let your past contaminate your future. No matter how dry our bones are as a nation or as a church, the Holy Spirit will blow on those bones and bring them back to life. We must release our past failures and successes and not be confined by their limitations.

3-The Resurrection is an intimate reminder that God keeps His promises. He promised that He would rise again, and He did. He said, 'Destroy this temple and in three days it will be restored', and it was. He said, "I must go away and send another Comforter who will take what is mine and give it to you," and He did. Now the word Comforter is the word 'paraklete'. I have no idea if I spelled that right. I think it is Greek. I love this. The Holy Spirit is not the kind of comforter that pats your back and says, "Everything is going to be okay." He is the kind of comforter who is like a whole army coming to rescue you when your battalion is about ready to be destroyed. He is Warrior God. He gives Real Help. He is moved with compassion to intervene and gives us as much help as our situation calls for. He does not sit there and pity us and make sympathetic sounds. No! He roars and comes to our aid. Alleluia! (Not everything I am writing comes directly from PFrank. I am getting additional parts of the sermon as I write his up. ;))

Jesus was the embodiment of God here on earth. But He is intent on building a church that looks just like Himself. He looked like God and we look like Him. His purpose for the church is that we would express His life to each other and to those who do not yet know Him. We need the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives in order to accomplish Christ's purpose.
We left church right away to go home and change and take our food to Tom's for an Easter Day with them. Alli and Freeman were there as well, which was nice. Tom's had a friend, Joe, who was there for the day. We had ham, chicken steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, applesauce, pickled beets, fruit salad, Alli's brownies, tapioca pudding and for supper we had tortilla chips and a layered dip that Bethany made, ham sandwiches, scrapple, fruit salad, etc. etc. and lots of malted chocolate eggs which are my favorite. I helped Serena stuff the plastic eggs with candy and Freeman and Alli hid them and Abby and Serena hunted them. It was really hot outside. Later in the day, we watched "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and that was really relaxing and a little scary. I liked how Aslan told the children that he is known by another name in his country and that they must learn to know His other name.
Marv, Lydia, and Daniel came over for a visit on their golf cart. I am excited that his parents will be coming down to live with them in their new house. We helped plant a church in the city with his parents and about 30 others soon after we were married and we have such fond memories of our times together with them. ///I am thankful that the three are over in the man cave watching a movie and that I have time to write and that Phil is watching 'The Passion.' I looked at him while they were playing it this morning and he was crying and he's been wanting to watch it all day. I am thankful for Michelle's most beautiful voice and that she sang and played her guitar while I sat on the sofa and listened to her. I am thankful for family and friends. I am thankful that we were the joy set before Him and that is why He endured the cross and despised its awful shame. Thank you, Thank you God.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hertzler Doings~April 11-17, 2011

Well, this week has flown by and I haven't written anything at all. So I am just going to try to summarize Monday through Friday in no particular order. So far this week... I went walking with Jeanne and Nanette down to the river to see the bluebells but on different nights. Jeanne-W.; Nanette-F. Also drove Nanette over to see the other property. You can drive amongst the bluebells there. Makenzie enjoyed the puppies and watched Susan form buttercream and coconut eggs. Jeanne posted pictures and told a story about our walk to the river on her blog-Seven Oaks; posted on my right side. Went out to get ice cream after school with Doreen and Graham. Doreen and I ate MooseTrack ice cream and had some interesting conversations with business owners. Canned sloppy jo-about 18 qt. Settled on 'Sheriff' for Charlie's real name. (German Shepherd puppy) I held him on my lap and rocked him and talked to him and he just looked at me as if he was memorizing my face and then he fell asleep in my arms and I thought, "Sheriff just taught me how to worship and trust." Just when I think spring can't become any brighter, it does. In school, I was invited by a smart little girl to eat lunch with her. "No one is sitting in the middle seat," she said. I grabbed at the chance. She was deep in thought earlier in the week, during music class, as she listened to the worship songs. She didn't color or play with play dough. She sat on the chair and sang along and thought. So I sat down and right away Sebastian started throwing Math questions at me. "How much is 59-11?" "48" I said without blinking an eye. He was impressed as were the others so the questions started flying. "How much is 1 minus infinity?" And so on. When there was a brief break, I said to my little smart girl, "You've been thinking alot this week. What have you been thinking about?" "My family," she smiled. Then, "How much is ....?" And she threw me a distracting math question. Susan has been making lots of eggs this week. Freeman fell between the trusses and is quite bruised. He shot a turkey this week as well. Rosalee sent an email with my brothers kind remarks about my blog that she had sent to him. Michael got a hair cut. Cut off 14 inches and sent it to Locks of Love. Beautiful red hair with blonde streaks. Choked me up. Checking into IABC Counseling Courses. Got Buddy for 9 days. Hope he stays around. Bought 2 pigs for butchering day next Tuesday. Found the perfect birthday card for my mother. Whoever wrote it must have had her for a mother. Had an hour long conversation wed night with someone in Fla. Hope and a future. What a gift. Decided never to write up my week like this again. Instead I should keep track in a notebook about each day and write it up when I can. This is a bit crazy, don't you think? Sat.-Slept in and enjoyed the sound of rain on a tin roof through the partially opened window. Phil made me two dippy eggs with two pieces of toast. He makes me breakfast every morning. I did four loads of linen wash from sheets and tablecloths from my chapel plus several other loads. Stink bugs have tried to take over down there. Apparently, scientists are trying to figure out a way to get rid of them. They came over from Asia to a town we lived close to in Pa. Epidemic problem this year especially for produce growers. Made tuna noodle casserole, taco salad topping, and split pea and ham soup. Susan dipped and wrapped eggs most of the day. It stormed several times. I cleaned up our bedroom and bathroom and wrapped small gifts for my shore girls and got my mother's bday gift and card ready to send next week. She'll be 86! Puppies are learning to eat dry food. I finished three books today-"Salt Gardens," "Little Lord Fauntleroy," and "Prayer" by Richard Foster. All were great soul enlarging, spirit uplifting books. Also reading 'The Relationship Principles of Jesus Christ" by Tom Holladay. Very good book. Also reading a book that Jeanne loaned me written by her friend, Gerri Helms, who is now my friend on facebook. She is a life coach. The book is called, "Trust God and buy broccoli." 'A Spiritual Approach to Weight Loss.' Phil burned down two barns that were weary and worn. We'll miss them on our travels to the river. Michael is in Atlanta, having flown out from Richmond this morning. He got a new suit coat, shirt and tie, for 75% off at Belk for the occasion. I think he'll be home late Sunday night. Philip went to a party in the afternoon after helping fix fence in the morning. Freeman and Alli are helping with the musical at church. Alli is ushering and Freeman is working sound. I am thankful that I hear the frontloader coming up and that Phil won't be out in the dark with the fire any more. I am thankful that the puppies slept most of the day but I am concerned what that means as far as our night goes. I am thankful that Phil gets up with the puppies and that I don't even hear them most of the time. Sunday-Palm Sunday. 'Hosanna to the Son of David'-Jesus, as He entered Jerusalem, wept over the city, because they didn't realize that the kingdom that they so longed for, had come in the person of Himself. They missed the hour because they had in mind what their Messiah would look like and how he would act and Jesus didn't behave the way they thought a Messiah should. We watched the musical later in the day and a man played 'Jesus' who hadn't before and it was so interesting to hear the different way he said the words of Jesus and I thought, "Maybe that's the way He said them!" and I felt closer to Him then I've felt for awhile. I would like to hear many people read the words of Jesus because I think I would hear something differently with each person's emphasis and voice inflection. I want to be gathered like a chick under His wings and not be disturbed when the zeal for His house consumes Him and He overturns tables in the temple. We went to Banton's after church for a wonderful lunch of chicken soup, biscuits, fresh veggies, and carrot cake. The little girls took a nap. Phil and Philip ran home quickly to get the cows away from the nails left over from yesterday's barn burning. Susan rested with her ipod on the sofa and Lindsay and I talked over tea. I will miss her. I will miss her friendship and wisdom and depth. But I can still have that. Thank God for modern communication tools. Missi told me today that Paul Sch--- fell down the stairs at EMU and hit his head and is brain dead. He is Leon's uncle-his mother's brother. I've seen his name in Mennonite circles since I was a child. Phil got on the phone with his parents this eve. and found out how to make scrapple in a large kettle and an open fire. I am thankful for the words of encouragement I received from two dear women today. Oh let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, and the words that I write, encourage others to draw near you, O Lord. I am thankful for a beautiful evening at home and the invitation to meet a friend for lunch tomorrow. I am thankful for a musical that helped me see Jesus more clearly. I am thankful that He loves all of us and that His mercies are new every morning. I am thankful that Michael is back in Richmond and I think he is coming home tonight.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Prayer of Suffering

I have several books that I will always have on my study desk; my Bible, and two of Richard Foster's books, "Celebration of Discipline" and "Prayer." Today I was reading a segment of the chapter on 'The Prayer of Suffering.' I can only read a little bit at a time because there is so much to think about. I need to write some of it down so I can reread it and you may benefit as well. I highly recommend you obtain both of these books. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "In the Ravensbruck Nazi concentration camp- the camp where ninety-two thousand men, women, and children were murdered-a piece of wrapping paper was found near the body of a dead child. On the paper was written this prayer: "O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not only remember the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we bought, thanks to this suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all of this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits that we have borne, be their forgiveness."~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "This standing between God and people involves a kind of wrestling with God. That is part of our suffering, a little like arguing with our best friend. Tertullian calls it "a kind of holy violence to God." Like Jacob of old, who wrestled all night with the angel, we refuse to let go until we receive a blessing, not for us but for others. We argue with God so that His justice may be overcome by His mercy. It is only because of our intimacy with God that we can thus wrestle with Him. This intense interaction is not unlike God Himself, for, as Donald Bloesch tells us, "God even wrestles with Himself, seeking to reconcile His holiness, which cannot tolerate sin, with His infinite love for a sinful human race." Even so, this wrestling is a hard image for us to accept. We much prefer the image of restful harmony. Our difficulty is due, in part, to our culture's inability to reconcile struggle with love. We assume a loving relationship by its very nature must be peaceful and harmonious, and yet even on a human level those things we care about the most deeply we argue for the most passionately. Struggle is consistent with love, for it is an expression of our caring." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Fasting is one expression of our struggle. Fasting is the voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity. It is a sign of our seriousness and intensity. When we fast, we are intentionally relinquishing the first right given to the human family in the Garden-the right to eat. We say no to food because we are intent upon others receiving a far greater nourishment. We are committed to breaking every yoke and setting the captives free. Our fasting is a sign that nothing will stop us in our struggle on behalf of the broken and oppressed." ..."Our fasting is part of our wrestling with God. It is part of the birth pangs we endure in order to see new life come forth. The wrestling may be painful, but the net result is worth the struggle, for as Soren Kierkagaard reminds us, we win-and so does God: "The righteous man strives in prayer with God and conquers- in that God conquers."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Politics and Theology

Phil gave me a Richard Maybury report to read last night. It is not necessarily the best reading for bedtime because it arouses thoughts of emergency preparations and tends to over-stimulate the brain. And I had been hoping to finish my book about Robinson Crusoe, which come to think of it, has much to do with survival as well.

I yelped when I read some quotes by William Gladstone. Phil said, "I thought you'd like that." According to Maybury, who gives permission to copy his articles, Gladstone (1809-1898) was a businessman and student at Oxford who became captivated by religion and economics. I won't pretend to understand much about what was said about him but these are the remarks that made me yelp.

"Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic."
I love that.

"Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right."
Think about it.

Check out Maybury on his website~ RichardMaybury.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Keep Sane on a Plane

Three months after my brother-in-law, Johnny, was killed in Thailand, his wife, Janelle, and I flew back to Thailand in order for her to gather some of her belongings and to bring some closure to her time there. We had many adventures. I just read in my Thailand journal that Janelle was scolding me in Hong Kong because I wasn't paying any attention to where we were going and was just following her around and she said, "I could drop over any minute and then what would you do?" And I said, "You would never be resuscitated so fast in all your life. You'd get to say 'Hello' and 'Good-bye' and you'd be back here with me again." Just in the past week, a friend of mine flew with her husband to China, to pick up their new little girl that they are adopting. I thought of the long flight and the endurance test it is since I've experienced a flight to Asia myself.  I was writing the "No-No's" List for e-harmony men and got to remembering the gift book I wrote while in flight on that long trip. At that time, I was exhausted from lack of sleep and the emotion of sorrow, and what I wrote was extremely humorous to both Janelle and I and it kept us from losing our minds. I think. I think it was funny and I think it kept us from losing our minds, but perhaps you should be the judge. I have to write it here since it probably will never be made into a gift book. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"25 Ways to be Annoying on the Plane"
or "How to Lose Your Seat at 20,000 Feet"~~~~

1. Follow behind the stewardess and mimic her words and motions as she talks to people.
 2. Yell "Brace! Brace!" loudly and with authority. This will keep people from being bored and will rouse them from their sleep. ("Brace" is what the crew member says when there is an impending crash. You brace the back of your head with your hands and move forward, bending over.)
3. Go around and ask people if you can have their leftovers-before they are finished eating.
4. Get the microphone and announce that there will now be a talent show and that one person from each row should get ready to share their talent.
5. Find an empty seat beside someone who is sleeping and lean your head on their shoulder and fall asleep.
6. Organize relay races between the sides of the plane like women play at Baby Showers, etc. See which side can bring you things from their belongings the quickest. For ex. "Lipstick", "A $20 bill", or "Picture of a grand-child." The winning side gets to leave the plane first.
7. Encourage people to talk to each other and find out about each other's lives. (Use the microphone again to communicate this point.) Say loudly, "Come on now, let's not be strangers!"
8. Wake up sleeping people and ask if they are comfortable enough.
9. Offer to clean people's eye glasses for them.
10. Boldly spray the confined area with air freshener.
11. Take the mike again and play "Where in the world are you from?" Call out the different continents and countries and have people cheer and call out when you say their country. The country with the loudest cheers, wins.
12. Stand in the aisle and sing "America's National Anthem" with as much gusto and warmth as possible, while holding your hand over your heart.
13. Drop an entire open bag of marbles on the floor. (This is especially effective during landing or take-off.)
14. Ask people if you can "borrow" their airsickness bag. Tell them you'll return it in a few minutes.
15. Go around and ask people if they want to see your beautiful mother's ring and give them the birth and life stories of each child represented.
16. Go up to someone and ask loudly, "Haven't I seen you on 'America's Most Wanted?'
17. Play your harmonica.
18. Pop bubble wrap or bubblegum.
19. Blow soap bubbles and hide your container while doing so.
20. Go around and ask people if they would like to use the bathroom now. 21.Go up to a complete stranger and slap them on the shoulder and say emphatically, "THERE you are! I've been looking everywhere for you!" and then proceed to converse with them about things they will think they should know about.
22. Ask the people in your row if they would like to play "Whisper Down the Lane."
23. Ask the stewardess for at least 10 wet hand wipes and tell her you want them so you can take a sponge bath.
24. When the stewardess asks you if you want a drink, tell her you want a mixed drink of milk, tomato juice and coke. Sip it and begin to gag, gesturing wildly as if unable to breathe.
25. Hiccup loudly.
26. Ask the stranger who was sleeping nearest you if they realize that they talk very coherently while they sleep. Then keep looking at them, shaking your head with disapproval while making "tsk, tsk' sounds with your tongue.

That's twenty-six. I have two more but they're really far too mean to print and they reveal the downward spiral of my human nature far too well. I haven't read this list for years. I was telling someone at school what I was typing and they said that perhaps God gave me that goofiness to serve a special purpose at that time and I am quite sure they were right about that.

(May 23, 1013-What makes me laugh to this day is how ridiculous these are and how tired we were. I would write a few in my notebook, hand it over to Janelle to read, and she would shake helplessly with laughter, tears rolling down her face.)

Today's Manna

I had some time to study at school and it seemed like everything I read was manna in the wilderness and perhaps it will feed you too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ps.37:34-"Wait on the Lord and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land." Prov. 10:3-"The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish..." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I started reading the book of Hosea. He was a prophet in Israel and God told him to marry a harlot in order to portray God's covenant with Israel and their unfaithfulness to Him. The name 'Hosea' means 'Salvation' or 'Deliverance.' The name of Hosea's wife, 'Gomer' means 'cease, come to an end, fail.' So God told Hosea, the deliverer, to take that which had come to an end; that which was a perfect failure, to be his wife. Wow. I read chapter one. Gomer bore Hosea three children. God told Hosea to name the first one "Jezreel" meaning 'God Scatters' or 'God sows.' God would scatter His people and bring an end to Israel as a kingdom. A second child, a daughter, was born, and God told Hosea to name her "Lo-Ruhamah" which means 'No mercy.' God would no longer show mercy to Israel. Judah, however, remained as true worshipers of God. A third child, a son, was born, and God told Hosea to name him "Lo-Ammi, meaning 'Not My People'. God said these horrifying words, "You are not my people and I will not be your God." At the end of that sad first chapter, there is a promise of a future and a hope. God tells them that in the place where it was said "Lo-Ammi"-'You are not my people', they will be called 'Sons of the Living God. And in the place where they were called "Jezreel"- and were scattered, God would gather them together and appoint them one head. And God would show them mercy instead of 'no mercy'-"Lo-Ruhamah". And so, He would restore them to Himself, because they did not know how to return to Him. God, the Deliverer, draws to Himself in merciful loving-kindness, that which is a perfect, complete failure. If I were not in the computer lab with a senior who is working on his thesis, I would lay my head down and sob. Holy, Merciful, Long-suffering, Patient, Loving God. I love you so. Thank you for calling me your own, and for gathering me into your bosom and for covering me with your wings of mercy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Luke 12:47,48-"And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." In another place in scripture it says that to him who has, even more will be given him. I see it as an open ended circle that spirals upward. To him who has, more will be given, and to whom much is given, much is required, and to him who is faithful in the small things, to him will be granted larger things and to him who has, more will be given and to him who is given much, much is required, and so on, upwards and upwards, from strength to strength, and from glory to glory, for the praise and honor of His holy name. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1 Cor. 11:7, 19, 26~"Man is the image and glory of God." Wow. That would improve our self-image of our worth and purpose if we went around meditating on those few powerful words.// "There are divisions in the church in order to recognize clearly those who are approved." Sometimes, this takes awhile.// "We eat the bread and drink the cup and so proclaim the death of Christ until He comes." I wonder if we would forget to remember His brokenness and bleeding if we didn't observe The Lord's Table. I have a dear friend who observes this kind of remembrance of Him-the cup and the bread- in her communion with Him every day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Break thou the Bread of Life, dear Lord to me... Thank you for feeding me in such a way that I am full and yet ever hungry for more.

Hertzler Doings~April 4-10, 2011

Mon.-Busy day. Dropped Susan off at school and headed to Farmville to get blood work done for insurance company. The nice lady in there called me 'honey', 'sweetie, 'dear', etc. and I felt pretty loved by the time I left there. I wondered if she had any idea what kind of gift she was giving to everyone who came in. Then I met with Carleen at Country Cooking and had a huge breakfast while we caught up on the news. Came home and started making 'Chicken and Dumplings' for supper. Michael volunteered to pick up Susan from school. Still no sign of Buddy. Judy came around 4 and took our blood pressure and also went on a wild windy gator ride with Susan to take good pictures of her. Sammy Jo stayed in with me and it was as if she had a living doll as she played with the puppies and talked in her cute so grown up voice. Janelle and Micah came and played with the puppies for awhile and then went on a sad search for Buddy. Meanwhile, our neighbor called and she told me that she had announced the loss of Buddy to the neighbors and to her church and then advised me to call the animal warden which I promptly did. In spite of Micah's sorrow, he was so very kind to Sammy Jo and explained things to her much as his mother does for him. The guys came home in the midst of all of this activity and then the Birthday Bantons came. Michael had to leave for work but came home later to enjoy the birthday cake and Phil had to leave to go to the cattle auction after supper and Freeman and Alli had to leave because he had stew cooking for a bit too long in the crock pot. But before they left, Alli, Lindsay, and I went down to the bluebells and all of us enjoyed a supper of chicken and cornmeal dumplings, applesauce, carrots, coleslaw, and mint chocolate chip/chocolate chocolate ice cream cake. (Which was smothered in Cool Whip.) Philip, Susan, Gil, Lindsay, and I played a rousing game of 'Apples to Apples' and meanwhile, I made origami boats and airplanes for Emma and Adi. Philip was in his glory and again, I thought he was Gil, as he helped the girls get into their car seats until I saw Gil standing there talking to Michael. Susan and I had a long talk before we turned in for the night and I stayed awake until Phil got home. At one point in the night, the winds were so loud and gusty that I got a bit scared and thought we were in for a tornado. It must be an awful feeling to hear that coming and have nowhere to hide./// I am thankful for Judy's bag of goodies that she brought and the ton of money she saved me by her generosity. I am thankful for the kind lady on the other side of the phone who had compassion for Micah's poor little shiatsu who got lost on a Sat. night. I am thankful for the Bantons and that they are our family. I am thankful that Emma said to me in her distinct 'my mother is a speech pathologist' kind of voice, "Jesus wants us to move. We are moving to a house that has stairs and I will come down the stairs to eat breakfast." It's nice to have someone to blame. Poor Jesus. He gets blamed for a lot these days. Tues.-This morning, Susan saw that Philip was having trouble corralling his run away pigs and she ran out with a pail of garbage and called, "Bacon! Bacon!" and got them back to where they belonged. He came in the house and said to her, "You are a lifesaver! Thank you so much! You are so smart! Have a good day at school, honey...I love you, too. See you when you get home." And I had to write it down because I was so thankful that Susan has brothers like this one, and that they all love her and protect her and encourage her. Came into school with Susan but won't have to teach until 1:20 since they are testing this week. I thought I'd catch up on some blogging and reading my Bible and it's been very nice. Phil's thumb has the outline of the splinter in it and it seems that it might come out longways instead of from point to point. Hopefully the surgeon can help him out on Friday. I think it is making him very tired. Taught only two classes of music in the afternoon since the school is doing achievement tests this week in the mornings. Got to share a synopsis of PF's sermon with the high-schoolers and they understood the 'ping' in one's heart that is a warning from the Holy Spirit to stop doing or not do the thing they were about to do. We had a few laughs as one student especially identified with this and proceeded to share. Met with Select Choir to review a worship song or two and then played some musical mats with them. Went to Walmart. Susan exhausted. Bought her some gummy bear vitamins since the others make her sick and some other herbs to give her more energy. She went to bed by 6. I took a walk and looked for Buddy. Every white plastic bag in the neighborhood gets looked at twice. (He's a white Shiatsu.) Did three loads of wash and tidied the house. Philip went to Financial Peace and afterwards, he joined Michael to celebrate Jordan's birthday./// I am thankful that the colors that would not look good together on a person, look beautiful in God's natural world. Oranges, lavenders, pinks, yellows, whites,...I am thankful that tonight I finally gave Buddy to God and said that I could trust Him with the mystery and I did not feel nearly as troubled. I am thankful for CCA and the teachers, staff, and students who have enlarged my borders. Wed.-Met with DDF at Baine's for several hours for our time of sharing over coffee and rice and bean wrap. So thankful for this friendship. Taught K-2 music classes. Played Musical Mats and sang some Sunday School songs. When we arrived home, Susan yelled, "Buddy is on the front porch!" I began screaming, "Thank you God!" over and over. He was none the worse for the wear. Didn't seem overly hungry or thirsty or dirty, but he certainly smelled bad and I didn't hug him since I didn't have time to change. Janelle and Micah came to pick him up and Micah was very happy. He played with the puppies and had some pizza and then joined Buddy in the car. We left soon afterwards to go to church for a WM meeting and then Missi and I caught up quickly over a Macado's quesadilla, and then we came back to VE to hear Dakota's testimony about her time in Italy with WYAM. It was really good. Went to Walmart and got Susan's chocolate coating. I am thankful that Phil had a nice hot bath waiting for me when I got home and that I got to read 'Robinson Crusoe.' I am thankful that even though we didn't know where Buddy was, God did. I am thankful that we had a happy closure to this oh-so-troubling mystery. Thurs.-Had time to read and study at school. Ran out to get Susan and myself a tuna Subway for lunch. The school is setting up for the ring ceremony tomorrow night. Some of the classes when to a musical dress rehearsal put on by local homeschoolers. Other children left for a 4-H weekend in my neck of the woods in Pa. In Art class, I had the children decorate large men's white handkerchiefs with flour/water batik, writing the word "Mom" and drawing hearts, etc. Next week we will paint them and then I will dry them and scrape off the batiking part and iron them and then wash them and iron them for Mother's Day gifts. I put their initials in one corner. The second graders made poppers and were having fun trying to scare me but I think it mostly got on the nerves of the other teachers. I didn't realize there were many left in the school with all the other activities. After cleaning up the art room, Susan, Graham, and I, met Doreen over in charming downtown Appomattox and Doreen and I got ice cream cones and sat outside Country Charm and talked and Graham and Susan went into Baines and got something to eat and drink and studied at the little table at the top of the stairs. Doreen took Susan home overnight and she is going to help Graham pick up the sticks that have been pruned in their vineyard. We'll meet up with her tomorrow after the ring ceremony. Michael left for Richmond mid-day and Philip went to play basketball with Erik at Maysville this eve. ///I am thankful for this beautiful 80 degree weather. I am thankful that I finally found a belated birthday gift for Judy Blue Eyes at B&L's and I think she'll like it. I am thankful for chocolate ice cream cones and a comfortable friend (who came to Pa. around the same time we did), and a warm balmy day. I am thankful that once I get out of bed in the middle of the night to help the puppies find their mother, I don't mind so much because they are so doggone cute. Fri.-Studied. Washed. Putzed around. Alli called and came over and we played with the puppies and took them outside. Angel became protective of her babies once around Roxy and she showed off and laid down so they could nurse. She growled at Roxy when she became too curious. All this activity wore out the puppies and they slept and slept. Alli had Phil's little girl puppy and when she put her down, she cried, so Alli picked her up and the little girl fell fast asleep with her head drooping over Alli's arm and she looked dead. She has scared us several times by her ability to really relax and play dead. Then Alli brought out a pattern and some material and we commenced to make her an apron in two hours! We were both rather pleased. Phil and I went to the Ring Ceremony at CCA in the eve. Mikayla looked beautiful in her white dress with turquoise flowers, a tiara on her pretty head and sweet, dear smile. We sat with the Guilds and the Sullivans and had a really good time while we ate mashed potatoes, green beans, beef tips with mushrooms, chicken, corn, salad, and cheesecake. There was much picture taking after the presentation of the ring and kind words were spoken to Mikayla and prayers were prayed. I appreciated so much what her father had to say and I had wanted to say something but his words did me in and I could only stammer later to Mikayla, when I turned her ring. A great storm was going on with wonderful lightning and it was raining and the sky was a study of blues, grays, and pinks. David brought Graham and Susan to school. They wanted to keep her another day. They worked for 5 hours picking up sticks in the vineyard and were too wiped out to go to Baine's in the eve. They fell asleep while watching a movie instead. We got home in good time and went to bed.///I am thankful for Marcie's sweet words as she offered to keep Susan for a year so she could continue to go to school there and I could travel freely to Pa. We're not going to do that but the offer was so kind. I am thankful that Alli came over and that it feels like she's always been here. I am thankful for my handsome husband and how terribly smart he is. Sat.-Phil and Philip went to Guilds to hunt turkeys and converse. Susan slept in while I started getting jars and meat in. I decided to can vegetable soup today. It's a perfect day to do it with it being somewhat cool outside. Phil helped me when he could and we canned 23 quarts of venison chunk vegetable soup and had several quarts leftover to eat for supper. Then we went for it and made 23 quarts of chili. We put sweet potatoes and whole grain pasta in it and I cooked kidney beans for several hours while the veg. soup was canning. We are trying to get down to one less freezer and use up the meat and vegetables we have. I also vacuumed the house and washed the floors. Susan cleaned her room and bathroom and Phil hammered the cement with a front loader drill while he waited for Tom to come over. (Soup turned out well.) Did some wash. Watched '17 Again' with Susan and Phil. A little weird but nice ending. Puppies are very entertaining. One tried to eat the popcorn out of Susan's mouth as she was putting it in. If we call 'Puppies, Puppies," they come running. So I think I have started calling 'Georgie' 'Charlie' instead but no one else is really excited about those names. They say that Charlie is better than Georgie which is just a nice way of saying that they don't like his name. I'll have to come up with a better one. ///I am thankful for a kitchen table full of cooling jars of soup. I am thankful that Philip is having a good time with friends this afternoon and evening. I am thankful that I can go to bed soon. I am thankful that even if the federal government shuts down, that Jesus carries the government on His shoulders. Sun-Song on my mind all night long-"...Wonderful grace of our wonderful Lord."-Michael was home this morning. Not sure what time he got in. It was nice to see him at church a bit later. He and Chace were hanging out today. Great SS class on marriage. Sat in the back of church with Alli, Freeman, and Susan,-behind some of my favorite people and in front of some of my favorite people. One of the Chi Alpha Alumni girls was there and she said that Adi was playing with a doll and she asked her who gave her the doll and Adi said, "Aunt Annette." Then she asked her what the dolls name was and she said, "Aunt Annette." I feel famous. I told Sara today that the Banton's were leaving and her kind sympathy made me cry. Perhaps Jesus will tell them not to move (see Monday) but I kind of doubt it. ~~~I've been trying to figure out how to summarize Pastor Frank's sermon. I missed the first five minutes of it and was scrambling to catch up after I got back. But I think I got the gist of it and since he said he would be preaching on it more this month, I thought I'd summarize the notes into a prayer. At least I am going to try. ( I tried but erased it and now I will just pray from my heart.) "Thank you Jesus, that you have called me out of darkness into your marvelous light and that you have given me Your Spirit and you dwell in me. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for taking what belongs to Jesus and for giving it to me. Thank you for giving me the desire to know you and to love you and thank you for giving me a hunger and thirst for your word and a longing to grow closer to you in righteousness and holiness. Thank you for this ongoing relationship that I have with you and that you are always at work in and through me. Thank you for sanctifying me and for always endeavoring to help me keep my spirit, soul, and body blameless until you come. Thank you for being with me and for being my ever present help in time of need. Thank you for always relating to me and thank you for restoring me and thank you for doing Your works through me for the honor and glory of Your name. Thank you that your joy is my strength. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my Hosea. Your beloved Gomer, A~" ~~~~~~~~~~~Had the privilege of catching up with Sara. What a dear friend she is and what an amazing woman. There's not many like her on this earth. Please Jesus, bless and keep and heal her. Came home and Phil made toasted cheese sandwiches and I heated up some of yesterday's chili and Phil fell asleep while Susan and I made apple dumplings. Oh Mylanta! (as Susan says) Take two packs of 8 crescent rolls in a tube. Cut up 2 green apples-8 slices each. Grease 9x13 pan. Wrap a slice of apple in the pastry and lay in pan. Mix 1/3 cup melted butter with 1 cup sugar. Sprinkle over apple pastry. Pour 3/4 cup Mountain Dew (I kid you not) over the pastries. Sprinkle cinnamon over all. Bake at 350 for 35" or so. Serve with vanilla ice cream and pretend you are in heaven! I took puppies outside and played with them for awhile and then I went gator riding over to the other property and took pictures of the bank of red buds, the enormous holly tree, bluebells at the river, a butterfly, an old stump, little May flowers, periwinkles, pathways, and the creek. In the little creek cove, I laid my head on the gator wheel and almost fell asleep. The dent was still there when I got ready to go away in the eve. and Phil said 'At least you know how it got there.' It would be a bit disconcerting to have a dent in the middle of my forehead and not know how it got there. Everything was so beautiful outside and I just had to cry several times because it was so painfully beautiful and I felt so grateful to God. Everything in creation cries out to Him and I hear their cries and join them in their praise. Everything in creation is doing what it was born to do and is doing it well and at the right time. Oh, that I would freely use my will to do what I was created to do and do it well and at the right time. Nature has no choice but I do and that makes me love Him even more. Went to church in the eve. and enjoyed the discussion about leadership and goal setting and also got completely silly over gourds but that's an inside story. ///I am thankful for happy memories of garden gourds and 'chilly nights.' I am thankful for new life the size of a large green olive in the womb of a friend. I am thankful for a husband who is always reading, always learning, and always thinking. I am thankful for his prayers for our family and for others we love. I am thankful for Michael's happiness in having a day with Chace, a quick deep conversation at church with Mr. Roth, and a gentleman's generosity which lessened Michael's apartment rent payments significantly. I am thankful that the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How Not to Win the Woman of Your Dreams

or "How Not to Get a Date on e-harmony.com.

The other evening, I went to Barnes and Noble with a friend to hear about her latest adventures. Life has thrown a few curve balls her way and one of the ways she is dealing with them is to look for a male companion on e-harmony. She was telling me about some of the information that potential men post and then she queried, "Why would you say that?" in her cute, perky way and I was slapping my leg and shrieking and then I said, "Wait a minute. I have to write this down," so I found a homemade envelope that a second grade origami artist had given to me and I jotted down the things she said. As I was cleaning off my desk this evening, I found my notes. I hope you find them as funny as I did. I write them in the order she said them.

How Not to Win the Woman of Your Dreams.
Listen up Men. Don't do the following:

~Display a cut-off photo of yourself with your ex-partner's head of hair still showing.
~Say you have bad news-you're unemployed and have physical disabilities.
~List 'sex' as one of your top four passions.
~Post a slouching mugshot of yourself.(She acted this one out.)
~Write a poem to 'your wife to be' on your third correspondence.
~Live in Iraq
.~Forget to put in your dentures for your profile shot.
~Call her 'baby' when you barely know her.
~Say you love her right away.
~Post your whole life's story from the time you were a child until the present.
~Say that you like to sew, especially dresses.
~Admit that you are a bomb specialist.
~Make it obvious that you have no life.

I hope this is helpful. ;) For what it's worth, I know of two couples that met on e-harmony or a similar website. One couple has been happily married for several years and another couple is just about ready to tie the knot.

Katrina Honors Her Sister

My sister has two daughters, Katrina and Annika. On March 6, 2011, Annika was married to a wonderful guy we all love named Stew. My sister has two sons. One of them is in heaven. In May of 2009, Abie was killed in a car accident. He was 23. He is sorely missed. They missed him especially on this happy wedding day. But I think that it is every day, that they especially miss him. (We just found some pictures of Abie in a box in the old house. They were taken about 7 years ago when they were all down here. There are pictures of him with his dad sitting beside him on the sofa and Abie is holding up a 'V' sign behind his dad's head and they are all laughing.) So you can understand that the wedding was a sweetbitter day but I think that sorrow can make a person's face more beautiful. My nieces and sister are already beautiful, but they are more beautiful than ever because they are intimately acquainted with grief and their beauty runs as deep as their sorrow. My sister has a son named Peter, and he and his wife, Katie, were very proud of their cute children who were the perfect flower girl and ring bearer. This sorrow has deepened them as well, and has drawn them into the love of God. At the reception, all of the groomsmen and bridesmaids shared a memory or some thoughts and wishes they had for the bride and groom. Katrina shared last, as Maid of Honor, and younger sister of the bride, and she has given me permission to share her words with you. As she spoke, I thought of my own sister, Rosalee. Not everyone has a sister like her, either. Not every girl has an older sister who would fight with her over the bathroom, rushing to get there "first" and therefore have the right to remain there as long as needed. Not every girl has an older sister who is not afraid to be unique-wearing exotic outfits from other countries, eating "strange" foods, collecting rocks, seashells, and stamps, or screaming at the top of her lungs when a movie gets too frightening. Not every girl has an older sister who models purity-waiting patiently for her Prince Charming...not frazzled by the fact that many of her friends are dating and getting married before her. Not every girl has an older sister who accepts the possibility that she may never get married-not letting it devastate her, but trusting in God, whether He brings someone special into her life, or whether He wants her to remain single and serve Him. Not every girl has an older sister she can look up to and respect. Not every girl has an older sister who follows God with all her heart...through the good times and the excruciatingly painful times...continuing to remain faithful, and remembering, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Not every girl has an older sister like this...but...I do. And, I just wanted to let you know, Annika, that I am so thankful I have an older sister like you. I love you! And Stew, I am so thankful that God brought you and Annika together! Welcome to our family! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Welcome, indeed. Thank you, Katrina dear, for letting me share your words. I love you. Aunt Annette