Monday, May 30, 2011

Hertzler Doings-May 30-June 5, 2011

Mon.-Memorial Day. Yesterday I ate wrong and last night I got little sleep thanks to Sheriff and his hourly desire to drink and pee. I was tired all day and didn't exercise or do anything quite right. Phil said that maybe I should give him away and we could both focus on Princess. He also said that maybe Sheriff should be an outside dog. He's been a bit more than I can handle at night and when we walk, he pulls on his leash and strains my already strained neck and shoulders. My heart broke and Susan came and hugged me and asked what was wrong and when I told her that I was thinking about giving Sheriff away, she said, "No. We can't give him away. He's already attached to us and we're attached to him. I'll walk him for you, Mom." And I thought about how good it would be if we had an outside dog and an inside dog. Princess loves to be in with Phil and Sheriff loves to pee on Phil's things and bite through his cords, etc. so it would be better for him to be outside. I wonder if he is secretly jealous of Phil. Or not so secretly. Regardless, for the time being, I am allowing my heart to love him more and more.

Susan and I went down to the river today and I sat with my chair in the river and she swam and got tan. We went over to the neighbor's where she put in some time pulling weeds. I cut up a ham and made some of it and took the rest down to the river to roast over the fire. I did not have energy to host a party but Tom's came down to the river and had a family supper and invited us and we enjoyed their fire and their food and contributed chunks of ham, s'more ingredients, and carrots. It was nice to have a party that I didn't have to do anything for. Tom even cut up a tree that had blown down to make room for us to sit. The other tree that fell was used to prop roasting sticks and fishing rods against and to hang up extra pieces of clothing.

We brought the little girls up with us and let them go in the puppy pen and Isaac and Sheriff backed away from them and barked and wouldn't let them pet them. I don't think they liked their wet swim suit dresses. They sniffed suspiciously at them and the little girls just stood there, unsure of what to do. So, I got Sheriff and put him on the front seat of the gator and the little girls sat in the back and off we went out the lane after communicating our plans to the rest of the family who were just coming up. On the way back down the lane, I held Sheriff on my lap, and he put his huge paws on the wheel and relaxed his whole body on my lap and he 'drove' the gator back home. It was the cutest thing. I had to show Phil when he got in from the field. We put Princess on the front seat and Sheriff drove on my lap and we went around the yard and after awhile, Sheriff just wanted to lay down on my lap and go to sleep, just like Adi did yesterday. Phil said, "He Loves it!" and laughed.

A few days ago, Phil brought Princess in and left her with me in the bedroom while he went into the bathroom to take a shower. He closed the door so she couldn't get into the bathroom and get into the trash can, etc. But she would have none of it and wailed outside the door, wanting to be near him. So, he laughed and let her in. She wasn't thrilled with the whole idea of his taking a shower either and barked a bit but then she found her own fun in the toilet. Fortunately, the lids were up and the toilet was flushed because she put herself head first into the toilet and dug and splashed and had a high old time. Her back legs were sticking up and her front legs were pawing away and water was flying everywhere. Phil wanted me to see it and sure enough, she did it again. I have never heard Phil laugh so hard in my entire life.

I froze some quart containers of water and hung them upside down over Princess's cage right over her water dish and as it thawed, the drops kept her dish somewhat filled. Otherwise, she wants to dig in her water dish. All of them want to do that. It must be instinctual. Wild animals dig in order to find water. I guess humans do too, if you think about it.///
I am thankful for the nest of turkey eggs Phil found as he mowed today. He was pretty sure the mother wouldn't be back to take care of them with no grass growing around it so he rescued them and put them in a nest of grass right under the tractor seat and kept them with him the rest of the day. This evening, he ran over to the Jone's to borrow their incubator and we hope to raise the little turkeys ourselves. I am thankful that I heard Philip's truck pull in. He spent the day at Bug's Island on the water with friends. He must have been tired because he didn't come in to tell me about his day. (He did later. Had a great time.) I am thankful for Tom and Helen and their family. I can be tired. I don't have to dress up. We don't have to do anything and it is enough.

Tues.-Took Sheriff down to the river for our walk today. That puppy loves to swim! He never ceases to amaze me. He likes to drive. He likes to swim. He likes to eat cow poop, I am embarrassed to say. I say, 'No Poop!', in a very stern voice, and he runs ahead of me to get away from the shame with his ears drooping. So I say, "Good boy. No poop! That's a good boy!" and he comes by my side again, happy as can be and avoids the piles of poop thereafter. I worked in the old house Pig Roast room for an hour today. I have a goal to work over in the old house for 1/2 hour day until it is all organized. That is my goal for this year. One of them, anyway. Susan and I went out to town and ran some errands. We stopped in to drop Adi and Emma's shoes off and Lindsay fed us rice and bean tortilla's which was great because we were getting hungry and we still had a few more hours to go. In the evening, Susan made some watermelon smoothies. She blended watermelon and then added ice cubes and blended it again. Refreshing and filling. Philip checked on Cynthia L. via phone while we were around. She had split her jaw open at Bug's Island yesterday and got at least 9 stitches I believe. She sounded good. I am working on washing more summer clothes. Susan bought some shirts today. We split the cost 50/50 this time around. It's time to take Sheriff for a drive on the gator. Maybe we can find Phil on his tractor somewhere.///I am thankful that Makenzie is going to be closer this summer than originally thought. Her dad will be working in Danville. I am thankful that Susan gets tired of shopping about the same time I do. I am thankful for the sweet note of encouragement I received from the sweet daughter of my soul. It was just what I needed. I love her so.

Wed.-Went out to Loy's and visited with Doreen and Graham. What a beautiful farm and vineyard they have. Came home for a short time and left at 3 to go out to church. Susan helped decorate the youth building for the graduation ceremony. I met a new younger friend at Country Cookin' and 2 1/2 hours just sped by and we were both happy when we left. After running a few errands I shared the excitement of a new marriage, a new life, and new beginnings with some folks in the youth building. Got to bed late and couldn't sleep.///I am thankful for the opportunity to watch God redeem a sorrowful situation. I know He will. I am thankful that the little birdies living in my shoe on the back porch are so big that any day now, they will be tumbling out of their nest. I am thankful that I found some yard toys at the dollar store so I didn't have to go into Walmart.

Thurs.-Day at home! By the time I took a walk to the river, it was hot. Worked for 1 1/4 hour in the old house. Did some wash and fulfilled insurance on-line educational requirements. I put big blocks of ice in the dogs water dish and they insist on digging it out and letting it melt on the dirt. ///I am thankful that Makenzie and her family will be closer than Kentucky this summer. I am thankful that Susan knows how to mow with the big mower. I am thankful that it was Isaac who got into the horrible smelling stuff and not Sheriff. I am thankful that I am about to take two little puppies on their gator ride. I am thankful that Sheriff likes watermelon.

Fri.-Went to Joanne Fabric with Alli, Erin, and Susan. Met Lynn and Makenzie there. Makenzie is staying with us for a few days. Alli, Erin, and Susan found sundress patterns and material. Then we went to Sweet Frog and ate frozen yogurt. I got chocolate, coffee, and cappuccino. Amazing! When we came home, we cut out Erin's dress. It is green and has golden elephants on it. Looks very Thai. Alli went back home to wash her rental car and exchange it for her red car which had been side swiped a few months ago and is now fixed up. Erin and Philip went to the Benson's for a pond party. We used to make rafts and row boats. Now they have jet ski's which make me a bit nervous. 'Fun' gets more daring with each generation. Makenzie and Susan watched '17 Again' which has a few good points and I made them some popcorn and enjoyed part of the movie with them and talked with Janelle on the phone. Phil is out making hay.///I am thankful that I am going to start getting ready for bed and its not 8 yet. I am thankful that the girls want to learn how to sew. I am thankful for Ezekiel bread, soy cheese, guacamole, onions, tomatoes, spinach, and peppers and the wonderful sandwich they make when grilled together in a waffle maker machine that's been sprayed with olive oil.

Sat.-Slept in today. When I woke up, Phil was in bed too. He said, "I bet its 7:30." I said,"No, it's 8:12." "It is?!" he exclaimed. "I don't know if I can make it to Sunday School." "This is Saturday," I said. "It is?" he asked with surprise. "Yes, and besides, our last Sunday School class was last week." Phil and Philip made all of us sausage and eggs for breakfast. Makenzie and Susan weeded the flower bed out front and then went to cool off in the river. Alli and Freeman came over. Freeman weed whacked and power washed the porch to get it ready for staining. Alli and I cut out her pretty pink eyelet sundress and its pink lining and Freeman finished his work soon after we were finished. Phil ran down with the four wheeler to get the girls who were sitting in the river and we all raced around and got ready to go to Calvary Chapel for Cynthia L's and Becky G's Graduation ceremony. It was a moving service and Marv's teaching from Timothy directed to the two young ladies was a strong and gentle reminder for all of us to live well with the call, authority, and vision of God. My highlight was Ms. Fisher's hug. Oh, I miss her and her warm loving ways. She said that I am the sweetest person she knows and she was bragging about me to others around her as I was bragging about her. It's nice to be bragged on once in awhile. We visited for awhile and then came home and started our work day all over again. Makenzie vacuumed. Susan took care of garbage and trash. I washed the floor and worked some more in the old house. Then Susan and Makenzie burned all of the boxes I had accumulated on the old house porch and made quite a large fire. Susan and Makenzie were screaming outside and here a black snake bit Susan and they were rather excited about it as most of us would be. They came in to watch 'The Ringer' and I washed several more loads of wash and took a walk and took Sheriff for a gator ride. Phil and Philip worked in the fields and Philip went to visit with Erik at his place for supper. ///I am thankful that Rosie has the same idea to go up to Pa to visit her parents a week out of every two months just as I want to. Her parents live not 5 min. away from my mother. We'll take my car because she has a car available to her up there. She loves to drive and that would be a relief to me. We are so excited about this arrangement. I am thankful for the reminder today to not neglect old friendships even as we cultivate new ones. I am thankful for calm deep teaching and sweet unhurried fellowship. I am thankful for the energy to work and to organize the old house. It is proof that I am feeling better. I am thankful for the opportunity to see Christy getting around on her crutches. I am so glad she is doing well and recovering nicely from her four wheeling accident and hip surgery. I am thankful for the book I finished reading this morning, "The God I Love" by Joni Eareckson Tada. I love when someone is real about their struggle with questions about God and what He allows. This book has some hard earned answers that helped me settle some things in my soul. For the time being anyway. I also recently read "A Severe Mercy" by Sheldon Vanauken. I read it at least once a decade. He taught at Lynchburg College. I would highly recommend both books for book club and personal reading. If you are looking for an intellectual challenge, read 'A Severe Mercy.' It will stretch your mind, soul, and spirit. Joni's book will help ease the stretching pains in your life.

Sun.-Overslept but got to church on time. We need to get the Pig Roast invitations out to everyone. Tim consented to sing at the Pig Roast today. He does an Elvis impersonation and we are hoping he will do it for us that day. Church was sweet and good and deep. I applied some parts of the sermon as a post script to a blog I wrote yesterday about 'Season for Fruit.' The other part of the sermon had to do with the anointing of God in our lives. We need the breath of God poured out on our lives and we need to be engaged with that anointing. We need to DO something with it. And as we do something with the anointing we will become established in our identity as the Bride of Christ. And when we are anointed, engaged in the anointing and acting on the gifts and calling that God has imparted to us, we will begin to walk in the authority we have as the Bride of Christ. And that affects the harvest. We will be witnesses of Him in our daily lives. And as we are witnesses of Him, we will in turn be a witness of the things He can do. Signs and wonders will follow those who believe.

After church, we had Susan's missions meeting. I am so excited about her upcoming trip to New York City. Then Philip treated us to Pizza Hut and we came home and Phil and I slept and Philip took the girls fishing and when I woke up, Erin was here, and everyone was watching, "The Night at the Museum." I made some popcorn and an Israeli rice dish. The kids played a card game after the movie and then watched another movie. They banned me from watching since I can't handle 'scary' so I am back here writing. It is after 9 but I must go out and visit Sheriff for a little bit.///I am thankful that Michael went to a little Mennonite Church 5 min. away down from his street in Winchester. I am thankful for a day to completely relax. I am thankful for a little puppy who loves me more than he loves any other thing in the whole wide world.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hertzler Doings-May 23-29, 2011

Mon.-First real day of summer vacation. So exhausted. Janelle presented her whatchamacallit at EMU and finished up 6 years of study and has another master's after her name. One year and two months after Johnny died, she went back to school and it changed her in many ways. Now she has a website, which was actually her whatchamacallit, and now gets 900 hits a day.
We kept Buddy for her and after she picked up Micah, they came here and relaxed a bit. Micah said we should have a 'Congraduation Party' for her and watch a movie and eat popcorn. Sounds good to me.
I did a few things today. Some wash, face booking, blogging, exercising, eating right, made roasts for supper, and watched 'Gone with the Wind.' The whole thing. I've read the book a number of times but never saw the complete movie. Too tired to do anything else so Susan and I rested and watched. I sound like I'm defending my actions. I guess I feel a little guilty for spending several hours watching a movie.///I am thankful for rest. I am thankful for the smell of moss and damp dirt as I walk out the lane. I am thankful that in my childhood, we had a cabin at Greenwood Furnace that we rented and the outdoors smelled the same way. I am thankful that I married a man who was part of a hunting gang that owned a cabin in the woods. And I am thankful that I don't feel the need to go away to a cabin, because I like it here, and I have woods, moss, rippling brooks in my back yard. Last week, Phil saw a bear on our property too.

Tues.-Day two of eating healthier. I seem to have to start over again and again. I love to cook too much to just eat raw foods but I am working on it. Typed up minutes for Women's Ministry, fb-ed, e-mailed pig roast invitations, unpacked the boxes from school that were plopped in the back room, rested and read 'The Cross and the Switchblade', and took Susan out to Wendy's to help raise money for the NY missions trip. She will be serving along with others who are going and will receive a percentage of what Wendy's makes from 5-8.

Met with Lindsay to plan menu for the Premiere party coming up for the women at church and then we walked and talked on the Longwood Campus where God's Spirit hovers.///I am thankful to discover that classical music helps me work better. It's not just good for the mind. I am thankful that Susan did not get too badly hurt when the barn swallow who has it's nest under the front porch roof literally attacked her head and followed her as she ran to the old house. I am thankful that Phil is getting some help for his back pain which stems from having his back wrenched in the four wheeling accident he had two years ago.

Wed.-Went to chiro. She told me that I think too much-that my scalp is like a vice grip. Said I am always processing and my brain is overworked even when I sleep. I do often go to bed with something that needs to be worked out and wake up with a solution. So, I am trying to simplify that part of my life as well, since simplify seems to be the new word for me. It's really an old new word but it's come around again. Obedience...Humility...Simplicity...Sounds like Christ. Holy Spirit, take what is Christ's and reveal it to me. Went out to school and sorted and organized all my papers and brought home two more boxes of my own stuff. And that's it. Some of the teacher's children kept saying, "I'm going to miss you." I told them I will stop in to see them whenever I can and that I will miss them too. Doreen brought us lunch which was so sweet. Then I took Graham and Susan grocery shopping and we came home. Phil took them out to church when he went to help Freeman cut pork. They were having a Luau at church for the youth and Freeman roasted a pig out there after they killed it here in the morning. They named him Clarence and I've been seeing his head on face book. He has an apple in his mouth. Naomi and I talked in the eve. until it was time for me to go out and get them. We're planning an extra shore trip every year. We've gone in the winter after a storm, just the two of us. Once I saw a news story about the storm in Ocean City and called her up and screamed, "Let's go." And we did. That's when I lived up there. The City was basically shut down because they didn't have snow removal equipment. We bundled up and walked all alone on the boardwalk, skirting piles of snow. Once I stepped into a big pile of snow on the road and freezing water got in over the top of my boot and I had to walk for awhile with that cold sloshing going on and gradually it became warm from the heat of my body. My dad would take us in the winter as well, and I remember seeing icy waves.///I am thankful for Naomi's dream about me loving our land and the peace that gave her. I am thankful for the baby birds finding refuge in my old shoe on the back porch. I am thankful that Sheriff stayed by my right side the whole way out the lane and back. He's getting used to a leash and collar. When we'd stop, he'd sit and look at me. I looked down at him, close enough for a puppy kiss and saw my reflection in his eye. I thought how I am the apple of his eye-the reflection in his eye, and that the only way to really be the apple of Anyone's eye is to be always before Them and to have Them be the apple of our eye as well.

Thurs.-Day at home. Hung wash up on our Amish Clothesline. It dried quickly on this hot windy day. Cleaned the fridge/freezer on the old house porch and wiped off the silver tables. Rested several hours in the afternoon. Hot and muggy. Susan mowed. Philip shared some of his Chinese food from last night's supper. The guys worked around the farm. Philip took Susan fishing in the eve. and Phil and I took a drive over to Crewe to pick up a tractor part. ///I am thankful that the puppies are figuring out who their owners are. Phil's dog, Princess, is dark, feisty, and little. He put a red collar on her and she looks sharp. Philip's dog, Isaac, is sleeping in Philip's room with him. He has what I would call 'bedroom eyes'-kind of dreamy and lovey looking. But Sheriff's eyes are my favorite. He has wise eyes. Knowing eyes. And he's beautifully silver coated with sharp black markings on his tail. I am thankful for a drive with Phil and time to catch up. I am thankful for meadow tea. I am thankful for the nice conversation with Michael on the phone. I am thankful that I miss him so.

Fri.-Got four hours of sleep last night due to puppy training. Sheriff slept on the floor beside me and I held the leash in my hand, looping it through my wrist and later my ankle, so I would know when and if he'd get up to do something he shouldn't. Finally put him out after 12:30 and got some sleep after that. Princess, Phil's dog, was sleeping on the floor on his side and she was passing some mighty puppy gas. It was asphyxiating. Phil was snoring louder than usual and well, it was a rough night, and I felt emotionally unstable for awhile this morning. I felt as if I had just had a baby and wasn't getting any sleep. Major accomplishment today? Cleaning the front flower beds of weeds. I am not going to plant any flowers in them this year due to puppies. Walked out to mailbox with Susan, Alli, and Sheriff. Alli had to go get groceries at Walmart and she was just about as thrilled as I am when I have to do the same. Sheriff fell in love with me today for sure. I took him on a gator ride down to the river and he sat up and let the wind blow through his ears and then he laid down on the seat. We almost ran into a black bear just as we were getting ready to go down the slope to the river. It poked its head out of the bushes and quickly turned back. Angel thought about chasing after him but then she thought better of it. I couldn't have been 7 feet away from him. Probably less because he was basically right beside me as I drove by him. That was nice. Had phone meeting with the insurance company counselor and discovered that my BMI is fine and just have to bring my waistline down another 1/2 inch and my cholesterol level down one more point and for that we are being charged an extra $60 a month until I shape up and trim down. If only I had known that the goal wasn't that far away, I would have been more careful those weeks before I was tested. I had given up because I thought I was so far away from their goals. (But their requirements had lightened up quite a bit unbeknownst to me. ) There is a sermon in here somewhere and I'll think of it some day when I am back to thinking again. Right now my brain is on vacation. I find myself starting to think as I walk the lane and I pull my brain back to just enjoy the little butterflies flitting about and the bluebirds who swoop along beside me from post to post and the gold finches showing off in the meadow and the musky fragrance of moss and I let each thing be its own moment of simple joy instead of thinking things beyond it. Went over to Dianna's around 4 and we talked inside her screened in porch while it rained and ate almonds and raisins and drank ice water and then we went over to Nanette's on the pretense of dropping something off on our way into town. Meanwhile, I saw Missi's vehicle pull in followed by others and when Nanette asked me if I wanted a tour of the house, I said, "Yes!" and off we went to tour the upstairs, giving a chance for many of her friends to come in the door and hide around the corner. Someone asked us to come down and they yelled, "Surprise!" and so she was. She got many beautiful and fun gifts and we shared some food, tears, laughter, and prayers with each other. ///I am thankful for friends. I am thankful to God for giving wisdom when we ask for it. I am thankful for Nanette and the gift she is to so many of us. I am thankful that Philip took Susan and a friend fishing while I was out partying and Phil was working the fields.

Sat.-Took Sheriff for a walk out the lane. Freeman and Alli came as I was puffing up the last few yards of the hill. Tom was here and we talked about a dream and its meaning. He's been sick this week with some sort of bronchial junkitis. Phil's fighting it now. I wonder if spraying corn bothered Phil's lungs. Freeman did some work outside and Alli helped me clean the house. She cleaned and shined all the fans and made a new lawn chair from an old one out of duct tape. I wanted her to sign her name on the top with black marker but she said, "No, because if it breaks, they'll all know who made it." We washed the curtains and the windows too. After she left, I dusted, vacuumed, and washed all of the floors and Susan cleaned her bedroom and the bathroom and did some other odd jobs. We were tired mid afternoon so we'd watch 1/2 hour of "Miss Congeniality-2" and then work real fast for 1/2 an hour. Back and forth. I got sick in my stomach after most of our work was done and just made it out the back door in time. The floors were wet and I couldn't run to the bathroom. Susan took care of me, getting me ginger ale, and doing the things I wanted to finish up, and so I rested and read Joni Earickson Tada's book about her life. It's after 7 and I am still queasy. Hoping I got sick on a vitamin instead of having some sort of virus. Philip was helping around the farm this morning and in the afternoon went to a softball tournament. Michael's in Winchester hopefully having the time of his life. His car broke down earlier this week and he had to rely on others around him for a ride back and forth to work while his car was at the garage.///I am thankful that the clothes line held my heavy dripping wet towels since they didn't wring out in the washer for some reason. I am thankful for Phil's happy face when he comes in from working in the fields. I am thankful that he gets time to think and pray when he's driving the tractor. I am thankful for the reminder again today of our personal priorities-Family-Farm-Church, and how they help us make decisions every day. I am thankful that when Sheriff bit through Phil's alarm clock cord that only sparks flew and breakers blew instead of anything worse happening. I am also thankful that Phil didn't get bent out of shape when Sheriff peed on the blueprints he had spread out on the floor.

Sun.-After church we came home and started to put a late lunch together. Several people were chopping vegetables. I browned some sausage and Philip made his terrific chili over a fire while homemade mac and cheese baked in the oven. Chase, Travis, Jordan, and Erin were here for lunch and Bantons came a bit later. The young people played volleyball in the pond and I drove Emma and Adi over to see them on the 'gatorade' as Adi calls it. When they came back, Gil joined them for a game of soccer in the back yard while Lindsay and I talked on the porch and took a ride back over to the pond to retrieve Susan's camera. I had a fun time painting with the girls on the kitchen table. Made popcorn and watched part of a late movie with those who remained. Took Sheriff in our bedroom and was awakened every hour until 2 and I gave up and took him outside. ///I am thankful for the sweet Spirit at church today. I am thankful for how much Phil is enjoying a large book written by a hunter in South Africa. He's been reading us excerpts from it. I am thankful for family ties with friends.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hertzler Doings~May 16-22, 2011

Mon.-Studied, exercised, cleaned and organize back room which had become a catchall. Half of the floor was covered. Cleaned out Tupperware cupboard and moved it. Put pans, etc. on back room shelves. Cleaned off desk. These are things I've been wanting to do for a month or more. Tried to take all three puppies for a walk to the mailbox. Ridiculous. First Sheriff innocently went head to head with the rooster but he did not remain ignorant for long. They they found something on the road in a tire track that they all wanted to stop and lick. Then they wanted to explore the undersides of tractors. Finally, I grabbed Isaac and held him like a baby in one arm and held the mortgage check in the other hand and huffed my way back to his cage, calling "Puppy, Puppy" in a high pitched pleasant voice but there was too much competition with all the curiosities on the farm. Phil said, "I have to get that check in the mail," so we found the other two who had meanwhile rolled in something disgusting and we plopped them in the back off the gator and took off. Princess promptly jumped off the back but she will not likely do that again anytime soon. Phil let Sheriff and I off at the mailbox and Princess wailed at the separation as they drove off down the lane. Sheriff and I took a leisurely walk back to the house. I threw big rocks into the ditch that had come up when Phil scraped the lane. Janelle and Micah and Corbin came by to pick up Buddy. They had been on a field trip to the Richmond Zoo. Janelle brought her 'zapper' along. She strapped my wrists and hooked in some cords and I felt like I was going o be electrocuted. Freeman and Philip were in there and I told them 'good-bye' and that they could read about their lives in my blog, etc. and Janelle and I thought I was rather humorous but the boys were not amused with my talk of dying and communicated that fact with us which made us laugh all the more but I guess that wasn't very nice to do that to them. Sorry boys.

Later, the sky looked threatening, so I went to put the gator away. I drove up to the end of the lane first and from there I could see the vastness of the many shade of gray piled up clouds. I got back and it rained, Rained, RAINED! Phil and Tom were stuck outside in the out buildings. Philip and Susan played a Monopoly card game while I made a second supper of protein waffles. Lindsay had asked for the recipe and that made me hungry for them. Linds, if you are reading this, I didn't have cottage cheese so I used yogurt instead. I also thought the mixture a bit runny so I threw in a handful of oatmeal and whole almonds which I blended with the rest. Very healthy that way too.

Received a sad call in the eve. We are praying for some dear people we love. As my mother has said, "It's a hard cruel world." But I wrote this to her today. Jesus said, "Be of good cheer. In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome this hard, cruel world." Oh, I love Him for that. What if this was all there was? What if He had not overcome? But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and makes His glory known through us, in spite of this hard, cruel world. I am thankful that the love God has for Jesus and others has been given to us so we can love Jesus and others with the same love He loves them with.
I am thankful that the boys don't want me to die, nor do they want me to talk about dying. I am thankful for the majestic color of gray. I am thankful for opportunity and the privilege to pray and that we are given a way out of worry through prayer.

Tues.- Everyone tired at school. Everyone is 'done.' Just a few more days. I gathered art work off the walls with the help of some of the students. I am making big art portfolios for the younger children out of scrap paper maps. I let the older classes decide what they wanted to do in music. 7/8th played basketball in the gym to Handel's music. 9-12th played volleyball against 7/8 during their class period to Handel as well. It's actually quite exhilarating to watch basketball to Handel. I've never enjoyed a game like I did this one. I kept giving out my holler whenever they made a basket and I heard some of them trying to do it too. 5/6 played freeze dance and played with play dough to Handel, or was it Bach. One of the girls got teary eyed as she left me and she came back and gave me a hug and then most of them did and said they would miss me and asked if I'd come back to visit them and I said that I was planning on it. Select Choir worked hard on their grad song, "Like a River Glorious." We talked about the meaning of the words. Clarissa was there in the afternoon and I got to hang out with her for a bit. Came home to the smell of wild turkey that was roasting in the crock pot all day. I made some rice with curry, onions, and raisins and cut up some fresh veggies. Phil and Philip went to get some pigs. Susan and I worked on a song for her to sing at the pig roast. Did several loads of wash and hit the sack.///I am thankful for sweet little Sara, who was so excited that her mother was bringing her lunch from 'Old McDonalds.' I am thankful for Cameron, and her tears and hugs. I am thankful for the students joy-filled summer plans.

Wed.-Woke up to the mocking birds trill. Yesterday, Phil was whistling for the dogs, and this morning, it sounded like he was again only he was asleep beside me in bed until he heard his copycat. Sometimes they imitate the telephone's ring. Finished the book of Jonah this morning. I've always been a bit hard on Jonah. But this morning I read the information about Jonah before I read it and did you know that all of the other prophets were sent to their own people. Jonah was the only one sent to the Gentiles and the Ninevite people were enemies of his people. He wanted to see them destroyed because they oppressed his people. If they did repent and God showed them mercy, then they could continue to harass Israel. No wonder he was upset. Would you want to go give a message of warning from a merciful God to those who have oppressed or terrorized your people? What about that individual in your life who has made life miserable for you, or worse yet, your child? Do you want the mercy of God to bless their lives? I don't think I'll judge Jonah so harshly anymore. But, oh, to love all people, especially my enemies, with the love God has for them...

Cleaned up some more at school. 3/4 graders picked a variety of favorite music activities and K-2 watched a movie in the larger portion of their music time. There is much music in most movies. For lunch, Mrs. Shorter served us her Christmas gift. It didn't suit at Christmas but today, we had pork bbq, chips, potato salad, and baked corn. We had Christmas place mats. The teachers decided that next year, their Christmas gift to each other would be a meal. They will each take a month and make a meal for the others. Maybe that would be a good day to come and visit. I still want to make them my rice and curry meal. The 5/6 graders made me some beautiful cards as did the 2nd graders. I might have to blog them. They are just so sweet and absolutely put me over the edge. Mrs. Jones said that I am not acting like some one who is ready to leave the school. We watched a volleyball tournament between the middle school and high school today. The teachers wanted to play the losers but Dr. H. over-ruled us and made us play the winners which were the high schoolers. We lost but we had the best time losing. I haven't laughed like that for awhile. I hit the ball once and took two aleve as soon as I could. In the eve., Sara and I went to Judy's and had chocolate cake and chips and sweet tea and a high old time.///I am thankful that I am not eager to leave these children and these teachers at this school. I am thankful Mr. S. didn't hurt himself too badly when he dove to save the ball and belly flopped on the ground. At least it looked that way to me. He's not that old but he's no spring chicken. I am thankful for dear sweet Sara and Judy and the way we can take off our shoes and take down our walls and just 'be.'

Thurs.-Felt like a truck ran over me all day. I am sad to be leaving the school at this time but it makes me really sad that others are sad. So, it's kind of a double grief. But I am looking forward to having more time to be with my mother and Phil's parents and our two new nephews. I am looking forward to times at Baines with Janelle and DDF. I am looking forward to maybe getting the old house cleaned up finally. I am looking forward to being home with Susan and having time to work on our health. I am looking forward to writing more and maybe taking some courses on-line. I am looking forward to blogging my mother's journals. She now has two followers and I want to give them more of her things to read. So, today, we had chapel and then we 'practiced' graduation. Mrs. Shorter and I 'sang' Pomp and Circumstance as Allison played and it made select choir laugh and that's a good thing because the music was about to make at least two of the students cry. I about fell off my chair I was laughing so hard and I think the principal told me to straighten up but I'm not sure. Select Choir sang well but they looked like they were in front of a firing squad. We have been working so hard on our four part harmony and we just really learned the words this Tues. so they are really focusing and that's why they look scared. All of the teachers who graduated from college are going to be robed and I am thinking about wearing my maroon velour bathrobe. Some of us drove students over to play Frisbee golf and went back to retrieve them an hour later. The younger students went to AJ's skating world. I am really hoping that one of them did not break her arm. (She did.) The older students had pizza, soda, and ice cream for lunch and then played 'Knowledge Bowl.' Susan's team won second prize and we've been eating it. (some kind of giant candy bar) Mrs. Shorter gave me a beautiful hanging basket with beautiful words attached that was going to make us both cry so she quickly told me a joke. I cleaned out more of my stuff and will have to stay tomorrow after grad to organize the rest of the stuff which is mostly paperwork I should have filed right away. Came home. Rested. Did three loads of wash. Tried to work out more insurance issues. Took a walk with Sheriff who is a bit of a fraidy cat when it comes to big machinery but he's so little and well, he's cute when he wants to be held while he's intimidated by the load roar of the front loader and lawn mower. ///I am thankful for wind chimes and willow tree figures. I am thankful for my daughter's desire to express her thanks to her teachers. I am thankful for a promised lunch with Marcie next week and that the teachers and I will still be friends. I am thankful for all of the invites to stop in at school when I'm out to town next year.

Fri.-It was two years ago, this day, that my sister's son was in a car accident. He and his passenger were killed. Their youngest daughter was on a missions trip to Germany at the time. Today, I believe she is in Guatemala on another missions trip. Pray for her safety. So much has happened in the past two years and yet, it seems like only yesterday when we got the call. I am sorry, dear Rosalee and Jim, and your precious other children, for this awful, unbelievable loss. May God give you grace to live each day. I love you.

Graduation! Bittersweet Day. I am just too tired to write about this right now. After grad, Chelsea took her brother Graham, and Susan to a movie since the bowling alley was full of school children having a field day and then met us back at school. Meanwhile, Doreen and I went to a little tea shop in the Appomattox Gallery and had chicken/spinach/asparagus with Parmesan cheese sauce on a croissant and cucumber/tomato salad and lemon curd with pound cake and chocolate chess pie and hot tea of course. Delicious. Ran to Walmart and came back to school and Doreen helped me get my act together. I will still have to go back for several hours to organize papers but otherwise, every nook and cranny is cleaned out. Brought Graham home while the rest of his family went to see 'Swan Lake'-the production. He and Susan have watched a movie and are trying to practice a song for the Pig Roast but they are also just too tired. Graham is used to sisters and Susan is used to brothers and so their relationship has a brotherly sisterly feel to it and they are great friends. I made them Kroger pizzas/watermelon/salad for supper. Janelle and Micah came soon after we got home and brought cooky dough for us to take to Pa. Then we took a gator ride while Micah held Sheriff on his lap. Then Micah and I loved on each other for awhile before they headed home. He is just so very precious. ///There were a number of very difficult farewells today. And I am thankful that the good byes are difficult and that they are not glad that I am leaving and that I am not glad to be leaving them. I am thankful for the good word from The Honorable Darrel W. Puckett. He was our commencement speaker. I am thankful that it is growing dark and that I can soon go to bed and wake up to a sweeter day.

Sat.-Left home around 11. Stopped at Mother's, Rosalee's, Duck's, at Paul's to drop Philip off to meet Michael, up to Mom and Dad's, and then to Joe's. They were up and almost immediately, Phil had Jonathan in a conversation and those two went back and forth and Jonathan thought his Uncle Phil was the funniest guy around. We got some great pictures. It is fun to be an aunt and uncle at any time, but it is especially fun when you are not worried about where your own little child is and what they are doing. And now all of our children are enjoying these new cousins so very much. Philip was especially enjoying seeing everyone. He hadn't been up for a year and a half.///I am thankful for travelling mercies. I am thankful for these two little boys who have brought so many people together. I am thankful that we are celebrating life instead of sorrowing death.

Sun.-Helped Karen prepare for lunch up in the church kitchen before church. Some 120 or more people stayed after the service for a meal of pork/beef bbq, rolls, coleslaw, potato salad, 7 layer salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, other salads, pickle, applesauce, cold cuts/cheese, cake and ice cream. People kept saying that it felt like 'Old Hopewell.' The baby dedication was sweet. The woman who had given the prophecy at Petra about the Lord wanting to open wombs was there to pray over them. Some of the family members had prayed especially for these two families following the ministry of that word and that week both babies were conceived and they were born two days apart. It is truly a miracle. Both sis in laws were 43 I think and had suffered several miscarriages. During the dedication, Jonathan and David were being held by their fathers who were standing next to each other. Jonathan kept trying to get David's attention. Some have said that David is going to make the plans and Jonathan will carry them out. The fellowship hall was decorated with blue tablecloths and blue balloons and a table with baby pictures, etc. It was wonderful to see so many people-friends and family, and to be part of this grateful celebration of which God truly did receive the glory. We stayed at church until after 2:30 and left Joe's around 3:15. We got home around 8:30. At one point I saw 93 on the dashboard but then I closed my eyes. I was obviously not driving. Good-byes were not as difficult as some times because I heard several nieces and nephews promising to come this summer for a visit, as well as some others. In the news-(Large tornado tore up Midwest and many lives lost.) ///I am thankful for a safe fast trip home. I am thankful that there was not much to put away. I am thankful that I cleaned the house before we left yesterday. I am thankful for Alli and Freeman who took care of the puppies while we were gone.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Calamities and Steadfastness

The Body of Christ is being hammered.
In fact, the whole world is in crisis.

You don't have to look far to find people
who have a lot more trouble than you do
or are in much more trouble than you are.

Between Jesus cleansing the temple-
overturning tables and the like,
the devil at work,
the very earth itself groaning and

travailing with pain-
thus causing all kinds of natural disasters,

and the law of sowing and reaping
yielding its harvest,
there is a lot of just plain 'hardships of life' going on.

"It's a hard cruel world," my mother would say.
Sometimes, we don't know who to blame.
Is this God? the devil? Is it something I did?

We ask ourselves these difficult questions while
trying to stay afloat on choppy waves
in the midst of a hurricane.

David, the Psalmist, knew this kind of trouble.

King Saul was seeking to destroy his life.
David ran and hid with some

of his faithful men in a cave.

He wrote the words of Psalms 57 during this time.
I share a segment of it here with you.

"Be merciful to me, O God,
be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings
I will make my refuge,
until these calamities have passed by.

I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.

He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would
swallow me up. Selah.
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth...

...My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.

Awake, my glory!
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.

Webster defines calamity as 'misery;
any extreme misfortune.'

David did not cry about his misfortunes.
He did however, say what they were.
You'll have to look up the Psalm because

I skipped that part.

He used his desire to cry about his troubles
and turned it into a cry to God.

"Be merciful! Help! For I trust in You
and know that You are the One who
will take care of Me!"

He trusted that God would send forth
His mercy and His truth to save him
and reproach his enemies.

He did not presume upon his
anointing as future king.
He did not expose himself to
danger, saying, 'God will take care of me.'

he ran and hid physically in a cave
and he hid his soul under the shadow of God's wings
and then he said he would 'trust in God
who performs all things for me.'

We might say that these are defensive actions.
To run and hide in a cave is a

desperate act of survival.

But then, he speaks proactively.

"My heart is steadfast.
I am going to sing.
I am going to get up before the dawn
and sing with my voice
and play the lute and harp with my hands.
I will awake the sun's first rays."

"Be exalted," he sang to the LORD.
"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,"
played the harp.
"Let Your glory be above all the earth,"
declared the lute.
And so I say to you, to me,

Cry out to God for mercy and help.

Stay under the shadow of His wings.

Trust Him to take care of you
and the things that trouble you.

Remember that God's mercy and truth
both saves and reproaches.

Keep your heart steadfast towards God
and sing His praises.

Do this in the midst of calamity.
Do this while hiding in a cave.

Do this when the promises of God
appear to be a mere figment of your imagination.

Do this when you've forgotten the feel
of the warm oil of God's anointing trickling down...
Not only did David survive the cave,
he became King,
and his words are written
for all generations to read
and be encouraged.

God can and will use your story as well.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hertzler Doings~May 9-15, 2011

Mon.-Relaxing day catching up on computer and paper work. Studied, exercised, putzed around. Was struck with the scripture in John where Jesus washed His disciples feet and then said that we should do the same for each other. We should wash the contamination we pick up from just being in the world off each other's 'feet.' Someone I talked with today felt bad that they need to share some of the burden they are carrying. They had heard someone else say that it is only necessary for God to know their need. But we are told to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. 'Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another that you might be healed.' By so doing, we wash each other's feet. "Blessed are you if you remember to do this," said Jesus. Is it easier to wash another's feet or is it easier to have someone wash your feet? I don't think either one is easy. Both have to do with service and humility. Heavy hearted about some things. Christi Plank was in a four wheeler accident last night. Her helicopter went right over our place. Today she had surgery on her cracked hip. Talked with a friend who is in the midst of a 'besieged city' with no way out. Oh Lord, show your great love to her and her family. Went to PTF tonight and helped with two songs the children sang, "Lo, in the grave He lay" and "The Star Spangled Banner." The school children have the honor of performing the National Anthem at the Hillcats Game on June 6. Each child who sings will receive two free tickets for their parents or guardians to attend the game.///I am thankful that Philip discovered the struggling puppies before they died. They drank fly poison back in the barn. How did they get back there? Phil called his brother Jim and he said give them milk and water-as much as possible. They could hardly walk and were foaming at the mouth and convulsing. They are doing much better but their eyes look drunk and they walk a bit crooked. I am thankful that Emma (4) is so certain that she is going to marry Philip (22). She looked at her mother with skepticism when she told her that she could marry Philip when she is 25 if he'll still have her but to remember that as she is growing older, he will be growing older also. I am thankful for PTF meetings that last 25 min. and that we got home less than an hour after it started. I am thankful for Philip's excitement and joy over the purchase of his own property across the road from us.

Tues.-My 53rd birthday. Missed Mother's call in the morning but now I have it saved. I still have David and Margaret's Happy Birthday song recorded from last year and nobody had better erase it. It's the one and only time they've done that they said. Heard from all my siblings and that was so very nice. Also received oodles of face book well wishes and determined again to wish people Happy Birthday when it's their special day. One the way to school I got a flat tire. Thirty seconds later, some folks that go to our school stopped and took Susan to school. Almost everyone who drove by stop to see if I needed help. Freeman came and gave me his car to go to school and then the guys took care of getting the car to the garage. We needed two front tires. They sang Happy Birthday to me in chapel and I almost couldn't keep it together. I will miss them all so much. Attended the middle school's play twice today. "The Emperor's New Clothes" set in a hippy generation pulled the class and school together. Mrs. Shorter did a fantabulous job as did her helper, Mrs. Loy. Susan played a tricky tailor. Philip had played the same part in the co-op when he was home schooled in 5th grade. She was so good. Clear, loud, and graceful. Phil, Philip, Freeman, and Alli came to the eve. performance with me. I am framing some of the children's artwork at school to hang in the hallways. I love the way they are turning out.///I am thankful for another year to have lived and another year closer to seeing Him. I am thankful for the high schooler, who wanted to sing "I Surrender All" in music class. He has a hunger and thirst for the things of God and I pray that nothing hinders it in his life. I am thankful for the chiropractor took me in as a drop in and worked on me over an hour after school. Been having lots of trouble with my neck and shoulder. I am thankful for 'Evans' picture of Jesus dancing on a rainbow and how beautiful it looks framed with sponge painting around the mat and his hand print and signature on the right side.

Wed.-Music Day. Spent free time working on art framing. Catori drew a picture of her dachshund named Frank. Get it? Hot dog dog-Frankfurter? Took me longer than that to get it. 3/4 graders made a birthday card and signed their names, with "We're going to miss you." Everything makes me cry these days. Women's Ministry meeting in the eve. Met Cheri and Missi at Rosa's Italian Restaurant where Missi treated me to supper and Cheri, my decade twin, gave me a big helium birthday balloon attached to a lollipop. We sat outside at the corner table and had a good time. Phil had a tub of water ready for me when I got home.///I am thankful for the value of every life and the unique personality He's given to every individual. I am thankful that Susan sees beyond the appearance of someone and sees their hearts yearning for God. I am thankful that I get to hear PAlvin's message on the way home. I am thankful for warm water, soft beds, and a God who hears.

Thurs.-Select Choir sang, "Like a River Glorious" in four-part harmony in chapel. It was beautiful. I worked on some more art and ran hither and yon, getting a haircut, dropping off kite art to be laminated and Pig Roast invitations to be copied and cut. In the afternoon, the middle/high schoolers came in and helped me with the younger children. They tie-dyed white T-shirts to be worn on Field Day next Thursday-the last official day of school. Picked up our things from the Village Print Shop while Susan picked up two hand-dipped cones. We missed our time with the Loys. Susan needed to get back home to meet up with Freeman. He and Philip shot crows and ground hogs before he took Susan back to their place. She went along with them to the New Life play that eve.-'Mid Summer's Night Dream'. Everyone loved it.///I am thankful for a night at home. Three nights out in a row is too much for me. I am thankful that the puppies have suffered no ill effects from the fly poison. I am thankful for the book, "The Relationship Principles of Jesus Christ" by Tom Holladay, and that once again, I've read a book that I want to start over and read again.

Fri.-Not sleeping well the past three nights. Many people need prayer. Also having much shoulder pain. The Lyme's treatment may cause me to feel worse before I feel better and I wonder if this is what is going on. Lyme's Disease hides in your cells and hides in white blood cells when you take an antibiotic. I'm going with an alternate route and if Lyme's is being released in my system so I can finally get rid of it, that would explain some of my symptoms. Tidied the house, made supper, washed clothes, exercised, took a nap, worked on insurance processes, walked with Janelle, ate supper together, made popcorn, watched Madegascar 2. Good to be with Micah and his active mind. Talked about Thai's eating live red ants and I said, "I believe your father used to eat them with his eggs" and his mama nodded and he grinned.///Thankful for the Fed Ex envelope and what it contained. Thankful that Phil picked up Susan for me. Thankful for the nest in my old sneakers on the back porch. It contains 6 wren eggs and a diligent mama bird. Thankful for the barn swallow nest on our front porch. Now we're greeted with diving wings and scolding out front and a whisk of quiet wings out back. We'll soon have to start using the side door for safe entrance/exits. Thankful to be starting the Psalms over again. Impressed with the words, "The Lord knows the way of the righteous but the way of the ungodly shall perish." So the way of the righteous has nothing to do with perishing and has everything to do with LIFE. How nice to consider that the Lord knows my way. So many ways to look at that.

Sat.-Relaxing day. Did some washing, cleaning, blogging, napping, walking with Alli, baking, cooking, etc. Didn't get done nearly as much as I had set out to do but was relaxed about not getting it done.///I am thankful that school is almost out. I am thankful for the lovely cool spring weather and drizzly rain. I am thankful for the way the puppies cock their heads from side to side when Susan sings to them through the window. I am thankful for the way Philip and Susan play card games at any time of the day they happen to sit down at the table.

Sun.-We're starting to train our puppies by bringing them into the house one at a time. They all know how to sit and wait before they receive a treat. Sheriff, my puppy, is the loudest and biggest. He doesn't like to snuggle. But his eye contact makes me feel so loved. He communicates what he wants via much whining. Princess, Phil's little girl, adores him. All dogs adore Phil. He trained the little wild dog in Kenya in a few minutes and everyone was amazed at him. Called him the 'dog whisperer.' Philip's puppy, Isaac, knows his name and his master. Every time I hear Philip saying, "Isaac!" I 'hear' the words, "In Isaac shall your seed be blessed."
Went to church. Enjoyed Sunday School. I thought it was the best chapter in 'Love and War.' It was entitled, "When Storms Ascend." It gave helpful truths on what to do in certain situations.
I had decided this week to no longer blog the sermons for various reasons most having to do with my own insecurities. But I must respond to what I heard today since it spoke to the deep places in my spirit and some of the key scripture referenced was the same that I read before coming to church. (Eph.4) It is all important that we know God and are known of Him and it is He Himself who gives us that sacred thirst for the living water that flows from His life into ours. It is in searching for Him and learning to know Him that our spirits are awakened and as the church is awakened, those who are far from God will be drawn near, and revival will take place. Jesus has the keys of life and death and all authority is His and He has given the church His authority and His set of keys. This morning, I imagined Him locking the keys into my belt loops. They are keys that will set the captive free and open blind eyes. There are keys that will open the truth of the gospel. Jesus gave gifts to the church and all of these gifts are meant to be used to equip the saints for the ministry and edify the body of Christ so we come to a place of unity, intimacy with Him, fellowship with each other, and maturity as believers. Just as the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep waiting for the Word of God to be spoken so He could help create the world, so the Spirit of God hovers near us, waiting to hear the Word of God come forth out of our mouths, so He can create life and harmony out of chaos. Moses wanted to see God's glory and God revealed Himself as a God of Mercy, Grace, Longsuffering, Goodness, Truth, Keeping Mercy, forgiving iniquity. The revelation of who God is sounds almost like the list of the fruit of the Spirit, which makes perfect sense. The fruit of the Spirits work in our lives would make us like God. John 17:26, Jesus prayed that the love with which the Father loved Him would be in us...that we would love Jesus as much as God loves Him. This is a gift from God. Oh, God, let the love you have for your Son be in me and the love you have for your church be in me and the love you have for the lost be in me, O God, full of mercy, grace, truth, and Goodness, be in me.
(And this is the response to the sermon I wasn't going to blog anymore but just basically did. It was a very good word and I receive it with gladness.) I was thinking also, in the natural, I decided to go beyond thinking that I want to eat better and exercise so I feel better. I decided this week, that I want to be an athlete. I used to be a decent athlete. I was skinny and lean and muscular. I threw shot put and ran relay races, and long jumped, and played varsity softball and volleyball and we won the trophies. I was a lifeguard after I had my first child and could swim 20 laps. I fought the panic I feel when my head goes under water by saying the Jesus Prayer as I swam in rhythm, "Jesus Christ (stroke/breathe) Son of the Living God (stroke/breathe) Have mercy on me (stroke/breathe) a sinner (stroke/breathe)." That's how I got through those 20 laps to pass my test. Life has thrown me some neck injuries and Lyme's Disease, etc. etc. and my muscles are weak and my joints hurt but I have done a switch-around in my mind and instead of thinking "I've got to feel better" I've started to think,"Athlete..I am an athlete" and the switch in my mind has taken me from survival mode to triumph mode. I said all that to say that sometimes I am intimidated by the attack against the church and I just want to feel better and survive. But I am doing a switch in my mind. I am not just going to survive, I am going to overcome. He has, afterall, given us the keys of the kingdom. The gift of His authority is in my hands! God's authority equips us to do mighty exploits for the kingdom. Knowing God is about becoming like Him and He's not afraid of anything! "Let there be..." and God created. I say those words too. "Let there be unity. Let there be open doors. Let there be healing and wholeness and love. Let there be peace. Let there be rest. Let there be love and the knowledge of God. Let there be light. Let there be growth. Let there be life. Let there be hope. Let there be forgiveness. Let there be friendship. Let there be trust. Let there be liberty. Let there be laughter. Let there be tears. Let there be comfort. Let there be God in our midst." Holy, Holy, God!
It is said that in the natural, we do not use more than 5% of our brain. I wonder how much we use in the spirit of the 'brain' that God has given us. How much of His gifts have we used? We can't possibly use them up. There is more where they came from if we possibly could use them up. And the sad thing is, if we don't use the gifts we personally have been entrusted with and the gifts God has entrusted us through the gifts in the body that we are also responsible to use, then we will not experience the results that would be ours if we used those gifts. Eph.4:11-16-I Love this chapter! "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should not longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,...but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ-from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."
Susan went to Amy's after church and has a leadership meeting for VE in the eve. Phil has a meeting to attend as well. I stayed home with the puppies and the stormy clouds and blogged after sleeping all afternoon. Missing Michael. ///I am thankful for the forecast of thunderstorms for most of the week. I am thankful for the jangle of keys by my side. I am thankful that no one gives you keys unless you have the authority to use them. I am thankful for time alone.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To the Birth Mother

My mother wrote this poem in the late 70's as a thank you to a birth mother she would never meet.
To the Birth Mother

You brought her to term
This jewel, this prize.
You gave to her life
This light of our lives.
How can we thank you?
We love her so much.
You didn't cast her out
Just as tissues and such.

God bless you, dear Mother,
With joy in the knowing
This grandchild of ours
Is happy and growing.
Dedicated to Naomi, Ashley, Amber, and Little Bundle

To a Weed

Seeing that it's Mother's Day, I want to copy here a poem that my mother wrote about me when I was 3 or 4 years old. I had found a purple weed in the asparagus patch. The poem was printed in the Gospel Herald on June 4,1963.
To a Weed

You're just a lowly, common weed
Casting forth unwanted seed
But, then, one shining, golden hour
You changed into a lovely flower.
A little girl had chanced your way,
Stooped to touch you and to pray,
"Thank-you, God, for this flower I've found."
I felt I stood on holy ground.

Weed though you may be,
Henceforth I'll touch you


I was talking to my sweet sister-in-law this morning who had her first baby a few months ago. She gave birth to a little boy named David. I love that name. It means 'Beloved of God.' It is the name of my youngest brother and we named our Philip after him. Philip David-meaning 'lover of horses' and 'beloved of God.'

Anyway, Annie was telling me that little David must be teething right now because he is putting his little fists in his mouth and drooling and slobbering all over her t-shirts. And then she said something so precious and so profound.

She referred to the Mother of Jesus and said about the slobbering and wet clothing that "Mary had this too."

O Blessed Mother of Jesus,
Thank you for saying 'Yes' to God
and for pondering all of those things in your heart.
Thank you for sharing your Son with the world
and for not becoming bitter when the sword that pierced
His side, pierced your heart as well.
And thank you,
for carrying Him as a baby in your womb
and then as a baby in your arms
and for allowing His sweet humanity to
drool His teething wetness on your robe.

Thank you Blessed Mary, Mother of God.

My 'Things that Trouble Me' file

I have a file in my brain/soul/spirit where I put things that trouble my brain/soul/spirit.
I mull over them for awhile and then the things I read or experiences I have become a sort of answer for that troubling thought.

For some time now, I have heard the phrase, "The church is for the unbeliever."
Meaning, that the church is in existence in order to bring salvation to the world.

And for some reason, this troubles me.
So, I am going to try to work it out here.
This might never go to print.

First of all,
the church is God's.
He has created it to be an expression
of His life in order that the manifold-(varied,
many-colored) wisdom of God might be made known
to the principalities and powers in heavenly places.

The church is comprised of believers.

The epistles in the New Testament
are written to the believers,
not to unbelievers.
The epistles teach us about
our position in Christ
and the practices of
those who are in those positions.

God is interested in making His church
His spotless bride. When we look like Him
He will receive much glory.

I think of the family.
Who is the family in existence for?
The family.
And the family consists of the members of the family.
Father, Mother, brothers, sisters, etc.

We don't say to the family,
"We are in existence to adopt other children
who have no family or to take in foster children."

The family is the family
and is in existence for that family
to benefit that family.

And likewise,
the church is the church
and is in existence for the church
to benefit that church
and to help it be conformed to the image of His Son.

Having said this,
I must say that the church does not exist ONLY
for itself, nor does the family exist ONLY
for itself.
It would become inward and selfish were that the case.

But the children in a family who know they ARE
the family become strong and secure in the boundaries
of that institution,
and out of that strength,
begin to invite others to become part of their family.
They may be united with their parents desire to adopt
or foster needy children.
They may invite their friends home from school,
knowing that their parents will welcome them
with open arms and a listening ear
and a hearty meal.

A healthy family will benefit many others
who are in their realm of influence.

And the believers in a church
who have been discipled
and know their gifts and are using them to
build the body,
and know that they are accepted and a vital part
of that group of believers,
and know that they are loved by the 'parents'
of that church family,
will be bringing others in to become part of that family,
certain that they will be welcomed with open arms,
and a listening ear,
and a hearty meal.

A healthy church will benefit many others
in its realm of influence.

It is out of the certainty that one belongs
in the family and in the church
and in Christ's heart
that one can then help fulfill
Christ's own vision statement.

What did He come to do?
He came to seek and to save that which was lost.

And then He brings the lost into the sheepfold.
He brings them into a vital, growing, body of believers.
They become part of His bride,
secure in their developing beauty and loveliness
and their ability to please the Groom.

We don't bring them into the church as an unbeliever,
lead them into a belief in Christ,
and turn around and say that the church is no longer
for them since they are now a believer.

No, we treat them like the family we are,
and help them grow into the likeness of our Father.
I feel better.
And my 'troubled' file is just a bit thinner.
Thanks for listening.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quick or Progressive

I have earmarked a page in Blackaby/King's book, "Fresh Encounter."

Earlier in the chapter, they defined the word, "Revival."

"Revival occurs when God restores spiritual health
and vitality to His people....Revival has not taken place
unless a change of character has occurred...When your love
for the Lord compels you to obey Him, then revival has occurred."

Here are some of the words I keep rereading:

" Revival is a sovereign act of God.
We cannot force Him to do anything.
Yet, in His sovereignty God has set forth the
requirements for revival.
He has said, "Return to me, and I will return to you."
(Mal. 3:7)
The essence of revival is returning to the Lord.
This can happen quickly or it can take
place over a period of time.

For instance, Church A needs revival.
Sin and compromise have become common,
even among the members.
Even though the church hears preaching
and studies the Bible Sunday after Sunday,
people are not repenting and returning to the Lord.
They may even resist the whole idea of repenting of sin.
But then God gets the attention of His people.
(They don't say how this happens.)
They recognize how displeasing they are to the Lord.
In deep brokenness and shame
they come before the Lord
confessing sin and seeking forgiveness,
cleansing, and restoration.
When God sees that they are
returning with their hearts,
He sends genuine revival.

Church B has similar spiritual needs,
but God begins to convict the people
of Church B of sin through preaching
and Bible Study.
When God surfaces sin,
the people respond to the Lord
with repentant hearts.
God peels off a layer of sin,
like a layer of skin of an onion.
Then, He begins peeling away
another layer.
With each step along the way,
the people of Church B respond to the Lord
by repenting of their sin
and returning to God and His ways.
With no special event and with
no ability to pinpoint a day or time
that revival came,
this church eventually comes to understand
that things are different.
They say, "We are not the people
we used to be. God's presence
and power have returned.
We love each other
and are experiencing unity again!"

God sent revival to Church A and to
Church B, but it came to Church B
in a slow process over a period of time.
Either way,
when God's people return to Him
and God returns to His people,
revival has come."

And "This is God's pattern-
revival among God's people
and then spiritual awakening
among the lost...

The church began with 120 believers,
and God added 3,000 in one day.
That is spiritual awakening!

...God used the demonstration of G0d-like love
among human beings as a real
attraction to the lost people of Jerusalem,
and the spiritual awakening continued."
I am enjoying this book and recommend it.

It is divided into Three Parts.

Part 1-Revival and Spiritual awakening
Part2-God's pattern for Revival and Spiritual Awakening
Part 3-Spiritual Leadership in Times of Revival
and Spiritual Awakening
We don't have to forsake the Lord and then return to Him
in order to have life.
We can abide in Him and daily read His Word
and walk in obedience.

He is the Bread of life.
He is the Light of life.
He is the Living Water.
If we live and move and have our being in Him,
we will walk in obedience and know Him.

Revival means that we have left Him
and then returned to Him
and He has shown mercy to us
by forgiving us-
much like the Prodigal Son.
The Father 'revived' his wayward son's
relationship and position.
But the older son
never left His Father.
And the Father said to that son
that all that he had always belonged to him.

(It was a challenge for the older son
to accept the mercy and grace and 'revival'
that the Father poured out on the younger
son who had not remained in the mercy
and grace of the father as he had done.
When it comes down to it,
it is all about the mercy and grace of the Father,
whether we have left Him and returned
or whether we have never left His side.)

I think we can live like the older son
(or perhaps even more wisely)
by staying in our Father's presence,
absorbing His Word,
keeping ourselves in His love and mercy,
being sensitive to the Holy Spirit's teaching
and conviction,
loving our neighbor (and brother)
and knowing what belongs to us.

Is it possible to not wander from Him?
Is it possible to not 'leave' Him
and by so doing
not need to 'return' to Him?

Can we live in His abundant life
and not need to be revived and brought back to life
because we are already alive?
Must I be given CPR when I am living and breathing?
Is it possible to be fed to maintain continual growth
rather than be fed to stay alive?

Is it possible to daily love Him more deeply?
Is it possible to move forward
instead of doing an emotional pendulum swing
or hopping on a spiritual roller coaster ride?

Is it possible to be oaks of righteousness-
a planting of the LORD,
that He may be glorified?

I am not talking about thinking
that we don't need God's mercy
and power.
I am not saying I have need of nothing.
I am talking about knowing that I need Him
and His mercy and power so much
that I wouldn't dream of leaving Him.
I am talking about living in repentance
and humility.

Is it possible to grow and grow
from strength to strength
and glory to glory?
Is it possible to remain steadfast and mature
and not need to repent about the same
sins over and over?

Is it possible to live in spiritual health and vitality
instead of needing to be restored to it?

Is God great enough to keep us from falling away?
Is it possible to live in such a way
that we are transformed into His image
by the Spirit of the Lord?

Is it possible to live so closely in tune with
the Holy Spirit that those around us say,
"You only have to be around him/her
to know that God is real?"
I was not planning on writing all those questions.
They just suddenly came pouring out of me.
Do you have any response?
Any answers for my searching soul?
Isaiah 57:15-"For this is what the high and lofty One says-He who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'"

Ps. 19:7a-"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul."

A contrite and lowly spirit revived by the law of the Lord and His abiding life.

Jesus prayed for us, saying, "...that they may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."

Barriers to Meekness

Lately, it seems that everything I read in the Bible and in devotionals
are all pointing to the theme of meekness and humility.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would take what is His
and reveal it to us.

I think the Holy Spirit is taking the humility of Jesus
and revealing it to me at this time.

It is an humbling experience. ;)

This week, I read something that a woman
by the name of Susan Annette Muto wrote.
(I'm liking her name.)
(It is from her book 'Blessings That Make Us Be'
quoted in the Bensons' book, 'Disciplines for
the Inner Life.')

It may seem long but it is worth your time
and I rewrite it here so I can reread it.
Read it when you are not distracted
for it is potentially life-changing material.

"The first barrier to meekness arises whenever we claim as our own what is really a gift of God. To live in meekness, we must try to remember that all we are, have, and can do is a gift. It is an act of arrogance to place ourselves at the center of being and doing. Only God belongs there.

Arrogance is the opposite of humility. It compels us to treat our limits not as unique openings through which God can reveal his goodness but as diseases to be cured. We find it almost impossible to be self-effacing, as if we must maintain a know-it-all posture that demands a final answer to mystery. Basically, we perceive any sign of tenderness as a threat to our claim to be fully capable of caring for ourselves.

This arrogant aloofness leads to a second obstacle to lowliness, and that is the tendency to dominate others. We feel compelled to be "top dog." It would demean our proud self-image were we to walk hand in hand with others. Instead, we want to force upon them our aims and opinions. If this means becoming loud and demanding, so what? We refuse to compromise our point or to let others have the last word.

...The third obstacle to living meekly stems from the tendency to see only what is wrong in a situation and never to affirm the good. This trait breeds a joylessness that lacks beautitude. We become literally killjoys, murdering the spirit of lightheartedness that signifies union with God. Without joy, we can never experience carefree playing before the face of the Father. If we do not know how to play, we may be unable to pray. We exude displeasure and are prone to pick fights. Others perceive a hostile streak in us. We are prone to insult people. We lack patience. What flows from our mouths is not blessing but barbs of bitterness."
It is always easier to recognize others when we read
something like this,
but perhaps,
we should look in the mirror,
and ask God for help.

He Whom You Love

John 11-
Mary and Martha were really worried.
Their brother Lazarus was deathly ill.
They sent a runner to Jesus with the message,
"He whom you love is sick...Come quickly!"

But He didn't come until it was too late-
Until Lazarus was in the tomb for
four disillusioning, faith-disturbing,
sorrow-overwhelming days.

But when He did come,
He resurrected Lazarus
from the dead,
for the honor and glory
of God.

What a story!

It's often the little words that jump out and grab me.

Notice Mary and Martha's description
of Jesus and Lazarus in one little phrase-
"He whom you love..."

I think I am going to start praying that way.

"Lord, she whom you love is walking through the valley of
the shadow of death. Please come and be with her
in tangible ways and walk hand in hand with her
into your glorious land."

"Lord, he whom you love is worried about making ends meet.
Please come and give wisdom and ideas and jobs
and a miracle."

"Lord, he whom you love has lost his way.
Please come and navigate him back into
truth and credibility."

And the he and she we pray for can be ourselves.

I love it.

"Lord, he whom you love is sick..."
"Lord, she whom you love needs you..."

In one little phrase,
we combine His Lordship,
His personal love for us,
and our need.

And in His own way,
in His own timing,
He will come to our aid.