Tuesday, February 28, 2012
where God told Moses that it was time to climb Mt. Nebo.
Moses would be able to view the Promised Land from the top of Mt. Nebo, but would not be allowed to accompany the Israelites into the Land to which he had been leading them for forty plus years.
Moses had struck the water rock twice in anger instead of speaking to it and in that action showed 'that he did not believe God, nor hallow Him in the eyes of the children of Israel ' and this was his punishment for that action. (Numbers 20)
I think it had a lot to do with what is revealed in 1 Cor. 10:4-"For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." It was not just any old water rock that Moses picked to strike. Twice.
Moses later joined Christ face to face in the Promised Land on the Mt. of Transfiguration, along with Elijah, so he got to be there after all. (Matt.17) Deuteronomy ends with words that honor Moses, "...there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,..."
After Moses climbed the mountain and looked at the Promised Land, he was to die up there. I wonder how long he was up there before he died? Then God buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, and no one has any idea where his grave is. He was 120 years old when he died and 'his eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.' All the children of Israel wept and mourned for him for 30 days.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could just climb a mountain when it was our time go? "Good-bye everybody. I'm going up to the mountain to dismiss my spirit to go meet God."
Before he climbed the mountain, he addressed the twelve tribes of Israel, giving them his final blessing. (Deut. 33) He blessed them, even though they were the source of his frustrated temptation to disobey God.
Today, several of the blessings pulled me in to themselves, and I piggybacked on them and received them for myself, for I too, am a descendant of Abraham, and his blessing is handed down to me. (Gal. 3)
To Ashers tribe, Moses blessed, "...as your days, so shall your strength be...The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, 'Destroy!'...Your enemies shall submit to you and you shall tread down their high places."
I love what he said to Benjamin. "The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by Him, who shelters him all day long; And he shall dwell between His shoulders."
Of Naphtali, he said, "You are satisfied with favor and full of the blessing of the LORD."
How good it is to be reminded that God is my refuge and underneath my lowest hell are His everlasting arms that will never release me from His love. He gives me strength for this day and thrusts out my enemies before me, exposing and destroying them. I am sheltered in His arms, satisfied with His favor and His fullest blessing.
In this world of busyness and spiritual fast food mentality,
it takes a 'Selah' to make us stop, rest, and absorb.
So I say to my soul and yours, "Selah."
Stop and feel God's Almighty arms
as He shelters and protects you.
Stop and listen to His steadfast heartbeat
as He calls your enemies by name
and sends them to their doom.
Stop and breathe in the fragrance of His Loving Kindness
and His tender mercies that are truly new every morning.
Be still and know that He is God.
Be still and know that He is.
Be still and know.
Monday, February 27, 2012
649-For friends who would do anything they could to help me.
650-For the reminder to be thankful.
Tues.-Country music in my head this morning. "I wish nothing but the best for you.." Decided to look around my blog a bit and hit 'stat's. Called Lindsay to check out what it meant. I'm excited but nervous to see how many people have been reading something I wrote since I started writing. I wasn't going to write this, but I know there are a few friends who would find it interesting as well. There are 9,681 hits in-U.S.; 504-Russia; 395-Germany; 395-Netherlands; 209-S.Korea; 199-France; 178-Canada; 150-United Kingdom; 132-India; 94-Slovenia. The article most read-350 times-was a book report on 1,11 Corinthians. Second most read was 'Wounded Watchman.' Third-Hertzler Doings. I know this isn't a huge amount of people in comparison to what other bloggers may have reading their blogs, (Janelle gets 500-1,000 hits a day on her website-www.journeythroughgrief.com) but in comparison to my own narrow idea of what I thought might be happening with my blog, it was a surprise to me. I hope people who don't know Jesus want to know Him after they've read my blog and I hope that those who love Him, love Him more. Took Susan out to Farmville for co-op today and had lunch at Miller's with Dianna. Ran some errands and bought a small book at Barnes and Nobles called 'Good Grief.' Read it outside in the sun and finished it. Talked with Sara and her foot is broken and she has to wear a cast for 6 weeks. But still she offers to come help me and loves me more than herself and I am overwhelmed by her selflessness. Susan and I got supplies at Walmart. Easter egg business ingredients, her birthday party chili ingred., hot dogs, etc, and scrapple ingred. We had a loaded cart. Came home and made some egg salad for supper. Phil and Philip put a door in for a lady and then picked up calves from Steve R.
651-I am thankful for Christmas in February-the use of Michael's gift to me; a Barnes and Nobles gift card.
652-I am thankful for the girl behind the counter at Barnes and Nobles who recommended a mocha white chocolate peppermint coffee drink that was out of this world.
653-I am thankful for the luxury of time to myself to sit in the sun, drink that coffee, and read a book that comforts me.
654-I am thankful for a friend who decided to forego the work in front of her to have lunch with me.
655-I am thankful for a son who comes home from work and plays card games with his sister.
Wed.-"Oh, the glory, of Your presence...We Your Temple give you reverence..."Great sleep last night. Second night of sleep in a row after little sleep for weeks. Spent several hours with Susan in chapel with story of Jacob and Rachel and Leah-poor Leah, we always say, but what about poor Rachel? Where was she during the wedding ceremony? Did she get to have a nice wedding a week later? The girls were still mad at their father years later when Jacob wanted to leave the area. "Didn't our father sell us like slaves?" they asked. "Yes, let's get out of here." Something like that anyway. We didn't spend several hours on that story alone. We also read from Eat That Frog and read a whole chapter in History about Colonial life. I was finally getting to my exercises around 3 in the afternoon. Alli stopped in for a little. Made salmon loaf with brown rice, green beans, and salad for supper. It was a rainy, thundery, day. It lightninged at one point and Angel was frozen with fear in the back porch and when we opened the door, she insisted in parking herself in Susan's room. Susan left her door open and after awhile she came out while we read and wanted to be right next to Susan instead of laying on her blanket.
Took Susan to CC tonight and stayed and saw some friends I haven't seen for awhile.
656-I am thankful that Susan's friend, who is a guy, says he wants to be just like Phil when he grows up.
657-It's the most wonderful time of the year---Susan's making Chocolate covered peanut butter, butter cream, and coconut eggs!
Thurs.-Deep sleep. "Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father...There is no shadow of turning with Thee..." There it is again. 'No shadow of turning.' James says that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no shadow of turning. People come and go. But there is no shadow of turning with Him. He's here to stay.
Ran some errands in Appomattox. Cleaned up some outside. Got to bed before 9 and when Phil came to bed 10 min. later, I was sound asleep.
658-I'm thankful for forgiveness from those with whom I have lost my cool.
Fri.-"And I will glory only in the cross...And I will place my hope in the Lord Jesus Christ..." Listening to Hebrews/James when I go to bed and when I wake up. Weeks of listening and I kept hearing a verse from Hebrews 10:19,20-"..having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh." The veil was His flesh. Just as His body was torn from His crowned head to His nail-scarred feet, so was the veil in the temple torn from top to bottom when He cried, "It is Finished!" In the Old Testament, the children of Israel built a tabernacle. The veil was made to separate the Holy of Holies from the other holy places in the tabernacle. Only the High Priest could go behind the veil to make an offering for the sins of the people. Jesus was in the Old Testament, wasn't He? He was the veil. He was the High Priest. He was the spotless lamb sacrificed for the sins of the people. He was the scapegoat, carrying the sins of the people outside the camp. He was the Rock from which the living water poured forth. Was the Holy Spirit there too, in the pillar of fire? Was the Shekinah Glory in the pillar of cloud that led them by day? Eternity will hold the revelations of Christ from before the foundation of the earth until its final day. In fact, He is the foundation of the earth. All things are held together by the power of His word. He is all and in all. He is the chief cornerstone, holding the building of His church together with His plumb line of truth and grace. He is its strength. Open my eyes to see you Jesus, for you are everywhere present. You are in sorrow. You are in joy. You are in compassion. You are in discipline. You are in death. You are in life. You are! You are! You are! "I AM! I AM! I AM!" Holy, holy, holy, holy, God.
We were getting ready for Susan's party tomorrow. I did some wash and made a chocolate marvel cake for when the Lucas's come over in the eve. of her birthday. Made chocolate filled cupcakes for when her friends come tomorrow. Made baked potato salad and macaroni salad. Cleaned the house a little too. Susan was helping Philip with cattle, going to Lynchburg's auction with him, etc. She made some buttercream eggs today. Freeman and Alli took a train up to Gil and Lindsay's and brought a little gift for them of 4 peanut butter eggs. Phil and I went out to Farmville to pick up his truck. I drove the big truck back home and it was pouring down rain. I felt much safer in that big truck. Registered for Cleansing Stream Retreat in Richmond and am so excited. They told us we can be a participant or part of the ministry team because we've gone through it several times before. This time, we want to be a participant.
Sat.-Thinking about Jesus-the new and living way to the Father. Hebrews 10. The veil was not living. It kept regular folks from entering the Holy of Holies where God dwelt. Jesus was the new High Priest, interceding for the people, carrying their sins, being the complete sacrifice. He is the Living Way to the Father-the only way to God-through the torn veil, His body, which was broken for the sins of us all.
Today we got ready for Susan's party. The guys cleaned up the mancave in case it rained. Susan helped everywhere. I cleaned the house and got vegetable prepped for the chili. Philip and Michael chopped 4 peppers-green, yellow, orange, red; 4 onions, and 2 huge clusters of celery. Michael browned venison and sausage. They set up cement blocks and a grill over a fire and began to build the fire as kids started coming around 4. They fried a pack of bacon in one pot and threw it together with all the ingredients in a bigger pot and brought it to an almost boil. It's Philip's famous chili so I won't give away any secrets. It was out of this world. Not one hot dog disappeared from the pack and we have lots of leftovers of macaroni and potato salad.
Susan had friends from New Life, Calvary, camp, CCA, Cousins, Co-op, and between us all, I think there were 25 people here. For memories sake, I write their names here. Betty and Kelly, Carleen and Amber, Michelle M., Austin G., Bethany, Tommy, Michelle, Jeremy and Amy M., Jeremy S., Joseph B., Natalie and Cecelia, Lydia D., Lydia P., Graham, Jenny, Haley, Mandy, Black Matt, Philip, Michael, and I. Philip and Michael officiated the party. Michael prayed for her after we sang and before we ate. The kids talked, played volleyball in a circle, and played some sort of wild tag hide-n'-seek game in the dark. No one got hurt and for that I had prayed. Haley spent the night since she lived so far away. About 8 of them stayed later, standing close around the fire, talking, talking, until close to 11. Phil and I had made different plans at the same time. So, we'll have our family party together tomorrow. Delbert, Clint, and Phil went to Pa. early in the morning and met Steve F. at Mom and Dad's for breakfast to hear about Africa. It sounds like they had a grand old time. He got home around 9.
659-I am thankful that although Freeman and Alli couldn't be with us, they were with our family which art in Connecticut-Gil and Lindsay and the girls.
660-I am thankful that 15 years ago, during a snow storm, Phil took me to the hospital in his red truck that we still have, with a plow in front, in order to have our precious baby girl.
Once we got there, she decided to put her birth on hold and the doctor said, "You are not going anywhere in this weather."
Sun.-Happy Birthday dear Susan! What a wonderful gift you have been to all of us and to all who know you! Haley helped Susan and Philip with a calf this morning. She loves cattle and goes to the auction in Lynchburg too. Michael took Haley and Susan to CC. Haley's family met her there. After church, we went to free Diesel and fed him and Bella. Came home and had leftovers and got to see Jordan. I had just been saying that I haven't seen him for such a long time and there he was! We had a little party for Susan in the eve. with chocolate marvel cake and cookies and cream ice cream.
661-I am thankful for Susan's friends and the way that they love her.
662-I am thankful that I got to see Gil and Lindsay today, larger than life, during the missions offering.
663-I am thankful that Sara cares about the pain in my foot, and how hard it is for me to stand, and here she has a cast on her foot.
664-I am thankful that Jesus loves me this I know.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
#1-Job 14:7-9-A tree stump, with every appearance of being lifeless, will grow green shoots toward just the scent of water.
#2-Matt. 14:22-36-Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus at the worst possible time-during a storm when all hands were needed on deck. "If this is of You," is my prayer too. "Bid me come to You." Peter had followed Jesus for quite some time before he ventured to walk on water. His goal was not to walk on water. His goal was to go to Jesus. We become like the things/people we are following. Don't follow anything or anyone that you don't want to duplicate or emulate. A quote from Pastor Frank-"In one step of faith, that which Peter thought was going to take him out became the very platform on which he stood."
#3-11 Kings 3-When our back is against the wall and we are surrounded by enemies and in need of water to continue to fight, dig our trenches down deep in Him, and He will fill the valley and the trenches with living water and our enemies will see the mark of Christ on us and will turn on themselves and the curse upon us will turn into a blessing and the weapons the enemy used against us, will become a platform for us to stand on, and give us the solid ground on which to fight him. And my favorite verse in this passage? Verse 18a-in regard to the above, "And this is a simple matter in the sight of the LORD."
All three stories have to do with water;
the scent of water,
a stormy sea,
a valley flooded with water that looks like
blood in our enemies eyes.
Breathe in the scent of water in order to grow.
Walk on your storm and keep your eyes on Jesus.
Dig your wells down deep in Him and you will be filled.
And all these things-
the growth, the walking, the filling,
are a simple matter in the sight of God,
and it is Him we are following,
is it not?
This is good news for those who are chopped dead
by life's blows,
and those who are in the midst of life's storms
unsure of whether it is God who is drawing near
or another fearful enemy,
and for those who are in life's drought,
desperate for water.
It is we who are broken.
It is God who provides the scent.
It is God who says, "It is I. Come."
It is God who fills.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Isaiah says it another way.
"I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
and floods upon the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
like willows by the watercourses..."
Monday, February 20, 2012
I think we got 6 inches of snow! Gave Susan a snow day/President' Day/ break from school. She studied for a Science test, cleaned her room, took care of the calves, etc. Philip had an accident on his way home from playing basketball last eve. He hit ice and spun around several times, banging up the bumper of his new car in the process. He called Phil and he went and pulled him out. He parked his car at Calvary since the back roads were too bad. Michael told us today that it took him an hour to get to Lynchburg last eve. and he said it was pretty much a prayer meeting the whole way. Went about 35mph and saw an accident about every mile. Nothing had been done to 460. They cancelled school for today and he could have stayed home instead of going out last eve.
Yesterday, on the way to church, we stopped at Plank's, and pulled up to see Sheriff in his cage. He started sniffing at us through his cage while we were still in the car and then I started talking to him like I did when he was mine and he went crazy. Dave came out and said that I should pet him and Sheriff managed to cover Phil and I with his hair. What a great dog. Bittersweet to see him but I'm happy he's so happy.
Most of the snow has melted except for the snow in the shadow of the porch. Thinking about yesterday's sermon about getting out of the boat to walk towards Jesus.
#625-Thankful for Paul's upbeat email regarding his hand. Has been dismissed to go back to work weeks earlier than the doctor had thought. Paul said that it can only be a miracle. So happy he can fly again.
#626-Susan and Philip's happy chatter as she gives him a back rub. He's stiff from his accident.
Tues.-Is. 44:3-"For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring." Alleluia. Took Susan to co-op and had lunch with Michelle. We are missing our Bantons. Ran some errands and then spent a precious hour at Barnes and Noble sitting at a table where the sun shone in, re-reading the last two chapters of 'A Thousand Gifts' in preparation for KNIT group in the eve. We girls had a blessed time of foot-washing after we discussed chapter 10. I think God is reminding us anew to remember Him in this act of servant hood toward one another. Got home late and was so wired I barely slept.
#627-Time to read in a college town coffee shop.
#628-A spa-like foot washing ceremony complete with foot scrub and lotion, candles, music, the happy chatter of girlfriends in the background, and Danielle's melodic voice praying for me as she rubbed my hurting foot.
#629-A full love language tank from words of affirmation and quality time
#630-Janelle and Micah's opportunity to go away for 2 1/2 weeks-to speak in Fla. and to swim with the dolphins. Buddy's here, keeping Angel company.
Wed.-James 3:17-"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."
Mom's and More in the morning. Precious time with precious ladies. Susan had lunch with a friend and Dianna and I had lunch at Appleby's. Stopped in to see Missi to give her spoons from the Abbey. Susan and Philip went to CC in the eve.
#631-I love watching the robins grazing for half frozen worms in the early morning.
#633-Time for Phil and I to talk.
#634-Wisdom from above.
#635-Judy's phone call-wanting to tell me how she saw what looked like our car in the dark and two people she thought were Phil and I. "Hi Baby Doll!" she said to 'me.' No answer. She yelled it again and Mark B. said,"Who are you calling Baby Doll?" Laughter. She explained how she calls me Baby Doll and I call her Doll Baby. Or vice versa.
Thurs.-Morning wake up song-"This is my rest forever, here will I dwell...For the LORD has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His habitation. I will abundantly bless her provision, And satisfy her poor with bread. I will clothe her priests with salvation. And her saints shall shout aloud for joy..."
Susan got a high A in her final grade for American Lit. We 'studied' Greek culture today by watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Philip showed Susan how to play Rook in prep for an upcoming Rook Tournament. Called Mother. She said that every time she sees my cot in the back room (which is many times a day, she says), she wishes I were there with her. I am horribly homesick for her. How thankful I am to have my mother.
Fri.-Jn. 15:15-"No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known unto you."
Philip pulled a muscle doing a pull up and now his neck is really stiff. Phil, Philip, and Susan took a load of stuff to the auction. The guys and Susan were working at Happy Valley today. Susan also worked on History. Philip's pig keeps us entertained. He's a big tame pig and likes to have his back scratched. He roams freely and comes right up to us. When Philip scratches his back, he looks like he's in heaven. And then he goes down on his front knees and rolls over to his side in complete ecstasy. His legs stick out and Philip then rubs his tummy. The pig thinks this is what Philip's been made for. When Philip stops, he lays there for awhile and then gets up and follows him some more. It's the funniest thing to watch.
636-It was 80 degrees today.
637-High winds and tornado warnings.
638- Big drops of rain and a rainbow.
639-And glory be-spring peepers.
640-Sleepover with KNIT girls. Played Taboo, Imaginiff, Dutch Blitz, and talked into the night. Michelle's new name is Plethor, because she is a plethora of information. (Thanks to Dawn)Teresa's new name is 'Webster' because she is a walking dictionary. Oh-I did my rap for them and Teresa recorded it and is putting it on the KNIT site. It was Mel's birthday and she brought her homemade chocolate peanut butter cheese cake. Four of us stayed the night. Great, great time.
Sat.-Woke up on a sofa three miles away from home. Teresa made Quiche and English muffin toast. Michelle, Danielle, Teresa and I had spent the night. We cleaned up and headed home. I put on my sneakers and threw on my housecoat over my pj's and drove home. Phil and Michael didn't say a word when I walked in the house with pink pj bottoms, blue sneakers and black socks, and a maroon bathrobe. Philip, Susan, Phil, Freeman, and Alli all spent time at the auction today. I picked up Teresa and Naomi and we went to the Women's Prayer Breakfast at New Life. There were at last a hundred women in there. Amanda memorized the book of James and recited chapters one and five for us. A highlight indeed and life changing for her. I found out later that she would take a paragraph at a time and study it for 20-30 min daily, memorizing a chapter a week. Teresa and I went to Walmart afterwards and she battled the Sat. crowd. I came home and cleaned the house and watched part of 'The Christmas Carol' with Michael. Freeman and Alli came in with their auction prizes and we threw some supper together and sat around talking and playing guitar/singing. Michael is taking guitar lessons this semester and is teaching Susan what he knows and Freeman was teaching Michael what he knows. Philip and Susan went to the Lapp's to play Rook. She's spending the night and will go to church with them in the morning. Michael went to spend some time with Chace playing guitar and Phil and I are acting our age and reading and writing and getting to bed in good time because tomorrow we must leave for Harrisonburg by 6:30.
641-Thankful for time to talk with Lindsay today.
642-Thankful for Gil's request for more frequent installments of Hertzler Doings.
643-Thankful for the renewing of old friendships and the making of some new.
644-Thankful for the love, acceptance, and depth of these old and new friends.
645-Thankful that Jesus showed Himself to the disciples in a stormy sea, to the blind, the deaf, the lame, the weak, the weeping Mary at His empty grave, two discouraged men on the way to Emmaus, fearful unbelieving mourning disciples in a secret room. He showed Himself when they least expected Him, when they didn't have time to make a special place for Him, when they were weakest...He showed up. These are the thoughts I woke up to this morning. The manifest presence of God shows up when we are poor. Thank you, holy, present, God.
Sunday-Have had quite a few nights lately where I wake up after several hours of sleep, and I'm travailing over things and praying only God knows what. Sometimes I fall asleep again and when I wake up, it's to a wake up song or a wake up verse or an overpowering thought and God has triumphed with His merciful mercies that are new every morning. This morning and all day long I have heard the song from Sovereign Grace belting out it's triumph-"I will glory!...in my Redeemer!...who with His blood!...He ransomed me!..." Over and over like a new song doing its work. And I am thankful that in the midst of a lot going on, He is All in All. He is My All in All. And the Psalmist's gift this morning was from 118:5,6,17-"I called on the Lord in distress. The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place. The LORD is on my side. I will not fear. What can man do to me? I shall not die but live and declare the works of the LORD."
Phil and I left at 6:30 to go meet Mabe and Naomi at Cracker Barrel in Harrisonburg. We sat and talked from 8:45-11:00 and our waiter said we could stay all day if we wanted to. Took a nap when I got home. Lapp's dropped Susan and Jenny off while they had supper in the neighborhood. Philip and Michael got home around 4:30 after being with friends after church. Michael finished his wash and went back to school. Susan and Jenny took a tour of Happy Valley and our property. We then played a rousing game of Dutch Blitz which I thoroughly lost. They had frozen some chocolate chip cookie dough in little balls and we ate them as we played. They had mixed it up at Jenny's house and didn't have eggs and they actually bake fine that way as well and then you can eat the raw cookie dough without fear of salmonella. They watched Cats and Dogs with Philip until her parents came back.
646-I am thankful that I care about whether I win or not more than I used to.
647-Brotherly sisterly love
648-That God has promised to give wisdom to those who ask and the wisdom He gives is peaceable, full of good fruits and easily entreated. We can ask and not be afraid of the results of the wisdom He gives.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Susan and Philip were transporting livestock to the Lynchburg cattle auction all day. Oh, daddy, if you could see them now. You'd be so proud. Phil came home from work and cut firewood until dark. Caught up with Michael on the phone since we missed seeing each other this weekend. He's having a nice time house sitting for a friend with a hot tub. He and Philip went to Thomas Road Baptist Church last eve.
618-Thankful to get caught up with Lindsay on the phone as she roamed around IKEA. The store babysits her girls free for an hour.
619-Thankful that the doctor I went to see in Lynchburg is a Christian and takes medical missions trips to Kenya.
620-Thankful that I didn't get tired today in spite of little sleep.
621-For my sister, Rosalee, who takes such good care of everything concerning my mother.
Tues.-In James 2:25 it says that Rahab the harlot was justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way. Ok. I have to ask it. Why were these men at her house? It would be my Uncle John's 83rd birthday today. He farmed the family farm and had the cleanest barn in the world. One time he tried to teach me how to squirt milk from the cows udder right into the cat's mouth. He was a lot better at it than I was. He was my mother's brother. He died in a car accident in his 40's. Took Susan out to co-op and I had lunch with DDF and Kathy T. Kathy brought a beautiful tree blossom and placed it on the table as a centerpiece and then read us a poem. Susan and I tired by the time we got home. Stuck in an 'I Love Lucy' DVD. Phil brought home beautiful cards and candy for Susan and I for Valentine's Day. Heard helicopters last eve. several times during the night. So low and so loud our windows were rattling.
622-Thankful for the conversation with Uncle Bill the other night. He is a psychiatrist and lives in Kansas and he said, "You know, you and I have a reputation for talking, Annette." We 'get' each other.
623-Thankful for the most beautiful Valentine card in the world.
Wed.-Ps. 106:8-"Nevertheless, He saved them for His name's sake, that He might make His mighty power known." Slept in until 7:30! Have been dreaming lately. Last night, I dreamed I was riding the gator with an unknown friend and we had to stop at a house because a tornado was coming and the house we stopped at was an Amish family's house and they had no basement nor did they think it was necessary to seek shelter. The tornado was just about to hit us and then it moved and the next scene was focused on the aftermath-pulling bodies from pools of water. It was all very vivid and very real. The guys were working around the farm today, building shelves, cutting firewood, etc. Susan finished Geometry and got a high 90's average. Yippee! Ran out to Appomattox and ran some errands for Phil and got myself a hair cut. Came home and iced my foot and watched 'The Spy Next Door' with Susan before Philip took her to CC for youth group.
Thurs.-Ps. 107 is all beautiful. The birds-cardinals, junco's, bluebirds, robins, congregate on our front lawn every morning. Lucille Z. came to visit this afternoon into eve. She was serving in Thailand with Johnny and Janelle and I met her when I went back over with Janelle after Johnny died. Janelle and Micah came over and we had lots of great food-soup, cornmeal muffins, homemade fries, onion rings, and popcorn and lots of great conversations. She spent the night at Janelle's. Earlier today, Angel called Susan's attention to a stunned junco on the back porch. Susan held it in her hands while I read History to her and then the dear little thing died and it made us sad for awhile.
Fri.-20 fat robins outside my window this morning. Years ago, my Mother nursed a baby robin that had fallen from its nest and for a number of years afterward, it would find her in the garden in the spring, and it would hop along beside her as she stirred in the dirt. His name was Robert. I opened the Hardy the wrong way and singed my right eyelashes and eye brow. Spent 15 min. in the old house...my goal each day. It's so overwhelming. I have too much stuff and not enough energy to get rid of it. Alli stopped by after work. I like her new schedule. It gives her time to stop by. Phil and I took Susan to Kelly's in the eve. and we had supper with Jamie and Ginger-delicious grilled chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli, cole slaw, and vanilla yogurt with bananas,blueberries, strawberries, and chocolate. The best part of all was chasing the little guys around. Phil and I cornered the older one and he began calling his younger brother for help.
Sat.-Phil made me a mushroom omelet for breakfast. I was reading in Deut. about all the curses that would befall the Children of Israel if they did not obey God. No wonder Job's friends thought he had sinned and was experiencing the judgment of God. Job's difficulties had the appearance of being the product of an equation. Today I packed away my four big manger scenes and put up new old stuff with lots of photos on the two empty shelves. Susan was out at LBC from 1-5 for play practice. Gena and Wade stopped by for a visit. It was great to see them and find out their happy news. Walmart was very busy and salt and shovels were waiting to be purchased at the front entrance. Susan and I got two red box movies which we watched with Phil. Both highly recommended although sobering. Soul-Surfer and Courageous. Michael called. A tractor trailer had a tire on fire and he was trying to get the attention of the driver. He called 911 and saw that the driver was pulled over at the gas station. Winds are howling. Snow in forecast.
624-Michael's retelling of things he learns. In his evangelism class, the teacher said that when his family goes to a restaurant, they tell their waitress that they are going to give them a big tip. Their only request is that they pray with them and then he asks them if there is something they need prayer for. He said that grown men have burst into tears and one girl said that she knows that she needs to be saved and wants to be saved but doesn't know how to be saved. Another time, he tipped the people in the drive through at McDonald's and then asked to pay for the next person's meal. When he went back another time, the lady recognized him and told him that the next 14 people did the same thing that he had done. A perfect example of duplicating what/who you are following.
Sun.-Began snowing while we were in church and continued all day. We had a nice afternoon. Alli and Freeman came by. Michael made popcorn and we watched 'Mary Poppins' and slept. I can hear the snow as it hits the window panes.
Friday, February 17, 2012
James 3:1-"Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment."
"Some of you are teachers and some of you will be teachers, but, for those of us who operate within the biblical structure of the church, all of us have teachers. The following are a handful of land mines that go with the territory.
#1-The temptation to teach more than we know. (1 Tim. 1:7) Resist the temptation to teach more than you know, particularly in the face of natural disaster or human suffering.
#2. The capacity to mislead. Any leader is a potential misleader.(11 Peter 2:1-2)
#3. The capacity to be misled. Teachers are not the only ones who can mislead. (11 Tim. 4:3-4)
#4. The temptation to use the platform for personal agendas or opinions. Sometimes we can assume we've walked with God so long that every "religious" thought we have is from Him. Untrue. The best advice is to feverishly seek the filling of the Holy Spirit so when we cross the line, we feel conviction. At that point, we redirect ourselves or apologize to the group.(Jn.7:16,18)
While we're at it, let me save you an immense amount of pain: whatever you do, refrain from using the public platform as a disguised means of calling out someone in your group. We don't call out his or her name, of course, but we know who we're really talking to. Such a ploy is playing God and not just arrogance. It is cowardice. If the person really needs confronting, Scripture teaches the proper means.
#5. The demand for self-discipline. A decent teacher has to study. Hard. One of the signs of a teaching gift is an unexplainable thirst to study followed by the difficulty of keeping to yourself what you learned. A teacher who doesn't like to study is a talker. Don't mix up the two. The greater self-discipline is fighting ferociously to hang on to your intimate relationship with Jesus. God will never call you to sacrifice your intimacy with Him on the altar of ministry. We have to zealously maintain our prayer live and our love lives and teach out of the overflow of what Christ is teaching us.
#6. The pride and humiliation. Want to teach? Prepare to apologize a lot. (Prov.10:19a)
#7. God often likes to teach the bigger lesson to the teacher. Yep, many lessons will be taught to you before they're profitably taught through you.
#8. The human judgment. I'm not sure which is more toxic: the criticism of people or their adulation. If you can get people pleased, you cannot keep them pleased. Bind your wrist to the One who isn't fickle. (Gal.1:10)
#9. Stricter divine judgment. Why? Because "much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more (Luke 12:48b)."
#10. Others stumble with us. As James 3:2 says, we all stumble in many ways, but when a teacher stumbles, she is apt to be charge a group rate. No gift should be received with greater sobriety than influence.
But, wait a second. What if you're called to teach? If God calls a person to teach, in the words of Romans 12:7, "Let him teach." To shrink back is disobedience. Muse on a key word used in the NIV: "Not many of you should presume to be teachers" (James 3:1) To do so is to presume enormous scrutiny upon our lives. But Beloved, if Jesus has summoned you, you must go! "
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Jesus said that the poor in spirit are blessed,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If we are poor,
we have nothing to brag about.
We can only cling to our humanity,
wretched as it is.
And cling to Him who understands
that wretchedness in a personal way.
If I am poor in spirit
I know that the only gift
I can bring to God
is the gift of thanksgiving
for every little thing.
And even the giving of thanks
is a gift from Him.
If I am truly poor,
I do not consider others to be fortunate
to be around me.
I consider myself fortunate to be around others
and to learn from them.
I've been reading Brennan Manning's book,
"Souvenirs of Solitude."
I've been reading and re-reading
the chapter, "Really Human-Really Poor."
I want to share a prayer he wrote.
"Jesus, my Brother and Lord,
I pray, as I write these words,
for the grace to be truly poor before You,
to recognize and accept my weakness
to forego the indecent luxury of self-hatred,
to celebrate Your mercy and trust
in Your power when I'm at my weakest,
to rely on Your love no matter what I may do,
to seek no escapes from my innate poverty,
to accept loneliness when it comes
instead of seeking substitutes,
to live peacefully without clarity or assurance,
to stop grandstanding and trying to get attention,
to do the truth quietly without display,
to let the dishonesties in my life fade away,
to belong no more to myself,
to not desert my post when I give the
appearance of staying at it,
to cling to my humanity,
to accept the limitations and full responsibility
of being a human being-
really human and really poor
in Christ our Lord."
I wrote this in my thanksgiving journal today.
I am thankful for the freedom to be poor in spirit;
to know how much I need Him;
to not worry about people's perceptions
as to whether I look beautiful or not beautiful
on the surface of my life.
I know I am not beautiful.
I know something is wrong.
And, oh, the blessed blessedness
of not having a facade,
of not trying to keep up an image,
of allowing others the freedom to be
disappointed in me,
and to allow myself the freedom
to be a disappointment to others;
and to understand their judgment
of my poverty.
And oh, the grace of God,
that He would bless my poverty,
my lack of beauty, my messed up life,
with His richness,
and His beauty,
and His perfection.
And oh, the grace,
that there are some who love us still,
in spite of our pride,
our sin, our failure, our lack.
I am overwhelmed by this gift of grace;
this freedom to be poor.
Thank You, holy, holy God.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
There are several stories about fire falling down in the Bible.
One of them is written up in 11 Kings chapter one.
Please grant me some creative license
as I retell the stories.
Ahaziah was the 8th ruler in the northern kingdom of Israel.
He was at home when he had his accident.
There was a lattice around his upper balcony
in order to provide him with some privacy.
He could see out. Others couldn't see in.
And somehow, the poor guy fell through this lattice
and took quite a tumble.
What in the world
was he doing up there?
Oh well, don't think about
that too much.
He injured himself severely and thought that
it was possible that he wasn't going to make it.
So he sent some messengers to ask Baal-Zebub,
the god of Ekron, whether or not
he was going to die.
Meanwhile, an angel of the LORD told Elijah
to go meet these same messengers and say to them,
and I quote, because I love the godly sarcasm here,
"Is it because there is no God in Israel that you
are going to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?"
And then he continued giving the LORD's message,
"You are not even going to be getting out of bed.
You're going to die, man!"
Great news for a Monday morning,
or any morning for that matter.
With that, Elijah was finished, so he left
and the messengers returned to Ahaziah and he said,
"Back so soon?!"
And they told him all about Elijah
and his encouraging word.
So Ahaziah grew suspicious and said,
"Give me a description of this man you met."
And they said, "Dude! He was so hairy!
And he had a leather belt around his waist."
Ahaziah said, "I'd recognize him anywhere.
This man is Elijah the Tishbite."
(How would you like to be known as
"Lindsay, the Tishbite?" or
"Judy, the Leathered One?" or
"Gil, the Hairy?")
Ahaziah decides to bring him in.
He sent a captain with fifty men
to Elijah who was sitting on top of a hill.
They called up to him,
"Man of God, the king wants you to come down NOW!"
Elijah spits out a few sunflower seeds
and says without a lot of drama,
"If I am a man of God, let fire fall down from
heaven and burn you up."
They didn't even have time to put on
their fire proof jumpsuits.
Just like that,
Fire Fell Down.
And there was nothing left but
a pile of ashes.
the king heard about this,
(perhaps the surrounding trees
caught fire and the fire company
had to come out)-
so he asked for volunteers-
no, not really-
he actually sent another captain,
with another fifty men,
and the same thing happened all
Then he sent a third captain
who was beginning to perceive
a pattern developing here
and this captain didn't even bother
calling out to Elijah.
He hurriedly scrambled up the hill
and fell on his knees before Elijah
and pled for his life and the life
of his men.
(I personally think that this was a wise move
to go right up to Elijah like that
because it wouldn't have been smart
for Elijah to call down fire when
they were in such close proximity
of each other.)
And God's Angel told Elijah to go ahead
and go back with the man
and so he did,
and Elijah delivered his
message of doom eyeball to eyeball
and the king died, just as Elijah
said he would.
I had to tell that story because it ties in
with the next story.
I woke up thinking about this one.
It's recorded in Luke chapter nine.
First, a history lesson, taken right out of
my Bible notes written under Luke 9.
"The Jews and the Samaritans had been
enemies for centuries. Pilgrims to Jerusalem
ordinarily avoided Samaria."
Jesus was headed towards Jerusalem
because He knew the time was near.
And He turned His dear face towards
the very city where He would die.
The scriptures say that He
'steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.'
(Thank you, Jesus, for showing us what our faces
should look like when we are facing our cross.)
He and the disciples were going to go through Samaria
in order to get to Jerusalem.
Messengers were sent before Him to prepare
for His coming. Perhaps they wanted a place
for Him to rest. Perhaps they wanted to
let them know that they could bring their sick
to Him. We can only surmise.
But because the Samaritans didn't want to have
anything to do with Jews,
and especially those who were headed to Jerusalem,
they refused to receive Jesus.
James and John,
sons of thunder,
got a little mad about this.
They rubbed their hands eagerly together
"Jesus, how about we do what Elijah did.
How about we call down fire from heaven
to consume them?"
And they were chaffing at the bit
in their zeal for God,
wanting to use their spiritual authority
to take hot revenge
on those who rejected Jesus.
But Jesus turned and looked at them
and said, with rebuke,
"You do not know what manner
of spirit you are of.
I have come to save people;
not destroy them."
And so the pyromaniacs felt
the fire of His words as it purged their souls
and they received a bit more of His heart
and they turned and went with Him
to another village.
What can we learn from this story?
We must not allow an offense against our ministry
to cause us to react with a different spirit
Jesus responded with love and acceptance
to those who had rejected Him.
James and John reacted to the rejection
with a desire to retaliate.
They had taken things personally.
They thought they could change a people's way
of doing things even though they had done those
things for years and years.
It is always God's will to save and to restore.
It is always His will to reconcile men to Himself.
It is not His way to call down the heat of shame
on someone who does not receive our ministry
or Christ's ministry the way we want them to.
It is not His spirit that rises up in us
and says, "Yeah! Give it to them!"
And Jesus didn't shame the disciples either.
He just said, "You don't know what spirit you are of.
I want to save lives, not destroy them."
He didn't make a big deal out of any of it.
He knew Who He was and Where He was going
and Why He was going there.
And the disciples
saw their mistake,
got ahold of His mercy,
and went on with Him
and later died for Him
because they were so filled with that
same spirit of Christ's that wants
everyone to be saved.
we get it wrong.
I am so thankful that I can go to Jesus
in the wrong spirit and say what I have
and He straightens me out
in His humble kind way,
and keeps me on as His friend along the journey.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Last night, they came around 5:00. We finished making the pizza's that Aunt Helen sent our way. Meanwhile, each of them picked out a movie to watch. First we watched 'Balto.' Then we watched 'Cats and Dogs.' "Dogs Rule! And last but not least, we watched "Blank Check" which all of us would love to receive some day soon. We ate lots of pizza and popcorn and drank root beer.
I made a big bed on the floor with about 5 thick blankets. Sometime in the night, our dog, Angel, snuggled up to them and went to sleep at Abby's feet. They woke up around 5:00 while Phil was walking around. Micah woke up shortly after. I slept in, amazingly, until 7:30. I found out later, they were making plans to scare me. Plan A was to sit on the couch and have a blanket over their legs and stare at me with solemn faces. Plan B was to get each of their blankets and put them over their heads so they'd look like little hills. Plan C was to have Serena sit on the big chair and Micah would curl up beside her under the blanket and Abby would sit under where her feet were under the blanket and Serena would say,"Look at my feet, Aunt Annette, and then Abby would poke her head out."
I made them sausage and pancakes for breakfast while they watched "Three Stooges." Abby said they were the best ever in the whole wide world. We then decided to blog about our time and they have some stories/jokes that they would like to share now. I am not responsible for the stories told. I say this after hearing the first joke.
Serena is first.
"Under the Bleachers By C. Moore Butts"
That's it for that one!
What did the cow say to the horse?
Why the long face, Bub?
How did the seashells go to the beach?
They went in a shellevator.
How does a shoe eat ice cream?
With its tongue.
What did the mommy potato call
her baby potato?
There were all these guys and they had just
gotten out of jail and they were all sitting around
telling why they had gotten in jail.
Well, anyways, one man said he went to a house
and he wanted to steal some jewelry because his
mother was sick and he didn't have any money.
It so happened, that a wife was in the house and her
husband was away at work.
He was getting the jewelry and heard a car motor.
The wife come in the door and gasped,
"You'd better hide or my husband will think
I am cheating on him!"
And at first he said, "I'll hide behind the door."
"No, don't do that," she said.
"That's the first place he's going to look."
And then, he saw a big box,
and he wanted to hide in that,
but she said, "No! That's the second place
And he saw a closet door and was going to hide
in there but she said, "No! That's the third place he's
going to look!"
And then they heard the car door slam.
And without saying a word, the man
jumped out the window and held onto
the window sill.
Then the husband came in and said,
"Whose car is out there? Have you been
cheating on me?"
And she said, "NO!"
Then he looked behind the door, in the box,
and in the closet.
And the man continued telling the story,
"And then he saw my dirty fingernails
holding onto the windowsill!"
One of his friends said,
"That must have made you mad!"
"No, no, no, not that. The man ran
and got a brick and smashed my fingers!"
Another friend said, "Well, that must have
made you really mad."
"Well, what made you mad?"
"What made me mad was when I looked down
and saw that my feet were only three inches off the ground!"
Abby is next.
Do you want to hear a joke?
An alien fell out of a space ship.
Do you want to hear a corny joke?
He fell in a patch of corn.
Do you want to hear a lame joke?
He broke his leg.
Do you want to hear a dirty joke?
He fell in a pile of mud.
Do you want to hear a clean joke?
He washed himself off.
Do you want to hear another dirty joke?
It wasn't mud.
What game do baby deer play?
Buck, Buck, Moose.
(Abby made that one up.)
Where does a book surf?
On a title wave.
Why couldn't the flower ride its bike?
Because it lost its pedals.
There was a general leading a battle
and he cried, "Fire at will!"
The problem was that there was a man
named Will on their side
and everyone began firing at Will!
That's all for now!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Bullets or Seeds-by Richard C. Halverson-
Former Chaplain of the United States Senate
You can offer your ideas as bullets or seeds.
You can shoot them, or sow them;
hit people in the head with them,
or plant them in their hearts.
Ideas used as bullets will kill inspiration
and neutralize motivation.
Used as seeds, they take root,
grow, and become reality
in the life in which they are planted.
The only risk in the seed approach:
Once it grows and becomes part of those
in whom it's planted,
you probably will get no credit for
originating the idea.
But if you're willing to do
without the credit...
you'll reap a rich harvest.
And the other story-
'He Listened' by Joseph Bayly~
Written after he laid three of his
sons in the grave.
"I was sitting, torn by grief.
Someone came and talked to me
of God's dealings, of why it happened,
of hope beyond the grave.
He talked constantly, he said things
I knew were true.
I was unmoved except to wish he'd go away.
He finally did.
Another came and sat beside me.
He just sat beside me for an hour and more,
listened when I said something,
prayed simply, left.
I was moved.
I was comforted.
I hated to see him go."
"Even as believers, we don't adequately realize how Jesus is enough to meet our deepest needs, so we're always pursuing an add-on approach-Jesus plus something. All these somethings we look to immediately become our idols. They're exactly what God warned us about again and again in Scripture, assuring us of their total worthlessness. But we still pour ourselves into these black holes-especially the deep, dark abyss of what can be called "performancism"-the moralistic legalism that has such a powerful death grip on so many believers and churches and pastors. In Christless Christianity, Michael Horton identifies "the regular diet in many churches across America today: 'Do more, try harder'....The focus still seems to be on us and our activity rather than on God and His work in Jesus Christ." This is indeed, our greatest threat to the gospel."
Another line I love is this: "The gospel's secret of maturity is this: we become more spiritually mature when we focus less on what we need to do for God and focus more on all that God has already done for us. "
If I could, I'd copy the whole book here for you.
It is worth its' weight in gold.
Mon.-1 Peter 5:7-"Casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) Perhaps that is what happens when we worship. Perhaps this is worship-to trust Him with our cares. Thinking about Joseph today. His brothers threw him into the pit and then sold him into slavery and later he was thrown into prison on a false charge. And God was with Him and eventually, through him, saved the nation where he was held captive and saved the nation that sold him to his distant step-relatives and through the line of the brother who came up with the idea of selling him into slavery, Jesus came, and thus, through Joseph's life, Christ's line was preserved. And what men meant for evil, God meant for good, and if Joseph had not been where he was, we would most likely not be where we are today. Oh, the sovereignty of God, who can make a way for us to be free even in the midst of slavery. Oh that we could and would trust Him and praise Him before we see the end result of His goodness and ways.
Read a gazillion verses on praise, adoration, worship, etc. My heart overflows. Praise Him for His mighty acts. Praise Him for His mighty name. Worship Him for He is holy, just, and true. For praise is beautiful when the upright praise. I think all of these verses on praise and worship should be read and recorded on CD's and dispersed. It would help us love Him more and worship Him more and I think He'd like that.
Did Monday work. Chapel time with Susan is always sweet. I am exercising an hour a day-making it one of my top three priorities. Susan's counsel to me in regards to healthy eating was this today, "Whenever you are tempted to eat something that is bad for you, think, 'Do I want this or do I want to live a long, healthy life and hold my grandchildren?'" That's actually working for me pretty good. I tell her she should become a life coach.
Tues.-Heb. 4:16-"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Happy Birthday, dear Lindsay! I am so thankful you were born!!! Took Susan to homeschool co-op and ran errands. Sent YWtheJ to TN/WRC. Scared Ruth at the bank. I came in the door and ducked down and then popped my head into her teller window. She jumped and gasped. I laughed so hard I almost passed out. Good thing that there were only other workers in there who are used to our shenanigans and no other customers. Helen took Susan to New Life's basketball games in the eve. and I ran over and got to be with the KNIT group. They met a few miles from here in an empty furnished house. KNIT stands for Keeping Neighbors In Touch. They actually cheered when I walked through the door. It's good to be with these Pa. friends, studying Ann's book-"A Thousand Gifts." After we went through the chapter, we planned a girl's night out/sleepover, and ate snacks and laughed and gabbed into the night. The part of me that is still homesick was comforted. I scared the wits out of Angie as we left, howling like a coyote. She thought one was coming at her from around the corner. We are going to read 'What Women Fear' for our next timely book.
615-Today, when I looked at my picture of Jesus, I asked Him, "Bottom line, what do you want from me?" I needed wisdom and help and I'm quite sure He said, "I want to be your friend in the midst of your trouble." And I cried and kissed His face and stopped trying so hard to fix things. Grace words, like life lines, pull me out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Wed.-We count them happy who endure. (James 5:11) I saw the glow of deep pink through my blinds and quickly pulled them up, thinking, "Praising God is like pulling up the blinds in my soul so I can see the glory of God." I turn off my desk lamp and it is dark and I can see His pink splendor more gloriously. A full moon at my back and a new day dawning. God is beautiful and He does all things well.
Went to Mom's and More and got to hold Little Guy for the whole time. He kept me warm and took a nap. Went to Ruby Tuesdays with Michelle, Susan, and Amber. Michelle and I discussed the book, "Jesus+Nothing=Everything" by Tullian. That's his first name. I need to read this book every day. Everyone should have this book. It tells the 'gospel truth.' Ran errands and took Amber to Carleen's work place. She's right at home there and doing a great job.
Alone at home for the first time in ages. Finally getting to catch up on Hertzler Doings.
Thurs.-Phil 1:10-"...that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ..
Thinking about Jesus' prayer for us recorded in John 17...that we would be one as He and the Father are one...brought to complete unity...so that the world might believe God has sent Him...and it is within this unity that God commands a blessing...whether it be in our home, our church...our nation...our hearts, if it is unity that is based on truth; a unity based on Him being in us and us being in Him. We won't ever agree on everything, but we can love one another, as Christ loves us. People will travel miles to see signs and wonders, but sometimes, the people in responsible roles start having issues with each other and lose their unity, and people will go look for God at work elsewhere, because human pride got in the way of portraying the love of Jesus with sincerity and without offense, so that the world might truly know He has been sent to them. The real sign and wonder to the world is unity among believers. And then, watch out for the commanded blessing of God. Sometimes, we can be so right, we're wrong. Honor one another. Serve one another. Do unto others as you would have them do to you, and so fulfill the royal law. Can you imagine what kind of unity would be brought forth if we would follow that Golden Rule?If we wouldn't be so worried about whether we were being honored, but our focus was on honoring and serving one another? Not only would this change our homes, churches, and community; it would change our world. Didn't mean to get so lengthy there. I'm preaching to myself and sometimes it takes awhile for me to get it.
Phil was home today working on blue prints. Freeman was building a large storage shelf in the long barn. Susan and Philip went to pick up a large pig. Some work was done in the barn to get ready to pour concrete. We're hoping to finish building a shop to replace the one that burned down Thanksgiving a year ago. Micah, Serena, and Abbey came for our fourth sleepover. I wrote about it on a separate blog.
Fri.-Slept in today. I took the kiddies home a bit before lunch and got to see Helen. I am not sure if we've seen each other since Christmas which is absolutely ridiculous. When I dropped Micah off, Janelle gifted me with a signed copy of one of Frank Schaeffer's books. He wrote, "To Annette, with love," and then his signature which I couldn't read. She got to hear him speak at Longwood last eve. She said that he redeemed his parents in her eyes. That's always nice to hear. I read some excerpts as she looked over my shoulder and nearly passed out laughing again. What's with that? I don't think this book can be left lying around for the general public around here to pick up. I have it face down on my desk for now. Janelle is always bent on broadening my God box. I am not sure what I am doing to hers. Watched a movie Helen had sent because the girl looked a lot like Susan. I mean, that's why Helen had sent it. I guess that's why we watched it too. Susan made us a lunch of fish and salad that was earth shattering in its goodness and we watched and ate. Then I cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, washed the floors, and started working on the computer. Mom called and let me know that Enos Shirk passed away. Also, they buried Dave Hanlon today, and I hadn't known he died. His wife, Audrey, is/was my mentor and friend, and when I called her a few weeks ago, it was like no time had passed since we last talked. Her husband had a heart attack a few days later, and then he got pneumonia. What a gracious couple. Dear Audrey. I long to talk with you, but it's your day for family.
616. I'm thankful for the connection with family today, and the reminder to remember the youngest nieces and nephew in my own back yard.
617. I'm thankful for Susan's black and white outfit. She's ready to serve at CC's Valentine Banquet tonight.
Sat.-(Susan spent last night and all day with Jenny L. Had the time of her life.) Thinking about the Oneness of God this morning. James 2:19-"You believe their is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble." Deut. 6:4-"The LORD our God is one." Jn. 17-"That they may be one even as You and I are one." Ps. 86:11-"Unite my heart (make it one with itself) to fear Your name." Jer. 32:39-"Then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them and their children after them." If our loyalties are required to be given to a person then our hearts will be divided. We will love the good in them and despise the not so good. But if our loyalties are given to God, who is all good, our hearts will not be divided within us, and indeed, we will have unity among ourselves, and will have God's grace to give grace even to those with whom our hearts are double-minded. We must shift our focus, therefore, on the oneness of God and not think so much on the dichotomy of others and then we won't be nearly as confused. Having faith to love God with all of our hearts will show itself in the works of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Again, if our loyalties are required to be given to one person or institution, "like me or leave me" kind of loyalty, these kind of loyalties can grow a reluctant and resentful form of idol worship, and there is nothing left but for that idol to fall. God forbid! So let's take the "I" out of our words, works, and worship, and see what is left to stand on. And let our focus be on the one true God who alone can give us a united heart.
Phil and I went to AACC's marriage conference in Lynchburg. There were over 2,000 people there. Saw three other couples we knew. Tim Clinton, The Duggers, Ted Cunningham, and Joe White spoke. We ate a boxed lunch with others there and I bought book on 40 topics for counselling women. I heard a lot of good things and need to think about them for awhile. Cleaned up the house a bit when I got home. Michael and Philip are house-sitting at Rich's tonight. The temperatures dropping and the wind is rising. It's a good night to go to bed early and listen to the sounds of winter's night.
Sun.-Began to read Ps. 105 and came upon verses about Joseph. Verses 17-19 read, "He sent a man before them-Joseph-who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him." The word he was waiting on was the fulfillment of his dreams-the ones about him being promoted and his brothers bowing down to him. And while he waited for his word to come to pass, the word of the LORD tested and strengthened and proved his character. I bet it tested his motives in regards to wanting that dream to be fulfilled. And while he waited, he kept busy, being faithful and true-loved by God and loving him back. He adapted to his environment, but kept to the teachings of his childhood, just as Daniel did during his exile for a lifetime. I was reminded of the verse in Peter that says something like, "After you have suffered awhile, God Himself will strengthen, restore, and stabilize you."
Our family played "Pass around Baby Henry" during worship today. Went out to eat after church with Steve, Dianna, Laurel, Alex, and Henry. Over eight years ago, when we first came to New Life, Steve, Dianna, and Laurel, took us out to eat at the same Chinese restaurant. Laurel had us read our little pieces of paper inside the cookies out loud and add, "In the bathroom." I remember Dianna about fell off her chair laughing and as we left I said, "We're going to be great friends." We did the same thing today and I cannot believe what some people said! Came home. Alli and Freeman came over for a bit. We went back to church in the eve. for a meeting
Thinking also about bullets, seeds, and a critical spirit. A critical spirit can create defensiveness, in a marriage, church, etc. And defensiveness can create a critical spirit. I criticize that which I don't understand and that which feels misunderstood, criticizes me back and round and round we go, shooting bullets of shame and blame instead of planting seeds of grace and forgiveness. (One of the speakers at the marriage conference yesterday said that when a spouse is verbally critical of their spouse, they are actually trying to get that spouse to be close to them again although it usually has the opposite effect.)
Someone needs to step out of the cycle and have salt in themselves and give the salt of grace to the bitter waters and then fruit can grow because the people around will drink from that living water and begin to benefit from the seed of God's Word instead of being wounded by bullets from so called 'friendly fire.'
It will take inhuman strength because it is only natural to defend what is being attacked. Jesus, when He was reviled, reviled not back, but entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. He did not entrust Himself to man because He knew what was in the heart of man.
Therefore, perhaps it is best that we don't assume we are right. If we assume we are right, then we'll assume others are being critical of us when they have a different perspective. Perhaps we should stop trying to control the reactions and behaviors of others, and allow people to think things through in their own timing without coercing them with graceless guilt-inducing words that can only produce the fruit of fight or flight. (Which we then blame them for when they choose one or the other.)
Anytime there is firing between 'us' and 'them', innocent people intercept the bullets and are wounded. People look at one another with suspicion and ask the internal question, "Are you us or are you them?" Time spent shooting robs time spent planting.
Stop! Step out of the downward cyclone, and set yourself and others free. Insecurity begats a critical spirit. A critical spirit begats sarcasm. Sarcasm begats insecurity. And so on and so on. Not every spirit is of God. Sometimes it takes time to discern things. Hesitation does not mean one is being critical. It may mean one is being careful.
And please, God, we need people who won't jump into everything that flows. David Ravenhill wrote a book entitled, "They drank from the river and died in the Wilderness." His premise is this. 'We are to enjoy the river of God and be refreshed in it. (No one likes being pushed into water when you're not sure how to swim. And some may have had a bad experience in another river.(my thoughts)) But we are not made to live in the river. We are to cross over to the other side and go into the Promised Land and fulfill the purposes of God for our lives.'
So give grace. Give a hug and call someone "Sweetie." You'll never know how far that little bit of grace travels. One does not have to 'fight or flight' grace. Grace is like salt in bitter waters. Grace, at the source of the flow, can purify an entire sewer plant. Give a reassuring smile, a thank you, and liberty. Give liberty to others. Don't box them into an only way of expressing their love or need for God. Grace brings unity. And where there is unity, you will have the commanded blessing of God.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
It was sunny, warm, three-quarter-length-shirt-sleeve kind of weather.
I began to dig around in the garden with a metal rake.
Lo, and behold, I came upon a fully blooming purple hyacinth,
hidden in a protected corner of my flower bed.
I uncovered it and showed it off to whoever would stop and look.
Phil said, 'It never would have bloomed if it had not be protected
by all those weeds and dead leaves.'
Perhaps we can take a lesson from the hyacinth.
We may be hidden from view.
We may be covered with the 'dead leaves' and 'weeds'
But we can still bloom.
We can bloom even though no one's tool comes
along to uncover our beauty.
We can still bloom for God.
We can still do what we were created to do.
We can be spring in the midst of winter.
We can be beauty in the midst of death.
We can give fragrance even if no one
takes the time to kneel
down to breathe us in.
My mother wrote a poem about hyacinth's years ago.
"Oh, gathered clumps of the rainbows hue,
Though it was enough,
He gave perfume too."
Oh, the extravagance of God,
to give me a purple hyacinth
as a reminder that soon
this winter will be past
and that spring will come
with all its beauty.
Thank you, dear, holy, caring,
God of all hope and God of all comfort.
Thank you for your royal love;
purple, in all its splendor.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
While on an administrative visit to Atlanta, Georgia, I made a visit to Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. who was pastor of the nearby Ebenezer Baptist Church.
This kind Christian gentleman listened with kind interest and encouraged me in that vision. But he said, “This program has lots of potential, but I feel you should share this vision with my son Martin ( Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr) before proceeding.” He picked up his telephone and called his son. Dr King told him to send me down to Montgomery, Alabama, the next day.
I flew to Montgomery, Alabama, and was warmly welcomed by Rev. King at his office in the Montgomery Baptist Church. I found him to be a warm, caring brother, who spent most of the morning listening and sharing , but finally told me he felt the current situation was too dangerous in the rural areas. It would not be safe for young enthusiastic volunteers, because of the reaction by the white community. As he shared the dangers and unrest, I agreed with his wisdom.
The many affirmations of Dr. King’s ministry there and the enthusiastic singing made this an unforgettable experience . Dr King spoke with passion on the theme, “We will overcome the white man’s hatred with LOVE.” He challenged the Black community to change anything that is unlovable to being lovable persons. “ Never let any person drag you so low as to make you hate him.”. He concluded his message with, 'I know we will overcome the white man’s hatred with love, because “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. GLORY, Glory, HALLELUJAH, His truth is marching on.”' Paul G. Landis
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
607. I'm thankful that Phil missed me, kissed me, hugged me. I asked, "What did you miss about me?" And he said, "I missed having my friend around."
Tues.-Woke up with song from the GS church service on my mind. "For me, He lived...For me, He died..." Took Susan into Farmville for Homeschool co-op-Biology and Drama. Met Judy and Sammy Jo for lunch at Riverside where Judy treated me to a cheeseburger with onions, lettuce, and tomatoes, fries, and lemon chess pie. We talked a mile a minute and ate just as fast. We both were bear-hugged by an older gentleman friend of hers. He came over to me and said, "Stand up." And then I got one of the best hugs ever. What a dear friend Judy has been these past 8 1/2 years we've been in Va. She was one of the first people who reached out to me at New Life and made me feel welcome. Then we went to Motley's Emporium where some things are more expensive then when they were new a few years ago. We parted ways and I went to Roses where I bought Phil 14 boxes of the manager's special-a set of 3 reading glasses per box at 2.50 per box. He said that if he can't use them, he'll give them to Johnny and Terry to take to Africa. I found Gloria Vanderbilt jeans for ten bucks, a black Coldwater Creek vest for 5 bucks, some Liz and Co. nightwear for 6 bucks and 2 Fashion Bug shirts for a few dollars. That place is worth checking out if you have the time.
Wed.-Ps. 102:13,16,17-"I will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come...For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer." O Lord, let it be so.
Was reading about Jesus being taken to the temple as a baby and His parents needed to offer a sacrifice-a lamb if they were wealthy enough; turtle doves if they were too poor. Mary and Joseph offered turtledoves, but they carried in the Lamb of God. Worked on trip plans, tickets, dates, passports, etc. Worked on CS and caught up on computer correspondence. Finished reading 'The Heart Mender' and 'The Noticer' by Andy Andrews. His books are all excellent.
608. Thankful for my husband's hand to hold as he drapes it over my shoulder at night.
609. Thankful for a nice long talk with Mother. I told her I left my cot there to let her know that I was coming back soon. She said, "I saw it there and thought, 'She must be coming back soon.'
Thurs.-Still trying to catch up. Working on passports. Decided to exercise an hour a day to try to strengthen my foot before I head to a podiatrist. Watched 'Seven Alone' while exercising to see if it would be something Micah would be interested in. He came today. Took him down to the river to 'fish' with his bamboo rod and string and hook and plastic worm. He got wet feet almost right away. He sailed his egg carton boats with a string attached. After awhile, I thought it best if we returned and felt his hands. They were ice cold but he held my hand as we drove and soon his little hand was warm again. His 'Gone Fishin'' hat had blown off on the way down and we searched the meadow only to find it nestled in the back of the gator amidst farming supplies.
Fri.-James 1:17-Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." What does that mean, that there is no variation or shadow of turning with the Father of lights? Does it mean that He does nothing out of moodiness or changeableness of character? That He is always good and perfect and that His thoughts toward us are always for good and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope? He never turns away? His shadow stays with us? I am doing Beth Moore's study on James. It is so good and deep it makes me weep. I love learning something that never crossed my mind before.
Worked on catching up and preparing for what's ahead.
610. I am thankful that Susan cleaned out the car and the laundry room. She's thankful for the money she earned by doing so. She does jobs around the house but the extra things are opportunities to earn some cash.
Sat.-Habakkuk 3:19-"He makes my feet like hind's feet and will make me to walk-not to stand still in terror, but to walk-and make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility."
Washed clothes, vacuumed and washed floors, visited Dr. F. and learned more about myself, picked out a few movies at the library, looked at my surprise hyacinth, took pictures of the sunrise, (before I did anything else), worked on some booking, and listened to the pitter patter of cold spring rain. They spread chicken manure on the farm today so I have been burning a vanilla candle and am hungry now for sugar cookies or white cake. Put Lindsay's birthday card in the mail.
611. Thankful for Phil's grace regarding my booking mistake.
Sun.-God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, and has given us this same ministry of reconciliation. Out to eat after church with Ray and Ruth. Nice visit with Michael while Philip was at Benson's watching the Super Bowl and Susan was at CC.
612. I am so thankful that God so loved this messed up world that He gave His only begotten Son to us, that whosoever believes on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
613. I am so thankful that God is All and in All and He fills up the dry wells and the valleys with Himself and that wherever we are, He is with us and He will never forsake us.
614. I am thankful for the special needs gentle man who stood behind me near the back row of church during worship. I stopped singing and listened to his beautiful sweet voice, as he sang in perfect melody.