Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Cycle of Faith

Perhaps you've heard the verse in Romans that says,
"Faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the Word of God." (10:17)

Today, I noticed a verse in Hebrews 4:2,
that says that the Word which they (the Israelites)
heard did not profit them,
not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

So, I'm trying to figure this out.

The Word of God is the center of this puzzle piece.

And if we are to have faith,
we must hear the Word of God.

But if we don't mix what we hear
with faith,
it will not profit us.

But we obtain faith
by hearing the Word.

But I suppose
that we could hear the Word
and hear the Word
and never profit from it
because we don't believe what we are hearing.

But how can we believe unless we've heard?

I have no idea where this is taking me
unless it is in circles.

Let me think it through another way.

Suppose my husband tells me he loves me.
And suppose I wouldn't know that he loves me
unless I heard him say that he loves me.

But, if I didn't believe his words,
if I didn't believe that he loves me,
then his words of love would not be profitable to me,
because I don't believe them.

So, I must hear them to believe them
but I must believe them to receive them
in order for them to profit me
with the security his loving words offer me.

So, when I hear the Word of God,
it helps me believe the Word of God
and believing the Word of God
helps me profit from the Word of God.

You really don't have to read this.
I just had to work it out on paper.

I am not certain quite
that even now I've got it right.

But I do know this.
If we really believed the Words of God
and what they say about Him,
and we did something about those Words,
we would have faith
that would change our lives
and change the world around us.
A few days later...I'm still thinking about this.

A few more examples to help me figure it out:

Suppose I was making meatloaf for supper.
I had all the ingredients.
I had the recipe or 'know-how' to make it.
But I don't mix it together.
I don't DO anything.
It will not profit my family in any way.
The ingredients will just sit there on the counter and draw flies.

Or suppose I know all of the steps to good health.
I know what to eat and how to exercise.
But if I don't mix this knowledge with action,
it will profit me nothing.

It's like love.
Faith worketh by love.
We can have all of the gifts of the Spirit
but if love is not in the mix
it profits us nothing.

We can learn and learn and learn
but never come to the knowledge of the truth.
We must not just know the right way to live-
we must walk uprightly.
We must work righteousness.

For righteousness, without the faith that Christ Himself
is our righteousness,
is nothing but a bunch of white-washed rules,
dressed up in black and white suits,
standing by to carry us off to the insane asylum.

But faith believes that Christ has finished the works of righteousness
and faith enters into the Rest of Christ Jesus
and everything faith does after entering the finished work
of Christ
is because the life of God is flowing out of it
doing what He does.

Faith is gratitude in what Christ has done.
And gratitude is active and present.

Gratitude is loving the author of our Faith.
Gratitude is believing that He IS the author
and the finisher of our faith.

Gratitude is the opposite of bitterness
and bitterness can destroy us if we are not pro-actively
grateful. And forgiving.

Help us understand
and help us mix faith with the Words
we hear and read.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Henri's Bread

I found a wonderful devotional book by Henri Nouwen at Goodwill awhile back.
It's entitled 'Bread for the Journey.'

The week of the pig roast, I read something that helped me in the area of hospitality. I love people and I like people, but sometimes, I feel shy.
Usually, when I am in the house getting myself ready at the last minute
to come out and greet people, I panic a little. All of those people descending
on our property, and I love them, but sometimes, I want to run and hide.
Just for a minute. Then I forget about myself and think about them and everything
is okay again.

But this year I didn't get that scared shy feeling.

Maybe because I was kind of ticked off that someone came with three children three hours early and made themselves completely at home in our front yard while I was trying to get a 20 minute nap at my husband's insistence.
And Jesus kept saying to me, "Don't miss me. Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me." But I think I missed Him a little bit. I think I only got partial grace because I insisted on thinking, "Coming three hours early to a party is just not right."

But back to Henri.
His words on hospitality gave me perspective.
Phil loved them too.


'True Hospitality'

"Every good relationship between two or more people, whether it is friendship, marriage, or community, creates space where strangers can enter and become friends.

Good relationships are hospitable.

When we enter into a home and feel warmly welcomed, we will soon realize that the love among those who live in that home is what makes that welcome possible.

When there is conflict in the home, the guest is soon forced to choose sides.

"Are you for him or for her?"
"Do you agree with them or with us?"
"Do you like him more than you do me?"

These questions prevent true hospitality-
that is, an opportunity for the stranger to feel safe
and discover his or her own gifts.

Hospitality is more than an expression of love for the guest.

It is also and foremost an expression
of love between the hosts."

His words made me think about our family.
His words made me think about our church.
His words made me think about the Pig Roast.

His words made me think.

Famous Last Words

My mother had a sense of humor.

She liked to use the term, "Famous Last Words" in a funny, sarcastic way.
I can't seem to think of a good example at the moment.
But, if someone would say something like,
"I am never going to eat another Reese's peanut butter cup,"
she might say, "Famous Last Words."

I want to pull something together in this writing
so bear with me please.
I am also going to use the term 'sleeper cells'
which may get me a whole lot of 'business'
from unsuspecting clientele
but why stop reading now?

(For the longest time, I couldn't understand why
my book report on 1,11 Corinthians got the highest
amount of 'hits' until I finally read it myself.
Then I noticed that it had the word 'prostitution'
in it, and I think that might be why.
Disappointing, but hey, God can use anything.)

So, what I want to do-
(My husband would say, 'Don't tell me what you want to do,
just do it.)
is pull together our Senior Pastor's last sermon to us
as lead pastor
with some other things I've been thinking about.

So, to the best of my ability,
these are Pastor Frank's
'Famous Last Words.'

I don't quite like the sound of that,
but I think you all know what I mean.

(Pastor Frank and his wife, Lisa, are headed into a position of additional responsibility and increased potential to influence our nation to cry out to God and seek His face and experience the revival He has for our land. To do so, they must leave their 20 year role as Senior Pastor and worship leader of our church. We miss them already. And we wish them Godspeed and every blessing.)

God works in us that which changes, grows, and remains.

Pastor Frank's prayer for our church-1 Thess. 2:1-11

1) That God would give you spiritual power.
There is authority in our words. Let our yes, be yes, and our no be no. When we speak, it gets done. Walk worthy of the investment Jesus has poured out on our lives. Walk worthy of His calling.

2) That God would give you spiritual perseverance-
Endure hardship and suffering. Declare His Good News in spite of suffering.
We're in or we're out. Persevere. Stop whining and complaining.

3) That God would give you spiritual purpose.
Warn each other every day so none will be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
(Heb.3:13) Encourage one another. "You can make it. You can do it!" Jesus didn't say,
"Follow Me and I will show you how to do it." He said, "I will make you..." Mom and Dad, encourage your children. Be real.

David was anointed to be king and then had to go into hiding.
But after awhile, he came out of hiding. He came out of the cave.
He went to Judah.

Your purpose in life is not to hide in a cave and play safe.
Come out of the cave and proceed to your Judah, praising God and letting Him be God.
I certainly didn't do that sermon any justice but it leads me to the next thing.
I don't know how to proceed except to proceed.

I heard someone, who supposedly won the most improved award in his public speaking class but failed the class anyway, speak well on Sat. night. He said many fine things and I was so proud of him, but what remains as an echo in my head are the words,
"The horses are prepared for battle."

It's in the Bible but for the life of me,
I can't find it.
But if Steve R. says it's in there,
it's in there.

(A friend messaged me on face book with the reference-
Prov. 21:31-"The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the LORD.")

Then a friend's mother said to me that same night
that God had spoken to her or showed her
that it is time for the movers to move.
Something way beyond goosebumps came all over me
when she said that and I took those words personally.

And then, during the Sunday sermon,
I started thinking about sleeper cells
and if I understand it correctly,
sleeper cells are groups of people
ready to act at a moment's notice.
When the time is ripe,
they will be ready to do what they're waiting to do.

I think we've had sleeper cells in the church.
The sleeper cells have been 'preparing the horses for battle.'
They have been waiting
but they haven't been sitting around.
They've been getting ready.
They've dug their roots down deep in Him.
They are saturated with truth.
They are full of love.
They know God.
They are movers.
And it's time for these movers to move.

And then, in my own heart, I've been hearing these words.
(I was trying to explain the above to a friend,
and she said the same verse to me that I've been thinking about.)
"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."

That passage in Ephesians 5
goes on to say, "Walk wisely, not as fools,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Don't get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
Encourage one another. Speak psalms, hymns, spiritual songs
to each other and to the Lord,
and give thanks for all things..
and submit to one another."

It sounds like a cell group, doesn't it?

Awake sleeper cells!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ shall give thee Light!

Or we could say it this way.

"Now it is high time to awake out of sleep;
for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
Therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Walk in the darkness as you would in the day.
Don't get drunk. Don't lust.
Be free from strife and envy.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and don't do what your flesh wants to do."
(Romans 13:11-14)

We have been entrusted with spiritual power, spiritual perseverance, and spiritual purpose. Don't hide these gifts in a cave. The mildew of fear, discouragement, and bitterness can destroy what has been entrusted to us if we hide or misuse our spiritual power, perseverance, and purpose. They are not pillows on which to sleep.
They are not weapons to wield selfishly.

Prepare your horse.
Prepare your weapons.
Use your power. Persevere. Have purpose.

Wake up!

The Lion of Judah is on the move.
It's time for the movers to move with Him.
With all due respect,
hold tightly to His tail.
And cover your ears-
He's about to roar.

Isaiah 52:1,2-



Humble Compassionate Priesthood

Simply put,
the high priest referred to in the Bible,
was appointed among men to approach God once a year on behalf of his nation.

He entered The Most Holy Place with gifts and sacrifices
in order to pay for the sins of his people.

No man could appoint himself as high priest.
He was chosen from the tribe of Levi
and God chose and called him just as He chose Aaron.

Humility is a brother to compassion.
They are inseparable.

Not only did the high priest offer gifts and sacrifices for 'the people,'
he offered them for himself,
knowing full well he was just as stupid
and susceptible to sin as his fellow man.

I love Hebrews 5:2-
"'The High Priest' can have compassion on those who are ignorant
and going astray,
since he himself is also subject to weakness."

If a leader loses humility and compassion,
he loses the effectiveness of his leadership,
because he is no longer approachable
nor can he approach with kindness
those who are ignorant and going astray,
since he has forgotten that he too is subject to weaknesses.

He may care for his ministry
without humbly caring for those
to whom he is called to serve.

It can happen so quickly.
So subtly.
A making fun of the stupid behavior
of the sheep.
A forming of an 'us' and 'them' mentality.
Political games in a church setting.
Being faithful in what one considers a 'lesser calling'
in order to be considered for a 'higher calling.'
(Which is not the same as faithfully serving in one ministry
and then being called to another ministry with more responsibility.)

Christ became our High Priest.
He did this by becoming one of us.
He humbled Himself and became the Gift and the Sacrifice
to God on behalf of our sin.

He, too, knew weakness,
having been tempted in all points as we are,
yet He knew no sin.

He, therefore, sympathizes with our weakness.

He does not stand outside The Most Holy Place
forbidding us to come in until we have our act together.
His death tore the veil that kept us out
and kept God in.

And now, we may come boldly to that throne of grace,
so we may obtain mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:14-16)

Jesus, our High Priest.
Full of Compassion.
Approachable Helper.

But wait.

Aaron was called and chosen.
Other high priests were called and chosen.
Jesus was called and chosen.

And we have been called and chosen
by God to be a holy priesthood,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable
to God through Jesus Christ.

We are now the chosen generation,
the holy nation, the royal priesthood,
His own special people,
that we may proclaim the praises of Him who called us out
of darkness into His marvelous light;
we once were not a people,
but now we are the people of God,
we once did not have mercy
but now we have obtained mercy.
(1 Peter 2)

We are called to the Priesthood.
We ARE the Priesthood.

We are reconciled to God our Father
through the gift and sacrifice
of His Son, Jesus Christ.
And He has given us this ministry
of reconciling man to God.

This is the ministry of the Priesthood.

We, too, were once alienated from God through our thoughts
and deeds, but through Christ's death,
we are now presented to God as holy,
blameless, and beyond reproach in His sight. (Col. 1:22,23)

God was in Christ,
reconciling the world to Himself,
by Jesus Christ.

We must never forget where we came from
and who brought us to where we are now.

We must never forget our weaknesses
and His strengths.

We must never lose the humility and compassion
that comes with this remembering.

Without humility and compassion
others cannot approach us without fear of
rebuke or being made to feel stupid.
Or a bother.
Or that we are so much better than they are.

The bottom line of all ministry is to represent God's heart towards all people.
The bottom line of all parenting is to represent God's heart towards our children.

Is there ever a time that we don't need God's help and grace?
Is there ever a time that we don't need another's help to be closer to God?

God never says, "Shame on you, you stupid imbecile."

He says,
"Come. I'll gladly help you. You're My Child. It is my intent to help you when you're weak. I know how to give grace. I am not tired of you. You are not a bother. I don't expect you to have it all together. I expect you to come."

He says much more than that
but I don't have enough room to write it all.

I bring you to this kind, compassionate, humble, majestic, caring God.
I bring you to His throne of grace, that you might find help in your time of need.

And I bring this gracious, holy, precious, desirable, approachable God to you.
To your world, where you live.
He is with you and will never forsake you.

And daily, I need you to remind me of the same.
Remind me of Reconciliation.
Remind me that the sacrifice has been paid.
Of the gifts that have been given.

Remind me that I am free from shame.
That God redeems my stupidity.

Be my priest.

Show me what God is like.
Show me who He is
and who I am in His light.

Teach me while my heart is tender.
Love me when my heart is hard.
Revelation 1:5b-"To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
and has made us kings and priest to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hertzler Doings-June 25-July 1, 2012

Mon.-"Now may the God of all peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." 1 Thess. 5:23. Caught up on weekend clutter. Washed sheets, clothes, etc. Worked in garden. Tidied house. Ran into town and did some shopping. Chelsea came over in eve. to help Philip with sausage packaging. Her family is away for a few days. We got season two of Monk. Just 7 bucks from amazon.

Tues.-a day of rest and restoration; time to write; time to think; time to watch Monk; time to help Janelle with her flat tire on 460; time to talk on the phone with friends, time for Susan to practice basketball, time to make their favorite supper of tomato soup and toasted cheese and ham sandwiches. Season one and three of Monk came in today. Yahoo!

Wed.-James 5:8-"Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." Slept last night for the second night in a row. I'm beginning to feel half human. Stayed home and putzed around, making Lucy dog biscuits and catching up with a friend or two on the phone. Caught some suns rays and am paying for it now. Took Susan to youth group. Phil's building a wall to make a garage. Mike went out to spend some time with Chase. Philip went for a walk.

Thurs.-Heb. 6:18,19-"...we...have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast..."
Took Susan to CC by 7:30 this morning where she met about 15 others to go to King's Dominion for the Day and to a Casting Crown's Concert tonight and to Jenny's overnight. I tidied up the house and caught up on back messages on face book. Ginger and the boys came for several hours in the afternoon and we had a nice relaxing time down at the river. Phil and I watched some Monk in the eve. Michael studied for aviation-flying this Sat. and Philip worked out and ran and cleaned his bedroom. Lindsay helped me with some things today and told me some great news of her own in regards to Girl's ministry at her church and a great writing opportunity. I'm watching her soar and it is awesome.

Fri.-Picked up Susan at Lapp's. They got home after 1:00 this morning. Picked beans, beets, tomatoes from garden. Made more red beet eggs. Took Lucy to vet for shots and got haircuts. Went to Walmart. Phil brought a crate of green beans home and we had an hour or two of doing beans and watching Monk. Have lots of cucumbers too. Terribly hot. Hard to breathe outside. 108 in the car. Warm in the house and the air keeps running. Some people have lost power in the App. area. Grid overload. Kept Angel in house most of day. She was so miserable outside with her thick coat. Church picnic moved to church this coming Sunday due to heat and F/A's couple group was cancelled tonight for the same reason. Who wants to roast hot dogs or s'mores over a fire? People upset on face book about ObamaCare health plan. I find out all the news I need to know on face book. Glad we don't have TV. Michael worked at Rich's today and got stung many times when he stepped on a yellow jacket nest. Phil and the boys worked inside the Abbey in the boiler room which felt cool compared to outside. I used to try to fry an egg on pavement when I was a kid. I think it might have worked today.

Sat.-Sobering verse. 2 Peter 2:20,21-"For if , after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them." Canned 12 pts of dill pickles, 8 pts of bread and butter pickles, and 8 pts of black cherry grape jelly made from Welches juice. Michael went flying and then to Rich's to work. Phil and Philip went to Rich's to fix some storm damage on his roof. Phil and Susan helped with the cucs and Phil did some paperwork too. Susan is still headachey and a little disoriented at times. When she moves her head a certain way, she feels like she is on a roller coaster. Angel's been in the house. Temp is still in the hundreds outside. Many are still without power in the area from the wild storm that took place last night. Mickey called to warn us. I filled some containers with water and got the candles together and WHOOM-Thar she blows! We stayed out in it until it got too dangerous and we took cover on the back porch and watched the light show. Thought the lightning bugs were sparks at first. 6 people died in this storm. The east coast was hit pretty hard with it. Highest recorded winds were in the 90's. You can't stand in 70 mph winds. Philip got to go fishing today too. He came back a happy man.

Sun.-Met for church in the youth building since the sanctuary didn't have AC working. Church picnic changed to gym due to heat. Pastor Betty spoke on Ps. 27, highlighting verse 13-"I would have despaired unless that I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." This is my verse this year. Pastor Betty's sermon:
1.-We must believe to see. We miss so much because we believe that the promises are for others and not for us. God is no respecter of persons. The promises are all for you/me. Pray for what isn't as if it were as it shall be. When you focus on yourself, you lose sight of God.
2.-David wanted to see the goodness of God. Goodness is kind deeds. Goodness is pure, untarnished, clean, holy. He wanted to see the goodness of God displayed in his life. The goodness and power of God is directed to me. He can move MY mountain.
3.-Where do we see this goodness? We'll see it in the sweet by and by but we'll also see it in the here and now; in the land of the living.
We need to go forward in our walk with God and the way to go forward is to lay it all down at the altar, once and for all. Don't be discouraged any longer. The problem may not go away but God will give us His eyes to look at our pain and He helps us be free from bitterness. The altar is a place to lay down our all. It's a place that consumes our sacrifice with fire.
We had a nice picnic in the gym. Went home and watched Monk. Phil and I drove around our property picking berries and checking for storm damage. It's a little harder to get to the river. No cars could make it now, what with a tree fallen right on the path in front of the second gate to the river.
Lucy drank automatic transfluid this morning. She's thrown up several times and we are thankful that she did. Poor little thing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hertzler Doings-June 18-25, 2012

Mon.-Lam. 5:21-'Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored.' Cleaned up from the party and slept all afternoon. Have had a sore throat since Sat. eve. also stuffed head and achey. Looked on Lanc. on line newspaper to find out something about a friend's family and saw a picture of someone I knew years ago. She had been murdered. Also her daughter. So tragic and sad. Jesus, help them all.

Tues.-Ez. 44:15a,23,28-"But the priests who keep charge of My sanctuary...shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean...It shall be, in regard to (the priest's) inheritance, that I am their inheritance. You shall give them no possessions, for I am their possession."
Rested all day. Low grade temp. Revived for an hour or so in the eve.

Wed.-Went out to Farmville to run errands. Glasses under warranty. Will replace scratched lens for free. Susan opened checking/debit acct. Pretty happy about that. Goodwill-great finds for Susan. Walmart. Dropped her off at CC on way home. Phil and Dave P. out to Loys to check job. Philip swam in the pool with Graham and Chelsea for a long time. Had been roofing all day in nearly 100 degree weather. Michael slept inside the house on the floor. Way too hot for him in the parlor.

Thurs.-Obediah 4:17a-"But on Mt. Zion there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness;..." Susan finished her household chores quickly this morning. I had her over to Jenny's by 8. Sara and Rosie and the girls went to Richmond to shop all day. Susan and Jenny at New Life in the eve. for basketball. Jenny spending the night here. Janelle brought Buddy over for a few days while she goes to the Wild Goose Festival. Is it too hot to sleep in a tent? I went to the muscle therapist and he worked on stretching out my spine so I'd have less pinching of nerves. No episodes of vertigo today. A first. Thank you God! Caught up a bit with Lindsay finally. Trying to keep the dogs cool. Worked on Cleansing Stream. Listened to first teaching. So good and practical. Settling and hopeful. Filmed at the Dream Center in Calif. Made red beet eggs with our own eggs and beets. Guys finished putting tent away and took the leftover pork scraps far far away for the buzzards to enjoy. Phil at meeting and will pick up Susan and Jenny. Philip works all day in the hot sun on a roof and then comes home and runs several miles and does other workouts. I don't see how he does it.

Fri.-Micah 6:8-"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God."
Have not been sleeping due to shoulder pain. Dennis has been stretching the muscle injury to the rotater cuff. Got a bit more done today. Still have no energy. Wonderful thunderstorm brought an inch of rain. Southern States spread fertilizer right before and during the rain. First thing this morning, Susan modeled her new outfits for me. She practiced throwing the basketball and seems to be a natural. Phil and the boys got home early tonight-5. Watched a movie. Makenzie called. Phil and Philip checked on coyote traps. Michael took drum set back to Meredith. Caught up with Naomi. Mom called too. Oh Savior. Like a shepherd, lead us. Much we need Thy tenderest care. Bless Judy Blue Eyes and let her know Thy tenderest care.

Sat.-Zeph. 2:11-"The LORD will be awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; people shall worship Him, Each one from his place, Indeed all the shores of the nations." Guys butchered Big Shippey today and Dan Shippey, his namesake, was here to see it happen. Cleaned the house and made picnic food for tomorrow. Took a little pig to church tonight for Pastor Frank and Lisa's 'roasting' party. Little piggy was given to Lisa as the biggest ham award. She decided not to keep it so we brought it back home. ;)Great night mixture of joking and honoring the Potter's 20 years of service at New Life. Oh-Freeman starred in a play written by Mark B. He was Pastor Frank and Dee was Lisa and they were GOOD. I laughed so hard my voice was hoarse.

Sun.-Pastor Frank's last sermon to us as lead pastor 'but not the last sermon we'll hear from him.' I'll write more about it later once I've processed it with some other things I have been thinking about. Church packed and filled with love. Heart breaking; Heart rending; Heart healing service. Shippey's came over for lunch. The boys made bacon burgers. We also had homemade baked potato salad, cole slaw, chips, watermelon, and hot dogs. Later, we took s'more fixings down to the river and sat in and by the river for several hours. We made s'mores with mint, reeses pb cups, almond joy, and regular hershey's chocolate. Plus extra large marshmellows. Came back up and visited on the porch. Alli's foot still hurts from yesterday's yellow jackets sting. Stupid idiot bee stung her three times. She was helping me, too, when it happened. Phil, Susan, and I watched a movie before hitting the sack. Another night of very little sleep. I wonder how long my body can do this?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hertzler Doings-June 11-17,2012

I am so far behind in writing this week that I am going tickertape each day that I can remember.
Mon.-Micah spent the night. Watched Space Camp and Three Stooges while I worked in Old house. Took him to Helens. She took him to karate on her way to ball.

Tues.-Picked up Jenny after VBS. Rained all morning. Susan and Jenny cleaned Happy Valley house for 6 hours each. Transformed! Phil, Michael, Jenny, and I sang Christmas carols with Phil's playing guitar while Susan got ready for bed after a long sweaty day. Janelle picked up Buddy, bringing Micah with her after VBS. Wild Storm in eve. Tommy and Helen picked up 3 pigs after 9:30 at night. Caught up with Lindsay and Michelle.

Wed.-Finished bedroom. Picked up Trinity's roasters and coolers on way to church. Susan went to VE's grad service while I shopped at Walmart as fast as possible. Bought lots of ice, etc. To bed late.

Thurs.-Phil, Freeman, Philip, Michael, Susan, and I working here all day. Susan weed-whacking at Happy Valley. Shippey's come this eve. for a week or so. Burn piles, metal piles, grass piles, etc. Starting to look really nice around here. I made iced tea, shoofly cake, Tandy Take, and chocolate chip raisin cookies to keep up morale around here. Made BLT's for lunch and taco salad for supper. Alli stopped in after work. Phil had to run to get the trailer and a tractor part that broke this morn. He's been gone half the day. He bought oscillating fans yesterday. We're going to see if they will keep the flies off the food tables. Lumber was delivered. They were going to build a stage today but this unexpected trip will put it off until Friday or Sat. Butchering day...tomorrow.

Fri.-Guys butchered 3 pigs today with help of Dave Plank. Susan took pictures of the process. Built a simple stage using some leftovers from the BH. Will take it apart afterwards and build a deck out back of the boys room. Cleaned up most of the scrap metal on the property. Trailer load full. Worked on fire site. Shippey's came to visit. Dan met his namesake, Big Shippey, a very large boar. He's not sure what to think. Kelly cut up the watermelon for us to munch on and Blythe and Sloane gathered up the grass that Susan raked. Isabelle had 10 piglets. Cleaned up. Weed whacked. Mowed. Looking nice. It's good we have this every year. Helps us enjoy the beauty around us. Prayers yesterday centered around the community and peace and safety. Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done.

Sat.-Everyone busy with last minute prep for the pig roast. Alli was a great help too. It was a great idea to move it to 4:00. Jay F. headed up the music fest and we had a number of spontaneous music groups share their talent as well as some that were planned. Jay and Rosie have some great ideas for next year. The weather was perfect, the guests were friendly, the food was incredible. It was the best pig roast ever.

Sun.-Slow morning. Got to church a little late. I slept in the afternoon. Told Phil to wake me up when F/A got there but when I woke hours later they had come and gone and even watched a movie. Phil thought I needed sleep. Happy Father's Day to Phil, the world's greatest dad. We all love him so.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


In the Old Testament, we read accounts of the Children of Israel.

When the Israelites would wander from The LORD,
God would send and/or allow other nations to come against them
and triumph over them.

Then His people would remember Him again
and cry out to Him
and return to Him.

Sometimes, they returned just enough to stop the punishment.
Sometimes, they didn't return with all of their hearts.
Sometimes, they did and it was known that they did
because they would tear down their high places
where they worshipped other gods.

I was reading in Isaiah 10-14 and an un-underlined portion
of Scripture in my Mother's Bible stopped me in the process
of reading the underlined portions.

The verse was Isaiah 10:20.

"And it shall come to pass in that day
That the remnant of Israel,
And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob,
Will never again depend on him who defeated them,
But will depend on the LORD,
the Holy One of Israel, in truth."

I wondered, "How are we dependent on him who has defeated us?"

(In this case, the Assyrians had been oppressing God's people
but the tables were about to turn
and God was about to punish arrogant, disobedient Assyria.)

So, I looked up the word 'dependent' in Websters.


Dependent means 'hanging down, influenced, controlled,
or determined by something else. Relying on someone or something
for support or aid.'

The LORD was telling His people that no longer would
they be influenced or controlled by their enemies.

No longer would their freedom be determined by another.

No longer would they be held captive
by another's influence or weight in their lives.

Not only would their captors lose their power,
but according to Isaiah 14:2c~
'they would take them captive
whose captives they were,
and rule over their oppressors.'

You know what this says to me?

Perhaps we have come into captivity
because we've been rebellious
and have turned away from God.

But if we return to Him,
He will take the very things
that held us captive in our rebellion
and will use them to take captive
that which held us captive.

When we are in bondage,
we are dependent on that bondage.
We are dependent on our sickness,
the bad things that have happened to us,
the consequences of our own unwise choices,
our lot in life.
We are influenced by these things.

It is our excuse for mediocrity.
It is our excuse for not being involved.
It is our excuse to continue in the activities
that cause us and other's pain.
It is our excuse to be irresponsible.

We use our bondage
for a wrong kind of freedom.
"This is my life;
I can do what I want."

But Isaiah offers a different kind of dependency.

He says,
"There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."

God invites us to come out of the captivity of sin.
He invites us,
to take that sin captive and then,
to use the way God redeems us from that sin
to help others gain freedom from a similar captivity.

And He invites us to no longer be dependent
or influenced by that sin
and its consequences.

He invites us to be dependent and influenced by the One
who is full of wisdom, understanding, counsel,
might, knowledge, and of the fear of the LORD.

We no longer have to wait for Him
as they did in Isaiah's day.

He has come.
And through His Spirit,
He is with us.
Every day.

Sometimes, the journey to freedom
is a process.
Like the Children of Israel,
when they were released from their captivity
to go back home.

It took them awhile.

They had to rebuild the walls and the temple.
They got discouraged along the way.
Sometimes, they stopped working.
But God would send someone to encourage them
to help them start building again.

So, don't give up.

This very giant of a jail
may be your playground some day soon.

Psalm 71:20,21-
"You who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side."

1 Peter 5:10,11-
"But may the God of all grace,
who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after you have suffered a while,
perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

11 Chron.7:13,14-
"When I shut up heaven and there is no rain,
or command the locusts to devour the land,
or send pestilence among My people,
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin
and heal their land."

Isaiah 62:4-
"You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah-'My Delight is in you,'
and your land Beulah;
and your land shall be married."

Isaiah 61:7-
"Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion
they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs."

Song of Solomon 2:10-12-
"My beloved spoke, and said to me:
'Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone,
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.'"

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Prayers for Faithful Men

I noticed my mother had these verses underlined in 1 Chron. 9-12 in her Bible.

I thought the Words were a good description of men in my world who are endeavoring to be faithful leaders in a role they've never played before.

I wrote down the verses and I pray them for these men.

9:13-" men for the work of the service of the house of God..."

9:23-" charge of the gates of the house of the LORD."

10:11-"...valiant men."

12:8-"...trained for battle, faces like the face of a lion, swift as gazelles on the mountain."

12:32-35-"...have understanding of the times, to know what we should do; expert in war with all weapons of war, who can keep battle formation; stout-hearted men who can keep ranks..."

12:38-"...loyal hearts, of one mind."
In order to serve in the house of God.
In order to protect the gates to allow no evil to come in.
In order to win the battle.
In order to know what should be done.
Oh, Jesus. Help these men.
Increase in them who they already are.
Be their Captain.
Be their Shield.
Be their Very Great Reward.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hertzler Doings-June 4-11, 2012

Mon.-Good day. Ticker tape-time to read, exercise, work in old house, garden, outside, planted Jasmine plant, cleaned and organized the top of Phil's dresser, made cornmeal in an iron skillet in the oven and Caesar salad for supper.

Tues.-Went to see Dr. F. and was able to be adjusted without getting vertigo. Thank you God! Susan and I made homemade mayonnaise for a 7 layer salad and corn bread with real corn to get ready for supper. She made a big veggie/brown rice stir fry for lunch and wants to make our lunches from now on. Later I put venison steaks in the crockpot with horseradish and mushrooms and other seasonings and made baked cubed potatoes to add to our supper. Took a walk to the river and picked up trash, worked 15 min. in the garden and then the old house. Cleaned another area of our bedroom. Little by little. Met Danielle and Dawn at their parent's house and carpooled to Teresas. One of us (we don't know who) locked Danielle's van with the keys in it and she had to call Triple A to come and fix it. He eventually got there. We studied the book of Galatians and made s'mores over a fire and it began to rain harder and harder and we pretty much got drenched. The best s'more I ever had was made with a Reeses peanut butter cup in place of a chocolate bar. Tonight. Yum. Came home and am running water for a hot bath to warm me up. Guys didn't get home until after 8. Susan packed them a nice lunch for tomorrow from the leftovers. It's fun to cook and bake for them because they are so thankful.

Wed.-Day at home. Cleaned all coolers. Worked on bedroom, garden, and old house. Phil and the boys moved a 6,000 pound slab of marble from the nun's area to another area. Tricky business. Philip's pig had 10 piglets. Two calves dead in field. Coyotes? Heard them calling their troops together last night. Chilling. Makes you sit straight up in bed.

Thurs.-Today's verse-Ps.71:20,21-"You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side." Had Lucy to vet for booster shots by 8:30 this morning. Went to Krogers while Susan stayed with her. Stopped in to see Alli at Babcock House. Bought some chicken feeders/waterers at Southern States. Came home, did wash, cleaned up kitchen, and went to muscle therapist. He helped me with my shoulder and vertigo. It's amazing. I'm so thankful. It's been done so quickly. Stopped in to see Judy, Josh, and Sammy Jo. Went shopping at Wally World and then to Ruby Tuesdays with C/M then to the movies. Snow White and the Huntsman, I think it was. I had to close my eyes several times and during one scene, I closed my eyes and held my ears shut and hummed a little tune and then M. told me what happened and what didn't happen. I like it better like that. Oh, the ticket lady asked me two questions she didn't ask either of them (C/M). Was I a senior citizen and did I have military background? No, I said, but she, I said, pointing to C., was in the military. She gave me C's dollar back because C. wouldn't take it. I understand the senior citizen question. I am looking quite elderly these days, but the military question? I kind of like that. Came home to Phil's smiling face. That's always nice. Happy Anniversary to Gil and Lindsay.

Fri.-Song of Solomon-"For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers apear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." I looked up turtledove in Websters. "..any of several wild doves noted for their plaintive cooing and the devotion that the mates show toward each other." I love that. The time of being devoted to your loved ones has come with singing.
Planted some flowers along our lane and at the mailbox. Cleaned more in our bedroom. Made granola. Alli stopped in for a visit on her way home from work. Susan mowed lawn at Happy Valley. The new mower wouldn't start and she jumped it with her truck. By herself. Buddy is here. We're babysitting him for a few days. Lucy and Buddy enjoy playing together and sleeping side by side. Angel is probably happy for the reprieve. Angel thinks she is too old to obey anymore. She is laying on my flowers under the tree in the front garden. I can't even get mad at her. Not much anyway.
Went to Babcock House in the eve. with some church friends. Had a great time. Wish we had done this more often.

Sat.-Work day on the farm. Finished PRroom in old house. Cleaned bathroom/entryway to boy's room. Made a turkey. Cleaned our house somewhat. Alli and Freeman came over and helped. Susan and Alli trimmed weeping cherry tree. Alli made signs, peeled eggs, and helped clean up branches, etc. Freeman helped Phil move big stuff to proper places. Michael and Philip were busy all day as was Phil. Susan weed whacked so much she got blisters on blisters. Philip worked on coyote solutions. Philip went to Benson grad party late afternoon. We're pooped and ready to go to bed. (Susan and I) It's 7:30. Phil's still out running machinery. Hardly saw him all day. I love getting the farm cleaned up. I wish we could keep it this way. If the guys weren't on the road for 3 hours a day, things would be different I'm sure. We're thankful for the steady job.

Sun.-Read in Isaiah and Ezra about Cyrus, the king of Persia. Isaiah had prophesied about him (chapter 45) 150 years before he came into power. When he was shown the prophecy, his heart was so moved, that he release Israel from its captivity. He gave them back the treasures that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from their temple when he brought them into captivity. My Bible notes say, "This is the only place in the Bible where a Gentile ruler is said to be 'anointed.' God is the power over all powers and he anoints whom he chooses for his special tasks. Cyrus's kingdom spread across 2,000 miles (the largest of any empire then known), including the territories of both the Assyrian and Babylonion empires. Why did God anoint Cyrus? Because God had a special task for him to do for Israel. Cyrus would allow God's city, Jerusalem, to be rebuild, and he would set the exiles free without expecting anything in return. Few kings of Israel or Judah had done as much for God's people as Cyrus would."
I read that this morning and started to blog about it but then everything was erased when I tried to save it. Came to church and our pastor spoke about how God has chosen us and given us a course to follow and the fruit or consequence of following that course will be good. For example, John 15:16-'You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, (the call), that you should go forth and bring forth fruit that will last, (the course), that whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, I will give it you.(the consequence) I was reminded of Cyrus during the whole sermon. We, too, are appointed and anointed of God for His work. As we remain in Him and He remains in us, then we will do His will.
Erin W. came back to our house after church. We had a lunch of cold turkey sandwiches and chips and salsa. Jordan W. and Michael were here too. I made caramel corn especially for Erin. She misses the Hertzler Sunday popcorn meals. She stayed until after 10. We had much to talk about. She had a 3 hour drive back home so I made her some coffee and gave her a bag of popcorn to munch on. She has a 1500 page thesis that she must work on for the next several weeks. Meanwhile, Michael and Jordan had gone floating on the river. Philip was with some friends teaching them how to bowhunt stingrays by floating balloons in their lake. Phil took Susan to Stephen's grad party and Michael or Philip brought her home. They came home long after we were in bed. Phil went to pick up Micah at Gridley's and then to Tom's to get his suitcase, etc. He spent the night on a cushy homemade nest on the floor. Went right to sleep. Oh, I forgot to say that Erin enjoyed the dominoe chicken foot game. Phil and I taught her after everyone else was gone. She is so competitive. And she won!