Thursday, August 23, 2012

Let not your heart be troubled

I love the ending of John 13 and the beginning of John 14.
Sometimes it pays to not stop reading at chapter divisions.
Somebody definitely messed this one up.

Let me set the stage for you.

Jesus is with His disciples at the Last Supper and He's telling them some things
He really wants them to grasp.

He's telling them that He is leaving them and then He says,
"Love one another as I have loved you."
('I won't be around to love you like I love you
so love each other like I love you.')

Peter asks Jesus, "Where are you going?"
Jesus says, "You can't come with me where I am going now
but you'll come later."
Peter says, "I want to come with you now! Why can't I?
I'll lay my life down for you!"

This makes me cry.
Jesus looked at him and asks gently,
"Will you lay your life down for Me?
Before the rooster crows,
(before morning comes)
you will have denied me three times.

Let not your heart be troubled;
you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father's house are many mansions;
if it were not so,
I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you,
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
you better believe that I'll come back again
and take you to that place,
so we can be together there."

There's more.
Read it for yourself in chapter 14.

I love that Jesus addressed Peter's cocky statement
with a gentle rebuke.
(And then said, "Let not your heart be troubled.")
When His words were later fulfilled,
Peter could look back and remember
that Christ already knew.

Jesus turned to Peter and said these personal words
but then moved on to
address the real cry of Peter's heart,
which was,
"Don't leave me!
I left everything to follow You
and now you're leaving me?!
Don't leave me!"

"Let not your heart be troubled...
Don't be afraid...
I'm going to prepare a place for you in My Father's mansion...
And then I'll come back for you...
I'll receive you to Myself...
Where I am, you'll be also...
Where I go, you know, and the way you know..."

The One who minutes before
had served the wine and the bread-
His brokenness,
to those who would deny Him
and run from His trouble,
That One
comforts those who don't want Him to leave them.

Even if you deny Me.
Even if you run.
I'll be back.
For you.
Don't worry.
Don't be troubled.
I'll be back.
For you.

Thank you dear Jesus
for reaching into our hearts with your healing balm
to touch the real issues of our souls
hidden by our prideful words.

Thank you dear Jesus
that even though we fail to prepare a place for You,
You prepare a place for us
to be with You.

Thank you
that even if we would deny You,
Your grace is offered back to us.

Father and Son

I love smart people.

It's the first thing I notice about a person.
Is he or she smart?
Not, is he or she nice to look at.
Not, is he or she kind.
But, is he smart? Is she smart?

The computer guy was here the other day and how do I describe
him to Phil? "You could tell he was smart."
I guess being smart was a family value growing up.

I grew up free from the need to be beautiful
because I just wasn't.
No one said, "Oh, Annette. You are so beautiful."
And I am glad that I was free from that burden.

But it was important to get very good grades.
And it was important to remember who I was
and to behave accordingly.

I never felt that I was as smart as anyone else in our family.
You should see how smart my siblings are.
I said something to my mother sometime during this past year
when I was with her.
I said, "I never thought I was as smart as my siblings."
She made a little sound and said,
"I never noticed the difference."
Her words filled my smart tank.
She has no idea!
Well, actually, she probably does now.

Anyway, I had no intention of going off about myself like that.
I really wanted to compare two different writings of a father and son.

I was reading Solomon's words recorded in Eccl. 1:17,18-
"And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly.
I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow."

(I thought of Christ's words that He would like us to be
ignorant of evil but knowledgeable of the truth.
Something like that.
Harmless as doves. Wise as serpents.)

If only Solomon had not set his heart to know madness and folly.
If only he had stuck with wisdom.

And then there is David, Solomon's father.
He wrote one of my favorite Psalms.
I read it when life is overwhelming
and I have gotten caught up with the madness
and folly that comes from too much knowledge.

Psalms 131~
Read it and rest.

"LORD, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Oh Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever."

Be responsible for the knowledge you have
that you are responsible for.
But don't be responsible for the knowledge you have
for which you are not responsible.

Do not concern yourself with great matters,
nor with things that are beyond you.

Calm and quiet your soul
like a contented child on its mother's lap.

And hope in the Lord.
Don't put your trust in your own understanding of things.
Hope in the Lord
and trust in Him forever.


I am about to close another scribbled blog journal from which I edit as I type, but first, there are several writings I want to jot down here. This is especially challenging when all I have given myself are a few notes but I'll try. I discovered yesterday, the reason why I always feel like I am running behind, and it is because I am always trying to catch up on my blog. Writing has taken a back seat this summer. But I hope to change this because writing makes me happy and knowing I am going to write helps me notice things and helps me live more fully.

2 Peter 1-the first part of the chapter tells us that God's divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
For this very reason, giving all diligence, we must add to our faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
For if these things are ours and abound, we will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he who lacks these things is short-sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins,
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make our call and election sure, for if we do these things we will never stumble;
for so an entrance will be supplied to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That's from the New King James Version.

If we want to be fruitful,
if we want to know God,
if we want to see clearly,
if we want to remember that our sins have been forgiven,
if we want to never stumble,
if we want to escape the lustful corruption of the world,
if we want to enter the kingdom of our Lord,
we need to be faithful in making our calling and election sure.

And this is our calling-to be filled with the divine power of God.
That divine power has given us all things that have anything to do with life and godliness.
And He has given us great and precious promises,
that through these promises,
we may partake of His divine nature.

So for that reason, we add to our faith-
virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love.

If these are ours in abundance
we will be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

This knowledge of Christ is more than head knowledge.
It is knowing the Three In One; God,the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ.
Experiencing who they are changes and transforms us,
and keeps us from the error of false teaching.

Virtue-arete-has come to mean moral excellency and goodness.
But 'many scholars feel that in biblical times
arete was commonly used to refer to manifestations of
God's miracle power.'

Remember when the woman touched Jesus's robe
and He felt virtue leaving His body?
Did He feel moral excellency and goodness leaving His body?
Or did He feel God's miraculous power leaving His body?

What if holy goodness and moral excellence left His body
and entered ours?
Would it manifest itself as God's miraculous power?

The other thing I noticed was that His divine nature
and the very things we are to add to our faith
so we can grow,
are really one and the same.

Do these words describe God?
Did Jesus manifest God's character as a human
in these ways?

Was He full of faith?
Was He full of virtue?
Did He know God?
Did He exhibit self-control?
Did He persevere?
Was He godly?
Was He full of brotherly kindness?
Did He love?

There is such depth to this scripture.

I keep trying to organize it in a straight line
but I think it goes in a circle.

Divine Power
The Knowledge of God
Precious Promises
Partaking of His Divine nature
Add the character of God to our faith
(faith without works is dead)
Bear fruit
Never stumble
Enter the everlasting Kingdom

It's all about God.
But it's also about us.

We receive His divine power.
We grab hold of those great promises.
We partake of the divine nature.
We add to our growing.
We be diligent and make sure of our calling.

He provides the power and the promises.
He provides His righteousness.
He provides the glory and the virtue.
He provides the divine nature.
He prepares the everlasting kingdom.

It's a win-win situation.
It always is with God.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hertzler Doings-Aug. 20-26, 2012

Mon.-Walked with Alli. Susan is on a jogging routine to prepare her for long distance running. Ollie met Alli and I at the bottom of the hill on our way back home. Ollie would run behind Alli to catch up with her. It was a little creepy, to hear his footsteps behind us as we walked. Susan and I finished up some odd jobs. We're trying to get ready for the school year. I finished the housecoat I started on Sat. It's a little too big so I am taking it in here and there. The WildBlue computer guy came to set us up with faster internet and Lucy was all over him. Ollie came up and pecked his feet as he was working. Startled him at first. Tony Schrock came home with Phil to spend the night. He is working with them for several days in Richmond. Susan and I took Philip out to Appomattox to get his car. The coyotes were very loud tonight when we got home. Troubling Eerie Echoes. Judy Blue Eyes has Lyme's Disease. She has a rash and a lot of the aching/exhaustion symptoms. Doesn't make me happy. I am praying for a cold winter to get rid of these nasty critters. I don't want them anywhere near my family and friends.

Tues-I was having my quiet time early this morning and Ollie saw me through the window. He got as close as he could to me and then flew straight up my window and landed on the roof. He was still there when I went out later. The white dove came again. It hasn't been here since the day we baptized a friend in our river. Susan and I went out to Lynchburg for the day to go shopping. Let me see if you get as tired as I did. First we went to Piersons to pick up a Bobcat sensor. Then to Rugged Warehouse, TJMax, Cici's, and Bloop's where Michael met us and told us some happy news. Also, he had been helping Sweet Tea, a friend his age, set up housekeeping, and ST told him,"I want to be just like you when I grow up." Michael gave Susan and I several hugs as he said good bye. We miss him. But we know he is right where he belongs. Went from there to the mall where we shopped for several hours. Then to Best Buy where we got a router. Then to Dicks and Pet Smart, where we got a pink bedazzled bone dog tag engraved with Lucy's name. Then to target to get Susan a new bedspread-black and white zebra striped with hot pink sheets. Then to Ross, and another shoe store where we found her basketball shoes, and to another yogurt place. At last we got to Sam's club where we loaded up on good food. One of our pizza's spilled on the parking lot. I thought we should clean it up but Susan said, "Keep walking. This is why they have employees." She fed me chicken salad on crackers on the way home and we ate mangoes and got home just before the guys did. They helped us carry everything in and by the time we got it put away, it was 8:45. Susan hooked up the router, talking to Michael all the while. "Michael, where are you, I miss you, etc." Michael is usually the one who hooks things up around here. Almost finished reading DDF's manuscript. It ranks up there with the Peretti books.

Wed.-Next time we spend a day shopping like that, I have to figure in a day to recover. We're both exhausted but Susan is also achy and is running a slight fever. Started her on the homeopathic flu meds and after two doses, she wanted to be able to go to church tonight. She did go and seemed better afterwards. I finished reading DDF's manuscript early this morning. Can't believe I didn't have any scary dreams last night. Maybe it's because I know the author. The white dove is here today. She flew across the front lawn and landed on a piece of farm equipment. I am sure she is the same one that was here last year. It's presence on our property is a peaceful benediction.
Lucy is now big enough to put in the outside pen after she wakes in the morning. She was barking incessantly and here Ollie was prancing back and forth in front of her cage as if visiting a friend in jail. Did some wash today and some paper work. Alli came over to use the computer and 'caught' Susan and I watching Monk mid afternoon. We are both too tired to get much done. Made BLT's for supper. Philip bought more pigs on the way home from work. I finally got last weeks blog written while Phil went to pick up Susan from church. Ron M. dropped off some rye seed (2,200 pounds-80 bushels) tonight that he had picked up for Phil. It came from Canada and he will use it to plant a cover crop to add wealth to the soil for other planting. He's out there with him now, which is giving me opportunity to catch up on this weeks blog.

Thurs.-Philip's new big pig was out this morning. Angel herded her back towards the barn but when Susan offered her garbage, she became a bit hostile so Susan decided to play it safe and wait until Philip got home. When he did, they went tracking. They tracked her up into the hill of laurel and there she disappeared. Phil and Philip went out on the gator and after awhile, they found her amidst the cows. Philip will work on getting the fence in order before he leaves again.
Ollie thinks he's a puppy instead of a turkey. He walks and hops beside Angel, jumping up to peck her face. She averts her face and keeps walking. Ollie streaks in front of her. Angel slows her pace patiently so she doesn't run Ollie over. It is so interesting to watch the process of imprinting. Angel's imprint is on Ollie and he thinks he's a dog, I'm sure. I pray to God that nothing ever happens to Ollie. May he live forever.
Angel, (our German Shepherd), is more godly than the rest of us. She is patient and kind. She lays down her life for us. She protects and shepherds whatever needs protecting and shepherding. She loves us even when it seems like we have forgotten her. She worships her Master. She loves and obeys. And she is faithful. I want to be more like Angel. Teach me, dear dog, how to be more like God.
Today, I caught up with some paperwork that's been mounding up in the receipt basket. It feels good to have everything entered into my cash book. I made a big vegetable supper. Roasted veggies, red beets, and salad. Susan mowed a bit and cleaned her room. She is still under the weather. I think it's allergies. Phil and the boys left at 4 this morning to do a job at Fort something or other, setting trusses. It took them as long to drive as it did to do the work.
Made a cake tonight for a friend's birthday. Applesauce cake. Instead of crushed pineapple, I put in crushed bananas. Walnuts and raisins were folded in. I love the smell of allspice, cloves, and cinnamon wafting through the house.
Finalized some visiting plans for our Pa. trip coming up. I wonder what it will be like to have a family party and not see my mother there. Makes me cry just thinking about it. I love you, Mother Dear. I'm so glad you are not here. Free from worry, free from fear. How we miss you, Mother Dear.

Fri.-Hos. 10:12-"Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you." Fallow ground is land left uncultivated. Sometimes, when a land has been overused, one should allow it to rest. It becomes fallow for a purpose. Perhaps you have worked too hard and you are getting a chance to rest. Allow yourself to allow your land to become intentionally fallow. You will know when it is time to break up the soil and plant seed again. Everything brings forth fruit in its season. It does not bear fruit all of the time. But you can still stay close to Jesus, even as your land takes a rest. The things that grow up will add nutrients to the soil when it is time to plow it up again. I feel this way about writing. I took a deliberate break. And now it is time to plow it up again. And the things I read and learned during this break will just add to the soil and help the seed grow better. To every thing there is a season and a purpose for everything under heaven. A time to plant and a time to harvest and a time to allow the land to rest.

Cleaned the house, packed, hosted Cleansing Stream group. We ate cake first. The teaching was on sowing words of life. So good.

Sat.-Michael came home last night so he could spend some time with us before we left for Pa. Last night, Philip went to the Lapp's for a guys night and Michael hung out with some of his guy friends too. This morning, we caught up with the guys and Phil was in and out, trying to get his crop of rye and radishes planted in spite of the rain. Found out later that he succeeded. It rained in Va. all day. Susan and I left around 8:10 and had a great trip. When we were about 40 min. into our trip, Phil's mother called us and told us that Uncle Milford Mast passed away last night. When I talked with Phil later, he told me that Uncle Milford had talked to him on Thursday and was reminiscing about how he invited Phil to the Full Gospel Meeting 'that' night. Milford was supposed to sit at the head table that night but instead, he stayed with Phil, and later in the eve., led him in a prayer that restored him to God. Uncle Milford went on to say really nice things about me and how much I meant to him and how thankful he was that God had brought Phil and I together. Then he mentioned his son, Dennis, and talked about the friendship Dennis and Phil had growing up. Later that eve., I found Dennis on face book and arranged with him for a visit with Phil on Sunday. After finding out that Uncle Milford had passed away, Phil said, 'I'm so happy for him, but I could cry.' And then he said, 'I need to be more aware of when I am hearing a person's swan song.' A swan song is what somebody shares with you before they die. But I don't think that we usually realize a swan song until afterwards, because we would be too sad to pay attention to their words.
Susan and I stopped at BB's to look for dog food for Lucy. We saw Twila and Gustavo there with three of their girls. I still feel so motherly towards him. (He played Jesus and I played Mother Mary in the Easter musical-'You Were the Joy.')They are pastoring a church in Reading. When we got to the farm, Mom and Dad were with Aunt Ruth so we got our things in and visited with Debra and the boys and Karen and Jonathan. He's a busy boy at 20 months. Acted like he sees us every day. Lucy is adapting to the farm. She's sleeping outside in her cage. This could get interesting in the morning when the boys get up to milk. Mom served a wonderful supper of homemade canned beef and gravy, baked potatoes, garden peas, tomatoes, chunky applesauce and fig newtons. We showed them some movies of Ollie and Phil and I read them my writing about Ollie and the Samaritan Leper. Dad went to prayer meeting, Susan went next door to be with her cousins, and Mom and I chatted. It is so good to be with them and we plan to come up more often. Mom told me what they did on July 24 this summer. They went to a Thai restaurant to remember Johnny. Evie had told them about it. When it was time to leave, they told her that she had already paid for their meal. It is true that there are crazy people in this world. But there is more goodness than evil. I am thankful for people like Evie and I am thankful, that today, when we pulled into the rest stop and the power steering quit working just as I was pulling into a parking space, that there were people who helped us right away. Two of which were a father and son mechanic team, with 40 years of experience between them. And another couple said that they'd pray that we'd have a nice journey. Which we did. I had power steering fluid in the trunk and the little container under the hood, had a definite need to be filled. And after I turned the steering wheel to the left, to the right, to the left, to the right again, there was no air left in the tubing, and we were good to go. I am sitting on a homemade quilt that Mom made. The fan is blowing over me, and the farm air is coming right along with it. They must have spread manure today.

Sun.-It was great to go to church at Hopewell today. Hopped in the car and was there in two minutes. How wonderful to see old friends. The church was full, worship was sweet, and John brought forth a good word. He is preaching through the book of Acts and focused on Paul's first missionary journey where he encountered opposition, abandonment, verbal abuse, deportation, threats, and attempted murder. Paul persevered. What helped him? He knew before he started following Christ that it would not be easy. He expected to suffer for the name of Christ. Unrealistic expectations can cause us to give up. Idealism can hurt how we ran the race. Jesus said, "In this world you will have tribulation..." Grace helped him. Every single day God gave Paul a fresh infusion of grace. Grace is like IV fluid. It always adjusts to what we need. He mediates grace through His people. The power of a word of encouragement gives others grace to persevere. And Paul focused on the triumphs, the wins, rather than the loses. Strength flows from what we focus on. Paul said, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race."
After church, the Hertzlers got together for a nice big meal of hot dogs, hamburgers and toppings, chili beans, cole slaw, salad, baked corn, watermelon, tapioca, and I'm probably missing something. Sang some after the meal and visited with each other. Really nice time. Then Susan and I went to my sister's for the eve. where we had a picnic with my side of the family. Hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, watermelon, chips, salsa, crackers, pretzels, peach pie, banana cake, ice cream...etc. We had a great time too. Abie and Karen came in his 79? convertible. Annika and Stew and Katrina were there too and it's always fun to catch up with them. We talked about Mother and Daddy at different times. A wonderful day. Another big day tomorrow.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hertzler Doings-Aug. 13-19, 2012

Mon.-Great Day with Michael and Susan. Michael made me breakfast. Scrambled eggs mixed up with sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Took a walk before it got too hot outside. Finally figured out this exercise schedule. Stretch a little, then walk, then stretch some more. Every other day. On the off days, stretch, and do strength and core exercises. Sundays, just stretch. Go to church. Rest. And eat popcorn. Made a huge 7 layer type salad with a mix of sprouts from seeds I sprouted using quart jars and nylon stockings and rubber bands. Alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli, and mung bean. Added turkey burger and skipped the cheese since I didn't have any. Went out in the eve. to La Parota to celebrate LL's birthday with the some of the other Steel Magnolia ladies. One of them moved to Conn. so we just pretend that she's there. At least, I do. We all chipped in to buy LL a pot. A cooking pot. A very big cooking pot. She asked, "Is that really what's in there?"(The box.) She thought it might be full of unmentionables, or something else a bit more risky than a pot. But it was what it was. A big cooking pot to make lots of soup or to make a huge fondue using whole loaves of french bread for dipping.
I guess we're all getting older. Around 9:35, I asked the waitress, "When do you close?" She said, with a beautiful Spanish accent, "We are closed already." We jumped up and went outside, talking until the lights went out and the door was locked. True friendship is being with someone through the different seasons of life. I am thankful for these friends. I am thankful for Blessing upon Blessing and Joy upon Joy. I am thankful for the love in our home.

Tues.-"Happy Anniversary," said Phil in my ear, early this morning before he got out of bed. I made an exclamation. "Did I remember before you did?" he asked. Took a walk, baked bread, made homemade carrot cake, did some wash, took a nap, tidied house, brought in Mother's Rubbermaid art container holding her art supplies and painting dreams. Perhaps that is why I picture her painting now, with Jesus lounging beside her, on the green hills of Paradise. She gave up her dreams of painting and made our meals into works of art and everything she touched looked beautiful. Time would not allow her to paint but she clipped out pieces of art work she wanted to copy and these are mine now, just as I have been given her folder with clippings of poetry she loved. I feel like I am holding her dreams in little envelopes. And now, she is living in that wide and open place, free from restriction, and she is living in the beauty that she dreamed of painting. And that beauty far exceeds what she could begin to dream of here on earth.

Wed.-Cleaned up my desk today. Major feat. Arranged some of Mother's things in the living room. Ollie, our turkey, followed Phil into our house today. Angel followed Ollie and then, Buddy, the shiatsu, came in after them. Ollie looked around curiously but got nervous when Buddy came too near. Ollie flew around and hit some precious things and pooped on the sofa. He found his way out the door and the dogs followed. Phil said, "You are a brave woman." I took some pictures of all three animals in the house. Later, Phil was sitting outside working on his Cleansing Stream homework. He called me to come out and see the clouds. I took some pictures of them and then left the camera on the table for him. He reads his Bible outside while he waits for Ollie to roost. Ollie won't roost in the tree unless Phil stays with him. Phil said, "Thanks for leaving your camera out here for me. Ollie jumped up on my lap and I took some pictures of him reading my Bible." Later, Steve called. He was happy. His grandson, Austin, had shot a bear for crop damage. He wanted Phil to come over and help him butcher. Freeman and Phil went over and they brought most of the meat back. It's in the large fridge now, waiting until they have time to butcher him better.

Thurs.-Susan and I went out to Appomattox today. I got a hair cut. Susan went to the library and I went to the Babcock House to have lunch with Marcie. We met Susan back at Country Charm for ice cream cones. Bl. Matt was in the area and texted Susan. "I think I just saw you." He met us on the porch at CC and had a little visit. Susan and I went to the art supply store to get tubes of watercolor and brushes to go along with our art course. The lady asked us who was teaching us and we said that we were using a book. Said we'd bring in our artwork to her for her to see. Maybe she'll want to sell the book that taught us. Also went to Walmart and Kroger and finally got back home after 4. Good thing I bought Kroger pizza's for supper. Phil and Philip got haircuts from Jennifer at 6. Three Hertzler's in one day! She puts up with us. Later, I finished reading the book I started yesterday-"Growing up Amish" by Ira Wagler. It was gripping. I couldn't put it down. I turned into a prune reading it in the bathtub. I've asked Lindsay to put his blog on my side bar. He lives in Lancaster County now and I might have to stop in to get his signature. His blog site is I checked into it and it was like his book. I couldn't put it down.

Fri.-Washed, juiced a big pile of fruits and vegetables, ate a lovely lunch Susan made-salmon, salad, and cottage cheese; made a beef stew in the crock pot; caught up on communications via email and face book and blog, and got ready to go to a Hertzler party in the eve. Oh, I walked to my cottage in the morning. Saw coyote doodoo on the path. We heard them last night. Woke us up. Angel's frantic barking made me go into a sweat and I had a hard time going back to sleep. Thought it was another fire. Phil said he understood. Coyotes wailing in our ears are way too close for comfort. My cottage was upset that I hadn't been there sooner. So many cobwebs to sweep up. But it's still peaceful and faithful. And God is still there. He's everywhere, of course, but I don't always think of that. But when I enter that quiet little house, I know that He has made it into a holy chapel, and I am thankful and I make promises to come back soon.
Bethany's 19th birthday party was great. Lots of teenagers and older friends everywhere. Helen kept making pizza and there were salads and desserts and plenty of great conversation. I showed Freeman off to Peter and Ivona and had him talk in his different accents and imitations. He used to play with bubbles in the tub and have the different bubbles play the parts of different people. I think I've said that before but here it is again. Philip's excited about selling his truck and getting another one. Jenny came home with us for the night and she's going to help Susan do some work tomorrow until the next party in the afternoon at the Simpsons. Phil had to run out to Farmville to pick up some glass. He'll be home before long.

Sat.-Early morning sight of Freeman, Philip, and Phil dressed up in camouflage. Hunting coyotes. Saw one but didn't get a shot. A lone cow insists on getting to the grass on the other side of the fence. She could be surrounded by coyotes much easier than the cows who stick together. Jenny had spent the night and she and Susan 'wrapped' up some things around here before heading next door to clean the house from top to bottom. Later, they made brownies and watched the new Three Stooges Movie. Phil and I took them to D. Simpsons youth party in the eve where Jenny connected with her parents. Earlier in the day, Phil put in more stable shelving in my white cabinet and it freed up some space in the corner cupboard. Erin West called from London and Phil, Philip, and I took turns talking to her. We heard of her exciting plans for the fall. I got the spice cupboard all neatly organized while talking with her. Later, I cut out a housecoat and sewed about half of it. Mickey, my neighbor, had given me a lot of material and I pulled out a piece to use.
I offered Phil a drink of juicer juice and we both forced down a pint. It was awful. I think it was the cabbage, broccoli, and mung bean sprouts that made me shudder. The carrots, beets, pears, celery-that's pretty good. I think I'll stick with that kind of combination in the future or I will completely turn myself off from juicing forever. I picked up DDF's manuscript today and can't wait to finish it. Reminds me of Frank Peretti's books.

Sunday-Met with the Cleansing Stream group during Sunday School. Pastor Jerry spoke on the courage of Daniel. I think what I personally gained was this. Daniel persevered through several administrations. He was faithful to God and steadfast in character. He was not moved by who the leaders were. He was moved by God. In our church, we are experiencing administrative change. Are we going to be faithful to man, to fear, to our culture, or to God and His people? Will we persevere through the hard times and see this through to the other side? "Will we have the courage to go forward no matter what it takes?"
I want to say this, too. There really is a balm in Gilead. And it is comforting my soul in the midst of all the change and upheaval. God is here and He will never leave us or forsake us. And the shaking is for a mighty purpose. It will bring us to our foundation. It will shake off what is dead to make room for the new. And we must persevere and be courageous and be part of the solution. We must not evacuate in time of crisis. Unless God says 'Move', we will not move. And now is our opportunity to get to know one another. Now is the time for fellowship and friendship and for the using of gifts for service sake. Now is the time to love God and each other more deeply than we have ever loved before. "Do you love me," He asks. "Oh, Yes, Lord, we love you." "Then," says He, "Feed my sheep." We can't very well feed His sheep while we are saving our own hide. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Jesus looked into the cup and saw His own blood there and giving thanks for the cup, He served it to His friends. Oh, God. Help me love like you love.
We had a relaxing afternoon. Philip went out to Liberty with a friend and played volleyball and visited Michael. Phil, Susan, and I read, slept, watched Monk, and ate popcorn. Phil was outside reading. Ollie jumped up onto his shoulders and began showering him with all kinds of pecking love. He pecked his glasses and his neck and his hair. He spread his wings and oiled his feathers, covering Phil's face in the process. He flaunted his adoration of Phil right in front of Angel and it was too much for her. She grabbed her piece of wood and tried to get Phil to throw it to her. He did and she went and got it and flopped down at his feet with a sigh. Meanwhile, I was just waiting for Ollie to grace the front of Phil's black plaid shirt with a soft warm plop but he was too polite and jumped down and decorated my front porch instead.
Janelle and Micah got back from their trip to the beach and they visited awhile before taking an ecstatic Buddy back home with them.
I love Sundays. I love the going to church and the coming back home. I love the afternoon and the evening. Most of all, I love the lack of a list. I make no lists on Sundays.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ollie and The Samaritan Leper

If you've been reading 'Hertzler Doings' you already know that we have the honor of being adopted by a wild turkey. It happened this way.

Several months ago, Philip was mowing a field and ran over a turkey nest. The eggs were sitting there unharmed, and he wasn't sure what had happened to the mother. He gently brought the eggs home and put them in his incubator. About a week later, Phil had the same experience. He added his eggs to the eggs already in the incubator.

Phil printed off some blueprints about how to build a poultry brooder house. Dave P. came over and built a sturdy pen and when the young turkeys were old enough, they left their cedar-chipped-heat-lamped wooden nursery box and graduated to their new independent housing. They always acted scared of us and would run into a far corner whenever we came near. We fed and watered them until they were old enough to fend for themselves and then the day came to release them. Shortly afterwards, we found the remains of two turkeys. I think there were nearly 15-20 of them to begin with.

Then, we noticed that one of them had come back. He started hanging around. We named him Oliver, or Ollie, in honor of Oliver North. We brought his familiar food and water containers over to the porch and he began to come even closer. We put a turkey decoy up into our weeping cherry tree by the porch steps to teach him to roost up off the ground at night. He jumps up at dusk to roost beside it. During daylight hours, he follows Phil around wherever he goes. Phil takes walks around the house with him and kicks up a grasshopper harvest for Ollie and Ollie is most grateful. Phil sits on the porch banister at night and talks to Ollie. "Turk, turk, turk...Pretty Bird." And Ollie comes and struts around Phil and preens his feathers. One night, he jumped on Phil's head on his way up the tree, and squatted down to roost there for the night. Last evening, he roosted in Phil's arms. He likes Michael too. He likes all of us, really. He also enjoys chumming around with our German Shepherd, Angel. They sleep in the shade of the peppermint tea together during hot days. He takes walks with Angel and me and he runs right next to the tires of our vehicles whenever we pull away. I think he thinks he's human. Or a dog.

The other day I said to Phil, "This reminds me of a story in the Bible but I can't think of what it is." Phil said, "The ten lepers. And the Samaritan leper who came back." "That's it!" I exclaimed.

Think about it. Do you know the story? There were 10 lepers and they cried out to Jesus, asking Him to heal them. He told them to go show themselves to the priests and on their way there, they were healed. One of them came back to thank Jesus. He was a Samaritan.

Ollie is like that Samaritan leper.
He came back to thank us for saving his life.
Who knows what would have eaten him before he had a chance to come out of his shell.
He says thank you to us every day while he follows us around,
desiring our fellowship and company.

The game commission officer came the other day to give us some crop damage tags. He saw Ollie following Phil around. He said, "He's free to go, isn't he?" "Yes, he's free to go." And it was legal, then, you know. As long as a wild thing is free to go, he is free to stay.

I want to be more like Ollie.

I want to follow Jesus around,
thanking Him for saving my life,
eating the food He kicks up for me,
and roosting in His arms at night.

Hertzler Doings-Aug. 6-12, 2012

Mon.-Looked at pictures of Naomi's 50th birthday party on face book. I wish I could have been there celebrating this special day with her and her friends and family. Caught up on correspondence and phone calls. Exercised to History DVD's that we'll be using for American history this year. Fascinating. Drive Thru History, I think they're called. He makes me laugh and Susan just rolls her eyes at his silly jokes. Made stir-fry for supper and cornbread. Susan practiced her basketball skills and rode bike with Lucy running beside her on a leash. Michael went over to the guy's house to do some work on his computer with high speed Internet.Philip joined him there later. Phil went out to Farmville for a meeting. Michelle and I tried to figure things out over the phone about what's right and Susan cleaned her room. Today, I went back into my bedroom to hold a private conversation on the phone. It had begun storming earlier and I began to run some water into the tub in case we would lose electricity. I forgot all about it. But, much later, I remembered, as soon as I went back into my room. It had probably been overflowing for less than a minute. I caught it before it went down into the airconditioning ducts. I soaked up about 6 towels worth of water. I am so thankful it wasn't worse!

Tues.-Happy 2nd Anniversary to Freeman and Alli! I'm so glad he married her. Not flesh of my flesh, but soul of my soul, Alli. Took Lucy to get her shots and ran errands in Appomattox. Susan is gathering the soda pop bottles and cleaning them up to be sold. Practicing basketball skills and running, too. I left for the KNIT group just as the men got home for supper. Danielle and I were the only ones who could come. We spent a lovely 2+ hours together, talking and listening. We made the best s'mores I've ever eaten. This is how to do it without a fire. Put some chocolate on a graham cracker and a marshmallow on top. Broil until brown and then turn the oven and leave the s'more in the oven until the chocolate and marshmallow insides are melted. Take out of oven. Put graham cracker on top. Use napkins and take a shower afterwards.

Wed.-Did odds and ends of different things today. Have a terrible headache. Phil brought home cantaloupe and I am making canned spiced cantaloupe for him this eve. Susan went to CC for youth group. Michael went to bed. He's not feeling well. Sinus problem and tiredness.

Thurs.-To Farmville with Susan. Dropped her off at Kelly's so she could swim with Kelly and Jasmine. Had a catch up lunch with DDF at Riverside and she entrusted me with her printed prized possession to read. Stopped at Helen's to get tomatoes and a kiss from Grammy Doss. Made 7 quart of tomato juice using the juicer. I won't do that again. Didn't use the pulp. Made quiche and had Hugh's sweet corn and tomatoes to go with it. Michael still not feeling well. Susan tired with pool water in her ears. Phil and I making anniversary plans. Thankful for Naomi's call this morning and her thought provoking question about life-'What do you want your legacy to be?' Thankful to hear Betty's exciting vacation plans and for the precious friendship of DDF.

Fri.-Ps. 16:11-"You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Made salsa with Michael and Susan's help. Processed a bag of peaches. Packed. Left for a Bed and Breakfast in Appomattox-Spring Grove Farm. Stopped at Dairy Queen for ice cream cones and stopped in to visit the Confederate Museum. Then to Elliot's where Phil disappeared inside. He came out with a preordered huge bouquet of spring flowers. Beautiful. Popped in to visit the owners after we checked out our little cottage. Then we headed to Pino's for salad, bread, chicken Parmesan, and lasagna for supper. Read and relaxed for an hour in the perfect jacuzzi. The bed was so high I had to run and jump to get in it. Three storms woke me up during the night in spite of the loud air conditioner at my ear. Forgot to mention that Phil and I are away to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

Sat.-Breakfast at 7:30. Coffee, fresh fruit salad, Western omelet, English muffins, and blackberry cobbler. Emily and Joe, the owners, served us and then asked if they could sit down and join us for breakfast. She was a teacher for 30 years. And they both can talk about anything intellectually and factually and they are both warm and dear. They have dogs, large ones, who love people as much as they do. One in particular, actually hugged me with his body. He was a golden retriever. Joe and Emily had a picture taken with Jerry Falwell. Doug Oldham's daughter was married on their premises and Jerry had come to the wedding. They sent us away with bread and butter pickles, tomato soup, and black raspberry jam that they had canned this summer.
Phil texted Susan about his calf and Susan texted back, "Relax. I got it. Have fun." We went on our way, rather full, towards Williamsburg, to meet Eldon, Sandy, and their daughter, Kireh, for lunch at the Shields Tavern. On the way there, we stopped at a not-so-modern country store and as I walked in towards the bathroom, I noticed that the meat counter had bacon in it. Right beside it, on display, were boxes of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. The bathroom had all kinds of Biblical graffiti written around the mirror. The comment that stood out to me, perhaps because of it's miss-spelling, of maybe it was what the writer truly meant, were the words, "Watch out 4 the New Word Order."
After a lunch in the dark-(In the basement of the tavern, the only light was candle light) (which makes me suspicious from the get-go), we walked around Colonial Williamsburg, taking pictures of each other in the gardens and catching up on what all the kids are doing. Eldon is an architect and we hope that someday, when we build our house, he will be the designer. Sandy works at the hospital and Kireh, their daughter, is quite the photographer. She's 22. Eldon and Sandy were with us when we were going to church in Downingtown, Pa. After we said our good-byes, Phil and I headed to Denbigh, where his grandfather had worked at clearing the land when he was 17. Another relative talked the Hertzler family to come up to Morgantown, where the land was already cleared and a house was already built. Grandpa Hertzler-Phil's grandpa, bought the farm that Phil grew up on. It is still in the family and Phil's younger brothers own and run the farm to this day. We drove around looking at street names and took a picture of Hertzler Lane, named after his relatives. A Mennonite colony grew there many years ago and the names of the streets reflect that era. Yoder, Miller, and Hertzler Street, to name a few. On the way there, we got caught in several horrific rain storms. The sky had been making its threats all day and we were glad not to be walking on the streets on Williamsburg when it hit. We're quite sure Eldon and Sandy were caught in it because it began to pour just as we got on the main drag.
It was nice to be back home again. It was good to be away. We made lots of plans and shared some of them with the kids. Susan and Michael had done a good job at cleaning up the house. Philip and Susan went to Jeremy's party in the afternoon/eve. They came home pretty early. I left my pillow, notebook, and farming magazine at the cottage. Helen was at the Bed and Breakfast returning some Victorian Hats when I called them and she brought them back for me. We met at Olive Branch Church. She was late in coming and I was about ready to go out to 460 to see if she had an accident. Then, she and her mother pulled in. They had gotten to talking and completely forgot about meeting me until they were almost home. It was funny once I knew she was safe.

Sun.-We have an interim pastor at church. His name is Jerry and his wife is Laura. Susan says that he reminds her of Mr. Rogers. His sermon was about Abraham and he challenged us to have the courage to obey God. "The direction I'm looking is the direction I'm going." It's important to be looking in the right direction, isn't it? No reason to be looking back or we'll be going backward. Had a relaxing 'last supper' with Michael. He made spaghetti's yesterday with Old Shippey's remains (sausage). I added some salsa to juice it up and Mike brought home some garlic bread. Delicious. Phil, Susan, and I watched some Monk, and the guys were in and out. Freeman stopped over for a little. Alli's on vacation this week to the shore with a friend who invited her along. Had a meeting in the eve. and it was a short one. Got home early. That was nice. Watched another Monk and hit the sack.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hertzler Doings-July 30-Aug.5, 2012

Mon.-It did not work out to bring Makenzie back with us. We traveled 8 1/2 hours to get home and our guys helped us unload everything. Angel was overjoyed to see me. I don't remember getting ready for bed. I don't remember Phil crawling in bed beside me.

Tues.-Feel like a truck ran over me. Susan and I both dragging. Got some things unpacked.
Began juicing. Ollie, the turkey, jumped from the banister of the deck to the top of Phil's head and appeared to want to roost there. Phil had a cap on. It's really something, how much this bird loves Phil.

Wed.-Starting to feel alive again. Went to Dr. F. and she straightened me out. Went out to the bank and to Walmart and Kroger. Tried my hand at coupon shopping and tackled the very large list Susan made of ingredients we need for the 10 day juice fast. It's to help us lose 10 pounds and should get our systems in gear. We both ate way too much junk food while we were away and feel pretty junky. Why do we do this to ourselves? Caught up with a few phone calls and mail. Freeman butchered the bear he killed for crop damage. Alli was here for a little while. She's still recovering from last week too, when she was in charge of the BH for a week.

Thurs.-Slept until 10-nearly 12 hours of sleep last night! Took Susan to Holliday Lake to meet Haley and family. Then I went to the bank and to Dollar Store, Walmart, and Kroger in search of the things of Ruth F's wish list. Sending things to Africa in a barrel. Should get to them by boat in two months. Picked Susan back up and went home and made a quick supper of glorified toasted cheese sandwiches with turkey breast or pepperoni's inside. Plus tomatoes and onions after they were 'cooked.' Also, tomato soup. The boys said how much they appreciate that we cook for them. Michael said that on the way home he was wondering what Susan was making for supper. I did wash and bagged and inventoried the things we're sending overseas via ship. Susan prepared all the food we need for our first day of juicing. Phil and Philip chopped corn. Michael went over to Chace's place to jam with his buddies. They are making music. Lucy's belly was covered with seed ticks and we covered her belly with tick shampoo and Susan held her still for a few minutes and then hosed her off gently out back. It was a team effort. She looks better tonight.

Fri.-First (and only) day of Juice Diet. Did pretty well but the raw fennel finally did us in and we decided we'd just eat more healthy from here on out. Cleaned up the house and got ready for Cleansing Stream. Heard a great teaching on committing everything to the Lord. Consecration. I'm enjoying this group so much. Doyne brought me a solar hummingbird. My mother had those. My sister had given them to her and she enjoyed watching their colors turn at night. I told Doyne that the hummingbird reminded me of my mother.

Sat.-Went to muscle therapy and Dennis helped put me back in line. Said that my range of motion is greater than most people's. Said I didn't need to come back for several weeks and not at all if I didn't want to. I could lay straight down on my back without getting vertigo. Can't do that at home here yet but I don't panic like I used to. Ran errands in Farmville. Later in the eve., Michael, Susan, Phil, and I, went to New Life to see 'The Real Housewives of Critter County.' It was hysterical. I laughed so hard my face hurt. Freeman was one of the hillbilly husbands and he was amazing. What can I say? He's the best. The cast said they heard me laughing the whole way to backstage which was kind of embarrassing but Dianna said it was inspiring. Apparently, the afternoon crowd was kind of quiet. I think the more you know the people who are acting, the more funny it is to you. I just have to laugh every time I think of Freeman's high pitched 'Larry the Cable guy' kind of voice saying, "Who left that sack of potatoes sitting there on the sofa?" His 'wife', (Cheri G.) had made herself a dress from burlap and it was she who was sitting on the sofa. Wish I could see it 10 more times.

Sun.-Last night, Phil and I sang, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" as he played it on his guitar, and it was very meaningful to sing it together as a church body today. It is my favorite hymn. I've been reading the book of Jeremiah, too, for several weeks, and it was also meaningful to have the pastor talk about Jeremiah's life, and the words that he scribed in Lamentations 3:22-24-'Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"' The more we know and understand God's character, the more we can trust Him.
Took Alli out with us to Chinese and then we came home and watched a movie she had brought along-"Flushed". Unfortunately, I fell into a deep sleep midway and will have to watch it another time. Ollie, our 'wild' turkey, continues to endear himself to us. He decided to roost in Phil's arms last night as he tried to coax him up into the tree. He especially likes Phil and Michael. He tolerates me. I shouldn't have tried to pick him up. I just want to pet him and hold him so badly. Phil acts all nonchalant about it all and so Ollie goes after him to win him. I'm trying to win Ollie and he is playing hard to get. Philip came home happy and peaceful after a weekend retreat with Calvary Chapel's young adults. He had such a good time. He needed this. Michael had some friends down at the river in the afternoon and then they all came up and Philip and Susan joined them-Travis, Corinne, Erik, April, Jordan-for circle volleyball and football. Freeman came back after a final performance and was ready to go home. We've been having some showers lately and we're so thankful. Phil chopped corn yesterday until his tire went flat. The corn down at the river is doing well. It won't need to be chopped to make silage. It will become what it was planted to be.