Wednesday, November 28, 2012

He's Busy

I looked at my picture of Jesus just now and asked Him,
"How are you? Really, how are you?"
 And this is what I think I heard Him say.

I AM Busy.
Caring for you.
I never slumber.
I never sleep.
I am busy watching over you.

I AM Busy.
Bringing many sons and daughters
into My glory.
Sending out laborers into the field;
For the harvest is ready,
and the workers are few.

I AM Busy.
Like a Refiner's Fire.
Consuming the chaff in your life.
Watching and feeding the fire
so the grains that are left are
toasted to perfection,
Finely ground,
and made into bread
to give life to those around you.

I AM Busy.
Preparing My Bride
to meet her Groom.
Perfecting.  Purchasing.  Presiding.
I AM getting ready to
watch Her walk down Heaven's aisle.

I AM Busy.
Painting skies and seas,
Fields and trees.
Growing beauty for those
who still themselves to see.
I scatter the hoary frost.
I make rain and snow to fall.
I blow with my breath
and the warm wind comes.
Flowers bloom
and birds sing.
All creation worships Me.
I AM Busy receiving
Praise, Honor, and Glory.

I AM Busy.
Bringing Good News to the Poor.
Setting the Captive free.
Making blind eyes see.
The Lame to walk.
The Deaf to hear.
Comforting the Broken-hearted.
I AM Busy.
Giving peace to the anxious.
Making rough places smooth.
Making high and low places plain.

I AM Busy.
Setting a table.
Putting wine goblets in place.
Baking bread.
Pressing grapes.
Catching fish.
Building fires by the sea.

I AM Busy.
Rubbing your shoulders.
Holding your hands.
Kissing your face.
Whispering Words.
Being your Friend.

I Am Busy.
Being God Almighty.
Holy of Holies.
Prince of Peace.
Worthy Lamb.

I AM Busy.
Being there with you.
And keeping you here with Me.

I AM Busy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hertzler Doings-Nov.26-Dec.2, 2012

Mon.-Henry came for the day. What a delightful little boy he is! Alli brought the movie, "My Sister's Keeper" and we watched it while he played with toys. I laid him on my bed and he went right to sleep. I took a nap beside him on Phil's side of the bed. When Grandma Dianna came to pick him up, he wasn't ready to go. I laughed nervously and said, "Sorry," to Dianna. She said, "I love it." "I do too," I admitted.  Later, Susan had basketball practice and musical practice. Phil, Philip, and Peter, packaged up the scrapple this eve. Ivona came along and we had a nice visit. Peter brought me three bags of wheat free flour and fresh bread and a recipe to boot. Thankful for dear friends.

Tues.-Spent the morning on the phone with insurance company and specialist. Took Susan to Anatomy and Sara and I had a lovely lunch at Riverside. Sara is my guardian angel.  Picked up Suz and went to Walmart to get musical items-blue skinny jeans, black scarf, pink feathered earrings, dry cleaning packet, red lipstick. Also bought mardi gras beads at the dollar store to complete her outfit. Bought a big white poinsettia to take the place of a Christmas tree this year. Easier to keep a plant safe from Lucy than a Christmas tree. Took Susan to Worsham for basketball practice and came back to Walmart to finish shopping. April dropped Susan off to meet me there and I transported her to church for practice after a quick stop at Cook Out to get a Heath Toffee milkshake for Suz and fries for me. Phil finished up packaging the scrapple. I hit the sack early. Soon after 11, the phone rang. Freeman had welts and some tightness in breathing. Long story short-Alli took him to Southside. They took him in right away and gave him more benedryl, Pregnizone, and an epi-pen injection. His breathing had gotten tighter as they went in. They got home after 3:30 and slept until nearly noon.  Thankful that they didn't wait around and that they went in right away.

Wed.-Every day I see a watercolor picture I want to paint. The sky was gray and pink this morning and then white and blue. Birds silhouetted on black branches on walnut trees.  I weep with worship at the beauty of this breaking dawn.  Ollie sees me in here writing. He's trying to get in.  He flies up on the roof and then down to the ground right in front of my window. 
It's been 3 weeks since my toe injury. Doing better. Still looks bad. Can't wear shoes, but I could wear slippers for the first time this morning, for a little while.
Decorated for Christmas. I brought in the white manger scene and arranged it on the book shelf with white angel hair, blue ball jars with sand and goldish pebbles and red berries and white candles, and holly leaves and berries from Mickey's yard.
I put up the manger scene mother gave me. It's from Africa, I think. Made of cloth. I made some arrangement with the poinsettia and lights and fake fruit and branches and old fashioned ornaments. I put white fake pointsettias in a big white pitcher with lights at the bottom. I put a center piece on our dining room table with a manger scene that has room for a tea light in the back, a crock with a candle in it, and a candle in a natural holder.  My favorite 'decoration'?  I took the oval bread bowl from Kenya and wrapped a baby doll in a white pillowcase and laid it in the bowl with some greens and reds at the feet and head.  Jesus, the Bread of Life. Born in a manger. Laid in a bread bowl at the Hertzler house under their flat screen tv.
Susan is at musical practice. Philip went to Calvary. Phil and I will hit the sack early and keep the phone by our bed. I'm thankful that Judy answered when I called her last night to get some medical advice regarding Freeman. Definitely an allergic reaction to something.  Perhaps the detergent used to wash his Bethlehem outfit?

Thurs.-Cleaned the kitchen, made gingersnap cookies, wrapped gifts, deleted photos, took a nap. Had the eve. to myself. Phil and Philip went to Bedford. Susan, Freeman, Alli went to musical practice. Ate some chocolate, corn chips, and cookies. My joints are locked up and I feel lousy. As I looked through my camera and deleted pics, I came upon a photo of Emma twirling in her red Christmas dress just before Ollie attacked her. I think it had to do with her movement and her red dress. Poor thing. He took after her and she ran like crazy, screaming, to the house. Susan hollered at Ollie which just added to Emma's flight of fright. When we followed her inside, she was in Philip's arms. We have brought up this scenario several times in our family and we all laugh about it because of the look of sheer terror on poor Emma's face. Something must be wrong with us.

Fri.-slept in. Lots of interrupted sleep last night and I paid for eating wheat flour in the ginger cookies. Finally took a Benedryl and read for awhile. Tidied house, gathered all of my Christmas CD's, made potato soup, watched 'I Love Lucy', did some on line communications, took Susan to Alli and Freeman's for her transport to New Life, etc. First performance of musical is tonight.

Sat.-What a day! Butchered chickens over at Spiggles. 39 of theirs. 48 of ours and one naughty rooster. He took the most time. So scrawny we had to skin him because his feathers wouldn't come out. Phil, Philip, Susan and I went over soon after 8 in the morning and we were done before lunch. Phil took Susan home after the first batch so she could get ready to be picked up by Freeman and Alli to go to the musical performance. Two performances today. Back to the chickens. After we had all the chickens in the freezer or in the cooler on ice, we went over to Cynthia's and had her homemade chili, Nancy's amazing cornbread-with cheese, sour cream, and corn, baked right into it, and gingersnap cookies I made. It was nice to catch up with the kids-Caleb, Gabe, Wade, Olivia, and Gus. Gail wants to do this twice a year and we do too. So happy to have found an answer to raising chickens in Va. Came home. Put the chickens in several different freezers. Took a nap. Vacuumed and washed the floors while a chicken baked in the oven and rice and vegetables cooked on the stove. Played one of Mother's Christmas CD's that had an exclamation point on the front. I can hear why she liked it. It's dark outside and it's not even 5:30 but I think it might be my bedtime. Fun, fun day.

Sun.-Steve Fisher called from Zambia (I think) this morning. The barrels of goods and shoes have arrived!  Took 2 months by sea. All of the orphans were together and they were able to choose 2 pairs of shoes per person. It is the first time they ever got to choose something for themselves. Steve was really happy.  A little effort on this side of the world brought joy that will strengthen for the daily heavy battle on the other side of the world.
Discovered something today. The less I have it together when I arrive at church, the more I notice and experience His grace and mercy. Today, I was poor in spirit and He gave me the Kingdom of heaven.  Why am I always so afraid to be poor in spirit? When I find myself in a place that I can't
'fix', do I really believe that God cannot fix it?
The sermon caused me to consider my sins of gluttony and gossip. But my experiences today taught me that my sin of worry causes more sin than anything else, because when I worry, I intervene and try to control. Oh God. Increase my faith. Help my unbelief. Forgive my sin and heal my land.
I just noticed a quote I have written on an index card on my desk. It's taken from my Mother's Life Application Bible-notes on 1 Peter 5:7-"Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 'Sometimes we think that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God's concern.  But, when we turn to God in repentance,  He will bear the weight even of those struggles.  Letting God have your anxieties calls for action, not passivity.  Don't submit to circumstances, but to the LORD who controls circumstances.'
After church, Phil and I went for lunch at Country Cookin' and talked with more church friends there. Susan showed up with the Helton Gang. Then we headed to the parade and waited in front of Amish Originals with Danielle, Noah, and Carter. Gabby was on a date with her daddy Nate for her birthday. He had bought her new shoes after a lunch of pizza and her blue eyes were shining bright.
More and more of the Mennonite Gang showed up in front of our reunion store. It's a great way to see everyone from the different churches. Calvary had a nice portion in the parade. Graham helped to carry the banner. I think next year, Phil should drive a tractor and we should have a hay ride and go Christmas caroling in the parade. I think we could have plenty of people representing 'Immanuel'-God with us-as we sing together. After the parade, we walked down to Riverside, where we had parked our car. Then to Sweet Frog. I haven't had anything that sweet for a long time. Cappuccino, chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin. Then to New Life, where we met Peter and Ivona and Philip and had Betty Gibb's Balcony seats to view 'A Misfit Adventure,' starring, in my eyes, Freeman, Alli, and Susan. Man! These kids can act, sing, and dance! I loved the plot-finding our purpose-knowing where we belong-ultimately kneeling with others before Him. My tear-jerker moment came when Jay, (Josef), said that he had once been a follower of Christ but that it seems he has lost his way.
After the musical, we came home. Relaxed with another MacDonald book. Listened to The Messiah as we went to sleep. It is like listening to a miracle. And it never grows old.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hertzler Doings-Nov.19-25, 2012

Mon.-Lovely relaxing morning with the Bantons. Set up the card table and played with colored noodles with the girls. Their artwork is all over the place. Gil stayed here with the guys. They were going to butcher two deer but the meat had frozen solid so they played Monopoly instead. The boys said they whupped Gil. Susan, Lindsay, the girls, and I, headed for Farmville. Stopped at Miller's and bought some things that cost 5x as much in Conn. Then we went to Amish Originals, the church office, and Greenfront. Then to Timmas for a wonderful lunch. The children played so nicely together. Then we took the girls to Barnes and Noble where they met Michelle and then the B's went to Jamie and Ginger's for Supper. Susan and I left them at the book store and went to Goodwill and then to basketball practice. Jamie and Gil picked Susan up at New Life and she came back home with them later. Jamie gave Gil and Lindsay much tile to finish their projects. I went to Kroger and got another turkey for 37 cents a pound. Went to Roses. They are going out of business after 83 years. Found some jeans and sweat pants. Came home to the boys. Made baked oatmeal and put groceries away. I was going to catch up on last week's blogging but the internet was down. Again.

Tues.-Sewed tubular pink Chenille scarves with Lindsay. Went out to 'The Little Things in Life" where Linds found the girls their Christmas dresses. I bought a creamsicle candle -at Country Charm. Girls watched 'The Sound of Music' and Emma sang. She has a voice that makes me stop what I am doing to listen. Took Susan to meet Ashley. Phil and Freeman came home. They visited with the Bantons for several hours and then we said our sad farewells around 7. Phil picked up Susan at Trinity. Philip played basketball at New Life and Michael went catfishing under the stars.

Wed.-Ordered some Christmas gifts. Went to see Dr. F. Caught up on wash. Some food and house prep. Beautiful fall day. Banton withdrawal pains. Mike here. Guys working at Abbey. Watched first several episodes of the A Team. Philip went out to CC in eve. God is answering my prayer that his passion would be used for Him.

Thurs.-Thanksgiving Highlights: In the afternoon, we went to Calvary Chapel to spend time with the Ollie Mast family. All but Rachel and her family were there. Not all of the spouses were there. Caught up with Freda and saw pics of her grandchildren and Kristy's wedding. Took family pics for them. Some stopped by later. For supper, Freeman deep fried our turkey. John and Jeanne, Peter and Ivona, and Brian and Heidi joined us and made our family complete. We had a really great time together. Brian and Heidi brought a broccoli salad. Peter and Ivona braked for a deer on their way here and their green bean casserole scattered over their car seats. We had some of it and also his good bread. Freeman and Alli made an apple pie and sweet potato casserole. John and Jeanne brought a pumpkin pie and ice cream. Besides all that, we had gourmet mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, butter, jam, and 7 layer salad. Philip and Susan went to Lapps and played Rook and watched the game. Mike went out with his friends. So the six of us were left and we talked non stop and learned all kinds of things. We were sorry to see them go. Highlight?  Philip laughed so hard he cried when Peter told a deer story that took place when he was 19. Peter said that he still has bad dreams about the attack deer.

Fri.-Relaxing Day. Watched some movies. Got towels left at HV. Visited with Mickey on the way back. Got cornmeal mixture ready for scrapple tomorrow. Washed lots of containers. Phil fixed clothesline. I made more mashed potatoes to go with leftover turkey gravy. Played Pick One in eve. with Phil and Susan. Philip went out to play Rook again and Jordan came here and hung out with Michael. Michael said that Jordan said in the course of a conversation, "Your mom has always been skinny." I'm going to kiss him next time I see him.
Todays highlight: Michael playing guitar and Susan singing. This is the stuff that brings joy to a mother's heart. This is the stuff that becomes famous some day. This is the extravagance of God and He and I heard them first.

Sat.-Scrapple making day. Austen, Jenny, John G., and Dave P, were also here to help us today. Butchered the pig yesterday. Cooked down the meat today. Ground it and the raw pork. Cooked it in a big copper kettle. Added the cornmeal mixture. Cooked for another 15 min. Used a kettle as a ladle and scooped it out into oodles of containers. Filled the back of the truck. Then loaded it into the big Abbey fridge. Has to chill until Monday night and then we'll freeze it. Ollie took a liking to Dave and followed him everywhere, pecking at his pant leg. Phil and Jenny went to Lapps. Good day. It's 5:30 and I'm ready to hit the sack.

Sun.-Relaxing morning. Had scrapple for breakfast. Went to church. Some sobering news of those in our midst facing the valley of the shadow. Good sermon about making our life count. Went to Ruby Tuesdays with Dianna and Steve. Then Phil and I went to the Methodist Church to listen to Handel's Messiah for 2 wonderful hours. Met some great people in front of us who travelled two hours to get there. Homeschooled their kids until college. Daughter was playing the violin. Son was following along in Handel's book. At the end, the choir came into the congregation and we all sang Handel's Messiah together. What a thrill! Home again for Thanksgiving leftovers. Susan spent last night at Lapps and went to CC, then to a football game in town, then to dance and musical practice. Michael went back to school. Philip is out and about. Bantons are leaving Va. and headed back to Conn. I miss them. 

Hertzler Doings-Nov. 12-18, 2012

Mon.-Oh boy. Here we go again. Writing this weeks diary from notes nearly two weeks after the fact.
"One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: that You, O God, are strong and that You, O  Lord, are loving." Ps. 62:11.
Moving slowly. Alli and Susan went swimming while I read a book pool-side. Came back and had lunch and a movie. Susan studied Science and then I took her out to basketball practice. Went to Walmart. Then picked up Laura, then Susan, and met Betty and Kelly at Sho-gun. Lovely visit and twice as much food as we needed so we took some home to share. Betty took Laura home and Susan and I raced back to Happy Valley and found sheets, blankets and pillows for those who are spending the night there. Fortunately, they had not yet arrived. We turned on the lights and came home and put the groceries away.

Tues.-Raining. Phil home. Philip got a white surprise. Susan to co-op. Had lunch with Michelle at Ruby Tuesdays. Pictures to Karalee with Susan's help at Barnes and Noble. Ran into Chris and Whitney and got to hear their story. Susan to basketball. KNIT group in eve. 14 ladies there.
Brought my own lawn chair.

Wed.-Breakfast with Susan, Philip, Freeman, and Phil. Rosalee-grade 1 malignancy in the uterine lining/endometrial cancer. Hysterectomy laposcropically. Naomi called. Thawed turkey. Kroger-spend $25-turkey for 37 cents a pound. Laurel and Henry came out for a photo shoot. Joined us for a supper of deep fried turkey, french fries, and salad. Laurel took care of me. Made me sit down and baby my toe. I love her and Henry. They're family.

Thurs.-Sports physical for Susan. Dr. checked my toe. Infected and terribly painful. X-rays. Bone is chipped. Krogers. Home. Made triple batch of tapioca and honeyed sesame nut snack. Went out to Farmville for meeting. Susan-basketball practice.

Fri.-Phil and Freeman left to go bear hunting in Pa. Made a big turkey in dutch oven with lots of broth. I have a container of breast meat for sandwiches, 2 containers of gravy frozen and ready for Thanksgiving, and turkey vegetable rice soup. Susan went to practice basketball with Ashley Z. and then to musical practice. Alli brought her home.  Laurel came over and we visited while she dusted, swept the floors, and nursed my toe. What a delight she is. Michael home. Hadn't slept for 30 hours. Philip is cleaning the mancave.

Sat.-Philip butchered a pig. Michael, Suz, and I had a leisurely morning. Mike made ginger tea. Washed. Made homemade mac and cheese. Set up mancave for Bantons. They came around 4. Supper of hot dogs, baked beans, and mac and cheese. Showed them the piglets first thing. Visiting and watching a movie. All of us in bed by 8 except for boys who went out with their friends.

Sun.-Comfort, Conviction, and Calm. I am pastored. Sang one of my favorite choruses written by a man who prayed for Phil and I during separate sessions of the last Cleansing Stream Retreat. "And now, let the weak say 'I am strong.' Let the poor say 'I am rich,' because of what the Lord has done..." Gil and Lindsay know the Smith's well. Song went up to 'gold.' Communion. Honoring of Gil and Lindsay. They went to a friend's home for lunch and the afternoon. Philip took Susan out to eat with the guys. Alli and had lunch together here and talked until she had to leave for play practice. When Bantons came back, I took Lindsay and Adi for a ride on the gator to the river. Angel and Ollie accompanied us. Ollie nearly became Thanksgiving Dinner although none of us could eat him knowingly. He doesn't seem to realize that he shouldn't stop in front of the gator when it is moving. No more carefree gator rides for me.
We made popcorn and had some turkey sandwiches and watched 'Brave.' Alli and Susan came home during the last 5 min. of the movie. Michael went to hang out with cousin Meredith. Philip went to bed. Gil and Lindsay put the girls to bed and came back and drank tea with Susan and I before we all hit the sack.
Gil keeps saying how much he loves to be here with us. He said something this morning, as I plopped paper bowls in front of the girls because the glass dishes were in the dishwasher-
"I love how you are more concerned about being hospitable than you are concerned about entertaining us." Only, he said it a whole lot better than I just wrote it. I think it is easy to be hospitable to people like Gil and Lindsay. We don't do anything and they think we are the greatest. How easy is that?

I am not sure what morning this took place, but Adi woke up early and Lindsay told her to be quiet so as not to wake up the animals. The man cave is near the barn. Adi, aware of all kinds of animal mounts and skins gracing the cave wall, said, "But they're already dead."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jesus and Black Friday

Black Friday-the day after Thanksgiving when people stand in line in the dark waiting for the stores to open so they can stampede in and grab the items of their choice. No one is thinking about the other people around them at this time. Unless, of course, one has brought a friend, to grab the other TV, so they can buy 2 for 60% off. Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to go.

I wonder if Jesus felt like a Black Friday Special when He went lake-side with His disciples that day.( Mark 3:7-12)

Imagine that you are really sick. Imagine knowing that your only chance to get better is based on whether or not you can push through the crowds and touch the man in the off-white robe. You wouldn't much care about the people around you nor would you care much about the man in the off-white robe. You would push and shove with what little energy you have to bring yourself and possibly a needy family member up to Him to touch Him or have Him touch you and yours.

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, was actually in danger of being crushed that day on the beach.

So He extracted Himself from the hundreds and thousands of shoving sweating sick people and got into a boat and moved out from the shore a little ways and from that safe distance He did what He came to do.

I wonder if I treat Jesus like a Black Friday Special?

Do I care for You, Jesus, or do I care for myself
and what You can do for me?

Do I look for Your face so I can see Your love for me
or do I look for Your face so You can see my love for You?

Do I press through the crowd to touch You so You can heal my broken heart, my broken home, my broken toe,
or do I press through the crowd to give You a deep cool drink of water, for surely, You too, must thirst.

My hands in my face.
Do I only care for You because of what You can do for me?
Have I not loved You for Yourself, alone?

O God, let it not be so!

Oh Jesus, help me love You and care for You.
What do you want?
What do you need?
How can I love You more?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hertzler Doings-Nov. 5-11, 2012

Mon.-Susan and I were measuring our height and a construction duty tape measurer fell on my toe to the right of my big toe, splitting it open and exposing the nail under the skin. Long story short: Went to the doctor. They stitched the nail to the skin after popping it back in. I'm on heavy pain meds. Thankful it didn't happen during a snow storm and that my daughter can drive.

Tues.-Friends helping me with transporting Susan to co-op then to basketball practice. She has a ride from New Life to 460 meeting place. I voted and came back home and slept for 2 1/2 hours. Taking it easy. Not able to focus on reading or writing or typing well. Not in any pain though. Looks like snow.

Wed.-Got up to a quiet house and turned on face book to see who won the election. Obama did. All I could hear in my head was that song, "You know our King won't be riding on a donkey next time." And then I thought of how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, on the back of a donkey, meek and lowly King. And I posted that verse on face book. I wondered if people read it like I read it. That Jesus sits King over donkeys. Over political parties represented by donkeys. He sits on top of and He is King. And perhaps that is how He will come riding into America. Perhaps the donkey and the effects of the donkeys reign will cause people to cry out to Him. Perhaps this disaster will be our salvation. Perhaps He knows how to ride elephants also.

I posted another verse-"He has shown you what is good and what does the Lord require of you. Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." That is what I know to do. And it's not up to the President anyway. It is up to God's people. Will we humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways? For then He will hear from Heaven, forgive our sins, and cleanse and heal our land. I am sobered that so many put their trust in a 'change'. But I am more sobered that so many put their trust in 'no change.' Continued deprivation of the nation's soul. "I will give them what they want," He says. And He did. Sobering.

I stay peaceful with my friends and family who voted differently than I did. But I will always vote life. For the little ones have no voice. And woe to those who cause them offenses. For it would be better to have a millstone tied around their neck and be cast into the sea, than to cause an offense to the little ones. What's more offensive than being aborted?  Human rights must start in the womb.

Heard from my sister. Talked with Janelle. Talked with Judy. Ordered blood work test. Tidied bedroom and bathroom. Made bear/venison meatloaf. Talked with Pastor Chris Hayward-President of Cleansing Stream today. He called here. Humble down to earth man. Did some wash. Cleaned off desk. Rested. Was on face book more than usual. Thinking and trying to hear God. What is He saying in all this?

Thurs.-Sad to the bone. Not that my candidate of choice did not win, but that we, the people, no longer cherish the Word of God and that our love has grown cold.  How else do you explain laws that allow the destruction of a smiling, kicking baby in it's mother's womb when so many childless parent's arms literally ache to hold that very baby?  How else do you explain that marriage is no longer 'male and female created He them?' We are doing away with the sanction of the family. Father. Mother. Baby. Nothing's sacred. Israel's not sacred. And Israel is sacred to God. Marriage between a man and a woman is sacred to God. Babies are sacred to God.  Write Your laws in our hearts, O God. Take Your finger and write on our tablets of stone. Let us hear you and know you and hold you sacred.  And may our awe of Your holiness be stronger than the leeway of laws in our land.

Took  Susan to Kelly's while I went to a meeting. Betty took her to basketball. Went to Walmart and read in the parking lot at church while waiting for Susan. Praying for my sister. Praying for our family. Praying for this country. Praying for the world.

Fri-Sun.-having some internet issues so I'll write this week up. Friday-homeschool and housework day. Went out to New Life in eve. with Susan and Alli for their fall fair. Bought some chicken BBQ. Susan stayed for dance practice while Alli and I went shopping for little girl gift boxes. That was so much think about what little girls 5-9 years old would like to receive. Watched Susan's soldier dance. She is so good. Picks up moves so fast. Talked with Will and Don today. They're our boys from Chi Alpha.
 Next day, Sat., Alli and I came out to the Women's Retreat. About Ruth and Naomi. Had a great time. Nothing can separate us from His love. Came home and had some time alone before Phil and Susan got home from Rich's where they saw no deer. Philip didn't either.
 Sun.-Nice morning visiting before going to church. Great service. Learned about the tabernacle. Susan and I are reading about that in the OT right now. I love the history lesson along with a present application. So deep and good. Came home and rested. Phil listened to lectures on the Civil War all afternoon. He has been listening for 5-6 hours. He will remember everything. My mind started to wander after 15 min. of it. Susan stayed out for dance practice and will come home with Alli and Freeman. Made sweet potato fries and potato latkesfor supper. Rosalee was anointed with oil today at Weaverland.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Way He Spoke

So, in this venture of discovering the authority of Christ revealed in the Gospel of Matthew, I went back and read the Words that He spoke. I discovered that every single one of His words was spoken with authority.

 I'm not talking about someone who is an authoritarian-someone who 'enforces obedience'. I am talking about true authority-someone who has the 'power and influence resulting from knowledge, prestige,etc.'

To the devil in the wilderness He said,
"Scripture says, 'Man cannot live by bread alone; he lives on every word that God utters.'"
And "Scriptures says, 'You are not to put the Lord your God to a test.'"
"Be gone Satan; Scripture says, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and worship Him alone.'"

To Peter, Andrew, James, John, He said, "Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men!"

And then the whole sermon on the mountain was spoken with authority. He was an authority on everything He spoke and did. And the people were astonished at His authority.

To the leper, He said, "Be clean."

To the centurion-"Go home now; because of your faith, so let it be."

To the windstorm-"Peace, be still."

To the demons-"Begone!"

To the paralyzed man-"Take heart. Your sins are forgiven. Rise up and walk."

To Matthew the tax-collector, He said, "Follow me."

To the woman who touched His cloak in a crowd-"My daughter, your faith has cured you."

To the professional mourners at Jarius's house-"Be off!"

To the little dead girl-"Arise!"

To the blind men, "As you have believed, so let it be."

To the disciples on a mission trip-"Go to the lost sheep of Israel. Proclaim that 'the kingdom of Heaven is upon you.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers. Etc.
Be wary as serpents, harmless as doves.
Be on your guard.
Do not worry.
Do not be afraid."

To the messenger sent by an imprisoned, disillusioned, John the Baptist, He replied, "Go tell John such things as you see. The blind see, the lame walk, the dead are raised, and to the poor, the gospel is preached. Blessed is the one who is not offended in me."
All this authority and I am only at the beginning of Chapter eleven.

This is no namby-pamby Christ we serve.
I am 10 feet tall.
This is the Christ whose backbone is in me!

Holy, Holy, Holy.
Holy, Wonderful, God!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Christ's Authority

In reading the New Testament like a book without chapters,
 I have discovered a central theme.


 Jesus did what He did because He had been given authority to do it.

Yes, it was compassion that moved Him to help people
but it was the authority given to Him by God His Father
 that gave Him the right to heal,
 the right to deliver,
 the right to forgive sins before He died for them.

Continuing in Matthew 8, we see that Jesus had authority over the storms in nature;
 and then He delivered two men from the devils that bound them and sent the demons into pigs who committed suicide by jumping off a cliff into the lake and drowning.

(Being a mother of a son who raises pigs,
 I confess I have questioned the economics of Jesus' willingness
to agree with the demons desire to be sent into the pigs.
 But perhaps money was Most Important to these townspeople,
 for they begged Him to leave their area lest He cost them more in their ways of livelihood.

  Oh, if only they could have seen the Great Deliverer in their midst.

 If only they would have brought their sick babies
 and tormented teenagers and broken marriages to Him.

 But alas, they only saw what He cost them
 and they missed their opportunity to receive a healthy baby back into their arms.
 They missed the thrill of throwing out crutches.
They missed the hum of a happy home.
  They missed Him!)

So, knowing that He was not wanted there,
 He got in the boat and crossed over the lake to come back home.

He wasn't there long until some men brought him a paralytic lying on a bed.

He saw their faith and said to the man, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven."

Some of the lawyers standing there thought to themselves, "Good grief. That's blasphemous talk!"

Jesus was a mind reader.
Still is for that matter.

He said to the lawyers, 'Why do you harbour evil thoughts? (If you're going to have an evil thought-don't harbour it!) Is it easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Stand up and walk?"  But to convince you that I have the right and authority on earth to forgive sins'-He now addressed the paralytic-"Stand up, take up your bed, and go home."'

And he got up and went home. The people were filled with awe at the sight,
 and praised God for granting such authority to men.

(Taken mostly from the New English Translation)

Christ's Authority.
Authority to forgive sins.
Authority to heal sicknesses.
It's as easy for Him to do one as the other.
He has the right to do it.
And we have the right to come to Him for any spirit, soul, or body need,
because He's granted us the free will to do so.

If we understood Christ's authority
we would understand our authority
because He gave us His authority
to do the works of God.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Authority and Faith

Jesus was being followed by a crowd of people when a centurion soldier came up to Him.

 He stated his dilemma. " A boy of mine lies at home paralyzed and racked with pain."

Jesus said, "I will come and cure him."

The centurion replied, "Who am I to have you under my roof? Only say the word and he will be healed. I myself am under orders and I have soldiers under me. I tell them what to do and they do it."

Jesus heard him with astonishment and turned to His followers saying, "I tell you this: nowhere, even among my own people, Israel, have I found such faith."

Turning to the centurion He said, "Go home. Let it be just as your faith said it would be."
And so it was, at that very moment, the boy was healed.

True authority has its roots in humility.
Jesus did only what His Father wanted Him to do.
His authority was rooted in Another's authority;
in Another's will.

The centurion was also under his commander's authority.
He obeyed his leader just as his own men obeyed him.

He recognized in Jesus as One with authority
who was also under authority.

This leader of men was humble.
He didn't ask Jesus to heal the boy because he was positionally entitled to have healing for his son.
He said, "I am not worthy for you to step foot in my house."

He asked Jesus to heal the boy because he had compassion for his son.
He didn't want him to have pain or be paralyzed.

Humility, compassion, and the understanding of true authority
had taken root in the centurion,
revealing the greatest faith
that Jesus had ever found.

Oh, to have faith that astonishes God.
Matthew 8

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I began reading a hardback edition of the New English Translation of the New Testament today. It's written like a book so I want to read it like a book.

Jesus had preached what has come to be known as 'The Sermon on the Mount.' "When Jesus had finished this discourse the people were astounded at His teaching; unlike their own teachers he taught with a note of authority."

Their own teachers laid down their law, and burdened their people;
 not lifting a finger to help them carry that burden.
 Do this. Do that.  Don't do this. Don't do that.

They operated out of a desire to control others rather than having an internal authority that leads.

Authority is deep-rooted in a person's character.
 What one says to do is no different than what one does.

 This authority comes from the inside out.

Control comes from the outside in.

  It's like trying to put a lid on a bubbling spring.

Control is interested in behavior.
 It's not interested in a person's attitude or character.

Control is about the appearance of a thing; what's on the surface.
Control does not consider a person's heart.

I looked up these two words in Webster's.

Authority-power or influence resulting from knowledge, prestige; the power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; jurisdiction

Control-to exercise authority over; direct; command; to curb; restrain; regulate

One 'earns' the right to have authority through the influence of integrity, knowledge, and prestige.

One 'takes' the right to control by forcing one's own will over another's to direct, command, and regulate that person's will and behavior.

No wonder the people were astonished at His teaching.
For He spoke with the knowledge, prestige, and power that was His
 before the world was formed.

If we understood authority
we wouldn't need to be control freaks.

When I was in my teens, I went to a Woman's  Retreat where Matilda Kipfer was speaking. She said something that I never forgot. She said, "Manipulation is as the sin of witchcraft because it makes people do things against their will."

Oh, God.
Help me understand.
Help me operate under Your authority
and not out of my own need to control.