Friday, April 20, 2018

For What Will You Stand
Wednesday evening Evangelist Brubaker spoke on the Spirit of the Godhead applying pressure on the saved and unsaved. Guilt arises and freedom can only be found in humbling oneself before a holy God and asking for forgiveness. Salvation comes to those who accept Christ as Savior and who was innocent and yet the paid the debt that our sins created. In the saved person, the pressure builds until they humble themselves, turn back to God, and ask for forgiveness.
Too often, the weight of those sins and guilt builds in unsaved person’s world. Depression and suicide may be the result. In the saved person, there’s a break in the fellowship with God the Father and a loss of joy. Sin holds both captive. The sermon shares where we stand in the eyes of God.
Thursday night’s sermon was about Elijah and the stand he took on mount Carmel to ask Israel who they would serve, Baal or LORD God. Wicked King Ahab and his wife Jezebel drew Israel into worshipping Baal. Elijah took a stand to rectify the situation, inviting 850 priests to come to mount Carmel to show all of Israel who was real, Baal or the LORD God.
An altar was built by the priests of Baal, the wood and sacrificial bullock was laid on the altar. Elijah asked the priests to have Baal send fire and consume the sacrifice. The priests chanted and called on Baal, with no results. Elijah provoked them saying, perhaps Baal was sleeping or on a journey. The priests worked themselves into a frenzied state, leaping on the altar, crying louder, and cutting themselves with knives, but here was neither voice nor any answer, nor any regarded.
Then Elijah built his altar, dug trenches around it, arranged the wood, dressed the bullock, and placed it on the altar. He called for water, 12 barrelfuls, pouring it over the altar until the trenches ran full. Elijah prayed to the LORD God. God heard him and sent fire from heaven. The flames consumed the wood, bullock, stones of the altar, the dust, and licked up the water in the trenches.
Evangelist Brubaker shared, it is time for people to take a stand against sin in our lives and against the press of the things of the world. Things that do not bring glory to a holy God should be shunned and we should be walking closer to God.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Complaining, Murmuring, and Slander
Monday evening sermon was on complaining and murmuring. He shared that it caused God to be angry when he heard it in the camp as the Jews wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Finally, God acted, sending fire to consume those who were creating discord among the people.
That got the remainder of the camp’s attention and had Moses intercede with prayers to stop the death and destruction. It behooves us to replace our murmurings with praise and to be more in tune with His will in our lives.
Tuesday evening Evangelist Dan Brubaker shared the story of Nehemiah asking to return to Jerusalem. The city’s walls were torn down and lay in ruins. Jerusalem, his hometown, was a heap of rubble.
Nehemiah was downcast when he heard the news. King Artaxerxes saw the sadness in his servant and sent him back to rebuild the wall. As Nehemiah and the other Jews returned and began to reconstruct the walls, the enemies of the Jews saw the wall rising from the ruins and were worried. They tried to lure Nehemiah away that they might do him harm, but he refused to meet with them, staying with the task at hand. Although no longer in the King’s court, Nehemiah remained a loyal servant in all he did.
As the enemies saw the wall was being constructed and knowing that they couldn’t draw Nehemiah from the task, they murmured among themselves and started a campaign to slander Nehemiah, sending an open letter to King Artaxerxes saying Nehemiah and the Jews were planning to rebel. The lie they were spreading was to damage Nehemiah’s character and to stop the wall from being built.
Nehemiah’s enemies despised him, then conspired against him, seeking to do great mischief and cause injury. This was because they could not get their way.
We can understand that murmuring and slandering another is unacceptable to God. God showed Nehemiah that he and his fellow laborers could still work with tools in one hand and weapons in the other to deter the enemies. Nehemiah persisted. The walls were built and the gates were set in place. Jerusalem was rebuilt.

Monday, April 16, 2018

It has started. The semi-annual revival services at Mt. Zion Community Church. Twice a year we invite speakers to address our congregation and to challenge us about our walk with God, our outreach to friends and neighbors, and to renew our spirits. Renew, revive, refresh, resuscitate, rejuvenate, rekindle, regenerate, and to put back into order our lives and our reconnection with God.
Our speaker is Dan Brubaker, an evangelist. He and his wife Elizabeth have a quiver full of beautiful children and do much of their ministry at Servant’s Heart Camp in Ramey, Pennsylvania. I’ve written about this Bible ministry camp with its 215 acre wooded appeal and a huge multi acre lake. I’ve spoken about this camp before in glowing terms. The cabins rival the KOA campgrounds, the food is plenteous, tasty, and prepared by great cooks, and the ability to relax, refresh, renew, and reset is only part of the camp’s appeal.
Evangelist Dan laid out exactly what revival means in our lives. It isn’t the number of souls saved or even the impact on the community around us, it has to do with each individual and his or her relationship with God, a reconnection to the power source in our lives, a renewal of that intimacy and closeness to the Creator. He shared the need for that closeness in our daily walk. He challenged us to seek God and to reaffirm our need to be in a close relationship with the LORD. We become weary and weak without daily prayer, without reading God’s word, and without seeking God’s will. He reiterated that God is always nigh, always close, always wanting a closer relationship. All we have to do is to turn to God and ask Him to be closer, to seek what He would have us do, and to fall in step with His precepts.
In all three services, morning sermon, Sunday school teaching, and evening service, Evangelist Dan presented what it means to be revived. Revival isn’t just a twice a year week of meetings, but it is a personal renewal and reattachment to God the Father.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Small Things
Sometimes it’s the small things stored in our brains that have created memories that time has not erased that make us the interesting and unique individuals that we now are; small things that have passed us by without a second thought. One of my memories was of a wiener roast at a friend of my family’s farm and a skinny, freckle-faced red-haired girl chased me away from the bonfire to a dark spot behind the milk house and kissed me on the lips. Perhaps that is why many of the women in my books have red or auburn hair. I am often teased about that from fellow writers.
Speaking of fellow writers, I’ll mention one who is also a retired nurse. Much of her career was spent as a hospice nurse in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. She writes beautifully in vignettes, short poignant descriptions of her clients that have impacted her. Small almost inconsequential slices of their interactions with her but have impacted her life. She preserves them in the written word and often will share them with us. Those worried about HIPPA, don’t. They are all deceased and because of her, their memories live on.
I have another friend who writes and has taken on the colossal task of writing in alphabetical order, an educational series of the different small insects teaching small children and their parents about these little creatures and the role they play in the ecosystems. Amusing and teaching at the same time, these sets of 2 books, a reading book and a coloring book, present the child and adult with the facts of that insect.
I have wandered from the small idea that caused me to start down this path of writing. The initial thought was of a small drawstring sack that held colored, candy covered bubble gum. It was sold at many grocery stores when I was a kid. Most of us carried them around as an easy way to keep the bubble gum at hand and the small pull string pouch made it easy to store marbles, toys, and money. I used mine to keep the coins that I managed to collect, maybe all of $2.50 cents or so. The memory of this tiny bag has haunted me over the many years. I hid it so well, that it has never reappeared. My siblings say they know nothing of its disappearance and it still remains a small mystery.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Addictions appear in many shapes and sizes. They may come in a variety of guises. Some are disguised as hobbies or minor distractions. But anything that creeps into a life and eats up the precious time a person has left on earth can be labeled an addiction. Television, the internet, Facebook, on line games, pornography, drugs, alcohol, even food can supplant the necessary temperance in a person’s life.
Many people were wondering why I stayed away from Facebook without responding in my usual warped sense of humor to Facebook postings. It was because another friend issued a challenge to me. He suggested that I avoid the venue of Facebook for a day. It was for an entirely different reason than an addiction, but none-the-less, I accepted.
Because I uncoupled myself from the computer, I was able to go to the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society and put in 4 hours of sorting and storing maps, photos, and newspaper articles. I wasn’t able to actually review the many interesting things that passed before my eyes, but I was surprised at the variety and depth of the small number of things that I processed.
War photos by Jack Pletcher, deeds, proclamations, interesting articles on local crimes, local heroes, school pictures, and a steady progression of maps showing the expanding towns and the dividing of the land into townships over the centuries, all passed through my hands.
As a child, I loved to snoop into the drawers of the old, dark oak bureau in my grandmother Miner’s dining room. The drawers were filled with hair swatches, pencils, fountain pens, hair pins, small and amusing things that were nearly worthless, but seemed remarkable in my small fingers. I was also intrigued with the crystal prisms hanging from a pair of lamps sitting on the bureau.
A similar feeling of nostalgia poured over me as I delved into the boxes of unknown treasures. My curiosity returned seeing these reminders of the history of yesteryear. It was a wonderful reemergence of youthful feelings.
All of this was said to share that I felt much freer from the addicting quality of Facebook. It was a cleansing of sort; a purging of the soul. Perhaps I can now limit the time I spend on line and avail myself to the task of writing more. I need to allow my creativeness to be freed. My next challenge is to limit the wasting of time watching the boob-tub and its continual attempt to dumb down the American public.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Stripping Away of Another Right
I try to avoid political rhetoric. This is about the stripping away of a basic right of lawyer/client privilege afforded to even the most common American.
The INVASION of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer’s office goes against the basic right of the lawyer/client privilege that is afforded to all American citizens. This breach of justice has stripped this right from the man who is facing a world of foreign and domestic problems and threats to all Americans. He has so far exhibited extreme leadership qualities, by backing down North Korea instead of kowtowing to Kim. He’s caused China to reposition itself on trade sanctions. He’s added millions to the employment roles and has caused many to be removed from welfare. His decision to protect our southern border has inched closer to completion with the deployment of National Guard to supplement our overworked Border Guards. This act coupled with increased penalties for drug dealers may be the deterrent to stop the scourge of opiod addiction in America.
He’s being called a racist, rapist, and many other derogatory names. It is mudslinging from the Left at its very best. He wasn’t given such epithets until he whipped Hillary in the Presidential election. (I almost said whipped the pants off Hillary, but that is a scene I wouldn’t want to see.)
His accomplishments are being down-played by the media that proudly predicted and hailed Hillary as winning over Donald Trump. They are still licking their wounds and trying to salvage some of their credibility. The same maligning of character is true of the entertainment lackeys from Hollywood. The worst of the bunch are the cronies from The View. What a bunch of harpies they are. If hate speech was truly enforced, they would all be wearing orange in some jail already and that foul program would be banned from the air waves.
Please give President Trump credit. Don’t let these Socialistic individuals dampen your spirit Mr. President. There are still millions of supporters out here in America. Please to continue to keep us from the grasp of the Communist leanings of these ill intentioned people.
I rewrote and am sharing tonight in place of tomorrow's FB posting.

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Decent Docent
The whirlwind week and my nightmare from overbooking is finally at an end. It was a challenge, but this old man managed to get through it all with minimal damage. After a few minor adjustments I was able to get everything to work out. The changes came to a head on Saturday.
The Seedline project is an organization that prints the Scripture of John and Romans or the entire Bible I different languages to be sent and distributed by missionaries or teams that are sent to those countries to share the Word of God. The Gospel our church helped to assemble was written in Korean and the literature was distributed at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. One hundred thousand copies were shipped over and were distributed to those attending. Some may actually find their way north of the DMZ, but North Korean athletes were too heavily watched for the teams to share.
The John and Romans we assembled Saturday will be going to a missionary in the Bahamas. Our church assembled 8,900 copies in four hours. I was only able to stay for 2 hours before I had to hurry away for my duty as a docent at the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society. I was the only person available to open the museum. After tossing out a dead mouse, I began to straighten and rearrange the displays, sort through cupboards, and make a general nuisance of myself. There may be some complaints, but that is what happens when they let me alone in the building unsupervised. I’d heard the museum use the word docent. I had to look up the meaning later. A docent is a teacher or lecturer and I was trying to fill some large shoes.
Finished with my 4 hour tour of duty, I hustled to my daughter’s house. After my daughter Amanda Yoder’s surprise birthday on Friday evening, I was to host the delayed Easter meal of create-your-own tacos, but a slow running commode caused me to shift the meal to her home again. All of my children and grandchildren were able to enjoy the meal and time together. Amanda got to use her birthday camera to record the event.
That left only Sunday and the usual church services and Sunday school. The day passed slowly, sort of a decompression after the long and busy week.