Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Proverbs 31 - Refresh and Renew

Our women's ministries hosted an R&R today.
Not Rest and Relaxation - although it was that.

Refresh and Renew

The morning began with worship

One song we sang was  "The Famous One".                      .
As we sang I realized that EVERYONE sees His glory.  
They may not attribute the beauty of the sunrise or sunset to Him,
they may not think that nature reflects Christ,
but it does!

You are the Lord , the famous one, famous one
Great is your name in all the earth
The heavens declare You're glorious, glorious
Great is your fame beyond the earth

                                          And for all you've done and yet to do
                                           With every breath I'm praising you
                                          Desire of nations and every heart
                                           You alone are God, You alone are God

 You are the Lord , the famous one, famous one
Great is your name in all the earth
The heavens declare You're glorious, glorious
Great is your fame beyond the earth

                                                         The morning star is shining through
                                                             And every eye is watching you
                                                         Revealed by nature and miracles
                                                             You are beautiful, You are beautiful


After worship, we broke out into workshops.  It was not easy to choose which workshops to take!
They were:
              How to have an effective Quiet Time with your Bible
                Healthy Living
                  Style Class
                    Home Decor/Organization
                        Frugal Food
                           Growing Older with Grace

The first one I went to was "Growing Older with Grace" with Jill Moore.

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you;  I will sustain you and I will rescue you."  Isaiah 46:4

We were reminded that Proverbs 31 describes the woman's life - not her daily agenda.  As we get older, multitasking becomes more difficult.  We have to graciously ask our family for help if we need it especially during the holidays.

A book she recommended was:  

31 Days of Encouragement As We Grow Older  -     By: Ruth Myers

We were encouraged not to live in fear of getting older.  Don't be pessimistic or despair or live with depression on our shoulders.  He is with us in our worst days.  I think that is the wonderful thing about being a Christian.  On our very worst days, He is with us by our side. Why would I want to live this life without Christ?  Life on this earth is hard.

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5

She encouraged making new goals as we age and to work at bringing God glory in our remaining days. Some elderly can get pretty self-centered, but we need to be outward focused; to use our spiritual gifts more.  If health keeps us from serving physically, we can pray, send cards, etc.  We need to invest in the eternal.

As far as dying Jill reminded us that we had already passed from death to life, so there is no need to fear death.  And finally, to preserve our story.  She gave examples on how to do that.


The next workshop I attended was on Home Decor/Organization by Beth Buerge, one of the girls in my young mom's Bible study and daughter of my good friend, Debbe.

I was encouraged by her presentation and making the home more organized.  
I have to admit to having a lot of stuff.  
My poor children will have to haul a lot away to the dump I'm afraid.
Unless I get rid of stuff.
She said we should set reasonable goals;
such as attacking 1 closet or 1 junk drawer a week.

We made decorative jars, like the one with the star in the picture above.  I should have taken some "after" pictures.  Some people painted theirs.  We used the hot glue guns and attached ribbons, buttons, etc.

I kept mine neutral tone.  And when I came home I decorated the taller jar too.  It is going to be a thankful tree.  I printed out some leaves (from this blog) and when my guests arrive for Thanksgiving, they will write what they are thankful for on them and hang them on the branches.  I'm not sure what to put in the smaller jar.  I was going to put the branches in it, but they needed the larger jar.  Maybe M&M's?


At this point it was time for lunch:


After a time of visiting with people at our table, we went to our last workshop.  I chose Frugal Food by these ladies -

Kristin shared how she does freezer meals.  She currently has 80 freezer meals in her freezer!  She will go shopping and then do marathon cooking!  I got great ideas!

Kerry (I love her blog!) gave tips about couponing and saving money.

Caryn has been in my older ladies' Bible study group for years and she passed out a flyer on soup recipes and things that freeze well.

What a great day!   Thank you, women's ministries, for encouraging us!!

And here was a picture of the sky as I left the church.                    
  The heavens declare You're glorious, glorious
                                            Great is your fame beyond the earth

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Judgement House

Two weeks ago we completed Judgement House.  I know this is late but I have to post about it!

When it was announced that we would have Judgement House again this year, I was so excited!  I LOVE this opportunity we have as a church to work together to share the Gospel!  Last year, because of our 2 church plants, it was decided not to do it. I MISSED it!

Judgement House is a walk through drama where the visitors walk through 7 different scenes to see the "play".   Through this production the truth of people's choices and the consequences of those choices both in this life and the next are portrayed.  
This year the story "Abducted" was chosen.

Allen and I love to be involved in JH!   Allen has always been in the Gospel presentation room along with a few other men.  I have done various things.  One year I was an actress in the heaven scene and I debated doing that again.  I LOVED doing that!

Then I heard that Steve needed more people to do spiritual advising.  I had done that last year.  Maybe I would do that.

As time went on, almost all the directors for each scene and position was being filled - except for the Prayer Director.  "Why isn't someone doing that??!!" I moaned.  That is such a key role to even pulling off such a production like JH.  We can't do this without God's help!!  Someone had to come forward!!!  As time went on, I could just feel God's hand on my shoulder and Him saying "You do it."  Really?  I prayed about it for 2 weeks.  Then I called Joe to tell him I would do it.  I knew I wouldn't be able to do it like Della had.  She was so good!  But since God was prompting me, I knew He would help me.  

And so did my husband!!  Look at the picture below.  He is such a handy guy!  God put an idea in my mind to use the sofas and chairs from the Fireside room in the prayer room.  I wanted to make the room a quiet place, with soft lighting and soft worship music playing. I wanted people to feel free to come for either 10 minutes or for all evening.   They would be able to either pray with another person(s) or just quietly.  
I like to pray Scripture, so I printed out Scripture cards for each pray-er or prayer walker.   Perhaps you don't understand what I mean.  Basically, it is taking verses from the Bible and using them as a guide in praying.  Example:

"You have searched me, Lord, and You know me."  Psalm 139:1

Lord, You know each person who will come through this night.  You know their thoughts.  There is nowhere they can go where they can hide from You.  You love each one!!   Draw them to Yourself!"

Before JH began, I contacted scene directors to get prayer requests and would send out e-prayers to anyone who wanted to be a part of the prayer team.  We had an army of prayer warriors!  Prayers were answered!  We got actors and actress roles filled.  They couldn't find anyone to be the Jesus; in the end we had 4 guys!  An ambulance was found.  What fun to drive into the parking lot and find that God had answered prayers about finding extra lighting for the parking lot!  Uniforms were found for the cast members. People lost jobs but new jobs were found.  Several had mothers get VERY ill, but God sustained.  Then how about the night there was an 80% chance of rain?  We prayed and that held off until the last worker was leaving for the night after midnight!  We had LOTS of cast get ill.  I was reminded of the story of Gideon where his army was reduced from 32,000 men to 300! All to show that it was only by God that the victory was accomplished.  And we all saw that it was only by His hand we accomplished this!  In one scene, their cast was cut in half.  Luckily, in that scene, the kids use cell phones and they were able to put their lines on the cell phones!  Another scene had issues with their feet.  Two had surgeries prior to JH on their feet.  Then one night a girl's toe nail got yanked out - no clue how that happened.  Then a couple got broken toes.  Because this is the first scene where the Gospel is shared, I was reminded of that verse "Beautiful are the feet that bring Good News"!!!   It was incredible that Drew, with Aspergers just "happened" to be the actor when a group of teachers of autistic kids went through!!  Only God could have arranged everthing that happened!

"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?"

 * * * * * * *
The Sunday before JH was to start, we had rehearsal in the sanctuary (not in the rooms which were still in process of being set up)

Jesus' hugs are the BEST!  It is probably the #1 reason people feel so captivated and drawn to Christ!
Here is my sweety doing his thing.

Worship and praise is a big part of Judgement House (JH).  We began each evening in praise.
Some evenings we would begin worship at 4 or 5 and at the beginning there might not be many people, but as they got off work or school or practice, they would file on in.

We sat across from this sweet family most times.  Luke was always curious where Mr. Allen was (if he was not there on time because of work).  Luke sometimes asks his mommy to drive him in to the hospital parking lot so he can see if Al's truck is parked there.  He always knows when Mr. Allen has a day off work!
 During worship, sweet little Kate would go through her diaper bag and dump things out!

Amy and Joe celebrated their anniversary during JH.

Allen and I are bummed by the dates of JH too since our Arkansas grand kids celebrate their birthdays during this time!!  Their birthdays are on the 27th and 29th!   We sent them their gifts.  And we called them on the phone to sing Happy Birthday to them.


* * * * * * *

Praying -

Each evening when JH would start, my pray-ers would arrive.  Some would be there just to pray in the prayer room, but others would come to pray a little, then they would walk around with the people and pray specifically for those who were attending. These were my prayer walkers.  In the beginning, I didn't have many but God answered prayers and supplied enough for me to have usually 2 walkers per group - 8 per hour for 5-7 hours!


We would place prayer requests on the board.  Sometimes scene directors or actors would text me with more prayer requests and these would be prayed over.

We would praise Him for His many answered prayers!  God is good!!!

At the end of the evening, some of us would go to the affirmation room to see where those who made decisions - either those who wanted to give their lives to God or those who wanted to rededicate their lives - would write on a sheet of paper to indicate their decision.

There were so many stories!  People who came on a whim.  Just compelled to come.  People who invited others and saw them raise hands to come to Christ.  People came from other countries even!

 111 people made the decision to follow Christ!

134 decided to renew their relationship with Him!

  1. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
    Calling for you and for me;
    See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
    Watching for you and for me.
    • Refrain:
      Come home, come home,
      You who are weary, come home;
      Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
      Calling, O sinner, come home!
  2. Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
    Pleading for you and for me?
    Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
    Mercies for you and for me?
  3. Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
    Passing from you and from me;
    Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
    Coming for you and for me.
  4. Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
    Promised for you and for me!
    Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
    Pardon for you and for me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Immigrant children; November cemetery post

This past Saturday was a beautiful fall day.
Almost all the leaves are off our trees.

Hardly any breeze and mild (60's); so we did some yard work.  They say that winter will be arriving this coming week.  We unplugged the fountain, threw out some of our plants and others I prepared to bring inside for the winter.

Mom told me an interesting story this past week about 17 immigrant children buried in a cemetery north of Peabody.   As it was such a beautiful afternoon, we decided to follow this up.
 It is an emotional story that has been passed down among the families of the Swiss Volhynian Mennonites which we are a part of.  But it was the first time we had ever heard of this.

We drove northeast past Walton and just before we got to Peabody, we turned north on Mustang Road.  (we didn't see a sign, but had looked it up on GoogleEarth and knew where to turn)

 The suggestion was that if it had been raining, it would be better to go an extra mile and take Nighthawk Road out of Peabody.  You can see why looking at the ruts in the road below.
 It looks like this creek overflows the bridge when there is a good rain.  Last week we had 7 1/2 inches!
 3 1/2 miles north of Highway 50, we came across this little cemetery.  Just over 100 gravestones.

 We should have packed a picnic!
 Isn't this beautiful??  Such detail!

 There are many young folk buried here.

  So many babies died in those early years.

These little markers had only the initials of the children on them.  Can you imagine the pain these parents experienced?

 My husband worked with a Horst and now his daughter works with him.  Wonder if they are related?  (She texted that they are!)

There were not too many current graves at this cemetery.  Most of these are from the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Here is the stone to memorialize the immigrant children.  The story is below:
"In 1874, as 8,000 Mennonites emigrated from Russia into Kansas, Swiss Mennonites who first 
settled in the area near today’s Moundridge, stepped off the train at Peabody. The men went to 
scout and buy land in Mound and Turkey Creek townships. When they returned three weeks later, 
they discovered that “almost all the children became sick. Some children died. The town had no 
cemetery at this time. A few miles north there was a place with a few graves. Since there was no 
other way of transportation, the bodies were carried there and buried.” Until recently, that 
location has been a mystery. 
 An article came to light in the January 1875 issue of the Herald of Truth newspaper out of 
Elkhart Indiana. A correspondent from Peabody, KS wrote, 
 “I found this country completely devastated by the grasshoppers, but the farmers now have 
out a very fine crop of wheat... They seem well pleased with the country. Brother Stucky’s party 
buried about fourteen children here on Brother H. Hornberger’s farm.” 
 A quick check of land records show that this Henry Hornberger farm was exactly the site of 
what is today’s Catlin Mennonite Cemetery. So, we know that the Swiss children are in this 
cemetery, which is located 3 miles North, 1 West, and ½ North from the Northwest corner of 
Peabody. After 138 years, they have been found." -

 We are related to these families.  I was a Voran and all Vorans are related.  And we are related to Albrechts, Gerings, Kaufmans, Krehbiels, Schrags, Stuckys and Wedels.  Al and I are 3rd cousins so we share many relation.  Allen is a 3rd cousin to himself even since his parents were 2nd cousins!

There is a similar story I posted about 300-400 Russian Mennonites that died in a smallpox outbreak after they immigrated to Kansas as they wintered in Florence.  I am sure they wondered why they ever left the old world and came to this land!

We drove north out of the cemetery just to take a scenic country drive.

 There were many farmers harvesting beans and milo.  Winter wheat is coming up.

We could see the elevators of the town where our kids live so thought we might drive in and surprise them!  We came upon this little country church.

 It was at this church where we actually first laid eyes on Adam.  But we don't remember it really...we just know we saw him because he was part of a choir.  You see, when he was a freshman in the Moody Choir, they came to this church to sing.  Jill wanted to go hear them because she planned to attend Moody and wanted to be in the choir.

I remember seeing some boys hanging out of the windows as we drove up.  I told Jill "One of those boys might be your future husband!"  It probably was Adam!!  His sister played the piano with someone else we knew who was from this church and we recall her well.

We drove on to the kids' home.


The children had hand, foot, and mouth disease this past week.
Allen is inspecting the blisters on Claire's hand.
Claire loves to play with toddler apps.

The older girls played outside a lot this day.

Adam will be turning off the sprinklers since winter is going to be coming.  But today, the girls were having one last hurrah!

We were invited for supper.   Delicious!

Hannah practicing her guitar.  She is really doing well!  She is taking lessons through the school.  Incidentally, my parents purchased this guitar for me in Japan when I was in high school.  I never got the hang of it though. I'm amazed at the talent that Josh, Adam and now Hannah have with it!

Playing "introducing Claire!"   She runs out to the living room full of giggles as you holler this.  It was a game we played with the other 2 when they were young too.  She was feeling so much better after her oatmeal bath.  It helps with the itchy blisters on her body.

A fun and interesting day!