Like A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

white water raftin

Today a friend called and we exchanged the normal “how are you today” greetings. Then she said, “do you really want to know how I am?”  She dared to give me a glimpse into her soul and what she is dealing with.

Just this past week I had stumbled across a note written in my Bible. “Faith is not a bridge over troubled waters but a path through it.” For the last week I have been mulling this over in my brain.  In 1970 my high school graduating class choose “Bridge Over Trouble Waters” by Paul Simon as our class theme song.

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side
Oh when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

 As I have matured and struggled along the path of life’s journey I have come to realize that this may be a nice sounding song but the reality is there is usually no mystical bridge over troubled times in our life where all my dreams come true and the stars are shining. Neither can I lay myself down so that a “silver girl can sail on by”.  No, we each have to brave the current, wade into the deep and take the path that goes directly through the frothy, white water rapids.  It may be the ride of our life with the boat careening out of control and banging into rocks. There may be times when we wonder if we will make it through or become trapped under our capsized canoe.  We may feel helpless, lonely, discouraged and fearful.  Maybe we need a friend who doesn’t sail behind us but walks beside, shining a little light on our path; praying, encouraging, helping and cheering.

I love the words to the popular song by Casting Crowns which so much so poignantly speaks to God’s presence our lives in the midst of the storm.

Praise You in This Storm

I was sure by now God,

You would have reached down

And wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day

But once again, I say, “Amen” and it’s still raining.

But as the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls I’ll raise my hands

And praise the God who gives and takes away.

 

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands

For You are who You are no matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand

You never left my side and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm.

I remember when I stumbled in the wind You heard my cry,

You raised me up again

But my strength is almost gone

How can I carry on if I can’t find You

 

But as the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”

And as You mercy falls I’ll raise my hands

And praise the God who gives and takes away.

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands

For You are who You are no matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in Your hand You never left my side and though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth.

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands

For You are who You are no matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand

You never left my side and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

Faith grows when we go through something.  Faith happens when I release my inability to control to my Heavenly Father.  God promises His presence and in His presence I find strength, peace and security.

  • Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you. be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will hold you with My righteous right hand.
  • Isaiah 43:1b-2  Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
  • Psalms 23:4 When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.

Faith is the hope that I will make it through. Faith is trusting in the promises of God-the evidence of things I can not see. Faith is the path through troubled waters. (Hebrews 11)

 

Deafening Silence

Recently the Supreme Court refused to make a ruling and by their silence overturned the laws of the states. A news article blasted the right-wing and conservatives for abdicating on the issue.  The writer accused the opposition of simply ducking the issue and surrendering to increasing public opinion and said,” the silence was deafening”.

I have mulled the phrase over and over in my mind…..”the silence was deafening, the silence was deafening”. Does the writer realize what he wrote? In silence, the voice split the ear drums.  Sometimes to fight and argue is counter productive.  Maybe by demanding, shouting, fighting, and belittling, one side thinks they have won and maybe they have by the laws of the land. But the stroke of a pen does not change the truth of the Word of God.  Jesus invites everyone to come to the fountain of living water where sins are washed away and lives are transformed.

To fight back with unkind words, mutilates the issue.  Public opinion does not change the morality of right living.  Jesus invites us to love people as he did and treat them with respect so that they are drawn to Him.  Somehow, meeting Jesus always changes lives, cleanses the heart and transforms desires and attitudes.

I am sadden, frustrated and disappointed with the moral decline in our nation.  I am frightened at the reign of terror and evil threatening to take over the world. I am mad at the gross corruption at all levels of our government.  I am worried that the voice of Christians is being silenced. But what can we expect when we remove God from every fiber of our nation.

The writer of the article basically said the “right” has quit talking. Have we not observed that the voice of truth is no longer heard and appreciated?  Have we not observed that the words that are spoken are twisted into strangling ropes of hate and rejection?  Being against seldom makes people want what I am for.  Being against somehow seems to give credence to the opposition and emboldens their stance. Being against is like shooting a gun that backfires.

Maybe, just maybe, the best weapon of defense is not fighting against but striving for. If you care to listen, I tell you what I am for.  I am for loving my enemy and forgiving those who offend and hurt me. I am for kindness, gentleness and self-control. I am for sanctity of life, faithfulness in marriage, purity in relationships and dignity of life for all people. I am for justice, peace and discipline. I am for truthfulness, respect and integrity.  I am for the freedom to pray and gather to worship with other people of faith.

My voice will not echo down the halls of Congress or reverb off the wall of China. But my voice can make a difference when I hug someone who is hurting, write a note to a weary friend, speak words of encouragement,  or share precious truths of God’s Word. My voice will make a difference in the quietness of prayer.

Be still and listen. You just might be amazed at the deafening silence.

Heatwole Family Gathering-2014

Each year my extended family gets together for 1-2 day weekend-usually in the fall. Each of us siblings takes turns hosting the gathering. This year Ed and Eileen were the gracious hosts in their spacious house.  The cool, damp, misty weather kept the adults from sitting around the fire on their patio but the children still enjoyed playing outdoors.

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Scotch tape and sticks kept the children busy and creative for quite a while.

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Our train fanatic!

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Do you think she is taking a “selfie”?

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We had a pantry shower for the newlyweds-Aaron and Brittany- and grandmother gave them a quilt she had made.

She made each of the 13 grandchildren a quilt and Aaron, the youngest, was the last to receive his.

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Someone is cleaning up his spill!

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We had a catfish fry and homemade hush puppies for supper along with lots of other good food and homemade ice-cream (chocolate, grape-nut and butterfinger).

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True southern Alabama style hush puppies, made by Krista Heatwole,  ready to fry.

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 My siblings & spouses, along with my parents, met for breakfast on Sunday morning.

This has become a special time for us.

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Mother and Daddy (Dwight and Fannie Heatwole).

They had 4 children.

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Pat and Gene Hertzler

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Rich and Marj Heatwole

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Phil and Ev Borntrager

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Ed and Eileen Heatwole

Now we are a family with 13 grandchildren and 23 great-grand children.

Note: to those who couldn’t make it…you were missed and hope you enjoy the preview of the day.

Family Camping-2014

This was the first time our family did a little vacation together. We went camping at Paradise Lake Campgrounds in Appomattox, Virginia.

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Obe, Jill and family were the true campers and thanks to them we all had a good time sitting around the campfire and eating from the grill over the firepit.

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The rest of us were “sissyfied” or “comfyfied”-and proud of it!

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Keith and Alivia, Noah & Lauren had a cabin. It had a small refrigerator and microwave.

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Gene and I, along with Emily had the only cottage. (Only 4 people were allowed per site). It had a kitchenette with stove, refrigerator, microwave and sink. We also had our own bathroom with shower!!!

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We took the golf cart along and thoroughly enjoyed cruising the trails and grounds.

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Fished all morning, caught no fishes…fished all morning,  caught no fishes….the problem was Jesus didn’t stop by and tell them to cast on the other side of the pier!

(The ladies, except for Lauren, went antique and thrift store shopping in historic downtown Appomattox)

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We celebrated three birthdays, Ryan, Noah and Grandpa.

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The chain goes around and it makes a noise!  He played all afternoon with it, pretending to cut down trees.

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Noah also got his first legos which the children had fun putting together.

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Playing with legos

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Ryan wanted tools and he got a real cordless drill.

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Surprise!  Grandpa got cashews!!!

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Obe, Karla, Ryan and Lauren braved the COLD water.

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Lauren…I think I will, I think I will….

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Karla keeping her head above the water.  She finally after much encouragement took the plunge into the cold!

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Emily

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Grandpa-tuckered out!

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Lauren and Karla

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Lauren, Karla and Noah

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Jill and Ryan

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Obe-I wonder what he is thinking???

I looked around the campfire and liked our feet!

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Fire

November, 2004

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A voice on the phone said, “I just got a call from Denbigh and the homeplace is on fire.”   Suddenly time stands still, horrible images flood the mind, the heart skips two beats and then the mind says “it can’t be true.”

“What do you mean the house IS on fire?”  You suddenly realize it is NOW, right now, happening at this precise moment.  A special house of memories and treasures is burning 90 miles away and you cannot do a thing about it.  Is it a small fire on the kitchen stove or a fully engulfed, raging inferno?  Is everyone safe?  How long has it been burning?  What happened?  Ten minutes later we were on the road racing towards Denbigh.

As we traveled our minds were on one situation. We had few answers.  We were told the fire started around noon. It is now 3 o’clock and the fire is still burning.  The travel conversation became questions that neither of us could answer and reflections on the “what ifs”, and “has beens”.  The useless babblings were somehow soothing to the nerves and unsettling all at the same time.

The house is the Hertzler homeplace. The house was built by H.P. Hertzler  (Gene’s Grandpa) in the heart of what used to be a rural Mennonite colony.  In 1897 Isaac D. Hertzler and D.Z. Yoder bought a 1200-acre run-down plantation.  The land responded to the farmers and a colony of Mennonites farmed, prospered, multiplied and worshipped in a tight-knit community.  As the surrounding city grew, houses and shopping centers began encroaching on the farm community.  In time the colony began to disperse in search of other farming land.  Today there is an urban Mennonite community in the heart of the city.

About a mile from our destination we rolled down the windows and sniffed. A pungent burnt odor permeated the air.  We rolled up the windows and rode in silence.

As we turned on Colony Road we could see the flashing lights of the fire trucks.  Then the house came into view. People were everywhere.  The house was still standing.  It almost looked normal!

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The firemen did a wonderful job of saving the house. It was bad but it could have been so much worse.  It is repairable.  In the midst of the overwhelming devastation there was relief and hope.  It was sad what was lost and amazing what was saved unscathed.  Friends and neighbors were offering words of comfort and help.

Stuff. It is JUST stuff.  But no, it is so much more than meaningless possessions. Pictures, photo albums, family heirlooms, homemade keepsakes, comfy clothes, financial records, handmade quilts, china set, mismatched chairs, refinished furniture, books. That stuff is precious, priceless treasures!

A new chair may look better and fresh pictures may glow but the “sentimental value” can never be replaced. We know God will give strength when we are weary, His grace will be sufficient, and His peace will calm.  We have no claim of tomorrow even though a new day beckons.  We are pilgrims with roots and homes in a foreign land.  Sometimes we discover how fragile life is and yet how settled we have become.

Written: November 18, 2004

Pictures:

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Kitchen

That evening a friend and neighbor, John Henry Brenneman,

 pulled in his camper so that they had a place to call “home” for the next months.

Camper

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Five days later we went down and dad had already begun the work of cleanup and restoration.

Front Door

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Dad had an incredible overcoming spirit. He was 85 years old when the fire happened and he tackled the overwhelming job with determination. Friends rallied to help him but he did a lot of the work himself.  When the job was done, the house had been restored. It was amazing how much was salvaged even though every room in the house suffered some kind of damage. Almost all of the household items sold at the estate sale had survived the fire.

The fire started in the basement from a faulty electrical box and quickly spread to the main floor and then to the second. The third floor had smoke damage. The nic-nac rack I got at the sale survived and was on the wall in the living room where the fire was most intense. It was amazing the old timber-frame house was able to withstand the flames.  It was also amazing how some items could be so close to the “hot-spot” and come through unscathed. But everything-every piece of china, plateware, clothing, etc. had to be cleaned. Amazingly the photo albums also survived and they also were in the center of the fire.

This past weekend at the sale I remembered the fire and had to revisit pictures and my journal post from that day.

Related post: Estate Sale-Bringing Closure

Estate Sale-Bringing Closure

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“Mom, are you alright?  You seem so quiet and don’t have much to say.”

Oh!

I was alright and I didn’t realize I was so quiet but there were many emotions raging in the depths of my soul.  There was deep sadness for the passing of my in-laws who I called mama and daddy, the sense of loss for a generation gone, the unsettledness of watching their hard-earned, well-worn stuff auctioned to the highest bidder,  the joy of seeing people who loved them want a treasured memoir to remember them by,  the thankfulness of strangers and friends saying, “I want to tell you about….”, the satisfaction of being able to purchase the things I really wanted and the emptiness of an empty yard, barren house and stripped barns. When we pulled out of the lane with our loaded truck, I couldn’t look back.

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Bidding on one of the tractors.

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Keeping his number handy!

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 Mimi Leveille, dad and mom’s caregiver for about 2 years. She cared for them with tender love. Thank-you Mimi.IMG_6044

A friend, Wayne Steiner, who was the executor of the estate.  He did a great job. Thank-you Wayne.

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 Wally Schaefer talking to Keith.

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 Keith and Alivia Hertzler.

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 A sign in dad’s shop

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 The glass butter churn.

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Every nook and cranny in the barns and shop were filled with piles and piles of stuff.  Dad could not stand to throw things away. When he would see people leaving “good things” out on the road for the trash truck he would have to pick it up-he just might need it sometime and quite often he did have good use for it.  I remember one time I had put some old clothes in the shop here in Powhatan for Gene to use for rags.  Sometime later they showed up as pieced aprons!  Dad had seen them and taken them home to mama.

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 One of Gene’s toys as a youngster. I missed seeing it sold.

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 A stone dad had at the back door. We are so blessed to receive it.

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This little baby was born several days after daddy passed away.  They named him Oliver!  The Ackermans are related to the Hertzlers and were also friends of dad and mom-even boarding a horse at the stable.

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 Our granddaughter-Lauren Hertzler.

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 Our granddaughter, Emily Hertzler.

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 One of dad’s hobbies was carving wooden ducks.

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 Alivia

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Dad’s collection of arrowheads he found on the farm.

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Part of his collection of license plates he had posted in the shop from his vehicles.

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 Judy Humphrey

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 Loading up our purchases to come home.

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Keith Hertzler, grandson Of Oliver and Anna Mae, with his prized purchase.  He got one of the deals of the day.

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 The Farmall M. When the dairy farm was moved from Denbigh to Powhatan, this was one of the tractors that came up. Within a few years Gene purchased newer equipment and no longer wanted the old tractor. Dad took it back to Denbigh. Now, 40 years later we wanted it. It’s amazing how time changes things!

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 Strapping the wheel to the rim to load it on the trailer.

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Loaded and ready to head for home.

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Rain barrels from years gone by. They were used to collect water to water the horses.

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I liked the sign on the side of this trailer.  It reminded me that dad’s stuff is having a second chance of life and giving joy to lots of new owners.

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Jill Hostetter (granddaughter of Oliver & Anna Mae), with her load of treasures.  She was really pleased she got grandma’s china set.

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Gene with his second and last load of stuff!

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Don’t let looks deceive you!  There is the frame of an old milk wagon on there, a bush hog, scraper blade and numerous other things.

And now as I express these feelings on paper, tears well in my eyes.  The time has come for closure and moving on.  Good-bye mom and dad.  Maybe the farm and all your earthly possessions are gone but you will be remembered by your children, grandchildren and numerous friends and neighbors.  And we will treasure the things we have to remind us of you.

My stash of treasures

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Daddy carved the wooden ducks and they are signed on the bottom. Notice the unfinished one with the parts laying on the floor.  Can’t wait to get them cleaned up.

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The phone is a replica of an old phone but modernized. It hung in Mama’s office above her desk.

And the light fixtures…there is a story. Daddy had four and offered them to me.  At the time I didn’t want them. Years later I decided I did and asked him about them. He gave me two but wanted the other two to put on his house.  I had my two installed on my house and loved them and was hoping some day to be able to get the rest.  I always loved his nick-nac rack and have a special plan for it.

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These were silver napkin rings…these say Mr, Mrs, and Gene

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The bread box was made by Gene and given to them one year for Christmas. I wanted it back!  The glassware and kitchen utensils just came as a package deal.

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One of daddy’s tie clasp that says “Jesus Saves”, another napkin ring and a wood horse he made.

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One of his numerous Bibles (has a metal cover) and prayer book.

 

Related post: Fire-November 15, 2014

Evening on the Lawn-2014

Last evening (September 7)  we had our 5th annual Evening on the Lawn. It is a church (Powhatan Mennonite Church) sponsored event for the community featuring a Christian professional music group. This year we had Southern Grace Country Gospel Band from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

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Pictures of the evening.

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 Scott Crickenberger

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Larry Kyger

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Kenny Williams

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 Scott Crickenberger

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 Tim Nicely

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 Joe Shifflet

 

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 The calves came up to check out what was happening.

 

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Karla Hostetter has a birthday in a few days and we sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

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Everyone had a fun time.  Thank-you Southern Grace.

They can be contacted at http://www.southerngrace-va.com/

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Okra

There are some vegetables people love to hate and okra is one of them.  But, for those of us who love okra, it is simply divine.

 

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According to Wikipedia.org  the word okra is of Nigerian origin and is also referred to as “lady fingers or gumbo” outside of Nigeria. 

“The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. Supporters of a South Asian origin point to the presence of its proposed parents in that region. Supporters of a West African origin point to the greater diversity of okra in that region.

The Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries used the Arabic word for the plant, bamya, suggesting it had come from the east. The plant may have entered southwest Asia across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb strait to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara, or from India. One of the earliest accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216, who described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal.

From Arabia, the plant spread around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and eastward. The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil. It was further documented in Suriname in 1686.” 

The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world and is among the most heat and drought tolerant vegetable in the world. It will does well in heavy clay soils and intermittent moisture but frost will kill the plant. Thomas Jefferson noted it was well established in Virginia by 1781.Okra is a popular health food due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. Okra is also known for being high in antioxidants. Okra is also a good source of calcium and potassium.”  

True southerners love it!

The flowers and pods of the vegetable are very pretty.

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This is one vegetable I love and my husbands dislikes. I will fry a bowlful for myself and I do not have to share. He says he was “scarred” in childhood when his mother ruined fried potatoes by adding okra and making him eat it!!!

Fried Okra: Cut the pods into 1/4″ slices, coat it with cornmeal meal and fry it with a little oil, salt, pepper and onions until crispy and golden brown.  Add some salsa or stewed tomatoes on top when you eat them and they are mouth-watering good!

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I also like okra pickles. In fact I can actually crave these slimy things!

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You can use any dill pickle recipe but here is mine.

Stuff quart or pint jars with small whole okra.

In each quart add

2 T. salt (this is correct)

1 large tsp. mustard seed

1/4 tsp. garlic powder or clove of garlic

1 tsp. dill seed (or 1 large fresh head of dill).

Mix together the following brine, heat to boiling and fill the jars.

1 c. water

1 c. vinegar

Immediately put on “hot” lids and they will seal.

Okra freezes well. I cut into 1/4″ slices, coat it with corn meal and freeze it raw in gallon size Ziploc bags.  By adding the cornmeal it will easily break apart when you are ready to use it and you do not have to use the whole bag at once.

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Church League Veterans: Gene & Tommy

Recently Powhatan Mennonite and Red Lane Baptist played against each other in a spirited, tic-for-tac, modified fast-pitch softball game.  There was some chatter on the sidelines about something very special and unique about the game, the pitchers; Gene Hertzler, pitcher for the Mennonites, and Tommy Mann, pitcher for the Baptists.

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At one point during the evening, Tommy meandered to our side of the field and was chatting with some of us.  He said, “That is the old man out there (referring to Gene) and I am Methuselah!”  I don’t think of Gene or Tommy as old, but in terms of softball pitchers they are well-seasoned veterans!  Even at the age of  65 and 72, respectfully,  the love of softball and pitching still flows through their veins.

Tommy doesn’t pitch much any more. Instead he has taken up professional umpiring in his “twilight years” for the JV, travel ball and high school baseball teams.  But when the young guys get in a pinch and need a pitcher, they know who to call. Even though his speed has slowed, he can still pitch a winning game!

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Gene on the other hand still plays every game and is often recruited for other tournaments such as the Robby Green tournament in the fall.  A number of years ago he thought his body was telling him it was time to give up the game and retire but after two and half years his team coaxed him back onto the pitcher’s mound. I still remember that first night back.  Even though he had not picked up a softball or attended a game during his break he had a dynamite night and gave the opposing team (Lambs) a run for their money. He was back in the game.

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The church league started in the late 50′s. Tommy recalls going to the games as a youngster with his Dad and Mom. It was a big deal back then as there were not a lot of other entertainment options.  They played on Lonesome Oak field behind the Village Building (old school house) in the Village.   There were no lights on the field and sometimes in the fall when the days were shorter they would have to all pack up and go to the field behind the War Memorial building where there were lights to finish the game.  At that time there were 7-8 churches in the league; Red Lane, Mt. Moriah, Methodist, Old Powhatan, Graceland, May Memorial, and several from Amelia.  Graceland was the “un-beatable” team. Their pastor, Coen Agee, could pitch windmill or anything he wanted  and you could not hit his balls. Red Lane would occasionally work some of the younger boys in for a game. He could hardly wait until he was old enough to play on the team. He clearly remembers his first game on the Red Lane Baptist team when he was about sixteen.  They were playing Graceland and he was playing second base.  He caught the ball but the rest is just a horrible memory.  When you are on the side lines watching, the game doesn’t move as fast as when you are playing!  Needless to say, he sat on the bench a good bit at first.   A few years later he started pitching and became a valuable member of the team.

Sometime in the mid to late 70′s, the school had to put in a new septic field and the church league field was dug up to put in the laterals. For about 5 years after that they played in a pasture field called Fuller Field, just off of Route 60 west of Plain View.  There were no bleachers, no lights, no manicured field and no concession stand. It was pure country with a slightly sloping  field and a sand pile for the children to play on but  everyone had a good time.   It was during this time that the Mennonite team started playing.

As the league grew it became time to find a better and safer place to play.  The Lions Club, county and churches stepped up to the plate and each provided 1/3 of the cost  to fix Ace’s Field on Skaggs road. Now the league had lights, a scoreboard, outfield fence, bleachers, dugouts, paid umpires,  a properly manicured field and a real concession stand.

Some of the earliest pictures of Gene show him with a ball and bat in his hand.  In his adolescents, he spent hours and hours each summer throwing the ball up against the concrete block barn. When he was thirteen he started playing on the church league in Newport News. Five years later he moved to Powhatan and it wasn’t until about 10 years later that his church finally started a team.  Ocassionally Gene will play first base but his love is pitching.

Gene-3 years old

Gene-3

12 years old

Gene play ball-1960

Tommy says they didn’t take many pictures when he was young!  He searched but could not find any pictures of his younger playing days.

Both men remember their “battle wounds” and can point to the knee, shin or spot where the ball left a big black bruise and the imprint of stitching from the ball.  One time Gene had stitches in his upper lip when it was split open from a ball.   Tommy’s worst incidence happened when a hard line ball was hit straight to the pitcher’s mound and nailed his fourth finger on his right hand.  The finger jammed and is forever crooked as a result of the impact.  Gene also remembers that incident well, he was the batter!

When Tommy started playing, the Goodwyn brothers (Pal, Art, Royce,  NB), Percy Webb, Richard White, Fred Gregory, Ted Adams, Tippy Hamilton, the Reams brothers (James & Dickie) among other old-time Powhatanians were playing. Now some of  the grandsons and great-nephews of these fellows are helping to carry on the sport.  He is glad to see the younger generation keeping the league going strong.  There are a lot of really good players and it is also a time of fun and fellowship.  Both men have weathered some turbulent times in the league with pitching rules and are very glad they have gone back to wooden bats.  It puts the teams on a more competitive and even playing field.

How long will Gene and Tommy continuing playing?  Who knows!  Sitting on the sidelines it is neat to watch them play with the young bucks and still make an honorable contribution. Tommy’s wife, Kay, said, “Because of their love of the game, these two old men just don’t know when to stop!”

Ebola-Too close home….Update

I want to personally thank everyone who prayed for my niece and her family who were in the midst of the Ebola crisis in Liberia.  I can report that they are safely home in the states and doing well. They have completed the 21-day quarantine and are now able to freely travel and mingle with people.  I know we all  are anxious to hear their story and the stories of others who were caught in the crisis.  We prayed for them while we anxiously awaited news that all was well.  To know their stories satisfies our curiosity but it also puts a human touch to the crisis that made international news.  We are anxious to hear their faith journey but we will have to wait until they are ready. In time some will write and talk.

In the meantime, continue to pray for the team and health care workers as they try to figure out “what next”.  God led them to Liberia and now they have to discern what and where God wants them now  as their lives and careers are temporarily on an unplanned “hold”.  This has not caught God by surprise.

The Ebola situation in West Africa is troubling and the news coming from Liberia is dire.  Let us petition our Heavenly Father on behalf of the thousands of suffering people who have no hope and no chance of rescue.  Continue to pray for Samaritan’s Purse as they are dealing with multiple world crisis.  Their ministry is far-reaching and they need the wisdom that only God can give.

I am reminded of the precious promise of God in Isaiah 41:10…

Fear not; for I am with you.

Be not dismayed for I am thy God.

I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you.

I will uphold you with my right hand of righteousness.

Wait for the Doctor with Ebola to tell his own story.

September 5, 2014 The doctor tells his story….  “Saving Dr. Brantley” on NBC.  This is a six part interview with Matt Lauer.

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