Archive for April, 2017

Aunt Osie’s Memorial Service

In loving memory of Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler

September 26, 1918 – April 9, 2017

(She was 1 year, 6 months shy of her 100th birthday!)

It was a special service for a special lady. For those who couldn’t attend, I have included pictures of the cousins who were there, and a “Eulogy of Memories” by Laurie Kutchins, a long-time friend and neighbor.

An open grave ready to receive the ashes…

It was a dreary, rainy day and somehow that seemed fitting to reflect our loss.

Burial completed, it was time to go and celebrate her life and glorious homegoing.

Together, the assembly of friends and family joyfully sang in four-part harmony several of her favorite hymns.

Verse 1. “Lift your glad voices in triumph on high, For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die….

Verse 4. But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow, and bade us, immortal to heaven ascend. Lift then your voices in triumph on high, for Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die.”

Pictures of the Cousins

Tedrick Grandle and  Audrey Ziegler

( ? granddaughter of Audrey)

Gordie and Bertie Ziegler

Gordie Ziegler, Dave Shenk, and Harold Wenger

Marie and Bob Hertzler (Bob is the oldest of the cousins)

Joe and Norma Hertzler

Marjorie Swartzentruber and son Dean

Diane Harman (daughter of Bill & Carolyn Presley)

Dave and Janice Gerber

Kenny and Gail Brunk

Gene and Pat Hertzler

Ed Hertzler (son of Dave and Ilva Hertzler)

Jill Hostetter (daughter of Gene and Pat Hertzler)

Bob Hostetter

Bob Hertzler,  Diane Hertzler, Diane Harman, and Melanie (daughter of Diane Hertzler)

Linford and Louise Sommers

Randy Hertzler and daughter Lucy. (Randy is son of Jim and Alta Hertzler)

Judy Humphrey

Sidney Wenger

(If any one can help me with a few names, I would appreciate it)

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Osie Hertzler Ziegler-Memories

Eulogy for Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler, April 22, 2017

Lindale Mennonite Church

Prepared and offered by Laurie Kutchins

Aunt Osie’s Poetry

In memory of Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler

1918-2017

Osie and Ralph

This evening as I was thinking about Aunt Osie, I pulled out her book of poetry (Homespun Verse: A Mother’s Medley) and entered her world of life….

Just Wishing

I’d like to be a buzzard bird

Away up in the sky,

I’d hop upon the strongest wind

and go so very high.

The earth would be an Esso map,

The roads would ribbons be,

And fields look just like patchwork quilts

As far as I could see.

I’d find another bird and have

A grand old pillow fight

With little clouds the wind blew by,

all soft and fluffy white.

I’d dip and soar an hour or more,

As happy as could be,

And then at night I’d perch upon

The very tallest tree.

I suspect she is now flying higher, faster and grander than any buzzard ever dreamed of flying! I think I would think of a prettier bird I’d want to be but buzzards do know how to soar and glide. But that was Aunt Osie, she somehow managed to see the beauty in the sometimes not so lovely.

This is My Task

God did not choose to send me across the sea

To spread the gospel story of Calvary.

But placed instead in my arms for loving care

Some of his little lambs, tender and fair.

Then bid me take these small ones and day by day

Love, them, guide them aright, teach them to pray.

This, then, is the work He has given.

This is my task.

This is my whole life’s endeavor, nor would I ask

any greater. I only pray wisdom to guide

These tender lambs one by one to the Shepherd’s side.

Gypsy Flair

Some day I’m going to break loose

From the chains of daily grind

And capture every fancy

Of my restless Gypsy mind.

I’ll follow little side roads

That peek out along the way

That beckon with crook’d finger

And tangled flowers gay.

I’ll climb them to the highest hill

And scan the scene below

Where neat farms lie with field and fence

Like patchwork quilts in row,

Or woodlands flaunt their colors

Against the distant hill.

I’ll stay and watch the setting sun

And let its colors thrill

My heart, or else perchance I’ll take

A road that’s going down

Where woods are deep and silent,

and all I hear’s the sound

of little brooklets tossing

Their laughter back at me

As they twist and turn among the fern

In bubbling gaiety.

I’ll pass by cozy cottages

Where little children play,

And pause beside a field that’s steeped

In scent of new mown hay.

I’ll find myself a quiet place

Beneath a shading tree,

With only ants and spiders

To keep me company.

I’ll pillow down on soft new grass

And here I’ll take my ease,

Where nature’s air conditioned

By a whisper of a breeze.

Then I’ll come back where taut-faced friends

Still hurry in their way,

Richer far for having been

a gypsy for a day.

Thank you Aunt Osie for a life well lived.  I loved to stop in for a chat and your words of cheer always encouraged me. I knew several weeks ago when I stopped in that your time on earth was drawing to a close.  As you laid curled in your bed, you were still wanting to work in your flower beds. You are now home… truly home with your Savior, husband and many other loved ones.  Gypsy lady, your chains are gone and you are now free to climb the highest hill, find that quiet place and enjoy the most beautiful gardens imaginable.

Twins: Oliver (Gene’s dad)  and Osie (on the right)- 1919

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 I would like to suggest you leave a comment or memory of Osie and/or Ralph. It would such a blessing for the family to read. The comment link is at the top of the page, just under the title.

Footwashing, Finger Pointing and Shadows

“I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me will not abide in darkness.”

Jesus

(John 12:14)

You may wonder at the combination of words in this title but in a strange sort of way they all fit together.  Each year at our special faith celebrations,  different thoughts hit me in a way that make the observance new, fresh and meaningful. Resurrection Sunday climaxed the most holy and meaningful time of year for Christians world-wide. It is the rock foundation that our faith is firmly built on:  Lent, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Communion, Footwashing, Maudy Thursday, Tenebrae, Good Friday, Easter Sunrise, Easter and Resurrection Sunday.

Footwashing. Yes, our church still observes this very meaningful service.  It is not weird, uncomfortable, out-of-date, or embarrassing.  Once a year on Maudy Thursday (Thursday before Easter), we observe footwashing with our communion service. It is a special time of reflection as Jesus spent his last hours with the disciples, his closest friends, before his arrest, trial and crucifixion.

Jesus and his disciples were reclining at the table. I suspect the atmosphere was heavy with a darkness that only Jesus understood and dreaded. Perhaps, they ate in silence, each one lost in his own thoughts and reflection. After all, Jesus had told the disciples that they needed to go to Jerusalem where he would be killed.  What did that mean? They didn’t understand and yet each had vehemently declared that they would go and die with him. Confusing thoughts swirled in their brains as they had just participated in the joyous, crowd shouting, triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem where the crowds had shouted, “Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:13).  The fact that it was a donkey and not a horse, as ridden by political kings, was noticed but did not seem to matter. But now, hours later and alone with Jesus, the disciples could sense an ominous foreboding they couldn’t explain.  Flickering candles cast lengthening shadows in the darkness.

As supper ended, Jesus quietly stood, wrapped a towel around his waist, picked up the untouched prepared basin of water and to the horror of his disciples began washing each of their feet. Peter’s heart pounded in his chest. He could not bear that his friend, teacher and Messiah would take on the role of a servant and wash his feet. No, no, NO!  It had to be stopped.  But Jesus did just that and in the process showed and taught his disciples and us a valuable lesson on servanthood.

“If I then, your Master and Lord, have washed your feet; you ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, you should do, as I have done to you.”

John 13:14-15

In our church, women wash feet with women and men with men. I sat and watched. A lady in her nineties washed the feet of a 50 year old. A mother and daughter lovingly knelt before each other.  Friend washed friend. Three little girls about 8 years old figured out how to do a threesome. I observed how feet bare the stress and hardships of a life time of walking and living. No one seemed to care about varicose veins, bunions, or bent toes but tenderly lifted her partner’s foot, cupped a hand full of water and let it lovingly flow over a foot,  before taking a towel and gently wipe it dry. When the task was completed, each stood and embraced, whispering words of encouragement and appreciation.

No longer is it necessary to wash the feet of a guest when they arrive at your home, nor do we have servants to do our menial tasks.  But the task of washing feet still has deep spiritual meaning when we do as Jesus’ requested.

After Jesus had broken the bread and shared the cup, he told his disciples some gut-wretching and disturbing news. One of them was going to betray him. It was a bombshell to the already unsettling evening.  How could that be?  They loved him and just hours before had proclaimed their willingness to die for him.  But betrayal-this just couldn’t be. Instead of  pointing fingers at another,  sorrow and fear gripped their hearts as each became aware of his own vulnerability.  “Is it I?” (Mark 14:19).

Is it I, Lord? Would I really do such a thing?

Judas’ dark heart was exposed when Jesus answered his question; “Go and do as you have planned”.   A few hours later the other disciples fled into the night in fear and Peter cursed and swore he never knew him.

This horrible night of Jesus’ suffering and death is remembered in the most solemn and somber of services, Tenebrae. Tenebrae is a Latin word meaning “shadows”.  As the light is quenched, darkness descends and shadows cast their hue.

Shadows.

In a moment of time “Hosanna” became shadowed by “crucify him”, a donkey shadowed a cross, the Messiah shadowed a criminal, the cross shadowed a tomb,  life shadowed death.

Satan thought he won.  The “Light of the World” was blown out.

Darkness.

“And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”

Mark 15:33

Fear. Hopelessness. Betrayal. Death.

Jesus said, “It is finished,”  bowed his head and died.

John 19:30

Grief: raw, emotional, unfathomable, grief.

Miraculously,  on the third day, (Resurrection Sunday) the power of God conquered death. Blinding light forced shadows to flee. Satan lost when Jesus won the victory. He arose!

“For God so loved the world that He sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

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(On Easter morning I caught the sun just at the right moment as it shoned in the atrium doors at church  and reflected or “shadowed” 3 crosses on the tomb scene.)

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