For Shame or For Glory

Many of you have already participated in the following and I greatly appreciate it.

The journey to creating this survey started a little over a year ago. Modesty is something that most people within the Anabaptist community find important.  But what is modesty?  Is it relative? There’s books out there that have differing opinions.  This survey it aimed toward finding the opinions of those within the Anabaptist community, but it certainly is not limited to just Anabaptist.

Hopefully in the coming months, as more and more young men (and women) take the survey, a more definite answer of what we believe modesty is will come into view.

Certainly I’m not saying that we as Anabaptist have all the answers, nor that our opinions define what modest really is because I think, if we are all honest, the Bible is clear on what modesty is.  Within the Anabaptist community there are many differing applications to how modesty (clothing) is applied.  There are cape dresses, skirts, blouses, and the lists within those certainly could be expanded.

So please, feel free to share opinions and share with your fellow brothers, uncles, grandfathers, sons and husbands.  It’s all anonymous so there is no need to worry that I, or anyone else, will be able to pinpoint what you said.

Check back periodically for results, although I can’t promise them in the near near future and I won’t be posting results until I get enough responses.

Click the link below to get started!

http://goo.gl/forms/D7kDTo1vBP

Friendship {No Strings Attached}

True friendship seems to be a rare thing these days.  I am so blessed to have friends that I can spend time with and can truly share my heart and yet not feel like it affects what they think of me.  Now that is rare. 🙂

Summer is a time for picnics, so true to season,  I spent Sunday evening with these lovely ladies.  We enjoyed a light picnic of cheese, crackers, fruit, sparkling water, and good conversation.  Oh how good it is to discuss life, even if no conclusions come of it.

picnic

Afterwards we took pictures.  Since we all wanted to be on the pictures, I guess you could say, I was the runner.  Yea it was an adventure indeed.  I think one of those remotes would have come in handy.

linked

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
~Helen Keller

walking

These ladies mean so much to me!

fence

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”
~Charles R. Swindoll

tree

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

sitting

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

star

“A true friend is one who will be honest with you even if you’re not asking their opinion.”

You know a true friend by how honest they are with you.  I’m not just talking about opinions in clothes or shoes; I’m talking about day to day ‘drama’ or choices you have to make.  A true friend will give an honest assessment of the topic you are discussing.  No, it’s not always what you want to hear, but you know they a genuine when they aren’t worried about whether or not their opinion will hurt your feelings.  Feelings are only a fleeting thing that passes away, but friendships last.

laying

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

sunkissed

Thank you ladies for the wonderful evening and fabulous friendship.

 

It Doesn’t Matter, But…

It Doesn’t Does Matter, But I’ll Tell You What Does

Close to the millennium there were 11 events that took place that changed many lives.

The first event happened at 10:20pm on September 28, 1999. Not knowing what his life would hold for the future, the Fox family welcomed a bouncing baby boy.

Only a few days later on October 1, at 8 in the morning, the Martin family also welcomed a baby boy into their family.

Although both babies were boys, they had another thing in common; both boys had older sisters that had wanted a sister. So when hearing or seeing their new baby brother for the first time, they were NOT impressed. I believe it’s safe to say that they got over their disappointment and soon feel in love with the new additions.

11:10 AM on October 14, 1999 another event happened that changed another Martin family. This wee baby girl was welcomed into the world by some older siblings. It is said that this little girl holds the world record for the longest span of crying for 32 hours on a trip home from Missouri at the tender age of six weeks old.

The world seemed to be in panic mode a few days before the year 2000 began. What would happen? Would things explode? There were a lot of assumptions and theories out there, but for one family, they were welcoming a new baby into the home that was born three and half weeks early. This boy came just two days before Y2K on December 30, 1999 around 8:10 in the morning.

Ephrata Community Hospital was full of activity the day this next bundle of joy entered the world. Due on January 1, she came 10 days later at 9:51 AM. With being mom’s first little girl things sure got exciting. She showed her independence right away by refusing to be rocked to sleep but would rather go to sleep on her own.

February 2 came along and at 12:12 in the afternoon a little girl, named after her great aunt and grandmother Lois, was welcomed into the world. Being the ninth of ten children, she fit right in. At two weeks of age, she had a viral bronchial infection and nearly died, but she is here today and has been a blessing to me here at school.

February 11, 2010. Time: 1:17pm place: Ephrata Hospital. Event: the birth of another baby girl. She was first grandchild on the mother’s side and 50th grandchild on the fathers. She spoke at a very early age and learned the entire Lord’s Prayer by the age of two.

The eighth happening took place on March 1, 2000 also at the Ephrata Comm. Hospital at 12:34 in the afternoon. He was quite chunky at a young age due to his love of food and his uncle proclaimed he had “more rolls than a bread truck.”

A few months later, May 5, 2000 another baby boy was born at 7:38 AM. At a young age he found that paper, crayons and pencils were more interesting than a book and would try and pursued his parents to draw with him.

The last event took place on August 28, 2000 in a hospital in Philly. This little girl was a miracle beings that she was 3 months early and only weighed 1lb. and 8oz.

All these miracles are sitting before you today, 14 years later.

Eighth grade, tonight you are graduating from Shalom Mennonite School and leaving us for good. God has different plans for each of your lives. Up until this point, a lot of decisions have been made for you, but during the next four years, you will have more and more responsibly to make decisions for yourself; decisions that affect the rest of your life.

I have been blessed to see the drive and vision that I have seen come your class. You aren’t afraid to dream, learn and pursue.

Image

But to borrow some of Forest Whitcrafts words,

One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car you drove,
What kind of house you lived in,
How much you had in your bank account
Nor what your clothes looked like.
One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of school you attended,
What kind of smart phone you used,
How large or small you church was,
But your life will be remembered by how faithful you were to God.

Now I’m not saying grades aren’t important, or houses, or cars or money. But in all of eternity, it doesn’t matter.

All that will matter will be that you were faithful to God. “Where You Lead I’ll Follow” is your theme for tonight, and if you follow that through life, you will never go wrong.

So as you go from here, no more to be 8th graders, remember, that wherever you go, whether Terre Hill, or homeschool and thinking ever further, the mission field or here at home, be faithful where you are and remember the decisions you make today, will affect the rest of your life.

Image

Congrats Class of 2018!!

We Are From Britain and We Don’t Know Anything

“We are from Britain and we don’t know anything…” was their introduction upon approaching our group. It was a rather odd way of introducing one’s self, I have to agree, but it wasn’t the first time someone had come up to me or the group I was with, and wanted to know what I was, or rather “what is that thing on your head.” When I was younger, I dreaded the question, but now? Now, I love when people ask me because it leads me to share my faith and I know God can work through that conversation.

But back to the British.

It all started out with that alarm clocking beckoning me to get out of bed at five AM; A morning that I usually slept in till seven. Not today. To tell you the truth, I would have loved to turn off that alarm and go back to sleep but I had a trip to take, one that was going to stretch me. But stretching is good right?

We all met at church. Our goal? To head to New York City for a day of evangelism.

During the last six months a bunch of young ladies and I have been meeting biweekly to learn how to better incorporate witnessing into our everyday lives. Easy? Yea not for me. For some people it comes very naturally, but for others…not so much. The idea is nice; to walk up to a complete stranger and start an in-depth conversation in a matter of seconds like Ray Comfort, but in reality, yea…not happening.

This trip to NYC was for us to take what we learned and have fun with it as we did some touring around the city. So like I said, we met at church and put together sixteen brown paper lunches and off we went.

We found the parking garage ok. We got to the Brooklyn Tabernacle all well and dandy. We even got to Little Italy without a problem…it was getting to Central Park that was the biggest problem. I have never known a subway system I can’t handle. I lived in NYC for six weeks…how hard could it be? Well it turns out that when the subway system is under construction, even the locals are confused. Long story short, it took longer than expected to get to the park but we eventually made it.

I’ve said it before, but that day it was especially true, “When you’re looking for homeless people, you can’t find them, but stop looking and they are everywhere.” {Does anyone else have the experience or is it only me?} We probably walked the half of Central Park, and found one homeless person, and he was sleeping. Another thing we wanted to do was hand out tracks and what excuse did we have with people EVERYWHERE in one of the only wide open green places in NYC? Well let’s just say after trying to hand those tracks {the cool million dollar ones} to what feels like a million people, who reject your offer, you give up. We just found other ways to ‘hand’ them out. Like folding them in the fence, or letting them drop as we walked. Hey someone will pick them up, right?

We eventually did find more homeless people to hand the lunches out to. Some were really appreciative of them. Others we left by their blankets as they slept. But I kid you not. Ten minutes after we handed out our last packed lunch, the homeless people seemed to be everywhere.

By this time our feet are sore and I know for me, my heart seemed a bit forlorn. To be completely honest, the ‘successful’ trip I imagined didn’t turn out so successful. Sure, we got our lunches handed out, but I had hoped to talk to people, for them to be more receptive and to hold a conversation with at least ONE person. The verse, “My ways are not your ways” definitely comes to mind. I guess I shouldn’t measure my idea of success by my standards.

Just before we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and head home, we stopped by the World Trade Center Memorial. After looking at the fountains we found a block of rock to sit on {literally} and took a break. It had been a loooong day. That’s when it happened.

“Excuse me, we are from Britain and we don’t know anything. But we saw you ladies over here with those pretty things on your head and we were wondering what they are.”

One of the girls referenced 1 Corinthians 11. Turns out, they were from Britain {if they accent hadn’t given that away} and they were visiting New York City for a week. They asked us more about ourselves and after mentioning that we were from PA which is also Pennsylvania, we had to explain that Pennsylvania is a state, not a city. I asked them if they knew about Amish people, to which of course they said they had heard of them {why do people know about Amish and not Mennonites is a mystery to me}. I’m not sure the conversation went much further than that, but the one lady did mention that she would google us when she had a chance. Rather amusing to be googled about if you think about it.

Image

The walk across the bridge was long but worth it. There aren’t many things more special than spending time with people who desire to further God’s kingdom through the giving of themselves.

All in all it was an exhausting but day, but also a learning experience. I’m not sure what I wanted to get out of the trip and I’m not disappointed exactly, but it turned out a bit different than expected. I can only hope that God took what little good I seemed to contribute and use that for profit.

For His word shall not return void.

That your life, no matter where you are, declare who you serve!

Remnant of Winter

I have the students write a composition each week using their vocab words.  I thought I would share one with you this week that I thought was particularly brilliant.  With winter seeming to hang on with all its got, even though its now officially spring, I think many of us can relate to this composition.

{I underlined the words that were their vocabulary words to use.}

 

ninasilitch.com

Just around the corner, the remnant of Winter howled seethingly.  It was ravenous for a big snowstorm.  But Spring was a gentle giant.  Uncouth Winter could not simply dishearten it.  He tried to make Spring the scapegoat for the storm.  As the volley between Winter and Spring continued, Spring gently pushed Winter toward another corner of the earth.  With a deafening howl, Winter was forced to succumb.  Winter decided to figure out a different plan for subsequent fights while Spring peacefully reigned on that corner of the earth.

 

I hope you are all having a wonderful first full day of spring!

Im{perfect} Sunrises

We all have them. No, we don’t like to admit it especially the really bad ones, but if we are really honest we would all admit it. We have imperfections. Some are uglier than others, rearing their ugly heads and making us feel unworthy, at least it happens to me. Just when I think I got it all under control, there it comes again reminding me that I’m imperfect. It seems like, at least for me, that these imperfections continuingly remind me that I have no hope.

Then comes the moment right before the sunrise; the moment of true beauty.

We have all seen those too. Sunrises I mean. I have the privilege of most mornings seeing the sunrise on the way to school. From my observation the most beautiful part of the sunrise, is not after the sun has risen but right before the first tip of the sun crests the horizon. You know something else I observed? That the more imperfections in the sky, the more beautiful it is. Oh wait I said that wrong, I meant clouds. The more clouds in the sky the more beautiful it is. No, I think I did say it right the first time.

Image

Do you know how clouds form? Well, I feel like I know a lot on this topic right now since my 8th graders are learning about this right now. But in a nut shell, when the air cools to the point where it can no longer hold anymore moister, it reaches its dew point. At this point it is forced to condense onto something, a piece of dirt. Yup, you read that right, a piece of dirt. There’s a little more to it than that, but a bunch of those pieces of dirt, with water condensed upon it, make a cloud.

Sure, a cloudless morning, with not a cloud in the sky is beautiful. I won’t deny that. But the clouds, the imperfections, those are what really make a sunrise not only beautiful but breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s the same with us. We aren’t a cloudless sky, nor can we ever be because we are human, but God in all His wisdom sent His Son to us so that through Him we could be beautiful. It is only when we allow Christ to shine through those imperfections, do we become truly beautiful.

When I see a sunrise, I can’t help but become overwhelmingly grateful for what my Savior did for me. He took my imperfections and because He loved me, made them beautiful. It’s nothing that I could have done, because remember I’m made of dirt, literally. But He saw me in all my dirtiness and by Him, the Son {or sun} shining through me {the cloud}, He made me into something truly gorgeous; a child of His.

IPA – Seven Things

Inner Peace Award

 

I would like to say a special thanks to Marjanita for nominating me for this award.

http://marjanitalarosa.wordpress.com/

The rules of award are:

1. Display the logo on a post.

2. Thank the person who nominated you and link to his/her site.

3. State seven things about you.

4. Nominate fourteen other bloggers & inform them via a comment on their blog.

Seven things about me:

1.  I am a Christian first and a Mennonite by upbringing.  I love my heritage, although it isn’t always perfect and I am grateful for my ancestors who stood up for what they believed was Biblical truth and didn’t back down even when they were faced with death.  At risk of saying something controversial, I see way to many young people {and older people} falling away from good teaching all in the name of ‘freedom’ from the ‘bondage’ they were under.  Although I do not believe by any means that you have to be a Mennonite to be a true Christian, I do believe that many of the Mennonite teachings have Biblically sound safe guards in place to keep me out of harm’s way.  But with that said I also know there are many non-Biblical standards within the conservative Mennonite church as a whole that has nothing to do with any Biblical teaching at all. {steps off soap box}

2. I enjoy writing.  When I was younger I used to write lots of short stories and then read them to my brother’s page, by page until the story was completed.  They were kind of like my ‘editors’; telling me when a story was good or not.  Even though I didn’t excel in grammar part of English in school, I definitely enjoyed the creative writing class I took as a Junior at Terre Hill.  I would love to write more but I struggle finding time and determining whether what I would like to write about is worth reading, so most times I just don’t write at all.

3. I enjoy winter.  Let it be known its my least favorite season, but I do enjoy it and the snow that it brings.  One of the things I appreciate about Pennsylvania is the variety of seasons that it brings.  We have cold winters {sometimes}, beautiful springs, decently warm summers, and gorgeous falls.  Other places that I have lived don’t quite have the variety.  Sure it wouldn’t be my choice to have off school today yet again, but I want to enjoy it while its here because what can complaining about it do for me?  That’s right, nothing.  So here I am feeling blessed I live in such a weather diversity region.

4. I used to live in Florida.  Most people do not know this about me but I used to live in Florida when I was quite a bit younger.  The most asked question I get is, “Do you still wished you lived there?”  And I have to answer truthfully, “No.”  There are many reasons I could give but none on which I will expound on.  It has its advantages though; because I just don’t go down to enjoy the warm weather, but also to visit family and friends who still live there.  It’s rather nice having connections.

5. My favorite time of the day is the morning.  When I was a teenager, I would have said I was more of a night owl, even though I was usually the first person to fall asleep at sleepovers.  Now I enjoy going to be at a half decent time and getting up to begin my day correctly, but spending time in Bible reading and prayer.  The older I get, the more I enjoy meditating on God’s word, for it is the blue print for the Christian life, not?

{Coming up with seven things I don’t mind other people knowing about me are harder than I thought.}

6. Right out of high school, I served as a Nanny to a beautiful baby boy within the mission of New Horizons Ministries located in the picturesque desert valley of Cañon City, Colorado.

7.  I love to travel.  I feel very blessed to have had the resources and connections to travel many different places.  I’ve been to most of the states in this country, Canada, Grenada, Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, and places in Europe {France, Switzerland, and Italy}.

{First things first, I have to confess, I don’t even follow fourteen other bloggers.  There are many ‘bloggers’ I read outside of the blogging world.  Marjanita actually named the majority of the bloggers that I follow.}