Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pass the peas, please...

Today in Chapel Mr. Goodenow reminded me of one of my favorite Bible characters, Shamah. In II Samuel 23:11-12, it describes one of David's mighty men. This man stood his ground, in the middle of a pea patch (The Bible says lentils, so that can be translated different ways). He defended his land of inheritance from the Philistines. When every one else fell away, he stood his ground. Sometimes it feels like we are the only ones that are taking the stand. And while we might be alone on a certain issues there are others in other places who have had to stand. And we can look at their example and be encouraged.

One thing that encouraged me was that God gave a mighty victory. Shamah wasn't Super Man. While he was the only human that was in the field, he was not entirely alone. God was there and "wrought a great victory." He was ordinary. We don't have to be Super Man (or Woman) to stand. We can be a simple laborer for God when he gives us the opportunity to be used for a "great" victory. How often do we grumble and complain that God has allowed trials into our lives. I am sure that Shamah was looking for the Philistines and hoping that they would show up, so he could show off his battle skills. Very likely he was a simple farmer who was harvesting his crops. The Philistines were known for waiting till the Hebrews were harvesting before showing up and stealing the food. Maybe they had done this before to Shamah, and just maybe he was fed up with what the Philistines had been dishing out. He decided that today was the day that he wouldn't take any more. I almost picture him going out to the field with his harvesting tools and a sword strapped to his side. When they (a troop of Philistines) showed up, he told them to get off his land. When they didn't he prepared himself to fight. Now the Bible doesn't say that he fought them with a sword, and if he didn't have a sword then God really was working a "great" miracle. There had originally been more people with him but they ran away in fear, but Shamah stood. He probably didn't think that he would make it out alive, but obviously that didn't scare him away from the fight. As Christians there are times that we enter a spiritual battle where it seems that the odds are stacked against us. But like Shamah we have a secret weapon.

I would have loved to be a mouse in that field to watch the work of God. I can imagine that when the dust settled Shamah wondered how it was that he was still standing. There are times that in the midst of the fight we don't think that we are making any headway, but when the dust settles and we reflect on how the Lord has helped us; we are in awe. We are still standing.

I can imagine that after that (whether he liked the taste of peas or not) Shamah was reminded of God's power and might every time he was served up a dish of peas. He did not enter that field with the intent of being a hero, but because of his willingness to stand regardless of other people's choices the Bible has a recorded of his act. Not only a record of this act, but he was one of David's mighty men who were known for many acts of valour.

Oh Christian, I want to encourage you. In a country where we are told that we know longer are the majority, remember we are called to make a stand. A stand for the Biblical principles that our country was founded on. The opposition to the cause of God and our country may seem powerful and resourceful, but we have a secret weapon who controls the world.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take unto the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just a quick politcal thought

I don't normally make it a practice to get political on my blog. But I just couldn't resist...

"When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home." -Winston Churchill

When I saw that this was the quote of the day(Monday) for my blog I thought that it was so appropriate for the times, with Obama scheduled to speak before the UN. I don't appreciate any president that attacks the country of which he is the commander and chief . I can only hope that President Obama would take a few pointers from someone who was know to be a statesman extraordinaire and hold up our country.

Our students recently did a display on the Constitution. Our Constitution is the oldest in the world and has been copied by many countries. Our form of government has worked for over two hundred years, since when does it not work any more. We don't need socialist programs or the government running every part of our lives from the cars we drive to the types of drinks we consume. It is ridiculous to think that this is what the people really want for themselves.

Whew...... That relieved a little of what was on my mind... Now back to grading.... And I'll not bother you with any more of my political thoughts. ;-)

Summer pictures


This is the Market place.


This “Grandma” since she called me Carol. LOL it was the big joke, when I first started working there they couldn’t remember my name.

More Pictures

Melody the right hand lady on the farm

Jason the one I worked with often....

David, who likes to pester people with bugs and thrown apples...

Summer pictures

"Grandpa" showing us how to grade apples...

"Grandma" who always called me Carol... They tended to forget names.

The market place

My “What I did with my summer” essay

Sounds just like a teacher :-) This summer went by so quickly and I have to admit I really wasn’t ready to start school.  Now I really sound like one of my students. On the other hand, I had student who was telling my in July that she was ready for school to start cause she was bored. I told her she could come to work with me and that would take care of ALL of her boredom.

Most of you know that I work at the Dutch Haus. Well this spring I put in a note asking for more hours but knowing how life goes and all of the college students that would be coming back, I decided to look elsewhere.

Well after talking to my friend Tonya, I called one of the local fruit farms and Jon Huffman decided to give me a shot. I started the Friday after school was out and that was my trial work day. I worked in the grading room and had been warned about the boredom in that room. But it was different than anything that I have ever done. I have worked quite a variety of jobs and this was very different. I like the more physically labor aspect of it. I have thinned apple trees, graded apples, bagged apples and even delivered apples. I graded peaches, sold strawberries at a roadside stand, graded and sorted tomatoes and peppers and got to try a wide variety of veggies and a variety peaches and apples. The only thing I didn’t learn was how to run the fork lift. Knowing how klutzy I am I would end up tearing up something or running something over. So I skirted that little learning experience. :-)

Some friends even joined me there. Danielle, Eric, Stephanie and I got to work together some. They got to work in the outdoors while I was in the grading room. They say that you never stop learning, but I think that your learning depends on you… There are always new experiences to learn from and this summer was full of them for me.

Lydia, a dyer of purple

Rev. Grabill did a wonderful job on Saturday. I thanked him personally but also thought I would share his some of his thoughts from the funeral service for Nancy Ritchey. (Mind you I was not able to stay for the whole service due to a calling and work schedule, but what I was present for was very challenging.)

Rev. Grabill, I hope that I can do justice to your challenge to us.

Rev. Grabill compared Miss Ritchey with Lydia a convert in the New Testament. Lydia extracted dye from oyster shells which was a very taxing job, she knew what hard work meant and was accomplished. She was clothed in her product and worked to cloth others in her product. Purple dye was very expensive and reserved for royalty. And we all know that Miss Ritchey was a queen among women. However, Miss Ritchey knew how to work hard and did so with her own education and for her students as well. I can remember her telling stories of some of her college days that made us all laugh, but reminded us of how much she had to work to get where she was. She was always thought of as a tough teacher, but that sentiment was always followed with “but you always learned from her.” She was clothed in her product of God’s grace and mercy. It was told that the nurses at the care facility where she was when she passed away were saddened that they could not spend more time getting to know her, because, she was so special. She also challenged her students to “wear” her royal cloth. To not only have a head knowledge of God and who He was, but to be clothed in His Righteousness. To allow His righteousness to mold us and make us vessels that would accomplish His will, this was the aim of her life.

Her funeral was a celebration of a homegoing not a mourning of the lost. May we take the admonition of such a grand teacher that same could be said of our passing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Unspeakable Joy

As I reread my last post I truly didn't realize how little time we had with one of the greatest women on earth. I am not going to even attempt to laud her as Mark did. Check his blog for an excellent and touching commentary from a former student.

I will say this I was remembering the day that she found out that I was moving age groups in my teaching career. She remarked that she was going to have to double her time in prayer for me since I was moving from 2nd and 3rd grade to 7th and 8th. She knew more than I what I was facing. Knowing that she was praying for me helped me so much through the times that I thought I would quit. And here I am... Still teaching 7th and 8th (and clear up to 12th at times) knowing that if she hadn't been praying for me I wouldn't have made it this far. Since I am still single, several have teased me asking if I was going to be the next Miss Ritchey. I could never hope to take up that mantle. I can only hope to follow in her footsteps as she so faithfully followed in the footsteps of our Lord.

I'm sure she would be horrified to know that everybody is focusing on her. However, she deserves more than the few kind but almost lacking words that we have all used to describe her. For all of you who never had the privilege of knowing her or sitting in one of her classes, I am sorry. She was a master teacher and tough as nails. She had high expectations. She was loving, caring and even generous. (Although don't let those last three get out. LOL)

I can still remember phrases and definitely the tune to the prayer hymn she had us learn for prayer class. And I sit remember trying not to hum the tune too loudly during the final where we had to write out the poem. And her sitting in the front of the room grinning while watching us all trying not to hum.

Few people have impacted my life for God as my Grandpa Geno, Miss Ritchey and Rev. Satterfield. May we all remember the lessons that they so diligently taught us and live so close to God that this time of parting seems but a brief pause in light of the eternity that we will face worshipping our Lord together. I'm sure Miss Ritchey is experiencing more than just "a better place." I'm sure she is experiencing unspeakable joy. (And I'm sure she is enjoying that music and even joining in on the fun ;-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Unsung Hero

For those of you who sat under the teaching of Miss Ritchey and enjoyed her quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor, I hope this post provokes your thoughts and prayers.

She was hospitalized yesterday. And is not doing well physically. Please say a prayer for her today.

I was remembering the day that I walked into her office to demand an explanation for a C in psychology. I knew that I had gotten B level grades, and I couldn’t figure out why I had been given a C… She told me that I was and A student who gave her B work so my “participation” made it a C. After that I gave all my classes more effort.

As a teacher if I could be half the teacher that she was I would be happy. She was so wise at knowing her students and understanding what was best for them. Notice that I didn’t say what they wanted but what was best for them.

In my classroom is an old-fashioned school desk that will always hold memories for me, because it once belonged to her…


She inspires me and challenges me, and she has shown me what a deep love of God looks like. She is one of those people who have influenced me in my Christian walk. She is too modest to admit how influential she has been in so many lives. But like the Southern Gospel song “Faces” says I think that when the Lord gives her the reward she has earned there will be many faces to watch her receive her crown!

Love you Miss Ritchey!!

Happy Birthday Mom

I've always tried to remember 9/11 not because of any tragic event that changed the world as I knew it, but because it's my mom's birthday... (hopefully I'll post a picture of her after I have supper with them tonight)

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My new toy


I can’t believe it!!!! It’s finally here!!!!! (can you tell I’m excited?)

Now that I have a wireless capable laptop, I’m hoping to blog more. Lol I know promises, promises…

Sorry if I’m bragging but I can’t help it… I’m just a little excited :-)