Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
It is a blessing to have a family that can get together, have a good time without any arguments taking place during the day (even if there are differences in opinion), and all go home happy. As we were eating dinner I looked at all the faces around the table and said to Leroy, "It is so good to have all of them under our roof at the same time, but I sure am glad I don't have to feed all of them every day!" To see all of your children have become responsible adults, able to take care of themselves and the next generation, is one of the best old age benefits. And now I shall go in the basement and savor the memories while I deal with the ghost of Christmas past.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The photo was taken at the springhouse on the Conrad Weiser Homestead about four miles from our house. If you don't know who Conrad Weiser was, click here and learn.
Then click on the Virtual Tour link on the sidebar and take a tour of the buildings on the Homestead.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
There is a perfect world but we have to leave this one before we can enter into it. Meanwhile, I hope the cracks in your world bring light into your life.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
*When a loved one comes home always run to greet them.
*Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
*Take naps and stretch before rising.
*Run, romp and play daily.
*Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
*Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
*On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
*On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
*When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
*No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.
*Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
*Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
*Never pretend to be something you are not.
*If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
*When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The apple butter was finished sooner than we expected. That was probably because it was such a small batch and the fact that we started with applesauce instead of raw apples. In less than three hours it was time to stir in the spices and dip out the finished product. The yield was about three gallons so we each wound up with about half of the amount of applesauce we contributed. This is my favorite picture of the day. My sister is filling jars with apple butter while one of her grandsons takes care of the important detail of taste testing. I always said making apple butter by the oven method produces the same results as making it in a copper kettle but I will have to adjust my tune a little. The apple butter we made today has a little different twang than the stuff made in the oven. It's probably the wood smoke that does it.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
“I turn sentences around. That’s my life. I write a sentence, then I turn it around. Then I look at it and I turn it around again. Then I have lunch. Then I come back in and write another sentence. Then I have tea and turn the new sentence around. Then I read the two sentences over and turn them both around. Then I lie down on my sofa and think. Then I get up and throw them out and start from the beginning.”
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
From there we went to the Prince Street Cafe in Lancaster for lunch with my sisters and then we all went to hear the Ephrata Cloister Chorus sing in the balconey of the Saal (church) at the Cloister. Their colonial style of slow, soft music is beautiful. I could have listened for an hour instead of the fifteen minutes they actually sang.
On Sunday we went to the Stauffer reunion near New Holland. Uncle Norman had a doll which belonged to his grandmother (Leroy's great-grandmother) Susanna Sensenich Stauffer. She was born in 1853 so the doll is probably 150 years old. The doll was passed on to Uncle Norman's wife, Susie, because she had the same name. She passed away a two years ago and he is going to pass it on to his daughter, Mary Elaine. He brought it for us to see before she comes from New Mexico to claim it.
On the way home from the reunion we stopped to see an old house on the north end of Bowmansville. This house was built by Christian and Judith (Weber) Musselman in 1813. It is now in the middle of a development but the developer is trying to find a buyer to restore it. He is an old friend of Leroy and schoolmate of mine so he told us we should help ourselves to a self-guided tour any time we like. I took lots of pictures while I had the opportunity. The section built in 1813 is on the right with a "dawdy house" addition on the left.
The developer is adding a garage and fixing up the dawdy end of the house to make a small apartment. He hopes that will make it more attractive for someone to buy the house and live in that end while they work at restoring the 1813 section. I hope he succeeds! The house could be made very nice by someone who knows how to do it. I hope someone rises to the challenge and preserves this place.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
We were three of the fortunate couples who stayed in Nolan & Clara's lovely home overnight. He is a physician with a family practice smack in the middle of Amish country and still makes house calls (in this day and age!).
It was hot and humid in Ohio but Nolan's house has central air so the heat didn't bother us a bit. We were planning to drive down to our daughter Saturday night but she called and said their electric had gone off and it could be off quite some time because the problem was at the substation. We decided to stay at Nolan's another night rather than burden Cheryl with company under difficult circumstances. We went down in time for church Sunday morning and left right after lunch. We at least got to see them but it was short and sweet. The whole weekend was very relaxing and uplifting. I hope we can keep up the friendships we established on the trip and renewed this weekend.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Naturally, there were several steam tractors and several types of threshing machines being demonstrated. There was also a line of tractors, old cars, and other things on display. The one that got Leroy's attention was this scale model 730 John Deere tractor and threshing machine made by Irvin Showalter of McVeytown, Pa.
The little threshing machine, powered by a belt connected to the tractor, actually worked but of course could only handle a handful of stalks at a time. Leroy is still working on his scale model John Deere B and every time he sees a finished one this size he gets excited. Someday he might be able to show off his own little tractor. It's coming along but there's a ways to go before it looks this good.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Triple Treat Torte
1/2 c. margarine
1 c. flour
2/3 c. chopped roasted peanuts
Mix until crumbly and press into a 9 x 13 pan
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. whipped topping
Mix all together and spread on cooled crust
1 pkg (3.9 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding
2 3/4 c. cold milk
Mix all together and spread over filling. When it is set, top with a layer of whipped topping and sprinkle with chopped peanuts or chocolate curls.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Friday, August 6, 2010
...If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea....
I don't know if you have ever given any thought to what you would want on your memorial stone, but I have. The genealogist in me would want my maiden name included. And I want this verse which is my statement of faith. "But thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Death is not the end of life. Our Lord Jesus Christ won the victory over death and because He lives I shall never die. I know without a doubt I shall reappear in a new and more elegant edition, corrected and improved by the Author. Thanks be to God who makes it possible!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
If you need an interpretation, the names are (from top down)
Hans Good [his mark: HG]
Mathias Shyarmister [his mark: ma?]
Conrade Strickland [his mark: K]
Bendicte Knoll [his mark: B]
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
* who loved and cared for her mentally handicapped child as long as she lived.
* who was content to live in a place far from her family because her husband was called to serve there.
* who raised her family alone after her husband's death.
* who has enough education to be a college professor but continues to teach at a local Christian school.
* who never complains about the rough start she had in life.
* whose name is known across the country and travels a lot for speaking engagements but is still surprised by the attention she receives.
Monday, July 19, 2010
A group of about 25 men and boys met at 6 a.m. Saturday and drove up to Thompsontown where they put their homemade rafts in the water.
After breakfast and a short worship service, they pushed off again and floated down to the Green Valley campground, below Newport.
Floating down the river on a homemade raft gives one a completely different view of life and the river. They saw some wildlife and birds you never see when you drive by the river on the road. Leroy got home around 4:30 Sunday afternoon. He really enjoyed the experience and spending the weekend with Dale and his boys. They made a memory that will last a long time.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Carol has bought all my books and is the one who got her brother to search for me. They have Italian background and a different heritage from our German one. Carol brought me some cookies she baked from an old Italian family recipe. Of course, I deliberately cooked PA Dutch foods. Apple butter, chicken pot pie, brown butter, chow chow, ring bologna, and shoofly pie were all foreign to them, but they said they liked everything and proved it by taking second helpings. We now have friends in the New England states we can visit if we ever go that way.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Darwin: Devolution into Depravity
Charles Darwin, as we all know, popularized the theory of evolution, and revolutionized modern science. How do his ideas rule from the grave? Instead of staying in science, the theory of evolution is now thought to apply to society at large. "Social Darwinism" is a foundational belief of our culture. This concept says that the social structure is engineered and controlled by impersonal forces, natural selection, and the survival of the fittest, rather than by a personal God. Society has become secularized, and God is resented and opposed at every opportunity. Along with this, Social Darwinism has overthrown the authority of the Bible, made religious belief pluralistic, and destroyed the family and morals. Social Darwinism says society is moving upward from a mean past to an improving future. Utopia, the Millennium, comes not by the Messiah but through biological evolution ever upward, from "slime to divine."
The fact is, Darwinism is not true, not in science, and not in society. Man is digressing instead of progressing, just has God said he would, II Timothy 3:13. "Social Darwinists" and psychologists think nothing of God's Word. Instead of evolving into a higher life form, mankind is devolving into the depths of depravity.
Marx: Discredited, But Socialism is Alive and Well
The ideas of Karl Marx ruling the world from the grave? This may sound preposterous since the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Cold War between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, godless atheism produced in the wake of Communist revolutions in Russia and China has not been overthrown. Socialism and the welfare state is alive and well in Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand. Marxism continues to have a profound influence on western intellectuals, who reject the Judaeo-Christian morality in favor of atheism.
Atheistic Communism (socialism) primarily is a denial that there is a just, holy, loving, and personal God who has created the universe and presides over its continuance. Communists are materialists, i.e., they believe that all is material, and deny the existence of the spiritual. They do not believe God is working out a purpose here below, but that history moves in a dialectic wave, and that state socialism is the wave of the future and will inevitably triumph. Marxism, a form of evolutionary dogma, says that history is determined by economics, and the revolution of the working class will thrust out the bourgeois (middle class) societies.
And yet, the beat goes on! Rather than learning the lesson that state control by wicked men results in disastrous consequences, the governments of the western "democracies" continue the path toward more socialism, more government control, more corruption in high places, more crimes being committed in the name of the country! The ghost of Karl Marx continues to haunt the world.
Wellhausen: Higher Criticism, Religious Liberalism
Why is the so-called Christian religion today a shadow of its former self? Why has it rolled over and played dead to the ideas of Darwin and Marx? Why has religious liberalism done so much damage, in destroying belief in God and the authority of the Bible? Why has the Church of God been so damaged by religious liberalism? Up until the middle of the 19th Century, if a person in the West called himself "religious" it meant something. The Bible was held to be God's revelation of His will for mankind, the government was to be respected, and order in society was to be kept. Although human reason was admitted to be fallible, the Bible was held to be infallible.
Then, religious liberalism was born, and all that was changed. Julius Wellhausen, a German rationalist, Old Testament scholar, and theologian, declared that human reason was totally dependable and the Bible could not be seriously trusted. Moses, Wellhausen claimed, did not write the Torah. Rather than divine inspiration, the Old Testament was said to be a product of evolutionary thinking of several individuals (referred to as the Elohim, Jehovah, Priestly and Deuteronomy, or EJPD, sources). Wellhausen became a leader in a religious school of thought called "Higher Criticism." Basically, this consists in bringing Darwin's ideas of evolution into biblical scholarship. The result was that the Christian religion became a complex set of human rationalizations, rather than the simple truth of God. The Spirit of God was taken from the Bible. Ministers quoted everything but the Bible, and what part of the Gospel they had was gone.
Religious liberals spawned by Wellhausen and others accepted biological evolution as a fact. They carried evolution to a next rational step: Man's ideas have evolved upward from the primitive to the complex. And so, the religious liberal says that our ideas of God have evolved and are continuing to evolve. Religious change is the evolution of ideas, part of the natural order and survival of the fittest. We used to think of God as a judgmental ruler of the universe, but now know Him as a God of love. Hence, there is no sin of violation of God's law. To the liberal theologian, sin is only lack of maturity, lack of proper evolution. The answer to sin is not the redemption of Jesus Christ, but education, man directing and controlling his own evolution. As mankind in enlightened, we will do away with war, hatred, famine and greed.
In contrast to religious liberals who are always changing (evolving) their religious concepts, based upon scholarship and human rationalism, we believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, the deity of Messiah and His pre-millennial return. That makes us "fundamentalists" in the eyes of some.
It would be all well and good if these religious liberals and "Higher Critics" just followed their rationalistic theories to their logical conclusion and left organized religion, because according to them, the Bible is a sham anyway, and God is merely the "ground of our being." But that's not the way it works. Breese notes that liberals insist on calling themselves Christians, and are not apt to leave a church organization:
While denying the inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the true nature of faith, and most of the other cardinal Christian doctrines, the liberals still want conservative Christians to think of them as "one of us." As a consequence, it is almost a rule of life that the liberals do not leave the visible church (Seven Men, p. 103).
Like a cancerous sore, liberals draw their strength by concessions made by conservatives, and labor subversively until they are the majority. Once this happens, they begin to exert their power to squeeze conservatives out of the church altogether.
Freud: Looking for the Truth Within
If we are indeed the product of evolution, and the Bible is the product of evolution, and state socialism is the wave of the future, we might as well look some place other than the Bible for the Truth. Why not look within ourselves? Enter Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. Freud is the fourth man whose ideas rule the world from the grave, as explained by Dave Breese.
The basis for Freudian thinking is the idea that the driving force behind all human action is the sexual instinct or urge. What we do, and the cause of our mental problems, stem from repressed sexual urges or desires. We need to talk about those repressed urges, and get them out in the open. The way to salvation is to be analyzed by a Freudian psychologist. Expressing contempt for all religion, which Freud saw as "mental infantilism" or "mass delusion," the essence of psychology is the belief that God does not intimately interact with man, and that there is a force, or libido, within mankind that, properly analyzed and controlled, will lead him to greater social progress. Freud opened the door for the New Age Movement, which insists that man can discover and control his own "life force" and obtain a utopia. The Freudian influence from 1890-1930 led to the permissive society, where sexual urges and wrong desires are not only talked about openly, but practiced without society's judgment. Christianity in general has moved along the Freudian path.
Dewey and Humanistic Education
If man is no longer a sinner and can find the truth within himself, then we need to be educated rather than regenerated. And, the church is right in switching from a message of salvation through the cleansing blood of Christ, to a message of salvation through the improvement of the social structure. Enter John Dewey and our liberal education system.
The missing dimension in Western thinking is the Christian viewpoint. Western man thinks about economics, politics, government, education and many other things without ever once asking, "What does God think about these things?" They never ask this question because they are not taught to think in our educational system. In fact, the foundation of our educational system, developed by John Dewey, is that there is no foundational truth. Nothing is settled, final and sure, but only subject to further research. Nothing is constant, given, or finally true, but rather all is pragmatic, adaptable, and subject to reinterpretation deemed appropriate to the time.
In a word, Dewey's educational philosophy can be summed up in one word: experience. Truth, he believed, was only found in experience. We must not concern ourselves with truth, but with meaning. What it means to you might be different than what it means to me. Final truth is illusory and we shouldn't bother finding the impossible. Dewey presided over a "vast emergence" of ideas in the Twentieth Century which revolutionized education. Rather than instilling morals in students, teachers were led to teach by experiment. "Progressive education" took over not only public schools, but also churches and most of religion.
Today, as the result of Dewey, most churches believe in progressive revelation. They pragmatically adapt doctrines to fit changing times. They are open to everything and every idea, except those who claim to have absolute truth as taught in the Bible! The moment Christianity agrees with Dewey, that there are many forms of truth, its cause is lost, and it can merely meander along with the relativists and mumble sweet nothings about God. Dewey has done his job in convincing Western man that God's Word is out of date, and evolving moral concepts and principles are "progressive." The fact is, Truth is once given, but many times forgotten and ignored, as men devoid of understanding throw it away.
Keynes: The Government is God
In Plato's Republic, the wise philosopher king ruled over his kingdom. And so it is today, with God dethroned from His rightful position of Lord and Master of our lives, the government is thought to be god. One man has had a profound influence on the development of our government economic system: John Maynard Keynes. In the wake of the devastating global depression of 1929 through the 1930s, economist Keynes came up with a recommendation to solve economic woes. His ideas were readily accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and formed the basis for socialistic governments around the world. To get the economy moving again, Keynes taught, it was the responsibility of government to create full employment, even if it had to borrow money and assume mounting debt to do so. Rather than get rid of the sins which cause economic depression, vanity, jealously, lust and greed, Keynes promoted the idea that government had all the answers. In the short term, Keynesian policies of excessive government spending and mounting public debt, appear to do some good. But in the long term, Keynesian economics only make worse the inevitable collapse of the whole nation. Keynes knew this, but did not care, for as he said, "In the long term, we are all dead."
In twenty years, no President and no Congress has even seriously promised to reduce the debt. "We owe it to ourselves!" some say, in a vain attempt to justify this flagrant spending frenzy. That is not true. The debt of the United States of America, the world's leading debtor nation, is funded by foreigners such as the Chinese. The colossal public debt is a giving away of our sovereignty, and the establishment of a one-world government and economic system, the Beast. God's economic system is not founded upon usury debt money. When the government becomes god, it opens itself up to satanic control in an increasingly vicious way.
Self-reliant pioneers who were our forbearers knew that government could not and should not do for them what they could do for themselves. They believed the Word of God is the foundation of knowledge. Modern religious hucksters follow Keynes. They spend other people's money to do what they think is best. These policies are spiritual economic disasters.
Kierkegaard: Confusion Everywhere
Finally, the seventh man whose ideas rule the world from the grave is a Danish philosopher few know much about, Soren Kierkegaard. During his short life (1813-1855), Kierkegaard's ideas did not gain much prevalence. About one hundred years after his death, his philosophy was re-discovered and quickly conquered the world. His mission was plain: "I conceived it as my task to create difficulties everywhere." He intended to create religious confusion, and he has. Breese correctly states, "It is doubtful that anyone perfectly understands Kierkegaard." On one page, he seemingly contradicts what he has said on the previous page.
Why did Kierkegaard take the religious world by storm? They needed his message. Religious liberals, unwilling to repent and obey the Bible, and abhorring the idea of Messiah's return to quell evil and rule the earth with a rod of iron, seized upon Kierkegaard's philosophy of existentialism. The essence of Kierkegaard is expressed in the title of one of his books, Truth is Subjectivity. The refusal to belong to any school of thought, repudiation of any body of beliefs whatever, that is the heart of existentialism. The only thing that is real is "the moment." If it feels right, do it, now! This is insanity dressed up in a tuxedo, yet existentialist philosophy is the base of every department of philosophy in every major university in Western civilization. Existentialism is not just another point of view, it is a denial of all points of view. There is no truth, no right or wrong, only the moment, without causes and consequences. Moral relativism and situation ethics are the harvest of Kierkegaard.
For the believer, the Bible is the inspired word of God. For the existentialist, the Bible becomes the word of God only when the believer experiences "inspiration" and "does his own thing." Rather than a reconciliation with the Almighty, salvation is merely an experience with Jesus. Illicit sexual relations are believed to be neither "right" or "wrong," but relative. Modern followers of Kierkegaard preach a doctrine of "fornication without tears."
Conclusion: We Must Defend the Truth
Dave Breese concludes that these seven men rule the world because they astutely gave people what they wanted to hear. There was no forceful rebuttal from those who believed in the Word of God. These seven men rule the world not through fair speeches but through the sustained impact of the printed page.
Let's not roll over and play dead. Unless we challenge the theories of Darwin, Marx, Wellhausen, Freud, Dewey, Keynes and Kierkegaard, their philosophies may yet undo us. We had better be able to defend ourselves against these "black belt" philosophical masters.