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Monday, February 24, 2014

White to Black

When I was a teenager there were certain preachers (which I won't name) who were promoting black stockings for women. There was one I especially knew as the "black stocking preacher." No matter what he preached about he always managed to work black stockings into his sermon.
When there was a split in the Lancaster Conference in 1968, the conservative element that broke away rewrote their discipline and made black stockings mandatory. The new rule included not only the color but the weight of the stockings. They were to be "service weight" (30-denier).  Black stockings are considered plainer than brown or flesh colored stockings. The blacker the better. (In case you're wondering, I couldn't swallow that idea.)
The earliest known Mennonite church statement on women's clothing was found in a 1763 Bible used in the Groffdale meetinghouse. It  directed that all woolen clothing be made from gray cloth and linen clothing should be white. Cotton neck-kerchiefs, aprons, and stockings were to be white or light blue.
Now here's my question. When and how in the past 200 years did the correct color of women's stockings change from white to black? Was there a gray period in between? If anyone has an answer, let me know.
My personal opinion is that if the skirt is long enough the color of the stocking does not matter. A long skirt is more modest than black stockings.

Monday, February 17, 2014

2014 Pennsylvania Winter Olympics

RUN to the grocery store before the storm

LEAP over the snowbank

POWERLIFT snow away from the mailbox

SLIP AND SLIDE on the icy front walk

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

We watched this debate on Evolution and Creationism last night and it was very stimulating. When someone asked where the atoms came from that caused the "Big Bang," the scientist said he did not know. Also he did not know where consciousness came from. In both cases, Ken Ham said, "A book has been written which gives us the answer to that question." The Bible has all the answers about the origin of life!
Nye believes that this life is all there is and there is nothing beyond. Ham asked him then what is the point of all this? If all your efforts go to nothing, why bother? Faith gives meaning and purpose to life, in this world and the one to come.
Evolution and Creationism are both based on an assumption. The underlying assumption of evolution is uniformitarianism, which is the product of human reasoning. Creationism is based on the assumption that the Word of God is true. It all boils down to who do you believe? Man or God? I'll take God's Word over man's any time!
If you want to watch this, be aware that the whole program lasts more than two hours.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

LaHeutte, Switzerland

For many years we believed the story that our Burkholder ancestors migrated from Switzerland to Germany to Pennsylvania. In the 1990s new information surfaced that changed the story. Our immigrant ancestor's parents were not Christian and Elizabeth, but Ulrich and Barbara. They never lived in Germany. The Burkholders were from Ruderswil, Switzerland. In the 1720s they moved to the Jura Mountain area of Switzerland.
Anabaptists were not persecuted as heavily in the Jura Mountains as they were in the Emmental Valley. They were not welcomed but tolerated. One of the restrictions was that they had to live 1000 meters above the villages. This was to keep them from mingling with and "infecting" normal people with their Anabaptist ideas. Life on the mountains was hard. Water was scarce and the soil was not very productive. They were not allowed to purchase farms but could only rent them.
The Burkholders lived on the mountain above the village of LaHeutte. We don't know the exact location of their farm because it was rented. Ulrich and Barbara were making plans to immigrate to Pennsylvania with a group of other Mennonites when Ulrich died unexpectedly. Barbara brought their six children in 1754 as planned.
This is looking down on the village of LaHeutte from the mountain above it. This was probably a familiar scene to our Burkholder ancestors and is what they left to come to Pennyslvania.