Monthly Archives: June 2006

  Morning Prayer Journal   

      My heart is sick of the gods that raise their heads in my heart —  clamoring for time and attention.
     And I, so bedazzled by their noise and show and promise of satisfaction, hasten to give them room and board and honor.  Trying always, Lord Jesus, to keep you first, but finding out the crumbs that are left after feeding all these paltry gods are nothing fit for a King.
     Nothing satisfies for long, and my heart looks within and sees a once fine altar, ground there to sawdust, and weeps.
     All the excuses clang hollowly against the broken bell of liberty.  Where has my freedom gone?
     I say that life, particularly the losses of this last year, has changed me.  I never meant for it to be this way.  I hasten to say that  I’ve always wanted to be changed — by YOU, Heavenly Father, more and more into the image of your dear Son.  Instead, I find that the events of my life — which could have been used to make me more like you, have made me numb instead.  So numb that I almost cannot hear your voice.  So numb, I hardly know who I am. 
     And in that numbness, the mini gods of food and self-pity and sleep and Xanga have stormed the gates of my heart.  And WON.  Oh, Lord Jesus, they’ve won. 
     They have marched in with their foot soldiers of greed and laziness and impatience and indifference and jealousy and suspicion and a deep sadness and they’ve set up their camp and mapped out their strategy and they’ve commandeered my heart.
     . . .  And because of the grief also tabernacled there, I’ve had neither energy or will to fight.
     I cannot just blame the grief, Dear Father.  I’ve made wrong choices, too, given over strongholds without resisting, watching quietly while battles were lost.
     I confess there are situations that I don’t know what to do with.  And I know there are no easy answers.  But I also know that there is not a single situation that can be helped by my allegiance to these self-indulging gods and their devastatingly aggressive foot soldiers.
     And so, I choose you.  Once again, Dear Father, I bring you the sawdust of my heart, asking that you build anew the throne that is rightfully yours.  Take these things that can be so good, and let them have their rightful places so that you can reign supreme.  You are God, because you ARE.  May you be LORD in my life because my heart bows before your rightful place.


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Well, I’ve been ordered to tell all — So here goes.   

Lucy, Miss Brooks and Dominie have a traveling shirt. We’ve seen it often upon their respective bodies in long ago posts.  And Lucy had it last and was supposed to send it back to Dominie.  Then one day I got this letter:

Good morning Mary, I am trying to figure out a joke to play on Dominie aka Sister Sara. Would you be willing to help me?

Dominie started this “sisterhood of the traveling item”. We had the socks that Miss Brooks left at her home, then the scarf and the last item is her Mickey Mouse T-shirt. She joked about it for a while but has not asked about nor mentioned it for weeks. I have it here . . .    

       . . . What would you think of me sending you a picture of this Mickey Mouse T-shirt and then you post it on your Xanga site as a Goodwill find? I think I can Email the picture and you simply save it in your documents then you should be able to post it. It is a very good quality T-shirt. It has a different kind of tag in the back that she’d know right off. Her reaction to seeing it on your site should be priceless. Let me know if you are game for this and we’ll have some fun! Have a good day!

Your friend,

Nancy dba Lucy or Ethel


And I responded that I would be delighted to help, so Lucy sent me these three pictures:

  W- MM shirt 2

 W- MM shirt 

W- MM tag


And then a whole lot of things started to happen, and we had numerous upsets and sadnesses and it just didn’t seem timely.  So the whole thing got put on a back burner until it all came up again when Dominie visited her sisters in Iowa and wanted the shirt back.  Then, the ball got started rolling again, albeit a bit late on my part because I missed a whole lot of xanga postings over a stressful weekend at my church.  But when I finally posted the pictures, I only used two of them.  Then, I got the following statement from  Lucy:


Chuckle, chuckle!!

Now if I can get HIM to do the same thing it’ll add to the chuckle!



And that really got my mind in gear.  What would happen if I e-mailed the picture that I didn’t use to Handsinmotion and see what she could do with it.  So I sent it to her with the following letter:


Carolyn, is there any chance that you would want to use this picture to further muddy the waters?  This is one picture that Nancy/Lucy sent me that I didn’t use, but maybe you could say that a friend gave it to you just today because they saw that it was the same shirt that has been flying around on Xanga.  I don’t like to lie about anything, so you can say it however you want, but I DID just give the picture to you today, and it is because it looks just like the one on my site.  If you look carefully, you will see that I never said that I bought it anywhere.  I did imply that, but I didn’t say it.  This should be web ready, because I had to do quite a bit of work today to get them to stay on my web page.  Finally got it figured out.  Thanks for the “heads up” that you couldn’t see the picture.
Love you!
~Mary Ann


And she wrote back to me (And Lucy)  late last night the following:


OK, ladies, check out my Xanga! I confess we spent way too much time photoshopping it, but the end result was fun. Jennifer wouldn’t give up until she had it done. Now it is time to get to bed, I am way past my bedtime!



When I went over there to her site (  I could not believe my eyes.  She and her daughter had done a delightful job of authenticating the “gift” I had given her. 


So now you all now the story of the traveling shirt.  HIM– do you have anything to add?  I think your part of this was the neatest by far.  Bully for you!


But all of it has been great fun.  Dominie, you really should have been a detective.  If you check over the messages, at one time or another, you pretty much guessed the basic things that happened.  (You guessed a few that didn’t happen, but, still, I am quite impressed!) 



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Now playing:  Harmony Boys Quartet:  Mansion over the Hilltop


This posts is directed to my friend, Lucy, in Iowa —

I am so perplexed, Lucy of Iowa — It seems that there is a shirt being passed around out there that is similar to one I have here.  Didn’t you say that this was one of a kind?  I found it a couple weeks ago, and there has been so much going on that I didn’t get to post pictures of it until now.  Is this a “Sister” shirt, or what?  It truly won its way to my house because of the similarity between it and the one in the pictures you have posted.  (I am not usually a “buyer of t-shirts” at Salvation Army, Milford.)  This one has to be from the same manufacturer.  I included a close-up of the tag.  I’m not sure how clear it is, but maybe you can decipher if it is the same one.  By the way, did you ever send yours back to Dominie???  Or are you still hoarding it for your own comfort?


 W- MM shirt 2


This is the tag —


W- MM tag


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And so, another year of Bible School is history.

The last night had the usual things:

W- Abby Helps

The extra people still did their diligent helping:

  w- Tammy and her class 

W- pick me, pick me- Bethany

We tried to guess the offering and attendance

And we got the final talleys of both.:

 W- The mountain

This is a little hard to see, but the total attendance is on the pink chart up in the corner.
This table is the contributions made to the mini-food pantry that is maintained by Laws Mennonite Church

W- Joel works on the mountain 

Joel kept our “mountain” stacked and neatly in order.

 W-Offering Chart

And this is the offering chart.  I suppose here is as good a place as any to clear up all the confusion.  Gospel for Asia (Not American Bible Society; not Global Tribes Outreach)but Gospel for Asia is the supplier of the Bible School packets that we were raising money for.  So, since each dollar will supply one, our little tiny Bible School will make it possible for over 700 underprivileged children to go to Bible School.

W- Our Graduate, best

And, since it was the last night of Bible School, we also had a graduation for anyone who has completed eighth grade with at least four years of attendance at our Bible School.  We had one this year.  Here, Mary Beth awaits the final assembly.

 W- Our Graduate and superintendent, Pete 

Here she gets her diploma, and a rose, and she is officially graduated!

W- Our Graduate

Mary Beth Sharp

And then, Our Bible School was over, and the children were going home.  Thanks to an energetic youth group who stayed and helped to get everything cleaned up.  Lots of good memories, lots of good times.  And what a blessing we were given with the ones who took care of all the practical things — I’m quite agravated that I don’t have a group picture of them, but Evanna and Brian, Christina, Donna, Joel, Abby, and Erick —  You all were great!  Your careful attention to detail made everything go more smoothly.  Thanks, you guys!

And thank you, Lord!


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One more night of Bible School. 
Praise for a great week!

Random Photos from tonight:

Kaleb studies 

We have a new student.  Kaleb joined us tonight.


Kaleb’s smile changes the whole classroom.

 My Class

My three beloved students.  I have the best class in the Bible School.

 I kissed a Monkey

But when I tried to get them to smile by saying,
“I kissed a monkey!” this is what happened.

Looking over the bench  

What’s behind the bench is always more interesting than what’s up front!

 Pick me, pick me

“Pick me!  Pick me!!!”
The contest to guess the offering and attendance always produces lots of friendly competition.

 W- Matthew and Roger

I am so pleased to have gotten this picture.  These two boys are some of the best “Camera Dodgers” I have ever known.  So here you have them.  Matthew doesn’t know what hit him, but Roger sure looks worried.

P.S. This morning, my computer made a misstep, and I lost some of my e-mail.  If someone is thinking they should be hearing from me and aren’t, re-send your message.  I did some maintenance, and things are going better. 


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     Come to Bible School, Come to Bible School!

Every weekday evening, come to Bible School!

Come to Bible School, Come to Bible School1

Every weekday evening, Come to Bible school!


And once again, it is that time.  Time for the wonderful week of Bible School at Laws Mennonite Church.

Recess Scenes 

By soon after six pm, people start to gather in.  Our attendance is down this year, but the spirit is running high.

w- the crowd

Here is part of our “crowd”.  Tonight we had only 42, but the good feelings have been evident to all.

And when the offering for the two nights was tallied up, we had over $230.00 already.  We are planning to use that for Global Tribes Outreach, who wants to put a Bible School packs in the hands of 100,000 children this year.  Each dollar given will provide for one child.  Our group of kids is so excited.  We are also bringing nonperishable things for our church’s “food pantry” and that has enjoyed a great deal o popularity.

W- pete makes a point 

Our fearless leader and superintendent, Pete, makes a point.  He’s doing a much better job at that than I am on this.

W- Rachel Hughes 1 Briar 2

I happen to have only two kids so far.  But they are the best ones there, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn to know Rachel, on the left and Briar on the right, better.  Aren’t they beautiful??? And they are behaving so well.    Oh, and there is always room for more.  Call me for information. (302-422-5952)


And Of course, we have to have snack:

Snack time, Henry and Evanna

Don’t let this picture fool you.  Henry IS helping.  Yes, He IS!
And Evanna had a splendid time with organization, as usual.  Our snacks have gotten a bit more regimented.
A cookie, a salty and a drink.  It works wonders, and everyone knows what they are doing.  Of course, some will always ask for seconds, and some will try to sneak, but most of the children are content with what they have. 

After snack, if you were one of the littler ones, you might get the chance to go outside with your teacher and play a world famous game of SOCCER!.

World Famous Soccer team

This is Rachel’s Class.  It is her first teaching experience, and is doing very well.  This “soccer team”  created at her instigation, brought alot of enjoyment and  unsolicited instruction.  Don’t they look like they are ready to get out there and win!?!

Rebecca helps Rachel and Bethany

Rebecca helps her two little sisters, Rachel and (*edit) SARAH. . .
(Everytime I think I have these names memorized, I find out I don’t!)

And then, it was back to class for the final minutes and getting ready to go home.

Emma thinks

There was time to ponder the snack an how it was settling into small tummies.


Time to be thankful for a good night and a good time.

W- Rachel Hughes 

It was time to get the “chores” done so that  the classroom is orderly and inviting for tomorrow night.

And so they did, and then it was assembly and then it was the final;

Our Bible School is over, and we are going home.

Good bye, Good bye, be always kind and true

Good bye, Good bye, be always kind and true.

Laws Mennonite Church’s Bible School has always been a cause for celebration and it is no different this year.  We are just having a blast!!! Not many kids, as I said, but lots of spirit and co-operation.  We hope to increase our numbers, someway   But if not, even so, it seems like it will be another great year.



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Daddy- 6 months

 He’s been home 6 Months — June 18, 2006

“If you could see me now,
I’m walking streets of gold.
If you could see me now,
I’m standing tall and whole.
If you could see me now,
You’d Know I’ve seen His face.
If you could see me now,
You’d know the pain’s erased.
You wouldn’t want me to leave this place
If you could only see me now!”
~Kim Noblett

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!



(The song playing is “The Land of Fadeless Day” sung by Harding University College Choir)


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Certain Man

 and his

Trusty Crew





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Today was our trip with the group from the Country Rest Home to Tangier Island.  When the group’s numbers swelled to over 30, the decision was made to take a big bus.  I was delighted.  I was thinking “Jor-lin.”  Or even “Zook’s” but no, it was not to be.  Just before pulling out of the parking lot after we got back, I hastily took a picture of the bus.  I thought I had it centered, even though the sun was in my eyes.  I didn’t.  However, I want you to know that the transportation was NOT DOWN HILL.  It was comfortable for most of us, and I was very thankful for it.

W- Goin' downhill

          We met at Greenwood Mennonite Church.  For some reason, I had 9 AM as the time I was supposed to be there, so I flew around and tried to get everything in order before I left, sailed out the door by 8:47 and prided myself being on time (for once).  I got there and the parking lot was empty.  They must have left without me!  How could I have been so mistaken?  Several frantic phone calls later, I discovered that the time to meet was 9:45.  Okay!  This is one time when Certain Man’s wife was on time!


W- Miss Mary

This is Ms. Mary Ebierline, the coordinator of our trip


W- Getting ready to go 2

Mark and Polly and Ms. Mary getting us all ready to go.

W- V&F 1 

Uncle Vernon and Aunt Freda — today was their 49th wedding anniversary!
(Can you believe it?)

W- Marge and John  
Happy faces on the bus.

After a ride of about an hour and a half, we got to the dock where our boat was to leave from.  We had an hour or so to wait, but the day was beautiful and people enjoyed the sunshine. W- Mama and Carlene W- Waiting to board the boat 1
Mama talks to Carlene, and then Carlene sits with Josie and further down the bench is Ivan.

W- Waiting to board the boat
Mary, Ruthie, Barbara, Herman and Dickie

W- Vivian 

W- Water 1 
The water of the Chesapeake is a source of wonder.  I know that people who are more widely traveled than I am have bigger and better stories, but this is “home water” and I love it!

W- water

We had wonderful sailing weather and the company could not have been improved upon!

W- Three Lads in a row 
Fred, Herman and Paul


W- three in the cabin  
(I’m sorry this is so dark, but–) This is our trusty bus driver, John David, his dad, Lewis, and his gentle wife, Carlene.


  W- Three lassies in a row
Three fine Lassies, sitting in a row-
Mama, Elizabeth and Evelyn

W- inside the cabin 1
Ivan and Mary and CMW (That orange-ish man in the middle doesn’t belong to us) Mark, Jr. and Mama.


W- inside the cabin
A reverse view of the same picture.

W- Barbara & Mama
Barbara and Mama

W- Laughter 
The upper deck was full of sun and shadow and laughter.

And we finally came to Tangier Island:

 W- Sign
Can you read this sign???  (I can’t!)

W- Dinner W- Dick and Ruthie
One of the main reasons for going to get a good meal specializing in Seafood.  And the clam fritters were great and the crab cakes delightful.  The only problem is, I didn’t get any pictures of the seafood.  It was very, very good, but not as plentiful as the other “filler” stuff.

And then there was a tour of the island.  Tangier Island is accessible only by water of air.  Transportation on the island is largely golf carts and bicycles.  Approximately 600 people live there year round, and the chief industry is crab and fish.  The thing that impressed me most was the amount of poverty that is there.  There are a few nice houses, but far more that are “shack-like.”  It was a beautiful day, and there was lots to see, and the food was good, but I really don’t think I would like to live on the island.  Maybe if you were raised there (as it seems most of them were) it would hold an attraction that it otherwise does not.

Anyhow, soon it was time to go home.W- Mark & Polly 4
Mark and Polly on board for the return trip home. 

          I was down on the dock, taking this picture, and the horn was blowing for the last “all aboard.”  I knew I had to hurry with the picture, and I needed to get my ticket out of my billfold where I had put it for safe keeping.  So I took the picture, and fetched out my billfold, struggling to hold on to all my belongings. 
          Alas and alack, when I got my billfold out, the zipper on the coin compartment was opened and the jingle of many pieces of money was heard, falling upon the wooden dock.  I watched in dismay as dimes and nickels and pennies scattered about and disappeared down the cracks.  And one of my fat quarters bounced happily down the deck in front of me, hopped over the edge and disappeared into the green water below.  I gathered up as many as I could while the ship guys waited, and finally got my ticket out and my remaining coins in, and we were finally on our way home.  I confess I was a bit grumpy at the loss of my coins.  I sought, found, and shared a stashed bag of M&M’s.  That didn’t cause my quarters to float, but it made it not so painful!

W- Uncle Vernon and Fred

And this conversation lasted pretty much the whole way home. 
(You go, Uncle Vernon and Fred)

          An hour and a half later, we were back in Crissfield, Maryland, where our bus and a car were waiting for us.    A friend of Daddy’s had passed away this week, and Mark, Jr. was to bring the meditation at the 7 PM memorial service tonight, so Mark and Polly, Mama and I came home in the car.  Mama’s back was hurting her pretty badly, so she was glad she didn’t have to bounce home on the bus.  (My back wasn’t hurting, but I was kinda glad myself!)
          What a joy to be back home again.  It was a sweet day, but bed looks pretty good to this gal tonight.

And it won’t be long now, Lord Willing, until Certain Man and his Trusty Crew come back home.
I will be so glad about that, too! 


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The music on this site is Dottie Rambo and crew singing “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before.”    

     Today I was in Dover with my sweet Mama.  And she was tired and a little bit weepy.  Some days are just better than others.  
     It was such a nice time together, and the day went well.  We came home to her pretty house, unloaded groceries and flowers, checked to see if she needed anything, and then I decided to come on home. 
     As I started to leave, I saw her standing there beside her garage so little and vulnerable, and on impulse turned back.  She looked at me with questions in her eyes. 
     “I just wanted to hug you,” I said impulsively.  “I wish so much I had hugged Daddy more often, and I don’t want to miss a chance to hug you.”  Her cheek was so soft, and her hug was warm.  I had done pretty well all day, but I got into my car and by the time I was at the end of the driveway, I was crying.  I cried most of the way home, and I guess I’m not done yet. 
      Life is such a wonderful, beautiful tapestry of good times and grief, wonderful memories and inevitable partings. I have to say that though I really love life, the pain gives it a color that turns my heart towards the Father, and thoughts of what it will be like someday to be in His presence.  What will it be like?  Listen to the words of His Beautiful, Infallible, Holy Word:

        “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow or crying, neither shall there be any more pain;  for the former things are passed away.” 
Rev. 21:4

Once again — What a HOPE!


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