Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 360 Thank you God For Women!

December 31, 2015
Day 360

Thank you to the women who have become dear prayer warriors this past year. Thank you to the dear woman who, at age 25, has taught me much as she braced head winds of opposition. I have learned how to love better because of you.  The story needs to be written for many to be encouraged.

Thank you IF:Gathering women for forging a path laid out by the Holy Spirit. You have bypassed others' views of how it should look for women in ministry and have instead obeyed the Holy Spirit's leading and guiding. As a result, you have breathed life into women's unheard voices. Thank you.

Thank you to my daughters who continue to show me much of life. You are brave women being exactly who you are meant to be. All three of you are different from one another and with your differences add to one another's lives. Neither of you care how things "look" and therein lies your strength!  I love the fullness and yet the interconnectedness of your relationships. You three navigate life well together. Thank you Sadie Lynne for joining this tribe of strong-willed women. You are welcome in this place.

Thank you to my two women friends from church. Your bravery at leaving an abusive church is ministry to my soul. Thank you for leaving religiosity and coming deeper and further into the relationship with Jesus. May you follow Him with a clear conscience. Thank you to the other church women friends whom I hug every Sunday. I love what life is going to look like in the year 2016 as we grow together in the Body.

Jesus, thank you for your Body expressed through women. May we follow you and throw away any preconceived notions that have nothing to do with you.Thank you for allowing us to be fully present and us in your Body.

This has been a very good year.
Thank you God for your many and varied blessings.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 359 Mission Accomplished

December 30, 2015
Day 359

Soldier #1: Hey, What's the commander doing?
Soldier #2: He's winning the War.
Soldier #1: Wait! He needs us. Let's go.
Soldier #2: He said He doesn't. 
Soldier #1: What do you mean????!!!!!??
Soldier #2: He told us He is the only one who knows how to win the War.

Commander: Done. Finished. Now you can win the battles.
Soldier #1: Isn't this out of order?
Commander: Not with me. Mission Accomplished. War Won. Now you are free to win every battle.
Commander: Are you ready to fight? The victory equipped you good.
Soldier #1: Uh, what are we fighting?
Commander: Battles. Life is a battle. 
Commander: Ready to be armed?

Soldier #1: Yea! I'm ready to fight! 
Soldier #2: Commander, We are ready for 
orders. We are ready to be armed!
Commander: Ok, men and women, Go directly to your prayer closets.
Soldier #1: Excuse me????!!
Soldier #2: Don't you mean the streets?!
Commander: No, Prayer closets. This is covert, special ops. Have you not read your manual?
Commander: Go! Smear your hands with love!

Mobilization is the process of assembling and organizing troops, materiel, and equipment for active military service in time of war or national emergency. As such, it brings together the military and civilian sectors of society to harness the total power of the nation. It is the mechanism that facilitates the successful prosecution of any conflict. (

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day 358 Swirling Around Truth

As soon as someone starts listing off why they like me based on what we have in common I know I will be a disappointment to them, sooner than later. I am in constant flux and what I like one day changes the next. My interests, my views, or even my opinions are not worth twirling around. They pale in light of what I know to be the best to swirl around.

But you can always expect from me faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I love swirling around Him.

If you and I really want to get along we need to twirl around Jesus Christ's love spilled blood! Guarantee we will always get along....

Monday, December 28, 2015

Day 357 Hanging with the Sons

December 29, 2015
Day 357

I am watching a movie with my sons.
I jump up.

Sons: "What?"
Me: I have to write something.
Jesse: Mom! You have to hurry. What time is it?
Me: It is 12:52 am.
Jesse: It is already tomorrow.
Me: It is still my today.

This is a great flic.  So, I kinda need to skid-addle.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 356 Walking in the Light

December 27, 2015
Day 356

It is a gift - French Creek State Park, a true gift. To be able to walk into another world is a wonderful thing. And French Creek offers me this opportunity any time of the year. There are so many thoughts to wade through, to process, to allow, to ponder. There are many things to consider, to decide and then, of course there are dreams. Dreams are what Lynn and I love. There are many dreams to dream. But I must walk and I must walk slowly for any of this to happen.

So, I walk alone in French Creek State Park, not far, but far enough. My mind travels miles. The puddles offer me an outstretched hand to other worlds. Trees in puddles are slides to the blue sky below. I look down to see the top. Sometimes I want life to be in a puddle. I want to see life from a different angle. And I really want others to do the same.

Distortion is pretty and luringly distracting. Objects in puddles with breezes moving over the surface provides a canvas of wetness. 

Lichen on a fallen log calls me to go behind a tree and climb into a fairy outfit. I hop from lichen plotch to lichen plotch. I look for the other fairies. Someday I will see one.

The decorator uses simplicity to their advantage. I love the splash of color near the water.

Though I have never traveled to England on this very rock I am there. The grey sky calls me deeper into the melancholy mood.

The colors, it's the colors that move me, that sing to me, that pull me into worship.

Rocks upon rocks with a splash of lichen and a hint of moss - it is too much for me to take in one day.

The amount of twigs and leaves, and grass pulled together in a created place will never cease to marvel and entertain me. To find a nest nestled between twigs is a natural treat.

The grey with red and tones of brown completely fill my soul with spirit wine.
It is well with my soul on a cloudy, grey afternoon during the last week of December.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day 355 Consider

December 26, 2015


Consider God.
Consider Jesus.
Consider His Spirit.
Consider who we are.
Consider who we are not.
Consider who we are in Christ.
Consider who we are not in Christ.
Consider what Christ has done for us.
Consider what Christ's love means for us.
Consider how Christ's love has impacted us.
Consider how Christ would have us love one another.
Consider how Christ died so that we can be true repenters.
Consider how Christ died so that, today, we can be true forgivers.
Consider what Christ asks of us today -  all He asks is that we rest in Him.
Consider the peace that Christ created with the shameful, painful death on the cross.
Consider others. Remember there is no limited atonement, their sins have been forgiven.
We are free to love.
We are free to love.
We are free to love.
We are free to love.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Day 354 "Set Us Free"

December 25, 2015
Day 354

The following is my son, Christopher's, original composition, paired with video clips, of my newborn granddaughter, Sadie Lynne Saunders. Kathryn, a wonderful videographer, created an amazing video of the early moments with our sweet newest addition to the clan. And of course Robyn and RJ are fabulous parents of this little sweet thing!

I adore this piece of music, "Set Us Free." It is hauntingly beautiful and carries me to a place of wonder.  I adore this precious little one as she is a gift from God and I can already feel the bond between her and I.

The title, "Set Us Free" pulls me into the wonder of what God did to be with us. He has indeed set us free but why would He come as a baby and not a king? Why would He allow humans to raise Him? Why would he not establish an earthly kingdom while he was here and choose to die a shameful death? HE DOES NOT SHAME BUT HE TOOK OUR SHAME. Please if you remember nothing, remember this! HE DOES NOT SHAME BUT HE TOOK OUR SHAME.

Ponder these questions and may they lead you to the King. And may we walk in love as we learn how He loved us so. Oh!

"Set us Free" Christoper Michael Lynn - subscribe to his Youtube channel -

Kathryn Burkholder- Wedding/Event/Business Videographer
Youtube channel -

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day 352 Christmas Series: The Most High Came to Make us Lovers

December 24, 2015
Day 352

We were created to be lovers.
he wants us to be haters.

     Love is patient...

We were created to unite.
he wants us to be disunited.

     Love is kind and not jealous...

We were created to create.
he wants us to destroy.

    Love does not brag and is not arrogant...

We were created to communicate.
he wants us to not speak.

     Love does not act unbecomingly...

We were created to be forgivers.
he wants us to be bitter.

     Love does not seek its own. It is not easily

We were created to be compassionate.
he wants us to watch them try to do it on their own.

    It does not take into an account a wrong suffered...

We were created to be worshippers of the Most High God


he wants us to worship
passive aggressive silence,

he will always isolate


The Most High God
came to us.
Why? To fellowship with you and I.

Lean into the everlasting arms of the Almighty God.
Embrace your fellow followers of Jesus Christ.

In italics taken from 1 Corinthians 13

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 351 Christmas Series: Christmas Feast

December 23, 2015
Day 351

Let no one define your Christmas. You are sad. So, be sad. They say, "Oh, but you must get a tree." No, you do not need one. You know what you need. If all of a sudden you need a tree, then, you will get a tree. You know your pain, they do not.

Sadness is not to run from, it will track you down, at the most unlikely moments. Feel it in the moment. Let the tears roll, freely. Pain is a privilege. A leprous sufferer will tell you that. It means you are human, you feel and this ultimately
keeps you from harm's way.

If you do not want to decorate, don't. You are in control. Take care of yourself first. Life is full of birth, death, smiles, tears, grief, happiness, all rolled up into one day. We must learn to "be." This means quelling the voices heard and roaming in our minds.

You are free to feel exactly how you are feeling.
You miss him, it is not the same and life will not be the same. Year two nails that in.

Moving on is hard, it feels like an abandonment. But it isn't. Moving on is the path. How it looks is completely up to you.

You do love life and this will aid the light in the tunnel. Especially since you know who Light is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day 350 Christmas Series: Plodding through

December 22, 2015
Day 350

Friend, I am praying for you. You are raising your child alone, He sees you. Your marriage is tenuous, He sees you. You feel unloved, He sees you. You feel frantic, He sees you.

Your addiction rages, He sees you. You are hiding your pain, He sees you. You are holding back, He sees you. Your children are a lot of work, He sees you. You are taking care of someone with special needs, He sees you. Your work has ended, He sees you. Your child is sick, He sees you. You are in the hospital, He sees you. Your friends are leaving you, He sees you. You are confused, He sees you. Your heart is broken, He sees you. Remember, if you are alone on Christmas, He sees you and He really knows how it feels.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 349 Christmas Series: A baby has born unto us

December 21, 2015
Day 349
Sweet little Sadie girl has been born to the Saunders family adding to the Burkholder clan another descendant. Oh what a night. We are in love with this princess. She is the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. A full head of black hair, the pinkest skin I have seen since Geoffrey as an infant, and a perfect little face. 
Tonight I finally received "my sense." With every child I have a bit of an understanding of who they are. As I watched her in her aunties' and uncles arms' I saw a dedicated, pensive and persistent scientist. I saw her squatting on her haunches as she studies the subject at hand and I want to travel with her on her endeavors.

She brings calm to a room. She is peace. She is Sadie Lynne.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 348 Christmas Series: Our Wonderful Living Christmas Present

December 20, 2015
Day 348

Tomorrow, a little girl will be brought into the world. She has been cared for, loved, and desired. Already she enters with more going for her than so many other little girls being born tomorrow. Tonight her mom and dad are preparing for her arrival. Her older brother would prepare if he knew what was happening. Little does he know that this is the last night he will fall asleep as the only child. Monday night he sleeps as an older brother. The devoted little dude will take his role seriously, it is just his way.

Much will be expected from this little infant due to how much has already been given. She will meet her mommy, tomorrow, chest to chest and face to face. She will also see her daddy. And from there on out she will meet more and more and more of us. Two aunts and three uncles are just waiting, not so patiently, for her arrival. This girl will be well loved.

This little girl's life represents one of a kind, like no other. She will come with a package that we pray she opens fully while on this planet. There is a mark, on this world, that only this little girl has been assigned. We pray she accomplishes it while walking with her Maker

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 347 Christmas Series: Wired for Light

December 19, 2015
Day 347

We are one tangled, beautiful mess. The light casts 
intricate weaves as it passes through each wire entwined.

Sometimes we are wired around a theme and though
 we are together we are so very different as the 
Light continues to shine through.

And other times we are just simply wired.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Day 346 Christmas Series: Opened Gifts

December 18, 2015
Day 346

The Christmas season of 2015 will be rift with memories. Some were anticipated and most were spontaneous.  I enjoyed them thoroughly.  Here are a few:

1. The Robotic endeavor, for Wider, I decided to undertake spilled into December. The Fall was full of robotic meetings with children who were navigating new waters and learning not only about this riveting field but most importantly about themselves. We were headed out to North Dakota for the regionals, thrilling. I will always equate Christmas with Robotics.

2. The week before Thanksgiving, in the early hours, I am called to come quickly. Robyn is bleeding and she is in her third trimester. This was the beginning of the ride. From there we hopped into the roller coaster, pulled down the horse collar restraints and off we flew into the Christmas Season. Red, the sign of life, has been on our mind and green is the color of the grass outside.  Some things in life simply do not line up.

3. All of us know what our gift is going to be - A little baby girl delivered three weeks early. There are many hands in "hold" mode. Bring it on, bring it on. Thank you RJ and Robyn for this priceless Christmas gift. We talk of this little girl. We dream of this of this little girl. We will soon hold this precious, sweet, swaddling infant child.

4. We know our other gift; Theo blasting through the doors, talking for all of us to understand, while his mommy and daddy go get his sister. We will see little guy more than usual during this holiday season. We love his forced snuggles, his silliness, his serious side, his humor, his sleepiness, he cuteness. He is the high commander.

5. Yesterday, in Walmart, a woman in a motorized shopping cart was desperately looking for her lost gift card. This is her christmas money for the shoeless little boy sitting on her lap. She was distraught, had we found it? No, sorry. I see them again. In the meantime her daughter discovered it! Many of us, in line, threw our heads back in relief. Phew. This is a moment that sneaks into the season. God, would you show her how you are desperately searching for her?

6. The moments spent in prayer with a group of women who have navigated some very rough waters this year is a gift that I will hold dearly. Though the prayers were varied, as each women is different, they were all headed in the same direction. What a gift. The fellowship that grew out of heartache is a gift I will take with me to eternity and it has helped to shape me in 2015.

7. Our time in one of our prayer partner's home, after her surgery, is a true Christmas memory and gift. She had prepared her home, before surgery, in a way only she knows how, simply elegant, full-on nostalgic, and charmingly peaceful. Her trip to surgery for one thing was delayed upon the discovery of another thing. God spared her life in a miraculous way. Our time of prayer surrounding our dear friend was throne room warmth. She is my gift.

8. Chris, my rescuer, grabbed me out of buyer's remorse earlier this week. He doesn't see me stressed and when he does he kicks into elder son mode. He began the return calls, he received confirmation that our money would be returned, helped to secure the returnable couch in the van, put me in the van, and off we went to Boscov's distribution center. From there we traveled to IKEA.  We had one of our "adventures." We purchased my dream couch and upon arrival, Sean Geiger, Geoff, Chris and, sometimes, Jesse put it all together. With a whoosh, holding hands, together we sat down into the beautiful, overstuffed, gorgeous red couch. A dream. This gift of an elder son keeps giving.

9. Jen Secord is truly a Christmas gift to me. Two years ago she lost her husband in a tragic car accident. She has been showing up to the coffee Gazebo purchasing airpots and coffee at wholesale. She then brings it to her sons' gymnastic practice in West Chester and earns money as a fundraiser. While she waits for Lynn to finish up last minute stuff, her and I talk. We went headfirst into a relationship. She makes me cry with her stories, it is all still so raw. We hug. This Christmas gift is one I know I am going to be opening for a very long time. What a gift.

10. The friends I have made this year overflow my heart with all good things. The time I have spent in deep conversation always ends with a desire for more love, more forgiveness, more understanding, more inclusion and more Jesus. What a gift.

11. Memories of water, beavers, herons, cameras, sunrises and sunsets flood me with wonderful memory gifts. The kayaks, Lynn and I purchased at Dick's, pulled French Creek and Scott's Run into clear focus. Traci Higley, Sarah Bland Haluko, Brittany Hopkins, Katie Schwartz, Deborah Kurtz, Dale Cupo, Mary Burke, Pam Hopkins, Chris Burkholder, Terri Leamer, Greg Nyssen, my lovely husband, Jesse Burkholder, Robyn and Theo Saunders, to all of you, Thank you!

12. The gift of a vacation home spiraled past any of our expectations - someone graciously offered their Maine vacation home! This was a gift to my mom, my dad, my brother and his family and to us. We laughed, we cried, we visited, we slept, we read, we played in the water, we drove a pontoon boat, we learned how to paddle board, or not, we sat around a campfire, and we visited with Julie, Eric, Donna and Darci. We were the recipients of a very good gift and all for my father's 80th birthday. These memories last into cold winter nights. Thank you to the wonderful family who gave of their goodness to make our lives even gooder.

13. LeTourneau Christian camp has filled my childhood basket full of memories. This place has enchanted me for a lifetime. It is here in the tabernacle during the hot summer camps that a firm foundation of intense bible teaching was laid.  And this summer I was able to be there with my family. As we were winding home on the long Finger Lake stretches of highway, they thanked me for bringing them. What a gift for 2015. The most wonderful thing about this time was seeing folks who had been significant in my life as a little girl. The particular weekend, we were there, was a birthday celebration of a woman who taught me to love nature. The new friends we made began a new era.

14. Floating on Moose pond with my cousin Julie, speaking of deep things matching the depth of the lake, was more than her and I could ask for. We wondered, were we dreaming??!! We share a common love between us- a Harrington family that is simply kind. And we share an unbroken love between each other that pays no attention to the movement of time between our visits. It is holy and this was definitely a Christmas gift.

15. Two wonderful summer visits to Rhode Island were chock full of talks, swimming, sight seeing with Bobbie Treichler tours, and eating. Nicky, Jesse and Abby Snider blessed me with their presence on this one. We left PA in the wee hours, only to play in the sand on one of the Narragansett beaches in the late morning. The other R.I. trip was with my personality mirror image of a daughter, Kathryn. We laughed till we split our sides. We move at a similar pace and we simply enjoy one another. We were both gifted with this one.

16. Wider School has surfed not only the web but the waves of growing pains. Robyn and I love this homeschool offering and we were gifted with an opportunity to bring even more clarity to our vision this past year. To hear a young girl attribute her assertiveness
to her experience at Wider - honestly, can it get any better. To see the smiles, the belly laughter, the gaining in confidence, the interests developing, the teachers having more fun planning than they thought they ever could, the organizational development in these students is thrilling. Some were apologizing for lack of a gift at this Christmas time. My heartfelt, honest, response was, "You all are my gift!"

17. The photo shoot Geoff and I just recently experienced was a complete and total blast! This son is full and overflowing. He is so kind to me and so intriguing. To spend time with him is wonderful.

18. My moments with Nicole and Jesse are exceptionally satisfying. I love my six children and thank God every day for these amazing individuals.

19. The gift of Primrose makes me ridiculously happy. I am so thankful for Cynthia Detweiler's willingness to provide Fergie with a mate. Primrose is the puppy on the left, as you can see the King Cavalier has given her more size than her daddy! Fergie and his daughter give me joy.

20. Katelyn Leever, for the past three years, has blessed us with her presence, at Thanksgiving, along with some of her friends. We will not have her next year as she will marry the love her life. She is sunshine with two legs. We have loved having her and her wonderful friends. This is a real gift.

21. The Lawn Dinner missed a year but not a beat! This event, in our backyard brings me such intense pleasure and joy. And this year was no exception.

22. In July being with the Treichler side of the family, at my cousin's daughter's wedding, was awesome. We are hardly together and our brief amount of time was simply good.

My Christmas list of gifts I have received
does not end there. It goes on and on and on like the song that never ends! Life is my Christmas gift.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Day 345 Christmas Series: Doubting Sunshine

December 17, 2015
Day 345

You are loved.
He loves all of you, even the parts of you, you don't love.
Every single part of you, He so loves.
He craves time with you.
He loves spending every waking moment with you.
He never tires of your thoughts, and He knows everyone of them.
He knows you completely and loves you completely.
Any time you doubt that you are loved by Him you are doubting sunshine.

Please for you, for your family, for us, know you are loved with an everlasting love.
It makes all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day 344 Christmas Series: The Seller

December 16, 2015
Day 344

Decorations for Christmas have not found their way into the main places of our home. I am not sure if they have retired,  just taking a sietsa, maybe dealing with insecurity, or perhaps simply not feeling up to it. There have been attempts to decorate but no clear follow through. Instead, there is a hustle and a bustle that moves us at a pace that satisfies. The decorations will have to wait. I love to sell and selling coffee is keeping me from decorating.

Our Gazebo looks better than our home, thanks to our dear friend, D'Lury Geiger. She had made it look festive. We are grateful for her touch.

All hands are on deck in our enchanted cottage industry as we sell coffee throughout the day. Yesterday, I opened the Gazebo and this means that at 6 am coffee, creamers, caramel and ice were fully stocked and ready to serve. The coffee adventure ensued. For the continuation of the day there was a stream of wonderful people buying gifts, purchasing cups of coffee, awesome coffee soap and our all time favorite Dr. Squatch soap.

The favored addictive beverage is the Ice Toddy. We sell a lot! Lynn's concoction is a sure winner. He says it will change your life. It does. We offer no support group for this except a celebration of their need to come in every day, even on the most frigid. The conversations are as varied as the unique individuals that come in and out of the place.  I stand behind the counter and love every minute of it.

I love this buisness and especially during the holidays. One Christmas as we were vendors at a beautiful event called "Christmas at Joanna" I had an epiphany. We were set up in a shed, it was freezing, I was bundled, our counter looked inviting. That weekend I conversed with many folks convincing them that the flavored Maple Walnut was exactly what they wanted. After handing out a fair amount of samples I converted many. Five years later it is all they want at Christmas at Joanna. I created a demand and I loved doing this. The epiphany in that cold but beautiful environment was; Though I am freezing my butt off,  I LOVE TO SELL and it is worth the freeze.  This epiphany brought my life and who I am into clear focus. I hate to buy.

I love the customers. I love our conversations. I love their satisfied comments. So, I love the coffee business and when there is time we will blitz on the decorations. This post is going to be used against me. When Lynn says, "Hey, can you cover the Gazebo?" He's going to remind me of this and not accept a lame, no.....

Have you been to the Gazebo???

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Day 343 Christmas Series: I Miss You

December 15, 2015
Day 343

Have yourself a merry little christmas
      it is not the same without him...
let your heart be light
     my heart is heavy...
from now on our troubles will be out of sight
     my troubles are not out of sight...
Have yourself a merry little christmas
     it is not the same without him...
Make the yule-tide gay
     I don't know what that means?
    oh, to laugh with him about it ...
from now on our troubles will be miles away
     give me back troubles with him...

Here we are as in golden days
     the golden days will never be...
happy golden days of yore
     I miss him...
faithful friends who are dear to us
     some of them left when he left...
gather near to us once more
     he left but HE remains and gathers me to HIM...

through the years we all will be together
     I so look forward to all of us being together...
if the Fates allow
     his death has brought more life...
hang a star upon the highest bough
     the highest bough still doesn't reach you...
and have yourself a merry little christmas now
    I so miss you...

by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine
italicized addition - me

~for some the pronoun is changed but the sadness remains...

for just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so
also through Christ our comfort overflows...2 Corth. 1:5

Monday, December 14, 2015

Day 342 Christmas Series: Love

December 14, 2015
Day 342

Love came down.
Love asked for nothing.
Love lived among us.

Love gave everything.
Love died.
Again, Love lives.
Love lives in me.
I am free to love.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Day 341 Christmas Series: Light Reading

December 13, 2015
Day 341

To just keep things real with a bit of light Christmas reading, I traveled home with two books from the library- The Crime and the Silence by Anna Bikont and ISIS Exposed:Beheadings, Slavery, and the Hellish Reality of Radical Islam by Erik Staklebek.  I am one third of the way through The Crime and the Silence whereby a journalist recounts the atrocities from 1941 in Poland within the towns of Jedwabne and nearby Radzilow. This was a dark time in which people, like you and I, unleashed hate.

Last evening, as I and my family walked around IKEA, all I could think of was the burning of the wooden frame housing 1600 Jews. The screaming could be heard for three miles. S I X T E E N   H U N D R E D individuals; babies, toddlers, children, mommas, poppas, grandfathers and grandmothers were burning in a very small barn.

This was a shameful day for these polish people. What made it worse was the coverup. The polish folks blamed it on the Germans. When in reality it was they who rounded up the Jews and threw them in the barn.

How can a town become so polarized? How can individuals turn on their neighbors? How can it get to a point of hate? This disturbs. Walking through the maze of goods in IKEA, looking at all the various shapes, sizes and colors of the individuals I passed, I had to think, this could
happen again. And I thought some more.
It is happening! All over the world in various forms -
there is crime committed in silence.

I have yet to dig into the ISIS book but there I
will also find the same thing; humans hating humans,
giving no room for grace or mercy. And you have to
ask - He came for this? That baby came for this?
And the clear, gospel answer from the heavens, the seas,
the earth, and the animals is a resounding and glorious,
Yes. He absolutely came for this. He came for you and me.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Day 340 Christmas Series: Female First

December 12, 2015
Day 340

A female, not a male, was the first one in contact with Jesus. It was not even an option for any male to carry out this task, not even within the realm of possibilities. The female, also, was probably a teenager. She had no option but to be intimately involved with him. For He was in her womb. In fact, she nourished him, she protected Him, she pained him into life. She was the first to talk with Him. And she was the first to listen to Him create sounds. Mary, a female, was the first in line. She was ushered up to the head, to the banqueting table.

She was not asked, she was told. This was going to happen. There was nothing that she did to make it happen. There was nothing she could do to make it stop. She was assigned the most important task, housing and sustaining the King of Kings inside a female's womb. She had no idea, ever, that she was going to give birth to the Messiah. No idea. Isaiah prophesying about her? You must be kidding. Smack dab in the midst of wedding plans, oops, you are pregnant with someone else's child. This was not her plan.

Mary: But I'm a woman.
God: Correct.
Mary: But you are God.
God: Correct.
Mary: Inside of me?
God: Correct.
Mary: But...
God: But what?
Mary: I will.
God: That's my girl.

This begs the question - who began marginalizing women in ministry? And while I'm at it, I will ask another one, when does following God ever look like it makes sense?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Day 339 Christmas Series: Burkholder Brand

December 11, 2015
Day 339

For me, Christmas day has a particular feel. The streets are emptier, the sky is often gray beautiful and full of character, the radio station plays music that makes you feel as if you are in front of a big open fire, the shops are closed, there is mirth in the air, and everyone seems a little kinder. This is truly a day of pause.

We wake up and we just know the day is different for the night before is enchanted. We have created a christmas that is stamped: Burkholder. Even though I have bahumbug tendencies, I am grateful for the guidance I have received from the ONE. If I were alone I probably would not be decorating, the gift giving would be minimal to non existent, and I would not attend parties. But I have children and their very existence has given me reason to push past my slumpy status quo. They lead me to life. On. This. Planet.

Our morning never starts early. I am up by 6:30 am but, the children sleep in. I work in the kitchen, alone, loving the smells of the food and contemplating His human birth. These moments glisten with pretty, sparkly, tinsel. I enjoy setting the table with pretty things, lighting the candles and eating a leisurely breakfast of cinnamon rolls, quiches, fruit and bacon. I enjoy for there is much to enjoy.

We send the younger ones, though don't tell the older ones that they are included this year, on the yearly treasure hunt. They are given photo clues that finally lead them to their christmas money. I am a terrible shopper, I talk myself out of everything, and so I decided years ago to give the children money. They know what they want. But, we decided to turn it into a treasure hunt. The memories add to our christmas brand.

During Thanksgiving we exchange names and this begins the multitudinous discussions of gifts. Only recently did we learn of Kathryn's deception. She rigged the names in order to get her father every year. Lynn is the best gift-giver! She is no longer in charge. The honest one is at the helm - Nicole. (right??? Nicky Sue)

This day drips with memories we have crafted and created over almost thirty years. There is a definite brand and feel to our Burkholder time.
And we end the day with family in Fleetwood.
It is well with my bahhumbug soul. Children
and the ONE who came will do that.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Day 338 The Day Was Full

December 10, 2015
Day 338

Good night. The day was extremely full and  overflowing with more than I deserve! I love how God has made my life full and content. I so desire for my children to have the kind of life I have. Only You, God, can make my days like you do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Day 336 Christmas Series: Nothing Special Evident

December 8, 2015
Day 336

In the nursery on the Maternity ward there is this tiny nondescript infant. There does not seem to be anything special about this little guy. He is crying, sighing, pooping, and peeing just like the other infants in their little plastic beds. He traded in his specialness for a time and there doesn't seem to be anything unique about him now. His parents are given dreams for direction. They are led. He is not communicating anything to them except for his bodily needs. This just feels like too much humanness is going on.

The fact that he is God is not evident though he created every single infant in the nursery and beyond. He created their mothers, their fathers, their grandfathers, grandmothers, the nurses, the doctors. He also provided all the knowledge to the entire ward, let alone universe. So, what happened? Why has he ended up in a little plastic bed? ( I know, I know, I'm taking liberties here - bear with me)

The vulnerability of Jesus rubs me the wrong way. And Jesus was in need for a very long time. This move leaks weak. Our worship of the Type A individual is not fueled by this "Away in a Manger" mush. It always makes us want to do, do, do, do, do to make up for his laying around, his moving only when his mother moved him, his inability to even utter words, his willingness to be human.

There are three men from the East following a star. They carry significant gifts. But there is no noticeable"God" distinction emanating from this little face once they find him under the galactic light. If his glory would have been evident the hordes would have accumulated in droves around him. I'm convinced these three men were confused by finding a typical little toddler. But confusion did not keep them from giving gifts and worshipping Him. This little person is just so normal, his God-ness is not seen. But that did not keep them from experiencing His Deity. Though their understanding was challenged by the reality, they worshipped still. Brilliance was bowing to a toddler.

Can you and I experience Jesus despite what we see? For His sake let's bow.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Day 335 Christmas Series: Silent Night -NOT!

December 7, 2015
Day 335

Nothing but complete ear-splitting sonic boom sound waves were set in motion throughout the spirit world. One million atomic bombs could not even come close to the deafening sounds pulsating throughout the entire universe the night the man/God came to the world! The noise throughout the galaxies was chaotic yet melodic, tumultuous yet orderly. Yes, it was a holy night and hence the noise, but silent? I don't think so.

The spirit realm was full blown christmas cantata with a host of angels singing for and to His Glory. But it was also the ugliest, most haunting sounds of screeches and screams from the pit of hell. Jesus was making His move and they did not know what it meant. The angels and demonic forces, equally so, had no idea. It was THE MYSTERY that the Fellowship, the Trinity, kept from all of the spiritual forces from before the creation of the world till the day He was birthed and then murdered.

The moment when Jesus came was beyond, beyond and truly beyond.To the spiritual realm it was fantastical, unheard of, and unimaginable, watching the all powerful empty Himself to be like man.

This Girl is on Fire!

The entire spirit realm watched as the most beautiful, powerful, omniscient noise poured in one end and came out the other end, to the only inhabitable planet, as silence. The intelligent, Ancient of Days, Almighty God, Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, became a baby's goo-goo, ga-ga. How can it be? He emptied Himself to save us.

This is the walk of Christ. He silently walked to the cross only to have the sound become worse than the birth. As the two men became one on the cross the noise in the spirit realm went off the charts. Jesus created peace and the sounds from hell and the songs from heaven were deafening.

You know this Jesus, you who can not stop smiling or singing! If you find yourself silent, the rocks will do your job. But honestly, His silence was for you to sing and tell of Him. Don't let the opportunity pass you by. He silently came to fill you with something to say. Say it for His sake. (Eph. 2:14-16)