Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day 264: December 31, 2016 Swimming in Words

Ivanhoe -  Sir Walter Scott

December 31, 2016
Day 264

Swimming in Words 

The movement of words around words is writing. Placing them here and moving them there is the writer's work. Making you think, feel, hear, taste and smell is the writer's art. The thud of the hammer, the greasy smell of the fries, the bitter taste of the herbs and the river cutting through the hill, are examples of how words morph into senses. This is the writer's aspiration and what many authors do best.

To enjoy someone's word art is to pleasure read. To get lost in a sentence is to travel through well seasoned and aptly placed words. To move someone from one mood to another is the writer's most definite job.

Certain authors do certain things to, through, and for me. Madeline L'Engel pushes me to view the microscopic as invaluable, the secular as sacred, and the intangible cosmos as infinitely important. J.D. Salinger is a picture book. His words are as if you're watching a film. The reader sees everything in "Catcher in the Rye" and in "Franny and Zoey." Fyodor Dostoevsky (always hard time pronouncing) makes you identify (even if you don't want to) with every character; the good, the bad and the ugly. Someday I'll have the steel to make it to the end of "Crime and Punishment." But I haven't yet. I stop because I always feel as if I need to turn myself in to the local authorities. However, I savor his "Brother's Karamozov."

Leo Tolstoy bushwhacks the relational murky path of adultery in "Anna Karenina" and should be a must read for every married partner. E.B. White has me longing to establish relationships with animals and clearly took away any fear of arachnids. Roald Dahl entices, excites, pushes, and intrigues me with the books he poses as children's literature. C.S. Lewis entertains while inspiring my spiritual walk as the wardrobe speaks to me on many levels.

In the year 2017 I endeavor to continue to read, read, and read again. High School, college, babies, homeschooling, NOTHING, has impeded my need, desire, or ability to read. Nor will the new year pose as a rogue threat. I travel, I learn, I think clearly and differently and I grow with every book. Furthermore, I need and must be stretched for to read is to choose a trajectory of active, positive change. To swim in a well written sentence is as refreshing as cool water to a sun heated body.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Day 263: December 24, 2016 I See You!

December 24, 2016
Day 263

I See You! 

Jesus I see you. Yes, you are there. You always are. I see you in the presents. I see you in the meal preparations. I see you underneath the tree and even in the branches. I see you roaming the city streets. You go in and out of the stores, the malls, the diners, the stations. At night I see you in the decorations through the windows. You are in the cards, the deliveries. I see you. You are smiling. Merry Christmas to you Jesus and Happy Holidays. I do see you.

Tomorrow the day will be full of food, fun, presents, and wonder. I pray that all those who find themselves looking inward will look outward. I pray that all those who want someone to call will pick up the phone and call. I pray that those who feel alone will frequent the lonely places and be the comforting one. I pray that those who will receive no gifts will learn to be the gift givers. I pray that all of us will see you in everything and let that be our comfort, let that be our joy, let that be our all in all. 

Merry Christmas Jesus! You came and you left your spirit. And I see you. I see you in all. I see you through all. I see you with all. And You smile. You just smile.

Music Source: Christopher Burkholder 2015

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day 262: December 22, 2016 Gravitational Issues

December 22, 2016
Day 262

Gravitational Issues

I hear the call. I must heed and write for I know it will soothe, calm, and organize. I am not stressed even though I'm twirling like a compass with gravitational issues looking at life from four different angles. To write is to heal, instructional, and full of surprises. The more I write, the better I think and sometimes the more I write the clearer my thoughts become. To write will put things in perspective, a nail in the coffin to confirm my joy. (for those who know me well - I am not being sarcastic)

The Christmas season is enchanted for me and on many accounts. Life is in the air. I smell it. I breath it. I hear it. I live it. And furthermore, He, the One whom I serve, is alive and well! Christmas is Sunday and the tree is slumped in the corner, it came out of the basement, traveled to the backyard to air and returned to the living room. The room is full of life while the tree slumps dead. Every time I look at this fake tree I laugh. For there ain't no xylem and phloem pulsing through its middle, it is faker than fake. Yet it looks exhausted from the hoopla. Everyone looks exhausted. 

Mornings are spent opening the Gazebo. This hinders the logistics of Christmas preparations but I love it! If you come at 6 am you could be part of my opening ceremony. I hum the Olympic song as I march out the Open flag. My legs clip clip in orderly fashion and I definitely make a big deal of placing the flag in its holder (the only one on the side of the Gazebo). Do not even think of mishandling this dear emblem of buisness. This flag represents our simple and growing economy. My morning begins grateful not only for every drop of the precious cup of coffee but for this business opportunity. Right. Outside. My. Very. Own. Home. 

Customers since Thanksgiving ask me daily, "Are you prepared?" I catch everyone of these words and love the game. It allows me to speak of our Christmas simplicity. For years we have exchanged names and our children do a treasure hunt for money. The amount of gifts under the tree is minimal. So, "Yes! I am prepared." Though the compass is a bit off kilter, yes, I am prepared. 

And this is what I am really prepared for -

To live out the coming days with a sense of expectation for the unexpected, the unimaginable, the unbelievable of all things good, true, pure and right.

To continue to learn new things as I have begun to take the free courses offered by Standford University. My first is the Economy Course taught by John B. Taylor. Check it out -

To continue to be informed of the World's events - it matters. 

To continue to be more mindful of our home, our business and the worlds' environment. 

To be a better steward of our money and possessions.

To learn at least one new word a week and use it. 

To learn more about the Native Americans and their plight and talk about it.

To continue to repent and forgive.

With the help of capable women, to print a GPS template that brings health and honor to a church body.  (August 9th and August 11 blogposts for What is GPS?)

To continue to blog.

To maintain my new website Kathryn Marie created!

To free write at least 750 words daily for my eyes only. I'm doing it Kathleen Stoltzfus.

To maintain a small, manageable vegetable garden and actually harvest the produce.

To compost. 

To assist with more conferences regarding abuse.

To monthly gather our family for pure enjoyment.

To memorize more scripture.

To begin to write accurate bible stories for my grandchildren.

To continue to pray that each member of our family hears from God.

To spend more time with my precious grandchildren.

To continue to consider every day an amazing entity in and of itself!

To enjoy my dear Savior on a more deeper and intimate level. It just keeps on getting better and better!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Day 261: December 14, 2016 Duffy Robbins, My Former Youth Group Leader

December 14, 2016
Day 261

Yesterday, I had the distinct privilege of listening to my former youth director, Duffy Robbins, teach a class to his Youth Ministry students at Eastern University. He had asked me to come and share based on the fact that I am a former member of his first youth group in Barrington Rhode Island. In his email request, he stated that I had a contagious faith and he wanted them to meet me. Truly an honor.

He warned me that due to the time of the class, 8:30 am, they might be sleepy.
I knew what to do. Our buisness product wakes up. Go Twin Valley Coffee.

Preparing for this fifteen minute window was a time of reflection on the deposit made in my life through this man and his wife. It was what I needed to do this November and December, as I looked at old pictures and traveled down memory lane. I became more aware of God's goodness to me, Lynne Treichler Burkholder. While sitting in Duffy's class listening to his wise counsel, I marveled at his sustainable message that swirled around his ever constant focal point - the Gospel. I told the students, "This is the most consistent man I have ever met. He is saying to you the same thing he said to us in youth group." Duffy Robbins has swayed NOT once from what he believes to be the most God honest truth - Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

I met the Robbins at a unique time in my life. I had been involved in a robust catholic youth group in Geneva, NY. They were some of the best times of my life. John Engels challenged this young protestant "know it all" to think long and hard about the diversity of faith. Back then when the word contemplative was hardly spoken, John Engels, was leading us in spiritual disciplines and encouraging us to listen and be still. Moving to Barrington, Rhode Island, was going from diversity to preppy white kids with collars popped, not an easy transition. I needed the Robbins.

What an honor to have the guru who developed youth ministry into something respectable. And like anything worthy in the kingdom, it does remain somewhat of a hidden ministry pushing aside the need to be front 'n center. Duffy is witty, brilliant, and an astute biblical scholar. His high level oratory skills do not even come close to his content - top sirloin steak right off the summer grill.

Yesterday, as he spoke in his class of the underlying sense of undervalue youth ministry often suffers, I realize why I never devalue youth ministry. Duffy raised it to a level of respect. Duffy is the first writer of the Youth Ministry College textbook. Monday, I realized something and was thankful for the opportunity to reroute. I took this man of God for granted. Listening to Duffy was all I needed to again understand and affirm the solid deposit made in my life. He was still mesmerizing me, thirty-four years later, by his consistent message of Jesus Christ.

Duffy built on a foundation that Jesus Christ laid. If there was a burning, determining the value, Duffy's deposit would not light up in flames. There are many who have come and gone in my life and have been impacted by a man they never met. I had so much to share with this class but as I sat there listening to him, fully engaged in everything he had to say, I heard God say so much to me.

So Duffy Robbins from the south, thank you for allowing me to come and share in your class as a former youth group attender. I did love those Wednesday nights when you walked obscure Old Testament biblical characters into the Chamberlain's basement. This fostered a love for the Old Testament and a desire to remain a gold digger in God's word. Thank you for bringing me to the world of wonder, the hiking in the White Mountains, the camping along Sebago River, the traipsing through many acres of Adirondack wonderfulness. Thank you for pedaling the Gospel as if it was some kind of Willy Wonka candy -the wonder of it all. I am who I am in part because of the deposit you faithfully gave to me and others.

You came to your ministry fully you. Thank you for the authenticity. You came in full confidence of the gift God has given you and you created a team-like atmosphere among the volunteer church members. I believe my love for "team" has much to do with what you modeled. You allowed me to be a part of your family which lives great and wonderful in my family's life. You gave wise counsel, "Lynne, college is a key to your future." And you laughed and laughed and laughed and helped to affirm what I knew to be true - there is a heck of a lot of joy in the camp. Can I hear an Amen?! Thank you for introducing us to your friends, for bringing your life to our life while maintaining healthy boundaries. A man sold out for Jesus Christ knows how to do that well.

May you continue to bring glory and honor to the One who did a good job the day Duffy Robbins toe tapped his way confidently onto the planet! Thank you, Duffy. And that woman you married - ya done good. What a treasure she is and has been and will be to me, such a significant part of my discipling.