November 27, 2009

I read the most fascinating account of Anabaptist and Mennonite history and now I’m grieved that I can’t find it again. In simple terms I was lead through European church history. I learned about the birth of faith that differed from the mainstream in the 1500s, saw pictures of current Mennonite believers without head coverings (I didn't know that could be!), read excerpts of the book Martyr’s Mirror, and devoured the history of the church in the U.S.

Then I decided to do some housekeeping in my computer and cleaned out my cookies and browsing history. I can’t find that informative site now. Rats.

I’ve always been intrigued by early church history. One of my favorite courses in high school was Renaissance and Reformation, where I learned about the corrupt politics of the ruling “church.” In my Jr. High years my Sunday School teacher gave me a book entitled Not Regina, by Christmas Carol Kaufman. It was a tale about a young Anabaptist convert and her escape from persecution.

What does all this mean to me now? Only that it could be part of the answer to my prayer for unity among believers. What would display our purpose to be his more appropriately than for interaction and understanding to happen between us?

Jesus prayed, “…that they may be one, even as we are one (John 17.22).”

November 25, 2009

Hi, Tami-the-Mennonite

I received a quick response from my request for Mennonite friends from a woman named Tami. My problem: I don't know how to respond to her any way except THIS WAY!

Helllooo, Tami! I think that the best way for us to communicate would be for you to once again leave a comment here on my blog and include your email address. Instead of publishing it and making it public, I'll delete it and respond to you privately. Does that sound good to you?

Tami said she would respond to my questions, so here are a few that I ponder:
1. Are all Mennonites farmers?
2. Do they hear that question often?
3. Is there a network where I might be able to trace the Mennonite family I met in Mexico last winter? I don't know if I would follow through with trying to find them, it's just my curiosity at work. They were visiting a Mennonite community and school in the Yuma, AZ area, but their home was somewhere on the east coast.

God bless the Mennonites!

November 20, 2009

Has the Mennonite Faith Changed, Or Have I?

The Mennonites I encountered growing up always aroused my curiosity. My observations made me sure they must be a humorless, fearful people. Being a bit shy myself (which probably means I thought too much of myself), I didn’t try to initiate conversations with them. In the Bi-Mart on River Road they would catch me watching them. I would smile, they would smile back. Their facial expressions seemed so serious, even fearful, and I presumed anxious to get back to their safe little communities. At least, that’s how I perceived them.

I liked it that the girls were always in dresses, but I thought it odd that they wore sneakers with skirts. I suppose I would have ignored that if they had acted like they were more comfortable standing next to us in the check-out line. I knew their clothing was related to their faith, and I admired them for that. But I wondered, if they know God, why do they seem so depressed?

Now I’m wondering, did something change?

A year or so ago a home school mom directed me to Dorcas Smucker’s blog. As I read her stories, I realized this was a woman much like me, in fact, very much like me!

Had I been judging an entire community by a small handful of people who may be just having a bad day, or something? I have certainly been guilty of stuff like that. When Jesus said that we judge people by their outward appearance, he was probably just stating a fact. We do! He wasn’t necessarily trying to correct us. It’s just a fact.

Last winter I spent 4 straight days crossing the border with my husband to take care of his dental needs in Mexico. Getting back to the US side took about 4 hours, so the second day I decided to leave him in the chair and get a head start on the long wait. As I approached the end of the line I prayed an odd prayer. I asked God to let me meet some Mennonites. I have contemplated many times that I would like to sit and chat with Dorcas, but she is rather out of my reach and I don’t want to bother her; so maybe I thought I’d meet some Mennonites in Mexico? Right!

I stepped up onto the curb and adjusted my hat. Too much sunlight on my skin gives me hives, so it took me awhile to be ready to look around. When I finally lifted my head, standing beside me were two women with head coverings and a man with a short beard. Whoa! Now what do I say?

Since blog entries are supposed to be brief, I’ll just say that before we were separated a couple hours later we had exchanged stories and names, I had turned down their invitation to a school dinner, and I felt I had made some very wonderful friends.

Basically there is, as my husband likes to say, “more research required.” Yes, I'm asking for some more Mennonite friends, Lord!

November 2, 2009

Grandma's Patchwork

Outside My Window...the bright moon won't let my animals sleep!
I am thinking...and praying for my Facebook friends who have the flu.
I am thankful husband for filling up our woodshed last weekend.
From the kitchen...the smell of fried catfish and peppermint tea.
I am wearing...a hefty plaid fleece shirt.
I am creating...a big smile on my cousin Jeanne's face. I sent her a package today with a swatch of patchwork from our Grandma Kocher's box.
I am leave the dishes on the counter tonight.
I am reading...more from Foxe's Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe.
I am hoping...that my appointment to complete my training for my transcription job isn't canceled (again) on Wednesday.
I am hearing...sounds of hope after a few days of battling depression. I am so sensitive when I alter my progesterone cream prescription, even slightly, that it can throw me for a loop!
Around the house...I'm thanking God that this is my home for now.
One of my favorite things...washing my feet with soap and warm water before bed.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I'd love to make a big pot of stew. Also, I need to retype the lyrics to some of our new songs for worship.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...Something of my grandma's: