Dee's News March-April 2012
|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|My Christmas Blessing by Dee Yoder|
By the time you read this, Christmas will be past by many months. But I wanted to share a special blessing I received on December 23. Some of you know about my writing journey. Some know I have written an Amish novel, The Miting, and based the story, though fiction, on my former Amish friends’ experiences. I have had a Literary Agent since February of last year (2011) and he has been shopping my manuscript to various publishers. Many passed on it—maybe because it didn’t fit the typical Amish fiction standard, but whatever the reason, it was not sold. I wanted very much to see it published, but I felt strongly that it was important for me to wait on God’s timing. The good news is, I was offered a contract by a Christian publisher!
I got the news on December 23rd. Not only has Kregel Publishing offered to publish my first book, but also have contracted with me to publish two more books to make this a series. I am amazed, and a little scared, but more than anything, I’m happy an honest and more balanced view of living the Amish life will be available for reading in the near future.
In the months ahead, I’ll be quite busy editing the first book and also working on the second at the same time. But what a blessing! I am so very thankful God has helped me with my writing projects and know He will continue to help me in the days ahead. Oh, and I’d love to have your prayers. Your prayers will be an added bonus to the blessings I already receive from being associated with you and with MAP. Thanks to all who have supported me already in prayer and encouragement!
|Welcome, Baby Garber!|
A baby boy was born to Aaron and Sarah Garber on December 13th, 2011. Little Dylan Andrew weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 19 1/4 inches long. What a wonderful Christmas gift and blessing! Congratulations, Aaron and Sarah!
Abraham Schrock and Malinda Hershberger announced their engagement on November 27th. Malinda is from Wooster, Ohio and works at Riceland Cabinets. Abe works with William Keim and lives in Ashland.
|Emotional Healing by Geneva Yoder|
I met the Lord as a young Amish girl and I came out of the Amish some years later. It was a difficult thing to walk through the mine field of emotions and feelings I had during that time. Sometimes the pain and anger would explode inside of me so quickly, it was like stepping on a mine.
In my early walk with the Lord I knew Him as my Lord and Savior but it took some time to get to know Him as my Father. I wanted so much to serve Him as my Master and I loved Him as my Savior but I didn't know Him as my Abba Father. I didn't know my Father wanted to help me make it through the mine field and to live in victory over all the things that hurt so badly. I had to learn to how receive love from Him.
If I can help you by sharing my journey through the mine field and the things I learned while walking it out in my daily life, I would be honored to do so.
God created us with a spirit, a soul and a body. Our soul is where our emotions come from. Think about the pain you feel when you hit your thumb with a hammer versus the the pain you feel when your parents say "Don't come home any more! You aren't welcome in our house because you left the Amish!" One is pain in your body and the other is pain in your soul. This will help you identify the difference.
I tried to be tough and not feel hurt by the things said and done to me by the Amish people. I tried to shrug it off and pretend I didn't care. But I did care. It hurt me deeply to be rejected completely by the people I loved and it made me angry.
I didn't know my heavenly Father understood and He hurt because I hurt. I didn't know He could help me get rid of the pain and heal. I didn't even know He wanted to help me in this way. I thought I had to fix myself and I did a lot of acting. I pretended to be happy and free hoping that would make me so.
The home I grew up in was a place of upheaval and conflict. Things happened that were very painful for me as a child and young adult. Because of this, the emotions of my soul were raw and exposed when I finally did leave the Amish. I had unseen wounds that had been unable to heal for years because they kept getting ripped open.
One of the responsibilities we have as parents is to provide a safe place for our children to mature. When our children get hurt in their bodies we provide care and extra attention until they heal. We also help them heal from wounds inflicted to their soul by giving them a "safe place" to express their pain. A trusted place that will feel their hurt with them and bring comfort to them. As Christians our "safe place" is in our Father God's loving Presence.
As a beloved child of my Father, He never fails to provide me with a "safe place" to grow and heal. He never fails in His responsibilities as a Father and will pour the healing oil of the Holy Spirit to pour onto my wounds. Remember, Jesus said the Holy Spirit is our Comforter.
I learned by trial and error that my Father God could heal me if I came to Him and just poured out my heart to Him. It was such a relief to find this "safe place" in His presence. Alone in my room, I knelt before the Lord on more then one occasion, weeping and telling Him how I felt. I could tell Him I felt anger, bitterness, self pity and even hatred at times. I could tell Him I knew it was wrong to feel this way but I had no power to turn the feelings off. I could be that honest with Him and He wasn't going to be shocked or leave me. He is touched by the feelings of my infirmities.
But after each session of such ugly honesty before Him, He would offer His healing to me. I would have to give up the "right" to feel the anger, bitterness, hatred and self pity for all the wrongs done to me. I would have to forgive. I believe this is where many people miss it and why many never experience real healing and deliverance. Forgiveness does not mean to pretend it never happened, but rather a willingness to let it go.
"Letting it go" is not being strong enough to shake it off or cast these things from me. I tried that and they just hung on. "Letting it go" is asking my Father to take them from me and out of me. His burden is light and His yoke is easy.
I had to make a decision each time to say from my heart "Lord, I know it is wrong to feel this way and I don't want it in my life. I can't change myself but I am willing to let you change me and make me whole. I want to be like Jesus and bring glory to you." If I will confess it and surrender it to Him, he will remove the sin and the pain.
Sometimes I had to be honest and admit to the Lord I wasn't willing to let Him change me. I had to step back and say "Lord, help me! Make me willing to be willing! Soften my heart so that I can surrender to your will." Sometimes it feels good to our flesh to dwell on how we have been wronged.
There is a time to share our pain with other Christians, and that is part of bearing each others burdens, but after crying with you, an obedient Christian will lead you to the healing stream of the blood of Jesus where you can be cleansed, changed and walk in victory.
Does this mean we will eventually get to the place where things that happen to us have no more power to hurt us? No, we weren't created to be robots, we were created to walk with the Lord and to feel His tender love and acceptance. Experiencing His love and acceptance will far out way anything man can do or say to us. We can walk in victory and freedom. We are more conquerors through Him who loves us!
|Pancake Breakfast for Youth Mission Trip to Haiti by Joyce Mink|
My granddaughter Katie, great-grandson, Karsen, and I attended a benefit pancake breakfast at The River of Life Fellowship Church, for the Youth Mission Trip to Haiti in April. Many of the youth did the cooking and serving and cleaning up. The food was delicious, the service outstanding, and the socializing just great. Some of our friends that are members of this wonderful church are Dan & Lena Schrock and family, Roy & Mary Keim & family, Menno & Delila Keim & family, Jacob & Katie Yoder & family and many others.
If you live in the area or are interested in attending their church, it is located at 333 S. Market Street in Shreve, Ohio. The pastor is Eddie Miller. Church service is held every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. They also have prayer meetings every 2nd Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., a Men’s Prayer Meeting on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., and Ladies’ Night, once a month, held at different households.
|"Adoptive" Parent's Dinner|
A dinner for those who have informally adopted former Amish young people into their families was held at Arlen and Dee Yoder’s house October 30, 2011.
Arlen & and Dee (adopted daughter, Rachel), Joyce Mink (adopted sons Abe Schrock, Perry Keim, Mose Slabaugh), Paul & Brenda Nixon (adopted son Mosie Shetler & son-in-law Harvey Swartzentruber), Wayne & Chris Vallowe (adopted sons Jonny, Abe, and Eli Raber), Jerry & Carol Gess (adopted family Joe, Esther, Rachel, and Jonathan, and adopted daughter Lizzie Yoder), and Garry & Debi Bridges (adopted son Ben Weaver & adopted daughter Maryann Keim), enjoyed an afternoon of fellowship.
It was a wonderful time to gather and pray for our adopted “kids” and for all the former Amish we have grown to love and appreciate. Adopted parents of Mattie Shetler, Dan & Barbara Tucker were traveling.
We are all so grateful for the blessings of being adopted by heart to these wonderful young people!
|Counting Blessings of 2011! by Joe Keim|
One of the greatest things that happened in my personal life during 2011 is when my dad and I forgave each other for the many hurts that we caused each other throughout my growing up years. It was without a doubt one of the most precious events in all of my life. Every son, regardless of his age, desires to have his dad’s blessings and words of affirmation. Even at 44 years of age, I needed to hear my dad say, “Son, I am proud of you!” I needed to hear him say, “Son, I give my blessings to you and your family!” I needed to know that he accepted me with an unconditional love, just like Jesus. Without it, I felt a constant void within my soul and the terrible pain of rejection. After my dad gave me a hug and blessed me and my family, I felt a spirit of empowerment go all through my body. In some sense, it felt like my whole world just came together. Even God seemed more real. Overwhelming joy spread from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
I believe with all my heart that many of you former Amish deal with what I just shared. Some of you have given up that your family relationship will ever be restored. This pain that you feel is like a throbbing thumb that just got hit with a hammer and continues to rob you of joy and completeness; you question whether you will ever have a story like mine to tell. But can I tell you something? Don’t ever give up! It took 25 years for my dad and I to get to a point of reconciliation. 25 long years! But I never once gave up. I knew that our God was bigger and more powerful than either one of us. And I knew that as long as there was breath, there was still opportunity.
As I reflect on my experience, I would like to encourage you: do not wait on your family to come to you. Go to them. Let’s not forget that when we left, we hurt them very deeply; which in turn caused them just as much heartache and confusion as it did us. Maybe even a lot more. So I challenge you to make the first move. Go give them a hug. Tell them how great your love is for them. I promise, if you will do that, it will change your life forever. May God empower you to live a life that counts.
David and Verna Wengerd:
Mattie & girls Erica Rose & Marissa Lorene:
|Mini Manners Manual ~ For a Great Marriage: Mind Your Manners by Dr. Steve Stephens|
It all ended in the grocery store.
Joyce was waiting patiently beside Gary as the cashier rang up their purchases. But Gary couldn't wait. He suddenly swore and pushed past her, accidentally knocking the checkbook from her hand and throwing her off balance. He looked back without a word and started bagging the groceries. Joyce fumed Gary couldn't even say, "Excuse me," or "I'm sorry," or "Are you okay?" and Joyce had had enough. For her, that single incident ended the relationship. It symbolized the accumulation of six years of rudeness. Although Gary had been polite while they dated, once the wedding was over he became a different person.
"He is more polite to strangers than he is to me," Joyce said with a mixture of hurt and anger. When Joyce demanded that Gary move out of the couple's house, he quickly learned that even in our fast-paced world, concepts like manners and courtesy still have their place. But most of us have gotten lazy.
In the book of Ephesians it says "Let not corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth" (Ephesians 4:29). In the following book, the apostle Paul makes a similar appeal: "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ" (Philippians 1:27).
In recent years, our culture has become more casual in how we relate to one another, but in that casualness we seem to have forgotten our manners. We don't say "please" and "thank you." We interrupt. We don't open doors for our spouse and we don't let him or her go first. We get loud and pushy. We don't ask or listen. We have become oblivious to the needs of others. And the worst problem of all is that we don't even notice how offensive our lack of manners has become.
If you love your spouse, take a moment to consider your actions. Think about how you speak and act to him, and then ask yourself the following five questions:
*Are you respectful, or are you rude?
By asking these questions, you'll be able to focus on the areas of your life that need some fine-tuning. Henry James, the nineteenth-century American novelist, said this: "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." In 1 Corinthians 13, the famous love chapter of the Bible, the apostle Paul agrees: "Love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4).
My mother always told me to mind my manners and be polite. If you are kind and polite to your spouse, she will be kind and polite to you. If you don't mind your manners, the seeds of disrespect are being planted. And sooner or later, those seeds will contaminate even the best-kept field of marriage.
In the May issue more of For a Great Marriage: Mind Your Manners.
Copyright © 2006, Dr. Steve Stephens, Used with permission.
Dr. Steve Stephens is a licensed psychologist, marriage and family counselor, radio host, seminar speaker and author of nine books. His best-selling Lists to Live By series, compiled with John Van Diest and Alice Gray, has sold more than 600,000 copies. He lives in Clackamas, Oregon, with his wife and their three children, where he also serves as president of Every Marriage Matters.
Read more at Growthtrac For a Great Marriage: Mind Your Manners,Christian Marriage Articles - Growthtrac:
Next issue: the rest of the article For a Good Marriage: Mind Your Manners
|Holidays are for Fun, Family, and Friends!|