Posted by: comedyheirs | September 22, 2021

Twas The Night Before Churchmas

“Now Maria was deep in slumber, as we her custom during the night watches. It was the night before the Sabbath’s morn and as she slept? She dreamed a dream such as she had dreamt in former times, but with an added level of much ado as she encountered friends from both her past and present in a most bewildering and random order.

It came to pass that she found herself in the region of Indiana, in the city of Marion, to attend a conference of international, Biblical and Reformed Presbyterian proportions. Now the multitude was great and thronging, as it went to and fro in attendance of various seminars. Alas, as yet, Maria had not been in attendance, for she found herself in most dire straits.

She could not locate her garments and must needs prevail upon her friends to lend her those which were suitable for the occasion. She came upon the room of her friend, Sarah, who was known for her impeccable closet and generosity of wardrobial spirit and implored her for aid. Now Sarah, being a wonderful and decided Baptist, took pity on her for she perceived that her friend could not get her act together and Maria thanked her and departed.

When she emerged, now beautifully clad, she found herself mysteriously transported to Kansas and into her former eighth grade classroom. As she gazed at her feet, she remembered that she, as yet, wore no shoes. Before she could address the glaring footwear issue, she was whisked down the road and around the corner to the main learning center of her former high school. And there appeared to her, her co-ed friend, Barb, who gently reminded her that she still lacked both accessories and makeup to complete her wholly inadequate appearance.

Dazed and confused, Maria now found herself in search of said items and walking up the long driveway in Dryden, Ontario, of her friend, Cathie’s home. Now Cathie was most wonderfully kind but, as it happened, she possessed neither and look at Maria as though she were, indeed, a stranger and a foreigner. Emphasis on weirdo.

Now this most unprofitable interaction propelled her again, back to Indiana, and as she rode the elevator back to her floor? She pondered her rising frustration level and pondered again the veracity of Jude 2:4: “A little paint never hurt an old barn.” So, Maria sat herself down, amid tears, and despaired that she should even attend one seminar until her appearance issues should be resolved.”

Then, I woke up.

An hour later on a Sunday morning than I should have.

It went downhill from there.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | September 11, 2021

Never Forget

September 11 is always a hard day for me.

We all remember what happened twenty years ago when almost three thousand Americans lost their lives with the events surrounding the Twin Towers. Countless unanswered questions remain to this day but we know this. It was a tremendous loss of life and a direct attack of Americans on their own soil. I cannot recall those events without deep sorrow.

That’s not where my main struggle with this day lies, though. Nine years ago today, I lost my father-in-law, who was instantly killed in a traffic accident. This day has dawned very differently for me ever since. He was a man full of life, ambition and with a deep and abiding love for both family and country, so the date of his death is appropriately symbolic.

He was a true patriot, if ever there was one. He was staunchly supportive of two of his sons decision to serve in the military. His father served in the Navy in World War II. He believed the freedoms we enjoy were hard fought for and that we should never take them for granted. Of all the things he taught me? I always remember his tenacity that we never forget freedom’s exorbitant price.

For our country? Yes.

Far and away, though?

He lived to honor The Savior Who gave everything to secure

unstoppable,

eternal liberty

for us,

His mortal enemies.

Tom lived in the trenches, died doing what he loved and lives forever in the presence of Him Who commandeers men’s souls.

I miss Tom.

I will never forget.

There are no words to express my thanks for who he was.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | June 24, 2021

The Breadbasket

Because it’s that time of year in South Central Kansas-

When wheat stands ripened, once again

In shimmered rows, as now, as then

With heads hung plump and rich and full

In fields far vaster than our ken.

They must be gleaned. It cannot rain

Upon this carpeting of plain

For it must feed those far and near

This nutty , bursting, stranded grain.

The harvest days are taut as long

When heads are ripe and heat is strong

Men toil, with haste, to bring us bread

And whet their whistle with a song.

They check for moisture. Track the yield

Of every acre, every field

Now elevators fill to swell

As combines hum and farmers wield.

There is no respite ’til it’s done

This ultra marathon in run

When that last stalk receives its cut?

Now, once again, wheat harvest’s done.

There is no greater mound of gold

Than what those amber waves unfold

We owe the very bread we eat

To those who gather us, untold.

Posted by: comedyheirs | May 22, 2021

House to Home

It’s been a Spring to remember.

Or forget.

I’ll let you decide.

Back around Januaryish, we got serious about looking for a home to purchase. It had been on our “to do” list for years and now we were going to make it happen. We started perusing local real estate sites and discovered some interesting things.

Not all houses, selling for the same price, are created equal.

The closer you inch toward any college, upward creepeth the dollar sign. I guess proximity really does hold its own value.

An astute real estate agent is critical to avoiding major buying pitfalls. God provided us with one.

We knew approximately what we were looking for and we knew that God’s timing would lead us to what we needed when we needed it. He’s done it for us before. He would do it again. We just didn’t realize how providential His timing would prove to show itself on our behalf.

We looked at several houses and rejected them for a variety of reasons. Then, we saw it pop up. The home of our former neighbor, who had moved one street over, two-tenths of a mile, to be exact, was for sale. We were instantly alert because this was a gentleman who took particular care of his former home and we knew that he had made substantial improvements to the current one. Big disappointment, though, because his asking price was out of our range. It wasn’t unreasonable, given all the upgrades, but it wasn’t going to be ours.

So, we thought.

We told our real estate agent we wanted to take a look at it anyway because we liked the look of the home’s layout and because we knew the owner’s reputation for quality care of his property. He obliged us and agreed, after the tour, that it was a lovely, updated, well-kept domicile. We shelved the possibility and continued to look.

Ah, but the apparent ending was only the beginning. A couple of weeks later, we had an unexpected visitor. I saw a car pull into our driveway, stepped out to greet someone I thought would be a stranger and was surprised to see the desired house’s owner emerge. He had heard, through the grapevine, that we’d given the home a gander and wondered what we thought.

We were honest.

We loved it.

It was maintained consistent with who we knew him to be.

It was out of our price range, so we were looking elsewhere.

He smiled.

When this man smiles?

He’s all in.

He didn’t say much.

Then, we saw that he’d dropped the price.

It was still out of range but much, much closer.

Hmmmm….

We went back for a second look and liked it even more than our initial visit.

We asked our agent if it was reasonable to offer what we could. He affirmed that as an acceptable plan of action. This was five o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. Five hours later, we had a tentative agreement on the purchase of this home. That’s some intense, head spinning stuff. We’re still trying to process it, on some level.

We got the keys on April 30 and moved as much as we could before the official big move on May 8. All of this occurred right before the craziness of the real estate market commenced, which would have left us highly unlikely to emerge successful in any bidding war. God provided what we needed precisely when we needed it. I cannot stress the impeccability of His timing enough.

Moving day, as always, brought us people in droves, eager to celebrate God’s provision for our family. Christ’s church is always a blessing but it’s times like this where you’re reminded to be doubly grateful for many hands making working much lighter. Someone made sure I didn’t have to worry about lunch and it was happily scarfed, especially by the hungry teens who came to help.

We’re still settling in, but my house no longer has any noticeable boxes.

The same cannot be said for my garage.

Our current project is converting the backyard shed into a climate-controlled office for Steve. For those of you familiar with Sturdi Bilt storage barns near Hutchinson, Kansas? It looks like one of those smaller barn/shed things. Forgive me for not knowing how better to describe it. The completion of that will significantly reduce the “yard sale” look of wannabe automobile spaces. That’s okay. Who actually uses a garage to park their cars these days anyway?

Steve is happily housing his five beloved hens-Annie, Lucy, Jules, Doris and Ginger in a new chicken coop that he recently purchased from a wonderful family near Navasota, about a thirty minute drive from us. They actually gifted Annie to us because her life, thus far, had been an unfortunate, ongoing battle with some combative roosters. Her new digs haven’t exactly yielded bosom buddies, thanks to the inevitable pecking order that afflicts the average chicken, but they haven’t actively injured her, so we’re hoping for more truce-like conditions to emerge in the near future. Conflict hasn’t seemed to defer egg laying for any of the parties, so that’s a plus.

Steve’s brother, Dave, visited us this past week, bringing along three female cousins to surprise our daughters. Much screaming and fun was had by all. They kept busy with stuff like thrift shopping, visiting Buccee’s, doing the tourist thing in Brenham and unsuccessfully trying to chase down a lizard while touring a rose garden, a late night swim, hitting up Whataburger, Rudy’s BBQ, various coffee shops, etc. They also attended Nicholas’s voice recital and cheered him on with much enthusiasm. We hosted a youth night here so the New Jersey cousins could meet a good chunk of the friends they’ve made here. Twenty-fivesh youth in one living room is all kinds of happy and loud at once. Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all.

Dave was a great help getting us started on the electrical wiring needed to make the shed into a workable office, internet access included. We are so grateful for both his expertise and dry humored company. It’s never dull with him around.

We’re thankful to God, Our Faithful Provider.

In every season of life.

May we use this home to truly love our neighbors.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | April 4, 2021

Thou Shalt Not Park

This gurrrrl of mine.

Oh, my word.

The adventure continues.

You know that gut sinking feeling when your kiddo calls you late at night and tells you their vehicle got stolen?

I do now.

Want to hear a little story?

Okay, so Katrina, Emily,, and another friend were on a mercy mission, of sorts, to hang with a buddy going through a relationship demise. They were there to be a listening ear/moral support/shoulder to cry on, sort of thing because that’s who they are.

Well, the parking scenario at their friend’s apartment complex apparently has designated spots for visitor parking and any deviation from that is grounds for dismissal/towing. Katrina found this out when she tried to leave and her vehicle was nowhere in sight.

She phoned home, (cue the sinking gut feeling), and we told her to call law enforcement to report it absconded. She dials 911. They call whoever and she gets a call back from a local towing company telling her where she can retrieve her offensively parked Blazer for a fee.

Yea!

Ugh!

So much drama in so little time.

Funny thing is? Her dad actually had a car pilfered in the mid-90’s, and retrieved it a couple of days later, thanks to someone who identified it and alerted him. When we got Katrina’s call last night? He got that deja vu angst resurfacing, for added excitement.

Oh, goodness.

I almost forgot another entertaining detail. When Steve took the other friend home so her parental unit could remain somnolent? She couldn’t, for the life of her, recall the code that opened their domicile’s garage door, so she climbed in her bedroom window. I can’t wait to hear what her parents have to say about THAT dexterity move.

My very relieved daughter came home bright and early this morning, happy, exhausted and reporting to work by six. People maintain their employ half-asleep all the time, right?

She’ll be fine, er, fined, eh?

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | March 13, 2021

The Beauty of Faithfulness Amid Pain

I’ve been thinking much about Sue Lengacher Nisly, since I heard about her recent home going. She fought long and hard against multiple chronic health challenges and knew much pain. I’m as sad about her passing as I am delighted that she no longer suffers.

I remember when I first met her. I was a teenager and she was my newlywed Sunday school teacher. I loved her teaching from day one. She was well prepared for her lessons and made each one interesting and practical. She challenged us to memorize Scripture, to hide God’s Word in our hearts and to make that flow into daily life.

The first time I remember her health issues surfacing was with the her two pregnancies. If I remember correctly, she was placed under activity restrictions because of elevated blood pressure. I helped her with domestic duties like general housecleaning and was always impressed with her upbeat attitude in spite of these challenges.

After I moved away from home, I’d hear news trickle back about other health issues she faced. She ended up needing a liver transplant. I heard about her trips to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to be treated for different issues. I don’t know what they were. She battled cancer several times. I’m sure there’s an additional list I don’t know about.

When I’d visit Kansas? I was able to see her, occasionally. I went to her home because her health kept her there much of the time.You know how you go to be an encouragement and come away the blessed recipient instead? Those were my visits with Sue.

She was very real about life but she always held firm in her faith that God is good, no matter the severity of trial. I last saw her about two years ago. She spoke openly about the devastating, unexpected loss of her brother, Mike, and the deep impact that left on her. She ended the conversation still praising God for Who He Is.

When I heard that she had been placed under Hospice care? These and other memories flooded my mind and leaked their drops onto my cheeks. Was Sue perfect? Of course not. She simply rested in the perfect work of her Savior, lived her life by His example and entered His presence to the words,

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Sue held a quiet, profound influence in my life.

She taught me much I hope I never forget.

May my pain deepen my faith in God the way it did hers.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | February 15, 2021

When Winter Loses Its Way

Since Texas seems intent on copping an icy attitude, cancelling various activities and wreaking general wintry havoc? I have something to say –

Now it came to pass in the second month, in the region of South Central Texas, in the Valley called Brazos, in which dwelt several hundred thousand inhabitants, there went out a prediction from the criers of the weather that a storm was approaching. This alarm was sounded when Abbott was governor.

Among the citizens, there was much looking into the heavens as the cold descended from the north, even from the Rocky Mountains in the west and as far as the Atlantic coastlines in the east and even from the far, far reaches of the provinces of Canada.

And those who had long lived in the area stated clearly that these threats of snow had long occurred only once a decade and they were much perplexed for they had received this white visitation only one month prior. Indeed, there had been a snowfall of great moistness in the first month of the year, amid much rejoicing and constructing of snowmen outside the citizens’ dwelling places, which stood several days hence before melting under the heat of the midday sun.

Even this had been the cause of much speculation since it had occurred only three years after a snowfall of similar but lesser accumulation.Now there dwelt in this region a family, who had descended from the tribe of Levi (Miller – that’s me!) and had moved them and all their belongings from the frozen land of New York in search of the promised warmth of the southern regions of the country in which they were citizens. They found it to be a goodly valley, warm and inviting, until now

.For they perceived that winter had chosen to visit them in a land where it was not meant to dwell. Yea, in the land of neither salt nor snow truck? Neither man nor beast possessed the knowledge or experience to cope successfully with the hazards of ice and snow as they settled, in all fury, on the unsuspecting landscape.

Now the day before the anticipated weather, one of the Levites ventured forth to procure several items at the local market and found chaos reigning. Indeed, there was confusion in every aisle as the coveted items of milk, bread and toilet paper must be procured for weather predicted to last less than seven days. Plus tax.

As the sleet descended upon the land, the snow came and the winds blew? This family was thankful for one thing. At least in Texas? Winter would not remain in a foreign region long and would soon return to the north from which it descended and where it should have stayed in the first place.

What in the world?

Not cool, Texas.

Not cool.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | February 14, 2021

It’s Not If We Bow; It’s When

Larry Flynt.

Ravi Zacharias.

Two names that have recently garnered national attention keep bringing me back to The God to Whom we all must answer.

He is Sovereign.

He is Goodness.

Men are evil, yet He uses even that evil for His eternal plan and purpose in ways that often remain a mystery to us:

“For your thoughts are not My thoughts; neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord…”

Mr. Flynt made his earthly fortune through the exploitation of women via pornography. His appetite for such debasement of his neighbor was as unabashed as it was financially lucrative. He died last week.

Mr. Zacharias impressed the evangelical world with his apparently exemplary Christianity, superior oratory skills and a commanding personality. Since his recent death, very unsettling accusations regarding his secret exploitation of women have come to light and an apology issued by his founding organization.

None of us know the whole truth about either of these men but one thing’s clear.

They are both dead.

They are both without excuse.

They will both be judged by The God Who has known the intimate details of their life, from beginning to end, from eternity past.

“The darkness and the light are both alike to you.”

” For there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed…”

“We shall ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ…”

Indeed, in the end? It doesn’t matter what men say of us but what God has declared and it is His Omniscience that will, with perfect equity, judge each of us.

May we be found clothed only in His Righteousness.

It is our sole, certain hope against eternal condemnation.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | December 27, 2020

Going With the Conversational Flow

I’ve long contended that the art of good conversation is a highly underrated source of self-improvement.

I crave it.

I actively seek it out.

Naturally, it finds me when I least expect it.

This past Sunday was one of those unexpected treasure troves that’s still spilling into the rest of my week with its delightful overflow. There was a lunchtime discussion with friends covering topics like annual family traditions and our associative memories. Most of them have proven delightful. A few we’d prefer to forget.

We chatted about our ongoing parental challenges, quirky and tried-and-true recipe ideas and a rather lengthy, robust discussion on our innate tendency toward hypocrisy.

Ouch.

OOF.

Guilty.

The frequent outbursts of laughter reminded me what I would have missed if God’s benevolence hadn’t moved me out of my comfort zone and into this particular congregation of His people.

After we came home from our evening church service, (in which it was determined that Andrew would be venturing on his first ever official golf outing), I called my parents. (For the record, he enjoyed it immensely and played a decent game despite that fact that both of his parentals are decidedly non-athletic). I needed to run a couple of things by them and, frankly, I just like to chat with them on a regular basis. The fact that I still can is not lost one me. Also, they kinda like it when I do.

My dad picked up. I told him a couple of my kiddos were headed his way in a couple of weeks over New Year’s Day weekend. Did you know you can actually hear someone’s eyes light up in the delight their voice projects?

You can.

Yes and Amen.

Moving on.

My father was particularly excited to report that his latest batch of laying hens has finally started to produce eggs in a manner worthy of their calling. I don’t know if they assumed they could just fritter their existence away perching, strictly ornamental, in a metaphorical pear tree because their current address is Partridge, but whatever was going on in their birdbrains had left my dad in frustrated straits for some time.

Anyway, he’s delighted that they’ve finally moved on to embracing their highest biological protein value, in-the-whole-shell, production shtick.. He’s also pleased with the rooster-in-residence, who appears to be less problematic than some of those “He Who Ruffles Feathers for No Apparent Reason” barnyard bullies he’s weather in the poultrified past. (“Poultrified” isn’t a word for those getting ready to verify that I just made it up).

I brought him up to speed on the fact that we’d processed our former flock of six straight into the freezer and have a new quartet pecking in our backyard. They’re no brighter than their predecessors. One of those proofs is their ability to get themselves stuck in the trap we’ve set for the squirrels who seem intent on pilfering their food. I’d say they’re adopting the “if you can’t lick ’em, join ’em,” motto but that’s a really big stretch for the general lack of cognition I’ve observed.

Returning to my Dad/someone you can actually converse with, he told me that Christmas carolers had come that evening to their house to grace them with beautiful annual renditions . Those of you who know my parents musical tastes know how this would have brought them particular pleasure. He was generous with his praise, whoever you are.

Then, he had a couple of queries for Andrew so I handed the phone off, listened to the easy camaraderie between generations and was, again, grateful for such a gift.

The phone eventually ended up in the hands of the true chicken lover here and Steve gave him the detailed update mi padre was really looking for on Lucy, Doris, Jules and Goldie, who we hope will start producing the coveted eggs by next Spring. They both really enjoy this whole “flock in the backyard” thing and the “shop talk” gets pretty intense. My favorite part of these exchanges is always the laughing, delightfully unabashed and a reminder that they both embrace life’s inevitable humor. Of course, these birds aren’t exactly MENSA material, so the fodder continues in abundance.

The gift of conversation is a rich mix of love, length and laughter.

Cultivate it.

Feed it.

Savor it.

It’s a great way to grow.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | December 13, 2020

Freddie Candy

What you see pictured is Freddie candy.

Let me explain.

When I was growing up and attending church at Cedar Crest Amish Mennonite, there was a gentleman in the congregation who dispensed his own simple delight. His name was Fred Yoder. If I remember correctly, he served in a diaconate capacity, which included stuff like keeping the sanctuary comfortable for worship services. He’d open up room dividers, open and shut windows and I’d always watch, fascinated, as he quietly just did his thing.

A lot of other pediatrics watched him too. Here’s why. Every child knew that after the church service was over on a Sunday morning, you could approach Fred, recite your Sunday school Bible verse and he’d reach into his pockets and give you a pack of those Smarties. You got them even if your recitation wasn’t word perfect. We called it “ Freddie candy” and were sorry when we “aged out” upon turning sixteen and participating in church youth group.

Well, most of us. I had a friend whose sense of humor just couldn’t quite let it go, so she devised a plan to eke out one more sweet serving. I don’t remember if she did it on a dare but one day after the old benediction? She walked up to him, blurted out, “Jesus wept,” and started to walk off, sorta mortified, sorta not. He called her name and offered her a pack, a big grin on his face. You could tell he was enjoying the whole thing immensely. I still laugh when I recall that scenario.

Cancer took Fred years ago but I’ll long remember his simple kindness to children.

So, yes, Smarties will always be “Freddie candy” to me.

Marie Kondo can spark all the efficient, organized joy she wants.

Fred’s quiet spreading of it beats hers by a country mile.

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