Thursday, August 26, 2010


We recently obtained three precious little “mouse catchers” from our Amish friends. I think they had one of every possible color and combination of colors! The Plank girls lovingly helped us handpick from three litters! I think the girls were having even more fun than we!

We decided upon a black and white one which we’ve named, "Rev." It looks like he is wearing a black shirt with a white “pastor’s” collar. “Laity” seemed to me to be the perfect name for the gray one since he was close to dying. But Gary thinks it sounds like I’m calling this little fella, “Lady.” We’ve considered naming the pretty little calico “Silence,” since traditionally (but wrongly!) “women are to be silent in the church.”

I guess we’ll eventually figure out their names. However, the health of our new little friends became much more important than names when “Laity” developed rapid respirations and wheezing! We had noticed the day before that one of them had vomited a worm.

Often momma cats that have worms will pass worms on to their litter.
If one has worms….they all have worms!

So, I got busy doing some research and discovered that often the worms will pass through the lungs. I knew I needed to act quickly, especially for our little “Laity” friend, but I knew that if I destroyed the worms too quickly this could make matters worse! I kept researching and praying!

My first step was to attempt to strengthen their kidneys so that the waste from the destroyed worms could safely and effectively be eliminated. I did this by giving them parsley tea:
• Cover and cook 2 cups fresh parsley (2/3 cup dried) in 3 cups water for 3 minutes.
• Strain and throw away the parsley.
• Keep 1/2 cup tea in refrigerator and freeze the remainder; thaw as needed.
• Daily mix 1 tsp. parsley tea with 1 tablespoon chicken broth, sprinkle over and mix into their food.

After one week, I continued to supply the parsley tea and began to slowly attack the worms by providing Black Walnut/Wormwood tincture.
This was difficult to calculate for such little ones. I mixed together:
• the smallest possible drop Black Walnut/Wormwood tincture
• 1 teaspoon parsley tea
• 1 tablespoon chicken broth.
Daily, I sprinkled this over and mixed it into their food.

I used precautions when cleaning-up their messes. Their vomit and stools are extremely infectious and worms are often passed on to humans!

After a week of eliminating the worms, the focus needed to be turned to their eggs. Cloves kill worm eggs! However, cloves are very potent! Measuring carefully, I daily mixed:

• one of the smallest drops possible of clove oil (a very small pinch of powdered cloves will work)
• one teaspoon parsley tea
• one drop Black Walnut/Wormwood tincture
• one tablespoon broth.
For one week, I daily sprinkled this over and mixed it into their food.

Now that this regime is completed, I’m working at maintaining parasite free pets by continuing to offer (twice weekly for cats and daily for dogs):
• one teaspoon parsley tea
• one drop Black Walnut/Wormwood Tincture
• 1 drop clove oil (or small pinch of powdered)

**Note: All ingredients are based on amounts for an animal weighing 10 lbs. Yes, a three hundred pound cat would get 30 drops per day, but…. work up to it by increasing by one drop daily! ( is a great resource for the ingredients.

After a few short days of the Black Walnut/Wormwood Tincture “Laity’s” breathing returned to normal. They all look very healthy and are even more playful than when we first brought them home!

Now… we’re back to the difficult challenge of naming them. “The Rev” is a keeper. He seems to know that he’s in charge. However, “Laity” is now full of life and “Silence” is everything but quiet and submissive!


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Thursday, August 19, 2010


When I was a young girl, I learned to interlace the fingers of both hands with my palms together and joyfully recite, “Here’s the church!” Then, with my little index fingers pinched together and pointing way up to the sky, I would imitate, “Here’s the steeple!” Finally, with my palms turned upward and the tightly interlaced fingers visible, I proudly proclaimed, “Open the doors and see all the people!”

Having accepted what I was taught, it never dawned on me to question the idea of a steeple. Not only are they littered across the skylines of the country-side and cities, they are commonly the focal point of famous paintings, hymns and poems. As a budding Christian, I simply accepted steeples as part of the “church” structure and marveled over their beauty along with most everyone else. In more recent years, however, I’ve questioned the history and purpose of these prominent formations.

The first biblical mention of such a structure is noted in Gen. 11:3-9,
“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”

In determining to “make a name for ourselves,” the Babylonians were demonstrating their aspiration for independence. They didn’t want their selfish desires stifled by their Creator’s sovereign plans. The notion to build a city communicated their determination for permanence so as “not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” They were aware that living cooperatively would accomplish their desire for human achievement and power; “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”

But, why an obelisk (steeple)? The first century Jewish historian, Josephus explains the construction of the tower as a prideful act of defiance against God ordered by the arrogant tyrant Nimrod, the “father” of the Babylonian fertility cult. The phallus came to represent his religion and phallic-appearing towers were built on high places visible from far distances in honor of the fertility gods (1 Kings 14:23). In fact, The Encyclopedia Of Religions (Vol. 3, p. 264) states that Queen Semiramis in Babylon erected an obelisk one hundred thirty feet high in memory of Nimrod!

When God scattered the people of Babylon they obviously didn’t leave their pagan beliefs behind!
“Sacred” buildings of all religions of the world have obelisk-like
pillars, spires and towers appearing to reach heaven as part of their construction.

Have the people of God simply followed tradition without realizing its meaning or relationship to the religion of Babylon? Nowhere in Scripture does God ask His people to erect such a structure. In fact, He condemns it!

As followers of Jesus, we are called to “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:2). “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles [phallic symbols]” (2 Chron. 14:2-3). What about us? Will we choose to be obedient to God’s command, “You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces” (Ex 23:24)?

( has a helpful, extensive bibliography for those interested in researching this topic for themselves.)


Thursday, August 12, 2010


It is common for brothers and sisters in Jesus to declare, “We are not to judge one another!” The truth is, there is judgment that is necessary, and there is unacceptable judgment which is harmful. For example, in response to the reports of sexual sin within the church of Corinth, Paul responded, ”I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present” (1 Cor. 5:3). Was Paul sinning in his judgment?

Was Paul misleading God’s people when he taught,
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?
Are you not to judge those inside?
God will judge those outside”

(1 Cor. 5:12, 13).

If judging one another is wrong, how can we live out what God’s Word teaches?
“I urge you brothers to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way” (Romans 16:17).
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).
“And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not” (Malachi 3:18).
“I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false” (Rev. 2:2).
“..if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?” (1 Cor. 6:4-5).
“Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (John 7:24).

Has God commanded us not to judge and then contradicted Himself? No! Instead, He has given us very clear instructions regarding how to judge:

1) Scripturally – God’s Word, not our opinions and traditions, is our measuring stick! "To the law and to the testimony: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). ”Put everything to the test. Hold on to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21).
2) Prayerfully - "Give your servant a discerning heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and bad: for who is able to judge this great people of yours?" (I Kings 3:9).
3) Without favoritism - "To show partiality in judging is not good” (Proverbs 24:23). “My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 2:1).
4) According to Spiritual manifestation - We are not to judge according to what others say about someone or even what one says about themselves. We are not even to judge according to the measure of a person’s “Christian” activity. Rather, the determining question is, “Are they producing spiritual fruit?” (Matthew 7:16).
5) With mercy“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:12-13).
6) Without hypocrisy“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5).

It is true that Jesus warns those who judge with a fault-finding and condemning spirit, because their hypocritical attitude is no better than the one they are accusing. However, read in context, Jesus’ words, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” must be seen as a precursor to His instructions regarding the proper heart condition necessary before we can rightly and effectively minister to another (Matthew 7:1-5).

Could the rejection of God’s Word concerning judging one another be, at least in part, why the church is often indistinguishable from the world? Rather than resisting judgment or being judged, should we not invite this vital dimension of love into our lives?


Thursday, August 5, 2010


My husband, Gary & I recently attended the 11th annual Searching Together Conference in St Croix Falls, WI. The theme for this year was FAITH, HOPE & LOVE AT WORK IN THE EKKLESIA. The purpose of this conference is to encourage brothers and sisters to come together to mutually edify one another in love. Although the conference is attended by only forty –fifty people, these are brothers and sisters from around the world! This was our second year of attendance and I can honestly say, I’ve never attended anything more accurately representative of God’s Kingdom!

The conference is set-up in such a way that it emulates Paul’s instructions, “when you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation” (1 Cor.14:26). There seemed to be a deep understanding among those in attendance that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7)!

The expression of oneness of the body of Jesus (1 Cor. 12:13, Gal. 3:28, 1 Peter 2:5) was evident in that there was never an indication of:
racial or cultural distinction – God’s people from various countries were accepted, appreciated and loved without a tone of any earthly country being God’s “chosen nation”.
social distinction – People from all walks of life joined us without a hint of favoritism related to social status being expressed.
gender distinction – Men and women alike were equally involved in the teachings and open discussions resulting from a shared persuasion that in the body of Christ there is neither male or female.
pastor/laity distinction – No one attempted to be nor sought for another to be “the expert” because it was recognized that all the ekklesia (called out ones) are being built into a holy priesthood.

My heart was touched by those who understand and acted upon God’s admonition to “confess your sins to one another” and by those who responded in prayer (James 5:16). The precious transparency of some and the tenderness offered in response still linger in my mind. I was impressed with the universal deep awareness that intimate sharing, including admonishing in love, truly is for the purpose of strengthening the people of God (1 Cor. 14:26).

I often wonder when I observe what many consider “church,” if there is any genuine life amongst God’s people. However, as I reflect upon these three memorable days, I am assured that faith, hope and love are at work in the ekklesia!

We’d love to have you join us next year. It’s a family reunion you won’t want to miss! Stay in touch at!