Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Kingdom Without Intimacy?

My first position as an emergency room nurse was in a new facility just outside the city limits. Because we were nestled in cornfields on three sides, field mice would often find their way through the emergency entrance in the winter. Rarely making an appearance when things were hoppin’, given a quiet night when all the emergency staff were restlessly anticipating the next disaster, the sneaky varmints would almost always show up as if to say, “Tada! Na-na na-na na na!”

 In a desperate need to keep our minds occupied, one very quiet night we decided to sit at the nurses’ station with toilet plungers in hand, waiting for an unsuspecting mouse to wander in. The plan was that at the first sight of our prey, we would charge with our “weapons” in an attempt to capture the nasty villain!

  • Tick-tock! Tick-tock! ... “That clock seems very loud, yet the minutes are dragging by!”
  • Fidgeting… “It’s too difficult to sit so still for this long!”
  • Ready to give-up… “This is crazy!”
  • “Wait! There he is! Get him!!!!”
  • Out of our shoots we lunged, armed and ready for action!
  • Scurrying to be the victor, studious and composed health-care professionals were chasing the frightened creature every which way!
  • Closer! Closer! Closer!
  • SHWMP!
  • YES! I nailed the sorry little sucker!

Although we were quite satisfied that we caught the stinkin’ invader, we remained unsettled with no “real work” to do. So… we laid our distressed “patient” on the trauma cart, placed an electrode in the middle of his tiny chest, hooked him up to the heart monitor and alerted the night supervisor, “We have a Code blue going in E.R. and need some help!” We waited quietly behind the closed trauma room doors. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter… we could hear her hustling into the emergency department. “Thunk!” She’d smacked the automatic opener causing the trauma room doors to swing wide. There we stood, her “professional” E.R. night crew, hovered over the gurney of our trauma victim whose heart monitor was straight-lining, “beeeeeeep!” Interrupting her intense focus on our deceased patient, I announced, “Sorry we troubled you. We lost him!”

 Thank God the one who was in charge knew our hearts! She knew that the stress we worked under daily played its toll and that our harmless fun was a way of trying to deal with the impact of our role. She knew that when necessary, we meant business and that there were few E.R. teams that could collaborate like ours. She wasn’t perfect and neither were we, yet we could talk openly about our weaknesses and knew that we’d be there to support and encourage one another regardless. I’ll never forget the healthy working relationship we had.

Surely relationships in Jesus should be such an example of vitality! Yet, often they aren’t. Instead, when we take the risk to develop relationships with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, we often end up feeling like that mouse must have felt:

  •  I should’ve never walked through that door.
  • Someone is always sitting around the corner waiting for me to make the wrong turn.
  • No matter which choice I make, I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
  • No matter how hard I try, I just can’t escape the traumatic sucking force from one person or another.
  • Being out there in that vast field all alone wasn’t such a bad place to be after all.

 When I observe interactions among Christinas,

I most often see a tremendous fear of intimacy.

Oh, we can comfortably talk about the weather,

farming, our grandkids, sports, and this week’s sermon,

but God forbid if we should take our relationships much deeper than that!

Why is this? What are we so afraid of? Why can’t we:
  • allow others to truly be themselves
  • understand that others respond to life differently than we and be ok with that
  • communicate honestly and lovingly about sensitive issues
  • resolve issues rather than “taking the easy route out”
  • be honest about one another’s weaknesses and know that we will uphold one another regardless
  • share varying opinions without getting angry
  • confront and challenge one another in love without getting defensive

 We’re all in the same stressful world that takes its toll and often respond in ways that may seem foreign to others. We are all a bit afraid of the unknown and are trying to get through the trials we face in the best way that we know how. And… we all long for others to come along side of us and love us for who we truly are, sick sense of humor and all. Yet, I’m baffled by how very few of us truly know one another’s hearts. Why do we find intimacy, something very natural and necessary for the Kingdom of God, so difficult? Weren’t we created for intimacy? Can there be a Kingdom without it?



P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

Diagonal Progress

505 Jefferson St.

Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I chuckle every time I see the road signs as we come into Diagonal from the west. Good thing we don’t live in the city! Why, there’d be a traffic jam at the intersection where the undecided person sat ad infinitum reading signs trying to determine which one points where!

This conglomeration of signs pointing every which way has to be one of the best comparisons of the churches’ description of “how to get to heaven”. Each group of believers seems to have its own road map.

While each gives lip service to simply following Jesus, there always seems to be tags at the end of their Gospel message. You’ll find the way to your heavenly home if you:
  • Follow certain Old Testament Laws.
  • Attend a certain congregation.
  • Wear certain clothes.
  • Pay a certain tithe.
  • Pray in a certain tongue.
  • Read a certain Bible.
  • Observe certain “Holy Days”.
  • Wear your hair a certain length.
  • Are baptized at a certain age.
  • And list goes on!
Within each denomination, it doesn’t take long to discover that if you are on the “wrong road,” you’re surely following

My daughter-in-law, Jenn asked me one day, “Why are there so many different denominations and how do we know which one has it right?” Jenn’s question made me think of Dorothy on Wizard of Oz asking how to get back home:

Glinda, the good witch of the North advises Dorothy to seek help from the mysterious Wizard of Oz. Following the Yellow Brick Road, as directed, Dorothy comes to a place where she has more than one directional option:

Dorothy: Now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me, this way is a very nice way.
Dorothy: Who said that?
[Toto barks at scarecrow]
Dorothy: Don't be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don't talk.
Scarecrow: [points other way] It's pleasant down that way, too.
Dorothy: That's funny. Wasn't he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: [points both ways] Of course, some people do go both ways.

Dorothy and Jenn have asked a good question. How do we know which way will get us home?

First we must understand that with so many denominations, each claiming that only they have it right, in one way or another, they all have it wrong! Following Jesus has nothing to do with any denomination! In fact, it has nothing to do with observing any laws! Surprised? This was a stumbling block for the people of Israel, as well!

Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him.
Romans 9:30-33

While it seems that each denomination genuinely believes that they have it right and are sincere in their confessions of faith, the reality is that, like the devoted Israelites, they are refusing to accept God’s way:

I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. Salvation Is for Everyone! [Romans 10:1-4].

It is the longing of my heart that each person be set free from the bondage of attempting to follow the laws of God and those of any religious denomination! Our works can not save us! If this were the route, no one would ever find their way home!

For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says… “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” [Romans 10:5, 6, 9].

Seeking directions from denominations will leave you feeling confused, as Dorothy must have felt and will only lead to being lost on a winding road of relentless self-effort. The one with the clear directions is not a mysterious wizard, hiding his true self behind a curtain. Instead, He clearly reveals Himself in Christ and explains that He is the only way home. While the road is narrow, it is straight and effortless!

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago [Eph 2:8-10].


P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
Diagonal Progress
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, May 17, 2012


A number of years ago, we began to consider buying a couple of horses. After much research and consideration, last October we took the plunge. We purchased a team of Halflingers, a breed the height of a standard bred horse, but broader and more muscular like Belgians lending them to both pleasure riding and strength to work. Having never been horse-owners, we are on quite a learning curve!

While it is not uncommon for horses to lose a bit of weight in the winter, we were a little concerned that our gelding may have been too thin. I asked a horseman friend and he assured us that our gelding wasn’t unusually thin, but commented that our mare was “just plumb fat!” Over the next few days, however, we noticed that her abdominal veins were bulging, her belly was enlarging daily and her udder was even more noticeable than it was the week before! While I’m a novice, it seemed to me that we had a pregnant mare on our hands! I did some homework and got on the phone with my brother, Art to discuss my findings. His response was, “Sounds like you got more for your money than what you thought!” Within a couple of days our “plumb fat” mare delivered a strong, adorable filly!

Before the foal was born, Art encouraged me, “I’ll tell ya how to make this foal into a good horse, get on-line and learn all you can about “imprinting” the newborn.” I can guarantee you that those few days of anticipation were filled with studying! Our previous experience with horse training was watching burly cowboys on TV breaking wild and strongly resistant older horses. We certainly weren’t ready for that! Instead, breathing into the nose of the newborn, letting it sniff you, massaging its body, etc. creates a bond in those first few hours that will positively impact the foal’s response to humans from that day forward.

It took me a while to muster-up the courage to make my move. Observing her closely, my mind raced; “What if she is stronger than I? What if I do it wrong? What if I hurt her? What if I make her even more afraid? Lord, give me wisdom and a little strength wouldn’t hurt either!” I patiently waited for the perfect moment and will never forget the indescribable experience of wrapping my arms around that powerful bundle of life for the first time and feeling her succumb to my strength. I don’t know whose heart was pounding harder, hers or mine! My legs trembled, my heart melted and I cried as I stroked her little face, rubbed her belly and massaged her wobbly legs. What a precious, unexpected gift from God!

Before the second day was over, I was able to touch nearly every part of her body with little resistance from her. On the third day, my husband, Gary went with me and while he was lightly lying across her, I rubbed and massaged every inch of her body. She was nearly asleep when I began to repeatedly slip a soft little halter on and off her face. Gary quietly commented, “Isn’t she just an amazing little wonder?” By the fourth day, Little Wonder voluntarily left her momma, came to and sniffed me, put her head on my shoulder and allowed me to place a halter on her with no opposition!

With patience, persistence and consistency Little Wonder’s trust in us is growing daily. She is progressively learning that our desire is to help and not harm her. She wants to be near us as much as we want to be near her. She freely comes to us and often stands quietly in her standard position of training as if to say, “Teach me more!”

Working with Little Wonder kindles thoughts of my relationship with my Master. While there are many things that He does which I don’t understand, are uncomfortable and can be down-right frightening, I know that His desire is to help and not harm me. Regardless, I often resist His bidding. As He applies more and more pressure, however I finally succumb to His power and rest quietly in His arms.

“Lord, I’m astounded that you even desire to be in relationship with me! Thank you for loving me enough to not allow me to escape the pressure which causes me to depend upon You! My heart’s desire is to trust you enough to stand quietly saying, “I’m ready to learn more!” Thank you for the gift of this little filly that you are using to teach me more than I could ever teach her. She truly is an amazing Little Wonder!”



P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

Diagonal Progress

505 Jefferson St.

Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The First Aid Kit

As a young girl, I saw a magazine ad for a “free” first-aid kit. I painstakingly filled out the request card and quickly placed it in the mail box. I could hardly wait for the kit to arrive! I clearly recall the day a salesman showed-up on our door-step asking for Bonnie Jones. When he discovered that his potential client was an elementary aged school-girl, he was not a happy camper. While I didn’t quite understand why he was so disturbed, my older siblings evidently got the picture. This fella was in the business of selling insurance policies and not in distributing first-aid kits to young girls! In fact, he had it in mind to leave without presenting me with the promised kit. Knowing how disappointed I’d be, my siblings expressly informed the shyster that he needed to follow-through with the company’s agreement which indicated no age requirement.

Having a first-aid kit on hand is still important to me. In fact, I just restocked ours and thought you might be interested in my list of contents. I use a multi-level tackle box that I can easily transport wherever it is needed.

In my opinion, no natural health first-aid kit is complete without:

Essential Oils
  • Eucalyptus - strong action against lung congestion, bronchitis and sinusitis.
  • Helichrysum – very effective wound healer and anti-inflammatory.
  • Lavender - great antiseptic for cleansing wounds and anti-inflammatory.
  • Oregano – 12 micro liters of oregano essential oil has the antibacterial equivalence of 10 units of penicillin! Unlike traditional antibiotics, Oregano doesn’t wipe out the necessary good bacteria in our bodies while killing the bad and is effective against penicillin resistant diseases.
  • Peppermint – alleviates headache and nausea.
  • Tea Tree – broad spectrum anti-bacterial with excellent anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Use directly on burns, abrasions, abscesses and infected areas.
  • Aloe Vera – A must for treating burns, bites, and other skin maladies
  • Arnica Herbal Oil - Apply immediately after injury to prevent, relieve and reduce swelling, bruising and pain. Not recommend for open wounds
  • Comfrey Infused Olive Oil – Also called Boneset and used to relieve pain from blunt injuries, promote healing of broken bones, sprains and bruises and reduce swelling. Not recommended for open wounds.
  • Ginger tea – relieves nausea and indigestion.
  • Slippery Elm - a mainstay for treating irritated or inflamed skin as well as cuts, scrapes, scratches, and minor burns. Relieves inflammation and irritation in the throat, urinary tract and digestive system.
  • Willow Bark Capsules – contains salicin. Its modified form is “aspirin.” Used for colds, fevers, minor infections, headache, and pain from inflammation. Unlike aspirin, willow bark does not increase the risk of bleeding or irritate the stomach lining.
  • Witch Hazel Extract – indispensable astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and anesthetic properties. Used for bedsores, bruises, insect bites, poison ivy or oak, sore muscles, swelling, diaper rash, windburn, and sunburn.
Bulk Ingredients:
  • Activated Charcoal – a must for internal poisoning and drug overdose.
  • Baking Soda – relieves indigestion, insect bites and stings, rashes and sunburn.
  • Bentonite Clay - absorbs toxins, heavy metals and other internal contaminants.
  • Epson Salts – used as a compress, it soothes aches, reduces swelling, inflammations, draws splinters and toxins, sedates, relaxes muscles and provides relief from joint pain.
Miscellaneous Essentials:
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Organic/unpasteurized – soothes irritated skin, aids digestion, relieves muscle pain, removes toxins, and is insecticidal.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Poison Ivy Soap containing Jewel Weed
  • Bug repellant
  • Muscle Rub
  • Throat Lozenges
Dressing Supplies:
  • Non-stick pads and Band-aids - various sizes
  • Surgical, Transpore and cloth tape
  • Ace wraps – various sizes
  • Gauze pads & wraps – various sizes
  • Elastic self-adhesive bandage wrap – various sizes
  • Steri-strips – various sizes
  • Thermometer – Stethoscope – Blood pressure cuff
  • Finger Splints – various sizes
  • Scissors - Tweezers
  • Dropper
  • Q-tips
  • Rubber gloves
Quality counts! www.mountainroseherbs carries organic herbs and oils that you can trust.

I tweak the contents of the first-aid kit as our needs change through various stages of life. So have fun developing a kit that works for you.

I’m sure I neglected to list some important items and I’d love to be able to offer more details on “how to use” specific items. Hopefully, you’ll find such information in my previous and future articles.

Oh! You are probably wondering, “Did she get a first-aid kit from that salesman? I sure did and in one way or another, I’ve had my hands in emergency treatment ever since!


P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
Diagonal Progress
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845


The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc. Each of us is accountable to God to weigh everything according to His Word.

All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is best left to the Creator of the universe. In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted. The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.