April 2009, Newsletter Issue #8
Thoughts of Springtime--and God
January 1, 1970Dear Friends,
I grew up on a farm, the youngest of five, “way on behind,” as the Pennsylvania Dutch say. Each spring, my thoughts turn toward home and the wonder of nature, so this month I share with you a few things I learned about God in rural Pennsylvania:
1. God controls.
Among other things, God controlled the weather. The meandering creek in our meadow once swelled and ripped away the bridge of our country lane. Violent summer thunderstorms scared me, and I worried that surrounding trees might crash upon our house. While we were the ones who planted the crops, I knew the harvest depended on God.
2. God determines.
Never once did the seasons fail to change. Springtime strutted in waving bouquets of forsythia, daffodils and peonies. Summertime brought an endless succession of lazy days. We played on blankets spread beneath trees to escape the sweltering afternoon heat. Each fall, trees shed their foliage and fruits. After school I’d kick away dry leaves to hunt hickory nuts. Winter snows clogged the lane and closed schools. I loved sledding and puffing out frosty breath. I painted baking-soda-paste snowflakes on our windows.
3. God delights.
My parents would sometimes waken me in the middle of the night, wrap me in an “Indian blanket” and carry me outside to watch an aurora borealis or “northern lights.” What a marvelous display of God’s handiwork! My coloring books said Jack Frost painted the leaves, but I knew it was God. He also gave us springtime strawberries. My mother made biscuit-like shortcake topped with homemade ice cream and well-sugared berries. Nothing tastier!
4. God provides.
We “dressed” our chickens on Saturday afternoons and roasted them for Sunday dinner. Before their demise, they provided plenty of eggs for breakfast. The garden supplied vegetables, which my mother canned and froze. My mother and I accompanied my dad to the feed mill to pick out cotton-printed feedbags to make into dresses. Nothing was wasted. We were good stewards.
5. God is with us.
With a blue sky above, weekly worship at our church and parents who read the Bible and prayed, how could we not see God’s hand around us? We depended on him as surely as we depended on our neighbors. And neither has ever let us down.
Before I close, I mention a few items you may find of interest.
--To read the history of Friends of the Heart, go to http://www.sentinelnow.com/. Our local newspaper just did a story on our ministry.
--Check out our new Friends of the Heart website at www.friendsoftheheart.us.
--Go to my website at www.shirleybrosius.com to read excerpts from Persons, Places and Things: Memories from the 1940s and 1950s That Molded my Life. These are stories I compiled for my grandchildren, but you too can order a copy. You can order Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories About Women Who Made a Difference there too.
--To print out a copy of my website Tip Sheet to guide you in writing your own memories, click on “5 Steps to Turn Memories Into One-Page Memoirs.” It’s free.
--And finally, feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends.
Have a blessed springtime and Easter season.
Pray for these upcoming events by Friends of the Heart:
April 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Women's Retreat for Brookfield Bible Church, Harrisburg.
April 25, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Women's Retreat for Emmanuel Bible Chapel, Berwick.
May 4, 6 p.m. - Mother/Daughter Banquet for Bethany Lutheran Church, Montoursville.
May 9, 9 a.m. – Mother’s Day Brunch, Word of Life Chapel, Halifax.
May 9, 2 p.m. – Mother's Day Tea, Calvary Independent Church, Lykens.
May 16, 4 p.m. – Mother's Day Tea, Trinity United Methodist Church, County Line, Dalmatia.
November 15, 4-6 p.m. - Ladies Tea, at Camp Hebron, Halifax (Shirley speaking alone for this event.)
January 9, 2010, 10 a.m. - Christmas Cafe for Community Evangelical Free Church, Harrisburg.