Tuesday, October 4, 2016
BISHOP ELI POSTS TODAY
Being a Bishop is a hard time and you need a rest now and again. Also being that Bishop Joseph's Old Order Mennonite group and our Old Order Amish are so close, we know a lot about each others activities and in general what goes on. We have done a lot of barn raisings together, food distribution, helping folks and more. Also, we have had dinners, fishing and hunting, and more.
So when I hear a complaint about Bishop Joseph or he hears one about me, we see that the other knows about it.
Now, I know in every group that there are some people that don't like their Bishop. Some people say I am too easy. Others say I am to strict. Some say, we should have an older Bishop to which I answer, I am getting there. Some, especially the young folks, say we should have a younger Bishop that understands them better. So, I figure Bishop Joseph gets the same thing I do. You can't please everyone.
Some were saying that Bishop Joseph wasn't the way he use to be. He was stricter. He didn't laugh like he use to. He takes things to serious. Even the little things seem to upset him. In general, he was not the same as he use to be.
Now my reply was, when one becomes a Bishop, he has a lot more on his shoulders than he had before be became Bishop. You have all the people in Amish or Old Order Mennonite to take care of. Not just church wise on Sundays, but throughout the week, too. It is sometimes hard to keep on people that need help or advice or whatever. Plus, that we have to do our farms, take care of our personal families and ourselves. Sometimes we get into such work helping others, we get behind with our own families. I am sure Emma and my children can a test to that.
So anyway, Emma and I invited Martha and Joseph to our house for dinner. We talked about farming, the weather, church and alike. After dinner, Joseph asked why he was there. He said he knew something was up. So I explained some rumors that I had heard. Then I asked him, when he and Martha had a vacation.
He started telling me about the family weddings they had been too and funerals. He and Martha had been on mission work. He went on and on. Finally, I stopped him and said a vacation. Just you and Martha, going some place just the two of you. Getting away from church problems, family problems, the children, farm problems and everything else. He and Martha just looked at each other. Then he came up with several reasons while they couldn't go on vacation. Who would take care of the church.? His deacons. Who would take care of his children? Kevin and Bridget. For every excuse he had, I had an answer.
Finally, I told him, we must do the work of the Lord, but we must also rest. I learned the same way he is learning. We can not properly do the work of the Lord, if we are tired. Maybe not physically tired, but mentally tired - religious tired. Now, I am not telling him to give up his religion or not to pray or study the Bible. No. He should do these things. But he should have rest of all the things he has to do. To stop worrying for others a little while and think of himself and Martha. You need a rest. When you come back, you have a new view. Some things that seem to be heavy on you now, don't seem so bad. Others that are serious, you are rested and can take on these with a better look out.
I explained that whether he wanted to go or not, he and Martha were going on a vacation. All expenses paid on Amtrak to Pinecraft in Florida. Grandmother Olive and Grandfather Albert were going to stay with my parents, so he and Martha could have their cottage all to their selves. For the two weeks that they are gone, Kevin and Bridget (their eldest son and daughter-in-law) are staying at their house and watching the rest of their children that live at home. In case an Old Order Bishop is needed, there is one that will come. If all else fails, they can call me, even though I am not Old Order Mennonite, I would be glad to help where I could.
He wanted to know who was paying for all this. After it was decided that they needed a vacation, some of the people of their church donated money. As word spread more of his people donated. What started as traveling on a bus turned into Amtrak. In conversation Jean happened to mention to Grandmother Olive about what they were doing. She talked to Albert and my parents. Grandmother called back and told them they could have their cottage. Joseph laughed. Martha said that is the first time she had seen him laugh in months.
How I got in on this is people thought Bishop Joseph wouldn't go if they told him, so I got the job. I told them I wouldn't take no. It wasn't too hard a push to get him to take it. They had never been to Pinecraft before so now they will know what goes on there.
So Bishop Joseph and Martha are in Florida staying at Olive and Albert's cottage. My Mom and step-father are having Olive and Albert as guests at their home. The bad things is that they are there during hurricane season. But I trust God will protect them.
Yes, Joseph and Martha know this is on here. I wouldn't do it without their permission. I also said Martha hadn't been on here for a long, long, time and I think she should put a post on when she gets back. Hope they are enjoying my Mothers and Grandma Olives great meals.
I have asked that Marilyn not give any names when she gives me the answer to this question or maybe I should say questions. What do you think when you see an Amish person or Old Order Mennonite person walking down the street? How do you react? What is the first thing that comes to your mind? If you have never seen one of us - how do you think you would react? Be honest.
Trust God's Wisdom,