Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Picture/Word Reveal for 2019

In my quiet time for the last several months, a word repeated itself. At first, I used the English word and yes, that was a good word. It dawned on me, I'm hearing the Hebrew and I know there is more depth than in the English. This word continued in my thoughts, I knew it will be my word of the year.
The word, Shalom. Yes, it means peace and peace is beautiful. I breathed it in. Shalom is more. One morning, I googled it. Oh, so much more. From the Refiner's Fire site: Shalom- Peace (as a greeting)- wholeness or completeness, soundness, health, safety, prosperity. It implies permanence. Strong's Concordance- also perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Root verb- complete, perfect and full. Sar Shalom means Prince of Peace.
A mighty blessing on many levels. I started using it as I left my patients' homes. So many need Shalom, the soundness, health and permanence of this blessing. The depth of Shalom fills me with reverence. I don't want to say it lightly.
I give the meaning, too. It is more than peace. The realization that I'm to use this word continued to push me, it is my word for 2019.
I was praying and worshiping one evening, and thought I need to find my picture. I use a picture I captured during the year to take me into the new year. The picture complements the word of the year. Shalom, deep peace, needed to be felt in my photo. I looked through my phone at all the pictures. I narrowed it down to two, well, maybe three, as I reassess my pictures. And as of December thirtieth, I haven't decided, maybe four or more. I think though, I will return to the first one, I chose shortly after that night of worship.
Then I study them again. The word permanence sticks with me. Does the picture convey a permanence? Or do I want the scene of spring, flowers, or my dog in green summer to be permanent? Shalom means more than only peace. I need to sleep on this decision.
December 31, I decided. The picture would be of the old business district, Broadway of Farrell, Pennsylvania with a rainbow after one of our many rains this spring, summer and fall. Farrell started as South Sharon with the influx of jobs from the steel mills over a hundred years ago. Permanence as the city still stands after the decline of manufacturing. The rainbow is the forever promise of God to not destroy the earth with a flood again. I'm concentrating on the permanence of Shalom.
I wish you the blessing of Shalom, the deepness of this word and the permanence of the blessing.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Mercer County's Season of Love

Fifty years ago,on the West Coast young people experienced the Summer of Love midst the turmoil and upheaval of old ways. The ground shook beneath the Establishment. Riots in the cities played out on national TV, as well as here in the Valley. We saw changes from the old guard even hit here. Among the hippies, drop outs and flower children, a movement for Jesus People started there, too. It spread east.
Three summers later, June 1971, with the world still in the midst of this unrest, two boys had plans of driving a paneled truck to Florida. A week before Marty Mattocks and Frank Parish were to leave, they met Jesus at the Barn in Newton Falls,Ohio. Their itinerary stopped at Mercer, as they spoke with Jim Erb, along with Deanna Snyder. They wanted to work here for the Lord.
First, Jim, offered his leadership and had the kids meet in his home. The boys and the first gathering declared they wanted to keep this out of the church building. Within weeks, fifty kids attended the weekly gatherings. The meetings had to be moved to Brandy Springs Park which worked in the summer, with camp fires providing the atmosphere for singing and testimonials. Summers always move to fall, though, with chilly evenings. The pavilion wasn't always available, either. The park couldn't keep up with the movement.
In stepped Ralph E. Watson and his wife, Louise, offering their barn one mile south of Mercer for the Thursday evening sessions of the Jesus People of Mercer County. Within two months, the crowd grew to 350, some nights up to 400. The new gospel music, a folk and rock combination played on guitars by Loree Schmidt and others, opened the meetings as the young people mingled and drifted in. Sharing what Jesus had done opened the meetings, speaking to many hearts. A speaker, either Jim or guest ministers, like Dr. Joseph Hopkins or Reverend Jack Chisholm, brought a brief message. Then a consecration song with more prayer saw the people out. About ten percent of the attenders were adults. Rainy nights, a fourteen year old Ralph Watson pulled cars out of the mud with his tractor.
The nights grew cooler and a heater was introduced. Some kids still smoked cigarettes. The insurance company threatened to not cover any damages, in fact drop the policy, if this continued. The barn proved too chilly and the movement met a dilemma.
After much prayer, they decided to erect a new structure on the Watson farm, just for the meetings.
Jim Calvert of the Calvert Lumber Company in Sharon visited the Barn, by chance, with his brother, a photographer. He learned of the need and donated the material at cost and free labor by prefabbing it in his shop. He oversaw volunteers at the new site, still on the Watson farm. Everything, including wiring and an oil furnace(which cost $500), came to $3500. The total covered by donations. Soon the Jesus People moved into a new barn ready for meetings January, 1972. They had no debt with this building, warmer than the old Barn.
The ministry could be seen as an adjunct to many churches. Jim estimated 75% of the teens were from various denominations and 25% were the hippies, and dropouts who needed to meet Jesus and probably wouldn't have felt comfortable in a church building.
Two Catholic nuns attended one night and were delighted at what they saw in the movement of the Holy Spirit. The Protestant clergy around the Valley also endorsed the movement. Lives were changed. Many of the young people affected are still involved in their churches to this day.
Jim led the Barn from 1971 to 1976. They also had three Jesus Festivals in 1974, '76 and '78. When Jim stepped down, the Barn went on for a while without him. But like many things of this era, changes in the culture outdated the specific ministry.
Many of the practices of the Barn ministry became mainstream in the churches. The music would be the most obvious. Christians debated the style of music, even leading to two different worship times to accommodate the styles. Greetings and testimonies confirm community. Healing services attract many. The Barn created community which churches need.
In a time of upheaval, like the late '60's, a special need arose for ministries like the Barn. The Jesus People Movement is still alive, as evidenced by recent e mail received. 1968 to 2018, fifty years after the Summer of Love, what will attract young people to Jesus, now?- Could a simple stable setting still invite hearts to Jesus?
Thank you to Jan Erb, Jim's widow, for the interview and pictures, and sharing the Pennsylvania Farmer article from August 12. 1972. I agree with the writer at the end of the article, “wish there were a Ralph Watson and Jim Erb in every rural district of the land!”

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Winter Light

Winter Light
Mollie Lyon
Catch it early
Winter light
When late morning
Rushes to afternoon dusk
Last gasp of the sun
Fills the earth with glory
Day gives up to night
Her glow fades quickly
Losing all that's bright
The sky suddenly dark
Once home we stay
We frown at the early eves stark
Wishing again for the longer day
Ending with concerts at the park

Monday, July 30, 2018

Clergyman James Satterfield

Clergyman James Satterfield
Mollie Lewis Lyon
Let me introduce you to the Clergyman. He is one of my ancestors that has made reading about my line easier because much is written about him. He would be an uncle, about seven generations back.
He was born in 1767, the fifth child of James and Margaret (Meed) Satterfield, in Queen Anne County, Maryland. The father died and Margaret married a Mr. Davies. The family moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania as they were farmers and the country was expanding.
James didn't want to stay on the farm, though. 1790, exporting provisions to New Orleans provided a new venture. He built his own flatbed. Most flatbeds at this time carried flour, bacon and whiskey. James only carried his flour and some from his neighbors. He did well with this trip, enough that he could sail back to Baltimore. He visited friends in Maryland. On his walk back to Pennsylvania, he had time to wonder about life. He quoted about his thoughts on the walk, “I felt something pressing on me that I should take the money thus earned and go to learning.”
Part of the choice came from an earlier decision at fourteen, as some sources state, he found religion. After his time at the academy at Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, he pursued a course in theology under Dr. John McMillan. This was common at the time. A sort of apprenticeship, like many trades, to prepare the student for his vocation. The foundation of Princeton Theological Seminary, the first of its kind,in 1812, impressed James. He believed this to be a great event in the history of the Presbyterian Church. He did not attend Princeton, as he was established by then as a reverend. He wanted to see uniformed scholarship for ministers of the Gospel.
By 1800, James was licensed by the Presbytery of Ohio and must have felt secure enough in his profession that he married Polly Orbison of Washington County, October 28, 1800, soon after a missionary tour among the “Indians,” as far as Detroit. According to Neshanock Presbyterian Church in New Wilmington history, on the fourth Sabbath of July, 1801, he received the call from the united congregations of Moorefield and Neshanock. Moorefield was log cabin church where the cemetery is now in Hermitage.
Both churches were built of logs. March 2, 1802, after the Presbytery fasted and prayed, they laid hands in the presence of the congregation, set him apart to the office of gospel ministry and installed him according to his call.
James was thirty three and they felt he had “ripeness of judgment and breadth of experience.” He was strong, “physically, mentally and spiritually.” But they weren't as good at paying him his income as they were of paying him compliments. He had to purchase two hundred acres on the Shenango River, outside of Wheatland. This land was closer to Moorefield Church. He lived on this land and farmed it until his death. Unfortunately, Polly died July 23, 1802.
Between the two congregations, he had one hundred forty members. He also held offices higher up in church government, such as treasurer, moderator and stated clerk at different times. He was a minister, a farmer and traveled on church business. Catechism was taught in homes, so he found himself on horseback often to teach this as well.
The frontier soon gave way to new settlers. New denominations grew in the area, to compete for church membership. Atheism and lawlessness posed a bigger problem. As trees fell though, sin's actions couldn't hide as well. Churches then held their own trials for the members. Gambling was one crime a few were charged with.
At this time, the physical appearance of James written - above medium height, lightly, though strongly built, his “face revealed character that commanded respect.” He found his second wife, Ann Gibson from the Neshanock Church, marrying her March 27, 1804. The had five surviving children- Samuel, Mary, Sarah, Margaret and James. Hadassah and Annie died in infancy. Ann, also passed away September 12, 1816.
James' third wife is interesting. Sarah was born 1789, the first white child born in Pennsylvania west of the Allegheny River. She was also the daughter of General David Mead of Meadville, Pennsylvania.
I wish sometimes the history books told of how they met. The clergyman and Sarah married September 3, 1816. Sarah died May 22, 1823. They had two children, Mead and Elizabeth. They lived to adulthood and married, but neither had children. Mead became a minister, too, in Harrisville, Pennsylvania. He died after four years of service.
The Clergyman, as everyone called James, moved on to found the Unity Church outside of Mercer, in 1832. He helped start churches in Trumbull County, Ohio, too, as part of the Hartford Presbytery. June 27, 1837, he was appointed to organized the West Middlesex (in town) Church as well.
To the end of his life they described him, as wearing his hair in a braid, clinging long to knee breeches and silver buckles after they were out of style. His physical endurance was remarkable with his many hardships, yet in his eighty ninth year, he could mount his horse unaided.
James must have kept ties with his first church. His sister, Margaret Campbell belonged there, and her family. Moorefield, though, on August 16, 1844, absorbed into a new church at Sharon, Pennsylvania. He mounted his horse, even in bad weather, November 1857. Services were all day then and he stayed the whole time. He developed pneumonia, forcing him to bed at his daughter's home. On November 20, 1857, James spoke his last words. He hoped his wick was trimmed and burning, like the virgins' lamps in Matthew 25, ready to meet the Lord. From reading, not only the accounts from his members, but what he did as long as he did, I think he was ready.
The clergyman's body is buried at Moorefield Cemetery, row 16. 2. About sixteen years ago, when I first started researching my family, I found the tombstone and was able to read “Reverend James Satterfield died, November 20, 1857.” A few weeks ago, I went back to take a picture and the etching has washed off the limestone. Fortunately, a couple of women wrote down all the graves in Mercer County, recorded in volumes. The Mercer County Historical Society and Grove City Historical Society has copies of these books.
His picture is hanging on the wall at Unity Church. I couldn't find it anywhere for the longest time and I thought, he's too far back. I asked the Unity Facebook page if they had a history of their church and the message came back, they had a display with his photograph.
James Satterfield impressed me most with his stamina. He came to Jesus at age fourteen. He decided after making money to learn and leaned to the ministry of the gospel. He never wavered from what I've read. It is reported his sermons were well prepared. He handled a trial on his theology brought about by an elder with grace. He founded many churches in this area and was part of my spiritual heritage even when I didn't know it. And he was ready to die, at age ninety in 1857.

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At Unity Presbyterian Church

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Unity Church

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Along the Shenango River, where James Satterfield's house was

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His final resting place

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Stronger Love

Stronger Love
Mollie Lyon

The adult child acts for self.
The mother loves without self.
The acts slam into her heart.
The mother wonders will the healing start?
The mother feels despair.
She's afraid to clear the air.
Each instance digs a hole more deep
Mother wonders why she can't weep
She wonders why she can sleep.
The secret comes
With the sun.
Mother's love never ends
The heart may break
But it mends.
Distance may grow
But child belongs
To the One above
The One containing a stronger love.
So, she rests in that thought
With Christ's love, they were bought.
He'll fight tougher
He'll fight longer
After her arms hold no more
His arms are stronger,
As is His love.
Hard to imagine
But there is a love stronger than a mother's.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Writing Before Dawn

Writing Before Dawn
March 13, 2018
Years ago, my daughter gave me a book, Writing Past Dark. A book where the first chapter had been a magazine article and maybe should have been left at that. The author promoted the idea of getting beyond depression and writer's block. The first chapter offered the most insight and help. The rest of the chapters mostly felt fluff.
I feel this winter cloaked me in darkness, after so much promise in December. My novels sales were the best and I thought that might continue. I wrote more. I found a group that I thought would help keep me motivated. I even wrote a few days on one unfinished novel anywhere from two hundred to a thousand words a day.
I also felt a push for physical activity, with one night pursuing the elephant dance and stumble with my ballet DVD. But I was moving. I walked the dog around a few blocks, a dim shadow of our usual outings, but it was a walk. One evening I pulled some muscle in my chest wall or was it my ribs? That slowed me down, but not like what happened next.
The worst was January tenth, I wrecked my new car. No one was hurt, but I at first sat stunned with the air bag filling the space in front of me. When I got home, I sat on the couch, not moving at all. After two hours, I realized this. I felt numb, not mad or sad or glad; I felt nothing. What could I do? And I thought all the horrible things that could happen. And what could I do? If they happened, I had to take it. I had to let go. Did I love my new car too much? I hadn't even made the first payment.
But everyone the next day seemed genuinely glad I wasn't hurt. “Cars can be replaced.” Yes, and I thought of my dad saying that when a deer ran into my sister's new car many years ago. And I cried that night, missing my dad. “But girls like you, cannot be replaced.” My loving dad.
The work load continued to pile. I felt badly missing patient visits- pushing them to the next day and the next, or canceling on a snow day. I didn't even know some of them. Push, push, push every day with more documentation at night. But I love home health and don't want to do anything else. I consoled myself by calling it my best paying writing job. Probably even better than free lancing.
Frigid weather and snow takes a toll on me. I only want to sleep under a blanket when I come home. That charting, though, hung over my head and guilted me from doing anything. I became numb, again, with hopelessness. Could I win this game? I didn't feel like a winner.
No one complained. Patients wanted me to visit. Some days, I confidently completed everything on time. My supervisor appreciated my positive attitude.
I didn't write on my novels. I journaled every morning. Gobs and gobs of words poured from my pen in cramped cursive sometimes, looking more like my mother's writing. Or I printed important words. Some sentences show a combination. I wrote. I felt, though, I had nothing to show. I quit writing for the site I pay to be on. To think of writing for publication gave me a headache. Writing in my journal proved,though, I kept writing past darkness; I kept writing before the dawn.
I looked forward to this week. I worked my seven day stretch and spent most of my day off finishing all the charting I tried to do in the evening or morning. I got some done, but not nearly enough. A lot of clicking answers. Jameson School of Nursing prepared me for OASIS, or at least picking the best answer.
This week, I am scheduled for jury duty. Today, as I prepared for the first day, my Facebook memory came up that I was working on my novel, Last Free Exit. I wrote several of my scenes, based on my last jury duty experience.
Across from the courthouse, sits the old county jail. Again, one of my experiences there as a nurse caring for a prisoner, lent to my scene in Last Free Exit.  Morgan visits Iggy in jail, she feels the hollow thud in the chest when those bars close behind you.
The paintings on the rotunda, I used in Country, another novel in progress. I peered at the face of the one, up on the ceiling, and confirmed, “Yes, that is Eva.” Then, I entered the court room to wait for our directions. My model for Mike in Last Free Exit walked into the room. He nodded to me and I thought is this Last Free Exit Day?
The trial I didn't get pick for would have been an experience for writing about Maria. In Summer Triangle, I didn't feel the need to have a trial for the story. They never found the rapist. Today, I thought, maybe I need to finish that part of the story. I think of a sequel for Last Free Exit and Summer Triangle. To confirm that, the stylist who did my nails today was named Amber. And well, maybe looked a little bit like Amber.
The best thing about today is I remembered how fun it was to always be thinking of story and itching to write. The places, people and phrases jumbled together to inspire. Is this the dawning I've been praying for? Will I tumble out of my bed where I slumbered for too long? The joy of writing come before dawn, again. I only hope it will stay.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Word/Picture Reveal

When all else fails, write something new. 2017 found me floundering and faltering with my works in progress, as well as my blog posting. I was not consistent. I battled fear, self doubt and deciding who is my audience. Fatigue with adjusting to being a case managing after five years pushed me into the couch at night.
No excuses, I am finding my new way. God promised me abundance with nursing and writing in the fall of 2016. I had my word picture of 2017 as “Dream.” I followed my dreams, but also knew work precedes dream fulfillment. I found I needed sleep. Oftentimes dreams pushed away at the slight twitter of my eye lids by worry. I couldn't remember them in morning light.
December brightened the dream of my published writing. I sold more books in this month than the whole year. My health, after long years of an annoyance with my gut, is straightening out. Yes, I had the dreaded tests and found out not much is wrong with me. Metamucil twice a day returned me to less doubt of going out and helps me with energy I lacked, for too long.
With confidence, I reveal my word/picture for 2018. And more than confidence; hope, can-do spirit and determination bubble up from my soul. I haven't felt like this looking at a new year in a long time. It is more than resolution. It feels ordained, if I dare write that word.
My word is Glory. And as with most ideas a person hops on, I see it everywhere and I have been using it in many correspondence since I decided in mid December that was my word. I read it in my Bible every morning. My devotions will bring it in to the day. Not that glory is an unusual word, but I listened to a motivational podcast today where he mentioned how we think, we see. An example my husband and I have noticed for a long time, once you buy a car or even think of getting a certain model, suddenly, they are everywhere in your vision.
I see myself writing. I have the scenes coming to me again, as I rest. Words for poetry returned this week. I declare I will write on my novels without hesitation. This is more than wishful thinking. I am bolstered by the events of the past few days.
I boiled down my mission one morning this week. It is to touch people with Jesus. My privilege with two careers helps. I witnessed the two intermingling. Verbal reviews of my novels tell me they affect readers. I must press on with both nursing and writing, together. And I know I am supplied for both with Jesus' riches in glory.
2018 will be filled with Glory. Everything I do will be for the glory of God. Colossians 3:4  And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.