November, 2022



A Nearly perfect fall morning: the leaves brilliantly colored with a lazy mist rising from the river. A friend and I were floating a section of river we hoped was stacked with fish. He was steering from the rear, and I was up front hoping for a hookup. We fished awhile, and I put my rod to the side for a quick tip of the water jug. What I didn’t see coming straight for me was a patch of low hanging branches. The current had pushed us to the side of the river where we had to duck under a massive and very low hanging tree. Typically, it’s not a big deal, but this time those branches were loaded with spider webs! Big, beautiful, perfectly symmetrical and very untouched spider webs! By the time I had set the jug back in place, the webs were upon me! Literally. I didn’t have anything in hand to clear the way, and I didn’t want to look like a pansy and jump out of the boat. So, I made the best of it. Both arms went flailing up and down, clearing the path while trying not to fall overboard. You can bet it was quite the sight!

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who enjoys walking into a spider web. If you do, I want to shake your hand. Most often, when I do find myself scraping silk off my face, it’s because I went too fast and was not paying attention. Or it’s because I’m not driving the boat!

How often do we miss the best parts of life because we are simply going too fast? Over the years, I’ve lost count how many times I have heard the words “crazy busy. ‘Oh, I’m just crazy busy!’” I always want to ask them one simple question… “Why?” It makes no sense to me unless they are getting part or all of their self-worth from being “busy.” We all have things to do but we can still take time to “be still and know that I am God.” This is from Psalm 46, a beautiful description of our God as a fortress and refuge. When we remember who is perfectly and sovereignly in control, we can slow down and truly enjoy this world.

As always, may you find joy in the simple things.

Plain Values Publisher


Reflections on the Martyrs (Hans Landis)

Reflections on the Martyrs (Hans Landis)

words by: Elam Stoltzfus   —   The Müller Family   —   This month is a continuation of stories from “A True Report of the Brothers in Switzerland” (Wahrafftiger Bericht von den Brüdern in Schweitzerland) about the Landis name found on pages 851, 852, and 853...



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The Gift of Sacred Ground

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  words by: Elaine Tomski _______________   'Tis the season of giving as people around the globe celebrate God's gracious gift of His Son. The newborn King brought a piece of heaven to earth one starlit night. He became like us so we can become like...


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