From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Messages from our Mennonite Neighbors

Bible verses along the roads


"Remember thy Creator in thy youth."


"Choose this day whom you will serve."
Over the past year or so, several signs with Bible verses have been posted along local roads by our Mennonite neighbors. I don't know whether the signs are a church project or individual efforts. Some of the signs are similar in size and style, so maybe they came from the same supplier.

The signs are written in English so they can be read by most people who pass by.  But actually, the Mennonites usually read the Bible in German.  Their Heilege Schrift (Holy Scriptures) is/are written in "Bible German," a form of High German that's different from the Pennsylvania Dutch they speak at home. Mennonite children learn Bible German along with English, as part of their education.

"Honor thy father and mother."
A young Mennonite neighbor lady once told me that "sometimes we look in the King James Bible" if a passage in the Mennonite Bible is hard to understand. I am not sure if she was speaking for all or just speaking for her own household.  The archaic English of the King James Version is surely as difficult as Bible German, but the Mennonites probably assign extra virtue to the KJV simply because it is old.

But let me get back to the signs around the neighborhood. I respect our neighbors for trying to "be a good light". (A Mennonite neighbor lady, telling me how Mennonites should live, used that phrase.) But I do wish they'd put the signs on posts instead of nailing them to trees. These trees growing wild in the fence rows aren't particularly valuable, and they'll probably survive the nails, but it still bothers me. I hate to see things nailed to living trees, no matter who does the nailing.

"Repent & be converted that your sins may be blotted out."
"God will judge the world in righteousness."

2 comments:

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I am with you that the signs should be on a pole or something and not the living tree. I always wince when I see signs nailed to trees.

I only read the KJV translation, but only because that is what I first learned to read. Every other translation seems to pale in compassion, for the words of the KJV are like poetry that flow from the page and into your soul.

So glad to see you posting again. Love reading your blog. :)

Blessings always

Genevieve Netz said...

I am very fond of the King James Version mayself, because that's what I grew up with. I don't even want to hear some Bible passages in any version but the KJV. But honestly, it's not written in the language that I speak.

My blog posts are probably going to be just as sporadic as ever, sad to say. I've been on vacation, but now, I'm back to work and everything that usually keeps me busy is starting back up again.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.