October Pastor’s Pen

October Pastor's Pen

Years ago a gospel trio from Pennsylvania, the Couriers, had a song called Empty Hands:

Bishop T.D. Jakes says there is something about emptiness that attracts God; He enjoys filling empty things. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Hungry people know they are empty.

So why did we sell our home and move into a cabin north of Caledonia? When we purchased our cabin last December, we envisioned it to be a mountain getaway, perhaps a place I could go on Thursdays to work on my sermons or a retreat setting for both recreation and contemplation.

Sometime this spring, however, we sensed God’s Spirit working on us to downsize and lighten our load for what will eventually be the age of retirement. Real estate was selling well and our house on Acorn Circle – though it was a blessing for five years – was more house than we needed with more work than we wanted. One day we came to the realization that we were supposed to “empty our hands.”

One of the tenets of our Brethren Heritage is living simply. As I understand it the simple life is striking a standard of living which celebrates the blessings God intends for us while keeping things of the world in balance and perspective.

We gave a lot of our stuff away, we sold some of it, and we put more of it in a dumpster. But as the brothers and sisters who helped move us can attest, we still had far more than enough to put in storage, finding life to be not that simple after all.

I don’t think everyone should do what we did; ours was a definite “ask” from the Lord. He asked us to let go and trust him with our living arrangements. A few of you have asked if I think we’ll be happy with our decision. As with anytime the Lord calls and the Holy Spirit convicts, we wouldn’t be happy if we would have made a different decision. We firmly believe we were led to Acorn Circle and we were led to 2149 Pine Grove Road.

Where is your cabin? Many of you have asked and are even looking. If you take 30 east out of Chambersburg and proceed until you come to the traffic light at the Caledonia/Totem Pole intersection, turn right onto Rt. 233 North. Once past the driveway to Caledonia State Park, drive 4.2 miles. Our cabin (currently getting a bit of a face lift) is on the right, about 100 yards from the road. We have a mail box and a sign above it that reads, Emmanuel Cottage.

That’s what we’ve named our new home.

If you call ahead, you’re welcome to drop by and see for yourself. Our dogs are big but they

are friendly. Our phone numbers are

            Joel: 717-357-1333

            Kathie: 717-357-2191

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our gratitude to Larry Bricker, Ray Burkholder, Bill McMullen, Gary Mills, Jerry Moore, Jim and Carole Prohaska, Joe Rankin, Rey and Todd Rankin, Jamie and Travis Rhodes, and Bob Witter for helping us pack and move.

As I’ve often said, whatever you do trust in the Lord with all of your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6


Joel Nogle

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