Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Conditions for PEACE

Genesis 11 describes the condition of this earth after God has sent it through a 'washer'. Verse. 11:6 gives God's take on a developing situation not long after the world wide flood. "And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. " I noticed three points that God 'saw'. The people had a common goal, they were 'one' and they had an excellent communication system (all spoke one language). The result was that even God saw that whatever they decided to do, they would accomplish.
On the surface that sounds like organized peace, doesn't it? But evidently something was amiss. Organized is definitely involved in the three above mentioned combination. God's form of peace, however, must involve something more or God would not have been unhappy with the tower builders.

The missing part was having a unified goal toward doing God's revealed will rather than 'my way' - any other will.

Another thought coming from this story of the tower of Babel is that when God simply confounded the communication system the whole plan of unity fell apart.

Sounds like a very important condition of organized peace is effective and appropriate, communication. I can vouch for that in my more recent experiences.

It is late and I am tired so will add more later.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Organized Peace - 6

I learned something new today concerning this concept of 'organized' and 'Peace'. (I have the words separated - for a reason.)

I have been challenged at times with a friend. Today I was impressed that she has (or is) 'organized' 'chaos'. My first impression when that thought first flitted through my mind was "What"? How could that even be a possibility? But the more I have thought about it the more I realize it is not only possible but so. Another word in the KJV Bible for chaos is 'Babylon' - 'babel' - confusion. Those words, however, don't usually denote 'organization'. But the more I have been learning about counterfeit forms the more I realize that organized confusion is one of Satan's hallmarks, so to speak. The more he can get people 'pitted' against each other, the more he can get people to argue, complain, criticize, etc. the more confusion there is. And sad to say, I believe that is one of Satan's forms of organization most often based on fear of any or all kinds.

Back to 'organized' when it relates to 'peace'. God's form of organization brings people into a unified harmony baptized in love. The more we experience God's love to us and in us the more we long to come into harmony with others in the family of God. That can then lead to the kind of peace I am looking for - a deep abiding, confiding, trusting rest experience in the presence of one you KNOW loves for you to be with them. One who considers you to be special to them.

Now, I have been searching for that kind of peace and learning about it more recently. But as I thought about it today I realized that one area of great weakness in my life has been certain areas of 'organization'. And lately I believe that is where the devil has been attempting to 'trip me up'. He full well knows that when proper 'organization' and God's form of 'peace' unite, his power in a person's life is broken, particularly when the JOY of the Lord is their strength. Therefore he has been attempting to take just one part of the puzzle piece out, 'so to speak' and in my case at present I think that may well be 'organization'.

I am not looking for the kind of organization that is 'canned'. Do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that. The kind I am looking for is again based in love. Jesus said "If you love me, keep my commandments" James called it the 'law of liberty'. Law is a form of organization. Makes sense.

It is getting late and I must rest.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, March 26, 2007

Organized Peace - 5

I think today's experience has been more focused on the organized part than the peace, although both were involved.

There has been a situation 'brewing' for some months now. I had volunteered to help a friend with her cattery because she had broken her leg in December. The Lord has taught me much through this experience. Recently, however, I have been getting busier and busier (at least it sounds like a good excuse) and consequently I have had less time to work at the cattery. I think I have also been in a mental battle concerning the 'job' also which hasn't been beneficial as far as always getting the job done in a timely manner. Anyway, last week the situation deteriorated. The cats were fed and watered on a regular basis but that was all. When I would 'get home' around 8 or so I just couldn't make me go out to the cattery for a big cleaning job.

Well, Sunday my husband and I tackled the 'giant' head on. Starting around 9 a.m. we worked until around 5 p.m. (with an hour off for lunch) to do as deep a cleaning as we knew how inside the cattery. When we finished (with a few more finishing touches added Monday) I felt good about our progress. I also found out Monday that not everyone looked upon our 'giant slaying' project as we did for we were informed that we had not done the job 'good enough' to suit the 'owner'. I also found out that I could 'quit' - which I did, as gracefully as I knew how.

Our friend is getting around now even though she is yet 'slow'. As we finished our cleaning job we put the water containers where she could fill them with a hose even from outside the the cat runs. We put the food containers where she could be easily reach them from inside the cattery. Last of all I put my letter of resignation in her mailbox.

It feels good.

Peace may not be all feeling but it sure is nice when feelings are included.

I have another 'giant' to tackle but I think I'll wait until tomorrow (although I have already been organizing my attack strategy tonight).

Bringer of peace.

Organized Peace - 4

These past few days have been VERY enlightening and even rather interesting. As I have been pondering some high points along the way I also realize that through them all I have been getting a better picture of 'organized peace' (or sometimes the lack of it). Several experiences have been developing concurrently. I will try to share just a bit of what I have been learning.

1. Without going into a lot of detail I have been helping a friend with a variety of 'jobs'. Due to some experiences previous to when I began helping her on a rather regular basis some legal issues have been started by another party against her (She has excellent legal aid). Friday was to be another step in the legal 'proceedings' and naturally she was concerned. Previous to this we have prayed together a number of times concerning the 'problem' . I believe I saw God perform miracles both in giving my friend 'peace' before, during and after the legal procedure and in the outcome. This kind of peace is within a person's heart and spirit, whether or not the external situation seems to be peaceful.

Due to the nature of the situation another friend was requested to help for a short time. After things had 'calmed down' andnear the end of the day when basically all that was going to happen that day was 'over', my friend whom I have been helping and I had a chance to talk together. She thanked me for my support and prayer - which I had been more than happy to give as I had been able. In a more 'casual' setting we also reviewed some of what had taken place and even commented a little on what might be a wise course to pursue looking forward. She then made a comment that I have been 'mulling over' in my mind since. She likes the other person who came and helped for a short time but her impression was that this person had a 'spirit' of 'chaos' or similar, but she might be able help our mutual friend with this 'challenge'.

It was extremely interesting to me that here was a person who had been facing some seemingly serious challenges and yet she was still very perceptive of others around her. She has in the past been able to help many people and even though she was and is facing challenges in her own life she still seems to be on the lookout for those who may be able to be helped by her to have not only organization but an inside peace upon which to base their life.

2. As mentioned earlier a friend of mine broke her leg back in December. She has a cattery and I volunteered to take care of it until she could get back on her own 'two legs'. Because of a number of reasons, however, it seems that the cattery has taken a 'back seat' in my priority list for the past two weeks. The cats have received food and water but that has been about all for the last week. When I get home about 8-10 p.m. I just can't do more than that before winding down for myself'. This situation, however, was weighing heavily upon my mind. I felt somewhat guilty for not 'keeping up' with either the cattery or my own home but it seemed as though the 'hurrier I went the 'behinder I got'. My friend, mentioned in part 1, sensed some of my frustrations and has encouraged me in a number of ways as well as given me suggestions to 'right' my own schedule, so to speak. Well, yesterday my husband and I ended up spending about 6 hours in the cattery doing a major clean-up as well as repair on a some long standing needs. We didn't get everything 'done, done', but hopefully it will help us get back on track. I told my friend Friday that I was not going to be able to continue doing everything every day. While doing the makor cleaning we were able to rearrange things in such a way that she can now feed and water the cats by herself even though she is still not walking 'well'. That in itself has taken a big burden off me. I will still have to help her a couple days a week doing the 'bigger' cleaning but that is much less than the every day work we have been doing for the past three months.

Somehow, even though things had gotten pretty messy for a week or so (previous to then we had been able to clean almost every day and I had felt real good about our 'cat care') I really felt good - and even a peace in my heart - when we were able to get it back into 'shape' again by the end of yesterday. I am still doing the washing of towels and such but that is small compared to what had been needed to be done at the beginnig of the day .

I guess I also feel relieved that she is beginning to take more of the responsibility back. It will probably be a while before she can do everything again but just knowing that I am not responsible for the daily food and water for the cats seems 'great' to me right now.

I am thankful that I could help her during this time, but I'm also thankful it is nearing an end and hopefully soon. I have also had a sense of peace in transfering back to her these responsibilities.

3. Now to something a little more personal. As the above experiences have been developing something has occasionally 'flitted through' my mind. One of my tendencies has been to 'help' (or at least when I think) others need help. Even though my mother died when I was 21 I sense I got that 'spirit' from her. I remember a number of experiences when Leota mom would reach out to help those in need. Her sister, Aunt Flora, (whom I looked up to a lot) was also that kind of a person. I have always admired that attribute in them and I think it has had a large impact in me.

4. On the flip side of the above attribute that I think I see in me, I have struggled for most of my life with 'taking care' of myself, especially whenever there is a 'high stress' situation when helping someone else. It seems that when that happens the 'stress' situation easily takes 'top priority'.

This topic actually has more than two sides, which is what I have begun to 'see' this last day or so. Basically I have gotten very frustrated with myself at times and particularly so when I realize that I have again allowed 'high stress' situations in other's lives to 'rule' over what I really need for myself and my family. That may need to happen occasionally but I don't think it is necessary quite as often as I have allowed it to be in my past life.

My brother and I have talked about this from various perspectives in the past (We have a good communication between us as far as I know). Some of his comments and questions recently though left me frustrated - partly because I couldn't really 'see through' them and partly because I couldn't seem to come up with an acceptable 'answer' (not because he said them but because I couldn't seem to see 'either way').

One question he had asked me was could it be I do the above (help others out of trouble) and don't keep my own 'house' (both literally and figuratively) because somewhere I am getting what seems to be a benefit of some kind to me? On the surface I could not 'see that'. How could disorganization in my own home 'bring' any benefit to me? Others don't like it and I for sure don't like what seems to be 'chaos' either. But something came up this weekend that has led me back to that 'line' of thinking. To make this short, of the 5 siblings in our family it seems I have 'felt' accepted by my parents more than all the others. My older brother and sisters have memories of many frustrations when they think of our 'family'. And only in the past few years has my younger brother been able to bring resolutions to some long standing challenges in his life in relation to 'family'. Yet, most of what I currently remember include acceptance of me for who I was by both my mom and dad. (Even my brothers and sisters have made comments along that same line.) But this time as I thought about the above in the light of my brother's question, the two concepts began to seem to 'come together'. There are other factors involved, I know, including (A.) Allergy reactions which at times left me barely able to 'function' on any level much less 'keep up' with 'mundane' things like 'housekeeping' ? ! : (B.) The concept that I didn't want anyone to think I couldn't carry my share of the 'load' in any given situation in my life and particular when it involved others' (not in relation to caring for myself though) : (C.) I early believed a lie - 'Peace at all costs'; (to just name a few 'other factors' which I have thus far identified).

But this time I have begun to 'see' something 'new' to me. As all our family would probably testify, our mom was not a perfect housekeeper. I never considered our house 'dirty', but 'well lived in', yes. And my most common memories were mainly with my younger brother and mself at home - the three older siblings were five years older, seven years older and ten years older so they had about 'flown the nest' in many of my memories. I mention this because a very common recollection of my older sisters was Dad waking them up to go 'clean up' the kitchen' when they had 'left it' unfinished and similar memos.

Could it be that my feeling of being 'accepted' by mom in particular but also by dad does have a 'part' to play in my own lack of housekeeping? Could I be somehow connecting 'dots' in ways that weren't as they were supposed to be? Yes, I have carried this problem of housekeeping further than mom did, I fully agree (I think I'm worse than she was). But I am no longer thinking that is one of my 'bottom line' issues. I haven't resolved everything but I believe the Lord is opening up these connections so that as I 'see' them, agree with Him about them and release them to Him, He will 'set me free' in this area just as He has been doing in other areas in my life, especially in recent months and years. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" and "If the Son (Jesus) shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Jesus has done just that in other areas of my life already which has brought me His peace and I believe He is doing it again in this area as well.

Until we meet again may the God of Peace give you of His peace and JOY in your life as you agree with Him.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Rest of His Story -2

Oh blessing. Another 'rest' from the God of Peace. It is Sabbath - the day God rested - again.

This week has been full of lessons not only along the line of 'peace' but other areas as well.

There is so much to share but I may be short this time.

One reason is that I am anticipating a JOY / PEACE feast and I don't want to miss any of it.

Jesus already paid to give me, as a gift, His peace.

The 'rest' of His Story isn't just a one time scenario. The 'rest' of HIS STORY is a recurring celebration. It is an experience in delight.

Join me in the 'rest' of HIS STORY this Sabbath, calling it a delight, the holy of the Lord.

Until I return,

May the God of PEACE be with you this Sabbath.

Maiden, bringer of PEACE.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Organized Peace - 4

As I have been learning more about this concept of 'organized' peace, I also realize this experience of real peace is really a gift. God created this world a place where He and His human family could experience peace - deep, secure, trusting relations with other minds.

If God created this world with that goal in mind what has happened? For the most part that is not the way it is in the everyday world I live in.

Is it possible for me to return to, to regain the 'organized peace' I have read about?

As I have been learning more about this concept of 'organized' peace, I am also realizing the experience of peace is a gift. God created this world a place where He and His human family could experience peace – a deep, secure, trusting relationship with Him. He also created the human mind to be able to experience peace with other human minds.

If God created this world with that goal in mind something has gone way wrong. What happened? For the most part that is not the way it is in the everyday world I live in anyway.

Is it possible for me to experience the 'organized peace' I have just described?

With some of those thoughts and questions in mind I have been reviewing given information concerning the beginnings of 'peace on earth'.

The condition of this earth as recorded in Genesis 1 before God's Spirit began 'moving' indicates there was a time before now when this earth was not in very good condition. Genesis 1:2 reads
A. The earth was without form (doesn't sound very organized to me).
B. The earth was void (empty doesn't sound very inviting either).
C. The earth was dark (peace can exist in darkness but it just doesn't sound complete to me).

After having studied this some I am concluding that this description of the earth before God began 'organizing' is also symbolic of more than just the physical 'earth'.

In order to organize there must be something, at least to some extent, to 'organize'. I found it very interesting that these three word pictures - 'without form', 'void', and 'darkness' on the 'face of the deep' (particularly in the language in which this was originally written) - were used also when describing a system, a form of government if you please, that was diametrically opposed to the love based government of the Creator God of the Universe. In that setting the creation story took on new meaning to me.

It is a rather well known fact that we are all currently living in a 'war' zone but I'm not referring to the Iraqi conflict here. What I am referring to is conflict on a global level. Many years ago a created being declared war against the Creator God of the Universe saying that God's form of government needed to be improved. I can't give you a specific time when this happened because it began before this world was even prepared as a home for the human family.

The Creator God has given as one of His 'names' the "God of Peace". It makes sense therefore that with that title God would be seeking that attribute of His character to be revealed.

And interestingly enough, this is one of the foundational reasons for the cosmic war currently in process. The Creator God has only one form of government in which His peace ‘functions’. But when one of God’s created beings declared there was a 'better' way, a more efficient form of government for the whole universe than that established by the God of Peace, peace began to fade.

Who is right? God or the 'new order'?

God chose to allow a certain amount of time to reveal the basic tenants of what was being advocated as a 'better' form - a new order - of government. This decision on God’s part was based at least in part on the premise that true ‘Peace’ cannot be ‘forced’ (which is, however, one of the fundamental principles of the opposition to God’s government that the use of force will be used if all else fails with fear being the primary 'weapon' used in force).

Even before the ‘war in heaven’, as Revelation 12:7 describes the above conflict, God had decided to increase His 'family' - which is the setting of Genesis 1 mentioned above.

When God had announced His plans to begin His 'new addition' to His family, His enemy immediately took steps to thwart the expansion of God's government. This is one reason the words, 'without form', and 'void', and 'darkness was upon the face of the deep' are strikingly meaningful. When God 'arrived' at this earth someone else was already there. Revelation records that after the 'war' in heaven and after the dragon (that old serpent called the devil and Satan) had 'lost', he and his cohorts 'cast out' to this earth.

Please be aware that Satan's government does have organization and also claims to have 'peace'. But at the same time, even though the same word - peace – may be used in the English language, the bottom line meaning for peace in each government is diametrically opposed to the other ‘side’, the opposite meaning.

The words describing this earth prior to God's creative power manifested in it also describe some of the more immediate effects of Satan's form of government: 'without form',(compared to where Satan and his hosts had just come from – the light, JOY, PEACE and love which they had previously experienced in heaven in the very presence of the Creator God of the Universe, - they were now truly ‘without form’) 'void' (empty of that which is life giving. God is life and since Satan and those loyal to him had turned from allegience to the Creator God, the only true Lifegiver, they were ‘void’, empty) and 'darkness' (symbol of Satan's government in direct contrast to God’s form of government whose symbol is light) 'was upon the face of the deep' (deep here can also be translated 'dragon').

So God came to this earth which, before He arrived was dark, void and without form and He began ‘reorganizing’ it to make it ‘fit’ for His new ‘love family’ – humans – to have as their home.

The story of God bringing ‘peace’ to this earth is awesome and which I want to explore more.

For now keep in mind that the God of Peace who created this earth in the first place wants to create in you and me the experience of PEACE and JOY through believing in Him even though the enemy of real peace tries his best to get us to look away from the God of Peace. "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13 "

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Organized Peace - 3

When thinking about 'organized peace' , is true 'organized' somewhat similar to genuine 'peace' in that it begins on the inside, in the heart?
Someone shared with me that they discovered they were 'managers' of their own set of internal 'idols, images'. Rather than all of the 'false' concepts being in control at any one time in their minds, they would 'pick and choose' which one would seem to be most effective at any given time. And of course if one wasn't being real effective another one is called into 'service'.

That is one kind of organization all right, but as I realized I have some of that 'problem' too, I also decided that is not what I want.

When God spoke to Israel at Mt Sinai in Arabia His first words were "I am the Lord thy God" (present tense) "which hath brought thee out" (present perfect tense - completed yet still present) "of the land of Egypt" (symbol of Satan's government when used in the Bible) out of the house of bondage ( Satan is the slavemaster, sinners are his slaves.)
These words of God can be compared to a 'power pack'. When the God of Peace is in control there is 'organization'. When I accept what God says as true in my life, that is a power pack.

God's original plan was not that the confusion (babel) caused by sin was to rule heart and mind. Sin causes 'civil war' since sin is based on believing a lie. On the other hand the Spirit of God in the heart and mind brings organized peace. It unites the truth as stored in the mind with the experiences of JOY and PEACE to enable a person to 'be like Jesus'.
Jesus said "Peace I leave with you. My Peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Oh, it is nice to quote those promises. Now, how does a person 'enforce' the covenant? Sounds to me that is important to understand before we can truly experience 'organized peace'.

I have been pondering the following especially in relation to true covenant.

1. Believe that God is offering Peace to me.
2. Accept God's peace by agreeing with God's will (that I have His peace in me).
3. Enforce God's covenant of Peace with and in me. (Everytime the doubt that God doesn't want me to be at peace comes, reiterate the promises given by God in His covenant.)

That last statement is another and yet related topic. Could it be that we need to understand God's covenant of Peace in order to better understand how to experience 'organized peace'?

I will be pondering that for next time. In the mean time remember that the God of Peace has already chosen you to be in His Peace experience with Him.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, March 19, 2007

Organized Peace - 2

This week has been interesting thus far. During recent past it has seemed that activities were ever increasing in 'speed' even from week to week. And in one respect they have. On the other hand, however, I was recently reminded that not every request need be accepted. A few nights ago (that seems to be the usual time for the following to happen) my son and I had a rather long, though casual at times, talk. We meandered around a lot but toward the end he mentioned that I had not been home very often in the mornings. (That was pretty much the case.) He didn't want someone to 'nag' him but he was wondering if maybe I could give him some encouragement in getting going, as needed.

It is only fair that particularly family should be able to benefit from organized peace. So after thinking about his thoughts I began to tell friends and acquaintances that I would no longer be available before 10 a.m. For me that, I believe, is a step toward better organized peace.

My hubby and I have also been working toward getting time to read together on a more consistant basis in the evenings.

A friend, who has been a very big help to me as well, has been encouraging me in making this and other decisions along these lines. Even though she has been needing help she has been giving me counsel to guide me in getting better organized to bring more peace to my life.

Organization done just for the sake of a schedule may not bring peace, but without some form of organization there won't be real peace either.

More on this topic later, as I continue learning in the school tutored by the "Prince of Peace".

Just remember, the God of Peace is also One who will enable you to have His peace in such a way so others can come into harmony with your Peace - which is what proper organization can accomplish.

Learning more about PEACE.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The 'REST' of "HIS STORY" - PEACE - 1

Back in 2001 I was 'drawn in' to a mission trip to India to help lead out with sharing Jesus with young people and children. During that trip our Indian friends wanted us to visit a very large Hindu temple with the idea that it might help us get a better feel of the Indian 'culture'. I wasn't real interested but finally ended up going through the temple. Partly because of a book I had read called "The Two Babylons" by Alexander Hyslop, thAt trip changed the direction of my life. No I didn't convert to Hinduism. But as I listened as the guide told us the story of each 'god' or 'goddess' and my mind validated the information from the book mentioned, I realized more fully that the people in this 'religion' learn most of what they know by story. And this form of religious 'training' - sharing stories - may well be one of the most effective modes for religious instruction. As I walked and listened, the thought impressed itself on my mind: "Why couldn't we share 'HIS STORY - the Creator God of the Universe' rather than just 'sharing' doctrine when doing 'evangelism. " To make a long story short in May of 2002 our son, Carl, accompanied me as I returned to India to share "HIS STORY - the Creator God of the Universe". And since that second trip to India an expanded 'edition' of 30 parts has been printed - HIS STORY - the Creator God of the Universe. (If anyone is interested let me know and I will be happy to share them with you.)

What does that have to do with the 'rest' of His story? Let me share what I have been learning. I am going to presume that those who read this know some of HIS STORY - the Creator God of the Universe. (If you would like to learn more, let me know.) One of the earliest recorded encounters of the Creator God of the Universe with this planet had to do with when He 'created it to be inhabited'. As a quick review the first day God created 'light'; the second day He created an envelope of life-sustaining atmosphere to surround this planet; the third day He used His interior decorating skills by first separating water from dry land and then speaking into existence flowers, trees. grass and all other living 'decorations' to beautify planet earth. On the fourth day God installed the lighting system - the sun for the day and the moon for night with a whole network of lighting called stars to make ambient lighting to make the 'night' more interesting. On the fifth day God began to add some real excitement in the form of fish (and all other water loving creatures) and fowl (birds). On the sixth day God added an array of 'land animals' and then created the 'soveriegn' for planet earth in the form of 'man' - male and female. God's next 'move', however was unique and different from all the previous 'creative acts'. On the seventh day the Bible says "God rested". Was He tired? No! May I suggest that the 'rest' of His Story is perhaps the most important part of the whole Creation Week!. That 'rest' was a symbol of the JOY/PEACE experience that the first man and the first woman were to experience in their relations with God in a special sense and also with each other.

'Rest' denotes ceasing from 'activity'. God experienced JOY over what He had made. Now it was the 'time', I believe, He had been looking forward to since the very beginning of His work of creating this world. God had created this world to be inhabited with 'beings' (man - male and female) who could 'rest' in His love. And since they had 'very little' experience, God took this opportunity to share WITH them the 'rest' of HIS STORY. That whole seventh day of creation week was to 'show' Adam and Eve what 'God rest' means. In the book of Job it speaks about the stars (representing angels) of heaven 'singing' and all the sons of God 'shouting for joy'. A lot of other things also happened that first Sabbath and as it drew to a close I can almost imagine everyone wishing this could 'happen again'. In response God declared that very thing to be in His plan. Every seventh day God would 'rest' with the human family and they would continue to grow in their understanding of what 'rest' in God really means.

The wonder and beauty is that even though human beings have lost many things in their relationship with God because Adam and Eve sinned - chose a will other than God's will - later on, He keeps coming back every seventh-day Sabbath looking for people who are desiring to learn how to 'rest' in Him.

Wow! What a God is the Creator! And at the end of a week like this one has been for me, it is such a blessing to experience the 'rest' of His Story again, and again, and again, every seventh day Sabbath.

A friend who I have been helping quite a bit lately didn't seem to know much about 'Sabbath' as I have been learning about it when I first met her. When I first started helping her I told her I don't 'work' on 'Saturday' - what I call Sabbath. Interestingly enough, to me anyway, I have sensed she has respected the Sabbath more than some who profess to 'keep it holy' whom I know.

Through a series of events during the past few months there have been times when she would be very 'tense' even at times on 'Sabbath'. I could tell she wished I would 'come over'. I told her 'no problem' for it is blessed to 'do good' on the Sabbath day. And as we (my husband and I) would pray with her and have 'community' with her and God, she would be able also to 'rest' in HIS STORY with us.

More recently we have spent several 'Friday evenings' (the beginning of Sabbath) at her home. Those times have been as 'love feasts' together. We eat together, pray together, sing together and talk together as community.

It is almost like God is using her to teach me how better to experience the 'rest' of HIS STORY' more as He intends.

Last weekend she told me she 'kept' both Sabbath and Sunday. And looking back I believe God knew she was going to 'need' that much 'rest' for what this past week would bring her. That doesn't mean we haven't prayed other times and shared about the Lord, but somehow I stand in awe as I watch God working and teaching me more about the 'rest' of HIS STORY through this experience - even with someone who supposedly didn't know as much about 'Sabbath' as I thought I knew.

The 'rest' of HIS STORY. Ah, that kind of rest includes true, revitalizing 'peace' - not the kind the world talks about, but rather HIS PEACE which really comes from the inside to the outside.

May that kind of 'rest' be yours this seventh-day Sabbath and onward.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Organized Peace - 2

Ah, that experience of peace. At times it seems to real, so tangable. Other times it seems so illusive, so vague. Might that partly be because at least some of what we have previously considered 'peace' is laced with lies? (Like, peace at all costs?).

I'm going to return to the 'bookcase' story first. I mentioned earlier that a lady had asked the man to come 'finish' the bookcase job in her bedroom area that we had started several months ago. I was happy to get a job done so saw no problem in the arrangement. When the man came I showed him what I had done thus far and what was available to work with. He began to point out some integrity 'problems' with my original 'plan'. About that time my friend came in. The man turned to her and asked her how deep she wanted the shelves and she gave him an approximate idea (maybe 6-7 inches) but then added she wanted them wide enough for 3 ring binders. She started to explain what she wanted done and then, turning to me, told me she didn't want me to be there. When I declined the offer to leave she immediately turned and huffed off saying something like she wouldn't pay to have it done then. That was o.k. with me for her to make that choice on her part and I returned to talking to the carpenter again. (He actually knew some of the situation and as she left he had given me a 'thumbs up' and asked me how I felt. I told him I felt like I had made the right decision and he agreed.) He then asked me if I really wanted the bookcase in the first place. I told him I didn't mind having it there but I also didn't consider that it would be long term permanent. After he pointed out some other possible problems and we discussing other option, on his counsel I decided not to put in the bookcase even termporary. I will insulate the area and cover it so she can move back into the room. (She had broken her leg in December and we had set up a hospital bed for her in her kitchenette (the bedroom is long and narrow making it impossible to get the wheelchair into it but now that she is getting around with just one crutch she will have a bit more privacy back in her own room. For a 'bookcase' area there is a freestanding bookcase I am going to try to get into her room for now.)

This incident actually showed me more about organized peace. At present my husband and I manage this farm. Sad to say, in the past we have at times let others practically 'walk over us', so to speak. I do not want to be rude to others but I also believe that the Lord expects us to accept the responsibilities He gave us. If my friend did not want to work with me that is her choice. but I believe it was also totally appropriate for me to know what was going on and also have the right to 'agree' or decline on projects dealing with this property. For one of the first times - in a situation of this type - I felt a 'peace' rather than either contention or being walked over. I'm sure I will have more lessons but I hope this one will prepare me for the next 'chapter' in this 'class' on organized peace.

More on the positive aspect I had another experience I believe is also teaching me about organized peace. For a number of years I have 'led' in a summer program called 'Vacation Bible School' aimed primarily at children and young people. But this year there had been some challenges in relationships and I also felt 'empty' in myself so I backed out of the VBS leadership.

I was asked to reconsider and said I would pray about it. In a period of a recent 2-3 week period several important things took place. The Lord brought about reconcilliation between myself and another person, for which I praise Him; 2 other ladies agreed that they would work with me as a team (one of them is a very good organizer and the other has experience in media presentations, praise the Lord) and I believe the basic concept of a new VBS program has been opening up in my mind. What has been so much better this year is that it is not what do 'I' have but how can we work together in harmony (peace) to accomplish a common goal. Isn't that another way of saying 'organized peace'. I like what God is doing in me as well as for me.

So much more is happening but I must be going for now.

Remember, the God of Peace loves you!!

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Organized Peace

These past 12 hours have been quite interesting, and most of it was 'nighttime'. Having gotten home late (as mentioned in the last blog) I guess I thought the evening might soon slow down. It finally did after a couple more phone calls. During one call I was sharing some of what I have been learning with the caller. Sometimes these life lessons may sound good on paper (or web) but repeating what has been learned the next time may be even more important.

Several times in the past few days people have shared with me their insights on my current situation. Interestingly most of them have been very similar in nature. (I think the Lord is trying to get my attention. He has been impressing me along the same line too.) This 'subject' has at least something to do with 2 Tim. 1:7. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power. . . . That concept of power deals also with proper authority. Some who read this will probably know that excerting proper 'authority' has not been a strong point in me. Partly because of the lie I long believed of 'peace at all costs', it has seemed difficult for me to assume, even properly, authority when I was supposed to do so which have created or prolonged some problems.

I couldn't seem to sleep past 4 something so decided to get up and take a shower early. My shower this morning was a 'rare' treat - long and leisurely - which I do get to enjoy once in a while. And while showering the Lord and I were discussing some of the aspects of authority which had been brought to my attention in the last few days. It was a very interesting visit, let me tell you. We reviewed some recent lessons and then applied them to 'now'.

Before sharing more, let me say that proper authority must be received. Those who are 'under authority' must willingly give the person placed in authority their 'loyalty' and the right to have authority over them. If a persen attempts to force - Satan's counterfeit - it is no longer proper authority.

On the other hand the person given the authority must know how to use it properly or it can become a detriment and/or counterfeit also.

Sounds like a rather fine line at times. Yes, and no. Let me try to explain the 'no' first. The more I have been understanding true authority the more I am realizing that it has more to do with attitudes than actions, although actions are an essential element. Let me give an example. Several months ago a lady here wanted some shelves in her room. I had a 'block' of time so decided to try to 'do it'. My brother was here at the time and he tore out an old window where we were going to build in the shelves. I then took apart an old bookcase and cut the side boards to fit into the frame where the window had been. About that time the lady told me she wanted to paint the boards before I put them up. I was aware that if I didn't get that job done relatively soon it might not get done soon. After mildly attempting to get her to let me go ahead and finish putting the case together I decided to wait for her to paint the boards and she still hasn't painted the boards.

This morning I went over there and we got to discussing it. She then told me she had hired someone to come finish the project (for which I am glad). But as I reveiwed the experience I realized more that I have not been practicing proper authority as co-manager here. Yes, I did accept her choice to put off the project, but I now believe I could have also exercised proper authority and moved ahead when I had the time to do so and been get the job done long ago. By the way, she seems to be blaming me for such a long delay and in the sense that I let her override my authority I believe she is right.

The more I have been mulling these things over in my mind the more I realize that God's original plan of organization for planet earth - His plan for family - was set up to be 'organized peace'. Therefore it makes sense that in order to understand better 'organized' peace I need to understand God's plan for family, especially since most of my previous concepts of 'family' don't fit that model as I have been learning about it from the Bible.

As I have opportunity I may share more of what I am learning about this 'organized peace'.
But for now may the God of peace share that peace with you.

Maiden, Bringer of Peace

Monday, March 12, 2007

Keeping Peace

It almost seems two weeks yet it is only the 'third' day of this week. Jesus promises "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Seems to me He is saying, "it is not so much what is happening that will bring peace, it is not who is involved that ensures peace, I give you MY Peace." So What is that implying? How does it apply to me?

By Friday last week 'brother' had been returned to his family. Sabbath was 'rest'. THEN!! Sunday morning began an 'hour early' - time to spring forward an hour. Maybe that was a hint of what was ahead. Yet for all this Jesus' promise still stands: "MY PEACE I give to you". As mentioned earlier, special friends from Ohio blessed us with a quick visit. That was a real treat. We took a walk to a lake just off the back of our property. We reminisced about years gone by. She was the photographer for our wedding years ago - and still loves doing that type of work. She shared some of what has happened in her life. We shared some about our adventures.

Just before they had to leave I got a 'distress' call from another friend who just found out that she was being 'sued'. She was quite frustrated momentarily and we prayed together to remind us both that "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

I can't quite remember how often I have shared with folks lately the contrasts related to that text but it helps me each time I review it. God is offering His 'real' power to counteract Satan's counterfeit 'force'. God's love bonding is freely offered to everyone to break the bands of Satan's bonding mechanism called 'fear'. When a person knows and experiences the truth about God he is enabled to 'think right' - sound mind - instead of functioning from Satan's falsehoods (lies) which bring confusion, conflict and eventually 'death'.

I also reminded her that a law of life is "By beholding we become changed." If I look at a problem I become one. "Looking unto Jesus" I become like Him. And since He is the "Prince of Peace" by keeping my thoughts on Him that enables me to imbibe of His Peace.

Somewhere in the above activities our friends who are moving from here to Tennessee needed help. My husband and the other men got all the big items moved downstairs. Today I helped the man pack the U-Haul with their things. Sometimes moving can create more stress. This packing job seemed unique in several ways. One tremendous blessing was that there was a harmony while we were working together that sometimes has been lacking at times in the past. I believe the Lord has been working to teach me how to 'keep His peace'. "Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit, saith the Lord."

When we just about finished loading the truck I got a call from a local friend needing help again. On my way over to her place I got a call from a family member who was being challenged. I didn't really have any answers but one thing I said over and over again - I hope she accepted it too - was that she was special (and she is). When a person is alive, he or she is special. Jesus said "I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Remembering that love is a gift from God reminds me to share that love specialness with others.

Well, I made it home this evening - a bit late but here nonetheless. Now, how can I share the love right here? I think they need it as well as those on the phone and near and far.

And will you do me a favor. When you read this, remember, you are special too. Yes, Not so much because I say so, but because Jesus gave you life - and in His life there is peace.

Keeping His Peace entails keeping His presence. I am still learning. Keeping true Peace I am becoming convinced also involves staying with Jesus. When I wander, when I quit listening to Him, when I 'run ahead' or 'lag behind' of His known will for me, I am not keeping His peace.
Nice sounding phrases. Do I know what they mean? I do think I am beginning to understand more with my heart.

It is getting late and I need to sleep for now. I can share more later.

Until then, "May the God of Peace sanctify you (make you complete in Him) wholly."

Bringer of Peace

Friday, March 9, 2007

Receiving PEACE

I want to share more than I have time for but I will at least start. I wrote about peace rejected in a couple of areas. But even as those scenarios were taking place others were happening that were of a positive nature. When I wasn't looking for 'brother', I was helping a nearby lady friend. Actually she has been quite an encouragement to me these past weeks and months even though in theory I have been 'hired' to 'assist' her. (God often works that way - when we share we are blessed in return.) When I would become frustrated, she would give me her take, helping me to not lose a positive perspective. I thank the Lord for friends like that.

As I have been sharing my lessons concerning peace here on this blogsite, an old friend came back into contact with me. And then, delightful suprise, this friend has decided to come visit. Wow! I wish I could be more 'ready', (it seems that my 'place' has been neglected with so much else happening, ) but somehow I sense that she and her husband will accept me as I am. If not, they will at least see me for who I really am.

The above are just two ways the Lord has been blessing me. I have more I want to add to this list very soon but I have animals to care for and a house that is 'crying' for help at this very moment, before I go pick up my friend at the train station this afternoon.

The God of Peace give you of His peace even today.

Bringer of peace

PEACE offer not accepted?

The saga of my life moves on. The lessons continue. Am I keeping up? Good question. I haven't watched sitcoms much but from what little bit I have seen I have observed that several 'subplots' usually develop at any given time. That is much more true with my 'real life' at present. I hope to share some positive developing 'subplots' which are really exciting - perhaps I can in the next blog - but I am also dealing with, what appears at present to be, my offers of 'peace' being rejected.

I hope I'm wrong in my assumptions but at the same time I am sensing the need for me to face 'head on' this possibility - an offer from me to be at peace with someone 'rejected' .

In my old 'lie based' (peace at all cost) way of thinking, that possibility was something I tried to avoid 'at all costs'. I no longer believe that lie I therefore I don't intend to act or think that way anymore. So, in a sense, this is 'new' territory for me.

If you have read previous blogs you have a little idea of some relational issues that have recently been taking place. During the past few days one more intense issue involved attempting to help a brother of a lady who lives here on the farm. He has 'different' ways of looking at life (and his way of responding to life can change with every 'breath' he takes, or so it seems) but occasionally he has come close enough to me that I have felt affected strongly by his (changing) choices.

So, how have I been involved? We got a phone call that he had run out of gas. After getting him gas and lodging for the night, the next day he (and his parents) again called for help. The car he had been driving had been reported as 'stolen' and so was confiscated by the police which meant he no longer had it to use, but when I went looking to pick him up I couldn't find him. One reason was I didn't know the area. Another reason was he kept 'moving'. After several more attempts, a friend of ours was able to locate the brother's whereabouts, and pick him up. The car had been released from the police so our kind friend drove him back 'home'.

From my perspective I thought I was trying to help him. He, on the other hand, seemed to respond as though I was 'out to get him' in a negative way. So, how was I to respond? (I suppose an offer to 'help' and an offer of 'peace' may not always be exactly the same, but perhaps the lessons I'm learning can apply to both.) Should I have even responded at all? If so, need it be an 'outward' response? or an 'inward' decision? or both? or neither?

Now, add to the above that the sister's husband seems rather 'anti' about 'brother'. Actually I have also percieved 'peace offer rejection' from husband for some time (not only because I attempted to help 'brother' but for other reasons expressed by him as well).

As I mentioned before, understanding the 'law of contracts' has helped me in situations like this. If a person 'rejects' an offer, it is simply that. I don't have to 'fall apart', or 'get angry' of whatever. It was the other person's choice to 'not' accept peace from me. It is also the other person's responsibility, not mine (although I may hurt from their lack of peace).

In this context my mind went to a Bible illustration. Abraham had moved to Canaan from his home country near present day Iran/Araq vicinity. His brother had died earlier so Abraham had invited his nephew, Lot, to come with him. As time went on both Lot and Abraham had become very 'rich' in the wealth of that day - flocks and herds - so much so that it was difficult to find pasture for everyone close to 'camp' and as a result the herdsmen began to quarrel. Abraham could have settled the issue quite easily, for he was the 'elder' and in a family form of government his word was law. I suppose he could have legislated 'boundaries', rules and regulations. Instead he told Lot, who was an 'adult' by this time, "Let's not have strife between us. The best way to solve this is to separate. If you chose left, I'll go right. If you go right, I'll go left." True peace was important to Abraham.

As I pondered that story while looking back on not only the last few days but weeks and months as well, I see the Lord working on the same premise. The 'husband' has been not only unhappy about help for his wife's brother, he has seemed to be unhappy about lots of other things as well. When I participated in what I considered getting a 'sheep' out of the ditch on a 'Sabbath', that was to him the 'last straw'. He made up his mind that he could no longer live so close to such sinners. After actively pursuing an escape route (this is not a prison, however) for some months, they believe they have found one and even today are on their way to what they believe is 'freedom'.

Abraham could not endure the 'strife' and even went so far as to give Lot the first choice of where Lot would live. I didn't have that much latitude. But to be honest, I thank the Lord that they are moving.

We still like them as friends. And I personally hope this new experience will be good for them. Up until now they have had the burden of being dependent on others for 'housing'. Of course, that also gives them someone to blame if something does not meet their expectations, especially in relation to where they live. Now they plan to have their 'own home'. They will now have their 'say' about how much it will cost to 'fix' when their place is not to their liking. They will be able 'control' how much utilities will be. And as such, they are looking forward to 'peace' (on their terms). I wish they will find it

Coming back to my main topic here, 'peace not accepted', how am I to respond? When I read about Abraham this morning I somehow sensed a sigh of relief from Abraham when the strife ceased. Dare I feel that way, at least for a moment? Actually, I think I will save that one for when the piles of boxes and furniture are also gone from the front room.

I just got a call from my good friend who drove 'brother' home. They had a very good trip and it sounds like they also had some interesting discussions along the way to fill the hours. (breathing a sigh of relief). (I wish 'brother' could get someone on a regular basis with whom he could communicate on that level.) I will go meet my friend at 1:30 p.m this afternoon at a train station.

As I finished writing the above, I paused to consider that at least in these 2 instances what seemed so intense, and perhaps even momentarily stress producing, may in reality be setting things up for better and real 'peace', not just 'truce'. Might it be that some types of 'rejection' are actually a way of 'bringing' real peace. Can two walk together except they be agreed? No. So, even though a separation may seem painful at the moment, might God's will be done to 'give me peace'? Yes!

May the God of peace sanctify you wholly (make you complete, mature).

Bringer of peace

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

PEACE in Emergencies?

Is this an 'oxymoron' - two concepts that can't co-exist together? Can there be PEACE in emergencies? or is that simply a pipe dream? whatever that conjures up in your mind.

Let's see, where did this last round of intense experiences (emergencies or at least pretty close to that) seem to 'start'? One thing that popped into my mind when I asked that question was that I was attempting to help a person 'write' a letter in response to some very intense 'counter-offers' being ejected her way by a person who had formerly been seemingly very close but then suddenly became hostile. That little 'job' had taken a few hours of some rather intense 'editing' so as to 'say' just the right thing in the right way with the 'right' spirit.

We felt that we were almost done with my friend's letter when I got a cell phone call from another friend that her brother had run out of gas and needed help. May not sound like a 'big deal' but that brother had been here before and due to several factors has been denied the privilege to return here. But do you just leave someone out on the side of the road on a cold night? Son Carl and I eventually were able to locate him, take him some gas and get him some supper/breakfast and then put him up for the night at 'Red Roof Inn'.

O.K. we were tired getting home around 2 a.m. But the story wasn't over. Today we got another call. Could we help again. At first it was to assist him by driving him back home. (We later found out we had put ourselves at risk legally because the car he was driving had been reported as stolen and if we had been stopped we would have also been in trouble. Fortunately those scenarios didn't 'happen'.) Then he decided he didn't want that. But the police did come get the car and the 'brother' panicked and took a taxi to another town. (It took some time and money to get the car 'back' and ready to return to the owners.) Our son, who seems to still have a working relation with brother, asked if we could try to help a little bit more. I appreciated his spirit and so I talked to brother and tried to find (in my car) where he was. After a couple of hours driving around and getting lost I gave up the search and called 911 to see if maybe they could at least try to get him into a shelter of some kind for the night since it had been snowing and was getting much colder.

As is obvious, I did finally get back home - I'm writing on the computer. The day is over, I think.

So, can a person have peace even in trouble? YES!! God's Peace is not dependent on 'outward' situations but rather it comes from the heart, through the heart.

As I drove up with our son to find brother the first time God kept whispering to me"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." "I was hungry and ye gave me meat. . . " I am not trying to toot my own horn. But I had a peace. I am not sure I would have gone last night if I had known all I learned today, but I don't regret it.

Do I feel bad about helping a lady word a letter to attempt to resolve some very intense issues between her and another person? I experienced Peace particularly when I sensed her also experiencing peace about what she had written and how it was worded also.

I somehow sense that a 'deep, abiding, quiet confidence' - PEACE - can happen between two human minds even as it can between God and a human mind, for true PEACE comes from God and one of Jesus' titles is "Prince of Peace".

Peace to you,

Bringer of Peace

Responding with PEACE

If the 'speed' at which 'lessons' come in one day are any indication, things are happening 'fast'. It seems that for the last two days or so we have been in 'emergency' mode, at least a good share of the time - when I am not sleeping.

This concept of 'contracts' seem to be developing in my mind through many of the 'lessons'. Here is a quick review. When one mind offers to have a relationship with another mind, one of three responses take place: 1. Accept the offer; 2. Reject the offer; 3. Counter with another offer.

O.K. sounds well and good.

I have also been learning that when another mind counter offers, how you respond to that counter offer affects YOU intensely. I learned this the hard way. I thought I was offering to come into a 'peace' agreement with someone. They counter offered with what I considered a spirit of 'force' perhaps combined with some 'fear' as well. Without really thinking about it as such I responded 'in kind' to them. What I didn't realize until later was that when I 'respond in kind', the same spirit - of force and fear in this instance - came into my heart. It was like I was opening the door of my heart and inviting those spirits, that I thought previously I didn't want, to come in and take residence. Ouch!!

So, what is an appropriate response when someone counter offers my offer with a spirit that I certainly do not want in my heart? (One thing I have learned, when I do respond in kind to a 'wrong' spirit and that 'other' spirit comes in to me, war ensues.) I may not know all about contracts but this is where the counter offer concept really began to make more sense to me. When I am 'in Christ' I cannot be 'forced' to accept their counter offer any more than they are to accept my offer to them. Offers and counter offers can go on and on until one or the other mind either completely accepts or totally rejects.

So should I reject immediately when I perceive that someone is making an 'offer' with another spirit? That could possibly become very hard on 'relationships', to say the least. I'm not saying we should never reject an offer: I believed that lie far too long - 'peace' at all costs. But on the other hand, learning how to 'counter offer' properly may 'win' some folks into accepting the PEACE/ JOY and LOVE the Lord is offering to them through us.

'Responding in kind' was first presented to me as a 'wrong' way to respond when someone 'offers' me a spirit I do not want in my heart. I have been observing that when I recognize there is a 'spirit' in the offer that I don't care to have operating in me it seems that it becomes easier 'not to respond in kind'. And of course that can only happen because I have previously invited the "HOLY SPIRIT" to be in control of my heart.

Example: I was called over to 'view' damage done when a plant had fallen from a window sill. It had happened before and I decided the planter needed to be moved. The owner of the planter put up a big fuss. I simply said, "No, I will not put it back in the same location". I think I did it kindly as I began to figure where else the planter could be placed (This is one person that has been teaching me a whole lot about this subject through 'experience'.) After some more 'fuss' she very strongly declared "If you ever agree with me I will have a heart attack and die". I have agreed with her several times since then but she is still alive and as well as when we don't agree. I share this because during that experience I began to 'see' how that when I did not 'respond in kind' I did not loose my PEACE no matter what she was 'feeling' and 'offering to me'. After she calmed down we have had several nice talks. But that time I didn't experience the feeling of 'war' in my heart which had so often boiled up before when I have 'responded in kind'.

Does that mean I will never get 'angry'? No. Does that mean I will never have other emotions? NO! When those emotions are legitimate they can be very appropriate. But there are 'spirits' that are not appropriate to have or 'give others'. The Bible reminded me that God has not given me the spirit of 'terror', but of power and of love and of a sound mind. And Jesus says "PEACE I leave with you, My PEACE I give unto you" .

I pray that God's peace will be with you who read this through my sharing with you.

Maiden, Bringer of PEACE

Monday, March 5, 2007

Offering PEACE

I have shared a bit in recent blogs a little of what has been happening here but it seems that my learning curve hasn't quite caught up with current events. One area of life I seem to be learning a lot in is relationships. As you read the following please keep in mind that a person cannot experience 'true peace' until two minds are in harmony - synchronized. In response to this understanding of peace this question has been bobbing around in my mind, "What happens if another mind does not accept my offer to come into unity?" I thought I was offering Peace to another person but it seemed to me that they would respond with a totally different 'response' or perhaps I might be more accurate to say a different 'offer'. Then at times it seemed also others would out and out 'reject' my offer. I was sharing with my sister about this and she said "that is the law of contracts." The more I have thought about it the more sense it makes. Let me see if I can make what I have been learning 'simple'.

I offer to come into harmony with another mind with the intent of sharing in a JOY/PEACE experience. According to what I currently understand they can have one of three responses.

1. The other mind can accept my 'peace offer'. That will lead to a JOY/PEACE experience.

2. The other mind can reject my 'peace offer'. That will terminate the present JOY/PEACE experience potential.

3. The other mind can 'counter offer'. They may not want 'my offer' as is but will offer something else in its place. 'Counter offers' will continue until one of the minds either accepts or rejects.

One way a person can accept a 'counter offer' is to 'respond in kind'. Example: I offer peace to another mind. They respond with an angry 'offer'. I respond in anger. Not only have I accepted their offer but the spirit of anger has come from them in to me and takes control of my mind. A person can be angry and sin not but to accept 'anger' as a counter offer allows the spirit of anger to be in control instead of the spirit of peace.
If instead of responding in anger I 'counter offer' with another 'peace offer' I do not imbibe in the spirit of anger even if it was offered to me. THIS IS KEY in relationships.

Understanding the above has been helping me considerably. I had previously taken it very seriously when someone would reject or even 'counter' offer. I even believe some of my problems here have been made 'bigger' because I did not understand the 'law of contracts' type of dealing.

Just today my friend, the cat lady and I had a real nice talk together. I really think one of my challenges in my relations with her previously have been because I didn't always understand or apply the above. Realizing that she may 'counter offer' - and has often done so - but I can 'counter offer' in return as many times as necessary and not have to get up tight is, I believe very important for me to remember.

Now, I need to learn how many ways I can offer 'Peace' and 'Joy' so I don't run out of counter offers.

Offering you God's PEACE

Maiden, Bringer of Peace

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Family "Peace"

These last 24 hours have been ‘breathtaking’. Yesterday afternoon a friend whom I have been assisting in various ways called me. She had had some encounters earlier in the day that may have possible legal ramifications. We prayed over the phone asking God to give her His protection and His heart peace – which I believe He did.

Later in the day she called again. She knows I don’t ‘work’ on Sabbath but I sensed that what she really wanted was not so much my ‘work’ but more peace – which is what the Sabbath is all about - so I offered to come over with my music keyboard. Last evening my husband, his brother and I went to her place where we sang, ate and prayed, as God’s Spirit brought peace and joy in His fellowship. In short we experienced a ‘love feast’ together.

Sabbath morning a co-teacher called and we prayed together for our students and our church family and the Lord did bless in Sabbath School. Following their classes the children got together to practice a song they were going to sing for special music and asked me to play the piano for them, which to me was another real blessing.

In the worship service the speaker for today was our new Potomac Conference president, William Miller. One could almost ‘feel’ a variety of ‘expectations’ or maybe I should say, ‘questions’ waiting to be answered as to what he is like. To put it simply, my husband said it well. “That is the best sermon I have heard here”. Jesus centered? YES! Now, if that sounds good, add to it the fact that the main theme of the ‘sermon’ was “The fifth gospel”. After sharing his background – on his mother’s side Sabbath keepers back for quite a few generations - he began to share about ‘relationships’. In closing he reviewed each ‘gospel’ and its purpose and then shared God’s search for the gospel according to ‘me’. I can’t express in words adequately the ‘joy’ I experienced as I listened and agreed with the message.

Some months ago a very unfortunate experience had taken place between 3 teachers (myself included) and another family in the church. I had prayed about going to talk with the family but it had not seemed the right time. Today I felt impressed to ‘try’. To make a long story short, they had come to the same ‘attitude’ and in our time talking together God ‘brought down walls’ between myself and them this afternoon.

Last year I had agreed to head up VBS 2007 but due in part to the above mentioned incident and some other circumstances I had ‘resigned’. I was asked to reconsider and I said I would pray about it. A few weeks ago I had talked to another Sabbath School teacher friend and she expressed desires similar to what I had ‘dreamed’ of in relation to the VBS experience. After prayerfully considering a request on my part to ‘VBS team lead’, she agreed to join a ‘team’ for VBS leadership. I agreed to re-accept VBS responsibilities as a ‘team leader’ when a third lady agreed to join the team.

To me these events are opening doors in spiritual family relationships, Praise the Lord.

So what does all of the above have to do with peace as I have been learning about it?

God's plan for family was also His plan for where a person was to 'grow up' and to experience the 'joy/peace' cycle that 'grows' a person's capacity to cope with stress of all kinds.

"I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God. Almost everything I shared above, as far as I could ascertain, had to do with relationships in God's family.

I know there may be more 'rough' bumps along the way but I also believe that God is working in me.

May you experience more peace today too.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, March 2, 2007

PEACE in the storm

I got a call while at Lowe's yesterday. A friend of mine was in deep distress. (If I think I have difficulties all I need to do is to see a bit bigger picture and I soon realize that with God's peace in my heart and His JOY as my strengh I have much more than those who lack that ) .

I guess in my recent 'ramblings' I started focusing on smaller issues. My special friend Linda really helped me in her response. Look, isn't that one thing that friends who truly love are for? I believe so. And I am finding more and more that true peace comes when someone loves you so much that they are willing to share with you from their heart and as you respond (Both human hearts and the divine heart as well).

By the way, Linda, what you said sounded so sweet to my ears. That was what we thought we were getting (or aiming at before) but it didn't quite turn out that way, as was written. But, the removing from the premises, as it seems now, is being done by those who 'can't stand' to be here anymore because of . . . . And even though they conjure up plausible (to them) reasons why it is not their fault, they are still the ones staging their exit. (They called yesterday from Tennessee and told their friend here that the loan still hasn't gone through but they are still looking and 'waiting' to move as soon as possible.)

As that is going on I am praying that my attitude will become so much like Jesus that whether or not others admit it on the outside, in the bigger picture it will be seen whose side I am on - Jesus' - and that the PEACE I am experiencing is coming from Him.

I am also becoming more and more convinced that the peace I am learning about has little to do with 'outward' circumstances. Yes, we hope to be more careful - if that is possible - about who lives here. Yes, we hope to get the place more fixed up - as that also becomes possible. But are those things what will bring peace, real peace?

After I wrote the above the question came to my mind - is it possible that these experiences are the very 'things' which are bringing a much better understanding (and experiencing) of what true peace is, to me? Could it be that because of wrong conceptions of 'peacemaking' - lack of contention at all costs - I needed to be set free from those lies through these experiences the Lord has allowed? I'm beginning to think so anyway.

As I have been sharing here and more often with my brother I believe the Lord has been 'growing me up' in these and other areas. Thanks to all who have been 'helping me' in love.

My mind goes back to the "Great Peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them" concept. The more I think about it the more I realize the indication in this promise that there are offences already 'present'. But things that previously caused 'offence', by true peace in my heart, are not causing the same reactions. God's kind of peace is enabling me to 'see' differently, have a new attitude. Oh, it would be so nice not to be where offences are. But until then the above text is giving me comfort.

And as I mentioned at the beginning, the concepts I believe I am learning the Lord is having me share even as I learn. My friend who called when I was at Lowes needed 'peace' far more than a solution. There was nothing I could do about her situation, but I could go 'be with her' (sometimes in person and sometimes by phone). We spent time focusing on Love's bigger picture. We talked about the Lord. I mentioned to her that Jesus didn't promise freedom 'from' problems' but He does go through the problem with those who belong to Him. One Bible example was the three men in the fiery furnace. Jesus didn't keep them out of the fire, but He instead went through it with them. Jesus didn't keep Daniel out of the lion's den but His angel's shut the lion's mouth so the lions couldn't eat supper.

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you" Jesus said. "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, agitated, stirred up, roiled neither let it be afraid timid, full of dread, ". (John 14:27)

So is this indicating that the world's peace is mainly 'external' - lack of contention, warfare? and by contrast God's Peace based on the internal - being able to 'relax' in the presence of the One who loves for you to be in His Presence? as well as humans who love you as well? Praise God.

Well, other duties are calling so will close for now.

Thanks again for all who care!