Thursday, May 31, 2007

Peace in my heart

This week has been very interesting, to say the least. One one hand I have been in a dialog via email with someone concerning keeping tuned in to 'principle' and not letting 'feelings' rule'.
In another relationship a 'court date' was scheduled for this week which tends to raise stress levels - not directly involved with me but a friend has been sued and the Lord has used her to encourage me and I hope He has been able to use me to hold her up during this time. After leaving her place yesterday I had a peace that my help has been appreciated. This is peace.
In another area of life I have been helping another lady once a week down town and one way I have helped is packing. She will be leaving town to go live with her daughter. I stopped by this evening to say good-bye and saw her daughter in a growing stress over everything that 'needed' to be done before tomorrow. I offered to help her pack some more, which she gratefully accepted and I was able to give a few more hours of moral support and packing. When I left later this evening she seemed in more of a 'peace' and hopefully encouraged. Her brother will be there tomorrow when the packers come. When my hubby came to pick me up - his car is in for inspection until tomorrow so we are sharing one car - I crawled into the car tired but at peace with having done what I could to help my friends. That kind of peace in my heart is a blessing.
I got to thinking about 'my place' - I haven't been here much this week, or so it seems. There is plenty to do here and it seems there isn't much time to do what I think needs to be done.
I was pondering some of these things and the question came to my mind: might there be a reason for that? I have been called to reach out to help others as mentioned in the above ways as well as some others not noted above. But it, at times, has seemed that our place has not been always 'at peace'. I have wanted to 'do' certain things but time after time it seems that I have been stopped, slowed down, or otherwise rerouted. The thought came to my mind that perhaps 'our place' is not yet 'ready'. Ready for what? A precious promise from God is "I will contend with him that contendeth thee and I will save thy children." Isaiah 49:25 I have seen God contending with the one who has been fighting against me and I believe He is also in the business of saving our 'farm family' (some of you know those I am referring to).
As God shows me lies that have previously been in my heart and by my permission He takes them out of my heart and replaces the lie with THE TRUTH - Jesus - that is a wonderful peace.
Now the God of Peace unite you to Him through His love.
Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Pause of Peace

Continuing along the vein that 'Peace is a principle', 'love is a principle' and such, and that a 'principle' is the foundation, do I have to 'work' at Peace?

The more I have learned about the 'Joy-Peace' cycle that builds one's capacity to cope with stress, with life more efficiently, the more I am convinced that Peace may be more like the 'pause', the 'rest' as illustrated in the heart cycle. The pumping part of the heart cycle is important, but so is the 'rest'. If the heart only 'rests' it is considered 'dead' or if there were only a 'beat' the heart would not be able to continue pumping blood.

I need that kind of peace in my life.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Peace - is it a principle, otherwise, or more?

This concept of Peace being a principle (if you wish to think of it as such) is new territory for me.

I just finished reading an email sent to me from someone dear who has spent a lot of time and energy attempting to convince me that emotions are never dependable and furthermore have no 'place' in proper growth - or at least this is what I think the conclusion was supposed to be. And in the midst of this - perhaps as a root of the whole line up was that love is a principle. Faith is a principle. Emotion may 'happen' but it cannot be depended upon. It also seemed to be the concenses of the writer of the emails that anything of value was a 'principle', if I understood it.

If I concur with that line then is Peace also a principle? Perhaps I need to better understand the meaning of principle before I make a final intellectual decision concerning the information I just received.

But for the time being, being tired of trying to follow the intellectual 'rabbit chasing' (or so I sometimes consider it by the time I get done purusing this kind of materials) I wander back to wonder more about this concept I have been learning more about, called 'Peace'.

I recall some of the Bible word pictures of Peace being like a river.

Peace is called something that Jesus 'gives' us, therefore it is a gift.

True Peace is an 'inside job'.

God's kind of Peace is not dependent upon external circumstances.

True Peace combined with Genuine Joy enhances the maturity process.

Oh, wait a minute. If true Peace is a principle, does that mean that Genuine JOY is also a principle as well?

OK. Just what is a principle? That sounds like a good question to begin with.

For a start, here is one dictionary's defintion.
PRINCIPLE, n. [L. principium, beginning.]1. In a general sense, the cause, source or origin of any thing; that from which a thing proceeds; as the principle of motion; the principles of action.

Someone wrote ". . . Peace, harmony, affection, and happiness should be perseveringly cherished every day, until these precious things abide in the hearts of those who compose the family. The plant of love must be carefully nourished, else it will die. Every good principle must be cherished if we would have it thrive in the soul."

Does that mean that peace is one of the good principles or the result of one of them? Hmm.

The question was asked: "Do I cherish the principle that "the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace"? [James 3:17,18.]"

But in that question 'peace' sounded like the 'soil' in which other 'fruit' comes from. But then it also sounds as though those who 'make peace' have something to do with the fruit of peace.

Here is another thought along the line of 'Peace' and 'Principle'. "If Christ is the abiding principle in the heart, you may read purity, refinement, peace, and love in the features. "

In that thought Peace is definitely a result not a cause. The principle cause, sounds to me, is Jesus.

Here is another 'tidbit' on this concept of 'peace' and 'principle'.

The peace of God must rule in our hearts. Christ must be in us a living, working principle. . . .

I suppose this goes along with the title given to Jesus as the 'Prince of Peace'. When Jesus is in my heart that I will have His peace also. Sounds fair enough.

For now, here is one last 'quotable quote' along this line.

What we need is the peace principle which shall control our spirit and our life and character after the Christlife He has given as His example.

According to that thought Peace is indeed a principle.

The principle of Peace, then, is the origin, source or cause.

What does God's kind of peace cause? What does it originate?

That sounds like another 'topic' variation for another time.

Bringer of Peace.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Peace by being 'taught' and 'set free'

As I have been thinking along the lines of ‘peace’ the following text came to my mind.
“And all thy children [shall be] taught of the LORD; and great [shall be] the peace of thy children.” Isaiah 54:13 This text is a promise of God to parents. Peace in this context as given is a result. The ‘cause’ of this peace is being ‘taught of the Lord’.

Might this text also have something to do with ‘spiritual maturity’? I can’t give someone an apple if I don’t have it. Parents can’t ‘give’ to their children (or rather guide their children into) something they don’t have first.

Another promise from the Lord that I have claimed many times is: “I will contend with him that contendeth with thee and I will save thy children.”. Isaiah 49:25 This promise looks forward to ‘peace’ but it sounds as though there may be some experiences along the way that may not necessarily be ‘peaceful’ as I have often pictured ‘peace’. Here is the ‘whole’ text. But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

Sounds to me like there are some rough experiences, especially for some, before the ‘save thy children ’ which brings ‘peace’. When a person has been ‘captured’ by an enemy he or she may talk about freedom all the time. But until the Lord sets a person free from Satan’s dictatorship – by the person's choice and God’s power combined – one is still a slave to Satan’s whims.

In my experience the Lord has had to set me free from Satan’s power of lies as a pre-work before He can be as effective for my family. I have had that happen time and time again. But oh the JOY and PEACE combined when I learn ‘THE TRUTH’ – Jesus’ thoughts and view’ – and correspondingly ‘let go’ of the lies, misrepresentation, or any other viewpoint the devil has foisted upon me in a particular area. When I ‘see’ ‘THE TRUTH’ – Jesus’ view – I am also enabled to see the other person through Jesus’ eyes. Since Jesus has already ‘paid the price’ to deliver every human being through His great rescue operation (also called the plan of salvation), as I accept His plan in my life I am then enabled to see others the way God sees them – the plan God has for their life rather than as I formerly 'saw' them with my 'human' based eyes.

This topic of Peace, then, not only deals with the here and now as well as the future but it also affects how we view others. Yesterday gave me a good illustration. I was to take a friend to the airport to pick up someone coming to visit her. I thought we needed to leave no later than 12 noon. She had many projects she wanted to accomplish before we left as well as getting cleaned up for the trip. Needless to say, the temptation to begin to get ‘frustrated’ at what seemed apparent delays to our beginning the trip to the airport presented itself to me. I just decided that it wasn’t necessary. I would rather keep my ‘peace’ (inside of me) rather than add to her burden as well as make myself unhappy. Interestingly enough we got to the airport in time to wait. How often in the past have I gotten impatient, especially in situations like the above even though it never seemed to do any good.

That is the kind of freedom I referred to earlier. God's peace enables me to not only view others through His eyes but to stay in His will of Peace in my heart, praise the Lord.

Time is passing and I do have a list of ‘to do’s’ so must go for now.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Peace like a River - 4

In John 7:38 the Bible refers to a river in a slightly different symbol. "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The next verse begins to unpack verse 38. Verse 39 explains (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

God is referred to as the God of peace in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; . . .

Might it be safe to say then that this 'peace like a river' is not only something we are immersed in - as when 'swimming in the river' but when the Holy Spirit fills us with His presence (and He is the God of Peace) then His Peace will flow 'from' us like a river.

Sounds good theologically. What about a reality check. This evening after spending about 7 hours helping a friend I headed home from her place. About a minute after pulling off her property my cell phone rang. It was my friend and we ended up talking the whole way to (my) home. The main topic was her sharing appreciation for how I had helped her today. I didn't think what I had done was anything extraordinary. But I definitely was cheered by her appreciation non the less.

I want to be more like Jesus particularly in this area and I thank Him for enabling others to get at least a taste of what He is really like through the channel of me. Praise the Lord.

Bringer of Peace.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Peace like a River - 3

I have often thought of a river as something which has accumulated. You know, water begins at a spring - water coming up out of the earth - or rain comes down and the rainwater runs off the land to join the water from springs forming into creeks, which join together to form streams and, as the flow of water gets bigger, it becomes what we call a river. The rivers we know of usually flow into a larger body of water - sea, lake, ocean or similar.

It is interesting that my mind went back to the 'first' rivers recorded in the Bible. Before the flood of Noah's time this earth didn't work in quite the same way waterwise. Before the flood there was no rain as we know it. God had created this world with a layer of water above the earth and a layer of water below the earth. (see Genesis 1:6-10 for more details.) In the evenings there was a mist that would 'water' the whole earth. Genesis 2 describes the first river as flowing out of Eden, dividing into four rivers and going out to water 'the whole earth' (See Genesis 2:10-14) which sounds like just the opposite of today's water systems.

But in the concepts I have been thinking about in relation to 'peace like a river', could it be that the original 'river' picture might give a better idea of what God is trying to say?

In the new testament Jesus said, He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

Could it be that God is looking for people, who will allow themselves to be 'sources' of this 'river of peace'? Wow! What an awesome opportunity.

Of course, in order for that kind of peace to 'flow out to others' it must be inside to begin. This is were I am perceiving why Jesus keeps saying 'Abide in Me'. As I am united to the 'water source', what 'flows out' from me will be 'peace like a river'.

I'm sure there is more, but until then,

May the God of peace make you 'at-one' both in Him and in His family here on earth.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Peace like a River - 2

Here is another Bible verse that compares to ‘peace’ like a river. Isaiah 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,

I have been noticing that word ‘like’. A person might say to me, you eat like a ‘horse’.
That statement, however, doesn’t make me a ‘horse’. I may have one characteristic similar to a horse but that doesn’t make me altogether a ‘horse’.

I somehow get the impression that the analogy of peace to river may relate, at least in part, to the aspect of ‘peace’ being ‘ongoing’. God’s peace is not just a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. God’s plan is for His ‘peace’ to keep flowing. A river becomes a lake if it ceases to ‘flow’. And if a river stops long enough if can become a ‘marsh’, ‘bog’ or ‘swamp’. In this analogy could it be that one particular aspect of God’s kind of peace is its ‘motion’? If the motion of peace ceases does it cease to be ‘real’ peace?

Does this word picture of peace also extend to an ‘ebb’ and ‘flow’ or ‘rise’ and ‘fall’ like many rivers do? Does a person experience more peace either in quantity or quality at certain times or in certain experiences than at other times or circumstances?

Another analogy that I think may also be applicable here is the effects of a river. Especially in older times the majority of populations lived near bodies of water. The rivers were major lines of transportation. Many rivers were sources of water for irrigation to grow food crops. Today with air transport and the improved network of land roads we sometimes forget of the importance placed on rivers in previous ages of this earth.

In comparison between a ‘good’ river and ‘true’ peace consider these possible parallels.

River Peace
A river is water in controlled motion Genuine peace is best shared within bounds

A river nourishes and sustains True peace positively affects those around

A flowing river can transport ‘boats’ Peaceful exchanges can transport truth

A river affects the ‘weather’ Peace affects a person’s atmosphere

A river affects ‘lifestyle’ Peace affects a person’s lifestyle

I’m sure there are more comparisons. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Peace as a river

I read in Isaiah 48:18 "O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea."

What does that phrase 'peace as a river' bring to mind? Interesting to say the least. In the past the thought of 'peace' seemed to be more like a pastoral location with perhaps green trees, green grass, a quiet breeze rustling through the leaves and some fluffy clouds floating by in the sky.

A river, on the other hand, has a lot of different 'faces'. When we were in western Wisconsin we saw the Mississippi river. Even there it was 'big' (I know it is lots bigger farther south.) Another picture of a river in my memory was in Ottawa, Illinois. I think it was the Fox River and/or the Illinois river. (They come together in that area.) Anyway, the year we lived in Ottawa I was 9-10. I remember walking across a bridge and looking down at what looked to be a 'small ' amount of water at the bottom of what seemed like a canyon of ice. The ice had gotten so high it had raised the bridge so it could no longer be used for car traffic (until repaired). Another river in my life experience was actually more of a creek (baby river) not far from our house in Georgia. In the summer time it might practically dry up. But in the winter and/or spring when there was a lot of rain I have seen the water flowing over (or following) the road for some distance.

In the text above God is saying that those who 'hearken' (To listen; to lend the ear; to attend to what is uttered, with eagerness or curiosity; to grant or comply with.) will have His peace like a 'river'.

Is this river of peace denoting a continuing supply? an abundance? a cleansing? a refreshing?

Humm, any of those sound interesting. Think about it.
More later,

Bringer of Peace

Great Peace

That word 'great' added to the concept of Peace indicates there are levels of peace available. As I thought of the promise from the Prince of Peace, "Great Peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them", this 'degree of peace' concept came to my mind again.

Is it a case that either I have peace or I don't?
or I have peace in one area of my life and not another?
or I receive God's kind of peace by 'steps', or levels?
or none of the above? or all of them? or some of th!em? or otherwise?

One thing I do like about persuing the 'great Peace' spoken of here. When I 'have it' then nothing shall offend me.

That is something worth going for, don't you agree.

I am still pondering.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Peace - the result of Faith

God never intended that we should live apart from Him.
Even after Adam and Eve 'chose' another 'master' - what we typically call 'sin' - the only way to live is through some form of connection with the source of life, the Creator God of the Universe.

Even after 'sin' entered the arena of humanity the Bible reminds us the "God so loved the world, that HE gave . . . " Someone shared with me that God had faith in the human race, even after sin. He had faith that there would be some who would choose to live with Him after they got the 'facts' - instead of Satan's lies, falsehoods, etc.

God is the author of Peace also. And as I have begun to 'see' God for who He really is that opens the 'channel' for God's kind of peace to flow into my life.

The following phrase in religious circles has been batted around for years as to it's 'meaning': 'righteousness by faith' . It has also been suggested that humans have mistranslated the meaning of that phrase into 'righteousness by works', righteousness by _________ (fill in the blanks as you choose)'. I was discussing this with someone and instead of 'filling in the blank' they simply turned it around. "Works by righteousness".

You may wonder what this has to do with peace - especially God's kind of peace. The more I thought of it the more I realized it has everything to do with Peace.

When I accept the fact that God has faith in me. Jesus believes that as I 'see' Him in all of His beauty and love I will accept His life in me. I will accept His offer of life as I see who the Saviour really is and that He is more than able to do what He has said He can do, I will also receive His peace.


That kind of love, that kind of righteousness coming from the Creator God and flowing through me results in works, actions, performance similar, like what Jesus did when He lived on earth.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Peace 'seeds'

When son and I started on our trip to Michigan we had opportunity to talk together. That, as a mother, was a wonderful experience. With our busy schedules it seems we sometimes hardly see each other much less get time to 'talk'. We talked about a lot of things. Some topics were more touchy than others. It gave me more to pray about for which I praise the Lord.

After talking for a while son put in a CD for us to listen to. The talk was about our 'words'. I have always believed there was power in God's word. According to the Bible it was presented that every person's words also have power. And when our words agree, or synchronize with, God's Word, then what we say has the combined power of God's power and our power.

God could allow the power of our words to be in full effect all of the time, but if He did we might kill ourselves by our 'words'.
The Bible says "By your words you will be justified, by your words you will be condemned." That indicates at least some of the power in 'word'.

"Word' isn't only that which a person 'speaks'. There is also 'written' word, and 'visual' word. I believe that in this context there is also 'acted' word and 'thought' word.

By my word! I can 'justify' myself or 'condemn' myself by my words. I can make 'just' by my words - written, spoken, thought, seen, acted - or I can condemn myself. That is a 'wow'!

What is even more thrilling is that as I agree with God's word His power combines with the power of my word thus making it infinite in scope.

God has promised Peace for those who accept His love and allow that wonderful love to flow through them to others - which is the fulfilling of the royal law of liberty, God's love law.

That was one 'eyeopener' along the trip to Michigan.

There were several other high points but for now I will share at least one other.

The 'blessing' experience - 'bat-barakah' - took place in the afternoon of God's holy day, the Sabbath.

My brother spent many hours and days in preparation for this special 'planting' of the seeds of blessing for his daughters.

I believe that my brother's daughters were blessed and I know that I was deeply blessed.

God had integrated special times of blessing into each person's life. According to the Bible a child was to receive a blessing just by being born. In Bible times there would be a feast at a baby's birth. And when a baby was weaned and became a 'child' there was another feast celebrating this milestone. In the Hebrew culture when a child became an adult the family and the whole community celebrated in a special ceremony called 'bar-mitzva' (son of the law) or 'bat-mitzva' (daughter of the law) this maturity level. Marriage was the next maturity level celebration to begin 'parenthood'.

The time of the 'bar-mitzva' had to do with 'law'. Because of Christ's death the name 'bat- barakah' (daughter of the blessing) is now being used. My brother and his lovely wife gave a very special seed of 'blessing' to two of their 'daughters'. Those of us who were there were also 'blessed'.

Another blessing was the opportunity to see friends from Michigan and other areas who had come together to celebrate with my brother, his wife and their daughters.

Upon arrival back in Virginia it seemed that I hardly had a chance to 'slow down' before a number of other 'challenges' were 'added'. A lady who I help part time had been previously 'sued'. The process has been long and drawn out but it seems that for every seeming 'crisis' I have been learning more about God's love, joy and peace.

Some months ago shortly after I began helping her she became curious as to why I would not 'work' on the seventh day Sabbath. The continuing experience of sharing with her the 'rest', 'blessing' and 'unity' God integrated into true Sabbath delight has been an ongoing learning experience for me as well as her. This past Sabbath evening was a true love feast. We sang, we prayed and we even ate together as we experienced God's love together.

I need to go for now.

May a special portion of God's love, joy and peace be yours.

Bringer of Peace

Peace in 'seed form'

Jesus talked about having 'faith' as a seed. A live 'seed' has the capacity to increase in size. God has 'beamed out' His peace to me as a live seed. The Peace God sends to me may not always come 'full size', 'fully mature'. But as I 'water' and 'feed' God's peace in my lifethe larger it grows.

"Great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them." Great peace is bigger, broader, deeper than 'seed peace'. But 'seed peace' is still 'peace' albeit of different proportions.

The past 2 weeks have been intense in several areas of living. Last weekend my son and I made a 'flying' trip to Michigan. I wouldn't trade the time I took for anything else. The original reason for the trip was that my brother and his wife was having a 'Bat-Barakah" (daughter of blessing) for two daughters. [If you are interested in more details go to his website for pictures and 'report.]

I had never been to anything of this kind plus this had to do with my own 'family' so I really wanted to be there for my benefit as well as to let the 'daughters' know they were special. But God had even more in store for me. Since the drive took around 10 hours one way, son and I had quite a bit of time together. We had opportunity to talk about a variety of subjects. I have been claiming God's promises both for myself and son. One promise in particular that I have been holding on too has been "I will contend with him that contendeth with thee and I will save thy children." I believe I already have the 'seed' of that promise. God has been contending with the powers that have been fighting against me. He has been teaching me and leading me into His peace in my mind. The outward circumstances have been quite hectic but that does not change the 'seed' of peace - so long as I choose to retain it in my heart. Peace in my heart comes through experiencing the Holy Spirit's presence inside of me.

The promise of peace is like any other of God's promises. The seed is in the promise. When I claim God's promise for peace I have God's peace - so long as I retain it by accepting God's will. It may not be 'seen' always on the surface but it is real peace just the same.

I must go for now. I hope to share more of God's doings the past two weeks soon.

Bringer of Peace