Sunday, September 30, 2007

Joy and Peace in Believing

For over two weeks now it seems that the intensity surround me has been increasing. That may or may not be of value. On the other hand, however, I have been having less energy. My voice comes and goes on a regular basis. Sometimes I can talk almost normally and other times I communicate on 'whisper' level. That has seemed to be a blessing on at least one occasion. I was talking to a salesman about a 'remnant' piece of rug - in a whisper. To make a long story short he ended up selling it to us for about 50% off. I wondered if he felt sorry for me but I didn't mind. This weekend I about hit bottom though and didn't go much of anywhere except dreamland, if you call that 'going'.

Tomorrow the lady I have been helping who has been involved in a lawsuit will have an official inspection. The lady who was suing her has accused her of taking things while at the same time it has been quite obvious that the lady knows a lot about doing just that - taking things from my friend. Anyway, one of the conditions of settling out of court was that this lady could inspect my friend's belongings before she packs to leave. (quite an interesting way to 'pack') Anyway, one blessing is that taking all this time to sort - one pile for my friend and another pile for the other lady - should make it much easier when we do pack.

That is only one area of my life at the present.

Another challenge has been that I normally teach children on the weekend. With little or no voice that has been almost impossible. Last weekend, for some reason, there were almost no children. An older lady friend stepped in and taught the children. I haven't yet heard what happened this week but I know I couldn't have done it anyway.

A few of you who read this have been at our farm. At the beginning of this year a couple lived in a four room apartment in the upstairs of a big house. They chose to move to Tennessee in April. A while later the thought came to me that maybe I could use some of the apartment for an office for my ministry called "Passport to Life". I have been able to get the majority of my things set up in two rooms.

But in the meantime we have been needing at least one more room. To make a long story short I did get two rooms but the apartment kitchen and one bedroom we have let a lady who lives here 'take over'. The room where she was in was at the head of the stairs. Another lady has been living in an impromptu bedroom on a porch. We are giving her the room at the top of the stairs as a 'permanent' bedroom. In order to do that we needed to empty that room of the furniture.
Oh my, my rooms have more than their share of things for now. I hope to get my rooms in shape some time soon. My oldest sister some time might be able to help me. But whether or not she is able to come and help me I keep 'hoping against hope' and keep on keeping on.

So how does all of this deal with JOY and PEACE? One reason is that each time God brings me through one of the above experiences I am also experiencing His JOY and His PEACE as He 'grows me up' into the way He would act.

As I believe that God loves me, believes that He wants what is best for me, then I am filled with His Spirit and His JOY and PEACE become mine.

Accept those gifts from the God of JOY today

Bringer of Peace

Friday, September 21, 2007

A choice - Peace or Fear

During the past several days I have been studying Psalm 21.

Here is my present understanding of it for any who wish to read it.

1. For the superintendent of Music, a celebration song written by David for both instrument and voice. The king delights in how strong You are, Creator God. Your victories animate him to sing and dance with intense joy. 2. You have given him his deepest longings, not even denying his spoken desire to unite with You as intimately as in a marriage relationship. (Meditate) 3. You hasten to benefit him with your goodness. You place on his head a crown of pure gold. 4. He asked to live in You and You gave him Your own eternal life. 5. The king's great splendor, grandeur and magnificence is the result of You setting him free and placing him in that position. 6. You placed him there to adore and speak good of God, thus revealing His character. You have given him intense JOY as You have looked upon him. 7. The king is confident in the Creator God and while bowing in respect before the Supreme God he will not waver. 8. You will also appear to those who hate you. They too will experience your strength. 9. Your presence and full power will be to them destructive - as fire. The Self-Existent One's breath (His life) is so powerfull that, like fire, it will consume them. 10. Even their families will cease - with no offspring. 11. They schemed evil plots against You, but couldn't carry out their plans. 12. You will eventually allow them to receive the full consequences of their choices by turning your life giving gaze away from them, leaving them lifeless. 13. Creator God, Your ways are high above the way we think and act. You are strong in Yourself. We will sing and make music about Your victory.

A Day, the sign of God's Peace

Well, as this Sabbath begins I am very thankful for the haven of rest. While I was finishing my blog this morning the call came from my friend that the other lady had already arrived - much earlier than other times. I quickly went over to be a witness of proceedings. I wasn't going to stay all day but it just about ended up that way.

I am feeling some of the effects of the 'cold' or allergy reaction or whatever it is that I have so have been steadily been getting slower and slower this afternoon.

That is another reason why I am thankful for God's day of rest. I can slow down and praise Him.

Lord willing, I plan to welcome Sabbath morning over at my friends house. If the other people come we may invite them to join us. On the other hand, if they don't we can still praise the Lord.

I particularly am praising the Lord for the opportunity to share = both talking and listening - with my friend about spiritual themes today. I believe this experience she is going through is bringing us both closer to a better understanding of the Creator God and what He is really like.

I am going to rest for now. May the God of Peace give you His special rest also on this His day.

Bringer of Peace

Peace - or Fear

The Bible says that God will keep me in perfect peace when I keep my mind on who He is and what He is really like. The reason given is that as I keep my mind on Jesus I will learn to trust Him more. When I trust God I let go of the fear that destroys peace.

This week has been a 'crash' course in learning a deeper meaning of what the Bible says. I pray that I have learned at least some of the lessons. One lady laughingly told me that what has been going on 'around' me is far more interesting that the 'soap operas' on TV. We dubbed it either 'As the Farm Turns' or 'Down on the Farm'. Not everything that I have been involved with has directly had to do with where I live though. I have been helping a lady for about a year now. She has been through a lot of stress with someone sueing her which sort of pushed her to countersue. Not long ago it seemed that the two parties had come to some kind of agreement and my friend would change her place of residence as part of the agreement. We have been working to pack as quickly as possible. If that is all there was to it that would have been like eating a banana. But the other party does not seem to be content. For the past two mornings - early - the one who sued my friend along with at least two or three other people came by and walked all around the house and took pictures. (This was not in the agreement.) The first morning, after they left I also dutifully took pictures of everything as well. The next morning they came again with the same routine. This time, however, my friend (after consulting with her attorney) followed them around the house, with me as a witness. After they left we discussed what had happened. At first it was rather upsetting, but the more we looked over the situation the more I could see was a help to us. The other person seems paranoid, first that my friend wouldn't move as was stated in the agreement. Then, when they began to see things being packed they seem paranoid that my friend will 'rob' them. Rather interesting in my mind is that they have had a year to take whatever was theirs but instead they have chosen to react in this way. We consider it an attempt at harrassment.

The more we thought about it though, the more positive I began to see the situation. After one of these morning walk throughs it is now possible for us to pack some things we couldn't as easily take care of before.Before this we were trying to keep the house in 'showcase' condition. Now it looks more like a warehouse. We were instructed to put all of the other person's 'things' in one area. I have a feeling that that in itself has been frustrating to them. We are also consolidating my friend's things in another general area. It has been a very interesting way to pack to say the least. All activity has been filmed by each side and it will prove interesting to see the outcome.

I hope to get over to my friend's place early this morning. I have several things I need to do there today and then I have a bunch of stuff of my own to do as well.

Yesterday, my lady friend above asked if I could take her to a therapy pool called a 'turtle pool'. It has been helping her stress quite a bit to be able to exercise in the water. While she was there one lady here at the farm - who had moved from one room to another and had been quite unhappy with the new room - decided that if we could put carpet on the floor it would make the room better. We went to Lowe's and I believe the Lord gave us a super good deal. There was a piece of remnant about a foot wider than we needed and the man gave us 50% off. While the lady was paying for it I drove back to the farm to get the truck. Once I got back I could not find the key and then my other friend called and needed a ride as soon as possible from the pool.

All is well that ends well. My 'taxi service' finally got folks shuttled and my delivery service finally got going when my hubby gave me an idea where the key was - it was in one of his pant's pockets.

By the way, I have had laryngitis so bad that part of the time I could only whisper. The man at the store said he could hear me alright. Who knows, maybe that is why he gave us a better deal. It was the Lord's doings and I am glad. In a way maybe it is good I can't talk all the time.

This morning I am getting going early - I hope. I have a couple of day's worth of work that seems to be staring me in the face. But somehow, someway, through these and other experiences I have often been asking the Lord how I can act the way He wants me to act and 'be' the person He sees in me no matter what is going on around.

According to what I have been learning that is a great deal of what true peace is all about. God has a master plan for me personally. The more I accept Him into my life the more I become like His plan for me which enables me to experience more and more of His peace.

May God give you a bigger picture of His plan to bring His peace into your life more fully today.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, September 14, 2007

Peace in the heart

This week have been extremely interesting. There are several things going on similtaniously. One friend - the one I went with to Connecticut and she ended up coming back again - has been trying to get a regular job here again. But in the meantime she has been very frustrated at times. Most of her life she has been a hard worker and a very efficient worker. She gets very upset with others if she feels they do not carry their share of the 'work' burden. She is a lovely woman but seems to find it difficult to realize her value apart from what she 'does'. I don't think I have done a very good job of helping her to realize her real worth.

Another friend I have thought I have been helping for quite some time seems - in my mind anyway - to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. She can be very happy go lucky yet feels that she carries her share of the burdens. On the other hand, at least when it comes to what I think of as helping one another, I have sometimes wondered if it is a one way street. Yet, she has been asking me to help her again. As I have been attempting to help both of the above friends I have felt almost 'caught' in the middle.

Today in particular it seemed I went from one to another. One friend felt I was helping the other one too much. The other friend - I think anyway - feels that I have been ignoring her requests for help.

Very interesting.

But then there is another friend that has been in need of quite a bit of help and yet the whole time I have been trying to help her she keeps helping me in so many ways that I almost feel I have received more than I have given. It has been a pleasure to help her even though at times it has been rather intense. Yet, for all I have helped, it seems it comes back more.

This evening I was practicing a duet with yet another friend at the church to sing tomorrow. The friend who gives me so much was also there. As we practiced she was able to give us her perception of how we sounded and how to improve and we considered it a great privilege to be the recipients of her help.

Each of my friends are special in their own ways. I am thankful for them.

Yet only as I have peace in my heart am I able to in an appropriate way 'be a friend'.

I am longing for more of God's true peace so that I can share it with others, particularly friends.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Continuing in Peace

Oh my, it seems that the hurrier I go the behinder I get. (Excuse the 'slanglish' ) Since writing here early September a whole lot of events have taken place surrounding my life. Some have been good and some have been rather intense learning curve type experiences. I have mentioned at times that I have been helping a friend who had been sued by someone who had previously professed to be her 'daughter'. To make a 'longer story' short, this past Friday an agreement between the two of them was accepted by both sides. If all goes well that means the case won't go to court - for which my friend is particularly happy. One part of the agreement is that my friend will move from where she has been living within 2 months. That means a place needs to be found asap. The last couple of days we have been doing a lot of looking for another place for her to live. There are two places at present she feels very interested in after the hours of driving around and looking. I'm glad for that much progress.

Another job ahead is to get everything packed for her. I got six boxes packed from the kitchen but there is much more to do. One box at a time is my current motto.

Add to the above activities a trip to Connecticut, in which I thought I was helping another lady friend. She thought she had a job lined up there but when we got there everything seemed to 'fall apart'. After a few more interesting experiences we decided to come back home.

Here on the home front my husband and I had agreed to have a Bible worker from the church stay here for nine months. I cleaned out the room I was using for sewing and crafts (it had been an office for a previous couple who lived here - for those who know our place). I painted the room in shades of light lavender first. But nothing seemed to be working together so I ended up repainting it white and hope that the Bible worker will be able to decorate according to his tastes.

I am also trying to get my place into some form of order. When I decided to repaint the room for the Bible worker, all the furniture was moved into what is supposed to be my office (was the couple's living room) and library (was a bedroom). On top of that we have been attempting to put down vinyl on the upstairs kitchenette area. We finally got the underlayment down but still have a few more pieces of vinyl to glue down before calling that job completed. I hope to get it done before the Bible worker gets here in a little over a week.

This Sunday I will probably be helping my hubby try to put a drain in the downstairs bathroom sitdown shower. I think the plumbing is almost done but we haven't yet got the drain back in place.

The above activities don't include the changes I have been making for the children's class I teach on Sabbath mornings. I like the class but with so many other things happening I am afraid I have gotten behind more than I like to think. The church is also in the middle of painting the basement and getting new flooring in after taking out the carpet in the basement - whoopie!

When I get busy I tend to eat less. It is a weakness in more ways than one. That may be alright for one or two days. But I don't have a lot of reserve and I begin to notice that I was having a hard time maintaining 'calm' or 'peace' in certain situations. When I would get a good meal it seemed to really help me to think better. Another BIG help to me is getting enough water to drink during the day as well.

But perhaps one of the biggest controlling elements I am learning about is the spiritual 'food' (taking in God's word which includes reading, thinking about and pondering the implications of what is written in the Bible) and spiritual 'drink' (the Water of Life - an inflowing love received from Jesus). As I learn more about Jesus and experience Him in my life I have been learning how to 'think' more like He thinks, hopefully act more like He might act and prayerfully be like Jesus.

Many times in the past I have forgotten to spiritually eat and drink and the results have been disastrous. God has been kindly reminding me to take time with Him.

Our lives may be busy but they are too busy
if we don't eat and drink - physically and spiritually.

I am tired this evening so won't get much more written for now.

May the God of Peace bring you closer to Him is my prayer.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Peace by Faith

From funerals to painting houses to legal issues to cleaning and more, my life seems to be getting busier. And as I have been involved in the above activities I have been learning more and more that real Peace is not always the 'feeling' of the moment but rather accepting God's will for me.

I have been encouraging a friend who is in the legal process of a countersuit (on the surface). The truth is it is more a spiritual warfare. Someone literally betrayed her trust and then attempted to throw her away like 'dust'. Through this process we have encouraged one another to keep on God's side of the issues. I believe I have learned more about trust and peace through this growing experience both as I have worked to encourage my friend and as she has at times really been an encouragement to me also. She is in a legal suit, that is true, but I have been facing some relationship challenges in my circle of friends and acquaintances as well and time after time she has given me some excellent counsel as well as me hopefully helping her.

My present understanding is that faith begins with an attitude, resulting in action when the opportunity presents itself, of accepting God's will for me. As I accept God's will for my life that includes His Peace and Joy filling my heart and life.

May God grant you His Peace,

Bringer of Peace