Friday, June 27, 2008

Peace and Praise

Some time ago when I was doing a 'word' study - I have been keeping my eye open to what a word means instead of simply what I think (or thought) it means (sure can change what I perceive someone is saying at times) - someone brought to my attention that one Hebrew word for praise is 'yada' or similar to that. The symbol of that word in Hebrew is lifting up open hands toward God. My present understanding of that symbol is that when I praise God I am opening myself to God. So when I say "Praise the Lord" I am now saying 'I open myself to You, Father'. Jesus is called the "Prince of Peace" so when I open my heart, myself, to God I am opening myself to God's kind of peace.

I just got a report from someone who I believe sends me as accurate information as they possibly can that this past weekend we almost became involved in a military 'exchange' with Russia (to put it in mild language) on a VERY large scale level. Are those kinds of reports calculated to bring 'peace'? Not really - point blank, NO!

Yesterday morning I got another message from the "Prince of Peace" as His 'response', or perhaps I should say, 'preparation', to the above report that I had not even received yet.

For anyone who might be interested here is what I received from Jesus.

"As the mind dwells upon Christ, the character is molded after the divine similitude. The thoughts are pervated with a sense of His goodness, His love. We contemplate His character, and thus He is in all our thoughts. His love incloses us. If we gaze even a moment upon the sun in its meridian glory, when we turn away our eyes the image of the sun will appear in everything upon which we look.

Thus it is when we behold Jesus; everything we look upon reflects His image, the Sun of Righteousness. We cannot see anything else, or talk of anything else. His image is imprinted upon the eye of the soul, and affects every portion of our daily life, softening and subduing our whole nature. By beholding we are conformed to the divine similitude, even the likeness of Christ. To all with whom we associate we reflect the bright beans of His righteousness. We have become transformed in character; for heart, soul, mind are irradiated by the reflection of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Here again there is the realization of a personal, living influence dwelling in our hearts by faith.

When His words of instruction have been received, and have taken possession of us, Jesus is to us an abiding presence, controlling our thoughts and ideas and actions. We are imbued with the instruction of the greatest teacher the world ever knew. A sense of human accountability and of human influence, gives character to our views of life and of daily duties. Jesus Christ is everything to us, -- the first, the last, the best in everything.

The above was written originally to ministers. I think because it was such very good advice it was later included in a book called 'Messages to young people'. (p. 161)

Wow! Just think of it!. I choose to open my heart to the 'Prince of Peace' and He in turn fills me with His awesome, calming peace that passes all understanding. I think I am beginning to understand just a little bit better what Jesus meant in His promise 'Great peace (trustful confidence in, accepting God's will for me, etc.) will a person have who loves God's law of love and nothing shall offend (make them fearful, angry, lose of control, etc.) them.

Keep your thoughts upon Jesus, remember that Jesus loves you and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His great love for you.

In just a few hours from the time I am writing this blog a worldwide celebration of God's love will begin. I hope you will choose to join me in it. As the sun sets this Friday the Creator God of the universe has made an appointment with me - and anyone else who wishes to experience real, genuine, joy and peace - to spend 24 hours in a super, special, time together. Some folks - me included - call that celebration time the seventh day Sabbath. According to the express command of my heavenly King, I have full authority and right to lay aside my everyday activities in order to have extra time with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as well as with others who are also loyal to Him. What earthly head of government comes once a week to spend a whole day with me. About the closest I have been to a 'very important person' was when I shook hands with Bobby Kennedy. But he didn't even know my name or anything else about me, other than that he was campaigning for something or another.

Every seventh-day Sabbath, however, I am invited to reveal my loyalty to the Creator God of the Universe by not only ceasing my every day 'activities' but in coming to worship Him and experience more 'love' from Him with others who love Him here on this earth. Another wonderful aspect of this time together with God is that as I behold Him, think about Him, share with others about Him, He changes me even more into looking more like Him, talking more like Him, thinking more about Him and like Him and acting more like Him.

I don't want to keep this wonderful peace producing activity to myself, though, so if you are not already involved in it, may I invite you to join me, beginning this evening, for a Sabbath - a rest, blessing, peace time with Jesus.

Sabbath is to be a special time for peace and praise. But I am also learning how to experience it to some extent every day. For that I am grateful to God as well.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, June 23, 2008

An 'I love you'

We had bought a digital camera before camp meeting and I just figured out how to put pictures here so I decided to share a few.

Above is a flowerbed near our house earlier this spring. We bought new water containers after that picture. The second picture is of the wave petunias and minature roses near the water 'pool' .
There are also petunias and pansies.

My friend Jesus has asked that you think of every flower as an "I love you" note from Him. I'm forwarding a few of them on to you from His collection.

Bringer of peace

Long time 'no see'

It seems that so much has been happening that the time to think and write has almost been 'crowded out'. Towards the end of April our son left for the army. For most of the month of May our local church was involved in a tent based revival series. I helped a lot with the children's programs. During this time I was also attempting to write to our son words of encouragement in his 'new' lifestyle. Add to the above the challenge of getting our gardens in 'order', working to get the farm in order and continuing to help a friend move and resettle. Then this past week we just finished attending the yearly church camp meeting. That was a wonderful spiritual retreat and time to rejuvenate. During this whole time we have been praying for some supernatural battles. I have also been learning some new spiritual concepts that have been, frankly, life changing.

Having said all of the above, I hope to be able to share some of the last mentioned - new (to me anyway) spiritual concepts.

1. The Hebrew word for 'praise' (in English) is 'yadda' or something very similar to that. My present understanding of the meaning of that word from 'hebrew' seems to be very symbolic - uplifting open hands - with the concept of opening one's heart, soul and mind to the Creator God for Him to fill with His peace and JOY.

When I heard that the first time I thought of a phrase I have used - ' yadda, yadda, yadda'. I was using it usually when I didn't want to repeat everything someone else had said but still indicate that quite a bit had been said. Now I believe that it is one of those phrases that has been misconstrued to mean something else. I really do like, however, the idea of saying, "I open my mind to God and His thoughts, I open my emotions to God and His emotions, I open my heart for God to fill me with His spirit." Wow!

I used to think that I could say 'praise the Lord' when something would happen that was 'good'. This 'new' to me concept has really been changing my thinking. Whenever anything happens I can say 'Lord, I open my mind, heart, emotions - all of myself - to You. Even when what I consider 'bad' happens I can still say 'praise the Lord!' for it is not dependent on outside circumstances but rather an inward desire to have the Lord have His way inside of me.

I saw many folks who recognized me at camp meeting even though most of them I can't seem to remember. There was also 'Messiah's Mansion' - a lifesize model of the mosiac sanctuary. Tours were given about 15 minutes most of every day including Sabbath afternoon. I was very much blessed the two times I went through the exhibit. Anyone who knows or has studied about Bible temples I believe could have been blessed. Even those who haven't could learn a lot. They talked about the 'earthly' temples, the heavenly temples and the 'personal applications. Praise the Lord.

I got to the place many times at campmeeting - and more and more other times as well - of saying to my heavenly Father something like 'What is on your agenda for me, Lord?'. Sometimes I would talk to someone, other times someone would talk with me. I was thankful for both kinds of experiences as well as the fellowship and learning in other ways.

There are a number of folks who are in very trying circumstances recently and I, along with others, have been claiming promises for them. God's word does not return unto Him void but it accomplishes what He has sent it out to do. We have claimed that army's of God's angels would be sent to do supernatural battle with the forces of God's enemy. Things are getting tougher and circumstances seem to be getting harder. I am now claiming that those involved most intimately will increase their 'praise the Lord' with the understanding that God is filling them with His Spirit and as such they are representing God in whatever circumstance they are in.

Some of the situations are definitely 'learning' and some are rather steep 'learning curves'. Our son has been having some very difficult challenges and I am 'praising the Lord' - not for the hard times, but I firmly believe God is teaching him and mentoring him to fill a very unique place in God's army wherever he may be.

We have gotten some help at the farm off and on for which we have been grateful. The main kitchen in the big house has finally gotten to the point of ready for paint and painted. There are a few more cabinets that hopefully will get installed in the next few days. I'm not sure what the next project will be but we have been looking at getting some more of the trash picked up and taken away as one project for the very near future.

I mentioned earlier the gardens here. Some items have done well and others not so well. I haven't checked the plants after the hail storm about a half hour ago but I hope it wasn't too bad. There were hailstones the size of marbles for a few minutes. I finally managed to add a picture I took during the storm. Glad that doesn't happen every day. We are thankful for the rain that came with the hail though. P.S. The gardens look alright.

There is much to do and I am thankful for a God that is not caught off guard or by surprise. He actually sings for joy when anyone comes to Him and chooses to accept God's will for their life.

I am glad I can help God sing.

Hopefully it won't take me so long to write again but until then may the God of peace be with you.
Bringer of Peace

Below is part of our flower bed. A friend gave us 'Duke' the alligator
who is getting 'buried' in flowers. I finally have a small water feature'
as well as 'Butterfly weed', 'Carnations', 'Celosia' and 'Roses'.