Thursday, July 31, 2008

Progress to West Virginia

This trip is getting more interesting all the time. After spending the night in Ohio with some friends (another unplanned stop) we headed on toward Virginia this morning after a lovely breakfast with our friend (her blogspot is dusty angels to the side). We had promised a friend that we would help drive a vehicle from West Virginia to our place in Virginia. We got to the place in West Virginia in time to have a very nice meal with them. My son had an appointment in Fredericksburg, Va. this evening so he took off as soon as he had eaten. (He called me later to let me know that he would be making it to his meeting on time.)

It appears that our friend is not really ready to leave so I was invited to spend the night here with these friends. I went with them to a neighbor's house where the children got to swim for a little while in an above ground pool. They are out playing on the trampolene right now but I decided to write an update on my current trip.

It appears that my modem has died on my computer. When I get home I hope to be able to check with those who insured it to see if they can help me. Maybe I'll be able to use my brother-in-law's connected until mine gets back up.

I haven't been able to share yet here a lot of what has happened on this trip most of which is more than just coincidental. God has had His hand in what we have been doing or where we have been and when. Even last evening's stop in Ohio revealed some directives by God. My son took the time to share with me how the Lord has been working in his life these past few months since before he decided to go into the army, his time in boot camp, his 'discharge' and on through this trip. God has been working in many ways and I praise God for so many answers to prayers that I am just now learning about. It has been an encouragement to me to keep affirming others and claiming God's promises - even when I can't always see answers right away. God is awesome.

God is in the business of revealing who He really is through people such as you and me. I choose to continue to explore more about our wonder heavenly Father and to claim that He will keep me from being distracted from His will for my life so His love can be revealed to others in me.

You can have that same growing experience in Jesus. May His peace be with you as well.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On the way home

Well, we got part way home anyway. My son had been up late and I wasn't even sure whether or not we would get started today. After he got up and got something to eat we decided to go ahead and start our homeward journey. Then, after getting most of the way across Indiana, I asked son if he would mind if we stopped at another friend's house near Columbus.

To make a long story short ( and a long trip more enjoyable as well) we decided to stay with the friends for the night. We called home and let them know and then we called our next stop and told them of our change of plans. We will be driving a second vehicle from West Virginia back to the farm for some friends. He has sounded like everytime we delay he is happy for the extra time so I guess we may be making him even happier with this extra stop.

We got here in the dark but maybe I'll get a few pictures when it is daytime. My friend has done a lovely job of decorating in her apartment as well as out. Her blog site is listed to the right - dusty angels - so it has been a real treat to visit in person as well keep in touch by blogs.

Another interesting twist to this trip is that we had two cell phones going almost all of the way thus far. I needed to call my Aunt who had been in the hospital. We had a real nice talk until we lost the signal on my cell phone. Son spent a lot of the trip time talking to his new girl friend. We even used speakerphone with his friend when I wasn't on the other line. It does make for a more interesting trip when you don't just sit and stare at the passing mile posts.

It is getting late for me so will close for now. Until next time, may God's peace be with you.

Bringer of Peace

Update on our trip and musings

We are still in Illinois as I write this. I wrote another blog on my computer but my modem seems to have died so I am using my brother's connection at the moment. It appears we may be heading home either today or tomorrow. My son was up late last night and so I decided not to get him up early. Since I enjoy conversing with my brother I took the time to do just that today. Since it has been raining here he didn't have to leave for work so early.

Maybe later I'll share some of the directives we have been through on this trip. God has been leading in a number of contacts and being at certain places at certain times. I am excited on the one hand as I have been watching God work. On the other hand I am still claiming that God will keep me on His 'track' and not get 'sidetracked'. God is working in mysterious ways and I am learning how to keep praising Him even when outward situations don't 'appear' to be what I would call gis ood.

A text someone shared with me this morning was 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.' The more often I keep my life in His hands the more quickly He can both 'will and do of His good pleasure' in me.

God is more interested in opening our eyes to Who He really is than simply solving what we think are the problems. The more He can reveal who He really is and what He is really like through an individual the sooner others may catch on to the idea that, 'Hey, God really does love me. He really does care what happens to me.' As a mother, that idea is getting more and more appealing to me. Wow! wouldn't it be wonderful for God to be able to change me so much that everyone in my family can not only see God for who He really is but will also feel the freedom to do some personal exploration of their own, if they so choose, because a relationship with God looks really inviting.

That also means God is the one 'doing' it, not me by my little ol self. Good news.

I' ll try to get back soon with more updates, but until then may I encourage you to take a new look at who God REALLY is. He is not only awesome, but since He doesn't want to scare you off He most likely may come in a more subdued way, at least at first. But either way, He loves you.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On the Road Again

I am writing this from Illinois. This past Sabbath was a homecoming at the Mattoon church and school here in Illinois. Both my younger brother and I spent years in the church school here. When we were in school there were two buildings - church and school. The school closed in the late 70's or so. Recently the local congregation decided to join the two buildings to give more room for church activities. This past Sabbath was a rededication as well as a homecoming. It was interesting to see the BIG progress in the physical building. It was also very nice to see some old school mates and acquaintances from many years ago. My brother has been working to get the sound system 'updated' so he was kept 'busy' a lot of the time.

Our son came over with me but since he has not a lot of interest in 'my past' he opted to drive up to Wisconsin to visit friends there while I visited folks here. I also have a bit of business to take care of while here so we will probably be here at least until Monday morning some time at least. We figure we might as well make the best of the time while we are in this part of the country. We are even pondering swinging by Michigan 'on our way home', but time will tell.

I need to relinquish the phone line for a while so will close for now.

Bringer of Peace

True and False

Peace - Genuine or Counterfeit

The past few days have given me some 'food for thought' on the contrast between God's kind of peace and any other kind of experience that has been labeled 'peace'.

Sometimes might we consider peace to be the absence of guilt? Or the other way around?

I was discussing the meaning of guilt with someone and the definition came up that guilt is when the different parts of our 'inner self' are not in agreement.

When I was young I came to believe "peace at all cost" and I also believed it to be a 'Bible truth'. In recent years I was led to intellectually realize that 'peace at all cost' is not Bible truth as it is in Jesus. But when a situation would come up that involved my emotions in relation to this type of a situation, guilt would attempt to insert itself because, from past experience, my 'heart' was not yet in agreement with my mind on this matter. I had intellectually chosen to accept as truth a new to me concept, but since it didn't agree with past experience as 'appropriate', 'true', right, or otherwise 'correct', then my resulting emotions at first registered 'guilt', even though in reality I had no need to 'feel' guilty.

I began thinking and asking some questions. If my previous experiences are based on 'lies' I believed to be truth, can I depend on what I think as 'guilt' to guide me aright, or change me?

What happens when my perceptions of truth are not yet all according to God's will?

Is guilt always accurate, always from God? Can guilt come from inappropriate sources?

Can I feel guilty when God does not intend for me to be or feel guilty?

Are there times I should feel guilty but I don't register 'guilt' - because of lies inside of me?

I am concluding that just as there is a genuine and counterfeit peace there is also genuine and counterfeit guilt. When my mind is not in agreement with the mind of God then there is place for genuine guilt. Therefore my greatest goal is to learn who God really is and what He is really like which is how I can be enabled to choose to agree with Him.

Once I am in agreement with God I am also in the position to receive His Peace.

God's kind of peace is a gift from Him: "Peace I leave with you."

Genuine Peace comes from agreement with God and acceptance of His gift of peace.

Counterfeit peace can happen when I agree with myself or others but not in God's will.

Lack of conflict based on any of Satan's lies may lead me to believe I have peace, but that is not God's kind of Peace.

God's peace comes when I choose to come into harmony with God and His will for me.

That is the kind of peace God wants everyone to experience in Him.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Challenges to Communicating Peacefully

God's original language was not (is not) English. Human languages by this time in the world's history probably have very little in common to the original ways of communicating God gave in the beginning - except, perhaps, that they are still attempting to communicate. For those of us who have read the Biblical account of 'His Story' (history) we have been given clues as to where some of these communication challenges were accelerated.

When God created 'man' He gave Adam and Eve the gift of speech as one form of communication. He also gave them body language as another form of communication. And according to rather recent scientific research, when two minds come into harmony and are synchronized together they can communicate directly - mind to mind - on a non-verbal level as well as through body language and spoken words.

Adam and Eve changed their allegiance from the Creator God to Satan by obeying Satan's suggestions to disobey a directive given by God to them. From then on one of Satan's 'weapons' or modalities to control his 'subjects', his slaves, has been to cause confusion - which fits well with three other aspects of his form of 'government' as exposed in Genesis 3. After Adam and Eve chose Satan's 'rule' they also became 'afraid', 'ashamed' and began to 'blame' - conditions that do not lead to real peace.

I have often used the following words to describe the devil's counterfeit forms of operation:
Fear, False and Force. These are counterfeits (and they can be very powerful) but rest assured that Satan doesn't counterfeit 'junk'. Therefore these counterfeits must have something that is genuine from which they were 'twisted' from to make them counterfeit.

Consider the following for God's genuine basis for His government to counteract the counterfeit.

1 John 4:18,19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

Psalm 119:31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
(God's testimonies include His Word - which is always true, never false.)

Proverbs 3:35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
(God's character is His glory and as we choose God's will He makes us like Him)

Proverbs 11:2 [When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.
(Wisdom is also a name for the Spirit of God.)

God has offered a remedy as a replacement for Satan's shame.

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Genuine: Love (other - centered from God)
Counterfeit : Fear (brought about by self-centeredness)

Genuine: Authority (given to someone because of other-centered love)
Counterfeit: Force (attempting to make others 'do' against their will)

Truth, (God as the source)
Counterfeit: False, fake, lies - anything not completely true.

By ourselves we humans could not become free from Satan's despotic rule after Adam and Eve chose to give him their allegiance. But Jesus came to this earth - as the Bible calls Him - the second Adam(see I Corinthians 15:45), and 'rescued' the whole human race from slavery under Satan's tyrannical dictatorship.

One very important act of Jesus was to give back to human beings the power to choose. Once humans were under Satan's control the devil had no plans for them to ever change their allegiance again. But because of God's wonderful plan of redemption man is given once again the power to choose whom he will be loyal too. And since God will not force anyone against their own free will that also means that God will allow a person to say 'no' to being loyal to God as well as choosing to be loyal to their Creator.

After about two thousand years of Satan's exhibiting what his government was capable of 'doing' and 'being', God saw that the thoughts of human beings were so corrupted and messed up they would self destruct before long. Since there is more to history than a mere record of what has happened in the past, the Biblical account reveals how God has been involved here on planet earth since He created it in the first place. After Satan claimed rulership of this earth, things got pretty bad. Human life meant little and strife and bloodshed became 'common'. The Bible record gives a very brief description of God's conclusion of the condition of the earth in Genesis 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. " God chose to 'cut short' a generation hell bent on 'self destruction' - which would have been far worse then the results of the earth getting washed by a flood of water (see verse 6,7).

God may have decided to do a 'clean up' job, but He also offered so 'rescue' anyone who was willing to accept life on God's terms - go into the ark which Noah had built according to God's directions. The people of that day had 120 years to decide what they would do but in the end only 8 people chose that option - go into a big boat and save their lives.

After the flood was 'history', the majority of people again chose to ignore the evidence that God was truly interested in them and loved them. Instead they chose to make alliances and accept counterfeits. The Bible calls the place where another great 'choosing' happened as 'Babel'. It is interesting that the root of that word even today still means 'confusion' and/or unintelligent communications. When God saw the attempts to blatantly defy Him and/or deny His existence, He simply 'confused' their languages - their forms of communications.

From then until now the continuous and ever increasing challenges to engage in harmonious, peaceful, love based communications between minds have loomed large on the horizon of human history.

God did not leave human beings without a solution to their communication problems, however. When a person chooses to belong to God and be part of His 'family', God immediately sets in operation ways and means of restoring peace based, joy filled communications not only between God and that person but also between that person and all others who are choosing God as their Sovereign Lord and Father.

In quite a number of situations I have been seeing that scenario being played out in my life. I was just talking with a friend this morning who counseled me how to communicate with someone else in such a way that at least would offer them the opportunity not to become angry, defensive, blaming or other negative response. But since communication -to be genuine - has to be two sided, I also have to continually keep in mind that I can only offer to communicate in peace but I cannot control how the other mind will respond - so long as I am in God's family.

It has been quite a learning experience for me and I keep asking God to 'grow me up' to be like Him not only in how I look and think but how I communicate with others.

In closing here are a few communication guidelines for those of us who are 'growing up' in Jesus' way of life.

Zechariah 8:16 These [are] the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
23 - 25 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

May the God of Peace be with you.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More 'I Love You' notes from Jesus.

We have several Rose of sharon bushes blooming right now. A couple of bushes of stargazer lilies are also opening their 'love notes'.

There are several colors of glads parading. Each one is an 'I love you' note from Jesus. Enjoy!
Bringer of Peace

A 'milestone' for us

These two pictures probably don't mean much to anyone else. About three or more years ago we put new windows in our son's room. For various reasons we never got the trim, etc. finished - until tonight. The walls are painted, the ceiling is painted AND the windows are finished being trimmed. We are hoping to go pick our son up tomorrow and I wanted very much to have his room not only painted but back in order before we leave for the airport.

We have also got the underlayment on the floor in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, we can get the carpet down as well real soon. It would be so nice to have his room in order when he gets here.

We did get a chance to talk to him for a couple of minutes or so. He hopes to fly out from Atlanta into a nearby airport. We don't yet know when he will be getting here so I tried to get as much done as possible today. Actually my hubby did most of the 'window' work. All I really did was to paint it after he finished putting the trim on. Since the house is a block house the walls are rather wide so it took a little bit more work than in a wood frame house. BUT, the windows are done! Whoopee!

I need to get some sleep so will share more later.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, July 14, 2008

God of Mighty Miracles

A recent quote defined faith as taking hold of Omnipotence and refusing to be baffled. I found another description of faith today which I greatly appreciated as enlarging the scope of the first meaning. I'm making a poster but here is the 'added' definition.

Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy's camp.

God is asking me to experience and practice more of that kind of 'faith' in the past few hours.

He has encouraged me by having my older brother share a couple of God actions in his life that I consider miracles. When he got the paper for adjustable mortgage it had dropped 2%. To him that was a real miracle, especially in these troubled economic times. God has also been using Him as a channel to bring deliverance from obvious demonic harrassment to some folks nearby. I praise the Lord .

Our son is on his way home, we hope real soon, but there have been spiritual barriers as well as 'paper tape'. There have also been obstacles of various and assundry kinds. He is not yet here so we keep hoping - turning future triumphs into present encouragement and joy and we are claiming God's kind of faith as we are aiming to plant God's banner of love in the heart of the enemy's camp.

Anyone who wishes please join us in praying for our son during this challenging time.

The God of mighty miracles, is marching through this land, healing hearts and healing homes with His Almighty hand. He's promised to create our home a happy family where love will overflow through time and all eternity.

O, take me now O Holy Spirit with Your mighty power. Do Your miracles in me right at this very hour. Glory, glory, God Almighty, it's Your matchless power. Praise God for Mighty Miracles right at this very hour.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home Base

It seems we have done a lot a 'work' on different areas of our farm. The past week or so I have been spending more time in our house. Hubby was able to get two windows almost framed in today in our son's room. We have painted it and hope to have it ready in a day or two. Our son is expected home by mid week and I so much want to have his room, at least, in good order. Getting his furniture back into his room from the living room will also help the living room look better too. I am getting close to being finished in the kitchen painting project. We still have a couple of cupboard doors to rehang. Otherwise things are going quite well.

I'm eating some watermelon as I blog so won't stay on here for long this time. It was quite hot today until a thunderstorm came by and cooled the temperature down considerably for which I was very thankful.

You have a good day too.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, July 11, 2008

Progress Report 2

Anyone who has visited us will recognize what has been going on in this picture. There is a short wall between a 'family' room and the 'living' room (beyond the young man). The bathroom door is to the left in the picture. I really like the idea of what it will look like when it is finished. The former door going into the living room was about 10 inches narrower than the opening (where the boy is standing). They were in the process of putting a header where the old wall had been. After that is finished the new door will 'slide' into a 'pocket' in the wall instead of swinging out into the rather 'narrow' place between the doorway and the beginning of the stairs. I had often thought of putting in a built in bookcase in that wall between the two doors but I really like a sliding door instead. The new door has a full glass panel so it won't seem tight in that corner even when closed.
As I mentioned earlier I believe the Lord is showing me places in me that need 'replacing' - in heart. The wonderful thing about the work that needs to be inside of me is that He is the carpenter - a 'finish' carpenter - that knows how to 'do it right'. I highly recommend Him to you to do any work in you that needs to be done to transform you into a 'look alike' to Him.
The friend I have been helping from time to time got her hair 'styled' today. It looked real nice. She has been a professional artist for many years and presently has an 'appointment' to display (and possibly sell) some of her paintings some time next month. After getting her moved we got quite a few of her paintings hung in her place but hadn't gotten all of her paintings unpacked all the way. Today after I brought her to her home from her hair styling appointment I started bringing out more of her works. It was interesting to hear some of the 'background' for some of her paintings. I think two of the ones we looked at today are fast becoming my favorites. One she painted for her father and it is sort of the 'front' of a ship as though it is coming out of a 'mist'. The other one she drew for her mother after her mother had told her of an angel who had come and talked to her in a flower type garden. I really like that one too even though it is not very 'big'.
I need to go for now. May the God of peace fill you full and overflowing with His JOY, PEACE and LOVE.
Bringer of Peace

Quote Posters

For more 'poster pages' feel free to peruse the following blogspot.

Word art and more

For quite a few years I have been in the habit of making a 'poster' from certain quotes when I find them appropriate either for me personally or to a particular situation.

I posted one here that I just recently did. If you are interested in any others I just began a new blogsite where I plan to share more of the 'poster' pages I particularly enjoy.

As you have opportunity, reread the one about faith, hope and charity. The part about hope is still burning it's excitement into my mind. Just think of it. Hope turns 'future' triumphs of the good and the true into 'present' encouragement and JOY. Sounds fantastic to me. It can work for you too.

Bringer of Peace

Faith, Hope and Love

I moved the poster page of the definitions of faith, hope and charity to my Quote Poster blog.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In the Right Direction

These past few days have been fast and at times what some might call intense. I praise the Lord that He has been willing to allow me in more than one relationship to share that He is a God that does wonders. Yesterday I received a call from a dear one who was distraught over a certain situation. I don't know a lot about it but I was so thankful that they felt willing to call me to share with them God's kind of encouragement. I don't have a large resevoir but I know that God is in the business of lifting up the broken hearted and setting captives free. As we talked I opened my Bible and began to weave God's words into our conversation. A lot of folks like the King James Version but others were not comfortable with 'thee' and 'thou' and such forms of English. This being the case I often will 'read' the text while using more current 'wording'. One of my favorite sources of 'It is written' is the Psalms. As I was sharing promises from a number of portions of the Psalms I came to chapter 86. I have learned a number of Psalms by heart and to sing them to music, but this was not one of them so I wasn't as acquainted with its contents.

As I began to share this Psalm it seemed that almost every sentence was specific for the situation we were claiming God's power for at that time. The last verse of Psalm 86 begins with a request from us to God. "Shew me a token (sign) for good. . . " As I read that I prayed in my mind that God would do that very thing. About that time I heard a second phone line ring at the place of the person I was talking with. When they answered it a friend had just called to give them a 'phone hug' because they felt impressed they needed it just then. I was very impressed, and said that the call was one sign from God that He was still very much in control but even more importantly that His good will was for them.

Rather than continuing on to other scriptures, we reviewed Psalm 86 again for the next few minutes. When we returned to verse 17 - "Shew me a token for good: . . . " I inwardly asked the Lord if there might be a possibility of Him sending at least one more 'sign'. Again the second phone rang on the other 'end'. This time the call came from a very important source so I hung up. A few minutes later I got a call back telling me how God had indeed sent another sign of His love.

I can't raise people out of discouragement, but God can use me to be a channel through which His love can flow to others. That is JOY producing - it gives me joy as I see God lifting others up and as they receive the good news that God loves to be with them wherever they are, that they are the apple of His eye and that they are special to Him, they too experience the Joy of the Lord, which is real strength. That kind of an joy experience, combined with accepting that the God who loves to be with you is also the same God who is working for your best good and that you can 'rest', have 'confidence' and trust that He will never leave you nor forsake you is what builds capacity to cope with all the stresses of life. (What I call the Joy/Peace cycle.)

The above experience took a part of my time yesterday. In between phone calls I have been trying to work on my home. I am almost finished painting the kitchen and almost finished painting the trim in our son's bedroom. I had so much wanted to finish his room before he comes home - either this weekend or next - but at the speed I am moving I am not sure of anything. I will keep trying though. Some time back I made some pockets where I can put posters to encourage me in my spiritual life. This is a picture of a couple of the cupboards with their new coat of paint also.

Add to above another series of phone calls from another person in need of help and life gets even more interesting. I had promised to help my friend so after my hubby got off work we went by Walmart to get some groceries for ourselves and our friend. God has supplied the rent for her - this is the one we helped move a while ago - in some pretty interesting ways. She got word of where this month's rent was coming from yesterday and told me about it. That was a big thing to thank the Lord for. But because of a current lack of 'useable' funds her current finances not much has been left much for dietary needs or other day to day items. While we were getting some groceries for ourselves we added some items that I thought she might have need of before going on over to her place. She has been working on some sources of income and has asked me to help her with some 'technical' aspects so when I got there I 'jumped' in to doing what I could to help. But when my hubby brought in the bags of groceries I wish you could have seen the look on her face and heard the expressions of gratitude to us for letting us be the Lord's channels to help her. She might not have been 'starving' but she was pretty low on day to day commodities.

There is a special very positive effect on me when I can be a channel through which God's love can flow to others. I can't help everyone but it sure is nice to be included in the loop when the Lord sees He can trust me to act like Him toward others.

Some time back my brother came over to our place and finished remodeling a bathroom for us. The bathroom wall between the bathroom and the living room had had to be completely rebuilt. The 'sit down' shower had been installed on that wall but we had not yet put sheetrock back on the living room side of the wall. A friend carpenter offered to do that for us. He got the sheetrock up alright but then I asked about a corner that looked very strange. To make a long story short that corner was totally rotten beside where he had put the new 'wall cover'. We have ended up tearing out what was left of the wall between the bathroom and a family room (the rest of that wall had been replaced when my brother finished the bathroom). My friend found a door that can be hung as a 'pocket door' - sliding into a pocket formed in the wall - which will open up the area very nicely. (The former 'door' between the living room and family room was very narrow so a wider passage will be very welcome.) Those of you who have been here will probably appreciate my description of this progress more, but I am thankful that one more part of the dwelling, when completed, will be sound again. The house is old but I believe there is still a lot of good left in it. To me it is sometimes an illustration of how God is working in my life. Section by section he is revealing to me areas inside that need to be 'replaced' with 'new'. He has promised that He will give me a new heart and a new spirit so that when He is completed, I can truly look like Him, not with only a new coat of paint but from the inside out. Praise the Lord.

Being made 'new' in Jesus' is what brings true peace and joy. There is another aspect that I have learning about also. This has to do with the part that 'hope' has to play in my life.

A quote that has been changing the way I think I made into a 'poster' to help me remember it better.

"Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three:" -- faith which takes hold of Omnipotence and refuses to be baffled; Hope, which turns the future triumphs of the good and the true into present encouragement and joy; and love which consecrates all to God and for God.

I have really appreciated all three definitions but the one for Hope has been really burning its way into my heart and mind. There are some physical aspects of God's kingdom that are future but Hope brings the encouragement and JOY into the here and now. WOW!

May you experience God's kind of hope in your life today.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Progress toward Peaceful surroundings

The Lord has been guiding in some continued improvements. The flower garden near our home has been growing and blooming to keep reminding me that God loves me. Every flower is like an 'I love you' from Jesus.

There are also a couple of pictures of new cabinets in the big farm house kitchen above. This is helping to make the kitchen more 'useable'. I am very grateful for this kind of progress.

There is another kind of progress that I believe is even of more value.

Just before Jesus died He talked with His 'family' of disciples. He told them that He knew they were most loyal to Him. Then He promptly told them that that very night they would completely forget about it. But just because they forgot about it temporarily that didn't change how Jesus viewed them. After the resurrection the angels reminded Peter and the others that they were still Jesus' most loyal 'family'. But when Peter saw Jesus on the shore he had not yet regained assurance in his mind that Jesus hadn't changed His thinking about Peter. Jesus, on the other hand, still believed in Peter's loyalty and as they walked He brought Peter 'back' to a sense, in his own mind, that he really was one of Jesus' most loyal friends. It was Peter who was doing the changing, not Jesus. It was also Peter who could sympathize most with others who had really 'blown it' and would be tempted to believe Satan's lie that they weren't worth anything anymore because of how bad they had been. Jesus never changed His mind about Peter or any of the other loyal disciples, for He was looking on the inside of His disciples and knew what was really going on in their hearts and minds. (Jesus knows what is on the inside of us far more than we may know.)

Judging from external 'evidence' is counterfeit judgment and God has warned us away from that.
Judging from internal evidence, as God does, is genuine judgment and has a proper place.

The above experience has a lot to teach me. Like Peter, I have outwardly seemed and even felt 'disloyal', but God knew my heart. I was accused of things which were like death tipped arrows. I wept and wandered for far too long. But Jesus saw my heart and wouldn't let me 'go'. He knows I love Him. I thank him for that blessed assurance as He has come and 'walked' with me, assuring me that I can still serve Him. Many years ago I dreamed of ministering in a 'family' like setting. I finally basically 'trashed' that dream as impossible, but God has been sharing with me bits and pieces of something so much bigger than just my small dream that I 'stand in awe'.

I believe that the farm where we are presently living, having been dedicated to God's service for well over 50 years, is being prepared for a special ministry to reveal God's love in an active, living, way to those who will pass this way. A high percentage of the funds that purchase the property for ministry will also be used to build a new church structure as a brighter light in this community. Since the new church structure will be next to the farm ministry I believe this will also give the church a place where the church family can do things together. God's dreams and plans are for real.

There is still much to be done to restore the farm and prepare it for active 'service'. God has been sending some help already. I praise Him for those who are still coming as well. I am also thankful for those who are in the process of giving financial assistance. When God works it is not for us to shorten His 'arm' by downplaying what is happening. His word will not return to Him void, but it will prosper in the things where He sends. Praise the Lord.

Yes, there is progress being made here on this farm. And there are hearts and souls being brought back to the realization that God's view of them hasn't changed at all. They may have forgotten who they were in Christ, but Jesus didn't forget them for one moment.

And to anyone who has read this progress report toward Peace let me remind you that wherever you may be, seeing Jesus' picture of who you really are in Him is the most effective means of sharing His love through you to others around you and restoring God's joy in you which is your genuine strength.
Your are special, unique and one of a kind in Christ. No one else can be what God has planned you to be in Him. That is wonderful good news for all of us. Why? Because the One who has begun that good work in you is the same One who will perform it, finish it for the day of Jesus Christ.
Of that we can and are confident.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, July 5, 2008


For anyone who is interested in seeing an earlier picture of my biological mother you can go to my brother's blogsite. He posted what I believe was my mother's wedding photo. What seems almost uncanny to me is how much I see mom when I look into the mirror. I am only about a year older than when my mother died - she was 57 - so many of my memories are of her around my present age. My brother was pondering about so many similarities between him and our dad. I know I have so many similarities between my mom and me. Some I know God needs to continue to change. Some inherited tendencies, however, I feel God is using as stepping stones to lift me closer into communion with Him. As my brother commented, I believe there are times when it is good to go into memory lane. I have gotten frustrated at times with some of those trips, but just the same there may be value in some trips in that direction, especially when God is in charge of the journey.

I think some of my frustrations with memory lane trips come when people are not willing to 'let go' of aspects of memories. My perception is that I am dealing with some folks in that catagory at present. In the past a friend had won some horse 'prizes'. She had some 'prize winning' cats and some 'pet goats'. So now, she still 'hangs on' to a horse, goats, and cats even though they seem to be literally 'eating up' a whole lot of her income. But memory lane is very much in place and she can't bear to 'leave' - or at least so it seems at times to me.

Add to that the mental filters that I and others have acquired from our 'memories' and it can produce a very interesting 'outcome'. One day my brother and I were talking on the phone and I happened to make a comment and used a Bible verse to 'back it up'. He asked me why I thought the way I had just stated. We went to the Bible verse and looked at it together in context and I realized that my belief was not true. As I released that particular 'lie' so that God could remove it, I began to realize more and more the detrimental effects it had been having on my whole life. Simply put, I believed in 'peace at all cost' - if necessary even to being like a 'doormat' or less just to 'preserve' what I thought was 'peace'. That filter came from my past - memory lane if you please - but it has been a real joy to let go of that lie and be set free from the fear and shame that often attended that lie. Jesus has been working on showing me some other 'incorrect filters' (many of them lies) that were imbedded in my thinking over the years - memory lane - and as I choose to release them to Him, He cleanses me and has been showing me some awesome pictures of Himself that I can copy as well.