Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sing Mama, Sing

I don't really remember but I was told that when I was little and I would sense that 'mama' was having a trouble I would say 'Sing mama, sing'.

Today, I was having some stuggles emotionally and the thought was reminded to my mind "Sing Praises to God, Sing Praises". I began to sing some of the Psalms that I have learned to music and I know that God kept His promise to chase away the enemy.

It is getting late but may I encourage you to sing praises to God when the enemy needs to be 'chased away'.

"I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously."

If you are interested in it, I also just added a quote titled 'Sit in Heavenly Places', regarding the value of singing and praising God when it comes to 'winning' in the good fight of faith.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Life Lessons from David 2

Only a boy named David, only a little sling. Only a boy named David, but he could pray and sing Only a boy named David. Only a little brook, Only a boy named David, but five little stones he took. And one little stone went in the sling and the sling went 'round and 'round.' . . . And one little stone went up in the air, and the giant came tumbling down.
The song goes on to tell how God used David to kill Goliath, an enemy giant.

The story in the Bible goes into a little more detail on how David stunned Goliath with a stone from his sling and after the giant had fallen to the ground David ran up to him, took the giant's own sword and cut off the giant's head.

Israel considered David as the victor and made up songs to sing about this great act he had done. But it didn't take long for king Saul to get jealous of David's popularity. And it wasn't much longer before David found himself a fugitive. It is really quite an interesting story. Time after time Saul would send either the whole army or goodly amounts of troops out to chase David to kill him, but as David would consciously choose to ask God for deliverance, God would 'do it'.

One such time David had been finding some refuge in what sounds like a more obscure part of Saul's jurisdiction. There was a small 'family tribe' also in the area and evidently there had been some kind of communication between David and a group of men who were with him and this 'family tribe'. Someone in the 'family' decided they ought to 'tattle' on David so messengers were sent to Saul to let him know they knew where David was hiding. Evidently David got wind of the treachery and was able to again 'escape' from Saul's forces.

From this particular experience David took the time to 'write' (journal). Psalm 54 is one part of what he wrote. I have done some study of it and have found it very applicable for me even now.

As you read ask God to show you any life applications in your life even today.

A lively chorus to teach one specific thing, after spies told Saul David's hideout.

O God, listen carefully to me and make the right decision. And please, use Your
authority and power to set me free. People with no respect for You have harassed me, treated me terrible and have now turned traitor. (Pause in music)

How Awesome are You, my Sovereign! You are the same One who helps those who help me and YOU will turn back and make good for nothing those who are against me so that they will as good as vanish, while I trust You. I lift up my hands in spontaneous praise to You, My God, for how good You really are.

You snatch me away from every rival and enable me to see who is really against me.

I don't really know any individual who has been a complete traitor against me but for sure I know the devil is more than happy to orchestrate that kind of experience for me if I let him.

The 'ONE' thing I picked up though was that after describing the problem just very briefly and giving himself time to take a 'deep breath' David broke into a chorus of JOY. Looking at who God really is and what He is really like brings me into such a connection with the Creator God that He can do for me what He might not be able to do if I didn't ask Him.

David eventually became king of Israel but it wasn't because he outsmarted Saul. David was loved by God because he kept practicing his trust in the Creator.

We aren't sons and daughters of God because of how smart we are, or how beautiful, or how wealthy, or how many good things we do, or any other external.

God loves me, and you, because He made us. And what brings the greatest joy to His heart of love is when we accept that He really does love us and then choose to trust that He will only allow in our lives what He sees is for our best good as our loving 'heavenly Father'.

When we choose to receive God's love and trust Him then the gift of His peace flows into us as well. "Now the God of hope fill you with all JOY and PEACE in believing that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost."

Bringer of Peace

Monday, August 25, 2008

Peace about the past

My family was sort of spread out time wise with 6 children in about a 15 year span between my oldest brother and my youngest brother - which has had advantages and disadvantages. In one sense the three oldest (to us younger ones anyway) almost seemed like another 'family' of sorts. My oldest brother was away from home going to school at a boarding academy by the time my younger brother was born. The sister next oldest to me is five years older than me, (there was another brother younger than myself but he died shortly after he was born) with another older sister between her and our oldest brother, and my youngest brother five years younger.

To me it seems that my younger brother and I have been sort of closer in some ways and the older three were somewhat like a 'first family'. Even my older brother commented that I had traits somewhat like a 'first born' (of the second set).

There is one thing, though, that I have pondered about off and on for a long time. Each of my brothers and sisters have shared with me some perspectives either about our parents or other aspect of 'home life' that had left them feeling 'shortchanged' or similar. Each perspective was definitely different but all seemed at least somewhat negative (or so it seemed to me). On the other hand I've had no reason to feel I got the 'short end' of home life. I have many happy memories of both my mother, father and mostly of sisters and my younger brother - I hardly remember my older brother being home.

I have wondered at times what might have caused such seeming differences between the rest of my siblings and myself. I do believe that God has given me peace in many areas of my life as a gift from Him. My name often reminds me of what I now believe to be one of God's goals for my life and I am thankful for it ('Olive' symbolizes 'peace' and 'Mae' represents 'maiden'/'bringer of').

I doubt if I'll find out all of the answer to my curiosity before I get to heaven but I have gotten some suggestions that have made some sense recently. One recent thought was that even though I was young so not really 'part of' some of the problems between the rest of my family (older ones) I was still aware of at least some of unpleasant happenings. I presently believe that somewhere along the line I made up my mind that I would agree with mom and dad rather then have 'hard times' as it seemed to me the others got into way more than I cared to participate in myself.

I think there is a lot of merit in that decision. I also believe the Lord blessed me regarding it especially in my home life years. But somewhere I got off track and I fell into 'peace at all costs'.
I can remember many times where I was not willing to stand up and be counted because I wanted peace more than I wanted what was right.

I believe that my loving heavenly Father has been helping me and guiding me to see when it is appropriate to do something for peace and when it is time to stand for right regardless of whether the other party agrees or not.

This past week I think that is one reason I have had some folks get real upset with me too. They have been used to me being a 'doormat' but when I didn't cooperate they were not happy at all.

I am still learning and I am grateful that God has promised He will guide me with His eye. I still like to have peace, but real peace is when I am in full agreement with my loving heavenly Father.

My His peace be in your heart just now.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Peace because of who God sees me as

Friday was a fast day in a hectic week. I don't have any young children to be getting off to school as it began in the 'public sector' this week in our part of the country. (Our son is presently in Michigan testing his 'wings', in a small way, trying to become more financially independent, but still slipping and sliding around a bit.) It seems that my challenges come because I tend to get myself into helping someone else who seems in more of a challenge than I am at the moment.

A lady had just recently gotten out of the hospital and I took some garden tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash and a watermelon over to her plus a few items from the food store. (I was needing to do some shopping myself so tried to combine trips when possible.) I made a trip to a nearby town to pick up mail for another friend who seems right on the verge of a 'breakthrough' with a large business venture. I also spent some time praising the Lord with her as she has shared with me progress reports. She ended up with extra tomatoes from her garden so shared a few with us. (We are enjoying tomatoes right now.) Before leaving her place rather late Friday afternoon I filled her ink cartridges in her printer so she could print out rough drafts of a book she has been writing (sounds very interesting what she has shared with me about it thus far) for editing as she might have opportunity. The beginning of God's holy Sabbath (God's sign of victory and our loyalty to Him) was soon to begin so before I left her place I stopped and played a few hymns on her piano ending with 'Day is dying in the west'. I left her place anticipating a quiet worship with my husband to begin these sacred hours set apart by God Himself from the first week of creation as my outward sign of loyalty to Him as I ended another week.

Even though the day had at times seemed pushed I did feel a sense of accomplishment as I headed home. I decided to take a short cut (sort of) but didn't slow down as I came into the town as I should have - until I saw the blue lights behind me. Talk about taking the air out of one's balloon, that is one good way to do it. Yes, I was speeding - I was guilty. On top of that when the officer wanted to see the car's papers I had a big trash bag in the front and had go around to the other side of the car to pull stuff out of the way to get to what he asked for. While he was checking whatever I just dropped to the ground beside the open door of the car and prayed.

Yes, I felt guilt and asked God to forgive me. I also felt despair and/or devastation inside of me. After a short time, though, God simply asked me "Who are you?" He did not ask me what I had done. That was forgiven as soon as I had asked. He did not even chide me - as I could hear a number of other voices trying to do. After a bit of silence, He asked again, "Olive, who are you?" Well, I am a lady. "True. What else" I am your daughter. "Very true! and therefore what does that make you?" I am a princess, because You, my Father, are the King of the Universe. "O.K. Now, accepting your answers, does what you 'do' or 'don't do' change who YOU ARE in my eyes? Or even, does what someone else do to you, or doesn't do to you change how I 'see' you and how much I love you, my daughter? Do I love you any less because you got a ticket?" No. "Did I love you more because you were helping some other daughters of mine who needed encouragement and help today?" No. "Are you going to trust Me now just like you sensed you were before you got stopped?"

At some time the officer came and gave me the ticket. I got back into the car but just sat there for a little while still pondering. I'll have to admit that I struggled for a few minutes, choosing to accept God's peace back into my heart. Yes, I had been guilty. But far more important was the fact that whether I am guilty or not does not/did not change who God sees me as, how much He truly loves me and delights for me to be in His presence which is what gives me both JOY and PEACE in believing. I had already chosen for Jesus to be in total control of me, so for me to refuse to accept His peace as I agreed with Him (confess) anew and He forgave me is not a good option. I choose His peace to return to be in me.

God's Joy/peace is not something I earned last night, but rather a gift He gave me because He loves me and I chose to be willing to accept Him - His love, JOY, PEACE, Light, His whole package, so to speak - in place of the guilt. Forgive = God gives me Himself for, or in place of sin and guilt.
Not only am I forgiven (a transaction between God and me including my choice to let go of or release 'sin' - any will other than God's will - and God's action to give me His love, joy and peace in exchange) but as I have let go of both the sin and the guilt He has 'taken it away', cleansed me.

The above experience is wonderful, but I was also reminded to fill my heart so there are no empty places left. I have learned several Psalms to music so I just spent a little time singing some of them as my way of focusing on who God really is and what He is really like (what praise includes). The following thoughts are from Psalm 34. And as you read may you choose to receive God's peace for You no matter how your past has gone. You are special in God's eyes. He loves you.

I will worship in word and song to the Creator, celebrating what He has done so even those who were depressed will hear and receive encouragement. Join with me in an increasing understanding our Creator and in exalting Him.

I reverently talked to my Creator. He carefully listened to me and took away my fears and anxieties. Everyone who sincerely looks to God will receive His JOY and not be left out.

When I was depressed I called out to the Lord. He attentively listened to me and set me free from all my difficulties. His messengers surround and properly equip those who submit to Him.

Use every one of your senses to perceive God's goodness. Those who choose to have an attitude of confidence in Him will prosper and be happy.You have been cleaned up by the Lord and consecrated to Him, so agree with Him. As you reverently submit to His will you won't lack or be deficient.

Be very careful that what you say is not deceptive, a lie or hurtful. Whole towns become destitute and hungry, but those who follow the Creator and worship Him will not fail of receiving what He sees is best for them.

Come families, attentively listen as I share how to properly and reverently submit to our Creator's will.
Do you want to live a really exciting life as well as live that way a long time?
>Stop doing anything bad and
>make sure all you do counts for good.
>Really strive to be peaceful, happy and friendly with others.

God is carefully watching those who have accepted His way of making them right and He attentively listens whenever they ask for help in any situation. (God can't take the same care for those who disagree with Him for they won't let Him. Even those who lived on earth with them will forget about them.)

When those who agree with God and have accepted His life in them let Him know their problems He intelligently listens and then takes them away from both their difficulties and their rivals.

Remember that Our Divine Example was afflicted in every way possible, but His Heavenly Father rescued Him, guarding and protecting Him so that He was not destroyed.

Spoiling God's plans by considering them as 'good for nothing' leads to death, as well as hating God's family (those who accept His will for them). Our Creator preserves His family and not a single one who confides in Him will perish.

May you accept God's peace - not because of circumstances, but because of who you are in Him.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What it may take to have God's peace

Yesterday was interesting, intense at times and even a bit of relaxing (if I could call it that).

At the same time I hope I have learned some lessons about what God's kind of peace can involve - especially when things got pretty intense at times.

Beginning in the afternoon some rather intense claims and accusations were 'flying' from several directions around here. Beings that my husband and I are 'supposed' to be managers at the farm that seemed to put us somewhat in the middle of it all, or at least it seemed that way at the moment.

Over the years since the previous owner died and we were given management of this farm, several people have joined us here. We sort of thought it was out of the kindness of our hearts that we invited each one to come, for basically, in one way or another, we thought they really needed a place to live. We don't profess to be perfect managers (of which I am painfully aware, especially at times like yesterday).

Since others have been living here with us on this farm, we have, over the years, tried to encourage them to help us keep the place up and even improve it. There are several flower beds and various garden locations around the farm and some time back we had sort of had a 'home' meeting and different ones assumed responsibility for various places.

Well, especially this year, it seems that discontent has been brewing concerning some of the assignments of certain flower beds and garden areas and their care (or lack of it) and yesterday the pressure cooker top 'let off steam' (with it feeling like we were in the middle so to speak).

After things had calmed down I picked up a favorite spiritual author of mine and read. It was so 'on the point' that all I could say was 'Lord, you did it again.' He knows far better than we do what is going on with each person here. He also knows that we personally have lessons to learn to enable us to mature into a greater likeness to Him - be like Him.

Hopefully you aren't in a pressure cooker right now - or even in the direct line when one blows - but perhaps the following counsel that my precious lover gave to me might be something you might want to 'store' for future reference. And maybe you might be able to use it as a preventative rather than 'after the fact' as I have done this time. (all emphasis mine)

God is displeased when fellow laborers in His vineyard shut up their sympathy to themselves, esteem themselves highly, and cannot see the good purposes, the noble efforts, of their fellow laborers, but live as if they felt no pitying love or tender sympathy. I have been shown that love, tender love and consideration for our fellow mortals, needs to be cultivated, for it is very essential and is the most valuable trait of Christian character we can have. We must learn to place the best possible construction upon [the] doubtful conduct of others. We shall be very unhappy if we place ourselves in a position to question and criticize as an enemy every man who does not greet us with a smile.

If we are ever suspecting evil, we are in danger of creating what we allow ourselves to suspect. Oh, how many mistakes we make in attempting to judge the motives of our brethren! That which we condemn as grievous wrongs in them are no greater than those that exist in ourselves which we do not discern. While in connection with men of varied minds and organizations, we cannot pass along without sometimes having our feelings hurt and our temper tried, but as Christians we must be just as patient, forbearing, humble, and meek as we desire others to be. Oh, how many thousand good acts and deeds of kindness that we receive from our brethren pass from the mind like dew before the sun, while imaginary or real injury leaves an impression which it is next to impossible to efface! The very best example to give to others is to be right ourselves, and then leave ourselves, our reputation, with God, and not show too great anxiety to right every wrong impression and present our case in a favorable light. 19 Manuscript Release p.13

Well, another day is well begun. God is showing me so much about both me and others. God's peace is a gift and I am claiming that gift for me even now.

And may God's peace be with you today too.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, August 18, 2008

Psalm 91 revisited

Last evening I was sharing some promises with my sister from Psalm 91. She responded with some questions concerning the meaning of some of that Psalm. Having just recently 'unpacked' it for myself we went over it together and I shared with her some meanings of words that - to me anyway - had greatly changed my perception of the message.

I have posted it on the paraphrase link but I am also going to share it here for I received such blessings from it and I hope some of that you will also receive.

I don't use 'parallel' poetic form (almost the same thing two different ways or the second time for a particular idea) of the King James Version of the Bible.

Please note also that when the King James Bible was translated there was a rather strong then current belief that anything passionate, intimate or sexual (Greek 'erotic') most likely was 'sinful' and therefore must be wrong or 'taboo'. I believe this strongly influenced the translators but at the same time obscured or even buried God and the author's original intent. That seems very evident in Psalm 91. Following is my present understanding.

1-2 The person who is in love with God will stay very close to their awesome Lover. [He is my Lover too.]

3-4 He will rescue you from covert seductions as well as obvious attempts to destroy your love for Him by surrounding you with His own passionate love. Passionate intimacy with Your lover is what will really protect you 5-6 so You won't panic when you can't see what is happening or even when you can; whether lies are secretly
spoken to destroy you or you know you are being attacked.

7-8 Others all around you will lose their love for God and become unfaithful, but it won't break your intimacy with Him. You will see, however, what happens to those who become unfaithful.

9-10 But because you have chosen (as I have) God as your lover, no infidelity will contaminate your thoughts or life.

11-13 Your Lover will also use others who love Him to safeguard you from adultery by teaching you how to passionately repel any obvious temptations and even quickly dismiss all evil insinuations.

14-16 (Your Lover's message to you:) "Because you love Me intimately - having learned who I really am and what I am really like - and fully respect My authority, I will marry you and give you My special name to call Me. When You use My special name I will lovingly respond to you. Even when you get in tight, narrow situations or are crowded by opponents, I will strengthen you with My joyful, satisfying peace filled Presence and will save you in spectacular ways."

What an awesome privilege to be married, (the closest illustration God can come up with to show how intimately passionate He wants to be in and with us) to the Creator God of the Universe.

What love!

As you go on your way, remember God really does love YOU - personally!

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Birthday Blessing

For the past several hours I have had the privilege of sharing with my 93 year young aunt - my father's sister. It was her birthday today so my brother three-way phoned with her and us.
She has been sharing with us experience after experience of how God has guided in her life. Story after story she shared when angels specifically protected (visibly) or guided or helped in some very unique ways. She has agreed to share a manuscript with me and pictures that she wrote several years ago of many of her life experiences. What she shared verbally with us was truly awesome.

She was delighted that we called on her birthday (today). It was our privilege to listen to how God has led her during her long life. She was also able to fill in a few details that we were unaware of about our past - our father's side. We have had some questions and she has been able to fill in some points. It has been hinted at that our grandfather on our father's side had been married before he married our grandmother. My aunt assured us that was the case. She had kept in touch with one of her half-sisters for many years. Yet this was the first time that we were made aware that there was more to our family. We also learned that our grandfather on our father's side had 7 brothers - another revelation we knew nothing about before.

Actually as I am writing I am still listening - and very interested. Sometimes it gets a little into more of tradition. That is still very interesting to me. In one respect I realize I have missed much over the years.

My aunt also shared more about her mother. She shared some of the attributes that she had perceived came from her mom. Since my aunt and dad's father died shortly after dad was born she didn't know as much about her father as about her mother.

I need to go for now to get ready for bed - when I get off the phone.

In the meantime may God's blessing go with you and give you peace.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another peace

A friend of mine has been having a fair amount of challenges with a landlady. While she was thinking, pondering and asking Jesus about the situation the Lord suggested to her that whenever something like that was 'sent her way' -that in the past would be an attempt to upset her - for her to 'take a slow deep breath' and then while she exhaled to breathe a prayer of release to God to take the problem for it didn't belong to her in the first place.

Might that be another way of saying 'great peace have they which love Thy law (love) and nothing shall offend them'? Sure sounds similar.

I have had some challenges as well. I haven't quite done the deep breathing yet but I have been trying to come up with ways to let one person in particular know that I still appreciate them even though it has been hard for them to 'respond in kind'. They seem to have a big dose of 'blame' for anything that doesn't go as they think it should.

From the above thought from God, however, our peace is not dependent on how others think of us or 'talk of us', or even do. In one very real sense that is very nice. And the more I keep my eyes on Jesus, the more I have been learning about His kind of peace.

On a slightly different topic, we have been having a nice crop of tomatoes. Not enough to can or freeze or cook but we have sure been enjoying them to eat. I planted a few red tomato plants but more orange, pink and yellow kinds. I really like yellow tomatoes so I'm happy about that. I decided to plant one 'yellow' plant in our front flower bed. It is presently around 6 ft. and we have been blessed with quite a few tomatoes from it already, with more on the way.

You have a good day in Jesus.

Rest in His kind of Peace

and Receive His kind of strength - knowing that He loves you to be with Him - which is JOY.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Peace, Be Still

My hubby was reading about the storm on the sea of Galilee when Jesus said "Peace, Be still" and then shortly thereafter had an encounter with the 'mad men'. I was so impressed as the story unfolded that when Jesus was awakened by the terror stricken disciples in the boat during the storm He showed no sign of fear. Peace was on his face because peace was in His heart. Then when the small group met the mad men on landing, Jesus again had no fear in His face or voice for again, no fear was in His heart.

Everything that Jesus experienced we too can learn and experience. When we are faced with impending disaster, with Jesus in our hearts we can have the same peace He revealed. This evening I received an email that in short said something like this. "By August 15 have cash on hand and be on high ground." I am not saying that nothing will happen around August 15 - which is not very far away as I write this. But somehow I also sense that the most important preparation I could make at this time - whether or not there is a pending financial 'crash' or no - is to be assured that Jesus is 'in me' the hope of glory. That being the case He can enable me to have no fear on my face or in my voice for with Him in me there will be no fear in my heart.

During the past several years it seems that more and more of the time God has been the One who has seen us through financial situations that otherwise would have 'done us in' so to speak.
I suppose it is nice to live with such an income that we could think we have financial security. Since I can't remember when I have been able to depend on our personal incomes for that to be true, I can't really 'know' what that kind of security feels like. But I can, for a surety, say that God has seen us through, in one way or another, time after time when we didn't have what was needed but He supplied when it was needed most. Someone asked me where we were planning to move since probably we wouldn't be able to 'pay' the property taxes. They have known some of our experiences over the past several years and so I simply reminded them that God would enable us just as He has done in the past.

I am reminded of a quote from a very popular Christian writer that we have nothing to fear for the future except we forget the way the Lord has led us, and His dealings with us in our past.

That is what God's kind of peace is all about. And I don't think the 'be still' that Jesus spoke after saying 'Peace' was that we are never to do anything. Rather I see it as assuring us that we can safely stop our worry, our fears and our frustration and 'rest' in His love even while we are working with Him to reveal what He is really like to all we come in contact with.

Whether or not there is a financial crisis in the next few days keep in mind that:

Now the God of hope fill you with all JOY and PEACE in believing, that ye may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, August 11, 2008


How do you feel when someone contacts you concerning something they believe you owe them?

Have you ever had someone try to collect a debt from you even though you didn't honestly owe it?

When someone does something to another person that is in any way 'not right', in a sense a debt takes place. When someone violates another person's freedoms, takes something that does not belong to them from another, or in some other way uses 'fear', 'false' or 'force' (three key weapons in counterfeit forms of government) in interpersonal relationships, a debt is incurred. Some people can be very vocal about it. "I'll get 'even'" is an expression used when someone has incurred a debt and the other person wants to be 'paid', even if it means lowering themselves to where the offender has 'dropped'. Other sinners just 'hold' the debt inside of themselves until the quantity gets so much that either they 'explode' or 'die' (mentally, emotionally, spiritually or even physically) trying to hold on to it.

In any event, sin - which is described above - creates debt. When I 'sin' against God I should have to 'pay'. Trouble is, the wages of sin is 'death' - end of living. If God made me 'pay up', there would be 'nothing' left. God knows that. That is one reason He offered to 'pay the debt' for me, in my behalf, by me accepting Jesus' death in place of me dying. Praise God! I accept that.

When Jesus gave the disciples a 'model' prayer He included 'forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors'. There are two aspects here. I am to ask God for forgiveness: give me release for (or in place of) the debt I owe to Him because of sin (which He does by accepting Jesus' death in my behalf).

There is, however, a condition added: "As we forgive our debtors" . When someone else 'sins' against us - does, says or even insinuates something against us which creates a debt to us - God will only be able to give us His kind of freedom (peace) from our debt to Him as we give the other person freedom for (in place of holding them in bondage to the debt) their debt to us.

What happens if a person holds on to a debt caused by another person's actions instead of giving freedom for (forgiving) the debt? For one thing the person who won't forgive has a big job of debt collecting and debt management on their hands. They are also having to make decisions (judgment) as to how much 'debt' should be collected, 'interest' accrued and all that kind of bookkeeping 'stuff'. This produces another problem. In economics who decides what is of what value? The debt for one sin may be valued at one 'price' by one 'sinner' while another price may be affixed to it by another 'accountant'. That can cause a lot of problems along the way.

Another difficulty that arises, and often is even more of a problem, and that is the means of 'paying the debt'. If death were the result of every 'sin' there would be no one around. Us sinners have developed a quite complex system of 'debt' collection and 'payment' probably as big and varied as the international monetary system in our world - maybe even more complex.

Then a third challenge often develops. The person who has become a 'debt collecter' often gets tired of carrying around their 'burden' of keeping track of how much they are owed, and sooner or later come to the place where instead of only collecting debt from the original person, they start attempting to collect from others as well. This can happen if someone comes in contact with them who might 'look' like the original debter, or if an incident occurs that may remind them of the original 'debt' occurance. I wonder sometimes if some debt collectors just get so tired of carrying their burden that they start collecting from anyone who will give them the 'time' to do so.

Problem with all of the above is that none of the 'payment' plans work on a permanent basis. It seems that there is always some kind of a residual amount left over even when someone has supposedly met the debtor's payment demands. And usually the debt does not stay at one level either. That means that unless the bookkeeping on both sides were to synchronize then the results never agree either. That can be a real problem as well.

God knew all of this even before 'sin' raised its ugly head, so to speak. That is why when Jesus came He shared with His family what God's plan was for handling the debts incurred by 'sin'.

Matthew 18 includes a parable Jesus shared on the subject of forgiveness. If anyone is interested I can share more detail, but the bottom line , or the end of the story, is that the only way a person can be freed from debt collection and all of its headaches is to give complete freedom to the one who owes for, (forgive) in exchange for, the debt.

When we release others from all debts they owe to us because of sin then we are given freedom by God for all we owe Him (because Jesus has already died in our place). How is that for a way to pay debts? Pretty wonderful, I say.

And let me assure you that the JOY and PEACE you will experience when all debts are canceled comes literally from 'out of this world' . That is part of what God means when He says "peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

We no longer have fear, for perfect love casts out fear.

We no longer carry the heaviness of the 'debt collection' stuff around with us - and to me that means I am now free to experience the JOY of the Lord, which is my strength.

Wow! What a wonderful God we serve.

May the Prince of Peace fill you with all JOY and PEACE in believing, so you may abound in HOPE through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Does Time really 'fly'?

Some who read this may also read some of the paraphrases of portions of the Bible (in a link at the right). At first I was sort of 'going' through Psalms. I would read a Psalm, look up what words mean in Strong's concordance, at times compare some versions and then ask the Holy Spirit direction in putting it into meaningful language for me and for today.

I started that 'process' with Psalm 44 sometime in the early spring of this year (maybe March). It seemed, though, that I got 'stuck'. Even with the help of a friend of my sister giving me some thoughts it still seemed I couldn't seem to understand it. After a little while I just sort of laid it aside. Since then I have looked at some other Psalms and have been blessed in my study.

About the middle of this week I had the urge to look at Psalm 44 again. This time it was as though my mind opened up to an understanding of what was being conveyed by the original author and I received a real blessing. I have posted it at the paraphrase link if you wish to read it in it's fullness.

Even more interesting to me, though, is that I believe it is very applicable just now. After some of the experiences of the past week or so it seems that the message was just for me. It has also seemed very appropriate for another situation where I have been hoping to encourage someone else. I have a feeling that God had His hand in keeping me in the 'dark' until now. Thank you Lord.

Since the last post a whole lot has happened around where I am. It appears that the lady is still keeping to her 'word' that she is planning to move on, but we are sort of 'sitting tight' for the moment to see what 'happens'. Our deeper desire is that God will bring healing whether there is a move or not. She has a soul to save and we don't want to see her lose her way spiritually. That is not for us to choose but we can and are making it a matter of prayer as well as praising God for His promises of deliverance from any spirit that does not belong to Him.

On another front, our son went to Indianapolis for a business convention with some friends. Since the last trip to Illinois he has been thinking about what kind of a job he might be able to get that could support himself and someday a family of his own. We are praising the Lord for some of the good decisions of the past and claiming God's wisdom for now and in the future for him.

For the past several years I have felt compelled, at least at times, to work toward completing a series of 'lessons' called 'HIS STORY - the Creator God of the Universe'. To the best of my ability I believe they are completed. I talked to the Lord about them, asking what His will for them was - especially since He had seemed so urgent for me to 'get them done'. At present there is a mission program looking to possibly use a children's set of lessons called "Passport to Life" (which is part of HIS STORY) which I had previously completed. Another publishing company seems to be interested in the full lesson set of HIS STORY. I hope to contact them this coming week (the man was out of town this week so I wait a little longer). Then this past Friday I got a phone call from a lady who has done a lot with TV production asking me if I would be interested in developing a 'TV' series based on the children's lessons. Needless to say, after I recovered just a bit I told her I believed it would be very good. For many people visual can be more effective.
And the music I have with it would probably be more effective if it could be heard rather than music notation only.

Well, there is more happening but I still at times wonder if events are transpiring at an ever increasing rate - or is it just me that thinks that time has joined the 'jet age'.

One thing I am humbly grateful for, though. God's peace is not dependent on time (fast or slow).
Now the God of Hope fill you with all JOY and PEACE in believing, that you may abound in HOPE through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sharing Peace even when sad

We had such a God blessed time at my brother's place recently. Since I really enjoy cats I seemed to make friends with their four cats rather soon. It was with sadness that I got a call this week that one of their cat's had been 'caught' by a dog that had broken loose from a neighbor's place. They had 'rescued' the cat but even after the vet's help it died. Mitzy was rather 'jumpy' at times but she could also be very cuddly. She had real long hair which hid the fact that she wasn't really very big yet. I couldn't do much to comfort my sister in law cause I had sort of fallen in love with Mitzy myself. They still have three cats but that doesn't take the place of Mitzy.

I do pray that God will give them peace in their heart even though they are sad in their loss.

Another peace

A couple of days ago one of the ladies where we live here in Virginia asked me if I could take some time to help her get some things straightened up on the farm. I had been rather busy helping some other folks but I readily agreed that would be a good idea. The day began when another lady came to talk to me. As we talked we were pulling weeds along a gravel walk between the large farm house and the 'laundry' room right beside it. We got that just about done and another young fellow came out to help as well. He asked about an area between the laundry and the big house. I agreed that would be another good place to clean so we spent a fair amount of time pulling and cutting weeds. There have been a lot of tall flocks growing there - but a lot of weeds as well. The flocks have been very lovely this year but they are almost 'done' so we trimmed some of them back while getting rid of the weeds as well. The day lilies are also finished so we trimmed them back where needed while we were 'at it'. When we finished that area we moved on to the side of the house where the main used door is located. Another lady had promised to take care of the beds by the door but it has been a challenge for her to surround all she has promised to do. Some of the 'growth' had spilled out onto the lawn area and I agreed that the young fellow could trim the 'overgrowth' back to the side of the bed - where there is a low brick 'wall'. Sadly, when the lady who had asked for my help finally came on the scene some time early afternoon, she expressed very passionately her dislike of what we had done. I was sad at her response, but at this point in time I still have a peace in my heart that our motives were to help improve the farm by weeding and cleaning. I'm sorry she did not choose to understand our motives, but on the other hand, if she carries through with what she said, I hope she will get happier - she said she would be moving somewhere else because she believes we are not treating her as we should.

Somehow I sense that though I would like to share peace, this may be one time when it may not work according to my 'plans'. I also am perceiving that God would have me 'keep' His peace in me even when others choose not to accept God's peace in their hearts when I offer it to them.

It is very late and I need some rest.

Until next blog, may God's peace grow in your heart like a beautiful flower.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why not get a 'job'?

This trip was not financially healthy in some respects for our pocket book (we got home basically financially 'broke' in some ways, but in other ways I got home much richer then when I left). I don't believe I would trade all that happened during this recent trip in order to have a little extra money in the bank.

Some have asked me why I don't get a 'job' so we aren't quite as 'tight' in the money arena. I told one of them that I was already so busy I hardly had time to get a 'job'. :) There are advantages to having a little more 'expected' income and I have worked for 'pay' in the past. On the other hand, as far as recent experiences I'm not always sure that 'money' is the only 'answer'. Yes, we might be able to pay to have our own property if our finances were closer to the bottom side of what some folks call 'poverty' (whatever that means). We might be able to 'drive' a nicer car, (as if that were any great advantage most of the time). At the moment all of our vehicles are 'roadworthy' and for that I praise the Lord. And yes, I do believe that at certain times me having a paying job is an appropriate way to help support our family.

On the other hand, at least for the past several months or so it seems that the Lord has been having me on a different track. It does at times 'seem' to cause some things to maybe move a little more slowly, but not always - sometimes it almost seems faster. It seems to me that God has supplied our needs so many different ways, and often unexpectedly, that I am not always sure that 'working for pay' is always God's plan all of the time - at least for us.

This past trip probably might not have happened if I had been 'working for pay'. That means I would not have had the awesome privileges of seeing God work in people's lives as I did. That is one time I'm so grateful that I didn't miss out on that privilege.

Our son had just gotten back from a few months in army boot camp. I firmly believe that this experience in his life was God directed. But for some reason (for which I praise the Lord) the army decided that he was not 'ready' to be trained as they saw fit at this time so they let him 'go'.

On our way out to Illinois I got the first installation of our son's interpretation of at least some of what happened to him while he was in training. I so much value that part of our recent trip. Towards the end he commented that he didn't really know folks at the homecoming church and wondered if I would let him take the car up to Wisconsin - where he had gone to school for one year - and visit some of his friends while I was visiting my old friends during the homecoming at a church where I had gone to church school from 5th to 8th grades. I had already been thinking somewhat alone that line so it just seemed the 'right' thing for him to do. Since I also had some business to take care of in Illinois as a trustee there was no 'rush' or deadlines to meet that either one of us knew about.

Monday morning after he got back to my brother's place where I was staying in Illinois, he informed me that he had met a girl while he was in Wisconsin who he felt might be appropriate as a possible future mate. After he helped my brother one day on construction, we headed back 'home' to Virginia. In Indiana I commented to son that I had a good friend in Columbus and wondered if we might just have time to stop and visit a little. To shorten this tale a little we ended up spending a very pleasant evening, getting some sleep and a delightful breakfast with this special friend (I mentioned earlier - see link at right).

She shared a little how she had written a book and son mentioned he felt he should write down what God had been doing in and for him during the past few months. She handed him a pad of paper and pen and encouraged him to 'go for it'. After she went to bed he asked me if I would write while he talked. We spent quite a bit of time together as he shared his experiences and I wrote (while praising God as I heard more of how God had been answering prayer after prayer of mine even though I didn't know how until I listened to his 'story'). We finally did go to sleep and I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving before slipping off to sleep for that precious experience that evening with my son.

God has promised that He will contend with those who are contending with me and save our children - our son. God has definitely been 'working' - full time it seems lately - to show me how and where I am not like Him so that I can agree with Him, which allows Him to change me into what He has planned for me to be.

Come to think about it, being God's kind of mom can be a full time job. And I believe that the benefits of being able to cooperate with God in this job are out of this world.

Whether I get dollars and cents for what I do I am choosing to let God decide. On the other hand the blessings, learning experiences and opportunity to be of help to others is awesome pay, to say the least.

In one sense I do have a paying job at present. About 2 years ago I began doing 'house care' for a lady a few miles from our place. It was quite an unusual situation, to put it mildly, but she really needed someone to help her in a number of ways. At first I thought it was mainly to help her catch up on some house cleaning that had gotten behind. She offered me what she felt she could pay and I was thankful for a bit of extra 'income' at that time. As time went on the situation she was in seemed to be deteriorating in some respects and her needs seemed to be getting greater while her available funds were fast dwindling. I made the choice to help her - my friend now, not just an employer - even though the dollars and cents were not always readily available as we had agreed upon at the beginning. As time has passed she has been able, at times, to 'pay' me in 'cash'. Other times, and often when her need of 'physical' help as well as other assistance has been greatest, she has not been able to give me financial remuneration as such on a 'weekly or monthly basis. As time passed helping her has progressed from simply 'housecleaning' on to office assistant, to limited maintenance at times, to chauffeur, to gardener, to prayer partner, to encourager when things seemed particularly tough, to friend and much more. I believe God saw fit to give me this job for far more than just 'greenback' pay.

I think one great remuneration I have received from her has been her increasing interest in our son. She took an interest in him from almost the first time she met him. When she found out he was going into the army she did many things to encourage him. After his return she has continued to support him in seeking for employment. She has had training in job placements so has been quite effective and a great 'coach' for him. She has also taken time out of a quite busy schedule to encourage him as he is developing his relationship with his new found friend in Wisconsin. Most importantly I believe her spiritual guidance has been aimed to nudge him closer to the Creator God which has been such an encouragement to me as well. I know she has prayed often for him as well as counseled from time to time as seemed appropriate.

Well, as reviewed above, one reason I don't have a 'for pay' job, at least as most people might think of it, is that right now I am too busy working.

We had hoped to take another trip at the end of this week but right now I am broke. We will see what the Lord has in store. If He wants us to go we will. If not, there is plenty to do around the farm and in helping my friend mentioned above as well as helping a number of other folks on the side.

Tomorrow I promised another friend I would help her move some things with our pick-up. Our son was going to go but he got an interview for a possible job just after noon and doesn't want to miss - good for him.

Wednesday I promised to do some housecleaning for my friend. (Haven't done any of that for quite some time even though that was my original 'job' description, so I better get busy. I was going to do some cleaning today but we did gardening instead - my hubby came over after he got off work and and we were able to pull a lot of weeds from her front flowerbeds which were getting too overgrown to look nice.)

Thursday I have an appointment to work here at the farm to get some things done at our place. (That is sometimes the case - I have to schedule to get anything done at home.)

Thursday another friend has surgery planned and I hope to spend a little time visiting her in the hospital Friday. We met her when she called our church and asked if there was any possibility of getting a little food from us. Since her previous surgery (caused by a previous surgery mistake) she had not been able to work as much which had caused them to 'run out' of food. We offered to take some of our food over to her Sabbath afternoon for which she was grateful. We have been in touch with her and her son since then. We are a bit short financially but we can still help her by being friends and by prayer with and for her during this time of stress, anyway.

Maybe one of these days I'll have time to get a 'job'. But until then I am humbly grateful how the Lord has seen fit to use me in helping others get to know Him better - I hope that is the outcome anyway. But whether they see Jesus better or not I know I am learning more about Him and that is truly awesome.

Bringer of Peace.

Letter from My Lover

Wow! In case you haven't read a letter from your Lover lately, check this one out on the 'paraphrases' link. I am still reeling from the impact, and I'm pretty sure I haven't even gotten the full impact of what was written.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sharing God's Peace 2

I thank God for this recent trip just finished Friday when I finally got home around 4 p.m. New challenges awaited me here. It was nice to have a 'rest' during the past Sabbath hours. As this new week begins, new challenges have been arising and old ones reviving. For sure is keeps life interesting.

In order for me to share God's peace I must keep in close connection with my Source of Peace. That is one challenge that has remained unchanged for me. God is so good, though, and He lovingly reminds me that I can't share what I don't have or haven't received. When 'problems' start to mount I seem to so easily forget the lessons in trust God has been reviewing with me on a rather frequent basis lately.

I happened to visit a blogspot last evening, partly because of the title of the blog. (I listed it to the right) Jesus is asking for the steering wheel back. So true. I can't manage me even though I have so many times thought I could. I got a glimpse of that on this recent trip and I want to keep growing and going in the same direction.

When I got home the Lord reminded me of His great love again with the 'I love you' notes written in flowers at our farm.

Another surprise was when I walked out to the melon patch. In just ten days it seemed the melon plants had tripled their size. Even more surprising was the size of some of the melons.
I am humbly grateful.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wrong Attitude? Not necessarily

Thanks, brother, for the comment on the previous post questioning if 'wrong' attitude was the right concept. I see your point. There is a place to look at 'both sides' of a situation. In the story of the prodigal son (or prodigal father might be a more correct title) there are some cautions that need to be given. The older son could have had the joy with everyone else. And Jesus left the story rather open ended on purpose. Each person could 'end' the story in his or her own experience.

The Father wasn't happy when the younger son left but neither was he happy with the 'attitude' of the older son who didn't 'leave' physically. That story tells me a lot about my heavenly Father.
Ideally the father wanted both sons to rejoice.

Joy will go on

I was doing some reading about the family of God and came across the following. Hope you can enjoy even a small part of what I profited by the following words. These came from a book called Christ Object Lessons, drawing illustrations from lessons Jesus taught when He was a man here on earth. (emphasis is mine)

This is the service that God has chosen--"to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke, . . . and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh." Isaiah 58:6, 7. When you see yourselves as sinners saved only by the love of your heavenly Father, you will have tender pity for others who are suffering in sin. You will no longer meet misery and repentance with jealousy and censure. When the ice of selfishness is melted from your hearts, you will be in sympathy with God, and will share His joy in the saving of the lost.
It is true that you claim to be a child of God; but if this claim be true, it is "thy brother" that was "dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." He is bound to you by the closest ties; for God recognizes him as a son.
Deny your relationship to him, and you show that you are but a hireling in the household, not a child in the family of God.
Though you will not join in the greeting to the lost, the joy will go on, the restored one will have his place by the Father's side and in the Father's work. He that is forgiven much, the same loves much. But you will be in the darkness without. For "he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." 1 John 4:8.

There are possible negatives in these words if viewed from the wrong attitude. However, just think of the opportunity to share the JOY OF GOD by cooperating with the Creator God in bringing souls to life. Wow!

Introducing others to love - first human love, then divine love - means that I am a channel of that kind of love from God and from others. What a privilege! I get the awesome privilege of God's love flowing through me to others. And isn't it also to consider that that kind of JOY will go on. That is wonderful.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, August 1, 2008

Family and friends

Here are a few pictures from our trip. So many things happened that we are still processing on the awesomeness of how God guided and directed.

Many years ago my younger brother helped Dad 'remodel' a home for the folks to move into.

A few years ago my brother lost his home - just after our step-mother got killed from an accident.

The rest of the family agreed that he and his lovely wife should move into Dad's home. He was also able to update it including extending the front out to provide a more comfortable living room/dining room area. Here is a picture of the front of their house. I thank God for my brother and his very special wife and I am so happy they have this place to live.

From the time I can remember, my brother has been a lover of music. Even though he is younger he seemed to be able to place music after hearing it once or so. He 'inherited' our old piano after all us kids left home - the upright in the picture. Our step-mom also loved to play a piano. After she died and my brother moved into the folk's place, he sort of 'inherited' the baby grand that had been mom's, which I also think was very nice.

After we left my brother's place we stopped to visit another friend in Ohio, as mentioned earlier.
Here are a few pictures from there.

Our friend has two very affectionate dogs. They acted almost as though they had known us all their lives. I guess that is a good illustration of how God wants real friends to be.

Our friend has done a wonderful job of making her 'front' door look inviting. She planted a 'snowball' plant by her door this spring. By July it is putting on a fabulous display of blooms. She also had some other lovely blooming flowers but for this time I'll just share these.

It was so good to be able to spend a little time sharing what God was doing in each of our lives. She has also known my younger brother for many years. When he was in academy he helped take care of her 'babies' so their friendship goes back a ways as well.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that God's original plan for family included relating to others as friends, not only as 'siblings' or other 'family' relations.

The more I have been learning how that experiencing 'joy' and 'peace' with another mind increases a person's capacity to cope successfully with stress of all kinds, the more I am understanding why God encourages being friendly and having friends who can encourage us along life's way.

It is getting late so I will leave you with a wish that you will receive a special measure of God's peace and His joy which is YOUR strength as well as experiencing a similar experience with a human friend as well.

Bringer of Peace