Friday, October 31, 2008

Sabbath Peace 3

This Friday was such that I wonder who needs to go to an amusement part for 'joy rides'. It seemed that almost all day kept me going. Perhaps after a day like that the blessing of the Sabbath seems even more blessed.

I can lay aside business concerns.

I can bring to God my people wishes.

I have more time to truly focus on who God really is and what He is really like.

Sabbath is a time to experience more God love.

The hours of this special day were set apart by the Creator God Himself as time when we would realize more fully what becoming part of His family can really mean.

The hours of another Sabbath have begun. God rested - He had finished His work of creating this earth. He blessed - He counted these hours worthy of respect. He sanctified - promised to meet with me special on this day. He hallowed - He makes this a time when I become 'at one' with Him.

Wow! What a wonderful God is this King of the Universe. And then to think that He invites me to join Him specially every seventh day Sabbath. Oh, yes; He talks with me and is with me the rest of the week. But the Sabbath was made so that I could legitimately lay aside my business to find time to spend specially in His PEACE.

Come join me this Sabbath in filling our 'love cup' with His super love.

Every Sabbath you spend with Jesus will bring even more joy and peace surprises.

Try it! You'll like it.

Happy Sabbath

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Dreaming - Dare I ?

A friend (see link to 'On the Road') wrote about some of her dreams. She set me to thinking along the lines of some dreams that have 'come' in my life as well as some that are still in the 'dream' stage.

Yesterday afternoon our son, his girlfriend and I were talking together for a few minutes. In one sense I think we are all in the process of 'change' at present. He returned from some training time and is now trying to find a 'niche' for himself. His girlfriend came over this way for a little while and she also has been looking for 'work'. As mentioned earlier we have dared to dream of moving and as part of that process have begun to pack.

I believe that enough evidences of God's leading have been demonstrated to us that we will soon be moved. But in the meantime there are still day to day activities to perform, monthly bills to pay, and others to consider in our relationships with them.

At times I seem to get to get so caught up with what we call 'now' that I forget to dream. While we were talking together for a few minutes I asked son what he might do if he were given the 'job' of 'restoring' the present farm where we are now located. He began to 'dream' out loud. Personally I rather enjoyed just listening to his dreams for a few minutes. I don't think my hubby was as 'in tune' for he began to 'get worrried'. I reminded him these were dreams. If it hadn't been for dreams we wouldn't be where we are today.

If we forget to check our 'vision' the Bible says we will perish. I know, there are some dreams that others may consider impossible. Let them think that. Some are so anchored in what they consider 'reality' they can't see beyond.

For me it was around 5 years from the time I dreamed of going to Africa (the first time) before 'we' went. When the Lord spoke to my heart, "Olive, I want you to go to Africa", I at first accepted it but then laid it aside as just the 'excitement of the hour'. What followed was one of the most depressing times I have ever experienced. I finally told God something along the line of the following. "I don't have any money, I don't have any connections, but I choose Your will. If you want me to go to Africa I am willing."

Looking back at that 'dream', or 'vision', I believe God didn't want me to 'go alone' so during those five years He directed in me uniting my life with the one who has been my lover now for 34 years. We united in a God blessed union November 10 1974. God gave us a little while to 'meld' and then in March 1977 we headed to Africa to share with others about our wonderful, loving God.

Shortly after arriving in Africa, my hubby's liver died for a couple of weeks, but God restored him to health and we 'grew' spiritually and mentally as well as sharing God with others there for about 6 years before returning to the states.

There have been other 'past' dreams in my life as well. I dreamed of becoming a teacher of children almost since I can remember. God knew that dream before I realized what it was. I didn't follow what some would call a typical teaching career but as I look back I can see God's leading not only in the training experiences but also where and who I have had as 'students'. I did more formal elementary educational training in a small school in Georgia. The first 'classroom' experience after my training program was out in the hills of West Virginia. While in Africa that training was also utilized both with children and later in teaching older students in the higher levels of our training program there.

Even before I was married the teacher training was only part of a bigger 'course' God had in store. That bigger course included teacher training as well as nursing care, home care and healthful cooking both in homes and in a vegetarian style restuarant setting as well as in a lifestyle center diet kitchen.

But time goes on. Does that mean I shouldn't 'dream' anymore? Dare I? Have all dreams been fulfilled? Somehow it seems that lately I have begun to 'dream' again in new ways. In some ways it also seems the dreams are getting bigger. I am thankful for God's leading in my past life and somehow I think that is one reason I believe He is not only still in control but He is almost impatiently urging us on to 'bigger' dreams, broader goals, higher motives than we have functioned on in the past.

"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent"

That is God's dream - Jesus' dream - for me, for you.

I am also convinced that part of God's dream for me is that I can be 'exhibit A', so to speak, of what He can do in a human being. I dream that my life will become so much like Jesus that when people see the physical 'me', they will learn more about my wonderful heavenly father just because they have gotten to know me.

And yes, there are some other dreams still in the expansion stage - in my heart and life. I dream of returning, at least short term, to Africa with my hubby. I am also dreaming of sharing with others about my heavenly Father, both with written lessons the Lord pushed me into completing recently and with media outreach based on the lesson materials. As part of that bigger dream I also have dreamed for years of sharing scripture songs, both in notation form and audio recordings, with folks to encourage them to 'hide' God's word in their hearts so they no longer choose other than God's will for them and thus become more like Jesus themselves.

As mentioned above I am dreaming of moving into a little 'nest' home of our own. But somehow I believe that is only to give us a 'corner' from which to do much broader service for God. Why do I feel that way? For many years I have had a hidden dream to be able to help people know God better. Yes, in that direction I have made mistakes. One of those mistakes was to try to 'only' help them with their 'physical' problems - which has many times seemed to me to have failed. As big as the physical problems might be, I am becoming convinced that only those who realize their need of Christ in their lives will be able to 'dream' big enough to allow God to 'save' them as He so longs to do - both spiritually and physically. Part of my dream is to be a channel through which God's dream for others might be instilled in them as well.

I believe God has big dreams for all of us. In the meantime life does move on. The dishes are waiting for me this morning. And as my friend at 'On the Road' so delightfully put it, there is 'dusting' to do.

So in closing, dream, dream big, dream a God shaped dream and He will direct your paths. I know that for sure. And God's dreams for you include His peace in your heart - not just in heaven, or way off in the future, but also in the here and now.

Go in Peace with Jesus

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thoughts on peace and joy

A few days ago a rather recent friend - who happens to be staying at our place temporarily, along with his lovely mother,(He is here 'involuntarily' because of a legal problem that someone else 'created', if you please) - asked if we would be willing to spend time with him in God's Word. We were very happy to agree to his request. We have been making time to 'eat' God's word often with a specific purpose of getting to know the Creator God better.

Previous to his request I had been suggesting to him that at least some of his health problems might have a 'spiritual' cause as well as physical. (I am aware that many illnesses can begin in the mind and/or heart.) I hope and pray that he has been blessed but I know for sure that I have been.

The first couple of evenings we spent time looking at Psalm 32. In KJV there is a word used that I 'thought' I had a pretty good handle on what it means. To me 'bless' or 'blessed' meant speaking good to, for, through, or about someone else (often God). In the process of 'unpacking' Psalm 32 we took another look at 'bless' in the context of that Psalm. Speaking good can apply, but as we checked out Strong's concordance another definition also began to emerge in relation to 'bless'.

Whatever bless means it has be able to apply to both God and us. The Bible says God blesses. It also commands us to 'bless the Lord' (Psalm 103). Anyway, in our study time together an added thought about 'bless' began to surface. Bless - to consider the one being blessed as worthy of respect

That is not difficult for me to believe in my relationship with God. He is definitely worthy to be respected - highly respected.

What got really awesome to me was that God is in the business of blessing me - considering that I am worthy to be respected. WOW! Over and over again God blesses His earth based family - He considers that His family here on earth are worthy to be respected.

I can't spend much longer right now writing but take God's blessing with you today - the realization that God considers that you, personally, are worthy to be respected. And not only that you are worthy to be respected but He does respect you - yes you.

That thought alone is enough to make a person joyful. You are special to the God of Peace. In His presence is fullness of JOY as well as the peace only He can give.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reminder of Yesteryear

I am being told that the blog site is having trouble downloading pictures. As you can see it is affecting my site. Until it is fixed just believe I really have on a dark green jacket and the clemantis are purple.

Many years ago when we were in Africa I sent my sister in the U.S.A. some material which she made into a skirt. Not too long ago she sent me the skirt along with some other clothes she can no longer 'fit' into. Since I am still smaller she thought I could still get some good from them. I decided to wear the 'African' skirt today. On
the spur of the moment I asked my hubby to take a picture of me so I could share it with my sister. It brings back memories of when we had the privilege of sharing Jesus with folks in another 'land' for a while. Maybe some time I'll share a few other tidbits from our memories in Africa. But right now it seems time is marching (rather jetting) on.

When we were in Africa we had no children. Our son, who was born after we returned here to the states went this evening to pick up his girl friend from the airport. She will be staying here for a little while. (That does help date me, doesn't it.) I covet your prayers that we can be a channel of God's blessing to him right now as well as the encouragement he deserves to make decisions that will bring joy to him as well as to the Lord. I know Jesus has been exhibiting faith in him and I choose to do it too.

There is a prediction for frost or freeze tonight so I took the last pictures of our lovely dahlias for this year, most likely. The Lord has blessed us this year with so many lovely 'I Love You' notes from him for every flower is reminding me of that message from Jesus. Hope you get the message even through the pictures.

We are still cleaning and packing with dreams of moving soon. Add that to helping a man who has gotten 'dragged into' a legal battle nearby and time can seem rather precious at times. One nice turn is that the man's mother is with him right now and she has been helping me a lot. With so many things going on her help has been greatly appreciated.

Then when a 'business' call turns into an opportunity to share with someone about my wonderful Saviour it seems the fast pace takes on even more meaning.

Jesus is a wonderful friend as well as Saviour. May His peace come into your heart just by reading this.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Sabbath Blessing

Another week has slipped into history. Another Blessed Sabbath has begun. God promised from the beginning that He would meet His family during this special time every seventh day to continue to Victory Celebration that began at the completion of the week of Creation way back in the beginning of this earth's history.

This week has been so busy but God has been working to draw me ever closer to Him. This week I began studying the picture of God that I could 'see' in Psalm 46. I have posted it on the 'paraphrase' link but it is short and so good that I am going to add it here as well.

Psalm 46
A minstrel type song featuring special sections for soprano voices - for the national collection.
We are confident that the Supreme God is our complete security and entire protection even when things get intensely stressful and 'tight'.
Because of our confidence in God we will not be terrorized even when present powers change, causing tumult, foul play, smear campaigns and even arrogant wars. (music pause)
God's joy filled love flows out from Him to His family and He always protects and surrounds them so they don't waver, slip or fall.
Those who are against God rage, war and cause great havoc. Yet when God speaks they stop, 'fall apart' and 'faint'.
The Self-Existent, Creator God - the One who loves sinners - saves us. (music pause)
Come close so you can see that it is really the Creator God who stops the carnage, wars, ruin and 'melt down' in the earth.
He says: "Slow down to where you know that I, the Supreme God, am above all else in heaven or earth."
The Self-Existent, Creator God - the One who loves sinners - saves us. (music pause)

My husband is singing to welcome the Sabbath hours so I'm close this to join him. May God speak peace to your soul this blessed Sabbath.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Short Update

For anyone who has perused my personal versions I have updated my present understanding of Psalm 45. It seems I keep getting drawn back into that chapter for an ever deepening picture of both God the Father and Jesus. It takes time to comprehend some of these word pictures of God but it has been well worth my time doing it.

Here on the farm we were able to get some more packing done. We still have a lot to do but every little bit helps. I praise the Lord not only for what He has already done, is doing and will do but also for who He really is. My brother and I were talking yesterday and he was sharing a broader understanding of what praise really means. So often, I think anyway, we have confused praise with thanksgiving. When someone has done something and we are thankful that is what I call thanksgiving. Praise is more with focusing on the 'other' - in this situation on God. The more I get to know who God really is and what He is really like, the more I can reveal who He really is to others through my words, attitude and life - which is what 'give glory to God' means.
Praise is one way that I can also release to God, open to God, share with God. The more often I look to God with a desire to get to know who He really is better, the less any lies are able to mangle my life any longer.

Praise is not dependent on something good happening. Praising God doesn't have to do with how I feel. I can praise God - focus on who He is and what He is really like whether I'm happy or not. I can praise God when I am well or when I am sick. I can praise God when I am rested or when I am weary. I believe that is one reason 'praise' is compared to 'entering into' God's presence. "Enter into His . . . courts with praise" (Psalm 100) Enough on that topic for the moment.

It is a beautiful day and I have much to do.

Until next visit I offer you God's peace to flow into your life. You can receive it simply because He is giving it to you - it has nothing to do with something you have to 'earn'. Accept it just now, with both His and my love attached.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jesus' Faith in You

A blog friend of mine has 'grabbed' my heart, so to speak. I was humbly grateful when she even emailed me personally to ask me to pray for her. That to me was a special privilege. I don't consider myself as any more 'worthy' of God answering my prayers for her than when she is praying, but it does excite me to know that others are willing for me to join hands with them in exploring who God really is and what He is really like so they can experience God's peace in their lives.

I was introduced to a web site today that is intent on sharing the message with this world as to who the Creator God of the Universe really is and what He is REALLY like. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for real peace and genuine joy.

The following is from a 'weekly' article from that site.

"Confidence inspires confidence. Courage rouses courage. Love awakens love. Respect begets respect. Faith enables faith! . . . Those whose driving motive is fear usually resort to tactics of control, manipulation, sometimes guilt, but always a gnawing sense that they must ensure certain outcomes or suffer loss. Those who are governed by confidence realize the possibility of loss, but they are ever at peace. They trust in the eternal principles of how things work. They understand that confidence can’t be demanded, love cannot be forced, and respect will never be awakened in others by it being required of them. Their relations with others are uniquely characterized by a strange sense of freedom . . . leaving others free to live as they so choose. In the wake of these thoughts, I would like you take note of a small statement made by Paul in the beginning of his letter to the believers in Rome. A small statement with huge implications, nonetheless. “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’” -Romans 1.17 (emphasis added) Did you catch it? Not only is love only awakened by love, but it appears that faith is only enabled by faith! Now consider the implications. God is not afraid or threatened. God is confident. But notice what He is confident in! He is confident that His love is powerful enough to win our hearts! He does not need to demand or require love. He truly believes this and thus is not interested in forced obedience, as the religious masses would have us believe. . . . The object of faith is always love. Love is that which faith is believing in, and although we all agree that God is endeavoring to awaken our faith in His love, do not miss the numerous times in the New Testament that our faith is not the focus, but rather HIS. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” -Romans 3.22 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” -Galatians 2.16 “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” - Galatians 3.22 Faith (Pisteos) in each of these verses is in the genitive (possessive) case, which means that it’s not necessarily faith in Jesus but rather the faith of Jesus. . . . He truly believes that love will accomplish far more than fear, control and manipulation. Thus, He continually gives us freedom. God trusts that when He lovingly whispers to us and tells us that He genuinely only wants to give to us, that He truly wants nothing from us, His generous, other-centered love alone will inspire in us a deep, unquenchable desire to give Him everything. Take time this week to meditate, not just on the faith He wants to inspire in us, but the faith that is preveniently in His heart. As you dwell on this, may you find faith in Him as well as the Faith of Him who did not count heaven itself a place to be desired while you and I were outside it’s gates. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” -Revelation 14.12 (emphasis supplied) I wish you God’s best this week." Herb Montgomery (quoted)

May You experience that kind of JOY,PEACE and LOVE

Bringer of Peace

Monday, October 6, 2008

Looking forward

It has been interesting to try to 'look' at my feelings recently. We have lived at our present location for over 11 years. Many other folks have, at different times, also been here. Some stopped by to visit. Some came to help. Some came because it seemed they had no place else to go. We thought we had a big heart - and I still hope that is true. But I believe that the Lord is changing our direction after these many years living here.

In one sense we have felt 'tied down'. I was just reading this morning the vital importance of love's kind of unity. One of the primary signs that we love Jesus is that we strive for unity in diversity with others of the family of God. While that is essential, it is also a known fact that two (or more) cannot walk together unless they are agreed. Sad to say, that is one thing I don't believe we have been able to accomplish here on the farm. Each one who has lived here for any length of time has had their own agenda. It also seems that often they have had their own complaints when others had their own agenda who had their complaints when others . . . . . ad nauseum at times (or frustration other times).

Somehow I sense that God is working to not only teach us some lessons but to set us 'free' in the sense that we can do His will for us in sharing with others about His love and not be so embedded in a 'ford' property (fix or repair daily).

The Lord pushed me into developing a set of lessons sharing 'HIS STORY - the Creator God of the Universe'. It began when I was on a trip to India a number of years ago but took me until recently to 'complete'. I have been asking the Lord what His will is for the "HIS STORY" project. There are indications He may ask us to take 'HIS STORY' to other places from time to time. Having our own little place would make that possibly easier.

We had dreamed of developing a ministry here on the farm where others could find spiritual as well as physical healing. The Lord has given us a wealth of information in these lines for which we praise Him. But it seemed that whenever we began to dream in that direction, a contest (or perhaps more accurately a contention) would arise that seemed to need immediate attention, but it was also distracting from ministry. Maybe it is our own opinion, but it also seemed that 'fixing' the farm up was also mainly 'our' project.

Over the past month or so it seems the Lord has opened up the opportunity for us to move. It will be somewhat less property but a much nicer house. There are some woods and a small pond with the house part way up a rolling hill at the new place. We are thankful.

When we move it does not guarantee no problems, but as each one who has been here gets settled in their own places we do feel the Lord is giving us a freedom on our part as they will no longer have us to 'blame' or use us as an excuse for their difficulties. They will no longer have us a property managers 'over them' (as they seem to believe at present). They will have their own 'utilities' to handle and they will have their own property to take care of in whatever way they choose. That will also be a big relief to us as well.

Looking Forward it will be up to us to stay so close to Jesus that no matter what happens we can be in His PEACE and JOY. We are claiming God's will done and rejoicing that He who has begun a good work in us will finish it as He has promised.

Looking a little more forward I sense God has got some other people He wants us to share "HIS STORY" with. We had thought there was a call from Africa and to my knowledge the Lord hasn't taken it back. It will be interesting to see what He is planning.

Back to the present, we are still packing. The contract has been signed on the property. It is exciting to see what God is doing. Being confident in His love brings peace and JOY.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Peace in the midst 6

Well, the possibility of us moving has become rather common knowledge, at least to our church family. Our church is getting crowded to the point where most of the classes are just about too big for their spaces. We installed a moveable wall to divide up the main room in the basement a few months ago but that has only temporarily 'eased' the situation. They called a meeting today to discuss the possible rearrangement options with the limited space available. They have property where we can build a new church but up to this point the funds have not been available.

To make a long story short we shared with the folks that the 'sellers' had signed yesterday to sell us about 11 acres, a fully furnished house and a large garage shop. We are now waiting for final approval from the 'loan' company which will 'end' in a closing.

The reason this is significant to the church is that the property where we are now located belongs to the church but we were given the right to live here until we chose to leave by the owners before they died. When we leave then the property can be sold and a very significant amount of the money will go to the local church. That greatly increases the possibility of building a new church sooner.

The new house is very nice. It is smaller than the 'big' farm house here on the farm, but bigger than the one where we live. I hope to get some pictures soon to share.

Things have been happening fast, but after talking to my younger brother I am encouraged to keep on keeping on. He told us of 2 times they moved and had been forewarned but hadn't started packing until the 'last minute'. My oldest sister came for a couple of weeks and was a tremendous blessing. Part of my joy came from just being with her. We did some shopping for a new couch/loveseat/recliner/table set for the living room. With her very good help we packed most of our library as well as some other items. Since we won't be taking a lot of furniture most of our preparations will be involved mostly in packing the 'smaller' things.

Our situation is somewhat complicated since 5 other people live here as well, but 2 have found places they hope to move to soon. Two others know about the move but we haven't heard their plans yet. The fifth lady is in Europe for a visit with her family so she will find out when she gets back. She was already thinking of moving before she left though so hopefully that will not be too much of a problem for her.

Someone is already interested in purchasing the farm for which a contract is in the making, so things seem to be on the move also.

Day by day we have been bringing our plans to the Lord. I also keep claiming His peace in our hearts and lives. Moving can be intense but I also believe that as we stay in God's will it can have a peace that can only come from Heaven.

Since there is much to do I will leave for a while. But while I'm gone may God's peace flow in to your heart and soul through Christ Jesus.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Walking in Peace

Has this ever been an interesting 'week'. I had the blessed privilege of having my oldest sister come and visit for about two weeks. Before she came we were thinking she could help me with some of our remodeling jobs around the farm. But by the time she came plans had changed. Instead of continuing to 'fix or repair daily' as I have been doing, we spent a lot of time packing. From all appearances it we may be moving to another place soon. We also spent some time 'window shopping' for living room furniture. All of these things are activities I have never done before.

One realtor called a piece of furniture in a house we were touring 'shabby chic'. I burst out laughing at her comment. But, needless to say that has been what I have lived with most of my life. I think a lot of what we have acquired over the years was not 'shabby' but by some folks just the idea that it wasn't 'bought new' just about qualifies it for the above label. Let them think what they wish.

Besides 'window shopping' and packing a number of other things have been also going on. My other sister (in between the one visiting and me) has been having what I consider more than her share of challenges. I have been trying to keep in touch with her rather frequently as well as praying to God for strength for her to continue and to grow in Jesus.

There are few other things going on but right now one of them I need to deal with so I will share more later.

Bringer of Peace