Friday, December 25, 2009

'09 Blizzard update from Virginia

I had hoped to import a couple of pictures about the recent snowstorm which has been dubbed the blizzard of '09. The higher snow near the door of the smaller house is covering a 'cold frame' we had made for some greens. The 'fence' was around a strawberry bed.

For now, we are thankful that it wasn't more than about 24 inches. It is raining this evening. Depending on various factors we may or may not go to church - if it ices we probably won't go, but if it just melts the snow away we should be able to get there - a little more than a 1/4 of a mile away. Time will tell.

We had a nice Christmas dinner with the family here. Our son, Carl, and his new bride, Krista, were somewhat the focal point it seemed anyway. (I liked that, of course).

After opening gifts we helped Carl and Krista get some plastic on their windows. There still a few more windows to cover but we are slowly getting winterized.

Hope your day was nice as well.

Bye for now,

Maiden, Bringer of Peace

Friday, December 18, 2009

The 'wise' will know what is happening

This morning while we were having worship my hubby read Daniel 12:10. We began discussing what the word 'tried' meant, especially in the context. That got me looking at the whole text. Following is my 'paraphrase'. I found it very helpful to put it in my own words after studying what each word meant from the Hebrew (Blue Letter Bible on line is what I use right now.)

Great numbers of people will re-form to God’s will, they will get rid of anything that doesn’t agree with God and they will become pure, in complete agreement with God; but those who are opposed to God and hostile to His will and way will stand apart and not distinguish what is happening. But those who are looking at God and have become intelligent in regard to His ways and are experiencing His love will know what is happening.

The word 'purify' in KJV might more accurately be described as re-form or searched out, separated. 'Made white' has the connotation of cleansed - removal of anything that is not correct, good, or right. 'Tried' is examined, tested, purified.

Those who have taken whatever time is needed to accept - and experience - that God really, truly does love them, individually, will understand what is happening. One thing that is happening with me is God is permitting circumstances to take place to reveal where I am not yet in full agreement with Him. Even though this situations may be tough, or whatever word you might wish to insert, so long as I keep in mind that God knows me yet loves me still very much, and I am learning to know Him, then each experience can draw me closer to becoming 'like Him'. Thank the Lord.

The more I trust in my loving heavenly Father, the more peace I can experience inside of me.

May that kind of peace be in your life too.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What God says

One way I study God's word is to look up what the original 'meaning' of words are and then ask God to guide me into putting the passage I have studied into more 'current' verbage while keeping the meaning God intended from when it was written in the first place. (For anyone interested in reading more click on 'paraphrases' link at the side.)

I have been studying Psalm 71 for a little while recently. This morning I reread what I had written. As I went over my paraphrase I couldn't help 'relate' it very much to what has just been happening in my life. All of Psalm 71 paraphrase has been posted at the link but here are a few verses that have meant a lot to me at this time.

1 Lord, I choose to trust in You completely, so please don’t disappoint me.
. . .
Your plans are to make me victorious since You are my refuge and defense. 4 Bring me into a secure place, O Mighty God, away from the violence of those who are hostile to You and take me out from under the authority of unjust, bitter and oppressive people. 5 God, I reverently expect You to do what is best for me, like a child trusting a loving parent.

. . .
14 – 16 But as for me, God, I choose to keep trusting You, singing about You and telling others of Your right ways. I don’t know how much longer I’ll live but as long as You keep me alive, I will live close to You and remind others how right Your ways are.

. . .

23-24 I will shout out loud for JOY, and I will rejoice in my heart as well as quietly tell others how You have set me free. Those who obnoxiously planned to hurt me (because they were out of control with anger) are astonished, disappointed and dishonored.

God has been not only 'revealing' as mentioned in the previous post, but He has also been mentoring me. He is eager for me to 'grow up' (by His love). I keep praising Him for that. Sometimes I have defined 'peace' as a lack of 'stress' or even a lack of intensity of experience. That is at times nice, but I am coming to also believe that the kind of 'peace' God is speaking about when He says "Great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them" can also include the experience of realizing that God loves me so much I can trust Him no matter what is 'happening'.

What happens to me or around me I have, at least at times, considered 'offensive'.

However, according to the above, when I experience God's kind of love flowing into my own life, and I choose to allow God's love to flow through me to others in God's ways, (which is the essence of God's law: love Him supreme and love others as one's self) God gives me GREAT peace. God also enables me to 'let go' of what may have offended me in the past - "nothing shall offend them" - which brings God's kind of peace - the kind that doesn't take offense.

May God's kind of peace be yours

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Judgment - revealing

The past 24 hours or so have been extremely revealing. I won't share a lot of details, needless to say, but when people are faced with possible jail or more some feelings can surface that might not have been evidenced previously.

We chose to help someone in need. Due either to a choice or ignorance, information was not shared that should have been and my dear hubby and others were verbally abused with 'threats' of being arrested - for something they really didn't have anything to do with.

I write this 'after the fact', but it has been very interesting 'listening' to how individuals reacted. Apparently I seem to be the 'cause' and as such it appears I have been accorded the responsibility for 'threatening' the peace and prosperity of others.

May be, but on the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, I think that rather than a time of 'judging' - making decisions with incomplete (or even false) information, I have found that, for those who are willing, it may be a time of God's kind of judgment - a time to reveal what is true and right and just as well as or even more so what is truly loving.

I can't stay long on line right now but I do praise the Lord that what appeared to be a very bad situation He has taken in hand and for me I praise Him.

P.S. Much of the problem was based on either incomplete information or 'out and out' lies, which is very common when it comes to 'earthly' situations. When the truth was revealed there wasn't anything for the abuse to 'stand on'.

May your day begin with God - the Prince of Peace - be filled with the JOY of the Lord and finish with His love in your heart.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Miracle

In the last blog I mentioned the possible variety for our thanksgiving encounter.
Well, it was all and more, much more than I had anticipated. Yet, what really took place, actually before thanksgiving dinner, turned out to be along the line of a miracle.

Wednesday afternoon some folks were going to prepare some of the cranberry dishes and other food preparations that could be done ahead of time. One friend who was with us this year wanted to help but I also realized she would be assistance so both my husband and I were on hand. While we were puttering around in the big house kitchen of course there was conversation. But as time went on criticism began to weave its way in. At first it seemed centered on an event that had happened a few days earlier and there was still a certain amount of tension over. But somehow the tension mounted and some things were said that went straight to my own heart. I realized I was not responding as behoves a christian lady. Finally I left. My new daughter-in-law was over at our place and I asked her to pray with me. That seemed to help momentarily. I returned as I perceived my help was still needed. But with time the situation again deteriorated and got even more intense.

I probably wouldn't even share the above except that the whole situation ended in a miracle of love. Since dear ones are involved I will simply say that God was able to reveal both to others and myself 'lies' that had been long held. And even more wonderful I believe God was able to remove lies and replace in minds His truths of love. The Bible teaches that you will know (experience) the truth and it will set you free. And when the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you are free indeed. That is so true, especially on our farm this Thanksgiving.

I am humbly grateful that thanksgiving dinner was a blessed success. I believe a spirit of thanksgiving was truly present and that everyone here received love.

I pray that your Thanksgiving was also blessed.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Psalm 70

For anyone who is interested in following the 'Paraphrases' to the right, I just posted Psalm 70. It has some concepts about God that have enlarged my picture of Him.
Have a good day.

Are we really Thankful?

I hope that all who read this will have a true 'thankful' thanksgiving day.

We enjoy the opportunity to 'get together' on thanksgiving day.

But this year has given me some food for thought. Mainly, are we more focused on the 'right' food or rather on 'right' relationships with others? It has been amazing to me the 'snaffues' (if you get the idea) that have arisen over 'what it the right food' or 'the right way to prepare a food' or whatever. I just hope we don't have civil war break out over thanksgiving 'dinner'.

We have here one pretty basic 'American' (who considers what is considered by that person as gourmet), an 'Italian' with some pretty strong cultural ideas, a 'New Englander' who considers certain traditions as practically 'unchangeable' and some newly weds, as well as us - I'm not sure what we might be classified as except we are vegetarian so won't be eating of the turkey or any other meat dishes.

I personally think this is an excellent time to 'be thankful', not only for the diversity here but also for the opportunity to still have something for which to be thankful. I say that because, at least from my perspective, each one of the folks here is here to a more or less degree because they have lost their previous place to live, needed help, and we thought we were helping them by offering a share of what we have. I realize, however, that is not everyone else's view. So be it.

Meanwhile, back at the farm. I am looking forward to thanksgiving dinner with mixed emotions more or less. I do hope for the best, however. God is good at taking our fragmented offerings and turning them into something 'wonderful', as His Name indicates.

I just got a call for help so need to close for now.

May Your thanksgiving be a good one to place in your memory hall.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Love

For the past month or so I have been studying Psalm 69 in more depth. After doing word studies I have been slowly paraphrasing it in more 'common' wording. The majority of this Psalm is a prophecy of Jesus' experiences while a human being here on earth.

As some who read this know, I have studied in more depth how the earthly sanctuary was like a 'map' to illustrate experiences God longs to have with each individual. Well, in Psalm 69 (beginning around verse 20 to 28) words are used to describe the 'breaking' of that covenant by going in 'reverse' through the 'steps' of the sanctuary illustration of a covenant relationship. I hear the heart rending cry of God as He goes through the final proceedings of a 'divorce'. In a very real sense all that a God of love could give had been given to Israel as a 'blood line'. But when Jesus came to His own, they finally declared "We have no king but Ceaser". And God accepted their decision. That decision did not come flippantly or even easily. God loves Israel. But God also respects their power of choice. Yet even though God honors that choice it is not, and was not, easy to 'let them go' to the results of what they chose. There was intense suffering and pain involved.

20 Shameful scorn and contempt violently tore at my heart, sickening me. I hoped for at least one comforter, (someone who would unite with me) but no one had compassion or even tried to console me – not one! 21 – 22 Instead they offered me bitter poison as food and sour vinegar to quench my thirst. Let their table (the table of shewbread was the covenant symbol of Your nourishing care) become so ‘thin’ (empty) that they fall away (destroyed by refusing care) from You. 23 Let such darkness surround them (the candlestick represented their covenant relation with You to enlighten them) that they can no longer experience real joy at seeing Your face, resulting in their strength continuing to totter and deteriorate. 24 – 26 Pour out your love power on them with full intensity. But they will become so horrified, appalled and stunned that they will recede and back so far away that not one will remain in their family because They harassed and persecuted the One You smote, and caused mental grief by their gossip against the One You wounded (for their sakes). 27 – 28 Permit this guilt to be added to their present great guilt, which is already preventing them from personally knowing You. (Yes), even let their names be dropped from the registry of those who are honest with You.

(If you wish to read the whole paraphrase click on the link to the right)

As is often the case in the Psalms, this one ends in praise to God.

34 – 36 Let the whole universe join with everything and everyone on earth in singing to, boasting about and celebrating the True God. (Why?) He sets free those who choose to belong to Him. He rebuilds, restores and protects those families who choose His will for them and gives them a secure, quiet place to live. Those who delight in Him, identify with Him and have developed an intimate relationship with Him will live.

What Love!

Now, I want to learn how to share that kind of love with others in my own life.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Memory Lane

My scanner decided to work again so I am going to try to put a couple of our wedding pictures here.

This is a picture of the lovely 'wedding cake' that was made for us by some very lovely women in the church and community.

I didn't want a 'sugar cake' and they asked if they could at least do a 'center piece'. Absolutely lovely. And when everyone had taken what they wanted we had a small bag left to take with us on our honeymoon to Florida.

My Dad (on the left) and step-mom were able to bless us with their presence. My hubby's mother is by his side.

I am humbly grateful for the privilege of knowing him for over 35 years now as his wife.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

35 Years of Love

Thirty five years ago November 10 we were in the 'center' of the picture rather than by the side of our son who is the groom in the picture. A lot has taken place between then and now but most importantly has been learning to receive and give God's kind of love. I will also hasten to add that God has also been teaching us how to 'grow' and mature by experiencing His kind of JOY and PEACE in our hearts and lives.

(I hoped to add a bit of picture history but my scanner seems to have died now as well as my printer so I will use words instead.)

35 years ago we lived at Wildwood Lifestyle Center and Hospital campus. We had both been students there and at the time of our wedding were staff. For a little while before we were married I had been in a group planning to go to Africa to develop a new mission outreach but since my work visa was denied I chose to remain as a staff member at Wildwood.

We remained at Wildwood until 1977 when we accepted a call to Zambia, Africa. I believe the Lord wanted 'both' of us to go - not just me.

Not long after arriving at Riverside Farm Institute,

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Well, we made it home this evening.
After a few tries I finally was able to download the above pictures that I took. Obviously the first one is of Carl and myself and my wonderful husband.
Krista's mother was the 'cake decorator' and it had a little 'water fountain' under the 'castle' cake in the middle. Lovely, and well done. The third is of the bride and groom after the ceremony was complete.

We were gone for about 2 weeks. Shortly after we got to Michigan we got a call that the pump had 'died' at the farm. Eventually a friend was able to check it out and fix it, for which we were grateful, especially since we were not very close at that time.

We had the privilege of spending some time with some of my family during this trip. In Michigan we stayed with my sister. Then after the wedding and a few other activities in Michigan we went for a few days to spend with my brother and his lovely wife in Illinois. On the last leg of our trip we stopped one evening in Ohio with a 'dear to us' couple. We appreciated so much the hospitality at each place. Thanks to all who made this trip worthwhile.

Just after we began our trip we read a very interesting statement concerning that God wants us to come to him as trusting children asking for His guidance. That is, in many respects, what seemed to come 'alive' on this recent trip. Except, perhaps, for the wedding, it seemed that our plans were being frequently changed. Yet looking back I believe that God was directing the changes.

I hope to share more but it is getting late and I need to rest.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quick Notes

Just a note. We went to our son's wedding October 18 in Michigan. We are in Illinois at family and hope to head home in a day or two. It has been a good trip thus far.
Hope to share some pictures when I get home.

Monday, October 5, 2009


In some respects I feel I am trying to go in several directions.

October 18 has been set as our son's wedding day. He is marrying a girl named Krista. They are currently in Michigan and are planning for the big event to take place in South Haven at her church.

We are planning to head up that way this coming week to give us a little bit of preparation time before the big day. I have family in that direction as well so hope to spend a bit of time with them while we are up that way.

On another project, I have been working on some music. Those of you who know a little about me have heard me speak of the Passport to Life lesson series. It originally started as a presentation to young people but has since broadened to include older folks as well as youngsters. The first three months of this year we presented the part of the program that teaches about the Bible sanctuary to the little children in our church. I have had the lessons completed for several years. But I have long dreamed of adding the music as well. I have quite a collection of scriptures put to music and am now adding them, in their appropriate places, in the lessons. I also dream of getting them on a CD or tape asap.

A couple of folks who live with us on the farm have been needing transportation on a fairly regular basis so between my hubby and myself we have often been on the go.

My hubby's shoes were getting pretty floppy - soles falling off - so we decided it was time to replace them with 'something better'. As usual there were more expensive versions of 'work boots' but he was able to find one pair that had most of what seems to make for him a good work boot at a quite reasonable price. Thank the Lord.

Yesterday we had our first servings of green beans, swiss chard and beet greens from our fall garden. The green beans were absolutely delicious even without salt. We missed getting in a spring garden but the fall version seems to be doing very well. The deer have been nibbling on some of the green bean leaves but we have ideas that might slow them down some as well.

Last week I was able to find some pansy plants and got them planted in the flower garden area near the big house. I picked up a dozen more yesterday and got them planted in one end of the flower bed next to our house. The tomato 'tree' is slowly dying back after producing possibly hundreds of tomatoes this summer. There might be a dozen or so tomatoes on it yet. But we have been greatly blessed with so many yellow tomatoes from it this year and we praise God.

Our car didn't pass Virginia inspection this year and it appeared we would just have to let it 'set' for a while. When my hubby's brother heard about it he donated over half of the funds needed to get it back on the road again. Thanks to a generous mechanic who also dropped the price some we have it back on the 'road' for which we are grateful. (We still owe some on it but hope to have it paid off by next month.)

It has been amazing to me to see how God has been supplying our needs. With my hubby out of work since January and, at least part of the year more people dependent upon us than previous, we have received aid from a variety of sources which, in some respects has been what I consider almost miraculous. God has blessed. Those blessings may not always be monetary but they are blessings nevertheless.

One sweet blessing has been several 20 cents a pound banana sales. We have frozen quite a few to make 'ice cream' and then we have also been drying some of the bananas. To us the dried bananas are sort of like a candy bar.

Since contracting lymes disease earlier this year I had told my church that I didn't think I could lead out full time with the little children. Well, I am not full time but I do still help quite a bit. Two of the three ladies who accepted the position have not been able to do much of anything so I have been still quite a bit involved. We have gotten one other lady who seems interested who talked with me this weekend. Hope that will ease things a little bit.

Even though we didn't get much of a vegetable garden this year the flower garden has been attempting to outdo last year's performance. The lilies earlier in the summer were so lovely. The wave petunias have made a carpet of purple medium pink and lighter pink. The pink carnation bloomed most of the summer. Celosia volunteers from last year filled in many places that I hadn't even planned for. The one foot tall Zinnia decided to grow a couple feet tall or more and the lovely red blooms along with a few yellow and orange blossoms have been delightful. This fall the button mums have been gorgeous. There are burnt oranges, burnt reds, yellows and purples. As mentioned earlier I am adding pansies for the fall as well. Unless we have a very hard winter the pansies may bloom until it gets hot next summer. As I have walked by the blooms I am reminded again and again that every blooming flower is like an 'I love you' note from Jesus.

One project I have been enjoying very much is that I have been studying Psalm 69 in my quiet times. That is one power packed prophecy of Jesus. I'll share more later.

There are other activities going on as well but for now I need to go get busy with them so will close for this time. Until we meet again may the God of peace be with you.

Bringer or Peace

Monday, September 21, 2009

Special thoughts and an update

A friend shared the following with me and I pray it will bless you as it did my heart. (Following the quote is a little more of an update on 'current events'.)

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love . . . “ — Ephesians 3:17

I don’t plan to write a lot this week. A friend of mine that I’ve known since high school sent me three quotations on Facebook the other day, and I want simply to pass them on to you. They truly are quite profound. Each is taken from the book Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing.

"The very first step in approaching God is to know and believe the love that He has to us (1 John 4:16); for it is through the drawing of His love that we are led to come to Him." P. 104-105

"The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us." P. 115

"Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan." P. 119

It would seem that our salvation, our security, our growth in Christ—everything is rooted and grounded, dependent simply on knowing and believing in the love God has for us. Not just knowing that He loves us, but coming to a knowledge of, an encounter with, and a belief in the kind of love, the nature of the love He has for each of us.

Do you know what love is?

Do you know the love with which He loves you?

Better yet, do you have the courage to believe it?

These quite possibly are the most important questions we could answer. For it seems that everything depends on them.

May knowing and believing His love become paramount in your life this week.

I wish you God’s best.

Now for a little more on what is going on in our little 'corner'.

First a few garden notes.
Our 'tomato tree' is slowing down. We only got about a dozen tomatoes from it yesterday. They are smaller and are beginning to 'crack' easier, but they still taste very good. What has been interesting to me has been how that these yellow tomatoes seem to last a whole lot longer than the red tomatoes. The red ones may start 'going bad' at times within a day or two of picking. The yellow tomatoes we have been able to keep for a week or more. That has been especially nice since we have had so many yellow tomatoes coming on. Thank the Lord for the harvest.

Now for a little about our activities.
My hubby hasn't had 'paying' work for several months but we seem to be able to 'keep busy' nonetheless. We have been slowly redoing some of the garden areas around the houses on the farm here. The one that is finished is looking very nice with the yellow and purple button mums that we bought. I want to put some pansies in but they weren't in the stores yet a week or two ago. They should be coming in soon.

A dear friend of ours was in the hospital for a short time last week. We spent time with them and have also been able to help some after they returned home. They are still having quite a bit of pain so we try to help where we can.

Quite a while back I began taking a portion of scripture and 'digging' into its meaning. I look up the meanings of the words and ask God to help me write it in more of a current style without losing the original intent. When I got sick with lymes disease earlier this summer my brain just couldn't seem to handle that level of activity. More recently I have been getting back into the "Word" in the 'digging' sort of way. I had begun studying Psalm 68 before I got sick. For anyone who might be interested in my current 'results' I posted Psalm 68 in the Paraphrase link to the right. It is rather 'long' but there were some very interesting thoughts as well as some expansions on my picture of God that I have received from this passage. Here are a few that blessed me (using my paraphrases)

4 Worshipfully celebrate - with songs, music and even dancing – the Creator God who ‘carried’ you through difficult times. Even use His most sacred name, JEHOVAH, with rejoicing as He smiles at you.
There are a number of passages in this Psalm on God's desire for worship.

11 - 12 The Lord taught the song and many people learned it for a multitude of women joyfully shared with God’s family the good news that the opposition leadership had been cast out and fled. 13 You who have rested in God’s love are protected by Him – likebeing ‘under’ His covering ‘wings’.

This is definitely worth our efforts - to tell others that the opposition to God has been cast out. There are many more gems but for now I'll just share one more. (You are welcome to read the whole passage as you wish.)

) 20 Our Mighty One, our Supreme God, saves. Our loving Lord delivers even from disease and death. 21 But this same strong God irritatingly agitates those who hate Him, and those who persist in doing wrong get a defensive attitude against Him.

I need to be going for now. Until we meet again may the God who is Love fill your heart with His Peace and His JOY in believing.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, September 5, 2009


This past week our son left for Michigan with the express purpose of getting married.
I'm not the bride's mom so haven't been kept much in the loop - may be just as well.
I'm not even sure of the date but at present it may be in October.

Since my bout with acute lyme disease earlier this summer I felt it best to 'back out' from leading a children's division in our church, at least for this year. I have been still helping some part time but it is definitely a change. Today I was in the adult class. It is nice but different. One big difference of course is that I am not the 'teacher/leader' and therefore should not do all the talking. It is good for me.

We are heading into fall soon. Our tomato plants are slowing down. We have had some 50+ degree nights and that often causes some plants to change. We do thank the Lord for the bountiful crop of mostly yellow tomatoes but some red ones as well.

A couple of weeks ago we finished cleaning the weeds off of the electric fence for the horse field. Then we began cleaning up the flower beds near the door into the farm house. We had given another person the responsibility of keeping them and as a result they became wilderness patches. We have been digging up and sifting the dirt to reduce the root mass that had accumulated during the past three years. We have finished one and begun on the second one. I planted some herbs and mums in the first bed and hope to get some pansies planted for the winter. If the weather doesn't get too cold we may get pansy flowers until next spring from the plants planted now and in the fall.

A really nice transition
Even before I had the accute lyme illness it had seemed that my brain just wasn't working well. I am still taking some supplements specifically aimed at restoring the immune system's ability to 'fight'. It seems that this past week or so I have been able to concentrate especially on spiritual topics with more clarity, praise the Lord. I have returned to working with Psalm 68 where I had sort of left off before I got really sick. It is making a lot more sense and I have been enjoying the stretching it seems to be taking to get a feel of what God was expressing through this Psalm. There is a lot to this portion of scripture. When I feel more comfortable with my explorations I may post it on the paraphrase link, but that may yet be a little while.

Well, that is a little update of a few things going on in our little part of the world. With my hubby out of work we have been able to get more things done around the farm place here where we live. We are down to one working vehicle - our old clunker pickup - and we are thankful for the wheels. My hubby's brother also lives here and we have been eating the midday meal oftentimes with him and another friend who also lives here. I am thankful for the fellowship.

It is getting time for me to do other things so will close for this time and leave with you who have read this far with my wish of peace for you just now.

Father in heaven, grant Your peace as well as Your joy to all who care about us. Thank You.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Angel or other?

What happens when a person wants to help some who needs help - but doesn't want to be identified?

It definitely keeps life interesting. Especially if someone asks point blank. What should be said?

Time will tell. Sometimes, though, God does things and doesn't always identify - at least like we think it should be.

This afternoon I just felt bla. Not sure what it was but I do feel better this evening.

I have been watching the dahlias beginning to bloom and hope they will continue till frost.

Here is a picture of some yellow tomatoes from our garden.

We have had more flowers but these were fragrant as well.

Each flower is an 'I Love You' from Jesus. We have had a lot of them this year

The last couple of rains knocked a lot of these flowers down.

The mums are beginning to open now though. I have some yellow, gold, deep burnt red and possibly white ones (they haven't started opening yet so I'm not yet sure of the color).

Someone called flowers 'lonely' (maybe better said 'lovely') 'wanderers from Eden'.

Whatever way flowers may be regarded, when we think of them as 'I love you' notes from Jesus it can truly brighten one's day.

Smile, Jesus loves you.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back again

There are really no real reasons but excuses are plentiful for not reporting in here more often.

I am feeling better so long as I don't 'overdo'. July was, in some respects, full of surprises, gifts from our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus as well as lots of 'work' - things to do, 'fires' to try to put out and even new challenges (sometimes seemingly on a daily basis).

One lady who is currently residing at the farm here has a horse. She has figured out how to get out of her area so as to get much greener grass other places - and that is very true, the grass is greener on the other side. My hubby and I have been working from time to time on 'upgrading' the horse pasture so that the horse can have a better source of grass. In the meantime Mary (her name) has taken to the people and other animals very nicely on her daily meanderings around the place. She at times comes up to our door but we have told her that she is much to big to come inside :)

Another lady who currently resides here loves animals so Mary goes over to her window and either talks with her or her little dog or cat. At first we thought that the cat had quite a relationship going with the horse but right now it seems that the little dog, may have the 'upper hand' at the moment.

I have been so blessed by our little 'garden' this summer. Just about the time we were going to put in our vegetables was when I came down with the severe case of lymes so not much was planted for the spring garden. We did get a few tomatoes in (the big plant in the middle is a yellow tomato plant) and they are bearing beautifully.
We also have a yellow pepper plant that has done very well.

The part of the garden that has been particularly healing to me has been the flowers. That part of the 'garden' is right outside our door and so when I step outside it is as if God is whispering 'I love you' from every one of the flowers. Our stargazer lillies have just finished their blooming for this year. The pink/yellow/white dahlias are just beginning to bloom and will probably continue until frost. The wave petunias have been very lovely and I was surprised by 'wanderers' from past years returning to add their beauty. I am guessing that a few seeds 'made it' through and volunteered their beauty for another season. I had purchased purple petunias for this season and the volunteers are a deep pink and a lighter pink, so they look very nice together.

I also bought some Zinnias this year which are doing very well right near the water fountain. My carnations from last year didn't survive so I bought one pink plant for this season.
We put one tomato in the middle of the flower bed (as we did last year) and it is getting close to 6 feet tall as well as producing lovely yellow tomatoes.

I have also been learning more about myself and my Saviour recently. He so much wants to give me His kind of peace, but so often I seem reluctant to participate in what it takes to receive His peace in my heart. Since my husband has been unemployed since near the beginning of the year it has been a temptation to 'worry' about 'finances'. Yet God has been so good. It is not always money that supplies our needs. And just yesterday God spoke to my heart in the following words which I heard in our home worship time.
"We try too hard to take care of self ourselves. We are uneasy and greatly
lack a firm trust in God. Many worry and work, contrive and plan, fearing they
may suffer need. They cannot afford time to pray or to attend religious meetings
and, in their care for themselves, leave no chance for God to care for them. And
the Lord does not do much for them, for they give Him no opportunity. They do
too much for themselves, and believe and trust in Go
d too little.

I thank the Lord for teaching me bit by bit as well as the many blessings each day.

I must go for now but until we meet again may 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 Spirit.

Yours in Christ,

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Doing Better

Well, Campmeeting is past. Our son and his girlfriend did slip over there the last day. I think they went more to see old friends, but that is fine.

I decided to go to Sabbath School and church here at our home church this past Sabbath and things went quite well. I didn't teach the children's Sabbath School class but I did play the piano since there was no one else to do that.

Sunday and Monday I decided to try to help my hubby clean some apartments. We took a 'pad' with us and I would work for a little while and then rest on the pad. I am definitely not up to speed but was able to get a couple of 'kitchens' cleaned (between rests).

Today I stayed home - and needed to. I am trying to stay on a protocol that has helped others with Lymes. I am very thankful for God's leading and guiding in counteracting the effects of Lymes (and hopefully get rid of it altogether) and I am also choosing to stay close to Him so that I can know His plans for me.

I also praise the Lord for His goodness and love to me during this 'down time'. I believe He is helping me to use this time to draw me closer to Him and His way of thinking.

Until next time, may God give you a double portion of His peace in your heart.

Maiden, Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

God's will is Peace

Humm, today is the first day of Potomac Campmeeting. And usually we are in a flurry to get ready to go for a spiritual renewal. We have always enjoyed our campmeeting experiences.

But here I sit, quietly attempting to put some thoughts down on the computer instead.

We canceled our reservations when I was diagnosed with Lyme disease early this month. At this point in time I am feeling some better but not to the point of sitting through meetings all day.

Thanks to a loving sis, I have been able to do a considerable amount of research to find out what I am dealing with. First off, this is one of the most 'intelligent' parasitic bacteria I have ever found out about or learned of. For a few tidbits consider the following

(As usual the bacteria has a fancy name. For short I will label it Bb while speaking of it here.)

Here are a few 'for your information' things I have learned about Bb.

As is hopefully, commonly known, Bb is often carried via a tick (although it has been known to be 'shared' via other avenues as well).

When the tick sucks in blood from a host (whoever it is feeding on) the Bb in the gut of the tick immediately takes a 'sample' or 'reading' of the blood when it comes into the tick. It can 'tell' what kind of a host the tick is 'feeding on'. It immediately begins to use that information to 'rearrange' it's genetic code to prepare to be able to live in the 'new' host. After that 'job' is completed, the Bb migrates to the saliva glands of the tick where it is then injected into the host.

Bb seems to have the ability to 'mutate' it's 'code' to accomodate a large variety of environments and hosts.

Bb does not wish to 'kill' the host, but to thrive off of its life.

At times Bb even seems to be able to get the 'host' immune system to 'fight' itself so as not to
'bother' Bb.

Bb has a number of ways of 'surviving'. It can form a 'hard' shell to help prevent it from being killed. It can hide in almost any tissue in a human body. And as mentioned earlier it can change it form and shape to attempt to evade detection by the immune system.

Bb can mimic many 'chronic illnesses', thus evading detection of who it really is. Many symptoms have been 'mislabeled' as arthritis, MS, Fibromyalgia, parkinsons disease, Alzeheimer's, swellings in joints, and many more. (When the Lyme's is treated, many times the other symptoms disappear.)

Since many Doctors know little or nothing of chronic Lymes it is usually even denied existance.

For a picture gallery of some of the 'family' of 'bad bugs' that can be associated with Lymes you can go to for a tour.

Fortunately, there are ways to 'fight back'. The most commonly considered is antibiotics. (One drawback, at least it seems that way to me, is that Bb seems to be able to 'adjust' to the antibiotic rather quickly, similar to how it changed when going into a new host, so the guess of a 'Doctor' is, which antibiotic hasn't Bb learned to fight yet, and when or how long.)

When a person is really sick, however, using an antibiotic sometimes gives the body a 'running chance' of fighting back until the body's own immune system can get a better hold on the invader using 'weapons' that God has built into the human body. (a quick illustration. When a white blood cell is properly armed, when it comes up to a Bb, it has a special 'protein' that it can use sort of like a 'sword'. It puts a 'hole' in Bb which causes Bb to start losing potassium - not good for Bb. If the saline level of the body is at a healthy level, the saline then goes into the Bb and swells it, maybe like blowing up a balloon (layman's words) which then kills Bb.)

Bb does not like oxygen. Therapies including getting the oxygen level in the body to a healthy range is very beneficial when it comes to the body winning against the terroristic Bb.

Bb also does not like a healthy range of saline solution in the blood (refer to illustration above). It appears that when a host does not have proper saline levels in the blood Bb takes big time advantage to multiply. But when the saline levels are optimal, the white blood cells seem to be able to 'get' the upper hand much easier. Taking Vit C. along with added 'natural' salt, has been very helpful for many Lyme sufferers to win the war on Lyme.

Another 'weapon' that seems to be emerging is that Bb cannot survice certain health giving frequencies. Certain raw foods use these frequencies to enhance the body's ability to 'fight'. There are also other sources limitedly available as well, for health building purposes, that can increase these health giving frequencies in and around the body.

Bb has to have Magnesium in order to multiply. But the body also has to have magnesium in order to 'fight' the Bb. It appears imperative that sufficient magnesium in the body is essential to winning the war on Bb.

I'm not a Doctor, but I do have a responsibility for my body. I am doing what I can to cooperate with my immune system to enable it to 'win the war' on Lymes.

There are other modes of treatment besides those I have mentioned above but the most important part of my experience this time has been learning to listen to God speaking to my heart. Coming from my back ground, I would naturally have done a little different - I think.

I have been claiming God's promise of wisdom each decision and I believe God is keeping His promise of guidance in my life and more specifically which treatments I need to use right now.

That experience, perhaps even more than all others in this recent illness, has been bringing Peace. I am also learning some new 'pictures' of God during this time. I thank God for not leaving or forsaking me when things got really tough.

I hope to update sooner next time, but whatever, may the God of peace be with you too.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, June 1, 2009

What do I say?

When I looked at how long it has been since I have written, what do I say? (10+ days)

When I think of even a few of the experiences I have been through during those 10 or so days, what do I say? Well, I am feeling enough better to at least 'feel' like trying to write. So I will try.
As I sit here at my computer I realize that today is about the first day I have felt 'half way decent' at least for some time.

A few weeks ago I got a couple of bites. I'm not sure what they were but now think they may have been tick bites. They swelled way up and I got to feeling pretty bad. I upped my Vit. and Minerals and started putting poultices on the bites. I seemed to get better and the bites fully subsided. But then I began to go down fast. I could hardly think straight or do anything and finally one morning after a very bad night I asked my hubby to take a look at my back for it seemed awfully sore. He looked and saw another bite swollen to about 4 inches across, all red and hot. To make a long story short, we have used a lot of remedies and as I mentioned earlier I do believe I am again on the mend.

If that was all that went on that would have been enough. Ihad promised a friend of mine I would watch her mother (couldn't keep that promise though). She called back and told me her mother just had a stroke and is in the hospital so I didn't need to come.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to play for church alright. This week I 'made it' to Sabbath School but when I heard someone else playing upstairs I was delighted. I actually told the head elder I was going to go home and lay down. ( I was willing to try to play if no one else was around but I really didn't 'feel' like it yet.

Another friend has been having some of her own health challenges around the same time. I normally have been able to support her but this time my hubby was the one supporting me.

This afternoon my hubby, though, has been having some pain. We decided to 'hit it hard'. He is drinking Cayenne V8. The painseems to be going and we hope it stays away.

With my hubby out of work we find it really helps to use 'natural' or alternative 'remedies' whenever possible. Some medical people I'm sure stand aghast, and rightfully s0, but I do thank God that He has been guiding in the care of all of us.

Before I got really 'sick' my hubby and I did spend some quality time working in the flower beds near our house. I have lost my camera or I would post pics. Some of the beds just needed to be spruced up. Others have been completely reworked. We have yet to get to our backyard garden. I don't know when that will happen now. (I had hoped to do it by now but due to some unforseen interruptions as mentioned above all our projects have ground to a halt.)

From doing almost nothing on Friday, to slow motion on Sabbath, to puttering around on Sunday, my hubby and I took a walk today and then ended up going shopping at Walmart. He had to push the cart (that was still too hard), but I 'made it' and really haven't felt any the worse for the energy expended.

Actually, I thank the Lord for His healing hand upon me.

And one more thing I would like to say. I found out some really exciting news about grace.
The Greek 'meaning' of Grace is best described as when a master decided to make his specially liked slave a free man AND (plus, on top of being a free man) give him (or her) a lifetime inheritance AND (even more awesome, even more wonderful,) that slave would also receive whatever inheritance the rest of the master's family received for he or she was considered as part of the master's family with no reserves.

By grace you are 'set free', given a lifetime inheritance and made part of the family of the master - all because of the JOY it brings to the mastor. WOW!

It is getting toward sundown so I must close for this time.

What do I say? God loves you! He has already given YOU grace! What JOY!

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mercy and Grace

Having looked at God's kind of grace for a little while, I began to wonder how 'mercy' might 'fit' into the picture of what I was looking at in more depth.

It appears that 'grace' and 'mercy' are two 'trademarks', if you please, of the Creator God. He often uses those two words to describe what He is really like. When God spoke to Moses He described Himself as "The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth."

Science has 'discovered' that a 'key' element in increasing the capacity of a mind to cope with stress, with life, is to experience JOY and PEACE in harmony with another mind.

God's kind of grace includes my mind experiencing that God loves for me to be with Him (JOY).

As I learned this aspect of God's grace I began to suspect that somehow 'mercy' somehow fits in this picture in a way I had not noticed before.

I began to delve into what 'mercy' includes, particularly God's kind of mercy. What I have learned thus far has been confirming the fact that mercy does indeed fit into the 'equation' of how a human mind grows in capacity to handle stress.

There are some words translated 'mercy' (in the King James Version) that are only used when referring to God. The meaning of mercy described in those uses includes: 'To love deeply and passionately, with a softness and compassionate zeal, especially to those who have had misfortune (or those who do not deserve love), eager, ardent desire.

Other words translated 'mercy' also include the concept of 'covering over', 'overspread', to 'take what the guilty one deserves in order to free them from charges'.

I don't know about you but when I feel condemned, guilty, Im not at peace. At present I am getting the picture that when God extends mercy to me He is offering to take 'my place' as guilty and at the same time to cover me with 'what He is like'. This is not just a legal activity, but God's kind of mercy does all this in me with such deep, tender, compassionate love that instead of guilt I am enabled to experience His peace in my heart.

As I look at this combination of words describing what God is like I stand amazed.

Grace - God giving me what I don't deserve in the form of JOY (He loves for me to be with Him, He keeps letting me know that I am special to Him, I am like the 'apple of His eye' to Him - that type of experience)

Mercy - God doesn't give me what I deserve even though I am guilty of choosing any will other than His will for me (sin). Instead He takes my place as the guilty one, while at the same time, with deep, tender, compassionate love, He offers me His calming PEACE in my heart in place of my guilt and shame.

In order for me to 'grow up', mature, increase my capacity to cope with stress, I must experience JOY and PEACE together in connection with another mind. As I accept God's GRACE (JOY I don't deserve) and MERCY (PEACE in the place of the guilt I deserve) He empowers me to 'grow up', to mature.

I can also experience JOY/PEACE with another human mind. And the more I experience JOY/PEACE with either God or another human mind - the more I can grow up.

I am not the only one in this world who needs grace and mercy. Everyone needs it. And each time I experience God's Grace and Mercy, I am also concluding that God wants me to share what I have received from God through His mercy and grace with others.

Grace and Peace be multiplied unto you through learning more about our wonderful God.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grace and Peace be multiplied unto You

For the past week or so I have been pursuing what God's definition of grace includes.

I have also been trying to wrap my mind around what 'grace' might 'look like' from God's side.

The Greek word for 'grace' is 'charis'. You might recognize that 'root' in some words we use even today, such as charisma, charismatic, etc. Some of the basic meaning has to do with being true, what is true, what is true in personal excellence and what is in harmony with divine reality as well as what is not necessarily deserved or merited.

Further search revealed that 'charis' deals with JOY and that which causes JOY and rejoicing, as well as loving kindness. At the present time, though, I am seeing that the kind of JOY that is described in 'charis' is that which is not deserved.

When doing a word study I at times look to see if there is a 'root' from which the word comes. In this case the root word is 'chairo'. The meaning here is definitely JOY. Zacchaeus came down the tree with JOY when Jesus said He wanted to go home with him.

There is far more to this study but up to this time I had defined grace as God giving us what we don't deserve.

Adding what I have learned this morning to that definition has really expanded my picture.

Let me see if I can express what I have learned. Chairo includes 'joy'. Charis (based on chairo) also includes joy (experiencing that God loves for me to be with Him, I am special to Him, I am as the 'apple of his eye', etc.)but it is a joy I have not deserved. In a little shorter way let me say it this way.
Grace = receiving and experiencing God's joy which I don't deserve.

Grace and Peace come from God. Grace is receiving JOY from God I don't deserve. Peace is trusting God so completely that it is though I am 'resting in His arms'.

Science has discovered that every time I experience JOY and PEACE in harmony with another mind my capacity to cope with life, with stress, is increased. Experiencing JOY and PEACE can 'happen' with another human mind. It can also be experienced as I come in harmony with God.

God wants that experience to be multiplied - many, many times for me to experience that He loves for me to be with Him and and that I am extra special to Him leading me to trust Him in such a way that I feel as though He is hugging me with His arms around me.

No, I don't deserve it! Yes!!!!, God loves for me to experience His Grace.

And keep in mind. Every time you experience grace and peace, your capacity to grow up, to mature, to cope with stress, with life, increases.

You are loved.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, May 15, 2009

'Catch up' time

It seems I have been so busy I have not taken time to write here much. Lots of things are happening.

About two weeks ago we began a revival series in a tent pitched next to our church. I was asked to play the keyboard, which I was very happy to do. (Last year I had worked with the little children.) Tomorrow there will be a baptism in the afternoon of those who have chosen to follow Jesus' loving invitation to become part of His family here on earth.

Previous to the revival series I helped a friend move her things into storage. She is staying with us temporarily until she can find more permanent housing.

Another friend is taking care of her mother who is elderly. She was getting pretty tired to I staying with her mother three nights this week.

This past Sunday our son volunteered to help me get the farm looking better. We spent several hours on Mother's day improving the looks around the place. I told him it was one of the nicest gifts he could have given me. It also got me motivated to get our flower gardens in shape for the spring and summer. My hubby and I have been able to continue on with getting the flower gardens re-organized and even a couple of 'new' areas ready for planting as well.

On Sabbath afternoons there have been some ladies who have become interested in studying more about God's rescue plan as outlined in the earthly sanctuary in the Old Testament of the Bible. We are also teaching it to the younger children at Sabbath School. It is amazing to see how what 'science' is discovering about how our minds work agree so completely with what God 'taught' through the 'Sanctuary Map'. The more I learn the more awesome is seems.

With so much sleep loss this week I am going to close for this time.
Until we meet again, may God speak good to you.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, May 1, 2009

God's plan for really living

In order for the heart of a person to 'work' it has to have a 'rest' and it has to have a 'beat'. If both of those 'activities', in the proper sequence, are not properly functioning there is trouble.

The same is true of God's plan for really living. I don't believe God ever intended for us to be on total stress (even the good kind) all the time. Neither is it in His plan for 'lack of stress' (if that is the appropriate way of saying it) continually. Even when Jesus was here on earth, at one point things got so busy 'He told His own family of disciples to 'come apart and rest awhile' for He knew the importance of both experiences in order for proper growth to be experienced.

I believe God is working to teach me how to 'balance' my life 'cycle' of 'rest' and 'activity'.
Another cycle that has come to my attention is what I call the 'joy/peace' cycle.

There are times when it seems everything is quiet. Other times I have felt as though someone forgot what 'rest' means in the 'flurry' of activity. In any case, I believe God is guiding me to learn when to 'rest' in a trusting way and when to 'work' in a joyful manner.

Not long ago I was asked by our church to take on some extra responsibilities, part of which has put me as a member of the local governing 'board' of our church. I had been a member many years ago but due to some false accusations I was removed. Sad to say (for how long it took) it took the Lord several years to get me 'straightened out' - but I am so grateful He didn't give up on me during that time. I had been sensing for some time now that I would be asked to assume more responsibilities, so when I was asked to do it I agreed.

During the years between my first and second experience as a board member of our church there have been many changes. One change has been that many new people have come and some older members have left for one reason or another. Also as time has past I had pretty much 'forgotten' many of the activities I had been involved in when we first came here.

Some months ago (or even longer) some folks had begun talking about making a church directory which would include pictures of our church family. I had been quite busy with various 'jobs' including helping to move a friend recently so the talk about a picture directory had been about as far as that project had been taken.

This week it seems as though our hectic pace has slowed ever so slightly. However, one of my sisters was traveling from Florida to Michigan and stopped by for a few days to visit on her way north. It was so good to spend some time with her and I hope she enjoyed the time as much as I did. While here she showed me a picture directory from another church which had been done on a 'home' computer. I recalled the talk about doing something here for our church so I sat down at my computer and put in the basic outline (for later recall).

After my sister left I decided to 'fill in the blanks' so to speak. It took me a bit longer than what it should have because for a couple of days my computer and printer seemed to be in a big argument most of the time. Anyway, last evening when I went to our youth group where they have asked me to teach a music class to some of the children I took a rough draft with me to show the layout to some folks who had been interested in the project.

To make a long story short, I was brought 'face to face' with some issues I had long forgotten. I was reminded by one person that I had done something like this 'years ago' and that people had been very unhappy with it then, so why was I 'bringing it up again' and a few other points also.

My first reaction was surprise, to say the least. Beings that I had forgotten having done something similar - a church calendar years ago - it took me a while to recall even what they were talking about. (I finally remembered some of it this morning.)

More importantly, though, than a calendar or directory or whatever, I was brought face to face with the facts that some issues from before are still 'around'.

Last time, years ago, I KNOW I was simply too immature either spiritually or emotionally to cope with the underlying challenges. When I realized what was happening last night and this morning I also recognized God knew I couldn't handle the 'trauma' last time. For me it has taken about 10 years of 'growing up' spiritually and emotionally before God could 'bring me back' to the issues to give me the opportunity to be healed by His love in these areas that had previously been so wounded.

I have no reason to believe this experience will be 'easy'. But so long as I choose to believe the JOY of the Lord is my strength, and His PEACE that passes all understanding is available to me (which I am wanting to have all the time), God's healing, transforming, maturing love is working at continuing the growth in me of Christ's character filled with His love.

I have nothing to fear for the future except I forget what God has already done for me in the past.

I don't have time to mention many of the past ways God has led me but I will share a few.

God gave me praying parents. Yes, they made many mistakes, but they still loved God.

God protected me greatly by giving me Christian education in my formative years.

God gave me a husband who dearly loves the Lord and deeply loves me.

God gave me desires of my heart from childhood to be a teacher and a missionary. I taught church school for a few years and after I was married we spent about 6 years in Zambia, Africa on mission appointment.

More recently God has been answering prayers for our son to give him freedom in Christ.

Now, looking forward.

I have nothing to fear for the future because I know who holds it - Jesus.

Many other things are happening both in my life and in the world in general but I believe God is looking for people who will 'trust' Him so much that He can use them to exhibit to the world and to the universe His power in transforming lives to become like Him.

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

How does all of this tie in to a 'cycle' I mentioned at the beginning? Maybe I am in one of the 'rest' parts of the cycle (but doubtful it will be for long) of living, but wherever I may be right now I know that Jesus loves me and is in the business of transforming me, so long as I give Him permission, to become a part of His family like Him.

I have much to do today so need to be on my way. Until we meet again may God be with you.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Joyfully share victory news

I have been studying Psalm 68 recently. This morning I progressed to verse 11. The whole passage has been a real blessing as I have been 'unpacking' it, but verse 11 practically 'jumped off the page', so to speak.

KJV version reads: "The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." Probably due in part to the 'victorian' flavor of this version (as well as a seeming bias against women by the men of that day) the deep meaning was 'glossed over'.

The NASB translated this verse: "The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the {good} tidings are a great host:"

ASB puts it: "The Lord giveth the word: The women that publish the tidings are a great host.

Whatever God's word is (other parts of this Psalm unpack the message) this verse says it is the women's 'job' to joyfully share the good news. WOW!!!

And even more exciting to me is the concept that this joyful sharing is not just one or two women. The numbers are great!

I'll share more later but I got so excited I wanted to share this good news with you too.

And sharing God's good news is an excellent way to experience God's kind of peace in the heart.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A short time to 'slow down'

The past two weeks we have been BUSY! This Sabbath was such a relief as well as a blessing to be able to lay aside the hustle and bustle and running too and fro.

Almost 2 weeks ago we agreed to help move a friend. Friday afternoon we pretty much completed almost everything. Another friend said they would help us to try to get our friend's car moved.

That seemed enough to keep us busy but there seemed to be plenty more all about the same time.

Our church is planning on having 2 weeks of meetings concerning Victory in Jesus. I have agreed to work with the younger children during that time. I had planned to use another program that I had used last week but presently I have decided to instead do what I call the 'Sanctuary Map'.

I am currently presenting this to a small group every Sabbath so it would be easier, I think, to just use the same material. This age of children most of the time enjoy repetition.

This Friday one of my sisters came by to visit, with a friend. It has been so good to see her. She is helping me to improve some of my 'sanctuary' items while she is here. I have assembled some pieces to represent the articles of furniture and the gate of the earthly sanctuary as described in the Bible so that as we share with others about the earthly Sanctuary they not only 'hear' but can 'see' and even, in a limited way, experience some of the lessons God was trying to teach human beings through this 'map'.

We had recently taken the items representing the sanctuary to a weekend meeting being held in Dalton Ga. There we presented the 'sanctuary map' and a few of its meanings to a group of junior age young people.

My sister has come up with some ideas on how to improve the looks of the seven branched candlestick so we are working on that presently.

I am rather 'tired' this evening so will leave you for now.

Until we meet again, may the Spirit of the Lord fill your heart and life with His JOY, which is your real strength.

Yours in Christ,

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another aspect of living in God's plan

I seem to have taken quite a while to 'digest' Psalm 66. I finally posted my current paraphrase in the link to the right (if you wish to look at my present understanding of that chapter). There is quite a bit of 'life' and 'living' covered in that Psalm.

I think I found out where the phrase 'through hell and high water' may have come from. Verse 12 refers somewhat to that thought in the KJV: 12 we went through fire and through water but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy [place]. In looking up the meanings of 'hell' and 'water' I found some very interesting concepts. After trying to grapple in my mind with what the author meant I put that part of the verse like this. People have attacked our identity, causing pain (like fiery hell) and humiliation (like someone 'pissing' on us),

God has not promised that life here on planet earth will only be sweet and nice, with everyone treating everyone else the 'right' way. Since we are living in a war zone, called by some the 'great controversy between Christ and Satan, attacks by God's enemy against us in all sorts of ways is currently a 'way of life'. But the later part of the same text gives 'God's' perspective more: yet through these experiences You. God, have matured us and satisfied us abundantly.

We serve an awesome, loving, caring God. I honestly don't believe that He has any desire for all of the experiences we often label as 'hell and high water', but even through them all God still loves us and as we keep on focusing our thoughts on what God is really like the ending of this Psalm helps us to 'read the last chapter', so to speak.

19 If I believe lies about God, He can't always get through me, but He still listens and continues working to answer my heart cries. 20 God is so good, for He has not stopped loving me - even though I don't deserve His love.

I believe God has been enabling me to let go of lies about Him to enable me to be set free in a deeper way. And as the first part of Psalm 66 so aptly put it, "Let everyone express Joy to God." This kind of JOY is not just passing excitement, wanting to 'jump and shout' kind of experience. I just read a statement that described the kind of JOY I believe a more mature Christian begins to experience. "Then talk of the promises; talk of Jesus' willingness to bless. He does not forget us for one brief moment. When, notwithstanding disagreeable circumstances, we rest confidingly in His love, and shut ourselves in with Him, the sense of His presence will inspire a deep, tranquil JOY." and "The purest JOY springs from the deepest humiliation. The strongest and noblest characters rest upon the foundation of patience and love, and trusting submission to the will of God"

Combining that kind of JOY with God's kind of PEACE - which in the Bible is described as "Peace that passes all understanding" - it appears to me God has something 'out of this world' for us to experience in our hearts even while we are still 'here'.

I have much to do today so I must go for now. Until we meet again, may you experience in your own heart God's kind of JOY and His kind of peace - even in the middle of whatever life experiences you are in at the moment.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, April 10, 2009

Update in April

It has been a while since I've had time to sit and write. So much has been happening that it seems 'write time' has been scarce.

With all the comings and goings, though, God has been evident in His directing both experiences and 'consequences', if that is the correct term. Maybe I can explain a little while giving a short summary of some of our recent activities.

We had been asked to go to Dalton Ga. to share good news about Jesus with Juniors and youth while their parents were in meetings during the first weekend in April. Last year this same group had met and they estimated that there could be upwards of 50 or so in the class this year. For whatever reason there were only perhaps half that many but the Lord blessed anyway.

In preparation for the classes and based on the estimate given us we had started preparing materials several weeks ahead of the trip. By printing the lesson books on my home printer I figured we could do the 'job' for considerably less than printing at a printing or copy shop.

In the past whenever I have been asked to do a presentation it is almost certain that I will experience some kind of equipment 'failure'. This time was no exception. But by the time I was using the 'fourth' printer even I began to wonder at times what was going on. To make a long story short I now have a second new printer (the first 'new' one died after less than 100 prints).

I have been considering getting my material printed 'commercially' but finances are still tight, so for the time being it appears we will still continue doing our own. I am thinking of printing small amounts on a regular basis so that when the next 'call' for my material comes I might already have some on hand. Of course, in a small two bedroom house that means storage space which at the moment is also a factor that has to be considered. Time will tell.

While plans for the trip were progressing other activities were also going on in our lives. A dear friend of ours has been having challenges which drew upon our sympathies and time. I am so thankful we have been able to assist in various ways to ease our friend's challenges and I thank God for enabling us to share what resources we have with others who also have needs.

Another situation that has been a learning experience for us has been ongoing for some time. We had agreed to let a certain person stay at our farm some time back. This past November it appeared we might possibly be moving in the near future so we told those staying on the farm about our plans to move. All residents living here will have to leave if we move - their living here is dependant on our occupancy). One of the residents, or so it has seemed, decided we were just angry with them and that our letter of intent to move was just our way of trying to get rid of them. About the same time it became evident that everyone was going to have to help more financially in order for all the bills to be paid. As a result, as I mentioned earlier, the one person took it our letter of intent and the need for more assistance with utilities as a personal 'affront' and decided to 'leave' (in a huff, so it seemed). A friend offered them a place to stay free of charge but after two months the person found reason to be offended and left there too. That helped me to realize the problem was not really ours.

Well, we are back from Georgia, having driven many miles in 'sunny snow showers' - a very interesting experience to have the sun shining and snowing at the same time - and we are working to get back into the swing of every day life (whatever that is).

Through all of the above experiences we have seen God guiding and teaching and revealing. I am more than ever convinced that God's meaning of judging is that He will reveal what is hidden so intelligent and true decisions can be made by those who love Him.

I have to go for now but I pray that all who read the above will experience just now the fact that God not only loves you but He is eager to give you the experience of peace in His love.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, March 28, 2009

God is good

It is rainy today. Praise the Lord! According to the weather people. We have never had a drier January - March since records have been kept.

Today is Sabbath - a day of spiritual rest and gladness, a day of joy and love. God gave me this Sabbath as a day to raise my affections from earth to things above.

This week is almost over. It seems at times I have been living in '911' land. But the God of the Universe has been through all of these experiences with me.

Just this morning in our worship time I read this quote. "Gratitude, rejoicing, benevolence, trust in God's love and care, -- these are health's greatest safeguard."

God is truly good. And the more I focus on Him, the more I realize that the goodness I am expressing isn't so much external (nice as that can be at times) but what God wants to do inside of me - in my heart.

This week we were able to get my office corner (of our living room) papered. It looks much better. If I could get blogger figured out I would add a picture, but for now we will just rejoice in what we have been able to complete as much as we did get done.

A friend of mine has had a 'rough' week in some respects. Yet as we have chosen to rejoice and be grateful together God has also been working miracles of love that have been awe inspiring.

Some things we rejoice about because we have 'seen' results. Other times of rejoicing are because God has promised and we are choosing to trust His heart. That is what is at times called 'faith'.

May the God of peace continue to be with you.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update for this March

It seems when God plans something 'big', there is an attempt by the opposition to prevent, slow down, or otherwise derail God's plan. What is even more interesting at times is to watch God counteract the counterfeit. Sometimes in the past I have gotten to engrossed in the counterfeit I forget to revel in how God is counter acting.

The present is no exception. We were invited to share about Jesus with some Junior age people the first week in April. I decided to print some materials to share with them that they could take home.
As has usually happened in the past it wasn't long until technical difficulties began. To make a long story short, my printer 'died'. Even a person who has had a lot of experience with printers was not able to 'resurrect' it. A new printer arrived this weekend and we hope to get it running soon.

In the meantime, since our son moved to a house next door that we also have the use of, we decided to use what had been his bedroom as more of an office. There was a desk in the adjoining house that had been left there by a former occupant which seemed to be just the thing for us to use. Once we got things arranged it fit in quite nicely. Some months ago I had attempted to set up an office in the other house (while our son was still 'living' in our place) but it had never really worked out for me to really 'use' the space. Now that we have more room here we are in the process of rearranging things here to utilize the 'office' items.

While all those activities have been going on, I became more aware that in our small place we needed 'focused' lighting in different areas. In short, yesterday we changed a light switch and took down a small wall. The new configuration should, when completed, be very nice.

Since the new printer is here I most likely will get started on that project. We only have a few days left of this month. In the meantime I have also decided to add some wallpaper to my 'new corner'. We just got our camera back from repairs (it sure looks like a new camera to me) so maybe when we are done I'll be able to show progress. Right now everything is messy - as usual when 'remodeling'. Last night we did get up the first piece of wallpaper. I think it is going to look very nice when it is finished.

I do believe the physical changes will help me work more efficiently. But even more important in my life has been as Jesus has been 'transforming' my picture of who He really is and what He is really like. Another blog:, has been a real blessing to my soul, (if you haven't already visited there, may I encourage you to at least take a look.)

God's kind of peace, according to what I have been experiencing in my own life, begins in the heart (planted there by God Himself) and is then manifested in one's life. God's kind of joy - knowing that God loves for me to be with Him and that I am special to Him regardless of my picture of me - combined with His peace in my heart because I have chosen to trust, confide, and accept His will for my life, completes the experience that enables me to 'grow up', mature, become more and more like Jesus.

Even when changes come, whether little ones like changing my house around, or bigger ones involving relationships with others, accepting God's kind of peace and joy inside the heart enables each one of us to reveal more to others (testify, witness) more accurately what 'God is love' really means.

May you have just that kind of joy/peace experience with Jesus today.

Bringer of Peace