Friday, January 23, 2009

Options for Peace - or otherwise

The more I have been 'digging' into the Psalms the more fascinating they are becoming to me.
I've read all of them due to the fact that I have read the whole Bible through a number of times, but some of the messages were either unclear or completely 'missed' by me before. Psalm 59 is one good example of 'not getting the message' by a surface reading.

I have posted the paraphrase of Psalm 59 to the right (click the paraphrase link) but I'll add a few comments here about the content as well.

The notes at the beginning of Psalm 59 indicate David had been chased by Saul - even out of his own house.

For those who have read of some of Saul's 'dealings' in regards to David, the Psalm has quite a bit of meaning. But it also has some very pertinent thoughts and applications for today.

David took what people said seriously (for the most part anyway). In this passage he has quite a bit to say negatively about some people's words. Here are examples.
6 – 7 Like a pack of dogs prowling around at night, they growl and are boisterously fierce. Their words, like garbage, gush out sharp and acrid because they think “who cares?”.

Here is another one.

14 – 15 O.K. Let them loudly growl and noisily complain, like a pack of dogs prowling around at night as they wander outside the protected place – grumbling because they aren’t satisfied.

Those against David evidently weren't what you might call 'good' stock.

But even after all of that, David turned his eyes back on His heavenly Protector and ended this poem in triumph.

16 But I will celebrate Your conquering boldness with singing. Yes, I will shout with rejoicing in the morning about Your goodness and faithfulness. You have been my stronghold and way of escape when my enemies were after me. 17 I make joyful music to You, God, for You are my benevolent, Love Power.

We, too, can turn our eyes from the frustrations and complications that may face us and choose to celebrate God's conquering boldness with singing and shouts of joy.

I invite you to join me in praising the Lord especially during the upcoming hours of the Sabbath.

May God speak especially good to you as you lift your thoughts to how wonderful He really is and how awesome is His lovingkindness to all of us.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, January 19, 2009

Words of Peace (or otherwise)

I have been studying Psalm 58. For some reason it seemed to take me some time to even begin to understand what David was saying in this passage. But as I was looking at it again the past couple of days I sensed at least some of what God was speaking. (See 'Paraphrases' at the right to see and read the whole chapter)

David's primary focus in this passage seems to be on both attitudes and words. It begins with a couple of questions. Evidently the original 'receiver'(s) had some problems. What would you think if someone asked you "Are your decisions right? Are your criticisms valid?" and then if that same person went on to tell you that your emotions were so 'off track' that they affected all your actions to others in such a way that you had become cruel and oppressive. But they didn't stop there. They went so far as to say that the same spirit had 'infested' your children so that their words were not only lies but were like 'hot acid' and that they wouldn't listen to anyone anymore. Doesn't paint a very good word picture, to say the least.

If that is all that David said I would have been rather discouraged. But as usual, David ends with hope and lots of encouragement. Listen as he ends in 'praise'.
10-11 Those who choose the right will leap for joy as they
experience cleansing from all the lies which had previously
caused hostility and separation between them and God.
Even hypocrites will admit: "Yes, God rewards those who
agree with Him." God will vindicate Himself right here on
this earth.

Those parting words are definitely words of peace for all who will accept them. We serve a God that is not out for revenge - even after all that was said earlier concerning how some people may believe, and act on, lies about Him. But the Creator God is more interested in revealing His real character of divine love and compassion through unmerited grace and plentiful mercy to even those who don't yet know or love Him,then any other action.

That is one way I long to imitate God's character and thus help vindicate Him as well.

Until we meet again may God's peace fill your heart and life.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A new week

A new week and a new 'routine' has begun in our house. Since hubby is no longer working an 8 hour day we are hoping to get caught up on a lot of unfinished business around the farm. Our son just took off for Michigan so the place is considerable quieter at the moment as well.

We were able to get some wood split for our hungry 'woodstoves'. Since both houses have stoves we are using much more wood. But we are thankful that the wood is not as expensive as is bottled gas. We are also thankful that the remaining folks in the other house have been willing to keep the woodstove going to help reduce the overall heating costs of electric and gas.

There are also some other 'new' things this week. A close friend of mine who dearly loves the Lord is in a very tight financial situation. She called this morning and we talked for a little while. Today my hubby and I have been talking to God in her behalf a number of times. God knows far more about her than we do. On the other hand He encourages us to bring to Him what is on our minds. Not only is her situation involving her personally but quite a few other people as well. At this point in time I believe God could be glorified by answering our requests. At the same time we do not know everything, so we keep asking most of all for God's will to be done.

One thing that I do KNOW is that God's will is for us to TRUST His heart. No matter what physical circumstances may attempt to overwhelm us, Trusting the heart of God will not lead us to destruction spiritually but will draw us ever closer to our Lover, our Saviour and Lord.

Another project I am preparing for this week is a training 'camp' which will be held next week and I have been asked to share what I have been learning and teaching for the past several years with a program called "Passport to Life". My computer has been arguing with the software in which I made all my lessons so it has been a bit of a challenge. At the moment all I can do is 'print' what I have already completed. If I try to change anything the program locks up. Keeps life interesting, to put it mildly. Yet I have been thanking God that I can at least print out what I have already completed. I will be having a sort of 'week of prayer' at a church school in the afternoons and in the mornings I am scheduled to share with adults along spiritual lines. Most of all I want to share more of what God is really like with others.

I believe one of my primary focuses, even as some other blogger friends have mentioned, is to seek to know what God would have me 'do' and 'let go' of other multitude of activities that call me to their aide.

May the God of peace be with you this week no matter what is going on around you.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Peace and Quiet - for a few days maybe

Tomorrow is the last day of my hubby's current job. They are going to have a little special 'dinner' for him and I have been invited which is nice.

Since God is not dependent on a job to take care of our needs in some respects we are looking forward with a certain amound of 'awe' as to what God is planning for us. I've asked the Lord if there is a 'job' I should be looking to do for pay. It seems I keep plenty busy most of the time - but not for what the world calls 'pay'. At this point in time that doesn't seem to yet be on God's revealed agenda.

Rather, I got a letter last week inviting me to share the wonderful news about God with some children in Tennessee during a 'long' weekend when the adults will be receiving spiritual food also. Then I got a phone call today asking if we might be available to teach in south west Virginia during the last week in January. Well, my hubby is not tied down to a 'paying job' so we said yes to both.

In the meantime, there are less people here, which tends to reduce the hubbub somewhat. I did get a call from two former residents today asking questions. One I could take care of quickly. The other one got quite interested in the training week in south west Virginia and seemed interested in possibly attending. I gave her the number of the director. Hope all goes well.

Our son is trying to work things out to go to Michigan this next week to see his girl friend's parents. Two less people here should bring even more quiet - for a few days anyway.

With less people here it has been interesting how those left seem to be 'watching' the expenses more, for which we are grateful. We do have a gas heater in the other house but the folks there have been trying to keep the wood stove running as well which definitely reduces the use of the gas. Thus far the gas bill has stayed a bit lower than other years, Thank God.

There is another kind of Peace and quiet, though, that I have been looking for intently as well as a 'quiet' farm. Some of my other blogger friends have been speaking of the kind of peace found when a person takes specific time with getting to know who God really is and what He is really like. Yes, that is what I have been aiming at as well and I believe God is aiding me in that search through many means.

Starting perhaps a couple weeks or so ago I was challenged with a loss of my voice as well as some other 'ill' symptoms. It hasn't seemed to have been a typical 'flu' or 'cold' but I have had a cough that doesn't sound good as well as 'aching' off and on, depending on several factors. I thought I was doing better but today was a 'down' day. I slept more or less a good share of the day and tonight I think I am feeling better. To be honest, when I have been awake I have been talking to the Lord on a number of subjects probably more than a typical day. I do thank the Lord that He can listen and communicate with me any time day or night.

I do hope to get to bed somewhat early this evening - and hoping that the extra rest and quiet will help strengthen me for tomorrow and on.

Right now hubby and son are adding extra antifreeze to the two cars as it may get down in the single digits or lower tonight and tomorrow night as well.

Sometimes the colder weather seems a little quieter. We haven't had much snow yet this year (there were a few flakes today) but somehow a quiet snowfall often gives a sense of peace to the body - if it isn't 'overdone'.

Whether your weather is cold or otherwise, whether you have a lot of people around or just a few (or none) keep in mind that God's kind of peace can be everywhere and all the time.

Great peace those have who love God and nothing will offend them. Praise the Lord.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let them go

A lot has been happening in my life the past few days and weeks. Other than not being able to 'talk' much - maybe that was a blessing in more than one way - there have been a lot of emotions with at least some twinges of sadness.

In the past few weeks 5 people have moved from the farm to go live in other locations. As usual, or so it has often seemed, 'we' are to 'blame'. But, let them go.

Some time back we let the folks living here know that we were seriously planning on moving. When we leave this place everyone else also has to leave. That is what started the above 'moves' at least in part.

One person left - or at least we got the distinct impression - angry at us and thinking we had similar feelings (which we don't). (I do believe we are on better terms by now, though.)

Another person left and gave us a distinct impression that he deserved to have received more than he 'gave' (even to the point of attempting to 'take' some items to 'pay' for what he believed he 'deserved').

Another person left (she had to go because she was related to the one listed above) after having given, and given, and given again and having been a tremendous, gracious hostess to others.

The next two people to leave had been a blessing in many ways to us while here, but they did seem to be a little flustered. It was a difficult move since they had so much to 'take' with them this time. They filled a 28 ft truck as well as a car with their belongs. They were leaving primarily because of our decision. They have a heart to do God's will and we wish them God speed.

There will be more 'leavings' before this scenario is over. I'm not sure whether to 'look forward' to them or otherwise. Through much of this time we have also been working to organize and pack our belongings as well. Makes for an interesting situation, to say the least.

My mind this morning went to the rich young ruler who came to Jesus one day wanting to know what was needed for him to follow Jesus. This Bible story has intrigged me. Jesus loved this young man and desired him to respond to the Saviour's love. Yet, according to the world's standards, Jesus didn't do a very good job of presenting the possibilities very well for the young man turned away sorrowful when Jesus answered his question as to what was needed to follow Jesus.

On the other hand, might it be that we need to be careful not to 'sweet talk' others when they are making life changing decisions? Might there be a time to 'let them go'? Might there even be a place to have 'tears' in our eyes as we watch someone leave?

In my situation I have to admit that for at least two of the people who have left I have felt sorry for them. We had hoped to have been a help to every person who has come 'our way'.

Another lesson we have also been learning is that when a person does not forgive they become a debt collector. The problem gets bigger as each person they meet they attempt to collect debts from even though the one they have not forgiven may be long gone or far away.

It appears to us at the moment that a number of folks have attempted to collect debts from us even though we were not the ones originally at 'fault'. Let me assure you, it has been an expensive proposition - on our part anyway.

I do hope, though, that even as we let them go they will some how, some day, learn that the only way they will ever be able to satisfy their 'debt' - the ones they perceive owed to them - will be to 'let IT go'. They will never be able to collect enough to satisfy what they believe is owed them. But when they 'let IT go' - what they believe is owed to them - then God can not only pardon others but they can also be forgiven and cleansed and no longer need to be debt collectors of anything.

What about us? I am choosing to 'let it go' too. We do want to remember the good, pure, true, honest, and good reports but let the rest 'go' into God's care and keeping.

I guess this was reinforced yesterday when a 'former' resident 'let me have it' with a barrage of 'what was wrong' with present situations. I didn't (couldn't) say much so just listened. I was finally able to extracate myself from even listening because I had to take someone else somewhere. I feel sorry for that person but I believe God would have me 'let them go' just as Jesus 'let' the rich young ruler 'go'.

Today is another day. Besides letting people 'go', we are trying to get rid of 'things' as well.

We had probably 'more' than enough when we moved here about 12 years ago. My husband's mother added a lot to our 'stash' which we 'inherited' when she died. When the woman died who owned the farm a lot of her items were 'added' to the composite amount. Then, over the years a number of folks have 'left' things here from time to time. Now it is time for us to 'let them go' - or more actively 'get rid' of the stuff.

And time for us may be running out. My brother advised me that two times in his married life the Lord had given them advance notice that they were going to be moving and to get packed and ready. They pretty much ignored the counsel both times with near disastrous results. I would like to learn from other people's experiences so I have been trying to move in that direction of 'letting go' as well as 'packing' what we think we would like to keep.

It has helped as each of the people leaving have taken things with them. But there is still a lot of 'stuff'' left. Some stuff is old old. Some stuff just needs to be dumped. Other stuff needs to be recycled (maybe). Some stuff needs to find other 'homes' and maybe some stuff needs to be 'left' - time will tell.

Well, time is marching on and now I need to get busy with more than writing.

My voice seems a bit better (but that doesn't 'do' anything with 'stuff') so I'm signing off for now.

Until we meet again, may I remind you that Jesus not only 'let go' those who chose to go a different direction, but He was constantly drawing to Him anyone who was 'weary', and 'heavy laden'. And for anyone who responds to His drawing love, He loves to shower with His peace, joy and love. Sounds good to me. Bring that kind of 'rain' on, Jesus.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quietness and Peace

I suppose I have been thinking about 'quietness' in part because at the moment I can't talk. Last evening I completely lost my voice. I normally 'teach' a class of young children at our church every week. I suppose the children could 'hear' me when I whisper, but I have yet to learn how to 'sing' without 'sound'. Without music the class looses much of its attraction for children. I called some friends and they are taking the class of children today.

So, here I sit, 'writing' along the lines of 'words' and 'quietness'.

Most often we think of words as what we 'say' - our speech. That is very true. And it is also true what Jesus said in Matthew 12:37 "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Written words, however, are also very important. The whole Bible is 'written' words and we know a little of the impact those words have on a person - especially when those words are accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit in one's heart and life.

Putting together what I have been learning from some of my recent studies in Psalms it seems David wrote a lot about the effects of 'words'. I just recently 'unpacked' Psalm 57 (see paraphrase link to right for the entire chapter). David had some strong things to say about the effects of words. In Psalm 57:4 David described 'negative' communication in rather strong terms.

"Roaring and yelling surround me. People spew out burning, acrid words. They lay seige on me with cutting, blasphemous language."

In verse 6, however, David expresses another very interesting concept.

"Their determined plans to trap me as I move from place to place depress me, causing me to feel worthless and empty. Yet, in those very plots they laid for me they themselves have been entrapped."

I definitely need to be more careful in what I say. It may come back to either 'haunt' or 'help' me - depending on what I said or written.

Thankfully, words can also communicate 'positive', uplifting sentiments, - both spoken and written. In Psalm 56 David expressed his choice to have confidence in God - even using God's own words - to reinforce himself.

Ps. 56: 3 - 4 But, when I am tempted to get terrified, I renew my determination to have confidence - feel safe - in You, God, by boasting in You (usuing Your own words) to boldly declare my security in You. I will not dread or even be afraid of what people try to deal out to me.

Sadly, another recent experience reminded me how weak I am in the area of 'words'. A few of us were talking about some recent events here at the farm (Who needs artificially developed hollywood type 'soap operas' when you live at a place like this farm. ). Sad to say. we fell into a 'complaint' session. I hope you have never participated' in anything of that kind, but you may know what I mean anyway - 'so and so did such and such'; ' he did this or that'; she said' . . . about . . . , 'ad nauseum'.

Fortunately the Lord got hold of one person's mind in the group and they 'called' the rest of us on what we were doing and saying - particularly the complaining and 'gossiping'. When I recognised what I had just been involved in I also realized that, if possible, I was more guilty. I have been studying the above Psalms and should have 'known' better. Needless to say, I really felt bad and went back to each person involved and ask their forgiveness for taking part in that negative, even 'acid' form of communication activity.

I guess the above is more of an example of how to not have God's kind of quietness and peace.

So, how can I learn to have God's kind of quietness (as well as my not being able to 'talk' for a while.)

Well, for one thing, God's kind of quietness is not so much having to do with 'not talking' as it has to do with one's personal 'attitude', at least as I am presently beginning to see 'good' quietness.

For a few months there was a person here on the farm that talked and talked and ta. . . . I came to the conclusion that to that person, anyway, a 'lie' had been implanted early in their life that talk was a primary means of extracating one's self from any difficulty. What became even more obvious to me, however, was that from the outside (me looking on) more and more talk only seemed to make matters worse. I can't think of any time in my previous life when I have 'heard' so many 'stories' concerning any particular situation as I have while 'listening' to that person. Even more interesting was that stories would be presented to me (even when I had been involved in a story) and tales would be spun that because of personal involvement I knew to not be true - although there were 'elements' of facts scattered here and there so as to try to make it look plausible, if possible.

Our son had asked me to listen to a fairly recent 'popular' song a few months ago. Each verse of the song would describe some circumstances of which the whole song was about. Then, in the chorus the singer said 'this is my story and I'm stickin' to it'. I laughed as I listened to the singer 'explaining' what had happened and then in the next verse changing his 'story' - again and again and yet ending each verse with: 'this is my story and I'm stickin' to it'.

The talker is no longer here on the farm. Actually, I do feel sorry for the talker, though. In my mind it should be much easier to speak the truth in love - and really 'stick' to it' - rather than coming up with so many variations on similar themes. And, for what it is worth, how does one keep track of what has been said before so as to agree? Maybe by then it doesn't matter.

In the long run, that kind of a mentality would be hard put to be 'quiet', with so many tales.

Enough of the negative. What about God's plans for peace?

God's kind of quiet and peace trusts God because the 'story' doesn't keep changing.

There most likely will be problems in each person's life. Yes. But even a lack of problems doesn't guarantee quiet.

For one reason, God's kind of quietness instills confidence that since God knows all and He loves me, I can 'rest' in His loving care. It is not up to me to 'come up' with a 'story'. And since God already knows what is best for me as well as 'knows' the story, I can and will be quiet in Him.

And even when others 'come up' with tales, God still is God and He already knows what is going on. I also believe that as we stay with Him, He will eventually bring truth to 'light'.

Another experience this week made that point very clear.

In working with another friend a rather tense situation between my friend and another person in some position of authority over my friend had been nervously increasing for some time.

During the past few weeks the tension level has speeded up due to some very unfortunate circumstances. Yesterday I went over to pick up a few items my friend asked me to 'take away'. While there a person 'representing' the authority came by with questions as to what 'I' was doing. To make a long story real short, some 'truth' came out that I believe can lead to a great reduction in the tension level. A lot of 'stories' had been 'flying' around but evidently there was also enough 'error' in each of them to create a lot of 'havoc, to say the least.

I believe God has been allowing certain things to happen in order to 'reveal', - or perhaps more correctly - bring to judgment (allow decisions to be made) in the situation involving my friend. The last I have heard, the stress level has dropped and I believe even more will 'come out' as time goes on.

Looking back on my friend's experiences as well as myself with the 'talker', I am wondering if God isn't leading me to learn to 'be quiet' in Him rather than choose to 'carry' stress, even when externally it may appear there are no alternatives except to get 'up tight' and stressful.

Isaiah wrote to Israel the following words from the Creator God. "In returning and rest shall ye be saved; In quietness and in confidence shall be your strengh'. Isaiah 30:15 And most of the time when quoting the Bible we 'end' the text there. But, sad to say, God added four more sad words "and ye would not".

God expressed His desire for Israel - and for me - but He wouldn't force them (or won't force me) to accept His kind of 'quiet' or 'rest'. When a person refuses to accept God's plan, God won't force, but the sad words may some day be spoken of them 'and you would not'.

That is so sad when a person refuses 'peace and quiet' from God, but I thank God I can personally choose - because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection - receive God's peace and quiet as well as His love and joyful strength.

May I invite you to join me in experiencing the peace and quiet that only God can give?


Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Boot camp training experiences

Have you ever felt as though any option you had was not conducive to the 'best' outcome?

Have you had someone get angry when you told them you forgave them?

Could it be that the way we look at a situation could be the 'real problem', not so much what is actually 'going on'.

I had a wonderfully edifying phone exchange with my brother this morning. As quite often is the case he challenges me to think differently about current events - my current events, not what the world calls 'current events'.

He knows in the past I have 'taught' others - often children - about the 'armor of God' and what some of the meanings for one's spiritual life can be. But rather than just 'rehashing', my brother suggested God's 'boot camp' experiences may be quite 'different' than what we might have previously conceived. Our son had recently been in 'army' boot camp so we discussed some of the 'contrasts' as they came to our minds. I wish I could have written more of it down as we talked but some of the suggested concepts are still tossing about in my head throughout this day.

1. Most activities at boot camp are aimed at producing unity of action amongst a 'group of people'.
The people in bootcamp march together, eat together, work together, study together and hopefully learn to cooperate in all aspects of their lives. When there is a battle it is not 'good' to have some 'maverick' out there doing 'his own' thing. As most good generals know, in unity there is a much greater opportunity for 'victory'.

2. Spiritual warfare deals with the mind, therefore the weapons are not physical.
God is looking for people who have matured spiritually to the level where they can not only 'put on' the armor of God but also have practice in 'using it' God's way.

3. God's weapons are not of this world.
If God's weapons are not of 'this world' than might they look 'odd' or even possibly 'wrong' to a person who is not 'spiritually minded.

4. The purpose of God's weapons are not the same as 'worldly' weapons.
Worldly weapons destroy. When our son was on the 'shooting range' it was with the express purpose to get enough practice with a given weapon so that some form of 'enemy' could be 'done away'. When we were talking after his days at boot camp, our son mentioned that a primary purpose 'drilled' in to them was not 'help' so much as 'kill'.

God is called the Prince of Peace. Why then so much 'talk' about 'war', 'battles', 'weapons', etc.?

If there was that question in my mind after I got off the phone this morning it didn't have long to be answered. Soon I had opportunity to 'see' a need for 'boot camp 'training' especially for me.

There were several folks here this morning. [Two of them leaving this afternoon - to another place nearby for a few days. Two of them are packing and moving to Tennessee.] They asked me to join them in worship as it mighty possibly be the last time we would be together, so I did. At the end of the prayer time one brother asked forgiveness if he had done anything wrong to anyone there. My mind was thinking along those lines too, but about another one leaving who had not seemed to appreciate (or maybe even comprehend) that his temporarily staying at our place was supposed to have been to help him. I have been challenged on a spiritual level in a number of areas by this man as well as 'hurt' by some of his actions and attitudes. Anyway, I decided, for my sake, to forgive him for hurting me. !!!! (BOOT CAMP TRAINING IN ACTION) Forgiveness is more for my heart than for the one I am forgiving. I do know telling him I forgave him resulted in all kinds of accusations etc. at me. I agreed to 'back off' and 'not show my face' again (since they were leaving soon), but I really, in a way, feel sorry for him even more than I did before. I do pray he will realize he needs Jesus and can't 'make it' by himself.

As anyone in boot camp knows, training is not 'easy' for there is much to learn in a short time.

Another aspect of spiritual 'warfare' is 'trusting' our Prince of Peace. Will we 'fall apart' or 'give up' if we don't have proper 'remuneration'? Beginning today we have a 'golden' opportunity to prove God's faithfulness for our main income is being terminated. I am determined to stay on God's side as we begin this new chapter of our lives, thanking Him for supplying our needs.

Someone recently asked us how we would survive without as many people living at the farm. I believe God will take care of us now just as much as he did when there were many here.

Other training events are ongoing, but my time is running out to 'report'. Until next newscast, keep your eyes on our wonderful Prince of Peace and He will 'keep you' in His love.

By the way, I just posted Psalm 57 in the Paraphrases link to the right, if you are at all interested. It has a VERY inspiring message from young David. It might even have something for you right now.

May God speak His peace to your heart.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Learning more of the Prince of Peace

New year, new week, new day!

This morning as the Lord and I were communing I was reminded again of the importance of choosing to take time daily with God. As others of my blog friends have mentioned, the temptation to visit blogs, write blogs and more can have a tendency to crowd out personal time with God.

It does happen to be around the new year so I suppose the following could be called a resolution. Whatever the name for it, my committment is shaping up to be to put my personal time with Jesus before other activities - computer or otherwise - in other words, first in the morning.

Another important part of being able to 'keep' that committment, at least for me, will also be shutting down the computer at an appropriate time the evening before.

So many things have been changing in our lives, but this is one thing I am choosing to aim at being constant.

May I encourage you, whoever you are, to join me in learning more about the Creator God of the Universe, the Prince of Peace, every day during this coming year.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, January 2, 2009

Celebrating God's Peace

Another day to celebrate. The world has just celebrated the beginning of a new calendar year.

Today is the celebration of the 'birthday' of this earth. When God declared He had completed His creative activities, the whole loyal universe celebrated. As the hours of that day of celebration drew to a close God blessed the Sabbath day. Then He established it as a weekly recurring time to rejoice in the Lord, praise Him and learn more about the real character of the Creator God.

One name of the Creator God is "Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6). So, remembering the day set apart by the Prince of Peace to celebrate what He has done both in creating this earth and in restoring His image in every person who accepts His redemptive plan for them becomes a sign of allegiance to the True God.

The more I am learning about the Creator God the more special every seventh day Sabbath becomes to me - which is part of God's plan for the Sabbath He established. Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for the human family, not the other way around. Even before Adam and Eve sinned (chose a will other than God's will for them) God established the Sabbath as a special time to receive a new portion of God's Peace every week.

Yes, laying aside our daily labor for a whole day is also a blessing. But I believe that was directed mainly by God so we would have extra time to celebrate God's love, joy and peace and be refilled with His life as we take that special time with Him and His earth based family.

I invite you to join me in these special hours of Sabbath in rejoicing in the love of God and receiving His JOY which is our strength along with His PEACE which gives us ever more confidence.

Maiden, Bringer of Peace