Friday, February 27, 2009

Prayer and Praise 2

My brother-in-law has been released on probation BUT if he stays with his wife she could be detained. We praise God that she has been able to see him after about 10 months, but we are also claiming that God will complete the freeing process physically, mentally and spiritually.

This man has not been tried by courts so according to the laws of this land he is still innocent. But this world knows a lot about being unfair. But that is not what I am praying about now.

I am praising God that my brother-in-law did not die in prison unjustly.

I am also praying that his desires to help those who have been pushed down and out that were 'born' while he was detained will continue to mature and bear fruit in God's way.

I am praising God I can now talk to them both on the phone in prayer and encouragement.

I am praying that these experiences will open our eyes and ears more to hearing heart cries of others who need not only a miracle of God but human words to encourage and lift them up when trampled down.

God is looking for 'friends' who will encourage others and raise up the feeble hands and strengthen the feeble knees as in Isaiah 35:3,4
"Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
Say to them[that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not:
behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [even] God
[with] a recompense; he will come and save you."

and repeated in Hebrews 12:12

"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; "

God is wonderful, merciful, gracious, long-suffering, gentle, easy to be entreated and much more. He is looking for people who will work with Him in such a way that others will get the same idea about God because they have seen those characteristics, those attributes, in folks who say they know God.

It is getting late and I am tired this evening. I stayed the last two nights with a friend's mother who needed companionship during the night. It will be good to sleep all night, Lord willing.

I am also enjoying the peace of this Sabbath, especially the final meeting of the week of prayer at church.

Until we meet again, may God's words of blessing fill your heart and mind with His love.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Praise and Thanksgiving to God

This evening my brother-in-law, Karl, is home, is resting and is eating.

We praise the Lord.

There are more challenges ahead but we have nothing to fear unless we forget what God has done in our past history.

When I called my sister she said Karl wanted to talk to us. It was SO good to hear his voice. He shared with us some miracles that had happened the past ten months or so he was detained. I could tell he is still needing a lot of rest.

We want to thank each one who joined in prayer for Karl and Frances.

To God be the glory, great things He has done.

We do claim God's peace on them especially after so much trauma.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, February 23, 2009

Prayer and Praise

I talked to my sister this morning. Her husband, who is presently incarcerated, has a hearing today. Friday Karl's belongings were confiscated - things like sweats, coat, person correspondence, nutritional supplements, etc. - and he was put in a higher security cell. (He was able to grab his Bible.) He is almost blind without correctional lenses (which he has not had use of since being detained in April, 2008) and also has a heart condition. Without the added nutritional aids, he told his wife later, his eyes are getting worse already. He was also told he could only use the phone on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a half hour each day. All of these measures, including being in prison for going on 11 months, have been done against an innocent man, even by worldly standards, for he has not been convicted of any crime. Following these measures he was taken to an 'emergency' hearing in court by Judge Pfeffer in Santa Fe. A court trial had been scheduled for Feb. 24, 2009 but the judge told him his witnesses were to appear in court on Feb. 23, 2009 but that the jury trial had been 'changed' to March 4, 2009. The judge also told him that no more 'paperwork' would be accepted.

As mentioned above, phone privileges had been greatly reduced. Finally, however, he was allowed one call to a 'legal counsel' from which the above information was gathered.

When I talked to my sister Friday evening I was also very impressed when she told me another aspect of this 'case'. When Karl was detained and 'charged', paperwork was prepared stating the truth. When Karl appears before the judge he states to the judge "I stand on my paperwork." The judge has appeared to use all sorts of measures to get any other answer, but thus far to no avail. Unless the court can get Karl to contradict his paperwork their case against him doesn't look good (to put it mildly).

I was deeply impressed with the spiritual lesson for all of us in this experience. So long as we 'stand on the paperwork' of God's written Word, Satan and all of his hosts can't exert the power of their lies over us and trap us into slavery to him.

This morning I was studying Psalm 64 and it seemed so timely. I have posted the whole paraphrase in the link to the right, but I'm going to share it here too as it seems so appropriate for today, especially as Karl goes to another hearing.

1. Listen to my problem, Lord. Keep me from being terrorized by those who hate me. Defend me from unjust court officials, who wound, cause pain and even destroy with their sharp, acrid words. They intensely accuse anybody, with no respect for truth, and urge each other on to add even worse accusations, for they think no one hears or sees their unjust plots hidden deep in their hearts. 7 – 9 But God will surprise them. What they devised against others will so suddenly happen to them that they will get beat up. Everyone watching will back off in astonishment as they see how God handled the situation. They will respect Him as they tell others what happened. 10 Those who are honest in heart will rejoice in the Lord and continue to trust Him, thus revealing in their own lives what God is really like.

I also ask anyone who reads this to especially pray for Frances as well as Karl today. There have been rumors her physical freedom is also in immediate danger.

Our God, however, is the God of Freedom. It is fear that brings bondage and torment. Perfect love casts out fear. I am claiming that what God is really like - love - will be so revealed through Karl and Frances that those who love God will rejoice with them as the more distinct picture of God is revealed through this experience. And even those who don't love God will eventually admit that God is right. These past ten months have been very difficult for both my sister and her lovely husband, but God has been giving them His sustaining grace.

Thank you for your prayers of faith, for thanking God for keeping His promises of angelic protection, deliverance of the captive and a revealing of God's character in such a way that God will be glorified.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pray for Freedom and Peace

In April 2008 my brother-in-law was put in prison. He has been denied a speedy trial for whatever accusations have been made against him. After several previous dates for a trial - which were all canceled - the latest date is February 24, 2009.

He is legally blind without corrective lenses but has not had the use of any corrective measures since being in prison. He has health challenges which also have not been properly taken care of during these many months. The legal system says a person is innocent until proven guilty but the judge and court system have not acted such in this case.

Previous to this life challenge my brother-in-law was the chair person of the language department at a well known school and had been voted teacher of the year by students and staff.

We have been claiming that God's saving hand will break the bonds and set Karl free.

Please pray with us in his behalf.

I also ask that you will pray for my sister. The pressure on her has been tremendous as well. They both need God's healing and to be flooded with His love.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Trusting God brings His peace

More often then not when I begin studying a certain passage of the Bible the Lord concurrently brings experiences into my life that 'need' what I am studying (or is it that the Holy Spirit is guiding me to the words that I need during that experience?). Whatever the case, now is no exception. Psalm 63 has some very pertinent information for my present situations. You can read the entire Psalm at the paraphrase link to the right if you wish, but I will share just a few thoughts here as well. David begins this Psalm with an affirming statement about God.
"I am quietly yet confidently waiting for sure victory from the
Mighty God. Since He is my only security, prosperity and refuge,
I won't leave Him."
David goes on to briefly describe the 'destination' of those who don't trust in God but then encourages everyone to have confidence in God's loving care.
"Have confidence in God all the time and share with Him
all that concerns you."
He ends this Psalm by affirming God directly:
"Lord, You are good, kind and loving and You make a
covenant of peace with every person who accepts Your ways."
I am so thankful that the God I serve is that kind of a God and He knew that I needed those affirming words particularly yesterday.

He has also been working on me to become more like Him. When God says something He means what He says and says what He means. That enables us to be able to trust Him.

Evidently my words have not always been that way. Yesterday I was told a number of things that people believed - taken from what I had said - but which were a surprise to me. There are times that I get a distinct impression that some kind of 'spirit' takes my words and twists them before they get to another person's ears. Yet, yesteday I was also helped to realize by someone who is a real friend that in trying to 'keep peace' (what I thought was peace anyway) the 'way' I have at times said things (thinking they were diplomatic - of a sort) have been at least part of the problem. There are times when I need to be what I consider 'blunt'. People will 'hear' what they want to hear many times, but on the other hand, the more blunt a response the more difficult it might be to 'twist' what was spoken to fit another's definition, (and desire).

I want to be truthful, and kind, and yet I am recognizing that there are also times when being 'blunt' may be the most truthful and perhaps the kindest possible. In my case it may seem to 'hurt' for the moment but in the long run it may be the way of shortening others expectations of what they want or think I am saying. I believe the Lord is guiding me in this life experience and I am choosing to learn His way.

My prayer right now is another one of David's prayers:
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and
my Redeemer."

Trusting God and accepting His will even through His reproving lessons is where I am finding His kind of peace in my heart. I invite you to join me in not only learning God's will today but also accepting it in your heart.

May the God of Peace bring You into closer unity with Him today.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, February 9, 2009

Psalm 61 visited

It seems that I am not very good when it comes to importing material for my blog. I have argued (if that is a correct word) with this program now for the last several minutes, trying to type in some simple words.

Oh well, can't win them all. I'm pretty sure it is simply one or two 'small steps I happen to be missing. That is what happened when I was first introduced to DOS (Disk operating system) many years ago when I first started working on a computer. Back then I would almost be in tears every time I would attempt to start up the computer to do some work. Fortunately my 'boss' would come to the rescue and get me to where I needed to go. DOS and I never did get along. When Microsoft Windows was introduced as an operating system on computers I made an 'agreement' that I would let others handle any DOS 'talk'. I seemed to be able to navigate much better in Windows - even to this day.

Back to now. This morning I was attempting to upload Psalm 61 into the paraphrase link at the right and it almost seemed to be a repeat of my experiences with DOS. I would do one thing but the computer would take my request and do something else - or at least so it seems to me. It would change font sizes, crowd letters and other sorts of 'mess ups'. But enough of those minor difficulties for now.

I would encourage you to read the entire Psalm 61 paraphrase but I am also going to share a portion of it here as well.

This is one of the Psalms where David focuses primarily on one thought. (I do like that approach now and then.)

It seems obvious that David, at times anyway, struggled with depression. In this Psalm he's asking God's help.

"O God, carefully listen to me . . . . When depression tries to cover me, lift me out of it completely and into Your presence."

David goes on to describe what it is like to him to be in God's presence.

"You have been to me like a secure garden filled with lovely, fragrant flowers."

David goes on to reaffirm his choice to daily keep his promises because of what God is doing in him.

"I will joyfully sing to You from now on, Lord, which will empower me to daily keep my covenant promises to You."

Even with computer challenges and more, I can choose to daily praise the Lord too.

Join me today in joyful praise to our Loving Lord.

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, February 8, 2009

At Rest

Here is a picture of one of our pets. Here he is in one of his quieter moments. We call him 'Tiger' (with a short sound on the 'i'). He is actually getting to be quite loveable. In his earlier days he had a habit of seeming to want us to pet him but then he would suddenly jump back at the one petting him with open claws.

During this winter we have even let him stay inside on the colder nights. We have another kitty called 'Snickers' (or 'Sneakers' depending on who is talking to him or about him.) Snickers is the older of the two and seems to still be 'head' cat. They still think each other's tail is something to 'swat at' occasionally. But on the whole they seem to get along fairly well - except just before it is time to eat.

We have had some beautifully mild days and are thankful. Today a friend wanted to visit another church so I took her there. They were celebrating 'Scout day' so three groups of scouts assisted with the worship service. The choir was not real big but they were a real blessing.

After the service I got to talking to one of the ladies. We got to talking about teaching children. I shared with her briefly some of my experiences with previous Vacation Bible Schools. She seemed to be very interested in the materials. I am very happy to share what God has shared with me over the years.

This morning we spent time praying for God to take full charge of His work here. This afternoon we received another call for prayer from another state. Actually my heart praised God as I heard some of what has been happening there. People are developing a real hunger to learn more about who God really is and what He is really like.

In Psalms God Himself has asked us to give Him authority from a human standpoint to conquer strongholds still held by the enemy. "Who will give Me the authority to conquer the strongholds of those still against Me?"

Praise God, He is not only able but is in the business of breaking down stronghold after stronghold and wooing more and more people to come and accept that Jesus not only loves them but has already paid for their deliverance and is inviting them to receive God's mercy and grace that was made available to them even while they were still sinners.

This is truly God's kind of Peace and rest.

You have full right to 'rest' in God's love just now, praise the Lord.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Psalm 108 visited

I found out the last part of Psalm 60 and the last part of Psalm 108 were basically the same. Having finished Psalm 60 I decided to compare it with Psalm 108. (My Psalm 108 paraphrase is posted at link on right)

Psalm 108 almost seemed to be using the second part as sort of a 'chorus' (the part that was the same as Psalm 60).

The first part of Psalm 108 does seem to be much more positive than the first part of Psalm 60.

Psalm 108: 1-6 describes David's choice to really focus on the Majestic, Everlasting God by using his talents of poetry and music in worship. He also expresses his desire to celebrate God's intense benevolence and loving favor to those around him as well as to the whole world.

I am becoming convinced that the more time we spend focusing on God and learning more of what He is really like the more we will become like Him - as the Bible says "By beholding we become changed".

The more time I have taken in looking at the Psalms the more word pictures I have discovered there about my wonderful Saviour and King.

I thank God for these precious gems of truth and pray others can be blessed as well.

Bringer of Peace

Cleansing can bring peace

I have a printer that sometimes gets me frustrated. Sometimes I almost think it seems to have a mind of its own - even though I know it is only 'technology'. (I am convinced, though, that there are 'entities' that know a lot about technology and can cause problems when we are permitted to do so).

When we were at the seminar we were printing some materials to share with others. Sometimes the printer would work fine, but other times - - - well, let me say it did far less than it can do. There were times when it would only print at a snail's pace. Other times it would skip lines and other times certain ink colors would quit (even when there was ink). At times it did help to put the printer through what is called a cleaning cycle. But in a number of instances I just told the Lord I didn't know what was wrong and would He please 'help'. Some of those times I saw an almost immediate positive difference in the printer's performance.

Before going to the evangelism training seminar I was attempting to print up the lessons for the children's 'week of prayer' meetings I was to hold at the nearby church school. Even when the printer seemed to be working ok the program in which all of my files have been developed started arguing with the computer. All the other programs worked fine, but not that one. I tried deleting it and reinstalling it plus some other attempts. For most of the week before the 'week of prayer' the program was in almost constant conflict with the computer. It did seem that I could at times send one printing assignment to the printer before the program would crash. This was basically how I was finally able to print 16 sets of lessons before leaving for the week.

Part way through that week I was reminded that this has been a frequent occurance whenever I would be asked to share God's good news with a group. One time my computer 'died' just days before I left for a Vacation Bible School in West Virginia. Other times my current printer would quit altogether. But each time the Lord has enabled me to 'go forward' one way or another.

This time, and I can't really explain it, after we got to the retreat the program began to agree with the computer and I was able to print up additional material for several people who became interested. We did have problems but were able to accomplish quite a bit anyway.

I was reminded of these things today as I was going to share some really good news with a friend. I started to print and the printer 'had other ideas'. It does look like this time just a 'cleaning cycle' eventually has solved the problem.

But I wonder what the Lord thinks about my life. Has He had some similar problems? I do know that I need to be cleaned on a regular basis in order to be the kind of person He has already invisioned me as.

My printer is technology. I do have a brain and the power of choice which God has given me.

My printer is pretty much controlled by the computer and the commands I send. (Although I still think there may be more interference at times.) I thank God that so long as I am united to Him by accepting His will I am not just 'technology'. I can be cleansed by the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through me applying what Jesus has already done for me to me.

God has already planned for me to be like Him. Yes, I do need cleansing. The kind of cleansing God offers and supplies results in genuine, real peace.

For that I fully praise the Lord.

I invite you to request Jesus to perform that kind of cleansing for yourself too.

Bringer of Peace

Friday, February 6, 2009

Where to from here?

I just finished 'unpacking' Psalm 60. That is one fascinating passage. (My paraphrase has been posted at the link to the right) The last several verses (6-12) are repeated almost exactly in Psalm 108 so I am planning to look at that passage next - sort of comparing and possibly contrasting the two portions of scripture.

Other than time with the Word, we have also been trying to 'catch up' with a variety of jobs here at the farm after being gone for a week to the evangelism training event mentioned in an earlier blog.

Another activity, which seems to be increasing in frequency, has been responding to requests from family and friends to pray either with or for them in varying degrees of 'emergency'. That opportunity I value highly. I consider myself a little like a 'hose'. Most people don't usually think of or maybe even notice the hose, but the water can flow through it to where it is most needed - where the hose is directed. God is the power source. He has asked for us, His people and family, to become a 'hose', a channel, a conduit, through which His love flows out to where it is most needed. One advantage to being a water hose is that I also come in contact with the water as it flows through me to where it is needed.

Just before we left for the training week our son took off for Michigan with his girlfriend to spend some time, I understood anyway, with her parents and family. We haven't heard much from them but hope all is well. That leaves the 'home front' quieter in a variety of ways. They didn't take time before leaving (they had a time constraint) to get all their things put away so we have been working on that project as well. Even if I do say so myself, I think our son's room looks pretty good at present. Yesterday we were also able to rearrange things to make the rest of the house more liveable, and hopefully organized, as well. Today we gave our dog a bath so he has had time in the house - to make sure he is well dry before going back outside again. Usually he stays outside most of the time.

Our weather this winter has had some cold days, but for the most part I would say it has been more of a 'middle of the road' winter - not as cold as some and not as warm as others. Since we heat with wood my hubby has been spending time splitting wood, especially since he is not working for pay elsewhere. There are not as many people in the big farm house so they haven't been using as much wood lately - very good on the wood supply. We probably wouldn't have had enough wood otherwise. Our house is smaller and we have a more efficient stove so we don't use near as much wood as the bigger farm house. I don't think we always keep our place as warm as they sometimes kept the big house, either.

As we think about the future we don't know all God has in store, but we do know that God is more interested in us getting to know who He really is and what He is really like than anything else. I have been thankful for what I have been learning these past few weeks and months but I know there is a whole lot more yet for me to learn. I have been challenged in a good way by some of what has been posted at along these lines. You may want to visit there some time as well.

One of the reasons we went to the evangelism training week was that I was asked to share with the local church elementary school what we call 'Passport to Life'. Several folks at the event became interested in my materials so one project I need to get busy with is printing materials to share with folks who have requested copies. I thank God for the privilege of being able to share.

We also received another request to share the Passport to Life with a group of Juniors in April in Tennessee. That may be a little ways away but I hope to get materials ready before we go instead of trying to 'print' it while we are there. They are anticipating upwards of 50 in attendance. They had around 30 last year but are meeting in a larger facility so expect more.

Time is marching on and we have much to do before the day is over. We are looking forward to this evening as the setting sun welcomes Sabbath - the day upon which God rested and then blessed and then invited us to join Him in praise and worship to Him. Wherever you are we invite you also to join us in the Sabbath time God calls a delight in honor of His creation of this world.

May God speak peace to you today as you choose to make Him your King and Saviour.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sweet Peace, the Gift of God's Love

Divine Appointment

Maybe that would describe at least some of what has happened this past week.

Since my husband is no longer 'hired' by a company who gives him so much money per hour in exchange for his labor, he was able to go with me as we participated in a week long Evangelism training, Revival/Week of prayer.

The person in charge has a burning desire for people who love God to 'get out of the box' not only in their thinking about who God is (which is essential for most people, I believe), but in how to share God's love and passion with others. He does happen to be a minister of the good news that God loves. He also happens to have an area of 'labor' allocated to him by his church of 7 counties in south west Virginia that has a multitude of physical, economic and spiritual challenges. Over and above that he has a burning desire to train, equip and encourage 10,000 African young people in 'out of the box' methods and ways of sharing God's love with others. He is in no way content to just have those passions by himself, but is constantly looking for ways to be contagious around others.

He wanted me to go with him and a group who did go with him to Africa last summer, but I couldn't quite wrap my brain around the financial 'how'. I have a feeling he is not going to let US off the hook quite as easily this year.

During this past week's activities we participated in a variety of activities. Every morning we spent anywhere from an hour to close to two hours doing an 'inductive' type study of the first few chapters of Ephesians. The Spirit of the Lord was in that place, to put it mildly.

Later each day we listened as another person shared some basics of 'how' to share God's good news with others. There were plans to implement some of what was being learned but very poor weather at times hampered some of the 'practical applications'.

The director had asked if during the week I would lead out in a spiritual focus for a nearby church elementary school so each afternoon I shared with the children God's plan for them to 'reconnect' with Him. Because this was spiritually based I used the old testament sanctuary model to illustrate steps each person can cooperate with God in to return to our allegiance and loyalty to the Creator.

The last couple of days I also introduced them to the 'Armor of God' and how to apply each one of those 'illustrations' to their own spiritual walk with Jesus and using those 'tools' in sharing God's love with others.

Part of the challenge for me in preparing for my part in this presentation was both my computer and printer, which is very commonly the case. (When I am asked to present these precious concepts it is almost rare that something doesn't go technically wrong somewhere and/or sometime.

For some weeks before even knowing that we would be going my computer began arguing with Coreldraw (where I have done all my lessons and where they are stored). It got to the place that if I could even open the program I couldn't change anything or it would 'crash'. When we accepted the invitation to share with children I wanted to print out the lessons. For a good share of the time during week before we left I 'argued' with my 'equipment', as well as praying that God would guide me. At times I could get it to print a few pages before it would 'crash' again. In that way, by the day we left we were finally able to 'print' 16 complete sets of lessons for the children's presentations plus a few other things to show.

I decided to take my printer with us just in case I needed more materials. I'm not sure what happened (other than God's direct intervention) but Coreldraw started to cooperate at least part of the time. Part of the time the printer also 'cooperated'. To make a long story short, we spent quite a bit of our 'free time' while there printing additional material for folks who were interested, as well as several sets more of the children's material (we found out when we got there that we needed 3 more sets). We still had technical difficulties on a fairly regular basis, but I thank the Lord for not only being able to share what He has so abundantly shared with us but also for what we learned from others by the Lord.

God's kind of peace is a gift. God wants us to learn how to make His gifts so attractive that others are drawn to choosing to accept them in their lives as well. That has been one of my primary goals when developing lessons for children, youth and more recently more adult level.

During the last few days some other folks joined us at the 'camp'. One lady came over from the southeast coast area of Virginia. We were friends from earlier years so spent some time 'catching up'. What seemed very interesting to me, however, was that I had sensed that in some way, some how, some time, there was going to be what I have 'labeled' a 'Divine appointment'. As we spoke she expressed that the Lord had impressed her that during the time at this meeting there would be a 'Divine appointment'. Several things happened that could be label as such, but I believe as times goes on we will see more clearly what God's plans are, as they unfold.

Even with all the activity and training, the longer we spent together with others who loved God as well as in learning from God, the more of God's Spirit was manifested - or perhaps the more we began to perceive what He was doing. God's kind of peace is not only sweet, but is life giving as well. I praise God for both the experience as well as the time we were able to take at this 'retreat'.

Time is passing and I have other things I need to do - having just gotten back home.

Until we meet again may God's sweet Spirit fill your life with His love.

God loves you.

Bringer of Peace