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

Friday, March 20, 2009

Peace by accepting God's will

In our family worship this morning we were reading about Jacob and Esau - sons of Isaac.

We often think about Esau. the oldest son, in negative ways.
He thrilled in hunting wild animals and living on his 'catch', but seemed to have no desire for 'spiritual' communion with his own heart or with God.
As firstborn, the birthright made him the 'priest' of the family, but he seemed not interested.
He 'sold' his birthright to his brother, Jacob, for a pot of 'soup' (food).

We often think of Jacob, the younger son, as the 'good boy'.
He was ever thoughtful of his parents.
He loved the Lord and longed to have a close communion with God.
As the younger son it was not for him to be the priest of the household.
But before he was born God had told his mother that the younger boy would 'prevail'.

OK. Up til this morning I pretty much saw the picture as I have sketched it above. But this times review of this story gave me some new insights.

Wild, selfish Esau looked mainly for current gratification, with no desire for spiritual issues. God gave him what he really wanted.

Even though Jacob used deception to 'get the birthright', his deepest longing was to come close to God. God gave him what he really wanted.

Both brothers had some major 'errors' in their lives. But in the long run each brother got what he longed for.

Esau wanted the 'material' part of the birthright, and he basically got it.

Jacob wanted the spiritual 'blessing', and even though the 'way' he went about to get it was 'all wrong' (deceiving his father), God still granted him his request.

I have come to the conclusion that even though Jacob paid dearly for deceiving his earthly father, his Heavenly Father 'knew his heart' and granted him his deepest desire - to know God.

What really impressed me this morning was that both brothers made wrong choices.

Both brothers did 'bad things', in a sense.

The choices of each of the boys, however, throughout their lives, showed the direction they were headed.

Esau wanted his own way.
Jacob wanted God's will for him.

God gave them both what they had chosen.

Even though Jacob had used deception and came to the point where he felt utterly disconnected from God and deeply depressed in hopeless despair because of all of his 'bad choices', God still honored the deepest desire of Jacob's heart to 'know God' and revealed Himself to Jacob - first in the vision of the ladder (representing Jesus reaching from heaven to earth) and secondly when Jesus blessed Jacob after the night of wrestling.

Esau got material 'things' but lost out on what really matters in life.

The end of Jacob's life was peace in knowing that God loved him.

Even though I have made wrong choices, gotten discouraged, disheartened and even in despair, God knows my deepest longing to know Him and He never will let me go.

Accepting that God loves me brings peace.

Accepting the God delights in me being with Him gives me joy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Surprises of Peace

Sometimes we get so involved in what we consider intense situations that God's answers come somewhat as a surprise, yes, even a surprise of peace.

Last evening a friend was in what might be considered 'dire circumstances'. Someone else had said they would help, but time was passing toward a 'deadline' and 'nothing' seemed to be happening. My friend called me and I could sense urgency in her voice.

We shared together some of what God has done in the past, but when a person is really close to a potentially traumatic encounter, it can be difficult, at least at times, to focus on 'mere words' (although when internalized they are far more than words only).

While we were talking together, my husband and I agreed on a possible 'aid' that might help bring temporary relief to our friend's intense concern. We shared our intent with our friend and she seemed overwhelmed that we would even consider such an offer.

To make a long story short, we were not able to make good on our offer but the other person who 'was able', came through to avert a crisis.

As we talked with our friend this morning I was again impressed with some of the 'surprises' God uses to bring His peace into our lives. He is very much interested with our day to day needs. He is even more interested in planting His peace and JOY in our inner beings, our hearts.

That is one reason I believe I can put my full confidence in God's words such as "The JOY of the Lord is your strength." and "Great PEACE have they which love Thy Law and nothing shall offend them."

Yes, sometimes we can 'see' ahead of time how God is going to take care of us. Other times I sometimes wonder, especially when intense situations get right down to the 'end', so to speak, if God's surprises of peace aren't what we might need right then to increase our trust and confidence that God can take care of us any time, any where, any way, whether there seems to be a crisis or not.

Somehow I am also getting the feeling that these 'little' experiences are aimed at getting me ready for some 'bigger' ones ahead.

In the mean time, remember that whatever is happening in your life, you are special to God simply because you are one of His children, part of His family, someone He loves very much.

As You look to Jesus right now, think of how much He loves you and cares for you personally. Now, focus your mind on Jesus looking at you in return with a loving smile. And when He sees you are looking at Him, imagine Him breaking into a song of rejoicing. It makes God so glad when you 'see' Him just now.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, March 12, 2009

As a Person Thinks -

As a person thinks, so they become.

I was just listening to a biology professor sharing some 'new' information. There were many things he presented, but what literally 'jumped out at me' from what he was sharing is life changing.

In short, 'science' has 'discovered' that it is the 'mind', the 'heart' of a person that has control of the DNA, the genes, of each cell. When a person chooses to think 'negative' thoughts, those thoughts immediately begin to affect the very code of the body in adverse ways and begins to create 'chaos' in unhealthy manifestations.

Thank God, the opposite is also true. When a person accepts the JOY of the Lord - accepts that God loves them, that He loves to be with them, that they are special to Him no matter what happens to them; and who they are in Christ as the very premise of life, then health, strength AND peace that passes human understanding grows the physical body. WOW!

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.

How wonderful to realize that as I choose to believe God, He 'rewires' my very cells.

The JOY of the Lord - choosing to accept that God loves to be with me, is my strength - my life, my health.

The PEACE of God which passes understanding chosen by me - accepting in quiet confidence He loves me for who I am, not what I have done or not done - heals and matures me.

I learned more but I need to go for now.

Until later,

You are loved,

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Written In God's Book

It is absolutely awesome. From what I have been introduced to in the Bible, God wrote everyone's name in His book of life. He never intended that anyone should die.

That means me. God intends for me to live with Him forever.

At the same time God will never force for God has sacredly guarded my power to choose.
That means I can choose to 'walk away' from God, even though He planned for me to be his daughter from the very beginning.

It is also true that You are written in God's book of life.

I want to share more later, but for now I just want you to know God loves you very much and He also is eager for you to accept His love for you just now.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, March 9, 2009

Believing gives peace

God created me, loves me and knows me personally.
That is all true whether or not I believe it.
As I have been learning to accept that awesome reality it is changing me.

Peace is not based on how 'good' (or otherwise) I am, was or will be.
Peace is not simply a lack of stress in my life.

God's kind of peace has already been offered to me just because I am.
My part of receiving God's peace is to accept what God has already 'sent'.

God's peace in me is the result of my accepting that God loves me for who I am in Him.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Joy and Peace 'happens' when . . .

God's original plan for family as described in Genesis, and expanded in other places in the Bible, never intended that a person should have to 'make it' alone. Somewhere, though, many of us have imbibed of the lie that in order to 'make it' (whatever that happens to mean) a person has to somehow do it or go it alone.

Proverbs talks about a friend who sticks closer than a brother or sister. It also mentions that a three fold cord is not easily broken. It is really a sad commentary that especially in our secular (some refer to also as western) culture it has almost been touted as a virture to 'make it alone'. In my biological family I have a sister in the southwest, a brother in the northwest, another sister in the southeast and a brother in the midwest, USA. In some cultures the extended family still has some ties, but for some of us those ties have gotten quite thin, if not broken altogether.

There are some things a person has to face alone, yes. But by and large that kind of a scenario should only happen - if at all necessary - after a person has been brought to maturity the way God intended in His kind of family setting. Even though God's plan for family has been sadly, badly twisted in many places, I believe God still intended each person should have a support system of family - in our system we might call them grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, cousins and more. But because the family system has been often so badly mangled, God has been working to establish 'christian' family, also called church, to restore and give support for each other.

A friend of mine has been through some VERY rough experiences the past few days. (Actually I should say several of my friends have been 'hit hard' this past week with a variety of challenges.) I have been so grateful when each one has been willing to let me know they are struggling. Some friends have been willing to call me and we have had the distinct privilege of claiming God's promises for them as we prayed together on the phone. One friend has been able to share some challenges via email. When this has happened, I have several times been able to pray with folks who are struggling with spiritual battles. I can pray - claiming God's unfailing words - whether or not we are talking 'live'. I may not be in the midst of a super challenge myself - at the moment - but I consider it a distinct privilege given to me by God to be able to claim God's unfailing promises for my friends when they are being stressed. I hope that my words have also been encouragement to them whether written or spoken.

As one advantage of sharing one another's burdens I have watched some miracles take place. I have also been practicing claiming God's promises in ways that I have a feeling I will be needing for myself some time. God never promised we would have no problems. He did promise never to leave us or forsake us. But when you are in the middle of a BIG problem it sure can help when someone has compassion (comes along side with God's kind of passion). When you hear a human voice, or read an email from someone you know cares about you, reminding you that God's word does not return to Him empty but He will accomplish what He has promised, I believe that is part of God's plan for His kind of family.

Another truth I have just been reviewing the past few days is that true joy - experiencing that another mind loves for you to be with them - can only happen when you are in connection with another mind. The same is true for confiding, peaceful rest - experiencing that another mind is so safe that you can confide in them and rest in their presence. And the more you learn and experience true JOY and confiding PEACE with another mind, your capacity to cope with life and with the stresses of living on planet earth increases.

Since real JOY and genuine PEACE, as mentioned above, can only develop when two minds synchronize and are in harmony it becomes even more important for each one of us to 'take time' for friendship.

When I described the above scenario of joy and peace producing relationships to someone the other day they thought about it for a moment and then commented that they weren't sure they had ever had that happen to them in their life.

I don't know about your life but if you have read this far I just want to tell you: God loves you and is delighted for you come spend time with Him. He is the greatest joy builder in the universe as well as the wellspring to true peace for all of life's challenges.

And if you would like to learn more about God's plans to build you up in joy and peace, feel free to ask. I don't have all the answers but I will be happy to share what I have learned.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Miracles, ending with a hot cup of coffee

Today has been rather eventful. A friend of ours was facing the very real possibility of being evicted and, more than that, her electricity could be cut off today and phone shut off.

What do you say or do in that situation? We have been praying together and claiming that God's will would be done. Friday of last week the possibility of financial assistance became known. There were a few possible hitches but she decided to 'go for it' anyway. Because of snow the check was delayed - not getting here until after 1 p.m. today. Then when we took her to the bank there were more problems. This bank was not her regular bank so she asked if we would drive her to a nearby city where the officers knew her personally for several years now. During the drive we kept encouraging each other to 'trust in the Lord'. While she was in the bank we prayed. After a short time she came out and reported success. To make a long story short, even though the bank is holding the check for a few days the phone company, electric company and landlord all agreed to 'wait' to be paid. Just a day or two before they had all been adamant that March 3 was 'cut off' time.

On the way home we stopped to use the rest area at a very nice station/store. My friend went in first and I followed shortly. While I was in the rest room she was 'dreaming' of a cup of coffee. I was planning to buy her one when I came out (she was broke) but when I walked up a man had offered to pay for a cup of coffee for her. To me it seemed like the 'cream' on a day of God's interventions. Even more interesting was that the man seemed very interested in her paintings so gave her his card and they plan to communicate more. She has been internationally known for paintings in the past and I believe God is reconnecting her to people who might once again purchase her works.

God is a God of mighty miracles and we had the privilege of watching Him at work today.

Bringer of Peace

Did I tell you?

When situations get intense, God, at times, gives tokens to remind us that He is still with us and will NEVER leave us to perish.

The other day we were at a friend's house helping her with some things. I had purchased some 'conditioner' fluid for her contact lenses and she was using it. For some reason the lense she was working with slipped out of her fingers. She had been leaning over her desk so called us to come see if we could locate it for her. She has very poor vision without the lense. Both my husband and I looked carefully through every paper on the desk and every inch of the floor around her as well as carefully going over her, but all to no avail. After perhaps a half hour or more I finally gave up and went to do something else I had been working on. Duane continued to search on the floor inch by inch and our friend finally turned to her computer. During this time we were encouraging one another in the Lord. My friend was greatly frustrated because she couldn't really see without that lense and she asked me why something like this should happen. I kept praying often in my mind, sharing God's words of concern and comfort. Just after I went in the other room my husband called me back. My friend also looked to see what he was wanting of me. I came and looked as he pointed to a spot in a clear place on the floor - where all of us had carefully looked several times - where lay the lense. We all knew the lense was not there earlier. In our minds it was clearly a divine intervention and token of God's special care.

My husband is presently unemployed. He has been looking for another job but for the present also applied for unemployment benefits. He was sent a 'pin' number which must be used when reporting his 'job search' each week. By each Sunday we are to report the results of his 'job hunting'. We were ready to turn in the report but when we went to get the 'number' the page on where it is written was not in it's folder. We spent quite a bit of time searching but finally gave up. It was getting very late (11 p.m.) and I was about ready to quit. Before going to bed we knelt together and asked God one more time, according to His will, to show us where that paper might be. After pausing, I reached over, picked up a couple pieces of paper and there was the number I needed. I could only say 'Praise the Lord'. We were able to get the report in before midnight for which we thank the Lord. We won't get a lot of 'income', but every little bit helps.

I am taking these events as tokens that my God not only still loves us but is still in charge of the outcome of our lives.

Jesus loves you too. You are special!

Bringer of Peace