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,