Friday, December 31, 2010

Birthday Desire

Not for quite a while have I really thought of a birthday gift for myself. I'm more than happy to come up with ideas of what others would like. I used to have fun giving gifts on my birthday rather than 'receiving' for it is much more interesting and exciting to give rather than receive.

But as I have been pondering this evening I have had a growing desire for a particular birthday gift this year.

I have had some surprises in the past years. I had thought that a couple of lady friends of mine who really enjoyed talking about their grandchildren were several years older than I am until they told me their ages - and I was definitely the oldest. (By the way I do have a grandson now which I guess adds 'grandma' to my name.) I have reconnected with a number of friends from 'yesteryear' and that too has been enjoyable. But as nice as those events have been there is something else that I have a growing desire to have as a gift.

I am longing more and more for the gift of the Holy Spirit called a 'new heart and a new spirit'. There are so many situations that I am aware of (some very painfully aware of) but without the Holy Spirit's power there is not much that can be done.

One nice thing about this gift is that my Father has already promised it to me. And because of that I am claiming it as my most valuable gift for my birthday this new year.

One other aspect of this gift is that you can have it too just for your asking your heavenly Father for it.

I will hasten to say that as we experience this gift there will be some changes in our lives. God takes us as we are but He doesn't leave us the way we were.

Whether we call it a birthday gift or whatever, just remember that God loves for us to be with Him and as we daily choose to belong to Him and accept His authority over us, He will transform us (change us to become like Him) so that we are enabled to experience ever more of Him - His Spirit. You can have that gift just as much as I can - just for the asking.

Happy New Year

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas and beyond

The way things are going recently I haven't found a lot of time to be online. That may be the best anyway. My brother's wife got an cat scratch infected and ended up in the hospital for a couple of days or so. She is home and much better.

My hubby and brother have been working on getting a kitchen set up in our part of the house. In one way it is going to be nice and I have so much appreciated the really good work. On the other hand I sure do enjoy being altogether for many meals and the fellowship.

Sabbath a visitor walked in. He looked very familier but since we are new here I figured it wasn't someone I would know. Someone else asked his name and he said his first name. It was the first name of someone I knew so I asked him his last name and for sure it was him. I had thought he was in Alaska - and he does live there, but he was visiting in the area so came to church. A very delightful surprise. Even more of a surprise was when I found out that my brother knew him too.

When asked for prayer requests I raised my hand to thank the Lord that my sister was getting out of the hospital. Then I heard her (behind me) say she was glad to be in church. She had come in but I didn't know it yet. That was another thanksgiving.

It snowed Friday evening some but just enough for a white Christmas. I don't need a white birthday but I doubt if I have a lot to say about that next Sabbath.

God is so good. I know I can trust Him. He loves for me to be with Him. That is essential for me to remember in order for me to mature. Our God is an awesome God.

My your new year be bookmarked as the year you learned a whole lot more about the loving Creator God of the Universe.

Yours in Christ,

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Newsletter

December, 2010

Dear family and friends

A lot has happened in our lives this past year or so. In January 2009 my hubby was laid off work and hasn't had steady employment since. But since we were still living at Torac Farm near Culpeper, Va., there always seemed plenty to keep us busy even though it wasn't for 'pay'.

The winter of 2009-2010 was one we will remember for a while. In December we were inundated with about 2 ft of soft white snow. We would have been content to hibernate (almost) in our little house, except other farm folk needed assistance. We had put the wood heating stove back in the big farm house and it was very 'hungry' for wood to burn. There was also a perceived need (by them) to clear the driveway in case of emergency. In time the lane got cleared, the wood brought in and the snow melted.

My older brother was flying in to Florida for a funeral, so my son, his wife andI headed south. They headed on down to the Keys while I went to the funeral. After the funeral I helped my older brother drive to North Carolina to visit a special friend of his. This gave time to visit with him before he flew back to Oregon. Weather forecast said another 'storm' was heading east so we drove all night to get home, but the main part of the storm ended up north.

After a few more smaller snowfalls (3 - 9 inches at a time) February slammed us with another two plus feet of (this time)wet snow. Hubby was concerned about the weight on our slightly slanted roof so we cleared our roof off part way through the storm. Another concern was our cut wood supply low. We tried to cut and chop as often as we could - but not enough. (We had logs but weren't getting them 'stove' ready fast enough.) A good friend of ours heard our problem and he and his son-in-law came over and cut, split and stacked wood for about four or more hours one day which was a super blessing to us. We still cut more wood, but that extra boost was enough to get us to springtime and warmer weather.

Spring finally came and we made four grow boxes for early gardens near the house for easier care and harvest. We were planning for more summer gardens but that turned out to be only a dream.

In May our church planned for two weeks of revival meetings. Someone else was to direct the children's programs, but about a week before, they asked if we could do it for the other folks couldn't. We agreed, so for the next three weeks we prepared and presented Passport to Life: God's Rescue plan as pictured in the Bible Sanctuary and His protection as illustrated by Armor. The Lord blessed very much.

Every year we have enjoyed several days of spiritual feasting at Potomac campmeeting in June. This year we were again blessed by seminars, sermons, renewing old friendships and making new friends.

Back at the farm there always seemed plenty to do. But one day in early July we got a call from a friend offering accommodations for us to attend our church's General Conference when people from around the world attend. It was a surprise offer, but I said I would consider accepting. One seeming potential problem was our car. It had bad tires, bad brakes, bad bearings (and who knows what else going bad). We had been debating if it was even worth putting more money into it or not, even though we still used it locally. We had gotten an advertisement from a nearby car dealer offering three gold dollar coins just to come by. On what seemed to be the spur of the moment we decided to again collect the three 'dollar' gold coins (as we had done before). To make a long story short, we drove home that evening with a newer car. A few days later we drove to Atlanta for the General Conference meetings and were greatly blessed.

Shortly after returning home we got a call from my brother's wife asking if we would come to Illinois and lead out in a Vacation Bible School at their church. We agreed and with our Passport to Life 'props' and materials headed to Illinois in the later part of July. We believe the Lord blessed the VBS and we are very thankful for the many helpers as well as for the children who attended.

On Sunday before the VBS began, though, my brother's wife's back 'gave out'. We found out a week or two later that she had 3 'bulging' disks and one ruptured disk in her lower back. Needless to say she didn't help with the VBS - or even walk for a few weeks. We stayed a week or so longer than our original plans to help. We then decided that hubby would return to Virginia but I would stay until she got better. By the end of September she was beginning to walk some for short times, for which we were all very thankful.

During this time, after much prayer, counsel, and consideration we accepted an offer from my brother to move in with them in Illinois. There were several factors involved, but one reason we considered moving was that for hubby the 'farm' work was getting a bit much, as he is not as energetic as in years past. Financial responsibilities were also calculated, for it did appear that living in Illinois may be less at this time.

After we decided to move, my sister came from Michigan to help rearrange things here to accommodate our 'stuff'. Then she, along with another friend and I drove to Virginia to begin the moving process there. Our friend was the moving sale organizer (very greatly appreciated) which continued for about three weeks. That helped reduce quantity - but not enough. A man offered to buy our pickup. We told him we needed it to haul trash and such away. He had a trailer and agreed to help clean up for a reduced price on the truck. He hauled at least 12-14 trailer loads of stuff. [Some were metals which he sold to offset expenses]. (We may have lost some revenue, BUT we are FREE from the stuff!!) Hubby drove a Budget truck load to Illinois near the end of October while I with others continued to prepare to the final move. My sister and her friend had to leave at the end of October to return to Michigan where they were scheduled to teach a 'paper toulle' craft class in November, but their help was very much appreciated.

We agreed to spend Thanksgiving with the rest of the folks at the farm before we left. It was also one of our friend's birthday so that made the day even more special.

After Thanksgiving weekend we loaded a Penske truck and, pulling the car behind, began the final phase of our move to Illinois. We may have our stuff here now but there is still a lot to do before being 'settled'.

For several years we have somewhat jokingly commented that we have been operating a 'moving and storage' business. Well, that business will be going 'out of business' in the near future. We are planning, however, to make at least one more move - but not with a rental truck. For that move we plan to 'fly' home to our loving Heavenly Father where we won't need our 'earthly stuff' anymore.

We cordially invite you to begin preparing now to join us on that move, which we pray will be very soon.

Yours in Christ,

Bringer of Peace

P.S. Count it all JOY (knowing God loves for you to be with Him) when you are challenged with difficulties. Each time you choose God's loving heart plan for your life, your patient trust in Him grows. Keep choosing God's will for your life and He will mature you to be like Him - with appropriate amounts His love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, faith, meekness and patience.

Our Heavenly Father supplies all we need - both yours and ours - according to His glory in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Settling In

We have moved to Illinois and are slowing getting settled in.
In one respect it has been a relief to 'let go' of so much extra stuff.
On the other hand I think I may have a whole lot more to let go of yet.
That said, there are some things I hope to keep, at least for a while.
We are living in the 'upper level' of my dad's place.
My brother and his lovely wife have lived on the main level for a number of years.
I really think it will be very comfortable once we get things arranged, but for now the business of getting it straight and in order continues.

This move has been an interesting 'experience' in my life. For one thing there had been such a 'pileup' of stuff where we lived and it just seemed there was little or nothing we could seem to do about it. Once the decision to move was for sure it seemed we were able to make advancement on the removal of 'stuff'. I'm not sure but I think there may have been upwards of 14-15 trailer loads of stuff we were able to get rid of from the farm. Some went out via the yard (moving) sale, some went as 'scrap metal' and some went to the 'dump'. But whatever way it went, it was still gone.

We may have 'lost' a bit financially but on the flip side of this situation, we are free from the stuff.

Freedom from so much stuff has also brought to me, anyway, a type of peace. It has been good not to have so much stuff around. I am still getting rid of some stuff but fortunately it is not so much. We did make two trips with a 16 ft. rental truck to where we are now living, but that is a lot less. Some of what we brought was for our son who is presently in Idaho so we kept some of his stuff until hopefully he can get it. Some of it we are using for now in lieu of bringing more stuff with us.

Peace is this sort has been a blessing to me. Physical things can have an effect on a person. I am looking forward to even more peace as we get better organized, but for now I can enjoy what I have even now.

There is much to do for now so I will sign off for this time.

Until we meet again, may God's peace be in your hearts.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Experiencing Faith develops patience

We are still in the 'moving' process. If I had what I think is 'my way' I would long ago have been moved and on to another 'chapter' in my life.

My time (or rather should I say timing) is, however, not always 'reality'. And since this move is not only 'my' move but at least four other people are involved, the logistics have been 'interesting' at best. (There are three other people living at the farm as well as my husband and myself.)

I am reminded often that the trying (testing, experiencing, using, etc.) of my faith is what develops patience. And James goes on to say, "Let patience have her perfect work'. In other words, the process may be as important as the end result, which is usually the case in my 'walk with God.' The same text also says to count this type of experience as 'all joy'. So here goes.

One of the people who has been here on the farm has been having some challenges finding some place else to live. Going with us is not an option, to my knowledge, for where we are going is not really a place that person could 'navigate' due to health issues. I have been encouraging my friend that God is still in control and to keep trusting that He will guide to a suitable place. One response has been that the trust in God is there but not the trust in people.

That brings up interesting topics. I fully agree that people can let a person 'down', and a lot of other options as well. Having said that, however, is there a possibility that in so thinking we are in reality not really trusting that God is 'bigger' than human beings? Is that train of thought really a doubt that God will take care of us?

As I think about those questions I also begin to wonder if they are not a sly attempt of the enemy of God at getting our minds and hearts out of God's timing (patience) as well as out of His will (trust). I know it is nice to have our plans all laid out ahead of time and to have those plans 'work'. But who, then, would be running the show, so to speak? Why would we need patience?

As I look back on the past few months I see time after time when God has been changing plans. It has not always been 'easy' or even seemingly convenient, but when I look back I believe that I can trust God even when I can't understand always what is going on.

By the way, some folks move the 'normal' way. Just before we got into the 'moving mode', friends of ours moved from Ohio to Colorado. From the 'outside' it appeared to be a well orchestrated operation. (My brother helped them by driving the rental moving truck.) I'm sure there were a few hitches and unexpecteds along the way but they were pretty well settled in within a few days of leaving Ohio. I am very happy for them.

On the other hand, our move is much more complex. Maybe a good analogy might be that their move was a bit like transplanting a beautiful lilac bush and our moving is like trying to move an orchard into several locations.

One of our challenges has been that having been here so long there has been a lot of 'stuff' to take care of. I am reveling in getting rid of stuff. That is no problem. The logistics of removal, one way or another, has been challenging though. We had a yard sale for several weeks which did help a lot. We have been taking the remains to local thrift shops which has also helped.

My hubby and I have had a weakness (or so it seems at this point in time). We thought we were helping others and have 'let them come here' when they appeared to have needed a place to stay. (I just got a call asking if we could take in a person who needed a place - they didn't know we were moving.) I suppose there may be merit, but on the other hand we often got stuck with stuff when they left. Anyway, now is 'stuff' removal time - and it is disappearing.

I do think one of the bigger challenges to me, though, has been remembering that I am not in charge of where the other folks are going, especially the one who is having difficulty finding a place. (That is one reason that person was here was because there didn't appear to be anything else available.) So is that person to be left out in the 'cold'? Is God no longer interested? This person loves the Lord and I firmly believe that God has more care for this situation than I can possibly have. That is easy to say. Faith is trusting God. But when things get tight, do we still choose to trust God? When time seems to be running out, do we worry ourselves out of God's plan? My present understanding of patience is accepting God's timing as well as God's will. It appears that God is giving me 'time' to practice patience right now. Thank you, Father. I am choosing to let patience have the time needed to develop in me.

This past week has had some other challenges as well. One morning I just about burned my hands in the hot water. When my hubby checked it out we found out there were problems. He was trying to work on that when the water pressure began to drop. We could do without hot water - we are practically camping anyway - but no water, that is a little different story, especially since we are not the only ones here. Long story short, the water pump 'died' (haven't buried it yet though) and we had to go get another one to replace it. It is in and running , thank the Lord.

That led up to another character development opportunity. Pumps don't usually come 'free'. One of the folks here decided that everyone should help pay for this 'added' expense so we figured out 'costs'. That led to a discussion of electrical expenses (which has been a sore spot here for a long time. There seems to be an opinion by some here that we 'get rich' ? by what is given us for utility assistance.) The comment was made that the figures I have shared may not have been the 'real bill'. I ended up printing out the bill and giving it to the person. After they left though, I temporarily 'lost it'. (Thankfully my hubby was a good sounding board and didn't hold a grudge.) The short of it, looking back, was that I had temporarily forgotten who I am in Christ. My family seems to have a real challenge when we are called anything close to 'liar'. (I think we were instilled early with a sense of honor, and I am thankful for that.) If someone questions my integrity, if there is no question in my mind, then why would I get upset? My brother later reminded me of the issue of identity (who I am in Christ) and that really helped me. One other thought that has helped me is to realized that even though the devil tries to shame me I don't need to 'accept' it no matter who it comes through.

Time is marching on and I have some celebrating to do so I need to bring this to a close. May I share with you that through it all God has not deserted me. God is in the business of 'growing me up' and one of His tools is for me to continue 'counting it all joy' when He leads me through experiences that draw me ever closer to Him. Knowing that God loves for me to be with Him (JOY) is one of the ways He uses in my life to lead me to also experience His kind of Peace. Jesus in my heart is the kind of Peace the world doesn't know anything about.

Peace I leave with you, Jesus reminds us. May you experience that kind of peace today.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, August 30, 2010

Moving on in Peace

Here comes September, ready or not.

I have enjoyed my time in Illinois and it hardly seems possible that I've been here for a month. It has been a little bit 'less hot' ,weather wise, for which we are grateful. Today there was a 'smattering' of rain, but not a lot.

My brother and I got to talking about what 'authority' means. It is sometimes easier to define what a word is not rather than what it really means in its original and genuine meaning. This is one of those words that we find easier to understand the counterfeit, probably because we know a whole lot more about it. Yet, a proper definition can really help enable us to have God's kind of peace in our lives and hearts. Here is my present perception of 'authority'.

Counterfeit or false authority includes the using of 'force' to control others to do what you want done. This form of authority is rooted in a hierachy type of organization. There are many facets of this kind of authority, but overall it is based on some form of 'independence' by the one attempting to use it.

Genuine or true authority comes from God and is based on a proper understanding of our relationship to our heavenly Father - we are His children - based on true love. Since this form of authority is based on the understanding that we are the children of the God who loves us, then we 'keep', or 'do', or 'abide' in His will for us.

Jesus gave his disciples 'authority' over evil spirits. But He went on to say that they were not to 'rejoice' in that authority but rather rejoice that their names were written in the book of life.

When we even begin to think that 'we' have authority over another spirit, have we not basically fallen into Satan's form of authority?

So long as we rejoice that we belong to God's family of love then the evil spirits cannot use their form of control over us and we remain in God's form of government.

Satan may think he has gained advantage by being able to hurt the body, but Jesus reminds us that we are not to be afraid of that. What we do need to guard against is coming under the control of another by loosing our connection with our heavenly family.

That is also why Jesus could say to His family: 'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.'

Why do we need have no fear? We can remember who we are in the Father - His beloved child.

Until we meet again, May God's peace be in your heart because He consider's you His family.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hi, still from Illinois

Here it is almost September, already. As mentioned earlier we led out in a Vacation Bible School in Illinois. My sister-in-law had been having some lower back pain but after we arrived it got so bad she couldn't walk. We stayed a week longer because my brother went on a business trip. There were some things that needed to be taken care of at our farm so we finally decided that I would stay here to help as I could and my hubby would head back home to take care of matters there.

Through this experience I believe the Lord is leading me to learn more about His kind of peace.
He has promised, "Peace I leave with you" (That evidently is a gift.) "My peace I give unto you".
This next part I have been thinking about more as well. "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you." Whatever God's peace includes, it isn't necessarily what the world calls 'peace'.

Another part of God's kind of peace is that His peace involves my heart, for He goes on and says, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

So God's peace is different than the world's peace. It is a gift from Him (not something I work up), and it keeps heart trouble away.

That is very obviously more than only an intellectual assent to a list or facts.

I recently read a book dealing with relationships. A statement was made - having to do with our relationship with God (Jesus) - that set me thinking. Jesus didn't say, I will show you the 'way'. He said, 'I am the way'. He is not looking to be some dictator - telling us each step without our assent or permission. He is wanting us to experience His presence. Peace comes when we know God loves us so much that we can 'fall into His arms' and 'He will watch our 'back' - we can trust Him.

He has got me 'covered', whether I am in Illinois, Virginia or anywhere else.

You are loved like that as well.

Until we meet again,

Peace be with you

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

News From Illinois

A little over a week ago I got a call from Illinois asking if I would lead out in their VBS (Vacation Bible School) for their church. (It is my brother's church so we are staying with him)

Well, we are here and the VBS started last evening. It wasn't as big as hoped for but I believe it was still a blessing to those who came and those who are working with the children. I know that I was blessed.

We are staying at my brother's place but he, personally, is in Colorado helping some friends move. When we got here his wife had been having some sciatic problems for some time. We have been trying to relieve her by helping her do some things around the place so she could stay off her feet more.

After my brother left (he drove a truck for friends out to Colorado to help them move) she got worse. Sunday night was really hard on her. She tried soaking in a 'clay bath' to see if that would help but it seemed very temporary. She tried some extra strength pain medicine but that did little or no good either. Late Sunday evening I tried working with her legs to see if massage and gentle range of motion might help. She was able to get a little more 'comfortable' and did sleep a little while for which we were grateful.

Monday she rested most of the day except when we took her to the Dr's office. It was a 'little' better but not much or enough. This morning we took her to an appointment for an MRI. She was finally able to sleep after quite a bit of pain after the MRI.

We are praying for her recovery. I am also very grateful that we could be here, especially while my brother was gone. It is not common that we come this way from Virginia.

There are predictions that today may be the hottest day of the year so far here in Illinois. When I heard how hot it might get - upper 90's and possibly three digit heat level, it reminded me of what we have had the past several weeks in Virginia. It has been 90 plus for at least 2 weeks or so and a number of triple digit days thrown in for a 'variety' ( I guess ). Before that it has been so dry that most of the grass was brown. We did get some rain recently which helped some.

Anyway, back to Illinois happenings, we have been treated with utmost kindness and care. We have been blessed working with the folks here in preparing for the "Passport to Life" VBS program and we are thankful for the fellowship with others who love the Lord.

I have not been able to keep up with my email due to computer problems and a few related challenges, but I suppose that may be a little bit of a blessing in some respects as well. And, for those of you who know some of our past VBS experiences we have been having the 'usual' technical challenges as well. This time it seems to be more computer than printer difficulties, although the printer does have issues as well. I had obtained a desk top computer (quad4) but have concluded that simply means there are four heads that have to have a committee meeting every time I put in a request for an activity to be performed. After they call everyone and hash out my request then they finally (usually anyway) decide who will be responsible and then get on their 'high horse' and 'do it', hopefully.

Honestly, I do think that this quad 4 (wwindows 7) is slower than my older xp and at times I have wondered if my 386 may have even been better. But since there is no turning back, I join the 'horse and buggy' era (or at least it sure seems that way part of the time) and try to get done what I think I would like to have done for the current VBS - if and when the committee meetings 'do their thing'.

On a happier note, we are thankful that at least part of the time our cell phone works so we have been in touch with others from time to time. Even though we have have challenges it has been a time to 'get away' from some of our daily routines back home, which does have certain 'rest' advantages when looked at from that perspective.

I still have much to do before the VBS begins again this evening so will 'sign off' for now.

Until we meet again, remember that God loves you and is excited for you to know it.

Bringer of Peace

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

God's Form of Management 1

A lot has happened since the children's program finished. As a follow-up report I sensed the children did enjoy the activities and that some areas could have been improved - as usual.

The morning after the meetings were over I had 'nothing' more to give so ended up resting most of the day. I would liked to have been able to get to church but that was outside of my capabilities. Sometimes it is best to just 'come apart and rest awhile'.

But that didn't last long. There are other challenges to face, other jobs to finish, other lessons to learn. One of the current character development lessons at this time seems to be learning God's plan for management. A number of years ago we were given the responsibility to manage a farm property. While the owner was here it was pretty much do what was asked. Now that the owner is not on the premises, the management is now more in our 'hands', so to speak.

Well, for one thing, we haven't found many folk who have some of the same concepts as we have been attempting to function on. Another factor is that as we have been learning about spiritual maturity levels and have also been delving deeper into God's plan for management we have been having conflicts of perhaps a somewhat different nature than before.

Yesterday I decided to do a specific study of how Jesus managed while He lived as a man here on planet earth. That has already been a big 'eye opener' in more ways than one.

There will be more but thus far I have been coming up with some very interesting 'contrasts'. I say contrasts because the way I thought management was to be done and how the Bible is presenting it has thus far almost always been contrast rather than comparison. Here are a few.

Worldly business management primarily appears to be to get gain - at others expense.

Godly management serves others in order to reveal more of what God is really like.

Jesus was the best example of a 'servant' manager.

Worldly management practices 'expect' those being managed to 'do this' or 'act that way'.

Godly management believes in those being managed - thus encouraging positive responses.

Conversion changes a person from expecting from others to believing in others.

Jesus believed in Peter - when you are converted, strengthen others
This 'faith of Jesus' will be 'copied' by His managers.

Worldly management makes the 'rules' and tells what is to 'be'.

Godly management accepts the owners 'rules' and encourages those being managed both by words and works, showing the advantages of accepting God's love and sharing it with others.

Jesus is the king of the universe yet He walked and lived for over three years with a group of men who spent a lot of time 'fussing, and feuding and fretting' over who would be greatest. When there were 'open moments' - when they were really listening - He would use illustrations to turn their minds from 'who was greatest', according to worldly management practices of their day, to the advantages to being channels whereby God's love could flow even more freely to those around them. At times He did rebuke John and Peter in particular - because they had come to the point of wanting what He had to offer. He would correct them when the 'time was right', as well as encourage and guide them into a better course.

[Interestingly enough He also knew that one disciple was not open to being corrected and/or rebuked so Jesus did not give Judas any
open rebuke until the last week of His life - at Simon's feast. The result of rebuking Judas at that time was that Judas immediately went to the priests and began to negotiate how he could betray Jesus into their hands.]

Worldly management may 'help' but more often expects those managed to 'do it' themselves.

God's managers provide guidance, ask questions as a means of 'awakening' a desire to do things God's way, and look for motives to be encouraged as well as giving freedom of choice.

Most of Christ's active ministry was spent healing and teaching, and more of the time the disciples were actively engaged in the activities. There were times, however, when Jesus would take time to ask questions as well as answer queries of His family of disciples away from the crowds. During these precious moments He would look for opportunities to encourage and share 'something better' as well.

Worldly management puts confidence when it considers it will benefit thereby.

God's management respects each individually unconditionally.

God's management reveals to those managed evidences that they can are believed in, leading their minds to that fact that God can truly be trusted.

There is much more, but for now I am learning that God's way of dealing in management is a lot different than most of what I had been taught in management skills previously.

As we more deeply experience God's love in our own lives we too will believe that others can experience it in their lives as well.

One closing thought is that when we learn that God is truly trustworthy and we choose to trust in His plan (faith) and His timing (patience), we too will experience the joy of the Lord and the Peace that passes all understanding.

Yours in Christ,

Bringer of Peace

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sharing Good News

About three weeks ago we agreed to lead out in a children's program that would take place concurrent with some adult meetings (Like a VBS but not labeled as such). The meetings began about two weeks ago. The first week we shared with the children God's 'Rescue Plan' as revealed in the Bible Sanctuary.

This past week we shared with them God's plan for protecting them and also enabling them to cooperate with God in rescuing others from sin - the Armor of God.

I suppose this is common but my computer often works well - except when attempting a project like the above. I finally gave up doing the workbooks in color but even then there were multiple challenges - all faced and overcome by the power of God (definitely not by any technical expertise of my own).

The picture is of the children with their 'armor' on, which represents experiences Jesus offers to have with every person to not only protect them but also to enable them to cooperate with Him in rescuing others and bring them into God's family. I reminded them that without the shield of 'faith' all the rest of the armor is of no 'value' in our connection with God's army, so they were holding up their 'shields' of faith in the picture.

The children took their 'armor' illustration and their workbooks home with them Thursday evening. Then on the last meeting - Friday evening - we talked about God's special plans for the Sabbath. After talking a little bit about it we served the children a special 'supper'. We used a tablecloth and pretty dishes to make it look nicer. (Other nights we just 'gave them' some type of snack and usually a drink with it.) Several of the assistants helped the children to get what they preferred. We served strawberries, grapes and sliced oranges along with crackers with a dip and fruit juice for a drink.

After that the children decorated a picture frame and then we divided into groups and they 'acted' out some Bible experience for the rest of the group to 'guess'.

We closed with songs and a prayer.

Sharing these two weeks took more out of me than I realized. Today I had to just rest. I'm doing fine now though. I am so very thankful for all that God did these few two weeks. I felt so unprepared, but God kept leading, guiding and strengthening and to Him be glory and praise.

Due to the meetings we haven't been able to get much more done in our gardens. Our cabbage seems to be doing very well that we planted earlier. There are peas, beans and swiss chard coming up so far. We planted some eggplant plants, herbs and flowers which are also doing well. The tomatoes look quite good. The yellow tomatoes have some small fruit the size of a dime or nickel already. We have picked a few strawberries already and there are more coming on.

This year our Clematis have done very well. Some of them got damaged but the rest have been beautiful. The pansies are still blooming in many colors. The Asiatic lillies are beginning to bloom. The first one to open was a yellow one. We also have white, red and orange ones coming. There are some stargazer lillies near our door that usually bloom a little later.

And remember, when you see a flower bloom remember they are 'I Love You' notes from Jesus.

Until we meet again, May the JOY of the Lord be your strength and His PEACE be with you.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, May 6, 2010

For anyone who may be interested, you might wish to take time to visit the following blog

Share with them a promise that has been a blessing to you as well as, if you wish, a request.

God is working in many ways.

I am supposed to be preparing for a children's series for the next two weeks. Every time, or so it often seems, I make up my mind to get something printed so as to be able to use it either the printer acts up, right now I can't print in red, or the computer seems to 'act up'.

I praise the Lord that these things are not beyond His control.

To God be the glory and honor and praise.

Bringer of Peace

Monday, May 3, 2010

"Music in His ears"

A friend of mine put a thought so beautifully that I wanted to share it with you.

"The character of God, as represented by His Son, was as an original subject, a new gift to the world. Christ made every effort so to sweep away the misrepresentations of Satan, that the confidence of man in the love of God might be restored. He taught man to address the Supreme Ruler of the universe by the new name - - 'Our Father'. This name signifies His true relation to us, and when spoken in sincerity by human lips, it is music in the ears of God. Christ leads us to the throne of God by a new and living way, to present Him to us in His paternal love."

What love! To me that is awesome that when I sincerely call God 'Father' is is music to His ears.

It is late and I must go for now but until we meet again, give God some music.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Forward

This is one of the grow boxes we have made this spring. To the left in the pic is the walk going to our front door. When we get it all done we will have bark chips on the bare areas. We are also working to put a new walk in. The buckets have dirt in them but we have gotten those moved. We bought some petunias and a geranium for flowers. I may also get Salvia or Zinnias a little later. We have made three other raised beds in different places which has been keeping us busy. We have planted onions, cabbage and tomatoes and have eggplants ready as well.

In about a week and a half our church will begin a two week revival series. It sounded like everything was in order but yesterday they came to me and asked if I would lead out in the children's programs because 'everyone else' had backed down. I consented so that will give me another short term 'full time' effort. Should be interesting to say the least. I am planning to share with the children the "Passport to Life" program. When a person is planning to travel abroad it is good to have a Passport. We are getting ready to travel to heaven. The Lord has given us information that is like a passport to enable us to be 'ready' to travel soon with Him to heaven.

We take time to learn how to take care of the vehicle we will be traveling in - our body.

We learn God's plan to 'clean out' our hearts from sin, called the Bible Sanctuary.

We also are introduced to God's protection plan called the "Armor of God".

This evening my hubby has been reading about the "Lisbon" earthquake. The damage was incredible. The extent of that quake extended thousands of miles. The shock of that quake was quite strong even in Africa. Realizing that this world is even more unstable than it was then, we recognize that unless God is our protection, all is 'lost'.

Our son and his wife moved to Idaho early this year. She is pregnant and has had a rough 'start' but seems to be doing better now. They were staying for a little while in a small camper trailer but just recently were able to get an apartment for which we are grateful.

Not everyone seems fully occupied all the time.
"Tiger" thinks my desk can be used for a cat nap as well as for my working on. He is much more of an outside cat but when it comes time for either Breakfast or Supper he shows up and after eating often wants at least a little bit of loving before he goes on his way again. I guess all of us need a 'little bit of lovin' to make 'livin' a little easier.

'Our other cat, 'Snickers', or Sneakers', is getting older but does have a preference for the floor more. One position that seems to be quite comfortable to him is on his back.

Other times he does sleep curled up as what some consider a more 'normal' cat nap position.

Tiger and Snickers do have their 'spats' but for the most part they also seem to look out for each other as well.

It is getting late so I will close for now.

I do hope to get more than just a 'catnap' this night. And until we meet again, may God's peace be not only with you but in your heart and life.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thoughts on 'Pride', and an April update.

Yesterday a friend asked me what the word 'pride' entailed. This afternoon I decided to do a little more 'digging' into the biblical usage and meaning. We often think of 'arrogant' or 'defiant' as a synonym, which it often is. Interestingly enough, to me anyway, I found that at least in King James Version the word does not always indicate the above meaning, at least according to context and 'concordance' meanings.

In Psalm 40:4 the word translated 'proud' (the only place in the Bible that 'Hebrew' word is used) means 'fierce'. With that meaning of 'proud' here is how I now 'see' that verse.

4. The person who chooses the Creator's will as his own, even in the face of fierce opposition (which are really lies being urged upon him) is genuinely happy.

Psalm 31: 23 is another verse that seems to have a different meaning than 'arrogant' or 'defiant' when KJV used 'proud'. Here is how I presently 'see' this text.
23. Let your affections go out to the Creator - all of you who choose His will. The Lord guards and protects those who choose to belong to Him, and He makes a covenant of peace with those who choose to do His will to the best of their ability.

The text that my friend was looking at was Proverbs 11:2. There the meaning of 'pride' indicates: pride, insolence, presumptuousness, arrogance.

Proverbs 11:2 [When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.

Shame includes: contempt, dishonor or disgrace.

Looking at the context of 'pride' in these and other verses using the same definition as in Proverbs, I am seeing that the kind of pride being referred to is what has come about as a 'counterfeit' to something God gave in the beginning.

In looking at what was God's 'original' gift (but which has been distorted by 'sin') I am finding the concept of 'dignity' such as is stated in the following.

“He (Jesus) possessed a dignity and individuality wholly distinct from earthly pride and assumption; He did not strive for worldly greatness, and even in the lowliest position He was content." Desire of Ages 58

In summary, 'pride' (when used as the counterfeit) is: self importance, most often at another’s ‘expense’ (putting one’s self above another). Pride has to do with deriving perceived 'worth' from taking that 'worth' from another. The problem with that kind of attitude is when I do not love others AS I love myself, that is breaking the 'second' part of God's law which is to love others as you love yourself - not more or less.

What is 'pride' counterfeiting? God has given to each individual a personal dignity as He designed, a true individuality - being the person God intends you to be - His son or daughter. Human pride attempts to gain 'dignity' from a source other than God - mainly by trying to 'take it' from others.

I am still pondering those and other thoughts that I have shared here.

On some other topics of personal interest, we have been busy part of the time getting our garden ready. We are still getting frosts so we're not planting a lot yet. We did get some onions in and have transplanted some of our strawberries into another bed. My brother-in-law bought some cabbage and brussel sprout plants and we have gotten them planted. We bought some tomato plants but it is still too chilly at night for them.

Last fall I planted pansies near both houses. Because of the seemingly 'long' winter I didn't know how they would 'fare'. Well, we have many 'I love you' messages from Jesus this spring. When I walk outside and see the lovely flowers I am reminded to smile because God truly does love me as I view these flowers.

I have been trying to put in some pictures of the pansies but I guess I don't have the expertise it takes. I can get the pictures into my computer but when it comes to getting them in here so far nothing seems to work.

I am still working part time on getting the music book finished I mentioned earlier. My hubby has been editing the 'words' to try to get as many errors removed as possible.

As seems to be usual, when I attempt to do something 'big' my printer grumps. It will work for everyday activities but when I decide to 'do something' - like work on the lessons or music, etc. it seems to suddenly find out it can't work right. I just got another printer - the last one the red wouldn't print - but as soon as I decided to work on the "Passport to Life" project, the red ink quit again. Since that seems to be the case I am presently working to get at least one 'good' copy sent to a printer who appears to be interested. We have no present funds, but with God's blessing, He will accomplish what He pleases in regards to these lessons, coloring books and music.

We are planning to have a revival series sponsored by our local church in May. We had hoped to have a cooking school before the meetings but it appears that may happen after the completion of the series now.

For a few years I have been teaching the small children at our church. Beginning a few weeks ago we started using a 'gardening' theme. For each activity the children are introduced to - preparing the soil, planting seeds, taking out weeds, watering, etc. - we talk about how there is a corresponding activity Jesus wants to do in and with us - for our 'garden heart'. Today there were several children present and they seemed to enjoy. It is a bit of a risk to have 'dirt' in relation to the children, but thus far every activity has been controlled within certain limits. Water does a good job of 'cleaning' too.

Much more has been happening in our lives in other areas as well.

Our son got married last October. They moved to Idaho and now she is pregnant. Sounds like her due date is possibly this next October. She has had quite a bit of 'morning sickness' but it seems to be improving, hopefully. They have been staying with some folks but are planning to get an apartment of their own later this month. I hope so, especially for their sakes.

A friend of ours who has been living at our place for a while is looking to be able to get a place of her own this spring. She has several animals so I hope things work out for her in this respect. She found a little 'farmette' which would take care of her livestock.

My hubby is still in the realms of the unemployed - since January 2009. We keep plenty busy, it is just not for a salary 'pay'. We have been able to get a few more jobs done at our place and I am very grateful for that. The Lord has been enabling us to 'live' with less 'financial' income. He is not dependent on paychecks as we think of them. Sometimes He uses those means to supply our needs. Other times He uses other sources. We are looking into some of those possibilities presently. My brother has been helping us on one option.

One lesson I believe God would have us 'experience' is that we can be at peace even when outward circumstances are not always what we would like. "Great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them" goes along with this thought as well as the 'count it all joy' text I mentioned earlier.

I have other things I need to do so will close for now. Hopefully I'll get back sooner the next time.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Catch up - March

It has been a while since I seem to have had time to write. A lot has been going on.

I am very thankful that it appears the time for snow is past. We had about 5 ft total this winter.

We were able to get some peas planted in our garden behind our house for which I am grateful.

Some time ago I began working on a 'dream' of mine. A number of years ago I developed a lesson series called "Passport to Life". We are planning to travel to heaven soon. We need to learn how to take care of our bodies in preparation for that 'trip'. It is also important to learn and experience the cleansing that God offers to give us because of what Jesus has done for us. This is illustrated in the Old Testament and is called the "Sanctuary". God has also offered us protection which is called the "Armor of God".

My dream was to collect scripture songs for all the texts in the lessons or texts that were on that topic. (There are also coloring books that correspond with the lessons which have Bible texts in them.) Well, thus far I have compiled scripture songs relating to the Sanctuary lessons. The scripture songs relating to the Armor of God lessons are 'together' but I haven't finished the 'layout' yet. The scripture song collection relating to health is still in the 'collection' stage. I have over half of the scripture songs available but that still leaves quite a few to go. But this dream is still in process, so I will keep at it whenever I can do so.

We had helped a friend a few months ago and were happy to do so. But, as so often happens, plans change. This friend had left the country and said we could have what he couldn't take. But he ended up returning so now we have been rounding up things again. I'm still glad to help.

On a little more serious note I think the Lord is working on teaching me how to be more considerate of others while at the same time allowing them their 'power of choice'. I am pretty sure I have not yet fully arrived, but the journey has indeed been interesting. What does a person do when others are so sure they are right? In name I have been given authority in certain areas, but it doesn't seem to count for much when others 'ignore'. Yes, I know there are times to 'stand up and be counted', but even God doesn't force (although He does allow consequences to come when He sees best and I think He is trying to get me taught in that area as well - letting others receive consequences and not 'shielding them'.)

I mentioned earlier the text 'Count it all joy when you have all kinds of problems. (See James 1:2-4). The Lord reminded me that 'count' indicates that most of the time there will be more than one, or two, or three - often a whole lot more. Yet when I keep in mind that each time I can count a time when there is a challenge, trial, pressure, stress, etc, it gives me another opportunity to tell God that I love for Him to be with me 'during' as well as after.

I can still rejoice that I love for God to be with me in whatever situation I find myself.

I thank the Lord that He is still in full control - not only in my life but in those I love.

I am looking forward to spring. We have had a few warm days. The pansy plants that made it through the winter are beginning to bloom better and are looking better. We planted a few lettuce plants this week. I also noticed that some of the lily bulbs are beginning to 'break ground'. Some of the daffodils may start blooming in just a few days. I did see a few crocuses but most of them got lost when we dug up flower beds last summer and fall.

I've got more to do this evening so will close for now.

May the God of peace be with you

Bringer of Peace

Monday, February 22, 2010

Count it all JOY - continued

Has today ever been a day calculated to test the 'count it all joy' protocol.

That may be easy to 'say' when you can 'count' blessings and consider them joy.

Can a person say that when it appears that the devil might be trying to have a 'hayday'.

The events are not what are so important as the fact that several people were willing to 'stay by' and pray. What do you do when someone is hurting so bad they can't eat? they can't stand to go to church?

What do you do when it isn't just one or two people, but several? when 'words' seem inadequate to the point that it seems when one says something the meaning seems to be misinterpreted or worse?

Is that the time when God says that it is appropriate to 'count it all joy'?

Is it time to 'count it all joy' when someone you really respect seems to be hurting and in the process appears to lash out?

I believe that God is very interested in each one of the above people and He is looking to find someone(s) who can let these folks know that they are loved - even the way they are right now.

I also believe that God allows us to have gone through previous experiences to enable us to love even when it hurts.

I have a long way to go, but I'm also thankful that God loves for me to be with Him. And the more I experience that 'joy' the more I can share it with others around me.

'The trying (things getting pretty intense) of your faith (choosing to accept God's will) works patience. But let patience have its perfect work, perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Thanks for listening. God loves you as well as me. That can also bring peace as well as joy.

Maiden, Bringer of Peace

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In God's care

This past year has been interesting in more ways than one. When my husband lost his job over a year ago we wondered how our lives would proceed. On the other hand, God has never forsaken us and we didn't expect that to change. God's way of providing changes from time to time but He doesn't change his love to us or His care for us.

In January, due to some changes in unemployment 'status' that the government decided to do we only received one week's unemployment 'insurance'. We have been thankful for what we have received but we thought maybe it was time for us to learn to live on even less 'obvious' support.

Even though unemployment 'assistance' changed, the utility bills kept coming. We also had some other expenses we were not anticipating during February.

While this was going on, I had begun pondering a text near the beginning of James. "Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations, for the trying of your faith worketh patience. And let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing. "

One morning, actually about 3 a.m. I got up, still thinking about the above verse. But it became more than mere thinking, I actually began to 'sing it'. I know a lot of scripture portions to music but that had not been one of them, so I quickly picked up some music notation paper and began to write the melody down. It is fast becoming one of my more favorite choruses.

More than just singing the words, though, I do believe God is enabling me to 'digest' the meaning of that concept.

"God, I love for you to be with me, even when things seem to be going wrong, intense, in directions I haven't planned for, or even when I am being challenged. Your presence with me is what is giving me joy. Even when finances would seem to attempt to overwhelm me, I know that You not only care but are in the process of supplying our needs. I praise You, God. Even more, Father, the more I learn to 'lean' on You, the closer I perceive You to be. Even before I 'see' answers to my needs I can 'count it all joy' so that when the answers become 'visible' I can thank you as well as praise how You have worked things out 'again' and 'again'.

This past week we received a reduced amount (calculated weekly) but since it was for about 6 weeks the amount was enough to pay some on our utilities so that 'nothing' will be turned off.

Count it all JOY!

Last week a couple of friends came over and helped Duane cut, split and stack more wood. Previously to their coming we estimated maybe three day's wood supply left for wood stoves.

Count if all JOY!

Last week I was able to get my printer replaced with a new one so I could 'print' again.

Count it all JOY!

This past week we have had a few warmer days and the wood stack hasn't gone down quite so quickly. We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground (it began at over 2 feet which is quite a bit for this part of the country) but the last two snows have 'fizzled' and for at least three days the 'warmer' (40s to 50s) have been melting the white stuff away.

Count if all JOY!

Even though our son and his wife are out in Idaho they have been keeping in touch by phone. I have been praising the Lord for some of the things we have been learning together as we have spent some quality time looking at some passages of scripture together at different times.

Count it all JOY!

For some time I have been compiling some scripture 'songs' that correlate with the studies on the Bible 'sanctuary'. I was able to complete that project this past week.

Count it all JOY!

There is more but I at least wanted to share a few things God has been doing to show that He loves for us to be with Him as well as we loving for Him to be with us.

Count it all JOY!

It is getting late so I will leave for now. But until we meet again, remember to 'count if all joy'. . .

Bringer of Peace

Monday, February 15, 2010

Count it all JOY

Those who have read this blog previously may have 'picked up' that I believe real JOY and PEACE belong together.

Recently the text from James 1, 'count it all joy' has been factoring in to my like experience quite a bit.

Then last evening I had the wonderful privilege of 'unpacking' this portion of scripture even more with my brother who often can stretch my thinking processes way beyond what I would probably go otherwise - and for that I am grateful.

In no way am I going to be able to 'yet' but down all I have learned, but for now I'll share a few thoughts.

When I use the term 'joy', the definition I am using is that one mind 'loves for another mind to be with it'. I love for my husband to be with me. Because he responds to me because I love for him to be with me, that gives me joy. (He also experiences joy because he loves for me to be with him as well.) Real Joy takes two minds to produce it, or rather I should say, 'experience it'. A person can be 'happy' when 'alone', but genuine joy can only be experienced when two minds synchronize, harmonize, together. Two minds can refer to a relationship of two friends loving to be together. Joy can also be experienced between parents and child(ren). Another illustration, as mentioned above can be between a husband and wife. There may also be other combinations of human minds synchronizing together that can produce true joy. Two minds can also refer to a person synchronizing, or 'agreeing' with, God - which is still two minds.

The text (James 1:2-) says (KJV) 'Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations . . .'

Some other words need to be properly understood to get a more accurate meaning of this scripture.

The word 'Count' denotes 'being the leader', 'to go before', 'take authority over',

The word 'fall' can also mean 'surrounded', or 'encompassed'.

'Temptations' also can refer to 'experiments', 'trials', 'tests', 'proving' and 'challenging problems'.

Before I proceed let me say that a correct understanding of what we are to count all joy is not completely included in just this one verse. The whole passage is vital to a proper understanding.

But for now let me give you a suggestion or two how to apply it (mainly from personal experiences.)

As I have been telling God that I love for Him to be with me (and He loves to be with me too) I experience the mind building power of real JOY.

When I face (encounter) an experience that could be labeled a 'temptation', or 'trial', or 'challenge' as I am experiencing the joy of knowing that I love for God to be with me, then, in Christ, I can be encompassed with the situation and yet know I am not alone, for Jesus is there.

God has been enabling me to experience just a little bit of 'counting it all joy'. I want and need lots more joy, and since God loves for me to be with Him as well as I love for Him to be with me, my joy will 'grow'. In particular as it is combined with genuine PEACE.

God's kind of peace - coming to the point where I can 'rest' in His love, trusting that He will work out in my life what He sees best for me - combined with the above joy, enables me to grow to be like Him in the way He intends for me to grow.

These past few days have given me quite a few opportunities to 'count it all joy' and to practice trusting God to give me His kind of peace.

With the 'extra snow' both Duane and I have been working to get 'dug out'. A friend came by Friday and was able to give us the 'extra' help needed to enable us to get our car out to the main road. Some folks were really in need of groceries so we made a quick trip to town for some essentials.

By Friday evening, however, both Duane and I began really feeling the effects of both shoveling snow and trying to keep the wood brought in for the wood heating stoves. We have gone through a lot more wood this winter than in some past years.

By Sabbath morning neither one of us felt up to doing anything or even going anywhere.
Sunday morning I was getting more 'perky' but Duane's chest muscles (we hope that is all that is involved) were not yet ready for more 'activity'. I was able to fill the wood boxes so he didn't have to 'hurt more'.

This morning he seems to be a little closer to normal for which we are both thankful.

According to the weather forecast we may be in for some more snow. Interesting.

A couple of mornings (early, early) ago I was up and was thinking on James 1:2. The more awake I became a melody for that verse also began to form in my mind. I went over to the keyboard and while there wrote the chorus down on 'music' notation paper.

I am still singing it, and the more I learn of the meaning of this special words of God to me, the meaningful the chorus becomes to me.

I am learning more, but for now I must go.

Until we meet again, may God's JOY and PEACE be with you.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A close one

It started snowing last evening. Predictions went all the way up to a foot more of snow or more.

But the few times I saw a tv weather forecast it appeared to me that we were rather 'near the edge' of the storm, rather than in the middle as we were in the last one less than a week ago.

Well, the snow stopped some time this morning. We may have gotten possibly 3 inches but it is not wet as the last snow. We are very grateful for the lesser amount.

I re-opened some of the 'walks' around - to the other house and such. Fortunately we still have enough wood for the wood heating stoves, although we will need to bring in more soon.

On a prettier side, the snow itself is beautiful. It sort of looks like icing on a cake.

Well, even though we still have lots to do that is beckoning us to take care of, I am doing some online work and Duane has been reading a book for a while this morning after some hot split pea soup for breakfast.

We are very thankful that our electric power has been on during all of these storms. One of my friends did get a bit chilly one night and another one about overdid it while shoveling snow, but otherwise we are doing quite well, as far as I know right now.

Maybe it is just as well to slow down now and then.

I have been compiling music that goes along with the 'Armor of God' studies from the Passport to Life. I rather enjoy when I get time to work on that project.

Until we meet again, may God's peace be with you.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More Snow

Maybe I'll get some pictures later, but for now I think we are well over a foot and rising.

It is beautiful. Yet because this snow is 'wet' we have become concerned about our house roof.
It is almost flat so my hubby decided he better get some of the snow off our roof before damage.

Enjoy the day.

Bringer of Peace

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thoughts, and Snow

There is one thing I know Satan wanted from Jesus. The devil wanted Jesus to break His perfect trust and love relationship with His heavenly Father.

Every aspect of Jesus' life was harrassed by the devil. Satan didn't really care too much about the 'body', if you please, of Jesus. But this Jesus was His arch enemy since days long before the creation of this world.

But Jesus had come to this world to reveal how a person - a human being - could and would act and respond when connected to the Creator God of the Universe.

So, Satan threw at Jesus every tactic he had developed over about 4,000 years of practice on human beings who had sooner or later 'fallen' and disconnected from the love of God.

What is temptation? Anything that would get us in any way, shape or form to choose any will other than God's will for us - to not trust implicitly that God loves us and wants only what is best for us.

What is God's will for me? Jesus said it quite simply. I am to Love God with everything I have in me in fact I am to Love God even more than anything or anyone else. Then very similar to that I am to love everyone else the same as I love myself.

What happens when someone does or says something that causes something inside of me to 'resist'? feel offended? get defensive? start blaming? fear? become ashamed?

I can't tell what happens to others, but I am becoming aware that when that happens in me it is a good sign that I am not, at that point in time anyway, in full agreement with or synchronized with the mind of Christ.

And the ONLY remedy is to put my thinking, my 'eyes', my feelings, back toward Jesus.

I am not saying that I will never have pain when I am connected to Jesus. That doesn't mean that I will never get hurt, that I will suffer no abuse, that no one will tease me or make snide remarks, or much worse things, which we sometimes want to label as 'persecution'.

I am coming to the conclusion that the closer I come to Jesus the more those kinds of things 'may' happen, but on the other hand, I may actually notice them less and less. Why? "Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. . . ." As I focus on who Jesus is and on what God is really like, He has promised that He will change me to become what I am focusing on by my choice and His power. In other words He will change me into becoming like Him.

He has already begun that work and has also promised to complete it.

And as I look to Jesus, He tells me that brings Him great JOY. And the Joy of the Lord is my strength.

Recently I have been also realizing that when I delight to have the Lord with me - not just for Him to delight for me to be with Him - that I get more of the JOY as well.

I have mentioned these things before but I'll say it again so as to not 'miss' a very special point here.

'JOY' without corresponding 'PEACE' is a nice experience but not of great value. When both JOY and PEACE are experienced, sort of 'in tandom' (not necessarily at the same moment, but in some way related with each other in an experience with another mind) that combination causes my mind to 'grow'.

Sometimes, especially when I am experiencing both JOY and PEACE with the Lord, I have found it can be enhanced when I am in closer to 'nature' during these times of 'growing'.

We have been having several snow falls this winter. One storm gave us about 24 inches. This past week or so we got another 6 inches and the 'latest one added about 3 or so more inches of snow. During this past snow I went out to shovel snow off some of our 'walks'. I at least try to keep the path between the two houses here on the farm open and, if the snow isn't too deep we also keep some other paths available as well. I had opened up several of the paths but as I did so I felt such an urge to take a 'walk in the snow'. I asked Duane to go with me and we walked down to the mail boxes and got the mail. It was dark by then but with the reflections from the white snow it didn't seem so 'dark', and the snow coming down was also so lovely. We spent part of the walk time thanking the Lord for His mercies. Snow is used in the Bible to represent the cleansing God wants to do in me. Even though in our daily living we can get 'too much' snow, we can never get 'too much cleansing' from our loving Lord.

Whether we get just a few inches or another 2 ft. of snow, just remember that God is more in earnest in getting you and me cleaned up - whiter than snow -than we are.

I'll try to keep posted as to our progress in white, but until later, may God's peace be with you.

Bringer of Peace

P.S. If 12-24 inches weren't enough, starting tomorrow, there is another storm predicted for early next week which can also give us more snow of possibly several inches. For those of you in the north you are probably chuckling and wondering why all the problems with just a 'few inches' of snow. I used to be farther north but it has been quite a few years now. And Virginia is supposed to be south.

Friday, January 29, 2010

What is God really like?

I have been pondering and meditating on Psalm 72 for a while. I know it says King David wrote it for his son, Solomon. Fair enough. I also believe David was a prophet - a spokes person for God - and that this Psalm even more distinctly was written describing the Son of David - Jesus. I believe God wanted Solomon to be a picture, or illustration, of Jesus to God's family way back then. We know Solomon made some choices different than what Jesus did and we also have on record the 'results' of choices - in both Solomon's life and in Jesus' life.

Anyway, back to Psalm 72, there are some very interesting word pictures in this passage that helped me in 'seeing' the character of God better.

Verse three indicates that anyone can be included in God's family. I paraphrased it this way: The larger families are included in this covenant of peace as well as the smaller families, for that is the right way to do it.

Verse seven mentions God's plan for each one of His children (my words): In Your Son’s reign those who choose to agree with Him will become more like Him, continuing to mature as long as they live.

Verses thirteen and fourteen was encouraging to me: He will come along side those who are weak, powerless and oppressed, and with His merciful passion He will preserve them, give them victorious relief and take them out of oppression and abuse, for He considers them as very precious to Him.

There is much more. (If you are interested in reading the way I paraphrased this passage of Scripture click on the link to the right, where I have posted it.)

I am becoming more and more convinced that as important as 'facts' about God are - some people call them 'doctrines' - those 'facts' can't really 'stand alone'. I may intellectually assent to certain information - God is love, God is merciful, etc - but until and unless I also 'experience' those 'facts' in my life, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 specifically about love, it is nothing. And maybe it is worse than 'nothing'. Could 'accepting' facts about God, as 'true' as they may 'be', without personally experiencing God in my own life be one way Satan uses me to 'coy' others away from really experiencing God's love in their own lives?

May I encourage you to ask God for a 'new' picture of Him just now. He loves to share.

Bringer of Peace

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

God's Freedom brings peace

I was talking with a friend and realized I was getting offended. I asked God to enable me to see as He sees. He took away the negative and I was able to continue the conversation with peace.

My brother and I were talking on the phone and he commented that someone who forgives is not holding on to being offended. Does that make holding a grudge (offended) the counterfeit of forgiveness? When I forgive another person I no longer hold them as guilty and I accept the pain, the hurt, of the 'sin' (crossing God's will for the situation) instead of blaming the one who propogated it. If it stopped there that would not be good, but since Jesus will also take that hurt and pain from me as I 'let go of it' - He forgives me as I forgive others - I become freed in God which gives me His peace in my heart, my life. I cannot experience that kind of peace by myself. But as I agree with God's view and plan then He gives me not only His peace but His Joy. I trustingly 'rest' in PEACE in His plan for me and I love to be in God's presence - real JOY.

This morning I was studying in Psalm 72. This Psalm was originally written with Solomon's name in the introduction verse. However, the word Solomon means 'peace' and the first verse also refers to the 'king's son'. The overall context of this Psalm indicates to me that it is also a prophecy of Jesus who is also the king's Son - the Son of David as well as the Son of God and also called the Prince of Peace. I'll share more later but the overall message seems to me at this time to be a picture of God's final plan for the outcome of the struggle between Christ and Satan.

Might it be like skipping to the last chapter in the book to find out the outcome of the good?

I need to go for now, but until next time rest assured that God is looking out for your best good.

Bringer of Peace

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bait of Satan

We have begun reading a book called 'Bait of Satan'.

It has definitely given a lot of food for thought thus far.

Here are a few thoughts I have gleaned up to this point.

'Facts without true love become lies. Jesus is called the Truth because He is just that combination - correct facts plus total love.

One of Satan's baits is to bring about circumstances to try to get us to allow the love God gives us to 'grow cold' through holding on to 'offense' offered us by others.

The offender can be real or imaginary - but it really doesn't matter. If we 'hold on to' either kind (real or imaginary) it disconnects us from really living - which in reality is a gift given only by God.

Just because someone offends us does not mean that we have to accept the 'poison' (death) they offer. Why is it poison to us? For one reason, accepting 'offense' disconnects us from the other person or mind. That, of course, is a lot of what the basis of 'sin' is all about'. Man chose to believe Satan which disconnected the human race from God. [You can't obey both.]

Thank God, that is not the end. There is not only hope but restoration available.

A person does not have to hold on to an offense. They can choose to 'let go' and God will supply the power for that decision to become reality

Just this evening someone was talking to me and I began to feel offended. I asked the Lord to show me how to remain the person as He sees me, even as I was 'feeling' the temptation to feel offended. It was almost amazing but the 'feelings' left. I was able to continue to communicate without resentment. For that I praise the Lord.

I am still learning. We have only read a few chapters so I'm sure there will be much more.

We had a blessed day today.

More later

Bringer of Peace


Monday, January 18, 2010


Trust - when props I have been leaning on get pulled out? What does that mean?

Trust God - when I am considered the cause for others discomfort because of the way I have handled things?

Trust God's heart - when I am intellectually bombarded with what another considers 'truth' and if I don't agree I am basically 'sent to hell'?

Trust in the Lord with all my heart - even when I don't know what is coming next?

Trust in God and don't lean on my understanding - when my mind screams that I need to be planning how to 'support' myself and little is 'coming in' financially?

Trust. What is God's kind of trust that is talked about so often in the Bible?

Last evening/yesterday I confronted the very uncomfortable 'fact' that we are behind as far as income versus outgo is concerned.

All kinds of scenarios have been pushing themselves into my mind. I was taking a shower and talked to the Lord about a few of them. Should have done this, shouldn't have done that. If so and so had done such and such then we wouldn't be in this condition; yada, yada, yada, yuck.

Is that trusting the Lord?
Oh, we have got to get out there and beat the bushes, right?
Trusting the Lord is asking Him for the help we need and then 'going after it' in whatever way necessary, right? Or is it something far more?

Jesus said 'Ask' and He will give us what is best for us, personally.
Jesus said that we are to 'rest in Him'.
Do we differentiate between spiritual and practical?
Do we consider that we are trusting only when we have planned and done all we can?
Is trust based on our 'actions'?

Those who love God will have such great peace that nothing shall offend them! That is a mouthful.
How does love relate to trust? trusting God? trusting others?

We had an unpleasant task of sharing with a friend that we couldn't take them to town right now because our insurance ran out on our vehicles and presently we can't pay yet. I suspected they would take it hard but it seemed even a bit harder than I expected.

We felt obligated to let another person who is affected by our situation know that we were behind financially, especially since our situation affects them too. They externally took it a little bit easier, or so it seems on the outside.

But how do we relate to others? Can we trust for them as well?

But last night as I was talking to the Lord, I got the distinct impression that there are times when I am going to have to put my whole weight of trust on God - not just have His help, but He is going to have to work out the details as well.

About a year ago my hubby lost his job. I can truthfully say God has been good to us during this past year. He brought in enough to pay the property taxes of several thousand and we ended the year about $0 so to speak, praise the Lord.

Today when we were working on something together I commented that I was thankful for 'one more day' we could do things together. That has been a real blessing.

We have been grateful for unemployment payments from the government but it is possible that has come to an end. Is it now time for even more dependence upon our loving heavenly Father?

We have put in many applications for employment on a regular basis but so far with no results. Is that reason for dismay? Or shouldn't we be focusing on the promises of our loving Father to 'keep us' as He has promised to do?

I believe that there are certain kinds of trust that can only be developed when things get tough and tight. Are we in that situation now?

Whatever situation we are facing right now, I am choosing to praise the Lord, for it drives the enemy of depression and worry (and others) back and gives me the victory of JOY and PEACE in the Lord through God's love pouring into my heart.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.

Bringer of Peace