Peace in all Circumstances

All who work with you are to be your beloved. They are my beloved – and therefore they are your family: Your beloved also.

Meditation Thought: “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matthew 20:15)

In this passage is a lesson: it is the times when you judge actions which are not directly your concerns that cause you separation from the relationship which we should have. At times you reap what you sow – and at times, I bestow by grace a more generous harvest than could be expected from your actions. It is not for you to judge the times when you observe this reaping what they did not sow: you, too, have your times of knowing that you are undeservedly blessed by receiving reward which is more generous than you have earned.

I seek to refine attitudes, and it is a gracious, tolerant, isn’t-that-great-this-good-thing-happened-to-my-brother attitude which I seek to have you develop: not “why should he reap such reward when I worked harder for the same reward”. This attitude restricts your knowledge of truth and the workings of the kingdom. If you realize that the one who receives so generously is your beloved, then you are not resentful, but grateful for his good fortune. This is the lesson: All who work with you are to be your beloved. They are my beloved – and therefore they are your family: Your beloved also.

If you think about this revelation; if you seek to accept it totally with your mind, your emotions and your actions, your life will be transformed – everywhere you observe generosity, whether to you, or to another, you will rejoice and not resent.

You move from a mind-set of what you have received in relation to what another receives, to the mind-set of being content with what you receive, and being content with what another receives.

This is “being content in all circumstances”: it moves beyond being content in a vacuum to being content in the confusion of the world; it moves beyond the ability to think of the good for self to think of the good for another. It moves beyond the animal-instinct of self-preservation to the higher calling of sacrificial love.

The whole of Jesus’ life is the witness to the truth. It is the revelation of the joy of moving from self-love to total love of all of creation: to desiring good for another, no matter what is happening to you at that moment.

This is the highest expression of love. It is laying down your life for another – the releasing of your ego-centered focus to another-centered focus. This is being true to your inheritance as being made in the image of the Father – and choosing to live in such a way that no one can doubt you are of the Father: the Father perceives, the Son perceives, the Spirit perceives, you perceive, and your fellow creatures perceive – yes, all heaven and earth perceives that you are your Father’s child, not merely in fact, but in reflection of His Character, in reflection of His code of conduct, in reflection of His works and most of all, in reflection of His love.

Could anything in heaven or in earth bring more joy than this – to the Father, to the Son, to the Spirit, to you, or your fellow creatures?

Response: No, Lord – nothing could bring more joy than my reflecting You in every area. I desire to do this. Please enable me to do this.

I have faith – which You gave to me.

I have intelligence – which You gave to me.

I have energy – which You gave to me.

I have emotions – which You gave to me.

I have a body – which You gave to me.

I have a spirit – which You gave to me.

I have a world in which to use what You have given me.

I have a kingdom in which you teach me.

But, with all of these still I cannot reflect you in every area: only by your generosity of spirit, of your generosity of power, of your generosity of wisdom and knowledge of your generosity of circumstances fortuitous will I be able to reflect You in every area.

I seek Your generosity – and in acknowledging that I need more from You than I have earned, I acknowledge that it is Your right and privilege and good pleasure to give generously to any, and I have no right to judge You or judge another or to judge circumstances.

You have offered me salvation and the kingdom on earth in return for my commitment to love you and work for you. I accept this arrangement, and I quarrel not with whatever You arrange with others. In this is my peace in all circumstances.

Hallelujah!

Rejoice

If I carry God-inspired thoughts in my head, have God-inspired love in my heart, do God-inspired acts with my body, and have God’s Spirit enveloping my spirit by my faith that this is so – then nothing shall be impossible to me, because nothing is impossible to God.

Meditation Thought: “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live…May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” (Psalm 104:33-34)

I rejoice in the Lord, for the Lord first rejoiced in me: He conceived me in love, brought me into existence in love, sustains me in love; He shows me the way to live: by love.

I do not always perceive his works as a loving ministry to me. Nevertheless, His thoughts, His actions (even inaction in allowing me to learn by ‘logical consequences’) and His words are all based on love. Words which seem harsh to me are to turn me away from harmful pursuits – they are not intended to wound me.

So long as I sing to the Lord and rejoice in Him, I am recognizing Him as loving; I am grateful to Him for His care; I am following the path which is best for me in every way.

If I seek to meditate to please Him, then I am thinking thoughts which are life-enhancing; I am in an attitude of listening to His whispered ‘secrets for success’.

If I carry God-inspired thoughts in my head, have God-inspired love in my heart, do God-inspired acts with my body, and have God’s Spirit enveloping my spirit by my faith that this is so – then nothing shall be impossible to me, because nothing is impossible to God and He is in control of my mind, my heart, my body and my spirit. When God controls all of these, then my emotions will fall into line with the other areas of my life, sooner or later. That completes the ‘new creature in Christ’ – the baby grown into maturity: no longer demanding, rebellious, arrogant, brash – but reflecting the character of the Father: loving, giving, righteous, forgiving, wise and adhering to the principles of the highest order of the best that life, spiritual and physical, can offer.

The rains may come
And winds may blow.
I tremble not, nor fear.
I am sheltered,
Secure inside
My Father’s house.
To be here,
Where peace, and light, and love
Bring joy unto my soul
Is the birthing of a grateful heart,
And life transformed.
I look upon the chaos
Beyond my safe abode,
And give thanks
To Him who brought me here.
Praising my Father for sending One to rescue,
That I may dwell in ‘the shadow of the Most High’ –
For His shadow
Tells me He is here with me;
I am safe; I am happy, and at peace.
For I am home,
The place where love gladdens me,
Where the rains and winds cannot reach;
Where I am nourished, rested, and become content.
I put the restless striving behind,
Knowing that the world beyond this home
Seeks to use me, abuse me,
Though it beckoned me by promises
of my independence – freedom from the confines of my home.
The world became my prison,
And I a slave,
To forces evil,
And dwelling in dark places.
Then He came, opening the door to the prison,
Bringing light and freedom to return home.
It is not the home I left –
Not the stifling, cramped place I’d seen –
But glowing now with the light of truth,
the beauty of wisdom,
the graciousness of love perceived:
As spacious as I could desire,
For I need only space enough
To do my Father’s will,
Living in His shadow,
And knowing his love.

Trust This Force of Love

God is pure love, and I am His. Hallelujah! I cannot have any basis for fear; I am the beloved of Pure Love!

It appears Mom’s journey is very near the end in this realm and will soon begin in the next. We visited with her last night. – it’s so difficult to see her in what appears to be a state of complete unawareness of everything and everyone around her. Then I grabbed one of her journals ‘at random’ (praying for God’s guidance as I was reaching) from my sister’s shelf this morning and it all makes so much more sense! This entry feels like a gift and a celebration – Mom describes who she is in Christ – and it has absolutely nothing to do with her disease! Oh Jesus! Thank you!

Meditation Thought: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

I am strengthened by God’s might in my inner spirit. Christ dwells in my heart through faith. I am rooted and grounded in love and have power to comprehend everything God desires me to understand – God is able to do far more abundantly than all that I ask or think. THEREFORE I SHALL NOT BE AFRAID. I SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED OF MYSELF. I will trust this Force of Love within me – through my faith and works of faith I can trust my Lord to see me through all the happenings on the Way for we walk together – no – we “shall mount up with wings like eagles, we shall run and not be weary, we shall walk and not faint.” We walk by faith – in Truth, not by sight of circumstances. God is pure love, and I am His. Hallelujah! I cannot have any basis for fear; I am the beloved of Pure Love!

Rescued and Restored

What are stumbling blocks but stepping stones when one is transformed by the nurturing Light?

Meditation Thought: “There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths.” (Job 24:13) “I am the light of the world: whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

All who stumble in the dark, and who rebel against the dark, thus seeking the light, despite all obstacles, despite all errors in the direction of movement, shall find the light.

The light is difficult to be found only for a little while – only for the time necessary to: soften a hardened heart, tame a rebellious will, open up a closed mind, teach a foolish one wisdom, cleanse a sin-stained past, and to make real the promise within the conception of the one who seeks light. That is, to make the vision of light so intense that there is no doubt that the light exists and that the one who seeks it will find it.

And when the light dawns, when it is seen in reality, just as it was seen in the vision, then is a totally new life possible.

Consider the contrast of living in a totally dark prison – and of living on the mountaintop, where vistas are seen in every direction: where light enables abundant growth, and nourishes all living things – where light reveals the truth of all which is under it.

This contrast is the comparison of life in the flesh without the Light of the Spirit within and living with the Spirit within.

The one living in the dark confines of prison may, by the description of the vistas coming from the mountaintop, be able to conceive somewhat of the life lived on a mountaintop – but cannot truly understand nor feel the reality of that life.

Only as the prisoner is brave enough to grope for the key offered, and to grope for the lock, and to make effort to fit the key in the lock, to turn it, and to walk out of that confining place to blink in the light, and to adjust to it, can he begin to know experientially the total ‘new creature’ life in a ‘new’ environment (the mountaintop kingdom). The joy of realization of what he has left and what he is experiencing is almost unbearably sweet, almost unbelievably exciting, almost impossible to comprehend.

But the ‘almost’ is not the same as ‘definitely’. This is our cause for leaping in the ecstasy of thanksgiving! This is our power to live a new mountaintop life! This is the knowledge that the words which described the mountaintop life, and thus led us to find the key to release us to this life, were not exaggerated words, but even those words were not adequate to describe the truth, to describe the quality of the light, or the quality of life lived within that revealing light.

When we allow our minds, our emotions, our bodies, our spirits, to flow freely, to go freely over all this wonderful new terrain, we dance with delight of constant new discoveries of beauty, wisdom, truth – of love encountered along the way! Of Love accompanying us along the way.

What are stumbling blocks but stepping stones when the tiny emaciated prisoner is transformed by the nurturing Light into the grand, ‘filled-out’ figure: a strong, wise, willing, and eager new creature which is the reflection of the Creator of all he surveys and encounters, which is the container of the inherited wealth of the Creator, and which is the authority of the Creator expressed into the world covered by Light.

This ‘new creature’ did not evolve by chance, or by self – but by being transferred from prison to freedom.

One came to offer release – and the prisoner chose to seek a new place when the opportunity “knocked at the prison door”.

The ‘Rescuer’ comes in many forms – at many times – trying, always trying, to convince the prisoner that the escape from prison will lead to a better place.

There is no law which is broken when the prisoner ‘escapes’, no punishment for his leaving prison: the ‘law’ that sentenced him to prison was the confining of his spirit in a body which gives expression to his freedom of choice.

But the ‘law’ is his law: the ‘law’ is subject to his interpretation of that law: thus it cannot be ‘broken’ by him, thus causing him harm. It can only be perceived by him, and acted upon by him.

The moment he realizes that he has authority over the law, and he tells the Rescuer of the moment to give him the key to the prison door, and he takes authority over all who would try to tell him that their interpretation of the law is more authoritative than his, thus keeping him in prison – then not only is the prisoner rescued, he is restored to his rightful prominence as being one in authority.

He is not the highest authority on the mountaintop nor over the prison, but he is privileged, he is endowed with wisdom, he is endowed with authority, he is endowed with power, he is given knowledge. The key words are ‘endowed with ‘ and ‘given’: so long as he recognizes to whom he owes allegiance and all that is given to him, he is in a great position and leads a fulfilled, exciting and abundant life.

Lost and Imprisoned – for Good

Therefore I am assuming by faith in your faithfulness that my dark time will end and the day will become even more beautiful. How I will praise You and thank You! 

One of my mom’s greatest desires is that her struggle with Alzheimer’s somehow benefit others. Today’s post comes from the first year she was diagnosed. It doesn’t follow the usual pattern, but may offer comfort and hope.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”.  Luke 19:10

Mom’s prayer:

Oh Lord, thank you that are saving me from my “lostness” – that’s just the way I feel now: Lost and confused and frightened. It’s almost like someone else – someone I don’t like much – replaced the old me but imprisons me too.

I know in my mind and my faith and my experiences with Your loving care in the past that you ARE working good out of this morose I am in – perhaps not just for me, maybe for others also.

Thank you that you never did reveal that your people had to be perfect for you to love them and help them – me too, as one of your creations. Therefore I am assuming by faith in your faithfulness that my dark time will end and the day will become even more beautiful. How I will praise You and thank You!

The beginning

Just as a drop of food coloring will make water a pale tint, as you add more drops, it becomes vivid – a complete change. So as we let Jesus come into our lives, we are completely changed.

Mom had a well-established routine of prayer time and meditation before she ever began recording them in these journals. (See about this blog page.) We are forever grateful to her friend Mary Lou for giving her the blank book that inspired her to begin writing them down. Today’s entry is from the first page of the first book.

“For a long time I have wanted to keep a journal of family events and spiritual progress – of ideas as they come, feelings, etc. Much is lost, but I hope to keep a current record now, and as time (and memory) permit, to reflect on what has happened previously.”

The entry is fairly long, and totally awesome, and I will type the whole thing here – but if you don’t have time to read it all, let me start with an illustration from the middle so you don’t miss that:

“Just as a drop of food coloring will make water a pale tint, as you add more drops, it becomes vivid – a complete change. So as we let Jesus come into our lives, and as the Holy Spirit guides us, and we become more and more mature Christians, our lives are completely changed.”

Now, back to the beginning…

“This morning I had a particularly moving prayer and meditation time. For some time I have been concerned that my desire for beauty, harmony and order was a selfish, impractical desire. However, today it seemed God was conveying to me that He has a plan for each of us – that He made us in His image, yet each person uniquely fitted for the job he is do do. The qualities of beauty, harmony and order are all in keeping with His World and His Word.

It seemed I was to do my work through qualities of yielding, softness – although these are not particularly in my character, it seemed that (as experienced in ‘My Heart’ – ‘Christ’s Home’) – if I will relax and let Jesus guide my hands (tongue, etc.) He will reach others through me, using these very qualities of beauty, harmony and order that are comforting to me, and yet have up til now been a source of aggravation because I could not attain them to my satisfaction.

I turned in the Bible then to Romans 10:8 through 15:6. It all seemed very clear. Especially interesting: 10:15 ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace with God.’ Also 11:6 ‘And since Abraham and the prophets are God’s people, their children will be too. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be too.’

12:3 ‘Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has has given you. Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do… (6) God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.’

13:9 ‘All 10 (commandments) are wrapped up in this one, to love your neighbor as you love yourself… It is the only law you need.’

In meditation, I had the concept that just as a drop of food coloring will make water a pale tint, as you add more drops, it becomes vivid – a complete change. So as we let Jesus come into our lives, and as the Holy Spirit guides us, and we become more and more mature Christians, our lives are completely changed.

Romans 13 ‘Obey the government.’ (Obey authority: This brings order.)

Romans 12:18 ‘Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.’

Late afternoon – Karen came in to talk with me, and I was writing in mid-afternoon. We had a wonderful discussion about God, and I felt I wanted to see if she’d like to read “A Man Called Peter”. She read one of the sermons to me while I ironed and washed dishes. She really liked it and wants to read the book. Then we read ‘The 4 Spiritual Laws’ and the ‘Holy Spirit’ booklets. It’s been a wonderful day – thank you Lord!”

I would have been 12 at the time and don’t have a specific memory of that day but reading about it brings a smile and a warm sense of love. So typical of a summer day with my Mom. Today is my birthday – this entry is her birthday gift to me. I echo her sentiment “Thank you Lord!”