Ballast

Thank you all for the tremendous response to my last post. You may want to check out the About This Blog page – I updated it today based on how I perceive this blog will begin to morph.

I’ve been reading from the journal I had been posting from (1981), and also from the one that covers the time-frame of her diagnosis, and praying about which to post from next. Then, today I read the entry below from 1981 as saw it as so prophetic of what was to come, that I thought I should post it from that perspective. (If you have not read the most recent post: “Let Us Proceed Together”, you may want to read it first.) May they both bless you.

Meditation Thought: “…the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:3)

You must fill your spirit and your mind with the ballast of the Word and the Spirit, so that you may weather out the storms of life. The more ballast you have, the steadier you will be, and the more able to stay on your chosen course.

When storms come, and your ballast proves adequate, you gain confidence to sail on to further parts – to new destinations, new horizons.

There is much you can do as you go from one place to another, carrying your cargo of loving ministry, of practical aid, of the fruits of the Spirit, and the truth of the Word.

Do not fear wide expanses of ocean, nor storms, nor darkness of night: your God shall provide all that is needed for your safe journey: the compass of the Word, the protection of the Spirit, the light of the One who shows the Way.

Do not attempt to set your course by your own eyes, for you will be deceived. You need to be guided by the stars, not temporary things floating along the ocean of life. They are not true reference points.

As you set your course by the stars, and move rapidly by the guidance of the heavens, you shall make good progress in fair weather, enabling you to patiently wait out the storms, knowing that they shall pass – and, many times, the storm will blow you ever more quickly to your chosen destination, if you but seek to cooperate with its power and not to pit yourself against its direction.

Let us Proceed Together

If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll know that I rarely post personal things from Mom’s journals – the source of all of these blog posts. Today is going to be different.

Last night I could not sleep and got up in the middle of the night and began reading from the journal she was keeping at the time she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This entry was made about 2 months after the diagnosis.

“There are some aspects of my situation that I simply want to record in my diary.

I had the mistaken thinking at first of connecting the Alzheimer’s with a lack of intelligence, and it confused me because I made top grades in an excellent college, competing with students who had attended private schools in the East.

Clyde pointed out that intelligence and memory are two completely separate things. I don’t know why I thought I should be able to overcome my problem – or that it shouldn’t have happened – just because I’d been intelligent when I was younger. I suppose I still am at some level, though if memory problems block my thinking, the result is the same as if I never had the intelligence to begin with.

I suppose I’ve wandered into rambling at this point, and it’s time to think about what You have revealed through the Bible and through your obvious works in the world.”

God’s answer in her spirit:

“‘Peace I give to you.’ Make this your mantra as you travel this road. Many, many times I have comforted you and led you to places which you would not have chosen, yet in those places we came to know one another more intimately, In those places we worked miracles together – sometimes little miracles, and sometimes big miracles.

Lives were changed for the better – yours, your family’s, friends’ and children in the church because you persevered in reading My Word and praying and obeying as you were able.

Do you think I would desert you now? No – never will I desert you, my beloved child. Do not fear the road ahead – you have family and friends and doctors, and the Holy Spirit surrounding you and caring for you.

Let us proceed together.”

You may be wondering if God kept His promise. It’s been almost 16 years since that entry was made. I can tell you with absolute certainty God has kept (and continues to keep) his promise. Mom is now 90 and rarely communicates verbally any more. But she does communicate with her eyes, with her smile and with her spirit. As she says in her journal, God has led her to a place she did not want to go. None of us did. It has been a road filled with both laughter and tears but even more so filled with  mercy, grace and blessing.

Let us Proceed Together

If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll know that I rarely post personal things from Mom’s journals – the source of all of these blog posts. Today is going to be different.

Last night I could not sleep and got up in the middle of the night and began reading from the journal she was keeping at the time she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This entry was made about 2 months after the diagnosis.

“There are some aspects of my situation that I simply want to record in my diary.

I had the mistaken thinking at first of connecting the Alzheimer’s with a lack of intelligence, and it confused me because I made top grades in an excellent college, competing with students who had attended private schools in the East.

Clyde pointed out that intelligence and memory are two completely separate things. I don’t know why I thought I should be able to overcome my problem – or that it shouldn’t have happened – just because I’d been intelligent when I was younger. I suppose I still am at some level, though if memory problems block my thinking, the result is the same as if I never had the intelligence to begin with.

I suppose I’ve wandered into rambling at this point, and it’s time to think about what You have revealed through the Bible and through your obvious works in the world.”

God’s answer in her spirit:

“‘Peace I give to you.’ Make this your mantra as you travel this road. Many, many times I have comforted you and led you to places which you would not have chosen, yet in those places we came to know one another more intimately, In those places we worked miracles together – sometimes little miracles, and sometimes big miracles.

Lives were changed for the better – yours, your family’s, friends’ and children in the church because you persevered in reading My Word and praying and obeying as you were able.

Do you think I would desert you now? No – never will I desert you, my beloved child. Do not fear the road ahead – you have family and friends and doctors, and the Holy Spirit surrounding you and caring for you.

Let us proceed together.”

You may be wondering if God kept His promise. It’s been almost 16 years since that entry was made. I can tell you with absolute certainty God has kept (and continues to keep) his promise. Mom is now 90 and rarely communicates verbally any more. But she does communicate with her eyes, with her smile and with her spirit. As she says in her journal, God has led her to a place she did not want to go. None of us did. It has been a road filled with both laughter and tears but even more so filled with  mercy, grace and blessing.

Power and Pressure Points

Meditation Thought: “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” James 5:16

The prayer of a righteous man can be compared to a well-oiled machine, running in perfect condition, producing maximum capacity.

There are all kinds of possibilities of performance – but the very best results are obtained when the righteousness of God is being manifested as righteousness on His child… in His children.

The Father’s children go many places, contacting many people. If we exhibit the traits of the Father, if we are doing the tasks the Father has assigned to us, then we are spreading the influence and actions of the father, and changing all whom we meet to become aware of the existence of our Father. We honor Him as we do this. He blesses us as we do this. Others are blessed as we do this. We have cooperated with great Power, and participated in directing great Power. We are needed by this great Power: this fact gives us confidence that we are valuable – at the same time, it humbles us to compare what we are to what this Power is.

We need to be strong in our belief  – both in the goodness of our Power and in the value of our worth – but we need to be weak enough that we can be bent into any shape needed to do the job at hand. We may feel much stress at times when we must be conformed to certain shapes – but always our Power source places pressure at the proper points to do the job but gently enough not to break us at the pressure points.

Prayer of response: Lord, by an act of my will, I choose to be your tool. Use me where you will; shape me how you will. Enable me to trust you always – for all of life’s experiences confirm a pattern – changing, always changing – yet with an ultimate purpose. I know that you desire to accomplish certain tasks through me: Lord, I desire to do these according to your desire. Teach me Thy ways, that I may not have run or labored in vain. In Jesus Precious Name I pray. Amen.

 

Sacrifice of Praise

Meditation Thought: “…let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15

“Continually” offer a sacrifice of praise: if I am praising God, I can’t be praising myself. If I am praising Him, I am doing the Father’s will, I am imitating the Son, I am being filled with the Spirit. If I am doing all of this, I am also producing fruit according to His commandment.

If I am centering my mind to praise God, I am centering my mind on God’s will, and if I am doing his will, I am doing His works. If I am doing His works, I am producing His fruits which feed the hungry – including myself – I am feeding us a banquet of our hearts desires, of all that satiates our appetites for: peace, joy, love, understanding, excitement, hope, anticipation.

Verse 16 states “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

“Praise, do good, share”: of these attitudes does the Kingdom consist.

Prayer of Response: Oh, Father, in Jesus’ name I pray Thee to renew my spirit, my mind, my heart, that I may praise, do good, and share ever more joyfully. Enable me to be so totally committed to Your will and Your word that all evil and selfish desires desert me, and only Your goodness, mercy, and righteousness remain in my spirit, my mind, my heart, my emotions, my life. Amen

Greater ideas, works, joys

Meditation Thought: … he disciplines us for our good that we may share in holiness” (Hebrews 12:10)

Discipline is the food that nourishes righteousness: righteousness is the heart of our spiritual “body”. Without righteousness, we are not behaving as children of God.

We must come to desire so strongly to be like our Father, as we come into maturity and recognize the Person who he is – the marvelous traits He possesses and hands down to His children through inheritance of His spirit that we welcome times of discipline as much as times of our Father’s indulgences toward us.

To come into the wonderful state of total trust of our lives to Him, to the peace that is a result of that trust, we muse choose to leave our “safe” shell of introspection and boldly step out to the challenges of the world without. It is through the experiences of seeking our way through the difficulties that we come to seek out the wisdom, the knowledge, the aid of our Father – and in the process of seeking what we need, we come to find the more glorious gift of His presence and companionship, His delight in our relationship becoming meaningful to us – becoming vital to us.

As we come to recognize and believe that this marvelous Person truly is our Father, and is desirous of expressing His fatherhood in ways that are not only good for us, but pleasing to us, at this point we are beginning to realize what the true significance of the cross is.

Our Father is constantly trying to penetrate our preoccupation with self and world, that He might teach us of far greater ideas, works, joys – of life on a new level, of life based on a new principle: Moving from life based on physical aspects to life based on spiritual aspects.

The vision of our spirit causes a change in our thinking process, and that changed process causes new actions – and new reactions: thus the Father’s concepts are gradually perceived by His children and implemented by them which is the reconciling of the world to the Kingdom, which is the building of the Kingdom within, which is the accomplishment – the fulfillment – of the purpose of the cross.

The darkness is penetrated by one pinpoint of light
and hope and imagination give birth to it
as a new life
Entered into our world.
It grows, matures – as it changes.
So we change by its influence.
We could have chosen
never to have given birth to this child – this light.
Never then would we have had such pain – nor joy –
Such agony – or ecstacy
Such knowledge of evil – or of good.

Carry your Haven with you

Meditation Thought: “Without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you, ask and ye shall receive: FAITH! Faith enough to seek, to knock, to ask – that is the one requirement to enter into the Kingdom – to enter into that beautiful, peaceful garden – a portable garden, which goes with you wherever you are. You carry your haven with you as a turtle carries his own shelter.

But it will do you no good if you do not withdraw into it, using it.

You must take the time to seek, to knock, to ask. Seek the Word, ask for guidance, knock at the door of the dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Seek – every moment – the hidden meaning, the hidden beauty, the hidden Truth, the hidden need, the hidden solution to that need.

Believe: You will not be disappointed. Persevere: many saints have gone before you to assure you of the joy of obedience to the Father, of faith in the Son, of the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you to do the Father’s will and the Father’s works, revealing the Son and bringing you into His embrace.

Dare to dream! Dare to hope! Dare to love openly!

Pray, think, act: all in loving kindness based on truth revealed by Word, by inner guidance, by outward circumstances.

The heavens reveal the glory of God.
As does the tiny seed.
God is everywhere, anywhere.
You do not see Him?
Then trust that He is near
and the next moment – the next movement – the next scene
Shall give you knowledge of His Presence.
Where there was pain,
there is peace.
Where there was despair,
there is hope.
Where there was sadness,
there is joy.
Where there was sin,
there is righteousness.
Where there was apathy and hate,
there is love.
The flow of God’s cleansing grace
Renews,
Rebuilds,
Reveals,
the Truth, the Way, the Life
For you – for all who seek the place where the Living Water flows.
That place is revealed when you turn from self and seek, and knock, and ask.