A Place of Refreshment & Renewal

His pain is the labor by which you are given birth into the Kingdom.

Meditation Thought: “…not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

“Expand! Be flexible – allow Me to stretch your abilities and talents – not by a forcing on My part for your good, but at My touch, yield willingly so that I may expand you gently. Do you not understand the message sent by My Son? His pain is the labor by which you are given birth into the Kingdom – as soon as you acknowledge Him as your Savior you are thrust into My Kingdom. My Kingdom is not a hostile environment for you: it is your place of refuge, your home, where you can be refreshed and renewed between bouts into the world.

My will is that you take advantage of all I offer you as the provider and head of your Kingdom-home. You must be willing to reach, to stretch, to give in order to be able to mature as a knowledgeable, effective member of My family. That is the meaning of “not what I will, but what you will.” If My Son, who is an integral part of Me, perfected in obedience, must struggle with choice, can you be excused from choice? No – you must struggle, must decide; but you have His example – follow it as an assurance of the working of my will in your life. The working of My will is the fulfillment of your heart’s desire: not your whim of the moment, but the deep, soul-longing need to be at peace and harmony with Me.”

Positive Purpose

Others are enriched while we ourselves find peace and joy and the purposes of our lives.

Meditation Thought: “ but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4)

We who acknowledge God the Father as the top authority over us must act to please Him first, others afterward.

As we are faithful and fruitful in a little, so God entrusts us with more. To the extent we are constantly moving toward successful completion of our tasks for Him, to that extent are we pleased and rewarded by “positive feedback” from our Father. This in turn spurs us on to greater efforts, and all benefit – God’s will is done and His love and Word expanded in the world, and others are enriched, while we ourselves find peace and joy and the purposes of our lives.

Trough and Crest

This moment is yours – and this moment is Mine: weld our moments together.

Meditation Thought: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

Ebb and flow. You have a fascination for moving water. It is a symbol of life itself. Be content when you are in the trough or on the crest, for both places are necessary for life: for your life.

In the trough you learn to trust without proof: this is faith, you learn to be obedient – this is discipline to make you sturdy and steady to withstand the low places, and to keep you thankful and not prideful in the high places. On the crest you feel grace and blessings which open your heart to the fullness of joy of My love; it is easy for your expression of love to overflow onto those in the trough near to your crest.

This moment is yours – and this moment is Mine: weld our moments together that they may be expressions of both spirit and flesh which expand love, reconcile that which is separated, heal that which is hurt, bring order to chaos, bring relief to the suffering, bring peace to the broken-hearted, bring hope where there is despair, bring forth fruit where there was no sign of life in the branch.

The way is not easy – but the rewards are great, for joy, peace and hope along this way depend not upon circumstances, or others’ treatment of you – but upon our moments welded together as one moment spanning heaven and earth: the Holy Spirit reaching from Mind to mind, Love to love, Spirit to spirit.

You know the way – the way of the cross: obedient, humble, selfless, loving, grateful for all blessings and guidance wherever it leads, knowing who has the world beyond death, into resurrection.

With eyes of faith
And tongue of love
Hands to comfort
And feet to move
Where’re I bid you go
Not one place
Shall you abide
Away from Love and Hope.
This moment, be it trough or crest,
Is triumph over all.

Over. Come.

The evil says “come”  the Lord says “come”. We must decide where to go.

Meditation Thought: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

Overcome: Over. Come: “over” implies a movement upward – we move “up” to God’s higher methods, more effective methods, when we consult Him. “Come” – implies the invitation to movement. The evil says “come”  the Lord says “come”. We must decide where to go.

We have our “manual” – all we need to do is to consult it, to determine which destination we must choose. Good is always concerned with love, with peace, with joy, with giving – evil is always concerned with malice, with conflict, with envy, with taking.


An Open Door

Ask, seek, knock: you will learn, you will find, you will have the barrier removed – the door opened – to the kingdom.

Meditation Thought: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

Your physical existence and your physical environment are your artistic tools with which to express your physical life.

You have understood rightly the spiritual affecting the physical – but you have not understood that your choice of living out the physical is reflected directly into the spiritual and eternal.

Though the spiritual precedes the physical, once both exist, the one affects the other.

You have not perceived that the physical is as necessary as it actually is. If you get enthused about expressing yourself through the physical as an act which looses and binds in the spiritual, you will accomplish more visible results in your life.

You like to contemplate and dream – fine. But do not overuse time in this manner.

To use energy to improve physical manifestations is not an inferior occupation: it is merely another expression of your life to complement the intellectual and spiritual aspects.

Therefore, when through circumstances and the prompting of he Spirit you are led to be aware of physical needs or desirable physical deeds – do them – gladly, enthusiastically, competently. The quality of performance is reflected in the spiritual realm as surely as the quality of your spiritual life is reflected in your physical life.

You must be as willing to express one as the other, depending upon the requirements of the moment.

The “keys of the kingdom” are the principles upon which creation – in my image, as pure and holy, as creative and lovely, as peace and harmony, as wholeness and unity – is based.

Wherever you bring filth onto being purified, sacrilege into holiness, inertia into creativity, ugliness into loveliness, strife into peace, discord into harmony, fragmentation into wholeness, and friction into unity, you are using the keys of the kingdom to open it wide, to bring the fragmentation – the separation – of spiritual and physical into unity. You combine the kingdom and the earth, as the original combination was conceived and came into existence. You return to the innocence and purity of life without sin. This is the reflection of the Father; this is the imitation of the Son; this is life as it was intended to be: by choice, not by demand.

You do not understand much of what exists, either physically or spiritually, but you do know that there are expressions in both areas, you do know that you are capable – intended, to be fully expressed in both.

Ask, seek, knock: you will learn, you will find, you will have the barrier removed – the door opened – to the kingdom.

You have asked where the keys may be found, you have sought them – and you have found them – in the Word, in the Spirit and in the physical.

Now walk through the open door, as you insert the keys and turn them through the measure of faith I have given you being used: in the spiritual through worship and prayer – in the physical through constant proper use and improvement.

Truly, what you bind and loose on earth shall be bound and loosed in heaven.

In the binding and the loosing shall be the creation of a “new heaven and a new earth” – fitting together, enhancing one another, becoming a whole out of fragmentation.

A Tide, River, Iceberg and Prism

In our lives we cannot continually give treasures of ourselves without returning for periods of renewal to receive these treasures in order that we might share them.

Back in 1974, when Mom first started her journals, she had several ‘images’ in her prayer and meditation time that helped her see some of the ways God works in our lives:

Like a Tide: In our lives we cannot continually give treasures of ourselves without returning for periods of renewal to receive these treasures in order that we might share them. (Just as the tide goes out and collects shells, etc., then brings them to the shore.)

Like a River: Our lives alternate periods of a flurry of activity and periods of involvement in harassing situations, and if we will just flow along, accepting that as time moves on, we will come to a wide, shallow, peaceful place in the river of our lives, it all has perspective.

Like an Iceberg: The part of us that others see is only the part above the water. Underneath is what is supporting that above – and the stronger the underneath part, the more steady will be the top as it is buffeted by the wind (circumstances of our lives). The  lower part is strengthened through faith and obedience to God.

Like a Prism: As a prism focuses a beam of light into separate colors, so God sends His power through His believers (who act as the focusing prism) – using their prayers for others to send the solution for the particular need. In this concept it would seem logical that the more people praying for an individual the more ‘rays’ would be concentrated on the one in need, perhaps explaining the effectiveness of group prayer.

Come My Beloved

“Come my beloved. Walk with Me, talk with me, and we shall do good in a hurting world.”

Meditation Thought: “Therefore, since we have been justified with faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:1

By faith I am standing in grace. It does not matter that I do not feel at peace and comfortable and happy at this moment. It does matter that God is with me; God is in me, and God is guiding me.

Moreover, He is guiding circumstances concerning me. How do I know? Because He told me so – He said so through prophets, through the faithful who have followed Him, and through the Word and through circumstances.

I am not in the situation I prefer – but I am in the loving guiding ship of my Creator, my Guide and my Protector. I trust you, Lord, whoever or whatever You are. I may falter – often – but You know how to guide me to places you want me to be, to think and say and do what is pleasing you – and therefore is pleasing to me and to others involved with me.

“Come my beloved. Walk with Me, talk with me, and we shall do good in a hurting world.”

(Context: Mom wrote this a few months after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis and just days after going through both a round of memory testing and finishing radiation for breast cancer.)

My Creator, Sustainer and Helper

Meditation Thought: “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer, and gathers food at its harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

“Do not fear – I will help you. I will help others through you. I have prepared ahead of you. I can use every event and circumstance for good – providing you heed my instructions. Be alert. Be at peace. These events and circumstances are not antagonists but co-joiners to accomplishing good works.”

Mom went on to share throughout the day in various written prayers. These were written in May of 2002 – shortly after the Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

“All right, Lord, my intentions are good. But – good intentions do not accomplish the deed. Please give me the will and the strength to accomplish the works which you desire of me.”

“Dear Lord, my Creator and Sustainer and helper: Thank you! I am more convinced than ever that you are with me, helping and encouraging me – and through the trial my family and I are enduring that You are working good – for us and probably for other people too.

I almost see myself from outside myself and wonder how I can feel so calm – really almost excited too – when I have such an upsetting diagnosis. Somehow You have entered into my mind – even my emotions – that you have assigned me a quest to help people to either avoid the disease or cope with it. I have a big imagination, but it couldn’t conjure up the thoughts – and particularly the emotional feeling – that is taking place. I don’t know what the future holds, but Lord I pray that I can always hold on to your reality in my life as much as I am at this moment.

As is natural, I know I don’t want to be a burden, and yet if it is necessary so that You can perform some action that is Your quest, then I’ll accept it. I’m not accepting it gladly, but as a little child obeys its parent, that is the intent of my heart. You have worked miracles for my good, and I know you can work a miracle for my good in this situation.

…I praise You and thank You for what You are doing for me and for others. I don’t know that Your will is for the situation, but I do know that it has been in some of the most painful experiences of my life that You have revealed Your love and Your power to me.

Therefore, my pledge to you this day is that I shall try to accept that ‘Thy will be done.’

… Please sustain me, Lord. I know how weak and cowardly I am, but I know too, that these qualities can be restructured and renewed with Your power to make me ‘a new creation’.”

She then shared a bit about this meditation process – as she was correcting an “error” in the personal prayer part (not shared here) where she said a family member had called her ‘yesterday’ and it had actually been several days before. She writes:

“Although I honestly believe that the thoughts in meditation time are prompted by God, for they flow so easily, and so often later prove valid, still I am involved in the process and am prone to error. I don’t know the ‘ins and outs’ of these sessions, but I do know that just trying to communicate in this manner with God has enriched my life and helped other people.”

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