About Rhea Beaudry

I am a retired person who loves to find many ways to share the love of God with others. I love to blog; I also love gardening, photography, sewing, quilting, and crafts. My passion is to see people connected with each other and helping each other to grow and flourish.

Memorial Day Every Day

Pastor Peggy wrote this message several years ago, but its truth is timeless and we are sharing it again this week.

This weekend in the United States, we will be celebrating Memorial Day – the holiday where we remember those brave men and women who fought to guarantee our freedom. We take this time to thank them, bless them, cry for the suffering they may have endured – for us!
The strength of this great nation is togetherness. We have to be together and be willing with positive mind to go forward toward a better tomorrow. We always have to keep strength in our ideals as our forefathers have done. Look at theflag of the United States of America (even if you are not from the States – look at your own flag and remember). As you do so, listen to these words.

From the day Columbus set sail with that small band of people, freedom has been sought, attained, and paid for by brave men and women who were willing to sacrifice their lives that we might be a free nation. Those who have been to battle and have seen comrades fall from enemy fire cannot forget the sacrifices that have been made for the cause of freedom.

Did your great-great-great-grandfather, young man that he was then, think of you before he fell? Could he have known in 1863 that he was saving a great nation? We honor him, from north or south, on this Memorial Day.

Or what of great-great-grandfathers who gave their lives in the trenches of France in World War I, the “war to end all wars?” We honor them now.
Seventy One years ago during World War II, our men were preparing for the great invasion of Europe. The war in the Pacific was being fought at sea as American submarines attacked the Japanese navy. The submarine war was successful that year – 22 warships and 296 enemy merchant ships were destroyed. Still, by war’s end, one of four American submarines and the brave men who manned them, were lost.

At the same time in 1943, General Patton’s 11th Division was fighting its way through North Africa.

Today we remember these brave patriots and honor them.

On Memorial Day, 1953, an armistice was about to be signed, ending the Korean War, three years of hostility that claimed the lives of thousands of brave service men and women. We pay tribute to them.

The war in Vietnam still lives in the minds of many who served there; many saw their comrades fall. We wonder as we pass by their graves today, did they know we would remember? Yes, we do remember. I lost my beloved brother, and YES, I remember.

Let us honor every service person who served to preserve our way of life. We remember.

I ask you to close your eyes now for a moment of silence honoring all those in your country who served in peace time and war time to protect your freedom.

Thank You, God, for these lives.

I’m going to ask you now to remember something as important. The activity of this weekend is going to cemeteries and looking at graves. As we look at these graves, we will remember and that will cause many of us to have tears in our eyes and great mourning and sadness may come over us again.

But as we look at the graves, let us also remember the truth – the person you are mourning is not there. That person is happy again because he or she is with God and with the others who have passed on before.

What a freeing realization it is when we are standing there in our grief that our grief is for ourselves, not for them. We take from bereavement all of its power to distress us when we realize that our grief is, in fact, for ourselves. How freeing that is!

How empowering it is to realize that everyone you loved, everyone who served your flag, is still alive. That is the truth! You know that to be the truth! It’s one of those things that you haven’t just read about, but you know it deep inside yourself. It is your faith. You will give thanks for this faith.  John 3:16For God so Loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not die, but have everylasting life.

How empowering it is! I mourn for those people who do not have this faith , and they are going through the experience that we humans call death. We in this room know that death is not a period; it’s just a comma in life. Life continues.

Let me share with you a powerful and moving story.

Once upon a time, twin boys were conceived in the same womb. Weeks passed, and the twins developed. As their awareness grew, they laughed for joy: “Isn’t it great that we were conceived? Isn’t it great to be alive?”

Together the twins explored their world. When they found their mother’s cord that gave them life, they sang for joy: “How great is our mother’s love, that she shares her own life with us!”

As the weeks stretched into months, the twins noticed how much each was changing. “What does it mean?” asked the one. “It means that our stay in this world is drawing to an end.” said the other. “But I don’t want to go.” said the first. “I want to stay here always.” “We have no choice,” said his brother. “But maybe there is life after birth!”

“But how can there be?” responded the one. “We will shed our life cord, and how is life possible without it? Besides, we have seen evidence that others were here before us, and none of them have returned to tell us that there is a life after birth. No, this is the end.”

And so the one fell into deep despair saying: “If conception ends in birth, what is the purpose of life in the womb? It’s meaningless! Maybe there is no mother after all.” “But there has to be,” protested the other. “How else did we get here? How do we remain alive?”

“Have you ever seen our mother?” said the first. “Maybe she lives only in our minds. Maybe we made her up, because the idea made us feel good.” And so the last days in the womb were filled with deep questioning, doubt and fear.

Finally, the moment of birth arrived. When the twins had passed from their world, they opened their eyes. And they cried. For what they saw far exceeded their fondest dreams.

I Corinthians 2:9 says: “Eye has not seen , ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on the human, what God has prepared for those who love God.” When you are at a graveside mourning, I pray that it is the dawn of a new realization in you that life does not end. And I pray that you carry that truth with you all through your life. It will be so empowering when you have to deal with that which we don’t want to deal with. You will know that all that is occurring is, the outer clothing is being discarded, but the life of the one you love so much (the inner soul qualities of the joy and spirit of life that comes through the outer clothing) lives on.

In The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran wrote:

Life is but a stopping place
A pause in what’s to be
A resting place along the road
To sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way
We were all meant to learn some things
But never meant to stay.
Our destination is a place
Far greater than we know
For some the journey’s quicker
For some the journey’s slow.
And when the journey finally ends
We claim a great reward
And find everlasting peace
Together with the Lord.

In the depths of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond. And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow, your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

For what is it to die, but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Jesus said there are really two deaths. There is the death of the outer covering (the skin and the flesh). But the other death is far worse – the death of the person who has stopped living while still alive.

Some people do this when a loved one passes. When I pass from this world I do not want my children or anyone I love to stop living and either do you. We want them to live life fully with smiles on their faces. We want them to laugh at misfortune and to be connected with God. This is what I want them to do in my memory.

All of life is best honored by us living life fully. When we stand at a graveside, let us not be locked into just that which has been alive. Let us be locked into the knowledge that this person lives now and will live tomorrow. We will see this person again. We believe that, and we know that.

Let me share with you a wonderful story from the book “Illusions” by Richard Bach

(Paraphrased)

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great river. The current of the river swept silently over them all – young and old, rich and poor, good and evil – the current going its own way, knowing its own self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging I shall die of boredom.”

The other creatures laughed, “Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!”

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet, in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.”

But they cried the more, “Savior” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a savior.

Many times our lives as human beings are spent clinging for security. We cling to thousands of things. We cling, and we are afraid inside of ourselves to let go. Yet, if we re-examine our faith in God the good, the one, omnipotent power in our lives, we know it is safe to let go.

Where do we do this? We do it in consciousness. We let go of the fear, worry, and hurried feelings we have inside of ourselves, and we naturally rise to a higher state of mind. In Luke 17:20-21 Jesus said: “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Do we have to die to enter the kingdom of heaven? No! Not at all! As a matter of fact, if we wait until we die, we’re missing the mark. Jesus’ whole teaching tells us that right now, for each of us individually, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It can be had in the midst of our worry, in the midst of things that are not going right, or in the midst of a cemetery. We can just simply let go of the mourning and the sadness, and go with God. When we do so, we are lifted.

My friends, I pray that this Memorial day you experience an act of God. An act of God is not something terrible. An act of God is something that happens in you and through you. We feel an act of God more in a time of great depression and great struggle than we do other times. This is because we are more aware of the overwhelming good and the feelings that come inside of us.

Heaven within you is an act of God. Bliss within you is an act of God. Peace within you is an act of God. Stop clinging, release, and go to God.

Let us pray:

In this moment, I ask that I can be empowered with the kingdom of God inside of me. I let go of the sadness and sorrow I have held over any area of my life. I let go of the death-thought, and I start to live again.

But more than just living or existing, I ask for an infilling and an overspilling to others in my life. The joy, bliss, and peace of God knows no end.

Today, this entire weekend, is a turn-around time. I let go of sorrow and sadness. I stop clinging and I arise free and unencumbered. I do so through the power of God in and through me, and my willingness to say “Yes!”              In Jesus Christ’s name . . . Amen.

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The Gifts of Pentecost and Shavuot

1. What is Pentecost?

Quoted from Crosswalk.com

1. What is Pentecost?

Pentecost Sunday (May 20) marks the day most Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended on the followers of Jesus after his death, resurrection and ascension. The story comes from the New Testament Book of Acts: “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Jesus’ followers were amazed — they could speak languages they never knew before and they could understand others they had never heard. The Apostle Peter stood up and preached his first sermon — so many Christians think of this holiday as the “birthday” of the church.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Ruskpp

2. What does that have to do with Shavuot?

2. What does that have to do with Shavuot?

A lot! Shavuot is called the “Festival of Weeks” because it is held seven weeks (and one day) after the second night of Passover. Originally tied to an ancient grain festival, it eventually became the holiday that marks God’s giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.

The link between the two holidays lies in their names. “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word “pentekostos,” which means 50. Pentecost comes 50 days after Easter, when Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead. And 50 days also represents the gap between Passover’s second day and Shavuot. Some scholars believe Pentecost owes its name to Jesus’ Jewish followers who were gathered together to observe the festival of Shavuot.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/tomertu

3. What does Shavuot mean for contemporary Jews?

3. What does Shavuot mean for contemporary Jews?

This is where the idea of “gifts” comes in. On Shavuot, which starts this year on Saturday evening, Jews mark not just the giving of the Torah by God, but their acceptance of the Torah. Some Jewish writers have compared the exchange to a marriage or other sacred covenant. One way the holiday is observed is through the reading of the Book of Ruth, the story of a woman who converts to Judaism and accepts the Torah.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/chameleoneyes

4. What does Pentecost mean for contemporary Christians?

4. What does Pentecost mean for contemporary Christians?

The gifts of the first Pentecost have different meanings to different Christians. Some interpret them as the spiritual benefits of accepting Jesus that bring a more meaningful earthly life. Others — especially those Christians known as Pentecostals — believe the first Pentecost gave all followers of Jesus “the gifts of the Spirit” — speaking in and interpreting tongues, the ability to prophesy, the power to heal by touch, the ability to discern spirits. Pentecostals believe those things are available to all Christians, and those who accept them are equipped to fulfill the work and destiny that God has laid out for them.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com

5. I like gifts. What did you get me for Pentecost and Shavuot?

5. I like gifts. What did you get me for Pentecost and Shavuot?

Sorry, neither Christians nor Jews exchange presents on Pentecost or Shavuot. Nor do they eat cake. Some Jews mark Shavuot by decorating their homes with spring flowers; others stay up during the first night of the festival — this year from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Monday — to read the Torah. They go to synagogue, where the Ten Commandments — the foundational laws they believe were given to Moses on Sinai — are read aloud. Christians generally mark Pentecost by a reading from Acts, and some wear all white, or all red.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/HAKINMHAN

6. What is another name for Pentecost?

6. What is another name for Pentecost?

In medieval Britain, Pentecost was sometimes called “White Sunday” — or Whitsunday — for the custom of wearing white.

Aleteia.org explains further: “The Merriam-Webster Dictionary confirms the etymology of the word, explaining how ‘Whitsunday [is derived from the] Middle English Whitsonday, from Old English hwīta sunnandæg, literally, white Sunday; probably from the custom of wearing white robes by those newly baptized at this season.’

With this in mind, Pentecost is closely connected to the celebration of Easter and the coming of the Holy Spirit is emphasized in relation to the Sacrament of Baptism.”

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/tatodonets

7. Where can I read about Pentecost in the Bible?

7. Where can I read about Pentecost in the Bible?

You can find the story of the original Pentecost in Acts 2. You can also watch this narrated video of the incredible Pentecost story. If you’ve never been one to celebrate Pentecost Sunday, this powerful version of Acts 2:1-4 will put it into a whole NEW light for you.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

 

8. Where can I read about Shavuot in the Bible?

8. Where can I read about Shavuot in the Bible?

Since Shavuot commemorates God’s giving of the Torah, or the law of God, to Moses and the Israelites, you can read about it in much of the Bible. Specifically, the Torah refers to the first five books of the Bible–Genesis, Exodux, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy–which contain the details of the laws God gave to His people, including the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20. Also, as was previously mentioned, Shavuot is sometimes associated with the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament.

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

 

9. Pentecost: the birthday of the Church

9. Pentecost: the birthday of the Church

Today, Christians who commemorate Pentecost also celebrate it as the birth of the Church.

“It reminds us that the Spirit’s power and the life of the church are always intertwined,” she said. “The day of the Spirit’s spectacular arrival among the disciples is also the day when 120 ragtag Jesus followers became a church of over 3,000. (That’s over 2,500 percent growth in one day!).”

The celebration of Pentecost Sunday and one of its significances is the way that churches all over can unify as “one common church” to say they are “part of the larger story God is telling,” she added.

Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Sarah Noltner

10. Should Christians also celebrate Shavuot?

10. Should Christians also celebrate Shavuot?

Does it make sense for Christians to celebrate the biblical festival of Shavuot in addition to (or even in place of) Pentecost?

Sharon Sanders, co-director of Christians Friends of Israel, believes so, considering that Shavuot is the version of the holiday actually ordained by God.

“I remember well my childhood growing up in a traditional church where we celebrated only Easter and Christmas as set by the historical church. I had no idea God actually established ‘appointed times’ for those in His great assembly,” Sanders told Travelujah, as quoted by Christian Headlines. “It is unfortunate that many churches overlook the significance of the three main festivals God speaks clearly about in His Word; namely, Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost) and Succot.”

Today, Sanders lives in Israel and, like many Christians living in the Holy Land, actively participates in celebrating Shavuot with Jewish friends.

“I am thrilled to be able to celebrate Shavuot with the Jewish people,” said Sanders. “I love celebrating the festivals of God in Israel because more emphasis is put on times of gladness, joy and fellowship with one another rather than commercialism and self-indulgence that so often comes with other festivals. Shavuot for me, as a Christian, is special because the Book of Ruth is read, a beautiful story about God’s redemptive love.”

end quote

Let’s pray together:

Lord we gladly join You in celebrating Your Gifts this weekend. We open our hearts and spirits wide to receive all that You have available for us, knowing that by receiving them, we will be equipped to find and accomplish the purpose for which You placed us on earth. It’s all about You, Lord–that the Word of God and the Church of Jesus Christ may be spread far and wide throughout all the earth. Use us, as one united church, to accomplish Your Holy Purposes. And we thank You for the Joy that comes with our acceptance of Your Gifts.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Change ~ The Sweet Silver Song of the Lark

reprinted  with permission

John 8: 1-11 – “They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.   Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?’ This they said to test him that they might have some charge to bring against him.

“Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

“She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ “And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.’”

Let’s open with prayer and ask God to take full charge of us and take full charge of this message and our understanding of it. Let our wisdom grow through He who shares all with us.

“Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me. Have Thy way in my thoughts, my actions, my feelings, and in my decisions. Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me.”

Dear God, right now we are each open and receptive, knowing that this is a spiritual experience, in which we each are being lifted to a higher level of life. Have Your way in each of us. Help us glean from this message the truth of Your walk with us through perfect change.

And so it is. In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.”

Let’s talk about the scripture above – John 8: 1 – 11. We can look at it as it happened historically and actually and then talk about it spiritually. You will be amazed, perhaps, at how much meaning there is within this story.

So, let’s think about this story. There are three groups of people involved: the leading citizens (the Scribes and Pharisees, the adulteress, and Jesus). We know these leading citizens are used to and love to condemn others.  And they are good at it – condemning and seeing wrong in others but never themselves.  Plus they consider themselves above the law and have no compassion.  Imagine this group of men preparing to stone a defenseless woman.  They may be leaders in the community but in the eyes of God, they are sinners just like you and me. Do you know any people in your community like this?

Then there is the adulteress. This is the woman who is about to be stoned.  We know according to the story that she was caught in the act of adultery. There is no mention of the man she was involved with. We don’t even need to go there.

This woman knew that she faced death by this group of men because of what she did. She had no recourse, no help, no forgiveness. But then, Jesus Christ came on to the scene and took over.

The first lesson we have here is that even in hopeless situations there is hope through Jesus Christ and His love. This then created for her (and for us) HOPE.

Jesus is the third person in the story. He knew the Mosaic Law and what “should” happen to her. OR should He tell them to let her go? OR should He just ignore the whole thing and walk away – to keep Himself out of trouble

He knelt down and drew in the sand. We don’t know what He was writing or drawing or if maybe He was just diverting the attention of the men while praying to God for direction. We don’t know. We do know that He did not want this woman stoned, but He had to find a way to override the Mosaic teachings.  Jesus knew that He had to find a way to not negate, but yet to spiritualize and override the Mosaic teachings in those days.

Let’s think about this word adultery for a second. In its literal usage today, adultery means sexual relations outside of marriage. It refers to a physical experience only; but to adulterate also means to add something or change something that cheapens the quality or upsets the completeness of your life, your actions, or an experience.

As we relate to other people, ARE WE relating the best and with the right intentions, motives, true and honest agape love? Are we beholding the best, in ourselves and others, as we relate to people?

For instance, if we are in any kind of a relationship with another and “pretend” to care for them or enjoy being with them when we do not, we are lying. We are saying that I am in this relationship and it really doesn’t matter how I really feel about you inside.  I am just playing the game; it really has nothing much to do with how I feel about you and/or myself.

That is a form of adultery. We are cheating on ourselves and the other person and on God. If we do not feel and accept the love of God in ourselves and that individual in that relationship, that can be adultery.

So let’s compare ourselves to this woman. She is acting from the heart but not too much from the head, the wisdom or intellect. When we don’t use both together, we get into a lot of trouble ourselves.  We must be whole and complete.  What do we hold inside that we keep away from others?  How do we temper ourselves to fit a situation, adulterating our truths.

The men in this story were using only their knowledge of the law and thusly condemned the woman.  But whatever happened must have made them realize that the themselves were sinful and could be condemned. That is why the first stone is never cast.

I love the way Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  He was letting them know that if you kill her, you also may be in linefor the same sentence – unless you have never made a wrong decision, never sinned, never done anything wrong. Interesting to note that they all started to leave and the oldest left first, the youngest last.

We are all three of these people – each a part of us. First the action occurs, within us begins the healing, the situation being outside of us; Christ’s love allows us to become whole and one with God. God comes in and stays. So, with prayer and faith and trust in God, we can ask God to make us true in every way. He will give us the direction, the path to follow.  We become a new person, a changed person from what we were even just a short time ago.  Now Christ can say to you, Where are your accusers    ……  ……. “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

This brings us about to a life change. And that is what is happening as we go through this now. And it is exciting to be a part of it and be aware of living it.  Let’s let the changes begin and enjoy the natural progression of the journey. Let’s all smile and realize in wonderment what God is doing in our souls.

“A young woman, 95 years of age who didn’t have much formal education, but instead had an abundance of Divine wisdom once said,

“Don’t you know that if you accept it, it won’t hurt so bad?”

So, let’s all do what the saying says,

“Let Go and Let God!”

Through all our trials, fears, mis-directions, if we just “let God”, we can move forward and enjoy our life changes, our journey. We know God is walking ahead of us and we never walk alone, not even in the storm.

When you walk through a storm
Keep your chin up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.Screenshot 2018-05-10 16.41.59

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone. (Rogers and Hammerstein)

At the end of your storm is that golden sky and the lark singing sweetly, singing your name.   That, my friend, is our Lord welcoming us back through the change that resulted from us going through the storm and not giving up.

Let us pray: Almighty God, we all get misdirected and need the accusers to turn and walk away, knowing Your love is the way to make the change we so need in our life. Help us to move on, unafraid, knowing You are right beside us and often carrying us. Amen

And so it is . . . In Jesus Christ’s name… Amen

God bless you!

God’s Gifts

Healing and suffering, first of all, are both gifts from God.

They are circular. God is my Lord who has both suffered, healed, and been healed. Suffering is to partake in His life. Suffering and tribulation and healing are a part of the circle of life, which will continue on an outward spiral from my life to someone else’s if I choose to allow God to work through me in that way.

Neither suffering nor healing is without purpose.

“(God) who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”                 (II Corinthians 1:4).

Suffering may be defined as the experience of knowing pain (mental, physical or spiritual) and partaking of the ebb tides of life with its multi-faceted gamut of sensations which range from heights of perfection to depths of pain and sorrow. In order to suffer or experience low tide, one must have had the experience of being carried on the high tide. Healing is a change in tidal flow. Just as we cannot control the rising and the ebb of the ocean’s tide, neither do we control the rising of healing or the ebb of suffering. Both are gifts bestowed upon us by our loving God.

The circle continues with a deepening rhythm, each cycle stronger than the last. The greater the suffering, the more exquisite is the relief of healing.

God does not CAUSE the suffering; rather it is a part of our fallen life on earth.

He REDEEMS the suffering. That is the healing, part of His divine life.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

The circle grows ever inward in revolution, until we at last become one with Him through Jesus Christ, who endured the ultimate suffering on the Cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, that we might participate in the perfect healing which came in the form of His resurrection.

At the same time, the circle’s spiral grows outward, attracting others to the beauty of the divine life which is demonstrated.

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I wrote this back in 2015. But this week it has come alive to me in a new way, as I learned that my oldest daughter, Karin, has been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. This is a degenerative, incurable immune system disease. She has been seeking answers for quite awhile, going from doctor to doctor trying to find out what was going on in her body. She has a severe outbreak of Psoriasis on her legs, elbows and neck. The itching and burning from this feel, to her, like it must feel to step into a fire ant nest. She has to get up every 3 hours at night to ice her leg to a state of numbness so that she can fall asleep for awhile. The joint pain and swelling has inflamed her hip, ankle and wrist. The medicine they prescribe for her will not cure the disease, but suppress the immune system a bit to slow down its misguided attacks on her body. Most sufferers from this disease experience ebbs and flows in its severity–flares and remissions. It is not expected to go away.

Not a very positive outlook. Yet this woman, my little girl,  has always been so giving, so positive, so concerned about others’ well-being. She is a delightful person, has a serving heart, and is most of the time found smiling. People love to be around her. People see Jesus in her. She inspires me. I want to be like her when I grow up.

“All we can do is pray. We can’t do anything to change this,” I tearfully tell her. But prayer is not ALL I can do, but it is THE MOST I can do.

Many of you are suffering like she is. Look again at the two paragraphs in red, above. Let’s pray that together, into the lives of all of our loved ones who need a touch from God.

Lord, we come to You knowing that You understand our heavy hearts and our questions. We want to tell You, WE BELIEVE. We believe in the spiraling circles of love and healing and suffering all working together to make us one with Jesus. We long for our healed lives to be living pictures of Your resurrection and redemption. We long for You to be glorified and for others to see and hunger for what we have. We don’t understand, but we submit. You have not left us, or our loved ones, to suffer alone; but You walk with us. We wait here for You to show us the next step. Open our eyes and ears to see and hear You and know Your presence even on the darkest days. We agree with Your promises and we pray them, knowing that You hear and answer. We trust You! We love You! Draw us deeper into the circle of Your purposes.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sailing in Calm Seas

 

 

from Rhea Beaudry: By the time you receive this message, I will be out of town. I visited the archives of The Spiritual Messages and found this gem posted by Pastor Peggy two years ago. It is timeless, and very appropriate to some of the struggles we are going though in our lives.

“… I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

When we get stressed and frustrated, the antidote is to claim a calm faith, not in your own cleverness, or in hard toil, but in God’s guidance. Norman Vincent Peale (paraphrased)

If you really want to change your life, you have to do it at a soul level.

Think about this – “You walk down the path that only you can walk on, but you walk with a new bounce in your step; a new stride in your motivation. To walk that way, you walk with God. And the way you walk with God as a human being is to have faith inside of yourself.”

You have heard the saying many times that two minds are better than one. We know that that is true. The two minds I am talking about are your mind and God’s mind working together, synchronized in His Divine power. If you are together, not as one mind, but as two minds, where you are using Divine inspiration within your mind, you have a tremendous ability to live your life successfully.

When many people think about two minds being better than one, they are thinking about two human minds. That produces the type of activity like the two cartoon characters Chip and Dale. One says, “After you,” and the other says, “No, after you,” then the first says, “No, I insist, after you.” No one ever makes a decision. When you are working with God and the other Mind is God, God says, “Follow me, “, and you no longer argue because you walk in your faith. This brings you strong reassurance.

Life is a maze. We get ourselves in a tangle of difficulty, whether it is inside our mind, body, or inside our businesses. Or perhaps our relationship challenges seem to be a maze. Whatever the need, we need to solve that problem from a higher level of mind than we were in when we created the problem. The only way we can do this fast, efficiently, is to turn our mind to God. The Bible says to be renewed by the renewing of your mind. The Bible says to have that mind that was in Christ Jesus. When we do that, when we combine those two minds into one, we are strengthened and renewed.

When we are down or have a problem, we start kicking ourselves and worry, usually about nothing major. We start thinking about all the things we should not think about. But when we combine the two minds into one, we have that filling up of God that lifts us up, that motivates us, and that leads us on through the maze of life, through the obstacle course, to victory on the other side. Faith in God brings success.

When you look in the mirror, you see a human being. You look at this human being and may wonder why in the world are you here. What is my purpose you say? Well, the answer is that you are a child of God. You are here to take something that is good already and make it better. The way you do that is by teaming up with God; and in prayer, asking for Divine ideas and guidance that will inspire your way and will allow that special, miraculous activity to work through you.

What is vision? Vision is a picture of faith. Perhaps we need a new vision of ourselves now and in the future. We can receive this through faith.

Do you ever think that you would like to be better, wiser, and in all ways more valuable to the world than you now seem to be? If you do, there is hope for you. “If you shall ask anything of God,” said Jesus Christ, “God will give it to you in my name.” Try definite speaking in faith.   Say, “In the name of Jesus Christ, let Thy goodness, Thy wisdom, Thine allness express and manifest in me,” and you will have the answer you are looking for.

When you believe in something bigger than yourself and hold onto the faith of God in the midst of trouble and adversity, you hold on with a faith united with the faith in Jesus Christ –and at that point, you have success.

I know most have heard this story, but again, bear with me. This is a story of a frog. Once upon a time there was a frog who jumped into a kettle of boiling water. The frog knew, immediately, that it was boiling water, and jumped out to safety.

But once upon a time there was another frog who jumped into a kettle of lukewarm water. As he was in this lukewarm water, the water gradually increased in temperature. It got hotter and hotter. The frog was more and more uncomfortable, but the frog did not jump out. Because the temperature of the water was raised gradually, the frog got used to it. After a while, the frog died.

If we jump into a situation and we immediately perceive it is bad, we immediately jump out. But a lot of times something slowly wears at us, and we don’t realize that things are going wrong. We stay exactly where we are, in the same level of awareness where we have been. It is that time when we need to jump out.

We need to think like Christ, not like others; and we need to stop trying to solve our problems by our own thoughts of fear. Let Christ solve the difficulties. Our lives and the way we go about our lives will be quite different. We will move in victory. We will have faith in a new and profound way inside of us. When we have faith in that way, we’re going to be lifted up every time.

There is a piece of poetry by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that points to a paradox of the sea. She says,

“One ship drives east,
Another drives west,
With the same self-winds that blow.
What makes the difference in their courses
Is the set of the sails.”fullsizeoutput_3e59

(Photo by Rhea Beaudry, autumn on Lake Minnetonka, MN)

What makes a difference inside of us is the set of the sails of our faith. You can have two people going through the same difficulty, but with a greatly different reality inside each of them. You can have one person who is throwing up his or her hands in despair, and another person realizes God’s help with new power and direction of their life. The power and direction of life is in life itself, from the Source of life—God.

We all have known people who have been swayed by almost anything. If the slightest wind blew, they were blown off course. We know other people anchored by faith, who always stayed the course, and no matter how hard or how fast the wind of trouble blew in their life, they were not moved. They always got to the other side. When you see this type of person, you realize God is the answer. The answer is not to be blown around, buffeted by the winds of chance. It is to hold on to the lasting foundation of God. We need to set our lives to the highest standing.

We begin to come to this point in our spiritual lives by decreeing our relationship to the Almighty; by decreeing that we are not separate, but one. We determine, in this decree, our joy and our freedom and our peace.

Freedom from what? Freedom from our own mind and its destructive thoughts. Peace will pass our own understanding as the Bible says, because we have God with us. No matter what is going on outside of us, we feel at peace, no longer buffeted by the winds of fate, we are anchored to God.

You may have everything wonderful in the world, but if you are disturbed in your mind, everything is awful. Or, you may have everything challenging in the world,; and IF you are at peace in your mind, everything is okay. Peace precedes healing of all conditions. And nothing causes peace like strong faith.

We have to realize that there is a connecting place of prayer inside of us. We let go and let God have control, instead of our worries and our fears becoming the ruler. When we decree God’s good from the place of faith, we command the “subjects of our kingdom” – -the thoughts we are thinking, the words we are speaking–to be obedient to this decree. We are decreeing that we will have different feelings and different ideas that will be happening inside of us. We will express this in a new and higher way, and our good will be established by God.

Try this for a time. Let go of your human thinking right now, for a moment, and realize that right with you at this moment, there is a higher way. Get faith now by closing your eyes and praying this short prayer:

In the name of Jesus Christ, I decree for myself: health, purity, and wholeness. I decree for myself: energy, strength, and power. I decree for myself: joy, happiness, and harmony. I decree for myself: life, light, and enlightenment. I decree for myself: well-being, plenty, and abundance in all good things. I decree for myself: true activity and service. I decree for myself: a spiritual mind and a spiritual body . . .

Thank you dear God… Amen.

The reason we come to church and to this Bethel is to remember; this is a reminder in society to recall that, that which we already know. Life should not be hard; it can be easy if we let it, IF we let God.

It should be a joy. In faith, you are the commander of your ship. In faith, you can take the wheel again. In faith, you can sail it with a power and a strength that all the great ships have had through-out time. I invite you to do so. It’s a lot easier than just drifting around buffeted by every wind of the world and not knowing where you are going.

It’s time to get strong in faith and let God guide your ship!

God Bless You!

At The Appointed Time

Quoted from a favorite bible teacher of mine, Francis Frangipane.

“In spite of escalating turmoil in our world, there still remains one last, great outpouring of mercy before the time of the end (see Matt. 24:14; Acts 2:17). This supernatural season is not something for which we must beg God. No, its coming has been predetermined. It is the “appointed time” of the Lord.

As most know, an “appointed time” is an open display of the sovereignty and power of God, whether it is in calling a person or calling a nation. In it we discover with absolute certainty that nothing is impossible for God. It is a season when God fulfills the hopes and dreams of His people.

As it is written,

“But You, O Lord, abide forever, and Your name to all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion; for it is time to be gracious to her, for the appointed time has come” (Ps. 102:12-13).

During an “appointed time” it is as though the Lord physically rises and moves in unfailing compassion on behalf of His people. It is the time when divine promises, dreams and spiritual hopes are fulfilled. Recall: Abraham and Sarah had waited in faith for a quarter century for the promise of God. Finally, as they neared one hundred years of age, the Lord told Abraham, “At the appointed time I will return to you … and Sarah will have a son” (Gen. 18:14). One year later, “at the appointed time” (Gen. 21:2), Isaac was born to aged parents!

While there are, indeed, appointed times of judgment (Mark 13:33), this phrase most frequently represents a time, preset by God, when He invades mankind with “wonders, plans formed long ago, [that unfold] with perfect faithfulness” (Isa .25:1).

Demons may stand arrayed against the Lord; nations may align themselves to fight Him. It does not matter. “He who sits in the heavens laughs” (Ps. 2:4). For He makes all things His servants (Ps. 119:91), even His enemies’ plans for evil are reversed and made to serve the purpose of God (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28; Acts 2:22-24).

If God gave you a vision, a spiritual hope or dream for your future, there will be an appointed time when that which God spoke comes to pass. Thus the Lord assures us, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time. It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Hab. 2:2-3). Though your vision may tarry, wait for it. For it will certainly come to pass at the appointed time.

Appointed Servants of God
Prior to the unveiling of an appointed time, the Holy Spirit works in secret laying the spiritual groundwork in the people God intends to use. His work manifests suddenly, but the season of perfecting faith in His people occurs over the years.

Consider the Lord’s Word to His disciples. He said,

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain” (John 15:16).

The disciples certainly felt that they had chosen Christ. Yet the deeper truth was that God chose them before the foundation of the world. Likewise, He chose us and predestined us to come to Christ (Eph. 1:3-5). We could not even come to Christ had not the Father drawn us (John 6:44). Yet He who chose us also appointed us to bear fruit. The same power that worked in us our surrender and faith continues to work in our hearts, appointing us to bear fruit. Do you believe God has chosen you? Then believe also that He has appointed you to bear fruit.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Adapted from Francis Frangipane’s book, This Day We Fight!, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.

Let’s pray together:

Lord we thank You that You are so powerful that nothing, not even the powers of Hell, can stand against what You are doing in our lives. You have chosen us. You have called us and appointed us for bearing fruit for Jesus. Nothing can stop it! You have been behind the scenes all of our lives working in us, preparing us, shining and polishing the image of Christ that is being formed in a unique way in each one of us. Lord, You have an appointed time to bring forth the finished work of fruit from MY LIFE. Help me to wait for it with patience, while cooperating fully with the increased work of Your Spirit in ME. Bring forth Christ in me, to a waiting and needy world. Surely the day will come, we wait for full manifestation of the sons of God. Nothing can stop your plan–not even death! Bring forth in me the thing you have planned from before I was formed in my mother’s womb. Thank You Lord for loving me THAT MUCH. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Receiving God’s Guidance

There is a place in the center of God’s will that is completely balanced between two opposite poles:

A. God is sovereign and His will is perfect and complete.

B. We have responsibilities and need to take actions.

Lets take a look at Genesis 24 and see how God Provided a Wife for Isaac

The first principle in receiving God’s guidance is to know God’s Word. Abraham was sure of what God had spoken to him many years before. He recognized the promise of God and he knew that God had promised him descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens. At this late date, he only had one son. He was willing to believe God’s promise and take steps of action to obey the call. He chose to believe God’s Word of promise over all the seemingly conflicting evidence.

God’s Word reveals God’s plan, His purpose, and His principles. It does not always reveal His timing. We will not see the whole picture all at once, just as Abraham saw only his one son. He was to take one step at a time, and so are we. He has given us His Word to light our way. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

4 Abraham was now a very old man, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”    The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?” “No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. For the Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.”

The second principle in receiving God’s guidance is that we are willing for total commitment to God’s will, with no compromise. We will not just seek God’s approval for what we have already planned for ourselves, but we will submit totally to God. We need to be willing to take responsible actions of obedience–to load our camels and GO, even when we don’t clearly see how the desired outcome will come to pass.

So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. 10 Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled.

The third principle is to trust in God’s way above our own way. This is absolutely essential in order for us to maintain a total commitment. Trust entails assured reliance, and unswerving, unwavering belief. We come to the place of trust that God will supply whatever is necessary in order for Him to fulfill His will in our lives. We speak with assurance, “I believe it because You said so!” If something seems “off”, He will instruct. If we become unsure of the next step, He will illuminate. Our course of action will not be based on our personal desires, but upon what God wants and desires. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

 11 He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water. 12 “O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. 13 See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. 14 This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”

The fourth principle is to pray for God’s wisdom. We must remain dependent upon Him even when or if things do not appear to be going according to plan. We do not want to miss out on His guidance by not asking for it. We must also recognize divine timing, which is far different from our idea of timing. God will even arrange circumstances to fulfill  His plan. He sees all, and He cares. Our efforts towards Him are not in vain.

15 Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16 Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17 Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 18 “Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19 When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels. 21 The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the Lord had given him success in his mission. 22 Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets[b] for her wrists. 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “And please tell me, would your father have any room to put us up for the night?” 24 “I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she replied. “My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah. 25 Yes, we have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and we have room for guests.” 26 The man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. 27 “Praise the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.”

And it is okay to ask Him for a sign, as the servant did, as long as we don’t become presumptuous or try to put God to the test in an unhealthy way. God was right beside him ready and eager to show him the way to take. A point of interest here is that while it would have been a fairly normal response for the girl to give him a drink, it was beyond the norm for her to offer to water his camels–a formidable task.

No wonder he bowed to the ground and worshiped! God proved His faithfulness and gave him exactly the guidance he needed to bring about the fulfillment of His plan.

Let’s pray:

Lord, we are so often in the same position as that servant: we are given a task to do and we do not see how it can possibly be done successfully. Help us to obey our Master as this servant did. It is a choice he made, and one we must make as well. We seek Your will above all else, and we desire to hear Your voice above all the crazy, noisy voices around us and in our own heads. Help us to load our camels and go out into the unknown, and to be confident that You have the best plan for us in mind, and You will supply all that is needed to fulfill it, no matter how contrary the evidence and circumstances may be. We choose trust. We submit our lives and our hearts to You Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.