Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Trying to make a place for peace to land

Our now retired pastor used to use a phrase that painted a mental image which has been with me since I first heard it.  He talked about how our actions either make a place for the work of the enemy of God to land in our life - or - our actions make a landing strip for God's peace and joy and blessings to land.

With the chaos surrounding our world, I've been thinking a lot about that phrase and been more determined than ever to make places for the fruit of the Spirit to land in my thinking... to do that which is required to not only bring peace but to do whatever God has left me on earth to do at this time in history.

I think one of the hardest things I have had to do through the decades is to admit one phase of life is ending and another is beginning.  Especially when the future is rather foggy and uncertain.  It was difficult to leave the corporate world to be a stay at home mom but the rewards were well worth it.  I enjoyed working in Organization Development.

Even today, I still find the way organizations operate to be very interesting.  Just recently, I have been following how Fox News has been plummeting in the ratings because of changes made by the sons who inherited it after their father's death.  One of the most important Truths taught in the field of Organization Development is to always remember who your audience is if you want to succeed. I also have to remember that when writing.

At one time, I was very involved in politics and organizations such as Concerned Women for America.  I was often on the front lines of standing up for what I believed was essential for the future of our country.  During that season of life, I followed the news constantly, ingesting it as if it were essential to my very being.  It is the opposite these days.

There is another group of people I know who are not involved in politics but who are careful to know what is going on in the world and those are the people who have an intercessory prayer calling.  I have had friends with such a calling who not only followed news for their own country but who would pray over other countries in the world with persistence and passion. 

Each phase of life has brought with it rewards but the transition to another phase was not always easy.  Especially when the homeschooling era was over and my son went on to the University and then got married.  It helped a lot that he married a wonderful (also home-schooled before going to college) woman and they have two adorable children.  It may have also helped that I turned his former bedroom into my Study.  ;)

However, the transition we are facing right now is most likely different than any most of us have previously had to face, unless they came here from another country.  This is not moving from one phase of life to another. From a Biblical viewpoint, we appear to be moving further into the birth pains before His return.

That unsettled feeling in the air is that most people are waiting for the next shoe to drop.  The enemy of our souls likes to stir up hatred, discord, and distrust.  It appears he is succeeding quite successfully.  Many people do not know who is telling the truth and who they can trust.  As a society, we appear to be... untethered.

However, if one has their roots in the Book and their trust in the Ancient of Days, the hurricane force winds of change and adversity can be heard pounding against our peace and may cause us to sway here and there but we are grounded and safe even in this age.  We may experience temporary fear and long for a time now past but when He provides the faith to go on, we trade our weakness for His strength.

God has each of us here for a purpose right now.  Some people know why they are here and others are not so certain.  I think the answer usually can be found in what we enjoy doing for God and others... even if it is difficult at times.  It could be a great desire for racial equity (while being very careful who we align ourselves with), feeding the increasing number of people facing food inequity, or even tutoring children who are having trouble learning using the Internet.

If you have the financial means, God may call you to be His help for those in need whether in your family, or a friend, or even the homeless.  You may be the one person who can keep another from losing their faith or falling into despair. We have gone through long term unemployment and I can't tell you how much even one bag of groceries and gas money meant when there was little cash to be spent.

You may be here as a source of wisdom and advice to those who are younger, should they ask for it.  Okay, but it does happen at times.  In an age when history is being rewritten, a love of history can help promote Truth and those with a deep love of literature can point young people to books not being promoted in classes today.

God may have you here for something so simple as to teach domestic skills to young people who have never had a chance to learn them before.  If there is one thing being home during the pandemic taught a lot of people, it was the need to have basic cooking skills.  

Have you followed Brenda Gantt on Facebook, yet?  She is a widow (I think in her 70s) who asked God how to reach people for Jesus and she decided to teach young people in her church how to make biscuits on a video.  That one video became a huge following as she teaches recipes and cooking skills in her sweet down home manner and gets in some Jesus talk, too.

There is a need to rock babies and to bake cookies for neighbors and to sit on one's porch in case a neighbor wants to chat six feet away.  There are letters to be written to children and grandchildren (note to self) as well as real letters to send to friends.  I cherish a handful of letters sent to me by a dear friend who is now with the Lord.  Even a phone call may make a difference in the life of another.

I know that He wants me to continue writing, at least for now.  This requires times of calm reflection and pondering.  I need to prepare that landing strip for the fruit of the Spirit and stay away from those things that bring torment... like watching the national news media.  I have sources of news that do not bring on a twitch in my eye.

I am finding ways to prepare that landing strip for peace and joy that requires setting myself up for a successful landing.  I have a couple books I'm reading to give more information about the Word of God.  I just downloaded a book about spiritual warfare that was recommended, to remind me that the battle is not of flesh and blood.  That makes it easier to love the unlovable. There are plenty of "take me away from it" novels to read or re-read.

I'm working on other ways to prepare that landing strip for the good stuff of life to fill my soul.  We will talk more about that next week but I will admit that it is a battle to keep from falling into the darkness that permeates this world.  It requires purposefully setting up ways in our home and in our life to keep our mind focused on the peace of God.  

We are in a battle whether we like it or not but the good news is... we know who wins the war no matter how bleak the current battles look.  Let us walk in love and speak kindly.

ImageTime for Reading, artist Judy Gibson


Anonymous said...

Very timely words and hope you continue writing for a long time
or at least while we are still here in this earth. It is unsettling to be
going into a world that is unknown and very dark. But He is with
us and we can rest in the fact that nothing happens unless He
permits it and He is able to keep that which we have committed
to Him.
And yes, I love Brenda Gantt. One of my two favorite Brendas 😊
Blessings my friend. Sharon D.

Ann said...

Brenda, your style of writing and outlook on life brings peace to all who read your posts I'm sure. I feel the peace that surrounds you as you share with us your gentle reminders of where our hearts should be focused. There may be storms and rough weather ahead for us but we are blessed to know the One who controls the seas and the winds of change. And no matter what happens we know that in the end He wins -- and so do we as long as we stayed connected to Him.

Amanda said...

I was just talking to my husband about this very thing today. I am so glad that you wrote it for me to ponder on some more! Blessings to you!

Amish Heart said...

I enjoyed this, thanks for writing!

Just Got To Eat said...

This was really lovely, thank you

Mary said...

As Amanda said above, I was just talking to my husband about this! How funny.

Trading our weakness for His strength - spot on and thank you for the reminder.

Margie from Toronto said...

I'm a wee bit confused about your comments regarding Fox news. Rupert Murdoch is still in charge. The reason they are having issues is not because of family problems but because advertisers are deserting them because of the lies and outrageous behaviour they have encouraged and the horrible violence they are complicit in.
I personally feel much more encouraged for America and the members of my church that I have spoken with feel the same.
I wish you all well, especially as regards the pandemic - I really hope that the new administration can get things under control asap so that people can go back to work and not have to rely on food banks (those miles and miles of cars have been truly sad).

Anonymous said...

I am glad for your words as I struggle along during this awful time. I hope you continue to write and share your heart.

Debbie Nolan said...

Wonderful words Brenda. Thank you for your encouraging thoughts. Have a blessed weekend.

Kay said...

"There is a need to rock babies and to bake cookies for neighbors and to sit on one's porch in case a neighbor wants to chat six feet away. There are letters to be written to children and grandchildren (note to self) as well as real letters to send to friends."

Thank you for allowing God to use you to stomp on my toes. We've been babysitting our Little grandchildren every Saturday morning while the parents work. And I've been moaning about it a bit. Silly me! This is what God has for me to do now! And send cards, notes to those we know who are sick or recovering or just need a friendly word. Thank you! I needed that stomp.

Anonymous said...