10.16.2018

Persevering In Faith

Salem Meeting arranged for a booth at the village "Quakerfest". It seemed fitting to be a presence there and show that Quakers exist as more than historical legend.

Insight from     A GUIDE TO TRUE PEACE
"And, though in the prayer of mental stillness, you may feel yourself to be in a dry and comfortless state, not being able to get rid of your troublesome thoughts, nor experience any light, consolation, or spiritual feeling, yet be not afflicted, nor desist from your undertaking, resign yourself at that time with vigor, and patiently persevere as in His presence, for, while you persevere in that manner, your soul will be internally improved.

     Do you believe, that when you come from prayer in the same manner as you began it, without feeling yourself profited thereby, that you have been toiling in vain. That is a fallacy; because true prayer consists, not in enjoying the light, and having knowledge of spiritual things, but in enduring with patience, and persevering in faith and silence; believing that you are in the Lord's presence, turning to Him your heart with tranquillity and simplicity of mind. 

We must be aware that nature is always an enemy to the spirit; and, that, when she is deprived of sensible pleasures, she remains weak, melancholy, and full of irksomeness. Hence from the uneasiness of thoughts, the lassitude of body, importunate sleep, and your inability to curb the senses, every one of which would follow its own pleasure; you will often feel impatient to be at the end of your prayer. Happy are you if you can persevere amidst this painful trial: Remember, that 'They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31"

   from A GUIDE TO TRUE PEACE the 1815 edition compiled by William Backhouse and James Janson  pg. 38, 39

8.21.2018

Servants At Ohio Yearly Meeting

Dishwashing after meals on Committee Day

Two weeks  ago we returned from Ohio Yearly Meeting sessions 2018. I have copied below excerpts from the letter written to share our experience with other Yearly Meetings.  

"He who gives life was shown to us. We saw him and can give proof about it. And now we announce to you that He has life that continues forever. He was with God the Father and was shown to us."
 1 John1:2

"Dear Friends,

Our 205th session began this week in midsummer with the sound of gentle rain watering the hill country around Barnesville, Ohio. A meeting for worship the first evening was deeply covered in a pulsating silence, punctuated with a few anointed words of ministry. Feeling His presence, we sought His guidance. His love moved among us and for this we are grateful. We are a small gathering this year but still feel God among us in mighty ways providing us with strength, wisdom, and love, to be about Christ's business.
Our mornings begin in a circle of Friends with Bibles on their laps. One or the other person, as feel impressed to do so, will read a passage from the Bible. In the following hour we are immersed in interaction with a member who is well versed in the Greek writings of Scripture. He patiently explains some key passages that help us to understand the unique Friends perspective of the Christian religion.
We are here for the purpose of executing our business. We do not rush our decision making as we contemplate the query responses and committee reports, seeking to keep our thoughts in tune with our Holy Guide. Interacting throughout the day with our Friends seems to expand the brotherly love felt toward  one another. This process seems to bind us together, when each of us share in our own unique way, as listener try to piece together concerns of members of the body.
God spoke to us through his servants. He has invested in us a miracle. If we are faithful, we can see ourselves that way. God warned us that the enemy uses deception, distraction, discouragement and division. Of these, the most dangerous is division. We were also cautioned about pride, arrogance and self-centeredness. But all these dangers are dissolved when we look inward. It is through the inward search that we will find Him and His cross. Inwardly, we find the strength to pick up that cross and carry it.
…….."
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2L15 "

6.06.2018

Teach Me Lord


Tell me in the morning about your love,
Because I trust you.
Show me what I should do.
Because my prayers go up to you.
Lord, save me from my enemies;
I hide in you.
Teach me to do what you want,
Because you are my God.
Let your good Spirit
Lead me on level ground.
Lord, let me live
So people will praise you.
In your goodness
Save me from my troubles.
In your love defeat my enemies.
Psalm 143:8-12a



5.09.2018

Keep Yourselves From Idols

                             


                           Keep yourselves from Idols

What is your greatest pleasure on this earth? Upon what is the burning intensity of your thoughts spent? The beloved apostle John wrote, "Dear children keep yourselves from idols." The lust for anything on this earth for which we lavish our time has become our idol. Replacing the most high God with worldly lust, will poison our souls.

"Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, the Son of Man must also be lifted up. So that everyone who believes can have eternal life in him." Jesus said,  "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people toward me. now is the time for the world to be judged; the ruler of this world will be thrown down..' Jesus said this to show how he would die"

To experience healing and release from the clutches of those things that replace God in our life, it is imperative that we keep our spiritual eyes upon Jesus. Humbly allowing Him to test our impulses, and purify our ways.

"But test everything and keep away from anything that is evil" "The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin."


John 5:21, Num 21:8, John 12:32-33, 3:14, I Thessalonians 5:22, Psalm 51:17,

4.11.2018

Worship without Ritual


Friends worship without form or ritual. We take seriously the verses below. they teach us Christ has replaced the shadows. Jesus Christ is now our high priest.


The apostle Paul wrote to the Hebrews:
"Every day the priests stand and do their religious service, often offering the same sacrifices. Those sacrifices can never take away sins. But after Christ offered one sacrifice for sins, forever, he sat down at the right side of God. And now Christ waits there for his enemies to be put under his power. With one sacrifice he made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also tells us about this. First he says: 
'This is the agreement. I will make
with them at that time, says the 
Lord.
I will put my teachings in their hearts
and write them on their minds.'
Jeremiah 31:33
Then he says' their sins and the evil things they  do- 
I will not remember anymore.'
Jeremiah 31:34
Now when these have been forgiven there is no more need for a sacrifice for sins. So brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus' death. We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain - Christ's body. And since we have a great high priest over God's house, let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed, because we can trust God to do what he promised.
Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming

If we decide to go on sinning after we have learned the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. There is nothing but fear in waiting for the judgment and the terrible fire that will destroy all those who live against God. Hebrews 10:11-27

3.02.2018

Invitation to General Gathering of Conservative Friends


Our forefather William Penn wrote, "The great work and business of the cross of Christ in man is self-denial; a word of much depth in itself, and of sore contradiction to the world; little understood; but less embraced by it; which yet must be borne. The Son of God is gone before us, and, by the bitter cup he drank, and the baptism he suffered, has left us an example that we should follow his steps........
All Friends of like mind are invited to the 2018 22-24, Sixth Month General Gathering of Conservative Friends. This is a weekend of worship and fellowship at Stillwater Friends Meeting, in Barnesville, Ohio. It is intended to instruct and refresh us all, as we come empty of self to wait for renewal. The world desires a Saviour, but rejects the Christ who is the cornerstone of human salvation. No other way will bring light to our condition.  Join us this weekend in weakness, without expectation, putting behind you any shadows, seeking strength  directly from the "substance" which is Christ Jesus.
When there was none to help, not one to open seals, to give knowledge, or to direct the course of poor man's recovery, He came in the greatness of his love and strength; and though clothed with the infirmities of a mortal man, being within fortified by the Almightiness of an immortal God, he travelled through all the straits and difficulties of humanity; and, first of all others trod the untrodden path to blessedness.
No Cross, No Crown William Penn, chapter 4, section #2 & 3
contact Registrar  Sharon A Helms    philandsharon04.01@sbcglobal.net



2.10.2018

Drop Thy Still Dews of Quietness

   A poem written by John Greenleaf Whittier, 1897-1892  A Quaker poet