Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
August/September 1999 Issue #47
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This is Annie's section
Time seems to have done another doubling. Isn't this year speeding by, or is it my imagination? During the first half of this year, I was very busy. Even though my life was at a fast pace, the lessons continued.
I've learned something else about forgiveness. Forgiveness and resolution are not the same thing. We have a rift in our family. It has been very heartbreaking. The other person and myself agree that we love each other--that hasn't changed. We, who have never had a rift in our immediate family, are now dealing with a problem that many families face. I began the forgiveness process immediately, even when I didn't feel very forgiving. Because of the anger and hurt feelings this situation brought up for me, I threw dozens and dozens of eggs at a tree, to release the emotion. Now, after several months of working on it, I am at peace most of the time. I still have periods where I grieve for our family.
Soon after Mother Mary's visits began, She required me to "Live her message." In the beginning I didn't know what that meant. I decided that what She asked me to do, was to pray, forgive, and love, etc. She also said I was to live this message in my own way. Now it seems that my family is giving me a great opportunity to go a step further in living the message. It's by returning to the serenity that I had lost in this troubling, heart-wrenching, and difficult situation.
This month I'm hosting a "Conclave for Peace" in our home. I was wondering how I could host anything related to peace without resolving this issue. It's a little embarrassing to be focused on peace and have this kind of thing arise in my life. Then I remembered the first time Mother Mary asked to teach "Peace" in my own town, at that time Dallas. Three days before the workshop on peace, we were served with the notice that our neighborhood association had filed a lawsuit against us. Byron had put up a small, slender, ham radio antenna, which they objected to. The day before the workshop, I cried out to Mother Mary that I didn't feel very peaceful when my neighbors were at war with us. I was told to be honest with the people, and I was. It seems that mandate still stands, so hence the honesty in spite of the embarrassment.
Once again I find myself in a similar situation as I prepare for the Conclave for Peace. Thank God, I've been able to find a good measure of peace in my heart. Once you've lived with a peaceful heart, it is hell being out of peace. I now equate peace with heaven, and being upset and feeling anxious with hell. As I live this message, it seems that I keep coming up against challenges that would tax anyone's mind.
So often people think that because of my visitations from the Blessed Mother, I lead a perfect life. But what has happened is that I've kept on living my life without too much Divine intervention. Certainly not a utopian life, but one that is constantly improving as I keep "Living the message."
I'm still learning that to love unconditionally does not mean I become a doormat. In fact, now that I love myself unconditionally, I'm better able to take care of myself. Although, as I found out, I can regress to my bad habits, like not speaking up for myself at the right time and with calmness, thinking that by ignoring something that doesn't feel right the problem will go away, and by trying to be nice, instead of real. Thankfully, I've learned to set boundaries very well. The love that allows me to be strong is unconditional love. I can be strong and understand that the other person in a dispute is just as strong in their spirit.
Then came the great revelation that forgiveness and resolution are not the same. The concept of forgiving was easy, because I love my family unconditionally. On one hand it was easy to begin to forgive, and on the other it was difficult because of the anger and anguish. Going past the hurt and all the old issues, this incident hooked into was a stumbling block. When you have had as much emotional garbage as I've had, an incident like this can bring these old issue to the forefront, which is what happened. So I went back to the first step, which is learning to love myself, and in loving myself, I took care of myself by stopping the situation. I must admit that, had I done this sooner, I would have been gentler and quieter in speaking my truth. But I did speak my truth, finally.
Forgiveness was easier once I had released most of the anger by throwing eggs at my egg tree. I'm still working on the process. Most of all I'm forgiving myself for the way I handled it. If I had to do it over again, the only thing I would change is the way I spoke my truth. Have you ever played Monday morning quarterback with yourself? Have you not found that the best responses often come afterwards. Do you go over confrontations and wish you had said it differently? I've found this doesn't bring you peace, it keeps you obsessing on the event. I must admit that I've had a difficult time letting it go. And I believe with my whole heart that I must let it go in order for God to work through us to bring about a healing.
The situation is not resolved, but I'm at peace knowing that I'm well into the process of forgiveness, that I can be at peace, even though it is not settled. Both parties must come together in order for there to be resolution. But we don't need anyone else to have a peaceful heart. Once again I'm reminded that I canžt change anyone except myself, that all I have to work with is me, and the only one I have to change is me.
One of Mother Mary's prayer requests is for the family, because She says too many families are at war. I think this is what She is talking about. It's not the shoot-um-up wars but the disputes that linger, the failure to respect each other and their property, and it's trying to fix each other. We can be at peace even in the midst of disputes. It's all about bringing peace into the world, one day at a time, one incident at a time, one life at a time, and one family at a time.
Until next time, join me in really, really praying for peace to come to each of us today. We can make a difference in our world, when we pray for peace.
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
I come to you in love and peace. My greatest hope is that you fully understand how much you are loved. And, that you understand what this means to you as you go through life. As you come to understand the all-encompassing love that is within you, around you, and permeated in you, your faith will grow. You will be able to trust God implicitly.
Your complete trust in God's love will increase your faith tremendously. You will have the faith that can and will move mountains. Jesus had this kind of faith. Never once did he doubt that God would cease to love him. His faith was based on the full knowledge of the extent and magnitude of God's love. Do you have this kind of faith? Faith of this kind goes all the way to your soul and spirit.
To have total trust and complete faith in God is a good way to allow peace to flourish in your heart, your life, and your surroundings. Do all you can to increase your concept of God's love. Stop the murmuring and discordant resentments. Leave the grievances and judgments of others alone. You cannot fully understand God's love while you are holding on to bitterness, anger, hatred, fears, envy, or any of these kinds of emotions. It is past the time to put these things aside. Only you can do this. God will help you if you call upon Him. But remember my little children, God will not work for you, He only works through you.
All of God's gifts are made without any strings or contingencies attached. When God gave the gift of freedom of choice, it was made in this way. God will not supersede your will unless it is for the greater good of humanity. All your choices are honored, respected, and adhered to. For this reason it is important that you make your individual choices about your life. It is still up to you to act in order for God to work through you. The action which is the best is an action of the spirit. It is to maintain faith, to trust that God is helping you in all things.
Many times people feel hopeless as they pray. This is not having faith; it is not trusting God. With God all things are possible. He could remake this world in the twinkling of an eye. He could recreate the universe in the time it takes you to take a breath. God is giving you the opportunity to experience life through your choices. You have so many choices and so many opportunities to make your life one of peace, love, and joy. You can find all that you need to live your life, within yourself. It is up to you to learn to use your faith in such a way that it grows and increases.
Jesus told you many years ago that it takes very little faith to do wondrous things. He compared the amount of faith needed to a mustard seed. That is a very small amount. You can increase your faith by using it. Faith grows as you use it.
How do you use faith? For many of you it is through the repetition of affirmations of faith. The words you use help you implant the concept in your mind and heart, so that you understand. Affirmations of faith also remind you of what you believe. Belief is very important to your life. Belief is what you base your life on. It is how you live your life and conduct your life. So do not belittle the need to increase your faith. Instead recognize its importance in your life.
Take a close look at what you believe. Are you living up to your belief, or are you living down from your belief? It will be easier to increase your faith if you are living up to your belief. So many of you do not give any thought to your beliefs, and if asked, would respond in vague, popular, and general terms. This is why Ižm asking you to scrutinize your beliefs, to take a quiet moment to answer the above question. It will help you tremendously to find out if your beliefs correspond to how you are living today.
Pray about your faith. Ask God to help you increase your faith. For out of your belief, out of your faith, your life will be made so much better. The lack of faith causes you to stay in unpleasant circumstances. God will give to you according to your faith. If you really, really believe, deep down in your heart of hearts that what you ask for is right for you, is possible, and will improve your life, then it will be given unto you.
But you ask about the things you have prayed for believing they were right, possible, and would improve your life, yet you have not received them. Many things can cause you to lose faith, but this question seems to be the one that causes you the most difficulty. Sometimes it is not a lack of faith, or that you did not pray correctly. It could well be that you are obstinate about how this is to be provided. Preconceived notions, and wanting something to come the way you want it to come, can deter the answer to your prayer.
When you pray, my children, have the faith that the answer to your prayer will come to you the way God wants to send it. So many times what you pray for is not the whole of what you need. So God sees what is best for you and all the people involved in the prayer, and He answers in a way that is best for everyone concerned. Review your unanswered prayers; you may have already received the answer in a much better way.
God will not interfere in your choices. He will not interfere in anyone's choices. God gives the best He can according to your faith, what is best for the situation, and what is best for your whole life. Rest assured that, when you leave something in God's hands, the situation will work out in a way that everyone concerned is improved, according to their belief.
Think on this--it is so much easier to trust a loving God than it is to trust an angry God. The Truth is...that God is love. It is out of His great love that He answers your prayers. He forgives you all things. His love is Divine and unconditional. You can rely on this with your whole life.
Have faith that when you pray for people to open their hearts and minds to peace, it will be done. Place your focus in life on peace, on love, and on wisdom. Where you focus your life is how you will live, how your life will unfold, and it will unfold according to your faith. Never fear, for God is always as near as your heartbeat. He hears you when you call out to Him. Have faith in this.
I am loving you as you go through your life. Thank you for listening.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
This is Byron's section
Home SafetyThanks to my friend, Norm, from Sparrow Hawk Village, I was introduced to a new product that I felt might be important for us to personally have on hand, and to offer through B&A Products. It is the Chimfex Chimney Fire Suppressor (extinguisher). As a volunteer fireman we've responded to calls of chimney fires. Of course, this is influenced by the fact that we live in the country and it is commonplace to have a wood-burning stove. The Chimfex is built like a road flare and extinguishes the fire by smothering it with a mixture of gases that rise up into the chimney blocking off the oxygen to the flames.
When Annie and I were talking about what my topic should be for this month's newsletter, the Chimfex led to a discussion about the importance of home safety during times of disasters or emergencies.
During a major disaster or emergency you may not be able to pick up the phone and have normal emergency services respond. This includes medical response units (EMS/EMT), fire protection, and police/sheriff officers. Whether the situation is due to a y2k (Year 2000) related power outage, winter freeze, tornado/hurricane, earthquake, or whatever; it is likely that the needed response won't arrive in a timely manner. Why? If it is a major event, the emergency services are already receiving many calls: hundreds, thousands, or for a major disaster in a populated area (ex: earthquake in LA!), tens of thousands of calls. Or, if the phones aren't working, you may not even be able to call. If the road infrastructure is down, or unusable (ice on roads, earthquakes destroy bridges, traffic jams due to an evacuation, etc), they might not be able to respond, even if everything else was not a problem.
What am I getting at? You still need to be as self-sufficient as possible. In the case of house fires, most start small; as in the example of a chimney fire or kitchen grease fire. If you respond immediately with a fire extinguisher (and know the proper use of it), you have a pretty good chance of stopping the fire from growing, before the fire department might even have time to respond in a normal environment.
So where to begin on home safety? If you are parents of young children, hopefully you've already been through the checklist of things to do around the house to make your home as child-proof as possible: household poisons and chemicals are safely stored and out of reach, electrical outlets that are not being used have the plastic plugs in them. Guns are in gun safes, up high, and "locked" where the trigger can't be pulled, and so forth.
What else is of concern and where do we start? Well, we touched on fire as a potential problem in our introduction to this article, so let's cover it in a little more detail. Do you have several fire extinguishers around your home, apartment, or office? Have they been checked and/or charged lately? If the answers to either one of these is no, start here! An inexpensive fire extinguisher for the home is a box of baking soda. This is one of the best ways to put out a kitchen grease fire.
Also you may want to look at the potential sources that could start a fire and make sure you have minimized the potential for the fire catching and spreading. Obviously, the kitchen stove, fireplace, and gas heaters are strong suspects. Make sure that flammable objects are well clear of the cooking and heating areas.
And if there is a fire, do your smoke detectors work? Have you checked them lately to see if the batteries are in working condition? And, do you have the kind of smoke detectors that work when the power is off (battery operated or with battery backup)? You do have smoke detectors, donžt you?
When I'm giving my survival talks, the first thing I recommend everyone do is to take a first aid/CPR course. Most accidents happen around the house, so the knowledge gained through this course, combined with a good first aid kit, should prepare you to handle many situations. Do you have a first aid kit in your house? How about your car? Even an inexpensive first aid kit will provide bandages for cuts and have the ingredients to handle most small accidents. Have you had a first aid course recently? If not, or never--take one. Get your other family members to take the course with you. If it's you thatžs cut or knocked-out, you want them to know what to do. Encourage your neighbors, coworkers and church members to take a first aid course.
If you are in an area that is prone to earthquakes, do you have bookcases, china cabinets, and such, tied to the walls, so they won't fall over when an earthquake rattles everything. How about simple latches on cupboard doors?
Probably the best thing you can do is just to consider, what you would need to learn and have on hand to prepare if the emergency services couldn't make it to your house. Take a few minutes and look around the house to see what things need to be moved, secured, or whatever would make your home or apartment safer for you and your family.
Sincerely -- Byron
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