Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
December/January 1996/97 — Issue #31
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This is Annie's section
Earth Festival '97 will not be held this year. Many people have already been calling to inquire about it. We regret not seeing our friends at the conference. But God/Spirit has clearly given us the inner message that we are not to hold it. I was told that the time for imparting information was over. Although I will still be imparting the information that I receive, it will no longer be my only focus. My inner voice says I'm to help people learn how to use the information. So a new series of workshops is being given to me. Last month, I held the first workshop in this new series in St. Louis, MO. The new workshops are completely different from previous ones. These are very experiential sessions. You are able to go within and view, feel, and receive from Spirit. I'm excited about the new work and look forward to the New Year.
Holiday time again! Can you believe another year has gone by? It seems it was merely a couple of months ago that we were celebrating New Year's Day. Christmas is the time of year that Byron and I write to family letting them know how much we love and appreciate them. For those who are new to the newsletter, several years ago, at the suggestion of The Brotherhood, we began to write letters of appreciation to each other at Christmas. We remember the special things they did to help us, the meaning that the person has given to our lives, the many ways they have impacted our lives, and we let them know how much we love and appreciate them.
Sometimes a family member doesn't have to do anything to impact our lives. For instance we have a son, Mark, who has Down's Syndrome. All he has to do is...be. By being himself, he brings an added depth to our lives that we would otherwise miss. So we appreciate deeds, words, but most of all we appreciate our family for simply being our family, and for being themselves.
I've been asked about family members who remain estranged, or whom we still haven't been able to forgive, or perhaps to forget past hurts they inflicted. Sometimes a printed Christmas card is all that is needed. Or perhaps a Christmas card with a hand-written note that says I'm remembering past Christmases. We can always remember a happy time during the holidays. Christmas is a good time to open doors for peace to enter. We can let people know that our feelings have changed. I was reminding myself that Mother Mary says we chose our family of origin. What I've learned is that our first family, the one we are born into and/or the one who raised us, if we are adopted, was chosen to help us work out some karmic residue. So if your choice is a family with problems, remind yourself...this is your choice. You thought this was the best place, family, and time to work out or finish something from the past. You don't have to remember the past life; all you have to do is heal the hurts, the issues that your family of origin bring you. As I was thinking about why I had chosen particular family members, Mother Mary said, "The greatest gift one soul can give another is to come into your life to be your nemesis." This one statement gives a whole new meaning to problem people in your life. It's also given me a whole new perspective on family members who abused or misused me. I realize that the only thing that is real is...love.
When you begin to open the door to estranged family members, remember that just because you've changed, doesn't mean they have. I recall when I began to change within and felt more understanding and loving towards family I'd been estranged from. My expectation was that since I'd changed and felt warm towards them, that they would feel the same. But it doesn't always work that way. You can honor and respect their position and maintain your willingness for a new relationship. We can't be all things to all people. There are times we disappoint or disillusion others. This is inevitable if they have not taken the time to really get to know you and how you think or feel. More often it's that they have certain expectations of you that are not in keeping with who you are. At times we must distance ourselves from family and/or friends in order to have peace of mind. This doesn't mean we are bad or unloving. It means we love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. It means we honor and respect ourselves and tend to our needs. We are the only one who can take care of our needs. We are the only one who can make our choices. We can let people know that we are thinking of them, even if we don't always agree. So if you have family or friends who come to mind during this season, let them know you are thinking of them. Sometimes that is all that is needed.
I appreciate each of you. You are my friends who are also seeking to have a close connection to God. Many of you have sent cards, thoughts, and prayers during this year. As you probably know, in February I fell and broke my leg; through this difficult time I could feel your love and concern. You've been a healing balm when I needed it. Your prayers for my health have worked wonders and I've felt your support. I most assuredly appreciate your concern, thoughts, and prayers. You have given me a year of love. I recognize it and appreciate it. I treasure each one of you for all you've done, but more so for who you are.
I appreciate the letters that shared about how you found our books, or how they helped you. Your sharing gives us the courage and motivation to keep on, keeping on. The phone calls and letters from people who have given us the opportunity to serve them through B&A Products has been a blessing. We not only appreciate the business, but the faith in us and our abilities. I appreciate the people I met this year on the few trips I took. I remember other years and other faces. The greatest thing of traveling is having the privilege of meeting new people and the fun in talking with friends. I especially appreciate the people who had the faith and trust to allow me to read for them. I appreciate your willingness to open your heart and soul. It is a humbling honor to serve you and God in this manner. I appreciate the ways each of you have shared from the heart whether it was a thought, prayer, word, or deed. I love your attention and caring.
But most of all I appreciate our Creator for His goodness and love in my life. I appreciate my family. And I appreciate the work He has given me to do. I appreciate Mother Mary and The Brotherhood. I am truly blessed.
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
It is with great joy that I come today. I remind you of the peace which surrounds this world and which is simply waiting for a place within your heart. Peace, Love, Light and all of God's Goodness are already here waiting for a place within your mind and heart in which to live. God can only work through you. You are responsible for setting up a welcoming place within your heart. Peace will not come to the heart filled with hatred, resentments, jealousy, and selfishness. Peace will only reside in a heart that is working towards forgiveness, and loving unselfishly and unconditionally. You do not have to have forgiven everything; as you forgive, as you love...peace grows within you. It fills voids that you hadn't recognized. It overflows into places that you thought were lost. It shines in the darkest corners of your heart once you have made up your mind to live in peace. It takes perseverance, commitment, and the desire to have peace in your heart, mind, and life. Once this great decision is made, you will find that the things that need to be eliminated will bring you the gift of forgiveness. They bring you opportunities to live in peace. One prayer is all it takes when it comes from the heart and with full mental agreement. Do not get overtaken by the commercialism of this season. Give gifts that come from your heart and give them every day. Celebrate the season of peace every day of the year. Then peace will surely come to earth.
During this season of the year, as I see many people become concerned with others, I urge you to stay concerned with others every day of the year. I see people making great plans for family, but not all families are making plans for every member of the family. Love your family unconditionally. Put aside your own personal judgments concerning others. Do not concentrate on how they should live, or how they dress, nor on who they are with, nor on any other facet of your family members' lives. Your whole purpose in life is to love unconditionally as you love yourself, and as you love God. Include every member of your family in your prayers, good thoughts, and in your love. Even those who have in the past harmed you in any way--each member of your family brings to you a great gift. It is the gift of healing, love, and peace.
Peace, my little children, is a way of life. Peace is not a destination. If you think that, when something occurs, or someone else changes, there will be peace, you will be disappointed. Peace will come to you when you determine to live in peace. Then when the decision is made, all that is keeping you from peace will enter your awareness. But this doesn't mean you failed; it simply means that you have succeeded. You cannot live in peace with disturbances of the heart or mind. So after you decide to live in peace, watch for the things that are keeping you from peace. Settle the issues of your life, heal the wounds, find ways to negotiate peace inside of your heart and mind.
Respect, acknowledge, and love each person who is in your life. Family is more than your blood relatives; family is the whole of mankind. Only when a good number of people begin to think of their family as the family of mankind, will people accept that every person is important to God. The people in your life, your friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and neighbors are here to give you a multitude of opportunities to love and be at peace. A thread runs through every person on earth and that thread is the love of God. Every person has within their being a unique and beautiful pattern. This pattern is their connection to God, to their own creativity and to their talents. This pattern is what makes each person different from others. No two people are alike. They may look alike on the outside, as in the case of twins, triplets, or siblings, but on the inside they will have a different way to express their creativity, and talents, and personality.
Love the differences; cease the urge to make everyone in your image. We are all created in God's image, and this is what makes each person wonderful. There is peace when you can accept the uniqueness and differences in people. There is peace when you can accept your own differences and appreciate your very own beautiful pattern. Being at peace means that you love unconditionally. Living in peace is living in vigilance. You are vigilant and aware of the circumstances and situations in your life. You can remove yourself gently from conflict when appropriate, and can be gentle and firm in how you treat yourself and others. Living in peace doesn't mean you become a doormat and allow others to misuse you or mistreat you. It means you love and respect yourself and the other person enough to remove the obstacles. You are honest with yourself at all times and can truly see the whole situation. If you react to a situation in your family because of what one person has said, you are not being honest. Look at every person, situation, and circumstance in your life in honesty and love.
You can do this, my children. If you pray for the eyes to see in truth...the ears to hear the truth...the understanding to decide in truth...you can live in peace. As one more person commits to live in peace, more peace is brought to earth through you. It takes a host of prayers, a legion of love, and one person at a time to bring peace to earth in your lifetime. Nothing is impossible to God. He will continue to whisper lovingly until you listen to His silent voice. He will guide you in all things. He will teach you how to live in peace when you seek His Truth.
Help me pray for your world. Help me pray for your family of mankind and above all pray for yourself. You are loved more than you know. You are more talented than you can imagine, and you have more abilities than you can realize. Peace on earth is possible when you allow God to work through you to create His peace in your life. I am loving you.
Mary, Mother of Jesus.
This is Byron's section
Are You Prepared for a Cold Winter and Power Outages?
In July, Annie received information that this winter will bring "heavy-wet snow" and that "roofs will collapse ... some in shopping centers ... unusually heavy snows" and that we may even have a white Christmas in areas of the country that normally wouldn't. Our Northeastern Oklahoma (and Arkansas) was one area she felt might have a white Christmas. She generally felt that the whole US will have an unusually cold winter with ice storms, extending as far south as Austin, Texas. And that in some areas (Dallas was mentioned) that there will be several ice storms that come "like waves."
Already we have seen unusually heavy snow in many parts of the country. And while I was working on this newsletter, we had an ice and snow storm that went as far south as Dallas (CNN reported it as going from Michigan to Texas). Will the rest of the winter bear out these predictions? We don't have any way of knowing. But the best approach is to prepared for the worst and hope for the best. A good approach to preparing for any emergency is to do a simple risk analysis for your area of the country and for any expected situation. Consider what might happen to cause an emergency? In preparing for a cold winter, what might happen to warrant it being considered an emergency?
First, power outages are likely during winter storms. Snow builds up on tree limbs; they break off and fall into power lines, disrupting utility power. Or ice builds up on power lines, causing them to break.
An extremely cold winter storm may cause water pipes to freeze, disrupting water availability or later breaking when it warms up and the pipes thaw.
When winter storms are forecast, it is normal to go to the grocery store and stock up on food and other supplies. If there are large amounts of snow or ice, it may disrupt travel both for us and for trucks which replace the store's inventory. Most of what I've discussed is just common sense and anyone that's been through a major winter storm will likely already know this. But this is being given both as a review to prepare for the upcoming winter, and an example of how to do a simple risk analysis that might apply to any situation.
Now that we've done our risk analysis for a potential winter storm, we need to be prepared to handle: power outages, which means we may lose the ability to heat ourselves (with an electrical-based heating system). We will lose normal lighting. If you have a well driven by an electric pump, as we do, you lose your normal water supply. If you lose your water supply you need water to drink, wash with, and for toilet flushing. If the winter conditions make driving impossible, or so dangerous it's not worth attempting, you may need additional food supplies.
To prepare, we need to plan for: light, heat, water, food, electricity (optionally), and communications--in that order. You may have noticed that I ranked light before heat, and yet, if you are cold you will want to get warm as soon as possible. But if the power goes out at night, you will need a flashlight or other light source to find adequate clothing and/or build a fire (or to light another emergency heat source).
What forms of lighting devices should we consider? First, everyone should have a flashlight with good batteries near their bed, to be prepared for any emergency that might happen at night. And if you are concerned about not having fresh batteries when you need them, there are dynamo hand-pump flashlights, like the popular DynaLight, that does not require batteries. Chemical breaklights are another good option for emergencies, especially if there is any danger of a gas leak, as they don't generate a spark or have a flame that might ignite escaping gas. If gas leaks are not a concern, consider candles and kerosene lanterns (with a supply of kerosene). And of course battery lanterns are good, assuming the batteries are good and you have spares if needed.
Now for heat. We need heat to warm ourselves and to prepare food. If your house is equipped with a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you need a good supply of wood on hand. If you have camping equipment, you may already have a camp stove that burns either white gas or propane. Have it handy, along with a supply of the proper fuel. There are camping-style propane heaters that are available. These are designed to operate from a single, small disposable propane cylinder (14 or 16 oz). Typically the heaters will provide heat for 5 to 10 hours per cylinder. With an adapter you can use the larger bulk propane tanks, like the ones on your outdoor propane cooker. And for a small heat and cooking source, there is an Emergency Heat and Snap-On Stove unit that uses a gelled ethanol fuel. A 16-ounce can will burn for approximately four hours.
Now for water. The best thing you can do to prepare for almost any emergency is to put up a supply of stored water. It is recommended that you have at least one gallon (preferably two gallons) of water, per person, per day, with a recommended two weeks supply. For two people this is 28 gallons (minimum). Probably the most readily available and inexpensive containers to store water are the 2-liter soft drink containers. Be sure and wash them thoroughly. For stored water add 8 drops of clorox bleach, or use 6 drops of the Aerobic 07, that is commercially available. Fill the containers to the drop to remove any air deposits. Store off the floor, out of direct sunlight, in a relatively cool location. There are also commercially available containers made especially for storing and transporting water. Now for food. Your pantry is your first supply of food for most emergencies. Obviously, if you don't have a good supply of food in your panty when a winter storm is forecast, go to the store and stock up. Especially consider canned items that can be eaten without being heated. If power fails keep the refrigerator door closed as long as possible. One advantage of a power failure in a cold winter (in contrast to summer) is that you can move the food in your refrigerator outside to a secure area (such as a garage or closed-in porch) to prolong its life. Consider what food you currently have on-hand and what you might need to handle a two-week period.
I mentioned electricity as an option. If you can afford a generator and have a place to keep it, you may choose to have a backup electrical generator. But the details about selecting and using a generator requires more explanation than I can cover in this short newsletter article. Another option for limited electricity is a portable emergency power system, such as the Powerizer to handle small power requirements.
And finally I mentioned communications. The minimum every family should have is a small portable AM/FM receiver to be able to get news about how widespread the problem is, and what is being done about it. The combination solar/dynamo powered radios are excellent in this type of situation, since they don't depend on having batteries on-hand.
I hope this helps you start thinking about the things you should do, if and when, this cold winter turns into an emergency.
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