Rest, what is rest and how do we reach it? The dictionary gives this definition: Peace, ease; refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of work, exertion, or an activity; relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance; mental or emotional tranquillity. That certainly sounds like rest to me, but the Bible speaks differently. The first mention of rest in the New Testament is Matt. 11:29, and here we are told "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Here we see that rest is not a cessation of work, exertion or activity, instead, it speaks of rest for our soul which is being yoked and carrying a light burden. So then, how do we rest?
For me, this question was answered when I called my niece in Topeka, KS to ask about her, (to be), step-son. He had recently been pushed off a 3 story building and landed on his head. They did immediate surgery to stop the bleeding in the brain, but suspected that his neck was broken. When he awoke he could not move nor speak and after the first day his body "crashed." That was the last word I had on him in 2 days and I was afraid he might have died. Low and behold, 3 days later when I called my niece she said that he had made a full recovery and had been released from the hospital!!!!!!
From this experience, I find rest comes when we DO NOT worry! What difference did it make to the outcome if I worried or not? Worry would, absolutely, affect my mental, emotional and possibly physical health, but, if I can find a way to absolutely trust our Father in all situations, I will be at ease. Rest does not mean that I just quit, no; in fact, I continue in Father’s work, I pray and continue to do whatever is necessary, (I believe this is the being yoked and burdened). In all things, I must trust Him to do what is best.
This is easy to say but much more difficult to put into action. I am blessed that I am in good health and since I have already been through the "ringer" of life concerning finances, I am in a pretty good place when it comes to my attitude concerning money. After Stacy’s transition I realized how little things, stuff, mattered. I left almost everything behind in Georgia, so I could move back to CA, bringing in my van only what I thought was the most essential; Promised Seed Ministry’s office and equipment. (A good friend of ours, John Conner, loaded and unloaded my van at least 30 times so I could make everything fit). I left behind some heirlooms and things that had been with me for many years, because I took only what I thought was most valuable to the ministry. I included all Stacy’s teachings, original tapes, and recording equipment, packaging for mailing and anything I thought I would need to continue sending his teachings. By the time I had my office set up, in California, having everything up on the Internet, so anyone can download or listen had made recording equipment obsolete. The heirlooms I left behind could have come with me. SIN OR SIN NOT
Many know that sin is a "missing" of the mark, not quite hitting the bull’s eye. I feel I did not "miss the mark" but instead I learned a very valuable lesson. The need to send out cassettes had a rapid kind of death and sometimes it takes death to create a new realization of what God wants in our lives. I know it’s a choice whether to dwell on what we lost or to look toward a new future. I Cor. 15:26 "But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and when this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the word that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. So that, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not without fruit in the Lord."
I would like to take the liberty to paraphrase what I see in these scriptures. When a person realizes that life is eternal the immortal puts on immortality. (This cannot happen just by the acknowledgment that life is eternal, it is when that realization becomes so real that we know that the we, we are, will never die). At this moment death is swallowed up in victory! It is at the conception of immortality that death loses its sting. We may continue to miss a person who has crossed over into a realm we do not see with our physical eyes, but if we accept that they are growing and living and having their being, we grasp life eternal. Would we "hurt" for a child or a friend who was out of our immediate vicinity, if we knew they were having the time of their life? We might miss their presence but would we not rejoice they were getting so much more from their life than they ever could if they were attached to our hip? So I ask, when we look at life in this manner, where is the sting of death? (Please give me liberty to change as I grow and mature in HIM).
I find it interesting as I study I Corinthians 15 to find Paul speaks about death in several ways. One referral is to sleep, another is referring to death of the physical body and yet another is talking about spiritual death. Christ was raised from a physical death and became the first fruits of those who slept. I believe that when Stacy left his physical body he continued to live. He found his reward in the Lord, no longer confined to the wrestling accompanying the flesh, his spirit flew loose to fully explore all spiritual truths. I can call the spirit of Stacy to me at any time just by thinking of him. Does this mean his actual spirit comes to where my physical body exists or does my spirit touch his spirit? I don’t know the answer; all I know is that I do not war with his passing for I know that whatever he is doing is very important in God’s plan. In this way, I am at rest with death, it has no sting.
Speaking of rest, a new chapter has started in my life. Father has blessed me with a friendship with old acquaintance from when I used to live here in Lake County back in the early 1990's. The friendship has grown over the last four years into a mutual attraction and we are contemplating marriage. We have both been widowed and find comfort in the understanding that comes with such an experience. It is nice that I do not have to suppress the fact that I love Stacy very much and appreciate what he brought into my life. This is a good thing, for I can not deny who I am or the ministry that God, and Stacy, have put in me. After Stacy passed I was led by the Spirit to continue with Promised Seed Ministries outreach and I worked hard to become ordained by the Independent Assembly of God. I did not take the easy way by sending some money into some organization found on the Internet to get the ordination; I spent many long hours fulfilling the pre-requisites. It costs me $150.00 a year for the Promised Seed Ministries license plus $250.00 a year for my ordination with the Independent Assembly of God. I do not say all this to pat myself on the back but I am hoping this shows how very serious I am about the ministry. A few people have suggested I give up Promised Seed, after all, it was "Stacy’s." Some suggested I "get" my own ministry, I say all this and smile as I think back on how thoroughly Stacy taught me about my Heavenly Father’s love and the ministry. He made sure I did not sit on the side lines watching him minister; I was a part. I have found that being a "part" of something means I cannot simply give it up. We must all have the liberty to hear our Father’s voice, giving us individual direction, knowing this; HE can give us a change of direction at any moment in time. That change does not mean we missed the mark, just that we are pliable to His will in our lives.
It is my intention to continue travelling, (as I feel inspired), and I hope to keep everything up in "Internet Heaven." Promised Seed Ministries will continue for as long as Father has purpose. (I would have it no other way).
My betrothed, David Gebhard, is in full alliance with my plans. He, in no way, wants to change the ministry or me. He desires that I continue in the ministry as I have always, even to travelling across country. He encourages me in my avenue of expression, The Implanter, by helping me publish and allowing me the time I need to write. (It is my great joy to continue writing for as long as I know someone is getting help and encouragement from the publication). David is a big part of the reason I am doing so well in my studies. He is quite intelligent and assists me in any way he can to help me excel. He has several health issues but is a substitute teacher at the high school from which I graduated. It brought him some relief when his doctor informed him that he was in end stage renal failure and I was able to tell him it was not "the end of the world ." A confirmed bachelor of 65 years he is very independent and does not expect me to do everything for him nor baby him. Somehow he even seems to find great pleasure in my outspokenness and independence.
David was raised a Christian and publicly accepted the Lord in 1980, but did not really know God until he asked for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in 2007. He says that since then his life has changed dramatically and his faith has increased to a place of full confidence in God, a place of reliance and rest.
Now, it is time to let you hear something from him.
...my name is David Gebhard. Born and raised in Oakland, California, I grew up reading Jack London and dreaming of sailing to exotic locales and having hair raising adventures. Possessing chronic illnesses, I was turned down by the military after enlisting in 1965, but I still found a way to experience many of these exciting adventures. A persistent sort, I found a job with the Department of Defence’s, ‘Military Sealift Command’ on ships to and from the far east, including Vietnam. I can tell you from first-hand experiences, there are no atheists under a typhoon or machine-gun fire. I thank the Father for being an American; as a world traveller, I guarantee we are the blessed of the earth.
I sailed for three years, until loneliness caused me to take a job ashore. My health took a real hit after a motorcycle accident in 1985; Sleep Apnea crippled me for years, until the CPAP was perfected. Then, edema and kidney disease began to haunt me. Dialysis is now my salvation and bane, as it is the price exacted for my continued existence.
I can attest to the old saying, "salvation is the love of a good woman." Pamla has given me reason to live and our Heavenly Father has blessed us both with a happiness that I did not know existed for me. For years I believed that this bliss was only for others, now I give thanks everyday for the blessings that I used to take for granted. Pamla and I often ponder God’s Love and everyday live in wonder that he makes our lives so perfect. He gives us just enough to satisfy our needs and we are content.
We are planning a wedding at our Marina (Walnut Beach) on beautiful Clear Lake, verifiably the BEST bass lake west of the Mississippi. Everyone who wishes to attend is welcome as it will be inexpensive, a potluck, and open to everyone. Anyone who wants to know more about me can go to Facebook.com and look up email@example.com. Although, true, we do not have a date set in stone yet, we await our Father’s perfect direction and will let everyone know as soon as we do!
Terrie and I almost lost our Mom last November. It was as close as a matter, do we put her back on life support or do as she requested and not put the tubes back down her throat? The choice was made to have the breathing tubes re-inserted. Within 6 hours she was better than she had been for about a month! We were amazed. Mom was in the hospital, in and out of ICU, for over a month, but she is now home with Daddy and they are both doing well. Mom still deals with a debilitating dizziness and requests prayer, but we are all so thankful to have her back.
Terrie is hurting almost beyond belief. Her back and ankle are in need of surgery. She is dealing everyday with the pain with faith and trust in our Heavenly Father’s goodness toward us. My sister will continue to help with Promised Seed Ministries in the ways that only she can.
I hope to talk more to mine and Stacy’s children and grandchildren about becoming involved in PSM in a more active way. Who knows which one might decide to come into the ministry? I am hoping to make a trip this summer at least up to Omaha. Maybe one will accompany me to some fellowships, and perhaps with a little taste of the fellowship, the desire for ministry will start to grow in them. I smile, for I know that would make Grandpa Stacy very happy.
Terrie has moved into her new mobile home. Her new mailing address is 5330 Lakeshore Blvd. #39, Lakeport, CA 95453. My new mailing address is 205 Walnut Drive, Lakeport, CA. 95453 (I believe I wrote a little about her new moble in the last publication of "The Implanter")
We pray that hope abounds in your heart today. We do want to say thank you for continued prayer and support of this ministry. It is your prayerful support enables us to continue sharing the Good News of the Happy God, who is Savior of all and condemner of none. Terrie, Dave and I pray the Lord’s blessings continue to pour forth onto everyone you meet! (Eph. 3:20).
We love you and love hearing from you. I have felt to cull my postal mailing list. Anyone that I have not received written notice from in the last year will quit receiving our mailing. To be removed from our email list send an email and type REMOVE in the subject line email to firstname.lastname@example.org