YOU ARE CLEAN
Barbara, dear Barbara,
It's OK for you to pour your burdened heart out over us. We would not want it any other way. Jesus would not want it any other way. And know this, in a jiffy we were able to pass your burden on to Jesus. This letter is His response back to us and to you, and who knows, to how many others? The apostles' letters were circulated far and wide. Maybe this one will be copied and shared amongst the saints in like manner? After clicking the "send" icon or dropping it in the mailbox, it's out of our hands and in His. The Holy Spirit will wing it to the right place; and it will arrive at the right time.
You do not need to apologize for becoming more reclusive. We have also found it necessary to budget our time and energy more carefully. Jesus had to get away from it all from time to time. We told a friend the other day, "Don't give everyone who asks for help our address or phone number. First talk to Jesus and us about them and let us decide if we are to get involved. You can give them our web address. If they are to be a part our lives, they will need to take the initiative and learn about us and the Upper Room before contacting us." Barbara, we would like to be there for everyone who is hurting and homeless; but only Jesus has the resources for that. He knows when to help and how much. He has the name and address for that spare room and open heart for the homeless, the hurting and the hungry.
You see, my dear, none of us have the energy or wherewithal to open the door to everyone who knocks. It takes discernment, lots of it, when and to whom to open the door. On some days we are stronger than on other days. On some days we do have that spare room available and are eager to welcome that stranger. But whether we do or not, we now ask Father/God first if we are to be that Good Samaritan. Jesus did not heal, “fix” or feed everyone.
Hindsight has shown me that on the days I am not strong, I have a tendency to say "YES" when "NO" is the better answer. I just can't trust myself making good decisions when I am not strong. And the way I handle that now is not to open the door or answer the phone in the first place. Fewer and fewer violate our hospitality or house rules; but there are a few who keep trying. Professional freeloaders are never welcome. We have no room for “poor me” babies or those who find fault with everyone. Age has also something to do with being more reclusive. I just turned eighty-two last Monday. I love being 82. It’s now time for the younger generation to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Barbara, Jesus allowed me to feel your exhaustion. I am asking for ministering angels to strengthen you.
OK, now for "the big stuff." I have had a most awesome grace bestowed upon me in the last few days. One day I may write a big story and include more details, but for now let me share with you the essence of the miracle via this letter.
Through a series of very unusual circumstances, a wood carving from Israel was placed into our hands on Sunday evening, February l, 2015. A woman drove a hundred miles to deliver the carving, not even remembering our last name or address. The only thing she knew is that she was to deliver it to a man by the name of Peter who did
crafts and lived in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. A kind Samaritan found her stranded on the side of the road on North Pagosa Boulevard. He stopped and asked if she needed help or directions. He happened to be acquainted with a man by the name of Peter who did crafts and knew where he lived.
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A few days later, the Holy Spirit made the wood carving come alive and a present reality for me. Jesus said interiorly, "Peter, as I washed the feet of the apostle Peter and the other apostles, I have also washed your feet and the feet of all who love me and have surrendered their lives to me and follow in my footsteps. Peter, you are clean."
Barbara, I am clean. All my fears and failures are washed away and forgiven - yes, all of them. My biggest sin was that I was a people and a self-pleaser, rather than a Father/God pleaser. I wanted for everyone to love me and think well of me. The torment that had plagued and enslaved me throughout my entire life was the wrong kind of fear, the fear of man instead of the fear of God. It’s the fear of God which is the author of wisdom. The fear of man and being a people and self-pleaser is bondage.
I have never, ever felt so whole so loved, so new, so clean, so special, so chosen. Jesus is nuts about me and now I know it. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "Peter, I want you to convey what happened to you to others. Share this story delicately and only with those who I point out to you. I will not only show you the person, but when, where and how you are to deliver these words.
"There will be those who come to your home who will hear the story from your lips and hold the woodcarving in their hands and press it to their heart. There will be others who are to receive a letter by mail or e-mail through you or others. And they will also know in their innermost being that I have washed their feet and buried their sins in the ocean of forgetfulness. They will know and not only know, but be able to feel that all their uncleanness is gone, gone, gone. Healing and forgiveness will become a present reality. All torment, yes, all torment and confusion of heart and mind will be gone. It will be gone in an instant, just like what happened to you. As they walk out the door of your home or read these words, they will know they are new and clean and forgiven. The burdens and torment of a life-time will have dropped off of their shoulders. They will know it and show it. Others, but not all others, will also see and sense the transformation and praise the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Oh, my dear Barbara, what a treasure Jesus has entrusted to me that I am now privileged to share with the broken and bruised, the confused, the tormented and the hurting. My handmaiden Rebekah knows what happened. You are the second person to learn about this miracle. Drink it in and be made whole. Yes, your soul shall feast on these words; and after you have feasted on them, offer them to others. The Holy Spirit will show you who these "others" are.
Barbara, it’s time to say good-bye to the tug of war inside of you. You and your husband have poured your whole life out to foster children. Give yourselves now the permission to step back and let others step forward and apprehend this vocation. Many years ago I wrote the story, Everyone Needs a Sandbox . You know the name of your sandbox. Do give yourself permission to play in it. Being reclusive and playing in our sandboxes is not a sin! My sandbox is writing stories and letters.
It will bless you to know that we extended and paid for our web site domain: www.stretcherbearers.com until 2020. Yes, I do believe Jesus wants us to stick around for a while and deliver more good news and write more letters.
Peter & Rebekah
I cannot open the door, unless you knock.
I cannot answer, unless you call.
I cannot stroke your hair,
unless you sit at My feet.
I cannot hold you in My arms,
unless you hold still.
I cannot teach you, unless you listen.
I cannot forgive you, unless you ask.
I cannot fulfill your needs,
unless you bring them to Me.
I cannot stay,
unless you make room for Me.
I cannot do any of these things,
unless you come to Me.
For efficiency experts: Peace-work is better than piece-work.
Before we talk it, we must walk it!
How much money does it take to make a rich man happy? Just a little more!
Anger makes us impatient.
Smoking is a dying habit.
Diplomacy - practicing the fear of man. Ed Norris
Who cares if I am rejected; I can always fall back on Jesus.
I am a poor man if I feel that I have nothing to give; I am a proud man if I cannot ask for help.
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