Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

Family Time


family time 2 pictureI believe family relationships are very important to a healthy life. A few weeks ago my husband and I traveled over three hundred miles one way to see our son, Matt in a play. He never really showed an interest in acting in his childhood but has recently become involved in a community theater thanks to his wife Heather. I had traveled to see him play young Scrooge in a Christmas Carol last year since I was close by taking care of my sister after surgery. I really enjoyed that experience. But this time he had a leading role playing Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a Steve Martin play.

My daughter and her family also made the trip. We were all very impressed with his acting abilities and the whole cast did an awesome job. Matt even got a great review on his performance. They also added their own twists to the play making it into a bit of a musical. Then they did a version of karaoke at the end. It was great. I love live theater and seeing one of my children acting was a plus. Matt even did good with his singing.

And if that wasn’t enough live entertainment my daughter Jacquie took me to see “Beautiful” a musical about the life of Carol King. It was amazing. I got to see the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, what a beautiful place. I got my exercise in climbing many flights of marble stairs that day.  We could have taken the elevator but it was much more interesting to walk the stairs. I never realized that Carol King wrote so many songs. Then we got to have mother daughter time and ended up walking around downtown Fort Worth for a while. It was a great time.

And if that wasn’t enough family time Saturday I got to watch my grandson Jack play soccer, and score a couple of goals. I also got to sit near “Iron Man” Rex. Superheroes love soccer games. When that was over we walked around the fire department event that was going on adjacent to the soccer fields. We learned about fire trucks, the jaws of life, and how to break a car window to rescue someone. We also got free food from In and Out burger. Jack and Rex got their pictures taken with the Chick-fil-a cow, dressed up as a fire fighter. The boys got to sit in a swat truck and see bomb squad robots. It was lots of fun.

I don’t think that we can ever have too much family time. I am so appreciative of all the time that I have with my family. Really we never know how much time God will let us have on this earth, so it is important to take advantage of all the time he gives us.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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Be the Match


IMG_1759I remember as a child going into a cavern with my family on vacation. It was one of the few vacations we ever took together. We went deep into the cave and then the guides turned off all the lights. It was so dark you could not see anything. You had to feel to find out if the person next to you was still there. In the darkness it got quiet and scary. They only left the lights out for a few seconds but in that time I experienced total darkness for the first time in my life.

With the recent eclipse some people were able to experience darkness without entering a cave, but there were still the stars that shone in the sky and the glow around the moon. Brief experiences with darkness can change your life.

I had a co-worker ask me this week, “When did this world get so evil?” It is a question that I have been asking myself a lot lately. We constantly hear on the radio and television about all the evil things that are taking place. There are murders, terrorist attacks, robberies, assaults, and general destruction occurring every day. It seems inescapable. And I have been praying for an answer.

Do I know exactly what has happened? No, but I am sure that some of it is because our society no longer believes in God and has lost hope. So what can I do as one individual? I can choose to react to these evils with love rather than becoming like those who have chosen the easy route and responding with hate. I have found that it is easier to respond to hate with hate than it is to respond with love. From a purely fleshly point of view this is true. However Jesus told us in John 16:33 (NASB):

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

So if we believe in Jesus, have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and given our life over to Him then we are obligated to respond with love because we are no longer living for ourselves but for the glory of God.

 Galatians 2:20 (NASB)

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

So if anyone asks you why the world is so evil try to refocus them to the light of Jesus so they can have some hope instead of being mired in the darkness that surrounds them. I remember in that cave they lit a match and I was amazed at how that small match lit up the whole dark cave. Let us be the match in the darkness and guide the world back to the Savior.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Light and Distance


lightAs I sat down in bed and began to read by the light of a small lamp, I realized I could not clearly see the words on the page and was straining my eyes. I tried bringing the book closer to my face but that just increased the blurriness of the words. So I held the book farther from my face but the words were just too far away.  I changed positions and brought the book closer to the lamp, but that position was way too uncomfortable.  I reluctantly got up and turned the overhead light on and was amazed how the words on the page were immediately legible.

It is amazing how having a book at just the right distance from your eyes and with enough light to illuminate the words can make all the difference in the world in your understanding of the words you are reading.  I know recently at work I have had to use a magnifying glass in order to read some very small print and handwriting.  I am thankful for the magnifying glass that helps me solve the mystery of what the words on the page are so I can do my job.

When life gets complicated and unsure maybe it is because there is not enough light to shine on the pages in the book of our lives to see the way. If we can’t read the words on the instructional pages we spend our lives winging it and get stuck and confused.  Sometimes all it takes is a little more light from God to get us to where the book is just the right distance from our eyes and we have our reading glasses on (if you need them like me) so we can read the instructions that will get us where we need to go.

Psalm 119:105 (NASB)

 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

God’s word is the Light that guides us with His divine wisdom and direction. God can see more than we can and from His perspective our problems, struggles, confusions and messes look much different. He sees the big picture and does not have to use a magnifying glass to understand what is going on. With His Word to light our path we will be directed to the right place.

Psalm 37:23 (NASB)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

It all comes down to trusting God to direct us, no matter the circumstances or situations.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Every week God amazes me with His wisdom and understanding and His allowing me to share what He has shared with me. I grow and learn each day and week and year. In this New Year I hope that we will grow together and enjoy this life that God has given us. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Thanksgiving Joy


I had a wonderful time with family this Thanksgiving. It has helped me relax and enjoy some stress free time. For that I am thankful. 

Our minds and bodies need to have time to recuperate from the stress of living in a fast pace world. It helps us figure out what is important and what is not. 

Jesus helps us understand that there is no need to be anxious in Matthew 6:25-34. He points out that He will take care of us and not to worry. 

Matthew 6:34  NASB

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This was written thousands of years ago but it is still true today. I find that amazing. 

Nehemiah 8:10 NASB

Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

This verse comes from a time when the people were stressing because they just heard the law and knew they had not kept it. I can’t imagine that stress can you? But they were given relief and told to celebrate and not stress but rather be filled with joy because of God. Celebrate the God who created and loves you rather than stressing over worldly things that will be gone tomorrow.

If we could only understand that we could be relieved of stress and live peaceful lives. 

So won’t you be thankful for what you have and the God who loves us with me. I will be back next week with more. 

Do You Remember When……


psalm-37-23-in-the-sandSometimes God surprises me with little reminders. It is easy to get caught up in everything that happens in this busy life. We can get so focused on what we need to do to make a living we lose sight of why we are here on this earth. And truthfully sometimes we just don’t know why God created us. We sometimes feel lost and alone needing direction but so caught up in everything around us that we can’t step back and remember the promises. Sometimes we feel like the promises are gone forever and were just something we made up in our heads. Then God reminds us.

God reminded me yesterday about a time when he orchestrated an encounter and some encouragement for my husband and I. We were blessed to go on a business trip. While on this trip we made it a priority to find a local church for worship on Sunday morning before we left the area. On Saturday night we used the phone book, this was before the internet, and found a church. We called to see what time the services were and spoke with the caretaker of the church. He invited us over to see the church that evening and listen to the worship practice. We were excited and took the opportunity to meet new people and enjoy some time to ourselves. We were met by the caretaker who spoke some things to us that were very timely and we could tell were directly from the heart of God. We stayed for the worship practice and as we were leaving the caretaker gave us Haleys Bible handbook that he thought we could use in our journey with God. It was amazing and great.

The next morning we arrived at the service knowing that we would have to leave a little before noon in order to get back to our room in time to check out and leave for home. The service was different. The pastor said that God had directed him to do it differently. I don’t honestly remember all that happened but what I do remember is that God’s presence was strong and everything that was spoken during the service was something my husband and I needed to hear. Then we noticed that the time for us to leave was quickly approaching and we hoped we would not have to leave before the end of the service. Surprisingly the pastor got up and said that the service was over. He said that God had prompted him to end the service because He knew we needed to leave in order to get on our way.

It was the most amazing thing that we had ever experienced. To think that God cared enough about us to do all that He had done during that service. God reminded me yesterday that He is still the same God who took care of us then and that He will still take care of us.

Words cannot describe the amazement at that reminder. I believe that no matter what happens in this world, which seems crazy right now, God is in control and we can rest assured that He will take care of His people.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

In The Face of Tragedy


IMG_0725This has been a tough week. Any week where there is a tragedy is difficult but this one was too close to home. My husband let me know what was going on as soon as I opened my eyes on Friday morning. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around what he told me. And over time the facts were clarified and some initial fears were calmed.  The shooting that killed five police officers and injured six others was so wrong and unnecessary. What has gone wrong? What can we do?

In my nature I want to fix things. I want know the right thing to do to change what is wrong and make it right, but this isn’t always possible. So then I have to reign in my thoughts and figure out what I can do. I could sit around all day and wonder how we got here, but in reality this does not help me at all. So I need to live in this moment of time and figure out how I can help.

For this I can rely on past experience for help. When I was a housing and credit counselor I would spend my days helping people realize where they were financially and regardless of how they got there help them find a way to deal with their situation. Then we would work on building good financial habits moving forward.

Similarly as a Christian we accept people where they are and help them move forward toward God. It is up to them and God to deal with everything else. In the situation we find ourselves in today with shootings and bombings and just general destruction and disregard for life, what does God want?

I believe God wants to see how we will handle this. He is looking for the character of Christ in our actions and reactions. He is watching what is going on and wondering who will step up and cry out to Him for help. He is looking for prayer warriors and people with passion and compassion for others to step up and show the love of God in our society. He is looking to see who will shrink in fear and go into hiding. He is looking for those who will reach out and help those in fear to step out and be the light. He is looking for soldiers who will fight the good fight and keep their faith despite what happens around them. He is looking for those who get closer to Him and not further away.

Now the question becomes, which one of these will I be? I really want to run away from the situation and forget it happened, but that is impossible. When I am not sure what to do I can always find direction by looking at what not to do. Bringing God glory and pleasing Him is my number one priority. In Proverbs 6:16-19 we can see a list of things that show us what not to do.

Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV (my note)

There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:

  1. haughty eyes, (pride)
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. a heart that devises wicked schemes,
  5. feet that are quick to rush into evil,
  6. a false witness who pours out lies
  7. and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

By avoiding what God hates I will be doing the right thing.

I resolve to:

  1. Be a light in the darkness by not allowing my actions and words to be what God hates.
  2. Show God’s love to everyone around me
  3. Help others walk away from actions that will incite more violence.

Will you join me in this quest? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Peace in the Challenge


IMG_0764

As she opened her eyes she realized she was surrounded by monsters. At the foot of her bed she saw the most ugly brown and gray monster with patches of hair but mostly bald. When she turned her eyes to the left she saw a short green monster spotted with brown scales. She rolled her eyes to the right and saw a purple and black stripped monster reaching out to touch her. Feeling trapped and not knowing what to do she closed her eyes again and hoped they would leave. Opening them slowly and all three ugly monsters were still staring at her and moving closer.

She closed her eyes and began to pray. As her strength returned and she felt confident that God was directing her she opened her eyes again. That is when she noticed the monster at the foot of the bed was much smaller than she thought. The one on her left now just looked like a lizard and the one on the right looked more like an ugly small stuffed animal. Her perspective had changed and she felt that she could handle all of these monsters because she asked God for strength and wisdom and discernment. She threw back the covers and walked away from the monsters letting them know that they were not going to spoil her day.

The monsters in this story represent challenges the character was struggling with in her life.  Each one of us has challenges that we must conquer or overcome. In my life I have found the older I get the more challenging the challenges become, but also the more discernment I gain to understand that they are just challenges and not the end of the road.

The character in this story showed us the first step to overcoming challenges prayer. Challenges only become a problem when we don’t know how to meet them with peace. So here are some steps to meet and conquer challenges with peace.

Pray for God’s wisdom and strength and discernment in your life and specific situation.

Engage in Godly behavior no matter what is going on around you.

Always give God the Glory for every good thing.

Care for those around us even if they are the cause of the challenges.

Exit the stress by giving what you can’t handle to God.

Finding peace is a full time job but well worth it. Once we train our minds and hearts it will come naturally no matter what is going on around us.

John 14:27 (NKJV)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Knowing that Jesus has overcome the world and all its challenges gives me hope because I know that He lives in me and that means I can meet any challenges with His strength. I take my hope from God not from mankind. This gives me strength when it appears my world is falling apart. I can hold on to my peace knowing God still rules and reigns and my eternity is set with Him. With this faith I can have PEACE.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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