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Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

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.

The Way in the Storm


1 peter 5 6 to 7The wind swirled round and round and the rain fell in sheets. Everything was spinning out of control and being thrown as a tornado took its toll on the countryside. Though she was in a safer place than where the tornado touched down, inside her head the same spinning was happening. Some of the mistakes of her past were spinning out of control in her head.

As this horrifying movie ran in her mind, she could hardly catch her breath. One bad decision after another kept bombarding her mind.  She would grab onto the decision and hold it while it spun around and around.  All the while she was being battered and bruised by the storm.  Once she released her grip she had some relief. But then she would see another bad decision and grab a hold of it and the spinning would begin all over again. This continued throughout the night because she thought that if she grabbed them and held on she could fix them and change what had happened.

The storm outside raged but it wasn’t as bad as the storm inside her mind. She prayed for God to stop it. And for a brief period, while she read her bible it stopped. She did not understand that what she had to do was to release her grip on the problems and let God take control.

Life presents many challenges. No matter what the challenge we have to figure out the right way to deal with it. Once we have the way, the challenge can be conquered. Letting go of controlling our own destiny is very difficult.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 

It is a humbling thing to understand that you are not in control of everything in your life. And you must reach that point before you can cast those cares unto God.

John 14:1-6 (NASB)

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way where I am going.”  Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Too many times in my life I have asked God to show me the way, but did not understand that it was right in front of me. Jesus says “I am the way”.  My translation of that line goes like this: Focus on Me and what I have done and am doing. That is the way. You cannot get to the Father unless you go through Jesus.

Following in the footsteps of Jesus is the way to perfect peace. This is easier said, than done. It is a challenge but the rewards make the challenge worth conquering. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Earthquakes Don’t Move God


earthquakes dont move GodOver the past few weeks I have been paying attention to one scripture, Psalm 46:10 for peace. But this morning I realized that there is so much more strength in this scripture when taken in context. Allow me to demonstrate.

There have been three dozen minor earthquakes since October in Irving Texas. These earthquakes have shaken the place where I work and many other places in the area. It is unsettling to have earthquakes where there have been none in recent history. People are upset and demanding answers to the cause of the quakes. As usual people want an answer quickly as to whether there is someone to blame for these quakes and if they will stop soon or get worse. Seismographs and measuring instruments have been placed in the area to monitor the quakes and find exactly where they originate, hoping down the road to find a reason for the sudden tectonic episodes.

Some people are fearful of the future in the area and others are mad wanting to blame fracking or the implosion of the Cowboy’s former stadium a few years back. It seems that being able to blame someone for our discomfort makes people somehow feel like they are doing something about an event they cannot control.

When things are out of control I tend to look toward God for an answer.

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

The psalm answers the question, “Who is God?” He is a place of safety, protection and security. So even if we do not know what caused the earth to begin to shift where it had not moved for years we can keep our peace if we have faith in God. We should be able to trust that God holds us in His hand.

Psalm 46:4-6

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

Seeking shelter in the presence of God will refocus our concerns onto the only one who created the earth and can control what happens in it. The sanctuary of the most high God is the place where we trust and praise God for who He is.  Earthquakes, terror attacks, political woes, illnesses and any other distresses you may have in your life can be presented to the One who created us and we can trust that He will take care of us in the midst of it.

Psalm 46:7

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

If we focus on God , remember what he has done and Who He is we will have peace.

Psalm 46:8-11

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Psalm 31:14-15a

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;

Enjoy your week trusting in the God who protects and shelters us from the turmoil of the world. I will be back next week with more.

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