Tag Archives: peace

Because of the night

It was past bedtime.

At first I couldn’t understand why I was feeling anxious.

My mind seemed to be whirling while I tried to both head for bed and figure out what I needed to do before going.

Close the blinds.

Go to your room.

Put those books away.

Go to your room.

Grab that and make sure you ask…

Go to your room.

(Why didn’t I recognize the Lord’s wisdom?!)

By the time I was in my bathroom washing up I realized it.

I’m having an asthma attack.

I got my rescue inhaler and focused on breathing through the pain.

Nothing.

As I prepared to take it again, I texted my husband with my other hand.

Due to the virus, he’s been staying away from me and sleeping on the couch.

He came instantly.

My second dose hadn’t been successful.

Tears streamed down my face from the pain and I continued to work at calming my thoughts and focusing on breathing.

“Honey, take it again.”

This time it worked.

Praise God!

Because of my attack my husband decided it would be safer to stay with me all night.

I really appreciated it.

And due to the asthma attack and the steroids, I didn’t sleep well.

Today, I’m resting.

But I’m so thankful.

It’s all a picture of God’s truth.

Psalm 30:5 NKJV — For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

No matter what trials, pain, or tragedy we walk through on this Earth, there is a blessed morning awaiting those who are called by His name.

Therefore, I can look to His Word and find peace.

Psalm 143:8 NKJV — Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.

Jesus has and will continue to guide each of my days when I surrender them to Him.

He is God and His Word continues to bring light, truth, and understanding.

2 Peter 1:19 NKJV — And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

I praise God for the day my soul was surrendered before Him and I accepted His salvation.

I am so thankful for His continued honing of my life to His will.

Most of all, I look eagerly toward the morning, when I will find eternity in blessed worship of my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Until then, I am living daily for Him, following His example of love, grace, and forgiveness.

In this there is peace.

Home

Many months ago, I was walking the aisles of Hobby Lobby with our daughter and saw this picture.

I bought it.

These words are part of a song I used to own. (On cassette tape!)

My husband and I would sing it together.

As I was walking around the house this morning it caught my eye.

“What makes a home?”

For me, it’s my family.

I’m so blessed to have my husband and we are so thankful for our children.

As they are growing up and moving on to their own families I’ve found a new joy.

My family is multiplying!

I can’t thank God enough for each and every one of them.

It is such a privilege and pleasure to learn each one and to love them.

Although I’m deeply saddened by the pain and loss occuring world wide, I’m still able to be thankful for the blessing of family.

And I’ve been praying:

That these days of seclusion will be rich with family time.

Even if the members are separated, I’ve been praying they would be able to connect with deeper meaning.

But it’s costly.

Families often hurt one another and cause all kinds of scars upon the heart.

To truly love and connect with one another it takes forgiveness, patience, and humility.

Gifts from God.

Which He gives freely.

What better time to revisit those things than now?

No one is guaranteed tomorrow, today is all we have.

While I’m here, with my family, in this home, I’m seeking to plant as much love, teaching, understanding, forgiveness, and joy as I can.

Because that’s another thing which makes home, the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Galatians 5:22‭-‬23a NKJV

Let us pray

Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He has mercy on us.
Psalms 123:1‭-‬2 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all You have done and are doing each day on our behalf, especially those things we never see. Lord Jesus, this season we find ourselves in is unparalleled to anything we’ve ever experienced, and it’s uncomfortable. All the parts of living daily have been pulled apart and it’s unsettling. Lord, please touch those who are hurting, the ones suffering, the ones grieving, the little children who are watching fear grow bigger and bigger around them. Lord Jesus, please bring healing, restoration, and peace. Please bring our hearts to Your Word and let us find all we lack. Lord, You alone hold all that is valuable in both this life and the next. Thank You. To You be all glory and honor, Jesus. Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Psalms 124:8 NKJV

Peace-maker

Picture by N.K.

“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:18

Those who make peace.

What exactly does that look like?

Sometimes it’s easier to understand what something isn’t.

Those who make peace are not users.

They do not benefit themselves at the cost of another.

Those who make peace are not rash or hot tempered, spewing forth anger and rage at others.

They take their emotions to God.

Those who make peace are not loud and demanding.

Instead, they listen.

They don’t seek their own, but other’s good first.

Those who make peace are not foolish.

Instead they are thoughtful, kind, polite, considerate.

They are servants, people who choose to be a benefit to others.

No wonder this verse says they sow righteousness.

A true person of peace is created by the practice of daily surrendering to the Prince of Peace.

Look at the disciples.

Before Jesus’s death and resurrection they have little understanding.

Sadly, they even argue over who is the greatest among them. (Luke 9:46, 22:24)

Things are completely different after Pentecost.

Acts 4:33 NKJV — And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

Acts 5:41 NKJV — So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Truly, these men became those who make peace.

For only true peace can be found in Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1 KJV — Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for teaching me about peace and those who make peace. Lord, I want to be one. Please continue to daily create in me the qualities of a peace maker, a child of God. Thank You.

“Evil tidings…”

“He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD,” Psalm 112:7

Weeks ago, these words leapt off the page.

They have been a comfort as well as thought provoking.

Am I “not afraid of evil tidings”?

When I first read these words, my answer was, “no, I do fear bad news”.

Of course I know that’s not God’s will and these words have helped me walk away from the fear.

As I meditated on the profound truth, it struck me.

The righteous isn’t fearless, because bad news will never come.

He’s fearless due to his relationship with God.

The righteous understands God and doesn’t have a worry or a concern about the future due to that understanding.

I get that.

God has been so incredibly faithful to me, my entire life.

When things seemed at their worst, He carried me through.

With the knowledge of God and His goodness, it’s natural to not fear evil tidings.

But the enemy of our souls doesn’t want that, and it only takes a short while to see.

The slithering doubting thoughts often flying through the mind are not God.

It takes purposeful effort to weed out the seeds of fear and doubt.

It’s worth it, though.

How wonderful to be free of fear!

To not fear evil tidings.

To be unconcerned for the future, but live content in today.

Quite the difference from the average, but what a blessing.

With each new day comes the opportunity.

Will I have contentment

or

will I choose to be afraid?

God’s helping me to choose, each and every day.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for these words. Thank You for being the reason I can be called righteous, since I would never be on my own. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach me how to walk in the place where fear is absent and contentment is present. Thank You that Your faithfulness is the reason for that as well. May my life, lived with You, bring Your light to others.

True peace

It’s not a destination,

here on Earth.

It’s a way of life.

True peace is

not going to be legislation,

it’s a gift from God.

It’s a fruit from a life

surrendered.

“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 14:27 NKJV

From Jesus’s own words,

we see that true peace is a gift,

but we can not walk in it

through anything the world offers,

nor while we are being snared

by the enemy in worry or fear.

“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”
Psalms 34:14 NKJV

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret— it only causes harm…But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
Psalms 37:8,11 NKJV

True peace is a place we reach when we choose the Lord over ourselves.

Anger is a secondary emotion.

It always covers another.

Hurt, sadness, grief, embarrassment and many more can be found underneath anger.

To put off anger we must deal with what lies beneath.

Often those other emotions are tied to how we view ourselves and our views of others.

When we totally surrender our lives to Christ,

He can deal with the affects of sin.

Bitterness, envy, strife, selfishness, are all byproducts of sin and lead to all kinds of death.

Death to relationships, death to joy, death to compassion and empathy, death to communion with God.

Jesus loves us and He physically died and rose again to free us from both sin and death.

But He won’t turn you into a robot.

Someone who has no mind or choice of their own.

Instead He reaches out His hand and offers.

He offers to remove the ugly and replace it with good,

but it’s up to the individual.

Will you surrender your will to His?

Will you choose to let Him underneath the walls of protection inside your own heart?

Will you forgive those who have harmed you,

even if that one is you?

If we choose to surrender,

then we are choosing peace.

True peace,

from the only place it can be found.

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
II Thessalonians 3:16 NKJV

I needed to hear that…

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17

I hadn’t really wanted to at first.

Upon receiving my new phone I didn’t see any point to download a Bible app.

I love reading my Bible.

But I’m partial to the hard copy.

I want to be able to underline.

I like the feel of holding it.

I just didn’t see a need for one on my phone.

Yet, the voice of the Lord doesn’t have to follow my ideals.

(Frankly, I’m so glad He doesn’t!)

So, I downloaded the app.

When it asked me, “Want to join a reading plan of the book of James?” I didn’t put much thought into it.

I love that book.

Why not add it to what I’m already reading elsewhere?

This morning it was obvious.

James 3:17

It was exactly what I needed to hear this morning.

Before I had begun my day I had been talking with the Lord.

Frankly, I was whining.

There was something I want and the answer had been, “no”.

But instead of letting it go, I have brought the item back before the Lord more than once.

It shames me to admit,

I just didn’t want to let it go.

But as I read “willing to yield”

I knew.

God has answered.

And I need to yield.

The crazy thing about it is

this is actually a very small thing.

But I know those who are faithful in little will be trusted with much.

(Luke 19:17)

And I really do want wisdom from above.

(James 1:5-8)

I want it more than anything temporary.

I got the message.

It was a pleasure to yield.

Especially as I kept reading.

“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:18

Not only do I want the wisdom from above, I really want the fruit of righteousness.

I’m so thankful for these verses, which turned my heart from one of questioning to one willing to yield.

I’m also very thankful for the Bible app.

It’s a small thing.

Yet, what an impact one small moment of obedience has had.

“Dear Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Both in print and on my phone. Please continue to speak to me and our family through it. Lord, please forgive me for being stiff necked and not taking no for an answer the first time. Lord, I want Your wisdom and all the benefits which go with it. Please help me to walk with integrity. Thank You for Your incredible patience. Thank You for Your love. I love You!”

Covered

Never before

have I seen snow like this.

Infact, I’m not alone.

The snow fall is unusual and the entire area has felt the affect.

Power is out.

Last number I read was in the neighborhood of 31,000 people.

That means no heat, unless your house has a woodstove, which ours does.

No lights, so candles and propane lanterns are lovely.

No charging anything.

After a few days we moved our groceries out of the frig and into the snow.

We’ve shared our bedroom with our son because a huge oak has been weighted down and is leaning over his room.

Another of our trees dropped several huge limbs.

Thankfully on either side of our truck.

Many haven’t been so blessed.

The lines at the gas station for propane and gasoline have been long.

Our generator has been lovely, but since we’ve no idea how long this will last we are being careful.

Friends and neighbors have been reaching out to each other.

Several texts I managed to receive (service is patchy at best) blessed me.

Each one making sure we had our needs met.

I heard of a family walking 2 hours in the snow to get water at a neighbor’s house.

It isn’t very far but the downed trees caused a lot of detours.

My husband’s phone has been almost nonstop messages from coworkers who are unable to get to work.

He got up and left for work around 2am because they were so shorthanded.

And through it all I’ve been praying.

I’ve thanked the Lord for His plan even in the crazy unusual life changing weather.

I’ve been lifting up the young and the foolish and the elderly.

(I know foolish doesn’t sound nice, but fear can quickly cause people to act in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t. )

I’ve even been praying for the people working so hard to clear roads, repair powerlines, and rescue the injured.

Car accidents have gone way up and it hurts me to see people hurting.

I know the Lord cares for them even more.

So as we are covered in snow, I’m expectant.

What good will God do through this?

What miracles might He be working we are unaware of?

What relationships are in the making because people realize they need?

I’m certain Jesus has it all covered.

Trust

20140803_093736Ps. 56:10-11 “In God (I will praise His word,) In the LORD (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Fear is a constant enemy.

It takes effort and choice for me to fight being afraid of somethings.

As a child fear would rise up and cripple me,

During tests,

With relationships,

Even over homework.

I remember being about nine and lying awake in bed with the fear that I hadn’t turned in my English homework. I cried myself to sleep over the thought that I had forgotten one single piece of paper.

I can laugh about it now.

I can think of all kinds of things I wish I had thought of. Like, my teacher was a kind gentle lady who would have understood. Or the fact that I was late on one assignment would not affect the rest of my life.

It turned out all my fears were wasted– I had turned it in.

As I have been able to look backward with a clearer view on life, I can easily say that most of the things I have gone to pieces about were not worth the effort.

When the thought, “What if something BAD happens,”

I can now say–

“In God I have put my trust, I will not be afraid.”

Is it because I blindly walk through life thinking no bad will come my way?

Not a chance.

Because of sin, bad will occur but the part that makes me able to not be afraid is trust.

TRUST

Easy word– Difficult to walk in.

At least it is for me.

Perhaps you are immune to fear.

If that is the case try to be compassionate for those who struggle.

I have often been told: “Just don’t worry so much!” or “You are making such a big deal out of nothing!”

Well– most of those times I knew I was being silly.

But the fear seemed too big to over come,

and the thought of trying to pull it together, impossible.

Those times have grown fewer and I have learned to do something when I begin to feel that way which has made a big difference.

As I feel myself being gripped by terror,

I close my eyes.

I picture myself as a child reaching up

and taking the hand of my Heavenly Father.

With one hand in His, I am always more able

to say,

“Lord, I trust You.”

 

woman of worth 2

20130329_154132Like pebbles on the shore,

Biblical truth can at times go unnoticed.

Stop.

Pick one up and turn it slowly over in your hand.

You will see things of beauty.

Prov. 31: 11– for me a pebble that required a closer look.

“The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.”

The first time of reading this

I paused

Read again.

Then my brow crinkled and I read yet again

Then again.

And finally I took it to the Lord.

“What does this mean?!”

“Read it again, slowly

Two phrases jump off the page

Safely trust and no lack

And I get it.

The woman of more worth than rubies

Is trustworthy–

She is about caring for others

She puts her husband

Her family

And those around her

In front of her own wishes, desires, needs.

This husband has no lack not because of $,

But because he knows he can trust his wife to be wise, thoughtful, caring.

This woman of worth

 thinks and acts in such a way as to better her family

Unlike the foolish woman of Proverbs 14.

“A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Prov. 14:1

So I reflect:

In what ways am I trustworthy?

How have I broken trust in the past that I might turn away from that?

Where is the brick and mortar that I can build with?

Compassion

Time

Attention to details

Listening and then acting

Prayer

Scripture

Patience

Not just with those around me but with myself

I am not perfect and realize that mistakes are something worth making if I can glean a lesson or a truth from them.

Like the day before Christmas Eve

Our truck dies in front of the bank.

 I was reminded how much I am loved by my father-in-law who drove across town just to help me and the four separate people stopping to see if there was anything that could be done while I waited.

God had allowed this and in it I had a choice

How do I react?

What do I do?

I can safely trust in Him to guide me.

And being led not by emotions but by peace I was able to be joyful and flexible and quick to change

The wisdom gleaned here is that trust can be built

And it is worth the effort.

So as I again reflect on this woman of worth I smile,

Yes,

through the Lord I can be trustworthy,

and through complete trust in Him my family shall have no lack–of peace.