Tag Archives: peace

some days you just need reminding

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some days you just need reminding

I’m sure you, like me, need some good, old-fashioned reminding of what is TRUE and RIGHT. Our enemy sure knows how to sneak in our thoughts to deceive us and bring confusion, frustration, doubt, anger, and even try to paralyze us with fear. However, and I am so thankful for this truth: our Lord is faithful and more than able to overcome these lies, if we will ask Him to cover and fill our mind and heart with His truth.

On a rainy day, like today, I’m feeling a tad pummeled by the enemy’s lies. So, I’m pulling out my armor! Here’s what I’m asking the Lord to fill my mind with:

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. (Galatians 5:22-23)

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Psalms 4:8)

For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. (Ephesians 6:12)

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.             (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. (Exodus 14:14)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalms 56:3)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.                                    (1 Corinthians. 10:13)

But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. (1 John 1:9)

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!   (Matthew 7:11)

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalms 28:7)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, (2 Thessalonians 2:16)

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:11)

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (Deuteronomy 11:18)

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalms 17:8)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

And do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27)

Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. (Psalms 143:9)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

My prayer for you is that you would seek to feed on God’s Word to transform and renew your thinking. He is a good, good Father.

Peace

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Some weeks….WAIT! Some DAYS are flat out peace-LESS. Can I get a witness?

As a Momma, we seek out peace don’t we? Quiet, stress-free, coffee sippin’ moments where we can literally drink in peace. It’s a beautiful thing, but oftentimes all too rare. Although these moments may very well be few and far between, this is what makes them all the more treasured when we do get them. Agree?

Lately, I’ve been longing for moments of peace. Like, need some mental health breaks before this Momma loses her ever-lovin’ mind. Can you tell I’m southern, born and bred? From the moment I wake up til the time I lay my head down for the night, peace eludes me. At least it seems that way. I’ve found that peace can be stolen moments here and there. Not trying to get too personal, but a moment or two in the bathroom is welcomed peace. A walk to the mailbox to retrieve the mail, or a couple moments to collect the trashcans on trash pick-up day are a couple of stolen moments I’m talking about.

Sure, dinner out with a friend, or a date night with the hubs, even a quiet moment at the local coffee shop reading a book are probably what we’re really wanting. Yet, if you and I were able to experience these moments every day, they probably wouldn’t hold the desire and charm they do when we’re only able to grab them here and there. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself! HA!

Recently, I was reminded of a song by one of my fave Christian artists of all time, Twila Paris. The purity of her voice has a calming effect on me. In her song, Peace Be Still, the lyrics truly restore peace to my oftentimes weary mind.

There is an ocean surrounding me
Mostly the water is calm
Just enough breeze to keep me sailing
I feel safe and warm
Angry winds blow suddenly
How this world can threaten me
Then the Master speaks with sure authority

Peace be still, Peace be still
Peace be still to the wind and the waves
Peace be still, Peace be still
Peace be still and the ocean obeys

There is an ocean inside my heart
Mostly the water is calm
Just enough breeze to keep me sailing
I feel safe and warm
Angry winds blow suddenly
I become a churning sea
Then I hear a quiet voice–He says to me

(Repeat Chorus)

The Lord is good, so good in fact, that He longs to give us the desires of our heart. However, they may not always come in the package we envision. We might find peace like me, within the lyrics of a song. Peace may come to us in the sweet, innocent laugh of a child. Waves crashing upon the sandy shore, might speak peace to you. And peace may come to you in a beautiful, seemingly hand-painted sunset. I like to think of these as stolen moments. Bits of peace to restore the soul here and there. Moments to look forward to, to cherish and soak into the spirit.

Peace may not come in the package we expect. I know I long for large quantities of peaceful moments, such as a relaxing massage or even a movie in the theater all by myself. These are wonderful, but they are few and far between treats to look forward to. In the meantime, open your eyes to those simple things which speak peace to you. I find myself asking the Lord to multiply these moments. Consider quieting the mind as you take in these bits of peace. Drink them in as water to your thirsty soul. Refreshment is just around the corner. I’m looking for it….are you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not even 9:00

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Not even 9:00

You know how some days just start off on the wrong foot? Like your two feet barely hit the floor from last night’s sleep, when “it” all starts. Next thing you know, you meet yourself coming and going! Exactly, one of THOSE kinds of days! You wish you could just run and crawl back in your nice, warm, cozy bed and pull the covers over your head, escaping to “La La land,” where ignorance is bliss.

“Those days” don’t allow you to have a cup of coffee, much less sip one. A shower may not even be in your day’s future. The pound in your head isn’t someone at your door relentlessly demanding your attention. Non-stop barking from your dog who’s upset for no apparent reason will not subside. Demands weighing on your shoulders, begging for your full attention with no time to process. It’s not more hours in the day you’re after, it’s less hours and more P&Q.

Thankfully, these days don’t happen often. Sadly, however, one of them landed right smack dab in the midst of an already trying week for me. Not being a morning person, it takes me just a few minutes (who am I kidding, an hour!) to operate on all cylinders.  Before I swept sleep from my eye, I was scouring the internet in desperate search for a new smart phone as one of the two of ours was on death’s door. In the midst of  trying to score a deal, faint sounds of my 6 yr old stirring in his room could be heard. Suddenly I remember it’s trash pick-up day, meaning I need to kick it into high gear to empty and scoot the cans out to the curb. Once inside, the thought hits me like a 2X4 that I haven’t made my husband’s lunch and he’s 10 minutes from heading out the door! Whining from our empty-stomached dog reminds me he’s out of dog food. Before I can scribble the words on my To Do list, my son’s squalling that the TV remote is lost. Tearing into the sofa cushions in search of that, only to hear the familiar ring of our only working cell phone. Hanging up from the Dr’s office to make a quick run to the bathroom, I hear the feet of my son hitting the kitchen floor as he’s hurriedly scavenging through the cabinets like a mouse on a mission for food. Once again the barking dog starts up, wind whipped trash cans need to be brought in before the downpour starts, my kid is screaming for his oatmeal, and……..it’s not even 9AM!

All I really wanted to do was get up, splash water on my face, run a comb through my short-cropped hair, sip a hot cup of coffee while reading my Bible. Instead, as my blood pressure is edging up from the morning’s chaos, I take a deep breath and quietly ask the Lord for a do-over. Settling down into the soft cushion of my sofa, I pull out my Bible and began to take in the Lord’s truth. His Words are like honey to my  weary soul (Proverbs 24:14, Psalm 119:28, Proverbs 2:10).  I ask Him to transform and renew my mind (Romans 12:2). I ask Him to redeem my day and to restore peace to my frazzled mind (Philippians 4:7). He reminds me I’m the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8), and that He is rejoicing over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). His Spirit reminds me to dress myself in the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Donning each piece, I slowly and steadily find myself ready to take on the day while remembering that it is He who fights for me (Exodus 14:14).

 

 

What steps?

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What steps?

I love time spent with my closest of friends. Whether we shop, have dinner, drink coffee, or talk on the phone together, I am blessed to have a very small gathering of close, godly, prayerful friends in my life. I am confident that I could call on any of these select few and they will be available to help. What a privilege to have a friend! The Lord is so good to place those in our lives to help encourage and pray for each other. He certainly knew what He was doing when He created us for fellowship.

While having dinner together, one of my “besties” and I were sharing our hearts and prayer requests with each other, as we typically do whenever we meet. We both were feeling a little fearful of the future and where it might take us. My friend reminded me of a scripture. It’s a fairly common scripture and one I’ve read dozens of times throughout my life but the Lord must have known it was then that I needed to be reminded of it. It brought me so much comfort and encouraged my soul at a time when I desperately needed this truth planted in my heart.

We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.              (Proverbs 16:9, CEV)

This scripture reminded me of the truth of God’s Word, which I was desperate to hear. You see, my emotions were starting to take over, threatening to drag a dark cloud over me. Overwhelm was trying to sneak into my mind, causing my already anxious heart to fear the unknown. Once again, the enemy was on the ready to deceive me, cause me to doubt, and throw the spear of fear my way. Reminded of His Word, I was quickly jostled back into God’s economy, where peace overcame me once again.

I needed to be reminded that sure, I can and should ponder, pray, prepare, and make some plans based on how the Lord is leading me. Having a constant awareness of His presence helps me to see His perspective, rather than my distorted, short-sighted one. I need to know that it is He who directs me and orders my steps. Also insightful are the additional references that Matthew Henry’s Commentary provides on this particular scripture:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15, NIV)

Now may our God and Father Himself, and Jesus our Lord guide our steps to you [by removing the obstacles that stand in our way]. (1 Thessalonians 3:11, AMP)

So, as you forge ahead in the new year, remember to ask Him to yield your will to His, and to open and close doors of opportunity according to His perfect plans for your life. His way may look completely different from the plans you’ve desired for yourself; in fact, they may initially look absurd. Rest assured, He knows best, so we can release our desire to control into His very capable hands. As I continue in my daily reading of His Word, I feel more confident of the unknowns in my life for it is He who goes before me.

 

 

lessons from the ocean

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lessons from the ocean

To me, there’s just nothing like the ocean… nothing! I love everything about it… well, except for the seaweed, sand fleas, and scary critters who live there and attack innocent beach chair sitters, like me! I love the splashing sound the waves make as they crash upon the shore. I love hearing the sound of seagulls cawing overhead as they sweep across the bright blue sky; but more than any of that, I love how the ocean’s water relaxes me like nothing else. Honestly, I believe I could sit in my beach chair at the water’s edge with my toes in the sand all day long, drinking in the beauty of my environment. The ocean speaks peace and calm to me and there’s just no denying how wonderful I feel when I’m there. I can take in full, deep breaths of the healing saltwater air. And, did I mention the delicious seafood to be enjoyed while at the beach?! That’s another subject for another day….

Trumping all of that, as if there could possibly be more to enjoy, is the spiritual connotation of the beach. If, like me, you suffer from anxiety and/or depression, you may feel overwhelmed by your circumstances from time to time, as if one more stressor is going to push you straight over the towering waterfall. I can identify with those feelings and because of my affinity for the beach, I so love the words a friend has written. So, with her permission, I’m sharing it here in hopes that it may enlighten and encourage you as it has me.

When the Lord tells you to go take a walk by yourself. You go take a walk by yourself.
And when He tells you to stop and sit here because He has something He wants to show you, you stop and you sit right there.
Then He says, “watch”.
So you look out over the great big (endless to your eyes) ocean thinking maybe He’s going to cause 10 dolphins to all jump out of the water at the same time, maybe a huge ship will come by, a whale? (in the gulf?)… what could it be?
Then He gently keeps drawing your attention to the edge of the water.
And you notice that there seems to be an invisible border the water will not cross. No matter how much the wind kicks up the waves 10 to 20 feet out into the water, it will not push the foamy edge past this invisible line.
And you hear Him say, “here and no further”.
The words are familiar, I remember them from the book of Job.

“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?”
‭‭(Job‬ ‭38:8-11)‬

And then He says to you… “I am what keeps the overwhelming from overwhelming you. Look at the sea, how vast it is, how immeasurable it is to you, yet I keep it from taking you over, from even touching you.”
We may feel the strong winds against our face, and with it we may feel the sand mixed with mists of that water but He will not let it overtake us. We may feel overwhelmed because we can see how big that ocean is in front of us, but guess what… He wants us to see how overwhelming it is. So we can see how even bigger He is.
Whatever it is that surrounds us that looks insurmountable, impossible, hopeless… He has drawn an invisible line between us and it.
There is an end to it. There is a boundary that He has set and says to it… “this far and no further shall you come.”

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