Posts Tagged ‘peace’

  

“You will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

On August 29, 1973, Roger Mallinson and Roger Chapman were operating the Pisces III mini submarine in order to lay a new transatlantic telephone cable. They were 150 miles off the coast of Ireland when the sub encountered an accident with an assisting trawler, sinking 1,575 feet to the bottom. The men communicated that they were safe and confident of being rescued: “Our morale is fantastic. Tell our wives we’re okay.”

It turned out to be a 76 hour, multinational rescue effort. Investigators later determined that the men had only 12 minutes of oxygen left to breathe! It is believed to still be the deepest submarine rescue mission ever accomplished. 

While these men probably struggled to remain confident of their rescuers ability, we can have supreme confidence in the fact that our God has never failed! Rely on the Holy Spirit today to help you stay positive and encouraged, no matter how dark it seems. God will see you through! You are loved today! 

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 “I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness.” (Psalms‬ ‭102‬:‭6‬ NLT)

In the deserts of the southwestern US and Mexico, Gila Woodpeckers use saguaros—giant, tree-like cacti that may reach 43 ft in height and 10 ft in circumference—for food and shelter. In addition to insects, they eat cactus fruits and berries. Equipped with a thick bill, the Gila Woodpecker plays an important role in maintaining the health of saguaros by removing insects and trimming damaged tissue, which heals the cacti. It thrives where the rest of its woodland cousins cannot. 

In this psalm, the writer is speaking of a desolate and distressed time of life. The imagery of a desert is meant to symbolize pain and loss in this life. And yet, we know that in such a destitute place, there is a thriving life. Where one may call the prickly cactus a horrible and useless plant, someone else calls it Home Sweet Home! The difference is simply perception. 

Does your life seem desolate? Allow God to help shape what you are feeling. You see through the lenses of self’s desires and disappointments, but God sees so much more! Your cactus can become your castle! You are loved today! 

  

“Behold, I am vile…I lay my hand over my mouth. I have uttered what I did not understand…therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job‬ 40‬:‭4‬; 42:3,6 NKJV)

Francois Fénelon describes self-righteousness thus: 

“[We] start to mistreat the people we are secretly jealous of. Jealousy, hidden in your deepest inner folds, exaggerates the least faults of others. Then come the disguised criticisms. You deceive yourself in order to justify yourself. There is no end to the excuses we come up with. Even your outrage at the faults of others is a great fault. Don’t you see your own wretchedness? It would certainly level your self-righteousness to the ground.”

Job demonstrates the escape from the jail of self-righteousness. Instead of judging the leaders of his land that were less righteous than he, instead of despising the friends that hurt him wrongly, he instead allowed God to show him his own faults and bring personal revelation: We Are No Better Than They. He repents of presumption, adopts grace toward others, and allows God to keep him truly righteous. 

When we forgive out of the shame of our arrogance and in the joy of being truly forgiven ourselves, we sever the root of self-righteousness. You are only good because of God! Be free and sweet through grace! You are loved! 

  

“By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.” (Proverbs‬ ‭29‬:‭4‬ NIV)

As I sat in a surgical waiting room yesterday, I was entranced by the chaos I saw breaking out on the television. Baltimore was being torn apart at the seams. With recent accusations of people dying because of police brutality, it has caused much tension and rioting in different parts of the nation. While I am a firm supporter of our Brothers in Blue, I do know that there are some loose guns and low morals in certain segments of authority, albeit a small number in my opinion. Yet, just one rotten apple can mess up things for the rest. 

When leadership is bad, it tends to corrupt whatever it touches. Yet when it is good, it seeks to uplift those it oversees. But if godly people aren’t voting or lifting up our nation in prayer, how can we expect right or righteous things to take place? Evil does certainly reign when good people do nothing, especially in places of authority!

Take time to lift up our nation’s tumult to God. Pray for your national, state, and civic leaders, as well as the community you are in. And ask God to intervene and shutdown the anger and rioting we are seeing. Bad things followed by bad things will never lead to good things. Lord, let your love be felt in our nation today! 

  

There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.” (John‬ ‭16‬:‭12‬ NLT)

According to Examiner.com, after a trauma occurs, the first few weeks are usually spent in a “fog,” doing all the necessary actions of life in robotic fashion, while the mind is far away.  During this time and in the following months, you may begin to notice lapses in memory—not only where you put the keys, but finding the apples in the freezer or the bread on the living room table. In time, you will process things again and become normal once more. 

Jesus knew the difficulties His followers were about to encounter. He had just finished quite a lengthy discussion with them of last minute teaching. Once He was arrested, He knew they would go into Trauma Mode, and forget a lot of it. So instead, He relied on a continued involvement in their lives after His death. 

God knows you can only handle so much of life’s downpours. So He gives you what you need to make it through each day. But when things are good, take extra time to absorb His presence. You’ll need it soon enough! You are loved today!

  

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ NLT)

June of 1986 was when Jesus died for me. A rebellious Church kid, the raised-right child of solid Christian workers, I wanted so badly those things that were denied me. So, on the night that school got out for Summer Break, I went to a party and rejected God. As my Mom and brother carried me in the house, reeking of alcohol, smoke, mud, and vomit, too drunk to stand, I hit bottom. Jesus died to save me that night. 

Many moments of failure dot the rugged landscape of my life, just as it does yours. But that was the lowest. This Sunday, I’ll be dressed in a suit, sharing the love of Jesus from a pulpit to whoever will listen, having the privilege to be a rural church Pastor. But none of my part of the Christ Life would have happened had I not acknowledged my low state that night, realized how lost I was, and been willing to turn my failed life over to a Savior that wanted the best for me, not to beat me with condemnation. 

As you prepare your heart for this weekend that we celebrate God’s great love for a people that don’t deserve it, remember that you are loved. It’s a love that will never quit and will always be reaching for you. Life won’t get better as long as we are in charge, just splattered with new messes. Let God have your life now so that your new & better life can begin! You are loved! Happy Easter! 

  

Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!'” (2 Kings‬ ‭6‬:‭17‬ NLT)

David Douglas was a renowned Scottish botanist that helped pioneer North America in the 19th century, even having a fir tree named in his honor. He, however, mistakenly “found” two new mountains, calling them Mount Hooker and Mount Brown after two other famous botanists. But climbers never found these new mountains because they didn’t exist. It wasn’t until 70 years later that someone reread his journals and discovered the mistake, Douglas had made a “mountain” out of a “hill”.

We, too, often make big issues out of small things. When we are stressed and under pressure, it’s easy to magnify an issue that isn’t as serious as we think. Panic ensues and peace flies out the door like a spooked pheasant, leaving nothing behind but a new mess! And where there wasn’t a problem, there sure is one now!

Be like Elisha’s servant in the text and allow the Lord to open your eyes to the world as He sees it. It’s seldom as bad as you think! By looking at situations in your life correctly, they will maintain their correct proportion and so will your peace! You are loved today! Be at peace!