Perfect Peace

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Jesus stands among his disciples and says “Peace be with you.” He then repeats it a second time. An admonition for peace and then Jesus sends them out into the world. The church begins.

There are so many angles to this story but I keep coming back to peace. The early Christians endured great tribulation and yet I have to think that His words of peace kept ringing in their ears. Today, people of faith still suffer persecution and hatred. Peace is in short supply, that is to say, worldly peace.

I am not sure Jesus meant peace as in there will be no harm, hatred, war, or strife in this life. To me…it is perfect peace. A peace that passes all understanding.

It is the peace that comes from knowing Jesus and realizing that no matter what happens in this life, you will greet life knowing the peace of Christ.

It is hard to explain but it is glorious to experience.

Pax

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Home is where the heart is…

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Home is not defined by four walls. I know – I sell them for a living.

I can go into any house and with a few subtle changes, make it more esthetically attractive and desirable. I am especially drawn to dilapidated homes that have been through years of neglect and disrepair. I see the potential to turn them into something beautiful. I want to watch them transform.

So it is with our hearts. Without God we will fall into hardness and brokenness. We need a fix that only comes through God to restore us to a more peace-filled life. To restore us to beauty. To bring us joy.

I plead with anyone who needs to be renewed to seek first the carpenter who will give you not just a home, but a mansion. He’s knocking at the door, please let Him in.

You just have to ask.

You’ve Got Mail

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My email is often filled with “blessing” messages from friends that come with a caveat – pass them on to ten friends or I’ll suffer some dire fate. I have five minutes to do so or misfortune “may” arrive at my doorstep.

While I love blessings and some do arrive on particularly difficult days…I also know that email doesn’t trigger blessings from God. I enjoy the reminder of these sometimes beautifully written posts, but I know that I can find real blessings without threats if I simply open my Bible.

I believe each day is a blessing and God wants to shower blessings upon us. When it doesn’t happen as expected, it is often because we aren’t following Him  or the timing is just not perfect. When I look back on my life, I can see the blessings and it astounds me. In the moment, I am sometimes not so appreciative.

I love my friends, I love to be blessed, but I’m not going to be blackmailed into blessing others. I believe that the God I love carries me daily through life’s troubles and turmoil. That’s something I want to share.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow…

Pass that on!

Making good choices…

Wrong- right concept
We constantly teach our children and grandchildren to make good choices in life. Making good choices has positive ramifications.

However, I made a decision recently in haste. It was not a good one. It was a bad choice which went against my personal beliefs. I’m not proud of my actions.

While it is nothing dastardly, I still know I was wrong. I compromised and then justified when I should have held true to my core beliefs. I made a mistake.

Do unto others is not just an empty statement. It’s a truth. When we take short-cuts or try to validate our decisions, it should be an immediate warning that we are going in the wrong direction.

Sometimes it is harder to do the right thing – but in the end, it’s better than trying to correct the wrong thing.

I’m just glad that I have a God who helps me see the right path and guides me in the way of righteousness.

 

 

Memory Lane

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On these pre-summer evenings before it gets too hot, I love to drive my convertible with the top down as I soak in the evening air. It’s absolutely enchanting.

Invariably I am transported back to days gone by. Nights spent with loved ones as we drove down the Miami strip to see all the hotel lights, enjoying the sound of water breaking against the restraining wall of Biscayne Bay, walking the soft sands of Daytona beach, watching a storm approach in the horizon, the picturesque streets of New Orleans, fall in Gainesville, the fog washing over the Blue Ridge mountains and more.

Our precious families gift us with nights to remember and I thank God for every one of them. Memories are steps to heaven and some day, I will reach the top. Until then…

they live on in flashbacks of love and they are missed.

I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3

 

Crossed wires at the Cross…

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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

We had the most unusual thing occur in church today. The wireless microphone system crossed wires with something or someone outside the church and for the longest and most annoying length of time, we heard a rather jarring conversation during the sermon and service.

As I watched the priests scramble frantically to find the offending noise, it dawned on me that this is exactly how things have been going for me lately.

I have not done my part to be still, pray and listen for God’s sweet voice in my ear. I have let the distractions of this world drag me down and disappoint me. I have not listened to the one person who can make my day better. I have been totally distracted.

Sin has a way of doing that. It takes me out of the present and away from God. I don’t like it but I find myself in that wasteland more than I care to admit.

The Dean finally explained that a movie crew was filming close-by and once alerted, changed frequencies so the service could continue uninterrupted. I think I heard an audible sigh of relief from all in attendance (no pun intended).

I ask God, here and now, to remind me to turn off distractions and turn to Him. Life is so much better when we don’t walk it alone.

What a relief.