You CAN Survive! And have God’s Peace

I was reading a short article from DaySpring today titled 6 Ways to Find God’s Peace in Difficult Situations. (link at the bottom) Along with myself, so many of my friends and loved ones are living with some kind of difficult situation right now…How about you?

pexels-inzmam-khan-1134204Is there some physical illness or condition you are living with? 

lady-g97a8d38b3_640Has there been emotional turmoil in thinking about your present situation? Your future?

Do you have any relationship issues with a friend, family member, or someone you work or minister with?

Have you been in a spiritual desert?

As I read, I had a bit of a different take, but found some very encouraging take-aways:

1 – Define PEACE – What does peace mean to you? I define it as Possessing Equilibrium Amid Chaotic Events. Not just the absence of war or stress. But feeling a balance in my spirit even when all else around me is in turmoil, whether in circumstances, in relationships, or just in my spirit.

2 – TRUTH – Remember that God is with you!  And has a good plan for you!  Don’t go to the “worst case scenario” or entertain your fears. See the truth of the situation before you, asking God for His perspective if you can’t see it yourself.

3 – SURRENDER CONTROL to GOD – Stop thinking there is something you can or should do to be in control. Even if you think you see something to do, and do it…your sense of control is not real. God is in control. Let Him do the driving!

4 – Read, Recite, Recall SCRIPTURE – Maybe even keep a list or journal of scriptures that become meaningful to you on your journey through marriage, parenting, grand-parenting, caring for others, or dealing with difficulties.

5 – Worship with MUSIC – Listen to it, sing it, recite the words, write it – let the music lift your heart and refocus it on God.

6 – CREATION  – Take walks or just sit somewhere you can see or feel and experience God’s Creation. Delight yourself that He created all this to be the perfect world for you! And again, let it refocus your heart on God, your Creator.

bible-ga71615e85_640Philippians 4: 6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I am so relieved to KNOW that I CAN SURVIVE my circumstances – and so can you!  WE ARE ABLE to have God’s peace in the midst of it all – any and every uncomfortable, humbling, frustrating, disappointing, demanding pressure! Knowing He will show me how to balance my life in His truth when I surrender it to Him. That when I turn to scripture, worship, music and His creation instead of worry and trying to control, He will bless me and lead me.

But it is incumbent on me to listen and follow.

So I offer you a challenge:

people-2604834_640Sit with God for 5 minutes each day this week. Read aloud the Philippians 4:6-7 scripture above – or from your favorite translation.

Tell God about the situation or difficulty and surrender your anxiousness to God. 

underground-885206_640 (2)Pray, asking, requesting that He act on your behalf. Surrender whatever control you think you have, placing the outcome of the situation or difficulty in His strong and capable hands.

Thank Him for listening to you. For taking your anxiousness away. And for acting on your behalf. 

clef-593912_1920And then take another 10 minutes and choose worship music or His creation to refocus your heart on God.

clouds-872143_1920If you can – take a walk or sit outside or inside and look at, take in His creation. Or instead, sing or play, listen to or write a brand new melody to worship the Lord!

 

jaque-handsraisedI am praying that God will speak clearly to you. That this week you will sense God’s presence with you in real and tangible ways. That you will see that God has already prepared you to meet whatever challenge you are facing.  That you will receive that peace that God offers when you focus on Him. And that you will be empowered by a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. God bless you!

Link to Dayspring article 

Discouraged? Don’t deny yourself the encouragement God has for you!

This week I’m volunteering at and attending a Christian Writers Conference. In the past it has been a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing, but even more, a chance to meet with and connect with people who are gifted like me, and be encouraged by them.CCWC001

Yes, it will interrupt the usual flow of my week and take me out of my comfort zone with realizations of how much I do not know and still have to learn about writing better and the process of publishing. But what a gift, a blessing to be able to receive training and support from others God has gifted similarly.

pexels-icsa-1708988How encouraging to sit at the feet of those who have been where I am and have succeeded. To learn from mistakes they have made without having to make those mistakes myself. and to be recognized and rewarded for my efforts along with receiving encouragement and guidance.

What are you in the midst of that you would appreciate some guidance and encouragement for?

God has planned for and placed just what you need within your grasp. You need only reach out to receive it.

question-mark-40876__340Do you face challenges at work? With a hobby? In your marriage? Parenting? Grand parenting? Are you looking for direction to find your purpose? Your strength? The solution to a difficulty? Encouragement to keep going?

Be willing to interrupt your usual schedule to go where you can find the encouragement you’re looking for. To learn something new. To hear from someone who’s been where you want to go, or who’s had a victory over what you’re struggling with.
man phone
No more suffering in silence!  Call a friend, a co-worker. Take a class. Attend a conference. Seek a mentor or counselor. Talk with a doctor or someone at your church. Find a support group in person or online.

holding-hands-752878_640You are not alone. And I believe God will not give you more than you can handle. But He doesn’t intend for you to handle it all by yourself.

He has provided. It’s up to us to open our eyes and see it. It may not be in your comfort zone – but it is within your grasp.

Reach out!

Time to Plant!

garden1It’s FINALLY that time of year where we can begin to think about planting in Colorado. We may still have freezes for a couple more weeks  – and hail is always a possibility in the Spring here. And the growing season is pretty short – we may be getting snow again by early September…

So, when looking at packets of seeds, it’s a challenge to find things that fit the dynamics of my yard.

The instructions said some do best in full sun, some in partial and some only thrive in shade.  Also, some germinate in 6-10 days while some take 20-30 days before peeking their tiny green shoots above ground.  Some can be planted a half inch apart, and some need more room to grow. 

I decided that this year my garden would do best if I follow the suggestions I got back in Sunday School so many years ago:

praying-hands-on-biblethree rows of peas
. . . Preparedness
. . . Perseverance
. . . Prayer

three rows of squash
. . . Squash gossip
. . . Squash criticism
. . . Squash grumbling

thanks tablethree rows of lettuce
. . . Let us be faithful
. . . Let us be thankful
. . . Let us love one another

and no garden is complete without turnips
. . . Turn up for church
. . . Turn up with a smile
. . . Turn up ready to serve

You reap what you sow, so sow acts of kindness, encouraging words, supportive attitudes.  And recognize that:

hugging1When you smile at someone, you are planting kindness and acceptance. 

When you play with them, you are cultivating fun and joy. 

When you give them a hug, you are fertilizing with love and security. 

hugging2When you help a friend or child learn a task, you are growing patience and success into their future.  

When you give them encouragement, you are growing confidence. 

When you share, you are seeding goodness and selflessness. 

hands-2168901_640When you pray with someone, or let them see you pray, you are sowing faithful fellowship with God. 

 

Be intentional about what you plant.

Everything you do is a seed of some kind. 

Choose one thing to sow into someone’s life today!

 

So many things to Thank God for!

This season, when we think of renewal and rebirth, the earth warming for Spring, flowers coming up, trees budding, Easter coming…I am reminded of all the things I have to be thankful for. And my heart turns to expressing gratitude to God – for my life, for my salvation, for being there to meet my needs.

BlessingsNo matter what they are, not matter how big or how small, there is nothing beyond the scope of God’s ability and desire to help me.

He gave me a song years ago that expresses so many of the things I have to be grateful for. Sharing it here:

Chorus – Thank You Lord for being there for me

            Every time I knew I had a need of Thee

And thank You Lord for being there for me

            When I did not know there was need

Verse 1 – It’s so easy to thank You Lord for what we see

Like healing an illness or an injury

thank-you-g6149a656b_640Or when You circumvent certain tragedy

It’s so easy to thank You Lord

I want to thank You for all the things I cannot see

For all the trouble You have kept from me

And for Your angels watching over me

I want to thank You Lord

dvxgnwnywem-giulia-bertelliChorus – Thank You Lord for being there for me

            Every time I knew I had a need of Thee

And thank You Lord for being there for me

            When I did not know there was need

praying-614374_1920Verse 2 – It’s so easy when I think I have the perfect plan

And think I have the situation well in hand

And then the rug is pulled from under me and down I land

And I need to thank You Lord

Bridge – For my life could have been a lot worse, been a lot harder

But I have felt You there

Managing the pain, helping me in sorrow

You kept it at a level I could bear – – I know You were there

music-notes-2073069_640Chorus a capella – Thank You Lord for being there for me

            Every time I knew I had a need of Thee

And thank You Lord for being there for me

            When I did not know there was need

Laura Shaffer (c) 1990

What are you most thankful for today?

colorful-1191076_640

I Love March!

calendarMarch

I love the month of March!  It feels like the year is finally beginning.

 

bloom-blooming-blossom-355663The seasons change and it feels like the world is waking up again…more sunlight, warmer temperatures, and spring flowers begin to show filling dead looking spaces with beautiful colors and aromas.

 

choir-306900_640I remember songs from growing up in Military Chapel services like: Lead On O King Eternal the day of march has come, March On O Soul with Strength, and Onward Christian Soldiers, to name a few. Scripture tells us that spring was the time that men went out to war. And so many of these songs have the word “march” in them, that I associated them with the month of March. 

 

March on O soul with strength, as strong the battle rolls! ‘Gainst lies and lusts and wrongs, let courage rule our soul

Lead on O King eternal, the day of march has come…we follow not with fears…till sins fierce war shall cease

Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war…like a mighty army moves the church of God…hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross…put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer

We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion

warfarehelmetsI know the lyrics weren’t necessarily referring to the month of March, but every March I’m reminded of them. And it births in me a strong desire to be adequately armed for spiritual battle.

It reminds me that the enemy of our soul is on the move and ready with an attack, and I need to be vigilant in praying for my loved ones. And in praising God that He protects and directs, that He guards and guides, He helps and heals.

winner-4912049_640I am reminded that He dwells in the midst of our praise. So I give Him praise! No matter what circumstances, or trial or sorrow I may face, God will be with me and is in control.

And in the victories, it is His power that allows me to rejoice.

March is coming to an end, but as you see the signs of spring where you are; the snow melting,  the flowers blooming, the trees budding, the birds returning, let it be a reminder to you to armor up! And join in, for the Battle Belongs to the Lord!