Monday, September 27, 2010

Finding Peace

Another one worth reposting--

I keep hearing this song run thorough my mind--

I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river in my soul.

Problem is, rivers aren't always peaceful.

Neither is life.

Face it, we search for peace, pray for peace, think if we simply had this or that, we'd find peace.

But we don't.

Life is fast moving, full of rapids and shallow places. The easy flow of deep waters is less often experienced than we'd like.

No, peace isn't something to be grasped.

I really began thinking about this after a particularily rough week when my faith was tested and unfortunately, I found myself failing. I'm taking steps of faith and find the ground kind of unstable. Yet God's spirit continues to pull me along, depsite the rough, spashing current and stomach churning dips and surges.

I've screamed and cried all along the way. I don't like wild rides. I avoid roller-coasters like I'd avoid a person with a deadly plague. No kidding.

The uncertainity of the situation, the having to really have faith that I'm hearing God, that he has a plan and purpose was more than I had in me to withstand. I begged God for confirmation.

"Please tell me, just one more time, this is what I'm supposed to do."

Yes, I'd had words before. But I needed another. That old one had wore off. Maybe things had changed. Maybe He'd changed his mind. Just one more word and I'd have peace about it. Or one call, something to give me hope that I was going in the right direction.

Then I came across A Holy Experience blog and a particular post about Joy where Ann Voskamp wrote

"Possessions in our hands are never as valuable as

Peace in our hearts."

Then in small words beneath this phrase, I read:
Peace is a Person

And I realized, it's not what we have, or hear, or hold. It's not in the seeing things happen the way we hope they'll happen. It's not in avoiding risks, jumping out of the innertube before you hit the rapids and swimming to the safety of the shore. No, peace is found in that Person, the One who gave His all for us, Who dwells in our hearts if we'll let Him.

That's our true sourse of peace.

It's in Him

And only Him.

A friend sent me the words to the song in this video from Third Day. I found it summed up my thoughts on all of this.

This part stood out the most:

"Give me a revelation

I've got nothing without you,

I've got nothing without you."

Real peace comes from Jesus' presence in our lives. Trusting that He loves us and will guide us in the right direction. Yeah, we'll get hurt from time to time. No we won't always have things the way we want. Yeah, we'll have to ride the rapids sometimes and others, we'll have to carry our boats past the shallow, stagnant parts. But we can rest in the peace that He's right by our side, that he understands each and every situation we go through. He lived amongst us. He knows. He knows.


Help us to find our peace in you, understanding that when we seek you first, everything else will follow along as it should, as your plan unfolds. You love us. You have good in store for us and protection in the rough spots. Thank you for your willingness to dwell with, within and all around us.


photo is of a friend's pond

video is from YouTube- Third Day's Revelation

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lighthouse Everything Skit

This is such a powerful skit and beautiful song. There's not much to add. Just watch! Especially if you've never seen it before. If so, watch it again!!

Turn off music on the sidebar and enjoy. Be blessed.

Monday, September 20, 2010

In The Silence

We sat at the large oak dining table. Colorful, translucent beads, separated into bowls, spread across the glossy surface. Grandma picked an amber one with a long needle, followed by a tiny gold, then back for another amber. Her red-rose lips moved as she silently counted.

I watched her, my 8 year-old feet swinging back-and-forth because they still didn’t touch the ground from the high-backed chair. Once again, I’d lost the number of beads I’d collected and had to start over. We were working on some kind of decoration that looked like tiny chandeliers but had no other name than “purty” for it. Grandma, who loved knitting, crocheting and making little things had them hanging all over her house.

That day, she’d invited me to join her.

The silence between us stretched on like the nylon string connecting the beads together. Once I opened my mouth to say something, then stopped, the words halting in my throat like they couldn’t stand to interrupt the quietness. I threaded more blue beads. I liked blue, it reminded me of the sky and being outdoors and running. My heels bumped the chair legs.

Another thought entered my head and dared to escape my lips, but again halted. I couldn’t get my mouth to speak. Eventually, I gave up. Just being there, with my grandma was enough. She’d look up from her work every once in a while, give me a wink, and then refocused on her hand’s work.

That was enough.

When I go to God, oftentimes I have the same problem. Thoughts, words, wants, needs, desires, demands all come pouring out. Few are the times when I will allow sitting silently in His presence be enough. Yet, it’s in the silence that we can find Him.

The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

1 Kings 19:11-13

May we find peace in the silent moments and simply enjoy His quiet presence.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Poor In Spirit...

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 5:3

I hadn’t fully grasped the concept of poor in spirit before. I always thought it meant someone who was down, sad, perhaps. Yet I think it may be more than that.

The poor. Without. Destitute.

At the end of your resources.

Completely empty.


This is what I’d written in my journal Monday morning. “Lord, you have to step in. I give up. I have no more fight in me.”

Blessed are the poor, those who have nothing, those who have run out…

For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Kingdom of endless supply. The kingdom that knows no bounds.

It is from this kingdom, where all his children dwell, both rich and poor that all can draw from and find all they need. It’s the Kingdom where God dwells. It’s the place where love rules.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the Lord’s people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

I had given up on a situation. I just had no more fight in me. And when I told the Lord that I was empty, He sent someone that was full to help out. This person gave the encouragement and wise counsel that we needed to keep going.

And such is the Kingdom of God. When we are strong, we feed into the poor. When we are weak, someone who’s strong feeds into us. This is how I believe God intends for it to be. It’s why He tells us not to store up treasures on earth, but rather in His Kingdom. The Kingdom that’s never ending.

When we are part of the Kingdom, it’s ours. It supplies our needs. Provides shelter. It’s giving and receiving and giving back. It’s taking care of an orphan, or helping to feed the elderly who can’t fix their own meals, or encouraging a friend who is discouraged.

God didn’t get angry over my weakness. He didn’t lecture me about complaining or whining. He stepped in and He picked me up and He said, “Look little one, there’s still hope. I’m here. I’ll provide.”

And He does. And He will for all of his beloveds out there.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday

Your steadfast LOVE, O LORD, extends to the heavens,

your FAITHFULNESS to the skies.

Your RIGHTOUSNESS is like the MighTy MounTains,

your JUDGEMENTS are like the great deep;

You save humans and animals alike, O LORD.
How precious is your steadfast love, O GOD!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.
Psalm 36:5-12

(turn off the music on the sidebar for Third Day's Your Love)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Need To Be Right

Over the past week, I've been reading a Facebook friend's post that generally stirs up a lot of debate and sometimes a good scuffle or two. Good thing there's cyberspace separating some people, or I swear fur would fly.

Most disagreements are over the need to be right.

Generally, though, I think people really want to be heard. We have a thought. A belief. Right or wrong, it's ours and we love them.

Why can't we just hear each other? Why does it need to turn into a "you are wrong and I'm right and I'll not back down until you see things my way."

What's up with that? Even I find myself falling into this same exact mind pattern. Is it really that we think we can save others from their fallacy? From their errant beliefs? Does God give out "My Name is: Fact" badges?

I bet He doesn't.

However, I bet the enemy has a storage shed full of them and they are made by the company "Pride is Us."

Maybe, perhaps, it's something even more deeper than pride. The other day I was reading something a friend posted awhile back and he attributed this need to be right to fear. I paused a moment, letting that sink in.


He might be on to something.

Being that lone tree in the middle of a grassy plain is hard.

The winds buffet its branches, water is generally in short supply. And they tend to stick out like a wart on the end of a nose.

I had a dilemma last week, and I knew how most of my friends would respond. Yet, I felt like I was right on this matter. In talking to a friend about it, I said, "I can do anything, no matter how hard, so long as I know at least one person agrees with me."

Though that's how I really felt on the matter, it was a most ridiculous notion. Seriously. Because thing is, if I've prayed it though, am following my convictions then it's not necessary to caveman drag other people by the hair roots to my way of thinking.

I'm not here to save the world. Jesus is.
I have no control over life. God does.
I can't convict. The Holy Spirit does that.

I simply need to do the best I can, speak what I believe is right. Unfortunately, sometimes what you think if perfect logic turn out not to be.

It happens.

Trust God to take care of this crazy divers world He's created. He's got this. He does.

We are merely called to sow where seeds need to be sowed and harvest the fields that need harvesters.

That's it.

This rest is just chaff in the wind.

Yet, when I surveyed all that my hands had done, and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after he wind; nothing was gained under the sun. Ecc. 2:11

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday- This Is Our God

Today, I want to share this song with you. It seems to go along with the theme God's been speaking to my heart about chasing after Him.

"And I will fall at your feet.
I will fall at your feet
And i will worship you here"
Because He is great and worty of our praises!
(turn off the music at the sidebar and enjoy)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Come. Just come...

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with
me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk
with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and
you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

I’d posted this for my Wonderment Wednesday and it’s been with me all week. When I read Eugene Peterson’s version of this popular scripture, it felt like I was reading a letter penned from Jesus himself. That’s why I prefaced WW with, “My Dear Child—”

Can you hear him ask, “Are you tired, dear one? Weary? Frustrated?”

Yeah, I am. Sometimes I wonder where I’ll get the energy to face another stinking day.”

“Are you tired of boring, condemning, check-the-box-off religion? Do you dread going to church every Sunday? Do you make yourself go because it’s what you think is the right thing to do? Or do you avoid it all together because you’re afraid? You fear that you won’t measure up. Fear you’re there under false pretenses? Fear… just fear?”

I’m sitting here, typing these words and thinking to myself, “Yeah, sometimes I really do, Lord. Sometimes I’d rather not go at all. What does that say about me?”

Shame and guilt inevitably follows such an admission. We’re supposed to rejoice in the Lord’s Day. Relish going to worship together and congregate with other believers.

Then why don’t I? Why is it so easy to lose my joy?

Yet it’s not Jesus’ voice of condemnation. It’s not. He doesn’t say, “Well, get a grip, you loser! You’re living in sin, so what do you expect?” He doesn’t even say, “Well, you’re not trying hard enough, you need to put more effort into it!”

No, he says none of those things.
“Come to me, my love. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.”

He invites us in.
No blaming. No chastising. No kicking you when you’re down.

Nope, none of that.

“Come,” he says. “Let me help you recover your life. I will give you rest from your worries, fears, shortcomings… My yoke is easy-peasy. This isn’t meant to be hard.”

Can you hear His enticing invitation in this passage? Can you?

But— you may argue. You don’t know what/ where/ who… I am.

To this, I think of…
Peter the loudmouth, bumbling fisherman.
Paul the Christian killer
Matthew... who copied down Jesus’ words… the cheating tax collector.

Let’s go back even further,
Moses the excuse maker.
Jonah the runner.
Gideon the hider.
Ezekiel… well he was just crazy, don’t you think?
David has a track record a mile long.

Do I really need to go on?
God isn’t into picking ready-made great people to increase His kingdom. God is into picking losers.
Losers that he wants to make into great leaders.

And He does it His way. In His time. Sometimes in ways that make absolutely no sense.
He builds a church upon the bumbling. Spreads his word through the cheat and the persecutor. He’ll make great leaders from the fearful, the failures, and the flunkies. And I know he can do marvelous things with the odd-balls as well.

Come on. We’ve done the best we can with the skills and talents we possess. What more might we accomplish by inviting Him in and learning His ways.

Jesus beckons, “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Freely and light? Is it possible? Can it be true? Can it really be so easy?

What harm will come from giving it a try?

Jesus, I’m reaching out, placing my hand in yours. I’m afraid sometimes. I think you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into with me. I can be a real mess. But I hear you calling. I want what you have. I want it real bad. Lead me. Come on, let’s go!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday - Matthew 11

A note to you for today,

Dear child--
Are you tired?
Worn out?
Burned out on religion?

Come to me.
Get away with me and you'll recover your life.
I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me-- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.
from Matthew 11:28-30
Related Posts with Thumbnails