Tag Archive | Peace

Do You Have Any Idea How Lucky You Are?

windows-photo-gallery-wallpaper.jpgYou have been chosen.

By the God of the universe…He chose you before the foundation of the world.  And not just “you”, the “struggling, trying hard, want to do good you.”  Or the “oops, I stumbled again” you.  This also includes the “boy have I really blown it, no one is as bad as me” you.  THAT you.  I’m trying to tell you about the HOLY AND BLAMELESS you.  THAT is who He selected, HE CHOSE YOU before the world was ever formed.

Maybe that’s old news.  Maybe it doesn’t knock your socks off.  But it does me.

Every so often I just get hit with that realization anew. And it’s mind-boggling. What PEACE that brings…why is there any stress in this life when we are assured of our place in eternity?

If you aren’t aware, it’s all in His plan.  But oh wait, that’s right. He only accepts perfection. Blameless people.  That lets you out?  Not really.

He cannot abide sin.  Not even a little white lie.  (Most of mine are actually ugly, crunchy black things).  So He devised the plan to send His own Son to pay the penalty—which is death—for my sins and yours.  The plan goes like this:  Jesus, God’s son, came in a miraculous way, lived a perfect, sinless life.  Then He was put to death in a tortuous way. And in His death He assumed all of your sins.  All of my sins.  All the sins of the world’s people.

He carried those sins to the grave; conquered death and left them there.  Then he got up; he came back from the dead and went back to heaven, get this: to prepare a place for you.  And when you accept this, when you truly believe this and accept Him as the One who has saved you, you join the ranks of the holy and blameless. Isn’t that amazing?

If you’d like to know more, please leave me a comment.  But it’s all in the Bible.  Start with John 3:16 if you like, and go on from there.  In fact, he comprised the whole thing into that one verse: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  See, I had to use 7 paragraphs, he used one sentence.

And if you don’t have a Bible but you’re using the Internet, there’s www.biblehub.com or  www.biblegateway.com.  You can find it all there.

So.  Now.  Put your socks back on.  And have a blessed day.

Mama’s Reinforcer

My 3 brothers and I were rambunctious, curious, headstrong kids who were constantly experimenting, trying out new things, building contraptions, getting into scrapes.  Especially when we concocted pretend battles that earned us scrapes and more than one hilarious–if unexpected–outcome. (Tale for another time)

Yet when Mama said jump, we did.  Didn’t ask why.  Or argue.   We just understood that she was Mama, she was in charge, she knew best, and she had a little maple switch to back up her words if we disagreed.

She didn’t use it much.  She didn’t have to.  She knew that our history with her and our aversion to pain had taught us to trust her at her word.  The few times our egos got in the way and that little guy with the horns on my left shoulder prompted me to flip that big toe over the line a bit too far…I had the Truth of what I already knew reinforced.

Don’t get me wrong, I would never dare to complain about this.  It wasn’t excessive; it wasn’t cruel or meant to harm.  It was love in action; love showing us that we had firm boundaries in place for our safety and protection.  We knew that from her perspective, in her many years of wisdom earned the hard way, that she absolutely knew what was the right thing for us to do.  Our doubts were set to rest with a bit of stinging on the legs, a few tender tears, and a much chastened ego.

When I read again John 2: 4 today, (about the wedding in Cana) I had to think about mothers and their children.  As a mother of grown sons today, When I see a need to be filled, I quietly direct my sons in the same way that Mary did.  “Jack, we need more tea,” or “Seth, that box is too heavy for her.”  I know without hesitation that they will acquiesce, and help in whatever way my statement implied.  I know that’s taking huge license with the Saviour and His relationship to his mother, but that’s my personal frame of reference here.

Yet Jesus’ statement in verse 4 was, (as stated in the Hebrew Names Version),

4 Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”

Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful or refusing to obey; He was simply asking her to consider His own perspective of His mission of salvation versus her more immediate temporal concern.

That is a huge lesson for me right now.  Recovering from an unexpected divorce, I have my own laundry list of immediate wants and needs that I’ve taken to Him, confident that He cares.  But He’s reminding me that His perspective is different from mine.  His purposes in the trials I face today are eternal, not temporal.

That’s quite a lesson for me.  I wanted to pass it along, for what it’s worth.  And to share with you one more bit of serendipity…the verse to encourage me that came to mind from this study was from I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV).

Now, I have a children’s memory verse pad—it’s a post-it note pad with a different verse printed on every page in large print—I guess it’s used in VBS or children’s classes.  The top one was about children obeying their parents.  I used to stick them on the mirror and around the house, as reminders.

Haven’t used it in a while.  In a pinch, I turned it over and scribbled I Peter 5:7 down on the back of the last well-worn sheet that still had a bit of sticky on it. I folded the sticky edge down and stuck it with the verse I wrote showing on my bookshelf beside my desk.  It was a few moments later when I stood up to leave the desk, that I glanced at the notepad to see what the new memory verse would be.  Here it is: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

 

Memory verse pad

When You Can’t Sleep

INdian poster awake in someone elses dream

Legend says, when you can’t sleep, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream.

I love this idea.  I spend lots of late evening and early morning “waking” hours wondering why I’m just not sleepy.  I may be truly wide awake; or sleep deprived, or even just bone-tired.  I gave up soft drinks, so rarely do I have caffeine.  But still sleep evades me.  I repeat the Scriptures to myself, especially “thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”  And yes, I feel I’m IN perfect peace.  Just not perfect sleep.  I’ve become an old hand (especially this year) at mentally making a little list of my worries and handing them up to Him—and letting them go.  I know He’s in charge of me and mine anyway.

So, in the end, if it’s that someone else is sleeping a peaceful sleep full of dreams where I’m being silly, or loving, or somehow memorable, then that’s okay with me.  My time on this earth is limited; I can use all the exposure I can get, to get my message out there.  If I’m doing it in others’ sub consciousness’, then that’s cool.

Think about it next time you can’t sleep.  It makes the loneliness of the wee small hours just that much easier to bear.

Till next time….always remember Whose you are.

Peace– It Was Just Around the Corner All the Time

New Directions--We're On Our Way!

New Directions–We’re On Our Way!

We had enough.

For way too long, we went along to get along.  Ever done that?  It was so subtle we didn’t even realize we were doin’ it.  This wasn’t right, and that seemed a bit odd.  Should we complain?  Nah, don’t make waves.  You see, we’re new at being Conservators, and had no idea what was expected, or how quickly things can go wrong.

Our son was a successful student at Kings Daughters Center for Autism, and graduated with great pomp and celebration.  He learned several new skills, in fact learned to communicate with others in the public…a major feat in our eyes.

At that point he became an “adult” and was moved with the help of his State advocates to a new home, I suppose you could call it a “group”  home but he was the only resident for several months.  He was soon joined by a young roommate, and they were both supervised by a new provider of care, growing faster than was healthy for it.  For a time things were fine.  Then little details began to slip here and there.  Nothing major.  But definitely on the increase.  We were appointed Conservators…and were supposed to…what?  I knew how to care for him myself; but how to direct others?  We were located out of state; not sure how to proceed.  That Conservator responsibility was a bit beyond us…and he nearly paid dearly for our inexperience.

Before you know it, my stepson was ill.  Hospitalized.  With SEPSIS.  That’s not just sick.  That’s neglected sick, folks.  Life threatening.  And the deeper we checked, the more discrepancies we found.  When you find a few things that don’t fit, you can’t help but wonder how many have escaped your notice already.

So we had enough.  We put into motion the steps–most of them taken by others at our request, we didn’t do all the work.  Don’t get me wrong; most of this very necessary and urgent change was brought about by those who are experts in their field, and tremendously dedicated.  We insisted that the great State of Tennessee help us to help our son by moving him into a safe and secure environment, and quickly.  And more than one dozen people basically moved heaven and earth for us, to get this young man ready to transition into a different home, cared for by a different company of caregivers who are supremely trained, carefully screened, continually monitored.  They have so many checks and balances in place it’s a bit tedious…but thank goodness it’s there, and it’s working like it’s supposed to work.

We went shopping, collected furniture and furnishings, and drove to Tennessee and installed his new belongings in his new location, and Friday morning, we joyously collected him with all his clothing and incidentals and moved him into his new home with a kind young roommate that is delighted to have him, anxious to challenge and engage him, and help to elevate his quality of life.

Today I can say that I’m at peace.  I know that our son is receiving the best care that he could possibly have.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not saying that all is perfect and nothing can go wrong.  I’m simply saying that we’re striving for excellence and accountability.  And I believe we’ve found both.  And that’s enough.

Time Alone

Peaceful

Peaceful (Photo credit: gem66)

We tend to complain about the pace of things; with technology and schedules and activities, it seems we have no time to think; to evaluate who and where we are.   With priorities conflicting, family, work, leisure, the  mechanics of daily living, things can get pretty confusing.

Yet one thing I’d like to stress today, if my words have any value at all:  If you are experiencing confusion, it is NOT from God.  That’s a popular distraction of Satan‘s, to have you believe that God is sending it your way.  But remember–He’s a God of balance and order, not of confusion or chaos.

And He is a God of Peace.  Seek His peace; shut off Satan’s big mouth, (yes, you can do it) banish Satan and he must flee.      Get alone.  Follow Jesus’ example.  Go somewhere quiet and alone.  Jesus will meet you there.  Time after time  we see Him in the Scriptures slipping off to get alone and pray.   He knew the value of it.  (see Mark 1:35; Mark 6:45,46; Mark 14:32-34; Luke 4:42; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12)

And He highly recommends it:  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)     But don’t do it for “all these things”.  Do it for peace.  There is nothing–I mean nothing like it. 

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:7)