Peace

Shadows

Into every life there come those moments that cut new paths – awkward, ugly paths – across our landscape.  Shadow experiences that block the warmth of the sun’s rays and leave us in a dark spot – or leave dark spots on us.

Most of these shadow moments are fleeting.  Just as the sun stays in motion across the sky and recasts the shadows on the ground, life moves on and the light returns to our lives.

But sometimes the Shadow has a life and mind of its own.  Sometimes it simply refuses to leave, and we’re left with the scars and the questions and the daytime darkness that threaten to block our sun forever.  Sometimes, regardless of the truths we know or the time gone by, it just seems that the Shadow’s always there.

When the Shadow’s always there, if feels as though you have your own personal cloud suspended right over you, while the rest of the world basks in the sunshine.  It’s easy to worry that you’re everybody’s else’s downer… when the Shadow’s always there. [click to continue…]

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Eagle at Sunrise

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4, NIV)

Here is a place.

An experience.

An image used to describe the powerful grace of a loving God.

Here is a birthright.

An invitation.

A metaphor for flying swiftly above the dangers and dead-ends into the loving arms of a Heavenly Father.

And where you can’t go on your own and when you lack the strength to survive, that’s when He meets you where you are and brings you to Himself… on eagles’ wings. [click to continue…]

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inflated gloveThe stress you feel is proportional to the amount of control you have over a situation.

That sounds very intuitive, but there’s a spiritual contradiction to that.  More on that in a minute.

Here’s an example of how that idea works out in the natural.  A month ago I go to the doctor and he says my lipid levels are high.  I roll my eyes and say, “same old same old.” I don’t get stressed about it because there is something I can do to correct it.  Anyway, I’ve been hearing that for 30 years.

When he sends me for another test and I find out my heart calcium score is high, almost in the danger zone, again, the first thing I do is look for something I can do about it, because I have a steadfast belief that I can do something about it.  So I’m motivated, but not stressed.

Same thing goes, even when I’m told I’m a Type II diabetic because of my lifestyle choices in the past.  Well, crud.  But I can do something about that by making different choices (and by the way I am making different choices and seeing wonderful results).

But when the doctor says I have a narrowing in the arteries at the top of my heart and he “wants to take a look at it” with an angiogram, and oh, by the way, if there is a significant enough blockage he may put a stint in it, suddenly he has crossed the line of my control.

Hello stress. [click to continue…]

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Under His Mercy

There’s a place where love feels like love,
Where all the affection in the universe seems gathered up
And pointed only, always to you…
That place – that beloved place – is under His mercy.

There’s a song where all the symphonies and sonnets,
Ballads and serenades seem to converge
And sing only, always over you…
That song – that harmonious song – is under His mercy.

Under His mercy the world is recreated,
Eden reimagined, and hope is born again.
Under His mercy we all are reinstated,
Those stains are washed away, and we’re adorned again.
We’ve traded ashes for His beauty…
And longing for His love…
Under His mercy.

[click to continue…]

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(A Conversation)

200291528-001The Kids

I’m impressed with your kids. Well, most of the time.

They’re not my kids.

What?

Not mine.

(Gasp!) You mean…

Noooo, not like that!  I’m their father.

Oh, so they are your kids.

Nope. I gave them away a long time ago.  In fact, on the day they were born.

To who?

To God.  He’s the one who gave them to me in the first place.  “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.  Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands” (Psalm 127:3-4, NLT).

Okay, whatever, but they’re your responsibility.

Oh, of course.  God gave them to me for a season to help turn them into strategic weapons for His kingdom. So I feed them, clothe them, and train them.

Train them to do what? [click to continue…]

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Dock Empty ChairWhen you’re seven kinds of busy and 21 kinds of tired…

When you’re pulled in so many different directions you need a compass to find the bathroom…

When it’s bedtime and you just remembered that you forgot suppertime…

It’s time for a different tune.  It’s time for His song of peace.

 

When you speak all day with the language of engagement…

When you find yourself panting even while you’re sitting still…

When you’re feeling guilty because you’re not checking something off that stupid list…

It’s time for a different tune. It’s time for His song of peace. [click to continue…]

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MockeryDavid was on the chopping block.  His organization had just been hit by a hostile takeover attempt.  To say his leadership was being called into question is putting it mildly.  But even when people from within his own ranks were calling for his head, this exceptional leader emerged with a decisive plan and executed a remarkable comeback.

His first step:  He had to quiet his own soul.  Before he could silence his outer critics, he had to get his inner one to shut up.

Hannah was sitting in church one day, but the worship service was probably the last thing on her mind.  She carried an ache that is only known by those women who have longed desperately to have a child and were unable to.  It had reached a point way past sadness… Hannah was angry.  And her inner rage had to be dealt with.  So Hannah took decisive action.

Her first step:  She had to quiet her own soul.  Before she could make nice at the church house, she had to empty her heart of its poison.  A year later, she had a son. [click to continue…]

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Never Shaken

by Andy Wood on April 22, 2013

in 100 Words

peace in the storm

“For David says of Him,
‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN (Acts 2:25).

“Always in my presence,” David said.

David and Peter are referring to a relationship in which the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer by faith.

Always in your presence.

Always at your right hand, the hand of power.

Never shaken. [click to continue…]

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Peaceful Pond

You’re feeling disappointed or rejected,
Lonely or loveless,
And even though you know better than to believe all that in your head,
You’re too lost in “to-do’s” or “he-did’s” to even recognize your own heart.
Time to come and find your rest.

You’re feeling restless or impatient,
Guilty or angry,
And even though you know you live face-to-grace,
You’re too consumed with how far you have to go to recognize whose job it is get you there.
Time to come and find your rest.

You’re feeling anxious or worried,
Burdened or exhausted,
And even though you know it isn’t your load to carry,
You’re too loaded with responsibilities and cares to recognize that you’ve picked them up again.
Time to come and find your rest. [click to continue…]

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Pacifier

by Andy Wood on November 11, 2012

in 100 Words

He may have never fired a shot in battle.

But a nation slept peacefully last night because he grabbed a rifle and stood his post.

She may have been criticized for serving an unpopular cause or occupying a non-traditional role.

But thousands of voices are free to cry out – even in criticism – because she does her duty. [click to continue…]

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