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Live In Peace

peace

 

2 Corinthians 13:11

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Romans 12:18

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

 

We live in a world where violence is all we see on the T.V. and movie screen, where hate and evil are the news of the day and Satan is causing chaos everywhere. Peace seems to be elusive. It doesn’t have to be. I’m not naive enough to think that we will have complete peace as long as Satan is allowed to roam the earth, but we can squash him by bringing peace to our corner of the world.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Satan does not have power, unless we give him power. If we love those around us and bring peace to our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities, things can change. Satan will have to flee. If we stand together against the hate, the violence and the chaos, Satan will no longer have a foothold. If we stand together, in unity, and embrace our differences, we can bring change to a world in desperate need of change. If we can learn from each other about our different religions, cultures, races and lifestyles, without the fear that someone is trying to change us, our world can change. If we can tear down the wall that divides us, our communities can change. If we can let go of the resentments that have hardened our hearts, our children’s lives can change. We have to choose, every day to BE that change. We have to choose, one person at a time, to bring peace in the communities in which we live. We are so busy fighting against each other, that we can’t see that Satan is sitting back and laughing at our stupidity. Let’s choose to quit fighting each other and choose to fight the real enemy, the Devil himself.

I am challenging you to find a way to bring peace into your corner of the world today. What can you do to bring about reconciliation in a situation? What can you do to be a peacemaker in the lives of those around you?

God can change us, He can change this world, but He expects US to partner with Him. It starts with US.

 

What Is Your Passion?

ty 2         68 charger

old and new chevy

My son Ty is 14. I have never known a time in his life when he wasn’t passionate about cars and trucks. Every year for his birthday or Christmas, he wanted something car related: remote control cars, hot wheels, racing video games, the Dukes of Hazard DVD series, and his favorite, the Fast and Furious movie series (he is already counting down the time for Furious 8). Ty knows the year, make and model of many, many cars on the road. He eats, sleeps and breathes cars and trucks. His preference is race cars. The above images were taken from his Facebook wall. This is pretty much all you will see on his Facebook wall. Cars, cars, and more cars. This is his life and ALL he talks about. He wants to be a race car driver or stunt car driver when he is older. I love that Ty has found a passion in his young life and he has given me something to think about in my own life. What am I passionate about? What drives me? What do I eat, sleep and breathe?

My hope and prayer is that I am as passionate about God as Ty is about cars. I pray that my life shows that all consuming fire for God to those I cross paths with in my daily life. I know I love God with ALL of my heart and soul, but am I doing enough to show this to the world? There is always room for improvement. Growing in my relationship with God is a lifelong journey and I am always asking myself, “what do I need to change to really show my passion for God?” I want others to see my burning passion for the Lord. I want people to see that I am so on fire for God that I would be willing to give up my job, home, or whatever else he asked me too, to go where he calls me. I want the world to see that dwelling in Christ and sharing His love with those that are lost mean more to me than any creature comforts that I could ever own. I want people to look at me and see the reflection of who Jesus is. I have a long way to go, but it’s something to aspire too.

I watch my son, as he watches his Fast and Furious movies for the billionth time and smile. I thank God for giving me a life lesson through this passionate 14 year old that I am proud to call my son. If our hearts are open, we can learn from our children. Thank you, Ty, for showing me what being passionate is all about.

treasure

 

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I have been thinking about this verse a lot lately as those in Louisiana deal with the aftermath of the devastating floods that have left people homeless and grieving for all they have lost. So, how much is to much? Where is that line between storing up treasures on Earth and storing up treasures in Heaven?

I guess for me, it is when you start working to support your lifestyle. Instead of enjoying life, you are working to live. You are exhausted from working to pay your bills and are to tired to enjoy life when you are off. When you have material possessions that you don’t need, but you had to have just because. When you buy, buy, buy just to stay up with a current fad. When your stuff starts to suck the life out of you and you have no time or energy left for what’s important.

You get stuck on the hamster wheel of life and don’t know how to get off. So, how much is too much?

Luke 9:3

He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.

This is what Jesus commanded the 12 to take with them. Jesus, himself, owned nothing. I’m not saying that I think Jesus wants us all to be homeless. I’m saying that Jesus wants us to live simply. He wants us to live within our means. He wants us to have the time, energy and resources to give to others who are in need. Do you really NEED that big fancy house? Do you really NEED that luxury car? Do you really NEED a 60 inch flat screen T.V. with surround sound? It is all nice to have, but is it a NEED?  Could you give up those things and give the profits to those in need?

Let the Holy Spirit guide you. If you feel the Holy Spirit is calling you to downsize then do it. Let the disaster in Louisiana lead us all into reflection on how much is to much. Let the grief of millions of people in other man-made and natural disasters challenge you to live simply. It could happen to any of us. You could lose everything you own tomorrow and there is nothing you can do about it. Is it all worth it? How can you simplify your time? How can you simplify your possessions? How can you simplify your life and have more time for the things that are important to God?

I am reflecting changes in my own life. If you would like to share what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, feel free to contact me. I would love to hear your story.

Kiowasiouxburris

 

I watched her disappear down the boarding ramp. My heart ached. As the tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t help but remember when she was 2 and stuffed worms in her coat pockets. I found them when I did the laundry, all shriveled up. She still has the crack in her tooth from a stunt she tried on her bike when she was 10. Always the dare-devil, she would ride her bike down the porch steps, nearly giving me a heart attack. She ran her first half-marathon when she was 14 and finished in the top 4 percent. When she was 17, she defended a classmate who was being bullied at school. A week before her 18th birthday, she ran her first marathon. She finished just 8 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I shouldn’t have been surprised when this courageous, risk-taking, defender of justice announced that she was joining the Air Force. She had served four years of JR ROTC in high school, but had always sworn up and down that she would NEVER join the military!

Yet, there I was, my heart pounding with a mixture of pride and fear. I gave her a farewell hug, whispering, “Stay strong and trust God.” As I watch her plane take off, taking her to a far away land, I whisper the same words to my own heart, “Stay strong and trust God.”

Easier said than done. How can I trust God to protect this daughter of mine? How can I trust Him to keep her safe from harm? Matthew 10:30 tells us that God has numbered the very hairs on our head. I love my daughter with all of my heart and soul, but I have not numbered the hairs on her head. How much more must He love her, to have every hair on her head numbered? As much as I love her, He loves her so much more.

Do I still worry? I would be lying if I said I didn’t. These are troubling times. I think some worry lurks in the heart of every military mom. I remind myself that I serve a God that is in control of ALL circumstances. Nothing happens on this earth that He doesn’t know about. I pray for her safety, as she does her job as an electrician. I pray that God will keep her out of harm’s way, here and abroad. I pray that God will continue to give her courage as she serves this beautiful country that we call the United States of America. When the worry creeps in, or missing her becomes to much for me to handle, I feel the whispering of the Holy Spirit in my own heart, telling me to, “stay strong and trust God.”

 

 

love2love

 

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

There has been a phrase running through my head lately, “Love them where they are.” We, as Christians (and I’m talking about myself here too), are in a bad habit of only loving those that we perceive as being like us, or on our level. We have a tough time of loving those that we think are less lovable; Alcoholics, drug addicts, the mentally disabled, homeless, or poor. We say that we will love them when they are sober, on medication, have a home or when we don’t feel so uncomfortable around them. Our discomfort is OUR problem. We ALL have skeletons in our closets that we feel would make us unlovable. We are ALL imperfect. So, why does it cause us discomfort to love those who may be different than us? We all have sin in our lives. Is it fair of us to sit in judgement of another human being who may simply want to be loved? Is it fair of us to withhold love from one of God’s children, because he or she is not “worthy” in our eyes? We are to love one another. Period. No conditions. We are to love them where they are right now today, sin and all. Isn’t that the way God loves us? What if God decided that we weren’t “worthy” of His love? What if God decided we needed to be perfect in order for Him to love us? Fortunately, He won’t ever withhold His love from us. Jesus loved the Woman at the well in John 4, even though she had had 5 husbands and was living with a man that was not her husband. Jesus loved the woman in John 8 who had been caught in adultery. Jesus never judged anyone. Jesus was about building relationships with people where they were and encouraging them with love to be better. He encouraged them to want more for their lives than what they were living. Jesus was all about loving people where they were.

We are not in the position to love people when they are “fixed” or “living up to our standards.” We are in the position to love one another NOW. I am challenging you to reach out and love someone this week right where they are, without judgement, only with love. Open your heart and allow God to love others through you, right where they are now.

Injustice Wins

justice

 

Injustice Wins

Injustice wins…

when children are sold into slavery.

Injustice wins…

when women are beaten by their husbands.

Injustice wins…

when people are starving on the streets.

Injustice wins…

when undocumented workers live in third world conditions

in the richest nation in the world.

Injustice wins…

when single moms are forced to raise their children in poverty.

Injustice wins…

when refugees are treated like criminals.

Injustice wins…

when violence replaces compassion.

Injustice wins…

when we live in apathy.

Injustice wins…

when we are guided by our

hardened hearts.

Injustice wins…

when we refuse to feel the pain of someone else.

Injustice wins…

when we care more about our own station in life.

Injustice wins…

when our voices are silent.

purpose

 

To read my Bibleverses.com post on purpose, click here