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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

 

Dear Single Mom,

This has been a crazy year and it isn’t over yet! I know that many of you have lost your jobs due to the Coronavirus and many of you have struggled to balance job and e-learning. As we head into a school year that will be an adjustment period for parents, teachers and students, know that you are NOT alone in your struggle.

Your life has been tough enough already, without the added stress of a pandemic. On a normal day, you balance job, bills, housework, discipline, homework, meals, demands from the ex, and other miscellaneous responsibilities. You are stressed out, depressed, and lacking sleep. I have walked in your shoes, single mom, and I am here to tell you that certain situations may not change, but life can be better!

If I did not have Jesus in my life, I would not be here. I am being real with you. Will having a relationship with Jesus suddenly make the Coronavirus disappear? No. Will you still struggle in some aspects of your single mom journey? More than likely. Life is not perfect. Welcome to a fallen world, where sin and evil lurk, waiting to snatch whatever happiness we have been lucky enough to grasp.

The answer, plain and simple is Jesus! When you have a deep, abiding relationship with Jesus, this is what God promises that you will have in your life:

HOPE

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord, shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” Declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

LOVE

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

1 John 4:9-11

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Romans 8:37-39

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 4:16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

JOY

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Nehemiah 8:10

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

PEACE

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Phillipians 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.

Psalm 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

REFUGE

Isaiah 54:10

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Psalm 91:9-13

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you  to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

I offer these verses as encouragement in these precarious times. I challenge you to continue the search for other scriptures on the above topics. The verses I listed are in no way exhaustive and much comfort can be found in the pages of the Bible. You may wonder if these promises are really meant for you. In Mark 9:23 Jesus tells us that EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR THE ONE WHO BELIEVES! Have HOPE that you will find JOY and PEACE in the ONE who LOVES you and HE will be your REFUGE!

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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.

 

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Psalm 91

Psalm 91:1-2

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

When your child has just been diagnosed with cancer…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When you are struggling paycheck to paycheck and wondering how you will provide for your family…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When you are struggling with an addiction and are desperate for help…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When you are suffering in pain and the doctors don’t know what is wrong with you…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When your marriage has failed and your spirit is crushed…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When your child has chosen the wrong path in life and you are worried…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When you are huddled in a doorway, homeless, scared and alone…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When you are beaten and broken by life…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

When you feel that God does not care…

WHO IS YOUR SHELTER?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

When your child has just been diagnosed with cancer…

JEHOVAH-RAPHA (Exodus 15:26) is your shelter. God our healer CAN heal your child. Ask and believe.

When you are struggling paycheck to paycheck and wondering how you will provide for your family…

JEHOVAH-JIREH (Genesis 22:13-14) is your shelter. God our provider CAN provide. Ask and believe.

When you are struggling with an addiction and are desperate for help…

JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM (Exodus 31:13) is your shelter. God our sanctifier CAN free you from your sin and set you apart for His holy purpose. Ask and believe.

When you are suffering in pain and the doctors don’t know what is wrong with you…

JEHOVAH-SHALOM (Judges 6:24) is your shelter. God our peace CAN give you that peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) in this time of trial. Ask and believe.

When your marriage has failed and your spirit is crushed…

JEHOVAH-ROHI (Psalm 23:1) is your shelter. God our shepherd CAN guide you, protect you and restore your soul. Ask and believe.

When your child has chosen the wrong path in life and you are worried…

JEHOVAH-YAHWEH (Genesis 2:4) is your shelter. God our divine salvation CAN restore this life. His will is for ALL to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). He has a plan and a purpose for your child (Jeremiah 29:11). Ask and believe. 

When you are huddled in a doorway, homeless, scared and alone…

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH (Ezekiel 48:35) is your shelter. Our God who is present is with you ALWAYS. He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)! He will show you His presence. Ask and believe.

When you are beaten and broken by life…

EL-ROI (Genesis 16:13) is your shelter. Our God is the strong one who sees. He sees where you are and is longing to comfort you. Ask and believe.

When you feel that God does not care…

ABBA FATHER (Romans 8:15) is your shelter. God is our caring and loving Daddy who loved us so much that He gave His only son Jesus to die on the cross so that WE may live eternally with Him (John 3:16). Our Heavenly Father has adopted us as His children and we are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). He longs for us to accept Him and all the love and goodness He has for us. Ask and believe. 

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overwhelmed

Isaiah 40:28

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

I know I haven’t written in a couple of months, I’ve been completely overwhelmed with life. Below is a glimpse into my life these last few months and how God has worked in the struggle:

My 21 year old daughter, Cherokee, moved back home in January, with her daughter Ava. They had moved to North Carolina in March of 2014 to be with Cherokee’s husband, who is a U.S. Marine. They had been married a year at that point, but had not lived together. After 10 months of living together and struggling to make it work, Cherokee decided to move back home with Ava. A couple of weeks later, she found out that she is pregnant with my first grandson, who is due in October. So, being mom to Cherokee, as she rebuilds her life and decides what she wants for herself and her 2 children, has caused some anxiety. She is a sweet, loving young woman, but she is also strong-willed and independent. She loves her kids and is an amazing mom to Ava. I have prayed that she will open her heart to God and answer the call He has placed on her life.

Kiowa, my 20 year old daughter, left for Air Force basic training on March 1st and graduated April 24th. She is now in tech school and it has been a roller coaster ride of emotions! She has been overwhelmed many times. She has called home sobbing because she wasn’t “getting it”. Her journey has had me sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my finger nails to the nubs, waiting to see if she will pass each test. I have been praying without ceasing that God will make His will known and that He will give her the confidence and peace that she needs to get through this. Kiowa is rekindling her relationship with her Heavenly Father and the Air Force will be blessed because of it.

18 year old daughter, Cree, just graduated high school and will be moving into the dorms at a local college in August. She is outgoing, smart, and has a heart for God. I have to sigh when it comes to Cree, because she has this very creative artistic side, but she has no common sense and is a creative slob. Her room is a mess, she is disorganized, but she is a very talented young artist and she has a genuine passion for little kids. I have been (nagging) her to make sure all of her stuff is turned in and everything is done. I worry because she is so scatterbrained. Will she get things done if I’m not there to nag her? It’s only because I love her and want her to succeed. God will use my Cree in AMAZING ways and I can’t wait to see it!

Talon is 15 and is starting high school this year. He is 15 going on 20! He starts driver’s education in November and can’t wait to get his license in April. Talon has a heart for helping others, for standing up for the little guy, and takes his job as big brother to Ty very seriously.

13 year old Ty will be attending 7th grade this year. He struggles in school. He would rather be at home looking up his dream car on the internet. He is all about fast cars and always has been. Ty is so funny and affectionate. I pray that God will protect both of my sons from the effects of the secular world and that they will grow up to be the men of God that they are meant to be.

As a single mom, I have been overwhelmed with parenting kids that are transitioning into adulthood and facing adult problems. I have been learning (although slowly) that I can’t control the choices they make. I can advise them and pray for them, but at some point we have to let go and allow God to shape them into the people He wants them to be. This is not easy, but I can’t continue to be overwhelmed by their lives. I have to surrender them to God.

I have been overwhelmed by work the last couple of months. I don’t have a hard job, but it does get stressful at times and working 6 days in a row or getting one off in 10 is exhausting. I know it sounds like I’m whining. It makes it hard to manage my diabetes and hypertension when my work has me out of sorts. I think things may be calming down now. Now I just pray for every other weekend off so I can go back to church, if I find one I want to go to.

I have also, struggled with being “dechurched”. I still struggle with needing to be a part of that community of believers, but not really fitting in anywhere. I’m seeking the church of Acts and I’m not finding it. I won’t give up. In the meantime I pray, I read God’s Word and I desperately seek Jesus. I desperately seek that oneness with Christ that exudes that love of Christ to every one I meet. Sometimes, I feel that maybe I am being to picky, but this is my relationship with God. I can’t settle for something that isn’t going to deepen that relationship. I can’t settle for something that might extinguish that fire. I simply won’t settle.

This has been my life the last few months. I get tired. I get weary. I get overwhelmed, but my God never does! God NEVER gets tired! God NEVER gets weary! My Rock, my Refuge, My Shelter, my God understands every sigh, every groan in my spirit, every tear shed for my children, every exhausted half prayer as I climb into bed. He understands when we are so overwhelmed that we feel that we just can’t go on. God is there, waiting for you, waiting for me to ask for His help.

If the load of life is wearing you down today, God understands. Unload your burden on Him. He can handle it. Trust Him with it. He never grows tired. He never grows weary. Surrender the load and trust Him to give you peace. Let it go, friend. Don’t carry the burden alone. If you need someone to listen, I am here for you. God loves you and so do I!

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Peace

peace 1

 

 

In this world of chaos and turmoil, it is hard to find that peace that Jesus talks about. I am struggling to find peace myself. I thought with this post, I would let the words of the Bible speak for themselves and add some peaceful images to help you soak in the peace of Jesus before you go on with your life.

peace 2                           peace 3

 

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

peace 4                               peace 5

 

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

peace 6                        peace 7

 

Philippians 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.

peace 8                               peace 9

 

Numbers 6:25-26

25 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

peace 10                                   peace 11

 

Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

peace 12                             peace 13

 

 

peace 14                          peace 15

 

My prayer for each of you is that you will find the peace that sometimes alludes us. Focus on the Peacemaker, Jesus. The world is a place of trouble and tragedy, but Jesus came so that we may have peace and have it abundantly.

Go in peace, my friend!

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fruits of the spirit

 

 

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

I will admit that as a mom, I don’t always exhibit the fruits of the spirit in front of my kids. I try, I really do, but sometimes I get impatient and frustrated with the messiness of life. There are moments when the kids are screaming at each other and I am tempted to echo that ancient commercial and yell, “Calgon, take me away!” There are times when I know that they get it and other times when I wonder if they ever will. I know that if I want them to live out the fruits of the spirit in their daily lives, then it has to start with me, as their mom.

It is up to us, as moms, to set the example of the fruits of the spirit. We have to live it out in our daily lives. We are a role model for our children. They look to us and mimic how we act. I don’t want my children to imitate my mistakes, I want them to imitate the characteristics of God that they see in my life. So, how do we teach our children to live as examples of the fruits of the spirit in the world? It starts in how we relate to them.

LOVE: 

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

JOY: 

Psalm 27:5-7

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LordHear my voice when I call,

Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.

Psalm 47:1-3

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the Lord Most High is awesome,  the great King over all the earth. He subdued nations under

us, peoples under our feet.

 PEACE:

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordmake me dwell in safety.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

PATIENCE:

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lordhe turned to me and heard my cry.

KINDNESS:

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Proverbs 11:17

Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

GOODNESS:

Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Psalm 116:12

What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

FAITHFULNESS:

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Proverbs 28:20

A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

GENTLENESS:

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 

Galatians 6:1

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

SELF-CONTROL:

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Proverbs 16:32

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

I have given you a couple of verses for each characteristic, but there are many, many more for each one. Read each scripture and reflect on how you can model each characteristic in your life. I encourage you to take each characteristic and make a list of ways that you can model that characteristic to your children and others. I challenge you to look up other verses for each characteristic and compare them to the characteristics you are modeling to your children right now.

No one is perfect. We all mess up. If you mess up, apologize, right the wrong and move on. It is an ongoing process and you won’t always get it right. None of us do. I want you to know, though, that you are not in this alone. There are millions of moms around the world that struggle in their role as a mom, just as you do, just as I do. If you need someone to talk to, I am here. You are not alone, sweet momma! God is with you, each and every day. Trust Him to help you in your role as parent.

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east from west

 

 

Micah 7:19

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In my 44 years on this earth, I have acted in ways that I am now ashamed of. I have said hurtful things to the people I love and I have done things to tear down relationships when I should have been acting to restore peace. I have sinned. I am a sinner. I will continue to sin in one way or another until the day I die, because I am human and imperfect. I have to accept that at the core of my soul, I am not a very good person. I am selfish, needy, unloving, judgmental and can be downright hateful. Hey, I’m just being honest here!

I’m am overwhelmed with gratitude for a God that can look into the dark corners of my heart, gently remove all the meanness in my spirit and hurl it all to the depths of the sea. Not only does He hurl our sins to the depths of the sea, He completely removes our transgressions from us! WOW! We don’t have to wallow in guilt and shame, because our sins and bad attitudes have been removed from us. That is so AWESOME!!!

Not only does He empty us of the ugliness, He refills us with all joy and peace. He empties us of our sins, so that we may OVERFLOW with hope. I have hope, as I trust in God, that I can be that generous, loving, compassionate, peace-filled, and joyful person that I long to be. It is a day-to-day process. Sometimes minute-by-minute, but I have hope, that as I confess my deepest, darkest secrets to a loving God that He will take them and destroy them and I will be filled to overflowing with the goodness that is Jesus.

How can you take the sin and replace it with joy and peace? How can you begin to overflow with hope?

1. Confess– Confess your sin to God. Let it all out. He knows it all anyway. Search your heart and make sure it has been swept clean.

If you can, confess your sin to the person/persons you have caused injury to. If you can, make restoration for the sin. Everything needs to come out. Lay your heart bare before this person. They may forgive you or they may not. This is about you coming clean and the condition of your heart.

2. Surrender– Surrender your heart to God. Allow God to perform open heart surgery and replace the old ugly heart with a heart filled with joy and peace and hope.

3. Let Go- Let go of the guilt and shame that often comes with the sin. It is done. You’ve confessed it and God has removed it. Move on. Don’t let the guilt and shame overwhelm you. God wants to fill you with His love and joy.

4. Daily Maintenance- If you find some of the old junk trying to sneak back in, you will have to make sure that you do not leave a door open to your heart. If you are faced with the temptation to sin, give it to God immediately and ask Him for strength. He will give it. He will help you be victorious. On a daily basis, fill your heart with praise, prayer, God’s Word, kindness, compassion, peace and love.

Sin has destroyed relationships, companies, nations, and people. It doesn’t have to, if we give it to God. We all sin. Never think that you are the only one. If you are struggling with sin right now and you want to find joy, peace and hope, all you have to do is pray to a compassionate God who hears us and restores us:

Dearest Father,

I am a sinner. I hate what I have done and want so much more for my life. Please forgive me and throw my sins (confess the details of the sin) into the depths of the sea. I am asking you to refill my heart with joy and peace. I want to overflow with hope. I believe that you love me and will restore me to wholeness.

Amen

May the joy and peace and hope found in Jesus be yours for eternity.

 

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Armor of God

 

One of the first things we all do when getting dressed is put on our shoes. We all wear shoes, why? Most of us wear them to protect are feet from injury. Athletes wear shoes specific to their sport to protect their feet. As a diabetic, one of the most important parts of maintenance is to examine our feet on a daily basis. I was scolded by my doctor at a routine doctor appointment for wearing flip flops. It was Summer and I hate wearing shoes, period! She told me that I need to wear supportive shoes and socks.

In the same way that we need to wear shoes to protect our feet from injury, we also need to shoe our feet with the gospel of peace. We do this in two ways:

1. We must walk IN peace

2. We must walk OUT peace

Philippians 4:7 

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As long as we remain in Christ Jesus, we will experience the peace of God. Walking in peace means that no matter what chaos the enemy throws at us, we know that greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). God is in control. We can live our lives without worrying about what might happen, because we know that the God that created the universe is in control of everything that happens in HIS creation. Nothing escapes His notice. We can walk in peace, knowing that Satan has already been conquered.

Romans 14:17-19

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Another way we can shoe our feet with the gospel of peace is to walk out peace in the world. One of our main objectives on this earth is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Jesus walked in peace. Jesus brought peace to those He ministered to and we need to do the same. When people walk away from us, they should walk away with a sense of peace, not chaos, anger, or fear. We are to be experts in conflict resolution, finding a way to bring a resolution to an issue, not adding fuel to the fire. When we look at a situation the way Jesus would, we are more willing to let go of selfishness, anger, hatred, bitterness, greed, etc. We become willing to look at a situation from someone else’s perspective, instead of just our own.

I encourage you to remember to, shoe your feet with the gospel of peace, every morning as you get ready for the day. Walk IN peace, knowing that God is in control and walk OUT peace in your sphere of influence, bringing peace where there may otherwise be chaos.

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Jehovah Shalom

Judges 6:22-24

22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”

24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

When the Lord told Gideon that He was sending him to save Israel out of the hands of the Midianites, Gideon replied, “Pardon me, my lord, but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

Not only did the Lord save Israel out of the hands of the Midianites, He did it with only 300 men! Gideon must have thought God was crazy when He told Gideon his army was to large. He must have felt that he was crazy when he faced the Midianite army with only 300 men, but he obeyed God and God gave him the victory.

Gideon faced an overwhelming battle, but he walked in the peace of the Lord, knowing that God was with him. Gideon could have run in fear. No one would have blamed him. Instead he chose to trust God to fight the battle with him. He knew God’s peace.

In my life as a single mom, there have been many times when I have struggled to feel the peace of God. I have dealt with overwhelming anger, fear, bitterness, and the list goes on. Peace alluded me, until I found my Jehovah Shalom, my God of peace. My life still gets crazy and sometimes I do still feel overwhelmed, but I know I have a God of peace who is willing to walk this out with me.

If you are feeling overwhelmed in this season of life, know that we have a God of peace willing to give us the gift of peace. All we have to do is ask!

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace of our Lord and Savior will guard our hearts and minds! If you are feeling overwhelmed today and think that peace is something that you will never attain, I encourage you to say this prayer:

Jehovah Shalom,

My God of peace! I am feeling so overwhelmed right now. I feel chaos and stress around every corner. I hunger for the peace that surpasses ALL understanding. I want that peace in my life that comes only from you. I know that it is a gift and I only need to ask and open myself up to receive. I am surrendering everything in my life that is overwhelming me and keeping me from feeling your peace. I am letting go of that control that my circumstances have on my life and I open my heart and my mind up to receive that peace that only comes from you. I accept the gift of peace and I trust you to walk this out with me. Thank you Father for the gift of peace!

Amen

If I can pray for you, or guide you along the path to peace, please contact me! I am here!

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lake

This has been a somewhat uncomfortable, but wonderful journey for me. Writing these posts on contentment has caused me to do some heart searching and see what needs cleaned up in my own life. I have enjoyed the writing process, as these posts have come together. I have been amazed to see God pull together a vague idea in my mind into this week of devotions that may really encourage someone. I am always blown away by what God can do. I have grown in my own walk with God through the writing and have found myself more content in my life now then when I began. There are still moments of discontentment, there always will be, but I have taken my own advice and I nip those feelings before they cause any damage. So, in my own journey to contentment, this is what I have learned:

1. I have learned to be content as a food service worker in a local convent. I know that God can not use me for something bigger when I have refused to be a vessel for Him right where I am. I have searched my heart and found that I really need to open my eyes to the ministry opportunities right here in Terre Haute, Indiana and the ministry opportunities right here in my own family. I need to quit trying to find a way out of the city that Steve Martin once called, “the armpit of America” and open my eyes to the beauty that this city and it’s people hold. It has not been an easy process, but I am on the right path.

2. I have learned to enjoy living simply with what I have. I have never been the person who needs the newest smart phone or the fanciest house, but I still find myself filled with envy when someone gets a new car or goes on a vacation that I wish I could go on. I do get bit by the envy bug and I have to take a moment to focus on God and count my blessings. I don’t have a perfect life, who does? but my life is pretty good. I am not rich, but we have what we need and all we really need is Jesus. Nothing else really matters.

3. I have learned not to worry about money so much. My life is all about money. Struggling to pay bills, fix cars, pay for what the kids need, etc. I have lived in poverty for 20 years now and I am okay with that, for the most part. I know what I value and I prioritize where my money goes. There are times though, when I cry out to God for more money to ease the struggle. I have learned to trust God to provide, always. God does provide. We have never gone without the things that we need. Times do get tough, but I know that my God will provide and that as long as I am in His will, He will always take care of us. This is such a reassurance to me. My ABBA Father has me in the palm of His hand and will never let me go.

4. I have learned that I do have a complaining spirit and I need to think before I speak. Since writing the post for day 4, I have become intentional in being aware of when a complaining or arguing attitude is coming on. I have had moments when I immediately tell myself to “nip it.” I also say a prayer asking for help in my weakness. I know that this is an ongoing heart issue that I need to stay vigilant about. Will there be times when I slip up? I’m sure there will be, but I know that I can seek my Father’s forgiveness, right any wrong I have caused with another person and move on.

5. I have learned to rejoice in every circumstance. Am I always joyful? No, but I am intentional about finding God’s blessings in every day life. I have a new perspective on life and I know that I can have a joy-filled heart, even when things are difficult. I know that I can be joyful simply because I know who my Savior is and that this too shall pass. We may struggle, but joy comes in the morning.

6. I have learned that God’s peace is a gift. All I have to do to receive that gift is let go of my worry, fear, complaining attitude and raise my hands Palms Up to receive the gift that God has waiting for me. Palms Up is how I want to live my life.

I pray that this 7 days of contentment has encouraged you. I am here to walk this journey to contentment with you. If you need prayer or some guidance, contact me via my contact page and we will take this journey together. Be blessed, my friend!

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