Tag Archives: Peace

A Time Of Peace.

Psalm 76 – The Message

1-3 God is well-known in Judah;
in Israel, he’s a household name.
He keeps a house in Salem,
his own suite of rooms in Zion.
That’s where, using arrows for kindling,
he made a bonfire of weapons of war.

4-6 Oh, how bright you shine!
Outshining their huge piles of loot!
The warriors were plundered
and left there impotent.
And now there’s nothing to them,
nothing to show for their swagger and threats.
Your sudden roar, God of Jacob,
knocked the wind out of horse and rider.

7-10 Fierce you are, and fearsome!
Who can stand up to your rising anger?
From heaven you thunder judgment;
earth falls to her knees and holds her breath.
God stands tall and makes things right,
he saves all the wretched on earth.
Instead of smoldering rage—God-praise!
All that sputtering rage—now a garland for God!

God is a warrior and He has never been, and will never be, defeated. We are his warriors and even though we will win through God’ glory and grace in the end, we will suffer hard blows and devastating defeats. This Bible passage is an encouragement in those dark times. It is a picture of the aftermath of battle with a day of peace and praise on the horizon.

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Hide and Seek.

My hubby and I have been doing our fair share of seeking lately, and not just for the matching socks in the laundry. What shall we do? Where shall we go? What gifts do we have? How should they be used?

When we prepare to lead the praise team for church we ask what songs to do.

When we are leaving youth group we seek out how that worship session went, and we ask for direction for next week.

When you seek you will find.

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Free To Struggle

Christian do you struggle, on the battle ground, ‘gainst the powers of darkness closing in around? Christian rise, take armor, soldier of the cross; for the sake of Jesus count your gain but loss.

I struggle. I am sure that comes a shock to a lot of you. I know, I know, I come off pretty perfect but . . . oh who am I kidding, if you have read even one of my posts on this blog or my  Ripple In Culture blog you know I am a jumbled mess of chaos and crazy. It is the fact that other people struggle, especially those that have influence and seem to have an extra dash of spiritual, that has my mind in a tizzy.

From the pulpit of church I have heard them confess “I am not perfect.” From the stages of Sonshine and Lifelight I have heard them sing “I too am searching for the light in this darkness.” From the pages of their books my eyes have read their words “I am not always fully walking with God.” But I am not sure that I really grasped their meaning. I never truly believed them. The people that I see as super spiritual, they must have it all together. They have reached the place of walking hand in hand with God. They have reached the destination that is openly hearing God and following him all the time.

Nope. I think it finally hit home when I started to become close friends with people that I have dreamed my spiritual leaders. We have become close enough friends that I have started to feel towards them special feelings that we primarily reserve for our friends. That is right, disappointment. One day I was obviously hurting, but they did notice or reach out too me. One day a tricky situation presented itself and I did not think they handled it with the measure of grace I believed they were capable of. One day I heard them complain, I saw them be human, I watched them struggle.

My spiritual leaders are indeed struggling humans. They have been under a hard battle of spiritual warfare lately and it disappoints me. It disappoints me not in the way that makes me disappointed in them. I am not worried that they are weak or failing. In fact, just the opposite. Their strength is what is drawing these attacks. They must be walking close to God if Satan is trying to stall them and hurt them like this. I am disappointed, because if they are still being attacked by lies and past hurts, then there is very little hope for me to reach this perfection I figured most spiritual leaders possessed. I am disappointed that I had myself believing that one day I would wake up and I could just be happy. That I would somehow work myself to a place where I could hear God’s will perfectly and never stumble. That I could be perfect.

It is okay though. Oddly enough I am finding peace in this realization. There is no longer any pressure for me to reach a certain level of perfection. When I have a weak day, when I am feeling attacked, it is not because I am sinful and terrible, no. I am sinful of course, but sometimes being attacked means that you are on the right path and your personal demons are just trying to derail you.

Christian do you battle Satan’s power within, all his striving luring, tempting you to sin? Christian, do not tremble, do not be downcast; arm yourself for battle, watch and pray and fast.

Christian, do you wrestle those who taunt and claim, “Why keep fast and vigil? Prayer is said in vain!” Christian, answer boldly: “While I breathe I pray!” Peace shall follow battle, night shall end in day.

Peace shall follow battle. Night shall end in day.


I Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Down In My Heart.

Where?

I looked up from the couch as the lock clicked and I watched my husband come in, just home from work. One hand was still holding our apartment keys and in the other he had carefully balanced two bottles of Mt. Dew and a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. My favorites. Now those who really know me would read that paragraph and shudder, because they know me and what this picture means. So let me shift the picture for you.

Down in my heart.

I am sitting on the couch in my  sweat pants and a t-shirt with cut off sleeves. I have an Xbox controller in one hand and the other is eating semi-sweet chocolate chips straight out of the bag. I had been doing this for the past hour and a half and today was supposed to be my uber productive day. The room that I was hoping to clean today, wasn’t. The dishes that were supposed to be washed, still dirty. The blog posts that should have been written, blankness.

Where?

James sat down and I put my head in his lap so I could start crying. In doing this we found that I had dropped some of my chocolaty morsels and I now had two melted chocolate chips on my butt and one melted to my calf. I was a disgraceful picture.

Down in my heart.

Depression had worked its way into what otherwise would have been a perfect day. But that is what it is. When I tell some people that I suffer from depression they just think that when things go wrong I get really, really sad. No, that is sadness. When things go wrong I do get sad, that is normal. Depression is when every thing is going right, and all I want to do is lay down and cry.

I got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart.

You can take all your top 10 lists that tell me how to be productive, how to be happy, how to have a better self-image, how to have a cleaner house. You can take all of your advice and all of your kind words. You can take all of that and keep it for another day. I will not be able to use it today. I can read the happiest quote while looking at a picture of the cutest puppy and my heart will not stir. If anything I will probably start crying because the world looks so bleak.

Where?

I do not cut anymore, but the idea behind lingers with me. Toward the end of the day I am lying in bed, upset again. I had tried to write a post but it seemed all wrong, totally forced. I failed again today. James comes in as he hears me tossing around on the bed. I am restless. He holds me as I rant. My feelings get all mixed up inside. I do not want to do anything. It is 10:00 pm and I have not even had supper yet, I should be starving. But I do not want to do anything. I do not want to get up and have supper. Yet lying in this bed is actually still doing something, and I do not want to stay here either. But getting up is definitely doing something. I tell James all of this in a mumble of sentences. I tell him, “All I know is that I have a headache and all I want to do is hit my head against the wall repeatedly.” He stares at me strangely, “How is that supposed to help your headache.” And I watch his eyes sadden as I say, “Because at least then I will hurt on the outside, and that is much better than hurting on the inside.”

Down in my heart to stay.

We pray then. I do not want to, which is a good sign that we should. We pray for healing and for joy and for peace. We pray for Depression, Doubt, and Worry to leave me. We pray, and I feel slightly better. James says there is a look of hope in my eyes. I get up, eat some supper, start filling out important dates in my new daily planner, and I look up a couple of the 5k races my friend and I have been talking about. Depression still lingers over me, but I can manage for now at least.

Now for my favorite verse.

I have the Wonderful-Love-Of-My-Blessed-Redeemer-Way-Down-In-The-Depths-Of-My-Heart. (quick breath) Where? Way-down-in-the-depths-of-my-heart. (breathe!) Where? Way-down-in-the-depths-of-my-heart. . .

To stay.

"I have the Peace-that-passes-all-understanding down in the depths of my heart.

“I have the Peace-that-passes-all-understanding down in the depths of my heart.