Peace

You, Lord, give perfect peace

to those who keep their purpose firm

and put their trust in You.

—-Isaiah 26:3

Walking along the country road, all was peaceful and calm.

Deer tracks in the sand, an occasional spider scurrying along and the gentle, but unyielding wind in the tops of the towering pine trees.

I wanted to be there.

I wanted to be surprised by every moment of beauty that presented itself as I took step after step.

A flowering tree had heard the call of spring, answering with a burst of creamy white blossoms.

Fences quietly separated farm land from the dusty road.

Although my surroundings were peaceful and serene, the peace I truly experienced was inside me.

A peace that only God could provide—a settled sense of who I am.

A quiet trust….

Plant Seeds of Peace

And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

—James 3:18

 

 

I really liked the flowers I had purchased.

Placing them at the end of my front walkway in a nice little pot, they were there to greet me each day as I left for work and returned.

When this winter is over, I am hopeful that the flowers with return, as they produced many seeds during their tenure in the warmer months.

I am quite ready to see the new beautiful blooms that emerge from the tender plants that push up through the soil.

We can be like those flowers, too.

What would it be like if we lived our days as peacemakers, planting seeds of peace wherever we happened to be?

 

harvest

The Peace of Christ

It was a different kind of day at work.

That’s because I really wasn’t at work, exactly.

I spent the day at a community center, taking part in a special training.

Walking into the room, I recognized only two people in the crowd.

Throughout the training seminar, there were times when I was deep in thought, processing all of the new material through my mind.

When the last session was over, people began to exit the building, walking to their cars.

I did that, as well, but looking out in front of the parking lot, there was a railroad track with a large lake beyond it.

It had been a cloudy and overcast day and the misty lake scene drew my interest.

Placing my things into the car, I took my cell phone with me as I walked to the railroad track and beyond.

Standing toward the edge of the lake, I photographed a visual representation of serenity.

Things were tranquil.

Calm.

I probably needed that.

I’m not exactly sure what emotions compelled me to walk toward the water.

Perhaps I needed to pause for a moment and just take in the peaceful, gray surroundings.

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

—Colossians 3:15

rule

Peace

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.

—John 14:27

A troubled heart can be calmed.

A restless mind can be quieted.

A sleepless night can be changed to one of healing rest.

A broken life can be made whole again.

Jesus gives us peace….

peace

Fixed

Would you like to be at perfect peace?

Not worried?

No anxious thoughts?

Today, I heard someone say a little phrase that caught my attention immediately.

It was something like, “Think of Him, not them.”

When situations come up that are troubling and crushing to our hearts concerning others that we love, we can direct our thoughts and prayers to God.

Being human, our tendency is to focus on the problem—

all day, all night.

At work.

At home.

Focus, focus, worry, worry.

There are things in this world that we cannot “fix.”

When we look to God in praise and with intercession, we “fix” our eyes on Him.

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”

—Isaiah 26:3

 

 

fixed

Rule in Your Hearts

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

—Colossians 3:15

 

 

It had rained earlier, with the sky a stormy and threatening gray.

Now, with the tempest past, the clouds were blending into a creamy glow as sunset approached.

The lake beside me had become a living mirror, rippling a constantly changing reflection of light and shadow.

Through the ages, I suspect that many people have found a place of contemplation and solitude beside such a scene.

There’s something about the endless sky meeting the rhythmic waves that beckons us to be at peace.

Jesus wants us to have peace in our hearts.

His peace should rule.

Rule over troubling thoughts.

Rule over fears.

Rule over guilt.

When the peace of Jesus comforts you from deep within, everything changes.

And when it does, we should be thankful.

 

 

rule in

I Will Watch

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When I got up this morning, the fog was gently draping itself like a blanket just above the dewy ground.

As the sun’s rays came streaming down, they formed a natural spotlight for the grassy stage below.

Quiet.

Undisturbed.

Peaceful.

The start of a new day.

There are many concerns tugging at my heart.

God knows each one.

When I awaken to a new day, often I am reminded of my concerns.

As I pray for God to work in a way that only He can in the lives of those I am interceding for, I must wait.

I must wait and watch for His answer.

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LORD, in the morning You will hear my voice; in the morning I will pray to You, and I will watch for Your answer.

–Psalm 5:3

 

 

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morning watch

Grace

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May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Jesus gave His life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.  All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

–Galatians 1:3-5

He gave.

He planned.

He rescued.

He gives grace.

He gives peace….

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grace

With Peace

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As I walked along, I saw a beautiful Christmas tree delicately decorated with ornaments.

Looking more closely, I realized there were many ornaments of birds.

There’s something about a small bird sitting quietly and safely in a tree branch that gives a feeling of serenity.

If you think about it, when danger seems to be near, birds will flee.

Their calm presence makes a subtle statement of peace.

Psalm 29:11 reads:

The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.

It is fitting to have joyful, peaceful bird ornaments at Christmas.

What a perfect time to remember that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

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with peace

My Peace I Give to You

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While visiting a nearby city to make a hospital visit, my husband and I decided to go to a park we had never been to.

Having searched online for parks in the area, we found one that looked interesting.

Finding a place to leave our car, we walked along the water’s edge.

Many people were enjoying the surroundings, as well, and we were blessed to see families out with baby strollers and toddlers and couples sitting together in the late afternoon sun.

The air was cool and the atmosphere was calm.

Unhurried.

At one point, we noticed a grandfather as he held a very small child up to the rod iron fence and let the boy experience the wonderment of throwing a stick down into the water.

A woman on a bench was accompanied by a white curly-haired dog.

A group of ducks swam together on the gently rippled water.

It was peaceful.

Jesus gave us words about peace:

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

—-John 14:27

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Peace I leave

Quiet and at Rest

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What is there to worry about?

Plenty of things.

Yet, worrying won’t change them.

It won’t help at all.

Sometimes, it’s just good for me to walk around outside–even if it is just in my own yard–and look at the fascinating creations of God that are right there.

Flowers, butterflies, tiny blooms on weeds.

Birds flying overhead, lizards scurrying about, dragonflies that come to hover near me.

There, I find a calm and a respite from responsibilities, if only for a short while.

I have been praying lately about many things, wanting to trust God with people and situations, instead of worrying.

God is in control.

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for his answers.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6-7

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hearts quiet

I Leave With You

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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.

–John 14:27

Jesus comforted His disciples by saying these words.

I think He wants me to be comforted by them, as well.

When so much is going on around me that constantly invites worry, I can have peace.

Jesus says, “My peace I give you.”

Jesus says, “I do not give to you as the world gives.”

Jesus says, “Do not let your heart be troubled.”

Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.”

In my human mind, I can respond with, “But what if…..”

With my surrendered heart, I can respond with, “Jesus, I accept Your peace.”

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peace