In Peace

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.

—Psalm 4:8

 

She sleeps tranquilly on the leather chair
Soft light surrounds her
Eyes closed
Ears relaxed

With a steady calm
She takes a breath
Then, another

She is not fearful
Her heart is at peace

May I sleep in calmness as she does
Knowing my Father in Heaven
Watches over me

 

 

in peace

Strengthens

 

I have read that some ducks can fly at speeds of 50 miles per hour or greater for a sustained length of time.

Ducks can also fly for hours.

It makes me think of people who run marathons….

There are times in our lives where we feel like we are in situations in which we are running “marathons” or trying to have the strength to “fly” long distances.

Extended illnesses, military deployments, relationship struggles—plus countless other circumstances that require personal strength to get through—compel us to look to Jesus for help.

He is with us.

Do you believe?

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

—Philippians 4:13

 

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Your Requests

What do you wish for?

As I was walking on a small bridge above a pond of water, I noticed that people had thrown coins into the water to make a wish.

Although I do not know how that tradition ever came about, I am certain that throwing money into water does nothing to help.

What is a wish, anyway?

A hope or desire?

I wish for many things.

Not a bigger house or an expensive car.

Many of the things I wish for I could not bring about.

I wish for a better relationship with someone that I love very much who is within my family.

I wish for the salvation of my unsaved friends.

I wish for good health for people I know who are very ill.

I can do my part in attaining wishes like these.

It will never involve throwing coins into a body of water…

I can work toward being friendly and loving to help a relationship mend.

I can talk to friends about Jesus and what He has done in my life.

I can encourage friends who are ill with cards, phone calls and visits.

But cause someone’s heart to change?

God will need to do that.

See salvation come to a lost soul?

God will need to draw them to repentance.

Hear a diagnosis of remission of cancer?

God will have to heal and restore.

There’s one more thing I can do besides wish…

In fact, it’s the most important thing.

I can pray and talk to God about my hopes.

About my desires.

I can pray for healed relationships.

I can pray for physical healings.

I can pray for the salvation of others.

What do you wish for?

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6-7

 

peace of

 

 

Tiger

 

 

 

This is scary: You can tame a tiger,
 but you can’t tame a tongue – it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer.
 With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women He made in His image.
 Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
 A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it?
 Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.
James 3:7-13 The Message
tiger
 

Whoever Believes

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Recently, I watched a televised launch of a rocket delivering satellites to space.

This is a fairly common occurrence, at least to me and millions of other people around the world.

As I watched, however, the thought came to me that, even with all the fantastic technical knowledge that went into bringing that event into reality, there were still people on the planet who had never seen a car before…

As a relatively small amount of people in the world watched live camera feed from the side of a rocket that was placing satellites at strategic points in space while traveling at about 17 thousand miles per hour, there were no doubt people going about their lives in secluded forests or mountains, foraging for food, knowing only about their nearby surroundings and nothing else.

Yet, for both types of people—those that stare at numbers and share ideas, culminating with events like rocket launches and those that know very little beyond themselves and their families—God is there.

As He looks on us—the people of the world that He has made—He does so with love and yearning, I believe.

Yearning for all to know Him.

Jesus came to earth on that first Christmas as a baby, born to one day die on the cross.

To die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

No matter who we are in this world—highly educated or uneducated, rich or poor, old or young—God loves us all just the same.

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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.

—John 3:16

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not perish

 

Prince of Peace

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For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting  Father, Prince of Peace.

—Isaiah 9:6

While visiting a large city, I saw a building with crosses on the rooftop.
With gold colored accents, the structure seems majestic.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we remember who He is and who we are.
He is our Savior.
He is our Prince of Peace.
We are His forgiven children…

 

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everlasting

Quick at Mending Fences

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The fence I photographed looked perfect.

It is obvious that it had been well taken care of.

How quick are we at “mending fences” in our relationships?

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In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

Ephesians 4:1-3 The Message

 

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acts love

 

For Everything

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On my way home from the grocery store, traffic came to a halt on the highway.

Every now and then, the vehicles in front of me would move forward—a little.

I didn’t know what the cause was, but I went into flexibility mode and began to sing along with my car stereo.

I repeated the song several times because I was still really wanting to sing it.

As I sang, I got my camera and started taking pictures of my surroundings.

Not always having the time to just stop and take in the beauty along the side of the road, this was an unforeseen delight.

Tall pine trees lined most of the road.

Wildflowers and grapevines, fence posts and wire—it was all so quiet.

As I sang the lyrics that dealt with trying and failing, realizing we’re not who we think we are sometimes and wanting to just be centered on God and held by His Spirit, I enjoyed the blessing of seeing some of the beauty He had created up close.

As it turned out, I think I was out on that stretch of highway for maybe 30-45 minutes, creeping forward a little at a time.

Coming to the end of it, roadwork and only a one lane opening was probably the main cause of the delay.

When I left the store, I didn’t know that I would be given the opportunity for reflection and solitude.

A gift from God on a sunny, late afternoon….

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Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

–from Ephesians 5:19-20

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giving thanks