All posts tagged: peace

Are You Waiting on the Lord Patiently?

When I was fairly young, I remember learning a song for a program at church. The chorus has always stuck with me, and both of my boys have heard it several times. Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, You only start to worry. Remember, remember, That God is patient too. And think of all the times when others have to wait for you. Patience is not something natural for humans. Especially as we move toward adulthood, we become more time-aware, seeking to accomplish everything we can in our lives. Our culture pushes us toward greater efficiency, even at the cost of our peace. We don’t want to wait to accomplish our goal; we want to have the next “viral video” to gain notoriety. We want to take a pill and lose all the fat on our body. We want to jump in the car and arrive at our destination faster than we ever have before. In Matthew 4, Satan offered Jesus efficient opportunities to “accomplish” His goals …

Are You Choosing Peace In Every Circumstance?

When you hear the word peace, what comes to mind? Do you imagine white, sandy beaches with the sound of waves? Do you think about sitting near a tranquil mountain stream? Do you picture tie-dye t-shirts and peace symbol necklaces? The word peace can conjure up many different thoughts and ideas depending upon your perspective or personal preferences. During our most recent services, Shannon taught the Biblical meaning of peace is “a serenity and tranquility that comes from trusting in the wisdom and control of God rather than our own understanding.” I vividly remember experiencing this definition of peace when we were in the midst of becoming approved as foster parents. We decided to enter the world of foster care because of a specific little girl. We wanted to be able to adopt her, if the opportunity ever arose. However, as we went through the approval process, the girl’s biological mother completed the requirements of her case plan and the family was reunified. While on paper this looked good, it was frustrating to know the …

Do You Know the Secret to Generosity?

One of the all time greatest Disney movies is “Cool Runnings.” It is enticing–the struggle to overcome unbelievable odds. One of the climactic scenes of the movie has the two main characters discussing purpose. Derice, the bobsled driver, asks his coach, Irv, why he had cheated when he competed. Irv responds, “It’s quite simple, really. I had to win. You see, Derice, I’d made winning my whole life. And when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what. You understand that? A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.” So often, we feel compelled to win. Sometimes we are so compelled we will go to any length to be the victor, even at the expense of our integrity. And this is not confined just to sports; in business, relationships, and even arguments, winning is paramount. Even our modern American culture is rife with language that tells us we have to have it all. Winning is having …

The Good Shepherd In Your Darkest Hours

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields near by, guarding their flocks of sheep. – Luke 2:8 I’ve been thinking about these shepherds lately and finding myself identifying with them. I picture them awake and alert, in the dark of night, guarding. Why are they awake and doing this when the rest of the world sleeps? Because they understood what lurked in the dark. They understood predators exist and danger is much closer then the sheep realize. Make no mistake, the reality of what the shepherd was is much different than what is portrayed in stained glass. They were rough, vigilant, capable of violence, and realists. To them, Christmas Eve was just another dark night.   I worked night shift as a police officer for a little over nine years straight, 6:00 PM – 6:00 AM.  The night shift has a way of sharpening you, for a variety of reasons. But there is also something about that “late” night hour; the period of time way after midnight and well before dawn.  It seems to …

3 Ways to Better Manage Your Money Today

Kelli and I were drowning in our finances three years ago. We were frustrated and often found ourselves bickering about our financial situation. Overdraft fees and spending freezes were a part of our weekly routine. Like fools, we kept doing the same things and surprisingly nothing changed. Finally, we decided to make a change. We began studying and following a plan that has totally changed our lives when it comes to money. We’ve learned so much over the past few years, but here are three tips I’d like to share with you that can change the way you manage money starting today.     1) Stop thinking it’s your money. A few weeks ago, before Kelli was about to take the boys shopping, I asked Levi if he was going to buy me anything. He said he didn’t have any money, paused a moment, then he told me he did. I said, “Oh, yeah? What kind of money?” He went into his silly Levi voice and shouted, “Yo mon—ey!” I lost it laughing. As silly …

You Can Remain Hopeful in the Storm

When I first saw the Sea of Galilee, I was overwhelmed with excitement and joy. We checked into our hotel in Tiberius and I immediately put on my bathing suit, grabbed a towel, and ran down to the small shoreline. The water was pretty cold, but I just went for it and dove in. With mountains surrounding every side, I wondered how these waters could become so turbulent. I kid you not, just as I had the thought, a small wind came across the sea and what was smooth waters quickly became white caps. I considered swimming back to shore as I realized that it didn’t take much to create a turbulent scene. Often times this is how storms in our lives begin. Things seem to be really smooth when a little wind kicks up and stirs the water.  Before we know it we’re in the middle of a raging storm. It can be scary, especially when you are far from the shore. In Matthew 14:22-33, the disciples of Jesus are out on the Sea …

Do You Despise Waiting? Learn to be Content.

I spend a lot of time waiting. I wait for the coffee to stop dripping every morning. I wait for the washing machine to finish so I can move the clothes to the dryer. I wait for my kids in the pick-up line after school. I wait a lot. Since I spend so much time waiting, you’d think I’d be quite good at it. But the truth is, I’m not. I’m terrible at waiting. The worst part is I can’t just be still while I’m waiting. I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the process of waiting as our family is currently in a “season” of waiting. Since February, we’ve been waiting to become approved as foster parents. I’m waiting for the state of Georgia to ask me to take temporary custody of someone else’s child. It’s a strange feeling as I’m essentially waiting for the worst day of someone’s life to happen. And as I wait, I am overcome by the desire to “do something.” Surely there’s someone I can call or email …

A Different Perspective to Working For Peace

Peace is something that doesn’t come easy – anyone who has ever tried to work for it knows that. As Christians, we consider Jesus to be the greatest peacemaker of all time, after all, He did reconcile mankind to God (1 Timothy 2:5). In the book of Matthew, Jesus lays down some instructions for us as Christians to fight for peace as well: “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). This is one of the great statements (also known as the Beatitudes) that Jesus makes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Surely peacemaking isn’t just holding doors open and being nice to people. When Jesus says work for peace he is saying that there is much to be done and that it isn’t easy.  But what does this actually look like for us?  Jesus said, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword,” (Matthew 10:34). This is an interesting statement from …

Don’t Worry: He Holds All Things Together

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. – Colossians 1:17 I remember reading this for the first time years ago and bearing down with a pen onto my Bible, underlining this sucker over and over and over. I was thinking, “That’s right, He, the brother, holds it all together!” It makes me think of a message I heard from Louie Giglio years ago called “How Great is Our God.”  In short, he talks about a protein molecule called laminin. It is a molecule in the body that literally holds the body together; it’s the rebar (steel enforcing rod holding cement together) of the human body and it is shaped into image of a cross. Amazing, right?!! At the microscopic level of our body, a molecule in the image of a cross is holding us together. Jesus is literally holding our body together. When Paul writes this, the fullness of his words are meant to be understood that Christ has total sovereignty and control over all creation. Much like His working in our body, Christ …

This Week For Sunday

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. – Paul, 2 Thessalonians 3:16 I can distinctly remember having peace in certain situations and at certain times. However, Paul says that God can give us peace at all times and in every situation. I didn’t understand this until I learned to truly put my hope and trust in God. When we put our hope and trust in the things of earth, we cannot have true peace. The kind of peace Paul is speaking of can only be found in and through God. When I understand that He is my provider, He is my comfort, and in Him I have all I need, then His peace comes into my life. No matter what trials, no matter what situation I find myself in, I have peace knowing that God is still God and my hope is in the Lord. Luke 6:45b says, “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” When we …