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peace {advent ~ week 2}

peace - advent week 2


Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

As the second week of Advent begins today, the race to get to this place, to get this and that taken care of, the pace of life is looking for every way it can to rob me of peace – His Absolute Peace.

Peace does not mean I sit in absolute silence.

Peace is not a place where my life is trouble-free.

Peace is not a place where I have no sorrows or hurts.

Peace is not a place where I find complete certainty.

Peace is not in the darkness; it is in His Light. 

Peace means in the middle of all the noise, the difficult circumstances, the sorrow, the hurt that overshadows the day, and in all the uncertainties I am overwhelmed by a calm.  The calm that can only come from the Lord of Peace, His Absolute Peace.  

If I find myself in the dark, searching for peace, I will not find peace in a place.  Nor will I find peace by my own doing.  I will only find peace in a person, the person of Jesus Christ.  When I find myself caught up in the whirlwind of the pace of life, no matter the season of life, I need to go back to the place where I picked up the distractions and relied on my own insights and instead embrace and depend on His light to lead me.  He will give me peace in every way. 

Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace. (C. H. Spurgeon)

a hard reality


Some inner reflections today . . .

These words struck a chord of hard reality as I read them yesterday.

Jesus was always consistent in his relationship to God.  He didn’t devote Himself to “a cause” – His devotion and obedience was to His Father.

So I ask myself. . .  where is my devotion?  Is it to some cause?  To some unyielding doctrine?  Have I made these the focus of my devotion?  Where is my consistency?


Am I pouring myself into devotion to my relationship with Jesus?  Am I truly consistently showing love as He shows love?  

The hard reality . . . I am asking the Spirit to “blast me out of my preconceived ideas.”


Hope for the filthy rags

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Even at my very best, I have nothing to offer but filthy rags.

But I have the Hope that will not disappoint!

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 
 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.

This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5: 1-5

from groans to glory


“The only love that won’t disappoint you is one that can’t change, that can’t be lost, that is not based on the ups and downs of life or of how well you live. It is something that not even death can take away from you. God’s love is the only thing like that.”

 ~ from Walking with God through Pain and Suffering  Tim Keller

reflections: burning brush {a burning heart}



Reflecting back over my week of spring break . . . it was a good week!  Lots of productivity sprinkled in with lots of time for rest and relaxation.  We decided to pass on “going anywhere” for my little break from teaching.  Instead it was a great opportunity to spend some time working/relaxing at CHR, our country place, and with my folks.  So we packed up the truck with all our gear, and of course our dog.

One of the things that needed to be done this week was to help my dad out with clearing out some scrub brush and then burning.  So while my sweet man was cutting trees and brush at our place, I stayed and helped my dad.  What a sweet time we shared.   One of the good things about spending time with Dad is his sharing memories, his wisdom, and most of all – his love for God.

So while working alongside him, chopping, cutting, pulling and hauling small brush to the burn pile — I learned some lessons about burning brush and about the secret of my own burning heart.

The Burning Heart ~ Oswald Chambers

Did not our heart burn within us . . . ? —Luke 24:32

We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, fires are set ablaze, and we are given wonderful visions; but then we must learn to maintain the secret of the burning heart— a heart that can go through anything. It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people, that smothers the burning heart— unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.

Much of the distress we experience as Christians comes not as the result of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test we should use to determine whether or not to allow a particular emotion to run its course in our lives is to examine what the final outcome of that emotion will be. Think it through to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something that God would condemn, put a stop to it immediately. But if it is an emotion that has been kindled by the Spirit of God and you don’t allow it to have its way in your life, it will cause a reaction on a lower level than God intended. That is the way unrealistic and overly emotional people are made. And the higher the emotion, the deeper the level of corruption, if it is not exercised on its intended level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable, and let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay forever on the “mount of transfiguration,” basking in the light of our mountaintop experience (see Mark 9:1-9). But we must obey the light we received there; we must put it into action. When God gives us a vision, we must transact business with Him at that point, no matter what the cost.

I want that heart that can go through anything . . . even in the most mundane days.

I want that heart that has been kindled by the Spirit . . . on the mountaintop or in the desert.

I want that heart that burns inside me . . . because I am abiding in Jesus.


the light and dark side

brennan manning shadow side.001


To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark.

In admitting my shadow side . . . I learn who I am . . .

and what God’s grace means.

Brennan Manning

HIS voice

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Which voice are you listening to?

always with me

isaiah 43_2.001 isaiah 43_2.002

not a random thing

Glassing for elk

Remember . . . he was Mine before he was yours, and I love him more than you do.

Those were the words whispered to me in the dark, early morning hour.  Something woke me up and looking at the clock on our iPad the background picture was that of our prodigal.  What has become my habit through the years, whenever the face or name of those dear to me seem to come randomly,  I lift them to our Father because I know He knows them and He is the only who can bring peace.

I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
2 Timothy 1: 12

When God calls you to pray for someone . . . be it one of your own, or someone else . . . it is not a random thing.  It is not something to be put on the “to-do list later”.  It might be that very hour, that very moment, in which that one is struggling or dealing with an all-important issue or maybe it’s in that very moment they are staggering under the load of choices they’ve made.  And standing in the gap at that moment may be God’s special provision and help to lead them to the road of deliverance . . . in that very moment.

Then later this morning while taking my mom and dad into town to do a few errands, we stopped in at their local favorite donut shop to have some coffee and a muffin.  While enjoying their Saturday morning ritual, I noticed I had gotten a text from my sweet man who’s deep in the mountains, several states away.  Cell service is pretty erratic, but he always sends a little something “sweet,” and always encouraging before he heads out.  His text read …”Growing Young” by Rich Mullins . . . listen to and pray . . . ” God had put our prodigal on my husband’s heart too.

Again . . . when God calls you to pray for someone – it is not a random thing.

So . . . we are obedient  . . . we pray . . . we relinquish into His hands . . .

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me
Psalm 138:3

“Growing Young” – Rich Mullins

I’ve gone so far from my home
I’ve seen the world and I have known
So many secrets
I wish now I did not know
‘Cause they have crept into my heart
They have left it cold and dark
And bleeding,
Bleeding and falling apart

And everybody used to tell me big boys don’t cry
Well I’ve been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms
And be growing young
Growing young

I’ve seen silver turn to dross
Seen the very best there ever was
And I’ll tell you, it ain’t worth what it costs
And I remember my father’s house
What I wouldn’t give right now
Just to see him and hear him tell me that he loves me so much

And everybody used to tell me big boys don’t cry
Well I’ve been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms

And when I thought that I was all alone
It was your voice I heard calling me back home
And I wonder now Lord
What it was that made me wait so long
And what kept You waiting for me all that time
Was Your love stronger than my foolish pride
Will You take me back now, take me back and let me be Your child

‘Cause I’ve been broken now, I’ve been saved 
I’ve learned to cry, and I’ve learned how to pray 
And I’m learning, I’m learning even I can be changed

And everybody used to tell me big boys don’t cry
Well I’ve been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons

Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old 
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road 
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms 
And be growing young
Growing young
Growing young

for chains to fall

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He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away the chains.
Psalm 107:14

I’m learning much about silence in prayer during this season.  But even in the silence I can find the comfort, the peace this mother’s heart needs, I find it daily in His Word.  The wordless responses are met with His Promises.

For all the children . . .

I pray for Grace to be made real in their lives.

I pray for the sweet calling of the Holy Spirit to be met with openness.

I pray for the look in the mirror to be met with fearless honesty with the Creator, the one they’ve called Abba Father.

I pray even when they feel lost to themselves, even when they question, that they are never lost to Him who died for them. 


I pray for chains to fall as . . .

 one of them is struggling, coming to terms with the hard parts of his story.

You’ve broken the chains of many, Lord.

My son has chains too.  Not chains made of iron but from the sins he forged on his own free will, thinking this is a freedom, an identity, maybe an escape.  But these chains are entangling, not liberating, because they have taken him away from You.

The Word says, “The Lord sets the prisoners free.

How we want so much to hear the sounds of the chains falling, never to be picked up and put on again.

How much we so want to hear him say how You have done great things for him and set his heart free.

How much we want him to recognize his conforming to the world is the worst kind of slavery.

We don’t know the reasons Lord.  We don’t fully know the challenges he faces, only in part.  But we do know that You know all of them.  We ask that the chains be broken link by link by link, so he can turn again to You.  And the things that have captivated him will lose their lure and he will understand they are the tools, the schemes of the enemy.

You’ve broken the chains of many.  Break his.

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