INCREASE YOUR PEACE

REMEMBER GOD…

Dove over Water

God is always with us.  We may not always be aware, but He is always here watching us and waiting for us to call upon Him when we are in trouble.  Peace comes when we remember His presence on a regular basis.  Isa. 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”  

This is the key.  Keeping our thoughts fixed on God.  Thinking things like: “What would He do in this situation?” or “Since God is with me I am not afraid.”  If we acknowledge Him in all we do and before any decision we make, peace will always be with us.  

Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus and follow his example to run the race with endurance.  

Remember, God is with us.  Remember, God is our peace.  Remember, God is our guide. Remember, God is watching over us and will help us in times of trouble.  This kind of thinking will keep you in perfect peace.

Jesus on benchDON’T WORRY, PRAY

Philippians 4: 6-7 NLT says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” 

Once we have our mind and thoughts fixed on God, we can keep the conversation going with Him all throughout the day.  Sure,  it is important to have our time with God in the morning to start the day.  Many of us have a morning ‘quiet time’ devoted to God and reading and/or praying.  But He wants us to include Him in everything we do.  When stress arises during the day, ask for help.  When you get that promotion, thank Him.  When we feel joyful or happy about what’s happening, share it with Him.  

Don’t worry,  God is here.  Don’t worry,  God has for back. Don’t worry, take all your cares to Jesus.  He will take all your burdens and help you carry them.

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Retirement

I may be a minority here but I feel this way a lot here lately.

Retirement

Beginning of life: all is exciting and new.  Experiences mostly intriguing.

On into your teenage and young adult careers, we are focused on building and achieving.

Reaching into the middle aged or life comes to a high as we are about to reach are goal.

Into our older years, once our goal is reached, we slow down and take a look back

Now at the peak of our career, we no longer climb or move upward, we no longer grow.

Going nowhere!! Existing until our final day.

Our Problems Disappear

where-all-problems-go-away-true-story-⚽👌-7856435We all need a place to escape sometimes.  For some of us it is a soccer game, as in this picture here.  For others it is something a little (or a lot) more destructive, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and the list goes on.  

What are we escaping from?

We escape from  work, family problems, financial problems, heartache, health problems, etc.  Problems are many times the focus of our attention because we are drawn to what hurts at the moment.  It’s like when we stub out little toe; we grab our toe and moan until the pain subsides.  Likewise, most of us focus on our problems or pain until it goes away.

What is the real problem?

The real problem is not work, the family, finances, heartache, or heath, etc.  It is our focus.  What is our focus.  I have found that the more I focus on myself, the more problems I seem to have.  I am always concerned about what I want, how I feel; and I complain about what is not perfect and who is not doing what I want.  

Change of focus

So where should our focus be?  Many times in my life I have felt my focus being pulled away from my own problems when I see another bigger problem out there somewhere.  Out in the world, in my community, or among my friends.  When I see a catastrophe like war, tsunamis, or poverty  or when I see a friend get evicted from their home or someone I know loses a family member, that is when my problems seem to disappear.  In the light of major catastrophes or serious problems all around me, my problems seems to be a trivial matter.  So the problem is not my situation.  It is my focus.  It is my response to my problems.  Do I sit and sulk?  Do I worry and complain?  Do I have a pity party and wonder when I will get my way, when my kids will finally behave, when my bills will ever get paid?  If so, I end up worrying and becoming depressed.  However….

 Focus on Jesus

If I focus on Jesus, first of all, I know He has the answer and with Him I can get through the problem.  My problem may not actually disappear, but I do not worry about it because “Papa” will take care of it and see me through it.

Focus on others

Prayer is a wonderful thing.  When I pray for myself, I can focus on Jesus and know he has my problems in His hands and will fix everything until I feel okay again. When I pray for others, I get my focus off of myself and realize that I am not alone in my battles, pain, and heartaches.  

When I see what is happening in the world I still know that God is sovereign and is not up there wringing his hands wondering what to do.  He has it all under control. Sure, He gave some authority to us and commanded us to take charge of things on Earth, but He is there to help us if we ask Him.  

JOY

I once heard the definition of Joy as Jesus Others Yourself.  That is what our focus should be.  Jesus first, others second, and ourselves last.  We are here to Worship God.  That is our primary focus.  Then we are also here to love others.  Sometimes our focus should be on them more than ourselves.  Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”  We should thing of others needs.  Although we should not neglect ourselves, we should just realize that when we put others first at times, our problems seem smaller or even non existent as we focus on something else.

Continue reading “Our Problems Disappear”

FROM THE HEART (re-post)

FROM THE HEART

by  Terri  Byars  October 2000 to January 2001 /All rights reserved

Depression.  Hopelessness.
All seems lost. Nowhere to go.
Want to leave. Hit bottom.
All is useless.  What is the point?
I cannot do this anymore.  Are you there, Lord?
Return me to the place of joy.
Trust.  Rest.  Confidence.
Confidence in You alone.
I want to forget.  Laugh a little.
Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Read the word. Live in His love.
In Your light, Lord.  Let me/I live there alone.
Get rid of darkness. Take me to the Light.
Pure Joy

Confession.  Repentance.
Not my will, but Your will be done, Lord.
Tears.  Grief.  Hopelessness.
Wondering what is wrong, how to fix it.
I can’t do it in my strength.
I cannot proceed until all my strength disappears.
Transformed.  Renewed.
A living sacrifice presented to God.
Tears.  Grief.  Brokenness.  Hope.
Hope in God for the help of His presence.
I cannot stand.  I have fallen.
I have to be carried. Lord, lift me up.
Confession.  Repentance.

Brokenness.  Childlikeness.
Total desperate dependence on the Lord.
A need.  A longing.  To be satisfied.
Never able to be filled.  A need to be empty.
I can’t be filled until I am empty.
I cannot be satisfied until all my desires disappear.
Crucified.  Dead to self.
Following Him closely every moment.
A need.  A longing.  To hear His heart.
A pure heart.  Single-minded.  Holiness.
I can’t see without His eyes.
I cannot walk, Lord, hold my hand.
Brokenness.  Childlikeness.

Selflessness.  Generosity.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition.
Focused inward.  Self-importance.
What can be done to fix my problem?
It’s not about me and my problem.
It’s not most important to get my needs met.
Humility. Think of others.
Consider others needs above my own.
Focused outward.  Self-abasement.
Other’s need are more important than my own.
Lord, what can I do for others?
God’s grace will abound toward you.
Selflessness. Generosity. 

Closeness.  Intimacy.
Single-minded, wholehearted devotion to God.
Affections.  Desires.  To have the answers.
Never knowing.  A need to be dependent.
I can’t be secure until I let go.
I cannot be secure until I step forward without knowing.
Hang on loosely.  Lean on Him.
Moment-by-moment clinging to Him.
Affections.  Desires.  Seek those things above.
Confidence in Him.  He knows.  He’s Daddy.
I cannot walk without holding His hand.
I cannot survive without looking to Him.
Closeness.  Intimacy.

Endurance. Perseverance.
Falling. Crawling. Moving forward.
Trust myself. I can do it.  I have the ability.
Try and try. Striving. Straining. Pressing.
I can’t keep going on my strength.
I cannot do this anymore without His Spirit.
Not my righteousness, but His.
Walking on. Press on toward the goal.
Trust Him.  Availability. Faithfulness.
Keep my eyes on Jesus who endured the cross.
I will keep going.  Earnestly pray. Have Faith.
Seek peace. Pursue righteousness.
Endurance. Perseverance.

RUN THE RACE TO WIN!!

MY EATING PLAN

  http://nourishinghope.com/food-pyramid/

I discovered this new food pyramid online.  I like this style of eating and have been trying to move to this diet for a while due to diabetes in my family.  I am glad that I found this online. It’s good to know someone else feels the way I do about limiting my grains and legumes so much.  I have diabetes in my family and have been trying to eat low carb for a while.  I am not diabetic; but have been told I could be pre-diabetic.  I feel that is no longer the case because of my low carb healthy eating style.  Research this for yourself beginning with this website above and see if it’s right for you.  I feel much better since I have been eating this way–more energy, less cravings, weight loss (about 2-3 pounds a week or 10-12 pounds a month).  Please feel free to comment below about what new healthy diet you have discovered.

STOP THE PAIN!!

PainLady I was talking to a nurse today who told me many patients proclaim, “I didn’t know it would hurt this much” when they come out of surgery.  And they expect to be medicated until the pain is completely gone.  But it is not always safe to be medicated that much.  Sometimes we just have to live with some pain until we are healed.  Medication is only to alleviate some of the pain, not necessarily to totally remove it.

That’s the way it is with our emotions too.  Sometimes we want to totally get rid of the pain of rejection, depression, anger, hatred, emotional pain of abuse, etc.  And that’s why I believe addictions are so much of a problem today.  Whether it is gambling, drugs, alcohol, shopping, eating, watching TV or whatever one chooses to escape from the pain, many of us have succumb to addictions.  I know I have my moments of trying to escape the pain of this world.  How can we solve this problem?

Know That Pain Will Come, it’s a Promise14aae7048c09c0c60020fb1dc4196650

We were told there was going to be pain.  Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.  Jesus was a man full of sorry and He has grieved because of the state of man’s soul who has not trusted in Him. He told us that we should be ready for pain and sorrow.  That means I should not expect to be happy every day.  I have joy because Jesus is with me, supporting me through difficult times, but it is not always fun or easy or pleasant.

Know That There is a Solution,  It’s also a Promise

Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  He is always with us.  He will never leave.  He wants to carry our burdens.  The bible is full of verses that comfort the soul.  The greatest comfort is knowing that this fallen world is only temporary.  One day I will pass on into the spiritual realm and live life with Jesus face to face.  This world will pass away, but the love of the Lord lasts forever.

Learn to Live with Some Pain

Knowing that there will be pain helps me expect it and prepare for it.  Knowing that it is temporary lets me realize that I won’t be in pain forever.  Also as I grow older, I know that physical pain is a part of life.  I seldom take pain medication.  I just live with it for a while.  I know it’s going away eventually, when He comes to take me Home to Heaven.

BE OF GOOD CHEER!!

Look at the stars

I love this quote I found online.  I believe this to the very core of my being.  There is light!

Looking around at the world today and all that is happening in the news, we will notice a lot of bad; there is a lot of hatred, sorrow, terrorism, etc.  We will notice people who don’t care any more.  There is more financial stress, more destruction, and more illness, and the list goes on. Many people can grow cold and uncaring or just become immune to all the evil in the world.  What was once devastating or shocking to society years ago will be acceptable or ‘normal’ today.  Take divorce for example.  It is very commonplace today, but a couple hundred years ago, if someone were to say they were getting divorced, they would probably be either shamed or pitied greatly.  Now it is much more acceptable.

In a world growing cold, immoral, or uncaring I can find myself becoming judgmental.  It’s just not the way it used to be.  More and more of what is acceptable now was immoral 50 years ago.  It is very easy to focus on what is bad in the world.  The news, for example has mostly stories of terrorism, war, and crime with only a short human interest story at the end.  There is a way I’ve learned to stop being so sorrowful and disappointed concerning the world system.

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Look at the stars

The more darkness there is, the more stars I can see.  I can go out to the country and see an image such as the one here.  A  multitude of stars in space.  There is darkness all around, but so many stars to enjoy.  If I keep my head up instead of down, I can see more light instead of darkness.

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In the city, with all the lights, buildings, and cars, there is much less light in the sky.  It’s easy for me to be so distracted by the action, people, and things around me that I no longer see the stars.  The world is in the way.  Even when I do look up, the stars are much less noticeable.  Most of them are dimmed in the midst of the lights of the world.

Look to God

god-is-light-in-him-there-is-no-darkness-at-all-quote-1ddf4ec73a44f86ca71ac6d1320605afeThese two verses say it all.  “God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5.  and “Set your mind on thing above.”  Colossians 3:2.  If I keep looking up, if I look at the stars in the night sky instead of the darkness itself, I can see light.  There is still good in the world.  There is still happiness. God is teaching me not be so negative.  Do not see the glass half empty.  Do not look only to the faults in the world.  See the small points of light in the midst of darkness.  Focus on the positive.

Like Carrie Hope Fletcher said, “Happiness is always there. You just have to choose to see it. There’s no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars.”  See link above for more information on Carrie Hope Fletcher.