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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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!!

Soothing the Soul

Three things that soothe my soul.

MUSIC:  Do you ever wonder why there is music playing everywhere?  Everywhere we go: restaurants, malls, department stores, and the list goes on.  Music is a source of rest and relaxation for me. I will listen to different types of music depending upon my mood.  I like soft ambiance type music, slow and soothing, when I am stressed and need to cool off emotionally speaking.  When I am sad I like to listen to upbeat Christian music that lifts me up and get my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping.  When I feel lonely I like to listen to love songs about how much Christ loves me.  And sometimes I like listening to romantic music about the love between a husband and wife.  There is music for all ages, races, nationalities, and personalities.  Music is a common ground that all people can appreciate sometime in their life.

MEDITATION:   Many times I like to sit and let my mind wander.  I often do this while taking a long drive out of town here in North Texas.  I look out at the plains, the farm fields, the road ahead of me, and just think of nothing.  I let thoughts float by and when one interesting thought comes my way I may ponder it for a while.  If it is a problem I need to solve, I pray about it and ask God to show me how to fix it.  Many times it is just a thought about a random subject that I begin to analyze or a topic that I try to outline or learn from.  Sometimes I just sit there and listen to the birds sing, the wind blow or the soft music playing in the background of my mind.  (I often seem to have some song in my head playing in the background of my thoughts).  Meditation like this can be like dreaming while you are awake.  I have read somewhere that dreaming is like organizing your experiences of life that day and filing your thoughts, memories, and emotional experiences in your mind.

MEMORIZATION

im-blessed

 

The scripture above is a great example of how scripture can soothe the soul.  We have every blessing available to us through Jesus Christ.  If we search the scriptures we can find a multitude of blessings we can receive or have received from Him.  The best way to keep this with us is to memorize scripture.  We can say at any moment, wherever we are, that we are blessed by God.  And this soothes my soul.  Another good example is Psalms 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your [a]years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Christmas Through the Years

As the years roll by, Christmas becomes a lot different.  The first 20 – 25 years of my life, it was increasingly busy, and increasingly crowded.  As the family grew with more children, we all began helping out in the kitchen.  Even my Dad was in there cooking with the rest of us.  He made pumpkin pie from scratch (sometimes using the inside of the pumpkin used the for Halloween jack-o-lantern).  He made giblet dressing from scratch.  Mom cooked several dishes.  We children (I had 4 sisters) helped with setting the table, making the relish tray (pickles, olives, etc.).  We all sat around the table and ate together.  As we grew into teenagers and then young adults there were a few guys added to the table as we invited our boyfriends, fiance, and eventually husbands and children to join us for the holidays.  Then it was my mom, dad, 4 sisters, 2 or three husbands, about 5 children.  It grew to about 15 people.   That was in Tennessee.

A couple of years after we was married, my husband and I moved to Texas with our one year old daughter.  It went down to 3 people:  My husband and I, and our 1-year-old daughter.  Gone were the days of 7 people in the kitchen joining in on the cooking, creating, cleaning.  It all fell on one person:  me!  I still made the big dinner with turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn on the cob, and two pies.  That was the usual dinner growing up through the years, so that’s what I made.  Needless to say, it lasted a week.  I was so lonely for the Christmas crowd in the kitchen.

Well, the kids have grown and both my children are working today — one in New York City, the other here in town.  My husband and I are having a quiet day, almost boring day here at the house.  I made ham, corn on the cob, salad (from a bag, lol) and my husband made bacon wrapped jalapeno and li’l smokies in biscuits.  A lot smaller meal, a lot smaller family.  My daughter may come over later and re-heat some of the food for supper.

Christmas has changed throughout the years, but the message is still the same.  One day God sent his one and only son to be born in a stable, in a manger.  A king was born for you and me.  He has come to save us, to heal us, to show us the way to the Father.

happy-birthday-jesus

Praise God for his indescribable gift.

The mindset of a Believer

 

I awoke today determined to have a great day emotionally.

 

Things happen in this world.  We see devastation, destruction, and death on a regular basis on the news.  But today I am determined to set my mind on what is good.  I set my mind on what is life, peace, and joy.

mind-set-on-the-spirit-is-life-and-peace

To be full of life, peace and joy, I must set my mind on the Spirit of God according to Romans 8:6.  So on this day. I set my mind on the sun rising in the heavens declaring the Glory of God.  I set my mind on the birds who sing and trust in their creator to provide.  I set my mind on God who is my creator, sustainer, redeemer, savior, provider, protector.  He is my rock, my safety, my sanity, the Hope I cling to.  He is my strength, my purpose.  With Him in mind, my goal for today is to please Him.  My goal is to worship Him through my actions.

I determine, or at least will try, to thank Him every hour on the hour for something grand in my life –to fill my heart with overwhelming peace, unspeakable joy, and unlimited Love of the Father who accepts me just as I am.  I know that what I set my mind on, what I believe, and who I believe I am, determines my behavior, my thoughts, my attitude for life.  I just need to never forget who I am.  I am a child of God.  I am more than a conqueror.  I am adopted into God’s family.  I am a joint heir with Jesus Christ.  I am loved by God and created for His purpose.

mindset

 

A FALLEN WORLD

8525477-a-pair-of-cottonwood-trees-on-a-cloudy-winter-dayThis time of year, I feel myself slipping into discouragement or depression.  It’s overcast a lot here in Texas, foggy the past few days.  And I need the sun to shine on me.  Everything is dying and dark.

It is now when I think about heaven a lot.  It will be sunny there.  No sorrow, no sin, no conflict.  The weight of the world will no longer be something to bear us down.

Today was hard especially.  I went to church and my pastor announced his daughter just gave birth to a child last night.  Although that is a great thing in the right circumstances, this time it grieved me.  The pastor’s daughter is not married.  She had an illegitimate child.  The pastors are not apologetic about it at all.  This bothers me a lot and makes me want to go to another church.  My husband like this church and the relationships he’s developed.  And we should both belong to the same church.  The church I like is more old school Church of God where they still have altar calls every Sunday and worship in the Spirit, not just what they planned on singing, but what they feel the spirit calling us to sing at the moment.  The church my husband and I attend now is more rock and I don’t like that either.

I am tired of this world and all the carnal living that I see growing in Christians these days.  Including me.  I am no exception.  This emotional up and down is not of God.  Jesus was full of joy all the time, and loved people all the time.  He was not judgemental toward people although he didn’t like the sin.

I try to be encouraging on these blogs, but I felt I needed to write my emotions and let them out.   Venting is always good so I don’t harbor the negative thoughts and feelings inside.

On top of this, I have a lot of struggles with my daughter which is a whole other story.

ComforterGod is still good.

He is still sovereign.

He is still in control.

I choose to praise Him even in my darkest hour.

Abundance is…

Abundance is..Watching a sunrise or sunset, reading the first page of a brand new novel, seeing a baby walk to you for the first time, getting a smile from a stranger walking by, feeling a cool breeze on a warm day.

The practice of abundance can change your life.  It changed mine.  It opens the windows to a new look at life.  It opens the mind and heart to beauty, wonder, warmth, and love.

Practicing abundance is another form of positive thinking. “Whatever is true, honest, right, pure, lovely, or good report, if there is any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think on these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8.

Beach-SunriseTake a look at the sunrise.  Visit the beach.  Thank God that the car started; find joy in the simple things we take for granted.  A heart beating, a lung breathing, muscles working, air to breath, buds blooming, trees waving in the wind.  These are things everyone can be thankful for.

I find myself thinking of all the woes in the world: poverty, hunger, unemployment, heartache and pain.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  I praise God for life.  I praise God for a place to lay my head at night, no matter how small it may be.  I praise God for food on my plate and friends who help put it there.

Stop and notice the flowers next time you walk by a garden or someone’s front yard.  Glance into a store front window and see all the beautiful things and just imagine the joy you could have using them even if you can’t afford to buy them now.  And realize that one of these days, as we enter the Golden Gates of Heaven, everything will be positive.

This is Terri Byars encouraging you to count your blessings.