Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bob E.-Gone on Ahead

I received the call Sunday evening. Bob E. had suffered a heart attack and died a few hours earlier. He and his wife were the church custodians. They had been youth leaders in another church we belonged to. People never spoke of Bob without speaking of his wife, Joyce. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren.

Because of the suddenness of Bob’s departure from us, we are all in shock. Men who had been in the youth group several years ago have called their family members to find out what had happened. Our son received an email from one of his high school youth group friends who relocated to Houston Texas, making sure he knew.

The words don’t come easily. We all have received another lesson in how quickly life can change. Life is precious. As people of a faith community we believe from a spiritual standpoint Bob was ready to go. We are thankful he didn’t suffer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Peace with God

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Romans 5:1 (NIV)

When we invite Jesus to come into our lives, He blots out our sins and cleanses our heart. He looks at each of us ‘just-as-if-I’d’ not sinned. We place our faith in Him and grow closer to Him.

We gain peace with God. After we learn that the state of our hearts is due to our new relationship, we relax and let Him lead us. The Lord begins to have control over our hearts, minds, and tongues.

We receive peace through Jesus. This tranquility keeps us safe through the hardships of our earthly life.

No matter what the world throws at us, if we ask God to help us, we can experience a new found serenity. If we allow this, our new poise becomes our new persona.

When I was a young teenager, I got a new dress-store bought. My mother used to sew most of my clothes. But this dress was different. I wanted to show it off. I remember putting it on and walking across the alley to a neighbor’s house. This couple had grandsons a little younger than I. When she came to their back door I told her I wanted to show her my new dress. We talked a bit and I returned home. When my mother came home from work and asked me what I had done that day, I told her. She shook her head and told me it wasn’t ladylike to draw attention to ourselves in that way.

I later learned it’s not Christ like to bandy about what God has done to make us more like Him. It’s not for us to say, “Look at me, I’m a Christian.” Rather, it is our job to display those qualities He plants in our hearts.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Balm of Peace

“Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’

Luke 8:48 (NIV)

The woman followed the Master as he walked through the crowd. She desired to be healed of her long standing ailment.

“If, I can touch the edge of His garment, I will be healed,” she thought as she inched her way toward Jesus.

He knew instantly that someone had touched Him. All the people around Him denied doing it. Peter tried to explain about the crowd.

At last, the woman spoke to Jesus and explained what she had experienced for twelve years.

The Lord told her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’ What did Jesus mean by telling her to go in peace?

● Don’t worry. Don’t feel guilty about interrupting my trek through the city. God was at work when my healing powers went from me to you.

● Don’t be overly concerned. There will be those who doubt your healing. Remember, our talk and focus on that. Those who disbelieve cause distraction and bring down others who have been healed. Your faith has healed you.

We will have times when God, will instruct us to exercise our faith. Be it a physical healing, an emotional healing, a job, or the mending of a relationship or a marriage, faith is a factor in how we handle the outcome.

It is our aim to enjoy serenity in our loves. Jesus tells the healed woman to go and live in peace.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Where is the Peace?

Sometimes in our Christian walk, we receive news that saddens us and causes us to pause and go back to the basics of our faith.

The middle of July, I lived the scene described above. A lady from our church was told, as she was being released from a hospital, that she had Cancer.

In times like this, all we can do is pray for the person. But we don’t always know how. Do we pray for that person to get well? Do we pray for divine healing, that God do his miracle for that person in Heaven? Do we ask the Lord how to pray?

In January, 2009, another friend had a complication from surgery. We prayed for her to be healed but to be able to remain with us. Several of us told God we knew we were selfish in our prayers. That friend is still with us. It was God’s decision to honor our prayers. We constantly keep in mind that, while we prayed, He could have chosen not to answer our prayer as we asked.

Peace returns to us as we pray, read scripture and reflect on His goodness to those who trust Him. After a good night’s rest and a session of reading scriptural reminders that God will help our friend through what lay ahead of her, I can focus on Him and know he is there for her and her family.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...