Friday, December 19, 2014

Peace on Earth

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)

Each day in our newspapers and our television news broadcasts we read and hear about war, terrorism, and unrest affecting innocent people.

Because of this, some of us don’t enjoy the news media. But can we ignore the reports? If we look away from these events we will be ‘sticking our heads in the sand’. The truth of this matter is we have to be informed about these atrocities and include the innocents of these events in our prayers.

These events happen worldwide. Yes, even in my own nation, we see unrest in larger cities. We see the aftermath of unrest where small businesses are burnt to the ground for no reason except that people are angry about a decision that was not to their liking.

People find ways to protect themselves from harm. But there are times when harm comes to school children and they have become the targets of hostile people. A close friend of mine shared with me that her husband said, “You are not going out alone at night.” He basically said this out of fear.
Jesus tells us He gives us peace. He continues and tells us it is His peace and that peace is different from that of the world.

How can we describe Jesus’ peace?
1. His peace is lasting. The world’s peace only lasts until one nation or group infringes on another people or nation.
2. His peace calms our hearts and souls. The world’s peace is uneasy. In my adolescence, I was made aware that our nation had an uneasy peace—the powers  that be called it “The Cold War.”                              
3. His peace changes us. We view things through God’s eyes. No longer do we try to try to supplant our will onto God.
4. His peace makes us more humble. When we are aware of having His peace in our hearts, we are conscious of Who He is and who we are.

5. His peace satisfies. When we have Jesus’ peace, our wants are fewer. Those desires become very practical.
6. His peace allows us to withstand difficulties better. We know we can rely on James 1:2-4 to allow ourselves to grow in Christ.
7. His peace is a gift: The heavenly host of angels told the shepherds “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14 (NIV)
8. His Peace enters our hearts. One of my favorite hymns tells me that peace begins with me.

Dear Lord God:

Thank You for giving us Jesus. Thank You for the peace that He gives us who belong to Him.  Help us to be more like Christ as we go through our daily lives. Guide us through each day You give us. We will give You the praise and the glory. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen   

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Heart of Humor-A Review

               Today, I  share with you my thoughts on my friend, Jeanette Levellie’s, new book, The Heart of Humor.

               Jeanette uses her wit and wisdom to take us through 60 short chapters to bring some cheer into the lives of her readers. 

               The front cover seems to be a cartoonlike drawing of who she is, complete with red hair and hearts floating around her. What is really neat is on the back of the cover we see the back of her head with those hearts still afloat around her. I like this design.

               Jeanette approaches each topic with a sense of lightening hearts of her readers. In one chapter she tells about being addicted to Facebook and how she got in Facebook Jail. In another chapter, she confesses about certain areas of her life. She surprises people with her candor about things most of us don’t even think about.

               My favorite one of all gives rules for a pity party; she gives ten of them. At the end of each chapter she includes a small section called, From My Heart To Yours. At the end of this particular piece, she tells us, “I realize the secret is to recognize who sends me the invitation, and to shout ”NO!” the minute I am tempted. Then I kick his sorry self out with praise and thanksgiving.”

           Read what others are saying about Jeanette's latest book'
               I received this book from the author, Jeanette Levellie. All she asked me to do was read it and give and honest review.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Everlasting Father

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders
and he will be called. . .  Everlasting Father. . . .”
 Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

               Isaiah calls the babe to come Everlasting Father. Do we really understand what this means? We struggle with the idea that when God created us He saw us as we were being formed. (Psalm 139) Might we also strain with the concept of God being with us after we depart this earth? (Revelation 21:3)
               As I sit here doing what I believe God has chosen for me to do, the act of spreading His love through the written word, I am caught up with compassion for a friend who recently began to live with Jesus in her new home in heaven.
               We all want to go to heaven but we don’t want to go through the entry process in order to get there. That process of experiencing illness and the next step is basic to get us there. As a special friend to me, it’s a part of our journey.
               Yet, God is there as we go through times of hardship. He cradles each of us, His children, as we face personal or family crises, be it medical, financial, interpersonal, and even loss.
               When we get to see Him face to face, He will allow us to crawl up on his lap and snuggle up against Him. He will pull us closer to Him and whisper words of comfort into our ears. He will brush away each tear from our face and allows us to see inside His heart.

               God does this for us time after time. He does this because of His ever-presence with us. He truly shows us what a Father’s love should be. 

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 ...