For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

Disruption, arguments, or an unsettled atmosphere causes stress. Stress brings an unsettled feeling that steals peace. By nature, I’m a peacemaker. But then Satan’s temptation wiggles in and gets me to snipe at somebody. Afterwards, I feel terrible. The peacefulness I had is obliterated.

I prefer to live by my life verse: “…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12) This doesn’t mean I ignore people and hole up, but that 
I spend time being productive, caring and doing God’s work. Then I live a peace filled existence, instead of a stressful, chaotic life.

God wants me to seek peace. I’m talking about inward tranquility, the calm that Jesus gives as I trust him. When I’m at peace with the life God gave me, the same serenity flows through my days and onto whatever I’m doing and whoever I’m with. His peace passes all understanding, and I’m thankful for that.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Love With Actions

1 John 3:16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

I will never forget my aunt Peggy showing up at my front door with two bags of groceries. I was a single parent with three little girls to feed on a fixed income. We did okay, but some weeks the food budget shrunk because one of the girls needed something. This particular week was one of those where I’d tried to stretch the budget, but it didn’t quite make it. Bless her heart, without knowing what I needed Aunt Peggy brought exactly what I would have purchased. God knew what we needed, placed it on her heart, and she delivered.

God also knew what we needed as his people. Jesus came to live as a human so he could teach and in the end save us from ourselves. After Adam and Eve opened the doors to destructive behavior, God implemented his action plan and sent his precious son to live among the people. Jesus sacrifice allowed us to be saved from the sins of the world and to be delivered to heaven. I praise God for people who see the needs of others and live their life serving and giving. Even more, I praise God for his plan of redemption. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to meet Jesus in heaven. It will be a glorious day.

Share a story about someone reaching out to you when you needed help.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pure Joy

 James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

When I think about the word trials, I’m reminded of the breadth and depth of hardships and pain people go through. I don’t want to discount any suffering my friends, family, neighbor or anyone else go through. Some folks seem to be slammed with so much grief; I wonder how they get through. Others may worry about finances, illness, surgery, or difficult relationships. With each trial James tells me to find joy because perseverance will result if I walk through it with God.

No matter what circumstances come, God shores up his followers. I’ve been tested as I’ve recovered from surgery. Some days I wanted to crawl under a rock— not exactly the most comfortable place, but better than the pain I suffered. But God gave me hope. He knew I’d be stronger and that I’d persevere. Sometimes the physical ailments are easier to trek through than the emotional and spiritual. Yet with God, I’ve learned to pray my way through. And in the end, I’ve grown. Praise God for his foresight and desire for me to grow in him and the pure joy he's shown me through trials of life.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Inheritance in Heaven

1 Peter 1:3-6
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

The wind blew through the orange and yellow leaves of the young maple tree. I thought about how many seasons that new tree would go through before it reached full growth. Year after year, the rings on the inside would expand, and the trunk and limbs would reach higher. The leaves would green up, then change to dramatic shades of autumn and tumble down with the wind. With every barren winter, the tree has the hope of spring.

Much like the tree, I go through seasons of growth, times of rest, days when I feel like my leaves are falling. Trials come and go in life. Some shape me more than others. Occasionally the trials slow me down and even cause grief. Yet with every trial I face on earth, I know Jesus offers his living hope, the gift of heaven. An inheritance that never fades waits for all who love and accept Jesus as Savior. Praise God for his gift of hope and heaven.