Posted on May 31, 2021
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
The Book of Philippians began as a thank you note for the gift the church at Philippi had sent Paul when hearing of his arrest. Paul was no stranger to pain and dire straits. His letters to the churches he helped establish were meant to bring hope, encouragement, and instruction. He wrote to them to clarify things the early Christian churches were confused about, and to help them remember they were moving away from the legalistic religious structure of the past to embrace the hope of Jesus Christ, which no one could ever earn or be deemed worthy of.
Paul himself tortured early Christians before he became a Christ follower. To be washed in grace and forgiveness changed the countenance of his heart. He wrote this letter to the Philippians on what we would call a modern-day house arrest. He was imprisoned, but at a home in which he was allowed to preach the gospel to all those who came to him, explains the NIV Study Bible.
“The peace of God is the opposite of anxiety. It is the tranquility that comes when believers commit all their cares to God in prayer and worry about them no more,” explains the NIV Study Bible Fully Revised Edition. Paul knew this peace. As he wrote to the Philippians, Paul’s genuine hope and peace in Christ is evident, despite his past as a persecutor of the church, the thorn he speaks of living with, and his present suffering. It’s a prayer we can blanket our lives with today when we need to cling to the peace of Christ:
Posted on September 26, 2019
“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” (John 10:10 VOICE)
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. We’re surrounded by celebrity suicides, and those that shock our local communities. A common thread weaving through these tragic losses is silence. So many of us suffer quietly. John 10:10 empowers us to swap loss for restoration. Every life has an immeasurable value to the Father who crafted each with specific purpose, in His own image.
The statistics are scary, but that means there’s probably another soul within arm’s reach that truly feels our pain. The story of Queen Esther often comes to my mind, as I take stock of my placement in another’s life, as well. Perhaps, “for such a time as this,” (Esther 4:14) that cup of coffee brings enough camaraderie to soothe a soul. God is not a God of coincidence. He’s purposeful and loves us perfectly.
Posted on August 20, 2019
Darkness can seep into the most joyful moments. Moms who are suffering with postpartum depression know what it’s like to live a sleepless life with the lights out. Whether you aren’t sure you’re suffering from PPD or know for a fact it’s attempting to disrupt your life, realize that there are many others wide awake with the same crippling fear.
Prayerfully surrender to Him, and bravely step out of the darkness and back into the light. Reach for the hand of the One who can save. He doesn’t shame, but He does miraculously heal… sometimes, through doctors and medicine. “Pray about everything,” (Philippians 4:6) and as we obediently follow Him, He will shine light on our lives once again.
Father, Praise You for motherhood, even amidst the physical trials and emotional pain. Even in our weakness, Your loyal love (Nehemiah 1:5) holds us up. You are strong, and Your strength holds us together when we are falling apart.
“My God, my soul is so traumatized; the only help is remembering You wherever I may be.” (Psalm 42:6) You are powerful enough to lurch us forward, up and out of the dark pit we’re drowning in. What feels like suffocating waves can bring forth a powerful witness.
Posted on July 17, 2019
“Humility requires a Christ-based attitude, not a cultural-based attitude.” P. Brian Noble, “The Path of a Peacemaker.”
In “The Path of a Peacemaker,” Noble meets his readers in an inevitable place we often find ourselves in …tension. With practical perspective and Biblical knowledge, he tackles a topic we all deal with in our daily lives. “Tension,” Noble writes, “can pull us away from the things that matter or push us toward those very things.” Throughout the book, readers are challenged to consider the stories of others. The entire book introduces a shift and broadening of our perspective on peace. Readers are challenged to consider the call to be peacekeepers, what that means and delve deeper into understanding the character of our great God who loves us and issues that call.
Over twenty chapters are divided into six sections packed with Biblically sound and life-applicable instruction on how to seek peace with others. Humility and forgiveness are woven into Gospel truths in an approachable, yet convicting, way. We all wish to be peace keepers, and most of us feel warranted to withhold peace in places and with people in our lives. But Christ challenges us to love above all else. How do we accomplish peace, His way, with borders and boundaries in our lives? “The Path of a Peacemaker” helps us to see how to be at peace with everyone to the best of our ability, while still guarding our hearts.
This book challenged me in my personal life and relationships, and in the way I lead and teach others. I found this advice to be relevant in my journey as a parent of two approaching the teen years, as well. It’s a quick read but one worth referencing again and again. I highly recommend it to readers in all walks of life, seeking more peace in life.
“How amazing when a relationship that was once lost is ultimately found.” -P. Brian Noble, “The Path of a Peacemaker.”
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)
Posted on June 6, 2019
Climbing ‘Parent Mountain’ takes faith. Soon after our newborn babies gaze back at us with the fresh hope of new life, the inventible responsibility crashes into our reality. God knows we feel insufficiently equipped. He created us to rely on Him. The falling feeling of not being able to sink our foot securely into the next step signals us to reach for His hand.
The overwhelming juggle of our own personal growth alongside that of our kin lends our advice to be as imperfect as we are! Where is the peace in that? In Him. To maintain a perfect peace through imperfect lives and rapidly crumbling world, we must place our trust in God’s wisdom. Peace is found in submission to His unchanging authority over our lives. He has gone before us and remains with us.
1. A Clean Slate
The first pathway to peace in parenting is prayer. There’s no way to shortcut around prayer if peace is what we seek. Jesus set the tone in Mark 1:35 by praying first thing in the morning. Getting up early and portioning off that time is a challenge and a sacrifice, but God honors every bit of time we set aside for Him.
Why not pray while we’re brushing our teeth, or making our coffee? Can we roll over after we hit the snooze button and pray God’s blessing over the day? It’s not as hard as we make it out to be. How many of us awake to our smartphones, and find ourselves scrolling mindlessly after we snooze our alarms? When we redirect our roaming thoughts to Him, Peace ushers in.