The Gift of P E A C E

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Today I woke up in a horrible mood. My heart was racing and my mind was anxious and whirling. I had been up most of the night with terrible knee pain and panic about my eye problems.  And then to top off the morning I had gotten angry with my husband and snipped at him before I leaving for work.

The minute I got in the car to go to work my pity party started, I was crying and telling God I was tired. I was tired of the pain in my knees, tired of not sleeping, tired of the eye stuff, you name it I was tired of it.

As I topped the hill right before the church where I work I said, “Please Lord I just need a break, can you just give me a little peace?

And then I saw this beautiful sunrise….

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I had to pull over to take that picture because it was so breathtaking. I then pulled into the parking lot and took a few more.

I actually took 16 more pictures  before I saw it. Do you see it?  

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Answered prayer was right  in front of my face.

Not just the beautiful sunrise but he also gave me the peace I had asked for.

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P –  E –  A –  C –  E  he had spelled it out for me!

Today our church sign was frozen on the word peace (bottom left corner), some would say it was broken? i would say it was working perfectly 🙂

What an awesome gift and a blessing God gave me today. Sometimes I am still amazed that he loves me so much

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

A Re-gift

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Photo credit to Reverendfun.com Copyright © 2011 The Zondervan Corporation

The best gift that was ever given to us is a gift we should give away…

That gift is JESUS

He is the light shining in the darkness,

He is hope when all seems hopeless,

He is peace when we are restless,

He is the joy that takes away our sadness,

He is LOVE

He is the gift that was given to us to save us from ourselves.

He is the only gift that we all need.

As you are celebrating today remember today is the day we celebrate the birth of our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

He is the reason for Christmas Day and the best gift of all.

Today I am thankful Jesus was given to me.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

May the love of the Savior fill your heart so full today that it spills over to others and you pass his gift along.

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Accept His Gift and then pass it along

Merry Christmas!

Life Just Doesn’t Seem Fair Sometimes

Today I woke up wondering, why I woke up in my nice warm house when a father across the ocean wakes in a pile of rubble and mud. Why am I allowed to go on about my day, living and experiencing joy while the man weeps in grief at the thought of everything that he has lost. His home, his wife and his children swept out to sea by the storm. I can’t help but wonder…did they go peacefully?  Did they have time to know what was happening and be frightened or did they just swim right into the open arms of Jesus?

If God is for us why does something like this happen? Why did a friend of mine just get a cancer diagnosis and while another friend suffers from depression? People are hungry, homeless, abused and disasters happen. The list goes on for miles, people are suffering every single day.  Sometimes I just want to scream, “It’s not fair!” But who am I to decide what is fair and what is not?  We all die, it’s inevitable. Wouldn’t it be nice if when we died we just went to sleep in our bed at night and opened our eyes in heaven? No suffering or pain.  What if life was always rosy? How would we behave? Would we turn to God as much?  Would we still pray? Would we still help one another?

I visited a boy in Haiti last March.  He had nothing of monetary value but he had himself and a whole lot of love; and he was ready and willing to give all of himself away.  I also visited a Mother who had aids and a family of 7, she had a one room shack for a home but opened it up to us as if it were a mansion inviting us in offering us a seat.  She gave more in love to us in that short time than I have given in my whole life.  To me their lives seem unfair yet they were thankful and joyful and ready to unselfishly share it all with me.

When things like the typhoon that hit the Philippines happen we don’t understand, but its also the times like this that God shows the most.  People are coming together from all over the world to give help to their fellow man.  As the broken pick up the broken pieces of their lives, life keeps going on and God keeps going on. Forever His love and strength will show in those who are trying to put the pieces back together again and also in those who come to their aid. Many of us can’t physically go there to help, so we pray. We pray so loud that our voices blend together as one. We pray that God will give strength and healing to those who were hurt.  We pray that nations will come together and in the mighty name of Jesus and that God will show many blessings and miracles in the midst of suffering left from the storm. Most of all we pray that in the center of it all people will come to know Jesus Christ because after all is said and done he is everything that anyone truly needs.

If you would like to help the people of the Philippines Compassion International has set up a donation page to help get emergency relief to children in the effected areas.  This fund will go toward things such as food, clothing, water, and temporary shelter and for providing counseling and spiritual support. Just click the banner below to help.

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Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Read these related posts:

Hope

Poverty is not necessarily an issue to solve; it is an opportunity to serve. As we go through each day, our heart’s cry should be, Lord, where would you have me give, serve, and invest myself to bring hope to the poor?
~Orphan Justice author, Johnny Carr

Poverty is not necessarily an issue to solve;

But you can make a difference.

As we go through each day, our heart’s cry should be, Lord, where would you have me give, serve, and invest myself to bring hope to the poor?” 

Where is your heart today?

Are you willing to give?

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Sponsor Priscilla from Ghana

Are you willing to serve?

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Sponsor Manishaben from India

Are you willing to invest of yourself to help bring hope to the poor? 

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Sponsor Suvo from Bangladesh

Will you give a child hope today by telling them about Jesus?

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This is a sponsored child I met at a Compassion project in Haiti.

If the Lord is speaking to your heart today please consider showing his love to a child in poverty.  You can click any picture in this post to find out more.

Please pray for the Children

Please pray for the Children

This is blog month at Compassion and we are halfway to our goal of 3,160 children sponsored, Praise God!

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Three Things You Should Know About Hope

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Photo by Leslie Ponder

Hope is more than just a wish. 

Hope is knowing there is more to this life than the way we see it now.

Hope is the light at the end of a long and winding tunnel.

Hope is the reason for living.

It’s the reason we get up in the morning.

When we can no longer stand hope is what we hold on to.

Without hope we would all just give up

There is always hope

Hope can be found in a hug from a friend,

Words of encouragement or something as simple as a passing smile from a stranger.

Hope is comfort in knowing that someone loves and cares about you.

Jesus is Hope

Jesus is that light at the end of the tunnel,

He is the one we cling to when we can no longer stand.

He is the one in the words of encouragement, the hug and the smile.

He is the one we put our trust and faith in.

He is the one who gives us comfort.

Without Jesus there is no hope…

Will you share the hope of Jesus with Omerion today?

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Will you give Pacantia hope by telling her she is beautiful?

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Will you give Eventz hope by telling him how much he is worth?

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Your love and words of encouragement will show Wisneck that someone loves and cares about him.

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In a place where it seems like all hope is gone the love and hope you show Ysneyther will help her know there is more to life than the world she knows now.

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There are so many children who need to know someone cares and that they are beautiful children of God. Will you help give a child hope today?  You can click any picture in this post to sponsor a child and show them the love of Jesus.

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Sponsor a child today, give hope. Set a child free from poverty in Jesus name.

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Jesus is Contagious

I had a party last night.  It was a pity party and I have to say it was a huge bash.  I tried to invite my husband but he had more important things to do (sleep).  Then I tried to invite my son but he had a prior commitment with a pillow and a blanket.   I tried to invite my cats but well night time is the best time to look out the windows and run around like a maniac so they were to busy too.

I was having panic about my eyes and feeling sorry for myself about my upcoming knee surgery and I am not really sure why I felt the need to drag others along but thankfully they declined.

I was the only guest for a long while but then about midnight I had an unexpected guest show up,   I have known this guy (Jesus) for quite a while now so I am not sure why I felt so surprised when he showed up uninvited. At first I was a little upset he had shown up but then I realized that I had actually invited him.  At first we talked for a while and then we read this really good book that  was written years ago.

During the visit He told me life does not always go the way I would like it to go but I can chose how I deal with it.  He said I could either continue to carry on with my (pity) party life or I could carry on with the life God has chosen for me.

He reminded me…

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

We visited a while longer and then I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew I woke up and it was morning and today I have a new attitude.  Today I feel loved, blessed and very thankful. I felt that way yesterday too, I guess just sometimes I slip back into a fog or something.

Each morning I read a daily devotional written by Ann Graham Lotz today her devotional was titled praising Jesus is contagious!  Her last line was – So…who is praising Christ because you are?

I realize how I chose to live my day can also affect others.  Have you ever been somewhere and someone was complaining or worked in a job where people were unhappy?  I have and something I have noticed is if someone is unhappy the next thing you know someone sympathizes with them and before you know it the whole place is a mess of unhappy people.

Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart is not my favorite place to be and from the behavior of most the people in there I think most people share my feelings.

As I was entering the store an elderly couple came in at the same time as me.  The lady went on ahead and her husband told her he would catch up as he got the cart.  He looked at me and smiled with a twinkle in his eye he said to me “how are you this fine day, young lady?” I said I was good and we chit chatted a bit,  instantly I felt my spirits lifting.  As I was getting my cart he started singing.  He was singing “I’ll fly away old Glory, I’ll fly away….”  As I started down the isle he was behind me still singing… the man was behind me all the way to the back of the store singing at the top of his lungs and he did not care who heard him.  By the time I got to the isle I needed I found myself walking with a spring in my step and humming along….I don’t know all the words but I remember him singing Hallelujah by and by I’ll fly away….

I had forgotten about that man until this morning.  I realize that man was Contagious for Jesus … and in Wal-Mart yesterday I was praising Jesus because he was.

Anyway I know this blog is all over the place today. I had a lot of stuff jumbled in my head I was trying to get written down before I forgot. Now its time for me to get to work…but I have one last thing to say …

“Today I want to be contagious for Jesus…. How about you?”

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,

T

P. S.  If you want to read Anne Graham Lotz’s devotional here is the link… It’s really good.  http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/resources/daily-devotional/

Just Stand Up!

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Rope (Photo credit: lovestruck.)

When I was 16 years old I went on a float trip.   I was not a strong swimmer, actually I was lucky if I could doggy paddle in a calm swimming pool, so a rushing river was the last place I should have ever been.

I will be showing my age with this next part… This was back in the days when car tires had inner tubes.  We sat on the inner tubes with our back sides in the hole and floated with the current of the river.  The most fun part of our float trip was when we would come to white water rapids.  When we would reached the rapids we would go over rocks and the water would be so strong we would try hard not to let go of the tubes.   I am not much of a sportsmanly type of person and this was my one and only float trip so for all you seasoned floaters forgive me for not knowing all the technical floating terms, just remember I made sure I never fell off my tube! 🙂

At one point of our journey one of my friend’s inner tubes popped and we had the brilliant idea to tie the inner tubes together with a rope and make one giant tube raft.   We all piled on it and because I was not a good swimmer my place to ride was in the middle so I would not fall off.

All of us piled on one giant tube raft was actually much more fun and I actually felt much safer in the middle…that is until we reached some really strong rapids.  As we were going over the rapids our raft became hung up on the rapids by the rope we had used to tie them together.  Everyone else fell off, but my arm became tangled in the ropes and I was stuck under the water tied to the tubes.   I kept somehow pulling my face out to breathe and was trying hard to get free but no matter how hard I tried I could not get my arm loose.  I was tangled and the rope was digging into my arm from the force of the water.   I remember feeling totally frightened and exhausted.

The current had taken my friends downstream so it took a while for them to get back to me, once they did they began trying to pull the rope off.   Though they were trying hard to free me the water kept pulling on the tubes and me making the rope tighter on my arm.  My arm began to turn purple because now the circulation was being cut off by the pull of the ropes, it was becoming numb and lifeless.   No matter how hard they tried they could not get me loose it was a very scary and panicky situation.

In the midst of all the panic suddenly a voice yelled from the bank “Just stand up!”  All the sudden we all realized the water was not over my head! The other kids were all standing around me but nobody had realized this?!?!

My friends began to help me stand up this released some of the pressure of the water pulling on the tubes and then others managed to pull the tubes up out of the water freeing them from the pull of the current,  They were finally able to cut the ropes loose and set me free!

Today as I remembered this I got to thinking about how we can become this way in our lives too.  Like my arm that had become tangled in the ropes and was turning purple from no circulation of blood, in our lives we can become so tangled in the circumstances of our troubles that we block off the life blood of Jesus that flows in us.  The solution may be there right in front of us to take his hand and to ‘just stand up’ but instead we keep clinging to our own solutions. Our own solutions can bind us by dragging us down and pulling us under, sometimes causing us to drown.

Looking back I realize that I would have drowned that day in 3 or 4 foot of water had I not stood up.  It took others to help me stand but once I listened and I stood up, my friends were able to remove the ropes setting me free, allowing me to live and enjoy the rest of the day.

You know Jesus can do the same in our lives.

How may times have I heard Him say, “just stand up!” but instead I stayed down struggling as the full force of the waves of life rushed over me to the point of almost drowning?   Standing up is the first step to being set free.  He will take our hands, help us stand and cut the ties that bind. He will not let us drown. We just have listen and trust in him He can help us and He can bring us joy again.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Thank you for reading and God bless,

T

He is Here

I waited patiently on the Lord

And He came to me like a great light

I felt His strength and power washing over me

Yet His touch was so gentle.

Soothing and comforting

Calming the crashing of the storm

Bringing peace

I waited for Him and He came

Though I know He was never gone

Jeremiah 29:11-13   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

No matter what you are going through today know you are not alone.   Jesus is right there beside you ready to wrap His loving arms around you.  Trust in Him and He will give you what you need to sustain you through this day.  There is no better place to be than in His loving arms.

Have a blessed day,

T

Peace in the Morning | Love Letters 2 Jesus

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New post on Love Letters to Jesus ….

Peace in the Morning | Love Letters 2 Jesus.

Changed

“You have changed!”  Those words cut right through me just as they were meant to do, they were supposed to hurt, supposed to turn me into a blubbering mess of tears and make me sad that I did not want to join in on the so called ‘fun’,  but just as I felt the tears welling up in my eyes I heard another voice but this voice was kind,  “you have changed”,  God whispered.

I stopped crying sad tears instead they turned to tears of happiness as the truth began hitting me like a ton of bricks….Yes it was true, I had ‘changed’

Rewind this story back to 3 and a half years ago…

Three and a half years ago I became a Christian.  Three years ago I loved wine and I believed it was okay if I still drank it.  I loved going to winery’s and always had a glass with my dinner.  I had that glass every night with dinner and then I had ‘only’ two more glasses after dinner.  Did you know that a normal sized bottle of wine holds  three glasses of wine??  Try it if you don’t believe me, one bottle of wine will fill up only 3 glasses.  If I told someone I had three glasses of wine it did not sound like much, but If I said I drank a whole bottle of wine every night then… well you get the picture.  I thought I had everyone fooled but really I am pretty sure I was only trying to fool myself in thinking I only had three glasses of wine a night.

Fast forward one year (This was 2 years ago)

That morning I woke up finding myself in a heap on the bathroom floor with a headache so bad that it made me wish I had never waken up.  My insides were sore from the vomiting and my mouth felt like I had huge wads of cotton in it.  I wanted to die right there on that floor I felt so awful.  Small bits and pieces of the day and night before began flooding my mind… being at the winery with friends, a trip to the Elks lodge for tequila shots and shuffleboard to the home of our friends for more wine and a spaghetti dinner.  I vaguely remember going home because I did not feel well, then a flash of me standing in my front yard vomiting.  Patches of my memory were gone and I kept thinking “how did I get on this bathroom floor?’

Fast forward 2 hours later…

Finally feeling some better now but still feeling like a truck ran over me I signed into facebook and there on my wall tagged for everyone to see is a picture of  me very drunk showing off for the picture! Its very obvious that I posed for the picture though I do not remember even having that picture taken.  I had a tequila shot in one hand glass of wine in the other….oh won’t my mother be so proud of me!(sarcasm).  The truth is I was so embarrassed I hoped so bad she hadn’t saw it or any of my non-party friends…..

Fast forward another couple of hours…

I Still had the killer headache but I was finally recovering from the hangover, I had removed the facebook picture and hopefully not to many people had seen.  I was finally thinking maybe I had gotten away with my behavior though I was asking myself if  it was really worth it to feel so horrible for hours for just a few hours of so called ‘fun’?  and then it happened… my phone beeped, “you have a text message from your sister” it said…I open the message and the minute I saw it I started crying.   To my horror there on my phone screen was a picture of my laying on the bathroom floor sleeping with a message that says “looks like someone had a good time last night”.  Someone in my family had taken a picture of me and sent it to her.

That was the moment I truly saw who I had became.  I was a mess and I did not like the lady I saw in that picture.  I was a liar and I was so disgusted with myself I wanted to start puking all over again.  Seeing that picture was what helped me see the real me.  That was the day I realized if I was going to be a follower of Jesus I had to change. That was the day I realized it wasn’t fun to drink.  I was drowning myself in the alcohol thinking it was going to help me to have a good time.   It was  fun for about the first hour when I felt tipsy but after that it was all a blur,  lost memory, puking and a killer headache, Not exactly my proudest moment…. I was ashamed of myself.

For those who know me in my life outside of the blog world many will be surprised to read this story because I always have been a responsible person.  I never drank and drove.  I never drank at work.  I functioned in the world as a pretty upstanding citizen.  I was a closet drinker most of the time. I usually drank starting with dinner never getting drunk until after everyone else was asleep.  With the exception of the partying with friends on the weekends nobody really knew about the weeknight drinking except my family.  I thought that partying with friends was  ‘acceptable’ because they did it too. We all used to joke about it and call ourselves “functional alcoholics”, when truth is I just needed an excuse to make my behavior acceptable, which I know now it wasn’t.

The day I woke up finding myself in a heap on the bathroom floor was the day I knew it was time to change.

Shortly after that day I found this a scripture it told me to fill myself with God and also reminded me that He was all I needed.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20

Today…

That was not the end of my story… I know that for the rest of my life I will be faced with choices to make and with those choices will come consequences of my actions.  They can either be good or bad depending on what I choose.  Since that day I have chose Jesus and plan to keep choosing Him.  He is all I need.

If you are struggling with and addiction or have ever found yourself in a heap on the floor over anything, I hope my story will somehow give you hope, for it is with Jesus that we can do anything.  He will take your pain away and he will give you the strength you need to get through whatever it is you are going through.  I know this to be true because I have lived it.

One last verse before I close…

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength… Philippians 4:13   This seems to be my life verse I say it quite frequently.

You can and he will…All you have to do is ask….

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Enjoy this song by Kutless… I’m a believer in Jesus’ power are you?