Sunday, August 29, 2010

Who are You?

If someone asked you to describe yourself how would you answer? Does your answer vary by who is asking the question or do you have a standard answer?

The majority of us would avoid describing ourselves using height and weight (gulp!). Perhaps you would use your eye or hair color, or what you do for a living to tell people about you.

More often than not we describe ourselves by who we are related to. If I described myself by my relationships  I would be Glenn & Susan's daughter, Gail, Monica, Doug, Greg & Keith's sister, Galen's wife and Emily, Rachel & Cameron's Mom.  A rather long description if I were to do the entire spiel!

If you disconnected yourself from all of your assorted relational and work connections, who are you?

Are you drawing a blank? Is the mental picture of losing all those connections making your stomach churn? As I typed the sentence I  imagined each connecting identifier as a cable of sorts and when they were all disconnected it was like mental free-fall. Uncomfortable enough even in my imagination that I had to walk away from this blog entry for a few days. Who are you? Who am I?

It really isn't that far fetched to find yourself disconnected to how you currently identify yourself. Marriages fail, spouses pass away, children grow up and jobs change. I read a newspaper article about a woodworker who had gone to a neighboring town to sell his wares. While he was away there was an explosion at his house, destroying his home, his wood shop and killing his entire family. Everything he loved and every earthly connection he had was gone in a instant. Can you imagine him questioning his very identity during his grief?

If we have no blood family we do have our family of Christian brothers and sisters. Galatians 6:10 calls us to do good to one another as a family of believers. We have God our Father who, "... adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--(Ephesians 1:5). Through Jesus we are truly become God's children.

Our earthly home may be not all we want it to be, but we have the promise of a mansion in heaven. Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2),  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. " (John 14:3) Jesus himself is preparing our eternal dwelling, can you even imagine how glorious it will be?

We have Christian family and we have the sure promise of a new home, but what of love? John 1:4 tells us that God is love and the 32nd Psalm says the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. We simply trust in Him who has proven over and over to be faithful and just and He in turn surrounds us with His unfailing love. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

What is even more amazing is nothing we can do and no force of evil can come between us and the God who loves us. One of my favorite sections of scripture comes from Romans chapter 8:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?    As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.
You have a savior who promises to never let you go, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:28). You are never alone, God himself is holding you in the palm of His hand and surrounding you with His love. Even if everything else in this world collapses and every human you have ever put your trust in has failed you - God will be there. He is holding you in the palm of His hand and all you have to do is trust Him.

You are His child.

In His Peace -

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Does it ever bother you how obsessed we women are about retaining our youthful appearance? I am all for healthy living and trying to look your best, but where do you draw the line? At what point do we say "enough!" and just start enjoying who we are?

When I see women who have had so much plastic surgery done that they don't even look normal anymore it makes me feel sorry for them and sad for women in general. The airbrushed, photo-shopped and highly unrealistic images we are bombarded with on a daily basis skew what we believe is normal and acceptable.

We need to shut off the images the world throws at us and focus on the Word of God. Do you know what God says about you?

You are God’s Masterpiece!
Ephesians 2:10
You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!
Psalm 139:14
The Lord Delights and Rejoices over YOU!!
Zephaniah 3:17
You are praiseworthy!
Proverbs 31:30

We all should probably cut those verses out and tape them on our mirror, next to our computer and on the dashboard of our car so we don't forget! One verse I love that Beth Moore pointed out in her Esther Bible study is from Ephesians 5:27. It says that we will be presented to Jesus "without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish" Without wrinkle or blemish! Did you catch that? We are here on earth such a short time. Why do we fuss? We get to spend eternity blemish and wrinkle free!I love that! Don't you?

I love this song 'A More Beautiful You' from Jonny Diaz.  The lyrics should be required listening for every young woman on the planet. My teenage daughters were amazed at the video and wished their friends knew the truth about the lies they hear and see over and over again.

Let me know your thoughts.

In His Peace -

From one Masterpiece to Another...

Jonny Diaz 'A More Beautiful You' :

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Too Busy for God?

I enjoy the Women of Faith Blogs , the blogs are written by all the great women you see on the 'front porch' at Women of Faith events. Each blog throws out a question for general response, you can respond directly in the blog of origin or in your own blog. A great idea to encourage a feeling of community among believers across the globe.

The current blog asks "How do you practice fixing your eyes on Jesus?", utilizing this verse from Hebrews 12:
  ...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.....
 Honestly, some days walking the walk is more difficult than others. It is so easy to take our focus off of God and keep the lens solely focus on ourselves, our busy lives, our needs and  our wants. When we become focused on ourselves we are more like toddlers than grown-ups with mine-mine-mine and me-me me! When we are living only focused on ourselves we are feeding into our selfish, sinful nature and giving the enemy more elbow room to stand between us and God.

Life is so busy and we have so many things that distract us. It is increasingly difficult to get away from the demands of the day due to the "convenience" of  modern technology.  Many years ago one of our Pastors gave a sermon about busyness that has stayed with me.  He called being busy as "Being Under Satan's Yoke".  If you have so many things going that you can't find time in your day for quiet time with God or time in your week to fellowship at church, Satan has you right where he wants you. How can you possibly keep your eyes on Jesus when they are traveling everywhere so fast that they only stop to sleep?

We all lead highly scheduled lives. Schedule some time to spend with God. Turn off everything else and focus on Him - even if it is only a few minutes a day. It will be well worth it.

"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)

In His Peace -

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Beauty of God's Creation, Washington Style

The opportunity arose for my family to take a painfully quick trip out to my home state to visit. It was the first time we had traveled there as a family in nine years! What a wonderful time we had. My children had some great experiences and met many new folks from my side of the family. We all got to meet some cousins from Canada, too! I loved being with so many of my members of my family and got to see several old friends as well,  it was a blast.

After the long plane trip we got to ride on a Washington State Ferry. This is a monotonous activity to many Islanders, but the ferry ride was very exciting for my Midwestern kids. One of the great thing about parenting is experiencing things anew through the eyes of your children. I know there are a lot of you who have never seen a ferry much less been on one, so here is a photo for you: (courtesy of my sister, Gail).

We spent our first day doing the touristy sort of things, we went to Fort Casey in the morning. I do believe this was one of Cameron's favorite places because he could run all he wanted after being cooped traveling all day the day before. This is Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey (photo by Gail Brown)

After spending our morning at Fort Casey we traveled to the north end of the island to see Deception Pass Bridge. This is a truly unique sight,  frightening and beautiful at the same time. The bridge is narrow, quite high and the swirling water below is an amazing emerald green color.
(To learn more about the bridge click here : Deception Pass Bridge)

 Once we had our fill of photo ops at the bridge we went off Whidbey Island and onto Fidalgo Island to visit Mt. Erie. The views that day were well worth the drive. I had forgotten the smells unique to the forest and how lovely things are as seen through the dappled light of the tree canopy. My dear friend, Maxine and I spent a lot of time her together in our 20's and it was so fun to take my kids there. I wish we would have had time to hike around together, but we were there strictly for the views:

My sister, Gail,  took a trip up to Anacortes with my Dad to pick up Dungeness Crab for dinner. This delicious crab is native to the cooler western waters and is a family favorite. Not something you can get in Iowa, so we make sure we have a crab feast every time we are in Washington! Along the way Gail stopped to take this fabulous picture of Mount Baker.

My 8 year-old son was just itching to swim. Every day he asked if he could swim. We went to watch the sunset one night at Ebey's Landing (my favorite beach) and it was just too much for him to take. He started out with wet feet and ended up totally dunked. I think he underestimated how cold the water would be, but he was determined to swim even if he turned blue trying! He also had no idea the water would be salty and spent about 5 minutes after his swim spitting the salt water out of his mouth!  While he was getting wet, I was snapping sunset pictures.

The very last day we were on Whidbey, we visited the cemetery and took a long hike from the cemetery out across Ebey Prairie to the bluffs. This little adventure was probably a little more than we bargained for as it was quite a hike, but we got some exercise and I was rewarded with some great pictures. This is probably the best one:

The weather on Whidbey was absolutely incredible while we were visiting. The sky was blue, the mountains could be seen quite clearly and it was just breathtaking. I had almost forgotten how lovely it could be. I took many, many pictures in an attempt to capture how amazingly beautiful the landscape is there. Although we can come close we just can't quite capture the beauty of God's creation in photographs.

When I think of all the beautiful landscapes in the world it is almost laughable that people believe that the creation of this world was some sort of cosmic accident. These photos represent just one small corner of this awe inspiring planet. Breathtakingly beautiful though it is, there are many places just as beautiful, even if they look nothing like this. God is wonderfully creative, isn't He? I am very thankful he created such a variety of beautiful places for us to enjoy -  a foretaste of the beauty and majesty of heaven.

Thanks for sharing the journey with me.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. "(Isaiah 40:28)

In His Peace -

Thursday, August 19, 2010


This week Women of Faith blog asked "Who is your faith center?". Inquiring if you turned to others, if others turned to you, or if you focused where we all should - on Jesus.

Jesus is undoubtedly the center of my faith and my life, without Him I am nothing. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for His presence. I have some wonderful Christian friends, although they are not my "center" they certainly help keep me centered. You know what I mean? The friends that you know will give you good, healthy Christian counsel when you need it. Those friends who aren't afraid to pray with you or for you - the ones that keep you walking your walk and aren't dragging you off the path into the brambles. The WOF blog got me thinking not just about faithful friends, but faith itself.

Did you know the word "faith" appears in the NIV Bible 257 times? Two hundred forty-two of those are in the New Testament. It seemed at first glance most references are to our lack of faith:

  • "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"(Matthew 8:26)
  • And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:58)
  • "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31)
  • And he was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 6:6)
Feeling a little less chipper after all those verses, I thought I better go back for more. Amazing things can happen if you put your faith in Jesus!

  • "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." (Luke 17:6)
  • When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." (Luke 5:20)
  • Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke7:50)
  • You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galations 3:26)
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- (Ephesians 2:8)

Ahhh, don't you feel better? Now that we know that God is fully aware that we frequently lack faith and also know we can find peace, forgiveness and grace through faith, how do we keep our faith strong? 

First of all we have to know that Satan is going to take every shot he can to keep you in the "Ye of little faith" category. The more full of the Spirit we are, the more desperate he gets. If you faith is feeling a little weak at the knees - ask for more! In Luke 17:5,  "The apostles said to the LORD, "Increase our faith!". If those who were physically walking with Christ here on earth had to ask for a faith increase, don't hesitate to ask this for yourself! One of our weapons against Satan is a strong faith : " In addition to all this (the full armor of God), take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." (Ephesians 6:16).

Keep reading your Bible, doing your daily devotions, sharing with others and PRAYING to exercise your faith muscles to keep your faith strong.

Lord, You ask very little of me but to love you completely and trust in your promises. Sometimes, Lord, living in this world gets to me a little and I feel like my faith is smaller than the tiny mustard seed. Help me remember to run to you and ask for a a faith increase. You prayed that Simon's faith would not fail, I ask that for others who are struggling with their faith-- increase their strength to endure and increase their faith in You, so they can help others who are feeling faith-weakened. In the name of Jesus, Amen

In His Peace --

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

To Leap or to Faint?

The Women of Faith blog entry today was about fainting goats. Interestingly,one particular type of goat faints dead away when under duress. Here is an excerpt:

Humanly speaking, they (fainting goats) are like women who refuse to face the truth. They don’t recognize that God is in control and in the situation that startled them. They just faint and go to La-la Land until the distress passes by. Of course, when they come to, the circumstances are still there. What good did their little escape do? The answer is none. — Jan Silvious  (Excerpted from A Grand New Day © 2008)
 My first thought was to chuckle about the odd goat behavior. Then I really thought about how human beings avoid things, perhaps not as dramatically as the fainting goats, but in many more subtle ways.

Take a look at the things that people use to numb themselves - television, shopping, computer, internet porn, drugs, alcohol, overeating and promiscuity. The list could be almost endless. Men and women alike use the distractions of this world to avoid living life they were meant to live. They try and try to fill their empty,  broken places with things that only make their pain worse. Much like the fainting goats they mentally check out for a while, but when they come to, the pain they were hiding from is still there. Facing the struggles of daily life, or dealing with hurts from your past can be very painful. Allow Jesus to minister to your heart. Ask Him to help you stop filling your empty places with things of this world and fill them with His love and healing instead.

Luke 9:11:  He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. 

I hope to spend much more time Leaping in joy, filled with the love of Christ, than fainting away trying to hide from the world.

In His Peace -

Heading Home?

I will be traveling to my hometown with my family this week. The first time we have been there together in nine years. Pathetic, but true. I grew up in Washington state on the amazingly beautiful Whidbey Island. Before our children started school we flew out every winter because our business keeps us pretty well tied down in the summer time. This year everything has lined up just right and we are able to sneak away for a few days.

Home is a word that can conjure up so many thoughts, feelings and memories. The first few years I was living in Iowa, Washington was the home I longed for. I ached for my family and friends. There were no cell phones with free long distance back then, so an actual phone call was a rare treat! Iowa was totally foreign to me - too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter and nary a mountain in sight. However, over the years, my feelings changed and Iowa became home to me. I am sure part of that was due to raising my own family here. I clearly recall the trip back to Washington to visit and thinking, "I don't belong here anymore". Not that people were unkind or I wasn't happy to see my relatives, but my home was in Iowa. It was a bittersweet moment for me.

These two earthly map-points I have called home, aren't truly home at all. I would imagine you are familiar with the old hymn -- I am but a stranger here, heaven is my home? We are here merely a hand-breadth of time in comparison to eternity. Some days when the ugliness of the world is weighing heavily upon me I feel a keen longing for heaven, much like I longed for Washington when I first came to Iowa.

This earthly home is temporary as well. In the book of Revelation and in 2 Peter we are reminded of the changes to come. "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." (2 Peter 3:13) "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev 21:3-7). I don't know about you, but all that sounds pretty wonderful to me.

I am excited to visit my hometown this week, but I am also looking forward to the promised life in the world to come. I would love to hear what pulls your heart towards home.

Philippians 3:20-21
 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the LORD Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

In His Peace -

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Resilience, a noun meaning
1.the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
An interesting word resilience, often misspelled and misunderstood.  I was pondering resilience the other day while I was thinking about plants. God has created plants to be amazingly resilient and resourceful. An empty lot can turn into a field in a few short weeks. Most plants can recover from severe drought, blight and bug infestations. 

Take our roses for example. Last fall my rose plants were eaten down to the stems by grasshoppers. When the grasshoppers had their fill and moved on the plants were able to produce a few meager leaves before they were bedded down for the winter. I feared that they wouldn't survive the winter because they had expended so much energy saving themselves from the grasshoppers. Of our 15 rose bushes, only two were lost. The survivors have grown and blossomed beautifully. 

We have a tree peony that is approximately 35 years old. It was formerly part of the landscaping around the bandshell in Grandview Park. We have moved that tree peony each time we have moved. It is part of Sioux City history and is one of my husbands favorite plants. What makes the tree peony so special, besides where it came from, is it's life span. The average tree peony lives between 5 and 7 years. This plant has far exceeded it's time here and has been  uprooted four times. We didn't think it survived the harsh weather last winter, but very late last spring we saw a few leaves breaking forth from the dark soil. Rejoice! We were delighted to see it reappear. I don't believe it will blossom this year, but it has survived and has added another year to it's already record breaking long life.

What about the human spirit? Humans are even more amazing. One could pick ten people from any crowd and be awed at what some have endured in their lives. When you hear stories of people surviving disasters or losing children to cancer do you think, "I don't know how they go on, I couldn't bear it". Don't you suppose that those same people thought those same things about others before them? Yet they keep on going, day by day, minute by minute, breath by breath, until the unbearable weight gets lighter and they can carry on living the life they were meant to live. 

The majority of people I have talked to or read about say it is faith that helped them endure. Their knowledge that God was with them and would never forsake them held them together in times of trial. I would imagine the stories of healing are just as varied as the stories of tragedy. God made a promise in 1 Peter that explains a little about the resiliency of the human spirit:
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1Peter 5:10)
The world and the devil may knock you down again and again, but God himself will restore you and return your strength if you allow Him to do so. What an amazing gift!  Him who created all things is also the source of resilience. Praise Jesus!

Gracious and heavenly Father, creator of all thing, thank you for all the gifts you give us. Thank you for the strength to stand when we feel like giving up. Thank you for all wonderful promises you have given us. Today I am especially thankful for your promise of restoration. Please take our broken places and restore them to full strength so we can glorify you by showing our resilience to others.
In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
In His Peace - 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wedding Reflections

We had the opportunity to attend a wedding this weekend. One of our employees got married on Saturday night. It was a lovely wedding, as most are, the bride beautiful and the groom handsome. Such a special time for them, it was an honor to be there to share in their joy.  I hope they have many wonderful memories of their wedding day.

Does attending a wedding make you all sentimental and mushy? It can't be just me. What is it about weddings? For those of us who have been married a while (we just celebrated our 17th anniversary) we reflect on our own wedding day and how we felt  embarking on this new adventure called marriage. Perhaps also reflecting on how the reality and challenges of being husband and wife weren't exactly what we anticipated as we stood together in front of our friends, family and God so many years ago.  Weddings make me feel blessed and thankful that I am married to such a great guy. Not every day is sunshine and flowers, but I wouldn't want to be walking though them with anyone else!

Weddings are a different event altogether if you aren't married. Worrying about who to go with and what to wear, who you will see and what people will think (all a tremendous waste of energy). Single women wistfully wish they were the beautiful bride, and the single men are thankful it isn't them taking the plunge!

We discovered an entirely new dimension to weddings this weekend - the prospect of being the parents of the bride. We have two teenage daughters and the possibility of being a bridal parent is no longer a far, far away event, but one that could possibly happen in the next decade. Wow.

As I watched the mother of the bride quietly wipe away the tears, I knew without a doubt that I would be wringing out a few tissues when it is my turn. I should probably promise my daughters that I will do my best not to embarrass them on their big day! I can't promise dry eyes, but I will promise to wear water-proof mascara and be as discreet as possible. I have wept at every significant moment of their lives so far, I can't see that changing any time soon!

My husband surprised me at how strong his feelings were about being the father of the bride. As we chatted about the ceremony during the drive to the reception,  he noted how hard it was for him as he watched the father of the bride hand over his beautiful daughter to the groom. His eyes filled with tears at the mere thought of that painful yet joyful moment in the future when Daddy's Little Girl becomes another man's young wife. He pondered the possibility of abandoning the rest of the ceremony after his official duties so he could go "ball his eyes out"  before the reception. Thinking back to my own wedding I don't know who was more of a wreck as we waited to walk down the aisle, my Dad or me! Gotta love those tender-hearted Daddies.

At the reception, the hosts further enhanced this sentimental journey by showing a slide show of the bride and groom. From wee babes to engagement photos the pictures went by one after another, watching these two delightful young people grow up before our very eyes. I wasn't sitting near enough to see the parents of the bride and groom, but if I were to hanker a guess, there wasn't a dry eye at that table. I know I was feeling a little mushy, and they weren't even my kids! How quickly our children go from totally dependent to totally independent. Cherish every day you have because very soon they will be all grown up and you will be quietly weeping in the front pew.

I leave you with the love chapter from 1 Corinthians 13. These passages are read at many weddings, this wedding was no exception and the pastor did a great job weaving a wonderful lesson from it's passages through the service. Human love is grand, but there is no greater love than the love of God for you.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

In His Peace  -

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Life is Hard

You know those days when everything is going along just swell and all the sudden something throws everything askew? There is a song, I know neither the title nor the artist, but it has a line that says "we are all just one phone call from our knees". Almost exactly two years ago I received one of those calls: my mother calling to tell me my brother had died. His death was very unexpected and excruciatingly painful for our entire family.

For me, it was as if a door of hope slammed in my face. You see, I had prayed for my brother for years and years. I prayed for his recovery from his addictions. I prayed for his salvation. I prayed that someone somewhere would get through to him and save him from himself, but it didn't happen.

Does that mean that God didn't listen? I don't think so. He heard every prayer and saw every tear that fell - not just mine, but the tears of everyone who loved my brother. I believe that God was just as broken hearted as we were at this loss.

I had some serious words with God that night and for several days and nights following. I must have walked 20 miles pacing up and down my driveway having very animated conversations with Him. When it was all over I felt, not necessarily better, but cleansed, restored and quieted. I came away from these conversations with three gifts. One, it is not for me to know or even guess the condition of my brother's heart or his relationship with God. That is between the two of them. Two, just because the end wasn't how I would have liked, that does not mean my prayers were not answered. We lived 2,000 miles apart, there is no way I could witness those prayers at work.  Three, I am not privy to all the answers, no one is. That is why God is who He is and we are who we are. In the place of a multitude of unanswered questions I was given peace. Peace to accept the things I have no control over.

Life isn't always what we expect. Marriages fail, loved ones die, jobs are lost, catastrophic weather strikes - any number of mind-numbing changes can happen in the blink of an eye. The one thing that is constant and true in this very scary world: God.  I find great comfort in knowing that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

God didn't promise us a walk in the park, in fact, Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." . On those days where being earth-bound is so wearying I just want to holler "Come, Lord Jesus! I am ready for heaven! Can we be done here?" So far the answer to that query has been "No", but I keep trying! : )

Life is hard, but God is so incredibly faithful. Run to Him when times are tough. In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Rest in Him and he will fill you up with His peace and fortify you in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for all you do for me. Thank you for granting me peace in difficult times when I am struggling and need it so badly. Please grant that same peace to others who seek it through You. Thank you for being a safe place to shelter in the storms of life. Life is hard. You want us to be joy-filled, but sometimes the weight of this world is so heavy. Help me to throw off the world weariness and put on the full armor of God so I can live a joy-filled life with You. In the precious, sweet name of Jesus. Amen.

In His Peace -