Are You Prepared?

A couple of blogs ago, I asked the question what should be in your Emergency Preparedness Kit.  I did not receive any responses, so I thought I would share with you what I would pack.

Beloved, we must be prepared each day for the multiple assignments given us.

First, I would get ready with prayer for myself, family, leaders, the lost, wounded and hurting, and those of the household of faith. Packing prayer gives insights.  Prayer also provides peace which passes all understanding, and the power to stand against the enemy.  My clothes would consist of the whole armor of God.  His armor carries the light of His glory.  Preparation requires commitment, and the courage to stand;  firmly rooted in the hope which comes from our relationship to Christ. The other essential items for our Emergency Preparedness Kit are referenced in the Book of Ephesians.   Ephesians 6:10-17 cf [NIV] tells us … “Finally, be strong in the Lord  and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God,  so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,  against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation  and the sword of the Spirit,   which is the word of God.

Our God wants us prepared like the five wise virgins whose lamps were ready for the arrival of the bridegroom.   Are you packed and ready for today’s journey?  If not, review and re-pack your Emergency Preparedness Kit.  You’ll be glad you did.

Peace and blessings.

Godliness

Godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing in the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7 NASB

Godly contentment seems like a lofty goal since we are plagued with constant messages of volatile markets, and  ever – changing political climates both here and aboard.  The harbingers of doom and gloom-the news and entertainment media fill the airwaves with images of death, destruction, grief, sorrow.  And along with these are the conveyors of every conceivable pleasure laden items, and substances, all waiting to snatch away our peace of mind.  “Vanities of vanities, all is vanity.”  How can one expect to maintain a sense of peace within or achieve Godliness?  1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace – as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.” NIV

God promised our minds would flow and remain in perfect peace and harmony when we focus on Him.  We will never be content with this world’s vain riches.  Nor can our minds withstand the endless onslaught of messages and images designed to attract and distract us from our divine purpose.  Our soul craves for the living, soothing water of Christ-the Prince of Peace.   It is His message, and His image that establishes contentment and peace. Only with the power and presence of Christ can we place all things and experiences in their proper place.    “The earth is the Lord and the fullness thereof.”  Recognizing everything belongs to the Lord, and that we are merely His stewards means freedom.   So let go of the entanglements, and the sin that so easily besets us, and lay hold of the peace and contentment that passes all understanding through Christ, our King.

It is Well With My Soul

It is not too much to say that all real growth in the spiritual life-all victory over temptation, all confidence and peace in the peace in the presence of difficulties and dangers, all repose of spirit in times of great disappointment or loss, all habitual communion with God-depend upon the practice of secret prayer.” Author unknown.

Recently, my meditation readings have focused on peace-peace within, bold peace.  “Where there is peace, God is” said George Herbert.  Our minds are kept in perfect peace, when we focus on Him, not them.  Romans 12: 1-2, strongly encourages us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him.  Do not be conformed to the same manner of thinking, behaving and reacting to the world.  How can this be achieved?  Peace.

There comes a peace that even in the face of tremendous pain or challenges we can experience a peace that passes all understanding.  That peace is the peace of Christ, since he is the Crown Prince of Peace.  Peace is part of His divine nature, His essence. The Lord blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).  It is Peace that rides along side us and hovers over us when we rest at night filling our soul and spirit with blessed assurance.  Peace gives us strength from day-to-day.  Peace strives to keep unity and does not create strife.  Peace is never anxious, because with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, petitions, requests are made known to God, knowing full well He can handle it. Peace is the legacy Jesus leaves with his children (John 14:27), “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  Peace, glorious peace.  As this day unfolds, rely on that peace. Fill every corner of your mind with peace, knowing all is well your soul.

 

His Guidance

Today, I need the guidance of the Lord to see me through this day.  I need to walk according to His steps, not mine.  I need to be receptive to His leading and his sweet call.  I need to close my mind to the sounds of this world, and listen for His voice.  One word utters to my soul brings clarity.   His clear voice reassure me that I’m on the right path, and the decisions to be made are underpinned by His wisdom.  Then I will experience the peace that passes all understanding.

Lord, I open my heart to you this day.

Open My Heart

Pursue Unity

No wars, no fighting, no bombs, or guns, military or the need for borders to be protected.  No court systems, or prisons or jails, think of it…a world without the chaos, turmoil devoid of conflict, strife.  A place where people live in harmony working out their differences in ways which respects the inherent value of the other person.  A tall order!  A world where peace reign supreme.  What’s happening in your world today?  Are you pursuing unity?  How about that family member, or co-worker who got on your nerve yesterday or even this morning?  Are you pursuing unity or your position?  Think about the disagreement, or grudge you’ve held for the past days, or months, or years…has it been resolved?  Is the relationship with the other person been restored?  Or are you carrying weight from years of pursuing pain, bitterness, disagreements, fighting?

2 Corinthians 13:11 said  “Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”  Be of one mind, live in peace and God will be with you.   Think of it – God will be with you if you be of one mind-his mind and live in peace with others. We don’t have to spend our lives in constant conflict and turmoil. We don’t have to begin the day in dread and fear because of misunderstandings over some trivial matter or thing, or the important matter of the day.  Someone once asked the question, “Do your words and actions pursue a path of peace?” in a book I read.  I pondered how many times, and often  I personally pursued peace and unity.  When I did, I experienced the peace of God, and my world was filled with more love, joy, peace, happiness than turmoil, strife, and pain.  I also have realized that if I did not pursue unity then I experienced and carried the weight of the alternative.

God wants us to pursue unity with each other, and within ourselves.  Listen to God’s voice, pursue unity today, and experience peace.

The Space Before – Forgiveness

Yesterday, I wrote in my journal about forgiveness while praying for someone who is dealing with the lost of their mother. Grief and lost are difficult enough, but dealing with bad attitudes, misplaced emotions, and contentious behaviors in the midst of it can be too much. As I was meditating, the word forgiveness came up. It wasn’t in any of the scriptures I read, but there it was. Forgiveness. What is forgiveness? And why is it necessary to forgive? And when does it occur? I believe it is a gift-a sacred present. A grace offering. Jesus said forgive and pray for those who mistreat you. It is an expectation, a divine directive from our Savior. Life’s challenges make it difficult to forgive, and much time and energy can be lost in the space of unforgiveness.
I was intrigued, and compelled to write about it. In fact, the word returned this morning, so I had to share this thought. How does forgiveness happened?

Forgiveness takes place in the space between “for” and “give”. Yes, in the space before forgiveness is offered. There is a melting, a release, and moving away from the rock and the hard place. It is like the cold snow melting away under the warmth of the bright morning sun. Picture it! The snow and ice becoming water. This is what happens in the space before forgiveness. Transformation takes place, when the giver makes the decision to for-give. In that space hate becomes love, resistance becomes acceptance, and the past gives way to the future.

A new beginning comes into focus in that sacred space [the before]. And this is not a small space. Look at the word forgive. There does not appear to be any space between the letters. Now, look at it again. F O R G I V E. There is more space. Look at it one more time. F O R G I V E. The space is much wider. In fact it huge, because if you have ever been hurt, betrayed, rejected, abused, the space from the pain is wide. However, at the second, the very moment the decision is made to forgive the space [gap] begins to close. And during the closing of the space preparations for the delivery of the gift begins. The gift is wrapped in love with a bright ribbon of hope. Upon delivery the space is closed, and miraculously another space is opened.

Forgiveness is a wonderful gift. It restores, heals, and allows you and I the opportunity to share the greatest gift we’ve ever received, that of God’s forgiveness.

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