I looked in the mirror, My face reflected there Showed lines of fear and worry, The strain of daily care. I looked into a quiet pool, Green branches framed my face. Snow-white cloud passed overhead, Some care seemed to erase.
The Winds of Fate – by Salesian Missions
I found myself in a shady nook My cares confessed to Him. I felt Him near and knew that He was looking deep within. I looked into His loving eyes; Reflecting back to me Was one I’d never truly known … The “Self” He’d helped me be. I looked into the mirror. Sweet peace reflected there. His perfect love had touched my life. He had erased all care.
Anna Lee Edwards McAlpin
Look into His face, my friends. Let Him into your heart. Let Him erase all cares. Feel His loving arms around you. Live in His peace.
Love Lives in His Enormous Heart Ready to share now Peace
Sending to you the Love, Joy and Peace that are mine through Christ.
In my devotional studies today, the Moody Bible Institute’s “Today in the Word” asked that question. What is peace and where do you find it?
If you go to Pexels.com and put in the word “peace” you will find many images that suggest answers to those questions:
What does this one suggest to you?
Of course, this suggests prayer…
… and this has a Zen origin, right?
Many folks find peace by going out into nature and finding seclusion.
Others look for peace in communication with others who are seeking the same goals.
Music provides a source of peace for me and many others.
My greatest sense of peace comes from my faith. As a Christian, PEACE is not a place. It is not an unattainable emotion. Peace is a person!
My peace comes from God’s grace in the person of Jesus.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
I find evidence of that joy-giving peace all around me… and I am assured of it as I read my Bible and study the devotionals that reinforce my faith.
Today in the Word has a study of The Gospel of Luke titled, “Peace on Earth” this month.
In his introductory pages, Dr. John Koessler wrote, “This promise of peace belongs to those upon whom His favor rests.”
Does His favor rest on you?
Thousands of years before His birth, Isaiah predicted Him:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Then, when Isaiah’s prediction came true, Jesus came to earth… the Prince of Peace, Here to show us how to find His peace, Here to show us how to live.
Ephesians2:14 put it this way:
“Jesus is our peace” Because Jesus “came and preached peace to you who were far away and those who were near.”
Jesus came, lived to show us and teach us, and died to save us. Believing that is the road to His grace. Believing that is the way to Eternal Life. Believing that is the path to peace.
Dr. John Koessler wrote:
“Those who know the peace of Christ become agents of peace themselves. When Jesus first sent His disciples to proclaim the kingdom, He told them, ‘As you enter the home, give it your greeting.’ Matthew 10:12 (the traditional Jewish greeting, Shalom) This was more than a social formality, Christians are offering peace through faith in Christ to others. The shalom of Christ is more than a greeting. It is a promise. There is more to peace than a personal experience. For the Christian, peace is a person. Jesus is our peace.”
Reach out! Touch Him! He is the Holy Spirit in you. He is the King of Peace, here to give you His peace. Take it!
In Him is my peace of mind. Where is yours? I pray you find it in Him. Merry Christmas! He came to save you and me.
Love and peace to you, JanBeek
Thank you, God, Lord, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit for the love, joy, and peace that are mine!
27 … the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
In “These Days” one of my daily devotionals, Martin Wiles reminded me of the song, “Lookin’ for Love” released in 1980 as part of the soundtrack for the movie, Urban Cowboy. He reminded me that country singer, Johnny Lee, sang the song. I remember singing along. I found it on YouTube music. It inspired this blog. Click on the link below and have a listen!
Martin Wiles commented in the devotional, “The lyrics tell of someone who spent a lifetime looking for love in all the wrong places. They hoped to find someone who was also looking for love. After many failed attempts, they finally found the special person.”
The scripture that inspired the commentary is Psalm 103:8 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
Martin Wiles continued, “The Psalmist discovered God’s love. Our world too often has a twisted definition of love, defining it by emotions alone or confusing it with lust. God demonstrates agape love – an unconditional love that keeps giving whether we return it or not…”
So, I am encouraged to receive God’s love and I ask God to help me love others as God loves me.
I am not looking for love in all the wrong places. I trust that you are not searching in all the wrong places either.
I send my love to you, dear WordPress friends. Pass it on!
Just as the bees in a hive look out for one another, our WordPress community reaches out and cares for one another. Thank you all for your words of support and comfort during this time of pain and loss. Your words are sweet as honey!
Your comforting words remind me of this scripture:
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.
Not only did I present my request to God, but I told you, my friends, about our troubles: my fall and subsequent dislocated & broken finger, and our granddaughter’s miscarriage. From the goodness of your hearts, you reached out with words of encouragement. Thank you so much!
My hand is bruised and wrinkly – and the fingers are braced to keep the broken pinky immobile, but this will heal… and the good news is that it was my finger and not my head that took the brunt of the fall. I have an appointment next week with an orthopedic hand specialist. Hopefully no further intervention will be needed.
In the case of Hope and Drew (my granddaughter and her hubby), prayers are appreciated for their family as they move forward. Finding that she had lost the fetus, Hope’s comment was, “Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.” It was early in her pregnancy – and that’s a blessing. I think it is much harder when the baby is more developed, the sex is determined, and the parents are preparing their home and hearts for the new addition. In this case, they had not quite adjusted to the idea of a third child yet. So, we are just thanking God for the blessing of the two they already have… and praying for their well being.
I pray for more time to be with them, too… Children are such a blessing! God is good – especially when He allows us to live long enough to see our children’s children have children. Don’t you agree?
During this week following Holy Week, we still are in awe of the Easter miracle… and our minds are comforted by the resurrection message. We remember that this is the week when Jesus showed Himself to the disciples in the Upper Room. He returned to let Thomas touch His nail scarred hands and his pierced side. (I bet Jesus’ hands hurt more than mine does right now!)
He talked with His followers who were on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and was seen by hundreds before His ascension. Jesus’ words are a comfort to us all! Listen to them in song:
Bee Comforted! Let not your heart be troubled.
In yesterday’s Mornings with Jesus Dianne Neal Matthews wrote, “Remember how Christ felt concern for His disciples’ well-being and sought to comfort them… He paid a high price so I can know supernatural peace in all circumstances… His soul was troubled so mine doesn’t have to be, regardless of what I face.”
I am thankful it was:
my left hand, not my dominant one
my finger, not my head that broke
early on in Hope’s pregnancy not the last trimester – and she’s OK
God’s concern for mankind that sent His Son to earth
His sacrifice that assures me of eternal life
your words of encouragement that comforted me
Oh, and this is the day that my youngest granddaughter, Faith, who lives in CA with her husband and a new little girl, Mable, is celebrating her 26th birthday! Happy Birthday, Faith!! That’s another reason to be thankful, right?
Have a blessed weekend, my friends. I send my love. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Thanks for visiting JanBeek
That was the question we explored at tonight’s Good Friday service: What’s Good About Good Friday?
Yesterday in my post titled, “Last Words,” I promised I’d tell you about our Good Friday service. I told you our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds, had selected passages from scripture that recorded Jesus’ last words.
I shared a few of Jesus’ last words spoken that last Friday … words that were memorable to me:
Mark 14: 24-25 = Last supper – blood of the covenant poured out for you
Mark 14:27-31 = Prediction of Peter’s denial
Mark 14:35-36 = Take this cup from me…
Mark 14:42-43 = Are you still sleeping? … the betrayer is coming
But those quotes were from Jesus’ last conversations with His disciples before He was arrested… before He was hung on the cross.
Tonight’s “Last Words” were from the cross:
Luke 23: 33-34 = “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Luke 23: 39-43 = “Truly I tell you, you will be with me…”
John 19: 25-27 = “Woman, here is your son…”
Matthew 27: 45-49 = “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
John 28: 28-29 = “I am thirsty”
Luke 23: 44-46 = “Father, into Your hands…”
John 19: 30 = “It is finished.”
The selection that was mine to read was #4. I practiced it a lot and still goofed up when I tried to read it orally because the scripture tells it in the language Jesus spoke: “Eloi! Eloi! Lama sabachthani!” I can say it just fine sitting here at my computer – but in front of the congregation? Put on the spot? I faked it! I hope most didn’t notice. I’m sure Jesus forgives me!
Each of us who read was invited to create and share a reflection and a prayer related to our selection. Here is what I said: “Like Jesus, there are times in our lives when we are in great suffering or turmoil, and we feel God has forsaken us. The Good News is He never has and He never will.”
That’s what’s Good about Good Friday!
Jesus took away our sin. He died for us. Because of His life, death, and resurrection, we can dare to approach God knowing He will never forsake us. Never!
My prayer was this:
“O God, You are our hope and our salvation. Your Son is our gift, our gateway, our guide. We thank You for His sacrifice for our sake that we might be assured of Life Eternal with You in Heaven.
Thank You for never forsaking us when we enter Your presence in faith. We give You our hearts and gratitude. Amen.”
Tomorrow is “Silent Saturday.” I will not blog.
I’ll be busy Easter Sunday with sunrise service and church and guests here for dinner. (Hopefully my granddaughter, Hope, and her hubby and two children, Xander & Sienna, will be among the guests)
I bet you will be busy doing meaningful things this weekend also. Happy Easter!
Our message at church today was an interesting one. Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds shared a story about a clerical friend of hers who renamed Palm Sunday “Donkey Sunday” because the palm leaves show up in only some of the Gospels, but the donkey is in all four!
Power in Love
Royalty who rode donkeys were considered a disgrace. But the throng didn’t mind How Jesus entered the place.
Power is a social contract. It’s a constructed idea for us. However it is not a given – Except in the case of Jesus.
Christ Power is a given. In the beginning was Light, And the Light was God who Came from darkness into sight.
Jesus Christ came from Light. Through God all things were created. Jesus was not just made… He always was. And I’m elated!
Because He came, I know That He will come again. He has the power to save us all. His power can save us from our sin.
Think about the presence Of power in our lives. When do you exercise it? Control it, friends, ’til Christ arrives!
The donkey is a symbol of humility. The King of Kings came not to reign Over the rulers of this earthly kingdom. He came in love to display His own domain.
His kingdom is not on earth. Instead, it is in eternity… The place He has reserved For believers like you and me.
Today might be called “Donkey Sunday.” It is the day Christ rode to town On the back of this lowly animal. Praise God, His Son came down!
Power was His – But He exchanged it For humility and love And expressed it with compassion.
Happy Donkey Week, my friends. May the Power of the Holy Spirit Be expressed in you Through Love and Humility.
Thanks for your message, Rev. Reynolds. I pray my sermon notes did it justice.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
As often happens to me, I read the first devotional this morning in Daily Guideposts, and I was inspired to choose the word for my blog today. EQUIPPED!
Then when I opened the next devotional, “All God’s Creatures,” the March/April Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers, and the word “equipped” showed up twice on that page.
What are the chances, you ask? Pretty good batting average, I’d say. There it was again:
Ephesians 2:10 (a)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
The story in “All God’s Creatures” was about a woodpecker who was “beautifully equipped for his unique purpose in life…” as he aggravated the writer with his incessant tapping on the tree trunk outside his window.
The writer, Terry Clifton, mused that he, too, is “a result of God’s handiwork – equipped with talents and skills that have meaning and purpose for [his] life.”
What has God equipped you with? What unique gifts and talents do you possess that allow you to let God’s workmanship shine through you to fulfill His purpose in your life?
On the Daily Guideposts’ page for today Jerusha Agen wrote, “All I have to do is walk with God through each day, confident He will provide all I need to accomplish His work.”
It all sounds so theoretical, doesn’t it? About as solid as that sand in the hand. But, what scripture is telling us is that our hearts are not made to be solid.
We are not expected to look at tasks from our earthly perspective. Tasks are formed for us beforehand by our Maker in Heaven.
Don’t eliminate the second part of the Ephesians 2:10 scripture: “…which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Like a skilled woodworker Who sees the image inside the log, God chiseled our lives and purposes Before the world saw us.
The tasks placed before us Are designed with us in mind. Look at them with Jesus glasses And see their infinite possibilities.
Do not be overwhelmed by the world’s naysayers. Walk with God through each day Confident you are equipped.
He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand. He directs your path – and hears you. He sees your needs and equips you. Rely on Him – and step out in faith!
What tasks are you equipped to accomplish today? “If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them.”
Let love pour from your heart like sand from your hand.
I’m off for a walk in faith. Join TazE & me?
See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love to you, JanBeek
In a world of hate and divisiveness, Let us radiate only peace. Let’s just love one another And help unity increase.
Let’s share the words of St. Francis. They were put as lyrics in a song – Shared beautifully by Sebastian Temple. Come, my friends, let’s sing along.
Make me a channel of Your peace; Help me apply these principles each day. Help me be loving and understanding. Let me share compassion, I pray.
There are many musical versions of the Prayer of St. Francis. The tune above is the most well known. However, I discovered a version by Ryan Cayabyab that speaks to my soul in a whole different way. Recorded in the midst of the Pandemic, with each musician in his/her own place, this rendition is quite powerful. Take few minutes to listen! You’ll be glad you did.
Yes, Lord. make me an instrument of Your peace.
In a world of trouble and strife, Let us radiate peace to all we meet. Let us remember we all are Children of God… Let’s not compete.
Don’t compete to be better than – Looking down on your fellow man. Only in the Olympics and competitive sports Is such a mindset an acceptable plan.
In daily life we need to be Willing to admit our equality. As Christ lived and died to teach us, We come from the same genealogy.
From dust we were created – By our Father in Heaven we came. Look inside our veins, our hearts – Sow peace, my friends. We’re all the same!
Thank you, my WP friends, for all your good wishes yesterday for Bob’s and my 60th anniversary. It was a day filled with love, friends, good food, memorable messages, cards, gifts, and beautiful flowers. We are blessed indeed. Thank you!
Have a peace-filled, love-filled, joyous weekend. Radiate PEACE!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow (God willing)