Category Archives: Peace

The Power of Stillness

 

Stillness--the Peace of GodBe still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

Does the world seem to be speeding up, keeping you in a whirlwind of activity? Even if you do take a break, is your mind constantly distracted? Our generation has embraced technology like no other generation, and while this can have a positive influence in our lives, it can also be very detrimental.

I’ve noticed that whenever I take a break, I often pick up my iPad to check my e-mail, catch up with friends on Facebook or even play a game of solitaire. My mind seems to need constant stimulation—a documented, scientific danger of our media-absorbed society. When I try to read the Word, my mind wanders. When I try to pray, my mind flits and flirts with a million thoughts. STILLNESS ELUDES ME!

Recently, I was reading a daily devotion from Streams in the Desert, and the phrase the power of stillness jumped out at me: “Is there anything that can touch our hearts like the power of stillness? Deep within the center of our soul is a chamber of peace where God lives, and where, if we will enter it and quiet all the other sounds, we can hear his gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:12)

“Even in the fastest wheel that is turning, if you look at the center, where the axle is found, there is no movement of all. And even in the busiest life, there is a place where we may dwell alone with God in eternal stillness.”

No other season of the year is busier than the Christmas season. While Christmas is meant to bring us God’s gift of PEACE and JOY, we can’t receive it if we don’t quiet our hearts and minds enough to allow God to be in the center of our lives (the axle of the wheel).

I’m challenging myself, and you, to take time during this Advent season to experience the power of stillness. Take time to listen to the words of Christmas carols. Read the Christmas story and ponder its meaning in your life. Set aside time to pray and listen for God’s still, small voice.

This Christmas season may you discover a new gift–the power of stillness.

Advertisements

Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year when we give thanks for all of our blessings—both as individuals and as a nation. Our thankfulness usually focuses on our material blessings—our daily provision of food, our jobs and homes, our family and friends and our freedom as a nation. While we should thank God for all of these blessings, how many of us ever give thanks for the trials and difficulties of the past year?

Why should we do this? Author and speaker, John Bevere says in his new book, Killing Kryptonite, that “Adversity locates the strength of our faith.” In other words, life’s difficulties are a kind spiritual thermometer that reveals whether we are trusting in our own ability to get through our trials or whether we are really putting our faith in God.  Continue reading

God Takes Us From Woundedness to Brokenness

Embed from Getty Images

I recently suffered what I considered a great injustice. My heart hurt and the emotional pain seemed to cast a shadow over my entire being. I felt numb and confused as to why the situation was causing me so much pain.

During a recent morning walk, I cried out to God as David did, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalm 43:5 ESV). I asked God to reveal the source of my pain and show me how to deal with it.

As I prayed, I felt the Lord say to me, “Your heart is wounded.” He said it with such kindness, but I knew that wasn’t the end of it. I needed to get beneath the woundedness to discover how to be healed. Continue reading

EACH WAVE BRINGS A NEW PROMISE


I’m finally at the beach!

On vacation!

For a week!

This morning, as I walked along the ocean’s edge shortly after sunrise, the tide washed ashore in little inlets, reflecting the ever-changing clouds. There were white fluffy clouds foreshadowing a day full of sunshine, but there were also billows of dark, ominous clouds threatening to overtake the promise of a sun-filled day.  


Only a few fellow walkers were out this early in the morning. I passed a lady carrying a small net bag which she appeared to use to collect shells. We exchanged greetings and then she frowned and said, “Not many good shells today,” and kept walking in the opposite direction.

As I thought about her comment and the ominous dark clouds, I was tempted to accept the fact that it was going to be a less than perfect beach day. No good shells to be found and most likely rain on the horizon. But then I had an amazing revelation:

EACH WAVE THAT WASHES UPON THE BEACH BRINGS WITH IT NEW SHELLS AND NEW POSSIBILITIES!

That nay-saying shell collector might just miss a beautiful shell that the next wave washes ashore!

The same is true of life. If we listen to negative reports or trust only in our immediate circumstances, we may miss what God has planned for us — a beautiful day filled with faith and trust and thanksgiving. As I continued my walk I thought to myself — this lesson will make a good blog for PrayWaves, and then I dared to pray a little prayer.

“Lord, help me find a beautiful shell to illustrate this lesson.”

It was true, most of the shells were broken and in pieces, but then the toe of my shoe unearthed something and as I bent down to uncover it, I discovered a beautiful type of shell that I have never found on any of our local beaches. “Thank you, Lord, I whispered. You have just confirmed that it was you speaking to me this morning.”


YOU CONSTANTLY OFFER WAVES OF GRACE, BEAUTY, PEACE AND UNENDING POSSIBILITIES. We only need to trust you and look beyond the dark clouds and nay-sayers.

(And by the way, the white puffy clouds and sun drove away the dark clouds and the sun is shining brightly!)

Put on Some “Spiritual Pounds” This Christmas

The Holidays Afford Us the Opportunity to Draw Closer to God

Putting on Some Spiritual  Pounds

Like a bear preparing for its winter of hibernation, I always seem to gain at least five pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those buttery homemade mashed potatoes and rolls on the Thanksgiving table always beg for seconds. And the Christmas cookies and fudge that show up everywhere—at the office, at church and at all those holiday parties further weaken my resistance. I actually make myself miserable thinking of the pounds I’m gaining as I chomp down on that second or third cookie without exerting any self-control. Continue reading