Sunday, November 29, 2009

Peace Be With You

A woman from one of my online communities (lets call her Margie) wrote a message one day about how she has never experienced peace from God, even though she had accepted Him as her Savior. Here is what she said:
“Before I became saved, I heard from ministers and others that walking with God would be a wonderful experience and my life would be changed forever. In many ways that has been true, yet I hear of other Christians as having peace and rest in God. I do not see that in my life. I feel no peace since becoming a Christian. If anything, my life is harder. It seems that, now, I am constantly having to make some "spiritual change" in my life, or some trial comes along, or I am constantly worried about whether I am raising my kids right, or wondering if ‘x situation’ really is God's will or my own will, since I do not seem to ‘hear’ from Him as others do. Where is the peace Christians talk about? What would it be like if I ever did have it? I feel like such a baby in the faith and it is not growing. What do I do?”
J.I. Packer, in his book, “Knowing God,” addresses this very issue in chapter 21. To be brief, he mentions how it is cruel for a Christian to tell an unbeliever that his life will be like a “bed of roses” once he accepts Christ into his life. (And, on the flip side, it is also not a good idea to stress only the “rough side” of the Christian life.) To be fair to an unbeliever, we must be truthful about the positive difference Christ has made in our own lives, but remember to give a balanced approach in what a person might encounter.

While it is true that a Christian can experience peace and rest through knowing Christ, the truth is that, in many ways, life does become even harder for us. Satan hates it when we turn to Christ, so he will do everything he can to keep us from becoming effective for the Lord. He tries to influence our attitudes, actions, and thoughts. It is definitely not an easy life! But, if we continue to stay in the Word, continue to learn what God's Word says, and continue to seek guidance through prayer, then we will GROW in the Lord, and we will have confidence in knowing He will always be there to help us through the difficult times.

As for peace, Margie had a misunderstanding as to what peace from God really means. Another definition of peace is "contentment." God does not promise we will never go through struggles. But, through Him, we can be content in whatever situation we are in - Contentment with the thought that God knows what is best for us; contentment in knowing the things He allows us to go through are used to help make us stronger Christians; contentment in realizing we are reaching our goal of becoming more like Him. Peace and contentment does not always come easily, but the more we walk with the Lord, the more He will show us that peace is something we encounter when we choose to abide in Him.

I hope this encourages you in your Christian walk - not only to explain things accurately to unbelievers, but to also realize we CAN have peace in the midst of our trials. In Christ, we have hope that others do not have. So, take courage, my friends; and, may peace be with you...

John 16:33 - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."(NAS)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Suggestions & Ideas

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I thought I'd share the following suggestions. I found these several years ago on  ANNIE'S HOME PAGE

  • If you know a single person make sure that they don't spend Thanksgiving alone. Let them become part of your family for that day.

  • Spend one hour as a family at a shelter or nursing home volunteering.

  • If you can afford it take a single mother or father to the grocery store and pay for their thanksgiving day groceries.

  • Make two of each of the pies you make and give one away to a busy mother or senior that can't bake this year.

  • Be creative, there are so many ways to use your abundance to help those in need. Your abundance may be that you have a family that loves you and you can even share that with a lonely widow or widower who never had any children of their own. They can become an adopted grandparent for your children for Thanksgiving Day or any day for that matter.

  • Often it is just a matter of using your organizational skills to check and double check to make sure that NONE will be lacking in your church or neighborhood for the holiday season. Consider starting with your Sunday School class and make sure that each one will have a place to go on Thanksgiving instead of being alone.

  • Call one of your neighbors and see if they can come over for a piece of pie or have dessert with you this Thanksgiving Day.

  • Share your abundance of clothes and blankets this year. Gather some extra blankets and even the coat that is a little too small. Maybe bring that extra pair of gloves that you never really liked and take them to a homeless shelter.

  • Make some sandwiches and cookies and take them to the homeless people in your town. Get some empty shoe boxes and put a few seasonal treats and treasures along with some Thanksgiving cards in them. Then they can be handed out at the nursing home this Thanksgiving. While you are there you can ask the director if there are any people who might need a visit or some fresh flowers to cheer them up this year.

  • If you love the tradition of Thanksgiving Football games, that's great. BUT make sure you don't watch them alone. Invite a single person over to watch the game with you. Not everyone will either want to or be able to travel home for the holidays. You can even PRAY for the athletes as you watch the game this year. Also consider praying for the announcers or those in the stadium that are watching the game.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving as you celebrate with family and friends!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Mary is a good friend of mine. We both attended the same college, but at different times, and I "found" her one day in our alumni magazine. I was interested in getting to know her, as I thought she looked familiar, and I also saw she was a mother of special needs children (something we definitely had in common). I e-mailed her one day, and we became friends almost instantly. We have shared prayers and support, shared several family "outings," and have studied God's Word together. It has been a blessing to know Mary, and she has allowed me this opportunity to share a poem she wrote in her college days. It is a poem about Wisdom and how it's important for us to strive at living our lives in a way that would make God want to say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." 

Matt 25:21 - "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'(NKJ)

Now, here's Mary....

In college I spent some time serving the elderly in a particular apartment complex. We ran errands, fixed things, and spent time talking. One woman stood out in particular to me.


“Enjoy your youth,” the woman said,
Imploring with her eyes
I could not grasp her full intent
But knew that she was wise.

“I was young once, just like you,
And felt I’d always be;
But now I look back with regret
On all I did not see.

If I could relive my youthful days
I’d get it through my head
That life is short and I must grasp
Each moment, each word said.

Don’t demand love from your friends
And don’t expect too much.
Love them each for who they are
Don’t use them as your crutch.

Look for ways to be content
With what God gives to you
That way you’ll not regret
And to His word You’ll be true.”

As she spoke she brought me
To a state of deepened thought.
I thanked God for wiser people,
Praying others could be taught.

~ Mary Lee ~

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day!

My family and I attended the Veterans Day ceremony in town this morning. Here are a few pictures we would like to share....

Honor Guard veterans lined up on the courthouse lawn.

The Jr. High band played several patriotic songs
and did a great job!

There were over 400 flags on the courthouse lawn, with names on each one to recognize the deceased veterans in the County.
It was quite a site!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What is Veterans Day?

What is Veterans Day? Oh, I know, I know.... it’s a holiday that lets us stay home from school and work. We get the day off from our regular duties and get to do whatever we want to do, right? Well...yes....but why? Have you ever really shared with your children or grandchildren what Veterans Day is all about? I would guess that half the population really doesn’t have a clue as to what its for, aside from it being a day to sleep in.
Well, here's the scoop... Veteran’s Day is an annual American holiday that encourages us to honor all veterans (past, present and future) for their service to our country. 

So, who are veterans? They're the men and women who have served (or are currently serving) in the various branches of the armed forces: Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Marines Corps, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy, Navy Reserve, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Guard, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve.

By the way, the men pictured on today’s blog are all United States veterans. They are all related to either me or my husband in some way. This, by no means, is ALL of the veterans in our family lines. However, these are some of the photos I was recently able to gather.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which specifically honors military members who have DIED in service to their country. While deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day, the focus is on their faithful service, and not on their death in battle.

Everyone who owns a calendar should be able to see that Veterans Day is coming up this Wednesday, November 11th. As the day approaches, please remember it is not a day to debate whether or not we should or should not be at war with someone; And, it is not a day to voice your opinions about the military and whether or not you think they are doing a good job. What it is a day for is a day to honor and remember all the men and women who have served for YOU and for the freedom you have here in America.

As Veterans Day approaches, I want to encourage us all to keep patriotism alive in this country and find some way to help our children (and ourselves) appreciate the sacrifices our veterans have made for us. This article from has some good suggestions on how we can do that:

In closing, I want to personally thank each and every veteran out there for your service to our country. God bless you all,
and God bless America!

Click below to hear Celine Dion sing a wonderful rendition of
God Bless America!