Live in Harmony and Peace

I consider myself pretty even tempered and easy to get along with. I rarely get angry to the point of raising my voice or interrupting others when they are saying things I don’t agree with or like. I try to listen and consider what others have to say before I respond. When no agreement can be reached to a mutual satisfaction I can agree to disagree and not be mad or hold a grudge.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Jas 1:19-20

However, this has been tested recently and I have had to talk to Jesus about an issue that concerns many people and is causing conflict among friends and neighbors. Tempers have flared and angry words exchanged. I have my opinion that tends to align itself with one side of the conflict but I understand the concerns of the other side. Conversations have become contentious…and loud. I have done fairly well keeping my comments fair and quiet, but I have been complaining! Jesus is clear about this,

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.
Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, 
Phil 2:14-15a

Interesting that I can pat myself on the back for being so reasonable and able to see bothheart-1463421_640 sides of the issue and yet complain about the advocates on both sides. Seems I have some work to do on my attitude.

In a few days, this will be decided. Some will be happy and some not happy. All will be well in the eyes of those who have their thoughts confirmed and those who do not will be upset and angry. I wonder what the cost of this controversy will be. Loss of friendliness and goodwill, cordiality and peace?

Live in harmony with each other.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Ro 12:16a,18

To live in harmony understanding of our differences is needed and to live in peace acceptance of our differences is needed. Jesus tells us how we are to do this and I am praying that we will listen and take to heart what He has to say.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
Jo 13:34

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

All scripture from the
New Living Translation

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You Are Mine

Truth is sometimes hard to believe and there are times I find myself doubting it. My heart knows what I read in the Bible is God’s Word and is truth but my head will question it. What is written in Isaiah my heart believes without question, and my head believes it too, but not without questions.

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
Isa 43:1b nlt

God has called me by name. He knows my name! And He says “you are mine.”  He doesn’t love-1196950_640suggest that I belong to Him He states it. There is no question it’s a fact I belong to Him! Not only do I belong to Him, He paid for me. I may not be worthy of Him but He doesn’t think I am worthless.  Amazing.

“From eternity to eternity I am God.
No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
No one can undo what I have done.”
Isa 43:13 nlt

My heart knows without hesitation or difficulty that this is true. In my heart I accept the fact with confidence and certainty. But my head, my hard stubborn head is at odds with my heart. It contradicts my heart,  it argues and debates what the heart knows. Always wondering…what if?  When my thoughts begin to get confused I remember what Paul wrote to the Philippians;

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize
for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things.
If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.
But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
Phil 3:14-16 nlt

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Don’t Be Afraid, Don’t Worry

There are times when I am worried and afraid. Not crying, shaking, hiding in the closet worried and afraid just a bit fearful or anxious and nervous. When I talk about it to Jesus He reminds me,

       Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.baby-20339_640                                                                Isa 41:10

Reading this I see the reason I am sometimes worried.  It’s because I forget that He is with me, He holds me in His hand. But why do I forget this?

I forget because I get busy with life. I put off praying and meditating until I have the time. I don’t put Him first because there are other things that need to be done or more honestly, things I want to do. When I don’t say good morning to Him putting Him first, when I don’t talk with Him throughout the day, when I go to sleep without thanking Him for the day and saying good night to Him I am not the woman He created me to be. I am weak and easily shaken, I get discouraged and lazy, I am filled with anxiety. God has given me and you all we need to be the people He wants us to be.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Tim 1:7

I think, really I know, the devil is the pushy-in-your-face sort who charges in uninvited anytime he wants but Jesus is not like that. Jesus knows that I struggle with worry and anxiety and will help me when I ask. He will step in whenever He sees a child of God in need but He will not force His way. He shows us the way but whether we go with Him or not is our choice. We have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline we have but to access that power.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Blessings this day of grace
patricia

Image:pixabay
Scripture: NLT

Learning To Pray

When I first started talking to Jesus I didn’t know Him and like it is with any new acquaintance I was careful what I talked about and how I talked. I wasn’t sure what we should talk about, what was acceptable and what was off limits. After all, I didn’t want to shock Him or anger Him or for Him to think I was stupid or silly. I wanted Him to like me. Just shows you how little I knew about Jesus, doesn’t it?

At first, I was shy and timid trying to say and do the right thing and not to offend this new person in my life. How was I to pray? Should I kneel or sit? Should I talk out loud, whisper or be silent? How was He to be addressed, how to begin the prayer and how to end it?  Howbaby-1606572_640 long should I pray and was there some order or formula? What if I couldn’t think of anything to say or what if I talked too much? All these questions I worried over thinking I had to pray in a certain prescribed way.  I didn’t know that Jesus wanted to hear my prayers, (Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.Phil 4:6) that He wanted me to sit with Him, that there were no special rules or conditions to follow. All I had to do was…be with Him.

Ever so slowly I grew to be comfortable with Jesus.  He is my Lord and Savior and He is my friend and wants to talk with me. (Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Ja 4:8). I can talk to Him about anything and everything, important and trivial, good and bad, happy and sad, in anger and with laughter. My words don’t have to be eloquent or beautiful or grammatically correct. Sometimes there are no words at all. Doesn’t matter the time or place I simply have to call out, whisper or think, Jesus, and I know without a doubt that He is listening. Not only does He listen, if I am quiet He usually has something to add to the conversation.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I remember my first steps of faith and I remember all the times I faltered and stumbled. Because I still have times of uncertainty and questions, times when I am afraid, times when I fall. Sin is always a part of my life. Perfection is a work in progress and as with all work, there are good days and days I should have stayed in bed. I am telling you this because I want you to know that Jesus isn’t around just on the days when everything is good and only for those who never weaken. Jesus never leaves those He knows and loves. (God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”Heb 13:5b) No matter who you are, where you are or where you’ve been, what you are doing or what you have or haven’t done, Jesus is with you and wants to talk with you.

There are no long distance or roaming charges and you won’t get cut off or disconnected. Just say, “Hello Jesus.”

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixabay

Guard Your Heart

heart-481434_640

One of the things that Jesus and I talk about frequently is the condition of my heart. We talk about the physical health of my heart and the need for good diet and exercise and enough sleep. I get a little cranky when proper diet, exercise, and sleep are brought to my attention but I understand I need to be reminded…often it seems.

We also talk about the spiritual state of my heart. Is it kind and generous, loving and caring, cheerful and open, honest and humble, discerning and disciplined, is it pure and focused on Him?  It is easy to say yes I am all these things but am I?  No, I am not! Not even close! It hurts to know how far I have to go before I can answer a firm and true yes.

I can be careless and absent-minded when it comes to the health of my heart, physically and spiritually. I just go about my days insensitive to how what I am doing and thinking is affecting my overall heart health. I know this has to change but I am stubborn and like doing things my way. Ps 51:17 tells us, The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, you will not despise a broken and humbled heart.  My stubborn and rebellious spirit must be sacrificed to have the heart Jesus wants me to have. The Spirit lives in my heart! His home is meant to be like Him!

Jesus tells me I must guard my heart, my life depends on it. As always He doesn’t leave me to my own devices on how to do this He gives me direction:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

Do you know that life, physical and spiritual, flows from the heart?
Are you guarding your heart?

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixabay