Tag Archives: peace

I Will Rise

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Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:13-15
Good morning!  This week my heart has been quite heavy and my prayers filled with more pleads than usual.  Not an easy topic to address for some, but one if addressed through the WORD, provides so much hope and promise.

 

This week a family member is nearing the end of their time on earth.  And thoughts of death and heaven have filled my prayers and conversations.  This person has not outwardly declared Jesus as their LORD and Savior, but our prayers have been that they have an inward knowledge of their maker and can find peace and comfort as they prepare to leave their earthly body.

 

Death is scary and sad and emotional, and I could only imagine if I didn’t have the knowledge of what was next and thought that this life was it, it would be even more so.  But as followers of Jesus – isn’t death what we live for?  It sounds morbid writing it out, but Jesus promises eternal life.  I know when this life gets tough, the hope of that perfect Eden is quite encouraging.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to leave things here, but I can only pray that when God calls my name , I will run open-armed into His arms knowing He will take care of me and we will all be together once again in heaven very soon.

 

Heaven has been a topic that my LL has been asking a lot about lately.  Who she knows in heaven, what they are doing, what it will be like?  I can only go off of what the Bible promises, but we talk about it as a place filled with love, and singing, and dancing.  A place where all doggies and kitties have homes.  A place where everyone can be a princess or a superhero.  A place where no one cries, no one is mean, no one is ever hurting.  What is in your heaven?  How do you talk to your kids about it?

 

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4

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but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

And if you know me, ofcourse a song inspired this post.  I thought about I Can Only Imagine which depicts what it would be like to meet Jesus and be with him in heaven.  But thought Chris Tomlin’s I Will Rise (video and lyrics below) was more appropriate.  I pray that I will rise when my name is called, knowing that what is ahead is beyond anything I could have imagined through the words of the Bible and through amazing songs like this one.

 

For the person I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I will continue to pray and ask for your prayers as well.  For peace and to know this excitement that God promises us for eternity, that this life is not it.  And for those still here with us, for peace as well, that this person is no longer suffering, and the only pain and sorrow will be in our mourning.  As always God will come through on His promises and His love will prevail.

 

Thank you for reading and stopping by today.  Have a blessed day.  Amen.

 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I Will Rise
Chris Tomlin
There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well” Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb” And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

 

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My Lighthouse

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Happy Monday.  Back to school here in OH (finally!  I know all our GA started weeks ago!)  Looking forward to getting back into a routine and figuring out our new normal.  With that, I am hoping (but don’t hold me too it) to get back into regular blogging.  Right now this is my little outlet when the kids have quiet time to reflect on books I read, prayers I have, or really just whatever I want.  If I can reach even just one person, it is worth it, even if that person is myself!

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One of our anthems of the summer, on repeat in the car, was “My Lighthouse” by Rend Collective.  A catchy song that you will often hear me and the kids blurting out (loudly) while driving down Lake Road with the windows down.  But one, the more I reflect on (or hear), that really has a lot of meaning and significance, now and always.  The obvious, we live at the lake now, so we do get to see lighthouses often.   But also God/Jesus as a lighthouse is a wonderful metaphor.  And then we all have opportunities to be a lighthouse to those around us.  And lastly we probably have lighthouses in our lives (other people or places that reflect the light of God on earth.)

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Living along Lake Erie, daily being able to catch a glimpse of the water, is an amazing thing.  But also has made me realize how many verses are centered around nautical things.  Seas, waves, fish, anchors, floods…visual reminders I see each and every day.  Trying to make a better effort to reflect on them as a message from God, who is our lighthouse, who will lead us safe to shore each and every day or with each trip through the troubled sea. (The lighthouse above is in Cleveland, the one below is in Hilton Head, SC.)

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And then today as I was thinking about this post, I read the news of Truett Cathy passing away.  Founder of Chick-fil-A, a company that I was blessed to call my work home for 5 years, and a company like none other.  Truett was a man of great faith, lead by example, humble, had a huge heart, treated his employees like friends, wanted his customers treated the same, and left this world a better place.  To me because of his values (and HIS values), Chick-fil-A, will always be a lighthouse in my life.  Especially since moving away from GA, CFA is a place that reminds me of home.  The taste, the service, the playground, even my kids are more comfortable in a Chick-fil-A restaurant than most other places.   Truett truly practiced what he/CFA stood for and left the world a better place.  Saying many extra prayers today for his family, both blood, and employees alike.  Our hearts are all much heavier today thinking of him, but have peace knowing he is rejoicing in heaven.  (The picture below was at the 2010 Christmas party in his office/treehouse.)

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Take a listen to the song below (I’m including the lyrics too and a bonus video if you scroll all the way down.) And reflect on this simple message of truth; God will always be there to guide you, to keep you safe, be your peace, and be the brightest light in your life, if you invite Him to do so.  Look for Him in the darkness, and He will deliver, He always does.  Amen.

My Lighthouse
Rend Collective

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
You’re great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence You won’t let go
In the questions Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My lighthouse
My lighthouse
Shining in the darkness I will follow You

My lighthouse
My lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I’ll rise and sing
My God’s love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Fire before us You’re the brightest
You will lead us through the storms

*Lighthouse print at very top is available on Etsy – click on picture.

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Merry Christmas! (Conclusion of Advent Series)

How could I forget about the Christ candle?  The 5th candle in the center of the Advent wreath, which we light on Christmas Eve.  We’ve made it to the long-awaited day, the day the Christ was born.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:9-14

I cannot think of a more beautiful song to leave you with to conclude this season.  “O Holy Night”  Although my husband claims each and every year that Eric Cartman (from South Park) ruined this song for him (sorry if I just did the same for you – you can view it here, although I highly advice against it!), it is still one of the most beautiful and most meaningful songs of the Christmas season for me.

Please enjoy this version and carry with you this knowledge each and every day of the coming year.  On this Holy night, many years ago, a baby was born who changed it all.  Amen and Merry Christmas!

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees

O hear the angel voices
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born
O night divine!
O night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother.

And in His name, all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord!
Their name forever praise we

Noel, Noel
O night, O night divine
Noel, Noel
O night, O night divine
Noel, Noel
O night, O holy night

See the first 4 weeks of Advent here:  (Thanks for keeping up for my very first blog series!)
HOPE
PEACE
JOY
LOVE
And one last favorite Christmas song!

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Love this Christmas (Advent Series Part IV)

There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Love.  So much to say, but I’ll keep this short today.  All we need is love, according to the Beatles.  And there is truth in that, God says it himself, it’s the greatest!  It’s mentioned anywhere from 500-700 times in the Bible.  So I’d say it’s pretty important.  It’s what we all seek, it’s what we all want to give, without it, life just wouldn’t be worth living.  And God showed us the greatest LOVE at Christmas, and it is the candle we light today for the 4th Sunday of Advent.

I picked a sort of unlikely song to represent LOVE, but I keep coming back to it, “Little Drummer Boy.”  The lines that get me are “I have no gifts to bring.” and “I’ll play my best for him.” So this little boy plays his drum and he plays his heart out, for the KING!  And then the song concludes with “Then he smiled at me…”  Those lines sum up so much.  Especially this time of year when everything is about presents and stuff,  all God really wants from us is our LOVE, to give the best with what we have, even if it is just a drum.  The little drummer boy simply had just that and was asked to play for our new Lord, so he did, and did it proudly.  AND it made the Lord smile.  Isn’t that all that should matter?  And isn’t that love at its core?

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
Number 6:25 (NLT)

To me that struck a chord this Christmas.  I’ve mentioned in my other posts, and I’m just as guilty, but it is so easy to get lost in the shopping, presents, baking, parties, whatever it is, and forget about why we are celebrating.  We are celebrating simply because God loved us, the world, so much to send us the best gift of all, His son (sounds familiar – John 3:16?).  So love him back with everything you have.  Love your family, friends, neighbors, everyone as God loves us.  Love truly is a gift, so embrace it, share it, and thank God for it!  Amen.

Enjoy a fun, A Capella version of this beautiful song here:  (by Pentatonix)

See my first 3 messages and songs here:
HOPE
PEACE
JOY
And one bonus one and a last one coming for Christmas!

And once again, a few pictures of LOVE in my world: (Although to be honest, every picture I take of my family is LOVE to me, so it was hard to just pick a few – good problem to have!)

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Joy for Christmas (Advent Series Part III)

Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Joy is another amazing gift and one that I’d have to say makes everything else worth it.  Don’t you live for those moments of pure joy, for me it’s through my children.  And as they get older, the JOY in Christmas is even clearer.  (Stay tuned for my post about meeting Santa!)  And here is my LL when I told her to show me joy this morning:

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Then the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid, for behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
Luke 2:10

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:18

Joy is mentioned so much in the Bible, it’s hard to narrow it down, so I picked a common Christmas verse and another great one from Habakkuk.  I try not to do “too much” research when composing my posts, I don’t want to ever be guilty of stealing anyone else’s thoughts and ideas.  I try to pour out my raw emotion as I pray over and think over each topic, song, or verse I choose to include.  But I came across this article that includes tons of scripture and thoughts on JOY.  The author hits the nail on the head when he mentions that true joy cannot be fabricated and can only come when we feel secure, have direction in our life, are honest with God and ourselves, and live each moment in God’s presence.

I know I try to thank God and praise him even more in times of JOY.  Don’t get me wrong, I praise Him through my storms too, but it’s hard when you’re in them.  But the joy that will come will be amazing.  Time and time again, God comes through.  And it’s in those moments of JOY that I feel free, I know my God came through and I feel His presence and loving arms around me and I want to shout it to the world.  My goal will be to keep that joy in my heart always.  If not the JOY, but maybe the HOPE for it, or the PEACE that may precede or follow it.  Three beautiful gifts (and spoiler alert – the best one comes next week!)

It was hard for me to pick a song this week as so many songs exemplify JOY to me.  I did go with the most obvious, Joy to the World.  I’m sure it’s becoming overplayed, but not to me.  Chris Tomlin has a way with songs, that I can just never tire of.  He took this song, in a similar way that he took Amazing Grace (My Chains Have Gone), and added the catchy “Joy – Unspeakable Joy”, that has me singing as loud as I can when I hear it!  (A close second and one for you to check out as well is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” by Barenaked Ladies – LOVE this version!)

Enjoy this song.  Sing it out, LOUD, to our GOD, who wants us to experience JOY, during the Advent season and throughout the year.  It will have to be earned, much like peace, but it will be so good.  Amen!

Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)
Chris Tomlin

And like last week – here are a few glimpses of JOY in my world:

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See first posts in this series here:  (and stay tuned for LOVE next week!)
Part I – HOPE
Part II – PEACE

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Peace this Christmas (Advent Series Part II)

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:14

Happy 2nd Sunday of Advent.  Today we light the candle of Peace.  As I spent time the last few days and this AM thinking about peace a few common phrases came to mind.

Peace be with you (and also with you).
A common call and response in church, I’ve repeated many times in my life.

Peace and quiet.
As in, I need some!  (And a prayer for all the moms in my life!)

World Peace.
A common pageant answer to “What would you wish for?”

Give Peace a Chance.
John Lennon anyone?

And ofcourse there are the non-verbal signs:

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But what is biblical peace?  Without looking it up, to me it is a calmness of my spirit or soul that only God can bring.  Through knowing Him, loving Him, trusting Him, talking to Him, I can truly feel peace.  God wants us to be at peace, but not without making us fully appreciate that peace.  How would we know peace without the trials of this world?

Peace is truly another gift from God and one that should be celebrated this Advent season and all year round. Rest in Peace, although associated with death and dying, should be a goal for all of us.  To truly be able to be still and rest in the gift of peace that God has graced us with (while still on this earth!)  I know it’s hard for me to shut down my brain and the world around me but I strive to just rest in knowing that God loves me and whatever it is – God’s got it, He’s got my back, and if I seek it, peace will come.

So this time of year when you hear the verse below (and above), think about the gift of peace that our Lord gives us and try and find some amid the craziness.

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:14

As I am reflecting on what peace means to me, I think of angels.  (Not anything new that I am staking claim to!)  And this can be a topic for another post as angels can come in many forms (in our house we have doggie angels), but this time of year I like an angel to adorn the top of our tree.  Here she is (and here is a link to this talented man on Etsy that hand crafted it for us last year.)  She watches over us and our household and symbolizes the peace of the Christmas season for us.

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My first thought for a song was “Silent Night”, it’s calm and quiet melody and it’s message of “sleep in heavenly peace” is, well, peaceful.  But as I was reflecting on angels, a song came to mind that speaks of angels singing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”.  And in this version, that message is proclaimed by the voices of children that brings me to tears (listen towards the end – it’s so worth it!)  The innocence of their voices and the message brings me peace, and when I looked up this song I found that it is  “all about the message of peace that the angels proclaimed on the first Christmas, when Jesus Christ was born. The song looks forward to a time when people will respond to the angels by living in peace with God and each other, and, in the last verse, likens doing so to offering the angels’ song back to them.” (copied from here)

May PEACE be with you this week.  Amen.

Caedmon’s Call
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Read Part I on HOPE here!
and stay tuned for more!  Thanks for stopping by.

Peace to me:

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Nothing personifies peace to me more than a sleeping baby or child (and dogs in our house too!)
Amen!

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God is bigger than……a lot! A prayer for those hurting.

1-IMG_0645For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

My heart is heavy this AM.  So many people I know, love, respect; teachers of my babies, friends, and just all around good people are hurting.  I wish I could take the pain away, but what I can do is pray and that is what I will do.  For those that know me (and this blog), I find comfort through song.  This AM I was blessed to take a long quiet walk with 2 of my pups and just pray, pray my own selfish prayers, but also for comfort for those around me and for words (someone else’s or my own) to share.  Prayers for a way to show I care but also that God is still good and in control.  Most (if not all) of these friends know this, but a reminder can never hurt.

The song God placed on my heart today is “My Glorious” by Chris Tomlin.  I’ll embed the YouTube video below, as well as lyrics.  “God is bigger than…” all of this.  I know in times of pain and sorrow and grieving it’s hard to step back and remember that, but I pray you can feel His big arms and love surround you during this time.

And to lighten things up a little – as a mom I can’t help but try to put things in terms that my kids can understand.  I’m a big Veggie Tales fan and this song came to mind when singing the lyrics “God is Bigger Than” from “My Glorious”.  Here is “God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man”.  Contains that same great message, when you’re scared, afraid, hurting, put on a smile, pray, and know that God will take care of you.

Thanks for reading.  Praying for peace, comfort, understanding, and that you feel the love from your Father in heaven and know that He is now holding one of His children closer today and one day we all will be a part of his Kingdom and feel no more pain.  Amen.

My Glorious
Chris Tomlin

God is bigger than
The air I breathe
The world we’ll leave
God will save the day
And all will say
My Glorious

And all You ever do
Is change the old for new
People, we believe that

God is bigger than
The air I breathe
The world we’ll leave
God will save the day
And all will say
My Glorious

The world is shaking
With the love of God
Great and glorious
Let the whole earth sing

And all You ever do
Is change the old for new
People, we believe that

God is bigger than
The air I breathe
The world we’ll leave
God will save the day
And all will say
My Glorious

Clouds are breaking
Heaven’s come to earth
Hearts awakening
Let the church bells ring
And all You ever do
Is change the old for new
People, we believe that

God is bigger than
The air I breathe
The world we’ll leave
God will save the day
And all will say
My Glorious

My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious

My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious

God is bigger than
The air I breathe
The world we’ll leave
God will save the day
And all will say
My Glorious

My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious

My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious
My Glorious

Glory, glory
Send Your glory
Glory, glory
Send Your glory

Glory, glory
Send Your glory
Glory, glory
Send Your glory

Glory, glory
Send Your glory
Glory, glory
Send Your glory

Glory, glory
Send Your glory

You’re Glorious
You’re Glorious
You’re Glorious
Yes, You are God

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Flying High (with a little help!)

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Happy Sunday!  I’ve strayed away from my typical Sunday song posts for the last month, but decided I could use the encouragement myself, so here’s a quick one with a great message as you start a new week!

I know I’ve been exhausted from all the Halloween Festivities.  Good problems to have, but I could use some extra strength as we “officially” begin this holiday season.  I guess I could have waited until Advent, the true period of waiting, but I don’t know about you, but I feel the pressure is on these days to be super organized and start thinking about Christmas NOW (or 4 weeks ago!)

The words from Isaiah 40 have always been some of my favorite.  Verse 28 (I cut off in my picture about) starts with “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?”  Really grabs your attention.  As we may tire or become weary – our God will not.  And if we ask Him and believe in Him, He will give us strength, and help us soar on wings like eagles – great imagery don’t you think?  I could only imagine that soaring high above the earth, like this eagle here, would be both empowering and peaceful.  And isn’t that what God does for us?  And wants us to be through Him?  I’d like to believe so.

So as you enter into this next week, or season (in weather, on your calendar, and/or in life), know that you are not alone.  God does not tire, He is always listening and will give us the strength we need to move forward, or even just wait, as many of us are called to do at different points in our lives.

Take a listen to “Everlasting God” by Lincoln Brewster below.  Love this song and the message.  “Our God WILL reign forever” and will “lift us up on wings like eagles.”

Amen.  Have a blessed week!

Everlasting God
Lincoln Brewster

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary

You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary

You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting

The Lord is the everlasting God
The Creator of all the Earth
He never grows weak or weary
No one can imagine the depths of His understanding

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless
[Incomprehensible] become weak and tired
And young men will fall in exhaustion
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength

They’ll soar high on wings like eagles
They’ll run and not grow weary
They’ll walk and not faint

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