Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

How Can We Find Peace?

Heem_Still_Life_with_a_Basket_of_Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . peace   Galatians 5:22

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.   John 14: 27

I am trying to find peace today.  As always, there are a lot of things going on in my life.  People I love struggle and are hurt.  There are challenges and decisions.  There is just a lot to do.  Where can I find peace?

When I try to find peace by controlling my circumstances I come up short. It is only when I surrender those circumstances to God that I find peace in the middle of it all. I can surrender that control only when I have the assurance that God is good and that He can be trusted with my challenges. The answer for me lies in time spent with God:

  • Spending time to pray
  • Reading the Bible to understand who God is
  • Remembering His faithfulness to me in the past

This reminds me that He is bigger than my circumstances, He is good and He cares about me.  That’s a relief.

“Christian peace is not the absence of troubles. It is a peace that is unshakeable even in the midst of troubles.”

“If we set our hearts on anything but God, we can lose our peace. But if our greatest love is the unchanging God, then our peace can never be taken from us.”

Tim Keller

God’s peace or my attempts to control?  It is a matter of choice.  I can choose to practice peace.

Today I choose peace.

Dear God, Please send to me the spirit of Your peace.

Then send, dear Lord, the spirit of peace from me to all the world. Amen.

Marianne Williamson

How do you find Peace?

Betsy and Laurie

About Love

About Joy

Do You Want More Joy?

Heem_Still_Life_with_a_Basket_of_Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy  Galatians 5:22

I want more joy.  I can come to my desk with the spirit of drudgery or the spirit of worship. With worship comes Joy.

“We have forgotten that the call to creativity is a call to worship.” 

Michael Card

Somewhere along the way I learned that work was the opposite of worship. I learned wrong.  When I engage in my work as worship, I can write with joy.  If I am writing with a sense of the wonder and expectation I revel in my work and experience joy:

The joy of creating.

The joy of connecting with God.

The joy of sharing myself with others.

 It helps to come with a sense of expectation to the desk instead of dread.  When I lose myself in the writing I do my best work.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
Rumi

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” 
Marianne Williamson

“when we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus”
Corrie ten Boom

How do you experience joy?  Do you want more?

Betsy and Laurie

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4

Can You Write WIth More Love?

10 Great Quotes from Frederick Buechner

English: Public domain image from Library of C...

English: Public domain image from Library of Congress http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/van.5a51769 taken by Carl Van Vechten in 1950 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Great Inspiration from Frederick Buechner.

1. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.

2. Go where your best prayers take you.

3. God himself does not give answers. He gives himself.

4. Jesus didn’t come to merely speak words that were true, He is the Word that makes us true.

5. To be wise is to be eternally curious.

6. Remember me not for the ill I’ve done but for the good I’ve dreamed.

7. … in the long run, there can be no joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all.

8. Listen to your life. All moments are key moments.

9. The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.

10. Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing to guide “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief’ is the best any of us can do really, but thank God it is enough.

Do you have other favorites?

Betsy and Laurie

What Good is the Cross?

What Good is the Cross?

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ …”  Galatians 6:14

image001

Caspar Luiken 1712

So, what good is the cross? It gives us …

Relief from thorns

 “God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.” Colossians 2:13

Immeasurable Value

“Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  Philippians 3:8

Freedom from scars

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by  a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Strength for fear

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John16:33

 “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, … Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3

Focus for life

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1

An eternal hope

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36

The cross is empty; Jesus is alive. Let’s proclaim with Paul:

“I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Christ and him crucified.” I Corinthians 2:2

Happy Easter!

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

Seven Questions to Prepare for Easter:

Day One: What is your thorn?
Day Two: What do you value?
Day Three: What do you fear?
Day Four: Where do you need healing?
Day Five: What is your focus?
D
ay Six: What is your hope?

 

What is Your Hope?

What is your hope?

“But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

John 19: 33

00012327

“Crucifixion”   Matthias Scheits 1672

It was a custom when  a man was crucified to break the bones in his legs to hasten his death. But that was not the case with Jesus. Why? John tells us,

“These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled…” John 19:36

 John goes on to tell us which scriptures were fulfilled:

      “he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” Psalm 34:19-20

Passover was the most important feast of the Jewish people – a feast they had been celebrating for over 3,000 years. In the first Passover, the blood of a lamb was painted on the doors to save the Jewish people.  In Exodus we hear God’s specifications regarding the preparation for the lamb eaten at Passover.

“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘These are the regulations for the Passover meal: …Do not break any of the bones.”  Exodus 12:43, 46

In scripture Christ is referred to as the Lamb:

  • “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5:7
  • “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
  • “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,” Revelation 5:12

Connect the dots.

Just as the blood of the Passover lamb spared the lives of the Jewish people in Egypt, our lives are spared by the blood of our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ.

Eternal life is offered.  Death is overcome.

There is hope!

Jesus,  Thank you for hope.  Amen

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

Seven Questions to Prepare for Easter:

Day One: What is your thorn?
Day Two: What do you value?
Day Three: What do you fear?
Day Four: Where do you need healing?
Day Five: What is your focus?

 

What Is Your Focus?

What is your focus?

“They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”

Psalm 22:18

image001

“The Crucifixion”  Gerard Jollain 1670

While Jesus hung above them only a few feet away, soldiers gambled for his clothing. They were focused on getting all the material possessions they could.

Are we busy getting all the material possessions we can?

We live in a world that wants to keep us focused on material things.  We are bombarded by images of things to buy.  We love our stuff.

Is there something better?

  • “he has clothed me with garments of salvation; and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness” Isaiah 61:10
  • For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26
  • But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

The soldiers were gambling for used clothing.   Jesus hanging above them had so much more to offer:  love, forgiveness, peace, eternal living, a robe of righteousness.

Whatever you are focused on, Jesus offers something better.

“Let us  fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross” Hebrews 12:2

Where is your focus?  Is there something better?

Jesus, Help me to focus on things that matter.  I can be so easily distracted.  Forgive me and teach me to focus on you.  Amen

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

Seven Questions to Prepare for Easter:

Day One: What is your thorn?
Day Two: What do you value?
Day Three: What do you fear?
Day Four: Where do you need healing?

What Are You Reading?

photo

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

We don’t know how many years we have left to live– nobody does.  We also don’t know how many books we have left in life to read.  Maybe one. Maybe many. There is a finite number.

When I started thinking about reading this way it changed my reading selection.  I began to be more discerning.  For every book that I read, there is one that I don’t get to read.  I don’t want to waste my choices.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

We are always looking for selections that are entertaining, well written, transforming, and  renewing. This applies to fiction and nonfiction.

We want to share the good ones that we find.   What have you read that would qualify?  Have you read anything lately that is excellent and praiseworthy?

Please share!

Laurie and Betsy

Author and Authority

 

 

freedom

 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

 

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

 

Galatians 5:1

 

The experiences we have add depth and meaning to the words we write.  Author and authority go hand in hand. Langston Hughes and the Apostle Paul are both great examples.

 

Where is your life?  Do you have the authority that comes from personal experience? What in your life can you leverage for good?

 

Laurie and Betsy

 

The Writing Sisters

 

(photo taken at Library Way, NYC Public Library)

 

 

A Prayer to Know God

Candlelight

Candlelight (Photo credit: UnnarYmir)

O Christ Jesus,

when all is darkness

and we feel our weakness and helplessness,

give us the sense of Your presence,

Your love, and Your strength.

Help us to have perfect trust

in Your protecting love

and strengthening power,

so that nothing may frighten or worry us,

for, living close to You,

we shall see Your hand,

Your purpose, Your will through all things.

Amen

St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Gift That Will Endure

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals
and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime:
but do not show love to my family,
I’m just another cook.
If I work at a soup kitchen
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity;
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir’s cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another’s home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things, and
endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust;
but giving the gift of love will endure.

Sharon Jaynes
Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas
http://www.sharonjaynes.com
Wishing you all Love at Christmas,
The Writing Sisters, Laurie and Betsy

1 2 3 4 5