Thirsty Thursday: Peace

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

These are the words Jesus spoke to His disciples before His arrest, before His crucifixion. How could Jesus be so calm? How could He tell His closest followers to not be afraid or troubled when He knew the horror of what was coming?

Jesus said to him,“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Because Jesus is God’s Son, He knew the BIG picture. He knew He had to die to save the world. In order to save you and me, He would die.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

I cannot have a relationship with God without Jesus. You cannot know God without Jesus. Jesus is the only way. We cannot have eternal life without Him. We only have eternal death.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

There’s one catch. You. You have to pray. You have to trust. You have to admit that you are not perfect and you will never be perfect. You have to admit that you do the wrong thing. You sin. I sin. Everyone sins.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and for my sins will save you. Only then can you truly know peace.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Thirsty Thursday: The Second Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Christmas in July)

Last year, I sent out Christmas cards in July.  This year I sent those nice picture cards that every family sends during Christmas.  The scan of the card came out awful and I didn’t want to share it.

This Christmas in July (CIJ) finds us in difficult times personally and as Americans.  Hunny and I are waiting on God to give us our new place.  Praying over our health and our family’s health.  Praying over what feels like every aspect of our lives, which you should do in good times and in tough times.  It just feels more urgent and labored.

On my CIJ card, I put the verse Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

God with us.  God is with us.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in My righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

When thinking about the shooting that happened in Colorado, it reminds me that God is with us no matter where we are or what is going on around us.  He is with us wherever we go.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.  Psalm 23:4a

In the midst of the tragedy, there are miracles and stories of bravery and courage to embolden even the weakest of person.  Among those who died, four protected their girlfriends from the shooting.  Girlfriends.  Not wives.  One couple had only been dating for three weeks.  It makes me think of this verse that most people use to describe what Jesus did for us on the cross:

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  John 15:13

One story came out about a young woman whose life was spared by a brain “defect” she didn’t know she had and wouldn’t have known unless she had a CAT scan done (Read about that here).  That reminds me of this:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:13-14

God sent Jesus so that we could have “God with us.”  So that we would never be truly alone (Matthew 28:18-20).  So that comfort would always be within reach (Isaiah 49:13Psalm 119:50).  God with us means peace on earth and goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14).  Happy Christmas in July.

Thirsty Thursday: Morning Mayhem

Just in case you’re new around here, let me get you up to speed (there’s some new info for the regulars, so it won’t be too boring).  I’m 29 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby, although I am not doing well.  I have ITP and was recently put on medicine for an infection.  Hunny and I currently live in a one bedroom apartment.  We’ve been looking for a place to move since last year, but we’ve been looking for a bigger place since March.  We haven’t found anything nice that we can afford as of yet.  Our microwave is broken and the repair man is waiting for the part, which adds unnecessary difficulty to my life.  Our internet hasn’t been working properly so I haven’t been able to post my June birthday blogs.  Since July is Sunday, I think I’ll save them for next year.  After two years of sharing a car that I physically can’t drive (it’s a stick shift without power steering and Hunny has trouble turning the wheel sometimes), we finally got another one in November.  It’s been really handy to be able to go to doctor appointments at the Maternal Fetal Specialist 45 minutes away without needing Hunny to take time off work or hitch rides.  Hunny’s car started smoking and we can’t afford to fix it, so we’re down to one again.

We’re in the midst of cockroach season.  I call it “cockroach season” because we’ve lived here for three years and although I believed the owners two years ago, when they said the cockroach problem was due to the adjacent Army Navy Store’s renovating, the Army Navy Store has been out of business for some time now and they’re back.  Again.  At the same time of year.  Every year.  Seems like a bug problem to me.  It’s not just the building’s problem.  It was my problem at 5am this morning when Hunny felt one crawling on him in the bed!  I jumped out of bed, turned on the light, and covered my face.  I couldn’t take it.  I didn’t want to see it.  I know he killed it because I heard him stomp on it and flush it.

I told Hunny that I couldn’t live like this anymore.  I can’t take it.  I’m at the end of my rope and there seems to be no hope in sight.  I was thinking we should pack up all of our stuff and put it in storage.  Then we could live in a cardboard box.  Storage units are cheaper than rent, and when you live in a cardboard box there’s an expectation for bugs to share your living space.  Hunny said that he felt like God has something against him because everything is going wrong and we are trying so hard.  God’s thoughts toward us are of good and not evil.  He has a future and a hope for us.  God said that to Jeremiah in the Bible.  Jeremiah 29:11 was our wedding verse.  Remembering this verse calmed Hunny down.

But I still couldn’t sleep.  Adrenaline was keeping me up and alert.  Hunny needed to get more sleep before getting up again for work, so I went into the other room to check my email.  My inbox contained a devotion from Greg Laurie with an oddly appropriate title “Never Asleep” (you can read it here).  God knows what is going on with us.  He’s not asleep on the job.  He is looking out for us.  For whatever reasons I don’t understand, Hunny and I are going through a storm.  But God is with us.  He is going to help us make it to the other side.

No matter what is going on around us, God loves us.  He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Hunny got this heart necklace for me as a birthday present.  The back says, “Remember that you are loved.”  You are.  And so am I.

Thirsty Thursday: Finding Peace

My 30 Days, 30 Movies extravaganza seemed like a great idea at the time.  I would watch the film, do some research on said film, and post it up on my blog.  Easy peasy, right?  Not so much.  My life has been more hectic since I started this endeavor than it has in several months.

First of all, this couple I know who is five months pregnant with their first child together found out their baby has a life threatening birth defect.  The doctor gave them the option of terminating the pregnancy.  I was devastated when I found out they had made the appointment to deny their baby a chance to live.  I wept over them, the doctor, and their baby.  I prayed that God would give that baby a chance and rallied all the people I knew to pray over it.  I found out about it on a Thursday.  The appointment was scheduled for that Monday.  God moved, and on Saturday I got the wonderful news that this baby was given the chance to live.  Praise the LORD!

During this critical time, I had some surprising news of my own.  There was the possibility that I would become a mother.  This made the troublesome news I had been given even worse.  I would just cry over that baby and cry about being a mother.  Hunny was excited for the possibility, and I was dumbstruck.  But we live in a tiny one bedroom apartment!  What about my writing?  What about Cupcake?  How am I going to do this?  Does God realize what’s going on right now?  That last thought made me laugh.  God knows what’s going on right now.  God knows what kind of mother I could be.  God knows we live in a tiny one bedroom apartment, and He knows where we’re going to live in five years.  God knows.  Hunny’s exuberant optimism and my asking God to give me the ability to do His will, baby or no, made me excited and hopeful about an addition to our family.

In all this turmoil, I had to put on a brave face.  My brother-in-law is getting married this year, and my mother-in-law decided to throw a bridal shower in two weeks, which gives people who might want to come hardly any notice at all.  Not to mention, my future sister-in-law showed me her choice for my bridesmaid dress.  It is absolutely lovely, but it is a form fitting dress, which poses a huge problem.  Where will the baby fit in this dress?  I didn’t want to tell anyone other than the most essential people that I might be pregnant, but  I decided since there was a better chance than not that I was pregnant, I had better let the bride know I needed a dress that David’s Bridal calls “Maternity Appropriate.”  I found a dress so that she wouldn’t have to and let her in on my secret.  She was very gracious about it and happy for me.

Even though it was a little disappointing, I found out yesterday that I will not have a child in nine months.  God knows.  He always does and He always will.

All this made for a tumultuous couple of weeks.  Throw in my blog, and I got behind.  The weight of everything was getting to me, but God reminded me of something:

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

The peace Jesus gives is one that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). It is a fruit of the spirit that God grows in you (Galatians 5:22,23).  I can choose to rely on His peace, or I can freak out about everything around me.  I’m choosing peace because freaking out makes for an extremely unhappy life.

Peace be with you!

Thirsty Thursday – Peacemakers rock!

I was going to do a top ten list on Thursdays, but that is kinda predictable.  Who doesn’t do top ten lists?  Anyway, I began to think of what word goes well with “Thursday” and came up with “thirsty.”  Jesus told a woman at a well that He knew where she could get water that would quench her thirst forever.  He was referring to Himself, of course, and how He is the be all end all for our needs (you can read that story here).

This Thursday I’m going to share a devotion by Greg Laurie concerning something Jesus said, “Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be called sons of God,” Matthew 5:9.  The best way to know peace is to know the true, living God.