Sound Mind

31 03 2020

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,  but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

Managing your thoughts is a full-time job during a season of challenge. The news of the day can fuel fear and anxiety that can quickly overtake us, when unchecked.  Now is the time to develop safeguards and practices that keep us focused on eternal truths, God’s love for us, and His promise never to leave us alone.  We can focus on what we know about him, his consistent provision for every need, his continual role as a Healer and a Waymaker. The same God who has guided my life thus far is still at the helm.  He is still in control.  When we focus on these truths, peace comes.  Fear and anxiety are diminished.  When we remember his unfailing love for us our faith and strength are restored.  For God has not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7





In the Storm

26 03 2020

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? Mark 4:38-40

One of my favorite storytellers is Bailey White. She is a gifted Southern writer who speaks with a distinctive raspy voice. She told a story about living with her mother during a warm summer night in Georgia. Her mother often opted to sleep out of the porch during these hot nights to keep cool. This particular night while Bailey was sleeping, she realized that a thunderstorm had arrived complete with high winds, lightning, and rain. She jumped into action, knowing that her mother had planned to sleep outside. When she reached the porch door, she saw the storm’s fury with rain and wind. And then she saw her mother, who was lying motionless on the couch on the porch. She called her name as she feared that her mother was frozen in fear and unable to move in the midst of the high winds. As she approached her mother, she heard a familiar but perplexing sound, her mother’s snore. Her mother was not gripped with fear; instead, she was sound asleep, complete with snoring, in the middle of the storm. She awakened her mother to let her know about the storm. At that point, the mother reassured her daughter that it was just a storm that would pass.

It was a powerful reminder of the ability to be confident and peaceful even during the natural and figurative storms of our lives. No doubt, her mother’s decades of living had nurtured her faith to realize that our lives have cycles of storms that both come and go. We can choose to be fearful, or we can select a path of peace that is rooted in our firm belief that our Father is still in control and that he will never leave us nor forsake us. The familiar passage of scripture tells a similar story of the disciples crossing the lake to the other side when a storm arises that seems to threaten their lives. We have heard before about how the disciples awaken Jesus who was sound asleep in the bottom of the ship. He awakens and commands the waves to be still but also asks the Disciples about their faith. It is a compelling story about the ability to have peace, rest and faith during a storm. Whatever we are facing today, we can stand in faith that our God is in control, providing protection and grace to allow us to reach our destination safely.





Fear Not

22 03 2020

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

Even in times of great uncertainty my trust is in the Lord. I can have confidence in God’s love and concern for me. Fear may come to consume my thoughts but I must resist it on every hand. God has not given me the spirit of fear. God has given me the gifts of love and a sound mind. This is a mantra for meditation and focus when I do not know what is ahead. I can focus on the truths of God’s love. I can have faith in God’s capacity for providing healing in me and in my community. I can be assured by God’s desire for us to live in peace and to experience joy. As I choose each day not to fear, I am listening and open to the steps forward. I am looking for signs of how to nurture and spread God’s love. I am looking for ways for others to see the light of God’s love in me. My trust is in the Lord. I will fear not.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. I John 4:18





Refuge and Strength

19 03 2020

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalms 46:1 NLT

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Our Savior provides a safe place in the time of trouble.  It is a place of peace, protection and rest for our hearts and minds.  The stress and pressure of the season can leave us feeling tired and weary.  He knows and He cares about His children.  During prayer and meditation we can experience respite for our busy minds and burdened souls.  The Lord is our refuge.  In His presence we are rejuvenated with His strength, infused with His peace and surrounded by His love.  We are so thankful for the gifts of refuge, respite and rejuvenation that we have in God.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare about the Lord:  He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

Psalm 91:1 -2  NLT





Coming Home

13 08 2019

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him Luke 15:20a

Wild Flowers

I’m so thankful that you can always come home and return to the place where you are connected to the Creator. It’s a familiar place of strength and centeredness that brings peace and vibrancy to the soul. At home, you can shed the layers of weariness of a long journey and rediscover the blessings of peace, rest and rejuvenation that were always just a prayer away.

Along life’s path, it is so easy to become distracted and then disconnected. It’s a blessing that we can always return our attention and our hearts to the Savior and come home.





Morning Mantra – Clear

10 03 2018

My mind and my thinking are clear and sound.  God has not give us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power and a sound mind.  II Timothy 1:7

2 Timoth 1_7 II

 





Renewal Comes

8 01 2018

 

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Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLV

We thank God for renewed mind and spirit today. Jesus can bring a fresh wind in our hearts and minds that give us a renewed sense of purpose and the energy to move in His direction. It comes with a refreshed mind and eyes that can see with a grateful heart of His goodness, His grace and His mercy. We are so thankful that God is our Heavenly Father that can turn our difficult situations into opportunities to grow and to expand and to become the individuals that He is calling us to be. We may be going through a situation that seems long and arduous but there is an end that will come. The hurt will soften and heal, the answer will become clear and God will provide the grace and mercy for you to be able to move forward. We thank God for being the source of renewal and revival in our lives.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NLVcrocus snow





Think on these Things

5 01 2018

Philippians 4_8_9





Love and Kindness

6 12 2017

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.  Jeremiah  31:3

With an open heart I can receive the goodness that surrounds me.  The blessings of family, faith and community can shape my days and bring joy.  I am open to each gift from God, the work of my hands, the kindness of a neighbor or the courtesy of an open door from a complete stranger.  It is easy to focus on what’s not right in the world around us.  But if we look closer to what is near us, we can see all is not lost.  God’s love is still present.  It resides in me and in you.  It emanates from our everyday actions.  Our actions help the world to see Jesus’ love more clearly.  We can open our heart to Him and to gift of His people all around us.

Rome Moving Forward





Anticipating Jesus

4 12 2017

So the Word became human and made his home among us.

He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.

And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

 John 1:14 NLT

advent

We have entered the Advent season, a time observed by Christians, in anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. For some this is a formal of time of prayer, fasting and devotion creating a spiritual connection during this Holiday season. For others it may not have much meaning at all and represents something that other people practice. I believe at some level all of us can prepare our hearts and minds for Christmas. We may not choose to use an Advent Calendar or observe the formal weeks of Advent devotion. But all of us can anticipate the celebration of the gift of Jesus Christ. He came so that we may have abundant life. His coming, His living and His gift at Calvary makes our salvation possible. We are so thankful for this gift and His unfailing love that blessed us at His birth and continues to bless us today. During this time leading up to Christmas, we can anticipate the celebration of His birth and turn our hearts and minds toward Him.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.   We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.   John 1:4 MSG