Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finding peace

The holidays are here. No matter how you'll try to avoid him or her, they're going to show up where you're going. What now? How do you keep your heart at peace?
  1. Remember that Jesus came to bring peace and goodwill to humanity. He is the source from which we draw peace. No self-help list or book can give us inner peace.
  2. Settle your heart by making time alone with God. My rushed and stressed agitation sets me up for conflict and inserting bad history into the moment. You and I need to hear from Him what he desires for us ... AND for our "difficult" person/s. He loves them as much as he loves you and me. (Incredible and hard to believe, isn't it?)
  3. Be humble. Our perspective is not the only one and it's not all about me (or you). We probably set people's teeth on edge as they do ours! Don't get your dander up if someone disagrees or cuts into you. Who knows what else they've encountered before meeting you?
  4. Be Jesus to those you meet. "By your love for one another everyone will know you are my disciples." (Jesus) Before heading out the door, read Galatians 5:19-25 and Ephesians 4:31-32. That's your armor for the event ahead.
  5. Remember that it's God's job to do makeovers. It's not your duty to make someone else nicer, prettier, or better socialized. (It's your responsibility to allow God to transform you and only YOU! and how long is that taking?)
  6. Be thankful. Who in the room who refreshes you and brings harmony to the gathering? Focus on the good things - abundant resources, positive relationships, and Jesus' birthday celebration - rather than bad memories or past conflicts. God is Good and you are His. That alone is worth a party!
  7. Cut your losses. Forgive and forget if things go wrong. That means forgiving our own failures and flaws along with everyone else's. Thank God for his mercy so that we are not consumed but live in grace and freedom.
A beautiful Pileated Woodpecker is tapping against the tree outside my window as I write. His red head flashes a festive contrast against the green of the forest.

Ouch. Thinking of such pecking gives me a headache. I couldn't do what he does, beautifully adapted to carve holes in trees:

"How can these birds hammer away like they do without suffering brain injuries? Scientists think that they have the answer:
"The birds have little "sub-dural space" between their brains and their skulls, so the brain does not have room to bump around as it does in humans. Also, their brains are longer top-to-bottom than front-to-back, meaning the force against the skull is spread over a larger brain area." (Click here for more.)

God's made us all different. The person you struggle with is God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) just like you are.

Thanks be to God. Now go have fun. And be nice.

Read more:
*The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. Psalm 138:8

*For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15 NKJV

*Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:33

Moravian Prayer: O Lord and God, as we encounter the unbelief of those we love, let us stand firm in our love and in our faith, knowing that each of us is your son or your daughter. Amen.

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