Nov 112015
 

 

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

The goal is always to get out on time to go to church.  I will admit this “on time” phrase usually equals varied meanings between my husband and I.  Blame it on our different upbringings, varied personality traits, or lack of similar priorities, being early/”on time” has been an area I continually seek to improve in and yet you may not know it since failing miserably continues to be my norm.

As much of a task master as I felt I was being on this particular Sunday morning, it wasn’t enough to actually get us all in the car leaving plenty of wiggle room.  My husband has helped me see the beauty of “Wiggle room”. Wiggle room creates space and overall peace instead of anxiety and hurriedness when attending any activity.  Makes up for unforseen traffic.  Creates an ease of mind from those you are meeting with.  Promotes positive characteristics of dependability, respect, and consistency in which others see and value in you.  But.  I.  Still.  Wiggle.  Out. of having wiggle room as I head out the door most days.

As we drove to church, I calculated in my head if we would be able to squeeze in a stop at Dutch Bros and still be early/”on time” to church.  I asked the head “time keeper” in our house.  He said, “Probably not since the line is always super long”(what he is also saying is since we left with no “wiggle room” we have no time for extras).  But what to my wondering, Mint Mocha desiring eyes should see, was no one in the drive through at Dutch Bros coffee.  It.  Was.  Ordained.  By.  God.  My hearts desire could be fulfilled in this moment.  And this little before Christmas cheer encompassed my deepest soul (okay, maybe a little over the top, but sometime you need to drive the point home.)

As we pulled right into Dutch Bros we were once again greeted by a curly haired barista girl with ear to ear smiles and questions about our days plans.  We rolled down the girls window to let them give the low down to her.  My oldest daughter’s response to the, “What are you up to today?”, question was short and sweet, “Going to church”.  The barista was polite with her response but didn’t seem to share our same Jesus values.  My youngest daughter didn’t want to leave it at that though, she felt some more details should be included, “We go to church right over there at the Safari Sams building.  It’s real fun.”  My husband and I laughed a little and were somewhat surprised by the barista’s next comment, “That’s cool.  I try to get to church when I can because whenever I have gone I feel real peaceful.”

My husband and I discussed afterwards this somewhat unexpected portrayal of how an unbeliever (most likely) encountered the peace of Jesus when entering a church building.  And how this Peace, His peace, would be the very reason to go in the first place.

There is nothing like the peace of Jesus to be THE protector of our hearts, mind, and soul when in a time of unknown or trial.  This world, and the prince of this world, works overtime to cause fear and doubt as various troubles hit us.  I love the way Jesus loves and protects us from all the scary “what could be’s” of the future, “what should be’s” in our now, and let downs of the “what will no longer be’s” of past losses, and gives us His peace.  His peace overcomes.  His peace quiets us.  His peace speaks rest and hope to know it all is and will be well.

Thank the Lord for the protection of peace He offers you today.  And then receive His gift of peace in those places which currently trouble you.  Including plenty of “wiggle room” in your thoughts to have your mind renewed by His perspective.   Building in enough “wiggle room” into your agenda for the day to allow for those “God ordained” appointments He has for you.  And as your time is spent wiggling your mind, heart, soul and feet to Him, it is time never wasted.  His peace and love are always “on time”, just when we need them.

When has the Lord’s peace protected you from fear?  Will you thank Him for doing this?

In what relationship, troubling thought, or current trial do you need the peace of Jesus to overcome you?  Will you ask Him right now for His peace surpassing all understanding?

In what part of your typical day/weekly schedule are you prone to become too busy/distracted/burdened and are in need of some Jesus “wiggle room” to be included?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Oct 122015
 

But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the LORD.Isaiah 26:10

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  1 John 3:16

As I went on my “Jesus talk time” walk this morning, a structure literally stopped me from taking another step.  Not only was it in my way, but it brought tears to my eyes as to what it represented.  It was not intended to create this type of response in another person, but I was given a God perspective/word picture in that very moment.  And it caused me to remember Jesus.  Understand gifts of grace differently.  Look with rekindled urgency and compassion upon the unbeliever.  And walk with a spirit of gratitude today.

The structure blocking my path was a large bookshelf/cabinet.  It was put out on the sidewalk for anyone to see.  It was being offered to ANYONE who would take it.  Because no amount of work or money was required to purchase this piece.  And how did I know this?  Because the sign said FREE.

I immediately took a picture of it with my phone and sent it to my husband.  We were in need of some new storage cabinets for our living room and I thought, “What a find!”  Sure it was old.  used.  And needed a paint job in the worst way, but FREE was hard to beat!  My husband’s response to this offer was, “No thanks”.   Short and sweet.  No thinking about it.  For whatever reason, we were not on the same page.  I would take the FREE, deal of the century (in my mind) which was being offered, but it was not of want to him.  I walked away feeling a little sad.

Now I told you at the beginning that tears filled my eyes as I approached this structure.  You may be wondering why.  Well, I can tell you it wasn’t the beauty of the structure.  Nor was it the fact my husband and I had been looking for a living room storage piece and this could have been the one.  Nor was it the pregnancy hormones which fire at any random circumstance.  It was how the cardboard sign lie perpendicular to the tall/straight structure.  It looked like a cross.  The cross Jesus died on for me.  And absolutely spot on that the cost for the “cross” was FREE.

I began to contemplate how so many friends, family, co workers, and neighbors we come into contact with daily have said, for whatever reason, “No thanks” (as my husband did for the storage piece) to the FREE cross of Jesus.

A note about FREE:  There’s something about this word, “FREE”, which isn’t appealing or even risky to people.  When we hear an object is FREE, we conclude it must be broken.  Shouldn’t be wanted.  Old.  Not valuable.  Maybe this is why people cannot understand God’s gift of salvation to be good when it is FREE.

Another note about FREE:  Just as I received some FREE maternity clothes from my sister in law the other day, I have an innate need to pay her back for it.  I thought about any clothes I had she could use.  I rummaged through old baby extra’s, asking if she needed anything for her new baby.  Sure enough she could use my Bumbo!  So I happily gave it to her.  It felt as if my debt for the maternity clothes had been paid.

And still another:  Maybe this need to “return the favor” when FREE is given to us explains why I continue to try to pay back Jesus’s free gift of salvation (through His death for me on the cross/paying my debt) through my acts of service for Him, obedience to His Word, or discipline to His Spirit.  It is difficult and even beyond my comprehension to grasp I can do nothing to repay this FREE Jesus gift.  But this is the beauty and wonder of the cross.

So may we accept the FREE gift of salvation, unconditional love, extravagant grace, abundant life, eternal life, payment for ALL our sin, and unspeakable hope and joy of our God today.  And may this truth propel us to to tell others of this FREE gift. Even if they have said, “No thanks”, in the past.  Even if we think they will say, “No thanks” now.  Let’s put the cross out their with our FREE “sign” on it just as my neighbor did with their storage piece.   And may His peace rest on us today as we live in constant reminder and thank Him today for His FREE cross.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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