Peace in the Middle of Chaos

“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If this Christmas you are looking for love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and more, look to God.

He has them for you.

All you have to do is ask.

He will give them to you.

This Christmas season, instead of replaying past moments or trying to create perfect moments in the present, let each moment be what it will be.

Enjoy the imperfections of this day and those to come.

Know that everything “being perfect” will not create the feeling of fulfillment you are looking for.

It won’t give you the peace you seek.

That only comes from God and is available regardless of what is happening around you.

Friend, my prayer for you today is that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Heavenly Peace that God gives to help you as you walk among the complicated chaos of the humans around you.

Amen.

On Being Brave

You don’t have to be brave unless you are facing something that requires it.

Being brave means that you are facing something that requires more than a step of faith, it requires a walk of faith.

It means not making your decisions based on what is but on what can be. 

Being brave means getting up every morning and keeping your word when you don’t want to. Stating your boundaries and holding to them even when you don’t feel like it. Trusting God for the impossible.

Choosing to believe the truth instead of giving into the lies.

That is being brave.

“I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage!”

Joshua 1:9 MSG

Keep going.
Keep believing.
Be brave.

On Understanding

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” 
Proverbs 3:5 NIV

Your understanding is made of what you know, what you have learned, what you have been taught and tucked into your back pocket as experience. In the other pocket, you have stuffed the disappointments, the failures, and the fears of how other people’s choices will impact your life.

It is easy and natural to lean on what you know and on what you understand.

I want to challenge you to let go of what you know and lean on what God knows. What He sees.

You only know what is happening to you and can see only what is before you. He sees the whole picture and every person involved now or in the future. God knows what is really going on and nothing is hidden from Him.

Instead of spending your energy worrying about what you can’t control or stressing about what you can’t do, run to God.

Wrap yourself up in the truth of His unfailing love for you and hide there.

While you are there, take a moment to ask Him to show you His understanding of the situation, to see it from His perspective.

Lean hard into His love, His faithfulness, and ask for His wisdom for today.

Do the next right thing and leave the rest to Him.

Take it one day at a time and He will guide you.

He will show you how to walk forward one step at a time according to His truth.

Trust God

Trust in the Lord and do good;”  ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3‬ ‭NLT

The word trust in Hebrew means to lean on and be boldly confident in.

You are made to be boldly confident in your Creator.

He not only sees what could happen right now, but He also sees what could happen in the future.

Trust Him.

He is in it for the long game and loves you relentlessly.

Trust God and don’t be idle.

Get moving.

Make a plan.

Be proactive.

Be productive and creative right where you are, as you wait.

Don’t be so focused on what you can’t see about the future that you miss what you can do now.

Focus your energy on being present today and fully committed to embracing the small moments of wonder and joy that Jesus has already set up for you to experience.

Take a Deep Breath and Calm Down

“Do not fret.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This is a command, not a suggestion. 

Why?  Because fretting or incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude. 

The word for fret is “charah” in Hebrew. 

It is a word picture to burn something until it is charred. 

It means to be kindled with a spark of anxiety or worry then whip it up into an inner frenzy.

It means feeding worry until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot. 

What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety? 

Take a deep breathe and quiet down before God. Don’t worry about what others are doing or not doing and ask God to do what you can not do.

“Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.  Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.”

Psalm 37:7-8 MSG

How to deal with change

“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6 NIV

Seasons change.

Relationships change.

Children grow.


Jobs come and go.


We change.

Sometimes the seasons of our lives change gradually, gently. Other times, it changes suddenly with the force of a brutal storm that strips you bare and changes the season overnight. In Southwest Florida, we call it Hurricane Ian.

Yes, life changes.

God does not.

He is our anchor in the storm,
Our guide through the wilderness,
Our peace in the chaos,
Our security in the unstable economy,
Our light in the darkness, Our hope when fear beckons.

He is Jesus.

“Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, ‘I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,’ we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?”’
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13‬:‭5‬-‭6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Everything else will change, but He will not.

May you find rest in the refuge of the unchanging love of God and be bold in the midst of the unexpected changes you are experiencing today.

A Quiet Place In A Noisy World

“I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long.

I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.”

Psalm 27:4-5 MSG

King David’s prayer was to live WITH God every day. 

To enjoy Him, learn from Him and have a safe place to escape to when the world goes nuts. 

He lived in a palace but longed to live in the temple with God.

The one thing David longed for, Jesus made a possibility. 

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?”

Because of Jesus, you are able to experience this kind of relationship with God every day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Are you stressed and overwhelmed today? 

God is with you.

Allow the Holy Spirit to be the calm in the middle of the chaos and quiet in the middle of the noisy nonsense of the world.

God’s Work In You

“In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”

James‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Your most important job is to give God time, opportunity and full access to do His work in your heart. 

Just as an untended garden grows wild with life-threatening weeds, an untended heart will grow wild with overgrown anxieties and unfounded fears.

Lies need to be uprooted and replaced by seeds of truth.

Old fears need to be cut back and deeper trust cultivated to thrive.

Healthy boundaries need to be strengthened and secured.

Dead things need to be cleaned out so new life and love can thrive.

How is your heart?

Steal a few moments to shut the world out and invite Jesus in to lovingly landscape your heart with His love.

Take the extra time with God today and let Him do the work.

You are worth it.

Letting God Use You

A pencil in the hand of a master writer is a tool to tell a powerful story. Your life, in the hands of a loving God who sent His own Son to redeem you, is a story of grace that He is writing every day.

The most powerful thing you can do today is let Him.

I want to challenge you to take whatever is happening in your life today and surrender it to God. Then surrender yourself to Him and ask Him to use you to help someone else.

My friend, I want to remind you that you are chosen, held, directed and purposed in the strong hand of God to be used by Him, right where you are, whatever your life looks like.

And He will.

Lean Into His Life

When you are so tired, you don’t even know what you need.

When you have forgotten why you are doing what you are doing. 

When you are done.

Stop.

Rest.

Get some time with Jesus.

Rest in His love and leadership.

Invite Him to take over, to lead, to live through you.

Lay down your agenda and ask Him to show you His.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.” – Jesus , Matthew 28:11, MSG

I do need to do this on a daily basis and you are more than welcome to join me.