Posts Tagged ‘spiritual living’

The Peace of God

Rick Renner, author of Sparkling Gems from the Greek, expounds on this popular verse with such fervor and clarity: 

         Philippians 4:7 ”And the peace of God – a peace so wonderful that it cannot be compared to any other type of peace; a peace that stands in a category by itself and rises far above and goes beyond anything the human mind could ever think, reason, imagine, or produce by itself –will stand at the entrance of your heart and mind, working like a guard to control, monitor, and screen everything that tries to access your mind, heart and emotions.”

The devil is great about bringing up old news, right? Unpleasant stories, past regrets, or failures can often cloud our mind to where we no longer look ahead with hope and expectation of a better tomorrow, much less a better future.  He is very crafty at knowing exactly what will set us off and send us into fear and isolation. 

As a child of God, we can refuse to allow the devil to cause panic and anxiety in us. We can refuse to allow the devil to push our buttons.  When the peace of God is standing guard at the entrance of our heart and mind, the devil has lost his access to our thought life and our emotions!

This peace of God cannot be understood within ourselves; however, in my own simple mind when I think of the word peace, I see a vast ocean with subtle waves; I see a content, precious baby in the arms of his mom or dad; I see a grateful parent praying over their beloved child at bedtime; and I see a loving God holding his hand out to His beautiful creation – you and me.  So, you see, when I dwell on those thoughts instead of allowing my mind be filled with fear, or guilt, or hate, or regret; the peace of God, which is far greater and more spectacular than I imagine in my simple mind, transforms my mind to His thoughts – love, forgiveness, and hope.

Nothing compares to this powerful, protective, guarding peace that God has positioned to stand at the entrance of our heart and mind. When this peace operates in us, it dominates our life. Peace rises up and disables the devil’s ability to disturb us by preventing his attacks from creeping into our mind; therefore, destroying it from our thoughts and emotions.

Yes! Our God loves us that much and so much more to give us a peace that surpasses all understanding!

Modesty = Dignity

Some of you may have seen the recent video that I posted on Facebook and Twitter about Jessica Rey’s speech on the bikini and modesty.  I found it quite interesting and agree 100%.  While you may not agree with her like I do, you must admit that it most likely has caused you to think twice about ‘why’ you wear one, if you do.

I believe the way we are raised influences our choices significantly.  I was raised to err on the side of modesty at all times.  I have lived by that for 44 years now. No, I am not a prude or Miss Goody Two-Shoes or even Puritan.  My friends can attest to that. 🙂  I simply choose not to expose certain parts of my body for public viewing.  During my adolescent years, I was just obeying what my parents had taught me.  I never viewed modesty as a bad thing.  I associated it with ‘acting like a lady’, so to speak.

It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s did I realize that God said my body is a temple of Him and I must respect what He’s given me.  I had heard that scripture before but it never really struck a chord in me until after my teen years which is why we, as parents, as teachers, as mentors, as sisters, as friends must teach the younger girls how important this is before the world captures their attention and gives them a false identity of themselves.  The only identity we should be concerned with is the one our Creator gave us!

1 Cor 6:19-20  “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Ms Rey states, “We need to teach girls that modesty isn’t about covering up our bodies because they’re bad. Modesty isn’t about hiding ourselves; it’s about revealing our dignity. We were made beautiful in God’s image and likeness, so the question I’d like to leave you with is, ‘How will you use your beauty?’ ”

I’m not a big fan of some of the clothing I see available for girls/teens/women today.  In fact, I’m appalled at how short the shorts are and how low the shirts are these days.  You can dress fashionably and still dress modestly, allowing your dignity to shine. Hint: layering is a good thing…and, you can do it in fashion.  I have a daughter who will be a teenage in November and she knows how to shop modestly already.  It’s a trait that is non-negotiable in the Boyd home.  She knows her body is not on display and she chooses to respect what God has given her.

Please understand that I am not judging anyone who does not share my opinion on this topic. I am simply stating how and why I believe the way I do on this topic.  I have some friends that will disagree with me about this, but my friendship with them is way more important to me than our disagreement on this topic.

The last part of Ms Rey’s quote is a question that all of us should take some time to reflect on, “How will you use your beauty?”

*Here is the video*  WJVHRJbgLz8

Stay on Your Toes!

Distractions interrupt every part of our lives, including our spiritual lives. As Christians, we have a purpose: to be in a personal relationship with God and live that out in our daily lives. Many things can distract us from doing that. As wonderful and cool social media has become, it can also be a major distraction in our life. From Facebook to Twitter to any gadget that begins with the little letter i, let’s face it, our ‘face-time’ with another human, or more importantly-our God, can become extremely limited. I’m not saying that these things are bad or evil, but I do believe that too much of ‘anything’ can be harmful. I pray that I keep my priorities straight and recognize that it could be a potential stronghold in my life if I let it.

Many other things distract us from our spiritual walk with God – our busyness, our stuff, our problems, even the good things in our lives.  Christmas shopping is upon us and I love to buy gifts for my family and friends, which is a good thing, right? However, if I focus all of my time (and money) out shopping for that perfect gift, and I neglect ‘face-time’ with the One and Only Reason we celebrate Christmas, it is not a good thing. We must constantly be aware of God’s presence and His workings in our daily lives. If we are aware and stay on our toes then we can try to minimize the harmful distractions so we stay on course as we follow God.

While there are some distractions that are harmful for us, God sometimes uses distractions to get us to stop thinking about what we think is right and start thinking about what He says is right.  Saul believed that persecuting Christians was the right thing to do. He thought God was pleased with his actions. God had to get his attention with a dramatic distraction that changed the course of his whole life (and the lives of many others!). The more stubborn and passionate we are, the more dramatic God may have to be to get our attention.

Some distractions are clearly bad for us because they take our focus off what we should be doing. We need to discern between a distraction that should refocus our attention and one that should not.  If a distraction is mainly about us (it tempts us to do wrong or to disregard a commitment), then it is not a good thing.  If a distraction is mainly about others (it allows us to help someone in deep need or it provides a teachable moment), then it is a good thing.  If we set clear goals for how we will serve God and manage our day and then we focus on those goals, we will be less likely to get sidetracked by harmful distractions.

Distractions bombarded Jesus all the time. But He didn’t see them as distractions; He saw them as opportunities to save the lost and to help someone in need.  A distraction can become a divine opportunity to show someone the love and care of God.  Sometimes God interrupts us for good reason.  Don’t miss a chance to help the people God brings to you. Stay on your toes!

(excerpts taken from “The Complete Book of Life’s Questions with Answers from the Bible”.)

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