Christmas Preparation: Is Jesus Bringing Peace…or NOT?

There is a VERY disturbing text in Matthew 10 where Jesus says something almost unbelievable.  Here it is:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not …

Peace: Pass it, please!

Peace be with you.
 
Many styles of worship services include a type of greeting and hospitality called “passing (of) the peace.” This practice is much more meaningful and grounded that I can give credit to here. For ease of explanation (although admittedly over-simplified) passing of the peace is when you turn around and greet your neighbor. In some traditions, you say, “Peace be with you,” and you’re answered, “And also with you.”
Oh, that it were that simple.
I wish I could hug …

Peace on Earth

I’ve heard it said that a full day is one in which you both laugh and cry. If so, then yesterday was a full day; so was the day before. The fullness of the Christmas season seems also to mean fully experiencing life—the ups and downs and in betweens. We laugh as we watch Buddy the Elf, Ralphie, and Cousin Eddie. Some cry as they watch Hallmark movies (I, for one, can’t quite handle the Hallmark movies. Don’t hate me.) …

Peace: How do I get it? (Part 3)

There are more components of a roadmap for attaining peace in your life than the 3 parts that I conclude today (yesterday was part 2 and Sunday was part 1).  Entire books have been written about peace.  But if you will adopt these 3 strategies, you’ll have a solid start.
Focus (Straining Ahead) and Prayer are critical.  Today is equally important, and it’s called Differentiation.  I’ll define this powerful tool shortly.  First, get your Bible and read Matthew 10:1-14 and …

Peace: How do I get it? (Part 2)

Hopefully, you’ve read the first two posts about Peace, from yesterday and the day before.  If you haven’t, I encourage you to go back so that you can put today’s devotional in context.
Peace is something that God wants  you to have, and the presence of Jesus in our lives is supposed to bring Peace. The truth, however, is often a paradox: a follower of Jesus who is filled with anxiety, not peace.  Those things – anxiety and following Jesus – aren’t …

Peace: How Do I Get it – Part 1

Yesterday, in preparation for Christmas, we began a conversation about Peace.  If you didn’t read my post, you can do it here, and it will help you put your life in context for today’s discussion.
One critical element of Christmas is supposed to be peace.  Jesus would be called the “Prince of Peace” (see Isaiah 9).  To his followers, Jesus later said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the …

Peace: Why don’t I have it?

I met with someone a couple of weeks ago at a restaurant near her work.  Over coffee, tucked into a booth in the back corner, she shared the tumult in her life.  Her husband of 4 years is a drug addict.  No longer in recovery, he’s now actively using.  Heroin is an epidemic, but it’s also an epic life destroyer.  Especially for this young wife and her 3 little kids.
Though she was taking a break from work and had to …

Christmas Preparation: What is the good news of great joy?

Santa Claus goes by different names and titles.  Saint Nick or Nicholas.  Kris Kringle.  Father Christmas.  Titles like “saint” and “father” have connotations that give slightly different understandings of who Santa is.
Titles.
I have several titles.  My e-mail signature and the nameplate beside my office door say, “Angie Frame.  Midlothian Campus Pastor, Guide Pastor, Student Director.”  That’s a lot of titles for one small woman, a lot of responsibility balancing on narrow shoulders.
For me, those titles offer clarity of what I …

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