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.
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 …

Christmas Preparation: The Best Christmas Line

There are lots of great Christmas one-liners.  What’s your favorite?  Is it…
“You’ll shoot your eye out”?
“Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings”?
“His heart grew three sizes that day”?
“Smiling’s my favorite”?
Some favorite lines from the classic Charlie Brown Christmas are actually from the Bible.  (We looked at this passage yesterday, but there’s plenty of food for thought for several days.)  In this speech in Charlie Brown Christmas, an angel appears to shepherds “…and the glory of the Lord …

Christmas Preparation: Joy and Fear

Christmas is a time of strong and varied feelings, isn’t it?  Joy and sadness.  Hope and nostalgia.  Peace and discord.  Love and loss.  I suspect Christmas has always been that way.
Just last night, my kids and I were having a conversation about whether or not angels still show up and talk to people like they did in the Christmas story. My daughter’s kindergarten friend claims to have seen an angel; my daughter says that’s impossible. The truth is, if an …

Christmas Preparation: Share Joy

Yesterday we read that John the Baptist (or Baptizer) was a little lord a leaping in utero. Today, we read of his grand entrance into the world:
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. (Luke 1:57-58, NIV)
Little John was born, and the neighbors and relatives celebrated! I imagine they celebrated that the baby was …

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