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Activated April 2013

Peace - April 2013

Whether you're struggling with stress, loss, financial pressures, or any other trouble, you're not alone. God's peace is always available to encourage you and help you get through the difficult patches with your spirit intact.
 

01-04-2013
Divine Chaos
Divine Chaos

Of all the word pictures Jesus painted, I can't think of another that engenders the peace of spirit that comes from feeling secure in God's loving care more than this: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. If God so clothes the grass of the field, will He not much more clothe you?”1 Can you see those lilies now? Tall and straight, perfectly formed and laced with dew, each a polite distance from the next, they sway as one to the sweet strains of songbirds and a gentle breeze as it sweeps through an open meadow...

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01-04-2013
Heaven’s Reflection
Heaven’s Reflection

A friend was showing me a photo that he took at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden—a large park in the middle of bustling Tokyo. It showed a brilliant blue sky with green trees framing it. When I complimented him on a beautiful shot, my friend looked amused. “Actually, you’re looking at it upside down. This is the reflection of the sky on the lake.”

I looked closer and saw that he was right. What I had thought was scenery was actually its reflection on the lake’s surface, almost like an optical illusion. I was amazed at how clearly the sky and surroundings...

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01-04-2013
Living with Loss
Living with Loss

Steve was a cheerful little boy with big brown eyes, curly blond hair, and a dimple that appeared on his right cheek every time he smiled. He had dreamy eyes, and often sat by the window to gaze at the rain, the clouds, or the birds.

“He has been kissed by an angel,” the Japanese midwife had told me with a smile when she first placed the small warm bundle in my arms, pointing out a snow-white streak of hair at the back of his head. “He has a special calling in life.” Over the years, her words often...

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01-04-2013
Fruit in Season
Fruit in Season

My son's voice broke as he spoke, "Mom, I don't know what's happening. I just moved my family in order to take a new job, but now that job has fallen through!"

I did my best to encourage him, but as the minutes went by, I could tell I wasn’t getting through the wall of anguish.

After hanging up, I couldn’t get my son’s situation out of my mind. Finally I stopped everything else to pray about what he was going through. My son and his wife are active Christians and responsible young parents. I knew that he would do the best...

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01-04-2013
God’s Mosaics
God’s Mosaics

Have you ever come across a construction site where the workers were laboriously laying a tile floor—one of those mosaic floors with thousands of tiny tiles that create a picture when finished? While it’s being put in place, the picture isn’t clearly visible because the workers use grout to fill the spaces between the tiles, and the grout leaves a heavy gray film over their work that hides the beauty of what they’ve done. But then, once the grout between the tiles is dry, the film is washed off and the picture is revealed.

That’s similar to how God...

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01-04-2013
The Forest Getaway
The Forest Getaway

Last winter I took a five-week trip to fundraise for a humanitarian aid project I'm involved with. My plan was ambitious—possibly overly so. Long, intense days for over a month straight took a toll on my spiritual life and general disposition.

One day, as I was taking my lunch break and walking around the large mall where I was manning a collection booth, the nonstop sights and sounds in this highly charged commercial setting were weighing on my spirit. I am a nature lover, and the below-zero temperatures and severe snowstorms that kept me indoors even when I got...

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01-04-2013
Meet the Peacemakers
Meet the Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
—Matthew 5:9 NIV

 

We who work for peace must not falter. We must continue to pray for peace and to act for peace in whatever way we can, we must continue to speak for peace and to live the way of peace; to inspire others, we must continue to think of peace and to know that peace is possible.
Peace Pilgrim (1908–1981), born Mildred Lisette Norman, pacifist and peace activist

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01-04-2013
Peace—The Steadfast Fruit
Peace—The Steadfast Fruit

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."1

Jesus promised us peace. “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.”2 Just as Jesus calmed the stormy sea when His disciples thought their ship was sinking and they were about to drown,3 He can calm the storms of life and give you inner peace. This begins by turning to Him at the first sign of...

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01-04-2013
I'll Take the Mountain
I'll Take the Mountain

As the car kept winding up, up, up, I couldn't help but wonder if our friend's house had been built on the very top of the mountain. Darkness had fallen by the time my sister, two friends, and I got to our destination, but even at night the mountains seemed alive.

Our friend led us up a flight of dark and wobbly steps to the balcony, where we gasped at the panorama. Before us was the most beautiful view of the city of Iskenderun, Turkey, far below. Twinkling lights of all colors lined the Mediterranean, as though an angel had scooped...

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01-04-2013
Living Without Stress
Living Without Stress

Stress is one of the big "joy killers" that God wants to help us minimize. Stress makes it difficult to operate and is a cause of terrible unhappiness, illness, and even death. According to one news article that I read, between 75 and 90 percent of doctor visits in developed countries could be directly or indirectly traced back to stress.

Faith is an antidote for stress. Faith and trust that everything is in God’s hands, that He is in control, and that He is able to bring about something good from even the worst situations, automatically eliminates a lot of stress...

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01-04-2013
Snail Patrol
Snail Patrol

Today I went for a walk with the kids in the countryside surrounding the village in which we live, an area consisting of farmland, dirt paths, and small woods. The weather was great, so it was a good opportunity for the kids to get some fresh air and exercise as they ran around looking for the little creatures that are abundant in spring and summer.

It was an enjoyable break for me as well. Out on those country trails there are no computers, no pressing work, no chores, no meetings, no messes to clean up, and none of the...

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01-04-2013
Keeping God in the Picture
Keeping God in the Picture

Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.—Author unknown

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.—Colossians 3:15

 

To have peace reign in your heart may seem impossible when your mind is whirling in confusion at the stress of daily life. Yet such peace is promised; Jesus told us, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”1

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01-04-2013
Peace, Be Still
Peace, Be Still

I can give you peace that defies understanding,1 that calms storms, and that overcomes stress and worry. The storms may come and the waves may rise, you may be buffeted and besieged on all sides, but you will not sink, because I am the Master of the sea and everything is within My control.

I will continue to be with you always—through hills, across rivers, over mountains, through plains and meadows, through rain, sun, and wind, through heat and through cold. Through it all, I will love you, hold you, and help you. And you will learn and grow and experience...

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