Peace, Peace, America 🇺🇸

I used to sing this song to my boys as I rocked them to sleep at night.

No matter how rambunctious or adventurous their day had been, miraculously, it always seemed to calm them.

I wish I could symbolically “sing” this over our nation tonight…and even our world.

It may be a bit old fashioned, but maybe take a minute to listen…

https://youtu.be/lZtuYAgHIvU

Fight Right

You scream for justice as you violate another’s land.

You demand equality while you jeopardize another’s family.

You shout revenge at the same moment you take another’s life.

How does this fix the problem?

How does this restore the home?

How does this heal the land?

Your actions beings more frustration.

Your words brings more confusion.

Your temper brings anger.

It’s a never ending cycle.

It’s a never relenting emotion.

It’s a never healing wound.

Violence can never bring resolution.

Looting only brings more revolt.

Riots only being more rebellion.

Can you not see the turmoil?

Can you not see the pain?

Can you not see the death?

There is but one answer.

There is but one relief.

There’s is but one solution.

Lay down your arms.

Lay down your venom.

Lay down your hate.

We can change this world only when we change our hearts first.

Now, go start a revolution.

A Call to Arms, Peacefully

We are to bring peace to this crazy world.

Peace, love, hope, and joy

How can you bring peace when you’re full of anxiety?

How did you bring Hope when you’re hopeless?

How can you bring courage when you’re fearful?

We are His ambassadors!

We are to bring His message to this fallen world.

Have we forgotten our place?

Have we forgotten our calling?

Rise up! Take your place!

This place is a disaster because the church is a disaster.

We have just as much divorce, drugs, anxiety, etc., as the world has.

This should not be.

He called us out to be separate, a royal priesthood, set a part for His will and His way.

We’ve spent too much time trying to fit in, to conform to the norm.

Rise up! Stand your ground!

Our fight is not against flesh and blood.

We have forgotten our enemy while he has lulled us to sleep.

We have grown lazy in our opinions and agendas, forgetting Whose opinion matters most.

We’ve got to return to our calling.

We’ve got to return to the mountain.

Don’t shutter because He’s mighty.

Praise because He’s holy.

Worship because He’s gracious.

Shout because He is merciful and just.

We serve a King not a people.

We are an army to storm the gates of hell not lie in the puddles of our own ambitions and desires.

Rise up! Take your place in the kingdom of God!

This world is desperate for a Savior.

Can you hear Him calling?

Can you hear their cries?

How can you ignore it?

Why do you walk away?

If you do not fight now, you will lose the very things you clinched so tightly.

They are like sand sifting through your hand.

We are Ambassadors of Christ.

Grasp the things of His kingdom.

Seek Him first.

Chase Him, church.

Arise, oh daughters and sons! Arise!

Take your place and reap the harvest!

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

What is Hate? What is Love?

If a man dying underneath the blended knee of a cop doesn’t make you heartbroken, we need to re-evaluate.

If a cop dying underneath the violent barrel of a another man’s gun doesn’t make you cry, we need to re-evaluate.

If a man dying underneath the treacherous hands of another’s man’s hands doesn’t make you sad, we need to re-evaluate.

If a man’s reputation dying beneath the slanderous words of another man doesn’t make you somber, we need to re-evaluate.

If a man’s wellbeing dying beneath the murderous actions of another man’s hate doesn’t grieve your heart, we need to re-evaluate.

It is not the color of one exalted above the other.

Racism does not come in only one dark shade or another.

It can be as black as a shadow that has never seen light or as white as sunlight that has never known darkness.

If you only proclaim it comes from one group or another, we need to re-evaluate.

May we all remember, media spews only their personal biases, and our reposts only refuel their cause.

May truth be revealed to our hearts as we each turn back to HIS ways rather than our own.

May justice reign as we call it out from ALL sides, rather than just one.

May mercy prevail as we seek His heart instead than our own.

May we all re-evaluate our hearts, our thoughts, our actions.

And may we return to His cause and not “theirs” … whomever you choose “theirs” to be.
(*note: grammatical errors of “you/we” are not accidental)

Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil,

A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren.”

What COVID-19 Has Taught Me Now

It has amazed me throughout this pandemic how loud the media has shouted and how quiet the church has remained.

It’s been eerily quiet, except for shouts, concerns and finger-points of who should do what, when and how.

It has amazed me how quickly the whole world has given up their freedom and personal rights, even here in America, under the guise of health, security and even “common decency.”

It has been eerily obvious, except for the shouts, concerns and warning signs thrown up by those who recognize this is not what the Constitution nor our Declaration of Independence provides.

Maybe you’ve not read that part recently.

Let me refresh your memory… (Declaration of Independence)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

Who gave you the right to remove my rights? Who gave you the approval to dictate to me where I can go, what I can buy, who I can see and where I can eat?

This happens in Communist countries day after day.

This happens in Socialist countries when a crisis arises.

Because the people are dependent upon a higher power to provide.

No matter your political persuasion, if you call yourself an American, don’t get mad and move on.

No matter your religious integration, if you call yourself a Christian, don’t get offended and scroll past.

Please, stay with me here.

It has amazed me how quickly businesses shut down, the economy faltered, and the wallets closed for trade all over the world.

It has been eerily hasty, except for the small businessman who just altered his delivery of food, except for the churches who simply worked a new vantage point to proclaim the gospel, except for the volunteers who said, “Not on my watch, will you struggle and falter alone.”

It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people shut their doors, curtained their windows, and shielded their mouths.

It was eerily fervent, except for those who cried out for mercy, except for those who swung wide the welcome for shelter, except those who ran to the needy to provide and proclaim a message of freedom.

It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people walked in fear rather than faith, claiming to rely on the educated, the enlightened, those “in the know.”

It was eerily evident, except for those who called in God’s Name for deliverance, protection and wisdom, except for those who proclaimed His peace, His hope, His love, despite the storm or the outlook, except for those who stepped forward in cautious optimism to say, “He can save. Look up! The Best is yet to come!”

I write this today, not to stir debate, not to bring condemnation, and by no means to try to trivialize the sickness nor glorify a rebellion.

I only write to stir your heart to prayer, to bring conviction where there has been terror and to proclaim His victory over a he darkness.

If we call ourselves Americans, we should never relent our freedom so easily, no matter the declared crisis.

If we call ourselves Christians, we should never surrender our faith and our fight so easily, no matter the size of the giant.

To slay the giant, never proclaim the intricate details of your foe until you have proclaimed the meticulous victories, promises and testimonies of your God!!

2 Samual 17 … read it again, and become like David, not like the Israelites. Walk in courage rather than fear. Ask about the spoils for the triumph. Declare the victory is God’s not yours…nor theirs!

Peace Like a River

How’s your peace level today?

It seems everyone is in a crisis to one extent or another.

Turn on the news, and there’s not a sliver of hope.

Turn on the talk shows, and there’s nothing but sarcasm and ridicule.

Turn on social media, and it’s either cynicism or disbelief, hatred or dictatorship.

Where do you find peace, hope and love?

Where do you find sanity for your mind and solitude for your soul?

Step outside and let the cares wash away.

Step down to the river and allow the fears to fade into the ripples.

Listen to the birds that sing; they neither toil nor spin.

Listen to the breeze and the trees; they neither fret nor frown.

Maybe we should take a few lessons from the Creator of creation.

Maybe we should step beyond the noise and take a seat down by the river.

Psalm 23:2, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”

*I do not own this music or any rights to it. This is “The River,” by Karen Peck and New River

Friday Fun Day

Everyone is quarantined or at least too many are.

So, can we find a Friday Fun Day anyway?

Everyone is sheltered in place or at least more than I can count are.

So, is a Friday Funday even available?

Everyone is confined to their area or at least way more than I’d like to say are.

So, how can we find a Friday Fun Day in the midst of all this?

1. It’s in perspective. What do you see?

2. It’s in your thoughts. What do you say?

3. It’s in your decisions. What do you do?

You are only quarantined as much as you can see yourself contained.

You are only sheltered as much as you let yourself speak of the restrictions.

You are only held back to the degree by which you allow yourself to not move.

Whatever your situation, wherever you are, and whatever you commit to carrying out determines your own level of fun.

Your fun may not be my fun, but seek it out.

Embrace it.

Cherish it.

Treasure it and reminisce.

It is for your choosing.

Now, go have some fun!! 🎉

Rest in Knowing

When the winds blow harder, the sails fill up; yet, the boat doesn’t crack.

When the waves threaten to burst forth, the tiller is set; yet, the keel doesn’t buckle.

When the thunder rolls and the rains pour in, the sails don’t shatter, the mast never weakens.

When the storms of life threaten to overtake the heart of your ship, make sure your anchor is secure.

There is only One who can carry you through the hardships, the hurricanes and even the shipwrecks.

He is the Only One who is an eternal safe harbor.

Penned – MG – 4/16/20

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” Psalm 18:2-6

Don’t Worry…Be Happy!

If you’re fearful today, just believe.

If you’re feeling doubts weighing in like the coming storm, just believe.

If uncertainties cloud your mind and swirl around your life like a tornado, just believe.

He came to give you peace. He came to give you life.

He rose to prove His promise, and He went away to prepare a place for you.

Just Believe.

He rose once. He will come again.

Just Believe!

What COVID-19 Has Taught Me

I know the present pandemic isn’t quite over, and for many, it has brought a whole new normal. I grow angry at those who perpetuate the fear, and I am broken-hearted for those who have lost so much. I neither trivialize nor magnify this crisis. I live with precautions; yet, I absolutely refuse to live in fear.

When I am surrounded by media outlets constantly trying to manipulate the masses to think a certain way, or even act a certain way, I have red flags and sirens immediately go off inside my mind. I stop, watch intently and listen beyond the headlines. I read more, seek more and yes, even pray more to find the absolute truth not the perpetuated and opinionated half truths/half lies.

So, with all that being said, I’d like to tell you what I have learned during this 2020 pandemic… (These are in no particular order…just thoughts brought from heart to pen and paper.)

1. There are many things in life which I thought I needed, and I have found I can live without.

2. There are many things in life which I thought I needed, and I have found I was right.

3. You can confine and restrict, but the old adage stands true, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

4. School can be cut out from the children, but they will learn in more way than you first realized.

5. Even in brokenness and poverty, kindness can override…and the opposite is also true.

6. Even in health and prosperity, selfishness and hatred can thrive…and the opposite is also true.

7. We all need our friends and our support systems.

8. We all need our downtime and to be alone with our thoughts.

9. If you are always the smartest person in the room, Leave. You’re either not as smart as you think you are, or you’re not surrounded by enough challenging people.

10. Your wellness and happiness does not depend upon your wealth, your posterity, your location nor your relationships

…neither does it depend upon your poverty, your failures, your content nor your friendships… but these all (good and bad) can make a defined difference in your life, your destiny and in your legacy.

11. Some people are angels, no matter their circumstance.

12. Some people are devils, no matter their circumstance.

13. It can be very comical what people will buy in a panic.

14. It can be very heart wrenching what people will need in a panic.

15. People are resilient when given a chance to choose.

16. People are assiduous and persevering when left without an easy alternative.

17. Our older generations are valuable, genuine and full of tenacity.

18. Our younger generations are cherished, authentic and full of vigor.

19. People who have determination and purpose can thrive in adversity and in abundance.

20. People who live in fear can be controlled by those who appear to have the confidence to give direction.

21. People who live in doubt can be contained by those who appear to know the answers.

22. If you can believe in the Creator of this universe, He will give you hope, grace and peace like you’ve never seen.

23. God is God, and His name will be glorified in the good, in the bad, and yes, even in the ugly.