How to Find Peace

Matthew 11:28-30 and Luke 7:36-50.

This week started off with a terrifying high rollercoaster drop. From an imaginary 170ft, I felt like that smooth curved transition in the rollercoaster track wasn’t coming and continuous falling was all there was. Not only was I feeling terrified, I was also feeling trapped and alone. Locked into a situation and couldn’t find a way out, locked into a fearful and anxious state of mind that left me with sleepless nights. Have you felt like this at any point in your life? If you have, then you know exactly where I was and how much I wanted to find peace. 

Step #1

As the scripture says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Here Jesus is inviting us to talk with him, to pray, in our rollercoaster and trapped states and He will give us peace. It is so easy to get locked into these negative spaces but the alternative is to find someone stronger than you to talk with. For Christians it’s Jesus, it could be another God for others and still yet it could be a friend (social support). Step 1 to finding peaceseek out another stronger than you and talk, pray, unload to them in acknowledgment that you cannot do it by yourself.

Step #2

After praying wait for Jesus, your God, or friend to give humble and gentle guidance. Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” It can be difficult to wait and listen or to even hear what they have to say. In the trials, temptions, persecution​s and testing (our yokes) this world brings remember that Jesus paid it all and wants to grow in relationship with us. This relationship then needs to be rooted in humble honesty and positive criticism. Just as going to a true best friend with an issue expecting a real genuine answer. Step 2 to finding peace is to be accepting of the hard answer we receive from Jesus,God and close friends when we pray or talk to them. 

Finally Step #3

A lot of times we blame ourselves and we blame others for the situation we find ourselves in. Other times our situation is rooted in discrimination and prejudice. Also we are forced into situations outside of our control. In Luke 7:36-50, we find the story of a woman with a history of circumstancial sin being discriminated against for her bold worship of Jesus the one who freed her from her death drop and fearful anxiety. Have you ever been in her place? The response Jesus gave to the men left me awestruck and thoughtful. Luke 7:47-48, “I tell you, her sins and they are many, have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” Not only did the woman worship Jesus in thanksgiving​ but she did so shamelessly and with forgiveness to those who were prejudice against her. In this Jesus was able to freely forgive her. I don’t know about your situation but what I do know is the ultimate way to finding peace is to forgive. Step 3 to finding peace, forgive yourself, forgive them and yes when you find ultimate peace have an attitude of worship and praise. 

As you begin the new week and even life after this remember these three steps to tackling your struggles as a way to finding peace. 

1. Seek out another stronger than you and talk.

2. Be accepting of the hard answers we receive.

3. Forgive, accept forgiveness and worship. 

If you found this blog helpful comment below or give it a thumbs up. You could also share it with others so they can also find peace

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16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:16-20 ESV

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I am a follower of Sasha. I remember listening to a live recording of Sasha djing at Manumission in Ibiza, and thinking, who is this guy. I learned later that he is a progressive dj from Wales and an early pioneer of modern dance music. From that initial moment, there was a connection, admiration; a recognition of kindred souls. I believed he and I felt music in an emotional and powerful way. His performed art evoked emotions. Something that I strived to achieve. He was the master, and I immediately became the follower.

We easily become followers. Regardless of how much we would like to think of ourselves as individuals, or how much we would like to thing of ourselves as self directed; we follow. We are influenced by the words and actions of others. Even if those words are telling us to follow our hearts, do whatever you want to do, or read the scriptures. The origin of these ideas are from the outside. We either accept them or deny them. However, if we accept an idea, it shapes who we become. And I, as a follower of Sasha has strongly influenced who I have become.

I did not always think of myself as a follower. I recognized that I was a follower while reflecting on a comment a raver said. He shook my hands when I finished and said, “I haven’t heard anyone spin records like that since I went to see Sasha when he was here,” and went on to explain why. For a long time this was simply the best compliment ever; nothing more, nothing less. I didn’t believe that I could really have that much in common with Sasha. I did not set out to dj in the same manner, I didn’t play any records that I think he would. However, this statement revealed the power of following. Something had happened to me and I was completely unaware.

In time I realized that although I was doing my own thing at the turntables, I was reflecting aspects of Sasha who I greatly admired, and my actions were actively influenced at the subconscious level. I learned an insightful truth, following is easy. We follow who we admire, and become followers of those we admire. Consequently these individuals are reflected in ourselves.

The name Christians denotes us as followers of Christ. Ideally we should reflect Christ, unconsciously. If it were possible for someone who heard, or saw, Jesus to be alive today, they should be able to say what this raver said to me. I haven’t heard someone speak like this, since I heard Christ. I haven’t felt encouragement like this, since I was encouraged by Christ. I haven’t experienced love like this, since I was loved by Christ. Simply as a follower we should reflect Christ.

Like Christ I have never met Sasha. I simply listened to him play records with admiration. Even without meeting Christ, we can become followers when we read his words with admiration. Without admiration the words are just ink on a page. I believe that Christ is worthy of admiration. His life and death are worthy of admiration. If not His life and death, perhaps His creative powers mixed with love is admirable as displayed in the universe.

Every person is a follower and bears fruit. We are like trees planted in soil. What is absorbed through the roots become the tree. As Christians planted in Christ we will bear fruit. We must. Christ will be reflected in our actions along with everything else we admire. Who and what we reflect is an indicator of the direction of our admirations. Who are we? …you will know them by their fruits.

JESUS Is Not Boring!

Verse: Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
Isaiah 58:9‭-‬12 NLT
http://bible.com/116/isa.58.9-12.NLT

I was reading a devotional about boredom in the Christian’s life and it brought me back to my teen years. I couldn’t wait for church to be over so I could play or hang out with friends. See I didn’t truly go to church to meet Jesus, I didn’t truly understand who he was and what he was about. After some years of battling I came to fully know this loving, compassionate Savior who lives in me and would like to live in you too.

While reading the devotional I was reminded of how amazing it is to love Jesus and to have a relationship with him. This relationship allows me/us to serve others with our whole heart. Are you serving today: feeding the homeless, visiting the sick, praying for your church, etc.
Check out the devotional below that inspired this post and if you need buy the book that inspired the devotional.

Jesus Wasn’t Boring

If Jesus had been boring, the Pharisees wouldn’t have had him killed. There would have been no crowds. There would have been no controversy surrounding His life. When He said to the disciples “Follow me,” they would have politely declined. The Gospels wouldn’t have been written because nobody would have remembered what He said or did.

But Jesus wasn’t boring. He was incredibly engaging. Thousands of people hung on His every word. He created tension in His talks that set people on edge. He said things that were unexpected. He spoke with authority and courage. Two thousand years later, His words are still reverberating throughout the world.

And it’s not just what He said. It’s what He did. He did crazy things, things that nobody else had ever done. Ever. These things left people dumbstruck and sometimes scared. “Who then is this, that he commands even wind and water, and they obey him?” What’s remarkable about all this is that we have a chance to live like Jesus did.

We’re not necessarily talking about miracles here. We’re talking about living in a way that is engaging, that is memorable, that makes a difference. You and I might never be involved in commanding the wind to stop. But we could be involved in building houses for homeless people to protect them from the wind. We might never raise someone from the dead. But we might be able to help somebody’s dead marriage come back to life. We might need more than five loaves and two fish to feed people. But we can still feed people in Jesus’ name. Figuring out how to live that way is what this book is about.

The reason I feel passionately about this is because my Christian life used to be boring. And that was the problem. It was my “Christian life,” separated from the rest of my life, so much so that it was like some sort of useless appendage. It was there, but it didn’t have much to do with anything outside of itself.

But something happened. God broke through the walls I’d built around my religious life. He did it through a man named Darrell Johnson, the high school pastor at the church I attended after I became a Christian. Darrell started showing up at my school. He came to my games and concerts. He refused to stay inside the church building. He got involved in my messy high school life. In doing so, he modeled for me what Jesus did two thousand years ago.”

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Book: Move Toward the Mess: the ultimate fix for a boring Christian life.
By: John Hambrick

Tribute to Grandparents – Especially Grandma

Tribute to Grandparents – Especially Grandma (Aunt Annie)

I grew up in the countryside, a small village where everyone knows you based on your father or grandparents. They would ask if they see you in the street, “you look like Misa Manhertz pickeny?” My family and I lived with my grandparents for 2 years when I was about 8 years old before we built our own home. There were three generations living in one house, you may say, “that must have been tight, right.” But those years were the most rich and I learnt many life lessons. My grandparents owned a farm, they grew vegetables and they had a lot of land with fruit trees.

What was inspirational to me was how hard working and persevering my grandmother was. I remember how she would awake around ⅘ on market mornings to make breakfast then head out to the farm either to tend or to reap the crop, there were times when we would be required to help, (I did not like this). Then head out to market to sell. On mornings that she did not go to market she would help me get ready for school, I was the only girl surrounded by all male cousins so the natural tendency was to be just like them. She would tell me how important it is to be graceful, keep your shoes and school uniform clean, make sure your hair remains neat and always sit like a lady. Then she would end with, “walk good.”  This means, I have given my counsel or instruction, it is expected that you follow.

What I loved most about my grandmother is that she was kind, pleasant and caring. She cooked a lot of food, much more than was needed for the family, when asked why, she would say, “you need to have extra just incase someone pass by who is hungry” and this would happen often, people would come by and ask. “Miss Annie you have nuttin deh?” She would also make care packages for the neighbours that were sick or had a new baby. I remember her requesting often that I deliver the packages, unsure at the time why she did this but I now understand that in those days kindness goes a long way especially when you require assistance in emergency situations. The legend of kindness shown by my grandmother to neighbors transferred as kindness shown to my parent and then to me.

These memories are instilled in me based on my Grandmother’s portrayal of kindness, generosity, showing compassion, being hardworking and encouraging to others. She emulated Christ, she was the foundation, first Adventist in my family. Today’s talk is dedicated to grandparents who have lived their lives as examples to their children and grandchildren, demonstrating Christ-like characteristics that can then be pass down to our children.

The verse that comes to mind when I wrote this story, “Train up children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

2014 in review

Thank you for your views and comments for the year 2014…. We look forward to posting more uplifting and informative posts for 2015.

Please enjoy and comment on our reviews.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 490 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 8 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Fitness – Endurance Through Pain

The Story:
Since the Sunrun 2014 10k run/walk, I have been on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Which means exercising daily, and eating properly. So I developed this routine of power walking three to four times per week for 45 minutes to 1 hour and making fruit smoothies. I woke this morning thinking how tired I am from my flight lastnight and just not in the mood. Then I remember the theme song “I will rise” from the Aspire Canadian Youth Summit I just returned from and it motivated me to RISE.

Chris Tomlin – I Will Rise (Lyrics)

Is there a song in your ipod/mp3 player that gives you that extra push when you feel stuck and unmotivated?

I got up stretched for a bit then I was on my way with my music and water bottle. About  20 minutes into the walk I felt some pain in my side and in my thighs. Now experienced runners and power walkers know this kinda q and just ignore it and continue running or walking because they know it will be worked out eventually. However, those who are rookies will sometimes double over, slow down or stop.
More info on side stitches: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/06/what-causes-the-pain-in-your-side-you-may-occasionally-feel-while-running/

The reflection:
This made me think of my spiritual fitness level, am I a novice or an experienced runner/walker when it comes to managing life stresses or spiritual battles/temptations?

The word:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).

I pray that if you are a novice in your spiritual fitness level that you will find strength to go on, to endure through the pain knowing that it will dissolve away by continuing to push forward without stopping.
This will take practice by building up your spiritual fitness stamina (reading the bible and communing with God daily in prayer) until you become an expert.

TKM..