World Peace

 

I went a way this weekend to celebrate 25 years of marriage with my husband. We went to our favorite place, our favorite woods in Pennsylvania. They call to us. They draw us in and envelop us with their serenity. The world and the cares of this life melt away almost instantaneously as we deeply breathe the hemlock infused, mossy, terra firma, feel the chill of  the crisp, autumn breeze and listen to glassy cascade of the nourishing, river rhythm.

Much of the four days and three nights we were immersed in peace that seemed to be worlds away from our home, deciphering our lives and bringing crucial knowledge to solve all of our problems. Taking time to pray, to give thanks and to read deep, Christian, men and women’s thoughts.  I do not just desire it, I need it to survive this ruthless world. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16- I find myself in good company.20171001_130601

Of course this kind of peace cannot be had all the time or at will…at least in this way. There is a peace from Him that surpasses our understanding and guards our hearts and minds. It isn’t necessarily felt at first, but it is remembered and called upon even in the midst raging chaos. Chaos like this morning’s news. Random devastation of historical proportion produced by a human’s free will.

So I, so you, must go deep. We must extend into the compost of love, mercy, and grace that is not from this world but available to us through Jesus’ wounding for all of the atrocities of the world, this one included. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27. 20170930_141541

This peace, this paradox, is the tangible peace we have accessible to us now and for eternity. This is world peace.

 

 

Carve Out Some Peace

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After reading Henri Nouwen’s, Spiritual Direction,  I was reminded how I needed to have a quiet space in my house where I can pray and make a spiritual impact to my life and that of my family’s. I typically do have quiet, meditation time, but I was doing it at the dining room table where it can be extremely peaceful first thing in the morning, and be rudely interrupted by a number of intruders later.

When my oldest children were little, I taught them not to officially come out of their rooms until 8 A.M., so we could all have focused quiet-time in the morning. When our younger two were little, that was much more difficult, as by that time I was also helping take care of my mother- in- law in our home. I remember feeling like the only place I could have peace was in the bathroom and that was only if no one was calling the dreaded name, “mom”!!

So at the time, I purchased a small bamboo top bistro table and chairs and put it in my bedroom to re-focus my mind in the morning. It was my “secret place,” as not secret as it was! Since we moved into our new home 4 years ago, I did not have a purposed place until yesterday! I bought a cute little set of reclaimed furniture at a tag sale over the weekend, with this very respite in mind. I lit some unscented candles in my room which is already permeated with the Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils I use, and the Thyme, Peppermint, Cypress and Eucalyptus my husband uses in our bedtime repertoire!

Peace! Tranquility! Hidden in the corner of the bedroom, tucked behind a large plant that blocks the view of the doorway. A blank canvas to begin my prayer and meditation time. A ,”look at the hand,” to the world and the interruptions that clamor for my peace! My intentionality at carving out peace in my life.  It’s all part of holistic health- carve out some for yourself! We would love to hear about it:-)

 

Forgiveness

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As long as we live in this world with other humans, we are going to need to learn forgiveness. It is some thing that I have been taking a long time meditation on lately.

There are ways that I have been hurt or offended and have in turn, hurt and offended others..intentionally or not.It is so easy to say that we forgive some one, but then have a wall around ourselves so that we do not get hurt again.When we build that wall, we really have to ask ourselves if we have truly forgiven the other person.

It gets tricky, because we need to have healthy boundaries in relationships and we need people to be responsible for their own garbage. But I whole heartedly agree that freedom comes into our life when we walk in forgiveness.

As in The Lord’s Prayer;

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

and Jesus also says “forgive your brother and sister from your heart.”

He also says that if we do not forgive one another, our heavenly father will not forgive us.

That sounds harsh at first, but then if we realize that God sent His son to earth to take all of the sin and offenses of the world so that we could ultimately have forgiveness of our sins to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ..it is the ultimate gift. And God isn’t expecting us to do any thing that He wasn’t willing to do first. Forgiveness is extremely important to Him, and He wants it to be a priority to us.

There are many studies that show if we carry un- forgiveness it can cause physical problems in our body. Many people who are unforgiving have faces that show a continual disappointment and resentment. I never want to be that way inside and I never want it to manifest itself by reflection on my face!!

The cross of Jesus Christ was all about forgiveness.  He was perfect and took all of the tragedy, pain, and every kind of suffering of the world on Himself. He took it out of the way between us, tearing down the wall, making a way to fellowship with Him. We can do much less than that with each other and walk in forgiveness and love.

I wrote my term paper on Spikenard, which has so many properties that are used in healing and forgiveness. It is the oil that a woman poured out on Jesus Christ to show her admiration for him and he said she was preparing him for his burial. It is an amazing oil that can heal deep wounds, physically as well as used emotionally.

“I forgive you” can be the most powerful words you can ever say or do…especially if the other person really doesn’t deserve it. It is empowering! Let’s practice it together!

What are your thoughts on forgiveness? We want to hear from you today!!jesus-against-sunset