Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Muscle Memory~ June 3, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:02 am
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“Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.” (Prov19:11 The Message)

I am not always a smart people. Sometimes it would be easier for me to give a cat bath than it would be for me to tame my tongue. Like every other person on the face of the planet, I have my hot button issues. I can turn the other cheek all day long, that is until someone strikes my no zone.

I’ll give an example. As I am certain most moms will find relatable, I can show you five sides of crazy if you mess with my kids. If one of their peers causes an offense, I can calmly and rationally help them deal. However, if an adult hurts one of my babes, anger management is the last thing on my mind. I’ve come to realize in those moments that applying my voice of reason, aka hubs, is best for all involved. He sees things from a different perspective and gives me a safe place to talk it out so that I don’t let it build and fester into something nasty.

It is worth mentioning as a sidebar that anger is not a sin, it’s an emotion. It’s what you DO with that anger that can result in sin.

So, with that in mind,  what do we do when those feelings of rage come surging up from the recesses of our normally mild-mannered minds? How do we let God speak to us when truthfully we’d rather tune Him out for just a minute while we unleash the fury and repent later?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17 NIV)

We have to saturate ourselves with God’s Word on the good days so that when the hard days come, we will be prepared. We won’t have to flip through the Scriptures, frantically looking for a Word to bring us off the ledge in the heat of the moment. It will already be there, pushing its way through the hurt and the anger to bring peace to our troubled hearts.

It’s what our worship pastor refers to as muscle memory. If you do anything repetitiously, eventually it becomes second nature. You won’t have to think about it, it will simply be what happens instinctively. Be proactive, don’t wait for trouble to come. You know where you struggle. I have found an excellent resource in Open Bible. Here you will find “What does the Bible say about….” and you fill in the blank. Typically you will get multiple references from God’s Word, not man’s, to help you refocus.stress

Fill your heart and mind with truth, it will crowd out the chatter and replace it with a peace beyond understanding.

 

~When Life Is Just Too Short~ May 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 12:07 pm
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Days ago I opened the ol’ WordPress app on my phone and typed this title. That was it, no meat, just a headline that popped into my head for no apparent reason. I didn’t know what the post would be about until I read about a horrific accident in another state.

A caravan of family members were traveling home from a wedding when a semi caused a multi car accident. The first vehicle carried a pregnant mother and her toddler son. In separate vehicles were the husband & father to the pair and a set of grandparents. Immediately the news made us aware that the young boy was tragically killed. His grieving mother had to have an emergency c-section one month shy of her due date. I, along with every other person with a shred of faith I am certain, prayed for this family and that their sweet newborn would survive. He did not.

As I read the news yesterday, I simply cried. There is no way to fathom what this family is facing. As I wept for people I have never met, this title came back to me. While this is not the first time a terrible tragedy has occurred, it is one of those instances when life was definitely just too short.

It’s an expression I’ve heard my entire life but what does it mean? Life is too short for what exactly? And why does it take a death to remind of us just how fleeting it is?

Too short to live with regrets.

Too short to hold unforgiveness in your heart.

Too short not to dream.

Too short…

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 NIV)

The hard truth of the matter is, we haven’t the faintest idea when our time will be up. We are not guaranteed a certain number of years with our loved ones. We are literally not promised tomorrow. So now what? What do we do with this knowledge that we’ve really always known but oftentimes choose to ignore?

Live every single day as though it is your last. Cliche, maybe, but a simple truth just the same.

Don’t hold in the sentiments, say them frequently and mean them!

Dream BIG!! Stop limiting yourself and God. Trust that He will give you the desires of your heart and allow Him access to plant them there!IMG_7245

Prayers of peace and comfort for all of those dealing with loss today, tomorrow, and everyday to come. May we not be so consumed by the what-ifs of tomorrow that we let today slip through our grasp.

 

~Satan Has Commented on Your Post~ May 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:47 am
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This morning I picked up my cell phone and saw that I had a notification from WordPress:

“Satan has commented on your post.”

Say what?

I rubbed my eyes thinking surely I, in my groggy morning haze, had misread the name. With both eyes now open, I looked again. Yep, still there.

Touché, Satan, you have my attention.

Upon opening my email, I see that the post that warranted feedback from “satan” was Do I Have To Be A Doormat?

Here is what the ol’ adversary had to say about it: “Yes! It’s about time I got to use you Christians as a doormat, instead of you trampling me under your feet!”

Oohhhh, good one Satan, you’re quite witty with your comebacks! 

Seriously, I’m still laughing about it! While I’m sure this comment was meant to offend and ruffle my feathers, it has done just the opposite. Whoever is using this screen name simply validated one thing, I, along with fellow Christians, have succeeded in putting the devil exactly where he belongs, under our feet.

So I’d like to say thanks, clever shadow writer, for the compliment and just the words I needed to encourage me to continue fighting the good fight through my words & actions.

Friends, do your part today to remind Satan of his place in your life, let him have it!

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20 NIV)

 

~Are Your Words Promoting Healing or Hatred?~ November 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:08 am
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This morning I found myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed at the level of hatred blaring through the television and scrolling across my computer screen. I understand emotions are high during times of controversy but I don’t understand how it breeds such contempt among our brothers and sisters.

When I write, I don’t shy away from the controversial topics but I do try to be careful not to disrespect my readers and how what I say might affect them. On that note, let me preface this post with this, I do not have an opinion on the verdict that was read last night from Missouri. Not one thought.

Lest you think I am simply uneducated or that I’m too spineless to “pick a side,” allow me to share with you why I feel this way about this particular case and others of similar content.

The only information I have is from the media. It is my opinion that media executives are far more concerned about ratings than they are about educating their viewers. The more shocking the report, the higher the ratings. Therefore, I don’t consider it a reliable source to form an educated opinion.

“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.” (Exodus 23:1 ESV)

I wasn’t there. Have you ever heard the expression, “If you don’t see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own lips, don’t think it with your small mind and spread it with your big mouth.” A little harsh, maybe. But it keeps me from adding to the chaos by gossiping or passing judgment. I wouldn’t want someone to form an opinion of me based on second hand accounts.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 ESV)

I have no authority to judge, plain and simple.

“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12 ESV)

Here is where I do have an opinion, nothing good can come from rioting and slanderous words. Rather than add to the darkness, should we not be the light? As tempting as it may be to share why so-and-so is in the wrong and so-in-so needs vindication, wouldn’t it be a better use of our time to show love while the rest of the world is screaming hate?prov 6