Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Eyes Open, My Love~ August 27, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:04 am
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303db061470732e00637018689917ac8When things get real, my first thought is to shut my eyes tight, plug my ears & sing “Jesus loves me” at the top of my lungs. It’s not very practical, but my inner child just wants to avoid the unpleasantries of this life. Then again, I am a grown-up now and as nice as it would be to pretend I’m a princess living in an elaborate castle, the reality is I’m a mother of 5 who scrubs toilets daily in a humble brick house with scuffed up floors.

I know it would be easier if we could close our eyes. We wouldn’t have to see the horror that plays on the news every single day. We wouldn’t be able to read the collection notices that keep coming in the mail, further evidence that our financial situation is in a rapid decline. We wouldn’t have to watch our loved ones suffer with life threatening illness that makes us wonder if there is a God and if so, why won’t he intervene.

You know what else happens when we shut our eyes to life? We miss the ‘aha’ moments, when God shows up and miracles happen.

For every violent war story that fills the tv screen, there’s another of love in the midst of turmoil that restores our faith in humanity. When the numbers don’t make sense and it would seem that all hope is lost, God takes what we would call financial ruin and uses it as a testament of His provision for His children. As we watch sickness ravage the body, God brings healing in one of two ways: he calls his child home where pain & suffering cease or he does what only he can as the ultimate physician and makes the body whole again.

There is a song by Need to Breathe that inspired this post, “Keep Your Eyes Open.” Take a look at my favorite verse:

Just past the circumstance,

The first light, a second chance

No child could ever dance the way you do

Tear down the prison walls

Don’t start the curtain call

Your chains will never fall until you do

We could close our eyes to the world around us and avoid all the ugliness but in doing so we will also miss the beauty of God’s hands at work. No matter how bleak your circumstances, it ain’t over til God says it’s over. Focus on that instead of your worries for a change.

 

 

 

~God Is For You~ June 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:27 am
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is-god-for-youWhat do you do when you reach a point where you believe God is able, but you are not so sure that He is willing?  You stand looking at your mountain, knowing that God could hurl it into the sea, but it won’t budge.

In Matthew chapter 9, a father approaches Jesus asking him to heal his son.  He says to Jesus:

“If you can do anything, do it.  Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus said, “If?  There are no ‘ifs’ among believers.  Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe.  Help me with my doubts!”

(vs. 22-24 The Message)

This father obviously believed in Jesus or he wouldn’t have asked for his help in the first place.  But something made him question whether Jesus would be willing to help him.  Maybe as we face our troubles today, we have our own set of doubts.  We’ve prayed to God to help us, so it’s not that we doubt Him, we doubt ourselves.  Could it be that we think the reason we are trapped in an endless struggle is because we’ve let Him down; that we’re not worthy of His mercy?

“That is why the Lord says,“Turn to me now, while there is time.

Give me your hearts.  Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.

 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.”

Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate,

slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.  He is eager to relent and not punish.

Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse.”

(Joel 2:12-14 NLT)

God’s grace and mercy is for everyone.  Not one of us is unworthy to receive it if we will turn our hearts to Him and allow Him to shape and mold us.  Believe with your heart, confess with your mouth and know in your mind that the Lord of all lords is eager to relent today.  Be prepared to receive a blessing instead of a curse.  Walk in victory.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

 

 

~Do You Believe In Miracles?~ May 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:16 am
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Before you answer the title question, stop and really think about what you believe.  Do you truly think that God still performs miracles like He did in biblical times?  If you asked God for a miracle in your life, right now at this moment, do you believe that 1) He is able & 2) that He is willing?

Most God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians would say yes…but do they mean it?  What purpose would it serve to ask God for a miracle if you didn’t have the faith it takes to believe that He can bring it to pass?  This has been heavy on my mind since our Sunday morning worship service.  During the service, a precious saint in our church came to the altar needing a miracle.  I don’t know anyone on this earth who loves the Lord more than she & I know she was earnestly seeking God’s hand in her life.  As we continued to sing praises, our pastor gave the exhortation that if anyone in the congregation was in need of a miracle, the “I can’t get through this without you, God” kind of miracle, that they too should come forward.  I joined the group with a request of my own for me and my family as well as one very special need for some of my extended family.

As a symbol of the needs that we all had, we held out our hands and formed fists, as if we were physically gripping that need with our own two hands.  We voiced our prayers to God, naming our specific miracles, and as we did, lifted our hands, opening them heavenward as a sign of surrendering them to Him.

Let me tell you, if you have a desperate need that you have done everything in your power to meet within your own abilities, maybe it’s time you surrender it to God and see what He can do with it!  How do you know that God doesn’t have a blessing stored up for you and He’s just waiting for you to ASK HIM FOR IT?!

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks the door will be opened.”

(Matthew 7:7 & 8 NIV)

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

(Matthew 7:7-11 from The Message)Miracles1