Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Freedom of Speech, Part 2~ December 20, 2013

I have gotten quite a bit of feedback from my previous post and rather than edit it or add to the comment feed, I decided to post part 2 in order to clarify some of what I feel may have been misunderstood@ https://peacefulpromises.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/freedom-of-speech/.

First let me say that I welcome the criticism and debate because it means that people are thinking and that’s what I want to encourage…to think of one another’s perspective.  With that being said, my main purpose in my initial post was to pose the following question:

While A & E may have acted within their legal rights…does that make it right?

I am not defending Mr. Robertson, he speaks rather crudely at times & I think there are more delicate ways of making your point.  He was not speaking on behalf of all Christians, but for himself alone.  Not all believers would have said things in the same manner he chose.  However, I am defending Americans rights to speak freely outside of the workplace without fear of losing their jobs as a result.  I would have been equally upset if someone was fired for their nationality, whom they choose to love, where they choose to worship, what the choose to watch, read or listen to.  I personally want to do my best to reflect God’s love to all people.  That includes those whose opinions vary from my own and people who make statements that I would consider uncouth.

 

~Selfless, Not Selfish~ August 26, 2013

I have a confession to make, the last couple of weeks I have been incredibly selfish.  I had completely shut my eyes to the needs of those around me and solely focused on that which affected me and my family.  I am ashamed to admit that I had the attitude of “what about me (us)?”

What about our financial needs?

What about my physical aches and pains?

What about my kids struggles?

And the worst of all, what about what I want?

The sad thing is that I didn’t even realize I had become so consumed with self until our Pastor prayed a prayer yesterday.  Now, I knew I wasn’t myself.  I had been feeling grumpy and agitated, impatient and just mean and I couldn’t figure out why.  Now I know, my focus was on my circumstances instead of on God.  I was behaving like a child with my hands out…not to extend help but expecting someone to drop something in them.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

(Philippians 2:4 ESV)

We were not placed on this earth to receive but to give.  I know that, deep down, I know that.  But unfortunately there are times I get side-tracked with shiny or comfy things and I forget just how blessed I am.  I don’t have to serve others, I get to.  We are a privileged people just because we belong to God who teaches us how to love others more than we love ourselves.

At the end of yesterday’s service, Pastor shared Romans 12 in it’s entirety as it is written in The Message.  It is an incredibly powerful paraphrase and I would encourage you all to read it.  For now, I will share the portion that spoke to me the loudest:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Lord, forgive me of my selfishness.  Help me to be deeply rooted in you so that my eyes are always open, my hands and feet always ready and my heart always willing.  Amen

romans 12

 

~A Day To Remember~ May 27, 2013

thewallMemorial day is a time to honor the service men & women of our country.  I hate to admit it, but as a teenager, it was just another holiday that got me out of school.  Now I understand just what it cost in order for us to have the freedom that we oftentimes take for granted.

I think of countries where there is no freedom of religion and I’m thankful for those who gave their lives that we might have ours.  We aren’t told what we can believe in this great nation.  We have the right to choose our faith and live it out openly with no reprimand.

What about the freedom of speech & press?  Had it not been for the brave men & women who stood up for what was right, I would not be able to sit at my tiny, makeshift desk in the corner of my dining room and write about the God I love then share it with the world without fearing for my life.

These freedoms may not have cost you or I anything, yet we are reaping the reward.  Thank the veterans that you know for the high price they paid knowing that one day someone else was going to receive the benefit.  Those who died on the battlefield, willingly gave their lives knowing there would be no personal gain.  Selfless.  In a word, that is how I would describe every member of our armed forces in the United States of America.

I would like to share with you a bit of a young man’s story who I first heard of yesterday during our Memorial Day video at church in Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address in 1981:

“Each one of those markers (At Arlington National Cemetery) is a monument to the kinds of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.

Under one such marker lies a young man—Martin Treptow—who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.

We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge,” he had written these words: “America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And, after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.”

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

(John 15:13 NIV)

Thank you to all the men and women who are currrently protecting me by choosing to sacrifice each and every day.  Thank you to the veterans who lead the way and left us a shining example on what it means to serve others needs above your own.  To those who laid down their lives on the battlefield, who we cannot thank, we honor you in the lives that we now live because of you.  You are loved.  You are needed.  You are appreciated.  God bless you today, tomorrow and forever.  Amen