Tag Archives: Peace

WHERE IS GOD IN TIMES OF SUFFERING ?

I take the topic of health personally, very personally. Because, you see, I have been on the other end of an all-out onslaught to stop, maim, and kill me for my entire life. One of the main weapons used against me was physical illness, disease, and false approaches to “health”.

My friends are my family and when they’re sick, I can feel it. When my husband and daughter are sick, I feel it. It’s no wonder I decided to become a doctor of natural medicine. I had to. I couldn’t find the right doctor for me so I became one.

I view things differently – it’s life and death and the fight goes beyond people.

It’s principalities. It’s spiritual. It’s personal.

Maybe you can imagine my irritation upon realizing that my family is now fighting what has been termed “C-V” (for the second time). Yeah, not happy. We take all the right supplements and vitamins. We eat biblically clean. We nebulize and diffuse all the things. We’ve already been thru a round of this junk, last year, so I thought we were beyond it.

It just goes to show you how aggressive this illness is. How pointed it is. How it can target anyone.

It’s principalities. It’s spiritual. It’s personal.

So we keep taking the right supplements and vitamins. We’re still nebulizing and diffusing all the things. I have plans. I have back up plans – all for “just in case”. Some of it is a waiting game. It’s all being bathed in prayer.

And as the world is full of bad news, loved ones clinging to life…and some losing theirs, wars, rumors of wars, increased hatred among people, etc. – the literal war for our lives increases. Everyone is being affected, deeply, by one thing or another. One has to wonder where GOD is in all of it.

So, I asked. Yeah, I asked Yeshua (Jesus) this morning where He was in all of it. I know what the Bible says and I believe it. But I still needed to hear from Him.

And I found Him……sitting down on the beach of a lake. He was skipping rocks into the water. It wasn’t for sport or fun. He was waiting. And He seemed irritated. I sat down beside Him. We sat in silence, together, as I watched Him skipping the rocks over and into the water.

He’s really good at it. Each rock stayed above the water for a long time before being pulled down by their weight. A feat that I tried, as a child, but never quite succeeded at – not consistently anyways.

The sky was ablaze with pinks, and purples, as the sun set low in the distance. He had been here a long time. Waiting. Irritated. His brow furrowed. His hand clinched as He hurled each rock into the lake.“

This had to happen,“ He said, his gaze remained on the water. And He just kept skipping those rocks in. I dare not ask why this had to happen but I knew that He was referring to what we were all going thru, on a personal scale as well as world-wide. It wasn’t just about me or my family.

Of course, He knew that I was wondering “why”, even though I didn’t ask. He answered me: “It’s principalities.”

Then He forcefully skipped a rock into the lake.

“It’s spiritual.” Another rock went in.

“It’s personal.” Another rock hurled in.

He stopped skipping rocks at that point. In this solemn understanding, we sat. For the very battle I had fought all of my life – with all the feelings attached – were His feelings in this moment.

And He had to keep waiting for now. We all do. And it’s hard. It’s irritating.

I thought of how He whittled that tree branch into a whip, that one time. While He whittled, He waited. And that’s where we are right now – in that moment of tension, that moment of wait, of irritation.

He turned to me. Our eyes met. “Thank you for sitting with me.”He was grateful for MY company. Mine?

He offered no promises of things turning out okay. That all seems a bit trite now anyways, don’t you think.

But He said this:“I’m with you, always.”

“Oh hey (yes, Yeshua said “hey”) it’s your birthday today. I’m sorry, but you gift is going to be late this year.” Then He turned His gaze back to the lake and began skipping rocks again.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.“ For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name,

For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” — Isaiah 55:6-13

If you are currently enduring a time of suffering, please know that you are NOT alone. GOD IS with you. He is guiding you, and loving you, thru it all.

Shalom to you,

How Self-Awareness Can Lead to peace

It’s kind of an odd season we are living in. The headlines, of the day, seem to be spilling over with continual bad news. This can leave us wondering – what’s next? Pandemic? Fires? Floods? Economic Crash?

This list, of things, doesn’t even take into account the daily stress we may be experiencing in our personal lives. It doesn’t take much to remind us that we are not. in. control. In fact, SO much is OUT of our control!

Is it possible to obtain, and live, a life of peace during a difficult time? I believe the answer is a resounding YES! One simple strategy that can help usher in peace is the practice of being more self-aware. Let’s talk about it….

Become more self-aware. I know it may sound counter intuitive to think of yourself more during a difficult time. The advice of many is to get your mind off of yourself by doing for others. I agree 100% that we should be doing more for others! But if you use busy-ness as a means of distracting yourself, that’s only a temporary”fix”.

Wouldn’t it profit everyone if we slowed down long enough to do the hard work of addressing what’s causing anxiety and then decide to lean into peace?

Once the work is done, you will be able to accomplish even more to help others – and do it in the spirit of peace rather than the spirit of fear!

So how should we go about becoming more self-aware? I’m glad you asked! Here are a few ideas:

1) Name It: When anxiety begins to well up, sometimes we aren’t even sure what is worrying us…of course, other times we know exactly what it is. Either way, search your heart before the anxiety completely takes a hold and ask yourself what exactly you are stressing over. Name the anxiety. Maybe its name is “financial struggles”, “uncertain future” or “health scare”.

The thought of naming the specific anxiety, you are feeling in the moment, may scare some into thinking that will give the fear more “power”. However, I believe that this specific exercise will give the power back to you!

2) Find Out How GOD Feels About What You’re Afraid Of: Once you realize exactly what you are dealing with, open your Bible, a Bible concordance, or a Bible website online and find a verse that tells how GOD feels about this issue.

For example, if you are afraid of what the future holds then Jeremiah 29:11 is an excellent verse:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

If a general feeling of anxiety is what you’re experiencing (and you’re not even sure of any specifics), then Isaiah 41:10 is a good one: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

3) Get the Truth Deep Down in Your Spirit: I’m sure you see where I am going with this. Once you’ve found out, via Bible verse, how GOD feels about your specific anxiety inducing fear, get His truth about the issue into your heart and mind! Write the verse down in your journal. Write it on cards and place it around your house or office. Memorize it. That way, the next time anxiety begins to whisper fearful thoughts, into your ear, you can remind it that you are not afraid because you know how GOD feels about it!

4) Get Vocal!: If anxiety begins to well up, don’t hold back from speaking your verse OUT LOUD! It may even be appropriate to tell it to leave in the Name of Jesus/Yeshua! Take back your peace in the mighty Name that is above ALL names!…and then ask GOD to send the Holy Spirit (and His holy angels) to come protect and comfort you.

I pray these words are not only a comfort to you, but give you a game plan to put in place when you find yourself combating fear and anything that would seek to steal your peace! May your home, and heart, be a place of peace…full of the Holy Spirit…full of GOD’s love…and free from fear! May the strength of GOD be upon you as you trust in Him more and more. You are so very loved now and always!

From Stressed to Shalom

Have you ever stopped to think about how much our lives have changed in the last 30…20…or even 10 years? This is something that has been coming up more and more in conversations with my husband…not just because we’re getting older (we ARE but that’s besides the point *ehem) but also because, as children of the 80’s and 90’s, we remember what life was like before smart phones, the internet, and amazon prime. I am not totally against technology as it has provided a degree of convenience to modern day living. But let’s face it – things were simpler “back in the day”.

On top of that, the different seasons of life are something that none of us can escape from. College, career, parenting littles, raising teens, caring for elderly parents, etc – each season brings with it a new challenge and demands our attention.

I haven’t even mentioned bills, schooling, juggling career and housework and all other things that fall under the heading of: ADULTING.

At the end of the day, we often find the cry of our heart is for PEACE!!!

Thankfully, GOD makes this peace readily available to us. In fact, Philippians 4:7 mentions a peace that passes all of our understanding. The Complete Jewish Bible puts it like this:

“(Then) God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua.” (Jesus)

WHAT IS SHALOM?

But what exactly is shalom? You may have heard it used as a greeting, the same way that “hello” or “good-bye” is used. Oftentimes, it is used as a replacement for “peace” as in the above verse. But is there more to it than that? After all, when looking at words in the Hebrew language, one must consider all the possibilities of its meaning, which is often multi-layered.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (#7965) states that “shalom” means: completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

Shalom comes from the root verb “shalam” (#7999 in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Some of the meanings listed for shalam are: safe, well, happy, friendly; health, prosperity, and peace.

There are 237 instances, in the Bible, where “shalom” is mentioned. The fact that it is mentioned so often tells us that it is important to God. Anything that is important to the heart of our Father God is worth paying attention to.

Clearly, shalom is so much more than just a greeting or a general state of peace. It is a blessing of health, wholeness and prosperity in every area of our lives: in a health sense, an emotional sense, a financial sense, a relational sense, a spiritual sense – everything!

Perhaps we could say that shalom is a concept that is holistic in nature. If you prefer, we could even say that shalom is a concept that is “whole-istic” as it is a blessing that ought to affect every area of our whole lives.

The thought that we should have shalom in every area of our lives may sound, at first, a bit overwhelming. After all, how does one even begin to go about achieving this?

Do we, first, have to live a life of perfection and then shalom will appear? Rather than thinking of shalom as a state of being that we must work to achieve, perhaps we should think of it as a force that we can choose to receive and lean into – a tangible force that we can move, flow and live in when we embrace the Creator’s ancient Ways.

WHERE DOES SHALOM COME FROM?

“And God, the source of shalom, will soon crush the Adversary under your feet.The grace of our Lord Yeshua (Jesus) be with you.” – Romans 16:20 (CJB)

In the above verse, we see that God, Himself, is the Author of shalom. Yes, He alone is the Source of shalom. The amount of counterfeit offers of peace, vying for our attention, are numerous.

Many good, well meaning people have been sucked into false religion, and ideologies, due to the “promises” of peace and enlightenment. Of course, the enemy of our souls sprinkles a bit of truth into every lie. This causes us to put our defenses down and sometimes we overlook the red flags of warning. Before long, we will find that we have gone way off course – down a road that is far from Creator’s Ways.

We must use discernment in these matters and research the root – the originalsource – behind such non-biblical (often mystical) beliefs. As hard as we may try, peace cannot be conjured up or manufactured by counterfeit religion. Even satan has been known to masquerade as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

The truth is: we cannot think, medicate, or meditate ourselves into a state of shalom. It comes from Creator God alone!

PRACTICAL WAYS TO FLOW IN SHALOM

If you currently find yourself in a season where shalom seems out of reach or if you simply desire more of this powerful blessing, from GOD, below I have listed some practical ideas to consider:

1. Start your day with Creator God. Regardless of the current season you may find yourself in, your ABBA Father wants to spend time with you. He delights in you and is waiting for you to come to Him, everyday. Never underestimate the power of time spent in prayer, praise and in the Word.

2. Trust in Creator God. We were not designed to carry burdens. Lay them down at your ABBA’s feet, trusting Him to care for your every need.

3. Get rid of the old. Any old thought patterns, behaviors, or habits that don’t line up with GOD’s ways need to be kicked to the curb. Getting rid of the old junk opens up more room for the better things that your ABBA Father has planned for you.

4. Unplug. Spend more time with loved ones and nature…and less with tech.

Shalom is not an ethereal idea. It is tangible and something that we all can live, and flow, in. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your healing journey. Shalom!