Saturday, April 16, 2011

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
Isaiah 26: 3

I'm sure the picture attached to this blog is strange to many of you, but this is routinely what happens when there is a thunderstorm/tornado around me. I gather all four of my children up and put them in my bed. Odd? Sure. It just makes me feel better. In my own way, I feel that I am giving them peace in the midst of the storm.

This is exactly what God wants us to experience when we are faced with various trials and tribulations. Although things may be unraveling all around, he still wants us to maintain that peace that only he can give. It's a reassurance that he is in control and everything will be alright. As the verse from Isaiah states above, the key in having that constant peace is to have our mind stayed on God. We cannot experience peace acting in and of ourselves. The things of this world, even ourselves, give us false hope and there is no peace. Things seem okay for a moment, but they soon turn back into chaos.

As 2 John 1:3 states, "Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."

Be blessed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Forgiving Yourself

"I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach."

— Maya Angelou