Peace, be still

It is storming tonight. A few minutes ago, I received an Emergency Alert on my phone that there is a flash flood watch in effect here in the Kansas City, Missouri area. 

Today I sent out another email to my subscribers about the GDPR compliance law coming into effect on May 25, 2018. (Don’t you feel like you’ll just scream if you get another email about this? But it’s necessary to CYB–cover your blog or business.)

Then I spent the rest of the day cleaning our house. I’m finally sitting down and decided to blog.

Thunder and lightning
Thunder and lightning

The little blonde hairs on my arms are standing up from the lightning’s electricity. The house is quiet–which is bliss to me–but my soul isn’t.

There’s a lot on my mind lately:

  • our intense marriage struggles (we are now in Christian therapy);
  • my husband Ray’s daily excruciating back and knees pain;
  • our grown 3 daughters and their “life stuff” problems;
  • one daughter’s current intense spiritual warfare battle;
  • bills, always bills, and too often more month than money;
  • loved ones who aren’t obeying Jesus;
  • a close friend of mine who has been having more health issues;
  • the world seeming to go crazy;
  • etc.  What about you? What stresses are you dealing with right now?

But even as I am typing this, I notice now that outside the storm is subsiding. It’s becoming quieter and still.

I remember that when the disciples were terrified of a violent storm on the lake, fearing that they would die, Jesus–who had been peacefully sleeping in the boat–stood up and rebuked the winds and the waves.

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:38-41, KJV)

Yes, tonight, I choose to think about this: Jesus commanding the winds and the waves to stop. And He’s speaking this to my soul, too: “Peace, be still.”

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Lessons from an ice storm

There has been an ice storm here in Kansas City, Missouri. Not as bad as the epic Central Plains one in 2002, which left up to over 2 inches of ice over affected areas and knocked out electrical power to more than 650,000 residents and trees shattered under hundreds of pounds of ice. Still not fun, though. I miss my hot coffee. 

coffee and Bible
coffee and Bible

As I write this in my journal, I’m sitting here on our loveseat in the front entry room in my comfy blue hoodie, pj pants, purple Hello Kitty slippers, and huddled under a soft blanket and colorful quilt that Ray’s grandmother hand-made to stay warm, since the electrical power went off about 8 AM today.

Red chair and loveseat
Red chair and loveseat in front entry room

After I read my Bible and prayed for safety for our family and all affected by the storm, I crawled under the blankets and went to sleep. Just as I was dozing off, the power came on. When I woke up, it was off again. I joked with our daughter Heather that maybe I should just stay asleep.

Ray's grandmother's hand-made quilt
Ray’s grandmother’s hand-made quilt

It’s really no joke, though. Our daughter Heather has to drive to Overland Park, Kansas, for work today and our daughter Leah has to work in town, too. My husband Ray is working at the ER and he says the electrical power is on and off all over town, and they are very busy. It makes me think of Third World nations like Haiti, which has frequent power outages and only 25% of the population has energy supply.

2017 ice storm
2017 ice storm

While the leaves encased in ice on trees look beautiful, like Narnia’s winter Wonderland, the ice is wicked, especially to drive on.  Our neighbors’ plant looks dead. The ice instantly kills.

our neighbors' plant
our neighbors’ plant

However, one thing situations like this do is create absolute dependence on God. There’s nothing I can do but wait (and I’m such a control freak sometimes, so it’s hard!). I can’t fix the power. Ray can’t fix the power. 

branches with ice
branches with ice
Are you plugged into God’s power?

It makes me muse, how much power of God do I have in my life? How much do you?

“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”–Acts 1:8

Do we read and meditate on the Bible, God’s living word?

Do we spend time with God in prayer and worship?

Asian woman praying
Asian woman praying

Do we lean on God and trust Him when storms come?

heart of ice Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/
heart of ice
Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/

Are our hearts filled with the warmth and holy fire of God’s love, or are they cold, distant, and unresponsive to Him and others, encased in ice like the trees’ leaves?

leaves encased in ice
leaves encased in ice

Today I pray for my family’s safety and all those affected by this ice storm. I pray electrical power is quickly restored and protection from car wrecks. And I pray that you and I will be plugged into and empowered by the Spirit of God in 2017.

Lessons from an ice storm.

trees with ice
trees with ice

While I believe in preparation, I love this quote I found: 

“It is a lifelong failing; she has never been prepared. But how can you have a sense of wonder if you’re prepared for everything? Prepared for the sunset. Prepared for the moonrise. Prepared for the ice storm. What a flat existence that would be.“–Margaret Atwood

The power just came back on. Making my coffee now.

***

Me with my first book, Walking with God
Me with my first book, Walking With God

Do you need to get plugged into God? Read my book on prayer Walking With God, available at Amazon as an eBook. Click here to learn more or buy now.

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A new year gives HOPE

woman hiking mountain
woman hiking mountain

It’s a new year with exciting new opportunities, as well as new challenges like hiking a steep mountain as the woman is pictured above. The origin of the word opportunities comes from the Latin word opportunitatem, which means “fitness, convenience, suitableness, favorable time.”

Whether you’ve made New Year resolutions and goals, determining to be among the only 8% who achieve them, or you’ve chosen a “one word,” or you’ve decided to do nothing at all right now and que sera, sera (whatever will be, will be), a new year, like a new morning, always offers you a fresh slate to start over. Which is one reason I love it so much. A new year gives HOPE.

Hope
Hope

The definition above of the original Latin word for opportunities includes “favorable time.” God’s word says something about this, too:

“Thus says the LORD, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages.”–Isaiah 49:8

 

Speaker/Author Sheryl Griffin
Speaker/Author Sheryl Griffin

The year 2017 is a favorable time for you! God will answer you. He will help you. And He will give you hope. As my sweet speaker/author friend Sheryl Griffin says, “With Christ there is always hope.”

Yes, even in the eye of a storm, Jesus gives hope and is your anchor. 

And when the winds and the waves crash all around you, and you feel afraid like the disciples did, Jesus will calm the storm inside you as He speaks to the storm outside you. He doesn’t want you to feel afraid. He wants you to place your trust and hope in Him. 

Jesus is our peace in the storm. Image resource: http://farmersalmanac.com/weather/2012/05/28/2012-hurrican-season-forecast/


***
Do you need HOPE today? Check out Beth’s first fiction and Amazon Best Seller eBook, Storm Tossed, about a woman who had to face the storm inside her, as well as the hurricane outside her. Is this the last Rachel will see of her husband Jackson and her daughter Faith? Will her beach house in Destin, Florida, stand? Will Rachel die in this dangerous storm? 

Storm Tossed
Storm Tossed at Amazon
http://hyperurl.co/vq9iaa
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