Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

Photo: Rodney Dodig

Through the years, I have given a unique end-of-the-year gift to those who could use an extra word of hope or encouragement.

This year, I invite you, dear reader, to share this same gift if you like. Simply print the following poem on an appropriate holiday paper (letter size), fold using a business fold and insert into a decorated envelope with a shard of broken pottery. There you have it, a thoughtful, non-traditional gift which will (hopefully) be a blessing to others. (Thank you for including the copyright information.)

From our Heart to Yours

You may think it odd that we give you
this little piece of broken clay;
but we give it with sincerest hearts,
and this is what we pray:

We pray that as you hold this little shard
gently in your outstretched palm,
you will remember that Jesus, in the same way,
holds the world and brings us calm.

Yes, you may have had moments of shattering
throughout the year, or years, gone past;
and you may have felt a bit like this shard of clay–
broken from a vessel that just didn’t last.

You may even feel that this busy holiday season
leaves you feeling weary and broken;
thus we pray you have the genuine peace
of which Jesus, Himself, has spoken.

For He not only holds the world in His hands,
He lovingly cradles each human soul,
gathers-up each broken shard
and makes us completely whole.

After all, our Lord is a masterful potter;
He only needs one small, surrendered part
with which to re-create a beautiful vessel
and restore a broken heart.

Knowing this, we pray for you the very best–
a season of abundant health and cheer;
relaxation and restoration;
abundant blessing throughout the coming year.

As Jesus’ return quickly approaches,
may you find great strength in each passing day;
that you may become all He wants you to be.
This is what we pray.

                                           ©Susan Shimkovitz 2001

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Twinkle, twinkle little star –or was that a distant plane, or satellite? It’s hard to tell these days. Is it just me, or does it seem that this country’s skyscape has become as frenzied as a New York freeway?

Besides the thousands of commercial aircraft that rip through the visible sky daily, there are also a number of private planes, military craft and the occasional bundle of escaped party balloons, kites and more. It’s a wonder the birds don’t just hang out at the beach and avoid all the sky rush traffic.

Outer space is pretty cluttered these days as well. There are thousands of satellites currently in orbit, some functional and others long-since broken apart. Multiple collisions have left some of them orbiting as nothing more than innumerable fragments. Additionally, there is an unbelievable amount of “space junk” orbiting our Earth, which came from the various spacecraft that have been launched over the years. Of the many types of debris -some as small as a paint chip- NASA reports more than 21,000 large pieces, 500,000 smaller pieces, and more than 100 million miniscule pieces.¹

So far, this has not yet become a threat to public safety, but it is potentially dangerous. In fact, in September 2011, the Washington Post (KidsPost online) reported that an out of control satellite, the size of a school bus, was headed towards Earth. It broke into much smaller pieces as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere, and no one was injured, but I must admit, anything falling from the sky at more than 17,000 miles per hour is enough to unsettle one’s nerves, to say the least.

Space travel is pretty much the flip side of the coin; and it certainly is vulnerable to complication. Although humanity continues to pursue their lofty goals of space exploration, “Earth is now surrounded by so much space junk that a leading expert on the issue has declared that we are at a “tipping point” — it may soon become too dangerous to venture into low-Earth orbit (LEO) through fear of having a manned spaceship punctured or a communications satellite trashed.”²

I don’t know about you dear reader, but I have more than enough things to tend to on this planet to even contemplate space travel. As far as satellite communication goes, I think technology is great, but I already find it difficult in our hustle and bustle world to pray as much as I would like, and no communication is more important than that.

There are days when I wish I was more like one of those escaped party balloons (no hot air jokes please), my thoughts and desires drifting heavenward, my soul lighter than air because of a noticeable lack of anything to weigh me down, until I reached the throne of Glory. Of course, that wondrous experience is always available to me, but sadly I just don’t make the time as often as I should because I let other stuff get in my way.

You see, life has a way of bombarding my time with all those things that I consider important. True, many of them are vitally important, but honestly, some of those things are nothing more than space junk to my Creator. And in His great wisdom, He knows that many of those things which clutters my life will eventually, like satellites and space junk, collide to create even more “stuff” to deal with; more stuff to come between Him and me.

Alas, this world is just too busy! I am too busy.

Therefore, LORD, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:37 NIV).

¹NASA Orbital Debris Program Office. FAQ 2012. Question #3: How many orbital debris are currently in Earth orbit? http://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/faqs.html#3
²O’Niell, Ian. Discovery News. Space Junk Problem Reaches Tipping Point. September 2, 2011. http://news.discovery.com/space/could-space-junk-leave-us-stranded-on-earth-110902.html

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These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Greetings in the name of our precious LORD.

I don’t know about you, but my get-up-and-go seems to have gotten up and gone, and for the last few weeks I haven’t been able to find it. Pesky little medical conditions tend to do that to a person, but I am not the least bit discouraged. For now, I am resting my body, and more importantly, I am resting in the promises of my precious LORD. I do plan to dust my keyboard off very soon, but for today, I want to share one of my older “Polished Pearls” blogs that I feel quite applicable to my situation. Hopefully, it will bless you as well, as you face life’s challenges.

Like A Flood

“Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.”

This past weekend, the weather here was horrendous. We were hit with the whole gamut of storm threats, including tornadoes, hail and flooding. In fact the hail stone pictured –or should I say hail boulder- was one of many that pounded this region. There was quite a bit of property loss in our area, but praise the LORD, there were no serious injuries.

I thought of the second half of Isaiah 59:19: When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. However, the ancient Hebrew texts did not have commas, or paragraphs for that matter, so instead of reading:

When the enemy shall come in like a flood —the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him

the verse could just as easily read

When the enemy shall come in —like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

What’s the difference? The difference is where you place the emphasis. Dear reader, when you are bombarded with the storms of life, do you focus more on the storm, or on the one who can calm it?

It is only natural to feel completely overwhelmed at times. Undoubtedly, many of the folks here that lost their homes in the tornadoes felt that way. I’m sure they could relate to the words of King David did when he penned the following:

My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.
Psalm 55:4-8 NIV

But David didn’t stop there, allowing his situation to flood him with despair. Instead, he confidently proclaimed, “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me” (verse 16).

Dear reader, I leave you with these encouraging words from the same Psalm; may they flood you with peace during your roughest storms.

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (verse 22).

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