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Faith family God good Hope Jesus joy Life retirement

The Joy of the Lord is Your STRENGTH – Tuesdays are for Thinking #3

My Sugar Boogas!!

Peach says:

Some thoughts. We lost my Dad on 1 January of this year. It hits me in sharp moments, out of the blue. Like a sneak attack. 💔

There’s been lots of joy this year as well. Batman’s first year of retirement! 🥰❤️🎉🎉👏🏻👏🏻 First full year of SEVEN grandchildren!! 😍🤗 And more good and more hard, and unexpected things besides.

You know, life is like that. It’s not all one thing, right? It’s not just one emotion. it’s processes and pain, and joy and excitement, hope and forgiveness.

I’ve seen in those I love, and experienced myself, grief like I never expected. I’ve seen and experienced wonderful moments of love, and joy, faith and hope right in the middle of it all. Thank God for the WONDER and the GOOD right in the middle of it all, even in the pain.

God is SO faithful, and I do not say that lightly. He really, truly is. The good thing about being in your 50s and having been walking with Jesus for almost 29 years is you learn a lot, hopefully! (though I had a L-O-N-G way to go, and STILL do have a long way to go! 😂😂). But, you do, you learn that nothing but Jesus is permanent. Everything else is learning and moving and loving and living and dying and beginning, and ending and enduring and outlasting, and forgiving and making new ways, it’s a LOT of moving pieces. And the Lord is with us through it all. Making us able. Helping us do the right thing. To have His heart. To believe in and hope for the best, once more again. To be flexible. To give, because it’s right. To surrender. To take that first step or maybe make that first move. To get up and go again. To savor the good today, and shake off the dust from the bad yesterday. And if today is bad, you can shake it off, too, and tomorrow, walk in the new. Jesus has already gone ahead of You, and He has provision for you there! And He’s right here with you in the now, to help you in the going.

We don’t wait to be happy, (and yes, I agree, happiness and joy are different, but that’s for another post!) we choose the happy on the way and in the process, or else we will never be happy. Sometimes we forget this, and that’s ok, as long as we stick with Jesus and have a few Godly, Jesus loving people around us, to just remind us by how they live, that we get to choose. Happy is possible. On the way.

And all of that is to say today I thought about Nehemiah 8:10 “…the Joy of the Lord is your Strength”, and Y’all it’s no joke. I wanted to boil it down for you, but of course I couldn’t quite get there. (It’s SO BIG, Y’all!! 🤗) Trust me, this IS the short version! 😂 But, the full verse 10 is this —> “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: NEITHER BE YE SORRY; for the JOY of the Lord IS YOUR STRENGTH.”

Really you need verses 9-11 to really appreciate it…but His joy, is our STRENGTH…joy is that everlasting, enduring quality we are able to have through our confidence in Him, His character, His presence, His love for us, in spite of temporary conditions, (and everything on this side of Heaven is temporary).

The love of a father and son is a joy to behold!

He makes us able to choose joy, and that will give us great strength, like a fortress for us, that makes us untouchable, where it really counts, in our spirit.

To ‘be not sorry’, was the priests urging the people not to grieve so much that they wore grooves into their face, they had grieved, and that was good and necessary, but don’t stay there. Choose to celebrate, to eat the best, drink the sweet, send good things to those who weren’t established and therefore didn’t have the same wherewithal, because ‘this day is holy to the Lord.’

And so the people did. Because they understood they were God’s people and He loved them, and He had a Good way for them to live. And now that they knew this, (they had just learned how badly they had broken God’s laws their entire lives) they would now be learning how to live a NEW way, (well, new to them), walking with Him. And that was something to celebrate! Not grieve for the wrong they had done, so much so that they couldn’t enjoy the newness of life WITH Him.

We sometimes have to grieve, then we let it go. Then we celebrate. The life that’s still here. That’s new every day. All the time. A gift. And share. Share with those that aren’t established in this good news. The JOY of the Lord is your STRENGTH.

I think I’d like us to talk about the difference between happiness and joy in a future exploration! Percolating!

We really appreciate y’all coming by to visit! We always hope to have something entertaining, thought provoking, or uplifting for you here!

Peace and love, Y’all! Peace and love!

Peach

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counselor Holy Spirit independent thinker Jesus thoughts Truth waylon jennings

Follow the Crowd? Think for Yourself? Tuesdays are for Thinking #2

Peach says:

Waylon Jennings

Hey, Everybody!

My parents gave me an old timey (even at that time in the 70s) portable 8 track player and a Waylon Jennings and a John Denver’s Greatest Hits 8 track tape, and man, I wore those tapes OUT! Their music spoke to different parts of me, and to be honest the John Denver music was and is still the the biggest part of me, but Wayon and his music was and is still, though a smaller, strong part of me.

I knew from what my parents told me about him that he definitely went his own way, and that really spoke to me. It has gotten me in trouble at times through the years, but it also has saved me through the years, and helped me be open to the Lord in ways that crowd follower type people would completely miss out on.

To this day I distrust trends and group think. I like to know why and how and all that. Teach your kids to be strong, independent thinkers, individuals that don’t need to check with the crowd to see what their opinion is. They are hard to parent in the short run, but they will be so much better equipped for life.

“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” — John 14:1418, KJV.

All independent thinkers do not necessarily end up following Christ, but I venture to say that all followers of Christ end up being independent thinkers!

Have a blessed week, Y’all, and know that the Lord welcomes your questions! He loves your seeking and curiosity! And He loves you!

Love and Peace, Y’all! Love and Peace!

Peach

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choices evil exploited Faith focus Jesus life styles peace

See That Ye Be Not Troubled

I love the rain on the flowers!!

Peach here:

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” — Matthew 24:6-8 KJV

I recently wrote that nowadays the world seems on fire and I just can’t watch it burn. I believe in being informed. But, it’s also important not to be misinformed and it’s also important not to fall in the trap of getting emotionally worked up and either angry, fixated or hopeless. I mean that’s what the donkey and the elephant want. It’s what the ‘news’ media and social media want. But, it’s not what I want. It’s not what Jesus wants for us either.

I was raised to pay close attention to society, religion and politics. For many good reasons. however, that was long before the 24/7 instant news-tainment was a thing, much less a hand held device to keep it coming constantly, right?! I have to turn my phone face down at night or the flashing ‘urgent’ notifications wake us up at night! Lol.

I started pulling back from the news November 2018. But, at the turn of this year I felt the Lord encourage me to keep my eyes on Him, so that I don’t get distracted from what’s most important. For me, too much news crowds out what, for me, is most important to my assignment. (I believe we all have assignments, more on this another day!)

I stay informed. But, I keep it short. And I move on. The verse He put on my heart, I come back to over and over, it’s a commonly quoted verse on social media, because it’s bulletproof! — “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” — Isaiah 26:3. Says it all for me. And it’s so true!

I particularly like in the Matthew 24 verse above, that He tells us ‘See that ye be not troubled’. It means we have a choice in whether we get upset or not. By His grace we can relearn how to respond to the news. I have to try to not be shoved, mentally, into the quick reaction the media is hoping for, (and the political parties as well). I’m learning response is measured and I control it. Reaction is volatile and it controls me. That’s not going to work. It’s not what we are made for. Self control is my favorite fruit of the spirit. Now, I’ve come a long way in this regard, but of course, I still have far to go! It’s ok though! I’m learning and the Holy Spirit is a great teacher.

Here’s another fool proof verse for keeping our focus so that we are most effective at being salt and light wherever we are and whatever we do! — “ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on these things.” — Philippians 4:8

For me, my goal is to not dull my shine, not waste my salt. Train my mind to respond, mentally to what I learn, pray and move on, not react and get emotionally worked up, which leads to (in my case) unhelpful attitudes, and words. It’s tricky. Because I do believe there’s a lot of evil in this world. And evil can cause a reaction for obvious reasons. But, in the darkness light shines the brightest! We have His light if He lives in our hearts, so I’m going to respond. In faith. And move on.

I’m learning. Like Robert Frost said ‘And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.’

This might be the start (or might not, we will see!) of a Tuesdays are for Thinking series!

I hope your day is filled with His peace and thoughts of virtuous, lovely and ‘good report’ things!

Love, Peach

Categories
fun Jesus joy Love memories Music

‘Let Your Soul Shine’

Peach here:

Batman and I decompress with music, I mean we just do!!

We decided ‘round here there will be Music Mondays!

As our introduction, we give you The Allman Brothers and ‘Soulshine’. 😍🥰😍

To me it speaks of letting the best in us, (which for me is Jesus! His LIGHT and His LOVE sparkling through us).

We have to fill our tanks up on the good days, right? Because we don’t always know when the darkness will hit, and we don’t want to be without the ability for our ‘soulshine’ to be able to help see the way to a brighter day!

Gonna share the lyrics here:

“Soulshine
When you cant find the light
That guides you through a cloudy day
When the stars aint shinin bright
And you feel like you’ve lost your way
When the candle lights of home
Burn so very far away
Well you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
He used to say soul shine
Its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Hey now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day
I grew up thinkin that I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
But life can take the strongest man
And make him feel so alone
Now and then I feel a cold wind
Blowin through my achin bones
I think back to what my daddy said
He said Boy, in the darkness before the dawn
Let your soul shine
Its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day
Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this
And when your world seems cold
You got to let your spirit take control
Let your soul shine
Its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Lord, now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day
Oh, its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people dont mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day”

Hope you enjoy this little bit of Music Monday!!

God bless!

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beauty bible birthday Delight Faith Humility Jesus Life Purpose sail strength Surrender teaching

Let the Wind Fill Your Sails

No Way to Go

Peach here:

Hope this post finds you doing fine! Not exactly sure how this will turn out! Just some thoughts that have been brewing. We shall see how it goes!

4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”Psalm 37:4, KJV

Recently-ish, as I was driving to work, the thought came to me that the word ‘SURRENDER’ has a bad rap. We misunderstand it in the context of the need for it in our relationship with the Lord.

It is thought of in a negative sense, from a worldly point of view. Like losing, giving up, missing out, not being seen or heard.

But, The Holy Spirit was in the middle of teaching me a lesson. That Surrender in the Kingdom of God, leads to all kinds of GOOD things.

To surrender to God, means to yield to Him. To make ourselves available for Him, a vessel fit for His for use. Like a large, old time sailing ship, with the sails unfurled and ready to be filled with the wind to propel the ship towards its destination.

Sails yielded to the sea breeze. Ready for a journey!

In April 2015 I was diagnosed was Diabetes. It was a tremendous shock. Early on, a verse that has been important to me as I navigate this was “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9.

It was never a verse I got excited about. Just being honest. But, over these years since, I have pondered and turned and thought about it in various applications, and am continuing to learn from it. One of the best parts is the fact that He is not looking for our strengths, or what we can do for Him, or what we can bring Him. In fact, our strengths, while a blessing and definitely a gift, can also be a place we tend to forget about Him. Because much like a child, ‘I do it my own self’ sort of mentality creeps in on us. We don’t even realize it.

But, when we know our weak spots, we are more likely to make room for Him, His Holy Spirit, His strength, His way of doing things!

Surrender isn’t giving up. It’s the humility of being yielded. Fully available for our Lord’s use. In other words, it’s a power move! It’s us making ourselves available for the strength and power of God to work in and through us, — “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” — Isaiah 40:29.

One of my (many) all time favorites, has blessed me over and over and over again, is listed above, Psalm 37:4, — “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”, and it’s a great illustration of this principle of surrender, of yieldedness — at work in our relationship with our Lord. To ‘delight’ in Him, as used there, means to be soft to Him, pliable to Him, and as we do this, we are then in a position to be entrusted with the most precious, and secret desires of our hearts, the too sensitive, too precious to even speak to another, because they are so unlikely in their exquisite goodness, those desires of our hearts! It’s because in that instance, our hearts have begun to beat with His. And we are in agreement for His Ephesians 3:20 goodness in our lives!!

Batman took this of our rain soaked Hawaiian Hibiscus

This Hawaiian Hibiscus pictured above is tender, fragile, and not strong at all. It is also brilliant! Gorgeous! And so pleasing to the eye!

If it was strong and sturdy and rigid…it would not be much of a flower! But, as it is, I can’t look at it without smiling and feeling joy! That is what it is here for! It is fulfilling its purpose!

If that sail boat above, wanted stronger, more sturdy and inflexible ‘sails’, it would not be effective at letting the wind fills its sails, and then going where the wind blows! It’s better to have yielded sails, able to be FILLED with the sea breeze!

Let the weak say “I am strong!”

Lord, here I am! Use me! I want to be yielded to You! Gladly will I boast in m weakness, as Paul said, for then You can be strong in me!

Peace and love, y’all! Peace and love!

Categories
Easter Faith forgiveness God grace Hope Jesus Love

Day 3 He is Risen

Matthew 28: 1 – 6

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

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Faith Father God grace Jesus Word

Covenant

“But WITH THEE WILL I ESTABLISH MY COVENANT; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” — Genesis 6:18

Peach says:

Do you remember the great financial crisis of 2008? It was a humdinger. There are those who say something even more substantial is approaching. But, that’s not my wheelhouse.

If you recall, a large factor was the housing bubble collapsing. But, it wasn’t that people weren’t buying homes. People were getting mortgages and then a great number couldn’t or wouldn’t pay. So much so, that the banks were short on funds. Investment firms were short on funds. This made a great cascade effect.

Individuals, banks, investment firms, pension funds, cities, businesses — many, many, many could no longer keep their word. Because too many had promised too freely for too long and things went sideways.

As I listened to the news back then (which I often did then, but no longer do), I was reminded that our society no longer understands giving and keeping your word, and have no comprehension whatsoever of covenant at all. It’s not a thing discussed or talked about, or (with great exception) modeled.

It got me started thinking, how can we raise up a people who know they have a covenant making and keeping God, who has made a pledge to them, if they are willing to be in relationship with Him, UNLESS they learn this term, unless their mind becomes aware of the sacred significance of giving your word? And keeping it.

“Now THEREFORE, OUR GOD, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, WHO KEEPEST COVENANT and MERCY, LET NOT ALL THE TROUBLE SEEM LITTLE BEFORE THEE, THAT HATH COME UPON US, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.

Howbeit THOU ART JUST IN ALL THAT IS BROUGHT UPON US; for THOU HAVE DONE RIGHT, but WE HAVE DONE WICKEDLY:

NEITHER HAVE OUR KINGS, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, KEPT THY LAW, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.

For THEY HAVE NOT SERVED THEE IN THEIR KINGDOM, and IN THY GREAT GOODNESS THAT THOU GAVEST THEM, and IN THE LARGE AND FAT LAND WHICH YOU GAVEST before them, NEITHER TURNED THEY FROM THEIR WICKED WORKS.

BEHOLD, WE ARE SERVANTS THIS DAY and FOR THE LAND that THOU GAVEST UNTO OUR FATHERS to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, BEHOLD, WE ARE SERVANTS IN IT:

And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us BECAUSE OF OUR SINS: also THEY HAVE DOMINION OVER OUR BODIES, AND over OUR CATTLE AT THEIR PLEASURE, AND WE ARE IN GREAT DISTRESS.

And BECAUSE OF ALL THIS WE MAKE A SURE COVENANT, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.

Nehemiah 9:32-38.

Here a remnant of the Jewish people have gathered to rebuild their city, rebuild the wall, come back to the covenant their God had cut with them through Abraham and reiterated through Moses and through David. They judged Him faithful and righteous and pled mercy that they may live in freedom and in righteous covenant with Him as intended, once again.

Covenant: a formal, solemn, and binding agreement: a written agreement or promise under seal, between two or more parties, under seal, especially for the performance of some action. A pledge: to make a covenant by promise.

In the Biblical times a pledge would be marked by blood, or by salt, quite frequently.

The Bible mentions covenant 280 times.

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart… In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. HE THAT SWEARETH TO HIS OWN HURT, AND CHANGETH NOT….He that doeth these things SHALL NEVER BE MOVED.Psalm 15:1-2,4,5b

We are made in the image of God. He is a sacred promise/pledge maker and keeper. Jesus taught the wisdom of counting the costs before undertaking an endeavor. Don’t do things lightly. Be aware. Be all in. Trust Him for your weaknesses in order to see it through.

“But THOU SHALT REMEMBER THE LORD THY GOD: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH HIS COVENANT WHICH HE SWARE UNTO THY FATHERS, as it is this day.” — Deuteronomy 8:18

Batman is super affirming of me and those he is close to. Not quick to criticize. It has always been that way for us in our relationship. So, on the rare occasions he speaks a criticism, a correction, it really carries weight and gets my full attention.

In the early days of our marriage he pointed out that I could be quick to speak good things I wanted to do, but maybe not so quick to follow through. Those were not his words, but the essence of it. But, it was about 32 years ago, and I still remember where we were. I, right there in that moment, mentally took stock and KNEW he was speaking the truth. And I also KNEW, that I wanted to permanently do better. From that point on, I have made a focused effort to take stock, make a mental and/or heart assessment before making my commitment.

Yes, if we will be teachable, keep a listening heart, God will speak to us through our loved ones, especially our spouses.

It has served me well, though the failures, the misses hurt, I press on. Thank God for grace and for renewal and for training us, bit, by bit!

“If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.” —

Hebrews 8 (especially verses 6-12) is a chapter that I strongly urge you to read, as it explains how the first covenant was for a time and season, but was always intended to be replaced by a new and even better covenant. That’s how the Lord works, everything improves, ‘(the path of the just is as the shining sun, shining more and more unto the perfect day.’ Proverbs 4.)

An excerpt from Hebrews 8: “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” Hebrews 8:6-7

He’s a covenant keeping God! He’s our Father and He has made us for a purpose and has good plans for us. He has indeed counted the cost. He’s all in, in His good plans and purposes for us. We are made in His image, and I just stopped by to say we will not be as fulfilled as we long to be until we discover the joy of functioning as made. To be people of our word, who are careful to swear to our own hurt. Be all in. Pray. Seek (ask Him) daily for His wisdom. Then go fulfill those words. He grows us in our vision, our patience, our faith, our endurance, our generosity, our persistence, our heart…He does a work in us as we partner with Him to be a people of our word, because He is a God of His word. He is trustworthy, we are His children, His sons and daughters, and He helps us fulfill our word.

If we want our society, or even our own lives to be better, we must do the work, BY FAITH, THROUGH GRACE, to be and do better.

I think being a people of our word is a great place to start.

“NOW THE GOD OF PEACE, THAT BROUGHT AGAIN FROM THE DEAD OUR LORD JESUS, THAT GREAT SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP, THROUGH THE BLOOD OF EVERLASTING COVENANT, MAKE YOU PERFECT (complete) IN EVERY GOOD WORK TO DO HIS WILL, WORKING IN YOU THAT WHICH IS WELLPLEASING IN HIS SIGHT, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” — Hebrews 13:20-21

Thank you so much for coming along in this ramble of ponderings with me! Sometimes we just need to talk it out to process, right?

Love and faith, Y’all! Love and faith!!💛