Peace & Perspective

Living in Peace by having the right perspective. Peace – ˈpēs Noun: Freedom from strife; a state of tranquillity or serenity. Perspective – per·spec·tive – pərˈspektiv – Noun: A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.


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The Culture of Offense

I admit it. I am easily offended. I am that girl. Am I proud of this? No. I wish I weren’t this way. I wish I didn’t take snide remarks, rude behavior, and people with no filter to heart. Truth is, I do. And, I know exactly why. It’s a combination of harsh environments, abrasive people, and incomprehensible ridiculous injustices I have experienced peppered throughout my life. And, quite honestly, people are offensive.

As I wrote in my blog, “The Culture of Me”  we are living in a time when everyone’s first and foremost concern is themselves. It’s easy to get offended simply by going out in public and interacting with people. Offense is easily triggered when kindness allows the car in front of you to effortlessly enter traffic – with no wave or thanks in return. Grace holds the door open and allows someone else to walk through first – with absolutely no acknowledgment. Self-control says nothing as distracted shoppers bump into you – while they turn back and give you a dirty look.

What happened to us as a society? I can never remember living in a time such as this. It’s not just public interactions either. It’s family, friends, and acquaintances as well. Blatant rudeness, disrespecting personal boundaries, zero filters, sarcastic or demeaning comments, and my favorite, initiating and provoking conflict. Yet, all become bewildered – and offended when the offensive behaviors are held accountable.

It won’t stop until one person steps up to be the bigger person. Either the offended person lets it go without incident or the one who has done the offending takes accountability for the offense. Rarely do we have a situation where both parties do their part in keeping the peace. Typically, it’s the offender who expects others to not be offended by their offensive behavior.

As a follower of Christ, I know we must show the love of Jesus to everyone including people who offend us. Most people who offend us don’t even know they’re offensive. They lack the social cues and missed the opportunity to learn and gain what is necessary to be a giving and selfless individual. For those who have a desire to grow, this can be remedied by discipline and a teachable spirit. However, some see no need to change as their self-centeredness is all they know and care about.

At times, I wonder if showing the love of Christ will make a difference in the lives of others. Will they even recognize my effort to overlook their offense or simply see it as permission to continue the offensive behavior because I did not oppose. I know that the hope is they will learn from it and show the same grace to others as well as recognize their own offensive behavior, however, it is not the reason why I should show the love of Christ. Showing the love of Christ to the unlovable does a work in me because it suppresses my fleshly desire to react naturally. This cannot be done without humility. It disciplines me on how to react on a supernatural level depending solely on the help of the Holy Spirit.

So, how do we navigate past another’s lack of self-awareness and insensitive offenses? By understanding that we are all dealing with some type of past hurt in our lives and a great majority of us are living with unhealed wounds. These internal wounds of offense that we all carry are sure to surface outwardly by our demonstration of offensive behavior or by our reaction to offensive behavior. Basically, we’re all a ticking time bomb of emotions ready to explode.

That’s where grace comes in as we discipline ourselves to stop our natural reaction and instead pause and do something unnatural – show love in return. Love can be as simple as practicing patience or it could be bold by overlooking the offense entirely. It sounds impossible. It even feels impossible. But with Christ, all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

Let’s start being better humans to one another. Next time someone is kind to you on the highway or holds the door open for you, stop and give them a wave, a thank you and a smile. It will make their day and I guarantee you’ll feel good about it too! Then next time, you be the one to go out of your way for someone with a selfless act of kindness and begin to plant seeds in them of what selflessness truly looks like.

Proverbs 19:11

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.


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The Power of Hate. The Power of Love.

I cannot ever remember a time I was filled with such hate that it changed the course of my entire life. That it would be the sole driving force for all my decisions and the basis on which I live my life. I cannot remember because hate has never dominated my life.

Hate can destroy, divide, and blind those consumed by it. It can be so great that it will propel our pride to a level where no one else matters anymore. It will prompt us to react with irrational logic when we don’t get our way and smugly dismiss those who do not see things like we do. It will hinder us from assessing our very own actions. It can become so prevalent in our lives that it seethes within us, takes root, rules our emotions and dictates our every decision. It can permeate so deep within us that it plummets us into a pit of darkness and blinds us to the reality of the outcome of all our choices. Hate will instigate conflict, vulgarity and impulsive fits of rage without accountability. Hate is so powerful it convinces us that our hate is good and love and peace are bad. Hate can lead us to believe that not only are we entitled to it but that it is justified at any cost. And finally, the hatred we feel is so consuming that Satan actually whispers in our ear that we are happy and at peace in our hate and we wholeheartedly believe it.

With a hate so encompassing, I would hope that I would fearfully ask, “What is the source fueling this hatred within me and where is this power coming from?” You don’t need biblical wisdom to know that hate does not come from God. God is perfect love. This only leaves one other entity from which hate is derived. This dark power is very pleased watching as hate continues to be fed, justified, and projected all while dragging its victim into a deeper, darker pit that is inescapable without God’s intervention, the intercession of prayer, and deliverance from this bondage.

John 8:44
….when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

In love, there is light, hope, and a future. Love is an open door. Love makes you grateful, thankful and empathetic. It wishes the best for others. Love promotes peace and harmony and strives for resolution and reconciliation. Love puts others first. Love shows mercy. Love requests, not demands. Love doesn’t control, it grants freedom. Love repairs relationships and unites.

In hate, there is darkness, despair, and no future. Hate is a closed door. Hate is engulfed in chaos and turmoil. Hate is bitterness and resentment. It is envious of others. Hate is selfish. Hate refuses to compromise and refuses peace. Hate controls, manipulates and dictates. Hate breaks relationships and divides.

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The power of love is so much greater and offers so much more. Love can only be attained through humility whereas hate is derived from pride. Love and peace come from all things good. God is the source of love and peace. If you are serving God, you know peace and love. You are led by the Holy Spirit through convictions on how to react, respond and behave with grace. You strive to attain unity in all circumstances. The exact opposite can be said for hate. If you are driven by hate, then you are not serving God. Hate comes from darkness. The powers of darkness too can lead your way of life. The more you feed these powers of darkness, the stronger these dark powers will be over you and your life. You feed darkness by your disobedience to God, your pride, ungodly choices, and what is in your heart. They will open the door to Satan’s power in your life.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

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Hate comes from brokenness and many times it is a reflection of the realization of the emptiness and pain in one’s life.

Love can be very difficult at times and it requires much prayer and discipline. If someone has caused you pain, love will not come naturally from our flesh. Love is driven by the Holy Spirit within you and can only be obtained through prayer. Hate is very easy. Hate requires nothing but our selfish, fleshly desire to serve ourselves.

1 Peter 4:8
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

How do you love someone who has caused great pain? This cannot and will not be achieved on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us to forgiveness. We must remember that God grants mercy to the undeserving, and that would be you and me. Though difficult, we must do the same.

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

James 2:13
Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

We all have a choice between being loving or hateful. It all depends on what force we allow to rule our life…goodness or evil. It’s our free will to choose, but all our choices come with consequences, either here on earth or eternally. I choose goodness and I choose God. This is not accomplished through my own efforts, because if it was, I’d fail miserably. It is only attainable through God’s grace and mercy which He has bestowed upon me so that I may bestow it upon others. I am undeservingly forgiven every day, through a great price that Jesus paid for me…and for you. I must make an effort, with His help, to do the same.

The Bible. It’s filled with wisdom and keeps me in line. If you are asking yourself, where do I begin in reading the Bible? Proverbs and Psalms are filled with wisdom and guidance on how we should live our lives. If you’re seeking wisdom, you will find it. Once you are finished with those, you will have a thirst for more; ask God to lead you.


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Writer’s Block, Already? I wanted to write about Peace.

I was all geared up to write an amazing blog on peace. I had a vision of what it was going to look and sound like. I typed away, I deleted. I typed again, I deleted. I exited out and saved it for later. I began again, I deleted. I had nothing. I was completely blank. That is very unlike me. I am never at a loss for words – ever.

When I began this blog, thoughts flowed through me at such an incredible pace, I was thankful remembering that I was once clocked at typing 98 wpm so I knew my fingers were able to keep up with my mind. I created lists that contained lists within them of all the things I wanted to share my perspective on. It was an explosion of information and thoughts.

But not recently. I had nothing. I was all tapped out. And I know exactly why. My mind is not and has not been at peace due to some outside influences which have been sent to distract me. I haven’t been in the His word, I am not seeking His wisdom and my head has been filled with Satan’s lies and confusion. Satan knows my greatest goal is raising Godly children, having a Godly marriage, and living a life in obedience to God’s word. He knows that I know that if I do these things, God will provide all my blessings, including true peace. He’s thrown many things at us in the past 10 years and now he’s using yet another tactic to tear our family apart in the hopes we will just give up and give in to his dark kingdom.

Corinthians 14:33

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

John 8:44

….when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

A great friend of mine always told me that when she gave me advice, it didn’t come from her but from the Holy Spirit. I was so thankful to have her give me truth in love and turn my thinking around. I admired her for giving credit to the Holy Spirit for her anointed words and they helped changed my life during some very difficult times. She was truly sent by God for my healing. As I’ve grown closer to God, surrendered to His will, meditated and sought wisdom from His word, I have also felt this anointing, mostly when speaking to my family or my closest friends. I don’t feel as comfortable sharing such deep and intimate wisdom with others who may not be ready to receive nor willing. But I feel that it is my role as a mother and wife to feed my family wisdom through God’s word. Many times, I stop and realize that I am being led by God with my words and am in awe of the wisdom that comes out of my mouth. This is not a prideful moment of me knowing it all, but it is a revelation of God guiding me with His wisdom. This wisdom that flows through me has proven to be real and true resulting in my children walking in truth and our family and my marriage remaining solid and whole despite everything sent to tear it apart.

Spiritual warfare is real and has been attacking our family for nearly 10+ years. It is an unseen entity that tries to infiltrate a happy home, filled with love, unity, and righteousness and tries to destroy it through disease, turmoil, emotional pain, and people. I have seen it happen to my family and thankfully, we are a strong, convicted family and, by the grace of God, we continue to survive Satan’s attacks. If we didn’t live in obedience and surrender to Him, this wouldn’t be the case. I’ve watched it destroy families who are not as solid in their convictions and their obedience to God and they are left with nothing but devastation.

If we let it, it can and it will consume us too. We are never to be arrogant enough to think it can’t happen to us. Therefore, we must stand firm in our obedience to God. We must be humble to know that we all can fail but we must resist the temptation of Satan’s suggestions to participate in anything that is not of God. We know better. Satan knows he cannot get to my children, my marriage, and my family, so he is doing everything he can and will use the spiritually weak to attack the spiritually strong on a continual basis. They are simply pawns in Satan’s game and are unaware of the stronghold he has over them and the deception they are under.  All we can do is pray for their deliverance and only God can do that.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you

I had written all these wonderful adjectives describing peace: serenity, tranquility, contentment, etc. in my first attempt to write a blog on peace. While I completely agree that those adjectives contribute to my definition of what true peace is, they are only attainable under normal circumstances. I must learn to submit and surrender to God and understand that, at times, peace is the acceptance of an outcome you did not desire in a difficult situation. 

This began as a blog on writers block. I guess I just wrote a blog on peace….without me even knowing it. Thank you, Holy Spirit.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Peace!