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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An Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

January 1st. It doesn’t matter what year it is. This is the day we are all prompted to make our New Year’s Resolutions. A cognizant awareness along with a list of criteria that will better ourselves in the new year.

Resolutions are done with great and determined intentions. At the time we create them, we are absolutely 100% sure that, “This is the year I’m going to stick to them!” That’s good. That’s tenacity. It’s certainly better than the alternative of giving up before we even started. It shows we are desiring growth in whatever area we feel we need to improve. It also shows our humility in admitting that we are always in need of improvement. Resolutions signify new beginnings and perhaps making some necessary changes in your life all in the spirit of improving ourselves!

Flip the calendar several pages. It’s March. That excited feeling of accomplishing great things on January 1st has been forgotten. We’ve returned to the same habitual lifestyle that we had all intentions of changing and improving. Our resolutions turned into failed attempts, lack of willpower, and laziness. We are deflated and perhaps even feel like a failure.

That is why I no longer make resolutions. I don’t need a calendar or a special day to motivate me to better myself. Here’s the great thing. We have 365 days each and every year to do this. Yes, it’s true! We can better ourselves every single day. And, if we fail one day, the next day is filled with just as much promise to try again. We don’t have to wait an entire year to commit to bettering ourselves. There is no holiday needed and no milestone to wait for. Simply, commit to live a life of intention every single day.

These intentions are different for everyone. Some may intend to commit to being more thoughtful, kind, or selfless. While others are striving to lose weight, eat healthier, or tackle their finances more responsibly.  Regardless of your personal intention, find something that you are in need of improving and focus on it every day.

So, if you are going to make a New Year’s Resolution this year, make only one. Strive to live intentionally every day of your life and forgive yourself if you fall short of your expectations because tomorrow is always a new day!

Happy New Year – Happy New You!


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The Repercussions of Denial and How to be Free From it

Denial will:

  • Allow you to continue to stay in a pit of darkness indefinitely.
  • Rob you of your peace.
  • Promote a delusional way of thinking where you believe your own lies and justify unjustifiable situations.
  • Eventually cause you to self-destruct.

Denial will not:

  • Bring resolution to any problem.
  • Change the facts of a situation.
  • Improve your life in any way.

Are you using denial as a coping mechanism? Denial falsely allows you to believe that if you don’t accept and deal with an unpleasant or painful situation, you don’t have to accept the truth and reality of it and therefore, it doesn’t exist. You blindly go about your life pretending everything is okay when it’s not masking your pain with the facade of joy and peace. This results in living a life of deception and will catch up with you as deception opens the door to more pain and difficulty to take root in your life.

By not facing truth and reality, the only thing you are accomplishing is holding yourself prisoner in your very own jail. You alone hold the key to escape out of your prison.

Soon you will see that avoiding whatever it is you don’t want to accept and burying it further and further inside you will only manifest into dysfunction in all other areas of your life. The more you prolong acceptance, the more detrimental denial is in your own life.

It will manifest into your mental state, your physical state, your relationships, your marriage, your home, your family and your overall peace.

Why not consider taking a new approach? There is a way out. Simply accept what is and face it head on!

Easier said than done, I agree. But once you begin by taking the very first step toward acknowledging that the denial must end and that you must now learn to cope with what placed you there to begin with, you are on your way to freedom! My advice comes from personal experiences resulting in many successful final outcomes motivating me to share it with you.

How? Here are a few easy and doable steps to freedom:

  1. You cannot do anything to improve your circumstances if you act in pride. Refusing help, guidance, truth, and reality will only keep you right where you are forever. Give yourself ample time to process the difficult situation, but do not stay there! As you begin to drop your pride, you will find that you are now able to humbly ask for help. As you do this, the main focus should be your freedom and revelation that the weight of the issue on your shoulders that you have been carrying for way too long will now be exchanged with a healthier way of coping with the problem. It won’t change the situation you have to deal with it, but it will drastically improve your quality of life as you navigate and accept the truth and reality of what you’ve been denying in a more objective and healthy manner. It will make a huge difference.

Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.

  1. Seek wisdom. It’s amazing what we learn when we seek and thirst for wisdom and are ready to grow and be tested. The scales on our eyes are peeled away and light appears in the form of truth and understanding. Solicit advice from those who tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear – those are the people who truly care about your well-being. Those that speak with such boldness do it with your very best interest at heart, otherwise, they would not put themselves in such a vulnerable position of the possibility of your rejection and anger. This is a sign of true friendship – hold onto it dearly. It means they love you and want what’s best for you at any cost. This is where your humility will be tested. Do you accept the advice or do you resist? If you’ve checked your pride before soliciting advice, you’ll be sure to learn, consider new approaches, see things in a different light and be on your way to better understanding and dealing with your difficult situation. You’ll also be able to remove all emotional pain associated with it and cope merely based on facts and solutions and hit it head on. This is the difference between being a prisoner and being free.

Proverbs 27:5-6  – Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 4:6-7  6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

  1. Now that you have dropped your pride and searched for wisdom, you are on your way to freedom. Be assured that God has recognized your obedience thus far and is orchestrating all things to work out for your good as He works behind the scenes to send blessings your way. As you pray, remember to come boldly yet humbly before Him and ask Him to shield you with his protection, make a way where there seems no way, and guide you on the path that is His will for you as you allow Him to use you as His vessel in whatever it is He wants to accomplish through you in your trial.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

  1. Last but not least, wait for His timing. This is where He does a work in you and refines you like silver. He works on your patience, your trust, your faith, and your self-control. You cannot rush His timing. The level of your faith, trust and obedience will show God the true condition of your heart and whether or not you are ready to be promoted and blessed. Do not give up if you do not see instant results. The longer your situation lingers, the more you have to learn. Resolution only comes when God sees you have learned all the lessons He wanted to teach you. A willing and submissive heart will learn these lessons much quicker than those who stubbornly and defiantly give up before the lesson is learned. A failed lesson will only result in further testing.

Isaiah 40:31 – But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Zechariah 13:9 – And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.

Be blessed as you accept what is and live in freedom!


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Rejected Reconciliation – What next?

This is a post that I’ve been looking to find somewhere else. I’ve been searching for answers to this burning question I’ve had for years: What if you know you’ve done everything in your power to resolve a conflict and still receive brutal rejection from a bully who wants to control even the outcome of a reconciliation?

I’ve sat through countless sermons on forgiveness and reconciliation. I’ve read God’s Word and am quite knowledgeable about His instructions on the matter. I honestly know it like the back of my hand. I fully understand it yet throughout each teaching I’ve heard, I always sit there on the edge of my seat, waiting for the part that instructs you on what to do when you’ve done all those things and are still up against a brick wall with someone.

That is the sermon I want to hear. That is the blog I want to read. That is the information I am searching for. I want to hear it from someone else. I want to read it from another perspective.

I have my thoughts on what to do in this scenario and since I can’t find anything on this topic, I’m going to go ahead answer my own question.

So, I am a bible believing Christian. I believe we are to be obedient to God’s Word in everything. I do my best to try to follow his Word. I am a Christian. That doesn’t translate to I am perfect. At least not for me. Some Christians, however, may feel this way, thus giving the rest of us a bad reputation.

I’ve learned a lot throughout my journeys. I was not always in tune with everything in God’s Word, but I always had deep solid convictions which always kept me on the right path. I’ve made mistakes but always came back to what I knew to be true about being obedient to God.

So, back to my question. What happens when you’ve done everything biblically correct? You’ve extended grace and mercy in such a way that you consciously put your own painful feelings aside from someone who has hurt you so deeply it has left a permanent scar on your brain because you know deep down inside that you are to do what is right in God’s eyes – not your own eyes. Pushing through your damaged psyche at the works of someone else’s hands and yet finding the grace to still reach out and attempt to wipe the slate clean in the spirit of peace and you are still met with a brand new fueled retaliation, an even more controlling and condescending tone from a verbally abusive bully.

Here’s my answer. It’s not me, it’s them. Plain and simple. I’ve wracked my brain over and over again trying to find answers as to why and how and everything in between. It’s very very simple. It was never about me.

Someone who refuses true peace and resolution from a humble and open heart clearly has some deep rooted issues of their own and it is no reflection on me. Someone who would rather defiantly hold their ground and refuses to compromise in any way as a demonstration of power shows how weak one really is. One who has a philosophy of “my way or no way” and equates peace to I rather be alone than abide by your stupid rules of mutual respect and kindness ends up on an island and a very lonely life. When allowed, bitterness will consume you and drive your reckless decisions and lead you to self-destruction.

Pride goes before a fall my friends and I am witnessing it before my very eyes. While it’s quite sad watching as someone continually makes poor decisions with a rebellious spirit of “I’ll do what I want!” it is so necessary and important to remove yourself as part of the equation because it has nothing to do with you. Stop taking other people’s poor behavior personally. You are not the issue. You never were. EVER!

With each ugly encounter I endured, I began to see more and more that it was never about me. With each act of humility I demonstrated toward peace that was brutally rejected, I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. With each act of kindness I attempted from my heart that was brutally dismissed and mocked, the light became brighter and brighter.

If I fought, acted in the same manner, stooped to the hellish level of ugly I had been provoked to do, I would never know the depth of the issue that I had been dragged into. I would be part of the problem. But I never was, because I never stooped that low.

It took my acts of utmost humility for me to understand exactly what I was dealing with all along. Had I not had such humility in my efforts, I may have never understood the complexity of the darkness I was dealing with.

MAN! That statement above is so powerful and as I typed, it just effortlessly flowed out of me, it is a revelation of which I am so incredibly in awe of! It’s the answer to all my questions!

The reason I know this for sure is because I see the polarizing differences in our lives. My life is filled with blessing galore. Outside of a nasty conflict that we never wanted, tried to avoid and resolve for four years and never have been involved in anything even resembling the darkness we encountered with someone who has a continual flow of chaos and turmoil in their life, we are blessed with a very stable, peaceful life. We are not only blessed in the worldly realm but spiritually as well, which is most important. My family, children, and marriage all have God’s hands in them and that alone is proof that humility and obedience get rewarded.

It took me a long time to get here and I’m finally here. Healing. Not healed, because it’s a process but I’m on my way with a renewed mind.

Now, I want to take the lessons I learned and I want to desperately help all of you out there who have been wounded by mean-spirited people or by narcissistic sociopaths, and tell you it was never about you. Don’t allow anyone to change who you are because they have bitterness and hate in their heart. Don’t allow anyone to control, demean, belittle, verbally abuse and bully you – stand up and have a voice even if you are standing alone.

It is possible to be graceful and merciful and obedient to God while still standing up and demanding respect for yourself. Never stoop to a level that is beneath you. That’s on them, not you. God will vindicate the righteous – those that are obedient to his instructions.

Humility and obedience will get rewarded. Have patience for it to be revealed in your life as you continue to live in this manner. Any small kind act that is difficult for you to do toward someone who is not deserving is an act of humility and God will see it. You will be rewarded for it if you have a heart for doing what is right and not doing what you want and feel.

I am living proof of one who has walked in obedience when it was difficult and am seeing God’s blessing throughout my life. His promises are real and true!

Author’s Request: I’d really like to get more traffic on this blog and really need your assistance. If you find this blog to be helpful and insightful, please consider sharing it to your Facebook/Twitter, or other social media. If any of you are members of Facebook pages that deal with this topic, please post a link to this blog so I can reach more people. Thank you in advance for helping me attempt to help others who have been or are going through painful times in their lives.

Psalm 135:14
For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 29:23
One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

James 4:6
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.