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 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.

But, I have witnessed how hate can destroy, divide, and blind those consumed by it.

I cannot imagine a hate so great that it would propel my pride to a level where no one else matters anymore but myself. A hate that demonstrates how I should react when I don’t get my way and/or how I should respond to those who do not see things like I do. A hate that hinders me from assessing my very own actions. That it would be so prevalent that it would seethe within me, take root, rule my emotions and dictate my every decision. A hate so deep that it would plummet me into a pit of darkness and blind me to the reality of the outcome of all my choices. A hate that instigates conflict, vulgarity and impulsive fits of rage without accountability. A hate so powerful it convinces me that my hate is good and love and peace are bad. That my hate would lead me to believe that not only am I entitled to it but that it is justified at any cost. And finally, that my hate is so consuming that Satan actually whispers in my ear that I am happy and at peace in my hate and I wholeheartedly believe it.

With a hate so encompassing, I would hope that I would fearfully ask, “Who 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 it’s 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. The exact opposite can be said for hate. If you are serving Satan, hate is all you know. 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 the dark power will be over you. You feed darkness by your disobedience to God, your pride, ungodly choices and/or lifestyle, and what is in your heart. These are just a few things that open the door to Satan’s power in your life. And yes, you can and will open a door to Satan into your life by your choices. The same with God…you can receive his abundant blessings if you choose to follow Him and be obedient to His Word. It’s that simple.

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

Hate comes from brokenness and many times it is a reflection of the realization of the emptiness and pain in one’s life. It helps justify denial. Healthy people strive for resolution and have no room for hate in their lives. Hateful people want to remain where they are. Hating someone is never a healthy result of a conflict. Communication, resolution, and ultimately true peace should be the goal.

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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 only through prayer. Hate is very easy. Hate requires nothing but our selfish, fleshly desire to serve ourselves and driven by the powers of darkness.

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.

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 and God will lead you.

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. No one will ever have such power over me as to make me disobey and turn my back on the God of my many blessings. 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.