Peace and Quiet

The crumpled wrapping paper has been tossed, the twinkling lights have dimmed. No more Christmas songs on the radio. What do we do now, after such a season of light and joy? Just get back into our old routine?
I’d like to suggest another way.
We just celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace. So my goal for the New Year is to trust the Lord more and be filled with His peace. This peace is steady and unending, though we must slow down to receive it.
We all need some peace and quiet.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15 is especially relevant for all of us right now. Let your heart be ruled and guided by the peace of Christ. We as Christians should be known for being peaceful and kind. And don’t forget the last part! Being thankful for all the blessings you have now, and the rest of the year will give you a positive outlook and contentment on a daily basis.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Can we fully understand how the peace of God works? No, but we can rest assured that His peace is always available, and will guard our hearts and minds. Don’t be ruled by to-do lists, stressful situations, work, or disappointments. Pray that the Lord would fill you with His peace, and rest in the comfort of knowing God’s love for you never fails.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Bible verses found at Biblegateway.com
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Come to Me and Rest

Sometimes you just want to raise that white flag. You have tried to have a heart of love and peace, but the situation you’re facing never seems to change.

Matthew 11:28 NIV

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

We all reach a point of exhaustion. We are weary from trekking on and on, up the steep mountain passes. The view never clears up, the clouds continue to loom overhead.

So take time to rest. Talk to the One who created your heart and knows you better than anyone. Maybe you think the Lord doesn’t want to be bothered with what you’re going through; but I’m positive that He does. It is not insignificant or unimportant, namely because you are His child, and He cares for you.

When you take time to rest and pray, the clouds may still be there. But know deep in your heart that the mountain peak is still there, and that it is breathtakingly beautiful. And that is your future! We have full assurance through salvation that we will join Christ in heaven someday! Nothing could be more beautiful than that.

What about now, you ask? You don’t want life to be miserable. And it won’t always be this way. What I do know is that God will give you strength. He will give you glimpses of His glory through creation. He will encourage you through the words of a friend. He will answer the prayers of those who are petitioning Him on your behalf.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

No one likes to be told to just be thankful for what you do have. Even more challenging is to thank the Lord for the trial He has allowed into your life.

But I hope you will try thanking Him. Not really for the bad thing happening, just that He is going to create good through it. Thank Him for loving you, for never leaving you. You are going through the refining fire, and it can burn sometimes. Just remember when you choose to follow Christ through it, you truly shine!

I am praying for everyone that reads this. I wish you didn’t have the pain and suffering. I desire to encourage you through this blog, and would even give you a hug and pray with you if I could! If you need extra prayer, leave me a message or comment.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

The Sun Makes All the Difference

Spring is struggling to overtake the cold of winter in Colorado. I went on a prayer walk this morning, and it was a chilly 48 degrees. Not too bad for a girl that likes the cold.

But factor in the wind and clouds, and it makes for an unpleasant walk.10425173_10202929640681786_4259218163954076281_n

Until the sun came out.

Have you often stopped to appreciate how the sun makes all the difference? I turned around, and let the sun warm my face despite the cold breeze.

It was powerful, bright, and cheered me up.

Then I realized that even more important than the sun, is the Son that makes all the difference.

The life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ changes the way I live my daily life. Because of His gift of grace and eternal life, I am a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Do you believe the sun is still shining on the bad days? Are you letting the Son shine in and through you? What would your life look like if you were seeking to please Him above all else?

Cristi, a good friend of mine, helped me put it in perspective a few years ago. We were discussing how things had gotten stressful, and how we couldn’t see the end of it all. It happened to be an overcast day. By the end of our conversation, we came to this mutual conclusion: Even though you can’t see the sun, you know it’s still there. It’s that way with God too; He is always at work in our lives, bringing about His good plan in our lives… even on the hard days. Hold on, sunny days are coming!

At work, when I’m with friends, and when I am writing, my desire is to share God’s love and encourage others. You may feel like the world around you is crashing down, and that the sun may never shine again. If you gain anything from these words today, I hope it is this:

When Christ is in you, the sun is always shining. There is always hope… Because the Son makes all the difference.

In Christ,

Ariel

A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

Thanks Snoopy

We all have things to be thankful for.

Since I’m a curious person, I have to ask… do you thank anyone? If a stranger opens the door for you, if you get the job you’ve been hoping for, or get a new car, or even if you got green lights on the way to your friend’s house, do you stop to give thanks? Do you desire to express gratitude somehow?

I often hear people complain. I try to counter their complaint by putting a positive spin on it. For example, if you come to me upset because you had an awful drive in to work, I will say at least it wasn’t in a blizzard (unless it was… then I will join you in your misery ;)! Either way, you got here safely, so all is well.

Blind to the Blessings

How recently have you talked to someone who refused to be positive? Not just a glass half empty, but bone dry? To hear them talk, you’d think that their lives are miserable… but most of the time, it’s actually their attitude and focus that keeps them from seeing the blessings all around them.

It’s Your Choice

When we choose to focus on all the things that are going wrong (aka not going according to plan), of course we’ll be miserable. Whatever you allow to dwell in your heart will grow. This can cause you to be joyful and thankful, or bitter and selfish. Why not try replacing negative thoughts with positive ones? Not only will this make you a more positive person, but it will encourage the people around you.

Now is a perfect time to reflect on all your blessings! A thankful heart is a happy heart. Think I’m wrong? Try it and find out ;).

I always love making lists of blessings. It always returns my focus to the One who gave me this life, and the people and blessings that make it beautiful.

Here’s my list:

1. Thanksgiving with friends and family

2. A new job

3. A reliable car

4. Sunny days that melt the blues away

5. God’s grace

There are many more that I haven’t listed! Whenever I start to feel down, I add to the list.

Happy Thanksgiving!