What does Serenity mean to you?

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Where there is peace and meditation, there is either anxiety nor doubt.

~ St. Frances of Assisi

Serenity is defined as being calm, peaceful, unruffled. Peace is defined as harmony, stillness, silence. They are inextricably woven. When I experience serenity, I am experiencing a peaceful, silence. A calm engulfs me, I experience the peace that is greater than our understanding. It is beautiful. The best way I can describe it is like floating in space, no worries, no thoughts trying to anchor me to earth (the problems of the day). It is creative to some degree. But most of all, it is experiencing God’s love. It is though faith that we can experience His love and His peace.

We experience God’s love through faith. We have been justified by faith. Faith offers a number of attributes to Christians if we choose to ascribe to His will and His way. Romans 5:1 tells us that because we have faith, we have peace. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Bible refers to serenity as inner peace, the term serenity does not appear in the Bible, the Bible refers to inner peace. I use them interchangeably. When I experience serenity, I experience inner peace. My favorite scripture is John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

The Holy Spirit who dwells in us informs us that we should not worry. When do we worry most, when does it seem to intensify to the point of keeping us awake all night? For most it is just before bedtime when we should let go of the anxiety, and deadlines of the day’s events or hardships and focus on rest, instead we focus on the upheaval of the day’s events. Psalm 4:8 is our instruction to let go, to find peace and serenity in the Lord. It reads, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

God emphasizes the need to identify His peace in our lives. Daniel 10:19 expresses this in his writings when he stated His command to Daniel and all of His children. “And He said, ‘O man greatly loved fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.’ And as He spoke to me (Daniel) I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’ We are all members of Daniel’s family, what God told Daniel is the same thing He is telling us. ’O man greatly loved fear not, peace be with you…’ Let serenity reign in your life, seek the peace that God provides to all of His children. Seek and you will find. Ask and it will be given to you.

Saint Padre Pio Pietrelcina of the Philippines (1887-1968) wrote – “Peace is the simplicity of the heart, serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, the bond of love.”

For me, it is essential to have the inner peace and serenity of prayer in order to listen to the silence of God, which speaks to us, in our personal life and the history of our times, of the power of love.” ~ Adolfo Perez Esquivel

References: Online Dictionary; Scriptures-Good Housekeeping Magazine; everyday power.com/serenity-quotes

Surrendering Looks Like…

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Surrendering is not an act of attrition, it is a deliberate act of contrition.

~ Lisa Blair

‘Looks like’ is a common idiom of our time. What does surrendering look like, you ask?


Surrendering is not a one-time event. It requires constant attention. “Until Jesus returns and takes His rightful place as the final authority and ruler overall, we have to make the decision over and over to surrender our minds, wills, and actions to Him (Romans 8:20–22; 12:1–2). Our first stage of surrender is the surrender of our lives to God when we are saved. www.compellingtruth.org/surrender-to-God.html

My thought for the day. There are many quotes of what people in the Bible have said when they surrendered their will to God’s will for their lives. The two that stand out to me today are:

  1. The angel came to Mary to inform her that God was pleased with her and chose her to give birth to His son. Mary, a young girl of marrying age, was betrothed to Joseph. Wouldn’t you imagine her first thinking, I cannot become pregnant until I marry, what will people think of me in particular and Joseph if I carry a child before the ceremony ends. However, Mary responded to the angel saying, “I am the Lord’s servant,” “May your word to me be fulfilled.” ~ Luke 1:38 NIV
  2. Jesus, the, was in deep prayer about the circumstances that would result in his death, He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; this is the human condition, to ask God to remove the situation so we do not feel the pain. However, the second part of the prayer is one of submission – Jesus then prayed, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” ~ Luke 22:42 NIV

So, what does surrendering look like? Surrendering looks like the person who moves out of the way to submit to another’s wishes. In this case surrendering is looking to God for direction and following His path for our lives rather than forging ahead blindly satisfying our own urges and direction for our lives. If Mary had not accepted God’s will over her own, Jesus may not have been born to her and the story of Abraham may not have been written as we know it. Our decisions not only affect us but many others in our immediate and future sphere of influence. Our decisions affect our descendants. *

If Jesus, the man, chose to run from his purpose, again, the story would have differed, and the Son of God, Immanuel-the God with us, would have led to a different story. Thinking back, how many times has God instructed, or better said, invited you to do something His way, to follow Him, not turn to the left or the right, and you did just what you were instructed not to do, waiver to the left or right and not stay on the path He designed for us, how did that turn out for you? Ask yourself, what happened when you listened and surrendered to God? I am certain the latter set you on a path you couldn’t imagine you could ever attain.

Surrendering looks like victory. It feels like love. Surrendering lifts the burdens of life off of your shoulders and places it on Christs’ shoulders. In Jeremiah 38:17-18, the scripture reads, Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.” (Je 38.17-18)

Jeremiah presents him with a choice – Surrender Babylon, or Don’t surrender to Babylon. The writing is on the wall. (https://thescripturesays.org/2014/08/22/jeremiah-38-41-if-you-will-surrender-to-babylon-then-your-life-shall-be-spared/)

Surrendering looks like victory. The writing is on the wall. God does not promise it will look like success, sometimes the direction is pain staking, but looking deeper we reflect that it was part of the path we must take to become more like Christ, when he said, but your will be done. Surrendering looks like, choosing the path of righteousness over the path of selfishness. Surrendering to God looks like and feels like love, a connection greater than anything this life could afford you.

Surrendering is the establishment of your lineage to God the Father, Christ the Son-our Savior, and the Holy Spirit. Surrendering is the act of no longer resisting God’s love and is the state of acceptance and no longer defiance. It looks like victory when we spread our arms over our head and jump up and down in joy, no longer relying on our own focus for our lives but rather God’s plan for our lives that is often unseen and unexpected. Surrendering is the act of faith. Surrendering looks like and feels like – Victory over our carnal state of being. It is the act of intentionally becoming part of God’s family.

* The Book of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Christ. It is a look at the descendants of Jesus. In the Jewish faith and many others, the lineage is important, it defines who you belong to, it expresses your values and character. 

Just between us.org

Resources: Bible.com; the scripturesays.org; compellingtruth.org

Images: google images

Mercy and Merciful

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All too often we understand the term mercy and assume that we apply it in our lives. But having mercy and being merciful are two different things, one is a descriptor or a noun, the other an adjective, the way in which we apply mercy.

~ Lisa Blair

Mercy and Merciful Defined

Mercy  according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary (free app) defines mercy as: compassion for the miserable. It’s object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the son of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness. In Christ mercy and truth met together. Mercy is also a Christian grace.

Merciful is the act of expressing mercy, according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. This is accomplished through the act of compassion, and tenderness. When you are merciful you become predisposed to forgive offenses, and are unwilling to allow the human, get-back nature to thrive. In short, you become unwilling to retaliate and instead forgive. When we are merciful and forgive as Christ forgave, it frees you from the restrictions of hate, anger, and  fear.

https://www.sacredspace.ie/scripture/luke-636-38

Resources: YouVersion.com; Easton’s Bible Dictionary; Bible Dictionary App

Fear The Lord

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

How often do we read the first part of a scripture that is further explained in the second part of the thought? So often we rest our knowledge on the thought that as long as we fear God, we will have knowledge? We do not bother to read or ponder why the command is conditional.  This scripture informs us, it is instructional. Let us focus on Provers 1:7. The first part instructs us to fear the Lord and gain knowledge “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” And, yes, fearing the Lord is the beginning, but let us not overlook the condition requiring us to accept wisdom and activate instruction. Choosing to overlook the second part of the scripture informs us that while we desire knowledge, we only possess an unactuated thought, the thought is not functional, it is folly. The second part of the scripture informs us that, when we despise wisdom and instruction,” we do not fear – meaning, we have not ‘taken to heart’ the Lord’s instructions, we are not obedient, nor do we surrender our thoughts in exchange for His thoughts. We lack wisdom and instruction.

True wisdom can only occur after we understand that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, God is Holy. When we understand this at a heart level, we begin to experience wisdom through the knowledge that He is Holy, just, and righteous.

Acquiring knowledge yields wisdom, and wisdom is acquired through faith, which is acquired through the unyielding instruction of the Word of God. His instruction states that we are to walk in His ways, to love as He loves, and to serve the Lord our God with all of our heart and with all of our soul. The beginning of knowledge begins with submission, surrender, and obedience. When we accomplish these three things, we can accept His knowledge without hesitancy or the need to understand His inspired Words in the Bible.

In Hebrew there are two types of fear: Pachad and Yirah. Pachad is the fear projected or of imagined things, it is over-reactive, irrational and stems from the worry of things to come, those things we imagine. Yirah is “the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to, inhabiting a larger space than we are used to inhabiting. It is also the feeling we get when we are in a sacred space, on sacred ground. (Makingdapennycooke,com. Ways Ways To Think About Fear)

As believer’s, we experience and understand the fear of God as reverence of God. This type of fear is the motivating factor in surrendering to the Almighty. Fear equals reverence. Yirah is the fear, the goose bumps we experience when we are in prayer or are praising the Lord and are in His presence. It is so much bigger that anything in our human sphere of understanding. We enter Holy (sacred) ground, the beginning of something new each time we experience it. It all contributes to our spiritual knowledge base and enables us to adhere to His wisdom and instruction and not our own.

Full circle – It is important to read an entire verse or scripture to gain the wisdom God intends in sharing His Word with us. Failing to do so does not result in wisdom, it results in folly, we become or remain fools, Proverbs 4:7 reads – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Equip yourself, study the Word, do not simply read it and rely on your own understanding. Seek what He is conveying to your heart. Our life with Christ is a heart process. Step into Yirah, terrain that is beyond human understanding, feel His love and walk in His Word.

Resources: Holy Bible, Makingdapennycooke.com, Gotquestions.com

Images: Goggle Images

Conceptually Forgiveness Should Be Easy, but Is It?

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We can learn from the stories and characters in the Bible.

~ Lisa Blair

Bible stories share the pathway to Christ. Each person in the Bible experiences challenges in life. The stories teach us how we can tether ourselves to God. This year I am studying the Book of Genesis. Throughout this Book we see the trajectory of Abrahams descendants that led to the life of Christ and our salvation. Abraham, Issac, and Jacob’s lives reflect our experiences today. Each experienced a personal relationship with God, yet each stumbled time and time again in their humanness. God’s promises thrived despite their sin. Each persons bond grew stronger as they experienced how much God loved them, and never forsake them; they learned to forgive others as well as themselves.

I am sharing scriptures that will emphasize how we can rely on the Lord despite our weakens. He commands us to forgive. Have you forgiven yourself, what about others? Genesis 45-47 shows how Jacob and Joseph grew to understand how God loves us, leads us, and directs us to forgive and reconcile with others.

Colossians 3:13 NKJV

“bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”


Colossians 3:14 NKJV

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
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Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
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Isaiah 41:10 NJKV

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”


‭‭Psalm 23 NJKV

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”

‭‭Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
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Psalm 27-14 NKJV

“Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!”
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Psalm 42:8 NJKV

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

1Peter 1:3-5 NLT

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
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ENJOY reading these scriptures. Recommendation – memorize them to help guide your path.

Scriptures – Bible.com

Images – Google Images