Saturday, December 31, 2011

Be Still and Know

God wants us to know Him and trust in Him. He wants us to be happy. As we still our minds and trust in Him, He fills our hearts with peace.

Consider what the Bible says about knowing God:

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

• Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

• Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

• My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.

• Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

• But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him.

• Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

With Job, I testify that I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Always Remember Him

When we pray to and praise God continually, we find peace. As we focus our thoughts on the Lord during the day, we experience a peace that passes all understand. We do not worry about the future because we trust that God is guiding us. We do not anguish because of past events because we give our hearts to the Lord. We know that He forgives, loves and heals us. He is our Redeemer, our Rock, and our best and most loyal Friend. He will never forsake us!

When we remember our Creator continually, we care more about Him than anything else. We love Him more than anything else. We honor Him more than anything else.

We are never alone with God is with us. Knowing that He is by our side, we realize that we can overcome all things. Because He strengthens us, we know that we can endure any trials or temptations that we face.

Each morning we can reflect on His perfect love for us and on His tender mercies. As we study the word of God and remember the Word, we discover that we can find peace even when life is difficult. We can find peace even when others betray us, when we are sick or tired, or when we feel overwhelmed by the burdens of life.

As we pray, we can ask God to manifest His love to us. We can ask Him to guide us in each decision that we make. We can praise Him for the countless ways He blesses us, provides for us, and protects us. We can ask for His protection and direction.

This week I went alone to a second doctor’s visit. My husband was far away on a business trip, and doctors wanted me to undergo a second series of diagnostic x-rays to determine whether or not I had cancer. As a prayed, I felt perfect peace. I knew that whether or not I had a serious health problem, God was with me. I knew He cared about me and loved me. I prepared for a good result but also knew that if the outcome was bad, the Lord would comfort me.

Happily, the results were positive but this experience taught me that even during difficult times, I can experience peace as I focus my thoughts on my loving Father and trust in His tender care. May you find peace today as you seek to center your heart, mind, and emotions on the Lord. Remember, He said, “I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.”

© Carol Brown

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wise Men Seek Him Still

Just as the wise men travelled far to find Jesus, we, too, can find Him and as we do, we will find peace. As we become acquainted with the Savior and seek to follow Him we discover that He is heal, comfort, and strengthen us as we face the challenges of life. He is our Rock, our Comforter, and our Prince of Peace.

As we reflect on the Savior’s life, we find that He exemplified seven qualities that create peace. As we reflect on His life and try to become like Him, we experience greater peace. As we discover who He is, we also discover what we can become.

Let’s consider seven of the Savior’s qualities that promote peace:

Humility Jesus ate with publicans and sinners. He did not seek after fame, power, or wealth, but instead spend His time serving the sick, the troubled, the disenfranchised. As we turn away from prideful behaviors and turn towards Jesus, we realize that He gives us gifts that money and acclaim cannot buy. He gives us hope, courage, faith, and love—the most priceless gifts of all.

Patience Jesus did not complain when people spat upon Him, scourged Him, and tortured Him. He did not condemn those who nailed Him to the cross and instead offered hope to thief who suffered beside Him and asked John to care for His mother. Christ is the perfect example of patience.

Kindness Jesus took the time to bless little children, heal the lepers, and minister to the outcasts. He ministered to a Samaritan woman, whom the Jews rejected because of her race, sex, and sins. He showed us that love looks beyond outward appearance and sees with the heart.

Compassion Jesus wept with them at the passing of their brother, even though He knew that He would shortly raise Lazarus from the dead. Because He suffered all things, He understands suffering and knows how to console us.

Mercy When Jesus forgave the adulterous women, we asked those who were without sin to cast stones as her. Of course, no one did. Then, he counseled the woman, “Go, and sin no more.” He forgives us when we repent and asks us to forgive all. He showed us that we should ask our Father to forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Love Our Savior loved us so perfectly that He took upon Him all of our sins, sorrows, and suffering. He laid down His life for you and for me so that we can be resurrected and, if we choose, live forever with Him. We cannot comprehend the love that He has for us, but as we learn of His, we get a glimpse of His amazing love.

Faithfulness No one is a more loyal Friend or Counselor than our Savior. He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. He tells us that He carries us every day of our lives, not just during the hard times. He is always willing to comfort, bless, and console us. Loved ones may move or pass away, friends may forsake us, but Jesus will never fail us. He loves us with an everlasting love and merely asks that we love Him in return. He gives us everything good that we have and asks for so little in return.

May you feast on the Savior's perfect love during this season--and throughout the coming year.

© Carol Brown

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Best Gift Ever Given

The best gift ever given was the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ, who willing gave His life for us that we might live forever with Him. He offered this gift because of His pure love for us. Consider how much the Father loves us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Consider the gifts that God bestows on us through the gift of His son:
Comfort Because Christ suffered all things, He knows how to succor us when we suffer. He understands you perfectly. He will send His Comforter to help you when you ask for His help.


God waits to forgive you when you turn away from your sins and turn to Him, asking for His mercy. He tells us that even though our sins are as scarlet, we can become as white as snow through the power of His compassionate love.


God waits for us to approach Him in prayer and answers our prayers in ways that are best suited to our individual needs. As we cast our burdens on Him through prayer, He will give us peace of mind.


As reflect on the bounteous blessings that God has given us, our hearts are filled with joy. We rejoice in His goodness, His kindness, His love, and His tender mercies. We remember that every good gift that we receive is from God.


As we trust in God, we realize that we are not alone. God tells us that He carries us every day of our lives. He is our Father, and we are His children. He loves us with a perfect love, and that love can bind up our broken hearts and make us whole.


No one loves you as much as our Savior loves you. We loved you so much that He laid down His life for you. He took all of you sins, sorrows, and suffering upon Him because of His infinite love for you personally. He rose from the grave and rules with glory and majesty. He longs for you to experience His love, to envelop you in the arms of His love. Ask Him to reveal His love to you. He will.

John wrote, "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

In a world that focuses on buying and getting, God asks that we open our hearts to receive His love. Then He asks us to share that love with others. He has given us the best gifts imaginable. He gave us life and the opportunity to live eternally with Him. All that He asks is that we give Him our hearts, hearts filled with obedience, humility, goodness, and love. With Paul, we proclaim, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift."

© Carol Brown

Monday, December 5, 2011

Eight Ways to Find Peace during the Holidays (and throughout the coming year)

At this time of year when we celebrate the life of the Prince of Peace, it is easy to lose our peace of mind when we are bombarded by advertisements, materialism, and unrealistic expectations. A few simple tips can make the Holidays happier and less stressful:

Serve someone. As we reach out to those in need, we experience the peace and good will. Service can be as simple as an anonymous gift, a thank you card, or a cheerful phone call. Whenever we bless the life of another, we allow God’s love to radiate through us to one of His precious children, and that love fills our hearts with peace.

Share a smile. We when smile to family, friends, and strangers, we discover that we feel more peaceful. As you smile, you can say a silent prayer, asking God to bless those you encounter with His love and protection.

Savor your blessings. As we reflect upon the countless gifts we enjoy, we realize that we have enough. We do not need presents, material possessions, or stuff to define or validate us. God’s love gives us the greatest gift of all: peace beyond anything that we can understand.

Seek God. God promises us that when we seek Him, we will find Him, and finding Him creates peace in our lives. How do we seek God? By becoming acquainted with Him through prayer and Scripture study, by trying to live as He lived and serve as He served, by thinking about Him, loving Him, and remembering Him. You are His children created in His image. As we seek Him, He teaches us that He loves us with an infinite love, and that is the path to peace.

Search out someone who needs your love. So many people need your one-of-a –kind love. It may be a widow down the street, your next-door neighbor, a coworker, or friend. It may be someone who seems difficult to love. Ask God to show you whom He wants you to love and how to love them. He will help you know what you can do to lift another, and as you do that, you will find that you are lifted as well.

Show kindness. Kind words and deeds are manifestations of God’s love. They bind up broken hearts, ease troubled minds, and heal wounded souls. When we speak with kindness, we do not criticize, condemn, or judge others. Instead, we celebrate the strengths and gifts that we see in one another, including ourselves. We share words of encouragement, gratitude, and compassion with others, and we also do the same for ourselves.

Simplify. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we remember He lived a simple life. As we focus on those things that matter most—relationships, love, and spirituality—we discover that Christmas does not come from a store. It is found within the recesses of loving hearts everywhere.

Surrender to a Higher Power. When I was nineteen, my father died, and I was left alone to navigate the challenges of life. I was an only child, and my mother was very ill and poor. I had no one I could turn to for solace and guidance—no one, that is, but God. I surrendered my financial, academic, and health challenges to Him. I gave my life to Him and discovered that as I did, He gave me His wisdom, comfort, and perfect love. My life has never been the same.

As we give our hearts to God, He gives us hearts filled with peace and comfort. When life is difficult, He strengthens us. When our hearts are broken, He waits to heal them. When our burdens seem too heavy to bear, He waits to carry them. All we have to do is ask in faith, trusting that He will answer our prayers in the manner and season that is right for us.

May you be enfolded in the arms of God’s love during the Holiday season and throughout the coming year, and may you radiate that love to others.

© Carol Brown