Grace and Peace

It comes to my attention, more and more, that the apostle Paul in all his letters to the early churches always greets them saying “Grace and peace to you…..” along with mention of how he’s always remembering them in prayer with great thanksgiving.

So, I’m aware that I have a bit of a tendency to be something of a peace disturber at times.

So the challenge for today, tomorrow and every day is then to use these greetings as an example for myself.  To set a filter of grace, peace, and thanksgiving on all my communications with my husband, children, neighbors, telemarketers, receptionists…….everyone.
Before I open my mouth  to speak, I need to ask myself if what I’m about to say is consistent with praying with thanksgiving that the person before me will enjoy grace and peace.
And whatever God sets before us to do, he will enable us to do it.

Endurance, Encouragement, Unity

As I was getting myself oriented to the day this morning, getting some nourishment for my soul from Romans 15, here’s what popped out at me:

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And I am always looking for encouragement and I know that I must endure, so I’m thankful that God is a God of Endurance and Encouragement.   As we are enduring, with the help of God, and receiving encouragement from God………and as we are working all this out in the company of children, some of us,  I think that this business of harmony and glorifying God in one voice is a key item.

When we are in harmony with the toddlers and teenagers and ultra energetic 7 to 12 year olds in our care, we can keep  it in mind that the point of the day, the week, the school-year, and the lives we are building is to glorify God with one voice.   Then, our hearts are easily righted, our sins against each other are more readily seen, confessed and repented of, and harmony lost is quickly restored.
Best of all, then we can actually see more clearly what God is instructing us to do, as our obedience opens our eyes.   And then comes the ability to receive encouragement from God, and to endure rightly and well in the thick of whatever may be hurled our way.

That’s encouraging to me.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. “

Theodore Roosevelt