30 May 2011


“Make me an instrument of your peace.”
- St. Francis of Assisi

This morning was one of those rare occasions where I got to sleep in. Ahhhhh... gotta love a three day weekend! As I laid in bed, enjoying the morning peace, I began to hear the sound of sirens break through the quiet. They continued for quite a while and I realized it must have been the start of a Memorial Day Parade taking place just a few streets away... a gentle reminder of the reason behind my “day off.” Our PEACE is not “free,” someone has paid the price - lives have been sacrificed for me, for you, for our country. I said a prayer of thanks!

I was reminded of the following quote from Hafsat Abiola, “Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.”

Hafsat Abiola is a writer and an activist who works to promote women, youth, and democracy in her home country of Nigeria, and around the world. She is the founding member of several initiatives including Global Youth Connect, Youth Employment Campaign, and Vital Voices: Women in Democracy. Hafsat is also the Executive Director of the Kudirat Initative for Democracy, KIND, which runs a program that offers leadership training to 750 young women across Nigeria each year. She is a woman that is creating a world of peace, "that supports everyone.”

If we look around, we can find many faces of PEACE... the military who serve our country ... the government who monitors relations and seeks to establish laws ... the police in our communities that keep up safe ... the missionaries that offer God’s peace to others ... the “peacemakers” within our own families. The list could go on and on. In one way or another, we are all responsible for being "keepers of PEACE."

Yesterday at church we had a Commissioning Service for members who will be serving in the mission field over the summer. One young woman is leaving today, heading to Kenya to work in children’s homes near Nairobi, as well as the slums of Mathare. Another person is taking on a leadership role for a team heading to Bethlehem, Israel. Our Youth Ministry will be running summer camps for kids and doing a variety of community service projects. These are just a few of the ways people have chosen to make a meaningful difference, bringing peace and God’s love to the lives of others.

The wonderful thing is that when we serve others, some of God’s grace spills into our lives. My prayer today...  As our military seeks peace for our country, God’s peace will wash over them and they will feel comforted, safe and loved.

Today, take time to give thanks!
Go in Peace, and Serve the Lord, Donna Weaver

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence,
it can only be attained through understanding.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

27 May 2011

The Race Is On

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses
to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down….
And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.
– Hebrews 12:1-2

The 100th Indianapolis 500 Race will take place this Sunday, May 29th at 12 pm (coverage begins at 11 am ET). I am so excited because this year’s pace car will be driven by one of my all time favorite race car drivers... four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, A. J. Foyt. I have to admit, racing is in my blood. My grandfather was a race car driver (before Foyt’s career even began). And my mom raced quarter-midgets at the East Coast fairgrounds. Watching the Indy 500 was (and still is) a Memorial Day tradition in our family.

Alex Tagliani will hold the Indy pole position for this year’s race and is the first Canadian to do so. In an interview during race week, he said that next to his family and faith, racing is what drives him each morning. It’s great to hear another sports person speak out about their faith.

Did you know that the racing community has its own ministry?

IndyCar Ministry, the official chaplain program of the IndyCar Series holds both non-denominational and Catholic services each weekend on the race circuit. Their mission is to minister through the IndyCar Series, which includes four different series' – the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights, the Star Mazda Series, and the USF2000 Series. They minister to all of those in the racing community, which includes drivers, teams, officials, safety personnel, and even the media. They also reach out to the fans in various ways, sharing the love of Christ. Their ministry is funded through donations made by churches, corporations, individuals and some race teams.

Gentlemen, start your engines! This command will be heard by drivers and fans alike at the start of this year’s Indy 500. On command, 33 finely tuned engines will begin to roar.

How tuned are our engines? Just like the cars that will hit the track in Indiana, we need certain things to keep us running the race before us. You might be asking, “What exactly is our race?” As Christians, we are running a spiritual race. Philippians 3:14 tells us “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” The drivers in the Indy 500 prepare their minds, bodies and cars ahead of time. They need to pace themselves for the race that lies ahead. We too need to prepare ourselves through prayer, and studying and reading God’s Word daily. We need to seek God’s peace and pace ourselves, because just like 500 miles at Indy, our race is not easy either. We may experience delays, bumps in the road, or even near accidents, but perseverance is key to winning the race. We need to stay focused on the checkered flag – Jesus Christ will be waiting for us at the finished line.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... Action Required...  School is almost over and Vacation Bible School is just around the corner. I recently read an article about a VBS program called "Rev It Up!" The racing theme is based on 1st Corinthians 15:57 -- "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." What a great message for children, letting them know that God provides us with victory through his son Jesus Christ.   In racing terminology, if we are going to stand in the winner’s circle of life, Jesus will be the one to help us get there.

Do you have young children? Be sure to check out the Bible School programs in your area. While you’re at it, why not volunteer to help out.

Are your children all grown up? What better way to stay “young at heart” than volunteering to work with kids. Check out the volunteer opportunities at your church.

Some of the other Bible School themes this year include: PandaMania, Hometown Nazareth, SonSurf Beach Bash, and Jesus to the Rescue.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and stay safe.
Let’s go “racing” everyone...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

"The crashes people remember,
but drivers remember the near misses."
- Mario Andretti

23 May 2011

Liberty and Justice for All

“For love of country they accepted death.”
- James Garfield

A few weeks ago,  I decided to get my oil changed over my lunch hour.  While waiting in the lobby I looked up at the skylight and was pleasantly surprised to see this picture...  broad stripes and bright stars, freely waving... our American flag.

One week from today is Memorial Day. It originally began in 1868 and was known as Decoration Day, because of the flags and flowers that were placed on the graves of soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. It was started as a way to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, but was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Trivia: On Memorial Day, the flag should be at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.

Trivia: The poppy, by nature, is a wildflower. It’s seeds will lie stagnant in the ground until they are disturbed. During times of war, soldiers would stir up the ground as they marched though fields. The result was a beautiful growth of poppy flowers found to flourish in conditions where most other flowers would die. The red poppy was first recognized as the Memorial Day flower in 1915 when a woman by the name of Moina Michael was the first to wear the flower as a reminder of the holiday. She began to sell poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.

For most of us, our day will be filled with picnics, family get-togethers, and outdoor activities, with not much thought being given to the real meaning of the day. I don’t know about you, but I want this year to be different. All the fun stuff is great, but sometime during the day I plan to “be still” and offer up prayers for our military... past and present!  

Below are two resources that offer great ways to remember the importance of the day...


G - God is the center of our joy!
O - Order our steps in Your Word.
D - Daily communication with God is the answer for everything.

B - Be steadfastly in love with God.
L - Loving our neighbors as ourselves is His way.
E - Except God builds our house, our labor will be for nothing.
S - Stay connected to God by accepting His Son, Jesus, as our lifeline.
S - Sweet savours to God are our prayers to Him.

A - Abide in God’s Word, and faith will make you whole.
M - Mercy and grace follow true godly sorrow.
E - Evening prayers are acceptable sacrifices unto God.
R - Rock us in the cradle of Your love.
I - In the midst of your storms, get into the arms of Jesus.
C - Conditions of peace result from effectual prayers.
A - Accentuate the positive always.

Posted on Presidential Prayer Team website by Martha E. 5/20/11

Operation Worship

After my oil change, I was headed back to work and listening to K-Love radio.  They were talking about “Operation Worship” ... an outreach ministry that ships Bibles to those serving in the military, and also offers words of encouragement to the families waiting at home.  Check out their website to find out how you can get involved:  http://operationworship.com/ 

1. Make a donation to help them ship more Bibles ($5.00 each).

2. Write an encouraging message online, and they will transcribe it into a Bible being shipped to a military service person.

3. Check out the free One Year Yellow Ribbon Devotional that offers encouragement to those of us staying behind to pray for those who are taking a stand for our freedoms. So many people are affected by the absence of those who leave home and serve in distant lands. Those who are left behind often struggle to find contentment and hope. This devotional will not only meet the needs of those individuals but will also encourage all Americans to take a stand by praying for our country and the men and women serving overseas.

4. Share their website with others.

While reading through some of the Yellow Ribbon Devotions, Day 5 caught my attention. The devotion was entitled, Onward Christian Soldier, which was the name of a hymn we used to sing quite often in the church where I grew up.

Trivia: Words of the song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865. He wrote this about the hymn: “Whit-Monday is a great day for school festivals in Yorkshire. One Whit-Monday, thirty years ago, it was arranged that our school should join forces with that of a neighboring village. I wanted the children to sing when marching from one village to another, but couldn’t think of anything quite suitable; so I sat up at night, resolved that I would write something myself. “Onward, Christian Soldiers” was the result.”

The words of the refrain go like this: “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.” As Christians, we are much like service men and women going off to battle every day. We need to put on the armor of God daily as described in Ephesians 6:10-18...

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

The Day 5 devotion ended with the following prayer (a gentle reminder that while we are remembering the heroes who have died for our country, let us not forget those who are still serving in our military):

Dear Lord Jesus, bless those who are serving our country as soldiers, airmen, marines, sailors, and coastguardsmen. I thank you for those who know you as their Lord and Savior. I thank you that they are going forward with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit leading the way.  Amen.

In our country we have many freedoms... among them are freedom of speech and freedom to worship.  As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, help us remember that they are following in the footsteps of Christ, our Savior. They stand in the gap for our protection and He stood in the gap for our salvation.

May your day be filled with friends, family, fun, food, prayers and most of all PEACE!  Until Friday... 

Blessings & God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Blessed are the peacemakers
for they shall be called the children of God.”
– Matthew 5:9

20 May 2011

Let's Play "Hug of War"

“I will not play tug o' war. I'd rather play hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles
and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins,
and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.”
- Shel Silverstein

Playing “tug of war” was always so much fun when we were kids. The goal: to be the first team to pull a member of the other team over the line, or cause the other team to let go of the rope. This week life seems to be a “tug of war” for so many people I know.  There lives are a mixture of extremes... joy and sadness, peace and chaos, celebrations and loss, blessings and struggles. Sometimes I look around and wonder if peace will ever come again.

“... a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them...” - these words sure sound like a "tug of war" to me, but they are actually the words of Ecclesiastes 3.   "A time for everything,” seems like a fairly simple concept, but not so when it comes to our everyday lives.

As Christians we have our own person “tug of war” going on inside of our hearts, minds and bodies. We spend time praying to God when the words seem impossible. We cast our worries upon Him, when He seems so far away. We surrender ourselves to Him, even when our faith has been shaken. But, just like the game of “tug of war” when we were kids, the rewards are great for those who believe. We are determined to win (overcome, survive, succeed, prevail, triumph) and our victory is found as God reveals more of Himself to us.

Below is a poem that so beautifully expresses the feelings of “life’s tug of war,” enjoy...

Life's Tug Of War
Author Unknown

Life can seem ungrateful and not always kind.
Life can pull at your heartstrings and play with your mind.
Life can be blissful and happy and free.
Life can put beauty in the things that you see.

Life can place challenges right at your feet.
Life can make good of the hardships we meet.
Life can overwhelm you and make your head spin.
Life can reward those determined to win.

Life can be hurtful and not always fair.
Life can surround you with people who care.
Life clearly does offer its ups and its downs.
Life's days can bring you both smiles and frowns.

Life teaches us to take the good with the bad.
Life is a mixture of happy and sad.    So...

Take the life that you have and give it your best.
Think positive, be happy let God do the rest.

Take the challenges that life has laid at your feet.
Take pride and be thankful for each one you meet.

To yourself give forgiveness if you stumble and fall.
Take each day that is dealt you and give it your all.

Take the love that you're given and return it with care.
Have faith that when needed it will always be there.

Take time to find the beauty in the things that you see.
Take life's simple pleasures let them set your heart free.

The idea here is simply to even the score.
As you are met and faced with Life's Tug Of War.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle.... action required... When we are going through life’s trials, it’s hard not to spend time thinking negative thoughts. So, if you cannot find happiness right now, why not be about “doing good.” If you search for ways to do good for others, happiness will find its way back in to your heart. God is with us, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

Here are some encouraging words to help you find some peace, love and sparkle...
Spirit of Peace (joy) = delight, happiness, pleasure, enjoyment, bliss, wonder
Inner Peace (God’s love) = devotion, passion, adoration, commitment
Sharing the Peace (sparkle) = shine, glitter, glisten, flicker, twinkle, shimmer

There are many hurting people in the world, so if your heart happens to be overflowing with happiness... find someone that might want to play hug of war.”

This weekend why not spend time resting in His loving arms... feel His comfort.  Remember that God loves to play "hug of war" too!

God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

Heavenly Father, Thank You for always being there no matter what challenges we face in our lives. We know that you will never fail us, even in our most intense trials. We don’t always understand why certain things happen; however, we do not have to understand, because You are God, and You are in control. Fill the empty places in our hearts with more of Your Spirit, Lord. Amen.

16 May 2011

Fear Not!

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone,
O LORD, will keep me safe.” - Psalm 4:8

My grandchildren bring such joy to my life. Over the weekend I was thinking about how God gave them each their own unique personalities.  Between the four of them, they love to tell stories, do crafts, read all sorts of books, spend time with friends, swim, play soccer and volleyball.... living life to the fullest! Recently the three youngest “grands” spent a week on the beach in Florida with their grandma from Chicago. I loved checking out their daily photos and seeing the smiles on their faces. Oh, to be young again... so fun loving and care-free.

Just as each one of us has our unique “qualities,” we also have our own personal “fears.” Kids may be afraid of the dark, monsters under the bed, or thunderstorms. What do you fear? Here are just some of the many categories that our fears can fall in to ... failure ... things we don’t understand ... losing control ... danger ... illness and death ... the future ... being hurt or rejected ... extremely heavy burdens ... consequences (bad choices, poor decisions).  

Some people spend their entire life being afraid. Have there been times when you went through life hiding under the covers? Have you experienced your heart pounding so loudly you couldn’t even hear yourself think? Have you craved comfort from the wrong people? When a spirit of fear comes over us, it disrupts life, clouds our judgment and drains our spiritual strength. God does not want us to live that way. Did you know that there are 366 “fear nots” in the Bible.   I have to admit there were times in my life (divorce, single parenting, cancer, relocating, going back to school) when I had to search those "fear nots" for comfort and strength, because on my own, all I could say over and over again was "I will not be afraid, I will not be afraid, I will not be afraid!"

2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God did not give us the spirit of timidity (fear) but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline."  Christians will never be free from fear... but we can’t let it overwhelm us. There are some things that are out of our control and we just have to let go. We need to give our fears to the Lord and find comfort in the “fear nots” found in scripture. Our peace, comfort and hope, comes from Christ alone.

The words of Lamentations 3:22 say, "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

So, beginning today I am going to follow the example of my grandchildren.... wake up each morning to the “good stuff” and fearlessly, live life to the fullest!

Enjoy your week...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love O Lord,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
- Psalm 90:14

13 May 2011

To Bee or Not to Be ?

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
- Philippians 4:13

According to 20th century folklore, the laws of aerodynamics prove that the bumble bee should be incapable of flight, as it does not have the capacity (in terms of wing size or beats per second) to achieve flight with the degree of wing loading necessary. Whether this is a myth or not, bumblebees don’t know they can’t fly – so they do it anyway.

Has someone ever told you that you can’t do something or won’t make it?  Don’t listen to them — just do it anyway!  And if you begin to doubt yourself, pray to God and ask Him for guidance, confidence and strength.

Thelma Wells, author and popular speaker with Women of Faith, specializes in the art of motivating, inspiring, and equipping people to “be their best.” Her symbol is the “bumblebee” and her motto is “In Christ, You Can BEE Your Best.” The acrostic below reminds us how we can do just that...

     B    Be aware of who you are… Psalm 139:15-27

     E    Eliminate the negatives… Philippians 4:13

     E    Expect the best from yourself and those you associate with, and do it
                for eternal value.

     S    Success is attained by the choices you make... Romans 10:9-10

Be sure to check out Thelma’s book, “The Buzz: 7 Scriptures to Energize Your Life.”  She teaches that women can BEE whatever God calls them to BEE, no matter what their circumstances. Her personal stories, applications and prayers of affirmation present these powerful verses designed to buzz straight into the heart of every woman.

When we are living a life according to what God has calls us to be, we will find joy and peace in the journey!

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... action required... Encourage someone to be the best they can be.  And if there is a young person in your life, that could use a word of encouragement, share the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy... “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” – 1 Timothy 4:12.

Just a few weeks ago, a group of youth from our church participated in a 30 Hour Famine project. The purpose was to raise money to help relieve hunger in the world, and in the process they got to experience hunger for themselves.   Was it easy.... no!    Life-changing.... you bet!

During the weekend, the youth also worked on a special project which stood as a reminder of their hard work and faithfulness to their mission. They crafted crosses out of wooden sticks and hung them on strings, creating a “grand entrance” as you walked into the church. The congregation’s response to the display was overwhelming.   What a sight... people could be seen walking under the crosses with hands raised high, praising God all the way.

Successful fundraising!    Creating an awareness!    Serving others!     YOUTH can make a difference in God’s Kingdom... encourage them, teach them and thank them!

Be all that you can be, encourage others to do the same and give God the glory ... the world will be a better place.   You have been blessed to be a blessing!

God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

09 May 2011

Dandelions or Roses?

“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower,
and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
- Author Unknown

What a beautiful weekend! Saturday I enjoyed the sunshine and warm temps here in Colorado. I had some errands to run and everywhere I went, shops were filled with amazing garden plants and flowers. I love the sweet smell and lovely colors of the blooms.... oh, if only I had a green thumb! But, I am at peace with the fact that I have never been, and probably never will be a gardner. So on my weekends, as I run my errands, I occasionally stop and snap a few pics of the “lovelies”... well-tended by others.

As Christians, we can find the same peace in the realization that God has called us to use our own individual, unique gifts to serve Him in ways that come natural, rather than constantly trying to carry out a calling that was meant for someone else. The words of 1 Corinthians 7:7, “...each man has his own gift from God’ one has this gift, another has that” and verse 24, “Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to,” can be interpreted to mean that we need to "Bloom where we are planted."

According to Joel Osteen, “Too many people today are living negative and discouraged because they don't like where they are in life. But in order to see change and see God open up new doors, the key is to bloom right where you're planted. By blooming where you are planted, you'll not only live your life happy and enjoy your life more, but you're sowing a seed for God to take you where He wants you to go.”

Below is a copy of a poem that I keep posted up at home. It is a reminder that God has chosen me to be just who I am.... a work in process, but never the less... created by the Master Gardner.

God’s Bouquet
- Author Unknown

You must bloom where you are planted
In the garden we call life,
And bring some special beauty to
Each corner where there’s strife.

Perhaps you’re but a dandelion
Wishing you were a rose,
But in this place of growing things
You’re the one God chose.

It’s up to you to finish what
The good Lord has begun,
By growing just the way you should
And face the rising sun.

There’s room for you if you but choose,
In a glorious array
Of beauty from God’s garden,
That He’ll add to His bouquet.

This week, take time to stop and smell the roses... and don’t forget to bloom where you are planted! Remember, we are all petals of the same flower in God’s beautiful bouquet.

God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone,
but on trees, and flowers, and clouds, and stars.”
- Martin Luther

05 May 2011

What Direction are you Headed

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.”
- Dr. Seuss

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on a journal for something called The Fiction Project. The process has been a fun and challenging one. The basic idea is that each journal has a theme, and the artist writes stories and creates a sketchbook that becomes part of a traveling exhibit, with the final destination being The Brooklyn Art Library. The journals contain the artists’ biography, are given a barcode, and catalogued. During the traveling exhibits, visitors can check out the journals and browse through the pages. As an author, we are able to interact with our traveling books - we are notified as to their locations, the readers and the arrival at their final destination ... how exciting!

The reason I am sharing this project on my blog is because I have learned a great deal about myself and my spiritual journey while working on the project. During the creative process, I found peace about where I have been and where I am heading. You see, I’ve made my share of mistakes, have my long list of regrets, been hurt, and dealt with illness and disappointments in my life, but this fiction project has become a journal of my thoughts on Living My Life Facing Forward... moving beyond the past, realizing my blessings, and looking forward to the destiny that lies ahead! I chose the topic of “Facing Forward” because I wanted to encourage people to begin to live life one day at a time.... facing forward, pressing on.

Scripture tells us... “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Facing Forward means that our eyes are focused on Christ and what lies ahead. To be able to do this, we need clear vision, clean lens, a healthy perspective and sometimes even and adjustment... corrective lens. Here are some unhealthy symptoms to watch out for and a few suggested remedies...

• We need to see others through the eyes of Christ.... with love and compassion. If you are having difficulty, maybe you have dry eyes... read 1 Peter 4:8-9.

• If you are constantly crying, sad, depressed or discontent, maybe you have teary eyes. Change your outlook... read Philippians 4:11.

• Having problems focusing, can’t tell right from wrong.... things a little hazy? Maybe you have blurry eyes... read Psalm 119:105.

• Do things look confusing, not going the way you expected... maybe you have unclear eyes. Pray to see life in a brand new way.... read Philippians 4:6-7.

• Something in your eye, do you judge and criticize others? Maybe you have irritated eyes and need to focus on yourself... read Matthew 7:1-5.

Facing Forward is a journey and it begins when we take the first step. We have choices ... we can choose to turn around, take a different path, experience new things, change our ways, and face life with a different attitude.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... action required... Children, just like adults need to be reminded that if we know Christ, we are forgiven for the messes we make in our lives and that each day is a new beginning. If a child did something wrong, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person... maybe they just made a bad choice. If they were hurt or disappointed, they need to learn to forgive, just as we have been forgiven. We can approach each day “facing forward” if we remember the words of Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!”

Dr. Seuss is a favorite children’s author and there is a book called, “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss” by James W. Kemp. Kemp was a United Methodist pastor for 15 years. He shared the following, “When I was a pastor, I found that I could find no better illustrations for biblical principles than I found in Dr. Seuss’ stories.” He went on to say, “I preached sermons based on Bible passages, and used Dr. Seuss to address themes such as faithfulness, fairness, friendship, greed, pride, hope, adventure and much much more.” His book contains many great parallels between Seuss stories and Bible stories, and is a great resource for story time with any of the youngsters in your life.

One Seuss character that always seems to be getting in to trouble and making BIG messes, is The Cat in the Hat. Kids can identify with the “messes.” Guess what, our world is a messy place. We have physical messes (like the cat’s ring in the bathtub), but we can also experience painful messes. The good news is that we don’t have to give up, the messes we have created or inherited can be cleaned up. After all we know that in “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back,” there is a happy ending... one small cat has the power to put the entire house in order. As Christians we have a big God that has the power to put our lives back in order… no mess is too big for Him. We can “face forward” and move on from our messes.

Many children’s stories contain wonderful morals and can be a great addition to the Bible stories we read to our children, grandchildren or neighbor kids. Just as I have chosen to share a story through The Fiction Project, why not share your story, a Bible story or a fun children’s book with someone. Don’t hide your light under a bushel... choose to shine your light brightly... aka “sparkle” today!

Enjoy your weekend.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform
you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn
to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
- Romans 12:2

01 May 2011

Seek Peace, Glorify His Name

"My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together."
- Psalm 34:2, 3

I am posting my blog early this week because it is also part of an assignment for one of my classes. As I started doing research, I realized that it was a perfect post for our Monday journey in seeking peace in our lives. The writing is based on Psalm 34. Please take time to open your Bible and read its’ powerful words. The psalm takes place at a time when Saul, King of Israel wanted to kill David. Instead of trusting the Lord, David was afraid and went and hid in a cave with 400 other people that were also running away from a difficult life in Judah. This psalm is compiled of many different ideas but the common thread is that we need to continue to tell people how great our God is, and “believe it ourselves.” The only way to enjoy a life of happiness and peace is to walk in the ways of the Lord, glorifying Him and serving others.

Our problems, pain and weaknesses are never hidden from the Lord, neither are our joys, pleasures or successes. As we continue our journey of seeking peace, in good times and bad, in quiet and chaos, we need to ask God to be glorified in our lives. In my daily devotion for today from “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” the following few sentences hit on this exact topic. It said, “We honor His name and give Him full credit because we know that what people think of us isn’t nearly as important as what they think about God. When He is glorified, lives are changed.”

A few years ago I was at church and the pastor was preaching about how God is always there for us. And that we need to pray to Him to be who we need Him to be. At the time I had just moved to the area and was seeking employment. It was a long road and I was getting discouraged. During the sermon it occurred to me that I need God to be my provider. I couldn’t do this transition alone. After the sermon, we had communion and prayer warriors are always available (off to the sides of the church) to pray for anyone’s needs. Well, you have to know me... I am usually the one that offers to pray for others and I don’t find it easy to ask for prayers for myself. But the sermon had touched me so deeply that I decided to share my prayer request. I explained to the prayer warrior that I was unemployed and needed to ask God to be my provider. She prayed with me and when we were through, she whispered in my ear, “See me after the service, I have a contact that is looking for an administrative person.” To make a long story short, within two weeks I was working at my new job. Now, this is not to say we always get quick answers to our prayers, but sometimes we just need to glorify God by asking Him to be our all-in-all and believing in His power.

So, today I can say that God is my provider, my healer, my teacher, my Shepherd, my protector, my counselor, my friend and my Savior. Why, if he is all these things to me, shouldn’t he be the focus of all of my passions, thoughts, and actions? When we think about who God really is, we realize that he is the only one worthy of our honor and praise. Who is God to you?

Our culture has become self-centered and self-focused. Self gratification has become many peoples’ primary motive for living. The world promotes glorifying “man” but God along should be giving all glory, honor and praise.

Below is a link to the song “Glorify Thy Name,” which was written by Donna Adkins, based on the words of Psalm 34... enjoy!

Remember to give Him glory....
                   ... in your actions and words
                   ... for all of your achievements
                   ... because of His promises
                   ... as you take the Good News out into our world

Have a blessed week, my friends.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.”
- Psalm 34:14