Archive for January, 2018

Three Things I Know

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 22nd, 2018mercyNo Comments

A picture just to brighten the day.

 

The world is messy. I’m messy. My friends and family are all in much better shape than I am, but some of them have a little bit of mess about them, too. And, in all this messiness, it is quite easy to start believing that we shall be overwhelmed. That the huge load of garbage coming at us every day will eventually suffocate and consume everything good and real and eternal.

But, Dear Reader, the mess will never win. Let me step for a moment out of the noise of social media and cable news networks. Away from late night television and even the extended family table. Let me tell you three things that are true:

 

  1. In this world we will have trouble – We know that. It is obvious. But God, who created our world, also warned us about it in advance. He told Jesus, and Jesus told his friend, John, and John wrote it down for us. (John 16:33)
  2. We also have hope  – “Don’t worry,” Jesus told John. (and me, and you, and our kids and grandkids) “Take courage. I have overcome the world.” That doesn’t mean Jesus did away with all the trouble. John and his friends faced some bad stuff in the years ahead. But, they faced it with courage and hope. Even joy. Because they knew all their trouble was temporary. The Holy Spirit in their lives would give them strength to live through the trouble, and they knew one day they would live in a perfect world where Jesus had made all things new. Some day.
  3. Our hope comes Just in Time – This is the part that got me today and totally settled everything in my soul. Another friend of Jesus (who met Him a little later) wrote a letter to the church in ancient Rome. Paul said, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungoldy.” (chapter 5)That is all of us, of course. We were ungoldy when He found us. And often, we still are. But, at just the right time, He came.

He still does, you know. He comes every day in ways we don’t even notice. He keeps our world spinning and our bodies breathing. Sometimes He comes in great big ways and quiets the storm or heals the broken. And, one day, He is coming back to stay with us forever. He promised.

 

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Speaking My Truth

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 13th, 2018mercy1 Comment

I watched the Golden Globes on DVR this week so I could fast-forward the commercials. And possibly other stuff. You never know with these live events. I heard a lot of powerful, beautiful women saying it is time for women to take a stand. “Speak Your Truth” became an anthem. So, I’m going to speak mine. Brace yourself.

I haven’t used the #MeToo hashtag anywhere. But, I could have. I haven’t used the #TimesUp slogan. Although, I hope it is. Rather, I have listened and tried to learn. I hope that by watching the exposure of corruption in everyone from media moguls to smarmy politicians, we will remember some things.

Evil has been around since the beginning of days.

And men are not the only perpetrators.

That last part didn’t seem to be anyone’s truth at the Golden Globes. But, sometimes, our truth is actually an opinion. And, opinions are not equal in their validity nor their merit. Some opinions are actually arrogant. Or cruel. Or stupid. So, we may all speak our version of the truth, but that does not make it true.

I was thinking about that this week. And about all the pain caused in the world by both horrible men and evil women. I felt a little helpless to make any kind of difference.

Then I went to a local women’s event. (None of us wore ball gowns. *sigh*) We did, however, sing songs. While we were singing, I suddenly remembered Who the Truth is, after all. I’m glad to speak up now, because my truth is a Person. Some people will say that is merely my opinion. That’s okay. I can’t change their minds with some great speech. But, one of these days, my Truth will stand and say, “Times up” for all the evil in the world. And, our opinions will just scatter.

Until then, as the songwriter has said,

We stand in the glory of the King
Knowing that You’re here
You have set us free
You’re here
Let our worship be Your throne
Amazed by who You are
Your presence makes us whole

Songwriters: Kari Jobe / Cody Carnes
Let the Heavens Open lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

 

And that, Dear Reader, is true.

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How I’m Finding Peace

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 9th, 2018mercy2 Comments

 

I didn’t set out to play the One Word game this year. I wasn’t interested in choosing a word for my 2018 focus. But, the word rather found me. During the first few days of January, I caught myself fretting.

“Did the grandkids like what we got them for Christmas? And what about our retirement plan?! Should we reinvest or pick up second jobs? Did I file that last insurance claim before I left work? At what stage of the next book release should I redesign my website? And will that roast in the fridge still be good by Friday?”

Please note, Dear Reader, that these questions all carry equal weight in my mind. Right along with a zillion other things that matter either greatly or not a whit.One day, while I was caught in this cycle, I heard the word, “Peace” in my mind, and I knew I needed to find it.

I also knew I wouldn’t get there by striving. The striving is part of my problem. I knew peace would come when I let it. So, I made some pacts with myself. Maybe they will help you, too.

  1. Stay in the moment. If I’m peeling carrots for supper, I need to peel carrots. I don’t have to think about tomorrow’s tasks. This is the job of the moment, and I can relax into it. I can appreciate the Rose Hill Cottage knobs on my cabinets. I can glance out the window at the sunset over the roofs. I can enjoy the silence.
  2. Think on what is good. The Bible has a scripture about that. About thinking on what is good and pure and lovely. I know that means Jesus, but in the middle of my work day, I sometimes have trouble finding Him. That is when I sing (at least in my head). I’m currently fond of this old hymn, “Peace, peace, wonderful peace. Coming down from the Father above. Sweep over my spirit forever I pray, In fathomless billows of love.”
  3. Connect with what matters. My husband and I love the quote from Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing where the hero tells the heroine to, “Serve God, love me, and mend.” I quote that to myself sometimes. Along with countless other nuggets from movies, books, songs, poems, and Scripture. Those touchstones remind me of specific moments or specific promises that settle my turmoil.
  4. Revel in what works. No matter what has gone on through the day, the moment I walk into our house after work, peace wraps its arms around me. This never fails. If I dash home mid-day to pick up something I forgot, the same peace meets me. Sometimes I actually say out loud, “Hello, Home. It’s good to see you.” Because the peace is so tangible it feels like a Person. Which, of course, it is. God promised that He, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit would come to make their home with us. I know that means in my heart, but I feel them present when I walk into our house. I’m not sure why I’ve been given this gift, but I treasure it. I count on it. I revel in it.

So, I pray for peace. I focus on peace. And I wait for peace to find us all in this shining new year of 2018. Because, “My peace I give to you …,” He said.

 

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