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Being In God’s Presence

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as

the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid.

John 14: 27 (NIV)

Here in my kitchen I just finished flipping through the family recipe box in search of a few holiday favorites. Spying the dog-eared corners, and flour worn backs, I was able to pull out the cookies’ ingredients, in record time.

Adding new items to my growing list, and checking it twice, I was feeling pretty excited about carrying on the holiday baking tradition with my youngest granddaughter. But as I began to dream of painting new memories, and envisioning the familiar tastes and smells of Christmas, I found the need to stop.

I wondered about all the extra things we try to cram in to “do,” during this one month of the year, and how it takes away from who we are called to “be.”

Whether it’s chilling cookie dough, pulling out the decorations, or the extra personal touches we wish to give to those we love, getting into the holiday spirit can seem energizing and draining all at the same time.

No doubt if you are reading this, you may feel this way, too.

As people are getting ready on the “outside” stringing lights, standing in long lines, picking out that special holiday outfit, the distractions, and hustle and bustle of the season can leave you and me too stressed to rest.

If we let it.

There is a deep yearning for me to be ready for Jesus on the “inside.”

In the popular Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” the Greek meaning for Emmanuel means God is with us. Always.

In the frantic and harried moments when the world wants to steal our attention, God is there.

In every tragedy and triumph, amidst the chaos and celebration, God is present.

When my heart cries out for a sense of calm and tranquility the voice of the Holy Spirit points me to our Savior’s assurance, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14: 27).

When the Miracle of Christmas was born peace was freely given.

The peace that surpasses all understanding provides hope, inner strength, and courage. The Spirit’s guidance to walk in the Light of Christ, allows you and me to bring that same Light to others.

God knows what you and I need before we even ask.

For “God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we may live through him” (1 John 4: 9).

I’ve come to believe that prioritizing my to-do list with the Lord, sharing my concerns, and troubles with him, and wrapping my day in prayer is the only recipe I need.

Planned worship sets my day in motion.

Later, whether it’s a walk through the wonders of nature, reading Gospel Promises, or sitting in sacred silence, I am at peace. When I rest long enough in the arms of our loving Father, He makes all things new.

Being in God’s Presence is the Greatest Gift of All.

Until next time…

May the Spirit of God lead you, the Word of God sustain you, and the promises of God grant you the gift of everlasting peace.

Love and Blessings.

Send me your favorite Christmas recipe to, and I’ll send one back. Your prayer requests are always welcomed.

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