The Big One

Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. – Ezekiel 38:7


St. Augustine defined peace as “the tranquility of order.” At the highest level, Jesus Christ’s return will bring peace through the restoration of order lost in Eden. And the truth is: peace cannot co-exist with chaos.

How much order do you have in your life? However much, my hunch is that it’s directly proportionate to the levels of tranquility and peace in your life as well. Is your desk and garage kept in such a way that you’re able to find what you need when you need it? How about those drawers and closets?

If you can never find what you thought you filed, you’re much less efficient. If you can’t find a tool when you need it and have to buy another, you’re much less profitable. If you have to spend time hunting for your keys, your wallet, or your mail, you’re much more frustrated. And if you can’t find the things you need when you need them, you’re much less prepared and confident.

Be prepared.” These are words used by military leaders, coaches, athletes, musicians, and others whose lives demand excellence. Order puts us at peace, brings tranquility, and readies us for service.

– Steve Arterburn

Father, please help me to bring order to the areas in my life that are chaotic. Amen.

Children of Alcoholics

The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. – Luke 8:24

Children of Alcoholics

Alcohol abuse is a huge problem in our world today. Let me give you a feeling for how big a problem it is. Over 18 million Americans have alcohol problems. More than 9 million children currently live in homes with an alcohol-dependent parent. And more than half of all American adults have a family history impacted along the way by alcoholism.

The last statistic is worse than it sounds. Half of all American adults have alcohol abuse in their family history. That’s important because alcohol abuse isn’t an individual problem. And it doesn’t end when the alcoholic passes away, leaves, or even sobers up. Alcoholism affects both the alcoholic and everyone who loves him or her.

But, there is hope. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Adult  Children of Alcoholics, and Celebrate Recovery, are all designed to help family members along with the alcoholic. Seek help if your family has been impacted by alcoholism.

Remember, within each of us lies the capacity to grow and alter the way we act and feel. And that doesn’t mean that God will give us peace from the storms of life. He will instead give us peace in the midst of the storms of life.

– Steve Arterburn

I do not want the peace which passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace.– Helen Keller


Walking Our Talk

So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. – Galatians 6:9

Walking Our Talk
If you’re like most people, you seek the admiration of your neighbors, your coworkers, and your family members. But the eagerness to please others should never overshadow your eagerness to please God. And your desire to impress others should never cause you to compromise your beliefs or to defy your conscience. In short, you must be a “doer of the word” by putting God first. In other words, are you walking your talk of love, grace, peace, mercy and joy?

The words of Matthew 6:33 offer clear instructions for managing your day and your life: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (HCSB).

Each new day presents countless opportunities to put God in first place . . . or not. When you honor Him by living according to His commandments, you earn the abundance and peace that He promises. But, if you ignore God’s teachings, you’ll pay a price, perhaps a very great price indeed.

Would you like a time-tested formula for successful living? Here it is: Don’t just listen to God’s Word, live by it. Does this sound too simple? Perhaps it is simple, but it is also the only way to reap the marvelous riches that God has in store for you.

Ask yourself if your behavior has been radically changed by your unfolding relationship with God. If the answer to this question is unclear to you—or if the honest answer is a resounding no—think of a single step you can take, a positive change in your life, that will bring you closer to your Creator.

– Steve Arterburn

Although God causes all things to work together for good for His children, He still holds us accountable for our behavior. – Kay Arthur   

Either God’s Word keeps you from sin, or sin keeps you from God’s Word. – Corrie ten Boom

There may be no trumpet sound or loud applause when we make a right decision, just a calm sense of resolution and peace. – Gloria Gaither

The temptation of the age is to look good without being good. – Brennan Manning

If we have the true love of God in our hearts, we will show it in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it. We will show it in everything we say or do. – D. L. Moody


And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7


Do you remember the Energizer Bunny? The pink, battery-operated bunny beat his drum and traveled about while a voice announced the company’s slogan, “It keeps going and going and going and going…

Can you relate? Many of us feel just like that bunny around the holidays. Church activities, shopping, Christmas cards, baking, cleaning, parties, keeping up with work, and more shopping all have a way of taking their toll. Hard work and service are both good and necessary, but so is stopping once in a while. Even the Energizer Bunny needed to stop for a battery change!

Take some time this coming season to stop and watch the snow fall, and if you happen to be in one of those warm southern states maybe substitute a cool, clear, star-filled night! You’ll find that when you stop, the significance of Christ’s birth will transform your busy heart to a peace-filled heart.

– Steve Arterburn

“Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow.  I cannot be dictated to by a watch.“- Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Freedom through Confession

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:5

Freedom through Confession

Most of us have the bad habit of rationalizing our sin and our errors. We all struggle with our consciences, with our goal to make peace within our own hearts. In order to gain peace, you may deny what you’ve done, find excuses, or try to squirm out from under the responsibility and consequences of your wrongdoing. You may work hard to be “good” in order to compensate for your mistakes. Are you doing everything you can to even the score? Until you confess your faults, you’ll get nowhere.

God holds everyone accountable. We’re like people who’ve committed crimes but who refuse to accept the charges brought against them. You may have spent years constructing alibis, coming up with excuses, and trying to plea-bargain. But if you’re sincerely seeking spiritual renewal, now is the time to come clean. It’s time to admit what you know deep down inside to be true: “I’m guilty as charged.”

By speaking this truth, you stop fighting and admit that you’re wrong. Without confession, there’s no real freedom. And what a relief it is to finally release the burden of your lies and excuses by admitting them to God. This is the very reason Jesus came. Remember He died not because we were good people, but because we’d gone our own way. Come back to Him. When you do confess, you’ll regain internal peace, and your broken spirit will be renewed.

– Steve Arterburn

“Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.”Pope John Paul II

“A soul does not benefit from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.” – Saint Faustina

Edward Spencer, Unsung Hero

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

Edward Spencer, Unsung Hero

We live in a day and age where too many people are convinced that they are entitled.  Consequently, thankfulness seems a lost—nearly extinct—art.  Yet while culture hasn’t helped us in this department, the problem’s much deeper.  It’s rooted in our fallen hearts.

Warren Wiersbe illustrated this in his commentary on the book of Colossians where he tells the story of a ship that ran aground on the shore of Lake Michigan in 1860.  Witnessing this from land, Edward Spencer, a young ministerial student, plunged himself time and again into the frigid waters to pull seventeen desperate passengers from certain death.

But those lives weren’t saved without cost.  Edward’s repeated plunges into the icy lake permanently damaged the young man’s health.  Some years later, at Edward’s funeral, it was noted that not one of those seventeen people snatched from death that day ever bothered to thank him.

Who do you need to thank today?

– Steve Arterburn

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.  Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.  Thankfulness may consist merely of words.  Gratitude is shown by acts.” – Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)

Teen Anger

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. – James 3:17-18

Teen Anger

When Benjamin Carson was a teenager he had a terrible temper. One day he got into a scuffle with another youth, drew a knife, and stabbed at the other boy. The blade, however, caught on the boy’s belt buckle.

That moment was a flashpoint experience for Carson. He went home and fell to his knees, praying for three hours for the Lord to take his temper away.

So, what happened to that boy? Benjamin Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, known all over the world for his surgical skills and care for his young patients.

But if God hadn’t prevented his blade from striking and Carson hadn’t conquered his temper that day, hundreds of patients would have been deprived of his compassionate care. Aren’t you glad God is in control and watches over every detail of your life?

– Steve Arterburn

Don’t lose your temper, use it.” – Dolly Parton (1946- )

Make the Peace

How can one “make peace” with an ‪estranged‬ family‬ member? Jill Hubbard and Dave Stoop discuss how to negotiate ‪connection‬. Watch the video now.


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If She Weren’t Family, I’d Sue Her!

Just before Heidi’s father passed away, he loaned a large sum of money to her aunt.  Now she and her brother are due the repayment as part of his estate, but her aunt won’t pay the bill. It’s frustrating for Heidi, who wants family peace, too. Watch the video for more.

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Genuine Contentment

Genuine Contentment

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. – Psalm 29:11 NIV


Everywhere we turn, or so it seems, the world promises us contentment and happiness. But the contentment that the world offers is fleeting and incomplete. Thankfully, the contentment that God offers is all encompassing and everlasting.

Happiness depends less upon our circumstances than upon our thoughts. When we turn our thoughts to God, to His gifts, and to His glorious creation, we experience the joy that God intends for His children. But, when we focus on the negative aspects of life—or when we disobey God’s commandments—we cause ourselves needless suffering.

Do you sincerely want to be a contented Christian? Then set your mind and your heart upon God’s love and His grace . . . and let Him take care of the rest.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.   ~John Piper

The secret of contentment in the midst of change is found in having roots in the changeless Christ—the same yesterday, today and forever.   ~Ed Young

Contentment is something we learn by adhering to the basics—cultivating a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, living daily, and knowing that Christ strengthens us for every challenge.   ~Charles Stanley

Contentment is not escape from battle, but rather an abiding peace and confidence in the midst of battle. ~Warren Wiersbe

Dear Lord, You offer me contentment and peace; let me accept Your peace. Help me to trust Your Word, to follow Your commandments, and to welcome the peace of Jesus into my heart, today and forever. Amen