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Focus on peace

Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God”

I can’t let this one slide by. Here is the proof in the pudding, the real test of my faith, the revelation of my belief system. It slaps me in the face: If I have been justified, I will have peace with God. It is a sweet, overpowering, incomprehensible, calming, cleansing breath type of peace. A peace where the struggle is over. It is a peace of experience, peace of knowing that I am in the family of God. The war is over. All the conflict between God and me is ended; I am at peace with him.If you do not have a sense of peace, it is impossible to restore it by working on your feelings or sitting in a dark room, or self-focus. Peace with God is about acceptance of God’s gift. Go over the facts again, remind yourself of what God has declared. When your faith is restored, then you can handle these doubts and fears. Then you can have peace.


Matthew 5:9  – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessedness: a joy filled response to God’s intercession of grace and mercy to the ultimate fate of man. The introduction to a message given on a side hill by a unique and often misunderstood Rabbi, starts with the word Blessed.  He goes on in his introduction to give nine characteristics of a believer. The one that keeps hitting me in the face is number seven: blessed are the peacemakers. There are only two types of people; those who see others as different from themselves and those who are peacemakers. Who is a peacemaker? A peacemaker is someone who views all as a fellow traveler.

Who is NOT a peacemaker? It is one who sees our culture only through exclusion. A cultural mindset of division, separation, sides, criticality, and enmity. An anti-peacemaker draws lines between people based on crazy criteria. Those who would divide only see others either as being better and privileged, or less and a victim. 

Peacemakers are the ones who live with all humanity in peace.  It is a mindset of inclusion and not division. It is harmony because of the similarity and not the disparity. Peacemakers are those who would see the need for all to have peace.  Blessed are those who advocate peace for all.

August: a month of peace

John 14:26-27 “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”


Praise God!  My sins are forgiven.  I have declared to be at peace with God.  God is at peace with me. Today I will experience the peace that is simply incomprehensible. I trust in a God that loves, cares, draws, forgives, restores, destroys fear, and limits trouble within my heat.

I live with peace within myself, I live in peace with one another, I live at peace with God.

We close August with a sweet peace only God can provide.


Finding Peace August- day 223 of 365     Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


It was no easy time in Philippi when Paul wrote these words. In hard times it is very difficult to “rejoice”. Even more to “rejoice in the Lord, all the time”, without ceasing, continually, without interruption. It is simply crazy talk.  How can I rejoice when the car needs tires, my children are being overwhelmed by their own trials and health situations? When I get close to anyone in any meaningful conversation, I keep feeling their pain, their struggles and, it robs me of my joy.  How can I be full of peace and joy in a world that is all about division, and selfishness? Then Paul piles on with “don’t worry about anything.”

Then when life seems so frustrating and less than meaningful, we find the solution: “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” God’s guarding peace is promised to who pray, with thanksgiving, about everything. No matter how bad or troubling is our situation, we are to pray and give thanks about it all.  Then we will have peace in our situation. And this peace will transcend our ability to understand it.

“What shall we call Him?

The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. – John 8:48-59

What is my identity? Who am I?  What is the adjective that describes my noun? I call myself “Just Larry”.  It is intended as a double entendre; a word or phrase that is open to two interpretations.  First, Just Larry as one of the multitudes, not much, not seen as important.  And second,  Just Larry as one justified by Christ, a child of the King, an heir to a kingdom, and loved and cared for by the Jesus.  One is filled with anxiety and fear.  The other one with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The only time he was ever stressed out was in the Garden when he struggled with his “Who I AM”. How did Jesus relax with the weight of humanity on his shoulders (literally)? Ultimately, He lived a life perfectly because he knew without doubt who he was. As Jesus said, “I AM the way the truth and the life.”  “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”

I know who I am because I believe in the Great I AM and that makes a difference.

What shall we call Him?  Jesus my example.

Just Larry.

“What shall we call Him?”

I John 11-4  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you that we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.


I’m not much of a prayer warrior. Before you gather up your stones to throw at me, I do pray, I do lift up to God my life in expectation of change. But sometimes my requests are about control.  I want to control my circumstances and my plight by manipulation of God to do my bidding. My prayer requests seem to only be about things.  About things I cannot control.  I pray for healing; it is a great thing.  I pray for employment for my fellow travelers so there will be food on the table; good stuff and is sorely needed. I pray for church growth; cool beans, I like to be associated with something that is growing. But as I pray these things which I cannot control they seem to weigh upon me. I like control.  It is hard to “let go and let God.”

The uncontrollability of each situation speaks of my inability to do something about that situation. These uncontrollable things steal my temporary and fleeting happiness.  They make me sad. Prayer requests do not make me happy. Never-the-less, in the hope of joy, that innermost peace that only comes with God’s presence, I pray. I pray to bask in joy, the very evidence of God.  Until then I will pray without stopping.

What shall we call Him? Jesus the hearer of my prayers.

Just Larry.

How was your hike!

John 15:16 You did not choose me, bit I chose you and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.


I grew up in the late 1950’s in a little town pushed up against the Pacific Ocean. Occasionally in the summer as the fog began to lift, I would walk the mile or so down to the beach. Across the dunes I would go. As my shoes would fill with sand, I threw stones into the ocean surges. An occasional starfish would wash up and I would throw it back in. I would walk the beach looking for sand dollars and castaway junk thinking I would find something of great value. Sometimes I simply did nothing but stare at the constantly breaking waves. Time seemed to stop and yet pass by quickly.  At the end of my walks was the realization I had to get back home. The urge of return was complicated because of two paths.

One path was a retracing of my steps back to home and probably chores. The other was to go over the dunes, along the school yard and cross a four-lane highway and show up at my fathers’ workplace.  He was a mechanic at a small local shop. “Hi dad, I hiked over to see how you are doing.” With a smile he pulled out a slightly greasy three wheeled stool, sat me down and gave me a soda. “How was the hike?”, he would ask. And I would respond with my usual, “good”.  He acted like he expected me. Not an overly emotional man, but I could tell he was glad I was there. To share a moment of quiet between father and son.

I am expected in another place someday.  And my heavenly father is expecting me. He may not have a greasy stool and a coke, and He may well ask me, “How was your hike?”. There will be a smile on his face because will be glad to see me.

What shall we call Him.  Jesus our expectant and emotional greeter.

May is MERCY Month, INOGAM –“In Need Of Grace And Mercy”

Matthew 25:35-40,45.

I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. … Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”

When I was 7 one of fondest memories was the seesaw.  We had four of them in the “little kids” playground at Marina Del Mar Elementary school.  Each was set in concrete in a dirty, sandy area. Each recess included running to this simple lever-based plaything.  The excitement was not in the contraption itself, but having someone to share the experience. It was a gleeful thrill to be raised up in the air with a little push.  Then came the dependency and the assurance of an equal push of your companion would bring me back down. Up and down, up and down, it was wonderful.  But the bell would ring and inevitably either I or my partner in joy would stepped off when at the bottom.  Down you would come with a great thump. We all have all felt the disappointment and pain of the bottom. Mercy is someone always willing to balance you.  Balance, that is mercy.

May is MERCY Month, Day 5 INOGAM –“In Need Of Grace And Mercy”

Psalm 86: 1

You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

I look at my hands and see the years of use and abuse they have endured. Quite a few years back I was a meat cutter.  And I have the hands to prove it.  Scars of knife wounds and arthritis both point to the years of heavy and physically demanding work.  When I grab a rope to pull a tarp tight on my truck, one of my finger’s lock in a closed position of pain.   I am tired of the scars and injuries of the past dictating to my present. The pain of life is part of the mortal experience. Please Oh God grant me mercy for this day, to carry on, to be an example of perseverance.  Show me mercy and I will follow it all the days of my life.

April is ASSURANCE Month, Day 29

God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10*

May a sweet feeling of assurance fill our hearts for a moment with a sweet glow. For a twinkling of an eye, we let that experience wash over us.  There have been events of blessing in my life.  They have happened in good time and in some not so good times. In these occasions I have given God all the glory.  But what about the in-between times? The very experience of God’s presence is not enough to keep me all the time.  I have discovered it is the assurance of faith that is the best of all.  It endures whether I am blessed or not. Assurance is the benefit of faith.  I live and breathe in the constancy of assurance. It is held on the level of perfection because it is bound on a promise of God who never changes.