Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Find Your Pulse

Photo from
“Find your pulse.”

Though it seemed odd, I felt God saying those words to me during my prayer time. So using two fingers, and applying gentle pressure along the side of my throat, I found the rhythmic thump, thump, thump of my heartbeat.

“Ok. I found it. Now what, Lord?” I asked.

“What did you have to do to find your heartbeat?” He questioned.

I thought about that for a bit. There were several steps I had to take to hear my pulse:

Stop my movements.
Quiet my thoughts.
Center my fingertips on the right spot
Listen closely.

And then it dawned on me; If I take those steps spiritually, I will connect with Jesus, the Heartbeat of my soul:

Stop my movements: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Quiet my thoughts: “Take every thought captive.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Center on Jesus: "Focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2)
Listen closely: "Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more." (Mark 4:24)

Often the hustle and bustle of life muffles our spiritual pulse. Let’s set aside time today to stop and be quiet as we center entirely on Jesus. Will you join me in listening closely for the Heartbeat of our souls?


©2014 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Capturing Peace

Photo by Pam Williams
at Brookgreen Gardens, SC

"When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you.

After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.

A week later his disciples were again in the house and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you.’

Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’

Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’’
—John 20:19-21 and 26-29

Peace can be as elusive and fleeting as a butterfly flitting about on the wisp of a breeze. Jesus understood our penchant for allowing peace to escape us. Within seven verses in John 20, He says three times, “Peace be with you.”

How do we lose our peace? For me, discontent and insecurity can unscrew the lid on my mason jar of peace. Fear and the inability to control a situation can suffocate peace, like placing a butterfly in a container with no holes for air. And sometimes, like the Julia butterfly in my photo, my peace can become quite tattered by inescapable circumstances.

John 20 offers us three ways to capture peace:

1) Share our concerns with other Christians: The disciples gathered together—yes, they were gathered in fear, but later these gatherings strengthened and propagated their peace.

2) Recognize God’s hand in what is happening around us: Jesus showed them His hands and side; He will also reveal His movements within our lives if we look for them.

3) Step out in faith and obey God: Jesus invited Thomas to touch His wounds, proving He really was Jesus, and Thomas obeyed. The result? Peace!

What kinds of situations cause peace to escape you? How do you net peace?


©2014 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Faithfulness Verses Results

The pressure is on. We feel compelled to achieve positive results. Even in the tasks God calls us to do, the demand for “success”, both from ourselves and from others, can produce stress:

“What if only a few kids come to the Back to School Carnival?”

“I’m concerned the congregation might take offense at some of my sermon points.”

“How do I know my donation is going where it will do the most good?”

We get so concerned with the results that sometimes we get discouraged or even talk ourselves out of following through. The daily devotional from Walk through the Bible’s Quiet Walk offers us a better perspective:
“God does the work of God and man does the work of man. The work of man is faithfulness to what God has called him; the work of God is results. If we reverse the two, we can drive ourselves to an early grave. If we keep them in line, we can labor with freedom. We need not get puffed up with pride when things go well, nor need we get distressed when things go poorly. . . Our job is faithfulness; God's job is results.”
I like that arrangement. In other words, if God calls us to blog, we are to blog—whether we see visible signs that anyone is reading our posts or not. If God calls us to go pray with a friend, we go pray—despite how many times we have prayed before, and despite not getting the answers we hoped for. If God calls us to offer our neighbor an invitation to put their trust in Jesus, we are simply to open our mouths and share what God has laid on our heart. Their acceptance of that invitation is between them and God. What we do is powerless to bring about change in others. God must step in and bring the outcome He desires.

One of my favorite authors, Grace Livingston Hill, understood this truth and often shared it through the characters in her stories.

  • “Remember, it is His work. You have not to do with the end of it, nor are any results in your hand. . . I always feel comforted to do the work without seeing the results, knowing that God has planned all that out from the beginning, and all I have to do is to execute the little part of the plan which he has entrusted to my hand.”—from A Daily Rate by Grace Livingston Hill
  • “Mine is the doing when God says the word, but his is the bringing to pass. And that, you see, is the end of all worrying and doubt.” –from The Randolphs by Grace Livingston Hill
  • “Her business was to witness. That was all, just witness . . . She could leave the rest with God. She need not worry whether she was accomplishing anything or not. She did not have to accomplish. That was God's part. She was just a witness!" from Blue Ruin, by Grace Livingston Hill

All God asks of us is to be faithful in doing what He calls us to do. The rest is up to Him. Whew! Isn’t this truth freeing?
“It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What's important is that God makes the seed grow.”
1 Corinthians 3:7
©2014 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Who is He?

Photo courtesy of
“Who do you say I am?”

Jesus asked his disciples this question in Mark 8:29; He also asks it of us, His modern-day disciples. What is our response?

God’s Word declares, “Jesus is Lord!” According to 1 Corinthians 12:3, only those guided by the Holy Spirit can say “Jesus is Lord!”

I am so thankful that when we place our trust in Jesus’ sacrifice for our forgiveness, we receive the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), who then assures and empowers us to wholeheartedly answer Jesus' question with, “You are Lord!”

The truth is that Jesus is Lord, not because of what He has done, or what we believe, but because He is God and God is LORD. There are no elections, ceremonies, or achievements that made Him Lord. He just is!

We have all sung the little chorus, “He is Lord”, but what does saying or singing that phrase really signify?

Colossians 2:6-7 offers an explanation: “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Within these verses we find five indicators of someone whose life proclaims, “Jesus as Lord”:

  • Following Him
  • Letting our roots grow deep in Him
  • Letting our lives be built on Him
  • Growing faith
  • Overflowing thankfulness 

Terry Broome, minister at Broad Street Church of Christ, Scottsboro, Alabama, recently wrote, “We’re acknowledging much about Christ when we declare that He is “the Lord.” We’re indicating that He has authority or power. . . He is the one to whom many of us voluntarily surrender ourselves, and thus some refer to Jesus as “the Lord of my life.” He must occupy this position for any who are in a rightful relationship with Him.”

Many of us say “Jesus is Lord”, but are we living like He is? I have to confess, I’m pretty good at talking the talk but I don’t always walk the walk. One of the five indicators we see in Colossians 2 that I find very challenging is to live a life of “overflowing thankfulness”. Although my life brims over with blessings, my thanks is often stingy. I need to work on expressing my gratitude generously, for Jesus deserves thanks and praise that overflows.

Who do you say Jesus is? If you say, “Jesus is Lord”, in what areas do you struggle to live out your claim?



©2014 Pamela D. Williams