Peace Everyday

PEACE EVERYDAY

As I was passing out bulletins last Sunday, someone I deeply respect intentionally walked right to me and handed me a piece of paper. Her name sketched modestly on the bottom, she listed an acrostic for hope: Having Optimal Peace Everyday.

This note was written by the hand of a saint who models a deep trust in Christ deeper than circumstances. A widow, she has triumphed through a myriad of tests of faith for decades. Though I am quite sure she has difficult days-all followers of Jesus do-she models the very word she used to encourage me.

If you were to send her a note, what would you say? Picking up on my last column in The Herald-News (I really believe this stuff!), I wrote the following. (I am using my wife’s name to guard her identity.)

Cheryl,

Thanks so much for your “hope”ful acrostic and note. I like it. And, where would we be without Christ our hope?!

I have always thought of you as a great woman of God. There are many reasons for this, but your constant encouraging role-like the note Sunday-is one major one. I looked forward to seeing you when I was on [church] staff. You were-are-such a servant-hearted follower of Jesus.

Did you know I am writing a column for the paper now? Just started. You’ve encouraged me to in creative things-and do them yourself. I have in mind articles for those that seek to follow Jesus well and finish strong. Young ones passionate about walking with Jesus; some of us not-so young moving quickly toward heaven who want to finish strong.

This phrase in Hebrews 7 about Jesus has captured me: He lived an “indestructible life.” Certainly, in context, His priesthood was greatest because He was uncorrupted–He was pure. He defeated death in His resurrection, too. Who He was and what He did lasts.

The promise is: as we glorify the Father, are transformed into Jesus’ likeness, and live faithfully because of and for and like Him, we too leave more than a legacy or good memories. We bring Christ into time, reproduce His values in others, and, in serving, are important links in the chain of advancing God’s kingdom.

You are one of these persons to me Cheryl. Thank you. I am sorry we have not connected more in recent years. May Jesus remedy that!

Philemon 7 (truly), John.

Who is a hope-filled person you can send a letter this week?

The Herald-News
February 8, 2012

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