Sunday, March 2, 2014

Here's Your Sign!

One bible verse has been my consistent "go-to" for times of stress and confusion. Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" I woke up thinking of that verse in the middle of the night last night, as I often do, and a picture of the now-famous "Keep Calm" posters and signs came to mind. I thought, if there were ever an appropriate phrase to put on such a sign, it would be, "Keep Calm and Trust God!" I decided to find out more about the history of the little catchy "Keep Calm" phrases.

It just so happens that the original term, "Keep Calm and Carry On" was something the British government came up with in 1939 as a motivational poster intended to raise the morale of the public in the aftermath of widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities several months prior to the Second World War. It wasn't well distributed or publicly displayed back then, but the phrase was resurrected in the year 2000 and has become quite popular now a days (thanks, Wikipedia, for info on almost anything that can be googled!). I think some private companies sell products with such phrases and we see them ever so often on social media sites like Face Book and Pinterest. Yes, the "Stay Calm and _____" phrases have become popular and motivational indeed - so many years after the original posters were created and for different reasons, altogether. I say, if we can motivate people towards good things, then, Carry On!

Now back to my version, or vision, of the poster. I also googled my inspired phrase, and, as I expected, I'm not the first to have thought of it. I was even able to download a picture. It's interesting to me that there is a crown on the top of the sign. I realize why, after reading the history of the poster and discovering that it originated via the British government that is led by royalty. Oh so appropriate in how I envision the sign, also! God, Christ, is the Godhead, the royalty, that is represented at the top of a, "Keep Calm and Trust God" sign. That kind of royalty and the truth of God's Word and His character, which backs up His promise to keep us in perfect peace as we trust in Him and keep our thoughts fixed on Him, is such a powerful WORD picture!
May God's Word be so frequently consumed by us that it motivates our thoughts and actions. May it be written on our hearts and minds and may He remind us that His Lordship is our ever-present companion - even in times of stress and confusion - and beyond. I think we would bode well to remember what God says in His Word. It can motivate us to keep our eyes fixed on Him and not to let our concerns consume us. My pseudo-Message version can be translated, "Keep Calm and Trust God!" Now, there's your sign! It originated from the KING.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Route 68 - A Happy Crossroads

I just spent a nostalgic week in my old Lexington, Kentucky, home. The highlight was, by far, grand baby time, but a few other things left me so aware of God's blessings in my life. About 21 days ago I took on the challenge to post pictures, for 100 days (#100happydays), of things that make me happy. Needless to say, I've been snapping pictures left and right, east and west, from California beaches to Kentucky hills. It has been a fun exercise and I guess that is the point - to make one happy with happy things! Here is the story of one such happy snapshot that made me literally recall  a  real life snapshot and why this picture is symbolic of a time when I was at a turning point of change; a time when I was at a crossroads and I could have gone either way. I am so happy I chose the right path.

My snapshot was of a highway sign in Kentucky on Route 68 - in front of an old building that houses a restaurant that is a regional favorite of many in the Lexington, KY, area. The restaurant is named Ramsey's and the spot on Route 68 right, in front of Ramsey's, is a spot that will forever live in infamy for me. History says that Route 68 travels through many battleground areas from the Civil War.  It was hilly and treacherous terrain back then. One day in 1998 my life was in treacherous terrain as a spiritual, psychological and physical war was raging for the life of my marriage. I had gone to my church to consult with a pastor and ask for prayer. He had prayed that God would give me peace that passes understanding. As I headed home to talk about a possible divorce with my husband, I yearned for God's peace and leading. I cried out to Him to help me forgive the unforgivable.  It was on that spot on Rt. 68, in front of Ramsey's Restaurant, in Lexington, KY, that God answered my prayer. He reminded me that He had forgiven me - He had forgiven the unforgivable - could I not do likewise?! He swept into my car like a peaceful river, washing away any bitterness and unforgiveness that remained. The war had been waged, He had fought the battle for me, and He won as I surrendered everything to Him. As I continued to drive home and speak to my husband that night, it was with renewed grace and forgiveness. God did the rest. That was 14 years into our, then, tumultuous marriage. Now we have been married almost 30 years and the years since then have been a pathway to joy and peace only because Jesus is in the center of it all.

Route 68 was indeed a crossroads for me. I chose the right path, God's road to forgiveness and healing.  I never drive past that spot without remembering what God did that day and every day since then.  His love won the battle.  That really makes me happy!  #Route68