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A blueprint for personal peace.

podcast of this Morning Briefing:

It is early morning as I write, sitting on my back porch listening to the birdsong in the tall trees all around me. A gift to be sure.

And today's scripture has been a gift to my heart, mind and spirit for decades now.

The first time I committed these Bible verses to memory ‘twas out of the King James Version my mother gave me when I was five years old:  

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication 

with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  

Philippians 4.6-7  


In my high school years, I loved The Living Bible paraphrase of the same verses,   

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything;

tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.  

If you do this you will experience God’s peace,

which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  

His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest

as you trust in Christ Jesus.”  (TLB)

The verses emboldened and equipped me.

And no matter the version, the words were comforting and instructive to me.

However, the words became life to me when I claimed them for my precious Amy -- first a little blonde curly-haired girl, then a grammar school girl, and all the way up until I left her at her dorm room at the University of California, Berkeley. Another bald-faced admission here--when I went to the airport to fly back to Southern California after dropping her off, I was so worried, so bereft, I literally laid down on the airport floor with my head on my backpack waiting to board the airplane. (Have you ever noticed that sometimes our raw emotions are reflected in our bearing, our posture?) 'And the verses then? From the New International Version:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,

by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Paul’s intent was clear then and meant for you today: while anxiety will come in this life, Christian, worry will get you nowhere. God has given you the gift of prayer, of communicating with him.  Go to him with everything that concerns you in your life—

tell him your needs,

ask him for his guidance,

thank him for his good gifts in your life,

and he will give you a peace that defies all human logic.  

That is a peace he promises.

But, why the thanksgiving part?  First, children of God must always be thankful for the gift of prayer, the gift of communicating with our loving Heavenly Father; and second, we must bear in mind that whatever his responses to our prayers, we ought be giving him ‘thanks’, because he has blessed us with so many things, starting with the gift of life itself.

And then I remember, particularly when answers to prayer seem slow in coming, God is always at work.1 In addition, ‘He works all things together for good to those who love him!’2  He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps3; he who watches you and me has not gone to sleep on the job either.   


                                                So, before we worry, let us pray. . .                                                  and then before any known outcome, let us give thanks to the God above who is all-wise, always has us on his mind, and has a track record of blessing us!

The guidance in these two verses is a blueprint for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual peace . . . precious words of life!

Peace to you,


Philippians #21

1 – John 5.17

2 - Romans 8.28

3 – Psalm 121.4

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