woman standing on shoreline

The Key to Peace

A Contest

If you grew up going to church, you probably remember the old hymn “Count You Blessing.” If it were a Sunday night service, there would often be contests around which group of people could sing it the loudest!

The song leader would shout, “The left side of the aisle first!” And a boisterous “Count your blessings” chorus would burst forth. “Now the right!” and the folks seated in the pews on the right side of the aisle tried to sing even louder. “Now the women!” and a beautiful “Count your blessing” round would be heard. Then it was the men’s turn; those always sounded off-key and weak in my church.

Of course, we’d change it up and sing, “Count your blessing. Name then ton by ton.” Often, the song director would stop the song and ask if anyone had been blessed that week. This was a safe call because two or three always had the same testimony, which was good. It broke the ice for others to stand up – the scary part – and tell the congregation about something God had done for them that was poignant, personal, and powerful.


I miss those times. I’m not against 7-11 worship – seven words repeated eleven times – but many of those old hymns taught people how to live a Christian life. “Count Your Blessings” is one of those. Consider the first verse.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

by Johnson Oatman

If you’ve ever watched an episode of “The Deadliest Catch1,” you’ve seen the dangers of a raging sea. Of course, Christ’s Apostles had a first-hand experience of raging sea2. Jesus never held back the truth that in this world, “you will have many trials and sorrows.” Here’s the whole verse:

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NLT – I have told you all this so that you – Bible Gateway

I like to tie this verse to Matthew 18:7, in Young’s Literal Translation.

Wo to the world from the stumbling-blocks! for there is a necessity for the stumbling-blocks to come, but wo to that man through whom the stumbling-block doth come!

Matthew 18:7 YLT – `Wo to the world from the – Bible Gateway

Like Water Off of a Duck’s Back

Notice that Jesus said, “For there is a necessity for the stumbling-blocks to come.” God never wastes anything, and all things a subject to God. These stumbling blocks come from the world, and those worldly people will be judged for their wicked actions. Nevertheless, there are reasons that God allows the world to rage against us. There are reasons we are “tempest-tossed.”

In our times of trouble, depression often tries to enter our homes – our lives – but Jesus gave us a promise. He said, “Take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We must not repeat what the Apostle Peter did and look at the raging sea; we must drawn deeper into Jesus, our Master and Savior, for it is in Him that our peace and joy can be found. In Jesus, fear and worry roll off of us like water off a duck’s back.

Good News

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

The key that Jesus has given us to overcome life’s problems is to seek our strength from Jesus, not from our abilities, social connections, or any other worldly thing. This hymn reinforces this key to victory.

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

I pray that no matter the burden you carry, you will find your rest and strength in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

* No part of this article was produced by artificial intelligence (AI). **

  1. Discovery’s Deadliest Catch | Discovery ↩︎
  2. John 6:16-21 NLT – Jesus Walks on Water – That evening – Bible Gateway. ↩︎
Picture of a group of soldiers during WWII

We Can Do It!

In case you forgot, today is Veterans Day. The picture that I have included is of my dad during WWII. He, like so many of his fellow soldiers, was a farm boy. He rarely talked about his life in the military, but when he did, the first story he told was about how fantastic the food was. Yes, you read that correctly.

Dad grew up during the Great Depression. His mother died when he was young, and my Grandpa Moore struggled to feed his kids. So, Dad was nearly speechless when he entered the military and had a full belly of a well-prepared meal. He said he was shocked when men around him complained about the “chow.” We never understand what we lack until we experience an increase.

The same is true with salvation. Until you receive Jesus as your Savior and are reborn, you have no idea how wonderful it is to be reconciled to God. The new life that Jesus gives us is inexpressable. We all try to communicate what it’s like for God to be alive in us. I suppose that’s why there are thousands of hymns and praise songs; we long to worship our God for His marvelous grace and mercy.

Famous Slogan During WWII

Public Domain

One Thanksgiving many years ago, we had a small reunion at my parent’s home. As the evening was winding down, I asked Mom and Dad if they ever were worried that Germany and Japan would win. In an instant, my mother chimed in and said, “Never! We didn’t know when, but we knew we would win.” In a way, this is how our confidence in Jesus has been and is for every Christian that has ever lived.

We know that Jesus will win. We don’t know when, but we know He will win. And we will be with Him when He does. Now I think that’s Good News.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
    and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:10–12

arm breaking a chain

Victory in Jesus

Perhaps it’s only me, but never before have I felt so utterly surrounded by evil, bad behavior, and lies. Leaders in our nation and the world would rather speak ten thousand lies than utter a single truth. No longer is there any restraint for them. Morality holds no sway. Ablations (surgical removals) are applied to their consciences. They withhold no evil for themselves and disregard every good thing.

On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

Psalms 12:8

A Delicacy

Evil has become a delicacy, a thing to be desired and savored while they can bear no righteousness in their sight. But as King Soloman wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.Ecclesiastes 1:9 We should not marvel at these things for this is the natural order of humanity. King David’s Psalm remains faithful and true:

Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief [bad behavior] and gives birth to lies.

Psalms 7:14

It Doesn’t Look Good for the Wicked

What are we to do? Pray and trust the one true God. That’s what King David did, and he tells of the future of the wicked.

15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. 16 His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends. 17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Psalms 7:15-17

Good News

Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me 'ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
- written by E M Bartlett

Will we see these judgments? Maybe yes, maybe no, but we can rest in the Truth of God; Jesus is the Truth. These judgments will come upon the wicked. But we cannot find comfort or joy in them. We must find our victory in the God that cares for us.

Youtube: Guy Penrod singing "Victory in Jesus"
Youtube: Guy Penrod singing “Victory in Jesus”

Image by Comfreak from Pixabay 

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Rusty old car in the woods


My grandpa was a carpenter for the North East Oklahoma railroad. Their inside joke was that they worked for NEO (any old) railroad. Since he was a carpenter, he had carpenter stuff in his garage. I once found a bucket full of rusty old nails in there. They were probably new when he put them there. But when I found them, he had been retired for quite a while, and any time he had, he spent fishing, so the nails no doubt stayed in that bucket until he passed and someone else cleaned out his garage.

Nails forged from iron will remain iron for as long as this world exists if they are protected. But exposure to corrosive elements and iron transforms into rust which is corrupted iron, iron which has no strength and cannot be used for the nail’s intended purpose.  

Evil Can’t Exist Without Good

Evil can be compared to rust on an iron nail. Just as iron rust can’t exist without iron, so the corruption of evil can’t exist without good. We find in Genesis 1:31 (ESV), “God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good….“. Only when God’s good came could evil come forth and cause corruption.

As I mentioned previously, a rusty iron has no strength. Similarly, evil in a person steals their moral strength, making them weak and unable to do what is right. Also, a rusty nail can’t be used for its designed purpose. So, too, a person corrupted by evil is unable to fulfill God’s purpose for them. 

No Fear of Rust

Yes, corruption is active all around us, but as Christians, we are as protected iron for we have this promise in Galatians 1:3-5 (ESV): “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Jesus has immersed us in grace and peace, sealing us with the Holy Spirit. While we live in this corrosive world, we need not be afraid of its rust.

Photo by Brandon Molitwenik on Unsplash

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