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June 3, 2021 6:00 am
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Build your child's faith with clubhouse junior and clubhouse magazines from Focus on the Family boys and girls ages 3 to 12 will enjoy all the faith building activities from fun crafts and puzzles to character building fiction and powerful Bible stories investing your child's faith all year long. Subscribe firstname.lastname@example.org/kids bags clubhouse and clubhouse Junior award-winning magazines full of games of stories and God find email@example.com/kids may and I think he's feels like a really warm blanket on a cold day to need God's peace feels like calm in the middle of the storm rock. These waves are heating, but the rock doesn't care the peace of God feels like, and exhale. After holding in my breath for multiple weeks. Well, what does peace feel like you today on Focus on the Family will have some observations and strategies for you and your family to intentionally seek out peace in your everyday life for joining us today for Focus on the Family your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John folk John.
I love our relationship with Ray Vander Long who done that video series that the Roman Jewish scholar and one of the nuggets I've taken away from my interactions with raisins concept of God shalom to combat the world's chaos and I love that concept because shalom is Hebrew for peace and that's the deep redemptive piece that we have between us and God.
Because of Jesus's sacrifice on the cross and our acceptance of him as the sun. I got but it can be difficult to bring God's peace to others. If we aren't experiencing that ourselves and that's where it has to start.
It has to start with us in our own hearts actually in the book of Psalms were told very directly. We need to seek peace and pursue it. So today we've invited our good friend KY my back and she's a busy wife and mom and yes she did the career thing and worked in the White House.
At one point so she's had some incredible experiences, but she wants to express the importance of peace and challenge you to a 30 day experiment. The 30 day piece project and that's the topic today. Yeah I know we've had K here a number of times she always brings some great stories from her own personal life and she's so approachable she's written a number of books and as you said Jim of the one that really is foundational for conversation today, the peace project of 30 day experiment practicing thankfulness, kindness and mercy. I we've got that here at the ministry. The link is in the episode notes or call 800 K and the word family for your copy K. Welcome back to focus again. We love of Artie grinning ear to ear because my love having Jan and your stories are so great because they're so errand that pressure gets to getting everything stories because they're the everyday story is what we all experience but you have such a gift of expressing them. Okay, so starting right out of the gate.
Your peace experiment started one day when you're pulling your driveway and you encountered big truck driving by. How did that start your peace.
Journey really think we were on a peace journey in hell that morning began slightly and set out because I had been coming ever. I have the meeting at Bible study meeting every Tuesday house and then pulling together for the copy I got in the fridge and there's cartons of milk that there's no milk cartons and that the only way I just happened to me this morning like that cereal like the cereal box is empty. But why are they sitting there I yes I say I like that kind of race. She started to really get like an art block but people still have driveways that you used to you back in and out of that and there's lots of cars on our block and sell already. It was piled into the street and there's a truck coming like I'm working truck coming my way and he was so nice think he saw me trying to back out. So he pulled to the side and start backing out again to the street and called this huge black truck is barreling up on me and I had on the other side is he the guy pulled over. The black truck decided he was pulling him and served my street like when I happy thoughts are not in my head, and neither are nice words like face-off with the tracking me, and I have no choice but to back okay so lots of discord very much no peace in that situation I start backing up and I look up in this unbelievable sky. The sunrise sky is staring at me, and I think for a moment, like why am I so incredibly crappy, like I'm going to hot Texas day conditioning going into the grocery store where the milk will be a cool, refrigerated Pullout and probably some is okay like gratitude again.
I have no idea what is happening here. Except all of a sudden, I feel better because that's what gratitude does. It starts to like dial down whatever's going and fire at just feelings that are good which physiologically occur in your brain. You have no idea that's happening that desk. I guess amount that whatever they'll work you realized the benefit of working on the blessings in your lives out that thankfulness actually inspires right in that moment, an act of kindness backup three or four cars and pulled to the site is never that many cars on our street, but instead, like Russia, Prussia, you know, I happily did. I thought you know what I am moving there's this act of kindness that occurred in that moment and time as the car barreled by. I thought for a moment. I have no idea what's going on that person's life like none they could be racing to the hospital they could be late for a meeting. They could be a really crappy terrible person which wouldn't be a fun way to let you know and instantly in that moment I had compassion on that person and it mattered so much.
I went and when the ladies arrived and I told them because that's what I can't believe it happened this morning.
This weird thing happened.
I can't believe how good I feel and the next week. One of the lady said can you tell that story again and another lady said I did that thing because I had said to them, I think the key components were thankfulness and kindness like altruistic island getting anything out of it, and the compassion part which it didn't take long to realize that that's actually what mercy that's one of the components of mercy which I tell you in this whole story. Mercy is phenomenal. It's a killer and I don't think we talk about it very much. Without practicing anything were to go through those Three different stores different concepts there, but I think sometimes in society. We think those are soft things and we we talk about winning and we talk about you know those other things that are more warrior like attitude, mercy is kind of tender love that you said that because it actually is a warrior aspect all of them are there so so powerful and they feed life interest in any situation that has discord and settled this frustration and it brings into the equation. Humanity you actually through mercy. The most powerful part about it is that it brings dignity back to the human being the one that murder is being given to as well as the one that is giving it. So, what's so good about that in the broader cultural context of so many people rightfully are clamoring for greater civility thing going on the road. The economic situation the political actuation we just feel like were unhinged now and handed it were not capable of showing each other. These attribute people rapid and the word civility, but it is the things of mercy.
That's part of humanity. And so for the person I'm thinking of the frazzled mom and have frazzled dad. So I get that but just the picture of that person like K who says they really like that like K but that day challenge out of the 30 day piece project really is something going. I can do it for an hour that you expect me to do this for 30 days there so easy and anybody can do them. Here's the thing. Someday she will okay so kindness and mercy like let's define what those are. So when I started it because when they said hey I did I didn't know it was something to do and then once I knew it was something to do.
I was like, let's try it.
And so I got my kids on board which they are stuck. Why, why do they seem to do that now. I think they're just so tired of me that they'll be like yet another, and that it was great so I got a little bit for them and how my friends from that morning wanting to get to sleep really actually embarked on it to see if it was something and we defined it thankfulness to 30 days doing these three things. Thankfulness is just like one thing to be thankful for and writing it each day and I made the room with my kids. It can be the same thing. The second thing kindness has to be an altruistic act of kindness which could be anything like kindness is so simple to do and the opportunities are everywhere and what it does for human beings is insane. It does something for the giver and it does something for the receiver and so if you dealing with anxiety. If you're dealing with depression.
If you dealing with discord, interpersonal or interpersonal just inside of me these impact what is to be the highest travel pathway in your brain is fascinating that as you do these things and the practicing of the kindness it fires things in your brain that you can't cognitively do, which is fascinating and altruistic kindness is different than kindness right it to get something from you okay and then the mercy it's having compassion or forgiveness on someone that actually could possibly harm you, including yourself, and so we go into this definition of what compassion looks like, what forgiveness looks like and it's mercy is somehow I call it mysterious mercy, magical Maryland Hill easel back. Let's start with thankfulness. The first one, and in fact you have a story of your 13-year-old son who had a little bit of a dilemma. I guess we can switch his people. Okay all yeah so when I started this I dropped him off at school literally on day one and I said okay today I get to do this thing. So try to practice thankfulness, kindness and mercy.
He gets in the car when I pick him up and it was a long day for me.
I had just come off of the week. I was dressed because I just left a funeral the day before I'd gone to a different funeral.
So needless to say it, they were not highs, and so this kid gets in the car. We facility thankful for today because I have nothing to be thankful for and I sat there in my own moment of just and I leaned into it have anything to be thankful for my days you body blah blah and he looked at me with these wide eyes because I was like, I'll tell you what you had to be thankful for that. Your mother is picking you up from someone in their life and and his eyes are so big and he was like, how could you say that to me like that's my biggest fear is that you wouldn't be here so I apologize to him and that and explained to him my day and then we instantly met each other in that moment, which was so filled with mercy and life is breathed back into it in the moment, life is breathed back into it. He's instantly on thankfulness going. I love I'm so thankful for. Mrs. Becker had a hard teacher and and then that is like a starter fluid to fire up the rest down before he moved to the next one yet still on thankfulness you have experience in the checkout line to run somebody did you say to my red rude people that cross our path I walk into this great store to return a ride that I purchased from my college kids you know and it didn't work in the dorm room so I'm taking it back and she noticed that there was an issue when I walked in as I'm standing waiting for the cashier and these people are getting in line looking at me rudely I'm helping this ride and I just was going to return it and I step into return and everyone's gruffly at me because apparently I've cut the line to go. I mean you cut the lawn.
I said yes and so I was very recently put at the back of the line by the cashier going the line starts back there so I stand in the line. The lady that I'm behind is mad at me for some reason and says she's talking with the cashier about how rude it was that I cut the line absent going I'm here like is that my being pumped. You know is somebody filming this because this is hilarious. I you were. I think my red was bothering people. I'm not exactly sure what was bothering him. Your daughter didn't like it.
As far as I know I wasn't having any choice in that moment similar to the black truck. I can either enter it in and go you people you know can alive start swinging that roaches that's right, I can picture a little bit and pretended like I didn't but I know you know were sitting here doing this practicing thankfulness, kindness and mercy is like okay I meant settled like I feel the discord of these people talking about me even in front of me so there's there's no peace in that situation and eyes like I am going to fight for it and so I know that thankfulness fires it up and I sit there going I have a ride for a daughter who's in college. I'm so glad I have a daughter she just started taking truth, and as the thankfulness goes and we know what happens and free time. If you can do anything. Start taking three thankfulness and you will instantly start to feel better and so I do and I noticed that the lady in front of me was so crabby didn't have the change in her purse to be able to pay. I had to change in my purse and and I just quietly put it there. You are not really saying anything. I like type it it's yours. If she wears no worries, and so in that moment, it allowed me to really hit compassion because now I actually cared like legitimately cared for these ladies and thinking-no idea, since every time I've no idea what's going on in their day and that is probably one of the most powerful statements to hit to the why. Why is somebody being read. Why are they honking at you.
Why, because if you can go to the Y on any of this.
It some, and it it addresses, kind things like cancel culture all things that are hitting us that are so overwhelming.
If we go to the why. Then we can see the humans involved in it and lead with compassion.
Okay, let's move to the second focus of the experiment which is kindness you cite is a fascinating study. I really this was interesting about letter writing and people struggling with suicidal thoughts. I thought that was really rather sinking.
Tell the listeners and viewers what you discover. Because letter writing such an easy thing it really went off of a psychiatrist who was dealing with people walking alongside people that are dealing with things like PTSD a lot dealing with Russian yet depression folks that have been off at war and he started writing letters just simply writing letters small letters to three lessons wasn't much but had their name on it. It saw them.
It address them and it it was like you I see you your living you matter you matter and so as the people received these letters, it actually impacted them that someone did notice, and that they did matter and there was a gentleman who actually is one of those people that survived jumping off a bridge to end his life and he did not end his life and he received those letters afterwards and it actually lowered the depression in his life. I mean if it gave him enough enough in his life to be able to continue because he matter to someone and I just it's so compelling to think, are we not empty, and I think right now the answers a lot of people are empty. Do we see the people walking next to us. Do we say the names of the people walking next to us. Do we notice them duly and if it's something as simple as letterwriting to go through your own list of people in your life that it impacted you only gosh if you would just write a letter saying to your teacher when you were in grade school. You have no idea how much she meant to me in my life. The tiniest little things and what does the person receiving it. It puts wind in their sails and in the strangest way that this kindness thing does it puts wind in your sails to is the biggest win-win. Okay, let's move the third mercy you light up with my beautiful word mercy and notifying words what defines us is being made in God's image right. It's human and it's an attribute from our creator. I think the neatest thing about mercy is see. This is the one you genuinely absolutely cannot do on your own. I think that's what so powerful about it and that when you practice mercy you experience God, you just can't. There's nothing in us that goes towards that. It's his care. It's his.
It's him yeah okay so even all of these things. I was so hit by the fact that if you look at the greatest commandment level under God with all your heart, soul, Amanda and love others as yourself.
This is living out because loving the Lord your God is thankfulness loving others is an and even ourselves. There's a kindness aspect to it, but genuinely going to the compassion part is mercy, and I think that's why these are so powerful. I can't tell you enough how deeply practicing these impacted each one of our lives and the people that did it, and there so simple happy just five days simple, but it takes thought yes and effort and the thing about mercy.
It takes a couple more things. One of them is willingness which is huge and the other is humility because you have to be able to walk into it with humility and willingness and you also is so critically important to walk into mercy with your identity set with your unsettled in this settled because if you go in on my own power. I'm in trouble. I can only genuinely practice these things.
If I understand who I am and I know we talked about identity before.
I'm not sure it doesn't fold into every conversation because I think we have identity issues well and what did for the person that doesn't know what does that mean identity.
This means being fully grounded in who God says that you are okay as it were the adjectives known your noun your scene your loved you wanted your valued almost here. Value is so high that it's invaluable that we talked about that in Ephesians 2 it says that we are God's workmanship, which the other word is masterpiece which the Greek word behind that is Pollyanna which is this amazing creation that he is done that you have it. He would set you in a room like it. There's no value that could purchase you except someone did. Because of that value yourself valuable to him that he gave everything.
I mean it's just like well and so you have to go into mercy as part of practicing it is that you have to rest in that some way.
Even if you don't believe it, because in order to get compassion after genuinely care about the other person, which means I'm not focused on myself. And therein lies the greatest freedom ever like to not have my eyes anchored on my cell for a minute's giant enormous you know your father-in-law had a great you said he was a great example of Jesus's mercy. You can curb his wife to adequately describe that story and how frustrated God's mercy served on the mission field for 50 years in Bolivia about the time that she started to have dementia and so his life changed and it wasn't exactly what he expected, because we have missed met expectations again which bring discord and the beautiful mercy as he sat with absolute compassion wanting nothing out of life, except complete to serve her, which was a challenge. The more he surrendered to it, the more beautiful it got to the point where he would even help her chew her food and said the unity that surrounded these moments that were so different than he ever thought that they could have the compassion he had on her the compassion that he had on himself and the life that was so full and something that looked like there was no life at all. And therein lies this power of mercy to bring life into situations that look absolutely hopeless. So why do we do it because if we don't do it. We hit this point where we are. I think in society has you are starting out the show saying there's discord.
There is people that won't talk to each other.
This all this hate speech and there is hate against each other political social images fill in the blank and it seems like that is actually too much to handle. But what would we do this like one that we change it just slightly because the best place to start a changes in the home because you can do it and we already know goes back to the it is finished. Part of our life that we are victims to the stuff we can meet it head on. What if you brought out of your house and raising your house people that saw the ones around them as human beings of great worth. Oh my gosh you know what if we lead with thankfulness that was your your instinct. You know to get up to the situation go. This is a feel good. Remind me what I had to be thankful for you Johnny Erickson taught a she's phenomenal on this issue because she does it constantly and she dies and it's like could anything more bad happen and painful and she leaned side-by-side in the day and she said I moved my mouth uttering the words of gratitude that I didn't want to say in the minute she started doing it. She started feeling better, fire up the thankfulness act on it with kindness and then they bit of goodness and mercy and the fullness that you get this year has been so hard for us. I can't even I just can't even so much further than anything we experience with COBIT. Thank it said the intensity there's just can't even begin to describe it.
This got us through so much that we never could have gotten through on a drive home with one of my children that is been hurting so desperately because of something that happened to him when he was little, we pull up to a cross in my couple of busy streets in Dallas and there was a homeless guy standing there during COBIT. I did keep money in my consul and I pulled out what I had and he called them over and I said this is all God didn't seem like enough and I said what is your name and I just I said I want you to know the Lord sees you and he told me his name and then he asked me my name is it was your name I type my name is Kay and he looked at me and he said can I pray for you and I was like yes he prayed for his sister Kay and for the provision in the protection as we went forth in our day. I see they're going to have no idea what your life is like, I can not living your life. He had no idea what was going on in our life and it was like heaven menace right there on that busy intersection as to human beings went to the place where there is life, having compassion on each other and seeing each other's humans with dignity and great worth realtor go. Sorry, but what a beautiful place this on the man-hour of what you're talking about. And man, let me just say on Kay's behalf take the challenge of what she's talking about is developing your spiritual essence. Your relationship with Christ. That's what it's about the peace project and the 30 day challenge to write those things that what you're thankful for showing kindness and showing mercy. Okay, this is God's message. This is God he's limited to us.
I don't even he lent it to us.
I'm so thankful because it gave us life and time and I didn't know there was life, and so is not ours. Come join the ride.
It's a good ride will listen that is what were looking for and again were so grateful that you been with us.
Thank you for being here. Thank you.
I really is always a pleasure.
You guys are amazing well and let me again encourage you to get a copy of casebook of the peace project. All the comes with that and if you can afford it, just get in touch with us will trust that others will cover the cost about but make a gift and will send it to you as our way of saying thank you. Get in touch today and get a copy of this book. The peace project and if there's anything else we can send along your way or do for you let us know please are numbers 800 K and the word family and the link is in the episode show notes Johnny read something I think you'll appreciate K this is from listener and she said this, God's been trying to reach me for a long time but I've always maintained a distance in the last couple of weeks.
Every time I listen to the broadcast I hear something about my marriage or my kids that I needed to hear. I feel such peace.
I've never had or realized I needed. Thank you for being God's voice to me so I can listen to him. I think a lot of people listen to the program today will so yes that's true so that's what you do when you participate in ministry with us were there for people who are hurting and need to hear from you. As you can when you call it hundred K in the word family or stop by the episode notes to see the links and coming up next time why the concept of leaving and cleaving is essential for your marriage.
If you have a tough day at work you get in the car in your first person I called your mom not your wife. That's a problem that's can prevent you from the second half of Genesis 224. The two becoming one on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller you back once more help you and your family thrive in Christ