Thursday, March 24, 2022

Blog Tour: Seasons Under the Juniper Tree



Christian devotionals, Christian Bible studies

Date Published: February 15, 2022

Publisher: Clay Bridges Press

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Life today is scary, complicated, and hard to get right. So much conflicting information is at our fingertips, and society shows the results of everyone choosing their own version of "good."

This year-long daily devotional doesn't just talk about God; it takes us directly to God and His inspired words in the Bible. Many think the Bible is archaic and out of touch with life today. But you will discover in these devotionals that the Bible is a great read, full of real people in real time navigating real situations.

The Bible uncovers God's heart for us. He has given us tools and strength for our lives today. The Bible reveals God's patience and perspective. Most importantly, it leads us to Jesus, God's Son, and the plan that reconciled broken, imperfect people to God. Because Jesus paid the penalty for our wrong choices, we can live confidently-loved, empowered, and forgiven by God. Life today is scary, complicated, and hard to get right. So much conflicting information is at our fingertips, and society shows the results of everyone choosing their own version of "good."



During one of the times Paul was in prison for preaching about Jesus, he wrote a letter to the church in Philippi. A new theme—joy—emerged in this writing. Approximately 16 times Paul used some form of that word as he pressed the point that a life with Christ Jesus is a life in which we can rejoice, no matter the circumstances.

In this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

—Phil. 4:1, 4–7

Paul had been under house arrest and had been thrown into dungeons and prison cells. Each of those situations was included in the “always.” Your situation, mine, your family’s . . . if we are in the Lord, we have reason to rejoice.

What Paul is saying is not for the physical part of us as much as the spiritual. His joy, and ours, was based on the peace of God—not peace in God or peace with God but the peace of God. It’s supernatural, spiritual, and not a human peace, which is why it is beyond understanding.

If we are being physically hurt in any form, we are not being told we should praise God for it. Jesus certainly didn’t do that during His court hearing, beatings, and crucifixion (Heb. 12:2). Our emotions, thoughts, and body will respond to being harmed instantly and in the days and even years to follow, but with God as our center, we have His peace inside of us. This battle is spiritual, not physical. And our weapons are joy in the Lord, prayer, and the peace of God.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

—2 Cor. 10:3–5

The verses in Philippians 4 are about taking our thoughts captive. We won’t let our mind race with bitterness, anxiety, or hatred. We’ll turn our eyes from our wounded selves, tear them off of our enemy, and look full on at God. A stronghold is any excuse or reason we rely on to reinforce our opinion or way of living. God and our parent didn’t protect us from pain, so we start to believe we are unlovable, not worth protecting, and that no one can be trusted.

Stop! In everything, by prayer and asking, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. His peace, not a bumper sticker’s peace, will guard our hearts and minds. We are not equipped to destroy the lies and fiery arrows of Satan. God is. Ask Him. Give your thoughts and emotions to Him, and I promise that you will experience the peace of God in the middle of your worst nightmare. And then you will rejoice—in Him.


Bible Reading: John 14:26–27, Philippians 4


About the Author

Tricia Kirchmeyer was born in Colorado and then moved to Southern California, where she raised her family. She's been married 39 years, has three children and three grandchildren, and now lives close to her grandchildren in Idaho. While raising her kids, Tricia worked in the public school system, K-12. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and reading.

Tricia has written and taught women's Bible studies, as well as written scripts for plays for vacation Bible schools and adult plays for "The Living Supper" Easter productions at her church. She has also led weekly Bible studies in the Correctional Youth Service.


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Instagram:  @triciakirchmeyer

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