Peace is perhaps the most elusive, miraculous phenomenon in the human experience. From the kindergarteners arguing on the playground to the world powers storing up technologically advanced weapons, we clearly struggle to coexist peacefully with each other. Yet for all our efforts to generate peace between people, we often overlook the importance of finding peace within ourselves. Though we long for this inner peace, our world full of war, famine, bank collapses, pandemics, and day-to-day struggles has discouraged us from even trying to find it. In his new book, Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times, author William Moss shows readers that inner peace is indeed attainable in the person and presence of Jesus. As a high-powered businessman and a key political decision-maker, Moss has faced his share of daily distractions. For over a decade, he has studied and practiced the lost art of Christian meditation. I believe God wants us to find peace and will show us the way, if we are willing to accept it. But for many, the peace of God is elusive. They are not sure how to accept it or where to begin in their pursuit of it, says Moss. There are many difficulties, distractions, and hardships that stand in the way of our inner peace. Sometimes these are due to our circumstances. Other times it is our sin or the attitudes of our hearts that stand between us and the inner peace we crave. Through prayer and meditation we can transcend all the distractions and difficulties of our days if we live by the Spirit and put Gods love and presence first. Many believers are wary of any form of meditation because of its association with Eastern religions. These Christians might be surprised to learn that meditation was regarded as a key spiritual discipline throughout church history. Eastern meditation focuses on emptying the mind completely. Christians find inner peace by filling their mindswith scripture and with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Another fundamental difference is the motivation behind the meditation. Peace, like life, is a gift from God that is for His gloryand it is meant to be shared. For those who are in Christ, meditation is not about practicing the kind of self-focus that precludes people from being involved in the solutions of the many problems that confront them. It is communion with God through the Holy Spirit. It is letting go of anger, worry, and fear and taking on the loving, serving character of Christ instead. Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times uses key scriptures to demonstrate Gods gift of peace to every believer. This slender book encourages readers to be intentional about pursuing that peace, even including a simple, step-by-step example of Christian meditation. With the constant stream of media, noise, commitments, conflicts, and other distractions, you will not likely find times of quiet, stillness, and spiritual reflection unless you plan them, unless you pursue meditation as a discipline, states Moss. The key to inner peace and a fulfilled life is one that is grounded in Christian mediation.
About the Author
William Moss career has involved oil and gas exploration, real estate development, ranching operations, security investments, motion picture and television production, and public service. Among his many accomplishments, Moss has organized and successfully operated 15 corporations. He established the Free Enterprise Institute at Southern Methodist University and was appointed to the Executive Advisory Board of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Moss served on the George H. W. Bush for President National Steering Committee. From 1989 to 1992, he was Chairman of the Presidents Drug Advisory Council which was part of the Executive Branch of the White House. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Washington D.C. Currently Moss serves as a Trustee of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation. He is a member of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas, and is active with the Fel lowship of the Society of St. John the Evangelist Monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since becoming an Episcopalian in 1995, he has pursued Bible study, written many prayers, joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and studied Christian meditation. He resides in Dallas with his wife Dianne and little dog Champ.
Q & A with William Moss
Q: Our world is characterized by war, violence, and conflict, and many of us experience that conflict in our inner beings. What would you say to those who long for inner peace but wonder if it is possible to find?
A: I believe God wants us to find peace and will show us the way, if we are willing to accept it. But for many of us, the peace of God is elusive, and we are not sure how to accept it. How do we search for this peace? Should we isolate ourselves from the world around us by withdrawing and adopting an inward focus, that we might gain that peace for ourselves? Though this seems the obvious answer, I believe those who are in Christ should avoid the kind of self focus and withdrawal that would preclude us from being involved in the solutions of the many problems that confront us. Instead, we search for inner peace because we want to share it, that we may be able to help others. Inner peace, like life, is a gift from God that is for His glory—and it is meant to be shared.
Q: If God wants us to find peace, why is it so rare to meet someone who has truly found it?
A: Obviously, there are many difficulties, distractions, and hardships that stand in the way of our inner peace.
As Paul said to the Galatians, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law of Moses.”
Paul says, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”
Today there are some distractions Paul did not include such as: worry, self-preservation, hunger, lack of money, arrogance, competitiveness, criticism, and illness, to name a few. It is these distractions—whether due to circumstances or the attitudes of our hearts—that stand between us and the inner peace we crave.
Q: Who is the source of our inner peace?
A: The Bible clearly tells us, time and again, that Jesus Christ Himself is the source of that peace. In Romans Paul says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Again in Ephesians, Paul says, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” In Colossians, we read, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” And consider the words of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, found in the book of John: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus gives peace to every believer. But so often, we allow the distractions of our days and our choices to pursue sin instead of the character of Christ to prevent us from accepting that peace.
Q: Some Christians have been wary of the art of Christian meditation because they have associated the word “meditation” with Eastern religions. Why is meditation so vital to our search for inner peace?
A: We live in a strange and changing world shaped by banking collapses, recessions, wars, politics, famine, hurricanes, pollution, and diverse economies and demographics. How does this changing, strange world affect our daily decisions? Where does God fit into all of this? One of our biggest hurdles to hearing God’s voice is the fact that we simply are not listening.
Many people wrongly believe that Eastern religions have the monopoly on “meditation.” The truth is that meditating on scripture was a spiritual discipline valued by the early church fathers, and it is a practice the church desperately needs to return to today. Whereas the aim of eastern meditation is to focus on nothing (in effect, emptying the mind), Christian meditation is about filling the mind—focusing on Holy Scripture and Christ. With the constant stream of media, noise, commitments, conflicts, and other distractions, you will not likely find times of quiet, stillness, and spiritual reflection unless you are intentional, unless you pursue meditation as a discipline. Through prayer and meditation we can transcend all the distractions and difficulties of our days if we live by the Spirit and put God’s love and presence first.
Q: What role does the Holy Spirit play in our search for inner peace?
A: God’s Spirit is within us constantly. As we read in John, “We know that we live in Him and He in us because He has given us His Spirit.” Therefore, because God is in Jesus, Jesus is in you, and you are in God. The Holy Spirit dwells in you at all times, and it is the Holy Spirit that connects you to Christ and to God, the power source that brings inner peace. Prayer and Christian meditation takes on a completely different quality when we realize that God knows us intimately from within. And God is love; within God’s love are the seeds for inner peace. When God comforts and encourages our souls through His love and when we share that love with others, He is guiding us along the path that leads to inner peace.
Q: Because the practice of Christian meditation has been neglected for so long, many Christians aren’t sure how to begin. Can you offer an example to get them started?
A: Start prayer and meditation by finding a quiet comfortable place, by closing your eyes, by breathing deeply until you are completely relaxed. Quietly and slowly open your heart and mind to a loving God whose Spirit is dwelling within you. Breathe in love, breathe out anger.
Breathe in peace, breathe out despair. Relax: let God’s love into your heart. Be calm. Be at peace. Take more deep breaths, and feel the stress, anxiety and fear drain from your bodies.
This exercise will prepare you to listen to God’s voice as you concentrate on a scripture passage and to respond in prayer.
Q: What is the most important message you want to communicate in Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times?
A: If we seek inner peace we will find it. In the book of John, Jesus says “And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.” So many people don’t experience inner peace because they haven’t truly sought it. My hope is that through reading this book, people will commit themselves to that search for inner peace and share this peace to the glory of God.
This small book (26 pages) carries a divine message! But was delivered poorly.
This 'essay' (as called by Moss himself at the end of the book) is in an easy to read format. Some pages have as little as three sentences (pg 15). Though it does contain many scriptures from the Holy Bible on peace, to me seems much as to what could easily be found in the concordance or even in those small 'gift books' that are popular that contain scriptures and quotes in them. Moss doesn't give an real insight into the scripture, just states the obvious about it, or sometimes even just quotes it.
I found that having a page a full blank page, for jotting down thoughts and prayers, next to each written page (some that only contained a short paragraph of writing) was a bit much. I felt that this might have been just to make the book longer. If all the writing we to be taken and put in paragraph form it would be about 6-8 pages. Period.
The set up of this book is more like a child's picture book, having just a few sentences on a page. Instead of having a picture, it has a blank page for note taking.
I would not purchase or gift this book. I did not get much out of it personally, but then again, I am not much into the 'gift books' either, so maybe that is why. I feel that is was a great message, but maybe it should have just been published as an article in a Christian magazine or something.
B&B Media has sent me a copy to give away.
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Random drawing will take place on April 1!
Legal Stuff: This book was provided by Audra at B&B Media Group. This review is fully mine!