Salvation ... comes from the Lord ... because they take refuge in him. (Psalm 37:39-40)

Sunday, February 12, 2023

New Book - PACE to Peace

See more articles at:

This article consists of exerpts from the Introduction to the book entitled PACE to Peace: Finding Inner Rest in a World of Unrest.

This book is a tool to facilitate transformation of the inner person. Why is inner peace only possible through constant change? The an swer will become apparent as you read, study, and apply the truth found here. We will explore themes discussed in the Bible, especially the book of Hebrews that directly connects our relationship with God and the quality of the inner rest of our souls (see Hebrews 12:14-15, 3:1-12). Increasing the quality of our relationship with God requires constant realignment of our thoughts, actions, and patterns of behavior (Romans 12:1-2). Transformation and sanctification are processes of consistently reordering our old attitudes, beliefs, and standards of living to align with God’s.


“Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one  will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:14-15 NASB).


Looking at these verses in context of the book of Hebrews from the beginning of the chapter to the point where they appear, the sanctification of our soul emerges as a very dominant theme. Faith is defined in the previous chapter, Chapter 11, in the passage best known for introducing the “heroes of faith.” Chapter 12 offers specifics of how faith is lived out.

First, Jesus is the “founder” AND “perfecter” of our faith (see Hebrews 12:2, ESV). The Passion Translation (TPT) expresses it as, “Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection”—that is, completion. There is a beginning and a completion to faith in Christ. Believing in Jesus at a conversion experience begins a process of completing faith’s work the remainder of our lives.

Secondly, verses 4-11 speak of growing, as children grow in their Father’s (parents’) care. Growth involves change and stretching of what is, into what it needs to become. The growth process requires discipline. A commitment to this kind of change brings about joy and peace.

Now to verses 14-15, quoted above. Sanctification is explicitly mentioned “without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Without completion of faith in Jesus through the sanctification pro

cess (change and growth through discipline toward holiness), we have no faith at all. This ongoing change is to be pursued, intentionally sought, and not merely expected to happen on its own. Moreover, this process is intrinsically linked back to our conversion to faith in Christ, and forward to establishing the conditions for our inner peace.


Bible Says Much About Peace

 God’s purposes and plans for peace are far greater than our personal experiences of escaping the feelings of unrest inside. However, our inner life is very important to God. So important that he commands complete surrender of our ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving in exchange for his. The psalmist reflects, “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165; NASB). God’s ways are superior to human ways. We are wise to accept this truth, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:13,17 NASB).

Jesus himself had some things to say about peace. Jesus didn’t come into the world to chase away conflict (see Matthew 10:24). He came to deliver us from enslavement to conflict. First, the conflict that exists within our own soul, and the conflict that puts us at war (sometimes literally) with people around us. Without Christ, conflict is inevitable within, but with and through Christ conflict is, was, and will be an nihilated. Since the first sin of mankind, conflict within and conflict without (our environment) are built into the default nature of every human being. Putting our faith and trust in Jesus means we are yielding to his power to remove the grip of unrest in lost parts of our souls.

Often at the root of conflict is bitterness. Bitterness is created by the seeds of failed expectations, disappointments, regret, hurt, or offense. Roots of bitterness are specifically mentioned in these verses in Hebrews as destructive anti-growth agents. Bitter roots are weeds that will “defile” (reduce the productivity of the garden of our hearts). Bitter roots can take the form of ill-willed thoughts, envy, jealousy, malice, slander, and the like. The critical, condemning thoughts and opinions turn into blame, resentment, hatred and even sometimes revenge.

Our tendency to want to rule our own fate causes our failure to trust God to work all circumstances for good. God’s justice demands that only he can sit on the throne as Judge. Our demands to think and act as Judge create conflict. The rebellion against God at the core of this conflict is why the “Prince of Peace,” Messiah Jesus, came to this earth (see Isaiah 9:6).


Conversion AND Convergence

 This goes to the heart of the gospel message. Luke records Jesus as saying, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV). Until recently, like most Christians, I thought of “lost” souls coming to faith in Jesus in a conversion experience as the full extent of interpreting the meaning of this statement in Luke 19.

However, God is challenging me with a deeper understanding. The inner peace stolen by the enemy of our soul with the entry of sin into the world is part of the loss that Jesus came to redeem. Through the transformation and sanctification process, the seeking and saving of the losses in our lives continues. Faith in Jesus makes us whole. All the broken parts of our soul still touched by the losses are being brought together into the wholeness God intends for us from the beginning. Is is a process of convergence.

Sanctification is God’s divine plan. Being made whole through holiness (set apart on the inside) yields the fruit of increasingly greater degrees of outwardly “holy” behavior. Becoming completely at peace with God’s plan in our innermost being begins at conversion and is fulfilled through a lifelong PACE. I call this a PACE, as each letter in the word corresponds to one of the four parts of this

book; Prepare, Accept, Cooperate, and Engage (described below);.

I grew up in the Christian church thinking the “salvation of souls” refers merely to the conversion of souls. However, the term salvation includes sanctification as well. It includes Jesus completing the faith he has begun. It includes the discipline of growing the faith into maturity. It includes the inner peace Hebrews calls the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (see Hebrews 12:11).


Soul Harvest

 The “harvest” of souls includes all of the above. Let’s be clear that believing in Jesus is not just a decision of the mind to repent (turn around) from one way of life to another. It is a radical surrender to a process of heart transformation as well. For a Christian, seeking the sanctification of our soul is not an option. Responding to God and allowing him to change our heart from the inside out will yield greater

degrees of inner peace. Inner peace can be a gauge for measuring our progress. The more we surrender to God, the more peace we will have in our soul.

Inner change is difficult, but we can be at peace with the uncertainty change brings when we are trusting God through our faith in Jesus. An inner peace and assurance of what Jesus has accomplished

for us, AND what he continues to empower us to do, is foundational for facing the challenges of life. It’s all about his power, not ours.

In summary, I offer my paraphrase of the Hebrews 12:14-15 verses quoted at the beginning. “Pursue inner peace through reconciliation with God, for yourself, and seek this condition for every person you know. Practice surrendering your heart to God for the purpose of a holy being, until the day you see Jesus face to face. Make sure you are living the fullest of God’s purposes for your life by rooting out any bitterness that remains—i.e., admitting your critical judgments, surrendering all judgments to God, and releasing all demands for justice so your relationships (with God, others, and self) can be made whole.” This book is a tool to help guide and encourage you on the journey


 Four Parts to P-A-C-E

P-repare the Heart

A-ccept Our Broken Heart Condition

C-ooperate with God through Surrender

E-ngage Inner Change as a Lifestyle


Summary of the P-A-C-E

The journey through this book begins in Part One with preparing the heart. Recognizing what makes us “tick” (so to speak) is critical to making any kind of positive directional changes. Our heart is like a house. The center of all activities for a farm is the farmhouse. The farmer eats, rests, plays, plans, and finds shelter in the farmhouse. When the farmhouse functions well to meet the needs of the farmer, the foundation for the success of the mission of the farm is secure.

Part Two of this book is about accepting our broken-down heart condition. Without God, our farmhouse and therefore our entire farm is in disrepair and cannot be fixed on its own. Self-honesty about the true condition of our heart is key to taking first steps toward positive change. The humility to continue taking steps toward God is essential to grow out of our brokenness.

Part Three walks through cooperating with God to restore our heart so it can thrive once again. Surrender is a key. Gaining something new requires giving up the old. That’s easier said than done when it comes to old (familiar) patterns of thought and behavior. We must become “wholly” dissatisfied with our own ways to gain satisfaction with God’s “holy” ways (see Proverbs 14:11-12).

Part Four deals with engaging transformational growth as a lifestyle. Changing to be a better person is great, but God’s purposes are far beyond our imaginations and expectations. The only way to discover God’s greater purposes is to embrace inner change by drawing ever closer to God. This includes nurturing a healthy discontent with how far we’ve already come. The moment a farmer becomes too content with his farm’s productivity, conditions out of his control (e.g.,severe weather, pests, economy, thieves) will push things in a declining direction. We must remain vigilant in fighting our broken world’s declining tendencies. We must embrace our need for constant change from the inside out.

I provide some practical tools along the way, and in the appendices. Also in the back of the book are a group of questions for each chapter. The questions are designed to help the pace reader on their own journey to peace. I encourage writing out the answers for each chapter before going on to the next chapter.

Inner life change begins with a better understanding of our inner life. So why not get started now. If you don’t have a copy of the book yet, order the print or ebook version and dig in. Buy the book at: .

See more articles at:

by Ed Hersh, Blue Rock BnB Healing Ministry

Sunday, June 5, 2022

New Refuge Blog

              I am intending this to be a final post for this blog site. My blogging on the topic of Refuge is not ending, but it has moved to a new site.

Since 2011 I have been posting articles on this blog site at At that time I began writing articles to accompany a book I authored called Escaping the Pain of Offense: Empowered to Forgive from the Heart   Although the articles are still relevant and can be accessed at the site, the forum of Google’s Blogger has waned in its usefulness as an adequate platform.

                I believe it is time for a new forum. The new forum offers a better overall experience for readers. It also allows for much more interaction between author and readers. My hope is that the articles and  posts I continue to write on the new site will create a deeper desire to get to know the God I know, and am getting to know more all the time.

Part of the way we get to know God better, Is by relating to other people who love God, and have the same goal of getting to know God better. I look forward to hearing from readers, and interacting with your posts as you post thoughts on the content.

So, go on over to and let me hear from you there.

Have a great day, and please take time to comment at the new site. Share a few sentences of how God has been a Refuge to you. If the articles have helped you, I”d love to hear about it. If you have any thoughts on what you would like me to write about, please share that too. It’s all about our Refuge, Jesus, without whom, there is not much to write about.

                 See you at .

                 And, oh by the way, I’ll hopefully have a second book authored by the end of the year. I’ll be talking more about it there also.

 by Ed Hersh, Blue Rock BnB Healing Ministry

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Psalm 49 - No Need to Fear

Death eludes no one. We may not enjoy thinking about death, but unless we grasp its reality, we will fail at life.

Psalm 49 does well to help us fight off fear of the triumph of bad fortune. The rich and poor alike will someday no longer physically exist on the earth. The smart and stupid alike will face the grave. The beautiful and not so beautiful will see the same fate. The foolish fail to recognize the futility of earthly gains in wealth, power, pleasure, and prestige, but the wise surrender to God’s supreme authority.

We do not have to fear even the tyrants who are bent on destruction   They too will soon pass. We also do not have to fear the loss of beauty, position, and reputation, when our trust is in God Almighty. He is our protection and provision. Our heavenly Father looks out for us far better than we can even look out for ourselves. The Psalmist puts it this way,

So why should I fear in bad times,
    hemmed in by enemy malice,
Shoved around by bullies,
    demeaned by the arrogant rich?

Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue,
    pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means,
    and even then it doesn’t guarantee

Life forever, or insurance
    against the Black Hole.  (Psalm 49:3-9: The Message)


There is One who came to rescue. Jesus is our Refuge. Jesus conquered sin and death, and now lives to bring us into eternal safety.  But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death, he reaches down and grabs me” (Psalm 49:15; The Message). The Bible shows us that Jesus conquered death once and for all. When we trust in Jesus for our salvation from this earthly mess, death no longer has its hold on us. We can live in the security of Father’s house, eternally, starting right now.  To find out more about how Jesus did this, read 1 Corinthians 15:50-57. 

            A phrase repeated throughout the Bible is “fear not.”  Jesus himself often spoke this command to his closest disciples. When God is near, we have nothing to fear. When Jesus is Refuge, our security is huge. When Holy Spirit is leading, on green grass we are feeding. Faith drives out fear. Let faith arise. Faith arrives, and fear disappears, the more we focus on the heavenly in place of the earthly things.  

When it looks like the grave may be the end of it all, we do well to heed Christ’s words recorded by Luke, “straighten up, and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). Because God is near, there is no need to fear. If we are surrendered to him, we are secure in Refuge.

by Ed Hersh, Blue Rock BnB Healing Ministry