Tag Archive | fear

Overcoming Fear

How good is it to know that there are others out there trying to process the same kinds of things that you are?.

I was chatting with a friend the other day. She asked a question that I have considered many times over.

What was the question you ask?

“How in the world do people who do not know Christ personally, manage in their lives when everything comes unglued?”

The truth is; they don’t.

They get addicted to things like drugs, alcohol or work; and engage in all sorts of behaviors that dull, numb, or otherwise cover up their fear, and pain, and sorrow,

Our conversation put me in mind of a blog post that I made on October 3, 2011; about fear and how we face it without coming unglued.

I share it with you here.

Rocking Chairs and Tornadoes

Oct3

With all the news as of late about natural disasters, it is really difficult to

“Be not afraid.” or “Fear not.”

Some events in our lives may make us feel like we are in those disasters, even though physically, we may not be.

You know what I mean don’t you?

Are there things going on in your life that have the potential to strike sorrow and fear into you?

If we compared these disasters, what would we find they have in common?

I never gave this question much thought until I heard Nate Berkus recount his experience  of being swept away in a tsunami.                       

In the water with him were telephone poles, barbed wire, parts of trees and people’s homes …. and people.                                                   

All these things were swirling around him and beating his body, all the while he was fighting for his very life.

Is that how you feel right now?

Is the debris of your life beating you while you are struggling to keep your head above it all?

Are sorrow and fear and loss threatening to engulf you?

Do your circumstances feel like they are beating the life out of you?

   Consider this picture.

Your life is a tornado.

Debris is flying everywhere and the mayhem of it all is causing you mass confusion.

You are swirling around with this mess and there is no exit.

This is not too much of a stretch, if you are like many of the people you know.

The fact is, you may recognize some of those folks in the havoc, right along with you!

              Now push the pause button, and consider a different picture.

The tornado is still there.

The debris is still flying and the mayhem is still circling you.

HOWEVER

The difference is that YOU aren’t anywhere to be found in the mass confusion.

YOU are firmly planted in the middle of the eye of that storm.

YOU are seated in a rocking chair.

                                                 What does that mean?????

Firmly seated in a rocking chair, in the eye of the storm?

The peace of your Father God is planted deeply in your heart.

YOUR heart is full of the knowledge that He is aware and in total control.

To be sure, there still may be sorrow and loss, but YOU do not have to live with fear.

How do I know this?

First off, I’ve had my fair share of living in fear. 

Secondly, the Word of God plainly states that if you know Him, if you receive what His Son Jesus did for you on the cross, then you need not be afraid.

I believe the word of God to be true. 

Every word.

So when He says not to be afraid (found over 80 times) in the Bible,

I choose to obey.

Notice I said “choose”.  Being afraid is not a sin.  

What you do with it could be.

You get to make that choice.

The only thing you are to fear is God.

That is a different fear.

Not spooky, creepy fear, but a fear that is defined as being in awe of Him.

Here’s the ask.  For today. 

Use the following verses in your circumstances.  Today.

We can truly only do it for today.

Choose to let God be in control of your chaos.  Today.

Choose to sit in that rocking chair and relax while He takes on everything that would set your heart to fear.  Today.

This is not an easy task.  The world we live in caters to fear.  Its goal is to make us afraid.

Just look at the nightly news.  (No wait, maybe you shouldn’t)

At any rate, giving your fear to God will get easier with practice.

Note: Remember ~ Doctors practice.  Lawyers practice. Athletes practice.

Why do they do so?  To get better at what they do.

I encourage you to practice not being afraid.

Choose to sit and rest on your rocker, while God handles things.

Hebrews 13:6 (ESV) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

John 14:27 (ESV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Matthew 10:31(ESV) Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Isaiah 41:10  (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)  Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

This entry was posted on October 3, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged choicefearheartJesusmindNatural disasterrestthought lifeTornadoestruth. Bookmark the permalink.

Heartbeat – Let Your Heart Not Be Troubled

*

These words have been on my heart for a while.

I believe they are key to our survival in this place that is not our home.

Lately, I have noticed them every where.

In movies.

In people’s speech.

In photographs.

And digging their roots deeper into my heart with each passing day.

They are the heart of God.

The words are His.

Written to us in a love letter.

Won’t you click the links and let them seed themselves into your heart as well?

Do not let your hearts be troubled.

3:00 – 3:20

Do not let your hearts be troubled.

2:30 – 4:04

Do not let your hearts be troubled.

3:52 – 3:50

There is much in this world that would cause us to be afraid.

We must be strong and courageous,

not afraid.

We must not let our hearts be troubled.

*

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

You Are A Writer Day 4

Today is Day number 4. (at least for me it is)

Day #3’s assignment was to get up early and write for two hours.

No tweaking.  Just writng.

Well I did not get up way early, but I did write for two hours.

No tweaking.

When I was finished I did however use the spell checker.

I never could stand those red marks on my paper.

Today.  Day #4.

Writers Practice.  They practice in public.

This is a pretty public place.

So here it is.  Yesterday’s assignment.

Spell checked, other wise untweaked,

Just as it came out of my head.

Hope you enjoy it.

====

The Property

They fell in love with it at first sight.

Even passing it by accident along the way that day, they fell in love with it.

Once the realization came that they had passed the address on the paper, they were thrilled to find that the place they were seeking was indeed the place that had caught their eye in passing.

Once in the driveway, it more than caught their eye, it caught their breath away.

The drive had flanked by Blue Spruce trees on each side, gave way to the house which was an old two story farm house.  Currently there was a massive grapevine covering a wooden fence next to the drive.  The ones, who occupied this dwelling at this time, had installed a glorious stained glass window in the upstairs window that faced the drive.

Trees surrounded the enormous yard on three sides.  At the front of the drive was a view that went for miles.  The horizon in the front and in the back, a hill side full of trees.

Once they were in the “way back”, the place where the woods were deeper,  it caught their imagination.

Being fans of Tolkein, the woods became a hideout for elves, a Lothlorien kind of place.  In their minds they could see the elves and their homes in the trees, softly lit at dusk until the morning light.  What magic must happen here when the sun went down?

Once their imaginations were peaked, they noticed the calm.  They noticed the quiet.  The noticed the rustle of the leaves overhead.  So unlike the noises of where they came from.

They could have stayed in this quiet place for the entire day, or in their hearts, for an entire life time.

But alas, reality returned when they realized they still had not seen all there was to see.

Slowly they returned to the drive.  Everything seemed to begin with the drive.  “Down the drive and to the left” you always heard them say in the movies.

Entering into the dwelling through a long breezeway, they noted that this space was unfinished, but seeing the bones of it, knew that this would be no problem for him to take care of. 

Some people knew the guy, he was the guy.

Once again, the breath was drawn out of them when they saw the kitchen.  It was fully double the size of the one that they currently resided with.

In a gasp, they knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that this place would be their own.  They fell in love with it at first sight.

The walls were covered with antique looking wallpaper on the top, down to a chair rail/shelf made of barn board.  Down to the floor was finished out with barn board. 

In the middle of the room was a very large countertop with sink installed in the top.  This countertop alone was many times larger than the entire counter space in their kitchen in town.

What was this?  On the side of the room, just under the stairway, there was a door made of barn board too.   This door was a Dutch door, open on the top, and latched on the bottom with an iron hook that looked to be turned and twisted on a forger’s anvil.  It very much looked like door to a stall in some farmer’s barn. 

Looking inside, you could see that this space was lined with shelves.  Barn board shelves.  In their imagination they could see it full of produce, grown, canned and stored by their own hand.

Looking past an archway door to the front room; they realized that only the spaces they had seen so far had probably surpassed the total size of their current dwelling.

Upon entering the front room, they both went directly to the window that spanned almost the entire front of the room.  They thought it looked like a frame to the most beautiful picture that they had seen in a while.

The house they had in town, only looked out on streets of white houses, and cars, and telephone wires, and some one else’s kids and dogs and lives.  They instinctively knew that from this vantage point, they could watch the farmer’s farm and the seasons change.   They did not even know yet of the glory of watching a good old mid western storm march across the valley as if it was in formation for some type of military advancement.

Their guide asked, “Wouldn’t you like to see the rest?” 

Oh.  Yes.  Of course.  The rest.  (You mean there’s more?!)

Upon turning a quarter turn, they went to the door and looked out on the old wooden porch.  The roof had been removed, for what purpose they did not know, but their imaginations put a long gliding seat there to read books in the shade or to watch the clouds go by on a “cotton ball cloud” sort of day.

There was a door next to this one.  An odd place for another door.  They had no idea what could be hiding behind it.  Just like in “Let’s Make Deal” when Monty Hall gave them their choice of doors, of course, they chose it.

What a tremendous surprise it was to go through this door and find a bedroom.  Not your average, in town, everybody needs a place sort of bedroom.  No.  This bedroom contained a king size bed, that you had to walk over to.  You had to walk over to it!

The bedroom that their sleeping was done in these days was a “bed room”.  It housed a queen sized bed and a dresser.  You had to – squeeze – to get around the end of the bed.  It was a “Bed.  Room.”

What manner of sleeping could be done in this space, so large and unconfined?

Another door to choose.  Through it, like a rabbit down a rabbit hole, where there was a smallish room with two functions.  Laundry, and, well, hygiene.

There it was.  The washer and dryer, not hidden in a dark and musty basement, but right there in the bathroom, where cleanliness is supposed to take place. 

The colors were awful, but as they say, “the bones were good” so they overlooked what could only be called “Kmart colors.”  You know the ones, the ones that were mixed wrong, that no one wanted so you could get them really cheap colors.  Only the colors in the basement in town were worse.

Back to the kitchen.  Now.  Where were those stairs anyway?  Up they went.

In the room at the top of the stairs, they saw a young man’s bedroom, with a mothers touch.  The furniture was masculine enough, but the accoutrements were all lacy.

Off to the left, another door.  Enter into another young man’s bedroom.  Masculine furniture.  Masculine colors.  No lace.

Back through the lacy bedroom and straight ahead, a different kind of room.  It had a creaky barn board door that was painted blue, and was used for storage and had a long pole for hanging out of season clothing.

They thought about storage only for a second as they realized that the view from the window in there was the same one as from the living room, only it was a bird’s eye view.  They thought it was waste of a good view.

OK.  This was it.  They had seen all the rooms.  Or had they?

Back to the top of the stairs, ready to go down, they saw it.  Another door, unseen upon their arrival.  They entered in and saw a girl’s room.  A lovely large bedroom, that was only slightly smaller than the one below them on the first floor.

Across the room, was the forgotten stain glass window.  How could they have forgotten about something so striking?

Down the stairs they retreated.  Their minds full of imaginations.  Thoughts of what could be.  What they could do with it when it was all theirs.

Then as with all imaginations, the real world comes back all too quickly.

There was certainly much to do if they were to call this place home.

The reasons for leaving their city home were many.

First of all, he was a country sort of guy.

Raised in a southern state with many hills and trees, there was never a shortage of adventures growing up.

When the weather was right, home life was a memory only remembered when his stomach was empty or the sun was going down.

He only stayed on in this northern place because of her.

He knew it the first time he saw her. 

So he stayed.

The adventures here could get a guy in trouble in a hurry.

She was raised in the city. 

She longed for days at her Grampas house in the country.  They couldn’t come often enough.

It was there that she found peace.  Away from the lights and the streets and the cars and the noise, and the white house’s.

She always wondered where she would find someone who would marry someone like her.  Someone trapped in the city with her heart turned toward the country.

She did not know who he was, but when she saw him, she knew him.

So they stayed.

In the city, to raise a family. 

He with his job and his adventures, and her with her strong resolve to raise their daughters well.  Learning from their mistakes, and never really looking past their todays.

That is until one day, their daughters came in to tell her what some kids on bikes had said to them.  What they told her made chills run up and down her spine.  She would have to talk to him about this.  Today.

It was then that they began in earnest find another location. Away from the city.  Away from the noise.  Away from these boys and “Their adventure”.

There was talk about a job in a faraway place.  The money would be good, great in fact, but the hours, they would be horrible.  Six months home, six months away.   Moving her to a faraway place with little girls where they knew no one and then leaving her there for six months at a time.  This would certainly be no way to raise a family.

Another way needed to be determined.  So a plan was hatched.

They would use a compass from one of the girl’s school kits.  They would figure out what thirty miles would look like on a map, and set the compass.  They would place the point of the compass on the place where he made his living and draw a circle for a thirty mile radius.  Thirty miles was not too far to drive to work every day.  Thirty miles.  Thirty minutes.  Definitely doable.  Since they lived on the border of two states, they simply crossed out the state they didn’t want to live in.

This part of the radius would be where they would begin their search.

On the second day of their search, they looked at seven homes.  The realtor had worked hard to set up a schedule of homes for them.  They knew full well that the second one they looked at was the one.

They had fallen in love with it at first sight.

 *

 

Rocking Chairs and Tornadoes

 

With all the news as of late about natural disasters, it is really difficult to

“Be not afraid.” or “Fear not.”

Some events in our lives may make us feel like we are in those disasters,

even though physically, we may not be.

You know what I mean don’t you?

Are there things going on in your life that have the potential to

strike sorrow and fear into you?

If we compared these disasters, what would we find they have in common?

 I never gave this question much thought until I heard Nate Berkus recount his experience  of being swept away in a tsunami.                       

In the water with him were telephone poles, barbed wire, parts of trees and people’s homes …. and people.                                                   

All these things were swirling around him and beating his body, all the while he was fighting for his very life.

Is that how you feel right now?

 

        Is the debris of your life beating you while you are struggling to keep                              

your head above it all?

Are sorrow and fear and loss threatening to engulf you?

Do your circumstances feel like they are beating the life out of you?

   Consider this picture.

 

Your life is the tornado.

Debris is flying everywhere and the mayhem of it all is causing you mass confusion.

You are swirling around with this mess and there is no exit.

This is not too much of a stretch, if you are like many of the people you know.

The fact is, you may recognize some of those folks in the havoc, right along with you!

 

              Now push the pause button, and consider a different picture.

                      

The tornado is still there.

The debris is still flying and the mayhem is still circling you.

HOWEVER

 

The difference is that YOU aren’t anywhere to be found in the mass confusion.

YOU are firmly planted in the middle of the eye of that storm.

YOU are seated in a rocking chair.

                                                 What does that mean?????

Firmly seated in a rocking chair, in the eye of the storm?

 

The peace of your Father God is planted deeply in your heart.

 

YOUR heart is full of the knowledge that He is aware and in total control.

To be sure, there still may be sorrow and loss, but YOU do not have to live with fear.

 

How do I know this?

First off, I’ve had my fair share of living in fear. 

Secondly, the Word of God plainly states that if you know Him,

If you receive what His Son Jesus did for you on the cross,

then you need not be afraid.

(If you do not have the assurance of Jesus’ saving grace,

then please visit the “Rescue” page on this blog.)

I believe the word of God to be true. 

Every word.

So when He says not to be afraid (found over 80 times) in the Bible,

I choose to obey.

Notice I said “choose”.  Being afraid is not a sin.  

What you do with it could be.

You get to make that choice.

The only thing you are to fear is God.

That is a different fear.

Not spooky, creepy fear,

but a fear that is defined as being in awe of Him.

 

Here’s the ask.  For today. 

Use the following verses in your circumstances.  Today.

We can truly only do it for today.

Choose to let God be in control of your chaos.  Today.

Choose to sit in that rocking chair and relax while He takes on everything

that would set your heart to fear.  Today.

This is not an easy task.  The world we live in caters to fear.  Its goal is to make us afraid.

Just look at the nightly news.  (No wait, maybe you shouldn’t)

At any rate, giving your fear to God will get easier with practice.

Note: Remember ~ Doctors practice.  Lawyers practice. Athletes practice.

Why do they do so?  To get better at what they do.

I encourage you to practice not being afraid,

to sit and rest on your rocker, while God handles things.

 

Psalm 34:9  (NIV) Fear the LORD; you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.

 Lamentations 3:57  (NIV) You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

Isaiah 41:10  (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)  Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Fear

 mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean mean

      I was four or five at the time.  Mean boys, a couple of years older than I, captured me and put me at the bottom of the tallest tree in my neighbors yard.  From there, they climbed to the lowest branch of that tree and taunted me.  “If you move, we’ll jump on you.”  “If you move, we’ll kill you.”  I didn’t know what “kill” meant, but I knew they were serious.  My heart fluttered and sputtered in my chest.  I could hear their words of torment loud even over the sound of my pounding heart in my head.

fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear  fear fear fear fear fear fear fear 

      This is the first time I can actually remember where fear entered.  The truth was that even if I did not understand the meaning of “kill”, I definately understood the the malice in their tone of voice.  There was no one there to tell me the truth, that little boys don’t “kill” little girls.  There was no one there to stop the lie.  There was no one there to tell me how special I was, or that I did not have to believe all the horrible things they said that day.

truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth truth

     Had I known the truth, I could have laughed at them and went home to my Mom.  I didn’t go to her though.  Instead I sat there terrified and let that terror nestle close into my heart. 

     Whether their actions would be true or not, I do not know.  What I do know is that even with the feel of the grass itching my skinny little kindergarten legs, my full bladder screaming to be released and the pounding of my heart was not enough to move me until the two decided they were tired of their little game and went home.

     Here’s what I’d like you to do today. 

     Learn at least one new truth about yourself according to God’s Word. 

     I’ve placed a couple of true statements from His Word, the Holy Bible here to get you started. 

     How do you know His Word true?  Or if His Word is a lie?  

     (If you do not know the answer to this question, then first refer to the Rescue Page of this blog.)  

      I’ll be here to help you, but the best thing is that God is always at our side.

      Psalm 23:4* Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.

      Psalm 27:1* The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? 

Experts say that if we repeat anything for twenty eight days, it becomes a habit. 

      Might I suggest that you write these truth words on a card and pocket them?  You can then pull them out throughout the day and remind yourself what God says about fear.

habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit habit

      Your new habit will be to begin to recognize fear and your answer to it will be the Truth of His Word.

      Your new habit will begin to give you some peace in your heart.

      Your new habit will begin to renew your heart and your mind.

    new heart and mind new heart and mind new heart and mind new heart and mind new heart and mind new heart and mind new heart and mind 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Fear?

  

Right now, today, my answer would be launching this blog!

         Fear of failure or fear of success. 

         Both have the same polarizing effect.

         Both have the ability to make you sit and do nothing. 

What if … I write this blog and nobody reads it? 

What if … I write this blog and everybody and their brother reads it?

What if … no one comments and I sit and stare at the screen wondering why I’m doing this? 

What if … everyone comments and I’m not able to answer them all?

What if … no one relates to anything written here?

What if … I write this blog and lots of people learn how to become free?

What if? …

It seems silly; however this is a great example of how the fear in our minds can make us run in circles.  Of course the opposite could also happen and we could be paralyzed into inaction.  Either way, we accomplish nothing.

Control over fear may be gained in three ways.  I’m positive there are more, but I’ll share three;

1.      Keep to the positive questions.  Every time.

2.      Check the negative thoughts at the door.  Don’t let them stay.

3.      Ask the right questions – What is the worst/best thing that could happen?

God wants us to succeed.  His Word is full of plans for our achievements. 

One key is that we must control the thoughts that we allow in and out of our minds.

Romans 12:2 in the NIV says this:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.

It’s there.  Do you see it?  Be transformed – by renewing your mind!

You CAN control these thoughts.  If it were not so, He would not have asked you to do it.

Thoughts left to wander inside our minds unchecked, have the tendency to roam around in there and make themselves at home.  These thoughts tend to make a mess everywhere they go.  Left unattended, the mess grows larger, and over time is far more difficult to kick them to the curb.

This is where asking the right questions come in.  What is the worst/best thing that could happen?  Well in my case, the worst would be that no one came and no one commented.  No one could relate.  On the other hand, if all went well, many would come, many would comment.  Most everyone could relate in some way.  The coolest part of either of this scenario is that I still win.  I’ve done the work.  I’ve studied it out.  I’ve grown in my relationship with God, and these lessons will stay with me into eternity.

I continue to fail at this, but that’s ok, it is much less over time.  I intentionally do what we talked about.  Some days more than others but, the inaction is turning into action.  The longing to do something is turning into passion.  Passion is turning into the doing of things I had only thought I might do before.  Won’t you join me?

You too, can win.  Ask the positive questions.  Kick out the negative thinking.  Ask yourself the right question.  Take that step toward action.  You win! 

Would you mind sharing what makes YOU afraid?    How do YOU control it?