Thoughts to share received in prayer and study of the word

Archive for the ‘Courage’ Category

Be Anxious for Nothing

ForestMy heart is breaking for others today. All around me there are so many who are suffering with anxiety, from low level moments to full out panic attacks. And I understand it because this is an area where I have struggled to overcome for many years.

Through all of the study I have done on this subject, I have learned some very interesting things – first, that there is a definitive difference between anxiety and worry.  It is said that those who worry know the object of their fear or what they are worrying about, such as a job interview, a mortgage payment, or a troubled child. Anxiety, however, is an emotion you experience because of a perceived threat, imminent event or uncertain outcome; it is restless energy. You feel overwhelmed, out of control, fearful, and experience unusually high tension and uneasiness without understanding why you feel that way. People may ask you what is bothering you and you respond with “I don’t know” in complete honesty.

I have also come to understand that anxiety can affect how we feel and behave, and can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life. General anxiety is characterized by excessive, long-lasting anxiety and worry about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations without being able to control or identify the fear. Phobias are a fear response identified with a specific cause, rational or irrational. Panic attacks are abrupt, spontaneous and intense, generally leading the person who experiences them even becoming anxious about recurrence of the attacks. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a potentially disabling condition that can persist throughout a person’s life. The individual who suffers from OCD becomes trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors that are senseless and distressing, but extremely difficult to overcome. They usually know that their compulsions are unreasonable or irrational, but they serve to alleviate their anxiety. Social anxiety is characterized by a fear of being negatively judged by others, and while once only affected a small number of individuals, is on the increase due to the rise of social media. It can cause people to avoid public situations and human contact to the point that normal life is rendered impossible.

The latter of these listed here is the subject I would like to address further. Because of the influx of social media into our society, and also through the work of many faith communities, people today are being pushed to “be more, do more, have more” to such a degree that I believe it is suffocating their ability to find and know peace or rest. People are not just attempting to “keep up with the Joneses” as one generation put it, but now everything has to be perfect. We post in our news feed about our perfect fitness workouts, perfect homes, perfect families, perfect activities and perfect meal plans. If we are not perfect, the fear of being negatively judged looms overhead like a black cloud. Our culture has become performance-based and anxiety driven.

From Philippians 4:6-7

“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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

My husband and I recently had a conversation with someone where he asked that individual, “When is the last time you felt at peace?” The gentleman’s response was, “I don’t know that I really even know what that is.” To me, this is tragedy. Peace is freedom from disturbance; it is quiet tranquility, calm, restfulness and stillness. Our performance-based lives have taken calm and tranquility and cast them out the window while we were speeding down the freeway.

How do we re-discover peace? First, take the advice of the scripture referenced above. Then add the following, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) In other words, stop being driven by the demands and expectations of mankind and keep your thoughts focused on the beautiful and good in life. Stop trying to be everybody’s everything and JUST BE YOU.

For all of you who are suffering, I pray that you find peace.

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I Am Yours

So I call out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim that I am Yours…

Spreading Our Wings

eagles-in-flight

As this year comes to its close and I reflect on everything that the Lord has done in our lives, I see clearly that it has been a year of transition. In birthing, transition is the shortest phase of labor, yet it is the most intense and the most uncomfortable part of the birthing process. The major emotional marker during this phase is the sense or perception of being out of control and feeling completely helpless. It is said that it is essential for one to be reminded during this phase that they are in transition, as it helps them to handle the increased intensity.

The Lord has led us through some major life changes in this season redefining our priorities, redirecting our path, and even making a career change. Through every step of this process, we have experienced pressure, emotional highs and lows, and feelings of loss and exhilaration all at the same time. We have experience intense levels of character development, faith building and trust. Yet through all of it God was there bringing words of encouragement, guidance and hope. It is through the grace of God alone that we were able to handle such a year of change.

The eagle is considered to be one of the strongest creatures in flight and can carry an object weighing as much as itself. It has the ability to soar to heights of more than 10,000 feet. Its nest is built in the highest part of a cliff and can weigh up to two tons, built strong enough to weather and endure the elements and the strong gusts of wind that come with high altitudes, because the nest is built inside the cleft of a rock. An eagle will fly in the midst of a storm, undaunted and seemingly unaffected by the elements, soaring even higher and appearing to challenge the ferocity of the storm with courage and tranquility, flying with grace into the wind and catching the updraft again and again.

I’ve realized that as we have walked through this period of growth and maturing in our spiritual and natural lives, the Lord has surrounded us with an amazing family and awesome friends to lend encouragement and support, and to help us face the wind with courage and an eagerness to see new horizons. He’s given us His word and the Holy Spirit to be our guide and our comfort, and brought new heights to our relationship with Him in the process. And He has lit up our world with His glory and grace to remind us of His unchanging and unending love.

We are thankful for each of you that we call friend and family. Our prayer for you in the coming year is His prayer for us as He prepared to fulfill His destiny, “Now Father, I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing So My people can experience My joy completed in them. I gave them Your word; Make them holy—consecrated with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. In the same way that You gave Me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating Myself for their sake so they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission. I’m praying not only for them but also for those who will believe in Me because of them and their witness about Me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind — just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that You, in fact, sent Me. The same glory you gave Me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are — I in them and You in Me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that You’ve sent Me and loved them in the same way You’ve loved Me.” John 17:13-23 MSG

A Love Story

crowd
She heard that day that he was in town, and she thought, “I’ve just got to see him! I feel like I know so much about him from what everyone has told me, and he sounds like all that I’ve dreamed of!” The only thing holding her back was that she knew when she got there that no one was going to want her around. She was looked down upon by so many, despised by others, and actually hated by even more. They would not be happy to see her. So what should she do? This, she knew, was her one chance to find out if he was THE ONE, that special man, who was just for her. Yet, she knew that he was famous, always surrounded by such a crowd of people, there was nowhere he went that his presence didn’t cause a stir. People thronged him, everyone wanting to be close, to get his attention. Getting anywhere near him would be a hard thing to do, like riding on a sea of bodies, all determined to be first in line, and aggressive in their persistence. What if she got there and couldn’t get close enough to see him? What if she did get close enough, and he totally ignored her? What if her presence there even went so far as to make him angry, or make the others angry enough to call her out? But she had to find out, she just had this feeling that this was the day, this was her time. It would be all right. It just had to be, she was desperate. She felt drawn to him and she knew that she needed him like she had never needed before, and at the same time she wondered how it was that she knew that if she’d never even met him, they’d never been introduced or even been in the same group of people before. What was she thinking? Even while this war was going on in her mind, her feet carried her to the place where he was. She was right, there were a lot of people there. She began to make her way through the crowd, taking each opportunity of a person shifting on their feet to gain ground, moving a little further ahead, weaving her way through like a thread on fabric, I’ve just got to get from beginning to end. As she got closer, all movement stopped. The people were packed so tight together, she could go no further. But wait, think! There has to be a way. Tuck in a little, stoop down, she kept striving, little by little, inching closer to him. And again, a sudden stop, no more ground to gain. But she was so close this time, she could see him, hear him, and literally FEEL him that close to her. She couldn’t let him get away without finding out. She could hardly breathe, the crowd was so closely bound together. One more try, she pressed in, stretched and worked and reached out her arm, working her way to the ground, and suddenly……SHE WAS HEALED! Luke 8:40-48

Chemically Independent

To all my friends and fellow bloggers. I would urge you to prayerfully consider the products you purchase and pay closer attention to their content. I was recently diagnosed with chemical allergies and since then have done much research on the chemicals we apply to our bodies and their effects. I have found a 100% natural product that I couldn’t be happier with, so much so that I now sell them. If you share the same interests, or have been searching like I did please take a look and take a moment to read my story.

Compassionate Care

Dear Ones, I am compelled to share a piece of marvelous insight from a Pastor and fellow blogger. Please let it stir your heart.

Compassionate Care.

PRAY

Some great sentiment regarding prayer, praying for our nation, and a good read.