Coronavirus · Fear · Fear of death · worry

A Book To Help With Your Fears

Are you afraid right now?  Do worry and anxiety threaten to overwhelm your heart?  Listen to these statements:

Fear fears joy.

If your family sees you paralyzed by fear, they have to conclude that you do not think that God is all-powerful 

We fear God because we do not know Him very well

Why is it people can change your countenance, but God can’t?

These are all quotes from a book I read past month.  It has been in my possession for several years.  I’m not sure why I had never read it, except for the fact that I know that reading it at this time in my life was perfect.  The book title?

Fear Not. Meditations to Overcome Fear, Worry and Discouragement. It’s written by Rand Hummel, a good friend and a preacher who knows how to communicate.

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I honestly would have told you that I’m not a fearful person…until I read this book!  The book addresses so many areas in our lives that fear touches –

the fear of failure,

dying,

public speaking,

rejection,

being hurt in relationships,

the future

and on and on.

Today we hear the word fear on a daily basis as people deal with the threat of the Coronavirus infecting them.  The thoughts of sickness and death bring fear to many.  Rand’s approach to each fear is pointing the reader’s attention to what the Bible says.  He shares examples of people in Scripture who had that fear and how God helped them.

Every morning when I would read and meditate on the passages shared, my heart was so strengthened and encouraged!

One night this week I went to bed not feeling very well. I was awakened in the middle of the night with a gripping fear and thinking about the virus.  Immediately, truths I had read in this little 159 page book came to my mind and I ran to the Lord in prayer.  Soon I was back asleep.

I would highly encourage you to get a copy of the book.  You can find it in the link above.  There’s a Kindle edition, too, so you could have it in your possession as soon as today!

God doesn’t just want us to sleep well.  He wants us to trust Him and this little book can be a great avenue to show you how and why you can!

What worries you the most right now?  I’d love to pray for you if you’d either leave a comment or send me an email using the email address in the contact page.

denise a

 

 

Coronavirus · Fear · worry

How To Spend Quarantined Time During Coronavirus

 

Praying

Whitney and I had a discussion recently about how people are wondering how they will spend their time at home if they are quarantined at home during the Coronavirus.  Some are treating it like an extended “Snow Day.”  They’re eating, watching movies, and scrolling through social media.  While there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those activities, I’d like to challenge us to use this time to refresh ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically. If you’re wondering what in the world you’ll do if you’re forced to spend a couple weeks at home, here’s a list of ten suggestions that can leave you stronger at the end of the virus, rather than just entertained for its duration.

  1. Spend longer times in God’s Word. Find passages that will remind you of Who God is.  Psalm 46 is a great place to start/park! Listen to Scripture on your phone.  Pull up podcasts that give Truth!
  2. Turn every care into a prayer.  Pray specifically so you’ll know when God answers!
  3. Keep a journal of the things that God is teaching you each day. You will forget these lessons when life gets back to “normal.”  These truths can be an anchor for the next trial that comes!
  4. Tell others what is comforting you during this time!  Is there a promise you’re clinging to?  Do you have assurance of God’s presence and peace in times of a storm?  Be ready to give the Hope of God’s Word to others who are afraid.
  5. Unplug.  Rather than using your extra time to have more screen activity, why not limit yourself to 30 minutes a day?  This will allow you to hear One Voice.
  6. Read other sources that can encourage you.  Fiction books are fun, but why not use this time to read that which will teach and tether your heart to God?
  7. Pray about how you can be resourceful.  Those apples that are mushy? Cook them into applesauce.  The strawberries you’re worried will mold before you can use them?  Flash freeze them and put them in smoothies or frozen salads,,breads or desserts. Run out of meat?  Look for a pasta dish using the fresh veggies you have on hand. Try not to be tempted to jump on board and order extra food or produce because you’re afraid you’ll run out.  Wisely use what you have and take one day at a time.
  8. If the weather and restrictions permit, go outside.  Take a walk.  Trim back your rose bushes.  Get the raised beds ready for planting.  Clean up the yard and prepare it for spring. Get your porch spring-ready while you’re at it!
  9. Do some work. It’s amazing how just doing something normal can settle anxiety.  Start your spring cleaning.  Sort out a closet.  Straighten up the garage.  Move out your winter wardrobe.  Dust the winter out and sweep in spring!
  10. Spend greater times together as a family. 
    Talk.  Share concerns.  Listen.  Pray. Pray together for people affected by the virus – those sick, the medical personnel, those out of work now, the children in need of care, those in the nursing homes who are restricted from their families, people in roles that have to make hard decisions – our president, other governmental officials, pastors, and the list could go on and on.
    Be together. Cook together. Serve others in your neighborhood. Look for ways your family can be a blessing.

If you’re finding it difficult to deal with the stress and anxiety of this situation of the Coronavirus, I invite you to this page of my blog, Help for Troubling Times.  or to this post. Also, Whitney wrote a wonderful post, What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do that I know will encourage you!

Make the most of this time and refresh yourself – whether you’re quarantined, or just forced to slow down!

I’m curious, what do you find is making you most anxious about this time of the  Coronavirus?

denise a

 

Fear · fellowship with God · Living in Bondage

Living With the Fear Of Getting Caught

 

On a recent trip to Kentucky to visit my parents I made the trip by myself as I’ve done many times, traveling through the Cumberland Gap on many four-lane roads and avoiding the busy interstate.

As I was tootling my way along one of the parts where it narrowed to a two-lane road, I saw police lights up ahead on the opposite side of the road. As I slowed down, I noticed the car in the lane coming towards me that had come to a stop. I assumed he was being held for speeding or something. When I saw a state trooper walking along the yellow lines of the road, I also assumed that he was just slowing cars down and making them aware of the one car that they had pulled over, so I didn’t stop – I just slowed way down and drove past the police officer. When I got just past him, I looked in my side mirror to see him give a bit of a wave as he turned my direction. I waved and kept going. (Okay, I know you’re laughing right now! Go ahead! I deserve it!).

As I got on a few hundred feet away, I saw that the car behind me had come to a complete stop as he approached the trooper. It was then that I realized that they were stopping every car probably to check for seat belts and license. Duh!!!

I watched in my rear view mirror, wondering if someone would come after me. No one did. I laughed at my stupidity, but then I also reassured myself that if I had looked suspicious he would have done more than just wave. He never even put up his hand in a gesture that would say, “Stop!”

As I called my husband and laughed my way through my story, I said,

“Well, I had my seat belt on, I have a current license and I hadn’t been speeding, so why would I think he wanted me to stop if he didn’t motion for me to do so? I kept going because I was innocent!”

I got to thinking about a criminal who might have driven through that same scene and become sweaty-palmed and nervous as he approached the police cars and the flashing lights. Maybe he would wonder if the road block was to find him! Perhaps he’d start figuring out an excuse or a way to escape. Because he was guilty he’d be fearful to approach the trooper in the road. He may have even wondered the whole time he was driving if he’d get stopped for speeding and then get found out. He would want to run – even though no one was chasing him! Guilt will do that to you.

It reminded me of  Proverbs 28:1

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

The application of this in every day life is that when we obey the Lord’s commands and walk purely before Him, we don’t have to keep looking over our shoulder wondering when or if we’ll get caught. We won’t listen to a sermon and “sweat it out” wondering if that message Pastor preached was because he knows about the sin in which we’re involved. We can walk bold as a lion, unashamed and unafraid.

I haven’t always been as innocent as the day I drove past the State trooper, and I thank the Lord for the cleansing and forgiveness He brings when I confess the sin. I make it right with Him, and with those that were touched by my ungodly actions. The guilt is gone then. The relief washes over me and I can “drive on” not having to keep looking in my rear view mirror.

How about you, my friend? Are you involved in some kind of sin or behavior that has brought on fear and guilt? It makes you run at every turn, fearful you’ll get found out. Why not “turn yourself in” by going to the Lord and confessing it to Him. He will forgive if you humbly bow and ask.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 Then He’ll also show you the next step you need to take. Don’t live looking over your shoulder; live purely and enjoy the journey instead!

Lovingly,

denise a

Fear · trust · worry

Worry, Worry, Worry

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There are some mornings that I am up doing my usual routine and there’s a gentle nagging inside. It isn’t always recognizable, but it causes me to be uneasy, even grouchy – not a pretty thing by any means!

When my girls were small we listened to LOTS of Patch the Pirate music. There was one song called, The Worry Warthog. The chorus says,

“Yes I’m a worry warthog, I worry every day. I worry, worry, all my time away. And if you want to look like me just fear and fret and snort, and very soon you’ll wake up with a great big worry wart!”

This described me recently. I’m not sure what it was that was nagging at me, but I got my coffee and headed with my Bible to my quiet place. I was currently doing a Bible study on having a peaceful heart (no coincidence!).

The Bible study book had me read passages about times when Jesus was in a stormy time like ~

  • the death of Lazarus
  • the betrayal of Judas
  • praying in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
  • His arrest leading to His death on the cross.

As I read these passages it was brought to my attention that Jesus had been sorrowful, in tears, and in agony of spirit. None of these responses to His storms were sinful. The author reminded its readers that it’s okay to feel troubled about situations we’re in. However, if that troubled feeling is worry that is a sin.

How do we know if it’s worry that we’re experiencing and not one of the other emotions previously mentioned? She made it very clear –

“Disciplined thought moves in a straight line through a tangle of difficulties to possible solutions. Worry is a swirling tornado of thoughts centered on a fear. They repeat themselves over and over, making you dizzy but accomplishing nothing else. When fretful thoughts begin to sound familiar, that’s worry.”

When I read that, suddenly the Holy Spirit put His finger on that uneasiness in my heart – it was worry. My husband and I had been discussing something the day before that had my heart fretful and worrisome. One of the passages I studied that morning was Matthew 6:24-33 reminding me of God’s great care for His creation. What peace this brought to my heart. Yes, I can trust God to care for our needs; He is faithful. When I don’t believe this truth I John 5:10 says that I am actually calling God a liar! I asked the Lord to forgive me for worrying about this and gave it to Him that morning. I will believe and not doubt.

Gone was the irritating uneasiness and it was replaced by His sweet peace.

Is there something in your life today that has your thoughts twirling like a tornado – doing only damage? God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and He will provide for you whatever it is you’re in need of today – strength, wisdom, provisions, faith, grace. It’s readily available in vast supply!

If you’re wondering if my grouchiness left too – it sure it did. You can’t be a grouch when you’re back in fellowship with the Lord!

Give your “tornado thoughts” to the Lord, believe His Word, and enjoy the peace that will take its place!

Denise

Fear · Marriage · worry

Family Friday – Be All In!

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Years ago I remember walking along a path in which there was absolutely no light.  I had no cell phone flashlight in my pocket to aid my faltering steps.  Therer was no moonlight or glowing porch bulb that might remove the terror of my feet. I found myself grappling along, inch by inch, down a concrete stairway and sidewalk in which I made every step cautiously and with hesitation.  It was as though my toe would move forward and the rest of my body hesitated to follow, due to fear of what was ahead!

Fear can lead to lots of miserable things in our lives, but it can do the same in relationships.  Let’s think about what fear in marriage can do. If a wife is afraid that her marriage might not make it, it can keep that relationship from experiencing the freedom that a simple light would have given me that night on the dark path.  What might be the results in a marriage? Continue reading “Family Friday – Be All In!”