worry

From Panic to Poison to Prayer

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Now that September is here, we’re all thinking about fall’s upcoming blessings.  For me, that refers not as much to Pumpkin Spice, but to the events and activities that this season will bring – and there are lots of them!

A few weeks ago when I looked at the calendar’s “red marks,” indicating service opportunities and personal responsibilities, I could feel the panic button in my heart getting slapped on! That’s not a good thing.

Continue reading “From Panic to Poison to Prayer”

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!”

Freedom · Living in Bondage · Truth · worry

Getting Free From the Bondage of Lies

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For Mother’s Day this year my sweet husband bought me a floor lamp that caught my eye when we were visiting a Cracker Barrel on vacation.  It looks like a bird cage, and has the vintage vibe that I love.  What I didn’t know was that it was also going to be a useful tool to remind me of a truth I learned in Bible Study!

After having studied my lesson from Lies Women Believe, I looked at that bird cage in a different light (no pun intended!).  It brought back a reminder of a truth learned in Chapter one of the book.

Believing a lie that Satan puts in my mind is just like being bound up in a cage. Every lie is another rib, keeping me from being free and enjoying the life Christ died to give to me.  Just as Eve acted on the lie in the Garden of Eden and ate the fruit because she believed it would make her wise and like God, if I act on lies I believe, I too, will be held in bondage.

Christ said in John 8:32

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

So how can we be free from the bondage of lies?

  1. Identify any areas in which we are living in bondage.  Some examples…
    1. Areas of emotional distress – Depression, anxiety, fear, or worry
    2. Bondage to physical sin – over-eating, not eating, over-exercising,
    3. Financial bondage
    4. Sexual sin
  2. Identify any lies you may be believing that are at the root of the bondage – Some examples might be…
    1. I’m too sinful for God to really love me.
    2. I’ll never be good enough for _____________.
    3. I’m too (fat, short, skinny, ugly, uneducated…) to be of any use to anyone.
    4. I could never do that thing that God wants me to do.
    5. My marriage will never get better.
    6. My family member will never be saved.
    7. I have the right to be happy and do what I want to do.
      The list could go on and on.  But you need to ask yourself,

      What keeps plaguing me?
      What do I keep wrestling with that crops up again and again?

  3. Replace the lies with the truth.  Find Scripture that refutes the lie.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

We all have a choice either to be free, due to the Truth of God’s Word, or to be held in bondage by believing and acting on Satan’s lies.

What lies are living in your heart?  What truth needs to counteract it?  

I would encourage you to memorize Philippians 4:8 if you don’t have it committed to memory yet!

Refresh yourself with Truth!

Denise