Fear Is A Liar

Going through life with fear is not a way to live. Fear takes away hope and joy, and living in fear prevents contentment. Being fearful can ruin us; it can keep us from any fulfillment, and from enjoying what we have. When we spend our time being afraid, it affects our entire lives. We worry, because fear fosters worry. It can lead to ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. We can be plagued with headaches, insomnia, and depression. Phobias are born out of fear. Heights, the dark, water, driving, closed-in places, meeting new people…. even going outside. Some are organic, but I believe these fears can almost always be traced back to some event in our lives.

“But all who listen to Me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” – Proverbs 1:33 NLT

Are you ready to break the cycle of fear? There is an answer!

“Each time He said, “My GRACE is all you need. My Power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the Power of CHRIST can work through me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

The LORD doesn’t promise nothing bad will ever happen to us after we accept His Son, JESUS the CHRIST, as our Saviour. He does promise us Peace. It’s difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced the Peace that GOD offers, but once you have, it’s amazing. In my life, I have a number of struggles facing me, financially and physically, even emotionally. I desire the finances to live comfortably, and not to wonder how the mortage and utilities will be paid each month. I would like for my shoulder not to be so messed up, or my my head not to hurt, and to be able to breathe normally. I wish for a companion who loves the LORD more than he loves me, someone who would be a partner. There have been many hours spent worrying and crying over these worries and fears. Hours that have become days and rolled into years. Now, rather than wallowing in that fear and worry, I strive instead to give it all to my Saviour and to let His Peace wash over me. It is possible to have peace in the midst of the junk! To paraphrase a popular saying – Know fear, no Peace; Know JESUS, no fear! All true and abiding Peace comes from the LORD. Accept Him and banish the liar from your life.

Listen to “Fear Is A Liar” by Zach Williams.

Living In The Past


(E/A, I hope you are reading this!)

“Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things.” – Corrie Ten Boom

This is an immensely powerful statement, coming from a woman whose entire family died in a Nazi concentration camp, and who almost died there herself. Could I find the Joy she speaks of if I were put in her circumstance? Could you? We can’t achieve either true Peace or Joy on our own, without JESUS – Giver of the Peace that passes understanding….

“Then you will experience God’s Peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His Peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7 NLT

When we spend our time looking back, holding on to the sorrows of our past, we can’t obtain the Joy or Peace Jesus is offering us, because our eyes are clouded over by the regrets. There is a time to mourn for what was and what could have been. People are gone in the space of a heartbeat, and whether they are an unborn baby or the most elderly person, or anyone in between, it hurts when they are gone. I find that many of us romanticize the loss. With babies, it’s especially hard, I think, because of the lost potential, and the lost love. Now, with tbe LORD at my side, I can finally rejoice over the losses of babies in my family and my friends, along with the countless billions who have been murdered through violence, abortion, and disease. How, you ask? Two reasons:

1. Those babies don’t have to grow up in the flawed, sinful world (HALLELUJAH!), and

2. I will see them and hold them in heaven – we get to spend eternity with them! How cool is that?

All of the regrets and what ifs and could haves and should haves will never change the past. It is past, over with, passed through, gone. DONE. Remembering can be good when done in a positive manner. When we lose a spouse or other loved one as an adult, it’s easy to only remember the good, even though we know the flaws. There is absolutely nothing wrong with remembering. The “wrong,” if you will, is in dwelling in the past and wallowing in self pity for all that was lost. I can play “coulda shoulda” with the best, but to what end? Satan loves it when we start the game! Next to suicide, that wallowing is most damaging to our families and our friends. It’s SELFISH to the extreme, shutting everyone out and dragging them down at the same time. I have done it myself, and I have experienced it in people I care about.

God doesn’t want us mired in the gunk of the past. God LOVES us! He wants to give us JOY, and He wants us to have PEACE. He is the Rock we can cling to when the storms of life threaten to sweep us up and drown us. His Arms are the ones that hold us when we hurt, and He is the One Who carries us when we can’t go on. It isn’t easy to let go of the past; the shoulda coulda’s. With prayer – i.e. just TALK to God – and immersion in His Word, with counseling by a pastor or other Christian professional, and a doctor to help us with medicines if needed, we can emerge from the muck and gunk Satan has buried us in. All you need to do is lean into the LORD. Talk to Him first, before spewing your guts to someone (again, I’m guilty of all this, too!) If you don’t know what prayer, just say JESUS. Cry out to Him. He knows.

Listen to “Live Like You’re Loved” by Hawk Nelson, and read “Finding Joy in the Heartache” devotion by K-Love radio Pastor David (10 March 2018.)

His LOVE Heals My Heart

“Then JESUS said, ‘Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My Yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My Yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’ ” – Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 NLT

Do you have a heavy burden? Are you trying to carry it all by yourself? For years, I did just that. Sure, I can do it on my own. HA! Famous last words…. The reality is that I can’t do much of anything in my own strength. Like many, if not most, single people, I yearn for a companion to share my life on earth in the here and now. My ‘picker’, though, has proven to be broken. The single most important realization that anyone can have in their lifetime is that another person will not, cannot, complete me/us or carry our burdens. We can help each other, but the only One Who can actually lift the burdens off of our shoulders is our LORD. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ or godly our companion might be, any man (or woman) will hurt and disappoint us at some point in our lives. No matter how hard we try to only do good, or to be good, we will eventually, and inevitably, fail. I can be content to have JESUS as my companion if I choose to be, or I can run around searching for that perfect guy for me.

Lay your burdens at the foot of cross and lift your arms – your heart, body, and soul – to JESUS. He stands there, waiting to shower His LOVE on you; to take your burdens off your shoulders and carry them for you. He’s ready to carry you, too, when you are unable to take another step on your own. He’s done it countless times for me. When I yank the burdens from His Hands, and take them in mine, He doesn’t argue or fight me. He lets me stagger under them until I finally remember He’s standing next to me, empty handed and willing to take them back. He usually has to carry me for awhile, too, while I gain strength from Him. Are you willing to let go off your burdens? Call on JESUS. He can hardly wait for your call!

“All Praise to GOD, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. GOD is our Merciful FATHER and the Source of all Comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort GOD has given us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3‭-‬4 NLT

Listen to Fear is A Liar, by Zach Williams.

How Do You Pray?

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, Who sees everything, will reward you.

When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!” – Matthew 6:5‭-‬8 NLT

Did you grow up in a house where prayer was the norm, or was cursing at God the only ‘prayer’ you heard? I was taught that the ‘correct’ way to pray was to sit with head bowed and hands clasped in front of me, or on my knees with eyes closed and hands clasped; praying out loud, beginning with ‘Dear Heavenly Father’ and always ending with ‘Amen’. This definitely helped with my focus as a child, but do you think this is the only way to pray? We want to be reverent and humble when we pray, but I submit that we can pray anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. Prayer is simply having a conversation with the LORD. Prayer can happen while we are driving or working, in the classroom, or in any social setting, and I’m not talking about the ‘OH. MY. GOD.’ we frequently hear today.

Prayer; praying out loud, has its place, whether in church or out, but my focus here is really about conversing with GOD. Just talking. As I grow in faith, I realize that talking to GOD doesn’t need to be formal. I don’t need anyone else saying prayers for me in lieu of my own prayers (but I’m always happy to know that people are praying for me!) I just need to be having conversations with my LORD. Before getting out of bed in the morning, a quick “Thank You LORD for another day, Your Will be done today” helps my day start in the right direction. I whisper inaudible prayers all day – “LORD, I believe; help my unbelief” is one that I pray when faced things that are out of my control…. which is frequently! “Keep me safe on the roads.” “Bless [insert name]” ….. I actually try to pray this whenever my mind strays to someone who has hurt me. God knows quite well that what my human side really wants is to hurt that person back, but by asking Him to bless that person, I can receive God’s forgiveness and Grace.

Prayer shouldn’t be any more difficult than talking with your best friend. It shouldn’t stress us out, but thinking that we can only approach Him in a formal way, or through a priest or pastor, keeps us from knowing GOD and His will for us/me. Just talk to Him. I’ve started many conversations with Him by admitting I don’t know what to pray, that I don’t have any words. I know that’s okay, though, because even when we don’t have words, the Holy Spirit carries our groans, our needs to the Father. To teach us how to pray, JESUS gave us this, and we call it ‘The LORD’S Prayer.”

“Pray like this: Our FATHER in heaven, may Your Name be kept Holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly FATHER will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your FATHER will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:9‭-‬10‭, ‬12‭-‬15 NLT

There is tremendous power in prayer, whether it is you, alone by yourself, or together with fellow Christians, and regardless of whether words are spoken out loud or silently. Remember what JESUS said to His followers: “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.” – Matthew 18:19‭-‬20 NLT

My prayer is that my words today can help ease us all as we struggle through this life, because old or young or in between, prayer works. Don’t let selfish pride get in your way, thinking you’ll somehow do it wrong or embarrass yourself in your praying. That’s just the enemy trying to separate you from GOD! Amen.

Continue reading “How Do You Pray?”

I Am A Fraud

I am a fraud.

That is tough to admit to. My spirit feels broken, weighted down by the mess of this earthly life. Most days I can push through at some point and get something done…. Oh, who am I kidding? Most days, I struggle to get the most mundane tasks done; feeding the dogs and caring for the cats; getting outside to let my girls out (my hens, Daisy and Lily ☺ ), feeding myself. Some days, I have headaches that make it difficult to focus and I really don’t want to deal with anyone. A friend once told me she had never been depressed a day in her life, and I just needed to get over it. Sure. It should be so easy! I know the Scriptures encourage joy:

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” – Proverbs 17:22 NLT

(I’m tired.)

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” – James 1:2 NLT

(Joy, schmoy. Don’t all of these happy people realize that not everyone is on the same plane as they are? Bleh.)

As a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I know all the platitudes for depressed people…. I’ve spoken those platitudes to others, many times. Today, though, the Psalms speak directly to me, speaking truth that only my LORD knows:

“Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the LORD’s presence as I live here on earth! I believed in you, so I said, “I am deeply troubled, LORD.” – Psalms 116:7‭-‬10 NLT

It’s odd to be depressed and at peace simultaneously. An oxymoron. Is it even possible? Absolutely. I take joy today from a bit of history that means nothing to millions, but for other millions, and to me, it means EVERYTHING. Our LORD allowed us to hang Him on a cross; to spill His blood. To kill Him – to MURDER Him, the single most innocent and only sinless person to ever live. The cross was meant to kill Jesus, instead, it has become our Victory! The cross is empty, and His tomb is empty, because our JESUS conquered has death, and He will come back to defeat Satan, once and for all. How can I be sure? Simple. I read the back of the Book, and it is GLORIOUS! Satan uses depression to hold us down while we are on earth, and I may never completely escape it – but in the end, we will overcome the old snake and be victorious with our GOD. In the meantime, dealing with life here on earth, we do the best we can with the knowlege and experience we have. Leaning on JESUS is the only way I can make it! (And that’s another great hymn!)

Listen to “My Victory” by the David Crowder Band, and read these words to “Victory In Jesus” – I adore this hymn and it’s TRUTH.

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

Thankful. Bah, Humbug!

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

Do you find it difficult to be thankful for whatever it is you are dealing with in your life? No companion/spouse/helpmate, no retirement, no job; chronic illness, disease, sick child/family member; death of a loved one? No power, no heat/AC, no transportation, no food ….. no home? Infested with fleas, spiders, roaches, snakes? I’m sure I have left something off!

Beginning at the beginning of human history; since Adam and Eve made the fatal decision to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, humans have had to deal with a plethora of hard circumstances. Just a few: Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. David was chased and persecuted by King Saul. Moses had some sort of speech impediment. The Apostles and disciples of JESUS have been beaten, persecuted, flogged, abused, and killed since the beings of their ministries. The persecution of Christians hasn’t stopped. Even in their agony, they have proclaimed JESUS, and thanked GOD for the privilege to be sacrificed for His Glory. There are hundreds, thousands, even millions of examples throughout our history of people giving thanks to God in the midst of depravation and trials. Very few of us today have any real reasons to complain, but we have plenty of reasons to be thankful. This is, to me, the biggest reason to be thankful:

“And I am convinced that NOTHING can ever separate us from GOD’s Love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from GOD’s Love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the Love of GOD that is revealed in CHRIST JESUS our LORD.” – Romans 8:38‭-‬39 NLT

If there is something big and ugly going on in your life, be Thankful for the little things .…. Remember toilet paper! ….. And remember JESUS!

Everything …. Or Nothing

“We do not wish either to be, or to live among, people who are clean or honest or kind as a matter of duty: we want to be, and associate with, people who like being clean and honest and kind.” – #CSLewis (Emphasis mine)

Whatever I do, and whatever I say, even whatever I think, I want to do because it is my choice, my decision – not because someone tells me. I am very aware of how utterly blessed I am to be born in the U.S.A.; to live in a Republic and not in a Socialist country or in a Dictatorship. Here, I can say whatever pleases me; good, bad, ugly, or indifferent. I can disparage the government without fear of reprisal; I can attend the church of my choice. America is still a land of opportunity for those who are willing to work. (Apparently, there are an awful lot of people who have made living off others and the government their “opportunity.” – but that’s another story!)

I can have the expectation that success and comfort and riches will be handed to me through no effort on my part, but for the vast majority of us, that will never happen. Those things only come through hard work and dedication. I know people who live a certain way as a matter of duty, but that is not me. I hope people who know me see that I am clean-living and honest and kind because it is my choice, my life; because it is how I want to be – not because of any rules or regulations or orders. It is not a duty that compels; it is not the ‘rules’ that require me to be this way. My devotion and my love for my JESUS, my LORD, makes me want to live that way. As the apostle Paul wrote:

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” – Philippians 4:12 NLT

This is not an easy task, but it is not difficult, either. It is not easy, because we have to commit our lives to the Living GOD, and it is never easy as a human to let go of control. It’s not difficult, because through our surrender, we become free. Like the butterfly that struggles to get out of it’s cocoon, or the bird struggling to break of it’s shell, once we shed the confinement of our earthly wants and desires, we are free to fly! To soar with JESUS, above and beyond anything earthly. When we are with Him, it is easy to be content in our hearts, no matter the circumstance. We still need to be present in the world so that we can let JESUS shine His Light through the flaws and cracks in our earthly shell. We need to be present, both to give and to receive blessings.

Where do you stand today? Clean, honest, and kind because you choose, or because it is your duty?