Fear

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

F. False

E. Evidence

A. Appearing

R. Real

Today at church the pastor spoke about fear. This is something I would have sworn I had taken care of in my life. I had answers for how to deal with fear. I knew God was in control and always was taking care of things. Well God spoke differently to me this morning.

The pastor talked about several things we do when we are fearful. Procrastination. We tend to ignore what we fear hoping it will go away. Avoiding it just like Adam did after he had a bite of the apple and didn’t want to face God. So he hid. We ignore something we don’t want to deal with.

Well that hit home. Several things I have been facing just hit me in the face. Things I had not seen as fear but I had been pushing aside and trying not to think about. I told myself I was not going to worry about them. Whatever happened happened. Whatever God wanted.

The problem was they were not going away just because I ignored them. They just came lurking into my life more each day I ignored them. Things I wanted to do but felt I couldn’t do of myself. Things that might get better if I just sought the help of a professional. Just doing what God had called me to do because I felt inadequate.

The only way to overcome these fears is just to confront them head on. Ask Gods forgiveness for doubting. Ask for help overcoming and understanding these fears. And finally wisdom for how to proceed.

First thing was trying something I knew was going to be difficult for me. I had prayed believing God could help me do all things. But I had doubts. Doubts that he might not want that for me. But how could I actually succeed if I didn’t at least try it.

Another thing was a health issue. I saw myself getting worse in a couple areas but instead of seeking medical help and seeing if there might be a cure or a quick fix to my problem I assumed that I would just have to live with it and the negative side effects that came along with it. God showed me things I could do to help. After I realized I needed to face it.

Lastly he had called me to write a book and I was having doubts that I could do it right. So I was procrastinating. But then I felt writers block. Trying to fit everything in a certain design I wanted that just felt awkward. So I kept finding other things I needed to do first.

God showed me I needed to give these things up to him and he would help me get on with dealing with them. In his ways. Not by myself and in my ways. His help would help me do just what he wanted in each area.

Hadn’t he helped me write three successful books already. I didn’t even struggle to write them. Just the opposite. Words just flowed out of my heart. It wasn’t hard it was blessed.

Then I tried what I wanted to try doing. I got a little frustrated and set it aside. I decided to do a puzzle instead. As I was zipping through it enjoying myself I felt God say, you are enjoying yourself a lot. And you are really good at it. Yah, I thought. Doing something i love and enjoy and am really good at describes several hobbies I’ve been doing lately since my stroke.

I don’t need this one thing like I thought I did. He’s given me other things I can do and do well. These things aren’t bothering me anymore. God opened my eyes to see that they aren’t really problems after all.

‘For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’    2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

I so much hate that people see Christians as weak and powerless. The devil is a liar. People are so deceived and I have been there. I thought at one time that it was all about me and what I could have. It didn’t matter who it might hurt if it was good for me. I was in charge of my destiny.

I had gotten away from God and his ways and focused just on me and my ways. It is not a time I am proud of. But I was blinded by pride. That roaring lion that at some time controls all of us.

We believe the lies in our minds. Lies that tell us we ‘deserve it,’ or worse yet, ‘we don’t deserve it (happiness), ‘we are not getting it’. Lies that make us focus on how bad it is. This makes us just focus more and more on us. What we want or want others to feel sorry for that we don’t have.

People can blame God, say he is not good to us. But the problem is that we have shut him and his ways out. We have not given him a chance. He is good and getting to know him personally and read about all his ways has just let me see all the more blessings and power he longs to give me.

We have been given a good mind. The mind of Christ to be exact. With this mind we have power. All the power to have a full and abundant life. Full of happiness, love, fulfillment and a disciplined life. These are things that all people want or should want.

All that we have been called to do is possible for us if we believe.

By listening to God and obeying his words this power is available to us. My eyes have been so opened and when others are hurting or struggling I see how deceived they have become and it is the lies they believe, or at least a lot of it is. We all have trials to overcome. And we can have power to do just that when our eye is on him.

Lately I have come to see just how blessed I am. I also have been given favor with man. Maybe that’s just because I am a better and more loving person. I love people and will do all I can to help the lives of others. The more I love others the more love I have to give.

It all comes from following the two greatest commandments given to man. First, love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love all others more than yourself.

When you are focused on just these two commandments in your life everything else falls into place. You may not be rich or famous but you will be completely satisfied with the life you have and sleep peacefully at the end of the day. What more could you ask for?

‘So do not worry, saying, ‘ What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew 6:31-33 NIV

In the Beginning

In the beginning God. Imagine if you will all that went on in that one little week. The Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit, the triune godhead all together created the heavens and the Earth. The word was God. Who is the word? Jesus Christ. He was the spoken word that created everything that ever was or will be. Everything we would ever need for all time. Together as one unit and not independent of each other they agreed together and it was done.

Before that day the earth was formless and void. Nothing but them existed. The spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Complete nothingness is hard for finite mind to understand. But the question “what came first,” comes to mind. God came first and without them nothing would be. They agreed in their efforts and had a plan. I have been told it is like any great building project you need an architect (God), to design; then a builder (The word or Jesus Christ spoke it into existence.)

All the exact specifications, the details were in God’s mind (on those blueprints) But Jesus just had to say ‘sky’ and everything needed like clouds, wind, seasons, details happened. And God said let there be light. In that one word so much happened. The sun with its exact specs and the moon for night with its exact orbit for time and seasons. Stars in the sky shining down on us. Even some meteorites darting in the distant sky. They were all there. And so much more.

God saw that the light was good! We can look into a powerful telescope and see some of his great handiwork but will never comprehend the half of it because we can never know all that they do. His reasons are not ours. We will never understand why he did everything he did but all we need to know is that he is perfect and that’s enough. It wasn’t just good I know it was perfect just in one simple word, ‘light’. The light we know as day and at night darkness came with its lesser light. The first day.

Let there be a vault to separate the waters. The dictionary states that a vault is an arched structure, (first clue the earth was not flat), I can see the world separating from the sky. This all happened on the second day. The waters in the sky would not be liquid in form but would be released into air molecules, I guess, but God is perfect remember. He knew what he was doing. Let the water under the sky be separated from the dry land. All the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and streams with all their inlets and outlets were set in place by their command. All working together in synchronized perfection.

It was very good. He was making all we would need. Nothing was left out of his design that we would ever need or want. He thought of it all. How awesomely we are taken care of. Science with all the things we have learned can never come close to their knowledge and foresite. Let there be vegetation on the land. Every seed bearing plant. Can you imagine all that is included there? I am not a plant specialist but I do know there are more seed bearing varieties than I could ever comprehend. We are looking at the greatest landscaping that was ever done. It had to include everything we would need for food, clothing, shelter, and to create everything necessary. Just for us to enjoy. Whew, that wrapped up the third day. What a day. It was a very good day.

Light and all that encompasses. Sun, moon, stars, set in the heavens. Giving their light in hours, minutes and seconds. What orchestration. This would cause days to become months and years. Rotation of everything flowing so perfectly. Earth as well as planets, sun and moon. This was good, day four.

Then God designed animals and all creatures in the seas and birds in the air.  So many creatures. Just birds alone is mind boggling. Billions of species. Large and small. From penguins to tiny hummingbirds. All for us to enjoy, and for food to sustain us and the animals themselves. Such variations in all different environments. ‘Be fruitful and multiply, filling the waters and the sky’s.’’ Now that’s a lot of birds and fish. This was day five.

Then God created all animals on the earth, all creeping creatures. Cattle, buffalo, and just think of the animals used in stuff we need every day. Things like leather for shoes, gloves for working, ingredients for cosmetics for us women. as well as eating just to stay alive. There even needs to be food for the food to survive. The circle of life to continue. Then God created man in the image of God.

All we will ever need to be all he created us to be and do. He thought of everything. I know at times I can get an awful lot on my plate to do. I can remember a lot but always forget stuff. Like last night at 3:30 am I realized I had not plugged in my power chair and it was dead. I would be able to do nothing without it.  God never forgets anything. His plate is a whole lot more full than I can imagine.

He created man but he needed him to have a companion and mate so he could be fruitful and multiply the earth. Just think of everyone that ever was. He knew each and every person. He knew the hairs on their heads. Everything about them. Good as well as bad and he loved ALL of them  They were all in his mind before the world began. What he had made was so very very good

So after all that he created in just six days he rested. He knew we would all need rest. He set apart the seventh day as a very special day. His sabbath day of rest. A time for renewal for us. We have all week to do our labor for income to support our lives. But the seventh day really should be devoted to him. We need that time and doesn’t he deserve it for all he has done.

Chosen

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special possession, that you may declare the praises of him that called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

“You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:6 NIV

We have been chosen by God before time began. Before we were ever formed we were called out to be his chosen people. Not everyone is chosen. We are called to be the sons and daughters of Christ. We are called to serve our king.

We are to be the image of Christ. To be Jesus hands and feet to our communities.

We must accept this gift he has given us. It was given freely by Christ as he suffered and died on the cross to give us the chance to be made right with God. We have been given free will to choose for ourselves who we will serve.

Once we have chosen to serve the Lord we need to begin every day with that commitment. We live every day in this world but this is not our true home. It is with Christ in heaven. Each day we need to choose him. To follow his ways and serve him with our whole being.

As part of the special needs community it is very important to be chosen and accepted and loved. I had the privilege to go to camp all last week up in Williams, Arizona. Along with sixty or so other handicapped individuals we got to spend the week with Special Touch Ministries..

It is a wonderful environment for all ages. All different physical and emotional needs. We are loved on and accepted for who we are. We learn who we can be in Christ.

We are called to be priests. Jesus no longer lives on this earth. The only way people can see Jesus is through his children, his priests. We are very special to him. He is with us the whole way and will help us.

For me personally I learned that God has called me to be an encourager. The words I speak are not mine but God’s words spoken through me. This is one reason why I started this blog. I always had a desire to help people. I am a fixer. I like telling people how to fix themselves.

I had many opportunities to speak to people at camp and show his will for them. It was great but it was him not me talking. I am just willing to be used by God. He is not physically walking on earth but we are. The only way for others to see God is through us as we serve as his priests.

He has brought us out of our past of darkness and sin and given us light a future, eternal life with him. We have so much to be thankful for. His Glory and Mercy and his greatness is so manifest in our lives. The more we give the more he gives.

Peace wonderful peace.

Many people accept the gift of eternal life. And then go about life on their own doing whatever they want. Theirs is a wasted life and they don’t know all they are missing. I was one of those people for forty some years before I really got to know Jesus Christ and make him my personal friend and King.

My life has changed drastically and I never want to go back. Life is not about me but about Jesus Christ in me the hope of glory. He has made my life complete. Come join me.

Holiness

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 NIV

We need to learn what Holiness is. It is described in the dictionary as sanctity or sacred. Our God who we serve is sacred above all. We owe him the utmost respect over everything. He has done so much for us. Not only did he send his one and only son to willingly live a perfect life just to show us how to live, he came just to give his life up for each of us. He knew only he could be that perfect sacrifice for all of our sins.

Without Him we would not be able to be redeemed, we would be destined to die in our sins as we deserved and to suffer in torment for all eternity in the lake of fire. Separated from him and his goodness forever. What a horrifying thought.

“Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His Holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.” Psalms 99:9. NIV

He is worthy of all our worship, but worship is not just singing and dancing before the Lord. It Is doing what he has asked us to do. Keeping his commandments, and doing the right and true things he has shown us. This is true spiritual worship. If we truly love him we Will keep His commandments.

They say you can tell a tree by its fruit. We are his children, but how far have we fallen from the tree. It is important for any relationship that you respect the person you love enough to do the things they have shared with you. Those things that show respect and that you truly honor that person’s opinions.

How much more the one who made us and loves us more than anyone. He knows what is best for us and tries to get us there. By following him and his will we are actually helping ourselves.

Sometimes we just don’t understand why he is telling us to do something. I was reading in Exodus last week all the things he had for the Israelites to do. Some of it made no real sense. God seemed to be so nit-picky. But it’s just like my mom used to say. “ Because I said so,”. She was my mother and knew more than me. She knew what was best for me even if I didn’t know why.

Out of respect and love for my parents I obeyed them. I did just like they taught me to show them I loved them. I trusted that all they taught me was for my good and they would never hurt me. I respected them and now I can respect me Heavenly Father even more.

I wouldn’t do anything that could possibly hurt him. I love and respect Him so much that I always wish to do His will. He has rewarded me with an abundant life because of it. I look at so many people’s lives and see so much trauma and turmoil, but then they have chosen to do things their way. It seems so sad but how else can we learn.

I read a book last week talking about the good and bad kings who reigned over Israel. Some were Godly and some were wicked. God’s people fared far better when the King honored God. When they tore down idols and high places for worshiping idols and did all that God had commanded they prospered. The people lived in peace and were blessed.

I choose to be blessed in my life. I will love the Lord who is so worthy of my respect and honor. He has never failed me and never will. This is my act or true worship.

He is Alive

As I look back to all God has done for us this Resurrection Sunday I see a picture in my mind of a young man. With all the love of the Father in him. Remember this is a picture of what God is like a God that jealously loves us more than ever and wants us to have and be everything we can through him. He is standing at that door.

There is no hardware on the door, it can not be opened from the outside, only we can open that door. Open it to all the love, joy, peace and life out there that he has available for us. It is totally our choice. Life abundantly or death. Not only is it an eternal choice of life ever after we die, but true life right now.

Freedom from sin, death, hell, and the grave. That same power that raised Jesus back to life from that tomb of death, brokenness and darkness is available to everyone. It is free for the asking.

Are you suffering from an addiction that you have no control over that has you imprisoned in a spiraling downward motion of destruction. Are you hurting from unforgiveness towards someone who has caused you great pain in the past, something that has robbed you of all your joy and peace. Are you struggling from day to day with why you are even alive.

You can be free. Jesus is reaching his arms out to you. Arms that want to hold you and never let you go. To give you answers and hope. To make you happier than you have ever been. Help you have purpose and meaning in this current life. Won’t you let him in. Change is available through that door for you just open it.

It says in the Bible that all we have to do is ask Jesus to come in. Tell him that you have sinned and are not perfect. Ask him to forgive you for your past. A past that you have tried to do on your own. One that we truly need his help and power to enjoy. Ask him to help you to have the life he has for you. Ask him to help you do his will.

He will gladly hold your hand as his child today. He will give you a future and a hope.

The prison doors will swing open and you will walk into that glorious light.

That is not all! Talk to God have him show you what’s next. Read his words in the Bible so you will know how to live right. And lastly find good Christian family to unite with and to help you grow in this new life. They can show you truths that can help you have the most successful life ever.

May God our Father and Jesus his son richly bless your lives with the help of their powerful spirit to fulfill all they have for you forever and ever. Amen!

My God How Great Thou Art

The one sure thing we are here on earth for is to give praise to our King. He so deserves it. Think of all he has done for you in your life. I’m fifty-eight so I have many good years to thank him for. I can look back over my life and see how amazing he has been over the years.

Many people have contemplated these same things and have come up with great praise songs to show God how much they adore him. This morning at church we sang ‘How Great Thou Art’. As I sang the words resonated throughout my heart. Oh how much I felt these words.

‘Oh Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds thy hands hath made

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my savior God, to thee

How great thou art, How great thou art

Then sings my soul, my savior God, to thee

How great thou art, How great thou art

And when I think of God, his son not sparing

Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my savior God, to thee

How great thou art, How great thou art

Then sings my soul, my savior God, to thee

How great thou art, How great thou art

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow with humble adoration

And then proclaim, my God, how great thou art

Then sings my soul, my savior God, to thee

How great thou art, How great thou art

Then sings my soul, my savior God, to thee

How great thou art, How great thou art

God truly has done so much for me. Sending his one and only son to be born of a virgin. In a poor young family. His was not a life of privilege and esteem. Just the opposite. His life was difficult just like ours. He can understand our burdens and pain. Sin tried so hard to break him but, he overcame it.

He did all that gladly. Gladly, not just getting by, but there was joy in his heart as he suffered. He knew this was the only way we could be together forever. Unless we were redeemed by that perfect spotless lamb, it could never be.

This world he created is one thing, one mighty thing, but think of how he has enriched this world by working in the lives of billions of humans giving them great wisdom and ideas that continue to make this world better and better. People whose hearts have touched the world so.

People like mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King. They have made such a difference in so many lives. People like Moses, Elijah, King David, and Saul(Paul). Where would we be without them. Many would not be sons and daughters of our King.

Think about that day when as sons and daughters we will see his face. Standing before him FOREVER. In that wonderful place he has prepared for us in advance.

That awesome perfect place where absolutely nothing is too good for us. His building plans surpass all we can imagine.

Oh God how GREAT thou art!!