Fighting Fear With Faith

In 1996 my husband, Greg, and I were in transition. He was opening his first dental practice in a town about 25 miles from where we were living. We were living in the condominium I had purchased as a single girl and the impracticality of staying in the condo was obvious to both of us.

We listed my condo for sale and found a home to purchase that was one mile from his practice. We put a contingency contract on the home and prayed my condo would sell in time to purchase the new home. Soon, we were presented with a contract from a couple (aka Couple A) wanting to buy my condo. CELEBRATE!

 

Fighting Fear With Faith

 

Oh, but wait! The contract on my condo was contingent on the sale of Couple A’s home. We also learned that there was a contract (Couple B) on Couple A’s home that was also a contingency contract.

Every one of these contingency contracts had to go through perfectly and without a hitch in order for us to buy the home near Greg’s practice. Oh, there’s more. Every one of these contracts was set to close within 14 hours of each other. My anxiety and fear were at earthquake levels.

Recently I spent a week in Psalm 56 and HOLY MOLEY!! It is powerful. Psalm 56 offers us a picture of King David in a predicament of earthquake proportions. He has been captured by the Philistines and imprisoned in their country. He doesn’t know if he will live or die. He is fighting fear and desperation in his heart throughout the early verses of this Psalm, yet there is also hope and trust. Please click this link to read the Psalm or read it in your Bible. Don’t pass over the blessing you will receive by reading it thoughtfully and prayerfully.

David was in a mess and he was frightened and fearful. Yet, if you will look carefully at this Psalm you will discern that David was preaching faith to his heart. Go back and read the Psalm, breaking the verses into these sections:

  • 1 and 2 – I’m in a mess and I’m afraid
  • 3 and 4 – Preaching faith to his heart
  • 5 through 7 – I’m in a mess and I want them to pay for what they have done to me
  • 8 through 11 – Preaching faith to his heart
  • 12 and 13 – Praises flow out of faith and trust in God.

What caused David to have hope and trust? He knew God was for him (Verse 9).

God is for you, girls and boys! Think about it. GOD. IS. FOR. YOU!

What is the fear are you fighting?

What has been your reaction thus far?

How have your reaction and actions concerning this fear worked for you? 

How much control do you have over whatever is causing you to fear? 

WHO has a complete understanding of your situation? 

WHO is able to comfort you and assure that you are loved and cared for AND work the situation out for your good? 

In light of your answers to these questions, what should your next move be? 

Dear reader, God is FOR YOU. Put your trust in Him and praise Him. Preach faith to your heart if you need to. Preach it 50 times a day if necessary. That is what I did when we were trying to sell my condo and God worked it all out. We sold my condo and moved to our new home.

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If there is a situation in your life that causes you to fear or you are uncertain what your next move is, I would love to walk alongside you as your Life Coach. Together you, Jesus, and I will face that fear and walk toward a place where faith kicks fear and uncertainty out of your heart. Visit my website by clicking HERE to learn more.

SDG/FCA!

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Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

I would love to recommend a wonderful book by James G Merritt. It has been such a blessing to me in my daily quiet time. If you are receiving this post via email, please click here to go to my website and see the link to the book.

Are You Living in Not Enough -land?

 

 

Y’all! I found out during my quiet time with Jesus this morning that I have a brother, or should I say, another brother.

I’ve long said that I am the prodigal son’s sister. Truly, I earned that sisterhood years ago. I made some stupid character and lifestyle choices in my 20s that earned me more than one trip to God’s woodshed. Because of the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus and the forgiveness He offers, my sinful choices have been forgiven, and yours can be too, if you know Jesus. I feel no shame or guilt over those choices because Jesus has taken my messes and made them my message!

 

Are You living in Not-Enoughland

 

This morning I was reading in Exodus 3. This is the chapter where Moses happens upon a burning bush that doesn’t burn. Take a gander at verses 5-14 (NKJV).

 

5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”

6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.

9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.

10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

 

Moses, who works for his father-in-law, Jethro, is out wrangling sheep on the backside of the desert. Notice he was not just on the edge of the desert, but he was on the backside of the desert. Lord have mercy, how many times does life seem to kick us to the backside of the desert? Moses was hot, dusty, dodging sheep poop every step, maybe hungry, missing his wife, and just alone with a bunch of smelly sheep. Shew—eeee!!!

May I tell you that the backside of the desert is probably the very place where God will show up in your life and mine? He seems to have a strange affinity for the desert.

Moses happens upon a bush that appears to be burning, but, wait! It is not burning UP. That’s southern for ‘the bush was not disappearing in a heap of ashes’. Suddenly, the bush talks to Moses. Actually, the angel of the Lord was doing the talking from the bus. The Lord proceeds to tell Moses that He (God) has seen the distress and captivity of the Israelites, and it is time to do something about it, and ‘You’re my guy, Moses!’.

This is the point at which I realized that Moses and I are related. Take look at verse 11 again. God is calling Moses to join Him in leading the Israelites out of captivity, and what does Moses say?

“Me? Not me. Although you are G-O-D and have never made a mistake before, there is always a first and this is it. I don’t talk very well. I would not know what to say. I’m not ENOUGH.”  

I don’t know about you, friend, but all too often my words, actions, and thoughts are those of ‘NOT ENOUGH’. I lived in Not Enough-land for so much of my life, yet recently I made a conscious decision to leave that place. I am ENOUGH in Jesus. He would not have died for me had I not been enough. His Spirit living within me makes me worthy and valuable and ENOUGH.

Maybe you have never lived in ‘Not Enough-land’, but I bet some of you have, and you are so weary of always feeling like you are not enough. Would you allow me to whisper something into your heart today?

I AM says that YOU are ENOUGH.

You were important ENOUGH for Him to send His only Son to die for your sin.

If you are a Jesus-follower, you are beautiful ENOUGH because you have His Spirit living inside you.

You are MORE. THAN. ENOUGH.

Now, walk that out in faith and when Satan tries to tell you you are NOT ENOUGH, tell Him that Jesus says you are MORE THAN ENOUGH. Tell Him that you are the bride of Christ, a daughter {or son} of the King, a chosen one, a royal priesthood. Tell Satan that you are called, loved, chosen, adopted, and redeemed by the God of Heaven.

Because of Jesus, YOU ARE ENOUGH! If God wants to use you or me or Moses to do something spectacular, then let’s stop this ridiculousness about not being good/smart/thin/talented/rich/popular or whatever kind of ‘enough’ you routinely use to fill in the blank. You are enough!

Friend, do you live in Not Enough-land? I would love to pray for you. Leave me a comment or send me an email to [email protected] It would be my privilege to pray for you as you learn to walk in your identity in Christ as one who is more than enough.

SDG/FCA!!

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The Loft LinkUp ~ Bible Study

Last week was so much fun reading about all the different words that the Lord has given us for 2016. Thank you for sharing!

 

Today’s topic is BIBLE STUDY ~ anything about Bible study…your favorite, the one that got all up in your business, the group with whom you study, your method…whatever floats your boat pertaining to Bible study is what we want to hear about today.

 

For my post on Bible study I have inserted a video from a speaking engagement that I had in 2011 where I spoke about the importance of Bible study in my life. The study of God’s Word has done a complete make-over on me. I am not the woman I was 16 years ago and it is all because of the living and active Word of God. This video is a clip from my personal testimony and I hope it is a blessing to you. If you are reading today’s post via email, you will need to click through to my website to see the video. Click HERE.

 

 

 

Now it is your turn. Come in, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and enter into the conversation here at The Loft.

 

THE

Please remember that we are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics:

January 13 ~ Bible Study – the how, when, who, what and why of it

January 20 ~ Hope

January 27 ~ Pot Luck ~ You may link up any post, on any topic today!

February 3 ~ Family

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

 

Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our topic is your Bible Study. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

The Loft

#TheLoft

The Loft Now it is time to linkup! Click the linky tool below to add a link to your post, then enjoy the fellowship here at The Loft.

[inlinkz_linkup id=597485 mode=1]

Fresh Manna for Suffering

 

I sit in my warm home on my comfortable couch, tapping out a message on my computer that I will, Lord willing, give to a few dozen women at a retreat at the end of March. I sit here in comfort and ease, while thousands of miles around the world, my brothers and sisters in Christ are being kidnapped, crucified, and beheaded by ISIS terrorists simply because they are Christians.

 

 

The message I will speak, the blog posts I will write all cost me nothing–right now. I do not suffer for the sake of the gospel, at least not yet. But, I cannot get the image of those 21 men wearing orange jumpsuits on their knees in front of their ISIS murderers out of my head. I didn’t watch the video of the beheadings. I don’t want to see it. Not because I’m squeamish, but because there are some things that just do not belong in the mind’s eye. They are neither pure nor lovely, and I cannot un-see what I have seen. Therefore, I must ‘be careful little eyes what I see’.

Those men in orange, and many others like them, killed for their faith in Christ, are now part of the multitudes beneath the altar in heaven who cry out,

“How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood?” (Revelation 6:10) NKJV

I join them in that lament, not because my blood has been shed, but because the Spirit within me cries out for justice. Simultaneously and with great effort, that same Spirit pleads for God to tender the hearts of the men of ISIS to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is an odd placed to me; the tension between justice and grace.

Those men in orange haunt me.

Would I be faithful to Jesus should I be forced to kneel before a man with a sword ready to behead me?

Jesus, help me, I pray I would! Did the men in orange ever ponder the question of whether they would remain faithful? Were they as fearful of the possibility of denying Jesus as I am?

“How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge the blood of my brothers and sisters?” Will it be before I face persecution for my faith? (I’m not so naïve as to think that it will not come to America. It is already here in varying doses.)

I do not want to deny my Lord, yet, I truly know little of suffering for my faith. We, in America, are pretty soft when it comes to suffering for our faith.

As I ponder the question of my faithfulness, the Lord takes me back to Exodus 16. I know this passage has nothing to do with suffering, but it has to do with provision, and that is exactly what is needed in the face of persecution. God’s provision.

In Exodus 16, manna from heaven is falling like snow. The Israelites are told to gather only enough for each person, each day. Then on the sixth day, they are to gather as usual, but when they prepare it in their tents, they would have a double portion to get them through days six and seven. It was a miracle, really. The Israelites had to get out of their tents each day and go claim God’s provision for them.

When persecution comes, I need to know that God will provide what I need to remain faithful. That’s not to say, I will not hurt. Persecution hurts like crazy, I imagine. I have to believe that God’s provision of faith and courage will be stronger than the hurt. It took strength and courage for those orange jumpsuit clad men to calmly face death, but I believe God rained down fresh manna on them in those moments. My heart needs to trust that He did.

 

“Gather what you need for this moment, fellas. Be strong and courageous, for great is your reward in heaven.”

 

Heavenly Father, my heart aches for my brothers and sisters around the world who endure persecution for the sake of the gospel. Please shower them with fresh manna each day; a heaping helping of grace, strength, and courage for the days in which they live. They are our heroes of the faith. Lord, increase my faith, and help me be diligent in lifting those heroes up to you in prayer. In the precious name of the One Who suffered and died for me; the Name above all names, Jesus. Amen.

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Linking up today at Grace & Truth.

Satisfaction Through Christ

Linking up with Lori Harris at Live Small, Love Big. Lori challenges me to love my neighbor, to get involved with the poor, and to share Jesus in ways I might not otherwise think of. Please visit Lori.

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Currently, I am reading a book from Voice of the Martyrs entitled Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith. It is challenging me to a deeper faith in Christ. Here is the link in case you are interested.

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Another Time, Another Place ~ On Repeat

Friends,

 

Even if we do not watch the news, there is no escaping the horrors that are coming out of the Middle East. Reports are everywhere of the persecution by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) of Christians for their faith.

 

21 Coptic Christians Beheaded for their Faith

 

As I have pondered this, and prayed for the families of those men; as I have beseeched the Lord to stop these terrorists, verses from Genesis 6 keep coming to my mind. It is the story of Noah, and these verses in particular are striking to me:

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. Genesis 6:5 (NIV)

 

In the past, it was hard to imagine a people whose every inclination of the thoughts of their heart were only evil all the time. No longer is it hard to imagine. We are seeing it lived in front of our eyes. This is not the first time the world has seen such evil, according to Genesis. It is Satan’s MO.

What are we to do?

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Genesis 6:8-9 (NIV)

We are to walk righteously, blamelessly before God. We are to pray as if our lives depended on it….and they might. We are to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and our hands to the plow, always ready to share about the Hope that lives in our hearts. We are to give our lives for the sake of the gospel, just as the Egyptian Christians did. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, is the cure for this sin-sick world.

 

 

 

 

Please join me in praying that God would intervene in the Middle East, and that millions of Muslims, Jews, and Gentiles would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. HE IS OUR ONLY HOPE IN THIS WORLD! 

 

Heart Notes ~ 12.14.14

Friends, welcome to Monday. Welcome to Heart Notes!

This week we are re-visiting our verse from last week, and adding another to it. If you missed last week’s post, I encourage you to click here and take a peek at it. Today’s post will make much more sense if you have done this.

Now, let’s refresh our memory on our verses from Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Today we will focus on verse 7. I underlined it above.

Last week I asked some mighty nosy questions, and many of you responded to the post, letting me know that you needed to have those questions asked over a situation(s) in your life.

Today, friends, it is time for some testifying. If you took last week’s post seriously, and spent some introspective time, just you and Jesus, I’m thinking you may have a word of testimony that you would like to offer about the peace you discovered because you talked to Jesus about your situation.

 

I’ll go first. There are so many times that Jesus has given me His peace as I have been faithful to turn life’s angst over to Him. Recently I experienced His peace as my sister and I sat by our Mother’s bedside and heard her physician tell us that it was time to just keep her comfortable until Jesus came for her.

It would have been so easy to let anxiety take over, to fight against what I knew to be true, and try to prolong her life. Instead, my heart knew, even before Dr. Thompson spoke the words, that Mother would be meeting Jesus soon. Earlier that day I had breathed a prayer, asking Him to be with us, and give us strength and peace as we walked through whatever the day brought. HE DID!

Sure, it was a tough day or two, but Jesus was with us. His people surrounded us, and I knew undeniable peace in the midst of the storm.

 

Now, friend, it is your turn. Tell us about a time when you cast your anxiety on Jesus, and found peace, even as the winds howled about you. Leave me a comment here, or email me at [email protected].

 

In case you missed the FREE December printable, here it is:

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