Fear Doesn’t Stand a Chance

 

no fear

I had the radio on while I was driving earlier and the song “Stand In Your Love” came on. The line that caught my attention was the start of the chorus where it says: “Fear Doesn’t Stand a Chance.” That got me to thinking about some situations where I have been fearful of something. When I was a child and a sudden loud noise startled me and I got scared; when I was in Iraq; times when change was coming and there was unknowns about everything; when money was tight and we were living paycheck to paycheck I was fearful about how bills would be paid; when I found out I was getting laid off years ago I was also afraid I would have trouble paying bills and many other times. Now, I don’t consider myself a coward but there are times when one faces difficult circumstances and it is hard not to be afraid. But, as we face the trials of life, the words of that song can give comfort, but more importantly is that Christ can give comfort in times of fear.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  Romans 8:15

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.  Proverbs 29:25

There are a lot more verses about fear, facing fear and finding comfort in His word and His presence.

Give a listen to the song when you get a chance, listen to the words, the verses and the chorus. “Stand in Your Love” by Josh Baldwin.

http://www.klove.com/music/artists/josh-baldwin/songs/stand-in-your-love-lyrics.aspx

Lord, Thank You for reassuring me when I face difficult times that cause fear and worry and for being my Comforter when I need comforting. I pray  in the name of Jesus that I and others facing challenging times regardless of the cause: changing employment, loss of employment, worry about finances, concerns about relationships, fear of any and all enemies that we face, fear about health problems and for all the other causes of fear, that You be there and strengthen us and make us without fear so that we can face them without the anxiety that comes with fear. Show us Your path and how we can best follow Your wishes for us. Teach us to face challenging times with courage and reassurance that You are with us. Draw us all nearer to You Lord that we may learn to serve You as You want us to serve.

Amen

 

Thank you all for taking a few minutes to read my blog. I hope all are ready for a new week and that you are blessed as you go about your days. Try to be a blessing to someone else as well.

Giants all around

david_vs__goliath_by_marianodavidotero-d1na314

I will confess up front that I “stole” the idea for this post from a church bulletin so in advance I will thank the Pastor for the post.

THANKS PASTOR LARRY!

ARE THERE GIANTS IN THE LAND?

Don’t be fearful or afraid to occupy the promises the Lord has given you. Don’t just settle for less when you know the Father has more for you. Self-doubt holds back more believers than any other enemy. Know this: When you know something is from Me and you’re obedient and step out in it, I will keep your back and bless you for overcoming that fear. I say choose blessings or curses. They don’t choose- you do! Focus on My love and provision and you will soon be on that mountain. But Know this, he whom I can trust in small matters, will be leaders of much larger ones. In times such as this, leaders must press in for the goal and not give up, ever. Are you ready to go to higher ground?

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  1 Samuel 17:4

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?   1 Samuel 17:26

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.  1 Samuel 17:37

And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  1 Samuel 17:49

Obviously, I skipped some verses, and encourage folks to read the entire chapter, but the message is clear, Israel faced a giant and no one would stand up to him until David came along. No one else had the faith to trust God to help them during the fight. David faces a challenge and realistically, in the human mind, there was no way for him to win but he had faith in God to protect him and give him the victory.

We all face our own giants, they may not be literal giants like Goliath but we face the uncertainty of some things that we feel lead by God to perform, life changes, new jobs, moving across the country, speaking publicly about God, all those things are giants. There are so many possible giants we all deal with and if we have the faith that David had, God will see us victorious and that if we follow Him, He will ensure that we walk in the path He has planned for us.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalms 37:5

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20

Lord, I praise your Holy Name and worship You. I thank You for the forgiveness and salvation that was bought for me by the sacrifice, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. I pray in Jesus Name that You help me increase my faith and trust in You. That You give me the courage to face the giants in my life because I know that through You when I step out in faith You will be there for me to ensure that I do not fail and that You will carry me through and guide my steps if I follow You and have that faith. I ask that You help others who are facing giants of their own, that they learn to lean on You and take those steps to be victorious in Christ. I pray that draw my family and loved ones to You and help them all to know You.

Amen

Thanks for your time. I hope all will have a great day and are blessed, and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well

What to do, what to do?

fork in road

 

I am facing a decision, a fork in the road, trying to decide which road to take. As I consider options for the future I vacillate between a variety of choices. There are many options for us all, regardless of current circumstances and there are many choices to be made. I am faced with making decisions that will impact my life in many ways and some options will be dramatic changes in my life now and in the future. I make mental lists of pros and cons for each choice as I try to weigh the options, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each. While doing so I find that one choice has definite benefits over the other possibilities and, of course, as I think about things more I see yet another choice would be better for me. And, it goes on and on like that, one pays more, but would be a huge change, one offers stability if you will as it does not require sacrifice or change. The more I think one option is the right one and start to get more certain, the less certain I am about it and the more doubt starts to pop into my mind.

Basically, the more I think rather than being more certain, I become more uncertain. Obviously, I need wisdom beyond what I possess. VERY obviously, I need some guidance from God on this so I believe it is time to look to the scripture first, then pray on things after that so I know the path He has planned for me and wants me to take.

 

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

 

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

1 John 5:14-15

 

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

 

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

 

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

John 14:12-14

 

 

 

Well, lots there telling me that He will help me, if I seek Him and listen to Him. So, time to pray a bit and give all the circumstances to God so that He can show me His will and way.

 

Heavenly Father,  thank You for your words to show me that more important than the decision I make, is the way in which I make it and that in order to make the right decision, the decision that You wish me to make I must first seek You and when I do, You will show me the way. I pray in Jesus name that You show me the heart and mind of Christ that I will be able to hear You and know Your will and way for me. That I have no doubt about the decision I make and that while making the decision I put myself aside and look and listen to You while weighing my options. Give me Your wisdom as I make my decisions and help me be humble before You, not trying to push my will into the decision but look to You for that. I ask that You help my loved ones know that the decision is from You and that Your hand is guiding me. Draw us all closer to You and show us all Your will and Your plans for us. Give us all the wisdom to listen to You and understand what You are telling us. I thank You Lord for my forgiveness and salvation through your son Jesus who died on the cross to redeem my sins. Help me be a blessing to others that Your glory is shown through me.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your time. I ask that you pray for me, that He work in my heart so I know His plans. I hope all have a blessed day and have a chance to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

Shabby chic versus upcycling

dresser

 

I continue my work at my parents house and as I do so I have to try to determine if things have value so I will be able to decide if it should be included in the estate auction or what other options I have for those that will not likely sell.  Things like cracked mirrors, very old but damaged picture frames, antique glassware that is ornate but have little chips, vintage furniture such as china cabinet and many other things that aren’t perfect but may be of value to someone.  One cabinet is made well out of good wood. It’s sturdy but the varnish is cracked and peeling in places, there are stains on the shelves from who knows what. I was considering trying to refinish it or paint it in how’s it may be worth more. Then as I was talking with the auctioneer about dealing with the estate to get input how to better prepare for it I showed that cabinet he very quickly said, “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT REFINISHING IT! There are a lot of people that want the shabby chic items and if you paint it or something they won’t be interested.”  I hadn’t considered that.

We continued the talk and I mentioned the chipped glassware and I asked for his thoughts about those items and showed him a couple and asked if I should just toss them out. “NO WAY!” He said and went on to explain that there a lot of artists and others that love to use those kind of things to make something out of it to sell or for their own enjoyment. He showed a couple photos of things that people had made from items with more damage than the things I showed him.

I thought about that some after he left, and also thought about how we can either be shabby chic or upcycled Christians. Well, that isn’t accurate, because shabby chic pretty much one accepts the flaws and then tries to keep them present, not make them better. They may clean it up and perhaps touch up the finish, maybe try to keep them from getting in worse shape, but they don’t try to really improve things, just not get worse. So, while some people may be shabby chic Christians, they are not really good Christians if they are pleased to accept their flaws and sins, keep them, not change.

 

1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

Galatians 6:1-5

 

upcycle

 

God wants us to remove our imperfections and make us better. He wants to improve us. He will completely remove the imperfections, sometimes altering the person to give them a new purpose. He will grind, smooth and polish until the imperfections are gone and the person can serve Him. He will make us beautiful and perfect for His will and use. If we let him. He forgives us, completely, for our sins if we confess that Christ is His Son, Died for our sins and defeated death. That we confess we are sinners and through Christ, God forgives, redeems us and removes those imperfections. Just like that, He upcycles us.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

 

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

Galatians  6:15-17

No, I don’t want to be shabby chic, I want to be upcycled. I want to be something new. I want Christ to remove the chips and imperfections, make me into something beautiful in His sight that He can use to draw others to Him. He did that already. I am human and have continued struggles but He has done so much and made tremendous progress. Oh, He aint done yet, but He continues to work in me and my life.

 

Lord, I praise and worship You. I thank You for the day, the little lessons You teach me and how You bless me every day. I ask You continue the work on me to make me into the servant You need. I pray that You work on loved ones as well. Draw them nearer to You, help they who do not know You to find You. I pray for those struggling with difficult decisions in their lives. Help them know what choice You want them to make. Help me with my decisions as well. Thank You for my salvation and the sacrifice Christ made so I may have it.

In Jesus Holy Name

AMEN

 

Thanks to all for your time. I hope something in this is a blessing to someone. Have a great day and try to bless at least one person today.

 

 

I am terrified of dentists.

pexels-photo-208474.jpeg

I was looking over my calendar, seeing what things I have on my list to do, work, appointments, events that are planned and such and realized that I have an appointment with the dentist in a couple weeks, just a cleaning and exam, not having any issues right now so I don’t expect to get any bad news. But, just seeing that on my calendar was enough and I started to get anxious. I am terrified of dentists. TERRIFIED! I have some fears about life, we all do. But, with dentists it is a true phobia. Even when it is time for a simple cleaning my stomach gets in knots, my heart races and I get close to cancelling the appointment. I don’t, but I get upset. To fully explain how bad my phobia is I will tell about issues in Iraq I experienced.

Maybe a month before we deployed I had a mandatory dental exam, to make sure no big issues that would compromise my ability to do my job and therefore interfere with the unit as a whole. All was fine. I had, maybe 6 months earlier had an exam and I had to get a filling. All seemed fine, but then after I was there maybe 2 or 3 months I started to get some pain in the tooth I had gotten a filling in several months before. Within just a few days, it worsened. Then, while on a 4 day mission, way out away from our camp it suddenly got much worse. I carried a variety of drugs in addition to the standard medical supplies in my aid bag so I started some antibiotics but that did not help. At the end of that day it was still getting worse, much worse. I used a mirror and saw that an abscess had formed there and while antibiotics would eventually treat it, this was bad enough that it needed drained. So, I numbed it a little, had someone hold a flashlight so I could see and using a large needle made openings to drain the infected abscess. Several of the soldiers were gathered around to see, because, well, morbid curiosity I suppose, and for some reason, some people like to be grossed out. After draining it, continuing the antibiotics and using anti-inflammatory medication to help with the swelling, it calmed down and by the next day was pretty tolerable. After returning to camp after the mission was over I went to the dentist. Come to find out that the filling was not done exactly right and because of that the cavity had worsened and the infection developed. The dentist removed that cavity, used special filling material with antibiotic in it and refilled the tooth. After he was done, I asked how I did and he said, “You did great, hardly moved at all.” I explained I was terrified to go to the dentist and was almost paralyzed from fear one there. Now, this dentist was a friend and commented, about that. I told him it was different when just being friends than when getting treated. He asked if it was really that bad and I told him, “Dude, I would rather go to a gunfight than see the dentist.” He chuckled and we planned another visit in a couple weeks to remove the temporary antibiotic filling he had placed, do a root canal and do a proper filling.

Fast forward to the day of the appointment, done with the antibiotics, pain and swelling were gone. I was doing better. I went to go to the appointment, even though terrified, because I knew I needed to get the work done. I get to the area he used for treatment. He had just gotten done with someone else, and as the assistant was cleaning up from that and getting the instruments and all ready for me I began to remove my blouse (Army term for shirt/top) and pistol belt. I had just sat down in the chair and then on the radio I had to carry they were calling me. I got the radio and answered. They said, “Doc, we have multiple units in contact and the Old man (Commander) is getting ready to head out and said to call to see if you were coming.” I looked at the chair and answered, “Roger that, I will be in front of Charlie Med (our medical unit.)” Told them where my body armor, helmet and aid bag were located and started getting ready, put my pistol belt and blouse back on. And told the dentist that I had to go, I had a gunfight. He laughed, thinking I was joking, and when I started to walk out he followed, saying that it was funny at first, but he needed to get the work done as he had others scheduled after me. I explained I wasn’t joking. He continued to follow along, getting a little more and more frustrated and a little angry. We got to the area where I was meeting the guys, and in a minute or so they pulled up. The driver told me my gear was behind him so I opened the door, checked to make sure what I needed was there and started putting on the body armor and such. The dentist’s mouth dropped open, then, obviously surprised, he finally said, “you really are going to a gunfight.” I said, “I told you I’d rather go to a gunfight than the dentist.” And we left.

Several hours later we returned, I went to Charlie Med to check on casualties, those I had sent in as well as any of which I was unaware. As I was doing so, Matt (the dentist) saw me and came up. He talked about how he couldn’t believe I went out like that, left the safety of camp (that was a relative safety as we received mortar and rocket attacks often) and went out to known battle. I told him that was how bad my phobia of dentists was and besides, I had been in maybe a dozen gunfights and never been hurt, but I had been in his chair a couple times and got hurt every time I had been there. Then, he said, “well, that may be true, but leaving to go out, not getting the stuff done today just means we have to reschedule it. That root canal and filling have to be done.”

SO, by not facing the fear all I did was delay the inevitable. It was a temporary victory, shallow and incomplete. Yeah, like the song I hear on the radio, “Fear I a liar.” Fear kept me from getting something done that really needed done. I rationalized that the better option was to expose myself to extreme danger and possibly death, just to avoid something that was necessary to face. I was shot at, there were explosions very near me and had God not place a guardian angel there to protect me, I would have been injured or died, of that I have no doubt. I eventually got the work done and still felt fearful when going for the dental work but I was able to get myself there and am better for it.

And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:12

 

Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 25:17

 

But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.  Luke 12:5

 

Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.  Acts 13:26

Now, not all fear can cause problems, there are healthy fears. Most humans fear snakes, spiders, darkness, strange locations or strangers for some examples. Those fears protect us. Snakes can be venomous and make us ill or kill us if we are bitten, the same is true for spiders. There can be dangers associated with darkness, we don’t see things well and can step into a hole, trip over something, or come across a dangerous animal that attacks us. Strangers and strange locations have huge unknowns and can be dangerous to our well being.  More importantly the fear of God and of eternity in Hell. All healthy fears that we should heed, the last most of all.

 

And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. Genesis 26:24

 

Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 23:4

 

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31

 

But, there are other fears that are not so healthy, they may not be unnatural, but are not necessary. Fear of change, fear of financial impact of some possible actions, fear of the response of others to our actions, fear of being alone are some of the possibilities. Fear of change, financial impact, affect on others of some possible actions has kept me from doing something that I have needed to do for many, many years. So, rather than face that fear, I did nothing and I still have to deal with the very same situation, the same need to make the changes continues. I and many others have avoided change because of fear.

But, what about the fear of things such as being alone or the financial impact of living on one income? Well, sometimes one stays in a marriage to avoid facing those fears, other times people rush to get married to avoid it, knowing deep inside whether they admit it to themselves or not, sometimes rationalizing, like I did with the dentist, that doing one thing was better than the option all the while I knew, oh how I knew, deep inside I was not helping myself by avoiding the dental work and was taking the risk of things getting worse, yet I did something that placed me in a bad situation to avoid it. Yet, people do strange things rather than face fear and deal with it as they should, by praying, studying the Bible and seeking Christ.

And, as I said, I did eventually face the fear of the dentist, overcame that and took the steps I needed to for my long term benefit. I am currently facing fears, taking steps to address them and changes for my own good, my emotional and spiritual are being made. I praise God that He has helped me face my fears and deal with them in the necessary ways.

 

Lord, I come to You today, with praise in my heart, glorifying You and Your son. I thank You for the mercies and blessings You give me and for the lessons You are teaching me to improve my walk with Christ. I ask You help me know which fears to have and which to face, to give me the strength and courage to face the fears I need face to follow Your plan for my life. I pray You will work in not just my heart, but the hearts of loved ones and others, show them which fears to face, which to heed. Draw us all closer to You, work in our minds that we choose to seek You and to hear what You wish for us in life and that we not let fears keep us from Your will for us. I thank You for my salvation and pray for Your forgiveness of sins I may commit.

Amen

 

Thanks for your time. I hope there is someone out there that gets a blessing or needed information about facing fears in life and seeking God to help better discern what they need do about facing those fears. I hope all have a very blessed day and are blessings to others as we go about our day’s activities.