Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Top Ten Fears: How Do You Face Them Down?

Here is a list of the Top Ten Fears:
10. Water and storms
9. Public Transportation
8. Flying
7. Crowds
6. Tunnels and bridges
5. Spiders
4. Heights
3. Confined Spaces
2. Snakes
1. Public Speaking.

How do you face your fears down? Pretend they don't exist, and act as if you are brave? Take tranquilizers? Or, avoid doing things that scare the bejeebers out of you?

When I was a young mother I became afraid of something not on the above list: mental illness. My daddy had spent some time in a mental hospital, and we'd seen a popular movie that depicted a horrible scene from a psyche ward. I was terrified I'd end up like that.

Even though I was a Christian, I didn't know what to do to face my fears down and break their power over me. I lived in torment for two years. I was a nervous wreck. Then one day I called a prayer counselor at the 700 Club, explaining my fear to him.

He said, "I am going to give you a list of bible verses that talk about overcoming fear. I want you to sit down and list them, then when we hang up, look up each one and read them aloud to the devil--the author of fear--and tell him to get lost. You are a child of God, and Satan has no right to torment you with his lies." Then he prayed for me before we hung up, after he'd given me the list of Scriptures, which ranged from Genesis to Revelation.

I followed his instructions, reading those verse to the devil and commanding in Jesus' name that he skedaddle. And... it worked! The fear left, and I was free!

This is the best way I know to face down fear and conquer it. The Word of God is powerful and sharp, to slice through the devil's lies. Because that's what fears are: lies that God won't protect you and care for you. Satan is the father of lies, so we know that fear comes from him.

Please join me today in using the Bible, the Word of God, to face down your fears and make the devil sorry he ever messed with you! Here are a few to start with:

I John 4: 4
Isaiah 54:17
Psalm 103: 17
I Peter 5:7
Psalm 23

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

12 Reasons Why I Find the Scariest Book in the Bible Encouraging

Some people find Revelation the scariest book in the BibleI am encouraged by it. Why? For these dozen reasons:

1.       “Grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits in his presence before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power forever and ever” (1:4-7).

2.       “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty; he was, he is and he is to come. You are our Lord and our God, you are worthy of glory and honor and power, because you made all the universe and it was only by your will that everything was made and exists” (4:8, 11).

3.       “There is no need to cry; the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and he will open the scroll and the seven seals of it. You are worthy to take the scroll and break the seals of it, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought men for God of every race, language, people and nation and made them a line of kings and priests, to serve our God and to rule the world” (5:5,9).

4.       “The Lamb that was sacrificed is worthy to be given power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing. To the One who is sitting on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honor, glory and power, forever and ever” (5:12, 14).

5.       Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen” (7:10,12).

6.       “We give thanks to you, Almighty Lord God, He-Is-and-He-Was, for using your great power and beginning your reign” (11:17).

7.       Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down” (12:10).

8.       How great and wonderful are all your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are all your ways, Who would not revere and praise your name, O Lord? You alone are holy, and all the pagans will come and adore you for the many acts of justice you have shown” (15:3-4).

9.       “Then a voice came from the throne; it said, ‘Praise our God, you servants of his and all who, great or small, revere him.’ And I seemed to hear the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, ‘Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God” (19:5-7).

10.   “And now I saw heaven open, and a white horse appear; its rider was called Faithful and True; he is a judge with integrity, a warrior for justice. His eyes were flames of fire, and his head was crowned with many coronets; the name written on them was known only to himself, his cloak was soaked in blood. He is known by the name, The Word of God” (19:12-14).

11.   “You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes;there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone. Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new,’ he said” (21:3-5).

12.   “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining o them. They will reign forever and ever” (22:3-5).

(All Scriptures from The Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday Publishing, 1966, 1967, 1968)

What do you think? Do these passages encourage you, too? Which is your favorite? 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

I'm all about simple.

This Yankee Doodle Dandy cake recipe for your 4th of July celebration only has seven ingredients, and one is water! Isn't it lovely?

Prepare a boxed cake mix--I like to use Red Velvet for this recipe.

Pour into a 9 x 13 pan and bake as directed.

Frost with white icing.

For stars, use blueberries or navy blue M & M's; for stripes, cut fresh strawberries into slivers.

What is your favorite Summer recipe? 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Are you sabotaging yourself in your closest relationships?

            When Kevin and I were dating, I found out he had a secret “list” of four things he most wanted in a wife. I don’t remember all of them, but he apparently thought I met his criteria. And I’ll bet he’s wondered at times if he should have had more than just four items to shoot for!

            When our son Ron was three or so, he brought me a sack of grass clippings he’d scooped up from the front yard.
            “What’s this for, Son?”
            “I thought I’d bring in a sack of grass to have in case Daddy ever decides to become a farmer. Then the cows can have something to munch on!” 
            Good thing he didn’t hold his breath on that expectation, because although cornfields surround our home in southern Illinois, Kevin has yet to become a farmer!
     How many times have we had expectations of a person,only to have them ruined? Even people who genuinely love us often disappoint us. We hoped and believed, and then our hopes were dashed to tiny pieces like sand castles at high tide. We became an Eyore, thinking it was easier to hope for nothing than to be disappointed. Could our expectations have been unrealistic, or even misplaced?  Did God mean for us to find happiness based on how others treat us or how well they fulfill our dreams?
      Our Heavenly Father made us in His image. That means we need other people to complete and help us. He never intended anyone to do life alone. But He also never intended that we look only to others to fill us up, so that we are crushed if they don’t meet our requirements for happiness. This is what is known in psychology as “co-dependence,” and it is not healthy.
      Let’s release our loved ones from such unrealistic expectations, and start relying more on God to make our lives complete. Only He can make our dreams come true, encourage us exactly the way we need, and give us custom-made strength for all the challenges our life holds. Of course He may use people to do it. But He wants our focus to be on Him as our source of supply, not the supply itself. That way we won’t be constantly disappointed and disillusioned when our spouse, our kids or our best friends don’t jump through the hoops we have set up for them.
      I love the John Stallings chorus, “Learning to Lean,” written in the mid-70’s:
Learning to lean, learning to lean, I’m learning to lean on Jesus,
Finding more power than I’d ever dreamed, I’m learning to lean on    Jesus.”
      God will not disappoint you like people will. You can lean on Him, and expect the greatest time of 
your life!

Have you ever had to release some great expectations in order to find more sanity? How did it improve your relationships? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

In My Name: A Life-Changing Book

In My Name: Inviting God’s Holy Presence in Daily Situations by Marja Verschoor-Meijers is a must-read for anyone who wants to discover how, as New Testament Christians, the Old Testament Law relates to us. This volume, the seventh in a series about the Ten Commandments in the 21st Century, focuses on honoring God’s name.  

            “Wait a minute,” you may be thinking. “I thought Jesus did away with the Law when he fulfilled it.”

            Through Scripture the author explains that although Jesus accomplished the purpose for which the Law was given, he did not abolish or delete it. There are ways we can apply the Law in our time, while still following Jesus as born-again believers.   

            I found myself not only thinking of God and his name in new, intimate ways. But the teachings of In My Name  changed the way I pray! Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

            Page 41: “We need to know His holy name because He is not a faraway impersonal God, He wants to be known!”

Page 53: “When Jesus came to earth . . . He carried the presence of God within. . . Jesus is God and He carries the same personal name as revealed early in biblical history. We can read in John 8:58 ‘I am telling you the truth,’ Jesus replied. ‘Before Abraham was born, “I Am.”’ God was present to save, heal, and deliver wherever Jesus went during His earthly travels.”

            Page 67: “When God is present faith replaces fear, joy replaces sadness, healthy replaces sickness, provision replaces lack, and forgiveness replaces guilt. When God is present emptiness gets filled and loneliness gets accompanied.”

            Page 85: “When His name gets proper honor, He will show up. His kingdom will manifest among us and His will be done. When God’s will gets done, He is here! He is present, a piece of His kingdom on earth. Hallelujah!”

The author of In My Name
            Hallelujah indeed, Marja! What can be more exciting than God’s presence in our lives, changing us into His image and helping us accomplish His will? Thank you for writing this life-changing book.

            If you’d like to experience a more vibrant relationship with God by more of  His presence in your life, you can find In My Name by clicking on this title. Then watch the miracles begin as you invite God's presence into your daily life. 

           If you'd like to learn more about Marja, her writings, and her ministry, please visit her website: https://www.marjameijers.com/