"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life Cycle of Worry

 Life Cycle of Worry

- Devil Tells Us Lies AND
    We Believe Them
- Life Expectations Take Root
    "Should Be This Way"
- We Feel Entitled to Comfort
- Fear of Losing Control Grows
- Distrust God's Plan
- Feel Responsible For Outcome
- Worry
- If Worry Comes to Fruition,
      Lies Intensify

- Cycle Begins Again

Instead of drawing nourishment from the Lies of the Devil
we should be soaked in Living Water

        Life Cycle of Joy

- Immerse Ourselves in Christ,
      Our Living Water
- Disregard Lies of the Devil
- Grow Realistic Life Expectations
       "He Will Meet Our Needs"
- Trust Him More
- Freedom From Fear
- Content With Life We Are Given
- Experience Joy

- Cycle Begins Again

At any moment we can choose to draw from the streams of living water, rather than the sprinkles of lies from the enemy. 

Which picture best describes your life?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Christ Gives Me Strength

I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength. 
( Philippians 4:13  NLV )

Some personal reflections on a verse I have been meditating on for a few days.

I  - Me, not someone else.  The word is interchangeable with my name.  I am a creation
       of God; he cares enough about me to know me personally.  He knows what I am
       going through and sees each and every tear.

CAN - It is present tense.  The here and now.  I am able, at this very moment.  It has
       nothing to do with what I have done in the past.  It is not concerned about the future.

DO - Active and not passive.  Encouraging me to start, to engage in life.  Does not imply
       a time in which to complete it all.  I begin with one step in the right direction.

ALL - Nothing is excluded.  Nothing is overlooked- no matter how small, large, simple,
      difficult, or impossible it seems.

THINGS  - A very broad term for what I am currently facing or anticipate dealing with.
      Tasks, problems, frustrations, uncertainty.

BECAUSE - Ties final phrase to the first.  Tells why it can be done.  Without the last
      part of the sentence, the first does not hold true.

CHRIST - Jesus.  My savior.  No one else can promise what he does.  I do not do this
      on my own.  Others can not fill this role.  Technology and pleasure will not help give
      what I really need most.

GIVES - It is active, in the present.  Like a present, it must be received. It is free, costs
      me nothing.  I must accept it.

ME - Interchangeable with my name.  A personal gift directly from Christ. Does not go
     to someone else before it comes to me - just one step between me and the God who
     holds the universe together.

STRENGTH - Power, firmness, courage, endurance.  Builds on what is already there. 

I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Root of Worry

     I like to be comfortable.  It's selfish, I know, but the truth nonetheless. God has blessed me with a warm home, cozy bed, clothes for each season, and enough food to keep me full.  I do not always have what I want, but what I need is supplied one way or another.

     I am convinced that at the root of most worry is the fear of being uncomfortable, of something changing. People worry about things because of how they affect them or their loved ones personally.

    Financial worries        =  Fear of not being able to afford all the comforts we are
                                           used to 
    Health worries           =  Fear of being physically uncomfortable, or of not being able
                                           to do the things that brought us comfort in the past
    Relationship worries  =  Fear of uncomfortable social situations, or of not having the
                                           comfort of someone to go through life with
    Future worries          =  Fear of unknown, change, and how it will affect our comfort
    Death worries           = Fear of where someone will spend eternity, or how our lives
                                         will change because of it
     My list is certainly not exhaustive, but the theme holds true in most situations.  What does Jesus say about our wants and needs?  Philippians 4:19 in The Message says, "You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus".  God knows what we need.  He also knows that sometimes we do not need the comforts that we are used to or that we would like to have.

    Think about it.  God has not promised us that we will be comfortable.  In fact, John 16:33 NIV says, "In this world you will have trouble".  He promised to meet our needs.  These are two very different concepts, but I believe many people often lump them together and end up disappointed with God.

     I choose to not worry about my needs.  God will supply them.  I choose to thank God for all the blessings around me that make me comfortable, knowing they may not last.  When these comforts are taken away, I choose to focus on the one who meets all my needs.

    Giver of every perfect gift, thank you for the comforts I enjoy.  Keep my focus on you as they come and go in my life. Help me to trust that you know what is best for me, what I really need. Amen.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In the Dark

    I went into my daughter's room to check on her late one night because she was crying.  It was so dark in there that at first I could not make out where her crib was.  I simply stood right inside the door and said her name and that I was there.  Immediately she stopped crying and said, "Momma! Momma!".  I went to her and gave her a hug before putting her back in bed.  She slept soundly the rest of the night.   
    As I left the room, the thought occurred to me that she did not need to see me to be comforted.  She listened to my voice and knew everything was going to be okay.  In the dark that night, she relied on what she knew about me from previous experiences to determine how to react.  She trusted me and knew I could calm her fears.
    A few nights ago I sat in my car, calling out to God aloud.  I just needed to vocalize some frustrations and struggles I was going through.  In my mind, he was sitting in the passenger seat, listening intently.  I could almost hear him saying, "I understand. I am here."  I was in the dark, but he was there too, although I could not see him.  He did, and often does, comfort me when I cry out his name.
    The darkness, real or spiritual, can be very frightening.  In times of confusion and uncertainty, I choose to call out my savior's name.  I trust that he will not let me down in the future.

    "I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain." Psalm 3:4 NIV
    "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
    "Trust in the Lord" - Sixpense None the Richer

     Father of light, be with me in the darkness.  Keep reminding me that you want to hear my cries and love opportunities to reassure me that you are near.  Amen.