Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘fear’

Out of Control?

That’s the way it seems, from the headlines I see every day.  And to be honest, I am often tempted to fear.  That’s why this song is so special.  Keep reading—it gets better as it goes.  And here’s a link where you can listen to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6Eiv1r5UnE

God Is in Control

This is no time for fear
This is a time for faith and determination
Don’t lose the vision here
Carried away by emotion
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart
There is one thing that has always been true
It holds the world together

God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
God is in control, oh God is in control

History marches on
There is a bottom line drawn across the ages
Culture can make its plan
Oh, but the line never changes
No matter how the deception may fly
There is one thing that has always been true
It will be true forever

He has never let you down
Why start to worry now?
He is still the Lord of all we see
And He is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me

watching over you…watching over me..
watching over every things..
watching over you..watching over me..
every little sparrow..every little things

Published on Jul 15, 2012

Jasper Assembly of God,
Jasper, Georgia
http://www.jasperag.com

 

 

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A Real Hero

Antoinette Tuff is my heroine today.  And she gives all the glory to God, who gave her wisdom and courage to talk a gunman out of carrying out his plans to shoot up a school full of elementary kids.  One tool she used was her own story of weakness, loss and need.

Another hero is Gideon whose story I’ve been reading again (Judges chapters 6-8).  These same two things stand out in his experience:  his doubts and fears, and then his obedience and effectiveness in saving his people. 

His fear: 
–Threshing wheat in a wine vat to hide it from the marauding enemy. 
–Waiting for the cover of night to carry out God’s order to demolish idols worshipped by his townspeople.

His doubt: 
–When God appeared to him to commission him (addressing him as “mighty warrior”!), Gideon asked for a sign of confirmation, which God graciously provided by burning up his meal and then vanishing! (6:20-21)

–But that wasn’t enough.  He still needed confirmation.  So God arranged for a wet fleece on dry ground and then vice versa (6:36-40). 

Then God threw in one extra confirmation for good measure.  He sent Gideon to eavesdrop on a couple of enemy soldiers discussing a strange dream which they concluded  meant that Gideon was going to defeat their whole army!  (I wonder how they knew about him by name?!?)

God is so patient with those who really want to please and obey Him!

The tools:
–Personnel:  Just 300 people, whittled down from an original 32,000! (7:1-8)
–Weapons:  Trumpets, torches in clay jars, and their voices! (7:15-22) 

God’s strategy:

–As the noise and light show by Gideon’s men commenced (with the weapons listed above), God caused the enemy army to panic and kill one another!

What power!  What irony!  I love God’s battle strategies!  (For more, read the books of Exodus through 2 Chronicles.)

I also love the fact that God uses imperfect people who have doubts and fears and yet are committed to obey God to be used for His purposes, and to be sure He gets the glory!  I’m one of those.  So is Antoinette Tuff.

Triumphant Travels

The Carnival Triumph was one non-triumphant ship.  But we are hearing amazing stories of how the passengers bonded together during their ordeal, how the crew stayed calm and served graciously under such difficult situations, and how some gathered for Bible studies during those dreary days.  How delightful to be reminded how God can turn tragedy into triumph for His own glory!

In my Bible reading I’m just up to the story (Acts 27) of another nautical nail-biter.  A ship full of people driven by a crazy storm for two weeks, so sick they couldn’t eat and despairing of ever seeing land again.  But God was there, too.  He assured Paul that he and all the other passengers would make it safely to land—and they did!

This same God is in my break-downs and storms as well as in the days of smooth sailing. Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you—neither terrified by the tempest nor drifting complacently into dangerous waters.

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Cardiac Peacemakers

This morning we were reading the instructions and cautions about having an MRI.  One thing that must not be taking into the room is “cardiac peacemakers.”  (To be fair, they’d crossed out the extra e.)

Jesus is the “cardiac peacemaker”—the one who gives peace of heart!  As our family struggles with a number of health issues, we struggle to keep our eyes on the Lord with thankfulness and praise, rather than on the fears and what-ifs. 

Here are a couple of gems we read recently in the book “Jesus Calling”:

From Jan 7:  “When adversity strikes and you thank Me anyway, your trust in My sovereignty is a showpiece in invisible realms….”

From Jan 8:  “Hope in Me, and you will be protected from depression and self-pity.  Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven.  The more you cling to this cord, the more I bear the weight of your burdens; thus, you are lightened.  Heaviness is not of My kingdom.  Cling to hope, and My rays of light will reach you through the darkness.”

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Effective Leadership—by Lies or Truth?

A very successful leader shared the keys to his success:

Men do not think.
Make the lie big.
Make it simple; keep it simple.
Keep saying it.
Eventually they will believe it.

This was Hitler’s secret.

Only 10% of the German citizens actively supported him.  Others stood by, watched and kept silent, avoiding the uncomfortable truth until it was too late.  As they heard the screams of trainloads of Jews headed for extermination, they just sang their hymns louder to drown them out, feeling that there was nothing they could do.

Where are we on this cycle?

Bondage > Spiritual Faith > Courage > Liberty > Abundance > Complacency   > Apathy > Dependence > and back to Bondage

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Hitler’s key was lies; may our key be truth and integrity,
no matter what it costs us! 
Let’s keep this standard for ourselves and for our leaders, by God’s help!

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Source:  New York Times best-selling author Andy Andrews’ book “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?” via www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDKcF—1hEc

When All Else Fails

Night is falling and the power is off, but I can draft a blog post as long as the computer battery holds up. And last week the water was off for a couple of days .  At times like these I give thanks for things I normally take for granted, including also Internet, food, air, health, freedom, and the list goes on.

I can manage without some of these things for a short time, especially when it’s temporary.  I’ve been very blessed to have lived in security and freedom, unlike so many who see no end to daily suffering from physical pain, deprivation, or oppression.

But—here’s the part I hate to think about, much less put in writing—how will I handle it if the time comes when it’s me in that position?  Jesus warned us of coming suffering and persecution, and why should I be exempt?  When that time comes, will I fall apart, or will I live in calm trust in the One who controls all?  The words of this song challenge me:

Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own his cause or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease
While others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?

Sure I must fight if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy word.

Scaredy Cat

I have confessions to make:  I’m a scaredy cat.  Scared of heights.  Scared of water.  Scared of… well, new things and change, and more than I’d like to admit.

But I’m in good company.  Joshua must have been rather nervous about leading the Israelites into Canaan because God and even his people kept telling him, “Don’t be afraid!”  “Be courageous!”  Why?  “God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9, etc.)  

We also read about the Israelites cowering between the Red Sea and the advancing Egyptian army.  And Mary startled by an angel with an astounding announcement.  And shepherds blinded by laser light from heaven.  And the disciples sighting a “ghost” walking on the stormy lake.  And Jairus whose daughter had just died. And many more.  All of these were told “Don’t be afraid.”  Because God is there.

Donna in a wadi

My fear of heights was challenged a few years ago when my husband and I visited Israel and our group walked along a narrow path above Wadi Qilt between Jerusalem and Jericho.  On one side it dropped straight down too far to look (yikes!) and on the other, it went straight up.  I had no alternative but to keep putting one foot ahead of the other, imagining (or maybe it wasn’t my imagination) that I was following my Shepherd along that scary path.  And you know what?  We made it!  It was a faith-growing experience. 

Though I’m still scared of a lot of things, I know that God is with me and will lead me through whatever He permits to happen. 

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