How to Change Worry to Peace and Freedom

Worry happens when we take on a responsibility that is not ours.

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Jesus told us that we should not worry. Philippians 4:6-7 in the New Living Translation says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

1 Peter 5:7 says  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Jesus wants all our cares.  That is why he came.  He came to walk beside us and carry our load.  

We worry about our children

When our children are small and live at home, we don’t tend to worry about how to feed them, how their diaper is going to be changed, or how to carry out our basic responsibilities toward that child.  We have been given the ability to do these things because it is our responsibility and God gives us the knowledge and strength to carry them out.  When our children grow up and move out of the house, they start making their own decisions and choices.  They are no longer under our chain of command and are no longer our responsibility.  We can counsel them when they ask or help them when they need help; but, ultimately, they are now under God’s chain of command and if we start to worry, it’s because we have no control over the situation.  It is not ours to control so God has not given us that ability, strength or knowledge.

We worry about finances

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When we worry about finances, that is also taking on a responsibility that is not ours.  The bible says in Philippians 4:19 that God will supply all our needs.  So ultimately it is His responsibility, not ours.  That does not mean we sit back and wait for someone, sent by God, to hand us all the money we need to life.  Our responsibility is to ask God to supply our needs then listen to His plan of action.  He will tell us where to work and how to earn an income.  Our responsibility is simply obedience to his Word, spoken or written.  Once we obey, He honors and blesses us.  

We worry about the future.

called-to-be-loved-26-638So, we cannot control our grown children, we cannot control our finances (our trust is in God, not money or our present economy), and we certainly cannot control our future.  It has not happened yet and we never know what is around the corner, but God knows and He works all things together for our good.  Most things we worry about that concern the future will either never happen or they will be things we can handle and eventually walk out of victoriously.

So what are we to do?

Just live like a child.  Again referring to Jesus’ teachings, He told us to come to Him as little children.  Have you noticed how happy little children are?  They know they cannot buy their own food, or dress themselves, or take care of even their most basic needs.  But they trust their caregivers to care for them.  All they need to do is come when called and let their caregivers hand them all that they need.  That is what our Savior can do for us.  He will hand us all we need as long as we live for Him and obey His leading.  And no, our parents will not always hand us everything we want.  They know we need to eat our veggies and protein, not only sweets.  So, also, God will not hand us all we WANT.  Only what we NEED.  Trust in Him.  Let go.  Be free.

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Soothing the Soul

Three things that soothe my soul.

MUSIC:  Do you ever wonder why there is music playing everywhere?  Everywhere we go: restaurants, malls, department stores, and the list goes on.  Music is a source of rest and relaxation for me. I will listen to different types of music depending upon my mood.  I like soft ambiance type music, slow and soothing, when I am stressed and need to cool off emotionally speaking.  When I am sad I like to listen to upbeat Christian music that lifts me up and get my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping.  When I feel lonely I like to listen to love songs about how much Christ loves me.  And sometimes I like listening to romantic music about the love between a husband and wife.  There is music for all ages, races, nationalities, and personalities.  Music is a common ground that all people can appreciate sometime in their life.

MEDITATION:   Many times I like to sit and let my mind wander.  I often do this while taking a long drive out of town here in North Texas.  I look out at the plains, the farm fields, the road ahead of me, and just think of nothing.  I let thoughts float by and when one interesting thought comes my way I may ponder it for a while.  If it is a problem I need to solve, I pray about it and ask God to show me how to fix it.  Many times it is just a thought about a random subject that I begin to analyze or a topic that I try to outline or learn from.  Sometimes I just sit there and listen to the birds sing, the wind blow or the soft music playing in the background of my mind.  (I often seem to have some song in my head playing in the background of my thoughts).  Meditation like this can be like dreaming while you are awake.  I have read somewhere that dreaming is like organizing your experiences of life that day and filing your thoughts, memories, and emotional experiences in your mind.

MEMORIZATION

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The scripture above is a great example of how scripture can soothe the soul.  We have every blessing available to us through Jesus Christ.  If we search the scriptures we can find a multitude of blessings we can receive or have received from Him.  The best way to keep this with us is to memorize scripture.  We can say at any moment, wherever we are, that we are blessed by God.  And this soothes my soul.  Another good example is Psalms 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your [a]years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Live, Laugh, Love

I woke up today in a great mood because I had a wonderful dream. I believe dreams are a picture of how our soul is doing. In this temporal world here on Earth, I have fears, worries, heartache; but in my dream last night, and periodically in the past, my dreams have been full of joy. I have no recollection of my present situation. I am just in a dream having fun, no inhibitions.

It was a crazy dream where my son was in town visiting (He was always a happy child. I rarely ever saw him sad or mad. And when he was, it was short-lived) and checking out the house we had just bought. He was running around excited about the house. Then it skipped to a scene where he was laughing and jumped into a swimming pool with his clothes on. As I looked, I saw several people in the pool with clothes on.

We don’t own a pool, and he has already seen our house which we bought at the beginning of this year, so the dream was unrealistic, but it was what was in my soul at the time.

To me, the dream was symbolic of just spontaneously having fun, whether it’s planned or not. Have fun wherever I am, whatever I’m doing and with whomever is in my company at the time. And now worrying about how it is “supposed to be done”. Life is to be enjoyed. Life is to be loved, lived to the full. Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly (John 10:10). It is the thief, the enemy, the devil who tries to steal our joy and our peace and kill our dreams and hopes.

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So, today, I will LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE and have fun in whatever I do.  I will learn to be content whatever the circumstance (Phil. 4:11).

Have a wonderful day!

Abundance is…All around us

Modern conveniences

Modern ConveniencesRunning water, heat on a cold day, traveling 800 miles in a day.  So often I take the modern conveniences for granted.  Over 100 years ago, many of these things were not even imaginable.  It’s such a joy to be able to call someone if I get a flat tire, right there from my car.  It is great to be able to drive hundreds of miles in a day in order to see family, to have air conditioning in the house, the car, the office or just about anywhere, to have the world at your fingertips when using a computer.

When I arise in the morning, I am going to start thanking God for the little things in life that make modern living abundant life.

Nature

NatureThe beauty of sunsets, the elegance of a rose, the fresh fragrance of rain, the abundant colors of the fall, squirrels scampering across the lawn, the smell of fresh-cut grass. Beauty is all around us.  All we have to do is look,  All we have to do is take time, stop for a moment, open our eyes to the beauty of nature.

Daily, as I drive to work, even in the winter, I am determined to see the beauty around me.

Sounds

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“Listen. Can you hear it? The music. I can hear it everywhere.
In the wind…in the air…in the light. It’s all around us.
All you have to do is open yourself up.
All you have to do… is listen.” –August Rush movie

Music, laughter, singing, shouts of children in the street.  Many people in this life will never hear music, they can only feel the vibrations of the sound it makes.  I should never take for granted the sound of music I hear.  I will be thankful every day for my hearing.  The wind blowing through the trees, hearing the words “I love you”.  Birds chirping, dogs barking, trees swaying in the wind, rivers flowing, waves crashing along the shore.  It all comes together to make a symphony of music as nature worships its creator.

Taste and touch

The feeling of a thick carpet beneath your feet, sitting in front of a warm fire in winter, the warmth of a hug, the taste of warm cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning or a cold milk shake on a hot summer day. The security of a cozy blanket or comforter.  All these are just a taste, just a small sample of all the abundance in the world.

Sure, there is a lot of darkness in this world.  But if we remember the warmth, the scents, the beauty, and the sounds that the creator has given us every day, our joy will be so much more abundant.

John 10:10  New King James Version

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they (Christians) may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.          

 

 

 

Abundance is…

Abundance isAbundance is..Watching a sunrise or sunset, reading the first page of a brand new novel, seeing a baby walk to you for the first time, getting a smile from a stranger walking by, feeling a cool breeze on a warm day.

The practice of abundance can change your life.  It changed mine.  It opens the windows to a new look at life.  It opens the mind and heart to beauty, wonder, warmth, and love.

Practicing abundance is another form of positive thinking. “Whatever is true, honest, right, pure, lovely, or good report, if there is any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think on these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8.

Beach-SunriseTake a look at the sunrise.  Visit the beach.  Thank God that the car started; find joy in the simple things we take for granted.  A heart beating, a lung breathing, muscles working, air to breath, buds blooming, trees waving in the wind.  These are things everyone can be thankful for.

I find myself thinking of all the woes in the world: poverty, hunger, unemployment, heartache and pain.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  I praise God for life.  I praise God for a place to lay my head at night, no matter how small it may be.  I praise God for food on my plate and friends who help put it there.

Stop and notice the flowers next time you walk by a garden or someone’s front yard.  Glance into a store front window and see all the beautiful things and just imagine the joy you could have using them even if you can’t afford to buy them now.  And realize that one of these days, as we enter the Golden Gates of Heaven, everything will be positive.

This is Terri Byars encouraging you to count your blessings

The Good Ole’ Days

Church dinnerSunday used to be a day of worship.  And let me stress the word, DAY, not hour, not two hours, but a day.  Soon the pharmacies would be open.  After all, medicine is important, so stay open all day just in case someone forgot to buy some Friday, or got sick over the weekend.  (Or they could have opened on an emergency basis ONLY when someone called and needed medicine.)  Then gas stations would be open.  After all, don’t want someone to run out of gas and be stranded.  That is understandable.  (But couldn’t they have filled up their tanks every Friday?)

Soon everyone else joined in 1-6 sundays and opened from 1 to 6  Sunday afternoons.  Get a little profit in between services.  But no, they couldn’t stop there.  Have to get ahead, have to be available 24/7:

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Now Sundays are just another day off.  The only difference is spending one or two hours at church.  Then we go right back into the world, shopping, cooking, cleaning, working, going to the movies, or whatever we do every other day.

But I’m writing this to tell you-to encourage you-that one of these days, everything we do will be totally for Jesus.  He is why we live.  He is why we breathe.  He is why we get up in the morning.  When we get to heaven, the world will not be in our way, for Jesus will be Lord right here on earth.  Revelation 21:2-5 says:

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of 
heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for 
her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with 
them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with 
them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. 
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, 
for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was 
seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

jesus-really-follow-me-twitter-450x408Until then, we can live for Jesus down here.   Everything we do, everything we say, everywhere to go, if can all be for the Glory of God.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)  Let us set our hearts and minds on things above (Col. 3:1-2)  We can live, work, play, etc. as if we were in the very presence of God Himself.

For in we live and move and have our being.  All things were created by Him and for Him.  Let us give glory to God every day, all day.

Abundance is…A Thankful Heart

Even with the economy as it is today, in America, many tables look like this picture.  A day of Thanksgiving is very appropriate for a country that is so blessed. We have many times taken all we have been blessed with for granted.

Running water, electricity, cars that run, jobs, homes, heat, food, friends, TVs, just to name a few of the countless blessing we have every day.  We can also thank God for the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the shoes on our feet.

We also need to be thankful today for a God who blesses us with every spiritual blessing:  forgiveness, new life, grace, love, joy, peace, etc.  We have a connection with a living God–the creator of the universe.  How great is that!!  The God of all creation, the God of eternity, wants to be with us and love us forever.

He longs for our worship and gratitude.  Praise the everliving God for his indescribable gifts on this day of Thanksgiving.