Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Did you know that there are 365 verses in the Bible that tell us not to be afraid?  One verse for every day of the year...except Leap year, of course.

have learned this fact recently from my kids' Christmas program "Fact or Fiction: The Christmas Edition." (Super cute and well-done by the CWKids, by the way.)  Actually, I have learned it more than five times a week over the last two months!  Call me a slow learner, but I think I needed to hear that.  I am not sure it would have sunk in if I had only heard it once or twice.

I am just intrigued by this.  I can't stop thinking about it.   One Scripture every day that says do not be afraid.  I am amazed about what that says about our God.  He knew.  He knew we would be prone to fear and worry, and He planned for that.  It just blows me away that his level of detail-planning includes telling us not to fear.  I think He knew that this would be something people struggle with on a daily basis.  So He provided words for us to turn to, words of comfort, that tell us not to be afraid.

Joshua 1:9 tells us not to be afraid or discouraged; be strong and courageous.  God is with us wherever we go.  It is one thing to tell somebody not to be afraid.  It is another thing entirely to tell them  not to be afraid because they are not alone.  God is with us wherever we go.  He had already paved the way.  He is by our side.  

Thinking about the 365 verses makes me want to go look them all up.  (Putting that on the "someday" list...can't quite get that done right now.). But even if I don't know all of them, or even some of them, I know they are there, and I find that comforting.  I CAN go find them if I need them.

Not if I need them.  When I need them.  I will need them.  Just today I have had the fears that an inattentive driver was going to hit me in the school parking lot.  That I would not know how to help a new student I am tutoring.  That my kids are a little short on gratitude and a bit big on self-centeredness lately.  That Todd's cancer might come back someday and we won't be on top of it as we were the first time.  That I won't get all of my stuff done before Christmas.  

Big fears, little fears, medium fears.  There are things that I fear every single day.  Some of them are irrational; some are a little more understandable.  Either way, when the fear starts to take over,  I have to remind myself to turn back to the Word.  Some days that is easier than others.  When I am really feeling anxious, I can only come up with two or three verses.  It is the same ones all the time, but they soothe me.  They speak to me.  Psalm 23, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:7. And 1 Peter 5:7 are my "go to" verses.  No matter how many times I hear those, they still help calm a restless and worried spirit.

When I am too worked up to be able to do this for myself, I have learned to reach out to certain people.  "Pray for me.  I am struggling."  Those words never fail to elicit a response.  Just a simple text and I can set my personal team of prayer warriors into action.  I receive responses back that let me know that it will be okay.  When I can't think straight enough to put two thoughts together because I am gripped with fear or anxiety, my "people" point me back with a hug, a word of encouragement, or a well-timed verse.

God does not want us to be afraid.  He wants us to be joyful.  He wants us to trust in Him.  He already has it all figured out.  First John 4:18 tell us that perfect love casts out fear.  When I am afraid, I need to realign myself with the One who is Perfect Love.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Prepare

I have been intrigued by Five Minute Friday for a while, and I credit my dear friend, Jennifer Frisbie and her blog for getting me started.

The idea is to free-write on a given prompt for five minutes without editing or revising.  Then you link your blog up with other people who are doing the same thing.  It is fun and different, and I thought I would give it a try.  Check out this link for more info:    Five Minute Friday

I confess:  I cheated.  I did not change any of the ideas or words that came out in the five minutes, but I did go back and fix all the typos.  Just couldn't stand it...



This is the first time I have done Five Minute Friday.  And can I just say that I don't feel like I am prepared? It is a bit scary to free write and publish without editing or revising.

Like a lot of things lately, I am pushing through, even though I don't feel all the way prepared.  I am learning to just go and just do, despite my feelings of hesitation.

Since I started my blog in August, I feel like God keeps pushing me along.  Telling me to jump in, that he has already made the preparations.  That it will be okay.  I often don't want to write about the topics that are in my head, but I am really trying to be faithful and obedient.  Less self-reliant, and more God-called.

I think the thing is that I am never fully prepared for life.  No matter what I try to control or hold on to- I am not in charge.  He is.  He prepares a path for me.  He leads me to the green pastures, to the still waters, to restoration.  

He has prepared the way for me.  All I have to do is follow.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Do It For Me

A few years ago when I was home by myself, I was working on laundry.  I did not like doing laundry, and I had a particularly bad attitude about it that day.  As I took clothes out of the dryer, I was grumbling and complaining that I did not want to do this, and I hated laundry.  I was the only one home so no one could hear all my negativity.  No one except God, that is.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart; do it for Me and not for men."

I heard these words very plainly and very clearly.  I don't know how to explain it.  It was not an audible sound, but I heard it all the same.   It was definitely a voice, and it was not my own.

Three things about this really jumped out at me.  The first thing is that I am never alone.  God is always with me. Even though I cannot see him,  He is always with me.  Even as I do laundry.  I remember having the thought that if these were Jesus's pants, I probably wouldn't mind so much.

The other thing that really struck me was the actual verse.  Although I had heard this verse before, it was definitely NOT one I had committed to memory.  What I heard was Scripture.  Word for word Scripture.  I had to look it up to know where to find it.  I had a hard time finding it at first.  I had looked up the phrase "Do it for me."  My search came back with no results.  When I found it, I smiled.  Colossians 3:23 says " it as for the LORD."  But what I had heard was "Do it for me." (I know some of you Bibilical scholars caught that the first time!)

Does this mean it wasn't really Scripture?  Quite the opposite in my opinion.  When God speaks, He can refer to himself in the first person.  It would be pretty stilted and awkward if He used anything other than that.  Also, I noticed that He doesn't have to cite chapter and verse when He speaks; they are His words, after all.

The last thing I took away from this experience is how this verse was used.  I had always heard it in reference to careers.  It doesn't matter if you are a minister, a teacher, a carpenter, or a truck driver as long as you represent God well through your work.  I had never thought before that "whatever you do" meant laundry too.  Everything we do, even laundry and other mundane chores, is to be done for the LORD.  Everything.

I still don't love doing laundry.  But when I catch myself starting to grumble about it, I remind myself that I was doing laundry the first time I ever heard God speak to me.  And I can do this too in service to Him.