Posted in Faith, fear, peace

Coronavirus: Is This God’s Way of Getting Our Attention?

This virus is causing so much havoc in our lives. I lost my job temporarily because the mall I work in shortened their hours, causing Barnes and Noble to cut my shifts. So I’ll be filing for unemployment. Ugh what a mess!

I am actually getting over the flu. It’s been a long week, lol. I’ve been trying to stay away from my mom as much as I can because I’m worried about her getting sick. She’s 76. So I’ve self quarantined myself to my room. Luckily I have a DVD case FULL of movies and I have TONS of books to read.

I was reading Matthew 24  last night and came to this passage:

….His disciples came to him private and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?

Jesus told them, “don’t let anyone mislead you for many will come in my name, claiming “I am the Messiah. They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars but don’t panic.

Yes these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains with more to come.

Matthew 24:3-8 (NLT)

Y’all, this pandemic is just another sign that the end times are coming. And we must be prepared! We must be on alert!

Further in the same chapter, we read

When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away.

That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 24:37-39 (NLT)

A few verses down in verse 44, it tells us to be ready! “You also must be ready all the time for the son of Man will come when least expected. (NLT)

Honestly? Things are going to continue to get worse.

I don’t say this to scare you but to warn you!

We as believers can take heart though! John 16:33 tells us this:

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world!

John 16:33 (NLT)

None of this has been a surprise to God. No, He saw this coming way before we did.

This outbreak is perhaps just one more way for God to get our attention!

 

Posted in anxiety, bible verses, fear, peace, phobias

Coronavirus: Don’t Let the Fear Take Over

It’s crazy how quick this coronavirus has spread and the panic it has created. I went to Walmart the other day to grab some hand sanitizer and the shelves were EMPTY! (Ironically, the soap was still there.)

Toilet paper is being hoarded. Sanitizer and even alcohol swabs are disappearing off the shelf! (My mom is diabetic and had asked me to pick up some alcohol swabs for her and there were none!)

I get it, you guys. I get the scare. No one wants to get sick. But please…calm down! I saw a news report (and if you follow me on Facebook you may have seen it) about parents picking their kids up from school and wiping down their backpack, their clothes. I even saw a parent SPRAYING HIS KID WITH DISINFECTANT! (At this point I was laughing so hard)

Listen, I’m not trying to downplay this pandemic that the virus is now being called. I’m not rebuking those who are taking this seriously! I’m taking it seriously myself. As a chronic illness sufferer, I have to be careful myself! I’m taking precautions. I’m washing my hands. I’m trying (with difficulty, LOL) not to touch my face. I’m using hand sanitizer at work after dealing with a customer at the register.

We just shouldn’t be panicking about it. Panicking just causes stress and stress can actually lower your immune system, making you susceptible to illnesses.

As Christians, we are not called to live in fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline.”

We aren’t called to have an anxious heart either.

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.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

 

Posted in depression, disability, Faith, fibromyalgia, life, mental disorders, peace

Strength of My Heart

Psalm 73:26 is one of my favorite verses. It says,

My health my fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (NLT)

No matter what the doctors diagnose me with in the future, no matter what they’ve already diagnosed me with…it doesn’t matter because GOD remains a constant in my life. Like the verse says, He is MINE forever! I never have to worry about Him leaving me. I never have to worry about Him forsaking me. He is mine forever!

I had another MRI of my head on Monday. (Praise God I got through it…well,  with some help from Lorazepam, LOL. No matter how many MRIs I have, the claustrophobia NEVER goes away!) Anyways, my new endocrinologist is checking to see if my pituitary tumor has returned. My prolactin levels indicate that it possibly has.

If it has, it has and we will work together to come up with the right treatment plan. These type of tumors are usually benign and will shrink with medication. It CAN be removed and I’ve been thinking about asking my doctor if that’s a plan we might come to. This type of surgery will require them to remove it……wait for it….through my nose! It’s much less invasive, obviously, than having brain surgery.

Most likely, we’ll try to treat it with medication but if it doesn’t shrink then surgery could be an option.

I’m not worried. God has me in His hands. He is allowing these health issues to keep me humble, to keep my eyes trained on Him, to remind me to lean on Him through it all. Can He heal me completely? Absolutely! But like Paul, I think this is my “thorn in the flesh,” And I’m fine with that now. I didn’t used to be. There were times in the past that I would just cry out to Him…begging Him to make me whole, begging Him to heal me.

One day I WILL be made whole! It may not be here on earth but oh…when I see Jesus face to face….that will be glory!

The Lord is the strength of my heart. He is Jehovah Rapha (the Lord who heals)

 

Posted in anger, anxiety, bitterness, christian living, christianity, church, Faith, forgiveness, grace, money, peace

Heartbreaking

So in my last post I talked about how Prevail Church was being taken to court by former members, saying they are due the money that comes from the sale of the building we once met in. These people LEFT when they decided they didn’t like the direction Jonathan was taking the church. (although they were a part of the unanimous decision to sell the church building and relaunch as a new church. )

Well, the hearing was this past Tuesday and it was….awful to say the least. How these people can do this and still claim to be a Christian is beyond me. I sat and watched in disbelief as Jonathan was basically attacked on the stand by their lawyer.

My anger rose and my heart rate was 116 as I sat there, tears streaming down my face. A couple of times I glanced over at their side and just shook my head. It’s so heartbreaking that these people are doing this.

It says in the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 6 that we are to avoid lawsuits with other believers.

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers!

I Cor 6:1

Further down in verse 6-7 it says,

I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?

But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!

What was the result of the hearing? Well, unfortunately it has been decided for this whole nonsense to be taken to trial.

You know what’s really sad about all this? The fact that there are unbelievers watching this unfold. People we could be leading to the Lord who are no doubt not wanting anything to do with Jesus because His people are fighting over something as trivial as money.

My heart is breaking as I type this. It’s not fair what they are doing and it’s not biblical. I think the best thing at this point is to just split the money in half. Give them half and we take the other half and just go our separate ways. It’s clear they aren’t going to back down any time soon.

OH how my heart hurts. The way they are treating Pastor Jonathan is just downright cruel.

I’ve been struggling with my feelings since this whole mess began. I struggle with my attitude towards them. I struggle with wanting to tell them off. But that wouldn’t be very Christ-like. I don’t want to repay evil for evil. (Romans 12 tells us not to) I don’t want to hate them. Honestly, I don’t. It’s just so hard right now.

I’ve been digging into the Scriptures to find verses on bitterness, anger and forgiveness these past several days.

*side note* Because I suffer from bipolar disorder, sometimes it’s harder for me to let go of things. I am in no way trying to make excuses, however. Please don’t get me wrong. I am praying to God about my attitude and reading His Word daily.

It says in Romans 12:9-10

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.

Then a little bit further, in verse 18,

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone

That’s what needs to happen. We need to peaceably come to a resolution. And while right now it’s seems really really hard to love these people, the Bible says we should and that’s all that matters.

So y’all….please please continue to pray for this situation that it can be resolved quickly and peaceably.

Posted in Faith, fear, Jesus, mental disorders, peace, phobias, worry

Fearless Faith

Fear Is a Liar by Zach Williams

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough
Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

Disclaimer: Satan is REALLY not wanting me to post this. WordPress keeps crashing on me and it’s getting me frustrated. However…I will persevere. I WILL get this post out.  

 

Satan knows and uses my anxiety to try to bring me down. He knows I’m a chronic worrier(which I’m trying to work on.)For as long as I can remember I’ve been on medication for my anxiety/depression/bipolar disorder. Yet I still suffer from panic attacks and will sometimes fall into a deep depression. Medicine doesn’t cure the issues I have (in fact I was placed on a new medication today) but it helps keep my emotions at bay. Thank God I’m currently stable but there was a time I wasn’t. The anxiety would pile up and then the panic attacks came like clockwork.

But thank God we have Someone on our side. Someone to root us on and Someone who will love us unconditionally and through His perfect love drives out all fears!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.~~~2 Timothy 1:7

We need to look to Christ when doubts start flying. When that anxiety kicks in and pushes you towards a full-blown panic attack.  When Satan whispers in your ear that “you’re not good enough.” Look to Christ!!! He will give you what you truly need!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

 

 

Posted in anxiety, bipolar, blogging, christian living, church, depression, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia, grace, mental disorders, peace, phobias, song lyrics, worry, writers block

Why Is It So Hard?

I have all but lost my desire for writing. Now that I’m back to work, it seems I have let my writing fall by the wayside. After I get home from work I’m in so much pain from standing all day that I have no interest in writing.

I’m going to be honest with you all for a moment…..I’m struggling. With life, with my relationship with God, with just about everything. I haven’t lost my faith. I still believe but I’m finding it hard to set aside time to spend with God.

I’m human. We all are. We have flaws and always will. But what happens when you lose your desire for God? Why is it so hard to follow Him? I see others who are so devoted to God and have a deep relationship with Him and I wonder why I can’t seem to find that sort of relationship. I know it’s available, I know it’s there. I thought I used to have it.  Maybe I never have.

I feel like a fraud. This blog is supposed to be me telling others about Christ and His love for us. And here I am, struggling. I’ve abandoned my blog in recent weeks.

I know we all struggle. As long as we are on this earth we will struggle from time to time.

I do know that God is still working in me. As I write this, I’m listening to Mandisa’s song, Unfinished. If you haven’t heard it I definitely advise you to check it out. Here’s some of the lyrics,

Not scared to say it
I used to be the one
Preaching it to you
That you could overcome
I still believe it
But it ain’t easy
‘Cause that world I painted
Where things just all work out
It started changing
And I started having doubts
And it got me so down
But I picked myself back up
And I started telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
He’s still working on me
He started something good
And I’m gonna believe it
He started something good
And He’s gonna complete it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I’m just unfinished
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I know God is not finished with me yet.  And I know if you are struggling right now, like I am, that God isn’t finished with you yet either. Keep your head up and focused on Him.
That’s what I am doing.
But why is it so hard???
Here is another song that is speaking to me right now. It’s called Need You Now by Plumb. Such a powerful song!
Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise
How many times have you heard me cry out
God please take this?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I don’t know where you are right now in your walk with God, whether you’re struggling, as I am right now, or if things are going great for you right now but just remember this: God is not finished with you and has great plans for you.

I honestly believe this though I’m struggling right now.
I just wish it wasn’t so hard.
Posted in anxiety, Faith, fear, peace, phobias, worry

What’s YOUR Phobia?

**Originally posted in January 2015**

So we all have something we’re afraid of, right? And to that particular person the fear they have can be serious! For instance, some people are afraid of clowns while to others having a fear of clowns is just silly. But to the person with coulrophobia (fear of clowns, I looked it up!) the fear is real!

There are MANY phobias that exist! Here is a List of Phobias that I came across. Crazy right? I had no idea there were that many phobias out there!  And MINE is on the list. It’s a phobia that I’ve had since the 5th grade, possibly even younger than that. What’s it called, you ask?

Emetophobia. Yes, I have a fear of throwing up. I  remember one day when I was a child someone got sick and I went into a full on panic attack.

Now of course, no one LIKES throwing up. But to a person with emetophobia, when we throw up or if we see someone throw up we panic. I mean, PANIC. I know for me, my heart starts racing, my hands start shaking and I just feel out of control. The classic symptoms of an anxiety attack. At least for me, that is.

Over the years, I have gotten better at handling this fear. There was a time when I was a child that you couldn’t even mention the word “throw up”or “puke”, or “vomit” around me. It would throw me into a panic attack. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to better control it. I do take a medication for anxiety which helps a lot.

People with emetophobia will distance themselves from people who are sick. We will avoid eating certain foods that might make us sick. And a lot of women will avoid getting pregnant because of the fear of morning sickness. I’ve never been pregnant and because of this fear of mine, I don’t plan on becoming pregnant and having kids. Kids get sick. Kids will throw up. It’s inevitable. So I want to avoid it as much as I can.

It’s a very strange fear, I know. Trust me, I know how weird it is. But its something I’ve never been able to shake off. It’s something I’m going to live with for the rest of my life and I just have to make adjustments!

A verse that helps me when I’m having an anxiety attack is found in Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Anyways, just thought I’d share this. Emetophobia is real, y’all. I sure wish it didn’t exist though!

Do you have any phobias?

Posted in bible verses, Faith, fear, peace, phobias, rest

Be Anxious For Nothing

Image result for philippians 4:6-7My friend Stephen over at Fractured Faith Blog posted about being a Christian and struggling with worry. You can read his post here

I commented with this:

I’m the world’s worst worrier. I have this one fear that lately has been choking me and I end up crying myself to sleep over it.
I know the Bible tells us not to worry and I try my best to live by what the Word says but worry and anxiety are so intertwined with my being. It’s a daily struggle but I know the Lord has my back and will get me through this.
I’ve been focusing on Philippians 4:6-7 to get me through this one particular fear: “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

To worry is to be human. But the Bible clearly tells us not to worry. Its easier said than done, right?

I am struggling with a particular fear that just won’t leave me. No matter how hard I try and no matter what I do, Satan knows its a weakness of mine and ever so slyly will slip this fear into my mind day after day until it consumes me. Until it becomes all I think about.  Until I begin crying myself to sleep, obsessing over it.

So how do I combat it day after day? I focus on Scripture and spend as much time with God as I can. I fight it every single day. It’s a daily fight.

I will always struggle with worry. But I won’t let it defeat me. And neither should you.

When you find yourself worrying….when a particular fear threatens to take over….just call on the Lord. Cry out to him. He longs to take care of us. 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, grace, Jesus, love, peace, redemption, rest, song lyrics

Good Morning!

It’s a good morning!
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning,
I’m stepping, I’m stepping, stepping on my way
Good morning,
You give me strength,
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.
It’s a good morning

Mandisa, “Good Morning”

Good morning y’all! I’ve been up since 5 and normally I’d be grumpy because I’m totally not a morning person but today feels different! It’s going to be a great day!

Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m still completely exhausted but after spending time in God’s Word I’ve determined that today will be a good day!

I came across these 2 verses today in Colossians that really spoke to me:

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:13-14

Wow. Powerful stuff right there. We are redeemed! If we know Christ, if we have invited Him into our lives, we are REDEEMED! We have been RESCUED from the darkness we lived in. He took our place and he bore all of our sins on the cross. He was rejected and despised for our sake. That’s how great his love is for all of us.

It makes me think of this verse in John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

That’s what Christ did for us! He laid his life down for us. He proved His love to US, it’s time we show that love to Him and others.

A cross against a pink and purple sky
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I want my life to show God’s love to everyone I meet. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the group for King and Country but there is a song they sing called “The Proof of Your Love” that really speaks to me.

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

for King and Country, “The Proof of Your Love”

I am constantly asking myself this question, “Do people see Jesus in me?” When I am out and about, do people see Jesus in the way I act?

Image result for john 15:13

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, grace, Jesus, love, peace, redemption, song lyrics

Love Broke Thru

But you loved me enough to pursue me.

TobyMac, “Love Broke Thru”

Image result for love broke thruI was a hot mess before I came to know Christ. Aren’t we all?

Before I experienced His love, I hated life. I was depressed, full of darkness.

But the Lord loves me so much that he continued to pursue me despite all the times I tried to flee from Him. But guess what? We CAN’T flee from Him, no matter how hard we try. He’s everywhere!

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Psalm 139:7-8

He is everywhere we go! It does no good trying to run from Him. He loves you too much to let you go.

I was driving down the road this morning when the song “Love Broke Thru” by TobyMac came on. I love this song.  It reminds me of God’s great love and how He broke my chains of darkness when He came into my life. He gave me light to replace the darkness that was engulfing me.  His love broke thru my stubbornness, my hardheadedness and my darkness. His love saved me.

He loves you! His love can save you as well!

TobyMac-Love Broke Thru

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin’ thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I’m hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
And it all began with You
When love broke thru