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 anger, depression, Faith

Be Angry and Sin Not…

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair
Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

I was angry a LOT in high school. Back then I didn’t know I was bipolar. I didn’t get diagnosed until about 7 years later. But my mood swings were ridiculous. I sometimes wonder why in the world they didn’t catch it sooner. I was diagnosed with being clinically depressed. But boy, was I an angry person.

I was so bitter. I hated life.

Although I found Christ in 2003, I still struggled. It wasn’t until 2017 that I got serious about my faith. I had started this blog way back in 2010 and then forgot about it. But in 2017 I signed back on and made it a point that this would be a blog for Jesus. Was I still struggling? Well, yes. But I finally found Someone who I knew without a doubt would carry me through it. I finally nailed things down with the Lord and committed myself to following Him.

Do I still have bouts of anger? Do I still have bouts of depression? Absolutely. I’m human, after all.

So there is a situation going on with my church that I can’t go into details about but has been making me pretty angry at some people.  I ask that you please pray for this situation. And pray for me as I work through this anger.  Ultimately, God is in control and knows what’s best.

I use the YouVersion Bible app and if you don’t use it, I recommend you give it a try. There are tons of devotionals/plans you can read on different topics. I decided the other night to look up plans on anger. And I came across quite a few plans!

I have slowly been releasing my anger. With God’s help, the anger is being replaced with compassion. And sympathy. I am learning to look at things differently.

I do believe that there is righteous anger. I mean, Paul says in Ephesians to “be angry and sin not.” (Eph 4:26) There are situations where we SHOULD be angry. But in that anger, we must not sin. In that anger, we must not seek revenge.

It can be a bit confusing to many because Paul says in verse 26 of Ephesians to “be angry but do not sin” and then a few verses down he says to “get rid of all bitternes, rage and anger….” (Eph 4:31)

I believe that Paul is saying to get rid of any unrighteous anger. Anger that produces malice and brawling, anger that seeks revenge.

Do you have an anger problem? Seek the Lord. Release the anger unto God. You really will feel so much better!

Posted in church, Faith, fear, love

18 Years

Some of this post is taken from last year’s post, I just added some new thoughts.

It’s been 18 years since America was attacked by terrorists. That day, the world stopped turning for just a little while.

They say when a big tragedy such as 9/11 occurs that you will always remember where you were. It’s totally true.

I still remember where I was on September 11, 2001. It’s been 18 years but I will always remember where I was.

I was a freshman in college, taking classes at the local community college. I had a late day that day so I was sleeping in when the phone rang. It was my mom calling from work telling me to turn on the TV right away.

I turned on the TV just to see the second plane hit the tower. I was in shock. What was going on??

I went to class as usual and was sitting in my psychology class when the professor stopped talking and just looked at us. He then told us that he couldn’t teach, that everything that was going on was just so surreal and that we were dismissed.

That day changed America, obviously. People were nicer, kinder. Churches filled up. People were scared and looking for answers.

It’s been 18 years. But I remember it as if it were yesterday.

People flocked to the church. Pews were filled.

America was hurt. America was down. Down but not out.

As a nation, we rose back up slowly. We became united as one.

Where were you that September day?

 

 

Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin’ on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?
Did you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones
Pray for the ones who don’t know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue
And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?
I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love
Posted in Faith, fear, prayer

Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear

grayscale photography of people raising hands
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

I need to confess something to you all. I struggle with praying out loud in a group of people. I get so wound up, fear grips me. I mean, it really grips me. I fear I’m going to say something wrong or stupid. I fear I’m going to stumble over my words. (I mean, hey, I do that in normal conversations, lol)

Like Moses, I’m terrible with words. (speaking them, that is) My tongue gets all tied up and a bunch of rambling comes out.

At Prevail Church, at the end of the service, we get into groups and we pray. We pray for boldness, for compassion. We pray for whatever needs to be prayed for. It’s a time to just pour our hearts out to God.

I listen to the words of those around me and wish I could pray like that. I wish I didn’t have this fear of corporate prayer.

Well, as we gathered into our groups, I could feel the Lord impressing upon my heart to pray. He did this several times. And several times I would open my mouth and then shut it. Open my mouth, shut it….and before I knew it, I had lost my chance. I let the Lord down. I just know He was up there just shaking his head at my fear of public praying.

Last night as I was just doing some reading and writing out my thoughts, I looked up and saw a sticker I have on a notebook that says, “Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear.” And I realized I really did let my fear overpower my faith yesterday.

Fear doesn’t come from the Lord. It says in 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear is of the world. Fear is not godly. When we feel that fear creeping upon us, we must fight back with our faith. Fight back with, not OUR strength, but GOD’s strength. Because if we try to do it all by ourselves, we won’t get far. We’ll succumb to the fear. Just like I did yesterday.

Like my pastor has said in the past….”we must step over fear to reach faith.” Faith OVER Fear!

What fear grips you? Give it to Jesus. He’ll never let you down. 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Faith, grace, writing

Writing Through the Doubt

Dealing With Doubt

My good friend Stephen over at Fractured Faith Blog has inspired me to write about doubt and how to handle it. Read his post, My Desert of Doubt

We all have our dealings with doubt. It’s inevitable. We’re humans. We’re going to doubt. So how do we handle it? What do we do with it? Well, we can allow it to consume us, sending us into a pit of despair or we can hand it over to the Lord who can comfort us and give us peace about our situation.

My writing lately is not coming together like I’d like it too. I’ve put the book I want to write on the back burner for now. With me being back at work, it’s a struggle to come home and sit down and write. I’m hurting from standing all day and my brain just doesn’t want to produce anything, lol.

But most of all, the doubt I have as to whether or not I can be a writer takes over and I fall victim to its prey. Who wants to read my words? Who am I kidding? My writings aren’t that good. These are just several thoughts that race through my brain when I finally do sit down to try to write something, to try and produce something worth reading.

Doubt can consume you if you let it. And sometimes, before I even realize it, I’ve let it. Satan really knows how to attack each one of us by using our weaknesses against us.

So what’s the best remedy for dealing with our doubt? Turn it over to the Father who knows about our struggles and wants to shower us with His love. We may not know what the future holds for us and that can be scary but the Lord knows and He wants to help guide us to what He has created us to be.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

Posted in church, Faith, grace, Jesus, love, prayer

March 16th, 2003

priscilla-du-preez-607177-unsplash
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

March 16th, 2003 will forever be a special day for it is the day I let go and clung to Jesus and trusted in Him. Has it always been easy? No.

 

I was 19 when I became a Christian, despite having grown up in church. I went through life thinking I was saved, thinking I had it all together when in reality I was lost.

I basically had the head knowledge but none of it made its way into my heart.

I even attended a Bible College before I got saved. I honestly thought I was saved. Then I came home for spring break and we had an evangelist come and speak at our church.  He made a statement that has stayed with me all these years…..

You can be 99% sure (of your salvation) but you’re still 100% lost.

Basically, he was saying that it doesn’t matter how much head knowledge we have, if it hasn’t reached our hearts, we are still lost.

Do I doubt my salvation sometimes? Well, I’d be lying if I said no, that I never doubt it.  But Satan has a sneaky way of getting into my head and stirring up trouble. He whispers in my ear that I’m not good enough, that God doesn’t really love me, that I’m not really saved.

God is always with us even when it feels He is not. He doesn’t walk away from us, we walk away from Him.

I’ve been struggling lately but I’m slowly getting back on track. I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.

I haven’t been writing lately but like my relationship with God, I’m slowly getting back into it.

I really do want to write a book but I’ve been neglecting it. Who knows how long it will take for me to get through the whole process but if it takes me years then so be it.


Prevail Church is taking off! We have been having a steady number of people week after week! Pastor Jonathan began a new series last week, entitled “My Story.” Here is the first sermon from that series!

 

Posted in anxiety, depression, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia, mental disorders, prayer, worry

An Apology

I would like to apologize to you all who read my posts. I haven’t been writing much lately and it just feels like I’ve lost my desire to write. I want to get it back but I don’t know how to do it.

I have been having issues with my fibromyalgia and not having my Lyrica for several weeks, leaving me in pain. I finally was able to get my medication but it will take a week or two to fully get back in my system.

I want to be completely honest with you: I’m struggling. Spiritually, Mentally, Physically. It’s so hard being a bipolar Christian.

This blog is supposed to be about me telling people about Jesus and lately I haven’t been doing that. I feel like a fraud.

I don’t want to shut down this blog. I want so badly to get back into the swing of things and be the person I was when I first started this blog.

So I’m going to dig deep into Scripture and pray that God will show me what I am supposed to do.

Pray for me, if you don’t mind.

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 christian living, Faith

More Ramblings

As I sit here, listening to a little Casting Crowns (great group by the way) I’m doing my best to come up with something to write about. I’m sure a lot of people plan their posts in advance but not me. I like to sit down and let the idea flow in that moment. And right now there are no ideas flowing so ramblings it is!

Today has been a pretty good day! Went to church this morning, heard an excellent sermon by my pastor, went to the grocery story (which was a bad idea because not only is it the 1st of the month, the 4th of July is right around the corner) but we got out of the store unscathed and now I’m sitting here, listening to great songs and just relaxing until it’s time to head back to church for evening service.

My 13 year old nephew went to Camp Jacob this past week and I’m so excited for him, he got saved! He had an excellent time and met some wonderful kids his age who he is going to keep in touch with! Praise the Lord, He is so good!

My prayer for him now is that he will remain faithful to God and keep true to his decisions. He starts high school in the fall and without the proper guidance, it is so easy to fall away from the Lord. So that’s a prayer request to all who read this. Pray that he will grow in the Lord and remain faithful as he starts high school. He is so excited about his new faith and I’m so excited for him!

A song that I have recently come to love is To Know You by Casting Crowns. I’m not going to post the lyrics but I have posted the video which has the lyrics with it. I encourage you to check it out. It’s a great song with a powerful message.  “To know You is to want to know You more”

I want to know Him more. Do you?