Tag Archive Fear

ByAngie

Do Not Be Afraid – And A Group Look Linky

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:20-21

Can you even imagine what was going through Joseph’s mind and heart when he found out that Mary was expecting? What about when he realized that the baby she was carrying in her womb was the Son of God?

He had to be terrified, and that is confirmed by the angel coming to him to say “do not be afraid”.

Often, when God calls us to do something, we can become afraid as well. While what we are doing may never compare to marrying a woman who others believe to have done something she did not do and raising The Savior of the world from an infant into a man, it can still leave us feeling overwhelmed and scared. We forget what we know to be true: that God has it all under control. We stress over things like logistics, money, what others may think, and more.

But what we need to remember is what Joseph is proof of: If it is the will of God, and we stay on His course, everything will work out.

<a href=Matthew 1:20-21 -- Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven" width="250" height="341" srcset="https://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Matthew-120-21-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven.jpg 250w, https://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Matthew-120-21-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven-219x300.jpg 219w" sizes="(max-width: 250px) 100vw, 250px" />

The second that we let our flesh try to detour His plans, by negotiating our ideas in, that is the very moment that things start to go wrong. What if Joseph had said, “I will marry her, but we will not keep the child.” I doubt that any of our lives would be where they are today.

It is because Joseph did as he was instructed without fear that Jesus was able to thrive, grow, and eventually save the world. He trusted God and stuck to the plan. When God calls you, remember Joseph and do not be afraid.

 

 

 

 

A Look at The Book

Now, time for the link up!

 

Group Look Graphic

 

Our Host, Ren & The Ladies at A Look At The Book
Fellow Co-Host, Bethany at Graceful Country Diva
Fellow Co-Host, Mandy at Worshipful Living


ByAngie

Bold And Fearless (And A Group Look Link Up!)

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 

Philippians 1:12-14 NKJV

It doesn’t take much looking around today to know that being a Christian is often frowned upon, no matter where you are in the world. In the United States, we are considered politically incorrect. In other countries, we are treated as criminals. The temptation to be silent and hide is strong. I know, because that is what I did for years until I became fed up. The fear of being looked down on and losing friends was a heavy burden to carry.

Heavy, until I realized what was happening to others on the other side of the world.

In fact, long story short, it was hearing a sermon on something along these lines that brought me to beginning this blog and “coming out of the closet as a Christian”.

Paul faced a ton of adversity when he made the decision to follow Christ. Yet he never let that stop him. He shared Christ with every person he came in contact with. Confidence in the Lord wiped out all fear and gave him boldness.

Bold and Fearless - <a href=Philippians 1:12-14 - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven" width="600" height="480" srcset="https://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Bold-and-Fearless.jpg 600w, https://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Bold-and-Fearless-300x240.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" />

This is not an easy place in time to live in. We fear the loss of jobs, friends, family, and freedom for following Christ. Sadly, many have had to give all of that and more up already. Terrorists and anti-Christian regimes strip our brothers and sisters of their rights, possessions, and loved ones daily in other parts of the world. Yet, they stand firm. They are BOLD and FEARLESS in their proclamation of following Christ.

So why aren’t we?

I want to challenge you. Be bold and fearless. Become confident in God, that no matter what happens, He is in control. Stand firm in your faith and never waver because you are afraid. No matter if the fear is of something small or large. Because in the end, God wins, evil loses, and our reward in Heaven will be worth every bit of grief we face on earth.

If Jesus, Paul, victims of ISIS, and countless others can do it, we can too.

Now, time for the link up!

 

Group Look Graphic

 

Our Host, Ren & The Ladies at A Look At The Book
Fellow Co-Host, Bethany at Graceful Country Diva
Fellow Co-Host, Mandy at Women of Worship

ByAngie

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear (and A Group Look Linky!)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 NKJV

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I don’t think there is a single part of my life where I haven’t dealt with fear.

I worry about my kids, my husband/marriage, my loved ones, money, health, the state of our world, life, the future, what everyone is thinking, how will I have enough time next week, and don’t you dare show me a picture of a snake unless you want me to slap you. Put one in front me? Well, you’re just mean. All of that at some point has deeply scared me… and some I deal with on a daily basis.

God doesn’t want us to fear. There a numerous times in the Bible that fear is mentioned, and over and over again it is stated that we have no reason for it. For our minds to comprehend that is impossible, though, right? With what we see on the news and happening to those around us?

When our faith is in God, when we know His love and let it envelop us, our focus on Him and making everything else fall behind it… That is when we are able to live without fear.

Why? Because we know that we are putting our love and trust into the creator of the universe, and He has our best interest in mind. His love forces every fear to leave us, but only once we put our full and complete trust in Him.

A servant cannot serve two masters. Love and fear cannot reside in the same house.  Which one is living in your heart? Don’t allow yourself to be tormented. Choose love.

Now, time for the link up!

 

Group Look Graphic

 

Our Host, Ren & The Ladies at A Look At The Book
Fellow Co-Host, Bethany at Graceful Country Diva
Fellow Co-Host, Mandy at Women of Worship


BySherry

Overcoming Fear

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? –Psalm 27:1

 

Today I was watching a Red Riding Hood with my daughter.  I was watching as the village was terrified of the Werewolf.  For over 20 years this village would sacrifice their best animals to this beast so they would not be attacked.  I kept thinking that is such a silly thing to be afraid of.  Then I thought on my own fears.

In my last blog, I let you all know I was abused for 2 years.  I know what fear can do to a person.  I did not tell anyone about the abuse that I endured until we had moved completely out of Southern California ten years later.  Only then did I feel safe enough to tell my parents about the abuse.  Even then, I did not tell them everything.  They kept an eye on me, but I was a pretty good actress (in my own eyes).  Pretty soon I met my husband and we got married and lived happily ever after.  NOT!!

There are times during our marriage that I fear my husband will think that my healing is not worth it and leave.  I fear that he will have an affair and leave me for another woman.  The fear paralyzes me and then my imagination runs wild with crazy thoughts and I blow up at him for no reason at all.  Have we all been there?

Satan knows how to use our minds.  He knows what will make us tick.  He doesn’t want us to grow in Christ or be used by Him.  He wants us defeated, robbed of joy, dead in Christ (John 10:10).  He doesn’t want you to be victorious.

As a child of Christ, I don’t have to be paralyzed by fear anymore.  Does that mean I’m never afraid?  No way.  So how did I get over this?  This past August, Matt and I went to my 20th High School Reunion in Southern California.  We took 3 days to ourselves and had a good time with my best friend from High School.  The Sunday after my reunion, Matt and I went to visit my former church family.  The worship was awesome and I really felt the presence of the Lord.  Then Pastor preached upon daily remembering the promises God gave His children.

The first verse that came to mind that day was 2nd Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but, of power, of love, and a sound mind.”  That was all it took for me.  Every time that spirit of fear came upon me I would quote that verse.  There were days I was quoting it all day.

I don’t say it as often anymore, but every once in awhile when life is overwhelming, I say it out loud for all to hear.  Anymore when Satan tries to get my mind thinking that my husband is not happy with me, I say out loud that my husband loves me with his whole heart.  Then I will go and put my arms around him, just to hear him say, “I love you.”

There are many other verses out there that speak about fear.  One that I think about today is Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  I no longer need to fear the past, present, or future.  All because Jesus paid the price so I could be His child.  He is my light when my mind gets dark and goes into the shadows of doubt.  He is my strength when life has me down.

So today, I challenge you to take a promise from God’s word and apply it to a situation in your life. I can guarantee that God’s word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

ByAngie

Say Goodbye To The Past, Say Hello To Your Legacy

Don't look back!

Some of you may be wondering:

How can I have a legacy that carries on when I have such an un-Godly past behind me? Doesn’t that leave me marred somehow?

We’ve all done things. Some of us more so than others. But then we came to know Jesus, and he washed all of those sins away.

Now that you’re on your new found path, you stress. But why?

Um, maybe because my past is troubling me…

I’ve struggled with this myself before. I used to always worried that I was unworthy or incapable of teaching my children the ways of the Lord because I was not always pure. But there are a few things I want to point out to you that helped me…

No, sin, you're dead. I won't be seeing you anywhere. Adios!

  1. Our sins are forgotten. As if they never happened. Sure, people may remember them, but that is not what matters. God does not. They are gone, washed away. Hallelujah! Your past does NOT impact your future walk with God. Isn’t that wonderful?
  2. How much do you know about your Mom, Grandma, and others? I’m willing to bet that even if they are not walking with God there are plenty of details you have no idea about. And whatever you do, don’t go digging! It’s none of your business!
  3. Look at David: He did SO many sinful things. Too many to list in a short blog post. But go read your Bible and you’ll see. Why does that matter? Well, he succeeded at many things in spite of all his sin. He was the Psalmist. He was a king. He was favored…. He was the ancestor of JESUS! If he can carry on THAT kind of legacy, why can’t you or I?

Nothing in your past has anything to do with the legacy you will pass down unless you allow it to. So stand tall, hold your head high, and teach your children the way they need to be taught. Never hold back or feel insecure. Tell them all about our Father and be confident.

After all, if you’re not confident, why would they want what you have? Be the example!

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Take A Leap Of Faith!

As I’m typing this, my 3 year old is jumping off of the love seat onto pillows that he has gathered into a pile on the floor. (My husband hates when he does this, but I let him. Shh… 😉 ) He has no worry, no fear, and is completely enthralled in pure giddiness. (If that’s not a word, I just made it up… Because it perfectly describes him right now!)

My friend Julie took a leap a few years ago... out of a perfectly good airplane. I could also use a lesson from Julie...

I feel as though I could use a lesson from my little guy. Lately, I feel like God is gearing me up for something. Some of it I know already, but I just feel like there is more. I’m amped up and very excited… but also scared. The unknown kind of freaks me out a little. Like when you’re expecting your first child and you have no idea what it would truly be like to be a mother, but you think you do. You feel all that wonder and adoration for someone you’ve never officially met and have only felt growing within you. You worry, “What if I mess this up? What if I fail?” but at the same time “Thank you Lord for this wonderful opportunity, I will be eternally grateful!”

That’s where I am now…

I just glanced over to my little boy again and he is laughing hysterically, jumping into the air, and falling semi-gracefully on his cushions. With each leap he takes I feel God speaking to me… “It’s your turn Angie. I’ll be here for you to land on. Trust me. Jump! Have faith!”

What about you? Is there anything you need to leap into with faith right now? Pray for me, and I’ll pray for you.

1, 2, 3…. JUMP!!!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 5: Be Positive

So, here you are. You’ve gone through all of the steps to make your lemonade & construct your lemonade stand by grieving, forgiving, accepting, and moving on. Now you have reached the point where you set up shop, practice good customer service, and make those sales.

“Huh? What are you even talking about? Stop with the metaphors or at least explain them!”

Okay, I’ll explain. Sorry.

  • Set up shop: Carry yourself in confidence. Never think that because this event happened that you are damaged or less than anyone else. Walk with your head held high and know that you are a child of God. Never walk aimlessly, have a purpose… To serve God and live according to his will.
  • Customer Service: Smile. Be positive! When someone tells you a story or something they are going through, don’t try to bring them down by putting every ounce of negativity you have on them with your words or expressions. Having a bad day? Stop and mention the positive. Remember Pollyanna? (If you don’t, watch the movie) Look on the sunny side. You might be having a bad day, but for everything you count as bad count 2 more things that you are blessed with. When you’re down, you bring everyone down around you. Don’t be that guy… (To clarify, you can feel down sometimes. Just don’t let it define you.)
  • Make The Sale: When someone says to you, “Oh wow, I can’t believe you lived through that.” feel free to say what a struggle it was. Be real, and give God the glory! You never know who you might encourage or witness to by giving all acknowledgement to Him! Don’t act like a victim, be a survivor!

(If achieving this step is just too much work, consider seeking counseling. There is no shame in asking someone for a little help. Also, depression is a very serious illness that can happen to anyone. It is not something that you can “just snap out of”. Seek help if you need it, please.)

So, what do you do now? Sit back, relax, and drink some lemonade!!!

God bless!

 

 

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 4: Moving On

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spiritis in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV

Okay, so you’ve done all that you can in the kitchen for now. It is time to grab a hammer, some nails, a couple planks of wood and head outside.

Moving on can be one of the most difficult tasks. Leaving behind something that has been consuming you for some time can be a lot of work. So, why must we move on? Why can’t we just stay where we are? Because if you sit and dwell on what has happened, you will never be happy. It is not God’s will for us to be sad or angry. There is a season for that, yes, but it does come to an end. That is why it is a season, it changes.

Now is the season where things become warm, metaphorically. You began this struggle in the late Autumn. During the Winter you grieved. Late Winter and Spring you forgave and accepted. Now, it is Summer… and people are thirsty and in need of your lemonade. Soon they may be in the late Autumn and will need to remember how wonderful Summertime was and what that Lemonade you made them tasted like.

Will you ever go back to the kitchen? Oh yes. You’re going to have to go back to get sweetener, supplies, and once in awhile you’re going to have to take in more lemons to squeeze them out. But for now, you’re building your stand and preparing for the next step which I’ll be talking about next week when we conclude this series: Setting up shop and customer service.

As tempting as it is to go back inside because the sun is so bright and the air too warm, remember God got you this far… He’ll take you even farther! And if you want to go farther, you can’t live in the past… Put on a smile and a pair of work gloves (Read your Bible and have faith), because it’s time for you to construct (pray for) your shop front (attitude)!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 3: Accept

1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

So, now that you have gone through the processes of grieving and forgiving, it is time to accept.

Definition of ACCEPT

transitive verb
3 a: to endure without protest or reaction <accept poor living conditions>
b: to regard as proper, normal, or inevitable <the idea is widely accepted>
c: to recognize as true :believe <refused to accept the explanation>

This, obviously, does not always come easily. Our flesh tells us to live in denial. Pretend it never happened. If we don’t acknowledge something, then we can pretend everything is hunky dory and just go on. Unfortunately… it doesn’t work that way. Especially with women. We bottle things way deep down inside only for it to come back up later. Sure, we can live in our make believe little world where bad things and bad days never happen for a time. However, you will inevitably have to face what you are avoiding eventually. Better sooner than later!

What do I mean by telling you to accept what happened? I mean for you to tell yourself, “This happened, and that is just the way it is. God loves me regardless and I will rely on him for mercy and blessings for all of my days.” instead of screaming and throwing a tantrum, “It’s not fair! Why is God allowing this? Why didn’t he do things differently? I want my way and I want it NOW! Waaaahhhh!” (Okay, I got a little dramatic there, but you get the picture.) I never said this would be simple… It may even be brutal. But without it, your lemonade will be bland.

Am I saying to let this event define who you are? Not at all. Will it change you? Possibly. But that could be a good thing depending on the situation. Being that we are covering many different possibilities with a general blanket here it kind of makes this part hard to touch on. Once again, in order for your lemonade to turn out sweet and tasty, you’re going to have to give up a lot of time in prayer. We are supposed to be letting God lead us on how to make his recipe, not ours. Okay, time to wash our hands and prepare for the next step….

Personal note: Before going on any further with this series, I do want to let you know I have been through some very upsetting, traumatic experiences. I’m not some bozo just sitting here saying “Chin up” without an experience myself. I know that EVERYTHING I am telling you is easier said than done. Like I said, depend a lot on prayer and our Savior… He’s the only way to truly make it through!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 2: Forgive

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

Last week I wrote on grieving. Sometimes, once we have completed that step we realize we need to forgive in order to be able to move on.

I can not stress enough how important this step is. If you simply skip over it, your lemonade will be VERY bitter!

Forgiveness is rarely easy to just hand out. It can be a struggle to let go of anger and hurt that is rightfully felt. Especially if the forgiveness needs to be given to someone who does not care, denies their fault, is unknown, clueless of their action, or did something unbearably horrible.

Something equally difficult is forgiving ourselves. It is often said that we are our own worst critics. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t know anyone who is as hard on me as I am on myself.

Regardless, we are required to forgive if we want to be forgiven. What all does this entail? Well, let’s look at the definition from Webster’s:

Definition of FORGIVE

transitive verb

1a: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b: to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :pardon <forgive one’s enemies>

Do you have to be friends with the person and act like nothing ever happened? Absolutely not! But forgive and move on? Yes.

Easier said than done, right? It usually takes quite a chunk of prayer time to be able to achieve this step. As with all things in life, pray for God to help you. Pray for guidance. Pray for forgiveness from Him. But I guarantee that once you do reach that point, you will feel so much better. Then, you can move right along with making that lemonade!