Now That’s Peace of Mind!

At least once a year we had a round-up. Our family and friends saddled our horses. We rode together to the back of the barbed wire cow pastures. Gradually the cattle grouped themselves together.

We slowly drove them through the pastures toward our destination, the corral. As the pasture narrowed leading to the small corral, an occasional cow panicked and made a run for it.

This was the fun part. I would get to gallop my horse full speed to bring the cow back to the herd.

Once the cows were in the corral, the real work began. My Dad vaccinated some. Sometimes he sprayed them with a mixture that repelled the flies.

But then came the time to let some go back to the pasture and keep others for the “Sale Barn” where they would be auctioned.

The test of courage came next. My Dad would unlock the gate. “Denny, stand here.” I did. Then he would slowly rotate the cattle around the corral.

The only thing that kept these 300 pound steers and 1,000 pound cows from bolting through the semi-open gate was me, little 100 pound me!

My Dad would say, “Don’t let that one out.” I would yell and swing my arms and it would go back to the circling herd. Then another one would come by and Dad would say, “Let that one go!” So I would move to the side and let it bolt.

There I was, depending on tons of beef to fear one little human being. It was a scary game of “chicken” but with a bunch of cows. (Oh my, I just had a flash of a Chic-Fil-A commercial go through my head!)

Anyway, I was the guard at the gate.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Don’t panic, pray! If its worth worrying about, its worth praying about. Don’t worry, worship! The antidote to worry is PRAYER. Worry is a waste, prayer is priceless. Instead of spending your brain power, focus, and energy on futile worry, spend it on powerful prayer.

Can’t focus on praying when you worry? Then WRITE your prayers or type your prayers, it will help you stay focused!

Oh, and if you pray instead of worry, look into this verse and see who will be guarding the gate! Not a 100 pound weakling , but the almighty God of the universe, creator of all things, who brings PEACE, guards your heart! None other than God Himself will be on guard! Now, that’s peace of mind!

Our Father, thank-you for the antidote to worry, prayer. Thank-you for guarding our hearts when we pray. Thank-you for the peace you give when we pray.

No Worries

I held my three-month-old granddaughter yesterday afternoon while she slept for about an hour and a half.

There is something special about holding a baby. The warmth of her body against by chest felt so peaceful.

She had no worries. She had no frets. She had no critics. She had no bills to pay. She had no meetings to attend.

Who knows what she will become, whom she will influence, or how she will live her life.

But it is even more amazing that the baby Mary held that first Christmas came with such an important agenda for His life!

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

The name Jesus simply means “he saves.” And indeed he does! Each year we celebrate the sacred and holy birth of the Son of God, our Savior and Lord.

It is so difficult to comprehend all the implications of that birth!

  • The God of the universe became one of us!
  • God wants a personal relationship with each of us!
  • He came specifically to die as the perfect sacrifice for sinners’ sins.
  • He and the Father are one, if you know the Son, you also know the Father.
  • He came to bring God’s peace and grace to those who will believe and receive Him.
  • We really don’t have to be anxious about anything.
  • … and the list could go on and on.

Oh, to be a little child again with no worries, frets, or pressures. Oh, that’s right, I can, I MUST become like a child in order to trust Him. Pray and relax in Him. Don’t worry, be anxious, or fret.

If God can send a baby to perfectly accomplish such an agenda as saving the world from sin, surely he can handle my little worry too!

Merry Christmas!

Our Father, thank-you for Jesus! Thank-you for what Christmas really means. Thank-you for saving us.

Look Out the Window

Take-off was a rush! I never dreamed that the initial thrust would set me back into my seat the way it did. In no time we were off the ground quickly gaining altitude.

As an adult I experienced my first ride on a commercial passenger plane. I felt like a kid. The thrill of take-off put butterflies in my stomach.

Then came the view! I couldn’t stop looking out the window at the patchwork below me. Seeing things from thousands of feet above the earth gives a whole new perspective!

I thought to myself, “God sees the world like this all the time, yet he knows me personally!”

Our Father always has the big picture perspective for our lives, disasters, sins, set-backs, diseases, and celebrations.

Jeremiah told his countrymen who had just been carried off to captivity to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says he LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

We often see this verse on plaques . It is certainly an encouraging verse. It is one I meditate on when I get discouraged.

But the context is a horrible situation of defeat and exile! Jeremiah tells them in chapter 29 in a letter to settle in, build homes, have lots of children and grandchildren, and make the city prosperous and peaceful, because you will be there a long time, seventy years!

Are you going through a disaster or an exile now? Perhaps your disaster has already lasted a long time. Or maybe it is just beginning.

Remember God has the 35,000 feet view even though you can’t seem to see 3 feet in front of you. God’s really does have the big picture.

Honor and love your Father in Heaven in the middle of your chaos. He indeed knows the plans He has for you! He wants your good, not disaster.  So whether He delivers next week, years down the road, or in heaven, He will come through! The LORD is still your hope!

Look out the window.

Our Father, thank-you for the hope, assurance, and confidence that you never lose control of this universe, this world, and the circumstances of our lives. Fill us with hope in the midst of our exiles. Help us to live faithful lives honoring You inside our disasters.

T – R – O – U – B – L – E

Billie Sue’s grandfather, Lex Smith, loved to do word puzzles in his retirement years. He would sit for hours filling in the squares with letters.

In the those last days, he would spell the same word out loud over and over again. I can still hear him saying the letters again and again.

“T – R – O – U – B – L – E.”  “T – R – O – U – B – L – E.” “T – R – O – U – B – L – E.”

I’m not sure why he got stuck on that one word. But he did.

Jesus talked about “trouble” too.

Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 HCSB

We can get stuck on tomorrow’s trouble too.  Jesus knows our tendencies. How easy it is for us to get focused on something that might or might not happen tomorrow. In doing so, we miss living today to the fullest!

Yes, tomorrow will come with its trouble, but why live it today in our minds before it actually happens? Plus, we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We could end up worrying about things that will never happen anyway!

I’m just as guilty as the rest of you. Worry sneaks into my thoughts when I don’t stay focused on the truth of God’s Word and His Son Jesus.

So, how do we do that?!

Remember the verse just before verse 34? Verse 34 begins with “Therefore.” So what is it “there for”? The solution and a very familiar verse:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Matthew 6:33 HCSB

All those “things” we worry about God provides for us if we seek His kingdom and righteousness first.  First? Yes, instead of first worrying about things, we seek God’s kingship and righteousness first.

Someone observed, “Today is the Tomorrow you worried about Yesterday.”

Worry is all about putting “things” first instead of God’s will. Remember Jesus’ instructions on how to pray:

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 HCSB

How do we “seek first the kingdom of God?” We seek to do His will on earth today! That’s an all-encompassing focus that takes up all our attention today. When we focus on doing His kingdom work today, we are not focused on the “things” that will “trouble” us tomorrow.

Jesus is in the life-changing business!

Our Father, we confess our sins of worry and ask your forgiveness. Thank-you that we don’t need to worry. The “things” of this world are temporary.  Your word and kingdom will last forever! We ask for your ever-present Spirit to teach to live by faith, not by worry.