2" dir="ltr"> MacArthur Blvd. Christian Church: April 2013

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

To Fear or Not to Fear


Last week was one of those weeks we would rather not relive. Innocent lives were snuffed out in a matter of seconds. Many lives will never be the same again. Most of us watched from the comfort of our homes. Much of what we learned was given as tidbits over the period of several days, but the media held us in the palm of their hands. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against the reporting of news. But to block out hours upon hours of seeing the same explosions. The powers that be, were afraid to let us go because something new might crop up at any moment. Be that as it may, the more we watched, the more some people became fearful. You see, I believe the general thrust of media in the US wants us to live in fear. Our country has become anxiety ridden because we see horrific things happen almost at the moment they happen. I am not purporting that we put our heads in the sand and pretend everything is hunky dory when it isn’t. But before we had media which allows us to see anything or everything, we had to read about it or watch newsreels that had been taken weeks before. It kept us from truly viewing the immediacy of death and destruction.


I was a teenager during the Viet Nam war. It was the first war that one could tune into at supper time and see the tragic loss of life in another part of the world. At the time, it didn’t affect me too much. I had a few distant relatives and a couple of class mates who went to Viet Nam, but I seemingly didn’t feel the impact of what was going on. Fast forward twenty years; I’m substitute teaching in a high school history class. The assignment is to watch a documentary about the Viet Nam war and it shows actual clips from news stories. In a darkened room with high school juniors, a woman sat in the back of the room and wept tears.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe it. This cartoon was on Facebook a few days ago. I liked it so much that I’m including it here. However there is something else we can do that is not depicted in this cartoon. We can read our Bibles, specifically verses which talk about not being fearful. When we put our trust in God, we have nothing to fear. Some would say one is putting their head in the sand, but I would disagree.

In conclusion I am going to share a few of those verses. Yes, they are taken out of context but I think you will see a theme emerge from them.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You (God) are with me.

Psalm 27:1
            The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?
Proverbs 31:30
            Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears (shows reverence) to
the Lord is to be praised.

Isaiah 35:4
Say to those with anxious heart, take courage, fear not. Behold your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you.

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears in not perfected in love.


The last bit of verse is from Joshua chapter 1. Moses has just died and Joshua has been given the awesome responsibility of leading the Israelites into the promised land. Listen to what God speaks to Joshua: Verse 6 &7-‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and courageous; be carefull to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. …Verse 9-Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.


I could give insights into each of these verses. However, I think you get the gist of what I’m trying to share. God will be with us wherever we are, whatever circumstance we are in and as long as we keep our focus on Him, we have nothing to fear.

Blessings,
Anna

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Have you ever had a day where everything is going along hunky dory and bam! something knocks everything akilter? I had a day like that recently. The work day was going along well. Regular tasks were completed, messages passed on to recipients; everything was on schedule and life, in general, was good. And then one misguided remark on my part and the returned answered sent me into a dither.

 I like to think I’m an even-keel kind of person, but for some unexplained reason, I verbally blew up at someone I dearly love. We all have trigger points. Things that can set our emotions off. The situation which we don’t have any control over triggers the outburst. The situation usually concerns other people and their choices, but deep down we may struggle with our feelings involved in that person’s choices in life. There might be suppressed guilt or anger over decisions made in the long-ago past. It might be disappointment or disillusionment in an individual and the choices they made. Whatever the underlying reasons, we end up taking it out on someone. Its probably not the person we actually have the issue with; and that’s what happened to me.

Once the words were out of my mouth, I regretted the majority of them. The person I was talking to has no more control over the situation in question than I do. We are just bystanders in the situation.  James 1:19 in part says this: ‘But let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.’

I certainly was not ‘slow to speak’ or ‘slow to anger’. It has marred a relationship, maybe several. What can I do to rectify my part in this? First, I need to go to God the Father and pour out my thoughts, all of them. Then, when it is appropriate, go and ask for forgiveness. My prayer is that I have learned a valuable lesson, one I won’t soon forget.

In conclusion I want to share from Ephesians 4:30a-32:
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put from you, along with malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Blessings,
Anna


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Praising God










Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His might expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Psalm  150: 1-2



This is one of my favorite bits of verse. It’s all about God and that is what life is all about. There is nothing more important than praising God. He created all things and all things have their being in Him. When we focus on this one thought, everything else falls into its proper place. It’s when our perspective is moved towards ourselves or the things of this world that we begin to struggle.

Every day we choose to focus on God and his goodness or we choose to focus on the things of this world. I struggle with this every day just like the rest of us. Join me and try to put your eyes on the great I AM and move towards Him today and every day.

Blessings,
Anna