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WORRY NOT!

Matthew 6: 3-4

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.

If you’d asked me last week if I was a worrier, I would have said no. But I found out this week I was wrong! Nobody likes admitting they were wrong and I’m no exception but here I am admitting just that.

Presently I’m doing a Bible study based on Elizabeth George’s book–LOVING GOD WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This week’s topic was worry. I was almost tempted to forego this week’s homework since I don’t consider worrying to be one of my weaknesses. One of the tasks we did was to write down our concerns or worries into one of two categories.

First category was TODAY.

The second was IN THE FUTURE.

I wrote down six things but the shocking thing was that four of them were concerned with the future and only two for that specific day. Wow! That was an eye opener. And the truth was I could have written four or five or even more under IN THE FUTURE. I had no idea how many of my concerns are about the future.

I’ve been in horrible pain for the last several weeks as I go through a treatment regimen for the third time, but this past week has been even worse. The pain has been almost unbearable. I was feeling so discouraged and hopeless. It felt as if I was never going to get better.

As I looked at that list, I immediately changed the way I prayed. Instead of praying for the “big” things–like healing my brain tumors, I simply prayed for enough grace to face the day in a godly way–for God’s favor and mercy for that day.

And you know what?

I did have a better day. And the next day the pain improved a bit more, but even more important I had God’s peace again. So I’m determined to stay focused on this day and only this day. As the verse said, tomorrow will take care of itself.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray for the big things because we should, but I’m saying we need to focus our energies on one day at a time, especially when we’re in a difficult time.  When we start to think too much about all the things that might happen in the future, we stop living in the present. We stop living in faith which can lead to us losing our hope, our peace, and our joy.

So…. WORRY NOT!

YOUR TURN: How about you? Maybe it’s time to make your own list and see what category  your worries or concerns fall under– TODAY or IN THE FUTURE.

Dealing with Discouragement

Romans 15: 13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,

so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Joy? Peace? Hope?

Those things sound wonderful. Unfortunately when you have a chronic illness or a long-term situation, it’s so easy to lose them.  Instead of focusing on God and his goodness, we begin to focus on our troubles. Before we know it, we are thick in the throes of discouragement.  If discouragement continues it leads us into a darkness.

That’s where I am right now–in the darkness of discouragement.

But I’ve been telling myself that it’s normal to feel discouraged at the moment. I’ve spent more than four years dealing with my brain tumors when the doctors told me it would only take two years. I’m in the middle of my third round of chemotherapy to try to save what’s left of my hearing–which isn’t much.

It feels horrible! But I realized something yesterday. I’ve set myself up to feel that way. I’ve been telling people that feeling this bad is part of the process and that when the chemo is over I can start to regain my strength, my health, my peace and my joy. 

Proverbs 23: 7 (NKJV) tells us “For as he thinks in his heart so is he.” Wow–talk about setting myself up to feel bad! That’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve been telling myself and everyone else that feeling bad is part of the process, something to be endured and then overcome it later.

That doesn’t sound like me having much faith in God, his love or his power! Instead that sounds a lot more like me believing Satan’s lies that God doesn’t have the power or at the very least he won’t use it on pitiful little me because I’m not worthy.

 In the darkness, we lose our way along with our joy and peace and hope. So how do we get out of that darkness when we’ve lost all sense of direction? We must turn our eyes to our Savior. As we draw near to him, the light will begin to shine. The more light, the easier it is to find our way back to the joy, the peace, and the hope that God promises to each of his children in spite of our circumstances.

That’s what I want! I may still have to endure the side effects of the chemo, but I don’t have to endure the the hopelessness of losing my peace and joy because God is with me always.

RENEWING YOUR MIND

Romans 12: 2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I wrote the second part of this post in August but it’s even more true for me today–more than a month later. September was a busy–busy month for me. I had a new book release (GAME ON) and along with that more than 30 guest visits on other people’s blogs and…my husband’s birthday, our 15th anniversary, two camping trips and a week-long visit with my brother and sisters from out of state and two chemotherapy treatments.

Yes, I’m back on chemotherapy in hopes that it will restore my hearing to what it was in May before I started having “episodes” with my hearing once again. It’s been more than four years of treatments for my brain tumors, losing more of my balance and my hearing. And I hate to admit it but I’m discouraged.

And that’s why I am posting RENEWING YOUR MIND again. I need to be reminded that renewing your mind is something that needs done–all the time. If we don’t then we can start to believe the devil’s lies. What sort of lies? That God doesn’t really love us  or we wouldn’t be going through this. That we’re all alone in our struggles. That we might as well accept our situation because it’s not going to get better…the lies can go on and on.

It’s up to us to not listen to those lies and to keep our focus on how good God is and how much He loves us and that God still has a good plan for us no matter what our circumstances are at the moment and we do that by….

RENEWING YOUR MIND

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But exactly how do we do that? The “experts” say we do that by reading and studying God’s Word. And I think they’re right. Of course, there are other things (going to church; praying; being thankful; praising God are a few examples) we can do as well but reading, studying, and believing God’s Word are surely the best ways.

But why do we need to the renewing of our minds?  Life can be really difficult. First we have our own personal problems such as chronic illness, money problems, and difficult family relationships to name just a few. Then there’s the state of the country and the world to worry about, not to mention all the difficulties of our friends and families. Let’s not forget about all the tragedies we see on the nightly news

If we don’t renew our mind on a regular basis, sadness, sorrow, worry, anxiety, and even anger are going invade our thoughts. And by regular basis I mean every day–or more. The more we dwell on the negative–on how helpless we are or how “bad” the world is the more negative we become. Before you know it, we’ve lost the peace and joy that is our spiritual birthright.

And that’s why we need the renewing of our mind on a regular basis. But like the infomercials says–wait…that’s not all! Yes renewing our mind will keep us in a good place spiritually, but it does so much more than that. The second part of the verse says, Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.  As we renew our minds, we will begin to know God’s will for us.

How good is that!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Renewing Your Mind

Romans 12: 2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But exactly how do we do that? The “experts” say we do that my reading and studying God’s Word. And I think they’re probably right. Of course, there are other things (going to church; praying; praising…) we do as well but reading, studying, and knowing God’s Word is one of the best ways.

But why do we need to the renewing of our minds?  Life can be really difficult. First we have our own personal problems such as chronic illness, money problems, and difficult family relationships to name just a few. Then there’s the state of the country and the world to worry about, not to mention all the difficulties of our friends and families. Let’s not forget about all the tragedies.

If we don’t renew our mind on a regular basis, sadness, sorrow, worry, anxiety, and even anger are going invade our thoughts. The more we dwell on the negative–on how helpless we are or how “bad” the world is the more negative we become. Before you know it, we’ve lost the peace and joy that is our spiritual birthright.

And that’s why we need the renewing of our mind on a regular basis. But like the infomercials says–wait…that’s not all! Yes renewing our mind will keep us in a good place spiritually, but it does so much more than that. The second part of the verse says, Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.  As we renew our minds, we will begin to know God’s will for us.

How good is that!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

 

 

Setting My Priorities

Matthew 6: 33 (KJV)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.

This verse popped into my head a few weeks ago, or at least the part about seek ye first the kingdom of God. So it’s become my new mantra. Seeking God first. It sounds simple enough but not always an easy things to do. I always plan to do that when I get to my office to start my workday. By my office, I mean upstairs at my house in my jammies. I’m retired now so writing has become my job. (Yay!!)

Anyway most weekdays, I get up spend some time with my husband then exercise. Then it’s off to work I go–hi-ho-hi-ho. So the plan is to always do a little Bible study first but…then I check my emails and answer a few…then that leads me to do this or that or the other thing…and before you know it, NO Bible study that day or the next or the next.

Sooner or later, I start to feel a bit unsettled. So I include some Bible study and then I begin to feel more settled. Then it slowly slips away again. And it becomes a cycle–not a good one. So when this verse popped into my head, I took it seriously. Which is why there are more devotions being posted lately.

Anyway…back to the verse: all these things will be added unto you. What things you might be asking? At least that’s what I asked. So I read the complete chapter and discovered it was Jesus speaking during the Sermon on the Mount. Here’s a few more verses to add clarity to the verse, this is from the NIV.

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The bold print is mine. So you can see these verses are about Jesus telling us to not worry but instead to seek the kingdom of God and that God will take care of us. Sounds good, doesn’t it–a life with no worry, but not so easy to do. I don’t consider myself a big worrier but I still find myself worrying about things sometimes.

Because after all, life can be overwhelming at times. Worry is the opposite of trusting God. And above all, I want to honor God by trusting Him so I’ve been setting my priorities. And that means seeking God first and everything else comes second.

YOUR TURN: How about you? What interferes with you seeking God first?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Attitude is Everything!

Proverbs 17: 22

A cheerful heart is good medicine but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Yesterday I found out that I’m facing months of chemotherapy again for my brain tumors–third time actually–if the insurance company agrees. And of course, it comes right as I’m finally feeling better than I have in a long time. My chemo isn’t as bad as what a lot of people experience and for that I’m grateful. The main issue for me seems to be fatigue and it sabotages my weight loss.

My first reaction was to throw up my hands and say, “I give up!” Give up on trying to getting healthy. Give up on trying to lose more weight or even to maintain at this point. Just give up-give up-give up! But that didn’t seem to be the best attitude to have. And attitude is everything!

So I had my little pity party and then it was time to move on and be cheerful.

After all, the chemotherapy has saved my hearing twice in the past, and hopefully it will again. And that’s a really good thing! So what if I don’t feel quite as good for a while. So be it!

Attitude is everything! And I’m determined to have a good attitude–even if it kills me! That’s a joke! I’ve been dealing with my brain tumors for a little more than four years so I’ve learned a bit about how to keep a good attitude. Here’s some of the things I do to keep a cheerful heart in spite of difficult circumstances.

  1. Being thankful for all the good things in my life.
  2. Stay close to God through His Word. It’s amazing how powerful God’s Word is.
  3. Stay close to God through praying. The Bible encourages us to bring our petitions to God–so why not do it?
  4. Staying close to God through praising. Feeling down? Turn on some praise music or traditional hymns and be sure to sing along!
  5. Focus on other people–life isn’t just about me and my problems!

Those are some of my ways I keep a cheerful heart.

YOUR TURN:  What about you? What’s some of the ways you keep a cheerful heart in the midst of a storm?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Today’s Words of Wisdom

Another one of my favorite verses:

Isaiah 55: 8 (AMP)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.

We can make ourselves a little bit crazy or a lot if we don’t remember this. GOD is GOD and His ways are perfect even when we don’t understand them. The best thing we can do (at least that’s what I think) is to remember that God loves us and to trust Him no matter what circumstances happen.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!