12/30/2011

Christmas Time is all about Reconciliation

"Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled"

     Of all lyrics of the many christmas carols from Frosty to Rudolph to Grown up Christmas list this song really stood out to me this year. "Hark The Herald Angels Sing". The lyrics above are a pretty key line of what Christmas is truly about. Reconciliation. To re-do, to bring together what was seperate, to coexist in harmony. Restart, restore, unite, make compatable. Its what Christmas really is for.

Heres the short story.
     From the beginning of time when all was created  we as individuals were designed to be in unity and as one with out creator. Over the years that all changed as we have strayed far from that original plan and broke our unity with God. Every one of us at some time, somehow.  God saw this happening and didnt want the seperation between Himself and us so he came up with a plan to reconcile himself with his creation. To bring everything back into order. Even if we didnt deserve it, want it or know how much we needed it. Even if we continued to run away from Him. His plan was a gift. A baby. His son. God made into flesh. Sent to build a relationship with us first hand. Co-exist and be in harmony with us.

     The baby would grow up on earth and be the perfect being, being of God that would ultimately be the only living person who could be the perfect sacrafice to bridge the gap. A sacrafice that redeems mankind through His mercy and brings ultimate peace.  And we sing....."Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled."

Ever thought about how reconciliation fits in to your life? or even what it means to you?

Thats my focus right now everyday. Reconciliation not only with God but in relationships in my life. I believe in reconciliation no matter how big the gap is. Its already been proven its possible. I want it. I need it. I pursue it daily and will continue to. I pray for it in my life. It can be done. We just have to  be open to it.

Reconcile.....restart, unite, co exist, to bring together again. God and us. You and Me.

12/18/2011

Cure for Anxiety










So I keep hearing this verse again and again everywhere and its good because its a reminder I need to hear right now. Ive read it many times but still need to get it through my head.  We all do. We all have a lot of anxiety that happens in our lives daily whether we want to admint or not.  I wrote about this verse in my book "Sinking Deeper" and so just took the thought I wrote about and copied it into hear to share. This is the literal cure for anxiety. When everything is out of your control and all you can do is let it all go and let God do his thing. 
 ( If you havent yet... grab a copy of my book on Amazon today!)

“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, 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"



Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything? I only have two words in response to that phrase. “Yeah right.” Reality check. How in the world are we expected to ignore all anxiety and stress that comes our way? It doesn’t seem normal or even human to think anyone can just sit back relax believing that everything is just going to work out on its own. It’s just not right. It’s not how were wired. You would have to pretty abnormal to have a personality like that.


“What did you say? The checking account is way overdrawn again? Ah no worries. It will all balance out sometime.”

“Did you say you’re having some major heart problems again? Oh well nothing last forever, ya know?”

“I just got a phone call from the in-laws and they have to move in with us for the next couple years. This is going to be awesome!”

Anxiety happens to all of us. Ignoring it sounds practically impossible. However if we could only see the whole picture in advance then maybe it would be a little easier. You know like a private advanced screening of your own life story on the big screen with large buttered popcorn, a 32 ounce soda and a big box of Dots to go along with it. The bottom line is no matter what we think, we can’t make it through life without a little stress or anxiety. We also can’t deal with problems that come our way on our own. It’s not how we were created. It’s not the way we were designed. From my limited perspective I remain confused and overwhelmed about this even though my whole life I have been taught and told that God will work it all out, don’t worry. Just have a little faith. But every ounce of humanness is yelling out

“But I want to know how and I want to know now!”

“This is my life and I want to be in charge!”

You might be able to relate to this when reading this verse at first or if you have ever had to wait on God. Let’s break it down and think this through and I promise after we look at this closer you will understand how this verse can change your life. First of all, even though at first it doesn’t seem right, you have to realize that in these words there is a ton of wisdom, power and answers that you can only find once you really study it. Take a closer look at what it says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving present your requests to God". Ok I like that part. I have a lot of worry and stress and now at least I can present these concerns to God. That takes off some pressure. I don’t have to ignore the issues but I can know that I don’t have to deal with it all by myself. I can present them to God and I don’t have to freak out about it. In God I can find a peace as I bring these things before Him. But the phrase "with thanksgiving" is tricky. What does that mean? I have to be thankful for the situation I am presenting? Or is it maybe just being thankful for the ability to come before God and present it to Him? Here after considering the options I would have to vote for option number two. Once you really read the words written in this text it all starts to make complete sense. So "in prayer and petition" (meaning to ask or even beg) I come before God offering these things in thanksgiving to Him. So if you really think about it, no matter how bad the situation is, there is always something to be thankful for as you don’t have to deal with it yourself and can bring it before God Almighty. Even if it’s embarrassing or painful. It’s also good to have someone to spill your guts to. Someone safe where you can spill out your junk and re-fill back up with encouragement.

Then comes the best part to me that just blew me away. Check this out, it says, "The peace of God that transcends all understanding". Wow! The peace of God. I can’t even begin to imagine what that’s like but it says if I bring these requests before Him, He will in return give me a glimpse of it. Think about that. A peace of God. A total satisfaction or resolve that is so great it transcends anything we can imagine. It is un-comprehendable. It’s unfathomable. Not only that but he also says it will "guard your heart and mind". Two major guarantees for just the asking! So what is being said here is just GIVE IT UP! Drop it at His feet. Offer it to him and He will provide complete peace and rest. Let it go and let God do what He is truly good at. Being God! God is always faithful to His word. God always is faithful to provide for His people who find rest in Him.

I tell you that after I read this verse again and again it started to make more sense and just what I needed to hear. Just like any other person on this planet I can only go so long without feeling like I’m going to snap when I’m under a lot of pressure. However, even if I don't know what is going to happen next or what tomorrow holds I at least can be at rest about it and not go crazy in the meantime. That’s my biggest concern. My sanity. Sanity is a good thing, Insanity, not so cool. We have enough of that in the world already. Sure I might be able to muddle through on my own somehow but if I find myself on the other end drooling profusely, twitching violently and shouting out random animal names at everyone who passes by I think it would be pretty obvious that something is definitely wrong. Trust in God brings peace. That in itself makes the world seem a little simpler. Replacing our anxiety with trust is difficult since we hold on to it so closely. That first step of faith can be a dozy but before you know it your jumping and dancing on it and it only becomes stronger.

These words were the perfect cure for my severe case of anxiety and I’m pretty sure it can bring peace to anyone who understands it and follows through. I took it and copied it and posted it in different places in my house. Now I can be reminded daily that I can find total peace in God if I just pray and not worry about what is in store. It’s walking by faith. No vision necessary. Just know for a fact that God is going to take care of you no matter what tomorrow holds or where you end up. I re-read this verse whenever I can to know that I still need to trust God and I know sooner or later He's going to pull through for me. When will that be? I don’t know. What does God have in store for me next? I have no clue. When will I understand his exact will and timing? Hopefully someday soon. Maybe never. How in the world can I find peace in a time of extreme pressure? Well it’s simple. Convert your worries and fears into a prayer. Give Him praise and all your anxiety will evaporate into thin air. Offer up your prayer request and let God take care of the rest. It beats having to go to the Doctor, it’s easier than taking medication, it’s less time consuming than going to therapist, it doesn’t leave you bloated or with a severe case of diarrhea, you get to keep your sanity and best of all its free.

I don’t have all the answers but I don’t have to be anxious for them. In this verse we are simply told how to find peace when we’re ready to break and if I follow through by bringing my concerns and worries before God I can find instant relief. In the meantime now that I better understand what this verse is saying I honestly keep finding more peace everyday. More peace everyday with faith leading the way. On top of that it takes your worship of Him to a whole new level that will be more powerful than ever.