Fear is a trick and treat!

Fear Not !

Fearan unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat

Fear is a trick? 

Our minds think fearful thoughts – a lot!

Minds are wonderful at thinking lots of thoughts. Thoughts love to attach themselves to emotions! One of our survival emotions is fear. We see a fire and think, ” fire is hot and it burns! ” Then, we feel the emotion of fear that the fire might burn us. Of course this thought and emotional reaction happen very quickly.

Fear can be a protective mechanism but it can also become an overprotective menace! Click To Tweet

The problem is that sometimes we can feel fearful of things that are not dangerous. For example, imagine a fire is in a self-contained grill. There is little chance that the fire could really hurt us or burn us. The fire can actually help us cook food, stay warm and roast a marshmallow.Do we need to be afraid of all fire?

Our minds can trick us into believing every fearful thought is true, when most fearful thoughts are false! Click To Tweet

Heres my real life example:

This year, we made a lot of educational changes for our kids. Basically, everyone is in a new school situation. This summer, I made myself sick with worry and doubt about our decisions. I treated our school change like a life-threatening illness! What is it doesn’t work out? What if this is a bad decision? What if I make a mistake?  I felt so afraid of the changes, when in reality:

Did I really have something to fear that was dangerous? NO!

The worse thing that could happen would be that we tried something and it didn’t work out. We could make another change and find a new solution.

I carried that sick, fearful feeling around for weeks until I encountered this truth:

Fear is a treat! 

It’s okay to admit you feel afraid. Fear is a valid emotion and can be met with self-compassion.

If you feel fearful, give yourself a hug and not hammer! Click To Tweet

Stop beating yourself up for feeling fearful and do a little research on why you feel this way. Maybe there is something in your heart that you need to think about with some reassurance from God?

Fear can actually be a catalyst to make me take my anxious thoughts to God in preparation for an act of faith.

Fear can be a signal that God is calling me into a time of deeper Faith! Click To Tweet

Fear makes me dig deeper into God’s bag of treats in His word: ( look what I found!)

Psalm 34:4 says

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears!

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Seriously, I love how generously God reaches out to people who feel fear!  I praise God for the faith I am walking in today. I have to admit, I did fear this summer- Well, okay I more like stressed my entire family out and had a complete melt down…. but the point is that now….today, I am walking in faith.

I may slip into the trick of fear, but God provides the treat of truth to give me faith again. Click To Tweet

Hey, and let’s face it ! A treat from God’s word is a whole lot less calories than the treats my kids bring home!

Blessings to you !

Tracey

 

Time for you to plant a seed?

 

 

 

Plant a Seed

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.
Henry David Thoreau

 

A seed of inspiration for your day!

I found this story preparing for a women’s conference and I had to share it! If you want to read a great story about planting seeds, keep reading!

The moral of the story is that sometimes seeds we plant just don’t grow.

There is a greater lesson in the process of sowing than the seeds that are growing! Click To Tweet

 planting seeds

The Seed

A successful Christian business man was growing old and knew it was time to chose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO,” he said. “I have decided to choose one of you.”

The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – a very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed.

He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.

Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by – still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened.

Jim felt sick at his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed. A few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back.

“My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO.

“Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front.

Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Here is your next Chief Executive! His name is JIM!”

Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said?

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. “When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap a harvest.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Two thousand years ago Paul wrote to the church at Galatia the same story but with fewer words, “What you sow, so shall you reap” (Gal. 6:7).

“We are grass that will wither and die but the incorruptible seed of God’s Word will live forever – sow it daily into the life of your family! (1 Peter 1: 23 – 25).
[ Author Unknown — from akako via ‘Sermon Fodder’ (Sermon_Fodder@yahoogroups.com) ]

Blame is mental glue- how to get unstuck!

Blame is Mental Glue! 

blame is mental glue

When you blame others, you give up your power to change. Robert Anthony Click To Tweet

Blame is like mental glue!

It attaches your thoughts to anger, injustice

and the crippling effects of a problem.

It sticks to an image of the people who have hurt you and

limits your  focus on the person who can help you heal, YOU!

It adheres your mind to the  “wrong” of others

and ignores any wrong in your own life.

Blame is sticky business because

it can’t give you a solution

it can’t make you feel better

it can’t help you move forward in life

it can’t change your future

Blame labels you a helpless victim and never an overcomer Click To Tweet

How can we start to feel unstuck from Blame?

We can begin to detach from blame by practicing an opposite action found in scripture!

 (Colossians 3:12-13 ESV)

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, sslander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive

You can:

Let go of blaming others and

learn to solve your own problems

seek compassion for those who have hurt you

 release your emotional suffering with forgivness

discover new options to promote peace in the future

breath in appreciation and gratitude for the good things in your life

purposefully exhale the negative thoughts

Live in the moment and not the painful past

Trust that all things will be make right in God’s timing

 

 

“Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame.

Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.” Ralph Marston

 

 

A prayer to get unstuck from Blame:

God, I realize that I have been blaming (a person or a situation) for causing me pain. I acknowledge the wrong that was done to me through this person or situation and I chose to forgive them, in Jesus name. I ask that you would release my negative emotions from this situation and fill me with the knowledge that you will help me as I trust you to reveal to me new solutions and blessings in my future.

Amen.

 

e.

You , my darling, are a God-shaped container !

You my darling are a God-shaped container!

You my darling are a God-shaped container!

I know you have probably never been told this but you are a container: a beautiful, God shaped container created in God’s image to reveal His amazing glory in this world.

Okay, I know God did not form us to look like a Mason Jar, but we are definitely a container that has life-giving qualities, necessary essentials for our very existence.

Don’t believe me?

Remember back in Genesis?

After the creation of the animals, a hush fell over creation…Shhhhhhh!

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

God himself began to mold the dust of the earth like a potter with clay, gently forming and designing every part and piece of a human body. When our physical body was complete, God gently pressed his lips against the mouth of mankind.

With one deep inhalation, God breathed into the container of our body!

The breath of life swirled into man and he received life  physically and spiritually.

centerpiece of beauty

You have a heart, soul, mind, emotions and will inside the container!

A container of a spiritual heart and soul

In that one breath, God breathed an eternal soul into our spiritual heart. The spiritual heart is considered the control center of a person and the ultimate container of our eternal soul.

Jesus speaks of the soul of man when he says in Mathew 16:26, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and looses his very soul? “There is nothing in all of creation that contains the value of your soul.

A container of emotions

God breathed multi-colored emotions in our heart so we could experience life with more that just black and white feelings. We can express joy seeing the glory of God in the rising sun and watching moonbeams sparkle on the water. The tears you cry and the deep sadness of your heart are also precious to the God who saves every tear in a bottle. All our emotions are directly connected to our thoughts and beliefs.

A container of Thoughts

God filled you with a mind that is capable of understanding and learning. In the complex circuitry of your mind, you possess thoughts and reasoning ability to act upon knowledge. He gave you a will with the ability to choose to believe and trust Him. That same will is capable of making you stomp your feet when you don’t get your way and then fall to your knees in prayer when you realize you need God’s help.

A container of the real you.

Most of us live our lives only seeing and measuring a person by what they look like on the outside, when the inner contents are what really matter most. Our hearts are a divine birth place of the inner self, the real you. 1 Peter 3:4 calls this the “hidden person of the heart.” The verse goes on to tell us that contents of the heart, the real you on the inside, are “precious in the sight of God.” I Samuel 16:7 “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”NIV

Precious things must be preserved

Because of the value of the workings of the inner man, scripture tells use to guard the contents of our heart. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life. Our hearts are not just any old container, but one that needs to be sealed properly with protection.

In all of creation, God put the most valuable contents of life, right inside of you!  Because of the necessary elements inside our hearts, God began to design a way to preserve the contents of our lives.

Keep reading more each day to discover how our hearts are similar to a mason jar.

Today , just know, that you are a container designed to hold the most valuable eternal qualities on earth!

Do you see the inner you as a person of value in God’s eyes or are you focused on the outside of the container?

bE-You- tiful!

I saw her this morning in the school parking lot.

I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I could tell by the neat state of her children, she had it all together. I glanced at her while my children fumbled with their books and bags and half packed gear. Inside, I felt a wave of inferior fear that caught me by surprise, just like the lost agenda my child forgot to bring to school.

In that moment, every mother I saw looked better than me:

She was in work out clothes with legs like a twenty-year-old

She was perfectly manicured from her freshly highlighted hair to her french pedicure

She was wearing designer clothes while I still had on running shorts. Sigh-

It’s a challenge as mothers to see our real value and beauty that only we possess when we compare ourselves to others. I’ve learned over the years, that in this moment of focusing on everyone else, I loose sight of the unique beauty I possess for my family.  I am not talking about my external beauty that seems to be fading like a forty year old flower, but the internal beauty that can stay alive and fresh for years.

 

1.) Inner beauty is unfading, thank you God 

I Peter 3:3-4

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

 

2.) Comparison is not a great mirror for beauty!  

2 Corinthians 10:12

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

 

AS I write this blog in my running shorts and pony tailed hair, I’m  curious if you are need a make-over in your heart today?

Do you need to remember that beauty comes from the inside out?

 

Hopefully, like me you will be encouraged to be your own kind of beautiful today-

real beauty, just be you

Creation is a giant container for God’s glory! Part 1

Isaiah 6:3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

 

creation, design, God, inspiration, creation container of glory

Summer 2014 was coming to a close…..I stood in awe of a moment on the beach at our family reunion, pictured above. Magnificent colors floated over the water. A giant canvas was painted, just for me. As the final beams of light from this golden  sunset spread across the sky, I felt like I received a giant goodnight kiss from God.  In my heart, the beauty confirmed scripture that declares creation is a manifestation of God’s glory.

How exactly does creation do this?

1.) Creation contains His signature :Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” 

Our universe is brimming with the glory of an intelligent creator. David, who wrote the book of Psalms, marveled as he looked into the ancient skies of earth and saw the work of God.  The sky is similar to the signature of a famous artist that authenticates His prized handiwork.  Each morning and night, we have been given a daily opportunity to observe God’s signature of authenticity on creation with each sunrise and sunset.

2.) Creation contains His goodness ! Genesis 1:31

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 

From the dawn of the first sunrise, God filled the world with His goodness and immeasurable amounts of unending love through his creation.  He scattered stars across the sky and set the sun and moon in place. His universe would contain His finest expressions of creative majesty. Multi-colored planets swirled in the heavens while oceans teamed with living creatures. Mountains would reach toward the sky while streams glistened with sunbeams dancing. God blended the color palate of flowers and fields that would produce vegetation. Birds sored with feathered wings as creation was almost completed. God surrounded us with His beauty and glory in all of delight of creation. This process was not just good, but very good!

3.) Creation contains His power : Isaiah 40:26

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing

Have you ever experienced the power of a wave knocking you over in the surf or a rapid pushing you forward out of control? Nature has power flowing through it that can’t always be controlled by men.   In 1994, our family experienced Hurricane Andrew as we lived in Miami during that time. Even with the best hurricane shutters and supplies, our home was almost completely destroyed. We learned, first hand, that nature is a powerful force that humans can not control. Yet, God’s power created all of  nature. He alone knows all the intricacies of the universe.

4.) Creation contains His divine nature: Romans 1:20

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

The creation of the world was meant to display God’s power and divine nature to every human. The word divine means “God like. ”  Our world  spins at the perfect distance from the sun for light and life to exist.  It’s almost egoistical to presume that creation came from a giant explosion from an unknown force.( And by the way, when was the last time a giant explosion created something of beauty? )

I found this quote in on the Creation Institute Website:

Two different conclusions can be drawn from the data which have been presented. The data indicate either that an omniscient Mind planned and designed our amazing planet,or that it originated by a fortuitous accident without plan or design. There is no middle ground! One must decide either God or chance!

What words come to your mind today when you think of the world as a giant container of God’s glory.

Does your heart agree with the words of the Bible or do you still wonder if this is all just chance?

In order to fully grasp our unique role in the world, we must grasp that creation is a giant container of God’s glory.

 

Do we declare like the scripture that the whole world is full of His glory?