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Posts Tagged ‘Faith in the face of fear’

Two and a half years ago I posted, “Nan-Sense: It Makes Sense to Me.”  I’ve collected a bit more Nan-sense since then! Here are a few examples from this month. Perhaps in reviewing these truths with you, they will become more firmly planted in me.

vision 

  1. I’ve been studying Hebrews, chapters 10-13, using Chuck Swindoll’s study book, Hebrews, Volume II (1983). One question invites readers to consider their personal  vision.  From the dictionary I chose the definition, “a mental image created by the imagination.”

My vision for my character includes these qualities: a) a quiet and gentle spirit (1 Peter 3:4), b) contentment whatever the circumstance (Philippians 4:12), c) consideration of others before myself (Philippians 2:3), d) rejoicing always (Philippians 4:4), and e) practicing God’s presence (John 15:5).

Slowly but surely, that vision is taking shape, by the power of the Spirit. (Although I still have a way to go!)

What is your personal vision?

 01

  1. One morning I glanced out the kitchen window to see a young squirrel perched at the very end of a dead tree branch. I could observe him quite closely because our house is built into a hill. The kitchen/family room, along the back of the house, is at the height of a second story.

Although I was looking almost straight ahead at him, he was about fifteen feet off the ground. His tail curled up gracefully over his back, and he appeared to be resting comfortably—no nervous glances, no shivers of fear.

God reminded me: He has equipped squirrels with claws that grip so tightly, they have no fear of heights. He has equipped me also with his shield of faith and sword of the Spirit. I have no need to fear either.  This, the morning after the horrific tragedy in Paris.

God, help me to be faithful to use that sword and shield!

What small moment experience has made an impression upon you recently?

 16158542

  1. Not long ago, I finished reading The Boys in the Boat (2013), by Daniel James Brown—the story of the eight-oar crew that won Olympic gold in 1936, in Berlin. Reviewers have used such adjectives as “suspenseful,” “riveting,” and “inspiring.” All accurate.

Now most readers would not expect to find statements of spiritual significance in a secular book. But often times I do, and this selection was no exception. From p. 53:

“It is hard to make the boat go as fast as you want to. The enemy, of course, is resistance of the water…but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend. So is life: the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them” (George Yeoman Pocock, shell-builder*).

Sounds like George knew James 1:2-4.

What have you read lately from a secular source that had spiritual significance?

Rocky_pathway

  1. Last, I heard this quote on the radio, though I doubt this is a word-for-word rendering:

“Don’t worry that you don’t have strength before you start. God gives strength as we journey.”

Sound truth, right? Yet often I’d like to see my life-path at least a few miles ahead, and feel strong enough now to handle anything on that life-path.

God doesn’t work that way.

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself,” Jesus taught (Matthew 6:34). Why? Because knowledge and provision ahead of time would cancel out the need for faith. And faith is one of the most precious treasures a person can possess.

What have you heard recently that spoke to your heart?

Join the conversation below with your observations!

 

*The long, narrow boats used by crews are called shells.

 

(Art & photo credits:  www.movation.wordpress.com; http://www.nighthawkpublications.com; http://www.goodreads.com; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org.)

 

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david_goliath_bible_hero_poster

 

 

If I asked a church group to name their favorite Bible story, David and Goliath would surely get several votes.  The classic plot of underdog-beats-bully appeals to most of us.  In addition, David provides a powerful example of faith in the face of fear.

This familiar story was the reading assignment during my Bible study one morning almost thirty years ago.  But a new lesson awaited me that day, and has impacted my life ever since.

Following the reading of 1 Samuel 17, the study guide asked:  “How did David’s past experiences of the Lord’s deliverance give him confidence to face the present challenge?”  The author was referring to the bears and lions David had defeated while caring for his father’s sheep (vs. 34-36).  Such experiences had prepared David to face Goliath with faith and courage.

Then came the clincher question:  “What practical lessons does this teach us about the value of remembering, and the importance of proving God’s presence and power in ordinary daily living?”

I could easily recall several outstanding experiences when God’s presence and power were definitely at work in my life.  But I knew there were many more which had slipped out the back door of my memory and were gone forever.

So I decided to begin writing down instances of God’s presence and power.  Then when Goliath-sized problems arose in my life, I could review those entries and build up my faith.

The first incident occurred that very afternoon.  I locked myself out of the house as Jeremy, our youngest, and I left to pick up his older brother and sister from school.  My pastor-husband, Steve, was attending a meeting forty-five minutes away and wouldn’t be home until late that night.  To make matters worse, dinner was simmering on the stove.  (Remember, this happened nearly thirty years ago, before cell phones.)

I did have the car keys so we drove to school and started to pray for God to help us.  Upon returning, I tried every door and window.  Nothing budged.  We went to a neighbor’s house.  I started to call several leaders from our church, hoping someone would have a parsonage key.

During the second or third call, who should pull up in the driveway but Steve!  His meeting had adjourned early.  With a few spare minutes on his way to another appointment, Steve thought he’d stop by to see the kids.  Our car in the neighbor’s driveway indicated where we were.

Now some folks would call that mere coincidence.  Not I.  That was a God-incidence, and it became the first entry in my Blessings Journal.  I concluded that record with this prayer: “Thank You, Lord, for this little miracle, for proving your power and presence to me the very day I determined to look for it.  You are a great and marvelous God, yet you cared for one forgetful mother with one small problem.

P.S.  That Blessings Journal now contains over 900 entries of remarkable gifts and events!

What indication of God’s presence and power have you experienced recently?

 

(art credit: http://www.livingfaithtogether.wordpress.com)

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