{re}fresh

Month: August, 2018

I Double Dare You!

by Rob Dunne

Dare by Peter Blanchard
Flickr.com_5009977284_1f38f2fa20
CC BY-ND 2.0

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 9:5

“I double dare you!” Those words were frightening as a kid. It meant a peer was goading you into doing something stupid or dangerous. If you had the guts to accept the challenge and successfully accomplished it, you were a hero. Fail to meet the challenge and you were the embarrassment of the neighborhood; At least until the next sucker was challenged.

I am not a farmer. It is my understanding, however, that farmers who still use beasts of burden like oxen to plow their fields use a goad. A goad is what helps the animal maintain a straight line or is used to increase its pace. It is an instrument that causes discomfort to make corrections.

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ANXIETY !!!

by Carol Nicholls

Image by Leland Franciso

In the multitude of my anxious thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!

Psalm 94:19 (Amp)

There is a whirlwind of activity in my family this week. My firstborn grandchild is getting married next Saturday. Along with all of the planning and making sure everything gets done, daily life goes on. Jobs still need our attention. Meal preparation is a task that can’t be put off. Clothes still need to be washed, and so it goes. Cramming extra activity into an already busy schedule can soon give birth to ANXIETY.

The Bible asks, “Who of you by being worried and anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life?” Matthew 6:27(Amp)

Anxiety is a useless emotion in God’s eyes. Yet, it makes its presence known almost every day. Anxiety can be a vague feeling that “all is not well.” It can also become a life-crippling force.

“So, do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries of its own. Sufficient for each day is its trouble.” Matthew 6:34 (Amp)

How do you face anxiety? God says it’s futile trying to resolve anticipated problems. Thinking about them to gather facts is a wise way to be prepared. But, anticipating negative consequences will only lead to panic attacks.

The mind and emotions are the battleground. There are thoughts that lead to peace and there are thoughts that lead to fear. Take a good look at your thoughts. Are you dwelling on a potential negative? Why is that negative more powerful than a positive thought? Usually that is because we can see the outcome of the negative thought but we have NO idea how anything good could come of the situation.

Most of us have bought into the lie that we are “all-wise” and can, with enough effort, solve every life problem. When we can’t see the solution, anxiety sets in. Doubt, fear, insecurity, what other emotions are plaguing you? When we follow God’s advice and take every thought captive we can stop them before they become an emotion. Write them down if that helps. Then ask God to show you that thought through His eyes.

“..now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectations are in You.” Psalm 39:7 (Amp)

Father, I am oh so human! Anxious thoughts are always lurking in the back of my mind. I want to trust You with my whole heart. Your word says Your plans for me are for good and not harm. As I turn my anxious thoughts over to You, please, show me Your heart, grant me Your peace moment by moment through today. And, when tomorrow becomes a new today, show me Your way again. Amen

Kingdoms: Yours and God’s

by Mike McKinniss

Did you know that you have a kingdom?

We don’t think much about kingdoms in America, unless, of course, you’re one of those who got caught up with the Princess Meghan business several weeks ago. But you don’t have to marry a figurehead prince to get yourself a kingdom. You’ve already got one.

Let’s put it another way. Better, let me put it in the words of someone much brighter than me. The late, great Dallas Willard defined a kingdom as the range of our effective will. That is, your kingdom is wherever you have the final authority, wherever you have influence, wherever you have say-so.

For most of us, this extends at least to our extremities. Some of us are fortunate enough to have a firm say in whatever happens in our own household. Many of us share that responsibility. A few of us get to the top of our fields, running a company, captaining a boat, what have you. Kingdoms all, big or small.

And this is precisely as it should be. It’s how we were made.

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Live Carefree

by Mindy Kiker

Image by Jeremy
28363682838_d00ba1bef5
CC BY-ND 2.0

I was exhausted, depleted of joy and hope. I needed a break, to find rest in the midst of around-the-clock demands. Guilt and regret plagued my conscience. I said “yes” to a call from the Lord, but now it was a burden.

What was wrong with me?

Because God desires to help us look more like Jesus, He orchestrates circumstances in our lives to expose selfishness. When I became a mother, it was a journey designed to crucify my flesh. For you, it may be any number of pressures in life, such as caring for a parent, dealing with a chronic illness, coping with a disability, navigating a mental health issue, or any challenge that threatens joy.

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