I have been thinking lately about fear. It seems to be all around- everywhere I look, I see it, and even at times it rises, in me. And seeing all this fearfulness makes me sad. Sad because I know it isn’t the way our heavenly father wanted this world to be. In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul writes these important words to Timothy, For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
In many parts of the world, open-air markets are still the primary way grain is sold. An honest and generous merchant will take a basket, pour some grain into it, and press it down to make room for more. He will shake the basket from side to side to help all the tiny grains fill in any air pockets. And, then he will press it down some more, adding grain as he goes.
Paul Harvey was a history teacher — with a smooth tone that changed the daily news into a narrative each week on his well-known segment, The Rest of the Story. He was on radio from the 1970s until he died in 2009.
Scripture tells us we have an enemy that wants to zap our strength and make us weary. Often, the enemy can sling one small but insightful word at the perfect time. One that he sends our way at just the right moment: you are stupid, ugly, a failure, fat, not a Christian, no good, ignorant, a fake, etcetera, and then we take over from there.
How many times have you asked God to work a miracle on your behalf? Not just on your behalf, but in your schedule and in your way? You don’t just want any miracle, but the miracle you devised and planned!
I had the pleasure of teaching in the public high school my children attended. Being in the same school had many positives, and maybe my kiddos would say there were a few negatives, too. One positive for my kids was that they had an advocate whose name carried some weight, particularly when they were late for class. They knew that their teacher would not question a hall pass signed by me. When they were late for some reason, they would make their way to my classroom and ask for a hall-pass. Being their mom made me want to have mercy on them. It didn’t take long for their friends to come asking for hall passes signed by me, too. I never had a teacher question a hall pass with my name on it in all the years I taught. You see, my name on the pass held a specific power.
If “wimp-to-warrior” was a scale measuring your spiritual life, zero being wimpy and ten being the ultimate warrior- where would your spiritual life fall on the scale?
During our most recent visit, I experienced a new treat, yeasted pancakes- oh my! It may be that the pancakes tasted so good since it had been a year or more since I had tasted syrup, or it may have been the way the generously sized pancakes were prepared in a little bit of oil, which made their outer layer a bit crispy. But whatever it was, they were delightful, and the mere thought of them as I write is calling me to return to the little café for another stack.
One of the not so fun parts of getting older is not sleeping as well as I once did. As a child, I slept like a baby- well, actually better than a baby, I slept all the night through. Sleeping well has served me well all of these years. But more recently, I have found my sleep patterns to be a bit broken up. Waking during the night may seem unpleasant, but actually, it has its good points. I get a lot of reading and writing accomplished.
Years ago, while in high school, our pastor came to our youth group to give a talk. Although I would like to say I remember much of what he said, I do not. He said one thing that stuck with me, and here many years later, I remember it well. Pastor Mike said that although we think this world is our reality, it is not. This world is temporal, and soon we will be in our forever home- with Jesus experiencing actual reality.