Anxiety

Our Lives Should be More Like Jazz

I don’t know much about jazz except that I usually like it, especially live. I’m thinking that our lives might be a little richer if they were a little more like jazz.

Jazz music is sort of unscripted. Each song has a basic melody and sometimes words, but the performance is spontaneous. Real jazz isn’t rehearsed like a lot of other music—it’s more of a live interaction between the musicians. They practice and develop their individual skills, but the music happens when they play off one another.

Are You Trapped Behind an Open Door?


I saw a catchy phrase yesterday that summarized the way I seem to live a good deal of my life: trapped behind an open door.

A story’s told of Houdini once being challenged to escape from a jail cell. After he was placed in the cell and left alone, he removed a thin strip of metal concealed in his belt and began working at the lock. But no matter what he tried, he couldn’t unlock the door.

The great magician had been tricked, because the door was never locked. All he had to do was open it, but his belief that the door was locked was sufficient to confine him.

Why Do We Have to Suffer?

Jesus said "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Matthew 5:3

How can this be? How can I be blessed if I am suffering? What good does suffering do? . Philip Yancey says:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Why? Because "theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3)
    The poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those who suffer are blessed (Matt. 5:3-6) because their lack of self-sufficiency is obvious to them every day. They must turn somewhere for strength. People who are rich, successful, and beautiful may go through life relying on their natural gifts. But people who are needy, dependent, and dissatisfied with life are more likely to welcome God’s free gift of love.

Stand Firm when Emotionally and Physically Exhausted

Our pastor shared this scripture with us yesterday. It was God's timing (which is always amazing to me) because this year I have felt burdened excessively. It's been one of those years when there wasn't one burden, one tragedy, one suffering, but rather one after another after another after another until I've felt that I could barely breathe. I certainly have become rather gun shy, wondering what possibly could happen next and knowing that, in all likelihood, what will happen next will be painful, unpleasant at best.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NASB

No Matter How I Feel, Christ is My Righteousness

Galatians 6:12b
"...the cross of Christ alone can save." (NLT)

David Wilkerson, in the World Challenge Pulpit Series of April 26, 2010, writes:
"No matter how I feel, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many doubts may arise, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many accusations I hear from the devil during the day, I stand on this: God sees me as righteous in Christ!"

God Backs Up His Promises to Us

Hebrews 7:22, 25
"Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant... Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."

When My Prayers Seemed Unanswered

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me! But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you--for My power is made perfect in your weakness!'" 2 Corinthians 12:8-9


Many prayers which seem to be unanswered--are really answered. The blessing comes--but in a form we do not recognize. Instead of the very thing we sought--something better is given!

The burden is not lifted away--but we are sustained beneath it.

Don’t Be Afraid

The disciples were sitting in a boat. [Matthew 14:26-32] After a long night battling the wind, they saw a man walking toward them on the water. Tired and bleary-eyed, they imagined that a ghost approached from the mist. They cried out in fear.

walk-on-water

It was Jesus, and He said, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Don’t be afraid.

Really?

Wouldn’t you be afraid? Did Jesus seriously expect them to suddenly stop feeling fearful?

The Adversary uses Fear, God Enables Us to Overcome

Abba...I know that our adversary loves to use fear to try and get to Your children. He will use all kinds of fear in an attempt to cripple us and interfere with our kingdom work. I thank You that none of these things change Your love for us...for Your love is not based upon our performance...or upon whether or not we are still afraid in any areas.

The adversary wants us to be afraid of many things:
that You will reject us (although You said You would never leave us or forsake us)
that we are somehow not good enough (which we actually aren't...but that does not matter)
that You will not meet our needs (although we have food, shelter and clothing and tend to mix our needs up with our wants)

How To Escape The Roller Coaster

No matter where you are, you look around and, sure enough, there you are.

Do you spend a lot of time and energy trying to be somewhere other than here-and-now?

I’ve noticed lately that my inner life seems to be a roller coaster. Past experience tells me that the valleys will eventually outnumber the hills, and when that happens I’ll settle into a low spot. Unless I take some sort of evasive action, my natural tendency toward depression will drag me into the shadows.

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