Fear Not

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The definition of fear:  (noun):  An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.

(verb):  Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

synonyms: terrorfright, fearfulness, horroralarmpanicagitation, trepidation,dreadconsternationdismaydistress; More

 There are two little words in the Bible that Jesus often reminded his disciples throughout their ministry. It was also embedded in Jesus’s ministry and teachings. “Fear Not,” a statement that is opposite of such a strong emotion that is often hard to control when it strikes and grips your mind and consumes you.

There is a lot of fear going around:  You may fear of a natural disaster, economic collapse, and terrorist attacks. Fear can block your actions. It intimidates. It paralyzes. It stifles. It can stop you from moving forward or taking the next step. It may become a prison in meeting different people than they are accustom to.  There is a fear of success or failure. You can have a fear of the future or fear of dying. You may even have a fear of public speaking or afraid of snakes or spiders.

Fear is disguised in many forms. Fear is a spirit from the enemy. It is ugly but has no power once you confront it. However, it will grow if you do not take control over it.

With so much going on today, it’s hard to ignore that the world is living in fear. The world is in chaos. It is out of control. It’s hard to speak to fear when there is a real presence of harm that threatens lives on so many levels.

On whatever form it may appear in your life, you have authority over fear. Many people are not aware of how to regain control over their feelings and experiences. I cannot promise you instant results, but you can subdue constant fear, anxiety, and worry and replace it with faith, peace, and love.

I’m no expert, but can only share my own experience with how I handle fear. First, you must acknowledge what you’re afraid of. Be specific. Write down every possible thing that could happen that you are fearing. “F-E-A-R” is False Evidence Appearing Real so once you acknowledge why you are afraid and picture the worst-case scenario, you have acknowledged the fear. Confronting fear is liberating and it is the best way to overcome it.

Reading the Bible scriptures is a powerful way to overcome any type of fear you struggle with. Meditate on scriptures related to fear and research stories where people in the Bible faced various obstacles and challenges and focus on how they overcame their plight.

Having a strong relationship with the Lord in prayer and communication is one of the best ways to overcome fear. Seeking His guidance and wisdom in circumstances that are beyond our control will ease our minds.

When you understand and know the character of God, you know that He loves you. You are aware of His promises. You can rest knowing that He is protecting and watching over you.  Psalm 91.

There is an assurance that even though you can’t figure everything out at the time, you know that the Lord is working behind the scenes. While He is working, you need to be in preparation for whatever instruction He provides and follow through without hesitation. Many times we may second guess ourselves which is only having doubt and unbelief. This may steer us off our path or delay the progress due to our actions.

At times, our environment has influence over our specific circumstances or enhancing a fearful mindset as a whole. Unfortunately, we cannot control other people, weather conditions, or other devastating elements that affect our lives, but we have the ability to walk in peace or comfort others who are struggling with fear and anxiety due to loss, grief, and difficult circumstances. We must seek opportunities to comfort one another.

In every season, there is constant change. Being flexible to change is challenging. Obviously, fear plays a big part in unknown present realities, anticipated futures and dangerous environments that the Lord may place around us, but we should rest knowing that whatever state we find ourselves in, we should be content in every circumstance and decision we face and walk in faith knowing that God will protect and rescue us in due season. You can adapt to rapid changes with faith, not fear.

God is not a God of chaos and mass confusion. The world may feel like it’s spiraling out of control, but God is in control. He has a purpose and plan for each of us.  Instead of looking to the world for solutions, we need to seek Him for direction.

Just put your trust in Him. He will lead you beside the still waters. As we enter 2016, seek Him with your whole heart and leave the fear behind.

Peace be unto you.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES:

Matt 8-24-26

Psalm 23:4

Psalm 27:1

Psalm 112:7-8

Prov 29:25

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 54:14

Luke 12:32

2 Tim 1:7

Heb 13:5-6

I Pet 3:14

I John4:18

 

Four Important Steps to a Spiritual Detox

When we engage in a food detox or cleansing, we rid ourselves of all unhealthy foods in our diet. We purge the bad bacteria and toxins that have built up in our system. Once you begin this process, it gets easier to keep a regular routine that transforms your diet into a healthy lifestyle. Your body gradually adjusts and you will find yourself not often craving junk foods as you once did.

One.  Get Rid of the Heavy Baggage

Much like our bodies, our spirit needs to be detoxed on a regular basis. We should take time out to purge all negative thoughts and influences in our lives. Pay attention to your environment and the people in your life that you call friends, not everyone, including family members are in your corner.  It’s very challenging to get rid of the negative voices in our heads and the bad influences that surround us on a daily basis, but you can slowly eliminate people, places, and things that are not working for you in your life.  If you can’t get rid of certain people, keep them at arm’s length, but always walk in love.

Clearing our minds from worry and stress, problems and even our to-do list have an impact on our daily experiences. Taking the time to fine-tune your life is a priority to creating a healthy, spirit-filled life.

Two.  We Are What We Eat

Feeding your mind with God’s word, affirmations and powerful words of motivation will provide you with the strength to overcome challenges, obstacles, and your daily grind. What we pour into our spirit determines how we act and react to situations and circumstances. It affects how we speak and treat one another. Be mindful of what you watch and listen to in the media. Your eyes, ears, and mouth are powerful instruments that will influence how you think. What you tend to mediate on will eventually manifest into your reality. If you watch and listen to trash, you will eventually produce or live out the drama in one way or another.

We live in a negative world. It is much easier to focus on negative thoughts or acts. When we abstain from negative influences, we gain enthusiasm and energy. Negative influences will always drain your energy.

Although temptation will constantly linger and be a challenge to ignore and overcome, you will be much stronger to defeat any temptation that comes your way. You will be able to distinguish between right and wrong.  It takes a strong-willed person to stand alone in their convictions and beliefs. It is much easier to follow the crowd but it takes a person of integrity and a clear conscience to be comfortable in their own skin to make the right choices.

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

James 1:13-14 (NIV)

38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Mark 14:38 (NIV)

Three.  Be Obedient to His Voice

Spending time alone is also part of a healthy spiritual detox. Solitude is the best time to reflect on your past, present, and future. You can celebrate your victories, revisit your past mistakes, analyze your present, and also uncover the lessons learned and reevaluate your future plans and goals. It’s a place where you can grow closer to the Lord and commit to intimacy in relationship with Him, not only in prayer but in listening to His voice for guidance.

It’s that distinctive nudge or intuition in your spirit. It’s the silent whisper when scripture jumps out at you on the page. It could be a song that you hear on the radio, a long-distance phone call when you were thinking of calling that person the same day. It can be a classmate or neighbor that speaks a special something that you need to hear exactly at that moment.

In whatever way He speaks, listen. In this time, we need discernment and the direction of the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us from the everyday changes life brings our way.

Mark 6:31 (KJV)

Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for a while.

I Corinthians 7:5 (NIV)

Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

 Four.  Cleanse Your Body

Eating healthy does play an important role in your spiritual detox. It is highly beneficial to focus on a nutrient-filled diet while on a spiritual detox. Eating green, leafy veggies, and a variety of fruits and pure juices and smoothies will heal the mind, eliminate stress, and boost energy levels. You can eliminate meat for a period of time, however, you should consult a physician before changing your diet or fasting.

As you learn to surrender your desire for fleshy appetites, you will heal, restore, and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. You will be open to receive answers to difficult problems. There are no quick overnight solutions to life’s dilemma’s but if you’re consistent and don’t give up or give in to the difficulties and temptations in life, you will eventually see positive results. Most of all, you will connect and strengthen your relationship with the Most High, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Love & Blessings,

Yolanda

Your Sister in Christ

Prayer

Lord, I (we) thank you for your love and protection. Help me(us) to be an expression of your love in my (our) daily walk with you. Give me (us) the strength and ability to resist evil and negative influences in my (our) lives. Forgive me (us) for anything that is not pleasing to you. We honor, praise, and glorify you with our whole hearts. I (we) ask for your wisdom to make the right decisions in my (our) lives. Guide and protect me (us). In Jesus Name, Amen.

When Your Life is Spared Give God the Glory

 

On August 19th, another story just came out on the News about a miracle story involving Dick Van Dyke that is very similar to how my incident happen back on August 16, 1998.

There is definitely a theme to these stories that magnifies God! I felt the need to post. I’m sure you may have heard the story on the News already, but I just have to give God praise!!!

Dick Van Dyke Escapes Burning Car

Repost on my Escape Out of a Burning Van

Accident Pics

On the 15th  anniversary of my car accident, I thought I would re-post my miracle story. Please click link above to see photos of where I was sitting on the passenger’s side.  I recently heard about another miracle story last week on the ABC News that closely reminded me of my story, so I will also post the story that was reported on the News.

On August 16, 1998, I was helping my friend move to Macon, Georgia to attend Macon State University in the Fall. She rented a moving truck and we started loading her furniture, personal items, etc onto the truck. We stopped at the gas station before we started the long, vigorous moving trip. I was getting a very strange feeling that day before we left the apartment. Our trip was delayed because of a short rainstorm, but the sun came out right about the time we left to pick up the truck.

As my friend pumped the gas into the vehicle, I stood between the gas pump and the truck. I just felt extremely anxious and nervous. I was shaking inside and immediately sat down inside the truck while my friend went to pay for the gas.

As we started on the highway, we smelled something burning. Since it was a hot day, we thought it was the air conditioning unit so my friend turned it off. We played music and talked about her new beginning at Macon State. She mentioned that the truck was not picking up speed and we were going no more than 50 mph.

As we continued to drive, the burning smell grew stronger. Suddenly, we saw a man on the right side of us, waving his arm outside of his car window, flagging us to pull over on the right side of the highway. We crossed over three lanes of traffic, but as we entered the emergency lane my friend was pumping on the brakes and the truck would not slow down. We was going about 50 mph when she decided to slam onto the emergency rail to slow the truck down. We continued to bounce back and forth onto the emergency rail while my friend yelled for me to jump out of the truck. I thought she was crazy. I told her I was not jumping out of the truck. I immediately looked into the rear view mirror and saw a trail of the blackest smoke that I ever saw in my life. It smothered the entire highway. My instinct told me that I had no choice but to jump. When I opened my door, there were flames shooting from under the truck. I did not expect to see fire. I did not look back to see what my friend was doing, I didn’t think about anything but getting out of the truck. As I jumped, I felt tremendous heat on my legs. It felt like I was moving in slow motion. I somehow landed on my feet and stumbled to catch myself. The truck continued to roll. I felt my friend’s arm hug me as we stood and trembled and cried together.

As the truck rolled, the front area where we sat burst into flames. Suddenly, it started to thunderstorm severely. I stood in the heavy rain screaming and crying. The man who flagged us down pulled his car to the side of the road to help us. There was a woman and child in the car. We sat in silence inside their car as we waited until the fire and emergency unit came on the scene. In the faint distance, I heard the screeching sirens of the ambulance and fire trucks.

As I reflect on this dramatic experience, my eyes still fill with tears. I never knew the man’s name that assisted us. I can’t even remember what he looked like. I never even got the opportunity to thank them. Amazingly, my friend and I did not have a scratch or burn on our bodies. We were not crippled or paralyzed. Nor did we perish on that day. I sometimes reflect on all the things that could of happened and I probably would not be here to even tell you the details of this incident.

The Lord lifted us out of that truck and gave us another chance at life. I also felt that the people inside the car were guardian angels. They never spoke to us except for asking us if we were ok. I never quite looked at life the same after that day. It’s a testimony that I will carry for the rest of my life. I didn’t understand why my life was spared on that Saturday afternoon, but after years of walking with Jesus, I come to realize that this incident was the beginning of my ministry. I’ve had several accounts of testimonies through severe trials, obstacles, tribulations. But through it all, I’m standing in victory. God is faithful.

Overcoming the Odds

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“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulation for you, which is your glory.” Esphesians 3:13

After watching “Good Morning America” this past Tuesday, I was inspired by the story of the three women who escaped such a horrific experience after being kidnapped, raped and abused as a child for many years and finally being set free in adulthood.

The powerful words that each of these women expressed was heartfelt and demonstrates the power of God to sustain you through all life’s hardships and circumstances.

“I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time, I will undo all that afflict thee and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out: and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.” Zephaniah 3:18-20.

Personally, I was inspired many years ago through my own trials and tribulations to start a blog to encourage others through God’s word. I can truly identify and relate to the words that was so deeply pronounced by these women.

“Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corth 1:4

Their stories are built on the truth that God will carry us through many storms in life despite the situation or circumstance. Everything done in the dark comes to the light. Truth eventually will be revealed. Dirty laundry is being aired for a purpose, just as well as many stories also being exposed in today’s media of real life situations of Christians who are chosen to be a witness or spiritual warrior commissioned to reveal God’s character and truth.

Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” Proverbs 30:5

It takes boldness and courage to speak God’s word to so many who do not believe, do not understand or do not have a personal relationship with the Lord.

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunk in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether; we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” I Thessaonians 5:11 and 5:14-15.

It’s an exciting time for all those who have their spiritual eyes and ears open. It’s time for Christians to position themselves to be a lighthouse in a cold and dark world. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12

Additional References:

2 Corth 4:6:10

Ephesians 5:8-20

Ephesians 6:10-19

Finishing the Race

woman-girl-silhouette joggerIn dedication to all those who were affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14

When you start a race, the ultimate goal is to be the first one to cross the finish line. Winning feels great. It is an indication that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. It demonstrates strength, pride, determination and commitment. Integrity also illustrates the true character of a winner as long as honesty and playing fairly is part of the performance.

In high school, I was a sprinter on the track team. I also remember that I would exhaust all of my energy from the beginning to the end of the race because I was running the 50 to 100 mile dash. However, runners who compete in a long distance race must conserve their energy and concentrate on keeping a steady pace throughout the race. By the end, runners get a burst of adrenaline, momentum and speed.

The navigation through life is very similar to the challenges and obstacles we face in a marathon. Everyone has a dream or goal that they want to accomplish. They set out to fulfill their ambitions. Their main objective is to gain status, fame, money, material objects, a wife or husband, children, dog, house and car.  Well, you get the idea, anything related to the world’s idea of success and prosperity. Often, moving through life anxiously without enjoying the moment in time.

To achieve our goals, some lose their morals and values. They will lie or cheat. They will even ignore certain situations. Once they gain the success they’ve worked so hard for, they often grasp a tight hold on it as well as developing greed or envy. In fear of losing what they’ve gained, they forget the most simple and precious moments or to acknowledge others along the way.

We often see children rushing to grow up too fast or a couple rushing to get married. We do not take the time to enjoy each stage of life. Before we even graduate from school, we wish we were in college. By the time, we’re in college we wish we were married. By the time, we’re married, we wish we had children. Even in the most general or daily activities, it causes us to rush through life. We rush to our jobs every morning. We rush to the grocery store to complete errands. We rush to get the latest fashion or model car. Everything is a constant rush and we nearly want to hurt somebody if they get in our way.

Often times when we finally get to our destination, we have many regrets, failures, heartaches and sorrow because all to many times we’ve rushed through the natural process of life and missed out on valuable time. Often times, we could of avoided mistakes or bad decisions if we just took the time to focus on priorities and appreciate the time in that moment. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Eccles 7:8

Satan can often trick us into thinking that we are running out of time. However, procrastination and fear is definitely part of the enemy’s tactic to keep us from moving forward. Sometimes, even paralyzing us.

However, through God’s grace, mercy and timing, He will work all things out for our good in His own perfect timing. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted: A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; A time to rent; and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Eccles 3:1-8

Unlike the sprinter, the long distance runner realizes that each step is closer than the one before. While keeping abreast of their pace, they understand and appreciate the moment they’re given while keeping their eye of the prize. They can even accept if their competitor passes them by and know that not all is lost. They keep moving ahead with determination. Even though they are tired and out of breath, they pick up momentum. As they approach the finish line, they strive forward to victory. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run; and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4

Lost and Found

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 Many years ago, I went shopping with a close friend with her two-year old child. As we      casually picked out outfits, we watched her daughter dash between the racks of clothing  playing peep- a- boo. When we decided what to purchase, we got in line.

However, we could  not locate her daughter. She was suddenly missing when we called her name. We frantically  rushed through the store asking people if they had seen a small child describing her in  extreme detail. With alarm, no one had seen her. They sent out an announcement over the  intercom as we raced through the aisles searching for the child.

In a panic, my friend headed towards the courtyard inside the mall where she passed the security desk where she found her child sitting on top of the desk with a security officer gently holding her. It was the most rewarding and gratifying moment ending in a sigh of relief.

It definitely does not feel good to get lost. I can remember several times being lost when I was driving to a new location. As I desperately searched to find the right direction, I usually became extremely panicked to make it to my destination. Then, finally I would find my way which provided me with comfort. Of course, this experience was long before cell phones and GPS systems!

When you’re lost spiritually, you may not even be aware. There is no warning or immediate danger involved. You may travel through life freely taking no precautions or direction in life.

You don’t have any fear about salvation or eternal life. Possibly, you may simply be at a crossroad in the midst of confusion about what you believe. No matter what road you travel, the Lord’s grace and mercy will find exactly where you are if your heart is open to receive His love. God’s love is profound.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-1

This is the foundation and the basic substance of truth found in the Word of God. Once you start to follow your spiritual GPS (God’s Power Saves) which is directed by the Holy Spirit, you will find comfort and security.

You will find out the empty, lonely place where you are constantly searching to fill a void in your life does not sustain peace or satisfaction.

When you begin to fill the space with such things as alcohol, drugs, sex, money, power, material things and other feel-good possessions and remedies, you begin to realize that it only last for a moment before you begin to search and search and search for something else that satisfies and fills the void. Eventually, you find out that you spent a lifetime seeking something that does not exist or that you cannot find.

When you put your faith in Jesus, you begin to receive a wholeness that does not compare to worldly expectations. Seeking a relationship with Jesus consists of daily prayer (simply communicating or having a conversation with Him), worship and praise, reading the Gospel and surrounding yourself with other believers and finding a Bible-based church. You will begin to transform yourself and your life. However, it’s a gradual process and it’s not done in your own power. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Zech 4:6

The growth process is never-ending with no destination in sight. It is an exciting journey with lots of surprises along the way. Living a Christian life, is by no means easy. You will still face obstacles, challenges and problems, but you will not have to carry the burdens and pressures of life on your shoulders.

When you walk by faith, you are “Trusting the evidence of things hoped for but the evidence of things unseen.” Heb 11:1 and Romans 8:24

This is the same faith you will use when you acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Savior who has died and resurrected for your sins. You must come to Him by faith.

What makes the relationship so special? Each person will never have the same exact experience. You are a designed original and the Lord desires to have an intimate relationship with you because He created you for His pleasure. It’s just like the lost child who wandered through the mall.

Our Father welcomes you into His loving arms when He finds one of His lost children and desires to build a relationship that will be everlasting. How can you miss out on that opportunity?

Reference:

“And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another comforter: that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but ye know Him: for He dwells with you, and shall be with you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Luke 15:4

“But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” 2 Corth 4:3