Worry Is Like A Rocking Chair
I once heard it said that "Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere!"

When I look at this rocking chair I feel peaceful, which is the opposite of worried! Isnt' peace what we long for? Paul wrote about finding peace in the midst of our worries in Philippians 4:6-7. He said, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

I want God to guard my heart and mind with peace as I tuck myself into Jesus and live in Him. The NIV translation says, "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I wander if God's peace could transcend my need to understand! Sometimes that is my biggest problem, I can accept what God is doing if He can just help me understand why He's doing it that way.

So, how do we get God's peace that is far more wonderful than our minds can understand? Paul gives us a prescription for the antidote of worry, and a thankful heart is one of the main ingredients...
  1. Stop worrying
  2. Start praying - tell God what I need.
  3. Thank God for what He's already done

How many times do I take the wrong prescription? Here are the ingredients for worry: Do not be calm about anything; instead complain about everything. Tell God what He should do. Then take control if He doesn’t listen. And the anxiety that consumes your thoughts will devour your peace as you fold your arms and turn away from God!

We need a new drug! Pauls reminds us that God offers just what we need to experience peace. So, today when our concerns consume us, let's choose to stop and empty our hearts of our worries, talk to God about what we need and THANK HIM for His faithfulness and provision. I try to do this in my journal by listing all the times God has been there for me or my family. It's amazing the peace that comes when I choose to do these things and put my trust in Him.

“You will keep in perfect peace, (her) whoPublish Postse mind is steadfast, because (she) trusts in you.” Isaiah 24:4

Living in the Hear and Now
It's that time of year again. School is back in full swing and so is my speaking schedule. I pray with each invitation to speak that God would make it clear if that is the place He wants me to be in on that weekend. Often my events are booked a year in advance and I have no idea what will be going on in my life, my family's schedule or at work. It used to make me really nervous, until one summer when God taught me a lesson about living in the hear and now.
John 5:19, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; he can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also.”(NIV)

I sat on the couch looking out the window thinking about the months ahead, wondering what that fall might hold. A lot had been happening in ministry - book developments, speaking engagements and great opportunities. My excitement, mixed with the fear of getting over committed, ignited a rapid firing of thoughts: Would I be able to do it all? Was God calling me to do it all? Was my ministry about to really take off?

Instead of worrying, I decided to start praying and wrote my questions in a notebook. "Lord, what should I say yes to? Where do you want me to spend my time? Please show me what you have planned for me this coming year."

I wanted God to give me a sneak peek into His calendar so I could adjust mine. Instead, I sensed Him telling me not to worry about tomorrow but to live in the hear and now. I think He may have even spelled it so I would be clear on the point of hearing.

I thought I’d been listening, but my prayers reflected that I wanted to know where to invest my efforts. God wanted my ears. He was more concerned about character than my calendar. Many times I’d sought God for the larger plans in life, convinced that if I figured out what He wanted me to do I could become the person He created me to be. Have you ever thought, “If only God would show me what job to take; what man to marry; what church to attend - then my life would be complete and I could serve Him with my whole heart”?

The problems is sometimes we get a glimpse of where He wants us to go and then assume we know how to get there. I’ve made that mistake many times and then wondered why I wasn’t getting anywhere.

Jesus depended on His Father for the large and fine print written in His life plan. He listened closely and obeyed quickly. Today’s verse reflects His absolute dependence: “The Son can do nothing by Himself; he can do only what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also.” (John 5:19)

Like Jesus, we can’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives unless our ears are always listening. We can only discover God’s calendar and calling when we live in the hear and now - listening for His voice and obeying here and now.

God, sometimes I have selective hearing. Many days I don’t even ask what You think about my plans and choices. When I do, it’s often because I am desperate and need to make a big decision. Then I get frustrated because I don’t know what you are telling me. Could it be I have a hard time hearing You because I have grown unfamiliar with your voice? Today, I lean in to listen. Make my ears attentive and my heart willing to live in the hear and now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Faith Espresso

Each morning my goal is to quiet my heart and my thoughts. It's good for me to be still and acknowledge that God is God and I am not. Try this today. Ask Him to speak to You through His Word and His Spirit. Give Him permission to interrupt your thoughts and agenda so you can live in His hear and now for you!

Cayman Brac
We're in the Cayman Islands this weekend. I am speaking at the "Barefoot and Breaking Free" women's retreat. We landed on the island Thursday. I wrote a little about our trip and posted more photos on my Journey blogsite if you'd like to read and see more.

It is so beautiful here and we are enjoying every moment together on our little "fantasy island." I keep waiting for Tatoo to run out from the bushes and chant, "De plane, de plane!"

My speaking sessions are in the evenings so we have all day to play, rest or go on island adventures. Several of us hopped on board a "dive boat" yesterday and were taken to an area off the island called "fish bowl" where we went snorkeling. It was the first time for the Swope family to go "under the sea" and it was incredible! We saw all kinds of fish, coral and sea plants.

Here I am with Andrew getting into our "fish fashion" gear and learning how to breathe only through our mouths. That was the hardest part for me. I think I sucked in too much air while I was swimming because I got really queezy snorkeling! I had to stay on the boat at the second site while the others snorkeled over a sunken ship. Bummer!

We decided to snorkel off shore here at the resort so I can get used to my sea legs before we go out on the boat again. I hope we can tomorrow!

About Me
About My Guys
Previous Posts
Search This Site