Category - Fear

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The Whisper
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Hiding in the Cleft of the Rock!
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The Bat Attack: 3 Ways to Overcome Fear
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What About the Mommies???
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What Are You Laughing At?

The Whisper

Today let’s welcome Amy Daniel to the back porch up on Rocky Top.  Amy is the wife of Joseph and mom of two littles.   She also loves on lots of littles as she serves as a neonatal intensive care nurse part-time.  Amy’s other role is my middle daughter.  Thank you, Amy, for reminding us that God does “whisper” to us through His word if we will just take time to listen.

It’s 3 a.m.   I jump up frantically and run down the hall towards the screams of my baby. She’s hysterically crying. She won’t calm down. She won’t look at me. I hold her tight and say her name loudly over her screams. She finds my eyes and her little fingers grab my hand and she slowly  settles.
In the quiet I hear the whisper.  “AMY.  Look at me. Hold onto me. Settle.”
“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭105:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s way past the bedtime of my little girl.  She didn’t get her way.   A temper tantrum is on full display.   I get down on the floor with her and take her face in my hands. I say her name loud above her wailing and she finds my eyes. I say in a calm voice, “Breathe slow with me. Keep looking at me. Breathe.”  And slowly she settles down.
Once again I hear the whisper.   “AMY. Breathe. Keep looking at me. Settle.”
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’ve been distracted lately with the craziness of life.  There are daily stressors and the unexpected twists and turns of life.  Yet, God is good. He speaks to me in the midst of my stress. He calls to me the same way I do to my children.   When He speaks my name and I choose to find His face, He settles my soul.
He whispers“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NIV

Allow the Lord to whisper to you today in the stress of life.  He will settle your soul as He calls you by name.‬‬

Hiding in the Cleft of the Rock!

I’m sitting on the back porch up on Rocky Top on a hot, humid August day. School is back in session. Vacations are just a memory now. My Day Planner (yes, I’m old school) is covered up in blue and black ink. Basically, I’m overwhelmed and I have just been back from vacation for two weeks.

Between cheering on the USA Olympians, looking at my “to-do-List”, listening to the flooding reports in a state that I love, and watching the political wrangling on TV, life just seems fragile and complicated.

How do I navigate all this?  My mind quickly returned to one day on our vacation while we were out exploring. Preacher and I were out in the middle of nowhere. A huge storm began to roll in. There was no way we would be able to make it to a man-made shelter before the storm hit. We saw huge rocks in the distance and began to run toward them while the rain began pelting us. As we approached the rocks, there was a “cleft” in the rocks. We sat down on dry ground in that cleft and watched as the storm rolled thru. We were in awe that the Lord had provided such a beautiful place for us to take refuge. We knew we couldn’t let this precious moment go to waste. So as we sat in the cleft of that rock, being sheltered by the storm, we did 3 things which have taken us through every imaginal storm in life in the last 36 years of our marriage.

  • We remembered His faithfulness!

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God. He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9

Talk with your family, your husband or just a friend about the times in your past that you have seen God’s hand in your life or times when you have felt His presence or heard His word.

  • We practiced thankfulness.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

Spend time verbalizing out loud answered prayers, people, things, or circumstances you are thankful for. His gifts are all around. Thank Him for them!

  • We prayed!

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Share with someone what you struggle with  and ask them to pray for you. Stand in His righteousness knowing that He hears you when you pray. Prayer is the most effective tool we have in life.   Yet,  I do believe it is the most under-utilized and under estimated tool we have available to us as believers.  We must realize that we are in a battle.  There are battles raging all around us.  Some are in a battle for their marriage, some for their children, some for their churches and some for their very lives.  We must fight this battle with His weapon of warfare:  PRAYER!

As I finish writing this, it is thundering in the distance. Another storm is approaching. This time I’m not on a beautiful beach hiding in the cleft of a rock as the storm approaches. I’m back home on Rocky Top. There will always be another storm because that is just life. But I’m so thankful that My God is the ROCK in which I can stand on and He hides me and protects me.  I am confident in MY ROCK!!!

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliver; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. “ Psalm 18:2-3

The Bat Attack: 3 Ways to Overcome Fear

I’m reposting by request and because it compliments Preacher’s sermon this past Sunday.

It had been raining for days on Rocky Top so my brown rocker outside had been eluding me.  The forecast last night had given me hope of sunshine for the coming day.

I woke up suddenly to thuds against my windows. I sat up and said loud enough for the Preacher to wake up…..What is that noise?? He did wake up, stumbled out of bed and peered through the wooden blinds….It’s just some birds hitting the window. He then plopped back into the bed to sleep until his alarm went off in 15 minutes!

His explanation didn’t satisfy me…..especially when the thuds grew more frequent.

I walked over to the window and looked for myself. Oh my word….Preacher…this isn’t birds….those are bats…..hundreds of bats were flying on my precious back porch, encircling my brown rocking chair…..NO it was not raining but Bats were attacking my home!!!

I went and looked outside the rest of the windows…..bats everywhere!!! They were flying on the front porch, the side porch, the basement porch. We were officially under bat attack!!!

Ok…..think Donna…..you must get rid of these hideous creatures. Not totally sure why they have chosen my house to attack…..but they are’t welcome here. And I refuse to allow them to rob me of my back porch and rocking chair today. I will not live in fear of BATS!

1.  I walked around the house and turned on every outside light we had. The sun had risen but due to the clouds and mist, it really was’t that light outside. I remembered from basic science that bats don’t like light…… FEAR doesn’t like light either. When I am fearful, just saying HIs word out loud, declaring His truth drives fear out!

2. I also turned on all the outside ceiling fans. Those bats will have a hard time flying into air that is blowing in the opposite direction. FEAR can’t exist when the wind of the Spirit is blowing. Fear envelopes us when the Holy Spirit is being quenched in our lives.

3. Then I waited patiently. I trusted that the sun would eventually come out and shine brighter. FEAR is no match for faith……a faith that waits patiently for the promises of the Lord.

By the time the Preacher opened the garage door to head off to work, the bats were almost gone! There were a few casualties lying dead on the downstairs back porch……but the rest flew off to find some other home…..a dark cave to sleep in until the sun went down.

When my mind is a dark cave…..void of His truths, His wind of the Spirit and faith…fear will reign. But fear, like bats can’t tolerate the light of His word, the wind of His spirit and a steadfast faith.

Choose to know His Word and speak it out loud on a regular basis…..and watch fear dissipate.
Feed His Spirit within you…..sing His praises out loud, serve others with joy and watch the wind of His spirit blow through your fears! And choose faith….even when it seems dark and dreary in your life…..trust Him, wait upon Him! He is faithful and true!

Bat attack:  Fear attack…Conquered!  John 8:12; John 1:1-5; I John 4:18; James 1:22-25; II Timothy 1:7;  and  II Samuel 22:29

What About the Mommies???

Welcome to the back porch at Rocky Top, Kristi Nolan! Kristi is a dear friend of mine, passionate follower of Christ, faithful wife of 18 years, and mom of 3 precious children! Today Kristi challenges us to think through a subject that not many of us want to talk about. Yet, Kristi has lived through this nightmare and has come out victoriously because of who her God is………Faithful, filled with grace, mercy and love!

You can’t turn on the TV or get on any type of social media right now without seeing the news of Planned Parenthood and the stomach-turning revelations of what they are doing with body parts of innocent children. The Pro-Choice/Pro-life debate and the statistics for these aborted babies are being bounced through our airwaves like ping pong balls.

Yet, there is a statistic that we don’t like to talk about………Many statistics reveal that almost one in four women have had or will have an abortion in the United States. So take a minute and look around your Bible study group or just look down your pew at church, most likely at least one woman has had an abortion.

They have walked into a clinic with a womb filled with life and walked out empty. Some of these moms pretend it isn’t life so therefore it isn’t a big deal. Yet, there is the mom who hides in shame for fear of what others would think if someone discovered her choice of abortion.   There are moms who are riddled with guilt and stricken with fear and end up suffering from addictions, anxiety, depression and even suicide because of One Choice they made on One Day in their life.

For my friends sitting in my Bible study group or for those who sit on the church pew with me……….

I am that mom; I am that woman.

I was old enough to know better. I was raised in church. My daddy was a deacon. My parents were leaders in the youth group. I had stars beside my name on the attendance chart in Sunday School. At the age of 24, I became the one in four!

Realization hit me while I was on the table. Guilt and shame consumed me the moment I got back into the car. The enemy began a successful assault on my heart and mind. He convinced me that God’s grace didn’t go that far. He convinced me that I didn’t deserve children so God would never give me anymore. Once God proved him wrong, he tried to convince me God’s plan was to give them to me just so he could take them from me as a punishment. More than anything, he convinced me that it was better to keep it a secret. Anything the enemy convinces you to hide, well…….it stays hidden from the healing light of Jesus. Unfortunately, many times the Church helps him in that campaign.

Yes, abortion is murder, BUT calling women murderers doesn’t fill us with godly sorrow, it fills us with shame. My God…….He is not about shame. He is about repentance, restoration and redemption. Please do not think I am proud of my story. I am not. Every time I think how far the Lord has brought me, I am filled with awe and humility. I have no pride in my sin. I have confidence in the testimony of what the Lord has done and is doing in my life.

So what about the mommies? Being pro-life is not just about saving the lives of millions of innocent babies but it is also about advocating for the lives of mommies to not live in guilt, shame, addiction, and depression. As a follower of Christ, we also need to offer women who have had abortions the love and compassion of Christ.

My prayer is that by sharing my story I will not only save innocent lives from being taken but would also save any woman from walking through life in shame or fear of being found out. It is my prayer that the Body of Christ would be a place of love and healing for moms like me.

He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses. Psalm 103:10

**Next week: Part 2: What Can We do to Minister to a Wounded Mommy?

What Are You Laughing At?

I’ve been told pictures are worth a thousand words.   I took the above picture on our vacation.   Preacher and I were blessed to take time off to refresh our minds, bodies and souls!  Laying in a beach chair I snapped this picture.   I wasn’t sure what the Lord was saying to me. I knew He was speaking through this picture, but the meaning eluded me until I returned home and opened His word to continue my slow study through Genesis.

So as I sat on the back porch this morning with His word opened I read in Genesis 18 about the Lord coming to Abraham and making the announcement that Sarah, his wife, would have a son in her old age.

When Sarah overheard this proclamation, she laughed! She laughed at the Lord’s promise. She was old and barren…..way past childbearing age. In her limited understanding, having a son through her own body was impossible…….not logical and certainly not probable. So Sarah did the human thing…….she laughed!

The Lord immediately said to me, “Donna, what are you laughing at?” There are some situations in my life that seem impossible……….people I am praying for and circumstances that seem totally unrealistic!

Even the state of our nation…..well, it seems impossible for spiritual renewal and revival in our nation.

Am I laughing? Do I doubt the power of my God?

Genesis 18:14 gives God’s response to Sarah’s laughter, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”

The Hebrew word “too hard” is “Pala”. It is the first time this word is used in the entire Bible. Zodhiates in the Complete Word Study of the Old Testament says “He does things beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations. It is not merely the unusual act or even the degree of astonishment but the clear-cut exhibition of God’s capable care of Israel.”   WOW!

Do I believe this? Or am I laughing? If I am laughing, it is called disbelief or doubt!

If I am believing God is totally capable and nothing is too difficult for Him, that my great and mighty God is totally capable of taking care of me, my family, my church and this crazy world, it is called FAITH!!!

So back to the picture, Donna, walk through the rope out onto the sand and into the mighty ocean of life. I, your Adonai (name for God meaning Master/Lord, same name that Abraham called God in Genesis 18:3) am totally capable of parting the waters when they need to be parted. Nothing is too difficult for me when you call me Adonai………Master/Lord.

So………what are you laughing at today?   Does anything seem totally impossible, illogical, and improbable?

Call HIM Master and Lord……Live as if He is your Master and Lord!!! And watch Him part the waters!

“He divided the sea and led them through…”Psalm 78:13

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