Tag Archive | Fear

The Roaring Lion, 1 Peter 5:8

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If Buddy ever roared like a lion, I’d go check my hearing, because we all know that a little, 19 pound dog is not going to roar. He’s going to bark, growl, snuffle, howl and “talk,” but not roar.

The Apostle Peter warned believers in his letter, 1 Peter 5:8, to be on the alert, not to be passive about evil.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Searching the internet, there were multiple claims that lions do not roar to frighten their prey into paralysis, as is commonly believed. I did find that the below website, http://www.Reference.com, had the most compelling reason:

“Lions use their roar as a way to remind other lions that they are in control over an area.” (https://www.reference.com/pets-animals/lions-roar-68fa05e474d85126)

As Christians I believe that we too often let down our guards and then wonder why Satan is able to “zap us” and cause us harm in life. We forget that, although Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross (Colossians 2:13-15), He has not yet returned to claim His kingdom. At this time, Satan is being permitted to rule over the entire earth.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking on it.'”–Job 1:7

My NASB version of the Bible has some apt descriptions of Satan in its Concordance:

“accuser, adversary, deceiver of the world, devil, dragon, enemy, evil one, father of lies, god of this world, liar, murderer, ruler of the demons and ruler of this world.”

We must question what we hear in the media, what thoughts come to mind and what other people around us are saying. People may not be telling us the truth: It might be deliberate or because they are just wrong, they are deceived themselves, or they are presenting opinion as fact. Before I turn on the radio, I pray some variation of: “Lord, please help me discern truth from error, and fact from fiction. Help me know when someone is trying to deceive me or just making a mistake. Help me know when someone is presenting opinion as fact. Help me now when I am being told the truth or not. And help me to tell others the truth and not mislead them.”

And even the health books I read, the authors claim to have the whole truth about the healthiest way to eat is, with the scientific facts to back their claims up, yet directly contradict one another: grains are bad, grains are good; wine is bad, wine is good; coffee is bad, coffee is good; beans are bad, beans are good, etc.

Jesus claimed to be “the way, the truth and the life.”–John 14:6

When we stay in God’s Word, we are entering into Jesus’ protection from lies. He is a good Shepherd Who sleeps in the doorway of the sheepfold to protect the sheep from the wolves who want to enter into the flock and kill the sheep (John 10: 1-18). Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthian 11:14, warned us that Satan “disguises himself as an angel of light” in order to deceive us and lead us astray. Only by knowing God’s Word can we discern when someone is twisting Scripture or lying to us, telling us something is OK to do or believe when it isn’t.

I am not blogging about Buddy and God because I think I know it all, but these are things I, myself, need to remind myself of and am mulling over in my mind.

There is so much slander and deliberate lying in the media and by government officials nowadays. One must be constantly questioning what is being said–or consider what is being concealed and not said.

I was thinking about what I’m hearing recently and feeling afraid, not at peace. I wonder if people who hate this country or Capitalism or Christianity will gain more power and destroy our economy, our livelihoods and our freedom. I am letting the roaring of Satan frighten me. Yet Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross: The devil is now a toothless lion; He cannot have my soul, but he can still be very dangerous if I let him pounce upon me or tear me with his claws, but if I can stay out of his reach, I should remain safe.

And out of Satan’s reach is by staying close to my great shepherd, Jesus.

So when I get scared, I remind myself that Jesus GIVES me peace as a gift. I don’t manufacture it myself. It’s a gift He gives when I ask for it.

“My peace I leave with you; My peace I GIVE to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”–John 14:17, emphasis mine

And also have to remind myself that God is sovereign over all history and people. There is nothing out of His control:

“Who works all things after the counsel of His will.”–Ephesians 1:11

So please ask Jesus to grant you His gift of peace if you are afraid. He loves you and will take care of you, if you are in His flock. And, also, please ask for discernment every day, because no matter how smart or sophisticated we think we are, some people are very devious–or just very wrong.

Love from Dawn and her beloved Buddy

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If you aren’t in Jesus’s flock, why not? My main regret in life is not coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus ten years sooner. I would’ve avoided so many dark and depressing days in my 20s with His guidance and love in my life. Why not sooner, you ask? So that I would never forget that there is nothing to return to before I came to Christ. Knowing God loves you and experiencing His presence is the greatest gift anyone can have. Why not ask Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life, to be your Lord and protector today?

 

 

 

Trusting In God’s Protection, Isaiah 41:10

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There’s been several times when Buddy has fought me while I’ve been trying to hold him to ensure that he lands safely: whether placing him in this washtub in the laundry room to check that he doesn’t have an injury to his back paw and wash it clean or when I try to place him on the ground in the garage after a drive in my car. He spreadeagled himself across the laundry tub tonight and he often fights me to leap out of my arms onto the carport, instead of trusting me to hold him tightly and guarantee he has a safe landing on the concrete.

This verse is one of my favorites and has sustained me emotionally in many an unstable or frightening situation:

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”–Isaiah 41:10

And “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand. Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.'”–Isaiah 41:13

God makes these statements after reminding His people through the prophet Isaiah that He is omnipotent, omniscient and cannot be conquered.

That:

He loves us and carries us close to His heart as our great Shepherd. Isaiah 40:11

He needs no counsel. Isaiah 40:13

The nations are as nothing compared to His power. Isaiah 40:15

No judge or ruler can defeat Him. Isaiah 40:25

He is so powerful that He created the stars, sustains them and calls these many myriad celestial bodies by name. Isaiah 40:26

He has no equal. Isaiah 40:25

He never becomes tired. Isaiah 40:28

He gives strength to the weary. Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to those who lack it. Isaiah 40:29

He is impossible to understand (in other words, He cannot be tricked). Isaiah 40:28

If you are born-again, you can be assured that, regardless of whatever situation you are currently finding yourself in, God is with you and can guarantee a safe landing–if you don’t try to wrestle out of the safety of His might arms.

Please don’t reject His ways and try to solve your problem apart from His godly wisdom. It may not seem like it at first, but eventually you’ll be glad you followed Biblical wisdom and counsel, instead of doing what felt right emotionally or succumbed to what the culture said was right. I can verify this statement from personal experience–positive and negative.

Another favorite verse of mine:

“Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I keep your word.”–Psalm 119:67

A wrong reaction can make a bad situation, worse.

God bless you. From Dawn and Buddy

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I lost five good friends and one relative during the period November 23, 2018 through April 9th, 2019. The last death was a bit of a shock and I felt rather depressed, mourning my elderly friend’s death. Several times I got to share the gospel with him before he passed on–the last time was several hours before a massive stroke incapacitated him and led to his death two days later. Between the efforts of his cousin and I, I think he made it to Heaven by God’s grace, giving him the extra months to come to salvation. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend again one day.

Do you have the hope of reuniting with your loved ones in Heaven? Please consider Jesus, Who died to pay the penalty for your sins, a penalty demanded by a Holy God, and was raised to life to give us eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit, the seal of our promise of eternity (Ephesians 4:30). Why not invite Him to reveal to you how much He loves you right now?

I hope to be more regular with my blog posting throughout the summer. Thanks for reading.

Running in Fear, Proverbs 28:1

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There were many times, when I was walking Buddy, that he’d suddenly stop, plant his feet and refuse to move forward. Sometimes I can force him to relent and keep walking, but at other times, he simply refuses to walk and we have to return home. I couldn’t figure out why.

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Then one day I realized he planted his feet when I heard a crow cawing. I hadn’t made the connection before. I don’t know why. Maybe because my mind was elsewhere or it was too noisy till that time to register that it was the crow. Well, tonight Buddy planted his feet when we heard a crow cawing. I managed to prompt him to resume walking, but it was a bit of a struggle.

The oddest thing was, the crow wasn’t nearby. And if I’d listened to Buddy and returned the way we’d come, we would’ve been getting nearer, not farther from, the crow.

There’s a proverb that took some meditation before I finally got it, Proverbs 28:1:

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (NASB)

I’ve been blessed by God with a creative and vivid imagination, which suits me well when I want to write or draw a cartoon. But it’s not so great when I start imaging things that aren’t real and, therefore, intimidate myself into not starting a project or trying something new because of fear. I’m imagining it’s going to be really difficult and that I cannot meet the challenge. I’m denying myself the ability to excel or create something new.

But it’s really bad when I am imagining conversations that may never take place or situations that have never occurred. What I’m doing is slandering someone or lying to myself because it’s false. In Psalm 51:6, King David states that God desires “truth in the innermost being.” In other words, God wants our imaginative thoughts/self talk to be truthful.

I have a tendency to fear confrontation or that I may not be able to defend a particular opinion, so I set up imaginary debates in my mind. However, that’s not good because the conversations are not real and are very unlikely to take place in the real world. I’m putting words in a person’s mouth, which is a lie and slander. Or I imagine what a situation might be and then make myself afraid by imagining something that may never take place.

Yes, we probably all do it to some extent, but I want my self talk to be truthful and not frighten myself unnecessarily.

How much evil comes to pass because a person is speculating what someone might be thinking (and likely aren’t) or an action that person might take (and likely won’t) or imagining a person has a particular attitude (and they really don’t). I recently had someone assume I had a particular opinion about a public figure that was totally off.

So when I think about this verse, Proverbs 28:1, I ponder whether I’m taking a wrong direction or making a wrong decision because my thoughts are just wrong. So where to begin?

Am I thinking something that’s true or is it speculation? Do I really have the facts?

I have a friend who believes it’s always sinful to make things up, like doing caricatures–because it’s an exaggeration of reality–or to escape reality by reading fiction. I think this is going to the other extreme. Creativity is a gift from God. We couldn’t build bridges, for instance, or wonderful new buildings, if we didn’t imagine it firstly. We couldn’t be inspired to write beautiful songs or poems, if we lacked the ability to weave it in our minds firstly.

But I really need to test my thoughts frequently: Is this true? Because God is a God of truth and not lies.

But He’s also amazingly creative.

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You really cannot live a life based upon truth without a relationship with Jesus Christ Who proclaimed: “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”–John 14:6 (emphasis mine) If you want to stop feeling afraid of the future and have confidence that a loving God has you held in His hand, please pray the following: Dear Lord, I admit that I do wrong and fall short of your perfect standards. I can do nothing to earn Your favor, but just receive it in faith as a gift from You. I believe that Jesus died for my sins–past, present and future. I ask that You forgive my sin and give me the gift of the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus was raised bodily from the dead. I ask You to teach Me and lead me into all truth. Thank you for hearing my prayer and giving me the gift of eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, congratulations. You’ve joined the family of God. Please get a copy of the Bible, if you don’t have one, and start with the book of Matthew and read through to the end of the book of John, which tell about the life and ministry of Jesus and are easier to understand and interesting. And please find a Bible-based church where you can grow as a believer and find strength in the company of like-minded people. God bless you.

Dawn and Buddy

No Fear In The New Year: Psalm 121:7-8

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Buddy isn’t so thrilled about the New Year because it’s a war zone in our neighborhood. Fortunately, this year the neighbors celebrated for fewer hours, perhaps because it was so cold this winter or maybe they just ran short on funds after the multi-day fireworks extravaganza last Fourth of July. He spent most of the evening hiding deep in the closet under clothing or sandwiched amongst the stuffed toys stacked on my bed with just his face showing, just like ET.

Every New Year reminds me of how unknowable my future is. This year could bring great joy or great sorrow, a likely job lay-off or illness, a fabulous overseas European adventure or reduced circumstances. I don’t have the ability to predict the future, only to make my best guess.

However, whatever the year brings, I can rely on God’s promises in Scripture. One of my favorites, when facing the unknown, are these two verses from Psalm 121:7-8:

“The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.”–NASB

Whether I leave a job, my home, or the old year behind, I know that the Lord Jesus will be with me, guarding me and watching over me.

Whether I begin a new job, move to a new home, or enter a new year, I know that the Lord Jesus will be with me, guarding me and watching over me.

Whether I go or come, leave or stay, He will be with me.

As you wake to each new day or rest your head onto your pillow in the evening, if you are born-again and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, remember that He will be with you.

Happy New Year from Dawn and Buddy.

PS. Due to inclement weather (high winds), this greeting was a bit delayed.

Relaxed During The Storm: Ephesians 1:11b

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There’s a lot of anxiety during this election season. One side worries about losing their Constitutional rights and the other about being left out. Mud is being slung from both sides, some of it sticking, some of the darkness still waiting for illumination.

Buddy can rest because he knows he’s loved and being taken care of. He’s even resting on the dragon, the symbol of our great enemy, Satan. It also helps that he doesn’t understand the evening news or read newspapers.

We, too, if we’re in relationship with the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, can rest in God’s loving care: “Who works all things after the counsel of His will.”–Ephesians 1:11b, NASB

When I get anxious about current events I remind myself that everything that is going on in this world is under His control. It’s hard for me to really wrap my mind around that truth. So much is out of my control and I often feel helpless, a minnow trying to swim against a rising tide of garbage flowing my way. It’s not easy for me to understand God’s awesome power because it’s so out of my own experience. Even, despite my best efforts, Buddy ran off around the Fourth of July holidays and was nearly killed by a van on a nearby street when I was taking a shower. Even what I think is under my control, ultimately, is often an illusion. I’m dependent upon God 24/7 to protect me and my loved ones. In a sense, that’s comforting because it means He’s really been in control all the time.

“In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”–John 16:33, NASB

Jesus reminds me that He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent; meaning He is all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere. No evil catches Him by surprise. He’s working all things according to His plan. Sometimes,  to be at peace, I have to LET GO OF MY PLAN and trust that He’s working out HIS PLAN for the world, when His plan seems to be at odds with mine.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I go from your presence?”–Psalm 139:7, NASB

I highly encourage you to memorize Psalms 23 and 139. When I pray through these Psalms, I find my anxieties melt away as I remind myself of God’s power, faithfulness, and tender care for me.

Wayward Thoughts: Philippians 4:8

I KNOW I’m supposed to trust God and guard my thoughts. But Buddy had run off the night before and was still missing. I went to work to try to keep busy, to avoid fretting at home and thinking too much. I’d spent hours the night before and an hour before work looking for Buddy. My family was looking for him that morning and I’d put in word at the local QFC, coffee shop, gas station and Starbucks about Buddy. Neighbors were looking for Buddy. I’d posted on Facebook and had put together a game plan on calling all the local vets and the dog chip registry. I activated my prayer network. Even my pastor was praying.

I’d done all I could. So what was I doing?

Fretting!

I foolishly CHOSE to focus my thoughts on my friend who lived in an area similar to mine, suburban yet adjacent to a heavily wooded area. One morning he had opened the backdoor to let his cats into his home and found one hiding under a bush and another being munched on in the jaws of a coyote.

Buddy is only 20 pounds. There’s no way he could defend himself against a coyote, possum or raccoon. Maybe not even an angry rooster! And he was car stupid. I’ve seen squirrels in our neighborhood looking both ways before crossing the street. Not Buddy.

So, although I sensed the Holy Spirit within me was trying to calm me down and reassure me that all was OK, I insisted on picturing Buddy being munched on by a coyote.

Really being positive, wasn’t I?

We’re admonished in God’s Word: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”(NASB)

My thoughts already flunked the first command: I didn’t know the truth about Buddy’s status. And whether I was thinking positive thoughts, “Buddy was rescued and I’ll be reunited with him soon,” or “Buddy is terrified and being munched on,” it wouldn’t change the outcome.

Only whether I had a stomach ache and stressed out or not.

And, more later, Buddy is back with me, snuggled at the end of my bed at night where he belongs.

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Do Not Fear: Isaiah 41:10

Buddy is hiding in the bathtub because the neighborhood sounds like it’s under attack this Fourth of July. Some of the blasts have made me jump out of my chair. Buddy escaped our backyard and ran off Thursday night for the first time. I mobilized prayer support and a cousin I’d met this Winter reposted my Facebook notice that Buddy was missing to a neighborhood rescue site that I had never heard of before. Her skilled use of social media led us the following afternoon to the dog-loving couple who had found him in their backyard that night.

After an anxious night of nearly no sleep, I’m thankful Buddy was kept safe. It reminds me of Isaiah 41:10 (NASB version):

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God, I WILL strengthen you, I SURELY I WILL help you, SURELY I WILL uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If you are born-again, you can be assured that whatever situation you’re going through, God will help you through it. Sometimes Jesus delivers us, sometimes He strengthens us to get through it, and many times, He gives me an idea or wisdom on how to solve the dilemma. After twenty-six years of being a Christian, I’ve found He usually works through the natural world and processes.

But certainly HE DID keep Buddy safe when the SUV skidded to a stop to avoid hitting him Thursday night. I was too far away, walking down a nearby street, to get to that location before he’d run off someplace. To me, that was a miracle.

God bless you. This is my first post. I hope that I will be enable to encourage you to keep seeking the Lord and not lose heart. Life can be discouraging, I know.

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