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Fear itself

“The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself” were some words that the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt shared with the nation at a time when the people were in need of comfort.
Have you found yourself afraid with the recent pandemic?
Fear manifests itself differently sometimes depending on the circumstances.
In some folks their insides curl up and squirm; the heart beats faster; there is and increased sensitivity to everything in their environment, while others feel trapped within themselves sinking into crying or freezing from dread.
In the recent nationwide experience, it seems to have kicked off a passion for collecting toilet paper. I am sure one day we may understand that response, but I have to admit it eludes me presently.
I have felt fear several times in my life. There is what we may consider good fears – those spurred from watching a scary film or TV show or going through a haunted house. I did that quite a bit as a youth but find myself steering away from that now.
There are also fears that tell us when we are steering from the path we should be on whether physically or spiritually.
I know that I have felt this in both cases, it is sort of a sixth sense that you need to be cautious and aware.
Do we always listen to the fear? No, at times we don’t and sometimes that is to our detriment and other times it is to our benefit.
I personally feel that in this time, it would be to benefit to not give in to the fear. That does not mean however we should not protect ourselves, our family and loved ones during this time by proper planning and prudent actions.
I am sure that many people who serve and protect us experience a sense of fear as they do their various jobs as police, fire fighters, military and medical professionals – doctors, nurses, technicians, but they must overcome those to help others.
As individuals we can sometimes allow our fears to become so pervasive that they dominate our lives.
From childhood I have fought to overcome fears – fears of being bullied by others, fears of failure, fears of not being good enough. I have awakened in the night in a cold sweat, heart beating fast, stomach in knots, simply afraid. I fear the consequences of something I have said; some perceived error in judgment, failure in character, shortcoming that makes me feel inadequate in the goals I have set for myself or in the expectations of others.
These have not all brought on the extreme fear reaction mentioned above but they are all concerns that I think each of us face in our own way at some point in our lives.
Fear can be an all-consuming force that will destroy our lives if allowed but if recognized for the barometer it is meant to be, fear is there to help protect us.
At this time, find ways to redirect the fear towards creating opportunities to accomplish great goals in your home, your yard, with your internal spirit, and within your family. Find ways to helps others without triggering your fears or theirs and support your local businesses in the time of uncertainty. Respect one another and be kind. We are not the first generation to experience widespread disease, just be thankful that we are more prepared and able to respond better than those before us.
For me, when I find myself with a spirit of fear invading my well being when it is especially unwarranted, I stop and pray for God to ease the fear and forgive me for whatever known or unknown action may have brought it about.
While this does not eliminate the ultimate possibility that whatever was feared may come to pass, it does help center my mind, body and spirit back to where it needs to be – on God.
Everyone makes mistakes that can throw our lives into unanticipated turmoil and bring on that sense of fear for the consequences, the measure of each of us, is how we face those fears.

Fear not

Fear is something that hides deep within each of us as we walk through life.

I remember as a child, as many of my fellow youth gleefully looked to getting their first bicycle, within me was a sense of dread. I was comfortable with the tricycle and the insecurity of falling and losing my balance as I moved to the bike was such a hurdle to overcome. My father graciously added training wheels to the bicycle which I use for a brief time until the fear and dread faded and then one day, I asked him to take them off. I through my leg across and soared down the driveway looking back over my shoulder at my smiling father.

The fear was gone. Of course, that did not stop the future mishaps, being thrown over the handlebars head first and sliding down the pavement several yards. Even that did not dissuade my return to the seat of my green speedster.

As we age fear remains but takes different aims. As a teen the fear was of relationships. Not of girls, I liked them plenty but I just did not know how to ask one out for fear of rejection. And boy, did I get rejected. My heart became a revolving door of turndowns. With each and every one that fear of hurt just grew and grew into a monster. One day though, the answer was yes, and off to the races I went.

The fear was gone, until the day that she decided she no longer liked me and wanted to move on.

Then the fear of rejection took on a different form, it wasn’t immediate, it waited a few weeks into the relationship, so I could be vested and feel the rejection with greater amplitude. What a monster that was that I saw grow year by year. Eventually though, I cast even that monster aside with a battle worthy of knighthood.

But fear was not gone, it came forward in the search for success, after failure here and there mounted, the concerns were growing within, “Will I ever find a place in life that I will work and serve and find contentment?”

That fear has been present throughout my life and no matter what successes others may see within my walk in life, I am always that youth out of school trying to find my place in the world that will make me, and others happy. Will I overcome it before I reach check out? I doubt it. But I will keep picking up my sword daily and beating it back as I serve my way through to the Pearly Gates. God has a purpose and reason for what is behind and ahead in my work for Him.

Fear manages to creep into the corners of our life and sit there waiting to pounce. I remember at points in my life, I sat fearful and immobilized by things that were ridiculous, but at the time, they consumed me and my thoughts. I let other influences control my being by their actions, their deeds, their words. Then I realized that I am not their plaything. I am in control of my life and as long as I am able to conduct what I do in an honorable, consistent, lawful, and faithful fashion, I should not be afraid.

I am thankful to my closest friends and relatives who have helped me through the years as I have struggled with various areas where fear has gripped my life, they have been God’s angels walking through my life steering me in the right direction.

Now, though I have seemed to be negative on fear in the words thus far, I am thankful for the spirit of fear that God sends to warn us away from impending disaster, from making the wrong decision, or doing something that might alternatively change the course of our life in a negative way. In those senses, fear is welcomed and in another way comforting.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)

 

 

Are you sure you want to answer that?

Sometimes in life we have a sense of foreboding, a phone rings and we know there is bad news on the other end of the receiver.
Do we pick it up and find out the feeling is true?
If we don’t, we will never know. If we do and it’s not what we expected, we are worried for nothing.
Perhaps there is the feeling at the pit of our stomach when we are speeding down the highway that makes us place our foot on the brake.
Have we averted a disaster, we wonder?
The answer may never be revealed or it can be bolstered in our mind when we find an accident just ahead of us.
We have been equipped with such feelings, some are innate, some are learned, some are simply inspired by God’s messengers speaking to our soul.
I know there was one night I was driving through the mountains on a road I knew like the back of my hand. Audibly in the cab of my truck I heard “Slow down!” There was no one to say it either in my vehicle or outside in the early morning hours in a sparsely inhabited area of the mountains.
As I rounded the next curve, just after slowing, there standing in the road were more deer than I had ever seen in one place in my life. I would have likely been killed at the speed I was going before, but the audible voice – changed the potential of my future.
Was it only in my head? Perhaps. Was it a woodsman whose voice cut through the speed, the radio, and the closed windows to be so audibly clear? Perhaps. I think it was one of God’s angels helping me thwart disaster.
There are many points in life an inner voice or an outer one could help us to steer clear of a place which will change the life we know in a negative way. I pray that we all hear it, heed it and hopefully make the appropriate choice.
Should you answer the phone? As Franklin Roosevelt said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fear is simply – False Evidence Assumed Real. So, answer the phone, it may be good news.

Low, I will be with you always

God is so good to Christians. All we have to do is just ask and there it is.

I’m not talkin’ about things we want. I am talkin’ about things we need — like pontoon boats and big screen TVs.
I prayed and I prayed for God to give me those and sure ’nuff he did. Of course, I have to keep them at my neighbor’s house.

I can use them anytime I want to day or night, but I think they are starting to see through the sleepwalking routine.
One thing He does bless us with is travel mercies, especially preachers and singers, maybe it’s because we ask for them more often.

Now I have traveled every way possible except dog sled. I have always traveled in the finest cars money can buy — Ford Pinto, Fairmont Stationwagon, Chevy S-10.
I have never been much for heights — this really came to me on my first plane flight. It’s not the heights that bother me so much — it’s the fall followed by the splat.
I was working for Bill Monroe and had to change planes four times on a trip across country. Each time I changed, the plane got smaller and smaller and smaller. They folded me into that last one.

I’m glad I didn’t have to go any further on that trip. My next step would have been flapping my arms with red birthday balloons tied to my back.

On another fateful flight, I was on what I call a puddle jumper — when you first see those planes you’re not sure if it will get across a puddle before falling. I was returning from the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Tournament in North Carolina. The plane seated about 16 people and we could not have squeezed in one more. We had wall-to-wall soap opera stars, prime-time actors, comedians, football and basketball players and their folks.

What none of us knew was a series of tornadoes was about to welcome us to the not so friendly skies.

It was a few minutes into the flight when we suddenly fell. After collecting everything that was once below our belts from around our ears, everyone released their held breath.
One friend, Chris Castile, from the sit-com “Step by Step” seemed unscathed by the sudden change. Flying fascinated him, and he was watching closely as the pilot compensated for the problem.

The wind whipped us every which way right, left, up and down. I looked around, saying a silent prayer through my gritted teeth as I held the arms of my seat for dear life.
I have never heard screams like that in my life.
After I stopped yelling I realized I wasn’t the only one. You would never imagine football players could make that much noise.

I believe with the Lord’s intervention through the pilot’s skill we sailed on through the bad weather. The Lord blessed us and we all made it to the ground safely. We could not have had a better ride at Disney. That is probably why we were all smiling when we set our feet on the ground.

That is one reason I am not that fond of flying. Besides, it says right in the Bible we should keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. It says “Lo(w), I will be with you always.” It does not say a thing about high.
From the comedy routine “Travel Mercies,” by Randall Franks, used by permission of Peach Picked Publishing.

Are you sure you want to answer that?

Sometimes in life we have a sense of foreboding, a phone rings and we know there is bad news on the other end of the receiver.
Do we pick it up and find out the feeling is true?
If we don’t, we will never know. If we do and it’s not what we expected, we are worried for nothing.
Perhaps there is the feeling at the pit of our stomach when we are speeding down the highway that makes us place our foot on the brake.
Have we averted a disaster, we wonder?
The answer may never be revealed or it can be bolstered in our mind when we find an accident just ahead of us.
We have been equipped with such feelings, some are innate, some are learned, some are simply inspired by God’s messengers speaking to our soul.
I know there was one night I was driving through the mountains on a road I knew like the back of my hand. Audibly in the cab of my truck I heard “Slow down!” There was no one to say it either in my vehicle or outside in the early morning hours in a sparsely inhabited area of the mountains.
As I rounded the next curve, just after slowing, there standing in the road were more deer than I had ever seen in one place in my life. I would have likely been killed at the speed I was going before, but the audible voice – changed the potential of my future.
Was it only in my head? Perhaps. Was it a woodsman whose voice cut through the speed, the radio, and the closed windows to be so audibly clear? Perhaps. I think it was one of God’s angels helping me thwart disaster.
There are many points in life an inner voice or an outer one could help us to steer clear of a place which will change the life we know in a negative way. I pray that we all hear it, heed it and hopefully make the appropriate choice.
Should you answer the phone? As Franklin Roosevelt said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fear is simply – False Evidence Assumed Real. So, answer the phone, it may be good news.

Fear itself

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” were some words that the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt shared with the nation at a time when the people were in need of comfort.

Do you ever find yourself afraid?

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