Category Archives: Monday Musings

Healing

Healing


TODAY’S WORD IS HEALING

The word healing brings many images to mind. Some people may think of a healing crusade. That is one of those events where a preacher claims that he can cure your sicknesses by the power of God. We can think of a convalescent hospital where people stay for extended times to heal their bodies. Healing means being made whole again, and we all want to be whole.

There is also the healing that comes with peace of mind. This healing cures the restless and tormented spirit. We live in a time when our country needs healing that can soothe the restless and angry soul and will bring peace and satisfaction. When the Psalmist said, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror,” he could well be thinking of times like these. True healing can only come from God. We have exhausted our resources and failed.

Healing brings with it a peace allows us to settle down and live as people of God. I would love to see a world that had this God inspired healing. It would be a world full of people who were truly healed of their strife and pain. Such a world is a place of calmness and satisfaction.

Healing cures the seeds of anger and mistrust that lead to violence and ultimately war. How many deaths could have been prevented if we had only asked God for healing? How many relationships would have been saved if we had understood that God can heal? Let us not waste another minute when healing is possible.

Healing is to be made whole and be restored.


Quotes

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing…not healing, not curing…that is a friend who cares.

~~~Henri Nouwen

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

~~~Hippocrates

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.

~~~Hubert H. Humphrey

Nature heals under the auspices of the medical profession.

~~~Haven Emerson

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.

~~~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds, they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.

~~~F. Scott Fitzgerald

You can promote your healing by your thinking.

~~~James E. Sweeney

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

~~~John Burroughs

The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.

~~~Nelson Mandela

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.

~~~Novalis


healing-3


Scripture

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
  and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
  who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
Psalm 103:2-4
 
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
  O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
Psalm 6:2
 
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
  they are called happy in the land.
  You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
  in their illness you heal all their infirmities.
Psalm 41:2-3
 
As for me, I said, ‘O Lord, be gracious to me;
  heal me, for I have sinned against you.’
Psalm 41:4
 
My child, be attentive to my words;
  incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them escape from your sight;
  keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
  and healing to all their flesh.
Proverbs 4:20-22
 
A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
  but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22
 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what 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 throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 
O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
  Be our arm every morning,
  our salvation in the time of trouble.
Isaiah 33:2
 
You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.
James 5:6
Prayer Banner

Lord, I feel that we live in a time of great contradiction. Our time needs healing that only you can bring. We have so widened the gaps that exist between us that our talents fail us. We have so divided ourselves that our ideas are lacking. We call upon you to send us wisdom and healing that are products of heaven and not earth. We ask for divine healing on earth.       Amen


Healing-2

 

 

 


 


 


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Doubt

Doubt Definition

The poet Kahlil Gibran teaches us, “Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” Most of us spend a lot of time doubting many things. We were taught to think of doubt as inherently evil force in my life. The advice of the poet leads us in a new direction. He tells us that perhaps doubt is a gateway to faith. To have a great faith, we must look carefully at what we believe and allow the discernment of our God-given image to speak to us.

Doubt is not the enemy of faith but the partner of faith. In our doubts we get to understand what and why we believe. All true faith begins with doubt. As we examine our doubts and fears, we begin to seek solutions to them. The upfront and obvious solution to doubt is faith in the God that made us and his ability to deliver us.

Jesus says over and over, “Why do you doubt,” but it was their doubt that caused them to seek him. When doubt overtakes us, we examine our thoughts, our actions and our motives and are driven to seek an answer.

Doubt can also be the great killer of ambition and progress. As doubt and fear join forces, they produce the personal “perfect storm” that has led to demise of many a person A “doubt storm” can prevent us from fulfilling God’s creative purpose for us. Doubt is tricky but necessary because without it we never really know who or whose we are.

Next time you are in doubt I urge you to look at why you are doubting, who you are doubting and what you are doubting? By asking these questions you can determine your solution. Serious introspection allows us to seek the wisdom and take the time to access our situation. Such an assessment allows us to know if our doubts are from within or without and thus leads us to call on that image of God that we all possess for a solution. Our God image can really allow us to prioritize our lives in quick fashion. I hope these observations will give you few things to ponder this week.


Doubt

Quotes Banner

 

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin
brother.

~~~Khalil Gibran

One of the ego’s favorite paths of resistance is to fill you with
doubt.

~~~Ram Dass

Love is strongest when we learn to trust in spite of the
doubts.

~~~Anonymous

When in doubt, throw doubt out have a little faith.

~~~E.A. Bucchianeri

Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.

~~~DieterF. Uchtdorf

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

~~~Sylvia Plath

Uninstall self-doubt from your mind.

~~~Anonymous

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of
today.

~~~Franklin D. Roosevelt

When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.

~~~Honore de Balzac

Never let self-doubt hold you captive.

~~~Roy Bennett

Worry, doubt, fear, and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the
ground and turn us to dust before we die.

~~~Anonymous

If you are going to doubt anything in life, doubt your own limitations.”

~~~Dan Brule

Doubt everything. Find your own light.

~~~Buddha

Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have
worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.

~~~T. Harv Eker

 

Doubt Scripture

 

Scripture Banner

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of
the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In
all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise
in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to
your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

 Proverbs 3:5-8

 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt,
you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to
this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will
happen.
 

Matthew 21:21

 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of
little faith, why did you doubt?”

 Matthew 14:31

 Truly,I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the
sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come
to pass, it will be done for him.

 Mark 11:23

 And have mercy on those who doubt. 

Jude 1:22

 Fearnot, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen
you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right
hand.
 

Isaiah 41:10

 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your
hearts?

 Luke 24:38

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own
understanding.
 
Proverbs 3:5

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not
for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come
and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek
me with all your heart.

 Jeremiah 29:11-13

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not
seen.

 Hebrews 11:1

 


Prayer Banner

LORD

Relieve me of the guilt of doubt when it allows me to discern.

Allow me to see doubt as of way of growing in faith.

Give me the strength to cast away my doubts that cripple me.

Never allow my doubts to define me.

Relieve me of the pain of feeling I have to always be perfect and please Lord guide me as I go through this day.

AMEN

 

 

 

 

 

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Faithfulness

Faithfulness 1


 
One of the qualities that we all desire is faithfulness. We all want to be faithful to the people and tasks that are given to us. If one is faithful, they will accomplish much in life. The world is driven by a thirst for success, and success is much easier if we are faithful to the tasks and opportunities that that come our way.
Practicing faithfulness means not being self-centered, stubborn, unbending or anything else that hinders us from doing what is good and right. I found this poem which speaks of the virtues of a faithful friend. It gives an idea of the benefits of faithfulness.
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds it finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life- saving remedy,
such as he who fears God finds.
for he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself.”
Author Unknown
Having such a friend shelters us from harm and adversity. That friend is of immeasurable value and is a treasure to our lives. He or she can be, and often is, the one who saves us when we are in harm’s way. They are a friend that can model for us the fear of God and help us to grow into a healthy person.
The value of faithfulness in us and those that surround us is priceless and makes us and the world a better place.

 


Faithfulness 3 Faitfulness 3


Quotes Banner

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
~~~Confucius
By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.
~~~Saint Augustine
Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.
~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero
Kindness and faithfulness keep a king safe, through kindness his throne is made secure.
~~~King Solomon
I meant what I said and I said what I meant.
~~~Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg
The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all.
~~~Brennan Manning
Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great.
~~~Alex Harris
There have been times of late when I have had to hold on to one text with all my might: “It is required in stewards that a man may be found faithful.” Praise God, it does not say “successful.”
~~~Amy Wilson
Because faithfulness is not a human question, but a divine one.
~~~ Sebastian Barry
God has been faithful since the beginning of time. Even today, nothing can make Him change, who He is. He remains the same and what He said, will remain the same
~~~Gift Gugu Mona

Scripture Banner

Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future.
Hebrews 3:5

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:19

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luke 12:42-44

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?
Romans 3:3

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions
Matthew 24:45-47

For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
1 Corinthians 4:17

And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Hebrews 11:11

For this reason Jesus had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:17

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory Hebrews 3:6
Prayer Banner

Prayer

Lord, This day I desire to live with a knowledge that faithfulness brings fullness of life.Let me be faithful to you, so that I may be a faithful servant to all that is entrusted to me. I ask you to allow me to be a model of faithfulness to all our encounter. May I achieve this through your grace.

Amen

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Gratitude

Gratitude Definition


“On behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.” In my role as a clergyman of over 40 years, I have heard those words countless times. I want to zero in on the word grateful. There are many words that could be said at the death of one who has served in the United States military, but the one I remember most is grateful. We say to the family that we are a grateful nation. Why are we grateful? The answer in the case of one who has served in the military is quite simple. They served, they sacrificed, and we are simply recognizing those actions.

In addition to service we should have an attitude of gratitude about so many things. We can be grateful that we are in good health. We can be grateful for the blessings that God is giving us. We can be grateful for just waking up this morning. We can be grateful for our friends, our jobs, our churches, the communities we live in and more things than we can really mention.

Gratitude is being able to step outside of yourself to know that other people and experiences make life worthwhile. We are not self-sufficient. A person without gratitude can be very miserable. The Roman philosopher Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” Let us strive somehow to truly live by that philosophy and , make the world a far better place.

We are experiencing some exceedingly difficult and trying times in our world today. Perhaps if we would take the time to express gratitude for our blessings, while still wanting change, our world would change. I believe that the answer always begins by counting our blessings with gratitude. As we count blessings, we truly realize that change and reform are possible and that everyone being created in the image of God is a fact. Because we are all created in the image of God, we can learn to see God in all who surround us.

Let us live the day in gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for each other and for the world that God has given us.


Musing 9 2


Quotes

At times,
our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of
us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame
within us.


~~~Albert
Schweitzer



Gratitude
is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.


~~~Henry
Ward Beecher


Gratitude
turns what we have into enough.


~~~
Anonymous


Gratitude
is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy
in your soul.


~~~Amy
Collette


Gratitude
makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for
tomorrow.


~~~Melody
Beattie


Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude
is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words.
Gratitude is shown in acts.


~~~Henri
Frederic Amiel


Happiness
cannot be traveled to owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the
spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. –
Denis Waitley


Joy is
the simplest form of gratitude.


~~~Karl
Barth


No one
who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident
acknowledge this help with gratitude.


~~~Alfred
North Whitehead


In
ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give,
and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.


~~~Dietrich
Bonhoeffer


Gratitude
is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.


~~~
Lionel Hampton

Gratitude
is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.


~~~Marcus
Tullius

Cicero

Scripture

Rejoice always, pray
without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians
5:16-18

Do not worry about
anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let
your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
Jesus.

Philippians 4: 6 – 7

But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ.

1 Corinthians
15:57

Gratitude 2

We must always give
thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is
growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is
increasing.

2 Thessalonians 1: 3

O give thanks to
the Lord, for he is good;
   for his
steadfast love endures for ever.

1 Chronicles 16: 34

For from him and
through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever.
Amen

Romans
11:36

I will give thanks to
the Lord with my whole heart;
   I
will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Psalm
9:1

Devote yourselves to
prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians
4:2

And let the peace of
Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And
be thankful.

Colossians
3:15

Then I heard every
creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that
is in them, singing,
‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be
blessing and honor and glory and might
for ever and
ever!’

Revelation
5:13

But I with the voice
of thanksgiving
   will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed
I will pay.
   Deliverance belongs to the Lord!’

Jonah
2:9

Then he took a loaf of
bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,
‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of
me

Luke
22:19


Prayer

Lord, I am grateful for this day and welcome the blessings that it brings. I ask you to guide me through the difficulties that I encounter, so that I may be able to live through them and learn from them. As I live the virtue of gratitude, I will find strength to live and thrive no matter what comes my way. Inspire me to spread gratitude to all that I meet this day.

Amen


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Integrity

Integrity Quote 1

In his book Loving God, Charles Colson draws attention to an incident involving an Indiana judge named William Bontrager. Bontrager had to pass sentence on Fred Palmer, a decorated Vietnam veteran, who was found guilty of burglary. The crime was caused partly by involvement with drugs and alcohol. Indiana law required a sentence of ten to twenty years for Palmer’s offense.

However, new regulations designating a lesser penalty had gone into effect eighteen days after Palmer’s arrest. To complicate matters, Palmer had become a Christian in jail and seemed to have changed. Should the judge sentence Palmer, a man who had never been in jail, to ten years or more? Or should he declare the older statute in violation of Indiana’s constitution and give him a lighter sentence? Bontrager did the latter. Fred Palmer was out of jail in seven months, had a job, and was paying back his former victims.

The events that followed received national attention. The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the judge’s decision and ordered Fred Palmer sent back to prison. The judge’s attempts to fight the court’s decision during the next two years led to his own indictment for criminal contempt of court and, ultimately, his forced resignation. Fred Palmer was sent back to prison, but was released twenty months later by the governor. The judge’s convictions cost him his job, but not his integrity.

The writer of Proverbs says,”It is better to be poor and godly than rich and dishonest.” (Proverbs 16:17) That lesson is hard for our society. We seek to be “rich” at great cost to ourselves and our families. Our upwardly mobile society puts a high price on success. We sacrifice a great deal to be successful. If we sacrifice our integrity, then our wealth is worthless. Without integrity we cease to be fully human and the image of God fades within us. What we could have been becomes a sad memory.

God want us to be rich in mercy, abounding in grace just as he is to us. Without integrity this is impossible. We must stand for what we know is right even when it has a cost. Integrity gives us the fortitude to stand when others fall, to walk when others run and to truly know who we were created to be.

Let us live this life not being corrupted by our surroundings but strengthened by the integrity that comes from being followers of Jesus.

Quotes Banner

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

~~~C. S. Lewis

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

~~~Bob Marley

We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.

~~~Michelle Obama

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

~~~Confucius

Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will.

~~~Oliver Cromwell

When you make a commitment to yourself, do so with the clear understanding that you’re pledging your integrity.

~~~Stephen Covey



The qualities of a great man are “vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character.

~~~Dwight Eisenhower

When you are able to maintain your own highest standards of integrity – regardless of what others may do – you are destined for greatness.

~~~Napoleon Hill

It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one.

~~~Zig Ziglar

The integrity of men is to be measured by their conduct, not by their professions.

~~~Junius

Human beings exist that have integrity, that know how to keep their mouth shut, that know the bigger picture, that don’t sell out their friends.

~~~Sandra Bullock

Openness, respect, integrity – these are principles that need to underpin pretty much every other decision that you make.

~~~Justin Trudeau

Integrity Quote 2


Scripture Banner

First for the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the Godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to them.

~~~Proverbs 2:6-8

Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. For only the upright will live in the land, and those who have integrity will remain in it.Graphic #8

~~~Proverbs 2:20-21

Do not envy violent people; don’t copy their ways. Such wicked people are an abomination to the Lord, that he offers his friendship to the Godly. The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but his blessing is on the home of the upright.

~~~Proverbs 3:31-33

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

~~~Proverbs 4:18

Teach the wise, and they will be wiser. Teach the righteous and they will learn more.

~~~Proverbs 9:9

We all have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.

~~~Proverbs 10:7

Those who are godly hate lies; the wicked come to shame and disgrace

~~~Proverbs 13:5

The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the sinner’s light is snuffed out.

~~~Proverbs 13:9

The Lord hates the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright. The Lord despises the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness.

~~~Proverbs 15:8-9


Prayer BannerLORD, fill me with the wisdom and strength to live a life of honesty and integrity. I seek to a live a life that is full of freedom from the corruption of the world. Guide me by your spirit to use your strength to achieve this life, because when I achieve it a great weight will be lifted from me.

Amen



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Fear


THE WORD IS FEAR


faer Definition

Sometimes fear is a very helpful thing that keeps us from harm, but many times it’s an inner voice and barrier that keeps us stuck. Fear is an emotion that keeps us from getting what we want and becoming who we honestly, deep down want to be.

Musing 7 Graphic 1We live with fear whether it is from a pandemic virus or just having to carry out the normal functions of life. We all have fears. Some of our fears are quite easily proven, while others are rather absurd. The sad thing is that whether they are real or imagined they still affect us in great ways. Our computers and bookshelves are lined with resources to overcome fear. Despite all our efforts, fear lives on.

Learning to handle fear and overcome it is the ultimate goal of every one of God’s creatures. People have climbed mountains, jumped out of airplanes, and sailed solo across oceans in an attempt to conquer fear. The quotes and scriptures are just small tools to perhaps allow you to think about what role fear plays in your life and how you might minimize its effect.

Musing 7 Graphic 2On the other hand, fear is a necessary part of who we are, and we can know that, “Fear makes us feel our humanity.” Those are the words of Benjamin Disraeli a 19th century British Prime Minister. Fear is both friend and foe, and we must learn to make peace with the fear that lies within each of us.

Fear Vedio Banner


Quotes Banner

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

― Marie Curie

Without fear there cannot be courage.

― Christopher Paolini

First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.

― Aristotle

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

― Joseph Campbell

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

― Marcus Aurelius

Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ignorance is the parent of fear.

― Herman Melville

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.

― Shannon L. Alder

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.

–Babe Ruth

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

— Bertrand Russell

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.

— Karl Augustus Menninger

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem to be more afraid of life than death.

— James F. Byrnes

Scripture Banner

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

  whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

  of whom shall I be afraid?

Cast your burden on the Lord,

  and he will sustain you;

he will never permit

  the righteous to be moved.

~~~Psalm 27

For I, the Lord your God,

  hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear,

  I will help you.’

~~~Isaiah 41:13

The fear of others lays a snare,

  but one who trusts in the Lord is secure.

~~~Proverbs 29:25

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~~~Romans 8:38-39

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’

~~~Mark 5:36

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,

~~~Revelation 1:17

‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

~~~Matthew 6:34

When the cares of my heart are many,

  your consolations cheer my soul.

~~~Psalm 94:19

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’

~~~Joshua 1:9

Prayer Banner

LORD, fear has cheated me of more of your blessings than any other emotion. Fear has robbed me of the joy, peace, abundance and so many other things that you desire for me to possess. Let me this day use the grace that you have bestowed upon to move beyond my fear into your world of blessings. Let me put aside the defeat that fear wishes me to possess and move to the victory that you have given me by your love.

Amen


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TODAY’S WORD IS COURAGE

A study on corporate managers was commissioned a few years ago. In it they were asked if they voiced positions that 1. focused on the good of the company, rather than personal benefit and 2. jeopardized their own careers. The results of this study found four leader-types in all organizations.

  • Type #1 courageous. These people expressed ideas to help the company improve, in spite of personal risk or opposition.
  • Type #2 confronting. These people spoke up, but only because of a personal vendetta against the company.
  • Type #3 calloused. These people didn’t know, or care, whether they could do anything for the company; they felt helpless and hopeless, so they kept quiet.
  • Type #4 conforming. These people also remained quiet, but only because they loathed confrontation and loved approval.

The researchers discovered that the courageous managers accomplished the most, reported the highest job satisfaction, and eventually were commended by superiors. Their commitment had certainly improved the quality of their lives. Courage is the most important quality of any leader.

J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of “Lord of the Rings” and many other great literary works, contributes this comment, “Courage is found in unlikely places.” We are all looking for courage right now and I can see it manifested in so many ways. I have seen courage in the people who restock the shelves of the grocery store. Those that drive the trucks across the country to make sure we have the goods we need are an inspiration to me in this time. Bus drivers, checkout clerks, drive up attendants at McDonalds and so many others are the most unlikely people of courage I have ever seen. The list of these unlikely people of courage could fill this whole page, but I just want to say thanks to all of them.

There is another area of courage I want to mention and that is all of you. You have isolated yourselves and lived life in ways that you never imagined to protect yourselves and those you love and don’t even know from this virus. It has taken remarkable courage to carve a new way of living so that we may all live a healthy and promising life. Be courageous enough to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, wear gloves when necessary, and above all, accept social distancing as a part of life. These are all acts of courage we must continue to do so that we might look forward to a wonderful future.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”


QUOTES

Mark Twain #5Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

― Winston S. Churchill

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

― E.E. Cummings

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.

― Maya Angelou

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.

― William Faulkner

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

― Anais Nin

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.

― Mark Twain

Courage is found in unlikely places.

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

― Brene Brown

Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.

― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


Scripture

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

+ Psalm 56:3-4

CourageSo do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

+ Isaiah 41:10

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

+ Isaiah 41:13

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

+ Matthew 10:28

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

+ 1 Corinthians 16:13

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

+ Philippians 1:12-14

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

+ Hebrews 13:5-6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

+ Deuteronomy 31:6

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

+ Psalm 27:1

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

+ 2 Timothy 1:7

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

+ 1 John 4:18

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

+ 1 Chronicles 28:20


Prayer

LORD, I ask you to give me the courage to face the day and the determination to make it better. You know that I am afraid, and I know that you will help me to overcome that fear with the courage you provide by the spirit that you have given to me. Let me live this life with a spirit of courage and victory despite all the adversity that surrounds me. May your spirit dominate my thoughts even in the darkest times.

Amen

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Serenity

SERENITY – Contented tranquility of mind, temper and countenance.                         (Oxford Dictionary)

Perhaps the most famous saying that uses the word serenity is Reinhold Niebuhr‘s Serenity Prayer. This prayer has been used by Alcoholics Anonymous and others as a prayer of centering and peace in a troubled world. The word and the prayer serve as a guide to stepping outside of yourself and giving your troubles to God. I highly recommend that you add this little prayer to your “go to” list of prayers.

The late Fred Craddock tells this story. Many years ago a pastor served an extremely small country church whose building was heated by coal heaters and whose plumbing was outside. The tiny congregation usually consisted of fewer than a dozen women at least 65 years old.

The church sat on a beautiful mountainside overlooking a picturesque valley. An old, abandoned dirt road ran from the church beside the mountain into the thick forest. Often, the pastor drove to church early, leaving the car in the parking lot to walk down the dirt road into the forest to commune with deer, wild turkeys and God.

One morning, however, the pastor was lost in the serenity of the place and realized he would be late starting the service. As he approached the church, the usual congregation of elderly women hovered near the outhouse. The pastor expected to be chastised for his tardiness, but instead, was greeted with sighs of relief. The women had seen the pastor’s car, and not finding him in the church, thought something had happened to him. They were so glad to see him, they forgot how late he was!

That is real serenity! A place or state that gives us love and acceptance when we are not necessarily doing everything with perfection. Our world has, quite literally, been turned upside down. Negative prices for a barrel of oil, a virus with no cure, closed churches, closed malls, no sporting events, and we are not sure when even our new normal will come to be or what it will bring. There has never been a time when we have needed to grasp on to the inner serenity that the peace of God offers. Remember the words of Jesus, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” That is the peace we need now.

Let us grab for the serenity that comes as we turn our focus on our God and Creator.

 

PRAYER

LORD, sometimes serenity is a hard place to reach. I ask you this day to give me the inner peace that is necessary to be at peace in a troubled world. I seek the healing balm that only you can give. May your Spirit be a part of me so I may be a part of you. In that unity I will achieve a level of peace that can only come from you. May that serene peace fall upon me today. Amen

Click for a Video Devotional on Serenity

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Monday Musings #2

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THIS WEEK – HOPE

Hope – Expectation of something desired, a feeling of expectation and desire combined.

(Oxford Dictionary)


Do you remember the story of Pandora’s Box? The lovely Pandora was sent by Zeus to be the bride of Epimetheus. One of Pandora’s more endearing charms was her curiosity, but that quality also proved to nearly be her undoing. One day Mercury, the messenger, sent a box to the young couple. It was meant for them to enjoy, but under no circumstances were they to open it. Well, of course, it is the old story of the forbidden fruit. Told that she could not do it, it became the thing that she desired to do the most. So,   one day she pried it open and peeked inside. Suddenly out flew swarms of insects that began attacking them. Both lovers were stung with the poison of suspicion, hatred, fear and malice. Now the once happy couple began to argue. Epimetheus became bitter and Pandora wept with a broken heart. But amid the quarreling, they heard a tiny voice cry out: Let me out, to sooth your pain. Fearfully they opened the box again, and this time a beautiful butterfly flew out. It touched the couple and miraculously their pain was healed, and they were happy again. The butterfly we are told was hope. It is hope that sustains us; it is hope that soothes our pain.

We live in a world of pessimists who want to rob us of our hope. They would prefer that we all be forlorn and dreadful, but God one has better in mind for us. He sends out butterflies in the darkest of times, and I just know that there is out flying right now one with your name on it. All we must do is open our eyes and look for it. Let us hold on to the hope that is in our faith and know that it will guide us through.



Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1


Quotes

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.

—– Christopher Reeve

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

—-Martin Luther King Jr

Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.

—–Martin Luther

I dwell in possibility.

—–Emily Dickinson

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.

—-Nelson Mandela

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.

—-Henry David Thoreau

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

—-Desmond Tutu

Hope is a waking dream.

—-Aristotle

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.

—-G.K. Chesterton

I find hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.

—–Dalai Lama

While there’s life, there’s hope.

—-Marcus Tullius Cicero


Scripture

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.

I Peter 1:13

Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

   even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33:22

But I will hope continually,

   and will praise you yet more and more.

Psalm 71:14

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Know that wisdom is such to your soul;

   if you find it, you will find a future,

   and your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 24:14


PRAYER

LORD, because of you I know there is always hope –  

      Hope for today

         Hope of a better day tomorrow

              Hope that my pain will end

                  Hope that joy will return

Help me to have enough faith to live a life full of hope. Restore my hope in days when it seems to fade. Strengthen my hope today. Amen


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Monday Musings #1

Musings-a period of reflection or thought

NOTE- I thought I would share this on the blog as well as to my congregation. It is a day late but I hope you enjoy the read.


Each Monday during our continued shut down, I’m going to publish a newsletter called- “Monday Musings.” I will be taking a word or a topic and putting together a series of quotes, bible verses and a prayer that shed light on the word of the day. Today’s word is ENCOURAGEMENT. There has never been a time in my life when I needed some encouragement more than I do now. Below you will find some words that I hope will encourage you through this week.

Prayers, Irvin


THIS WEEK – ENCOURAGEMENT

Encouragement – To give courage , confidence, or hope in order to make someone sufficiently confident or bold to do a specified action.

(Oxford Dictionary)


Jesus on WaterBut let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy,

and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.

—Psalm 5:11


QUOTES

“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.”

– Anne Frank

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”

“When you feel like you’re drowning in life, don’t worry – your Lifeguard walks on water.”

“Never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you. Choose to stay positive and be the strong person that God created you to be!”

“You’re not going to master the rest of your life in one day. Just relax. Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.”

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

– Albert Camus


SCRIPTURE

Mark 11:22-24

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

James 2:19

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Luke 1:37

For nothing will be impossible with God.

Colossians 1:11

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

Psalm 5:11

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.


PRAYER – LORD, if there was ever a time that we need some encouragement, it’s now. Let me hear a word from you and know that you have my well-being in the palm of your hand. I trust you to guide me through these difficult days. Help to hear the word as I read the word. Help to hear the words of comfort and encouragement as others speak them to me. I know that you will provide all that I need. Amen


Click for a Devotional on Encouragement

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