Tag Archives: worry

Uncertainty and a Call for Action

Some people thrive on uncertainty. People like me, planners, call those people daredevils. What do you mean unplanned events, pending results, or even undecided outfits don’t keep you up at night?

Oh, how it seems life would be so leisurely if only I would be more comfortable with uncertainty, but I am my mother’s (and father’s) daughter and therefore I am destined to be tortured by the pending, the “to be continued”, and the dreaded “what ifs”. But do I really have to accept that I will forever obsess over the uncertain? Or is it my “hidden” distrust in God, my worry that keeps my mind reeling with the risk of what’s around the corner?

This morning, on my way to work, I listened to a worship song playlist on my smart phone. The song “Oceans” by Hillsong came on as I prayed silently to God. It’s amazing how many ways this song has spoken into different situations in my life. As I was driving along, the lyric “my soul will rest in your embrace” drew tears to my eyes. It was in that moment I realized it’s not that God isn’t embracing me. It’s that I’m not resting in his embrace. All this fretting, it’s not allowing him to embrace me. I’m just shrugging him off by trying to carry a burden I’m not meant to carry.

As I sang along with the rest of the song, God revealed to me exactly what he wanted me to do about the uncertain situation for which I was obsessing. It’s as if he said, “You think because you care, but what is care without action?” Thinking is not enough, caring is not enough. When God calls you into action and you respond, that’s when your soul can rest in his embrace. It can rest because God stirred it up for action, not for obessing over what might be, not for worrying.

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The Warrior Amongst Worriers

Some of you might remember that I happen to attend a Chinese church, made up primarily of Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants as well as some Chinese Americans, although I am not at all Chinese or Chinese American. Yesterday my pastor and his wife were kind enough to meet with me after church to talk about my spiritual wellbeing. I have been struggling a lot with worry and feeling unworthy. As we closed, my pastor said, “Chelsea, I see you as a worrier.”

To that I exclaimed, “Yes! I believe it’s an ancestral curse.” I went on to name all the people in my family that are worriers too. My pastor’s wife looked at me confused, “Well, a warrior…”

“Wait! What?!? Warrior?” I asked.

The whole time my pastor, in his Chinese accent, had been saying “warrior” while I had been saying “worrier.” Needless to say we had a good, hard laugh.

Let’s face it, we all struggle with worry, even if we are warriors deep down. A warrior is not just someone who is involved in war. It is someone who is engaged, active, energetic, and persevering. If you are only a worrier without being a warrior, you will likely become tired, unfocused, and discourage. Perhaps eventually you will give up and give in.

In looking at the qualifications to be in the U.S. military, you must of certain height and weight, be able to pass a physical test, you must be young, you must be a citizen, etc. If we translate this into what qualifies you to be spiritual warrior, we could say the qualifications are spiritual fitness, a youthful/energetic attitude, and you must be a child of God.

Today I’m going to address spiritual fitness. Work off the “flab” of worry to become a persevering spiritual warrior.

STEP 1. Drop the weight. Just as you cannot enter the U.S. military if you are obese and out of shape, you cannot run the good race carrying around the things that hold you back from growing in God. These may not be particularly sinful things, but just unneeded distractions from His plan. Perhaps you are like me. I sometimes get sucked into the black hole of the Internet, and end up surfing for hours. Or perhaps you need to trust God with the things that worry you, and lay them at His feet. As my friend says, “Let go and let God.”

STEP 2.  Look to those who have already completed the race well. The old adage “if they can do it, I can do it” says it all. We all came from a life of sin. Some will overcome, and some will not. Let us be inspired by those who have overcome and be motivated by their success.

3. Fix your eyes on Jesus. I hate running and exercising so much that sometimes I will picture some kind of reward at the end, like a big hamburger…I’m probably not going to be joining the U.S. military anytime soon. If we fix our eyes on our end destination, then we can overcome many obstacles. He is not only our destination, but our companion, encourager, and example for the race. Imagine running alongside a perfect runner who encourages you, and even though they have the physical ability to run much faster, they choose to run at your pace in order to keep you company and push you toward victory.

One way you can exercise these three points is to pray, study, and fellowship with other believers as well as God. Prayer is like fixing your eyes on Jesus. When you have meaningful conversation with someone, do you look the other way? No, you fix your eyes on their eyes. You feel what they feel. Bible study will help you recall those who have finished the race well. In difficult times you can reflect on Daniel in the lion’s den, Joseph sold into slavery, David facing the towering Goliath, and so many more. And when you fellowship with trusted believers you will take time, resources, and mind-space away from whatever extra weight you are carrying.

I hope that today you will have the courage to step out in faith, even if it means just opening your Bible. Every time we do that we can expect to meet opposition from the enemy, so be prepared to use your newfound warrior skills to fight back in the spiritual warfare we face daily.

The 3 main bullet points were adapted from a sermon by Dr. Paul Nyquist of Moody Bible Institute given at BASS Convention on 3/7/2015. 

 

Find What Frees You

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn't we be slurping up the Spirit?

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn’t we be slurping up the Spirit instead of chomping on worry?

In our everyday lives we experience ups and downs, but as we experience them we often don’t consider their root cause. I have recently reached a three-year goal of becoming debt-free, and now I am embarking on a new challenge of tackling a life long struggle with stress-management. Since my financial plan worked so well, I am going to use the same ideas from that curriculum to develop my own stress-free plan.

The first step in my financial plan was taking an inventory of my spending for one or two months to find out where my money was going. In the same way, I will take an inventory of my energy. Where am I spending my energy? To do this I have begun using green and pink index cards. I record particularly relaxing moments on the green index cards and particularly stressful moments on my pink cards. At the end of this first inventory period I should have encountered many of each experience. I will collect the pink cards and match them up with scriptures that bring truth, clarity, and perspective to that stressful moment. With these recorded in such a practical manner I will be able to refer to them as they come up again during daily life. Will I encounter new stressors in my life?  Of course I will, but God’s Word can be applied to any life circumstance.

I hope that this technique will inspire me to seek God’s truth in times of tension, and to live a life of complete spiritual freedom. I will keep you informed of my progress and any tweaks I apply to my technique.

And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”

Luke 12:22-32

In all circumstances I will not be afraid, I will not worry, but seek His kingdom, and all these things will be added to me. Join me on my journey to becoming stress-free.

“More Heart, Less Attack”
Needtobreathe

Be the light in the crack
Be the one that’s been there on a camel’s back
Slow to anger quick to laugh
Be more heart and less attackBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attackThe more you take the less you have
Cuz it’s you in the mirror staring back
Quick to let go slow to react
Be more heart and less attackEver growing steadfast
And if need be the one that’s in the gap
Be the never turning back
Twice the heart any man could haveBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attackI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m nearly sanctified I’m nearly broken
I’m down the river I’m near the openI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m near the sanctified I’m near broken
I’m down the river I’m near the open

I’m down the river to where I’m going