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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lets have some healthy fear!!!!

If you have come to this site from my devotional at sheseeks.org; Welcome!!

This week's devotional at She Seeks is on fear. It is hard to find peace when fear is present. People have many types of fear. It can come in many forms; such as:

Fear of spiders
Fear of snakes
Fear of being alone
Fear of the unknown
And so on...

I used to have daily panic attacks. When daily attacks occurred, they came at a time in my life when there were many things I needed to change. I used to think that "freedom" was not being under authority and that living as I wanted would bring peace. I misunderstood my parents' concern, not as concern, but as judgement. I then realized that the path I had chosen was wrong and I felt that I was unworthy of going back to God. Well-I was wrong, VERY wrong. Panic attacks brought to me to my knees and back to God.

I changed the direction of my life. I saw my parents' love for just that...LOVE and I knew that God didn't consider me unworthy.

However, at times...panic attacks still occur. And they occur now for a different reason. For me, it seems that having a panic attack or even the idea of a panic attack can bring fear to mind. When it grips, it hangs on tight. I am fortunate because I have gone from daily attacks, to random attacks. I at one time thought I was completely over them (still have hope that it will happen). But once in a while they strike back with a vengeance. I even suffered one this past weekend. Why? I am not sure. Thankfully, the Lord has shown me tools and techniques to help when I become anxious.

One tool I have learned is to stop when my body tells me to. If I am very tired and have gone and done too much, if I have given too much of myself...that is a sign I need to rest. If I continue to push myself, I can become susceptible to another attack which leads to fear. This tells me something is wrong.

When the enemy wants to control our mind or feelings, fear becomes present. This can be referred to as the "spirit of fear." The spirit of fear is not of God, it comes from Satan.

2 Timothy 1:7 says: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (NKJV).

God does not instill fear in our hearts or mind. He instills love and peace. 1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..."

God is perfect love. Therefore, I should not fear.

Is there fear in your life? Do you fear the unknown? loneliness? disease? financial distress? One of the hardest things to do is to tell your head what your heart knows. When the struggle of fear is present it is difficult to tell your head what is rational. I know!!!! I try!!!! But just because it is a struggle does not mean peace is not obtainable.

Trusting God, knowing He is there, and relying on Him to help you are perfect ways fear can be removed. When we trust and rely on God we are telling the enemy that he has no control in our lives. Because God tells us in His word that He does not administer fear, we can use this as a tool to fight the "spirit of fear" away.

The only "fear" we should have in our lives is the healthy kind. Healthy fear, you ask? Yes!!! Fear of the Lord.

He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress...(Proverbs 14:26 NIV)

Now that sounds like an AWESOME type of Fear. I claim that one!!!! You?

I pray that if you have fear in your life that both devotionals (sheseeks and rachelwclark.blogspot.com) have offered helpful advice today. I pray that God removes the spirit of fear from your life and that you will learn to trust in Him and rely on His perfect love to cast out all negative fear.

Love in Christ,
Rachel

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a day which we should all have in our hearts every day. Praise and giving thanks to God for each day of life is something that should be a daily part of our routine. However, since there is a day set aside for "Thanks"giving, I want to focus on this day.

The "first Thanksgiving" (although it wasn't repeated each year thereafter until President Abraham Lincoln declared it in 1863) was celebrated in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and the neighboring Wampanoag trial celebrated the harvest for the upcoming winter and a kill of enough food to last a week and enough harvest to get through the winter.

It was later followed by a christian group of pilgrims (formally known as Separatists) declaring a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise in response to evidence of God's favor..."

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a National Holiday to be celebrated the last Thursday of November. But it wasn't made official until Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date as the last Thursday of November in 1941 and it was approved.

George Washington issued a proclomation for Thanksgiving ( each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclomation) declaring a day to be set aside for Thanksgiving which should be "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God."

It is meant to be a time to set aside to thank God for His bountiful blessings in our life. It is a day to focus on all God has provided for us in our lives. Our family, friends, clothes, food, homes, health, Nation, etc...

However, the meaning has been stripped away from this day, entirely. We now focus on the menu, where we will hold the gathering for the meal, over stuffing our bellies (I admit...a fun part), watching the parade, watching football; and some of us while drinking our alcoholic beverages to an excess and then passing out without the first thought of THANKS in our heart.

Then there will more than likely be drama in most household's because either:
A. The turkey will overcook and ruin the chef's mood.
B. The toilet may overflow and flood the house.
C. Aunt Jane Doe will have an attitude problem and get mad about where Thanksgiving is held this year and more than likely not show up.
D. Cousin Janette Doe will arrive unwillingly and sit in the corner with her I-pod stuck in her ears, not speaking to anyone.
E. Little Janette Doette will fall while running and bust her lip, blaming it on John Doe, who will blame it on Jonathan Doe.
F. Uncle Billy will be that person drinking in excess and proceed with foul language and aggravating the kids.
G. Grandma will arrive mad because she wasn't asked to bring her sweet potato pie this year, but instead Great Aunt Gertrude was asked.
(Names have been changed in the Drama Scenario...however, situations are real and have either occured this week or will occur tomorrow)
And so on...

It really is a shame how entitled we all think we really are that we make this about ourselves and not what it really is all about. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." This of course, mean every day.

However, I think this verse needs to remain in our hearts for tomorrow (a.k.a Thanksgiving). Instead of focusing on what we want, lets focus on what we have. Lifting our thanks and praise to God for all He has given us. A free country, another day of life, the clothes on our back, and the food on the table.

I know I am thankful that this country was founded on Christian values and principles. I am thankful that I am free to worship (and blog) for my Lord. May we too remember our troops who can't be home...continuing to fight for us.

Let us also honor our heritage.

I pray that tomorrow you wake up with a grateful attitude and loving spirit. I pray "thanks" will be on your lips and love in your heart. Happy Thanksgiving, remember what it is all about.

God Bless!!!

(Info gathered from History.com, si.edu, and religionfacts.com)
(Go to www.sheseeks.org to read a great post on how to get past all the drama)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Work and Faith and Sin and Goodness...and so on

Hello visitors! How are you today? Things on my end are great this morning (you may be here in the afternoon or evening, but I am writing this in the AM) I have been doing some major soul searching here lately...
(SOOOOULLLL!!!! Where aaarrrreee you? Who aaaarrrreee you?, etc...)

I am reading books, blogs, daily devotionals, praying, seeking, searching. I am getting tired, though. I really must admit it.
You know how when your eyebrows need waxing and your mustache needs trimming ;)
and your legs need shaving and you have to pick out the right outfit and then you fix your hair and apply your makeup just so? You know how tiring that is? Well, trying to primp and pluck and shave and fix your soul is just like that, but ten times more exhausting.

Evaluation:
God breathed? yes or no
peaceful? yes or no
patient? yes or no
loving? yes or no
encouraging? yes or no
giving? yes or no
selfless? yes or no
honest? yes or no
cleansed? yes or no

whew!!!

I really want to be the best for God that I can be. Honest and true and emanating His love. The thing about is, am I trying to work at it or letting Him work at it for me? I mean I WANT to go to heaven. I want to see Jesus face to face and worship God and all of His glory with all of my fellow believers. Hands raised, mouths opened in song, joy flowing, etc...

So, the reason I am trying really hard to evaluate my soul is because I was the number one
"Grace can't be enough for me, maybe if I do this or change that or go here or smile like this; then God will love me more and it will add more points to my Heaven tally"
Each time I slipped up in sin... overwhelming guilt would flood my being and I would think, I have got to do something to make up for this really quick.....let me go grab my Bible or let me go bake someone a cake.

Someone once said to me. "you have a hard time accepting God's grace, huh? Why do you think you aren't worthy?" This really got me thinking. I thought that I thought that I was worthy of grace, do I not think that now? Too many thoughts.

Which leads me to this:
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith --and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--" Ephesians 2:8.

HERE! Right here!!!!!!! This is what is happening

God: (tap, tap)...ummmm hello? Rachel!
Rachel: Me?
God: Yes, you!
Rachel: Yessss sssiiiirrrr???
God: Hi there! Remember me? Almighty, Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega, Bright and Morning Star?
Rachel: Yes Sir
God: Oh, well you have been acting lately like you didn't remember me. Anyway, I see you have been trying to get to heaven by not accepting my grace and thinking your good deeds and works were going to get you there. Is this true?
Rachel: Well, yes...but you see...
God: Um Hum, that's what I thought. Well listen, what part of "You cant get to Heaven by works and deeds without faith" Don't you understand? I know you love me, but if you are going to love me; then you have to believe me. My grace is sufficient for you. I have never lied and never will lie, I am not going to change my mind and say..."Hey, Peter....post a sign at the pearly gates that says effective March 19, 2022 all those who enter need to grab the evaluation form that I set up by Pearly Podium number 1 and check off all the good deeds they have done verses their sin and we're strictly letting in now on a "Works Alone" basis...so those who kinda took it one day at a time...you know, all leisurely, just accepting my love, grace and having Faith in my promises and believing in my Son...they will know you had to work harder. This ain't no free ride up here!"
Rachel: (nervous laughter)
God: But seriously, Rachel. What do you think I sent Jesus to earth for? I let Him come so that all may have an abundant life (John 10:10) and no sin has a hold on you that I cant cover and cleanse (Romans 6:14). You see, you can't work harder than everyone on earth and think that my grace is not what provides for you (1 Corinthians 15:10)

It has taken me many years to understand that God's love and grace is all I need to cover me. I must have the FAITH not the works to believe and receive. I mean works are fine, we are supposed to do good deeds and all that...but, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)

So anyway, Honestly...this blog was more for me than for you. If you get something out of it, great...if not, I am sorry if I wasted your time. (not really) ;)

I think because we are always having to strive to prove ourselves to people and work and society, that we think it is the same with God. The joyous, glorious thing about it is....God's not the same as that, we don't have to prove to Him we are good, He knows our hearts.

Hallelujah for that!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CONTEST

What is your most memorable Holiday moment? Enter your story as a comment. If you run out of space writing, continue your story on a separate comment. It can be funny, inspiring, or whatever you want it to be. Winner of the contest will receive Free Watkins Products. Products include dip Samples to share during the season, lip balm and a small jar of lotion to carry in your purse.
Contest from November 19, 2009 to November 30, 2009. Winner will be announced on here on November 30th. So if you enter, please make sure to check back on the 30th to see if you won and to claim your prize. The winner's story will be posted as the main blog for the day!!! Instructions on how to receive your prize will be explained on the 30th.

Thanks and God Bless!!!
Rachel Clark

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Got to stay away

I have been working on a book proposal. I am getting overwhelmed, I must say. It is all I can think about at night. Catchy Titles, interesting table of contents, witty story lines, encouraging words and on and on and on. I am so ready to have this thing over and done with. However, I have a long way to go. And right now my brain is fried so that makes it even more difficult because A. I feel guilty for stopping so abruptly as this and B. what if my ideas stop flowing and I lose my rhythm?

I had to seek some encouragement from God's word and stumbled across Mark 6:31. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. That is how I have come to feel; coming and going with even no leisure to cook, clean, rest, etc...

God knows that we are goers, overachievers, we push ourselves hard. We don't give ourselves credit for the accomplishments we achieve, but if we perform less than we know we can, we aren't afraid to beat ourselves up about it, either.

So I have to commit myself to staying away from creative thinking for the next two days. This should be hard, but I have to give my brain a rest from all the coming and going it has been performing lately. This may be a little difficult for me, but my brain has got to reenergize and I have to make sure that I wait on God to direct my words for this proposal so it is all about Him and not about me.

Cross your fingers for me :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Are you kidding me?

After really being on a kick lately about women being portrayed as only beautiful if they are perfect & after getting aggravated with us being shown as objects, I would like to know what you think of the following commercial? Please post your comments below. Also, be aware that while visiting this website, the comments below the video are extremely distasteful. I suggest you not read them. To leave a comment here you may have to enter an e-mail address. Do not worry, you will not be bothered with Spam.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCHKXICefFw

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dreaming and Waiting

Okay, I admit it! I am a dreamer! I have a dream in my heart and a desire that burns deeply. I have a feeling that God wants me to be somewhere other than where I am. I have a desire to witness for Him. I want to share God’s love with many women. However, I am stuck.
I don’t know where to start, what to do, how to accomplish it, which path to take, etc…etc… It is rather frustrating, I must admit. The one thing that I remain hung up on is that I want to make sure that what I do for Him will be to glorify Him and not me. I don’t want it to be about me, at all. Our human nature can make us want to seek attention and credit, but it is not up to us to want that for ourselves. The things we do for Christ should be what He wants us to do for him. If we wait for Him to direct out path, our works will not go unseen by the One who matters. And it will produce more good than if we are “doing” for our own credit.
Even now, as I am typing this, I feel a tug in my heart. I am very overwhelmed with emotion because I am seeking. I am seeking His direction and praying for Him to show me what He would have me do and where He would have me go. Is it through blogging, writing devotionals, attempting a book, speaking?
What is it and how do I get there, how can I find it? I feel like it would be easier if God would speak to me like He did Samuel. But then again, I may be confused if He did…such as Samuel was. However, I am trying to take the advice Eli offered Samuel; 1 Samuel 3:9 – So Eli told Samuel "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down…
That is my request…Speak, Lord, I want to hear you. I want to know where you want me to be. I want to know how I can be a voice and witness for you. Use me…your servant is listening!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Low on Dough???

My never-ending cycle of laundry is driving me bananas. The separating, washing, drying, folding and putting them up has me about to scream. The sad thing is this is only a household of two. I don’t know what I would do if there were more clothes to wash. I feel so sorry for those of you with more to do than me.
Everyday seems so routine doesn’t it? Wake up, get the coffee, eat breakfast, get dressed, and start the day over with the same things to do. I used to couldn’t wait to be a grown up with my own house when I was little. But I don’t remember signing up for this….lol.
However, I don’t really think we are intended to live life this way. Sure, there are responsibilities we can’t avoid and that require daily attention. But let’s put some fun back in to our lives. Small things, even. It doesn’t have to be costly. (And who can afford much these days?) The other night my hubby and I ordered cheap dinner and then rode to various locations in our town and took pictures together. It was really fun.
Here are some fun ideas for things you can do with the family or as a date night:
1. Do what we did and eat cheap (order off the dollar menu) drive around town and get out and take some pictures.
2. Have a picnic.
3. Make S’mores.
4. Bake up some brownies and divide them evenly and take them around to friends, family or neighbors.
5. Have a weekly game night (charades or Pictionary ideas can be printed for free off the net)
6. Bring the mattress into the living room and let everyone pile up on it and have a movie marathon.
7. Stay in your pajama’s all day long and make breakfast, lunch and dinner with goodies in between to snack on all day while watching TV and NOT cleaning.
8. Have finger foods one night instead of making dinner.
9. Go to dollar store and buy all $1.00 items to spice up family dinner time. You can find a lot of themed items there…have a luau night.
10. Make a family mission statement and give everyone a copy.
11. Visit a free museum.
12. Make a fort out of blankets or camp out outside.
13. Write encouraging notes and mail them to friends and family.
14. Do a puzzle together as a family.
15. Go rollerblading or bike riding or walk in the woods.
Enjoying life and being content, even when the bank account is low, is what God wants us to do. Part of Philippians 4:11 says….For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (Content means happy, satisfied and pleased)