In the End

My job is not to hide away in some obscure shelter under the false notion that I’ll be protected from harm. Instead, it’s God’s will that I embrace the cross and endure whatever trials come wherever I am, withstanding it all to declare, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” in victory!

 

Photo Credit: Mountains – Free pictures on Pixabay

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Greater than My Fear

Yes, I feel afraid when I hear of all the awful things going on in the world. But I know my God is greater than my fear, and I know that one day, after my flesh has been destroyed, I will see him with my own eyes.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Landscape, Night, Road – Free Image on Pixabay – 696825

The Only Refuge

I am convinced that while there is no safe place on earth, there is no safer place than in the only refuge that will withstand the ravages of evil. “God is our refuge and strength.”

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Eilean Donan, Castle, Fortress – Free Image on Pixabay …

No Safer Place

I drifted off to sleep the other night with one persistent thought floating through my mind: wouldn’t it be nice if I could whisk my family away to some safe place, hidden from the trauma and turmoil that is our modern world? I reeled through an imaginary rolodex of potential locations only to cross them off my mental list.

Some…other…country? Nowadays, the threat of terror seems to run rampant in everywhere.

A remote island? Not with the danger of tsunamis and hurricanes.

A wilderness hideout? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

A picture of Antarctica flashed across my computer screen as it powered up the next day. How cold does it really get there, anyhow? And would we have what it takes to survive the terrain?

I realize how unrealistic (and selfish) my ponderings are, but I wouldn’t be surprised to discover I’m in the company of millions who have such thoughts on occasion. Who wouldn’t want to escape the madness of today for somewhere more peaceful and predictable? The truth is, I learned long ago there is no such place on earth.

Even amidst Scriptures so woven with comfort and hope, we’re told that in this world we will have trouble. As a matter of fact, these verses warn that deep darkness will cover the earth before the dawning of great light. We will “hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

Sound familiar? Even if you haven’t read the Bible, I’m sure it does…because this is now our daily reality.

If anything, I am convinced that while there is no safe place on earth, there is no safer place than in the only refuge that will withstand the ravages of evil: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Yes, I feel afraid when I hear of all the awful things going on in the world. But I know my God is greater than my fear, and I know that one day, after my flesh has been destroyed, I will see him with my own eyes. And until then, my job is not to hide away in some obscure shelter under the false notion that I’ll be protected from harm. Instead, it’s his will that I embrace the cross and endure whatever trials come wherever I am, withstanding it all to declare, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” in victory! For he has promised that one day “he will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things [will have] passed away.”

Whatever is…

The Most Important of Seeds

Our thoughts are among the most important of seeds, yielding a harvest of good or of evil. May our thoughts bear good fruit, producing words and actions of justice and truth, mercy and love.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Straw, Straw Bale, Harvest, Field – Free Image on …

Beware the Mind Invaders

Blog_UFOI’ve done stupid things, and I’ve done stupider things. And though I tell my kids stupid is a bad word, it’s just not possible to describe my most recent near-catastrophe without saying it was one of the stupider things I’ve done.

It all started with fear. Some rogue message appeared on my computer warning that if I didn’t click the link my computer would be infected with a deadly virus. I didn’t click the link. Yay, me. Smart choice. But throughout the day, I kept worrying that maybe my computer WAS getting sick and would shut down and lose all my treasured info. Hardly catastrophic on the scale of world catastrophes, but for a writer it would be quite devastating to lose a dearly beloved laptop.

Long story short, I looked for a reputable virus removal software, clicked the link to download, and that’s where it all went bad. Before I knew it, I was on the line with some outsourced customer service agent of some not-so-reputable company trying to take over my computer. As they small-talked me about the crazy weather and other random topics, they were subtly attempting to sneak info from my computer while implanting viruses.

Good thing my husband was smart enough to shut it all down and clean it all up before it was too late.

The same thing can happen with our minds. Fear sets in, leading us to seek defense. Somehow, in the process, we download bad info that attempts to take over our minds.

Take bitterness, for example. Someone hurts us. We fear they’ll hurt us again. Our defenses go up. Yet as we seek to protect ourselves, something insidious seeps into our thought life. While we initially sought to control our circumstances, we find we are the ones being controlled. Before we know it, bitterness rules our thoughts, words, and actions, if not paralyzing us completely.

The danger of allowing bad data to enter our thoughts applies in every arena, from self-hatred to racism to rage to depression. It begins with fear, moves to self-protection, then whammo! We’re the victims of a mind invasion.

When I realized what was happening to my laptop, it had to be shut down, rebooted, examined, and cleaned up. We had to put up a firewall, protecting my data from malware. We need the same defense when it comes to our thought life. And how much more valuable are our minds.

“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.”
(Margaret Thatcher)

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)