Tag Archives: worry

Who Am I? (part 2)

When I was a girl, we had 4 fruit trees growing in the front yard. Since I was the youngest of 7 kids, guess who always got stuck picking up the rotten fruit that fell off the trees …  ME!

One day, while picking up rotten fruit, two kids from down the block came by and picked a few apples off one of the trees.  My behavior was terrible – I can admit that now!   But at the time, the only thing going through my 8 year old head was – that was MY fruit, and they were stealing it!

Of course, it wasn’t really my fruit.  It was my dad who worked day after day to pay for that house we lived in.  He mowed the lawn, he tended the trees, and he was the rightful owner of the fruit they bore.   But as my father’s daughter, what is his is also mine.   And so when someone steals from my father, they are also stealing from me.

I acted in response to the knowledge of who I was … daughter of the owner of the property, and rightful heir of all that was his.   I pelted them with over-ripe oranges.  (Oh the shame of that admission! LOL)

The same applies to you and me today. 

As our Father’s children, what is His is also ours!

For those of us who have been “adopted” into the family of God, what belongs to our Heavenly Father also belongs to us!   And we need to stop letting the voices of this world define our worth and value as people, and instead – let God tell us of our identity, of who we are, and who we were created to be!

As a young girl, my identity was shaped by the voices of people who told me I didn’t measure up.  I felt unwanted and unloved, with no voice, no choice, and no power.  As I grew into a woman, I repeatedly chose men who also treated me badly – because in the secret places of my heart, I didn’t believe I could expect any better.  But my life began to radically change when I began to listen to Gods voice telling me who I was.

Beloved, when you correctly understand your identity in Christ, who you are – and what is yours (the power, the authority, the dignity, the calling) as children of the Living God – it will change the way you think about yourself.  And that “right standing” will change the choices you make on a daily basis, and will ultimately change the course of your life, and the lives of your children and grandchildren.

And it all starts with how you answer the question “WHO AM I?”

(since 2011, Matthew West has put out a wonderful song entitled “Hello, My Name Is“.  Take a listen and start singing about your true Identity!)

Who Am I
Who Am I

Who Cares

MH900400301One of the more recent additions to my ever-growing audio/video message library is entitled “Who Cares, Living Free From the Weight of Worry” by Jeremy Pearsons of Kenneth Copeland Ministries.    Jeremy does a fabulous job in bring home the simple yet profound truth that once we really know how deeply and completely we are loved by God, fear looses it’s power over us!

Somewhere within the message series, Jeremy Pearsons makes an observation in reference to Romans 8:31 that really struck a chord with me.  To the best of my recollection it goes like this:

“If God is for us, who can be against us!  And if God is against us, who can be for us?”    ~Jeremy Pearsons

So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?  Who will bring a charge against God’s elect people? It is God who acquits them.”     (Romans 8:31-33)

Think about that.   I mean, if you and I truly believe that God is for us (as in deeply loves and cares for us) – then what does that say for every person, circumstance or power that is against us?

Said a little differently, if God is for me – then by contrast it also means that God is against everything that isn’t for me!  And if God is against something or someone … brother, that’s just BAD news!!!!!

Many years ago, I learned a little chorus.  I don’t know the name of the song, nor the author … I suspect that it might be a snippet from a Jewish or Messianic psalm.  In any case, I have never forgotten it and if often brings me comfort on challenging days.

“This I know, my God is for me
This I know

This I know, my God is on my side
My God is for me
This I know.”

~unknown

I encourage you to take some time to meditate on the love of God for you.   Search the Word for His promises to you, feed your spirit!  Keep your focus on the love of God vs whatever challenges are facing you today.  You are His beloved, and He does and will continue to care for (watch over, protect, attend to, teach/train, protect, defend,) you!

According to Hebrews 2:14-15, Christ has ‘render the devil powerless’ and made free those were all their lives held captive to him through fear.  You and I have been set free from fear!

So like I said in an earlier post, ‘me and Fear have had a ‘break up”.  I’m not taking his calls anymore, and when Fear knocks on my door … I don’t answer, and fear not!   And if Fear won’t leave on his own accord,  I make an introduction!!

“Jesus, may I introduce you to Fe…… ”  (insert sound of running feet)   Hmmm … where did he go?”

Works every time!

Be blessed,
Jenny

PS – if you happen to know the origin of the song/chorus, please do tell!

911 – What’s your emergency?

The other day, my oldest daughter and I were practically rolling on the floor laughing!  She had one of those moments when she realized … gasp … that she is becoming more and more like her mom.  Hey, we’ve all had those moments – and not all of them are funny.  But this one was!!  Hysterical in fact!   And in the telling of her own ridiculously silly story, she reminded me of an incident back in the late 1990’s when we were still living in California.    But first a little background…

I have raised my two daughters, both married now to fine and godly men, as a single parent since they were 4 and 7.   And as a single parent, I think I felt the weight of keeping my family safe a little differently than many moms might – after all, there was no husband around to check out those bumps in the night.    In addition to being a light sleeper (listening for noises that don’t belong), I regularly checked the doors before going to bed, ‘cleared the house’ when we’d all been out for a considerable period of time, and all the other things that one does to protect their children.    After all, that’s what parents do.

Well, by the time of this particular event, my daughters were well into their teens, and I had just returned home from work about the same time as they arrived home from after school events.   It was while I was moving about the house that I discovered a rather large clump of ‘freshly cut hair’ in the bathroom.  You know, like when you go to the salon for a major style change and they cut off locks of hair which then fall to the floor in clusters (for example, large ringlets of wavy hair)?  Well, it was like that.  Like someone had cut their hair in my bathroom.  But this was just ONE clump of ‘freshly cut hair’, and it wasn’t ours!!!!

I was completely freaked out!   My brain could make no sense of this!  Feeling very violated and very vulnerable, I began to panic.  They tell me that with hair in hands, I ran back and forth through our little 900′ house chanting “what kind of pervert breaks into someone’s house to cut their hair???”  I was even considering calling the police!  I suspect it would have gone something like this:

FB_emergencyApp_911911 Operator:  911, what is your emergency?
Me:  I think someone broke into my house!
911 Operator:  Is there evidence of a break in?
Me:  No, not that I can find.
911 Operator:  Is anything missing?
Me:  No, not that I know of.
911 Operator:  What makes you think someone broke in to your home?
Me:  There is a clump of hair in the bathroom!!!

Well, you can imagine how that would have sounded!  Thankfully, my daughters are a lot smarter than their mom.  I now blame it on that strange mysterious thing that happens when you turn 40.  You know … when the brain kinda flickers on and off?   After about an hour of looking like a complete lunatic before my daughters, they both start laughing hysterically and point to a patch on the top of my head where my hair suddenly goes from about 8″ to only 2″ in length!   Yup, I had burned off my own hair with the curling iron that morning and didn’t even notice it!!!!   Which also means I also went to work looking like that!

Well, there is a reason to my telling this story … but you’re going to have to wait for it.  My youngest daughter,  still very much smarter than her mom, has pointed out that shorter blogs are preferred to long dissertations.  So you guessed it – this is a “Part 1 of 2” type of blog post.  But while you wait, hopefully you have had a good chuckle and maybe even remembered a few silly things you’ve done over the years.

“A merry heart does good, like medicine.”   (Proverbs 17:22a)

It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself, even better if others can laugh with you!!  Why don’t you add your own story to the comment section and we’ll keep the laughter going!

Be blessed,
Jenny

PS – don’t forget to check back next week for Part 2!!

Staying Positive In Difficult Times

This post was originally published under an older blog of mine in July 2011, just one month before I received a new job offer! Funny thing is that those very lessons I was learning back then (about guarding my thoughts and minding my tongue) are just as important today as they were then.  I enjoyed reading this again, as though for the first time.  I hope you do too!

It’s late, and I really ought to be in bed by now.  But after tossing and turning for the past hour and a half, I finally came to the realization that this is not going to be one of those nights when sleep comes easy to me.    Words are bouncing around in my head and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get them to shut up and leave me alone so that I can get some sleep.  And so instead of tossing and turning for another hour and a half, I have  decided to get up and put pen to paper (so to speak),  trusting that this restlessness is actually God inviting me to partner with Him to meet a need.  Believing that this writing, written as an act of obedience,  will be a blessing to somebody out there.

Today was a good day.  I was able to accomplish most of what I intended to do today, which not only included finishing a blog post I’d been working on for a few days but also catching up with a dear friend who lives in another state.  But I think what really has me so amped up at 11:58 pm are the endless “possibilities” that are before me.   Let me elaborate.

mhGv1bGFirst, a bit of background.  Just under 1 month ago, I joined the ranks of the unemployed.   I’ll be honest and tell you that it was a little scary those first few days of unemployment.  I know several people that have been looking for jobs for well over six months – and the more people you talk to, the more of those stories you hear.  And so as soon as I lost my job, I had to make a decision.  Will I listen to new reports and war stories of family and friends telling me how bleak the job market is right now?  Or will I listen to and put my faith in what the scriptures say about my future?  I choose the later!   And so for the past 4 weeks, I have been rigorously  ‘guarding’ my eyes, ears and thought life so that I am not giving a home to any fear-based thinking about what will happen if …

Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.  For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.  – Ephesians 6:11-13

When negative news reports come on, I turn to another channel.  When friends tell me how bad the job market is, I quietly rehearse in my head scriptures about God’s promise for provision to those who love Him.  When worry knocks on the door, I don’t stand around and chat with it – invite it in for a nice cup of tea, nor go out on the porch for a quick little catch-up.  Nope, I smack that door shut and then crank up some worship music so that I can’t hear the knocking anymore!

Now lest I sound like some simple minded Pollyanna, let me be very clear about one thing.  Staying positive in difficult times is not for sissies!   It requires putting on the full armor of God, because if you only put on a few select pieces, I guarantee you that your adversary (the devil) is going to attack those unprotected areas and take you out!   So put on the whole suit – the ‘belt of truth’, the ‘breastplate of righteousness’, your feet fitted with the ‘gospel of peace’.  Put on the ‘helmet of salvation’ and take up the ‘shield of faith’ in one hand and the ‘sword of the Spirit’ in the other.  And of course, PRAY!  This is a war.  And you, my friend, are a called to be a Gladiator!

So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.  At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.  And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.  Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.    – Ephesians 6:14-18

In addition to guarding my thoughts, I am minding my tongue – which is to say that I’m careful about the words I allow to come out of my mouth.  Instead of giving in to the temptation to speak doom and defeat over my circumstances (i.e. I  heard that there are more than 100 applicants for every job out there, I hope I don’t run out of money before I find a job, etc.), I am instead speaking God’s Word over my circumstances!

Proverbs 18:21 reads “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (NASB).  In other words (quoting Charlie E here) … ”you will have what you say’.   Friend, if we are going to ‘eat the fruit of our words’, it only makes sense that you and I be purposeful about what we say!  We must train our tongue to speak God’s Word over our circumstances.   The scriptures are overflowing with promises of provision and prosperity (having more than enough to meet every need for every area of your life).   Cant think of any?  Read my earlier post entitled “I am: Blessed”  and then open your mouth and start speaking out loud the Word of God over your life and circumstances.

And going hand-in-hand with minding my tongue is feeding my spirit.   A couple weeks into the job hunt I hit a wall.  I was mentally and emotionally exhausted.  Nobody was calling me about my resumes, but of course my estranged friends Worry and Fear were quick to come knocking on the door to share with me the latest stats on how many months I should expect to be out of work.  I cranked up the worship music.  The knocking continued.  I watched some Daystar TV.  They rang the doorbell.  Eventually, I took to loading up my Nano with just about every Podcast teaching I could find by a few of my favorite Pastors (Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Brian Houston) and started taking 6 am walks  … long walks.  Yup, with headphones on and sound teaching streaming into my ears, I opened wide the door and walked  straight past  Fear and Worry, listening to one Podcast after another (i.e.  feeding my spirit) and refusing to turn back towards home until those old cronies legs got tired and they quit following me!  By the time I got back home each day, my faith was so stirred up that I was well prepared to face the challenges of the day with a victorious attitude.   It was awesome!   I’m still replaying several of those teachings in my head even while I type this.

Now I’m not necessarily suggesting that you start walking 4-5 miles a day, but do what you have to do to feed your spirit!  You can put on the armor of God and quote scripture over your circumstances til your blue in the face, but if your spirit man is malnourished, you aren’t going to have the strength and stamina to stay in the game long enough to win this battle!

Four steps to staying positive in difficult times

1.  Put on your Armor

2.  Guard your eyes, ears and thoughts

3.  Open your mouth and speak (appropriate) God’s Word over your life / situation / circumstances

4.  Feed your spirit

 

Now back to my earlier comment about being amped up about the  endless “possibilities” that are before me.   You see, while I was lying in bed trying to reel in my runaway thoughts, I got the brilliant idea to quietly speak (out loud) all the things that I am grateful for about today.  Like how grateful I am for the direction the Holy Spirit provided this morning when I was doing some writing.   How blessed I was to be able to connect with this  out-of-state friend of mine in the afternoon.   What a wonderful teaching I listened to later in the day, and how happy I am that I have learned how to release  my faith in the power of the blood to secure victory over my circumstances.  And then I started naming them off.  One thing led to another, and instead of winding down, I got so excited that I knew I’d not be able to sleep for at least another hour or two.

So there you have it.  The late night (actually, now early morning) ramblings of one very tired woman!  I’m praying that its just fatigue and a wild imagination that keeps seeing little brown shadows flitting across my office floor.   Imagination or not, I’m getting a little creeped out and am going back upstairs to bed before I succumb to the temptation to start singing the song “You’ve Got To Put Your Armor On” by Psalty The Singing Songbook.

Oh, whatever … why not! Who doesn’t like a good chorus??

You’ve got to put your armor on.
You’ve GOT to put your Armor on!
YOU’VE GOT TO PUT YOUR ARMOR ON!
SO YOU’LL * BE * SAFE!!

Side note:  my daughters loved Psalty when they were growing up, and now that I’ve discovered the Psalty collection is still available, I’m totally going to get some to share with my grandchildren!

Goodnight and be blessed!

Jenny