July 25, 2014

  • Intimacy with God

    draw-near-to-god

    Many of us read the word “intimacy” and get embarrassed. But intimacy is not always about sex. The word is defined as: closeness, togetherness, rapport, attachment, familiarity, friendliness, friendship, affection, warmth, confidence. So, when I talk about intimacy with God, I am talking about coming closer to Him – knowing Him, sharing life with Him.

    So many of us hold God “at arm’s length.” I suppose there are plenty of reasons why we do that. Some of us may be afraid that if we come closer to God, we will be exposed. Yes. That is a part of intimacy, too. But, you have to understand, we are talking about GOD here! He already knows all your business, and He chooses to love you in spite of it.

    Often I observe the behavior of Christians, and I am amazed that they do some of the things they do. One conclusion I have come to about this is that they lack that closeness with God which would change how they act. How much do they honestly love Him?

    I know in many ways, you and I am free to act any old way we please. We are adults. We have a free will. We can make our own choices, right? Ah, yes, but my Lord has bound me to Him with cords of love. We are so close that anything I do or say, or even THINK is laid bare before Him. Knowing how much He loves me should influence the way I act. Knowing the price that was paid so I could have this sweet intimacy with Him helps me to make choices that I know will please Him. If there was no relationship, it would be different.

    If some stranger on the street came up to me and said I was a big jerk, I doubt it would bother me much. They don’t know me. We have no connection. What they think is not my concern. I don’t live to please them. It is easy to brush off their words. But, if someone I care about –someone I love – tells me I am a big jerk… well! That is a different story. Love changes everything.

    Yes. Love. Amazing love. Perfect love.

    Sometimes I hear Christians say that they feel God wants them to do this thing or that thing, but THEY JUST CAN’T. Hmmmm. Why? Could it be because they just don’t love Him enough? Could it be that there are other things in life that are more important to them than their relationship with God? Do they choose fear over Him? Do they choose the opinions of others over Him? Do they choose a comfortable, easy life? Does their pride come first?

    Lest you think I am some kind of “holier than thou” type, I have said no to God a time or two. But, the terrible feeling that weighs my heart down is not worth it. Usually, after a bit of struggle, I find myself running to Him and asking forgiveness and for another chance to obey.

    If you truly love someone, and they ask you to do something, no matter how hard it is, you will try to find a way. You will do everything in your power to grant the request of this one you love. Say, for instance, one of your children becomes ill and needs a kidney transplant, you would PRAY you were a match! Or, suppose your dearest friend is in a desperate situation and needs help. You will try your best to be there for them, right? You LOVE them.

    OK, so if you, as a believer who loves God, is asked by Him to do something – something hard and a little bit scary– will you do it? Will you step out and trust Him? Will you make excuses, or will you take a deep breath and say, “Yes, Lord”? I believe this is the true test of our love for Him.

    (1Jn 4:7-8 NLT) Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

July 18, 2014

  • What my Heart Desires

    balance 2

    To be honest, sometimes I struggle to find the balance, you know? I read the verse that talks about not piling up treasure here on earth, and while you could hardly call what I have treasure, I do like what I have.

    (Matthew 6:19 – 21NLT) “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

    A lot of things I love are right here on earth. Well, not so much THINGS as PEOPLE. I do enjoy my life. I enjoy the beauty of nature, working hard, and laughing with my husband. I adore my grandchildren, and love all of my family and friends. I am happy to be used by God here in Denmark. I love seeing people grow and change. I think of these things as “treasures,” but I don’t think this is what the verse means, either.

    Is there some possession I have that I totally love and could not live without? Hmmm … I do enjoy my possessions, such as they are, but they are just THINGS. I had a bottle of really nice perfume, and I dropped it on the floor. It broke. I felt bad. But — stuff happens. I like perfume. I don’t need it. As missionaries, we certainly do not have a lavish lifestyle. We rent an apartment in government subsidized housing. Our furniture and other furnishings (even most of our clothes) come from second hand shops. But life is good.

    Then sometimes, I look through those glossy magazines, you know? — The ones that show lovely homes, perfect gardens and all that, and if I am not careful, I can feel dissatisfaction trying to rise up in my heart. It can happen so easily. You can find yourself coveting something and resenting where you are and what you have. It’s a dangerous place. It’s a place where you take your eyes of the Lord. When I feel that happening, I remind myself that “stuff” has no eternal value. Living to accumulate nice things is a shallow dream indeed. Owning all that may be nice, but the pleasure that comes with it is fleeting, because soon you find yourself discontented and needing MORE! It is knowing Christ, really knowing Him, that is the great reward! It is living in peace and contentment of His sweet presence that truly satisfies. My heart longs to know Him more. I want others to know Him, too.

    We do not need to feel guilty if we have nice things. We just need to be careful that the nice things to do have US! We need to be sure what matters above all else is the Kingdom of God. We need to remember that while this life is enjoyable, it is a mere eye blink compared to eternity. This is not all there is, but the choices we make here will prepare us for what comes after this life. We have a short time, really, to make a difference in this world.

    So, where is your treasure? What holds your heart? What do you long for?

July 8, 2014

  • Why Do You Do It?

    why we do it
    How many of us do the right things for all the wrong reasons? What are some of the wrong reasons?
    1. Doing things so people will like us.
    2. Doing things to impress others.
    3. Doing things because we are afraid to say no.
    4. Doing things because we like to be in control.
    5. Doing things out of guilt.
    6. Doing things because we are too proud to delegate or ask for help.

    God is looking at our hearts. God is interested in what motivates us. He sees the pride. He sees the fear and guilt. He wants so much more for us than the small life that comes from letting the wrong things rule your actions.

    What are some good motivations to do what we do?
    1. We enjoy it.
    2. We love God and know He has asked us to, and we desire to please Him.
    3. We want to be responsible and set a good example.
    4. We see a need and feel called to help.
    5. We know it is right.
    6. We know it will bring us joy.
    7. We feel compassion.

    The other day I was thinking about how many things people do with fear being the motivation. For example… taking vitamins. Do you take them because it seems like a good idea, or because you are afraid of getting sick? Even things like cleaning the house or washing the car can be motivated by worry of what others might say if we don’t. My mom used to clean the house before the cleaning lady came to clean the house! Kind of silly, isn’t it?

    We worry a lot about what people will think. We really should be most concerned with what GOD will think, but too often, He is pretty far down the list. We try to impress certain people with what we wear, what we drive, etc. How hard to we try to impress GOD?

    I believe if we want to enjoy this life God has so graciously given us, we need to do things for the right reasons.

    (Eccles. 12:1 NLT) Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor Him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”

    The problem with doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is that after a while, you start to be resentful. You feel used and unappreciated. You feel stressed, angry and trapped. There is no joy in that.

    I have found that if I have the proper motivation, I am able to do really difficult things with a good attitude and outcome. If I know it is the right thing for me, the commitment is there, and God gives me wisdom, grace and strength. If I feel pushed or “guilted into” what I am doing, I do not give it my all. I do not try to do my best, and I don’t have the support of the Lord, because He never ask me to be there in the first place!

    So, my friend. What are you doing, and why are you doing it? Have you lost your joy? Are you are feeling burdened and stressed? Resentful? Maybe you are doing things God never ask you to do. Maybe it is time to examine your heart and ask yourself some hard questions.

July 1, 2014

  • Such Joy!

    Joy 3

    Sunshine makes me happy. Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream makes me especially happy. But I can’t be happy every minute. I would weigh 300 pounds! :-) Happiness comes and goes. Some mornings you wake up and you feel good. Some mornings… not so much. That’s life.

    But joy! That is another thing entirely. My joy does not come from possessions, weather, food or circumstances. My joy is a result of knowing Father God, and that can never be taken away from me. It is a constant in my life.

    The dictionary defines happiness as: “the result of a pleasurable or satisfying experience.” Yep. But I see joy as something deeper; something more lasting.

    I suppose, all things considered, I was not a “terrible person” before I gave my life to God. I never killed anyone. I didn’t vulgar language, and I had never been in jail. But, inside I felt sick, dirty and confused. Inside I felt lost and afraid. All of that changed when Jesus took over. All the guilt left. All the sin-sick confusion and shame were gone. Oh! The JOY was incredible!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h89-3_kIRDA Keith Green wrote a song that describes it well. The song is called Your Love Broke Through.

    Like a foolish dreamer trying to build a highway to the sky
    All my hopes would come tumbling down, and I never knew just why
    Until today, when you pulled away the clouds
    That hung like curtains on my eyes
    Well I’ve been blind all these wasted years, and I thought I was so wise
    But then you took me by surprise

    Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
    Until your love broke through
    I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
    Until your love broke through

    All my life I’ve been searching for that crazy missing part
    And with one touch, you just rolled away the stone that held my heart
    And now I see that the answer was as easy as just asking you in
    And I am so sure I could never doubt Your gentle touch again
    It’s like the power of the wind

    Even when things are not going well, I can feel that deep joy singing in my spirit. Sure, I cry sometimes. Circumstances in life can be painful and frustrating, but in the midst of it all, there is an abiding joy. When you read through II Corinthians 4, you hear a bit of what the early disciples of Jesus endured. Many were beaten, stoned, hunted down and tortured for their faith. But they considered it a small price to pay for knowing Jesus.

    (2 Cor 4:8-9 AMP) We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.(V 16-17) That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

    I have never had to suffer what these men and women of God suffered for their faith. I find it uplifting and incredibly wonderful that they were sustained through all their trials by hope and joy. It gives me peace to know this same joy is mine for every situation I must face.

    (1 Peter 1:8 AMP) You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

June 24, 2014

  • No More Muddy Puddles!

    Pig-Pen-447970

    Jesus told his followers to make disciples. That should be a priority for everyone who believes in Jesus. Being one of His own is a privilege, and it comes with responsibilities. It’s kind of like having a driver’s license. There are certain things you may and may not do.

    (Mark 8:34 AMPLIFIED) And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me].

    Deny himself. Uh, yeah. I confess I find this difficult at times. Our society and culture promote selfishness. “You deserve it. Live the good life! If you want it, just put it on your credit card!” We are encouraged to spend plenty of time and money doing what makes us “happy.” The idea of giving up any of our comforts and pleasures make us feel a bit…. squirmy. The idea of denying ourselves…. well, for many, that is just not an option. We have become hardened to the hardships of others. We rarely feel the need to deprive ourselves anything on behalf of another.

    We seem to forget that as Christians, we are not our own any longer. We have been bought and paid for by Christ’s precious blood, so our goals should be His goals; our desires His desires. That is not extreme. That is simple gospel.

    (1Cor. 7:23 NLT) God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.

    Jesus says, 1.) deny yourself 2.) pick up your cross 3.) follow Him. We view crosses as heavy. Crosses are not so comfortable to drag around. They are a symbol of sacrifice, death, shame. The cross is a symbol of laying your life down. Most of us think about this stuff, and we are afraid. Admit it. It just sounds horrid.

    Yes, that’s just what the devil wants us to think. Yes. The cross is hard on the flesh. But, there is so much more to it than that, although most of us never see past the denying part.

    (Mark 8:35-36 AMPLIFIED) For whoever wants to save his [higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God]. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?

    What it all boils down to is, where is your treasure? Where is your heart? If you are totally committed to the Lord Jesus, you will follow. You will be willing to lay down your desires and take up His cause. You will be joyful in the surrender of yourself to Him and His will. You will find the peace and satisfaction that only come from truly serving Him. You will be able to sing, “It is Well With my Soul” and really mean it.

    (1Peter 1:8-9 AMPLIFIED) Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy. [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

    You see, Jesus is not trying to hurt you. He wants to perfect you. He is not about ruining your life and taking away everything you enjoy. He wants to give you more than you can imagine! But, somehow we have this warped idea that it will be awful. Silly us. Imagine that all you knew was dirt. See yourself sitting in a big, mud puddle with both hands filled with gooey, smelly dirt. Now see Jesus, with His eyes full of love for you, standing there holding out His hand. He wants to lift you out of that filthy pit and show you a whole new life! An exciting life! A life free from selfishness and small thinking. A life of joyful service. A life of purpose and peace. In order to receive it, you have to be willing to deny yourself that dirty puddle. Is the choice really so hard?

June 14, 2014

  • Dunlace Castle 2

    Hello, Folks!

    I am back from my visit to N. Ireland. I should warn you that this post is going to be pretty much all about my grandchildren, so if you find that yucky, leave now!

    See? I am using words like yucky! That’s what happens when you are around little people. What can I say? I loved every minute of it. They wore me out, and gave me many new aches and pains, but they hold my heart like no other humans could. I adore them! I changed diapers, hung mountains of laundry, assembled meals (including MANY peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), read stories, played with play dough, rocked tiny Ariela and cuddled with all three. I was up early, and worked all day. When I fell into bed I was exhausted! And I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

    We did have a little time to do some other things. One day we all piled into the church van and went up the coast to Port Rush. We visited Dunlace Castle as well as some other nice places. The castle was incredible! I probably could have spent the day there just wandering around snapping pics! Don’t worry! I will not share all 68 of the photos I took there!

    Sisters on the wall 8 good

    Here are two of my N.Irish cuties! I love Sianna’s accent. Aliza is not talking too much yet. She talks with her big, blue eyes mostly. She is a cuddler, and that suits me fine. Aliza wants to kiss and hug the baby whenever she is in the same vicinity. She pops her pacifier out, kisses Ariela, and sticks it back in!

    Aliza and Ariela 1

    We did a photo shoot with the baby. My daughter is very creative and it took us forever to make the letters and get everything set up, but the results were lovely!

    Ariela 14

    While in N. Ireland I caught a doozy of a cold, and lost my voice. I still haven’t found all of it! The kids also shared an eye infection with me. I didn’t bother about it too much. Thankfully, there was enough of their medicine for me to use.

    Aliza eats ice cream 3

    See what I mean about those eyes? Oh! I love that little face. I think of the three girls, she reminds me most of her mommmy.

    Sianna and I did a lot of projects together. She is a very articulate, confident little person, and I loved listening to her chatter away. We made cinnamon rolls, French toast, and Peppi Pig Muddy Puddle Cake. We blew bubbles, played in the sand, read stories, went shopping, played doctors with her dolls, sang songs, and danced. I think I watched Frozen three times. I watched Tangled and Despicable Me multiple times too. Until this visit, I had never heard of these movies! I now know a lot of the lyrics to the songs in Frozen. I love the snowman, Olaf. Sianna can sing a lot of the songs, and she puts in plenty of drama! Can you say ADORABLE?

    Sianna wears daisies 2 cute!

    One afternoon my daughter treated me to afternoon tea in a very posh place called Secret Gardens. We munched our way through little sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and many other delicious treats — washing it all down with tea, of course! I tried to remember to keep my pinkie up while sipping! :-) It was nice to have some time just with her. The baby was along on the trip, but she slept most of the time.

    I had the opportunity to hear my son in law preach one Sunday morning. It was a challenging, excellent message. He is quite a guy, and I know God has big plans for him. Look out, Russia!

    It was a lovely visit, and sad as well. I will not see them again for some time, as in the Fall they are moving to Russia. They will be going to University in Siberia to learn Russian. After the first school term, they will come back for a visit, and we are hoping and praying that things will work out for us to all get together stateside with my other daughter and her family. We have not all been together in many, many years, and it would be like Heaven to have all of us in one place. Please pray, if you would, that we can manage this. Also, if you are inclined to pray, the kids have their house in Dundonald on the market, and need to sell it ASAP. We are asking God for the right person with the right financing to snap it up for the right price!

    Family is important! Treasure yours. Tell them you love them often. Let them know they can count on you. They are God’s gifts to you. I know He has blessed me with GREAT riches!

    OK, just a few more pictures and I will be done here. I will be putting up some albums on Facebook of all the pics I took if you are interested in looking at them. I miss the “old” Xanga where I knew what I was doing and could make the pics bigger and do more stuff. Thanks for reading! Have a blessed weekend!

    Aliza and Ariela 13

    Coastline near Port Rush 5

    Aliza in the hat 2

    Sianna and Ariela 2

    Dunlace Castle Craig and Sianna

    Dunlace Castle 9

May 22, 2014

  • 10341532_10152129576018601_4159086863685262672_n

    This is Ariela Roar Brotherston. Ariela means Lioness of God. My daughter and son in law believes names are important, and it is their desire that this little person will grow up to be one who will not back down, but ROAR for Jesus! Isn’t she adorable? I have already heard her “roaring” when we talked on SKYPE!

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    Here is Sianna, who is three, holding her new sister.

    Thursday I will be leaving for three weeks to visit my daughter and her family who live in N. Ireland. I will get to meet Ariela in person! That makes four granddaughters and two grandsons for me! I am rich! I can’t wait to get there and spend time with all my little people. We have such fun! I totally wear myself out and then they shovel my into the airplane and I come back to my husband to recuperate. :-)

    This visit will be bittersweet, as in the Fall, they will be moving to Siberia. I don’t see myself making THAT trip to visit them, but then again, who knows? It was hard for me at first to adjust to the news of their moving. If I had my way, I would have both my daughters living just down the street where I could see my sweet grandchildren all the time. But, that was not God’s plan, and I am OK with it. I am proud of both my daughters and sons-in-law because they make serving God a priority.

    Sometimes we forget that we are only on this earth for a short time. What is this compared to eternity? And yet, how we live here has a tremendous affect on how that eternity will be spent. I try to keep my focus on God’s Kingdom and not be selfish. I know I have to share my children with the world! I am so blessed and thankful for the times God does allow me to be with them. I miss them terribly, but we stay in touch, and I hold them close in my heart and my prayers.

    Blessings to all you sweet people who still read my posts! See you when I get back!

May 19, 2014

  • the-truth-about-mlm

    We live in a society and generation where the truth seems to have become relative. Every day we are assaulted with things that are not true. Political statements, commercials, media and news. They are all slanted to present a certain perspective. It’s almost like people will say and promise anything to get you to be on their side!

    (Psalm 51:6 MSG) What You’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

    I have to laugh at all the types of shampoo, and all the amazing claims they make; bouncy, shining hair, more volume, repairing of split ends, and on and on it goes. All the companies are vying for your business, when the plain truth is, shampoo is soap for your hair. Clean hair is shiny. Clean hair smells nice. Clean hair is clean hair, and shampoo is pretty much….. shampoo. Oh, I know we all have our favorites, but face it, none of them can work miracles!

    (Psalm 144:11 NLT) Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

    But we fall for it, don’t we? We are often taken in by the hype. We WANT to believe it, mostly because we want what is promised.

    What concerns me is that we have been conditioned to “choose our own truth.” It’s as if there is no real absolute and can just shop for the “version” we like.

    truth quote

    Over and over scripture warns us not to be deceived. If we are deceived, we may see something evil as good. We accept a lie as truth, and of course, this will influence our behavior.

    (John 18:37 NLT) Pilate said, “So You are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

    God wants us to know that truth is not OPTIONAL. Jesus, God’s son told us He is the way, the truth and the life. We need to love the truth. It should be a priority in our lives. We need to be aware of the wiles of the world that say it is OK to create our own reality. We need to understand we can’t play with the truth, and we must be wary of those who twist the real facts to create a “designer truth. We need to watch that we are not doing this ourselves. We also need to teach our children that truth is important. May we do as this verse below declares.

    (Proverbs 8:7 NLT) for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception.

May 12, 2014

  • What the World Needs

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    Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it means to truly love God. Most of us know that’s “part of the package” when you are a Christian, but from my observation, I wonder how many are actually, genuinely, passionately in love with God.

    When I was falling in love with my husband, I wanted to be with him every minute. If I wasn’t with him, I was thinking about being with him! I loved to make him smile. I loved hearing what he thought about things. I wanted to make him happy, and I would never, ever cheat on him or purposefully do anything that would hurt him. I felt it was important to express my love to him in thoughtful ways, and to tell him often that I loved him. Love is a CHOICE as well as an emotion. If you have chosen to love someone, your actions and emotions are usually engaged!

    The word “love” is so overused these days. We love peanut butter, the beach, Star Wars, chocolate, hiking…. and God. We have tried to pull God down to our level and make Him ordinary. He could never be ordinary. I mean, how many others do you know who are omnipotent? Timeless? Omniscient? Fathomless in love and wisdom?

    What does it mean to love God? How do we do that? Perhaps the most important thing we can do is get to know Him. How can we love what we do not know? We THINK we know Him, but often it is a “third person” kind of knowing. We tend to know a lot ABOUT God from hearing sermons, or singing songs about Him, but do we really KNOW HIM? Have we experienced Him for ourselves?

    (Mark 12:30-31 AMPLIFIED) And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

    It is impossible to worship or trust God if we don’t love Him. Since worship and trust are expressions of our love and devotion, without that commitment, we are just going through the motions.

    I also believe you cannot choose to just love God “a little bit.” It is all or nothing. It is either total, sold out surrender, or it is empty, lukewarm gunk. Those who love God with all that is within them are those who live in the light of eternity. They are the ones who have built their houses on the Rock. They will stand when others fall. There will be no turning back.

    Most of us want to love God cautiously. Most of us only want to give Him a smidgen of our lives. We still expect God to be incredible for us, but we don’t want to invest too much in the process. Hmmm… No wonder the world is still lost. No wonder many consider Christians to be a joke when many of us have no passion or power.

    If we love God, how can we struggle with fear? If we live in the light of His presence, His joy and peace should fill us. I am trying to be honest here. I know I need to love God more. I am often weak and lazy in my pursuit of Him. But, I know in Him I will find all my heart longs for. I know in this crazy, sin-sick world, His arms are the only safe place to be. So, my prayer for the church (and myself!) is that God will draw us nearer — that we will become sickened by our mediocrity and choose instead to fall passionately in love with the One who created us for that purpose.

April 27, 2014

  • What to Do With a Troubled Heart

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    Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me. (John 14:1 AMP)

    We live in troubled times, and there are many things which, if dwelled upon in our thinking can trouble our hearts. This verse in John implies that we can choose NOT to give in to these thoughts.. We don’t have to fret. We have a choice.

    Unfortunately, sometimes worry becomes a habit, and a habit is hard to break. God is working in my life to teach me to trust Him more. He is a big God — a big God who can do ANYTHING! And, fretting accomplishes nothing positive at all. Nothing.

    I may have shared with you before that I come from a long line of high caliber worriers. We are talking Olympic class! I have really had to work to shut off the worry gene. One technique I find especially helpful is to develop a habit of replacing the worrying thoughts with good Bible verses which focus me not on the problem — but instead, on the One Who solves them.

    I have color coded my Bible using colored pencils, and every peace scripture I know is shaded in green, which is to me, a peaceful color. (Salvation scriptures are red, Heaven scriptures are blue, grace is yellow…. you get the idea!) I also put a little, red “P” in front of every scripture which holds a promise from God. When I am feeling unsettled, I can flip through my Bible and read some peace verses and promises easily. I have found this to be an effective way to calm my heart. I invite God’s peace and presence in, and I build up my faith.

    Sometimes I like to picture me handing the problem over to God. Then I ask myself, “Whose problem is it now?” And of course, there it is in God’s hand, so I can say, “God’s!” Every time after that when I start to worry about it again, I just close my eyes and picture it in Almighty God’s capable hands.

    It also helps to be with positive encouraging people whenever possible— people who lift me up rather than pull me down. Listening to good worship music also ministers to me and helps to keep me focused on God.

    What do you do when your heart is troubled?