Tag Archives: fear

The Legend of Soaring Eagle

In a massive nest in the top of a majestic tree overlooking a clear Colorado lake lived a family of eagles. Faithful Father was a diligent provider, often leaving the nest for hours to find food for his family. Loving Wings, the mother eagle, stayed mostly with her eaglets, Fancy Flier and Lazy Eagle, shielding them from the bitter cold of winter and the drenching spring rains that preceded the splendor of summer.

One beautiful day, as the sun illumined the expanse of an azure sky, Loving Wings stood up and nuzzled Fancy Flier tenderly. Fancy Flier, content always to be near her mother, didn’t see what was about to come next. As they stood near the edge of the nest taking in the beauty of the sparkling lake far below, Loving Wings pushed her daughter out of the nest just as Faithful Father swooped beneath her, flapping his wings and urging her to do the same. Stunned, yet trusting the ones who loved her so dearly, she followed her father’s example and began flapping her wings, too. Before long, she was lifted by the wind currents, the very breath of the God who created her to soar majestically as an eagle should.

Curiously, Lazy Eagle stood by observing all that had happened, in utter disbelief that a loving parent could do such a cruel thing to a young eaglet. Determined not to be pushed out of the nest, he hunkered down in the bottom of it refusing to be coaxed near its edge. What sense did it make, after all, to leave the comfort of his nest and the presence of Loving Wings, who was always there to feed him the tasty morsels of meat and fish that Faithful Father brought to the nest after a good hunt? What more did he need than food, a comfortable nest, and the protective covering of Loving Wings to shield him from the harsh elements?

Excitedly, Fancy Flier returned to the nest, quite breathless from her first flight as a fledgling eagle. She pleaded with Lazy Eagle to join her in flight, describing the thrill she felt as she soared high in the sky seeing their world with new eyes. But nothing she said could persuade Lazy Eagle to toddle to the edge of the nest to even look at the lake below. Fear of what he did not know was so much stronger than the assurance of something better that he curled up in the nest refusing to budge.

Realizing that Lazy Eagle would never leave the nest as long as Faithful Father and she were there to sustain him with their love and provision, Loving Wings decided to take Fancy Flier and abandon the nest, leaving Lazy Eagle to fend for himself. It was the only way she could teach him a timeless truth that every eagle must learn: “The bird that will not leave the nest will never learn to fly.” Although Lazy Eagle thought it cruel of his family to desert him, he was stubborn and determined to stay right where he was, regardless of how beautiful and exciting the world outside the nest might be. Loving Wings knew that he would eventually die if he didn’t choose to leave the nest and she prayed that he would make the right choice and eventually take wing and fly, depending on the wind to carry him as he searched for food to sustain him. With a heavy heart, she and Fancy Flier flew to a cliff on the other side of the mountain where they remained hidden from Lazy Eagle. Faithful Father, however, occasionally returned to the vicinity of the nest, never pushing Lazy Eagle from it but always encouraging and inviting him to spread his wings and soar like the eagle he was created to be.

After days without food or the loving embrace of his parents, Lazy Eagle decided to risk falling to his death in order to find his wings. As he stepped out of the nest and into a freefall he prayed that somehow he would survive. As Faithful Father swooped beneath him to protect and encourage him, Lazy Eagle began to flap his wings and fly. As he rose on the currents, his family joined him and Faithful Father gave him a new name, Soaring Eagle.

Copyright © 2011 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

The Power In Peace

Power Of Peace

Have you ever experienced the power in God’s peace? Peace is sometimes defined as a state in which turmoil ceases. It occurs between nations when they sign an agreement with one another on the parameters and borders and interactions between themselves. Peace is not the document. Peace is the trust of individuals to keep their word concerning the document. Peace is the absence of conflict, battles, and war.

Synonyms of peace are tranquility, calmness, stillness. For us, it is the absence of chaotic heartbeats and sweaty palms and frantic activity. It comes in quietly, yet simultaneously floods your soul and stills the rapid rythym of the blood coursing through your veins.

What causes you unrest, disquiet, anxiety? The outward circumstances? The unknown and unproven? The regrets and apprehension you will repeat your actions and end up with the same results? That is because you trust in your own abilities, your own experiences, your own resources. When we think it is all up to us, our adrenaline surges, our blood begins to pump. Sometimes we lose the ability to reason. We are confused. We envision all the problems that can occur.

When we trust in God, in His Word–we do not lean on our own understanding, but rely on and depend on God. When we rely on Him and His proven promises, He stills our hearts and calms our spirit; He gives wisdom and discernment to our minds. When that occurs, our bodies find His peace waiting to quiet our heartbeat. He creates a respite of refuge we cannot grasp or describe with human words. Even now, my words are inadequate, they are clumsy wads of vagueness. However, you know it when you have it–just as you know you know God, when you know Him. And when you don’t have peace, you know it cannot be produced by your own means. It is of God.

It’s like watching water pooling in one area, seemingly without one ripple of movement. Unless you walk down a bit further, you would miss seeing its power pouring over a dam of rocks and surging mightily on down the stream of water.

When men make peace, they place confidence in other men’s integrity and honesty. Yet, even in their most sincere moment, they each know the other could change course and break the treaty agreement. When God makes peace, He reconciles our hearts to His; He fuses His life into ours. He dwells in us and gives us the peace and confidence in Him that flows with power based on His strength, His ability to move the water downstream. Peace knows God is moving, acting and working together all things according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Peace rests in the pool of God’s will as He moves the current and releases His power.

God’s peace releases an inner confidence that cements faith in place. It’s power calms the calamity within an anxious heart just as certain as Jesus calmed the raging seas which terrified His disciples.

Jesus does the same for us. “Peace I leave you…”, He promises. He calls us to come:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

PRAYER: O, LORD, thank you for Your peace.  Thank you for giving me calm in my turmoils.  You are the answer to my questions. You are the protection for my life. You are the provision for my needs. You are the peace I can depend upon to see me through whatever comes my way. Keep me ever mindful of these facts so I continue to rest in the peace You freely give to me.

© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011

Cry Out to God

There are days that I just feel like crying. My soul hungers for answers and I groan before God. These are the times where I don’t understand His ways – even if I still trust in His heart.

May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word. Psalm 119:169

Sometimes it’s enough for me to simply cry to the Lord. To vent to Him. To have Him there to listen. It’s reassuring for me to unleash my heart on His shoulders; knowing that He carries all my concerns with such great care.

I seek understanding…often. I seek relief from my doubts, fears, and concerns. But it’s almost more important to me to be heard. I need to know that I matter. That my thoughts, heart, and voice…matter. I need to know and feel like God sees me.

Yes, sometimes that’s more important to me.

He DOES see me. He DOES hear me and I DO matter to him. He provides me a way for my cry to come before Him and to rest at His feet.

Some days my heart just wants to pour out. It doesn’t want advice or direction – although it might the next day or the day after that. It simply wants to spill. It wants to unleash all that lies within it – the emotion, the feeling, and the questions.

I’m so thankful that my cry can come before the Lord in those moments and on those days. I’m so thankful that He never gets tired of me and that I’m not a burden.

May my cry come before you, Lord. Today – and always.

 

~ Dionna Sanchez (http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com)

 

Bible Verses On Freedom

Below are some Bible verses that relate to freedom we have in Christ. Freedom can be defined in several ways for different individuals. Some people are in bondage to fear, to sin, to other people, to circumstance. Through Christ we are assured God delivers, rescues, frees, and releases Believers from all kinds of chains: be they physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. I pray you find some verses here to help you understand the freedom God offers you. Feel free to add your favorite verse in the comment box below.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

When we struggle to accept the freedom we have in Christ. When others need to be encouraged to rest in Christ and not the laws of man.:

“Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?” Acts 15:10

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.” 2 Corinthians 1:10

“In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free.” Psalm 118:5

“Since the children [are human], He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy Him who holds the power of death– that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15

PRAYERS for deliverance, rescue, and help:

“Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.” Psalm 25:20

“The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior! He is the God who avenges me. . . who sets me free from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:47-49

When Others Cast Doubts:

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance– now that He has died as a ransom to set them free…” Hebrews 9:15

“But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” Galatians 3:22

“The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.” 2 Peter 2:9

“Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you are a shield around me, O LORD…From the LORD comes deliverance. Psalm 3:2-3, 8

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

“For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in His sight. Psalm 72:12-14

“When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors He will send them a savior and defender, and He will rescue them.” Isaiah 19:20

Security in Christ’s Freedom:

“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:17-18

“Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Psalm 50:15

“With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.” Proverbs 11:9

“I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

“But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” Malachi 4:2

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Galatians 1:3-5

Examples of God’s Deliverance and Faithfulness:

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 God saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace to show His watchcare and power to deliver.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20 God freed Joseph from the pit and raised him up in Egypt to high authority with Pharoah in order to save Israel from famine and certain death.

Why God Rescues and Sets Me Free:

“Because He loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for He acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” Psalm 91:14-15

“For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him would have everlasting life.” John 3:16

How To Receive this Freedom In Christ:

ASK God: “Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.” Psalm 6:4

THEN: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

BELIEVE: “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

GOD PROMISES: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

UNDERSTAND: “But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” Colossians 1:22

I pray you read these verses again and again and gain consolation through the freedom offered you in Christ Jesus….the comfort available…the peace afforded…the sufficiency in God’s grace.

Compiled by © Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011

Who Do You Trust?

It troubles some people when others do not share their mistakes and how God helped them deal with the aftermath.  Many people find it difficult to open up and share problems they have, or the struggles they face as a result of a poor choice or impulsive decision.  They are basically afraid to trust others with their burdens.  Yet, the Lord tells us to share our burdens so we will be able to comfort and encourage one another.

Unfortunately, for some, residue of betrayal compounds the issues surrounding trust and burden-sharing.  Jacob had a hard time with that after he betrayed his brother and father.

Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.” Genesis 27:21

A wife betrays her husband and her son Esau.  Jacob betrayed his brother and father.  In this account, Isaac relied upon his feelings–the touch of hair upon the arms of his son, but still wasn’t convinced.  Minutes later, he queries Jacob again, “Are you really my son, Esau?”  Isaac dismissed what he sensed as duplicity when he smelled wild game on Jacob when they embraced.  He was fooled. 

How do we know how to trust another? When to trust?  It varies.  I’m usually an open book; I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I try to think the best of people.  I look for the good in them.  Even when I see flaws or find aspects of a person’s personality suspect, I keep giving the benefit of the doubt.  I choose to believe.  Just like Isaac believed Jacob, even though he did not sound like his son Esau.

It’s doesn’t make any sense that a person we care about would betray our confidences.  But it happens.  I suppose for me, I am far more likely to open up and trust someone who opens up and trusts me.  However that is not the best litmus test.  Some people talk your head off just to get you to reveal something about yourself so they can go share it with the first person they run into.

I reserve my innermost trials for a select few who have proven faithful and loyal.  I rely on those who never share what another says to them.  I find their interest in me, and concern for me, as a safe space for sharing.  God brings them into my life in a time of need.  They comfort and encourage; they pray and console.  I can also trust my pastor and his wife with anything.  I can trust my husband completely.  

When I am betrayed, I plunge into a world of retreat and isolation.  Back, back, back I go, into the arms of God.  To Whom I know I can trust completely.  Without reserve or fear.

PRAYER:  Always, Lord; we can trust You.  You are our refuge, the cleft of the rock.  We know we can come to You with everything and You will strengthen us, comfort us, and assure us. 

© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011

When Study Is Not Enough

Jesus Loves MeDo you get frustrated because you do not know enough about the Bible to share its truth with others?  Do you think you must “study”, study, study, to show yourself approved unto God, and sadly–to man?  How many Christian books must I read to get what I need to be approved and unashamed?  How many Bible studies must I attend?

I use to beat myself up for missing that “daily quiet time” when I took out my Bible, gathered commentaries, grabbed a pen and notebook to journal what I “got” from the moments (or sometimes, hours), I spent reading, praying and studying.  I struggled to surrender myself to knowing God more fully.  I tried to set that “appointment” with Him as specifically as I scheduled my dental appointment.  I failed.

I failed to live up to my own expectations.  I failed to live up to those I heard preachers tell me I must keep.  I failed to learn it all.  Fortunately, during my six-plus decades, I managed to grasp a few truths and principles which have helped me know my Heavenly Father more intimately.  

Paul writes:  “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Over and over again, I have read this verse above in various translations.  I have heard several sermons on it and scoured commentaries.  When I read slowly, carefully, and with my heart open to God’s Spirit of instruction, I wondered how in the world I could present myself approved to God.  How clear must my conscience be to be “a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed”? 

Today, I fully recognize and totally accept that I am already approved unto God through the attoning, purifying, justifying, and penetrating blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.  I have no righteousness of my own because no man is righteous.  Faith in Jesus grants me righteousness in Him.

I cannot be diligent enough to win God’s approval.  No matter how much time I spend studying His word or memorizing scripture.  I cannot relax and be unashamed by spending hours upon hours calling out to God for mercy.  I can only “present” myself “approved” to God by saving grace I have in Jesus.  I cannot minister enough or give enough or sacrifice enough.  The diligence God wants from me is love.  Love Him and all else will fall into place.  Seek Him first and everything will be added.  Be still in the rush of life, the busyness of routine, the struggles of turmoil and chaos, and simply “know that He is God.”

As I rest in Him I am lifted up on the wings of eagles.  My soul is restored with the knowledge of His abundant grace that sets me apart for Him as an ambassador to proclaim His goodness…to pray for others to know Him, too.  Have you strayed away from your “First Love”?  Have you wandered away from the peace of your Father’s arms?  Take His yoke upon you, for it is light.  Go to Him and He will give you rest.

Prayer:  Lord, it is a simple prayer today.  Let all who read this accept Your approval in Christ.  Thank you for Your redeeming and transforming power.

© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011