Turn Worry Into Worship

A story is told about a man who came face to face with the dangers of worry one day.  As this man walked to town one day he encountered Death.  He asked Death this question, "What are you going to do?"

 

"I’m going to take 100 people," Death replied.

 

"That’s horrible!" the man said.

 

"That’s the way it is," Death said. "That’s what I do."

 

The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell, he met Death again. He had heard that a thousand people had died that day.  "You told me you were going to take 100 people," the man said. "Why did 1,000 die?"

 

"I kept my word," Death responded. "I only took 100 people. Worry took the others."


We need to learn to break the worry habit before it breaks us.  How?  First all, we need to understand what its ultimate cause is?  What is at the root of worry?  “Worry is unbelief in disguise.” So my encouragement to you if you struggle with worry is to build your faith because as George Mueller said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” How do you build your faith?  Get into the bible and let the bible get into you.  Romans 10:17: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  The words of the bible vaccinate us against worry. 


In addition, pray.  Philippian’s 4:5-7 says: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Prayer is more than just talk; it’s uniting the soul to God.  And as we do, we transfer into him our anxiety, and he transfers into us his peace which passes all understanding. 


In short, turn your worry into worship! 

A Dozen Reasons to Always Have Hope

  1. God is always with you - Hebrews 13:5
  2. God loves you as His child - Romans 8:15-16
  3. God proved His love at the cross - Romans 8:32
  4. God’s power is available to you - Philippians 4:13
  5. God can exceed your highest expectations - Ephesians 3:20
  6. God understands you and your problem - Matthew 6:8
  7. God promises to supply all your needs - Philippians 4:19
  8. God’s grace is sufficient for you - 2 Corinthians 12:9
  9. God works all things together for good - Romans 8:28
  10. God uses trials to produce maturity - James 1:2-4
  11. God uses trials to display your faith - Philippians 2:15
  12. God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect - Romans 12:2

God's Hall of Fame

To have your name inscribed up there
Is greater yes by far
Than all the Halls of Fame down here
And every man made star.

This crowd on earth they soon forget
The heroes of the past,
They cheer like mad until you fall,
And that’s how long you last

But God he never does forget,
And in His Hall of Fame,
By just believing in his Son,
Inscribed you’ll find your name .

I tell you friend I wouldn’t trade
My name however small
That’s written there beyond the stars
In that celestial hall

For every famous name on earth
Or glory that they share;
I’d rather be an unknown here
And have my name up there.


~ Alf Hutchison

Thoughts and Quotes from Pastor’s Steve’s Journal

from April 20-26

Self-Justification says, “I am always right.”


Self-Righteousness says, “I am better than you.”


Lord, please deliver me from both.


Lord, deliver me from the compulsion to control what I cannot control, and strengthen me to control what I can- myself. 


Lord, help me not to compare myself to others. But rather help me to be the best I can be. 


“Success Is the peace of mind which is the direct result of the self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” ~John Wooden


The road is better than the inn, Cervantes. Don’t get to so focused on the end result, you don’t enjoy the journey. 


“We must learn to lean on others and sometimes accept others leaning on us. We cannot do it alone.” 


"Make each day your masterpiece.” ~Joshua Wooden

Overcoming Worry

Psychologists often use the phrase “Locus of Control” to refer to the things in life over which you have control.  If you can control something, it is in your locus of control.  If you can’t control it, it is not in your locus of control.   

 

Which locus is your focus? 

 

Are you preoccupied with things that you have no control over?  Or are you taking control of what you can control and leaving the rest to God?

In Psalms 46:10 it says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

That verse was written many years ago.  Scholars believe that these words where written in response to a national calamity.  At a time when people were afraid and terrified, God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” 

 

Notice those words: be still.  In the original text, those words: Be still, actually mean: “take your hands off.”

 

Isn’t that interesting? At a time of national calamity God says: Take your hands off.  What is he saying?  I think he is saying: Can you control the national calamity?  No.  If you can’t control it, why waste precious time worrying about it?  Instead of worrying about it, why don’t you pray about? 

 

“Things go terribly wrong when we try and assume control of our lives and those around us,” says Louie Giglio in his book I am not, but I know.  “For one, we sentence ourselves to a heavy load—we call it the weight of the world-that God never intended for us to carry.  Running our world is too much for us, no matter how hard we try.  To try and be God—something I find that I am really bad at---without having the wisdom and power of God is a ridiculous proposition, a daunting task.  Attempting to orchestrate the world around us, even for a day, leaves us stressed and spent.”

 

If you are stressed and spent, ask yourself, “Which locus is my focus?”

Prayers for Tuesday, April 21

Psalms 27:14

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!

Lord, as I wait upon you today, please fill me with courage and strengthen my heart.

 

Psalms 145:15-16

The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Lord, I look to you expectantly today. You are Jehovah Jireha, my Provider. Please open your hand and give me physical and spiritual food, and satisfy the desires of my heart.

 

Luke 22:42

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Lord, I have some preconceived ideas of how I want things to turn out. However, I admit that my understanding is limited. So I surrender my will to yours. I pray not my will, but thy will be done.

Prayers for Wednesday, April 15

Psalms 34:10

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Lord, as I seek you today, please provide for all my needs and the needs of my loves ones.


Psalm 23:1

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Lord, I surrender the leadership of my life over to you. Please be my shepherd. Lead me, feed me, guide me, and provide for me. Thank you that in you I have more then enough.


2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Lord, I pray that your grace would abound in my life, my family’s life, and my church family. Thank you that you are my all sufficient one, and in you I will abound in every good work.

Prayers for Thursday, April 9

Zachariah 4:6

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Lord, thank you that your spirit indwells me and empowers me to meet the challenges of this day. Please fill me with your spirit.

 

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lord, forgive me for worrying. Help me to worship, not worry. Help me to live in “day tight compartments.” Help me to live one day at a time.

 

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Lord, we know that not all things are good, but that you can bring good at of all things. Help us to trust you. Help us to become more like you in our attitude, actions, and thoughts during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Prayers for Wednesday, March 8

Isaiah 46:10-11

I make known the end from the beginning,  from ancient times, what is still to come… ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please… What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.

Lord, you are in control. You are my leader. Please help me to be reactive to your leadership in my life, and proactive to circumstances by following your word and guidance.


Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Lord, thank you that I face this day’s challenges in your strength. I boldly declare that I can do all things that are in your will through your power.


Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Lord, I am weary. Please fill me with your strength.

Pandemic Panic!

Pandemic Panic!

 

One person used those words to describe the current reality of many people. I agree. People are afraid and uncertain of the future. They are asking questions like: When will this be over? Where is the economy going? Will my loved one get sick? Will life as we know it ever go back to normal?

 

As I have watched the news and listened to people share their concerns, I have prayed this prayer: Lord, how do we best represent you during this season of uncertainty. In response to that prayer, the other day I had these two words come to me in my quiet time: Clean and Lean!

 

In lifting weights there is an exercise called the Clean and Jerk. If you faithfully do that exercise, you will build muscle. I believe that in a similar way, if we practice the clean and lean, we will build our faith muscles during this season of difficulty. What does it mean to “Clean and Lean”?

 

Clean

“Do you what you can do in the natural and trust God with the supernatural.” That is a phrase that I think is a wise response to the Covid-19 virus. First of all, we need to do what we can do in the natural to stop the spread of the virus. I have summarized that in the word: Clean. We have heard over and over the recommendation to wash our hands for 20 seconds. We have heard about the guideline to practice social distancing. We would be wise to be follow those recommendations.


 

You say, but doesn’t this express a lack of faith?

 

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. (Proverbs 27:17)

 

The moral of that verse is that we are to do what we can in the natural to avoid danger. That is not a lack of faith, it is wisdom. Biblical faith is not blind faith.

 

Lean

“Do what you can do in the natural and trust God with the supernatural.”

Faith is confidence in God. It is trusting him. One of the ways we can do that at this time is by doing what we can do in the natural and trusting the outcome to Him.

 

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD. (Proverbs 21:31)

 

Yes, we are to get the horse ready for battle. That is our responsibility- the Clean part of the clean and lean. But victory, or the outcome, belongs to God.

 

As we journey through this season, I want to encourage you to check out our website and learn about ways you can connect with us and each other virtually. In addition, and most importantly, be led by faith, not fear. Stay confident in God.

 

He will not only get us through this season, he will grow us through it.

 

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. (Psalms 31:24)

 

May God build our spiritual muscles as we practice the clean and lean!

Prayers for Tuesday, March 31

Proverbs 16:32

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

Lord, I pray for patience during this season. I also ask that you help me focus on self-control rather then trying to control others.

 

1 Peter 5:5-6

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Lord, today I chose to humble myself by declaring my absolute dependence on you. Forgive me and rid me of pride. In a spirit of humility, I wait for your grace today.

 

Proverbs 3:25-26

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

Lord, replace fear in my heart with faith. Thank you that you are with me whatever I may be going through.

Prayers for Monday, March 30

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Lord, I come boldly today to your throne of grace because I am your child. Please send mercy and grace to me, my family, my church family and our nation in this time of need.

 

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

God, I submit myself, my plans, my desires and my life to you. Lord, show me the traps, schemes, and tricks that the devil is using on me, so I can resist him in your power, knowing he will flee in your name.

 

Romans 6:14

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Lord, I stand on your promise that sin will no longer have control over me. Give me victory over temptation. Thank you that I am not longer under Law, but under grace, your power for my every need.

Prayers for Thursday, March 26

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Lord, thank you that you care about me. I cast all my worries upon you today. I will do my prayerful best to fulfill my responsibilities and leave the outcome to you.


Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Lord, Please fill me with your courage and strength as I walk with you today. Thank you that you will never leave me nor forsake me.


Psalms 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

Lord, thank you that you are a God who heals. Please heal people through out my city. Heal them physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. Please be with them and bind up their wounds.

Prayers for Wednesday, March 25

Daniel 10:19

And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong! ”So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

Lord, as I carry on a continual conversation with you today, please share your peace, faith, and strength so at the end of this day I can say “For you have strengthened me.”


Isaiah 30:15

For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.

Lord, give us quite confidence that you are God and that you are good. Even though we don’t know how this story will end, you do. Help us trust you.


Nehemiah 8:10

Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Lord, my strength goes weak, but your strength is unlimited. As I connect with you, please deposit your joy and strength in my heart


Trusting Him,

Pastor Steve

10 Questions to Talk About this Week!

1. Which living person do you most admire and why?

2. What sayings do you use too much?

3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

4. What are the top traits you look for in a friend?

5. What are your pet peeves?

6. How do you handle stress?

7. What personality trait in others do you most admire?

8. How have you grown in the last year?

9. What do you love most about summer?

10. If you could ask Jesus one question what would it be?

Prayers for Tuesday, March 24

Isaiah 30:21

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Lord, open my ears to hear your voice. Your voice and your words are my compass today. Show me which way to turn and which way to go.

 

Ephesians 3:16

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.

Lord, my strength grows weak. But your strength is unlimited. Through faith, I tap in your strength, and ask that you would deposit your strength into my inner person today.

 

Proverbs 4:20-22

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body.

Lord, thank you that your Word is the vitamins and medicine for my spirit. As I focus on your Word, may you give life to me and health to my body.

Prayers for Monday, March 23

Prayers for today:

 

Matthew 12:50 “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

Lord, show me your will today. “Not my will, but your will be done.” Your will is my light house of peace in the sea of uncertainty all around me.

 

Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Lord, I surrender the illusion of control to you today. Thank you for your leadership in my life. I want to be reactive to you and proactive to circumstance. I chose to let go and let you lead me today.

 

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Lord, thank you that as we go through these difficult waters that you are with us. May we draw closer to you and obtain your strength and peace. Lord, I chose to walk with you today, and feel the peace of your calming presence.

 

Trusting Him,

Pastor Steve

How to Pray During the Covid-19 Pandemic!

Doug Clay put out the following prayers to prayer during this Covid-19 pandemic. I would encourage you to pray them often: 

  • Father, thank You that “Your name is a strong tower, where the righteous can run to You and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).
  • We pray for those on the front lines of this response, including health officials who are working around the clock to protect us. Give them supernatural wisdom as they seek to create a vaccine and antidotes to combat this virus.
  • We pray for courageous first responders in the medical field who are working for the health and safety of our communities in hospitals, clinics, and emergency rooms.
  • We pray for You to grant wisdom to governmental leaders throughout the world, on both national and local levels, regarding actions to be taken to protect the citizens they serve. Your Word assures us that if any person lacks wisdom, we can ask You and You will give it generously.
  • Lord, we lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19—the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty.
  • We pray for the health and well-being of those who have already been affected by this virus. Lord, during Your ministry on earth, You showed Your power by healing people of all ages from physical, mental and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your healing touch due to COVID-19. You are a God who heals ALL of our diseases.
  • Lord, please also take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment and those under quarantine. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them.
  • We pray for those who have been impacted financially from this interruption. Thank you, Lord, for supplying their needs according to Your riches and glory.
  • We pray for a faith that will not only endure through this, but will grow, and lift up the name of Jesus—our Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Soon-Coming King—as we remember Your greatness and know that NOTHING is too difficult for You.
  • We pray for a spirit of peace and that a pandemic of hope would spread globally as Your people, who are called by Your name, live out their faith in the midst of this crisis.
  • You have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Thank You that You are the source of hope, and that You will fill us completely with joy and peace because we trust in You (Romans 15:13).

 Trusting Him,

Pastor Steve