Sunday, January 9, 2011

Replacing Fear with Love

“Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.”1 John 4:18

Think about it, "where God's love is, there is no fear."  What are the things you most fear? For me it is things like loss and abandonment. When I act on the fears, I usually lose the very thing I want. Why, because when I fear I'll loose, I hang on more tightly to controlling what I fear I am loosing.

Love is not made perfect in the one who fears because their goal becomes one of control, not love. God has given us free will. He does not choose to control us. Rather he chooses to perfect us in his love.

If you fear you are loosing something, look at the sitiuation?  Are you hanging onto it too tightly? Are you not letting it breathe? Is it being suffocated by you? Are you actually driving it away by tightening the hold?

So many relationships are destroyed by trying to control them. Jobs can be lost by trying to control instead of letting go so the employees can perform their own talents and skills. Kids turn to drugs as a way of escaping what they perceive as being controlled, yet the drugs become the controller. That happens a lot. Control becomes the controller. Think about it.

Without fear, we are free to experience what love has to offer us. It is love that leads to peace and peace leads to greater skill and productivity. So replace control with love, and you'll get what you want. Loving loosely is the key word. Then loosely replaces loosing.

Let God show the way. He loved us so much he gave his son to die on the cross for our sins. He could have stopped it. But he let go in love for the end result. So give all your control to him. He sees the end from the beginning. Just love him and let him love you you. His love will drive out all fear and you can breathe freely and live freely in peace.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Good Goals Bring Good Days

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil. 4:8

I don't do resolutions, but I have set a goal to make every day count for the good eluded to in the above scripture verse.....good thoughts, good food, good exercise, good friends, good writing, good reading, etc., etc. If "good" is my goal each day, I think I've set a realistic and measureable goal for the year and will indeed enjoy "gooooood days." 

We are already into the third day of the New Year. 2011 is already passing as quickly as 2010 did. So far what I have to show for it is encouraging words to a couple of friends having difficulties, sharing cabbage and black-eyed peas on New Years Day for blessings of money and good luck, participation in yesterday's church service as a lector and sharing some positive thoughts on FB.  Then yesterday after church, I was attacked by a URI and feel miserable. I couldn't go exercise this morning. But hold on. I forgot something good already, I cleaned off some of the clutter around my desk so I have a clear path to writing and actually feel better sitting up at my computer. A minor illness can result in taking good action.

One of my very favorite motivational speakers is Ed Foreman. Within 3 minutes of being in his presence you can feel his positive energy radiating from deep inside out. The best part is that it is catching. One of his favorite topics is his recipe for a good day, pronounced "goooooood day."

He begins and ends his day with positive thoughts. He doesn't dwell on negative thoughts, opinions or people. He doesn't get caught up in the bad news of the day, especially when he can't solve the problem. He eats good, healthy food and gets good exercise beginning with an early morning walk with reflection on the good day he will be having. When I was working, I kept his recipe hanging on my bulletin board or in a visible place so I could check on my progress through out the day. It is finally implanted in my mind so I can DO the things he recommends instead of just reading them.

Following through is the real key to success whether keeping a resolution or completing a goal. Again, scripture has something to say about that. We have a savior who cares so much for us that he gave up his life for us. He is part of our creation and has great plans for us. Therefore, when we set our goals in accordance with His will for our lives, we can count on his help through daily prayer and meditation. Don't forget to add this goal to having a good day.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2