Digging in Deeper: Psalms 34:4

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you do when you are afraid? I don’t think many people actually have a strategy for that. Fear isn’t exactly something we count on. As a result, we are far more likely to be reactive than proactive in those times. And, when we are being reactive, we don’t tend to make the best decisions. Some people shut down when they are afraid. They are functionally incapacitated until the fear passes. Others take the path of the ostrich, hiding their eyes from it and pretending nothing is wrong. Some get angry and lash out at those around them to cover up the fact that they are afraid. Still others handle it in more productive ways. Perhaps a better question here is how you get out of a fearful situation. David offers one option here that is worth considering. Let’s talk about what it is and why it works.

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Morning Musing: Psalms 118:6-7

“The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me? The Lord is my helper; therefore, I will look in triumph on those who hate me.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What is it that motivates you to courage? Is there anything in particular? Some people seem to have a natural bent toward courage. Some, not so much. But all of us have something we are willing to fight to protect. It may be something genuinely worth protecting, or we may have our priorities wildly out of balance, but we all have that thing. One of the great challenges of our life is to find that protective spirit, that willingness to put ourselves on the line for what we believe is right, harness it, and have it ready to call upon in a variety of different situations. What the psalmist offers us right here is something that can inspire courage in us no matter what our situation may be. Let’s talk about what it is and why it matters.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 131:1-2

“Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I do not get involved with things too great or too wondrous for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like a weaned child.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

How are you feeling these days? If you’re like most people, the answer to that is probably not as good as you’d like. You’re overburdened and under-resourced. You feel like you have the weight of the world pressing down on you and there’s no one to help you hold it. You’re stressed out and just wish you could rest, but there’s no end in sight to the busyness. Where can you find some relief? Take some comfort this morning in knowing you’re not alone in any of this. The ancient Israelites experienced it too and prayed about it when they went to worship. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Psalms 56:3-4

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you ever remember feeling invincible? I remember being at one of my sister’s softball games when we were growing up. I wasn’t actually watching the game, but the softball complex she played at was in a wonderfully wooded area with several of the big limestone boulders that are so common to that part of the country, and which make fantastic natural playgrounds. On this particular day, I was jumping from the top of one boulder to the other – in flip-flops, no less – and landing my jumps perfectly every single time. I felt like I could do anything on that day. But while those kinds of experiences are fun, if we’re being honest, they tend to be the exception to the rule. And the rule is that on most days we not only don’t feel invincible, we feel downright defeated. We carry a ton of fear of what the day might bring and who might be bringing it. As normal as that kind of feeling is, though, it’s not how life was designed to be lived. Let’s talk this morning about how to get rid of fear and live with the kind of confidence a ten-year-old boy lost in a fantasy playground has in spades.

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One Is the Loneliest Number

This past Sunday we covered one more load we carry when we try to do life apart from Jesus as we draw near the end of our series, A Heavy Load. This week we talked about the load of loneliness. Life was not meant to be lived alone. We were made for relationships. When we do life without Jesus, though, maintaining those relationships because entirely more difficult than it should be. Read on to find out why and how we can fix this.

One Is the Loneliest Number

Have you ever spent a significant amount of time alone? I don’t mean simply hanging out at home when nobody else is around for a couple of hours. I’m talking about a time when you didn’t have anybody around for an extended period of time. Honestly, Covid subjected a lot of folks to that in ways and times they were neither expecting nor for which they were prepared. And maybe you’re sitting there thinking how much you would like to have an extended amount of time by yourself because you can’t think of the last time you weren’t being constantly bombarded by people, but it’s a different animal wanting something like that because you can’t have it and being stuck alone because you can’t be around people like you want to be. Being alone…isn’t good for us. 

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