Give me an F.
Give me an E.
Give me an A.
Give me an R.
What does that spell?
*GOD*morning, afternoon, or evening, no matter when you’ve stopped in, it’s always got to be a *GOD*day. It might be a day that you went online to look up one thing or another, and you *GOD*incidentally ended up here. Or, maybe it was an afternoon of being on Pinterest and you clicked on a picture that brought you into my blog world. Or, maybe… just maybe it’s the end of a very bad day, or a pivotal moment in your life, when you are facing some fears, for fear today is prevalent in so many areas.
We are living in some very difficult times. Times when people should be looking for a deeper meaning in their lives, but instead they are looking for some of the simple ways to not get a better feeling about themselves, or about the world around them. Instead of looking at the world and the situation it is in, through some GOD eyes, they are looking at it through self-preservation, get rich quick, step on the small and just call them weak, demoralize the people around you, and you will succeed. If you are weak, you are powerless, if you are strong you are considered… well, I just won’t say the word, but let’s just say that for me, I’ve changed.
Some people don’t like that I’ve changed. Others think it’s about time I’ve gotten rid of the fears that have held me back. I’ve had a lot of setbacks in my life, and each time, I’ve been able to take away a life lesson. I’ll give you a little mini peek at some things that have altered my state of thinking.
- My brother abused me when I was young. I withdrew from a world of trusting adults, to seeing them as always someone to use and abuse me. Instead of growing up with healthy feelings of being able to trust man, or GOD, I thought I was in this world to be abused by both.
- My closest sibling, my brother Johnny, died at an early age. My last words to him were: “You are going to be in so much trouble for not coming home on time for dinner.” We’d been playing at a building site of an apartment complex near our home. It got dark, they were playing hide and seek, and as he was running, he slipped and fell into the basement portion, where there were wires, water, etc. He got caught and drowned. Once again, instilling in my ten year old self that this was some how my fault. I should have stayed and come home with him. An early on fear instilled in me that GOD didn’t want me to have anyone to protect and defend me. My brother Johnny was that person in my life. He and my sister Therese.
- My dad died when I was sixteen. My dad and I were closer then my mom and I. My mom was always showing me the GOD of the pointed finger who wanted to punish me, while most of the time my dad was showing me love. There was only one instrumental word moment that stuck with me from my dad though. Looking back now I know it was because he was on medication, but at the time, being just fifteen, I had no idea. I just thought he was another person who couldn’t love me. The words he said? I had received a report card, which didn’t have the best of grades. I mean seriously, we were all busy trying to keep up taking care of my dad, I’d missed school to stay home with him, when my mom and sisters couldn’t, after he came home from chemo treatment. His words were: “Jeannie you are never going to amount to anything. You are just plain dumb.” Yes, those words played out for some time in my life. Every time I’d seemingly disappoint someone, I believed those words even to be more truer.
- At eighteen and only three months after graduating my mom made me move out. It was for no other reason, at least that she gave, but to teach me a lesson on the values of how hard it is to make it in life. As if I needed that. Plus she made one of my sisters, who didn’t even care for me, to take me in, because she was struggling to meet her rent. My sister will tell the stories of our lives differently, and she is a successful twister of the truth, and thus began my sister hating me even more, instead of us finding some common ground, or me finding a sister who could love me, and show me that I had value. I will say though, that my sister was dealing with her own demons from growing up, and usually she was the outcast. I was of no thought, but she was ridiculed and belittled. Both aspects of growing up in a large family, in a close knit, gossiping community of ritual based religion, and not that of a relationship based on having Jesus as Savior, and of being born again to the extent that one actually has a life-changing experience. So, with that in mind, there is no animosity toward my family or sister. I love her, and always will. What I now choose to cling to are our most funny moments. Or the good times. Like the time where we did a bad thing, but it was so uncommon for us, and quite funny. We went to an afternoon movie and after watching it, my sister and her friend Gina and I walked smack into another movie and watched that one for free. I don’t recommend this, and in fact if I’d been convicted of such a wrong in my mind at the time, and the theater was still open, I’d repay them the money I stole in doing such a thing. At the time though, it seemed nice because it united two sisters who seldom united over much of anything. There also were the times we huddled together splitting a can of creamed corn for dinner and a cup of hot cocoa because we had not heat in our apartment on a cold winter day. Those were special times. The times my sister and I forgot our differences and remembered we were both kindred to being who we were, which quite honestly we both had some great personality traits. We were indeed as different as night and day, but if you think about that, there is never one without the other. They both are necessary and needed parts of our living. Thus, so were we. =)
- I became an anorexic at the age of sixteen as well. My dad died and a friend and I started taking diet pills. I’d like to tell you not by choice, but truthfully, if you talk to anyone who has survived anorexia, and they are honestly speaking the truth about the disease, they’ll tell you it’s all about a having some control. Everyone around you is allowed to have a voice, speak their mind, push you around, tell you this, show you that, demean you this way, push you toward what they want to do, and you find this is one thing, you, and you alone, have total control over. Or do you? This disease took such a hold of me, or me of it, so I thought, that it began when I was just thirteen, taking diet pills, as I worked at a bakery after my dad died, and all the way through graduating from high school where I loved my job at the bakery uptown, I kept it while I worked full-time downtown Chicago at an insurance company. Life finally caught up with me when at a friends home she tried to get me to eat and one spoon of chili had me violently throwing up at her house. She and some very caring friends got me into a friends car and drove me home. Not to my apartment with my sister, but to my moms house. My mom, more disgusted at my behavior and how I looked, called my pediatrician; yes pediatrician, I had no doctor. This was back in the day, when you didn’t need a background check or physical for a job. So all this went undetected for some time. It has taken it’s toll on me and it still, if I look in the mirror at age forty-three, need to turn my head away and know that there is so much more to me than what meets the eye. I get picked on a lot for my looks, maybe because I am not the prettiest woman on the block, but that’s okay. My Father GOD see’s me as someone far above rubies, and He looks at my ♥. That’s something for each of us to teach our sons and daughters to be the final answer to who we are. What and who we are inside, and when nobody is looking is what is our true self. We need to be true to that each and every 1440 minutes given to us in each day we are given.
- I married at the age of twenty-two to a wonderful man. He came into my life seeing me as someone special, which he reminded me of often. He was the prince on the white horse who scooped in at just the right time and rescued me. Of course that isn’t exactly true, for we need to know that we cannot be rescued ever by another human being. If it isn’t Jesus who is our Savior, Rescuer and Redeemer, we are going to put to much pressure on another human. Something that nobody can handle, and in fact we see a world of idols built each day, be they politicians, actors, sports figures, whomever, and the fall from the pedestal that they fall off of, well quite frankly, the individuals who do that to them, should take some responsibility for it. No man or woman alive, including someone like Tim Tebow or Billy Graham, should be put up there. Billy Graham has remained humble and if Tim Tebow isn’t careful, and we don’t continue to be more of praying for him, instead of preying upon his success so that we can some how be attached, he will fall as well. Again, it’s all about being united for the GOD-of it all, or failing because of man made fame.
- Twelve years later and two blessings of children as well, my first husband was working out of town and he died. He was thirty-three, I thirty-four. My children were five and ten, and life was never to be the same again. Pivotal fear filled moments that are also learning curves. You curve the wrong way though, and even in that, you learn. The trick is to learn before the curve comes so that when the curves of life get winding and the difficulties that plummet one to the ground to hold you down, and put you out, don’t! You become someone of growing and becoming stronger. Not strong as in mean, but strong in endurance. You learn as Paul says in to persevere.
- I did remarry a few years later, and life has had a lot of lessons to dish out to me. The road of trials has not ended but something had to change. Some people as it is said often to me, “Have more than your share of bad things.” It’s true, some people go through life unscathed by situations like death, job loss, loneliness, not fitting in, being a misfit, abuse, loss of home. Which the later is what I’m facing now. My husband had lost his job when all this economic drama unfolded at the beginning. He has since found a job, but it had already taken it’s toll. We’ve been hard working people all our lives, and it was not humorous, but you have to laugh, that people were being given unemployment while my husband was denied. I was told by a social worker, to cut my hours by three and we would get food aid. My husband was told to apply for disability and he’d get assistance. We chose none of that, we went instead for continuing to trust GOD-pray, and to search for an avenue to go down that GOD would provide. Unfortunately in a world where you have to know someone, who knows someone to even get seen for a job, it took sometime. Yet for Dan, my husband, it was GOD who opened a door. He is working, and he has consistency applied at other jobs, asked to be full-time, all the while getting the doors of the work world thrown closed. We are however entrusting, as always, all the unknown to a very KNOWN GOD. One we know to be ever faithful and true. We continue to walk, work, look and seek for the open doors of opportunity.
1-2Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
3-6That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!
7-13So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God. Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! For instance:
Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing;
I’ll sing to your name!
And this one:
Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together!
People of all nations, celebrate God!
All colors and races, give hearty praise!
And Isaiah’s word:
There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse,
breaking through the earth and growing tree tall,
Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!
Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!
14-16Personally, I’ve been completely satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. You seem to me to be well-motivated and well-instructed, quite capable of guiding and advising one another. So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.
17-21Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased—in the context of Jesus, I’d even say proud, but only in that context. I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of my adventures, only the wondrously powerful and transformingly present words and deeds of Christ in me that triggered a believing response among the outsiders. In such ways I have trailblazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece. This has all been pioneer work, bringing the Message only into those places where Jesus was not yet known and worshiped. My text has been,
Those who were never told of him—
they’ll see him!
Those who’ve never heard of him—
they’ll get the message!
22-24And that’s why it has taken me so long to finally get around to coming to you. But now that there is no more pioneering work to be done in these parts, and since I have looked forward to seeing you for many years, I’m planning my visit. I’m headed for Spain, and expect to stop off on the way to enjoy a good visit with you, and eventually have you send me off with God’s blessing.
25-29First, though, I’m going to Jerusalem to deliver a relief offering to the followers of Jesus there. The Greeks—all the way from the Macedonians in the north to the Achaians in the south—decided they wanted to take up a collection for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. They were happy to do this, but it was also their duty. Seeing that they got in on all the spiritual gifts that flowed out of the Jerusalem community so generously, it is only right that they do what they can to relieve their poverty. As soon as I have done this—personally handed over this “fruit basket”—I’m off to Spain, with a stopover with you in Rome. My hope is that my visit with you is going to be one of Christ’s more extravagant blessings.
30-33I have one request, dear friends: Pray for me. Pray strenuously with and for me—to God the Father, through the power of our Master Jesus, through the love of the Spirit—that I will be delivered from the lions’ den of unbelievers in Judea. Pray also that my relief offering to the Jerusalem believers will be accepted in the spirit in which it is given. Then, God willing, I’ll be on my way to you with a light and eager heart, looking forward to being refreshed by your company. God’s peace be with all of you. Oh, yes!
If you are facing this new year with fears, I ask you to be hopeful. Give that fear over to GOD. Reread the Word above, or better still pick up the Bible and read for yourself where the Lord leads you. If you don’t know Him, ask someone who does. If you know Him, and you feel He has failed you, believe me, that is a lie from the devil himself. GOD does not fail us ever. We might make some poor choices, we might sin along the way, we might even just be given a plate full of trials and testings, but the one thing I know for sure along my life path is that GOD NEVER EVER FAILS us when we have entrusted our lives to His Son. We are forever and always His and what happens here is temporary. For instance I know that even if I lose my home, my new roof above from GOD will be that the very stars and moon of His creation. How many people have wanted to sleep under the stars. How many people abandon those who do, thinking to themselves, it’s all their fault. It all got me thinking about something I’ve thought about often before.
What will you give, what will you share in 2012?
As I was listening to a sermon, a very good sermon yesterday, I did think upon something shared. Something I’ve often thought about when we help those who not only would like to help themselves, if they could, but what is it we give them, really?
We’d like to think we give them our best, but truth is we give them that of which we don’t want, or what we think as acceptable assistance. You see the pastor shared this story about how he didn’t like fruit cake. He liked fruit well enough, but didn’t like fruit in anything. He mentioned that if you give him a fruit cake you are not thinking of him, just the fact that you are giving. So my question, which I wanted to stand up and ask, but didn’t, was this: How come it is then that we give a can of no-name macaroni and cheese to the homeless or food bank, or shelter, and we buy the best for ourselves? Why is it we find it acceptable to give a dinner for the homeless that doesn’t offer five star ingredients, or what we dine on ourselves, and give them a quick, easy to prepare chicken dinner?
Think about it? How many times have you hungered for a good cheeseburger and you head say to, The Green Iguana? I’ve never been, but it’s a local place and I hear all the time how great it is. Or how about Five Guys? I don’t know if you have one, but lets face it, when you smell the grill, in a restaurant or outdoors, you hanker for a burger or some grilled ribs, or chicken. So why is it when we have a dinner for the homeless we don’t ask them what they’d like ahead of time. Instead we ask each individual who’d like to participate what they’d like to bring, or some cooks, which is all nice and fine, to donate their time cooking something or another up. The homeless are always so appreciative and it’s all so very good, but my question is, if we aren’t to give the pastor fruit cake, because it isn’t his preference, how much more should we be doing for those who have not?
Those who don’t get to share any longer in the buying? Do you know how dehumanizing it is not to feel human? Being human and going out and buying things such as even underwear, makes a person feel, well human? Did you ever think that some of the women that are homeless might like the opportunity to get cleaned up and maybe say, cook? What if we made them feel worthy of being a part of the human race instead of just doing what we feel good about doing? I’m just saying, these are the things GOD places on my heart.
Any who… if you are headed into this year and fear is at the forefront of your new year door, stop, drop to your knees, start rereading, or reading His Word. It’s filled without fear, because fear quite honestly: Fear Eraces All Reasoning.
F.E.A.R=For Everything A Reason
F.E.A.R=Forget Everything And Remember
F.E.A.R=Finding Everything And Realizing
F.E.A.R=Forget Everything and Rest
F.E.A.R=False Evidence Appearing Real
F.E.A.R=Face Everything And Recover
Don’t allow the grip of fear to cause you to stumble. Especially don’t allow the fear of man to place you in a position of being falsely identified with who you are not. Who you and I are, in the Eyes of GOD truly is all that counts.
Remember this: we need not fear man, but a healthy fear of GOD is always good. It’s not the fearing of GOD as if He’s out to get you. It’s not the finger pointed, shame on you, fear of GOD. It’s the fact that when we are in-Christ, and we are that Born Again, Bible Believing new being, we can’t help but feel that twinge when we know we are about to do, are doing, or have done, that which we should have had nothing to do with. That fear, that healthy GOD-fear, keeps us in check. It is one of the reasons we who have received Christ, have also been given that Comforter, who also convicts. It’s a healthy, wealth of wisdom we have at our fingertips. We need to exercise those spiritual muscles, and be more concerned about what we are on the inside than what we look like on the outside.
Someone during lunch the other day told me, “Well you Jeannie, we aren’t to judge. My priest talks about that all the time.” Well, it’s true we are not to judge one another in the respect of passing judgement. And for sure CHRISTians along the beaten (most them beaten up) path have had their share of having that thrown in their faces. What we are allowed to do is judge a behavior. All I asked her to do was to go read Timothy, both 1 and 2. If we aren’t suppose to watch the behavior of others, how indeed will anyone of be corrected when we are wrong? We are to judge, but not on or by the standards man has. We are to not allow ourselves to judge as in feelings of hate, slander or untruths. We can however stand firm, stand strong, and admit when wrong is being done. If we don’t we might as well do as the saying says, and just throw the world away to the grips of Hell in a hand basket. Okay, so the saying doesn’t say exactly that, but for a Believer, who isn’t going to any longer take a stand, you have now chosen neither side. You only don’t take a stand when you have a fear for yourself. That is wrong.
Grow only in the fear of the Lord. The person you become, when you start to only fear GOD is the person in whom GOD will find favor.
Examine where your desires have been. If fear has filtered into your life it just might be that you have gotten lost in someone else’s ideals or dreams of what they want for you, and not what GOD wants. Remember always that the dreams GOD has for you, His purposes and plans, are all the bucket list you need.
Examine the people you allow to come into your life. Some people, believe it or not, are not for our good or growth. Some people have the gift of nothing but intimidation. That is not mans job, and it will rob you having a joy. Just love the people, but need them less and less. Out of obedience we are to NEED CHRIST, this is our true response to showing our love towards Him. Pursue loving others, while staying obedient and true to GOD. You can do both. Even if the people around you think you are no longer loving them, and will try to convince you otherwise because you are not at their beck and call, focus on not fearing them. Know that your obedience is all that matters to GOD.
I think Isaiah said it best, so I’m going to leave you with this verse. It’s my first day of the weak, being strong verse, and I hope you hold it up as a key to unlocking all your fear so you too, can also be free. Remember Christ died not to lock you up in a household of fear, but to be a part of the household of faith! As you read this verse, write it down, substituting your name for your. Why? Because that is exactly how personal it is when GOD speaks to you and I from His Word. This is why you should be reading, rereading and doing personal private study. You might want to at first share every single thing you learn because you are so excited at GOD speaking to you, and showing His love, care and concern. Don’t! No really, don’t. Sometimes, and more often than not, GOD wants this just for you and He to have. As you grow, and get stronger and stronger, share. Some of the best Bible studies I’ve been in, and the most meaningful, are not when we studied a book, but when everyone was sharing what they themselves were reading from The Book, books of the Bible. It all gelled together and was the most intimate and Spirit filled moments. Don’t miss every getting together with like minded Bible Believing Saints who want such a study. If you can find them. If you do, and they are true to the study, you have now found the truest of treasures on earth.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
6 And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure.
Isaiah 33:6 paraphrased from GOD just for Jeannie Bee: “And He will be the stability of Jeannie’s times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Jeannie’s treasure.”
GOD has a theme song for each of our lives that goes a little something like this:
Shackles by Mary Mary
Until all have heard and know His love,