What you Believe about you is not who you are

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“Worry is a down-payment on a problem you may never have.”

I found this article I’d like to share particularly helpful!

“A stands for: Activating Event
B stands for: Belief
C stands for: Consequent Emotion”

… what do you believe about an actual situation that came to pass? If you’re like me… you belive it’s all your fault and that everyone hates you because of it. Everyone thinks, “She’s such a failure.” That’s what these voices say! I want them to stop.

The article goes on to say that labeling irrational thoughts is one of the many steps to recovery from anxiety taking over your life. Call a spade a spade. “This is an anxiety attack.” or, “That thought is irrational. Lord, who do You see me as?”

I hope this is as helpful for you as it was for me.

http://dalepartridge.com/worry-payment-problem-may-never/ 

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When you feel forgotten

And if not

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were facing the decision: worship a false god or die, they made the choice to worship God instead.
I’m sure at the time of being thrown into the flames, being only human, they felt forgotten by God. I would have. “Am I really about to die? God, are you listening?”

I wish I had unwavering faith. I don’t. Yet I’ve begged God even when I felt forgotten by Him.
When your body feels numb from exhaustion of a broken heart- take one last step. God delivers. Since the creation of humans, all we’ve done is forget God. He even says in Isaiah, “The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me. Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care— but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.”

He gets it. Being forgotten. Jesus probably felt forgotten when the very men he spent his time pouring into all fled when he was about to be executed, especially the one who paid the corrupt system to kill him. 

Taking a step, however small toward God when you feel spent, tired, and lonely… is the step that will save you.

See in Daniel chapter 3 how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego weren’t actually sure God would choose to save them from death? But they said, “Even if not… God is still good. We still choose Him over your statue.”

I love this part: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that he commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind them and throw them into the blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.

Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace? I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”

Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God!”

I want to hang this concept up and say it every day until I internalize it. “The God we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up. If not… He is still good.”

Just because I feel forgotten, doesn’t mean I am. Shattering this lie that ‘I’m forgotten’ is this truth: God simply doesn’t forget.  {Tweet}

What Am I Really Afraid Of?

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My friend and co-worker Abigail says that if you’re afraid of something… it’s a good practice to say, “God, by saying I’m afraid of this, I’m really afraid you aren’t ______.” You fill in the blank.

Sounds harsh but it really works. Fear is actually sin. We weren’t created to live in fear. We were created to live in freedom.

For me, it’s the fear that I don’t have what it takes, and as a result- what I love will be taken from me.
“God, what I’m really saying is, ‘I don’t think you really created me to be a worship leader. I don’t feel you have equipped me for service the way I feel I should be. I fear that instead of giving me the desires of my heart… you’ll give me something lesser and I’ll have to settle.”

Ouch.

The same God who created the anatomy of the human body, the same God who causes the moon to rise and the tides to flow in and off the sands, the same God that can make the Red Sea simply stand up on edge and the same God Who can walk on water- THIS is the One I’m DOUBTING has a good plan for my life and ministry?

Leaders- Try this fill-in-the-blank exercise!

We’re all afraid of something- burdened by something- unwilling to let go of something.

When I take a good look at myself, I don’t even like to be around me when I’m fearful. Because fearful people are constantly defending themselves and putting up walls. Fearful people aren’t loving on others and serving them, they’re too busy guarding that precious thing they’re afraid to lose.

I learned a lot this weekend at the Built to Last Conference along with having worship leader Rick Muchow from Saddleback at our church. He said something that really stuck with me:

“Worship Leaders, it’s about time we start doubting our doubts and believing our beliefs. Too often our dreams are actually waking nightmares that we buy into. Too often we doubt our beliefs… and believe our doubts.

No matter what is going on around me I choose to believe God made me to lead others to worship. I choose to believe that God will give me the desires of my heart if I find myself fully trusting in Him. choose to doubt the idea that I’m not ready, not good enough, or too young. I choose to DOUBT that God would create a desire in me and then give me anything less. {Tweet this quote!}

I choose to boldly ask for things that are so great that they are doomed to fail without God’s help.  {Tweet this quote!}

Will you?

How you can rise in the midst of great affliction

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1 Samuel 1-2

Sometimes out of the midst of our greatest pain rise the greatest prayers + worship we can give God- because our hearts are offered up to Him in full. {Tweet this Quote!}
Hannah was in great pain + distress. She was feeling great emptiness + loneliness. She was teased and tormented to the point of depression. She wept bitterly and saw those around her seeming to just carry on with everyday life while she bore her burden alone.

1 Samuel 1:1-8, “There was a certain man … whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year.
…her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

Hannah did something different. She didn’t accept the circumstances and she also could not continue on “as-is”.
This is the beauty of the “Hannahs” of life: they know their Savior. {Tweet this Quote!}

Verse 9 is my favorite verse, although it may seem insignificant, it says everything about Hannah.
“After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose.”
Simple words to live by. After all this; Hannah rose.
She rose up to call on her Savior because she knew He could + would do something to help her because He hears.
Her prayer is one of the most beautiful and sought-after in all of history.

Verse 11: “…she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.
…+ Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard.”

People may think you’re crazy {like Eli did}. But you can call out of your distress, knowing He hears you. Knowing He cares, knowing He’s powerful enough to do all you can imagine and more because He.Is.God. {Tweet this Quote!}

In Hannah’s story- she actually left the time of prayer and worship and her face was no longer sad. It says in verse 19 that The Lord remembered her.
Cry out to Him! He hears you!

Rain, sweet rain

20140717-083143-30703278.jpgHere in West Texas I hear we’ve been in a drought for around five years. In our one year, I can count the times it has rained on one hand, literally.
I sit and wonder if the physical condition is a picture of The Church’s heart condition.
I know so many Christians (myself included) who say, “oh a 30% chance of rain? That’ll never happen.”
We’re never optimistic, knowing The One Who can calm the seas!
I still believe there is yet another Great Awakening that will rise out of the churches of the Permian Basin who wish to align themselves with God, humbling themselves to apologize for the atrocities of The Church of all time.
In 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 God speaks to Solomon, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Buckle up, Permian Basin! God is going to send that slow, steady, permeating, permanent rain– the Living Water that never runs dry!
I believe we need to pray a bit more boldly for the things we know God knows that we need.

So if He knows, cares, and always provides… Then why are we settling on asking Him for less?

{Tweet this: So if He knows, cares, and always provides… Then why are we settling on asking Him for less?}