…WITH THANKSGIVING

This summer we are thinking on Philippians 4:6-7 where the Apostle Paul urges us from prison on how to deal with worry. The first week we took inventory with the things in our lives which add to our stress that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Last week we looked at replacing our worry with prayer. Through this proactive process, I personally realized that I really do worry a lot! But with the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I find that it has been freeing as I stop and pray when the worry or anxiety hits. So, how are you doing in this area? Remember, we need each other for encouragement and accountability. So pick up the phone and ring your friend and pray together, or get together for a cuppa.  Or if you know of someone who needs encouragement, drop a one liner on email or write a card. But most of all, let’s pray for one another. We don’t have the resources NOT to pray.

Today, we continue the phrase in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”(NLT)  The NIV says it like this: “…by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Why do you think Paul puts that in? You know, being thankful gets our heads and hearts in the right place. It gets the focus off of ourselves and onto God; his love for us and our salvation through Jesus, his care and plan for us. Also it guards us against self pity. Give thanks with a grateful heart. There are so many verses throughout the God’s Word which urge us to be thankful in prayer.  Here are a two:

thankful in word and deed

 

 

 

 

thankfulness verse

As I sign off for today I want you to know that “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.” May you be blessed and reminded of God’s love and blessings in your life as you CAST your anxiety on the Lord as you PRAY about everything, WITH THANKSGIVING!

Kathy xo

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DON’T WORRY- PRAY

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

His sisters! I hope you are enjoying our lovely summer weather! I am sitting here in my lovely garden sipping on a lovely cup of coffee with a lovely breeze surrounded by colourful flowers while contemplating Paul’s urging the Philippian believers concerning anxiety! When Paul wrote these words, he himself was having a pretty rough time of it. You see, Paul was writing these words from a prison cell in Rome. He was not like yours truly in a lovely garden sitting in a comfy chair! So, his words carry even more weight.

Yet, even with our creature comforts around us, we still find ourselves in a flux of anxiety and worry, don’t we?

In our continuing reflection on worry and anxiety, verse 6 says this. “Don’t be worried about anything.” Let’s stop right there.  That is pretty clear isn’t it? To help us in gaining more insight into this command, let’s look at another command in 1 Peter 5:7. CAST all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” That gives us a bit more description. This is very proactive; nothing understated about this action. It is same verb as the disciples casting their nets for a catch of fish. It takes effort on our parts. The first half of verse 7 says, ” . . . casting all your anxiety on him . . .” WHY? The second half of the verse says, “. . . because he cares for you.” Here is where the rubber meets the road. How do you practically make the anxiety transfer from your back to God’s back? The answer is: trust that he cares for you. Believe this promise. Trust him. It’s a matter of practical trust. He cares about the thing that has you worrying, that He will not stand by and let things develop without his influence. It means he will act. He will work. Not always the way we would. He’s God and His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He sees a thousand connections we don’t see. We need to take God at his Word. Believe the very foundation of the gospel through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Don’t be worried about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

images (3)So what are you worried and anxious about today? A son or daughter? Bills to be paid? Your health or of someone you love? A relationship that has gone pear shaped? Consequences of a wrong choice you made awhile back that has come back to bite you? The bottom line is that in prayer, anxiety is resolved by trust in God.  Prayer is a REPLACEMENT for worry. Trusting that God cares about your anxiety is expressed in prayer. Pray about EVERYTHING, big, little, in between! Jesus in Luke 18:1 says to pray and not lose heart. When you find yourself tempted to worry about something get on your knees instead. Replace your worry with prayer to your Heavenly Father. Sisters, we need to encourage one another to take our burdens to the Lord and leave them with Him. And if we don’t, let’s do it again and again. The Lord is gracious and will help us with this. He does not leave us orphans, but has given us the Holy Spirit to enable us.

I will continue to pray this scripture over you this week.  Hope you have written it out for yourself!

In Him who cares for you,

Kathy xo

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TAKE INVENTORY

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7 NLT 

As I prayed and pondered about this blog and how it might be used to encourage and assist you this summer, I came to realize my stress and anxiety levels were beginning to escalate; and my fingernails were bitten once again! What shall I write?

It was staring me in the face. Anxiety. Stress. Worry. These are “respectable sins” (term taken from Jerry Bridges) in my life that the Lord is helping me to overcome, one step at a time. Thank you Lord. And, unless I am gravely mistaken, you may struggle with these emotions from time to time as well.

So over the summer, I will be talking about this common but draining and negative emotion, which if not harnessed by the Holy Spirit, will leave us depleted and in a rut of despair.

Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works, and can have negative consequences.

God has thought of everything when He created us. When you are stressed, there is a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats. It is called the “fight or flight” response. Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you’re constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress. Our anxieties and worries can then persist whether or not the cause is clear to us. This is not God’s plan for us my dear sisters.

I thought of the anxieties and stressors which I have allowed into my life that shouldn’t be there in the first place. How easy to think:  “I not only must have it all and do it all- but be good at it. And I must look good while I’m doing it! And furthermore, I must let the world know that I love my family more than you love yours and if I don’t worry and fret and run myself into the ground to accomplish this expectation, who will?” This is pride. Take inventory. There is another example I am reminded in the bible where Jesus told Martha in Luke 10, that “…you are worried and anxious about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”  There are other lessons Jesus is teaching in this story, but there is one that is loud and clear. What are your priorities?  Take inventory.  And finally, I sometimes feel that the person who is telling me not to worry is the one who doesn’t fully comprehend the problem because if they did they would be worried too! Misguided self justification. Not the point. Take inventory.  Our culture (encourages us to have) has too many plates spinning. Much of our stress should not be there in the first place. This was sobering for myself, but was helpful. Take courage and make some changes. Summer activities are a good place to start!

I will be praying Philippians 4:6-9 over us this week. I encourage you to do the same. Write it on a 3 x 5 card and put in your handbag so you can look at it often; or put it on your phone. Fill your mind with it. We will be talking about it more the next few weeks. Kathy xo

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Summer Holidays Are Coming!

 

“Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

 Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” Deuteronomy  6:6-9 MSG

As I have been thinking and praying for you all for the upcoming summer holidays, my hope is that Christ will be at the centre of all you do and are. God is so good and has given us so much for our enjoyment!  And as we enjoy God’s good gifts throughout the summer, let’s encourage each other to remember to keep the focus on what really matters- to reflect God’s glory with those around us.

The following  is a prayer I will be praying over you this week which I came across in a song. My hope is you will also use this to pray over someone else-

Help me live a life that’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul from the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised with my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven glorify Your Name through me

Love you sisters! Keep on keeping on!

Kathy Larkman

Kathy x