THANK YOU

PHIL

Thank you dear sisters for allowing me to share with you reflections over the summer about anxiety through the lens of Philippians 4:6,7. It has really helped me to think and practice God’s word in this area of my life. I hope it has helped you in some small way.

We have everything we need for life and godliness. Let’s help each other to keep looking up to Christ and out to others with the hope and peace we have been given from God in Christ!

The following is a simple prayer I would like to pray for us as we close this series:

Dear Lord, I have learned about my anxiety and I totally CAST it on you. I know You care for me and that You can be trusted. I believe in your promises. Therefore, by faith, I pray with a thankful heart, knowing you will give me YOUR peace as I keep my focus on YOU.  AMEN 

Next week, I will be sharing what we will be studying this school year 2016-2017. Please be praying and gearing up with your study buddy! If you don’t have a study buddy, please let myself or Anne Holmes know and we will get you sorted!

Love, Kathy x

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GUARDING US IN CHRIST JESUS

… “God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7b

As we draw closer to the end of our summer series on anxiety through the lens of Philippians 4:6, 7; I am encouraged with how the Word of God is living and active and relevant for today. I find myself being anxious less and praying more. I hope and pray you are as well.

In this last phrase, the words “guard” and “in Christ” are words in this context that popped out at me to look at a little more closely.

God’s peace which surpasses mere human understanding and knowledge can be known only by those who live in ChristGalatians 3:26-28 gives us great insight into what this IN CHRISTmeans. Paul is reminding the Christians in Galatia of their new identity since they placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Like the early Christians, we put our identity in Christ, leaving our old sinful lives and fully embracing our new life in Christ. We have the understanding and knowledge of Christ.  So, the peace of God is a sweet tranquillity of spirit that God gives us in the anxious times of life when we lay our burdens at his feet and we surrender our will to His will.  The peace of God waxes and wanes depending on how fully surrendered to God’s will we are in our lives. This continually brings us back to the foundation of our faith in the Gospel. Daily surrender.

And this peace will guard our hearts and minds. God wants to keep His people safe in His peace. His gospel peace protects, defends, and watches over us. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). So, for God to keep us in perfect peace, our minds must be stayed on Him.  Our minds lean on Him, centre on Him, and trust in Him rather than our problems or anxiety. Peace is experienced when we trust in His nearness, goodness, power, His mercy and love for us, and His complete sovereignty over all life’s circumstances. Daily focus on Christ.

In my own strength, I know that I will fail every time I try to live out my life less anxiously. In my own strength, I will fail every time I try harder with gritted teeth to do better. You will too. We are not alone. When we are weak, HE is strong. God in Christ is the one who will give us the ONLY peace which will guard and protect us; the ONLY peace which will stand the test of time.  The Spirit of God requires our cooperation though-daily surrender and daily keeping our eyes on Him. He CAN BE TRUSTED.

Next week is our last week in this summer series. Please be looking for our new Fall and Winter study series coming in September. Please be praying for it. In the meantime, enjoy the summer weather and keep looking to Jesus!

Kathy x

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NO STRANGER TO ANXIETY

 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6,7

Hi sisters, how are you getting on with applying this scripture to your everyday lives? Have you taken inventory of the things in your life that cause you ongoing anxiety that shouldn’t be there in the first place? Are you practicing replacing worry with prayer? Do you thank God for all He is and has done for you? Do you tell Him what you need? I can’t say YES myself all the time in every situation, but I can see more fruit of it as I train myself in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. If you are struggling, be encouraged. Fruit will come as you proactively persevere. Peace will come through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace. Only God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds.

It is interesting when we look at the life of our Lord Jesus, He Himself was certainly no stranger to anxiety and anguish. In the Garden of Gethsemane right before His crucifixion, Jesus was so distressed that His “sweat became like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44). And we hear Jesus spreading His anxieties before the Lord in prayer in Gethsemane, as He says to God the Father, “Now My soul is troubled” (Matthew 26:38). Then He said, “Father save Me from this hour.  Remove this cup from Me” (Matthew 26:39). But then after prayer came relinquishment (surrender), as He was able to say, “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done heavenly Father” (Matthew 26:39). So we see how Jesus dealt with His anxiety. First He prayed, then He surrendered, and then He was given peace. If you read on in the garden scene, Jesus is fully prepared to meet his betrayer and the horrific events that followed. Jesus was calm and at peace. On the cross Jesus says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). “Father into Your hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46).

God does not ask us not to feel anxious, but to cast it on Him in prayer trusting His sovereignty and plan. He knows. He cares. He’s been there. And his yoke is easy and his burden is light if you will only put it on Him. Again and Again. Pray. Surrender. Peace.

So girlfriend, let’s go one step further. Hope fully by now, you have this scripture on your smart phone, in your bible, notebook, on the refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror. 🙂 Now, why don’t you memorize it? Nothing like being able to quote scripture in the heat of the moment of worry or anxiety.

Praying for you as ever and cheering you on,

Kathy x

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GOD’S PEACE

For the last few weeks we have been reflecting on anxiety and worry through the lens of Philippians 4:6,7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Paul urges us to replace worry with prayer, remembering to thank God for all He has done in our lives.  God’s Holy Word then goes on to say, “Then you will experience peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.” How does this happen? I really don’t know sister, but it somehow happens through God’s grace and the power the Holy Spirit.

alfie 2God in His mercy is allowing me and many others to witness this power of God’s Word in action, in and through our church family.  Last week, Alfie Kelly was safely born to parents Paul and Victoria Kelly and grandparents Ian and Anne Holmes.  A few days later, he was rushed to the hospital because he had stopped breathing, turning blue. Alfie is  critically ill and in neonatal intensive care, where he is surrounded by skilled and experienced physicians and nurses. They are doing everything they can to get to the source of his health issues so they can take steps toward recovery. No doubt, it has been an anxious time for Paul and Victoria with 1 week old Alfie going through many tests and tubes and wires attached all over his body.  Waiting. Watching. Wondering.

When our church community heard the news, they immediately spread the word to PRAY. Within a short time, there were many praying, as well as friends and family from all over the world.  In fact, many from our church family have been meeting for prayer every night to stand shoulder to shoulder for Alfie and his parents. We have been praying in the pattern of Philippians 4:6,7. And God the Holy Spirit is giving Paul and Victoria peace! He is giving us, the church family, His peace as well.

 Victoria shares: “Thank you so much for all the persistent and faithful prayers for our boy. We know that Jesus has been upholding him at all times and also pouring out his peace on Paul and I. So many bible verses have been ministering to us, but Psalm 46 has been special to my heart and for Alfie specifically, Romans 8:28. We really believe he is a warrior for God and know God has a purpose and plan for his life. Prayer has been constantly had throughout the world, so when we have been sleeping we know he has been covered. We are overwhelmed with gratitude!”

Alfie has a long way to go, and we are not certain what his future holds. BUT, we know WHO holds his future! Paul and Victoria are wonderful examples of praying for Alfie, and thanking God for all He has done. Peace is keeping their hearts and minds guarded as they live one day at a time in Christ Jesus. Oswald Saunders says it so well: “Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.” He doesn’t leave us as orphans, but has given us His Holy Spirit to enable us and give us His peace.

I will continue to pray Philippians 4:6,7 over you all. Pray it over yourself, pray it over your family. Pray it over little warrior Alfie and his family.  May our Lord Jesus grant you his peace this week.
Love, Kathy x

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