I love beautiful nature scenes and I love to pair them with Scripture also.
New Beginning at Rosewood: Finding Hope While Exploring an Old House
I love beautiful nature scenes and I love to pair them with Scripture also.
When Fear Comes....
Fear DOES come to all of us at one time or another. What should we do with it? Do we hide it? Should we ignore it? Should we pretend we are not afraid?
Some fears seem silly, others are big and real. What response should we have to fear WHEN it comes? Fear takes many forms. We all experience fear at times, but what do we do with it? How do we treat our fear? How do we treat the fears of others?
It is sobering to realize we can build fear into the lives of our children or in our own lives. We can learn to hide our fears or encourage others to do the same. We can become controlled by fear or we can learn to allow God to strengthen us and teach our children to do so also.
We can also grow in the Lord and learn what He says about fear. We can develop the strengths He has given to us. We can claim His promises. We can face the fears we feel and evaluate them to see what action is required.
Sometimes fear can prompt us to change things. When we stole a cookie as a child and feared being caught, it showed we were stepping into wrong territory. It was a warning. We had the choice to repent or rationalize or lie. Many adults today have hardened hearts and will rationalize stealing or doing other wrong things. Their character has been damaged. They made the wrong choice long ago and have set a course for their life of a lack of integrity. God can do a work to change that, but how much better to do the right thing in the first place.
Sometimes fear comes and we are prompted to action, such as when a child is drowning and we alert and run to save the child. Maybe we spend less when we realize how low the money level is and we act responsibly. Maybe we study harder for an important test to be prepared and avoid the fear we know will attack. Sometimes fear comes as a lack of planning or responsibility. Other times, fear attacks like it attacked the disciples in the storm while Jesus slept in the boat. How could they have prepared for that?
There is much Scripture that speaks of the importance of spending time with God often and growing in Him.
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in You." Psalm 56:11
"But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid." John 6:20
"But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." Proverbs 1:33
"Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh." Proverbs 3:25
Fear will come. We can strengthen our walk with the Lord and handle it correctly. It takes work, on a day by day basis, to hide God's Word in our hearts, to know and trust His Word, to give Him praise for the blessings we take for granted, to communicate with Him in prayer regularly. Growing takes time, but spiritual strength will grow, if we let it.
"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7
"Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek His face evermore." Psalm 105:4
"Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word." Psalm 119:114
There is no magic formula to be free from fear, but God does give us instruction on trusting in Him. I have found that building faith and trust in God on a regular basis and knowing that He is over all helps to prepare my heart to trust Him in harder times. He is the One who loves me and has a plan for my life and He is worthy of trust. This may be what I have to cling to when fear comes. Am I allowing Him to purify me or am I fighting against that purifying work? It is good to evaluate and reset our purpose of loving, obeying and honoring Him.... no matter what.
Thank you for visiting today. I hope you have a wonderful week. I would love to hear from you in the comments. ~Blessings, Katherine
A childhood memory...
The basement of our house was a dark and forbidding place. I hated going down in there where the walls were rough, crumbling dirt. A few old shelves stood along the back wall where canned goods, both metal cans and glass canning jars of home-canned foods, were stored. The furnace was in the middle of the basement and a single bare light bulb hung from the low ceiling-the only light for the basement. The placement of the furnace blocked the light of that dim bulb from reaching many areas of the room and the whole basement was dim and dark with many ominous corners.
The steps descending into that abyss were simple boards that created a rough set of open stairs with a small space behind the steps where the wall could be faintly seen and I always feared what my imagination thought lived back there. In one of the darkest parts of the basement was the potato bin. Dad bought potatoes by the bushel and they were stored in the potato bin, which was only a few boards formed into a squarish open box on the floor next to the wall.
As a girl, I dreaded being told to go to the basement to get a few canned goods. I timidly stepped down each step, my eyes fearfully watching for dangers... the shadows, the noise of the furnace when it started suddenly, the cobweb I walked into or was able to avoid, the spider running into the shadows and more. I was seriously "spooked" and only the obedience drilled into me kept me from running up those stairs without the job done. I would quickly grab what I had been sent to get, glad for the dim light that shone on the shelves allowing me to see what was needed.
I had disciplined myself to walk deliberately back through the darkness to the stairs and ascend calmly up, trying to ignore the rising panic I felt inside. I usually made it up two or three steps before the panic took over and I ran as fast as I could up the remaining steps, slamming the door behind me at the top, breathing hard, relieved to be back in the main part of the house. Then I would compose my face, pretend I was fine and go to continue my work, hoping no one saw my fear, although I remained very "jumpy".
Even worse than getting canned goods, though, was going down to get potatoes as it was too dark to see and I had to reach and grab as many as I needed, doing so in the dark, then carry them in my arms up the stairs. One time I grabbed a few potatoes only to feel the numerous tiny legs of a centipede scurrying rapidly up my arm. Terrified and dropping the potatoes, I immediately gave in to the panic and ran up the stairs, shudders and shivering shaking my frame, sure I could never do the job again. However, since I hadn't gotten the potatoes, I was sent back down to do it and obediently accomplished that task and learned not to complain of being scared, but the fear remained deep inside and grew.
As a girl, I had many reasons to fear. We all have reasons to be afraid even as adults, especially considering the condition of our world. Saying, "Fear not", "don't be afraid", "be a big girl" , "your fear is silly", or other such comments won't take the fear away. Neither will pretending we are not afraid. Even being able to foist fearful tasks off on other people will not take away the fear. What should we do? Are we condemned to live in fear the rest of our lives? We may have been conditioned to just hide our fear, but God has a plan to help us.
One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Yes, it starts out, "Fear thou not..." but that phrase is not alone as it also says:
for I am with thee,
for I am thy God,
I will strengthen thee,
I will help thee,
I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
We will be faced with fear. This verse tells us that God is bigger than our fear and that He will be with us and strengthen us. It says to "fear thou not", BUT it also tells us some of the ways He will help us. We turn to God and He is our help. God doesn't just tell us not to be afraid without telling us how we can do that and we shouldn't do that to others, either. We need to direct people, especially our children, to the One who knows our fears and can do something about them. Words of "Fear Not" or "Don't be afraid" are empty without something behind them. What a blessing that God tells us not to fear AND tells us He is fully able to take care of us.
God has taught me much about trusting Him and I have learned practical ways to deal with fear. No, it doesn't mean we will never be fearful. Fear will attack, but God shows us how to deal with it. In future posts, I will be sharing some of what He has taught me. I hope you will join me. Feel free to share your comments about fear and how God is helping you or what you need to overcome.
~ Blessings, Katherine J Masters
Order at the link below:
The party was going fine until a misunderstanding occurred. Several friends and their families had been invited to a casual party at our home in the country. Our home needed work and it had been tempting to wait to invite company until all work was complete, but the money situation we faced would only allow minimal and necessary repairs to be done and we wanted to invite people over sooner than when the repairs were done. Many were church friends and we had also invited some neighbors we didn’t know well, making it quite a mixed group. The party was being held outside since the weather was nice in late summer and all were relaxing and having fun – good, clean fun.
Volleyball was being played by several, some were sitting at the bonfire, and there were various activities going on with much laughter. Our party ideas didn’t include paying for grand activities and we hoped all would enjoy the simple games we set out and it seemed to be happening, to my great relief. I rushed to get the last of the food on the outdoor table where the picnic food was being placed for the potluck dinner. Other tables and chairs were set up, but some people would have to stand or sit on a blanket on the ground and thankfully, no one seemed to mind.
When the meal was ready, we called everyone over to the table area where they quieted down so my husband could pray and thank God for the food. After the prayer, I gave quick instructions about the food line and where the beverages were, so the line formed while people filled their plates with the appetizing food. We were thankful to have so many wonderful people around us and treasured these new friends.
Being rather new to the area, we had gradually made a few friends and this was our first real party, so I had been a bit nervous, wanting people to like us and wanting all to go well. I had to admit, the party was a success and I allowed myself to enjoy the relief of that.
Times had been tough in the last couple of years since my husband had lost his job and changed to a job which paid less. We had been selling what we could from the house, to help make ends meet and I posted things online, and then acted as dispatcher when someone called and wanted an item, meaning I set up the time one of the family members could meet them at a nearby gas station to sell whatever was being sold or I would meet them myself. We had already sold several things and as bills continued, I had to dig deeper to sell things I hadn’t wanted to sell, but we really needed the money, so I was trusting God to provide for us in this way and He was.
I was frugal, by nature, but even I couldn’t stretch the money as far as it needed to stretch, though I had expanded my frugal habits. I had been actively gardening and harvesting wild foods, which most people call weeds, and had been surprised at the number of new foods I had found… foods that were edible and nutritious and free. My new harvests had included purslane, dandelions, violets and redbud flowers in our salads. I found that pine needles have a good amount of vitamin C, so I made tea with those and many more foods were found. My interest in herbs and natural health was a bonus in helping me to research all of this. I had made regular foods for the picnic, though, and wasn’t trying any of my new ideas on friends.
So far, we had sold an unused seed spreader, an extra grill and more of those types of items. I had pared down my kitchen bowls and pans and sold many of those, as well as a couple of chairs I had never liked and a cabinet I would miss. The beautiful rose china set from my grandmother had been difficult to part with, but the money it brought helped to pay the electric bill, buy shoes for one of our sons and buy groceries for this party. I was thankful and still felt so blessed by God. Our family was close and we were together and learning to trust God more and more.
At the moment, I had about three dozen items posted online for sale and when someone wanted to meet, we tried to make it happen as soon as possible in order to not lose a sale. When I received an email from someone, I sent them meeting information and a contact number which was usually my husband’s unless he was at work. A couple of our sons were also able to meet and sell items, which helped a lot, but coordinating selling times with family work schedules had proved to be challenging. We were making it work, but I would be glad when it was no longer necessary, if that day ever came.
A question from my daughter nudged me from my thoughts and I turned my attention to her as she said my husband was trying to get my attention, so I looked to where he stood on the other side of the table. I was delighted the party was going so well, but surprised he was on his cell phone. He covered the mouthpiece to ask me “Honey, where is the pot? I need the pot!” He was in a frantic hurry because a sale needed to be made and the people were almost to the gas station meeting place, but couldn’t wait long.
I wished people would give us more warning, but we had experienced this before and I knew we could do it. I raised my voice and called to my son, who was a few yards away. “Dad needs the pot so he can go sell it. Hurry and get it, please.” The son rushed to do my bidding, while my husband finished his conversation, ready to grab the pot and go sell it. Only then, did I realize the laughter had ceased and people looked concerned. There was some whispering, but the conversations had quieted to an uncomfortable level. As hostess, I knew I need to fix whatever the problem was, but I wasn’t sure what was going on.
One woman cautiously asked, “You’re selling something like that?” I replied that we were selling many things because we really needed the money more than the items. We really liked the pot, but could do without it and needed the money it would bring. She looked surprised and her frown indicated disapproval. I looked around, surprised at the continued quiet and serious-looking faces. Our party was going so well until then and I wondered WHAT had happened. I felt panic rise inside, but needed to play it cool since I was the hostess, though I felt like crying. I wondered if they disapproved of my husband leaving the party and hoped he would be quick to return.
Just then, our son came out of the house with the large glazed ceramic pot and saucer my husband needed to take to sell. He grabbed it from our son and rushed to the vehicle to go meet the people. I was glad we would get the money from the pot as it would be a help. Hearing more conversation again, I turned back to the people and though relieved, I still didn’t know what had happened.
Seeing some smiles and smirks, I was confused until the same woman who had questioned me earlier, asked, “Was that the POT you were selling?” When I said yes, chuckles started and then outright laughter and I finally put it all together.
“You mean, you thought we were selling pot, like marijuana?” When she nodded and laughter continued, I sputtered, “We wouldn’t even consider doing that.” I was horrified. “Oh, my, I’m so sorry. I guess I need to be more careful of how I say things in the future.” Thankfully, the party got back on track and finished well and the pot sold. One man congratulated me on having such a fun party and laughed about pot, while I cringed, and gave a polite little smile.
Katherine J Masters 11-14-2020
Sometimes, life can be unfair and problems seem overwhelming. Difficulty, loss and sadness have discouraged Emily. Settling the affairs of a reclusive old uncle in a distant town gives her a chance to get away for a time. Determined to complete her unpleasant responsibility, she faces trials as well as blessings along the way.
An old house, abandoned and alone in a big field, reminded me of my Grandma's House which was actually just a broken down old farmhouse where Grandma still lived years after Grandpa had died. It was a place of adventure and at times, a place of "magic" to me as a young girl, and to my siblings. Grandma's house was in the country on acres of land and we lived in a small farming town, so the country was a treasured novelty we only experienced rarely. Exciting things (at least for children) always happened at Grandma's.
by Katherine J Masters
I love beautiful nature scenes and I love to pair them with Scripture also. I'm glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoyed God...