52 Reasons Not to Fear

52 Reasons Not to Fear

We live in a terrifying world.

In fact, we live in a world gone so wrong that it would be easy to agree with the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland who said everyone in Wonderland was mad.

Things seem to be falling apart around us. From terrorist attacks like 9/11 to school shootings, life in America seems more dangerous by the day. Turn on any news channel, pick up a newspaper, or read a blog post and you’re sure to find madmen running amok.

My daughter and her family are moving today from a leased apartment because in the seven months they have lived there, they’ve

experienced shootings twice. The first time was a blazing gun battle in the parking lot outside her window. It was witnessed by two of her three children. The second was just last night. A drive-by shooting left TEN bullet holes in the apartment next to theirs. Had the shooter aimed at her apartment instead, their son would be dead today.

Their oldest daughter (she’ll be seventeen in about a month) was so traumatized by the first incident that she was afraid to go to school. Afraid to eat in the cafeteria, because so many kids congregate there that it would be the logical place for a bad person with a gun to start shooting. She kept to herself in the library.

 “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here.

From a purely personal viewpoint, when your frame of reference involves school shootings and the city you live in has the dubious distinction to have a murder rate of 12.5 per 100,000, you can easily get paralyzed by fear. So while we have to be aware of the violence around us, it is the extraordinary person who can be relaxed inside.

Are you that one?

Public Domain Image

Photo courtesy of Xuan Nguyen on Unsplash

I am. That’s because I have the assurance that nothing is going to happen to me that my God does not allow. And not even the bullet fired at me close range can take my life one second before God calls me home.

How did I gain such peace in the midst of turmoil? By hiding God’s word in my heart. In Psalm 119 the writer tells God he has hidden His word in his heart so that he wouldn’t sin against God. But there are other benefits to knowing Scripture.

One such benefit is relegating fear to hell where it belongs.

That’s why I wrote a devotional about how to speak to the devil when he fills your mind with fearful thoughts.

It’s a weekly devotional and contains 52 reasons why you do not have to be afraid even though life around you seems really dangerous. Since you’re reading this blog, it is reasonable to assume you live in a modern country with access to a Bible. If you don’t have one, contact me and I’ll be sure to get one in your hands.

Meanwhile, enjoy the free devotional download!

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A Gentleman's Legacy

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It’s been almost two months since my father passed away.

Yesterday would have been his 86th birthday. And as I sit and reflect on his life and influence on me, I realize that the thing that most touches me is that he was a gentleman.
He held doors for women. He walked between me and traffic. He pulled out my mother’s chair. He taught my brothers what it meant to treat women right and he taught me how to expect a man to treat me.

We didn’t always see eye to eye.

In fact, during my teenage years (my rebellion), I didn’t even like him very much. But I always admired and loved him, nonetheless. I was proud that he was my dad, proud of the way he acted and looked the part of a gentleman. And while I was running around with people of dubious character behind his back, I never forgot what he represented.

He grew up in a family of faith, with a preacher for a father.

Somewhere along the way, he quit going to church and living his faith out loud. But he never let us forget the difference between right and wrong, and how to treat people with respect. In the end, a year or so before his death, he admitted to me that he was a believer, that he looked forward to being in heaven with Christ when he died. That meant the world to me.

He was generous and kind, but full of jokes and pranks, too.

Nothing delighted him more than finding himself the butt end of a joke, and the laugh lines on his face were deep. He could really put out the teasing, but he could take it, too.
I’ll never forget the year a friend gave him a live pig for his birthday. He reciprocated by giving her a monkey! And then there was the time he took a cow in another friend’s kitchen. (Somehow, though, he didn’t see the humor in it when I brought a pony in the house on our slate floors!)
All in all, I feel very blessed to have been raised by this man. He wasn’t perfect (who of us are?).

But he was a gentleman.