Worry is the Dark Room Where Negatives Develop

 I wrote this chapter in my book,  Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, and I received many compliments on it. It was a real dream, I just added a little excitement for your enjoyment.

A Dream is What We build our Life on

 

Blessed I the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

I had a real dream the other night, and it was a western. It had me tossing and turning until the outcome unfolded.

The wonderful thing about dreams is that no matter how terrifying they are in the beginning, they almost always turn out for the good in the end. You notice that you never quite get caught by the monster that is chasing you. Isn’t it fun when you are flying and you can see everyone below you? I just flap my arms, and I fly. (OK, I know you’re thinking, This guy is crazy!)

How about the fact that you are the hero and you always save the day? Everything is wonderful. That is how life can be if you follow God. It doesn’t pay to worry, have anxiety and be full of fear. It doesn’t pay to be full of shame. It doesn’t pay one cent to be gossiping all the time. My dream is an example of that.

The characters:

The good guys: Matthew, Mark, John

Stranger on a white horse

The bad guys: Anxiety, Gossip, Shame, Death

Matthew, Mark, John and the Stranger—the four good guys—were riding on their horses through Sin City towards the Not OK Corral. Hiding from them were Anxiety, Gossip, Shame and Death—the four bad guys. They didn’t want the good guys to find them and stop the harm they were doing. They had control of all the people in the city and they wanted to keep control. Matthew, Mark and John were riding on brown horses because that was what they rode in those days. The Stranger was riding on a white horse.

The good guys were not gunslingers, they were Bible-slingers. The good guys got down off their horses and went searching for Anxiety, Gossip, Shame and Death.

Matthew found Anxiety leering around a corner trying to see where everyone was. Anxiety had a worried look on his face. He kept looking everywhere in fear—in back of him and in front of him. He didn’t know what to do.

Anxiety (aka worry) can be caused by a doctor’s appointment that holds the results of a blood test. It can be wondering if you can pay this month’s bills. It could be from a dispute you had with your wife. Whatever the case, from stage left comes Matthew, who says to Anxiety: “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done” (taken from Philippians 4:6).

Anxiety felt like a ton of weight had been taken off his shoulders, and he left the Not OK Corral much happier. Anxiety was gone.

Mark was looking for Gossip. When he found him, Gossip was talking so fast Mark couldn’t understand him. Gossip said, “Did you see Clem at the Horse’s Breath Saloon? He said he would never take another drink, and I just saw him walk in there!”

Gossip can ruin a person’s life. Talking about someone behind their back can only spread hurt and can cause unwanted hardship.

Mark put his hand over Gossip’s mouth and said: “As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs 26:21–22).

Gossip was dumbfounded and was unable to speak further. He went away with a swollen tongue and was gone. There was no more gossip.

John found Shame hiding in a closet because he was so ashamed of what he had done all his life. He didn’t want anyone to see him this way.

Shame is often the last fatal nail in the heart of a person who is hurting from something they did in the past. Turn anything you are ashamed of over to God, and He will wipe it out of His books.

John felt pity for him and said, “If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).

Shame rose and came out of the closet. He was a different man. He felt self-worth. He felt he was loved. He wanted to learn more about God. After this, Shame was gone. There was no more shame.

Then the Stranger went right to where Death was, for He knew where everyone was, and what they were doing every second of the day.

Death was a hideous creature. He was caring a sword and had a look on his face that would melt anyone who looked into his eyes. He really was the leader of this gang. There was fire coming out of his ears, and he laughed a chilling laugh. (This is the part where I was tossing, and turning!) He said, “You may have calmed the rest of my gang, but you have no power over me. Everyone has to die, and I will wait until they come to me.”

Yes, death will happen to all of us, but if we are under God’s you have a protective wing, we do not have to fear death. It is just a stepping stone to be with our heavenly Father. You can be assured that the angels are waiting for the moment you are ready to be with the Lord. It is like a parent anticipating a newborn. The angels will say, “Cool, here comes another one to be with us in heaven.”

The Stranger took off His cloak, and uncovered his head. It was Jesus. Jesus walked up to Death and said, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Death spun around in pain and, weaker but still standing, turned back toward Jesus.

Jesus said, talking to God: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (from Psalm 23:4).

Death began to wither and fell to the ground. He had no more power over people any longer.

So there was no more anxiety, no more gossip, no more being ashamed, and most importantly, no more death.

God is the final power. He controls all things. We can stop worrying about anything. Worrying and fear does not gain us one more minute in a day—and it saps our strength. Turn your anxiety, gossiping, shame and the fear of death over to Him, and He will send them on their way.

The four horsemen got on their horses and headed to the next town to see what gangs might have settled there. As they rode into the sunset, they all sang praises to God and worshipped Him.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

 

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life.

Romans 2:7

 

Further adventures

Have you had one of those bad guys come into your life? Have you been faced with anxiety? Has someone said something about you to someone else that wasn’t true? Do you live in shame for past sins that you cannot get out of your mind? Have you lost a loved one? Always remember that God is always there. He knows what your anxiety is. He knows about the gossip that has been spread about you. He wants you to throw away your shame, like it was a broken toy.

And remember that death has no power if your loved one was a Christian. God is the final Word. He controls everything. Lean on Him through whatever trial you are going through. You will have some storms come into your life, but God is there to help calm them for you.

 

Something to ponder

Isn’t it funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says?

(Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World) Chapter 12

Death Has no Calendar. It comes in the Night When you Least Expect it

                            Death Where is Your Sting? 

 

This last Monday I went to a BSF Bible study. BSF stands for Bible Study Fellowship. We were in a group of men that discuss the previous week’s lesson. At the end of our discussion one of the members said, “My friend who has been coming here with me each week has died.” The group was stunned. The man seemed to be in good health. It was very sudden. 

This incident reminded me of one of the chapters from my book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. This is chapter 6.

I hope that you will find some comfort from this post:

 

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

1 Corinthians 15:55–56

 

As believers, we have the comfort of knowing we have eternal life. According to Romans 5:12, death comes to all of us. We have to go through the process that all living things must go through. However, we can be reassured that we will have new bodies, and be in heaven with God.

It is also hard to lose loved ones and friends. God doesn’t explain to us why He takes some people earlier than others. It is not for us to decide who should stay. God chooses and we should thank Him for each day we have with our loved ones.

In May of 2001 my father was on his deathbed, dying from a stroke. On this day, I had a close encounter with God. I wanted to make sure that he was right with the Lord. I decided that I was going to talk to him when I was with him at the hospital. I went out into the hall to gather myself and pray.

I looked to my right. Coming down the hall was the pastor from the church I had been attending. He was coming to visit another member of the church. I stopped him and said I needed him to come in and talk to my father. The pastor did come in and talk to my father, and we were sure then that he had the Lord in his heart. I was overjoyed that the Lord had sent the pastor just at the time I was getting up the courage to talk to my father.

He just happened to be coming to the hospital? He just happened to be on the right floor? He just happened to be in the right wing, and he just happened to be coming down the hall when I went out into the hall? I don’t think so!! God sent my pastor on a mission to talk to my father that morning. My father died two days later.

It is all right to grieve for your loved ones and friends, but if you know they are Christians, you have tremendous comfort. You know you will see them again some day.  

If they are not a Christian, take time to share with them the love of God. You could also have the hospital chaplain talk to them, or have your church’s pastor talk to them. You may even go out into the hall, and have a pastor coming toward you to talk to them!

I also have had the privilege of having many friends that were very dear to me. They each made an impact in my life. In just the last few years, I’ve had to say good-bye to several of them. Physical death took them from us, but spiritually they live on. I am only sharing this to let you know that I will be able to see each of them when it is my turn to walk the walk.

Arlene Corn was probably the best Detroit Tiger fan in the whole world. She lived in our cul-de-sac. She also was also a wonderful Christian. When she went to be with the Lord we all sang “Take Me out to the Ball Game” at her packed memorial service. There was not a dry eye at the service. She was an instant friend in the neighborhood. You felt you knew her from day one. Cancer took her from us.

My neighbor, who lived across the street, was one of the toughest women I have ever met. She called a spade a spade, and wouldn’t hesitate to let you know if you needed to be corrected. When someone mentioned that a friend had “passed away,” she scolded, “They didn’t pass away; they died!” She did pass away, and she will be greatly missed by all of her neighbors. She loved dogs, and the neighborhood dogs seemed to have known it. They lined up at her home for treats. Cancer took her from us.

A teacher friend of mine was a single parent of two sons that she loved very much. She also loved teaching kindergarten children, and they loved her. My wife and I took her for many of her chemotherapy sessions because her sons needed to be in school. She wanted to look special for everyone, so she wore a wig and made sure she was dressed well for her doctor visits. She remained positive to the very end. She passed away in her sleep. Cancer took her from us.

Another friend of ours was very tough woman. She could bite the head off a pit bull, but she was a person who spread her love as far as she could reach. She loved the “boys” who came to visit her. They were high school kids who needed someone to talk to. She had them over almost every night. They would sit around and talk to her and her husband. It was a place for them to unload.

She unloaded on my wife and her husband one time at a doctor’s appointment they had gone to with her. They started to break down at something the doctor said. “Quit being wimps!” she scolded. She didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for her. At her memorial service no one was allowed to say anything sad about her. Cancer took her from us.

Another teacher friend was a very proud woman. She refused to dwell on her illness. She always felt she was going to beat cancer. She was a woman that fought for the right to have an assisted suicide in Oregon, the first state to allow it. She felt that we all should be able to die with dignity. She even spoke before Congress on the issue. She passed away before she was able to have assistance. Cancer took her from us.

Howard Girod and I met about six years ago when we moved next door to him and his wife. He was the kind of person you were not sure you would be friends with. He once jokingly called me the village idiot. But as I got to know him, I found out that he was the most loving man I had met in a long time.

I almost fell off a ladder he was holding for me, and he scolded me like I was his son. “Be careful!” he shouted. Another time just before his death, when he was very weak, he whispered to me from his hospital bed, “If I could start over again … I wouldn’t!”

His favorite line at the end was, “God bless you.” That meant so much to me, especially since he had once called me the village idiot. Howard was a strong Christian who said a strong word once in awhile, but his love for you made you know that he was going to have a seat close to God when he passed. Leukemia took him from us.

God took all these people the same way. They all died from some form of cancer, except my father who died from a stroke. There is not an answer why they had to leave us so soon, but God has His reasons. I thank Him for sharing these people with me for the time we had together. A father or a friend is a precious person that you should cherish each day you have them. You never know when they will not be with you anymore.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Psalm 23:4

 

I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.

John 8:51

 

Further adventures

You never know when your signs of hope will be. I have had many that I know of, but I probably had many more I didn’t know about. Try to keep track of when you have signs of hope and let me know about them by sending your story to me.

 

S0mething to ponder

Isn’t it funny that our children can’t read the Bible in school, but they can in prison?

(This is an excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World) Chapter 6


 

 

 

Social Networking Can Change Your Future in Writing

Facebook is an Outstanding way for Authors to get Known.

Social networking wasn’t very will known as few as five years ago, as far as authors using it to promote their books.

Now there are thousands of authors using this approach to reaching out to readers.

My Space, Twitter, You Tube, Friendster, Linkedin, etc, have become an important part of an author’s publicity kit.

On Facebook you can show videos, pictures, images, audio, and media, that will give the “friends,” plenty of information  on the author’s book.

On Twitter, you reach millions of people with one push of a key.  You can also promote your book there, but many use it more for social contact, and then “lure,” the contacts into their websites, or onto Facebook.

If you can build each of your Facebook, Twitter, Blog subscribers, My Space lists to over 2,000, you will do very well when your book finally comes out.

Having these many “followers” on each of these avenues, will also impress agents and publishers.

If you haven’t started working with these promotional techniques, I strongly suggest you look into each of these channels and see if they are for you.

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There are six more days left on the latest book give away, of the book, Moments This Good: The Softer Side of Alzheimer’s, Written by Bonnie Nester. Bonnie wrote about her mother Ruth.

Here is a review about the book:

“Nester offers the reader a path to gentle acceptance, and even moments of playfulness and joy-and always, always models profound love and respect for her mother.”

                                                                                                        Ellen Waterson

                                                                                           Author of the award-winning memoir, Then There was No Mountain and I am Madagascar.

Bonnie has many examples for caregivers on how to be loving, and understanding at the same time.

I know the need for that as I have a 92 year old mother that battles dementia.

I highly recommend her book, and Bonnie has autographed it along with a personal note to the reader.

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To have a chance to win this book, go to the right side bar and click on the icon that talks about subscribing to my free newsletter, Signs of Hope Press. Notice that it also says that you will be able to download a free eBook I have written called, The Top 25 Ways to Survive in a Troubled World. You can down load it when you receive the first newsletter.

So you get a free newsletter with several pages of good information. A free eBook with ways to cope, and chances to win free top selling books with many them having the author’s autograph, and personal note in them.

Go ahead and try. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

OUT!