How to Deal with Panic Attacks

panicSometimes, when we feel alarmed about an issue in our life, we can draw hasty conclusions that are wrong. Some people will even begin to suffer from panic attacks.

The Bible tells us that David experienced this. He wrote in Psalm 31:22 [NLT], “In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the LORD!”

Infertility can make you feel that way, especially when it has lasted for a while. It’s as if God doesn’t care, like He’s purposely turned away and cut Himself off from hearing you. But that’s a deception straight from hell. The devil’s mind games and antics are always meant to make us draw away from God because he knows the solutions to our problems are ALWAYS found in drawing near to God.

David did eventually see the folly of his panic-inspired thought that he was cut off from God. He chose to draw near to God. He made a decision to encourage himself in the Lord by remembering God’s love for him. David told God, “But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.”

God passionately loves us and will never turn away or cut us off. As believers in Jesus, we can be fully confident of this in any situation. Jesus said, “And be sure of this: I am with you always.” [Matthew 28:20 NLT]

Here are a couple of Scripture passages that serve to remind you that you are loved by the only One who can do everything necessary to turn your situation around and replace your panic with peace:

“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” ~Daniel 10:19 NLT

God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. ~2Thessalonians 2:16 NLT

Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Thanks to F-words, I’ll Be Rockin’ It For the Rest of 2014

Earlier this year, I attended a retreat that I hoped would help me gain more focus in business-building activities and in personal matters. As an activity, we wrote on a smooth stone the one thing that would be our target for the remainder of the year. I wrote, “FINISH” on mine because I was finding that there were a number of things in my life I would start but didn’t finish.

A couple of months passed and as I thought more about how to finish the things that I start, I realized I also needed to target some other issues as well. Going through this thought process brought other “F-words” to mind. No, not the bad “F-words.”  🙂

I wrote the new F-words on stones and placed them on my desk as a tangible reminder of what I’m doing—FINISHING STRONG!

Here are my “F-words to Live By” for the remainder of the year:

My "F-word" Rocks
My “F-word” Rocks

In June, I decided I’d put some energy behind one of these words each month for the remainder of 2014. Hopefully, as I do so, I’ll be building some good habits along the way. This month, I’ve been concentrating on Fellowship.

Fellowship= sharing; participating with another; constant companionship; communion

My desire is to fellowship more with friends and family, as well as, and most importantly, with Holy Spirit.

I became more intentional about spending time with my daughter while she’s home from college for the summer. I’ve been intentional about getting together with each of my sons, individually. Making sure that I schedule date nights with my hubby became a priority again. Phone calls to extended family members who live back East have become more frequent, just so I can say, “I’ve been thinking about you.”

But how would I target fellowshipping with Holy Spirit?

How would I increase that time and experience more enjoyment out of it?

I made a decision to just do it. I started using my afternoon PIT Stop everyday to spend “extra” time with Him. I made a list of things I wanted to be sure to do with Him.

F-words Fellowship Card
My F-words “Fellowship” Card

 

Just like I scheduled time with each of my children, with my husband, and, for the phone calls, I put God on my schedule. I made an appointment with myself so that I could not only talk to God and read the Bible, but to also hear from Him.

“My fellowship with God enables me to gain a victory over the evil one.” 1 John 2:14b (MSG)

Guess what happened! I began to feel less anxious about things in my life. I’m experiencing greater peace about the challenges I face because I know He’ll get me through them. I’ve begun to glean more wisdom from Him through His Word. Maybe the best thing is that I‘ve grown to really look forward to that time with Him because I’m excited about what He’s going to show me about His love for me! I protect this time from the distractions life throws at me.

Want to join me on this quest of filling each month with an “F-word?” You can. Just make a decision to do so (which means cutting off all other options and excuses). Then let me know you’ve joined the movement.

What are some of the things you do to fellowship with others and with God? Please share!

Next month’s keyword is FOCUS. I’ll be sharing my thoughts about that in August.

Yes, I’m joining the F-word movement!

I Got Distracted

Image courtesy of Idea go/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Idea go/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I got distracted last week.

On Saturday, 7/27/13, I woke up with a “little ache” in my lower back. By Saturday night, nausea and a headache had set in. Relief did not come even after using the pain reliever and heating pad. With no appetite, I endured the weekend of feeling yucky, eager for the doctor’s office to open on Monday morning.  I was fortunate to get a same-day appointment. Diagnosis? Just a viral infection that “should pass in few days”.

During the eight (8!) days it took to finally feel better,  I watched TV (most of the time). My body ached for almost a week, yet the achiness did not serve as a reminder to do what I knew (focus on Jesus). Tiredness  and headache set in and I didn’t persistently look to a different source of strength after I took the pain reliever . Nausea swept through and I did not seek out alternative nutrition for the part of me that was not sick—my spirit. The headache, back ache, tiredness, nausea each became a physical distraction that I allowed to keep me from pursuing the spiritual solution to my problem.

Thankfully,  I’m feeling much better today. Looking back on this past week,  I did not follow what I’ve encouraged others to do so many times—get in the Word of God, find my answer to the problem at hand, and focus on the answer. I got distracted by the symptoms and the TV.  I feel like I wasted a LOT of time last week.  No writing, no working on goals, no online posts, and certainly no chores or exercise got done. Admittedly, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. I didn’t even feel like strengthening my spirit by reading God’s love letter to me (the Bible).  But God so lovingly strokes me with His gentle, fatherly hand and tells me, “It’s okay, I’m still here with you.”

Proverbs 18:14 (NKJV) encourages us that, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?”  Within the Word of God lies the answer to every problem we can ever experience in life. I know that. I teach that. But, I got distracted by my circumstances.  Has that ever happened to you?

Today, no more beating myself up with thoughts about what I should or could have done in the midst of that illness. All the “Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda” in the world won’t change the past nor help in moving forward. Now is the time to praise God that He kept me through those eight days and will continue to do so. Now is the time to read and marvel about how His power and favor work in my life. Now is the time to realign my focus so that I continue to look to the One who loves me and does nothing but good on my behalf.

I’m looking forward to a productive week where I handle distractions in a much more effective way. Are you?

Rest Fuels Hope

Sometimes, during the struggle, it’s hard to see God’s love. BUT…

God IS Love and He, like the father of the prodigal son will always be eager to run to us, no matter the barriers that have kept us at a distance. He has already done everything necessary, through Jesus, to remove ALL the barriers so that we can rest in His love. Today, continuously choose to rest in Him because He continuously seeks to impart His love to you, in you, and all around you.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it’s destination full of hope.” –Maya Angelou

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

His Love is the BEST

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

God’s love is the BEST! There is nothing that compares to His love for us. Even as we attempt to show our love in return to Him, it does not begin to reach the height, depth, and breadth of His inexhaustible love .

Here are some good reminders:

 Image courtesy of gubgib/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of gubgib/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ephesians 3:17-19-“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” [NLT]

John 17:23-“I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” [NLT]

Romans 5:8-“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” [NLT]

How will you enjoy and bask in His love for YOU today?

He’s Like Allstate

God is like Allstate. You’re in good hands with Him.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7 [NLT]

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” ~ Psalm 40:2

“The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.” ~ Psalm 111:7 [NIV]

“For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands.” ~ Psalm 92:4

YOU’RE IN GOOD HANDS WITH JESUS! Whatever you put in His loving hands will be blessed. He is trustworthy to handle whatever you’re facing today if you’ll place it in His hands.

What distraction/burden/worry will you decide to give to Him today?

GOOD HANDS
(Photo courtesy of Microsoft Images)

 

4 Ways to Thrive Like a Tree

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Images

Hidden in the passage of Jeremiah 17:7, 8 are four ways to thrive like a tree. This scripture declares,

“Blessed [is] the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

The four ways this tree thrives are:

  1. It is planted in fertile soil because it is near the water.
  2. It has developed a strong root system as it stretches, sometimes even through solid rock, to reach out to the water to be nourished.
  3. It has strong branches and green leaves that do not wither even under drought conditions because it has grown strong by continual nourishment from the nearby waters.
  4. It is always fruitful.

Similarly, the four ways we can thrive like this tree planted by the waters are:

  1. Be firmly established in the soil of God’s love. Trust in Him, no matter what our current circumstances may be.
  2. Seek spiritual nourishment from His Word, growing in the knowledge of what Jesus has already accomplished on our behalf. Speak His promises, trusting they are true for our situation.
  3. Receive Jesus’ ever-forgiving love as it supplies nourishment for every “branch” of our lives [spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions), body, finances, and relationships]. The “green leaves” of our lives indicate good health, a by-product of continual nourishment from God’s Word (see Proverbs 4:20-22).
  4. Manifest fruitfulness in our lives by having a laser focus on Jesus, the One Who initiates and matures our faith through His Word. This fruitfulness, according to Strong’s Concordance, also includes “offspring, children, progeny (of the womb).”

Thriving like THIS tree is a good thing! Don’t you agree?

Faith Speaks

Faith Speaks
Photo courtesy of Microsoft Images

Faith speaks. What does it speak? It speaks the words that God has said. Speaking His Word is a demonstration of believing and being in agreement with His Word. This is made clear in 2 Corinthians 4:13 [NASB], “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak.” This is a reference to what the psalmist had said in Psalm 116:10 as he expressed his belief in God’s love for him as he cried out to God in his affliction.

We see this same principle of believing and speaking in Romans 10:4-10. In fact, the very blessing of salvation is based on believing and speaking (Romans 10:9,10). If the greatest gift that God has given us comes through believing and speaking, surely any other blessings are accessible in the same way. God wants us to rest in His love and receive His blessings through simply believing what He has said about our position as a joint heir with Jesus and speaking what He has said in His Word about our circumstances.

Be encouraged as you relax in knowing that Father God loves you immensely and has already made a way out of  life’s difficult circumstances by sending Jesus to meet all our needs. Find what He has promised you in the Bible, have faith in that Word as you believe and speak it, and, with confident expectation, continue to do so until you see His promise manifested.

Remember, faith speaks!

God Enjoys “Doing You Good”

Just a note to encourage you to remember the goodness of God…He enjoys doing you good!

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Images

I couldn’t say it any  better than God already did in Jeremiah 32:38-41 [NLT]:

“They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them…” 

Why Should I Be…Grateful

Two Rainbows at Dusk in Denmark.
Two Rainbows at Dusk in Denmark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some of my thoughts based on John Maxwell’s video on being GRATEFUL:

  • What I have, I don’t deserve because of my goodness, rather, it’s all because of Jesus’ goodness in my stead
  • Gratitude and Peace are interconnected; the more gratitude I express to God, the more of His peace I experience
  • It’s a way to express my indebtedness to others and to God, thereby helping me to become a better servant-leader
  • Gratitude is a choice; I can just as easily choose to complain about life instead of being grateful

I choose to celebrate that God loves me and blesses me, even when circumstances around me are teeming with reasons to not be grateful!

KEEP AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE!

You can view John Maxwell’s video here: http://johnmaxwellteam.com/grateful/