Archive for anxiety

Hard Times on Easy Street

Posted in 11 : Labor Pains with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/02/2011 by timenolonger

Has your life recently grown more difficult? This may be theory right now.. but based upon the mounting evidence for it.. I’d say it could become law soon.

As believers we are all, so to speak, on ‘Easy Street’.. we have eternal life in our Savior.. and that makes our lives much easier than the lives of the lost.. we have the liberation in Messiah that slaves to sin have yet to know. We pray those bound to sin will come to know, sooner than later, that redeeming freedom from death.

Believers will have tribulation.. that is fact.. and we are to count it all joy.. and that can be difficult.. but as for going through daily life.. we have it easy.

We are protected by the saving blood and resurrection of Yahushua our Messiah.. and we have been empowered by His Holy Spirit to know and speak truth in love.

The path believers have taken is described in scripture as narrow, and hard to find.. and we know this is true.. the world is filled with gaping invitations to run the road to ruin.. and charting a path through this earthly tangle of sin is not easy.. the path to salvation is narrow, but it’s there, waiting and open for travelers.. though walking it takes Divine intervention.

But once we as believers have taken the high road of salvation.. we are free in our Savior.. and that liberty in Him, we all know, has made our lives much easier. It’s the times, i think we’d all agree, which have grown harder.. these are evil days.. full of turmoil, destruction and general uneasiness.. lots of little things in people’s lives have begun to mount.. and that mountain, for many, has begun to crumble.

Through our faith in Yahushua we could fearlessly enter the fiery furnace or calmly sleep with the lions.. we could face any unwarranted attack from the enemy with firm resolve in simply knowing and accepting that we, as believers, are protected. But we are not perfect.. and, even if we do not willfully continue in it, we will fall into sin at times.. and those times, now more than ever in our lives, are causes for concern.

It’s not the sin that should be more concerning than before.. it’s the ramifications of sin committed in a world where the enemy has us surrounded, and is closing in on our camp.

In believers’ lives, the effects of sin are becoming more dangerous than ever.. and I’d imagine these dark days have found many of us re-assessing our situations a lot more frequently than we had before.

We all have seen the tightening of the belts holding up the financial industry.. companies pursuing even small credit lapses.. natural gas companies cutting people off in winter when their bills are barely two months behind.. merchants instituting a maze of individually-identifying red tape before they give out a refund.

Of course, it hasn’t stopped there.. amidst the world-wide disaster strikes and skyrocketing levels of geo-political unrest.. the industry of government has feverishly begun sewing together all its loose ends as well.. closing off the exits on every possible avenue of freedom.. creating invisible-barred virtual prisons where people are unwittingly put to hard labor in mental slavery camps which appear to be ‘just life’.

I think Bob Marley put it well with his words “the Babylon system is a vampire.. sucking the blood of the sufferers..”

And now, and more each day, in this world where there is a major earthquake, flood, fire or something weird practically each week – we as believers have got to stand ready in our lives.

My personal life re-assessments have found me ready for the lions of the den – but unprepared for the mice of the field.

Bush (the band, of course) recorded a song with the line “It’s the little things that kill.. tearing at my brain again.. little things that kill..” and i think that now those words have rung most true. Our little sins.. like neglect.. like over-confidence.. they are the mice in the field.. and when they find us, they begin to gnaw.. not just at the visible tethers of our physical lives.. but they eat away at our unseen spiritual strength as well.

Our world is getting more evil, and everything wrong we do seems to carry much more weight than it did before.. and we know the only solution is to seek the counsel and instruction of our Savior. The days of dancing down the street singing are behind us perhaps, for now. The road is rocky and full of pitfalls.. and getting worse, most especially when we are at fault through those so-called ‘little’ sins. This is my theory, but of believers, i dare say, there’d be few who reject it.

Friends.. get your houses in order.. tie up the seams you have turned your head against in the past.. love each other without portion, and above all.. stay in our Master’s company.. read His word.. do His will.. be as close to without reproach as possible.. live like today is your last without living like today is the only day.

Our daily futures certainly don’t need to be mapped to nausea, but we do need a ‘game plan’.. because the game is on, it seems (if it’s not.. then we are even worse off than we think) – and the penalties for crossing the lines have gotten harsher.. and will continue.. until we, the believers on Yahushua, are openly the enemies.. and then it will be the worst.

Hard times on Easy Street.. I think we are probably there.. and I think if that is the case.. then what we will find on farther up the road is going to be times even harder.. until there is time no longer.. we believers are being tested.. let Yahushua bring us all out shining like gold.. turn every stone in your life.. consider sin – and run from it like it’s the plague.

Take care of the little things in life that can be controlled.. because the rest of the things we can’t control are hurtling toward us at increasing size and speed.. escape the avalanche with the simple and protective faith you have in our Savior.. do His will to the fullest daily.. He has said He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we know that to be true.

Don’t forget the little things.. these are dark days and hard, but Yahushua will surely bring us through them.

Remember Joel:

{1:1} The word of Yahuwah that came to Yo’el the son of Pethuw’el.

{2} Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?

{3} Tell your sons about it, your sons their sons, and their sons another generation.

{4} What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten. And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.

{5} Awake, you drunkards, and weep. And wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it has been cut off from your mouth.

{6} For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number. His teeth the teeth of a lion and he has the fangs of a fierce lion.

{7} He has laid waste My vine and ruined My fig tree. He has stripped it bare and thrown it away. Its branches are made white.

{8} Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

{9} The grain offering and the drink offering have been cut off from the house of Yahuwah. The temple officials mourn, who minister to Yahuwah.

{10} The field is wasted, the land mourns, for the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.

{11} Be ashamed, you farmers! Wail, you vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field has perished.

{12} The vine has dried up and the fig tree has withered. The pomegranate tree, the palm tree also,and the apple tree. All the trees of the field are withered. Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.

{13} Gird yourselves and lament, you temple officials. Wail, you who minister before the altar. Come! Lie all night in sackcloth, you who minister to my ‘Eloah, for the grain offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your ‘Eloah.

{14} Consecrate a fast. Call a sacred assembly. Gather the elders, all the inhabitants of the land to the house of Yahuwah your ‘Eloah, and cry out to Yahuwah.

{15} Alas for the day! For the day of Yahuwah is at hand. It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

{16} Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our ‘Eloah?

{17} The seed shrivels under the clods, storehouses are in shambles, barns are broken down, for the grain has withered.

{18} How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless because they have no pasture. Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.

{19} O Yahuwah, to You I cry out, for fire hasdevoured the open pastures and a flame has burned all the trees of the field.

{20} The beasts of the field also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.

{2:1}Blow the trumpet in Tsiyown and sound an alarm in My sacred mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahuwah is coming. For it is at hand!

{2} A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been, nor will there ever be any after them, even for many successive generations.

{3} A fire devours before them and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the Garden of ‘Eden before them and behind them a desolate wilderness. Surely nothing shall escape them.

{4} Their appearance is like the appearance of horses and like swift steeds, so they run.

{5} With a noise like chariots, over mountaintops theyleap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array.

{6} Before them the people writhe in pain, all faces are drained of color.

{7} They run like mighty men. They climb the wall like men of war. Every one marches in formation and they do not break ranks.

{8} They do not push one another. Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, they are not cut down.

{9} They run to and fro in the city. They run on the wall. They climb into the houses. They enter at the windows like a thief.

{10} The earth quakes before them. The skies tremble. The sun and moon grow dark and the stars diminish their brightness.

{11} Yahuwah gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great, for the executor of His word is strong. For the day of Yahuwah is great and very terrible. Who can endure it?

{12} “Now therefore,” says Yahuwah, “turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

{13} So rend your heart and not your garments. Return to Yahuwah your ‘Eloah for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He relents from doing harm.

{14} Who knows if He will turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for Yahuwah your ‘Eloah?

{15} Blow the trumpet in Tsiyown, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly,

{16} gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the sons and nursing babes. Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber and the bride from her dressing room.

{17} Let the temple officials, who minister to Yahuwah, weep between the porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Yahuwah, and do not give Your heritage to reproach that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their ‘Eloah?'”

{18} Then Yahuwah will be zealous for His land and pity His people.

{19} Yahuwah will answer and say to His people, “Behold! I will send you grain and new wine and oil and you will be satisfied by them. I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

{20} But I will remove far from you the northern army, and will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, with his face toward the eastern sea and his back toward the western sea. His stench will come up and his foul odor will rise because he has done monstrous things.”

{21} Fear not, O land! Be glad and rejoice, for Yahuwah has done marvelous things!

{22} Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field, for the open pastures are springing up and the tree bears its fruit. The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

{23} Be glad then, you sons of Tsiyown, and rejoice in Yahuwah your ‘Eloah, for He has given you the autumn rain faithfully and He will cause the rain to come down for you. The autumn rain and the spring rain in the first month.

{24} The threshing floors shall be full of wheat and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

{25} So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

{26} You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of Yahuwah your ‘Eloah Who has dealt wondrously with you, and My people shall never be put to shame.

{27} Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Yisra’el. I am Yahuwah your ‘Eloah and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame,

{28} and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

{29} And also on menservants and on maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

{30} And I will show wonders in the sky and in the earth. Blood and fire and pillars of smoke!

{31} The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahuwah.

{32} And it shall come to pass whoever calls on the name of Yahuwah shall be saved. For in Mount Tsiyown and in Yeruwshalaim there shall be deliverance, as Yahuwah has said, among the remnant whom Yahuwah calls.

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Learning Not to Worry

Posted in 01 : The Chief Cornerstone with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/08/2011 by timenolonger

We exist in a stressful world, and one which only becomes more so with each passing day. The more one learns, the more there seems to be to worry about.

Uncertainty is the reigning factor in the affairs of the world… though we might attempt to derive understanding of future plans which rulers have, and though we might be assured that at some point all prophecy will come to pass, we never know exactly what the next day or week or month will bring.

That uncertainty can be mentally taxing as people are continually pushed closer to adversity in their own lives. The lack of a stable economy can hit home at any time, ever tightening “security” measures can mean the sudden loss of personal freedoms and even, ironically, personal safety.

Threats and rumors of food shortages and an ever more polluted supply of food and water can cause anyone aware of those factors to wonder what they will be eating a year from now.

Weather manipulation, mood manipulation, the threat of a seething geo-political climate ripe for world war and the classified technology at their fingertips to make such a thing a disaster like no war before… who could not end up a little worried?

Believers in Yahushua know that they have been charged to trust Him and not to worry… that admonition alone can be, and should be, a serious relief to us – realizing that, unlike the unbelieving of the world, we have an unbeatable assurance. Still…

…there are probably few believers who have never found themselves buried in a burden of anxiety from which they find it very difficult to extract themselves.

It is not ignorance of the assurance we have been given which is responsible for worrying, rather it’s a multitude of instincts innate in the flawed character of who we are which leads us to look at what we can or can not achieve, instead of what He can achieve.

Since we are all flawed, worry is universal. Some might be more anxious than others… but we’ve all been worried before. “What am I going to do?” is the mantra of the anxious mind.

That little question begins a cycle of irrational responses which traps the mind in a fruitless cycle of grasping for solutions which are not there, in a natural sense.

“What am I going to do?” is not a question which arises when there are clear choices and responsibilities to be met, it arises when there are no obvious answers to a difficult situation…

“I” is the issue…

As a person retains the responsibility and the authority in the use of the word “I”… all solutions must come from the one asking “what am I going to do?”

Immediately all responsibility and authority in the situation no longer belongs to our Creator inasmuch as the inquirer is concerned. “I” has a limited capacity to offer good solutions… and “I” will normally fail to adequately resolve anything.

Worry and self trust can arise out of an erroneous concept that He helps those who help themselves, contrary to His word, which clearly imparts the message that He helps those who can not help themselves… and in the most basic sense, none of us Can help ourselves.

The basic principle which operates behind the scenes of anxiety, though it may seem odd, is Pride.

If we feel there is any instance in which our answers are more sufficient than His, we have esteemed ourselves wise and powerful enough to take on that burden.

If we wrestle with the idea that we are not worthy to receive His help… that also assumes that it is possible that we could be. Worry does not feel like pride… yet it is the subtle output of a self-reliant nature which processes adversity in terms of what we can do about it.

We can be awed by His mercy in the fact that throughout His Word, YHWH does not harshly berate us for our troubled hearts that are so weakened by sin nature. Though we might deserve the scolding… His answers to our self-reliant worry are gentle and comforting. This fact alone should give us strength, knowing that a Creator merciful enough to be kind towards our faults is also merciful to be faithful in His promises to provide that which we need.

“Cast your burden on Yahuwah and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

– Psalm 55:22

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your celestial Father feeds them.

Are you not of more value than they?

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

So why do you worry about clothing?

Consider the lilies of the field how they grow.

They neither toil nor spin and yet I say to you that even Shelomoh in all his splendor was not arrayed like one of these.

Now if Yahuwah so clothes the grass of the field, that today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For after all these things the heathen seek.

For your celestial Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of Yahuwah and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.

Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

– Matthew 6:25-34

“What am I going to do?” should be a question that we routinely reword “What is He going to do?” Instead of the question only compounding our worries as it does when “I” is the subject… it can be said with confident anticipation… even excitement at the prospect of being the recipient of a blessing as yet unknown.

While our solutions are inadequate, limited and temporary, His are sufficient, full of infinite possibility and eternally sure. How amazing is it when you’re the one person in thousands who can get excited over some personal adversity instead of being burdened by it? That is, perhaps, the ideal and a goal that most of us have yet to attain to… but that’s what spiritually “growing up” is all about.

We ought to never be discouraged by the learning process which He designs for each individual in order to teach us more perfect faith. In this He proves that He loves us… even when the process is frustrating.

It is not uncommon for our Heavenly Father to remove every available natural solution to our own adversities… and though this can seem, through natural senses, to be a lonely and frightening circumstance, it is in this sort of “desolate landscape” situation, without our self-reliant tools, that we often learn how to efficiently call on Him, having no other options.

When we have wrestled with ourselves, attempting to find a way out of a situation which has no remedy, gone through anger, sadness and despair, spent sleepless nights or preoccupied days trying to solve our own issue, finally there is a moment of giving up and letting Him take control. When we see His response and understand His faithfulness, it is then that our faith increases.

“Yahuwah is my shepherd. I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil.

My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of Yahuwah forever.”

– Psalm 23

He is the Almighty, All Sovereign and All Knowing King of Kings… and He cares for His children with more vigilant concern than the best earthly father who has ever lived.

“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?

Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your celestial Father give the Sacred Spirit to those who ask Him!”

– Luke 11:11-13

In the uncertain days, months and years ahead… as long as He will that this age endures, may we all learn to trust Him more perfectly, mature in the confidence of faith towards Him, and be encouraged in His ever present help.

He never leaves nor forsakes us… not because we are good, but because He is.

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The Church of Help Yourself

Posted in 11 : Labor Pains with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/19/2010 by timenolonger

Psychology has it’s roots in the worship of pagan deities, particularly one in Egyptian legend named Thoth. When a thing has roots in an evil source, it can not be expected to grow into something which produces good fruit, but this is a simple truth which is confounded in the minds of people by the passing of time, and new benevolent-looking masks placed over old wickedness.

I am no fan of psychology, and so it alarms me to see that so many Christian ministries are devoted to it, and even those which are not devoted to it have become churches which – instead of teaching His word – give lengthy sermons on psychological applications of Christian morality.

If you desire a Christian self help book, you will have no trouble finding one. Hundreds of thousands of them exist and more are written every day, books to tell you how to live like a Christian man, books to tell you how to live like a Christian woman, books to help you recover from addiction, books to help you recover from divorce, books to help you pray, books to help your self-esteem, books to help your finances.

I am confused. Who is the man or woman who has written a manual on any of these things and wrote something better on them that what scripture has already taught?

Why is it that even believers now feel that they need the opinions of men to put right what is wrong in their lives, instead of turning to the One who has had answers all along?

The churches of the world are becoming a psychologists’ offices instead of the congregations of Yahushua. The answers He has given to the problems we might face are simple, clear, and unmistakable – but they are often not what people want to be told, and so they seek out some complex definition of their troubles – and usually one which removes all their own responsibilitie to whatever the problem is.

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His word on living like a man or woman whose life is dedicated to Him was summed up in two sentences spoken by Messiah.

“‘You shall love Yahuwah your ‘Eloah with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 22:37-40

It did not require Him 500 pages to explain what the focus of a life in His service should look like. It is a simple answer but applied in life, it goes against the sinful nature of fallen creatures and so they become hungry to hear something which excuses a lack of willingness to do all that those few words mean, or provides a recipe for being able to accomplish it which should be no more complicated than complete submission to His will.

Perhaps one of the strangest things i have heard advertised by a Christian ministry was a book on how to pray which included pages and pages of the pastor’s own prayers on various matters.

The advertisement explained that many do not know how to pray because they feel unworthy or not eloquent enough, or they seem to be talking to themselves when they pray to Him.

I can not think of a more unnatural way to address any of those problems than trying to borrow the prayers of someone else. Prayers are intensely personal communications between believers and their Elohim, much more than the words which are spoken, and sometimes do not contain any words at all.

He told us in what way to pray, giving us a model example and instructions to not pray so that others can take note of your praying, but always in sincerity and meekness.

If we feel unworthy, so be it. We are unworthy, this is why His favor is called Mercy and not Due Payment.

If we are not eloquent, what should it matter? Has He not already known our needs before we begin to speak?

If we feel we are talking to ourselves, we don’t have a problem with praying, we have a problem with our faith.

Maybe my least favorite aspect of self-help in the Christian community is just what those words, “self-help”, mean. When have fallen beings not been focused on self help?

It is something we all can do well, help ourselves. We help ourselves to whatever we want that we can get. We help ourselves to what we should, and should not have alike, and we help ourselves to what we desire before we help anyone else to what they do.

We are always looking around for that to which we can help ourselves. In the end, we can help ourselves to all kinds of things, but we can’t ever save ourselves from anything. We need Him for that, and Him alone.

Likewise, we will never need to be concerned about our self-esteem, which is a thing on which Christian psychology, and psychology in general, is so focused. No one with a sin nature does not esteem themselves, we are all very good at it.

Nearly all we do, without thinking, is done to benefit us in some way. Infants are able to esteem themselves, crying out for food and attention, it is the first thing human beings know how to do.

The only one to walk the Earth in human flesh who did not esteem Himself, but gave His everything for everyone else was Yahushua. If we are to be conformed to Him, perhaps we could use a little less esteem for ourselves.

I see all this trend in helping self and psychology over scripture in the church as one a sign of apostasy in these last days. As the whole world becomes more and more wrapped up in self-absorbed thinking, the church follows. It is constantly and consistently about “me” and “I’ everywhere you turn.

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold, but he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
– Matthew 24: 10-13

If there is any good advice to counteract all the troubles of life it is – cease worrying about self and live for Him.

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