What Haunts Your Thoughts?

What Haunts Your Thoughts?

There is much in this world to worry about; crime, the economy, health issues, natural disasters, war and everyday relationships can weigh heavy on our minds. We all could rest easier if the media didn’t constantly remind us that there is trouble everywhere. What haunts your thoughts throughout the day and maybe even keeps you awake at night?

The body has a wonderfully complex nervous system to help regulate voluntary and involuntary actions, as well as thinking, communicating and memory. Without getting into too many more medical details, the sympathetic system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response we have all heard of. It helps us quickly use our energy in an emergency situation.

Most of the time this system all works very well. However, that fight or flight response can be triggered by small everyday stresses that can cause the body to release too much cortisol or stress hormone. This makes your heart beat faster and blood pressure rise which is good in certain situations but too much cortisol over time can cause all kinds of health issues. Aha! The key is to manage our thoughts and stressors.

Worry is stressing about a situation that may or may not occur and it’s always in the negative sense. – Rob Liano

Worry is worthless. It cannot change th past or predict the future. It only spoils the moment. – Darren Patrick

God’s word has a lot to say about fighting the giants of worry,fear and anxiety . The phrase “do not fear” is used 365 times in scripture. He has also provided tools to use against the things that haunt us.

Ephesians 6:13–18 (CSB)
13For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 15and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 16In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God. 18Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

Focus on truth , remember past provision and blessings you already enjoy. God has unconditional love for us and He promises to provide for our needs and to never leave us. Hold up the shield of faith to fight the fear that invades your mind and destroys peace. Pray for the strength to face the facts and discernment to deal with them wisely. Replace the negative chatter that invades your thoughts with words of affirmation.

WORRY ENDS WHERE FAITH BEGINS by the Blythe Family

1.You’re worried about tomorrow and what the future holds Your mind is filled with questions as you face the unknown You’ve spent so many sleepless nights trying to work it out Worry has consumed your faith with all its fear and doubt

Chorus: Worry ends where faith begins When you put it in God’s hands and leave it there…Oh just leave it there He’s still in control so trust in Him and take a hold of faith again For worry ends where faith begins

2. Why should we ever worry why should we fret at all When worry only hinders the mighty hand of God He said it is impossible to please him without faith So lay aside your worry walk on in Jesus name

The Majesty of Autumn

The Majesty of Autumn

It is officially Autumn in New England. Autumn brings a change in the air; warm days and cooler nights.  The treasures of harvest time bring feelings of excitement and gratefulness.  The most beautiful wave of color is beginning to surround us as summer comes to an end. Locals and people from all over the world come to New England to see the colorful countryside brought on by a large variety of trees but notably the maple. One maple tree by itself can display a gorgeous array of color from green to yellow to fluorescent orange and reds.

In the past few years I have intentionally tried to take notice of and enjoy all the little things. I refuse to hit the crazy squirrel trying to cross the road. I purposefully slow down to look for turkeys and deer even if the person behind me hits their horn. I encourage you too to not miss the sights and sounds  and smells all around us. We are in too much of a rush, too glued to electronics, too tired trying to multi-task and we are missing out on the simple joys of LIFE!

My family walks to a nearby stream where there are approximately 100 ducks ( the neighbors feed them) but they will be migrating soon. My hummingbirds have already taken flight and butterflies will leave also. How do they know where to go and when? Kids today don’t even think about it because there is no interest in what is happening in their own backyards. There is so much to learn from nature but we and our children are losing something precious – the gift of imagination and wonder.

Enjoy the beauty of the autumn colors while walking or driving or even when stuck in traffic .  No matter how bad the day or whatever the season we can choose to see and enjoy God’s beauty. A big buzz word we hear is mind-fullness but it really means purposefully using our senses to lift our heads out of the mundane and refresh our souls. Take time to smell the last rose, eat a fresh picked apple and take a walk in the park. Watch as the birds form a V pattern on their migration to warmer areas. Our hearts can be soothed in knowing that God is providing for them and will take care of our needs too. A reminder that we shouldn’t worry about the little things.

… look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. 7 Nobody has to tell it what to do. 8 All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. Prov 6:6-8 (MSG)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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? 26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Matt. 6:25-26 ESV

Majesty is not a word we commonly use unless referring to the British monarchy. Majesty is the quality of being beautiful, dignified and impressive. How else can you describe a mountainside splashed in all the brilliant colors of a 152 count Crayola box -the largest assortment they make. It is awesome, breath taking and inspiring. The old hymn “How Great Thou Art” comes to my mind with the phrase ,”then sings my soul”. My wish for you in this season is to slow down and enjoy His beautiful masterpiece.