Monday, October 31, 2005

Have Faith!

What does the fear of God produce in our lives? Dread? Stress? Anxiety? Psalms 2:11 says, "Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling." That is as unlike the fear of man as you can get! Why, when we fear God, will we have reason to rejoice?

The reason for joy is God's love! He really does have our best intrests at heart--first of all our salvation, which He provided for; and next He has laid out promise after promise in scripture to provide for those who serve Him. Psalms 23:4, "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." Knowing that God is there to correct our path as well as protect us from harm will keep us fearing Him as we should, much like a small child is afraid of playing in the street. It's not because someone explained to him how it is dangerous and left the decision to him. No, he's afraid of playing in the street because he will get in trouble! Hebrews 12:5b-6, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."

Now with all this, there are still days and moments that we succumb to the fear of man. I know I once polluted my mind with a truely disgusting movie one time and it gave me the creepy crawlies for a long time. Long after I repented of it, I lived in regret that I had scarred my innocence with that garbage. (I make no bones about it-horror movies will distroy something precious and innocent in you. Protect your heart and mind from that dirty fear!) So what do you do when day after day you live in real or imagined fear? Tell yourself you are being stupid? (Hint; that doesn't work!) Reminding yourself even of God's power and control of your life will not take fear away when you are in its grip.

I called upon God to deliver me from my fear. This is where He took me.

Psalms 56:10-13 "In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?" (emphasis mine)

Here it is: I trusted God with my soul's eternal destiny. His vows are upon me-He saved me with His blood, something only He could do. If I trusted Him to save me from Hell, why am I afraid of the boogey man! Or poverty? Or sickness? Or death? Or tragedy? Or failure? Or my own weaknesses? What an insult to God! It insults His power to sustain and care for us, and it insults His great love. So what is man's fear? It is SIN! What is the verse talking about, "wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling..."? If the worst thing I am afraid of comes true, God is still in control. This verse is not asking God to deliver us from what we fear. It is asking God to deliver us from falling into sin.

When I repented of doubting God, and asked His to deliver me from my fear, He was so faithful to respond with strength for that moment! What peace and joy it brought me! He gave me faith to know that He would give me power in abundance over this sin. That is not to say that I never have trouble with it. No, this weakeness in me keeps me continually casting myself upon God to deliver me from it, and for that I thank God-that He didn't just remove my fear like I asked Him to. He left it there, so I would know my need for His strength.

Finally, what if you do not know the fear of the Lord? Have you never thought on His holiness, reflected on your life and trembled at the comparison? Do you live your life the way you want with no thought of God's justice? When you read the verse about God chastening His children, did you wonder what that was all about? Let me show you what the next verse says about that! Heb 12:7-8 "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." I'll be honsest, I'm not comfortable with that fourth to that last word! But it seems that God wants us to know that not everyone who says they belong to Him really is a child of His. If you are wondering about this, please read my second post, where I give my testimony about how I became a child of God.

God bless you all!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

We're Back!

We are back from our trip, and what a wonderful meeting it was! The Lord was really working. I am going to take some time later on and let you all know just how God moved in our hearts and what He is doing with us right now, but that is a post for another day. Maybe tomorrow. As of now, the Case family, missionaries to Mexico, is beat! I am amazed by just how tired everyone is. Becca has a low fever and seems to feel yuk, and the rest of us are kinda dragging. So we are taking some time "off" this week. I will post later with NEWS!

Friday, October 21, 2005

We're off again!

We will be on the road for another couple of weeks. I may be able to finish my fear series on the road, but if I can't get online, or don't have time, I will get to it when I get back. Will definately try to get it in by Halloween! I am excited about the last entry. The Lord taught me a precious lesson on how to deal with fear in my life, and I can't wait to share!
Blessings to you all!

*Thought I needed another picture. Sorry it isn't very clear, but my subjects were squirming and giggling. Ryan is taking a nap. Ruth is the pillow, Rebecca's the blanket, and Elisabeth is the teddy bear!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What is the Fear of God?

Contrary to politically correct opinion, God greatly desires His own to fear Him. The problem with the world is, it is so inundated with unholy fears on every side, biblical fear is a foreign concept. God does not want the world to cower in petrified terror at His greatness. (We know one day that it will.) His desire is to SAVE the world, that the world will repent because it fears Him.

The fact is, God is real. He is not a liar. He must judge sin, and He can. The only reason that He withholds His hand from judgment is His love, and in that love He provides for everyone from all time to be saved. Many make the mistake of thinking that mercy will override everything else that God is. They think God is what they think He should be. May I say, that is the biggest game of pretend man ever played? God is going to judge the world by Jesus, the One Who paid to save it, and all will be judged by what they do with His gift. Act 17:31 "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. "

Who is God to you? Is He holy? (1 Peter 1:15) Righteous? (Psalm 145:17) Just? (Deaut. 32:4) True? (John 14:6) Does He love you more and better than any other? (1 John 4:16) If you answer "Yes", then you must fear God. 2Ch. 19:7 "Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it; for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."

The difference between fear of man and fear of God is the result of that fear in our lives. Psalm 111:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments; his praise endureth for ever." Fearing God, because we know He is what He says He is, will bring wisdom into your life. Understanding will follow. There will be joy. Ps. 2:11 "serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling." God defends those who fear Him. Psalms 34:7 "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

Will fear of man do this for you? NO! It will not guide, comfort, or protect anyone. It will only ensnare us in our service of God. A brief look at a concordance in Proverbs tells you more of what the fear of God will do for you. It is the beginning of wisdom; will prolong you days; is strong confidence; is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death; is the instruction of wisdom, it tends to life; gives riches, and honor, and life.

The Conclusion will be, "Have Faith!"

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Three Little Angels

No reason for this, I just thought my blog needed a new picture, and this is my current favorite.

The Snare of Fear

The Bible only mentions the phrase "the fear of man" one time. (There are 30 mentions of "fear of the Lord".) I think God might be telling us that it's much better to focus on the fear of God rather than the fear of man! (More on that later.) Proverbs 19:25 says, "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."

This covers much more than the horror-type fear. All fear of man is a snare. A snare is, *"An instrument for catching animals, particularly fowls, by the leg. It consists of a cord or string with slip-knots, in which the leg is entangled." an animal is just going along, doing its own thing and suddenly it can't go any farther. This is what fear of man does to us. We cannot go farther for the Lord when we fear man, or possess his fear.

In our thinking, the fear of man plagues us (especially us females!) through worry. Anxious thought robs us of God's peace. Phil. 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." I get the distinct impression that every time I worry about something I am disobeying this command. Worry takes place in the absence of faith, and without faith, we will never fulfill our eternal purpose. Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Can you imagine when we get to Heaven and see all that God wanted us to accomplish for Him, and we didn't do it because we were worried that God would not provide? We will be looking right in His face that day. He will wipe away our tears, but there will be tears!

The fear of man is inevitable. Proverbs 10:24 says, "The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him..." The people of this world fear real things. Ecc. 9:11b, "time and chance happeneth to them all." Sometimes they happen to all of us, and this fear can ensnare us as well. Do not let worldly thinking cloud your judgment and be a snare to your witness and the job God gave you to do. Let them worry about things they cannot change. God gave us a better way than ungodly fear!

*Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English

Next is, "What is the Fear of God?"


5 Things I Plan to Do Before I Die:

1. Learn about nutrition and give my family really healthy food
3. Learn to sew and sew my girl's clothes
4. Get a good German Shepherd Dog
5. Learn to play the piano

5 Things I Can Do:

1. Write
2. Teach
3. Cook
4. I'm good at reading stories out loud
5. back/neck massage

5 Things I Can’t Do:

1. Cartwheels (I was NEVER able to do this!)
2. Belch on purpose
3. unpack stuff in an organized way :(
4. Jump rope more than twice
5. Stop laughing when I want to if I'm tired. (grrrrr)

5 Things That Attracted Me to My Husband:

1. HUNKY MAN (tee hee!)
2. He is a real person-no pretense. What you see is what you get.
3. He is very easygoing-not much upsets him.
4. Completly surrendered to the Lord--I can trust his leadership.
5. He accepted and loved me unconditionally

5 Things I Say the Most:

1. I hate to admit this, but I cannot stop saying "like". Especially when I'm nervous.
2. Sorry
3. No problem
4. Yo! (Got that one from my hubby)
5. oops

5 Celebrity Crushes:

Ok this one is going to show that I know NOTHING about pop culture. We didn't have a TV in the house, so I couldn't "get to know" any of those guys at all. I do remember wondering where all those crazy girls left their brains every time Brad Pitt came around. I gotta think....I thought Harrison Ford was cute, because we had a Star Wars fan in the house, and I liked the Han Solo character.

I think that's it. Sorry! (My brother's friends don't count here, I suppose...)

5 People I’d like to tag:
Stephanie, Nikki, Jennifer, Don't know any more who haven't already been tagged.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Is Fear Good?

October is "Fear Month" to the world. During this month the world celebrates fear, spine-tingling, adrenalin, and dread. Horror shows abound, and many see nothing wrong with delighting in fear.

While I have never had the joy of enjoying the liver quiver some get from fear, I guess some people think it is harmless fun. So is it harmless? I could do some research and come up with the medical results, but I want to focus on something else. Suffice to say the rush you get is a response from your body, thinking it is dying or in danger. Your blood rushes to vital organs (in case of an injury) and you feel very aware of everything going on (in case you are attacked). You make up your own mind whether or not that is physically healthy.

My question is this: Is fear a good and right thing for us to play with? Is it ever good? Are there different kinds of fear, and what does the Bible say about it?

The Bible has much to say about fear. Most of it is fear of the Lord; who had it, what its value is, and how to get it. What you see everywhere look in October is another kind of fear. God's Word addresses this also.

Contrast any of those Halloween horrors to what God says about good fear: "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever." Psalms 19:9 I think we can safely say that stuff is unclean. Think about how it makes you feel inside. Is it clean? Does it stay with you because it is based in truth? It doesn't really does it? It needs darkness and night to be strong and it fades in the light of day and reality doesn't it? That's because it is NOT legitamate fear. Legitimate fear will be clean, and will endure forever. That does not mean it is not real. But we need to seek God's rememdy for fear when we find ourself ensnared by it. He provided power over all sin, even fear.

I will post on this more all through this month. Next will be "The snare of fear"

Friday, October 07, 2005

The blessing of giving

My husband was going to preach one of the nights of the missions conference. He was burdened and praying about his message while driving to a meeting on Sunday night, and God impressed on his heart that he needed to give one of the missionaries a certain amount of money during his sermon to demonstrate giving by faith. His first thought was, "Wow, can I
DO that?!!" But he told God that he would, and the he told me about his decision on the way home. When he opened the love offering from the church we visited, he just grinned. It was easily more than three time what a church of that size normally gives, and it covered the gift we were going to give to the missionary, the gas for the trip, and a little more.

Isn't that just like God? Some people think that God is a big meanie! They think they can't surrender to Him what He wants because they think He is hard and demanding and life will be horrible. He is GOOD people! Good, good GOOD! Life is amazing when it is in His hands!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Missions Conference

Someone said, "A missions conference is a church business meeting where they determine the fate of the lost world." We are right now in the third night of our Church Missions Conference at the Santa Maria Valley LIGHTHOUSE Baptist Church. I would just love to give you all a play-by-play of it, but I'm just a little too busy. I did want to stop in here and say that I am expecting great things. I am expecting God to touch our hearts and show us a little of His own heart for all people everywhere. I am expecting God to show us ways we can affect missions that we never dreamed. There is more, but I need to get the family ready to go.
Will fill you all in as soon as I can!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Excerpt from our prayerletter!

We are now all together on the road again, and the Lord is blessing. Please pray for continued health and for our spirits to be in tune with God’s heart. Please continue to be in prayer over the gas price situation, as this is a big part in the planning of every trip we take. As always, our Lord is faithful, and we have absolutely no lack. I hope to encourage any who want to obey the Lord; He takes care of His own! I am witness to His faithfulness, and I stand with every one of His servants from the beginning of creation when I say that God has never let a servant of His down. He has never been less than perfectly faithful. When you trust in God you are putting faith in a FACT. It is a fact that has been proven over and over from the time that God made the world. There is no greater thrill than proving Him personally!