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Today I’m sharing my fave Rolling Stones song… Get Off Of My Cloud
When I hear the chorus I envision myself as child laying in soft green grass in our yard watching the parade of clouds roll by. I’d call out the shapes…elephant, duck, tree, turtle, ship… or I’d imagine myself floating in the blue sky on my very own cloud. It was quiet & peaceful on my joyfilled cloud. Nothing bad happened there, nothing sad either.
It was dreamy…the thought of alone time. I now know it’s because I’m introverted and I need alone time to recharge. Actually the thought of my own cloud was perfection. Soft fluffy perfection on my cloud.
I didn’t want messy drama brought into my cloud. I didn’t want someone to “wreck” my day.
But the truth is that no one can wreck your day without you conceding the right to them. No one can “make” you angry. They may hurt you, frustrate you, scare you, but you choose how you react. Anger is a secondary emotion, it’s choice.
Only you can determine what your attitude and frame of mind will be. Only you can choose to maintain peace in a storm. Only you can decide to choose joy in the face of a day that is full of problems.
Peace and joy are choices you make every day. Strength comes from joy. Rest comes from peace.
Point to ponder while you wander…Many things will happen in your life that you have zero control over. That is just life. But you have control over how you choose to react. You determine your attitude.
PS Continuing with the theme….here’s Barbra singing Don’t Rain on My Parade in Funny Girl for your auditory and visual pleasure.
I have been having a rough couple weeks…and it’s really starting to affect all areas of my life. Tossing and turning. Bad dreams. And the first acid reflux attack I’ve had since 2001.
I want to choke people with that Darth Vader choking maneuver….pretty much every day now. Ever have a hard time not to following Anakin to the Dark Side? I must admit that path is oh so tempting and pretty right now. (See Psalm 37)
So this verse is my mantra today.
“Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” Psalm 105:4
I don’t know how to defuse the frustration and sadness that’s been building for months…and all I know is that God does. I need Him to help me. I need to be in His presence…where peace and joy are always found.
Point to ponder while you wander… God’s strength is only made perfect/complete when combined with our weakness.
Some times in the middle of the biggest storms you have the deepest peace. That’s the peace Jesus left with us when He ascended, the kind that allows you to sleep in the boat during a hurricane.
“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27 NLT
To me the biggest miracle wasn’t Jesus calming the storm, it was Jesus being able to rest in the middle of the storm.
Point to ponder while you wander…”Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV
“My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV
Jesus’s peace does not mean having zero issues! His peace is a trust that allows you to rest, knowing God is for you even when there are issues. This peace is a gift. Like all other gifts, it only needs to be received and used.
Peace is a gift. Trust is a choice.
“Oh! May the God of hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope.” Romans 15:13 MSG
This verse may sound light and fluffy. But it isn’t. This verse is about real power.
Joy here is not happiness from external circumstances, but an inward calm delight that overflows into exceeding joy. Maintaining joy in the midst of turmoil and trials is how you are strengthened to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Peace here is not absence of conflict but rather peace in spite of conflict. This peace allows you to prosper no matter the circumstances. It gives you clarity in chaos. It prevents you from making choices out of anger and emotion.
Hope is about anticipation with pleasure attached to it. It’s about the expectation of good. God is the God of anticipation of good. He’s looking forward to filling you with joy. He’s looking forward to filling you with peace. Will you let Him? Will you receive it?
He is awaiting with pleasure the day you understand the power you have at your disposal and begin to walk in it. God wants to see you prosper as your soul prospers. This begins with receiving and learning to walk in joy and peace, with an expectation of good. That is true power right there.
Make this your meditation today!! Speak it out loud!
The world may be stressed & anxious, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
Expect good today my friends. God likes to exceed expectations!
“I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
Don’t let fear lie to you! You have the same peace as Jesus. It is the same peace that allowed Jesus to sleep in the storm that panicked everyone else.
When fear rises,remind yourself that you have nothing to fear! Stand on God’s word. Just because you are feeling afraid doesn’t mean you have to stay that way!
“And Jesus arose & rebuked the sea, ‘Peace. Be still.’ And the wind ceased & there was great calm. And He said, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?'” Mark 4:39-40
Do you see that as soon as the disciples lost their peace fear replaced their faith?
It only took fear a few minutes to change everything. They no longer trusted the Word from Jesus, that he’d just spoken 4 verses before. Their sole focus became their anxiety, which caused panic, even though Jesus was asleep in the same boat!
Fear is a liar & a thief! It steals more dreams and destinies than anything else. Peace is your first line of defense, so maintain your peace!
I got a text earlier today from a friend asking for prayer. Anxiety had attacked her in the middle of the night. I have to tell you I get riled when people I love are struggling with or have been taken down by fear. That stupid punk has taken so much from people I love. It prevents fantastic and talented people from doing amazing things. It stops people from living a full life. I’ve had it with fear! I would punch it in it’s face if it weren’t just air!
My friends, fear is nothing but a punk! That’s right fear (AKA anxiety, dread, panic, confusion, concern, worry, etc) is all talk. It has nothing to back up the lies it has been whispering in your ear.
Fear uses intimidation (like a school yard bully) to steal your peace, joy, sleep, rest, and your time. How much wasted time and rest have you given to worry? Where did it get you? It got you nowhere. All worry did was steal from you and make you less effective. Are you hearing me? FEAR IS NOTHING BUT A PUNK! FEAR IS JUST AIR! That’s it!
But Jill…what if this and what if that? Um…what if you laughed in fear’s face and called it a punk? What if you reminded fear who your God is? How big your God is? Bullies always back down in the presence of fathers, right? Right! Well, introduce your fears, worries, concerns and anxieties to Daddy God.
I want you to laugh. Seriously. I’m not kidding. Laugh. Or giggle if you prefer. Then I want you to repeat after me OUTLOUD:
Fear is a punk. It is nothing but air. It has no power over me, except the power that I give to it. The spirit of fear is NOT of God or from God. God tells me to be anxious for nothing and not to worry about a thing, because the peace of God guards my heart and mind through Christ. God’s perfect love casts out all fear. I am safe in Daddy’s love. I am the accepted and beloved. I am the head and not the tail. Above only and not beneath. God never leaves me or forsakes me. He is so close to me that He knows the number of hairs on my head. I am not confused because God has given me a sound mind. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am a child of the Most High God. I have a good future in front of me. I am achieving the purpose for which I was sent to this Earth. I am victorious. Therefore, I laugh at fear because it is a punk. Whenever I lay down to go to sleep, I will sleep in peace and my sleep will be sweet. Thank You for making me dwell in safety, Father. Thank You for dealing with the enemy for me, that I have rest, peace and joy.
This was the first of 4 messages from Life Christian Church’s series called “Feardom”
Or if you’re needing a song:
NKJV Scriptures from which the above is drawn:
“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” I John 4:18
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
“And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.” Deuteronomy 28:13
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” II Corinthians 4:8-10