Battling Fear (poem by me)

What if fear made the event happen?
Wouldn’t we all…
  …be attacked by great white sharks,
  …die a slow agonizing death by spider bites,
  …or be mutilated by sinister clowns?

What if fear made the event happen?
Wouldn’t we all…
   …starve to death in a worldwide famine,
   …be rejected by everyone we know,
   …or standby helplessly as our loved ones contract diseases?

What if fear made the event happen?
Wouldn’t we all…
   …ward off those murderous thoughts,
   …attack them with daggers of peace,
   …and maintain a stupendously sound mind?

Let's start right now.
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Cleansing Stream

Many of my poems are about my addictions, anxiety, and other manifestations of emotional pain in my life. I recently finished going through the Cleansing Stream program, and it has helped me a lot. Cleansing Stream is a series of classes accompanied by prayer that helps people overcome emotional pain. I really recommend it. If interested, click this link to learn more: https://www.cleansingstream.org/

*Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing forever free ebooks.

How to Chase Your Dreams

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It’s not a verse in the Bible, but it appears everywhere: Chase your dreams! You can see that it’s wise advice, but then there is this fear inside of you that is afraid to even admit your dream to yourself much less anyone else. You may have no idea where to start. Here are five steps to guide you as you pursue your dreams in life:

1. Make a list of dreams. Nothing is too small or too big to list. If you want something to happen in your life, list it! Your list might include things like: get married, have children, become financially stable, become a famous rock star, become a renowned novelist, or be a distinguished pastor. Remember your priorities. Do not assume anything is necessarily going to happen. We will fine-tune the list later. Just put your dreams on paper without fear. It’s just between you and God.

2. Purify your motivation. Why do you want to get married or have children? If your answer is because you want someone to love you, then rethink the motivation. A more pure motivation would be to give your love to someone. If you want to become a famous rock star because you want people to think well of you, then consider letting go emotionally of that thought. Instead, find motivation in the desire to share your musical talent with the world. Once your motivation is purified in your mind, your heart will let go of the selfish desires that you have held onto since you were a child. Reconsider your list and fine-tune it if necessary. The psalmist in Psalm 51:10 wisely prays this: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

3. Pray about your dreams. Some people only pray for other people. They think God is too busy to hear their prayer for anything more than physical health. That’s not true! God wants you to pour out your heart to Him. He wants you to ask for your dreams. In some cases, He may have put the dreams in your heart to lead you on a path to the type of life He meant for you to live. Be open to God’s guidance. As you pray, you may hear His still small voice guiding you to modify your list in some way. Matthew 7:7 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

4. Take steps toward your dreams. If you have been praying for a child because you want someone to love, then put your words into action. Offer to babysit your nieces and nephews, volunteer in the church nursery, or offer to help school children read in a program like Oasis. If you want to become a professional singer, then join the church choir or form your own band to perform in public places. These are fulfilling and rewarding ways to help others while you work toward your own dream. God sees your efforts and will open doors of opportunity for you.

5. Persevere in your dreams. You may have passionately pursued your dream, but no one accepted your demo or your manuscript. You may be tempted to give up. And the truth is you may need to give up on some element of your dream—but not the whole dream! You may need to fine-tune your list some more. You may want to change “becoming a famous rock star” to “use my singing voice to spread joy in my community.” The doctor may have given you the news that you are unable to conceive. That does not mean your spouse and you must live in a quiet childless home. There are over 300,000 children in foster homes in the US. One third of them are eligible for adoption. Become a foster parent or adopt a child. Don’t let excuses get in the way. Watch a video of a young boy’s heartfelt plea to become adopted by clicking here.

These steps offer a sensible plan to pursue your dreams. Dreams that have been fine-tuned and prayed over will lead you to a fuller life and a closer relationship with God. I pray you will not look on life with regrets. Consider praying this prayer with me: Lord, Help me to pursue the dreams that will lead me to a greater knowledge of You, Your love for me, and Your will for my life. Guide me to remember my priorities, help and encourage others on my path, and walk into doors of opportunity. Thank You, Lord, that You hear my prayer and want what is best for me. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

© 2015 Kim Bond

*Kim Bond writes and edits literature for Draw Near Christian ministry. Click FREE EBOOKS to read more.

Burdens & Worry

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Worry is a heavy burden. As if it were not heavy enough, worry causes other burdens like stress. Stress and worry can become overwhelming and even affect your physical body. In Mark 4:15-19, we can see that the worries of this life can even make God’s communication with us unfruitful. Is all of this talk causing you to worry that you worry too much? Good news! Today we will unmask and stomp on this culprit.

When we reduce worry to its simplest emotion, it is just fear. In Isaiah 41:10, God tells us not to fear or be dismayed because He will help us. He will uphold us in His righteous hand. When you catch yourself worrying and feel your eyebrows furrowed, remind yourself: I do not need to fear. God is my help.

The reason we continue to worry as Christians is because we are holding onto things we need to relinquish. What do you most frequently worry about? That is the very thing you should relinquish to God!

Sometimes we need to relinquish a situation. Jesus was faced with a situation in the Garden of Gethsemane. He relinquished His will in the situation by praying: Not my will, but Yours (Luke 22:42). If you are worried about a situation, a relationship, or your future then follow Jesus and say this right now: Not my will, but Yours. In that way, you have relinquished your will for God’s will to be done in your life. There is no need to worry anymore.

Some of us might need to relinquish control. Do you feel like you need to control other people? You might want to control the actions of your spouse, child, or parent. God tells us in Matthew 6:31-33 not to worry even about what we will wear or eat, but we should instead focus on His kingdom and righteousness. Then He will add these things to us. Take a moment now to tell the Lord who or what you are relinquishing control of so you can focus more on His kingdom. He knows all about you and your loved ones…your every thought and desire. Let go of your worry by letting go of control.

Sometimes we might need to relinquish schedules and tasks. We strive to keep up with everyone else whose lives seem perfect. All the while, it seems like we are two steps behind on bills, late to important events, and overly tired. Give God your schedule! He has a way of motivating us to do the right things at the right time. If you still worry, get it out of your head and onto a list and check it off as it gets done. God says His yoke is easy and His burden is light in Matthew 11:30. If your burden does not seem light, you could be taking up the burden of the world instead of the burden of God’s kingdom. If that’s the case, pray with me: Lord, I relinquish my schedule to you. I surrender all of my tasks that are not demonstrating the love of your kingdom.

It helps if we look fear right in the eye and dare it. Contemplate the worst outcome and the consequences. Much of the time, worriers are overly concerned with outcomes that have minor consequences. Just considering “What’s the worst that could happen?” frees us from the burden of fear. Relinquishing situations does not mean failing to try. It means we allow God’s will to steer our efforts. Relinquishing control does not mean failing to care. It means putting our focus on love instead. Relinquishing schedules does not mean blowing off important things. It means waiting for God to prioritize tasks and trusting Him to lead our daily path. As you let go of worry and unnecessary burdens, you will enjoy life more and draw closer to God.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!