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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Are you afraid of anything?

Yellow-necked Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) juvenileMost people have at least one thing they fear –mice (me), snakes (me, again), spiders, clowns, small places, heights, flying, needles, and even balloons. In fact, the phobia list is extensive – from Ablutophobia (the fear of washing or bathing) to Zoophobia (the fear of animals). The Top 100 Phobia List includes all of the above plus fear of public speaking, fear of crowds, fear of zombies (really?) and of course, the fear of fear. There is even a phobia called Theophobia, or the irrational and persistent fear of God.

For someone who suffers with a phobia, there is no logic, no talking them out of it, no advice to “get over it.” The fear is very real. I’ve read that phobias are the mind’s way of protecting itself. Somewhere along your timeline of experiences, something triggered an emotional link to a bad situation.I can certainly attest to this with my irrational fear of little ,cuddly, cute rodents. I know it’s illogical. I know I’m way bigger. And I know that “they are more scared of you than you are of them.” Doesn’t help.

Some people have allowed these fears to overwhelm them to the point of avoiding life and any situation that may put them in a fearful circumstance. Fear of flying means only taking ground transportation. Fear of clowns means no circuses or carnivals. Fear of zombies? Not sure how that one plays out in real life – since zombies aren’t real, but you get my drift. Fear of mice means I avoid any area where I know mice are located…and run like crazy or jump on the nearest piece of somewhat sturdy furniture whenever I encounter the little buggers. My family loves to tell the story of the time I jumped up onto a chair and left my baby boy on the floor when a mouse zipped by.  I think the tale (or is it tail?) has been embellished somewhat from the reality of the situation, but they like to laugh about it and David seems to be okay, so no harm done. Except the guilt I now have for abandoning my baby because I’m terrified of mice.

There is help to be had – if you’re willing to be vulnerable and ask for it. I’ve experienced it in other areas of my life…now I just have to tackle the mouse problem. Of course, God can heal you of your fear but since it is wrapped up in past experiences and emotions, He has provided a method of clearing this trauma and a group of people who are currently traveling around the US and internationally, teaching this method so fear no longer has a grip upon us. Wind and Fire Ministries has a division called WFM Peace Clinic, a workshop based training designed to help clear post-traumatic stress, panic, fear, anxiety, anger, running away, nightmares, addictions, coping habits, phobias, weight gain, pain storage, lack of concentration, and more. Ummm…that’s a lot of fear. Originally designed to help restore the victims of human trafficking, this workshop has proven to give assistance to anyone who deals with victims of fear and phobias. If you have fear yourself, or deal with others who do, this is an opportunity to be free and embrace peace.

Feace_Clinic_Sheboygan

(Part 2 – another face – fear of man…)

 

 

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fruits1

I have a large basket on my counter that I try to keep filled with apples, oranges and bananas. Occasionally I notice an orange at the bottom will go bad, or a banana becomes brown, before I can get it eaten. And once in a while, I’ll bite into an apple that looks great on the outside, but is discolored and mealy on the inside. Yuck! No one likes rotten fruit!

The Apostle Paul knows all about rotten fruit. In Galatians 5, Paul talks about the fight going on in each of us. The fight between good and evil, between living according to our sinful natures and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your life. According to Paul, “these two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” (Gal. 5:17b) And when you give in to your sinful nature, all kinds of really nasty stuff happens…things like idolatry, hostility, envy, outbursts of anger, jealousy, division, quarreling, selfish ambition. That’s what I call bad fruit. Attitudes, habits and behavior which make us look and sound pretty awful. But, the Holy Spirit produces the good stuff. The fruit of walking in the Spirit is (say it with me)…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That’s a beautiful bowl of fruit!

Later on, in his letter to the Philippians, Paul gives us a “to-do” list for walking in the Spirit, for producing the kind of fruit I want to be known for – healthy, plump, beautiful fruit – which attracts others to you and to your life lived for Jesus. I love how The Message says Philippians 2:3: “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

By choosing to walk in the Spirit, you’ll constantly be producing gorgeous fruit and tossing out the bad stuff. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be known for my rotten fruit.

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