*Stepping on my potentially offensive soapbox*
I haven't posted in a while because I have kind of been mad at the Internet. I have decided that some people like to use the internet as a way of spreading doom and gloom and I just simply avoided it because I truly just don't enjoy reading or hearing bad news. Now, I know that may seem like living under a rock, but I don't mean it to be that way. If there is something that I need to know, then I know that I will be informed. I do not, however, feel the need to be a newswoman by telling all my friends that if you go to Target you might get abducted by someone pretending to need help. I do not feel the need to warn people about the latest plot against women or how tylenol has been proven to kill you if you take any made between these certain dates. These forwards and emails are just meant to spread worry, fear, anxiety, and to keep people buried in their homes and being totally inactive in the world! There was actually a true warning going around recently about a suspicious van in Bartow county going around trying to trick people into opening their front doors...but really....do my friends think me such an idiot that I would open my door to an unidentifiable stranger?! I have to wonder about what people think of me to think I would drink something that had been tampered with or to think that I would pick up a hitchhiker or that I would leave my kids alone in the car while I go in the store.
I do not pass these things on to 10 people and I DO love God. I have yet to have bad luck because I didn't share this important warning with others. Most of the time these things aren't even true. I do not use email and the internet to spread things that are not of good cheer or a source of encouragement for others. Our job as Christians is not to be the "downer" for other people, but to be encouraging to others, especially when bad things happen.
Even if something is true, doesn't mean I need to share it with others so they can be worried and depressed over it with me! If you are reading this and you are a "forwarder" I hope you don't take offense. I know people who forward things are just trying to share the "whatever info" with others, but really, you can take me off your list. It isn't going to go further than my newly instituted "FW" folder where everything pretty much just gets immediately deleted.
The next time you think about passing something along the world wide web....just ask yourself if it to encourage someone or if it is going to upset the person you send it to. The same thing goes for calling on the phone and being the bearer of bad news to someone who just really doesn't even need to know what you are going to say....why? What is your motivation? When is the last time you remembered to call or email someone when something AWESOME happened?!!!!
*stepping off the soapbox*
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? ... You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
As a mom, a teacher, a Christian...I want to be a light in my world. I want to spread GOOD news, because the last time I checked there is STILL GOOD news to be shared and spread. I want my children to know security in their Savior....to know that Christ brings joy and hope where others have none.
Who is going to want to join up with a cause (Christ) when the people who are already a part just seem depressed and worried all the time? I know you can't avoid troubles or whatever, but why don't people quit brooding over the state of the world and all the bad things that can happen if you leave your house and start trying to share the GOOD part that we know about, the reason that we can be hopeful and confident in our futures?! God has good news. God has hope and joy and great things for the future of His people! God has plans for us that involve GOOD futures and GREAT things. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news or worry or the cause of discouragement for others. Our children learn from watching us and is the job they will see us do as Christians be the "important" job of spreading fear or spreading joy?
I am also trying to break a cycle of fear and worry in my own life. I am being very candid on here, I realize, but I hope I can help someone by sharing this.
In our Bibly study/book club that I told you about before, we just finished reading two chapters, one of which I believe was written just for me. It is all about diagnosing fear and worry for what it is in your life and how it just completely stops you from being what you are supposed to be in God. WOW, it truly spoke to me and made me realize that living in fear is just not what I am meant to do and how if I want to do the right thing, I MUST move on and get over it! Whatever situation you are anxious about, whether it be something with your family, marriage, church, local or world issues....just pray about it, hand it over, and stop obssessing so that it takes over your life and prevents you from moving forward!
It isn't that I will adapt an attitude of "not caring." I do care. I care about my family and my church and all those things....but being anxious and worried is no way to live fully in all those things I need to be doing on a daily basis. I have found that fear and worry could stay in my heart and my mind that it would prevent me from enjoying a great day or keep me from doing something that I need to do for God because I am so worried about doing it correctly or obsessing about something totally unrelated. Am I no better than someone whose addiction keeps them from God? Am I addicted to being worried about things?! Am I totally bound by my thoughts that are straying constantly from what truly matters (fellowship with God).
Here are some key verses that really have been lifting me up in my quest to move on, and one thought from the book that I thought was particularly good:
From the book:
"The Bible tells us to not fear over 350 times! Why is the Bible (God) so adamant about our avoiding fear and worry? Because God knows that worry short circuits out relationship with Him. It fixes our eyes on our situation rather than on our Savior."
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but full-grown love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment and he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy about your life.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
So, there you go. I admire you if you trudged through with me and are still reading. I have made it my goal to spread good news and hope and cheer. I will try to say things that are uplifting and encouraging. I will not spread doom and gloom. I will not allow fear and worry to ruin any more of my days or nights or to steal my joy. And along with that, one more verse that seems to be ever presenting itself in my life for many different reasons:
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.