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October 18, 2013 By Ruth Seebeck 1 Comment
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. ~ Henry Ward Beecher
I know a woman who keeps herself in almost constant turmoil, worrying about future happenings. She is filled with dread and anxiety about what might happen six months from now … or a year … or later. Her life is a constant “What if …”
Those thoughts keep her up at night, planning and scheming. They surround her day, clouding the joy of current moments. She wants to control every circumstance and plan for every eventuality. Her sense of security is totally dependent on making every person and everything stay on her schedule and her plan. You might call her a control freak.
Perhaps you know someone like that. Maybe you’ve been there yourself. Dread of the future and anxiety about how to handle what may come can shred your peace of mind. It can destroy your mental and physical health. It strains relationships. It is the worst kind of stress because it is self-imposed and self perpetuated by your own thoughts. And it never ends..
So, how do you learn to control those unwanted thoughts and feelings? I found the answer in a unique revelation.
Do you remember when your kids came home from school after a visit from a local firefighter? He or she probably told them about different kinds of emergencies and what firefighters do. And he taught them what to do if their clothes ever caught on fire. Stop. Drop. Roll. I remember some public service ads that showed kids demonstrating the process.
Stop. Drop. Roll. It’s easy to remember. Here’s how to apply those simple steps to your thought life.
Cease. Quit. Desist. The Bible says, be still … and know that I am God. Remind yourself that such thoughts are not only unproductive, they are destructive.
Have you ever held whole conversations in your head: “I said … he said … I should have said …” Round and round your brain goes … and it changes nothing. You can’t undo the past, and you can’t control the future. So, just … stop!
Case in point: I’ve had a grand scheme for months regarding some financial issues. I had It all planned. It was all going to work out wonderfully and I’ve been excited to see it happen. Then …the car died. Money planned for other things is now paying taxes, title and down payment on another car. Dang! All my planning and scheming accomplished exactly nothing.
If you’re holding onto something and drop it, you no longer have it. You have, in essence, cast it down. Now you have a choice about whether to pick it up again. The Bible says to drop or cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. As a believer, faith says God will bring you out, preserve and protect you and meet all your need. Unbelief is like fire. Don’t touch it! You’ll get burnt.
Every time you start to worry or dread, drop those thoughts! Tell yourself, “I’m not going there. I cast those thoughts down. I will stay in faith.”
Here’s the last step. Roll your anxiety and dread onto God. I Peter 5:7 says to cast all your care on Him, for He cares for you. Believe it. Trust Him.
Remember when your kids were small. You’d tell them how to do something, or offer to help them, but they’d tell you, “I can do it myself!” Often, you knew they were making a bad decision or doing something wrong, but you let them do it anyway. It was a lesson they had to learn the hard way.
God is no different. He will allow you the freedom to make your own plans, mistakes and decisions. And He won’t interfere. Like a good parent, He’s always there to help you pick up the pieces and help you out of a mess, but He won’t make you listen to Him. If you want Him to take over your problems and worries, you have to give them to Him … and not take them back. You may find yourself dropping and rolling a lot until you learn to release all that anxiety and dread and stand in faith.
Now, I’ve got one more step that will make the other three easier.
Fight fire with water.
How do you douse those anxious thoughts? With the water of The Word. When Joshua was facing the daunting task of guiding the Israelites after Moses’ death, God told him how to face an anxious future. He told Joshua to keep the law [The Word] in his mouth, muttering God’s instructions, memorizing them until they were ingrained. He said to meditate and think about them, and then do what He said. God put that task squarely on Joshua’s shoulders. He told Joshua, IF you do these things, you will make your way prosperous and you will have good success.
Take responsibility for your thoughts. Keep your mind so full of God’s promises that there’s no room for negative thinking.
There are promises in the Bible for any situation you may face. God made provision for every human need. But if you don’t know what He has promised, or you refuse to trust those promises, you will face the fire alone. Our assignment, our instruction from God, is to fight the fires of dread and anxiety with God’s promises. As Jesus told Jairus, ‘Fear not, believe only.”
In the middle of a crisis, a conflagration of worry, dread, anxiety and fear, it will help if you have practiced these steps. Stop negative thoughts. Drop them; cast them down because they are contrary to faith. Instead, roll all your cares onto God. Use The Word to flood your thinking with His promises and keep those fires of dread and worry from flaring up in your mind.
Stop. Drop. Roll. Three simple steps even a child can learn. Yet so powerful, they can extinguish even your most persistent anxieties.
Wow, this post is good, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to inform her.