How to Live Undaunted & Filled with Wisdom

You have a dream for your life. God actually gave it to you Himself. His desire is that you would live undaunted.

That is, He does not want you to be intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment. Even by a pandemic and all that comes with that.

However, life often feels like everything is going against you. You’re in a battle. A battle you seem to be losing. Everything is falling apart. Nothing is working. And you’ve run out of ideas.

You need help. But you feel totally alone.
Your spiritual reflex is to cry out to God.
But nothing seems to be changing.

Then The Lord quietly reminds you, that if you want to live undaunted, you will need to seek His presence & His wisdom. It seems too simple to be true. But it is.

Nevertheless, it’s not always easy. For when anxiety & frustration threaten your dream, they also threaten your identity. You can easily forget that you are created in the image of God and that He is the Author of your dream. Yes, emotions can be serious distractions that can deter you from your destiny. As a result, you may begin to speculate, to consider possible outcomes & create strategies that may send you off in the wrong direction altogether.

But emotions & speculations can also be signposts. Reminders that you’re trying to walk alone, which you were never intended to do.

And reminders that God turns that attempt to deter you into a new level of determination. How cool is that?

Yes, if you want to live undaunted and what you’re doing isn’t working, ask your heavenly Father. He loves to help.

  • You won’t be condescended to when you ask for His help.
  • So ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.
  • He won’t scold you.

Instead He will overwhelm your failures with His generous grace. JAMES 1:5-8

How to Overcome Anxiety

Sarah Geringer, Christian author and speaker, shares insights and practical tips to help you manage anxiety through the power of God’s Word.

Resources:

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this video is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace a professional evaluation or treatment for emotional and relational concerns. If you are experiencing severe distress or believe you may be a victim of domestic violence, please contact a licensed mental health professional for assistance. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Find Peace in the Storm

Are you spending too much time listening to conflicting new reports?

Or too much time on fear-provoking social media?

I recently read a Twitter thread between a very anxious young woman and a number of other tweeters who were patiently trying to encourage her.

At first, their messages seemed to bring her some relief. However, her next tweet indicated she was trying to escape from a rabbit hole of fear that was pulling her deeper and deeper into despair.

I felt so bad for her thought about sending her a DM. However, I wondered if that would seem too weird coming from a total stranger. She wasn’t one of my followers, but had simply replied to someone else’s post.

All their words of encouragement could not pull out of the spiral.

No one thought to tell her that her internal alarm system had been hijacked, nor how she could take back control of her own brain and body with a few simple steps.

So I recorded this brief instructional video.
I hope it helps you where you are.

Fear is physical, mental, & spiritual. So be sure to address it from all three perspectives.

Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!” Matthew 8:23-27, NIV

What You Need to Know About Fear

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
JOHN 10:10

Let everything that has breath praise The LordFear (more commonly referred to as anxiety) is your natural physiological response to threat. Your brain goes into survival mode. And survival mode overrides your reason every time. Every. Single. Time.

God created your brain to do that. Automatically.

Fear mobilizes your body to take action, whether that action takes the form of punching your enemy in the face, running for shelter, or freezing to convince him that you are dead. Each is a short-term response.

But is your enemy *hijacking your system?

Sometimes the threat is ongoing. I’ve been in those situations before. Abandonment. Infidelity. Homelessness. And I’ve discovered the critical importance of resetting your system every day, if not moment by moment.

Fear is more contagious than a virus.

Your enemy keeps it going by *hijacking your physiological and emotional responses. You can catch fear without physical contact. He likes to use the media, especially social media.

But you can even catch fear when you’re all alone. Perhaps you’re most susceptible then.

That’s when your enemy reminds you of your past failures and trauma. He wants you to react the way you did in the past. He wants you to live in fear. Constant fear. But he is a liar. And listening to his lies will drive your fear deeper into his pit of despair.

Nevertheless, you have the power to reset your system and overcome the enemy in 3 simple steps.

  1. Breathe. You cannot use your conscious thoughts to reset your system. You must begin with your body. Remember your brain is designed to listen to fear first. Breathing properly will signal your brain that all is well.
    • Do not take deep breaths that make your shoulders rise. That will always increase your fear response. Instead, breathe from you diaphragm.
    • Lie on your back with a pillow under your knees (NOT under your head) and a book on your belly button. Slowly push the book toward the ceiling by taking in air. Lower the book by slowly exhaling. Repeat the sequence for 4 minutes 4 times per day or as often as needed.
  2. Believe. As you quiet your body, use your mind to remind God (but mostly yourself) of His promises.
    • Choose one Bible verse. Or picture Jesus in the room with you. Focus on Him as you breathe.
    • This will begin to “cement” what you are telling your body with the Truth of who He is.
  3. Become. Once you have aligned your body and your mind with what God is doing, you possess the power of an overcomer.
    • You can think more clearly. Fully mobilize your cognitive functions.
    • You have the power to become part of the solution.
    • Not only for yourself. But also for others.

Test these reset steps for yourself.

Practice these steps for the next 24 hours. Then let me know how you’re doing. I’m here to help.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord. PSALM 150:6

*To hijack means to unlawfully seize something that is in transit and force it to go to a different destination or use it for one’s own purposes.

Coffee & Conversation | Live on April 1

stress reliefWe want to protect each other’s health, as well as our own. However, we must remember that social distancing is not the same as social isolation.

We all need human connection & emotional support.

We are so blessed to live in a time when technology allows us to connect without physical contact. How cool is that?

So let’s connect for Coffee & Conversation!

BYOC (bring your own cup) & tune in for an encouraging conversation & practical tips on dealing with uncertainty.

Wednesday, April 1
12:30pm CDT (10:30am PDT)

Schedule for today or a future date here.

3 Steps to More Effective Prayer

What conversations are you having with The Lord? If you slow down and listen to yourself, you might find that you’re falling into a familiar pattern. I know from experience how easily our prayers can become a totally unproductive, one-way “conversation” with Jesus.

For a more effective prayer life,
do these three things:

  1. Listen
    “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:1-5
  2. Trust
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
    Proverbs 3:5-6
    And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
  3. Do
    Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:22-25

Miracles & Mindsets

Miracles and Mindsets: How to Make Way for a MiracleAre you waiting for something? Hoping for a miracle to happen?

Miracles & mindsets go together. You dream of miracles & fail to recognize the mindset that keep you stuck. A new mindset gives you the capacity to receive.

So much of my work as a psychologist has been helping clients move from a negative mindset to one that is positive, good, God-centered. Whether or not she (or he) is a believing Christian. And I want to help you do the same. Because some things need to change before you see change.

You have learned to evaluate yourself and others according to human standards. According to what is visible in terms of behavior & success as you have believed it to be.

You pray for a water-into-wine miracle. However, first you need a new wine skin (a new mindset). A new mindset gives you the capacity to receive the miracle. Otherwise, you would burst from the expansion of receiving all the new. MARK 2:21-22

You dream of miracles, yet fail to recognize the mindset that keeps you stuck.

It’s as though you have blinders on. And removing them can become a lengthy process. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a several tips to help you redeem the time of your own development. They all involve your active cooperation with The Holy Spirit who speaks to you deep within.

  1. Ask for a spirit of wisdom & revelation, instead of the mindset you now have. EPHESIANS 1:17-18
  2. Read or listen to the Truth every day, expecting an expansion of your understanding as you go. ISAIAH 55:8-9
  3. Meditate upon the fact that your Creator’s mercies never end. LAMENTATIONS  3:22-23
  4. Remember that He has far more in store for your life than you could ever imagine. EPHESIANS 3:20
  5. Surround yourself with others who want to grow. Avoid complainers. Find a spiritual mentor for yourself or join a group of like-minded people. HEBREWS 10:25

* Click and study all the links in this post. They are there to help you grow. And if you have any questions, please let me know. I’m here to help!

Tender Surrender

What challenges are you facing today? More than one, no doubt. You are never expected to solve your problems on your own.

Maybe that’s the real problem, eh?

Laying your life down in tender surrender before the Lord will bring life, prosperity, and honor as your reward. (TPT)

How beautiful it is to partner together – a man & a woman seeking The Lord’s presence. That is how a couple learns what it means to reign together & take dominion over the particular piece of this earth for which they together are responsible.

Humility is the fear of the Lord;
    its wages are riches & honor & life. PROVERBS 22:4

A Negative Cycle & Life in The Box

simple solutions for the negative cycleThe Negative Cycle reminds me of a poster my dentist has on the ceiling at his office. He put it there so his patients would have something to look at while they’re in the chair. I think about it sometimes because it reminds me of myself. It’s a picture of a tiny kitten looking up helplessly from the bottom of large cardboard box.

The caption reads,

“I’m much better at getting myself into things than I am at getting myself out of them.”

Maybe you can identify? Isaiah put it this way:

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way… (53:6a)

Kittens, sheep, people. Sometimes there’s not much difference. No one plans to get himself or herself into a pickle (Sorry. I like to mix metaphors), yet we all do at one time or another.

Many couples start backing themselves into The Box early in their relationship. Something happens and one of them feels disappointed or hurt. Maybe it’s the woman. (Sometimes it’s the man.) If she says something to her partner about it, he might minimize her feelings or get defensive about his actions or intentions. He means well, but it doesn’t help her feel better.

At first, it seems like a simple thing. Each tries to forget what happened, to move beyond it because it feels so childish to them both. However, the outcome of those early hurts starts a cycle of negative interactions that will continue to grow and solidify over time. Before long, they’re trapped in The Box.

Life in The Box: Trapped in a Negative Cycle

In The Box, he believes that she is overly sensitive and avoids sharing his own thoughts and feelings with her. She believes that her feelings don’t matter to him, and she withdraws, too. It’s lonely. Being in The Box together.

Getting out of The Box is simple, but it isn’t easy. The Good Shepherd is there to help. Just ask. He may suggest you find a local “shepherd” to walk with you through the process. If He does, let me know. I’m here to help you get out of The Box.

Learn the step-by-step process here > How to Resolve Couple Conflict.

In the meantime, I’ll be praying for you both!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

A Quick Turnaround

God's Goodness Leads to RepentanceHow quickly and easily You can turn me around, Papa. I woke up this morning wondering how I could make it through today. Then I thanked You for the Beautiful Dream You gave to me. And the Amazing Possibilities You have shown me for my life. I mean AMAZING! And my mood lifted instantly. You, Lord, are Irresistible!

Nonetheless, I am aware that – in the natural world – I am nowhere near any of that. Even so, my spirit quickens when I think of Your Goodness. Your Everlasting Kindness.

One thought led to another, and I remembered my walks on the Peninsula the summer of 2011. I’d march two miles up the shoreline, recounting all the reasons this would never work. My resolve was firm. I would protect myself. No one would ever hurt me again. I determined to erect a wall strong enough to protect myself from my own vulnerability.

The Repentance of Elizabeth BennetBut somehow, as soon as I made the Turnaround and headed back down the beach, all of my thoughts – and even the direction of my feelings – changed. Suddenly. Effortlessly.

In the words of Miss Elizabeth Bennet,
they were “quite the opposite.”

In a moment’s time, I found myself composing a message. Words that would not only encourage, but also put myself out there a bit further. So much for self-protection.

My resistance had been completely undone
by Your persistently insistent desire to bless me.

You and I went through the same routine everyday at the beach. You always won me over. And You hadn’t said a word. How did you do that?

The Beauty of Repentance

I know Your Word is Powerful. When You speak, something happens.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)

But so is Your Spirit. And I suspect He is Your Method. Both then and now.

… Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6b, NKJV)

The Goodness of Your Presence always causes me to repent – to change my mind. And the Beauty of Repentance is being back in step with You.

Thank You, Papa, for Your Goodness. Your Kindness. Your Gentleness. Your Loving Heart that is ever focused on me as I’m learning to follow.

Always,
Your Beloved Daughter

Definition of repentance: Many understand the term repentance to mean “turning from sin.” This is not the biblical definition of repentance. In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.”

Save