Archives For fear


August 8, 2013 — 1 Comment

The ScreamWhen I was a kid, I was afraid of the dark. This was when I was really little, like 3 or 4. I was so scared of the dark I would not get up in the night to go to the bathroom. If I really, REALLY had to go, (and who would admit this but me?) I would just do it in the bed. Drove my Grandmother crazy, having to change sheets every 3 days and put a fan on the mattress. To be fair, my mother caused this fear. She was a real mess, my mother. She would make me sit in her lap when all those old weird shows like Twilight Zone were on. There was another one called Circle of Fear, and of course, Night Gallery. Then she’d make me go into a dark room and she’d scare the snot out of me and laugh about it. I told you she was a mess, didn’t I?

Either way, that fear persisted until I was about 12, then I just got over it. Kinda. Sometimes, to this day, I feel like someone is right behind me when it’s dark, and I do not allow any part of my body except my face be exposed in bed at night.

I still have fears – and I am facing a few of them right now. Not very well, to be honest, but what choices do I have. For one, I have a fear of air travel, and I have to fly to Chicago this coming Sunday morning. I’d rather be at church, but I’ll be flying instead. And I’m really pretty freaked out about it.

I don’t quite know what to do about this. I have some medication that I can take that will make me calm, but it didn’t really work last time. I’ve prayed about it, been prayed over, I’ve sat outside the airport and watched plane after plane take off and land without incident. In my mind, it’s ok for other people to fly – I know you’ll be ok, and I’m ok taking you to the airport, but I’m not ok being dropped off there myself.

So – I don’t have a choice. I have to go, and I will, but I just don’t feel good about it at all.

The other thing is this – my job is changing (hence the trip to Chicago – it’s for training) and I’ve been all wrapped up in study and preparing for this trip for over a month. I haven’t had time for anything else. I haven’t had time for any kind of writing for a month, and I am afraid that when I get back I will be so wrapped up in my new job that one of the things I love the most will take a back seat. I’ve neglected personal study and writing/blogging for a month – and this is part of who I am. I’m not the #1 blogger, not a major author, not really anything but a blog guy, but I still love it and I’m afraid I’ll lose part of who I am in this new position.

So – now all that is out there – what do you think? Believe me, I know all the bible verses, and I think on them every day. I’ve read all of Jon Acuff’s books and I’m on his blog every day. Just Start – right?

I know fear is a liar. I know fear is a self perpetuating trap, a hole you just keep digging and there’s no bottom. So what’s next? I have to fly and I have to put in the time and learn this job and I plan on being awesome at it – where does that put everything else that’s important?

Anyone else ever been in this spot? What did you do? Please let me know – I could use some wise words right now -



September 28, 2012 — Leave a comment


Fear – not something that’s easy for me to talk about or even think about. I feel like I have to be strong, hold it all in, deal. But it’s there, showing itself in a variety of ways – panic, blood pressure, negative thinking, various minor illnesses.

My church has a wonderful healing ministry. Every Monday night, people come from all over to be prayed for, with, over. Many of these people have experienced healing from illness and injury. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

I went last week because I’ve had constant allergy problems for over 40 years, including sinus infections, tinnitus, vertigo, hives, and other pretty nasty symptoms. I was assigned to a prayer team and walked into the room and as I was walking in I looked at everything going on around me – people crying, praying, laying hands on people. There was laughter, too, and excitement and some shouts of joy. I didn’t know what my experience would be – I just wanted to be made well.

I was led to my prayer team and saw the look on their faces – there were three people all looking at me – eyes wide, mouths slightly open, like in shock. I thought maybe my zipper was down or something…And I’m going to tell you what they told me. It’s hard to talk about and I’ve been processing it all week. I’m not making this up either -

The first lady shook her head and smiled and told me there was a glow about me and something that draws people to me. The second lady said she felt calm and secure in my presence, then all three of them started telling me I would minister to multitudes of people – “thousands” they said. But at this point it is just potential – I need to deal with my fear.

This is the point when I told them about my sinus issue. It’s like they didn’t even hear that part. I was dizzy, my ears were ringing, and I hadn’t tasted anything but snot for days. Gross, right? And I went to be prayed over and experience a miracle healing event and never have to blow my nose again.

They did pray over me. They prayed that God would show me the root of fear that was holding me captive, keeping me from my destiny. They layed hands on me and prayed that I would be strong and courageous. They got on their knees around me and prayed even more that I would learn to trust God and his provision for me instead of focusing on what people have done to me or against me.

And this is when it gets weird. Some very specific things came to mind. Things I don’t think about much.

When I was five my dad walked me to school and said he’d be back to get me but he didn’t show up and I walked home by myself. I was afraid because I’d never done it and I didn’t know what happened to my dad. I didn’t see him again until I was nearly 40 years old.

I got home, and my mom was there but had to go out. She said she’d be right back. My little sister was there with me. We were left alone for several days and finally rescued by my aunt and uncle, who eventually gained custody of us and adopted us both. I saw my mom several times after that, but never lived with her again.

After that, I never really trusted anyone. I was afraid to trust. I did things to keep people away, to make people not like me. I was rude at the very least and even violent a few times. I prayed that God would kill me sometimes. I never felt on the inside like anything was right.

Before all this, I knew things weren’t perfect, but I felt loved and protected. Then that was gone. I thought it was gone forever. I’ve always, always felt that way. Even as a Christian, I’ve felt and acted like I was on my own, like I had to do everything under my own strength.

My fear is the fear of abandonment. Everybody leaves. Everybody dies. My real mom died years ago and I still don’t know how to feel about that. Sad? Relieved? Happy? My Grandmother died next. I miss her every single day. I still feel like I need her. Same for my dad – the one who adopted me. I miss them both so much.

I had a wife a long time ago, and she left too. Will Cheryl? How about my kids? They’re growing up so fast. Yesterday they were babies, tomorrow they’ll be living in Possum Trot Indiana with kids of their own.

I’m afraid that God will abandon me, too. I’ve felt like that for a long time, like he already has. I know in my head that’s not what he does, but I feel like he has anyway.

All of this goes back to the day when I was so happy my daddy was walking me to school and that he’d be there to pick me up at the end of the day. And he wasn’t. And I never saw him again until almost 35 years later. With no good explanation of what happened. I was never sick before that either. And I’ve been sick ever since.

Crazy, right? How an emotional wound can turn into a spiritual wound which can turn into a physical illness that can keep you from being who you were born to be. How it can cause you to hold people at arms length your whole life. How it can cause you to wonder if anyone really cares or if they are just saying that because that’s what people say.

I need to get past this. I know where it came from, what it has caused. And I know I can be free from this.

I don’t know if this is helpful to you or not. But whatever is blocking your path, whatever is keeping you from being who God created you to be – you can’t turn it around by yourself and neither can I! Now that I know, I’m taking it to God, and he will be strong for me. He’ll tear it all down and I may just turn out to be who he dreamed I would be. You can do it too!

How do you honestly see yourself? And how do you think God sees you? God thinks you’re amazing, wonderful, beautiful and worth dying for. If you see yourself as anything less, you need to realize you’ve been lied to, and it wasn’t by God. He’s not going to condemn you or make you feel guilty. He wants to free you from that! Learn to trust him, and trust him to be everything you need. Trade your fear for freedom and be his child. He won’t let you down, you’ll never walk alone.


September 18, 2012 — Leave a comment


I’ve got a little change in my pocket. Not a lot, mind you. Just a little. Not enough to make a phone call, as if there were any pay phones anymore. I expect the ones that are not completely vandalized or uninstalled probably have forgotten how to work at this point.

Change – it’s like a four-letter word to most people, but with 2 vowels – making six letters total, but it wouldn’t look right if it was “chng.” You’d all be thinking, “ching? What’s ching?”

If you’ve ever grown up, grown hair, grown fingernails or grown a chia pet, you have experienced change in some form or another. It’s constant, necessary, sometimes beneficial, sometimes not so much. But one thing is for sure in life – change is always coming.

Some people like their change in a mason jar on the shelf, where you can pull it out every now and then and snag a few quarters for a coke. Others like change similar to what Loki did to New York in Avengers. If you think about it, there’s really no in-between. It’s either grand and sweeping, or subtle and underplayed. But most of the time there’s pain involved.

Some people like change just for the sake of change. “I’m tired of the way it is, let’s change things up!” These types of leaders irritate me. If it ain’t broke, don’t break it.

Some people like change because of the possibilities it can offer – “This is broken and needs to be fixed,” or, “this could be better if we tweak it here and here.” I like those kinds of leaders.

I have been both in the past.

One church where I was an associate pastor, well, let’s just say I thought it was broken, and the only way to fix it was to totally deconstruct everything. I did not seek approval, did not seek wise counsel, did not even pray about it much. I just outlined a 12 month plan and dove in.

Nobody knew what I was doing except I was really pissing them off. Sorry – that’s what they literally said to me.

I went from 30 in the youth group to 10, back up to 50+ pretty quick, but because my thinking was off, it was never enough – I broke it, fixed it, tweaked it, shined it up and spray painted it and when I stood back to admire my creation, there was just not much good about it. Plus that whole losing the trust and good-will of the people thing.

After that I was gun shy, and vowed not to change anything for 12 months, and it ended up pretty much the same as before. I think next time I will at least pray a bit, and ask for some help.

I think that’s what leaders are doing on a world scale these days. It’s really broken. It’s bad. Nobody has a clue what to do about it and what is being done is breaking it more. And we are at each other’s throats.

Will prayer and wise counsel even work? For our nation? For our world?

I think yes, if we have leaders who are humble, who don’t think they know everything, who know they don’t have all the answers, but are willing to listen to “we the people” and accept that they are “we the people” just like you and me.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 exhorts us to pray for our leaders, so that life can be good for us. Life is not all that bad for me. It is pretty bad for a lot of people though – I wonder if prayer really does change things? I wonder…


May 6, 2012 — Leave a comment

Some people are just not cut out for certain things.  Like me – I don’t have any business applying for a position teaching mathematics at a local community college.  I don’t know that the young guy in the video is going to make a good sportscaster.  Maybe he should focus on astronomy.  It doesn’t involve a lot of people or public speaking, and in his case, that may be a plus.  If not, possibly a career in either the animal control or janitorial supply industries.

We have all tasted failure.  We all know what it’s like to mess up, make a friend mad, let people down, to flunk a test.  What you do after you fail, well, that’s what matters most – not that you blew it, but how you go about making it right.

I was reading through Colossians the other day and I ran across a verse that intrigued me, so I did a little background research on the book itself to figure out what was going on, when it was written and who the dude was I was reading about.  I’ve read Colossians before, but this one guy never really stuck out before.

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