Driven By Fear

I recently rejected someone who rejects me consistently.

I rejected them before they could reject me again. Why? So I wouldn’t have to feel the pain of rejection.

Jesus was despised and rejected. He understands.

Isaiah 53:3 NLT He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Jesus has the right to judge us.

John 5:22 NLT In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge

As a righteous judge, He says:

Matthew 10:33 NLT But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

I went outside to put something in our car and a group of my neighbors were chatting in the street. One of these neighbors consistently ignores me even when I smile, wave or say, “Hello.”

When I saw this group, I determined I would just do what I had to do and go back inside without acknowledging anyone; and I did so, quickly.

When I got back inside the house, I literally said to myself, “What was that?! I just treated her the way she treats me; instead of how I want to be treated.” “How do you want to be treated?” I heard the Holy Spirit say. “I want to be smiled at, spoke to or waved at.”

Why did I behave this way? I didn’t want to be rejected. So I took control and rejected first.

The Bible tells us to be controlled by the Spirit- not the flesh.

At that moment, I remembered a devotional I had just heard about godly and ungodly women of the Bible. Which woman was I emulating at that moment? I asked Jesus to forgive me.

A few weeks ago, I went to The Plant City Strawberry Festival. I brought several baskets of fresh strawberries home with me. After putting aside all the strawberries we could possibly eat and more, I still had a few baskets left. I thought of my neighbor- the one who always rejects me. “I bet she would enjoy some of these beautiful strawberries,” I thought. So I asked my husband if he would take some to her. He immediately went to task. When he returned, I couldn’t wait to hear about her response, (sensing this was a God-idea in the first place.) “I scared them to death!” my husband said. (It was just sundown and I guess they couldn’t fathom anyone coming to their door at that time.) “Her husband answered the door and when he realized we were sharing with him he said he was going to have her make him a strawberry pie!” I was all smiles and filled with hope about our next curbside meeting. It has been weeks now and I still haven’t heard a word from her about the strawberries or anything else.

Why did I have my husband go to my neighbor’s house instead of going myself? Fear of rejection.

If my husband dropped off the berries and received an unfavorable response, I would only feel the rejection indirectly. The flip-side of the coin is, if he received a favorable response, I would only feel the acceptance indirectly. (In the place of the word acceptance, you can also put the word, joy.) I was willing to open myself up to indirect rejection, but not direct rejection.

Rejection likes to drive us, doesn’t he?

Whenever I want to go to my neighbor- Fear, (disguised as rejection) says, “Give me the keys. I’ll drive. You know I’m a safe driver. Oh, and after we go to your neighbor, we might stop be Pity Palace or The Valley of Tears. Don’t worry, I’ll get you back before anyone knows you were with me.”

He might not drive you to a neighbor. Maybe he drives you to a former love or former friend or to a relative, boss or co-worker.

But we give him the keys, get in the car and then hide our true feelings, don’t we?

We cry. We feel self-pity and then we go to work building a wall. Because building feels proactive, doesn’t it? We determine to never let that person or maybe any person make us feel rejected again.

The Bible says:

Galatians 5:16 AMP But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts].

In your life, who has the keys? Who is driving you?

In the above allegory, Fear said he was a safe driver. He was right. No one ever gets hurt when he’s driving. No one gets loved either. He even locks the doors when you get in. But guess what? When you decide to say, “Stop the car in the name of Jesus!” He has to let you out and hand you the keys!

My prayer for you and for myself is that we will get out of Fear’s car, take the keys from him and hand them to Jesus. Then we can be become life-long pedestrians, walking in the Spirit!


Have you ever had an encounter with a bully? I have.

Before I explain, let me share with you the definition of the word bully from the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Bullya blustering, browbeating person especially one who is habitually cruel, insulting or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable.

There are only a few details I can remember about the first person who tried to bully me. I remember her name: Hermalena. You must admit that’s a very unique name. I mean, seriously, do you know anyone with the name, Hermalena?

I was curious about how many people had this name so I looked up the name on Facebook. Apparently it’s a popular name in Indonesia. I’m from Kentucky and I can tell you this, there was only one Hermalena in my school, only one Hermalena in my town and I would wager to say, only one Hermalena in the entire state!

I’m not really sure what this young lady’s background was. I don’t know how she got blessed with such a unique name. I only know that she was not a happy individual; she had a very tough persona.

Although we had a rocky start, Hermalena and I ended up becoming friends. I have a very vivid memory of us standing in her room listening to a Bee Gees record that she played on her Bee Gees record player. Talk about cool!

Fast forward a few years later…

I’m minding my own business in class and a “friend” tells me that so-and-so wants to see me in the bathroom. Talk about a tough persona. The person waiting for me made Hermalena look like a choir girl.

I left the class and went to the bathroom. I didn’t want to, but I guess I felt I had no choice. This girl was taller than me, more athletic than me and more popular than me. I remember standing face to face with her in the bathroom; well, almost face to face, remember, she was taller than me. To be real, I’m not sure if I made a remark about her that was repeated to her by my “friend” or what I did to make her angry. I just remember that no matter what I said to her that day, she remarked, “Well?” Finally I asked her if that’s all she had to say. I guess it was because she left the bathroom. No punches were thrown. There were no face slaps or hair pulling. Nothing. I stood up to this bully and she eventually backed down. It was the cat fight that never was.

Even as an adult I’ve felt bullied. I was called into a “meeting” with 3 ladies and one of them was very unhappy with me. I had no idea why. She angrily explained what I had done. I didn’t even know I had done that. I apologized and tried to explain, but she wasn’t having it! Even after we all prayed together she wasn’t ready to reconcile. I suppose she felt she had a right to hold on to her anger.

Have you ever felt like that? Sometimes we feel like people deserve punishment for the way they treat us and we are determined to be the ones to do the punishing!

The Bible does not support our mission however.

Romans 12:19 “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.”

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used

Ephesians 4:26-27
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used

In each of the experiences with bullying mentioned here, I feel like the people involved really weren’t angry with me per se. They were just angry. I don’t know their background. Maybe they have been disappointed and disillusioned by people close to them; people they care about.

When we go through difficult and disappointing things in life we sometimes find ourselves saying things like, “I will never allow myself to be hurt like that again.” or “I will never love anyone else as long as I live.” or “I am not going to let people push me around anymore!” or “I am going to take care of myself since no one else will!”

This is self-talk and each sentence begins with the word “I.”

I recently read a quote that really encouraged me, “Instead of listening to our self-talk, we should be talking to ourselves.”

That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not. I’ll explain. Our self-talk is our internal dialogue that is spontaneous and is influenced by many things, good and bad. However, we can override self-talk by speaking the Word of God over ourselves! Isn’t that good?! (I wish I could remember where I read it so I could give credit where credit is due.)

So listen, if you have been bullied, disappointed or disillusioned at some in your life, (which I suspect you have) go back and take a look at the edicts you’ve made. Take a look at the lies you’ve believed about people in general or about yourself. What does the Bible have to say about it? The Bible is the standard by which we determine good and evil. It is our guidebook for life. It is truth. If you’ve believed a lie, combat it with the truth. Speak that truth over yourself every time the lie comes up in your self-talk. Write the truth on a sticky note or an index card or put it on your phone’s home screen or lock screen. In other words, put it where you can see it so you can memorize it and use it when you need it!

I’m taking my own advice. I have a stack of index cards on my desk.


She looked at the flood waters while perched high on her daddy’s shoulders.

The waters were menacing, but she wasn’t afraid.

He paused for a moment to map out the best path between rocks and river banks.

Neither of them said a word, but there was a shared trust between them.

She trusted her daddy.

She knew he was brave enough and big enough to take her to the other side.

The other side, beyond the muddy, crashing waves.

The other side, where other family members were waiting.

And he trusted her to be still, hold on to him and not panic.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. 

This is a story about me when I was little. It’s one I can vividly recall. But it‘s also about me today; and it’s about you too. What muddy, crashing waves seem to have you surrounded? Where are you during this flood? Are you trying to make it through all alone? Or are you perched high above it all?

“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. 

You can choose where you sit during the floods and other storms of life. Call on Daddy-God. Allow Him to pick you up and hold you in His arms.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. 

Trust Him; even in the quiet moments when He is mapping out the best path for you. Allow Him to trust you to be still, hold on to him and not panic. When you do, He will take you to the other side.

Dedicated with love to The Cable Family in memory of Robert Cable who is waiting on the other side.

Frosting The Stone

large_901849I’ll get right to the point. I am much too likely to avoid conflict and just “frost”
things over.

Do you like cake? Cake is my favorite food and I have certainly eaten my fill of it. I have feasted on cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cake tastes and smells sweet and the frosting makes it beautiful to look at. Who can resist this soft, fluffy yumminess?
Not me!

But… Have you ever frosted a stone? Here’s how:

Step 1-Find a smooth, flat stone.

Step 2- Take your stone and place it on your best serving platter, the kind you keep in the highest cabinet in your kitchen, reserved for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. Maybe it’s china. Maybe it’s crystal.

Step 3- Using a knife or spatula, cover the stone with your favorite frosting… chocolate, coconut cream, cream cheese, buttercream… The possibilities are endless.

Even when placed on your most precious family heirloom and covered with your favorite frosting, the stone is still a stone… a rock. It’s hard and heavy, not fertile or pliable like soil and certainly not fluffy or sweet like cake.

There is a situation in my life right now that I need to deal with… a stone, if you will. My calves are tired from tiptoeing around it for so long. I got honest with myself and with God earlier this week. It’s not my concern for my adversary’s feelings that keeps me from confrontation; it is my concern for my own feelings. I’ve been honest with this person about our relational issues before; and the pattern of this feline is to present her claws, arch her back and then run away hissing. I’m worn out physically and emotionally and am in no way up to another cat fight. So I smile and keep frosting the stone.

The Bible tells me this about my current plight, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26

I am praying for the boldness to once again be honest with this person. I am praying for just the right words to say so I may present the truth wrapped in love. I am praying for God to help me to be able to see past their knee-jerk reactions, to hear more than just their venomous words. I am trusting God that one day soon, we will be able to sit at a table together and order one dessert… with two forks.

How Do You Approach Discontentment?

strawberry shortcake5How do I approach discontentment? Often with a piece of cake. You laugh, but it’s true; and I’m not the only one, just ask Jenny Craig. Some people approach discontentment with alcohol or drugs. Some people take a nap and hope it will be gone when they wake up. Some people shop. Some people run from place to place and person to person, filling up every minute, ignoring their discontentment or even denying its existence.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…none of these things work. In fact, each of these approaches make matters worse; they add to our waistline, our bad habits, our debt, our exhaustion and, in turn, our discontentment.

The apostle Paul, one of the authors of the Bible, had something to say about discontentment: “For I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:11, 12

He learned to be content. That means he had experience with discontentment. There was a time he had everything most people want: money, position, power, popular friends… He went by the name of Saul at that time. Then something unexpected happened… He had an encounter with God. This was a real shocker to Paul since he thought he had the corner market on God and God’s will. (You can read more about the details of his encounter in The Bible– book of Acts chapters 8 and 9.)

The point is, his priorities changed in the light of The Truth. He traded in his money, his position, his power and his circle of friends to pursue a completely different life. Was it easy? No way. If you’re a believer, I’m sure you’ve quoted this verse, “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” If you’re not a believer, but have been around one, you’ve probably heard this verse. I’ve encouraged myself with these words many times, especially when I’m exercising. (Can I get a witness?)

I believe this verse can be used in many different situations, but I was surprised to find that Paul first said these words when referring to discontentment. (Philippians 4:13) Paul needed Christ to give him the strength to deal with discontentment. Paul approached discontentment, hand-in-hand with Jesus. Why would I choose to do anything less? Why would you?