Thursday, January 27, 2005

Anxious About Nothing

by Donna L. Watkins
© Donna L. Watkins - Male Northern Cardinal

"Do not be anxious about anything ... " Philippians 4:6a

Our world has become an excellent place to fear all .... when God says, "Fear Not!" Advertising, media, news, and listening to other people's fears have caused many Christians to join the world in its quest for control.

We've come to think we can control our daily lives and future by making choices based on fear. God tells us He will take care of us and that we are to trust in Him.

"When I am afraid I will trust in You." Psalm 56:3

I already know this writing is going to be a bit rough and tough, but hang in there with me. Together we may grab hold of something that will bring us to a better place in Him.

When I approach an important event I begin to fear that I will miss some great detail. A few months back our son was coming to visit for four days. I had so many things I wanted to do during that time, such as specific foods to make, places to see, music for him to hear, topics to discuss, etc. I became anxious that it wouldn't go the way I'd planned, so I made meticulous lists to make sure I had my desires all laid out.
I didn't count on a couple of rainy days.

Isn't God good at showing us we can't control our own lives? Why do we keep trying when we know in our hearts and minds that He does a better job?

The visit was better than any plans I could have, because it rained the first day, I decided then that I wanted the time to go God's way. He had better things than I could ever think of for my list. Those were the important things of the visit. I might have missed them in trying to keep to my "schedule" of how life should be for those four days. I certainly would have missed a lot of joy and peace while I stressed over making the list happen.

Consider these words from Hanna Whitall Smith:

"Nothing so greatly hinders the work of God's unseen spiritual forces, upon which our success in everything truly depends, as the spirit of unrest and anxiety."

Please read that again!

Somebody once said, "All things come to him who knows how to trust and to be silent." This is so true! Our anxiety creates an energy that 'pushes away' the great things in our lives that could happen. It also pushes away people. Peace attracts, but anxiety repels.

We are so caught up in striving and worrying that we don't see the better things happening. God promises to make all things good for us if we love Him. Loving Him is obeying Him. He would rather have obedience than sacrifice. (I Samuel 15:22)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Present them! Give them to Him!

Did you notice what you need to do before that? It says in every thing ... and it says with thanksgiving!
Do we thank Him for everything? I Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

We have become too controlling and self-centered in the way we deal with life. We think we can handle it and that we deserve better. All the time we are getting the best! Trials and tribulations are for our good and if we approach them that way, and thank God IN them ("IN every thing give thanks"), not FOR them, we can rest assured God will use them for our good.

In the worst of circumstances, if you will get still and ask God to show you, you will be able to list good things already happening from the bad.

People purchase all kinds of things to find peace. More clothes, newer cars, nicer furniture and decor items, more food, more security. Some people buy cell phones for themselves and children solely based on fear. Home security systems are installed to keep all the stuff protected. Antibacterial soaps are used even though research now shows them to be creating health problems. Chemical cleaners promising to kill germs on contact are sprayed without thought of what the chemicals are doing not only to us, but to our children and pets.

Insomnia is a major health problem. Why do we continue to think that if we worry long enough over something that it will make it better? The Bible says that we must "trust in Him" to have peace. Trusting in ourselves is what produces the anxiety and worry.

We are a nation of debtors which causes much of the anxiety and insomnia, with people "having to buy" many things that are considered needs when they have only been pushed upon us by media and fear. Is it working? We are busily trying to eliminate God from the equation and nothing is getting better. The promises of the advertising are not coming to pass.

God is being pushed further and further away.

It's all about trust and belief. Do we believe God loves us and has the best for us? The best is not the picture we would paint for ourselves. We would not have thought that the best for Jesus was the cross.
The strongest trees are those growing on the side of a mountain daily struggling with the heat and winds and cold of exposure.

We have a purpose on earth before we get to live bliss in Heaven and it's not to have everything go according to our own mental lists. Read this Scripture again and what follows it.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:7 gives you the results from obeying the previous verse: "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

Wow! What a purchase we can buy with only obedience. God even gives us directions on how to make this happen in verse 8. Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy ..... think on these things.

What do you think about all day and all night? Thoughts have power. If you wonder why things are happening in your life, take a look at how they relate to your thoughts.

Seeds produce a harvest. What kinds of seeds are you sowing? Thoughts, words and deeds are seeds! You will harvest what you sow. If you continually worry and think fearful thoughts, you will harvest trouble and fear.

Make the switch. Renew your mind. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Take control of your mind. Think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Write them on index cards and carry them with you and place them around the house. We can do it! We can be obedient to Christ and sow good seeds for a good harvest.

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Monday, January 17, 2005

Faithless Unbelief

by Donna L. Watkins
© Donna L. Watkins - Young Male Deer

Matthew 17:14-21 - "And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him and saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

"Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

Here's a man who had tried to get his son healed through Jesus' disciples and they had not been able to help him. Jesus answered saying they were a FAITHLESS generation. When the disciples asked him why they couldn't cast the devil out, Jesus told them it was because of their UNBELIEF.

Could it be that they saw the manifestation of the devil's work and had more fear than faith? Could it be that is the same mountain that we come up against in our lives?

We see the devastation that the devil has had in our lives. We hear it when the doctors give their "medical diagnosis." We hear these disease names and with them comes fear and hopelessness, because the medical world says "there is no cure." Why do we believe a medical system, when it has had its fallacies from the beginning. The statistics are not good.

We believe man rather than God. Jesus says all we need is faith - even the size of a mustard seed would be enough. We have to stay in God's Word and principles for healing until we believe it more than we believe what man says. We have to believe it more than what our bodies are saying to us. They are manifesting the works of the devil and we look at it and say, "There's no hope." Maybe we don't say it, but our thoughts confirm it over and over as we "feel" bad and our bodies continue to agree because "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

We cannot base our lives on feelings. If we did, we wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. We wouldn't go to work because we didn't feel like it. We wouldn't make dinner for the family because we weren't in the mood to cook. We must learn not to make choices based on feelings. As Christians, our daily lives must be based on faith and God's Word.

This is a big hurdle. We have become used to instant gratification. Ask for it and get it now. Drive-through fast food, dry cleaners instead of doing laundry, prescription pickup, pizza delivery, email, cell phones. Fast, faster, fastest!!!

We are not used to waiting patiently on the Lord at all.

Jesus said "this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." We just have to set aside some time to focus on what we truly want. We say we want to be healed, but are we spending dedicated time moving down that path? Or are we using every "good health moment" to get something done? Do we feel better getting something accomplished than we do having a few solid uninterrupted hours with the Lord?

Many people say they want to spend more time with their families, but they don't put the actions with their words. They continue to be driven by what seems to be the "urgent" and the important things in their life suffer. That produces guilt within which creates autoimmune problems.

Some folks have convinced themselves that they are so important in this world, that they can't possible arrange some time away from their daily activities to spend with the Lord. They can't see how they could "get away."

God will always make a way for you to spend time with Him if it's in your heart to do it. It's amazing what can be revealed in a day of prayer and fasting. It makes you wonder why you didn't take that small segment of your life before you actually got around to it. No need to wonder -- all the forces of Hell are against you doing it.

Whose report (whisper) will you choose to believe?

Prayer and fasting can turn around 'faithless' and 'unbelief' when we see who He is and what He did on the cross for us. He bore our sickness and disease upon Himself so that we might be able to choose life. Choose it and have it more abundantly.

It's a process to turn our fear into faith and our unbelief into belief that God's Word is true. God doesn't promise 30 minute deliveries, but He does promise we will reap what we sow. Sow time into what you say you want. Many people say they want to be healed, but live their lives like it's at the bottom of their list of priorities.

Others have gone so far down the road in illness that they can't "do" much of anything any more, and when they do spend time in the Word, they are so convinced that nothing will help, that they negate the effects of what they are reading. The Word and Truth are being swallowed up by the fields of thorns of disbelief and doubt because your vision can only see yourself in bed and in pain, so the Word is choked out. You must reach beyond what you see to what Jesus says there is for you.

Regardless of what the church is teaching about healing, you need to find out what God has to say about it in the Bible to YOU! Many of you have bought the book, "A More Excellent Way" and haven't gotten around to dedicating any real time to it. We've sold 30 cases of books in less than two years and many people tell me they haven't had time to really get into them yet. You haven't taken the time to find the Truth about your health issues and to renew your mind.

Our belief systems and strongholds keep us from experiencing true freedom in life. Freedom from pain and disease. We have to get to work and change those belief systems. Change those thinking patterns for the renewed mind we were promised at salvation. Remember the words, "work out your own salvation" (Philippians 2:12). This is work! Renew your mind. Get all that comes with salvation - keep discovering the gifts God has for us.

It's work! But anything that is worthwhile in life requires time and work. You will reap what you sow. Take time now!

There are some of you that have taken the time, and I appreciate you taking the time to email me about your results also so that we can share with others and give them "reason" to take the time also.
View information on A More Excellent Way.

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Charleston, SC in November 2004

What a delight to meet with out of town friends in a fun city like Charleston. Especially in November when it's turning quite chilly in Central Virginia. We visited some natural areas and historic homes and walked the downtown area. View Charleston Photo Album

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