won’t arrive until early March. There was no pressure to move forward … except there was … by me. So I dreamed and fretted most of the night about how I was going to get Pastor Craig and Bonnie their new badges in time for church Sunday morning. I actually had a nightmare! Needless to say, this worry got me nowhere other than a very restless night.
Without Worry’ in James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful Life. James goes to great lengths to distinguish between caution and worry. ‘Despite their similarity, worry is not the same as being cautious or careful’. He goes on to write ‘Worry is a disproportionate level of concern based on an inappropriate measure of fear’. So how do we get there … regularly to an inappropriate measure of fear? That’s certainly what I experienced last night and it did nothing but rob me of a good night’s sleep.
So this morning I asked myself why I didn’t take a deep breath and pray?
Paul writes in Philippians 4:6-7: ‘Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises chase your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.’
Chase me into prayer and settle me down, Lord.
In His Name, Janet
2 Timothy 1:7, “For I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.” There were days when I would say this verse out loud each time fear tried to take control so I could find the courage to face the fear and win.
A few things that still cause me fear are heights, going fast, and going fast on a curve. Nothing combines all of these better than skiing. Where else can you choose to sit on something as wide as a popsicle stick and dangle high in the air as you are taken up a mountain? Then the only way down that mountain is to do a series of movements that make you go fast, using curve maneuvers on two more popsicle sticks. Yet I love snow and being outside and I wanted to try something new that I had a feeling I would really like. So a few weeks ago, at the age of 45, I decided to take a ski lesson during a trip with friends to a ski resort in Montana.
downhill. I started telling myself I could do it as I curved to the left and then the right. I gained speed and leaned into the fear with more determination, and I told myself I was not a prisoner anymore. I was skiing, and I was full of joy!
I made it to the bottom of that mountain, threw my hands up in the air and shouted in triumph! I did not care who heard me, I could care less what I looked like; I had just won a round with my most-hated enemy! All of the battles against fear came to mind and the reminder that never once did I fight one of those battles alone. God had been with me every time. Fear ran away from my mind like the rat that it is, and I started crying and saying, “Thank you, Father!” God had lovingly met me at the top of that mountain. While fear had been saying hateful things to me, God lovingly reminded of His word and gave me courage to win once more.
Fear can be a devastating foe that attacks our mind, body, relationships, and faith. Fear won’t stop at one thing; it wants all that we are. God has given each of us what we need to fight this enemy. He gives us an abundance of scriptures to lean on. He gives us His Spirit so we don’t have to fight alone. He gives all of this out of love, because He loves us as His precious children.
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’.” Romans 8:15
In His Name,
buildings. So, seeing not only most of the lights ON, but also…PEOPLE!!! And Lots of Them!...inside was so very uplifting!
The activity started with many of our church volunteers scrambling around to clear space for the incoming folks. That entailed volunteers from Building & Grounds, Children & Families, Deacons, Session members, staff and spouses (and more!) moving furniture and materials into other rooms for our continued use or storage for a few months. Also, mission partner St. Vincent de Paul was gifted with extraneous items or items no longer used so that they could utilize them for their own outreach in Christ’s name.
Then, cleaning by Jester’s Services and staff came next. The Christians who run this business are wonderful to work with!
NIC Children’s Center staff then hauled in boxes of book shelves, student cubbies, material carts, etc. to Krueger Hall where they immediately set to work constructing them. (Oh, how I was impressed—okay, jealous!—when those young folks sat and kneeled so agilely on the carpet to scoot around on the floor assembling those pieces! Ah, I remember when….) Back when their Center was damaged by the falling trees in the windstorm and resulting flooding, professional movers quickly packed as much as they could for them and placed it into storage. (Those movers even carefully bubble-wrapped a large, well-used and full paintbrush! Oh my…)
Of course, the next step was hauling items from storage in the U-Haul step-vans and transporting it into the church. It was so incredible and heart-warming to see those empty book shelves and carts filling up with items from the emptied boxes! Yes, it’s getting close…!
And, best of all: children to enjoy our wonderful church! The staff are already tickled with the facilities they get to use: newly decorated Children’s rooms upstairs in the Hunter Building, the nursery for the littlest ones, Krueger Hall for gathering times, the huge gym, our big kitchen and refrigerators for their meals and snacks, and Lakeside Room. Oh! I almost forgot our washer and dryer! What a blessing it is to share these amazing spaces with our friends at North Idaho College!
When Chris and I complete the church activity schedules, there is always this line at the bottom of the page:
Our Mission: LOVE1st “We love because He first loved us. 1John 4:19.”
It seems to me that we are able to pass along that love to our friends in need because we are so overflowing with the gift of His love first given to us. Let’s keep that gift flowing out by welcoming them in His love.
Your friend in Christ,
This facility is so important to Coeur d’Alene and to the surrounding communities! Quality childcare is provided for students and faculty alike. If you have young children, you have probably experienced the lack of quality care in our area. This is a huge issue for our community. As a parent, I can imagine the stress and anxiety that the families have felt while NIC has scrambled to find a location to serve their children.
I’ll admit it, I was pretty hesitant about this notion when it was first brought to my attention by Bonnie. Perhaps you have felt the same way, too? I mean, we all have so much pride in the newly renovated spaces. We’ve worked so hard to make these spaces just right for our purposes. So instead of my mind spiraling out of control thinking of all the hard work that would need to take place to allow NIC to have access to our spaces, or the “what if’s” of what might go wrong, I turned to God and to His Word. Here is what God showed me through his Word:
God has provided a wonderful facility for us to use to do HIS good work. Let’s bountifully sow seeds of love, compassion, and caring for the families in our community who need our help. Sure, we may even have to sacrifice a little bit, but the wonderful news is that God rejoices when we share what we have with a cheerful heart. So I don’t know about you, but as we prepare to share the campus with our community members, I for one will be sharing what God has provided with a heart filled with love and joy. We have no idea what the next few months are going to be like, but one thing I know is that God is working through our facility, staff, and church family for His purposes. I am excited to be a part of that, and I hope you are, too!
In love and joy,
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.