Fear is a Bully

I sit here today in my office reviewing where we have gone over the last couple of months and where I think we are headed. I see so many exciting things happening and am thankful every day for the opportunities that I have been given. As I sit here marveling at what God has done, I also find myself dealing with that old nemesis of mine….fear..

Fear has been something I have dealt with and struggled against a lot in my life it seems. Fear is the thing that I hear in my head often..and it always seems to start with.. “Larry, are you sure…”

 

“Are you sure you are the man for the job?”

“Are you sure you really want to try that?”

“Are you sure they will listen?”

“Are you sure God wants that?”

 

The questions change but the voice stays the same..it is the voice of a bully.  When the bully presents itself I must recognize and react.

I read this quote today

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It struck me as a word I needed to hear and the church needs to hear. So often we act as if we are afraid in the church..afraid of society, afraid of young people, afraid of change…. We let that fear bully us into doing nothing.

If we should be fearful of anything I would suggest it would be the fear of just that.. doing nothing!

The world needs to hear a good word. The world is in need of hope. The world is in need of love. The world is in need of peace. The world is in need of revolution.  The world is in need of Truth. I know of only one place for the world to get these things. The way is Jesus. We need to show Jesus to the world.

We need to go out there and “take care of the widows and orphans” to use OT language or “care for the least of these” to use NT language or “change the world” to use Mike Slaughter language.

When we do those things, fear loses. When we live a life of abundance or shalom, fear retreats.

Let’s move beyond fear.

Let fear be a bully, no more.

 

I Love you this much

 

 

 

 

Football season started last night, the Eagles start on Sunday. I love  the Philadelphia Eagles

Baseball season is heading into playoff season. The Phillies are missing the playoffs. I love the Phillies.

Someone mentioned peanut butter cookies to me today. I love peanut butter cookies.

My youngest son started his senior year of High School today. I love my youngest son.

My oldest son is moving Saturday. I love my oldest son.

My wife works way too hard. I love Ginny.

Jesus died on the cross for us. I love Jesus.

Love is a funny word. This one little four letter word has so many uses in our lexicon. I remember in seminary learning about the Greek words for love. A different word to fit each situation or type of love. It made sense to me because honestly I mean all those sentences in the beginning but I am embarrassed using the same word to describe my feeling for peanut butter cookies and for Ginny let alone my feelings about Jesus.

Words are funny after all.  They are just sounds put together that represent something. At the end of the day I suppose I could describe my feelings about my wife or cookies with any set of sounds what really matters are my actions. How do I treat the people I claim to love? How do I treat Jesus and how do I live my life for Jesus?

As a preacher this might be a silly thing to say but I want to be remembered for my actions way more than my words. I want people top think of me as someone who cares and is trying to make the world a better place. I want my wife to know how I feel about her by my actions more than my words.

 

I need to do better than I have but I am trying.  So today I look around and recommit myself to God and the people in my life to show you how much I love you. I recommit myself to bringing the light of God with me to a world that so desperately needs it.

With Agápe

Larry