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The Worry Meter

Joyce Meyer blames human nature for the cause of worry in an article on this topic.  Troubled and uneasy feelings haunt millions of Americans daily.  Demons, the devil and powers of darkness prey on these raw emotions, causing many to worry beyond what is reasonable.  When conditions are ripe, panic attacks come on suddenly, involving intense and often overwhelming fear.  Panic attacks can happen to anyone, yet multiple occurrences can be a sign of a panic disorder.  When you add anxiety to this condition, the anticipation of a stressful event or situation, the worry meter starts BEEPING intensely.

Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear,” Luke 12:22.

In the passage above, Jesus refers to three main sources of worry.  Depending upon how you want to classify daily concerns, food, health and clothing are basic essentials.  The poor may not know where their next meal will come from.  Those in debt may have to choose the cost of health care over hearty meals.  Teenagers may be forced to buy clothes at resale shops just to have money for other activities in high school.  In terms of worry, the amount of money available to you will often dictate the degree to which you become stressed.  Some concerns will be superficial, based upon social status.  Meanwhile, those without a place to call home will not rest until shelter is found.  No matter what your situation, an internal worry meter is tracking your emotions.

So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God,” Luke 12:21.

The worry meter tends to reflect your relationship with God.  However, there is a catch, a glitch.  The closer you get to God, the more the Holy Spirit reveals your imperfections.  Thus, as some draw near to God, there is a hesitancy to get closer.  To avoid conviction, you may chose to go in the opposite direction, taking a break from God for a while.  Whatever your situation may be, Jesus wants his followers to become rooted in Christ, Philippians 2:6-7.  As your relationship with God improves, your level of worry should decline.  Trusting God and worry are reciprocal, polar opposites that work against one another.  If you want to reduce your own worry meter, the Bible offers solutions.  Solomon suggests to trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5-6.  Meanwhile, Jesus urges people to seek God first and his righteous, Matthew 6:33-34, then all the things you are worrying about will be given unto you.  May you put this advice into action so that the worry meter will quickly return to low levels.

by Jay Mankus

A Stress Reliever

One of the most stressful things for me as a parent is watching my kids participate in sports.  Although some my debate on which is the most grueling to observe, golf must be in the top 3.  There aren’t any time outs, teammates to blame or walls to keep your ball in play.  When you start to fall apart in a stroke play event, there’s no place to hide.  This tension can consume any parent, filling the calmest individual with stress.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved, Psalm 55:22.

While I am usually laid back, this past week I found myself in the middle of an anxiety attack.  I guess it didn’t help that youngest son decided to finish his last 5 holes with 2 quadruple bogeys and 2 double bogeys.  Nonetheless, I should have had a better plan to cope with stress.  Some sort of stress reliever to ease the anguish within my soul.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, Philippians 4:6.

Yesterday, a light bulb went off in my mind.  Why am I worrying myself to death when I can lift up individual prayers to God.  Since this revelation, I have turned moments of tension into a stress reliever, praying for the helpless situations that I encounter.  If parents turn to the Lord with their troubles, then you too can begin practicing the stress reliever called prayer.

by Jay Mankus


Bring Us Back to Life

Time has a way of taking its toll on the human body.  The prophet Isaiah lets Israel know that even young people are not immune to this reality.  Thus, whether you are old, young or somewhere in between, a common prayer asks the Lord, “bring us back to life.”

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; Isaiah 40:30.

While father time is undefeated, there are factors that speed up the aging process.  Anxiety, depression and a lack of positive influences can suck the life out of human souls.  If you allow yourself to become isolated, void of encouragement, the will to live can fade.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer, Psalm 32:3-4.

Another element that saps the strength of individuals like heat and humidity from the summer sun is sin.  Whenever you hurt yourself or others by a careless act or word, conviction can weigh heavy on your heart.  This spiritual condition requires a boost to revive the joy you once had in life.  Thus, if you ever reach this state, don’t forget to cry out to the Lord.  Lean on his grace and mercy and perhaps you will be brought back to life.

by Jay Mankus


Living in the Fastlane as Friendships Passby

Whether I like it or not, I fall into the same category as Maverick and Goose in Top Gun, ” I feel the need, the need for speed!”  Lately, I’ve been the car in the left hand lane that is going too fast, missing my exit.  As a result, my busyness has caused me to lose touch of several friendships, in a hurry to get to no where

Although Ke$ha once sang about your love is my drug, I believe living life in the fast lane possesses dangerous side effects.  Adrenaline breeds anxiety, impatience and a self-centered heart .  As discernment flies by like a blur, this lifestyle can leave you alone, distant and void of meaningful relationships.

Trying to survive on an empty tank, I pulled over to the curb this weekend.  Like a car needing to see a mechanic, my soul is longing for a spiritual diagnostic check up.  Slowing down is the first step to recovery.  Yet, change takes time, especially for anyone who has allowed their life to get out of control.  Just a David went to the Cave at Adullam for healing, 1 Samuel 22:1-5, retreating with friends can mend fences and revitalize lonely and hurting souls.

by Jay Mankus

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