Worry Time to Prayer Time

It’s been quite a while since I wrote anything in my blog. I guess too many things have gotten in the way, and I haven’t made it a priority, not that it was a consistent priority anyway. I’m thinking about starting again.

As kind of a restart, I want to share one that I wrote a few years ago on “worry”. I wrote it during I time that I was dealing with a lot of worry and stress. What made me think of this is that the message at our church last Sunday was on the same subject. So,I thought it would be good to re-post it.

Please read. I hope you enjoy it and might take a little something from it.

Beginning of Post

I’m not one that usually worries too much, but I find myself doing it more and more recently. I guess it’s understandable with recent events at work, the seemingly never ending rise in the cost of living, one of my children driving now, and just the usual concerns about kids and other family members, but that doesn’t mean I just accept it and live with it on a daily basis. So, what to do?

A few weeks ago, our Pastor spoke on this very subject and the message really hit me. You know how you feel sometimes that the message was written specifically for you? You know how, as Christians, we’re always listening for God to speak to us? Sometimes He speaks in a quiet, still voice, but this time, there was no quiet or still about it. It was loud and clear. I almost felt like I was back in my high school or college basketball days and the coach was screaming at me, telling me how to do something correctly. Needless to say, He got my attention.

The message was from Philippians 4:4-9. But for this, I’ll focus on verses 4 & 6. Verse 4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!“. Verse 6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.“. Since that message, I’ve been spending time in that passage trying to understand what God is saying and then put it into practice. During my reading, I came up with a list of questions and these are probably some of the same questions you might have.

  1. How do I rejoice in the Lord always with all the stress?
  2. What does worry do to us? What are its effects?
  3. Why do we worry in the first place?
  4. What does worry show about us? As Christians, what does it show about our faith?
  5. What do we do about it? How do we deal with worry?

Verse 6 is pretty clear about what to do. Basically, my paraphrase of it is “don’t worry, but bring all my concerns/worries to God Himself, and be specific”. So, that’s what I decided was my first application of this passage. Now, when I feel the worry coming on, I pray and lay it at the feet of my Lord, the God of the universe. And, I have to say, there is comfort found in that.

So, do you worry? Do you have some of the same questions about dealing with it that I do? How are you dealing with it? I encourage you to spend some time in Philippians 4:4-9 because God has answers for us there. Turn your worry time to prayer time and engage with the Lord God Almighty.

Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip Day 6 Conference Ends

The end of our 6th day here has come to an end, and we only have 1 more full day left. What a great day it was. The closing of the Pastor’s conference was a blessed time. Although it’s been a very busy 3 days, I was kind of sad to see it end.

We started out early once again to get to Vista Del Valle before breakfast started. After breakfast we were to go on the hike down to the bottom of the waterfall for a morning Bible study, but because it rained all night last night, we had to cancel it. The ground was too slippery. The remainder of the day consisted of 1 more session, lunch, and then a final session dedicated to testimonies.

Oh man, what a blessing to hear those that shared a testimony. We had one of the Pastor’s wives, who spoke very good English, sit with us and interpret for us. Each 1 that got up to speak talked of how the conference had been a blessing to them. How it was a gift from God. A few of them talked about how they didn’t know what to expect and were nervous about going, but were now, so glad that they had come. One spoke of how they had had a number of issues come up right before coming, and that Satan was doing everything possible to stop them, but they came. And with tears in her eyes she expressed her heartfelt thanks and praised God. When they were done, they had all of us (the Lucas’ and Caskey’s) come to the front, and then they prayed over us. Just WOW!

I know these Pastors and their spouses were blessed by being there, but little do they know how much they blessed us. They left with a new fire burning inside of them. They left feeling like they had just taken a dip in a nice, cool pool on a steamy, hot summer day. They left feeling encouraged, loved and supported. And, they left with a renewed faith in our Lord. I left with a new sense of awe at what God did in their lives over the last 3 days. I left with thanksgiving that God gave me and my kids the privilege of serving them.

After we left the conference, it was time to celebrate what God had done. It was time for…Pizza Hut!

Thankful For…

I thought that I should take time, once again this Thanksgiving, to think about what I am truly thankful for. I know that most of my life I’ve neglected to think about this, let alone write it down. Last year was the first time that I ever really took time to do it. So, here I am to do it again. Much of this is probably the same as last year, but who cares. Who knows, maybe this will become an annual thing.

Thankful for…

  1. My God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the salvation that I have by His gift of grace that He made possible by His blood that was shed on the cross. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Eph. 2:8).
  2. For my wonderful wife of 22 years and the fantastic mother that she is. She makes life a joy each and every day. She is a great gift from God also. May I cherish her more deeply and be the husband that God intends for me to be.
  3. The blessing of 4 great kids who are all special, each and every one of them. God has blessed me so greatly here. I pray that I can be the dad that they need and that God designed me to be.
  4. Family in general. Thankful that they are always there and always in your corner.
  5. Friends. God has put some great friends in my life. I pray that I can be the friend to them that they have been to me.
  6. A great church and church family. God has placed us in a church that is commited to teaching the Gospel of Christ and reaching the lost for Christ. Also, a church family that lives out their Christianity by taking time to serve others in many different ways. It is a church family that is committed to bringing glory to God.
  7. The privilege of living in America and the freedoms that we have. I pray that God continues to bless this country. I pray for our leaders, that they will be men and women who will seek God and His guidance each and every day. And, as part of this great country I’m thankful for those awesome men and women in our military, that serve and protect our freedom day in and day out.
  8. A good job that God has blessed me with. I thank God for the privilege it is to work and the skills that He’s given me. I pray that I do it as if unto Him.
  9. God’s provision each day; shelter, food, water, clothing and the additional blessings that He has given.
  10. God’s continuous teaching and working in my life. I find it amazing that God finds it worthwhile to keep trying to teach, correct and instruct me each and every day. I thank Him for what he’s teaching me about His sovereignty, that He’s in control, that He has a plan and that I need to trust Him completely. I pray that I learn to follow Him completely and surrender all.

Since it’s Thanksgiving, just take a little time and give it some thought. Don’t let it slide by another day, another minute. What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Reflections

As I sit here on a quiet morning after Thanksgiving, I finally have a chance to look back and reflect on what I’m thankful for. I know, you think I would have or should have done this yesterday on Thanksgiving, but it was a busy day and by the end of it, I was tired and didn’t feel like thinking about it. Actually, doing it a day after Thanksgiving is pretty good for me because normally I neglect to think about it at all. I’m one of those that most of the time just takes for granted how blessed I am. But, not this time.

  1. For my God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the salvation that I have by His gift of grace that He made possible by His blood that was shed on the cross.
  2. For my wonderful wife of 21 great years and the fantastic mother that she is. Everyday is a great day because of her. She is such a special and wonderful gift from God.
  3. For the blessing of 4 great kids who are all special in their own unique way. They are a joy and make life a great adventure.
  4. For family in general. For the time we’re able to spend together, thinking back on old times and catching up on what’s currently going on in each other’s lives.
  5. For friends. I’m blessed with a group of great friends who are supportive and always there.
  6. For a great church and church family. A church that is commited to teaching the Gospel of Christ and reaching the lost for Christ. Also, a church family that lives out their Christianity by taking time to serve others on Thanksgiving day at another local church. It was a blessing to serve others on Thanksgiving day, but double the blessing to be able to do it alongside other members of my own church. It made yesterday even more special.
  7. For the privilege of living in America and the freedoms that we have in this great country. May God continue to bless this country. For those that serve and protect our great country day in and day out (Our fantastic men and women in our military).
  8. For a good job that God has blessed me with. I thank God for the privilege it is to work and the skills that He’s given me. I pray that I do it as if unto Him.
  9. For the necessities in life that God provides each day; shelter, food, water, clothing and the additional blessings that He has given.
  10. For God’s wonderful creation that we are able to enjoy and have been given the privilege to use and take care of.

Especially this Thanksgiving, take time to think about what you’re thankful for. Don’t be like I normally am and just neglect to think about them.

Many blessings to you this Thanksgiving.