Friday, May 2, 2014

30/30: Fear Not!

I had an amazing lunch yesterday at Disney with my Twitter friend Jenn Ganley and her hubby Alan. It was our first time meeting, but because of Twitter it was like a reunion of old friends. It was a new adventure- but not scary at all! Thanks, Jenn!

One of the most often used commands in the Bible- usually said by Angels- is "FEAR NOT!" But we do fear things, don't we? Being afraid of specific things is quite normal, and not really a problem. Being afraid to really LIVE- that's an issue. Today's 30/30 Vision Blog Challenge prompt is to write about something that scares me. There are no real phobias that haunt me, so I'm going to take a look at some of the things that are common fears and see if they might apply to me. Here we go...

  • Public Speaking- This was a fear of mine up until high school when my stuttering stopped. After that, others were in fear that I would never shut up. So nope.
  • Spiders- Never really thought about them one way or the other until 1999, when I was bitten by a brown recluse while playing my guitar at youth group in Kissimmee and my leg swelled up to twice it's normal size and I got very, very sick. The effects of that bite can still be seen on my leg. But in my way of thinking, the brown recluse is the most deadly spider in the U.S. and I have already been bitten. What are the odds of that lightening striking the same place twice (unless you are Nina Mock)? So why worry?
  • Heights- I love to fly, love the mountains, love the top of the Empire State Building and I've ridden the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Heights don't bother me much. But I am NOT a big fan of falling. Risk taking in high places does make me edgy. As do edges...
  • Snakes- Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of snakes. But I live in Florida. If you can't deal with snakes and bugs you'll never leave the house. Except for when you occasionally run screaming from the house!
  • Needles- For many years I hated needles and couldn't even watch a doctor stick me. Then came diabetes- and now I have to stick myself twice a day. You do what you have to do, right?
  • Public Embarrassment- So many people live in fear that they will do something to make them appear to be too silly, too stupid or simply too visible to strangers they encounter in daily living. I was a youth pastor for 28 years. I made a CAREER of public embarrassment!
  • Failure- I used to be a perfectionist- someone who would rather just not try than take a chance on failing. Years in ministry taught me that progress almost never comes without failure. My personal life has taught me that new life often springs from massive failures. The challenge is to remember as we fail that it's not over until God says it's over. He is always with us, and makes all things new again.
  • Death- There are several ways to die that absolutely terrify me. I cannot imagine burning or being buried alive. But I am not afraid of death itself because Jesus died an absolutely horrible death so that we might live forever with our Creator. I am in no hurry to leave this planet. But I know that I know that I know that my eternal life is secured. It's like the old Rich Mullins t-shirt from the Springfield Friends days- "Live like you'll die tomorrow. Die knowing you'll live forever!" Death has no sting.
So what am I really afraid of? At this point in my life, with all I have been through, I think that what I fear most is FEAR itself (with credit to FDR). I want to live the abundant life Jesus came to give us, not to sit on the sidelines because I am afraid I might offend someone by my presence or make someone uncomfortable with my faith. I want to be a radical dispenser of grace, love and forgiveness. I want to be a bold, caring friend who doesn't just enjoy the memories of the past but is out there creating new ones every day. I want to be like my old friend Beth who at only a year younger than me is going to working at Quaker Lake Camp this summer- for the first time!!! I pray that God will give me that kind of spirit. I fear being stagnant and boring. I fear the stinkin' thinkin' that says I have already done the greatest things I am going to do with my life. I want to be open and ready for whatever God has in mind for me in the coming years. I want to be wild, creative, dangerous and unique in His name. So bring it on angels. I'm ready to FEAR NOT! Give me your best shot!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous5/02/2014

    I think it was the great Jim Stafford who said it best for me- "I don't like spiders and snakes!" LOL Great post. I think we all fear not making any difference in this world. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Jim Stafford? WOW!!! If you are NOT Steve Semmler then I have got to know who you are, because anyone who quotes Jim Stafford is someone I need to know! Thanks for reading and come back soon!


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