When the Bad Feeling Doesn’t Go Away

Dr Sharon2“Dr. Sharon! Dr. Sharon! Dr. Sharon.” Bill rushes past the receptionist desk and into Dr. Sharon’s office where he finds her with her feet up, sipping a diet coke, with a book in her hand.

“Bill, what are you doing? I’m on a break between patients. Is this an emergency?” she inquires as she puts her feet on the floor, straightens her white jacket and smooths her hair.

“Yes, you’ve got to help me. Sorry to barge in, but I’ve been reading ‘Dare to Be Happy,’ you know the blog that everyone is talking about by Sharybary. The one from yesterday got me so excited. I knew I had found the answer! It was called, let’s see, what was it? The lion, the witch and the ditch? No, that’s not it. The hump, the bump and the barrel?”

“I read it,” the doctor replied. ‘The Bump, the Ditch, and the Cliff.’ Good reading. I think she may be onto something.

“Well, yes, that’s it. I thought so, too, but then I woke up this morning and I felt bad. Something at work was bothering me. It was just a bump,  and I tried to do what she said. I tried to think about Jesus, and relax and enjoy the day, but that bad feeling didn’t go away. I tried to figure out what I should do about this work problem, and I kept feeling worse. Why didn’t this work for me? If it didn’t work for this little bump, what’s going to happen when I fall off of a cliff.  It sounded so easy when she said it. As a matter of fact, all of this stuff sounds so easy. What’s wrong with me, Doc? Why isn’t it working for me?

hill1“Bill, sit down. The truth is, it’s not easy.” Bill’s faced looked glum, but she continued, “You see it is very easy to start sliding down a steep hill, isn’t it? You can land at the bottom in just a few seconds with no effort at all. When you turn around and look back up the hill, it’s not such an easy task to get back up there. You might even need some help. If you’ve got a friend that knows you’re down there, they could go for help, or throw you a rope, or send a helicopter. . The first thing to do when it seems too hard to get over the bump, or out of the ditch or to get help when the cliff looms ahead, is to realize you are not alone. Find someone to talk to, someone to pray with you and encourage you. Don’t just tell them your problems, but ask for help, and then listen, really listen, weigh it out, and if it seems right to you, follow their advice.

The second thing you need to do is put one foot in front of the other. Just do one thing to get you started up back up that hill. Like she was saying, you want to look to Jesus and take a step in the right direction. Your first step might be to smile, or find something to laugh about, or meditate a verse of scripture, or it might be to do something related to the problem to get you moving. Even if Jesus looks far away, you will do far better to look up to Him, than to look down at your feet, where you have landed. Remember, it is the resistance to get up the hill that strengthens your muscles. Are you understanding what I am saying?”

“Yes, ma’am. So it’s not as easy as it seemed when I read the story?”

step4“No, Bill, often times it is not easy. I don’t think she really meant to imply that it is. She just likes to be all upbeat and everything to get people’s minds off their problems. It’s a pretty good place to start, but she really knows it’s harder than it looks.  God has so much for us to do, more hills to climb. She kind of gets excited about telling folks they can live a happy, and successful life, so they don’t stay in one place any longer than they have to. She doesn’t mean to minimize the pain, or the struggle, or the value of it.  She knows the meaning of adversity, and she knows God has brought her through many things. She feels the more we can focus on the solutions and God’s power working in us, the sooner the victory comes.”

“How is it you know so much about what she was trying to say?” Bill asked.

“I know Ms. Bary personally. We have had long talks in the middle of the night, Bill.”

“So what’s your advice, Dr. Sharon?”

“Bill, keep reading the stories she writes. It’s good stuff. And even though it’s hard, get your eyes on step5the Lord and off of your problem; trust Him for the answer. That’s a good word for anyone.  And don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Just like you did today.”

“Okay, Doc! Thanks. I think I understand, now. I can do this. Thanks for encouraging me. Hey, if you’re talking to Ms. Bary, please give my regards.”

“I’ll do that, Bill. and would you send the next patient in, please? Have a nice day!”

SharySignature

The Bump, the Ditch, and the Cliff

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

bump ditch cliff1This morning I was talking to God about finishing this blog. I love the title. It gives us a visual about the difficulties we face in life. Bumps can be a bad cold, an unpaid bill, or an argument with a spouse or in my case not booking a tour at work. Ditches, of course seem more serious and the cliff, well no one wants to go off a cliff. I will leave the specifics to your imagination. One thing I know for sure is that when we face a bump in the road, God will help us over it and back to the smooth road again. If we are in a ditch, He will help us out, and should we fall from a cliff, He will catch us and set us back on solid ground.

As I listened in my spirit for what He would say to us about daring to be happy, about bumps, ditches, and cliffs, and about John 16:33, this is what I believe He said. Of course, you will realize that some of this sounds like me, but I believe that His Voice of Truth is in what I heard. There is great joy in conversing with Him and learning to hear His voice. As you read, I know you will be able to discern exactly what He is saying to you and leave everything else for another reader.

bump ditch cliff2“This is what I am saying to you so you will dare to be happy. In your life, you will face bumps, ditches, and perhaps a cliff or two; but go ahead be happy because I have all of the wisdom, the answers, and victories that you need. I’ve already taken care of everything. Stay in Me and be of good cheer because you trust me; I will see you through every thing you face. In fact, I will not only see you through each one, I will bring you through stronger, better, wiser and closer to Me.

bump ditch cliff3Each day in your life, keep your eyes on Me. You don’t even have to look at the bump, the ditch, or even the cliff. Just look at Me. you can picture Me taking care of it. You can picture how you will feel when it is resolved. Think about having the money you need and more. Think about having the relationship you desire. Think about having a closer relationship with Me. Think about when your children have returned to Me and are serving me wholeheartedly. Think about health fully returning to you. Think about being the bold and confident person that you are. Think about the ministry that you desire. Think about Me and how much I love you.

Yes, go ahead and dare to be happy today. You have everything you need to be happy because I have taken care of everything. I did that so you would be free to enjoy Me and have fellowship with Me and have freedom to build relationships with other people. That is what I really care about.

It is the enemy of your soul that throws these things in your way. I wouldn’t do that to you, but when he does this I laugh because I take every bump, every ditch and every cliff and use it for your good. He tries to slow you down with a bump. He puts pressure on you and tries to push you into a ditch, or he may try to lead you to a cliff and urge you to keep walking, but My greatest joy is to take the things he has put in your way and turn them into the very things that make you strong. These are the very things that will enable you to help others and bring glory to my name. These are your greatest treasures. They will open the door to all that I truly want to give to you. That is why I laugh so heartily at the enemy, and you should, too.

For the trying of your faith worketh patience. Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3,4

laughing JesusSo let’s face the day together. You relax and have fun with me, laugh with me and watch how I deliver you. See how I help you over the bump, pull you out of the ditch, and catch you if you should fall from the cliff. When you live your life like this, it may seem as if you don’t even have the problems and challenges that others do. With your focus on Me, you will go over the bumps so easily, you hardly know you went over it. You are out of the ditch so quickly, you barely even knew you were there. And the cliff? You didn’t know you were falling until I caught you. Be of good cheer, dare to be happy, because I have overcome the world.”

More Scriptures on Adversity

SharySignature

 

Do Something Part II

something3You are looking for the answer to your problem. You have stared it in the face and looked past the problem. There it is! There is the solution. It may be a little dim, and you can’t quite make it out, but you know it is there. It is in God’s hands. You take a step in the right direction, and it becomes clearer still.

He has the answer, no matter how big the problem or how long it has been going on, He has the answer. Now how do we get it from His hands into your life?

The answer is clearly given in Mark 11:23, “Whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe you receive them and you shall have them.” I have meditated on this verse thousands of times over my life. It is a friend of mine! Here’s how to apply it to your problem in five steps.

Step 1: What do you want to happen? What do you desire? What do you want?

Step 2: Pray. Ask God to bring this to pass. Don’t skip this step, ask Him for the answer.

Step 3: Now believe you have it, really believe.faith3

The Difference Between Hope and Faith

The scripture doesn’t say believe you are going to have it. This is where most people miss it. It is easier to say it is going to happen, but that is not what the scripture says, and it is not faith; it is hope. Hope is good, but faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is bigger and better than hope. Faith is when you believe you already have it. It is real to you.faith2

How Do You Have Faith, When You Don’t Have Faith?

If you substitute the word “think” for believe, you will find how amazingly simple faith can be. The scripture would read “Whatsoever things you desire when you pray, think you have them and you shall have them.” This means feeding the new thought. Accept it as true. Let it roll around in your mind. Give it strength. Use your imagination. When you think you have it, you have it. This is not new age or Scientology. This is FAITH!  Here’s how you get it: Think about having it until you think you have it.faith4

The scripture doesn’t mean, pretend you don’t have a problem, it means “pretend” you have the answer. Focus on the answer, not the problem, but you must focus on something. If you focus on nothing, you will have nothing.

Step 4: Do Something. While we continue to think we have it, we act like we have it. We do something. We DO something. We do SOMETHING! We take a step. Procrastination is an enemy of Faith. If there is something, anything at all that you can do to move even a tiny step forward, do it. While thinking that you have the answer to the problem, take the next step, do whatever you can, and God will direct your steps and bring about all that you dreamed of. This is how we grow. This is how we solve problems. This is Faith.

Step 5: You have it. You have your answer. What so often happens is that through the process, we accepted what we wanted as true and when it happens, it doesn’t seem miraculous. That’s okay. That’s the way God planned it. We live by faith, and we receive what we believe. We get answers to our problems with just enough time lapse that it doesn’t seem like a miracle, nevertheless we get our answers, and as soon as we realize it was Him, we give Him praise.

Today’s Verse: “Whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them (think you have them) and you shall have them.” Mark 11:24

Today’s Action: Follow the five steps to bring your solution from God’s hands into your life. Remember it is your faith that pleases him.SharySignature

Be Like a Tree and Prosper

tree1Trees get their nourishment from the soil. That nourishment comes up through the root system in the form of water and minerals into the leaves. Chlorophyll in the leaves uses sunshine to convert the water and minerals into the food needed to produce the fruit of the tree. Over a hundred gallons of water may be brought up daily carrying vital nutrients to the tree causing it to prosper.

“Fill up with My Word, and My life will flow into every area of your life.”

I heard this years ago and I have meditated on this many times, yet it came to me fresh and new this week and sprang up within me with new life. I kept finding verses that whispered the Truth of these words to me. I found it first in Psalm 1 where the psalmist tells us if we but meditate the word of God day and night, “We shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth his fruit in his season. His leaf shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper.” In other words, His life will flow into every area of our lives, just as water and nutrients flow up from the roots of a tree.

How can we fill up with His Word? Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. Take a verse or portion of a verse and simply repeat it silently or out loud and picture what it is saying to you. Fill up with it.

tree2For example, I took Proverbs 3:5,6 and broke it into four parts. The first few days, I just meditated on “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” I asked what that meant and kept repeating it in my mind. One evening some brand new worry thought came to my mind. It was something I could do nothing about. It involved other people. I wanted to keep thinking about what I could say or do to fix it, and then I realized what trusting in the Lord with all my heart meant. I had to turn that worry over to Him. I had to let go of it. As I did, I received peace, and do you know, He took care of it!. I filled up with His Word, and His life flowed even into a situation that I had no control over.

Today’s Verse: But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:2,3 (NKJV)

Today’s Action: Choose your verse, or part of a verse and keep it with you all day. Go to sleep with it on your mind and wake up with it. Make it yours. After you have made that verse your friend, choose another. Over time you will see that truly His life flows into every area of your life, and you are like a tree. You are prospering in every area of your life.

Breaking Away

freedom3Are there things you just want to change about yourself? Bad habits, wrong thought patterns, addictions, fears, weaknesses, hindrances? Is there anything you feel might be holding you back from what God has planned for you? What is standing in the way of the perfect freedom and harmony with Him that He has planned for you? Anything that is keeping you from being who He created you to be can be broken off of you, even things you have struggled with for years. You don’t have to continue to put up with it. God is calling us to freedom today. The world needs all of God’s people to be free and to lead others to Truth and Victory in these days.

freedom2Are people seeing you as you really are? Are you kinder on the inside than the way others see you? Are you funnier on the inside? Do you care more about people than they know? Do you love God more than you are saying because you don’t want to seem too spiritual or religious? Do you have things to say that you’re not saying because of what people might think of you. Do you feel confined like you’re not really being yourself, and you try but you just can’t seem to break away?

freedom1Picture a glass cube like you might see in a science fiction movie. You are confined in that glass cube. You do not have freedom of movement, and you are talking but no one can hear you. There is a you inside of the cube that wants to break away and be vulnerable to the world. It is a risk, but it is well worth the risk to have full range of motion and to be yourself. You will have full access to friendship and the opportunity to open up to others who need your insight and your friendship. Break away. Can you let God take His mighty hammer and break that glass prison? It shatters and you are free. As you allow the Spirit of the Lord to fill you up, you will stay free! It is your destiny. He made you the way you are to fit into His perfect plan. He made you to live free of all hindrances and to walk and live in freedom. Let Him set you free today.

Today’s Verse: Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Today’s Action: Ask God to set you free today and allow His Spirit to fill you up so that you live and walk in freedom from this day forward.

SharySignature

Widen the Funnel

funnel1A funnel is wider at the top so that a large amount of liquid can flow into a container with a small opening. This can usually be done without spilling and can be a very efficient method for transferring liquid. When we are wanting to fill something with a small opening  with an unlimited supply, it is more efficient to widen the opening of the receiving vessel. This can be done in your spiritual life so that we who have small openings at the moment, can receive more of God who has an unlimited supply of exactly what we need.

Do you want to be full of God’s love, His joy, His peace, His Wisdom, even His Power? You can be. All that is needed is to open ourselves up for more of God to flow in. Open up just a little more each day, a little more prayer, a little more praise, a little more kindness, a little more smiling, a little more meditating Scripture, a little more reading of the Word, a little more attention given to God. Little by little, we open up until we can contain His miracle-working faith and love. Just a little more. . .

Peace1Today’s Verse: Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

Today’s Action: Open up just a little more to the things of God.

He’s Not Playing Hide and Seek!

hideandseek4 What I really want to do is find God, to spend time with Him, to feel Him near and to know what He thinks about things, and what I should do about things. He’s not playing Hide and Seek. He is sitting on the bench waiting for me to come and join Him. He’s not hiding. I’m the one running like I’m playing Tag. I’m running on through the day, hoping He’s following me. No, He’s still waiting for me to come and sit with Him, or walk with Him and ask Him questions and hear, hideandseek2really hear His answers. He’s not playing games trying to keep me from being with Him. He’s waiting for me to stop and listen. What if it is all up to me how much of God there is in my life? What if it’s just me who can determine the level of His Presence, and the magnitude of His love that I experience in a day. What could I actually learn by keeping my unruly thoughts focused on Him for longer periods of time. I think it’s time for me to stop playing games and spend time with Him more. I’ve got a lot to learn and it might be a really good day to start learning.

Today’s Verse: Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

hideandseek5Today’s Action: Realize it’s in your hands. How much of God do you want in your life. Then give a little more of yourself. Start with 5 minutes more. If you’ve been reading the Bible 10 minutes a day, read it for 15. If you’ve been praying or worshiping for 5 minutes, try to do it for 10 minutes. If you’ve been giving 0 time, then start with 5 minutes. He will be there to greet you every time.

Don’t Listen to the Butcher!

butcherJust the other day, I stopped into the grocery store to pick up some meat to cook for supper. I made a nice choice and chatted amiably with the butcher about where I work and the fact that he had been in the same industry years ago. Then as I was leaving, he lowered his voice and  told me to check out a certain senator on youtube and see what he says about so and so. I had barely shut the door in the house before I was checking it out. What the senator said was quite disturbing along with the implications that were made for our country. My mind began to whirl with what if this and what if that. Well, the butcher had just robbed me of the night of peace and joy I had planned. Who does he think he is, and why was I listening? We all have these choices to make every day. Are you going to listen to what the butcher says, or are you going to listen to the Voice of Peace?

I know better than this. I know to listen to the Voice of Peace. It is a principle I try to follow and have hopefully taught our children, that you can judge the Voice you are hearing by the fruit of it. If what you are hearing from others or in your own mind brings you negative feelings, feelings of fear, confusion, or condemnation, there is one thing for psalm23sure it is NOT the Voice of God. His is a voice of Peace. We do well to learn to recognize it, and to shut out all other voices. Listening to the wrong voice steals your joy and your productivity and leads you down a wrong path. Listening to the Voice of Peace leads you down the right path and allows you to be a blessing and an encouragement to others. Refuse thoughts and messages that cause fear. Yes, there is danger lurking in the world, but more importantly there is a God of peace, safety, love and protection ready, willing and able to hold you in His hands and allow you to meet any situation that arises with victory. Have no fear, listen to the Voice of Peace, and you will walk in  paths of righteousness, joy and truth. And the moral of the story is, “Don’t listen to the butcher!”

Today’s Action: Tune in to the Voice of Peace. Ask God what He thinks about certain situations you face and then listen. Refuse any thought that causes you distress and embrace this thought, “God is taking care of me. He always has, and He always will.”

Today’s Verse

Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
Forever.SharySignature

 

Your Thoughts are the Steering Wheel

sunshine2Nothing at all happens without a thought. A thought is the beginning of every action and attitude. Without a thought we would say nothing, do nothing, and go nowhere. Our thoughts are the steering wheel of our lives. Which way will we turn it? To success and prosperity? To joy and peace? To kindness? Or to anger, jealousy, and pride. Take any of those thoughts and the actions will follow. Taking the right thoughts steers us into the way God has planned for us to go. This will please Him, and bring peace. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

We have three choices to make: we can think nothing, think right, or think wrong. If we are moving along thinking nothing, with no plan, we will be circling, seeing the same scenery we’ve always seen. Thinking wrong is: worrying, expecting the worst, belittling or condemning ourselves, judging others or being negative and morose. These will propel us swiftly down the path of despair. Thinking right moves us forward. We are expecting something good to happen; we are focused on our dreams, what we want to happen, and who we want to be. We will travel that road, relishing in the scenery along the way and the daily blessings that cross our path.

uturn2What do I do if I discover I am rolling down the road in the wrong direction?  Make a U-turn and change course. It only takes being aware of where our thoughts are taking us. If it is not where we want to go, make the first legal U-turn. Sometimes we must  travel on until we can finally see a place to make that turn, or we may need to stop and ask for directions. Now that we are headed in the right direction, don’t forget to wave at other moving vehicles and enjoy the drive!

Today’s Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

Today’s Action: Let God give you His guidance as you think about these statements today.

  • You can bring yourself down or pick your self up today. What will you do?
  • Your life is directed by your thoughts, don’t ever forget that!
  • Your thoughts are the steering wheel of your life. Where will you go today?

Wear Your Thoughts Right Side Out

Inside out3Sometimes we find ourselves thinking the wrong thoughts. Sometimes our minds can come up with all kinds of things that could go wrong and all kinds of things to. . .well worry about. That is just like wearing our clothes inside out. It is uncomfortable, it doesn’t feel right, and people may look at us strangely! There is a very simple and easy solution. Go to a private place and turn your thoughts, just like your clothes so that the right side is out. That feels much better! Just simply begin thinking about what is the best thing that could happen in this situation or to someone you love or yourself. It’s just that simple. Turn them so that the tag in the back and the stitches in the seams do not show. If you’re wearing bad thoughts, you will be embarrassed, unhappy, unhelpful, and possibly worse. So as soon as you possibly can, make the change!

What is the best thing that could happen to your family, friends, or people you meet today? As you think about this, it is a prayer. Send it on up with a smile, and God will take care of it for you. Everything is going to be all right; you can be sure of that. Take a deep breath, enjoy the day, enjoy the moment. God loves you. God loves the people in your life, and He alone can make everything turn out right.

Inside out2What is the best thing that could happen to people that you love today? That is how I like to think. That is how I like to pray.

And always before you leave home, check to make sure your clothes are turned right side out!

Have a terrific day!

Today’s Action: Think about what is the best thing that could happen today.

Today’s Verse:  Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.