Are You Struggling with Fear?

Fear filled womanHave you ever been so convinced of something, that you made a decision and took action and then wondered how or why you did that? … How could I have been so sure then and wondering why now? What can cause this to occur?

Fear is the enemy we struggle with when doubt is given a resting place. Is there something today that you are confused over or being tormented about? Perhaps a vital relationship that is in trouble; your spouse, child, parents – something is amiss and you are ready to walk away. In these moments there is only one remedy; open the Word of God and search out an answer (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus spoke in various places about His Kingdom and what it is like (Read Matthew 13). Yes, our faith-filled friends can come alongside to encourage us, but in the end we must search and find for ourselves. We must discover faith that overcomes fear.

Consider the disciples during the last week of Jesus life. Place yourself in their shoes: think about what they walked through in the days leading up to Christ’s crucifixion. They Discipleshad come to a place of believing, knowing that He was the promised Messiah, yet they struggled through feelings of doubt and fear. They saw the miracles He performed to rescue people from sickness, disease and death, yet they doubted at times… “Was He really who He said he is?”, they thought. They faced this kind of fear often while journeying with Jesus and especially after he was crucified. They were in constant threat of persecution, arrest or even death. Self-preservation was all they knew up to this point in life; it is our natural course. Yet, down the road, something would happen to cause them to become fearless (Acts 4:31), in the face of threats and death.

The battle between our natural-man and the new-man, seated in Christ, is what reveals our faith. The ability to overcome our natural fears is found through our identification with Christ Himself, living on the inside by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless, but I will come to you…” (Please read John Chapter 14.) Remember, growing our faith through wise choices is important.

If you are facing fear today, of any sort, remember that Jesus has come to give you life in Himself (John 10:10). The Holy Spirit living inside of us gives us the ability to overcome fear. There are practices that will help you become strong in your relationship with Him. Reading His Word daily and surrendering your life afresh to Him each day is the starting point. Without the power of God’s words to renew our minds, we will be subject to our own human weakness and Satan’s devices; we will succumb to double-mindedness as James tells us (James 1:6-8). The way to lay hold of stability in our thinking is by building up our faith through the scripture. Pray, talk to your Heavenly Father, just as Jesus did, and as He taught His disciples to do (Matthew 6:9-13). Confess any sin He shows you, turn from it and make things right. You will find closeness with Him greater than what you can share with any person.

We have an enemy that plays with our minds, attempting to destroy our faith andfear woman separate us from the love of God. Once you’ve entered God’s Kingdom you gain power against the workers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Have you discovered yet, how real they are? Perhaps not. Perhaps you’re still thinking that dark thoughts come from your own shame, but they actually are planted; sown by your enemy. Satan has a host of “workers of darkness” that come to destroy faith.

There’s a couple of songs we sing that reminds me often of how much we live in a culture filled with manifestations of the enemies success in deceiving people into fear, doubt, shame, and sin. I’m thankful for these lyrics that remind us how to counter-act the schemes of the enemy, how to fight our battles, that fear is a liar, we are no longer slaves to fear, and of the relentless, reckless love of God in seeking after us (Read Luke 15). He rescues us if we let Him; that’s what the cross for Christ was all about.

bloom-1839679__480Today, if you hear His voice, surrender to it. Do not harden your heart because of past pain, experience or failure. Come into the shelter of His arms and find rest. He will hold you there. There will still be battles until we get home to Heaven, but we will learn how to fight them and like Jesus disciples, we can become fearless in His name and by His power at work in us.

Hebrews 11:6 ESV And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Acts 4:31 ESV And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

James 1:6-8 ESV But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Matthew 6:9-13 ESV Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

1 John 1:9 ESV  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Photo Credit: Canva, Pixabay

Writing Delights

bloom-1839679__480Writing is a delight to me! It is a way we can express the wonders that God places within. Out of our hearts proceed all of the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts… “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” One way to get to know your heart is to write!

Our good and loving Father has the ability to show us our hearts is various ways  throughout life’s journey. This is crucial to our development and dependence upon Him. Without His loving care and correction, we’d be lost. In Hebrews 4:12 we are told of the importance of God’s Word to do surgery within our hearts. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” How powerful is that! Then verse 13 goes onto say, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” So really, God’s already sees us, knows us, and desires closeness with us.

fountain-pen-1851096__480Writing is a good way to reflect back to yourself what’s within your heart. It is a great way to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you truth about yourself and your chosen course.

For many years I struggled with frustration and anger in my soul. I used a journal to write it out, look at my reality, and wonder how God would change it. On occasion, I’ll pick up my journal(s) and read a few pages; I’m absolutely amazed at God’s awesome faithfulness along with how often I allowed fear to derail me! This practice has also revealed to me how God has been with me, never leaving, even when I felt very alone. What a treasure and delight to know this.

What we think upon will eventually work its way out. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

May I encourage you to write! Whether for yourself or others, it’s a way of expression that can free our souls. Better than words that cannot be taken back, writing gives the ability for self-examination, sorrow over sin and adjustment. God is so good; He redeems us from the curse of sin and gives us new life in Him! I’m forever grateful for His grace.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The Clinic

foot-1357881__480Please don’t abort your baby; I’ll adopt your child…  REALLY? As I talked to these young women facing so much turmoil with their choice to abort their baby, I would often repeat the line that I had heard so many other pro-lifers say. On this particular day, as I stood outside the doors of the abortion clinic, those words hit me and I thought, Wow, would I really adopt her child? That is quite a commitment.

That’s how the journey, for me, into the world of adoption began.

I was raised in Central Wisconsin, the seventh of eight children in a hard-working farm family. We were not given to sophisticated speech; as a matter-of-fact, my vocabulary was quite plain until I met and married my husband, Dale. My family actually practiced a simple biblical principle, even though at the time we could not have quoted the verse. Jesus said, Let your yes, be yes and your no, no (Mt. 5:37). It simply means that if you say something, then mean it; do it or don’t say it. Growing up, it really bothered me if people would say things they were going to do and then never do it. I prided myself on being a woman of her word. Well, as I found out, pride can get you into trouble.

Standing there that day on the sidewalk outside the downtown Milwaukee abortion clinic I began thinking about what I had just said to this young woman being so rapidly escorted into the clinic. The nice sounding name for this particular abortion clinic was, “Women’s Health Center,” even though the baby’s health was in grave danger in this Center. The reality was each mother’s soul would be forever marked by the decision to destroy the life God had placed in her womb (Psalm 139:13-16[1]), and the child that God created would never fulfill the destiny He intended for him or her.

As a young person in high school my first encounter with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision came through my friend at school. She never told me directly, but through another friend, I person-409127_1280.jpgfound out that she had an abortion. I didn’t know much about prenatal development, or abortion for that matter, but I sensed a dark foreboding when this informant told me. I felt sad for my friend. At that time I knew the church my family attended would have taken a strong stance against abortion and, therefore, I would have known it to be a major sin and very wrong. Because our family was devoted in our faith, I supposed this was the reason my friend never told me about it.

Now, here I stood some 17 years later, well informed about abortion and so convinced of the destruction upon the soul that I was willing to intervene and speak to the women headed for the clinic doors. I know that many women suffer the after-effects from abortion and walk through life with self contempt for having chosen this “medical option” to solve their immediate problem. The sad reality is that the medical establishment isn’t able to truly minister to the soul; only God can do that. And He is looking for Christians to extend His love and forgiveness to those needing it. This was my goal as a sidewalk counselor. The problem was, by the time they were on the sidewalk, with green-vested escorts around them, little could be said to stop the rapid push toward the clinic door.

Battle lines

The summer of 1992 in Milwaukee was a major Pro-Life summer. Being the largest city in Wisconsin, Milwaukee had eight abortion clinics in operation. That summer, with the help of the local Christian Radio & TV station, a group called “Missionaries to the Preborn” became well known in our county. Organized in 1990, they were committed to abolishing abortion. The mission was launched with such enthusiasm and zeal and it brought a broadly based coalition of people from various churches and diverse individuals to the cause. While motives in the hearts of people in any movement vary, for the most part, the focused goal and mission was to protect the lives of pre-born children in their mother’s womb; and to share viable options with the women involved. Like any new movement, with the variety of people involved, it became at times a mish-mash of experience, theology, and practice that at times clashed on the front lines. How to carry out this daunting task with unity was a constant struggle in the midst of our single objective and purpose to rescue of pre-born infants from death, and minister to their mother’s needs spiritually and physically. This needed to be a movement of God’s love expressed — yet misunderstanding and fear manifested itself in our actions at times. Gaining the mind of Christ (II Tim. 4:5) was a daily challenge in the midst of the brutal reality of abortion.

Many would liken our battle to that of Dr. Martin Luther King’s in the arena of civil rights; working toward liberty for all regardless of skin color.  He faced many challenges trying to convey God’s way of non-resistance in a world of violence and prejudice, often by civil authorities. So, like Dr. King, we too had to teach what Christ taught his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount; to love our enemies. This theology when put into practice proved to be a wonderful testimony of God’s grace, but it was not easily understood or played out in this raw and ugly environment. Emotions flared and it was difficult to portray righteous anger and loving grace in the many heated battles on these front lines.

It took months, even years, for this group to coalesce into an effective “ministry” out on the streets. Through it all, God taught us many lessons and after a few years a synergy developed that made for effective ministry. Our goal to minister was realized for the babies who were saved from death, the women who were in need of immediate help and later soul-healing after abortion. It was rewarding to hear the stories from the Mom’s who gave birth and the adoptive parents who were thankful to welcome these babies into their homes. In the end, six planned-parenthood-storefroof the eight clinics closed. Focusing on the remaining clinics became a more manageable task, allowing for more focused ministry to those in need.

Planned Parenthood vs. Pro-Lifers

We came to meet many wonderful people through this difficult battle for life.  At the height of this localized war, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, along with the two other remaining clinics, filed a federal lawsuit naming 51 people as conspirators/defendants in the complaint.  Some involved were people who had an effective ministry speaking to women; they faithfully stood on the sidewalks through very extreme weather conditions to offer their assistance. Some were preachers who would preach as people passed on the way to the clinic doors. The group of pastors was called, “ Pastor’s Emergency League” (PEL), following the name, example and efforts of German pastor, Dietrich Bonheoffer, who spoke out against the atrocities of the Nazi’s during World War II. Our friend, David Liebherr, founder of the Milwaukee area PEL and my husband were part of this group.  So when the lawsuit was filed, their names were included as defendants. Through this legal action we became acquainted with Attorney Patti Lyman and her associates.

The lawsuit allowed PEL to put on paper and verbalize what their mission actually was. At the time, the lawsuit seemed threatening, but it turned out to be beneficial in that it helped to clarify and establish the mission and purpose for our actions. With God nothing is wasted; as Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose”, we saw that happen.

Patti Lyman, and her husband Frank, became good friends to us. With the many proceedings involving this lawsuit, Patti often needed to travel from their home in Fairfax, VA to Milwaukee to handle legal matters for Dale and David and others. Dave and his wife, Karla, had eight children at this time, and the Lymans loved being a part of their family. Like Dale and me, they were unable to conceive children and while they did not pursue adoption as we did, they have been “parents” to many along the way. Patti has long been a defender of legal rights for those without a voice. In the end, the clinics lost their lawsuit and we gained legal standing with guidelines for being on the public sidewalks. Additionally, the proceedings provided a good avenue for the voice of the unborn to be heard.

Other Front Lines

During this time period Dale and I also became involved in attempting to deal with an adult porn outlet that had suddenly cropped up in a residential area near our home.  It seemed we were always involved in some type of battle… they seemed to be everywhere! Because of this, we were also pulled into the public media outlets and especially the aforementioned Christian Radio station, WVCY in Milwaukee. This station was very active in informing the public, especially the Christian base of listeners about what was happening locally and nationally concerning moral issues in our country.

The mid-nineties were a busy time for us. We were attempting to be a part of healing and hope in three areas of need. First, was our involvement in the prolife movement, second, we pioneered a new church in our suburb of West Allis and third, we were engaged in a battle against a porn store that had opened in a residential area of our community. Back then, even though pornography was available on the internet, the average person did not access porn on-line as is common now. This particular store not only sold “adult” material, but they also installed private viewing booths allowing patrons to view the videos while masturbating. This became a public health issue that we used to attempt to close the store down. With all of this on our plate, the adoption focus took a back seat for some months.

baby-718146__480Then in October of 1997, my friend at the radio station, who was an advocate for adoption, mentioned to me twin girls with special needs that needed adopting. I had told her that if I am going to become a stay-at-home Mom, I would prefer to adopt several children at once. This prompted Dale and me to seriously consider beginning the adoption process — and we did. As it turned out the twin girls were adopted by another family, but the circumstance were used by God to get our paperwork going to begin our adoption process.

Continue to next Chapter Domestic vs. International

[1] For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Fields of the Fatherless

Today is Father’s Day. A time to celebrate and think of the many blessings a father provides to his family, especially his children. But it is often a difficult day for those whose fathers have failed them.


Remove not the boundary (landmark); and do not enter into the fields of the fatherless: For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. (Prov. 23:10-11)

God has placed boundaries everywhere for our peace and safety. He provides guidance so that we may choose to live fruitful and joyful lives. Harmony in relationship with Him as our Father and one another is His plan. Family is His design, and it’s beautiful.


I couldn’t help but think about those who are having a hard time “celebrating” their father today.  As my pastor was speaking about the value of people, he listed the ways we can value people, sharing a point about how important touch is. He illustrated the importance of babies receiving touch and how they thrive. He very specifically emphasized appropriate compared to inappropriate touch. The message was from Luke 13:10-17 how Jesus touched a woman with a spirit of infirmity and healed her. Jesus touched many women appropriately. Think about Mary washing his feet with her hair and the precious ointment she rubbed on his feet; he was receiving her genuine love and appreciation for Him; at a Pharisee’s house no less. Instead of pushing her away to save his reputation, He allowed her to touch him, appropriately, and He healed her soul. You can always reach out to Him!

Fathers who have physically abused, and/or touched their childrenperson-409127_1280 inappropriately, have placed a stumbling block in their way. Jesus talks about offenses in Luke chapter 17. He said they will come. But then in verse 2 He goes on to say that if someone offends (violates) a child, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea, rather than causing a child to stumble. Wow, that is severe! The violation of a child through sexual molestation is severe. It does not slide into the category of forgive and forget. It requires diligent effort on the part of the perpetrator to work toward godly sorrow that brings repentance.


Paul tells us in I Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” He is warning us about something significant here. Additionally, we are warned that fornicators (sexual activity outside of marriage) shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Anyone engaging in sexual behavior beyond God’s permitted boundaries is playing with fire, in more ways than one. The sins we commit against ourselves through sexual immorality are devastating. We may not see it immediately, but the fallout will eventually come. We are warned numerous times to flee; get away from it. And incestuous sin often carries from one generation to the next [1], UNTIL someone decides to break the chain.

Sexual sin is the most devastating sin a family can suffer. It is manifest in many ways; and so many are suffering in our day. We are truly reaping the consequences of sexual freedom in our culture where little seems wrong anymore. I can remember back in the 80’s when a Christian radio commentator spoke about NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association), we were appalled and could hardly believe it. Today there is still some semblance of community standards concerning this, but sexual sin has so overtaken the idolatrous hearts of men and women that we find many within the church struggling to understand the confusion and overcome sexual immorality. Remember, Satan is set against mankind to do one thing, to kill, steal and destroy. Jesus told us this in John 10:10 and that is why He offers us abundant overcoming life. It’s this Zoë life that empowers us to walk victoriously; Holy Spirit empowered life! So we are left to choose.


Wherever you may find yourself today, choose His life! Whether you are living in eyes-730750__480guilt because you have been violated as a “little one” and that sent you down a dark road of sexual temptation, know that you can recover. The bad dreams can end. The proclivity toward sexual fulfillment, outside of God’s boundaries, can be turned around. Recognize that the patterns you are shamefully finding yourself in can change. There is always hope in Christ, the divine Savior! The all-powerful God of heaven and earth offers you the power to overcome anything by the indwelling divine Holy Spirit! God’s Word is sharp and powerful and able to discern the thoughts and intents of your heart. And He offers you His Word as a solution to your heart problems. If you will dwell there, think upon Truth and believe it, you can change the way you think, act and feel. It’s His remedy. Seek out biblical counsel so you can be made new and become the victor that God designed you to be.

woman-164547__480Remember, you may have been a victim, but you can choose today to walk toward a victorious life.  God will take all of your dark places and bring light. He will give you the ability to walk in the light (I John 1:7). There is no better place to be.


I pray that you will recognize that you do have a Heavenly Father who is faithful and does not desire you harm in anyway. He is the One who takes ALL things and can turn them around for His purposes (Romans 8:28). God wants to be glorified in your life. There is no greater joy than to walk in a way that brings glory to Him. Will you take the steps to begin walking in this way? Focus on thanking Him for what you can now, it will grow and you will become a rejoicing Christian, glorifying God and turning what Satan meant to destroy you with into a weapon formed against Him instead.[2]

Sins against you may have propelled you into the fatherless fields, along with countless others. But remember, you have a home and you have a Good, Good Father, never forget that.

[1] The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.  Numbers 14:18 (ESV)

[2] Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.  15 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. 16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

Freedom from Bitterness

Here are five helpful steps in walking toward freedom:cropped-frost.jpg

1)  RECOGNIZE that someone has caused you pain and that your response to their sin, or your perception of an offense, will either free you or bind you.

2)  RETURN to God if you have allowed the sin of another to cause your relationship with your Heavenly Father to falter. This will involve repenting of anything you have done to distance yourself from Him. You may have been a victim of sin initially, but at some point you become a perpetrator if you feel you must take vengeance rather than allow God to deal with the individual.  Victims can turn into violators if unforgiveness festers.

3)  READ God’s Word daily so when temptation comes to react to situations, especially those that involve past pain, you can be freshly reminded of God’s promises to help you overcome wrong feelings. The Holy Spirit renews our minds as we submit to His Word and gives us a new outlook on our situation.

4)  REJOICE in the reality that God is faithful to you no matter what you have experienced.  He knows the depth of pain you have gone through.  Jesus put Himself through the dregs of sins and every imaginable offense so that we would have opportunity to forgive and be free.

5)  REMIND yourself daily that because Christ has forgiven you, you must also forgive others (Col.3:13).  Praying for the person who has wronged you helps to develop love in your heart toward them.  It’s not because they asked for or deserve forgiveness, rather you’re extending grace to them, as Christ has done for us.

REMEMBER:  Think->Do->Feel.  Do not let feelings lead you, but God’s Word instead.