Let: Little Word with Big Impact for Fear and Worry

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

Have you ever noticed how “let” is one of those little words in scripture (or anywhere for that matter) that can have great significance? A couple of years ago I blogged about the giant impact of the word “us” in Hebrews 12:1. Today let’s look at John 14:27 and focus on the little word let.

When Jesus spoke the words above to the disciples, he had just shared the Last Supper with them and told them he would not be with them much longer. He then spent time comforting them and telling them about the Holy Spirit, whom he promised he would send to them.

Jesus’ reassuring words at such a critical time in their lives still hold great comfort for us today, but they hold instruction as well. He told the disciples then and is telling us now not to be afraid, not to let our hearts be troubled.

By using the word let, do you think Jesus might have been showing us that we have some control over our anxieties and fears? He exhorts us not to allow them to overtake our hearts.

Experiencing pangs of worry or fear about life situations is natural and happens to all of us. It’s what we do with those initial feelings that matters in the long run.

Do we dwell on our worries and fears and allow them to grow larger by the minute, or do we honestly acknowledge them and then take them to the Lord in prayer? Do we spend time and precious energy imagining worst-case scenarios and desperately trying to think of fixes, or do we relinquish our burdens into our Father’s capable and faithful hands?

We don’t have to let anyone or anything steal the peace that Jesus promised us. It’s as real and available to us today as it was to the disciples. Let’s listen to Jesus. Let’s not allow our hearts to be troubled. Let’s give our worries and fears to him.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

*Sometimes anxiety can be a symptom of a physical problem. If you suspect that at all, be sure to see your doctor.

*Do you have a favorite scripture about worry or fear that you’d like to share?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

Photo by Molnár Bálint on Unsplash

Love Is Large

7188915268_2eed6d006c_zFriends, on this day of love, let’s think for a moment about the largeness of love.

When we truly love others or others truly love us, there’s nothing small about it, is there? Even when the gesture may be small by the world’s standards, the way it makes the recipient feel magnifies the smallest gesture into a grand gift. Yes, love feels big. Love is large.

Joni Eareckson Tada, contemporary artist, author, and speaker, sums it up perfectly:

“Love is extravagant in the price it is willing to pay, the time it is willing to give, the hardships it is willing to endure, and the strength it is willing to spend. Love never thinks in terms of ‘how little,’ but always in terms of ‘how much.’ Love gives, love knows, and love lasts.”

What do you say—are you ready to go out there now and love? Let’s do it. With Jesus as our ultimate example of large love, let’s get out there and be extravagant. Let’s love!

“‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’” John 13:34 NIV

*When has someone been extravagant in their love for you?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter which includes a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out in early February. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Venkataramesh.Kommoju, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: Our Powerful God

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Do you need a reminder today of God’s great power?

Sometimes if we’re not staying in close communion with our heavenly Father, we can begin feeling like everything is up to us. And that can be a very heavy burden to bear. Instead, we need to remember that we have the all-powerful God of the universe in our corner. We can let him carry the load.

The Word of God is filled with descriptions of the power of God, but today let’s look at just a few verses about the power of the Lord’s voice. After reading these verses, we’ll never want to rely on our own power again!

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

. . . The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.

And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’” Psalm 29:3-5; 7-9

Awe-inspiring, huh? And this is just one aspect of God’s power! I wonder if any of us are standing in need of God’s power today. Let’s call on him without delay!

*When has God shown himself all-powerful to you?

*Flickr photo by chris chabot, Creative Commons License

Single Bloom Bridal Bouquets

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Mother of the Bride, has your daughter discovered yet how many options are out there for her bridal bouquet? If so, she may actually be a little overwhelmed with the prospect of making a choice. Sometimes having to make one more choice is what pushes a stretched-to-thin bride-to-be from bridal bliss into full-blown bridal panic.

If your daughter would appreciate the ease of a less complicated bridal bouquet decision, try suggesting a single bloom bouquet. Of course, the single bloom will need to be a large bloom to give the illusion of a bouquet rather than just one flower.

Here are some large bloom options: She could go with a dahlia (like pictured above), but other large bloom flowers include peonies, magnolias, alliums, hydrangea, proteas, and sunflowers. Have her take a look at this Single Flower Bouquet page on Pinterest to see if one strikes her bridal fancy.

And by the way, MOB, one other advantage to a single bloom bouquet is a less expensive price. The groom and/or his parents will thank you for that. Looks like it could be a win-win for everyone!

*You might also like to read Bridal Bouquet: Classic and Elegant Calla Lilies , White or Cream Bridal Bouquet: Add a Touch of Color, Bridal Bouquet and Boutonniere Sheet Music Idea, and Inexpensive Bridal Bouquet Idea: Baby’s Breath!

Photo credit: Flower Factor via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Midweek Morsel: How Big Is Your God?

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*I’ll be taking a blogging break next week for Thanksgiving. What are some of the best blessings God has given you this year? I’m especially thankful for God’s gift of our twin grandsons, for my husband’s back healing well enough so he could go back to work early this year, and also for God blessing me with a book contract in August.  I hope you all have a wonderful week celebrating Thanksgiving with your families. See you November 30th!

Sometimes we need a reminder of how big God is. We need to remember that his love and faithfulness can’t be measured—and that they never fail. We need to hear once again that his justice and love and protection are for one and all. Yes, sometimes we need a reminder of just how big our God really is.

And so, my friends, be blessed by this reminder from God’s Word today:

“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
     your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
O, LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
    How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
    take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
                                                             Psalm 36:5-7

*When have you taken refuge in the bigness of our God?

*My photo (taken in Grand Teton National Park)