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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Peace of Mind Devotion

I was placed in charge of delivering a devotion to my Church Council last Sunday and here it is. I know I haven't been writing. Just haven't felt the need, had the energy, or the calling. I would like to say that I am sorry about Mayor Wright. Prayers to him and especially his family. I hate that anyone loses their Peace of Mind to that extent. It's certainly been a tough couple of years. Peace and Blessings as we all move forward together through life.

Peace of Mind Devotion

“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

I have a hard time with my career. I love cooking, but I don't really like doing it to earn bucks, because I don't get to cook what I want. I'm a Hessian. I'm a hired gun. My skills aren't used to cook for connoisseurs of fine food. I'm cooking for eaters and eaters don't often care about Escoffier or the five Mother Sauces or cooking techniques or the timing involved in getting food just right. Dey Hongry and they want it right now.

As a chef, I have to be both a scientist and an artist. Heck, some people even expect me to be their nutritionist. I have to be creative, yet structured. I take my job seriously, because it is my career, but sometimes I just want to let go. It can be very frustrating and these days, because of current economic conditions it isn't very rewarding and me having a background in Finance, not having financial success equates to not being successful.

I don't sleep well, because I worry about how I might have messed up that night, said something bad or that might be misconstrued in the Heat of the Moment, performed below my personal expectations, which in my mind can be conjured up to be perfection, which we all know is impossible, but isn't that what is sold to us by our society -- "Mission Perfection" which is "Mission Impossible".

I am talking about stress. I worry, because I'm not sleeping and between Friday at 3pm to Sunday at 10pm, I'm going to be working 29 of those 56 hours. And I've got to keep chugging along, because I have to keep paying my bills and meeting my obligations. So I worry past tense, present tense, and future tense.

Philippians 4:6 says “ Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” I try not to worry, but it creeps in. It's just part of my nature. But, I do pray and I do want and need God. That is why I'm here. I probably wouldn't be here, if I didn't have those worries. I want to be a good person.

Worry is part of our human nature. It is the consequence of our imperfect world brought about by ourselves and our surroundings dating back to original sin. We are the product of all of that and we carry it forward.

Our imperfect human nature always displays what it is to be separated from God. That divide usually appears in the emotions of fear and anxiety.

As a child of God, we are called to be faithful and devoted to God, not fearful and anxious towards ourselves. Personally, I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, not necessarily because of some form of predestination, but because of the lessons of life we all must learn and go through to create the synergies that make the whole of this world greater than the sum of its parts.

You remember Schleprock from the Flintstones. He always walked around with a cloud over his head. At times, I've been guilty of that. What if we all walk around like Schleprock, with clouds over our heads. We all face challenges. That is the reality of this world. We have a choice. God gives us that choice. The world isn't perfect. I do not say that we can make everyone positive, but the world isn't going to be perfectly negative either.

You might not understand this, but we are all farmers in this world. We plant seeds (ideas, actions, and mindsets). Our ideas, actions, and mindsets germinate, grow, and bear fruit. Does a plant bear one fruit? Think about that tree and all of the fruit it bears.

We can take our personal lessons, as individuals, and have wowsy, wowsy, woo-woo negative attitudes and if we affect change in that manner, then we are going to grow a dark world filled with exponential negativity or we can sow our seeds as problem solvers and have a can do spirit and reap a harvest of exponential positivity.

Where do our fears and anxieties come from? Generally they come from the unknown. In our mind, we create our own monsters. We conjure up those monsters from uncertainty and unknowns. Left to our own devices, we can turn an ant into a dragon.

How do we turn away from that? How do we tame that beast that our mind can become? Reach for certainty. Reach for the known. We know that God loves us. How many times are we told this in the Bible. Trust in God and know that he loves you. Think about God, when you are lonely in this world and think it is you versus the world. Your Faith can push back your anxiety and your fear. Fear will always be there, but you need to learn how to tame it -- to control it.

God has a plan for us. We can't see the future and we don't know what our harvest will bring, but I do believe we understand God's plan.

Remember Philippians 4 verse 6
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Philippians 4: 7-10 goes on to tell us
7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Remember that God will always be with us!