October 2023

pumpkin on brown wooden table

Adam’s Fear

Scan this to read on your smartphone.

Inside each of us, there is a battle. Some have progressed further than others, but we all have walked on this path. This path is called fear. Fear does terrible things to us. Though the Holy Spirit lives in us, our human nature oozes with fear. Throughout the Bible, we find person after person who made terrible decisions because they were afraid.

Adam’s Fear

Fear began with Adam in the Garden of Eden.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

Genesis 3:8–10 NLT

Adam’s fear became part of the nature of humanity. Abraham gives us a good insight into the damage that fear causes.

He and Sarai (Sarah) went to Egypt to escape a severe famine. Abram was afraid that an Egyptian would kill him to take Sarai because of her beauty. So, because of fear, he told his wife, “Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.1” Fear wrecks our common sense.

I Will Not be Afraid

Before we received Jesus as our Savior, each of us was alone in a wicked world, enslaved by the devil. It’s a wonder that we didn’t do more stupid things than we did! But when Jesus comes in, we are no longer alone. Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit, and He did. Now, as a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in us and will for all of eternity. But our old nature tries to bring fear back into our lives.

If you are an American, find a dollar bill and look at it. Printed on the back are these words: “In God we trust.” Those words come from Psalms 56:11. The rest of that verse states, “I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Now consider this verse of Scripture:

But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.

1 Peter 3:14 NLT

Stop, Drop, and Roll

If Jesus is your Lord, then there is nothing you need to fear. Fear is not part of the new life that Jesus gave you. Whenever you become aware of fear creeping into your thoughts or emotions, treat it like being on fire – stop, drop, and roll!

Stop that fear from growing inside you. Drop the Rock, Jesus Christ, on those fears. And roll on down the road of life with the wind of the Holy Spirit at your back, the Light of Jesus ever before you, and our Father’s eternal care surrounding you. Perfect love, God’s love, drives out fear!

Photo by Monstera Production

** No part of this article was produced by artificial intelligence (AI). **


  1. Genesis 12:13 NIV, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+12%3A13&version=NIV ↩︎

We or Me?

Scan this to read on your smartphone.

We or me, that is the question. That wasn’t Shakespeare’s question; it’s mine. When I pray, do I pray “we” or do I pray “me?” Do I ask God to use “my” church or “our” church? Do I pray for my country or our country? And for this nation, do I pray “we have sinned” or “I have sinned?” Well, this morning, as I often do, I prayed what many call the Lord’s Prayer. Yes, I pray the version recorded in the book of Matthew.

9 This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Matthew 6:9–13 NIV

As often happens, I wavered with the words “us” and “we.” It was just me, in my office, alone. Of course, I prayed “us” and “we” as those are the thoughts of my Savior. Still, sometimes, I pray, “My Father” but I rewind and pray “Our Father.” The Lord’s Prayer is the Messiah’s prayer and the Messiah is Jesus, God with us1 – emphasis on “us”; It was the lips of God that taught us how to pray.

Christ Jesus’ prayer compels us to consider whether our struggles are personal or communal – is it “us” or “me.” There are many things in a Christian’s life that beg this question. When I am alone, am I truly alone?

We know that in all places, at all times, and in every situation, the “Spirit of Christ2” the “Spirit of God3” the ”Holy Spirit4“ is in us. But often desperate times come when no one else is around. In our personal, desperate times, do I pray ”we,“ or “me?”

Good News

Well, I have good news. All believers are corporately joined together. We are never alone. Each of us is part of the Body of Christ, “joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped5.” Perhaps, the most beautiful confirmation of our togetherness is this:

and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.

Revelation 8:4 ESV

The prayers of the saints come up before God – let’s not put too fine of a point on who are “saints.” They – we – are like incense. We know that the smoke of each incense candle mingles with all the candles; missing one aroma changes the whole aroma. So, it is obvious from Scripture that we pray the “our” and “us” because we are part of the whole Body of Christ6, the sweet aroma that pleases God.

Be confident, even when physically isolated, that in the spirit, which is the true reality, you are connected to all other believers. After all, you were saved for a purpose7. And your purpose is intertwined with all Christians.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay


  1. Matthew 1:23 NIV ↩︎
  2. Romans 8:9 ↩︎
  3. Romans 8:9 ↩︎
  4. 1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT ↩︎
  5. Ephesians 4:15–17 ESV ↩︎
  6. 1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT ↩︎
  7.  Ephesians 1:4 ↩︎
folded hands in prayer

How Much Prayer is Enough?

Scan to read on your smartphone.

Have you ever told someone that you would pray for them? Then, when you do, the thought goes through your mind, “Is once enough? Do I pray about his or her need forever? What have I committed to?” Maybe it’s just me. I tend to overthink things.

So you’ve promised someone that you will pray for some need this person has. Then, later, you wonder, how much prayer is enough? Well, before I comment, let’s consider Isaiah 62:6–7 NLT, which says, “Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work.”

This passage of Scripture is part of a prophecy specifically about the return of the Jews from their exile in Babylon and the rebuilding of the temp1. But, as God so often does, He tucked a truth in there that applies to all of us. He tells us, “Take no rest.” and “ Give the Lord no rest. This begs the question: How long do we pray? Do we pray until we see God’s completed His work?”

This Scripture in Isaiah has the same meaning as Jesus’ parable about the widow seeking justice. Jesus frames the parable this way: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up2.”

But How Much is Enough?

There is an old-time Pentecostal idea called “Praying Through.” Don’t let the word “Pentecostal” scare you. I have often experienced this truth. Praying through is available to every believer. Why? Because every believer has the Holy Spirit alive within them3!

Praying through is simply praying continually about a need until the Holy Spirit impresses on us that the Father has heard our prayers and has settled the matter. Just as we know we are saved, not because somebody told us we were, but because the Holy Spirit impressed on us the truth of our salvation, so we can know when enough is actually enough.

Christians do not live by feelings or five senses (see, hear, touch, smell, taste). Instead, “we walk by faith, not by sight4.” It is by our faith that we pray. Otherwise, our thoughts and words are just foolishness. Likewise, as if blind, we walk unaffected by what we perceive around us. Instead, we are led by the Holy Spirit. God has even stated that “without faith, it is impossible to please Him5.”

Good News

So, now we know the answer to our question, “How much is enough?” The answer is “enough.” God’s response may not be immediate, and it may not be what we expected. But, if the Holy Spirit has impressed on us that He has heard and answered our prayer, we need to change from praying to praising God for His answer!

God answers prayer. He still heals, mends, renews, reconciles, delivers, defends, guards, and so much more. Pray, for there is no greater gift He has given to the redeemed.

Image by Jenny Friedrichs from Pixabay


  1. 520 b.c. Isaiah 64:8–12 ESV ↩︎
  2. Parable Luke 18:1–8 ESV ↩︎
  3. Holy Spirit Titus 3:5 ESV ↩︎
  4. Faith 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV ↩︎
  5. Pleasing God Hebrews 11:6 ESV ↩︎

Dusty Old Books

My wife posts a daily Facebook blog titled, My Daily Treasures. Borrowing from her, I have found that dusty old books often contain treasures just waiting for someone to discover. These old books exist because someone kept them. The Internet has replaced old books, so if an old book is found, somebody likely saw something in the book that made it worth keeping. I have several of these books.

One dusty old book I recently was reading came from my dad. He was an educator, so he kept a book about how to educate people. Its title is “Perceiving, Behaving, Becoming.” Here’s a small excerpt:

It is a common fallacy among many lay people and some teachers that, since the world is a very hard place and people sometimes fail, children should be introduced to failure early…People learn that they are able, not from failure, but from success.

by Arthur W. Combs, et al

Real Success

The author refers to actual successes, not the kind where every child wins a trophy. This focus on success is what Jesus did with His disciples and what He does with us. Jesus didn’t send out His disciples to heal the sick1 until they had heard His Sermon on the Mount2 and seen Jesus feed thousands of people3. And even then, Jesus gave His disciples all they needed to be successful.

For our children and those new in Christ, we must provide more than the “what” and the “why.” For success, people need to experience the “how.” But it’s the “how” that places the most significant cost upon us. Telling is easy; showing, mentoring, and equipping requires time and patience, the very things we have the least of.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

James 1:22 NLT

Doing implies not just doing to be doing but to be successfully doing. If we revisit Christ Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, we find in verse 13 that before Jesus fed the crowd, He told His disciples, “You feed them.” Jesus didn’t say this harshly. He made that statement to get them to understand that He was changing their focus from abstract learning to vocational education!

Good News

As believers, we are all called to teach vocational education. Lecturing is different from educating. Let’s avoid telling people what they should do, but instead, let’s invest our time, talents, and treasures in educating people to succeed.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay


  1. Luke 10:9 NLT ↩︎
  2. Matthew 5-7 NLT ↩︎
  3. Luke 9:10–17 NLT ↩︎

Crooked Nails

Recently, at church, our pastor spoke about his dad never wasting anything, including bent nails. That brought back a flood of memories. My dad grew up during the Great Depression. For him, everything had value. He would never throw away a bent or rusty nail. He always had a bucket full of them.

Dad loved building or rebuilding things, and like a magnet, he’d pull me into his projects if I were anywhere within his magnetic field. Often, I would find myself pulling nails out of old boards – I was useless at painting. When pulling nails, I had to find a used piece of wood or the anvil on Dad’s bench vice and hammer them into usefulness.

God also doesn’t waste anything or anyone. It doesn’t matter how far we fall or how rusty we are; Jesus can renew us. He loves us and even chases after us, like the sheep that wandered away from its flock. But we have a responsibility.

We must believe God1. Believing is different from faith. Faith is a thing – “faith is the substance of things hoped for2” – but to believe is an action.

In order to find true guidance and restoration, we must turn to God for help. Our own efforts to straighten ourselves out are as unlikely as a nail straightening itself. Instead, we should ask, seek, and knock on God’s door, shifting our focus from worldly distractions to the peace that only He can provide. Emotions and external influences may lead us astray, but Jesus is the source of salvation and a renewed connection with our deepest love.

You and I know that we are unable to straighten ourselves out. That’s as likely as a nail straitening itself out! To get back on the “narrow path,” we need only God’s help. We must ask God, seek God, knock on God’s door. We must move our eyes from the storms to the Quieter of storms3. Our emotions will betray us4. The world will try to sway us5. But only Jesus can save us and restore us to our first love6.

Jesus said that He would never leave you or abandon you7. Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you. And He will make you fresh as new8, useful once again to the kingdom of God.

Feature Image by JoeBu from Pixabay 
Bench-Vice Image by Davie Bicker from Pixabay

[1]: Bible Gateway passage: John 5:24 – English Standard Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%205%3A24&version=ESV

[2]: Bible Gateway passage: Hebrews 11:1 – King James Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011%3A1&version=KJV

[3]: Bible Gateway passage: Mark 4:39 – New Living Translation. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%204%3A39&version=NLT

[4]: Bible Gateway passage: Proverbs 29:11 – New Living Translation. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2029%3A11&version=NLT

[5]: Bible Gateway passage: 1 John 5:19 – English Standard Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%205%3A19&version=ESV

[6]: Bible Gateway passage: Revelation 2:4–5 – English Standard Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%202%3A4–5&version=ESV

[7]: Bible Gateway passage: Deuteronomy 31:6 – New Living Translation. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2031%3A6&version=NLT
[8]: Bible Gateway passage: Titus 3:5 – English Standard Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Titus%203%3A5&version=ESV

Scroll to Top