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April 'Faithfully' column explores possibilities available when fear is confronted

Do you listen to Christian music? The song "What If?" by Matthew West wakes me up from my everyday living. He sings, "Is my story going to have the same two words in every chapter, 'What if?'" I have been in that place of having a vise grip on my security blankets. I have missed opportunities to serve God more fully because I was afraid. But no more! Time is going by quickly. It's time to do.COURTESY PHOTO - Suzanne Ybarra, Woodburn Independent - Opinion  Faithfully:

God says He didn't give us a spirit of fear. (Therefore, dear Reader, who did?) God gives us love, power, and a sound mind. He gives us everything we need to hear him and accomplish the task before us. Francesca Battistelli stirs up my resolve with "The Breakup Song". Picture a woman sitting in her kitchen declaring, "Fear, you don't own me. There ain't no room in this story." That's me, belting it out, with enthusiastic agreement.

Matthew West offers us more than the hard-hitting question, "What if?" He encourages hope: "But last I checked this heart inside my chest is still beating. Well, I guess it's not too late." I know it's not too late to say, "Yes" to God because He is still setting ministry opportunities in front of me. Recently I was asked to join the Childrens' Ministry team. Fear which says, "What if the children don't stay in their seats?" is over-ruled by my desire for the children to know that Jesus loves them. I have a plan:

1. Ask their parents what the children like to do.

2. While doing what they like, talk to them about Jesus.

There are helps for the children and I talking about Jesus. There are coloring pages of biblical scenes and craft projects with Christian themes.

How about you? The voice of fear tries to derail our asking God, "What do you want me to do?" We hope God won't ask us to give up our job and move to another country. Or maybe we want to go overseas and we hope God is not going to say, "Stay still".

How can you best serve God's glory? What is your life's purpose? A friend shared with me a definition of purpose: When your gifting and talents intersect with your passion, then you find the joy of your purpose. Her purpose is to inspire. She inspires so well that this column is a result of our conversation. My purpose in writing is to encourage you. Therefore, one last question: How does God want you to use the gifting, talents and passions He gave you?

Be strong and courageous, my friend. Consider the price paid for your life. Remember that God will never leave you on your own. Jesus did all he did so that we could have an abundant life. Wake up and join all those who are singing with Matthew and Francesca.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and my book, What Does a Christian Look Like? Essays on the Reality of God and His Love for Us, is available from

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