God can Daily Help us with our Worries and Concerns

Give your burdens to The Lord, and He will take care of you.” – Psalm 55:22 (NLT)

“Don’t measure the size of the mountain; talk to the One who can move it. Instead of carrying the world on your shoulders, talk to the One who holds the universe on His, Hope is a look away.” – Max Lucado

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” – Psalm 68:19

Lately, The Lord has been teaching me something special… it is simple and yet so very important . I have known for years that “we need to give our burdens to the Lord”, but recently I have made it a daily habit, sometimes several times during the day. We are not meant to carry heavy burdens of guilt, shame, worries and concerns over a long periods of time. That isn’t healthy for us…it wears us down emotionally and spiritually and can eventually have a negative effect on us physically. It robs us of our joy and puts us in a depressing mood. It can debilitate us and prevent us from doing the things we need and want to do because we don’t feel like doing it.

Here are some suggestions that have worked for me:

1. Realize God is bigger than any problem we face in life. Sometimes we think we shouldn’t trouble God with our troubles. The opposite is actually true. He wants us to look to Him for guidance, peace,and strength. We are only hurting ourselves by not turning to Him in times of need.

2. Release your burden to God in prayer. You can do this by yourself, or have a trusted friend, family, pastor, personally pray with you. There is should a relief when we get it out and deal with something that is worrying us. Check out the Psalms in the Bible, in particular these Psalms: 34, 37, 40, 121. Stop and reflect on what these and other Scriptures teach us about God’s love and care for us.

3. Do what you can realistically about the problem. Sometimes, lack of true information drives our fears and make our perception of a problem much bigger than it actually is in reality. Get some good information and advice. This helps us in finding out what to do next, one step at a time.

4. When doubts and fears return, erase them quickly by again releasing them to God in prayer. As you do this, thank God for His power and presence. Pray for others, don’t rehearse your worries. Stay focus on what you can do today.

The Cross in the Tree

There are a lot of great and special places to hike and see in the mountains of East Tennessee such as Cade’s Cove, Mount LeConte , Clingmans Dome, Ramsey Cascades, the Cumberland Gap, Charles’s Bunion on the Appalachian Trail, Rainbow Falls, Andrews Bald, Grotto Falls, etc.. but one my favorites is a much smaller place. I found it with some friends while we were walking along a river where there is this very unique looking tree. Although the tree is very tall, you can see inside the trunk of it where the near by stream has washed away some the soil around it. To our amazement, it looked like a cross growing inside the base of the tree.

I was so impressed that I have written a little poem about it…

The Cross in the Tree

While walking through the woods of Tennessee,

Some friends and I saw an unusual tree.

As we got closer, we discovered it looked

Like a Cross in the Tree.

The tree was strong and very tall

But the Cross was in its foundation- beneath it all.

Nature’s reminder to base our lives on God’s

Amazing grace for you and me,

Just like the Cross in the tree.

The Bible mentions a tree planted by the water as a description of us, growing strong in our faith. “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or long periods of drought, their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit” ( Jeremiah 17: 7-8).

Another Interesting fact about this tree is that you don’t notice it walking up the trail, you see the cross in tree only when you stop and look back. That is true of our lives as well, when we look back over the path of our life, we can remember that God has been with us, and specific times He helped us in a special way.

Let’s not get so busy in our lives today that we don’t take time for Jesus. Let us make Jesus the foundation of our everyday life, just like …the cross in the tree.

When Fear and Faith show up at the same time

Recently, My wife and I enjoyed walking across the Gatlinburg Sky Bridge. The views of the mountains were spectacular. I am glad we overcame our fears and hesitations to experience it. Also, in life we all can experience times that are difficult and overwhelming. Doubts and fears can make it even more difficult to deal with during those times. As a Christian, we know that we need to trust God on a daily basis, but it is another thing to know how to actually do that. I don’t have all the answers, but here are some key thoughts that I have found helpful to keep in mind…

T…TAKING TIME throughout the day to TALK with God in prayer. This helps us to keep our focus on His perspective. It reminds us that He is with us, understands us, and can guide us in our thoughts and actions. You don’t have to close your eyes when you pray or pray out loud. Just pray silently to Him as yo go through your day.

R…RELEASE our doubts and fears into God’s hands, knowing that He is bigger than anything we face, and that He loves us more than anyone else.

Sometimes we make a monster in our mind, dwelling on what may or could happen. That is when we just need to stop in that negative thought process and acknowledge that and then give those doubts and fears to the Lord. C.S. Lewis made this powerful observation: “It is not load that breaks you down, It is the way you carry it.” Sometimes we try to do our part and God’s part too, but that does not work. We are limited, but God is not. We need to give our worries and cares to Him, as we are doing what we can about our problems and continue to trust in Him at the same time.

U… UNDERSTANDING that God is working, even when we can’t see it. We live in a world of instant gratification. Prayer is not a drive through window, where we place our order and get our request instantly. We don’t tell God what do and when to do it. The Bible teaches us that God’s understanding is greater than ours …“My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, says the Lord. And My ways are far beyond anything you can imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

S…SEEK God more than His answers. We can use this opportunity to grow in our relationship with God on a deeper level. When we talk to God in prayer, Praise Him for His faithfulness, grace, and mercy in your lie. Thank Him for all the things, even the little things He has and is blessing you with each day.

T…TIMING. Realize that God’s timing is not limited to our personal schedule or plans. Popular inspirational author, Sarah Young has a great perspective on this topic of God’s timing in our lives: “ So when you work in collaboration with the Lord, don’t set limits on what you expect to accomplish. He will give you what you need to keep moving forward step by step.You may not reach your goal as quickly as you like…but you will get there in God’s perfect timing. Refuse to be discouraged by delays or detours; instead, trust in the Lord…and just take the next step.”

Are You Holding Your Mouth Right?

It’s difficult to hold your mouth right when Barney Fife ( Sammy Sawyer) surprises you at a luncheon. This picture reminded me of helping my dad fix things around the house or at the laundry business he owned. He would say “You gotta hold your mouth right” when working on some equipment repairs or hammering a nail. When something went wrong, he would say “I guess I wasn’t holding my mouth right.” I always wondered how that helped or hindered something getting fixed. It doesn’t. It is an old funny saying that describes the feeling when attempting to do something that you are not sure of, but hoping that it still works.

In an other way, we really should hold our mouth right when talking with someone, Here are some thoughts about that…

“Never miss a good chance to shut up!” – Will Rogers

“I have often regretted my speech but never my silence.” -Publillius Syrus

“Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.” – Proverbs 13:3 (MSG)

We all need help in this important area of our lives. How can we get a grip on this tendency to speak too quickly? Here are some suggestions I have found very helpful as I continue to learn to “Hold My Mouth Right”…


A lot of regretful words and conversations can be prevented by taking time to gather our thoughts before saying something on impulse. Some conversations are best left “unfinished’, as no more really needs to be said…we should refrain from “always having the last word” in everything. When you can improve on silence…speak, if not…don’t.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” -Psalms 19:14 (NLT)

2. SPEAK with GRACE not with ANGER.

Raising your voice can make the situation even worse, it immediately turns off the other person and puts them in a more defensive mode. As a result, it only increases the tension. The Bible has some very clear wisdom on this…”A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” – Proverbs 15:1 (NLT). You can not control what another person says, but you can control your response.In fact, you are responsible for how you react.


Listen first. Don’t race ahead in your mind about what you think they are wanting to say…this can lead to wrong assumptions and misunderstanding.Some one has said; “The only exercise some people ever get is jumping to conclusions.” Get the facts, Ask them questions to clarify and find out more about their side of the situation. Every situation does not require a personal comment from you as they share with you.

4. ASK GOD to HELP you to GROW in this area of your relationships.

See this an opportunity to grow and mature in your faith. “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce righteousness that God desires.So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the Word that God has planted in your hearts.” – James 1: 19-21 (NLT) Let God and the power of His Word continue to encourage, equip, guide you in this important area of your life.