Facing Your Fears Blog

Okay good morning folks, you may be asking what’s new?  Well a lot is happening in the Nicely household.  Besides building a new satellite church in Florida -out of our home church in Ohio, I am helping my youngest son Jacob start a fishing charter business and writing new books every month soon to be released. I thought you were supposed to slow down when you turned 60.  In fact, I told God that one day and he told me, ” I didn’t really use Abraham until he was 65 and Moses when he was 80.”  So enough about me and my complaints.  What about you and your fears? Today I want to talk about pain or the fear of it.  I hope you are encouraged if you are going through pain today. keep checking back every week for a new post on a new fear.

               1... OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF PAIN

Pain is the motivator for change, that pleasure never will be.  Us being the humans that we are never understand God’s divine plan.  Sometimes we are confused as to why he would allow suffering to come upon our lives.  This little illustration from the animal kingdom teaches us human beings, the value of pain in our lives.  When a mother giraffe gives birth to its baby it drops the infant calf from about five feet off the ground.  Talk about mishandling a child. To say the least the calf a little shaken up from the fall, but quickly spins and puts its legs up under its body.  The mother quickly positions her body over the calf and then does an unspeakable thing to her infant.  She lowers her head and swings her long-outstretched leg backwards and kicks her infant calf head over heels. If the baby fails to get up, she then goes over and repeats to process until the calf finally arises to its feet.  When the calf finally does get up, she does another despicable deed to her child.  She goes over and knocks it off its feet.  Now you may be asking yourself, why would a mother giraffe do this to her vulnerable child?  You see folks in the wilds of Africa, which is home to most giraffes, a baby giraffe has many natural enemies. Leopards, hyena’s and of course lions all enjoy feasting on young giraffes if they can.  In fact, these predators are all attracted to the smell of the afterbirth.  The mother knows if she doesn’t get her calf up on its feet and running soon after birth it will surely be eaten for dinner. With all this in mind, you can see how God has used the painful experiences in your past to protect you in your future.  Folks it’s as simple as this when life throws a blow at you and knocks you down, get up and keep going.  It is God who is helping you get up, so you can use this experience to better serve him.  Remember if the pain isn’t real, the ability to help others through their problems will not be possible.

Overcoming Verse: He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.   Psalms

2 Overcoming Personal Guilt

Good morning again folks, Today is another bright and sunny day here in paradise.  This morning I was wondering how many people are suffering from guilt of the past.  What I mean is have you ever did something that you wish you would have never done?  Maybe you burned a bridge with a friend over something that you don’t even remember what it was about.  Maybe you said something to a family member when you were mad that you didn’t’ mean and you wish you could take those words back.  The problem is you can’t and now you feel so guilty you can’t ever work up the courage to apologize to them. 

I used to play a little game with the kids in kids church where I would give each one a tube of toothpaste and a paper plate.  I would tell the kids that we are going to race and this contest has two parts so let’s do the first part now, and that is to squeeze every bit of toothpaste out of the tube.  They would go at it and squeeze as hard as they could and fill the plate with toothpaste.   Then I would tell them the second part is to put all the toothpaste back in the tube.  You should have seen the kids trying to put that toothpaste back in the tube.  Finally, after a few futile minutes they would look at me and tell me it was impossible to put it back in the tube and I would look at the kids a say: “Your right kids and so is it with words we let come out of our mouth.  We must be so careful not to say things that hurt people that you can’t take back.”

                           OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF GUILT

Now let’s talk about how guilt works in our life. You see your mind is like a television set on a certain channel.  You’re watching the channel of faith, belief, and repentance when Satan stops by just to change the channel on you.   “Don’t watch that channel”, Satan says.  “Watch this one right here, it promotes lack, unbelief, and doubt.”  So, you may be asking yourself, what is the channel?  It’s the channel of the past.  It’s the channel where Satan keeps playing reruns in your mind.  All your short comings, failures, and disappointments are played back in your head over and over again.  Soon you feel guilty, and condemned. 

Neurologists tell us that the brain controls the central nervous system.  If you have an anxious thought, immediately you feel your heart beating faster and faster.  Adrenalin begins to pour into your body, increasing your endurance and muscular strength.  God put adrenaline in each of us to help us face adversity.  You’ve probably heard stories of mothers lifting cars off their children trapped underneath, or farmers lifting tractors off farm hands that were caught beneath.  Superhuman, impossible feats done in the face of danger.  The problem with Adrenalin is that when guilt and condemnation pound at you day in and day out, it’s like pouring a bucket of Adrenalin into your body.  If this is repeated frequently enough, your nervous system gets all messed up. Soon you feel as though you are so low you will have to look up to a snake’s belly.  Soon you begin to believe you are worthless, and of no use to anyone.  You receive a constant high, and let down until even performing normal functions in life are difficult.  This is why it is so important to search your heart every night before going to sleep. Allow the Holy Spirit to tell you if there is something you need to repent of, before the devil tries to beat you down with it.  If you have something that needs repented of, just repent, get cleansed, and move on.  It’s time to walk free of guilt and condemnation in the name of Jesus

(This section was taken from my award winning book “A Year Without Fear”‘)

Overcoming Verse: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.     Romans 8:1

3…..Overcoming the Fear of Worry

Believe me, I understand what the bondage of worry is all about.  I come from a long line of worry warts.  Especially my grandmother on my father’s side.  Mama we called her.  She was so held captive by the spirit of worry that she would worry that there was nothing to worry about.  I remember one time my wife Susie and I wanted to get her to spend a couple days with us.  You see she never left her house for fear of people. She agreed to it and it amazed me and I thought maybe we could mend some fences that had been erected against us when I was a teenager and she didn’t want anything to do with me and my hippy friends. 

So here we are driving down the interstate highway in the right lane 35 miles an hour because she won’t let me go the speed limit of 55. Every time a car passes me, she winces and jumps in the seat in fear. “Oh, Donnie Lee, her little pet name for me, they almost hit us” she would say. I said; “Mama just hold on, there not going to hit us.”  It was only about 50 miles from her house where I was living, and let me tell you that was the longest 50 miles I’ve ever drove. And I’ve drove back and forth across the United States on multiple occasions from California to Ohio.

She stayed one day with us but she couldn’t take it anymore and I had to take her home so she could get back in her room. So, believe me when I say I understand what it means to be fearful and to be around fearful people I do know what it means. She was worried that the food we were eating was going to be poisonous, the water we were drinking was going to not be pure, the cars were gonna hit us while we were driving on a highway. She was just worried about everything the whole trip. So, I know about worry, now look at this incredible true story taken out of history and I hope it helps you if you’re in a situation where you’re fighting the spirit of worry. By Being an overcomer today.

Overcoming the FEAR OF WORRY

Next to age. Worry is the leading producer of our gray hairs.  Some people have such a problem with worry, that they worry they won’t have anything to worry about.  So as people of God how should we handle worry? Try to handle it the way this little British grandmother did at the time of world war II. 

At the height of the London bombing blitz, no matter how much the lady’s son would plead with her she wouldn’t leave her flat in the big city.  She felt it was her duty to help the wounded, and the helpless, and that duty was more important to her than her own safety.  Week after week her son would visit her in the city and try to get his mom to move to the suburbs with him to be safe from the almost daily bombing.  Each time she would simply point to a small sign on the wall which read, Don’t Worry! It May Never Happen.  Well much her surprise one day it did happen.  Her apartment complex was struck with a bomb.  Two – thirds of the building was completely destroyed.  As soon as the son heard the news, without regards for his own safety, he frantically rushed to his moms flat.  When he arrived, he found his mom sitting in her favorite rocker, singing her favorite hymn.  In exasperation, her son shouted at her; “Do you still trust your stupid little sign now?”  “Oh, my goodness” cried the grandmother, as she rushed to turn the sign around.  When she turned the sign around it read, Don’t Worry You Can Take It.  It truly is a documented fact that 99 percent of what people worry about will never happen to them.  So, don’t let the spirit of worry take your life captive.

Overcomer Verse: Now the just shall live by faith; Hebrew 10:38a

5 Facing the Fear of Suffering

Good morning folks I’m getting ready to take the shutters off the house so I can wash our house down this week, but I thought I’d sit down first and write a short note to you to help someone in their pain today.  Today’s topic is the topic of suffering.  Why is it we somehow think that if we are “born again” or “saved” as some people say we will not have to suffer?  I don’t understand, I suffered before I came to Christ so it just seems normal to me that I will suffer after I came to know God. It’s just now I have someone to help me and hold my hand thorough the sufferings that I must face in everyday life.  Believe me I am no stranger to suffering as a Christian.  I remember the hardest thing I would ever face in my life was when God told me he was taking my two daughters away from me.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I was up behind a shed alone praying and God said; “son you’ve gave them to me and I’m going to take them from this place, but I will keep my hand on them.”  I knew what that meant.  It meant that I would not get to raise those two girls but instead they would be raised by their mother on whom I was never married to.  So, in the coming months just as God had said their mother left with them in the middle of the night and I would not see the girls again until after they were grown.  So, friends believe me when I tell you I know what it means to suffer.  To this day I still don’t really have a relationship with those two girls who I love very much, but I know that God is holding them in the palm of his hand as he promised me.  I pray that this little story about suffering will help you should you be suffering today.

    FEAR OF SUFFERING

The story is told of a British minister named, W. E. Sangster, who one day noticed a soreness in his throat, and a numbing feeling in his leg.  When he finally took the time to go to the doctor, he was diagnosed with an incurable disease that caused progressive muscular atrophy.  The doctor told him that his muscles would eventually waste away, and his throat would become so weak that he wouldn’t be able to swallow.  Even his precious voice that he used to make his living with as a preacher would soon fail and disappear.  What would you do in this situation if you got that scenario from your doctor?

It’s like my younger brother Ricky at age 35 went to the doctor with a stomach ache and they told him he had terminal pancreatic cancer and would be dead within the year.  He died thirteen months later.  

Well Sangster threw himself into his work with abandonment.  Realizing that every day was precious, he came to the conclusion that this illness was a gift from God.  He concluded, that he would have more time for prayer, and he would be able to write like never before.  So, one day in a moment of prayer, he pleaded,” Let me stay in the struggle Lord, I don’t need to be a general, just give me a regiment to lead.”

Soon his legs gave out completely, and his voice faded in the distance, but God answered his prayer.  He wrote countless articles and books, and helped England organize her first prayer cells.  When people were tempted to pity him, he would simply say, “No don’t I’m only in the Kindergarten of suffering compared to my Lord Jesus.”

So many of us are so tempted to expect nothing more than a pie in the sky existence.  Did not our Lord learn obedience by the things he suffered?  Did not the apostle Paul, on the night of his call to ministry learn the things he must suffer?  Why then do we find it so hard to accept the fact that this suffering we may be experiencing could be the will of God for life.  Should not our prayer be in times of trouble, “God give me more grace to endure.”

Overcoming Verse: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Peter 5:10

6 Overcoming the Fear of Criticism

I’ve been writing and reading all day in my office with only taking a break to get the trash cans to the road and going back to pick them up when the garbage man was through with them.  When Susie got home from work, I asked her if she would like to go down to the pool and relax for a little while.  There’s nothing like getting in warm pool water to relax you and get your mind off things.  But it didn’t work for me.  As we were swimming around in the pool my mind was still in write mode and I was telling her about some information that I had learned that day from my readings.  Friends I’m sitting down in front of the TV at 9:42 pm still writing this post.  I just can’t get my mind off it today; there must have a bestseller coming.  Now today’s fear is criticism.  It’s amazing how little people are being prepared today to accept criticism.  Unfortunately, young adults are given safe places to go and hide if they are criticized or challenged in any way.  Friends criticism is a daily foe that we ail must face, because no matter how careful or friendly we are, people are just not going to like us or our work and criticize us, so let’s put our big boy pants on and stand against the enemy of criticism.

               FEAR OF CRITICISM

I think the best illustration of someone criticizing someone else’s work, can be found in the story of Nehemiah.  For sure there are plenty of people out there who don’t want to do work, but instead they sit and wait for someone to step up who will, just so they can criticize them.  Listen to these words recorded in Nehemiah 4:3 concerning the quality of the walls being rebuilt in Jerusalem.  Now Tobiah the Amorite was by him, and he said, “If even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their wall.”  Wow! What striking words of encouragement.  Go ahead Nehemiah, build your wall, but it won’t even stand the weight of a fox.  Does this not sound like so many people in our society today?  They have no solutions to the woes of our land, but they are quick to criticize someone who tries. 

So, what was Nehemiah’s response to these words of criticism?  First, he prayed a quick fifty-four-word prayer. Asking God to take care of these enemies of his will.  Then in verse 6 it says, “so built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof; for the people had a mind to work.”  Nehemiah asked God to come on board ,and watch his back while the people who had a mind to work finished the project. 

Never give up your dreams and accomplishments in life, because someone who is too narrow minded to dream with you.  I’m reminded of the words of the famous Finish composer Jean Sibelis, as she consoled a young musician who had just been cut to pieces by critics after a performance, “Remember, son, there is no city in the world where they have erected a statue to a critic.”

Overcoming Verse: Speak not evil one to another, brethren ;   James 4:11a

7 Face the Fear of Panic Pt 1

Have you ever had a fear sneak up on you and grab you? Let me just tell you straightforward that I am the kind of guy that really doesn’t fear anything. After all used to be a nose tackle on defense and football. My whole life was wrapped around grit and pulling up my bootstraps and going on when I get knocked down. And let me tell you I was knocked down a lot as a young man. Now there are some things that I knew on the backside that I should be doing, but I wasn’t doing for fear of the future. See I remember God telling me to resign my church as pastor and move to another town and begin to work for him there. He didn’t tell me if I should quit my job or not quit my job. It just so happened the town I was moving too had a plant that I could transfer to. So, to make a long story short I didn’t quit my job but I instead transferred to the other plant. And that’s where all my troubles began. So, let me relay the story to you of what I call the fear of panic attacks part one.

FEAR OF PANIC ATTACKS

       Part one

In 2002 after finishing a seven-year term as pastor of a church in a small town in Ohio, God revealed to us it was time to move on.  Our ministry could better serve his plans for us if we would move to a location which was two hours from our current location. The church we had been serving in was a small church unable to pay a full salary to its pastor.  I worked full time in a Fortune 500 company the entire seven-year pastorate.  Since I was making about twenty-five dollars an hour, I didn’t want to just quit my job. My company had a branch company near our new residence, so I transferred by inter-departmental transfer to keep my almost eight years seniority.  That was the beginning of my nightmare. 

The previous owners of the house we bought wouldn’t move out of our new house, so we spent two weeks living half way between our new address and old one, in a one room motel.  When we finally did get to move all our stuff was in storage buildings.  The van we paid one thousand dollars for to move with broke down on the first load and had to be towed.  I stepped on a nail, and had to stop moving to go get a tetanus shot.  My back felt like it was going to give out emptying those buildings.  My new job put me on the graveyard shift and reduced my salary by $8.00 an hour.  Our new home came with new expenses.  Our utilities went up about 150 %.,. Our insurance rose several hundred dollars, and to make a long story short, everything was more expensive at our new address.  And that’s tough to take with a cut in pay of about 30%.  The new job wasn’t working out, and the new ministry brought its own frustrations.  Our new house demanded, much needed immediate attention.  All these things placed me in a position I’ve never experienced before. A position of absolute panic.  Before work every night, I would feel a very real pain in my chest.  The pain was extreme pressure that made my heart feel like it was going to explode.  My breathing would get fast, my mouth would get so dry, and my mind would get this deep sense of dread. My wife who is a nurse, would say; “Don your having panic attacks,” “No way was my response, I’m not afraid of anything.”

Finally, one night, while I was at work, I leaned over my workstation in despair, and asked God; “what am I going to do now?”  Instantly He broke in, and spoke to my heart one phrase that changed the whole course of my personal storm.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  As if almost immediately all my panic left, and my whole attitude change with the situation.  Just knowing that God is in charge of your life can remove all fear, and panic.

Overcoming Verse: Be still and know that I am God; Psalms 46:10a

8 Facing the Fear of Panic II

So, what did you think of my story about facing panic attacks? What I didn’t tell you was that just a few months later after all this took place. I did quit my nighttime job and went into full-time evangelism work in children’s ministry. You see I had already been working in three different churches and since I resigned my pastorate. I was working for these churches and they were pretty much just giving me gas money. The company I worked for laid me off for the summer which to me was great. And when they called me back to work, they told me I had to work this crazy shift from like 7 at night to 5 in morning. I told them that I can’t work that shift, but I had work 11 to 7 because I was working in different churches in the evenings. They told me I couldn’t work 11 to 7 so I looked at my wife and I said; “honey what am I going to do they want me to work this crazy shift and I have to quit the churches.” She looked to me and she said: “Don you never really let the ministry a be neglected for work before.” So, I told the lady on the phone I guess I’ll have to quit. The lady says you’re going to quit a Longaberger job. I said: “yeah”, so I told the pastors that I’d quit my full-time job and each of them began paying me a salary that was more money than I was making from the full-time Longerburger job. God had it all planned and all figured out and I just wouldn’t listen. I don’t think I could let you go without discussing just what is panic and what is a panic attack. So that’s the subject today of this blog overcoming panic attacks. I pray that this helps you and don’t forget if you should have any questions just email me at

www.donnicelybooks@yahoo.com

FEAR OF PANIC ATTACKS

                                                       Part two

So just what is a panic attack?  I think it’s easier to tell what something is, by defining what something is not.  A panic attack is not a bad day.  It is not a feeling of being depressed.  It is not a bad mental attitude, that can be changed by confessing or reading scripture.  It is a very real, dark, horrible fear.  The best way I can describe it, is to have pure, unadulterated terror about the life.  You don’t exactly know what you’re afraid of, or what is happening to you.  All you know is that your terrified about something. 

Symptoms of a panic attack include a dryness of mouth, heart palpitations, increase in heart rate, nausea, diarrhea, chills, hot flashes, trembling, etc.  Most of these symptoms by themselves are nothing, but when they are connected to panic, you think you are dying.  Confusion sets into your thoughts, and you begin to have difficulty controlling them.  You begin to anticipate every moment of your day with harsh feelings and dread. 

So how do you get out of the panic trap?  First begin to breathe deeply when you feel the attack coming on.  Slowly breath in the power of the Holy Spirit, and breath out the problems and worry.  Try to control your thoughts by lying still and relaxing your body.  You may need to take medication according to your doctor’s prescription to accomplish this task.  Try to control your thoughts by focusing on the Lord.  Begin to think thoughts like everything is going to be OK. Everything is going to be fine.  Everything is going to be alright.  Try to forget about your problems, and cast your cares on him.

Overcoming Verse: Casting your cares upon him; for HE careth for you.  I Peter 5:7

Blog  Facing the Fear of Depression

Just finished a two-week vacation to the Northwest and Alaska.  It was so refreshing to get away and enjoy life a little.  God has blessed us with the ability to do this and I never want to take it for granted.  I remember when we couldn’t go on vacation.  In fact, we couldn’t even afford to go out to eat.  For us going out to eat was a bologna sandwich and chips in the backyard.  But that never stopped us from enjoying life.  Once a month we would save $50.00 and go to a motel for the night, which was about $29.00 in those days and use the rest to eat out somewhere.  We knew that if we didn’t work on our marriage now there would be no marriage when the kids grew up and left.  Instead of sitting around in depression complaining about what we didn’t have we used what we did have to enjoy life.  Friends enjoy today for you are not promised tomorrow.  I hope you enjoy this post today about defeating depression.

In the first quarter of 2018, the National Helpline received an average of 68,683 calls per month. This is an increase from 2017, with an average monthly call volume of 67,949 or 815,390 total calls for the year.  So, friend I’m here to tell you today that people have a problem with this fear. 

What Is Depression?

Being depressed often feels like carrying around a very heavy burden around your neck, but remember friend you are not alone in this struggle. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of depression every year, making it one of the most common mental disorders in our country. So, gaining a deeper understanding of depression can help begin the journey to recover. Taking some time to learn more about the causes and symptoms of depression will assist you greatly when it comes time to consider methods of treatment.  Depression is more than just feeling sad my friend. Everyone feels upset or unmotivated from time to time, but depression is more serious. It is a mood disorder characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and loss of interest in daily activities. If these symptoms persist for a period of at least two weeks, it is considered a depressive episode.  I pray this little post today can give you some assistance from this dreaded fear.

FEAR OF DEPRESSION

Depression is an emotional expression that can come on any of us at any time.  In fact, as I’ve already stated, according to one survey done by the National Institute of Mental Health, at any one given time one-third of the American population can be suffering from depression.  History records great men such as Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, suffered great periods of depression.  Even though these men were great leader’s depression would creep into their lives very slowly. Even the bible gives us a glimpse of notable faithful characters that suffered from this deadly foe.  Micah lost confidence in people altogether and said; “trust not in a friend.” Elijah the man who outran horses, killed hundreds of false prophets in one event, and called fire down from heaven to consume his enemies laid under a Juniper tree and asked God to take his life.  Solomon the richest man who ever lived got to the point where he hated life.  And of course, David his father got to the place in his life where he lost faith in God, and said; “I will surely die at the hands of Saul.”  Depression is a powerful emotion that can catch the best of us.  So, what is a person to do when depression knocks on our mind’s door? 

First recognize that depression is not some stage you’re going through.  Don’t treat it too lightly, it’s responsible for countless of broken homes, physical body breakdowns, and suicides each year. 

Next search for a cause, ask yourself why am I feeling so depressed?  Do I have some unconfessed sin in my life?  Have I been too greedy for gain that caused too much debt in my life?  Do I have unrealistic expectations about the future of my life? 

Have I taken some criticism by my piers too personally?  Am I being too impatient about things?  Do I have an unforgiving attitude toward someone?  Or am I just too tired from working so hard?  All these reasons plus of course a medical imbalance could be the cause for your depression. 

Whatever you do take immediate action my friend, and plan for a personal victory.  Always remember that you can begin to step out of depression now, and enter into a life filled with joy and peace.  And never forget to ALWAYS take time to relax and refresh yourself.

Overcoming Verse: Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.                Proverbs 16:24

If you have any questions just email me and I’ll try to get back with you as soon as possible. www.donnicelybooks@yahoo.com