#99 Conquer the Fear – Trust God and Fulfill Your Dreams!

Available on Amazon

As you know, last year I wrote 2 books that are available on Amazon and scheduled to write another this year.  Starting a new book is far more complex than one would think. With each book, I found that getting in the flow is difficult. However, once that flow begins its like sailing happily downstream. I am dyslexic, so writing for me is a mixed bag. It’s both pleasurable and painful. I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give me ideas. It may take a little time and starts with a trickle, but then they flow through my brain like fast-flowing water in a river.

The problem is that I need to capture the ideas before they float out of sight. It’s capturing the ideas that are the hard part. Writing them down in some semblance of order is even more challenging. I have toyed with many ideas for my next book for months, but fear has prevented me from making a start. God supplies the ideas, then it’s my task to put them too good use. There’s no point in praying and receiving ideas and doing nothing about them, is there? 

Sometime ago I made a video for my YouTube channel ‘The Christian Lifestyle Channel’ about setting goals. In that video, I share how, as believers, we can tend to leave ‘everything up to God’ then we sit back and do nothing. In sitting back, we think we are being faithful and relying on God. However, we need to understand that Jesus taught us that we are co-workers with him. God, the Holy Spirit, supplies the ideas and the strength and understanding. We need to put all of that together into action. We need to start somewhere. If we don’t begin somewhere, we end up nowhere. 

I have a routine when I do morning pages. The ideas i from Julia Cameron who wrote ‘The Artist Way’. I read through the artist way for guidance and then i write my morning pages. This give me inspiration and semablec eof though helping me to over comes my fear of writing.

In the Artist Way, Julia points out that ‘God will take care of the quality if we supply the quality’.

This is a pulled idea from the Bible which teaches that we work together with Christ in this world to build his kingdom on earth. Sitting back on our laurels is not the luxury we have. If you are a kingdom builder- you need to do just that- BUILD!

When building a house the bricks, mortar and all the other materials and tools that are you needed must be available for you to use, otherwise you can not build the house. Tools are useless unless you use them. Often we take our un-used spiritual tools to polish them, admire them, and carefully put them back into our toolbox for another day. In the meantime, you are not building the kingdom, you are starting nowhere, and the reality is that if you continue, you will end up no-where ! 

Some people think it’s being ‘spiritual’ to wait on God- and to wait on God- and to wait on God (whew!) years pass, and they are still waiting on God! The only result is that we get thoroughly worn out in our waiting. We misinterpret what waiting is, and in all our waiting- we end up being redundant in the kingdom. 

I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to you about this. Don’t let fear dictate your goals, today, I began somewhere to plan my next book. I seriously began. I set up a particular process folder, outlined my chapters and researched different cover designs. Writing this post is giving me accountability because now I have shared this with you, I need to continue to move forward in the book writing process. Then I can continue to share with you what I am doing in my life authentically. 

I am in the last part of my life, and due to circumstances that I will share with you at another time, I had to reinvent myself. Part of the reinvention is becoming an author. I learnt a very long time ago that life is for living, not for just existing. Jesus promises us abundant life and calls us to build his kingdom, and it’s up to us to put it into action. So I encourage you, don’t let fear dictate what you will do and what you will not. Follow your dreams by overcoming you fear and trusting in the ONE who supplies all the tools you need.

I hope my sharing has been of help to you and I wonder, what will you do with your visions and dreams? Will you let them float forever in the forgotten realms in your head, or will you begin somewhere, will you begin now? Let me know where you are in achieving your Goals,

Until next time- Live Life on Purpose in Hope. Faith. Love

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Paula

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How mindfulness Empowers You to accept lifestyle changes – 3 simple ways to self soothe.

How are you feeling about making plans as the COVID restrictions ease? For me, I’ve got excited about catching up in real life with the people who I love. Trying to maintain relationships online just isn’t the same and sometimes can be detrimental. But once I began to book a few things into my diary, I started to feel a cloud of depression creeping in on me. My mind whirled- now I have to make yet another lifestyle change. Now I have to learn anew how to manage a new lifestyle with actual physical people in it, not just faces on a screen or a disembodied voice on the telephone. Like me, you might be meeting these challenges with a looming overwhelming feeling , and no one would blame you, especially for us who live alone and have been living a shut-in lifestyle for over the past year. It took months for me to adapt to my new ‘shut in’ lifestyle. Contemplating months of aloneness and possible loneliness shook me to the core. I fought back with tears, anger then eventually docile acceptance. If you are interested in reading about my experience of how the practice of mindfulness empowers You to accept lifestyle changes – Keep Reading!

I finally adapted very well to my new lifestyle and found various ways to keep myself productively busy and happy. However, now the prospect of getting back to ‘normal’ causes butterflies in my stomach and overwhelms my happiness. I am nervous about facing yet another lifestyle change!

In this post, I want to share how I use mindfulness to help me through the overwhelm that a lifestyle change can bring. I share with you how I use colouring to help me through the overwhelm that each day can bring. This is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living which features mindfulness. I am in process of writing it and will published and made available  to you later in the year – so keep a look out for that!

·       Self-soothing mindfully 

Lifestyle changes can cause a backlog of overwhelming tasks to face. We feel overwhelmed one, day carry it over to the next and then carry that over to the next day or week. Before long, we have a backlog and run into all kinds of complications. We aren’t robots; we need time and space to wind down; we need to be soothed regularly. Living alone has advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that I have no one to soothe me after a horrible day so I can relax. I have no one to soothe my brow, massage my shoulders or feet. There is no voice of comfort or encouragement to help me through a difficult situation. With living alone, we must learn how to do all of the above ourselves. Here are a few ways that I have found to soothe myself.

Face massager: I have a small handheld face massager that I run all over my face. It soothes a headache in my temples and feels amazing comforting as I slowly run it over my face. It has the added benefit of strengthening facial muscles and decreasing fine lines.

Hot wheat bag: I have Reynard’s disease and feel the cold bitterly. I put a wheat bag in the microwave for 3mins. When I am tired and strung out, I simply put my warm wheat bag on my shoulders, feet or hands- anywhere I need it to soothe my weariness away. 

Cool gel bag: you may be someone who prefers the ‘cool’ approach rather than warm If this is the case, a cold gel bag is a tool for you to soothe your weariness away. 

I do many other things to self soothe, which I will share with you in another post.

·       Mediation- a mindful practice

Mediation works wonders during a lifestyle change! With change comes challenges that threaten to overwhelm us. Just taking 10 mins alone in meditation gives you a breather and can help you refocus on what is ahead of you. Mediation can help you sort your priorities and help you to see your situation more clearly. When your mind is rested and renewed, so is your focus and intention. 

·       Slow down and become mindful.

You are not a robot, so stop expecting yourself to run infinitely on an automatic pilot. Throughout our day, we encounter many changes, some of them we create, but at other times circumstance or other people create change for us. This all has a bearing on the ‘style’ of our day. I tend to set far too many daily goals. I use my computer for everything I do, and I expect things to run smoothly. But the truth is that my workload rarely runs without a hitch. There are many times more than I would lie when my computer is low. The broadband network might be overloaded, and the downloads or uploads take forever. This ties my computer up, and all I can do is patiently wait. There are times when my computer has crashed for no apparent reason. I use Dragon text to speech as it helps with my dyslexia, and to my frustration, it often refuses to open. Then I must take time out to make a call to customer service. All this puts a spanner in the works taking me away from my precious work schedule. By the end of the day, I go to bed feeling defeated, not having addressed most of my tasks which must be laid over till the next day. I looked hard and long at this recurring problem and decided to approach it prayerfully but also mindfully.

How did I approach this mindfully? I began each new task far slower than usual. I intensely focused on the task at hand and tried to resist the temptation to multitask. I did my best not to call to mind all the other tasks waiting for me, so I could concentrate on what was at hand. When my computer decided not to play ball, being in the mindful mode, I felt an inner calm and dealt with it in peace rather than panic. Being mindful helps me to roll with the wanted and unwanted changes in the course of my day. Slowing down and being ‘mindful’ of each task helps me to be one with that task achieving far more in less time.

Allowing myself to approach my lifestyle changes mindfully brings healing like no other and the courage and strength to help me today. The Lord tells us to be strong and of good courage. And it seems to me that God leaves it to us to discover how to be a solid and courageous person. I have found that Practicing mindfulness enables me to achieve what I want to and also ‘be’ the person that I aspire to.

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Paula Rose Parish

Christ is calling you!

A minister, arriving at a new pastorate, was invited to join a civic club. Introducing him, the speaker facetiously said that they were electing him “chair of the board” for the club. The minister said, “Gentlemen, I appreciate the great honour that you have conferred on me. When I came to this community, I expected to be the shepherd of the flock. Our text from John reminds us that Jesus is not the Chairman of the Board, ‘ but is the Good Shepherd of the flock. I like that because shepherds take care of sheep. The shepherd:

o Leads the sheep,
o Provides food for them,
o Finds them safe lodging,
o Searches for them when they are lost,
o Tends their wounds when they are hurt,
o And protects them from wild animals.

People didn’t think very highly of shepherds in Jesus’ day.

o Shepherds sometimes allowed their sheep to graze on other people’s land.

o Shepherds were here today and gone tomorrow, moving from pasture to pasture. Sometimes they left town without paying their bills.

o Sometimes people found prized possessions missing after a shepherd had moved on.

o Shepherds lived lonely, isolated lives. They seldom developed much in the way of social graces.

o Shepherds were sometimes not allowed to appear as witnesses in court, because people didn’t trust them.

But Jesus called himself not any old shepherd, but “the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11). He was glad to identify with shepherds despite the shepherd’s humble status–or, perhaps, because of their humble status. Jesus had plenty of pride, but none of it was false. He could identify with shepherds because shepherds nurtured and protected their sheep. That is what Jesus came to do.

Jesus said that the shepherd “calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out” (v. 3). Day in and day out, Jesus calls us. A shepherd calls sheep that have wandered away so that they might return to his protection. Fanny Crosby captured the image well in her old gospel song….

Jesus is tenderly calling you home–
Calling today, calling today…
Jesus is pleading, O hear now his voice–
Hear him today, hear him today.

When Jesus calls us, he calls us by name. Our names are important because they identify us personally. A church bulletin board read, “Everybody welcome!” That sounds friendly, but the Good Shepherd doesn’t say, “Everybody welcome!” The Good Shepherd “calls his own sheep by name.” Jesus says, “Sam, follow me! Jack, follow me! Sharon, follow me! Sue, follow me! Carol, follow me!” He knows us personally and calls us by name.

Jesus not only calls us by name but also calls us to live extraordinary lives. Some years ago, a large oil company needed a public relations officer in the Far East. They needed someone familiar with the language and customs; they needed someone who knew the local people. In those days, not many Americans knew the Orient, but the company located an American missionary who seemed perfect. They offered him the job and named a salary several times his missionary pay. He turned them down. They increased the offer, but still, he declined. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Isn’t the salary big enough?” The missionary thought for a moment, and then responded, “The salary is big enough, but the job isn’t!”

When Christ calls us, he calls us to more than a large salary. He calls us to large lives.

Today, many seminarians are people in their 30s or 40s or even older. Many of them determined that their lives had been too small, so they answered Christ’s call to a larger life. Some have made great sacrifices to do so.

I visited London and worship in the church that had a guest preacher–a man from the congregation who had been recently ordained. Christ had called him to ministry, and he had quit his job to attend seminary. By the time I heard him preach, he had completed his studies and was preparing to take a church. He preached a good sermon and shared his story. The man had been a corporate lawyer , earning a six-figure salary. Six figures is a lot of money. Not many ministers make six figures–and this man had the potential to earn millions as a lawyer. But, at some point, he said, felt the call of God on his life. After much soul-searching, he quit his job and enrolled in seminary. Christ had called him from a generous salary to a great life and he is a blessing to those who benefit from his ministry. Christ doesn’t call all of us, to study for the ministry, but does call all of us, to the ministry of one sort or another. It is not important whether he calls us to things great or small, because God enlarges everything that he touches.

o God called a widow to put her last penny in the collection plate. Jesus pointed her out to his disciples and said that people would remember her for the rest of time.

o Christ called a boy to give five loaves and two fishes. When the boy obeyed, Jesus used the child’s lunch to feed five thousand people.

o Christ called a man to use his gift of hospitality. That man put two extra plates on his table every Sunday and invited two young people from a nearby school to share his Sunday dinner. He did this for many years, and in the process led many young people to Christ. When he died, the funeral home ran out of space, because so many people came to honour the man who had honoured Christ with an extra plate.

o Christ calls each of us to some sort of service. David McKenna, in his book, Love Your Work, tells of a tombstone in a village graveyard. The epitaph read…

Thomas Cobb mended shoes in this village for forty years to the glory of God!

Imagine that! If you needed a pair of shoes mended–or a car repaired–or a house built–or your plumbing unstopped–wouldn’t you like to meet a cobbler–or a mechanic–or a carpenter–or a plumber–whom Christ had called to practice their trade to the glory of God! I have known people like that. It’s a joy to work with them.

o Just think of the many acts of Christian service to which Christ calls people every week in this church. People prepare and serve communion, cook dinners for homeless people, sing in the choir, plant flowers, pay bills, pull weeds, clean toilets, attend meetings, type minutes of meetings, and a perform a host of other duties for the glory of God. (NOTE TO THE PREACHER: Tailor this list to fit your congregation.)

o Each of these small duties might seem inconsequential by itself but, woven together, they become a chorus of praise. Jakob Boehme put it this way. He said:

We are all strings, in the concert of God’s joy.

And so we are. Choir members know how important it is that each voice be precise in pitch and timing. One person’s hesitancy muddies the whole line. Each of us must answer Christ’s call as precisely as possible–to be in perfect harmony with his will. George Eliot wrote a poem about the great violinmaker, Antonio Stradivari. God had called Stradivari to craft fine instruments. Eliot put these words in his mouth……….

If my hand slacked I could rob God – God could not make Antonio Stradivari’s violins – without Antonio.

Jesus says that the shepherd “calls his own sheep by name.” He calls us, each of us, to use who we are and what we have to bring glory to his name. He calls us to obey him–to go where he calls–to follow him faithfully–even foolishly.

What has God called you to do for him? (NOTE: Tailor this list for your congregation.)

o Has he called you to serve as a deacon or an elder?
o Has he called you to serve on the church board?
o Has he called you to cook for a church dinner or for the homeless?
o Has he called you to keep the financial records or to fold the bulletins?
o Has he called you to teach a Sunday school class or to sponsor a youth group?

God calls each of us to some sort of Christian service. But first, he calls us to receive his transforming love into our lives and to love him in return. First, he calls us to let Him be Lord of our lives.

Today, Christ is calling you! He is calling you by name! He is calling you to love him and to serve him. Listen carefully! Listen prayerfully! And answer his call today.

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Live Life on Purpose in Hope. Faith. Love XX


Check it Out! I am editing my new book Psalm 23 Unwrapped which will be published on Amazon in December, ready to order for a Christmas gift. This book will be a wonderful lift to someone’s spirits, giving them hope in difficult times. Watch out for it in mid- December on Amazon.