Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good work.
‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:16-17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

It’s Friday and cold, but the sun is out.  Yesterday, Landon stayed and played all day.  He loves his new car so much, that he had a picnic in it.

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Last night we enjoyed an evening out to watch different local musical artists perform in the park.   Man, oh man!  We have some unbelievably talented folks here.  It was cold and rainy, but it was fun to bundle up and enjoy a night out.  This morning I’m fighting with a playful kitten.  I have toddler proofed my home.  He’s into everything.  This morning nine month old Dominic pulled the table runner off the table and my crystal candle holders were caught in flight.  I removed the table runner, then he was playing with the battery operated candles inside the crystal.  Now, he’s popping my fingers as I type.  Let’s just say that life is exciting with Dominic these days.

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Have you ever suffered from anxiety?  I hear many people say that they suffer from social anxiety.  I would dare to guess that most, if not all, of us have experienced some anxiety from time to time.  Has anxiety ever stopped you in your tracks?  What I’m talking about is a physiological reaction.  The type of reaction where maybe you feel like you’re having a heart attack?  Another type of reaction might be to sweat profusely?  Sometimes my eyes water, my body shakes and I can’t speak for choking on my saliva.  Has this ever happened to you?  What about in public?  I’ve been told that the more you do whatever it is that’s causing the reaction, the less the reaction will occur.  I don’t think so.  I think one of the tricks is to have a good reaction and remember it.  Years ago, I read one of Tony Robbins books and learned this.  Actually, I’ve read nearly all, if not all, of his books.  He teaches and is the co-founder of Neurolinguistic Programming.  I’m not going to try to explain it, because the best thing for you to do is read his books.  After studying his books, I tried to find successful moments, no matter how small, and remember them.  Believe me, when I say they were very small at first.

One thing that brought on severe anxiety for me was public speaking.  I had done it for years, and it didn’t get better.  Just speaking to one person sometimes brought on an attack. Embarrassing public situations just made it worse.  All I could do, was think “what if this happens” and “what if that happens”.  My mind raced through scenarios.  So, what I did was catch myself in a public situation that I was not too anxious in, and I pinched my hand hard.  Then, whenever I had to speak again, instead of thinking of failure, I pinched my hand and tried to remember each little success.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t let my mind think about any of the “what if’s”.  I just tried to focus on each little success.  This did work, but it took years and I never felt completely comfortable in social situations.  Of course, I didn’t have personal training with Tony Robbins.  That would have been awesome.  I was able to be president of a local civic club without too much trouble.

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Then, I took piano.  Part of playing piano is making mistakes in front someone who is watching you play.  Yikes!  All I had to do was think about someone listening to me, and the whole song was a flop!  I could know every note and not get one right.  Fortunately, I had a very understanding teacher.  I took lessons for four years.  I never mastered piano, but I became a little less anxious about public performance.

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Whenever I was called into the ministry, I thought well, surely God just wants me to write or work behind the scenes, because I have this anxiety problem.  Then, when I was asked to teach Sunday School, I wasn’t sure if I could do it.  Yet, how could I tell God no?  So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a chance.  I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t have some anxiety from time-to-time, but when I’m doing God’s work, I’m 99% better.  Some people have told me that they can’t believe I was ever timid at all.  Isn’t that great!

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I guess you are wondering why I’m telling you this.  I know people who have let anxiety rule them.  It’s really sad.  The more you give anxiety control over your life, the more it will take control.  Please don’t do that.  Second Thessalonians 2:16-17 tells us to “[c]omfort  your hearts, and establish you in every good work”.  God wants us to step out of our comfort zones and do his work.  He wants us to be happy and enjoy life.  Some people need to seek professional help.  However, if you will listen and do God’s work, I think you’ll find a great deal of the anxiety will disappear.

Today, I ask you to step outside your comfort zone and take a chance on spreading God’s love to others.  God bless you.

For more information about Tony Robbins visit www.tonyrobbins.com.

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