Tag Archives: Grace Fox

Can I do it Afraid? – Hope Stream Radio Podcast

Can I do it Afraid? – HopeStreamRadio Podcast

This week on Hope Stream Radio I talk about what I learned from Peter’s Denial. Can I do it afraid?

Can I do it afraid?

By Rembrandt – Unknown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=157798

On Tuesdays you can hear my podcast on Hope Stream Radio. Then anytime you want to listen you can visit my page on HopeStreamRadio. 

My emphasis

Here are the show notes for this week’s program, Can I do it afraid? for those who would rather read than listen.

As I continued to study Mark for my Lenten study I read about Peter.

Peter reminds me of me. I get passionate and sometimes jump in where I shouldn’t. But I think passion is important. We need to find the heart beat of the purpose for our lives.

Michael Hyatt in his book Living Forward talks about the dangers of drift. (click here to tweet)

Life plan - Living Forward

If we keep living day to day without a passion we are drifting. I need something to be passionate about.

Peter was passionate about his relationship with Jesus. He vowed never to forsake Him

Mark 14:29 Peter says:

Even if all fall away, I will not.

And Mark 14:31 he says:

Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.

These are strong words, full of passion.

Then the events unfold and Jesus is arrested. The tables are turned. Reality has happened.

Peter denies knowing Jesus.

In Mark 15:71 Peter makes his 3rd final declaration.

I don’t know this man you are talking about.

Then the cock crowed for the second time.

And Peter remembered the words that Jesus had spoken:

Before the cock crows twice you will disown me three times.

Can I do it afraid?

Watercolour Painting by Janis Cox

As I studied this passage, I kept asking about my following Jesus.

Are there times I hear Him say to do something and I deny Him? (click here to tweet)

Yes

I say: “Oh Jesus doesn’t really want me to do that.”

Or “I can’t do that – I don’t have the skills.”

Or “I’m too old.”

Denial is fear.

Now when I hear His voice and I am faced with a decision I ask myself. What is the fear? Can I name it? What is the worst thing that will happen? Can I trust God to help me through?

Podcasting has been a brand new experience for me. This is podcast 52 – a whole year of audio production.

Was I fearful? Oh yes. Did I want to turn away? Yes a number of times.

But my passion was stronger than my fear. So I said, “Can I do it afraid?” (click to tweet this)

When I volunteered to lead a vacation Bible camp at our church I didn’t feel qualified. Did that stop me? No because I had a passion for the children to learn about Jesus. This summer will be my 6th or 7th summer running the camp. Every year, as I pray I wonder, am I getting too old for this. Every year, I do it afraid.

Peter may have denied Jesus but after the Lord’s resurrection Peter became a powerhouse for Him. He broke through his fear and trusted God. He was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Are there things that God has put on your heart but you have held off doing them because of fear?

Grace Fox has written a wonderful book called Moving From Fear to Freedom. She helps the reader see that we can do things afraid when we trust God.

Can I do it afraid

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, we want to be passionate in our following of You. Sometimes we hear Your call but are fearful. Help us to push past that fear and press on to do what You have called us to do, even if we do it afraid. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, as you read His Word and hear His voice, listen to His call on your life. Don’t be afraid. Or even if you are afraid – do what He calls you to do.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s post – another chance to win a book. This one is called Milk Eggs Prophecy by Debbie Kitterman.

DOWNLOAD 2 FREE BOOKS – LIVING LIFE ONE WORD AT A TIME and 5 WAYS GOD CAN CHANGE YOU.

Living-Life-CoverWeb5 Ways God Changed Me

How Can Going on a Mission Trip Change You?

How Can Going on a Mission Trip Change You?

Beautiful friends in Poland

In 2007 I read an email from Grace Fox about a mission trip to Poland – an evangelical camp to teach English. I had met Grace at The Word Guild’s Write!Canada conference and felt comfortable travelling with her.

I thought I was to go and teach adults, English. God had others plans. A few months before we were to travel to Poland, Gene Fox, the president of IM called and asked me to consider working with the children instead of the adults.

I am a retired public school teacher so that didn’t bother me. However, I felt confused and had to pray about it before I said, yes. And I did say yes. And have gone on 3 other mission trips since (once teaching the adults).

Last week I posted my thoughts from 2010 about my time on a mission to Poland.

I believe I learned 4 important things during my time in Poland:

1. Always trust in God. There were many times we thought something would be impossible – but God showed us that was not the case.

2. Pray with your team, especially when you feel threatened or angry. God can smooth the waters through prayer.

3. Watch what God does around you – and go where He is working. I had to learn not to fret about myself and my feelings but look at all the miraculous ways He works in others.

4. Don’t worry about sleep – you might not get your quota for the days at camp. But God knows how much you need and He will see that you have time and strength to continue to do His will.

4 Ways a Mission trip Changed my LIfe

I learned much more than that but those were the important things that I feel changed me in my time there. These have carried over into my life back in North America.

Have you been on a mission before? What did you learn?

If you want to join this mission trip, please see the Facebook note below and follow the links to learn more about the camps.

www.im-canada.ca/family-camps
download an application: www.im-canada.ca/pub/IndTeam.pdf
request an application by mail: www.im-canada.ca/short-termers/apprequest

Tweetable:

Have you been on a mission before? What did you learn? (tweet this)

How can going on a mission trip change you? 4 ways it changed my life. (tweet this)

How We Continue to Learn About Prayer

How We Continue to Learn About Prayer

by Grace Fox (reprinted with permission)

As I write this, I’m riding in the backseat of a nine-passenger van between Timisoara (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary). Fields of corn, wheat, and sunflowers border the road. A cloudless sky and a gentle breeze go with us.

Music fills the van. One song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” brings tears to my eyes. I’ve known these lyrics for my lifetime, but the depth of their meaning has become clear to me only in the recent past.

I’m especially comforted by knowing
Christ invites us to bring every concern to Him in prayer. (tweet this)

If I were to sum up what I’ve learned on this year’s ministry trip so far, it would be to get more serious about prayer. Several weeks ago, I asked God to teach me to pray more effectively, and He’s been bringing mini-lessons to me ever since.

The most recent mini-lesson came on the last day of our camp.

Continue to read the entire post at A Lesson About Prayer Learned at Camp.

Here is Loretta Lynn singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY – Afraid

Five Minute Friday – Afraid

Linking in with Lisa Jo to write for  5 minutes only. See the bottom of the post if you want to join.

Five Minute Friday – Afraid

Afraid

In the past, before I came to really experience God through Jesus, FEAR was a major factor in my life. I feared for my family, for my health, and safety while driving. Fear held me and made me a controlling person. I felt if I could hold everything together then all would be okay.

But I found out that Christ holds everything together.

“He [Christ] is before all things,and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17, NIV).

And I found out Satan likes to make me fearful to rob me of the joy of my day. With Jesus I know that He will always be with me. Continue reading

ATTENTION ALL MINISTRY LEADERS

Attention All Ministry Leaders

Opportunity to win Grace Fox’s DVD and Bible Study – From Fear to Freedom. Visit A Better Way and leave a comment for your chance to win this valuable resource. More information can be found on A Better Way but some is reprinted below. For the month of August I will be taking names in the comments’ section of A Better Way – for all the rules please visit A Better Way.

Q: Describe this resource and how participants can receive the greatest benefit from it.

A: It’s a seven-week study filled with biblical teaching and personal anecdotes. Each session begins by viewing a 25-30 minute teaching video. When the video ends, participants follow suggested Table Talk questions for about 15 minutes. Then they do the Bible study questions together. Each participant uses her own guide book so she can take notes and write answers. Facilitator’s notes are included. The study covers these topics:

  • an overview of fear
  • fear for our loved ones’ well-being
  • fear of personal inadequacy
  • fear of rejection
  • fear of facing the ghosts of our past
  • fear of the storms of life
  • fear of an unknown future

This study is designed to be user-friendly. Several friends can use it in a private home setting as easily as a large women’s ministry can use it.

MOVING FROM FEAR TO FREEDOM – give-a-way

This month I am giving away a free copy of this ministry resource from Grace Fox. See the information at the bottom of this post.

Moving from Fear to Freedom:

A Woman-to-Woman Conversation

Has fear kept you awake at night?  Has it hindered you from saying yes to a new opportunity? Has it caused you to make impulsive choices you later regretted? If so, you’re not alone!

Fear is a big deal for many women. If left unchecked, it can prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. So, what’s the answer? How can we move beyond fear into freedom?

Grace Fox, Canadian author of four books including Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation,  shares the answers in her newly released DVD and Bible study guide titled Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation.

Q: Fear seems to be an ever-present theme throughout the Bible. Describe the difference between healthy and unhealthy fear.

A: Healthy fear steers us toward wise decisions and actions. It promotes self-preservation. For example, we look both ways before crossing the street for fear of getting hit by a car. In contrast, unhealthy fear hinders our ability to fully embrace life because it consumes us with negative thinking and what-ifs. The effects can literally make us sick.  

Q: How does destructive fear stunt our emotional or spiritual growth?

A: Destructive fear—the fear of rejection, for instance—might keep us from admitting to someone that we’ve been physically or sexually abused. Without receiving the help we need to deal with those issues, we never experience freedom. Our struggles might seriously hamper our ability to truly love and receive love in a marital relationship. This is just one example among many of how our emotional growth is affected.

Spiritually, fear can cause us to say no to God-given dreams or assignments because we’re afraid of personal inadequacy or financial insecurity. If we never step out in faith, then we never experience God’s ability to equip and provide in amazing ways. Spiritual growth comes when we say yes to God and “do it afraid.”

Q: You suggest we need to place our focus on God and not on fear. In practical terms, how do we do this?

A: Several strategies that I’ve found helpful…

  • Write Scripture promises on 3×5 cards and post them where we see them often. Readers can download a free list of such Scriptures and several relevant articles from my website: http://www.gracefox.com/resources/#downloadables
  • Memorize Scripture promises and meditate on them throughout the day and as we fall asleep at night. We are transformed as our mind is renewed.
  • Fill our homes with praise and worship music.
  • Spend time in God’s word on a regular basis, not just when we’re in a panic. The more we do so, the more familiar we become with His promises and the better prepared we are to face frightening circumstances when they come.
  • Talk to the Lord throughout the day. Invite Him into the mundane. Practice His presence. The more we get to know Him, the more we’re able to trust Him in the face of fear.

Q: Most of us feel inadequate at times. You suggest we cannot use our inadequacies as an excuse for not participating with God’s purposes. How do we get past this?

A: We get past our fear of inadequacy by admitting we have it. Then we need to retrain our thinking to focus on God’s adequacies rather than our inadequacies.

  • Tell God how we feel. “Help! I don’t think I can do such-and-such!”
  • Tell a trusted friend and ask her to pray for us.
  • Move forward. Do it afraid and expect God to equip us.

Q: Describe this resource and how participants can receive the greatest benefit from it.

A: It’s a seven-week study filled with biblical teaching and personal anecdotes. Each session begins by viewing a 25-30 minute teaching video. When the video ends, participants follow suggested Table Talk questions for about 15 minutes. Then they do the Bible study questions together. Each participant uses her own guide book so she can take notes and write answers. Facilitator’s notes are included. The study covers these topics:

  • an overview of fear
  • fear for our loved ones’ well-being
  • fear of personal inadequacy
  • fear of rejection
  • fear of facing the ghosts of our past
  • fear of the storms of life
  • fear of an unknown future

This study is designed to be user-friendly. Several friends can use it in a private home setting as easily as a large women’s ministry can use it.

Q: Where can I buy this study?

A: Christian bookstores, www.amazon.com, www.christianbooks.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.winepressbooks.com, and my website: http://www.gracefox.com/books/moving-from-fear-to-freedom-a-woman-to-woman-conversation-guide/

I offer group and ministry discounts.

Grace Fox

Grace Fox lives in Abbotsford, BC and is the national co-director of International Messengers Canada, a mission agency that promotes creative short-term and career service opportunities in Eastern Europe. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gracefox.author. Visit her website for more information about her other books and speaking ministry. www.gracefox.com

———————————–

DRAW for August

For the month of August I am offering a draw to win this resource to ministry leaders (one copy) – free. If you put your name and contact information in the comments section; tell me how you will be using this resource; or tell me who you are giving the resource to; then you have a chance to win. If you put up a link to this blog on Facebook and tell me – you have another chance to win. At the end of August I will tally up the comments; choose an outsider to draw from the entries; you will be contacted early September if you won.

Blessings,

Jan

CHANCE TO WIN?

Here is your chance to win

Coming up next Thursday – a chance to win. Next Thursday will be your chance to add comments to my post for a chance to win Grace Fox’s DVD and Bible Study on Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation.- a great ministry resource for women in your congregation. Make sure to drop in and see all about it.

Here is a sneak preview:

Has fear kept you awake at night?  Has it hindered you from saying yes to a new opportunity? Has it caused you to make impulsive choices you later regretted? If so, you’re not alone!

Fear is a big deal for many women. If left unchecked, it can prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. So, what’s the answer? How can we move beyond fear into freedom?

Grace Fox, Canadian author of four books including Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation,  shares the answers in her newly released DVD and Bible study guide titled Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation.

See you next Thursday.

LOSING ONE’S FOOTING

Losing One’s Footing

by Grace Fox (reprinted with permission, Losing One’s Footing, October 8, 2010)

Have you ever felt yourself emotionally, mentally or spiritually slip into a negative space? Have you ever experienced a loss of perspective that resulted in discouragement or despair? I have. Quite honestly, many writers often struggle with this.

We spend hours in solitary confinement writing a message we believe could give direction, bring hope or change lives. We do our homework, researching the best markets for those messages. We attend writers conferences to learn more about our trade. We wrestle to understand and adjust to ever-changing technology and its effect on individual writers and the publishing industry at large. All this while trying to meet the expectations and financial burdens placed on us to market our work due to constraints on our publishers’ budgets. And then we receive the inevitable rejections, the polite no from editors. It’s easy to lose our footing, to grow discouraged, to lose sight of our calling, and to go out in search of a “real job.”

The Psalmist dealt with the same feelings but for a different reason. He’d poured his heart and soul into following God and obeying His commands. He’d done his best to live in integrity, developing and guarding an untarnished reputation. But then he began to question the effort he’d exerted. He wrote, “But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness…” (Psalm 73:2,3).

Comparing his lot as a God-fearing man to the prosperity of those who ignored God’s ways left him frustrated and envious. He asked tough questions such as, “Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?” He began slipping into the abyss of discouragement, wondering if his efforts to follow God were worth it, but then he caught himself. He wrote, “Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked…Then I realized that my heart was bitter and I was all torn up inside” (vv. 17,21).

What enabled the Psalmist to realize his precarious position? Spending time in God’s presence. Doing so renewed his perspective. It helped him realize the slippery path he’d followed and the lies he’d believed about the prosperity of the wicked.

The Psalmist then regained his footing by reviewing assurances of God’s love toward him. “Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand,” he wrote. “You guide me with your counsel; leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever…But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do!” (vv. 23-26,28).

When I, as writer, feel my footing slip…when I allow circumstances within the publishing industry to discourage me…when I begin to question my calling…I must do as the Psalmist did and go into God’s sanctuary. I must withdraw for a time, pour over the Word, and seek God’s face in prayer. Doing so renews my perspective. It helps identify the places in my heart that need revival. And it reminds me that God loves me no matter how many books sell or how many contracts I carry. He holds my hand. He guides me with his counsel and leads me to a glorious destiny. Relationship with Him is to be desired and treasured above success by human standards.

This is where my heart is today. I received a rejection on my latest book proposal last night, and I’m seeking God’s face regarding where and how to proceed from here. If I focus on rejection and disappointment, I’ll surely lose my footing. But if I keep my perspective in the right place, my heart will be strengthened in Him. No matter what happens, God loves me and I am His.

How’s your heart? Have you felt your footing slip for some reason lately? If so, how did you regain your perspective?

TRAIN TO POLAND – PART 2

Train to Poland — Part 2

by Grace Fox (first printed  Train to Poland – Part 2, July 22nd, 2010)

This is our eighth trip to Eastern Europe since 2008 and, apart from gasping at near head-on collisions, I’ve never felt afraid. Until today, that is.

Passengers come and go on these trains. For several miles, two men in their 60s sat on the bench across from us. Theirs was an animated conversation until one turned his attention to me and began jabbering in Polish. His eyebrows shot up when I told him that I couldn’t understand because I spoke only English. He moved closer, grabbed my hand and kissed it.

I was okay with this display of Polish culture but squirmed inside when he began to squeeze my hand and pat my arm with his other hand. Then he leaned toward my face. All of this happened within a few seconds. A teenage boy in the next seat began translating what the man was saying, at which time Gene stood up and asked the man to back off.

The man responded by speaking louder and squeezing tighter. Gene repeated his request. The man turned up his volume and now leaned towards my husband. Visions of his punching Gene popped into my head. I shot up an arrow prayer for help.

At that exact moment, the conductor stepped into our train car. Understand that conductors routinely walk through the cars to ensure that all passengers have purchased tickets and aren’t freeloading. This conductor hadn’t set foot in this car for the past hour despite the train making numerous stops and collecting passengers along the way. His sudden appearance at that exact moment was nothing short of an immediate answer to prayer.

Without speaking a word, the conductor sized up the situation and took control. He pulled the man away from me and kicked him off the train when it stopped a few moments later. Everyone in the car heaved a sigh of relief. “I’m sorry,” said the conductor as he walked way.

“No problem,” I said, whispering a big thank-you to God under my breath. He showed up as my protector in the form of a train conductor – how awesome is that? While it was quite amazing to see Him answer prayer so quickly, I truly hope He won’t have to do it again!