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Michael's Musings 


"You are my servant; I have chosen you and will not cast you off. Do not fear, do not be afraid for I am your God, I will help you and I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:9b-10

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, but not the absence of fear." Mark Twain

"Power does not corrupt, fear corrupts and it is of the fear of a loss of power." John Steinbeck

I am not so sure I totally agree with John Steinbeck; the evidence for power corrupting soul and society is simply too overwhelming. However, his point is definitely on the mark; it is the loss of power that often brings us to the most terrifying of fears. Even some of the most destructive of monsters cannot hold a candle to losing our control, feeling like we are helpless and lost. And, as biologists and mental health specialists agree, fear leads us to a very, very dark place, a place that evokes the very worst of the human spirit.

The Scriptures speak often of the imperative to move past fear and trust God. The declarations of “do not fear” appear over 100 times in the Bible. God is with us and longs for us to not be frozen in fear but prepare to go forth in courage. And Mark Twain defines courage with such a confidence; we may feel the pulse of our inner warning system, but instead of just responding, we look to the skies, we look to each other and we point our stern toward the storm and move ahead.

The Native American story about two wolves never gets old: the grandfather explains to his grandson that there is a struggle between two wolves that takes place in everyone. One is a selfish, hungry wolf that thrives on anger, lies, resentment, greed and false pride. The other is a wolf that is fed with humility, kindness, mercy and generosity, with eyes wide the grandson asked, “Which one will win?” The grandfather replied, “The one you feed the most.”

The last few weeks have seen us wrestling with the worst of humanity; murders simply because one is black (Kentucky) or Jewish (Pittsburg), high schoolers settling fights with guns and bombs once again becoming a means to intimidate and manipulate. We are feeding the wrong wolf in culture, and it is time for the people of God to offer a far more healthy fare of cuisine. We will be spending the next few weeks with a series called “Unafraid” by Adam Hamilton. We will explore fear and how it so easily consumes us, and we will learn some techniques to overcome that which would frighten us. Halloween should be over; fear is no longer our vision!

Let’s look into the future “Unafraid” and bring the best of God’s kingdom to the world!

See you in worship,

Rev. Michael





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