Browsing Tag

Bible

Blog, Faith, Family, Friendship, prayer, Stress, Travel

Coronavirus: If you feel alone

While the curve is flattening across the United States and the world (praise God!) and some U.S. states now are allowing more businesses to re-open, the Coronavirus crisis isn’t over yet.

Barber shop re-open for business
Barber shop re-open for business
Source: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/states-stay-at-home-orders-ending.html

It’s been so hard to deal with for everyone. I haven’t seen my 3 daughters or our grandkids for over a month now. I love and miss them so much, and just want to hug them!

Our family, Ray's 50th bday Left to right: Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me
Our family
Left to right:
Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me

This week a woman on my website subscriber list emailed and asked me to pray for her, when I had my Virtual Coffee & Prayer Zoom meeting yesterday morning. She was alone, with it being 3 weeks until the first anniversary of her husband’s death, with no one around her to support her during this Coronavirus pandemic. She said she’d been crying for weeks.

Older woman alone
Older woman alone

I told her that I am praying for her. So many people, especially the elderly, are in her shoes right now. Others have lost their jobs, with 16.8 million filing unemployment claims in the U.S. in the last three weeks, and don’t have any income coming in right now.

What can you do to help them? Encourage them with these tips:

  • Pray to God first. Just as the children’s song says, “Jesus loves you, this I know.” God loves you so much and He cares about everything on your mind. Pour out your heart to Him, and tell Him what you’re worried about, discouraged over, your fears, stress, depression, and even anger. As my sister Maria (a therapist) says, anger is one of the five stages of grief. We are angry because we are experiencing many losses right now, such as those we love who died from the virus and loss of our freedom, with the Shelter In Place orders. This makes us angry. Spend time with God each day to pray, read the Bible, and worship/praise Him. You may not feel like doing this, but God is always here for you and wants to help you. He will never leave you alone. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, NKJV)

  • Get Christian counseling/therapy. To help prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC is recommending social distancing. To help prevent the risk of exposure to Coronavirus for either the therapist or the patient, some therapists are offering online counseling. One of my family members is doing this right now. If you already have a therapist, you might want to ask him or her if they can offer virtual therapy. If you’re looking for a counselor, check first with your family and trusted friends. You can call your local mental health center and/or search online for a therapist who is the right fit for you. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says the pandemic is increasing feelings of anxiety and traumatic stress. I know it has increased my stress (worrying about my family or I or others I love getting the virus; feeling “trapped” in my house from the Shelter In Place; the uncertainty of the future). I’ve talked with many family and friends who are struggling with similar fears. It’s important to recognize and act on mental distress to lessen the impact and find the help you need. 

  • Stay in touch with your family and friends. Normal life has been suspended and it all feels eerily apocalyptic. Due to the virus and Shelter In Place orders, we can’t see and hug our loved ones. It’s painful. But thanks to technology, we can still stay in touch through calling and texting on our cell phones, Google Hangouts, Zoom meetings, Facebook, Twitter, and more. These virtual meetings don’t have to be long, but they can make such a difference so that people don’t feel as isolated and alone. Be sure to especially reach out to the elderly, children and teens, those who are physically sick, and the mentally ill. Check regularly on them. The multiple challenges from the Coronavirus has increased the risk of depression and PTSD. People don’t have other people to go to for their stress. The power of touch releases oxytocin, which is a natural “cuddle hormone.” People aren’t getting the same level of oxytocin release from human contact. I believe one thing the Coronavirus crisis is teaching us is the importance of our relationship with God and others–and how wonderful a hug is! 

family
family
  • You help others. When you are feeling stressed out, depressed, afraid, and anxious, it’s hard to reach out to others. But sometimes that is the very thing that will help us get out of our own funk. Although I personally believe the Coronavirus is from the devil, God is allowing the situation for His glorious purposes–through His people. Use this as an opportunity for good. Volunteer somewhere, either in person or online, such as at Meals on Wheels; donate blood at the Red Cross; give to charities; cook and deliver meals (our local Christian bookstore, The Carpenter’s Cup, is doing this for our community here in Butler, Missouri); sew masks for your community workers; or offer assistance such as creating a virtual storytime library for vulnerable children. One of the things I’m doing to volunteer my gifts and time is a Virtual Coffee & Prayer Zoom meeting on Saturday mornings, where Christian women pray about the Coronavirus and the Shelter In Place order. I’m asking God to eradicate this virus from the earth forever, protect me and my loved ones from getting it, to heal the sick, and for governors and mayors to lift the order(s) in their states and cities, when it is safe to do so.

This is a very difficult time for everyone. Just know that God loves you and is here for you, and this too shall pass. 

I’m praying for you. Please also keep my family and me in your prayers. 

*******

Need some encouragement to pray? Check out my ebook on prayer, Walking With God, available for just 99 cents on Amazon today. You can find out more here

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Blog

Stop meditating on the couch cushions and save the people

Couch potato Image: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-athletes/view-all/

Couch potato
Image: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-athletes/view-all/

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, so instead of laying in bed tossing and turning, I got up and did chores. Afterward, I watched Dr. Aikyna D. Finch on Periscope. She is a very anointed, smart, and hilarious lady. One of the things she shared today was, “Stop meditating on the couch cushions and save the people. You have a message to share that others need to hear. How are you changing the world?”

Her scope was so convicting, especially since I was actually sitting on the couch as she said this! I really felt that God was speaking straight through her to my heart. Dr. Finch, who is a university faculty trainer, talked about the excuses we often give for not sharing our message with others.

Bible

Bible

Yes, God wants you and me to pray, read the Bible, worship, go to church, and all that jazz. But Jesus also commanded His disciples to go into the world and make disciples. (Matthew 28:19)

There is a lost world out there and not a lot of time left before Christ returns. And there is only one you with your specific calling and unique gifts to help others. It’s time to use your gifts and go save the people!

I needed that kick in the but this morning from Dr. Finch. How about you? 

***

Check out my books that I’ve written to help you in using your spiritual gifts at my Amazon Author Page below:

http://www.amazon.com/author/bethmjones/

 

 FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Blog

When you’re worried, pray and thank God

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I’m drinking a pumpkin spice cappuccino, thankful for the quiet at home (Ray is at work). My plan today is to finish my Bible study on The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer, the woman who starred as the mom in War Room.

The Armor of God book

Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study

Recently I had a book signing and sale at The Carpenter’s Cup Christian bookstore and coffee shop in Butler, and the store owner Becky Clift invited me to join a ladies’ Bible study there on Monday evenings. (Be sure to check out this cool store if you are passing through Butler!)

This week I’ve been studying the shoes of peace. One of my biggest struggle areas is worrying and stressing out too much, especially over our kids and grandkids. (Actually the way my family puts it is, “Stop freaking out, mom!”)

I deeply desire to be a woman of great faith, but I’m still very much a work in progress. I’m praying for God to help me walk in these shoes of peace each day, because they’re a powerful weapon against Satan.

Marines in war

Marines in war

The author of this Bible study, Priscilla Shirer, says that anywhere peace is lacking, you can be sure the enemy Satan is at work. She writes on page 95:

“Of all the things the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy in your life, peace is almost always at or near the top of his list. He intentionally stirs up discord, division, disruption, and disturbance, both within you and around you. He is the lord of chaos and confusion, using every opportunity to upset your sense of well being and stability. He wants you uneasy, unbalanced, filled with anxiety, worry, and turmoil. Lacking peace.”

fear

Without our shoes of peace, we become unfit for spiritual warfare, unable to advance against the enemy, she writes. Fear, stress, and worry distract you. They imprison you.

anchor

anchor

This lack of peace will keep you and me from being clearheaded and able to fight Satan, Priscilla writes on page. 99. But God’s peace will anchor your soul, tethering it to the security found in His gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.  

The way we get that peace is by spending time each day in prayer and reading and meditating on the Bible, being transformed by God’s word renewing our minds. (Romans 12:2)

Trusting in Him, instead of in our own power. Thanking Him, because “prayer shrouded in gratitude expresses a firm faith. Concentrating on Him instead of being absorbed by our circumstances tells the Lord that we believe He is able to override and overcome even the most difficult issues.” God responds by releasing His peace within us.

woman praying

Woman praying

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from this study so far is this: when I’m worried or stressing out, pray and thank God. What a revelation!

“Any time you feel worry or anxiety creeping into your heart, take it as your cue to turn your attention to God. Pray. Trust Him. Be grateful. And watch His peace–a peace you cannot even begin to explain–swell in your experience. Then you feet will be fitted with the shalom of God.” (p. 112)

pensive woman

woman worrying

Do you struggle with worrying or stressing out too much? Leave your comments below. 

“May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16, HCSB)

I highly recommend this Bible study by Priscilla Shirer. You can purchase it at LifeWay here.

*******

Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith

Copyright 2016 Beth Jones

Are you like me and worry or stress out too much? Do you battle fear? I’ve written a new book, Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith.

It will be available soon as an eBook for your Kindle on Amazon! If you aren’t already signed up on my personal mailing list, be sure to sign up at the top of the page on the right hand side, so you’ll be first to know the details when it releases soon!FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail