Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stressed-Less Living

Looks like this week's theme of Devotions are dealing with Stress. Today's devotion is from Stephanie Clayton of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Please leave a comment or send us an email if you have a prayer request, praise report, or would like to share how the Lord has shown you to handle the stresses in life.  Have a blessed week!! 

"Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave." Psalm 107:19-20 (NIV)

As I sat in my abnormal psychology class, my face turned red and my heart raced. I remembered the small black box hiding under my blouse. A few days before, the cardiologist had given me a monitor and instructed me to hit a button on it every time my heart sped. It was happening again, and this time in a classroom.

That day, my class was learning about people who have frequent physical complaints with no organic cause. What if that was me?? What if my heart issues were nothing more than stress and anxiety? I actually hoped the doctor would find something physically wrong with my heart so she wouldn't scrawl "crazy girl" on my medical chart.

Over the next few months, with more testing, my doctor determined low thyroid levels were the organic basis for my heart problems. I began taking prescription medication, however my heart issues continued. Curious as to why, I began writing down what was happening during the times my heart raced.

It occurred when I made a class presentation and when I walked alone in a dark parking lot. It happened when I faced confrontation and when certain people came around me. After a week of writing these triggers down, I realized my heart issues were in part related to anxiety.

A Christian girl shouldn't struggle with anxiety, should she? Especially one majoring in counseling. I wanted desperately to hide the struggle attacking me physically and emotionally, but it was getting difficult to function. Christian counseling helped me process the cause of my anxiety. I also dug into
God's Word. Psalm 107:19-20 spoke volumes to my situation.

"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave."

I chose to believe and trust in the scripture map found in Psalm 107:19-20. Cry out... trust Him to save me... His Word would heal me... and I would be rescued from the grave.

To begin, I got real with God about my pain. He already knew my heart, but crying out to Him helped me swallow my pride and acknowledge that He is capable of what I am not.

Next, I chose to trust that He would save me. When I doubted the promises of His Word, I prayed that He would help me overcome my unbelief.

Then I acknowledged the healing power of His Word. At first, I believed lies such as I am unlovable and will never be good enough. These lies were much louder than the scriptures I read. However, the more I repeated verses and altered my behavior to His commands, belief began to manifest.

Last, I consented to a rescue from the grave. I hadn't been eager for freedom because anxiety was a method of control. As long as I worried, I felt in control. If Christ was going to rescue me from the grave of anxiety, I would have to give up control and trust Him. And that seemed scary! But even scarier was the idea of continued physical and emotional death. Choosing to trust Him involved a shift in my focus. I chose to see and accept the good in my life and to focus on what I could learn in this difficult season. Trusting Him meant choosing joy in the present over despair.

It's been several years since that day in abnormal psychology class wearing my heart monitor. I've come to realize that although stress, anxiety, and worry will always try to attack us, they don't have permission to infiltrate our heart and mind. Only God has permission to do that. We can battle anxiety with Scripture truth that God is in control, has plans for us, and there is no need to be anxious over circumstances. He is our healer, rescuer, Savior. He is our freedom from the grave of anxiety, stress, and worry.

Dear Lord, help me trust You, consent to Your healing, and spend time in Your Word and in prayer. Rescue me from my distress and from the grave. Thank You for caring about my life and that I can be free from stress. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles
Do you feel attacked constantly by stress or worry? Join the Online Bible Study of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles. You'll find a community of other women walking toward freedom from anxiety together. This group is led by Melissa Taylor. Click here to sign up and find more information.

Visit Stephanie Clayton's blog for more encouragement.

Reflect and Respond:
Write out the scripture map from Psalm 107:19-20. Cry out... trust Him to save you... His Word would heal you... and you would be rescued from the grave.
Over the next 24 hours, walk each step out.

Power Verse:
Psalm 94:19, "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." (NIV 1984)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mar 2013 Sometimes the most important decision is no decision

Ladies, I wanted to share this blog article from one of my favorite Christian leaders, Glynnis Whitwer.  This is an incredible reminder and tip in keeping the Lord in the middle of our busy and chaotic lives.  Be Blessed!   - Kim D.

Have you ever had one of those seasons when you feel like a tsunami has swept wave after wave of deadlines, problems and needs over you? With no break in between waves?

That’s been the last four months for me.

Rather than make a list (which might sound like I’m soliciting sympathy or bragging about how busy my life has been), suffice it to say,  I’ve had more big deadlines, more family needs and more ministry demands than ever in my life.

Last Thursday I met the final deadline in the series of deadlines I’d been facing.  Then Friday, Saturday and Sunday were breathing days for me.  I drove across town and took my college son to Costco, took my mom to lunch (Korean BBQ) did loads of laundry and spent Sunday worshiping and enjoying time with my family.

Now today, I wanted to connect with you.  :-)

I often write about managing your schedule so you don’t live chronically like I’ve done the past four month.  But sometimes situations are completely out of your control.  And that’s pretty much what happened to me.

Sometimes things happen and we step up to the plate.  We set aside one set of priorities for another.  We depend more on God’s grace, wisdom and strength than ever before.  We don’t want to always live in this desperate place, but sometimes it happens.  Hopefully we learn some things in the midst of it, and that’s what I want to share with you today.  Here’s one important lesson I’ve learned:
When life feels like a tsunami – with wave after wave hitting you and no break -  the best decision is often no decision.
Here’s what I mean by that. When I get overwhelmed, my emotions get in a jumbled mess.  I’m usually tired.  Cranky. Frustrated.  And annoyed. My normal logical processing shorts out.
If I make a decision in the midst of that chaos, it’s not normally based on truth.  Therefore, it’s not usually the wisest choice for me.

So, when when my worlds collide, I hold off on big decisions.

I don’t quit any responsibility.  I don’t add any responsibility.

And I don’t respond to people until I can do so in love.  I will often save emails in draft for a few days.

But what I will do is draw in closer to God.  Retreat for moments.  Focus on one verse.  Ask for wisdom.  Ask for peace. God and I have a running conversation. I’ve learned  in those demanding seasons, my heart can stray from where I really want it to be.  And I want it to be here:

  • Grounded in truth.
  • Secure in God’s love.
  • Relying on His strength and wisdom, not mine.

We all have these crazy seasons.  Especially when our lives are interconnected with others, and we are walking out the Gospel to live with an obedient and servant’s heart.  Sometimes we get ourselves into these messes and sometimes God has a really big job and calls us into a demanding season. 

Either way.  It’s good to have some principles for life during those times.

One of mine is to not make decisions based on the chaos of the moment. I’ve avoided a lot of regrets with this principle.

What are some principles you live by when life gets crazy?  I’d love to hear from you.

In His love,

Monday, March 18, 2013

2 Important Annoucements

  • NorthStar is looking for those who know sign language (ASL). If you would like to use that gift in the body of NorthStar, please contact Brad Raby at 
  • There will be no Wednesday night services March 27 during Knox County Spring Break
 Have a GREAT WEEK!! 

Easter Service at the Tennessee Theatre!!


Make your plans now to spend Easter with NorthStar at the Tennessee Theatre! Reserve your tickets now at

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Study & Workshop starts April 4th!

Check out our Womens Ministry page at
to sign up and get more details on both of these great opportunities
to connect and grow together!

Starting Thursdays April 4th at 6:30pm
for 6 weeks @ our Sherrill Campus
Sign up in the lobby on Sundays
or online at
 We can know why we react the way we do to some situations
and some people, and we can change how we respond...


also starting Thursdays April 4th at 6:30pm
for 6 weeks @ our Carmichael Campus
Sign up in teh lobby on Sundays
or online at

Organize for your sanity & income, eat more inexpensively,
and stay on a budget - you CAN do it!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Reminder: Conversatios Coming Soon..........

"Conversations" returns Saturday morning March 16th 9a - 11a at our Sherrill Campus! 
Join us for a yummy breakfast, a time to chat and connect, hear from our guest speaker Lisa Iovine, as well as our new informational segments like "That’s So Cool!" and "The Essentials."

Leave us a comment if you have any questions!! 

Have a blessed Week!  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Are the "-ites" After You?

The Moabites, the Ammonites, and with them the Meunites came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
—2 Chronicles 20:1

In today’s verse, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Meunites were after King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah. In other places in the Old Testament, the Jebusites, the Hittites, and the Canaanites were troublemakers for God’s people.

But with us, it is the “fear-ites,” the “disease-ites,” the “stress-ites,” the “financial problem–ites,” the “insecurity-ites,” the “grouchy -neighbor–ites,” and so on.

I wonder, which “-ites” are chasing you right now? Whatever they are, you can learn from King Jehoshaphat’s response to the “-ites” who were after him. The first thing he did was fear, but then he quickly did something else: he set himself to seek the Lord. Determined to hear from Him, Jehoshaphat even proclaimed a fast throughout his kingdom for that very purpose. He knew he needed to hear from God. He needed a battle plan, and only God could give him one that would succeed.

Like Jehoshaphat, we should develop the habit of running to God instead of to people when we have trouble. We should seek Him rather than consulting our own wisdom or asking for other people’s opinions. We need to ask ourselves whether we “run to the phone or run to the throne” when faced with trouble. God may use a person to speak a word of advice to us, but we always need to seek Him first.

Hearing God’s voice is a great way to fight fear. When we hear from Him, faith fills our hearts and drives fear away. Jehoshaphat knew he needed to hear from God centuries ago and we have the same need now. Be sure to seek God and listen to His voice today.

God’s word for you today: Ask God to protect you from the “-ites” in your life.

From the book Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.