fear

Fear Not!

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I went to clean out the pool skimmer basket and jumped back. This terrifying looking snake was waiting for me. I quickly realized it was not alive. Phew. I was safe but still freaked out knowing a snake had been in our pool. The same pool we swim in freely. Now I was questioning if I should ever swim in the pool again.

There is an epidemic running rampant these days. No, it’s not that one. Fear is out of control. We are told in hundreds, if not thousands of ways, every single day to “be afraid”. Fear the virus, fear the new variants, fear getting the vaccine, fear not getting the vaccine, fear inflation, fear the potential food shortages, fear losing your livelihood if you disagree with someone, fear natural disasters, fear the rise in crime, fear the government, fear your neighbors, fear travel, fear pollution, fear standing up for your convictions.

These fears are based on potential outcomes that are legitimate. I call these, “What if’s”. It’s the worst case scenario that runs through our mind. It does not mean any of it will happen, but it could possibly happen, so we need to operate in fear, right? Wrong.

All of this fear comes from the enemy. The devil is real, and he loves to spread fear by lying. He’s very good at it. Jesus does not mince words when talking about the enemy.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44, NASB

As followers of Jesus we are to be wise and discerning. Don’t let fear motivate your decisions. Make decisions based on Godly wisdom and discernment. How do you do that?

Pray. Ask God for wisdom and clarity on those things which cause you fear. He will show you what is really going on. He will give you peace and comfort. He will also help you know how to respond.

Trust God fully. You can stand firmly on The Rock, even when you cannot see. He sees all. He knows all. He loves you.

Stay in The Word. God’s word is the truth. With the bombardment of lies we must go to the truth.

Worship. Turn up the worship music and turn off the news, social media, and all the other stuff that fills our minds. Praise God simply for who He is.

Fear is a spiritual battle so we must use our spiritual weapons.

When you feel afraid let that be a reminder to take your fear to Jesus. If you have to take your fear to Jesus a thousand times in one day then do it. He is always available and able to help you.

We are in a fearful time in history. There are plenty of very real things to be afraid of. As Christ followers we are not to live in fear. Sounds easy. It’s not always easy, but it is possible to stand our ground in faith without fear. You can guarantee the scary stuff will come. It’s our response to it that makes all the difference.

You belong to God.

For you are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26, NASB

Jesus intercedes for you.

Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:34, NASB

Jesus is always with you.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20, NKJV

The Holy Spirit will help you.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. John 14:26, NASB

God will never forsake you.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, NKJV

The Lord is your helper.

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6, NKJV

Things are not always as they seem. Remember my creepy snake? It was actually just a baby snake. Discernment is essential when there is so much deception.

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Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Praise Your holy name. Thank you for your faithfulness and goodness. I lift up every person who is gripped with fear. Give them peace, comfort, and wisdom. Help them to see with their spiritual eyes the truth of Your soverignty. May they experience Your incredible presence in new ways. Lift their heads and their eyes towards You. Give us all wisdom and discernment to know truth from lies. Let us hear Your voice above all the noise of this world. Shine Your light through us to a dark and hurting world.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Food

Caprese Skewers

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This delicious appetizer is super easy to make. All you’re doing is assembling a few simple ingredients. No cooking, no heating up the oven. You can make these ahead of time and add the balsamic vinegar right before serving.

If you like Caprese salad which uses sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil then you will love Caprese skewers. It’s the same thing just bite-sized. These little skewers make a great snack, appetizer, or side dish.

I keep mine very simple and only sprinkle salt and fresh ground black pepper. You can easily add dried herbs if that’s what you like. Make them as small or large as you want. I have made them with regular sized toothpicks or larger like the ones pictured.

Happy Eating!

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Caprese Skewers

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 8oz. container mini mozzarella balls

large sprig of fresh basil (cut basil leaves in half)

balsamic vinegar

salt

fresh ground black pepper

toothpicks or bamboo skewers

Directions

  1. Slide a tomato, then half of a basil leaf, then fresh mozzarella on a skewer. Repeat until there are two of each item on your skewer. If you are using toothpicks just add one of each item.
  2. Lay the skewers on a platter. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Cut bamboo skewers in half to make larger appetizers.
  • The basil wilts once it’s in the refrigerator but it still tastes good.
  • If you can’t find mini mozzarella balls just cut up small pieces of fresh mozzarella.
Joey Flynn's Extraordinary Tale

Book Review! —

Welcome back to… arielaonthego! It means that I am officially off hiatus! School is over and I’m going for a summer vacation. Yay! Today I’m going to be reviewing the book by Meghan E. White, Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale. You can purchase this book on Amazon.com. Ms. Meghan very kindly sent me a free copy […]

Book Review! —

Food

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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This is my favorite pound cake. It’s delicious and easy. I found this scrumptious dessert years ago in Southern Living magazine. I get asked for this recipe every time I make it. I shared this pound cake when I first started writing for Mustard Seed Sentinel, and wanted to share it again with new followers. 

Enjoy this delightful sweet treat. Life is short. Have a piece of cake.

Happy Eating!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups butter, softened

1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300°

2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined. Add vanilla extract, beat until blended.

4. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Don’t over mix.

5. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch bundt pan or tube pan.

6. Bake for 1 hour and 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely for about an hour.

Notes:

~I prefer to use three loaf pans. Cooking time drops to approximately 1 hour 5 minutes when using loaf pans. You can freeze the loaves. Thaw before serving.

~Reduce the sugar to 2 ½ cups or 2 ¾  if 3 cups is too sweet. It still comes out yummy.

Salvation

The Narrow Path

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Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

We wanted to hike to the top of Diamond Head on our Hawaiian vacation. Our itinerary was filled with snorkeling, kayaking, and sight seeing. Hiking to the top of an iconic volcanic crater was a must. The path started out at the ground level smooth, paved and relaxing. Within minutes the path began to curve and wind. No longer paved, it became rocky and uneven.

The trail was not super difficult, yet not super easy either. I had to pay attention since there were numerous switchbacks along the way. There’s a large steep staircase that brings you up 560 feet. I had to stop and catch my breath after climbing those steps.

After climbing another set of stairs there is a 225 foot long tunnel. I am not a fan of enclosed dark spaces. There was no way around the tunnel. I had to go through it to continue on my journey to the top. Once we made it through the creepy dark tunnel it felt like a small victory.

There are several look out points where you can take a break and enjoy the view. When Tom and I finally reached the top it was all worth it. The views were stunning. We could see Waikiki Beach, and downtown Honolulu. Everywhere we looked was absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful blue Pacific Ocean looked like it had no end. Taking the narrow path was worth it.

Following Jesus is the narrow path.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14, NIV

Jesus is the only way to the Father. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV). Following Him is not the easy road. The narrow road can be treacherous, steep, and winding. To stay on the narrow path we must fix our eyes on Jesus. He is leading the way and we must follow.

There are dark tunnels and the only way through them is to trust where He is taking you, even when you cannot see. Jesus will get you to the other side of that darkness. And when you are tired and cannot take another step He will pick you up and carry you.

When you are afraid as you look at the steep drop-offs, He will comfort you, and reassure you that you can in fact make it. The only way to get through the narrow path is with Jesus.

Our faith is tested on the narrow path. We must humble ourselves, lay down our pride, take up our cross and follow Him. The longer we are on the narrow path the more we become like Jesus. Little by little, step by step.

There are blessings along the narrow path, provision, and beauty. The narrow path leads to life. Jesus is life. Our time here on Earth is brief and it will come to an end. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus will be in Heaven with Him forever.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3, NIV

The Broad path leads to destruction.

The road to destruction is wide. There are plenty of people on this path. This road is all about self, and making our own way. Doing our own thing. We have no need for Christ on the broad road.

This wide open path is easy, effortless. There is no thought of the narrow path here. Do what you want. Make your own way. It’s difficult to wander off the wide path. There’s plenty of space to do absolutely anything you want without much consequence.

The way of the broad path is not a happy one. Destruction is where it leads which is eternal ruin in Hell. “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12, NIV)

Jesus is not on the broad path. He is calling us to Him on the narrow road. It’s our choice to make.

I was on the broad path before placing my faith in Jesus Christ. Everything changed once I met Jesus. My eyes were opened to see just how beautiful Jesus is, and how sinful I am. His shed blood saved me and set me free.

Jesus died for all. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2, NIV) But not everyone will place their faith in Christ.

The only path I want to be on is the narrow one because Jesus is there. No matter the difficulties, no matter the hardships, there is no place I’d rather be then with my wonderful Savior. Jesus is life.

Only a few find Jesus.

I think it’s interesting that the island of Oahu averages around 250,000 visitors per day yet only 3000 each day hike to the top of Diamond Head. It’s a great illustration of the ease of the wide path with very few finding the narrow path. Sure, many tourists see Diamond Head and it’s beauty, yet they go right past it not wanting to take that narrow path to the top.

Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 7. He is telling us to choose Him because He is life. What appears to be hundreds of ways to Jesus is a lie. The narrow gate is the only entrance. That means placing your faith in Jesus Christ. All other ways lead to destruction.

There is hope for those on the broad road to destruction. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. He is ready and waiting to answer our prayers. Jesus does not want anyone to perish. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (1 Peter 3:9, NIV)

The narrow path can be lonely and difficult but Jesus is there, and He is leading us home.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer please email me at meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com