Fear or Faith

I am of a divided mind at times. It is important to me to stay abreast of the news and know what is going on in the world. It is rarely possible, though, to find news coverage that doesn’t have bias built in. I have to remain on alert to filter that and organize and interpret the facts. If I spend too much time following the news, or even discussing it, I grow either frustrated and downhearted to angry. Once I reach that point, I often then am filled with fear, worry, and anxiety.   

When I recognize those old familiar signs I just have to STOP. I stop, breathe, pray, and think it through. I put my worries in God’s hands. When I do that, I can think clearly. Lech Walesa wrote, “Deep faith eliminates fear”. Of course he was right. Our own experiences and Scripture tell us that this is true. God is my refuge, my fortress, my strength. How silly of me to get scared then. It seems to me that I have certain orbits in my life that repeat themselves. I have lessons I seem to keep re-learning; mistakes that I keep making.

Yet by now I can see those patterns. That is new and encouraging to me. Perhaps it is because I am teaching my students to learn the patterns of similarity in various kinds of math problems. Life isn’t trying to trick me or trip me up. My goodness how self-centered of me to ever think that was the case! All I have to do each day when I encounter a situation is go through the check list I teach my students:

  •  Have I seen this kind of problem before–and what are the similarities
  • What strategies have I used in this kind of situation that worked?
  • What can I try this time, and what are the possible outcomes
  • If I am scared and panicked what do I want to do about that
  • I need to do some slow, deep breathing right now and affirm my possibilities
  • Have I prayed about this?
  • If I am stuck, is there someone who can help me
  • What qualities and virtues of my own can I call upon to solve this problem
  • Those steps and some others have helped my students overcome paralyzing test anxiety and some negative thought patterns. I think that I need to actually use that strategy when faced with my own worries and anxieties :-).

Psalm 34:5and 7  tells us “I sought the Lord, who answered me, delivered me from all my fears. In my misfortune I called, the Lord heard and saved me from all distress”. Don’t you just love Psalms? They are so rich in meaning for me. Sometimes they make me laugh out loud, like this one: Psalm 32:9 “Do not be senseless like horses or mules; with bit and bridle their temper is curbed, else they will not come to you”. I liked that this morning—senseless like horses or mules…..yeah, sometimes that is an apt description of me, I know. Of course, I only can see that in retrospect.

This morning after hearing the weather and traffic I turned off the news. “There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid”.–Frederick W. Cropp.

Long ago there was, however, a stellar newsman named Edward R. Murrow. He said, “We will not be driven by fear…if we remember that we are not descended from fearful men”. Gosh I love positive, inspiring quotes. Could you tell? Oh! You like them too?  They help keep me focused on my faith, which in turn keeps me optimistic. Have a fabulous day. 

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in faith/courage/miracles/hope and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Fear or Faith

  1. Weather and traffic–that’s pretty much it for me anymore, too. And sometimes, not even those. I just trust God to see me through the day.

  2. We either live in love or Fear.. we know which we choose Kate.. Keep the Faith and live in love and Light.. xx Hugs to you xx

  3. fgassette says:

    Like your list. Our Christian walk is just that a walk. A step by step journey. We are also told to fight for our faith. Which tells me we will be challenged each day, but we have the strength from God to overcome any obstacle presented to us. I pray to put on the whole armor of God that I may withstand anything that may come against me on any given day.


    • Kate Kresse says:

      Thanks Francine; each day we do battle and begin again He gives us the strength for the battle and the obstacles. Of course we must be ever ready for the upcoming trials and tests. Always ready and always prepared.

  4. I watch the news to stay abreast of what goes on in the world, however I limit how much I take in since I am well aware that it is all designed to elicit specific responses from us.
    As they say “take it with a grain of salt”. Trust God in everything, he’ll take care of us.

  5. Terri O.A. says:

    Good post Kate. I tried to reply to your question earlier….somehow it missed. Yesterday my schedule had to change………I ended up with two hot piazzas, two bags of chocolate kisses, and two kids on the way home with no cards. I couldn’t get back to town as planned. Next year with better planning ……so love that though.

  6. Claudia says:

    Great checklist. I rather not watch the news. If it is something I really need to know, my family or a friend will let me know. And I just look on my weather and traffic apps in the mornings and evenings.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I agree. there are days that I just skip the news, and listen to the traffic on the radio as I head out. :-). If the news or commentary on the radio is too anger-inducing, i switch to the jazz radio station or the classical music station.

  7. Caddo Veil says:

    It really is a choice–fear or faith, just like “gloomy” or “joyful”. Once I got that clear in my head, life got a lot better!! Thank you, Lord–and thank you, Kate, for doing a “good work” here!! Bless you!

  8. Kate Kresse says:

    Amen Caddo! We choose our path and joy. It can be a joyous time despite our concerns.

  9. Great post Kate! Thank you for such a great list. I don’t do fear well so my faith is much needed.
    I do not watch news either prefrring to read the paper so I can choose what I subject myself to. I so get it.
    My fave quote to calm my fears.
    O God, you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on you…
    -Isaiah 26:3; 30:15

    • Kate Kresse says:

      oh isn’t it SO much different getting it from the newspaper? I love the whole process of the newspaper. I love to hold it, flip the pages, work my sudoku, read the articles. My family was always into the news and discussing the news….my mom always said ‘we must do a white paper on that’–meaning we needed to investigate it thoroughly…

  10. TBM says:

    I am a news junkie. I think it stems from my interest in history and politics, or maybe my interests in those subjects has turned me into a news junkie. However, I hate when the news only focuses on the bad in the world. I don’t watch a lot of TV news, but prefer newspapers and The Economist. I love the Murrow quote!

  11. Kate Kresse says:

    I became a news junkie by 7th grade when i had an amazing social studies teacher. I tell you I was in HEAVEN when my husband and I lived in NH in 1984 for the Presidential primaties. It was a major thrill to be wandering around town and come upon a candidate and the press. How thrilling to be a part of it. Coverage these days of any event disintegrates into opinions disguised as alleged facts, and negativity. thus, if i watch it on TV i find myself hollering at the TV [that’s in your opinion, that isn’t a fact]—like a crazy person. so it is better for my own mood and mental health to read it!!

    • TBM says:

      I’m a little sad that I can’t follow the primaries too closely here, but there is so much going on in European news to keep me busy.

      • Kate Kresse says:

        i wish i had the time to follow everything that is going on in Europe more closely, too. It looks like with all the economic news that things are or could come apart at the seams in many ways. I think that Greece is a harbinger for all of us eventually.

  12. As one who writes for a local newspaper, I can tell from experience: the purpose of the slant is to snag more readers/viewers. If the news seems ominous, people will pay more attention. I once saw a headline: “Man gets 2 years for stealing loaf of bread” Only on page two did we learn he was wanted for manymany counts of breaking and entering plus bond jumping, and this time got caught just stealing a bit to eat. I was irate, because this was MY editor at work. He has changed my own headlines to read like the Enquirer, and I know it’s just to draw in readers. His last bit of creative news-writing will be his last, literally, using my research,for I have quit, as of next Friday.
    It is a big competition out there, though, for your attention, with little regard to what really happened. My son said they teach him in college: unless the news is currently happening, it’s not new so is not news; it’s just an advertisement to buy our coverage.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      You are completely correct. Those of us of a certain age are used to thinking of journalists as purists. Yet, in a desperate need to stay in business they have to scramble for not only readers and viewers but also advertisers. I think that is why the internet is having a big impact. It is free-er (is that a word) — and people can try to be purists in what they written. I am very sorry that your editor did that. Good for you for sticking to your principles. Without our own personal code of ethics and morals we become like tumbleweeds.

      • Yet they drive readers away. Whole towns that cannot supply earth-shattering news items, are finding themselves not covered at all, and are dropping their subscriptions. People who want news are dropping their subscriptions because the news is tainted. People who want cheap gossip are dropping their subs because the Enquirer does a better job of that, not having to bother with facts or research at all.
        So editors try harder, which means they cheapen their content even more, and cannot figure. They think they are losing followers to the Internet, but really, a decent paper will sell itself. People like paper.

        • Kate Kresse says:

          I know. it is ridiculous and sad. i know a fantastic former newspaper writer that cannot get work. and all the papers and new on the radio and TV want to report is garbage and sensationalism. i pray the pendulum turns the other way.

  13. Maria Tatham says:

    Kate, this was interesting and good for me to read. I’m lazy when it comes to lots of things, planning ahead. Your steps are helpful for planning an attack that will keep our thinking healthy and vigorous, instead of frightened and passive! Also, your comments about how the news affects you resonate with me. My husband is a newspaper reader, TV news buff (until he gets aggravated), blog reader, book reader…I think you get the picture. Anyway, he is always watching the latest political news, out of concern for our country, and so we’re both getting hit over the head with the latest real and imaginary horrors and scandals.

    You are saying: step back, have faith, faith gives us courage. Have we seen this before, we must ask ourselves. Yes, we have! The world has always been teeming with trouble. Faith and courage are the answer. THE LORD IS BIGGER.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Amen to that Maria. I apologize for my tardy reply. I have changed the way I handle my comments—and now things slip through the cracks. I can’t seem to figure out how to get it back to how it was before. working on it. and yes–faith and courage are the answer. It sounds like your husband and my husband have a lot in common, Maria.

      • Maria Tatham says:

        Both nice guys, Kate? Yep! Did you change your own routine for replying to comments, or did you change a setting your accessed from your dashboard?

        • Kate Kresse says:

          i changed a setting on the dashboard. then when i replied it didn’t end up on my page. i guess it gotemailed to them. then i didn’t always realize i had a comment. so i was running around checking various posts to see if there was a comment–because i was letting them land without moderation….i changed it again today to see if i can get it back to how it was.

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