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October, 2016 - Issue #144

Facing Fear with Faith
What makes you afraid? When I was younger, I was afraid of the dark, of bees and spiders. As an adult, my fears have changed. I fear for the safety of my loved ones. I fear that I will run out of money. I fear rejection. I fear humiliation. I fear failure.

Fear can motivate us and push us to be at our best; but fear can also paralyze us and interfere with our ability to live out the free and abundant lives that God has for us. Too much fear shackles us into self-made prisons. We use fear to rationalize our way out of faithfully following God's commands to love our neighbor as ourselves.

If we are going to break the hold that fear has on us, we must learn how to face our fears. We must teach ourselves to stop and think before responding so that our response to fear comes from a place of faith and love instead of a place of instinct and self-preservation.

Personally, I find three scriptures helpful:

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19, NRSV

"I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39, NRSV

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13, NRSV

These passages remind me that the God who created the universe knows me and loves me, not for what I accomplish, but simply because I am. Nothing can separate me from that love and I will always have all that I need.

I still feel afraid. But we remember that courage isn't the absence of fear; it is responding in a faith-filled way in the face of fear.
Steve Peralta is the pastor at Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301

Conquer Fear with the Word of God
First, we must understand what fear is before we can conquer it. Fear is not always negative; it is mentioned in the Bible at least 300 times and mainly as a positive: "to fear God." Proverbs 9:10 KJV says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." We must put our trust in God. He is the holy one!

When faced with fear is when you should activate your faith with works. Whatever the fear is, speak the word of God over it! The word - the Bible - is our sword; it's what we use to fight with.

Fear is also an opportunity to build our faith. For example, if you have a fear of animals, turn to the word. Genesis 1:28 tells us we have dominion over animals, so speak the word and believe it. Then face the animal by going to the zoo or animal shelter and hold, pet, or even volunteer to care for the animal. Whether it's animals, relationships, finance, school, health or anything else, we can conquer any fear through our faith in God. Psalms 23:4 tells us we don't have to fear any evil because God is with us.
Win 1 Church www.winnone.com

Everyone's Invited to the VUMC Block Party!
On Sunday, September 18,2016 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm, head over to Valencia United Methodist Church at 25718 McBean Parkway for food and fun! Their Block Party is their way of saying, "We love being part of this great community!" There will be waterslides, a rock climbing wall, games, crafts, music and food, plus a crazy photo booth, "pump and splash" for the wee ones and drawings for awesome gift baskets. It's all free and everyone is welcome! Bring your family, bring your friends, bring yourself and join in the fun!
Valencia United Methodist Church 255-1301
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