Rediscovering Fierce Faith

I’m re-reading a book I read a couple of years ago, “Fierce Faith” by Alli Worthington. I rarely re-read books (yet I’ll watch movies again and again – go figure!). But I spotted this book on the shelf by my chair in the living room and remembered how well I liked it. In this crazy, uncertain time, it seemed like the time for “Fierce Faith” again.

When I first read it two years ago, I was in caregiver mode. My parents had various health issues, and my brother was recovering from intense cancer treatment. At one point, I thought we were going to lose him. With all of that, my writing career was nowhere, as well. (I am happy to report that my parents and brother are all doing very well now, thankfully).

As I’m rediscovering this book, it’s interesting to see what jumps out at me today, now that we’re in the midst of this pandemic, as opposed to a couple of years ago. For example, from page 22, this speaks to me: “Fear freezes our faith. But when we fight, our faith frees us from fear.”

I’m the first one to admit, I am one who can “freeze” when I’m fearful or overwhelmed. Lately, I’ve been absorbed in puzzles. And of course, crochet is very therapeutic. All of that is okay to do, but not if I’m hiding from fear or from an overwhelming task. I need to remind myself to be prayerful, and have faith. In that way, I can move forward for a day, or even a single moment, at a time.

We have to trust that God is in control. I don’t say this flippantly – it’s hard to do at times. Especially when our circumstances may not change (COVID-19 isn’t going to disappear tomorrow!). We can KNOW that God is in control, but when our problems are still there, it’s difficult to hang on to that trust and faith.

However, it’s essential to do. Pour out your worry in prayer, cling to God’s word, listen to worship music. Do what you need to do to find peace. God’s got this. Don’t let fear freeze your faith. Philippians 4:6 starts with “Do not be anxious about anything…” Every day, we need to hang on to that, pray and worship, and truly believe God is still here.

All of your problems may not be solved with a single cry-out to God, but you will find the strength to keep pushing ahead. In time, you will know and be able to see that our faith really can free us from fear!

(To learn more about Alli Worthington, and see her other books, visit her website at  More to come from Fierce Faith in future blogs.


Five Minute Friday

I’ve recently joined a group called Five Minute Friday (@5minutefriday), where we’re sent a one word writing prompt.The idea is to write for 5 minutes — little editing. It makes us write (and I definitely need that!). Today the prompt is “loved”. So, here’s my  unedited, stream-of-conciousness writing about “loved.” Thanks for indulging me!Loved

This is an interesting topic. I believe it’s human nature that we all desire to be loved, cared for, and cherished. So many words go along with “loved.” It’s the basic of human emotion.

It’s a lonely world if we aren’t loved. The world can be gritty, painful, and just plain tough. People hurt us, intentionally or not, they will hurt us. That’s when we need to remember that we are ALWAYS loved, by the one who saved us, Jesus Christ.

When we’re alone, we’re not really alone. He is there.

When we’re sad, He cries with us.

When we hurt, He soothes us.

When we’re happy, He shares our joy.

To be truly loved is to love unconditionally. It’s something that we sometimes struggle to do. However, God never fails us with HIS love. We continue to be loved no matter what because we are HIS. And guess what? That is enough. It’s all we need. To be loved by Him.

Discipline is Not a Dirty Word

When we think of “discipline,” most of us have an immediate negative reaction.  Okay, at least I do.  Yet, somewhere deep down, we know that discipline can be a good thing. It’s just that being disciplined doesn’t sound like any fun.

However as we go through this life, we know we are better for being disciplined at whatever goal we’re striving for.  As you may know, I’m a big fan of tennis. The Australian Open finished up this past weekend, and lo and behold, we have two first time Australian Open champions for the men and the women.  One of them is a first-time grand slam champion, period.

The men’s champion is from Switzerland — but not the Swiss player any tennis fan is familiar with.  This year’s champion is Stanislas Wawrinka.  Obviously, for many years, Stan has been in the shadow of the great Roger Federer. How do you live with that? But did Stan give up the sport he loved? No. What did he do? He worked harder. That takes discipline, and determination.

Much was said about Stan’s tattoo on his arm. It’s a quote from Samuel Beckett that reads, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

What do you think of those words?  It didn’t matter that you failed. Try again, probably fail again, but fail better.  This time, after 36 tries at a grand slam title, he didn’t fail.  On top of that he beat the top two players in tennis to get there.

The Olympics are right around the corner. In the coming days, we’ll read and hear a lot of stories of determination and what it took to even make it to the Olympics.  There will be some that fail. There will be others that are just happy to be there and experience it.

But all arrived there through discipline. Talent alone wasn’t enough.

I know with my writers friends, we have our anagram of BICHOK – backside in chair, hands on keyboard (or variations to that).  Writers can’t just write when the creative muse shows up.  Nothing would get done!  Writers need to be disciplined and at their desks daily.  They need to stretch and exercise that writing muscle to make it stronger and to work the way it needs to.

Sound familiar?  We all seem to complain about working out and going to the gym. But we know when we regularly exercise, we feel better. It takes discipline. We are stronger for going.

To watch what we eat takes will-power, i.e. discipline. As one who has battled weight issues, lost a great deal of weight, and is now fighting not to gain it back, it takes discipline. I can’t eat the way I did before — that’s how I got heavy!  I can’t quit going to the gym or working out.  Yet, there are days when I grumble and think of every excuse not to work out. Why? My health and my life changed by changing my eating habits and working out.  I feel great when I finish a workout.  But sometimes I have to drag myself to get there. It doesn’t make sense, when I know how good it is for me.

Being disciplined is good for us.  We reap the rewards of a disciplined life, whether through physical activity, writing, even praying and having devotional time daily.

We need to re-train ourselves to think of discipline as something positive.  To be determined (determination is considered a positive thing), to be devoted.  Why are those “d” words okay, and discipline is not?

So, maybe the first change we need to make is in our attitude.  Let’s be determined to make discipline something positive.

What steps can you take to live a more determined, purposeful, and yes, disciplined life?