Summary: When we step out in faith in power of God we become freed from fear.

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Good morning everyone…I just have to say…it has been a pleasure to be spending the last three weeks up here with you…normally in children’s church after talking for like 3 minutes I have to stop my lesson and tell someone to stop poking their neighbor, or to remain in their seats…or remind them that we listen with our ears and not our mouths…I haven’t had to do any of that for 3 weeks…it has been wonderful…I mean sure, some people have fallen asleep while I’m talking…but as long as you are not talking to your neighbor in your sleep…I’m ok…speaking of sleep…the one thing that has been hard these last three weeks is, every time I do anything up on this stage…I always have horrible nightmares the night before that something goes terribly, terribly wrong on Sunday morning…without fail…for example this last week I dreamed I woke up late and church had already started…so I freaked out, grabbed my suit and preaching notes, and drove to church in my pjs. And I got to church, placed my suit and notes in my office, and ran up to the sanctuary to grab an order of service to see how much time I had before I had to get up to preach…and I had about 10 minutes…so I ran down to my office, and someone had stolen my suit and preaching notes…so in my panic I didn’t know what to do, so I ran to our drama closet and the only two things I could find that fit me was a white pirate frilly blouse shirt, and old plaid polyester golf pants…why I thought that was a better choice than pjs I don’t know…anyways so then I was running, uncomfortably I might add, around trying to find a computer that worked so I could print my sermon notes…and I found Pastor Tyler and asked if I could please use his computer because my notes were saved online…so I grabbed his computer and thought I just need to type in the web address and I can do this…and I looked down at his computer and the keyboard was just a bunch of emoji faces…and in my panic and stress I yelled at Tyler, why can’t you just use the alphabet like the rest of the entire world…and at that moment the worship band started playing Layla by Eric Clapton…and I grabbed my head and screamed out….NOOOOOOOOO….that is my entrance song….I’m wearing polyester golf pants and a pirates blouse…and I don’t have my notes…..and I broke down crying, and all I could think was….I sure hope Rich isn’t watching this online….then my alarm went off and I literally jumped out bed, got dressed (in a suit)…and I got to church by 6:30….because there was no way I was hitting the snooze button…I wasn’t go back to that mess of a nightmare…

All that to say…I think I might have some problems with my brain…and this happens every time I get up here to preach…it is probably safe to say that bouncing around in my mind is the fear that whenever I have to preach, something is going to go terribly, terribly wrong…And I say fear instead of worry, because as similar as those two words are in that our body responds to those feelings the same way, fear and worry, are also very different from one another…Have you ever wondered what the difference between fear and worry is? PAUSE (I did a dramatic pause there in case you haven’t ever wondered that…so you’d be able to answer yes to my question)…the difference is this…worry is when we have negative thoughts and obsess about something that could possibly happen in the future…for example I’m worried because what if I lose my job, what if I get horribly sick with something, what if I have to wear polyester golf pants with a pirate shirt in public, what if something happens to one of my children…these things may or may not happen…but since we can’t control the future…we worry that things like this might happen (even if the chance of them happening is extremely small)….we worry because we are not in control

Fear on the other hand is a reaction to a real imminent event or danger in our lives, it is what we feel when something has moved beyond being a possibility, to become a reality…I have lost my job, I am horribly sick, I have a huge final coming up tomorrow, something has happened to one of my children…and I am afraid…and that fear will last with us until the imminent event or danger is over…So we worry about things that might possibly happen in the future, but we fear things that are happening or are about to happen in our lives.

Now the Bible is filled with passages about telling us not to worry…and in our mind that makes sense…I mean…whether you are a Christ follower or not…we can all agree that worry changes nothing…worry fixes nothing…and in a recent study they found that over 90% of the stuff we worry about never comes to pass anyways…so regardless of what we believe about God, we can all agree that we shouldn’t worry because it accomplishes nothing good and is a waste of time…and if you are a Christ follower you can go even a step farther and say we shouldn’t worry because not only does it accomplish no good…more importantly you believe that God is in control…and so we trust him with the future because He is in control of what we cannot control…so we don’t worry…

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