Destress in Three Minutes or Less

Do you feel anxious? Are your thoughts running out of control? It happens to all of us. Try this technique to release the stress in just a few minutes . . . .

Step 1: Find a quiet place to sit. It can be a chair at a desk, or a closet if you need to get away from others. Close your eyes.Take a deep breath in through your nose. As you breath out slowly, let your muscles relax. Take a few slow deep breaths in this manner until you feel your heart rate begin to slow down.

Step 2: Picture a conveyor belt. It is going up and goes through a curtain. Take each one of your concerns, anxieties, or problems and place them on the conveyor belt. Watch them go up and through the curtain. (At the other side of the curtain, is God’s throne room. As the conveyor belt comes through the curtain, there are angels who lift up each item and call out to one of the angels standing in line in rows. There are thousands of angels standing in line, patiently waiting for you to send up your issues so that they are released to come help. As each one receives their assignment, they joyfully fly off as the other angels celebrate.)

Step 3: Select at least three things that you are grateful for and thank God out loud for them.

Step 4: Select at least three of God’s character traits and verbally praise Him.

Step 5: Spend a minute or more simply basking in the presence of God, worshiping in awe and humility.

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Step 6: Before resuming your tasks, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the one next thing that you should focus your attention on (task to get done). Listen for the answer.

Repeat as often as you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed. You will be amazed at how many things get done and how much calmer you feel!

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Being Silent to Listen

Is seems as if the “Holiday Season” comes faster and more suddenly each year. At least it does for me, but maybe that has more to do with me getting older then the situation actually changing. It also may have to do with not having as much focus on material, or earthly possessions, and therefore not being as focused on buying gifts, and decorating for huge parties, or other such endeavors. But, what I do notice, is an increasing need for silence: to be silent so that I can listen, and hear the still small voice of God amid the noise and the activity.

After all, the next two Holidays are all about God, aren’t they?

First, we have Thanksgiving, a time when we remember that it is God who led the founding of this country, and express our gratitude. It is a time to remember that our entire country, and all of the freedoms that we enjoy, are based on the freedom that Jesus died to give us. This includes the freedom to make choices that are in contradiction to God’s will (and experience the consequences). We celebrate Thanksgiving to remind ourselves that we are not totally self-sufficient and in charge of the universe, but rather, are dearly beloved creations of a personal God who cares for each one of us. It is a time to remember that we did not get everything we have because we are “owed it” but because our God is a gracious and generous God who knows and provides for every one of our needs.

And that brings us to our second major holiday coming up, Christmas. Despite all of the movies about Santa Claus and love and presents, none of these are the reason we celebrate. Once again, this holiday is a time to remember and to praise the Lord of the Universe that He loves us enough that He came to live among us as one of us in order to rescue us from slavery to sin and death. He suffered the consequences for our rebellion and rejection of Him, in order that we could be reconciled and live with Him forever! So, the next time you watch one of the Christmas movies that talk or sing about peace on earth, spend time praising Jesus that He came to bring us peace with God! It is on this peace, this reconciliation, that all other peace rests.

And remember, take some time out of the busyness of the season to be SILENT and LISTEN, remember and praise!psalm-7711-12