If You Feel Stressed Today

bluebonnet.jpgLast week, with Christine (who lives in Tennessee) and Jamie (a student at Oklahoma Christian University) both home, we drove to Marble Falls, Texas, about an hour and a half away.  

 
Marble Falls is a little town, not far from Austin, that has a renewed downtown area with lots of shops, etc.  More importantly, it is the home of the Blue Bonnet Cafe.  The Blue Bonnet Cafe is a place well known for its good food — in particular its pies.  Friday afternoon, we stopped by to sample some outstanding pie that alone was well worth the drive.  

 
This cafe is laid back.  I’ve only been there twice, but both times I had the same impression.  This isn’t fast food.  Oh, the service was very good, quick, and responsive.  No, I’m referring to the way the place "feels."  I sense that people come in this cafe to eat a good meal, visit, and then eventually slip out.  We enjoyed being there and being with our children.  We talked, laughed, and told stories.  

 
Years ago, I preached in Pulaski, Tennessee, a small town about an hour from Nashville.  One couple that was particularly encouraging to Charlotte and me in those days was Dennon and Joy Alsup.  Dennon used a word quite often that had a way of relaxing me.  He would said, "Let’s ease over there and get a coke."  Or he might say, "Why don’t we ease by their house and just say hello."  I learned that it was difficult to be in a panic mode (as I would be at times) and use the word "ease" at the same time.

 
I am thankful that God breathes an "ease" in the middle of life that is often characterized more by panic, noise, stress, and hurry.  No matter who you are, you might just need to hear (along with me) that it is God who still rules and controls this world and our lives in particular.   Consider these words from Psalm 46:

 
1 God is our refuge and strength,
       an ever-present help in trouble
.

 
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
       and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

 
3 though its waters roar and foam
       and the mountains quake with their surging.

 
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
       the holy place where the Most High dwells.

 
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
       God will help her at break of day.

 
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
       he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
       the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 
8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
       the desolations he has brought on the earth.

 
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
       he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
       he burns the shields with fire.

 
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
       I will be exalted among the nations,
       I will be exalted in the earth."

 
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
       the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 
This morning I have written this post primarily for myself as I reflect on God as my own place of refuge and strength.  Perhaps you need to hear this as well.  Whether you are a university student, a young single working in a large city, a busy minister, or a young mother with two small children, you may just need to be reminded that God is very much in control.  Does this relate to what you have been thinking about lately?

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  • http://www.life-mission.org/blog Adam

    Jim, this very much relates to me today.  Several days ago we lost a close friend who I worked with every day for about 20 years.  The grief has been overwhelming, but now we’re dealing with the loss of her role and skills. Your words are timely.  I can see how much God loves me by providing encouragement and truth through your post today.  Thank you. 

  • John Roberts

    When we lived in Temple we would go to the Blue Bonnet Cafe where it was home style cooking and out-of-this-world pies.  Surely they had to be related.
    And yes, I’ve also known a few folks (mostly elderly Texans) who have "eased" on over – what a great perspective on life.

  • ConnieLard

    Psalm 46:10 is possibly my favorite verse in the Bible.  Lately the 23rd Psalm has been profoundly helpful to me as well.  Very good reminders in our fast-paced world.

  • Jim Martin

    Connie–Thanks.  I have like this passage of Scripture for a long time. One of those I keep coming back to.

  • Jim Martin

    John,Thanks for your comment.  Yes, the Blue Bonnet Cafe is still there.  What a great place.I need to remember this word "ease" as it relates to my life much more than I do. 

  • live_life
  • Jim Martin

    Adam,I am so sorry about the death of your long time friend and co-worker.  May God bless you as you begin the process of dealing with the loss of her role and skills. 

  • http://makegodsmile.wordpress.com/ Mark Hodges

    It makes me wonder why I still get stressed. It comes down to the fact that He is still working on me and I am still working on letting Him.

  • Greg England

    Thanks, Jim. At 55, we’re about to buy a house. In Southern California! I need this reminder!

  • Matthew

    Jim, Which congregation were you working with at the time? 

  • Evelyn

    Hello Jim and friends.  You don’t know me, this is the first time I’ve ever made a response, but I know you all…..sort of, through this wonderfully uplifting and most encouraging site.  I read many Christian articles pretty much on a daily basis, but A Place For The God-Hungry is absolutely my favorite;  I gain more insight and comfort from this site than any other.  Jim, thank you so much for helping me grow through your most insightful and wise posts.  What joy this "community" of Christians bring!  God bless you all.
    Jim, I too, would like to know what congregation you work and worship with.
    Aahhhhh…..The Blue Bonnet Cafe, a favorite!
    Evelyn
     
     
     
     

  • Jim Martin

    Mark– I can relate.  I suppose it is a reminder that we are all a work in progress. Greg– So glad you are getting a house.  I do suspect it is nerve wracking!  In Southern California no less. Matthew– Was working with the Richland View Church which has long since disbanded.  Most of these people were absorbed in two other churches in the area. 

  • Jim Martin

    Evelyn,I am so glad that you made this comment.  Thank you for your encouraging, affirming remarks.   I am glad that in some way this site has been encouraging to you.  I hope you will comment again.  I would enjoy hearing from you as often as you wish to comment.I am in Waco (Tx) and am with Crestview Church of Christ.  I have been here almost fifteen years.Thanks again!