Worrying About Tomorrow

Worrying About Tomorrow

If there was ever a time that we realized we were all control freaks, it’s surely in the midst of those rites of passage in which we don’t know what comes next. Becoming a teenager, learning to drive, graduating from high school, falling in love, graduating from college—just a few of the rites of passage many of us experience. And when those moments come, the future is a fog of uncertainty. What’s the next step? Where do I go from here? What is the best choice? We like to have everything planned out and we like to know exactly where our next step will lead us, but the fact of the matter is, we often don’t know the answers to these questions—and that makes us anxious.

I’ve gone through many of these rites of passage myself. The one currently heading toward me at one hundred miles per hour is college graduation, which will happen this coming May. Before then, in January, I will be traveling to Los Angeles with my girlfriend, Rachel Held, and my apartment mate, Zach Ford, both of whom are also connected to WNZR in some way. We will be participating in the Best Semester program through the Los Angeles Film Studies Center to complete our Film Studies minors. As crazy as it is to think about going from small-town country life in Ohio to the big city bustle of Los Angeles, California (talk about stepping outside my comfort zone), it doesn’t compare in the slightest on the anxiety meter to the thought of graduating from college when I return to Ohio in May.

You see, with the Los Angeles trip, everything is planned out and accounted for. Sure, I’ll have to find an internship to attend three days a week and prepare my own food for an entire semester, but everything is part of a pre-determined plan. It’s all on the roadmap. When I walk across that stage in May with my cap and gown to receive my college degree, the roadmap begins to fade rapidly. The possibilities are endless, and so many doors will be wide open, all leading to different outcomes. Is there only one right choice for me? Are there any wrong choices? Will I regret choosing one path over another? Even now these questions flood my mind.

But the Lord does not foster anxiety—he dispels it. He does not leave us to curl up and hide away in our uncertainty—he meets us where we are and comforts us if we allow Him to do so. In the book of James, we see our worries about the future addressed: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:13-16

But how can we know the will of the Lord? What if we haven’t matured enough in our faith to know what is God’s voice and what is not? Part of the answer is simple: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3


In all that you and I do, we must commit our work to God if we are to see success and experience fulfillment in the truest sense. It doesn’t have to be directly ministry-related, per se. Many of us are not called to ministry in the traditional sense. As long as you are living, doing, creating, and working for the glory of God, you should not fear. Instead, you will be comforted in your time of need.

Andrew Yoder
Co-Host on The Morning Thing

 

 

 

An Attitude of Thanksgiving

An Attitude of Thanksgiving

There are hundreds of holidays throughout the year, some nationally celebrated and others unknown to the majority of the American population. From January to December our calendar encourages us to celebrate a different aspect of our society each day. For example, June 22nd is Take Your Dog to Work Day, April 23rd represents Talk Like Shakespeare Day, February 11th is Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, and, my personal favorite, Star Wars Day on May 4th (May the 4th be with you). This week Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving, a holiday focused on being thankful for what we have. But do we really do that?

Thanksgiving originated in 1621, which was the Pilgrims’ second year in America. During a devastating winter with little to no food and shelter, God provided. Weak, sick and dying the Pilgrims desperately cried out for help. God answered and cared for His people through an Indian tribe. They were taught to grow crops, hunt, and use the land around them. The Pilgrims were so thankful for these new skills that they celebrated for three days through prayer and feasting. This historical event was not just a way to say thanks to the Indians but also to God.

For a lot of people, Thanksgiving has become a time to eat and watch football but they forget about the most important part, thanking God for his many blessings and continued guidance.

This year we have a choice. There will always be disappointments in life, situations to complain about, and people who irritate us but there is also happiness and joy in God. From food and shelter to friends and family, God has provided for our every need. We need to be like the Pilgrims and thank God for the blessings He has graciously given us. However, this attitude of thanksgiving should reach beyond one day of the year.

Thanking God should be done everywhere and every day and should not be limited to one day. God provides for us 365 days of the year! He protects us, encourages us, guides us, and loves without ceasing so why should we stop thanking Him? As thanksgiving approaches take a few minutes to consider your blessings and continually thank God for them with the same sincere attitude the Pilgrims did.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

WNZR is thankful for your prayers and support this holiday season! I hope that you enjoy your time with family and friends and I encourage you to spread an attitude of thanksgiving throughout the week.

Jenna Potts
Co-Host of The Morning Thing

Forgive yourself

Forgiveness. This can be an extremely difficult thing to do. When people wrong us we want the situation righted. We want justice for ourselves. We want them to get what is coming to them. Looking at someone who has done something terrible, saying we forgive them, and genuinely meaning it from the bottom of our hearts takes an incredible amount of love and compassion. However, it is not unheard of and indeed we hear it preached to us from multiple pulpits that we need to forgive others. But there is someone who we find it even harder to forgive who is never mentioned to us: Ourselves.

We live in a culture that tells us everything is all about us. With that in mind you think it would always be easy to brush off our own mistakes and simply not care when we’ve done something wrong. Sometimes this is the case. Then there are those times that we know we’ve messed up. Royally messed up. Those times we hurt the ones we cared about most, those times we fell backwards and did the things we swore that we had given up and would never do again, those times we became exactly what we said we would never be. While we live in a culture that tells us everything is about us, it also tells us to set high standards and expectations for ourselves. When we listen to the world and set expectations of ourselves, even if they are commendable ones like being a perfect parent or succeeding at a job, forgiving ourselves when we fail to meet these expectations is downright close to impossible. We’ve set ourselves to live by the rules and standards of the world, and the nature of the world is to be unforgiving.

Ultimately, the reason why it can be so much harder to forgive ourselves than someone else is because we know ourselves better than any other human being does. I can personally say that there are things about me that only I know. In fact, even with the things I’ve confessed to the ones I’m close to only I know all of the details. The fact is, to the people around us we can seem like pretty nice people, but then, they can’t see the inner demons that we struggle with. We fail to realize that the existence of faults and failed expectations does not prevent us from still being good people. We carry around these burdens, even if others have forgiven us, because we fail to forgive ourselves. We look at what we have done and say, “I don’t deserve grace.”

I’ve got great news for you: You’re right, you don’t.

“Whoa there, Wesley, how is confirming that I am so terrible that I don’t deserve grace a good thing?” Let’s face it, if deserving grace were criteria for receiving it, you and I and everyone else in the world would be in a whole lot of trouble. That’s the whole point. We beat ourselves up for not deserving something that by very definition is undeserved! We all know Romans 3:23, “The wages of sin is death.” Wages are something that are earned and are deserved. Paul does not write that the wages of sin are grace and forgiveness. Why is it then that we have a problem with not deserving grace? Nobody does!

Still though, even when we realize that it’s okay to not deserve grace we still have trouble accepting it. Allow me to go back to something I said earlier: the reason why it can be so much harder to forgive ourselves than someone else is because we know ourselves better than any other human being does. I’ve got more news for you. While it is true that we know ourselves better than any other human being does, God is not a human being. He sees us as better than even we can see ourselves. Yes, He sees the faults and the mess-ups and the failed expectations and the hurt that we’ve caused. Yet He offers grace regardless. He knows we don’t deserve it, and He certainly understands everything we’ve done wrong better than we do. If the Supreme Creator of the Universe is okay with offering us forgiveness we have no reason to not accept it and forgive ourselves in the process. We are not perfect by any means, but we are not defined by our imperfections.

​There’s a great line in MercyMe’s song “Greater” that I really like: “There’ll be days I lose the battle, Grace says that it doesn’t matter cause the cross already won the war.” Don’t forget that despite our failures and shortcomings that we beat ourselves up over all the time, the victory is already won. Remember this week that God has offered grace for you and me and we can both take it to give to ourselves.

Wesley Boston

Underwriting Coordinator
Co-Host of The Morning Thing
WNZR Radio

Finding value on the soccer field

By Faith Orecchio
Student Co-Host of The Morning Thing

While playing soccer at Mount Vernon Nazarene University I learn a lot about my faith. I have amazing coaches that know who we play for and treat our team as a ministry. Their persistent encouragement and uplifting attitudes help shape me into the the player and person that I want to be.

Even with the positive atmosphere it’s hard not to find my value in soccer. Sometimes when I don’t play well or get as much playing time as I would like, I get angry. I feel like I must not be good enough. Instead of looking for the positives, I focus on every negative I can find. I focus on all the “bad” things that aren’t going my way and weighing my worth through them. I become frustrated and that affects my attitude for games and practices. Sometimes I forget why I play because all my focus is on why I don’t. Instead I should focus on the blessing God gave me. He gave me athletic ability to play soccer and not only do I play; I have the opportunity to play in college, where very little athletes get to participate. I get to be a part of a team and play soccer every day. There is no reason for complaining.

Success and a happy life should not be measured by money, cars, or how well I play in a soccer game. Our purpose is to live a life for God. So we should find our value in Him, because we are made perfect in His image and are His children. We will have a great, happy, and successful life when we give it all to God. He doesn’t love us because we have a great job or we are the best player on the team. He also doesn’t stop loving us when we lose a job or get a bad grade on a test. He sees us for who we are – the good and the bad, and He wants all of it. He wants to love us unconditionally and we have to remember that.

Nothing we do or not do is going to change the way God loves us. He loves so much that He sent His one and only son to die on the cross for our sins. We have to find our identity in Jesus because in this life where everything changes and there is sorrow and hatred He is everlasting and full of love.

Faith Orecchio is a sophomore at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She plays the position of center midfielder on the MVNU Women’s Soccer Team. The Lady Cougars finished the season with 13 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie. The Cougars finished 6-3 in the Crossroads League.

Wonderfully Made

“Wonderfully Made”
by Marcy Rinehart

Why do we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others? I fall into that trap too often. Comparing accomplishments, talents, looks and even initiative can lead us down a dangerous path. How many times do we miss the blessing God has waiting for us, because we are too focused on what someone else is doing?

God has been speaking to me on this topic lately because our family just went through Homecoming season. I have a 16 year old daughter that is truly enjoying her junior year of high school. She is very involved in school and at church, has a great group of friends and does well academically. The days leading up to Homecoming were quite a challenge. My husband and I spent numerous days trying to convince our beautiful daughter that there was nothing wrong with her because she didn’t have a date to the dance. It pained me to see her tears as she cried, “Mom, what is wrong with me? Why am I not as good as those other girls?” As a parent, those are the moments you pray for God’s guidance. Of course, I know that my daughter is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I also know that one date to Homecoming will not make or break the beautiful future God has planned for her life. How could I convince her?

It was then that the sweet, gentle voice of the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Was I listening to my own words? Did I believe that I was precious and loved? Why do I consistently fall into that sinful trap of comparing my job, my looks and my talents to others? Psalm 139 reminds us that we are a work of God and His works are wonderful! Psalm 139 also reminds us that God knows our hearts and is always with us. I have been challenged by verses 23 and 24, “search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”.

Homecoming 2014 is a good memory. Our house was full of 4 beautiful, single girls that day. My daughter and her friends had a blast as they spent the day doing their nails, makeup and hair. We also had a special time of prayer before a wonderful dinner. One of the fathers presented each girl with a rose and became their chauffer to the dance. My daughter would tell you that this was one of her best memories from high school.

I want to thank Francesca Battistelli for writing a beautiful song that encourages me and reminds me to see myself as God sees me.

“He Knows My Name”
He calls me chosen
Free, forgiven
Wanted, child of the King
His forever
Held and treasured
I am loved
I don’t need my name in lights
I’m famous in my Father’s eyes
Make no mistake
He knows my name

Lord, help us to realize that our true worth is found in YOU. We are beautiful in your sight.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Interview with Irina Creek, Operation Christmas Child

The Morning Thing talked with Irina Creek about her full circle story. Her story started in a Russian orphanage where she received a shoe box from Operation Christmas Child. She has come full circle and is now traveling and speaking on behalf of the ministry.

\https://soundcloud.com/wnzr/sets/interview-with-irina-creek-operation-christmas-child

Interview with Lois Carter and Kandee Popham

The Morning Thing had the opportunity to talk with Lois Carter and Kandee Popham about the transition from Care Net Pregnancy Services to Starting Point.

https://soundcloud.com/wnzr/sets/interview-with-lois-carter-and-kandee-popham


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