What You Fear Causes You to Stumble

People will always throw stones onto your path. How you see them will change your life.
People will always throw stones onto your path. How you see them will change your life.

What You Fear Causes You to Stumble

For this is what the Lord said to me with great power, to keep me from going the way of this people: Do not call everything an alliance these people say is an alliance. Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified. You are to regard only the Lord of Hosts as holy. Only He should be feared; only He should be held in awe. He will be a sanctuary; but for the two houses of Israel, He will be a stone to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Many will stumble over these; they will fall and be broken; they will be snared and captured. Bind up the testimony. Seal up the instruction among my disciples. I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob. I will wait for Him. Isaiah 8:11-17 (HCSB)

Is there a true sanctuary that removes your fears and offers hope? Fear is a natural response God created into each of us for our own good. Fear causes us to either stand our ground and fight with all our strength or to flee with all the stamina and speed we can muster. Self-preservation is at the root of our fears. Fear increases our adrenaline level to better cope with stressful and dangerous situations. However, there are times when we realize that our fear response is not enough to conquer or escape our fears and we seek help to manage our fears.

Mankind has relied upon alliances believing that when forces are combined you can better stand up to your fears. Sadly, we only learn misery loves company! Most alliances are temporary deterrents when dealing with our fears. Fears often cause you and your ally to turn on one another in the middle of the battle because in the end self-preservation overrides common preservation. Friends turn on friends when their own lives are at risk.

In this passage from Isaiah, The northern tribes of Israel believed an alliance with Aram (Syria) was sufficient to defeat their fears; Judah allied itself with a weakened Egypt. However, neither escaped the Assyrians and later the Chaldeans (Neo-Babylonians). Both neglected the small print in their covenant with God – the” if, then” clause that would have saved them from their fears.

God is the undefeated champion for his people. God sought Isaiah to warn those who claimed to be God’s people to start acting like his people and stop relying upon their own alliances. Those who resist the temptation to rely upon their own alliances and trust God discover genuine protection, preservation, and provision that arrests their fears and anxieties. (Checkout Matthew 6:33) All the Lord requires: trust him and stop trying to deal with the fears that threaten our lives daily on your own. God declares that our fears can become stumbling stones or stepping stones.

There is only one genuine “fear” that every person faces that is common to all mankind – the fear of death. The choice is whether we will choose to make that fear a stumbling stone or stepping stone in our relationship with God. Fact: no earthly alliance can defeat the fear of death.

Oh, how history would have been changed if Israel and Judah repented and returned to the Lord as His people? How about your own history? How will you be remembered? Will your life encourage or discourage the next generation about the fears of this life?

Coach

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (necessities of life to overcome our fears and anxieties) will be provided for you. Matthew 6:33

God’s Sanctuary Found With Humility

God’s Sanctuary Found With Humility

The name of the LORD is a strong tower (impenetrable sanctuary); the righteous runs into it and is safe (set on high). A rich man’s wealth is his strong city (secure fortress) like a high wall in his own imagination. Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor. Prov 18:10-12 (NASB)

Whether at school, at work, the community, or in a church, there are people we meet almost daily that are in the wall construction business. Many of us might even offer such an enterprise on our résumé.

Our insecurities demand that we protect ourselves through the construction of impenetrable walls intending to keep others out. But, why would we want to build such barriers? According to God’s wisdom, we construct barriers out of our feelings of insecurity, but there are secure places of refuge discovered through humility.

An insecure person constructs walls in a futile effort to isolate themselves from others because they fear and therefore reject some aspect of their lives. Such a human-made sanctuary seeks to keep all those we label as unacceptable at a safe distance while preventing the same excluded people from recognizing the genuine fears and anxieties of the people cowering behind the walls they constructed to alleviate those same fright-filled concerns. However, in reality, human-made walls offer only an illusion of security; actually, walls comprised of steel, concrete, stones, and stout timbers only keep the people on the inside from seeing clearly, and they are the ones who miss out from the benefit of genuine relationships in this world.

The truth is those cowering in isolation have cut themselves off from God’s desire for us to experience trusting friendships and the love for one another as God intended. They have justified their isolation efforts by their prideful motives of self-preservation. They exist to preserve one relationship – their relationship with their “self”. What a sad and lonely existence our foolish pride can stir up in us when we allow our fears to overwhelm us.

The truly humble discover God’s strong tower where they can find refuge, where the walls are God’s design. This secure place is the only impenetrable refuge or sanctuary from the challenges in our life. However, we should always remain mindful that God never intends for us to remain isolated standing high upon his tower or behind the walls of his sanctuary. God offers refuge and sanctuary to all his children, not just the ones we feel safe accepting into our lives. A humble heart will enter to find rest and restoration before confidently stepping back out into the world God intended all of us to connect with all of his creation.

God’s true refuge or sanctuary has the unlimited capacity of accommodating all who seek his grace, peace, and mercy. His high tower likewise clarifies our proper place and purpose in life and restores our focus on God’s priorities, diminishing our selfish priorities. Constructing lasting relationships are encouraged within the confines of God’s safe place so that we can live confidently beyond the walls of his sanctuary in the real world. Inside God’s sanctuary, our fears are quelled by his love, reminding us that where love exists, fear cannot. The only price for entry into this “high tower” refuge is our “self’! We must come in humility to recognize the security that God offers us.

How about you? Are you someone who builds walls to hide behind out of insecurity and pride, or do you know the way onto God’s high tower where security comes from humility? Which leads to genuine life, and which locks you away from an authentic life? Seek God’s will, ways, and wisdom and the right choice may become evident.

Coach
www.coachbrown.org

Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:33

Premier novel in the Shiloh series of stories, April 4, 2017. Advance orders available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The premise of sanctuary threads its way through the ongoing story about a small South Georgia town of Shiloh and how its citizens dealing with dark secrets, scandal, and sin impacting their tranquil rural community.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/TMBrownauthor/ and find more information on events and how to order the book on Amazon.

Sanctuary Review by Dana Ridenour, author of Award Winning, Behind the Mask

In his debut novel, Sanctuary, T.M. Brown, introduces his readers to the cast of characters who live in the tight-knit, small town of Shiloh, Georgia. Theo and Liddy Phillips moved to Shiloh from Atlanta expecting a quiet, tranquil retirement. Little did they know that their arrival would stir old wounds and lead them to discover a buried secret in their new hometown. Theo sets out to write a newspaper article about a local man who tragically died in a fire. While researching the local hero, he discovers quite a few secrets that some people in the town want to remain a secret. Brown immerses the reader into this quaint town and allows the reader to get to know his characters. The characters are interesting and likable and the story is believable. The novel is God-driven and the language is clean. It was difficult to say goodbye to the colorful characters who reside in Shiloh. Luckily this is the first book of what will hopefully be a long series.

Ignorance, Our Greatest Enemy

Ignorance cannot win the mind of an avid reader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genuine Sanctuary is found when we teach our children and grandchildren the love of reading. A thirst for books sharpens the sword that will serve them well in the battle against ignorance and dependence upon others to shape their beliefs.

Sign up for updates here or go to https://www.facebook.com/TMBrownauthor/ for list of local book events scheduled throughout the state of Georgia in the coming weeks. Also have virtual interviews forthcoming and book club offerings.

Excerpt from Sanctuary. “Just beyond the shadows of the stores and office buildings surrounding Town Square, our new neighborhood displayed a patchwork of quaint homes with manicured lawns. Most of the homes appeared fairly modest in size and offered little doubt that more than one generation raised their families in them. Mature magnolias, moss-ladened stately oaks, as well as picturesque pecan trees stood watch over the homes. The patched sidewalks and curbs reflected decades of children on bikes, mothers pushing baby carriages and couples taking a stroll. Inconspicuous narrow alleys ran behind each row of homes. Wrought iron or painted picket fencing with ornate stone or brick walkways welcomed guests to the front porches.”

Premier novel in the Shiloh Saga series of stories, April 4, 2017. Advance orders available.

Southern Fiction – Sanctuary, April 4th Launch Date

Premier novel in the Shiloh Saga series of stories, April 4, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An excerpt from a recent pre-launch review.

‘Time crept while I stirred and tossed in futile attempts to capture any semblance of actual sleep. Capitulation arrived shortly after four when I poured a cup of coffee and sat down in the living room…Okay Lord what are you trying to share with me?’ Theo Phillips, Main character Ch 20, pg. 169

When the author used the descriptor, ‘a couple of southern minutes’, I knew I was in for a treat as main characters Theo Phillips and his wife Liddy started retirement in their new hometown of Shiloh, Georgia.

(Thank you, Linda Pifer for your extensive review. Her complete review and others will be soon published on my author web pages.)

SANCTUARY introduces newly retired publishing executive, Theo Phillips, and his wife, Liddy, to the time-lost South Georgia town of Shiloh. They leave the shadows of Atlanta and move into a quaint home of notoriety. While making new friends, they discover twenty-first-century challenges threaten the town’s laid-back lifestyle. Theo’s interest in a memorial launches him into investigating tragic events that have left Shiloh unsettled. Theo and Liddy’s retirement dreams take a turn that could unravel both them and the idyllic life they and many others look for in Shiloh.

PLEASE STOP BY FOR A SNEAK PEEK at my LinkedIn page or go to my Facebook Author page and connect for regular updates and information regarding Sanctuary’s anticipated March release. I am forever grateful to all who love Southern Fiction mysteries…

The grand antebellum courthouse in Sparta, GA rededicated in 2016 after burning to the ground in 2014.

Premier book signing event will be in Sparta, GA on April 8th, home of the antebellum courthouse that was razed in 2014 and rebuilt and dedicated in 2016. Their majestic edifice provided the inspiration for the writing of the core story in Sanctuary.

April 22nd, Aiken SC “Wine and Sign” Book Event offers a great venue for Southern Fiction lovers. My wife and I look forward to participating.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/TMBrownauthor/ to learn of all my future book events in the coming weeks.

Advance book orders now available leading up to April 4th launch date. All books will be signed and shipped the first week in April.

T. M. Brown, “Mike” to my friends!

T. M. Brown is a Southern boy at heart, although he’s lived and traveled in many states far removed from his beloved boyhood roots in Georgia and Florida. He returned to his Southern roots several years ago while his two sons were still in school and regularly traveled throughout the South before returning to college shortly after his youngest son graduated. In the last fifteen years he has preached, taught and coached in Alabama, Georgia and Florida until his wife and he moved outside of Atlanta and retired to write, travel, and spoil grandchildren.

email: tmcabrown@gmail.com

Trying to look clam but getting anxious about Sanctuary’s release next month.

Sanctuary Sneak Preview – April 4th Release Date

I am pleased to reveal the book cover my premier novel in the Shiloh Saga series of stories.

SANCTUARY introduces newly retired publishing executive, Theo Phillips, and his wife, Liddy, to the time-lost South Georgia town of Shiloh. They leave the shadows of Atlanta and move into a quaint home of notoriety. While making new friends, they discover twenty-first-century challenges threaten the town’s laid-back lifestyle. Theo’s interest in a memorial launches him into investigating tragic events that have left Shiloh unsettled. Theo and Liddy’s retirement dreams take a turn that could unravel both them and the idyllic life they and many others look for in Shiloh.

https://www.facebook.com/TMBrownauthor/

Thanks for all your support and encouragement as I have transformed my devotional thoughts into true-to-life situations that my characters in Shiloh face. My Facebook author page offers constant updates anticipating the book’s release on April 4th, and then news about the sequel, Testament, due out this fall.

God bless and spread the news.

Coach, aka T.M. Brown

Premier novel in the Shiloh Saga series of stories, April 4th, 2017

“Shiloh 1” reserved for the mayor!

Sign up at https://coachbrownorg.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/shiloh-1-identifies-the-mayors-truck/ or https://www.facebook.com/TMBrownauthor/ and receive updates on the March release of my premier Southern Fiction mystery, Sanctuary, published by Deeds Publishing, Athens, GA. The sequel, Testament, fall 2017.

All Southern Fiction offers vivid word imagery that bring its colorful characters and time-lost settings to life in the mind’s eye of the reader. Sanctuary is no exception. Preview readers have asked where is Shiloh? Are the characters based on real people?

Harold’s ‘Shiloh 1’ vehicle in Sanctuary

T M “Mike” Brown, Author Page

The abandoned mansion outside of Shiloh found in Chapter One.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go to:  https://coachbrownorg.wordpress.com

Creating a separate author web page for my Shiloh stories. SANCTUARY is the premier book, March 2017 release by Deeds Publishing, Athens, GA. TESTAMENT is the first of the sequels, Fall 2017 release.

More news about the book launch is forthcoming…

T M “Mike” Brown, aka Coach Brown

tmcabrown@gmail.com