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THOUGHTS THAT DIVIDE AND DISTRACT: A Biblical View of Anxiety

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My mother’s favorite Psalm was Psalm 139. She especially loved the last two verses, 23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” She also loved the hymn we sang with these words put to an old tune. As I grew, I came to love this Psalm and make it my own and it became my favorite Psalm, too. It’s interesting that the New King James Version uses the word anxieties where the KJV uses thoughts. The Hebrew word is saraph and means “disquieting thoughts, thoughts.” This word is found also, in Psalm 94:19: “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” The root word for saraph is caiph and means “ambivalence, division, divided opinion.” Strong’s Definition says “divided (in mind), i.e. (abstractly) a sentiment: —opinion. In other words, these are thoughts that divide and distract, thoughts that cause us to be anxious because they bring doubt and

WIVES, MOTHERS, SISTERS, DAUGHTERS: Part 2, The State of Womanhood

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This one is a hard one. My days of early womanhood were in the seventies during the height of feminism. Glamour magazine was the magazine for the liberated woman. I always loved makeup and glamour (and still do) and thought the women on the cover looked so beautiful, so I would buy those magazines, just because I loved that look. They were filled with articles that were laying the groundwork for feminism and sexual liberation. My father would see the magazines lying around the house, and told me and my sister that he didn’t want us buying those magazines anymore. But I couldn’t imagine not buying the latest issue every month, so instead of obeying my father (I still lived at home), I still bought them, but just kept them out of his sight. What happened was that I became conflicted and confused as a young woman in my twenties, because I knew what the Bible said about these things, but these messages from the magazines, combined with every show that was appealing on television and