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Archive for September, 2011

Scotomophobia: Scotomophobia is the fear of blindness.

There’s an easy fix for this, ready? Okay, here it is: DON’T GO BLIND. That should pretty much take care of it.

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Have you ever wanted to write your own Phobia of the Week? Here’s your chance!

POW  Competition III

It’s that time again! I’m looking for the best and funniest line or joke for Vestiphobia: The fear of clothing.

The winner with the funniest line will have their name and joke featured as Phobia of the Week #54 on Friday, October 7th. I will be accepting entries from now until Thursday night, October 6th.

Please keep it as clean as possible, and email your entry or entries to thefearlist@hotmail.com, with “POW Competition III” in the subject line. If your email is not labeled with that as the subject line, your email may be mistaken as junk mail and will not be read. Please also include your first and last name along with the entry you submit.*

The contest is open to anyone and everyone, so feel free to invite some of your friends to play along!

The winner will be notified through email by Thursday night, October 6th that their submission has been chosen.

Tickle those funny bones, and I’ll look forward to reading your submissions!

*In the event that you have the winning entry and would feel uncomfortable having your full name disclosed, please simply sign your entry using only your first name.

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I am so excited to introduce you all to today’s guest writer, because not only is she one of my best friends, but she is also an extremely talented writer. Remember this name, because you’ll see it again: Nichole Parks.

Nichole and I first met at the Writing for the Soul Conference, and she never ceases to amaze me with her unique writing voice, beautiful heart, and creativity. I just love this girl, and I know you will too, so please make her welcome by introducing yourselves! To learn more about her, visit www.ireviewchristianbooks.blogspot.com

Without further ado, Nichole brings us The Fear List’s first ever fiction-inspired guest post! I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

H20 Is a No-Go

By Nichole Parks

Freezing water splashes my bare legs at my place poolside as my fellow swim mate embraces the pool. Dusk is tucking the sun to bed in the horizon. Goosebumps dot my arms and legs. Pulled back with my goggle band, my wet hair is drying in ringlets thanks to the bitter wind. I bite the corner of my towel and taste blood from my chapped lips. Evening practice for swim team has a way of making me feel like it’s the end of my life.

“Jump in,” says Lucy, my best friend. She splashes at my feet from where I stand on the grid. “It’s not even cold.”

 “Is too.” I pull the towel tighter around my body.

Antarctica wouldn’t be chilly to Luce. I swear she must be cold-blooded. I look across the blue and white pool lane dividers for my older brother, Mike. He shivers slightly as he clamps a hand on the wall after finishing a lap.

My gaze drops to the floor of the community pool. To the lane lines – which most see as stretched Roman numerals. There is nothing numeral about them to me. They are hammerhead sharks.

I’m DB Baker and I have a selachophobia (fear of sharks).

Luce rolls her eyes and kicks off the wall to start a lap – The Little Mermaid’s biggest fan. She’s wished long and hard for a red hair and a tail, while I dart from one edge of the pool to the other for survival’s sake because you never know when some baby shark will swim out of the hose and into the pool.

One thing about this fear: it makes you a ribbon winner at swim meets. I could propel off that wall and to the side faster than a speed boat. It was never about the prize as much as it was getting out of the water.

Let me reiterate. I have a fear of sharks. And as fears go, it is completely irrational. I am land locked in the Ozarks.

Selachophobia side effects may include:

  1. Useless night lights don’t keep the shark-mares from savaging your room.
  2. Jaw’s theme music may raise blood pressure.
  3. You will know with certainty that Jonah’s “big fish” was a shark and not a whale. (If you think about it technically, a shark is a fish, and a whale is a mammal.)
  4. Mysteries are simple. Whodunit? That’s easy. The shark. Or the butler.
  5. Finding Nemo should be rated R. Not G, or PG because let’s face it when Mom says, “Sharks can’t come out movie scenes,” her parental guidance doesn’t help a bit.
  6. You avoid the shark tunnel aquarium at Sea World. It is torture.
  7. There is a strong urge to scribble more than just a mustache on shark pictures in your biology book. And you listen to the urge.

What is with their names? Seriously. It’s like a horror film writer was asked to document them instead of Discovery channel. Tiger shark. Bull shark. Thrasher shark. Whale shark. Then the oh-so-unforgettable man-eating shark.

My life verse is Joshua 1:9 – “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NLT)

Do I still get scared? You betcha, I do.

Does God’s peace still my pounding heart? Oh, yeah. Every time.

Even knowing God is with me wherever I go and descending coconuts kill more people than sharks, will I go surfing after what happened to Bethany Hamilton? Uh… Let me think about it. No!

Am I first in line for the shark cages? Ha. I’m the little one running away, screaming in the other direction.

But I do dive into pools, bathe – despite our shifty looking spouts- and wade into the tides at beaches. And while writing this post, I looked at many a terrorizing photo of Jaws; though I flinched, I did look my fear in the eye.

How can you laugh at your fear? And what steps do you take to overcome it?

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Nichole Parks is a Squire graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild and continues to be mentored as an Apprentice. She completed the NaNoWriMo challenge last November. In her spare time, Nichole reviews books for Multnomah Waterbrook and Baker Books Publishing, hones her manuscript, and sings along with the country radio station.

 

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Uranophobia: Uranophobia refers to the fear of heaven.

You’re afraid of heaven? A place of no pain, sorrow, or disaster? I’d hate to see how these people react to the concept of hell.

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P.S. Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of The Fear List! My heartfelt thanks to all of my readers, and especially to those who have been reading since the beginning. Your support means more than I can say!

To wish The Fear List a Happy Birthday, press “like”!

Love as you keep fightin’ those fears,

Lizzie

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Those who are righteous will long be remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.” (Psalm 112:4-8.)

Last week we looked at the above verse and talked about the question: is God trustworthy? I think many problems we have with fear can be traced back to that question. If we’re unable to trust God for certain situations in our lives, then fear automatically has a foothold. What do you do if you can’t trust God in the scariest moment of your life? If you’re unsure He can help, or if He even wants to? If you missed that post, you can read it here: http://wp.me/p132LV-lV

Today I’d like to check out that verse in Psalms again and go even a little bit deeper.

Four words stood out to me when I first read this verse, and they were these: trust, confident, fearless, and triumphantly. Each stood out to me in a unique way, so I thought it would be fun to have a look at each of them separately. Whaddaya say, you in? Awesome, then let’s get started!

Trust: Would you agree that any good relationship is built on trust? If so, then how is our relationship with God any different? To grow in our relationship with Him, we need that trust. Without trust, it’s impossible to live a life without fear. If we don’t trust God to care for us, then who are we trusting?

The more we build that faith muscle, the more our fear fat shrinks. How do we build that trust? By getting to know the Lord intimately and well. By reading His Word, and learning more about His character as we do life with Him. By partnering with Him through trials and struggles. After all, how do you learn to trust anyone? By getting to know them and their character.

It’s a thing built over a lifetime, not gained overnight. So start today. Pick up God’s Word, or ask for His help today. Get to know Him. If you do, I’m positive you’ll find a God who is mighty to save, loving, and faithful. A God worthy of your trust. But don’t just take my word for it-experience Him for yourself! He’s just waiting on you, treasured one.

Confident: Now that’s an appealing word, huh? Confident. I don’t know about you, but I admire confident people. I respect them and maybe sometimes even envy them. We look up to confident people as long as their confidence doesn’t verge on arrogance.

Do you know the secret to being confident in who you are as a person and how to confidently expect a better tomorrow? You confidently trust the LORD to care for you.

You see, confidence and trust go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other. I find it very interesting that the word “trust” follows “confidently” in our verse above, because the definition of confidence says this: “Full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.”

Here comes that pesky word again: if you want confidence in your life, you’ll first have to find trust.

Fearless: Now this word is somethin’. Did you know it was possible to be fearless? I certainly didn’t until I read this verse.

Imagine. A day completely free of worry, stress, or anxiety. No worrying about getting the bills paid on time, if your children are safe, or if the world will end in 2012. No walking through the dark listening to every creak in the house, of not auditioning because you just know you won’t get the part and will fall flat on your face, and of not sleeping until you hear the front door click and your teenage daughter’s steps on the stairs.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be absolutely, bona fide fearless? Well, this verse says you can be! And it all begins with trust.

Triumphantly: Ah, the best word of them all!

A foe is a oppenent of any kind. Anything that’s opposing us on something-whether that means depression opposing us on our joy, or an unkind co-worker opposing us on every decision we make. Each of us have our own personal foes.

The good news is, God offers us triumph over them! If you’ve asked Jesus to come into your life and save you, you have God on your side.

The good thing about having God on your side is that He wants you to win. Christians can get uneasy with this concept, but consider this: you love your children. Would you ever wish failure on them? Of course you still them love even when they do fail, but don’t you want them to succeed with whatever they set their minds to do?

Our Heavenly Father isn’t any different. He wants the best for us, and He’s there to help us reach our goals. To find healing and freedom. He loves us and wants us to experience triumph and victory in our lives.

The thing is, He can’t help us if we don’t let Him. If we never trust Him with the things that are troubling us, then all we’ll ever face is the fight. He wants us to also experience the victory.

So whatever fight you’re facing today or this week, let God join in on the fight with you. Partner with Him so you can face your foes. If you do, I can guarantee you’ll soon find some other things along the way: trust, confidence, fearlessness, and a little thing called triumph.

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Microphobia: Microphobia is the fear of small things.

What, as opposed to big things? Well, alrighty then.

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Those who are righteous will long be remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.” (Psalm 112:4-8.)

My heart thudded in my chest as I held onto the ten-foot-high deck railing for dear life. My little four-year-old hands gripped as tightly as they could, but I felt the bars slipping from my sweaty grasp. For a brief moment, I considered calling out to my parents.But I couldn’t call them. I’d disobeyed them by going out on the deck in the first place.

Suddenly, I knew exactly what to do. I’d just pray for God to help me! He could save me. My parents and Sunday School teachers told me that God answered prayers, so I knew he’d rescue me. I sent a calm plea upward and waited.

One hand broke free, and with alarm, I realized the second hand was getting slick. I clung on tightly, but suddenly it slipped free and it was a stomach fluttering fall followed by a sickening smack. The bone of my arm pushed through my skin at an awkward angle, and I remember staring up at the night sky thinking only one thing: God, why did you let me fall?

Maybe you know what that feeling is like. Maybe it wasn’t a deck you fell off of, but a leap you took trusting in God, and He let you fall flat on your face. Or maybe it wasn’t an arm you found broken, but a relationship. Maybe it was a dream you spent years praying about and building, only to have both hands slip away right when you thought you had it.

You might feel as if God let you down. And if I knew your story, I wouldn’t blame you. Having something like that happen strains our relationship with God and severely hurts our willingness to trust Him.

The truth is, God does sometimes allow bad things to happen to us. If you’ll look at the verse I began with, you’ll notice it doesn’t say, “They do not fear bad news; it won’t happen to them,” but, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.”

Do you confidently trust the LORD to care for you no matter what happens? Another way to ask this question might be: do you believe God is trustworthy? Please take just a moment to stop and honestly answer that question before continuing to read. Don’t be afraid to ask it. God already knows the answer. It might help if you do, too. Don’t answer flippantly, but really search your soul and ask yourself: do I trust God? Do I trust His character? Do I trust him in my every day life, with every day things, and not just for my salvation? Do I trust that His plans for me are good ones, meant to prosper me and not to harm me, even when they’re painful? Take a moment to think on that, and then come on back.

I know it’s a tough question, but that’s why I’m asking it. How you treat God and interact with Him depends on your answer to that question. If you don’t trust God, you will always be keeping Him at arms’ length, and your relationship with Him cannot grow. Before you beat yourself up too much over that, are you curious as to what my answer to this question was? If you’re wondering, it wasn’t a wholehearted “yes.”

Searching the depths of my own soul, I was shocked and ashamed to admit that,

despite everything God has done for me to prove His love over the years, I found I still withhold some things from Him.

I share some things that weigh heavy on my heart, but not the heaviest. I rely on Him for some things, but rely on myself for more.

We have learned through life to protect ourselves and in the process save a lot of time and energy. We’ve learned not even our closest friends or family can be completely trusted, and all those experiences color how we treat our relationship with God. If we believe no one can be trusted, then is God any different?

It’s easy to let our pain prejudice what we believe about God and His character.

Is God trustworthy? That’s a question I could answer for you scripturally and theologically, but in the end, I think it’s a question you have to ask God yourself. The only way for you to know for yourself if God is trustworthy is to get to know Him intimately and well. If you know His character, you’ll know if He is the type of God that Jeremiah 29:11 speaks about. A God whose plans are to prosper you, and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future.

Right here, right now, you can meet with God. Whether you’re angry, grieving, or terrified, God already knows. Whatever is in your past, present, or future, He knows. But I also believe He cares.

You know what was most remarkable on the night I broke my arm? It wasn’t that I wholeheartedly believed that my God would save me. Oh, no. Instead, it was this: that I still believed He loved me even after he let me fall.

Wow. Back then, I had enough faith to make Mother Teresa jealous. I still trusted in a God who sometimes let me fall. Now, I’m not sure I’d be so willing. I’ve had too many people hurt me. But if I look past the pain… I can also see a loving Father with arms outstretched, just waiting to take me into His arms.

The choice is always ours: we can choose to hold back because of our pain, or we can let Him hold us in our pain.

What about you? Can you still believe that God loves you? Is He trustworthy? And if He is, can you trust Him with whatever situation you’re in right now? No matter how impossible, painful, or tragic?

I know you’d probably like me to answer that question for you, but I know someone who could answer better. Someone whose reach far extends my own, whose insight far outweighs mine, and whose love for you will last for all time.

Right here, right now, you can meet with God. If you’d like, I can make the introduction for you:

God, I’m hurting and wondering why. I’m scared, and I need you to help me with some things. I need to know: can I trust you, and do you still love me?

Go ahead, loved one. It’s just you and God now. Seize the moment, and I’ll leave you two to it.

Your miracle may be just around the corner.

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Sinistrophobia: The fear of left-handedness.

Ahahaha. I love how this one makes you think it’s going to be so scary, and then it’s: “The fear of left-handedness.”

*Cricket, cricket.*

Maybe it’s just me, but I think something called, “Sinistrophobia” should actually be something sinister.

Just a thought.

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