My friend Earline often sends me stuff she's reading during her daily Bible/devotional time.

I confess that I don't have a consistent daily Bible/devotional time, so I'm happy she shares hers with me.

Today's stuff was about fear and how sometimes we let ourselves be "contentedly trapped" in a fearful bubble.

Fear has always been my default mode, although I'm much better than I once was.

True story: When my husband and I were first married in 1975 we watched a lot of TV crime shows like "Kojak" and "Baretta," which were set in New York where everyone was a bad guy with a gun ready to shoot people on the street.

When Barry, who's from New York, took me to visit his home state, as soon as we crossed the state line I ducked down in my seat in the car so the bad guys with guns wouldn't shoot me.

Although he never admitted this, I'm sure Barry probably had second thoughts about what he had gotten himself into by marrying me.

Another time I caused a ruckus in the LaGuardia airport terminal when I thought a man in a furry hat was a Russian spy and was about to shoot me.

Fear of being shot by bad guys in New York is only one of my many fears.

I fear change. I fear people getting close.

I'm afraid of being destitute and homeless, afraid of being out of control and of my teeth crumbling.

I'm afraid to drive on I-275 in Tampa. I'm afraid of anger -- in others and in myself.

I'm mostly afraid of being afraid -- I fear fear.

However, recently I've been confronting fear -- as if it were a person or a personality.

One time Jesus sent a bunch of his followers out to neighboring towns and they returned excited to tell Jesus that "even the demons obey us when we use your name!"

Jesus told them that he gives all of his followers authority over evil, authority to overcome "all the power of the enemy" (Luke 10:17-20).

That means I have authority over evil too, and over fear.

So, I've been speaking to fear, which has been my tormentor, keeping me "contentedly trapped" for too long because I didn't think I had enough faith to do anything about it.

I still don't have a big faith, but I have enough, the size of a teeny mustard seed.

I have teeny faith in a huge God who has given me the authority in Jesus' name to tell fear to leave and to stop tormenting me.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote, "Resist the devil, and he will flee" (James 4:7).

I know this sounds very hocus pocus, and I'm not a hocus pocus kind of person.

But as I wrestle with my demons, I'm seeing them more like mangy dogs with no teeth and less like roaring lions that want to eat me, or bad guys with guns who want to shoot me.

And -- pop! -- the fearful bubble bursts.

Nancy Kennedy is the author of "Move Over, Victoria -- I Know the Real Secret," "Girl on a Swing" and "Lipstick Grace." She can be reached at 352-564-2927 or via email at

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