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June Newsletter 2024

Dearest Tribe Members,

But God.

He has warned us about this world we live in and has given us instructions in the Word.He has told us not to fear over 365 times in the Bible. Even science classes teach about thedanger of fear. Did you know that pheromones of fear can actually be smelled by predators andcan incite them to attacks?

I went to Central Michigan University and majored in biology. One of my classes washerpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles. A requirement of the class was to go on afield trips where we studied habitats and collected frogs, snakes, lizards, salamanders etcetera.This particular weekend we traveled outside of Michigan to Kentucky to study other species,including rattlesnakes. Now I was interested in learning about all of God’s creatures; however, Iwasn’t so keen on handling snakes. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. On this trip, I learned alot about the emotion of fear.

It was a hot and muggy day in the mountains. I wiped the sweat off my forehead as I walked upto the top, my eyes scanning the ground thoroughly with each step. I was on a college field tripwith 15 students and our current assignment was to track timber rattlesnakes that had beentagged with radio transmitters. We were to locate the rattlesnakes, collect them, and then recorddata on them before releasing them back in their habitat.

“ Carrie! It’s your turn.” My professor gave me a grin as he knew I was not thrilled with the ideaof handling a rattlesnake.

Hesitantly I took the receiver and adjusted the volume. I wanted to make sure I heard the beepsclearly before I saw a snake.

I started walking with the group and we all started chatting with one another.“Hey I think I heard a beep.” My classmate Randy nudged me.

I adjusted my direction according to the frequency and strength of the signal .The beep started to get more frequent. I turned to my professor, “I think we are close.”

Suddenly my professor yelled, “Carrie! Stop and don’t take another step forward! The snake isunder your foot.”

I froze in my tracks with my right leg raised about a foot in the air. I looked down to see a coiledtimber rattler, with his jaw open and fangs ready to strike.

My classmates backed away, and my professor advised me to stay calm and show no fear. Hereminded me that snakes have poor vision and they depend on the pheromones (scents) in theair to determine their moves. It is well known that animals attack when they sense fear. Theyuse their sense of smell to detect the pheromones made by fear. In the animal kingdom, ananimal that exhibits fear is dangerous to others because its actions are unpredictable.Of course I immediately started praying and asking Jesus for help. The rattle of the snake tailincreased and I began to perspire.

My professor yelled to me “Keep calm, show no fear, and slowly back away. A timber rattler willnot attack unless they feel threatened.”

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control”2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

I began to take deep breaths, focusing on calming my heart rate, and keeping my mind on God.Everything around me faded away as I focused on being calm and moved slowly. One step backand another. One more step and I was clear from the rattlesnake. An incredible rush of reliefcame over me!

That day was a lesson in many ways. I truly feel that if I had let the fear take over me, thesnake would have attacked. I overcame my fear, and in doing so I was able to mentally andphysically calm my body. I put my trust in God.

In these times we may not have the physical snakes and wolves around us but we have themetaphorical ones. How we are affected by them depends on our reactions and our mindset. Inthe current world of deceit and chaos, we need to keep our eyes on Him. Reading the Word,praying, and being still with Him bring me back to center.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” -John 14:27 ESV

I would love hearing your experiences and advice on how you overcame fear in your life.Please send your stories to info at Witnessing to one another builds,the body of Christ, and working together we are stronger.

With great love and many blessings,

Carrie Madej

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