Managing stress

Focus: Choosing the peace of the Lord

Isaiah 30:15b (NKJV) For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength…”

I’ve had the privilege of producing several hundred-television programs for some very gifted Bible teachers. It seems TV production is always associated with stress because of the deadlines and technical detail involved.

I loved the years I spent producing, directing and editing TV programs, but I won’t deny there could be a lot of pressure, at times. Most of the experience was great—all the same—and I wouldn’t trade the experience.

The best part of the job was having the benefit of being able to hear the messages and Bible lessons over and over in the course of taping and editing each segment. I watched and heard the programs several times before sending them off to the TV stations where they would be aired.

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I will find new strength by resting in the Lord and being an instrument of His peace. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
Link to New Strength Devotional, Audio Version.
I will find new strength by resting in the Lord and being an instrument of His peace. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
New Strength Devotional Inspirational Statement of the Day


Gerald Derstine was the Bible teacher who gave me my start in Christian Television Production. I owe him a debt of gratitude for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to finally do what I had studied in college.

Working with Brother Gerald was pure pleasure for me because he made it that way. Whatever pressures he had been dealing with on any given day as the executive manager of his own ministry—he was always able to put it aside and focus on the needs of the people who would see and hear his TV programs. He always looked directly into the camera lens as if he was somehow able to ‘see’ a person in there who wanted to hear what he had to say. His attention was riveted on them and he exhibited the insight of an extraordinary communicator.

In the hundreds of hours of production time I spent with him, Brother Gerald was always a gentleman. He was never impatient with me–or the volunteers who assisted me. He treated us all with dignity and didn’t ignore anyone. We were often on a tight schedule, but he always remained calm and patient when there were delays.

Directing the taping was my favorite part of a production. I enjoyed making sure everything on the set was in order, placing Brother Gerald’s microphone ‘just right’ on his lapel, and looking after every detail. I am a perfectionist, and he often endured my fussing and taking time to make sure we were completely ready, before we rolled tape. Sometimes he would break into a little song as his way of ‘praising the Lord, anyway’, while he waited.

No matter how long it had taken for everything to be in place, when we ‘counted him in’—without fail—Brother Gerald’s countenance took on a special glow. A TV camera was the vehicle that put him in contact with people who were hungry to learn from the Word of God—and when Brother Gerald was in front of a camera, he was truly in his element.

Brother Gerald had a way of putting himself on the same level as his viewers. He was so humble and honest about his own personal background and various areas of his life that had been challenging. With spiritual applications, he sometimes told stories about how God had healed him from stuttering and other weaknesses. He wasn’t afraid to talk about how the blood of Jesus saved him and that the power of the Holy Spirit transformed his life.

I remember a story Brother Gerald told about stress. He told how people who are stressed out might sometimes make other people feel stressed out, too. He gave Bible verses about why people shouldn’t be stressed out in the first place, but he also gave some very practical advice on how to cope with the effects of that kind of thing. What he shared has stuck with me, and I’d like to leave some of it with you.

Brother Gerald said that when a person you are talking with is ‘talking fast’ from stress, make your answers or replies in a calm, even tone of voice. He said that it helps to concentrate on breathing slower when you’re in the presence of someone who is communicating tension. He also recommended not getting caught up in another person’s frustration whose words may be escalating in volume. He said to purposely speak softer, if they are getting louder.

When other people are under pressure, it’s easy to observe it in their expressions and hear it in their tone of voice. If we’re in a place of personal weakness or caught off guard, we might pick up on their mood and find ourselves tightening up—just like them—if we don’t watch out. Brother Gerald suggested resting in the Lord and having a quiet confidence in His strength. He said choosing ‘stress’ or the ‘peace of the Lord’ was optional, and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to ‘catch’ other people’s stress, but let them ‘catch’ our peace, instead.

Declaration: I will find new strength by resting in the Lord and being an instrument of His peace.

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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.


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