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By: Mike Collins

I'll bet you didn't know that I was an astronaut. If you are old enough, you probably remember the first time man walked on the moon. Do you remember who the command module pilot was? It was the same person that remained aboard the command module, Columbia, on station in lunar orbit while Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin descended to the lunar surface in their lunar module Eagle. Yes you've guessed correctly: it was Michael Collins.

Well, my name is Michael Collins, but that wasn't me. However, my astronaut experience was one that I will never forget as long as I live.

I don't remember how old I was, but I do know that I was very young. It was getting close to Halloween, and my mother and father were working hard on my costume. I wanted to be an astronaut, so they worked at piecing together what looked very much like a spacesuit. It was fantastic. Every detail was perfected and looked authentic - including the space helmet.

We had an old space-age television set that didn't work. It was white and perfectly round, and hung from the ceiling by chains. It was a little bigger than a basketball, and had a plastic screen that looked just like an astronaut's face shield. Dad gutted all the electronics from the set and cut a hole in the bottom so it would fit over my head - it looked exactly like an astronaut's space helmet.

On Halloween night my next-door-neighbor's father took his children and me trick-or-treating near the east end of town. We absolutely racked up on candy and goodies. I had a shopping bag practically full, and was still ringing doorbells when we reached the house that turned everything upside down.

As my chubby little finger moved closer to the warm, glowing button that would ring the doorbell, the front door opened very quickly and noisily. Jumping nearly out of my skin, I noticed an old witch was standing at the door and cackling eerily. We were all so terrified that we slowly began backing up to get off the porch, when all of a sudden another witch came running from around the side of the house screaming wildly and heading straight for us!

I turned around so fast that my space helmet stayed in place - meaning it was now on backwards and I couldn't see a thing. But that didn't stop me from running! I was screaming with everything in me, and running as fast as my little fat legs would carry me. Candy and goodies were flying everywhere as I was literally running for my life.

I was heading blindly for a huge tree when my friend's dad finally caught me. Well, I thought one of the witches had grabbed me so I kicked and fought like a wild man. Mr. Shepherd could barely hold me because he was winded from running after me, but probably more so because he was laughing so hard at the whole situation.

Fear cripples the senses and causes mental and physical damage to the person engulfed in it. Fear causes our faith to become broken, and Godless reality begins to erode our positive thinking. Fear will put you in predicaments you never would have dreamed you'd be in, it will place you on a road you would have never otherwise taken, and it will cause you to live a life you would have never otherwise lived.

J. Oswald Chambers once said, "There is no conceivable situation in which it is not safe to trust God."

My advice to anyone living in fear would simply be this: Stop running long enough to turn your Helmet of Salvation around; when you do, you will find that instead of being fear's prisoner, you have the power to become its jailer.

Mike Collins is syndicated columnist, broadcaster and author of Christian material. To sign up for his FREE weekly inspirational email column simply send an email message to:

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By: Mike Collins

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