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Our Thoughts

“Think good thoughts,” she exclaimed, when I asked what her secret was to living a long and happy life. This was coming from a woman wise in her years. She knew from her 89 years of life experience that it was key to a peaceful and victorious life. She had come to the point in life where she understood the harm that can result when we dwell upon worrisome, fearful, or disturbing thoughts. Our mind is the control center for our body. When our mind is upset so is our body. 

If we can commit our situations to the Lord, trusting Him for His very best purpose in our life, even when things are hard or scary, it will free us to think good and hopeful thoughts in the midst of the storm. If we can walk in peace we will live longer, happier lives. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

According to researchers at Penn State University, only about 8% of the things people worry about come true. This statement by Winston Churchill rings true. “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” It is easy to fall into the worry of the what ifs in life. But, when we turn to God’s Word we are told to do the opposite. In faith, we are to think, trust, and expect God’s very best. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

We are actually not in control of our life circumstances, even though we struggle with wanting to be in complete control. We all want a certain outcome in life and we may even have a plan we formulated in our mind to reach that hope or dream. Perhaps we have even played out just what that dream looks like and how it should go! But when things don’t go as planned and life gets uncomfortable, scary, or stormy, we need to remember that the Lord has us.

If we are walking in surrender, embracing all that He is doing, it comes down to a matter of trust. He has His reasons for allowing hard or challenging times, which we just cannot fully grasp or understand while we are in the midst of them or looking at them in someone else’s life. But, Psalm 62:1-2 tells us, “I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken.” He is always working things out for good.

In Matthew 11:28-30 we are told, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We are to keep our focus on God, being confident of who we are as we walk in truth.

If our minds are bent on thinking negative, unhealthy, worrisome thoughts, there is still hope in the transforming of our minds. This can be done through the redeeming power of our Lord as we believe and receive our true identity in Christ. When the mind goes down a rabbit trail of negativity, one thing we can do is STOP and do what I call a TRUTH check. Ask yourself, are these thoughts based on truth or are they based on fear and the what ifs of life? Anything not factual needs to be thrown out and our mind needs to refocus on the truth of God’s promises. I have found the following quote by Andrew Murray to be both powerful and life changing: 

In time of trouble, say, First, He brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in his love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as his child. Then say, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow. And last, say, In his good time he can bring me out again, how and when, he knows. Therefore, say, I am here by: 

1. God’s appointment 

2. In His keeping 

3. Under His training

4. For His time

It is our hope in Christ that sustains us through the storms of life; Those things that don’t set right with us, cause us stress and unwanted drama, things we can’t change, things causing us pain or confusion, or whatever our worse fears may be. We belong to Christ and He is our peace. In Joshua 1:9 it says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

When we belong to the Lord, we can rest assured that He is keeping us for His purposes. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 tells us, “The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” Through Christ we can overcome. Those lies from the enemy that are meant to break and destroy us, are just that, for 1 John 4:4 speaks of the victory we have in Christ!  “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” The Lord is with us and He will fight the real enemy through us. We are victorious in Christ, always.

Ephesians 4:1 tells us we are to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called. If you are a child of God, saved by the blood of Christ and walking in surrender to Him then you are not your own, and, neither are you alone. You belong to the Holy Spirit who dwells in you. And, regardless of difficult situations, God is always there, taking care of you. You will never face a mountain on your own. The Creator of all things is helping you and He is faithful, forever, to the end. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

We are empowered by God’s Spirit. We are to walk in faith and freedom, not being bound by fear of the unknown. We are to live life fully unto the Lord, following the leading of the Holy Spirit and being confident in His care and chosen purposes for each of us. And, we are to be thinking good thoughts of hope in Christ. We can transform our minds when we focus on the promises of God and stand on the truth, not the what ifs or lies of the enemy. 

Jesus Christ told us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you; do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Rest and trust in the Lord and He will give you the peace you need right here and now. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 

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How to Overcome Rejection

Like an ever growing snowball tumbling down a mountainside, picking up debris with great speed and momentum, so is the propulsion of rejection in the heart and mind of the one who believes this deception to be true. Hurt upon hurt, lie upon lie, until one’s life is perceived as continual rejection, be it real or imagined. 

The lies we believe about our lack of self-worth can seriously trip us up. It is a vicious cycle that snowballs. The more we believe the lie of rejection, the more we embrace it and make it part of who we are. Wearing the identity of rejection as our persona, insecurities grow and are seemingly affirmed when things go wrong in life.

Rejection and self-pity are from the pit of hell. They are not attributes given to us by the Lord. Don’t allow the pain and toxicity from real or perceived rejection ruin you. The fact is, we are God’s Masterpiece. We are made in the very image of God! Psalm 139:14 tells us, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

We are not responsible for the neglectful behavior we receive from others. However, we are responsible for our response. If you have wronged someone, apologize and make things right. Otherwise, your sin will cause a separation between you and the Lord. If your conscience is clear and without conviction, trust the Lord to take care of hurtful or toxic people in your life. His ways are always best. It may seem that people get away with wrong attitudes or hurtful behaviors, but that is a fallacy. We are all accountable to God. Nothing is hidden from the sovereignty of the Lord our God, as He sees the most hidden places of the heart. 

Pray for those who have hurt you or let you down. Lift them up to the Lord. This enables you to be proactive in a beneficial manner. Let the Lord do the convicting and correcting, if need be. Let go of hurts that can’t be resolved and seem unfixable. Focus in on Him and let Him heal unexplained disappointments or hurts in life. Having a heart of compassion and desire for others well-being will help. The Lord is merciful, and so should we also be. When we put the good of others first, we push down the selfish desires of our flesh. Do what is right before the Lord. There is peace in doing the right thing, as we rest and trust in Him. Ephesians 4:32 tells us to, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Our purpose is not to aspire popularity or flattery from others. Seek ONLY to please Him, as our affirmation needs to come from Him. He will honor that desire. If we are serving the Lord first in our life, and He is our confidence, other things will also plumb up! Matthew 6:33 tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” We are loved and accepted by the Lord our God. He will provide comfort and peace, along with strength and new confidence. Isaiah 30:15 reassures us that, …In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

It is of utmost importance that you know your worth. Walk in the freedom of knowing who you are in Christ. Your identity is in Him. Having a correct perspective of yourself will be a complete game changer. Enjoy your life. Count your blessings. You belong, are worthy, and your are competent. I urge you to meditate on this. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Be the best you!

The following is a paraphrase model taken from a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley of In-Touch Ministries on The 3 Steps of How to Overcome Rejection:

1. Identify your feelings of rejection

They stem out of feelings of not belonging, not feeling worthy, and not feeling competent.

2. Reject them 

We are God’s children. 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 

We belong to God!

He gave His son for us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 

We are worthy!

We can do all things through Christ. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” 

We are competent!

3. Affirm

We are unconditionally loved, forgiven, accepted, and complete in Christ. Live as a child of the Living God. LISTEN TO WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT YOU!

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed this post, please use the share buttons at the bottom of the page instead of doing a copy and paste. All rights reserved by copyright. Thank you. Blessings to you!

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Stay Strong and Soar Like the Eagle

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” This scripture, found in Isaiah 40:31, is referring to how we are to live life. In spite of disappointment, failure, or fear, we are to stay strong and even SOAR like the eagle.

If you are troubled by past mistakes or failures, remember, the past is just that. It is behind you. Let go of those disappointments. Don’t live in regret wishing you had made a better choice. What is done, is just that! It is OVER. Praise the Lord! You have your whole life ahead of you and that means opportunity to seek those unfulfilled dreams and desires the Lord has put in your heart. Luke 1:37 tells us, “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Stay in the moment. The mind is responsible for most of our present unhappiness. Just breathe. Enjoy this very moment in time. Begin with the fact that life is a gift. That testifies to purpose. The future is not here or now, so let go of the what ifs. Overthinking possible future outcomes can cause worry and fear. God is in control of all our situations. In 1 John 4:18 we are told, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.” Trust in Him. Find rest in Him. Praise Him for all the good in your life and all that is still to come. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Stay strong in the Lord and true to Him.

Jesus Christ is our Hope. HE redeems. HE restores. HE renews. We have freedom through Christ. Lay down the heavy burdens you carry, whatever they may be. Allow Him to heal your hurts and disappointments. And, above all, have a forgiving heart. This is key to living a victorious life. In Matthew 18:22,  Jesus tells us we are to forgive others seventy times seven times! Through Christ you can forgive the pain others have inflicted upon you. This will allow you to walk in freedom. John 8:32 reassures us, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Through Christ we can live in victory, no matter what is behind us. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“ He is Faithful, always. He cleans the slate and sets us free. It is up to us to choose our mindset. Hanging onto the past hurts, failures, or disappointments will only hinder our relationship with the Lord, those lives we touch most, and hurt ourselves. Choosing to let go of the past and not worry about the future by trusting and resting in the Lord will bring you the peace you need to live each day with fullness of His joy. 

Stay in the present, have a thankful heart, and know that there is nothing too far gone that can’t be redeemed by the Lord. Psalm 103:2-5 says, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Yes, it is true. “Who the Son sets free is free indeed!” John 8:36

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Get Covered

praywithoutceasingIt wasn’t but a few short weeks and those darn stains were back and the carpet seemed as dirty as before, if not even worse! The spots weren’t lifting as easily as the prior scrub, so my mind began to formulate an alternative plan. We needed a type of covering to help keep the filth from getting into the carpet. The use of a clear carpet runner to cover the areas that were prone to stain would be helpful. Yes, a covering was needed to help remedy this problem from continuing to fester. Just as the carpet needed a covering to keep from stain and harm, how much more the children of God!

Let’s look at the meaning of the word covering. The English definition is, an object or substance that goes over or on top of something especially in order to hide or protect it. Source Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary. Now let’s see what the Hebrew translations have to say. There are three Hebrew words we need to look at. Sakak, which means to overshadow, screen, cover. Kasah, which means to cover for clothing or secrecy. And, kaphar, which means to cover, purge, or make atonement for sin, make reconciliation. Source Strong’s Concordance.

praywithothersWhen we pray to our Heavenly Father, we are covered in prayer. Looking back at the above definitions we can derive from this the importance in having such a covering. For this reason, we are to have other believers that we can call upon for prayer. We need people we can be accountable to that will listen and lift us up in prayer, as needs arise. Romans 7:18 tells us, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” When struggling with sin in your life, don’t go at it alone. The enemy wants to isolate and condemn you, and tell you how rotten you are. As you share with another in words and heartfelt prayer, the darkness will be brought into the light. You will enter into freedom as the Holy Spirit ministers to your very soul. Matthew 18:20 tells us, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” With Christ you can overcome and will be victorious.

Philippians 4:6 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God.” We are to pray without ceasing. Whatever is bothering you, upsetting you, causing you pain and misery, or confusion, bring it to the Lord. He will give you the strength and ability to deal with the situation. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. During our times of intense spiritual battle, we must unite in prayer with other believers by sharing our troubles and sin issues. The Lord will be faithful to hear your cry and deliver you from all your troubles. Psalm 34:17

wingscoverIn Psalm 91 of the Bible, the Lord provides us with a complete shield of protection that can only be found in Him. He promises in Psalm 91:4 “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall find protection; His faithfulness shall be your shield and wall.” If we faithfully pray this prayer of protection, the Lord will be faithful to protect you and your loved ones from all wickedness and harm. What an awesome promise the Lord has given to us! Our hope is not is our own strength or wisdom, but from seeking divine protection from our Creator. Yes, the One who created the heavens and the earth will also take care of you. “Why, even the hairs of your head area all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

The stains on the carpet are a consequence from an unchanged behavior pattern that is still occurring, that being, living life and making messes! These stains, like sin, are ever recurring as we live and make messes in our lives, some intentional and others unintentional, due to our sin nature. With God as our strength and refuge we will be victorious over sin and able to live a life that glorifies God. Enlist the help of other believers to pray with you. Do not be anxious about anything, but instead, pray without ceasing. And most importantly, pray the shield of God’s protection over the ones you love. You will be safe under God’s covering, for great and mighty is He.

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Clean the Stains of the Heart

Dirt, spills, and ground in unidentified particles make for a filthy carpet. Day after day the grim continues to spread and multiply, along with the guilt of not getting it cleaned up. The worse the carpet looks, the more ignored it gets, as if there is absolutely no hope at all to ever rid it of its stain. It is depressing to look at and an embarrassing way of life. Until, a choice is made to do something to change its condition. That feeling of putting something off that needs to be cleaned can be carried over to our spiritual life.

Down on my hands and knees scrubbing the filthy carpet stains, a sense of relief swept over me as the stains begin to lift. Pretty much all hope  was gone that this carpet would ever even appear remotely clean again. I had even gone so far as to buy numerous throw rugs in an attempt to cover and hide these filthy and embarrassing stains from the sight of others, as I was so disgusted by it all and the thought of what the possible ramifications would be when we move out of the home.  So, when to my surprise the stains began to vanish before my very eyes, my hope was restored and joy overflowed my heart and mind! There was a remedy for these stains, and I found it, and it worked!

As I continued to scrub, to my hearts delight, I began thinking about the spiritual symbolism of stains and sins in the human heart. How often we sin and don’t even know it. Add to that the wrong things we do, and say, and think, that we are actually aware of. And then, on top of that, all the sin we keep hidden in our hearts that we are too embarrassed or shameful to admit to others, ourselves, and our Lord God who actually sees it all.

The Bible says we are to take every thought captive to obey Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:5. We all have sin in our lives. We all have certain sin tendencies and areas of weakness that we struggle to overcome. Do you feel dirty and possibly embarrassed by your past? Do you wish you could free yourself of the stains you have acquired over the years? What about the consequences of living a life of sin? Would you like to be clean? In Isaiah 43:35 Jesus promises, “But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done.” What an incredible hope we have in Christ! All that filth found in our hearts can actually be cleaned up with the right stain remover, JESUS. And what a relief it is when the filth and stains are gone.

jesus-poster-love-god[1]Hope!

Freedom!

Victory!

A changed life!

There is a section in the Bible referred to as the Romans Road to Salvation. It teaches and explains how Jesus died to cleanse us of our sins that we may be clean and have eternal life in Him. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

How to Accept Christ

The Romans Road to Salvation:

In the Bible, in the book of Romans, is a clear message to us; we need salvation. These Scriptures also tell us exactly what we need to do to be saved! Please take a moment to read through the Scriptures.

Romans 3:10 “As it is written, there is none righteous, not even one…”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you must do what Romans 10:9-10 says. You just need to make this the prayer of your heart. Here is an example. You may use your own words.

Dear Lord Jesus, I come before you acknowledging You are Almighty God, Creator of the Universe. Please forgive me for all my sins now and in the past, (you may speak of specific instances that you would like to repent of and seek forgiveness). Please come into my heart and life and be my Savior. Thank you for dying for me and my sin on the cross. Please help me to seek You and draw near to You, and may You rule over my flesh, as I now turn to follow you. Please, become Lord of my life. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Children-on-God[1]If you have just prayed this sinner’s prayer you are now a child of the One True King! Jesus has forgiven you and cleansed you of all sin. You are a new and clean person in Christ. He has wiped away all your stains and sins. You are free and victorious in Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

                               To God be all the glory!

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