Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thoughts Are Important

You are a spirit, you have a mind (soul), and you live inside a body. Even though you are a spirit, the way you interact with the world is through your mind. So the thoughts that reside in your mind are very important because they are how you interpret life. Life does not happen independently of your mind; your mind is essentially your life. You cannot have a life experience without the mind. The mind is the creator and interpreter of your life’s experiences.

"Everything you do – begins with a thought".

What you think determines your life. We typically think that life happens to us; but really, life is happening because of us. Events, situations, and relationships that occur over the course of our life and how we respond to them helps us to develop our mindset. Then that mindset (or thought life) is portrayed in everything we do. For example, peaceful people don’t initiate wars. Their mindset is such that they will seek and settle for a peaceful agreement. Whereas angry people are more likely to initiate wars. War doesn’t occur separate from people; war is caused by people. So, the mindset of the person causes the life experience.

You may have wrong thinking going on and not realize it. We all have within us the potential for good or bad - it’s our decision which side we want to live on. And sometimes we switch sides (back and forth). There has to be a daily effort to corral our thoughts and keep our minds focused on the positive and what can go right in this life. It needs to be done in everything we think, say and do. This is how we manage our mind. And sometimes the mind requires retraining to a more correct or desirable mindset. The mind must get into a new pattern in order to create new thinking. It won’t correct itself. There has to be a deliberate choice and continued effort to do so. Why? Because the mind maybe so used to its routine that it may not even know it’s involved in wrong thinking. It can see the wrong thinking as normal.

The average mind is believed to have 20,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day! Yes, that’s right – there’s a lot going on inside that head of yours. And research and studies show that 80% of thoughts are negative, and 90% are repetitive. Wow! That amounts to a whole bunch of negative thinking going on everyday all around the world. The majority of the thoughts processed by your brain are based on your intuition (intuitive thinking) and happen instantaneously and effortlessly based on your experiences. The other type of thinking is called rational thinking which is directed, conscious reasoning. We need to manage all of these thoughts or our mindset can get out of control quickly.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Taking It Personal

Here’s an anonymous quote:

“The bad news is, you cannot control people and make them like you, accept you, understand you or be nice to you. The good news is, it doesn’t matter.”

That’s a pretty good quote. The only problem with it is – most of the time, we do allow it to matter.

Consider a person who is always insulting others, or someone even as extreme as a bully. It’s very easy (and even normal) to take this kind of behavior personal. But realize that a bully is always hiding something. Even though their actions are aimed at you, they are really covering up an insecurity or weakness. They are saying “I feel like a loser inside – like I have nothing going for me and in order for me to feel better about myself, I have to put you down which in turn lifts me up a little higher”. They do this so much that it becomes ingrained in their personality. When you’re being treated wrong by someone and it’s not your fault, know that they are going through struggles, having a bad day, or even having a bad life. Of course, that doesn’t excuse what they’re doing or make it right, but what it does is help their behavior not get to you and affect your temperament. It helps you not to take it personal. They don’t get to put their stuff on you, but it’s up to you to not let that happen. Don’t accept the bad thoughts. Because the minute you grab onto it and take it personal, it begins to mess up your mindset and the rest of your day, week and sometimes year.

No one can truly ruin our life – we do that ourselves. People may do or say negative things to us, but our life gets ruined when we accept that what they told us is true. Then we began acting and living in a manner that brings on the destructive results (as a response). It may be true that they lied and probably did some things to you that were not fair, but you are the one who decides to accept those things in your mind, keep them there for a prolonged period of time, and allow them to become a part of you. So, please practice not taking things personal. And it takes practice! Keep your mind intact and set on what God needs you to do. Don’t take personal what others may do to you, but do take personal the responsibility of how you respond to what they did.   

“The way you feel has nothing to do with the way I feel; UNLESS I let it”.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Just A Thought

A thought is just a thought – it’s not reality. Just because you’re thinking something doesn’t mean it’s truth.  I used to think that my thoughts were me. Meaning, I used to think that everything I thought – everything that went on in my mind - was me. After all, I was the one thinking those things. My brain is coming up with all of this stuff; it’s coming out of me, so it must be ME. I never realized that thoughts are just that – concepts developed in the space in between your ears – sometimes random, sometimes untrue.

How many times have you ever thought, “I’m gonna slap you right up side your head!” But you didn’t do it, did you? You arrested that thought, pushed it aside and replaced it with a better thought – maybe something like, “Calm yourself down - that person is probably having a bad day. I’m gonna take the mature path and just let this pass."

Anything on God’s green earth can come into your mind, and just because it does, doesn’t mean it’s you. Just because you “thunk the thought” doesn’t mean it belongs to you. And more importantly, just because the thought popped into your head doesn’t mean you have to accept it and own it. By own it, I mean:
  • Think that thought again
  • Think even more about that thought
  • Lie down on your bed and meditate on that thought
  • Imagine how it would be if that thought were true
  • Add other similar thoughts to that thought
  • Begin vocalizing that thought (tell people about it)
  • Eventually, begin to act like that thought is reality

Soon you are walking around and living life as if that thought (that happened to pop into your mind) is a part of your life. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be something that you were supposed to keep and accept as a part of you for the rest of your life. And that is most likely true – especially if the thought is a negative one. You have to "mind" your mind. Arrest each thought! Don’t give the bad ones (ones you know are wrong or don't want) permission to reside in one of your most valuable spaces - the space between your ears. Because it is definitely true – you are what you think. Don't become something you're not supposed to be. A thought is just a thought until you accept and make it your own.

For as he thinks in his heart; so is he (Proverbs 23:7)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

You Have the Choice

God says “Let Me run your life”.
We say “Yes”, but we keep doing things our way.
God says “Don’t you trust Me?”
If we are honest, we would say, “No, I don’t….I can’t see You, I can’t feel You, and I can’t hear You. So…how can I really trust You?”

God says,
  • “You can’t see Me, but you can see all of life’s (invisible) problems heading your way and you really have no real answers in sight.
  • You can’t feel me, but you can feel the (untouchable) stress and anxiety of things imagined that haven’t happened….and may never happen.
  • You can’t hear me, but you can hear all of the (unhearable) negative voices and thoughts in your head that drag you down to mere existence.
  • You can sense all of these things that are not there.....but you can't sense me? I believe you can.
So…..You can either trust Me – let Me run your life and let Me give you peace.
Or….. you can work out your current (and imagined) problems yourself  – and continue with the life you’ve always had.

I give you the choice.”

Tired of Playing Chess?

A good chess player can see the entire board and envision 10-15 moves ahead of their opponent. Sometimes we take that approach in life, but in a negative sense. We plan for and worry about a multitude of things that may never happen. For example, at school, we walk down the hallway wondering and presupposing what everyone is thinking of us. In marriage, we try to think five steps ahead of our spouse to maneuver ourselves into getting our way. At work, we are trying to keep one step ahead of our co-worker to make sure they don’t “get the edge” on us or stab us in the back. This type of thinking is stressful and causes anxiety and fear. It can also change who we are (our personality) or the activities we get (or don’t get) involved in as we strive to please others or defend ourselves against perceived threats.

Two Definitions I Like
  • Stress is the natural response of someone who is still trying to save his or her life, instead of allowing the circumstance to produce a life surrendered to God.
  • Worry is meditation on things that torment you. Some people inaccurately call this "planning ahead", but what it actually repeating the negative things (that may never happen) over and over in your mind. There is a positive aspect of planning, but when taken too far becomes worry. 
Trust God to make your next “move”. He knows your opponent better than you do anyway. You can't see (or understand) all of the moves He is making and you're wondering "how am I gonna get out of this one?" But let Him have control of your board, sit back, and watch Him maneuver your situation into a "check-mate". 

We have to live for right now, take care of today and just know that God is taking care of everything else. Just trust. If you’re thinking steps ahead, let the thinking and the steps be fueled by God (faith)….or by love. Because you know what?...most of the negative things you’re thinking aren’t even true or won’t happen anyway! Your future is being decided right now – with your mind, your thoughts, and the words you speak. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Seed

The tiny seed was thrown into a dark, cold, suffocating place. It felt like the end. Little did it know it was just the beginning.

The seed knew there had to be more, so it struggled, burrowed its way upwards, and broke through the darkness. It had finally reached the surface and exhaled as it began to unfurl its arms towards the sunlight. As it continued to grow, heavy winds came and pushed the plant from side to side. But instead of lying down and giving up, it dug its roots deeper into the ground making itself more stable – able to withstand even stronger winds.

Later, heavy rains followed and the (now) small tree was sure it would get beaten down and drown. That “hard-to-breath”, suffocating, dark feeling had returned. As the tree struggled to stay alive, it realized the rain was providing its roots with water it could use to help it grow and become even stronger. The thing it had been afraid of - the thing that had almost drowned and killed it - was now a source of its strength. 

As time passed, the tree matured and learned that every time the wind, rain, and even drought came - through all of the seasons - it became stronger. Soon, its branches reached out so far that they provided shelter and shade for many other plants and living creatures.

You are the seed. Hard times will come, but God will see you through - to an even stronger you. Sometimes when you’re in a dark place and think you’re buried, you’ve actually been planted. Use the pain to change you. Let the new roots grow deep. Then others will be blessed from your shade and fruit.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Can't Catch a Break!

"Why is this bad stuff happening to me? Boy, I can’t believe the bad luck I have - I just can’t get anything done! It seems like it's always one step forward - and two steps back. There must be a dark cloud following me around....floating over my head".

Well….maybe not.

God wants us to believe. God wants us to trust. Even in the middle of the storm, lightning and thunder….Believe. The devil sometimes has more belief in us than we do in ourselves. He sees the potential, the talents and the purpose God has for us. He can sense it. So he wants to take you out before you can fulfill it. He is very organized (he and his legion of demons). He knows your weaknesses (because you voice them all the time) and knows what pushes your buttons (because of your negative reactions to certain situations). He uses these to get you irritated and upset with people, things, and life that you get off track and you lose sight of what God needs you to do.

So, when bad things are happening to you for seemingly no reason, first of all - know it's not God doing something to you. Take into account that it might be just an attack (a spiritual attack). You might be getting closer to your purpose – to what God wants you to do. So, if it gets difficult, don’t just give up and think “I guess that wasn’t for me”. Maybe it’s time to push through because the devil knows what you’ll accomplish if you actually (truly) started believing. Many times we blame God for something, but the devil should be getting all of the credit for it. God's goal is to give you abundant life. The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

So, try to see beyond what is actually happening in the natural. Keep pressing forward. Your success may be just around the corner. And just in case it isn't, keep going to the next corner.

Thoughts Are Important

You are a spirit, you have a mind (soul), and you live inside a body. Even though you are a spirit, the way you interact with the world is...