Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Thought...is 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 is....is 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. 
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. 

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". 

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.