Tag: thoughts

Are you tired of your stinking thinking?

30 DaysYou know what? Sometimes we become so good at fooling others, we forget the truth about ourselves.

People at church, family members, and others we come in contact with may think we’re so wonderful. The model Christian; a poster child for the kingdom of God.

Of course God knows the truth, but until we come to grips with it we will never change.

Change what? Our thoughts. Our stinking thinking. No, this isn’t a post about positive thinking, or negative thinking for that matter. Stinking thinking occurs when we allow ourselves to meditate on things contrary to God’s word.

It’s so easy to do. We get a lot of help from those around us; even if they’re children of God.

The Lord knows the power of a person’s thoughts. He knows they are the first step toward action. And actions are the beginning steps to a habit.

That’s why He said to Joshua: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 NKJV)

“…that you may observe to do…” Joshua had a huge task ahead of him. He was to lead God’s people across the Jordan River, into the promised land, up against the giants and walled cities, and finally divide the land between each of the tribes. But he would have given up from the start if his thoughts hadn’t been governed by the Words of God.

We’re no different than Joshua, even though we may be born again. Our minds are still strong enough to derail us from God’s plan for our lives if we don’t change our stinking thinking.

Paul calls it, “renewing the mind.”

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1 – 12:2 NKJV)

Our responsibility, as followers of Jesus Christ, is to make a change in our world. To represent the Kingdom of God in the same way Jesus did. So we must have renewed minds.

I’ve just finished a book to help those who are struggling with stinking thinking; who have found themselves beaten up and left for dead by the adversary, simply because they couldn’t control their thoughts. It’s called, “30 Days To A Renewed Mind.” Here’s a short excerpt:

“30 Days to a Renewed Mind” has over 175 scripture verses, as well as some personal notes from me, divided into 30 bite-sized portions; one for each day of the month. In this book you’ll discover God’s will and power to help you defeat every temptation that comes your way. Since “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), I encourage you to go through this book every day of every month. Do whatever you can to arm yourselves for victory.

(The book will be available @ Amazon.com July 8th, in both paperback and eBook versions.)

Whether or not you get a copy of my book, remember this: unless you’re honest with yourself about the struggles you have with your mind, you’ll never change. You’ll always get beat up by life.

Delusional Strongholds

IMG_7450.JPGThere’s a fine line between perception and delusion.

One definition of perception is: “the way you think about or understand someone or something.”

Delusion, on the other hand, is: “a belief that is not true : a false idea.”

What happens when a person perceives something as truth, and ignores every ounce of evidence which indicates otherwise?

Maybe nothing at first.

But if the untruths are continually reinforced in one’s mind with other tidbits of information (though the thoughts and understandings are “real”), the perception becomes a delusion.

Which, by the way, is nothing more than a mental prison. A prison, a stronghold, that will not allow visitors without careful screening.

Delusional folks mean well. Of course in their minds, they are correct in all of their assessments, and in every detail. Their memory has been infected with a virus, allowing them to remember only certain things, and only from a certain slant or bias.

The delusional cannot be talked out of their belief, nor will they yield an inch when confronted. 

There is only one way to deal with such people. Pray that the stronghold of delusion be destroyed by the power and word of God.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV)

Delusional strongholds destroy one’s true peace, and relationships with others.

Delusional strongholds hold people at arms length from the truth; the truth which would set them free. They may have glimpses of the truth, but because they’re comfortable and feel safe within the confines of their own reasoning, they won’t venture out or let others in.

Hell is filled with the deluded. 

Protecting oneself from potential delusion is really basic.

1. Understand no one can know everything.

2. Seeing isn’t necessarily believing.

3. Just because you think it doesn’t make it so.

4. Though you don’t remember something, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

5. Gather ALL the evidence before locking your mind down on a certain belief.

6. Realize truth may be revealed in increments.

7. God alone is the Author of truth. If something appears one way, but God’s word shows it a different way, believe God’s truth.

Everyone has perceptions. Be careful what you do with yours.

Froggo 

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When our son was just a wee little lad, his Grandma Lloyd gave him a teddy bear. At the time, he was about seven months old and quarantined in a hospital because he was diagnosed with spinal meningitis. (God healed him, and there were no complications!)

For about a year the bear went without a name.

One evening he and I decided it was time for his friend to have a name.

After mentioning a few, I suggested he name the bear Bosco. He thought I said Froggo, and the name stuck.

We had a little ritual each evening at bedtime. After we read a nighttime children’s devotional and said our prayers, and before Jeremy was tucked in bed, he would toss Froggo over the rail of his crib into the bed. We’d laugh and laugh. Then I’d pick him up, put him in bed, and his mom and I would tell him goodnight and say, “I love you”, as we closed the door and turned out the light.

Memories. Precious memories. 

That was at least 35 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I thought about those memories the other day when I saw Froggo sitting in our son’s old rocking chair.

Memories of Froggo bring a smile to my face, and a warm feeling to my heart. But I have some memories that can cause me to react in a very different manner; if I let them linger. 

Perhaps you do as well. 

Isn’t it something how memories can be hidden away for years, but all of a sudden something will trigger a switch in our mind and we start reliving the past?

It doesn’t matter if they’re good memories or bad ones. They’re all saved for further review, whether we like it or not.

Our memory bank is somewhat like a movie production studio. The movie slate, the clapboard, is snapped shut and the scene begins with us as the director. We run it over and over, reliving the memory as it rolls on and on.

Some scenes we’ll replay, after changing the script a little in order to make sure we’re still the star. We have an uncanny way of remembering how right we were and how wrong others were.

And with us holding the scissors, we can cut and splice the video any way we like.

But that’s where we can get into trouble.

Some folks have wasted their lives by playing the old tapes over and over and over. Good or bad, right or wrong, no one can live in the past.

I believe that’s one reason Paul wrote:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 ESV)

As well as:

“…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)

I enjoy the memories of our little boy and his bear, Froggo. But I can’t live there. Froggo is basically the same, but our son isn’t.

And neither am I. 

May I suggest something to you? The next time your memory bank is turned on, and your mind starts downloading scene after ugly scene before your mind’s eye, how about doing yourself a favor?

Yell “Cut!” 

Then calmly get up out of your director’s chair and look again at Paul’s words…

“Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and/or excellent…”

In other words, replay things that won’t poison your insides while you take a trip down memory lane.

Like good ol’ Froggo.

Ten Reasons Why

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I’m beginning a new series of posts called “Ten Reasons Why”. There will be a number of topics we’ll consider, but the first is this:

Ten reasons why you should think about God and His Kingdom.

Yes, one would suffice, but why not arm yourself with enough reasons to overcome any doubt? It just makes sense.

1. Perfect peace comes to those whose minds are fixed on God.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)

2. It reinforces your faith’s perspective.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2 NLT)

3. You will be led by the Spirit into life and peace.
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” (Romans 8:5,6 NLT)

4. God, through the apostle Paul, commanded us to think on certain things.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)

5. Everything we need is provided by God.
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV)

6. Thinking about Him helps us act like Him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9 NKJV)

7. It’s a key aspect of spiritual warfare.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV)

8. Stability and fruitfulness are its outflow.
“…but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:2-3 ESV)

9. It helps combat the sin nature.
“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” (1 Peter 4:1 ESV)

10. We’re in a much better position to hear Him speak.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26 ESV)

I’m certain that if you search the scriptures you could probably find at least one more reason to think about God. But like I said; one is sufficient.

He told us to.

Why do YOU think about God? I’d love to hear why.

It All Begins With A Seed

20130702-233354.jpgIt all began with a seed. How long the seed was in the ground, only God knows. But it was there, just waiting for the right time, the perfect time, to make its grand appearance. Once it started to grow, there would be little to stop it.

A tightly wound, thin shaft of green pushed through the hard, dry soil, signaling new growth; new life. At least that’s what it looked like. Pretty green leaves, much like those around it. Ah, yes, it will fit just perfectly with everything else.

Soon, though, the beauty dies and you see the plant for what it is. A dandelion! A weed! A plant that can ruin the best kept lawns. In fact, a plant that can affect whole neighborhoods! By the time the plant withers, it can produce some 200 seeds; multiplying itself some 200 times. All it takes is a little wind, like someone picking it from the ground and blowing on it. Incredible!

And to think…it all began with a seed!

Our thoughts are like seeds. The things we think about, words we meditate on, dwell upon, are seeds of future beauty. Or, they can be like weeds, destroying beauty, affecting neighborhoods, families, relationships.

Seeds grow into words. All of life is affected by words. Words have the power of life and death. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21) Words can create friendships, heal relationships, or cause turmoil and discord. Words can affect nations, leading to war or peace.

You and I are the caretaker of our mind. We determine which seeds, or thoughts, are allowed to be planted in us. We choose which ones are allowed to stay and grow.

If you’re not crazy about the life you’re living, or if your life isn’t blessed with God’s Presence, you’d better check what you’re planting, or what you’ve allowed to grow. Maybe you need to burn out the old field and start over with good seed. Or, maybe you should pray for a “crop failure.”

Because it all begins with a seed.

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