Monday, March 5, 2012

God, My Standard Issue of Faith Gear is Busted

Sometimes I wonder if God forgot my personal force field when I accepted Him as my Savior. Maybe, it's defective and it needs to go in for a repair or two, or maybe I need to be issued a better instruction manual. You know the Scripture that talks about our personal force field right? 

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Ephesians 6:11-13.

The pressures of motherhood, personal issues that I can't seem to let go, and old wounds have been reopened. The problem is that I still believe life would be better, if not safer in the arms of Christ. Here is the reality check, God didn't promise a safe life filled with roses and problems nonexistent. He brought my reality check this morning when I happened to have read a devotional email for mommies:

Beloved, do not be surprised as the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12.

Instead, He reminded me to renew my mind daily by talking with Him. Not just going through the motions of reading my Bible and sending up a quick prayer; but to really sit down and tell Him what's on my heart. When we spend time with Him, it's like we buff our armor and ensuring it fits correctly. 

Because we are going to have trials, via tantrum prone kids, venomous encounters with not so friendly people, financial strain; we can rest in knowing that He has provided what we need, when we need it. We can rest knowing that our force field will protect us through trials and will shape our spiritual life, tempering it, and strengthening our resolve. 

Go on, talk to Him about your day, talk to Him about what is on your heart. This will give Him the opportunity to prepare you to walk through the next trial with Him Shielding what needs shielded and helping you battle what needed battled. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stinkin' Thinkin': 3 Tips to Take Those Thoughts Captive

Have you heard the term, "Stinkin' thinkin'"? It makes me giggle along with my kids. It rhymes, it's catchy. It reminds me every time I hear it or think it, that I need to take my thoughts captive. Maybe you do too, which is why I wanted to share with you. 

…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ…”  2 Corinthians 10:5 

Your Thoughts Are Who You Are

Do you struggle to take control of your thoughts? I know I do. Very recently, after a misunderstanding, old wounds were reopened and all I could do was dwell on the injustice I felt. What I didn't realize was how it colored everything. Because my thoughts were dwelling on this incident, it painted how I thought of my kids, my work, and myself. 

Maybe you struggle with envy, jealousy, rejection, worry, or fear. Or your thoughts are just plain unkind, crabby, unhelpful thoughts like:

"What is she doing on the worship team, have you seen the suggestive clothes she wears?"

"Why does she always seem to have the newest phone or shoes, new curtains, new house, and when I buy stuff, it doesn't look that good. My taste stinks."

"I can't believe they let that woman in here."

"He wants to go to school next year, but I'm worried that he won't be ready."

"I never seem to have it all together, why I can't I be better at this?"

"She is SO unkind, just plain mean to me. I'm so hurt that she said that to me. And my kids have been little monsters today, they are SO not listening to me. AND the house is a complete disaster, AND I didn't have time to clean it. AND that to-do list of repairs is still on the fridge. AND my husband is going to be getting home late again...AND"

Tell me what you thought of the last example? Have you ever noticed that if you're in a stinky mood, it permeates and spills over onto everything that is happening in your life? Did you ever stop to notice how hard it is not have stinky thoughts? They just keep rolling in like tidal waves in a storm. Things keep getting worse and worse with no end in sight.

Thankfully I have a few tips that I've picked up along the way that I can share with you that I've learned from friends and because I've encountered situations like the examples of above.

Febreeze that Stinkin' Thinkin'

I Need a Brainwash

Music affects our moods, it has the ability to lighten our moods and lower our blood pressure. I love listening to my favorite radio stations.
  • My Bridge Radio can be played on your computer or via radio. They now offer the lyrics to the songs they broadcast, which is awesome if you're a wordy chick like me.
  • K-LOVE is another favorite I use online. 

Some of my current favorite videos via YouTube:

Of course you can always use your IPod and create a playlist of songs that are uplifting and remind you of who really is in charge of your life and your mind.

Stick It

Of course, we can't listen to music all of the time, but you do carry a purse don't you? Get some note cards or sticky notes, write out specific verses that empower you, knowing God is in control. 
Some of my favorite power Scriptures that I stand on are:

When I need peace:
  • ...And the peace of God...will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7.
  • “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you...“  John 14:27
When I need to know God is with me:
  • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…”  Isaiah 43:1-3
  • “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.”  Psalm 118:6

Find Scriptures that speak to your heart, stick them in your purse, on your mirror, in your car, on your treadmill.

Let Someone Read to You

If you're a busy mama which I imagine you are, there are other ways to stay in God's word and let His Words strengthen your heart and clear your mind of stinky thoughts. I just discovered YouVersion for editing purposes but found they have apps for your latest gadget. It's a great way to stay in God's word or you can listen to it at night as you're falling asleep.

Taking our thoughts captivated can be a tenaciousness process, unless we discipline ourselves to be grounded in God's Word. I've found over time, that my kids are better thinkers and actors when we are listening to worship music. I know your struggles are just as real as mine and it's hard to keep our thoughts pure, but with God all things are possible!

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