Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Corral Those Thoughts!

 Having returned from my latest adventure I thought I would finish sharing my thoughts regarding the passage in Philippians Four.  Verse Eight was a good one to heed on my travels, as it is every day.... no matter where I may be!

I often marvel over what a generous, gracious God my Papa is.  He does not leave us defenseless.  Our God equips us with the weapons and tools needed for this life.  They are available to all who would care to take them up.

Every single person in this world is broken.  We are broken people in a broken world and our LORD understands that fact.  So He has fashioned what we need to find wholeness, healing.

It is His Truth, which reveals what we need and it is one of the weapons He makes available to us.
How privileged we are to be able to find ourselves in such a position.  One that leads to victory through the brokenness!  So many struggle and never progress from that place, yet anyone who comes to Him will find freedom from that very struggle.

Many in my family struggle with addiction of one kind or another.  At times it is difficult to watch them living such broken lives.  It would be easy to want to step in and "fix" them.
That never works.
All it does is draw you into the problem.

Another temptation is to project into the future all that could happen and our thoughts usually run toward the awful what ifs!

Of course, we could just get angry at the destruction that we are witnessing.  This also doesn't take us anywhere good.

Let's see what that verse has to say and what tools we find to help us in the midst of this broken world we live in.

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

I heard a speaker many years ago who suggested we imagine each piece of this verse as a part of a fence that we use to corral our thoughts.  
There are eight pieces to this fence: truth, honor, rightness, purity, loveliness, good repute, excellence, praiseworthy.
We set the corral up and then we ask Papa to help us keep the pieces in place.  We also ask Him to get our attention quickly when one falls out of place.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard His small, still voice drawing my attention to errant thoughts.
The more you practice it, the more it becomes a natural reflex.

Sometimes He simply speaks to me about what emotions are churning inside me and I realize that a piece or two of that fence needs to be erected again!

When we have our thoughts corralled then we will find that we are renewing our minds and that brings great blessing to not only ourselves, but all those other broken people God brings our way!
Here is how the Twelfth chapter of Romans, the Second verse puts it:
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Sure Antidote

Continuing with the Fourth chapter of Philippians Paul addresses the issue that holds us back from owning a rejoicing spirit.


You know the word, but just to be clear…

Unease, apprehension, disquiet, fretfulness, angst.

The thesaurus uses yet another word…Fear.

Yes, fear is the culprit.

Under those churning emotions lies fear.  What else causes us to feel unsettled and anxious, but fear?

Fear that something will happen.
Fear that something won’t happen.
Fear of disappointment.
Fear of failure.

What is the antidote to this fear?


Bring it all to Him.  All, as in EVERYTHING!

That is what verse six says, but that is not all it says,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Did you notice what our attitude is to be as we pray?  One of thanksgiving.  An attitude of gratitude!

Now how do we do that when what we are praying about has caused us so much angst?
I can tell you how I do it.

I remember Who it is that I am praying to.

The King of Kings and the LORD of lords.

The One who loves me and delights in working all things out for good.  All I have to do is look back over my life thus far and I am reminded of this fact!

It is basically being still and knowing He is God.

With the antidote comes a peace that only God can give. It is the peace that will protect our hearts and minds.
Protect them from that thief Fear.

 It isn't something we can wrap our minds around, but that is okay.  We don't need to understand; we just need to receive it!

It is the antidote to whatever is plaguing you!

What an amazing Savior we have!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Joy of Forbearance

Spending time this morning in the book of Philippians, specifically the Fourth chapter, verses four through nine has stirred a few thoughts.  I am challenged and encouraged.

One of my sons is in a whole lot of emotional pain right now.  Thus he is constantly on my heart and in my thoughts.

My first inclination is to try to make things better for him, but then I realize that I do not know what that would look like.

Well, yes I do.  Papa’s Presence is what is best for him and me and each one of us.

My son has told me that he never remembers being in so much pain before, yet he also knows that it is a rich time of growth; a time of growing intimacy with our Savior.

So here I am at verse four.
“Rejoice in the LORD always, again I will say, rejoice!”
I am able to rejoice always because I know that He is faithful and that He is all I and my son and, again, each one of us need.

By keeping focused on the Beautiful One we can stick it out and that attitude will stand out.

That is what we read in verse five.

“Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men.  The LORD is near.
See it isn’t all about us, but it is all about Him.  It is all about lifting Him up and all men being drawn to Him.  They need to learn that He is, indeed, near!

When we have a part in that, OH! what joy and blessing!!

I might just continue this thought tomorrow, if Papa allows!