Posts Tagged ‘mind’

With listening to approximately 16 hours of music every day i am finding many great songs that speak to me when i not just hear them but listen to them. i’m actually in the process of creating a playlist of songs by categories thus when i’m sensing fear i have a category with songs that help me through the fear. If i’m feeling lost or overwhelmed then there are categories of songs for them as well. The possibilities are endless. Music today is filled with life experiences and direction from the word as to how to make sure that my every thought is taken captive to the word.

Today i’ll share a song titled Blessings and it stirs me up to look at what i off the cuff consider to be trials or problem circumstances when i reality they just may be the exact thing i needed.

i have included the You Tube link for easy listening and i’m including the lyrics with a comment or two about the significance of the words i’m hearing. And one last detail… i’m personalizing the lyrics to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQan9L3yXjc

i pray for blessings, i pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while i sleep
i pray for healing, for prosperity
i pray for Your mighty hand to ease my suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love me way too much to give me lesser things

(Every time i hear these words i immediately reevaluate what i’m praying for and specifically i’m determining if i’m asking for my will or God’s will to be done based on my words.)

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

(When i hear these words i look back over the years and realize how many things i have learned through tears and sleepless nights.)

i pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
i cry in anger when i cannot feel You near
i doubt your goodness, i doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that i’d have faith to believe

(When i hear these words they cause me to think on God’s mercy and Grace as i should know better than this but i have my moments, days and weeks.)

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray me
When darkness seems to win
i know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not my home
It’s not my home

(This is where i am reminded of God’s love for me and my responsibility to love others as myself.)

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

( With these words i am reminded that there is no doubt that the things i call trials are absolutely His mercies in disguise.?

That’s the basics of how i listen to my music and apply it to my life. Often i get a little more detailed and add scripture verses. Then there are times when i have to listen to the song over and over until it takes me to the place where i should be verses the distraction that has captured my mind.

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“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” Marilyn Ferguson

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

UnknownThat being said, “Today” i will not accept fear!

Fear comes naturally to most people. When i was a child i developed a fear of getting into trouble. Then the first time i hurt someone’s feelings i learned to fear ever doing that again. Being a creative person i have always had a deep inner fear of creating something that nobody else thought was creative or even useful. Every once in a while a small but firm piece of fear tries to tell me that Ann Marie doesn’t really love me and is one day going to leave. As a parent there is a fear that you didn’t do all you could for your children that in the end it will come out that i failed them too often.

All of these fears can bring my life and dreams to a crashing halt. The only way to get rid of the fear is to realize the truth. The first truth is that God does not give me fear and in fact does not want me to fear. His desire for me is exactly what it says in 2 Timothy, that God promotes within me a spirit of power, love, calmness, a well-balanced mind, discipline and self-control. Seeing that as a destination i can now take a small step “Today” towards it.

“Today” i will not fear rejection. Instead i will embrace it as the price i am willing to pay for freedom. “Today” is the greatest day, i’ve ever known. Not because everyone accepts me but because i will not allow fear of being rejected to stop me from being who God intended for me to be.

Life lesson two is this. Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean they are failures, it just means i am supposed to learn something from them. Some of these life lesson will come easy. Others will take time and more than one attempt. Some will try to scare the day lights out of me. “Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever know because, i will decide to want it more than what i’m afraid of.

 

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

https://meandiam.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/revealed-chapter-1.m4aimages

Katie says, “Sometimes it hits me like a brick to the head. my life has been kinda insane.” That’s the way i feel when i come to the end of a year and begin to take one of these inventories of my life. As a kid i lived in 19 different places by the time i was 18. As an adult i’ve had 23 different addresses over 42 years. i’ve started a dozen or so different businesses. i have traveled frequently to beautiful places. i have done most of the things i have dreamed. i have more than the necessities of life. i have been and continue to live a very exciting and blessed life.

Katie goes on, “To me there is nothing spectacular about this everyday craziness, it is just the result of following Jesus into the impossible, doing the little i can and trusting Him to do the rest.” As i look back at all the moves, new businesses, serving in full-time ministry, and all the travel, much of it was following God into the impossible. The rest of the much of it… was due to pursuing position, titles, finances… all the things i felt i missed out on while growing up. All the things that i thought would make me different.

It is only in the past few years that i have realized that i can do nothing incredible, but i can follow God into impossible situations and He can do incredible things through me.

Without giving away to much of the book by sharing all the background for these next words there came a very important realization for me. The book says, “Before long her reluctance turned into anxious enthusiasm and she became excited to be the person who would share this dream with me.” Katie is speaking about her mother agreeing to go with her on her first trip to Uganda.

images-2These words caused me to remember the people, whom became excited to share my dreams with me. Ann Marie my wife, best friend and love has been my rock. She has shared every dream with me, supporting me all along the way. While it would be understandable if she wasn’t always excited about sharing my dreams she has never shown it. If she has ever been reluctant it has been hidden by her encouragement for me to pursue the life i dreamed.

Listening to chapter 1 again assured me that it was God’s plan for me to read this book as Katie shares, “I saw strength and depth of character in people’s eyes.” i immediately recalled my focus prayer for this year, “Lord teach my eyes to hear before they see.” You can learn a lot about a person and their life by looking into their eyes and just listening.

Chapter one is filled with many thoughts but one that stands out for me is where Katie shares about bed time with her children. It would last about an hour as the children would sing with all their hearts, laugh, cry and pray. She describes it as simply being with Jesus and that she could feel the presence of God there more strongly than ever before. This reminded her that she had one purpose in Uganda and in life, and that was to love. Her words reinforce in me the very same thoughts, although i am not in Uganda, but where ever i am, i have one purpose and that is to love. Love God with all my heart, mind soul and strength. To love others as myself and i sense that this is where God is working in me through this book. i feel like Peter when i say, “You know i love you Lord.” And i do in spite of falling short many times. But learning to love to myself so that i can share it with others… well there has been the rub.

Luke 12:48 says “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” i have been given much.

Chapter 1 of this story about “Relentless Love and Redemption leaves me with this.

images-1God is making it clear that this is the place… here in Florida, for an unknown amount of time, is where i am supposed to follow Jesus, obey Him , and make my best effort, with His gracious help, to treat people with dignity and care for them unconditionally.

 

 

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

Hello i’m dr. ed peterson the host of me and I Am. i will tell you ahead of time that today’s post feels very disjointed for me and i’ve rewritten it 5 times which by the way i never do. This has been difficult because while trying to share my personal experience i’m trying not to give away the story nor bore everyone. i’m finding it difficult to share this bundle of emotions, spiritual lessons, mental challenges, etc., etc. etc..

imagesMelissa my son’s wife had made a trip to Africa about the time they had met. Through the years they have often talked about going back as husband and wife. They also over the years have expressed their desire to possibly adopt a child. That possibility became more than that recently and they announced that they were going to start the long process of adopting a child from Africa and see what God would do. The short version of this is that after a few short months they not only found an agency that was willing to consider them but through a conversation in which they were asked, as a by the way, what were they looking for, revealed that there was possibly a three year old girl available. They had not even finished the paper work, taken the classes, jumped through the hoops, or put the finances in place. They had been told by everyone that it would be one to two years or more. But God! Things have moved very quickly and this little three year old girl is a very real possibility… enough so that the agency revealed her name and gave them a picture which they are not allowed to share at this time. Bt the way, the agency told them to pick a middle name for her and use that to refer to her as they are not allowed to use her name nor show her picture at this time. Papa will take this moment to reinforce his vote for Grace but i’m not holding my breath.

See how this ties in with the book? For me the book is not about the story of Katie… it’s much more. As i’ve said over and over it’s not a book to be read and then forget. Oh you may be able to do just that, but for me, well i’m on my third time through it and we have a small group of people who are going through it line by line and sharing how it is speaking to each of us individually.

images-1My first listen was all emotions. Every page, every chapter something would wreck me! My second listen was much more intent on hearing what i missed the first time through. Actually reading it is for highlighting. Multiple colors cover many of the pages from top to bottom.

During the second listen i received a paper from my son and wife. They told me that i needed to fill it out, get it notorized and send it back to them asap. What could be so important that i needed it notorized. The paper asked me if i would love this little girl as though she were my own. The question would have been simple but the importance placed on it by having to have it notorized meant that i couldn’t just say yes and send it off. This was more important than i had realized. God had just told me that i didn’t love people the way that Katie did and now i was being asked to put my name on a paper stating unconditionally that i would love this little girl… like Katie does.

For days the descriptions which Katie shared about the girls and their conditions raced through my mind. Prior to this it was easy to tell my children that it was a great idea and that they should go for it. They live in Reno Nevada and i live in Florida. We see each other about once a year. This is them, not me doing this, but of course i’ll support them. That’s when God revealed that everything He had revealed to me about my love had nothing to do with the past but everything to do with the present and the future.

images-3Will you love this little girl as though she were your own? my mind, will and emotions began putting my when, where, why and how into place and God said “Your mind, will and emotion have no place in this decision. Now what is your answer? Are you going to continue loving me, admiring me and worshipping me and not doing what i say?” As i listened to more and more of what God was saying through Katie and her book i began to realize more and more of what God wanted from me… and in spite of all my hesitations i wanted more of Him and what He was sharing with me.

Katie says she quit her life. i haven’t quit my whole life but i have begun to examine each piece of it more closely. While i was faced with the questions, the fears, of committing to loving this little girl which is still full of the unknown i realized that i am much more afraid of living life comfortably than i am of failing to surrender everything to God.

PLEASE CLICK ON PLAYER OR LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

mind heartBefore i begin I’m thinking about today’s post and how it pertains to Fight, Flight, Freeze. Where do those responses come from?

What have i’ve learned thus far? First, Avoid confusing the purpose of my heart and mind.

i need to look at my heart as a compass… its purpose is to guide the direction my life should go. my heart looks at my life-like i’m flying a kite and it’s an extension of me. It reports back to me and says, this is where i am and this is the direction i need driven decisions. my mind conceptualizes, organizes and here are the facts, ”

If i compare my mind and heart to a courtroom, my mind would be the defendant and the plaintiff, my heart would be the judge. The reason i get so frustrated by this battle of “Head vs. Heart” is that my mind is not only playing the prosecutor and the defense, but has taken over the role of the judge as well. my mind should never be the judge. my mind’s job is to compare and contrast, to sort things out and say “this is what i’ve got. Now do what you want with it.” More often than not, my mind isn’t doing or saying that. my mind is making my choices. What’s worse, is even when i don’t need my mind to be at work, it’s still going. Comparing and contrasting everything. I’ve noticed and shared recently about that even when it’s completely unnecessary to think about  anything, my mind is still going?

If i want to end the battle between head and heart, i’ve got to figure out a way to unite the two. Remember i said that the answer to this problem is simple? Well, it is. But, not easy at first, because i’ve been doing it all wrong for so long. i need to teach my mind to go with my heart.

When deciding things, let the mind do what it does best and let the heart do what it does best and then go with it. A couple of days ago i shared about wanting to go with God and not having a second thought. Using the mind and the heart as they were created and intended to be used will allow that can and w to be accomplished.

So, i should go ahead and get information. What is the implied benefit of the decision? Will it be something i’ll ever regret? Although my mind may be telling me that the temporary benefit of a bad decision will be a wise one, my heart will say it’s not the wise thing for me to do.

Next i should identify potential problems. What might go wrong? Will i feel good about it after making the decision?

Now i need to explore options. Think about what’s best for me, what’s the wise thing for me to do? Develop confidence that what my heart tells me to do is the best and more importantly the wise choice.

Lastly, i have to make the choice and implement a plan. Of course, using what i have learned from my past mistakes, my current circumstances and my future hopes and dreams.

By listening to my heart, i can teach my mind to think in cooperation with it and eventually get them to work as one. This is what the scripture means when it says, “I have the mind of Christ, my thoughts are established in Him, and my steps are ordered by Him.” i’ll create a marriage between my heart and my mind. Maybe then the child (me) won’t have permanent emotional damage from the divorce it’s been suffering from for so long. Make the choice today. Go Ahead, try it!

In closing, “When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”   a quote by Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

PLEASE CLICK ON PLAYER OR LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

Please trust me i am going to get to the actual responses of Fight, Flight or Freeze but it seems to require a foundation for me to examine them from.

The same voice in my mind that told me to act, is the same voice that ridicules me later for making that choice. It’s typical for me to feel a conflict between what i want to do (my heart) and what i feel is practical (my mind). i end up living a portion of my life for the “benefits.” i stay friends with people i only kinda. I sometimes do and say things to fit in, that actually go against what i feel is right in my heart. So, is my heart at fault? Are my feelings just silly? Or maybe it’s my mind that’s to blame. And on it goes and i never really seem to get to it. Even when I really feel like that’s the right choice, how do i know for sure? How do i know it’s not just what i think i should do?

Sound a little over the top? It is a real problem. It takes the joy out of my life when i can’t make up my mind about whether where my heart wants to go is the right way or not. ultimately i end up living a shadow of the possibility of what could be. All because i couldn’t make up my mind. There is actually a simple answer. It may seem, a little too simple. But most things are. Bruce Lee said “The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” So, with that in “MIND,” i’m going to look at two words.

There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated word in the New Testament. The first, logos, refers principally to the total inspired Word of God and to Jesus, Who is the living Logos.

All of that and much more could be another series in and of itself but i’ll let just that small bit of info do it for today.

Examples of Logos

  • “In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God” (John 1:1).
  • “The seed is the word [logos] of God” (Luke 8:11).
  • “Holding forth the word [logos] of life” (Philippians 2:16).
  • “For the word [logos] of God is quick, and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12).
  • “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word [logos] of God, which liveth and abideth     forever” (I Peter 1:23).

The second primary Greek word that describes Scripture is rhema, which refers to a word that is spoken and means “an utterance.” A rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to my attention with application to a current situation or need for direction.

Every word of God is inspired, and “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). It is the Holy Spirit Who illuminates particular Scriptures for application in my daily walk with the Lord.

Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also said, “The words [rhema] that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

When God gives a rhema for me to act upon, He often confirms it by a second rhema, that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word [rhema] be established” (II Corinthians 13:1).

Examples of Rhema

  • “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God” (Romans 10:17).
  • “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
  • “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word [rhema] (Ephesians 5:25–26).
  • “If ye abide in me, and my words [rhema] abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

In closing this is what Lucy Liu says, “I try to believe like I believed when I was 5… when your heart tells you everything you need to know.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE PLAYER OR THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

There have been a few times in my life when someone accused me of something that was not true? There have also been times when i have accused myself of something that was not true?

Regardless, whether from myself or someone else, any false accusation made against me can turn into a stronghold in my mind that will spiritually hinder me.

strongholdWhat exactly is a stronghold? “A stronghold is a mind-set impregnated with hopelessness that causes the believer to accept as unchangeable something that he/she knows is contrary to the will of God.”

Truth be told, i am susceptible to false accusations that control our minds. Yes, i am susceptible to strongholds.

There are recurring thought patterns, if left unchecked, will become the dominating thoughts and guidelines of my mind. i have found over the years that often i run so hard away from something that i actually run right into it and the danger is that i may become what the accusation says i am.

So let me get back to the word and the original direction of this series of posts and podcasts.

For the weapons of my warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. i destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

A woman named Donna was someone bound by fear. Some called it insecurity. He insecurities caused her mind to be preoccupied by the thoughts that raced through her head.

The controlling ideas and actions of her youth became a stronghold that could not be broken. Even though she knew God’s opinion of her and that it should be the dominating thoughts of her mind, it was not.

She had learned early in life that performing for others was the way to be accepted. Her father taught her this by his passive parenting model and in the brief moments when he did say something, it was generally discouraging.

This helped to shape her as a people-pleaser. She was motivated to not disappoint others. She became all things to all people with the hope of being accepted.

In time, she became what others expected her to be. Though her early years with Christ were filled with fulfillment, eventually the old thought patterns came back. The stronghold was never broken.

According to the word Donna never learned how to take every thought captive. She learned how to be saved, which she was, but she never learned how to grow into a new creation. Her life, was corrupt through her deceptive desires to be liked, which still had control of her mind.

Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. (Ephesians 4:22-23)

You might say she was an unbelieving believer–a Christian who still lives according to an un-Christian quality of life. Ephesians 4:24 says, i am “to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Donna was experiencing warfare in her mind. According to Paul, this was more than just a person being attacked by the negativity of another person. That was true, but it was so much more than that. i live in a spiritual world where there are real demonic forces who are out to destroy the knowledge of Christ that resides in me.

The evil spiritual world cannot totally destroy me because Satan is not God’s evil equal. None the less there are demonic forces who would enjoy nothing more than to distract me from making God’s name known.

It is so important for me to know and understand where the battle comes from before i go to war. 2 Corinthians 10:3 spells it out for me. “For though i walk in the flesh, i am not waging war according to the flesh.

Getting free…

First, i recognize and believe that there is a relentless spiritual battle happening in this world and i’m an active part of it?

Secondly, i am aware that there are weapons to fight these spiritual battles—weapons that are divinely empowered? i further believe that these weapons are specifically created with the power to destroy the strongholds in my mind?

Thirdly, i do not believe that there is something wrong with me. Also I know that just speaking about my faith and living as a new creation in Christ are nice theological words but without action and experience have no effect on everyday life. Rather than getting wrapped up in my fleshly thoughts, I need to know how to live in the freedom and good of God’s Word.

In closing… Elisabeth Elliot says, “Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.”

PLEASE CLICK ON PLAYER OR LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

“Like food is to the body, self-talk is to the mind. Don’t let any junk thoughts repeat in your head.” ― Maddy Malhotra

Though i live in a noisy world, i sometimes struggle with too much silence. it may be that i’m home alone, at the Onething Campus alone or around people who are involved and focused on their own thing.

So what do i do…? Why fill the silence of course? Television is usually just a click away, but if not i can get sound from my computer, ipad or mobile phone. But what happens if i’m really wanting a live person to talk to? Someone to bounce new ideas or thoughts off of? Someone to appreciate me?

It could be that when i’m feeling lonely, i’m neglecting to give or get enough attention from a special person. One who is always there with me. Who’s that? Why, me, of course. So, i talk to myself. Now, before someone gets rambunctious and says, “” can talk to God or i can pray, let me say that for me, i put those two things in a higher category than these general discussions i have with myself.

So talk to myself? Doesn’t that mean i’m becoming goofy or unbalanced? Losing it? Ready for the funny farm?

Not at all says PH.D Linda Sapadin

She says that talking with myself not only relieves the loneliness, it may also make me smarter. It can help me clarify my thoughts, focus on what’s important and firm up any decisions i’m contemplating. There’s just one catch: i become smarter only if i speak wisely and respectfully to myself.

There are people,  sane, nice, good people, who are not so nice or good to themselves. Their self-talk is a testament to everything they have done wrong. “You idiot!” is their hallmark headline, followed with a complete dressing down. “You should have done it this way; you should have been aware of that; you should have thought of it sooner.” That kind of self-talk is worse than no talk at all. So if my style or yours is like that, cut it out, STOP IT! Right now.

i can begin talking to myself like i’m my own best friend. Which i am! Here are s a few more tips about how i should talk to myself and become wiser in the process.

  1. Compliment myself. i don’t need to wait to get compliments from others? If i deserve them, i can give them to myself. Besides, most people aren’t going to have the foggiest notion about the little actions i take that serve me well. Like the time i was tempted but decided to bypass the ice cream shop because i honored my commitment to myself to lose five pounds. That deserves a compliment such as, “I’m proud of me”? Or what about the time i finally accomplished a bunch of things that i’ve been meaning to do — again doesn’t that deserve a “good job!”?
  2. Motivate myself. i may not feel like doing boring or difficult tasks. Do life with others and they’ll give you a swift kick in the pants as a reminder to clean up my mess or tend to this or that task. But, i can motivate myself to get going with a gentler but firm voice. “Hey, nice-guy (that’s you/me i’m talking to). You’ve got time this morning use it, do this or that; right now, how about it?” Or, “Hey, big guy, it’s time to take care of that drip in the sink before it becomes more serious.
  3. Personal dialogue. How about if i’m having trouble with making a decision? Should i stay or should i go? Should i buy or not buy? Speak up or stay silent? Buy this gift or that gift? Choices aren’t easy. Often, because they’re so difficult, i often don’t really make a choice; i respond impulsively from habit or a desire to get it over with. It’s much more effective, however, to create a dialogue with myself so that i can hear what i actually think. “i want to stay because of —- but i want to go because of —-. i should buy because —— or i should wait because ——- Regardless, i need to figure out which decision to make. It’s time to have an intentional and focused dialogue with myself and see not which way the wind is blowing but what’s the wise thing for me to do.” Having such a dialogue can help me balance my wants, with what are my actual needs.
  4. Goal-setting. Let’s say i’m trying to be better organized. Setting a goal and making a plan (what to do, when to do it, how to do it) can be a big help. Yes, i can just make a list, but saying it out loud can help focus my attention, reinforce the message, and assist with controlling my often runaway emotions. Top athletes do this all the time by telling themselves to “keep your head down. Keep your eye on the ball. Breathe.” It works well for them, why not for me?

In closing… “The most influential and frequent voice you hear is your inner-voice. It can work in your favor or against you, depending on what you listen to and act upon.” ― Maddy Malhotra

So let me share my hope from James 3:2 says, “For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.”

PLEASE CLICK ON PLAYER OR LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

Please listen to this song prior to reading or listening! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuJWQzjfU3o

Name TagThis post is what i will be sharing tonight at the Onething Campus New years Eve Celebration in conjunction with several others.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “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.”

In other words I am not fighting a physical battle but a spiritual one. It is a battle in my thoughts, a battle for my mind.

The devil is like a computer hacker trying to plant a virus in my mind. He is looking for the right password to gain access. So what’s your password? Sex, party, alcohol, pride, unforgiveness? How about cancer, financial lack, dissatisfaction?

1 Peter 1:17 commands each of us to gird up the loins of our mind. In Biblical times, men wore long robes and when they entered battle, they would tie them up so they would not interfere with movement.

Left alone, my mind goes in all directions, all kinds of thoughts. I need to gird my mind to keep it on the right path. I need… no I must learn to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

It’s called focus.

Where does it all begin? In culture today little emphasis is given to the meaning of a name give a child. In Biblical times a name was considered a predictor of character and destiny: Elijah (My God is Yahweh.), and Jesus (The Lord is Salvation.).

Many times names were changed in the Bible showing a new destiny.

  • Abram      (Noble Father) becomes Abraham (Father of Many Nations)
  • Sarai      (Princess) becomes Sarah (Mother of Nations)
  • Simon      (Like a reed) became Peter (The Rock)

Just maybe God wanted people to rise to new heights of effectiveness as a result of such name changes. For us today, our name – that of  “Christians” – means “to be Christ like.” We are called to live like Christ, to demonstrate His love, grace, peace, joy and forgiveness to a world that has lost its way and has no vision of its destiny.

So who am I? Some would describe themselves as, “I am a failure.”, “I am a mistake.”, “I am an addict.” or “I am rejected.” Maybe the devil is more subtle and has convinced us, “I am a carpenter/ nurse/ engineer/ homemaker.” But that is not where my value lies.

In Isaiah 14:12-17, we learn that the devil’s downfall was his pride, his desire to be equal to God, a “high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God”. Let’s not let the same thing happen to us. We combat it by knowing who we are in Christ:

  • I am loved. Romans 8:14 I am a son of God. Colossians 1:13-14 I am rescued from Satan’s kingdom.
  • I am forgiven. Romans 5:1 I have been justified and have peace with God. Romans 8:1 I am free of condemnation in Christ.
  • I am valuable. Romans 8:17 I am an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. Ephesians 2:10 I am His handiwork.
  • I am victorious. Romans 8:37 I am more than a conqueror. 1 John 5:4-5 In Christ I have overcome the world.
  • I am complete. 2 Corinthians 5:17 I am a new creation in Christ. The old things have passed away. All things have become new. Ephesians 1:3 I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
  • I am chosen. 2 Timothy 1:9 I have a holy calling. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 I am a minister of reconciliation between God and those I contact.

Jesus knew who He was. He declared, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35) “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

He walked this earth with a confidence and strength that come from that knowledge. We can have the same confidence when we have learned what the Word tells us of who we are and then… we walk in it.

The Message puts it this way, “The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

In Revelations 2:17, Jesus promises each of us a white stone with a name change, a new destiny. What name is on your stone? Redeemed. New Creation. Forgiven. In Christ. Child of the One True King.

Please click the player or the link to Listen.

guard-my-heart-400Let me take a moment and explain how this works. A MEASURE has the right reserved to the people to approve or reject an act of the legislature. So with a slight adaptation here’s my use. A MEASURE which in my case is a verse, has the right reserved for me to approve or reject an act of the Word of God.

The plan is to take specific verses, present them as MEASURES, approve or reject them and then focus on applying the MEASURE in my everyday life. Maybe a simpler way of defining MEASURE is to say that MEASURES are a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose

“My Mama taught me…” “Uncle Joe always said…” “My friend James told me…” When is it time for, “What does God’s Word say? Deuteronomy 30:19-20 points out the choice: “I call heaven and earth to witness against ed this day, that I have set before ed life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore ed should choose life, that ed may live, ed and his seed.” Choose life! Right thinking attracts the blessings of God. Garbage in garbage out! It doesn’t matter how many teachings I hear if i don’t change my mind. However, change my mind, I’m ready for a miracle. Change my mind, everything changes.

Proverbs 4:20-27 warns me to guard my heart. It says, “Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.”

There’s the foundation for MEASURE #12. Guard your heart. To vote yes on MEASURE #12 would be to agree to “listen to God’s words, and keep His message in plain view at all times, to concentrate on it and learn it by heart. It also means that we agree to speak truth, to avoid argument for the sake of argument, to end telling little white lies and no more gossip.

So what do you think? Can I encourage you to vote yes on MEASURE #12, to commit to just one day and see what happens? Change your mind, everything changes! The only way to know for sure if that’s true is for you to try it.

The following are some truths that i find useful in helping me change my mind.

  • i cannot change what i refuse to confront.
  • Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  • i must not think of cost.  I must think of value.
  • No matter how many mistakes i make or how slow i progress, I am still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  • Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how i react to it.
  • I can’t say i don’t have enough time. i have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, etc…
  • If i really want to do something, i’ll find a way. If i don’t, i’ll find an excuse.
  • In life, if I don’t risk anything, i risk everything.
  • When i stop chasing the wrong things i give the right things a chance to catch me.
  • Every single thing that has ever happened in my life is preparing me for a moment that is yet to come.
  • There isn’t anything noble about being superior to another person. True nobility is in being superior to the person i once was.
  • i will never become who i want to be if i keep blaming everyone else for who I am now.
  • i can’t start the next chapter of my life if i keep re-reading my last one.
  • If i don’t like something, change it.  If i can’t change it, change the way i think about it.

Todays closing has nothing to do with MEASURE #12 it just sounded good to me as a parent. Love and appreciate your parents. We are often so busy growing up, we forget they are also growing old.

MEASURE #12 – Change your mind, change everything!