Saturday, June 1, 2013

One Difficult Word

Psalm 31:24

There's a word used in the Bible and in church among Christian people that I have always wanted to delete. This word has always brought to mind difficult concepts like judgement, change, sacrifice, hard work etc. Ideas that are emotionally painful and create discomfort. Then one day I was dwelling on my weaknesses which was creating intense feelings of self loathing. I was wishing things were different and that I was different, better somehow. Yet, I was not able to be different. Still doing the same old things, but wanting different results (Romans 7:19-20). Which is Eisnstien's definition of crazy, by the way.

Then, in the midst of my craziness and while I was being so hard on myself I saw a hand painted sign on the side of the road that had that difficult word on it. However, now all of a sudden that word that had seemed so judgemental before was now full of hope, it was all of a sudden gentle, even inspiring. I realized that there was a way I could deal with my weaknesses. That there was an alternative. That I didn't have to remain stuck in this. Things could be different and there was something I could do about it. What relief came to me because of that one word. That word that had previously been so difficult. That word I saw on the road was: repent.

Matthew 4:17

Prayer: God, help me turn to You.
Read More: Romans 7:14-25
Plan of Action (James 1:22 & James 1:25): Take the next right step.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

De-Stress Plan

While stressed spelled backwards is desserts, indulging in an abundance of sweets is not how God wants us to get rid of stress.  After a lot of prayer God gave me a plan that hopefullly can help us alieviate some of the stress we encounter from our lives. I created this plan from a combination of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and Live Loved by Max Lucado.

The De-Stress Plan is as follows:
1. "Begin by saying the name of Jesus out loud." (Jesus Calling p. 79)
2. When stress begins to build up "take mini breaks." (Jesus Calling p. 78)
3. "Remember He is on your side and the more difficult your day is the more He yearns to help you." (Jesus Calling p. 79)
4. Read Philipians 4:6-7
5. "Don't take yourself so seriously." (Jesus Calling p. 79)
6. Remember "Anxiety wraps you up with in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts." (Jesus Calling p. 79)
7. Read 1 Thesselonians 5:16-18
8. Begin to "Collect your blessings." (Live Loved p. 42)
9. Read Hebrews 12:10
10. "Gratitude is always an option." (Live Loved p. 42)
11. "Make gratitude your default emotion." (Live Loved p. 42)
12. Read Joel 2:26
13. Remember He is letting you experience these things for your good.
14. Read Isaiah 26:3-4
15. Read Galatians 5:22-25
16. Pray and thank God for this day.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Power, love & self-discipline

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

Sometimes it is easy to recall verses like the one above, but it is much harder to live by them. We develop a way of living and it is hard to let go of. Our way of interacting with the world develops into a pattern that is familiar and safe, although, these habits often hinder us and don't allow us to reach our potential. Due to our fallen, sinful nature our patterns and way of thinking may limit us at times and may not be of God. However, Romans 6:4 says that via salvation we are able to live a new life.  Our new life means that we are to be alert and self controlled. Alert to when our old patterns of thought or fear or anger or ... are surfacing (1 Peter 5:8). Then, self-control to not dwell on it or give into it.

Ephesians 4:15 encourages us to speak the Truth in love. This even applies to how we deal with ourselves. If God wants us to encourage each other with truth in love, then wouldn't He want us to do that for ourselves as well. We often beat ourselves up mentally for not being able to obey God perfectly, but He knows that we are human and fallen, and He knows when we are making an honest effort to obey Him.

Plan of Action James 1:22 & James 1:25: To pray about our thought patterns.
Read More: Galatians 5:22-23
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please make me aware of my patterns of thinking and living that are not from you. Help me to be aware so that I can change these things in time.