I discovered a power bar that I really like, for the simple reason that I can read & understand the ingredients. There are no complicated words, chemical compounds, multi-syllable mysteries nor contrived nutritional concotions. These power bars are really straightforward: egg whites, almonds, dates and peanut butter (or something to that affect). It’s nice to recognize the ingredients on a package instead of trying to decipher words & find the commas ,)
In the same way, we would be wise to consider what’s inside of each of us: what we think about and allow into our hearts affects what we do & say. When we ruminate on being selfish, allowing judgment & unforgiveness to reside in our thoughts / heart, when we let bitterness & resentment to run amuck in our emotions, let’s be abundantly clear that such hurtful ingredients will taint our external behaviors / interactions. Maybe this is why it’s so important that we do what Paul says in Phil 4:8, “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, dwell on these things.”
I’m learning that what I think is often more important than various experiences or events. If my thoughts are dark, if I’m feeling insecure, inadequate, uncertain or frumpy, then I tend to behave & interact from a darker place. On the contrast, when I’m hopeful, optimistic, bright, steady & confident, then my interactions are more positive & constructive, with a higher quality of internal resilience.
So maybe this is why Paul tells us in Phil 4:7-8, to let Jesus’ peace guard our hearts & mind, as well as instructing us about keeping our thoughts centered on gratitude, stuff that’s right, honorable, etc.
it’s important to think about our thoughts & appreciate that how we interact & engage is an interior decision more than an external response 🙂
Take a quick minute to remember a few of the ways God has shown up in your life, met various needs & resolved things that seemed impossible. I’ve been looking over the last several years today & seeing God’s hand throughout the years in so many magnificent & unexpected ways! As I look back, not only do I see God’s faithful provisions, but I’m astounded at the perfect timing of His work, weaving random experiences into a gorgeous tapestry of grace & genuine love.
Whenever you get discouraged or begin to question God’s input in your life, take a few minutes to look at what God has done in your past. Most assuredly this will encourage your heart that God is very present & engaged in your life!
This is a question people often ask when someone seems deep in thought or reflective. It’s a good question to ask when you’re getting to know someone or when a person seems unusually quiet. But it’s also a good question to ask ourselves from time to time, forcing us to take a thought inventory.
Taking an inventory of our thoughts is important because it lets us see places in our thinking where we can make some helpful adjustments. Indeed, consider some of the things Paul says about our thoughts:
2 Cor 10:5, “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”
Phil 4:8, “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, think on these things.”
Rom 8:6, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace”
Let’s be attentive to our thoughts because they influence our lives in very powerful but subtle ways!
In the news, I’ve been reading about Volkswagen & the massive recall they’re doing for cheating on their emissions software – about 700,000 Volkswagens have this cheater software installed in these cars. Clearly, this is a global embarrassment & I have no doubt that there are many employees who have lost their jobs from this debacle, including the resignation of their CEO. The problem we see today is obvious on a global level, but the truth is that the problem was kept behind closed doors for many years.
My takeaway from this news event is that what we entertain in our minds & allow to grow in our thinking can create behaviors & lifestyles that could be crippling & even destructive. Watching VW has been a sobering wake up call to me, challenging me to inventory my thoughts & actions for the purpose of eliminating duplicity & destruction 🙂
I’ve been home for 2 days from my Saving Moses trip to South Sudan & we have a mouse in the pantry – probably more than one. My husband and 2 sons spent the morning clearing everything out to see if they could figure out what the mouse has been eating & they found a few culprits: peanuts, dried coconut & probably a few other items. So they’ve resealed everything, put most of it in tupperware & have set out some traps so hopefully the mouse conundrum has been resolved because mice are a nuisance & can become dangerous.
Sometimes, I think that we let little things eat away at us on the inside – small fears, insecurities, negative memories, past failures, . . . . . While these things can be annoying, if we’re not careful, they can become deadly if we don’t do some soul cleaning from time to time, to get rid of the riff raff. So let’s take a few moments this day to do a quick inventory & see if there are some parasites & pests who have been gnawing on your soul & then do some prayer to give these things to Jesus & receive His peace and wholeness in exchange 🙂
I’m sitting, thinking & praying about what to share with you today with lots of different things running around in my brain. But when I’m quiet, I find myself thinking about many of the good things that are in my life. With this idea, I want to encourage you to take a minute to inventory the many good things & blessings in your life. We can easily get trapped in the negative & needy quagmire but the best way to get out & stay out is to recount (take an inventory) of the goodness of God in our lives.
Here is some of the “goodness of God” inventory in my life (hopefully, this will help you to get your “goodness” list going with a few ideas):
deep conversation w a friend 2 days ago to explore some thoughts about friendships,
great conversation with one of my kids this morning to help them make wise choices,
got the kids to school on time,
decaf because I can get caffeine jitters easily,
Saving Moses progress in making strategic partnerships & for God’s provisions
good care for my dad
love that I don’t deserve nor have earned – patient husband
people to help me with my weak spots (fashion, makeup, organization, tech, . . . )
God’s grace to overcome failures
There are LOTS more, but this is a good start – what are some of the inventory on your “goodness of God” list???? Please reply because this can be super helpful for all of us!! 🙂