Friday, August 26, 2016

Thinking Effects Everything: Just 1

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 
I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "just". 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—Just.

Whatever things are just. 

Just: upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God; that which regard for duty demands, what is right; observing divine and human laws; one who is such as he ought to be

Just. Right. And this is not what I think is right, or what you think is right. This is based upon what God calls right. 

I really like the phrase, "one who is such as he ought to be". 

Who lived "as they ought to be"? Who did God call "just"? 
How awesome it would be is God could call me "just"?! Sadly, I fall very short, and am so grateful for God's grace and mercy. But what an awesome goal to have—"one who is such as he ought to be".

I'm looking forward to studying "things that are just" and examining the lives of the individuals God called "just". 

Meditating today on how I can be "one who is such as he ought to be".

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How do you spell relief? Part 2

Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)
Casting:  to throw away, throw off
Anxiety: to be drawn in different directions, disquietude, encumbrance
Cares: to be of interest to

One thing I like about this verse, is that God knows that we will be anxious, we do have worries. God understands that. But going beyond that God wants us to know that He can handle all those worries and distractions. 

In my kitchen is a container we use for trash/garbage. The garbage container is emptied often and the bag is loaded into the larger container in the garage. On Thursday, it's placed out at the curb, and the truck comes and empties the container. I do not want the garbage in my home for various reasons. One—it's garbage. It's useless. The other, it smells bad if left too long.  I have NO problem THROWING AWAY the garbage. I don't go into the garage and dig through it to being it back inside. I don't run after the truck to get my garbage back. 

Anxiety is like garbage to the soul. It causes confusion. It disrupts peace. And if left too long, it creates a stench as it festers and robs us of joy. 

There is no need to store anxiety. There is no need to let it fester. There is no need. Yet, too often we have a storage room full of it. 

How do we really throw away the anxiety? How do we empty the storage room of worry? 

Look again at the definition of anxiety. "To be drawn in different directions." The first way to throw away anxiety is refocus your heart and mind on God. Don't allow Satan to distract you with the "What ifs", or the "Why me?" or "What will I do?" or any other distraction Satan tries. Refocus!

How do you really refocus? A good place to start is: 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 
One truth that fits all those categories is.... "He cares about you!"
You are of great interest to God! Think about that for a moment. The God who created the entire UNIVERSE—is interested in YOU! He knows all about you. He knows your past, your present, and your future. He knows what makes you tick — He should, He created you! 

Anxiety—the chaos of being pulled in all directions. A place of unrest. A place of confusion. A place of worry. A place of darkness and despair. 

Peace— a stillness that God provides. It wells up in the heart and mind, as you focus on God and the truth that HE loves YOU! It's a deep intense peace that calms and comforts, no matter the circumstances around you. 

How do you spell relief? 
Relief: a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
True relief—

Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.
1 Peter 5:7 (VOICE)

Relief
R: Refocus
E: Empty the Garbage! 
L: Leave the garbage at the curb - don't allow it back in
I:  Individualize—God cares about ME! 
E: Embrace God's love 
F: Focus on and enjoy God's peace 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How do you spell relief?

Sunday Night my Pastor is speaking on 1 Peter 5, "How do you spell relief?" I've been thinking about that. 
Relief: a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.
First and foremost when I think about relief, I think physical relief from pain. Since October 2000, the only real relief from pain I've had, was when I was under anesthesia for surgeries and procedures. Pain is now a constant ever-present reality. I have techniques and pain medications to help lower the intensity of the pain, but it never goes away. There is really no relief from the pain. So physically, for me, there is no way to spell relief.

Physical relief may not be a reality for me, however, there is more to me than just pain and the physical aspect. I also have a heart/soul.


R: Relationship with God (is it right?)
There is a physical benefit of having my heart/soul right with God—handling the pain becomes easier. Mind you the pain doesn't become less, rather, I have a peace and calmness in the midst of the pain. And that is an amazing relief! How do I make sure that my heart and soul are right with God? It begins with a relationship with God. And as with all relationships, if I want it to be healthy, then I must spend time talking and listening to God. Yes, it's that simple. I can't expect my relationship with God to deepen, if I don't spend time with Him and in His Word. 


E: Encouragement/Joy
How do I spell relief? Relief also comes from encouragement. Often I am amazed that when I encourage someone else, my heart seems to have wings! It's like my "joy container" overflows! And when your heart is full of joy—it bubbles over into all aspects of my life. It's hard to be down when you are bursting with joy—epecially God's joy!

I have God’s more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day. Psalm 4:7
L: Live in accordance to God's will
Next, I must take my relationship with God to the next level and apply what He teaches me. For listening and not doing, well it just doesn't make since. Think about your personal relationships. If you ask someone to do the dishes, and they say that they agree the dishes need to be done, but do nothing about it—well, how does that effect your relationship? It puts a strain on it. That happens when I don't do what God asks. There is a strain on the relationship. I become distant from God, because I know full well what He wants me to do, and I should do it out of love and respect for Him. When I do not, it robs me of the joy and peace He provides. 


I: Imperturbation (freedom from mental disquiet, anguish)/ God's peace! 
How do I spell relief? It's not just about the "me" side of the relationship. The greater relief comes from the "God-side" of the relationship. For I'm human. I fail. Yet, God is God! And not only is He gracious and loving and kind and good...... He CARES for me! He knows how many hairs are on my head. I don't know that!! Do you? God knows ALL the details about me. Yep, every single one. At times that can be kinda scary—like when I disobey Him. Yet, at other times—that is the most comforting and reassuring thought ever! 

"This is a marvelous thing, that God thinks upon men, and remembers them continually." John Calvin

E: Execute
Execute often brings two meanings to mind. 1. Kill or assassinate. 2. Accomplish, do, perform. And in oder to spell relief, I must do both. First and foremost, I have to kill the doubts and fears that Satan is so very good at bringing to my attention. If I give those doubts and fears room to grow, they become overwhelming. I've written before how fear creates its own reality. Fear is not a "God-thing". Rather He gives peace. (Fear Creates Its Own Reality)

After I kill the doubts and fears (which by the way is an ongoing process), I then must turn my focus to executing God's will. That means service! I am to be serving God and others. God has given me talents and abilities, and I am to be executing them! I may not be able to do somethings—but there are things I can do. And if I choose NOT to do them—that's just sad. And not only that it's disobedient to God. That will rob me of peace and relief faster than anything. 

F: Friends
How do I spell relief? Friends? Yes. For God-designed friendships are vital to life. God created us to love each other. True friends encourage, support, hold one accountable, produce growth, and provide laughter! God-designed friends are those who make sure when you are in the midst of the down and fearful time, you are directed back to God and His ever-present peace. 

How do I spell relief? 
R: Relationship with God (is it right?)
E: Encouragement/Joy
L: Live in accordance to God's will
I: Imperturbation (freedom from mental disquiet, anguish)/ God's peace! 
E: Execute
F: Friends

Well, that's how I spell relief. How do you spell relief?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thinking Effects Everything: Noble 2

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 
I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "noble". 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder. Take an Inventory. 

Whatever things are—Noble.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.  Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:10-15

Noble: attractively good; good that inspires (motivates) others to embrace what is lovely (beautiful, praiseworthy); i.e. well done so as to be winsome (appealing). (http://biblehub.com/interlinear/luke/8-15.htm)

Good: inherently (intrinsically) good; as to the believer, describes what originates from God and is empowered by Him in their life, through faith; upright honorable. (http://biblehub.com/interlinear/luke/8-15.htm)

Thinking pondering on things that are true and noble, will open my heart to hearing and obeying God's word resulting in godly conduct—both in attitude and actions. 

Thinking effect everything—so how will I respond? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thinking Effects Everything: Noble

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 
I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "noble". 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder. Take an Inventory. 

Whatever things are—Noble.

Noble: regard with great respect; revered for character, personally esteem; to hold something (someone) in high respect; showing the reverenceor awe (veneration) of someone who is devout.

Noble: honest, honorable, modest, moral, on the up and up, reserved, trustworthy, unblemished, undefiled, upright, virtuous, worthy

As I have been thinking about what is "noble", I couldn't help but think of people I respect. That led me to thinking of who are considered "heroes" in our World today. Who do we, as a Nation, hold in high regard? 

Sadly, all to often the people we honor are not noble, or worthy of our respect and admiration.  What makes one or something worthy to be called "noble"? Remember, we are not to be setting the standards for what is honorable, noble. Rather, we are to be using God's standard. 

Noble. If I am to be thinking on, pondering things that are noble, then I must stop to really consider what nobility is—not defined by the world's standard, but God's. 

Great respect. Revered for character. 

Who do I respect? Who is revered for character? 

As I think about those two questions, I have to keep in mind the first item in Philippians 4:8—True. For one isn't noble, without truth. 

Noble. Honorable. Trustworthy. 

As I thought about Noble, Jonathan came to mind. You can read about Jonathan, Saul's son, who befriended David in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 1 Samuel 18:3
Noble. Honorable. Trustworthy. Who/what am I thinking about? 

And am I living a noble, honorable, trustworthy life? Thinking about it, should then change my thoughts, my attitude, and my actions. 

Thinking effect everything—so how will I respond?