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Archive for the ‘Thought Life’ Category

Our pastor has been preaching through the words of Jesus that he spoke on the cross. I haven’t written much about it in my journal. I have not really been there mentally or emotionally. I had looked forward to the series, but I’m just too burned out and past the point of tired to really be all there. Is it a simple case of burn out and fatigue, or have I become so distant from God that the crucifixion and the Resurrection have faded from my life? I haven’t read the Bible in ages. Heck, I still have a few chapters to go before I finish the Bible-in-a-year plan I started in January of 2010! And the delay is not because I have been in deep reflection of what I read. I just don’t read anymore. I have been reading other books, but not God’s word.

So, Resurrection Sunday will come and go and I won’t stop to reflect. Nice.

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Above all else, guard your heart,
   for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

The student ministry just began a series tonight on toxic thoughts. We talked about four poisons in our thought life: negative thoughts, fearful thoughts, critical thoughts and discontented thoughts. Then we talked about a strategy that will help us detox our thought life – Identify, Reject and Replace.

As I processed along with T’s talk, I could identify the four poisons in my thought life and how I rarely do what is necessary to detox. However, I have noticed that God has grown me in the area of identifying the toxins. But I do not always reject and replace. Frankly and painfully, I would say that any rejecting and replacing that has gone on this past three-year eight-month period has been God’s supernatural insertion into my life. I certainly have been constantly negative about work (and my future). I don’t dwell as much as I did a decade ago, so I see where God has improved my mind/emotions. But, these improvements have only been because of the insane kindness of God, not because of my diligence and discipline.

I told the boys I’d write down two or three toxic thoughts I deal with and write out God’s solution. I encouraged them to do the same for next time we meet. May God do some cool things with my thoughts these next two weeks!

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2nd Corinthians 10:3-5)

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My teammate at work shared a reading from Our Daily Bread on Friday morning as we were taking a break. What struck me was the very last line — “We may not be able to control events, but we can control our attitude toward them.” I guess I must have snickered out load or choked on my food or something because he let out a big laugh. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m not so sure I’ve done well controlling my attitude towards Plan B events! Below is the entire text of that days devotion. You can also read this devotion (and link to others as well) at – http://odb.org/2011/01/14/call-it-good/

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Can we really know whether to label life’s circumstances as good or bad?

For instance, your car breaks down right before you are to take a family road trip. But when you take the car to the shop, the mechanic says, “Good thing you didn’t take this out on the road. It could have caught fire.” Is that bad because of the inconvenience, or good because of God’s protection?

Or perhaps your child decides to pursue interests that aren’t all that interesting to you. You wanted her to play basketball and run track in high school. But she wanted to sing and play the oboe. You feel frustrated, but she excels and ends up with a music scholarship. Is that bad because your dreams weren’t fulfilled, or good because God directed her in ways you could not have predicted?

Sometimes it’s hard to see how God is working. His mysteries don’t always reveal their secrets to us, and our journey is often redirected by uncontrollable detours. Perhaps God is showing us a better route.

To make sure we benefit from what might seem bad, we must recognize and trust God’s “unfailing love” (Ps. 13:5 NIV). In the end, we’ll be able to say, “I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me” (v.6 NIV).

The circumstances in our lives
Seem random and unplanned;
But someday we will surely see
The order of God’s hand. —Sper

We may not be able to control events,
but we can control our attitude toward them.

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