May 29, 2017

How to Cure Sinful Thoughts

What is God's prescription for fighting sinful thoughts? It starts with knowing Him -- and His Word -- intimately, and ends with obeying Him fully and faithfully. It includes learning to see things (i.e., sin) how He sees them, and responding to them how He responds; rejecting what He rejects; and pursuing hard after what He loves and glories in. (Read the longer answer here.) But sometimes that's easier said than done! It's easy to quote Philippians 4:8, but hard to let it rule over sinful thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis. It's easy to say "obey God" but hard to do in the day-to-day moments when we're tempted by selfish desires. It's easy to say "avoid temptation" but hard to do when [...Read More]


God’s Prescription for Fighting Sinful Thoughts

Say the words "thought life" and one of the first verses that comes to most of our minds is Philippians 4:8. Even if you can't quote it perfectly, you likely can recall a handful of the adjectives used. (Hint: they include true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praise-worthy.) If asked, I'm sure you could explain what most of those words mean, and give examples of what they describe. For instance: the word true means the opposite of something that's false, and includes things like the promises of God's Word and "what is" rather than "what if's." The word honorable conveys the idea of being noble and good, respectable and upright; it describes things God's [...Read More]


What Are You Learning?

This is supposed to be my post where I share what I've learned from my Bible reading this week. From the TTB12 readings. But, although I've kept up with the schedule, what I've been learning hasn't really been in the daily readings. So what has God been teaching me? 1. Don't try to analyze the wind. In other words, don't try to figure everything out, because not everything in this life can be figured out. He has His own ways of working and leading, and those ways are far beyond our human comprehension. Simply trust, and rest, and let Him work in His own perfect way and time. 2. Don't wish away the difficult times. Who wouldn't agree that life is hard? But we can learn to rest in those hard [...Read More]


Analyze This

I need to know I'm not alone here... I like to figure things out. I have a lot of health issues - some serious and some not so serious - and whenever something new comes up, I become obsessed with trying to figure out why it's happening and what possibly caused it and how I can change or remove the problem. And it preoccupies me for as long as I let it. It causes anxiety when I can't figure it out. It causes unrest and discontent when I can't find a way to make things better. Anyone else have that problem? Please tell me I'm not the only one! Otherwise I'll have to go figure that out too! {Just kidding!} Anyway, the past few months have been somewhat tumultuous as I've had lots of little [...Read More]


What Is

What is, not what if. That's how we are supposed to live. But so frequently, so consistently, we find ourselves wondering "what if." What if that rash or sore throat is something more serious? What if my loved one was in an accident? What if my house catches fire while we're away? What if the storms brew tornadoes? You get the picture... and I'm sure every one of you probably has some "what if's" of your own that you could add. It's so easy to see whatever trouble we're facing, and see only that trouble. To see the possibilities of greater trouble from it. To see the pains of losing family or friends, or homes, or health. To see the suffering that could result. But that's not how we are to [...Read More]


Whetting Your Appetite

Have you ever noticed that the more you do something, the more you want to do it? Think about it. Maybe you start watching geek stuff on tv (you know, science and history and discovery channel stuff). And the more of it you watch, the more "in tune" with it you become, and the more you want of it. Or how about the radio? I'll give a personal example. I started listening to a little bit of bluegrass music way back in the day. And then I listened a little more, and then a little more than that. And soon it became not just something I "liked," but a full-fledged favorite. Or how about books or magazines? Isn't most of what you like to read within the same genres? My husband likes reading about [...Read More]


Music

It's a controversial topic, a simple word surrounded by complex theories and discord. My intent with this post is not to preach, not to force my opinions down your throats, but rather to share something that God has been impressing upon my heart. To share His Word with you, that you might know Him better. Music seems to be separated into two categories: the stuff we listen to on our own time, and what we use in church. While I have definite opinions regarding what type of music we ought to use in church, the styles that most clearly display God's greatness and purity, my hope is to exhort you here regarding your personal music choices. In some ways, those leading the music and the church are [...Read More]


Think on These Things

No matter what major or minor difficulties we as believers find ourselves in, it seems the hardest area of our lives to keep honorable before God is our thought lives. The mind is where so many sinful practices begin - by being unthankful, or fearful, or just plain old self-centered. Once we start thinking a certain way, that way will undoubtedly shine through in our actions. ...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just... For instance, if we start becoming unthankful for what we already have, we will start wanting more than we truly need, and start giving into the temptation to spend more than we should on earthly so-called treasures that will rot and rust and pass away. A [...Read More]


Birthday Lessons

Okay, I'll admit it. I complained. I whined. I had a self-pity party. You see, my birthday was coming up, and I thought it was going to be miserable. I thought I was going to be stuck in the house by myself with nothing to do all day. I thought I wouldn't be able to do anything fun with my husband because he had school all day (and all week). I thought the stormy weather that was predicted would make it even more dismal. I thought I wouldn't have any presents to open that day. I thought I was going to have to make my own 'birthday supper' because we couldn't afford to go out to eat. And so I cried and I whined and felt sorry for myself, instead of presenting the problem to God and [...Read More]


Anxious for Nothing

Over the past few months, we have had countless opportunities to choose between worry and trust. We've faced long separations as husband and wife, major decisions about occupation and schooling, financial and physical hurdles. To name these things in a mere few words on paper makes them look so simple - but the reality is that they were each long and hard roads that we had to travel, often only seeing no further than the step we were taking. And sometimes we worried. It's such a normal, human response to worry. We start wondering "what if" or "why," and we let our imaginations run free with those questions. But this is completely opposite of how we should be thinking as [...Read More]