In biblical times and in developing nations today — life revolves around the water source or THE WELL. I’ve had the joy of watching my friends in Niger dig wells in remote villages and supply this luxurious necessity to the people as they bring them the living water of Jesus. (Read about the Ron & Jerry Childs and Neal & Danette Childs ministry here.) I just returned from Niger where people celebrate clean, drinkable water and do not take it for granted. It is a beautiful thing. Clean wells bring life to the whole community. As polluted water brings stomach sickness, polluted “heart wells” make our life sick.
Our hearts are wells that bring up healing or bitterness.
We’ve reached the SUMMIT – 21 days of thought detox.Can you see a difference in how you’re choosing to think?
Remember the classic children’s story of The Little Engine That Could? It’s hard to nail down the original author of this story, because it’s thought to be a folk tale; but one version appeared in a Sunday School publication in 1906 under the title Thinking One Can.
“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.” – Little Engine That Could
My great grandmother read me this story of optimism and would say, “Can’t never could do anything!”
Do you think you CAN? Or count the reasons why you CAN’T?
Scientist are astounded at the mind’s ability to produce it’s internal projections. You can actually “think yourself” sick. In a trial for Parkinson’s disease, participants were informed about the possible side effects with their medical trial. Surprisingly, “65% report adverse conditions as a result” even though they were only given a placebo. This is known as a NOCEBO–a negative placebo effect. (The Contagious Thought That Could Kill You – bbc.com)
Nocebo: A negative placebo effect as, for example, when patients taking medications experience adverse side effects unrelated to the specific pharmacological action of the drug. … Nocebo comes from the Latin noceo, to harm and means “I shall harm” whereas placebo means “I shall please.”
The devil always tries to make his NOCEBO effects (“I shall harm”) appear stronger than God’s TRUTH in our lives!
(Note: I have always found it fascinating how we’re so sick we can’t go to work, but if someone suddenly gave us Disney World tickets we’d miraculously feel better. Of course this isn’t true in all illness, but it is surprising how many times our mindset helps or hinders our healing.)
God Thinks We Can
I love the story of Gideon because I can totally relate. I’ve lived life in the shadows at times. In jr. high my friends were the cute cheerleaders, while I sat on the sidelines. My sister was valedictorian, while I struggled to pass Geometry. My husband preached around the world, while I cared for the kids and cleaned the house. Continue reading…
Like hopping from stone to stone in a raging river of nervous what ifs, our mind chases rabbits.
Worry will lead you to ledges and leave you.
“God is a help in trouble. In worry you are on your own. When you worry, which do you worry about, what might happen or what might not happen? Whichever, turn it around, to relieve anxiety.” (source unknown)
Not ALL mind walks are pointless
Does your mind wander to WORRY or to WORSHIP?
Worry’s finger points toward panic, shouting, “hurry, faster…follow me this way!” After traipsing through paths of uncertainty and clouds of confusion, you look around frantically to realize you’re lost…wandering alone in a brain fog of hopelessness.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie Ten Boom
On the other hand…
Worship directs us toward the Master of the Universe who holds the compass of life. As we surrender our frets and fears to His promise we find ourselves surrounded by his steadfast strength. In worship we realize WE ARE NOT ALONE. As His presence fills the cavities of despair with renewed hope, our brain fog turns into a glory FOG–the FAVOR OF GOD!
“I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing Your praise before the heavenly beings. I will bow down…and give thanks to Your name for Your constant love and truth. You have exalted Your name and Your and your promise above everything else.” Psalm 138:1,2 HCSB
I Know THAT
Ralph Hagemeier is an amazing man of God and life-long missionary to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over 20 years ago he preached a message that still resonates in my mind. My husband and I rehearse it often.
In his message, Ralph encouraged us that…
We may not KNOW how…How will it all work out and be okay?
We may not KNOW when…Oh, Lord when will you deliver me from this?
We may not KNOW where…Where will the provision come from?
We may not even KNOW why…Why is this happening, Lord? I don’t understand.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise You, for am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And thatmy souls knows very well.”
We can KNOW THAT!
He loves me and made me for a purpose. I am His and THAT I KNOW WELL. It will not change with the hows, whens and whys. His faithfulness remains. When we turn WORRY into WORSHIP, we let this truth remain in us.
When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you…Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer. Psalm 42: 6-8 Message (emphasis added)
Where will your MIND WANDER today?
Today whenever you are swayed to wander down the rabbit hole of worry, FLIP it into a prayer of faith, or a song of worship. As you continue to thoughtfully make that decision, you will find your mind walking in the FOG — the FAVOR OF GOD!
Hey friends, get a great song STUCK IN YOUR HEAD that will lead you to worship! Download the pre-release song, “It is Jesus” by my friend Tangie Callahan – iTunes download.
Lord, help me choose to worship you instead of worry. I pray for the Holy Spirit to set an alarm off in me when me mind begins to wander into worry. Thank you for a sound, disciplined mind, Lord, that I can choose to worship you. Help me to “flip worry” and worship you instead of running down an aimlessly trail of what ifs, whys and whens. I trust THAT you love me and are faithful to complete what you’ve started. As I put my hope in you, help me to WALK in the FOG — the favor of God. I receive your favor into every uncertain circumstance in my life. Your Kingdom come and your will be done in Jesus name!
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 NIV
Big Thought: Turn worry into worship and let your mind wander in the FOG (favor of God)!
In the beginning God DREAMED of a family, PLANNED how He would fashion one, and then CREATED them–with the SEED of His word.
DREAM PLAN CREATE
When God dreamed of a new nation he planted the seeds of His dream in Abraham’s mind. It all began with an IDEA–a BIG GOD IDEA. The only problem–Abraham had no framework of what a nation was or how it would be possible. God took him outside of his limited mindset to ignite his imagination with some dream seed…
He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.” Genesis 15:5 HCSB
You Need to Practice Pondering
God planted dream seeds in young Joseph that would save Abraham’s star nation. Pondering those dreams kept him from rendezvousing with wayward wives and throwing in the towel behind prison doors.
We choose to harbor or abort the DREAM SEED by how we “let is dwell” or “let it leave”.
“let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).(underline mine)
The Father DREAMED, PLANNED and CREATED a way to redeem his family back to himself. He planted the dream seed in Mary who would carry the seed of his idea to us.
But Mary treasured up all these things and *pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 (emphasis added)
*pondering them = (symballō) to throw together, to bring together / bring together in ONE’S MIND, CONFER WITH ONE’S SELF
What is a beautiful mind? Art is always subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is very subjective to people, but not to God. What does a beautiful mind look like to Him?
A Beautiful Mind…
Receives revelation from the Spirit
Imagine a thirsty dry plant in need of a major summer soaking. Cheers of joy arise as the rain begins to drip, drip, drip down. Life and refreshment to the dehydrated and exhausted soil provided abundantly. Provision bestowed…but not received because of the umbrella shielding the clay from the downpour. What umbrella do you hold that hinders the downpour of God’s thoughts?
These umbrellas are mindsets that limit and block our thoughts from receiving God’s. It could be insecurity, a scarcity mentality, fear, or many other things we throw up as EXCUSES.
Umbrellas sound like this…“I couldn’t do that because I owe too much money. I can’t dream that because I’m too old. I couldn’t have that because I know it’s too expensive. I couldn’t try that because I’m too scared.”
God pours HIS THOUGHTS and DREAMS out and we put our hand over the cup saying, “Oh, no thank you. I couldn’t possibly have that.” (Did you read the statement in a proper British accent? Because we usually resist God’s thoughts very politely…yet firmly.) Our cup is empty and in great need of refilling, but we stop the downpour and keep GOD’s IDEAS at bay for fear that it’s too good to be true.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2: 12Continue reading…
In life two negatives don’t make a positive.Why does it seem easier to critique than compliment? Why do we remember negative events or comments quicker than positive ones? Why is it easier to point out what’s wrong more than what’s right? Why are we drawn to defaming gossip than good news? Why does it impact us greater to lose $100 than to find $100? Why is there 62% more emotionally negative words compared to 32% positive in the English dictionary? (Are we hardwired to be positive or negative?)
“In life two negatives don’t make a positive. Double negatives turn positive only in math and formal logic.” – Robert McKee
Scientists say it is our natural NEGATIVITY bias. I was astounded to learn about these scientific studies. The “Negativity Bias” is explained by saying, “Things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than do neutral or positive things.” (Negativity bias)
In our brains, there are two different systems for negative and positive stimuli. The amygdala uses approximately two thirds of its neurons to detect negative experiences, and once the brain starts looking for bad news, it is stored into long-term memory quickly. Positive experiences have to be held in our awareness for more than 12 seconds in order for the transfer from short-term to long-term memory. Rick Hanson describes it in this way: “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”
You may have experienced this yourself. For example, you spend a lovely day with a friend or spouse. You visit your favorite coffee shop and belly laugh sharing funny moments from the week. You then stroll down the sidewalk, and help an elderly lady cross the street. After viewing a much anticipated movie premiere, you enjoy your favorite dinner and dessert. While driving home you argue over a misunderstanding and end the evening with an argument. Though you agree to disagree, you feel defeated–even though you had many more positive experiences during the day than the one negative. The negative stands out as stronger to your emotions. This is the negativity bias. Continue reading…
One of my favorite responses has become, “I’m not going to waste brain cells on that.”
I grew up with the famous anti-drug “Just Say No” slogan championed by Nancy Reagan. Remember the commercial featuring a frying egg in a sizzling skillet with a voice saying, “This is your brain…this is your brain on drugs…any questions?” I remember vowing to protect my brain cells from impending frying pans! I was armed and ready to avoid sniffing paint and cocaine, but there’s another brain cell killer that threatens us everyday. Stress.
Stress creates free radicals that kill brain cells.Cortisol creates a surplus of the neurotransmitter glutamate. (11) Glutamate creates free radicals — unattached oxygen molecules — that attack brain cells much in the same way that oxygen attacks metal, causing it to rust. (12) – bebrainfit.comStress makes your brain rust!
How could someone made in the CREATOR’S image not be creative? Genesis 1:1 introduces us to the beginning of all creation. In the beginning–God created something BIG out of nothing! The Father dreamed of a family and created a universe to house them. He dreamed it, and then spoke it into being.
1 1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. Genesis 1:1-2 Message
I think Autumn is the best time of year with falling leaves, football games, pumpkins, sweaters and cooler weather. The thing I cherish most about fall is the beloved pumpkin spice latte. Can I get a witness?
I recently heard a story of a lady who…wait for it…HATES pumpkin spice lattes. (I know it’s hard to image.) She shared the reason for her aversion and it painted a bigger picture for me. When she was a little girl her dad made pumpkin spice bread for the family. Instead of adding baking powder he used baking soda! The bread smelled heavenly, but it tasted too salty and rancid. Today whenever she thinks of trying anything with pumpkin spice her mind runs to that first bad experience.Her brain classifies and judges ALL pumpkin spice items as distasteful. She needs a memory redemption. I wish I could invite her to the coffee shop.
How many of us do the same thing? If we’ve experienced a painful incident we judge everything associated with that event as painful, and label it as dangerous. This is the precursor of prejudice–judging all by the actions of a few.
I got hurt in church, thus all churches are hurtful. I was abused by a man; all men are abusive. I was robbed by a teenager; all teens are criminals. My boss was unfair; all bosses are out to get me.
You get the idea. You’ve just discovered the devil’s major scheme to STEAL our future. He tries to trick us into judging one negative incident as life’s forgone conclusion. That negative memory does not have to be your fate! It can be REDEEMED and exchanged for God’s greater purpose.
We can’t change the FACTS of what happened to us, but we CAN change our response and embrace the TRUTH of God’s redeeming power!
Memories are powerful and real. They can be triggered by smell, sound or a feeling. How many painful memories occupy real estate of your head?Continue reading…