Thursday, April 17, 2014

When Your Heart Yearns For Simplicity

Hey Friend,
 
Dieter, the A/C technician, was busily going about his work replacing the thousand dollar plus evaporator coil.  He was talking to our dog, Topper, in German as Topper eagerly brought him toys with which to play.  Whistling and singing a Jimmy Buffett tune, Dieter suddenly stopped and asked, "Are you moving?"
 
Strange question, I thought.  Then I looked around and surveyed every horizontal surface and there was stuff, stuff everywhere.  Piles, boxes, items without a home.  My husband and I have been married just three months and though we've been busy getting his stuff moved in and some of my stuff purged, it still looks as if a moving truck vomited in our house.
 
Add to that my grown son living with us having just been diagnosed with bipolar spectrum disorder, a daughter heartbroken after ending a three year relationship, a dog with dementia who "vocalizes" (barks at a high pitch every evening for a couple hours), a revolving door of workmen fixing everything from the roof to a structural/foundation problem on a house that needs a lot of TLC.
 
Everyday I wake up and think, what will be the crisis of the day?  Gratefully, none of these problems are life threatening, but they do cause stress.  Some days I yearn for the simplicity of childhood - before mortgages and car problems.  Remember the days of no worries, no problems, no deadlines?  When every day was a great adventure to be had and riding your bike on sunny days to the nearby park and playing was your appointment for the day.  The only deadline was be home by dinnertime.
 
How in today's world do you regain that simplicity?  As a child, subconsciously, I trusted my parents to take care of the big worries.  My dad held the job; my parents paid the mortgage; together they handled the big stuff and innately I trusted.  As I examine my life, I often find that I am missing trust that God will take care of the big picture.
 
I am missing trust in God for my protection.
 
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul.  (Psalm 23:1-3)
 
When I am not following His leading, I get myself in trouble.  The Lord wants to lead me beside the still waters.  I can trust that He will protect me after all, He is the good shepherd.
 
"Kept by His power - that is the only safety."  (Oswald Chambers)
 
I have discovered that earthly security is an illusion.  Your only real security comes from the loving heart of God.
 
I am also missing trust in God for my worries.
 
When we yearn for simplicity, what we often yearn for is rest.  Rest from worries.
 
Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  (Matthew 11:28-30)
 
I need to learn to take my worries to God and then LEAVE THEM THERE!
 
"He stands fast as your rock, steadfast as your safeguard, sleepless as your watcher, valiant as your champion."  (C.H. Spurgeon)
 
When I say I want simplicity, often what I really need is strength. Where does my strength come from?  It comes from the Lord.
 
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength.  (Isaiah 40:29)
 
To make a long story short: JESUS IS ENOUGH. Jesus is not only enough, He is more than enough.
 
When my heart yearns for simplicity what it is really longing for is a Savior.
 
My own self-made yoke is heavy and burdensome, but His yoke is light.  If you are feeling heavy laden, chances are you need to hand over whatever "It" is to the Lord.  He wants you to have life and have it abundantly like in the days of our youth when we had the freedom to simply enjoy life and leave the worries to our Father.
 
Jesus beckons, "Come my child, let Me carry the load.  I love you and I long to give you the simplicity you yearn for.  Take my yoke instead; it is light and easy."  Will you exchange your yoke for His?  He's waiting...
 
In His love,
 
Bev   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Are You A Door For God's Love To Walk Through?

Hey Friend,
 
I chose the word "intentional" for my watch word for 2014.  It kind of sums up how I want to live my life this year.  By saying I want to be intentional, I am saying I want to be present in the moment and I want to be intentional about spreading God's love, loving others right where they are and ultimately building God's Kingdom.
 
Lofty goals indeed, but as a wise person once told me, "Practice on the small stuff so that when it gets to the big stuff, you are prepared." 
 
Normally I get off the ramp from the interstate not far from my house and I mindlessly come to a stop and daydream until the long light turns green.  This day, however, there was a tall, thin scraggily man with a long gray beard sitting on an overturned bucket and holding a cardboard sign. 
 
Okay, Bev, time to be intentional.  I beckoned him over to my car window and looked him straight in the eye and asked his name.  He responded, but I was too captivated by his eyes to remember what he was telling me.  He had the kindest smile and these piercing blue eyes that twinkled when he talked.  He politely took off his Vietnam Vets hat and told me a little of his story.  We talked as long as the light would let us...until we were rudely interrupted by the car horn behind us.  "God bless you," I said as I handed him some money.  "Dios te bendiga," he responded.  "That means God bless you in Spanish," he kindly responded back. 
 
The whole way home I couldn't get those piercing eyes and that gentle, kind smile out of my mind. 
 
I wondered, is this one of those times when Heaven touches earth.  When the sacred meets the secular? 
 
I did feel like I was the one who had been blessed.  Had I sat there daydreaming with my window up, I would have missed out on a real blessing that day. 
 
Every day God gives us doors for His love to walk through.  It's up to us what we do when He opens those doors.
 
I have gathered some of my favorite verses that speak to living and loving intentionally:
 
Romans 5:8:  But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 
We don't wait for someone to earn or deserve our love...we are called to love others like Christ does - while they are still sinners.
 
Ephesians 2:4-5:  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved...
 
We are saved by grace so we need to love with grace.  Our love extended can literally bring life to the dead.  I love the phrase, "But God".  The world judges, condemns, shuns...But God...
 
That simple phrase calls us to a different standard!
 
1John 4:7-8:  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
 
John 13: 34-35:  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
 
In his song entitled, "With Every Act of Love" by Jason Gray, he sings:
 
God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is YOU.
 
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come
 
 
Every simple act of kindness, each gesture of love inches His Kingdom closer.
 
 
How intentional are you about living each and every moment as if you could bring the dead back to life?  Like me, are you daydreaming through life's red lights, or are you looking around for a door through which you could walk and bring love, true love to a dark and hurting world?
 
 
I'll end this post with two quotes that have inspired me to live...to love...more intentionally.
 
 
"God is love.  Therefore love.  Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love."  (Henry Drummond)
 
 
"Speak life and light into the inky chaos; that is why God breathes life into you."  (Deidra Riggs)
 
 
So I challenge you, just as I challenge myself; are you a door for God's love to walk through?  Remember practice with the small stuff and no gesture is too small!
 
 
In His love,
 
Bev
 
 
ps. Congratulations to Joanne who won the Spring Giveaway Drawing (DaySpring mug and Starbucks gift card).  Thank you to everyone reading my blog.  May you know how truly loved you are by our Creator!  Be Blessed!
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Marriage: Before And After You Say "I Do"

Hey Friend,
 
Some people might say that a person who has been divorced writing about marriage is like the architect of the Titanic writing about shipbuilding. 
 
True enough.  The flip side is that I am a bit of an expert on what doesn't work. 
 
When my fiancĂ© and I went to church for our premarital classes, we were clearly the only ones there with gray hair and wrinkles.  The other couples looking to get married resembled innocent babes in our eyes.  They were doe-eyed and hopeful...ready to embark, for the first time, upon this mysterious fantasy called marriage. 
 
What my fiancĂ© and I brought to the table was something a little different.  Between us we had 45+ years of marriage under our belts.  We had navigated the waters of abuse and infidelity among other things.  We knew that it took two people to want to make the marriage work...and I DO mean Work (no slackers need apply).  The failure of a marriage is never 100% one person's fault and 0% the other person's fault.  We had made our share of mistakes too.
 
With all that being said, I've thought a lot about what nuggets of been-there-done-that wisdom I could impart to those thinking about marriage and those who are in the process of navigating the waters of marriage.
 
Before you say "I do":  Pray and Wait.  God promises wisdom to all those who ask and often asks us (much to our dismay) to wait.  There's wisdom to be found in waiting, but we want to follow the butterflies and our own impulsiveness.  Dating for a long time allows you to see the good, the bad and the ugly.  Going through adversity while you are dating is a good indicator of how your potential mate will react when you face adversity as a married couple.  Take careful notes.
 
Ask yourself, "What is my motivation?":  Why do you truly want to be married.  "Because I'm looking for someone to complete me"  is not a good answer.  You ARE complete in Christ and only in Him.  Others can compliment you but they can't complete you.  Are you wanting to get married because you are afraid of being alone?  Is everyone else getting married and you feel like you better hop on the train before it leaves the station?  Are you settling?  God has a good and perfect plan for your life.  Often He has in mind a Godiva chocolate bar for us and we are willing to settle for a tootsie roll. 
 
Don't ignore the red flags:  If you've been divorced you know what I'm talking about.  The things you believe will magically fix themselves once you are married or the things you think you will be able to fix in your partner.  There's a difference in seeing past the small flaws in another person, but ignoring red flags can be detrimental in the end.  Also study family dynamics and the role models (parents) of your potential spouse.  Are there healthy relationships?  We all have a certain amount of dysfunction in our families, but I have found that people either tend to repeat what has been modeled to them or they do a 180.  What track is your potential spouse on? What track are you on?
 
Do not be unequally yoked:  If you are a Christ follower, I can't emphasize this one enough.  Oxen that are of equal size and temperament pull the load equally together.  If your potential mate is an unbeliever, the load will get hard and heavy if you are having to pull it yourself.  You may be able to do it in the short run, but over years it becomes burdensome.  God had our very best in mind in 2 Corinthians 6:14:  "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers."
He knows better than anyone how difficult marriage can be and his intent is that no one falters because the burden is too heavy for one person to pull.
 
After you say "I do":  For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.  For the law can be summed up in this one command:  "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." [emphasis mine] (Galatians 5:13-14)
 
We read this scripture at our marriage ceremony.  When it gets right down to it...if we really wanted to have successful marriages, we would post this scripture over our door frames and we would set it before us as our goal.
 
What if every day we woke up and said, "Today I am going to try to out love my spouse!" 
 
What if each day we set aside our own selfish desires and said, "Today I am going to out serve my spouse?"
 
What if we stopped asking ourselves, "What's in it for me?" and instead asked God to let us be a vessel through which God's love was poured out on our spouse?
 
Our marriages might look radically different. 
 
Pray Together:  I love that my husband and I start our day together in prayer.  It sets the navigational compass for the whole day.  Even when I head to bed before my husband does, I ask him to wake me up so that we can pray together before we fall asleep.  God is the Alpha and the Omega...we need to pray to Him in the beginning and in the end.  And husbands, as the spiritual head of the household,  pray over your wife each day.  There is nothing sexier than a man on his knees in prayer!
 
Forgive:  Forgive and show grace and mercy again and again and again.  I love it when my husband says that he loves me "because of" not "in spite of".  He looks for the best in me and forgives me when I fall short (which is a lot)! 
 
I suppose I could prattle on for quite a few more paragraphs (thank you for indulging me thus far).  I am passionate about making my marriage work and if others can learn from my mistakes then my life is an open book.   I would also like to learn from successful marriages out there!
 
I'll end with some words I love by the wonderful writer Ann Voskamp:
 
There are no standing lovers:  the only way to love is to lay down.
 
     Lay down plans
     Lay down agendas
     Lay down self
 
Love is always the laying down.  Love lets go of its plans to hold onto a person.
 
I would love to hear your thoughts on what goes into making a successful marriage.  As always I pray for ALL my readers and if I can pray for you regarding something specific, let me know. 
 
In His love,
 
Bev
 
ps. This is the last chance to comment and be entered in the drawing to win a DaySpring scripture mug and Starbucks gift card. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How Do I Live Life With Abandon?

Hey Friend,
 
When I was in my teens, one of my favorite outdoor sports was snow skiing.  I grew up outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and just to the east of us was a really nice, mountainous ski resort.  My friend, Nina, and I went on many a high school ski trip to this beautiful destination and became pretty good skiers after a few years.  We rose quickly from "bunny slope" to black diamond runs in pretty short order - oh the fearlessness of youth!
 
On one particular visit we were feeling quite full of ourselves having conquered all the black diamonds on the one side of the mountain.  All that was left to dominate was the formidable North Face of the mountain.  Those slopes were usually reserved for the experts, but we were feeling pretty fearless that day so we took the chair lift to the top of North Face, took a deep breath and with wild, reckless abandon, pointed our skis downward and took off. 
 
Fast forward our cocky adventure and my friend wound up in the emergency room with her leg in a cast.  There is a difference between living life with abandon and living life with reckless abandon.  
 
When we think of living life with abandon, we often think of words like:  Courageous, Zealous, Undaunted, Bold, Brave, Confident, Fierce, Generous and Joyous.   Sure, these are some adjectives that could describe someone who lives life with abandon, but there is something more...something so much more.
 
The apostle Paul lived with abandon, not abandon to his natural base instincts or with disregard to moral code.  Rather...
 
He lived life with abandon to the task God had given him.
 
He surrendered himself totally to this goal with disregard even for his own life.
 
Abandon involves a task or goal and it also involves surrender.

Luke 9:23 reads: (Jesus speaking)  And he said to them all, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me."  To live the life of abandon that Christ was speaking about we must do several things:

Deny Self:  Choose God's direction not our own.

Take up our crosses:  Make a true commitment. Am I willing to carry my cross of faith in Christ even unto death?  Tough question!

Follow Him:  Imitate Christ's example.

Anything else is simply lip service...

Living life with abandon means we don't play it safe.  We say "Yes" to God's Holy Spirit when He moves in us.  We have a higher calling beyond ourselves and we want to make our lives count for something! 

Quiet, introverted, contemplative people can live a life with abandon just as well as the bold, extroverted, demonstrative people can. 

This is not a performance, it is living life with a purpose.

In a college class, we were asked to write our own eulogy.  Kind of morbid I thought at the time, but it made me think...what will I want people to say about me when I'm gone?  Do I want them to say, "She could write and at one point in her life she had a mean backhand in tennis"?  Or do I want them to say, "She was completely sold out for Christ"? 

Living life with Abandon involves burden, sacrifice and surrender so it is not for the faint of heart.

Are you with me?  Are you ready to give all that you are...every part of your heart and place it in Jesus' hands?  I hope so, because you know what?  The world needs YOU!!  If you encourage me, I'll encourage you and together we can make a difference.  Be blessed my friend...

In His love,

Bev

ps.  It's spring "give away time".  Leave a comment and your name may be drawn to receive a DaySpring scripture mug and Starbucks gift card.

Also, for some inspiration in living life with abandon - listen to the lyrics from the Newsboys single, "Live With Abandon" on YouTube.

 
 
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Does The God Of The Universe Care About Me?

Hey Friend,
 
One of the awesome things about writing this blog is that I see how God is able to use the social media to reach the ends of the earth with the good news of the Gospel.  Though I do not know exactly who is reading my blog, I am able to track the countries from which my readership comes.  Admittedly, I have had to Google the location of some countries that I have never heard of.  That, to me, is pretty darn cool.
 
I have a fairly large readership from Russia and Ukraine.  If you've cracked a newspaper, you know about the power conflict and struggle going on in that part of the world.  I have noticed, not surprisingly, that readers from that corner of the world have been missing as of late...no surprise there because they obviously have bigger things going on in their lives. I miss them and I pray for them.  It's become personal to me.
 
It has also made me realize that in God's universe, I am a mere gnat in terms of existence.  The maker of the universe, the God who formed the planets and hung the stars in place frankly has so much to take care of.  If you were to try to capture His job description, do you know how many volumes that would take?  It all seems so immense and complicated.
 
Yet God, in only a way that He could, makes it very simple for us:
 
1 John 4:8 says: "God is love."
 
It does not say "God is love if..."
 
It does not say "God is love when..."
 
Over and over again the Bible tells us that God loves us!
 
It does not say God loves us if...or God loves us when...
 
God cannot deny himself which means that He loves endlessly without stipulations or boundaries. 
 
He loves the pregnant teen mom in poverty stricken Haiti.  He loves the orphan in Uganda.  He loves the postal worker in Germany and the homemaker in Arkansas.  We are all led into false thinking that God has "bigger fish to fry"...that He has world peace to think about so how can he be concerned with the little puzzle pieces that make up my life?
 
I so love Matthew 10:29-31:  "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
 
A God that knows the number of hairs on your head - who knows your thoughts before you even think them - who knit you together in your mother's womb; how can this God NOT care about you?  It is simply impossible.  As Max Lucado says, " If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it." 
 
When you call out Jesus' name in desperation in the middle of the night, He knows your voice because the good shepherd knows each and every one of his sheep by name.
 
When you struggle He will scoop you up and lovingly carry you in His strong arms.  He will lead you to green pastures and still waters.  He will make you to lie down and rest.
 
Why?  Because God is Love... and
          Because God Loves You (period).
 
No matter what part of the globe we inhabit...we have one thing in common - we are loved and cared about immensely by the Creator of the Universe.  He is present in our everydayness.  He is the God who sees.  He sees you right where you are and He truly cares about you!
 
The world or one tiny sparrow...He holds them both lovingly in His hand.
 
You are NEVER outside His love...be blessed.
 
In His love,
 
Bev
 
ps.  I feel a spring give away coming on.  Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing for a DaySpring scripture mug and Starbucks gift card. 
 
 
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

When Will God Answer My Prayer?

Hey Friend,
 
Due to a coffee maker that died (national catastrophe) and a computer that had the hiccups, I am a day late in posting.  Due to a lack of caffeine, my thoughts seem kind of jumbled, but here goes...
 
Have you ever had one of those prayers?  A specific, burden on your heart prayer that you have prayed every morning and every evening not only for days or weeks or even months, but for years?  Have you ever gotten to the point where, not intentionally, but because nothing seems to be changing, your prayer falls off the radar?  I have.
 
Again, I risk being vulnerable, but my ardent prayer for years has been for my son.  I call it my "prodigal prayer".  I raised my son in the church.  I set God's precepts before him.  I have prayed every day of his life that he would have a true relationship with his Lord and Savior.  He seemed well on the right path until, through a series of events, he became disillusioned with Christians - he saw them for what they often are - hypocrites.  Religion, as he saw it, was flawed and pointless.  He stopped seeking God's will and set upon a course of determining his own future.  It's a plan that has not worked out too well and has led him down a prodigal path of self destruction.  In short, it breaks a mother's heart.
 
I have prayed day and night for several years that God would soften my son's heart and lead him back into His loving arms.  I have prayed for enlightenment, restoration - even for God to knock him off his horse if that's what it would take to bring about a change of heart.  I pray and I hope and I wait and yet nothing seems to change.  "When will God answer my prayer?"  I beg.
 
I do believe in Proverbs 22:6 which states: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.  I cling to the hope that this is only a venture off the path and he will return to the God of his youth.  I  see examples like Billy Graham's son Franklin who rebelled in his youth, but finally turned around and became a great spiritual leader.  With God, all things are possible, right?
 
I believe in God's promises about prayer:
 
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  (Hebrews 4:16)  I have approached with confidence.
 
"If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."  (John 14:14)  I have asked in Christ's name
 
"Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."  (John 16:23)  Again, I have called upon the name of Jesus, my Savior.
 
Now this is the confidence we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)  Surely praying for my son's reconciliation with his Father would be in keeping with his will?!
 
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."  (John 15:7)  I do abide in you Lord and your words abide in me...
 
I believe that God hears my prayer and that He will answer it!!
 
Lord I believe, help my disbelief.
 
I have come to some conclusions about why my prayer has not yet been answered (this is my own speculation).  I would certainly entertain other insights!!
 
*  God always listens.  Perhaps I'm not listening to Him?  I've been so busy talking that I haven't had time to truly listen. Maybe He has already spoken and I've missed it?
 
*  I am not God...He is.  He is sovereign and in control.  How do I not know that perhaps He is working behind the scenes in ways that I am totally unaware of?
 
*  Sometimes God is silent in order to get our attention.  Many times throughout history, God has been silent in order to gain the full, undivided attention of His followers.
 
*Maybe He is putting my faith to the test.  God does not always give a definitive "Yes" or "No"...sometimes He says "Wait".  Oh the dreaded "wait"!
 
God weaves a beautiful tapestry of our lives and I have found that the dark threads of trial and of waiting on the Lord provide such a distinctive backdrop to the radiant light and beautiful threads of answered prayer. 
 
What a wondrous tapestry God wove in the life of Job.  There was a man who learned how to wait, yet he rose up to profess:
 
"Though he slay me, yet I will trust Him."  (Job 13:15)
 
I don't pretend to have all the answers and I am certainly guilty of stale prayers.  At the very moment I typed the scripture from Job, the sun burst forth from behind the clouds into my kitchen window.  God speaking?  Maybe so!  I pray that I will go forth with renewed confidence in my prayers.  God is listening and He is faithful!
 
Praying for you as you wait upon prayers to be answered.  Please feel free to share a prayer request in the comments and I will be sure to pray for you!
 
In His love,
 
Bev
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Combatting The Negative Voice In Your Head

Hey Friend,

Well, the wedding and the honeymoon are over and my new husband and I have set upon the task of feathering our nest...aka moving his stuff in.  Translated, that means moving, lifting and unpacking boxes.  I began the task weeks ago with the vigor of a twenty year old.  Unfortunately my 50+ year old back caught up with me.  Long story short, I wound up in bed literally unable to move without being in intense pain.  The pain only continued to get worse until finally in an act of desperation I sought the help of a physical therapist.  (Thank God for those in this profession!). 

One day, however, I stood in the shower with the hot water running over my sore back and the enemy, as he does so well, began to kick me when I was down.  The negative stream of consciousness in my head ran something like this:

"Your husband sure got the short end of the stick.  He's had to do the lion's share of the moving and unpacking while you've laid in bed.  If you weren't old and out of shape this wouldn't have happened.  You are not a worthy helpmate for your new husband who loves you...and why should he love you?  You are not worthy or pretty.  In fact you are useless and not very pretty and you're overweight.  If only you looked better and were a better wife.  And what do you do...you don't even work.  You are a homemaker who doesn't keep a very good home.  You call yourself a writer...you are a dime a dozen.  Anyone could do what you do and do a better job at it.  Just who do you think you are anyway?  You tell people about walking the Christian walk and you are a poor excuse for a Christian.  God is certainly disappointed in you........."

On it went until I was in tears.  What do we do with these thoughts when they come streaming into our brain?

Step 1:  Determine whose voice you are really hearing

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I have come that they might have life and have it to the full (abundantly)."  (John 10:10)

If the voice you are hearing is filled with negativity and criticism it is NOT the voice of God.  Satan, the enemy, wants nothing more than to tear us down, destroy our confidence and render us useless in God's Kingdom.  If the voice is critical and condemning it is the voice of the enemy.  God uses only those words that build us up and grow us in His love.  His correction is never harsh or cutting.  It gently turns us in another direction. 

We need to measure the negative talk through the filter of God's truth.

Does what we're hearing in our head match up with the truth found in scripture?  One litmus verse I use is Romans 8:1:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

The truth is that a condemning voice is not from God!

Step 2:  Take captive every thought

When that negative voice comes a yammering (and it will), God promises to rescue us if we will take those thoughts captive and bring them to Him.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Negative thinking is a mere pretension...a lie in the face of the knowledge of what God says about us.  I literally picture myself dropping a net over the negative thought, wrapping it up and carrying it to Christ's feet where I drop it and ask him to take it from me. 

God gives us the power and authority, through His son, to kick the enemy to the curb.

In Christ's name I can tell the "creep" to GET LOST!!!!

Step 3:  Replace the negative thought (lie) with God's truth

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

Psalm 139 is a great psalm to meditate on whenever the enemy is attacking your self worth.  I keep an "emergency kit" of scriptures that speak to God's truth about me for whenever the enemy begins to push my "hot buttons" of self doubt.  Reading those helps me refocus on the truth about me.

Sometimes I will put on worship music because it is hard for the enemy to drag us down when we are worshipping the awesome God who created us.

"Worship is an act of War against the enemy of our hearts."  (Holley Gerth) 

I'll leave you with two images (can you tell I am a visual learner) that help me to do what I need to do when the enemy comes a calling.

I picture the enemy on the other side of my front door.  He's knocking and trying to push his way in, but in God's power I need to slam the door on the enemy before he can even get a foot in the door.

This one is from my mom.  She used to say, "If you let the camel get his nose under the tent, before you know it, he's all the way in."  Anchor your tents friends...thanks mom.

Seriously though, the battle with negative thinking can be a fierce one.  But, remember, greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.  Call on the Lord to fight this battle.  He wants to fight for us...we just need to ask.

May God's great love for you bless you abundantly today...

In His love,

Bev