Thought Life / Verses

The temptation here is to focus on what the Bible says regarding shoulds and should nots but we have enough to worry about with that all the time anyway. I’m far more interested in the comfort of God’s healing.

I want to hear some words not just of health (how do I change my patterns?) but of self (where should I put my focus, Lord?). Because working toward health is a journey and we need to be reminded there isn’t anything wrong with that but our broken human brain is trying to believe who we are, and who God is, changes because of circumstances. Spoiler, it doesn’t.

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Thought Life / Act Like An Apostle

Prayer is an action. Do you know what else is? Your actions. As the daughter of missionaries, my life in some ways has been quite unusual. There are times I have wished I fit in easier with my own culture, my peers, wished I was not so out of the box. Some days I would very much like to be in the box. Recently, someone awesome explained their theory that in order to be adventuresome enough to make bold moves, the people who settled the Pacific Northwest had to break from traditional society. It totally explained why this place is full of nontraditional people (those I affectionately call weirdos) and why I’ve felt so much at home here — because I’m a weirdo too. And the Bible is full of us!

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Thought Life / Pray Like A Warrior

As I sit here there is a typhoon blustering outside. I feel like there is one inside myself too. Feelings swirling around, kicking up the leaves, knocking out my power. It’s not my job to let these things burden me to the point where I am turning my problems in to a thing I stroke and caress, love and feed as if it were dependent on me and I on it. It is my job to pray.

There are so many things that cause outrage and fear, anxiety, and stress. We have never been more connected, felt more helpless. What can we do? If I had a superpower it would be to fix everything. I adore dismantling the crippling influence of a problem and empowering people through their weaknesses. When something is wrong I want to make it better, I want action! But it’s really not my job to fix everything, just what God puts before me to do. He gave me the desire to want to fix things so I would give it back to Him, building trust. In so doing, I have been given the opportunity to see how prayer is not a matter of passivity, but action. Especially in times when we feel helpless. Though it is not the only action, it is the most available. Sometimes we just cannot do more. It is the most useful. If we give Him our attention, God can direct us. It is the most powerful. We are asking Him to intervene and enable in ways we could not procure on our own. Prayer is a matter of directing obsessive thought patterns that seek to destroy our peace of mind, disturb us with anxiety, toward our loving Creator who calms the storms inside us. It is where we stop and God starts. We are warriors when we take action and pray because — actions have power.

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Thought Life / Today

The past is gone and tomorrow is God’s domain, we can’t know what it will bring, all we can do is today. For people like me who want to see steps ahead, be prepared, solve problems, this is a very hard concept. For some, one day at a time may come naturally but I am not geared for it.

Professionally, what makes me so great at my job is the ability to anticipate problems and fix them. Conversely, it can create a lot of anxiety when I am powerless to make things better and I can become discouraged when a problem feels insurmountable. In the last few years following a wonderful devotional has helped me portion out big problems into a daily walk with God.

And that, I can do.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 (MSG)

14 On a good day, enjoy yourself;
On a bad day, examine your conscience.
God arranges for both kinds of days
So that we won’t take anything for granted.

There is a neurological condition which causes some people to not be able to feel pain which might sound nice until you realize pain is useful. It is a warning to our bodies, it alerts us to problems. This is also the job of your conscience, your inner Jiminy Cricket.

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Thought Life / Tomorrow

The purpose of hamster wheeling is in part to anticipate the future, get ahead of tomorrow and to paraphrase James 4:14 — you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You don’t know, you can’t know, and it’s a sin to try. We can imagine all the scenarios we want but ultimately, tomorrow will come and all we are in control of is our feelings, our thoughts, and our imagination.

Imagination is a tricky one because sometimes it can give us hope. It can be lovely to dream about joys to come. But it can lead us into dangerous territory where hopes become disappointments; far more crushing than things would have been had we just let events unfold naturally.

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Thought Life / Stop Hamster Wheeling

Did you read the bit about emotions? Yes? Great. Now it’s time to get control of thoughts. Emotions, feelings, those are the roller coasters but when it comes to thoughts — we’re in total control. Reasonable, intelligent, calculated, cool, right? I see you shaking your head, no. You’re right.

Here is the truth about our brains. They’re not as logical as we portray them to be. They’re messy little liars who are constantly trying to tell us no matter what the situation, God isn’t good enough –- and that’s just not true. Look at the Israelites. No matter how many times God showed His power and glory in big, real, supernatural ways they still tried to be satisfy themselves outside of His provisions.

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Thought Life / Declare Your Intentions

Here’s the deal. Ultimately, you get to decide how you feel. About everything. Always. Now, I know this is a revolutionary thought. We’re constantly being cajoled in so many worldly ways that our emotions are precious treasures (they’re not), that we have no absolutely no control over them and should base all our decisions on them (we definitely should not).

Feelings and emotions are used interchangeably to mean that gooey stuff inside you — but they are not the same things. This article goes in depth on the topic but essentially, emotions are physical responses and can be measured whereas feelings are the next stage which involves cognitive input and cannot be measured precisely.

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