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Your Life Is Shaped By Your Thoughts

Written by Rick Warren on Purpose Driven 

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2a (NLT)

You cannot become all God created you to be until you understand the five factors that influence your identity. The first two are chemistry (how you are made) and connections (your relationships). You are a product of the way God created you and of the relationships in your life.

Your identity is also influenced by your circumstances and your consciousness.

Circumstances are the things that happen to you and around you — none of which you control. You are a product of the trauma, troubles, suffering, shame, shock, pressures, and pain that have shaped your life. Perhaps even abuse has affected your identity. If you’ve ever had a series of failures or a catastrophe, it has left an indelible mark on who you are.

Consciousness is how you talk to yourself. You know what? If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be friends anymore, because our thoughts are filled with the lies we’ve heard from other people that we’ve let simmer and fester. When we repeat other people’s thoughts in our head, they go deeper and deeper in our consciousness, and they begin to shape our identity.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (LB). Your thoughts don’t have to be true to hurt you; you just have to believe them. If you tell yourself your marriage won’t last, then it won’t. If you’re afraid you can’t do something, then you won’t. Your thoughts run your life!

Your circumstances may be out of your control, but God is in control of everything. Your thoughts shape who you are, but you can change the way you think. Your circumstances and consciousness have shaped who you are, but the way you respond to your circumstances and the thoughts you choose to believe will shape the rest of your life.

Talk It Over

  • What is your natural response to a difficult situation or circumstance? Do you run away or face it? Do you worry or trust God?
  • How do you need to change the way you think?
  • Who or what around you influences your thoughts in a negative way?

The Power of Prayer (Forgiveness)

Recently I found myself very disappointed in someone I considered a good friend. They did something to me that I felt (and still feel) was totally unacceptable and it was hard for me to swallow. I knew that I needed to forgive them and let it go but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it at the time.

Not wanting to hold a grudge, I began to quote any and every scripture I could remember (and maybe a few I made up) on forgiveness. But it seemed the moment I stopped quoting scripture, I got mad all over again.

Throughout that week, I kept rehearsing what happened and when I shared it with my husband and my sister, I got even angrier – it was like every time I told the story, the fire was being fueled. So I decided that I needed to stop talking about it because that was not helping the situation.

I’m sure you have all been there before …maybe it wasn’t a friend, perhaps it was a sibling, a co-worker, a neighbor or even someone at church. Whoever it was, they crossed you in some form or fashion and raised your blood pressure. You found yourself on this never ending cycle of anger because you couldn’t quite let it go.

In time, I realized that forgiveness is very hard in our own power… and at some point, I cleared my head and took it to God in prayer …and yet again, God amazed me with his ability to bring an inner peace in the midst of any situation.

Prayer is by far the greatest weapon we have. Prayer causes you to change your perspective on things.

While in prayer, God reminded me of the many times I had turned my back on Him. The many times I had disappointed Him. Yet, not once has He held back his forgiveness towards me.

He also reminded me that no one except Him is flawless, so I must not put people on a pedestal or expect them to never let me down. Yes, we expect certain things like respect from our friends, however at some point, we have probably all disrespected someone we cared about. How is it that we expect people to always be willing to forgive us but when the tables are turned – watch out!

Through prayer, I realized it was alright for me to be hurt by the situation, but it wasn’t alright for me to dwell there. God healed my wounds and gave me the courage to step back out and not allow this situation to dictate my mood, attitude or behavior towards the person who offended me.

There is something to be said about the power of prayer …next time I won’t wait so long to use it!

Written by Tanya James, Founder and president of The Master Plan. Tanya James is the author of From Promiscuity to Proverbs 31: Getting Off the Fence of Sexual Immorality. For more information about Tanya, log onto www.armedanddangerous.biz or www.themasterplan.biz.

Accept One Another

 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7

 Acceptance sets the tone in a trusting relationship. It ascribes value by making a friend feel special, especially if someone struggles with wounds from past rejection and hurt. Acceptance is an antidote for guilt and regret. It looks to bring meaning in the moment, not dwelling on former failures. It creates a non-judgmental, safe environment. Like a sympathetic nurse, it listens with empathy. Acceptance feels no discrimination or bias.
 
Who is hungry for your approval and acceptance? Is it a child, a parent, a friend, a co-worker or fellow Christ follower who needs to feel your warm words of delight in them? To not be an included team member is emotional torture. Passive rejection can be worse that blatant rejection.   Indeed, an accepting attitude says, “I believe in you”, “I need you”, “I am for you”. You give others the benefit of the doubt. A person who feels your approval has nothing to prove.

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6 NKJV

Acceptance from Almighty God is found in Christ. He accepts the rejected. He invites those who wander from the faith to come home. Christ calls His children back from embarrassing situations and embraces them with open arms. His acceptance is unconditionally based on His love and grace. The Lord is looking for those in need of approval. He can’t wait to bless and believe in His own. Jesus accepts back those who have turned their backs on Him.

Therefore, accept others as Jesus has accepted you. Even sinners, you may ask? Yes, you can accept the individual without compromising your integrity. You grow in Christ’s character when others, who are unlike you, know you like them. You love those who love the world, without your loving the world. When you serve someone with competing standards, they tend to ask “why me”. Lovingly say, “why not you”–in order to bring praise to God!

“The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.” Romans 14:3

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for accepting me in Christ, so I can accept others in the same way.

Related Readings: Psalm 101:3; John 6:27; Acts 15:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:13 

THE WORLD IS MINE

Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman
And wished I were as beautiful.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch.
But as she passed, she passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
“I thank you, you’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child I knew.
He stood and watched the others play,
but he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
“Why don’t you join them dear?”
He looked ahead without a word.
I forgot, he couldn’t hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go..
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.
With ears to hear what I’d know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

~ Arthur Unknown~


This is just a simple reminder that we have so much to be thankful for! Give the gift of love. It never comes back empty!



Renewing Your Mind For Relationships

One of the ways that I healed from an emotional unhealthy mindset was listening to messages and mini sermons several days throughout the week. Sunday is a great blessing and all, but when it came to feeding my spirit and renewing my mind I needed more.

My favorite place to go on-line and get information that pertained to me and my personal issues and situations was OnePlace.com. There are so many different ministers there and so many different ways to listen, learn, and grow. You can search through the archives and find topics that relate to what you are going through at any given moment, that is what I did and still do til this day. It’s so helpful! Especially when your Pastor doesn’t talk much about Parenting, Friendship, or Marriage. Or it may just be that you are having some major issues with your in-laws and for that whole month at church you guys are reading the book of Revelation.
With all that being said, I’ve listed a few places that I think can be helpful to anyone if they open up and allow it.
With Dennis Rainey you get something like a teaching interview.
With June Hunt you get something like a counseling session.
And with James McDonald you get brief 30 minute sermonets that bless your soul!
It’s doesn’t do us any good to come up with excuses like “I don’t have time” because the messages can be downloaded and listened to in your car while you are driving or on your iPhone or Pod while you ride the bus, work out, get your nails, hair and toes done. We find time to watch our favorite T.V. Shows, go to the movies and out to eat, I’m sure we can find the time to feed our souls. It’s when you are really hungry for change that you will eat.
Most of the times people find a bunch of other unhealthy people to talk to and they validate what they are feeling and they think they are ok. But if people lie to you or just can’t give you the truth because they themselves don’t know it, you can’t grow as an individual.
It takes a lot to find a great person to hook up with forever when you are jacked up yourself. Inside you say “I want someone who will treat me good, not beat or cheat. Provide, protect, love, respect, submit, honor,” and on and on the list goes. But if you are emotionally damaged and refuse to admit and then take actions to change, more than likely you won’t attract that type of person.
Recognize, realize, and then renew!

Karma…does it always apply?

Post shared via The Heatblast
This week’s topic of the week…Karma…does it always apply?
I mean…negative things happening…does that always bring negative things back around?
I read this story in Cosmopolitan about four best friends…one was about to get married…they had a bachelorette party. At the home the girl grew up in. There was a pool in the back yard. All four of the girls grew up playing in this pool. Their favorite thing was to push each other in the pool and splash water on each other when someone was trying to stay dry for whatever reasons.
Anyway, at the bachelor party they had fun with each other as always, but this particular time, when the girl who was getting married the next day, got slightly nudged into the pool…she fell awkward and hit her head. Her body went numb. She floated to the surface and realized she could not feel anything. She was paralyzed. She missed the wedding, because she was in the hospital for the next five months. Ten years later she is still in a wheelchair, but she got married anyway and is celebrating the tenth anniversary of marriage and the accident.
I wanna know if you could forgive your best friend? You know the push was innocent. You know it was no harder than you all had done a hundred times before, but that one time…changed your life forever. I don’t mean forgive her, because you know it’s the right thing to do…but, forgive her because you know it hurt her just as much as it hurt you. It changed her life…just as it changed yours. Will you secretly hate her in the back of your mind when you have to summon help…just to wash yourself?
Even more so, if it happened to your husband or wife, to be…would you still marry them? Would you love them the same? Could it be…still, to death do us part? No matter what changed or how hard it got…would you stand by their side?
Tough…huh? Karma

Suicidal or Homicidal

Pain has a way of scaring people into hiding behind their wounds. They either become suicidal or homicidal. The suicidal people tend to believe that every person they encounter will cause them the same pain, using that as an excuse to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. This makes it impossible to get over the initial pain that causes this negative perception in the first place.
The homicidal people will continue to interact with people, but be cold and distant in their delivery, punishing everyone they encounter to assure that this pain will never happen again. They have become so self-centered that they do not realize that they are inflicting the same pain, spreading to same mentality, until it becomes an epidemic.
The only cure to making sure these wounds heal bacteria free is to understand that the damage is inside-out not outside-in. It’s important to understand that though the pain was caused by another person, it’s up to you to nurse it and make sure it doesn’t affect your mobility.
Post courtesy of AmazinglyBrash