Monday, June 4, 2012
Have you ever heard the saying "a mind is a terrible thing to waste'? Our minds have so much capacity for good, to learn, create, think and grow, and it's a tragedy when we don't use them to their highest potential.
There was a time in my life when I allowed too many damaging thoughts to enter my mind, negative, tormenting, guilty, unforgiving, shameful and accusing thoughts. The problem was that I had no idea I could control my thoughts or choose which thoughts I focused on and believed in.
I didn't realize that if I was thinking something that wasn't true, I had the power to stop. No one ever told me I could win in my mind. Has anyone ever told you? If not, then I'm here today to tell you that you don't have to let your thoughts control you. You can choose to think and focus on God-thoughts!
Romans 12:2 says to "let God transform you, by changing the way you think." God wants to help you win the battle in your mind. But what does that look like on a practical level?
Here's what has worked countless times for me and what I know will work for you too: The next time you're wrestling in your mind, I want you to stop and find something specific that you can thank God for. Tell Him how grateful you are for His goodness and all the rich ways He's blessed your life. As you're diligent to do this, you will see your life begin to change and things will get better and better.
It's my hope and prayer that you will know the power God has given you and that every day in your thoughts, you will walk in the fullness of His love for you!
Prayer Starter: God, I want to experience Your power in my thought life. I choose to focus on Your goodness and Your love for me. No matter what negative thought comes my way, I know that You are so much bigger and better.
From Joyce Meyer
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
by Mitch Temple
Thoughts and attitudes are like the engine of a train and our emotions and behavior are like the caboose.
Thoughts help form and determine your attitudes toward marriage. They determine how you feel about your mate as well as how you feel about being married in general. Thoughts can inspire hope – or take it away. Changing the way you think is like a locomotive that switches tracks and heads in a new direction, taking the rest of the train – behavior, actions, and habits – right along with it.
Paul obviously didn't have a train in mind when he offered his heart-felt instructions to the Christians in Rome – but it's still a useful metaphor. Pleading with the Romans to change their thoughts and actions, he said, "I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. . . . Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . . Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment" (Romans 12:1–3).
The apostle is speaking about a major mind shift here. The word transform comes from the same basic root for the English word metamorphosis. As larvae go through a radical change to become butterflies, so must we sometimes radically change our minds in order to have a healthy faith and marriage.
When we do make this change, we will not think of ourselves higher than we should (v. 3), and our judgments (perceptions, beliefs, conclusions, attitudes) will be sober, clear, and accurate. Transforming our thinking can lead us to the right behaviors (vv. 9–21). The right behavior will then lead to the outcomes we want such as peace, intimacy, and oneness. The more we understand this principle, the more positive impact it will have on our relationships.
One of my good friends, Dr. Gary Rosberg, is one of the most spiritual men I know. When I grow up I want to be just like him. Whenever we're together, talk on the phone, correspond by e-mail, or chat after I finish a radio interview on his show, the last thing he always says to me is, "Hey Mitch, guard your heart, brother." This is another way of saying, "Be very careful to protect your mind from the wrong stuff. Put the right things in your mind. Protect it. Shield it from the bad influences." Just recently, after the birth of my first grandchild, Gary's message to me was: "Mitch, guard your heart, brother. The stakes just got higher."
I know Gary means for me to guard my heart in every area of life, including my relationship with Rhonda. Like a computer, if I put the right things into my mind, the right things will likely come out. Gary understands this. He knows that if my thinking is on track, then the rest of my life will be too.
Our Creator commands spouses – particularly husbands – to guard their hearts and thinking so that they do not forsake the wife of their youth (Malachi 2:14–16). God is serious about how we think and behave in our marriage. We should be too.
Sure, our actions may be due to "unthinking" habits we've fallen into. You may leave the bathroom messy every day without even thinking about it. Just part of the routine, right?
But if you really reflect on that habit, you may discover that there was a particular thought, belief, value, or idea that led you to the action – or at minimum maintained it. Maybe you thought at some time previously, I did this before I was married, so I should be able to keep on doing it. Or, What's the big deal? I'll clean up later, but now I'm in a hurry.
Sometimes, though, our distorted thinking can lead to consequences much more severe than squabbles about bathrooms.
From The Marriage Turnaround: How Thinking Differently About Your Relationship Can Change Everything
Friday, February 17, 2012
Monday, November 14, 2011
By Roland C. Warren, President, National Fatherhood Initiative
Good films not only entertain, they speak powerfully into deeply personal issues or important social problems. Great films speak to both. On that measure, Courageous is a great film.
Courageous, the new film from the makers of Facing the Giants and Fireproof, draws you in with action and humor, but then, like Field of Dreams, causes men reflect on their relationships with their dads and their own children. It is one of the most emotionally powerful films I have seen in along time; it hits very close to home for dads like me who grew up without their fathers.
It also intelligently tackles the social crisis of our time--the widespread absence of fathers from the lives of our nation's children. Twenty-four million children--one out of every three nationally and two of three in the African American community--live in homes absent their biological fathers.
How does one film accomplish all of this? The answer is in the title. Not only does the film rest on the theme of "courage" in portraying the value and heart of fatherhood, but the film itself is also courageous in its handling of the father absence crisis we face today.
When I first heard about this movie more than a year ago, I thought that the title was strange. You don't normally hear this word used in reference to fatherhood. Frankly, you're more likely to hear it exclaimed by a sportscaster hailing a football star who plays through an injury. Or when a celebrity poker player goes "all in," despite having a poor hand.
Playing through an injury and making a well-timed bluff are noteworthy, but courageous? Hardly. Courageous the movie, on the other hand, frames the hard, self-sacrificing work of fatherhood around the idea that being a "good enough" father just isn't enough; we should strive to be great fathers, the kind children need and mothers long for.
This film has the potential to make millions of men realize just how critical they are to their children and challenges them to question themselves and their priorities. In fact, the film makes it clear that great fatherhood is really a choice between comfort and courage, which I have come to believe are opposites.
Consider this real-life example.
Some months ago, I heard a news report about a father's harrowing experience in Sierra Leone during the time when the brutal rebel leader, Charles Taylor, was terrorizing that small nation. One day, a gang of Taylor's thugs entered his community looking for men and boys that they could mutilate by cutting off their limbs. When they approached this father, they told him that they were going to cut off his arm and his son's arm. They wanted two arms and they were not going to be denied.
They weren't; the father offered both of his arms to spare his son. He chose courage over comfort.
While no one is threatened like this in Courageous, the characters face difficult challenges at home and at work. While the film grapples effectively with these deeply personal issues, it is also takes a broad view of how father absence affects entire communities, and thus the country.
Courageous asserts the uncompromising view that when dads disconnect from children, the results for the community are gangs, broken children, violence, drug dealing, lack of respect for authority, and a variety of other negative consequences.
Conversely, the film suggests that when fathers are connected to family, most of the serious problems we face can be eliminated. Few films have had the courage to place these ideas front and center in the story.
At a time when we face record levels of father absence and out-of-wedlock childbirths, cultural indifference to the idea that marriage and fatherhood should be linked, and the attitude that fathers are not important cogs in the family -- National Fatherhood Initiative's national survey of moms and dads found that 6 in 10 parents believe dads can be easily replaced -- Courageous cannot come at a better time.For taking on this cultural indifference and not being afraid to challenge millions of men, Courageous truly is one courageous movie
Friday, October 21, 2011
Hebrews 12:2- looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If parenting is about imitating the Perfect Parent, we should be comforted in knowing God patiently endured as His Son was subjected to unimaginable hardship (curses, rejection, beatings, and death) on our behalf. There will be times when you will be forced to endure sleepless nights, frustration, anger, shame, and the scorn of others in your parenting journey as well.
In the middle of suffering, fix your eyes on Jesus. Recognize that as much as we try to avoid pain, it can be a pathway to wisdom and greater dependence on God. The love you express to your kids during times of struggle can draw them to a much greater love – the love of our Heavenly Father and the sacrifice he made through His Son’s life and death.
When you endure parenting hardships and struggles with patience, you reflect God’s love in a powerful, compelling way.
Taken from Parenting Daily Devotional