Tag Archive | Truth thoughts

The benefits of a valley experience!

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   If you’ve noticed you haven’t heard from me in awhile, you would be correct. It seems I am, and have been for quite some time, in a valley. A valley that just stretches out before me with no exits or mountain tops in sight.

   Being the author of a book about negative thinking, I have a working knowledge of how to fight the negative thoughts (my constant companions in this valley). Therefore, I know that God’s Truth thoughts are the key to finding my way out. And for brief periods of time, those Truth thoughts lit up a possible exit. But alas, it was only short lived.

   At this point, I still find myself in the valley. And I don’t have much hope of  leaving this place any time soon. So, what should I do? 

   May I insert here that while I am living in the valley at the moment, it is NOT a dark valley. God’s Truth thoughts which I focus on prevent such darkness. It is not a valley without hope of finding a way out. While the negative thoughts of despair, discouragement, and thoughts of giving up do tempt me, they do not rule my thinking. They do not prevail! 

   Also, I find that in this valley, I am tempted with thoughts of self-condemnation. This judgmental attitude towards myself and others (especially those I have complaints against) keep my vision clouded. And yes, I am weary of the fight against feeling sad, disheartened, and discouraged.

So what’s the answer here?

   Giving into these fiery darts will only plant me permanently in this desolate valley. I DO NOT DESIRE THAT! Nor does God! 

   Here’s a thought! Why not just accept this valley time? I ask myself, “Why on earth would I do that?” To which I believe God gave me this reply:

Isaiah 48:17, This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel says, I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you for your benefit who leads you in the way you should go.

   If I cooperate with the LORD, and instead of asking Him to lift me out of this valley (because really, it’s unpleasant and I don’t like being here), then my time in this valley will produce benefits for me.

   So! I should quite spinning my wheels trying to escape this valley I’m stuck in! Instead, I should turn my energies towards cooperating with God in order to learn the lessons He has for me here. Keeping in mind that it is for my benefit.

To Which I reply!

“Okay, not the answer I was striving for! My flesh would much rather You would just lift me out of this valley. Make things easier, you know! But I recognize those fiery darts for what they are. There’s only one way out. That’s Your way, not my way!”

 

Are We Satisfied or Discontented? We choose!

Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5, 

  Anyone who reads the above verse would identify immediately the wisdom of these words. We know that if we had our anchor in the Truth thought that God will never leave us or forsake us, we would be able to be satisfied with what we have. Right? Then if we know these words are true, then why is it that it’s hard to be someone who is free from the love of money?

   I would venture to say that the fiery dart of ‘comparison’ would be at the root of our dissatisfaction. It is just natural to compare ourselves to others who have more than we do.  We begin to feel sorry for ourselves. We might even notice jealously creeping into our thoughts. 

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   The nature of these fiery darts is to steal our satisfaction with what we have been given by God. We aren’t able to be content because we always want more. And not being content will lead to a whining and complaining attitude. That’s a miserable way to choose to live!

   So when we find ourselves wrestling with comparing ourselves to others who have more and find ourselves becoming discontented with what we have been blessed with,  be smart and recognize them immediately for the fiery darts they are. And every single time   these fiery darts invade your thinking, reject them and replace this thinking with Hebrews 13:5.

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   Focusing on the Truth thoughts in this verse will lead to a satisfied and contented attitude towards life. That is a blessed way to choose to live.

Sometimes we just need to fast!

FASTING EDIT 5

Sometimes there is such a controversy going on in our heads between fiery darts and Truth thoughts, that we find we just can’t think straight! Some fiery darts are obvious! So we simply reject them. Some fiery darts make a lot of sense (common sense truth, p.38, 3rd edition FD)! Those are harder to sort through but reject them we must. And each and every time we reject a fiery dart, replacing it with a Truth thought is mandatory. Otherwise, more fiery darts will rush back in (to keep our thinking murky)! (The 3 R’s of FD’s page of this blog)

Clear thinking seems to be beyond our grasp at times like these. But clear thinking is just what is required to gain the peace we long for. If our problematic situation leaves us frustrated, discouraged, disheartened, angry, (all fiery darts, by the way) and our prayers are flavored with these menacing thoughts, then I recommend fasting!

Fasting isn’t a very popular spiritual discipline! We are willing to try praying a little more, counseling with a friend, or reading the Bible more. But fasting? We admit defeat before we even start with that one. Too hard! Can’t do it!

And oh my, what if we make the valiant effort  but feel impressed to fast more than once! Fast until the light begins to dawn, and our thinking becomes clear? Until we finally get the answer to that problem we fasted over in the first place? Hold on, we may find ourselves asking. Is that really necessary?

Listen, we are not going to be encouraged to fast. (The natural bent within us is to avoid fasting) But there are some problems that just don’t find their solution any other way. It’s a heavy Truth! But one we must not wrangle with God over. If, we truly are seeking answers!

I have a few suggestions. Listen to Christian music during your fast. Reason being, we need to be reminded of the things the fiery darts would have us forget while we are fasting. Do this in addition to pausing now and then to read the Bible. We have to be deliberate about what we focus on. And journaling our thoughts and the whisperings of the Holy Spirit during a fast will prevent forgetfulness. 

And remember, one time may not be enough. (Most likely it won’t) Just be open to following God’s lead in this. Pray for God’s strength to persevere until the answer or the peace comes! Keep in mind, the fiery darts would tempt us to quit (though the breakthrough or the turning point may be just steps away)!

 

 

If you have been wounded by anger, perhaps you need to read this!

There’s the person who exhibits anger (last post).

Then there’s the person who gets wounded by such anger (this post). 

   Okay, someone close to you has a temper and far too often you bear the brunt of it. How do you deal with it?  Do you coward down and allow yourself to become victimized and manipulated by their anger? If this is the case, then let’s be clear about where this path will lead.

I would encourage you to remember that you choose victory or defeat. And know that by refusing to choose, you actually choose to fall and suffer defeat. p 65, 3rd edition FD

The Bad News!

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   Living in fear (heavy duty fiery dart) that something you might say or do will incite an angry response from a loved one is like living in a dark dungeon. The darkness hides any route of escape. The longer you remain in that darkness, the more your thoughts will be controlled by that darkness. You will become vulnerable to the lies of one fiery dart thought after another (each one progressively worse). You will become so distracted by this fiery dart thinking that it will begin to rule you. Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) is set in motion.

That’s the bad news! The good news is that we possess the means to undo Satan’s plan to sow the seeds of destruction . . . By becoming a student of God’s Word and communicating with God on a regular basis, we are in possession of everything we need to foil Satan’s plan. It’s that simple! p. 70, 3rd edition FD

The Good News!

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   The very very first thing you must do is to collect a store of Truth Thoughts (refer to the 3 R’s of FD’s page of this blog)  with which to extinguish each and every fiery dart thought that’s aimed at you. I offer the following practical advice on how to do this:

I have also found a simple electronic concordance to be especially helpful when searching for verses to combat fiery darts. Or try doing an Internet search for a verse that relates to a struggle you may be having with a fiery dart/negative thought. p 62, 3rd edition FD

   Remember, your loved one isn’t the enemy!

   They are being controlled and manipulated just as you were by Satan’s fiery darts. By focusing on the Truth Thoughts God will lead you to, you will learn how to center your thoughts on God. This will have the blessed benefit of shining light into that dark dungeon you were in. And your route of escape to the abundant life God has planned for you (John 10:10b) will be revealed. 

   This will transform your thinking and how you respond to the anger of your loved one. You will begin to see beyond their anger and will be in a position to lead them to their own freedom and healing. 

Tempted to despair in this New Year?

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Tonight 2016 comes to a close and tomorrow 2017 starts out anew and fresh!

Yet, in spite of the hope of fresh beginnings, despair has the potential to overshadow such optimism.

How does this happen?

It’s quite simple, actually! But, oh, so powerful!

It’s a matter of focus.

   Despair consistently and predictably acts like a magnet, attracting thoughts of self. The force of this pull is powerful. One self-focused thought after another bombards our thinking, and the downward progression begins.

When our thoughts reflect less of what we are learning during our study of the Bible or what God’s Spirit communicates to us in prayer then a downward progression is set in place, p 46 3rd Edition FD 

   In the past, I fell victim to this force time after time! With each thought, I became more confused as to what Truth was. I felt justified in my thinking and condemned all at the same time. Depression was the outcome!

   Recently, that all too familiar pull of despair, began to invade my thoughts. And in spite of the hope of fresh beginnings of the New Year, I felt myself tempted to surrender to its force.

   But I was reminded of those dark days prior to learning about how to counter the attack of fiery dart thinking. I now was living in freedom from that bondage and I was determined not to go there again!

   I knew what my plan of action must be. I knew that God’s Word contained the answers to resist the temptation to despair. Therefore, I began making a conscious effort to replace the lies that attempted to rule my thinking with the Truth thoughts below.

To fight the lies that God doesn’t hear me.

Psalm 34:17-18

To fight the lie that there is no hope.

2 Corinthians 4:8

To fight the lie that my weakness is too great.

2 Corinthians 12:9

To fight the lie that I am all to blame.

Romans 8:1

To fight the lie that God will not act on my behalf.

Psalm 37:3-6

   Once again Satan came at me with lies that in the past had prevailed over me. But not this time. Not since God taught me the Truths that would displace those lies!

 

To Vote or Not to Vote?

   Tomorrow many Christians will still be struggling about voting. Why? Because they cannot vote for either candidate with a clear conscience! For some of them, they feel their choice is not to vote! I believe that good, God-fearing individuals have become convinced that is their only option.

But I respectively ask them to consider this!

   There are only two possible candidates that have a chance to be elected. Therefore one of those two will win the election. That is reality!  No matter what your feelings are about either one.

Therefore, since this is reality, you are faced with a question!

Is there one more so than the other that you do NOT want to be your next president?

   If you choose not to vote, then by that choice you have increased the chances that the person you don’t want to be your next president will win the election. 

   Since the race is closer than was previously reported, I believe it will be Christians who will cast the deciding votes! Leaders like Dobson and Graham are urging Christians, especially, to vote.

   I hope those of you who are struggling about who to vote for or about voting at all, will consider the fact that you are struggling against a fiery dart that is designed to confuse, and to cloud your judgement, in order to keep you from voting!

Consider these Truth Thoughts*:

 Not voting is a form of voting, as it will influence the outcome. We need to take responsibility for our actions, as well as our lack of actions. I Peter 1:13

Voting publicly recognizes that we submit to the authority of the political system in our nation as established by God. Romans 13:1-7

Voting is a simple yet significant way we can do something about politics in our nation. ‘All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing, Edmund Burke. Psalms 34:14

*http://defendchristians.org/commentary/top-ten-reasons-why-christians-should-vote/

Remain Quiet???!!!

Today’s post is going to be a bit personal.

   For quite sometime now, I’ve been threatened by an annoying dark cloud lurking on the periphery of my thoughts. For the most part, I’ve been able to avert its intrusion. I realize, because I wrote a book about it, that fiery darts are the culprit. Therefore, holding up my Shield of faith, sustains me. 

   But lately, while I’ve not lost my resolve to reject these fiery darts and to replace them with Truth thoughts, I’ve come too close to  the brink of despair and that bothers me. I’ve struggled to find the word that would label this battle, feeling that if I could know what I was fighting, I would be more savvy in choosing my weapons. And I did come up with the label, ‘bewildered!’ 

   Yes, that did help but not entirely. This negative storm, while never succeeding in hiding the Son, was wearing down my resistance. I pray unceasingly, read scriptures, and, yet, the  storm does not dissipate. 

   Today as I was reading from a book, In This Mountain, by Jan Karon (my favorite author), I came across an excerpt by Oswald Chambers:

At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him. . . . Watch where God puts you into the darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. . . . When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.

   I think it’s pretty clear what God is saying to me. “My child, you are consumed with pouring your heart out to me with your continual pleadings, but you don’t let Me get in a word in edgewise. Why don’t you come to Me, and remain quiet? I know what all is going on with you, you’ve certainly shared that with me in excess. Now, all that is left is for you to remain quiet and just listen.”

  Remain quiet?!

   I’ve never been good at listening quietly  following my prayers, so it’s going to take some practice on my part. Therefore, I will resist the temptation to reiterate my problem (I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have anything new to add) and practice being quiet.

   This is pretty bold of me to post this. I can hear the fiery darts now: What if God remains silent? What if you don’t succeed in being quiet? What if you miss what God is saying? What if you don’t understand what He is saying. What if you fail?

   While I expect to be pelted with fiery darts (Satan doesn’t give up ground easily), I will lift up my shield of faith as I stand on the following verses:

Ephesians 3:20, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (It depends on Him, not me)

Psalm 17:6, I call on You my God, for you will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. (God will answer me)