Are You Growing Weeds?

1161347_69352244Are problems overwhelming you? At times most people have felt burdened down with the problems or trials they were facing.When feeling this way, it’s far to easy to think on the negative side of things. Hopelessness can set in, which leads you to feel that nothing will ever get better. When hopelessness sets in you stop moving towards positive change and growth. It isn’t long before despair enters and then you are really in a bad place emotionally. When feeling like this, because of the negative mind-set you’re in, it’s hard to sense God’s presence. God is love, truth, light and peace. All of God’s attributes are positive and hopeful, and stand in opposition to negative feelings, such as hopelessness, despair, fear and worry. When you let the negative side of things take root in your mind you drown out the voice of the Holy Spirit. You mistakenly feel that God has left you, but He hasn’t. If you’re in right relationship with Him, you can be assured that He hasn’t left. The problem is, that you have let the cares this world choke out the word God has spoken to you. The word that promises to give you a hope and a future. The cares of this world have grown like weeds in the garden of your mind, so much so that the negative thoughts you’ve been thinking have overtaken the positive thoughts and God’s promises.1390045_49605298 Focusing on God’s promises and trusting that He means what He says will grow a lush green fertile garden in your mind. With a focus on God’s word you can experience hope, love and peace once again in your thought garden. To keep your garden free from the negative weeds growing up you need to weed daily.You may not like yard work, but it will keep your from being over run with nasty negative thought weeds and that is something I’m sure you’ll like.

How To Be Free From Sin’s Grasp

credited to Ramiz Hashisho stock.xchng

“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32

What type of freedom is this scripture from the book of John alluding to?  What is this passage telling me? I decided to dig deeper today and do a study on this passage.The  word continue will be my starting point. Continue in its original Greek form is meno.

  1. to remain, abide
    1. in reference to place
      1. to sojourn, tarry
      2. not to depart 1a
    2. to continue to be present 1a
    3. to be held, kept, continually *
    4. in reference to time
      1. to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure 1b
    5. of persons, to survive, live
    6. in reference to state or condition
      1. to remain as one, not to become another or different
  2. to wait for, await one

* I especially like that remaining is to be held or kept continually.

On to the next interesting word. How about truth. What does it mean here in the original Greek form? The word truth in this passage is translated as aletheia.

  1. objectively
    1. what is true in any matter under consideration
      1. truly, in truth, according to truth
      2. of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly
    2. what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth
      1. in the greatest latitude
      2. the true notions of God which are open to human reason without his supernatural intervention
    3. the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians
  1. subjectively
    1. truth as a personal excellence
      1. that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit

On to the next important word free. The word free translated is eleutheroo.

1. to make free .

2. set at liberty; from the dominion of sin.

I see that the word free means set at liberty from the dominion of sin. Let’s look further into the word dominion. What does the word dominion mean? From Webster’s online dictionary.

1: domain

2: supreme authority: sovereignty

3 plural: an order of angels- see celestial hierarchy
often capitalized : a self-governing nation of the Commonwealth of Nations other than the United Kingdom that acknowledges the British monarch as chief of state
5 absolute ownership
What a scary thought. That sin could have absolute ownership of us!
 
So here’s my take on this verse:
If I continue (meno) in God’s word by keeping it in my heart, abiding in it daily and not departing from it and allowing it to transform me into Christ’s image, I am His disciple. I will then know the truth (aletheia). My knowing the truth (aletheia) in things pertaining to God will result in my freedom (eleutheroo) from the dominion of sin. My knowledge of things pertaining to God will give me victory over the bondage of sin.credited to Anton Belovodchenko at stock.xchng.com
One thing I must point out here is the work of the Holy Spirit. Upon conversion, when a person accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit then indwells them. By God’s grace He gives us the Holy Spirit to teach us all things pertaining to Himself. We could never understand scripture if it weren’t for the gift of the Holy Spirit. So it’s through the Holy Spirit that we can continue and abide in God’s word and therefore know the truth, which in turn releases us from the bondage of sin. It’s all because of God’s grace.

2013 What Do You Want of Me?

It’s that time of year again! Seems like it was just 2012, doesn’t it? I remember our family toasting in the new year with our Grape Seltzer just like it was yesterday. Could it have really been a year ago? Besides my husband, most people I know seem to find that time is just going faster and faster, like an out of control energizer bunny with a gazillion batteries.

As fast as the year went by, much has happened during 2012. It’s been a mixed bag of triumphs and trials for me and my family. I suppose I can expect the same for 2013. I’ve had some time to reflect on the coming year. I’ve asked myself what I want to achieve, then decided to ask, “What does God want me to do in 2013?” So these are some positive aspirations for 2013. I’ve never really been one to make resolutions at the start of a new year. 1408768_71896761Something about the word “resolution” just doesn’t jive well with me. It’s too final, absolute and determined. It’s like saying I am the one who controls all that happens and by my sheer act of willpower I will direct my life in the way it must absolutely go. From my experience life just happens and things change, desires change or evolve and things that I place an importance on shift as my priorities are realigned. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s okay to have a shift in my priorities as long as it’s the minor things in life that are affected. I strongly believe that my relationship with God the Father, Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit is the pinnacle of all things important in life, as well as all people to people relationships, be it spouse, children, in-laws, neighbors and strangers. So here is my list of aspirations for 2013. By the way these are not in any particular order of relevance.

    • Study God’s Word – I read it regularly, but I want to study it deeper than I have been. Maybe get a chronological bible with great reference materials.
    • Write More – Challenge myself to do more with my blog…how can I become a better writer? Be more consistent in posting and with writing disciplines.
    • Turn Lemons Into Lemonade – Take the bad stuff or disappointments and make something useful or helpful out of them. What can I teach, tell, or take to someone else that I’ve learned.
    • Relish The Victories – really savor the moments that are great. The time things are going well and live in that moment.. Not in the past or in the future, but the present.
    • Be Available – Be there to serve in the ways that God leads me, whatever that may be.
    • Love Without Reservation – Express love to friends and family without holding back. Let people know how much they mean to me.
    • Live Without Regrets – Let it all go…any mistakes or things that I wish I could’ve done differently needs to be packed up and shipped off. Life is just to short.
    • Remember My Home – this is not my true home, Heaven is.

Happy New Year!

Need Help Looking On The Bright Side?

 We all know it’s better to stay positive. It makes life so much sweeter when we are in a place where peace, joy and hope fills our minds. It gets hard sometimes to remain in our sweet spot. Sometimes life just gets complicated and it’s easy to become worried.   While I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on this subject, I, like you, have experienced times of bliss and times of non-bliss; I guess you can say, times when I’m less than positive.  It’s easy to become negative when faced with a disappointment or unexpected struggle. I’ve found when life throws me a curve, if I rely on God’s word, my mind, emotions and outlook change from negative to positive. A much healthier way to feel and live.

The Bible is the first mental health handbook ever written. God, after all, is the first psychologist. I’m sure He knows a thing or two about human behavior! God is also the first to know how our thoughts affect us. He was and is a specialist in Cognitive Therapy. I am not a Psychologist so bear with me here. From my understanding cognitive therapy is self talk:  what we say to ourselves. The therapy part would be changing all of the negative or faulty beliefs you consistently say to yourself and refueling your mind with more positive truths. Okay, I can just visualize all the Psychologist’s in blog land reading this, shaking their heads and wagging their fingers, saying “Poor girl. She’s clueless about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy“.  That may be true! However, as a Christian I believe that with God’s help and an in pouring of His word into our minds we can overcome negativity, unhealthy thoughts and change the untruths we think to the truth.  Jesus said in (John 14:16) “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus also says in (John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  So if Jesus is the word and the word = truth then W+T=P. Okay I’ve never been good at math. What I’m trying to say is word plus truth equals positive thoughts! Isn’t that what we all want? To feel more positive about our life and whatever we have to deal with day-to-day!

So if you’re struggling right now, try reading God’s word. It will really help clean out those negative cobwebs. It doesn’t happen overnight, but If you’ll keep reading the word and asking for wisdom to know the truth the Holy Spirit will help you. Before long, your thought life will be transformed by the truth of God’s word, which will put you into a more productive and positive place. You’ll be lifted out of that downward spiraling pit! (Psalm 40:2) He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

  Also remember  (Eph 6:12)  our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Sometimes our thoughts are not our own! Test what your thinking against God’s word and then you’ll know. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free!

(John 8:31,32 )To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Any thoughts or insights you’d like to add to this blog? Go ahead and share your comments!