Saturday, February 18, 2017

Workout the mind!

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11

I started doing a boot camp this week to train the body, but there is something much more that needs training and that is the mind!  I truly believe that what you put in is what you put out.  So if you are feeding your brain with positive thoughts, then you will begin to be positive.  It is something that doesn't happen over night though.  We have to train to become that way.

You may be asking what I mean by this.  Well, just because I read the Bible regularly does not mean I will automatically know scripture.  In fact I use to come up with the scriptures for this.  I know though in time I will be able to know more about the Bible the more I train myself in it.

It's a slow process though, but like exercise, I don't start out running a marathon, I have to build up to it.  I don't start out knowing the Bible, I have to start out slow learning it.  And if I can't recall it, it is because I am not feeding my brain with it.

I used to think it was not important to know scripture and then I realized, how can I know God better if I am not reading His word?  We are lucky that we are blessed with a book that we can get into and know God through, there are religions that don't have the same blessing.

In also training my mind, I have to look out for who I have around me.  If I have naysayers around me, then I will become one.  Though if I hang out with positive people, I will be more positive.  

We also need a support group that we can be accountable to.  We were not meant to live alone, so avoiding people is not the answer.  I look at it like this, I go to the gym and work out, I am likely not to keep it up.  But going to this boot camp, where I am with a group with the same goals, I stick with it, even if it is just to see some of them.

So what is the mind support group?  Church of course.  What better way to be around God's people and also in the word?  You get a full workout of the mind!  Is it tiresome at times? Yes!  Does it hurt at times? Yes.  But like working out, you just have to stick to it.

So what are you doing to exercise your mind?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

God's love!

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
Psalm 52:8

With Valentine's just passing, you can't help but think about love.  Being single, it makes me more think of love lost.  I have had some loves that were mind blowing, amazing, and deep and others that I would not even call love just an affectionate situation.  I cared for each, and kind of reminds me of a poem I wrote a long time ago.

Three Strings
By Lesley Domnu

Three strings that can connect us.
One from the head, one from the heart, and one from the "oh my".
Some have one, some two, and some have three.
Each person having different strings and types then the others.

Some a mutual inspiration of the mind.
Some a deep concern and love of the heart string.
Some their touch pulls the passion out.
Each person's strings different.

Some so strong, some weak.
Some made to withstand it all.
So, I give mine, I give some the mind at times.
I give some my heart in all the different forms.
I give some, wouldn't you like to know.

Some have one,
Some have two,
Some have three.
And though some may not see it, it is there.

Though some do not tug back it is there.
Those strings that can hurt to cut sometimes must be.
But my strings are mine to give, not up to you.
And I give freely as long as they are accepted.

So will you play the strings with me and build them?
Will you help them grow and stretch when needed?
Will you pull on it when you need me close?
Will you let the others to others be there?

These strings are mine to give, not yours.
I will fight to keep them, but you have to do you part.

Some have one,
Some have two,
Some have three.
Some will always have the heart string.

Some will never be forgotten.
Some will always just have to ask even to this day and after the pain caused, I will come.
Some will not be understood by others.
But all strings have areas that repairs are made, areas where more thread is added.

These are my strings and I choose, not you.

I think of those strings I gave out and how now they are not there any more.  Did I do something wrong?  In some cases, yes and in others no.  Was I not enough?  Was I too into them?  What went wrong?  I may never know in some circumstances.  

Then I think of others I have loved.  For not all were romantic.  Some people are still there, and for that I am forever grateful.  Others walked away or I walked away.  When loving people, you learn to let go and that nothing is permanent.

And then you have God's love.  It is a love that goes beyond the fault line.  His love is always there.  Whether we are living as we should or not.  He always loves us.   He doesn't have a string given by me but a titanium steal rope that he gives to me.  I did not choose it, but I get to receive it.

God's love is shown not just by the fact He gave His only son to die upon the cross for us, but by the little blessings He gives us each day.  So when you feel that there is no one loving you, no strings being played back, remember that God's love is there and it will never go away.

And if no one told you today, you are loved!  For God loves you like no other and always will!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Story time: We grew old together

Elizabeth looked at Anne and could not believe that they had spent 45 years together, but today in wheel chairs, with age taken over, they were going to finally say "I do" and be legally married.  Elizabeth though found a strange nervousness about it.  What if Anne didn't want to?  What if she walked away?  Silly thoughts, this was Anne's idea after all.

Elizabeth thought back to when they first met.  It was years ago, both in college.  How young they were!  Still remembering the outfit Anne wore that day!  It was a simple outfit, jeans, black long sleeve shirt, brown leather boots, a purple scarf, but what stuck out most was the rainbow socks.  Anne told her they were her lucky socks.  Elizabeth, awe struck, just knew this was the woman for her.  Her silky skin, charming smile, curly black hair, just drew her in.  How could Elizabeth study at the local coffee shop with this whimsical beauty sitting there drawing her in?  Elizabeth thought how scared she was, but soon got up and went to ask Anne out.  Oh how she was playful in it!  At first acting like she couldn't, yet laughing.  Just as Elizabeth was to walk away, Anne stopped her and said she would love to go out.

That first date was magical!  The two of them met at a Greek restaurant down on the beach.  They split a large salad with lamb on it.  Then dessert, a large slice of cheese cake.  Anne let Elizabeth feed her bites of it.  During the whole time they talked about classes they were in, things they liked to do, and where they came from.  Elizabeth remembered how easy it was to talk to Anne.  She knew that night that Anne was the woman she would spend the rest of her life with.  And the kiss they shared after Elizabeth walked Anne back to her car, sealed the deal.  Elizabeth remembered being on cloud nine the rest of the night.

Then Elizabeth thought of when they moved in together.  Anne brought a truck and a half with her.  Nick knacks and books galore.  Elizabeth did not know how they were going to fit everything into the two bedroom apartment, but Anne insisted it would work out.  Boxes went everywhere, furniture thrown in and not organized, and bags of clothes piled in the walkway.  Elizabeth's dog not sure about Anne's cat.  The chaos of it all but yet Elizabeth was so proud to have her love live with her and trusted that things would work out as Anne said.

Then there were the dark years, those years when Anne lost her parents.  Elizabeth did not know what to do, just stay at her side.  Fear made her think that she would loose Anne, but yet nothing she did would bring Anne out of the depression that she slid in.  Sure there were days when Elizabeth thought that they were in the clear, but then something would happen and Anne would close back up.  Finally Anne went to get professional help.  Elizabeth stayed strong through it all and eventually got her Anne back.

Maybe it was the adoption of their son that brought Anne back, who knows.  Elizabeth thought back to that day.  When she held Anne's hand as they walked down the hospital hallway to pick up their son.  That was a day more special to her then any other day.  Anne glowed with joy.  A healthy boy, 5 pounds 8 ounces, 19 inches long.  Anne named him Johnathan David, JD for short.  Elizabeth remembered not getting much say in the name but how she loved it when Anne told it to her.    Elizabeth remembered how happy Anne glowed as she held JD.  Finally they had their family, even if Anne and Elizabeth never were married.

Now JD is grown and has a family of his own.  Anne was so thrilled when he got married and when the grand kids were born.  Elizabeth thought about how Anne would care and play with the children when they came over for visits.  The spark of life really showed in Anne when the family was together.  Elizabeth thought of how she would get treats for the kids and brighten up with anticipation for their visits.

So today, the day that almost felt like an end of a life time, the two were to say "I do" and be legally married.  Elizabeth knew that it was just a ceremony, but Anne wanted to be legal.  Elizabeth always gave Anne what she wanted.  How could she not?  Anne already gave her the one thing she wanted, Anne's heart.

"Beth, honey, answer the priest" Anne whispered startling Elizabeth out of her thoughts.

"Elizabeth, it is time now to say your vows."  the priest instructed.

"Okay, okay, here it goes.  Anne my love, my joy, my hope, my life.  How can I say what it is like to be with you and what it will continue to be like.  I love you more than any other.  We have had 45 wonderful years together and all I can say is it is not enough!  I want everyday to be with you, raising chaos, laughing, loving, and being part of this world.  Anne, you already gave me the one thing I want in life, your heart and I promise everyday I will give you mine. I love you and vow to continue through life as you as my partner, my friend, my lover, my wife!"

Finally the two will grow old together as each other's wife, but long ago they already gave what mattered, their heart.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Bruised Ego

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

Last night I fell, really hard.  I hit my head on a concrete floor and bruised my knees and shoulder.  I am alright but it got me to thinking. See my pride or ego was bruised too.  I felt helpless laying on the floor with ice on everything.  But taking a fall is not the only way we get our ego bruised.

You can take other kinds of falls, not just physical that will bruise the ego.  For instance, you can loose a sale if you are in sales to a competitor.  Or some one criticizes how you look. Or you find yourself unable to get past a problem without help that at one time you could easily solve.  Yet, when we let ego rule us, we are edging God out.

Sure we can have pride, but we cannot be boastful.  Even in the Bible it talks about pride in good ways, like the following:

We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
2 Corinthians 5:12

Yet pride is different then ego.  The definition of each is:

Ego: a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance.

Pride: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Pride can be healthy, for instance I take pride in being a Christian.  Ego or self-importance can be costly.  It can cost us relationships, jobs, or more.  Ego not in check I believe is one of the most dangerous things that could cost us our place in Heaven.

So how do you know if you are letting ego get in the way?  I ask the following:

  • Am I boasting that I did something?
  • Am I hurt cause I didn't get something?
  • Am I taking credit when God should or someone else should?
  • Am I acting like the big person on campus?
  • Am I being humble?
  • Am I trying to run the show?
If I answer yes to these, then I am not giving God the glory and I am letting my ego get in the way.  I am trying to run the show and say "Hey look at me, look what I did!"

  It says this about who is the one who can do all things:

"Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 
Matthew 19:26

Therefor, I must remember that it is not I that does things, but God.  He opens the ways, He gives me the ability, He allows it.  Let the glory be to Him and let me take a back seat.  So when my ego is bruised, I must remember to take a back seat and let the great Healer take control again.

Are you edging God out of the picture or are you exalting God only?