Thinking for Life

Our ladies’ Bible study started working on the book and study guide by Joyce Meyer called Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I’m using the book I bought some years back published by Warner Faith, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Nashville, TN in 2002 and copyrighted in 1995. The Study Guide was copyrighted in 2000 and published in 2002 by Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.

Battlefield Of The Mind 2-in-1, Book and Study Guidephoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Battlefield+of+the+Mind&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

(This is the most current book that one of our ladies bought at a brick and mortar store. The copyright is 2017 and it’s the book and study guide combined.)

 

At our Bible study we enjoyed the Scriptures and the insights Joyce gave us. We also got a chance to talk and consider how the Word applies to our lives. One of the ladies is barely in her 90’s and she’s been a Christian for decades. When Joyce Meyer spoke of Satan’s schemes, she was a bit horrified. Even though I’m sure she’s read in 1Peter_5:8 , (KJV) that we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

What I hold on to is the fact that God is the Great I Am, and Satan is His defeated foe. Not that the devil doesn’t have power. He has the power on earth that mankind gives him by following the evil one’s ways and rejecting God’s ways. Yet, he cannot do anything beyond what God allows. There is our free will to consider as well. Ah, it’s a complicated business in the supernatural. The supernatural realm lasts forever; this time on earth for us is short in comparison.

The Screwtape Lettersphoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Screwtape+Letters&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

So, I got talking about C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters. It’s a lead demon teaching a less experienced demon the subtle ways to fool people out of faith in God. This elderly lady had heard of Professor Lewis’s tome, but “didn’t think it amounted to much.”

 

Now she’d like to read it.

 

The Bible talks a lot more about God than the devil, yet it mentions hell much more than heaven. I don’t know if it’s because God knew people wouldn’t really believe in hell after a time and He wanted to be very specific about the torment there, or if it’s because He couldn’t put into words that we could fully comprehend about the wonder of heaven and being in His presence. Our brains do not compare to the all-knowing God’s capabilities.

 

I know one thing. I had to close the door behind me so I could stop listening to the television set because I kept getting drawn into a progressive story. That’s one disadvantage of Netflix. Once a series leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, it’s a matter of moments before the next show comes on if the person so chooses to watch the next one, unless it’s the end of the entire series or the last one of the season. Some might consider that a benefit, and occasionally I enjoy not having to wait to see how things turn out, but it’s easy to lose an hour or two or three and realize important things got left undone. It’s like a drug and don’t I know that Satan loves it when I’m not writing about Jesus and the hope He gives the world.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing our study of The Battlefield of the Mind because it’s already got me thinking about the way I may ponder myself right out of the will of God. “Write a book on marriage,” I thought God whispered to my heart. Then I decided if there were so many out there what did I have to say? We’re all unique and King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in the book of Ecclesiastes when he was feeling down. There may not be anything new under the sun, but one person’s insights may reach a couple when another writer’s ideas didn’t touch their heart at all. If God did indeed tell me to write on marriage, then I need to obey. It’s imperative for me to seek Him to see if I heard correctly from Him or not.

 

I spoke to my husband about this show that sucked me in tonight. A young couple constantly miscommunicates. I’m mumbling, “Why didn’t he say something to her?” I turned to him, “They never talk.”

 

He said to me, “There are some people that are just like that.”

 

I then said to him, “I guess that’s why we’ve been married for forty-one years, because we talk.”

 

Today he vacuumed the rug and I made a point of saying it looked nice, because that’s important to him. He doesn’t whine or ask for compliments. I just notice that if he points out, “At least I got the carpet cleaned today,” in reference to not getting something else done, that if I say, “Yeah, it looks great,” his body language changes. Maybe his shoulders get pulled back and he stands a little taller.

 

If I don’t feel like telling him thanks because I’m tired or self-absorbed, sometimes I make myself be considerate because I’d be polite to a stranger. Why not be kind to the man I love?

 

I hope you’re having a great day. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

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Mysteries

 

What is it about mysteries that intrigue us? I firmly believe we’re made in the image of God. Yet, God, Who knows all doesn’t get to solve mysteries.

Jesus spoke to people in parables. When the disciples asked Him what the parables meant, He explained them.

Tonight at our Bible study, we got talking about 1 Chronicles 28:9 telling us to “Seek Him and He will be found by you.”

God knows we like to play Hide and Seek as children. We like stories. Babies like to play Peek-A-Boo.

I like watching mysteries with my husband because we’re doing something together and we both like to try and figure them out.

When I read books that the Apostle Paul wrote, he talks about discovering the mysteries of God, which is available at a deeper level since Jesus came to earth. 1 Corinthians_4:1: This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God, (ESV).

After Jesus died, the Temple veil separating everyone from the Holy of Holies got torn in two. I’m not talking about a couple of layers of fabric. Some teach that the veil was as thick as the length of a man’s hand. Others teach that it was as thick as the palm of a man’s hand, either way, not able to be torn by one person.

Here are the Scriptures: Matthew 27:50, (ESV) And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Mat 27:51  And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Mat 27:52  The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,

Mat 27:53  and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Mat 27:54  When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

So, if you like to search out mysteries and you’re not convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died for our sins so we could be washed clean of the errors of our ways so we could enter God’s presence, I invite you to search out the claims of the Bible.

I encourage you to seek for God with an open mind and ask Him to show you if the Bible is true or not. Josephus was a secular historian. His writings will say if Jesus was even alive at the time of Pontius Pilate as he ruled in Jerusalem, from what I understand.

I was brought up with a belief in Jesus Christ, but not with a biblical foundation, so I tested the Bible as an adult. I didn’t seek out secular assurances because after I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior, something happened inside. Nature became more vivid to me. I felt a love and compassion for people that I never experienced before. I hungered to read the Word of God. I shared my new found discoveries with my family, sometimes too ardently. I truly became a new person inside but as a human I had bad habits to overcome and wrong thinking and behaviors to overcome with the help of God. I’m not perfect but I see some changes.

To God be the glory, great things He has done.

May God bless you.

Hear Instruction

I was reading Proverbs 8:33-35 about hearing instruction and being wise. So I checked out Proverbs 8 to choose some verses so people would know the above referenced section referred to Wisdom. I couldn’t cut any portion of it, so here it is in full:

Proverbs 8:1, (KJV)  Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice?

Pro 8:2  On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;

Pro 8:3  beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:

Pro 8:4  “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.

Pro 8:5  O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.

Pro 8:6  Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right,

Pro 8:7  for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Pro 8:8  All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

Pro 8:9  They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.

Pro 8:10  Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,

Pro 8:11  for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

Pro 8:12  “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.

Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Pro 8:14  I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.

Pro 8:15  By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;

Pro 8:16  by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.

Pro 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Pro 8:18  Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Pro 8:19  My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

Pro 8:20  I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,

Pro 8:21  granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Pro 8:22  “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.

Pro 8:23  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

Pro 8:24  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.

Pro 8:25  Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,

Pro 8:26  before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.

Pro 8:27  When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

Pro 8:28  when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,

Pro 8:29  when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

Pro 8:30  then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,

Pro 8:31  rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.

Pro 8:32  “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.

Pro 8:33  Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

Pro 8:34  Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.

Pro 8:35  For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD,

Pro 8:36  but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

I felt certain God was talking to me today about choosing a television show over spending time with Him. I felt bad about that, so I’m not making the same mistake tonight. I decided to grab a rectangular paper off of the fridge with Proverbs 8:33-35 on it. I like posting Scriptures around the house. They remind me of principles I want to follow. Occasionally the Scripture is one I want to memorize.

I love the idea of asking God for wisdom according to His wishes.

James_1:5, (ESV) says, ”If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

I remember a Bible study teacher I had that asked God for wisdom on a continual basis for a time because she felt a need for it. I thought that was a good idea for me, too.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you!

 

Work My Way to Heaven?

My husband likes to watch action television, which is addicting to me. According to Life Coach instructors, Sam and Vicki Farina, who did research on the brain, tv stimulates the portion of our brain which draws our attention. I tried to find the proper terminology from various internet sites and from my coaching notes, but none were clear enough for a non-medical person like myself.

 

Anyway, too much television in children can cause attention deficit disorder and cause responses that inhibit self-control. In adults, too many hours of television interfere with exercise and goal completion and according to a blogger, can cause mental deterioration: Effects Of TV On The Brain (OMG!) – EruptingMind

http://www.eruptingmind.com/effects-of-tv-on-brain   Cached This site warned if you click on certain opportunities that they offer that they will employ cookies. I did not open their videos to view since I don’t know who they are and they warned of subliminal messages that they wanted to show in one of the videos.

 

 

The New York Times said reading fiction can reverse ill effects of brain deterioration and can help people with their social skills. The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction – The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/…/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain

 

My point of this blog is supposed to be that when I told Craig that I felt bad that I chose a tv program over time in the Bible and in prayer, he reminded me that God is not going to turn His back on me because I watched a couple of television shows before I spent time with Him. I breathed a sigh of relief. LOL.

 

I know God is gracious and loving, but I grew up in a church that emphasized working to show people God’s love. In my youth, there was no mention of grace or relationship with God. He was far distant in my mind.

 

Plenty of guilt for sin and directions to look at Jesus on the cross. Far less emphasis on Jesus’ resurrection and Him being alive in heaven praying for believers. Instead, it was do this or do that or you’ll incur God’s wrath.

 

I know that faith without works is dead according to the book of James : Jas 2:14, (BBE):  What use is it, my brothers, for a man to say that he has faith, if he does nothing? will such a faith give him salvation?

Jas 2:15  If a brother or a sister is without clothing and in need of the day’s food,

Jas 2:16  And one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warm and full of food; but you do not give them the things of which their bodies have need, what profit is there in this?

Jas 2:17  Even so faith without works is dead.

Jas 2:18  But a man may say, You have faith and I have works; let me see your faith without your works, and I will make my faith clear to you by my works.

Jas 2:19  You have the belief that God is one, and you do well: the evil spirits have the same belief, shaking with fear.

Jas 2:20  Do you not see, O foolish man, that faith without works is of no use?

Jas 2:21  Was not the righteousness of Abraham our father judged by his works, when he made an offering of Isaac his son on the altar?

Jas 2:22  You see that his faith was helping his works and was made complete by them;

Jas 2:23  And the holy Writings were put into effect which said, And Abraham had faith in God and it was put to his account as righteousness; and he was named the friend of God.

Jas 2:24  You see that a man’s righteousness is judged by his works and not by his faith only.

Jas 2:25  And in the same way, was not the righteousness of Rahab, the loose woman, judged by her works, when she took into her house those who were sent and let them go out by another way?

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead even so faith without works is dead.

 

This blog really got me thinking tonight.

 

God bless.

Friends, Work and Entertainment

A friend and I decided we’ll go see a lady in a nursing home on Thursday. She had a stroke last year. So, my friend is bringing the lady gifts. We just found out it’s the lady’s birthday. How cool is that? We planned to visit and marked our planners weeks ago. Is that not like our God, to direct our paths to her on her special day?

Also, I started reading James Scott Bell’s new novel, Romeo’s Rules tonight after a busy day. I think I discovered his fiction after buying a non-fiction book of his on writing. My first purchase was Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish. It was published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH, copyrighted in 2004. The second writing book of his I purchased was The Art of War for Writers; fiction writing strategies, tactics and exercises. This title was published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH and copyrighted in 2009.

I’m going through my second reading of the first book and haven’t finished the second book yet. That one I use at a much slower pace. Digesting as I go, I guess.

As I wrote on my novel today, before dishes and vacuuming, I noted how relaxed and happy I was to be moving along on this new/re-write manuscript. I chose to change direction later in the day, and began Mr. Bell’s novel and got pulled into the story immediately. I couldn’t help thinking how much more I enjoy reading than watching television. Later, when my husband came home, he turned on the television and I got sucked into a show, so I quickly left the room. Later, I chose to join him and immediately got sucked into this other show. We watched a while, and I thought, television may drag me in, but it’s oh, so not satisfying. Two of the shows actually caused tension in me because the families were fighting. They made the dad’s look inept and sometimes mean.

I didn’t see much of those programs, but when he turned to a show we both like because we’re involved in solving the mystery, we watched a second one. I told my husband I didn’t want to let it go. I’m very glad we turned the television off. I wanted to blog and all that sitting hurts the older I get. I was paying bills and recycling paper as I watched tv, but still. Time fritters away.

We’re fixing our church where some flooring felt weak and we’re planning on remodeling upstairs as God provides. I sense such an urgency to get ready. As times continue to worsen, I think many will turn to Christ and we need to be prepared. I keep turning to Daniel in the word at random. I’m going to look for a Bible study on Daniel to do, because there’s lots of prophecy in there about the end times that we are living in now. I love seeking God’s wisdom on life.

Be blessed!

Connections

I went to a Mexican Restaurant to eat alone tonight because Craig was full from a late lunch and he was working.

It ended up being just me and the waitress in the main dining room because it was close to closing time. We got talking about writing because I brought a library book in with me, “Writing For the Soul,” by Jerry Jenkins, copyright 2006, published by Writer’s Digest Books.

She is a graphic artist and I’m a writer and we got talking teenagers, and life, and choices since I mentioned I’m re-writing a novel for teens. We are both moms, although she’s much younger and mine are living on their own. We had a delightful conversation despite speaking of some heartbreaking situations.

I brought up a recent article I wrote on prostitution and sex trafficking that did not lift us up, but it led us to parenting discussions and teenage viewing habits on American television. Our tv shows hit Mexico’s airwaves, too, she mentioned.

She told me she called her niece and spoke to her about what she’s watching and tried to tell her to be careful what her eyes are taking in and what she’s listening to. She cares.

You never know what a day will bring. I finished my meal and headed home and let my husband know I arrived at the house so he could join me. I missed him, but God sets up connections that might only happen when a person is alone.

 

Does TV Make Your Mind Mush?

I visited my son this week and he said he thought he might have lived life a little fuller if he hadn’t watched so many tv shows. I reminded him that I limited his viewing. Then he spouted some statistics which went right over my head.

My husband and I took coaching classes. At one of our first
classes the instructor told us that the brain gets stimulated by the shows and sucks the person right into the viewing mode.

Have you ever thought, “I’ll just watch one more show and then I’ll do the dishes or write for two hours or whatever
pressing need you have to accomplish and then you realize you’ve watched two more programs than you ever intended to do.

What do you do then? Do you rush back to your previous plans? Or do you find yourself all relaxed and find your creativity or work ethic is put on hold?

Any thoughts?