Mind control

Mind control“I hate it when he does that.” “Oh, she irritates me so bad.” “Why am I the one who always has to do it?” Have you ever asked those questions?

Surely not. Surely it’s just me who ever sinks that low. Surely the rest of you always think sweet and kind thoughts toward your family and friends.

Or maybe not.

The Bible talks a lot about this so that makes me think it’s kind of important. Let me break it down with some scripture to back up my hypothesis.

Philippians 4:8 NKJV says this: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Focus on their good qualities? You mean I have to control my thoughts? Whaa? How do I do that?

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV

Every thought? You mean, don’t let my mind run wild? And just how long exactly do I have to do that?

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. Galatians 6:9 AMP

Oh, so that’s a while. I guess I’ve got some work to do.

Open your Holly Bibble

The holly bibbleHow easy is it to scroll through social media for hours, binge on Netflix, or watch a mindless reality TV marathon? It’s so easy it’s scary. Why is that so easy, but making time for the Word of God is so hard?

The Bible. The Word. The Book. The Scriptures. The Holly Bibble. Whatever you call it, for Pete’s sake, open it! It’s life and health and peace and joy to those who find it (Proverbs 4). It cannot help you just sitting on the night stand or occupying space on your home screen. What good is medicine if you don’t take it? What good is food if you don’t eat it?

The Word of God is alive. It is sharp and powerful. It pierces the darkness. It opens your eyes. It fills the emptiness. It clears the cobwebs. It sparks the heart.

Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. What exactly is a wile? It’s trickery! It’s the nasty, evil, backwards, underhanded, sneaky, hateful way of Satan. He doesn’t play nice and he doesn’t play fair. And there’s only one way to beat him… with God’s Word. Jesus demonstrated that repeatedly by telling Satan, “It is written, ” over and over again.

Read it on paper, read it on your phone or tablet, journal through it with markers and colored pencils, devo through it with Joyce Meyer. I don’t care how you do it, just do it.

Zip your lip

Zip your lipJust because you know something doesn’t mean you have to share it. There are many a circumstances where a closed mouth is way more powerful than an open one.

The Book of Proverbs, which shows me the error of my ways on a regular basis, teaches us that a soft answer turns away wrath. I’ll take that one better and submit to you that at times, no answer at all can save you a migraine.

Here is a churchy version:

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. (Proverbs 15:1-2 NKJV)

Here is a modern version:

A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense. (Proverbs 15:1-2 Message)

Either way, sometimes we need to zip it.

He made me this way

Juli baby pics4 (2)Let’s skip over the fact that I haven’t written in ages and focus on the fact that I’m writing now, okay?

Last night my bible app led me to a simple scripture, one I’ve read a thousand times and heard a thousand times sung in an old Sunday School song. It’s amazing how you can hear something in a song over and over but not really hear it. A song from the past, like Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya, kind of memory. (Lynn thought that “Montserrat mystique” was “mounds of rotten steak, ha.”)

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

Hallelujah, glory hallelujah. Can you hear it?

He made me. That means He made my mind and the way it operates. He made my emotions and the way they operate. He designed my goofy personality. He made my body, my face. He made my hair. He made my teeth. He made my bones. He even made my hips. And then He made them spread in childbirth and not go all the way back. He did that. Not me.

I am the way I am because He made me that way. And He made everybody different. He made all kinds. Thinkers and dreamers and planners and list-makers and risk-takers and everything in between.

When we get upset that someone doesn’t do things like we would, whose fault is that? They don’t do things the way we would because they’re not made like us. And they didn’t make themselves… God did.

You don’t like that? Take it up with Him!

A question of mercy

Juli Mize:

How can we accept mercy for ourselves and not extend it to others?

Originally posted on Juli Mize:

I have a question: We want God to have mercy on us when we screw up, right? Why don’t we want Him to have mercy on others, especially those who hurt us? Why do we want bad things to come to them? Why do we refuse to see the fact that God loves those people the same as He loves us, and He’s not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9)?

Revenge is human nature, it’s very difficult to break free from the desire to see it land on our enemies’ heads. And somehow we think we must be God’s favorite and He will spare us and gather us into His loving forgiveness, but we are sure that He’s closed His arms to others, others that we deem unforgivable.

This is just not so.

If I try to count up all the times that I have messed up, I’d…

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Talk ain’t cheap

Juli Mize:

The Word of God on the pages of your Bible will only get you so far, but the Word in your mouth will put you over the top.

Originally posted on Juli Mize:

Talk ain't cheapWhen the devil is at your door and fear is breathing down your neck, you must be prepared to fight. When the devil comes at you with both barrels, you have to reach into the armory and pull out the biggest weapon you have, and that’s the Word of God in your mouth. The Word of God on the pages of your Bible will only get you so far, but the Word in your mouth will put you over the top.

And you have to do it when you don’t feel like it. You have to do it when you don’t want to, you have to do it even when you don’t believe it. In fact, that’s the most critical time to do it. And as you continue to say what the Word says, your attitude will begin to change, your heart will begin to change, and pretty soon, you…

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Take it with you

imageIt’s easy to find peace sitting on a balcony in Maui overlooking the ocean and hearing the soft waves and humming doves. Anyone can do that. But I go home tomorrow. I go home to bills and decisions and stressors… I go home to real life. What do I do?

I take this peace with me.

Jesus gave this peace to me. He tells me so in John 14:27. And He didn’t say I’d only have it on Maui. He gave it to me wholesale… no caveats. He gave it to you just the same.

Here it is four different ways. Pick one.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJV)

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (AMP)

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (NLT)

That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. (MSG)

They all say Jesus gave me peace and no matter where my feet step, I’m taking it with me.

Don’t look at the sky

Juli Mize:

A reminder to me today. Don’t look to the sky; look to Him.

Originally posted on Juli Mize:

I have a wall of windows right outside my office. I absolutely love watching the changing Oklahoma sky. I love seeing the birds and squirrels out there pecking around, although lately, they’ve been pecking on the windows, begging to come inside our cool office.

This very large array of windows affords me full disclosure on the state of the weather. If there’s a storm coming, I know it. If it’s windy, I know it. If it’s dry as a bone, I know that too.

Lately, as I have looked out those windows longingly, studying the sky, and praying for rain, it hit me… Don’t look at the sky. Look at the promise.

God said He would make it rain in my life, take care of my needs, (Philippians 4:19) give me a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Why do I continue to look at the sky? It’s so engrained…

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Open your eyes

Open your eyesSo, Jaxon and I were flying to South Carolina to meet up with Lynn who had been preaching there for two weeks. We were on a regional jet, one of those smaller planes which bounce you around and vibrate you a bit, but safely convey you to your destination. I had paid the extra money to get a “preferred” seat and yet still found myself wedged between the aisle and a very devoted and heavyset religious woman who vigorously crossed herself the entire flight.

It was warm and stuffy and a bit odorous in my little area. My tailbone was numb and my knees ached. I got up to visit the lavatory and turned around to face the back of the plane for the first time since boarding. IT  WAS VIRTUALLY EMPTY.

I could have gone back there any time I wanted and had a whole row to myself! It was cooler, more spacious, more inviting and more wonderful in every way possible and I missed it! All because I thought I had scored myself a “preferred” seat near the front of the cabin, thus just knowing I must be in the most accommodating place in the airplane.

Wow, was I mistaken.

People, we perish for lack of knowledge. Had I opened my eyes, I would have had a much more enjoyable flight.

Don’t miss out on what God has for you by being sure you’ve got it all figured out. Don’t be like me. Open your eyes to all the possibilities, and never settle for what someone tells you is best. God’s plan might not be the most obvious option in front of you, and more times than not it is obscured by our over-active, problem-solving brains, but His plan is ALWAYS better. And if we get out of our own way and seek Him, He will show it to us.


Juli Mize:

Preaching to myself, people!

Originally posted on Juli Mize:

RerunsLately I’ve been watching an episode or two of Frasier before I fall asleep at night. Before I do a last scroll through Facebook and Instagram, that is. Of course it’s all reruns as the show has been out of production for a long time. I actually never watched it when it was on primetime television. I guess I was too busy watching 90210 and Melrose Place. I was so cool back then.

But lucky for me, the show is on cable every night, sometimes several episodes, giving me the opportunity to enjoy all that Frasier had to offer.

You know who else shows reruns at all hours? The devil.

Remember, the devil is not a creator, he’s only an imitator. He does not have the ability to create anything new. The tools he uses are the same ones he’s been using since he was thrown out of Heaven…

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