Integrity

Today’s sermon was all about integrity. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If we let personal prejudices, attitudes and expectations lead us we may find we have conclusions about something that are completely inadequate.
 
Three Questions that help us to have peace. “We are to park our minds on constructive thoughts, not destructive thoughts… thoughts that breathe life into us not suck life from us.”
 
1. Did someone actually say this or am I making an assumptions about what they’re thinking?
 
Truth is that people are really not sitting around thinking about us as much as we would believe. Instead of worrying or being anxious – let us turn to Philippians 4:6 – invites to pray instead of worrying. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
 
2. Am I actively immersing myself in the Truth?
 
The more time we spend in God’s word, the less time we’ll have for untruths to fill us with anxiety. Thinking these thoughts only leads us to worry. Philippians 4:7 “and the peace of God, that is surpassing all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.” That holds a promise for us – if we turn to God and allow Him to fill us.
 
3. Are their situations or relationships that feed my insecurities?
 
A situation or friendship that is not feeding us with Truth and encouragement is not good for us. We need to realize that it isn’t good for either party. Encourage others and seek relationships that encourage and build you up as well. One relationship with Christ is a good example. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
 
Final word Philippians 4:9
 
“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
 
Amen.

Pendulum of Our Emotions

We really want our emotions not to go to extremes. We want it to be gently moving in the middle and staying rather calm in the midst of turmoil.
 
Lysa talks about comfort zones. The interesting thing is that that comfort zone doesn’t have to be comfortable – just familiar. We stay in our unglued states because it is familiar. Not always a comfortable place to be.
 
I think that could be the reason we stop asking God to change us or even think he can. He wants us to be the best we can be to serve him. Don’t be afraid, ask God to change you – chisel you and see the power of God transform.
 
Lysa’s book talks about changed lives in a homeless shelter, and she finally realizes that God’s power is what transforms.
 
“I can be gentle, I can be patient. I can be peaceful. I’m not gentle by nature, but I can be gentle by obedience. I’m not patient by nature, but I can be by obedience. I’m not peaceful by nature, but I can be by obedience. I can and I will. I can be the unglued women made gentle, patient and peaceful. God help me. God forgive me.”
 
Amen.

Procedure Manual

I could become a bit unglued. My internet died and when I returned – my last blog was lost, so now I must heed my own advice and not become unglued.
 
Remember Monday night 6;30 we’ll go over video 4 and 5. Hope to see you there.
 
God thank you for this – because now I am resolved to rewrite it and maybe say things that He wants me to say.
 
Lysa’s chapter on Procedure Manual, did not speak to me as it might someone else. I am drawn back to the reading of Brother Lawrence’s book “The Presence of God’, which speaks volumes to me.
 
If we renounce ourselves, we’ll know unspeakable joy. Always turn to Jesus Christ, asking him for his grace that makes everything easy. Neither finesse nor learning is required to approach God, only a heart resolved to devote itself exclusively to him, loving him only.
 
Ground yourself in God’s presence by continually conversing with him. Nourish your soul by focusing your mind on God’s glory. Accept the joy that comes from spending time with him. Renew your faith; it’s terrible that we have so little.
 
Give yourself completely to God. Abandon yourself to him. Find joy in doing his will, in all circumstances. Suffering and joy are synonymous to someone yielding to God. We must be faithful in times when we become stuck, knowing God is testing our love for him.
 
We must keep our eyes fixed on God in all we say or do. Our goal is to adore God unceasingly.
 
We must work towards making every action, without exception, into a kind of brief conversation with God—not in any artificial way, but purely, simply.
 
We must always act carefully and deliberately, not impulsively or hurriedly, for those are the marks of a distracted mind. Cooperate gently and lovingly with God. Remembering: Imperfect Progress

Exploders and Stuffers

Okay – we’ll dig deeper into these types – especially at the level of Exploders and Stuffers.

Now dealing with any of these four reactions, intertwined with our personalities and relationships is very complicated.

There is no quick fix or easy formula. Just last night we found water in our basement… and my unglued feelings came out on Don. It wasn’t his fault and because I want to get out of the money pit – I said things I shouldn’t have. I was defiantly the exploder last night. I was not blaming him, but myself.

We have to think of the different people in our lives and the kind of reactions we have toward them.

Let’s allow God to show us everything that He wants to show us in this moment.

Let’s spend time doing a inner inspection. Then we’ll be ready to move on and dig a little deeper to unpack more fully all four of the reactions.

Prayer: God, thank You for Your endless supply of grace for me. Your gentle chiseling gives me hope that I really can make progress.

Today, I ask Your for courage to stay on this journey and to continue taking next steps. Some of the next steps I sense You may be inviting me to take are…

I need Your help to follow through because ….

I entrust myself and my imperfect progress to You. Please give me the desire and the power to do what pleases You each day. And keep chiseling me! Amen!

Conclusions or Perspectives

Observation – Take the chart I sent you and observed yourself for 24 hours. Especially on the weekend and maybe even a week day. I think if you are like me you act differently on the weekends then on weekdays. Especially if you have a stressful job.

The Bible uses several images that describe the process of growth and change. Read these verses

Psalm 92:12-24
2 Corinthians 3:18b
Ephesians 3;17
Philippians 1:6

Do these passages reveal anything about process of change?

How might these passages encourage you in connection with the changes you want to experience with your unglued emotions?

Guided Prayer
Lord, thank you for releasing me from the weight of the past and for giving me hope that things really can be different.
Today, I especially need hope for….. (fill in blank)

Thank you for the promise that You have begun a good work in me, and that You won’t stop until You complete it. That gives me hope! Amen.

Reflect on this story today: (link – http://www.jainworld.com/literature/story25.htm )

When it comes to the unglued “elephants” in our life, how do you relate or not relate to the blind men? Do you think you do not have any blind spots? Do you generally resist or engage the challenge other prospectives post to your own? Think about your thoughts or emotions and consider how this level of attachment to your perspective might lead you to the wrong conclusions.

 

Starting Point

Starting Point
 
We have to establish what is true right now. Purpose of that is to have a starting point – it isn’t to beat ourselves up, but to have a baseline for measuring progress.
 
Use the attached chart to make observations about recent unglued experiences – for now simply notice what happened.
 
Guided Prayer
Lord, thank you for Your unending grace for me. Today, especially I need Your tender mercies for …. (you fill in the blank)
 
Thank You for releasing me from the burden of my past mistakes and for loving me into the person You created me to be Amen.
Chart

Goals

Goals – you can set them so high – you’ll never obtain them or you can set them realistically so you can meet them and move on to the next goal. I am one that normally sets goals so high – I feel overwhelmed and never complete the task or goal.
 
I remember one time – my daughter had moved out and we wanted to clean up her room. It was a real mess. So I looked in the room and was over whelmed. My husband said, take one small task and check it off your list. I eventually cleaned up the room, but in small chunks.
 
Our goal is what we hope to accomplish stated in a way that is achievable and measurable.
 
Example in the book:
 
I would like it to be normal that…
 
I choose not to raise my voice when I am upset.
 
I graciously acknowledge what I’m feeling rather any stuffing my emotions.
 
I make it through a day without regretting how I treated someone.
 
So now you think about what your new normal would be or what you would like it to be.
 
I would like it to be normal that…..
 
Spend the day thinking about that and if you would like to share please do. Have a blessed day… We’ll talk more tomorrow about the starting point.

Grace or Self-Condemnation

God invites us to choose grace  rather than self-condemnation or anything else — as a starting point for growth  and change.

Read the Gospel story in John 8:1-11.

What does Jesus say to the women?

Does he extend commandments or does he extend grace and then invites the women to build a whole new life on that foundation.  She doesn’t change in order to receive Jesus’ approval, she changes as a response to His love.  Take a moment to think about the change you want to experience, especially in connection with your raw emotions and reactions.

What intrigues you, or concerns you about approaching these changes as a response to God’s love.

Tomorrow we’ll spend time talking about setting goals and remember our goal should not be perfect, that’s not realistic.  Our goal is to make progress – imperfect progress.

 

 

Christian Meditation

Christian Meditation

Christian Meditation: Is it Christian to Meditate?
Christian meditation is rooted in the Bible. In fact, the Bible commands us to meditate. In Joshua 1:8,God says to meditate on His word day and night so we will obey it. The psalmist says “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). Actually, the Bible mentions meditate or meditation 20 times.

In the Old Testament there are two primary Hebrew words for meditation: Haga, which means to utter, groan, meditate, or ponder; and Sihach, which means to muse, rehearse in one’s mind, or contemplate. These words can also be translated as dwell, diligently consider, and heed.

Christian Meditation: A History
One form of Christian meditation that has been used by believers since at least the fourth century AD is the lectio divina. It has been traditionally used in monastic religious orders and is enjoying a resurgence today. Lectio divina means “sacred reading” and has four stages: lectio (reading),meditatio (discursive meditation), oratio (affective prayer), and contemplatio (contemplation). In thelectio (reading) stage, one finds a passage and reads it deliberately. The next stage, meditatio(discursive meditation), is where one ponders the text. In the oratio (effective prayer) stage, one talks to God about the reading, asking Him to reveal the truth. In the final, contemplatio(contemplation) stage, one simply rests in the Lord’s presence.

Joshua

Joshua 6:1-5

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

This is what we sing songs too.  The walls came trumbling down…..

We have to go back to Joshua 5:13 – As Joshua nears Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand.  Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

Then God’s response in Joshua 5:14a – “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

He then is told to take his sandals off – because he is in a Holy place.  Then we go back to Chapter 6.

The True Question is – are we on God’s side?   Joshua settled that question and it gave him courage to face the impossible wall of Jericho.  We have to settle the same question – are we going to  be on God’s side or not?

Today is Day One of our Bible Series – “Unglued” – Lysa Terkeurst.