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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual truth’

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

From the time we rise until the moment we exhale sleep’s first breath, nearly 50,000 thoughts will have tracked through our minds. Of those rapid-fire notions, 80% are negative. Repetitive. Even bordering on obsessive.

Our minds are landmines pockmarked with negativity and habitual skepticism–self-sabotaging sink holes that entrap us in an unhealthy, joy inhibiting mindset that blocks blessedness and hinders happiness.

We tumble into the black hole of comparison, worrying whether we’ll ever be as smart, put-together, or beautiful as the woman in the mini-sized yoga pants at the gym or the young mother whose makeup is as perfect as her smile.

Clambering from one hollow only to trip into the next, we desperately seek love and approval like a small child lost in a department store searches for her mother. Our efforts to earn the notice of others, though, fails to satisfy. Instead, they clutter our minds with silent recriminations.

If I’m successful she’ll tell me I’m important to her. Why doesn’t he love me? I must not be good enough.

I know. I’m a self-confessed-personal-critic and reforming people pleaser. You, too? Perhaps Martha was one of us. Consider these passages.

“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 MSG)

How many of us effectively set aside our plans, problems or performance? With 50,000 thoughts cluttering our minds with to-do's-and-haven't-done's, a woman like Mary is relatable. Understandable. Confined by her view of performance… Click To Tweet

While we may all wish to be the Mary in the story, how many of us effectively set aside our plans, problems or performance? With 50,000 thoughts cluttering our minds with to-do’s-and-haven’t-done’s, a woman like Mary is relatable. Understandable. Confined by her view of performance comparison, she’s overwhelmed by the day’s demands and longs to be worthy of love and approval.

Flustered and frustrated, Mary prods Christ, perhaps hoping for praise or recognition of her efforts to serve him. Yet Jesus reassured, “Only one thing is essential.”

Serving Christ and others? Important. Futile worry? Unnecessary. Embracing the Word? Essential. Click To Tweet

Serving Christ and others? Important. Futile worry? Unnecessary. Embracing the Word? Essential.

Our happiness, Friend, resides in Christ–the Word eternal who was present in the beginning and who has no end. We can forgo all of the non-essentials from the One thing–a relationship with Jesus.

 

Let's cleanse our negativity with his truth. Capture our thoughts and transform them to reflect his promises. Invite the joy of relationship with the risen God into our hearts . Click To Tweet

Let’s cleanse our negativity with his truth. Capture our thoughts and transform them to reflect his promises. Invite the joy of relationship with the risen God into our hearts that we might begin to grasp the happiness we can begin to experience even now–without concerns about comparison or earning love and approval.

We already know that when the Father rest his gaze upon us, He sees Jesus’ beauty and incomparable perfection. Because of him, we are loved and accepted into heavenly arms.

As Philippians 4:8 (MSG) exhorts, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me [Paul], what you heard and saw and realized.”

 

Mind Over Negative Chatter Challenge 

1. Record 3 positive occurrences, circumstances and thoughts you had each day this week. Consider sharing them in the comments section or on my Facebook page, Tammy L. Kennington.

2. Share 9-10 meaningful photos throughout the week. Photos could include anything that brings you joy–family, favorite places, mementos.

3. At the end of the week, reflect on the ways in which the positive, recorded thoughts and/or images impacted your happiness and life experience.

4. Share this challenge with friends and family!

 

 

 

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From department stores to neighborhood markets, aisles are overrun with fluffy stuffed animals, heart-shaped boxes, and sentimental cards embellished with adorable, naked babies adorned by wings. Movie theaters roll out the newest round of romantic comedies while well-placed commercials promise “a diamond kind of love”–if only your dear one would realize the worth of giving his girl a shiny bit of bling.

heart-660377_1920Now, I’m not one of those women who dislike Valentine’s Day and I’m afraid I rather enjoy sentimental love letters. And, the chocolate? Well…studies have shown that the delightful sweet increases feel-good hormones in women.

But, none of these Valentine day pleasures truly capture the essence of love. Instead? They point out our need…our yearning…our deep desire for someone to love us. The sort of love that disregards color or size. The kind of devotion unrelated to beauty, status, or age. That beautiful, unvarnished version of being treasured by someone despite the awareness of our inner faults and outward shortcomings. Oh, to know such love!

The call of your heart to be loved unconditionally? The wish-upon-a-star dream for true love you’ve had for years? The longing to be affirmed since the cancer treatments began and the image you see isn’t one you like? I want to remind you of an incredible truth, friend. There is an answer and His name is Jesus.

Haven’t you heard? He—the only God—formed you by His hands. Tenderly and gently breathing life into your soul. He—the God who is love—gave up His son that you might belong to Him. Adopted. Chosen. Embraced. He—the Holy, Unchanging One—loves you with an everlasting love. In Him, my friend, you will discover the birthplace of love that was once-and-for-all expressed in the deliberate act of choosing death on the cross in exchange for the eternal joy of living with His children.

In this season of commercialized adulation and unmet expectations, I pray that we’ll remember the words of Scripture,

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

LIVEFREETHURSDAY

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I burst into laughter when I saw this note online.  I knew it was one my own children might have written. 

Lie #1–“Who put this hole in the wall?”  Not me.  “Right…” 

Lie #2–“Why did you miss 7th period?”  I ate something bad for lunch and fell asleep at my friend’s house.  “Mmm-hmmm.”

Lie #3–“You didn’t call when you were late because…?”  My phone died and ——-‘s parent’s don’t have one at their house.  “But their number is in my addrsess book.”

As children we all lied–especially to avoid punishment or facing the ridicule of others.  But are adults prone to lying?  According to one  statistic, adults lie in 1 of 4 conversations that last longer than 10 minutes.  (The Truth About Liars) 

Unbelievable?  Not really.  After all, Adam and Eve lied to God.  It’s been part of the human condition ever since.  Here’s the great news, friends.  God covered Adam and Eve’s sin with clothing, but our sin was buried with Christ and we received a pure and lasting identity when He was resurrected.  Whatever our struggles may be–anger, lying, jealousy–nothing can stand in the way of Christ’s forgiveness.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation…”  2 Corinthians 5:16-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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