Tuesday, November 5, 2013

thinking and choosing....and turning on the bat signal

So this week we're looking at thoughts, words, actions.

How cool is that image?!  Laughed my head off when I found that today.
Sometimes keeping our thoughts, words and actions in accordance with Christ's authority over our lives can seem an impossible challenge.
Particularly when the kids are being difficult, your husband is frantically busy at work, you're sleep deprived, the kitchen is in chaos and the laundry pile has grown to Everest-like proportions.
The enemy would just love to sneak his way into your thoughts given that little scenario.  How easy it would be!

The quote above has been attributed to everyone from Buddha to Ghandi to Vince Lombardi.
Whomever said that particular quote, Jesus said it first and best here:

Proverbs 4: 20-27
My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

As a devotional exercise, I took this passage and wrote it out in my own words, making it particular to me.
This is sometimes a helpful prayer exercise also.
Here's what came out:

Meredith, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to MY words, not the words of the secular world.
Do not let the laundry pile block out the view of my kingdom,
keep my words within your heart;
for they are life when you find them
and will give energy and health to your entire body!
Above all else, guard your heart Meredith,
for everything you do flows from it.
Be very, very careful!
How you deal with your children, your husband, your mother, your friends will depend on this.
Do not give voice to negative thoughts and feelings,
do not share words with those around you which are not uplifting, helpful or gracious.
Meredith! Look straight ahead for crying out loud!
Fix your gaze directly before you!
"The cross is before you,
The world is behind you"* not the other way around.
Be careful where you spend your time and with whom you spend it.
Be reliable and trustworthy in all your dealings.
Your word is your bond.  
Your character should reflect me.
Do not let the celebrity-driven, material world distract you.
It will send you on the wrong path, chasing the wrong goals and squander the purpose I have for you.
Do not compare yourself to others.
Fix your EYES, EARS and HEART on me alone.

* paraphrased from the song "Christ is Enough" by Hillsong.

Before we moved, I had this sign hung up in my kitchen as I reminder to each of us:

Perhaps this could also be applied this way:
not only before you speak, but also before you 
think or act:  is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind???

The final filter through which we discern this of course, is the Bible.  
What does the bible tell me about whether what I'm thinking, saying and actioning is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary or Kind?

Finally, I love these C.S. Lewis quotes which bring enormous comfort.

Finally, in a lovely coincidence, I'd like to share a blog post from last week from one of my favourite bloggers.  It speaks with such realness and practicality about what we've been discussing.  Don't miss it! 

  Here's the link, {click}


The full study can be found on pg 112 here.  I hope you read it thoroughly, complete the bible readings and as always, feel free to email me if you want to chat some more.

Yours in Christ,
Meredith xo

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