Thought Conditioner #14

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1, KJV

When trouble strikes, what you want is comfort and protection. You want strength to stand up to it and meet it. 

You can have both. This text contains the answer. Frequently remind yourself that God is with you, that He will never fail you, that you can count upon Him. Say these words, “God is with me, helping me.” 

This will give you a sense of comfort. New hope will flood your mind. New ideas will come. A new sense of power will be felt. As a result, you will rise above your trouble. 

When a particular trouble arises, before you do anything else about it, sit down quietly, repeat this text a half dozen times, and put your full faith in it.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

Beyond the armor discussed last week, we also find rest in God. Mr Peale offers an excellent suggestion that will help you stay calm and reassured in the midst of trouble- saying as needed “God is with me, helping me”. Repeating scripture is the answer to any problem, every need. “God is my refuge and strength, always helping me in this trouble”.

Reflect: Have you used verses to draw on the power of God for change? Which ones? What were the results?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #20

Each Monday Cee Neuner of Cee’s Photography asks four questions as a way for us to get to know each other. I hope you enjoy sharing my world.

What is the most important thing that you ever learned? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school)

Actually the most important thing I learned was in school. During my master’s thesis defense I was asked “what did you learn”. I must say my answer completely threw them. I said “I’ve learned that no matter how much I learn that I really don’t know much of anything”.

During my research I kept finding more theories, more knowledge, to the point I was overwhelmed with how much I really didn’t know about my topic. For me to admit this was also a big deal. As a long time intellectual, and I hate to say, perhaps a little bit of a “know it all”, I finally realized there is more knowledge out there that I will never know, never understand. And yes, I’m ok with that now.

What feeds your enthusiasm for life? 

Travel, road trippin, one wilderness adventure to another, connecting with God and this beautiful planet along the way.

What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane commercial or private flight?

I’ve had a few not so good.

My first flight was when I was 16, my class went to Spain. We spent 13 hours on a 707 – a very small plane, a lot of turbulence and the pressure in our ears was intolerable.

My last flight was when I was 27 (28 years ago) was to take me home for my mom’s funeral. I’m sure that painful memory isn’t why I never flew again, or perhaps it’s the underlying reason. I could hardly contain my tears through experience.

My worst flight as actually my second and proved to be a major learning experience. My first trip was international and therefore more regulated as how much to bring. No so much within the states. I was coming home for my first Christmas in my first year of college. And I brought just about everything, two very large suitcases, two big carry-ons and a purse. I needed everything, it was winter ya know. Getting home wasn’t too bad, I managed with all that baggage. But the return trip – YIKES!

First, we thought it would be better to charter a flight to Boston from the Cape. There was a storm coming and my dad didn’t want to get caught. There were mechanical issues and the flight was delayed.

Next, I did get to LaGuardia with little time to spare. Now visualize, a young girl running in dress clothes, high heals (cause that’s what we worn to fly in the 70s) and a heavy winter coat, lugging four pieces of baggage. I finally get to the next terminal to find that I missed my flight. I wait for several hours on standby with all the other snow bound travelers.

I did make it out but not on a direct flight, more terminals, more lugging that baggage, trying desperately to get back on track to my flight from Chicago to Indy. Finally, all is well I’m just going to make my next connection. That is until…yes anther snow storm. I make it to Chicago but our plane is 21st in line to land.

Yes, I missed my flight, again. I was on standby for about four hours, lugging all that baggage. I got a break and caught a flight to Indy. I arrived in the middle of the night, paid a fortune for a cab to the bus station. But this time I wasn’t carrying all that baggage…it was lost, traveling the atmosphere. I spend the night in a creepy bus station and make it home just in time for classes to start – but without clothes. They arrived a few days later.

What did I learn? If it doesn’t absolutely have to go it doesn’t. I look at the room I have to bring our things and I can see what stays and what goes. If I has to go I do find a way. Reduce, reduce, reduce, then simplify. Today I’m the best packer I know. Now, a two-week trip I pack one carry on and my computer bag. I can always find a washer/dryer.

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore?

Perhaps a better question is what wouldn’t I explore…I wouldn’t explore anything that required a plane to get there, or a spaceship. Although I might get on Star Trek’s Enterprise. I would love to explore foreign celestial bodies.

But while here on this planet I’d have to say waterfalls would be number one. I need a bumper sticker that say’s “I break for waterfalls” because I really do. Also, like Cee, I’m passionate about volcanoes but there aren’t many out here on the east coast.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

If you haven’t noticed I’ve not participated in much for a while. I’m very thankful to have had a friend visit a couple of weeks from up north but after I got sick and after more than a month I’m still recovering. I’m thankful for my friend but now I’m looking forward to feeling better.

 

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STOP

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Thought Conditioner #13

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6:13, NLT

This is one of the greatest of all techniques of mental health. It teaches that when we have done all that we can do about a given matter, we are not to get worried or in a panic or be filled with anxiety, but take a calm philosophical attitude concerning it. 

When you have done all that you can do, don’t try to do any more, just “stand.” Relax, stop, be quiet, don’t fuss about it; you have done everything possible; leave the results to God. 

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

We need God’s protection for so much but especially against the enemy. God’s armor is intended for that protection. There is peace in God’s protection because unlike man’s armor, God’s is perfect and impenetrable. The only kink in his armor is within ourselves, through our own free will.

When we’ve run our course, we must stand firm in peace, knowing God will come through. Too often when we run our own course we only seek our own knowledge or the knowledge of others rather than God’s wisdom.

Reflect: How do you hold up under attack? Do you rely on your own strength or by resting in Jesus?

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It came to pass

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Thought Conditioner #12

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:24, NIV

Perhaps, today, you have a problem which has baffled you. Try allowing this text to penetrate your mind until it becomes a dominating conception, and it will do some important things for you. 

It will make you understand that there is an answer to every problem, and that God is thinking along with you. It will bring to bear upon your problem that keen and sharp perception of wisdom called insight. 

If you put every problem in God’s hands, ask Him to give you the right answer, believe that He is doing just that, and will take the guidance that comes, your decisions will turn out right. 

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

Every situation has a solution even though you may not see it. God does have and is the answer. Relax and rest in the peace of Jesus while he works out all the answer to all of your problems. Once you’re relaxed the solution will come easier. It’s harder for the Holy Spirit to communicate while we’re all upset and stressed.

Remember: It came to pass

Reflect: How do you handle stress when you need answers? Do answers come easily after you’re calmed down?

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Discipline

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Thought Conditioner #11

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7,  NLT

Your fears can be healed by this text. It tells us, first, that fear is overcome by power. What power? There is only one force more powerful than fear, and that is faith. When fear comes to your mind, counter it with an affirmation of faith.

Second, love overcomes fear. By love is meant trust, confidence, complete dependence upon God. Practice this attitude and fear will diminish.

The third element is to attain a sound mind in which there are no complexes, quirks, and obsessions. Live with the thought of God, and you will develop a sound mind where no shadowy fear can lurk.

Whenever you are afraid, verbalize against the thing that you fear, using the words of this text.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

Mr. Peale uses the term from the King James Version “a sound mind”. I have chosen the New Living Translation of “self-discipline. I like it because it implies action. That we should actively encounter fear – with God’s power and love. That we should actively control our own behaviors so that we don’t have need to fear.

Bottom line: God never meant for us to live in fear but faith in him, trusting him and ultimately taking responsibility for our own actions.

What is discipline? What does discipline do? We gain strength against the enemy with discipline – self-discipline that helps us to act with self-control.

Reflect: Do you conquer your fears with the power of faith, with trust in Gods’ love? How well do you self-discipline, or control you mind to not let fear overwhelm you?

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Abundance

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Thought Conditioner #10

The kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21, KJV

When you are filled with self-doubt, and in the grip of your inferiority complex, don’t give up saying, “I can’t do it, I haven’t it in me.” You do have a very big “it” within you. You have the Kingdom of God within you.

God has placed in your personality all the ability you need. You have only to believe in yourself, and strength within you will be released.

In saying the text, try it this way, “God’s abundance, peace, and power are within me. I lack for nothing.”

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

If there is something you need to do and God is in it you have all you need to accomplish all he’s given you to do. Sometimes it can seem so overwhelming but step back and let Jesus take the lead – one step at a time, on day at time.

When my husband left me my girls were thirteen months old. He had brought me to Indiana, away from my family and home, and then he just left. Overwhelmed I contemplated adoption. Ok, for about a nanosecond. I adored my girls and didn’t want to be without them but fear overwhelmed me. I had no job, no people, no home and no money. With the help of his parents and sister we made it through those early days. Each day seemed so difficult, so overwhelming, that all I could do was step back and breathe in Jesus, asking “how will you leap this hurdle”. He came through every time and often just in time. We never went without our basic needs being met.

Call on the kingdom within you and you will have the strength to do whatever you are called to do, to be or endure.

Reflect: What obstacle are you facing or have faced in the past? How did you get through? Or if you’re currently enduring an obstacle are you leaning fully on the rock?

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Fear Not

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Thought Conditioner #9

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31, NLT

Imagine yourself as actually looking at all your difficulties like an army lined up against you.

Then realize you have a backing that can overcome them all. As you face these enemies of yours—discouragement, frustration, disappointment, hostility, weakness—ask yourself, “What shall I say to these things?” And the answer is, If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Now, spend a minute realizing that God is for you and say this affirmation: “God is with me. God is for me. God is greater than all these things.”

Then visualize these enemies of your peace and happiness as retreating, giving way before God’s power.

Personalize the text by saying: “If God be for me, who can be against me?”

The repetitive use of this text will give you an enormous sense of God’s presence and a powerful feeling of victory.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

I do like Mr. Peale’s take on this. So often we relate this verse to people coming against us. But we have other unseen enemies: Satan and his followers as well as our own mind. Who are my enemies? What’s stealing my peace and happiness? Top of that list are my race against the clock, wanting to get away and not being able to, and the schedule I made for myself. I may plan my ways but God guides my steps – but to a point. We do have free will to be stupid. It’s time I choose not to be stupid. God is for me and his guidance will bring peace and joy.

“If god is for me how can this schedule come against me”

Reflect: Fill in – “If God is for me, _____ can’t come against me.”

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To do or to be – that is the question.

Give your do do do a rest and just be be be

Thought Conditioner #8

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16, NLT

God does heal. He does it in two ways, through science and through faith.

In healing, confession is important, for much illness results from buried resentments and guilt. Confession to a competent counselor releases these poisons, cleanses the mind and soul, thus stopping the passing on of diseased thoughts to the body. Effectual prayer, that is scientific prayer, is very powerful.

The essence of the technique is confess your faults, pray with kindred spirits even if separated by distance, and enthusiastically (fervently) believe.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

I must confess: of any area that I seek help from the father, health usually doesn’t even make the list. Why don’t I pray for my health? I pray for the health of others and I do see results. I know God healed in the past and still does today. It’s not because I don’t think I deserve it because it’s not about us – it’s about Him. Oddly, it just doesn’t seem to cross my mind. So if I’m not praying for healing then I’m probably not dealing with my own spiritual maladies, in my case and unbalanced schedule.

I may not harbor resentment, live in bitterness or anger towards another, but I can say I’ve not been so good at stewardship of this temple – diet and exercise of course but rest is my nemesis. I am a recovering workaholic who occasionally falls off the time management wagon. If I’m not multitasking I don’t know what to do with myself. At home I just want to do, do, do. On the road, living in the wilderness I was content with just be, be, be. I miss those days but now that I’m back in the real world I struggle again to find balance between my be and my do. This is where my prayers must start – forgiveness, repentance and resting in my Lord.

Reflect: Have you received healing? Do you need healed? What do you think may be hindering your healing?

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Holy Fruit

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Thought Conditioner #7

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10, KJV

Many people are lacking in energy. Their vitality is low. They are filled with inner conflicts which dissipate energy. They are dull and apathetic.

What is the secret of energized life? Christ is the answer. It is said of Him, “In Him was life” (John 1:4). Fill your mind with Christ, fill your heart with Him, and inevitably energy, vitality, exuberance, delight, and eagerness will well up within you.

Every day as you repeat this text make it read, “Christ has come that I (fill in your own name) might have life and might have it more abundantly.”

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

In Him was life, there is no life apart from Him. What does the abundant life look like? Is it material wealth, power, success, fame? These things can become idols and steal our energy, steal the abundant life we so desperately seek.

What is it we are to have an abundance of in our life? It’s an abundance of self-control, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. How do we get these fruits of the Spirit? By clinging to the life growing vine – Jesus Christ. Without an abundance of fruit we will never truly enjoy an abundance of anything else.

Reflect: What steals your energy? How will you seek the abundance of life you are looking for?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #13

Each Monday Cee Neuner of Cee’s Photography asks four questions as a way for us to get to know each other. I hope you enjoy sharing my world.

What was your favorite subject in school?

High school: boys, they were my reason for even going. So actual subject I’d have to say English. I loved writing and it was the only thing I excelled at.

College: history, archaeology and geography

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away” (George Carlin). When have you had such a moment?

Like Cee, I’ve had numerous. But there are two I can think of now that actually changed the course of my life. The first time I saw the Tetons. I switched my geographic focus from human geography to geomorphology. The second, the birth of my grandson. He has changed my life in more ways than I can talk about here. I’d like to say the birth of my daughters but unfortunately I was unconscious.

What’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, or numeric puzzles?

I hate crossword, I just don’t get it. I do enjoy numeric puzzles, particularly numeric crosspatch and suduko. I also like cryptographs.

I never liked jigsaw, my grandmother tried to get me to do them with her but I found them boring. But now (one change in me from Kai) I do enjoy doing them with Kai. But we’re talking 24 pieces not 500. We can knock out several in a half hour instead of the dining room table being covered for a week.

If you found an obviously abandoned car with $50,000 in the back seat, what would you do?

This is hard. I think I’d feel guilty for taking it. I’d probably call the police and hope after the waiting period I’d get the money & car.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for having  more free time and for my daughter doing much of the cooking for me. I’m looking forward to my first visitor since I’ve been in Florida. My dear friend Kim is coming to visit and I’m looking forward to showing her my town.

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Got Stress?

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Thought Conditioner #6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5, NIV

This text will help you avoid a nervous breakdown. It will stimulate your recovery if you have had one.

A famous neurologist, specialist in nervous breakdowns, often “prescribes” this text for his patients. He writes the words on a card and instructs his patient to commit them to memory and repeat them until they are indelibly printed on the subconscious mind.

The cause of much nervous trouble is frustration. And the antidote to frustration is a calm faith, not in your own cleverness, or in hard toil, but in God’s guidance. The cure of frustration is the belief that God will help you obtain your heart’s desire. Trust in God with all your heart, and you will be able to keep on working in health and happiness for long years to come.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

Trusting in ourselves can certainly lead to disaster. His ways are higher than our ways so why not look to his ways. We become frustrated when we try to do things ourselves, especially those things we weren’t meant to do.

How do we release frustration, trust in, and lean on the one who know what’s best. Your Father knows best. When frustrated ask “who am I listening to”. For me my major source of stress or frustration is my own schedule. The one I make. God never said I needed to jam pack it so full.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps (Proverbs 16:9, NLT)

Best to stay on the path and always confirm “God, are my steps heading to you?”

Reflect: Where does your frustration come from? Are you stepping outside the bounds that God has for you?

 

Share Your World – 2015 Week #12

Each Monday Cee Neuner of Cee’s Photography asks four questions as a way for us to get to know each other. I hope you enjoy sharing my world.

When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion.

Too long. Probably the weekend before Christmas. We went to SeaWorld. I sit often and enjoy the scenery.

Would you ever be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle? 

Let me just say – YUCK! I’m better than I was before my kids. Pregnant women get poked and prodded on a weekly basis so I overcame my fear of needles. However, I was in the operating room when my daughter had her C-section. I would definitely to that again. The surgery took place behind a curtain so I saw nothing. Even when I went on the other side to get Kai I couldn’t see anything, and yes, I was curious enough to look.

Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

SeaWorld of course, then the beach.

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

Target. It’s too expensive to shop there regularly but an unlimited spree would be great. Why, because they have almost anything I want or need.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I got to take off a few hours Friday, and I hope to again this week.

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Ask ~ Seek ~ Knock

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Thought Conditioner #5

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24, NIV

To pray successfully, you must employ affirmation and visualization. Form a picture in your mind, not of lack or denial or frustration or illness, but of prosperity, abundance, attainment, health. Always remember you will receive as a result of prayer exactly what you think, not what you say. If you pray for achievement but think defeat, your words are idle because your heart has already accepted defeat.

Therefore, practice believing that even as you pray you are receiving God’s boundless blessings, and they will come to you.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

This is so true, how often do we ask God to provide but don’t follow through on our part – believing. This lack of belief reveals the attitude of our heart. Ask God for a heart transplant. Ask that your desires be matched with God’s and then do believe, don’t doubt. Always see the good things God has for you.

Don’t just go beyond God take me out of poverty to make me prosperous but God what am I doing that’s keeping me in financial lack. Show me what to change while I wait under your provision.

Go a step further and determine what the root of what you’re asking God for? For example, instead of praying “God give me improved health”, instead, pray “God show me what I need to do so that I can improve my health and Holy Spirit, remind me that your strength is there for me to accomplish what needs done.

Reflect: Do you have any prayers you need to change the focus of from me to Him?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #11

Each Monday Cee Neuner of Cee’s Photography asks four questions as a way for us to get to know each other. I hope you enjoy sharing my world.

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

Being self employed & a great close-knit family

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise?  

I like mayo but I love mustard – any mustard. I love to try all kinds of mustard. You can leave the ketchup at the store.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

all shades of blue with some shades of green mixed in and dabs of sandy tans – I grew up near the beach

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

Consider how much I love swimming and being in the water you’d think I’d prefer baths but I hate them, don’t find them relaxing at all.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I don’t remember last week, again. I’ve decided to try and take off Friday’s, we’ll se how that goes.

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Rest

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Thought Conditioner #4

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28, NIV

Perhaps the strain and burden of life have made you tired. If so, maybe you are carrying life too heavily.

Primarily, we do not get tired in our muscles but in our minds. We develop that “I’m swamped” feeling.

Allow this text to dissolve in your thoughts as a kind of spiritual lozenge. As you turn to Jesus in your thoughts, He will give you rest. And how does He do that? One way is by showing you how to work.

“Learn of Me,” He says. In other words, work by My method. “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). That is to say, easy does it. Don’t strain, don’t tug, relax. Do one job at a time using the light touch, the easy stroke.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

Rest…a distant memory. My daughter keeps telling me “Mom, just breathe.” I respond “I can’t, it’s not on my to-do list.” As with Thought Conditioner #3 we must not only want the change but must make room for it in our lives.

One thing I learned more than ten years ago – when you need change scripture is the only way to achieve that change. Memorize it, even if it’s just key words, let it sink into your mind and spirit, repeat it a thousand time a day if needed and change will come. Just never give up.

If you need rest, a break from stress, leave it with Jesus. Close your eyes and imagine yourself falling into his arms.

Reflect: How do you find rest in Jesus? Share your experiences.