Thought Conditioner #20

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. Psalm 62:5, NLT

One of the most serious and powerful facts in human nature is that you are likely to get what you are basically expecting. Spend years developing the mental attitude of expecting that things are not going to turn out well, and you are likely to get that result. You create a mental condition slanted to an unhappy outcome.

If, on the contrary, you develop and maintain a mental attitude of faith and expectancy—hoping, dreaming, believing, praying, working—you will create conditions in which every good thing can and will grow. Fill your mind with the positive power of spiritual expectancy, and God and His good will flow toward you.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

So much time can be wasted with worry, wrong expectations and fear. God wants us to rest in him, put our hope in him. What does it say to others when we don’t trust our God. How will those outside, looking in, feel about our God. Do our emotions, thoughts, works and behavior serve to draw others to God or repel them? While waiting do what the world won’t expect – stay calm and wait peaceful on God. Make them ask why?

If you don’t have peace and hope while waiting ask God for it.

Reflect: How well do you wait?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #26

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.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

I should just copy/paste Cee’s answer. I love driving highways, byways, just any old open road. And there better not be other cars to disrupt my view of nature. Oh, how I miss those days. I rarely drive now, not at all comfortable driving in this city with all the crazy “just let me cut you off, I’m a tourist after all” drivers.

It’s been difficult to keep a car running well enough to venture out of the city.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

If it were by Mozart I would go otherwise probably not, unless it was Carmen. I would like to see that one.

I’m just not that in to shows/movies that sing the dialogue.

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE:  does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)

peace, humor, adventurous, a wild & crazy ride

Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

Again, not to copy Cee. The wild, turbulent life with joy, sorry, passion and adventure has pretty much always been my life and I really wouldn’t want it any other way…

…however, I would like the occasional break to catch my breath.

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

I am so thankful my health is improved dramatically. It seems I’ve had sleep apnea which can make you fell very bad not to mention constantly tired.

I look forward to preparing for my trip up north, visiting family & friends in Indiana. My girls haven’t seen their dad in two year, they are so excited. And Kai exclaims with every new skill, I’m going to show Grampa.

 

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Contentment

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Thought Conditioner #19

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4: 11, NIV

Your present situation may not be to your liking. Perhaps you are dissatisfied and discouraged. Put the matter in God’s hands. If He wants you elsewhere, He will lead you there, providing you are amenable to His will.

But perhaps He wants you where you are. In that case, He will help you to adjust to the situation. He will make you content, even grateful for present opportunities. Learn the great art of doing the best you can, with what you have, where you are.

When you do this, you learn how to reach the better condition, or how to make your present situation a better one.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

 

I must say I’ve not always been content with my situation, perhaps with age or experience with God I’ve learned – somewhat.

Living in my minivan for two years taught me a valuable lesson – things may have been bad at time – but I didn’t die, was never hurt and God always provided for my needs. I often thought heat was a necessity but He showed me I could live in single digit temps with His grace. My first year on the road I encountered numerous record lows, 100-year cold spells – no matter how far south I went temps in the teens followed me. I cried, fretted and fumed but God always came through – either with a campsite with electricity to run my heater or his glorious protective heat. I never froze.

After my two years traveling my daughters and I found ourselves homeless for 14 months – four of them with an infant. Those days weren’t so long ago – 2011-2012. Perhaps those memories and how God brought us through keep us content even thought the situation isn’t what we want. God’s grace makes it sufficient.

Reflect: Do you have an experience with God that still helps you remain content in all things? Please share

Share Your World – 2015 Week #25

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 did you or did not like about the first apartment you ever rented?

I love my first apartment, it was mine and I could decorate how I wanted. I was a cozy, two room efficiency. I didn’t like that I couldn’t have pets. But I did. I took in a little stray kitten and eventually I was found out and had to leave. Funny, now you couldn’t pay me to have a cat in my home.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

Photography of course, because I can do it and it actually looks ok unlike any drawing I might make. I used to do crafts but no room for supplies, nor time. I love oil paintings. I grew up in an artsy area and my grandmother would take me to her art shows. She was a oil painter, landscapes, but mostly seascapes. She has a style of her own that she taught at night school using a pallet knife, somewhat reminiscent to Monet

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order?

This is an interesting question. When I was eleven my mother gave me a sister. For fifty-one years I had only one sibling. If you’ve read my post A Hallmark Christmas you’ll know after nearly fifty years I found five more siblings that I didn’t even know existed, two girls and three guys. It was a gift from God that I even found them. But I’m still the oldest.

Complete this sentence:  I’m dreaming of a white …. (and no you can’t use Christmas as your answer)

Oh, Cee, but I wanna. A White Christmas just flows off the tongue. Ok, I’ll cave…

I’m dreaming of a white sandy beach – with a warm sun (not hot like the 100º days we’ve been having) and crashing waves

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

I’m thankful I’m feeling better, each week better and better. I hope to be 100% soon. I look forward to a family day at Aquatica. I can’t wait to float down Roa’s Rapids.

 

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Open the door

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Thought Conditioner #18

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7, NLT

This is a very practical technique of prayer. It works amazingly. One reason we do not get answers to our prayers is that we ask, but do not really expect to receive. We are expert askers, but inexpert receivers.

This spiritual formula tells us to ask and then immediately conceive of ourselves as receiving. For example, to be free from fear, ask the Lord to free you. Then believe that He has immediately done so. The minute you express your faith by sincerely asking Him for a blessing and believe your prayer is answered, your prayer is answered.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

There is an area of my life that I ask but don’t receive – health. If I happen to remember to ask my mind is not ready to receive. So my prayers remained unanswered. This is a double struggle so I have done something radical – for me. I’m keeping a specific journal for the purpose of regaining my health. I write specific prayers for health while thanking Jesus for the results. I also keep record of anything that affects my health: what is consumed (or lack of), rest & sleep, stress levels, balancing schedules. This helps me to see where I’m not receiving, where I’m responsible for my health. Jesus can fix me but what good is that when I choose poorly over and over.

I must choose daily, no, moment by moment at times, to accept his blessings of health and not sabotage them through behaviors that contradict his work.

Reflect: Where do you struggle in receiving God’s blessings? How will you change this self defeating behavior   ?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #24

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’s your favorite charitable cause and why?  

Muscular Dystrophy, our family curse. Watching my uncles, grandfather and mom suffer horribly creates a sensitivity to this debilitating disease. I commend them for the help they gave my family in equipment, therapy and other medical help at no cost to us. Supposedly, since I don’t have the disease it has ended with me in our family.

What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?  

black and blues, cool blues, navy

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

Peter, Paul and John – I want to know of their lives with Jesus and what early discipleship was like. I want to hear some funny stories not in the bible

List:  What are at least five places you’ve enjoyed visiting?

  1. Yellowstone National Park, WY
  2. Grand Teton’s National Park, WY
  3. Glacier National Park, MT
  4. Crater Lake National Park, OR
  5. Death Valley National Park, CA
  6. Saguaro National Park, AZ
  7. Big Bend National Park, TX
  8. White Sands National Monument, NM
  9. Cape Cod National Seashore, MA
  10. etc, etc, etc

See a theme here…I’m a big supporter of our national parks, the beauty in these wilderness areas is beyond what any photo can show.

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 feeling better, and look forward to improved health

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Fill me up

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Thought Conditioner #17

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20, NLT

Today, remind yourself that nothing is too good to be true. Your great hopes can be realized. Your most wonderful dreams can come true. All that you really need, you can have. An incredible goodness is operating in your behalf.

If you are living a paltry life, resolve to stop it today. Expect great things to happen. Confidently receive God’s abundant blessings. Do not think lack. Instead think prosperity, abundance, the best of everything. God wants to give to you, His child, every good thing. Don’t hinder His generosity.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

With God nothing is impossible. Do you want to be more positive, have more self control, demonstrate kindness or have an attitude of trust? God is able and is already at work within us.

Would you like to stop:

  • Thinking negatively
  • Have discipline to say no to that tenth cookie
  • Listening to gossip
  • Watching movies God has led you to quit watching

Reflect: What is it that you’d like to ask God for, what way-out unfathomable thing would you like to see changed but never thought you could? Then personalize this verse, make it your own and say it every time you’re challenged. If you have you overcome with God’s help please share.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #23

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.

For your blog do you basically use Mac or Windows applications.  What type of device laptop, desktop, tablet, phone or pad?

I use windows on a laptop, occasionally my phone

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

out to eat at a nice restaurant or clothes that don’t come from Wal-Mart…Oh, I miss Fashion Bug

Can you change a car tire?

as many as I’ve had I better be able to :)

The 4th question this week is answer this poll about “how you would like to see the question formats for Share Your World”.  Feel free to answer the questions in your post too.

I like it the way it is but occasional variety might be fun

 

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Healing

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Thought Conditioner #16

Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. Isaiah 55:3, NLT

Most people live on the surface. They miss the most astonishing things. They see and yet they do not see. And the reason is they aren’t really looking.

The same is true about what they hear. They listen with the outer ear, only. For example, people go to church, and the Gospel never penetrates beyond the outer consciousness. That is because people do not listen with all their faculties. They do not lose themselves in it.

But when one inclines his ear and hears, listening as though his life depended upon it, getting every word, letting it sink into his mind by a deep and powerful penetration, then the message falls like a healing potency upon him. Every spiritual disease germ is killed, and he lives with new health and strength.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

New life, renewal of all we are comes from the Word. We just can’t scratch the surface or seek to hear only what we want; pick and choose scripture to fit our desires, pick and choose from those anointed to teach. We must take whatever word we receive and let it flow from the ear down deep within our heart, to permeate our spirit. Like taking medicine If you don’t swallow it won’t get to the infected areas and heal the ills of our lives. If we have obstacles and an inefficient digestive system, or the combination of wrong meds we won’t get well.

It’s the same with the Word. Are there things in your life – heart or mind that prevent the word to pass through the ear to deep inside? Any soul blockers?

Reflect: What keeps the word from settling deep within you?

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Seek First

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Thought Conditioner #15

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20, NIV 

To live successfully, one must overcome blundering ineptness, the tendency to do and say the wrong thing. One must develop the deft and skillful touch that makes things turn out right. 

A thing does not go wrong because of some perverse fate. It is more than likely that you lack the right slant, the proper approach. 

If such is the case, what you need is wisdom. If you let today’s text seep from your conscience to your subconscious mind, it will correct the error pattern within you and gradually endow you with wisdom.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

Of course not all problems or troubles are our own fault; we live in a wicked world with a formable enemy. But too often we are responsible for our troubles. Relying on our own judgment results in many blunders – I know I’ve made a few. This doesn’t have to be so. James tells us (1:5) that God gives wisdom freely to all who ask. Seeking God first is the pathway to wisdom.

Reflect: Where do you seek wisdom?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #10

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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Make four lists and have at least four items on each list.  

Games to play with friends:

  1. Euchre
  2. pinochle
  3. canasta
  4. train dominos

Best desserts:

  1. cheesecake, any and all
  2. cream cheese delight
  3. cookies & cream, anything
  4. coffee ice cream, ok, anything coffee

Favorite actor/actresses:

  1. Harrison Ford
  2. Catherine Zeta Jones
  3. Tom Hanks
  4. Whoopi Goldberg

Movies to cheer you up:

  1. Star _____ (fill in the blank, anything will do) (Harrison Ford, Whoopi Goldberg)
  2. Zorro (both, Catherine Zeta Jones)
  3. You’ve got mail (Tom Hanks)
  4. Dante’s Peak (or any disaster movie, they always cheer me up)

 

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Peace = Power

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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?