Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Heart of the Song

Live Like You're Loved

I'm tellin' you somethin'
This racing, this running
Oh, you're working way too hard!
And this perfection you're chasing 
Is just energy wasted
Cause he love's you like you are!

So go ahead and live like you're loved
It's ok to act like you've been set free
His love has made you more than enough
So go ahead and be who he made you to be

Toxic Thoughts

Craig Groeschel from Life Church talks about what we need to do to renew our minds and reject toxic thoughts. We have all been told lies growing up and over time we start to believe these lies about ourselves, we start to treat them like truth in our minds. Maybe someone told you that you were ugly, a failure or unlovable when you grew up and over time you started to believe these lies. Many years later the lies will still stick around in our minds, until we decide to renew our minds.

We combat the lies in our minds by responding to them with truth. When a lie pops up in our minds we can choose to respond to it with truth. In the beginning we might not fully believe the truth we are speaking to ourselves but over time it will sink in and the lies will no longer have power over us. If I for example have been told that I'm ugly by others I can combat the lie with God's truth and say to myself: "I am beautiful and unique because I was made by God." The renewal of my mind is not going to happen over night but over time I will no longer believe the lies in my mind. The lies in my mind will never fully disappear, but they will no longer have the power to persuade me and get me to believe them.

It's important that we take the time to combat the lies in our minds because these "toxic thoughts"  have the power to make us really unhappy. If I for example believe that I'm ugly I might spend my whole life trying to loose weight, buy more beauty products to fix what's wrong with me, and maybe even do a few operations to make my nose smaller and my butt bigger. I will do all these things because I believe a lie. I will work really hard to change my body when what really needed to change was my mind. If we take the time to renew our minds we can live more joy-filled lives and save ourselves from a lot of pain in life that comes from self-destructive behaviors.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Don't Settle When You're Dating

It's impossible to find a perfect person to spend the rest of our lives with, but settling isn't a good idea either, so how can we know if we have met the right person or if we are settling? Jefferson & Alyssa talk about dating in this video and share a few tips on how you can know that the person you are with is the one. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Four women I follow on Instagram

Who we follow on social media will influence us in one way or another. I like to follow some celebrities on social media because it's fun to see what they are doing, but my favorite group of people to follow are people who can inspire hope, perseverance, faith and compassion in me. Julia Veach, Christine Caine, Sarah Jakes Roberts and Jennie Lusko are four women whose instagram accounts always leave me feeling inspired and hopeful about life after each visit.

Julia Veach (@juliaveach)

Julia Veach lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Chad Veach and their three children, together they run Zoe Church in LA. Julia has a daughter who has a rare medical condition.

Christine Caine (@christinecaine)

Christine Caine is married to Nick Caine and they have two daughters. Christine and Nick are the founders of The A21 Campaign that fight human trafficking and works to free women from sex slavery in many different countries around the world.

Sarah Jakes Robets (@sarahjakesroberts)

Sarah Jakes Roberts is married to Toure and has three children, two girls and one boy. Sarah is a pastor and an author. I love the wisdom Sarah shares on her instagram page, here's one quote: "Closure is not a moment between two people. It's demanding yourself to stop reliving your history & let go of the "what ifs."

Jennie Lusko (@jennielusko)

Jennie Lusko is married to Levi Lusko and they have four daughters, Alivia, Daisy, Clover and Lenya, who is in heaven. Jennie and Levi run Fresh Life Curch in Montana. Jennie also writes a blog at: mrslusko.com

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I know it's wrong, but I still want to do it!

The Bible starts with the story about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Everything is beautiful and good in the garden and they can do whatever they want, except eat of the forbidden fruit, and of course that is exactly what they choose to do. Somehow I feel like this story reminds me of my own life. I can do whatever I want, except choose evil, and still every day I'm tempted to choose evil. I know that everything that is evil will eventually destroy me and those around me, but it can still be really tempting. I don't think anyone who decided to have an affair for example, wanted to destroy their own lives and hurt their spouse and kids on purpose, but the sin so easily entangles us.

The great news in the Bible is that on our own we will never be able to always choose what is good, but through God's strength we can do the impossible. One thing I have noticed over the years is that when you grow spiritually the sins that used to tempt you before become less and less tempting over time. As a new Christian I would have to make the choice to stay away from things I knew that were evil although it was tempting to enjoy these things. Gossip is one example. I used to love reading gossip magazines for entertainment but as I became a Christian I knew it was wrong to be entertained by other peoples' hardships and challenges in life. In the beginning I had to choose not to buy these magazines anymore although I wanted to buy them, but over time I didn't even want to buy them anymore. I started feeling bad for all these people whose private lives are invaded so that people like me can be entertained by the gossip about their lives. This is just one example. We all have habits in our lives that we know are wrong, but we find ways to justify our behavior.

The good news is that when we spend a lot of time in God's presence he softens our hearts so that our conscience comes alive again and we start to feel bad about the habits that we used to justify. When we make the choice to let Jesus into our hearts we will never be the same again, day by day and year after year he restores our hearts and fill them with love. It's not an instant change, but every time we spend time in God's presence he has an opportunity to continue to heal what is broken inside of us. Psychology and personal development is great, but it can only take us so far, but when God starts to do work in us we will be surprised by the results He can create.