Wishing you the happiest of Easters!
Today is Friday but Easter Is comin’. Read this thought on the thief on the Cross !
How does the thief on the cross fit into your theology? No baptism, no communion, no confirmation, no speaking in tongues, no mission trip, no volunteerism, no financial gifts, and no church clothes. He couldn’t even bend his knees to pray. He didn’t say the sinner’s prayer and among other things, he was a thief. Jesus didn’t take way his pain, heal his body, or smite his scoffers. Yet, it was a thief who walked into paradise the same hour as Jesus simply by BELIEVING.
He had nothing more to offer other than his belief that Jesus was who He said He was. No spin from brilliant theologians. No ego or arrogance. No shiny lights, skinny jeans, or crafty words. No fog machine, donuts, or coffee in the lobby. Just a naked dying man on a cross unable to even fold his hands to pray. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) That is the good news of the Gospel!
~ by Alex Sage
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The missive today is THINK
T.H.I.N.K.! even beforeThinking! (This will enormously improve your life, even if you don’t believe in Jesus)
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
We all know Cathe Laurie ’s famous quote, ‘THINK before you speak’. That means;
1. T – Is it Thoughtful?
2. H – Is it Helpful?
3. I – Is it Intelligent?
4. N – Is it Necessary?
5. K – Is it Kind?
Well, the VA ( and my precious son) have recommended me taking some mindfulness courses. It seems to help me. ( just slowing down and being in the moment ).
Thinking before I speak (see above) is greatly helped by my THINKING before I think. I’ve had my cage rattled a lot. It’s one thing to speak Biblical peace over someone and pray for them (and then judge and gossip about them because they aren’t supernaturally healed by you) and it’s another to teach them how to have peace that surpasses all understanding without loose screws floating around. Jesus wants us in the moment. That’s where He is and He wants us to have peace.
We get tons of feed back from external things, daily. Blanket Thought Bombardments, 24/7. Sneers, sarcasm, snarky comments, condescending comments from people. Triggers like balloons popping, people in my blind spot, spider webs, the death smell etc. All this input wants to set me off. But they take about a nanosecond to get to my head. There’s a gap of time between the external stuff making it’s way to my emotions. The key is catching them, and blocking then before they get there. If I am not alert and don’t catch them in time, they affect me and often relationships. First my emotions, then my actions, which usually effects my attitude and big mouth. There are two principals I am learning to help me to THINK before I THINK.
#1. S.T.O.P. Stop, Think, Observe, Proceed. Before someone’s snide, condescending, or suspicious remark before they get to my emotions. I have to STOP and THINK immediately. What were their intentions? What was the spirit behind it? Did they want to embarrass me or make me feel already worse about myself than I already do? Is it worth it to get upset about? Is that person’s opinion of me worth it for me to get upset about? After I stopped thought and observed, I proceed, or throw it in the garbage can.
#2. B.A.M.O. Breathe and Move On. 4 square breathing. 4 seconds in through the nose. 4 seconds hold. 4 seconds exhale through the mouth *hard*, 4 seconds hold. After that, carry on. Amazing. Btw it also works with pain, insect bite stings, etc.
I am helped by STOP and BAMO to not only think before I think, but also;
1. It helps me to fall to sleep, fast.
2. I forget half of the tijme what I was upset about in fhe first place.
This just came to me this morning in my devotions. As you know we just came out of the book of Genesis in my daily teachings to my small group of 6-10 people depending on the day. Chapter 37 to 50 was about Joseph (Joe).
Not only did he THINK before he spoke, but he THUNK (THINKED?) thought before he thought.
It’s obvious that he thought before he spoke. How do I know? He wouldn’t have been so successful if he hadn’t. Well he kind of blew it when he was 17, in his youthful pride and arrogance. He told his brothers about his dream of them kneeling before him. He learned his lesson quickly that he didn’t need to blab whatever he thought, as he was being dragged off to slavery after almost being beaten to death.
How do I know he thought before he thougth? Because he learned by his mistakes to content in any circumstance, and he stopped giving unsolicited advice. He had developed restraint, humility and wisdom. (We get that as we get pummeled by life). He didn’t fall apart. He didn’t hold grudges or he would have gone crazy. If ANYONE had an excuse to be grumpy, he did. However, he refused to be bitter, just better. He took his thoughts captive, he had to. That was the only way the Lord could use him. He hired an imaginary bouncer to control what thoughts entered his mind. To help him STOP AND BAMO before he blew it again like he did when he was 17.
2 Cor 10:15 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Bouncers don’t play around. They will throw you down hard if you try to slide past them! We have to be that way with our little tiny baby thoughts before they become actual adult thoughts in our emotions.
T.H.I.N.K.! Before you think! Ask yourself this when you feel something is worming it’s way into your mind these following questions.
T – Thoughtful. Is it thoughtful? (Needed? Mulled over? Or is it just a random, manic, jealous, or paranoid thoughts?). People post thoughts on Facebook that are so wasteful. If you think about thoughtful things you don’t have time to think about stupid things). If you think about stupid things you do stupid things. You say stupid things. You post stupid things. People think you are stupid. If you think thoughtful things, you’ll be alright, Have you ever met someone that just blabs everything that comes to mind? No control leads to thoughtless thoughts and making an idiot out of yourself.
Psalm 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
H – Helpful. Is it going help? Or just more mind clutter? Helpful thoughts are planning how to serve God or to help others. Daydreaming can be helpful or bad. Sometimes just daydreaming brings clarity. Once when I was doing back strokes in a pool, looking up at the clouds, totally spacing out and a solution of a problem came to mind. Very helpful! Daydreaming in class, church or at work is not helpful. Even dangerous if you’re driving. Remembering God and His goodness is always helpful. Remembering a high school bully is not helpful. Think about God, and God stuff instead. That’s very helpful. Dreaming about money is a waste of time. Dreaming about being a blessing in little ways isn’t.
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
I – Intelligent. Is it intelligent? Will it make you smarter? Will it give you wisdom? Foolishness and silliness really isn’t helpful, I like to laugh and joke around more than anyone I know, but don’t dwell on those things. Funny is funny. Have a belly laugh and carry on. Don’t live to tell jokes. Don’t make humor your center. Jesus is your center. We have an enemy who isn’t joking around. Playing around can take you down.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
N – Necessary. Some things are necessary to think about. The older I get in Jesus, the more the suffering around me affects me. The more problems (as I adopt the problems of others onto me) means I have to be careful what I think about. I avoid useless conversations, and especially rehashing them in my mind. (Useless conversations are usually with other believers. I have found if someone is intrenched, love then and just walk away. By all means don’t rethink it. Waste of time. Let the Lord impress on you what is important to think about. NOTE: For me, sometimes IT’S necessary to not think about anything at all.
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
K – Kind. Is it a kind thought? If there is any trace of anger, it’s probably not kind. Kind to others? Kind to yourself? Beating yourself up isn’t kind to yourself. Missing someone? Remember only the good things. Be kind to your memories, your enemies and yourself in your thoughts. Angry people will contaminate your mind. Love them, pray for them, and walk away in slow motion.
Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
Theme of this story?
Think before you speak and think!
Love Dean and Winnie Peters