Tag Archives: positive thinking

The Value of a Strong Mental Diet (Part1)

Often times we’re quick to discuss what we consume on a daily basis, well, food that is. Whether we need a quick detox to boost our immunity and clear our minds, or to shed a few pounds, evaluating our dietary consumption is pretty normal these days.

But, what about our mental diet and the countless messages (whether verbal or visual) that we consume each day? Does the Bible not encourage us to carefully assess our thought patterns and that which comes out of our mouths (a direct byproduct of our thought life), in order to live holy lives for the glory of our Maker?

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect..” Romans 12:1-2 NLT

“But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” Romans 7:23 ESV

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” Psalm 141:3 ESV

I’ve asked myself, and now I’m asking you, how important is your mental diet? And are you aware of what you are actually consuming? Similar to how calorie-counting can shed some pounds and clear our mind, so monitoring what we watch, read, listen to, and think upon, can free us of damaging clutter that creates toxic behaviors and attitudes.

“My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.” Proverbs 23:19 NLT

Allow me to preface this post before I begin. 

I deeply believe it is the active role of the Holy Spirit, not mankind, to convict a person’s heart concerning any destructive behaviors present in one’s life. The Bible clearly expresses what is right and good, and what is sinful and harmful for the lives of mankind. For example, the Bible states “do not murder”, so we know that murder is wrong. But, many other decisions are more ambiguous, such as: should I no longer watch this TV show?

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer. ” John 16:7-10 NIV

When the Holy Spirit convicts, and the person responds to the conviction by turning away from the behavior, joy, peace, and freedom are fully expressed, because the person has obeyed God.

However, when humans dictate what others should do for the cause of being holy (such as making dietary laws, or imposing their own personal convictions on another), then a person may temporarily oblige, but resentment and contempt for the person will soon follow. This is why forced religion (perhaps in the form of legalism) generates fear of man versus God, and a lackluster approach to knowing and worshipping the Creator God. Avoid this approach at all cost.

I share this with you, because I have absolutely no interest in condemning or trying to play the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting you of certain behaviors in your life. Ultimately, what you choose to fill your mind with, must be between you and the Almighty. However, let me encourage you in ways to fill your minds with positive influences, in order to produce a harvest of good fruit (while simultaneously glorifying your Creator) in your own lives.

Just as the saying “we are what we eat” is proven to be true, “we are what we think” is also highly valid. How high or low you think of yourself has huge implications on how you present yourself to others and what you achieve in this life. As my pastor likes to say, “We will never rise above the level of our thinking”. You must see yourself as you truly are in Christ. So, how exactly do we do this?

Join me tomorrow as I share four specific ways you can transform your thought-life (through the power of the Holy Spirit) by a practical, biblical focus on the positive in order to live a better life and glorify God.

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Dreams Do Come True: A Story of Encouragement with Jesus

No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has the ability to dream. What do you dream about deep within your heart? As Christians, we have the honor and privilege to dream BIG with God. If you haven’t had a chance to read yesterday’s article (The Permission to Dream BIG with God”), you’ll want to check out that post (directly on our site) before diving into this one.

During a recent trip to Spain and France, some of my long held dreams finally became a reality. For me, these particular dreams began as a teenager. On lazy Saturday afternoons, I would prop myself up against my pillows and metal bed frame, with journal and pen in hand and the sound of the fan softly drumming away. I was dreaming of what my life could be, and my thoughts turned to Spain.

Like most 14 year old girls, I dreamt of romance, adventure, and beauty unlike anything that I could experience in my hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. I longed for a warm, salty breeze carried in from the Mediterranean sea, Spanish-style homes lining cobblestone roads, swaying to the sounds of Flamenco on the street, crimson wine sipped by the sea shore, and tropical flowers engulfing my every view.

As a young teen, these dreams seemed completely within reach. However, as time progressed and my fragile heart became calloused from life’s hardships, this dream became a long-lost memory and seemed more like a far-fetched fairytale.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

Can you relate? What did you dream of as a child? Or even as a young adult, before your imagination was restricted by cynicism from the broken world that we live in today?

May today’s post be used to awaken your own imaginations, to revive those dreams that were buried long ago (after feelings of defeat and despair from the trials of this life), and to surrender them to the Almighty.

Here is one scene that that I will never forget. A gentle breeze carried the strums of flamenco from the guitar straight into my soul. The evening was warm, and the last rays of the Spanish sun glimmered through a few leaves of giant palms. Flowers stained with bright violets and deep crimson cascaded down white-washed Spanish homes. There was a huge tree decorated with light purple buds, and small kittens playfully pounced on each another. This was my dream.

A few hours earlier, our afternoon was like a scene from a movie. As we prepared lunch with a Spanish chef and a French woman with Julia Child’s mannerisms, classical guitar and sunshine filled the kitchen. We snacked on goat cheese and fig jam (from their farm). While I relaxed on the back patio, plump olives marinated in garlic and lemon burst in my mouth with robust flavors. Just like a small child, I could swing in her back yard beside a giant lemon tree and stroll through the groves of almonds, olives, orange trees, and apricots. This was my dream.

Then there was the early morning stroll through a small public park right by the Mediterranean sea. A plethora of surprises awaited my heart, hand-crafted for me by the Father. A line of baby chicks greeted me from a small bush at the park entrance. Then came the butterflies and dragon flies, fluttering through the air around me while various birds chirped to a stunning melody. Suddenly, we came upon a peacock with gloriously long feathers studded with vibrant colors and oval shapes boldly strutting along the small path as though we weren’t even there. Two beautiful swans glided, along with the baby turtles, in sheer curiosity of who we were. As we approached a goat family, there was a lively bunny hopping to and fro. And wouldn’t you know, one little baby goat began nuzzling his sweet little nose to my finger, reminding me of  the Garden of Eden. This was my dream.

One night in particular I’ll never forget. As though God had not done enough already, He prompted us to go to an unknown restaurant located in a small village hanging on cliffs above the sea. As the Argentenean hostess guided us through the rounded corridor, she excitedly revealed that we’re stepping into the Secret Garden. My heart leapt. The place was lined with ivory candles, lemon and lime trees, flowers on trellises, and a small table with a crisp linen tablecloth that was awaiting us in the back. Never in my life have I experienced such romance. On the walk back home, with the stars looming above and the ocean breeze kissing my skin, Jesus began to speak. It was as if He was on my right side, while Keith was on my left with my hand firmly resting in his. Both of them were telling me how much they love me. Whoa. My mortal and eternal husband were wooing my heart under the Spanish night sky. This was my dream.

An Evening in Mijas, Spain

But, the truth is, that was no longer a dream; it had become my reality. Jesus granted me my dream in His way and in His timing. And He had provided it all. I could never have made any of those things happen. Nor could Keith.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts’.” Isaiah 55:8-9  

Allow me to boast in Christ for a minute. Jesus is Kind. Jesus is interested in YOU. Jesus is Powerful. Jesus is Creative. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is EVERYTHING we could ever want in this life. Everything good is found in Him. He deserves your heart, beloved.

He is the One who longs to make your dreams come true in His timing and in His way. He knows best. You can trust Him with your deep desires and the things you dream for today. He’s faithful, good, true, and trustworthy.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

Jesus has caused me to fall deeper in love with Him because of His extravagant giving (once again).  Will you allow Him to be Lord over your dreams? And will you start dreaming again?

God is the safest, securest, most powerful, most brilliant, and most wise Person that we can ever share our hearts with. Do you know why? Because dreaming isn’t even about the dream; it’s about you and Him. I want to strongly encourage you to surrender your dreams to God – whatever they may be. Ask Him to purify them, to direct them, to guide you in pursuing them, and to allow your dreams to draw you closer to Him. You will never regret this decision.

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalms 23: 1-3

Has this post inspired you, challenged you, or encouraged you? We’d love to hear your thoughts. And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Please share this with anyone struggling with dreaming BIG with God. To God be the glory! 

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The Gift of Grace

An unknown author once stated, “Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours if you’ll reach out and take it.”

Imagine waking up one morning to a shiny, wrapped package with curly ribbons resting on your doorstep. It’s been delivered to you. Especially for you. And inside this beautiful gift awaits an assortment of treats; a holy provision in order that you might fully experience and enjoy the day ahead of you.

The gift of grace.

Delivered overnight by a Holy courier and left on the doorstep of our hearts.

The question is not whether the gift exists, Jesus is the gift. Jesus is grace. But, the question is rather “will we accept the gift He gives each day and will we open the surprise?”

I’m not talking about salvation here.

I’m talking about breathing in deeply and exhaling out slowly, while fully relying on the ability of Christ to help us complete our day. And the ability to extend grace to others and to ourselves when we make mistakes.

Grace causes us to relax and refocus. It gives us permission to be who we truly are and to enjoy complete freedom from perfectionism.

(sigh) What a relief for our lives!

How is grace defined?

According to Websters it is: unmerited divine assistance, ease of movement or bearing, mercy, charity, kindness, and tenderness.

Let’s glance at what the Word says:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Grace is undeserved. We can’t earn it, because we’re never worthy of it, no matter how hard we try. And in this case, it’s a great thing to not measure up, because it cultivates a sweet dependency in our hearts towards our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yesterday while reading an article on “Codependent Behaviors” (any therapist out there knows this term very well), I was intrigued by the fact that many of us don’t know how to extend grace to ourselves. I am one of them.

Grace opposes performance. And I have found that God’s expectations are generally much lower than the ones I place on myself. I strive when I need to abide.

If Jesus (The Lord over all creation) freely extends grace to us, shouldn’t we also model His behavior by extending grace to ourselves? 

And what does grace look like in our lives?

This is what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me this week:

  • Each day acknowledging this gift of grace from Jesus, and then applying the contents in order to meet the demands and decisions I face throughout my day.
  • Giving myself permission to be weak, so He can be strong.
  • Forgiving myself and others when mistakes are made (critical in marriage, and any relationship involving other human beings).Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
  • Allowing people to be who they are, even if I disagree with them.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
  • Enjoying my day while allotting time just for me. Have FUN.The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
  • Laughing A LOT. Laughter is an amazing preventative measure to combat stress.A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
  • Focusing on the best qualities about myself and those around me. Jesus sees me as a new creation, He focuses on the positive, I must also do the same.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

His grace abounds. Will we accept the gift He gives each day?

Do you know someone who would be encouraged by reading this message today? Please share it through our various outlets below. And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! To God be the glory!

Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

 

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