God Is Thinking About You

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”

The Psalmist is reflecting on God’s NUMEROUS & CONTINUOUS thoughts of him.

You are ALWAYS on God’s mind. His hopes and dreams for you far surpass those of the best of friends or even the most loving parent.

And regardless of how many times we’ve made poor choices in life, He is ALWAYS there…READY to help guide us toward those hopes & dreams. ALWAYS!

Today is a new day. Yesterday (and all of its garbage) is gone. It’s in the past. While our past does play into who we are today, it DOES NOT determine who we are to become tomorrow.

What changes do you need to make today so that yesterday doesn’t repeat?

Write it down.

Tell a friend.

And ask God to help you succeed. He really does want to see you succeed… full of joy & purpose.

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Win Your Community Back

One top definition of ‘COMMUNITY’ online is this:

– a unified body of individuals with common interests living in a particular area.

But I have a question. How can these individuals KNOW if they have common interests if they don’t actually KNOW each other? Furthermore, If we don’t KNOW each other we can’t really be UNIFIED, can we?

I love this quote about community by Erwin McManus:

“The more isolated and disconnected we are, the more shattered and distorted our self-identity. We are not healthy when we are alone. We find ourselves when we connect to others. Without community we don’t know who we are…

When we live outside of healthy community, we not only lose others. We lose ourselves…Who we understand ourselves to be is dramatically affected for better or worse by those we hold closest to us.”

I believe this to be true in my own life. And this is a huge part of what our Missional Community is trying to model here in the Yakima Valley. We can and should get to know our neighbors next door (this was a thing once upon a time). Offering random acts of KINDNESS to complete strangers can be an amazing experience, for them and US. It doesn’t have to be awkward or impersonal.

CHALLENGE: Introduce yourself to a neighbor near where you live. Take them cookies or brownies. Explain that you simply want to know who your neighbors are. Then, watch their reactions! We live in a cul-de-sac and have done this with about half of our neighbors so far. ALL of them have been welcoming to us and almost refreshed by the interaction. Two of them actually asked my wife and I into their home for a few minutes!

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The Gift Of Joy

Blessing OTHERS with the gift of JOY, and dropping the need for their approval, is actually a gift to OURSELVES as well.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my JOY may be in you, and that your joy may be FULL.”

John 15:11

Go ahead and read the first 10 verses prior to this to learn what ‘these things’ are that Jesus was talking about.

And something I discovered about this? It’s MUCH easier to make others smile than it is to get them to think highly of you.

Who Disciples You The Most?

Note:
This is NOT a political post!

This is a quote from a sermon by guest speaker Yemi Mobolade while we were visiting our former church in Colorado Springs recently.

yemi

His message was actually on the issue of race and how we wrestle with it in the Church today. But I took it more broadly. When I heard him say the words above (in the first service) you could hear a pin drop in that large auditorium. That told me something.

Yemi had just gone to a place of discomfort and social unrest among the people of God.

And it got me really thinking. More than the political LEFT & RIGHT in popular news media, what other INFLUENCES & VOICES do you and I allow to DISCIPLE us more than Jesus?

Is our worldview concerning race, sexual orientation, environmental issues, human trafficking, wealth, abortion, marriage, etc, etc, etc. MORE shaped by the voices, books, and media in our society OR by the Word of God?

For those of us who call ourselves disciples of Jesus, it SHOULD be the later.

Then, why is it NOT the case so often?

Hey, I struggle with filtering my influences like most of us. I guess I just wanted to share this quote to stir up some challenge and thinking. This quote did that for me.

Great message, Yemi!

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God Ideas

Another great quote from Mark Batterson in his book, Whisper.

Can you relate? I know I can. Whenever I’ve had good ideas in the past, God presents His…and WOW!

And it’s not a matter of His vs. mine.

It’s the fact that they’re GOD’s. End of discussion. He simply speaks and galaxies continue to form for thousands of years!

I’m only into the 1st chapter of this book and it’s already challenging me (in good ways).

Have You Noticed The Good In Your Day?

If you look hard enough you can NOTICE beauty everywhere you go. I took these pictures today in my front yard.

It’s about focusing your mind to be aware, or on the lookout, for what you WANT your attention on.

Check this out. Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭ENCOURAGES us in this mindset.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is TRUE, whatever is HONORABLE, whatever is JUST, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is COMMENDABLE, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK about THESE THINGS.”

So, when we NOTICE negative thoughts, anxiety, worries, guilt, or envy taking over our thoughts it’s up to US to replace them with HEALTHIER thoughts like the ones listed above.

Try it for yourself, or share it with someone else.

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Have You Been Working On A New Habit?

I haven’t been to the gym in over 2 weeks!  Various (excuses) reasons. We’re starting back in a healthy rhythm today. IMG_5895

Can you relate?

The trick is to eventually pick it back up, whatever it is. Writing, exercising, reading, meditating, journaling….what new habit have you been working on?

Wishing you a wonderful and productive week.

 

 

Be sure to connect with me on Twitter and Instagram.  

I’m more interactive there & reply to all comments!