Friday, 05 February 2016

Choice! Who knew it is such a Powerful God-given Tool?!

At the beginning of the year I posted about my "One Word" for this year, CHOICE and I mentioned how I had become aware of the fact that some of the choices I had been making were keeping me mired in the mud of emotional distress.

I also have been following Dr Caroline Leaf on facebook (you can find her HERE).  She is someone who studies the brain and is also a believer so her statuses are very profound for me as they relate to my emotions and my ability to "renew" my thoughts through the reading of God's word.

Then, a good friend of mine asked if I had read Dr Leaf's book, "Switch of your Brain".  I said no but I was curious to do so.  Off I went to our local Christian book shop and bought a copy.

What I have been reading has really really been an eye-opener!  Dr Leaf starts each chapter with a scripture and the corresponding science behind it which gives me peace that she is not some airy fairy Doc but a genuine child of God.

So to today's post!  I am astounded at the powerful tool the Lord has placed in our hands and how blank I have been to it.  I have always believed that to make good choices are a good thing and there are scriptures that encourage you to do that, for example:  (Duet 30 v 19: I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants).  But for me the revelation has been this, I have always believed that in trying to make good choices I have been fighting against a "set in concrete" brain that is the way it is because of all that has gone before, circumstances and choices I have made, but the truth is, my brain is not set in concrete.  It is malleable, able to change minute for minute, based on my choices.  So, the choices I make today, good or bad, alter my brain accordingly.  The revelation for me is that I can change my brain for the good, for life, for health, by the choices I make right now.  They WILL affect my brain.  I am not fighting a losing battle.  

And the scriptures back this up.  For example Romans 12v2:  And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].  God says we CAN renew our minds!  And then there is this amazing scripture in Job 22v28:  You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God's favour] shall shine upon your ways.

As I am reading these things and I am finding scriptures randomly in all different ways (my quiet time, a daily reading sent by email, Dr Leaf's book) I am realizing that the Lord is telling me, "Tracy, your choices matter!  They will not only make you feel better emotionally because today you made a right choice.  They will also change your brain for the better and thereby change your health, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Your thoughts count!  Your choices count!  They are powerful!  I created you that way."

For the first time in my life I am realizing that I have been given this amazing tool to control who I turn out to be, so long as I line all of this up with God and His word!  If I do this on my own, in a worldly platform (positive thinking, etc) it'll work temporarily.  It won't work on the inside of me because it will be in my own strength!  But to use this tool, in line with God and His word, makes a permanent change in who it is the Lord created me to be and I will start achieving all that the Lord has set before me.  THAT for me is the "bazinga"!!!!

I leave you with a scripture found in my quiet time this morning... Acts 17v30(b)...but now He charges all people everywhere to repent (to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins).  Can I just say .... "WOW"

I encourage you to get hold of "Switch on your Brain".  Dr Caroline Leaf's book is AMAZING!  I am only a quarter of the way through and the second half is about the "how" to go about making these positive choices and changes that affect our brains so deeply.  I am so excited to get to the nitty gritty!

God bless

Watch for my next "CHOICES" post where I will write about another "bazinga" moment, the ability to step outside of our thinking before we make choices.  You know, being aware of our thinking, before making a choice!  Its not just a reflex thing! 

Monday, 01 February 2016

S - S is for Sing and Speak!

Have you ever had that constant business of mind that prevents you from having a proper quiet time, or where your mind is just so busy that the whole renewing of it seems impossible?  My mind is often in that place.  I think the devil likes to keep our minds busy with, well, everything, so we find it too difficult to renew our minds, or focus on God's word, or remember a great breakthrough.

A while ago I was told two things that help to get our minds in a place where we want them to be.  They are simple and they work, for me anyway.

  1. Speak the word out aloud.  Rom 10 v 17:  So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.  When you are speaking the word out aloud firstly you are hearing it so you have to concentrate on what you are saying and secondly, your faith grows!  Its biblical, thus true!  Sometimes I find myself reading a whole page before I realize I have no idea what I just read.  Its in those moments I read aloud and actually HEAR the word so it impacts me.  
  2. Sing praises!  Yes, sing!  I was told that when you sing you cannot think!  So I gave it a try!  My mind used to harp on a great tragedy in our lives, a falling out in the family, and really, that is all my mind was consumed with and my mind needed a break!!! So I would drop my girls off at school, turn up the praise music and sing at the top of my voice all the way home!  And yes, it works.  But not only did my brain stop obsessing in those moments, I was praising my Lord!  That reminds me of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 20), where God told them to put the praise singers ahead as they stood still and waited on the Lord to do battle on their behalf!  Yes, singing shuts the busy mind down, praises our God, and brings about victory! 

Psalm 96 v 1-4:  O sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth! (2)Sing to the Lord, bless His name;  Proclaim good news of His salvation from day to day.  (3) Declare His glory among the nations, His marvellous works and wonderful deeds among all the peoples.  (4) For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.

So, sing my fellow bloggers!  Sing songs of praise when that mind of yours cannot desist in over-thinking everything! And Speak His word out aloud!

God bless

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

R - Rebooted, Re-set, Ready!

So, my 21 day social media fast lasted 8 days!

The thing is, when I wanted to quit I hung in there a little longer but the motivation to do so had changed.  Instead of it being about putting the Lord first, it had become about proving I could do it.

Instead of making excuses let me tell you what I have learnt and gained from my "8 day social media fast":

  • I have determined that I was spending WAY TOO much time on social media, more than I spend in the word and with the Lord
  • Scrolling down my facebook feed was more by rote and because of boredom and FOMO (fear of missing out) than anything else
  • I was starting to replace God's word with all the many little encouragements available on social media.  That is not to say any one of them is wrong, only that my first source of inspiration should be the Lord and His word
  • Some stuff on there (or some people) bring out the hurt in me (time to let them go)
  • Facebook is a great tool, to be used by me to the glory of God and for encouraging of others
  • I need to as a rule limit my time and interaction on social media and not let it grow out of hand.

Was my time of social media worth it?
Did I learn anything?
Did I achieve anything?
Did the Lord speak to me in all this?

The answer is YES!  

I feel the Lord tell me that I need to find balance in all things.  My initial motivation was to show the Lord that He is first in my life!  I do not need to give up social media to do that.  However, I do need to have self-control, balance and a mind on guard not to be tripped up by the evil one!

1 Peter 5 v 8:   Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times;  for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

I feel re-booted!  Re-set!  Ready!  to practice balance and temperance in all things.

God bless

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Q is for Quality

As I am currently on day 4 of my 21 day Social Media Fast it has become clear to me that the quality of my choices when it comes to encouragement has been not as good as they could be.  For example, I am finding that I am on facebook way too much.  I'm there when I'm bored, when I'm waiting, whenever possible actually and that is not good.  There is no balance in that.

Now, I am very selective who I have on my facebook and because of that, most of my facebook feed is very encouraging with lots of positive quotes and biblical quotes and I find it easier to go scrolling through facebook for my encouragement.  I should be going to God's Word for my encouragement, for my growth, for my soul, for my heart and for my nourishment!  God's word is the ultimate QUALITY encouragement and learning ground for me.  It is where I am exhorted and fed and convicted and blessed the most.  It is where I will find all the answers to my questions.

My post this morning is not long, but it is for me a reminder that if I truly want quality input in my life, God's word is the place to be.

Heb 4 v 12:   For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.

God bless

Friday, 15 January 2016

Fasting Social Media for 21 days "BEFORE" post!

Oh my goodness!  How hard is this going to be?!  I have been challenged by my fellow blogger and sister in Christ, Stacey, to fast social media with her for the next 21 days starting on Sunday the 17th January 2016!  What am I going to do?  Will I survive?

Yes, I jest!  But it will be hard.  The whole idea is to spend more time with the Lord.  More time in His word.  Put Him first over social media because we all know how easy it is for social media to take over a fat chunk of our time.  And seriously, how productive is it most times?  I know that I get a lot of encouragement when scrolling through facebook.  Partly because of who I choose to be "friends" with.  I am selective!  I do not want continual garbage and negativity running through my feed.  But, there is NO doubt in my mind that I spend way too much time on social media!

So, I am going to fast social media, alongside my sister over the sea!  If you want to join us I will not have a facebook group to which you can join, because well, that would mean being on social media!  But you can leave a message here and I will pray for you and we can pray for each other as we put the Lord above social media for 21 days!

I will continue to blog but only my automated post will pull through to facebook so I won't post it physically myself.  I am stepping away from facebook, pinterest, instagram and twitter!  I am adding Candy Crush (woe is me) to this list so I do not replace one with the other.  If there is enough interest I will start a group on my Whatsapp (its like BBM but broader) so inbox me and we can swap mobile numbers to get that right!

This is my "before" post and after the 21 days I will post an "after" post as to what I have learnt, how the Lord has spoken to me in this time as I show Him He IS more important!

Mark 12 v 29-30:  Jesus answered, “The first and most important one is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; (30) and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’

I would love for you to join myself and Stacey from She Stands as we put the Lord before social media for 21 days!

God bless


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...