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25 entries from October 2009

Changed Lives - Read This!

The 30 Days -Mind of Christ Experiment has reached the end. However, truly this is only the beginning. Christ continually works in our lives to show us how to live.

TO LIVE!

So many of you shared your struggles and triumphs along the way.Change can be painful but when Christ is the silversmith, we know we will be gleaming when the dross is melted away.

Today is a day to celebrate and worship Jesus for what He has done in the lives of those on the journey. If I didn't include your triumph, please, please write it in the comments and I will post them tomorrow for all those who read SUM through a subscription service.

If you struggled and you find it difficult to read these, I truly understand and realize God may be working slowly in your life. Feel free to add what you DID get from this journey.

I love you all. I was deeply inspired by your heart for Jesus. Okay, so here we go:

Lynn, This has been an amazing journey!! I cannot believe it has been 30 days! With this experiment, I have grown so much and have seen God move in miraculous ways in His Sovereignty. I am looking forward to what else God will reveal to me and has in store for me beyond this 3O Day Mind of Christ Experiment. Thank you for your encouragement along this journey and I look forward to sharing the other victories God will do in my life in the future!! Praise God!!

Posted by: Chrystlyn

If this is what God can do in us when we give him complete control for 30 days, imagine what our entire lives can be when we give him every day!   Lord Jesus, you are our BLISS! We get it now. We want to walk in that bliss everyday. Please make this 30-day sampling a craving in our hearts and minds that directs every day of our lives. Jesus, we belong to YOU! In your holy name, amen! 

Posted by: Dineen Miller

Jesus died for me, Bonnie. It's not shivers down my back, it's my whole body quivers. How much is wrapped up in that little statement. There is much humility in that statement - it's not about me but it's about what Jesus was willing to do and give up because we matter so much to Him. My brain wants to wrap around it but still can't quite do it. Thank God He's brought my heart to a place that can. I would be lost without Him. Thank you for inviting me in to walk with you all this last month. I'm like you - I can't believe it's almost over, either. Amazing. Incredible. Transforming.Posted by: Bonnie

This 30th day journey Yes like you Dineen i also i want to shed tears and indeed shout HALLELUJAH for all He brought to the surface and let me persevere.....
PAIN YES alot......let go of things...giving up control WANT TO acknowledge and be depended on HIM and Him alone in EVERY DETAIL of my life.....
The more i see i cling to something is the thing i must let go and i can only let go by bringing it at His feet and He will carry me and learn me to let it stay there......
WOW i really am a work in progress..but i can shout hallelujah...He saves and raise me up ..every dead place in my life...bit by bit...  Thxs Dineen and each of you who who was on this journey and each of your prayers..... Blessings  Posted by: Bernice

Angela, I agree with all the ladies. I think we are all learning the "truths of the word". In this life WE WILL SUFFER.... we will be tested and tried....... but it all ends up being which city have we placed our eyes upon. Are we looking to the city with only one throne (GOD) or our own city (HEART) that is in bondage to all of our self centered desires.... So very good! I enjoyed this post. The refiner's fire is so very painful at times.... but when we come out on the other side - pure..... Oh... I can't wait. I think the truth is that for the rest of our lives we will have to crawl out of bed and drop to our knees praying " I release control of my life to you oh Lord and place you on the throne of my life............. You ladies have helped many of us get on the narrow path and BEGIN THE JOURNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Holly

Dear Angela, The Lord has anointed your writing indeed! I loved all that you have shared, you have such wisdom. I am thankful the good Lord hasn't just thrown up His hands at me but continues to refine, sometimes in gentleness and sometimes in fire. Thank you for sharing-you are a blessing.
Hugs, Noreen

I am so Thankful that I came across this site and this experiment, I also feel that the 30 days has gone so fast. I found myself often checking to see if the next post and been made and what the ladies had to say. Tonight at church I felt confirmation of everything I have journeying through both on here and between my husband and I. The Pastor Preached from the text Malachi 3:3. "Has man or Women Robbed God." At first I felt I knew where he was going but soon he began to reveal his message. When Christ died He Paid the Price in Full, if we give him anything less of "FALLING TO OUR KNEES EVERY MORNING AND GIVING OUR ALL TO HIM" then we have sinned! Our Praise Worship included a rendition of the Revelation Song. Everything I have journeying through summed up in an hour in a half of preaching AMAZING! Confirming that i smack dab in the middle of God's will for my life!  Thanks so much to all the contributors of these 30 days, I will never be the same!

Posted by: Leanne Collins

Lynn you know this has been an absolutely spectacular thing for me. I have been in this place the last few days of facing where I really am right now, and just... wow... I love that God loves honesty from His people, because if not... i just don't know. As He and I have been spending time together, He's impressed me that this journey for me isn't done yet. Even after the 30th day, I will continue on pursuing His heart in an ever deeper way, until He says I am ready to move forward. I have been praying daily that He reign and not I. This is really good stuff! I do believe there is so much power in what we've been doing here. Can't wait to hear what others have received from it all.Love you girl!
Ro

This is so awesome, God is my bliss.

Posted by: Denise

 

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings(B) like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

this is on my bible cover. I never understood it like you wrote it Dineen ( or like Beth Moore wrote it ). thank you. this is a WOW moment. I have been discouraged and lonely when I pray and hope for our loved ones and they dont seem to want to change and I think...........this is getting so exhausting. The Lord promised me though:
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings(B) like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

So why am I so spiritually tired? and now....drum roll.....I understand. I kept looking the the events instead of the Lord. I will journal this and comment on FF in 1peter3. hugs and love, BB Tamara

Okay, again this post is already too long and there are many, may moor. When I read about your lived changed forever by Jesus I just get teary eyed and reach for the Kleenex. I can hardly stop adding more to the list.

What has Christ done for you? Leave your testimony and glorify Jesus. Hugs, Lynn

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We Have The Power. Victory Is Ours!
Mind of Christ Experiment... The Conclusion

Isaiah 43:19a For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

I made a bold promise 30 days ago. I told you that if you were willing to place Jesus Christ on the throne of your life, you would discover the circumstances in your life lose their power over you.

Many of you joined in the journey, from all over the world. You were sick n’ tired of being sick n’ tired. You were seeking relief from unbearable burdens. You were in need of joy –bliss in your life. Jump

Well the promise I made was not my promise. It was Jesus who offered you that promise. It is not just a promise but a guarantee. Strong statement I know, but it is trustworthy and true.

I want you to think about a few things. We learned we are utterly loved, we are chosen. Can you wrap your mind around this? WE ARE CHOSEN. We are daughters of the King. We are princes in the Kingdom. We are select among millions, living and dead. Whoa! Blows my mind.

The transformation into Christ likeness begins with grasping this truth. We are elevated and have power over this world because of Christ crucified. Oh how Satan is desperate to keep this knowledge from us. He knows what real power we have. He deceives us at every turn, making us believe we are weak.

Let me assure you, we are strong. We have everything we need to live victoriously. We have Jesus and we have the word of God. Period. The end.

Many of you experienced these moments; Christ on the throne, and you felt it. Bliss. Loving Jesus fills us with bliss. I spoke about this last Friday. I want to share with you an excerpt from a message my Pastor, Greg Sidders, shared one Sunday morning not long ago:

Hi Lynn, here's the excerpt from the sermon where I described Charles Finney's experience:

When we ask God to help us comprehend His love at a heart level, we are talking to a Father whose desire is to give us far more than we are asking for.

It happened to Charles Finney in 1821. This was before he became a famous evangelist. Charles finney

On a Sunday evening in early October, he decided to seek God with focused intensity. Even though he was a committed church member, he didn’t think he was a Christian. And so he decided to pray until his salvation was no longer in doubt.

He prayed all that night, and the next day, and the next. Finally on Wednesday morning it dawned on him that salvation is a free gift, and he accepted it with all his heart. Then he wandered into the woods to continue praying, but there he couldn’t pray out loud because he was afraid someone would hear him and think he was a fanatic.

And then the Spirit of God reminded him of Jeremiah 29, where the Lord says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

That’s when he started to pray out loud. He returned home and continued to pray into the evening. And it was on that Wednesday night that he says he encountered the unmistakable presence of Jesus. He wept like a baby, and then, as this experience began to fade, he wrote in his journal, “the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God.”

And it continued until he begged God to stop. He cried out, “Lord, I cannot bear any more. I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.”

When a friend came to his home later that evening, he took one look at Charles Finney and thought he was sick. He said, “Are you in pain?”

And Finney said, “No, but I am so happy that I cannot live.”

____

This is where Jesus wants us to live. Waves and waves of happiness. We can’t earn it. We can’t “do” enough to deserve it. We can’t worship bigger, serve longer, give more money, pray harder.

We only need to love Jesus.

I have so much more to say about all of this and specifically praying aloud. I discovered how praying scriptures aloud immediately affects the spiritual realm. So, I think on Monday, I will share what the Lord has shared with me. Biblehands

Although our journey is concluding, we never stop our transformation into the likeness of Jesus. If we are breathing, God is actively working to smooth our rough edges and teach us more about becoming Christ like.

How awesome is that?

Okay, this post is already too long. So over the weekend I am going to share some of the victories that came about through our Mind of Christ Experiment. Many of you wrote to me and shared about GIANT things God was doing. You can read those tomorrow and Sunday.

AND THEY ARE AWESOM. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS WHAT GOD DOES IN AN ORDINARY LIFE!

Monday, we are going to talk more about the real power we have which can conquer darkness, change our lives, the lives of others and rescue a world in desperate need of salvation.

Girls and men, we have only begun…. Christ has promised us so much and has so much to give.

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

He really means every word. I can’t wait to celebrate the victories in your life tomorrow. See you then. 

Be blessed, Lynn 


Womenrej


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Thankful Thursday - We Serve A God of Change

Welcome to Thankful Thursday. It is a privilege to give thanks to the Lord and to host this awesome event in October. Next month we will meet at Grace Alone. December we will return to Women Taking A Stand. I count it a rich blessing to host Thankful Thursday. Thank you for sharing your Thursday with me.

This month I just feel like the more I learn and know about Jesus the more I need to learn.

There is tremendous change swirling about in the Donovan house and in almost every part of my life. Change can be scary. It can be unsettling. It can be painful. It can be awe inspiring, miraculous, and powerful.

We serve a God of change. He loves us so much He never stops changing our hearts, character and life. I have so much to tell you. I can't even begin to try to understand it all. I can tell you the heavens were rocked by prayers this past weekend at the Blogger's Retreat. My husband and his blondie, wife (me), will never be the same.

How awesome it that?

Watch for some updates to the Chronicles of the Donovan Clan next month after we conclude our Series, Mind of Christ Experiment.

Finally, I leave praising God for the lives that were changed through this past 30 days and the Blogger's Retreat. BIG stuff!! I plan to share more on Friday. Stop back for a giant praise fest. We will experience the bliss God desires for us.

What is God changing in your life? Can you see Him working to draw you closer, your husband? Your kids? I can't wait to read how Jesus is working in your life.

Happy Thankful Thursday. I praise Jesus for ever and ever because He refused to leave me the same. Hallelujah! Amen... Praise you Jesus.

Be blessed, Lynn

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You Were Prayed For

1131297_heart_paint Can you believe we're in the final week of our journey? Part of me wants to shed a few tears, sad to see it end already. But a bigger part of me wants to shout HALLELUJAH right along side all of you from the tallest rooftop nearby. What a month, yes?

I don't know about you, but God has brought me to some pretty difficult places these last few weeks and asked me to grow and stretch in ways I didn't think possible. He's used this journey, you precious readers, and my ongoing situation with my daughter's recovery to teach to trust him and wait on him in ways that hurt beyond belief! But I know they are so necessary to my future, my daughter's future, and especially to my husband's future. Lots of preparation going on in the Miller household!

God has designed my circumstances in this moment is such a way that I can only persevere so long as I keep my eyes on him. The moment my gaze falters, caught by the seemingly impossible situation we seem to be in, my hope wanes, my strength lags, and my heart despairs.

What do I do? I yank myself back, eyes uplifted again, and affirm that God is there working. And every good work he starts, he will complete. And not only that. There's another treasure I want to share with you that I hope will comfort you as deeply as it does me.

Do you know how much Jesus loves you? Do you realize how intimately he knows you, loves you, and cherishes every bit of you? We can say yes in our minds. Yes, I know. Jesus died for me. But do you really know it in your heart?

Let me tell you a little story before I share that treasure. At the beginning of our journey, I went for a walk one day. Just me and the pooch out in the sunshine. Shasta was über happy to be out, her tail wagging and her tongue hanging out. Me? I was listening to that song I posted at the beginning of the Mind of Christ journey, the Revelation Song. (You can go back to that post here.)

As I walked, I worshiped God from a place of heartache and despair. My hopes and expectations for a certain situation had to be let go. And in that moment of release, I heard Jesus speak to my heart.

"I died for you, Dineen. I died for you."

As I walked and listened, tears streamed down my face. I can only recall one other time in my life that I heard Jesus speak to me so directly. That first time brought healing in a much needed area, but this time transformed my heart. You see, I'd had no problem speaking to God, the Father and to God, the Holy Spirit. But to God, the Son? Somehow I'd put this barrier between Jesus and I. I even avoided using his name, because it didn't fit. I envied those who spoke his name in such intimacy.

That day changed me in a subtlely huge way. Yes, I use that oxymoron intentionally, because a seemingly small thing had literally transformed my heart in a huge way. Now I call him "my Jesus" and smile intimately, knowing he really is my Jesus!

So, here's that treasure I promised. Those of you who already "get it," bear with us slow-pokes. The nugget's in John 17:20:

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message."

Did you know before Jesus even died for you, he prayed for you? He prayed for me. He prayed for you—Lynn, Holly, Angela, Denise, Noreen, Tracy, Angie, Bernadine, Holly, Melanie, Debbie, Caroline, Rosheeda, Amy, Kelly, Linmayu, Stacy, Tamara, Robin, Stacey, Pia, Bonnie, Bernice, Helen, YOU...

I took several of your precious names off the last few posts to make a point. I know there are so many more of you out there. So, please, write this in your journal and put your name in the blank:

Jesus died for me—_______. Then say it out loud. Hear it with your ears and feel it with your heart. Let him speak to you like he's never done before. Let him show you how truly amazing your life can be when he sits on the throne of your life, showering you with his deep affection.

Perhaps this may seem like old hat to you, but to this perfectionist who thought she had to earn her way into Jesus' presence has found a whole new way to relate to our Savior, Jesus. 

He's my Jesus. And he's yours, too.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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God’s Transformation Process – Part 4

Throne Over the past three weeks I’ve shared with you the “stages” the Lord has taken me through as He has begun a major transformation process in my life.   I’ve walked you through how He revealed His great abiding love and began to help me to truly understand it.  How He began to dive deep into my heart and soul to uncover the deepest, darkest and ugliest parts of my life in order to bring healing.  And I’ve shared how He has begun to reveal to me the truth about standing with Him while loving others.  I pray my transparency regarding my journey will help you in yours.  I know that just writing these posts has blessed me tremendously.

I wish I could say the transformation process is over, that I’m a finished and perfected clay vessel.  But if these past three weeks have confirmed anything for me, it is that we are all continuous works in process.  There is always more to be revealed.  These “stages” I’ve shared with you are not a 3 step process that results in a fully transformed mind, heart and soul.  Instead they are a cycle which the Lord will take you through repeatedly for the rest of your life.  You’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come and rejoice in it.  And you can also look forward and know you have a lot still to learn.  But don’t let this be a discouragement, instead it should be exciting, a sense of expectation.  The Lord will continue to transform you as long as you allow Him.

As you continue to yield your life to Him each day and to step down off the throne of your lives, He will reveal His love for you anew, He will reveal the darkness in your heart and heal you, and He will give you His eyes and His heart to see and love the world as He does.

Randy Alcorn wrote a book I love called Edge of Eternity.  It reminds me quite a bit of Pilgrim’s Progress.  In the story the main character is traveling along a road.  As he does he sees two cities.  The closest is beautiful and full of wonderful things.  At the top of the many tall buildings, he can see that each citizen has their own throne upon which they sit surrounded by vast riches.  Far off he sees another city, but it is dark and depressing and only has one throne.  However, as he travels farther down this road, his goal being to reach the King’s City, his perspective begins to change.  The city in front of him, the one that was depressing and only had one throne begins to become stunningly beautiful, more so than he ever could have imagined.  Behind him the city he had thought so beautiful before has become dark.  He realizes the thrones that each person sat upon were really tangled webs that held them captive.  The people living in the city thought they were free and powerful, but in reality they were in bondage.  I read this book a few years back, but this image has stayed with me.  It is a powerful picture of our lives.

In your journal today, ask yourself - where are you on this road?  Which city do you have your sights set on?  Lynn has asked many times during this journey if you are still waking each morning and coming before the Lord on your knees, stepping off the throne of your life and handing it over to Him who truly rules.  This is so powerful!

As I sign off on my last post for this 30 day journey I first want to thank all of you.  I came into this praying the Lord would give me words to help others and bring Him glory.  He has done far more than I could have ever imagined.  In some ways I’ve grown as much in the past three weeks as I did over the two years which I’ve shared with you.  You have all been part of this transformation for me.  I love the way the Lord uses us and our weaknesses to bless others.  Isn’t He amazing?

I also want to leave you with a few tidbits the Lord has reminded me of and impressed upon me through this journey.

First, as I said above this is all a transformation process that will continue until we meet our Lord face to face.  Look over how far the Lord has brought you and rejoice.  Look forward to all that He still has to reveal to you with expectation and excitement.  He will continually take you through these stages in one form or another.  There are always more layers to peel back as He reveals Himself to us.  Always remember He loves you and only wants what is best for you.  He has a destiny for you, Beloved.  You just need to give Him control of your life and He will lead you there.

Second, God looks at our hearts.  I am doing a study of David with my house church right now.  Or more specifically we are studying David’s heart.  Have you ever wondered what the difference between Saul and David was?  Both were anointed by Samuel per the Lord’s instructions, both were filled with the Holy Spirit in a time when the Holy Spirit did not make a habit of indwelling in people, both sinned quite grievously.   However, in the end the Lord left Saul, never to return again, but He never left David.  Why?  It has to do with the heart.  God knows that we will mess up at times.  This is not an excuse for us to sin or to ignore the promptings of the Lord to confront the sin in our lives.  However, please remember beloved, God knows your heart and that is what He honors, that is what pleases Him.   Even when your flesh is not able to conform fully, He knows the desire in your heart to be fully transformed.  He honors and is pleased by your heart!

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  ~ 1 Samuel  16:7

The Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.   If you seek him, he will be found by you.  ~ 1 Chronicles 28:9

If you are like me you may read that last part above and think, “Ew, I don’t want Him to judge me based on my heart.  I know my intentions are not always pure.”  If you’ve ever felt like that or maybe do right now, I have a little secret for you that the Lord revealed to me.  Are you ready for it?

Recognizing that your intentions are not always pure is part of what He is looking for.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed – “Lord, I desire you and only you.   I want your will, not mine to be done. “ And then I pause and have to add  - “And if there are any intentions in my heart or desires that are not in agreement with this, please reveal it to me and transform them!” 

Even while knowing I desire the Lord, I know there are still parts of my heart that are selfish.   I might as well admit these things to God, because He already knows.  He knows my heart better than I do.  And He is well pleased with us when we are able to be truthful with Him about what we know is in our hearts.  That willingness to acknowledge the darkness in our hearts is what God desires of us.  That is what pleases Him.  David was called a man after God’s heart.   Take some time and read David’s story and the psalms he wrote .  He readily admits that his heart is not pure, that he had evil and selfish desires.   The difference between David and others such as Saul, is that he acknowledges these things and lays them at God’s feet and asks for God’s Mercy and Transformation.  That is a heart in which the Lord will be well pleased.

Today as you journal and pray acknowledge those intentions of your heart that are not pure.  Ask the Lord to reveal any areas that are not pure and then confess those things and ask the Lord to transform them.  Don’t be ashamed of your weaknesses, instead take them to the Lord and trade them in for His Strength.  If you do you will hear Him whisper to you “Well, done my Beloved.” and you like David will be considered a man/woman after God’s heart.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore most gladly I will boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Blessings upon each of you and many thanks for allowing me to share in this journey with you.

Resting in Him, 
Angela



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Blogger's Retreat

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Blogger's Retreat 2009 Oh, What a day.... Glory...

So much has happened in the realm of Christ today, I don't even know where to begin. But, I tell you this.... 

Y'all are gonna be blessed when I can figure out how to get it all back out'a me and onto y'all. God took hold of the girls tonight and we had us a meeten'. A prayer meeten' like none I have ever been to in my life.

Glory, Hallelujah. AMEN. (I'm officially a southerner now)

Her are a few of my BFF's. Oh how I wish each of you were here with us. But know that I prayed up a storm over you tonight just because I love you and just because Jesus loves you. I will post more as the Lord directs. I can promise you this..... We will see results. In the name of Jesus. Amen

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 Valeria (Angie's Mom), Donetta, Connie, Joanna, Angie, Lisa, Tiffany

 I would tell you where they blog but my brain is mush tonight.

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Angie, Joy, Kathy, Connie, Joanne

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Marsha

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Tiffany, Barbara, Lisa, Teresa,

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Okay, here was my turn. I couldn't begin to tell you why I was pointing to myself other than to tell everyone about how I am a mess with out Christ, which if you are a regular reader here, you know the truth of these words.

I have to tell you I wrote out six pages of notes. When I went to refer to them I couldn't read. (must need stronger glasses). However, God showed up in I gigantic way and I spoke for 45 minutes. (Okay, ya'll know I can talk.... but this was even loooong for me) Whew. 

I pray that every word I spoke pointed others to Jesus Christ. It is all about Him.

More random

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God bless and I will see you again tomorrow. Hugs, Lynn

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Where Did It Go?

I want to share a story with you. About four weeks ago my relationship with Christ was so on fire that I thought there were times when I was praying or singing worships song that I might explode from the sheer joy I felt.

I have heard of the joy of God flowing upon a person in such powerful waves they begged God to stop for fear they could bear no more. (I have much to share about this next Friday… You won’t want to miss it, stay tuned.)

Most days I feel the Lord is present, around me listening to my constant chatter. I never stop talking/praying with Him…. Sheesh! I bet He wishes I would take a break! *kiddin’*

But these few days were unique. The closeness the…., let’s see if I can describe what it was like, the intimacy and joy and contentment and happiness and the walking on pillows on clouds on air… doesn’t begin to describe this place but it was unique and I never want to live without what I would call……BLISS!

That’s it…… Absolute bliss.

This happened around the same time as my writer’s conference where the main speaker asked, What is your bliss. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

One afternoon as I was going about my normal routine, I made a quick decision and I sinned. Just a tiny, little sin. I didn’t feel bad or even think about my choice at the time. However, several hours later, as life slowed down and I sat on the couch, I noticed something. The vibrant and head spinning joy in which I was dwelling had significantly cooled.

Whoa! What happened. I wanted that joy back. As I sat there pondering, talking, praying, immediately this tiny decision I made earlier came back to me. Immediately, God impressed on me this, “I don’t ever want you to do that again.”

Does this sound harsh? Don’t we serve a forgiving God? He knows we are all sinners and imperfect.

Yes, but for me specifically this day, God had chosen to dwell deeply with me and then I grieved Him. I know there is a scripture verse for this. Who knows it?

I grieved the Holy Spirit because I had a sin in my life I continue keep around. This isn’t the first time the Lord brought this particular sin to my attention.

Why am I sharing this story? Because part of the transformation into Christ likeness is allowing Him to remove our sin. God desperately wants to live in deep intimacy with us. Every mundane moment and the fantastic times as well. Everything –

What is it that is keeping you from …. Bliss? Sometimes it is sin in our life. Sometimes it is something else like trust and faith. Sometimes it is just allowing the Lord to love us fully. Sometimes it’s because we threw God off the throne of our heart and sat down in His place.

Truly it is actually simple to live in the bliss of the presence of God. Christ on the throne, every day. Transforming our mind and heart by dwelling on what whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

I know that many of your were called early on in this journey to deal with exactly this subject of sin in your life. Many of you have written to say God did some amazing work in your character and heart. So, today as we approach the last week of our journey, take out your journal. Ask the Lord to reveal His bliss and reveal what He may be asking you to remove from your life. In my years walking with the Lord I have discovered, He wants to remove stuff (sin) to make room for better things. Good things. Amazing things. Life-altering things.

Are you still falling on your knees in the morning? If you have, share with me what this has done in you. If you haven’t, start today. It is an experience that will change you forever if you make it a regular practice to pray first everyday and invite God to be King of your life.

I love you. I have prayed for you. The Lord is absolutely delighted that you are seeking Him with all of your heart.

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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Thankful Thursday -
Things that make you go hmmmmm?

Welcome to Thankful Thursday. It is a privilege to give thanks to the Lord and to host this awesome event in October.

Next month we will meet at Grace Alone. December we will return to Women Taking A Stand.

If you have stopped in to participate in Thankful Thursday, I am so glad you are here. I am hosting this event even as I am on an airplane flying across America to Sneads, Florida for the:

BLOGGER'S RETREAT!

I know many of you wanted to attend but were unable. Well know this ~I have taken you with me. You hold a place in my heart. I hope to share some photos here at S.U.M. on Saturday and Sunday so stop back and get a glimpse of what some of your blogging friends actually look like. I never imagine anyone the way they actually look after knowing them on-line for years. I think that is a good thing... perhaps... I am filled with anticipation and can't wait to see what the Lord has planned. I pray He is honored by every moment of the weekend.

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Well this week I am thankful for things that make you go hmmmm.

Like Airplanes: I am not a rocket scientist so just thinking about a 20+ ton airplane floating through the air gives my blond brain a spin.

How about God's unfailing love and grace: Okay, need I say more. Blows my mind to even start to go there.

For a real brain fry: The universe. ~Period. The End. I can't even get started thinking about the vast expanse.

Another One: God has always existed. ~Bzzzzzz, did you just hear the cranium short circuit?

One more to ponder and put you in a twist: 

Quadraic formula

This is an algebra problem from my daughter's 8th grade class. Ahem, good thing Dad helps her with homework. Both of them are brainiacs. ~It's an Quadradic Equation.  Okie dokie... I knew that one.... NOT

And finally, the question of the ages.... Which came first, the chicken or the egg. *grin* (I bet you know)

What is it that makes you go hmmmm and what are you thankful for this week?

Be blessed, Lynn

PS. My friends who are traveling on our Mind of Christ Journey. I have one more piece of the puzzle that is crucial to understand. Stop in tomorrow and I will share a personal story and what I learned about the Lord, His Holy Spirit and what He taught me. Hugs~  

*****

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Waiting on God

Waiting God never ceases to amaze me in the intricate perfection of his work and plan. Have you found yourself in a place where you see how the details surrounding you are linked together and blooming like a flower? And as the petals open, the legitimacy of each event suddenly comes into view, perfectly planned and coordinated in an intricate pattern of destiny?

I love those moments. Though I’m sure I don’t see them all, I know I’d miss more if I didn’t constantly and intentionally draw closer to God. We need to stay in a place of yearning for more of God and less of this world.

Otherwise, we might miss what God’s doing in our lives.

I know I’ve said this before, but bear with me. Waiting is a big part of our Christian walk. Hard to do in a world so focused on how fast something can be done. We’re becoming a culture of impatient people. I see it in my own children. But I know from experience that waiting is critical in our walk with God.

Now I’m coming to understand a new dimension of waiting. For the last year, my constant question has been, “How do I rely on God’s strength instead of my own?” I run out of strength, then wonder what happened. What did I do wrong? How do I know when I’m operating in my own strength and not God’s?

I think I got part of the answer yesterday at Bible study. A very special group of ladies meets every week at my church. I love these women, because they are the most authentic and God-hungry women I know. Right now we’re studying Esther by Beth Moore.

Let me first confess that I’m a big Beth Moore fan. Her studies have impacted my life more than any others I’ve done, except for Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King. But this Esther study by far exceeds them all. I think Beth crawled into my very situation and wrote it just for me. ☺

Yesterday we received a nugget that I believe is key to answering this question I’ve had about God’s strength. Take a look at Isaiah 40:31 (ESV):

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Waiting and strength are linked here in a way I hadn’t thought of before until Beth said something like this:

“We will lose our strength when we wait on the event, thing, or person instead of waiting on God.”

Talk about a “whoa” moment. Suddenly the pieces fell into place. When do we feel like we can’t go any further because we have no more strength?

When we’ve prayed over and over again for our spouse to believe in Christ?

For a child to be healed?
For a job?
For a difficult situation to resolve and find a peaceful solution?
For a loved one to come back to us?

Add yours to the list. (Tell us about it in the comments.) Now ask yourself this. “What am I waiting on?” Did your answer look like one of these:

For my spouse to come to faith.
For my child to be healthy again.
For the right job.
For this situation to be fixed and go away.
For my loved one to come home.

Is your strength lagging? Are you tired and want to give up? Are you asking why God isn’t strengthening you? I know I have.

The key is right in the first line of Isaiah 40:31:

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength.

Like Beth said, when we wait on our spouse to choose God, for our child to be okay, for a job, for peace, for restoration with a loved one, we’re waiting on that specific event, circumstance, or person. We’re waiting on it, and not God. And we lose our strength.

It always seems to come back to where we point our eyes, doesn’t it? Keeping our eyes on God and waiting on Him. Let’s put it to the test, shall we? See if it works? I’m ready to wait on God and let him renew my strength.

How about you?

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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God’s Transformation Process – Part 3

As a new Christian, one of my favorite books to read was “Jesus Freak” by DC Talk. The book is a collection of true stories about individuals who have stood for and given their lives for Jesus. It is amazing and inspiring to read these stories. These are people who have lived out Jesus’ instructions to us:

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ~ Matthew 22:36-39

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. ~ Luke 6:27-28

These people have died standing for Jesus and the most inspiring thing is they do so while praying for and loving those who persecuted and killed them and their families. I remember reading these stories in awe and asking the Lord to strengthen my faith so that if I was ever placed in a similar situation I would be able to stand for Him like that and love my enemies.

However, recently the Lord has brought another scripture to mind for me.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. ~ Luke 16:10

Along with this scripture I hear the Lord whispering to me: “Beloved, can I trust you in the little things?”

Wow, talk about cutting deep. I start to remember that email I received from a co-worker the other day, the one where she threw me under the bus for something I did not do. I remember how as I read it I could feel the heat of anger literally start at the top of my head and pour down over me, leaving me trembling and having to walk away from my desk so I did not respond in an ungracious manner. Instead of praying for my enemy, all I wanted to do was blast her back and defend myself. I did not in the end, but I did let that anger fester and affect my future interactions with her. I did not pray for her or ask for blessings for her.

You see, loving our enemies is a grand and noble idea – until we actually have to put it into practice. Then we realize how very much we need the Lord to transform our hearts because we are not even capable of truly loving our family and friends, let alone our enemies. Our natural tendency is to defend ourselves, to feel entitled to be offended, hurt or angry. Only through God’s transformation process can we face these situations in our lives with a focus first on God and then on loving others, instead of focusing on ourselves.

A few months back, my husband and I got into a disagreement. I honestly don’t even remember what it was about. I do know I was angry and even though I knew the Lord wanted me to let it go, I was determined to wallow in my anger and hurt because I deserved it! (Oh, how we love to wallow in self-pity!) I had to go run some errands and I took my son (then 4 years old) with me. As we left he wanted to sing. I told him Mommy was not in the mood to sing but he could if he wanted. He started to sing a tune that I had taught him. It is called “Be Careful Little Eyes”. We’ve added other verses such as “be careful little hands, feet and ears”. But this day he added his own verse which we had never talked about before. As I drove down the road, blissfully wallowing in my self-pity and anger, my son’s sweet precious voice began to sing:

“Be careful little heart what you feel,

Be careful little heart what you feel,

Because the Father up above is looking down with love,

So be careful little heart what you feel.”

Amazing how God can speak to us through our children, the very ones we are supposed to be raising up and teaching the ways of the Lord to!

In our anger, we need to make sure we are turning our ears to the whisper of the Lord. He usually will not shout at us. He leaves it up to us to listen and follow His voice. We need to listen for His whisper telling us to love those around us instead of the world’s shout that says we are entitled to our anger. No matter how “right” we are in being angry at someone else’s actions or words, the Lord calls us to love. We have to decide what to focus on, what to obey and follow – the world’s view of what we are entitled to or the Lord’s whisper to deny ourselves and love as He loves us.

Over the past months I’ve been struggling with a question which I now believe the Lord put on my heart. How do you stand for God’s Truth in Love?

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16

I’ve compared this to us walking a very narrow path with two very wide and deep ditches on each side. On one side is the Ditch of God’s Truth. This is where we fall when we focus on God’s Truth, His Righteousness and His Holiness. The other side is the Ditch of God’s Love. This is where we fall when we focus on God’s Love, Grace and Mercy. Neither appears to be a bad place to walk and they are easier to walk in because they are so wide! But the true character of our God is made up of both His Righteousness and His Grace. Our human nature has a very hard time combining these two characteristics. It is difficult for us to separate the sin from the sinner. We forget that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against things that are unseen to our natural eyes. The only way we can walk this narrow path is to focus on Jesus in front of us, leading us. We must open our hearts and minds to Him and Him alone.

As with my other prayers, God is answering this one as well. I tend to be a hands-on learner, and the Lord is teaching in the same way. He is showing me how to stand for His Truth in Love by having me do it in my daily life, in the little things - at work, at home, with my husband, my children, my friends, even strangers. I stumble and fall into one ditch or another more often than I can count. But I know that as soon as I’m done feeling sorry for myself and look to Him, He’ll be there holding out His hand, ready to pull me back up on the path and dust off the muck and mire.

Write_personal_journal Are you on the narrow path, focused on Jesus right now? Or are you walking in one of those wide ditches? In your anger, are you able to hear the whisper of the Lord and do you heed it? Are you able to separate the sin from the sinner? Are you able to stand for God’s Truth in Love? No? Then, are you ready to ask Him to give you the strength and wisdom to do so? Are you ready for some hands-on learning?

Dear Lord, We ask that you transform our minds and hearts to love the way you love. Please keep us from anger and offense. Please help us to learn to hear your whisper in these times and to yield to You and Your desires for us. Give us wisdom to remember our battle is not against others, but forces and human nature which is unseen. Help us to separate the sin from the sinner. To stand in Your Truth against the sin, but to love the sinner as You love them. Give us Your Mind, Your Eyes, Your Heart!

In Jesus’ Precious Name, AMEN!!!

What is the Lord calling you to journal about? Angela

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Weekend Devo — From Fear to Courage

Fear-Courage NOTE: Currently our comment box is not appearing. I have left a help ticket with Typepad and hope to have this resoved soon. Please email me your comments and I will post them when we get it figured. Out. Thank you ~ Dineen

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The women's ministry at my church is currently studying Esther by Beth Moore. I adore her studies, but I will say that though her studies always impact me in a big way, none have affected me so profoundly as this one. I'd like to share some tid-bits from our last session. If you've ever done a Beth Moore study, then you know she has a talent for making profound statements. Here are few of them:

"There is no denial in courage."

"Don't deny the reality (of your situation), but it's power over you."

Then one of my favorites from Ambrose Hollingworth Redmoon, "Courage isn't the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."

Then in this powerful session about living without fear, Beth asks, "Can you imagine living without fear?"

I know I want to. How about you? Fear isn't a part of God's plan for out lives and his perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). So, it makes sense that the closer we stay to God, the less fear we will have in our lives, right?

Take some quiet time and explore these Scriptures.

John 10:10
Galations 2:20
Colossians 2:13
Ephesians 2:16
John 17:3
Philippians 1:6
1 John 4:18

Happy reading and have a wonderfully fear-free weekend!
Dineen

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Romans 12:1-2 What Does it Mean?

Do you remember the first day we started this journey? October 2nd and I wrote: In about three weeks, you will grow tired of this journey. So I am giving you a heads up now to watch for your discontent. Satan absolutely will do everything possible to keep you firmly seated in power. Have none of it.

Today I am reminding you not to allow the enemy to steal away your efforts as we head into week three. In the first two weeks I have received emails and comments from many you. You shared how you have overcome major road blocks and struggles you have contended with for years.

Miracles!

I want to encourage those of you who aren’t seeing progress as of yet. I want to spur you on because God has promised us something new. We need only to place Him on the throne of our lives.

Romans 12:1-2 NIV Living Sacrifices 1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

How many different times in your life have you read or heard a message about this tiny little passage? Many times I suspect. In fact, for many of us, scripture becomes so familiar we lose the power behind the truth.

Our entire journey thus far is based upon this passage. But let’s take a fresh look. What does it mean? A living sacrifice. What does this look like in 2009?

It is a mindset that comes over time. It is a daily sacrifice of doing the right thing over and over. It begins with that simple prayer as you fall from your bed to your knees. It is offering God your entire body, mind, heart and placing Him firmly as commander of your life. It is the highest form of worship you can give. Your entire self – every moment.

As you begin to fill your mind with things of God, your brain begins to reprogram. Fill up on God’s word. Music, teaching, and think about good things and leave the dwelling on the negative behind. What happens? You discover you are walking smack in the middle of God’s will.

How many of us have made decisions which brought us pain? I know I am in that boat. We charge ahead and then find ourselves broken and lost. In our pain we fall before God, seeking His rescue. And He rescues.

Our kind and loving Lord would truly prefer that we seek His will before we make a decision which will cause pain. Why is it so difficult to understand the Lord’s will? Why doesn’t He call us on the phone and say, “Lynn, tomorrow I want you to meet with so and so. Then get off on Highway 78 because I have a wonderful surprise waiting.”

In fact, I believe in certain circumstances we can hear instructions just like this. But, how do we move our mind and relationship to this place? How can we make a great decision that is in God’s will and won’t bring pain? It starts with walking with God before you need wisdom.

Again a daily sacrifice. Taking time to read His word and to study His precepts. Log time in listening prayer. It is often in the silence, in the middle of the night, that I hear words from God.

It takes waiting. I am a control freak like the rest of you. I am constantly wanting to push God’s agenda forward. Okay perhaps my agenda forward. When I wait for His timing, however, I have been privileged to witness and be part of some of the most astounding works of God in the lives of those around me and in my own life. When I wait my decision comes easier and without reservations. God does amazing things in the waiting. Wait on God and receive this promise:

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Did you really read this? Do you want this promise? He is standing waiting to do a new thing in your life.

So many of you have written to me to tell my about the life-changing things have already happened. Trust God in this. The best thing YOU WILL EVER DO is to transform you. It is a process that when finished will be the new you forever and others will absolutely notice. When you are in love with Jesus from your head to your toes, inside and out, it is irresistible. You will be shocked how it draws others.  Womjump

I can’t wait to talk about the promise of Psalm 37:4. I have much to tell you about how fantastic our God is. How His plan and purpose for our lives pales when compared with even our wildest dreams.

This week to prepare to receive this promise, it is time to ask God. Am I transforming my life to become Christ minded? Is my heart and life in line with your will? Write these questions out and offer them to the Lord.

Be blessed, Lynn

PS. If you have fallen behind in our journey or actually never got started, The Lord has prompted me to ask you again. He called you and has big plans ahead. Start today. Just yesterday, my friend Patricia wrote and told me she was away from her computer but was starting the journey. You can too. It’s not too late and travel at your own speed. Jesus is desperate to show you the bliss that waits when you live in His presence. Write me if you need instructions on how to begin.

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Thankful Thursday - Entitlements or Riches

I love my Bible study gals. We are currently working our way through The Love Dare. We began to discuss how we can find ourselves thinking we are entitled to have….. (name your entitlement).

I think sometimes it takes us a lifetime to realize we are truly entitled to very little. Entitlement mentality leads to expectations. Unmet expectations lead to disappointment which leads further down the slippery slope to frustration, anger, bitterness…..

Sometimes we can become overwhelmed with our current circumstances and forget the riches right before our eyes. I have found one sure fire way to pull your entitlement mind into proper perspective, God’s perspective.

SERVE

Take a look around in your own corner of the world. You will find so many not only in need physically but many who are struggling spiritually in worse, much worse situations than your own. So, today I am thankful the Lord has allowed me to serve others. To be the arms and heart of Jesus.

Today I am thankful for the riches right before my eyes.

I am entitled to death and hell. But I have been given a free gift of an awesome life right now and life in heaven.

How amazing is that?

What are the riches right before your eyes?

Be Blessed, Lynn

If you are journaling along in the 30 day Mind of Christ Experiment, I have something for you to ponder. Write this question: Do I need to examine what I hold in my life as entitlements? What are my riches?

Friday, I have a great post for you so stop back for Mind of Christ and be inspired.

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How full is your net?

1205436_net_jam "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"
     
"No," they answered.

He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"

The disciples spent three amazing years with Jesus. And then one nightmarish day, he was gone. At least in their eyes He was.

Imagine for a moment how they felt. They’d lived with clear purpose and guidance for three years. Now their leader was gone. That had to have felt lost, unguided, and most likely abandoned.

What did they do? They went fishing. Literally.

In John 21:1-14 this rag-tag group of men is lead by Peter. He’s just betrayed his Jesus in a way he never imagined he would. Life as he had known it had spiraled so out of control, he did what came natural. In typical boldness for this man whose name means “rock,” he took charge. He had to do something, so he took back control of his life, got in the boat, and cast his nets. But his nets kept coming back empty.

Peter and the disciples’ story is our story, too. We strain for control of our lives in a world so out of control. We find comfort in the known, in the predictable. Yet, like Peter, our nets keep coming up empty. 

What Peter didn’t understand and we can KNOW is that Jesus never leaves us. At Jesus’ bidding from the shore, Peter relinquished control and cast net on the other side. It came back so full they couldn’t even lift their catch into the boat. And not only that, the net didn’t break.

This was the moment that Peter’s eyes were opened, and he knew only his Jesus could do such a miracle. His focus was shifted long enough off himself and his need for control to recognize the One who truly is I AM.

Our natural tendency is to try to be in control of our lives. Especially in times of trial. Yet when we do this we keep our Savior Jesus on the shore when He wants to bring us to safety and provision.

And those times when we are called to let go, our faith is tested. Can we let go long enough to see that we’re casting our nets on the wrong side of the boat? We are called to relinquish our control and attempts to fix our lives and trust Jesus to do what we cannot.

When we do, our nets come up full of his blessings. And the beauty of this, of our precious Savior, is that whenever we look over the bough of our boats of discouragement, we will find Jesus waiting on the shore of hope with open arms.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

For Journaling:
  1. What area of your life do you see yourself trying to control? What would happen if you let go?
  2. Read John 21:1-14 slowly and prayerfully. Journal what God reveals to you.
  3. Write down a prayer of commitment, handing over one area of your life completely to God’s control. Then sign it. When you find you’ve taken control back or are worrying, go back and read your prayer commitment.

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God’s Transformation Process – Part 2

Woman_on_knees_in_prayer Last week I asked each of you to allow the Lord to show you the great affection He has for you. One fiction series I’m particularly fond of refers to this as the “Great Romance”. I LOVE that. Today I want to tell you about the second stage that the Lord took me through to begin transforming me into the likeness of Him. However, if you have not yet read last week’s post, I encourage you to do so first. I know without an understanding of how much God loved me, I would not have understood what He did next in my life.

I am a bit of a perfectionist and have been known to have some self-esteem issues. I actually have conversations in my head about what others are saying about me. Talk about creating your own issues! Needless to say, I have tended to have a lot of shame and guilt in my life. I tend to beat myself up at times for real and imagined wrongs that I’ve spoken and/or done. Understanding God’s deep love for me is what has broken these chains of bondage over my life. To be honest, they try to creep back in at times, but I’m learning to catch them and put them at the foot of the throne of Jesus. He alone can crush these thoughts.

As a new Christian we are taught that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). We all have darkness in our hearts, hidden sins we hide from others. Sometimes we even hide them from ourselves. The enemy loves to scratch the surface of this evil/darkness that lives within us. He does so in order to shame us or tempt us, sometimes both. God however dives deep into the darkness of our souls and shines His Light on it in order to heal us.

My first bold prayer to do whatever it took to draw my husband to Him had resulted in my finally understanding how much my Savior cherishes me (don’t you love that word? He cherishes us!) My next bold prayer, prompted I know now by the Holy Spirit, was for the Lord to show me the Truth. To show me His Truth (the only Truth) no matter what that looked like. No matter how much it went against what I currently knew and believed.

Once again He heard my cry and was faithful to answer. Once again the results were not exactly what I expected. But oh, they were so much better than I could have ever imagined or hoped! He began to reveal to me all the ugliness of my heart – the selfishness, the pride, the arrogance, the controlling & rebellious nature that lives inside of me. These things when revealed by God’s Holiness and Righteousness were far more appalling than anything I could have ever created in my own mind. However, instead of beating myself up and becoming depressed about how horrible and what a failure I was, I actually felt hope. I finally understood the deep abiding love of my Creator and I knew that God was revealing these things in order to bring healing.

Last week Bonnie left the following comment regarding the Day 5 post:

“I feel like I've been packing so much garbage under some dirt & then planting flowers so no one notices the garbage. It feels like we're going to unearth & destroy the garbage so all that's left is healthy dirt and beautiful flowers...but He isn't playing it soft here. I have most definitely had to get some dirt on my hands & get in there with Him.”

That is exactly what God began to do in my life. I was able to finally let go of the darkness in me instead of dwelling on it. I was able to move forward and allow the Lord to refine and transform me as He removed the garbage from my life and replaced it with healthy rich soil.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. ~Psalm 51:17

We say we want to be transformed, but we must realize that in order for the Lord to transform us He requires us to have a broken and contrite spirit. This does not mean that we have low self-esteem. It means we need to be humbled. I think many times today we think low self-esteem and humbleness are one and the same. That is the furthest thing from the truth. A Beth Moore study I’m going through right now explains it this way:

“Lack of confidence does not equal humility. In fact, genuinely humble people have enormous confidence because it rests in a great God.”

This concept has been life changing for me. I’ve spent my entire life battling low self-esteem by trying to prove I was smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, loyal enough, good enough! But real confidence comes not in whom we are or what we can accomplish – it comes from resting in the strength and abilities of our Awesome God! Our confidence is not in ourselves but in Him!

However, our human nature wants control, believes we need to be able to fix things by our own strength and knowledge. The funny thing I’m realizing is that the world sees low self-esteem and arrogance as being opposite of one another. In reality they are just different symptoms of the same root cause, the human disease called self-centeredness. In both cases, the root problem is that we are focused on ourselves instead of on Jesus.

We are not able in and of ourselves to set aside that human nature. I’ve spent years trying to get rid of this human nature in my own power so I can please God. Ironic since my thinking I can fix it myself comes from the very nature I was trying to rid myself of! We must go to the Lord and ask Him to show us these things in our lives and heal us of them. We must be ready for Him to humble us, to create a broken and contrite spirit in us. To give us a spirit and heart that fully recognizes that we are but humans, and He is our Sovereign Lord.

My question for you today is – do you dare ask the question? Are you bold enough to sincerely ask the Lord to reveal His Truth to you, regardless of what it looks like? Regardless of what beliefs you hold dear which may be destroyed by doing so? Regardless of how ugly and appalling it may be? Do you truly desire humbleness, a broken and contrite spirit and heart? Do you dare ask the Lord to show you who you really are so that He can begin to heal you and transform you into who He has destined for you to be?

Angela

"P.S. - For those of you who may have already prayed this prayer and are in this stage of your journey right now - I want to encourage you to persevere. It is very hard to have your true self revealed by God's Light, however the rewards at the end, a transformed mind and heart, are amazing and so well worth the refining period required to get there."

*****

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Weekend Devo — Protecting Your Mind

This weekend's devo is brought to you by Purpose Driven Connection and Rick Warren. How perfect that this devo came a day before Lynn's awesome post, What are You Feeding Your Brain?

Have a wonderful weekend and come back Monday for Angela's next installment of God's Transformation Process on Monday. You don't want to miss it! And you can read part one here in case you missed it.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Healing Choice: Protecting Your Mind
by Rick Warren


"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).

Your mind is a special gift from God. It can potentially store 100 trillion thoughts. And it is a tool that God wants to use in your ministry to fulfill his purposes.

That's why we have to be choosy. We have to control what--or who--we allow into our minds. What's true of computers is true with humans--garbage in, garbage out.

The Bible says there are five things that we are to guard against:

1. We are to guard our minds against false teaching--The Bible encourages us to contend for, "The faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3 NKJ). That means the Gospel message that's been passed down for 2,000 years. How do you guard your mind against false teachings? Know the truth. If you know the truth, you can instantly spot a lie. Treasury agents are not trained to detect counterfeiting by handling counterfeit bills. They give them real bills and study them so well that when a counterfeit dollar bill is put in their hands, they immediately know that it's false.

2. We are to guard our minds against temptation--Psalm 101:3 says, "I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless" (ESV). That's a good verse to put on your television. When was the last time you actually got up and switched channels because what you were seeing was worthless? When I start to feel tempted, I often say, "Lord, I mentally put on the helmet of salvation that Scripture talks about in Ephesians 6:17." What does a helmet do? It protects my mind. When I do this, I'm saying, "Lord, I want you to cover my mind with your blood. I will be guarding my mind from temptation."

3. We are to guard our minds against counterfeit spiritual experiences--Galatians 1:6-8 says even if an angel tells you something different than what the Word of God says, don't believe him.

4. We are to guard our minds against pride--Pride is the sin that God judges quicker than any other single sin. Aaron got prideful, and God smote him. Uzziah got prideful, and God smote him. Pride is the sin that got Satan kicked out of Heaven. People will tell you things that will puff you up. You have to remain humble and not let pride enter your mind.

5. We are to guard against an overworked mind--We strain our minds too much by overwork. This can cloud our ability to make sound judgments. That's why we need to have a day of rest every week.

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A Woman and A Cow?

Looking for Day Eight - The Mind of Christ Experiment? It follows this post. Scroll down

Experiencing God on the throne of your life sometimes means obeying Him when it doesn’t makes sense. Today at Laced With Grace I have a story to share. It all Started with A Woman and a Cow. What a Christmas.

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What Are You Feeding Your Brain? - Day Eight!

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. NIV

I must tell you the thoughts, prayers, hopes, struggles, scripture, and links all of you have left in comments over the past week during this series are incredible. Thank you. Thank you for loving others in the community of God with your words.

What are you feeding your brain?

I want to tell you a story. There once was a girl who was lost in a world of ambitions, caught up in obtaining all the “stuff” the TV commercials said she was entitled to have. She was lost in pride and self-centeredness. That girl was me.

I bought into the lie… I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never, never let you forget you’re a man. I was convinced I was everything and more of what a modern woman should be.

There once was a girl who one day realized that way of living was proving shallow.

There once was a girl who fell in love with Jesus. That girl was me. I rediscovered the faith of my youth and ran home to Jesus. BUT, my brain resisted letting go of the world I had known. My brain, my life, needed reprogramming.

So, just how does one reprogram a brain to be Christlike?

It all begins with nutrition. Nutrition for the spirit.

Now listen to what God says about reprogramming your brain: take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

What I know to be truth is this: What you pour into your soul WILL eventually come out. You may want to argue with this statement but I promise you it is truth. With this said, today I want you to think about what you are putting inside. Is it of God or is it not.

I had to change many things about my life to allow Jesus to transform my mind. First, and this is the most important step you will ever take toward transformation, read God’s word. Everyday. Period. The End.

Second, what kind of television programming are you allowing in? What music are you listening to? Books? Video games? Internet? Even news.

Let me give you a personal example. I will sit down to watch some kind of new programming on Television or a movie that looks interesting. Within the first five minutes of watching I will sometimes feel a chink in my spirit that it is not good or right, even offensive to my Jesus.  Tv

Immediately, I jump off the couch and turn it off. If my unbelieving husband still wants to watch, I leave the room. Nowadays, my husband will comment to me about a movie coming out or a new series to premiere saying, “Honey, you won’t like this show.” He knows me well. I will not allow it in my mind.

Now I know what you are thinking. This doesn’t apply to my life. After all I am an adult, I know how to discern adult content and it will not affect me. It’s a lie. Why pour it in when you can fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NIV

Right now I bet you can think of a few programs you need to walk away from. Do it. Turn on praise and worship music every chance you get. Listen to online messages that edify.

Transformation of your mind is a deliberate and protracted process. But what I know to be true is one day after years of filling your mind with scripture and things of God, YOU WILL face a moment. Your moment will be a point of decision or confrontation and instead of failing, the words of God will rise up inside you and you will have the perfect answer. Scripture will become alive and active. You will have God’s power alive in you to face any obstacle even crisis and overcome it.

How awesome it that.

The more years I walk with the Lord the more I see that His word truly is alive and active. It is alive and active….. and powerful and for our benefit. Soak it in. Turn off the world and watch the transformation of your very life begin.

This week I want you to do two things. One, consider a fast from television. Or begin to be discriminating about everything you watch, read and listen to. Don’t listen to the lie that you will be closed minded. The world likes to throw that lie around. Form this day forward I give you permission to BE closed minded when it comes to Christ. You know the truth and the truth sets men and women free.

Next: Sometime this week I want you to experience a daytime fast. This is a fast of breakfast and lunch and concludes with a healthy normal portioned dinner with your family. After sunset. Sunset here today is 6:23 pm. It’s doable. Why fast? When the hunger pains hit I want you to be moved to pray. Sitting at your desk or volunteering or reading blogs, stop for a minute and pray. It is experiencing humbling before the throne of God, not seeking favor for a request but pride less time with the Father. Tell Him about your struggles. Offer him praises. Read to him from your journal the list of thanks you wrote out yesterday.

God lives in the praises of His people.

Are you still falling from bed to your knees and asking Jesus to be the Lord of your day?

Now here is where the transformation begins to take place. You firmly seat Christ on the throne of your life and throw yourself off. You start reprogramming your mind with a purpose. You seek Him in a new prayerful way.

Watch what happens next. BLISS is hovering close.

Leave your thoughts in the comments about television and is God calling you to fast from media and from food? BIG steps but I promise you….. OH SO WORTH IT. Use your journal to write out prayers during your fasting experience. Write down what needs purging from your life. Ask God to show you what to replace it with.

After you fast, stop back here and tell me what you experienced.

Be Blessed, Lynn

Now for a little inspiration: Experiencing God on the throne of your life sometimes means obeying Him when it doesn’t makes sense. Today at Laced With Grace I have a story to share. It all Started with A Woman and a Cow. What a Christmas.

*****

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Thankful Thursday - I'm Counting

This week I want to welcome everyone who is participating in The Mind of Christ Experiment to Thankful Thursday.

When I was a kid and my brother, sister and I would start whining and complaining my mother would have none of it. She would immediately burst into song and sing over our small voices. Probably to drown out the noise of it all but it is a lesson that has stuck in my head all these years later. She would sing:

Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

Count your blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

I looked the song up. (I love Google.) It was written by Johnson Oatman Jr. in 1897.

Now read the lyrics from the first verse:

When upon life's billows You are tempest tossed

When you are discouraged Thinking all is lost

Count your many blessings Name them one by one

And it will surprise you What the Lord has done

-----

Whatever you are complaining about today, stop right now and start to sing. Count your many blessings and see what God has done.

If you are journaling, write your blessings, write them one by one. I promise this exercise is vital to transformation.

If you are blogging, and stop here each week to give praise to Jesus, I am sooo glad you are here. I have a quick praise to share with you. On Saturday my teen daughter attended her very first Home Coming Dance.  Imported Photos 00035

The Home Coming Dance is waaaay different than when I attended High School. Today all the girls gather in packs and go together. I guess it is the same for the guys. They all meet up and dance the night away.

My daughter left for the dance with three of her BFFs hoping for that elusive Cinderella moment to occur at the dance. Her moment you ask? It wasn't a foot popping kiss. It was only to be asked by a boy to dance.

The last dance of the night arrived and out of the crowd stepped an older and taller young man. He asked my baby girl to dance a slow dance.

My daughter arrived home and said with twinkling in her eyes, "Mom, it happened. My Cinderella moment."

Ahhhh, all is right with the world!

She then said, "Mom, I heart Jesus."

What more could a mother want.

Tell me about your Cinderella Moment? I can't wait to read your thankful list as you also count your blessings and name them one by one.

Be Blessed, Lynn.

PS. I am counting and I am at number 10,968...... and still going! Amen! Changes your whole perspective.

Next month we will meet at Grace Alone. December we will return to Women Taking A Stand.

*****

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Day 6: God is Good

859675_book___ You send an email to a friend updating her on everything going on at the moment. Your letter seems more like a list of crises than anything else. Then you go to sign it with “God is good” but you hesitate.

Can you honestly say that and mean it in the midst of your discouragement? You know in your head it’s true, but in your heart…in your heart, you’ve noticed a disconnect. You’re tired and struggling to believe that the trials in your life are in God’s control.

Are you there right now?

I know in recent weeks I have been. But I have the answer for you. If we spend anytime at all in the Bible, we are shown over and over again a God who cares and sacrifices for his children, his ultimate sacrifice being his Son. Jesus Christ is the greatest representation of God’s incomprehensible love.

Along with that, we see the evidence that God is good in his constant provision for his people. Like I said, we can know that in our heads, but sometimes when life gets hard, and I mean to the point where we think we just can’t take anymore, God is still right there in the midst of it all.

Since I was a child I have known that good comes out of everything. I can’t take credit for it. God instilled that in me for some reason I’ve yet to completely fathom, but I can tell you that I knew Romans 8:28 before I ever read it.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28
The longer I walk with God the more I grasp the truth of these words. We may not always understand the reason why we go through certain trials. We have to trust that God is working on our behalf to accomplish a greater purpose through our trials. A purpose that not only affects us but those around us a well.

Yet this is a truth that is hard to fathom at times. We skirt around it, fearful that it would mean accepting that God allows difficult things in our lives. So why would He do that if He loves us so much?

Let me tell you this, and please hear me. He does this BECAUSE he loves us so much. He wants us to grow and move closer to being more Christ-like, to realize our purpose in Him and to know Him. God is a redeemer. Not only of people but of circumstances. He may allow these times of trial in our lives (and I’m speaking of trials, not consequences), but I promise you GOD WASTES NOTHING AND REDEEMS EVERYTHING!

Can you believe that? Can you trust that He’s working in your circumstances even though you may not see Him there? Romans 8:28 says He works for the good of those who love him. That means He’s there working right now in whatever trial you are facing.

Are you ready to believe this TRUTH? Are you ready to turn control over this situation, OR EVEN YOUR LIFE, to him and trust he’s going to work it out (no matter what it is and every part of it) for YOUR GOOD?

Trust is the key and it’s a muscle we have to develop. Make this choice today and when doubts come in, say these words:

“I know God is working in my circumstances to bring good and resolution. I’m CHOOSING today to trust Him and leave the outcome completely in his hands. I BELIEVE God is working for my good.”

Say it as often as you need to. This is part of the process Romans 12:2 speaks of in transforming our minds to the likeness of Christ. We must actively give those thoughts that work against us to Christ and replace them with biblical truths.

Keep praying. Keep believing. And keep watching! God is about to do something amazing!

Praying and believing with you!
Dineen


Journal.thumbnailIn your journals, explore these Scriptures and questions:

1. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1)  What does this verse mean to you? Are you certain that God’s unseen hand is still working in your life? (For extra study, read the book of Esther. Though God isn’t directly mentioned once, do you see his hand working in the circumstances surrounding Esther and the Jews?)

2. Think of a time that you felt alone, yet to look back, you can now see how God worked in the circumstances to bring resolution for your good. Write it down and date it. From now on, when you see God work like this, record it in your journal. When you have times of doubt, go back and read about these times.

3. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) This verse clearly explains the benefit of trusting God and keeping our minds focused on Him. We will have peace. Look this verse up in other translations if you can, and write down the one you like best in your journal. Repeat it several times until you memorize it. Then when doubts assail you, fight back by repeating those words. And congratulations! You’ve already transformed your mind one more step closer to Christ.

*****

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A Most Important Question - Day Five

Tune in on Wednesday, October 7th for our next post in this series by Dineen Miller.

Stop in Thursday because I have a special story to share. It is a genuine true story of a woman who decided to trust God when it didn’t make sense. The ending is unbelievable.

I have a question for you today to write in your journal. We will discuss it further on Friday.

What are you feeding your brain?

Open your journal and get to work. Write the question and then listen to what God is telling you. Come back and share it with everyone.

Also, if you have not read the comments from Friday or Monday, do so now. They are awesome, inspiring and filled with hope in Jesus. You are on a fantastic journey with some pretty amazing people. Take time to encourage one another. Leave a comment here today about what you are experiencing. And, please leave your answer to the question above.

Be Blessed, Lynn

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God’s Transformation Process – Part 1

When Lynn first asked me to join her and Dineen for this 30 Day journey, my mind was filled with so many different things I could write about, things I’ve learned over the last couple years about having a mind and heart after Christ. Then as I began to meditate on these things I realized how very much I have yet to learn. In fact, this process of sharing my heart with all of you is just a continuation of my journey to put Christ on the throne of my life.

My journey began in earnest two years ago when I stumbled across this site and read a post about “the most dangerous prayer”. I prayed that night with a sincere heart. “Whatever it takes, Lord. Whatever it takes draw my husband to you.” The Lord heard my cry and responded, but not in the way I had anticipated.

You see, the Lord knew the best way to draw my beloved husband to Him was to use his wife to show him the love of Christ. And I can’t demonstrate the love of Christ if I am not of one mind and heart with Him.

The first step in my transformation process is what I want to share with you today. To have the mind of Christ, the heart of Christ, we must first love Him with all our heart. As my 5 year old son says “Love God with all my heart, that’s why He made me.” However, in order to do this, we must first begin to grasp the love He has for us, because without His love we would not be able to love Him.

We love Him because He first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19

One of the first things we are told as a Christian is about how much God loves us, but do you really understand what that means? Has it truly sunk deep into your heart and taken root?

I had thought I understood how much God loved me, but it wasn’t until as couple months after my infamous prayer that I finally began to understand the great love of our God. I began a study on the Song of Solomon which finally hit home with me. I realized even though I said I knew God loved me, I only felt comfortable kneeling before Him when I thought I was being “good”. There was still a part of me deep down that was trying to earn His love. His love can’t be earned, but that is okay because we already possess it. We just need to realize that fact.

It may seem weird that at the beginning of a journey to make Christ our focus instead of ourselves, I would ask you to focus on how much YOU are loved. However I believe it is essential to being able to love Christ with all your heart. We can’t put him on the throne of our life if we don’t love Him wholeheartedly.

Psalm 18:19 says “He brought me into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me”.

God delights in you and wants to rescue you from whatever is consuming your focus in life right now. He knows that the only thing worth focusing on is Him and when we are able to do so the problems of this life fade. They don’t go away, but our perspective on them changes. We begin to see God’s reality instead of the world’s reality.

I ask each of you as we begin this journey to do some deep soul-searching and ask yourself this question. Do you really know how much the Lord loves you? Not because of who or what you are, but because of who He is. Meditate on 1 John 4:19. Ask God to reveal to you what this means, then be still and listen for His voice to answer you.

Click here for a link to the David Crowder Band page. There you can listen to the song, “How He Loves Us."  I encourage you to find a quiet place to settle yourselves and listen to this song. Close your eyes, turn up the volume and let the words of this song wash over you and sink deep.

He IS jealous for you and your love, you are His Beloved!

Angela

*****

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EighteenTruths To Remember - Day Two - Weekend Devotion

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,

mightier than the breakers of the sea;

the Lord is mighty!

Psalms 93:4 (NIV)

1. Faith is the ability to not panic.

2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you pray, don't worry.

3. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home.

4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still, so He can untangle the knot.

6. Do the math. Count your blessings.

7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.

9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.

10. Laugh every day, it's like inner jogging.

11. The most important things in your home are the people.

12. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.

13. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

14. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

15. We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.

16. It is all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.

17. Surviving and living your life successfully require courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.

18. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Keep praying, keep writing, keep listening and we will meet again for day four on Monday when Angela shares. Dineen will post again on Wednesday. The jorney is on! Victory is ours! Be Blessed, Lynn

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The Mind of Christ Experiment - Let's Begin

I’m sitting at my computer and the Holy Spirit is flooding my mind with so much. There is so much to tell you, much to share and I want to get it all to you right now. But, the Lord is reminding me that this is a journey. To know the Mind of Christ, to be transformed by Christ, is a progression. He reminds me to begin simply yet purposefully.

 I must tell you I have been completely overwhelmed by the response. So many of you listened to the call from God. I mailed envelopes all over the globe. I went to the store several times as I ran out of supplies. They all know me at the post office now. But, what an amazing privilege to be a sojourner along with you. I am utterly humbled and thankful to the Lord.

Some of you arrived because you are sick n’ tired of being sick n’ tired. Some of you are seeking your bliss. Some of you know you need to hear from the Lord. Here are just a few of the notes that arrived in my email box:

I would like to do your 30 days of "Tired of Being Sick and Tired." I was just telling a friend the other day how sick & tired of being sick & tired. Feeling like Satan has thrown a thick, dark blanket over me, I really need some help getting out from underneath it. I'm really excited about this! ~JW

I felt inspired by the Kingdom Experiment on your blog and I feel moved to try this one. The Lord wants to see me completely transformed by the renewing of my mind--I have been working with Romans 12-2 for some time but the transformation has only just begun! ~LR

Hello! Count me in for the Mind of Christ challenge. Boy, do I need this right now! Thanks for all you do and your faithfulness in sharing what the Lord gives you. Many Blessings to you and your beloved! ~BJ

I'm in.......................God has already been dealing with me during the month of September that it’s All ABOUT HIM and NOT ABOUT ME. ~HL

Ok Lynn, you got me on the bliss. ~AL

This is one of the many things I love about God’s community. We are never alone. He has now called all of us together. So let’s get started.

I want you to really focus on what I am about to say.

Transformation of your heart and mind begins with this:

Placing Jesus Christ on the throne of your life.

When you purposefully throw yourself off the power seat and humbly step aside allowing Jesus to fill your soul, your day, your heart, your mind, your life with His leadership, all the troubling, painful, fearful circumstances of your life lose their power over you.

Do you believe this?

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I want you to take this statement and write it in your journal and then write this: What does placing Jesus on the throne of my life really mean? Then stop and listen. Write down what you hear. He may not answer you until later in the day. When that happens, return to your journal and write down what He is telling you.

Use your journal often. Write prayers, questions, hopes, promises and commitments. One day you will see that journal on your bookshelf or in your desk drawer and know that was the beginning of a new life for you.

I am now going to make a bold promise to you. If you begin each day, placing Christ on the throne of your life, God is going to radically intervene in your life.

So let’s talk about how we go about placing Christ on the throne of our life. I have a simple but profound practice I want you to try for the next 30 days. When you wake, immediately step out of bed and fall to your knees. Then pray something like this:

Jesus, Today I surrender my place of authority over my life to you. I am placing you on the throne of my life. Teach me to focus on your desires for me. Help me to not worry about what everyone else is doing right or wrong but just show me how to completely focus on you. I give you my entire life this day. In your powerful name, Jesus, Amen.

Now I have one more request. This is not an easy assignment and we are going to need each other to press forward. We will need to help each other and remain accountable to one another. In about three weeks, you will grow tired of this journey. So I am giving you a heads up now to watch for your discontent. Satan absolutely will do everything possible to keep you firmly seated in power. Have none of it.

Start today by sharing one way you are going to place Christ on the throne of your life. Share in the comments. Share if you are uncertain how you feel about falling to your knees straight out of bed while your husband watches. Share your experiences, your triumphs, your questions.

So today write down in your journal and here in the comments at least one thing you find Jesus leading you to do …. or give up, maybe that “thing” is something someone else is struggling with and they need your insight.

Lord Jesus, We commit this experiment to You. The next 30 days we are desperate to seat you firmly as the leader of our lives. Show us how to do this. Lord, empower us to become humble. We ask You to remove our pride so we can experience watching the cares of this world slip away as unimportant. We want to live in the absolute bliss of your presence. We ask in your powerful and life-changing name, Jesus. Amen

Monday, Angela Smith will be joining our team as a guest contributor during this series. I can’t wait as she shows us more about living a life with Jesus Christ as ruler and King. Be Blessed, Lynn

Okay, leave a comment and let’s hear your thoughts about your assignment. If you haven't received your envelope through the mail as of today, please email me and I will get you started without it. Hugs.

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