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Entries in Negative Thoughts (2)

Tuesday
Sep252018

Who's Doing This? Me or You?

Dianne Barker writes with profound simplicity, calling us to live out what we know to be true. In this Biblical Thinking UPGRADE, she suggests two ways we can change thought patterns of hopelessness. 

"I’d been in a slump," Dianne says. "Again."

Been there! The last time I (Dawn) was in a "slump," it was accompanied by depression, hopelessness and frustration. A slump is not a good place to be!

Dianne continues . . .

Entangled with daily cares of this life, I seemed to be drowning in hopelessness.

How will I ever finish the work God has given me to do?

Long ago, Psalm 19:14 provided a solution for my negative thoughts.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Putting that into practice began to satisfy my desire for a consistent inner and outer life.

But long years in hard places had drained my hope.

I felt a calling from God to write and speak, but circumstances hindered me. I didn’t seek fame and fortune. I only wanted to know when I left this earth that I’d fulfilled his purpose for me.

In 1956, Elisabeth Elliot lost her husband Jim—one of five missionaries brutally murdered after following God’s call to evangelize the savage Auca Indians in Equador. Left with a young daughter and an uncertain future, she learned God “will always give you the power to do the next thing.”

What is my next thing?

The Lord suggested I’d been in a slump because my goals were vague. Instead of worrying about finishing projects, I needed to simplify my focus: what shall I do today? I can be sure He will provide power to do it.

Another Elisabeth Elliot quote encouraged me:

“…waste no time wondering if you CAN do it. The question is simply, WILL you?

Your weakness is itself a potent claim on the divine mercy. ‘When I am weak, then I am strong’” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Knowing I still needed direction, the Lord led me to a folder where I’d stashed notes and verses. I found this:

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (Psalm 33:18-22).

The words left me silent before the Lord. What more did I need to know?

  • My hope is in his steadfast love.
  • He is my help and my shield.
  • I trust in his holy name and I am glad.
  • I hope in him.

Hopelessness is a thought pattern, not a reality.

When his disciples urged him to eat, “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work’” (John 4:34).

On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). How did he do it?

He prayed to his Father in heaven and obeyed. That’s a doable plan.

To finish the work He has given is my goal, too. How will I do it? Pray to my Father in heaven and obey.

He knows about the hard places. In fact, He designed them.

As for fulfilling my purpose—isn’t that God’s responsibility?

And isn’t he able to complete what He starts?

Apostle Paul said: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

My plan going forward: PRAY and OBEY.

What is God showing you to do today?

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Authors Network, and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Pearl at Pixabay.

Thursday
Sep252014

How to Be Your Own 'Thought Police'

Gail Purath has a gift. She can share huge concepts in a minimal number of words. (This Attitude UPGRADE about negative thinking is actually a combination of two of her posts at 1-Minute Bible Love Notes.)

“When you let your mind wander,” Gail says, “where does it go?”

Oh my. I (Dawn) have such a difficult time lassoing my thoughts. Do you? I really need Gail’s challenging words.

She continues ….

I don’t want to tell you how often mine heads straight to dirty thoughts—not porno, but bitter memories or worries or self-pity. This is especially true when I’m going through a difficulty. 

Did you know we speak at a rate of 120 words a minute, but we think negative thoughts at 1300 words a minute?

That means our thoughts can bury us in a pit of self-despair 10 times faster than spoken words.

No wonder Scripture says:

“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).

In other words, you can be your own Thought Police!”

So many of my problems begin in my thoughts. I think the worst about a situation or dwell on the negatives. I decide something is hopeless or meaningless and conclude I can’t be happy unless it changes.

There’s a two-step answer to the dilemma: “… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

1. Take your thoughts captive—make a conscious decision to quit thinking negatively.

2. Make your thoughts obedient to Christ—dwell on God’s Truth.

For example:

What are some practical ways to fight these negative thoughts?

  1. You might memorize Bible verses related to your struggle with negative thinking.
  2. You might interrupt negative thoughts by counting your blessings.
  3. You might praise God when negative thoughts come.

Remember, most battles are won or lost in our minds. Fight the good fight against negative thinking.

Where does your mind wander? Are you are struggling with negative thoughts? Ask the Lord to help you implement His two-step solution.

Gail Purath has been married to her best friend for 42 years, living the life of a nomad here on earth (40 homes in 62 years), looking forward to her heavenly home. Mother of two, grammy of seven, Gail writes about her joys, struggles, failures and victories in her short-but-powerful 1-Minute Bible Love Notes and shares a short Bible study each week on Bite Size Bible Study.

Graphic adapted, Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net