What Are You Thinking?

Tuesday

“For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:5-6‬ ‭NET‬‬

There is a war for your thoughts and for your imagination.  God gave you the ability to imagine and shape your thoughts.  He gave you the ability to imagine your day, your tomorrow, your future.

Many people believe that you can’t control your thoughts or the direction of them but that is not what the Bible says in the verse above.

The imagination nourished by the Spirit of God is life and peace.

The imagination shaped by the flesh is fear and death.

The thing is, you get to choose.

You have free will and God will never take it from you.
What you think, how you think is up to you.

This is not about creating your future with positive thoughts. This is about consciously choosing to fix your mind on Jesus Christ and allowing Him to shape your outlook.

“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NET‬‬

You have permission, my friend, to take a mental vacation from fear and set your imagination free to dream some God-sized dreams today.

Where is your head?

What is it filled with?

What does it mean for you to set your imagination free and let God dream for your life?

Wait For It.

Wednesday

But GOD’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You can’t see what God is doing “behind the scenes” in your life but I know He is working.

You don’t know how He is going to meet your needs, but I know that He will.

You don’t have to worry about the whys or hows. You can rest in the truth that He knows them.

God is not finished with your life. He has more for you.

Jesus took all that separates God from you so that you can receive all He has for you.

I am praying that today you will experience God’s matchless, unbroken companionship while you wait. While you wonder what is going to happen. While you worry about the unknown future.

I am praying that you will experience His victory, favor, love, peace, and joy, while you wait.

I believe that God is preparing things for you right now and that they will be right on time (maybe not your time but in His time).

While you wait, trust.

While you trust, worship.

While you worship, rest.

Have an amazing day enjoying what you have while you wait for what God is preparing for you. 

Prayer is…

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Prayer is a retreat.

A retreat from the world and the battles you fight in it.

The word “retreat” is a military term. It means to get off the battlefield, to quit fighting, back out and regroup.

Prayer is creating time with God to regroup, reassess, restrategize and recover.

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper”.

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” here in the original Hebrew is “shalom” and often translated as peace.  Shalom is the peace that comes after the conflict and the quietness that comes after the chaos.

At its core, “Shalom” means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

Fighting a battle when you’re exhausted, wounded and discouraged never works.

Are you exhausted, wounded, or discouraged? 

Then it is time to pray.

To take a step back, find a quiet place with God so He can repair what is broken, remind you of His purpose and arm you with His vision.

Jesus has given you full access to God’s presence.

Enter in and rest.

He is waiting for you.

My prayer is that you would get off the battlefield for a while and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Stay there as long as you need to.

New Grooves

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“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Jesus knows how your mind goes, so your life goes.

He also knows that you have years of pathways laid and that your most frequent thoughts have deep familiar grooves they travel in.

What are you thinking?

What are your most frequent thoughts?

I’m not talking about the power of positive thinking, I’m talking about the power of Christ-like thinking.

In fact, there is an incredible statement in
1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV: “But we have the mind of Christ.”

That doesn’t mean that we are robots who all think the same way, it means that Jesus has given you access to His mind and how He thinks by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You have your own mind and think your own thoughts.

Jesus will help you make new grooves and new pathways as you learn to follow and trust Him.

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8 ‭MSG‬‬

When your mind is stuck on repeat and it is filling you with fear instead of faith, ask Jesus for help. Ask Him what He thinks about the situation. Ask Him to show you what He thinks about you.

When you are wrapped in the compassionate presence of your Savior, he will help you turn from the old roads of thinking and make new pathways based on God’s truth.

Make His way of thinking your new groove this year. 

Rapturous Joy

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It’s Christmas Eve.

No matter what your day looks like or feels like today or tomorrow, I pray for you to have a moment of rapturous joy as a redeemed child of God.

The great orator of a century past says it so beautifully:

We esteem every day alike, but still, as the season suggests thoughts of Jesus, let us joyfully remember our dear Redeemer’s glorious birth.

Who but He was ever longed for by such a multitude of hearts?

When did angels indulge in midnight songs, or did God hang a new star in the sky?

To whose, cradle did rich and poor make so willing a pilgrimage, and offer such hearty and unsought oblations?

Well, may earth rejoice; well may all men cease their labor to celebrate “the great birthday” of Jesus.

Let gladness rule the hour; let the holy song and sweet heart music accompany our soul in the raptures of joy.

– Charles Spurgeon

Love, hugs and many blessings from the Grasso’s this Christmas!

Heavenly Peace

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As you count down the days to Christmas, take a minute to focus on what is important and in the craziness continue to refocus on your Creator.
It is His love you are celebrating.
This miraculous gift of the Son, this unquenchable love of the Father, this daily guide of the Spirit.
“for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Instead of replaying past moments or creating perfect scenarios in your head of the near future, let it be what it will be. 
Enjoy the imperfections of this day and those to come.
Know that everything “being perfect” will not create the feeling of fulfillment you are looking for.
You are looking for love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness…. and these are fruits of the Spirit (not fruits of the season). 
May you be filled with the Heavenly Peace of God’s Spirit as you walk among the complicated chaos of the humans around you.

You Don’t Need More Stuff

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You don’t need more stuff.

More things will not bring satisfaction or peace.

More stuff will not make your relationships better.

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”
Proverbs‬ ‭17:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Peace never comes by ignoring the conflict but only through dealing with it.

Don’t stuff your feelings, deal with them.

Push through the uncomfortable space of it.

Be brave and talk.

Speak the truth in love.

You don’t need a luxurious environment to possess luxurious love.

Don’t be passive with love and don’t look to possessions to solve your problems for you.

Look to Jesus to give you what you need today to break through and possess peace in your most important relationships – those in your home.

Peace

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You will have many things to worry about today.

Some things you worry about all the time.

Some things you can’t anticipate until they are upon you.

Either way, you can collect worry like it’s your job or you can choose peace.

You have peace with God through Jesus Christ and because of that, you can receive peace from God in every situation.

That doesn’t mean the day before you are not full of challenges, it means that you have already decided to face them with the peace of God ruling your heart rather than the anxiety of man.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Recognize that out of all the decisions you will make today, the most important one will be what you choose to hold onto God’s peace or your worry?

All That I Am

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“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him”.

Psalm 62:5 NLT

Let all that I am

Daughter, wife, mother, friend, dreamer, detailer, realist, writer, speaker, cook, cleaner, pastor, inspirer, frail, my own worst critic, stubborn, strong, passionate, fearful, faithful, wonderful, beautiful, worry-full, redeemed, restored.

Rest…

Stop and don’t take another step forward. Hush anxious thoughts. Put down the to-do list. Quiet fearful eyes. Close the door. Rest with abandon. Embrace moments of peace. Breathe silence. Cease to think, worry, wonder and simply be.

Before God…

Not before the damage from the storm. Not before your bills. Not before your responsibilities. Not before your failures and faults nor your achievements or success. Wait quietly before God. The Creator, Provider, Peace Maker, Redeemer, Savior, Lord. He is sovereign and merciful, strong and gentle. Powerful and purposeful.

For my hope…

The tender expectations of possibility. Easily bruised. Unrealistic. Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing hope.

Hope is the vehicle of momentum filled with a gas tank of faith and moves you forward. Without hope, the tank is empty, you feel as if you are going nowhere with no indication of possible change. With hope, nothing is impossible because with God all things are possible.

Is in Him…

My hope is wrapped up in the arms of grace surrounding my soul. My hope is not in temporal things, temporal circumstances, fleeting happiness but in a Person. My hope is held securely in nail-scarred hands. My hope is in Jesus, Precious Jesus. Faithful Jesus. Powerful Jesus. Loving Jesus.

Where is your hope?

Worth Having

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God doesn’t say, “it will be easy” nor does He say ” there will be no battles”.

He says:

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No matter what is happening around you, you are not alone and you have God’s presence within you.

Rest in His love, power, grace, peace, knowledge, goodness and faithfulness.

Your journey to freedom is not going to be easy but it is going to be worth it.