I cringed inside as I watched the following scenario take place. There was a group of people having dinner in a restaurant. One person in the party was obviously drunk, which was getting under the skin big-time of the person satting across the table from them. This person was trying get the drunken person to stop drinking. It obviously wasn’t working as the person kept downing one drink after drink to the point of flaunting in the face of the one trying to get them to stop. What made this situation even worse was that the intoxicated person was behaving very inappropriately to those sitting next to them.
As the drinks kept coming, the sober person’s anger kept rising. You could see the unhappiness all over their face. There were times, they got up and walked outside, only to return even more upset. They were clearly letting the drunken person inside their head.
Could they control the intoxicated person? No. Could they get that person to stop drinking? No. What could they have done? Entertain this truth: You can only control you, not others. They were letting the intoxicated person get inside their head; and thus, ruining their evening with their group. They were repeatedly got up and left the restaurant, while the intoxicated person stayed and had a good old time.
Because of what Jesus has done for and in the believer, we can totally control what’s going on inside our head; and thus, we can own our reaction to any given situation. We can filter what we’re seeing and hearing through the truths of Scripture. In the Spirit’s power, we can choose to act on those truths and thereby control our reactions. We can have peace during some very uncomfortable situations by choosing to not let others get under our skin as we choose to not let them into our heads.
You choose who will be in your head – others, yourself or Jesus. Jesus is the only One who can bring peace in stressful situations (Is. 26:3).
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The last and the youngest of the real Van Trapp children, Maria Von Trapp (pictured), died this past February. Her death, at the ripe old age of 99, brought out the Christian side behind the movie, Sound of Music.
Originally, Maria (the nun played by Julie Andrews) was hired to tutor only Maria, who was a sickly child. This nun, not only brought music to the Von Trapp household, but Christ as well. Her prayer had been, “I thank You so much for sending me here. Please help me to draw them all closer to You.”
Music was a side note to her mission, honoring Christ was her purpose. Eventually the Captain asked her to get his children “thoroughly acquainted with Holy Scriptures.” In accomplishing this task, they read the Bible at night as a family! Maria commented on this reading, “It proved to be the Book of Books, the only one in the whole world to which a four-year old girl would listen with enraptured interest while all the philosophers are not yet able to get to the bottom of its divine wisdom.”
The source behind the music was a book. Behind the convictions of a family were truths found in that book. Want to be able to sing during the catastrophes of life, like leaving behind your home country and all your wealth (side note: their home eventually housed high Nazi officials, including Hitler), while retaining your honor? Get into the book. Want the peace to be able to start over in a new country? Listen to the Author of the book while reading it.
Put the truths God gives you into your mind and then practice exercising them throughout your day, today. What you put into practice today will come out in your life tomorrow. All our excuses for our lack of spending time listening to Jesus in the Word melt away when we see a four-year old doing it. So, why not you? Why not today?
S“E”t Free Nowww
“It’s all in God’s hands” is not a cheap cliché; and, it’s certainly not an excuse to do nothing either. I recently read a great explanation of this truth, “It is not an excuse to do nothing; it is a reason to do what the Father would have me to do, confident that He will guide my weak hands to do what I cannot do in my own strength.”
It’s a truth that goes to the core of faith – trusting God’s way will work as I know mine doesn’t. When we say that we’re trusting Jesus, we’re letting our brains know that our way of thinking has failed us; and now, we’re trusting that His way will bring victory and fulfillment.
When we say we’re exercising the truth, we’re saying that we’re putting our lives in God’s hands. We’re saying that we’re expecting His Spirit to empower us at that very moment to do what Jesus is telling us to do. It’s not sitting back and doing nothing. No, it’s an action step of faith in God’s way of thinking by trusting that we’re assured of the results of that action step, as life truly is in His hands.
So, go ahead and put your daily life, with all its situations, into your God’s hands. He will strengthen you to do whatever He’s telling you to do in that particular moment, which will bring guaranteed victory.
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I read an interesting article today entitled, “Why Much of What Our Media Says is a Lie.” This may sound like a “duh” statement; and yet, the author’s findings hit a cord with me.
“We consume an enormous amount of media. Entertainment media from music to movies to television, and data from the Internet fill several hours each day for most people living in developed countries – particularly children. Most entertainment media are represented as being a reflection of typical or majority lifestyles, values and conduct. However, [those in the] media are more and more in the business of creating trends (my note – from selling products to agendas), suggesting lifestyles and remaking values and moral codes. A few hundred individuals (media executives, producers, directors, moguls) influence virtually every movie or TV show we see, [including] the music we hear. And this tiny “cultural elite” is widely removed from the mainstream.”
A few hundred people are attempting to shape Western civilization through controlling what is seen and heard through electronic means. Furthermore, as the entertainment industry creates more and more ways to get their message into your head, it becomes even more crucial to filter through the massive amounts of data you’re receiving each day. I like, but modified, what a famous philosopher once said, “It is the mark of a biblically educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
As believers, as long as we live on this planet, we can’t accept everything at face value. The days of computer generated graphics and photoshopped pictures are here to stay and will only become more convincing. Also, many “Christian” media outlets, thought to be safe, are being purchased by those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. This all adds up the fact that you must keep feeding your biblical filters truths from God’s Word, listening to and talking with Jesus throughout your day, and then choosing to follow where He leads, not where the few would like you to go.
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Where is your hope planted today? I love what Isaiah tells Israel and to all of us, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” (40:6-8).
Isaiah nails it right on the head. If our hope is based in ourselves and/or our ability, some person or set of circumstances (“my life will get better when…”) we’re in big trouble! Our hope will be like the grass – here today and gone tomorrow (for those who mow lawns, you know what I’m talking about!). But Isaiah goes on to say in 40:31, “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” How can he make such a statement? Our God and His Word were here yesterday, are here today and will be here tomorrow. We can trust His Word. What He starts, He can finish, which is the basis for our hope!
Our hope should be in the truths of the Word of God and the power of His Spirit. His Word will never fail. His Spirit will empower us to take the faith steps we need for victory today. He will finish what He started and those changes will make your life better, which will turn your hope into reality. Now there is a reality show – your changed life!
S“E”t Free Nowww