Appreciative Tears

happy tearsI couldn’t hold back the tears. The truth of Isaiah 53:5 continues to affect me at the oddest times and places. “Jesus was pierced for my transgressions, Jesus was crushed for my iniquities; the punishment that brought me peace was on Jesus, and by Jesus’ wounds I was healed.”
My drug of choice taking caused a spear to ram into His chest. My attempts to meet my needs my way caused the weight of the world to crash down on His shoulders and separate Him from His Father. My negative attitudes resulting in less than stellar choices caused Him to be stripped to the waist and whipped beyond recognition. My hurtful words were justice meted out as men repeatedly punched His face.
Jesus took what I deserved in order to give me what I didn’t deserve. He bore the brunt of my selfish stupidity so I could have the possibility of a better life both now and forever and of experiencing a kind of peace that defies circumstances. This is what caused me to tear up this afternoon and say, “Jesus, I sure do love You.”
I personalized this verse. Maybe you should as well. If you do, you might want to have a tissue or a dry corner of your sleeve ready just in case.
“S”et Free Nowww

Stop the Bouncing Balls

brain hurtI’ve sensed the Lord wants me to follow up yesterday’s blog with this: What in the world is going on inside your head? Or more accurately, what in the world are you allowing to bounce around inside the walls of your mind?
A good friend of mine once said, “You are the instrument of your own wreckage.” Another posted this quote from D.L. Moody, “I have more problems with myself than with any other man.” Ring true in your life?
Sometimes the biggest voice in my head is mine. This morning I was driving to an appointment when my mind drifted down a path it didn’t need to go. Literally, the Spirit piped in, “You’re a child of God, right?” Yup. “Then I wrote to tell you that you’re complete in Jesus. Why waste time on a path that takes you away from what you already have in Him?” I threw out that bouncing ball.
I’ve heard countless stories where negative thoughts wash over a person’s brain that can’t be discerned as to what triggered them. But all of a sudden, the person has quite a few bouncing balls in their mind. As the sound gets louder, their joy exits and desire to quit living for Jesus grows in strength.
We don’t always get to choose the balls that bounce in our heads, but it is our choice whether to let them keep bouncing or not! We can cut down on the head noise, if we choose to replace the lies (bouncing balls) with the truths God’s Word gives us. As we do, peace will reign (Is. 26:3). If not, peace destroying drugs of choice will start bouncing.
You are God’s workmanship and He doesn’t make junk. So, stop talking junk about yourself to yourself and start focusing on the truth you’re a secure and valuable child of God through faith in Jesus!
“S”et Free Nowww

Deal with Your Drug of Choice – Now!

worst enemyI opened my morning paper today to dismay and disbelief. “Mr. Padre” and all around good guy, Tony Gwynn, died yesterday after a bout with cancer. It appears that his drug of choice killed him.
The article stated, “Even while battling cancer, Gwynn talked of how strong the craving for ‘chew’ (aka smokeless tobacco) could be.”
In a 2011 interview, Mr. Gwynn said, “It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with. The cravings are still there. I’ve had to try and fight them.”
The article ended with this, “Maybe that will be one of Gwynn’s last and strongest messages. Hopefully anyone using smokeless tobacco, or thinking of trying it, will pay careful attention.”
I also read the following quote today from someone who didn’t even know about Mr. Gwynn’s passing, “You are the instrument of your own wreckage.” Though I am a die-hard LA Dodger fan, I’m going to miss “Mr. Padre” from San Diego. Hopefully, we’ll all hear his last message loud and clear: deal with your drug of choice now or you could pay a heavy price later.
Set “FREE” Nowww

Reason, not React, to Life

Focus on JesusSometimes the situations we face seem minor while others seem quite major. How we handle the minor ones determines whether they will become major or not.
How so? We often handle the minor ones on our own and run the major ones by Jesus. There is one problem with this line of thinking – minors can lead to majors if we’ve not trained ourselves to filter all decisions through the FREEdom process.
Christ-like character (aka new godly habits) is formed by reasoning life through scripture, not reacting to its situations. As you’re in the Word listening for the lie-fighting truths Jesus gives you, you’ll be able to see life through His eyes. With each choice to exercise that that truth through the Spirit’s power, you’re forming Christ-like character, a new habit.
If you merely react to life without reasoning it through Scripture, how will know that the minor decision you made didn’t let a lie squeeze through a gap in your filter, which can lead to major bad habit later?
Jesus ran everything through His Father (Jn. 5:19). If trusting ourselves forms the bad habits, shouldn’t we follow His example to keep them from forming in the first place or overcoming them once there? Learn to reason life through scripture, not react to its situations.
Set “FREE” Nwww

The Physics of Life-change

change is processGet sick? Go see a doctor for 15 minutes or less, who prescribes a pill. Got a problem? Watch a TV show that will solve it in 22-24 minutes, depending upon how many commercials they can sell. Hungry? Get fast food (whether it’s healthy or not is altogether a different story). We live in a fast paced society that wants answers and solutions…yesterday.
We can’t let that mentality creep into our thinking when it comes to our walks with Jesus. God laid out the physics of nature. If He chooses to override it, it’s called a miracle. Understand, though, miracles are by definition rare. If they were every day occurrences, they would be part of the physics that run the planet. If walking on top of the water happened everyday, we wouldn’t need flotation devices!
God also laid out the physics or process of life change. I believe it to be the Set Free Nowww process. As God, He can choose to override that process at anytime. The truth, however, is that the magic pill is rare. The everyday reality is that God wants us to exercise what Adam and Eve didn’t – to love Him enough to choose to listen to and follow Him wherever we are (Jn. 14:23).
Need your life changed? Pray for the pill, but start lovingly trusting Jesus today by choosing to use your biblical life change tools. Your life will be changed every time you do. And by the way, relax. It takes time to retrain your brain (Rom. 12:2)!
Set Free “N”owww