"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Monday, June 24, 2013

Worry Cycle

Reading through a few older posts this week, I came across The Life Cycle of Worry.
It was a good reminder for me to examine the cycle I am currently on.

Here are the two cycles:

Life Cycle of Worry

- Devil Tells Us Lies AND We Believe Them
- Life Expectations Take Root  "Life Should be This Way"
- We Feel Entitled to Comfort
- Fear of Losing Control Grows
- Distrust God's Plan
- Feel Responsible For Outcomes in Life
- Worry
- If Worry Comes to Fruition, Lies Intensify
- Cycle Begins Again

Life Cycle of Joy

- Immerse Ourselves in Christ, Our Living Water
- Disregard Lies of the Devil
- Grow Realistic Life Expectations  "He Will Meet Our Needs"
- Trust Him More
- Freedom From Fear
- Content With Life We Are Given
- Experience Joy
- Desire to Be One With Christ Intensifies
- Cycle Begins Again

I don't want to be trapped in worry, so I choose to draw closer to God. That is the first step in breaking the worry cycle. Time in truth trumps time listening to lies.

Lord, I want to turn my eyes to you and remain on the cycle of joy. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Wish I Had Learned - Part 2

30 Things I Wish I Had Learned Before I Turned 30:
(In the order they come to mind, not of importance)

To read Part 1 first, click HERE 

Be interruptable.. by those you love, by strangers, by God. You may have a plan for your day, but that doesn't mean it's the only plan there is, or even the best one. When attention is pulling you elsewhere, consider it might be where you need to go.

Thank others sincerely and often. There is no better way to get your eyes focused on what is really important than being thankful.

Listen (really listen) to your elders. Ask questions and drink deeply from the cup of wisdom that comes with age. And do not leave without giving and receiving a hug.

Take the first step of inviting friends into your life. Too many people sit back and wait for others to befriend them. Find someone who makes you laugh and in the next breath challenges you to be a better version of yourself. If at first you are rejected - try, try again.

Decide not to let what "THEY" think of you matter. Who are "THEY" anyway? Only the opinion of the eternal one matters. Listen to what people say about you, access the truth in their words, then quickly move on.

Leave each situation better than you found it. If there is a way you can help, speak truth, or shine for Him, take the opportunity - no matter how insignificant it seems.

Pause before making impulse decisions to determine if they are being made because 1) you have all the information you need already, or 2) you are trying to avoid giving conviction enough time to change your mind.

If someone offers to help you, let them. Be specific about the help you need. Some seasons of your life will allow time for helping others and some will be dominated by accepting help from others. Accept the season you are in at this time. Allowing others to help bless you is a blessing in itself.

Check the premise of your "should." When you think or announce, "I should..." discover why. Is your "should" based in truth or a lie?

Always be prepared to wait longer than expected. It does not need to be wasted time. If you don't have a book, snack, or crayons (for those with kids, always have crayons), you have your imagination and the ability to pray.

Be intentional about the music you listen to and the things you watch. Lyrics linger and mindless entertainment does affect your thoughts.

Spend time discovering specifically what you need from the ones you love, then tell them gently and repeatedly, if necessary. Only God can read your mind. It is rare to find a couple who communicates too much.

Glance toward Heaven and at His Word before looking around you each day. Unlimited wisdom, love, peace, help, etc... is available. All you have to do is ask.

Keep an eternal perspective on the time you have been given. Give attention to what truly matters in this life and run from what distracts from your ultimate goal. Learn to think in "decades" rather than "days."

And finally...

Dream Big. Pray for your one little life to ripple across eternity. God honors the desires of a pure heart that asks, "May they only see the back of me as I lead them closer to you, Lord."

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Wish I Had Learned - Part 1

30 Things I Wish I Had Learned Before I Turned 30:
(In the order they come to mind, not of importance)

* Children are usually listening when you hope they are not and rarely are when they are supposed to. Guard the door of your mouth wisely. Think twice about whether what you are about to say is of any value in the Kingdom of God.

* People seldom spend their time on what they say they value the most. Your time and wallet reflect the truth about what is deep in your heart. If something is important enough to you, you will find the time to make it happen.

* Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, not just others. There is nothing you can do that is beyond Jesus' forgiveness. How then can you harbor unforgiveness in your heart toward others? Let it go and move on.

* Turn everything off. Often. Silence is rare today. Everyone seems to be afraid of what might happen if they are alone with themselves and God. Unless you are still for more than the time it takes to switch gadgets, how can you expect to hear from Heaven?

* Memorizing scripture is not a task to check off the "I should be doing that" list. It is a weapon to use against the enemy when warfare seems the strongest. It is an overwhelming sense of peace when long forgotten truths are recalled. At the end of life, no one ever regretted spending time hiding these truths in their heart or teaching them to their children.

* Discover what delights your heart and make time to do it often. Unless you fill up with joy and love, you will not flow out joy and love.

* The people you love most in life will at some point let you down. Being human means making bad choices and saying things you should not have said. Everyone does this. Even David, the man after God's own heart, was an adulterer and murderer. Go easy on others and offer grace when true repentance is expressed.

* Do not expect people who do not have a relationship with Jesus to act like they do. People either act out of the love or lack of love that is in their hearts. Shine God's love everywhere you go, but do not be surprised when it is not reflected back to you from nonbelievers.

* Do not judge others. Period. There may be a reason you are not aware of that they are doing what they are doing. God is the ultimate judge. You were never asked to be part of the jury.

* Learn how to see yourself as God sees you. The ability to love others begins with the ability to love yourself. Ask him to show you the truth of who you are to him. Then, keep your eyes and ears open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you are more valuable than you think.

* Figure out how to handle conflict in a healthy way. If you are ever around others, conflict will happen. Avoiding it now makes the situation twice as hard later. If ignored, unresolved bitterness and anger will explode in a destructive way.

* Just because someone is on a stage or has a lot of fancy letters after their name, it does not mean they always speak truth. Test everything against the plumb line of the Word of God and the prompting of the Spirit inside you.

* Think about tomorrow, plan for the future, but be fully here now. Today is not a dress rehearsal. You get one chance to do what you are doing right now. Slow down, glance around, and look into the eyes of other people. You are guaranteed the moment you are in, nothing more.

* Strive for a healthy body because you want to honor God with the temple he gave you, not because you want to impress others or earn love and praise. You are loved completely just as you are now. Take care of the vessel he has temporarily given you to the best of your ability.

* Learn what makes those closest to you in life feel loved, then do those things often. People tend to express love as they enjoy receiving it, but God created every one so differently. Ask, and then act. Repeat this cycle often.

To be continued...