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Reframing Life

The facts are the same, the filter is different. What we filter out or allow to filter 'in' within our minds determine how we will respond to information presented to us. We call this a cognitive bias - the filters we apply within our minds based upon our experiences and/or our preferences. The facts will be the same in how we see things, but we can see it quite differently, can't we? The frame of our thought or situation defines how we see the situation. We change the 'frame' of our day and we can change the way we interpret the events of that day. The filter or frame are dependent upon us - we choose the filter we apply or the frame in which we see things in life. We cannot control what happens TO you, but you can control HOW you see it. I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect . Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out th
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Old Meat and Fillers

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it . For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. (I John 3:18) How many of us are our own best critics? I know I rise to the top of that list! I can get 'down' on myself from time to time - questioning my decisions, troubling over my actions, rethinking my words, and just plain rehashing stuff that isn't all that good for me to rehash. I remember asking mom what 'hash' was one day. She spoke of it as though it was a basic staple 'back in the day', so she tried to describe it. Already cooked meat, cut into small pieces with potatoes added, and then reheated again. Does that sound like anything like us 'rehashing' our life choices? Meat already cooked - decisions a

Squirming a little?

As a wee kiddo, my brother enjoyed pestering me from time to time. Nothing pleased me more! I loved his teasing, endured his tickle-fests, and absolutely adored his willingness to take time for his little sis.  One of my fondest memories of Chris is his teasing - he liked to absolutely pester me in the most loving ways! Oh, don't get me wrong - even MY pestering him seemed to be enjoyed on his end! Most of the time, those 'pestering moments' would end in me being swept into the air, swung around, or pinned like a squished bug under the weight of his body while I had the giggles tickled right out of me. When I could barely catch my breath any longer, he'd set me down or let me loose. Some things in this lifetime "pester" us in a good way - others not so much! When I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy, I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence. I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand. You wisely and tend

The Emotional Tug

I guess none of us wants to hear we need to 'wean ourselves' off the old ways of thinking and acting, do we? In fact, whenever someone points out something in my character that needs a little adjustment, I almost want to cringe because I thought I was doing 'okay'. We actually 'suffer' a little pain with that reminder everything is not 'okay' in our lives. Whether it is physical, mental, or emotional in nature, human nature just lends itself to suffering. We cannot escape the fact - some suffering is brought on by our own doing! Other times, it is completely out of our control. The hardest thing to deal with is the type of suffering brought on by our own doing. We often associate a sense of guilt and shame to our own failures, compounding the suffering any wrong choice, thought, or emotional attachment we may be going through. Weaning ourselves from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get our own way is indeed necessary, but it isn't eas

What can you count on?

A lot of us think we can count on something, then find what we have been counting on falls apart right before our eyes or underneath our feet. I lived in Alaska for about three years and absolutely enjoyed it - but I came to appreciate not everything 'beneath my feet' was to be believed. One day as I was getting off the bus on my way to the local shopping mall in Anchorage, I ventured across the street on a cold, wintery day. Being from Arizona and not really familiar with this snow and ice, I had absolutely no idea what was to happen next. I was crossing a street, saw a puddle and imagined it to be just like any other puddle I had experienced. Can you say 'pothole'? Imagine one as deep as your kneecap and you can picture me there on the main drag in Anchorage. Up to my knees in cold, brown, icy mush on one side, while the other side of my body was precariously slipping around trying to get out of it! We think we can count on stuff to always be as we have known them to

Not going down that rabbit hole again

Isn’t it obvious that conspirators lose out, while the thoughtful win love and trust? (Proverbs 14:22) Some of the most 'obvious' things in life can be the most 'elusive' to us. Stop for a moment to consider what 'obvious' really means - available, accessible, discernable. Now, why is it that the stuff that is so easily available, quickly accessible, and totally discernable is hard for us to actually get our minds around? I think it might be that the enemy of our souls just doesn't want us to get hold of this stuff that God provides because he knows just how powerful it will be in our hands! The thoughtful win love and trust. The mind is the starting point for all action - we have established that already in our studies together. If we want to know where we are headed, we need only look as far as our most dominant thoughts. Whatever it is we think the most upon is the direction our actions will be taken. Every now and again I think some thoughts that take m

A picture is worth a thousand words

I'll throw out the old plan I set up with their ancestors when I led them by the hand out of Egypt. They didn't keep their part of the bargain, so I looked away and let it go. This new plan I'm making with Israel isn't going to be written on paper, isn't going to be chiseled in stone; this time I'm writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I'll be their God, they'll be my people. They won't go to school to learn about me, or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons. They'll all get to know me firsthand, the little and the big, the small and the great. They'll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean. (Hebrews 8:7-12) The old saying "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water" always made we wonder. Just how many parents and nannies of those tiny children actually made them disappear with the bath water? Silly as it seems to consider that one, the