The World or the Word?

Having the right mindset is a matter of choosing the world or the Word.

The last few years have been a struggle in various ways for my husband and I. Financial hardship has especially taken a toll. Therefore mindset has been negatively impacted.

As a result there have been many things we have wanted to do that have had to be set aside. Home purchase, vacations, replacing old furniture.

None of these things are critical. Yet I have sometimes allowed self pity over my situation to keep me focused worldly instead of diving into the Word. Human nature does that.

Keys to Happiness

In the secular world, material things and business success are supposed to bring you happiness. This is reflected in every aspect of our western culture from movies to music as people are portrayed as happiest when they are acquiring things or career success.

Those barely getting by are not applauded…in fact, they are often portrayed as inferior.

As Christians, we know things are not what makes us happy. The joy of a new home or a job promotion will fade.

We get it twisted

And while we know this to be true our human nature rebels against it.

We want the things. We want success. We want recognition.

When placed in appropriate context these are not necessarily bad. Unfortunately, our perspective is often skewed and we desire more world than we do Word.

The World or the Word?

Kingdom Mindset

Shifting from a world view to a Word view is essential in influencing the culture towards a relationship with Jesus. Looking at the world through the lens of the Bible shapes our lives, our homes, our communities and thus this world.

Satan prefers we remain focused on the world so he attacks with worry, hardships, fear, and the pursuit of power (success) to distract us. If Satan can keep you focused on chasing success and things, then he keeps you from Kingdom work.

Jeremiah 29:13. Psalm 19:14. Isaiah 26:3. Psalm 112:7.

All four of these verses point to peace and joy and a lack of fear when our gaze is turned on God.

Becoming Wordly Minded

Obviously reading your Bible helps get the Word in you. But it isn’t enough just to read it.

Life application and change only happens when you pursue a deeper relationship with God. That requires studying the Word.

Set aside time for prayer and meditation on what God would have you glean from your scripture reading each day.

Be intentional about your studies as you would were you in school. Take notes. Read multiple versions of the Bible. Use a good Bible commentary to enhance your understanding.

Progress not perfection

Give yourself grace in adapting to study of the Word. If this is not something you have ever earnestly pursued, it will take time…like any new habit.

Hymns that inspire, revive and heal

I grew up attending church. Hymns were part of my childhood, from the simplest “Jesus Loves Me” to “Amazing Grace”.

Having a love for music, I have a great appreciation for those old school hymns.

Hurt in need of healing

Sometimes, when life has gut punched me and I find myself falling to my knees, those old hymns are the only music that will do.

Modern worship is beautiful, however, it doesn’t connect as deep in my soul as these tried and true songs do.

They bring me back to a time when things were simpler, less complicated, less chaotic and less burdensome.

They revive me. They heal me.

Hymns that Inspire, Revive & Heal

One of my favorites has always been “All Hail the Power”.

Memories that inspire

I remember singing this as a child, standing by my grandmother in a small church in rural south Georgia. I remember her slightly off key soprano…tremulous and soft the older she got.

I remember singing not just one stanza or chorus. Oh no, we would sing every stanza, every chorus…each more jubilant than the last.

No fancy organ. No drums or guitars. Just the piano. And the voices of a united congregation lifting up their Savior.

Future of Faith

I remember even then, not wanting worship time to end. I couldn’t have told you a reason why then.

I just knew it felt good to be standing there, holding her hand, singing.

It made me happy. It made my grandmother happy. It seemed it made everyone in the room happy.

And when I hear it now…it still makes me happy. Oh but now I know why!

It is the joy of being saved by grace. It is the grace that flows from His throne to my frail human form. It is awe at how marvelous and excellent He is! These hymns inspire, revive and heal our souls.

Favorite Blog Posts…

Favorite blog posts

For those who may be new to my blog, today I thought I’d do a round-up of my favorite posts to date.

All of these were written at different points of pain or struggle in my life. Writing allows me to journal through those experiences to grow and heal. It’s been a tool I’ve used since I was a child.

Even the act of writing is soothing to me.

My prayer is that these posts will touch others and help them grow and heal as well.

8 Favorite Blog Posts

Returning to my first love
Do You Know How to Fight Right?
Hope in everything but God
Outside vs. Inside
Darkness cannot stay where there is light
5 important promises when everything seems to be wrong
Guest post on marriage on With Purpose with Lo Tanner
Not so different

If God uses any of these posts to speak to you, would you drop a comment and let me know?

Be blessed.

Anxiety and God

Anxiety and God. This topic is one I’m trying to get more comfortable talking about. I’m learning how to define it in my life and how to normalize it for those around me.

And I’m learning how to cope with it.

I used to think that people who dealt with this particular issue just needed to get over it. Perhaps they needed to pray harder.

Then, what I was not able to understand in others, began to happen to me.

Anxiety.

Though mine was triggered via a traumatic event, looking back over my younger years, I can see traces of it throughout my life.

Anxiety’s Effects

Social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety are the two types I deal with.

Add these to a list of other chronic illness issues and life can feel really overwhelming some days.

Just getting dressed and getting out the door can feel like an insurmountable task.

Two choices emerge here. Let anxiety defeat me. Or let my God help me defeat it!

God’s Power In Us

We must remember that the power of the Holy Spirit, the very power that raised Jesus from the grave…LIVES IN US!

No matter how hard the day gets, I know that He is able. His word stands. His promises are true.

And that is my landing place. The safest space I know.

Anxiety and God

Scripture To Beat Anxiety

Here are some of my go-to verses when the anxiety tries to displace the light:

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” ( 1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV)

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 HCSB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6 HCSB)

“But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.Selah” ( Psalm 3: 3-4 HCSB)

“I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.” ( Psalm 4:8 HCSB)

Standing in the shadow of the cross, my world shines brighter.

Yours can too.

Not so different…my friend Peter and I

Different ages Different Places Different Faces Same need for the Savior PIN

There are many characters in the Bible to admire and model one’s life after.  The characters I like best though?

The ones that are completely flawed and messed up. Like David. Like Paul. Like Peter. 

Like me.

I can relate to the trials and temptations they go through. I can empathize with the negative thoughts of self…whether I am really called to do this work or if God should have called someone else.

Peter especially resonates with me. He was faithful, yet doubted. He was eager to learn more about Jesus’ teachings. He was given to angry outbursts and rash decisions.

He swayed back and forth between proclamations of undying loyalty and outright denial.

And he was forever changed by the saving grace of the risen Lord.

As am I.

I see myself in Peter. I want to learn as much as possible about who Jesus was and is.  Who He says I am. And I yearn to serve the Lord’s “sheep”. 

Yet there are times when my selfish nature rebels against the quietness of the Holy Spirit. I want to scream the truth at people in my frustration for them to understand.

At the same time, I do not want to be labelled religious or “one of those” Christians. 

Though I myself proudly declare to be a “Jesus Freak” on social media and to those closest to me.

Like Peter, I sometimes wonder if God knows what He is doing, what He is talking about. I may not verbally rebuke (Mark 8:32, Acts 10:14) the Lord as Peter did, but the questions running through my mind voice the inability to trust as fully as I want to.

It’s the same thing. I am Peter. He is me.

We ALL are broken sinners, in need of a broken for us Savior. (CLICK TO TWEET!)

In Peter I am reminded that no matter how much I mess up the Gospel, God can and will redeem it for His glory.

So thankful all we really have to do is ask and believe. Jesus has taken care of the rest.