The power of our thoughts

How often we condemn ourselves with our own thinking; thinking such things as: “you did it again!” “You will never change” “you call yourself a Christian and act like that”. We allow our own thought process to analyse a situation and then accept that thought repetitively until it becomes a part of who we are. This is good or bad depending on the thought and the outcome. Our brain has the incredible capability of transforming into whatever repetitive information we fill it with.

Our brain:

Our brain is so complex that scientists are only beginning to understand its functioning process in recent years, and this is only the physical areas of the brain! Imagine all the electrical circuits and other aspects that make this incredible living computer. This processor is what downloads our thoughts or discards them, depending on what we accept or not.

God knows the power of thinking and how thoughts can transform the life of a person. Everything once began with a thought, all the clothes you wear, accessories you have, the house you live in or the phone you are holding. Someone one thought of this creation idea and then made it happen . Sadly the same process has created killers, thief’s and brought chaos to societies around the world. Thoughts untamed eventually bring ruin because sooner or later a person will act what they think unless the thinking changes.

I remember my drug days and how my thoughts were wild when the drugs were wearing off. Sometimes the thoughts were so vile I used to scare myself, for years this went on until the Lord rescued me! Thank God I never acted on the vilest thoughts or though I came close to it, our thoughts have power that we won’t realise until the thought becomes a reality or unless God teaches us our thinking power.

Think with a purpose! Many people think without thinking about what they are thinking about and end up living with a wild mind. If you think something like: “I can do this” “it doesn’t matter what people say I will still do my best” I am strong, I am smart, I am loved…” If we think like this everyday then eventually our brains will place these thoughts into a deeper part of our brain for long lasting memory, this means this thought becomes a part of who we are.

This is why God calls us to meditate on his word:

Let his word be your thoughts and his word will become your life.

Romans 12:2 do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (thinking good things). Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Prayer: Lord of heaven and earth, teach me to think with a purpose, teach me to trust in the power of your word and mediate day and night on your word. Let my life be transformed so I may know your will for my life. All glory be to you. In Jesus name amen.

Cover image: your story (thoughts) – Google images

Be transformed friends!

Love and God bless

DMZ

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When depression hits you like a brick wall

Some days I’m fine, depression is nothing but a distant mountain that I don’t need to worry about overcoming. Then suddenly, triggered by some unfortunate event or sense of not belonging or having purpose, depression returns with avengance, turning up like Freddy Crugar in a nightmare. It’s like that distant mountain is now on top of me. The worst part is that nobody else seems to be able to see the mountain, only I can see it, or so I think.

The day drags out when a person feels depressed, they feel the day will never end, every tick of the clock churns the internal emotions like a wave in the sea. Time heals most things, apart from this seemingly giant enemy that attacks multitudes throughout the world, time only seems to make this mountain grow.

Depression is the silent killer of the 21st century, all though many people talk about it, many who have it won’t talk about it, so they remain in bondage to how they are feeling. Why won’t they speak? One word… Shame. People who struggle with depression are ashamed to admit it because they feel they would be judged or that they would be seen as different. One of the best ways to enter the path of healing is to acknowledge the truth and speak it. Only when one comes to terms with the reality of this Everest condition can we begin to overcome it’s decaying tendancy.

Can the Christian struggle with depression? Of course! Many great warriors of faith, Billy Graham as to mention one, struggled with depression at times. The Christian however, has the greatest antidote to depression, which is the hope of eternal life through Christ. I have heard some Christians judge or condemn the depressed person and say something like, “you shouldn’t be depressed if you believe in Jesus”. It is true that the Christian has a whole pharmacy of healing medications found in the word of God, but to say they should never be depressed is to deny the fact that they are still a human being that feels! Jesus wept (John 11:35), Jesus got angry (Matthew 21:12-13) he sweated drops of blood in anguish before the cross (Luke 22:44) and he felt abandoned by his own eternal father in Heaven on the cross (Matthew 27:46) Did he not show that he too struggled? The difference was that he would not allow his feelings to overcome his purpose of fulfilling the father’s will, no matter how strong the feeling.

We are never called to deny our emotions, but to learn how to use our emotions in a way that creates a positive impact on our self and the world around us. When Jesus wept he then rose Lazurus from the grave, when he was angry he restored the temple they were using as a market, when he was in anguish on the cross he still was able to say to his father, “father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

Never deny your emotions, use your emotions to catapult your self into being a greater you

Hope is the greatest antidote for depression, because hope enables you to change your perspective by reminding you that this feeling won’t be forever. Hold on friend! Hold on and you will see it through

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Love and God bless

DMZ

Not treated as we deserve

Sometimes I look at the rear view mirror of my life and see the hand of God in the midst of it. Rarely, however, do I notice his hand in a situation when I am passing through it, only once the trial has passed do I see that my teacher was guiding me. I have purposely sinned despite the truth I have discovered in Christ, and still I wake up with a new beginning and another chance to get it right.

If I was treated as deserved by God then I should have no air left to breath because my sins would have sucked all the life away, but that is not the God I have discovered during my 10 years or so as a follower of Christ. CS Lewis termed “universal grace” as an attribute of God. “He causes the sun to shine on the righteous and the wicked”Matthew 5:45. God is good to all but men have destroyed this goodness and that serpent of old is the main culprit of this corruption. Our continuous evil means that God being righteous must eventually bring judgement to restore the holiness desired, but this never happens without many warnings and opportunities to turn from our sins. “We are not treated as we deserve”! When I say we, I mean the human race who willfully turned from the hands that made them in defiance and self reliance.

Even so, all day God stretches out his arms to see if we will return to him, the cross is the example of this. I love God but I am guilty of treating him like an accessory, some days I just leave God out and put other stuff in his place, the ruler of the universe left aside for temporary pleasures or selfish ambitions. I return in repentance only to stumble again with the same pattern of acceptance and rejection.

“Oh Lord, help me, help your people”, my cry in the midnight hour and the first thought when I wake up. We have strayed far from God but he has never strayed from us. God is like oxygen, he keeps us all alive but we never thank him for his sustaining hand upon us, we just take a breath and do as we please. Yet still, he calls us lovingly back and does not punish us according to our rebellion.

This is a loving God! This is one I would follow with authentic commitment because I know that God giving me the ability to choose him or not is the greatest expression of love. Why? Because this validates the proof that he desires our willing hearts not controlled or manipulated hearts. We are not robots and God is not a monster. We can choose and so can he, and God chose to love us.

Psalm 103:10 he has not given us the punishment for our sins, or the reward for our wrong doing.

Love and God bless

DMZ

Concern for the soul

Oh how my soul yearns for saving from the shipwreck of my own crooked ways. How I look to the cross and recognise my own shortcomings of the glory of God and a recognition for a saviour. I am concerned for my soul, but someone else was far more concerned than I was, almighty God, the one we refer to as, “our father in Heaven”, so concerned was he that he gave his only son to die for a wretched man like me.

Oh I am concerned for the sinner alike, my own wickedness revealed in me my need of saving, and I desire others to know the same Jesus I met some years ago humbly In the prayer room with a pastor at the church. I remember listening to him speak about the everlasting glory and beauty of heaven, my heart burned with in me with a longing I never felt before. I was in a world of drugs and lived in a smoke filled house with 5 people, 9 cats and 1 dog. Heaven sounded like a dream come true so I accepted the hope offered through Christ.

I am concerned for the saving of souls but have been afraid to share this concern because of rejection. How will they respond when I talk about Jesus? When I tell them they need a saviour will they give me a list of reasons why they don’t? Self sustained people are much harder to reach because they do not recognise their need until the foundation they built there lives on crumbles away.

Individual concern for the soul never fails, that is a Christians greatest testimony when shared with the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. We are all caretakers first of our own soul and then our neighbours, and it is God who reveals how we take care of a soul so we can help our neighbour.

How can we show concern?

1) pray for the one who is on your heart

2) speak into that person’s situation with love and truth

3) Guide them to Jesus (ask God how)

4) teach them according to God’s ways

5) don’t stop praying for them

These 5 steps are stepping stones to give a base to work from. Every soul is unique and every person’s situation unique. This is why prayer, God’s word and his love are essential to guide us in the great co-mission of caring for souls. Jesus cared and was deeply moved many times when performing miracles, how often are we deeply moved? The world has become quite shallow in these later years, God is looking for his people to go deeper with him, so that they may develop a deep concern for the soul of those created in his image.

Lets go deeper, let’s pray and care more and more with each passing day. The day of Christ returning is drawing near and the devil is more angry than he has ever been because his time is limited. The time is now to care and reach out, who knows, that stranger you speak the gospel to may become your best friend. You will never know unless you make that first step.

Psalm 62:1 Surely my soul finds rest in God. My salvation comes from him

Love and God bless

DMZ

Power restrained – a great power indeed

The lion causes man to gaze in awe with reverent fear. Man knows his strength compared to the lion is weakness, no matter how many gym sessions attended. The lion can destroy a human with those powerful jaws while pinned down under the lions strength, yet men have still come close to the lion as a friend, because the lion is gentle at heart, the power is restrained.

Have you ever stopped to think about the real power of God? That if God wanted too, he could wipe away the universe like a teacher wipes chalk off a blackboard, and there would be nothing mankind can do about it. No nuclear bombs to defend ourselves, we would be powerless to stop God. Scientists say that dark matter holds the universe together, I would say that God’s love allows dark matter to continue its work.

Consider this vast array of creation, each star different with glory and uniquely created. According to recent discoveries, they say there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on our beaches. Consider the power that formed this greatness, this is a very great power indeed.

The same power we marvel at is the same power that surrendered creative hands to crucifixion.

The image of Jesus nailed to a cross puts into perspective how much the power of God was restrained, enough to allow nails to pierce deeply. All though he could have called angels to his rescue (Matthew 26:53) he didn’t use this power. He purposely allowed himself to become weak in order to identify completely with mortal humans. What is man that he is mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4) Yet even so, God restrains his power consistently for this very reason, because he is mindful of our weaknesses and loves us infinitely more than we could imagine.

Restrained power answers the question, “if God is all powerful why doesn’t he sort out the evil in this world?” Imagine if every time you were going to do something wrong God grabs you to stop you from doing it. You would end up despising him, and then the question would be, “if God is so loving why does he not give me freedom to chose?”. There are reasons God restrains his power. Two of these reasons would be 1). Love would not be real love if it was forced and controlling 2) God does not punish the wicked right away so that they have a chance to turn from their sins.

Even so, when we realize how mighty God really is, we are awe struck and reverently fear his countenance. We learn to trust in his eternal love (Psalm 136) and his continued faithfulness (Psalm 145) and we then become a reflection of his eternal being during our lives hear on earth.

Phillipians 2:6-11 though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, he took the humble position as a slave, and was born a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminals death on the cross.

Love and God bless

DMZ

Praise and be raised – complain and remain

I admit, we British people like to complain. We moan when it’s too hot, we moan when it’s too cold, we don’t like it when we have too much work and we don’t like it if we don’t have enough. Somehow, even when everything is going smooth, we still pay attention to that little bump.

An old proverbial phrase poses a question to analyse our outlook on life. The question to ask ourselves is, “is the glass half empty, or is it half full?

The outlook of the glass is said to determine our worldview. Half empty – negative outlook. Half full – positive outlook, it’s really that simple. How can you know which one you are? When you heard this question which glass did you picture? This most likely determines your outlook. I was asked this by someone after a really tough time, and to my surprise I still said half full.

The title complain and remain, praise and be raised was termed by the renown teacher Joyce Meyer.

Her story, which she shares openly, is incredibly powerful. She was sexually abused for 15 years by her father and carried deep wounds for many years into her Christian/adult life. By the power of God’s grace and her courage to forgive her father, she found restoration and now leads a global ministry enabling others to find freedom and healing. Even with all the trauma she has faced, she discovered the power of praise and how this can change the direction of a person’s life.

Complaining never changes a situation for the better, it simply magnifies the very thing we are complaining about. The more we complain the bigger the situation appears, and this then blocks our ability to see the positive. The Israelites loved to complain in the wilderness: Exodus 16, numbers 11. This is why a simple less than 2 week journey took 40 years! They complained so they remained.

When we develop the ability to praise God in the midst of difficulty, we begin to see miracles. In Acts 16:16-40 we see the physical manifestation of the power of praise. Paul and Silas praised God while in prison and the chains broke and every prison door flung open. Praise breaks our chains and releases us from a burden of heaviness. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense because things just don’t seem to change, but stick with praising and in the perfect timing God will elevate you and transform your situation.

3 reasons why a Christian complains:

1) pride

2) wrong view of God

3) bad experiences

If we examine our motives we will discover the root cause to our complaining and then we can work on the solution.

Ephesians 1:5 let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear son

Love and God bless wonderful people

DMZ

I need to change, not you

Where does change start? It starts with me; with a decision to no longer be a certain way or allow certain things to affect me anymore. It begins with a conscious awareness of my own areas of weakness to enhance my commitment to make the necessary change. It is the slow discipline of daily putting into practice the areas that one wants to change, and it is about being consistent in the commitment.

The reason why most people don’t want change is because we live in the fast food generation and expect quick results when making changes. Do wrestlers get big without consistently training? Do you think scientists just happen to know all the answers without experimentation? Do you think a christian becomes like Christ instantly? Change in regards to character is a gradual process, change in regards to circumstances can be instant and sometimes this can affect our character. Or do the hard times only reveal our true character?

How much time do we spend trying to change someone else instead of changing ourselves? We can be so quick at times to point out another persons faults but fail to recognise our own. We all desire to see change but not many of us are willing to make those changes.

Change begins with a daily decision to better ourselves. If tomorrow you can be a better version of you such as; more kind, more patient, more generous, more encouraging etc then you are well on your way to seeing the changes in your life that you desire. The change in you will be as catchy as a common cold, anybody that comes into contact with you will catch the vibe for change, stick with it and watch others join you in your pursuit for change.

2pac said, “it’s time for us as a people to start making some changes, let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other.”

Gandhi said “be the change you want to see”

And the word of God says:

2 Corinthians 4:16 therefore do not loose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed everyday.

Love and God bless wonderful people

DMZ

Weak steps – when the valley is dark and the promised land seems afar

The ground is shaking beneath me, I stumble towards my destination with apace only for the ground to crumble underneath my tired feet. I question my ability to succeed and wonder if maybe it’s time to bid farewell, for the dream appears out of reach now. I stare at the firmament and buck up the courage to ask my self honestly, are my feet really tired or are they nervous? Perhaps my feet are twitching because change is happening, is it change that I am afraid of?

This flexuous journey has smothered my feet with aging scars, but I must continue. Too far have I came to return, my eyes are on the abode, I am not alone. Yet I’m nervous of the unknown… It all appeared so simple in the beginning, but I had no idea all the pain that laid within. Each weak step barely supported this heavy soul, but I still I will carry on.

Sometimes it seems the journey to the promised land takes much longer than we hoped. The Israelites took 40 years for a 2 week journey because murmuring held them back. God is not searching for eloquent speakers, he is just looking for willing hearts.

My own journey with God right now I sense God has brought me to the red sea. The red sea is a place God brings you when it seems there is no possible way, a place where a great miracle can happen. It is here that the impossible way is made possible and you walk through the ground once covered with hopelessness.

Take one step today towards the promised land, tomorrow take another. The steps may be weak at first but they are strengthened with time. You cannot fail if you do not quit, no matter how many times you have fallen. When you walk through the valley, no that you are not alone and that multitudes have walked this journey before you.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and staff they comfort me.

Psalm 37:23 the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way.

Love and God bless

DMZ

Loved…full stop.

So many in the world believe that love is earned through merited points of “I did this and that”. Boxes that are ticked in order to gain someone’s love earned with time. It is true that “falling in love” takes time and effort in a relationship, but falling in love is a different love that Jesus speaks of. Falling in love is built by intimacy, commitment, trust and faithfulness, areas that are important for our relationship with God as well as with the love of our life. Yet Jesus tells us to love our neighbour, I am sure we don’t express love in the same way with them as with our partner.

To first understand the love that we are called to express, we need to grasp the love God has for us. God is love, therefore as this is who he is love never runs out. God loves all he has made yet hates the sin that’s tarnished the glory of his creation. How can God hate if he is love? Copy the following link to answer that question. https://www.google.pt/amp/s/www.compellingtruth.org/amp/does-God-hate.html

God loves us unconditionally simply because we are his creation. There’s no ifs and buts about it, he loves us full stop. This commitment of love can never be broken because God is the full expression of love. Many questions arise when speaking of God’s love, we will talk about these in other posts. However, one of these questions would be, if God loves us why does he allow such evil to exist? This, as a human being is one of the hardest theological questions to deal with because it is hard to understand how an all powerful loving God could allow such evil.

All we need to know for the foundation is that God loves us far more than we can imagine. Freedom was given to mankind because love must allow choice for love to be authentic. We are not AI robots, we have free will and God in his love has given us an opportunity to choose. Love and hate are the 2 most powerful forces in the world, forget the nuclear bombs, it is hate that causes the button to be pushed in the first place.

You are loved full stop. And let’s add a ! Because sometimes all you need to hear is this to get you through today. No boxes need to be ticked, all God desires is that you believe in his love shown through Jesus.

1 John 4:7-8 beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love.

Next post: immersed in a flood of mercy

Love and God bless

DMZ

Do we need saving? Goodnews#2

The world is full of good people despite what the media portrays of the world. Many have accomplished great things without God, do they still need saving? Of course, it’s easy to notice the addict or gangster needing saving, but the good person who helps the poor? Or the parent that adopts orphans? Surely they can get to heaven.

It is difficult to grasp salvation through Christ when a person doesn’t think they need to be saved. The grand stumbling block of faith is the belief that we are not in need of a saviour. The rich trust that money can buy what they need and that maybe future AI technology can grant them a longer life. Some of those who do good think that these good things can reserve a place in heaven. By human standards then of course it could, but by God’s standards, that’s a whole new level.

Our good deeds compared to God is like a sheep compared to snow. The sheep look white until they are in the snow, then we see that even the sheep need to be cleaned. Of course, doing good things is commended by God and he would love all people to play a part in doing the right thing. The difference is that we can’t rely on these good things as a ticket to heaven.

The problem? 😕 One sin consciously committed, that is, we know what we are doing, blocks the entrance to heaven. Every person therefore needs a saviour whether they admit this or not.

The remedy? Jesus said that to believe in him (in his death for the sins of the world and ressurrection) then they will be saved. This is the remedy. Carry on doing the right thing, but even better is the right thing by believing in Christ.

Jesus said in John 14:1 do not let your hearts be troubled, you believe in God; believe also in me

Romans 3:23 for all fall short of the glory of God

Next: loved…full stop.

God bless

DMZ