What do You do With Your Thoughts?

It happens all the time. In church. When you’re trying to have a conversation with God. You were really exploring some deep topics, and learning about God. And then They walked in. Distracted you. Led you astray. Totally entrapped you. It’s called “The Scourge of the Unhelpful Thoughts.”  Whether those thoughts were about your blog, your work, your studies, or your weekly meal plan, they shouldn’t be there. So you need to get rid of them. Fast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But how can that be accomplished? Exactly what do we need to do? Often, I find myself just ignoring them, and quickly getting back to what I was supposed to be thinking about. The problem is, they come back. Fast. So you re-focus, and get going again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.grass.thoughts.2

I think that the way we deal with unwanted thoughts can’t just be fast. It has to be deep. Instead of pushing my Unhelpful Thoughts away, instead of packing them up, instead of filing them away, I send them away.

I think of my thoughts as a little airport, complete with airplanes, baggage trolleys, and hangars. All my thoughts are there, being moved around, and used as necessary. Here is the important point which I would like you to consider.

Every thought which lands can either be sent straight away, or it can be utilized.

Our heads are full of thoughts we’ve thought over the years. And not all of them are useful. So next time you remember something, or a new thought comes flying down,  take a moment to deal with it. Reflect on its usefulness in serving God. Then, send it away or keep it.

This way, your thoughts can be pure and honouring to God as you serve Him.

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To Go or To Stay

For several months now I’ve been feeling God calling me to the mission field. It began with a Bible reading: Jeremiah chapter one verses four to eight. It continued with a missionary’s newsletter, which included this verse : “And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)

go

This call has only been growing stronger since then. I’ve been reading through the book of Acts, and read, spread through chapter 22, these words:
‘Get up and go, why do you delay? Get up, Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ (vv. 10, 16, 21) I wanted to go so much that I cried because of this ache I couldn’t dull. I didn’t know how, or where. But I knew that I had to go. Soon.

Then came yesterday.

I sat outside on a piece of roofing iron, crying again. (That happens when you’re growing up 🙂 ) I was wondering suddenly, whether to go or to stay.

Stay

My heart was changing… and I wasn’t sure why. This is what I wrote later that evening:  “I was wondering whether to go or to stay. Was ‘go’ a test, to see if, after being called to the mission field, I would be content to stay at home? Crying, I imagined. I imagined a wise man sitting down beside me. He spoke to me, some words of reassurance that God loved me now and forever. Then he turned and pointed to the moon. He said

“See the moon? See the white part, the part where the sun yet illuminates? That is your life, the part you have lived. You can see all of it. Now see the rest of the moon, the dark side? It’s not completely black, but dark brown. And if you look closely, you can see its outline. That is the rest of your life, the part yet to come. The white part shows the simple shape of the rest, but not the particulars. It is this way with your life. The part you have lived, you can see clearly, with all its humps and hollows, ins and outs, ups and downs. The rest, you will see as it comes.”

I had been totally convinced that the way I would be spending a good-sized portion of my life was on the mission field. And when that tugging left, it left me pondering. “Am I called to go, or to stay?” But I learned that knowing my calling isn’t the important thing.

All I need to know about the rest of my life is this:

  1. That I will sin
  2. That God has forgiven all my sins
  3. That I must live in thankfulness to Him for His mercies (Psalm 136)

So I still don’t know whether I am called to go or to stay, but It Doesn’t Matter. Not now. What matters is that I remember to be humble in all circumstances before Almighty God.

And Serve Him with Joy!

Go or Stay

Note: When I posted this, it was more than two weeks after the ‘evening’ and ‘yesterday’ spoken of here.

Serving When You Don’t Feel Like It

file0001675513757When you’re having a good day, it’s easy to serve with joy. You know, you wake up feeling beautifully refreshed, spring out of bed, and dress swiftly in your favourite outfit. Then, upon entering the kitchen, you discover that you are the only one up, and decide to prepare breakfast for your whole family. It feels right to serve when you are happy.
But what about the bad days? When you wake tired and grumpy, all you can find to wear is a stretched top and your gardening skirt, and your siblings have eaten all the breakfast? What then?
It is all too easy for us to resign ourselves to having a Bad Day. We just muddle through somehow, resenting everything that goes wrong, and then are annoyed when our Bible passage for the day includes Romans 12: 12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Think with me about what would happen if you weren’t complacent, If you said “No” to your bad attitude and sought the Lord constantly in prayer.
Your day could change. You could retire for the night reveling in the fact that you claimed that day and made it a joyful work of service for God!
Let’s take up the challenge, fight the Lord’s battles, and Serve With Joy!