Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Programming Our Minds
Think about the mind as a control tower of life. Decisions determine our actions, which in turn affect the immediate and distant future. The person each of us will be 20 years from now is impacted by how we think and act today. If we look ahead and desire our future selves to bring praises to the Lord, we must begin today to "program" our minds with godly thinking.
In Romans 4:23, the apostle Paul tells us that we, as believers, need to reject worldly thinking and renew our minds instead by "feeding" them proper spiritual food. If we want to be godly thinkers and doers in the future we must begin now to prepare for such an event. We've been given the capacity to think as Jesus thinks if we will but submit to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. He will be faithful to the Father's promises. Our first act of submission is to seek after the things of God. This means being intentional about opening up our minds only to scripturally sound attitudes and philosophies. It's enormously important for us to protect ourselves from the world's me-first, self-serving mindset, because the Bible says that we are to be God's servants.
The second way to submit is by sifting our thoughts through the Word and will of God. This is a practical step that will allow us to identify errant thinking. We must determine whether an attitude or line of thought pleases the Lord and is useful for making us into the kind of person we know God wants us to become. Then, when a thought is unscriptural, we can choose to reject it and be done with it (2Cor 10:5). God's way is never disturbing or troublesome.
Now is the time to reflect on the fact that the only way for us to know if our thinking pleases God is by reading and meditating upon the Bible and God's precepts that are written within it. In His Word, God provides examples of righteous living and thinking, and He offers guidance for choosing such patterns, Scripture is the instruction manual for our earthly control tower. Scripture is a lot like radar. It tells us a plane is there whether we can see it or not and it will tell us if we veer off course.
What a busy week this has been and we still have several days to go before the week is over! Mon was our small group and my son, Ken, and his wife, Tamara (I couldn't remember if I actually ever introduced you officially to my son and daughter-in-law), were able to make it to small group with me. M stayed home because he didn't get any sleep the night before. His neck was hurting him too much to sleep. But we had a good session looking at the first affirmation. It was a good thing I made a double batch of blueberry muffins to take over for refreshments. We had a total of 14 in our small group. We usually have eight. So we've grown significantly. But I took enough muffins for everyone. (Thank you, Lord.) I had debated about just making one batch but finally decided to go ahead and make a double batch. I was so happy I did. But anyway, Ken and Tam had a good time and are looking forward to next Monday.
I simply cannot tell you how happy I am to have my son and daughter-in-law participating in spiritual things with me. I have so much for which to praise God! And I give him all the glory. The deepest thanks go to Him from the bottom of my heart. It is literally an answer to countless prayers over the years. Really, I couldn't count the number of times I've lifted him up to God. And Jamie of course was the surprise to all of us! So my life has been totally unreal since the first of September. The first of September I got my new car from Ken and Tamara. Then Ken got laid off followed by his and Jamie's baptisms and then a week in Hawaii and now today I spent the entire day "helping" Jamie and Ofir move into their new place in Amador County. They are doing really well for such a young couple. They bought a duplex that needed quite a bit of fixing up. They will live in one side and rent out the other side. They just had the new carpet laid yesterday in both sides. Ofir and Jamie had painted both sides and had finished the bathroom on the rental side. That bath had no flooring or fixtures of any kind when they purchased the duplex. Now both sides look really great. Each side has a single-car garage. A/C and forced air heat. Three bedroom, 2 bath. It's very nice. Needs landscaping and a few finishing touches inside and they'll be able to rent out the other side and hopefully will cut their mortgage payment by quite a bit. One thing nice, it's about 45 mins closer to the college for Jamie. So she will love that.
Their new place is down in the lower foothills (just up from the flatlands.) They moved down from up in the mountain with the pine trees and snow every winter. So no more snow shoveling for them. It's just better all the way around. They plan on spending a few years in this place and then selling it and buying a bigger/better house. But for now they are in the dry, brown rolling hills. No pine trees, but lots of big old oaks. One of their neighbors has a herd of goats so there were flies around but I think once they get to where they aren't opening and closing the door all day long bringing in all the boxes and furniture, they shouldn't be much of a problem. When we shared a duplex with K&T about 10-12 years ago, the lady next door to our side had goats and we had a fly problem back then too. There are also horses around Jamie's place but I didn't get that good a look at all the neighbors. I'm just so proud of them for buying their first home at a time in their lives when most young couples aren't even thinking about the future. Jamie may have one more semester to go to qualify for Nursing school. But that's what she has planned. Then after she's established her career, they'll think about family.
While K&T were in Hawaii I wrote him two 10-page long letters all about what it means to be a Christian. I went over everything that shows them where they're at in their walk with the Lord and hopefully where they're going from this point on. Anyway, K&T both read them and she asked me today for permission to let Jamie read them too and of course I said yes. Anything to help her along as a new believer. You know, they accept Christ, and then they get baptized, and then they... what really is it that they do from there on out? That's what my two letters were all about. I have asked for them back when everyone is finished reading them because now that I haven't read them for a couple weeks and Jamie said a month for her to read them so by that time, surely, it will be like reading something new. And I'd like to see what I wrote. When I write like that I almost go into a trance and I write feverishly without even coming up for air most of the time. I had so much on my heart that I wanted to tell my son (and now granddaughter). I told him of my faith. What it is exactly that I believe and what God asks of us. What it means to be a Christian, what is expected of us, etc., etc. It is crucial for them to know and understand that we have eternal life right this very minute. We don't have to hope it will be granted to us sometime in the future after we die. No, we have eternal life right now. We will never die. We may shed our human flesh the way a snake sheds it's skin, but we are eternal beings right this very minute. We also need to understand and know that Jesus did it all. He paid the debt; 100% of the debt. And so now we can spend our days developing a rich, full relationship with our heavenly Father.
Oh, I almost forgot! Ken got a phone call Monday afternoon and the new Casino in Shingle Springs offered him a job so he's no longer unemployed. He's now on vacation because he can rest and kick around and do nothing for the next 6 weeks until the casino opens up. That was terrific news for all of us!!! K will be stepping down from his last position but there's plenty of room for growth with it being a new casino. And I know he will do well. He's intelligent and friendly, I know he'll advance up as far as he wants to go. Probably so fast his head will spin. He may not even want to get into higher management again, he isn't sure. His last job was so stressful! As it is, he will be assuming the position of floor shift supervisor/pit manager. And he'll be making good money. Not what he was making by a long shot but he's comfortable being where he is for a while. Sadly, that means they will be moving away. If they find housing where they hope to, they will be an hour to an hour and a half away from us. We will be the last ones in the family still in Calaveras County. The rest of the family have all moved north. Except for my niece and her family. They moved east, way east. Oklahoma to be exact. I still have hopes that she'll move back "home" and join us again. But we like where we're at and will do everything within our power to never move again. We're too old. We're just too old to move again.
We all went to a restaurant in town and had a late lunch just before I left to come home and I'm still stuffed so no dinner for me tonight. M grilled burgers again for dinner. (Besides not being hungry, that's what I had for lunch. Go figure!) Anyway I was so close to WalMart that I stopped in and bought a new book to read by Billy Graham, titled The Journey. I will pass that around to Ken and Jamie when I've finished reading it. They are in the middle of reading 40-Days of Purpose by Rick Warren right now. I had loaned Tam that book almost a year ago and she's just now getting to it but the good thing is that now she's going through it with her husband! They take turns reading it to each other. One night she reads, next night he does. So that's working out really well for them. I have lots of books I'd like to see them read. The main thing is building that relationship from the ground up, using good, solid lumber. Tam bought Ken a new edition of the New Living Bible which I had recommended for him to use to just sit and read. That's my favorite translation for reading. I told him to get an NIV for study. That's what I use and it stays true to the Greek mostly. But for just reading, the New Living Bible is beautiful. I am so pleased with my copy. I have read the NT and am in the middle of reading it again in that translation. It's so wonderful to see them invest their time and their money in the gospel. I have given away so many of my copies of the NIV that I don't have any spares left to give him.
I have a Women's Ministries luncheon to attend tomorrow. I'm looking forward to being with my sisters in the Lord again but it's always a little stressful for me because of my hearing loss. That'll keep me busy until 3:00 which pretty well means the entire day by time I get home and feed the animals. I won't be able to sit down and rest until they get fed. (I have very demanding animals all of whom have built-in alarm clocks and it seems they are always ringing.)
Friday I think will be a day of rest for me. And boy! will I need one by then. Saturday is car washing day and I have to do it this weekend whether it's cold or not since I didn't wash it last weekend. One thing about the dark blue color, it really shows the dirt and dust both of which we have plenty of what with the duplex construction at the end of the cul-de-sac. We don't know how many duplexes are being built but last year we heard 14 units were to be built. Guess we'll wait until we see more of the framing to tell us for sure. Anyway the trucks going in and out of that construction all day long really spreads the dirt around. Our short cul-de-sac looks like a dirt road; you can hardly see the pavement. Pretty soon the rains will start and hopefully some of that dirt will get washed away. The way it is now the cars get filthy and everything in the house gets incredibly dusty week after week. At least they kept a water truck on the gounds most of the time. That saved us from a lot of dust and dirt.
Well, the last presidential debate is on right now and I wanted to watch that so hopefully you'll forgive me for so abruptly signing off. Besides I'm exhausted. But I had wanted to write today because I know I won't have time tomorrow. Busy, busy, busy!!! Until next time...