Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jan 8 David, Jeremiah, Paul...and my innate navigation system

Have you ever been driving a vehicle with a passenger who doesn’t trust the navigation system?

“Did you put the correct address in?” (Checks the address) “Why would we be going this way?”

“Is it set to the fastest route?” (Checks settings) “My way would have been faster!”

Have you experienced this?

The first time it happened to me, I was not willful (or smart?) enough to heed the satellite instead of the yapping. And we drove in circles for an extra 30 minutes.
But I learned the lesson.

Today I am thinking about Jeremiah and David and Paul…and my innate navigation system.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a comforting verse: For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a bright future.

The Creator of the Universe has plans specifically for each of us? Amazing.

But wait…there’s more!

In Psalm 139, David writes:  You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body… All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.

The Amplified Bible can be challenging to read, but I love how it puts Psalm 139:15:
My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors].

And this…Romans 8:28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

Think about these verses for a minute.

Before you or I made an appearance on this Earth, in this physical body, we were, essentially, given a plan AND we were embroidered with various colors AND everything works for our good.

Is that exciting? Does it ring true for you?

How about this take on it – you have a unique, brightly colored self AND a plan for good and prosperity, an internal, irrefutable navigation system programmed by the One who creates worlds AND everything is always working out 

If you don’t believe, find your favorite kids under 5 and watch them for a few hours. Barring incredibly traumatic situations, they haven’t yet listened to anyone who is saying, “Are you sure that thing is programmed correctly??”

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord…

So today I am thinking about who I was at 3, 4, 5 years of age. The tow-headed, strong-willed kid who laughed and skipped and sang at the top of her lungs for no reason. The kid who still approached life with ease, who had not learned to worry and push, who knew and embodied exactly who she was.

Do you remember your 5 year old self? Can you feel that kid? It isn’t easy. Well-meaning adults, with absence of malice, show/tell us the world is hard and rough and we have to scrape and fight and protect ourselves and push push push for everything we want and against everything we don’t want.

We memorize Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 139 and Romans 8:28 in Sunday School…but what we often learn is the exact opposite, the embodiment of dis-ease.

So what do I believe? Is there a design for who I am, a plan for wellbeing and prosperity and hope and a bright future, put in place by my Creator, who also creates all things? Is everything really working out?

I believe that.

But I want to KNOW it with every fiber of my being. When someone suggests the navigation system isn’t working, that I should start making turns and scanning signs and worrying about how to find my way and gripping the wheel tightly, I want to confidently say that isn’t true. Dis-ease is not the best path.

How about you? Are you who God made or who the world shaped? Do you believe everything is always working out? Do you trust there is a plan for your wellbeing and prosperity and hope or is life all about grinding and pushing?

Tough questions…

We will talk again soon,

BP :)

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

1/1/15 She puzzled and puzzled till her puzzler was sore...

Today I am thinking about what I’m thinking about. 

The Gregorian calendar turns to a new year today.  It doesn’t feel much different to me. How about you?

New Year’s resolutions don’t move me much. I started a better eating and exercise plan in September, so need to resolve anything new there.

But these words inspire me: As a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Proverbs 23:7)

Gill’s Exposition gives this explanation: He is not the man his mouth speaks or declares him to be, but what his heart thinks.

This is a universal principle, not exclusive to Christians.

We all know people who say one thing and do another, don’t we? That is one way of looking at these words.

Here is another – what you think about is what you become. What you focus on is what happens.

Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” 
Most of us recognize that  quote, but have you read it in context? “This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Focus on fear and we will fail.
Jesus had His own explanation. Here is the important back story – Jesus had sent the disciples out in pairs to minister to the people. He told them, “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” The story picks up sometime later when a man asked the disciples to cure his son of epilepsy and they were unable.
 (Matt 17: 18-20 AMP)  And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked privately, “Why could we not drive it out?”  He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
Did you hear that? If I need to move a mountain, and I picture the mountain moving, and I have belief and trust comparable to the size of the smallest seed, and I say, “MOVE mountain,” it will move. Nothing will be impossible. 
Nothing will be impossible.
Nothing will be impossible – if I have one speck of firmly relying trust.
Do I? Do you?
I can talk about faith all day, but the mountain only moves when my thoughts and beliefs line up with my mouth.
I get what I think about. Period.
I get what I think about. Every day. Whether I want it or not.
I get what I think about and focus on and believe I will get. No exceptions.
So do you.
In 2015, I resolve to think about what I am thinking about.
Now THERE is a resolution that inspires me.
We will talk again soon…

BP :)

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!