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Think About it {Phil 4:8}

I received this devotional today and I just had to share it's message:

We choose what we watch and read, the conversations we have and the time we spend with God and in His Word. If the mind is not filled with good, trust me, the enemy will fill it with bad.

Ain't that the truth?

We live in a world influenced by the power of Satan and sin. The media bombards us with war, poverty and sickness. Musical "artists" (and I use that term lightly) glorify alcohol, sexual immorality and violence. We have TV series that showcase teenage moms and reality shows with people/families who are so out of touch with reality....... it's unreal. We hear about break-ups, break-ins and break-downs every day.

So with all the world's distortion and deception.....we can become desensitized. We also can find ourselves compromised, which in turn affects our thoughts, decisions and actions. It can be very difficult to keep our minds free from the negativity. Our mind is our control center. It's the old "every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit" dealio.......(Matt. 7:17). Filling our minds with positive thoughts, images, and ideas will help us to remain positive/hopeful even when we have the trials and setbacks in life (which we will!)

But it's a choice.

We have to make a conscious choice to surround ourselves with as much positive influence as possible. We have to choose to turn off the TV when there are more "bleeps" than words.....we have to choose to listen to encouraging music {K-LOVE.com is constantly playing for me} and choose to be with like-minded uplifting people as much as possible.

But most importantly.......choose to make the time for God by reading His Word and let it deposit into our hearts and mind. When we do all these things, we are suiting up in God's Armor. God's armor brings victory because it is far more than a protective covering. It is the very life of Jesus Christ Himself. It is a life of freedom from the despair we face daily in this fallen world.

And lastly, people will take notice. The attitude that you show in your daily living is a witness to others. Even when things are not going well, if you keep the joy of the Lord in your life, you will show people something that they will want. We can slowly plant seeds in people's lives. And isn't that what we are supposed to be doing?

So today......choose the Light...for yourself, and for others as well.

The Message version of Philippians 4:8 ROCKS:

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

I leave you with this quote {from the same devotional}

"You can't keep a bird from flying over your head
but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair."

Peace and love~


Holding a Grudge is Like Drinking the Poison and Expecting the Other Guy to Die

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
~Lewis B. Smedes

Happy belated new year, my friends......I hope your Christmas Season was overflowing with blessings.......

As you have noticed........my time here in "blogville" has been less and less frequent these past few months. Although I do miss visiting many of you all and being blessed with your inspiration and thought provoking words....I have been pressing through some areas in my life that have taken up a higher priority.

So I try to always share the good, the bad and the ugly of "*~Michelle~*". I have always kept it real, and today is no different as I share a little glimpse of what has been going on with me.......and the beauty of answered prayer.

I am all about posting positive uplifting messages, being cheerful and trying to keep a smile on my face 24/7 despite any sadness/hurt toiling inside....but I have never been good at acting either. So I am guessing that one of the reasons I have MIA....is that I was unable to come here and just jot down some fabricated upbeat message. Just can't do it. Never been good at being fake.....in fact, I wrote about my thoughts on being"phony bologna" in the past.

The purpose of my blog/diary....is to share what God is stirring up in my life. It is not to paint some perfect storyline of some hippie Christian gal and focus on "me". No, I just hope/pray that through all the babbling and grammatical nightmares.......that even one person will be able to relate......in the good, bad and ugly....and be directed to Him in all circumstances.

So here is a little "ugly" for you.

I hold grudges.

For big offenses and sometimes for the most ridiculous ones. In fact, I white knuckle them. Like that Target cashier who wouldn't take my $5 coupon because it was torn near the expiration date even though you could CLEARLY see was dated 2011 and this was still in 2010.......yeah, she is dead to me.

(OK, that was a little harsh.....and not very Christian-like....it's a little over-the-top/over-reacting, but I will never go to her line again..........hmmmpf, take that cranky lady!)

There is something controlling, powerful and rewarding about holding a grudge, isn't there? Well at least that is what the enemy has infused in my heart. Yes, being the control freak that I admittedly am.....it is how I find myself wired when dealing with hurt and disappointment.

..... until recently.

Yes, lately I have found myself entering a new chapter of my life. A chapter that includes the possibility of losing someone close to me soon. Someone who I have built up walls in my heart from the resentment I have allowed to harbor there.

Isn't it true that when you experience the reality of death or impending death of someone in your life, you then realize your own mortality as well? It becomes so apparent what really is important....and how life is too short to be wasted in a negative mindset.

With this discovery.....I found myself not praying for God to change what was happening in my life, but rather to change *me* and my heart as I go through it all. I prayed to have His heart......to have His compassion and forgiveness.

What is crazy is that I know that God forgives me every day. And I totally mess up too many times to count. Yet, He still loves me and gives me chances. The Word says His mercies and grace are new everyday. So who have I thought I was to not extend the same to others?!?

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. ~Mark 11:25 NLT

And lastly, forgiveness is not saying that it settles all questions of blame, justice and fairness. But it is the only way to break the cycle of blame--and pain--in a relationship. It does allow relationships to be restored.....not only with the person you are forgiving, but most importantly.....with God. We have the chains of anger/bitterness broken off of our hearts and are finally free. Free to be happy, free to love......and be loved.

So here is where I am......in the middle of a transformation. I am not fully there yet, but can see the beauty of what is to come. I consider this another gift from God to be able to feel the walls slowly be broken down and have His warm love pour into a place that was once empty/cold. It is a gift for me to experience the love/relationship that was meant to be. And the gift of not having any regrets.

How about you? Do you hold grudges? Are you honestly able to overlook people who brought about past hurts and love 'em like Jesus?

Peace, love and stay barefoot~


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