Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
The month of January is usually dedicated to gathering warm items (hats, scarves, gloves) for the shoeboxes. However, if you want to contribute boxes, money, or an item you think would be useful, please do so.
January Focus: Fasting
It is encouraging to hear that many of you are experiencing a special closeness to the Lord through this time of fasting! Remember that as you become stronger in the Lord, you may deal with more aggravation from the Enemy. The Lord is with you - be strong!
Often for the First Sunday Meal in February, we bring soup (and accompaniments) for "Souper Bowl". You are welcome to bring something else, but it is a neat theme for this "chili" time of year 😄
January Focus: Fasting
Winning the War in Your Mind
Our lives are always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts. What we think shapes who we are.
You might read that and think I’m being an overly dramatic preacher using hyperbole to get your attention. But this is no exaggeration.
Our lives do follow the direction of our thoughts. The better we grasp that truth, the better equipped we’ll be to change the trajectory of our lives. But don’t take my word for it. Both the Bible and modern science provide evidence that this is true. So throughout this Bible Plan, we’ll unpack both Scripture and what we’ve learned from scientific research. Here’s a brief example of both:
In Philippians 4:8–9, the apostle Paul writes, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
In these three sentences Paul moves from
- thought (“think about such things”) to
- action (“put it into practice”) to
- experience (“the God of peace will be with you”).
Paul tells us that our thoughts shape our lives.
In recent years, an entire discipline of modern psychology has developed called cognitive behavioral therapy. This breakthrough teaching reveals that many problems, from eating disorders to relational challenges, addictions, and even some forms of depression and anxiety, are rooted in faulty and negative patterns of thinking. Treating those problems begins with changing that thinking.
I don’t know about you, but when the Bible and modern psychology say the same thing, I want to know more.
What science is demonstrating today is what God told us through Solomon almost three thousand years ago: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
So if both the Bible and modern science teach us that our lives are moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts, then we need to ask ourselves, “Do I like the direction my thoughts are taking me?”
If your answer is no, then maybe it’s time to change your thinking. Maybe it’s time to decide to change your mind so God can change your life.
If you’re skeptical, that’s okay. Believe me, I get it. We’ve all tried unsuccessfully to change bad habits and force our runaway trains of thought back onto the right tracks. But this time you’re not alone. You are about to discover that God will team up with you to transform your thinking.
With God’s help, you can transform your mind. You can stop believing the lies that hold you back. You can end the vicious cycle of thoughts that are destructive to you and others. You can allow God to renew your mind by saturating you with His unchanging truth.