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Your Secret Weapon

There are days when; during stressful or troubling times, I allow my mind to wander back to 1964. In those days, my brothers and I would take walks down a lonely and unused road. The road had been abandoned over 50 years and all the asphalt was gone. Weeds grew up around the edges and the rain and sun had done their job, reducing it to a dirty, dusty path. We called it “The Old Lane”.

The old lane was a place we could walk and knew that it was our private domain. I used to slide my shoes in the old tire worn furrows and dust would billow up around me. I pretended I was a train as I slid my shoes imagining that the dust was the smoke from my smokestack. This is what kids did when there were only four channels on television and no such things as computers or video games…they played and used their imaginations. We had hours of fun, going back to the old persimmon tree, playing in fields that Bill Rogers plowed and created our own fun.

The old lane is symbolic to me of a simple, peaceful place where my mind and heart were safe. To this day, I can close my eyes and if I order my mind and heart to be still…I can go there and be safe.

Our minds were meant to be active agents in our earthly life. Not just doing figures and calculations or the busy work of doing our jobs. The mind was made by God to be the mechanism we use to calm our souls. It is all throughout Scripture.

“You will keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 23:3

“ “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

My method of retreating to 1964 may be a temporary escape, but that is not what God wants. What if I were to tell you that in the midst of racial and political division, what you think upon will determine whether you have peace? The Kingdom of God is already within you. The Holy Spirit is here and at work in the earth. So…if the Kingdom is here and the Holy Spirit is here, God is waiting on you to do what ONLY you can do…use your mind to recall the promises of God.

No one can steal Kingdom peace. I don’t care what any politician does, I don’t care what the talking heads say on television…real peace is not dependent upon good news. It is not dependent upon what the Republicans or Democrats are doing. Peace is apart and above the things of earthly existence. It IS otherworldly. It comes when we quiet our minds and STOP letting our minds rule us. That is a tall order.

Our mind wants us to think about everything. In fact, the talking heads are always asking people they interview, “What do you think about what he or she said?” “ What do you think about what he or she did?” Think, think, think… the strategy to get you whipped up into a frothy frenzy and to make you THINK on everything and try to figure things out. News Flash…you won’t  be able to do it, but it is the strategy of the enemy of your soul to try to get you to worry about politics, about how dirty the house is, about that person who bugs you at work, about the funny sound your car is making when you drive…THINK, THINK, THINK!!!

How about this. Go quiet in the “think” section. Because your thought are not who you are. Lots of people get upset when I mention Eckhart Tolle. I don’t trust him for my salvation I trust Jesus. But Tolle has tripped over a Scriptural truth and uses it better than most Christians I know. Stillness, (that is to say, the ability to stop your mind from convincing you that it has to rule everything you do) is the key. Jesus said, “BE STILL, and KNOW that I AM GOD”.

Most of us will plan for months for our vacations, we will plan out our days, get out our calendars and plot out our academic schedules, but we won’t spend 30 minutes sitting in a quiet place without the television or music or anything else and just learn to be still before the Lord. THIS IS YOUR SECRET WEAPON AGAINST WORRY, FEAR, INSECURITY and anything else your mind wants to induce you to THINK upon!

Stillness before God can change insecurity about who you are (remember your thoughts are not who you are). It is in quiet stillness that God can place within you a lion-like confidence as you sit, not talking, not jabbering away. Just allowing His presence to infiltrate your spirit brings about wisdom, confidence, awareness and trust.

You and I are not in control of anything. You can’t control the weather, other people, your spouse, your children. You can’t control other drivers on the road or your co-workers attitudes. You have no control over the price of meat, or bread or whether or not they re-name Aunt Jemima pancake syrup. The majority of thoughts that vie for attention in your mind are cunning tools of an enemy that wants to disrupt the communication between you and his arch-enemy, Jesus. He wants you worried, stressed and wishes you would have a heart attack and die. He wants your most creative engine, a Spirit lead mind, to be busy doing other things besides creating peace in you, so that you can take it to the world.

And just so that you know that I don’t THINK I am all holy and special…I will leave you with this holy thought…Satan is a butt hole. Thank you and BE STILL while God destroys His enemies.

Your Pal,

Doug

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Mind Worms…

I don’t know about you…but when I get out of bed in the morning, the first things I hear with my ears can stay with me all day. My kids knew this about me and sometimes, they would play some annoying song when I got up and it would stick in my head all day long. There is nothing worse than having something like “Baby Shark” in your head when you’re trying to concentrate on something else…it’s what I call a mind worm. A mind worm travels into your ear canal and eats its way through your mind until it finally either dies or is substituted by something else.

While that may be a funny story, mind worms are a serious matter. Our thoughts in the morning play a major role in how we well we function. I consider very carefully when I get up in the morning what I listen to because it can set the course of my day. Some might say I am placing too much emphasis on our thoughts, but something one of my readers posted the other day reminded me of a book I read years ago about sheep and the meaning of the verse in Psalm 23 where it reads, “He anoints my head with oil.”
In the book “A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm”

“For in the terminology of the sheepman, “summertime is fly
time.” By this, reference is made to the hordes of insects that
emerge with the advent of warm weather. Only those people who have kept livestock or studied wildlife habits are aware of the serious problems for animals presented by insects in the summer.

Sheep are especially troubled by the nose fly, or nasal fly,
as it is sometimes called. Here little flies buzz about the
sheep’s head, attempting to deposit their eggs on the damp,
mucous membranes of the sheep’s nose. If they are successful the eggs will hatch in a few days to form small, slender, worm-like larvae. They work their way up the nasal passages into the
sheep’s head; they burrow into the flesh and there set up an
intense irritation accompanied by severe inflammation.


For relief from this agonizing annoyance sheep will
deliberately beat their heads against trees, rocks, posts, or
brush. They will rub them in the soil and thrash around against
woody growth. In extreme cases of intense infestation, a sheep may even kill itself in a frenzied endeavor to gain respite from the aggravation. Often advanced stages of infection from these flies will lead to blindness.

Only the strictest attention to the behavior of the sheep by
the shepherd can forestall the difficulties of “fly time.” At the
very first sign of flies among the flock, he will apply an antidote
to their heads. I always preferred to use a homemade remedy
composed of linseed oil, sulfur, and tar which was smeared over the sheep’s nose and head as a protection against nose flies.


What an incredible transformation this would make among the sheep. Once the oil had been applied to the sheep’s head there
was an immediate change in behavior. Gone was the aggravation; gone the frenzy; gone the irritability and the restlessness. Instead, the sheep would start to feed quietly again, then soon lie down in peaceful contentment”. 1

The analogy here is obvious. The reason many people go through their lives with such disturbing mental issues that seemingly cannot be defeated is because of seeds that the enemy of their souls planted years and years ago, many times in their youth. As children, we are susceptible to all kinds of destructive eggs that the enemy has laid just waiting for their opportunity to hatch and cause us to dash our heads against the ground in agony trying to silence the irritation and noise of mental strongholds.

Many of those seeds are the comments made by parents, teachers, relatives or important authority figures we respect. When a person in authority speaks destructive words into the heart of a child, the damage may not seem immediate, but just like eggs, they will incubate until the personality becomes entirely directed by the wrong thoughts that hatch due to insensitive comments, accusations and even just hate-filled words. If you constantly or even intermittently have trouble with repeating thoughts of accusation, depression or any negativity whatsoever, this blog is for you…

I have told the story in my blog “How I Became Stupid” how the words of a vindictive teacher caused me to believe that I was stupid, and I did my very best to fulfill her hateful prophecy over my life. For years I struggled with rebellion and hate for learning because the eggs laid in my little soul by a teacher who was angry with me hatched into fully grown beliefs that caused me to hate myself and begin down a self-destructive behavioral pattern. Mind worms destroy reality and cause us to believe lies.

I once counseled a man who was fully convinced that he was born to be killed in a tragedy. He didn’t know what it would be, but he had already been involved in two near-death automobile accidents, a fall from a second-story window and a near-fatal electric shock. He used these examples as proof that God created him to die a tragic death.

When I did some investigating, he related to me of growing up with a maniacal father who tortured him by burning him with cigarettes because he would wet his pants as a little boy. His father had told him, “You will never live a long life…God wouldn’t let someone as stupid as you to live!” His father also had told him, “All the men in our family have died before they lived a full life…it’s your fate…just like it will be mine!” His father was killed at 43, being crushed by a crane on a work-related accident. It wasn’t until that belief system in his mind was rejected and he accepted the scripture Psalm 91 that he was able to be free from the destructive mind worm and its poisonous eggs.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly plague. He will cover you with His feathers; under His wings, you will find refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the pestilence that destroys at noon. Though a thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, no harm will come near you.

You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your dwelling—my refuge, the Most High— no evil will befall you, no plague will approach your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and cobra; you will trample the young lion and serpent.

“Because he loves Me, I will deliver him; because he knows My name, I will protect him. When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver and honor him. With (a) long life, I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.”

It is for this reason that the crown of thorns pushed into the head of Jesus on the cross was an important part of your salvation. The blood that covered Christ’s head was the payment for a sound mind…a payment that must be appropriated every day when we rise from bed and every night when we lay our heads upon our pillows. Scripture is very clear about how our thoughts AND WORDS can determine both our destiny and our outlook on life.

While our minds were purchased by his blood, the renewing power of washing it daily with God’s Word is WHAT KEEPS IT CLEAN from destructive mind worms. Counteracting accusations and lies that are thrown at us by the enemy of our souls is something we cannot just pray and ask God to remove from us. God tells us the RENEWING OUR MINDS IS A JOB HE HAS GIVEN TO US!!!

“Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TEST AND APPROVE WHAT IS THE GOOD, PLEASING AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD.” Romans 12:1-2

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to obey Christ”. – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

“In I John 1:7, the apostle writes that we are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. But the cleansing found here in Ephesians 5:26 is of a different kind. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Almost all things are purged by blood.” Almost all but not everything is. There are some things that must be purged in another way.

Ephesians 5:26 tells us that we are cleansed “with the washing of water by the word.” There are things that will be cleansed—things in our minds, things that deal with conduct, things that have to do with character and attitude—that are cleansed by water. The word “water” here is symbolic, referring to the Word of God, as well as to the Holy Spirit.

Christ gave a long discourse in John 6, which we often apply at Passover time, about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Towards the end, He says to his audience, “The words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

We have in the Bible the Word of God—and Jesus says it contains power. It has the power to cleanse a person’s mind because we can think only by what goes into the mind, concepts that are contained in words. Words are merely symbols of ideas that we use to reason. We turn those ideas into action, into conduct, which becomes part of our character and our attitude.
In other places in the Bible, the Holy Spirit is compared to water and to oil. Both of these have revitalizing, nourishing, cleansing, purifying, and sanitizing properties to them.

We are familiar with how we use water to cleanse things; water is the universal solvent. We do not use oil so much to cleanse things, but, on the other hand, the Samaritan in the parable treated the man’s wounds with oil (Luke 10:34). It had a purifying effect on him.” 2

Today, begin by filling your mind with God’s word…with God’s thoughts, and discover a new and living way of being free and breaking destructive thoughts that seek to derail God’s perfect peace over your life.

1.http://keithhunt.com/Shep10.html
2.https://www.bibletools.org/…/12320/Washing-Water-by-Word.htm