Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

Defeated? Struggling? Confused? Anxious and worried? Judgmental and critical? Can’t seem to get out of frustrating mindset? Wanting something different in life than the same old struggles? Ready for a change?

Dig into Battlefield of the Mind and see where you might need some adjustment in your thinking in order to find victory. Truly we are told to no longer be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (see Romans 12:1).

Joyce Meyer walks us through the challenges and dangers of destructive beliefs and helps reboot our thinking, allowing light to illuminate the path of listening to the Spirit, following Christ and walking in obedience to God.

Quotes:

  • A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.
  • In Mark 4:24 Jesus says, “The measure (of thought and study) you give (to the truth you hear) will be the measure (of virtue and knowledge) that comes back to you.”
  • Two other spiritual weapons available to us are praise and prayer. Praise defeats the devil quicker than any other battle plan, but it must be genuine heart praise, not just lip service or a method being tried to see if it works. Also, praise and prayer both involve the Word. We praise God according to His Word and His goodness. Prayer is relationship with the Godhead.
  • Our past may explain why we’re suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.
  • Satan knows well that if he can control our thoughts, he can control our actions.
  • You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.
  • You can’t overcome your situation by determination alone.
  • Thoughts bear fruit. Think good thoughts, and the fruit in your life will be good. Think bad thoughts, and the fruit in your life will be bad.
  • Walking after the flesh is depending on yourself; walking after the Spirit is depending on God.
  • “I believe God. I believe He is working in me no matter what I may feel or how the situation may look. The Lord has begun a good work in me, and He will bring it to full completion” (See Philippians 2:13; 1:6)
  • But the positive person can go ahead and decide to enjoy himself no matter with happens. The negative person never enjoys anything.
  • don’t feel condemned! Condemnation is negative. I’m sharing these things so you can recognize your problem.
  • Always be ready mentally to face whatever comes, believing that God works good of all things.
  • But, when we are positive in a negative situation it shows a genuine trust in God and spiritual maturity that pleases and glorifies God.
  • Pay attention to the condition of your mind and keep it free, peaceful, and full of faith.
  • “Think about what you’re thinking about.”
  • The Holy Spirit desires to bring us this enlightenment, bu the mind often misses what the spirit is attempting to reveal because it is too busy.
  • The mind should not be filled with reasoning, worry, anxiety, fear and the like. It should be calm, quiet and serene.
  • Then I learned that I was not receiving much of what the Holy Spirit wanted to reveal to me simply because my mind was so wild and busy that it was missing the information being offered.
  • It is always nice if the spirit and mind agree, but if they don’t we should always choose to follow the spirit.
  • There is a big difference in head knowledge and revelation knowledge.
  • It is impossible to have joy and peace and live in unbelief.
  • Peace is not something that can be put on a person; it is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22) and fruit is the result of abiding in Jesus (see John 15:4).
  • Worry certainly never makes anything better, so why not give it up?
  • So the devil attempts to keep the mental arena busy enough with the wrong kinds of thinking so that the mind never gets around to being used for the purpose for which God designed it.
  • Our words are very important because they confirm our faith–or in some instances our lack of faith.
  • A person who worries still thinks that in some way he can solve his own problem.
  • Jesus did not come to remove all opposition from our lives, but rather to give us a different approach to the storms of life.
  • “I already know what I know,” he replied. “I try to be quiet and listen so I can find out what others know.”
  • The way for sinful action is paved through sinful thinking.
  • Many doors are opened to the enemy through complaining.
  • I would rather sacrifice my thanksgiving to God than sacrifice my joy to satan.
  • Satan has really never had an original idea. He takes what belongs to the Kingdom of Light and perverts it for the kingdom of darkness.
  • …it takes us years to experience victory over something that could have and should have been dealt with quickly.
  • Think and speak about your future in a positive way, according to what God has placed in your heart.
  • You and I will never have the privilege of being used by God if we are not willing to take our responsibility seriously.
  • Wanting something is not enough–we must also be fully prepared to take responsibility for it.
  • How will we ever learn to lean on Him, if everything in our lives is so easy that we can handle it by ourselves?
  • Even though being in God’s will sometimes has some difficulties attached to it, being out of His will is much more difficult.
  • I have discovered that patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
  • …you do have th mind of Christ. Why not make the most of it?
  • We need to learn to enjoy where we are while we are on our way to where we are going!
  • …the proud person thinks so highly of himself that he believes he should never be inconvenienced in any way.
  • Our job is not to control our circumstances, but to respond toward them in a godly way.
  • When you are trying to wait on God, the devil will pound your mind continuously demanding that you “do something.”
  • we cannot entertain the sin of self-pity and also walk in the power of God!
  • If we are not secure concerning our own worth and value as a unique individual, we will naturally find ourselves competing with anyone who appears to be successful and doing well.
  • Victorious living demands prompt, exact obedience to the Lord.
  • If we “think” too much, we can reason our way out of God’s will.

 

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Re: Recreate

Autumn unto Spring

A season comes when life slows down
grass and trees turn dormant brown
waiting for sharp winter winds
and the veil of cold they bring

 

then life slumbers for a time
quietly, the world sublime
calling all to hush and rest
in den, in bush and in nest

 

until the day comes warm and bright
life emerging in the light
gentle rain to bring new growth
field and meadow, watering both

 

 

bursting flowers in vivid bloom
trilling birds in lovely plume
flowing streams and rivers meet
blowing breezes fresh and sweet

 

quickly now the world awakens
its winter slumber fully shaken
repose has passed, time to make
restore, renew and recreate

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Re: Renew

Nothing like a trip to the mountains to renew one’s spirit. A couple of weeks ago my husband took a week trip to visit his uncle and our son and daughter-in-love in Colorado. I wasn’t quite ready for another road trip so I stayed home. I had just finished a busy weekend at a writer’s conference (American Christian Fiction Writers) in San Antonio and I knew I’d need some down time. I also needed to be around for some commitments.

But about the time Jon returned, I was ready for a bit of a break and a trip. I gave him a couple of weeks to recuperate and we loaded up and headed out.

The sky always seems to be in abundance in the mountains, filled with sunshine during the day and stars at night. If ever you want to feel small, find the darkest location you can on a clear night, and spend some time looking at the stars. So vast. So amazing. And if you ever want to feel renewed, take a hike on a mountain trail. Both provide an opportunity for the spirit to be still and rest.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

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The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimerc

So good. I return to this book again and again. For reminder. For inspiration. For encouragement.

I’ve read The Creative Call three times. The first time in 2004. I was taking classes at the time and wanted to reignite my passion to write and somehow fit my writing into a busy life of being a wife and a mom, with a full time career in the Navy.

I picked it up again in 2012, wanting to return to my passion again after and during many changes and challenges: hurricanes, retirement, launching children, moving, parents with illnesses. All the things in life that teach us, grow us, take us to the depths of our souls and back.

And I picked it up again this year, in the midst of writing, when I felt the Lord leading me to conduct a writer’s workshop. I was learning so much I wanted to encourage other would-be-writer’s to pick up the pen and write.

In The Creative Call, Elsheimer walks creative spirits (we the artists, whether painter, writer, musician, gardener, etc) through our obstacles, arguments and frustrations and leads us to a place of inspiration. She provides places in the book to write our thoughts, our reflections, our answers. The exercises in the book provide me an interesting look back to where I was and where I am today. Some things have changed, some have stayed the same and some have come into fruition. At the end of the book, Elsheimer also gives ideas and suggestions for hosting an artist’s retreat. It definitely makes The Creative Call worth revisiting again. Anyone interested in an artist’s retreat next year?

Quotes

  • …even as a child I felt that these gifts were from God, that they were not just something he gave to me but something that came through me.
  • Creative people know that not only are they missing something important when they aren’t exercising their creative gifts, but they are also shrinking from the responsibility they have to develop those gifts.
  • Our gifts are not from God to us, but from God through us to the world.
  • In the end we come to know this:  We can’t do a thing about the past, but to some extent we can and do have control over the present.
  • Perhaps you have always thought it was just too arrogant to believe you have talent worth sharing.
  • Instead of hoping that finding ourselves will result in practicing our art again, we need to realize that only through losing ourselves and becoming reliant on God can we discover how to use those gifts the way he wants us to use them.
  • …unlocking your creativity is action: simply doing the next thing that needs to be done.
  • Through the Word, the process of creation began. And through God’s Word, our creative renewal will begin as well.
  • The want to either discover or more fully use their talents because they know that if they don’t, they will be leaving something important undone.
  • …practicing your art is a form of worship, a way to use your talents to draw closer to God.
  • We are here to do his will, not gratify our own egos.
  • Being time is the time when we cease to strive. It is about placing ourselves in a state of expectation so that we can hear what God, the Creator, has to say to us, his creation.
  • We do not write in order to be understood, we write in order to understand. – C. Day-Lewis
  • Artists, especially writers, often just have “too many words.”
  • It is instead our responsibility to realize that God gave our talents to us for a purpose, his purpose, and it’s not important that we understand what that purpose is before we start becoming productive artists. What is important is that we accept the talents God gave us, develop them, honor them, use them, and not bury them.
  • God does not give us overcoming life–He gives us life as we overcome. – Oswald Chambers
  • Inspiration far more often comes during the work than before it because the largest part of the job of the artist is to listen to the work and to go where it tells him to go.
  • That fact that artistic encouragement is so rare might explain why many of us did not believe that if we dreamed, we could become it.
  • Encouragement often comes when we least expect it.
  • I began to see my writing as a pathway to a closer relationship with God, not as a glorification of myself.
  • I began to see writing as a way to glorify him.
  • Our art is not necessarily Christian in content, but it is centered in the truth that the Holy Spirit reveals.
  • …wherever you are, to take in… a “healthy diet of sense impression. We must absorb the world around us and learn to see that world anew…
  • We must make up our minds that, just as in any job we are paid to do, we will attend to the work at hand.
  • …doing the work of becoming an artist is important, so important that sometimes other things may not get done.
  • Remember that as a creative person, the important thing is to create. Who sees what you make, where it goes and what it does is a secondary consideration; the first is to exercise the talent God has given you.
  • It is ironic that when we adopt a servant attitude, which seems to imply bondage, we are actually set free to create something greater than ourselves, something that results from a collaboration between God and us.
  • Whether you feel inspired to create or dry and uninspired, you must make time to practice your art.
  • It’s not that we don’t have time for our art. It’s just that we sometimes make unwise choices about how we spend the time we do have.
  • Too many worthy activities, valuable things and interesting people. For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well.
  • The truth is — listen carefully to this one — other people really can get along without you!
  • Saying no to other people is saying yes to God’s desire for us to develop the gifts he gave us.
  • It is the place artists go when they are so caught up in their art that the worries an cares of the day have ceased to exist for them.
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Re: Regrow

My husband and I planted a butterfly/hummingbird garden in the spring. We selected plants that were either native to our area in the Texas Hill Country or did well in our climate (heat and drought tolerant). We also tried to choose plants that were somewhat deer resistant. Because the deer, especially the young ones, will try almost anything.

We selected the area on our property, a place where the ground sloped away from an extension of our driveway. We built a rock wall along the slope to make the bed somewhat level and most of it raised. We then had a load of soil delivered and dumped in the area. Once prepped, we began planting.

I surrounded the rock wall with creeping rosemary, hoping the smell would deter the deer. Then we added several varieties of lantana, along with esperanza, pride of barbados, mexican and jerusalem sage, butterfly bush, and a couple kinds of decorative grasses.

I set up a mister system to help water during our long periods without rain. And, just before we left for an extended trip, my husband and I put up a quick fence, hoping to deter any curious deer. The fence wasn’t very secure. It was made of plant netting and stakes shoved into the ground.

During our trip, we received a text from our neighbors. The deer easily knocked down our fence in several places and routinely enjoyed the salad bar we set out for them. Sure enough, when we returned, about half of the plants provided a feast for our four footed friends. The plants they didn’t care for flourished. The others, not so much.

If we wanted to provide food for butterflies and hummingbirds, rather than the deer, we’d have to improve our garden defense. We cemented the posts into the ground and wrapped the area in wire fencing. So far, so good. The deer are a bit miffed because they can’t get in.

The nibbled on plants are now regrowing, flowers are reblooming and the butterflies are returning.

Our hearts are like the flower garden. Quite tempting for the world (the enemy) to come in and slowly gnaw away at us, taking big chunks of us, stunting our growth and beauty, and ultimately hindering the purpose for which God created us.

Often, we erect our own fences, feeble, frail and usually ineffective. The enemy easily tramples down our weak defenses and feasts on our lives.

But God has something more effective in mind. He provides a sturdy fence, real protection, and the enemy cannot infiltrate.

– God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
– I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2
– So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
– But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Sometimes the law, God’s word, his Torah, may seem restrictive, legalistic, and oppressive. But that’s not his intent at all. He has given his knowledge, his instruction, his guidance for our protection. When we follow it, it’s like a solid wall, and strong defense for our hearts.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:6-11

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30

I take precautions to shield my plants so they can abundantly grow and display their beauty. In the same way, I want to allow the Lord to shield my heart, so it to can abundantly grow, displaying the beauty he has planted there.

 

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