Repurpose (Your Life)

Repurpose

I love Pinterest.  I love looking at DIY stuff and “repurposed” projects.  I like going on the app and seeing how I can turn regular, everyday “junk” into art.  I rarely try to implement what others have done, but the idea to take something “ugly” and make it beautiful, makes me happy.  One of my most re-pinned posts is of an old bed post that someone formed into an angel and put in their flower bed.  Looking at something that has been “repurposed,” like a mosaic, makes me think of how God wants to take us in our broken states and turn us into something beautiful.

One day I met a woman who began to tell me her story.  She had been in an abusive marriage.  Her ex-husband emotionally abused her, making her feel “less than.”  He also physically abused her.  She eventually left him.  She began to go to school and took a self-defense class.  Eventually, she began to teach self-defense.  Then, God put on her heart and opened the door for her to teach self-defense to women in prison.

God loves us show much, that He continually is molding and reshaping us and using us for His plan and purpose.  He can take those ugly things that have happened in our lives and turn them around for (His) good!  He can (and will, if we let Him) turn our mess into our message.

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.

Psalm 139:13-16

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
 Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Ephesians 1:2 (Msg):

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.  Long before we first heard of Christ,…he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”

Ephesidans 2:10 (NLT)

NLT:  For we are God’s masterpiece (other versions workmanship, creation, handiwork). He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Colossians 1:16b (Msg)

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him (repeat) Everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him!

 

Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Look again at Hebrews 12 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Race of Faith

12 …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, …has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • While running the race remember: HE is the author and the finisher of our faith

 

The devil, the enemy wants us to feel less than.  He wants dysfunction in our lives.  He wants division, dissension and discord in our families.

dis- a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force (see de-, un2.); used freely, especially with these latter senses, as an English formative:

Think of all the words with the prefix, “dis.”  discontent, disunity, disagree, dissension, discord, dispute.  All of these (and more) are from the devil.

Now, think of some words that start with the prefix, “re.”

The ones I shared, refocus, reframe, repurpose.  Then there’s refresh, renew and redeem.  Those are from God.  He wants continually refreshed in Him, renewed by Him and we are redeemed by Him.

At the time I was originally writing this, the radio would often play the song by Big Daddy Weave, “Redeemed.”  The lyrics are so good.  I hope that you can find hope and most of all renewal and redemption as you put your hope and trust in God.

“Redeemed”
Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be
Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

 

Thank God…I am redeemed!

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Reframe Your Thoughts

While studying Social Work, we learned quite a bit about the term, “Reframing.”  Cognitive reframing is a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational, maladaptive (dysfunctional) thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives.  In cognitive therapy it’s also referred to as cognitive restructuring.

History

Aaron T. Beck developed cognitive therapy in the 1960s. Beck worked with patients that had been diagnosed with depression, and found that negative thoughts would come into minds of these patients. Beck helped his patients recognize the impact of their negative thoughts, and aided them in shifting their mindset to think more positively—eventually lessening or even getting rid of the patient’s depression. This process was termed cognitive restructuringthe main goal of which was to rethink negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts[1]

 

I LOVE listening to Dr. Caroline Leaf.  She has written books about how our thoughts affect (Who Switched off My Brain?: Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions).  She has stated, “God is the Creator of the Universe and is the Author of Science…The study of Science is therefore the study of God’s handiwork and is a way of admiring His Creation.”

While holding an actual photo of the brain, Dr. Leaf, pointed out a very toxic memory. It was a dark black one that looked like a tree with many, many branches. She explained that toxic memories have all the wrong chemicals and they cause a toxic reaction in the body.

The first and most advantageous point of control is when the thought is initially introduced to us. It’s at that point that we can make a decision to accept or reject the information. It was also interesting to me to hear Dr. Leaf explain how this process of free will was built right in to us through genetic code by the Creator Himself.

“There is a point in your brain called the “free will” and it is a genetic structure, there is genetic code. You can use that free will to accept or reject that incoming information. So if you are controlling your thought life, you don’t have to just receive all of this input that is coming in from the outside world, from the media, from external and also from your internal world; we’ve got a lot of existing toxic memories in our head, everything from birth to death is stored in your brain. So you’re going to have information coming from the outside, information from the inside and it all meets at this point of the free will in the brain. You can make a decision at that point to accept or reject that information. If you decide this is not good for me and you actually analyze that thought and say, this is not good for me, this is not healthy. You can reject that thought and it goes out and becomes heat energy. It actually becomes hot air and it doesn’t become part of you. But if you choose to think about it, if you choose to meditate on that, if you choose to ask, answer, discuss, analyze to give meaning, you push it into these memory trees of the mind, into the memory circuits and once they’re there, they are there for good. Once they’ve moved into what the neuro-scientists call the magic trees of the mind, once they’re there, they’re there for good, you can’t get rid of them. Then you’ve got to rebuild, that’s the renewing of the mind. Much more difficult to rebuild than it is to reject.”
~ Dr. Caroline Leaf

The second point of control is after the thought has already been accepted. Dr. Leaf says that if thoughts slip through into our brain and become toxic, we need to start the rebuilding process. What it boils down to is a renewing of the mind process just like the Word of God says. We must think on things that are good, pure, of good report. God didn’t say that for no reason! As I observed in a recent post, How Healthy Meditation Can Make Us Successful, God’s Word teaches us that proper meditation will cause us to prosper and succeed, and it will add joy to our life.

Dr. Leaf says that the medical community and the scientific community (neuro-scientists and neuro-researchers) agree. They have proven that if we think healthy, positive, good thoughts, we release chemicals in our brain that actually go down to those negative toxic memories and start literally helping to dissolve them and actually help change the structure of that memory so that we can grow a new healthy memory over the old toxic one.

Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few.   (Stress, tension….trickle effect from mind down to body).

BUT As Christians we have authority over our thoughts and we have the mind of Christ:

  1. We are told to “Hold Our Thoughts Captive”:

Cor. 10:3-8 (NKJV) “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christand being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.  Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.[a] For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us[b] for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed

  1. We are taught to “Renew Our Minds”:

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,[a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this [c]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may[d]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and[e]acceptable and perfect.

 

  1. We should continually examine our thoughts:

Does it line up with God’s thoughts (the Bible)? If not, then cast down your own thoughts and think God’s thoughts instead.

As Christians we also have a new spiritual wisdom: 

1 Cor. 2:And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony[a] of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human[b] wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”[c]

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy[d] Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”[e] But we have the mind of Christ.

When we first moved to Western Washington from Southeast Idaho, I complained about the price of our apartment.  Most of my friends back in Idaho were paying the same amount for their mortgages on newly built homes as we were paying for rent on a 2 bedroom apartment.  I “could not” be content…until I CHOSE to be.  One night when I couldn’t sleep I turned on the T.V.  There was a television program I was watching (I think it was “Life Today” with James & Betty Robison) that showed young families living in total filth, they had no clean water, no plumbing in their home, they were eating small amounts of food if any, etc.  I looked around at our comfy, clean apartment that had running water, indoor plumbing and even a gas fireplace and for the first time, I felt rich.  God helped me change my perspective.  Over the years, I have had to remind myself to simply put on my “rose colored glasses” and see my circumstances through new eyes.

1 Thesselonians 5 (AMP):

16 Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always);

17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];

18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

 

2 Timothy 1:7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and sound (well-balanced)  mind and discipline and self-control.
Gets your eyes off yourself, focus on God (refocus) and others!

Philippians 2:3-4  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Acts 20:35: In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

By Faith We Understand Hebr. 11:11

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

 

I pray this blesses you as much as it did me.

The Lord is for me, I will not fear

I have noticed a recent trend on social media and the news: FEAR. Most of the fear is surrounding Ebola entering our borders. But, there is always something on the news or events happening in our lives or the lives of those around us that could cause us to be fearful: issues with our health, not having job security, the health and welfare of our children, anxieties and phobias, etc., etc. etc.

For years I struggled with fear. As a child, I feared the boogey-man. I remember lying awake at night, not being able to sleep because I was afraid of the dark, of something underneath my bed or that someone was going to come and get me. Often times, I would end up in one of my sister’s beds. (It was a blessing having four sisters to choose from). 🙂

When Aaron and I moved from sleepy ol’ Pocatello, Idaho to the Seattle-Tacoma area in 1998, that fear got a grip on me once again. I was bed ridden for months because of the hyperemesis gravidarum I experienced during pregnancy. So, I would sit and watch T.V. including the news 2-3 times per day. Going from pretty mild news reports to news about rapes and murders (some happening very close by, like just down the street) gripped me with fear. I began to fear someone breaking into our apartment and couldn’t sleep well at night. Then, when our first child was born, it continued into being concerned something would happen to her.

This continued on for years and only progressed when we moved into our first house in an area that would eventually have issues with drug related crimes, thefts and break-ins, etc.

I had faith, I believed in God and deep down I knew He would protect us. But, I couldn’t shake that grip that fear had on me.  I would pray over our house, walk around and pray over our property, etc, etc.  But, nothing seemed to help the fear subside.

I bought a little picture of an angel guarding a child’s bed and every night began to recite the passage that was printed on it:  Psalms 4:8, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”  I had been reading, “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian and would read the chapter on fear not just for my daughter, but for ME.  It was pretty humbling.  I tried to read other books on fear, but they all dealt with things such as stage fright, asking for a raise, etc.  Those are still very real and debilitating fears, but I felt like I was the only person who was fearing for my life.  (I saw Joyce Meyer has a new book on fear.  I’m curious to read it.  I bet that’s a great resource).

Looking back, I really cannot believe the way I was living.  I was truly a prisoner to my own mind and emotions.  On top of the fear, I was dealing with so many other “issues.”  God began to slowly peel away at those issues one by one.  But, it truly took FAITH to overcome the FEAR.

The first step I took (after reading the Scriptures on fear and praying) was getting a little booklet on fear that actually opened my eyes to how fear works.  For some reason, reading, “Freedom From Fear” by Kenneth Copeland made that little lightbulb in my brain turn on.  I had that “Aha” moment.  In the booklet, Copeland explains the law of reciprocals (“corresponding, but reversed or inverted” principles) that are discussed in Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”  Understanding that fear is just faith perverted (by Satan) opened my eyes.  Satan is “limited to the forces of the world.”  He cannot create or come up with new ideas.  He just perverts the spiritual laws that are already in place.  “Sin was not a new law.  It was righteousness perverted.  Death was life perverted.  Hate was love perverted.  Fear was faith perverted (pg. 5).”  In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve sinned, the first words Adam spoke to God were, “I was afraid.”  Genesis 3:10.  The enemy is here to steal, kill and destroy.  So, he took the faith that Adam had and it was turned to fear.  I love where Kenneth Copeland writes, “The counterfeit never is as powerful as the real thing” (pg. 7).  Therefore, we know that when we put faith to work, “it will always overcome fear.”

In our Christian walk, we have to walk by faith.  In doing so, we have to know the Word of God and stand on its (His) principles.  We have to know that Satan is under our feet because of what Jesus has done for us (as believers, we are free from every part of the curse).  So, why do we allow him to pull us around on strings of fear, worry, anxiety, depression, etc?  Yes, we are physical beings and will have physical problems.  But, God is bigger than any of our problems.  And…He has put other people, counselors, doctors (and sometimes modern medicine) here on earth to help us walk through some of the pains of life.  (I’ll talk about my feelings on that a bit more in another post) 🙂  However, the best resource He has given us is His word.  We can’t just read it, we have to believe it and apply it.  We have to speak it and believe what we are saying.  When we speak it, we must remember the authority that we have through Jesus and speak it with confidence, not with a question mark at the end.

As believers, we must hold our (negative) thoughts captive.  Then, we must renew our minds with the Word of God.  I will share some of my favorite passages below.  There are 365 references in the Bible that say or address, “Do not fear.”  Or as our Youth Pastor Terry said, one do not fear for every day of the year!!!  (I LOVE that!!)

After I read that booklet, I knew that things were beginning to change in my thought life.  But, it wasn’t until a women’s retreat (my first retreat with Inspiration Bible Church) I truly became free and broke off the chains of fear.  I had gone to get away and enjoy myself (and of course for the great teaching I would receive).  But, I didn’t realize it would be life changing.  I went away still battling the demons of fear, but left them in Cannon Beach along with hurts, bitterness, worry and the rest of the enemy’s lies he had been telling me at that time.  I was freed and in turn I bound the enemy in the name of Jesus because WE have the AUTHORITY to do that (once again because of what Jesus did for us).

 

Psalm 27:1-3

A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.

Psalm 118:6

The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? (NASB)

Matthew 10:28

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear (reverence) only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. NLT

V. 30 & 31, But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Hebrews 2:14 & 15

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.