You’ve heard it said, “as a man thinks so he is”. I guess this would attribute to one person physically capable but out of fear never leaves the house while someone with no limbs experiences joy touching lives all around the world. We wonder in total amazement how Nick Vujicic, www.lifewithoutlimbs.com , has led a more joyous meaningful life than someone we think to have everything going for them. My challenge to you is to rethink your thinking. Pain happens, misery is a choice. Everyone has voices in their head. Some are our own and others are from an enemy seeking to destroy us.
The voices in my head may have been louder because I had been adopted at 3 months. The feeling of loss was there even though I had loving parents. But what I didn’t know growing up was that almost everyone feels worthless and rejected at some point in his or her life. The voices begin early, even as children we hear - you’re ugly, no one likes you, you’re dumb. Even if you’re the popular one sometimes the thoughts creep in that they really don’t like you, you’re not smart enough or someone will take your place. And the recording never stops. We fight those voices till the day we die. A counselor once told me that we choose to be happy. What? My mind couldn’t grasp this concept in the midst of pain. Was he crazy? Did he not ever experience pain? But as I have gone through life I have experienced first hand the power of our own thinking. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, which speaks from what we think. We can destroy others and ourselves with what we say but only if there is belief. If you think it long enough you will start to believe it. Believing truth is the key to life. Thinking truth occasionally is not good enough. Dwelling on a lie could destroy us. Thinking and dwelling on truth will bring new life every day.Opportunity came to have my adoption records opened. Finally, I would know the rest of the story- the truth. Nervously I drove to the agency alone not sure how I would feel afterwards. I spent 1 hour talking with the social worker. It felt good to share how secure I was in my life with Jesus. My voice sounded strange to me, as if I was sitting off to the side listening. Then the social worker told me something that I had never imagined. She told me my mother had been raped. Instantly I broke down crying for all that my mother had gone through, crying for her pain. But when I got to my car I cried furiously for me. The voices had wasted no time, “See I told you, you were worthless. God didn’t have anything to do with you. And the best thing you can do now is to slash your wrists and get rid of all that nasty rapist’s blood!” I had wondered most of my young life why I was alive. Now I was to face the greatest doubt of my life. Now I would face my greatest battle. The voice was insistent as I sat there now numb, almost lifeless except for the tears flowing down my face. I began to think. My Jesus had sacrificed his life on the cross that I would live and my mother gave 9 months of her life to bring me into this world. I could not let them down. Plus I had given my life completely to Christ. So I said aloud, “ I may not be able to live now but I cannot kill myself. Jesus owns my life.”
I was so depressed. I chose to drown in the horror of it all. I went back to the airport to meet my husband refusing to speak to him.Well the next day I was to work with a composer on a song I’d written. I just figured I could act like nothing had happened. Since she knew nothing I felt safe. However she began playing another song she had just completed. The words tore me apart. I screamed “Shut up, Stop it!” As I hung my head and cried I began to see a vision of myself falling into a black hole, falling deeper and darker. The composer jumped off her piano bench and came to me saying, “ I don’t know what is going on but God knew you before you were ever conceived.” Just at that moment I saw in this vision a hand reach down, grab my arm and catapult me into a brilliant light so bright I could hardly keep my eyes open. In an electrifying transformation right before her eyes I lifted my head, looked at her with great joy and said “I believe it!!” Because my thinking had changed I was now free to see and live life in a completely different way. Only seconds earlier I was in the worst despair of my life. This woman asked me a great question, “Who were you before you found out and how does just knowing that change you?” Thinking! In scripture God tells us “Today I set before you life and death. Choose life “We need to hear the voice of truth and think on these things. That’s why the bible tells us what to think on: whatever is true, 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. Philippians 4:7-9.
My life changed even as I began talking about my experience of deliverance from wrong thinking. All was confirmed again with right thinking when I actually met my birth mother. What a thrill to know she had loved me all along and wanted to see me. With my stomach lodged securely in my throat I had approached the reception desk at the nursing home where she stayed. Before I had a chance to say anything I heard a voice say my name. Last minute fears that my bright blue eyes would bring flashbacks of her trauma soon vanished as I looked into my mother’s eyes. My mother’s eyes were my own. What a great reunion! Tears of joy flowed from everyone around us. The entire nursing home had known about me since the first day she had arrived. She had made me a real part of her life for all of these 48 years. After talking with her for awhile I felt eager to know for certain what had happened. So I asked what were the circumstances of my conception. Without hesitancy she said, "Walking home from watching the Ten Commandments, I was raped by 8 men." Oh my goodness just when I thought life had taken a turn for the better now again I was horrified. I was crying again. Thinking had gone off in the wrong direction once more over a word. Very quickly my mother patted me on the back and said “Honey, stop crying; I’ve forgiven those men and look what God has done. He has brought you back to me. God is Faithful!” This woman had her thinking right and I was going to follow her example. She was open about everything, even doing a TV interview only 30 minutes later. Unlike others I have talked to my mother chose forgiveness instead of bitterness. Her choice was to believe that God had given her a gift she could share with someone else. My adoptive parents were so grateful to her, though only my dad lived to tell her.I remember being in a cloud of wrong thinking most of my life. Looking back I wonder why I wasn’t strong enough or willing to let go of those wrong thoughts sooner. We tend to replay things in our minds over and over and over until we are consumed with the thoughts. Sometimes we even become paralyzed. If we would see wrong thinking as a poison from the enemy maybe it would be easier to turn them away. Doctors have found that wrong thinking can actually cause physical illness. I know personally that life can be different just in how I think. Focusing on who we are in Christ makes a difference. Christ himself gives us the truth to make that difference. Without Jesus in my life suicide would have been an option for me. But knowing who I am in him literally saved my life.Thinking is our foundation for living. It can be built on truth or lies. Lies will be the shifting sands that the bible talks about. Just as we have been fed the lies of when life itself begins so it has led to even Christians believing abortion is OK in the case of rape, deformity or whatever isn’t pleasant. Do I deserve the death penalty for the crime of my father? NO! God said children are a blessing without exception. At this time of year we think on the birth of Jesus but what if Mary had aborted? She had all the reasons that today’s society would use. Unwed, too young, an unwanted child coming into the world, shamed by society but she had right thinking. She wanted the will of God in her life. Do you think it was easy for her? We are the recipients of her right thinking.
Who will be the recipient of your right thinking? Our society has taught us independence and strength in one. But that is a lie. We are not strong on our own. That is when the enemy finds us vulnerable. He has worked diligently to deceive us. Society tells us work is most important and our success is based on looks, education and what we do. Who are we really? What is our purpose? What meaning is all that I do? That should be our questions in times of trials. The will of the Lord is the only thing worth living for and since we are created by Him for Him why would we think we could actually live free apart from Him. When we are focused on His will …wow what a difference it makes… we WILL do all things because He strengthens us. Plus the added bonus of unspeakable joy comes when we do the right thing. Give great thought to this and act upon it for your breakthrough.Having spoken with the persecuted Christians worldwide I have found joy unspeakable. How could that be you ask? They have known the depths of pain but heights of joy in the embrace of their Savior. They trusted and believed and thought on how Jesus truly loved them. Opportunity in suffering becomes great. Opportunity for learning great secrets of life, strengthening your hopes and being the glory of the Almighty God, these are the things I have chosen to think on and believe. These are the things that truly lift me up when I am feeling like I am at my lowest. Don’t you too feel like there are days that you can’t put your finger on it but you just feel depressed and down? Where did THAT come from? You have an enemy that has a mission to take you down and out. You also have the choice to change that. God said, “ Today I set before you life and death. Choose life!” I used to wonder why He had to tell us to choose life. Wasn’t it obvious? I guess not because most of us have chosen death in our thinking on more than one occasion. It would be great if we were like computers – just put in another CD. But God has given us His word to replace the word of the enemy. If we use His word it truly does change our thinking. We must stop having conversations with the enemy. Jesus only used scripture to reply to him. Can you hear yourself agreeing with the enemy sometimes? “You can’t do anything don’t even try " And you say “Yea I remember the time I failed and I will probably fail again.” STOP IT! That, my friend, is foundation for death.
Choose life and don’t waste any time. Do it now because you really do have an assignment to glorify God here.
Even the great people of the bible talked to themselves to achieve right thinking. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. Even if your ears have to hear your own mouth speak God’s word to you, speak loudly and clearly. Give the greatest gift to yourself and to others—the gift of truth and right thinking. Then watch your world change. Choice: it’s all in your head. Today choose life.
(as featured in graceandmercymagazine.org)
Written by Juda Myers ©2008
I don’t know if you played “pretend” when you were a kid but my younger brother and I did. He’d say “What if you be the police and I be the bad guy?” Or “what if you be the horse and I be the cowboy?”(I grew up on a farm with no Indians,just cowboys and horses) And we could always save the day. We were the heroes in our own stories. But there came a day when our excited “what ifs” became frightened “what ifs”. I can’t even remember when it happened. Maybe it was the first time someone laughed at our “what ifs”. Maybe there was a bit of a struggle to keep them alive but we became weak without support. Then our dreams,hopes,and joyful “what ifs” died. Replaced with what if I fail, what if they laugh at me again, what if I get hurt and a multitude of fear provoked what ifs. Our childlike thoughts were replaced with what we thought was mature and logical. But have we forgotten one of the best tools God has given us.
“What if” is really the beginning of faith. Will it grow or will it die?
What if you were able to get your wonderful adventurous “what ifs” back? What if I could show you that “what ifs”were meant to be carried with you all your life? Successful people hold onto the positive “what ifs” no matter what, while others cling to the destructive what ifs. Ever tell a person your idea or dream and immediately they’re saying ‘what if it doesn’t work or what if something bad happens?” What if you turned it back on them “What if it does work?” You could also say “ Well, I won’t know until I try.” You can’t give up so easily. My mom used to say “Anything worth having is worth fighting for”. I don’t think she meant that literally at the time but sometimes things do require a battle whether physically or just mentally and spiritually. Life is a battle no matter how you look at it. There’s always some sort of struggle. But there can always be the wonderful “what ifs”.What if we were able to stop the negative voices that even we tell ourselves? You know the things you say, “I was so stupid. I never can do anything right. I hate myself for that. Things will never change.” The same song and dance humans have played for all of history. But the ones that succeeded are the ones that never gave up. They fell but told themselves “what if I get up and do it again, I might succeed this time.”We are what we believe and what we think on every moment. A perfect example is the time I found out I was conceived in rape. The social worker hadn’t known the details but my mind went wild. The voices of the enemy reminded me of the times he had told me I was worthless. Now there was proof or so he thought. Suicide ran through my mind and it was only because I had given my life to Jesus that it did not happen. Truth kept me from following through on a lying thought. What if there is hope? I chose to believe “what if Jesus did love me enough to give his life for me”. Then I had a responsibility to him. The following day I nearly had a nervous breakdown. A woman without having a clue what was going on said to me “ I don’t know what is going on with you but God knew you before you were ever conceived!” Wow at that point in a vision, I saw a hand reach down and grab my arm and catapult me into a brilliant light. I lifted my head and said to her “I believe it!” At that very moment my “what if” changed to a “what if” of wonderful proportions. What if God loved me so much that he told this woman to say exactly the words I needed to hear?
What if God was responsible for my existence?
What if He has a great and specific plan for my life- for your life?Now life in a literal instant had changed.But I was asked a great queston. “Who were you before you were told about your conception?” Hmmm? I had great faith and I knew I was loved by God. But so quickly “what ifs” enter our minds ready to destroy. It is a choice to re-install the positive “what ifs”.Then when I found my birth mom and was told she had been raped by 8 men negative thoughts rushed in again. I began crying but my mom said,”Stop crying. I’ve forgiven those men and look what God has done. He has brought you back to me!” Wow! My “what if there was hope” back yrs ago came to be true. Wonderful “what ifs” are possible if we don’t give up. Most of our life is a choice. In America we are given so very many choices that we become confused. What if I don’t do the right thing? But what if you can do the right thing with the help of the Holy Spirit? In all that we do as Christians, we must go back to the Word of God for our standard. What if we only did what Jesus really would do? What if we believed his word as truth. There are so many “what ifs” for us to explore in our journey here on earth. What good is it to always do the bad “what if”? So you fail; what if you keep going, knowing Romans 8:28 says that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Php 4:8 -Finally, brothers, 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. What if? Joh 14:12 - I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me(What if) will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. Ro 14:23 everything that does not come from faith is sin. What if we do everything in faith?2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.(What if) Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? What if you do pass the test and you realize you can do all things through him who strengthens you. Ga 3:9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. What if you believe you will be blessed?1Pe 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope(what ifs)fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1Co 4:12 When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it. What if we could do this?We can live with great “what ifs” such as “ What if I can be debt free? What if this year is the best my marriage has ever been? What if I choose to love those who are mean to me? What if I hear the voice of God and respond quickly? What if we can be conquerors, hey, MORE than conquerors?”Even what if I could be like those timeless fairy tale dreams of being royalty, the child of a king.
Well the truth is we can. 1Jo 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! With Jesus we have an adoption into royalty. It’s time to realize our position. “What ifs” are a tool given by God and if we use it his way we will be able to be and accomplish great things.Believe and use them with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that has been promised you and see your “what ifs” turn to reality . What if we stand before God one day and he says to us “Well done good and faith full servant!”
Remember when you were 13 and swore you were “in love”? And they called it puppy love. No one could convince you it wouldn’t last. People laughed at you but you were unmoved. You started acting differently too. If you are a guy you suddenly discovered cologne. If you’re a gal(work with me here-guys and gals) you couldn’t stop talking about your true love. Sacrificing time with friends to be with your love came easy. You wanted to know everything you could about that person. You pledged your love forever. Unfortunately, forever for a teenager could possibly be a week or two and then it’s time to discover something better.( For those whose love has lasted for 30-50+ years starting as a teenager I genuinely applaud you) But for the rest of us, when things didn’t feel good and someone starting to ignore that pledge of love it fell apart.
What is the reason those loves didn’t last?
True love is a commitment to the other person. When “love” only looks for the feelings that make us feel good then it isn’t true love. Think back on the things you did for love. Some were quite foolish but still no one could tell you otherwise. Did you ever lie for a love, saying you liked what they liked? Did you ever keep your mouth shut about a situation to make your love look better than you? Were you protective of what others said about your love, even becoming angry if they said something negative? Maybe you even broke off other relationships that weren’t good for your relationship.
It all came easy in the beginning. Immature love as well as mature love all act the same in the beginning. They dedicate their time in knowing and being with their love. When you love someone you would do anything to protect and uplift that person. We all understand that point.
But what about a love that goes against the norm?
What about a love that continues through the tough times because of a commitment? I am not talking about an immature love seeking to gratify oneself. Sure God gives us those feelings to draw us to each other but if that’s all that you have it won’t last. True love is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud and is not self seeking!
You’re undoubtedly familiar with the list in 1Corithians 13, the love chapter of the bible. What is the greatest example of love that any human has shown you personally? Was it a friend, a parent, a child? Maybe it was your spouse. What did they do that makes you remember? I bet it was a selfless act of kindness or they just believed in you when no one else did.
Can you go through the 1Cor.13 list and see how many qualities that person has?What makes a mother give her only food to her child if she hasn’t eaten in a week?
What makes a man stand in front of his wife to take the bullet meant for her? Isn’t that the ultimate sacrifice of love? The willingness to give one’s life for another is without argument the truest form of love.
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."(John 15:13)We all realize this but how many are willing to sacrifice our lives for that kind of love?
It has been discovered that we have been “hard wired” in our DNA to receive a reward for doing a kind deed. Yes, scientists have recently found a trigger than sends out endorphines making us “feel good” about doing a good deed! Amazing? Not really.
God gave us a hint in scripture “ It is better to give than to receive!”
As time goes on man discovers over and over that God’s word is true. And who knows love better than God, who sent His only son to die for us so that whoever believes will have eternal life with Him.
And Jesus loved us enough also to die for us even before we knew Him. Would you die for someone you didn’t know? Maybe. And some do. We call them heroes because we think it is amazing that someone would do that. OK so maybe you’d die for someone you didn’t know.
What if you knew them and they hated you? Not so easy huh? Jesus didn’t consider it easy either as He cried out to His Father to change the plan. But though it wasn’t easy, for the love of God the Father and all mankind, (even those who hated Him) He took our punishment for all the wrong of mankind! Now that’s true love!You might want to stop and think about that for a moment.I’m always remembering another sacrifice that brought life to my own existence. My mother put aside her feelings to give me breath. You see, 8 men raped her as she walked home from seeing the Ten Commandments! Not the ideal circumstances to become pregnant, but she chose to sacrifice that part of her life to insure mine. This was true love for someone she didn’t know. Since meeting her 2 years ago we have both gained the rewards of her sacrifice and enjoy a wonderful relationship. It’s a God thing with a very happy ending.
One day those who choose to accept Jesus’offering of love will join together with him and all the others who’ve chosen Him, for the happiest ending ever known in the heavens or on the earth.So as you think about wht you’ll give your true love this Valentine’s Day, consider giving the greatest gift-the gift of Jesus Christ.
If you’re a believer give something that demonstrates the heart of Jesus-giving sacrificially.
If you’re not a believer be a receiver of the greatest gift of love. Just receive it because it has already been given to you and Jesus awaits your approval.
For the hurting, broken hearted believer –look deeply into that gift of love that Jesus gave you. Hold it. Cherish it. Enjoy it again.
It has a way of renewing itself as we hold it close to our hearts,ever so tightly.For all mankind there is a love that never fails. If you’re wondering how that can be true when you’ve loved and not been loved back,
well Jesus is experiencing that very same thing even as you are reading this now.
Maybe you are the one who has been distracted away from His love. He knows your hurts and His love NEVER fails.
When you are giving out His love it will not fail.
You will feel the warm embrace and be fulfilled like nothing else can give you.
Nothing done in selfishness however will last.
If your joy and love last only as long as someone is doing what you expect,
that isn’t Christlike love.
But joy everlasting is found in the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, son of the Living God. Want to be loved for eternity?
What are you willing to do for love?