Daily encouragement as you follow His path

Nature vs. Nurture

There is an age-old debate regarding human development, specifically intelligence.  Some scientists argue that the acquisition of knowledge in humans is more closely correlated with environment than with genetics.  They propose that any human can learn under the right environmental conditions regardless of genetic make up.  Other scientists claim that even in optimal conditions, humans will only learn to the extent of their abilities as defined by their DNA codes.   In my humble opinion, both are valid arguments.  We can even take this debate a step further and apply it to our thinking.  By nature, we tend to focus on negative events.  Often, we replay those scenarios over and over in our minds sometimes years after the event has actually occurred.  We must deliberately think positive.  This can be done by surrounding ourselves with positive influences.  We have to be mindful of the kinds of books we read, the music we listen to, and the shows we watch on TV.  Guarding your mind from the negativity available on the internet is important also.   The types of thoughts we allow in our mind don’t have to be the topic of debate.  We can choose to override nature and nurture positive thoughts by filling our environment with prayer and spending time reading God’s word.

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It’s Getting Easier

Today I noticed that I felt relaxed and peaceful for no particular reason.  My circumstances haven’t changed.  There are still some things about my life that  bother me.  I haven’t won the lottery and no one from Publisher’s Clearinghouse has knocked on the door.  Money is not the most important thing, but having a little more these days sure would help!  I really believe the change in my mental state is due to changing the way I think.  I have really tried to focus on keeping my thoughts and actions positive.  Some days have been better than others, but I keep striving to maintain control of what I think about.   Everyday it gets a little easier and I find that I have to redirect my thoughts less frequently.  It was really nice to be able to go about my day with an internal calm that I know comes from keeping my mind on Him.

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Quotes Worth Thinking About…

Today I want to share a few quotes about positive thinking.  God Bless!!

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.
– The Buddha

What we think, we become. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
– The Buddha

To stay positive, think positive, act positive, and believe positive.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Every thought we think is creating our future.
– Louise L. Hay

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I have found that my biggest struggle with my thoughts comes from within instead of from other people or circumstances.  I am my own worst enemy when it comes to planting negative thoughts in my mind.  Too often I find that I am dwelling on something from the past or something that might happen in the future.  The past cannot be changed and we don’t know what the future holds, so I am basically just wasting my time and brain power.  During the month of January I hope to retrain my thought patterns to focus solely on today.  Every second that ticks by is another moment of my life slipping away.  I cannot afford to throw away precious time when I have no clue how much time I have left.  I vow to stay in the moment and to keep my thoughts on God.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Isaiah 26:3 KJV

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You Are Who You Hang With

This month we are focusing on controlling our thoughts, especially keeping them positive.  I have found that when you decide to make a change in your life some force sets out to make you stumble so that you don’t reach your goal.  Right now, it seems that more and more people are choosing me to be their sounding board when they want to complain or talk about other people.  I have had to think of ways to politely excuse myself from the conversation or steer the talk in a different direction.  I refuse to allow others to poison my thinking.  I am determined to keep my thoughts as positive and pure as possible.  So, I have  come to realize that I have to surround myself with people who are already on the path I want to take.  Birds of a feather tend to flock together.  Think about the company you keep.  Are they helping you on your journey or making the journey more difficult?

Philippians 4:8 NIV  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.

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Attitudes Are Contagious

When you learn that a friend or coworker is sick, you instinctively take a step away from them to protect yourself from their germs.  You care about them, but you don’t want to get sick yourself.  Not only are viruses and bacteria contagious, so are attitudes.  Have you ever been in a good mood only to realize a short while later that you feel lousy mentally?  This has happened to me on occasion and I can usually trace this 180 degree change in my disposition to being around someone who was in a bad mood.  Negative thinking seems to be absorbed by osmosis without any effort from the person in the bad mood or yourself.  The good news is that a good attitude is contagious also.  There are certain people we love to be around and are drawn to because of their sunny disposition.  This is the type of person I am striving to become – someone people want to be around instead of avoid.  So, I continue to monitor my thoughts and make them as positive as possible.  Wish me luck!!  Or, better yet, pray for me.  🙂



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Day 5 – Still Trying to Get My Thoughts Under Control

There is something you should know about me.  I am a bit of a control freak.  I like to make plans and I like for life to unfold according to my plans.  When this happens, it is easy to remain peaceful and calm.  However, life rarely adheres to my strategically drafted agenda.  In fact, I am sure that I provide quite a bit of humorous entertainment for God.  I tend to think that I have everything figured out.  I feel so in control and on top of things.  So, I know that you will understand why after five days of deliberately focusing my thoughts in a positive direction I am quite perplexed as to why I don’t have this process mastered and am not ready to move on to next month’s topic.  Forming new habits takes time and patience.  Changing your thought patterns  from positive to negative takes a miracle.  Miracles are out of my realm of expertise, so I will have to lean on the One who is really in control…God.   Am I the only one struggling in this area?

control freak

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Positive Thoughts Equals Positive Results

Yesterday, I got up on the wrong side of the bed.  I woke up about fifteen minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off, but I still got up late!  My mind and my body refused to cooperate.  I knew what my schedule was for the day.  I knew it was busy.  I knew this and continued to lounge until the last possible moment.  The entire time I lay in bed I was thinking negative thoughts.  I was concentrating on what I didn’t want.  I didn’t want to get up yet because I was still sleepy.  I didn’t want to go to work because it was freezing outside.  Instead, I should have been focusing on the positive by thanking God that I had a home with a comfortable bed to rest in the night before and that I had a job to go to when I left my warm home.  It’s all a matter of perspective – how you choose to look at things.  You can choose to focus on the negative aspects of your day or you can keep your mind focused on God and experience perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).  Remember, positive thoughts yield positive results.

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Changing My Thoughts with Prayer

There are days when my mind is overloaded with negative thoughts.  All I can focus on is what’s going wrong in my life, what I don’t have, and how unhappy I am.  Once I realize that I have been trapped in this thought pattern too long, I begin to pray.  On purpose, I don’t pray about any specific situations or needs, but I focus on how mighty God is.  Then, I shift to prayers of gratitude for all the blessings God has given me.  Before I know it, my problems seem so small compared to God that they hardly matter at all.  My thoughts are once again aligned with the word of God and I experience joy.

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Have You Forgotten Me, God?

Lately, my life has seemed like a weird rollercoaster…always going down.  Maybe, a few hills going up just a little.  But mostly, my life car has been speeding into valleys full of dark tunnels.  I feel like everything that could go wrong has. Although I am trying to keep my faith strong, I am beginning to question if God remembers the pit that I am in.  I mean, I am a good person.  I pray and go to church and I am sincerely trying to grow spiritually.  Still, I feel defeated and hopeless. Still, I feel like there is more negativity to come.  Still, I am allowing my thoughts to take over and cloud my days. Still, I am worrying about events and situations that have not even occurred.  Still…BE STILL AND KNOW…Maybe it is not that He has forgotten where I am.  Perhaps, it is I who has forgotten who God is.  How mighty and powerful and holy He is.  How He is all-knowing and in control of this expansive universe, including little old me.  I have to remember to focus my thoughts on truth and the Word instead of how I feel and what I think I need.  Keeping my thoughts focused on God will empower me and bring me peace and ultimately, remind me that God loves me and knows my needs before I can utter a word.

Matthew 6:8 NIV Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

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