Marinate Your Mind

Colossians 3-16

This morning as I sat with God and His Word, I talked to Him about how I haven’t been spending the kind of quality time with Him that I needed/wanted to.  As He has the most amazing way of doing, He directed me to the scriptures that I need right now.  I thanked Him for that and asked him to keep them marinating in my mind today.  That got me to thinking about marinating.

“How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103

Why do we marinate something when we’re cooking?  One reason is to add a deeper layer of flavor.  God’s Word certainly does that in our lives.  Mark 9:50 says, “Salt is good and useful; but if salt has lost its saltiness (purpose), how will you make it salty? Have salt within yourselves continually, and be at peace with one another.” (AMP).  Jesus told us we are the salt of the earth and if we lose our saltiness, we’re not good for much. (Matthew 5:13, Karen paraphrase).  The way we keep from losing that saltiness is to let our minds marinate in His word and soak up all that salty flavor on a regular basis.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”  Psalm 34:8 ESV

Another reason for marinating food is to make it tender.  We so need tender hearts in the world we live in today.  It is way too easy to be hardened by everything that surrounds us. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”  1 Peter 3:8 ESV  If we are to have the compassion of Christ, our hearts and minds must be tender.  If we are becoming hardened, His word won’t soak in like it should and we won’t look at the needs of others the way He does.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Finally, food is sometimes marinated to preserve it.  When we soak in God’s word regularly, we help preserve holiness and righteousness in a world that so desperately needs it.  If others are to see our good works and therefore glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16), we need to be so saturated in His word that it is leaking out of us at every opportunity.  This saturation will not only preserve righteousness in the world, but it will also preserve the peace and joy within us that comes from His Spirit.  When our minds are so marinated in His word, it makes it easier to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learnede]”>[e] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9 ESV

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Mathew 5:16 ESV

I have a couple of verses that I will be marinating in today.  Ask God to show you what he wants you to marinate in.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

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Touched by the lives of others

Living in a new place for about 3 months now has prompted me to think about the people who have had an influence on my life over the past 47 years.

God has put many people in my life just when I needed them to be there.  Some for long periods of time, others for shorter periods.  Some have had deep involvement and profound impact.  Others have had less of a far-reaching scope on my life, yet still were an important influence.

Study and scripture has been bringing many of these to mind lately.  They’ve even showed up in seemingly random dreams.

We were put here and saved for the purpose of bringing glory to God.  One way we do that is by the way we influence the lives of those around us.  As I’m beginning to make new connections, I am more and more aware of the impact He would have me make on the lives around me.  I desire to be intentional in the ways that I interact with them.  I’m thankful for the MANY that have been a part of my life.

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To grow or not to grow

IMG_0231Growth is not usually a choice. A seed does not get to decide when it will sprout, break through the soil and grow into the plant or tree it is destined to become.  A baby doesn’t decide at what point she is developed enough to be born, or how tall she will be throughout her maturation into adulthood.  As Christians,however,we do have some say about our ability to grow.  God provides what we need to be able to grow. 1 Peter comes to mind here:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” 2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV).

He will also place us in circumstances that will give us opportunity for growth.  Ultimately, we need to choose whether or not we will grow. Unlike the seed or the baby, we need some preparation for this growth.  We need to be in God’s word, internalizing all we can about who He is, who we are and what the connection between those two has to do with our relationship with Him.  The more we study and the more we make His word an integral part of our lives, the more we will be able to grow, especially when those opportunities that develop our growth are presented to us.  Let me encourage you to dig into God’s word that you may be fully prepared for growing more and more into the person God has created you to be.

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It can linger longer than you think

20140203-054013.jpgSo, I have shingles – a lovely little ailment that I am experiencing as a result of having had chicken pox as a child. Not fun, but it got me thinking. What do we have in our lives that we may have pushed down, covered up, forgotten about or ignored, for years perhaps,  that might come back to mess with us again later in life?

It could be something seemingly insignificant or something obviously big and problematic.  I am definitely an avoid conflict, move on and ignore knd if girl. Sometimes that’s healthy and sometimes it’s not.

There may be times when there is nothing we can do about something in our past affecting us in our present. However, there are also other times when we need to deal with an issue, move on and leave it in the past.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13

If something in your past is continuing to hurt you, or is hindering your ability to minister to others and serve God, that can only be from the devil. So take this verse to heart:  “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

However, God will use our experiences to witness and minister to others, so there are times when we need to remember what is in our past and use it to help someone else. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the god of al comfort! who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

So, when something from your past rears it’s ugly (or itchy, in my case) head, stop and decide what you need to do with it. Do you need to demolish it and take it captive, or do you need to use it to bring comfort to someone else?

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Commitment

So, I’m making a commitment to work on my writing every day…Some days that will be more involved than others, but I feel like it needs to be something I stick with. I likely won’t post something everyday, because I prefer most things to be better edited before I present them to the world (however large or small that may be…).

Right now I’m working on a post that came to my mind in connection with my outbreak of shingles….It’s titled, “It can linger longer than you think”. Needs a bit more work to pull it together.

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Beware of Blue Dots

Ramblings of a Squirrel Chasing Mind

“In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” Proverbs 3:6

This verse was brought to my mind in a very literal and meaningful way last summer. Darin and I were hiking in the Porcupine Mountains. Our first stop was to see three waterfalls. The guide at the visitor center told us you could walk along a path and see all three falls. This was an easy, well-structured, boardwalk path.  The guide had also mentioned that if we were so inclined, we could cross the river and see the falls from the other side, making a loop around them. That hike should have been about 2 miles. Along the trail, the path was marked with blue dots to help you know if you were on the trail or not. Well, as we discovered EVERY trail through the forest was marked with blue dots. What should have been…

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Beware of Blue Dots

“In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” Proverbs 3:6

This verse was brought to my mind in a very literal and meaningful way last summer. Darin and I were hiking in the Porcupine Mountains. Our first stop was to see three waterfalls. The guide at the visitor center told us you could walk along a path and see all three falls. This was an easy, well-structured, boardwalk path.  The guide had also mentioned that if we were so inclined, we could cross the river and see the falls from the other side, making a loop around them. That hike should have been about 2 miles. Along the trail, the path was marked with blue dots to help you know if you were on the trail or not. Well, as we discovered EVERY trail through the forest was marked with blue dots. What should have been a 1 to 1.5 hour hike of 2.3 miles, turned into a 6 hour hike of somewhere between 8-14 miles!  We kept expecting to hit the turn-around point that would take us back around the falls. We came upon a couple of places where we had to make a decision about which way to go. We went the way that seemed logical to us. (Praise God, Proverbs 16:25 didn’t come to fruition here.). We ended up at the end of the trail by a primitive campsite on the shore of Lake Superior with no parking lot anywhere in sight. For quite some time, we had been questioning if we were on the right path, but we didn’t want to turn back because we were sure we had to be getting close to where we were supposed to be. When we reached that end point by the lake, I was overcome with a sense of fear. We didn’t know where we were and we were quite tired from the trek so far.  This had not been an easy walk in the woods, lots of ups and downs, crossing creeks and through swamps along this trail. The only thing we knew to do was retrace our steps and go back the way we came.  An exhausting thought, but much better than spending the night in the woods. I am so thankful for my godly husband who stopped us right there and asked our Father to direct our path and lead us back to where  we needed to be. He did just exactly that. He also gave us the strength and energy we needed to recover that rugged terrain. The sound of the rushing waters of the falls was  more than welcome to our ears. When we heard that, we saw the point where we turned off the path we had wanted to be on and found the end of the loop we had originally meant to take. When the truck was within view, we paused to thank God for taking care of us.

That experience last summer made me ponder how much life can be like that hike. Many things can lead us astray, while all the time we think we’re on track. Then, even when we realize something just doesn’t seem right, we try to continue in our own strength and according to our own wisdom, only to arrive at a dead end. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father is always available to us with His guiding grace and miraculous mercy.

Be sure you know what/who is guiding you and know that the creator of the universe is always there to guide us through this world.  He is THE One we should follow hard after.

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