Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Take Some Time To Pray

Join us as we pray over our next study. We believe it's important for us all to take the time to pray over what study God wants us to do next. We will announce the next study on June 1st and begin the study the following week on June 8th. This will give you a chance to order your books.
In the meantime, if you have a prayer request, we'd love to be in prayer with you. Please post it under the prayer request section of this blog.
We can't wait to see which study God brings us next!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Are You Prepared For the Battle?

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 25, "I'm going to do it my way or not all" Wilderness Mentality #10, of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. Please know that what we all get from a study is usually different. Therefore, we encourage you to write a comment/question or even scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's join together and fight this battle!)

We are all pretty stubborn people. It's hard to not want it our way especially concerning our children. For me, I think I know what my children need and how to get them there. However, I am reminded daily that my way isn't always the best. I need to listen to God and do it His way.

Below are a few thoughts of Joyce's from Chapter 25 that I want to briefly share with you. I believe these thoughts show us why our way isn't always the best way.

* The Lord demands that we learn to give up our own way and be pliable and moldable in His hands. As long as we are stubborn and rebellious, He can't use us. - p. 274

* Victorious living demands prompt, exact obedience to the Lord. - p. 274

* We must be obedient in all things-not holding back anything or keeping any doors in our lives closed to the Lord. -p. 274

* Often, we don't want to do what God asks, and then we attempt to do something to compensate for our disobedience. p. 275

* ...if the Israelites would have promptly obeyed God, how much greater their lives would have been. Many of them and their children died in the wilderness because they would not submit to God's ways. Their children were affected by their decisions, and so are ours. -p. 276

* We must choose to examine our thoughts in light of the Word of God, always being willing to submit our thoughts to His thoughts, knowing that His are best. -p. 278

* Examine what is in your mind. If it does not agree with God's thoughts (the Bible), then cast down your own thoughts and think on His.

This chapter is very simple. We must obey what God is asking us to do. We can't do it our way. We need to do it God's way. Otherwise, we too will be in the wilderness far longer than we need to be.

Now let's take a look back at this study. The most important and obvious thing that we need to remember about this study is that our minds are a battlefield. We can choose to listen to Satan's team or God's team. Listening to God will help us win this battle quicker than anything else. Don't forget about the Wilderness Mentalities. On page 185, Joyce says "The people of the nation of Israel wandered around in the wilderness for forty years making what was actually an eleven-day journey....As I was pondering this situation, God gave me a powerful revelation that has helped me personally as well as thousands of others. The Lord said to me, "The Children of Israel spent forty years in the wilderness making an eleven-day trip because they had a "wilderness mentality." The following are the 10 wilderness mentalities that Joyce teaches us to overcome. They are: not having spiritual eyes and ears, not wanting to take responsibility for what God wants you to do, having a mindset that things are too hard for you to do, being addicted to grumbling and complaining, wanting everything immediately, blaming others, feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling like we don't deserve God's blessings, being jealous and envious, and wanting to do it our way not God's way. Joyce encourages us to changes these mentalities immediately. Trust and obey God. Here's the thing, we don't know how long we will be in these different storms of life. For some of us, it could seem like a lifetime and for others not so long. What we do know is that life is so much easier when we do life with God. We trust Him. We confide in Him. We obey Him. We spend time with Him. When we do all of these things, our minds are strong for any battle that Satan may through our way. It's ok if we fall. It's just like what we say to encourage our kids after they fall off their bikes...get up, dust yourself off and get back on that bike and do it again. We can't give up. Our children need us to be the strong parents that we are. Our children need our minds to be strong in fighting this battle. I encourage you to keep this study close by. Any time you feel like you are stuck in life, lost in the wilderness. Pick up Battlefield of the Mind and re=read the Wilderness Mentalities again. I want to end this study with one more thought from Joyce and scripture.

The mind is the battlefield! It is on this ground of the mind that you will either win or lose the war htat Satan has launched. It is my most heartfelt prayer that this book will assist you in casting down imaginations, and every high and lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity, into obedience to Jesus Christ. - Joyce Meyer p. 278 Battlefield of the Mind

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
(In asmuch as we) refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Mesiah, the Anointed One.) - 2 Corinthians 10:4,5

So, I ask you again....Are you prepared for the battle?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Conquering Jealousy with Love

(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 24, Why shouldn't I be jealous and envious when everybody else is better off than I am?, Wilderness Mentality #9 of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's join together and fight this battle.

As autism moms, we are certainly not immune to feelings of competition, inferiority, inadequacy, jealousy and envy. We want to feel like we are "normal" and compare our ourselves and our families to those that don't have a child on the spectrum. We look at how other moms are handling their child with autism's needs and compare ourselves to them. We even compare our children with other children on the spectrum. We want to make sure we are doing our very best and that our children move ahead in the quickest way possible. We want to be happy for other people, but sometimes we feel more downcast about our own struggles. This all sounds like we all have the very best intentions but what it really boils down to is jealousy and envy.

I remembered hearing a verse in Isaiah recently and went looking in my Bible for it to share here, about how we are not to think one way is better than the other, for God knows what is truly best for us. What I found is this:

I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. -Isaiah 48:17

However, as I scanned the book of Isaiah, what kept jumping out at me were God's promises to rescue, bless and remember his chosen people. Above all, how treasured and loved His children are. I want to expand on this, because as Joyce mentions in this chapter, jealousy and envy stem from feelings of inadequacy. In weak moments, we can convince ourselves that someone else is more blessed than we are. It is as if we are saying that we think God loves someone else more than he loves or favors us. When we have a true revelation of God's individual love for us, there is no room for these feelings. We can then be free to pray for others to be even more blessed, as Joyce suggests, in spite of our natural first inclinations. The best way to conquer a jealous impulse is with an act of love. I want to share the verses that jumped out at me in the hopes that they will minister to each of us as a powerful reminder of God's love for us and free us from this wilderness mentality.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
-Isaiah 43:4

I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
-Isaiah 49: 15-16

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
-Isaiah 54: 10

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

But Do I Really Deserve It?

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 23, I don't deserve God's blessings because I'm not worthy Wilderness Mentality #8 of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's join together and fight this battle.)

Wilderness Mentality #8...I don't deserve God's blessings because I'm not worthy.

When I read this mentality, I think of two kinds of people. The first person is the person who believes that in order to receive blessings from God, you have to earn them. The second person I think of is the one who struggles to believe that they actually deserve the blessings because of something in their past. In this chapter, Joyce shows us how to overcome this mentality and get out of this Wilderness Mentality.

Here are some of the points that Joyce made in Chapter 23 that helped me out the most:

* God wants to give us grace, and Satan wants to give us disgrace, which is another word for reproach. (p. 256)

* God's rolling away the reproach from us means that each of us must receive ourselves the forgiveness He is offering for all our past sins. (p. 256)

* You must realize that you can never deserve God's blessings-you can never be worthy of them. You can only humbly accept and appreciate them, and be in awe of how good He is and how much He loves you. (p. 256)

* Your mind must be renewed concerning right standing with God through Jesus-and not through your own works. (p. 256)

* Please be aware that Satan will fill your mind (if he is allowed to) with all types of negative thinking about yourself. (p. 258)

* Fear of failure and rejection keep many people in the wilderness. (p. 258)

* God is willing to give you mercy for your failures if you are willing to receive it. He does not reward the perfect who have no flaws and never make mistakes, but those who put their faith and trust in Him. (p. 259)

* Whatever we do for God should be because we love Him, not because we are trying to get something from Him. (p. 259)

* ...we should know that we are loved, special, valuable and that we should be holy, blameless and above reproach. (p. 260)

* You will never make it through the wilderness without a great deal of help from God. But, if you have a negative attitude about yourself, even when He does try to help you, you won't receive it. (p. 260)

The kind of mentality I want to touch on in this post is the one we get when we feel we have to earn our blessings. Remember that God knows your heart. He knows your intentions and why you do things. Do you find yourself praying, reading your Bible and even attending church more often when you are in the midst of asking for a huge blessing? I am sure we are all guilty of this at some point in our lives. But here's where we're all missing the point...God doesn't want us to earn his blessings. He doesn't want us to have to feel worthy of his blessings and his love. That's why it's called God's grace. I went to an online dictionary to look up the word grace. Never once did I see it say the word earn. I did see the following words....unmerited divine assistance, favor, mercy, and so many more. You see, God wants to bless us because he loves us not because we lit a candle at church today. Yes, going to church is important. Yes, we need to be reading our Bibles. We do these things to get closer to God. To hear from God. To truly know God. Then and only then will we realize how awesome of a God we have and how truly blessed we already are. We can't trick God into giving us what we want. The only thing we can do is wait and be ready to accept the blessings that God is trying to give us.

Bible Verses:
I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ (right up to the time of His return), developing (that good work) and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. -Philippians 1:6

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God (Who gives) to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. -James 1:5

Even as (in His love) He chose us (actually picked us out for Himself as His own) in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. -Ephesians 1:4

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must (necessarily) believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him (out). -Hebrew 11:6