Tag Archive | thought life

Significant Encounters 2022 #4 The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Significant Encounters is a place for you if you have experienced drama and trauma in your life.

A place of encouragement for you.

A place where you know that someone is in your corner.

A soft place to land.

Greetings. I’m excited that you came back again.

How many of us have certain songs that play over and over in our heads? I can remember words to certain songs that I have not heard in 50 years or more.

What about those tv commercials? If I say “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz”, how many can finish that jingle? Many songs we sang, became the “Soundtrack of our lives”.   

We’re wired to remember that way.

How many of us can remember the phone number we had as a kid? Or our childhood home address? Those things are pretty non-threatening stuff.

But what about that time your dad told you that you were nothing but trouble, and would never be worth anything? Or when that kid at school, said that you were so something; fat, skinny, ugly, dirty, smelly, stupid – You remember those words like it was yesterday.

You remember that those words cut you like a knife. Those words bury themselves in your heart, to be replayed whenever you try to be a friend, a good parent or do something to advance yourself.

That nastiness always comes back.

When we least expect it. When we are beginning to believe something better for our lives.

Can we agree that each one of those negative remarks, flaming arrows, sticks, and stones, is a big fat lie from the enemy of our souls?

Our heavenly Father loves us too much to say those things about us, much less to let them bury themselves in our hearts, and allow them to take root.

The Bible calls that a bitter root. We’ll see what God says about taking an ax to that root. Today, let’s begin to take a look at how God says we can wield that ax, you know, “Get to the ROOT of the problem”.  

Matthew 13 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (Unfortunately, weed roots tend to be very strong) 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

What this means to us is that we have to make sure that our soil is good. What is the soil you ask? Good soil is a heart that is ready to receive the words it has heard.

We HEARD the words that were spoken over us. Those words affected us in a damaging way, we ingested them. We received them, and they took root.

In the Hebrew culture, any poisonous plant was called a “bitter” plant. Poison destroys, and the result of ingesting a poisonous plant would be bitter, indeed.

We did not realize that that was an actual choice that we made. That fact was concealed from our eyes. If we make the OPPOSITE choice, then we are on our way to demolishing the root system that has kept us bound for so long.

About choice, I was well out of my teens before I even realized I HAD a choice, that I was not locked into only doing what others decided for me, or living my life like their words said I would.

Now, whatever age you may be, I’m letting you know – You Have a Choice!

Choose wisely, and you will be free!

About that ax. The ax spoken of earlier is the Word of God. The word is God’s truth.

Over many years, after making different attempts at getting myself free, I finally made the choice to use what the word said.

A choice to believe it. Full stop. Believe it no matter what the circumstances were.

That’s two choices really. Follow the word, and CHOOSING not to give up, or back off.

In our narrative, the ax refers to the gospel: the Word of God, the ax is used to hack out the root. This is for our spiritual growth, and to cut out the rotten parts that do not bear good fruit.

In Matthew 4:4 – “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” NOT by what comes out of the mouth of any man.  

And John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Lastly, let me leave you with this. At 9.00 on video, and here in the text –

Please, please, please plant the following in your heart.

Let the roots grow DEEP.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.

So your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is the following;

Make a choice

Take up your ax

Identify the root

Apply the ax

Overlay with the truth

Let us renew our minds with these thoughts. We are capable of changing the way we think of ourselves. We are capable of changing the “soundtrack of our lives”’

Join me next time, and we’ll talk more about that thought life. That soundtrack.

Birds of a Feather

I would like to share a few questions come from one of my mentors, Lance.

Lance can be a little crazy.

His ideas, at first blush, can seem a bit outlandish, but for all the years, and twists and turns I have followed him on, I have found him to be quite accurate.

His studies, and his experiences bear him out.

I trust him.

The questions I want to share, I heard from him some time ago.

But as many things we hear that are important, they come back around.

Often at times when we need them most.

Pandemics, lockdowns, governmental upheaval, violence, and just general chaos have made these questions important again.

So, let me ask you;

Who do you serve?

Who do you run with?

Who do you teach?

The answers to these questions are important if we want to be successful in leading ourselves and others through the chaos, and into an open place where we can be free.

You may not consider yourself a leader, or even want to be one, but I can tell you; someone is always watching.

You will lead someone, for good or for not.

So, please consider each question with me, would you?

Who do you serve? (What/who is the most important thing to you?)

Why is this question important?

We were created to serve.

We were created to worship.

Serving the wrong things can take a toll on us; physically, mentally, spiritually.

Who or what we serve can bring us life, or bring us death.

Scripture tells us this; “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24.

We can only serve one thing (person, place, thing) fully, at one time.   

Serve Somebody – Bob Dylan

 Who do you run with? (Who do you spend your social time with?)

Why is this question important?

Foundationally, humans were not created to be alone. (Think Adam and Eve)

Remember the old saying “Birds of a feather flock together”?

Individuals of like character, taste or background tend to hang together.

Affiliations, clubs, or societies; Colleges would call them “Fraternities” or “Sororities”; more urban terms could be our “Posse”, “Tribe”, or “Crew”.

The thing about these groups is that each one has its own world view.

This could be either positive or negative.

Think how you want to be perceived.

Your reputation will always precede you.

Make it what you want it to be by just who you let be your influence.

Another important factor about having a “Clan”, is that when trouble comes our way, because it will, we have someone to hold on to until the darkness passes.  

I Just Need U – Toby Mac

Who do you teach?  (Remember I said that you will always lead someone?)

People may not say anything, but they ARE watching.

What is your character, your influence, showing them?

Do they want to become like you? (For good or bad)

Do they aspire to be what they see in you?

Many times there is a problem here, because people only see what is directly in front of them.

They have not seen the history behind your choices, or the process that you used to get there.

To my way of thinking, this makes how we act even more important.

Unless we have had a chance to really get to know someone, and their background, the picture we see, can be skewed.

Is He Worthy? Chris Tomlin

Let me summarize the time we spend with others here.

Wherever and whoever you spend time with, should hold these three elements;

There should always be someone that you can show love to by serving. (This shows them who you are)

There should always be someone who is on the same level of process that you are. (You can grow further together)

Then, there should always be someone whom you can teach. (We are here for a reason, right?)

I hope you have found these ideas helpful, and can put the principals here to good use.

I know they have made a profound difference in my own life.

Until next time …

It’s Foundational

At the beginning of this month, I was part of another Three-Day Challenge.

This one was about “Creating a Devotional Lifestyle with God”.

At some point in each challenge there are what are called “Activation Questions”.

These questions help the participant to “work through” what has just been taught to them.

There are also specific “keys” to help us along the way.

The key that stuck to me the most was key #3;

You can’t get to the new you from the old you.

In this particular lesson, we were told that we are not responsible for fixing our “old life”.

Instead, we are responsible to receive what God tells us, and then focus on “being” with Him, and not particularly on “doing” everything there is to be done.

I want to share with you a couple of the “Activation Questions”, and my answer to them.

I am positive that the answers will not be the end of my thoughts, but that they will continue to simmer in my heart and mind until the process is complete.

It has been my experience that the process should simply be allowed to flow, and not be rushed.

I hope this will encourage you to consider some things in your life that you may not have thought of before.

  Question #1; Based on what you have heard, what do you think you may need to “Unlearn?”. Any old habits, perceptions or mindsets about devotional life with God that you may want to lay aside?

Mostly, I need to keep learning, and relearning that I am not doing it wrong.

There really is no wrong way to have a devotional lifestyle.

From the physical place, or posture that I take for prayer, to the words, that I speak.

A heart that is tuned to Him, will most certainly get it right.

Question #2; What new perspectives of God’s thoughts towards you, and your freedom, from striving and performance, do you want to choose instead?

I need to continue to learn again and again, that the way I; am, look, think, relate, is not defective.

I am just how God created me, and that in itself will make my devotional life different than anyone else’s.

The purpose He has for me and my devotional life is constantly growing.

Line upon line. Precept upon precept. Little by little.

Last years projects, troubles, joys, slip ups, stand stills, happiness’s, and woes, and how I handled them in my devotional life, are simply foundational for what comes next.

What I have learned has not been made irrelevant.

It may not even be used at this time, but instead, is foundational to whatever comes next.

Tall buildings need deep foundations, made from strong materials.

While digging these foundations, time can drag on slowly, and at times even seem to stop all together.

We may have to wait for inclement weather to pass by.

We may have to fix broken tools, or learn different skill sets.

Perhaps new materials are to be delivered, and all we can do is wait.

These things take time. Building strength and quality cannot be rushed.

I look forward to a quality product, and even a considerably larger devotional life.

2020 has given me the tools to be able to wait with out angst.

God’s timing is perfect.

Would your answer to these questions echo mine?

Or would they look completely different?

I would love it if you’d share a thought or two with me.

Until next time …