Freedom

Beware the Mind Invaders

Blog_UFOI’ve done stupid things, and I’ve done stupider things. And though I tell my kids stupid is a bad word, it’s just not possible to describe my most recent near-catastrophe without saying it was one of the stupider things I’ve done.

It all started with fear. Some rogue message appeared on my computer warning that if I didn’t click the link my computer would be infected with a deadly virus. I didn’t click the link. Yay, me. Smart choice. But throughout the day, I kept worrying that maybe my computer WAS getting sick and would shut down and lose all my treasured info. Hardly catastrophic on the scale of world catastrophes, but for a writer it would be quite devastating to lose a dearly beloved laptop.

Long story short, I looked for a reputable virus removal software, clicked the link to download, and that’s where it all went bad. Before I knew it, I was on the line with some outsourced customer service agent of some not-so-reputable company trying to take over my computer. As they small-talked me about the crazy weather and other random topics, they were subtly attempting to sneak info from my computer while implanting viruses.

Good thing my husband was smart enough to shut it all down and clean it all up before it was too late.

The same thing can happen with our minds. Fear sets in, leading us to seek defense. Somehow, in the process, we download bad info that attempts to take over our minds.

Take bitterness, for example. Someone hurts us. We fear they’ll hurt us again. Our defenses go up. Yet as we seek to protect ourselves, something insidious seeps into our thought life. While we initially sought to control our circumstances, we find we are the ones being controlled. Before we know it, bitterness rules our thoughts, words, and actions, if not paralyzing us completely.

The danger of allowing bad data to enter our thoughts applies in every arena, from self-hatred to racism to rage to depression. It begins with fear, moves to self-protection, then whammo! We’re the victims of a mind invasion.

When I realized what was happening to my laptop, it had to be shut down, rebooted, examined, and cleaned up. We had to put up a firewall, protecting my data from malware. We need the same defense when it comes to our thought life. And how much more valuable are our minds.

“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.”
(Margaret Thatcher)

“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.” (Philippians 4:8)

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You Can Be Free

Maybe your own struggle has led you to think life is not worth living. But know this: you can be free. In Jesus, there is freedom. And because you can be free, there is more than enough reason to live.

 

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Escape from Death

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. 
Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.”

Overcoming

Our Savior understands our daily battle with temptation, and yet, because he has overcome, he is able to help us to overcome.

 

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Planted Here

I refuse to believe we were created for bondage. We were not placed on this earth to be enslaved to never-ending moral decay. We were planted here by a loving gardener who desires for us to grow and flourish and have life that is truly life.

 

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Freedom Comes

Freedom comes not in doing whatever we so desire, for we can never be free from the consequences of our decisions. Freedom comes in knowing whose we are and why we’re here, and in living to fulfill the GOOD things our Creator has planned for us.

 

Photo Credit: Mountain Road Sunset Free Stock Photo – Public Domain Pictures

The Flowers Still Bloom

Design_FlowerBreakingThroughSpring came as a welcome gift this year. Though it’s always been a miraculous season, something was different when it finally broke through this time around. Maybe the harsh winter had stamped out any assurance that warmth would prevail and new life spring forth as promised—the relentless snow and lingering cold freezing out all hope. Or maybe it was something more.

While it’s unreasonable to question if spring will come, there is always the matter of when…and how long we’ll have to endure before it does come. When the cultural climate is stuck on winter, it seems all the more miraculous that spring manages to show up in the midst. How—in the soil of persistent war, conflict, violence, and suffering, do the trees still grow and the flowers still bloom?

The season of life may be overshadowed by the death that is winter, but it is never overcome. In fact, death is what prepares the soil for life. If there were no winter, spring would never come in its fullness of glory. And God has given a promise that if we press on to know him in the midst of our suffering, he will come to us like the spring rains that water the earth.

All that surrounds may steal our hope and drain our life. The constant bad news breeds depression, doubt, and sheer exhaustion. But the good news is…the flowers still bloom. Spring still comes. It can’t be hindered. New life will always prevail over death. It’s the law of spring.

“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and he will come to us like the rain—the spring rain that waters the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)