Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Captivated Thoughts

Yes, it has been eons since we have posted a thing. I cannot believe how quickly and easily time escapes from us. It seems like just the other day we were packing up our home in Georgia to relocate to Maine. Alas, we have now been living in Maine for more than 4 months, and have already moved to a NEW home! I can’t claim we haven’t been busy!

I began work on a second bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern Maine at the beginning of this January…I’m working towards a BS in Biochemistry…and we don’t even have our kitchen table set-up yet in the new house! Craig’s working, I’m studying, snow is falling and our Furs are restless, but we are pushing forward and getting settled into our new home – one box at a time.

In addition to all of this, I am still the youth minister for two parishes here in Southern Maine, and Craig & I have just joined a Bible Study group together with another church, near New Hampshire. We also both have some form of “the beginnings of pneumonia” right now, according to the nurse practitioner I made an appointment with Friday, and we have been keeping each other up late every night with our wheezing and coughing and nose-blowing. I am the cantor for Mass today, too, and I am praying God will sing through me – because I have absolutely no voice at all, right now.

Whew. My hands are tired from typing all of that, and my eyes are swimming with the jumble of words. If I stare at the lists upon to-do lists bogging my sweet husband and I down right now, my pulse quickens and I become anxious…

BIOCHEMISTRY?!?! What the heck was I thinking?!?! As the nurse told me yesterday, “…quite an age to start following such a dream!” Balancing chemical equations? Memorizing the electronegativity of endless elements, and studying the polyatomic ions from Table 2.24 in the text? Learning how to do math, all over again? Knowing the difference between an oxidation-reduction and a precipitation reaction? Which box do I unpack next? How am I going to shovel the driveway – I’ve never done that before! Walking to class in 14 degree weather??? What color should I paint this room? How are we going to survive another month without our former income? How can we really show the youth group Jesus LOVES them!?!?

That’s my mind before coffee and Jesus, every morning.

My brain can be overtaken by fear and anxiety so easily with everything going on…and I haven’t even mentioned the worry of never being a mother…

This is why a personal “quiet time” is so immensely important. Time alone with God everyday – every MORNING – is paramount. Why, you ask? Because you then have the ability to place all of your worries, fears, thoughts, lists and crises on the back-burner, and put Jesus first.

I have a peaceful time, before anything else, in the day when I drink my coffee and read God’s love letters to me. I have learned in this time to captivate my thoughts:

2Corinthians105I never truly understood what this meant until very recently. Taking your thoughts captive means to consciously recognize them, and dismiss them. I no longer allow myself to be bogged down with worry and overwhelming thoughts of everything that has to be accomplished. In my quiet time, I sit with God and allow Him to speak to me through His Word. Every verse I read, something new pops out to me from the page, and each time a worrisome notion begins to creep into my mind, I cast it out – with ease – in the presence of our Lord.

Life is overwhelmingly overwhelming – if you allow it to be. But Jesus didn’t call you to be anxious and stressed. You were created to be joyful and full of His Spirit! Take a few moments alone, first thing every morning, and spend those precious minutes in prayer and Bible reading. You won’t wish those moments had been spent any differently.

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Captivate Your Thoughts

ThursdayI don’t know about you, but today has been one of those days I just don’t have the energy to function. Between work and my morning workout, and handling the whole household alone because my dear husband is out of town, I am EXHAUSTED. Two dogs and a (very demanding) cat may not be children, but they can still tire a lone gal out!

satan (the non-capitalization is intentional – he isn’t worthy of it!) can and does use this to his advantage. Beware on days you are too tired to talk and exchange pleasantries with co-workers or take the stairs instead of the elevator, the enemy creeps into your thoughts.

he tells you you aren’t good enough. he encourages you to take the easy way out, to lean on your exhausted state as a crutch to be unkind. And once the net has been cast, he reels you in by further taking over your thoughts…

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

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.

No matter what is going on in our day, we must keep our thoughts focused and under control…This is the entrance point for the enemy.

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.

When we “keep our thoughts captive”, we are making it more difficult for the devil to enter. Even as a negative, hateful, spiteful, thought enters our mind, we must say, “I reject this thought.”

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

As the song below says, ‘we are more than conquerors’. We have the power to resist satan and keep our hearts, minds and souls captive to God.

Romans 8:37

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

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TwoListeners.Org says, “let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that satan will not attack us. He will assault—sometimes in our thought, sometimes in our body, sometimes in our spirit, and—sometimes in our environment. We will succumb to his attack only because of our foolishness. If we know our position and know that we are one with the Lord, and if we resist, he will flee from us. This resisting must be done in faith. Believe that he has fled, and he cannot but flee, for he has no ground to stand before the authority of God.”

Let’s be grounded in our faith and keep our thoughts on Him. It’s one of the reasons I only listen to Christian radio – it keeps my mind in the right place!

Have a great night everyone!

xoxo