by Kathy Owen-Gifford
Your Mission: Taking Thoughts Captive!
What flits through your mind when we mention Environmental Wellness?
The theme of the year 2020 for the National Association fo Christian Women Entrepreneurs is ENTREPRENEUR WELLNESS!
The theme of July 2020 is Environmental Wellness!
2 Corinthians 10:5, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” NKJV
Have you heard this one? “Your mind is a garden, Your thoughts are the seeds, You can grow flowers, or You can grow weeds.” – Unknown Let’s pull out some weeds today, together!
Tending the Garden of Your Mind – is so Important!
Tending the garden of your mind is important. Your mind and the minds of those in your “framily”*.
We need to get good at recognizing danger and capturing thoughts before we begin to take them to heart.
We see the principle of “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” in Proverbs with a wealthy, stingy ruler. In context, this chapter is about desiring what the rich rulers have, Proverbs 23:6-8 speaks of food, but the example is someone who is stingy hearted.
Proverbs 23:6-8 (NKJ) “Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And waste your pleasant words.”
I like how the Message Bible says it, too!
Proverbs 23: 6-8 (MSG) “Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad; don’t expect anything special. He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself; he’ll say, “Eat! Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it. His miserly serving will turn your stomach when you realize the meal’s a sham.”
Tending the Garden of Your Mind – Mind your Thoughts!
There’s a whole book on A.N.T.s – Automatic Negative Thoughts, “Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a psychiatrist, physician, and author, calls this type of thinking ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). He says that ANTs are “cynical, gloomy, and complaining thoughts that just seem to keep coming all by themselves”.” (2015, Inc.com)
Is the Garden of your mind filled with A.N.T.s?
When taken to heart, our thoughts become part of our identity! That’s dangerous thinking! We must remember who we as Christians are and more importantly Whose we are!
Do you take your thoughts captive and filter them through the knowledge of and obedience to Christ?
I’m a work in progress on this one. I am diligent most days, but I have moments of A.N.T.s or sometimes, their meandering tangents.
Let’s take a tangent to talk meandering tangents… rabbit trails… I am the queen of the “ooh shiny” rabbit trails! My occasional squirrel brain is always thinking about something… sometimes more than one thing; does your brain do that too? Not all mind meanderings are useless; they’re great when brainstorming or remembering good times, but they can occur because of procrastination or they can cause a distraction big enough to obstruct excellence.
My brain on a “not all bad, but derailing” meandering tangent … “A.N.T.s, that’s cute, but, sometimes an A.N.T. can be discernment or critical thinking, right? So there’s a balance, but am I using discernment as my excuse to be a Negative Nelly? Ooo Nelly Olsen… do you remember Nelly Olsen from Little House on the Prairie!? Ahh, remember Laura & Albert, they were darling, I love their love story! Oh for those Little House on the Prairie days right now! I should Google how they look now… Aw, look, Michael Landon, Charles Ingall, dreamy! … STOP! Back to Work! It’s nice to visit, but right now I must live in the now! Now, where was I … oh yes, tangents, “take every thought captive” & “so a man thinks in his heart, so is he”!
Ah, Identity! Who are we? WE ARE DAUGHTERS OF THE MOST HIGH KING, The Lord, God of Heaven’s Armies, Unshakable, He is love, He is infinite, He is light, He is all-present, He is all-powerful, He is all-knowing… and it is our gift to be His!
Tending the Garden of Your Mind – Stop, Look, Listen!
How do we Tend the Garden of our Minds?
By filling the garden with goodness! How do we fill it with goodness?
Take time to STOP, LOOK, & LISTEN! to His Word and His Word in sermon and song. To me it feels like a waterfall… let’s stand under that waterfall and let it rain down on us and wash away the A.N.T.s and tangents! Here we go! Step under the waterfall and…
Tending the Garden of Your Mind – Stop!
Stop running around, stop the busy, take time to stop before the Lord. Linger with Him, He wants you to know Him, trust Him, ask Him for help, ask Him in! I say this often, but it’s because I need to say it to myself daily! Be still! (Let go!) And know that He is God!
- Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
- Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
- Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”
- Psalm 62:5 “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.”
Tending the Garden of Your Mind – Look!
At your Bible! Open it, read it!
THIS is who you are in Christ! (2015, Shirer, https://www.goingbeyond.com/blog/who-you-are-in-christ/)
(Watch here if you’d like …Who the Bible says we are.)
- I am competent not in my own abilities but because He has made me competent by His Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:5–6)
- I abide in Christ, He abides in me, and I bear much fruit. (John 15:5)
- I have the mind of Christ; therefore I act in a way that is consistent with His actions. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- He will never leave me nor will He forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)
- I do not look with disdain upon my weaknesses. I see them as an opportunity for God to display His powerful strength and grace through me. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
- There is no weapon formed against me that can prosper, and every tongue that rises up against me in judgment shall be condemned. (Isaiah 54:17)
- The Spirit indwells me; therefore I am the temple of the living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
- The One who is in me is greater than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
- As an obedient daughter of the Lord I receive the prosperous abundance and blessing that He will bestow on me. (Deuteronomy 30:8–9)
- I walk by the Spirit and do not fulfill the desires of my flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
- I am enabled to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23)
- The Lord guards my going out and my coming in, today and forever. (Psalm 121:8)
- I have been made in the very image and likeness of God Himself. This is my heritage. (Genesis 1:27)
- I have not been given the spirit of this world; rather, I have the Spirit of God that I might know the mind and will of God for me. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
- My steps have been ordained and ordered by the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)
- I am a necessary and useful part of the body of Christ, and I will use my spiritual gifts to edify others. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
- I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- I have been given victory in Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
- I am meek, and I inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
- My ambition is to be pleasing to Him and Him alone. (2 Corinthians 5:9)
- Rivers of living water flow out of my inner being. (John 7:37)
- I have been chosen by God to bring forth fruit that shall remain. (John 15:16)
- I am a brand new person. My old sin nature has passed away, and everything has become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- No matter my past, I am forgiven of my sins because of the lavishness of His grace upon me. (Ephesians 1:7)
- I have been given every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3)
- I am known, chosen, redeemed, forgiven, fearfully and wonderfully made, adopted into the family of God.
- Whatever I ask for in prayer according to the Father’s will, I believe that I have received it. (Mark 11:24)
- I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. I am one of God’s own people. (1 Peter 2:9)
Tending the Garden of Your Mind – Listen!
Listen to what He Says – “You Say”
Listen to hear that “He Loves Us”
“We are His portion, and He is our Prize”
- Deuteronomy 32:9 (NKJ) “For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”
- Philippians 3:3-14, 12-14 (NKJ): “12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”!
Do you believe it? Do you believe who He says you are? Believe it, Sister! It’s the truth! In moments of doubt go to Him, and go to your sisters in Christ (wise counsel), who will remind you who you are!
Recently discouraged, I visited with a dear friend who is rooted in the Word, and knows me well … she said, “Let’s go try on crowns in my closet! We have to remember we’re daughters of the King! He’s the one who tells us who we are!” We laughed, shared garden goodies, and talked of the Father and who He says we are! In a moment of discouragement, I needed reminding, and God gave me a sister to remind me. I believe Him. I’m grateful to Him! I’m blessed to be allowed to remind you, dear Sister!
Tending the Garden of Your Mind – My Prayer for You!
My prayer for you.
I pray blessings on your message, mission, and life! I pray that if you don’t know the Savior intimately, you will start today. Engage with Him daily. He loves you like no one else. Invite Him into your moments. Look for His hand on your life. I pray you give yourself permission to stand under the waterfall… to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN to Him.
These things I pray for you for your good and for His glory!
I thank God for you, my NACWE sisters!
NACWE is on mission fields in Guatemala, and Lima, Peru, and across the USA. We are open, Lord! Please let us know if you’d like to serve or partner with us in 2021!
*Courtenay Collins’ word for friends and family – I love it!