Negative Words

Posted in Attitude, Criticism, lies, Mind, Perspective by PCraig on August 17, 2017

Is it just me or do harsh words seem to last longer in your memory than positive ones? Whether it’s through social media, texts or right to your face, do you find yourself being defined by words that were spoken over you in the past? Maybe statements like, “You don’t fit in, I don’t love you anymore, you don’t measure up or have what it takes.” Comments like these can cause us to compromise our morals in an attempt to be accepted or loved. They also can tempt us to perform in order to prove that we are good enough. Others choose to cling onto even unhealthy relationships in an attempt to find validation from people.

There’s a better way. Instead of basing our security and confidence as a person on the acceptance of people, we can get our worth from the acceptance of Christ. Here’s three parts of our position in Christ, we are:

Forgiven

Secure

Free

This means you no longer have to be defined by your past and what others have spoken over you. God has spoken something even more powerful over you – you are forgiven, you are secure, you are free! It’s time to shut the door on those negative voices and rise up and open the door of what Christ says about you. Get yourself plugged into the Word of God and what it says about you.

Replace the lies of the enemy of your soul with the truth of God’s Word and you’ll feel yourself getting stronger every day. Go ahead and try it for a week and see what happens. (I’d suggest starting by reading the book of Philippians)   Do you have selected verses that encourage you? Make a list and go over them until you believe it about yourself.

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You Are What You Think

Posted in Attitude, Mind, Perspective by PCraig on June 22, 2017

I’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” Of course what people are saying is that if you eat junk, you’ll feel like junk, and junk up your arteries. I think an even more powerful axiom is, “You are what you think.” If you think like junk, you’ll live like junk. Solomon said it like this, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

I am a firm believer in the power of self-worth. If you get up, look in the mirror and see a bum, then chances are you will live like one today. Likewise, if you look in the mirror and see a child of God that is adopted into God’s family to be an heir of His kingdom, filled with the Spirit to be Christ’s ambassador on the earth, then you’ll live like that.

What’s your self-image? Does it come from comparing yourself to the physical appearance of airbrushed photos of models and botox-filled celebrities? If so, you’ll probably feel you don’t measure up. Try seeing yourself as God sees you. Fill your mind with the thoughts of God about you, and let them cancel out the lies of the enemy. Say this with me, “I am loved, accepted, chosen, anointed, approved, filled, and rejoiced over by my Heavenly Father. I no longer need man’s approval, applause or accolades. I live for an audience of One that accepts me for who He’s created me to be and gives the power to become more than I could on my own.”  How does that feel?

See yourself today as a world-changer that’s empowered by the very Spirit of God and I believe you’ll live up to it!

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Sticks And Stones

Posted in Mind, Offense, Relationships, Words by PCraig on February 23, 2017

Like many of you, I grew up on the school playground saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Most of us learned really quickly in life, however, that it was a lie. As a matter of fact, some of us have gotten over broken legs, arms and ankles way faster than words spoken over us.

If that’s the case, then how careful should we be about what we say over another person, such as our spouses, children, family members, friends and colleagues? In today’s reading of the One Year Bible from Proverbs 10:11 it says, “The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain.”

I wonder, does that describe you? Do people think of you as a wellspring of refreshing words that bring them life?

Take some time today to evaluate what is coming out of your mouth. Even better, consider it before it comes out of your mouth. Because once it hits the airwaves, there’s no taking it back. And the damage it can bring to your relationships is far worse than any stick or stone could cause.

(Pray Psalm 19:14)

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Help For Interpreting Life

Have you noticed that if you get around negative people that you can be tempted to start talking negative also? Same thing happens when you get around positive people, by the way (thank God for that). Or, if you watch movies with vulgar language, those words might come to your head next time you hit your shin on the end table leg. And, if you read romance novels constantly, you might think your husband is a total bore.

It struck me the other day that by reading the Bible, my view of the world gets impacted. Like when I read about the value of life, how God formed me in the womb, had purpose for me before I knew it, then it makes the thought of abortion (especially late term) almost intolerable. I want to cry out against the injustice of the unborn that have no voice, but should.

I find that I need this clear, wise, voice in my head to combat all the competing unwise, and often hypocritical voices all around me. I’m thinking the same thing applies to you. If left unchecked, we can begin to be influenced by the loudest, strongest, and closest voices to us, that may not necessarily be right, wise or good.

Paul writes in 2 Tim 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”

What in your life needs corrected? Do you still have an awareness of right or wrong? How might God’s Word help you be able to identify what is true?

Don’t just get into the Bible; let the Bible get into you.

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Shrink Your Challenges

I can spend way too much time, energy and effort on the problems in front of me. This consists of conversations with others and myself, Google about it, reading concerning it and such. How about you? Human nature is to focus on the problem and many of us are wired to fix things, so we attempt to do it on our own.

And while I want to be careful not appear to be minimizing your problem, because I know it can be enormous. But, think about what it would look like if we put that same time, energy and thought toward God? Would the size of God outsize your problem? Would the radiance of God outshine your problem? Would the power of God overpower your problem?

Are you ready to focus more on God and less on your problem? When you do, if you’re like me, your vision of God will increase and your view of your problem will shrink.

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Tear Up That Bad Picture

I can remember reading a fitness article a long time ago saying you need to picture yourself getting stronger while in the gym.  Now, the key is you also have to work out while you’re there!  When I read it, I have to confess that I thought it was a bunch of junk, but now I’m not so sure.  Not because of just physical fitness, but because of a universal principle.

The way you see yourself pulls you toward that image as your future.   Those who see themselves as intelligent, move the direction of good grades and honor’s classes. People who think of themselves as movers and shakers tend to do a lot of moving and shaking.  It’s not the results first and the action later, but the thought or mindset first, then the results.

Those who see themselves as fat and hopelessly addicted to food, eat too much.  They sabotage their own future by picturing it in their minds.  “I always eat too much, or whatever they put on my plate, I’m gonna eat it!”  So, they do.

The Bible shares with us that God chose us and that this decision caused Him great delight, therefore, we are beautiful in God’s eyes.  When you start seeing yourself as the beautiful child of God that is worth dying for, guess what?  It starts impacting your decisions for the day, the places you go, the people you hang around.  You start acting and looking a lot more like God.

You are no longer a slave to fear, bad past, mistakes, habits, hurts, hang-ups, or anything else you can name.  You are a child of God.  Say it out loud, “I am a child of God.”  And, keep saying it and you’ll start to live that way and be renewed from the inside out.

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Fixated

Posted in Distractions, Fasting, Mind, Pursuing Jesus by PCraig on January 28, 2016

The other day I was holding our Student Ministries Pastor’s son, and he was just locked in on something nearby to the point where it was like nothing else existed.  Have you ever been like that?  Maybe your husband loses all sight of everything around when the playoffs are on the TV.  Perhaps your teenager doesn’t know you exist when they are texting with one of their friends.

We’ve been studying the book of Hebrews from the Bible this month, and the word “better,” which occurs there more than any place else in God’s Word.  But, there is a phrase that appears toward the beginning of this ancient writing and then a similar version near the end.  Anytime something is repeated in the Scriptures, I pay attention.

In Hebrews 3:1 the writer challenges, “fix your thoughts on Jesus,” then in Hebrews 12:2 he says, “let us fix our eyes on Jesus.”  Since there is the redundancy of emphasis, it made me think of getting fixated on something.  How many of us get fixated on sports, money, careers, bad relationships, our past, habits, addictions, hurts, toys, and plenty of other things rather than Jesus?

Would people look at you with accusation that you are fixated on Jesus?  Let’s accept the challenge of the author of Hebrews and get our minds and eyes fixed on Jesus.  After all, He has more to give than anything the world has to offer.

I hope our 21 Days of Fasting & Prayer has helped with this.  If it has, let someone know.

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Invest In Your Core

You may not be into fitness, but experts say that you’ll be better off as you age by investing in your core.  What exactly is core training?  It is building up the muscles that support your spine and help with balance.  Two very important areas.  The idea is that you build up the entire area that supports the spine, so that the burden of supporting your body weight isn’t just placed on your bones.

Besides our physical bodies, what are some other core areas where we need to be paying attention?  Faith, family, our minds, spirits, soul, thoughts, finances, marriages, and ministries are some I thought about.

So, just like there are core exercises to strengthen your physical core, what are some things you can do for these other areas?  Read the Bible, meditate (on Scripture), pray, eat dinner as a family (without devices and only dialogue), listen to worship tunes, attend church regularly, work a plan for getting out of debt, establish a regular date night, discover, develop and deploy your spiritual giftedness, build margin in your life.

Hope this got you thinking about ways to invest in your core – in all areas.  Make it happen!

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Reaction To The First Fight

The reaction to last Sunday’s message was surprising to me.  After each service, the front was filled with people coming down for prayer with our prayer partners.  Also, I had people coming to me saying, “Your message had a profound impact on my life, I am going to be making some changes as a result.”  An email I received this week added, “I couldn’t write fast enough for all the things you were saying that I needed to hear.”  Plus, Facebook had people announcing lifestyle changes they were making because of the sermon.

This got me thinking, why all this stir?  I honestly didn’t think it was going to have that huge of an impact ahead of time.  It just shows me how God knows what He’s doing and uses us in spite of ourselves.

Here’s what I want to share today: don’t let anything keep you back from what you want most in your life, especially for what you could have now.  Too many settle for what they can experience today over what God has dreamed for their lives tomorrow.

You are better than that!  You are a child of God, manufactured in His image to fulfill a destiny that is beyond your own ability.  He longs to show forth His power in your weakness and demonstrate His wisdom in your inadequacy.

Don’t you dare settle for less than what God has for you today, tomorrow or ever!  Get a mirror and look into it and confess, “I am well able to start a new habit today that will improve my physical, mental, relational or spiritual growth.  I will not allow the negative talk of the naysayers discourage or distract me from my goal.  I will accomplish all God wants me to accomplish in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Friend, that is who you are and I believe you are going to win this FIGHT!

FIGHT part 2 is this weekend with the focus on fighting for truth – invite someone!

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The Mind

Posted in Mind, Victorious Living by PCraig on September 11, 2014

Yesterday I was praying with someone in the hospital who was about to undergo brain surgery.  We both agreed that the mind is the most amazing computer on the planet.  It helps us feel, taste, breathe through the night, speak, and reason, just to name a few.

But, much like a computer, the way that it is programmed determines everything.  Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.”  However, the reason we don’t live this way is we’ve allowed viruses to contaminate our mental computer.  Sometimes it comes in the form of bad memories of abuse, how we were reared and times of loss.

I’ve found that our thoughts are the operating system of our brain and when it’s damaged, we can’t expect abundant life.  Instead of leaving our mind to dwell on wrong data, we must program it with what God says about us.  Don’t let your mind be infected anymore.  Starting today, get your mind full of God’s words of victory and I believe you’ll feel different, act more alive, and look forward to tomorrow.

I usually tweet out a positive verse each day, so if you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow me and meditate on at least one Scripture a day: @ecraigwhite.  It also reposts to my Facebook account if that works better for you.  In addition, get into the Word yourself and download the statements of faith you come across until your mind is filled.

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