ATTN: PARENTING

And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. (1 cor. 11:1)

Whatever role you might be playing at this time; married, single or being a grand parent, if there is anything that you wish to change in the child, first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in yourself. You have influence and you do not need a title or position. Parenting alone has influence. Which kind of influence do you want to have on a child; positive or negative? It is sad that I have witnessed a parent who began screaming because of a phone call, a mom who smokes a cigarette because she is unable to cope with stress, a Dad who begins to drink every day because life’s challenges become overwhelming. What is the child beginning to learn? It is acceptable to lose your temper. screaming at the top of their lungs when encountering difficult people. I have seen many times a mom lashing out at her child in a supermarket because she is trying to manage her kids. There are frequent times I have been in restaurants and witnessed a child out of control and the parents doing nothing. Do you know that doing nothing is teaching children that aberrant behavior is acceptable and a child is learning that any type of behavior (temper tantrums) is acceptable. If you don’t get your way, throw a temper tantrum. Unfortunately, these young children grow up into adults still throwing temper tantrums. But this time, rather than throwing food on the floor, they will punch walls, strike their spouse or significant other. This is learned behavior and the abuser will have all kinds of excuses rather than take responsibility and say it is not their fault. So today’s principle is based on what Paul the Apostle told Timothy, “….and you should imitate me, as I imitate Christ…….. The examples we set as parents for our kids, how we behave when things don’t go our way is much more important than the rules we set for them. Children will become not what you tell them, but they become who you are…………..


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Moderate Your Meditation

MODERATE YOUR MEDITATION
 
Sunday, September 23, 2018 – Pastor George Dupree
 
Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
 
There are many misunderstandings about what meditation is. As Christians, we use the Bible as our guide for all of our spiritual disciplines. Some forms of meditation encourage you to empty your mind and rid yourself of conscious thinking, this in not Biblical meditation. Biblical meditation encourages you to fill your mind with the Word of God.
Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
 
If you do the first two, you will be the third.
Don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly – Delight in the Word of God
You’ll be like a fruitful tree.
 
There are benefits to meditation
 
A Stable Life
You are planted; even if everything else around you is being uprooted you remain planted. You’ll have stability in your life because your roots go deep.
 
A Productive Life
You’ll have a productive & fruitful life – yielding fruit, results, evidence of God in your life.
 
A Prosperous Life
Prosperity is more than money, prosperity is the ability to make wise decisions – you don’t usually have to talk yourself into making the wrong decision. The choices you make each day determine your destiny. That’s why we have to daily meditate on God’s Word.
 
A Fresh Faith – his leaves will not whither.
We all need refreshing of our faith on a regular basis. Nobody’s interested in buying something that’s stale; it doesn’t have the same appeal as something that’s fresh. We don’t want to live on stale bread, we live by the bread of God’s Word, and it’s best on a daily basis.
 
 
What does it mean to meditate?
Meditate – to think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, plan mentally; consider, think deeply or carefully about something, to utter a sound, to mutter; the act of thoughtful deliberation with the implication of speaking to oneself, muttering sounds spoken to no one in particular, melody
 
Ephesians 5:19 …making melody in your heart to the Lord
 
To meditate is to ruminate
Ruminate is a verb and it means to think deeply about something. It also means to chew the cud.
 
Meditation is repetitive thinking. Worry is negative meditation, continuous thinking of a negative thought. That’s destructive. But the act of meditating on God’s Word is constructive in our lives.
 
Final Thoughts To Meditate On
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
 
Psalms 145:5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.

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TIME TO DECIDE

I have been talking about your future and how will your life look like down the road. What is it that we do in the meantime? When you really think about it, your future is not only predicated on what you decide, it is based on what you do every day that matters the most. Make sense? I think every reader will agree that you cannot go back and change your past. Nor should you worry about future events that are outside of your control.

Although you cannot go back and start all over, you can start from now and make a brand new ending. You can decide how your life will end. Sure, your past is important, but not as important to your present as the way you see your future. So, the best way to predict where you will be is to create it. You can stop living your life by default and begin living your life by design. It is never too late. God told Joshua, “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.


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WHAT DOES YOUR FUTURE HOLD? (you decide)


Remember, the last article I had written about the path to happiness. Now you know this path does not exist. It is not there; because it is an illusion. It is not a route among many. Why? Because happiness IS the path that you decide to take.
 
The most simplistic and beneficial way of deriving happiness is to add value to people. This is what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Phillippian Church, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
There is a truth here at work. Happiness is not the absence of problems, difficulties and challenges; but the ability to deal with and resolve each of them the best way we can.
Understand that you cannot change people, you cannot change attitudes. you cannot change the way they think about you. There are many things in this life that we cannot change. But the one thing in life you can change is the way you respond.
When you finally settle down at the end of the day, you realize happiness has nothing to do with your life’s circumstances. It is all based on your ability to accept the things you are experiencing.  Whatever you are doing in life, remember; do not let the past affect your today because the past is gone.  You cannot change it, you cannot alter it, you cannot relive it.
Like time, it is gone forever so do not live in the memories of the past. The other side of the coin is not letting your future disturb you because it has not come yet.
Finally, happiness is not about getting what you want all the time. It is about loving what you have and being grateful for it. It would be wise to listen to the wisdom written by the Apostle Paul over 2,000 years ago, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Phil. 4:11)

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WHAT ARE YOU IMPARTING TO OTHERS?

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
Paul, who considered himself the least of all the saints, was the most educated, zealous and multi talented person of the day. What exactly is the unsearchable riches of Christ that Paul was talking about?
 
Let me ask you a few questions before we continue to read? How big is God to you? Is God big enough to meet all your needs? Is God big enough to handle all your problems? Is God big enough to fulfill all your desires?
 
When we understand that the riches of Christ are inexhaustible, we are free to share them and spend them without worrying about poverty tomorrow. These riches mean we are freed from jealousy, envy, and strife; and we are free to love, to joy in our salvation, and to impart the same salvation and grace to others.
 
Today, what is it that you are imparting to others? Worry? Fear? Complaining ? What is it that people see in you in times of distress? Do they see the transformation that occurs when God is working and willing to do of His good pleasure in your life? God is always willing but we have to apply what we hear and learn and walk in what we learn. Remember inspiration + application = Transformation. Nothing more – nothing less.
 
As worshipers of God, this is great news. There is no place to go but higher and deeper in spirit and in truth. None of us is capable of fully understanding the nature of God or experiencing the full presence of God in our lives. None of us can see fully the big picture God sees or grasp all that he is.

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I CHOOSE

Today we have devices ranging from IPADS, IPhones , IPods and even restaurants called IHOP. I want to tell you that the secret ingredient to success in life is having the device called  “I Choose “  Well, actually it isn’t a tangible object that can be held. Nor is it an app that you can download from the App Store.
 

In fact, you don’t even have to download the app or buy it. God has already given it to us. It resides in us. In fact, I believe that it is one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed on us freely.

That gift is the power to choose. In this nugget of wisdom , it is called “I Choose”. Yes, this is the secret to your success or to your demise. This really depends on what you will choose concerning the choices you make in life.

We make choices everyday. Whether we know it or not, we make choices concerning all three areas of growth (spirit , soul and body). When you think about it, we ARE our choices.

Your desire to improve your life begins with a teachable attitude. If you are not teachable, you will never grow physically, emotionally and Spiritually fit. We will never become what you were destined for nor will you ever reach your potential.

Your life, like clay can be a work in progress. No matter what your clay looks like, it can be molded by your willingness to be teachable and receptive to the lessons that life has for you.

Are you willing to learn something new? Are you willing to listen and apply life changing concepts? Are you willing to grow beyond your original programming of bad habits , wrong attitudes and poor nutrition that will lead you to become more like Christ?

If you are , then choose to personally grow and become more than a conqueror today? Eradicate old habits, develop new ones that will bring you closer to your goals in life.

Solicit the aid of people you trust and be accountable for the decisions you make concerning “you.” Today, choose to be teachable. For the choices you make in life will make your life.


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The Outcast at the well…

While everyone was going around Samaria Jesus HAD to go through Samaria. WHY? Because there was an outcast at a well there that He HAD to meet. She came to draw water from the well but that day the well came to her! – John 4:4 He HAD to go through Samaria on the way.
This woman came to the well to get water but the water came to her at her empty well. She came with a bucket but she left with a river!

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THERE ARE ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES IN EVERY PROBLEM

Going out of Business Sale … Clearance sale … Half Off Sale … Buy One Get One Free … Outlets! Signs like these grab our attention. The reason? Opportunity is knocking.

 

Are you a person that sees opportunities in problems or seeing problems in opportunities. Let me share another, even richer opportunity that separates the successful spiritual investor from the one struggling to get by spiritually from paycheck-to-paycheck. The pivotal moment starts like this.

 

In the middle of a pretty good day, something happens and your day gets messy; a deviation from your agenda pops up … an unplanned adversity surfaces … something painful occurs. Remember, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

 

You see, anyone can have peace when life is going well. Unfortunately, for most people, peace is dependent upon external circumstances. The external environment determines the internal state of mind.

 

You can see how dangerous this is because rarely is life calm. Here is the principle that allows us to achieve the next level of abundant living that God desires for His people.

 

The inner calm graciously offered by God need not be shaken by what is going on around you.   Recall what Jesus said, “My peace I give to you.” What God offers His children is radically different … peace that comes from within, independent of circumstances.

 

The best thing to do when an undesirable event disrupts your peace is to stop what you are doing, take a “time-out” and respond rather than react by making a conscious decision to walk in peace. Ask for God’s assistance. Try turning to and trusting in God in the midst of a messy day. Wait, don’t try, just DO IT.   God loves you. He knows everything, including what you need in that very moment to grow and become more like Him.

 

He is sovereign over the universe, and He allowed the adversity/opportunity to happen for a specific purpose for your powerful development and fulfillment.

 

The disruption to your peace is not from God; it comes from within you … and not from anyone or anything else. So don’t blame anyone or anything for your behavior, attitude or your unhappiness.   The lack of peace comes from the lack of awareness of how God is using this event to show you, protect you, or prepare you for wonderful blessings in the future, including, the mind of Christ.

 

Today, when you face a disruption in your agenda, adhere to what God promises His people, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” So take a time-out when adversity strikes, and perform some self-examination.

 

Do you have trouble applying the armor of God, trusting God’s promises and character, and believing Jesus’ work on the cross for you?   The great opportunity God is dropping in your lap right now is to ID the false belief you accept more than what God says. It is an old habit that has to die.

 

Prayerful digging will reveal where you really place your trust when adversity strikes. Whether you see life’s curveballs creating an opportunity for growth or you let them become an adversity that interferes with growth is your decision, so choose well.


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MAKE ANGER YOUR SERVANT, NOT YOUR MASTER

Anger is not necessarily the result of doing something wrong, dysfunctional or sinful. God expressed anger many times, so we know anger can be positive and serve us well. Did you ever ask yourself, “Why do I get so mad?” We often assume that our anger is caused by situations like a rude driver, an unfair criticism or a friend’s betrayal.
 
In reality, the answer is “nothing” around us causes anger, even though these situations are usually followed by our own angry reactions. In fact, the angry feeling is actually our own doing. Yes, it is a choice that you have made through a bad habit. You see, the lenses we use to view a situation precipitate the feeling of anger. Nevertheless, we usually blame others for “making” us feel angry.
 
Let me illustrate this point. I remember attending my daughter’s basketball games during her middle school years. There are two groups of people watching the same event at a basketball game; if our team scores a last-minute, game-winning basket, I am excited, so is the rest of the group. But someone rooting for the other team who experiences the same event may actually be angry or frustrated, or have other negative emotions immediately after the shot goes in.
 
The event, “a made shot,” doesn’t cause the anger. If it did, everybody experiencing the event would be angry. You see, the difference is the lens through which we witness or experience each event. That is what determines our emotional response.
 
Understanding this key point is so freeing and eye-opening. Anger (or any negative feeling) is a great warning system. Anger informs us when something is not going right or when potential danger exists.
 
If I were in the jungle and saw a tiger, I would get angry, sad, worried, scared or frightened. That’s an example of a good warning system letting me know I am not safe, and it pushes me to action. There are physiological actions stirring within our bodies. Science calls it the “flight or fight’ reaction. Without negative feelings, I would probably walk along merrily and be devoured by the tiger.
 
When someone insults us or treats us badly, we should get angry. That tells us there is a problem in the relationship and needs to be addressed. Hopefully, we look at our options and choose appropriate options as we respond. Hence, the need to forgive.
 
God has given us free will to control our feelings, thoughts and actions. Will we choose unkind words and find a way to “get even”? Or will we problem-solve and forgive? It is our choice, no one else’s. Despite our backgrounds or the current circumstances, we are responsible for our own behaviors. We can’t blame anyone for our emotional outbreaks.
 
Unfortunately, we often let anger rule us. It becomes the main influence in our decision-making. Anger serves us well as a warning system. However, anger is a very poor master. None of us expresses our feelings appropriately all the time. However, the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
 
Today, notice when you feel angry and STOP! Then, thank God for a great warning system. Then, look past the anger to the actual problem the anger warned you about and address it. Ask God to raise your awareness and look within. If you do not, your warning system (anger) will continue to alert you until the problem is resolved.
 
Allow God to help make your angry response your servant instead of your master. Follow His attitude, actions and teachings. Whether you use you anger to function better or you let it ruin you, it is your decision, so choose well.
 

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OUR RESPONSIBILITY (Pt. 2)

The past is what God allowed in our lives so we would draw close to Him. One outcome of the past is that it prepares us for the good works He has planned for us. God uses both good and bad situations that occurs in my life to make me the kind of person He desires me to be.   

There are unique situations that everyone goes through in life.   He knows what it will take to develop your character and your inner man to become more than a conqueror in Christ.   This is what God intends as He continues to build His Church.   Remember, His church is not a building but people and He is committed to building His people into an army that is visible, bright, influential, and courageous.

Forgetting my past would cause me to miss opportunities to learn about God’s grace, forgiveness and love, and to turn what Satan intended for bad into something God can use for His glory.

When we look over our past, we do need to process it with a very specific focus on Jesus, the Cross and God’s plans and goals. That will transform our lenses so we can take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and allow God to come into those old areas of hurt. Then, lasting healing will occur. Truth will replace the ripples of distortion that fog our lenses. The new creation will be moving toward completion. 

Today, don’t ruminate about your past.  But don’t ignore it as if you’ve had a brain transplant. Your past constantly affects your moment-by-moment decisions. So examine your decisions today to understand how your past affects them. As you reflect, your awareness will be raised so you can identify what is at the center of your heart.  Also, why you do what you do.  

This truly is transformation that Paul talks about in Chapter 12 of the book of Romans.   Today, be aware of how you respond to challenges and difficult circumstances.    Remember,  victorious christians are not exempt problems.   They are victorious because they recognize problems and find solutions and resolve them.   Defeated Christians are those who have problems and talk about them without any resolutions.   


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