Practical help for controlling your thoughts by Stanley Charles, InTouch Ministries

(Featured picture -google images).

Many times when I listen to a sermon, or read something really inspirational, I immediately think of sharing it with someone. Today is one of those days and I have chosen to share some insights from Pastor Stanley Charles of InTouch Ministries. Hope you find it useful!

Let me start with one of his quotes: “Unseen thoughts produce visible consequences in your life.”

We just cannot escape the reality of our thoughts. Hence the reason it is so important to master our thoughts and control them always. Once we are alive we would think, but we are not to be held captive to our thoughts. We can save ourselves from doing and saying things that we would regret, if only we can learn to control our thoughts.

Here are six questions, given by Pastor Charles, that we can ask ourselves, to help us practice healthy thinking. Remember, our mind is a control tower.

1. Where will these thoughts lead me?

2. Will these thoughts get me where I want to go?

3. Are these thoughts scripturally acceptable?

4. Will these thoughts build me up or tear me down?

5. Could I share these thoughts with someone else?

6. Where did these thoughts originate?

I find these questions solid and very useful for helping anyone build healthy thinking habits. If you think of yourself as a failure, you would find all sorts of excuses to keep you from rising after falling.

If you think of others as individuals who are of less value than you, then it would be easy for you to hurt others, whether with your words or your actions. If you think that God’s word is not true, you would live your life with no consideration of consequences or the impact of your decisions on others.

Don’t be fooled. Your mind is indeed your control tower.

Practice asking the questions above and see yourself soar in your thoughts and in your life.

Your greatness can come from your failures

At the time we are experiencing them, the world does not deal kindly with failures, weaknesses and moments of personal struggles; those times when we feel like we have lost our way, we have lost our shine and our spirit is broken. But when we persevere and rise from the ashes, then everyone wants to hear our story; we often forget that these struggles often birth greatness. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is the greatest example of someone who has persevere through His struggle. He never sinned but his struggle was real. He refused to give up on the promises of His father, even after being tempted to do so. As a result, He eventually gained the victory over the musically talented, but destructive, Lucifer, who was now working against his dream to see all men experience true freedom. Many men have passed on, leaving a legacy of getting back up after failure and persevering to the finishing line. Some were able to rise after several failures. They learnt that their failure was only a catalyst, a lesson, and embraced it not with shame and regret, but gratefulness. They understood what it meant to give thanks for everything, even for their failures, for it was during these times that their lives were deeply shaken to the core and after much pain and personal sacrifice, they were able to present fruits of gold and silver.

I suggest you get excited about getting up after you have fallen and look over yonder to the distance, whether you see it or not, there is a ray of hope beckoning you to keep pressing forward towards the finishing line. God sent his Son to give you and I hope, hope after Adam and Eve sinned, hope that would take us out of fear and bondage, hope that would pull us away from our poor self image and help us to understand that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, for a purpose. As a we embrace this hope, we would unlock our true potential and shine, so that our heavenly father can be glorified. It is a hope that can only be found in Jesus and it enables us to have the correct perspective about our failures and our weaknesses, and about our future. It is a hope that gives us the strength to see our dreams become reality.

Because you are different does not mean you need to give in.

There are many people struggling with the desire to become intimately involved with the same sex. Finally, many of them give in, thinking that this is who they are meant to be and they need to be free by “coming out of their closet”. This mentality is supported by lots of people in society today and it is really difficult for someone to resist when those “same-sex” urges are experienced.

I believe the stories of those who finally gave in, are glamorised, while the stories of those who don’t are often suppressed and not shared.

The reality is however, it boils down to a choice, to respect and believe that God’s standards are different from society’s standards or to reject those standards for society’s standards. Some choose to respect and honour God’s way and so they choose to resist the urge and the temptation to be with another of their kind. Today, there are beautiful stories of such successes.

Don’t be overwhelmed with the fashion to give in, there is another option. Ask yourself “What would Jesus Do?”. Ask him that question directly and sincerely tune in for his answer. You would be amazed of the power of his words and the overwhelming love he has for you. Consider that the one who created you may have a different plan for your life, even with your “differences”. Consider!

Someone is encouraged to pursue their dreams because of you

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No one likes to be around hypocrites and that is a given. But often we look at others, forgetting to look in the Mirror. When we say one thing and our behaviour depicts something else, it creates confusion in the minds of others. It is always better to let people see you rather than hear you; unfortunately or fortunately, what they see is evidence of who you really are.
I know of many persons who have been discouraged from doing good because they have been disappointed by someone they once looked up to.
Students look up to teachers and are often baffled by their conduct. It causes them to re-evaluate the values they were taught, to question whether or not there are folks who really believe these values and live by them. Some Parents create deep rifts between themselves and their children, because they choose to discipline their children for certain acts they themselves are guilty of committing. Some spouses treat their wives or husbands badly, while they pretend to be angels on the outside, seeking to fool others into believing that all is well.
It happens at church as well, church leaders forget that it is ok to admit to weaknesses and failures and instead, attempt to live hiding behind a mask, one that forces them to pretend to be who they are not. Usually, it is only a matter of time that the high expectations of others are shattered.
Bosses pretend to listen, to care and to be fair, while deep down they are not sincerely interested in your well-being. You are not valued beyond what you can do.
These are all realities that exists in your world and in my world. Many of us have been disappointed by someone in our lifetime or have disappointed someone in their lifetime.
Let us remember that there is always someone looking up to us, observing us, respecting and valuing our advice and guidance. It therefore means that our actions and behaviours can either hinder someone from pursuing their purpose, or propel them to move full speed ahead.
I do believe we should not blame anyone for the situations and conditions we find ourselves in, but if we are to be honest, some of our greatest blows come from people who disappointed us in life.
Remember, someone is watching the way you live and is being encouraged to pursue their dreams, to persevere through a difficult period in their life, or to change.
This should cause us to think a lot deeper, before we act.

Pursuing God’s purpose is no easy road

I have come to realise, in my over forty years of existence, that the real beauty of success is that you are able to show that you have achieved it by honest means, through self-less efforts and by overcoming personal fears and challenges, facing your giants. It is these stories of endurance and perseverance, amidst discouragement, abandonment and disappointment, that really touches you deep.

On this Blog, I speak of pursuing God’s purpose and the truth is, it is not a sitting, waiting, getting along with everybody, no testing kind of experience. The word pursuing means to relentlessly go after something until you get it. And here our context is “God’s purpose”. We need to understand that pursuing God’s purpose often requires us to do some things that are hard emotionally, that would not be popular and that may even land us some enemies. It is no easy road. BUT, the fulfillment that floods your inside, when you know without a hint of doubt, that God is pleased, is reward enough.

What are those hard things you have had to do in your pursuit of God’s will for your life? Did you think it was too hard and buried your head in the sand? Did you try to stifle the urge to move forward?

I’ll tell you this, I think many times, we think too much before we take action, “what if” “is it really God”, “what will people think about me”, “i don’t feel good enough”, “let me wait to make sure”. Thinking and overthinking when we already know, in our hearts, it is o.k to proceed.

Another mistake we make is to tell others, thinking their approval would be a sign. Well, not necessarily! Sometimes we got to walk, work and pursue alone. Or maybe we fail to take action because of pride as it requires us to ask for help and we refuse to. Dangerous choice.

Be encouraged that in order to really persevere to the end, we must be willing to do what is necessary. No matter how many times you stop, accelerate again and keep moving. Stop “hitting the brakes”! No matter, how many said no to the help you needed, keep accelerating! No matter, how many gave you the silent treatment, never actively encouraging you, keep accelerating! No matter how many times members in your family scoffed at your vision, keep accelerating.

Remember the word is “Pursuing”, it suggests action, doing, moving and eventually reaching that goal. The Word of God describes it beautifully as “running a race”. Dress appropriately to run and run no matter the hurdles you see appearing before you. Run! You must believe that God will enable you to jump over your hurdles.

I embrace my past; I embrace my future more! –

Featured pic from Grenada Development Bank – My farewell party – November 2019 – Former Directors, My former boss in blue & grey, former co-workers.

In November, 2019, I took a step of faith. I resigned from my highly valued job as Administration & Human Resource Manager at the Grenada Development Bank, the only Development Bank on the Island of Grenada. A unique institution that has an amazing success story. I say highly valued because in those nine years I learnt a great deal. In those nine years, I confirmed so many things about life, about people and about myself. Through the grace of God, I was able to fortify my career as an Administration and Human Resource Professional. Yes, I was learning but I was also being established in both fields.

In those nine years and even before those nine years ( I was employed at GDB for 27 years), God used varied circumstances to remind me that when He is control, everything works out the way it should. He reminded me that I needed His guidance daily. He also reminded me that I just had to continuously walk in faith, looking at his face for assurance and not to others.

It is now four months since I moved on and many times I would remember moments at GDB. I remember them with such affection and such appreciation. I think, in my heart, I would always feel a part of GDB’s family and I can’t help but be grateful.

Now, everyday was not perfect, there were days when we argued to make our points clear, there were times when I did not achieve my best and there were times when I had to be involved in disciplining staff and it was no popular affair, but with God’s grace, I persevered. And you know what I am sure they know, I care.

The appreciating truth is that I miss my GDB family despite the downs. I have given so much but have received much more.

As I sat thinking about the past, I just thought…”My past is so important to my future success”. I embrace it, I own it, I value it and I am so blessed by it. I have gotten to know so many people, to influence so many people, to learn from so many people, to share Christ with so many people. My past is very very important to me. But here this, it is not more important to me than my future.

As, I look ahead, I have new challenges. I have a need to find strategies never tested, as I continue to walk into that door that has been swung wide open for me. Whenever I find myself doubting God, I seek to shake it off, reminding myself that every move relating to me leaving a job, that meant so much to me, to step into the unknown, was God-directed. I have do doubt that it was an answer to prayer. My God surprised me with an open door.

At GIDC’s Office – April 2019

What gets me at times, is the struggle to keep believing that God is right here by me side and I can accomplish the task that He has entrusted to me. I wish that mental struggle did not exist, but it does, I wish my energy would always flow but sometimes, I get weary, I wish I can act in a timely manner at all times, but sometimes, I hesitate.

So, today, I reminded myself to keep speaking words of affirmation, words of hope, declaring the promises of God, declaring what has been given to me as a Child of God. Today, I am reminded not to deny my Christ, never to be ashamed of being a Christian, because, God is the only person that I can bet my life on. He is for me, in season, out of season, when everyone around me seems scary and cannot be trusted. He is there!

Jekalyn Carr in her song, says “You will win, win”! And, I believe that, not only that I will win, but I have already won so many battles of the mind, of the body and of the will because God’s word is a source of strength. I believe I have won and I will continue to win.

My past has definitely helped to shape my future, but my future is bigger!!

What about you? Are you too attached to your past that you find it difficult to believe that you will survive the open door? “You will Win!”

Finding strength in the Joy of the Lord!

It was Sunday morning and from the comfort of my bed, I looked outside and observed ‘What a beautiful day it is!”. There was absolutely no need for me to hustle that morning, it was a day for taking it slow, to refresh my soul and to receive inspiration from God’s word.

I decided to look-up verses on “the joy of the Lord” and this exercise did wonders for me.

My hope in God’s promises were renewed, I felt energised and excited to continue pursuing His plan for my life, I became filled with great expectations. Even my countenance changed from gloomy, to bright.

What really happened? Were those verses magical? Well, they are embedded in truth, power and hope, so I guess they are more than magical, they are majestic, like the Author himself.

Phillipians 4:4 was the first verse I read:

Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say rejoice – KJV

Rejoice in the Lord always; I say it again. Rejoice! – NIV

Oh, this little verse lifted my spirit and reminded me that despite my circumstances and how much I really don’t feel like focusing on God’s joy, I need to try anyhow, because it always works. It reminded me that my joy is not a product of my possessions or my achievements but knowing that God loves me, has a plan for me and I can trust him. It is understanding that pleasing God first keeps me joyful.

Another verse that lifted my spirit was Psalm 5:11 -KJV “But let those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Here is the NIV : “But let all who take refuge in you be glad, let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you”

We cannot ignore that there is a condition for experiencing God’s joy. We must make that choice to love His name, to find contentment and pleasure in His character, in His mission and in what He has written in the Bible for our benefit.

I am convinced that if some people could only experience the joy of the Lord, they would not give up on their marriage, they would not consider suicide, the would not abuse others and the list goes on and on.

There are so many verses that talk about the joy of the Lord, I am just getting started.

I inspire you to pursue the Joy of the Lord.

Embracing the Imperfect Me!

Featured picture by google images

I saw this post on Jonathan Mc Reynold’s Instagram page a few weeks ago and it stirred me to write, it says  

“Shame made me feel like I had to be perfect.  But man, I am just soooo not.  Physical flaws, sins, personality flaws, bad choices, etc. but I’m slowly shedding the need to be perfect.  The “imperfect me” must be valuable because that’s the only “me” that God ever made, ever used and ever blessed.  All I can do is all I can do. 

What I have just read for you is a sticking point for many people.  We are always worrying about our flaws, our past failures, our weaknesses, when will we behave ourselves.   When will we behave as if we know better, because in most cases, I think we know better. 

We know that man is imperfect.   Only God is perfect.   Yet, we criticise others when we become aware of their flaws and we do the same thing to ourselves.    Hey, it is not fruitful, it would not help you in any way. 

When I read Jonathan’s post, I immediately typed a response and it says;  You spoke for all of us my friend, you are not alone in this “imperfect me” journey.  What matters is that you have already touched our lives for the sake of Christ and you did it because you allowed God to use you.  In my view that is when it becomes perfect” 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be perfect?  Just try to imagine it.   There will be no need for growth, no need for overcoming, no need for learning valuable lessons, no need to depend on God, no need for anyone, as a matter of fact.   I guess our knowledge would be limitless, absolutely no gaps. 

Life is great when we come to terms with its sweet liberating truth.    We are all imperfect, on a journey of self-discovery, growth and transformation.  We all need a perfect God to guide us to the correct destination.  He guides us by being present, vocal and ready to support if we would let Him.   He desires to use the imperfect men and women that we are.    Living life in the presence of a Perfect God is all we need to make it!  

Keeping it real!

Sometimes we feel tired, swamped and simply worked-out. We all have those days, those weeks, those moments.

Achieving, winning and growing can be exciting and we can easily get lost in the “air of success”.

Achieving requires exerting our energy, sacrificing our personal time and hobbies. And yet, it is important to remember to keep it real. Keeping it real speaks of acknowledging that it is still necessary to take care of this beautiful gift, our body, keeping it real speaks of taking timeout to connect with your family and to read and meditate on content that would broaden your perspective.

Keeping it real allows you to remember your simple past, moral foundation and values that has brought you success. Keeping it real reminds you that you are existing in a wonderful body, an amazing world of resources and yet understand that man is not in control of everything. God is the one in control and He can easily overrule our plans.

Keeping it real allows you to see what’s happening around you, it keeps you connected with current affairs, it allows you to be sensitive to the needs of others and it allows you to constantly evaluate where you are at.

Prayer: Dear God please help me to remember that my success is all because I have found a way to keep it real, I have found a way to constantly reflect on my current status and the fact that it is much more beneficial to allow you to guide my every move. I am grateful for my experiences with you, it has certainly kept me grounded, watchful and hopeful. I understand that I must always lift you up above all else and you would take care of my daily needs. Understanding your plan for my life and pursuing it daily amidst endless distractions is certainly a walk of discipline and endurance…but I really love keeping it real.

Are you living a life of pretense, trying to be who you are not, compromising on values and standards that have brought you success? Keeping it real, helps you to realise the things that really matters in this life; Family, positively impacting the lives of your colleagues at work and making a difference in your home, school, church and community, growing and becoming a better you and gaining a clearer understanding of who God is and why He considered your existence. You and I are just men, totally dependent on God’s grace. We better keep it real!!

I love to associate with “real people” who love keeping it real! 🙂

Should you be praying or Acting in Faith?

Time passes by very quickly, the birthdays, the graduations; oh how time flies. We all have the same amount of time at our disposal. However, some of us waste it terribly and regrettably so. Time wasted cannot be regained. I believe you have heard this saying before.

I wish to remind us to “Act”. Sometimes we have no reason to wait, to sit and to do nothing. All that is necessary now, is to take action. Remember we are given gifts and resources and it is not for us to be selfish with it but to impact the world positively. For the believer, it is for building the Church of God, the Kingdom of God.

It is wearying to see us labour in prayer, doubting God, looking for a sign from heaven, when all we need to do is take that first step, second step or that next step in faith, understanding that you are alive now and can only act while you are alive. Someone’s life is going to be better because of your willingness and discipline to ACT.

Work against your doubts, act against your fear, move against the ungodly tide, take responsibility for that gift you have been given and ACT.

Go speak to Dad and let him know you have forgiven him, go speak to your boss and share your interest in the new position, stop procrastinating on sharing Christ with that co-worker, stop putting off your quiet time with God and His Word, start that book, start working on that business idea, start working on that ministry……just ACT. Act now, before there is no more time left.

PURSUE PURPOSE!