Tag Archives: 1 Corinthians

Curb Walking

29 Jun

I didn’t want to do it. I’d used the cooler morning to work in my vegetable garden and by 9:00, it was already 80 degrees. However, I’d met one of my writing deadlines; it was now time to start taking care of my temple.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NIV).

It helps if I talk to myself. 
“This is the first day of the rest of my life. Get started. You can do it.”
Did I mention I didn’t want to do it?

I know routine helps me do the hard things. Apply sunscreen. Assemble hat, water, cell phone (includes music and timer). Stretch.
“It’s getting hotter and I really don’t want to do this.”

The strangest thing happened. I opened the door and started down the block. I had to stop and adjust my music. An instrumental version of “All the Way My Savior Leads Me” made me smile. About two blocks from home, the Maranatha Singers serenaded me with a favorite Scripture from the King James Bible. “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee” (Psalm 42:1 NIV).

I wasn’t panting yet.

It was time to renew my habit of curb walking. You may not have seen it done. I never have. Perhaps it’s time to share my secret of turning a walk into a workout without putting stress on joints. You’ll need a certain amount of “who cares what I look like” confidence, a neighborhood with curbs, and not too much traffic.

I walk close to the curb and take two steps on the street. Then I step up and take two steps on the sidewalk. Back to the street for two steps, then two steps on the sidewalk, and so on I go. Once you get the hang of it, you can move quickly.

One gentleman on a recumbent bike stopped me last spring. He had watched me cross the street to step up with my left foot for a block, then cross back to the other side and step up with my right foot for a block. I knew he was watching and I was a little embarrassed. But I didn’t stop.

“What is it you’re doing,” he asked as I approached.
“I’m curb walking. It’s my version of walking and step aerobics. That’s why I continue crossing back and forth across the street.”
“I’ve never seen it done, but it’s a good idea. You should be proud.”
“Thank you. I know it looks silly, but it’s a good workout.”
“Don’t worry about how it looks. Just keep it up.” He rode off on his bike, his big dog leased by his side. That conversation did a lot for me. Thank you, God, for using other people to encourage us.

Surprisingly, I had a great time worshiping God and taking care of myself at the same time. It was only 25 minutes, but I’ll eventually get back to that hour I was doing five days a week last year. And to think I didn’t really want to do it.

It’s Time for Some Good News

18 May

There’s no shortage of bad news. The media thrives on our morbid curiosity, our tears, and our outrage. When an upbeat story finds its way to social media, people like it and share it multiple times. We long for good news.

I have good news that can bring smiles and change our outlook on life. For some, this is a reminder of what you already know. For others, the good news will be brand-new.

Here’s the Good News: You are loved.

This is not the “I love you for what I can get out of you” kind of love. That’s not love at all; that’s lust. You are loved affectionately, unselfishly, and wholeheartedly. You are valued just as you are. This isn’t a love you earn. It’s a gift. However, you do have to accept or receive the gift.

How do I know so much about love? If you read my post on April 13, you know I choose to believe the Bible. It’s a love story from beginning to end. It’s my joy to share a vital part of that love story.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that [God] loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10 NIV).

Sin means missing the mark as an archer might miss the bull’s-eye or straying from the path as in getting lost. God created us for perfect love and relationship with Himself and others. That’s the target, the ideal path in life. Admitting we miss the mark is the first step in recognizing our need of a Savior. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NASB95).

All—every one of us needs a Savior, My friend Mike says, “Some of us can jump further than others, but no one can jump the Grand Canyon.” That’s why Jesus came from heaven to earth.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16–17 NIV).

What should we believe about Jesus Christ? Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians.

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to [more than 500 people]” (1 Corinthians 15:3–5 NASB95).

If Christ remained in the grave, the story would be over. However, because He lives, we live also. Jesus said to [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26 NASB95).

How will you answer that question? Will you believe and receive Christ and His affectionate, unselfish, and wholehearted love? “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NASB95).

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. “ If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:9–11 NASB95).

Please share your response to this good news. I’d be honored to hear from you.

We Have the Mind of Christ

5 Apr

1 Corinthians 2:16, “For who has known the mind of the LORD, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (NASB)

Last blog I asked some questions: What does having the mind of Christ mean? It’s in the Bible, so it must at least be a possibility. Could it be a promise?

It took a life-changing crisis to help me understand the truth of 1 Corinthians 2:16 (above). In the midst of heartbreak and confusion, I sought help from Hud, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who came highly recommended. An ordained pastor and PhD, Hud had a biblically based counseling practice. He taught me to think about my thoughts, a process scientists call metacognition. It was new to me, but elementary students now learn the concept. I learned to become aware of my thoughts and their impact on my feelings and behaviors. Hud gave me tools to do what Romans 12:1-2 calls renewing your mind and therapists label cognitive therapy.

Presently, there is exciting brain research to support what the Bible has taught for centuries. We will talk later about how renewing you mind is an identifiable process, but the short answer to our question is, “Yes, we can have the mind of Christ.”

Years after my sessions with Hud, I willingly devoted the time and study it took to became an LPC. I wanted to help others as Hud had helped me. That’s the purpose behind this blog. When I personally applied the truths Hud taught me and later led my clients to do the same, I saw remarkable growth in their lives and mine.

As we mature, we continue to find additional areas that need renewal. But please be patient; God won’t finish with us this side of heaven. He is committed to molding us into the likeness of Christ one step at a time.

My prayer is that you desire to know God in Christ Jesus, and that you have the courage to get to know yourself. As we dig deeply into Scripture, you’ll discover you’re an amazing child of God, blessed with everything you need for the life God’s set before you. He’ll wrap you in His love and cover you with His mercy and grace. You can win every battle when you rely on God’s Spirit who lives within you. He will be your strength, your courage, your mighty warrior. He will lead you into all truth and teach you all you need to know.

Can you identify one area of your life that needs renewal or a place you want to start? I invite you to begin a journal along with this blog. Would you like to share a little about your struggle or share what you want to accomplish? Do you have a question or comment on what we’ve covered so far? If so, please respond by clicking on the link below.

I’m No Spiritual Giant

29 Mar

Have you ever thought God meant some scriptures for spiritual giants, and you couldn’t possibly achieve such lofty standards? The following verses might fall into that category. (Italics mine.)

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing.

Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Philippians 4:6–7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Or perhaps some statements in the Bible such as 1 Corinthians 2:16 seem just too good to be true.

“For who has known the mind of the lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

First Corinthians 2:16 is one of three verses with which I wrestled and which eventually became the basis for this blog and a Bible study I’m writing. Because God’s thoughts and ways are far superior to mine, I had no problem accepting the first part of verse 16 where Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13. “Who dares to teach God anything?” However, Paul’s next statement amazed me. “But we have the mind of Christ.”

Wow! That appeared too good to be true. At least it wasn’t true in my own life. It seemed unbelievable that I had the mind of Christ—since I made wrong choices, had unwelcome thoughts, and experienced unreliable emotions. Additionally, it’s tough to ignore mistreatment by other Christians. No way had they behaved like Christ. Yet that verse refers to all Christians.

What did having the mind of Christ mean? Since it’s in the Bible, I know it must at least be a possibility for me. Could it be a promise?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re interested in my conclusions based on Scripture and clinical knowledge as a professional counselor, I hope you’ll follow this blog. I invite you to join me in the journey of renewing our minds and becoming all God intended us to be.