Tag Archives: Scripture

Singing Mountains and Clapping Trees

13 Jul

IMG_1211Every year I ask the Lord for a verse. In 2012, He gave me Isaiah 55:12. “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (ESV).

The previous couple of years had been challenging to say the least, and I yearned for renewed joy and peace. I claimed Isaiah 55:12 with no idea how God would bring it to pass. He was true to His word and eventually led me into this place of joy and peace. Our vacation in the national forest of Colorado brought all this to mind, as quaking aspen and gurgling streams reminded me of God’s faithfulness.

After three years, we’re once again camped in our 5th wheel trailer. My husband is an excellent fly fisherman and I enjoy photography. We delight in watching humming birds compete for a place at the feeder. There’s time for walking, reading, poking burning logs in the fire pit, and meaningful conversation.

We drove one of the “improved roads” up from our camp. The picturesque 10,000-foot mountain surpassed our expectations of beauty and fun. I couldn’t help but think of Romans 1:20. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (NIV). How can anyone witness the grandeur and beauty of creation and not recognize the Creator?

Isaiah 61 gives those trapped in physical, emotional, and mental affliction reason to clap and sing. Jesus proclaimed Isaiah 61:1-2 spoke of Him.

And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He . . . found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4: 17–19, 21 ESV).

Isaiah 61 continues, “To grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3 ESV).

Did you notice Isaiah called us trees? We are to be God’s beautiful oaks of righteousness, bringing glory to Him. Christ heals our broken hearts, sets us free, and so much more. Therefore, we join nature in singing, clapping, and proclaiming His glory.

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.