Archive for December, 2015

Renewing Your Mind: New Year Guidance from God

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

As another new year approaches, it’s a great time to pray and think about what goals to set for 2016. The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming; it can be as simple as asking God for guidance and then acting day by day on whatever insights he gradually reveals to you.

Sometimes we think we have to hear a dramatic message from God that clarifies everything we’d like to know before we set goals. But God doesn’t usually guide us that way. While God may sometimes make a dramatic announcement to get our attention about something, more often, God leads us is in subtle ways that motivate us to keep up a close daily relationship with him. God wants us to walk beside him, listening and trusting. He doesn’t just hand us a map for our spiritual journey; he acts as our personal guide!



Renewing Your Mind: Making Room for All People

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

For years during the Christmas season, my family and I have gone to an event called “Bethlehem Walk” at my father-in-law’s church that’s designed to give people an impression of what it would have been like to be in Bethlehem on the first Christmas. I’m grateful that I’ve also been able to travel to Bethlehem itself, on a trip to Palestine and Israel. Whenever I think about Bethlehem, I think about the part of the story that says there was no room for Mary and Joseph to stay at the inn where they were hoping to spend the night. Since there was no room for them, Jesus ended up being born in an animal stable.

Hospitality involves more than just welcoming people physically into our homes; it involves welcoming them emotionally into our hearts, as well. That decision begins in our minds.

How often has there been “no room at the inn” of ourĀ  minds for the difficult people we know — like a gossipy neighbor or critical coworker? This Christmas, let’s try to make room for difficult people by opening our minds up to listening, caring, and respect in deeper ways that grow our faith.



Renewing Your Mind: Light the Darkness Intentionally

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

It takes thoughtfulness and effort to choose light (hope) over the darkness (brokenness) that happens by default in this fallen world. When we use candles for prayer or meditation, we do so with a sense of purpose. Candles don’t light themselves. We have to make a conscious choice to light them — and in the process, we declare our faith and focus our minds on hope.

During worship services at my church, the candles get lit only if people intentionally ignite their flames. The candles are available, yet unlit, when each service begins. Then, gradually, individuals walk over and light candles as symbols of their intentions to pray for others in the coming week. The key is intentionally choosing the light of hope.

Brokenness and the suffering it brings are all around you this holiday season. But so are candles. Whenever you see a candle, let it remind you to light a candle in your mind by intentionally choosing hope in any kind of circumstances.



Renewing Your Mind: Courage Despite Fear

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

You’ll probably never stop feeling fear in this fallen world. But that doesn’t have to stop you from living with courage.

I used to think that, to boldly take risks, I needed to figure out how to stop feeling afraid at all. But now I’ve learned that faith empowers me to move forward, step by step, despite my fear. For instance, I’ve stopped expecting myself to stop feeling scared of talking to people I’ve just met before (I’m an introvert!). Instead, I let the fear wash over me like a wave but know that faith will always help me rise to the surface of the water and breathe.

Recently, I’ve added three new articles to my Angels and Miracles site that I hope you’ll find useful when dealing with fear:

* A prayer for courage

* Advice on how Archangel Michael can help you overcome fear

* A report on why people have had near-death experiences no longer fear death

Hope you have a bold, exciting week!



Renewing Your Mind: A Sense of Wonder

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Now that the holiday season is here, I often hear the song ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ playing on the radio — and every time I hear it, I silently remind myself that every time of the year can be wonderful. While I do love the joyful Christmas season, I believe that we all can enjoy every day to the fullest by opening ourselves up to wonder.

Too often, adults lose the sense of wonder that they enjoyed as children, and as a result their lives shrink down to the basics of just getting by. That’s a tragedy! Staying attuned to wonder is an essential part of experiencing the joy that God wants us all to have every time of year.

One useful way you can open your mind up to more wonder is by taking a trip. Traveling is a powerful way to learn about many wonders and enrich your soul. Your trip doesn’t have to be long or expensive; any destination has something wonderful to teach you about God, yourself, and other people. I travel whenever I can, whether for work or with my family — and every trip has taught me more about how wonderful every day that God gives me truly is, with something new always waiting to be discovered.

Has God done something wonderful in your life that you’d like to share to inspire others? Consider sending your story in to be posted on the Angels and Miracles site.