Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Renew Your Mind For A New You

I don't know about you but most days I feel like technology has a huge influence on me!   That's why I practice and I stress to others the importance of time alone without the distractions of phones, t.v., internet, radio, or anything that prevents us from an undisturbed time of self-reflection, prayer, and meditation.  For some of you that word "meditation" might throw up some red flags but let me assure you that I am only refering to the silent moments where we wait for God to speak to us.   Prayer is great but sometimes I think we might try to talk God's ear off and thus we can never hear his answers.  Of course I pray but the next step for me is to meditate and wait for an answer.   This isn't always easy because I have my own agenda and besides that I don't always receive the answers I want.  Often I hear no answers at all.

   In my last writing I focused on the body.  Today I want to focus on the mind.   There are so many sayings when it comes to the mind so I thought I'd add a little levity and list a few.  Feel free to comment and add more as you please!  Here goes:

Keep in mind that I am not always right and most often I need to be in the state of mind to write.  Hopefully you will keep an open mind when reading as I know that sometimes I may seem out of my mind because most days I have a lot on my mind.  My goal is to attract like-minded individuals so we can grow together in body, mind, and spirit.  If we can strive to be of one mind I know we can help inspire and motivate others.  I realize that we are sometimes double-minded and thus we can give each other a piece of our mind but the goal is to always have a meeting of the minds on this blog.  You can change your mind as to whether or not you want to read it but please be mindful that we are all individuals and entitled to our opinions.   Never mind that I won't always say what you need to hear but please bear in mind that I try to be sincere and honest.  I need to put to mind that not all of you will read all my blogs but if I set my mind on not including too much mind-boggling information I am sure that it will help with the mind-set of us all.  If you change your mind after reading this ridiculously silly paragraph, at least know that I am not on any mind-altering, mind-blowing, mind-bending substances.  I am trying to take your mind's off of negative, self-destructive thoughts and help you to set your minds on productive, God-inspired blessings.  Yes, to change you mind-set so that in your mind's-eye you may begin to believe how great the father's love is for you!  (please don't mind me for this craziness!)

" transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will."  Romans 12-2b

To be transformed is to change your personality or character;  your deep and inner-self.  To make, new, fresh, young, strong; or to give spiritual strength to, to re-establish, to revive, to begin again, to become a new person.  In science it is related to the word transmute which means  "a change in basic nature that seems almost miraculous."  I found this definition to be most interesting since I'm sure that many of us have known a person who seemed to have changed overnight (miraculously).  I believe this is one of God's amazing mysteries, that he has the power to change anything, anytime, in the blink of an eye.  For most of us however change is a process which takes time and determination.   This is why I say it is so important to spend time in solitude and deep thought; to get away from all gadgets and entertaining distractions.  If you want to transform your mind I think you need to "pray like it all depends on God and then go to work like it all depends on you."   Martin Luther

It's a new year and it can be a new you as long as you are willing to put in the time.   As I said last week, we are body, mind, and spirit.   What part of your mind do you need to change or improve on?  Write down your goals for self-improvement and personal growth in the area of your emotions.  Until you get those in check you will seriously impede your ability to have good physical health.  This will also affect your spiritual life.  How you feel about yourself and others will influence how you feel about God and vice-versa.

Start spending time alone today.  Start with five minutes if that's all you have, or if that's all you can handle.  You can add five minutes a day (or a week) until you spend at least twenty to thirty minutes alone each day.   Take your Bible with you and also a pad of paper and a pen.   Be open to what you  might hear or what actions you might take as a result of this time alone.   You will be amazed at how much you will learn about yourself by doing this very simple thing.

It's a new year so make it a new you!

God is blessing you.  Donna


  1. Donna, I was much struck by your statement that for some of your readers "that word 'meditation' might throw up some red flags." I recognized the truth of that observation, and I wondered once again what might be the reasons behind this unfortunately common attitude.

    I found an example of this viewpoint in a reader's comments on a book at Amazon. Sherri gave a negative review to "Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer". She wrote, in part: "...This book urged me to take the Scriptures out of context and it wasted a lot of my time. It set me on a course of looking to unbiblical ideas I formed in my emotions from applying my own meaning to Scriptures, that would take me years to get out of. It has taken me several years to understand just how dangerous books like this are. Centering prayer is NOT a Biblical concept. It is NOT taught in the Bible, and not God's way. This book is dangerous."

    The author of the book in question, J. David Muyskens, is a retired Reformed Church in America minister. He has written a three part article published at the Upper Room Books blog, "Why do Protestants resist contemplative prayer?" He comes up with fifteen "barriers", several of which are illustrated by Sherri's comments.

    Muyskens 15 barriers:

    Also useful in informing oneself on this issue is a brief pamphlet on the Centering Prayer method as taught by Thomas Keating, the Catholic monk who is the founder of the Contemplative Outreach Center with which Muyskens is associated:

  2. Thank-you Donna for this message. I will try to focus and use your advice. I will comment later on how I make out. I am very overwellmed right now so I pray this will help me.

  3. A lot of amusement in reading this piece and I got the sense of levity! Mind you, there is a lot of good advice here and many mindful concepts to chew over, though we are moving from bodily food to feeding our mind!

    I agree watching our "P's & Q's" and minding our responses is good, recognizing we are relying on words alone and no body language or facial expressions are available. So I think reading blogs, then "pausing", closing my eyes, "listening" for God's advice will be one of my meditation times. Then I hope to have well digested the blog and heard God's input. This will also let me balance my body, mind and spirit as I begin to post on the blog less from my immediate reaction and more from my "mind's eye", where God hopefully will have jogged my mind well.

    God is Blessing you

  4. Thank you Mistah Charley for the references.
    J.M. I loved your response to my silliness.
    Cysradill, we will certainly pray for you to be released from your feelings of being overwhelmed. Do spend time alone, pray and meditate. It will help a lot. God is there for you.
    He is blessing you. Donna

  5. Dear Donna,
    Thanks for the thought provoking words. I know how important it is to deal with our emotional feelings. They distract us from many aspects of our life, especially our spiritual life. Right now I am praying for my cousin, whose husband died suddenly, this week. She is blind and depended on her husband for help. She has support from her children, so she is not alone. It makes me thankful for God's many blessings to me.
    May God continue to bless you and the people on this blog.

  6. Just a wee question Liz, don't you have home care and is it paied from your helth ingurance. I suggest it. Take it if you have it. We have it. I see how my mum is stubborn and never take it even my dad and she could need it sometimes. -- Tragedy... but God knows why he wanted a felloow more in heaven. So lets pray for your cousin that she can go further in her life and do not grief to much! In Jesus name amen. - Swiss Rose

  7. Hi Elizabeth,
    I am so sorry to learn of your cousin. How tragic to suddenly lose her husband and how extraordinarily difficult for her since she is blind. Keep praying for her and I will too. Donna

  8. Thank you for your prayers, Donna and Rose. It means so much to me.
    Rose, we do have home care here. Right now my cousin is planning to stay in her home, since she is familiar with her surroundings. Her family plans to make accommodations in her home to help her manage on her own. Her daughter lives close by as well. I will continue to pray for her. God bless both of you as well.

  9. Hi Elizabeth:
    I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. My husband died suddenly also 2months ago and I have a special needs son. So I know how she feels . Yes I do have some help but it is the loss of someone that was like your right arm. The overwhellming feeling of total resposiblity. The deep feeling of loss lingers and comes in waves and until you have gone through it it is hard to know how they really feel. And after a few months the phone calls an vists slow down and people go on with their own lives.
    The one thing you can always really can depend on is your faith in prayer and how God does answer . Maybe not as fast as you would like but he does answer.
    My Blessings and prayers are with all of you.

  10. My prayers are with you and your family, Cysradill; Swiss Rose

  11. Hi Cysradill,
    Thanks for your prayers. My heart goes out to you at this very difficult time. I will pray for you and your family.

  12. Dear Cysradil,
    I am so sorry about your husband. No wonder you said earlier that you were feeling overwhelmed. We will all continue to pray for your continued strength and healing.
    God is blessing you, even through this. Donna


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D