Monday, August 1, 2011

God strikes straight blows with crooked sticks

A few months ago, one of my dearest friends gave me a copy of a book she thought might prove helpful to me.  And it did!  Remember all those "negative nasties" I mentioned in my last post?  Well, I was being bombarded and I wasn't winning the war when she handed it to me  -- I didn't think I had time to start a new book, but because of who it was who gave it to me, I jumped right in.  The author's message was timely and God used it to strike a straight blow!

So, what is this book?  Well, before I tell you, I want to say this.  I've gotten some pretty strong reactions from people in my circles when I've mentioned the name of the book and it's author...shock, oh shock.  It's true that I like Puritans and other dear ole dead guys who wrote with a depth and reverence that I cannot get enough of.  Men like John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Boston, and many! There are a few living people like John Piper and Ed Welch and Paul David Tripp that draw my attention often as well because their message is always Christ-exalting and centered in the Word of God.   So people who know me, know that I like meaty books.  But for the record, I believe God can use whatever and whoever He wants as His messengers and though it is true that I favor the above mentioned authors, I read widely.  Jesus was the only perfect man...the rest of us are crooked sticks with which He is incredibly able to strike straight blows.  Every one of us has room to grow, but we also all have things to contribute to the body of Christ.  So let's be gracious with one another and put away our snobbery.  Let us be humble contributors and thankful receivers, all by God's grace and for His glory.

Okay, so the book is titled Power Thoughts, and it was written by Joyce Meyer.  Her stated goal is to give "you tools that can make you strong where you have been weak, triumphant where you have been defeated, positive where you have been negative, courageous where you have been afraid, and successful where you have failed in the past."  She makes it clear that our thoughts powerfully influence us and emphasizes our need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds according to God's Word (Eph 4:23; Rom 12:2).  Proverbs 23:7 says "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."  She has 12 "Power Thoughts", none of which are necessarily new to anyone who has been walking with God for very long, but they are good reminders and come packaged with a vivid description of the battlefield of the mind and how important it is for us to put on the whole armor of God.  The book is not written with the depth of any of my favorite ole dead guys and I disagree outright with some of the peripheral comments she writes, but I personally found her main points very helpful and think many others would benefit too. 

"Your mind can be a junkyard or a treasure can make it one or the other by deciding whether you will think thoughts that are negative, cheap, common, and low or thoughts that are positive, pure, honorable, and valuable in God's eyes.  You can think 'power-enhancing' thoughts or 'power-draining' thoughts."  Her encouragements to meditate on God's Word, to take seriously the battlefield in our minds, to tear down strongholds and to be intentional in our thinking are worthy of our attention.  She offers some simple tools to put to use in our lives as we attempt to take every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

Last week I started working my way through the book again, this time with my kids and two girlfriends.  We want to take one week to chew on each power thought, sharing selections from the book and working on memorizing applicable scripture together.  Once a week, I hope to write a little bit of what I've gleaned the previous week for your encouragement as well.  So next time Lord willing, I'll tell you about Power Thought #1 and share a little story that relates.

Sweet dreams are calling my name...good night!
Thanks for stopping by :-)

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to reading your thoughts, Connie. It sounds like a good book.