Replacing Bad Habits with Good Ones

Replace your bad habits or addictions with positive ones.  We all have bad habits to overcome.  Some of us stay up too late, drink too much, smoke, game too much, eat too much, fail to pray, fail to exercise, fail to go to church, show up late, interrupt others or fail to listen.  Our self-talk about our failures is very negative.  Sometimes we are not honest with ourselves and make excuses for our behavior and procrastinate the change we know we need to make.

Prayer, study, exercise, eating right, taking the dog for a walk, reading a good book. When you feel the urge to use tobacco, drink, game too much or any other negative behavior, think about the positive things you could do instead and create good habits. 
Forgive yourself, make sure your self-talk is positive, and choose to create positive habits.  Focus on your prayer life first.  Ask God for help.  He will help you and you can do this.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Oh God, help us to overcome bad habits and especially addictive behavior that hid us back from living the full life you have planned for us.  With Your help, we can replace our bad habits with good ones and better serve You through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen

Love, Mymom

Book Recommendations: The Bait is Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense by John Bevere

I read The Bait of Satan in 2013.  At the time, I had no idea how hurt I was by my feelings of being offended.  As John explains in his book, there are many reasons to feel offended.  Our reasons are usually good ones.  Our parents, our spouse,  our children, friends, neighbors, co-workers, boss, pastor, fellow Christians, teachers…and the list goes on and on all have times when they offend us.   When I feel offended, I may choose to wallow in my feelings instead of having conversations and forgiving the ones who have offended me.  

John Bevere calls the temptation to feel offended and disrupt or sever our relationships with others, the Bait of Satan.  It is what Satan uses to hook us into not only feeling bad but to quit talking to those we legitimately feel have harmed us.  Falling into the trap of rightous unforgiveness is a sin.  These sins separate us from others and more importantly, turn our attention inward and separate us from God.

Jesus has told us, we need to forgive others always.  

Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;”

Forgiveness is never optional as a Christian.  If we are to be forgiven, we must forgive.  Satan tempts us with the offenses of others.  His goal is that we be separated from God and others.  Worse, our separation leads us to other sins of gossip and treating others badly.

The Bait of Satan opened my eyes and I started forgiving others.  Occassionlly, Satan still catches me with his bait.  Most of the time, I’m able to recognize the offense and call it out.  When you have a conversation with the offender, you often find that you misunderstood the situation.  Their intention wasn’t to offend and even if it was, let them be, forgive, and do not be held captive by the offense.

Oh God, help us to recognize when we feel offended and to swiftly forgive others.  Help us to truly mean it when we pray “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.  Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen

Love, MyMom

Listen, don’t judge

Many times I have failed to be present with you, to listen to your story.  I have jumped to conclusions and I have judged you from my own background and experiences.  I have tried to fix things for you and I have undermined your self confidence.  I’m sorry.  I truly want to listen and accept you where you are and trust you and God with your future.  You will have setbacks.  You will have successes.  You will succeed and you will fail.  Get up.  Plan your day.  Seek help.  Ask God what you should do next.  Spend time with Him in prayer.  I am praying for you.  I will listen to your story without judgement.  I will help when you ask.  

Jesus, Son of the living God, help us as we communicate with each other to listen and to see each other as you see us.  Amen.

Love, Mymom

Living in the Present with Patience, hard work and Love

I am so delighted to see your progress.  You’ve gotten engaged after patiently cultivating your relationship.  Persistently seeing your future in front of you.  You didn’t give up on each other and now you can enjoy your engagement and plan your marriage.  I love seeing your happiness.

You’ve gotten that promotion that you have worked hard for and thought would never come.  You showed up every day.  You did your best job each day and now, you are seeing fruit from your labor.

You’ve finished another semester and you persevered through that class that was so hard for you.  I’m so proud of your efforts.  You are another step closer to your degree.

You had a difficult semester.  Now you are picking yourself up and planning your next steps forward.  I know this is hard for you and I believe that you can find your way.  You’ll need to think through your options and explore your path.  You can do this.

Your friends are all starting to buy houses, have kids, adopt pets, getting better jobs… it is easy to compare and wish and feel dissatisfied.  Your self talk can become bitter,  envious or it can be content and joy-filled as you help your friends celebrate their successes.  You will achieve your own dreams in your own time.  Be patient.

As the year comes to an end, it is natural for us to look back and assess where we have come.  We can easily brush past our joys and focus instead our sorrows or mistakes, on that pound or two that we didn’t take off, on the debt that we didn’t make as much progress on as we hoped.

What I say to you is that  December 31 is really just another day.  January 1, follows.  What really matters is how I live each day.  Setting my goals and then living to fulfill those goals one day at a time.  Serving God, serving my neighbor, and living in gratitude for all that I have and all that I get to be.

My prayer for you as one year ends and another begins is that you may live in the present moment.  Never wishing away a single minute.  Do the work you have to do this day.  Appreciate the joys and help each other through the sorrows.  Your attitude is your choice and your future depends on how you live this present moment.

Each morning, look back at yesterday for what you have to learn and then let it go.  Pause a moment and think about tomorrow and the direction you are heading.  Then let it be in the future.  Look at how you want to live today, plan today and then act.  Live each moment:  See, feel, hear, smell, taste.  Let your moments be alive and live them with intention.

Don’t be afraid to work hard, ask for help and reach for your dreams.

Dear God, help each of us to live in the present.  Help us to see you in our lives and walk each day with you.  Help us to thank you for all that you do for us.  Help us to be patient as your plan for us unfolds.  Help us to love others.  Help us to be truly ourselves as we trust in you.  God bless the coming year one day at a time in Jesus name.  Amen.

Love, Mymom

 

Addictions or False Gods

How I wish I could help you with your addiction!   It is easy to see the addictions in others.  Unfortunately, addictions are difficult to recognize in ourselves.  We all fall prey to addictions.   You might be addicted to video games, gambling, TV, shopping, people, sex, have an eating disorder, be a workaholic, an alcoholic, be addicted to prescription drugs, tobacco, chewing tobacco, food, exercise, the list goes on and on.  If you are addicted to one thing, you are most likely susceptible to other addictions.

Addictions are anything we obsess about and put as most important in our lives.  Addictions are our false Gods.  They prevent us from seeing what God wants us to do today or prevent us from turning to God in our need.  When I am troubled and should be turning to God in prayer, asking for His help, I turn instead to TV, shopping, video games, tobacco, or any number of false Gods.

The best remedy for your addiction that I know of is recognizing it.  Seeing that we are putting something or someone before God.  Then we need to seek him in prayer.  There is something that God wants us to do today.  Our addictions prevent us from praying and seeking the will of God in our lives.

For very difficult issues like alcoholism, see the Twelve Step program.  http://www.aa.org/.  See also the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.  You may benefit from counseling regarding your addiction.  Has it taken over your life so that you can’t function without it?  Seek help.

The first commandment that God gave to Moses was “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.”   Exodus 20:1-2

In Matthew’s Gospel 22:37-38, Jesus tells us “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”

God wants to help us.  He wants to be our light and our salvation.  Pay attention to who or what you turn to when you are stressed, troubled, hurting, anxious… Turn to God in prayer.  Spend time with God and He will give you rest.

Dear God, help us to see our addictions.  Help us to see the areas of our life where we need healing.  Help us to seek you in all things and to turn away from our addictions or false gods.  Help us to seek you and you alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Love and prayers,

Mymom

 

 

Beware of Group Think

I was recently watching The Wolf of Wall Street, about debauchery, deception, hard selling tactics that capitalize on greed. It was the worst movie I’ve ever seen in terms of the language, sex, drugs, and overall sinful , moral less behavior. It was repugnant and I was very disappointed. I should have turned it off. I actually felt sick to my stomach at the depravity of so many people willing to follow a bad leader.

When money and greed are your idols, God is not present. When group think sets in, we let our guard down. We think we can behave badly because others are behaving badly. This group think has been around forever. The bible is full of stories of group think, people behaving badly and God’s disappointment with his children. Jesus died to set us free from
the trap of sin that spirals out of control. When we turn to Jesus, or when we are humbled and brought low and look up to see Jesus, he is there with us. He forgives us and tells us to forgive others. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone…Has no one condemned you? Then neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more”.

I don’t recommend the movie mentioned. It does not entertain and there is no good message in it. Buyer Beware. Hollywood’s Best Picture nomination and rating system are very flawed.

Let us pray. Oh God, guard us from Group Think and bad behavior. Help us to think of you and things above. May your hand be upon us keeping us from evil that we may do no harm. Help us to turn away from our sin and turn to you through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Be careful out there.

Love, Mymom