Are you BAD or BIG?

Whoa.  This summer I am in my own personal crash course with the Holy Spirit. Several books have come my way which are blowing me up  in all the needed places, but put those books in the hands of the Living Spirit and  you have a cocktail called Rock My World, complete with a little umbrella. Wink. Seriously. It is in a word: Transformation.

One book is called Are My Kids On Track? by Goff, Thomas, and Trevathan. If your kids are little, get and activate it immediately. If you are thinking about kids, get it and work it in to your marriage right now. If you’re like me, and your kids are on their way out  door, go take a deep breath of Grace, and then immediately activate it anyway. It’s never too late to start doing something better.

These wise, insightful counselors and authors have so many tools for healthy emotional development and go so far as to identify, for each gender, stumbling blocks and and building blocks. I tell you, this book is a must read. You know why? Because if we don’t turn our stumbling blocks into building blocks then we remain stuck little kids inside grown up bodies. And we all know THAT person who “never grew up.”

One particular insight explained stumbling blocks for boys as B-A-D.  They said boys are most likely to go to Blame, Avoidance, and Denial. BAD. Believe it or not, there are building blocks to help them through this, as opposed to saying “boys will be boys” or boys are not emotional. Okay you got this concept? BAD, being aware  of when I am refusing to take ownership, when I refuse to engage in a solution, or even admit there is an issue.

Holy Spirit has  used this book to install a new alarm system. My heart starts pinging when I go to BAD.

The Holy Spirit took this pearl and added it to a beautiful concept from another book called Rising Strong by Brene’ Brown. As one of my Kate friends says: Love me some Brene’.  Brene’ asks some real world questions in the aftermath of when you fall flat on your face, when the worst thing does happen, when you fail in front of everyone. How do you get back up?  How do you rise again stronger and wiser and kinder to yourself and those around you?

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Connecting the Dots

God is about instructing us. “Instructing” comes from a Greek word, paideia — meaning faithful instruction of a believer for a whole person transformation.

I love that. No boxes to check. No stone unturned. Not selective grooming, but a total makeover inside and out.  God is after the transformation of the whole person.  Now look at this perhaps familiar scripture, and then let’s play “connect the dots.”

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  Philipians 4: 4-8 NKJV

What comes first?  Rejoicing or worship. Transformation is always preceded by worship because we have to get our hearts aligned with Who Truth really is. After worship follows gentleness. Worship has a way of softening hard hearts, watering hard soil. Once the ground has been softened and hearts become gentle, truth can enter in. Who is entering? The Lord is at hand.

He is here among us so that we don’t have to be anxious. This is confidence, that God is among us and for us.  So with confidence we can ask and believe. What comes next? His peace. A peace that acts as shield and covering for our hearts and minds, not our manufactured peace but the supernatural peace of Christ. And once the peace of God is in place, then comes focus. Focus of our thoughts, intentions and attitudes. God wants to instruct us to think about what we think about. Whatever is. . . true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, praiseworthy, think on these things. This is God’s loving instruction to simply walk in truth, in God’s perspective on things.

Worship comes first, then gentleness, then confidence in Him, then peace, then focus. . . Meditate on these things.