Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taking Thoughts Captive

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..."  II Corinthians 10:5

Years ago, Bill & Anabel Gillham came to our church and taught some principles that were life-changing for me.  One of those principles was based on this verse.  What they taught us was this:

Satan speaks to us in first person singular.  For all of you English majors, you know that means "I."  We know he speaks to us---that's how we're tempted.  But he doesn't come to me and say, "Becky, you are so stupid!"  Why?  Because I'd be immediately tipped off that someone is speaking to me.  He's much too crafty for that.  He wants me to think what he is saying to me is my own thoughts--not his. So he says, "I am so stupid!"  And I think it's my own thought.

To take a thought captive, I picture taking that thought out of my head and holding it in my hands in front of me.  I look at it and question, "Is this my thought, God's thought, or Satan's thought?"  I hold it captive.  I don't let it keep swirling around in my mind and potentially taking me down a path I don't want to go.  A good clue to go by is that God is a gentleman; Satan is not.  Our enemy accuses, intimidates, criticizes, attacks, disparages, blames, etc.  God convicts; Satan condemns.  So if you're hearing Satan's voice, take it captive and take authority over it.  When I'm looking at that thought in my hands, I actually say, "NO!  You have no authority over me!"

A good example in my life is the area of fear.  For years, Satan would attack me with thoughts that brought fear.  Not knowing to take that thought captive, I entertained it.  I would take that thought to an obvious horrible end.  It's like I spread out a feast in front of my enemy in my mind and entertained him by entertaining the thoughts he placed there.  And he loved it!   But I would be depressed and overwhelmed.  Fear took a foothold in my life and took up residence in my mind, will and emotions--my soul.  We became room mates.

Until...I kicked fear out!  I put up a roadblock in my mind and refused to open that gate to fear.  It's amazing how many thoughts we have circle in our minds over and over and over...and never stop them or examine them.  But after I put up that roadblock and forbade fear to live in my mind, I began to gain a victory.  Did thoughts of fear leave for good?  No.  And I'd have to start all over--examining my thoughts, taking them captive, and tossing them out by taking authority over them.  The best thing is I knew where the thoughts were coming from and no longer entertained them--at least for long.  We either take thoughts captive...or we're held captive by those thoughts.

I hope this helps someone.  It was so eye-opening to me and has helped me gain victory in my own life.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

36 Years

Thirty-six years ago, I married Andy Dietz.  And I absolutely knew he was the one God had for me.  When he picked me up on our first (blind) date, it was the third time God had ever spoken to my heart so clearly.  I knew Andy was the man I was going to marry.  I always say my spirit recognized his.  I'd been praying for God to prepare me for my husband and to prepare him for me for 6 years before I met him.  The fact we had a bad first date only made me know he'd be calling again--I knew he'd want to redeem himself. ha!  And I was right.

I've never talked about it much, but it was difficult marrying an identical twin.  Andy & Phil had been inseparable until we married.  I felt like I was wriggling my way in between their identities.  And I lost mine in the process.  It took time to find my place, regain my identity, and to really feel like Mrs. Andy Dietz.  It probably didn't help that we spent our first year traveling with the Royalheirs (a Christian singing group) and had little time alone.  And then we spent the next 4-5 years traveling as the Dietz Brothers (the singing twins).  I'm sure it was just as difficult (or even more) for the twins trying to make room for me.

But survive we did.  Thirty-six years of surviving and thriving.  I never dreamed we'd be here.  I couldn't envision myself beyond having children 6 years of age.  Grandchildren weren't even in my imagination.  But I've had a blessed life, a blessed marriage and a blessed family--not always easy--but blessed.  I've said it so many times, but I'm so proud of my children.  They bring me pleasure...much pleasure.  My pleasure only increased with each addition to our family--by marriage, adoption and birth.  I know I sound sappy, but I couldn't have dreamed loving my kids' spouses like I do.  Only God can do that.  And no one has grandchildren as cute as mine! 

It's amazing what God can do in 36 years.  Our lives have been jam-packed full of adventure, laughter, fighting, and fun.   It definitely hasn't been boring--and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Andy & I are off to our favorite vacation spot to celebrate 36 years of marriage.  I can hardly wait to see what's ahead!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Chasm by Randy Alcorn

Nick Seagrave is a traveler in a strange land.  He meets some scary creatures along his journey.  But Joshua takes him under his wing to lead him to truth--but there were many roads to many truths.  Nick hears about the great chasm but never gets close enough in his journey with Joshua to see that great chasm.  Later, Nick is introduced to Shadrach--an old man in tattered clothing.  Nick has been told that there will be people who appear to be something they're not.  And Nick has to decide who is a safe companion with whom to travel.

Nick finally chooses the red road and once on that road, he sees the great chasm.  It is full of death--the stench of rotting and dying bodies fill the big hole.  Now he feels hopeless.  How will he ever reach Charis, the city of light which is across the great chasm?

If you like Pilgrim's Progress, you will want to read this book.  It's an allegory on even an older child's level.  I believe it would provide great conversation for a family about spiritual matters--and choices.  This book is a companion book to another of Alcorn's book, Edge of Eternity.  I found this book much easier to read.

I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group  for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What Do I Like About Fall?

Fall is my favorite season--hands down!  In fact, I love it so much that Andy & I were married September 27 and went to Red River for our honeymoon.  We try to go back there every year on our anniversary.  (We leave next Friday!  And I.can't.wait.)  It will be our 36th anniversary this year.
Why do I love the fall?
  • It's a definite changing of seasons.
  • I'm not a hot weather girl.  I love when it starts to cool off.
  • I love the way the sun hangs in the autumn sky.  The colors are just different.
  • I love fall colors!!  ALL of them!
  • I especially like it when it rains in the fall--particularly when I can sit and read a good book.
  • Fall represents a "beginning" to me--marriage, kids back in school, new church programs...
  • Cooler weather energizes me!!  I actually get giddy.  (And I feel like God does it just for me.)
  • I love my warm clothes.
  • I like being cold and curling up in my bed and watching a good program.
  • I love soup weather and a good bowl of soup.
  • I feel more hospitable in the fall.  I guess it's because I have more energy.
  • I love shorter days...and the way it gets dark earlier.
  • I love, love, love the changing colors of the leaves.  We try to go see them every year.
Can you tell I'm getting excited?  It's fall!  Maybe not officially...but I feel it coming!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Visit With Dax

Dax came to visit!!  His mommy brought him to see us and we were so excited! 

Before he came, I cleaned up the "grandkid walker" knowing he's grown into it since he was here last.
He had his dinner of peas and peaches while he checked it out. 
He wasn't too sure...

But Pops took possession of him after his dinner. 

They had some bonding time.

Dax checking Pops out....

And blowing blueberries with him.
I have a photo of Isaac at this age, in the same walker, with almost the same expression, looking at the same fish!

But he had to turn around and tune in to Pops' conversation.

Hello, Mr. Fish!

Smiling at the fish.

Smiling at his mommy!

And smiling at the camera.

He was worn out and had to rest a bit.
Later, we took him to the hardwood floor in the kitchen and he actually walked in the walker across the kitchen--several times.  We were very impressed!

Then Gee and Dax had some bonding time.

And he wanted to give out some big kisses!

REALLY big kisses!!
And Gee loved it.
The End.

Friday, September 9, 2011

10 Years Later

There have been dozens of 9/11 stories on TV in the last month and I've avoided them all...until tonight.  I watched and cried again.  I know all of you remember that day and where you were.  I'd come home from an early morning prayer time with my friends and when I walked in the door, Andy told me a plane had flown into one of the twin towers in New York.  At that time, we didn't know it was terrorism.  I quickly called my prayer partners and told them to turn on their televisions.  After the 2nd airplane flew into the other twin tower, we knew our nation was under attack and we refused to move away from our TV--we had to know what was coming next.  There was no way to know who/what/where was going to be hit next...we were under attack!  We mournfully cheered for those brave men and women who took back Flight 93 and prevented an attack on the White House or capitol building.  It was a tragic day for our nation.

Several things stick out in my mind after that attack.  Mayor Giuliani and President Bush became leaders we trusted and needed at that time--they rose to the occassion.  We knew who our enemy was--Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.  We watched firemen and volunteers work tirelessly to rescue any possible survivors.  And people became very patriotic--flags were flying and even congressmen and senators spontaneously sang "God Bless America" on the steps of the capitol building in Washington D.C.  It was suddenly o.k. to mention God and Jesus and prayer.

What's happened since then?   Obviously, we fought a battle against Al Qaeda and killed Osama bin Laden.  But what's happened to us as Americans?  It's no longer politically correct to say we have an enemy.  In fact, it seems we've embraced our enemy's culture.

Is that what's happened to us as a church?  I feel a little like we've fallen asleep--myself included.  The tragedy is behind us and we've gone on with our day-to-day living...while our enemy roams around us seeking someone to devour.

How many major disasters have happened around our world in the last 10 years?  I'll let you google it--you'll be surprised.  There are floods in the east and droughts in the midwest.  There are fires in Austin and earthquakes in Denver.  And most of these disasters are being called "the worst in history."  But has God gotten our attention?  Or are we asleep?

I heard a firefighter tonight say, "I hope we don't forget."  I hope we don't either.  There are still people to be rescued.  They just aren't  in a towering inferno in New York City...they may live next door to you and me.

God's got my attention.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dax Saying Da-Da

Dax just keeps changing. 
And we think this is pretty hysterical!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Go Big by Cory Cotton

What a fun book to read!  You may have heard of these guys--or you may have seen their exploits on youtube.  One day, Tyler (one of the five college guys) was making a bet that he could hit the new basketball goal with a wild shot.  And he did!  When all of the guys got home and went out to watch Tyler's new feat, they all got involved...with a video camera to record their craziness.  That was the beginning....not just of some wild and crazy basketball shots, but of a whole future they hadn't planned.

These guys posted the video of their crazy accomplishments on youtube and it went viral.  From there, they began to own the vision they had of Dude Perfect--the name they came up with for their style of basketball, their company, their brand---their new life.  In fact, Cory was in San Diego with Campus Crusade for Christ and while at UCSD, he watched LeBron James King playing basketball.  He was so passionate about his new venture, that he dared to approach LeBron with the video on his phone and ask him to watch it.  And he did.  In the meantime, the other guys were owning their passion by creating a new video called Dude Perfect: Summer Camp Edition while at a Christian summer camp called Sky Ranch.  That was just the beginning.

These guys haven't just created a business; they are living their passion.  This book isn't just a tale of 5 guys making incredible basketball shots; it's a handbook to teach you how to attain the goals of your own passion.  They spell it out in 5 steps:  Get Excited, Own It, Blink Later, Inspire Others and Give Back.

I can tell you that as I read this book, I began to get excited about my own passion again.  I highly recommend this book--written by a very insightful young man.

I'd give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
Thank you to Tyndale  for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.