Flaws Open Doors

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” – Romans 12:4,5 In ancient Christianity, the Church was the place where people with disabilities and special needs were accepted. God can use anyone who is willing and able, and there is no greater proof of this than my friend, Nick Vujicic. A modern-day preacher and evangelist, Nick was born with no arms or hands and no legs or feet. Though he struggled when he was a kid and desperately wanted to look like everyone else, his battle with depression and being different ultimately led him to faith in Jesus Christ.  After he was saved, he felt a sense of purpose for the first time, and he understood that he was

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14 Do you think it’s possible that the images of bodily perfection you’ve been taught to aspire to are really a sham? I sure do! Contrary to what you’ve seen, celebrities and models don’t wake up in the morning ready to do a cover shoot for Vogue or Esquire. In fact, many of them are only 16 or 17 years old and they go on special diets for a week just so they can pose for a “perfect” picture. You see, the standard you’ve been comparing yourself to doesn’t exist; it’s all made up, so it’s about time you stop trying to achieve it.  Interestingly, Apple, a brand that’s often thought to be synonymous with hip youth, is actually consumed primarily by senior citizens. Do you wonder why you

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Focus On All That You Have

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6,7 I am concluding our series of Bible-based world-changing thoughts today with number seven: Move from focusing on what’s missing to focusing on all that you have! That’s such a hard thing to do, isn’t it? All of us are missing something in our lives. It’s only natural for some of us to miss our youth, a spouse, or a child who has moved away. You may be missing out on an opportunity that could have been yours. It’s so easy for us to fixate on all the things that we miss in our lives and carry this sadness and grief in our hearts. Imagine shifting your focus on all that you have!

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From Embarrassment to Grace

“When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” – Acts 11:23 The following is an excellent concept, the sixth in our series of Biblical world-changing thoughts: Move from embarrassment to walking in grace. The word “shame” initially came to mind, but I think the word embarrassment fits better since we often feel embarrassed over making mistakes. Confidence does not come from pretending to be confident. Confidence comes from competence, which is achieved by getting better, and trial and error. If you want to succeed at something, you have to be willing to be a little embarrassed at first. Remember, nobody comes out of the womb with the ability to excel. Nobody is born with the ability to instantly play the piano or drive well. Do you remember learning to

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Assume the Best

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 One of the most prudent things you can do in life is to assume the best in people until you are proven wrong. This is the fifth of my seven Biblical world-changing thoughts that I’ve shared with you the past several days. In some cases, people assume the worst until proven otherwise. This isn’t a good way to go about living your life. Everyone deserves respect until they lose it. Until people prove you wrong, assume the best about them. Researchers Robert E. Kleck and Angelo Strenta conducted an interesting study on this subject in 1980. During one aspect of the study, college students were given fake scars on their faces to see if they received prejudice

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Think Big

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” – Isaiah 54:2 If you’ve been following my devotionals the past several days, I’m on my fourth Biblical world-changer thought to keep your mind healthy: Move from thinking small to thinking as big as you possibly can. Thinking big used to seem like a quaint motivational cliché to me. But now I believe this to be true. I cannot stress enough that if you can see it, it’s possible for you. Dream big! However, on the contrary, here’s a good example of a dream I don’t have. I don’t have a dream to colonize Mars. I don’t think I can do it and I don’t want to do it. I like Earth with all of its rainbows, campfires, and even spiders! In contrast, businessman and investor Elon Musk has

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From Blame to Responsibility

“I will be careful to lead a blameless life—when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.” – Psalms 101:2 My third Biblical world-changer thought that you can incorporate to keep your mind healthy is to move from thoughts of blame to thoughts of personal responsibility. It may have been said a million times, yet even I can’t hear it enough. My teenage daughter constantly reminds me of the temptation to blame others, to blame society, to blame this or that. You’ll get nowhere with this approach. At a young age, I also learned this lesson. A guy went for a bench press max, and he missed the mark. As he got off the bar he kicked the bar like it was the bar’s fault. “It was a stupid and slippery bar,” he said. At that moment, I realized it wasn’t

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Focus on What You Can Control

“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.” – 1 Corinthians 7:17 Over the past two days I took a slight detour from the seven Biblical world-changer thoughts you can incorporate to keep your mind healthy. Now back to the second thought on my list: Focus on what you can control. Do most people focus on what they can control or what they cannot control? Watching the evening news, are you going to hear about things you can control or things you cannot? Do grumpy, negative friends or relatives gossip about things they can control or things they can’t? Many discussions are focused on issues that are out of your hand. That’s what negativity is. It says, “I’m not in control, I’m not to

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When You Live in a Man-made World

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” – Acts 17:24,25 Yesterday, I expanded on the first of my seven Biblical world-changer thoughts to keep your mind healthy, which is: Focus on the spiritual world behind the material world. I stated that the greatest power comes from the spiritual world! I used to think that our lack of belief today was due to science, the modern-age university, and all of our discoveries. That’s hogwash. I believe that our lack of belief today is caused by our indoor environment.  So when you live in a “man-made world,” you begin to believe that the world was made by man

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The Greatest Power

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:16,17 I shared yesterday that I compiled seven Biblical world-changer thoughts you can incorporate to keep your mind healthy, and the first one is to focus on the spiritual world behind the material world. The greatest power comes from the spiritual world! We live in a universe where either everything is exactly as it seems, or there is more than meets the eye. In my opinion, the world around us contains a lot more than what meets the eye. Often, we don’t give much thought to what we see right in front of us. One night I was sitting on my porch drinking coffee. There was a spider and normally it would be unpleasant and unnerving, but I

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