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Transformation by Truth: Day 26

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Day 26

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Blessing:

Oh Lord, we come to You today, asking You to fill us completely with Your precious Holy Spirit. Calm the storms that rage in our lives and give us a sense of Your indescribable peace. Let us use this time to sit at Your feet and soak up Your truths, so that our wounds may be healed. I ask these things in Jesus precious and holy name, amen.

Scripture Reference:

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

Luke 5:4-6

Today’s Message:

Two stories, one common denominator: Black Puffy Jacket (BPJ). I can’t begin to tell you how much I love BPJ. Six years ago I found it in a small athletic outlet in the nearby mall for a mere twenty-dollar bill.

Heaven knows that in Southern California, when the weather dips below 70 degrees, it’s time to prepare for snow. So BPJ gets a lot of use. I wear it every morning at my winter session boot camp workouts. Anyone working out with me could describe me in one breath, “Little girl, big puffy jacket.”

I know what you are thinking, “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” Well, if I weren’t married to Ryan, it would be a serious consideration. Many times on the weekends I drive 15 minutes down to Laguna Beach for a quiet time before my family wakes up. Believe it or not, it truly is parka weather down at the beach before sunrise.

So, one particular Saturday, I dressed for the occasion. I teamed BPJ with Costco Ugg-like boots. Under BPJ was the ultra soft, sheer white t-shirt I woke up in. Since I never see anyone I know that early on weekend mornings, I dress for function, not for fashion. Ahh. Comfort and warmth.

Heelloooooo Jesus!

It’s amazing to see and feel God’s vast magnificence right on the sand with waves crashing in front of you. I savored every second of my prayer time, standing in awe and praise. Although I would have loved to stay, I knew that my time was running short since I could see the first signs of the sun’s morning rays.

I started back to my (very tough, extremely fierce) minivan, cupping my hands over my face so the air I exhaled would warm my nose. As I neared my van, I noticed a man waving at me. I waved back with a huge smile on my face. “Good morning!” I said with extra Christian cheer. He grumbled back, “Hey lady, I just wanted to let you know you have a flat tire.”

Instead of waking Ryan up, I called roadside assistance. “No problem. We’ll be there in 45 to 60 minutes.” Yeah, right. When they showed up two hours later, they towed me 50 yards to a beachside mechanic. My van was fifth in line behind other cars that had been there from the night before.

After sitting in the waiting area for over an hour, I eventually stepped outside into the direct morning sunlight to check in with Ryan. When I did, it was embarrassing to see the contrast between the way I was dressed compared to the bikinis and board shorts that now lined the sidewalk. So, I went back into the mechanics office to hide.

“Ma’am, do you want me to take your jacket for you? You must be boiling.”

“Who me?” I asked as beads of sweat formed on my forehead, “No, I’m perfectly fine, but thank you.”

Notice, I didn’t mention a bra in my clothing description earlier because I wasn’t wearing one. Not that my 12-year-old boy body needs support, but let’s be real. The tight, sheer, white top would have caused a commotion of some sort.

No, I couldn’t part with BPJ. Maybe “love” is too strong of a word for that darn jacket. Maybe not. Enter story number two which occurred one year later.

The doorbell rang at 8:30 p.m. Just FYI, that happens to be my bedtime. I was already in flannel PJ bottoms and (you guessed it) a white, sheer, tight-fitting t-shirt. I ran into my office and listened to Ryan as he answered the door. The voice that responded was familiar.

It was Ed, my friend who works out with me in the mornings. He was dropping by with a gift for one of the other boot campers. I stayed absolutely silent so he didn’t know I was awake. I thought I was in the clear until I heard Ryan say the three words of death, “Please, come in!” My thoughts raced wondering what the heck my husband was thinking. Just then, I heard him holler, “Nooooeeeelle… Ed’s here!” Great.

The hamsters running my brain went wild. I dropped my head down in defeat… and then I saw it on the floor… my beloved BPJ. My savior! I put it on quickly and zipped it up. I smiled and greeted Ed, who gave me that inquisitive look as if to say, “Is there ever a time you’re not wearing your black puffy jacket?”

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

Have you ever found yourself in a rut that is so comfortable… it reminds you of BPJ?

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Comfortable? Yes. Totally effective? Probably not. It can get to a point where you do things without having a purpose.

Have you ever found yourself wearing BPJ in your quiet times?

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Maybe you have gotten into a rut that looks something like this (read this with your best robot voice), “First I go to my kitchen table, then I read one chapter from the Old Testament, one chapter from the New Testament, one Psalm, one Proverb and then I pray for ten minutes…”

For many years, that was my routine. And believe me, after my ridiculously structured Bible reading, I’d pray for ten minutes. Not 11, not 30 but ten. And then I realized it was so BPJ!

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

Although it’s easier to get caught in your rut and repeat history, doesn’t it excite you to know that God is doing a new thing in your life?

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You may have felt like you’ve been thirsty in a desert for quite some time now. God has a glistening, refreshing spring for you! Nowadays, there seems to be cookie cutter approaches to everything, including how we worship our Lord.

For me, I have to fight against my natural tendency to follow man-made patterns which leave me unfulfilled. I’ve grown to learn how to quiet the chatter in my head and let God weigh His thoughts on my heart and mind.

Sometimes I realize God is calling me on a date in the park. Other times I feel led to spend time in a different room in my house. Sometimes music is involved, other times He speaks to me through books. I find that God is exciting… never boring! How about you?

Are you looking for God’s new way in your desert?

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What is springing up?

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What does the stream in your wasteland look like?

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Your quiet times should be exciting and full of revelation.

If they are, how will you maintain your awesome momentum?

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If they aren’t, what needs to change? Journal your thoughts.

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Mind:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Maybe it’s your mind that’s clothed in BPJ. Think about it: when you are late for work and you are following a slow driver (who is in the fast lane), do you automatically get frustrated and feel your blood pressure rising? What happens when you wake up and find dirty dishes in the sink and you know that when you left the kitchen last, everything was spotless?

Where does your mind go?

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Most of us get gridlocked in the same mental patterns day in and day out.

What are the thoughts that occupy your mind throughout the day?

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Try this today: hold each thought captive.

Captive? Say What? Whachu talkin’ ‘bout Willis? (Any Diff’rent Strokes fans out there?) Basically, think about what you are thinking about.

Catch yourself and ask if that thought is what God would want occupying your mind.

Work on making every thought “obedient to Christ.”

The way to have a healthy, positive mindset is to strengthen it like you would your muscles.

Flex your mind muscles!

It’s a change in perspective.

Don’t feel guilty for having negative or defeating thoughts, but realize what is in your mind and either change your perspective or proactively put in new thoughts.

The more you do this, the more natural it will become. If you happen to be a “glass half-empty” person, this will feel really odd. But, keep on keepin’ on! See the changes in your attitude. This will transform your daily life and bring incomparable joy.

Make a commitment today to think about what you are thinking about.

As you identify your patterns, journal them along with your ideas to make your mindset be “obedient to Christ.”

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Body:

If you just started becoming active, chances are good that you are not in any rut. But for those of you who have been working out for a while… ask yourself how varied your workouts are. I used to be queen of the same weight machines followed by 12 minutes of treadmill, then 12 minutes on the step climber every workout!

What do you love to do?

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Have you tried videos or classes that are dance based?

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Or for us rhythm-challenged athletes (please tell me I’m not the only one), have you tried something different like a spin class?

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What about a hike, a bike ride, training for a race or taking up a new sport?

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Write down a list of ideas to shake things up and ink it into your calendar within the next week.

How about your eating?

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We tend to be creatures of habit.

What can you do to keep your healthy eating exciting?

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My daughter and I have an ongoing Sunday afternoon date at the farmers market. We load up on organic, affordable produce as we stroll down each aisle looking for something new to try. Sierra loves to sample anything juicy and sweet.

We have learned to love unique fruits and vegetables. Granted, we’ve also tried some real doozies, which we quickly spit out. But even those end up being a blessing in disguise because we end up sharing true belly laughs.

You can find a farmers market near you at www.localharvest.org. Maybe you want to try and make a healthier version of a favorite food.

Search online to redo some of your recipes.

File the successes in your recipe box.

What will you do to freshen up your health and wellness program? Write those thoughts in your journal.

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No more BPJ!

Closing Prayer:

Father as we continue to seek after You in new and exciting ways I pray that You will continue to direct us down the path that leads straight to Your pierced feet. Let us see Your fingerprints all along the way. Open our eyes to see You in ways we’ve never seen before. Tune our ears to hear Your voice so that we may experience You in ways we never thought possible. And let our lives scream of Your wonderful and mighty touch, so that our good works may reveal Your glory and Your goodness. We ask these things in Jesus name, amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

1 Comment

Although it’s easier to get caught in your rut and repeat history, doesn’t it excite you to know that God is doing a new thing in your life?- Noelle Dey

Change has always been hard for me but looking at it this way definitely helps! Thank God He does not let me stay in the same familiar pattern but pushes me towards where He needs me! My father knows exactly what I need.

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