How God Used Basketball

Last night, we went to two basketball games. One, a middle school game, the other a high school game. The Lord used these games to help my heart, mind, and soul be rekindled about life:

1. Life isn’t always fair, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t play fair.

Just because the ref calls or doesn’t call the shot or foul doesn’t mean that you stop playing the game. Just because life throws you a call you don’t like doesn’t mean you stop living life.

Remember that saying, “when life throws you a lemon…come on say it with me, MAKE LEMONADE!”

We get so caught up with the ref’s in life that we miss out on life, on the blessings of life — on the blesser of life, our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

That lemon will come, that ref will come, that thief will come…but Jesus, He has already come that we would have LIFE.

OH, but wait, not just life….that we might have life more abundantly.

Life is not fair, sadly. We live in a sin-filled world and it will not stop until we reach Heaven. So be prepared, the lemons of life, the refs of life, the thieves of life, are coming — but Jesus has already come — He already won! He already conquered life itself for us. And as His child, you are already on His winning team!

  • The question is, will you allow the lemons, the refs, and thieves control you or will you allow Jesus Christ to take the reigns of control and lead you to victory? The choice is yours.

2. The battlefield of the mind is real, strong, and alive. The devil uses it for his advantage. In 1 Peter 5:8 we are told, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

We are our worst enemy. If you don’t think so, you are deceived. The devil knows this about mankind and uses it against us.

  • Our minds are a battlefield. A battlefield of thoughts (intellect), emotion, and will –are we not created in the image of God?

I saw this happen last night. These boys are awesome basketball players. They know how to play the game. They know the rules, the moves, the positions. They are slick, smooth, and right on. They know the game –did you read me, they know the game!

They have great coaches, but last night, there was a battle in the mind, emotions, and will.

  • Battle of missed shots.
  • Battle of lost plays.
  • Battle of missed calls.
  • Battle of wronged calls.
  • Battle of wrong thinking.
  • Battles…

Honestly, hear me out, it was even hard for me to watch and I don’t have a son that plays in those divisions. Yet these young men played hard, they fought the fight of the game, and they finished even though their flesh wasn’t happy with the outcome.

Why? Because it matters how you finish.

In 2 Timothy 4:7 it says, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” Basketball is not a spiritual matter but your testimony playing basketball is, integrity playing is, keeping Christlike character above the flesh is…

Matthew says, …”Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful…”

I stand proud of those young men and their coaches, but more importantly we desire the approval of our Heavenly Father above all else.

  • The question we should be asking ourselves is this: who am I allowing to control me? Someone or something will. Our worst enemy is ourselves. The battlefield of the mind starts with self. Who’s it gonna be? God, self, or other?

The winning team chooses God! Hands down.

Whether we “feel” like we won or not, to choose God over anything else is choosing to win. God never loses.

The choice is yours.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Dedicated to the teams of young men that have touched my heart in ways I am eternally thankful for. May you look to Jesus and serve Him all your days. Jesus is worth your life! He died you yours. Matthew 6:33

The Battle of Thought

Truly the mind and thought are a battlefield that war against one another: the flesh, the spirit and even against themselves. It shouldn’t but it does, it reminds me of that commercial years ago of a gentleman with a mini-sized white dressed angel on one shoulder and on the other he had a mini-sized red dressed devil. They both were whispering in his ear telling him what to do — one was sly in words (the devil) and the other was truthful in words (God), but the man was confused in which way to turn. He went nuts!

So, it is true today, though there is no such thing as a mini-sized white dressed angel or a mini-sized red dressed devil sitting on our shoulder whispering in our ear telling us what we should or shouldn’t do. But if we are honest with ourselves, our mind (and our thoughts) battle for attention, direction, and desires that frankly conflict more often then we care to admit. The war of what we know, what is right, wrong, and/or Biblical (meaning, squaring up with the Word of God: the Scriptures) and the daily choice of Colossians 3 — living the Word of God out with a heavenly mindset. We drive ourselves “nuts” like the man in the commercial when we do it our way and not God’s way.

Why do this to ourselves?

Today, I would love to share with you something I have been personally working on myself and hope it will be an encouragement to you in your walk with Christ as well as in your heart and thought process of taking out the toxic and replacing it with GOD! Because our thoughts matter, because HE matters!

First, I am going to give you all three points, then we will go back and revisit each one briefly.

  • To battle against our toxic thoughts {which are sinful} we first must 1) IDENTIFY THEM. This my friends takes honesty — from within and with God. Remember He already knows you from the inside out, so don’t be shy with your Lord. You need to be honest with yourself for you will go nowhere in this journey without it. There is also a possibility that you may need to be honest with others in this stage as well. Be on your knees before your King and ask Him to show you. Don’t forget Jeremiah 33:3.
  • 2) REJECT IT. This battle is like none other. It is not physical, though at times it may feel like it, rather it is a spiritual battle that requires God’s help in fighting. You cannot identify or reject without God’s enabling power working within you. You are unable to complete this task in and of ourselves for we cannot fight or win this battle alone, but rather through Him we are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37).
  • 3) REPLACE IT. I cannot tell you how incredibly important this part of the puzzle is to rid yourself of toxic thoughts. If we do not replace that lie, falsehood, whatever it is in your life that is contrary to God, Himself, His Word, His Truth’s (promises, His character) and who He says you are in Christ — (I don’t write this to scare you into anything, but to help you understand the grave importance of this) it will return in some form or another but worst than the first time around! Guaranteed! (for example: if someone says that you are worthless, no good, the scum, etc, but uses you for their sexual pleasure — tell me my friend, where is the GOD-TRUTH in those statements? Tell me where the GOD-TRUTH is in the BIBLE!!!! Tell me which one LOVES YOU!!!!) CLING TO THE WORD!
  • You must replace what you are striving to take out! Don’t lose hope — God will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5; Deut. 31:6).
  • Choose to trust God’s Truth even if you do not fully understand God’s wise and loving plan. God can never be unloving; He cannot go against Himself, NEVER!

Praying for you today as you seek first the kingdom of God and identify, reject and replace. Enjoy your walk with Jesus! Stick to the Word!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Reblogging 11.03.18 from the original post dated July 18,2017; Colleen Woodruff; inchristiamshe.com

The Battle of Thought

Truly the mind and thought are a battlefield that war against one another: the flesh, the spirit and even against themselves. It shouldn’t but it does, it reminds me of that commercial years ago of a gentleman with a mini-sized white dressed angel on one shoulder and on the other he had a mini-sized red dressed devil. They both were whispering in his ear telling him what to do — one was sly in words (yet wrong) and the other was truthful yet honest in word, but the man was confused in which way to turn. He went nuts!

So, it is true today, though there is no such thing as a mini-sized white dressed angel or a mini-sized red dressed devil sitting on our shoulder whispering in our ear telling us what we should or shouldn’t do. But if we are honest with ourselves, our mind (and/or thoughts) battle for attention, direction, and desires that quiet frankly conflict more often then we care to admit. The war of what we know, what is right, wrong, and/or Biblical (meaning, squaring up with the Word of God: the Scriptures) and the daily choice of Colossians 3 — living the Word of God out with a heavenly mindset. We drive ourselves “nuts” like that man in the commercial when we do it our way and not God’s way.

Maybe we should be asking ourselves this question: “Why?”

Today, I would love to share with you something I have been personally working on myself and hope it will be an encouragement to you in your walk with Christ as well as in your heart and thought process of taking out the toxic and replacing it with GOD! Because our thoughts matter, because HE matters!

First, I am going to give you all three points, then we will go back and revisit each one briefly. 

  • To battle against our toxic thoughts {which are sinful} we first must 1) IDENTIFY THEM. This my friends, takes honesty — from within and with God. Remember He already knows you from the inside out, so don’t be shy with your Lord. You need to be honest with yourself for you will go nowhere in this journey without it. There is also a possibility that you may need to be honest with others in this stage as well. Be on your knees before your King and ask Him to show you. Don’t forget Jeremiah 33:3.
  • 2) REJECT IT. This battle is like none other. It is not physical, though at times it may feel like it, but rather it is a spiritual battle that requires God’s help in fighting. You cannot identify or reject without God’s enabling power working within you. You are unable to complete this task in and of ourselves for we cannot fight or win this battle alone, but rather through Him we are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37).
  • 3) REPLACE IT. I cannot tell you how incredibly important this part of the puzzle is to rid yourself of toxic thoughts. If we do not replace that lie, falsehood, whatever it is in your life that is contrary to God, Himself, His Word, His Truth’s (promises, His character) and who He say you are in Christ — (I don’t write this to scare you into anything, but to help you understand the grave importance of this) it will return in some form or another but worst than the first time around! Guaranteed! (for example: if someone says that you are worthless, no good, the scum, etc, but uses you for their sexual pleasure — tell me my friend, where is the GOD-TRUTH in those statements? Tell me where the GOD-TRUTH is in the BIBLE!!!! Tell me which one LOVES YOU!!!!) CLING TO THE WORD!
  • You must replace what you are striving to take out! Don’t lose hope — God will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5; Deut. 31:6).
  • Choose to trust God’s Truth even if you do not fully understand God’s wise and loving plan. God can never be unloving; He cannot go against Himself, NEVER!

      Praying for you today as you seek first the kingdom of God and identify, reject and replace. Enjoy your walk with Jesus! Stick to the Word!