Monday, March 5, 2012

An Egg-stra Special Easter Part Two: Plus Book and Movie Recommendations

All Things Become New - in Our Mind

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
My brain doesn’t work the way it used to. Lest you think I’m referring to menopausal madness or early signs of dementia, let me assure you it is neither. What I mean is I don’t think the way I used to think before I became a Christian.

Before I knew Christ, I interpreted events as to how they affected me personally. But after Christ, I began to see things from a new perspective. Instead of seeing delays, frustrations, or painful situations as a waste of time and energy, God has given me a more hopeful outlook. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” He says (Isaiah 55:8).

When I am stuck in traffic, my first response is to be angry and impatient. My new mind tells me I can use the time for good – to pray for someone who is hurting, sing, enjoy the beauty of the day, be thankful for a moment to catch my breath in this fast paced world, renew my resolve to leave early enough to allow for delays, or even (yes, even this), to learn patience.

When someone hurt me, my old mind used to replay the offensive scene and savor thoughts of revenge or snappy comebacks. Or, more often, I took it in and inwardly flailed myself for my imperfections. Now (and I must admit this is a gradual process that is still in the works), I take the hurt to Jesus and ask: Why did they say/do this to me, Lord? Are they lashing out at me because they are in pain? Do I need to change in some way? How do you want to use this?

I even view loss from a different perspective. If God can bring good out of any situation for those who love and follow Him (Romans 8:28), then even the worst heartbreak is an opportunity for His love to prevail. An unwanted divorce, a prodigal son or daughter, sickness, injury, financial devastation, the early death of a loved one brings me to Him: What do you want me to see in this, Lord? I am broken, I am empty, but I wait in expectation to see what you want to do. I know you care and I know you’re in control.

A lot of times, my mind has an attitude problem that needs to be adjusted. Paul said, “Be made new in the attitude of your minds” (Ephesians 4:23). And, “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col. 3:10). The more I learn about our Creator, the less my brain works the way it used to – in selfishness and despair. The more I know Jesus personally, the more I see things from an eternal perspective – promising and constructive.

Easter Tip: What are you feeding your mind this Easter? It’s not too early to begin reviewing the Easter story, books, or movies to help renew your brain. This year I am reading little bits of Max Lucado’s book Six Hours One Friday before my morning devotions. Here are a few other brain teasers:

· *    Books: The Book of Jesus for Families by Calvin Miller; And the Angels Were Silent by Max Lucado; Jesus Wept by Bruce Marchiano; The Three Trees a traditional folktale beautifully retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
· *    Movies: The Passion; The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe (a child friendly depiction of what Christ did for us!); Jesus of Nazareth

· *     From the Bible: Read the four gospel accounts leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection – Matthew chapters 21-28; Mark chapters 11-16; Luke 19:28-chapter 24; John 12:12-chapter 21

And if you want to know if you can trust that Jesus really is the Son of God: check out these Messianic prophesies fulfilled by Jesus Christ

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