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02 Your Internal Environment

Vicki Griffin
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Vicki Griffin

Author, Speaker, and Director of the Lifestyle Matters Health Intervention series

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  • June 16, 2020
    11:00 AM
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Today's topic I believe will be worth the time that we invest in it today we're talking about the attitude factor Wow it's a big one it's almost like trying to hug an octopus because we are living in such a time of extremes we are seeing that this pandemic this viral pandemic has magnified. Every crisis it's magnified the good it's magnified the problems as well and so what we're seeing in society today in domestic situations is a dramatic increase in addictions in abuse domestic abuse child abuse people being trapped children trapped in abuse so as I share this topic about attitude today and the development of Christian character let's not confuse that with situations where deliverance is necessary and even required I remember when I was a social worker in Riverside California they had to open up a domestic abuse department just for men who were being abused and that hasn't been discussed very much but it is a worldwide problem and so let's put this over here let's put the advertisers over here who would have us to believe that if you don't have their toaster or their vacuum cleaner you are deprived so we're pushing all of this aside and we want to learn how to grow in grace and in character forward to the finish instead of stuck in the muck and as we begin I would like to pray that God will bless. This presentation and bless my speaking and your hearing because this is a this is a consolidation of information that I would like to say I just read all these books and got all of this information but it's really the good book that has brought this to light to me and at certain points in this presentation it's going to feel very much like an unauthorized biography but you know we have these hearts that need to be renewed by Jesus Christ and it is a journey so let's pray as we embark on this discussion today Father in heaven thank you so much that we come to you for the light this is the light that lights every man that comes into the world you would have us to have life and have it more abundantly and this is an inside job that we're talking about today and so we thank you we praise you be with me and the hearers I pray in Jesus' name amen as we begin today I would like to share a statement that I carry with me in my Bible I read it often it gives me great encouragement it says that the forgiveness of sins is not the sole result of the death of Jesus he made the infinite sacrifice not only that sin might be removed but that human nature might be restored what a thot your nature my nature we're talking about addictions and habits this week so that human nature might be resorted to re beautified reconstructed from its ruins and made fit for the presence of God. Therefore if any man be in Christ he is new he's a new planting 1st the seed then the bud then the full bloom openings are passed away behold all things are becoming new That's encouraging to me today and I know that it must be encouraging to you as well and so today we're talking about creation living your internal and Vironment. So let's review the freedom keys that we have be are building our whole construct around these freedom keys How do I get free how do I stay free yesterday we did a fly over the forest we looked at the big picture in the principles of the addicted and learning brain today we're looking at creation living Yesterday we looked at surrender today we're looking at freedom keys and that includes creating an environment the internal environment of what your outlook is the internal environment how would you define it your internal environment is your basic outlook attitude and orientation towards life I've read that about 60 percent of what we think and do is just automatic and part of the blessing of the Christian worldview and really getting into the bible is it begins to retool our orientation our worldview and our attitude in life it affects how you handle problems people and personal growth it affects how you plan you know our thoughts are the raw materials for our actions and attitude shapes our thoughts often more than circumstances and so your internal environment is your outlook your ex sternal environment is what you surround yourself with creating a lifestyle that's what we're going to be talking about tomorrow that brain body link creating connections with God and others and then situational awareness. So your in kernel environment is all about overcoming a negative mindset and cultivating thankfulness this is a major key to moving forward to getting free and moving forward so when it talks about mindset what does that mean well some authors have discussed a fixed versus a learning mindset and a fixed mindset basically says that my qualities and characteristics are set in stone unchangeable this is the way I was born this is what my environment has done to me this disses my genetics and therefore I am trapped in this and there is no way to change or to be different the the learning mindset says. Even so I was born with certain qualities or characteristics even though I'm from this circumstance or that situation even though I've made these choices or those choices that everyone can learn grow and change which one sounds like a more biblical mindset if the great master teacher has said to you and I cease to do evil learn to do well and Jesus Himself says learn of me then the learning mind set is the bind set that will get us somewhere the fixed mindset. It is much more concerned with how well I look than what can I learn so every challenge every obstacle every problem the 1st failure in a diet spells disaster the 1st failure on a test means you're not going to make it in life the 1st problem in a marriage means it must not have been made in heaven because there are challenges and problems if it was from God It should be easy but just the fact that something is hard does not mean that God isn't in it he is training us he's training our thinking he's training our behavior and he's training our attitudes so a change in attitude and outlook actually changes the way we think about things and the way we act upon those new thoughts so attitudes drive behavior and behavior becomes habit I'll never forget when I was doing this seminar many years ago when we 1st began our living free series. The 1st edition of it there was a fella sitting in the front row he was an ex-con he'd spent years in prison he had a drug addiction that he was dealing with and many other challenges and problems he'd been a member of a gang etc and as he sat and he listened to the fixed versus the learning mindset the fixed mindset has no recipe for solving problems they don't know how to deal with failure they have a fragile temperament and he sat there with tears streaming down his face and after the meeting he said this is the root of every failure in my life it's been the way I have seen myself and life and he actually had a very perfectionistic attitude that made it difficult for him to deal with failure problems and mistakes but when you sign up for the school of Christ he's going to show you your weak spots and so we have to reconcile that we're either going to have a learner mindset or a fixed mindset which is really difficult parents can unintentionally foster this mindset if their child does well on a test they can say oh you're a genius you're you know you're an Einstein or if they do a little art you're a Picasso it's natural it's supposed to be easy and we've seen athletic champions who who have this fixed mindset and there are examples in the book that I read on this by Dr Carol Dweck the name of the book is mindset of jumping up and down breaking tennis rackets it was the wrong chalk somebody sneezed in the in the in the bleachers because you know if you're a natural it should be easy and so the learner mindset says you've worked hard you made miss some mistakes learn from them so this is a basic thing and so overcoming a negative mindset and cultivating thankfulness that's a whole different category that we're going to talk about today it's a really major key to success so it involves refusing self-pity focusing on solutions. Yes Instead of problems not that we ignore them but we for use our headspace our mental energy to focus on how can I improve this situation what is the path so practicing new attitudes as well and it really is practice practice doesn't just make perfect practice doesn't just make permanent practice also makes progress every day we can have joy in our journey as we learn new things from the experiences that God is going to place us in there's another quote that I really love and I try to live by it it's difficult because I think I was probably born with a quintessential fixed mindset and so I'm so thankful that this is a tunable trait that we can learn and in this statement it says there this is an age famous for surface work and it isn't isn't that the truth you know you turn into some t.v. programs on weight loss and the doctor is telling you you know you just take these raspberry drops you don't have to change anything you just take these raspberry drops and it's going to it's going to burn off all the belly fat you don't have to change anything you're going to have energy feel amazing get thin better brain better and whoever is selling those things they fought an island somewhere and they've taken their personal trainer and their chef with them so there are no shortcuts because really in God's economy the what you become as you move toward your goal is actually the most important change that takes place because you may not get there. Something may happen but it's who you become as you move forward that brings joy strength and character so this is an age famous for surface work it's a lifelong work growing in christian. Quality character the Bible calls that sanctification holiness it's unattainable by those who are not willing to strive for it in God's appointed way and what is God's appointed way slow toilsome steps we sign up today we cannot afford to make any mistake in this matter but we want day by day to be growing up into Christ our living hit so successful people are not mistake free but they refuse to give up here is the perseverance the patient the in durance of the saints here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus so perseverance what is perseverance the Bible says where to bring forth fruit with perseverance How does deliverance happen well perseverance says I don't care how hard it is I don't care how long it takes I'm going to press into Christ through the difficulty and on to victory the flesh says it's not important or it's not urgent I'm going to I'm going to defer this to the busiest day on the calendar which is tomorrow but the Spirit says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me so how does deliverance happen how does it happen it's going through with God in the midnight hour when no one hears you or cheers you there's no pretty music playing you need surgery and someone else got there miracle they got their healing this is where character and strength are grown. So the flesh is a gambler we want things quick fast and easy but quick fast and easy is fragile so as we go through this presentation today I want you to commit with me to take those steps we cannot gain strength of body and mind by looking at pictures of mountains we have to climb them the spirit is an investor So it teaches us to prove her severe when there's no immediate reward in sight so let's look at the attitude factor attitude not aptitude is a major key to success changing your attitude and thinking changes your brain influencing your behavior that's that's pretty amazing statement because the Bible talks about having the father's mind his name in our forehead this this evidence is character change so when I was a runaway angry Bill a mic I'm sure that my brain look differently than it looks now as a surrendered Christian many years later working this program working this cooperative program with God You know I can't do what only God can do I cannot give myself a new heart and a new inclination a new drive a new motive new courage new faculties I can't do that but he's not going to do what I need to do either and so I need to commit to cooperate with the impulse of the Spirit to take that next step you know any kind of change especially internal change is very difficult it involves pain staying stuck is difficult staying stuck in the mud is painful and it's difficult. Change is painful and it's difficult there's nothing easy in either path and in both cases there's light at the end of the tunnel in this case where we choose to just stay stuck that light at the end of the tunnel is a train and you're in for it the light at this end of the tunnel is Christ it's his light it's joy beauty freedom release because if the sun will set you free you will be free indeed what a wonderful promise so attitude is really a little thing but it makes a great big difference sometimes I have this program before I ever talk about dietary fat fiber exercise sleep this is this is the starting point for change a bad attitude is like a flat tire you're just not going to get very far until you change it so we're going to look at some flat tire attitudes today that can leave us stranded limping by the side of the road and we want to start to recognize and develop those attitudes that can help get us moving growing and gaining ground in every area of our lives and why so that we can just live a life that self focused know so that we can get our minds off of ourself be about the Lord's business his work his mission for our lives so that we can be like living a pistol for him in a dark world so you know you may have a dark past but you can have a bright future and I've made up my mind that if Christ brings me to it he'll bring me through it you if you were with us yesterday or the last meeting you heard my testimony of being a runaway using drugs believe that for 20 years and I'm the health ministry director and the director of life on matters. What committee what committee in heaven. I made that decision but I'm grateful today because I know that I need to hear the very things that I speak. Lest after I've preached to others I myself become a castaway so don't let yesterday's reason become today's excuse there are reasons why people are doing the things that they're doing there are reasons why people are drug addicts addicted crippled addicts addicted to food whatever it is and yet Christ holds the key to deliverance I love this statement it says no soul who believes in Christ through His fate excuse me no soul who believes in Christ though his faith may be weak and his steps wavering as those of a little child is to be lightly esteem by all that has been given us by all that has been given us in advantages over another be it education and refinement nobility of character Christian training religious experience we are in debt to those less favored and so far as lies in our power we are to minister unto them trembling souls who have many objectionable traits of character are the special charge of angels they are ever present where they are most needed with those who have the hardest battles with self to fight the worst genes the most awful environment they've made the most horrible choices special Angelas are their charge and who surroundings are the most discouraging in this ministry Christ's true followers will corroborate So let's take a look at some of these flat tire attitudes. A negative mindset says I cant It's impossible things will never change everything is against me everyone is out to get me Have you ever. I have been infected with this mindset and when my husband and I 1st got married I remember I would say I would start on that path of just noticing everything that was faulty wrong unfavorable sad gloomy. As Charles Spurgeon talks about some people who are so constituted that if there were only one bog in the desert they would soon be up to their necks in it if there were only one lion in the forest they would hear it roar and I would have to say that I can identify with that and he started singing this terrible song to me nobody likes me everybody hates me think I'll go eat worms it's a horrible song it's worse it gets worse so I won't sing it to you but it would make me laugh because you know when we have this mindset we are rarely accurate and it certainly doesn't lead anywhere so a positive mindset the foundation of this mindset is hope change a path you see the negative the negative way of thinking. Leave got out we may not we may not know that we're doing that but that's really what's happening the saying that I grew up with in my family was it's always something you never know and I grew up pretty much thinking that way but I'm so grateful today for the power in the power of change God is called The God of hope the God of comfort. So the outlook that you generally carry. Pardon me the outlook that you generally carry in life determines how you deal with adversity so are even in the absence of adversity the negative person is still miserable because there's not just the what is there's the what if I mean it's Ok now and media helps us with this you watch the weather it's nice today where we are but it's bad somewhere and we're going to find out about it so we're so machine gunned with negative information that it's very easy to become buried in negativity and bitterness and hopelessness those who have a difficult temperament take on a rigid perfectionistic perspective to life their tolerance for un planned and pleasant events is low they just seem to notice every trifle that isn't just right and it occupies their attention and generally makes them miserable it's called an exposure effect what we think about what the focus is in our life is what we're going to pay attention to in general scuse me and generally speaking what we pay attention to is what we're going to find so although temperament is present at birth and is presumably influenced by our genes it is not set in stone and can be modified it can be cultivated and practiced one choice one attitude at a time so rewiring that attitude. Will help us to gain some traction in this in this area so a positive mindset says I can it's possible I can experience or an issue 8 some positive change every day and even if I can't I know that God is going to use this he's either going to solve this problem so I can take my Calgon bath Calgon take me away or he is going to make me stronger to meet it now that's a powerful mindset that's the mindset that says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me circumstances are going to be my helpers in this mindset God will put the right people in my past his providences at work you know so many of God's miracles don't look like miracles or feel like miracles when when Paul's ship was broken up in that storm with all those prisoners and he was floating on a piece of board in the ocean and bitten by a viper that probably didn't feel like a miracle but the passengers were saved just as he said when he was let down through a basket of over the wall of a city to escape his persecutors that was very uncomfortable when Peter was let out of jail by the by the Angelus the angel said get your jacket in your safe and your sandals you're still in this world so we make our plans we prepare we try to create buffers but when it all falls through we have to understand that not every storm is in the forecast and God is in and in charge now this is a big one. And it's a very difficult germ to do to detect self-pity self-pity Elizabeth Elliott said is a death from which there is no resurrection a sinkhole from which no helping hand can save you because you have chosen to be there so forward to the finish we've got to get out of this pit so what is self-pity self-pity is a self indulgent preoccupation with real or imagined problems there's no hope in self-pity no plan no purpose no promise and no perspective and it is often a pathway to that favorite indulgence either unbelief malice depression or some sinful behavior that has been our default for finding comfort so understanding the difference between self pity and sadness is is really a major thing one time my colleague Evelyn and I were having meetings for a group a large group of about 150 people and it was mandatory. And this began to bother me that they had to be at this meeting and so of course I showed up early so that I could appropriately worry about it and Evelyn is if she's had many challenges in her life but she has a completely different way of looking at these kinds of things it's been a joy to work with her over the years because of it and learn from her so I started doing my duty and worrying about this I called it prayer but I was just worrying in front of God She finally drives up. I went out to her car and I said Evelyn we have a problem a really serious problem and she said what's that I said these people do not want to be at this meeting and she looked at me and she said Sure they do they just don't know it yet and she threw her head back and laugh and drove off without the stomach ache that I was suffering from I'm so thankful for these learning moments that we can experience one night we traveled a lot together we were having worship and we always had these great worship's and I just appreciate her attitude so much although you know somebody that happy you have to wonder if they're glow in the dark she doesn't and she's had her challenges but I got curious and I said Evelyn What's the 1st thought that you have in the morning when you wake up she said Oh I just think it's a brand new day I wonder what God has in store with the plan is I wonder what I'm going to learn today and I was astonished by this I was still on ish I think Christian for a long time and I think and she looked at me she said What do you think and I said Will so far so good. So you know we're all on a journey we all have things that we are learning we are learning to rejoice praise our God inhabits praise in him is fullness of joy in his presence. Give me is fullness of joy so we want to take time for reflection we don't want to live in some kind of fairytale Pollyanna mindset that doesn't understand or realise reality we want to take time for reflection but we need to resist this self-indulgent self preoccupied self pity now there will be times of sadness but we can resist temptation sadness is actually a good thing because it can take us off line it might think it might increase our pain and that's so that we decide that we're going to make some changes we can see things through a different point of view God uses affliction and trials to to mature his people in fact Ellen White says that faith grows strong in earnest conflict with doubt and fear so I reminded Evelyn about this so rewired attitude Number 2 is self forgetfulness self forgetfulness is not forgetting personal physical or emotional needs it is not. You may be actually enabling a toxic destructive abusive situation by doing this however it is finding joy in Minister ing to the needs of others I remember the 1st or 2nd Valentine's day that my husband would had died he was gone it was such a lonely time and and and so I made a decision in the morning I could either be miserable and sad and say and indulge. An attitude of of great sorrow and you know people talk about loss when you lose a loved one you'll get you know you'll get over this like it's getting over the flu but it changes the entire trajectory of your life and I am thankful that I am thankful for the treasure in the sand that is left after a storm we become more compassionate more merciful we listen better we feel with people instead of just feeling sorry for them there are treasures to be had in these trials but this morning I had to make a decision and I decided that rather than being miserable. And recounting my sad experience in this loss I decided to go to the grocery store and smile at everyone I saw I didn't get arrested that was a good thing. And I was able to connect with some people there and have some conversations and it was a very meaningful experience to be I when I went home feeling vitalized and changed with a different mindset and a different attitude don't underestimate the value of just making eye contact with a stranger being kind to someone that's by themselves you see someone in the store you don't know I remember when I closed loans for a financial institution and I did all the bad checks and keeping delinquencies down and that kind of thing it was for a finance company. There was this one salesman he was really annoying very pushy we didn't know that he lived in at the dealership I was not a Christian at that time and so we would mock and make fun of this man one day I called to close a loan and he had shot himself and killed himself so we don't know the trouble and trials that people live with we have no idea what's beneath the surface but God does to this day I am sorry that I did not have the Christian spirit of Jesus Christ to reach out to someone who had a very difficult personality. So flat tire attitude number 3 this is a big one unforgiveness Now what happened to you may not be excusable but it is forgivable so unforgiveness is like taking a poison pill and expecting somebody else to die so it fosters bitterness physical and mental illness including inflammation in the brain which can cause those new nerve cells we talked about in the last meeting to actually die because inflammation causes cell death in the brain physical and mental illness depression addiction and failure to thrive failure to thrive so what does a forgiving attitude mean it's really not a feeling and it's not a one and done thing that would be like thinking that you're going to take one shower and be done with dirt every time that memory comes up you may have to experience forgiveness again and put this thing in perspective and release that percent. I remember when I 1st became a Christian I had to forgive some pretty serious violations against me and one Scripture that I found that helped me to do this. It was the scripture that says that until we come to Christ we are led captive by Satan at his will so when I saw those persons when I saw those people as prisoners themselves captive of the enemy of Jesus Christ I began to understand that I could forgive and actually pray for them imagine Stephen praying for Paul he was being. Stephen's being stoned to death and he said lay not this sin to their charge Little did he know I mean here was Paul as Ella he caused women and children to blast theme in the temple this is a cruel man and Paul has written most of the New Testament he was Saul then and so it's absolutely the prayer to forgive goes beyond Me myself and I it actually is praying for that person to become mobilized in God's army somehow some way or praying for justice absolutely we need to pray for justice what is one of the prayers of the Bible it is time for the to act a Lord for they have made void that I love I have some friends that have been through such horrific situations we have talked about this there are some things that are too painful to even bring to memory so there's a difference between repression and suppression so a repressed memory may cause all kinds of collateral damage because we're not we haven't dealt with it but suppression is a constant I mean it's a. It's a conscious decision to put it away that is amazing gift from God to be able to put it away so there are some things that we just I just put in a box. With a ribbon around it and I hand it to God and I say please deal with this because I don't want to talk about it I've chosen to put it away it's a it's a bless it step in healing I don't have to go to primal therapy and scream my lungs out I just give it to God I put it away the Bible says Stand back says the Lord Vengeance is mine I will repay but I don't want the offspring of what has happened to be to be in my heart I don't want to carry the offspring of someone else is evil I don't want to carry that offspring in my own mouth or I won't be able to eat the good word of God and become an agent for Jesus Christ I will become part of the problem instead of part of the solution so forgiveness is not ignoring or excusing wrong it's not becoming aloof or calloused it's not avoiding conflict resolution it's not allowing perversion or abuse it's not failing to follow through with consequence with consequences but it is going to get you out of the debt collecting business you can't get money out of an a.t.m. that's empty Jesus Christ himself will compensate he will fill you he will guide you he will lead you he will give you what you need for each day so the attitude of forgiveness is not necessarily a feeling but it brings taste we have to forgive our selfs. I I was talking to someone the other day we were getting ready to do a radio program and we were talking about pride and how you know eloquent speaking being able to have a following if having a celebrity preacher these things can foster pride and it's such a dangerous thing and I told them I told this friend I said you know all I have to do is spend 5 minutes thinking about my past and some of the stupid decisions I made even last week and he said you need 5 minutes. So you get the point so forgiveness and attitude of forgiveness brings peace a peace that passes understanding and in fact Jesus says let the peace of God rule in your heart let it on Pyar it's more accurate it improves physical and mental health resiliency freedom meaning and purpose in life there is a purpose for what you have been through God will use it to win souls resentful attitude about the past can quench up to opportunities for experiencing gratitude in the present when an offense comes you have the choice you can let it go or you can hate and hate is a bitter pill new experiences of gratitude can greatly diminish resentment about negative memories of the past so this is a sculpting effect on the brain when it says that the father's name is in our forehead this sculpting process is leaving these changes embossed on our material selves how many of you would like a more beautiful brain put your hand up wherever you are more beautiful beautiful brain under imaging. The Bible says because I nd to one another tender hearted forgiving one another just as God in Christ forgives you I just love this so much in 2nd Timothy it says avoid foolish and ignorant disputes knowing that they generate strife and quarrels a servant of the Lord must not quarrel and dispute and argue but be gentle to all able to teach patient with difficult people so I don't want to be the kind of person that everybody around me has to keep me fixed Dain used to say true love seek 1st to understand and then to be understood. As far as possible we need to make things right financially morally emotionally and spiritually Why do you think that is the case because as we reason from cause to effect it will deepen our own walk with God deep in our conviction it's a protection against repeating the behavior I remember when I gave my heart to God I had so much to make right I think I wrote 50 letters to different stores and different entities and I would quote in my letter I got on my knees with a piece of paper and a pen and I just started writing down every single thing I could think of of whom I defended stolen from because you know when we engage in these behaviors there's always a justification I'm hurt I deserve this nobody treats me right so therefore I'm entitled to to use these ugly behaviors and it's really it's really like drowning yourself it's not really hurting anyone as much as it's hurting you so I wrote down Proverbs 2813 probably 50 times or more who so covers his sins will not prosper but when we confess we we will God will show mercy and I shared that and I wrote to so many people and I am so grateful that I had that experience making things right morally if you've been 99 percent right and one percent wrong I'm sorry that was wrong I am I was selfish for what I did let's practice that I'm sorry that was wrong I was wrong I was being selfish I love that because it actually clears the air for that other person to make their choice but we then have the opportunity to grow in Jesus Christ. For you Lord are good and ready to forgive and a great loving kindness to all that call upon you sometimes it's harder to forgive ourselves than anyone else and I can be very very preoccupied with my mistakes used to be that before I would speak I would get a migraine just thinking about the mistakes that I was going to make and then afterwards you get another migraine because you did make mistakes Well I was telling this to a friend one time and she said Vicki you're special but you're not that special nobody remembers their golfing and it was wonderful to hear that you know it's like that perfectionistic musician that one sour note and they think it the whole concert is ruined it takes the pleasure out of just being ourselves out of just sharing and growing together we are flawed we make mistakes but we're going to keep saying yes to God run a journey with him we're in school so we need to recognize these negative attitudes thoughts and feelings and replace them yes the Bible says Put off your former conduct and conversation according to the to the lusts of the past and put on the Lord Jesus Christ we have to actively pursue these traits replace them with positive promises from God's word refuse to dwell and obsess on past mistakes or future fears no life is free from challenges mistakes and obstacles successful people don't give up they get up remember practice makes progress we are what we repeatedly do Aristotle said Excellence then is not an act but a habit. I love this by Dr John Raese psychiatrist from Harvard University he said changing your pattern of thinking that's mindset the Word of God is a brain pattern changer that's what it is we are cleansed by the Word of God we're born again by that word we're vivified by that word we grow by that and time alone with God inspires us but time with each other matures us that's where we're going to discover our flaws and our foibles not only in ourselves but in our friends that's the opportunity to grow in social grace so changing your pattern of thinking changes the brain's structure so let's talk about another one today as we finish up excessive worry I remember I think a lot of people are infected with this and they call it discernment I know that I have I remember one time my husband came from a very stable family nobody was throwing stew pots at their heads during dinner or anything like that so he's just a really nice guy and we were going through some kind of challenge we were in ministry and there I can't remember if it was financial or what was going on kids or maybe all of it all together maybe the car was broken we had so many car problems I said just grow strawberries in it let's at least get some use out of it anyway he's upstairs working and I'm downstairs worrying and I go upstairs to bring him some water I said What are you doing he said I'm working I said how can you work when there's so much to worry about what's wrong with you he said Vicky I can't solve it so I'm doing what I can do I said that's ridiculous thing never heard of anything so ridiculous to have to do all the worrying for this family he said Vicki you know how you tell people to go on a walk a 10 minute walk will improve mood for an hour he waved good bye Who do you think had the brain stuff to solve the problem. Who was whose brain cells were committing suicide mind whose brain was getting stronger who is connected he was cool calm and connected with God so excessive worry increases stress God wants us to trust him it inhibits learning sirrah tunnel levels go in the basement you're going to be headed for the donut shop it reduces problem solving it's rarely accurate and it prompts wrong responses one time Dane said to me what is your motto ready shoot aim think this is a process that we have to learn it in the scientific literature it's called self restraint praise God temperance is not a list some people live their lives by all these endless lists but temperance is actually self restraint it's not a list it is a character trait of God love joy peace long suffering gentleness goodness faith Mignot temperance that is the character of God transplanted into you in the form of seed you must water it nurture it grow it practice it dwelling on on the worst possible outcome this is catastrophizing dwelling on the worst possible outcome of any situation in which there is a any possibility of an unpleasant outcome My husband used to ask me why do you bring a snow jacket to the beach I don't understand do you think we're going to have a blizzard Well I would say you never know. But if the brain is busy trying to filter out uncomfortable noise worries or other concerns there's less brain stuff for actually perceiving So the rewired attitude would be gratitude it lowers stress you have something to focus on that you can be thankful for Jesus Christ and what he has done for you to build in you and to deliver you his plan for your life using your trials as treasures to grow increases your ability to learn enhances problem solving it's usually accurate and it prompts appropriate responses so can gratitude really make a difference as I close today I want to share the story of Johnny Erickson tada the literature tells us that gratitude optimism diligence perseverance under stress are linked to better mental as well as physical health so these traits are linked to stronger relationships better mental health stronger immune function fewer deaths from all causes gratitude is the appreciation of a benefit received a state of being thankful or the quality of feeling or being grateful optimism what is that it's the tendency to expect the best possible outcome to dwell on and ruminate over the most hopeful aspects of a situation I want to get to John a story here Gratitude is a very demanding quality it is actually a discipline it's an exercise and it doesn't come easily to most of us. But is gratitude just for good times when things are going your way you might know the story of Johnny Erickson Tata she had become a Christian as a young teenager 3 months later she had a diving accident broke her neck and has been paralyzed from the neck down for more than 40 years she was bitter of course understandably she went to faith healing she saw that they were a ruse she didn't understand what the Bible taught she was a suffering woman and she talks about this suffering and learning to give thanks in a situation like that despite trials and suffering which she shares in her booklet a thankful heart in a world of hurt to give thanks she said in the midst of pain and problems is to take a rugged and demanding step of faith based on God's command in 1st this alone eons in everything give thanks it doesn't say for everything it says in everything and you know I'm going to share with you a scripture that I know that she relies on and it's found in Romans Chapter 5 it says therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God not through perfect circumstances not even through perfect health not through perfect family perfect job perfect anything we have a perfect Savior through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom We also have access by faith unto this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God and not only that we glory in tribulation that means we show his glory in tribulation tribulation prison produces perseverance perseverance character and character hope and hope does not make a shame she has a worldwide wheelchair ministry and she now has a different perspective she says you know. It's one thing to be paralyzed from the neck down in the United States it's another thing to be laying on the streets in Bangladesh paralyzed under the caste system where Fate has brought you there and so I thank God for her ministry she says I would I would never have had my eyes open to this ministry I am thankful for my disability she has had 2 bouts with cancer double mastectomy she suffers from chronic pain and I have to tell you she's been an inspiration to me of what God can produce in a suffering life for Jesus Christ in ministry there's a lot of joy in following Christ there's a lot of misery in holding on to bad attitudes in fact there's no pill that will fix it but the price of your life and mind your Jesus Christ will he has a ministry for you of joy perseverance and growth will you accept his invitation today let's pray Father thank You for this time thank you that we can examine these fleas that occupy our hearts we want them gone day by day. We thank you. Give ourselves to understand. Beautiful change into. A website spreading God's word through for a sermon. If you would like. Or.

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