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roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Whatever is admirable...

During the night the Lord drew me towards this thought:


Finally, [sister],
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.

The Lord seems to be cautioning me to guard my mind, to leave a big “space” for Jesus and the goodness of God in my thought life. Perhaps this is a helpful word for us all. Let’s admit, we cannot keep our mind centered in two “spaces” at once. By nature we (certainly me!) can easily be tempted to dwell on the negative. There’s plenty around – always visible to the natural eye. It doesn’t help that some of my friends and relatives love to forward me “warnings” and “news” about this bad thing and that bad thing. Just how much bad stuff do I need to know!!!

Oh, sure, some thoughts seem godly, even spiritual, but they can subtly pull us from the peace and joy Christ has promised us. For example, dwelling on the sin in the world and the church may feel like a true burden for revival. But, on the other hand, such a focus can also become a subtle form of modern ascetism (self-inflicted punishment)– a sinister gratification in afflicting our minds with thoughts that drag us down and make us angry and cynical. This may feel right, but be nothing more than a form of self-justification.

Whatever you have learned
or received
or heard from me,
or seen in me
—put it into practice.

And the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:8

Paul, who was deeply aware of the bad things going on in his society, the church, and against him personally, was able to keep his heart and mind fixed on Jesus.

How did he do that?
How did that affect him?
How could such a focus affect those around us – the saved, the unsaved?

What are some verses that express Paul’s Christ-focused mind?
Ex: What/whom were his prayers centered on?

May God help us to put into practice what we have learned, received, and seen through the apostle Paul.

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2008/5/15 7:11Profile









 Re: Whatever is admirable...

Amen, Lord help me in this, I have failed so much.

 2008/5/15 7:17
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Whatever is admirable...

Diane,

I appreciate what you brought up here!




One of my co-workers told me today about an experience he had years ago when he had laser surgery performed on one of his eyes. He described the light that he saw as so intense! More than anything you could imagine it seemed. So bright. I was really struck by how he suggested the experience was not only physically startling but even mentally.


I asked him about laser light and he tried to describe what he understood about it: that it was distinct from visible light in that the wavelengths of the light in laser light are highly uniform and that this gives it tremendous power. He said that it is also called [i]coherent light[/i] in a technical sense(maybe someone can correct any of this if it is wrong).


I thought this was just remarkable though.


It made me think of the Lord Jesus, and how God is in so many ways referred to as Light. And how this laser light was so powerfull and intense because of uniformity. It made me think of the intensity of the Light of God, how great it must be!



Well, maybe this in some way speaks to the question you had asked about the Apostle Paul, and how was it that he was able to maintain his focus upon the Lord?


I thought about how he was first blinded by the light he had seen.





Chris


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/5/16 21:46Profile
broclint
Member



Joined: 2006/8/1
Posts: 370
West Monroe, LA

 Re:

Quote:
Diane: Paul, who was deeply aware of the bad things going on in his society, the church, and against him personally, was able to keep his heart and mind fixed on Jesus.

How did he do that?
How did that affect him?
How could such a focus affect those around us – the saved, the unsaved?



Quote:
Chris: It made me think of the Lord Jesus, and how God is in so many ways referred to as Light. And how this laser light was so powerfull and intense because of uniformity. It made me think of the intensity of the Light of God, how great it must be!

Well, maybe this in some way speaks to the question you had asked about the Apostle Paul, and how was it that he was able to maintain his focus upon the Lord?



Matthew 4:16 (KJV) 16The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

James 1:17 (NKJV) 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

1 Timothy 6: 15b “He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

Beautiful thread,

I have often thought about all the political chaos all the way from Jerusalem to Rome during Paul’s ministry, not to mention all the rampant immorality, idolatry, slavery, needs for reform in prisons, and in society and all the rest, but the reality of Paul’s perspective... not just a platitude, but the reality of focusing upon “things above, not on the things on the earth”.

And his message was a constant “rejoice in the Lord” regardless or should I say hardly regarding at all, present circumstances, or at least personal circumstances… not living in the “shadows”, but not yet in the presence of that unapproachable light, still pressing toward, and no doubt never for one moment forgetting that blinding light that shined in such a startling and awakening way into his former darkness. Amazing…. He was sitting in darkness and could not see spiritually and then when he saw, he became blind to all the darkness, and never recovered. May God do so for each of us.

Single minded indeed, narrow minded even... "this one thing I do..." and yet
1 Corinthians 10:33 (KJV) 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

So much to learn from one so full of heavenly light!

Clint



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Clint Thornton

 2008/5/17 1:05Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
all the political chaos all the way from Jerusalem to Rome



There is a close parallel in my little town right now - nasty political controversy over an old inn. Some wish it to be restored to its former grandeur, but others wish it torn down. The municipality has erected a huge unsightly fence around it including “Danger Keep Out” warning signs. Fierce clashes have crippled the proceedings in court. Townsfolk are upset because this unsightly town “center piece” has been devaluing our property. The issue has been casting a dark shadow.

And yet there is a lady in town who has made something beautiful from the controversy.
Cindy is a painter, and dear Christian friend. Last year she painted a picture of the old Inn and printed it on Christmas cards. Joseph and Mary on a Donkey are placed in the foreground. The painting is an imaginative blend of biblical, heritage, and modern! The fence clearly portrays “No room at the Inn”.

One day another town-lady, Mary, a writer of historical narratives was inspired by the painting and wrote an imaginative short story called, “Room at the Inn”. In it she weaves hints of the Bible story with familiar aspects of life and community. Cindy’s nativity painting is on the cover. Although Mary only ever intended her book to be gifts for family and friends, it has turned into a much coveted item - thanks to the kind cooperation of area merchants. It is in its third printing; and now I am working on an article about it for the paper.

In the story, mystical and miraculous occurrances oversee a travelling young couple, and one blustery winter night, the wife births her son in that old inn. The book closes with her whispering words: “We won’t be able to tell anybody”. Her husband replies, “Maybe not, but like Mary, we will treasure everything that happened here and ponder it in our hearts.”

You see, it is possible to experience good, and make good out of the ravaging sins of the world. But, often we first have to learn to quietly treasure God’s goodness in our hearts.

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2008/5/17 7:39Profile
rowdy2
Member



Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA

 Re:

Reply to Chris.
Chris I would like to add my thoughts to what you said

In order for a laser to become powerful enough to cause fusion and produce enough power to run the world, the laser’s light has to be amplified many times and the combination of many lasers are capable through amplification to produce fusion with out harmful emissions and by products, but the problem now being addressed is that the lasers can only be fired once or twice a day and in order for the technology to be commercially applicable it would need to fire many times a second.

I said all that to say this. We too are lights to those that live in outer darkness and to reach them our light shines brightest and is seen and felt in desolate places when we combine and amplify our light’s on any forum or given opportunity.

Many speakers are obstructionist and claim a superior knowledge and are not willing to admit they are given only in part the knowledge that transcends all earthly wisdom.
True wisdom is a blessing from our Father and not flesh and bone and it can be projected brightest by the unified body of Christ Jesus. . .

Eddie


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Eddie

 2008/5/17 8:21Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: Avoid the sensational

I got thinking, what if I were living in ancient Ephesus and had the same freedom I have now - to write about any happenings I wish to for the local paper. I could write about the glories of the great temple of the goddess Artemis - that cultural, religious and commercial centerpiece which was making Ephesus wealthy and famous. Of course, I would cover the riot, alleged to have been instigated by a small band of social nonconformists.

However, I probably would not have known anything about the event in Acts 20:1 – the outcome of the riot, that private moment where Paul encourages the disciples and then goes off to travel throughout Macedonia, encouraging saints along the way. That is not newsworthy content.

Thankfully the Bible was not written by media reporters, but by those who had been inspired with the very heart of God. That made for a different kind of writing. The various narratives, etc are cast from the perspective of God’s eternal plan for humankind. And that is good news! Even the prophetic judgment accounts were crowned with the splendor of God’s mercy. When Paul wrote his epistle to the Ephesians, that same ancient hope was foremost on his mind. This verse was no postscript:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Eph. 1:7-10
The Bible is replete with remarkable accounts of God’s goodness. Most of those stories would never make it into the media today – and didn’t then back then. Many of them are about private, quiet events - outside the public eye, such as Joseph being prepared in prison, Moses and the burning bush, Elijah and the raising of the Sunammite woman’s dead son, the transfiguration, etc. Jesus never tried to publicize himself before the masses. It wasn't God's way.

Today, we cannot easily see what God is doing in hearts, privately, quietly. And maybe that is the way he desires it. There are many dangers to public disclosure of the treasures of God: They tend to get enshrined. We enshrine testimonies, events, past blessings. The disciples wanted to enshrine the glory of the Transfiguration in man-made tents. Or we use God’s gifts to gratify desire for power and significance - like In Ephesus where for some, the power to cast out demons became more attractive than the Lord Jesus himself. (See Acts 19)

May we, like Mary and so many other humble servants of God, learn to treasure the blessings of God in our hearts, and resist the temptation to go after the sensational.

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2008/5/19 7:07Profile
Zionshield
Member



Joined: 2007/2/13
Posts: 135
Ohio

 Re: Whatever is admirable...

Thank you, Diane. This has been helpful to me in my battle for the mind these past few days.

My wife has been reading the little pamplet, "Battle for the Mind" by Jessie Penn-Lewis. Very helpful also.


_________________
Randy Lambert

 2008/5/21 21:04Profile









 Re:

Quote:

roadsign wrote:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Eph. 1:7-10

May we, like Mary and so many other humble servants of God, learn to treasure the blessings of God in our hearts, and resist the temptation to go after the sensational.

Diane



Amen on all the content of the post and this in particular.

 2008/5/21 21:21
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Whatever is admirable...

Hi everyone,


For some reason the music to Jesu, Joy of man's desiring by J.S. Bach came to mind and I thought of this thread. I decided to see if I could find it on cyberhymnal and found this...





Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.



http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/e/jesujomd.htm




I don't think this is the same music but wanted to share it anyway. I did find some free versions of the music on-line searching by the title.


_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/5/22 19:27Profile





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