Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
My parting words to my friend, Chappelle were “Keep your head up master sculptor! I love you!” The words master sculptor must have resonated in Chappelle’s spirit-I could feel the beams of his smile radiate through the cell phone. Surely this remark must have touched my friends’ heart, I meant what I said.
That morning’s mission was to walk and purchase some additional hand soap. My dear friend phoned while I was perusing the isles of Dollar General for liquid soaps only (that’s what I told myself), but curiosity pulled me towards the house wares and whatever else caught my eye. When the cell phone rang I was glad that in this instance I remembered my one purchase pledge and answered the call. It was spontaneous, as soon as we heard each others voice joyous laughter ensued. We were having such a great time conversing I was oblivious to the other meandering customers. Their stares were my barometer for toning the laughter way down. I realized that I was having too much fun and speaking much too loudly for public surroundings, but I couldn’t resist. We began to talk and chuckle about many things. Laughter really erupted when he shared that his house seemed to be in worse shape after a certain cleaning crew arrived. Their house cleaning escapades were futile and down right comical! As the saying goes, “Busted!” Chappelle knew their antics and hated reporting them, but oh well they were wrong for guising laziness as productivity. They tried to convince Chappelle otherwise. We laughed about these charades and concurred that his not having sight didn’t negate his intuitive nature and skills for divulging the truth.
But I suspect that the real objective of this conversation was to remind my friend that he is an accomplished artisan and more importantly that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. These revelatory words needed to fall on my own ears and transform my thinking. The Holy Spirit obviously wanted us to connect. It was a refreshing reminder about how the Lord has fashioned us. Chatting on the cell phone-just enjoying the movement of walking and noticing the Christmas merchandise displayed much too soon, Chappelle said to me that this was a day for strolling and not falling for any foolishness. He hit the nail on the head. In my spirit I wanted to take my time and not be anxious and that’s just what I intended on doing-strolling outdoors first, through the shopping center complex, then down the store isles, and back home from my morning walk.
As I walked down the main thoroughfare it was also my intention to pay attention to my surroundings, to be appreciative of the moment and not hastily move. So initially I ventured up the street noticing what I believed was the frantic motorist’s intent on driving over top the other. It was comical, but sad how these hurried motorists deliberately were tailgating, almost rear ending and colliding. Continuing my walk I observed my neighbor’s overgrown and manicured landscapes with varying shades of green, and marveled at the variety of snaking flower vines that crept up the trees and hung heavily with the tree branches. There was no shortage of lush plant life. The scenery truly was beautiful! How I wished I had had my camera.
The sun shown brightly but didn’t scorch me and for that I was extremely pleased. It felt good to be free. It was indeed a nature day spa experience. It was rejuvenating, my soul’s muscles were flexing! I was able to breathe, stroll and witness nature’s glory! Oh how sweet it was my friends to be given the opportunity to applaud my surroundings and not be rude, rushed, mentally immobile, burdened down, pulled and consumed with worries!
I realize that now it’s our choice on how we choose to seize our moments, but it ain’t easy. Yes, I meant ain’t! Feeling encouraged? I suspect there’s a heightened realization and we are more confident-hopeful, because our thinking and personal direction aren’t isolated regarding our capabilities. The more I’ve been able to actively carve out time to read God’s word, pray, focus and devote myself to staying connected to the tree of life- partaking in devotional enrichment, the slower my exhausting pace is and the more I appreciate my connection to our loving Savior Jesus Christ. I trust that you’ve found this to be accurate also?
As Chappelle fittingly stated, “Linda, it’s a day for strolling!”
Had Chappelle and I continued our conversation I would have enthusiastically encouraged him to stroll on to the library or venture on to his favorite bookstore and acquire this book on tape or in Braille: The Three Battlegrounds (An In-depth view of the three arenas of spiritual warfare, the mind, the church and heavenly places) by Francis Frangipane. I know, that I know that it was no coincidence that I’d rediscover a book that seemed to float from my inspirational shelf to my kitchen table and finally land on my “good intention” reading pile-grabbing my attention. This book has broadened my understanding of strongholds. Just like Chappelle’s former house cleaners the enemy intends to dupe us regarding God’s intended plans for all that concerns us. But thank goodness that darkness can’t prevail! It’s clearer to me now that our clouded thinking, the roadblocks, mixed messages that intentionally halt and hurt are dangerous strongholds. But there is good news my friends, victory is attainable! Often the positive direction we long for can be found within arm’s reach.
The power lies within us to seek out the truth and gain clarity about spiritual warfare maneuvers. Remember the spiritual battle we face will cause us to stumble and not stroll.
The demonic design is an arrangement to confound, distract and confuse us with contaminated thinking that diminishes our worth! But the truth about our royalty lies in God’s word. It starts with consulting the Holy Scripture and embracing the Lord’s instructions. Our shelves may also contain many spirit-led words that may help us gain new perspectives for more rewarding lives. Check out what’s in your midst. We can fight the good fight of faith and change our minds and hearts!
Think on the goodness of Jesus!
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
The Holy Spirit has charged us with fully embracing God’s promises for a rewarding life. Let’s begin to boldly and honestly examine our thinking and ask God to reveal what our strongholds are (i.e. envy, bitterness, depression, anger, procrastination, __________ fill in the blank, etc.) which hinder God’s perfect plan for us.
Be assured that the love of God will turn the tide for abundant living with unsuspecting extraordinary outcomes. Oh I am so grateful for God’s love and the depth of it that keeps us buoyant as we travel this earthly and spiritual plain.
Ok friends I am crossing the street now, headed home and will talk with you later. Remember think whatever you wish, just let it be lovely!
With A Thankful Heart!
Linda Mose Meadows, Urban Views Weekly & Empower Magazine Columnist and Inspirational Author of: The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises and Co-publisher of Eyes of Faith Magazine