December 4, 2017

It’s Monday again and this time it is only THREE WEEKS until CHRISTMAS!! I know most of you hear me say every year how much I love everything about Christmas. I love the decorations and the music and the parties and the food and being with family and on it goes. But I am also mindful that our joy for the season comes from the Savior. Without Him there is no season and there is no celebration. I want the next 3 weeks to be a time in my life where I find myself drawn more to Him than to the presents. More to Him than to my own happiness. More to Him than my needs and comfort. More to Him than anything else in all the world. I pray the same for you today!
I was thinking this morning about some of the negative times around Christmas like dealing with family. I was thinking how difficult relationships can be in a family and even in our church family. But then I thought, I don’t want to focus on the negative today. I want to focus on the positive. I want to think about those things the bible mentions in Philippians 4:8. The Message version puts it like this, “Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” I don’t know about you but some days I find it difficult to not let negative and harmful thoughts enter my mind. I believe those are attacks from the evil one who would have us defeated by our very own minds. I don’t think the bible is talking here about some mental exercise like you might hear from Tony Robbins or Stuart Smalley (some of you will get that reference). But it does remind us of the power of the human mind. William Barclay says, “...it is a law of life that, if a man thinks of something often enough and long enough, he will come to the stage when he cannot stop thinking about it. His thoughts will be quite literally in a groove out of which he cannot jerk them.” Imagine putting that powerful thought process towards a positive message instead of a negative one. “A mind set upon the world and the flesh is what leads to anxiety and worry, emptiness and restlessness.” When we invite Christ into our lives our minds are transformed. Those negative thoughts need to vanish from our thinking. We must learn to bring every thought captive. It can be a struggle but it is one that must be fought. Negative thinking can destroy the peace in our lives. It can rob us of joy. It must be defeated. How? One key way is through the power of God’s Word. When we begin to fill our mind with the Word of God it begins to push out those negative thoughts. When we memorize and meditate on His Word it is like a breath of fresh air into our mind. When Christ becomes the true focus of our life then how can we think anything but positive thoughts even in the midst of difficulties? I challenge you today to be about the process of renewing your mind with ONLY positive thoughts!
As I mentioned last week, I can now gladly report that Jennifer is back home and all is right again in the Hixon household. A month and a day is a long time but now that she is here it hardly seems like she was gone. I thank God she was used by Him in an amazing way. Many of you did not see the extremely kind words that were posted from the missionaries about Jennifer and what an incredible help she was to them. I know God used her in a mighty way and I am thankful she was able to go and be a blessing to those who are spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and dying around the world. I told her before she left to be fully there and not worry about home, to make every moment there count. I believe she did that. All of us need to make every moment count today right where we are.
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?
P.S. I want to wish my son, Micah, a very Happy Birthday tomorrow! I thank God for him every day and I am blessed to be called his father.