So you want to stop it? You want to experience everything promised to you, create a new mind and experience the fullness of faith?
Yes, it is possible. Not because I said so, but because Jesus said so. So steeped in the belief that this would work, and that it was a worthy cause, He died a brutal death, so we might live free.
Recently, I read that actress Gwyneth Paltrow was asked about her wellness routine. Paltrow stated that she starts every day with a huge glass of alkaline water, which she adds lemon juice to. I am not linking the source because it has filthy language, but if you want to google it, you will find some references. And I will link a Tweet that will direct you in paths of the ridiculous here.
And, just in case you were absent from 6th-grade science when bases and acids were discussed, alkaline water is water that’s less acidic than regular tap water. Champions of alkaline water, yours truly included, believe that it can neutralize the acid in your bloodstream and help your body metabolize nutrients more effectively, leading to better health and performance.
Therefore, one might ask, “Ms. Paltrow, why you wanna put acid in your alkaline water?”
I mean, if you are a champion of alkaline water, which you must be, you would not have stated that you were drinking alkaline water. You would have just said, “water” with lemon in it. But no, you specified ALKALINE water. And, no doubt, your skin looks fantastic, but something seems to have been lost in the translation or osmosis or another process.
My family drinks alkaline water. I love it. It tastes clean and since we started drinking it, no one in the house has required heartburn medicine. As a matter of fact, after Mexican food the other night, I had heartburn and so I drank a big glass of Alkaline water and it was gone. Just like that, shazam. Had I added lemon juice, well, need I say more?
And I have a point, and it is not water. But it is directly linked to the topic of adding in that which only defeats, and how to stop it.
In the two posts prior to this one, I talked about the current journey I am on, post book baby three. Justifying Jesus, the first post, was the break down of what it looks like to throw out prayers and then dissect God and self so methodically I simply humanize Him. A justified Jesus functions no differently than the guy across the street, I can see from my office window, wearing Crocs and white tube socks, talking to the neighbor. Dear Lord, please don’t let “Crocs and socks” guy by my husband. Amen.
In my mind, the justified Jesus is trained to behave in a way I can fully comprehend. He will do what I ask and if He doesn’t, I can explain His behavior away so that I will still believe.
I want to stop it, I want to let Jesus be Jesus. And I will be just Jami with no e.
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In the second post, Increasing Faith Outside the Comfort Zone, I discussed how we further defeat our prayers by “waiting for the lion instead of looking to the lamb.” Today’s post is the “how-to” portion of this rogue series.
Step one in the process of changing your mind, and finally experiencing the freedom you were promised in the single, completed work of the cross is this:
Stop it, stop looking for the lion, the lamb is the answer.
And, I have changed my mind. I am boldly experiencing Jesus in a new way. Our brains, which this God, whose ways are perfect, (Psalm 18:30) created, operate in images. For example:
What does this mean?
And what does this mean?
Well, unless you can read Slavic, your brain needs the second image to understand. And you had to learn that. You know that if you see that sign, there is a potty near.
So I am embedding a 6-minute video, and I want you to stop and watch it in an effort to make you feel something and imprint images and a memory that I will expand on in step two. If you have seen it, please still watch at least the first 3 minutes. This will help refresh the connection in your mind and then we will move on to the next steps. I promise, as “unscientific” as this seems, this is how I came to this newfound freedom. The work is wrestling the brain into a new habit, one that will allow Jesus to move in our lives in an exciting way.
Here is the Stop it video:
Okay, so stop it, and while this might seem entirely impossible, and probably is without doing something new. And this is the scripture that backs up the folly.
Surely you have heard of Him and were taught in Him, in keeping with the truth that is in Jesus, to put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful thoughts,; to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:21
So, we read this passage and we can assume that we should stop it. But I propose, we also then believe that something is wrong with us. And so we go to work on self and TRY really hard to stop it. Then we think about the thing we can’t stop. So we pray that we will stop the thing we can’t stop thinking about. And when we can’t stop it, and we keep thinking, what are we not thinking about?
That’s right we are not focused on Jesus who gave us everything we need to live free, steeped in the power of His promises and stop it. (2 Peter 1:3)
Again, this scripture brings to attention to what we don’t have and what we want and what we are doing wrong. Which brings us right back to the mindset of lack, waiting for the lion instead of looking for the lamb. And, then we go back to the past and justify Jesus, “well, I can’t stop it because… this happened and then this and now this. And Jesus must want me to…”
Okay, if we want real freedom, we can agree, we need to stop it.
And no, that doesn’t mean that we do not grieve. By no means am I implying that our past did not shape our future. However, what I am experiencing is a new mind.
How? How did I stop it?
I thought you’d never ask!
But first, let me pose this to you.
I am a mom. I have a master’s degree in education, counseling and human development. And I am a certified foster mom. I know what words and thoughts do to a spirit. They can build it up, or they can destroy it. So I am going to give you an image. I want you to look at the image for a minute, close your eyes, NOT YET, you can’t read with your eyes closed, and think about the image. Think about the face, the innocence, and the need, and once that image is familiar read on.
Now, tell me if this is appropriate talk to nurture and foster the being in the image?
“You never do anything right. I can’t believe you, you never finish what you start. You are a mess. Why are you so lazy? I hate you. And I hate the way your mind works. You are so ugly, so pathetic. I don’t think you can do anything right. You will never overcome your past. I don’t believe you will ever have enough. You will only ever experience want and lack. Even if you are saved by the blood of the lamb, the lion will get you eventually. You are pathetic.”
With everything in me, everything I have learned and experienced, I know this is not how to help a person grow in wisdom, strength, and freedom.
Missy, why you wanna add acid to living water?
Which brings me to step three, a new dialogue, a formula to finally stop it.
Starting right now we are going to stop speaking acidic nastiness into our lives and minds. The blood worked. We don’t need to justify it or pick it to pieces. Sister, we are bought and paid for. We have already arrived.
What had happened to me was that I was trying to overcome my lack, want, and anxiety with words and thoughts that tore down and destroyed.
This is embarrassing. I know that abusive dialogue destroys, but I drank acid and expected not to get. So I started practicing a new dialogue one that included 3 bold concepts, I call my “New Mind Offering.”
I wrote out my need in the form of thanksgiving, this was birthed from the three scriptures:
- You have not because you ask not (James 4:2)
- Pray believing you have already received (Mark 11:24)
- I have everything I need through Christ (2 Peter 1:3)
And then, I actively took every negative thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and rehearsed, while looking at myself in the mirror, my list. When a mirror wasn’t available, I would just pull the list out of my bag or pocket and say it or read it, and this is my new found freedom.
I have methodically created a whole new Jami, no e. And I promise, even with no makeup, tired eyes, or a weary spirit, I watched myself morph into a new creature.
And I propose, you can stop the madness and do the same.
Every morning before waking, I recite the list. You can call this whatever you want. And I get it, sister, my brain NEVER shuts off. I used to condemn myself for this. Now, instead, I give thanks. This is the writer and artist in me. God who created me in secret,(Psalm 139) crafted a wild and creative mind, He chose that for me, why was I chastising His creation?
At the same time, I craved a break from this bouncy brain. I wanted to stop it and sit with Him to experience His fullness.
So I would try REALLY hard to stop it, which only manifested more thoughts about how bouncy my brain was. Call it chance, I call it providence, but I mentioned the struggle to a friend and she said, “Oh, you need to get out of the thinking part of your brain. Watch a kaleidoscope video while you recite your new way of thinking.”
I found one with only music. What I do not want to listen to is any other teaching, or “guru” encouraging me to believe I hold all the cards. And this type of teaching is out there, there are teachings about creating wealth and status set to kaleidoscope videos. If I could fix myself, I would have done it a long time ago. But the kaleidoscope method worked for me, the lights and color distracted me from painting and book ideas, worries, and other maladies, I am prone to.
I propose this is the reason bible journaling is so effective, freeing and popular right now.
When creating, your brain is functioning in the frontal lobe of the brain. And whether you are a painter or an accountant, your brain is a playground and you can change the connections in your brain to produce new thoughts and a new way of thinking. The bible tells me soooooo….
This isn’t “New Age” or “Voodoo” it is just how we were created. Now, if you believe making those connections will help you win the lottery, we have stepped into a bit of hocus pocus. But if you believe that by creating a new mind for the glory of Jesus, and a life steeped in the fruits of the spirit, we are making progress in our efforts.
Which is part of my prayer, “I don’t have to do this to have my prayers heard and answered. I want to experience more of you, Jesus.”
The art of “stop it” is the practice of nurturing your humanness to experience His holiness.
It is shifting from a quiet time where we are justifying Jesus and rehashing worst-case scenarios, believing the lion is coming, and instead, forcing your mind to focus on the Lamb.
The longer you do something, the more concrete it becomes. Chew on this, of the messages and emails I have received about the last two posts, the consensus is, “I want this, but I only think about the bad stuff, I don’t know how to stop.”
Okay, what have you memorized? You have had tangible bad experiences, you don’t want them to happen again. But you are familiar with an outcome. So you ask God to free you from XYZ. Now you are thinking about XYZ, not the lamb. Then, your brain, which was created to “play,” goes back to what you want, what you lack, and how you will escape the lion the next time. And viola! Stress, anxiety, fear, and unbelief.
What I am proposing is a retraining of the mind to stop it from unbelief.
We know and believe what we rehearse. Think of a toddler watching a Disney Movie for the 9,000th time. They match the characters’ word for word. Greater, do you know the alphabet? Repetition breeds memory.
So if you are reciting all that is wrong, how can you ever believe all that is promised? Essentially we have fostered unbelief by focusing on the bad.
And, if this methodology is making you a little uncomfortable, why is that? I submit it is because you have memorized and believed that there is one way to experience God and Jami with no e is telling you something different. Change is outside of the comfort zone.
However, change is what is required if you want something new.
We have teachings about how to get right with God and produce fruit. And we sit down with our bibles and pen and pad and TRY to do better by what we KNOW. Repeating the same process with the old mind, instead of a new one. What did Jesus say about that? Something about new wine in old wineskins. (Mark 2:18)
So, say that a brand new treadmill was just delivered to your home. You paid $2000 for the treadmill and you have new workout clothes and shoes. So, you set the treadmill up in front of a television and you decide that tomorrow morning you are starting a new wellness program.
You go to bed early.
Now, pick which mindset scenario will produce change.
- You have got this. Everything is going to be better when you incorporate this program into your life. You will have more energy. And your clothes will fit better. This is going to be amazing!
- Why did you do that? You spent money on something AGAIN, that you know you will never really do. Oh my gosh, you are such a loser. If you even do this one time, you will just be sore and tired. This is going to just be another failure in the long list of failures that you accomplish.
I think we both know, the right answer.
So while I know this is new and that works don’t justify us, you have agreed to dozens of other “new” starts. The one I am proposing has the very best of results because the answer is what was already promised, by JESUS, freedom.
Freedom to believe.
A new mind, and a real, concrete way to stop striving and stressing. And that new you, isn’t the same.
A cheery and hopeful demeanor evolves, along with tangible peace, that you will quickly memorize. And friend, once you are free, you are free indeed. (John 8:36)
As I sign off I will say Jesus be all over you… and in you, for you, with you, forever changed. Love, Jami
So I created a PDF with exercises, resources, scripture cards, and original art. You can buy it for $17.99 here. I will add, if you need this resource and cannot afford it, you can email me at email@example.com and I will help you. The printable is instant upon purchase. I recommend printing Section One on regular paper, punching holes in it and putting it in a three-ring binder or folder with brads. The last 4 pages are original art by me, I will add pictures below, valued at over $70!
Section two is resources, the cards, if printed on card stock they will be more durable. If you are obsessive-compulsive like the author of said pdf… you can laminate them. I would ask that you do not make copies to give away. I have recently had some of my work copied and it is hurtful and hard. This is how I make my living and provide for my family and ministry. It took hours to create this work and it is steeped in the Truth of my freedom. Either way, I am not waiting for the lion. I am looking for the lamb. He has plans and a future. He is all over me and my work… it is entirely well. Thank you! You can find the PDF here