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Positive power vs negative power

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Positive thinking has positive power. Negative thinking has negative power!

     I bet you knew that! “That’s just logical,” you might say. But there’s a vast difference between knowing about this power and feeling the impact of such power.  

     I know all too well the effect of negative thinking. I wrote a book, entitled: Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, based on  my first hand experience of this destructive force. Regretfully, it took me many years before my eyes were opened.   Thankfully, I didn’t live my whole life ignorant of the enemy’s power. 

Positive power at work

     Recently, while in a low mood (prime time to get attacked by fiery darts) my mind strayed to the recent departure of two of my children. Both lived relatively close to me. And with a son living in Africa, their closeness was a constant source of comfort. Then a few months ago, two of my three daughters, moved in opposite directions about 11 hours away. The negative power of sadness began to claim my thoughts. 

     Yet, in these moments, the following thoughts began rising to the surface: “During the times your children and grandchildren lived nearby you made a ton of wonderful memories. Why don’t you focus on those instead? Start thanking God for those memories.” So I did. As I filled my mind with one blessed memory after another, the negative power fueled by negative thoughts diminished. The more I praised God for those sweet memories, the better I felt. 

     But not one to give up easily, Satan sent me another fiery dart. My thoughts were redirected towards another situation in my life that has the potential to create burdensome thoughts. On the tails of my recent reminder, I was prompted to find the good that came out of that burdensome situation. A bit harder perhaps, (Satan’s is clever like that) because the burden is something I continue to wrestle with. Yet, the good is there! Once again, the negative was drained away and the positive began to soothe me.

     As a Christian, I live by the God’s Truth and not the lies of fiery darts. My mind is being renewed every time I spend time with God in prayer and His Word (the Bible). 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV

     So, think about it. A mind not experiencing renewal by God’s Truth, is a mind subject to negative power. The negative power of Satan’s lies and manipulation. A decision to take to heart John 3:16, allows us the resources to expose Satan’s negative power. A power that is no match for the positive power of God’s Truth. 

 

Memories, thoughts, and weapons

Nammy's Camp 2018

   Recently I was thrilled to entertain 8 of my 10 grandchildren at what our family has termed, Nammy Camp. It’s a kid-driven camp. The grans provide the fun ideas. I plan the menus, and provide the venue. There is only one restriction–no electronics!! 

   Instead, my grandchildren spend time outside: swimming in my above ground pool, taking walks on trails in the woods, exploring, trying their hand at cooking, taking rides on a 4-wheeler, eating most of our meals outside on the picnic table, interacting with extended family members at a cookout, using their imaginations to build a brick fort, getting wet in a high spirited game of water balloons, learning a new game called ‘ladder ball toss’; playing chess, organizing a spa day for facials, manicures, and hair do’s; enjoying movie night with popcorn, rising early to watch a sunrise, and chasing fireflies at twilight! 

kathy & kids leaving 2018

   The time they were running around, laughing, and playing proved all too short. Fortunately, I didn’t have to say goodbye all at once. They left in 3 stages. Inevitably though, the final send off arrived. After waving goodbye from the front porch, as our last grandchildren drove off, I could sense the beginnings of a struggle. 

What struggle?

   The struggle to reject the fiery dart thoughts of overwhelming sadness!  For now my house was silent and empty.  I walked around the yard picking up pool toys and trash left behind by my campers. Storing lawn chairs and pool inflatables in the shed kept my mind from dwelling on the obvious. 

   As each moment passed, the temptation to give in to the sadness grew stronger. But before I could be overwhelmed, God offered me a two-fold weapon. One aspect of this weapon was to reject the sad thoughts so that they would not rule my thinking. Thoughts of this nature would influence negative attitudes and actions (p. 93, FD’s 3rd ed). The second aspect was to choose thoughts that would lift my spirits.

   Indeed, I had a hefty supply of memories from the previous days to draw upon. Truth thoughts from Scripture provided a rich source of strength and resolve. 

   As the hours passed, the force of the enemy’s attacks lessened. By filling my mind    with hopeful words from Scripture and happy memories, there was little room for the sad thoughts to plant themselves. By wielding God’s weapons, we can overcome the enemy when he attacks. 

  Remember, the enemy cannot defeat us, if we use the weapons of God’s design. 

 

Identifying the Enemy.

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 We have an enemy that must be identified! After horrible tragedies like the one we saw in Parkland, Fl., we grasp at an array of judgements in a frantic attempt to identify the enemy. Tragically, we chase one argument after another, never zeroing in on who the real enemy is.  We can become so distracted by these arguments that the real enemy remains hidden. 

   Obviously, Satan is our enemy, our adversary. He is the one who cunningly designs temptations that will steal, kill, and destroy (from John 10:10a).  Satan tempts that part of us that wants our own way and doesn’t like to be told what to do…that part that seeks to exalt ourselves…our fleshly nature. 

Consider the following:

What we think determines how we feel, and what we feel influences our actions. A negative action is often the result of negative thinking. Understandably, if Satan can negatively influence our thinking, then the temptation to act negatively will be hard for us to resist… p. 27, FD 3rd edition

   The weapon of negative thinking or fiery darts, is Satan’s most powerful weapon. But how is it that we as Christians, and even those who aren’t Christians, can be so easily manipulated and deceived? Sad to say, it’s very simple: 

When we don’t spend enough time in God’s Word, our ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts is equally diminished. In the place of God’s Truth, the world’s concept of truth generally begins to define our thinking. p. 43, FD 3rd edition

Of course, for those who have rejected God, it is obvious how they have been blinded to God’s Truth. The world’s concept of truth and their sinful nature defines truth for them and God’s Truth bears little, if any, weight. Satan’s job of manipulation, therefore, takes little effort. p. 43 FD, 3rd edition

   Fiery darts are designed to create a wedge of sin between us and God. Eventually, we will become blinded to the Truth, and we will be deceived into rejecting God’s plan for our lives.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10b NKJV

   Thought by thought our lives will take a downward turn. And individual by individual our country will spiral downward, as well. However, there is hope, if we genuinely desire healing for ourselves and for our country!

 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

 

 

 

You can break free of strongholds

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 Recently, in the midst of a joyous time of my life (externally), I have been plagued by an onslaught of negative thinking. Odd though it may be that I would be attacked like this when my days were filled with happy events, considering my bent I’m not surprised. For there was a time (starting in my mid twenties and intensifying as the years passed) when negative thinking and God’s Truths waged a battle royal and too often negative thinking won out.

   Over the years this negative thinking on my part forged a stronghold that continuously threatened the spiritual renewal that had taken place in the early years of my adulthood.  Afterwords as life began to happen, I struggled with maintaining a consistency in my bible study and prayer life. Predictably, the spiritual renewal that was burning within me instead of increasing in strength began to dwindle, leaving me vulnerable to negative thinking. Thus bit by bit, negative thoughts laid the groundwork for a stronghold that could have ruined my life had not I cried out to God for His rescue. Psalm 18:6  God indeed rescued me and enabled me to survive those dark days, but it was only since learning about the enemy’s tactics in the use of  fiery darts that I began to make sense out of the whole mess.

   This was the stronghold that God addressed when He began exposing the enemy’s tactics that had held me captive for too many years. As dominant as this stronghold was in my life, I now realize I must be diligent in my prayers and bible study (nothing else can substitute). I know my vulnerability and to the degree I stay diligent in these two disciplines, the power this stronghold has over me can be overthrown.

   So in the midst of this recent attempted attack by the enemy, God faithfully guided me towards the following words from Jesus Calling:

Although My Presence is a guaranteed promise, that does not necessarily change your feelings… It is through awareness of My Presence that Peace displaces negative feelings.

   As I read the above words, it clarified for me how it was that I could harbor such internal negative feelings while in the happy throws of a long awaited family celebration. As long as I was more focused on negative thoughts, my negative feelings would not be displaced, no matter what was going on externally.

    So when the enemy tempts me with fiery dart thinking, I have learned that to know Peace I must make a deliberate choice to turn my focus toward God and His presence. It’s been my experience that’s the only sure way to break free of the enemy’s stronghold. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

 

Press Release for Fiery Darts

READ THIS AND FIND OUT WHAT FIERY DARTS IS ALL ABOUT

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“Did God really say…?” With one, seemingly, simple question Satan has been effective at casting a seed of doubt in the minds of believers since Adam and Eve. Satan has used the distortion of truth to try to destroy humanity from the time of creation. In Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice ($10.99, paperback, 978-1-936989-22-5), Janet Warren Lane explains how truth that is enveloped within a subtle lie can thwart God’s plan for Christians and devastate them spiritually.

As Lane explains, the lie enters as a negative thought or— a fiery dart from the Enemy. Although, Satan’s tactics are not new, when the lie is well-blended with some truth within the recesses of the mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between the truth and the lie. Believers accept the lie as truth and become accustomed to this pattern of negative thinking. This sets them on the path toward a destructive life course. “What we think determines how we feel and what we feel influences our actions,” says Lane.

The weapon of choice for Satan has always been getting the Christian to doubt God. He will disguise the fiery dart in such a way that believers will not even know they are teetering from its sharp sting. The result is a life plagued with unfulfilled dreams, shattered relationships, and maybe even— a turning away from God.

How do you discern between a lie and the truth before the lie defeats you? In order to recognize the counterfeit, that which is authentic must be known. Scripture is the weapon for every believer. “Knowing the words that proceed from the mouth of God, in other words, The Bible, we have those TRUTHS with which to contrast the fiery darts from Satan,” says Lane. She shares examples of verses that will help you neutralize the negative thoughts as they come in. The counter attack must be as swift as the fiery dart approaching.

Satan persistently attempts to frustrate the plans God has for each believer. It is time to become aware of the Enemy’s devices and reclaim what he has taken from you. Learn how to break free from the bondage of complacency and negative thinking in your life. You can now start enjoying the abundant life God has prepared for you. Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice will help you to clearly detect the imminent darts and ground you in your spiritual journey toward illumination.

For more information on Janet Warren Lane and Fiery Darts, please visit http://www.CertaPublishing.com/FieryDarts

AND PURCHASE A COPY FOR YOURSELF, OR A LOVED ONE, OR SOMEONE WHO YOU FEEL NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS LIBERATING MESSAGE!

 

Who’s Messing With Your Self Worth?

The Cognitive Triangle

The Cognitive Triangle

First we entertain a thought. That thought will cause certain related feelings. Thus, behavior is based on our thoughts and feelings.  p.16, FD

     Several years ago and over a two year period of time, I suffered from a serious bout of depression. I remember battling suicidal thoughts and deep sadness to the point that my prayers became a desperate cry for God to hold on to me because I had no strength left to hold on to Him.  I survived that dark time in my life but that’s about it. It wouldn’t be until several years later as God initiated my training in fiery dart recognition that I would be able to recognize the bondage that defined my existence during those two years. 

Here’s what happened to me and I see this same overused but deadly effective tactic of Satan’s still being used today!

     Refer to the diagram above. In my case I was a people pleaser. If I felt significant people in my life approved of me, then life was good and I felt good about myself. On the other hand, if there was strife or conflict in these relationships life was not good and I became convinced I had little reason to feel good about myself. Self approval you see was strongly connected to what others thought of me. (Or what I thought they thought!)

Do you see the pattern?

     First this negative thought (fiery dart remember) would plant itself into my head producing some very negative feelings or emotions. Never mind that these negative thoughts had no basis in Truth! The poison of these fiery darts seeped into my thinking producing destructive attitudes and behavior. 

     The purpose of these fiery darts, you see, was to diminish any sense of self worth that I might still possess. I was an easy target because it was way too important for me to have the good opinion of those significant people in my life. As relationships with these people deteriorated, so did my self worth.

I wonder if I have touched a nerve? 

     Are you sad seemingly all the time? Are you convinced you don’t measure up and that significant persons in your life don’t approve of you? Does the dangerous thought that your family would be better off without you ever sneak into your mind? Please hold on, for I have glorious news for you in my next post. In the meantime hold on to the following verse,

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

What does a fiery dart attack look like? (Refresher course!)

Negative thoughts produce negative behavior!

Negative thoughts came first; from that came this!

     Our little cartoon girl certainly would have been drawn quite differently if someone was trying to illustrate the result of positive thinking, don’t you think? !

 

REMEMBER,

What we think determines how we feel and what we feel influences out actions. A negative action is often the result of negative thinking!  p. 15 Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

     As I watch the destructive force being poured out upon people (Christian and nonChristian alike) via fiery darts, I am almost tempted to despair. (But I don’t give into that because I RECOGNIZE it is a fiery dart.) 

     For those of you who have a copy of my book and who read this blog, fiery darts have been exposed and you now possess the knowledge of how you have been (hopefully, it’s a past tense thing with you) manipulated.

     Of course, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t bothered with fiery darts anymore, does it? Nope, not at all, if anything the attacks come more frequently now! Well, that has certainly been the case with me.

A real life example of a fiery dart attack!

     There I stood in confrontation with a person whom I love and cherish. I had made a mistake and because of the stress that laid heavily upon this person their reaction to my mistake was blown totally out of proportion and negative thoughts (fiery darts, you see) fueled some very negative words as a result.

     At first, my response was to sincerely apologize (I was trying hard to respond, not react for I was keenly aware of the stress involved). But as the tension escalated, I soon realized that a sincere apology wasn’t going to suffice. After repeated attempts to apologize failed, I soon found myself bombarded mentally with fiery darts and I was struggling to stay afloat.  After all, I wrote a book about this very thing, I should know how to handle the onslaught (the fiery darts within my own mind), right? !

      Then, at a critical moment during our negative discourse, my confrontation partner spoke a “truth thought” that served to overpower the fiery darts swirling through my mind. Therefore, the tension slowly subsided and clarity with understanding prevailed. This confrontation ended on a positive note and the relationship between us was strengthened. 

Why?

1) Because we RECOGNIZED the fiery darts with which both of us were being attacked.  

2)We struggled to REJECT them, (not an easy task I can assure you, but we did it. Power of God’s grace, you know)  

3)Finally by REPLACING the fiery darts with truth thoughts we overpowered their negativity and peace prevailed.

Refer to my blog post on The 3 R’s of Fighting Fiery Darts from which the above was derived: http://wp.me/p1ZA1r-9p