All Posts Tagged: Philippians

Second Touch – Partners in Growth

For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.
Philippians 2:12-13

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything
to work toward something good and beautiful
when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. 

From the distant past, His eternal love reached into the future.
You see, He knew those who would be His one day,
and He chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son
so that Jesus would be the firstborn of a new family of believers, all brothers and sisters.
As for those He chose beforehand, He called them to a different destiny
so that they would experience what it means to be made right with God
and share in His glory.
Romans 8:28-30

 In the process of growing to be Jesus-like, (those who would be His one day, Father chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son) we are not on our own. We have a partner whose singular purpose is to help in our development. “God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.” This is precisely what Jesus promised before his crucifixion. (John 14:15-18I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper…. The Helper is the Spirit of truth. (Mentor of Life)  He lives with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you all alone like orphans.” (John 14:15-18) Note,In our progression we are never alone.Remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) The basic task of The Helper is to facilitate our becoming like Jesus. He employs three fundamental methods: coaching, counseling and correcting.
The Spirit has unlimited scope In His operation. “We can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”  (Romans 8:28)If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us ALL THINGS? (Romans 8:32) Yes, that includes everything we classify as “BAD.” We might even think/say: “What good can out of this!” Well, absolutely nothing is beyond the Spirit’s power to transform it for our good! Now then, we must remember what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit. Only God’s Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going.” (John 3:8)
 What’s “the good” as stated above? There is but one primary purpose in the Spirit’s operation. “He chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son! Put a set of glasses on. The glasses will determine the way by which you see everything. If the glasses blur your vision, you will see everything indistinctly. That’s the way it is. Without the glasses of the Spirit you will have no clarity about the events of your life. In partnership with your decision “to live according to His plan” the Spirit will correct your vision so that it’s 20/20.

Mental Health – The Psychology of Self-Motivation

 Redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation (wholeness),
reverent and sensitive before God.
That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you,
God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.
Philippians 2:12-13


Scott Geller is Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality. He has written numerous articles and books, including When No One’s Watching: Living and Leading Self-motivation. Scott will examine how we can become self-motivated in “The Psychology of Self-Motivation.”


Mental Health Monday – Define Your Fears not Your Goals


Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness,
everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7


Note Paul’s formula for dealing with worrying! It’s purpose is to allow “Jesus to displace worry at the center of your life.” The first step is: “Instead of worrying, pray,“; that is, change the activity of your mind. How? “Let praises shape your worries” and so alter the center of gravity in your mind. Once this process is commenced, one is positioned in a more positive mental framework to “make known to God your concerns,” those things that are at the root of  ones anxiety.

In the following Tim Ferris explores a practical method by which the self-paralysis of fear can be immensely lessened or absolute eliminated. It somewhat parallels what Paul suggested. Tim “discovered” this tool as he dealt with severe bi-polar condition and several suicide attempts. He encourages us to fully envision and write down our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls “fear-setting.”






Easter Impact – 3

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
Philippians 4:13

(NOTE: as compared with English, Greek is a profoundly rich language.)

Easter means Energy!

This power produces an ATTITUDE. “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.” Herein Paul employs two Greek words for power, the first of which is ισχυω. The root of this word envisions military action: a combative, confrontive force that faces resistance to bring about victory (success). Notes three elements: 1) resistance 2) combative force and 3) success. The second Greek word is ἐνδυναμόω, meaning to be empowered to face resistance, the result of which is success.

OK, enough Greek. Here’s an illustration. In World War II the goal (success) was to overthrow Hitler in Berlin. Starting on the shores of Normandy, the allied troops encountered German resistance, requiring a fierce force of military action. Though history tends to emphasize the “Big Battles”: Bulge, Midway, Stalingrad, Iwo Jima, Bataan and Caen to name but a few, there was constant resistance all the way to Berlin. Finally, throughout the campaign the allied forces were empowered with equipment, both old and new. However, the primary weapon was the will of the human spirit!

In following Jesus we will encounter resistance. In Ephesians 6 Paul succinctly delineates our situation. “Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way, you will be able to successfully stand against the devil’s strategies.” This is the subject of Paul Bunyan’s classic work, Pilgrim’s Progress.


So, here’s the picture. Your Enemy resists God’s purposes for your life. Via various methods the Monster of Life intends your failure as a disciple of Jesus. Though the resistance is intense, possibly involving grave wounds, your success (the Creator’s design for YOU) is guaranteed IF you will recognize and draw upon the power that’s in you. Remember! This inherent power is nothing less than that which the Father released in raising Jesus from the dead.

So, Paul writes: “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.” Now, that’s ATTITUDE!

Mental Health Monday—climbing out of addiction and depression

I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. (Philippians 3:13)

mt2Margo Talbot is a writer and climber who lives in the southern interior of British Columbia. She has competed in a number of climbing competitions, including the ESPN X-Games and the Ouray International Ice Festival. A sponsored athlete with Outdoor Research, she also guides for Chicks with Picks and runs an adventure guiding company for women, The Glitter Girls.

Margo has written: All That Glitters: A Climber’s Journey Through Addiction and Depression. Amazon’s review observes: “Margo Talbot’s unflinchingly honest account of a childhood characterized by abuse and neglect, her descent into depression, addiction, and criminal activity is both heartbreaking and, ultimately, inspiring. Finding redemption and healing through her passion for the outdoors and, in particular, ice climbing, this memoir is a stirring testament to the power of the human spirit and the healing force of nature.”

Here’s her story…