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Wednesday, February 7, 2024 (Paula)

Posted on by Josh Heppner 0 comments
The other day when my husband and I were out for our early morning run, I decided NOT to take my headlamp along.

I know my route so well I told my hubby “I could do it in the dark.“ 🫣

I do enjoy the dark and peaceful moments right before the sun rises and emerges on the horizon. Such a serene calm and quiet time. But it is really dark.

Did I mention that my husband is a much faster runner than I am so this means we park the vehicle in the lot and I run my pace alone (with my dog). As I was coming up over the familiar hill that I fondly named “Mt Wanna-Hawka-Loogie” my eyes fixated upon a black shadowy image 40 yards off the trail. I tried to study its shape, size, and if it was moving or not. Has that always been there? (Remember, it’s dark!) I was also running free (without my amazing transition lenses) and I just couldn’t make it out. I thought perhaps it was a coyote, or a juvenile bear that emerged out of hibernation due to our weird weather… or maybe it was a person, hunched down, waiting to attack me. In moments, I my thought gave birth to a lot of fearful thoughts. I was imagining myself doing KungFu Panda moves and visualizing some self-defense strategies from my earlier life — thinking of screaming and sic-ing my yellow lab on this shadowy perpetrator.

In fact, I found myself yelling into the dark “DONT EVEN TRY IT!” as I jogged beyond the dark shape, still unmoving 30 yards away.

My heart rate and respiratory rate were elevated even more as I imagined more frightful thoughts inside my head. I lost all sensibility, my calm and peace, and now I had convinced myself that the worst thing I could imagine was certainly going to happen!

It was not my best moment,
but it was my fastest half-mile…probably ever!

As the sun began to rise, more visual clarity helped my racing thought life, and I slowed my pace and calmed right down. I could see again! I looped back on my route and eventually came back to the “dangerous valley” where I saw 👀 the “thing” just 30 minutes prior. As I proceeded back toward Mt Wanna-Hawka-Loogie, I learned that my imagined fear was based on nothing more than an old tree stump!


But how silly of me to allow my thoughts to run wild!!

The entire ridiculous experience reminded me of how much our thoughts can take over our feelings and our actions. (For good or for bad!)

We have been studying a
bible study entitled “The Hard Good.”
We have been challenged to stand up and lean into to our fears and our hard things (not run from them!) Facing our reality and accepting those difficult circumstances in life with a posture of trust and obedience in God can literally transform one’s life- not to mention the lives of those around us.

How often do we allow “stink’in think’in” to rule our emotions… and ultimately our actions?
To interrupt a toxic or negative thought before it has strength to bully you is a powerful weapon of self discipline! “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power, love, and self control” 2Tim 1:7

It’s also true in the formulation of a positive and productive thoughts.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable –
if anything is excellent, or praise worthy –
think about such things. Put this into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

I love this quote from Dr Adrian Rogers and it keep it next to my desk where I can see it often! The quote rings true because it is based on Biblical principles!

“A thought is the dress rehearsal for the deed.
Sow a thought, reap a deed.
Sow a deed, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Reap a character, sow a legacy.
It all begins with a thought.”

Can I pray for us?

“Lord, help us to set our minds on life giving thoughts today. Help us focus on practicing and applying the principles in Philippians verse (whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy)no matter what comes our way! We give our thoughts to you and ask you to help us cultivate ones of power, love, and self discipline.

Better Together


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