Perspective Pops

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

(Psalm 43:5)

We all talk to ourselves—it’s the brain’s natural way of processing information, and we’d go crazy if the internal chatter permanently stopped. (And yes, it’s biblical; many psalms read like journal entries of David’s self-talk.) But do you ever get stuck in your own head? When those mental ruts are deep, they can shove you back onto the well-worn path of negativity, fatalism, anger, depression, or anxiety, and it can feel close to impossible to speak sensibly to yourself.

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Hearing Voices

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on January 15, 2020. You can find it here.)

“Who do we become when we stop allowing all the voices in our head to crowd out the one voice we must hear to come to life?”

(Erwin McManus)

I find deep beauty in the hush that falls over my heart and home after the holiday chaos has ebbed. Décor is stowed until next year, surfaces are reordered, and a gentle blanket of silence fills the previously riotous internal and external spaces of life. 

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Life in the Desert

“My life is so dry right now. I just feel like I’m wandering around in the desert.”

These words could have been uttered by Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Joseph. Moses. The nation of Israel. Elijah. Nehemiah. John the Baptist. Jesus. Paul. And maybe you.

Friend, the path into (and out of) the desert is well-traveled—God seems to find it one of His most effective settings for transformation. Whether your dry season has lasted 40 days like Jesus or 40 years like the Israelites, the desert is meant to help you encounter God in a very real way.

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Bloom Where You’re Planted

Qui transtulit sustinet. (He who transplanted still sustains.)

-Connecticut State Motto

Are you ready for an exercise in imagination? Picture a particular flower. (Mine’s a peach ranunculus.) Come on, it’ll be fun. Mentally plant your flower on a plain, grassy hill. Now picture a copy of that flower, but place it in the middle of a verdant garden, wild colors spilling everywhere around it.

Against which background does your flower make a bigger visual impact?

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The Danger of Toxic Thinking

You might be assuming from the title that today’s post is about how to avoid negative mental patterns. While there is a ton of biblical material to back up why such an endeavor would be important, that’s not the direction we’ll be taking. Call it intentional misdirection. (Abracadabra!)

The danger of thinking about toxic people—or, more specifically, of thinking of people as toxic—is actually where we’re headed, and it’s quite a different conversation.

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