On Saturday, we had a nice surprise visit from our friends from our previous church and chatted with them for about an hour. It was wonderful! They invited us to join them with a small group of friends at their home the next evening, so we went for a few hours yesterday. We sat outside, ate a meal together, and caught up on each others' lives. It was so good for us. We truly needed that.
On Thursday this week, we are leaving to visit with my family (YAY!) and to attend a bridal shower of our nephew and his 'soon-to-be' bride on my husband's side. He will also meet with them to make some arrangements for the wedding because he will be performing their ceremony in July. I am so excited for this trip and happy to see my family. We would appreciate your prayers as we travel. Thank you! I will let you know about the devotions as I go. I'll be taking my laptop, but I just wanted you to know our plans in case I miss a day.
Today's devotion is a good reminder to fill our minds with the right things, even more so during this difficult time we are in. The author mentions a show called, "The Chosen." I HIGHLY recommend it! It gave me hope and a secure perspective on Jesus and His kindness and love for us. Have a MARVELOUS MONDAY ladies!
"Finding a Positive Attitude in Quarantine"
CBN Ministries, Deirdre Reilly
As the Coronavirus quarantine drags on here in Massachusetts, where I live, I recently found myself dealing with some new, unwelcome emotions. Where just a few weeks prior I felt happily resolved to stay indoors, emotionally equipped to handle the restrictions of quarantine, my resolve was wavering, and I found myself experiencing episodes of moodiness and anxiety.
When are things going back to normal? And why am I feeling this way? Certainly, previous generations have had to deal with serious pressures without falling apart—wars, hunger, economic depressions, and death. How can I have a hard time just staying in?
My first step was to analyze what I was putting into my mind on a daily basis. While I have been keeping up with my prayers and daily Bible reading, more time indoors has brought more time in front of the television, too. I have a plethora of options for viewing: a Netflix subscription and more cable channels than I can count. I had gotten in the habit of watching both cable news and darker content like true crime murder mysteries, which helped set the stage for my dreary outlook. (The devil will ease through any door in our hearts or minds we leave just a tiny bit open!)
While maybe there is technically nothing wrong with watching these programs, I was doing nothing to advance God’s kingdom in my own life. We are only human—what we feed our minds will often decide to settle there, influencing our moods and habits in countless ways. The Bible reminds,
“Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2 NLT)
I was definitely copying the behaviors of this world, so I decided to change my perspective. Imagine if you suddenly found yourself deserted on an island with a beloved friend whom you longed to get to know better. Would you immediately busy yourself locating a power source and hooking up a television to watch news or mysteries? No! You would revel in the time spent with this treasured friend, seeking to strengthen your bond.
That’s our chance today, with God! If we change our perspective, we can reach deeper levels to our faith during quarantine. We can pray more deeply and honestly, listening intently, heart and mind open, for God’s replies. We can read our Bibles thoughtfully, and pray to the Holy Spirit for illumination of those precious Words. Holy scripture infallibly points the way:
“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT)
I’m not suggesting canceling television viewing in our homes, but I am suggesting being discriminating in our choices. My husband and I, along with our 21-year-old son quarantining with us, decided to watch The Chosen, a wonderful Christian production by VidAngel. This free series presents viewers with a supremely compelling Jesus—one who laughed and loved, felt sorrow, appreciated friendships, and brought God’s kingdom to earth in the way only he could. The disciples in The Chosen are mere men, full of faults and questions, chosen by Christ for the most important work imaginable. This series sparked conversations between the three of us and left us feeling safe and protected, no matter what the future brings. Our Lord is truly in control.
Now, I actively choose wholesome movies and shows to watch and strictly limit my news intake. And no murder mysteries for me. And let me tell you, my mood has significantly improved! I am going to activate my will to use this precious time to become closer to our Lord. He loves us so much; let’s return that greatest of loves.
I hope you join me!