Newness: Forgive Again

In Mind, Soul by Caleb

Forgive, create a boundary, and forgive some more.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:21-22

Boundaries and forgiveness are a prickly tension. We can’t let people walk all over us. Neither can we stop forgiving them.

Boundary: “This is how I will and won’t relate to this person, because I believe it’s best for them and me.”

Forgiveness: “I’ll still extend massive amounts of grace and forgiveness—because I’ve been forgiven much, and because bitterness poisons the soul.” 

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Newness: Reframe It

In Mind by Caleb

If the way you’ve been looking at it isn’t working, look at it differently.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Wayne Dyer

Some of us are stubborn in our approach, even though our approach isn’t serving us. You can be right about the facts and your feelings and still have the wrong outlook.

Take a step back, see the bigger picture. What if they can’t change? What if they’re just not who you wish they were? What if—like you—they are a work in progress and need extra grace in this area?

Reframe the issue and refocus on what matters most. (Hint: Humans, relationships, love, grace…)

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Newness: Choices

In Mind by Caleb

Every decision can be an adventure into a better future.

“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make changes you.” — John Maxwell

You are one decision away from the better path.

Think about this moment. You can do this or that. You can think this or the other thing. You can focus on what’s best (and beautiful, and beneficial), or you can focus on the garbage.

Your choice. Your decision.

Our decisions compound—like interest—to build our better future.

Even if it feels small and insignificant, making the better decision will lead you to your better and better future. 

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Newness: Everyday

In Body, Soul by Caleb

Every time you wake up, it’s a fresh start.

Why do we sleep?
1. To help remind us that we are not God, and God can be trusted while we’re asleep. 2. To reset our systems to begin again with each NEW day.

Every new day is a new beginning. A fresh start. A system reset.

We need the new beginnings to.. * recharge and go further * reaffirm our decisions and direction * receive grace and the gift of a new day

Congratulations. Today is a new day, and you are invited to participate—once again—in the miracle of newness birthing out from what is.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23

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Newness: Present & Future

In Soul by Caleb

The Kingdom of God is now and not yet.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelations 21:5)

In some ways, already. In other ways, still coming.

The Kingdom of God is present and also stilling being given. The Kingdom of God is realized, and also being birthed. The Kingdom of God is right in front of you and also just out of reach.

It’s the same with YOU. You are yourself, AND you’re becoming more so. You are entirely who you are, AND you’re still becoming the best version of yourself. You are a living and whole being, AND you’re still in the process of bringing harmony and wholeness to your body, mind, heart, soul. Now, and… Yes, plus…

Newness is real, and newness is coming.

Be grateful for what is, AND pay attention for opportunities to participate in the coming of what could be! 

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Newness: All The Things

In Mind, Soul by Caleb

Every good story goes to crap before the glorious climax.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelations 21:5)

It’s difficult to imagine how the Creator of everything intends to make it all new. Humanity seems to be doing a pretty good job of making a mess of it all.

All living things die around us. Eventually, we too, will die. Even our earth—its’ ice, oceans, trees, and soil—are in dire straights. We are in desperate need of the “everything new” trick.

But, perhaps that’s the problem. Maybe we think it’s a divine trick up God’s sleeve. Or, we’re waiting for this place to get so bad that God takes us to a different place. All the while, I wonder if God is waiting on us to keep up our end of the original assignment:

Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)

God’s first instruction to humanity was to manage and oversee creation. We’ve failed, miserably. Even the “religious” or bible-readers among us. We love the verse, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). But most of us don’t use the “newness” to spur us on to being catalysts of more newness—for all living things around us.

Newness starts as a seed within, but it has to work its way out—into ALL THE THINGS. And you and I have a part to play.

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Mental Health: Create Space

In Mind, Soul by Caleb

Fight for space, stillness, and margin in a world of overwhelming chaos and technological connectedness.

Create space to not be okay. With your words, your face, your presence, create space for it to be okay to not be okay. This goes for YOU first. Have compassion for yourself and create space to rest and not have it all together, all the time. You will struggle to create space for others to be weak if you refuse to allow yourself to need rest and need a break.

Create space to rest. Build margin into your day and week. Just like your body, your brain needs breaks. Build time in – at least every morning and evening – to reflect without technological stimulus. Keep your phone at a charging station that’s not next to your bed. Before you take inputs from the outside world, invite your inside world to connect to your Creator and Life Source.

Create space for stillness. Some call it meditation, or centering prayer, but the terminology doesn’t matter much. What’s key is being still, breathing, and connecting to your mind to your body, heart, and soul.

You are a WHOLE being – body, mind, heart, soul. Your mind will run the show unless you force it be still and pay attention to the rest of you.

Questions to ask as you create space to get in touch with your whole being…
* What am I feeling in my body?
* What emotions am I experiencing? What are they telling me?
* What is my soul trying to tell me? How is God’s Spirit relating to my soul/spirit?
* Will I surrender and embrace my dependence upon the God of the universe?

Allow your breathing to remind you that God is closer than your breath. Breath in God’s Spirit. Breath out your worry and anxiety. Over. And over.

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Mental Health: Compassion

In Heart, Mind by Caleb

Everyone is carrying a burden you know nothing about.

Maybe the best lesson from the movie “Joker”, is that we ought to be compassionate in our all our dealings with people – as odd or unusual as someone might be.

So,

Choose compassion over discomfort. We fear what we don’t understand. And what we don’t understand can make us uncomfortable. Seek first to understand.

Choose compassion over disgust. Because we fear what don’t understand, we end up operating in fear. And fear can lead to a resentful disgust that we’re having to deal with this “problem” in front of us. An ugly way to live. Instead, turn disgust into grace. If we knew the darkest parts in you, we’d all be disgusted, too.

Choose compassion over denial. Instead of ignoring the problems and pretending it’s not there, enter into the mess. Ask the questions. Get below the surface. Build trust as you express genuine care and compassion.

Compassion means that we look beyond the symptoms to the inner struggle. Default to compassion, kindness, and being caring.

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Mental Health: Focus and Affirm

In Mind by Caleb

Affirm what’s good, beautiful, true…and what you want to be true.

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 praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8

My friend Eric taught me to practice affirmations about 10 years ago. He started with gratitude – being thankful for things that are true, noble, right, and pure. Then, he affirms things that he wants to be true – characteristics that he hopes increase in him. Things like…

* I’m a brilliant communicator, encouraging thousands.
* My wife feels loved and cherished by me.
* My children know their value and how much their parents love them.

These kinds of things already have a glimmer of truth, and the more we emphasize them in our minds, the more they expand into reality.

Choose your thoughts. Focus your mind. Affirm what’s helpful and true and leading you in the direction you want to go.

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Mental Health: Think About Thinking

In Mind by Caleb

Thinking about your thinking is how you’ll think better thoughts.

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Most of life is spent in autopilot. Your brain has learned to do 95% of the thinking in the subconscious, making decisions based on previous data and experience and not bothering you with the details.

The mind is brilliant, until it’s not. All of us have past experiences, thoughts, and ways of being that poison the well – training our brain in unhelpful ways – so that our subconscious is leading us in a direction we don’t want to go.

When people have negative self-talk, that’s what happening. When we default to fear, flight, or fight, that’s what’s happening. Our brain has learned and it thinks its protecting us. But it needs updated information.

Think about you’re thinking. Take every thought captive and ask…

* Is this helping me?
* Is this hurting me?
* Is this beneficial?
* Is this true and verifiable?

Claim the helpful thoughts and reject the unhelpful. Simple, not easy. But possible. One thought at a time.

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