“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8
It was Saturday, February 25, 2012; my husband, Roy, and I were headed to Norman Park, Ga. to see our youngest daughter, Kara, perform at her District Honor Band Concert that began at 4 p.m. I stated my desire to leave around 2:45 p.m. The drive, from our house, takes around 45 minutes, with no unexpected stops or detours along the way. This is something I wanted to arrive early at, not only because there would be a lot of people attending, but because I wanted to see Kara, who had arrived on Friday, to wish her luck and take pictures of her with her friends in their uniforms before she performed.
I begin trying to wake Roy from a nap about an hour before we have to leave, but he isn’t responding. I continue to try to wake him over and over. He finally makes it to the shower; but at the last minute decides to pick out a shirt that needs to be pressed over. “Ok”, I think to myself, “I am not going to let this get to me.” The shirt is pressed. We are ready to leave, right? I have everything together and go to the car. I get in and crank it up. I am sitting there waiting and waiting on him. “What is he doing?” I feel my blood pressure beginning to rise ever so slightly. Then my phone rings. It’s my mom, who happens to live in Illinois. So, I’m talking to her while I’m waiting on Roy (trying not to think about what time it is). He finally comes out the door. Then he stops and smokes a cigarette. Really?
He gets in the car at 3:10 p.m. We are on our way. Finally! Then he asks me if Hwy 188 is still out going to Coolidge, which by the way; I never drive this road. I say “I don’t know.” I think to myself, while still on the phone with my mom, “Really; how am I supposed to know? You know I never go this way. Seriously?” The detour signs are still up, but the road block signs are down. But; instead of being safe and travelling an alternate road; he takes a chance and goes down a road that could possibly still be out. Yeah. So; we are driving down Hwy 188 all the way until there is, guess what, no more road. Yep. Now we have to turn around and take that alternate road anyway. Oh my gosh! I feel my blood pressure rising even more now. I am still on the phone with my mom at this point, which is probably a good thing. I am trying my very best to concentrate on what my mom is saying; but it really is hard. I have these thoughts “I will never forgive him if we don’t make it in time to see Kara perform.”
Now; I know that I have to forgive him. This is just what pops in my head. I am being open and honest with you. You may think this a little extreme; but I do have issues in this area. My mom must sense that I am not fully engaged in the conversation. She tells me that she will let me go, and to tell Kara that she is proud of her. After hanging up with my mom, my first thoughts were to say, (among other things) “You see, this is exactly why we should have left early.” But, instead; I hit the CD button on the stereo in the car and Jamie Nunnally started singing “Save me from all the things that keep me far from my King. Make me who you want me to be. I give You everything!”
Yep! I definitely needed saving right then, from my own thoughts, and from saying things that would have started an argument. The best thing that I could do was to ask God to forgive me for the impure thoughts that I was having towards Roy; and then redirect my thoughts. We arrived at Norman Park at 3:56 p.m. They were just announcing the middle school band when we were walking in. Before Kara’s performance with the high school band; I had the opportunity to sneak down to the stage, while they were setting up, to let her know we were there and to wish her luck. Luckily, our oldest daughter and her husband arrived early; and she was able to take some pictures of Kara in her uniform for me.
I could have chosen to follow through with my thoughts and said what was on my mind. Things would have definitely turned out a lot differently. But, for some reason, I took a deep breath, looked down and hit that button instead. At first I just listened to Jamie. It wasn’t long before I was singing along with him. After that; I began praying, asking God’s forgiveness and thanking Him that I had access to that CD to redirect my thoughts on something pure, something lovely and praiseworthy.
Galatians 5:16 & 20 says “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” such as”contentions, outbursts of wrath”
With each new day that we are given, come choices that we have to make. Perhaps you are presented with a situation where you are treated badly; or you may have someone that is very difficult to get along with in your family, at work or at school. Maybe you feel angry. If it is a continuing situation; you quite possibly could feel discouraged. You cannot change the way that person may choose to act; but you certainly can change the way you choose to think or act. If a thought comes into your mind it doesn’t mean that you have to act on it; and it doesn’t mean that you have to dwell on it either.
Romans 12:1&2 says that “we should present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service; and not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
For me, at that particular place and time; renewing my mind came by listening to Jamie’s CD, which is full of things that are “pure, lovely and praiseworthy”. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of redirecting your thoughts and renewing your mind, and worship music is not an option for you; the Word of God is the greatest weapon you can use. The book of Psalms has great praises to God. Replace those wrong thoughts by meditating on a verse from there instead. If you can be thinking bad thoughts about someone while you are working, or whatever it is that you are doing; then surely you can replace those bad thoughts with a scripture that is praising God, right? These are just a few my favorites:
Psalm 71:14 “But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.”
Psalm 86:12 “I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore.”
Psalm 96:4 “For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised”
Psalm 145:3 “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.”
Psalm 150:2 “Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”
As I select scripture; I find ones that express how I feel personally, from my heart, toward God. I find that it is easier to remember scripture if they are of personal significance to me.
Now, as far as my marriage is concerned; am I saying that it would have ended that day if I would have voiced my thoughts? Not necessarily. What I am saying, is that it could have brought on the beginning of an argument that could have escalated into something very nasty, therefore; who knows where that would have led?
God will allow Satan to use circumstances in our lives to tempt and test us. Just take a look at Matthew 4 where Jesus was tempted by Satan. Jesus used the Word of God against Satan. Jesus should be our example.
If you are married; then I can almost guarantee that you have areas where you and your spouse disagree. I am not saying that you argue. I am saying that you probably disagree. There is a difference.
I can assure you, that our enemy, Satan, would love nothing more than to cause conflict in our
homes, in our workplaces, in our churches, in all of our relationships. To not believe this is naïve.
1 Peter 5:8 clearly says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
2 Corinthians 10:3 tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”
We should recognize spiritual attacks for what they are and stand our ground because; Luke 10:19 tells us “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Just know that you have authority over the thoughts you think. You can choose to redirect them and not act on them. No matter what else is going on, no matter what anyone else is saying or doing; you are in control of what you think and do.
1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
I was tempted to say things that I knew would cause conflict in my marriage and strife in my home; but God provided a way of escape through Jamie’s music. As I listened to Jamie sing; my mind was being renewed by the words I was hearing. As I began to sing and worship God; my heart and my spirit were being refreshed. God is so good!
May you be extremely blessed,
If you would like to know more about Jamie Nunnally and his music; you can do so by visiting