817 Dwell on These Things

It’s time for a change of focus to keep the news from getting the best of us.

SPECIAL EDITION

see the light

This is a very special post for me. It reflects an epiphany, an awakening, and a new direction for the Saturday editions of this newsletter. For the past eight years I have been spending at least 25 hours a week researching and developing sources who can help me present the news that you won’t get from most other sources-news that will help my readers understand what’s really happening in our world. I was willing to do the research so you wouldn’t have to.

It was during a recent men’s Bible study at my church that the epiphany came like a lightning bolt. The subject was Daniel and his time in Babylon. The specific message was his hope and the things that can interfere with our own hope. A familiar passage spoke to me as never before:

 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Phil. 4:8).

At that moment, I understood the degree to which I had allowed my mind to dwell on the wrong things. I still want to know what’s going on in the world, but I had been dwelling on these things so intently and for so long that my spiritual outlook had been affected. I realized that I had sacrificed the best for the good, and I was now paying the price.

The revelation reminded me of the illustration of the two dogs, one representing our spiritual desires, the other, our fleshly desires. The point of the illustration is that the dog that will ultimately win is the dog we feed the most. I realized that I had been feeding the news dog more than the hope in God dog.

I could see that a preoccupation with these things keeps us from experiencing the hope, the joy, and the peace that Christ purchased for us on the cross. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and pretend that everything in the world is fine. What I am going to do is to focus on setting my mind on things above. I am convinced that I will be doing my readers a greater favor by helping us all to focus on the magnitude of our God instead of the enormity of our world’s problems.

I will be searching for the balance between our need to understand the times and the command to set our mind on things above. We all need to be reminded of the sovereignty of our God, His unchanging character, and His promises. Our problem is that we tend to focus on what we think is right for our nation, but Christ’s concern is for the building of His Church. That should be our primary concern also, and often, what’s best for the growth of Christ’s Church runs counter to what we think is best for the nation.

I have concluded that I have written enough over the past eight years to alert my readers to the dangers we face. Yes, the details will change. The news I have presented every Saturday has been nothing more than the latest installment of the same basic battles that have been going on for ages. In the end, every article has simply reflected the latest chapter in the epoch heavenly spiritual battle that has been waged ever since Lucifer (Satan) was thrown out of heaven.

Satan loves to keep us so distracted that we miss God’s best. God wants to keep us so focused on Him that Satan can never distract us. To bring this about in me, I have decided to go through a self-imposed “news detox program.” I will continue to post articles, but they will reflect a heavenly focus. To that end, I ask that, until further notice, all my friends who used to send me news articles, refrain from doing so unless the article meets my new standard. I am on a fast from “news as usual.”

I have no idea how long the fast will last. This is new territory for me. I’m going to follow the Lord’s lead here. What I know for certain is that for the present time, I’ve got to swing the pendulum to the other side for my spiritual health. If you subscribe to my newsletter primarily for the news, I’ll understand if you want to click the “unsubscribe” button.

I write both a newsletter and a blog. If you would like to see a listing of all my articles for the past eight years,¬†click here¬†on my blog. In closing, let me suggest that you check out¬†one article¬†in particular.¬†Consider it the first step in blending today’s news with maintaining a heavenly focus. It should help to interpret the bad news in light of the good news.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed,
if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. —¬†Mark Twain


ATTRIBUTIONS

 Inclusion of photographs and/or images in no way implies the endorsement of this newsletter or its information by the photographer or designer.

“See the light” photo by¬†Christian
Attribution license 


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