Thursday, December 7, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or

Merry Christmas to You All!       

Laura’s Reflection: Think on These Things
It’s been one of those “God is speaking to me” times, specifically on Philippians 4:8. It is popping up everywhere this week; every devotional, verse of the day and in the Christian blogs I read. So, I better stop and think on this!  

“Finally brothers, 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 on these things.”

SPECIAL NOTE: Monday and Tuesday, I write all of the below, pray about it and am ready to send off to you this afternoon but I must share what just happened. It’s Wednesday and I sneak in to hear a guest speaker for the Women’s Christmas Brunch, Jodi Phelps. She’s a dear friend of Julie St. Angelo and Julie really encouraged me to take the time away from my “desk” and listen to Jodi’s story.  I am telling you the truth, Jodi shared a beautiful message and she ended with this “And now sisters, think on these things, whatever is true, whatever is noble…Philippians 4:8” These were her ending words.  Do you think GOD is making it clear to me?  How precious of GOD to confirm one last time that this is what I am to share.  

My first thought is about something I have said over and over to my kids and now grandkids “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”  I use that when they want to watch a TV show that I think is immoral, see a movie that’s too dark or listen to music that is not uplifting, etc.  Did you know that the average person has 10,000 separate thoughts a day? Every one of these thoughts represents a choice we make, a decision. 

God gives us specific instruction on what to think about, I think I (we) better listen:

  1. Is it TRUE? Are you speaking and hearing truth? Speaking truth rules out all dishonesty and lying. God is truth and Satan is a liar, the father of lies! So, to walk in truth is to steep ourselves in God’s word; test everything by God’s Word, not by feelings or our culture. Read and think on the truth - HIS WORD.

  1. Is it NOBLE (honorable)? This word means “that which inspires reverence; worthy of respect”. Do you waste time pondering on things that are trivial or time thinking on the eternal? Consider how short our life is on earth against the reality of heaven or hell. Time should be spent giving honor to our Lord of Lords. "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11

  1. Is it RIGHT? Whatever is right must conform to God’s standards, not the worlds.  Is it right in GOD’S eyes? Often when making a decision, I think to myself “Would I do this if Jesus were standing right here?” Well, HE IS STANDING BY ME and the HOLY SPIRIT actually LIVES in me! So, do the right thing.

  1. Is it PURE? Definition is “clean, holy, undefiled.” Most often we think of moral purity (which is very serious to God and to us) but we must also ask if our thought life is pure.  Proverbs 23:7 “Whatever a man thinketh, so is he …” “The wisdom that comes from heaven, is first of all pure …” James 3:17

  1. Is it LOVELY? In the New Testament, lovely means “what is pleasing, agreeable and attractive.” Here’s a simple rule: If it doesn’t make you lovely, don’t say it, don’t think it, don’t do it, don’t dwell on it, and don’t repeat it!  What is lovely, is God’s dwelling place, think on that (Psalm 84:1).

  1. Is it ADMIRABLE? Is it worthy of time of study and contemplation? Are we focusing on things that are positive, constructive, things that build up not tear down?  You can admire a person for their talent, strength, brains, or success but that does not mean they are admirable. To be admirable, they need to be worthy.  Look what Jesus said in John 10:29 “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”  Jesus is building His father UP and encouraging us

  1. Is it EXCELLENT?  Is it worthy, would God approve? Is it in line with God’s moral virtues? “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,” Philippians 1:9-10

  1. Is it PRAISEWORTHY? If we are speaking of GOD himself, EVERY attribute and deed of GOD is praiseworthy. Just thinking on what HE has done in creation, in history and in our present lives should bring us to PRAISING HIM all throughout the day. It’s also important for us to give praise to those who have extended kindness, love and care. This is being appreciative and affirming toward people, not negative and critical.  

Now, how do we make “thinking on these things” a real part of our daily life?
  • We need the mind of Christ, and as believers the Holy Spirit gives us the power to have this. 
  • We need to block out sinful thoughts and get rid of anything that is not pleasing to God. “Be like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” 1 Peter 1:15.  Get rid of it now, don’t delay.
  • We need to read God’s Word daily, if you can’t read, listen to it on the Bible website or Bible on tape. Saturate your mind with Scripture. Unless the Word of God is in your heart, you can’t use it when you are tempted. Dump the newspaper and read the WORD.
  • We need to listen to godly men and women for teaching.  Read sermons and commentaries from the giants in our faith like Spurgeon & Chambers. Learn from men and women of faith. Listen to your Pastors!
  • We need to fill our minds and lips with great hymns and praise choruses. Sing praises to the Lord, for He is worthy of our praise.

Before you know it, we’ll be thinking on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy … all the day long!

With Heavenly Thoughts!

Laura (12/6/17)

Laura Keener
Frontline Director, Desert Springs Church


Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18

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