Daily Devotions

A Whole New Way of Thinking

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“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

I was thinking about how liberal America has lost touch with the Christian faith, or how Christianity has lost touch with liberal America. I continued to ponder this issue as I read an article by Mark Bonchek he entitled, “Don’t Sell a Product, Sell a Whole New Way of Thinking.” Bonchek points out, “Without the right mental model, they won’t seek the problem, understand the benefits, or make the change.” Churches need to reconsider how they present a problem that only the Christian faith can answer, the benefits of addressing that problem, and how the Church can help make the necessary changes in people’s lives, to make their lives better.

Bonchek affirms, “Companies that successfully market and sell innovation are able to shift how people think not only about their product, but about themselves, the market, and the world.” Bonchek reminds us that Steve Jobs was the great example in this area. Steve Jobs guided people to see themselves as having transformative power when the person and the personal computer worked together. As with iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple Watches, etc., Jobs knew how to blur the line between technology and the individual. He also helped people see how his company’s innovations were connected to the person’s innovative power. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Steve Jobs’ innovative revolution?! 

If a computer salesman could present a world-transforming vision that would capture the imagination of the world, how much more can the Christian community provide transformational change? Steve Jobs could only offer computers, phones, and other means of entertainment. Christians have the means of sharing a world of peace and joy. We have the offer of eternal life, all the while receiving the support and guidance of the Divine, through the ongoing care of the Holy Spirit.

Today, think about what the Christian faith offers the world. Consider how your Christian faith has changed and enhanced your life. Plan and practice how you would share the faith that has blessed your life. Finally, pray for God to provide you with opportunities to share your story, so, like Steve Jobs, you can help bring life-changing transformation to this world. Only, your faith story can make a much bigger difference than Steve Jobs and his technology. You can help reintroduce liberal America to Christianity anew.

"That's Life!"

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I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

How many times have we heard the phrase, “That’s Life!”? Kiran Sidhu wrote the article “My Life in Techicolour” in Moment magazine. Sidhu shares her recent struggle with depression, and a friend who responded, “That’s Life,” and then tells her to drink more green tea. Funnily, Sidhu reflects on how sad “life” must feel, always being mentioned when one’s situation is painful. We never say in a moment of great joy, “That’s Life!” Sidhu says, “If Life were a person it would be the victim.”

If that is how Life is viewed, no wonder people can feel depressed. Almost all of us experience low-level depression from time to time. The way through it isn’t to say, “That’s Life.” That is like giving up, and that never works. Instead, seek out little joys in life, and when you notice it say, “That’s Life!” Soon, our minds are trained to look for the fun, exciting, and joyous opportunities considering those moments, Life.

Sidhu says she didn’t take her friend’s advice and take up yoga, and drink large amounts of green tea. “Instead, to help me out of my depressive state, I paid more attention to all of the small details in life that made me happy: the random unexpected conversations I had with people; the letter I received from a friend. ‘Last night, I went out with my cousin, we had my favourite meal and we laughed until I cried. That’s Life.’”

While serious, chronic depression is an issue that needs therapy and medication to bring about change; occasional, low-level depression can be addressed through intentional, mental reframing. An example of mental reframing is “That’s Life” being said in negative moments; then, finding little positives and saying, “That’s Life,” reframes how we think about our life. God, through the Holy Spirit, will bring reminders of hope and joy to our lives. Today, prayerfully ask God to allow you to see the myriad little joys and define it as “That’s Life,” rather than continually feel like the victim. When you do, life will open up, and your momentary depression will not become a go-to response. Praise God! That’s Life!

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