65 Brain Change

In learning new thoughts to replace our old, perfectionistic ones, we find our brains taxed.  Perhaps you remember hearing something like brain cells do not grow, we do not gain any more cells in our adult lives, or the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Recent research totally contradicts these ideas.  Brain cells do in fact grow in adults!  Further, we can do things to aid their growth and retention.  Marguex and I recently listened to a talk in which the speakers identified three key factors in helping our brains to develop and retain new brain cells:  1) Exercise, 2) Learn something new every day and 3) Focus intently on a subject matter for 15 minutes every day.*

For physical training is of some value.  I Timothy 4:8

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 about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

I find interesting that these speakers dovetailed with the speaker we mentioned last blog.  Yet, both talk about focus with different terminology.  Like our bodies, our brains need to be exercised (use it or lose it).  In addition, physical exercise helps the brain increase the flow of oxygen to the brain.  This increased oxygen flow has been shown to actually aid the brain to repair after a brain injury.  How amazing is that?

So, the Creator put within our beings the ability to focus on what is right, pure and praiseworthy and have it actually heal our physical minds at the same time.

Yet we need to do more than just focus—we also need to learn new things—receive and hear new things.  Learning new things will give new brain cells something to do—namely, retain the new information we learn—put it into practice (again, use it or lose it).

We have used the excuse, “Old dogs can’t learn new tricks.”  We are no longer deceived.  It does not matter how old we are, we can always learn something new.

Learning with you,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*Donald & Jan Harvey, 2012 International Christian Counseling Conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors.


64 Thoughts

“Thoughts have the power to destroy us or bring us life.”*

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. II Corinthians 10:5

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 about such things.  Philippians 4:8

Perfectionism springs from our thoughts.  We decide what we want.  We make a plan.  We plot a course.  We figure out how we are going to get what we want.  When something interferes with our plan, we think all is lost or we attempt to blast through until we get our way.  If we fail, we blame ourselves.  We think that if we could have just come up with a better plan or else executed it better, we would have succeeded.  We think that it is all up to us to make ourselves succeed, and success is the highest attainment.

We need to change our thoughts.  We need to find Truth and let go of error.  We need the Word of God as our basis of truth rather than our system of perfectionism.  We created this system in our own minds; the Bible came from the mind of the Master Designer.

How do we change or take captive every thought?  Marguex and I were listening to a speaker who said trying to block thoughts does not work; the thoughts continue to exist in our brains.  Rather, we need to think new thoughts that then replace the old.  We need to give power over to truth in our minds (Jesus is the Truth).  We need to see truth as valuable.  What’s more, we need to get excited about truth!  We need to be enthusiastic about truth and give it affective vigor.*  I see an analogy in lawn care.  Fertilizer and water will make grass grow so that it crowds out the weeds.

The speaker continued to explain that our brains are naturally programmed to forget some things while remembering other things.  Weak thoughts are eaten away while strong thoughts are kept.  This occurs during our sleep.  The glial cells in our brains eat away the weak connections.  If we want to remember something, we need to form strong connections by having strong emotions about the thoughts we want to keep.  Strong emotions create strong connections in our thoughts.*

Think of something in your life that was intense.  How well do you remember it?  If you remember it well, it was because that event aroused strong emotions in you at the time.  Normally, everyday events do not provoke such strong emotion and so are difficult to remember long term.  Do you remember what you ate last week or last month?  If it was at a special event, you might remember because of the strong emotions you had with the event.  I remember almost 17 years later what I ate at our groom’s dinner: pepper steak.  I have already forgotten what I ate last week.

We need God’s truth to permeate our lives.  Verses that relate to our experiences in life elicit positive emotions.  We need to be open to God’s work through these positive feelings so that the word becomes deeply ingrained in us.  We need to focus on Who God is; think about His love as we reflect on His word.  Strong emotions associated with His word will help us to remember it.

Rejoicing in thoughts of heaven,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


63 Receiving God’s Love

For years I repeated to myself multiple times, daily, “God loves me.”  I was trying to convince my heart that God loves me.  I wanted to feel loved by Him!

This simply doesn’t work.  My experience shows that telling one’s self over and over again, “God loves me,” does little to help feel His love.  I did this for years!  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results can be called insanity.  Why would I do something over and over again that was ineffective?  I did so because I was desperate.

We are desperate for God’s love.  We need to feel loved by Him.  We need to stop trying to convince ourselves and hear God say, “I love you.”  When I began to hear Him say that He loves me, all kinds of emotions rose up in me.  I felt incredible shame as my heart resisted the word of His love.  My heart also felt incredible joy.  At first, I struggled to hear His voice but hearing becomes easier with time.

How can we hear Him?  We can listen!  Here is an exercise:  God is speaking, “I love you.”  Read God’s message of His love:  Psalms 36:5, 57:3, 69:16, 145:13-17        Isaiah 54:10        Jonah 4:2

Lamentations 3:22, 32                Zephaniah 3:17                Matthew 5:44-45                Luke 6:35-36

John 3:16, 14:21, 23, 15:9-13, 16:27, 17:26        Romans 5:5, 8-10, 8:35, 38-39        I John 4:7-8, 16

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.  Psalm 37:7

We need to spend time with God, time to listen to Him and seek His face.  This does not happen instantaneously, it takes time.  God does love us.  He is unchanging.  We are the ones who need to change.  Ha, then I do need to change!  Yes, we need to change.  The problem is when we doubt God.  God is absolutely faithful, trustworthy and true to His word.  We are the problem when we doubt His word.

This can be a weighty word to put on those of us who struggle to receive God’s love.  We don’t need the shame, yet we need this truth.  Shame can hold us back from His love.  Again, we do not need more shame.  We do, however, need wake-up calls from time to time.  So—wake up!  God does love us!  We need to listen.  The thought that God is not loving comes from the enemy.  Hold on to truth.  Eschew lies.  Embrace this truth:  “God is love.”

At one time, I thought that God loved everyone except me.  Do you hear the arrogance in that?  What would make me so special that God would single me out not to be loved by Him?  The thought, “He does not love me,” shows a level of shame.  Remember, pride and shame are flip sides of the same coin.  Do you feel like I did, that God has singled you out not to be loved by Him?  Then please let’s let go of our pride and shame and acknowledge that the God of the Universe loves everyone.  Include yourself!

Embracing His love,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com