Archive for February, 2009

FM: Renew Your Mind

Mini Makeover #72
28 pages

In the Book of Romans we are instructed, “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When I first read these five words–the renewing of your mind– something stirred deep within me.

What does it mean to “renew your mind?” The answer can be found in the full verse: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

This verse was a springboard for me to ask some tough questions:
How often does my attitude and thinking align with God’s Word?
Am I a willing participant in directing my thoughts and attitude toward the will of God?
Do I let autopilot take over in my life?
Is my mind constantly renewed and fed with God’s Word or is holding onto unhealthy messages?

As I sought to answer each question, I realized that the best place to feed and renew my mind was with God’s Word. I began scouring the Bible for verses that address thought and attitude. In the end I compiled 21 verses to create a “Renew Your Mind Month.”  I plan to review this renewing twice a year as a compass to live in the light of God’s instruction.In this study I share the verses and reflection question to offer a path to Renew Your Mind.

How to Stop Negative Thinking

Mini #71
8 pages

Positive thinking, for whatever reason, doesn’t spiral at the same speed as negative thinking. I believe this is because most people are trained to prepare for the worst versus expecting the best. Because we live like that, or live around people who think like that, negative thinking has the power to build more quickly—like the first little snowball that is soon rolled into the belly of a big snowman. In this Mini we will look at how the mind influences our thought patterns and practical strategies you can start NOW to tune out the negative and tune in to the positive.

Mind Mapping

Mini Makeover #70

8 pages

I have used Mind-Maps for the past 18 years for various purposes.  Mind Maps can help us

break through creative blocks
discover solutions and new approaches to challenges
facilitate thinking outside the box
take notes (great for right-brained learners)
help us break down a project into manageable parts

What is a Mind-Map?
Wikipedia defines a Mind-Map as: “a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.”

Mind-Maps are most often used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making. Buzan, a pioneer of the Mind-Map, claimed that the mind map utilizes more of the right and left brain hemispheres. The process of using words and diagrams utilizes attributes of the brain that are often not found in standard writing. This technique has been successfully applied to note-taking for students and brainstorming for companies.

In this Mini we will work through a general mind map and then look at ways to apply the technique to the aforementioned areas.

FM: Applying the Parables I

Mini #69

“He began to teach them many things in parables.” (Mark 4:2)

Stories have always been a way to relate and share to one another. Jesus used simple word-pictures, called parables, to help people understand who God is and offer guidelines for living God’s word. According to Don Schwager, “This was Jesus most common way of teaching. His stories appealed to the young and old, poor and rich, and to the learned and unlearned as well. Over a third of the Gospels by Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain parables told by Jesus. Jesus loved to use illustrations to reach the heart of his listeners through their imagination. These word-pictures challenged the mind to discover anew what God is like and moved the heart to make a response to God’s love and truth. Like a skillful artist, Jesus painted evocative pictures with short and simple words. A good picture can speak more loudly and clearly than many words. Jesus used the ordinary everyday to point to another order of reality — hidden, yet visible to those who had “eyes to see” and “ears to hear”. His parables are like buried treasure waiting to be discovered (Matt. 13:44)”

In this Bible Study, the first in a series on the Parables of Jesus, we will work through four parables to explore the meaning and understand the message these treasure hold for us today.

Creating a Mini Goal Grab Bag

Mini #68
6 pages

“Historically more than 80% of resolutions are abandoned by late February, Many women believe they are doomed before they begin. A resolution becomes another pressure in an already pressure-filled life.

As I waited for the clock to strike midnight this year, I was deep in thought about this challenge we face when reaching our goals. With statistics like these, it seemed creating a resolution is a way for many people to procrastinate on the very thing they resolve to do for another year.

If you have been discouraged by goals and set them half-heartedly or not at all, then the technique I present in this Mini offers a new approach for creating fun, Mini goals. You can use this technique to set goals for a week, a month, a quarter or an entire year. It is a great technique for regaining focus that flows with life.

How to Break a Bad Habit

Mini #67
13 pages
Includes positive and negative reinforcement worksheet, habit analysis, and obstacle exercise

Almost everyone has some habit in their life that robs their day-to-day life of a little (or a lot) of joy. Sometimes the habits are obvious—overeating, procrastinating, over-spending, drinking too much caffeine, smoking—other times they are less obvious like avoidance of health-enhancing behaviors (exercise), making excuses, spending too much time on a computer, blaming others, getting angry quickly, not taking care of ourselves… just to name a few.
Over time the word “habit” often becomes synonymous with “excuse.” We begin to feel that we cannot change an area because it is a “habit,” and stereotypically habits are hard to break. However, if we have the power to create a habit, then we also have the power to un-create it. How do we know if a habit needs to be broken? When it begins to negatively impact our relationships, self-esteem, finances, career, or any other area important to us, then a habit has become a hurt.
Habits are not formed overnight, but through repetition. Each time we repeat a behavior, whether positive or negative, we strengthen neuro-connectors in the brain. Fortunately, science has shown that we can “rewire” our connectors and thus rewire our habits. Breaking a habit takes focus, awareness and intention, since we need to turn off the “autopilot” we have created and make deliberate new choices.
In this Mini I’ll walk you through the science of breaking a bad habit. Of course reading the Mini is only the first step. Taking deliberate action on each step over a realistic period of time will be the key to unlock your life of negative habits.

Maximizing Your Multi-Vitamin

Mini #066
7 pages

With the stressors and health challenges of today’s busy lifestyle, maximizing our health through a multi-vitamin is a simple and important step we can take for ourselves. But not all vitamins are created equal. Many o fthe “mega” vitamins can actually do harm to the body. Plus, since the vitamin industry is not regulated by the FDA, it is important to know how to make an educated choice–and what to look for to promote health. This Mini will guide you through choosing a Multi and a calcium supplement to help your health.