Month: May 2024


Change Your Thinking Patterns

(By Sarah Hancock, adapted from Speak Truth in Your Heart)


A girl once shared with me that anytime she felt like a failure, she would begin to doubt God’s love for her. She knew that the Bible says God’s love is unconditional, yet she had a hard time actually believing this applied to her. Every time she messed up, her mind would take her to the same place: God doesn’t love me. It was a thinking pattern that had developed.


Do you have any ungodly or untrue thinking patterns that plague you? It could be thoughts of fear, blame, comparison, lust, jealousy, anxiety, or despair. It could be a negative way of thinking about a specific person who irritates you. It could be a lie you are believing about God or about yourself.


If we’re honest, I think we all struggle with these kinds of unbiblical thinking patterns. Some of them may have started when we were children. It is where our thoughts tend to go because of the pattern that we have developed.

It’s actually very interesting to study how our brains create connections called neural pathways. When we learn a new skill, such as tennis, playing the violin, or skiing, we call our progress “muscle memory.” Actually, it is not the muscles that learn, but the brain. Through repetition (as you practice the skill again and again), the brain is developing stronger connections between neurons and forming new neural pathways.


We could think of it as a path. If you walk on the same little foot path over and over, pretty soon it becomes a trail, then a road. The same thing happens in our brain.


Just like neural pathways are formed when learning a new skill, so also neural pathways are formed by the thoughts we think. If, for instance, we repeatedly think thoughts of blame or worry, it’s like taking the same path over and over. The more we think those thoughts, the more the brain will strengthen that pathway. Before we know it, it is a habit in our thinking.


In other words, our brains are actually changing based on what we think about most. At first this might sound discouraging, but it’s actually good news! It means we can change our thinking patterns. We don’t have to continue down these negative paths that trouble us. As we apply ourselves to changing our thoughts and replacing lies with truth, we can actually retrain our brain. We can develop new thinking patterns that build us up rather than tear us down.


There is more good news. While thinking our own positive thoughts may be helpful to a point, what is far more powerful is to think God’s thoughts, as found in His Word. The point is not simply that we are choosing to think positively instead of negatively. It’s that we’re speaking God’s Word to ourselves. That is one of the reasons that Scripture memorization is so important. When we memorize Scripture and quote it to ourselves throughout the day, we are forming new neural pathways. The more we think about Scripture, the more rooted it will be in our hearts and minds.


Can you identify a specific thinking pattern that you know the Lord wants you to change? Start by choosing one verse that combats the wrong thought and memorize it. Think about what it means and quote it to yourself throughout the day. Pray it to the Lord, quote it when you are tempted to start down a wrong path in your thinking, sing it to the Lord, and speak it out loud to others. As you abide in God’s Word, you will find that your mind will be renewed, and His truth will begin to impact your emotions, words, and actions as well (Rom. 12:1-2).


“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly!” (Col. 3:16).


“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).


This article was written in our May 2024 newsletter.  You can sign up for the monthly newsletters here


Distracted by Chicken

(By Josiah Moffitt)


A few weeks ago, Grace sent me on a furniture expedition. These adventures start on Facebook Marketplace where she finds something she likes, and coordinates a pickup time. She then tells me how much money to bring, where to go, and when to be there.

I put an “Evidence for the Resurrection” gospel tract in my pocket and had a few ideas of how to start a gospel conversation with the man who was selling the furniture. When I arrived, I verified the condition of the chair and handed him the money. The man and I then spent a good number of minutes trying to get the large chair through the small front door. As we were loading it into the van, it started to rain.

“Oh no! I wonder if it will be raining too much for me to grill the chicken?” I thought as I hopped back into my van.

It wasn’t until I got home and felt the tract still in my pocket that I realized I had missed an opportunity for the gospel.

Ironically, I was preaching on the second part of John 4 that Sunday. The disciples returned from the Samaritan town of Sychar with food for Jesus, while the woman at the well was hurrying back into the town. Jesus tells them to open their eyes to the spiritual harvest. He says, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” (John 4:35). In that moment, as the disciples lifted up their eyes, I can just imagine them seeing a stream of people leaving Sychar following the woman at the well to come see Jesus.

Now, the disciples had just visited the same Samaritan city in search of food, but due to tensions between the Samaritans and Jews, they had most likely avoided interactions as much as possible. The disciples were there to get food and get out. In their focus on the physical, they had missed the hungry souls in need of a Savior right in front of them. The woman at the well saw the spiritual needs of her city and, as a result, “From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified” (John 4:39).

Like the disciples, I am often distracted by the physical and miss the spiritual harvest. I pray that the Lord will keep my eyes open to the harvest right in front of me.


This article was written in our April 2024 newsletter.  You can sign up for the monthly newsletters here