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Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

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Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8, HCSB

I let my thoughts drag me down sometimes.  I find that it is easy to fall into a “oh-poor-pitiful-me” thought habit.  At times I catch myself thinking, “This (problem, trial, circumstance, sin habit, etc.) will never get better.  It seems hopeless.”

These are the times when I am very thankful for the Holy Spirit.  He gently nudges me, and once He has my attention, I hear Him say, “These thoughts are not the Truth.  And you, daughter of God, know the Truth, do you not?”  I hang my head, slowly nod agreement, ask forgiveness, and begin to meditate on the Word – God’s Truth revealed to mankind.

In the Mary Kassian Bible study Conversation Peace (Lifeway Press),  I learned that she and her family follow the P-48 Test (p.70).  Mary says, “P-48 is based on Phillipians 4:8.  It tests the goodness of thoughts, beliefs, and words, so we can judge if they ought to be planted in our hearts…. After being shaken through this filter, the words that remain are seeds we want to PRE-PLANT.  The others are not from God and should be discarded.”  PRE-PLANT is an easy tool to remember the elements of the P-48 Test:

Pure

Right

Excellent

Praiseworthy

Lovely

Admirable

Noble

True

As the Lord refines our thought processes, let us commit to practicing the P-48 Test more often – not only in the words we speak to ourselves, but also in our conversations with the people around us.

MONDAY SANITY SAVER: PACK AND LABEL HOLIDAY DECORATIONS AND SUPPLIES PROPERLY BEFORE STORING

This tip sounds easy, and it is, but it does take a little more time than just tossing everything into a box or bag and shoving it into the nearest closet.

First, decide how you will wrap and store breakable decorations.  It is heartbreaking to find a personalized or one-of-a-kind Christmas ornament broken because it was not stored safely.

Another good idea: store all Christmas lights, lighted wreaths, etc., in the same box.  (Common sense, but guess who did not do this last year, and was searching for “those lights I know we have somewhere…”?)

Be sure to label all holiday boxes and bags so they will be easy to find next year.  If you have just a handful of small items for a particular holiday or season, still take the time to place them in a box and label them.  You will most likely add to your collection over the years, and you will be glad you already have a designated place for these additions.

I hope at least one of these simple tips will help you – especially if you’re like me, and you still have Christmas decorations to put away.  Now that this post is done, I guess I’d better go find some bubble wrap for my breakable ornaments…  May God bless you this evening, and may He bless someone through you as well.

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