Hey, do you have your 2015 calenders up? We have a school calender that rolls into the next year, so that’s an easy one. We have a couple of family photo calenders. We love those, so they go up quickly.  Then, we have another calender that is special as well. It was from a youth fundraiser and has scenic photos with a scripture verse on each page. Most importantly, the birthdays of family and friends are on this one, so until those dates are all transferred to a new calender, the 2014  stays up.

The other morning I was looking at the snow scene and scanning the January birthdays when I glanced over at the verse for that month in 2014. It was taken from Philippians, 4:8. Speckled with snowflakes, these words were written in black on the side of a red barn; “Whatever Is Pure, Whatever Is Lovely, Think Of Such Things.” I knew in an instant, that verse was meant for me. My mind had become full of everything except thoughts of the pure and lovely.  I thought hard for a moment, and then I said out loud, to no one there. “You know what? I live in the real world. I have to think these undesirable thoughts because this is what I have to deal with each day. I can’t just sweep them under the rug and pretend they aren’t there. Can I?” Then I muttered,”God, You know I can’t always have pretty thoughts.”

I left for work. Throughout the day that verse simmered on the back burner of my mind. It’s aroma drifted in and out and around all that was happening in my head, breaking down my resistance to the truth and importance of Philippians, 4:8. On the drive home, I evaluated my thoughts. ” Too much junk. Ugly stuff! Like worries, problems, doubts, selfish and judgmental thoughts. These were not my friends. No, they were the enemy! They had infiltrated My Space!”

Driving into the brilliant sunset, listening to one of my favorite songs, God gently reminded me that it was my choice. I could let the undesirables stay, or I could replace them with pure and lovely. … I chose to replace them! Within a few minutes of purposely focusing on the most pleasant, pure and beautiful images that had been lying on the shelves of my memory, collecting dust, a flood of peace came over me. I asked myself,”why don’t I do this more often?” Now, I was ready to ride on to my castle and rescue my bride from her day of toil!

That night at home, I read the rest of Philippians, 4:8. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, whatever is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Verse 9 goes on to assure us that if we put into practice what we have just read, the Peace of God will be evident in our lives.

Just as I do, you live in the real world where there is no shortage of ugly thoughts. Of course, we cannot sweep all the unpleasant under a rug. However, I am learning that God’s plan on this is the best. Instead of allowing the ugly, the worst and things to curse to be in charge of who we are and how we act, if we invite the best, the beautiful and the things to praise into the forefront of our minds, they will help us deal with the undesirables in a way that honors God.

I urge you to try this experiment at home, but be forewarned, the results may be overwhelming! Have some fun, read this passage of scripture in it’s context and discover ways that you can apply it to your daily life.

The Lord spoke to me in a way I least expected Him to. From an outdated calender. Just imagine how He may choose to speak to you today, this week, this year? Be on guard for the undesirables who may be lurking in the shadows of your mind. If you detect them, blast them away with the pure and lovely!