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Stop Ruminating Thoughts with Gratitude (7 Minute Prayers): Day 77

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

Release Date: 02/07/2021

Did Jesus Laugh? (7-Minute Prayers) show art Did Jesus Laugh? (7-Minute Prayers)

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

Do you wonder if Jesus ever laughed? Does it feel incongruous that Almighty God might enjoy a belly laugh?   Most of the pictures we have of Jesus reveal a strong but serious man. After all, he drove out the moneychangers and regularly rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. He never wavered from his eternal mission to seek and save the lost.   But Jesus was fully man and fully God. As a result, he felt the full gamut of emotions. He wept over the death of Lazarus (John 11) and grew angry at the hard-hearted response of the religious leaders. He certainly bore all the fruits of...

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Laughter is Medicine for the Soul with Tim Washer show art Laughter is Medicine for the Soul with Tim Washer

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

Do you find it easy or hard to laugh at life? The bible says laughter can be like medicine to the soul.   found that laughter reduces stress, pain, and conflict. It literally makes the heart function better.   The Bible references laughter nearly 50 times. Laughter makes the heart cheerful and helps us cope with the unexpected., In Genesis 18, Sarah laughed when God promised something that seemed too good to be true—a son at the age of 80. When it came true, she named her son Isaac which means “he will laugh.”   It seems God has a sense of humor. Have you ever looked at a...

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Waiting for Heaven No Longer: a Tribute to Dr Larry Crabb show art Waiting for Heaven No Longer: a Tribute to Dr Larry Crabb

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

If I looked at your bookshelves, who would I presume has had the biggest influence on your life?   Thankfully the number of books you own by an author doesn’t necessarily translate to impact—otherwise, you might think John Grisham is my mentor. I do love a good fast-moving legal thriller, but I don’t plan to go into law or to write novels.   Outside of fiction and bible commentaries, you would find more books by Dr. Larry Crabb on my shelves. Some of them I’ve read multiple times. They have all impacted me, and in some cases transformed me.   Larry (he preferred we drop...

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From Prosperity to Gratefulness with Ray Edwards: Day 90 show art From Prosperity to Gratefulness with Ray Edwards: Day 90

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

Do you think it’s wrong to make money? Have you been taught that those who prosper financially must have done something wrong or evil?   Ray Edwards believes that we were all meant to prosper. For some our prosperity is a spiritual abundance that is accompanied by a vow of poverty. Most of us are called to greater prosperity than we’ve dreamed, but we’re afraid to pursue it because of faulty beliefs.   Introducing Ray Edwards While I ultimately realized it wasn’t my calling to awaken the church out of economic lethargy, I’m happy to say that is joining his voice with the...

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The Power of Imagination in Becoming Grateful (7 Minute Prayers): Day 89 show art The Power of Imagination in Becoming Grateful (7 Minute Prayers): Day 89

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

Are you afraid of your imagination? Do you imagine you’ll get yourself into trouble if you dream too much?   The church and imagination The Church has historically discouraged imagination out of a fear that we will violate the second commandment, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Exodus 20:4 NIV).   This fear is somewhat merited. Many times our imaginations do get us into trouble. Aaron gave into the people’s demands to create a golden calf, even while Moses was on Mt. Sinai...

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Can You Fake Thankfulness to Become Grateful? (7 Minute Prayers): Day 88 show art Can You Fake Thankfulness to Become Grateful? (7 Minute Prayers): Day 88

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

You’ve heard the phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Does that apply to gratitude? Does that feel inauthentic to you? Maybe even like you’re lying?   Raised as a Christian, I was taught to never lie. So to suggest that I fake gratitude feels counter to my moral fabric.    But researchers suggest that faking it may actually be a good strategy.   Dr. Alex Korb is a neuroscientist at UCLA and the author of . He explains: “You can turn a tendency toward a downward spiral of depression and anxiety into an upward spiral of joy and clarity in your life. Expressing...

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Thoughtful Gifts Flow from Gratitude (7 Minute Prayers): Day 87 show art Thoughtful Gifts Flow from Gratitude (7 Minute Prayers): Day 87

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

Did you grow up singing the every Sunday in church? If you did, what associations do you have? If you didn’t, how do you feel when you hear it?   In many liturgical churches, the Doxology is sung immediately prior to the offertory. In essence, we remind ourselves to “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow” before we return our gifts to him.   Whether the singing of the Doxology feels natural or arcane to you doesn’t really matter. The truth behind it demonstrates an important gratitude principle: gratefulness flows most easily when someone does something special,...

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Turning Captive Thoughts into Thankfulness (7 Minute Prayers): Day 86 show art Turning Captive Thoughts into Thankfulness (7 Minute Prayers): Day 86

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

How easy is it for you to keep your thoughts thankful, positive, and joyful? When Paul challenges us to “take captive every thought,” does that feel hard or easy?   If you’re like me, that feels impossible. My mind feels like that commercial with the cat-herding cowboy. As soon as I take one thought captive, all the other thoughts go scattering in all directions.   Of course, it’s not like that all the time. On good days I can sustain focused thought for hours and I can recount numerous reasons to be thankful. For example, I’m grateful to have a loving wife, amazing...

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The Battle Toward Gratefulness (7 Minute Prayers): Day 85 show art The Battle Toward Gratefulness (7 Minute Prayers): Day 85

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

What’s the longest range goal you’ve ever set? Did you accomplish your goal? Most of us lose the battle for gratitude because we don’t have the right plan.   Long-term battle plans In England, they estimate . That’s a lot of planning and preparation.   At New College, Oxford beetles infested the in the dining hall. Trying to find replacement beams seemed impossible, except that the original architects planted oak trees with the express purpose of being used to replace the beams. When were those trees planted? Over 500 years prior to when they were needed.   I share...

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How I Almost Quit Being Grateful (7 Minute Prayers): Day 84 show art How I Almost Quit Being Grateful (7 Minute Prayers): Day 84

The Man in the Pew Show with Phil Mershon

Have you ever started a project only to find it feels pointless or a waste of time? Have you ever quit something just because it became too hard?   I have a confession to make. I almost quit this 90-Day Gratitude Challenge on day 80.   Why I almost quit the 90-Day Gratitude Challenge On Day 72 my wife woke me in the middle of the night with some very troubling news. But I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying because I had taken some melatonin to help me sleep—a major issue for me . My brain was foggy and her words didn’t compute.   When I awoke the next morning I...

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More Episodes

Do you ever find yourself ruminating over poor decisions you’ve made? Perhaps you become anxious over what might happen or what could have happened, and it makes you fearful.

 

I’ve experienced this recently. It feels like a fog envelops your mind and you can’t escape the negative thought cycles. A friend described it as a huge snowball that keeps gaining momentum as it rolls downhill—like an avalanche of thoughts. The only way to stop it is with the right strategies and outside help.

 

In The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkein paints a picture of King Theoden getting caught in the mental web spun by Wormtongue. Theoden becomes increasingly incapacitated as he believes lies, and eventually, he can no longer think for himself.

 

Likewise, when we get caught ruminating over negative thoughts, we can find ourselves trapped in a web of our own making.

 

For complete show notes: maninthepew.com/gc77