Four Things to Avoid

disappointed boyLast month I mentioned Jennie Allen’s Bible study in Philippians using her book, Get Out of Your Head. This month, I’d like to talk about four things she says we should avoid. Discontentment. Disillusionment. Discouragement. Disengagement.

Any one of these four things can pull us off track from the mission God has for us, but when we don’t stop the thought spirals that send us downward instead of upward, for they tend to feed off each other. Then we’re in trouble.

According to Jennie, discontentment focuses energy on dissatisfaction with our circumstances or possessions or life stage. Left unresolved this becomes a complaining spirit without joy or gratitude.

Disillusionment is disappointment with the things of God and the people of God. Left unresolved it turns to bitterness and eventually, a cynicism and distrust of people and God.

With discouragement, doubt, fear, and criticism can come against us to the point of shutting us down.

Finally, disengagement is when our own insecurities or our disappointment in others cause us to pull back and isolate in order to protect ourselves.

These can each turn into deadly thought spirals. As much as we’d like to, we can’t curl up on our couches, read the pages of a book, pray, and simply will our minds to change. God is concerned not only with the posture of our hearts but also with the people on each of our arms. In terms of fulfilling our mission in this life, we can’t do anything worthwhile alone. Jennie Allen

Here are some choices Jennie says we can make which help fight the four things to avoid. Connection with others. Looking beyond our self and living intentionally in service to others. Shifting our thoughts from what we don’t have to what we do have and being grateful.

She goes on to say in order to see God’s good, we need to shift our focus beyond our immediate situations. When we cannot see how God could possibly bring anything good from our circumstances, we need to remember we can choose to praise and honor God right where we are, trusting we serve a God who is with us even in the hardest times.

If, like me, you struggle with some of these issues, and I believe it is safe to say we each do or have or will at some point in our life, I suggest you check out Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head resources. You can view her teaching videos on You Tube, if you’d like.

Are any of these four things to avoid: discontentment, disillusionment, discouragement, or disengagement problems for you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Now if your experience of Christ’s encouragement and love means anything to you, if you have known something of the fellowship of his Spirit, and all that it means in kindness and deep sympathy, do make my best hope for you come true! Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view. Philippians 2:3-4 (Phillips)

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


Slay Those Giants

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

At a conference I attended recently, the main speaker spoke on fighting the giants in our life. She based her talk on the story of David and Goliath. She stated the extra four stones David placed in his shepherd’s pouch were intended for the four brothers of Goliath, should they decide to attack once David killed Goliath. I have heard that reasoning before and it makes sense to me. Since David put his trust in God to fight his battle and slay the giant, he had no need of extra stones to take Goliath down.

In naming each of Goliath’s brothers who were killed by David’s men in the years that followed David’s victory over Goliath, Karen substituted things we face in our lives to represent them.





When discussing discouragement, Karen said this giant was killed by the faithfulness of God. God is faithful to deliver us before, now, and in the future.

For those times when we feel as if there is no answer to the situation we’re currently in, the giant of defeat is killed by the super natural intervention of God.

During the times we mess up and fail through our own actions, that failure is killed by the mercy of God. The forgiveness he extends covers our sins.

The giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot represented our self-centeredness. That giant is killed through the gifts of God that help us beat self. We find the tools to stop thinking it’s all about us in the Bible through prayer and in thankfulness for all God has delivered us from and through.

I’ve mentioned facing the giants in our lives on several posts throughout the years. I believe as long as we live there will be giants to conquer.

I also know for a fact, as long as we live God will help us fight those giants. When we allow him to fight our battles for us, in his power, not ours, we will be victorious. Amen?

As we pack smooth stones into our little pouch let’s make sure it is in God’s strength we hurl those stones at our giants, and pop them right between the eyes.

What giants are you facing or have you recently faced and conquered through the power of Christ living in you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Ishbi-Benob, one of the sons of Rapha, had a bronze spearhead weighing about seven and one-half pounds and a new sword. He planned to kill David, but Abishai son of Zeruiah killed the Philistine and saved David’s life.

Then David’s men made a promise to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle. If you were killed, Israel would lose its greatest leader.”

Later, at Gob, there was another battle with the Philistines. Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another one of the sons of Rapha.

Later, there was another battle at Gob with the Philistines. Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim from Bethlehem killed Goliath  (In 1 Chronicles 20:5 he is called Lahmi, brother of Goliath.) from Gath. His spear was as large as a weaver’s rod.

At Gath another battle took place. A huge man was there; he had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four fingers and toes in all. This man also was one of the sons of Rapha. When he challenged Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.

These four sons of Rapha from Gath were killed by David and his men. 2 Samuel 21:16-22 (NCV)

I wish you well.


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Refuse To Let Satan Discourage You

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Perhaps you are, or have been, in a place where you have questioned whether you are doing what God wants you to do.

If this is really what I’m supposed to be doing, then why is it so HARD? Could it be all the voices telling me I’m not good enough, strong enough, capable enough just might be correct? Is this all a waste of time? Should I give up?

I’ve had those thoughts off and on during various times, and especially throughout this writing journey I’m on. During those times it’s good for us to remember the prophets of the Old Testament. They worked so hard at what God called them to, yet often felt like it wasn’t making a bit of difference.

The prophets became discouraged. They faced hardships. They were attacked and threatened. In all of this, they ran to God and cried out to him. Perhaps we should, too.

A friend reminded me Satan doesn’t like for anyone to do God’s will, no matter who they are, or what they’re doing.

Satan’s not happy when victories are won that further the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Satan goes out of his way to make our lives miserable. If he can get us to quit, feel defeated, or beat ourselves up over our lack of ability, he’s won and does a happy dance.

Satan would love for us to say, “This is too difficult. I quit.” BUT greater is HE who is in us, than he who is in the world. Amen?

Do you think Satan makes us feel discouraged because we’re doing the job God wants, and Satan’s running scared when he realizes what will happen if we succeed?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I said to myself, “I’m completely worn out; my time has been wasted. But I did it for the Lord God, and he will reward me.” Isaiah 49:4 (CEV)

I wish you well.


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