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Getting back outside has felt so wonderful this past weekend! To plant, to barbeque, to sit outside on the patio & enjoy dinner, play frisbee. All of it has made me think how great it is to be alive & enjoying myself. Getting back outdoors has also presented its set of challenges.

For instance, I opened the umbrella on the table so that I could do some planting in the shade. Upon opening it, I discovered a bat, very happily hanging!! So the challenge for about 30 minutes was, how do I get him out of there without getting him mad at me? Answer – you keep thinking about it & getting the “heebie jeebies” long enough until he flies away on his own!!!

Or what about the small birds that have managed to get behind the window framing to make a nest? How cute they look flying in & out (there are 3 birds in there). Even cuter when you look from the inside of the window & there they are, looking back at you as if to say, “What are YOU looking at?”.

Yes, getting outside has had its challenges the last few days. The question I found myself asking was, “What do we do with those things that get in where they do not belong?”.  That was the “presented” challenge. And that got me to thinking….

I can become distracted by the things that are in my thoughts that should not be there. Preoccupied even. I can become completely engrossed, absorbed in, consumed by, immersed in something, that would not benefit me at all. For instance, I became distracted from gardening & engrossed in removing the bat once I discovered the bat in the umbrella. Much that same way, once a thought is allowed to take up residence in my mind, I will become distracted from what I need to be doing or thinking.

So, what do I do with the thoughts that do not belong in my mind?

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”   (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Demolish is an interesting word. To demolish means to tear down or take down something deliberately, on purpose. It is not something that happens by accident. It is a well planned, thought-out occurrence. Once I know that there is a thought in my mind that should not be there, I must deliberately remove it. I must put an end to that thought. How?

By taking it captive. A captive is led away, usually to be kept in confinement or restrained. That is it – the thought must be removed & then deliberately restrained from returning.

But how?

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”  (Philippians 4:8, The Message)