Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands

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This book teaches people in need of change to help people in need of change.  Here are a few interesting tips I discovered while reading Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands.

  • Our eyes can be so focused on the problem that we miss the person and the struggles within.
  • We build relationships by identifying with suffering.
  • Enter their world, get to know what they are facing, and help them understand their resources in Christ to face their particular situation.

Road Map to Change

  1. Consideration – What does God what the person to see?
  2. Confession – What does God what the person to admit or confess?
  3. Commitment – To what new ways of living is God calling this person?
  4. Change – How should these new commitments be applied to daily living?

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

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Screwtape is a demon and he is writing letters to his nephew, Wormwood.  The letters are meant to help Wormwood, who is fresh out of Tempter’s College, in his endeavors to prevent people from becoming Christians.  In the end Wormwood fails and is eaten by the more successful demons.

The advice given by Screwtape was potentially effective, but it was also subtle.

  • Church members can be used to keep people away from the Gospel, especially if they behave rudely or practice immorality.
  • Family discord, lack of self-examination, and critical thoughts toward others will promote a self-righteous attitude.
  • Keep people away from prayer or have them use memorized superficial prayers that can be repeated without meaning.
  • Keep people focused on themselves and their own problems to promote selfishness and prevent charitable behavior.
  • Keep people focused on personal feelings.
  • Teach people to reverence religious objects, so the object replaces God.
  • Teach people to view the past as happy and peaceful.  Teach them to view the future with dread and hopelessness, so they will believe not even God can save them from certain destruction.
  • Create anxiety to prevent people from focusing on God.
  • Promote hatred for those who are different from them and hatred for enemies.
  • Promote malice towards the people around them and keep benevolence out of their minds.
  • Increase temptation during times of struggle, so sin appears to be the best way to elevate depression and inner turmoil.
  • If people desire to attend church, help them find one that focuses solely on friendship and self-help topics.
  • Teach people to live two parallel lives.  Sunday is for church, but during the rest of the week there is no thought of God.  This will allow them to live in sin, but still feel self-righteous.
  • Lull people into the path of wickedness, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
  • Don’t allow people to be rooted in a church, “if a man can’t be cured of church going, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.”
  • Promote discord in the church, so the members are arguing over petty things, then they will be unable to teach the gospel with any effectiveness.
  • Encourage false spirituality among the people.

 

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

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Joyce Meyer wrote, “Battlefield of the Mind” to teach how changing our thinking habits can change our life.  Thoughts lead to actions.

If we have negative thoughts we will have a negative life.  However, if we have positive thoughts we will have a positive life.

We should pay attention to our thoughts and think about what we are thinking.  We should also spend time discovering the root cause of our negative thoughts.

Sings of a negative or out of control mind:

  • Your mind is always busy
  • Your mind is always wandering
  • You mind is frequently confused
  • Your mind is full of doubts
  • Your mind is anxious or worried
  • Your mind is full of judgmental or critical thoughts

Strategies to improve thinking patterns and control the mind:

  • Think positive thoughts
  • Spend time praising God
  • Ask for help
  • Meditate on God’s word
  • Encourage those around you
  • Be thankful
  • Do things for others to show your appreciation

There are a few theological points in the book that I don’t agree with; however, the book is excellent.  I would recommend this book, even if you don’t like some of the things Joyce Meyer teaches.