I have this great book called A Devoted Christian's Prayer Book. It is a compilation of Amish and Mennonite prayers and their Rules for a Godly Life. I have read this book pretty much in it's entirety...partially for research but also because this is my heritage and I am amazed that these prayers are from the 17th century.
I will be periodically sharing portions from this book and would love to have some open dialog with you.
The first part of their Rules for a Godly Life are about our THOUGHTS! Now, I'm not talking about being the thought police but this portion was a good reminder on our thought life and how impacting they can be. Here is a snip-it of what this book says:
Awake in the morning with your thoughts turned to God.
What I love about this line is that it's not telling you...DON'T think about this or that...it's telling you what you should think about. Turn your mind on the Lord as you rise. This is not a new concept. The Amish get this encouragement from the Bible: This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps. 118.24 nkjv)
The second section on thoughts says:
Keep free from wicked, idle, or unclean thoughts.
Again...what beauty do we see in "keep free" instead of "DON'T!" When I read this I feel freedom, I understand immediately that these thoughts will lead me into bondage and not to freedom. Again, the Amish writer here isn't making this up: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil 4.8 esv)
I'm going remember this as I parent...point a child toward freedom rather than a big X on the sin.
What are your thoughts on thoughts? Is there an area that you'd like me to look up in this sweet little book? A topic for prayer or a certain standard the Amish keep you would like more insight in? Tell me in the comments!