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Positive Thoughts

It has been said, "If you think you can't, you're probably right." Negative thoughts are often self-fulfilling. Speak to someone who has completed a marathon and they will likely tell you about the mental struggle against pain over the final miles - and the battle to keep their thoughts positive. Many will tell of repeating over and over a phrase like "I can do this." For those of us who live in western Oregon, we know about fighting against negative thoughts because four months of dreary, rainy weather can take a toll on your thoughts! Counselors, doctors and fitness coaches all agree that our thoughts have a direct impact on our lives. Our health, the ability to achieve goals, work performance, even blood pressure and the ability to avoid illness have been linked to how we think. One person wrote, "Thoughts, positive or negative, grow stronger when fertilized with constant repetition. That may explain why so many who are gloomy and gray stay in that mood, and why others who are cheery and enthusiastic continue to be so, even in the midst of difficult circumstances." The Apostle Paul addressed the importance of guarding and channeling our thoughts in his letter to the church in Philippi. First he encouraged them to address anxiety by taking their concerns to God in prayer. Then he went on to write, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." (Philippians 4:8) One good way to keep your thoughts focused on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, is to spend time with people who will encourage you and help you maintain a positive focus. Whether you have a fitness goal - preparing for a marathon - or are facing difficulties or challenges at home or work - the Calvary Running Team is a great place to find support and a positive word. I invite you to come out and join us this week. On Wednesday we will meet at noon at the new Millrace extension to the Clearwater trail. It's on the corner of 32nd street and Jasper road, between Agnes Steward school and Douglas Gardens school. On Saturday we will meet at 9 am at Millrace, and on Sunday we will meet at Clearwater trail at 4 pm. (Note that we have changed our Sunday meeting time due to the longer days.) I hope to see you out there. Have a great week! Pastor John