There is an old story about a Cherokee warrior teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, worry, lies, false pride, doubt, and fear.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
While we cannot control what happens around us in the outside world we can master what happens on the inside. Those thorns in our side that others jab in are not always external but too often internal. They appear as five-letter words bringing on anxiety, fits of rage, depression, and other wolves that we have trouble fighting off. At every moment, we must make a decision of which wolf we want to feed.
Brain studies have shown that the structure of the brain changes daily with our experiences. When I suffered a stroke according to my doctor’s I lost millions of my trillion+ brain cells. Because I was treated in miracle speed, the damage was not so heavy to leave me debilitated allowing the brain to rewire itself over time to go around damaged cells. My balance was one of the areas that had been damaged. To train my brain to return to proper balance I am doing a series of exercises like standing on 1 foot at a time, doing mind puzzles, reading more, and other things to help the brain adapt and rewire. They call it neuroplasticity.
The old warrior is indeed correct that we can also rewire our brains to fend off fears, anger, worries, and other negative thoughts. They turn into feelings and can dominate us if we overfeed our brains with negativity. The past few years of fear being dumped down our throats with covid, an inflationary economy, wars, terrorists, lost freedoms, and others have begun to dominate even the strongest of minds.
I am no expert on neuroplasticity but I have followed closely two neuroscientists that I recommend learning from their advice. Note they both sell a lot of products and books which does make me a little skeptical. However, I have found much of what they say has helped many people including my family members and me. To find their tips on fighting the wolf and rewiring to the positive check out Dr Daniel Amen at https://www.amenclinics.com/about-us/ and Dr. Caroline Leaf at https://drleaf.com/pages/about-dr-leaf
Today, I focus on the spiritual side. If you missed it, on both my group Facebook Page and on Instagram I am presenting a 22-day numbers clinic that started on 2-1-22 and it will end on 2-22-22. Click on either blue-line to access the pages. Today is the 5th and I am so inspired by the meaning of #5 I broke away to expound further on the slides presented. While I practice all the healthy eating, exercising, resting, vitamin popping, disciplines that feed a healthy brain, I know from experience the most important component to letting the good wolf win is having a dominating spirit.
Like always you can take the normal feedings, the story, and a link to the natural and have a good day. If you want a spiritual side dive, go to the redlined portico entry point!
Please don’t go away yet! Hit that red button for more. If this is your first time visiting Average Joe’s Portico, every post is written in two parts. You have just read the portion challenging the mind, body, and soul. In The Portico, I seek to tap into your spiritual side, but only IF YOU DARE. Tap the Red Line Below to read the Part 2 Spiritual side of the story. (For an explanation of my madness – read the ‘Do You Dare’ Tab)
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Most Psychologists and therapists attempt to inspire and provide ways for people to fight off the nasty wolf that infiltrates our brains. Often in the modern era of psychology, it also includes providing brain-altering medicines to regulate what is off in the brain. It may be appropriate in some cases and I would never suggest going against a doctor’s orders and certainly would not recommend going off medications without consulting the provider, it is dangerous. But, is it always necessary?
Religions try to do the same thing, fill yourself with doing the right things all the time. Be dedicated. Sacrifice. For some, it can also be like going to a doctor or counselor where you get advice on what to do and what-not-to-do. They may even provide a prescription in the form of prescribing addictive behaviors of guilt-based service and giving. The more work you do, the better place you will have in the organization and in the afterlife.
As a result, both entities add to the fear-mongering and resentment that you have already acquired from schools, social clubs, and work, and if your family is dysfunctional, all that it brings to your abused brain chemistry. On top of the common four-letter words, some minds have been wired to absorb are some five-letter ones that have infiltrated our mind and spirit so much, that it creates body damage as well – Guilt, Worry, Anger, Envy, Spite, Covet, Pride, and Doubt. I probably left some out.
Oddly, as you read your Bible Paul discusses some five-letter words called a Thorn in-the Flesh; which He said Satan gave to him, but God would not remove it. ‘So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. ‘ 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul was given amazing revelations about the truth of the Gospel, he was knocked to the ground and blinded for 3 days. Paul had a visitation that immediately turned him from murderer to Evangelist. He was shown visions that would make anyone become filled with the 5-letter word of pride. He already had a vast education on Jewish law, having a visit with God like no other man since Moses brought on some pride that needed to be dealt with.
Paul seemed to handle it quite well as depicted in the New Testament slide verse shown. Paul did a lot of work; he said he did more than all the other Apostles. Interesting, despite the pride issue that had to be dealt with, if you read to the end of the book of Acts while in Rome, Paul actually did most of his ministering for free. Acts 28: 30-31 ‘Paul He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.‘
1 Corinthians 15:10 should be concreteness for all Christians. Paul explains that if we do any good at all it is only because of God’s Grace, even if we’re working our tails off. He set the example for us all by ‘laboring more’ than other leaders even though he did not have to. And he was insistent on giving all the glory to God for whatever he did.
Free is an important word to God, I believe. The number 5 itself is represented by the words Grace and Favor, two great five-letter words. Of the 20+ references I use for numbers data, it is unanimous that 5 is represented by the term Grace. Grace in the Bible is defined in several ways such as ‘unearned favor,’ ‘undeserved favor of God’, ‘God’s remarkable lovingkindness and goodwill,’ and ‘divine blessing.‘ The Amplified version lays the definition all out in this verse:
“For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;” Ephesians 2:8 AMP
It is a Free gift. In addition, you cannot even do anything to get it; every portion is in fact something we do not deserve. The basic fundamental premise of the new covenant is we are saved without works. So why can we not get it out of our heads that the changes that need to happen, (eliminating bad four-letter words and the bad five-letter words in the cover page) will not come from works?
The Cherokee warrior tells us to feed our brains with good so the good wolf wins. Psychiatrists and doctors give us a list of to-do’s and to-don’ts to follow to make sure we have a healthy body, brain, and mind. Religion and conference speakers tell us to follow the laws and rules of the religion or seminar and we will go to heaven, and to do more good than bad. All provide a bill for services. The Bible tells us that to become good and have salvation that we cannot get it via our own effort. It is Free! No bill!
The old testament was in on Grace and the number 5 as well. Throughout the Bible, God includes metaphors and figurative language in many stories. While we may think He is hiding them, those who study and pay attention will notice small details that give depth and dimension to any story. Details matter greatly such as David choosing five smooth stones. In his time, there were only five books of the Bible. Deuteronomy 5, (no coincidence) is where the 10 commandments were presented on two tablets of stone; five on loving God, and five on loving our neighbor.
Though it only took one smooth stone to defeat Goliath, David picked up five. It was a clear representation that the Torah (Word) is what defeats a beast that taunts both God and the people. It is not our personal muscle, although it is good to be healthy and strong, that wins the fight against external attackers – it is God’s words of wisdom mixed in with what we now know as Grace. Words of wisdom help us to make good decisions and to boldly challenge the giants we face. It is why we read the Bible, not to have puffed up knowledge, but to be educated on the ways of God. In addition, to fully know and learn to trust God so we could bravely fight giants that everyone else fears. Is that you, just curious?
David understood grace as a young lad. He knew it was not the Law of Moses alone, although the wisdom of the law is good. It just does not save by itself.
“For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 AMP
David knew a future savior was coming; the same God that helped David then helps us now, to deal with the shortcomings he knew were prevalent from the first book of the Torah (Genesis with Adam and Eve stuff). “But the free gift [of God] is not like the trespass [because the gift of grace overwhelms the fall of man]. For if many died by one man’s trespass [Adam’s sin], much more [abundantly] did God’s grace and the gift [that comes] by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflow to [benefit] the many.” Romans 5:15 AMP
David got it so well that he wrote about grace and God stamped it with a double 5 when finishing the Bible later. Basic translation of Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (NKJV) But oh, had David known the word of grace he would have said it as the writer of the TPT version did: ‘So here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you‘.
Measureless grace sounds like more than a double-double dose of grace twice! 55:22 get it?
This slide deck was created four years ago. I have sat on it thinking someday (after I had taken a course I wish I had not taken about how to monetize a blog via social media) I could sell this data. Who else has put together such concise information?
It took me a while for grace to truly sink in, how can I sell what God gave me so freely? Therefore, here is a sample of it and the rest you will find on the social media sites that keep asking me to pay them to show it to people. Instead, I will give it to you for free. Please share with others, there are so many people that are hurting now, both non-Christians who this is primarily intended for. It is also for many believers who still do not understand all that God has given us. Note, there are caveats to Biblical Numerology, it is not a horoscope. I have a document on that topic available upon request.
This and other Bible information is meant for us to give it away too! Not to earn our way to heaven. Not for a big conference and seminar check, high ministry salaries, or book sale money. I have nothing against those nor against people who sell Bible helps. Paul who tells us to give freely and generously out of our abundance of blessings (if we are in a season when we have monetary stuff, aside from lots of love) to the local church and/or those in need. Paul was also not against it either. But as he warned I implore some to resist taking advantage of people. So many have five-letter words to overcome because of abuse by fellow believers who do not recognize that the gifts they were given are because of the grace of God, and nothing else.
It is not to wield power over people. I share Paul’s full story on the thorn-in-the flesh topic from the easy to understand Message translation:
“It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.
The Thorn in the Flesh
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
We don’t know exactly what Paul’s biggest weakness was, perhaps it was worry or anxiety which he mentions several times such as in 1 Cor. 2:3 “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” He certainly had a lot of stress from opposition and people out to cause him harm, thus thoughts of fear coming from external sources could be what he asked God to take away – the ‘stress.’ I do not believe a man who raised at least one person from the dead had a physical infirmity that could not be healed. TBD when we get to heaven. You can read about that miracle HERE.
I believe with God’s grace our biggest weaknesses become our biggest strengths. Why, because we know we need His help to overcome it. As my web page tag states ‘from worrier to warrior,’- when that old nemesis worry knocks on my brain that it is a trigger. For you, it may be anger, depression, spite, or something else. When that tendency appears I see it as a doorbell ringing telling me to take a deep breath. Stop, and bring the Lord into the situation. Before I do something stupid or fall on my face, what a blessing it is to get butterflies in my gut. I know when that trigger arises to immediately call on Him for Grace to overcome it. When I am weak, then I am strong.
The cover page depicts Grace and the blood of Jesus covering all our five-letter internal issues. The secret struggles, not just the big stuff requiring the death of Christ for our forgiveness. God’s numbers reveal hidden messages to encourage us and give us extra faith to overcome our hidden issues. For most, it is fear, which has kept me from being as bold as I know God has wanted me to be for a long time. So audience or no audience I share this numbers stuff because it has helped me in so many ways to help me let the good wolf win. When I let grace take over my weaknesses, I win every time.
But we cannot be in a constant state of fighting the wolf. We need to have our picture changed!!
The negatives need to shrink, the fruit needs to increase. Coincidence it is not that Fruit is a five-letter word, which is produced by Grace only. Fruits can only be faked for a while. With the Holy Spirit’s help, the fruits of the Spirit should be dominating our inner spirit always. Grace Makes a Thorn Fruit. All 5-letter words. Coincidence it is not that the fruits of the Spirit are found in the Freedom in Christ chapter of Galatians 5. True freedom is a release from the bondage of sin. It is a release from the law and religious works to live under grace. Truly living it will produce Fruits. Do you get it yet? I state it again, Do you get it yet?
What is your biggest weakness, has grace helped you overcome it to make it seem like strength? There are comment sections in Facebook, Instagram, and below.
Defeat those negative five-letter words! Bring on the good Grace and Fruit!!
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