Captive Thoughts

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT


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 10:15 NIV


Once I was in a bible study and the leader brought that last verse up. I immediately found myself confused and overwhelmed. “Wait,” I said.” I have no police or military training. I’m not even sure I’m qualified to perform a citizen’s arrest! Besides, we’re talking about arresting thoughts. How? Should we be contacting Ghost Busters?” A brief group discussion ensued regarding whether this particular bible study was appropriate for me. After I agreed to some ground rules which involved my raising a hand and only speaking an agreed upon number of times per class, I was given some instruction which began to clarify the issue for me.

Seriously though, it’s clear God is telling us the battlefield of our mind needs a lot of attention, the kind of attention which calls for continued prayer and attention to the Word. Challenge what passes through your mind and the concepts you allow to shape your mental and spiritual life. Changing our discussion’s locale, consider your mind a garden. Something will definitely grow there. Either you choose that something, or you can wait to see which weeds volunteer. How do we choose what grows? First, identify the behavior and customs God would have you emulate and compare and contrast those with that of the world. As you identify and quarantine those thoughts which war against you spiritually and mentally, allow God to make you a new person. Make yourself a student of the master gardener. Finally… Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV

Lord, your gracious promise to us is to finish what you’ve begun
by the blood soaked sacrifice on the cross rendered by your Son.
Jesus, you gave us victory when you died and took death’s keys.
I will be forever grateful to You for this gift to sinners like me.


© Joel Tipple 11/23/2019











War and Peas

When I was a kid I basically had two strategies for vegetables I didn’t like. One was to smother them with a sauce or somehow incorporate them with another food that I did like. The other was to hide them under or in something else on the plate that I could get away with not eating. A hollowed out potato skin was classic camouflage. But my parents, who didn’t miss as much as I thought they did, were probably on to my ruse. It was a foolish little battle I would fight with the food lovingly prepared for me.

One of our granddaughters stayed over at our house last night, and when she came in she was crying. When I asked what was going on, I found out it was because she needed to take some cold medicine. The bad taste, or what she was afraid would be the bad taste, was so abhorrent to her she was that upset. Even though the medicine would alleviate some of her symptoms, she was ready to go to war to avoid taking it.

When I was a young teenager I answered God’s call for my life and began the process of discovering what God intended for me. Later, as an adult, I decided to put myself in charge and relegated God to the backseat. But experience and knowledge of God’s nature teaches that he doesn’t belong in the back, or even riding shotgun. He wants to drive. I’m so thankful God was patient with me while I learned the lesson that took years to play out. The truth is, we never really stop learning until we enter heaven. We hope to come to know which battles are worth fighting and who should always be our general. We can spend forever pushing around on our plate the good things God has for us, or we can simply dig in and accept his leadership, healing, and love. For ourselves, and for our families, it’s essential.


I alone am this living Bread that has come to you from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever. The living Bread I give you is my body, which I will offer as a sacrifice so that all may live.
John 6:51 TPT


I Choose You

In this moment I choose You
and the next
and the next
in mundane times
when all I long for is creation
I turn around and You’re there chasing me
it’s beyond all reason

I know You seek me
as You’ve sought all since the fall
sometimes a choice
is a hundred small choices
sometimes Your voice
is a thousand small voices
and I’m listening


©Joel Tipple 9/28/2019

You Know Me

Even the darkness is not dark to You.
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psalm 139:12

“Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
James Baldwin

Sing to the Lord the new song He gave.
Sing to the Lord, and be amazed.
Oh ohh, never let go.
Sing to the Lord when the battle seems lost.
Sing to the Lord when the cost seems too high,
and you want to cut and run.

It’s easy to give up on supernatural.
It’s easy to abandon what isn’t naturally known,
even when the known is getting you nowhere.
We cling to familiar like a broken-down car,
sit in the seat though we can’t get far.
allowing our lives to be run by fear and regret.

Since you are with me wherever I go,
since you know my every thought,
I might as well get to know you.
I can’t run so fast as to get away.
I can’t stop the sunrise by holding down the curtain.
Of all these things I’m certain.

You formed me, designed me,
made me unique for a purpose.
When I was still an unformed substance,
you saw me, you knew me,
you knew where my piece fit in the puzzle.
Lord, help me find my way in the puzzle.

© Joel Tipple 11/23/2018

Ode to Wormwood (Inspired by The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis)

Your job is not difficult,
junior worker for the dark.
Your task in the main
is to hinder your subject’s work
for the enemy.
It’s no secret
the war is lost
but we have many battles
which we may yet win,
so do your best for the company.

You’ve reported
he is passionate.
Well, that is fine,
passions can be redirected.
His enthusiasm for
memorizing scripture,
sharing his faith,
or uplifting others of the opposition
can be channeled toward innocuous pursuits
the moment they are detected.

You say he persists in meeting with his ilk,
sometimes more than twice a week.
This simply indicates you’re lazy.
How hard is it to suggest alternatives to him?
There are dozens of human sports being played on Sunday.
You can encourage him to stay up too late on Saturday.
If you fail to keep him from raining on your weekend,
talk him into believing that’s holiness enough for one week,
or your scorecard may be grim.

Finally, beginning agent,
among your allies,
in addition to the usual vices
are those modern conveniences
such as the internet.
Oh sure, it’s a portal to all
sorts of invaluable sin,
but the not so obvious boon to our business
is its ability to keep him harmlessly busy.
Keep those hours high,
and you may make senior grade demon yet.

© Joel Tipple
#17/14

This Race, this War.

cropped-humboldt-bay.jpg

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,
but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way
that you may win.
1 Corinthians 9:24

I’ve run too far with you Lord,
to risk looking back now.
I’ve trusted you more than my feelings.
These hands hold tightly to your word
for within is the essence of healing.

Each day I expect a battle Lord;
some days I’m a victor, others, bloody and sore.
I’m confident of this always,
as I step out my door,
fights will come and go always,
You Lord, and Your’s have already won the war.