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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - Fixing Your Focus

James Meehan - Fixing Your Focus

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    James Meehan - Fixing Your Focus
TOPICS: Culture Makers, Focus

Dominique: Alright guys, today's big question is how do we not just focus on negative things?

James Meehan: That is a wonderful question.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: Especially considering that there's a whole lot of negative things out there.

Dominique: Everywhere. Everywhere.

James Meehan: So, the first thing you do to not focus on negative things is you sing.

Dominique: Yeah, yeah, we can start there.

James Meehan: You can start.

Dominique: Hey, it'll probably rise your endorphins or something like that.

James Meehan: Come on, that sounds scientific. Another thing you could do to not focus on negative things is actually go to the source of truth and positivity.

Dominique: I like that better.

James Meehan: That is Jesus, God. And through His word there's this beautiful verse in Ephesians chapter four verse 29 that tells us do not let any unwholesome talk come outta your mouth. Only that which is good and helpful and beneficial to those who listen.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: And the reason why I think this is so important is because it's really hard to control what we see.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: But we all have the power to control what we say. And there's this other thing that Jesus says in one of the gospels where He talks about how it's actually not what goes into your body that corrupts you. It's what comes out of your mouth. Because what comes outta your mouth is born from your heart. And so the wisdom that Jesus is inviting us into is this idea that the more we speak negativity the more negativity corrupts every part of us. And the more that we become negative people the easier it is to see and focus on what's negative.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: So actually, if we want to get to the root of all of this we gotta get to the heart and figure out how do we cultivate positivity, goodness love, joy, peace in our hearts. Otherwise, everything else is just gonna be a losing battle. Because here's the deal like, it is absolutely good and helpful and wise to watch what you watch. To not just mindlessly consume content that is degrading to other people that's objectifying to women. That's gonna force you to focus on things that just aren't actually helpful for you.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: That's helpful. But there's so much of it out there that if you really wanna overcome the negativity in the world you gotta get to the root of it.

Dominique: Yeah. No, I think even recently I've really started working on creating boundaries.

James Meehan: Yeah, yeah.

Dominique: In things that I watch on social media things that I watch on TV and even some friendships.

James Meehan: Absolutely.

Dominique: There's just some friends where I'm just gonna have to get coffee with. I'd love to catch up with you because I know that I love you and we've got great history but because of just some of the things that you know, maybe different views or just whatever I've gotta keep a little bit of that distance. And then there's gonna be other friends where I know God is placed in my life and that we're gonna be iron who sharpens iron. You know what I mean? And so, yeah.

James Meehan: What I feel that's so helpful about that is the idea that negativity is contagious.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: And if you're being negative and the people around you are being negative then your negativity is actually gonna feed off of each other. Maybe, the best thing you can do is take some time to get healthy.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: Like almost like quarantine yourself.

Dominique: That's good.

James Meehan: From negativity. Just for a period of time. And then appropriately bring that person back into your life. Like you mentioned maybe we're gonna get coffee but maybe you're not gonna stay at my house the entire weekend. Because I'm only healthy enough to be a positive influence on you for maybe an hour or two at a time. I can't handle 48 hours straight. And that is, that's wisdom. Those boundaries can be really, really beneficial. And then what I would say there too is if you find yourself among a group of friends where you're constantly complaining about stuff together then that's a good indicator that you need to start being more mindful of what it is that you're saying. Because again the more you speak negativity the easier it is to see negativity. And if you can train yourself to speak positively you're actually gonna train yourself to see things that are positive. That are good and that are uplifting.

Dominique: Yeah, that's so true. And I even find myself being the weird one because whenever people will gossip or be like oh, I don't like this. Or just negative talk. I'm like, well, what if we saw it this way? You know what I mean? And so.

James Meehan: That's good though.

Dominique: Yeah, it's a good thing and it can be so hard sometimes. But I would just encourage you keep going. Like, be the weird one cause at the end of the day that weird positivity will be able to shut down the conversation sometimes. And that's just a boundary that I keep, so.

James Meehan: Absolutely brilliant.

You know, we do what we can. News, you ready?

News time.

Okay. News time.

I was gonna start singing the Mail Time song from Blues Clues.

Oh, hey, that's my good type of throwback.

Just went by a feeling.

Okay, it's okay. Maybe next time, maybe next time.

Next time.

Okay, we've got the Game Awards.

Yes, please! I don't know about you all but I, I'm a gamer.


Have been, since I was a wee little lad. Two of my most anticipated games of all time came out this year and went head-to-head for the Game of the Year Award at the Game Awards. That is Elden Ring. The culmination of all that is souls born up until this point in a breath of the wild like open world. And it was a magical gaming experience. And God of War Rag.

I love your passion. You go, bro. You go, I'm so happy for you.

So much judgment in her. She's just laughing at me.

I'm not.

You know what? I'm gonna be weird, different. I'm gonna keep going. God of War Ragnarok. The culmination of one of the greatest character arcs in gaming. I take that back. Not one, the greatest character arcs in gaming. All that to be said, they went head-to-head for Game of the Year. Elden Ring won, not disappointed. Some of you, might be. There's some other stuff that was in the running but in my mind it was just those two. God of War Ragnarok though tied for the most ever nominations in gaming history. Took second place for the most awards. So they've got 11 nominations. They won six awards. Sorry, Elden Ring beat them out otherwise they would've had a record. It was incredible. There were some announcements for some new games. I know I'm most excited about Armored Core Six Fires of Rubicon because that is the next game from FROMSOFTWARE the developer who created Elden Ring and Dark Souls and all of that stuff. I will stop talking but let us know what you were most excited about or even disappointed by from the Game Awards in the comments. All right, Dom, back to you. We can move on from this.

Well, I play Sonic, so. Ye went on Alex Jones Infowars podcast and talked about his commitment to Christ and loving others. Unfortunately, these statements were framed by a disturbing anti-sematic triad. Ye has a documented history of mental illness and the Infowars footage makes clear that his symptoms are not well-managed at the moment.

If you're unfamiliar Infowars is a kind of like news organization that tends to be pretty extreme towards the right.


Kanye West is a musician turned fashion designer turned entrepreneur turned politician, kind of, who I believe it was like late 2019, early 2020 who had this like, coming to Jesus moment where he had kinda this radical transformation where he seemed to be really on a fire for Christ. A lot of stuff was changing in his life. But what we've sort of seen since then is actually what we often see when people start to follow Jesus where there's this initial burst of passion and change and transformation. But when you aren't actually in good biblical community.


When you're not cultivating your relationship with God spending time with him in prayer then what can happen is that fire will start to fade.


And you can start to wrestle with what does it mean for me to be Christian in my school? What does it mean for me to be Christian in my family? What does it mean for me to live out this new life in all of my old relationships? And so it seems like that might be what Kanye is struggling with.


Is trying to be somebody who has been a celebrity for a really long time. Where it was all about him now maybe trying to be a Christian and kind of messing it up almost every single step of the way. And so what I don't want to do is heap a bunch of judgment and condemnation on him because I would hope that other people would judge me mercifully and graciously.


And so that's, that's what I wanna do here. What I want to invite us to do is remember that this is why we look to saints and not celebrities as our role models.


Come on. Because the reality is is that the world celebrities operate in is not very conducive to living a life that is full of love and grace and full of Jesus. And so it could be that he is trying his very best and just stumbling every step of the way.


That's why we all need grace.


It could also be that this is a stunt to get approval from a group of people who are Christian. It could be that's the case. Whatever it is if somebody claims Jesus, but then demonizes Jewish people what we know is that there is an inconsistency there.


Because Jesus who started the movement we call Christianity was actually Jewish. And so to be a Christian and hate Jewish people is incompatible. To be a Christian and hate any people is incompatible. Come on somebody.


What Jesus said is like you gotta love your neighbor. Oh yeah, and also love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.


That's the example that Jesus set for us. And so, what we can do is look in our own lives and ask the question am I surrounding myself with the people with the resources, with the counselors with the professional help that I need to make sure that I'm actually operating a way that's honoring to God and honoring to others? And if I'm not, I need to change it. And then when I see people in the public sphere who identify as Christians who are saying very un-Christian things maybe instead of starting with judgment and condemnation maybe I should start with compassion and prayer for them. So that's what I would like you to do because that's what I'm having to challenge myself to do. Because my default is bro, you ain't even a real Christian. Like you're just saying all of this stuff. And here's the deal I don't know if that's true.

Exactly, yeah.

And I would rather err on the side of praying for him and believing the best than joining in with all the critics and throwing rocks at people. Because that doesn't really build anyone up.

Yeah, well said. Earlier this month, Lensa became the number one app in the Apple store's photo and video category. After releasing a feature called Magic Avatars customized pieces of AI generated digital art. Lensa already has over 600,000 posts tagged on Instagram.

That's crazy, dude.

That, the technology has been trained on over 2 billion images. Many of them copyrighted which raises thorny questions about whether the tech is built off of unpaid labor.

That's a really interesting take.

That is.

Because I think for most of us we see this and it's like oh, this is cool, this is fun, this is awesome.

Yeah, yeah.

Which I think we can take the good out of it but that's a really important question to ask is are artists who put in work getting ripped off?


Because of this app? And so I think that's another invitation for us to not just assume we know what we know based off of what we see in that first glance but to be open to asking further question. We've talked about this previously on the show that when it comes to the internet one of the worst things you can do is take everything you hear at face value.


Or take everything you see at face value.


Just cause it sounds good doesn't actually mean it is good. And it raises some questions about is this actually moral? Is this operating with integrity? What is my responsibility as a follower of Jesus? I wanna do everything I can to only do what is good and true. And I wanna be very careful about what's not. And so, for you maybe as you're exploring this app you're like, I don't really see any issues with it. I don't think it's a problem. And if that's the case, that's okay. Like, that's you.


But for those of you, maybe you do feel a little bit questionable about it and you wanna bring some awareness to these different artists and these people who have put together their works that maybe aren't getting the credit that they deserve. I think that could be a really great use of your energy. At the end of the day what we wanna wanna encourage you to do is something that we talk about literally every week. Which is just think a little bit more Christianly about how you interact with culture. Because we're called to a different standard.

For me, I have struggled with, how do I say judging myself after I've made this mistake. When really my intentions were pure from the start. But what I think is I just need to make sure that the same grace that God has given all of the people around me it's given to me, as well.


And to just apologize and to make right the mistake that I did make.

So good. Big challenge because here's the challenge for this week.


Go 24 hours without saying anything negative.

That can be a big challenge.

Because the verse that we started with about how do we not focus on what's negative but focus on what's positive is all about do not let any any wholesome talk come outta your mouth.


Only that which is good and helpful and beneficial for those who listen. So 24 hours, no negativity outta your mouth. If you do it come back to this video and comment and say I did it. If it takes you all week to get one day, that's okay. That like, that's real.


But that level of effort I think will help you become more of who God's created you to be.

Yeah, awesome.

To be truly is loving.

And I think it's the little steps too. You can start with okay, today I'm not gonna watch anything negative on TV.

Come on, that's good.

And then use as the building block. Okay, I feel like I've accomplished that. Let's do no negative things on Instagram or social media or let's not gossip. Start small and then use those foundations to build and then once, you'll be able to look up one day and find oh my gosh, like I really do feel like I'm a pretty positive person now.

Come on.

So, yeah.

That's good. Do that.
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