Finding Unhealthy Beliefs Along the Paths of Life – Hiking Lessons Part Two

Where do you find unhealthy beliefs? Where do they hide? This website aims to help you discover unhealthy, false beliefs and replace them with the truth to experience a new reality. You will find unhealthy beliefs in many places, such as education, friends, family, bad experiences, what you watch on TV, the internet, or in the movies, and so on. The trick is to recognize unhealthy beliefs and replace them with the truth found in God’s Word. I discover most of my unhealthy beliefs when I become resentful. I discuss the power of resentment and how to resolve it at length in this post: How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer.

Rattlesnakes Let You Know When You Are too Close

When I go on a hike, I pray for God’s protection that I would not encounter a rattlesnake, copperhead, or any other wild animal that could hurt me. Though I pray this prayer, and I believe God hears my prayer, but He may not answer my prayer as I expect.  I wrote a series of posts on why God may not answer our prayers, found here.

I have hiked close to 300 miles of the MST and have only seen three rattlesnakes and no bears, though I see evidence of a bear being on the path. Psalm 91:14  states, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.” On the last four-day hike, we came across two beautiful yellow-phase rattlesnakes on two different days.  Yes, I was scared and backed away when I heard the rattles sound off, but I know they will not hurt me unless I mess with them.

Just as rattlesnakes let you know their presence, so resentment lets you know when you have an unhealthy belief.  When you don’t have peace and joy, back up and look for bitterness. All bitterness is based on a false belief, which is a lie about yourself, others, or God.  When you allow bitterness to bite you, it will cripple your ability to relate lovingly to people. Hebrews 12:15 states, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

Often destructive attitudes that create bitterness come from unmet expectations and disappointment. For example, you expect a thank-you when you give someone something, but they don’t. You resent that and refuse to give that person any more of your time or resources. To learn more, read ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL.

Difficulties Throughout Life Create Unhealthy Beliefs

How many times has everything gone perfectly in your life?  Have you faced difficulties you did not anticipate? Challenges in life reveal your true character. Are you patient and kind in the midst of hardships? Or are you angry and rude when things don’t go as planned?  We all want our life to be peaches and cream, but that is not reality; it is an unhealthy, false belief. The Bible tells us that we are to expect problems. John 16:33  states, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  

When we get on a trail, we have no idea what we will face.  Sometimes it is very rocky and difficult.

Then there are easy trails that are wide and smooth. The last eight-plus miles of the MST to the Maryland border was the easiest of the 300 miles. We complete the eight miles in less than four hours.

Other times, you can’t see the trail and have to follow the blazes. Once I tripped over a log that was covered by ferns and fell face first. Thankfully, I did not hit my head on a rock. I thanked God for His protection.

Then there were two days of bushwhacking overgrown brambles and thorny vines. It took us six hours to hike six miles. We were bleeding from all the scratches, then I slipped on a sweating rock and fell into a patch of thorny brambles; ouch. The more I struggled to get out of the brambles, the more scratches I got. My strong husband was able to help me up.  I saw it as an adventure, but my husband’s attitude was misery.

Often the trials of life will cause you pain and misery. How you view them will determine if you develop a false belief about your difficulties or allow God to perfect your character and root out the lies you believe. James 1:2-4 encourages us to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4) And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Ask God to show you the false beliefs or unhealthy attitudes you may have concerning a difficulty you went through so you don’t become entangled in resentment or bitterness.

Review of Lessons Learned In Last Blog

In the last blog, I learned that I needed a map to navigate life successfully, and our map is the Bible. When we refer to it often and follow the blazes left by others, we will stay on the path that leads to eternal life. Secondly, look for the surprises along the trail and enjoy them. Thirdly, pray for God’s strength when the tails of life become difficult. Whatever you do, don’t give up and persevere to the end.


http://Identify and Replace False Beliefs?

Love From a Pure Heart

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to Trust Again.

All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a person making the request.

How Hiking Teaches About Life-Part One

Have you done something and regretted it, or did you learn from it and grew stronger? My husband and I are hiking the Mid State Trail (MST) from Maryland to New York. We are now section hiking our way down to Maryland. Every hike is an adventure with many challenges and surprises. Today’s hike was especially difficult, but there were many pleasant surprises. I was reminded of how hiking relates to life. Some people persevere with a positive attitude through difficulties and disappointments., and some people cave to depression and anger. To be honest, I tend to yield towards depression and anger, but with God’s help, I am learning to be thankful and seek His strength.

Make Sure You Follow The Right Path

A map is the most important thing you need when you go on a hike, but you need to make sure you are using the correct map.  We need the Bible to guide us on the right path of life that will lead us to eternal life.  When you walk the wrong path, you find dead ends and difficulties.  For example, we began a ten-mile hike that went through a farm. To my delight, I saw a newborn calf. We were the first people he saw.

Further down the trail, we saw some remarkable fungi formations. After hiking to the top of the mountain, we realized we did not see any more trail blazes. We walked back and forth, trying to see if the trail took a turn we did not see. We look at our map many times. I was very disappointed and sad. I prayed for God to help us find the path, but He didn’t answer my prayer.

Expect Disappointments and be Flexible

We finally gave up and went back down the mountain to our car. I was tired, and my muscles hurt. Life is like this hike. You never know what difficulties and surprises lie ahead on the road of life. Expect disappointments and learn to be flexible. Expect that God will not always give you the requests you ask of Him. Most of all, find something you can be thankful for. My husband and I changed our plans. We later discovered the MST Association changed the trailhead to the other side of the mountain but did not blacken the trail blazes for the abandoned tail route or update their trail notifications. We might think we are on the right path in life, but when it leads nowhere, we have to backtrack and find the path we should be on.

We wasted a good portion of the day on the abandoned trail, so we decided to do a shorter section of the trail, we planned to do another day. This part of the trail also had surprises and difficulties. Not only did we have a hot road walk through Everett, but then the trail took us down a weedy railroad bed with briars and thistles that wrapped around our ankles, and I only had shorts on, ouch. To our surprise, we found two recliners sitting along the trail. The path that life takes us may be filled with difficulties and unpleasant things, but perseverance and having an attitude of gratitude and expectation will help you endure. I often tell myself, “This too will pass.”  Covid19 and all the hardships will pass, so don’t despair, but through prayer, keep your eyes on God, our eternal guide.

Sometimes Life Can be Rocky

Hiking through Pennsylvania requires a lot of rock hiking, which is very challenging and tiring. You need to watch where you step and make sure the rock is stable, plus you need to watch out for rattlesnakes. If you take your eyes off where you step, you will end up falling or stepping on a snake. I have done many snake dances. Next week, I will tell you about the yellow-phase rattlesnake we encountered in another hike. Often, life leads you down rocky stretches but keep your eyes on the path by reading your Bible. Proverbs 119:105 says that the Word of God is a light to your path and a lamp for your steps.

Life Will Have Challenges

Hiking up and down mountains is very challenging, especially when we hiked from the bottom of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon to the top. It was so steep and high that I didn’t know if I could make it. I prayed for God to give me the strength to make it. At times, I had to walk up backward and push with my hiking staff to give my calf muscles a break. Life can also be challenging, and you will need to rely on the Lord’s strength to help you make it. God will not give you strength until you seek it and put your trust in His ability. Psalm 18:32  “The God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.” Psalm 73:26  “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I will share more next week.


Being Thankful During Hardships

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without


What Controls Your Thoughts?

The Meaning of Life — MOORE IN THE WORD

Let’s lighten it up a bit. My last blog entry caused a bit of a stir, so let’s soften the mood with an easier and lighter topic.  How about THE MEANING OF LIFE (pause for dramatic music).  What is the meaning of life?  What is your purpose, what is your task?  Where might we go to find […]

The Meaning of Life — MOORE IN THE WORD

I came across this great post. I hope you enjoy it. I am hiking the Mid State Trail (MST) to the Maryland border from Everett over the next four days, so I didn’t get a post written. I also hiked 27 miles of the MST last weekend as well. As I was hiking the roughest part (I hope) of the trail (5 miles up and down a rocky ridge) above Everett , I realized that life is like hiking, and I began to write a post on my thoughts. Hope to share that post soon.

What is Glory?

Why did God create humanity? Isaiah 43:7 and 21 explain, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” And verse 21 states, “The people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. Also, Ephesians 1:12 states, “So that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” According these verses, God created us for His glory and to declare His praise. So, what is glory?

I found an old photocopy of an article called The Glory Of God And You written by Mary E. Birt. I have kept it in my Bible for many years, and I feel God inspiring me to share it with you today.

The glory of God is His beauty, power, honor, and greatness. The glory of God is the person and presence of God.  The glory of God is His personality, goodness, holiness, light, righteousness, and His perfection of character. The glory of God is His mercy, graciousness, patience, truth, justice, forgiveness, and the work of the Holy Spirit. The glory of God is that place in which He lives. The glory of God is the atmosphere of Heaven. The glory of God is the way that God is.

Jesus Christ is the image of God.  “He is the sole expression of the glory of God – the Light-being, the out-raying of the divine – and He is the perfect imprint and the very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3 (The Amplified Bible).

Jesus Christ came out of glory and lived as a man on earth walking in holiness and purity. He laid aside his heavenly position and power and came as a humble servant.

Jesus was tempted in every way and lived without sin. He manifested the holiness of God on the earth so that you could so the same.  He cleansed your sins so you could come into the glory. You can live without sin because He took away your sinful nature and gave you His divine nature (Romans 6:6-14; 2Peter:1:4). 

Jesus deposited His glory in you – John 17:22. He gave you the ability to live a glorious life, to live daily in the glory, and to be a part of the glorious Church.

Jesus wants you to behold His glory on this earth and eternally – John 17:24. You behold His glory on this earth as you do His works and greater works, worship Him, meditate in His Word, spend time in His presence [through prayer], and come to know Him.

“For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifested in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be of God and not from ourselves.” 2Corinthians 4:6-7 (The Amplified Bible).

What God has done is magnificent! He placed His glory in earthen vessels, pots of clay, so that His grandeur and greatness would be seen in the lives of Christians.

Have you seen the excellence of God in the Church very often? Well, it is time now. This generation shall bring forth the glory of God. Confess this aloud: “This generation shall bring forth the glory of God.” Speak from your spirit and with the resurrection power of God that is within you “I shall bring forth the glory of God.”

Do you realize what you are saying?  You will bring forth His beauty, power, honor, greatness, and the person and presence of God.  You will bring forth His goodness, light, perfection of character, patience, truth, justice, and forgiveness. You will bring forth the working of His Holy Spirit and the atmosphere of Heaven.

If you meant what you just said, the Church will change, the world will change, the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and everyone will see it.

Verses to Ponder About God’s Glory (my addition)

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory! – Isaiah 6:3

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. – Ezekial 43:2 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. –John 1:14 

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. – John 2:11 

That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being. –Ephesians3:16 

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. –2Corinthians 3:18 

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. – Revelations 18:1

We exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. –1Thesalonians 2:12 

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27 

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. – Psalm 3:3 

Related Posts

Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness?

How to Experience a Heavenly Life on Earth.

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

What is Godliness?

All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a person making the request.

What Satan Doesn’t Want You To Know — Praying W.I.F.E. Forum


I came across this fantastic blog post. It is a long post but well worth your time.

Grace and Peace,


Reprinted with permission from Pastor Robert Morris (from Gateway Church, Texas, the eighth largest church in the US) tackles the subject of Demons. He explains that demons are disembodied spirits looking for a body (to inhabit). How can a believer keep himself from being an open house for a demon or a legion of demons? What do you mean […]

What Satan Doesn’t Want You To Know — Praying W.I.F.E. Forum

Fear God, Not People

Dear Friends,

King Solomon shares the following wisdom in Proverbs 19:21-23.Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. 22) What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23) The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”

In the 2020 election, people fear that the country will be destroyed if either presidential candidate is elected. DO NOT BE AFRAID! Fear is a bondage that will cause physiological stress on your body, which will make you sick. LOOK UP and find peace and rest in God’s ability to fulfill his purpose for you and our country. The fear of God is to reverence and trust Him, that His purpose and judgment will prevail in our country, no matter who is president.

If you fear or show reverence to the Lord, you will be free to not fear the future because no harm will visit you. We may have troubles, but that will not harm us, but help us grow in our faith in God’s provision and protection. If you don’t fear God but instead fear for the future of our country, then you will NOT rest satisfied, and your fear will invite the devil to harm you. See my post called “How the Devil Causes Trouble

I wrote in my post called “Are you a sheep or a goat?” that love is the defining term of a true Christian, who loves those who do not believe as they believe. In verse 22, King Solomon tells us that steadfast love and truth are to be desired in your life, so seek to love and speak the truth to everyone you meet. Another action of a true Christian is to fear God. People who fear and trust God will be content with whatever happens in this election because their eyes are on God not the concerning circumstances.

In my last post, I explained that you can lose your heavenly inheritance by having idols in your life, even unseen idols. In this post, I will reveal how you can make activities and people into idols when you do not fear or trust God. Idols are often called vanities, or vain things. Jonah 2:8 states, “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love (of God).” Idols are lying vanities, as opposed to the living and true God because they are imaginary and are powerless to help you. So, putting your confidence in idols is vain.

Idolatry of Activities

You can identify unseen idols by evaluating where you spend excessive time and effort; even ministry can be an idol, or gardening, or blogging. Ouch, I stepped on my own toes. I can give specifics, but we are each tempted in different ways to serve unseen idols of activities. So, ask God to show you what controls your life? Remember, an idol is anything that draws you away from your love and devotion to God and people. Idols could be your work, hobbies, sports, TV, movies, books, social media, video games, pets, alcohol, drugs, food, etc. How do you spend your time and energy that then keeps you from spending time with God? Raising children doesn’t count because that is a God-given purpose. Even if you’re busy caring for your children and home, you can fill your home and car with praise music or scripture reading while performing your tasks.

Idolatry of People

How do people become unseen idols? A celebrity becomes an idol when you get your identity and a sense of belonging from them. Our loved ones become idols for the same reasons, plus, you expect them to love and accept you unconditionally. Yes, you want people to love and accept you, but they cannot meet your expectations because they cannot love you the way you want. Only God can meet your need for love, acceptance, identity, and belonging; all other sources are idols in your life. Why do you idolize people? To hopefully get something from them.

People are foolish to make idols of the presidential candidates. They worship their candidate and think their candidate will make their lives better. People, especially politicians, make the worst idols because they will let you down and will not meet your expectations most of the time. Plus, people make the worst idols because they are sinners.

People also make idols of pastors and other spiritual leaders. You know those who have made the pastor or spiritual leader an idol when they leave the church when the spiritual leader leaves or fails to give them what they are looking for. They had no interest in loving God and loving people.


God’s purposes for you and this country will prevail. We can trust God to always love us and provide the things we need. Trusting the government is foolish. So to, people and activities will let you down eventually because they cannot meet your expectations. Fear God and worship Him only, love others, and be truthful and you will be satisfied, and no harm will come near you. Above all, do not fear the future, only fear God as the judge of the world.

Grace and peace to you,


Related Posts:


Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

What is Wrong with Fairness?

What Is Required to Stand Before God?

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

Are you in control of your life?

Know Your Purpose?

Psalm 91 Posts

What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance

The Bible says our heavenly inheritance is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us when we believed in Jesus Christ (read Ephesians 1:13-14.) So, why does the Bible also tell us that we can lose our inheritance. We will explore this apparent dichotomy in the next few posts. In this post, we will explore why idolatry can cause you to lose your inheritance. The reason I am interested in idolatry is because of how much the 2020 quarantine disrupted our lives, and we had to reevaluate our priorities.

My friend is upset at the notion that he could be an idolater. He said; “Don’t tell me I worship idols; I do not worship or bow down to a created image of an animal or anything else. Idol worship was a problem during the Bible times, though I know some religions worship images and offer sacrifices to them.” Todd then asks me to go to the ball game and that a famous band will be playing during the pregame show. Afterward, he invited me to to go to the Tenth Street bar to watch Wrestle Mania. I said, “No thank you.” To me these were idols that Todd did not realize.

You may not know the many types of idols you are worshiping or trusting in to meet your needs, but we all have idols in our lives. The dictionary defines idolatry as having excessive devotion to or reverence for some person or thing other than God. Some people idolize celebrities. Many people idolize money and fame. Other people idolize their children or grandchildren. Your created image may be different than those in Biblical times, but you still have them.

So, why should we conquer the unseen battles with idolatry? The Bible says idolaters will not go to heaven. Yes, I believe we are saved by faith, but the Bible says in Ephesians 5:5, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone …, who is an idolater has no inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

In my last post, I asked if you were a sheep or a goat according to Matthew 25. If you hope to enter heaven, you must be a sheep who is a follower of Jesus. So, make sure you do not have unseen idols in your life that distract you from following Him. Just as you were unaware of worldly thinking, you are equally unaware of the idols in your life. God created us to worship Him as our only savior, provider, healer, helper, etc. Because God is a Spirit, and we cannot see or touch Him, so we think we need to replace Him with something physical. Note, you can’t trust the government to take care of you.


Many people put their hope for security in the material, temporal things of this world, such as money, jobs, investments, homes, education, etc. Some people put their hope for love and acceptance in people, programs, activities, etc. All the things of the world you put your hope in will disappoint you because the Apostle John says in 1John 5:19-21, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” And, John ends his first book with “keep yourself from idols.” Satan’s unseen temptation is to cause you to doubt God exists and trust idols to meet your needs.

Idolatry is evident throughout the world since the beginning of civilization. The first two commandments of the Ten Commandments make it very clear; we are to have no other gods in our lives, yet we do (read Exodus 20). God is jealous for us because He created us to be in a loving relationship with Him, and He wants us to love Him more than anything or anyone else. Luke 10:27 states, “And he (Jesus) answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.‘” Do you love God as described in this verse? What does that look like in your life? What changes do you need to make?

Many people expect other people or possessions to meet their needs and they value and trust them more than the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, I discovered that I depended on my family to make me happy. And, I depended on my job for security. So, when my children grew up and did their own thing outside my control, I became depressed. And when I was laid off from my job, I felt rejected and became despaired because my identity was in what I did. Have you had similar experiences?

How we make ourselves idols.

I even made an idol of myself and wanted everyone to worship and serve me. Be honest or ask God to show how you too want to be worshiped and served. If you are offended when people don’t agree with you, or does or says something you don’t like, it shows you idolize yourself. We idolize ourselves when we think other people should have greater respect for us. This is pride at its best. Observe the prideful behavior of athletes, celebrities, and musicians. By-the-way, God hates pride, because it will keep you from loving and trusting Him. After all, prideful people trust in themselves and love themselves too much. Do you know someone like this?

I will share more in my next post because I have a lot to contemplate from this post. Ask God to show you your idols because we all have them. Determine to be a sheep and follow Jesus, and do not trust or worship anything else.

Grace and peace to you,


Walking With Christ In Social Relationships, Part 1 – The Bible And Slavery: Reformation From Inside-Out — pastorterryjdavis

The following blog about slavery and the Bible by Pastor Terry Davis was excellent, and I want to share it with my faithful followers. If you can, check out his other blog posts, he is very wise.

Joyce Hanscom

Grace For The Journey

Walking With Christ In Social Relationships, Part 1 – The Bible And Slavery: Reformation From Inside-Out — pastorterryjdavis

The Myth of Fairness… — French Fries In The Bottom Of The Bag…

If you ask a group of people what their first memory related to something being fair or unfair is, 9 times out of 10 it is a memory from a time they felt slighted. One child in their class got more candy than they did or a sibling got something that another child did not […]

via The Myth of Fairness… — French Fries In The Bottom Of The Bag…

4 Aug – What Are You Eating? — Dayle’s Blog

Looking after our physical bodies and choosing wisely to put good things in them is what cause them to operate at their optimum strength and health. What we eat is so important to who we are and how well we live our lives. We can perhaps get away with eating badly or irregularly for a […]

Hi Friends,

I want to share a wonderful blog post by Dayle. I was encouraged and challenged, and I wanted to share it with you.

via 4 Aug – What Are You Eating? — Dayle’s Blog