"It is important for us to come to grips with the fact that our lives will not get straightened out until our thinking gets straightened out."
This sounds (in my ear) like you're saying until I get my thinking 100% inline - my life will be a mess. And that (in my opinion) is not true. God looks at the heart, not the head. If your heart, your intentions, are on Him, then "messed up thinking" is not going to result in "messed up life". Yes, spending time in His word and with Him in prayer and conversation and worship are all vital - but none of them guarantee that "care free life".
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt 5:45)
Yeah, good thoughts are definitely a way to go, as is "taking every thought captive" ... but [to me] this looked like "if you don't do it this way you're doomed". And that, thanks to our God of grace, is just not true.
And if I totally missed what you said - my apologies. I can only respond to what I understand.