Tag Archive | habits

Thanksgiving Face

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Our Thanksgivings and Christmases have not quite been the same in the last couple of years for various reasons.
We are thankful just the same.
We have an amazing God who supplies every need we have.
The end snapshot seems to appear a bit different than we like perhaps, but it’s still a fine picture of His great provision for us.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
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Time spent pondering these things must give way to the telling.
The thoughts must come out,
they must be shared.
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Is thankfulness held inside simply holding on to a warm fuzzy for our own comfort?
Is it thankfulness if it is not spoken?
Or is our thankfulness a contagious thing?
Something that when spoken,
makes a warmth begin in another’s heart?
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I am and have been thankful to God for a very long time.
Yet, I do have a problem.
My heart somehow forgets to notify my face.
My voice box should proclaim this thankfulness to my God and to others.
Scripture says so.
Luke 17:15 (NIV1984)
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
And yet,
I do not live out loud as much as I would like.
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I used to live out loud.
The raucous, rude, out of line kind of loud.
Now that my heart is aligning more and more with the Spirit of God,
Quietness is more my style.
The quietness and peace in my heart is definitely a gift from God.
I no longer stress so much about most of the stuff I used to stress about.
He is in control.
My interest revolve around him,
and so I believe His interests revolve around me as well.
Isaiah 32:17 (NIV1984)
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
Quietness of heart I believe,
not necessarily of mouth.
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So I begin.
To encourage myself to use my voice.
To thank the Maker of heaven and earth for the peace that resides in my heart.
To live out loud again.
I ask Him to help it to reach my face.
That His countenance will shine through my being,
and encourage others to trust Him as well.
Colossians 1:27 (NIV) To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.

Can You Hear It?

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Hear what?

The voice of god.

 

This topic comes up so frequently in conversation.

 

I’m no expert,

but I have made some observations and asked some questions.

I’ve gotten some great answers,

and been quite bewildered by the answers of others.

 

Here’s what I think.

I believe God is always speaking.

Always.

I am just not always listening.

Sometimes I think I am listening,

only to find later how much I missed.

OR

I do not understand the manner in which He is speaking.

These two observations made me want to find a better way of hearing.

It’s been a long, long study,

but I’m learning more and more every day.

 

Questions…

How does God speak?

How do we know we are not just making it up?

What about all those coincidences?

If I connect the dots, will they lead back to Him?

What that one scripture that I simply cannot get out of my mind?

Can I HEAR His voice with my ears?

What about those “gut” feelings?

 

I am positive that you can add more questions to this list.

As many people as there are,

there are AT LEAST that many questions.

 

As stated earlier, I believe God is ALWAYS speaking.

Consider this thought –

What if –

  Babies were born with the ability to hear and communicate with God,

and they lost that ability through neglect or lack of knowledge or just plain unbelief?

Perhaps the big people around them didn’t know this language,

or they chose not to believe it if they did know.

Could be?

 

If we spend time each day getting to know God and His Word,

then our minds will become renewed.

Slowly, over time,

our thoughts will become more like His.

We will learn through His Word about His character.

We will learn through His Word His expectations.

We will learn through His Word that He LONGS to communicate with us.

We will learn through His Word the “sound” of His voice.

My sheep hear my voice and they know me.

The voice of another they will not follow.

John 10:26 -28

(That’s another couple of posts all by itself!)

When we spend the time,

We can be fairly certain that we are not making it up.

He is Faithful to watch over his Word to do it

Jeremiah 1:12

Do your thoughts align with God’s Word?

Do your thoughts align with the promises He has already written for you in His Word?

If so,

you can be pretty sure He’s been speaking to you.

Somehow.

 

In the late 80’s there was a program called “Perfect Strangers”.

In it, the character Balki was always saying “What a co-in-o-dink!”

He meant coincidence of course.

Well, I do not believe in them.

I choose to believe that it is God’s way of connecting the dots for our lives.

Look back on some things in your life.

Things that in no way go together,

but in the end,

the dots connect to the next big thing that God had for you.

 

He’s talking to you.

Are you listening?

 

Is there a verse that you have read that just will not let you go?

One of my biggest ones; Psalm 139 of course.

but especially verses 13-16-

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you  when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me  were written in your book before one of them came to be.

 

Oh yeah!

I’m NOT a mistake!

 

God’s voice,

God speaking to me,

will always make me know that I have worth and value.

 

I HAVE heard the audible voice of God.

This is not so common,

but I believe that God uses whatever it will take to get us to listen.

In the circumstance I was in,

I am so glad He spoke,

no,

He yelled!

People tell me that God wouldn’t yell.

 In my case He yelled “SHUT UP!”

(He would never say that!)

Well He did.

It WAS the only way I would listen.

It made all the difference in the outcome.

 

My husband has heard His voice audibly as well.

If he hadn’t listened,

we could have been burying our daughter due to a strangers foolish mistake.

 

I’ve had experiences where my insides just didn’t settle well in a given circumstance.

Some of those unsettled times I have not paid attention,

and later paid the price for “not listening”.

By the same token,

Some I have taken to heart,

listened,

and in the end seen exactly the pit fall Holy Spirit was trying to keep me from.

God was speaking to me.

In my gut.

 

I choose to believe that He uses all these ways and more

to communicate to a world that He so longs to interact with.

To SPEAK to us.

To build relationship with us.

To love and to bless us.

 

I have a little story I’s like to share with you on this subject

I have permission to do so.

My friend and I were talking a while back about this very topic.

We were talking about the fact that we want to teach our children and grand-children

how to hear God in whatever way He chooses to speak.

Recently she was sitting on her front porch,

She was enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of the beautiful fall here in the mid-west.

She spends her quiet time there.

Encountering God and listening for His voice.

On one day,

her not quite pre-school age daughter came to join her.

She was very quiet,

and after a bit her mom was going to speak to her,

and she put her little finger to her lips and shushed her mom.

A bit shocked,

mom asked why?

To which the little replied,

“I think I hear God talking.”

So of course mom asked,

“So what do you think He’s saying?”

To which the little answered.

“Chirp, chirp.”

 

A heartwarming story to be sure.

A surprising answer from a babe.

Purity.

 Sweetness.

A complete lack of guile.

A heart ready to HEAR what God has to say.

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Fearfully and wonderfully made

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Just Show Up

A while back, one of our pastors told us that if we did not have a time and a place to meet God, the chances of actually doing it were slim.

I had to agree with him wholeheartedly.

I had established a time and a place,

and meeting God there was on some days the only place I wanted to be.

This intentionality caused my heart to yearn for Him even more.

The more I knew Him, the more I wanted to know Him.

This is still true today.

In fact, many of my Significant Encounters happen in this very place..

What I’ve learned is that when I put myself into the position to find Him,

suddenly, I see Him.                       

Not with my eyes, but with the peace of Him that settles in my heart.

Whatever might happen the rest of the day,

is not as likely to ruffle me as much as if I haven’t spoken to God first.

Note, I said spoken to God?

Well, know that some days I say not one word.

Some days I read my Bible.

Most days I write in my journal.

Somedays I read an inspirational or instructional book.

I even have a little devotional that I like to peruse.

Whatever I sense that is right for the day.

Sometimes it’s an hour or more.

Some days it’s ten minutes.

Long ago, Tommy Barnett taught us that you should “Read until you burn”.

What he meant was simply to stay in that place until you sense His burning in your heart.

In my case, I sense His pleasure with our time together.

There are no set of defined rules.

If there were, these times would grow flat and boring very quickly.

But a time and a place?

Any time best for you.

Any place you can be undisturbed.

What a difference this makes.

Psalm 27:8 (NASB)

When You said, “ Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD,

I shall I seek”.

Then really, all you have to do is show up!

Do you have a time and a place?

Care to share?

A Word For Christians

SO.  You’ve got the fire insurance. Your forever home will be Heaven.

“But I thought that everything would change when I met Christ.

Nothing’s changed.

In fact, it’s gotten worse!”

Psalm 13:1-2 (NIV)  How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day has sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Even the most notable Christian leaders of our time have experienced the same thing. 

It does not matter who you are. 

Well known or unknown, weak or strong, rich or poor.

It doesn’t matter where you are. 

In a house or in a hut, on a boat or in a plane, in a big city or the smallest of towns.

It doesn’t matter whether you are well-educated or not educated at all. 

The same thing is common for all of the types listed above.

Things can get worse after receiving Christ. 

“Why?” you ask.

Simply put, you now have an enemy. 

 He would like to destroy the potential you gained by saying “Yes” to Jesus.

If you have not said “Yes” to Jesus , please see the “Rescue” tab on this blog.

Why would I want to say “Yes” if this is what is going to happen? 

We’ll look at that shortly.

In the following scriptures, you will read what God says about

you and your struggle.     

Romans 8:37-39 (NASB)  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing can separate us from His love.  What can separate us from the love of God?

Nothing.  No thing.  This love is shown to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So how can we ever stand up against this enemy of our souls? 

Ephesians 6:11-13 (NASB) Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:13-15 (CEV)  So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.  Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor.  Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet.

 

OK.  How do I do this?

 

Read God’s word.  He sent this love letter/road map to guide us in our days here on this earth.  It is …. The Truth.  If we read it, we will know what He thinks about all the things that concern us.

Repent.  What does that mean?  The easiest way I’ve ever heard it said is this way.  Recognize your wrong doing, and turn around and go the other way.  A change of   direction.  God’s word is full of directions for this change.                          Righteousness begins here. 

Be obedient.  Submit your will to God (not as in door mat submit, but as in I love You God submit) Reading His word will show us how He thinks. The first thing we’ll notice is that what He thinks and what the world we live in thinks are very much opposite.  This is why this new life with Christ can be so difficult.  His word never promises it will be easy, it does promise however that it will be worth it.         Strength comes from obedience.

Be intentional.  You’ll have to choose to be intentional.  The enemy of your soul won’t like it one bit.  He’ll distract you at every turn.  You’ll need to choose again and again.  As you choose though, you will see that the choosing becomes easier.           We are beginning to be ready, the gospel shoes are beginning to fit. 

Receive God’s peace.  God’s word gives us peace in our heart.  No matter what goes on in our daily lives, the peace of God lives in our hearts.  When we are in the center of His will for us, He will fully provide for us, no matter how things look.   This means that even in extreme circumstances, we can be at peace.

So here we are, regarding to your question about saying “Yes” to Jesus.

Isn’t it a most amazing idea to have a peaceful heart in the middle of, well …. everything?

Right?

Fear

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      I was four or five at the time.  Mean boys, a couple of years older than I, captured me and put me at the bottom of the tallest tree in my neighbors yard.  From there, they climbed to the lowest branch of that tree and taunted me.  “If you move, we’ll jump on you.”  “If you move, we’ll kill you.”  I didn’t know what “kill” meant, but I knew they were serious.  My heart fluttered and sputtered in my chest.  I could hear their words of torment loud even over the sound of my pounding heart in my head.

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      This is the first time I can actually remember where fear entered.  The truth was that even if I did not understand the meaning of “kill”, I definately understood the the malice in their tone of voice.  There was no one there to tell me the truth, that little boys don’t “kill” little girls.  There was no one there to stop the lie.  There was no one there to tell me how special I was, or that I did not have to believe all the horrible things they said that day.

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     Had I known the truth, I could have laughed at them and went home to my Mom.  I didn’t go to her though.  Instead I sat there terrified and let that terror nestle close into my heart. 

     Whether their actions would be true or not, I do not know.  What I do know is that even with the feel of the grass itching my skinny little kindergarten legs, my full bladder screaming to be released and the pounding of my heart was not enough to move me until the two decided they were tired of their little game and went home.

     Here’s what I’d like you to do today. 

     Learn at least one new truth about yourself according to God’s Word. 

     I’ve placed a couple of true statements from His Word, the Holy Bible here to get you started. 

     How do you know His Word true?  Or if His Word is a lie?  

     (If you do not know the answer to this question, then first refer to the Rescue Page of this blog.)  

      I’ll be here to help you, but the best thing is that God is always at our side.

      Psalm 23:4* Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.

      Psalm 27:1* The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? 

Experts say that if we repeat anything for twenty eight days, it becomes a habit. 

      Might I suggest that you write these truth words on a card and pocket them?  You can then pull them out throughout the day and remind yourself what God says about fear.

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      Your new habit will be to begin to recognize fear and your answer to it will be the Truth of His Word.

      Your new habit will begin to give you some peace in your heart.

      Your new habit will begin to renew your heart and your mind.

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