Tag Archive | Presence

Taking Time for Yourself

Beloved Brews Linkup

 

Taking time for me is something that keeps changing over the years. In my earlier years, taking time for me was not even on my radar.

While growing up, I was really busy trying to find someone who would stay by my side and be my friend. I ran hither and yon to find them. I did not know that Jesus wanted to be that for me.

As a young mom, I was of course immersed in the goings on of my small children, and trying to build a household. It was popular thought at the time that as a woman, you could “Have it all.” I was living to find ways to get it all done. I did not know that Jesus had already provided a way for that to happen.

My children grew up and began their own families, and I was frantic trying to find ways to fill the time. The way I did that was to fill my mind (and my house) with projects to keep my hands busy. That turned into many unfinished projects and guilt for not finishing. I finished some, and got rid of the rest. I did not know that it was Jesus who had already made it possible for me to fill up that creative space in my heart.

All the frantic, caused my physical body to break down. That began a time when all I did was take care of myself, i.e. nap, nap and more nap. I did not realize that Jesus had just the right prescription for what ailed me.

I was a believer. I knew God existed, but maybe for someone else, but not me since I was so lazy. Desperation led me to question His love for me and if He really meant all that He said in His word. The thought then crossed my mind to actually sit, in a chair, by the window, and just think of Him. Just think about what His word says. Decide if I really believed it all or not.

I spent much of that time dozing off, feeling guilty for dozing off, waking up, trying again, and dozing off some more. Time passed, and I began to call it “Resting in the Lord”. Jesus began to make me realize that if I did not take care of myself, then there would be nothing left for anyone else.

Over the weeks and months that followed, I found myself actually being more awake, more alert, and fuller of God’s words. They began to seep into my spirit and give me strength. Strength enough that I actually joined an exercise class that began to strengthen my body. That was five or so years ago, and that class is still a part of my life. God had revealed to me that if I wanted to do His plan for me, I would need to be as strong in my body as I was in my spirit.

2014 was a year of great introspection for me. I knew by Holy Spirit’s prompting, that I would need to spend a mass amount of time with Him, and myself, excavating some hurtful things in the past. Normally, spending that much time just with myself would have seemed selfish, but I found myself sure that if I did, then I could stop being tripped up by the things in my past. There was no guilt for this time, and it paid huge dividends. There were two resources provide for this time, and Bonnie Gray’s book “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” was the first. It opened the door for the second. 2014 brought my dark spaces out into His glorious light.

Now in 2015, He is allowing me to share my experience with others.

All this to say, there will always be some thought, someone, some thing that will try to keep you from taking care of yourself, spending time on yourself, being with yourself. Make it a priority. Make it an appointment for your calendar. It is important for your mind, spirit and body.

In the end, it will be important for the people that are in your sphere of influence. Only God knows how big your sphere will become if you only take the first step!

What I Love to Do That Feeds My Soul

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What I love to do that feeds my soul.

I love to sit in the big chair next to my window.

There is much to do there; journal writing, Bible study, reading whatever read is striking my fancy. It is most always quiet.

If not total silence, then quiet piano playing in the background. I find the solitude very useful. 

Simply gazing out the window and noticing the great beauty that God has set before me quiets my insides.

No matter what I choose to do there, it makes my soul quiet, so I can hear His spirit speak.

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Beloved Brews Linkup

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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The Invitation

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I’ve been given an invitation.

It’s a special invitation.

It’s an invitation that fills my heart with joy.

It is an invitation to a secret place.

No.

 It is an invitation to a sacred place.

This invitation is from a dear friend.

She has invited me to join her in her secret place.

She has invited me to her sacred place.

The place where she meets with ……………..

God.

Alone.

The place where she encounters God.

 

What an honor and a blessing.

Her invitation is a reminder to me.

A reminder that my Dear Savior longs for me to come to that secret place with Him.

Reminds me that He is waiting in that sacred place.

Reminds me that He wants to have an encounter with me,

as much as I need an encounter with Him.

 

You Dear Reader,

If you don’t not have such a place,

A secret, sacred place of encounter with God,

I strongly urge you to get one.

Find one.

Make one.

 

Make a place where you can rest with your Savior.

A place where you can abide with Him.

A place where you can go daily.

Be it early before your day begins,

or late and at the end of your day.

It may even be when your children are napping.

 

No matter.

Just do it.

 

When you encounter Father God there,

even your problems will seem to have an air of grace in them.

 

Remember the line in “Field of Dreams”?

“If you build it, they will come.”

 

Well if you make this place for Him,

He will come.

 

My own secret place is not fancy.

This chair belonged to my Mother.

It is older than I.

It sits next to the window in my office.

It only has three legs with an empty can from some dark chocolate

rolled wafer sticks serving as its fourth .

 

When I place myself in that seat,

even for a few moments.

He comes.

We encounter each other,

and joy fills my heart.

 

If you make  it,

He will come.

I promise.

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Fearfully and wonderfully made

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Everything

I’ve been struggling lately.

Maybe you have been too?

In the past, my home has been my refuge.

Home is a place where I can spend time studying the Word of God.

Learning in depth what God did for me when He sent His Son Jesus.

 

But that is not the struggle.

The struggle is that after all that time of quiet with my Heavenly Father,

It is time for me to share what I have learned.

I cannot count the number of times I have had this sense,

I’ve gone out to share Him.

I have shared Him well.

Then I find myself back at home,

Longing to not ever go out again.

 

I have compared myself to David of old.

He consistently hid himself in caves against his pursuers.

(Not that I’m being pursued, but I do enjoy my cave!)

David did however exit the caves to extinguish attacks from his enemies.

Not all his business was pleasant either.

 

Mostly he had to leave to take out some enemy that was trying to conquer what was not theirs.

I believe the comparison is that I need to leave when it is necessary.

Cave dwelling is for regaining strength, renewing energy, and receiving new instruction.

 

I do not enjoy crowds of people.

Un-purposeful milling about is maddening.

The confusion of a crowd makes me want to run and hide.

 

I did realize something though at our towns 4th of July celebration.

It’s been rolling around in my heart and mind for quite some time,

But it seemed to come into focus better than ever before.

Not pleasant, but clear.

 

Here were crowds of people, milling about, a crowd confused by everyone’s actions being different than the one next to him.

In truth, I have seen crowds much worse with the milling and the confusion, in the interest of full disclosure, that had to be stated here.

The heat was definitely a factor, I am quite sure it amplified everything.

 

Anyway…. I found out the reason I want to run and hide.

 

When I am in my cave, with God, and it is quiet,

I find that He gives me everything I need.

If I take time with Him each day,

I receive what I need for that day.

I have little need for the trappings of the world.

Having them is fine, but not mandatory.

My requirement list is pretty small.

 

In that time, God grants me a measure of His peace, that I can store up, and when necessary, carry out to the crowds,

 

Returning to re-fill.

 

What I saw clearly was a very lot of regular people, doing lots of things to bring them that peace.

Loud talking, boasting, swearing, drinking, smoking, flirting, fighting, showing far more skin than   I wanted my grand children to see, and a lot of PDF’s.  (Public displays of affection)

 

All these things bring a moments worth of gratification, but no real peace.

The gratification is fleeting, and the peace, non-existent.

 

For these reasons, I never want to leave my cave.

For these reasons, I NEED to leave my cave.

 

I am not condemning any of these people.

I am not perfect.

And sometimes,

To my dismay,

Especially when it’s hot,

I. Am. Not. Nice.

 

But I need to BE nice, and let people see that there is another way.

That true peace can be had.

 

That every single thing they need can be supplied.

That God WANTS to supply their needs.

Not necessarily their STUFF needs,

 

But their heart needs,

Their PEACE needs.

Only in Him can that be found.

 

Only by Christians that do not hide in caves can it be shared with them.

 

Enjoy the following song by Lifehouse.

 

It is absolutely true~

You cannot stand in His Presence and not be moved by Him.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjDojEOiMcE

 

And remember ~ You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Perceived Value vs. True Value

 

What does the world we live in value?

  • Money
  • Status
  • Popularity
  • Perfection
  • Nirvana

The way our world believes can often be summed up by the popular statement; “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

While these things may be satisfying for a while, that satisfaction goes away, and our song becomes; “I can’t get no satisfaction”.

The status that we work and work for, to get the respect and all the trimmings and bling, steal from our families the one thing they really want; our presence. 

Note the spelling.  Presence, not presents. 

Our families will soon forget what we bought them, but they will never forget that we took time to be with them.

We believe that if we have all this “stuff”, then we will also have the attention and admiration of those with whom we come into contact with. 

Adding all this to our lives will give us a “perfect” life.

We reach Nirvana.  Nirvana, defined as paradise and heaven. 

Unfortunately, the further definition of Nirvana is illusion or fantasy.  The trimmings and bling and stuff that we have acquired, need care.  Lots of care. 

All that care takes away some of the feeling of paradise, and also takes away from our people the very thing they want most.  Time that is only for them.

In the end, all the bling will all go away.  In the end, all the trimmings will all turn to dust.  This too shall burn.

What do we as Christians value?

  • Money
  • Status
  • Popularity
  • Perfection
  • Fire Insurance

In the world in which we live, many Christians, not all, but many, live the same kind of lives that the people who don’t claim to know God live. 

Their desire is to have everything that their pre-Christian counter-parts have. 

The difference is simply that they put a great big God label on all their stuff.  It is even possible to find a scripture or two to back up all of their getting. 

These continue to live on in this life style because they know that they will spend eternity in heaven with God. 

Fire Insurance.    http://wp.me/p1Deai-51

What does God value?

God values YOU!  He created YOU!  He loves YOU!

Read what Ron Hutchcraft has to say about your value;

You’ve probably had plenty of messages in your life that have made you feel more like the postcard than the masterpiece. Maybe you’ve been rejected, ignored, hurt, or used. Maybe you’ve been criticized a lot, put down, and all by people who didn’t know who you really are. But because of all those negative messages, you have this lie playing in your brain – “you’re not worth much; you can’t do much; you’re not good enough.” Remember it’s not your friends who determine what you’re worth, or your critics, or your family, or your culture, or your boss. It is your Designer. He gave you your worth the moment you were conceived by Him.                  

http://hutchcraft.com/A-Word-With-You/Your-Hard-Times/Untouchable-Worth-5585

Remember Psalm 139:13-16

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.

God values your life.  Your value comes from Him alone.

If you have not had your Significant Encounter with Jesus Christ yet, you can begin to understand your value in Him. 

When you are ready, you can click on the “Rescue” tab at the top of the page.

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His Voice

I hear your voice speaking to me

I hear your heart beating for me

If we are quiet, we can hear His still small voice.

If we are loud, His voice can be like mighty rushing waters.

If we are quiet, we can lay our head on His chest and hear His heart beat.

If we are loud, we can hear the pounding heart beat of the tsunami of His love.

Whatever we need today, to hear His voice, to sense His heart,

That is what He will be for us.

His heart is to speak words of life over you.

 

Here is what He wants when we hear His voice;

John 10:27 Common English Bible (CEB)

My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.

Here is what is in His heart for us;

2 Peter 3:8 New International Version (NIV)

He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

If you have not yet had a Significant Encounter with God, but would like to,

Please visit the “Rescue” tab at the top of this page.