God Speaks

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Not long ago I read something to the effect of God speaking only through his written word and implying that God does not talk to people on behalf of others or for the masses but that when He speaks to someone it is for that person only. This left me feeling very unsettled and because I am an internal processor it has taken me awhile to reconcile why I was feeling this way.

I believe, without any doubt, God speaks to us mainly through his word. That is why reading and studying his word is so vital to our spiritual health. But, I also believe God speaks to us in different ways; through dreams, visions, pictures and prayer. I also believe God gives us messages of encouragement and prophetic messages to be given away to others. He has done this through me many times and I always suggest to the one who is receiving a word from God through me that they take this spoken word to God and ask God what part of it is from him and what part of it can be tossed out, because many times my human-ness and my impressions can be mixed in with the message from God.

It is the hearer’s responsibility to be alone with God and pray about what was given. Oughtn’t we be doing this on a regular basis to begin with? Most of us attend church on Sunday or Bible study during the week, simply because one has been anointed by God to preach or teach does not mean we will ever get it right one hundred percent of the time, again, it is the hearer’s responsibility to go God and ask God for his discernment on what was preached or taught.

Paul gave these words of wisdom about worship in 1 Corinthians 14:26b.

When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:26b.

When we always imply that what God speaks to one person should be only for that person we negate the truth of God’s word. All of these things including prophecy, further in the passage Paul addresses prophecy, are meant to strengthen the Bride of Christ! Have they and are they currently misused? Yes, BUT it is each believers responsibility to go to God and ask for his wisdom, his discernment on what was spoken or taught. Let’s give each other the freedom in Christ and encouragement to seek the spiritual gifts Holy Spirit wants to lavish on us; gifts that are meant for the greater good of the entire Church.

Precious One, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21.

Shalom!

 

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Spaghetti or Waffles

 

 

 

Raw homemade pasta with pumpkinHave you ever heard the analogy that women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles? Women’s thoughts tend to overlap and intertwine together in an elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures mixing together like a big pot of pasta! Men’s thoughts tend to be compartmentalized, rarely touching, if at all, but still their own elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures.

 

Sweet Belgium waffles

The husband of one of my good friends says he even has a box or compartment for nothing. He says it is his compartment where he simply is. How can this be?! How on God’s green earth can he have a box for nothing? No thoughts, no distractions, no nothing?! I have to, no, I must find my own box of nothing!

This morning as I read through Acts and came to 14:23b …..“with prayer and fasting.” It stood out at me because I had just read a few days ago in Chapter 13 ….“fasted and prayed.” These two instances had me thinking about when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t drive out the demon in the boy from Mark 9:27-29 and Jesus told them this kind can only come out through prayer and fasting. Some translations list prayer only but the original Greek states prayer and fasting.

The Holy Spirit began to impress on me that not only is it important to stay connected to Him through prayer so that we can have a clearer understanding of his power, his will for our life and how he wants to work through us on behalf of others, but that fasting brings us to a deeper level of understanding where we begin to ‘see’ through prayer.

Fasting is directly related to the Day of Atonement, the day that occurred once a year when the Nation of Israel would seek atonement for their sins.

Atonement is God restoring harmony and unity between Himself and humanity. Because of God’s atoning grace and forgiveness we experience a restored relationship with him in spite of our sin because of our belief in his beloved Son Jesus.

We are “at-one-ment” with God. Fasting then, draws us closer to God where we can experience being one with him. Fasting brings us to a place where we can experience a box of simply receiving his lavish love for us. No thoughts, no distractions, only His love. Fasting makes us aware of the gift of atonement that is the result of what Christ did for all humanity as he hung dying on a tree at Calvary. The forgiveness of sin, the defeat of death and eternal life for all who believe.

set of gift box isolatedPrecious One, join me in preparing a box among the compartments or spaghetti of your mind. Not a box of nothing but a box of simply being. Being at-one-ment with Him.

Shalom!

Born To Say Those Words

 

The word saltI have uttered many words over the course of my life, and some not so desirable. In high school, back when we use to walk to and from school regardless of the distance, I would stop to pick up one of my friends, who would endure that very long walk with me.

One day this friend decided I needed to pay him a quarter for every swear word that came out of my mouth, because, apparently, I could swear like a sailor. Here was a guy, telling me, a girl, I had a problem. I’m sure you can appreciate the severity of that situation. Unfortunately, the quarter system didn’t last long.

And speaking of sailors, it wasn’t until I met my husband, that I began to clean up my language. He taught me and showed me what respecting myself looked liked simply by his display of respect toward me with his actions and his words. I am truly a blessed woman!

These days I am an encourager. Encouraging others with words that lift spirits and bring smiles to faces is a part of my identity in Christ. It is a very natural thing for me. Many times I don’t even realize I am encouraging until the words have left my lips.

Now, I know there are many people who have a hard time accepting words of encouragement. My encouragement to you is to look at this from the perspective as a blessing from God. He loves you so much he wants you to know through the words he has given another to express to you. Also, I would encourage you to remember that we encouragers really can’t help ourselves. Words of encouragement burn deep inside of us until they are released.

After all, we were born to say those words.

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29.

Shalom!

Red Cups, Coffee, Jesus and Markers

Oh, he is a crafty one isn’t he? He comes slithering in all covert and be like, “I am going to stir up some trouble to mix in with their hot salted caramel mocha” “Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas didn’t turn out to well.” “Let’s see if this simple plain plan will work!”

Plain, that’s how the enemy is he has no original idea’s he simply recycles and repackages and many times we fall hook, line and sinker.

As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I am late to the party! It took me a few days to figure out what all the hoopla was about concerning red cups and a popular coffee joint. As I’ve watched people debate this for a few days, I sit back and giggle just a little bit.

Now, I mean no disrespect to those of you who are offended by the fact that these popular seasonal red cups are void of any decorated theme this year. If you are offended then I pose these questions: How big is your God? Do you think Jesus is offended by a simple plain red cup? Where do you place your hope? Are you praying about it as much as you are talking about it?

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8.

What exactly would Jesus do in this situation? Here’s what I think he would do; bring out his most colorful Sharpies and start decorating his cup however he wanted! He is after all the Creator of creativity and if you are a Believer in Christ creativity is part of your identity in Him and I would venture to say a part of your inheritance in Him!

Precious One, as one of my best friends always says, “Holy Spirit does His job really well!” Let Him; let Holy Spirit take on any offense of the enemy, and whether you choose to drink your hot beverages from a red cup or not, you place your focus on and your hope in Jesus.

Let’s remember the reason not only for the holiday season but for every season; a Savior who died so we could live for all who believe. A Savior whose love and grace is for all His creation.

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalm 39:7.

Shalom!

The Privilege Of Prayer

hands-pack-2-4This morning one of my sweet friends messaged me a prayer request and I messaged her back with a prayer for her request. This led me to reflect about why I pray. For obvious reasons because God’s word says by prayer and supplication make all your requests known to God and his peace that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:6-7).

As I think about these verses I realize I don’t pray because of what I will receive from God, I pray simply because his word tells me too. Yes, I am a bit of a rule follower, hey, every family needs one! But, I don’t look at this in a legalistic rule following kind of way. As I reflect further I also realize that my reasons for praying are quite honestly selfish.

Praying makes me feel close to God. I like the way I feel when I pray. When I pray it’s just me and God, even though many other people could be praying at the same time that I am, but in that moment it is just me and God. It’s as if I am an only child, which I know isn’t the case, but God has a way of doing that with his kids! That I also receive his peace when I pray is a beautiful gift from a good, good Father.

Praying also reminds me Who God Is. Praying reminds me how powerful a weapon God has entrusted to us to do his kingdom work.

I remarked to another friend that many times God will show me things I don’t necessarily need to know and when I ask him why his answer is always the same, “So you’ll pray.” Think about that for a moment. God shows us things not because we are entitled to know but because he trusts us to pray! That adds another skip to my step!!

Precious One it is a privilege and honor to pray for others. Who will you be in prayer for today? Ask God to show you!

Shalom!

Gratefulness And Lovebugs

freedomEver since I was a little girl all I ever wanted to be was a mommy and I had a wonderful example in my own mother of what it looked like to be a mom who was devoted to her family. But, I didn’t want to be just a mommy, I wanted to be stay at home mommy, just like my mom. I know now that God placed this dream in my heart even before I was born. He set me apart for the best job I’ve never gotten paid for and the joys along with the sorrows far outweigh any monetary value.

Gratefulness is an attitude. We choose whether we will be grateful for the blessings in our life or simply expect them as something that is due us. I am grateful for God’s blessings and the challenges and struggles he allows because the challenges of life have and are what builds perseverance and shapes my character.

This morning as I dropped my youngest love bug off at school I was especially aware and grateful that I have the ability to do so. Being grateful this morning reminded me that I ought to spend more time everyday being grateful.

Precious One, what is one thing you are grateful for today?

O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34.

Shalom!