Tagged with "Inspiration"
The Art of the Ear: When God Speaks Tags: Christian blog Christian devotional Christian Writers Creation encouragement God God's voice help horses Inspiration listening love

But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely and will be secure, without fear of evil”—Proverbs 1:33.

                                                                                                     

Giving God our ear. Hmmmmm. What does that look like? How does God speak to us? Many ask this.

For me, His voice has different “sounds”: He gives a strong impression in my spirit about a particular situation ... a gut feeling, if you will; The truths in His Word will come alive as I read and revelation hits me right between the eyes; He will move on someone to be His voice, giving me an encouraging word; He’ll give me a dream while I’m sleeping; Or, He may use pictures in His amazing Creation to illustrate His character.

When He speaks to me through His Creation, that’s incredibly cool. One time, I was out feeding the horses trying to work through some stuff in my head. I glanced up and saw the most magnificent full rainbow I’d ever seen— and a double one to boot. The colors were so vibrant and alive. I ran to the trailer and grabbed my camera. As I stared at that rainbow, profound thoughts eased my mind: Our Creator created incredible beauty out of mere mist; Every rainbow from the very first one is the same—the same colors, the same lines, the same form. They don’t change. He doesn’t change. His promises never change. In this world, we can’t count on anything. But we can count on Him—encouragement I needed right then and a word in due season. (Isaiah 52:7)

He used a gentle breeze to encourage an acquaintance of mine. She was reading her Bible outside, troubled by a circumstance she faced. The breeze kept blowing the pages to a certain scripture. Every time she tried to turn back to the previous spot where she was reading, the breeze would flip the pages right back to that other place. She finally looked down where the breeze stopped—there she found the answer to her problem.

He likes to speak through people to give His encouraging words. Years ago I was asked to sing at a trail ride in Texas. When I pulled up on the ranch, my heart was heavy. I had a new truck, two beautiful horses and looked as though I hadn’t a care in the world. But on the inside, I was hurting and scared. I had two jobs: one in an office, one on a ranch. A “friend” betrayed me and stole the ranch job—the one I had based my truck payment on. Single, with no other means of extra support, I was afraid of losing everything.

A few days before I drove to the trail ride, I prayed, “Lord, please make yourself real to me.” Until then, I did not believe the Lord really knew I existed—unless I hung out with people I thought were spiritual. Let me tell ya, the devil had deceived me good!

I parked my rig and made my way over to a big oak tree. I leaned against it, quietly watching the other singers on the stage. A man and his wife, whom I had never met, walked up. “I have a word for you from the Lord,” he said. That man “read my mail.” He told me, “The Lord said, ‘all your needs are already taken care of.’” I was floored. I had not told a soul what I was going through, not even my closest friends. How in the world did this guy know my situation?

One week later, I received some cleaning jobs that perfectly dovetailed with my day job at the office. The wages from the cleaning jobs covered my old ranch wages to the dollar.

Two months later, the same man gave me another word from the Lord: I would be given one job that would take care of all my needs. Within three months, I quit my cleaning jobs because the office I worked for offered me a higher position in another department with a lot more pay.

I have learned that He is always directing us with that still small voice of His ... or trying to. I’ve blown right over the top of it— more than once, I’m afraid. One time, He impressed on Bruce, my husband and me to clean up the pine needles under the high-line our horses were tethered to. We didn’t, getting distracted with some other project. Our “Hoover”-horse, Rocky, decided he very much liked the taste of pine needles, proceeding to suck up every strand in the area. He promptly colicked. We were way out in the National Forest with no phone service. Prayer and the painkiller Banamine played veterinarian. He was pooping pine needles for the next day and a half, but he pulled through.

In all my years with horses in the mountains, I have never seen them eat pine needles. I never, ever imagined that Rocky would do that. But it didn’t matter what I thought or what my experience was. The Lord told us to rake up the pine needles ... period. He knew what would happen. Lesson learned ... again!

Fine-tuning the art of the ear takes practice. Sometimes total resurrection. But it’s an art worth bringing back to life. It means laying down our own desires and agendas. It takes not just being hearers of the Word of God, but doers of what He’s asked us to do. (James 1:22-25)

And the reward? We can live a life of victory and peace, encouraging others in the same. (John 15:12-13)

Listen ... Listen ... Listen ...

H.A.L.T. Tags: angry blog Christian devotional encouragement God hungry Inspiration lonely self-control tired

I love acronyms. Whoever thought of this memory-jogger was a genius.

My husband, Bruce and I were introduced to one of these creative gems at a youth Bible study. But like other pieces of useful information that get crowded out by life, I needed a reminder of this helpful acronym during a situation we faced.

I figured it might come in handy for others too, so I’ll share it with y’all. So, here goes. H.A.L.T.: Halt if you are:

H: HUNGRY
Oh my. When I’m hungry, I fall into the “whatever” mood category: “I don’t care, just get it done.”; “Let’s just get there.”; or “I don’t care what we do, I just need a snack.”

And everyone knows to never go near a grocery store with a growling stomach. The junk food retailer’s stock skyrockets every time on this one!

*A: ANGRY: Stay tuned. I’ll come back to this one.

L: LONELY
I’ve made some pretty bonehead moves when I was lonely (I won’t elaborate).

T: TIRED
I figure I’d better not do anything while I’m tired. I may be convinced I’m coherent, but realize later…hmmmm, not so much. I’ve glanced at sent texts and emails and realized: Yeah, should have waited.

*A: ANGRY
I’ve left the “A” part for last. Being lonely, or tired, or hungry can drive us to make less than stellar decisions. But angry? This one might be the worst decision-driving emotion ever. For it’s with anger that words are said, actions are taken, and destinies determined that may never, except by the grace of God, ever be fixed.

A healthy dose of self-control curbs emotions and can be a handy little tool to douse the spark that could cause a potential wildfire—a wildfire that destroys a lot of ground and a lot of people.

Which brings me to the following “situation we faced,” and thankfully in this case, I listened and obeyed that Giver of self-control …

The wall our back was shoved against left indents in my shoulder blades. And the friend who could have helped us, betrayed us.

My hands shook as I pounded out a text message on my cell phone in response to one of her stunts. My thumb hovered over the send button when a still small voice cut through the flame, “Don’t do anything in anger.” I knew this to be true, but I so wanted to fire off that text!

However, I paused. I glanced over at Bruce who, not 15 minutes before, snapped, “That woman’s gonna push me too far!”

I read him my text, a little part of me hoping for validation and the confirmation to hit that little green button.  He looked around at me and to my surprise said calmly, “Don’t do anything in anger.”

Like cold water on a hot flame, I realized God was confirming His word to me. My phone fairly flew across the counter as I shoved it away. I knew one twitch out of me would have sent that text flyin’.

I cooled down, grateful I didn’t send this text. The day before, as I was ranting and flinging manure across my horse’s stall into the bin, the Lord gave me a serious command: “Hold your peace, vengeance is mine.” And then started chatting with me about forgiveness. It would not have been wise to ignite any fires with my message.
(“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27).

God knows what He’s doing when He tells us to H.A.L.T. before making a decision. Take a breath, scarf an energy bar, take a nap. Whatever it takes that’s moral and decent with no side effects, we need to do it. Nothing is worse than having to undo an unwise move. I’d rather not spend the energy to apologize, lament over an excessive grocery bill, or explain why I sounded like a dork. I’d like to act right the first time and avoid cleaning up a mess.

So, the next time we face a challenge or a decision while we’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired … and we will … join me in implementing H.A.L.T.. Our lives will be much more peaceful and productive for it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Amassing the Kingdom Not the Pockets
Category: Special Blogs
Tags: inspirational

What shall I render to the Lord for all of his benefits towards me? I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord, Now in the presence of all of His people. (Psalm 116:12, NKJV)

I beseech you brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1, NKJV)

“Bless the Lord all my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name.” Thank God for yet another privilege to speak as the “Holy Spirit gives thee utterance.” God is an awesome God and worthy of all of the praises and I am thankful and humbled that he chose me as an instrument for his glory, that is why I thought it necessary to talk today in reference to what is our true motivation for what it is that we do as it relates to God’s work and advancing the kingdom? Because like it or not, as Christians our first focus should be faithful obedience and total submission to God’s will for our lives and serving him until he returns.

It is quite evident as we look all around us that people need God at the forefront of their lives. They chase after money, status, position, titles and all the things that the world tells them makes a person whole and complete but often times more than not, they find that after acquiring these things, they are still empty and unfulfilled. Why? Because what they are searching for through things is a fallacy. It isn’t things that makes us who we are but it is God that completes us! So having stated such, we as people of God need to understand that going after stuff should not be our main focus and objective either but chasing after God and winning souls for him. Too many people engage or entangle themselves in the cares of life to the neglect of their relationship with God and the Bible tells us emphatically that, that is a tool of the enemy to get us distracted that we may become fruitless (Luke 8:14, NKJV).”

I don’t know about you but I desire to live a life that is obedient and surrendered to the will of God. I am not perfect nor am I claiming to be but it is my desire to serve God while I have time. I recognize that there are innumerable opportunities all around me to bless others and if I allow myself to make money and the “world’s goods” my focus then I can’t be all God requires me to be. If what I do is motivated by fine cars, fine houses, “people praises,” titles, positions and all other insignificant things, then when those things are taken away, my passion and focus goes with it. But if what I am doing is for God’s glory and not my own, then no matter what happens on this “side of life,” I will keep my eyes upon him, “looking unto God which is the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2, KJV).”

I don’t know who is reading this article today but I implore you “do all to the glory of God (Colossians 3:17, NKJV).” Let all that you do in life be motivated by your love for God and pleasing him, let all that you do be to see other’s lives spiritually transformed and walking in relationship with God. Let all you do not be motivated by money as it is sure “ we brought nothing with us when we came into this world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it (I Timothy 6:7, NLT ),” so, let all you do be a testimony of the awesomeness and faithfulness of God in operation in your life so that people may see you more than just another “motivational speaker” or “life coach” but one that is loving, faithful and surrendered to God, living a life that is pleasing in his sight and therefore being “salt and light” unto the earth (Matthew 5:13-16, NKJV).”

God already knows that in order for us to survive on this earth that we need to be able to financially support our families. He knows how the world operates and he knows even the things that you need at this moment but the word of God states that “if you seek first the kingdom of God and all of his righteousness then God in his time will provide the things that you need (Matthew 6:33, NKJV).” If God provided “manna” to the children of Israel (Exodus 16:35, NLT), then surely he knows how to provide for your needs and the needs of your family.

But, it is when we make “mammon” our focus that we fall into many destructive behaviors and are consumed for the Bibles states that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows (I Timothy 6:10, NLT).” And sadly, that same mindset and mentality has also crept into many churches today whereas, the primary motivation for what many ministers, evangelists and others in ministry do is geared toward money. But the Bible is very clear that there is nothing “new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NKJV).” And, that there were false prophets in Israel just as there will be false teachers among you. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed (II Peter 2: 1, 3, NLT).”

Yes, “money answers all problems (Ecclesiastes 10:19, KJV),” but if it is used deceptively and as a means to twist and distort the word of God for worldly gain, there are consequences for this sinful and corrupt behavior i.e. “It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life (II Peter 2:21, NLT)” and, “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins (Hebrews 10:26, NLT).” In order words, there is no excuse, when we know better we do better!

In conclusion, hear the truth of the matter, serve God, trust him, let him lead and direct your life and in all that you do, do it in sincerity and with love towards God and love for people in that you tell them the truth of God’s word and acquaint them with who God is that they may have life and that more abundantly that is found only in Jesus Christ (John 14:6, NKJV).”

Even the Flowers Face the Sun Tags: Christian blog wisdom Creation God devotional encouragement inspirational
Funny how a simple walk up the pasture can reveal the wisdom of God.

I do well with pictures. When someone is trying to explain technical or difficult things to me, it’s better for all of us if they can paint a picture with their words, or show me a drawing. God knows this. He created me and is well aware of my idiosyncrasies and brainwaves.

As I wandered through the grass, I noticed the wild flowers. The sun was bright and lit up the pasture like a coat of many colors—yellow, lavender, blue, pink, fuchsia.

The yellow flowers grabbed my attention the most. Every one of their countless little faces, faced the sun—petals outstretched and unhindered, soaking up the life-giving rays. They took full advantage of the sun’s offering before it dipped behind the horizon.

And God spoke to my heart: “Even my Creation looks to Me, turning their backs on the shadows to receive the nutrients they need.”

My husband, Bruce and I are facing a pretty huge challenge. We’ve faced some big ones in the past, but this one’s a doozy. And there is nothing we can do about it, except stand firm in our beliefs and pray.

The flowers in their silence spoke volumes this morning. No matter how strong the breeze, they flexed and bent, but never turned away from the sun. They didn’t shake their fist at the sky and complain about the wind. They didn’t huff at the cow pies that littered their green carpet. And they didn’t scoff at their fellow flowers who seemed to be enjoying a calmer existence. They just kept their focus on that consistent sun that rises every morning to give them what they need.

I was encouraged: the winds of life are opportunities to learn endurance; the cow pies add much needed fertilizer that promotes growth; and the calm others enjoy, well, praise God they’re getting a break for awhile.

So, I’m taking my cue from the flowers, from God’s voice teaching me through His Creation: Keep my eyes on the Son. No matter what the outcome in this challenge, I know it’s all good. Whatever plan He has for us, it will be a good future, full of hope, and a great testimony of His goodness. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

And if, in a weak moment, I start to wilt with worry, I think I’ll take a stroll back out in the pasture and sit next to those little yellow flowers … just to remind me.

Psalm 25:15: My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net. (NKJV)

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