listen up

"Experiencing God" author Henry Blackaby

“Experiencing God”
author Henry Blackaby

‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’
Jeremiah 33:3 MSG

A theme of discussion lately is “recognizing” the Voice, the Presence of God.

While working on a collage, I saw this picture in a magazine. I recognized the face from the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. As a newbie – this was life changing. Somewhere in our church study, I started to hear His voice.

Others didn’t hear Him – am I delusional?

Hundreds of journal pages later…I still wonder why some things He doesn’t answer.

Relationships should include listening, TWO ears – ONE mouth.
Let us have ears to hear You clearly and regularly Lord.

My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:27 MSG

Categories: anticipation, day to day, expectations, faith, God first, Holy Spirit, mystery, prayer, relationships, trust | Tags: , | 2 Comments

loosen up

unfinished work

unfinished work

I remember my first art class in watercolor. My attempts were disasters and the person next to me was amazing. He shocked me when he said, “I want my work to be looser, like yours is.”

We compare too much.

We often demean ourselves in the guise of humility and modesty but what we are frequently doing is telling God that He made us as junk.

He said we were very good, made in His image, reflecting His glory.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NLT

Lord – forgive us – help us to see ourselves and others as You see them.

Categories: attitude, being yourself, encouragement, God first, influence, Jesus, meeting needs, negative words, outreach, relationships, seeing beyond, self help | 2 Comments

brighten up

the best - not the worst

the best – not the worst

Can I keep with an UP theme for the week? We’ll see.

I know I personally have to no matter what.
We can focus on our limitations, bad circumstances, unhappiness, relationships going sour or pain, but as one inspiring preacher says…

“How’s that working for ya?”

I find that focus magnifying my fear, bringing more doubt, and allowing lies to lead my thoughts and actions…

There is a better way!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Philippians 4:6-9 MSG

Categories: anticipation, attitude, blessings, day to day, encouragement, faith, God is faithful, hope, joy, living in fear, negative words, praise, prayer, renewal | 6 Comments

lighten up

Free to Soar

Free to Soar

I remember when “lighten up” was used to get people to relax, chill or find a happy pill. Then I grew up and started understanding more of the “concerns” of life. I matured and got serious… probably too serious.

How long does it take us to unlearn our ways?
Can we really give it all God?
Is the yoke what He has given or what we have put on ourselves?

Jesus doesn’t seem to be sharing a lot of joy messages in John 16 but He does know the final outcome…

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33 AMP

IT IS FINISHED!

What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:31, 37

Categories: attitude, blessings, expectations, faith, God is faithful, hope, Jesus, joy, love, negative words, peace, ponderings, praise, trust | 4 Comments

joyful anticipation

The Chase (tryptich)

The Chase (tryptich)

What makes you joyful?
Do you wait with anticipation?

As our small group studies Romans 8 and we read in different versions. And thankfully, we have great discussions!

NIV – eager expectation
MSG – joyful anticipation
AMP – waits expectantly and longs earnestly

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
Romans 8:18 NIV

How will someone know we are a child of God?
Does our life look differently?
Are our actions, convictions and attitudes reflecting Jesus or the same as the modern world?

We believe. We are saved. We can rest assured of our life in eternity but it seems so often we act like everyone else.

I know many think my life is “different” and yet does that different really glorify Jesus?

Categories: anticipation, comfort zone, expectations, follow God, influence, Jesus, joy, negative words, outreach, relationships, seeing beyond | Leave a comment

sharing glory

Even in Storms

Even in Storms

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:16-17

Uh oh – there is that word again…suffering.

What does it mean Lord that we share in your suffering?
It means you have to be willing to give up things.
It means you might feel abandoned.
It means the road is not always smooth.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1

Spoiled or favored children are frequently not liked by others. Think of Joseph, Jesus, the Prophets. Richly blessed and often persecuted.

Categories: attitude, comfort zone, faith, follow God, Holy Spirit, influence, Jesus, love, pleasing others, rejection, relationships, seeing beyond, trust | Leave a comment

who leads

At His Feet

At His Feet

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:14-16

It is interesting and sometimes scary to hear talk about being led by the Spirit but so many places in His Word are showing the necessity and benefits of embracing and recognizing the work and power of the Holy Spirit that resides in all who are God’s children.

We need the fullness of the Trinity – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit who is our guide, counsel and more…

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

A wonderful song Abba by Jonathan David Hesler

Categories: adventure, blessings, comfort zone, expectations, follow God, God is faithful, Holy Spirit, hope, love, rejection, relationships, trust | 2 Comments

charge

heritage EP coverWeather changing and old storm windows required some furniture moving. This always has me doing some cleaning and rearranging. I ran across this CD. The music is not my style, but the picture keeps speaking…

Being childlike
Knowing we are His
Prepared and ready
Daring to go

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Categories: adventure, anticipation, attitude, comfort zone, encouragement, faith, follow God, God is faithful, hope, living in fear, ponderings, seeing beyond, trust | 4 Comments

more stretching

Beyond the Shore

Beyond the Shore

Last week was extra FULL with a two day conference with Partners Worldwide. FULL also means hearing great testimonies to encourage, challenge, and share effective ways to engage in business as mission.

Guests came from across the US, Haiti, Africa, Honduras, Taiwan, China, Trinidad and more. Fun to talk with a woman as she watched her first snowfall!

Extra processing and prayer for me to seek where God wants to use my experience and knowledge for His Kingdom work.

…speaking of Kingdom…my Tuesday night class on Kingdom Ministry has been FULL of more to dig into as we study the Word and seek to understand and DO what Jesus demonstrated for us.

How comfy would you be to head to the grocery store just to pray for strangers to be healed?

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”
Romans 8:15 MSG

Categories: attitude, expectations, faith, God is faithful, Holy Spirit, outreach, ponderings, prayer, seeing beyond | 2 Comments

inside the mind

Many are using great technologies to study the mind. TED talks, a local company, and more are noticing the parts of the brain that function for certain topics or don’t function with certain diseases.

It also has me pondering what it really means to have the mind of Christ.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16

Do you think it’s important to evaluate our thoughts and consider how Christ would think?

One part of digging a little deeper was Matthew Henry’s commentary. I was glad to see I am not alone in writing with many question marks!

In short, he who founds all his knowledge upon principles of science, and the mere light of reason, can never be a judge of the truth or falsehood of what is received by revelation. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him (1 Cor. 2:16), that is, the spiritual man? Who can enter so far into the mind of God as to instruct him who has the Spirit of God, and is under his inspiration? He only is the person to whom God immediately communicates the knowledge of his will. And who can inform or instruct him in the mind of God who is so immediately under the conduct of his own Spirit? Very few have known any thing of the mind of God by a natural power. But, adds the apostle, we have the mind of Christ; and the mind of Christ is the mind of God. He is God, and the principal messenger and prophet of God. And the apostles were empowered by his Spirit to make known his mind to us. And in the holy scriptures the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully revealed to us. Observe, It is the great privilege of Christians that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit.

Categories: adventure, expectations, faith, God first, Holy Spirit, influence, Jesus, mystery, negative words | Tags: | Leave a comment

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