That Inner Voice: Do We Really Pay Attention? Can We Really Hear And Understand God The Creator?

God tells us in His Word that we can call unto Him, and He will answer us, tell us great and marvelous things we don’t know. (Jeremiah 33:3)

There are times it amazes me just how clear I hear and understand God in my spirit. Over the years, I have learned to trust that quiet, near silent, inner voice. It’s different than intuition, independent from my own purposeful thoughts, and it’s always accurate. I just need to stop and pay close attention.

Years ago, I heard that sweet inner voice speak to me about my diet, and to avoid certain ingredients. I have been sincere in my efforts to be faithful to that, though I don’t always obey.  For the most part I am mindful of what I allow myself and  my family to eat. If God has told me to avoid certain things, I am sure it’s not just me they aren’t good for.

The brilliant thing about God is that He often uses science to prove things about Himself, so in this, He has proven Himself through scientific research. The ingredients He told me to avoid, science has since proven to be harmful to the human body.

Tomorrow , I will be testing something else that I have been hearing in my spirit over the past few years.  Something I have not paid close attention to and have not wanted to look at up close. I’m going to have medical tests done. While I hope I am wrong in my recent accidental findings that match things I have often experienced, it will confirm just how clearly I hear my Master’s voice.  It will reveal if I have been foolish to not pay attention sooner to the whispers I haven’t wanted to hear. It will also reveal if God had another purpose for me to avoid those specific ingredients,  a purpose that directly relates to what I will be tested for soon. God has a purpose for everything He has said, still says, has done, and continues to do.

I will continue here  in the following weeks with the results,  with the content of the whispers I haven’t wanted to hear, and the ingredients He told me to avoid.

I have no doubt that all true wisdom comes from God. Do you agree? Do you have any stories about things you have heard clearly from God?

Decisions, decisions.

Big Fat F: Flying Through Life with Faith

I’ve had my current job for just over two years.  Some things have gone on that have made me question whether I belong there, and so I put out a few feelers regarding other opportunities.  Lo and behold, one of them was offered to me.

opportunity 2

Great, right?  It’s a chance to do something new, a chance to get out of a work environment that has been rather problematic of late, a chance to get into a position with room for advancement, all sorts of good things.  I accepted the conditional offer and, in the past few weeks, I’ve been waiting on the results of all the checking and cross-checking that goes along with this particular job.

Except in the past few weeks, it has also been laid heavily on my heart how very beneficial it would be for me to have flexibility for my family.  My kids, while generally pretty …

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Memoir of this Mom

1-sad-girl-bad-love-relationship-quotes-photo-images-wallpaper-fanzwave-netThere are a handful of days that I try to make/take time to reflect over my life, to remember where I came from and remind myself of how truly blessed I am.  Mother’s Day is one that is significant for me.

20 years ago, I had just emerged out of an abusive first marriage. Emotionally I was weary and spent, physically I was angry and and defensive. I believed I would never marry again, and certainly I didn’t think I would bring children into this world where they would only find pain and suffering. I talked with a close friend about having something permanent done, so I would not even be tempted to have children. I continue to thank God that she talked me out of that, encouraged me that someday I might change my mind, would regret that decision. I thank God that I listened to those important words of wisdom and concern.

rose18 years ago, my life direction had changed in a  drastic way. I had hit the rock bottom of rock bottom, and surrendered everything to God. I could not trust myself to make any sort of rational decision, so I turned to Him, and asked Him where He wanted me to go, what He wanted me to do.  After seeking Him, I received confirmation to enlist in the armed forces. On Mother’s Day of 1995 I distinctly remember all of the moms at church being given one red rose . I too was given a red rose. I started to give it back, and a friend said to me, “That isn’t a mistake, it’s a promise from God. One day, you will be a mother.” I began to seek God about a husband of His choosing for me, and started to form a plan to adopt one day if it wasn’t His plan for me to remarry.

scan005415 years ago was one month away from marriage to the man God brought into my life.

14 years ago found me to be pregnant with our beautiful daughter, the fulfillment of 2 promises from God: a daughter and my becoming a mother.

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Today I am blessed to have 4 beautiful children. God has blessed me far more than I could have imagined, or dared to hope for. My life is nothing like it was 20 years ago. There is a joy and fulfillment I never believed I would experienced at that time.

76808_502024327455_4146625_nI can look back over my life and see where God has been at work, where He orchestrated each moment, and worked in events and decisions.

I am grateful beyond words.

God took my worth-less-than-nothing life, and He gave it value and meaning nothing else could come close to giving. No career, no amount of hard work or striving could ever compare to the uniqueness and fulfillment each child has given to me.

David and I have discussed the possibility of having one more child,  but, we both feel satisfied and, for lack of a better word, done. I reminisced last night on how amazing it felt to have life apart from myself growing within me, how wonderful and different from every other experience that has been. I miss feeling mine and David’s combined flesh and blood  growing in me, dancing free from my control, even stretching their limbs against the safety that encased them. There will not be any other experience that can match that.

I truly love and appreciate how God made man and woman to come together to be intimately involved with the continuance of the creation of life. There are few things more Awe-inspiring.

Today, Mother’s Day will include our youngest being dedicated to the Lord. Perfectly timed.

Being a mom is a good and perfect gift from above.

Within Us

“Greater is He Who is within me, than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Wanton Disregard for Safety

One of the phrases I heard so often on worship teams and at churches was “We have to get into the presence of God.”

The impression I got was that God’s presence was a difficult place to attain, a challenging state to achieve, where all the music goes right and everyone is caught up in worship. That experience was the goal, and apparently it was rare, but we were going to try for it anyway.

For the “W” entry in the A to Z challenge, I want to talk about the term within.

This understanding of worship that I mention above seems to follow the Holy of Holies model.

If we look into the Old Testament and the laws about the setup and rituals of the Tabernacle of God, we find that there were three main sections to the place of worship. The Outer Court was the largest, where…

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Fading Words

Harnessing the Power of the Story

Tonight ideas fill my head

They dance around like fireflies

Voices and the words they said

Characters live out their lives

As faith without some work is dead

So words unwritten often fade

And now it’s time to go to bed

But there has been no progress made

So now I hope tomorrow proves

To be a more productive day

So long as I recall this truth:

For what we love, we make a way.

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Having Trust Issues

Great encouragement here!

Richysheart

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Trusting someone whether in a relationship or in every day life is a big challenge. Whether you were deceived many times by trusted friends or left broken hearted in a relationship after giving your all to the other person. Once that line has been crossed many people (including myself) find it hard to trust anyone and seem to always think of the worst before it really happens, so their mind is full of ideas about the person deceiving them and every word becomes over analysed as a proof that the person cannot be trusted. But one thing that someone told me sometime ago and made me think about my stances on trusting people, life itself is a gamble, everyday we make decisions that affect our lives and everyday we take instructions from others whether our teachers, bosses or parents, without thinking. But what tells us that those people can be…

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What My Mom Helped Me Learn

My mom has helped me learn some things that I now have the opportunity to purposefully make sure my daughter gets from me.

Deborah turning 4 Incidentally, when my mom came o1) Always have her back. Even if I don’t agree with her or she doesn’t handle things the way I would, never make her feel as though she has to deal with things alone.

2) No amount of money or possessions can replace a sense of being cherished or belonging.

3)  I need to be approachable.

4) Listen, even when it drives me crazy to hear about her friends I’ve never met. It’s important to her to be able to share it with me. Also, that keeps me informed and interested. I know who is dating who, who just moved into the neighborhood, who I should be aware of,  and what their ages are.

5) I need to be involved without being controlling.

6) Make time just for her, just because I want to spend time with her. I enjoy her company.

7) Help her find a sense of purpose by telling her what her strengths are, and what I admire about her.

8) Praise her and compliment her; critique things she does without harsh or mean criticism of her.

9) Teach her skills that will help her fit into society in a healthy way.

10) Help her value herself so she will make decisions that will be healthy and beneficial.

11) Don’t say negative things about her behind her back. When I share information out of frustration or as a prayer request, she knows about it and what I have said.

12) Don’t side with someone who calls her a liar. She isn’t always completely truthful with me, but I have never, ever known her to lie to someone, outright. And, even if I thought she did lie, we would deal with that in private and she would apologize to the person face-to-face. I will not take sides against my daughter.

13) Teach her the “why” behind each piece of instruction, guidance or advice.

14) Make sure she knows I separate her from her actions, decisions and mistakes. She is not what she does.

15) Let her wear my shoes and clothes sometimes. There is just something uniquely bonding about this with my daughter.

16) Don’t attack her for, or say harsh, mean things about, what I view as faults. My view is only one perspective, but she gets her cues at self-confidence from me.

17) Make sure she knows beyond any shadow of doubt, every single day, that I love her, cherish her, and my life is better because she’s in it.

18) I am careful to not expose her to things she’s not old enough to be able to process with an informative maturity. Raising children is like growing plants in some ways: I wouldn’t throw a rose-bush out into a blizzard just because I was tired of it being in the house and it’s too expensive to buy it food and soil. The same with my daughter: there will be no cut-off time for her, we won’t force her out of the house by a certain age. My hope is that we will help her become confident and prepared when the time comes for her to begin a new phase of life apart from us. I’m in no rush for that day, but I also won’t hold her back from embracing it.

19) Give her a healthy view of marriage. I think this is one of the best gifts my husband and I can give to our children, especially our daughter. As she sees how her dad treats me, and how I treat him, she will be able to discern the right relationship for herself. It’s so important for her to understand God’s perspective in marriage, because the world’s perspective brings no peace, no comfort, no health, and no longevity.

20) Make sure she has a firm foundation in Christ, while I encourage her in her own relationship with God, but don’t criticize when she doesn’t do things the same as me, or she isn’t passionate about the same things with God and church that I am. She is uniquely formed by God, and I trust Him to lead her in the direction that He has planned for her.

I hope I can pass on things that she will pass on to her own daughter someday, and so on, and so on…

My desire above everything is to bless my daughter. When a mother curses her daughter with negatives and harsh criticism, it affects every relationship and interaction she has, negatively. My hope is in blessing her it will do the exact opposite. I can already see some positive fruit from things people say to me about her, and how she is treated by her peers.

Set-Up To Fail

Have you watched the show “Everybody Loves Raymond“? In the episode where Marie, the mother-in-law, teaches Debra, the daughter-in-law, how to make meatballs, Marie purposely hides the wrong spice behind a label of the correct spice, and they end up tasting horrible. Debra was made to look incompetent. We laugh, but it has a ring of truth to it. We all know someone who has either experienced it, or has done it to us. Maybe we have done that to someone else.

Set-up to fail. The phrase alone packs quite a punch!

It’s something I have become more aware of in many aspects of life and relationships. I see evidence of it within our government, in the media, as well as in various personal relationships.

It feels lousy when I realize someone has done that to me. When I don’t meet certain expectations within a time-frame that just doesn’t work for me. When Grace is not extended if I make a mistake, forget, or can’t get to something. When an expectation is unrealistic.

I fail.

It seems to me that sometimes we think that God does that with us. When something good in our lives is removed, how often do we blame Him? When a promotion falls through, when a career ends, when illness, accident or disaster strikes, sometimes our very first thought is that God set us up to fail. Not in those words maybe, but the idea is the same. He gives good things, allows good things, just so He can take them away when we don’t do good enough… We get angry with God.

Except, He doesn’t do that. He doesn’t withhold good things from us just because we don’t perform well for Him or do enough “works”.

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father …

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Wounded Reality

thThere is a phrase in our society I have heard quite a bit. It’s “victim mentality.” I often hear, “Don’t be a victim.” “You’re not a victim.” There is a growing disdain for those victimized who don’t handle the aftermath the way society thinks they should: Jump back into life like it never happened. Forgive and forget. Act “normal”.

There is a complete phase of victim-hood that seems to get ignored: having been wounded.

Supposedly victims of rape, incest, emotional and mental abuse, and other things are supposed to lick their wounds and fit right in with everyone in society. They are supposed to heal their own wounds, invisible to everyone else so maybe that makes the wounds seem nonexistent or unimportant. If they are a Christian, they should expect that God will heal all their wounds without anyone else, they “just need to trust Him”, “need to have faith”. When it doesn’t work out “perfect”, then the wounded are accused they “don’t have enough faith”.  Maybe it’s not the fault of the wounded at all. Maybe the members of their church lack compassion. Biblical compassion.

I don’t expect much from the Godless world, they don’t know any better, but they do actually demonstrate a bit more kindness than we Christians sometimes do. I submit to you that within the Body of Christ , there are times we are wounding our wounded by placing unrealistic expectations on them, sometimes we even neglect their actual need. God created people to need people. So, why is the Church sometimes dismissive of the very real needs the wounded have? Why do we tend to see those wounded as whiners, “needy”, or ridiculous? Where is our compassion?

I don’t see this in every church, or even the one we are part of now, but, over the past three decades, I have seen this many times.

Physical wounds need the help of others to be stopped, repaired and healed. Someone applies pressure to stop the bleeding. Someone rescues someone from the vehicle of an accident. An ambulance takes the “victim” – wounded – to the hospital where an entire team and staff work to save the life, repair the damage and stop the bleeding. Careful instructions are given to the wounded victim, and follow-up appointments are made. Prescriptions and bandages are given.

Shouldn’t the Church be more like a hospital? What one-on-one care is given? Who stops the bleeding of the wounded heart, the mind and emotions? Who applies the healing balm? Who helps with the repairing, and the healing? Who gives the prescriptions of Scriptures, and bandages of prayers and encouraging words? Obviously Christians know the answer is the Holy Spirit. But, who are the willing vessels He works through?

I hope I am.

The last thing that wounded people need to feel is left alone to find their own healing. Church, The Body of Christ, is unique from everything in that we give and we get, as members. It’s when things are unbalanced and the giving is stressed, but the getting can tend to be neglected, or vice-versa, that it becomes dysfunctional. I think there should be a healthy balance of both hospital-like and service for God, but maybe my own expectations are too high. At any rate, I see such a need that my heart aches to help fill. I hope others see it, too.