The Wilderness or The Well

Whether God sends us into the wilderness or directs us to the well ….the purpose of the exercise is not about what is the easier or least painful path for us to choose but about the ways God works in our lives to draw us closer to His heart for us and His purposes for our lives here on earth…

Many Christians speak of the confusion and frustration of living in the world but not being of the World, including myself.  As  I contemplate where the balance to the equation might lay I sense the still small voice, the Holy Spirit of God whispering to my heart….

Each of us as followers of Christ desiring to be disciples of Christ must learn to become still, to sit and wait even when it is uncomfortable, to stand firm in truth revealed even when others persecute us, to listen with an open heart to hear, and to not speak or act in accordance with the ways of world which are countercultural to God’s.

We must be trained in order to live like this.   We must learn to be still with ourselves and with God.  We must learn to sit and wait in prayer for wisdom to flow from the heart of God in Heaven into our hearts and minds and soul through His Word and through the circumstances that He sometimes uses to connect us to His Word written so many years ago.

God wants to disciple us and uses the wilderness and the well to challenge us and to grow us into sanctified servants He can use for His plans and purposes….to be in the world but not of the world……Set apart….Sanctified….Willing to be different than the world…

As we take the time to pray and to be still and then to listen for the still small voice to whisper to our hearts we will learn how it is that He has created each of us individually to be in this world and yet not of it.   We may trip and stumble over and over again but through the process we will grow deeper in love with the One who sent His son Jesus Christ to earth to Redeem us and clothe us in His Robe of Righteousness.

In time we will begin to see that indeed his Word teaches us everything we need to know to live as a disciple of Christ even in this world that is taking God out of most everything.  He shows us in His perfect ways that His Grace is enough for all our failures and shortcomings and that the blood covered all of our sins and our hearts were created to belong to Him.

It is with our hearts we must learn to listen and in order to listen through our hearts we must be willing to allow Him to cleanse it of all that is not Christlike, He calls those things sin.

As we repent of our sins and surrender our hearts to him we will begin to sense His still small voice, we will sense and know that it is Him because it will not sound like the world or the thoughts that we might think.   It is a process and in time we will begin to respond to the whispers for our hearts that He sends to guide and direct and warn and influence and intertwine our lives together with His will for us.  We will learn to live in this world and not be of this world….we will become confident enough in Christ to live in peace no matter the circumstance….

Whether we find ourselves aware that we are wandering aimlessly in the wilderness or sitting at the well weary of desperately seeking to hear His still small voice I encourage each of us to REMEMBER that there is purpose in the quest…. He is FAITHFUL…Do not give up or give in..

He has brought each of us to where we are to help us through His Holy Spirit become all that He created us to be…..His son, His daughter, His child created by Him to live with joy and peace and victory in this world and not be of this world..to be set apart…to make a difference….FOR HIM….

Lord God I pray for your still small voice to whisper to the hearts of those who are in the wilderness, to those who are at your well seeking to drink from the truth of your Word, to those who are in the process of traveling back to you from their detour into the world, or to those that whom are sitting out on the sidelines not quite sure of who you are but seeking to know.  I know that you are Sovereign and that you are Good and I believe that you are in the process of seeking out and sanctifying more and more of your sons and daughters and bringing them out of the world and close to your heart to listen and to hear…Soften our hearts  Lord God and bring truth and clarity to the minds and hearts and souls of your children ….let your will be done here on earth as it is in Heaven and teach us your ways in a language that helps each of us believe and awknowledge Your Character.  We love you Lord and we need you to intervene in this country and help each of us live as Disciples of Christ standing out as different from the World.  Word of God Speak and draw us to you.  In Jesus name I pray….amen

Psalm 63:1-5  Oh God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and wary land where there is no water.  So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.  Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.  So I will bless you as long as I live, in your name I will lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.

John 4:14  “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Isaiah 61:10  I delight greatly in the LORD, my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

1 John 2:15-17  Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.  These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.  But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Romans 12:1-2  Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Acts 2:38  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:4-7  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life…

Psalm 22  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.

Psalm 46:10  He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”

 

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The Mirror

As I ponder the verbal and non verbal storms that sometimes find their way into relationships in our homes, businesses and even our churches and then acknowledge the messes they sometimes create I begin asking God to teach me what He wants us to learn. In the quiet time set aside to pray and then to listen I sense His still small voice whispering……

Challenges and difficulties are a gift…..They are like a mirror for us to look at and see for ourselves what we believe in our hearts about GOD, about ourselves and about others God has allowed to be a part of our journey of living out our Faith and trusting Him……Our countenance reveals….Are we looking to God or to Man or to ourselves? Do we see Victory or do we see Defeat?

If the image looking back at us resembles pride, hurt, anger, resentment, bitterness or defeat then may we be reminded that victory is not as sweet without the work of fighting a good fight and persevering through the temptation to give up, to give in to anger or frustration, to try to control, overpower or manipulate, to shut down and say to oneself I don’t care or to to perhaps pull into ones protective cocoon and retreat or possibly even to believe the enemies lies that we are worthless or not capable and to give up Hope of living confidently and Victoriously in Christ….

Our Conflicts and our attitudes towards the resolution of them reveal the wrestling within of the fight we are all in….the war that we think is with human flesh in relationships we are all intertwined and involved in but in reality is so much more than that…..

As you ponder these thoughts may our God lead you into His Word, may your heart desire and then obediently be led to find the answers to becoming Victorious in living in a way that honors and Glorifies Him, may His still small voice speak in whispers that only you can understand and may He give you the strength to fight the good fight persevering in Faith carrying out His plan for you in the circumstances and relationships and location you are in….In Jesus name I pray for those that read these words I penned for him…Amen

Ephesians 6:12-13
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

James 4:7-10
Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Timothy 6:11-12
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue Righteousness, Godliness, Faith, Love, Endurance and Gentleness. Fight the good fight of the Faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

2 Timothy 2:24-25
And the Lord’s Servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:12
Be JOYFUL in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

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A Whisper for Our Hearts

It is the Holy Spirit that will guide and direct your path Precious One who belongs to the King of Kings….Find a place to seek God’s face free of distraction and He will whisper to your heart and give you peace in the ruts and the storms of  this life here on earth…..

You are worthy and wise and He knows you are willing to walk with Him through the ruts and the storms for He created your heart and He knows it intimately…..

Don’t let the enemy keep you spinning in the same old rut of discontent and doubt about the situation you are in and the way that you see things from your point of view….Seek Higher Ground and accept the help of those that He sends to help you get out of the pattern made from the tire tracks of the efforts of yourself that keep spinning round and round….

Your heart is halfway up the climb out of the rut you are trapped in….but your head keeps pulling you back with the thoughts that you are unworthy and do not deserve to get out of the patterns of destructive ways of acting and reacting in response to the situations you keep finding yourself in….

Breaking free from the familiarity of the ruts that we find ourselves in is a choice that only we can make….it takes courage and guts to look beyond our fears and doubts and the deception of the enemy and look into the eyes of Jesus and believe with our heart and mind and soul that we are HIS PRECIOUS CHILD….

Faith, as small as a mustard seed is what it takes to believe that God loves us and believes we are capable and worthy and that He trusts us to do what we need to do to take care of ourselves and those that He hath given us authorization and responsibility to train up for Him…

Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS and do not doubt that He that is in you is greater than he that roams the world and that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD…..

Surrender yourself to the power that created the Earth and the moon and the stars and let the POWER of GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT take over your heart and mind and soul that you might break free of the ruts and climb higher than you have ever been…..

 

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A Whisper For Our Hearts – A Prayer

Oh Father God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Almighty Ruler of Heaven and Earth.  You, Oh Lord are our Healer and our Restorer and our Redeemer and our Reformer.  Reform me Father God, Cleanse my Heart Oh Lord of all that distracts me from believing and trusting in YOU.  Help me Father to not get caught up in the drama and the disease of unhealthy attitudes and thoughts that lead me into thinking, acting, or reacting in ways that do not Honor and Glorify You…  You Father God have called out my name from the Heavens above, You whispered loudly…. Come…. Follow Me……..I accepted Your call…. I said, Yes Lord…. I will Follow You… …HELP ME….LEAD ME………I NEED YOU….

Thank you Lord for Your Love and Your Grace and Your Faithfulness to me….You took my feet and you put them on your rock, the rock that is YOUR WORD….Your word has promises for me to receive and to believe.  The promises are real, but the enemy does his best to distract me and taunt me and try to get me to think that living this life of abandoned faith is foolish and will not give to me what I truly need.   In Faith I ask for your continued favor and Peace that surpasses all understanding. I ask you for the Peace that is not of this world, the Peace that can only come through YOU….

I give my burdens to You, take them Lord…. I know that You are faithful, that You are the giver of every good and perfect gift.  I accept this gift of being persecutedf for you, help me live in Faith that You will bring me through.  Help me do what I need to do to Honor and Glorify You…….

Lord, I know that the words I speak as well as my actions and reaction and deeds must be in alignment with Your word and under the control of Your bridle and bit that I might not sin against You.  But I am weak Father, for the enemy has been attacking me through others unkind words and attitudes.  Lord I need to feel Your promises to the very core of my soul and I need to see them manifest themselves in 3D.  I need your strength Father God to pulse through my veins…MORE of YOU is what I need, MORE of YOU is what I ask for, FILL me with Your good and perfect WORD…May Your Spirit, Your Holy Spirit rise up in me through Your Word that is hidden in my heart.  Keep me from acting and reacting to how I feel which is not in accordance with the Truth of Your Word……

I LOVE you Lord God with ALL my Heart and all my Soul.  Breathe Holy Spirit into my mind and heart and soul and fill me up with more of you….In Jesus name I pray…amen

 

God’s Word of Truth

The one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out….He will be blessed in what He does… James 1:25  NET

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.  And be kind to one another, even as God in Christ forgave you….Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJ

Bless is the man who endures temptation: for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has PROMISED to those who love Him… James 1:12

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God..  James 1:19-20

Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you…..  Philippians 4:8-9  NKJ

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A Whisper For Our Hearts

Words…..Words are on my mind…..The Purpose of Them, The Power of Them and The Use of Them

God created us with an ability to use our tongues to form sounds.  From the beginning of time we have had the ability to relate  to one another by communicating with our tongues sounds which eventually formed words and collections of words which we call  languages.  We use these collections of words to communicate and  to express our thoughts.

It is a gift to be able to communicate with one another and  yet sometimes we find ourselves using the gift that God has given to us in ways that hurts others.  We are all in the process of being transformed by God.

We are His children.  He sent His son to live and die and rise again that we might be united with Him for all of Eternity.  Some of us have attained victory in this area of  self control over our words spoken and others are working on it.  WE are all broken human beings in need of forgiveness and mercy and grace.

As for me, I am so thankful for God’s love, His forgiveness,  His mercy, His grace and His ability to work ALL things together for good according to His plans and purposes, even when we fall short and fail in doing what we want to and know is good and right and honorable.

I am thankful that even Paul professed that he fell short when He said, I do the things I do not want to do and I don’t do the things that I want to do. What a wretched man I am.

In our quest of learning how to communicate with one another and to express ourselves we sometimes use these collections of  words and our ability to put them together to form words that become weapons that penetrate to the very core of the hearts and souls of others, even those that we love.

I know it is true for myself and perhaps some of you that sometimes we get caught up in our frustration or our inability to get our point across, or the hurt caused by the action or reaction of another and without thinking through the consequences of those words, we speak in ways that were not intended for us to speak when God gave us the gift of language and communication.

If we are not careful, our spoken words can become weapons rather than tools used to speak the truth in love.  We find that rather than encouraging and empowering and strengthening one another to be the very best we can be with our words we fall prey to temptation and lash out with words that cause deep wounds in the heart and soul.

I feel the sting of the words as I pen this as I know I have been guilty of this sin and struggle with it over and over again.  I am so grateful for God’s forgiveness and Grace!!

In our hearts we know that the impact of hurtful words can create barriers in others hearts and souls that suppress  their ability to love and communicate.  When we think about it we can clearly see that these hurtful words can and do eventually sever and destroy relationships.

Every single one of us is affected by the devastation and destruction of families and relationships brought on by the power of the birth of words from our hearts spoken from our lips.

Critical words spoken so powerfully that they cause pain so deep that the person they are spoken to chooses to bury them deep in their hearts and then close access to that part of the heart in order to survive the effects of  them affect all of us.

It is those hidden hurtful words in our hearts that become the building blocks of lies that eventually can work together to destroy our lives and our relationships.

Our words have the  power to communicate our thoughts and feelings and attitudes of displeasure and our words have the power to communicate love and forgiveness and sympathy and empathy and kindness.  We are given the freedom to choose how to use them by a loving and gracious God.  He does not force us to conform to His intended use of them.,

Have you ever decided not to speak?  To be still in your mind and to take your thoughts captive and quiet them for minutes or hours or perhaps even days on end?   Have you ever decided to simply listen to all that surrounds you without giving yourself permission to speak?

Have you ever been by yourself deep in the very heart of the woods or climbing a mountain or standing at the top of one looking out at the Beauty that lies below and stopped and listened?  Have you ever allowed stillness to speak?

It is in the stillness that we hear ourselves and come to know our hearts and who we are and what we believe and how we think.  It is in the stillness of nature that we see God all around us and come to see and know and believe that He is Creator, that  He is the Power beyond our understanding that Rules the Universe…All things are within His control, All things are Possible…..He is God among us, He is God within us, He is God of the Heavens and God of the Earth, He is Lord of ALL…..

As I pondered these thoughts my mind was brought back from remembering times I have been alone in the wilderness and the depth of the powerful presence of the One who Created the Universe to remembering  reading a card given to me by someone I love.

I have pondered and marveled several times in the past about the impact of the words that were written in it.  They brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart I could not suppress or hide, no matter how hard I tried.

I remember being  overwhelmed with gratitude that erupted from a deeper place in my heart than I could explain.   For in my heart I knew that only God could have done this miracle  of restoring this broken relationship.

Only Gods love could do the work of preparing our hearts to become ready to forgive and move forward in our relationship and only God could have changed our hearts,  healed them and restored our relationship….

Only God, through His Holy Spirit could have prompted this person to write the very words that would whisper to my heart exactly what it needed to hear in order for me to come to forgive at a deeper level than I had been able to attain without them and take a chance and trust again.

Words are powerful………

As I remembered my failure at self control on that dreadful day when this relationship was damaged I sensed the Holy Spirit whispering to my heart of something I had not thought of before.

“Only the years and years of words spoken through me that were positive and encouraging and loving could have been used as the foundation of truth to help this person overcome the pain and the damage done from the slipping of my tongue that spoke the words that caused the eruption of frustration and anger and bitterness.”  Forgive yourself…For I have forgiven thee…I sensed Him whispering to me….

God truly can and does “make all things new”  He works ALL things together for good for those that love Him according to His plans and purposes.  He never gives up on us.  His love is unconditional.

I thought of the months and months of that broken relationship and the pain in our hearts after the words were spoken and how deeply the encounter had changed each of our lives and effected our ability to trust one another again.

I thought of how difficult it had been to be still and to pray and to trust God to do what He needed to do in each of us that we might be able to reunite and enjoy one another again as we had for so many many years before.  I thought of how many times He has done this amazing miracle in relationships in my life….I was overwhelmed.  I acknowledged in my heart that indeed the pain of the process is worth the gift of peace…

I thought of those other relationships in my life where this same principle has been carried out and is being carried out right now.  I am unable to think of  a word that best describes the depth of gratitude I cherish in my heart for what the power and love of God has done in my life.   Over and over again I find myself being  overwhelmed by the power and persistence of God to do through me what I know I cannot do myself.

On my own, without Christ as my Lord and Savior,  I can be stubborn and desire to be right.  Without the decision to give up my right to be right I know not even God can help me.  It is better to love and to be loved than to be right and alone….and yet for some of us the wounds of our pasts from words spoken to us that were critical or unkind become the tool that is used that drives the desire to prove that we have value and are worthy.

We may  find ourselves needing and desiring to be right and unable to offer  forgiveness and grace and mercy to those that hurt us or disagree with us….this motivation to be right and become rigid in it is sometimes fueled by the thought process based on the lies that try to get us to believe that we are not worthy of being loved and forgiven…..the lie that we need to prove our worth and being right is the tool that we use to try and accomplish this….

Christ came to bind the broken hearted….Christ came to set the captives free….Christ is love………

Christ made a way for each of us to have victory in every area of our lives…..through our dependence on His love and mercy and forgiveness and atonement for our sins,  we are set free and enter in to the process of being transformed by Him.  Day by Day we are being transformed into the image of He that created us….

In the stillness of this tender moment of truth I found myself thanking God again for His forgiveness extended to me.  I thought of how the process of learning to receiving His love and forgiveness and grace has made it easier for me to forgive others when their emotions get the best of them and they speak words that are not kind or helpful to me.

I thought of the old saying, our actions speak louder than our words and that choosing to forgive someone and choosing to be kind to them after they have hurt us is acting in Faith that God will do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or hope for when we seek Him and His love, and act out His word from our hearts with a willingness to obey His final command to LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS YOURSELVES….

Lord God, help each of us to love ourselves the way you love us.  Draw us closer to you that we might be one with you in mind and spirit and action and reaction.  Let us not grow weary of doing good that in time we may reap the reward….We know that your word is truth and it is divinely being placed in our hearts to help us live lives that truly reflect You and not the world.  Bring healing to our hearts in the area of forgiveness and give us a heart that desires to forgive others as you have forgiven us.  Be the light that we see and draw us to you through …Do not let us be deceived by the lies of the enemy. Place your Angels around us, Angels of light and not those that fool us into worshiping them rather than you.  Guard our families and our relationships, especially from ourselves and our interactions caused by our unhealed wounds.

Help us in our growth to become healthy in all our relationships and to be the initiators of peace ad reconciliation as you guide and direct our paths and make them straight in your good and perfect ways.  May Your love fill us and may Your peace be ever present in the midst of all we say and do.  Forgive for our shortcomings and our fears and failings and grant wisdom and discernment and knowledge to us that we might in turn be transformed and used as messengers of healing and hope….In Jesus name….amen

Have you heard the new song by Josh Wilson called Forest Fire…..I tried to embed it with this writing but had technical difficulties, I encourage you to go to YouTube and listen to it….the truth of the lyrics pierce my heart each time I hear it…..

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A Whisper For Our Hearts

Have you ever thought about taking a moment as you are out and about doing your job or your shopping or your running from this activity to another with the kids or frantically racing from one stop to the next completing the endless tasks of responsibilities to just stop?……To take a deep breath..to breathe and exhale until you are calm and still….. and to look around at all the people you see throughout your day and think …truly think …about all the hurried activity and busyness which seems to lure and captivate so many of God’s children from truly seeing, sharing and savoring life…the life He created and has prepared for each of us to live.

I wonder what it would be like if each of us took this day or perhaps one in the next few days to choose to take our minds off of what is next to do on our list and become like an outsider of ourselves looking into the window of our lives and the lives of those around us……to wonder what God sees when He looks down through the window of Heaven at our life?  Where are our priorities and how does what we believe in our hearts reflect back to Him and to those around us?

How many people smile, offer kind words, or extend their hearts and hands to help others in some way?   I know for me, that often times when a stranger smiles at me or says something kind or holds open a door for me that it makes me slow down and think to myself, wow…that was nice….and  my burden somehow seems lighter as I go on with my day.  It’s as if the very heart of my soul feels the warmth of their touch of kindness and I am blessed and encouraged to pass that kindness along to someone else.

I can’t tell you how many small comments made to me at just the right moment have forever changed my life and I think that if all of us took the time to think back we would all say the same thing, or at least I pray that is so and if not then I pray that it would begin today.

I wonder how many times the words spoken from our  lips have whispered to the heart of a person God put in our paths so that they could be used by Him to help carry out His plans for them?   It isn’t up to us to know whether or not the words or actions or attitudes are received by another as the gifts they are intended to be.   Sometimes we can tell that we encouraged or strengthened someone and sometimes we only find out just how important those words or actions or accepting and loving attitudes were by words of gratitude spoken back to us or eyes filled with tears or hearing about what we said or did or our accepting attitude from someone else,  someone who perhaps does not even know our name.

I am quite certain that for all of us there will people we meet in Heaven who will amaze us with stories of how our words and actions and attitudes impacted their lives.

God created us for relationship with one another and to love one another and He desires that we would take the time to acknowledge one another and encourage one another each and every day.  Yesterday, God put someone in my path who encouraged me to be more diligent in my writing and blogging.   That person has no idea of the depth that her words spoke to me nor that I needed them.  She was reflecting to me a heart of kindness with no expectation of anything in return.

At the time the person spoke the words I felt so overwhelmed with my “to do” list that it was quite easy for me to respond with, yes, I will…when my life is not so busy and I have more time or something like that.  But…..her words were like a whisper that I couldn’t quite shake and eventually I gave in to the power of that whisper, logged in on this blog and began perusing some posts of old, ones I didn’t think were quite finished yet.

We never know when our words or actions are going to be the turning point in another persons life.  When we open the window to our soul , our heart, and let others speak into it or serve us in some way,  God can and will pour out His love to us through those He chooses to put in our lives that we may in turn be filled up and then begin pouring  out that love and encouragement and acceptance into the lives of others He puts in our lives.  It is a process we are each called to participate in.  Our job it to be open to hear the whispers to our hearts and then to be obedient in responding to them…..

The conversation between this woman and myself took ten minutes of our time and is being used as part of the weaving together of God’s plan in each of our lives.  Conversations and intercessions like this are the very heart of God and yet we convince ourselves we are just too “busy” to get involved or too overwhelmed to add one more thing to our “to do” list and then we wonder why fog begins to form between us and God and we no longer see His hands at work or feel the power of His presence in our lives….could it be that our very purpose is to keep the windows of our souls, our hearts,  open and willing and not cluttered with busyness and overwhelming responsibilities that never were intended to be part of His plan for our lives?…..

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A Whisper For The Heart – The Potters Wheel

Many have asked God to move my heart to write….Many have asked me to begin to post my writings on here and I have not…..I choose today, the 22nd to obediently answer the call.  It was the 22nd of the month that my husband went home to heaven and the 22nd will always be a special day to me.  This post is in honor of all the changes that have taken place in my life since his death….Thank you to all that have believed in me and stood beside me through the changes and thank you to those that have been the catalysts in my life for changes I did not even know I desired which have been the best parts of my entire life and most of all…..Thank You Jesus for Your Hand that guides and directs us as You mold and shape us and work ALL things together for good according to Your Plans and Purposes…Amen

The Wind of the Holy Spirit hit me today….It was so powerful it took my breath away…..It was as if in the flash of a moment I realized just how much I have changed and how faithful God has been to continue to transform me and mold me and shape me in spite of my whining and complaining and asking Him for shortcuts in order to avoid some of the painful parts of the process of living on the Masters Potters Wheel of transformation all these years.

You see, I am one of those over achiever type  personalities, used to always have to get an A on the test and to me most of life was about proving to others that I was good enough or strong enough or capable enough to be loved and accepted.  I had little or no sense of worth in who I was without the approval of others.  I had been known in the past to be a workaholic and to be demanding of others and to not be very compassionate or understanding. Oh how painful it is to write these words and know that they are truth.  How grateful I am for the Masters Potters Wheel of transformation and change.

For years I was successful at most everything I tried in spite of my attitude of pride and self righteousness and expectations of others to perform according to what worked best for me.  I really did not know any better.  I think it was only because my heart was to help others and God knew that and honored my hearts intentions that He allowed me to succeed for so long before I fell on my face, but that is only my best guess.  Of course only God knows the answers to our whines of why and how come.  His word says He knows our hearts and it is our Heart that He cares about and that we cannot hide anything from Him.  Ouch….

During those years before I received Christ and for quite some time after I had high expectations for others to do what was right and would get very bent out of shape when they did not.  I can still struggle with that one but am learning to give the kind of grace that I have been given.  Whew, if that isn’t humbling!   I have received so much Grace myself there is no way I could ever give that much grace back to others.

For longer than I would like to admit I didn’t know what love was and gave my heart without reservation to others and allowed myself to be abused.  I got wounded and hurt over and over again and yet continued to put myself in situations that were not best for me.  I am so very thankful to say that surrendering to the process of transformation on the Masters Potters Wheel has helped me learn to stand up for myself and to set boundaries for how I will allow others to treat me and to give grace and forgiveness without sacrificing my self worth.

I know there are people that I hurt during those years that I have not been able to apologize to and yet I trust that God will give me opportunity to do that if it be in His plan for me to do that and I know I have to forgive myself and accept that God’s Grace is sufficient to cover my sins.

Recently God gave me a gift of forgiveness towards a man that I did not realize I was still so angry with who hurt me deeply when we were young and then gave me an apology from him that moved my soul in ways I cannot even begin to describe.  Without the Masters Potters Wheel working in each of our lives that would not have been possible.  I am overwhelmed by the ways our Master Creator works and the way He aligns time and circumstance to accomplish His will in our lives.

When I accepted Christ as my Savior my life began to fell apart and everything that I used to be good at didn’t work anymore for me.  I really had no idea of what was happening to me but as I look back now I see a picture that is so vivid and clear.  I was humbled to the point of no longer being able to manage my life on my own and I surrendered and yielded to God and He put me on His Potters Wheel and began to do what only God can do.  He began the painful process of transformation ….He began to change my heart and its desires and bring my heart and mind and soul into alignment with Him and His Holy Word.

I wish I could say that the process is complete…..Thankfully, God has not given up on me and continues to refine and mold me that I might conform more closely to the image that He wants to see in me….HIM….

He has had me on that wheel reshaping and molding me for many years and still there is much so much work to do….

I have come to realize that there is no destination of completion and I will not get to see the grade on my test until I come home to be with Him in Heaven.  Life is a journey is a cliche that has been repeated over and over and over again to me and yet I still seem to wind up trying to find a way to get to the destination with as little disruption and pain as possible..After my husband passed away my  destination was to get married again…It has been six years and that has not happened yet and does not seem to be in the picture anytime soon….Perhaps part of what He has been reshaping in me is the desire for that and I would have to say that He has been successful in doing so, for it is no longer the driving force in my life that it used to be..I am now content in ways I have never been before….Daily I must yield and surrender and rest and trust in the process and let Him use me when He desires even when I do not feel adequate or complete enough to do so….

I smile as I think back through the years.  I am so grateful for the gift of humor and being able to laugh at myself and not be ashamed of who I am or who I used to be.  Being an over achiever type A personality, I thought there was a formula I could find and follow and together with Christ we could have me all reshaped and molded in no time.

I wouldn’t need that much time on the Potters Wheel, I will get this right and get it right quick. I thought there had to be a key to find and certainly I would find it and then open the treasure box of the answer to becoming conformed to the image of Christ as quickly as possible.  I’m not one that would desire to cheat, although I had resorted to that in the past, but it was in my nature to be smart and find the quickest route so I could achieve the desired result and be loved and accepted and get an A on the test.!

Well, as you might be able to imagine or perhaps as you read this you can relate and see how important it might be to God that these attitudes would need adjustment and that adversity and suffering would work really well as a tool to use on the prideful pot that I was and can still be.

I smile and laugh as I write this but unfortunately it is no joke, it is the truth of how I perceived the process of becoming Christlike to be.   I have learned through the pain of trials and suffering and falling short of my own expectations that it is a gradual process to grow and change and be transformed and that Christ died that I might be forgiven for my imperfections and that I might receive the Grace and Peace that only He can give.  I am continually having to surrender to that truth and I continue to have the dizzy spells that come from spinning around on the Potters Wheel as God molds and shapes my character with trials and difficulties and disappointments and failures that I know I sometimes bring on myself because of my stubbornness and tendency to try and do things my own way.

I am learning to listen to the wisdom of others, even those I would not expect to be the vessel to deliver it.  God sometimes uses my young son to speak truth to me and just yesterday he said…Mom, you don’t have to be perfect, no one is perfect…..Don’t be so hard on yourself, don’t beat yourself up.  He is only 9, but oh so wise about life.  He has been through a lot and seen a lot that has made him wiser than his years.

I wonder how many of us miss the wisdom that we could gain if we would but listen….. What would we gain if we would but listen to the words of the ones that God sends to whisper to our hearts His messages of truth even those that are not from a source we would expect?

I am thankful and grateful that  God is so gracious as He lovingly and yet firmly molds our character and reworks those parts of us that do not serve Him best and sends messages of His truths and His love and His Grace to us through others that He puts in our lives.

Today was a day where I realized through a Texting Marathon that I had yesterday with someone just how much God loves His children and just how far He will go to witness His love.  Again the wisdom came to me through an unexpected source, one that I would have thought in my own understanding would have no right or authority to speak into my life after all that had happened..I was and am humbled by how wrong I was…..The Holy Spirit moved in a place deep in my heart where I was holding on to some things and moved my heart to forgive at a deeper level, encouraged me with answers to questions I had no answers for and gave me Grace and forgiveness to give back.  I am humbled, humbled indeed.

It occurs to me that we should all be grateful, oh so grateful for the ability to extend Grace and forgiveness to others as they are being shaped and molded by the hand of God on their own Potters Wheel.  We don’t have to understand, it does not have to make sense to us.  We just need to trust that God is at work in ALL things in our lives.  We belong to Him and just as He is shaping and molding us so He is shaping and molding our friends and family members and even strangers we have not met yet.

I am reminded that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD and that one day we will all stand before our Creator and give an account.  God will make all things right in the end, so we don’t need to spend our time worrying about that or trying to make things happen that are not meant to be.

What will He say to each of us about our time here on earth?  What will He say to me?  The gifts He gives to us, the changes He makes in us are for His Glory and His Purposes, did we accept them and did we use them to the best of our ability?

As the wind of the Holy Spirit hit me with all these thoughts I realized with a piercing sensation in my heart…..God has changed me that I might in turn help others become brave enough and humble enough to allow themselves to surrender to God and let God change them.  He has prepared a Masters Potters Wheel for each of us.  We don’t have to worry about doing the work, we just need to listen for His whispers for our hearts and respond to His voice when He calls on us to act or speak on behalf of Him……..

Lord God we humble ourselves before you and we ask that You would forgive us for thinking mostly of ourselves and our own comfort rather than thinking that we have been crafted by You on the Potters Wheel with purpose and intent and that the things you have crafted us for may not be comfortable for us right now but will one day become just part of who we are and they will be comfortable to us then.  Expand our territory in ways that challenge us and help us grow in our walk with you.  Spin us on that Potters Wheel and make us BEAUTIFUL in Your sight and not our own.  Open our hearts to hear Your voice whisper to our hearts that we might use what You have done in our hearts on Your Potters Wheel to Honor and Glorify You…In Jesus name….Amen

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