Are You Listening?

Do you have a hard time listening to others? Talking is easy for most of us, but listening is a skill that must be learned. James 1:18 exhorts us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” As I used to tell my kids, “That’s why God gave us two ears and one mouth” so we listen more than we speak. We all want to get our two cents in, right? Rather than listening to what the other person is saying we are thinking about what we want to say next.

I get so exasperated having to repeat myself these days. Either people just don’t want to listen or they don’t know how to listen or they don’t even realize they aren’t listening. Someone once told me “You know, you repeat yourself.” My answer was “That’s because I want to make sure you hear me.” How frustrating!

What about listening to God? Do you believe that God speaks to us? Well, I am living-proof to tell you that He certainly does. He speaks to all of us in different ways. Some hear His still small voice in the quiet of nature, in the melody of a song or the beauty of a painting. Others hear Him through the words of others, scripture, prayer and meditation. God knows how to communicate to each of His children.

The question is “Am I listening?” Each of us must answer that question for ourselves. What I can tell you is that a good way to know is to look at our lives. Is it bearing good fruit or not? In other words, am I at peace, productive, joyful, helping others? Or am I living a self-centered life looking only to gratify my fleshly desires?

As they say, the proof is in the pudding, so if you want to get closer to God, make time today to spend with Him. He promises that He will answer if we listen. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me and I will answer and I will teach you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Are You Listening?

Do you have a hard time listening to others? Talking is easy for most of us, but listening is a skill that must be learned. James 1:18 exhorts us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” As I used to tell my kids, “That’s why God gave us two ears and one mouth” so we listen more than we speak. We all want to get our two cents in, right? Rather than listening to what the other person is saying we are thinking about what we want to say next.

I get so exasperated having to repeat myself these days. Either people just don’t want to listen or they don’t know how to listen or they don’t even realize they aren’t listening. Someone once told me “You know, you repeat yourself.” My answer was “That’s because I want to make sure you hear me.” How frustrating!

What about listening to God? Do you believe that God speaks to us? Well, I am living-proof to tell you that He certainly does. He speaks to all of us in different ways. Some hear His still small voice in the quiet of nature, in the melody of a song or the beauty of a painting. Others hear Him through the words of others, scripture, prayer and meditation. God knows how to communicate to each of His children.

The question is “Am I listening?” Each of us must answer that question for ourselves. What I can tell you is that a good way to know is to look at our lives. Is it bearing good fruit or not? In other words, am I at peace, productive, joyful, helping others? Or am I living a self-centered life looking only to gratify my fleshly desires?

As they say, the proof is in the pudding, so if you want to get closer to God, make time today to spend with Him. He promises that He will answer if we listen. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me and I will answer and I will teach you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

What to Do When You Have Too Much to Do

Everyone is busy busy busy these days, yes? I hear from all my friends about how overwhelmed they are and how there’s never enough time in the day ya da ya da. Well guess what? Overwhelm is just a feeling. Yep, think about it. It’s how we perceive things. Really we have total control over what we choose to do with our time, don’t we? Can anyone MAKE us do something we don’t want to do? Not really.

I am a big list maker. I write down all the things that are on my mind and then I feel better somehow because I got them out of my mind and onto a piece of paper. Then I can prioritize them and get to scratch them off. For some odd reason, scratching things off my list gives me a sense of pleasure. The thing is, the lists never end. There will ALWAYS be something to do, correct?

So, back to the overwhelm. It is all how we perceive our lives and our sense of control. If we think we are totally in control, we are deluding ourselves and that is a topic for another time. Things always come up unexpectedly. But we do have control over how we spend our time for the most part, yes?

It all boils down to our values. What is most important? When we are clear on what we really want in life then our decisions about how to spend our time become clear. It’s that simple, but also that complicated.

The rub is it takes time to get clear on what is important and what our values are. So there you have it. When we have too much to do, it may be time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and reevaluate our priorities. Eliminate the clutter and the unnecessary things and then relax and enjoy what is really important.

Love to hear your thoughts on this. Send me a note and I promise to write you back. Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!

What to Do When You Have Too Much to Do

Everyone is busy busy busy these days, yes? I hear from all my friends about how overwhelmed they are and how there’s never enough time in the day ya da ya da. Well guess what? Overwhelm is just a feeling. Yep, think about it. It’s how we perceive things. Really we have total control over what we choose to do with our time, don’t we? Can anyone MAKE us do something we don’t want to do? Not really.

I am a big list maker. I write down all the things that are on my mind and then I feel better somehow because I got them out of my mind and onto a piece of paper. Then I can prioritize them and get to scratch them off. For some odd reason, scratching things off my list gives me a sense of pleasure. The thing is, the lists never end. There will ALWAYS be something to do, correct?

So, back to the overwhelm. It is all how we perceive our lives and our sense of control. If we think we are totally in control, we are deluding ourselves and that is a topic for another time. Things always come up unexpectedly. But we do have control over how we spend our time for the most part, yes?

It all boils down to our values. What is most important? When we are clear on what we really want in life then our decisions about how to spend our time become clear. It’s that simple, but also that complicated.

The rub is it takes time to get clear on what is important and what our values are. So there you have it. When we have too much to do, it may be time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and reevaluate our priorities. Eliminate the clutter and the unnecessary things and then relax and enjoy what is really important.

Love to hear your thoughts on this. Send me a note and I promise to write you back. Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!

Be Still and Know

When the going gets tough, what do we tend to do? I know what I tend to do- do more! I seem to think that by doing more, thinking more, giving more, I will make something happen. Then I wear myself out and end up exhausted. Now is that silly, or what?

When the going gets tough, that is precisely the time to take a step back and relax. Listen to that still small voice. Psalm 46:1 says “Be still and know that I am God”. God doesn’t want me wearing myself out. He wants me to be peaceful and trust Him. I received a mug this past weekend with one word on it “TRUST”. Now was that a message or what?

What does it mean to be still? It means to make time for solitude, prayer and meditation. It may even mean fasting for a while till my head gets clear and I can focus on what God’s will is for my life. Getting rid of all the distractions of this world and listening.

So, the next time the world starts caving in on you, I encourage you to make time to be still. Go for a walk in the woods, work in your garden, or do whatever to clear your mind and hear the voice of the Lord. He is still speaking to us today, but we must tune out the clamor of everything and everyone else if we are to truly hear His voice amidst the many other voices that vye for our attention. Until next time, be still and know!

Be Still and Know

When the going gets tough, what do we tend to do? I know what I tend to do- do more! I seem to think that by doing more, thinking more, giving more, I will make something happen. Then I wear myself out and end up exhausted. Now is that silly, or what?

When the going gets tough, that is precisely the time to take a step back and relax. Listen to that still small voice. Psalm 46:1 says “Be still and know that I am God”. God doesn’t want me wearing myself out. He wants me to be peaceful and trust Him. I received a mug this past weekend with one word on it “TRUST”. Now was that a message or what?

What does it mean to be still? It means to make time for solitude, prayer and meditation. It may even mean fasting for a while till my head gets clear and I can focus on what God’s will is for my life. Getting rid of all the distractions of this world and listening.

So, the next time the world starts caving in on you, I encourage you to make time to be still. Go for a walk in the woods, work in your garden, or do whatever to clear your mind and hear the voice of the Lord. He is still speaking to us today, but we must tune out the clamor of everything and everyone else if we are to truly hear His voice amidst the many other voices that vye for our attention. Until next time, be still and know!

When the Going Gets Tough

Life is full of trials and tribulations. Some of them are brought on by our own choices and some God allows to refine us and make us more like Him.

So who or what do you turn to when life seems to be handing you lemons instead of lemonade? Your job? Your spouse? Yourself? Or….. your faith?

Really, our faith is the only thing that can sustain us: faith to believe in what we cannot see says the writer of Hebrews, faith to trust God when the path before us is not clear, faith to have hope and, yes, even joy in the midst of great sorrow and sadness.

James 1:2 says “Count it all pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” If we look at our trials this way, it helps ease the pain,yes?

So today, if you are going thru something, remember that Jesus is going thru it with you. He promises to always be with us. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In other words, take action. What is it that God is calling you to do today? Get your finances in order? Confront a loved one? Stand firm in your boundaries? Whatever it is, know that God is using the situation for your good and for His glory. Until next time, keep looking up and remember to be a blessing!

When the Going Gets Tough

Life is full of trials and tribulations. Some of them are brought on by our own choices and some God allows to refine us and make us more like Him.

So who or what do you turn to when life seems to be handing you lemons instead of lemonade? Your job? Your spouse? Yourself? Or….. your faith?

Really, our faith is the only thing that can sustain us: faith to believe in what we cannot see says the writer of Hebrews, faith to trust God when the path before us is not clear, faith to have hope and, yes, even joy in the midst of great sorrow and sadness.

James 1:2 says “Count it all pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” If we look at our trials this way, it helps ease the pain,yes?

So today, if you are going thru something, remember that Jesus is going thru it with you. He promises to always be with us. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In other words, take action. What is it that God is calling you to do today? Get your finances in order? Confront a loved one? Stand firm in your boundaries? Whatever it is, know that God is using the situation for your good and for His glory. Until next time, keep looking up and remember to be a blessing!

A Mustard Seed

Do you believe in the power of God? If so, how much do you believe in His power? What do you believe God can do? Is there anything He cannot do?

I am here to tell you God is the God of the impossible. Just as it says in Luke 1:36-38. I could go on and on and tell you of the impossible things He has done in my life and in the lives of those I love and care about. I could share about healings of mysterious illnesses the doctors could not figure out. I could tell you about tranformations of attitudes and the breaking of addictions. I could tell you about going from financial ruin to success and prosperity.

But what I want to impart to you today is the fact that God can only act in our lives to the extent that we believe He can. Jesus said “Truly I say to you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20).

That is what I want to share with you. This truth is what I want you to believe. As we learn to trust God and step out in faith, our faith grows. It is like a muscle. The more we exercise it, the more it grows. And we become stronger and stronger to face the challenges that present themselves one after the other.

Today, dear one, I encourage you to believe God for more in your life. Don’t settle for a life of mediocrity. Jesus said “I have come so that you can have life more ABUNDANTLY!” (John 10:10) May He bless you as you put your faith in Him!

A Mustard Seed

Do you believe in the power of God? If so, how much do you believe in His power? What do you believe God can do? Is there anything He cannot do?

I am here to tell you God is the God of the impossible. Just as it says in Luke 1:36-38. I could go on and on and tell you of the impossible things He has done in my life and in the lives of those I love and care about. I could share about healings of mysterious illnesses the doctors could not figure out. I could tell you about tranformations of attitudes and the breaking of addictions. I could tell you about going from financial ruin to success and prosperity.

But what I want to impart to you today is the fact that God can only act in our lives to the extent that we believe He can. Jesus said “Truly I say to you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20).

That is what I want to share with you. This truth is what I want you to believe. As we learn to trust God and step out in faith, our faith grows. It is like a muscle. The more we exercise it, the more it grows. And we become stronger and stronger to face the challenges that present themselves one after the other.

Today, dear one, I encourage you to believe God for more in your life. Don’t settle for a life of mediocrity. Jesus said “I have come so that you can have life more ABUNDANTLY!” (John 10:10) May He bless you as you put your faith in Him!