When God Speaks

It’s 2 am and I am awake yet once again. A new pattern has developed over the past 6 weeks or so and I’ve gotten used to it – sort of. At first, I was frustrated by not being able to get my much needed 8 – 9 hours. It’s so much more of a struggle to be nice when I’m exhausted but God has his methods and who am I to complain? Since I’m not one for popping strong medication to make me sleep, I surrendered and listened for that still small voice. This morning’s message was quite different from the recent ones I’ve been receiving and I feel comfortable sharing it with you today as I’m sure many of you will relate.

Go do your nails.

What?

I knew it was God speaking because He usually speaks to me in the form of a command such as “Go” or “Stop”.

Now that is an odd thing to hear.

I listened again and again the still small voice said Go do your nails.

Obedient and groggy, I pushed myself off the bed and made my way to my kitchen where my manicure tools where waiting from the night before. As many of you ladies know, there is a process to doing your nails.

First, you smooth out all the ridges and rough spots.
Then, you buff the nails.
Next, you shine them up with one of those handy rectangular things.
Then you apply the polish.
Lastly, you apply the top coat.

Yes, gentlemen, this is what we ladies have to go thru to have those nice shiny nails many of you adore. I can honestly tell you I have been judged by the condition of my nails. Really!

The same process we use on our nails, is the same process God uses on us.

First, He smooths out all the rough edges and removes the spots.
Then, He allows life and circumstances to buffet us.
When the buffing process is complete, He shines us up so we are ready to be polished.
Next, He applies the polish – this is the exact color He has for each one of our lives.
Finally He applies the top coat – His protection over us.

Are you having trouble sleeping these days? Could God be speaking to you? Are you willing to listen and obey or do you drown out that still small voice by taking a pill or a sleeping aid?

Whatever your situation, rest assured God is in control. He is still on the throne and His plans will not be thwarted. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us and that plan sometimes takes time to be made real. So don’t fight your sleepless nights. Listen to that still small voice. You can be sure all will be made clear in time. Remember, we walk by faith and not by sight. Until next time, keep the faith and always always, keep looking up!

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.”

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!

How to Hear From God – Learn to Love Solitude

How do you feel about being by yourself? Do you always need someone or something making noise to keep you company? Do you realize that the Lord is always with you and that you are never really alone?

If I want to hear from my children or my spouse, I need to spend time with them; same goes for hearing from God. Spending time with the Lord means learning to love solitude – being alone with Him – no television, no radio, no computer.

The first step is to relax my body. Sometimes I go for a walk, run, or bike ride. No Ipod, music, or phone. Other times I need to simply slow down and be still. I recline in a comfortable chair or sofa and focus on my breathing or maybe do some slow stretches on my sticky mat.

Relaxing the body helps to relax the mind. As my body relaxes, slowly the clutter in my mind dissipates. Then I am prepared to hear from God. “I am listening and I want to hear from you” I say out loud. I have made space in my mind to hear from God.

Yes, this all takes some time and learning to be comfortable with solitude. Life is all about choices. If I want to hear from God, then I will make the choice to tune everything else out for a time. How much do you value hearing from God? I promise you that nothing on earth can compare to hearing directly from the Creator of this Universe.

I’ll talk more on this next time, so until then, keep looking up!

How to Hear From God – Learn to Love Solitude

How do you feel about being by yourself? Do you always need someone or something making noise to keep you company? Do you realize that the Lord is always with you and that you are never really alone?

If I want to hear from my children or my spouse, I need to spend time with them; same goes for hearing from God. Spending time with the Lord means learning to love solitude – being alone with Him – no television, no radio, no computer.

The first step is to relax my body. Sometimes I go for a walk, run, or bike ride. No Ipod, music, or phone. Other times I need to simply slow down and be still. I recline in a comfortable chair or sofa and focus on my breathing or maybe do some slow stretches on my sticky mat.

Relaxing the body helps to relax the mind. As my body relaxes, slowly the clutter in my mind dissipates. Then I am prepared to hear from God. “I am listening and I want to hear from you” I say out loud. I have made space in my mind to hear from God.

Yes, this all takes some time and learning to be comfortable with solitude. Life is all about choices. If I want to hear from God, then I will make the choice to tune everything else out for a time. How much do you value hearing from God? I promise you that nothing on earth can compare to hearing directly from the Creator of this Universe.

I’ll talk more on this next time, so until then, keep looking up!

Keeping the Faith

Speaking of having faith in others, while I’m at it, I might as well have a little faith in myself. After all, I am a child of God, right? Now it’s only human to doubt from time to time if we are really hearing from God or not. Let me share an experience that happened this week to encourage you to have faith in yourself and that God is indeed leading you.

Recently I have been wondering whether I should continue this whole blog/writing thing. The desire of my heart always has been to be an encouragement to others, and a few years ago I felt called to write. By God’s grace I was able to put this blog together all by myself. Occasionally, I will get a comment from someone and that keeps me going, but most of the time, I don’t really know if anyone is reading these blog entries or not. So I signed up for a blog class at a local college and was so excited about learning how to do this.

Maybe I’ll learn how to put a counter on the thing so I’d know if people are reading it.

Wouldn’t you know it – the class was cancelled! Bummer.

Lord, is this you telling me not to pursue this blog thing?

Yesterday, I was reading my Bible and doing my devotions. My reading was from Habakkuk. The words from Habakkuk 2:2 jumped out at me “Write my answer on tablets so that it is clear and plain to see.” Wow! This was the very same verse from a writers’ conference I went to over the summer. God was confirming what He wanted me to do.

So tonight, I sat down at my computer to try once again to figure out how to put a counter on this blogsite. I found some free code, and after several tries, I finally found the right place to put the code and not get an error. I was amazed that it seemed like it’s working.

Now this might seem like a small thing to you, but for me to know that God is helping me, guiding me, and cares about me in this endeavor is a big thing for me.

What has God told you to do recently, dear one? Trust that you are indeed hearing His voice and keep the faith. Ask God to show you the next right thing to do and then “Just do it!” as the Nike ad says.

As it says in Habukkuk, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Habakkuk 2:4

Keeping the Faith

Speaking of having faith in others, while I’m at it, I might as well have a little faith in myself. After all, I am a child of God, right? Now it’s only human to doubt from time to time if we are really hearing from God or not. Let me share an experience that happened this week to encourage you to have faith in yourself and that God is indeed leading you.

Recently I have been wondering whether I should continue this whole blog/writing thing. The desire of my heart always has been to be an encouragement to others, and a few years ago I felt called to write. By God’s grace I was able to put this blog together all by myself. Occasionally, I will get a comment from someone and that keeps me going, but most of the time, I don’t really know if anyone is reading these blog entries or not. So I signed up for a blog class at a local college and was so excited about learning how to do this.

Maybe I’ll learn how to put a counter on the thing so I’d know if people are reading it.

Wouldn’t you know it – the class was cancelled! Bummer.

Lord, is this you telling me not to pursue this blog thing?

Yesterday, I was reading my Bible and doing my devotions. My reading was from Habakkuk. The words from Habakkuk 2:2 jumped out at me “Write my answer on tablets so that it is clear and plain to see.” Wow! This was the very same verse from a writers’ conference I went to over the summer. God was confirming what He wanted me to do.

So tonight, I sat down at my computer to try once again to figure out how to put a counter on this blogsite. I found some free code, and after several tries, I finally found the right place to put the code and not get an error. I was amazed that it seemed like it’s working.

Now this might seem like a small thing to you, but for me to know that God is helping me, guiding me, and cares about me in this endeavor is a big thing for me.

What has God told you to do recently, dear one? Trust that you are indeed hearing His voice and keep the faith. Ask God to show you the next right thing to do and then “Just do it!” as the Nike ad says.

As it says in Habukkuk, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Habakkuk 2:4