Thursday, January 10, 2013

God Adventures are Waiting

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Matthew 26:41 NIV)

Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV)

Every day provides both opportunities and hidden dangers.  We should expect them.  If we are not watching--if  we are not expectant and aware, we will miss the opportunities God has for us (God-adventures). We will also fall into temptation if we are not spiritually prepared.  Our prayer life is essential.  We must keep a beaten path to God's throne of grace if we are going to "make the most of every opportunity."

As we begin the fast, make prayer a priority.  Prayer is talking to God and listening for him to speak back.  This is what it means to "watch and pray."  We should expect to hear from God. How does He speak to us?  More often than not, He will speak through His word.  As you read the Bible, certain passages or verses will stick out. Begin to ask questions and if possible write out your thoughts.  What does the passage tell you about God? How does it apply to you and your situation?  Is God encouraging you? Giving you wisdom?  Peace?  Don't be disheartened if your thougths don't seem to have any direct application at the moment.  Sometimes God speaks by giving us puzzle pieces (I call it "connecting the dots")--we can't see the whole picture at first but as we continue to seek God--being faithful in prayer, we begin to connect the pieces into something that makes sense.

The process does take discipline.  It takes effort to think and be consistent.  But hearing God's voice is well worth it.  As you grow in your relationship with Him, you will begin to have more and more God-adventures--opportunities to meet needs that God is directing you to meet.  A phone call to a discouraged friend.  A word of wisdom to someone who is confused.  A helping hand to someone who needed it.  A sense of God--an awareness of Him begins to permeate your life.  This becomes fun! 

You can do it.  You can hear God's voice.  You can have a real relationship with Him.  Don't be discouraged and don't give up.  He has many great adventures for you this year and it all begins with watching and praying.  Over the next few days, I want to share some thoughts about developing a relationship with God through daily prayer.  I will continue the theme of a "beaten path to God".  I hope you are encouraged to begin cutting your own trail to Him.  God-adventures are waiting.

Be sure not to miss this month's message series: Restart

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bobbi Sheninger's Story

I'm sharing a facebook message I received today from Bobbi Sheninger about marriage and obeying God.  She is my neighbor, friend and a member at Destiny Church.  I think you will be challenged by her story. 

Bobbi and her husband Dan

She writes:

"I wrote this today. it was an essay for a Christian college Scholarship.
The subject was 'Is Obedience the Most Important Word in the Bible?'

I thought I would share this with you .. Maybe it might help another woman struggling with obedience and respect ...
Obedience is such a foreign word in today's culture. What does obedience mean to you? Is it some antiquated word that has lost it's meaning? Was it a word that only applied to God's people in the Old Testament ? Many people believe just that. I used to be one of those people. God has been moving my heart lately to challenge this assumption.

Matthew 5:19Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law and you will only have trivialized yourself. But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom.” ( The Message)

After 10 years of power struggles in my marriage, my husband finally simply asked for my submission, and obedience. I was floored, and livid, how dare he ask such a thing? I was very angry, but God started to speak to me. I was convicted. I had not only been been dishonoring my husband , but also The Lord . God's commandments are not subjective, and not optional. We do not get to pick and choose the ones we want to follow. Obedience is not a request, but a command. My obedience, and respect in my married life has a direct correlation to my obedience, and respect for The Lord . How careless had I been to discard the fathers plan for my own agenda? I started reading and studying the word, and God changed my heart. My marriage is now a Godly marriage. This is not a popular idea in today's culture, but i choose to honor my father God through obedience. My husband is now the head of our household as God commands. Believe it or not, this former feminist is happier than she has ever been . I honor and respect my husband, and he cherishes and loves me.

Job 36:11“If they obey and serve him,
they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
and their years in contentment.” (NIV)

Our relationship is better than I could ever have imagined. God's plans are always better than our plans. When we are obedient to his commands he pours his blessings out on us like a loving and proud father. Obedience is the central theme in the Bible. Without obedience we dishonor our father, and those around us. Being obedient pleases The Lord, and he in turn rewards his precious children for thier respectful attitudes.

Deuteronomy 30:15-16Look, today I have set before you life and death, depending on whether you obey or disobey. I have commanded you today to love the Lord your God and to follow His paths and to keep His laws, so that you will live and become a great nation, and so that the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to possess.” (TLB)

Obedience truly is the most important word in the Bible.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ain't No Mountain High Enough...

"In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.  From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry." -Jonah 2:2

What keeps you from asking God for help? Shame? Remorse? Do you think you've gotten yourself into the mess your in and you have to fix it yourself?  Jonah completely rebelled against God.  Think about it.  God told him, "Go to Nineveh" and Jonah bought a one-way ticket the opposite direction.  You know the story. God sent a storm, Jonah was thrown overboard and a big fish swallowed him whole.  Yet inspite of all the things Jonah did wrong, he did one thing right.  In the midst of the whale, in the midst of his failure, he called on God.  And God heard him!  I don't know if this encourages you, but it does me.  I have often been reluctant to ask God for help becuase I felt I made the mess so I should be the one to clean it up.  Jonah encourages me to ask God for help even in the problems I have created.  Try it!  You will be surprised to find out how willing God is to help.  In fact, there is very old, spiritual hymn that says it best...enjoy:)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Songs in the Night

" night his song is with me." Ps. 42:8

I woke up these last two mornings with a song running through my mind.  Psalms 34:1 says his praise will continually be on my lips.  What a comfort to know he is singing over us and in our darkest times, it is not our strength we have to rely upon.  God will even provide the song to sing.  Here is today's song.  I wanted to share it with my friends at Destiny Church.  It is called "Take me Away" by Worth Dying For.

You took upon your shoulders
the weight of my failures
You stole my heart from this world
and gave me life
So take my life and live it
for none but you

Let my heart trust in you
Let my fear fall
Let your love carry me through it all
and I will hold on to you even through pain
Won't you take me away, take me away, take me away with you


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Power of Praise

"I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.  I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are discouraged take heart." Ps. 34:1-2
  Continual praise is a powerful weapon to keep our perspective regardless of what is happening to us.  Let's be real, life has it's ups and downs. There are high, low and in between seasons.  Psalms 34:1 is a key to maintaining a victorious life in an up and down world. Why? Because our circumstances are speaking to us and we must learn to speak back.  Someone once said prayer is telling God about our problems but praise is telling problems about our God.  Praise turns the volume down on fear, discouragement and confusion.  As we boast in the Lord, praising him for who he is and what he does, we find we are the "discouraged" who are encouraged to "take heart."