Tag Archives: God speaks

Be Near: Who is like the LORD our God?

Be Near: Five Minute Friday

I find it very exciting and interesting how God links some things together – actually He holds everything together (Colossians 1:7). This morning as I did my morning readings and studying I came away with thoughts to write about. But then Five MInute Friday’s prompt came through and the prompt “near” fit exactly with what I had been thinking. Wow.

near

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Five Minute Fridays is a time to just write for 5 minutes with little editing. Just get the words on paper – or screen. So I am setting the Timer – 5 minutes and counting. GO

I have been leading a Facebook Bible Study group using David Kitz’s book “psalms alive” (Yes no capitals). Today’s study is Chapter 19, Psalm 113:4-9.

Here is the Scripture:

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord (Psalm 113:4-9. NIV).

My focus stayed on “Who is like our LORD our God?”

I remembered a song from worship in our former church by Vineyard. Here it is: There is No One Like Our God.

 

But the word “STOOPS DOWN” really hit me. God loves us so much that He stooped, bent low, reached out to us. He sent Jesus to bring His nearness to Him fully.

And look at all the action words in the rest of the verses: stoops, raises, lifts, seats, settles.

God moves to be with us.

God is a God of Action.

He wants to be near us.
He works to be near us.
He even planned to be near us.

When I work on a passage I ask God to speak to me through my thoughts. These are the words I heard this morning:

Be Near to Me

Cast down your crowns,
So I can approach you.

I can only get near
when your heart is soft,
your mind is open,
when nothing stands between us.

When you humbly
fall down
on your knees,
I will approach you.

I AM
wants to meet you.

After journaling, praying and listening,  I see what I can paint in my Bible. What do I want to remember about this scripture – this time (because God’s Word is living and active – it changes as we change and grow)?

near

Bible Journaling Psalm 113:4-9

Time is up: 5 minutes goes quickly.

CALL TO ACTION:

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near

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Why Can’t I Sleep, Lord?

Why Can’t I Sleep, Lord?

At the moment I am being blessed with wonderful periods of sleep. That is not always the case. I have thought about the reasons and have a few suggestions for the nights when sleep eludes you.

sleep

I read Philip Yancey’s article in Grace Notes today. He talks about signs from God and how he sees the signs very clearly after he’s made the decision or move. One time he didn’t know whether to take a management position or stay in writing and editing. He opted for the management. Time and again he couldn’t sleep. Then he tried an experiment; one week he would do management and one week he would write. He slept very well while doing the writing assignments. Finally, he decided to leave the management position and has slept well since. He finally heeded God’s voice.

I know what Yancey means. My hubby wasn’t sleeping well a number of years ago. His physical and mental health took a beating. We decided we needed to sell our company. We did and guess what? –  he started sleeping again.

All non-sleeping problems are not necessarily signs from God. Some people have trouble sleeping because of physical ailments, children, pregnancy, etc.

But discounting any of these reasons I believe God tries to tell me something when I can’t sleep.

Here are some of the things God tells me when I can’t sleep:

      • Janis, you did something yesterday that is not making Me [Jesus] happy. Think over your day, figure it out and make amends.
      • Janis, I need you to wake up and pray. You didn’t take time during the day so now is the time. Wake up.
      • Janis, a few things you said today were not of My [Jesus] liking. Think over your day – were your thoughts as pure as I want them? Acknowledge this and ask my forgiveness.
      • Janis, I think you need to rethink what you are doing. Are you really following My leading or your own? Check over your plans – see if they are My plans. (this could be concerning family, friends, job).

Have you had sleepless nights? Is God talking to you? Listen and see. (click to tweet)

One great way to go to sleep or fall asleep after waking up is to count your blessings. Go over your day and see God at work; thank Him and praise Him for all He is doing.

Here is a wonderful song that I sing when I can’t sleep – from White Christmas.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, for using our sleeping times to keep tabs on us. Help us to recognize our non-sleep as You talking. Help us to listen to what You tell us. In Your Name, Jesus, we pray. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis is a creativity catalyst with a heart to connect people to God. She specializes in creating art based on Scripture so that the Truth penetrates hearts and not just minds.The world needs more pictures, art and colour.

God speaks through our creativity. We connect deeply with God through creativity because it is play. Our doubts fall away. We become like the little children Jesus invited to Himself. Janis helps people play, connect to God and connect to each other. Honest simple reminders to remain rooted in Him.

Sign up for a free Bible Art Course coming soon.

sleep

 

Am I Responsible?

Am I Responsible?

by Susan Hitchman

Am-I-Responsible

Wikipedia picture

A twinge of conscience pricked my heart as I walked past the older woman. The street was thronging with people coming and going from Seattle’s Pike Street Market, and panhandlers were everywhere. But as I stepped past her and stood with my family waiting for the crosswalk light to turn, I saw her wearily rest her head against the light pole.

Was it a ploy?

The other panhandlers were bold, flaunting cardboard signs linking love for God with supporting their marijuana habits. It was easier walking past them than her. But as our walk light lit up, I stepped out and crossed the street with my family. I was a visitor to Seattle.

Was I responsible?

The next morning as I sat reading my Bible and praying in a quiet corner of the hotel lobby, the picture of the street woman kept filling my mind. I saw myself doing what I should have done, my arm reaching across her shoulders as I simply asked, “Are you O.K?” I was looking into her eyes, granting her the dignity of comfort in human suffering.

I was overwhelmed with the awareness of my selfishness.

As I inwardly moaned in repentance, I asked for forgiveness. That opportunity to show God’s love to an aching heart was gone. Would God’s mercy grant me another opportunity to do it right?

The young King Josiah was in a predicament not unlike mine. Upon hearing the recently discovered ‘Book of the Law’ read to him, he too was overwhelmed with an awareness of sin. Visions of the idolatries and cruelties his kingly forbears had committed rose in his mind.  He was more expressive than me, tearing his robes and weeping, taking steps to inquire through a prophetess the LORD’s verdict.

In this story we’re given an incredible glimpse of God’s perspective. We’re told that God observed that Josiah’s “heart was responsive and (he) humbled (him)self before the LORD”.

“Because you…wept in my presence, I have heard you”, God declares (2 Kings 22:19, NIV).

We’re not told that Josiah had actually prayed in so many words, yet God heard him. Josiah had wept in remorse and repentance. He had been responsive to God’s Spirit revealing Himself and His commands through His Word. He had humbled himself and took steps to repair the situation.

Perhaps you too have wept a tear or two over your awareness of failings in your life. Take heart. That is one form of prayer. If your heart is responsive to His convicting Word and you humble yourself in repentance, there is great hope. God has heard you and is willing to help you turn your tears into actions of obedience.

“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NIV).

Go ahead and cry; it speaks volumes to God.

Tweetables:

Go ahead and cry; it speaks volumes to God. (tweet this)

I was overwhelmed with the awareness of my selfishness. (tweet this)

Sue Hitchman

Susan Hitchman

Sue  seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker.  She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God.  Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh

HOW CAN I HEAR FROM GOD?

How Can I Hear from God?

by Jan Cox

I wanted to get closer to God. I wanted to hear Him speak.

I realized that my mornings had not been a time of intentional worship and prayer.

I chose to change – I wrote about the 4 NOWS.

Now I had to live them.

Here is what happened:

While in Arizona I had taken a course called SEED by Priscilla Sheer. During this course I learned to read a Bible verse and listen to God speak. I decided to try that again.

But which verse? How?

I listened and heard God give me two passages.

The first one was Isaiah 6:8.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!””

The next Ephesians 4:12.

 “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”

The method, the 5 Ps, briefly, is:

        • Position your self;
        • Pour over the Scripture;
        • Pull out spiritual principles;
        • Pose questions:
        • Plan

I did.

Here is what I found.

I know my work for God is to believe in Jesus.

I heard that and knew it – my job is to prepare God’s people to serve so that the body of Christ is built up – always being submissive to the will of the Father.

I looked up servants and found they all trusted God, delighted in Him. They were from all walks of life. Jesus took on the nature of a servant.

Prayer:

This week I start to lead a new Bible Study using these 5 Ps. I pray for His leadership, guidance, enthusiasm and strength. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

While thinking of faith, belief and Jesus I am reminded of Faith of Our Fathers. I have started to practice this hymn on my new piano.

Here is Bing Crosby singing Faith of Our Fathers. I remember so well listening to this record – who can forget that cover. What a voice!

My Gratitude List for this Week

        • prayer time at the Pregnancy Care Centre
        • great driving prayers
        • sweet grandkids
        • hard Eucharisteo – saying goodbye to a 14 year old dog, Freeway
        • a helpful son-in-law who drove me to pick up a used digital piano
        • a new digital piano

My new piano.

        • juice oranges (but so messy)
        • juicy peaches (even messier)
        • sticky hands
        • very warm days for the end of August
        • leaves changing colour
        • reflections of an awesome summer
        • a tour of Highlands East; a flea market; a friend and a new friend
        • moved my blog to my self-hosted blog – www.janiscox.com
        • a soak in a tub
        • long chats with my daughters
        • hard Eucharisteo – my hubby’s Dad is not well
        • “justification” – Just as if I had never sinned.
        • “we are more than conquerers in Christ”
        • great sermon (The work God requires of us) – John 6:28
        • a game of Scrabble on the boat

Playing Scrabble on the boat.

        • chatting with Internet friends – and praying for some of them
        • playing hymns on my new piano (well trying to play them!)
        • a reorganized den and art room and the energy to do it

My New Office

        • cute message from 5 year old granddaughter on the answering machine
        • rainbow trout – yum
        • a dream with Christian symbols
        • anticipation of a new Bible Study
        • Word of God – speaks

Contributors

Jan Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

HOW DOES GOD SPEAK – PART 1?

How Does God Speak?

3 Ways God Has Spoken to Me – part 1

by Janis Cox

This week was filled with surprises. Three distinct times I have heard God speak to me.

Today is Week 1 of How Does God Speak?

God Speaks Through His Words

Seeds - by Ramona Furst

Seeds – by Ramona Furst

The first time I heard Him came from a card given to me by a friend. The cover pictured a hand spade filled with seeds. Inside were these words:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

And the Scripture given inside the card said:

“Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12 NIV)

God continued in the next few days to plant seeds in me and also to inspire me to continue to write for Him – thereby planting seeds in my readers.

And the word seed seemed to come from many directions. In conversation I would hear the word seed, sow, plant – wow!

Then my friend gave me my own Scripture from the Psalms:

 “I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.” (Psalm 119:32 NIV)

Path by Kimberley Payne

Path by Kimberley Payne

The word path stood out. Following the path that God sets before me – not deviating from the path but walking straight and sure.

To top off my week, the sermon on Sunday was about SEEDS and PATH. Could that be any clearer?

I LISTENED

What words have you heard from God this week? Pick up your Bible, start to read – what jumps out at you. Stop and listen. God could be speaking to you.

This song by MercyMe says the same: “Word of God Speak”

Prayer:

Father, we thank You for the Word. We thank you that you talk to us through the words in the Bible and the words of others. We thank you for confirmation of those words. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week – counting to 2000 – I am at 1495

    • meeting people in our neighbourhood on our walks – being offered seeds to put in our ditch to make it prettier
    • little bird bathing on the porch – so cute
    • “There is no condition in life in which we cannot abide in Jesus” (Oswald Chambers, June 12).
    • being filled with anticipation of what God has in store for Write! Canada
    • bouncing grandbaby in bouncer chair and watch him fall asleep
    • reading the Bible to grandbaby while he sat in my arms
    • my friend okay to travel with me after bad reaction to shots for going overseas
    • books didn’t arrive in time for the conference – but I sold 5 anyway!
    • beautiful weather for the conference
    • reconnecting with writing friends
    • 7 am prayer time
    • 8 am worship time – awesome group leading worship
    • my continuing class with Thomas Umstaddt from Author Media
    • seeing and hearing Jean Little, children’s author
    • being asked for prayer
    • encouragement
    • great workshop with Marla Konrad
    • great workshop with my friend and mission partner, Grace Fox
    • insight
    • given a personal Scripture – Psalm 119:32
    • my friend coming to early morning prayer time – first time in 10 years coming to the conference
    • new friends
    • a Happy Fathers’ Day – I let him “be” for the day
    • remembering little things at conference – red cardinal on the porch, beautiful gardens
    • being aware of the seeds that God is planting all around and in me
    • hearing His voice, stepping out and connecting with someone with whom there had been a barrier
    • the reading Oswald Chambers about being reckless – stepping out
    • many ideas – sometimes too many but exciting
    • “the real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer” (Oswald Chambers, June 20 )
    • “Word of God speak” by MercyMe
    • awesome weather for a boat ride (forgot my camera) – we saw an adorable duck family – ducklings so tiny trying to keep up to Mom