Tag Archives: listen

Time, How God Can Expand it

How Can God Expand Time

Someone asked me if I could do something. I had to say, “I’m sorry at the moment I have no time”. I even said that I wished God would give me another 24 hours in a day. But you know what, He answered me and showed me how to not be concerned with time.

Time - How God Can Expand it

This is the grandfather clock my hubby built.

We are continuing with week three of a Lenten study using The SIMPLE Method of Bible Study.

S – Say the passage out loud. Check other versions.

Today’s study is based on Mark 11:27-33

They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.  “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.  John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references, and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Jesus had just cleansed and cursed the temple. The religious leaders wanted to destroy Him. This is the first of 5 controversies in the temple. Tension is building on the way to the cross.

The temple courts were courts that surrounded the main temple buildings. There was the court of women, court of men (Israelite) and court of Gentiles.

What authority? Priest wanted to know why Jesus could perform an official act when He had no status.

“Heaven” was a common word for “God”.

M – Make list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

Those who called themselves “religious” should have understood Who Jesus was. But they didn’t. They were blinded by obstacles. I was too – See my faith testimony.

Submission to Authority:

The priests had become powerful. They had money and position. They saw Jesus as a threat to that. They reject His authority (28) – See Mark 1:22, Mark 1:27, Mark 2-10-11.

Who is our authority? Is it science, the world, the media, other people, ourselves?

Check out the Evidence:

I read A Case for Christ by Lee Stobel and books by CS Lewis, Max Lucado and of course The Bible to help me answer the question Who is this Jesus? 

It’s a great question that Jesus posed. The evidence is seen in Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 40:3 and by John the Baptist.

But even with all this evidence the priests could not get over themselves and the possibility of losing control.

Fear God rather than man:

Fear of man is a common problem (See Proverbs 29:25). The leading Jewish authorities were afraid of the people. So they waffled and said, “We don’t know”. They wanted to stay safe and comfortable and keep the status quo.

P – Pray – after all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

L – Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (It might be entirely different than your thoughts – that’s okay)

I think it is amazing how God works. This is the passage suggested in the study I am following. And last Sunday it is the text that the sermon was based on. Our pastor, Rick Thiemke, if Via Church in Mesa, Arizona, explained the passage very well and many of my thoughts came from that sermon. I love this quote.

Science is a great description of what God already knows. (click to tweet)

Remember the burning question I had this week: How can I get more time?

I am learning to never say never. God is the God of the impossible. Being God-led means submitting to His authority. I was reminded of two old acronyms and one new one.

 

And my new one – TIME

T – Thankful: Be thankful for each moment of the day.

I – Interest: Show interest and understanding and watchfulness for events around you.

M – More:  God gives us more than we need. He expands time, energy and vision.

E  – Expansion: Our world expands when God is in control. I pray to expand my territory for God.

How do you see TIME? God’s version is different than ours.

Submit to His authority and see TIME expand. (click to Tweet)

The scripture to study for this week will be Colossians 1:17 because I think it encapsulates all the ideas of TIME.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

E – Exit the study with a written prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Oh Father, once again You amaze me of how You put things together – this day, this week, this year. The sermon, this Lenten study, Your words through prayer. You tie is all together. You hold everything together. You even expand time. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — Sign up now.

Please follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

What is a Split-Second Prayer?

What is a Split Second Prayer?

My prayer life is in progress. I read my Bible every day. I learn a little bit here, a little bit there. Jesus teaches me. The Holy Spirit teaches me. This is about a split-second prayer.

split-second-prayer

What is a Split Second Prayer?

I read something the other day that made me have an aha moment. Then I knew I needed to be in constant conversation with God.

Split-Second Prayers

A split-second prayer is a quick communication link
before I start anything.
(tweet this) 

By doing these split-second prayers I get in touch with God instantly.

“In this way, your speaking comes under the control of My [Jesus] Spirit (Jesus Calling, August 3rd).

I remember learning this when I took The Workbook of Living Prayer. I would pray when I heard a fire engine, an ambulance, at a stop light, while in a grocery line, or before I made each phone call.

I wrote back in October 2010, a post called Constant Communication:

In Living Prayer, we are encouraged to find our own pattern of prayer to practice different methods until we discover how we can best communicate with God. What time of day is best for you? Do you use interruptions as a call to prayer (being put on hold on the phone, lineups at the store, traffic lights)? Do you follow a pattern (PATH,  ACTS,  SHELTER )?

Today I thought of other ideas for split second prayers:

      • anytime I am speaking – pray, think, listen, then respond
      • when I begin to write
      • before I begin to paint
      • as I begin to make a meal

Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
(James 1:19, NIV).

Before we do anything, connect with God – it only takes a split second. (tweet this)

Prayer:

Lord, help us to keep up a constant communication. Help us to use split-second prayers so we keep in touch with you. Speak to us. Show us how to listen. Help us be slow to speak so we can listen to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

This post was updated from one I wrote in 2013.

CALL TO ACTION

Do you long for a deeper relationship with God?
Are you tired of being tired?
Would you like to feel God’s peace, protection and strength?

Grow Through God’s Word is a safe Facebook group where we learn scriptures, dabble in Bible art, and express our thoughts and questions on scripture. To join answer the 3 questions.

Click on the image and it will take you to the Facebook Group.

Would you like to learn more about Bible Journaling? Please add your name to the waiting list for a Free Bible Art course.

Click on the image to sign up for the waitlist for the course.

 

 

Connect – Five Minute Fridays

Connect – Five Minute Fridays

Today’s word for Five Minute Fridays is CONNECT.

connect

I read today from Psalm 145:18:

God’s there, listening for all who pray,
    for all who pray and mean it (The Message).

It is very important that we connect with God. We need that personal connection. We need to both speak and listen. (tweet this)

 

It hasn’t been easy to do this. The first time I heard about talking to God I didn’t know what to say. That’s when help came in the form of an acronym.

A.C.T.S.

connect

By using these words I can focus on what I am to say. For example:

Adoration: I can use a Psalm to read and then praise the Lord for being who He is.

Confession: I think over my past 24 hours. What changes might I have made if I had been truly in His Spirit.

Thanksgiving: I love this one. Thanking God for things that are happening. Seeing the world around me. Thinking about the food I eat, the clean water I drink, the clean bed I sleep in, the family that loves me. I could go on and on for this one.

Supplication: This is where I think of all those who need God’s help. I say their names. I say the problems and ask for God’s help in whatever they need.

That’s connection.
When I learn to connect with God I find peace and joy in each day. (tweet this)

But there’s more to connection that talking. There is also listening. This took me much longer to do this part and I still struggle with this part of connecting with God.

When I sat still for the first time and tried to listen to God it was difficult. But I persevered for 5 minutes. The next time became easier. But I still have interruptions, thoughts that wander and come in to my thinking that are not of the Lord. So I am working on this.Connect

It’s the first part of L.I.S.T.E.N. – Let God speak – that is the hardest for me. (tweet this)

What about you? How do you connect with God? What part do you have the most trouble with?

Joining Katemotuang.com for Five Minute Fridays – we write for five minutes – no editing.

Surrender

Find out more about my award winning children’s books at my bookstore. A Growing with God series.

connect

connect

 

How Do You Combat Fear?

How Do You Combat Fear?

how do you combat fear

How Do You Combat Fear?

I read with great interest today the introduction to lesson 4 of Priscilla Shirer’s Seed Pack. The title is Armour and the topic is “Stage Fright”. One thing really hit me – we CAN battle fear with Scripture.

She says:

“Scripture became my offensive weapon.”

That is powerful for me.

Lies that Satan puts on our hearts and into our minds need to be battled with Scripture, God’s Holy Word, and with prayer. (tweet this)

Our group picked Jeremiah 1:6-9 to study and came up with many ideas of how this passage speaks to each one of us.

““Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with youand will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.”

Beth Moore in our study of Esther says:

Our fears become like long bony index fingers pointing at our vulnerabilities. (Beth Moore, Esther Bible Study) (tweet this)

Try it – study Scripture – God says to be not afraid. Believe it. (tweet this)

DOWNLOAD 2 FREE BOOKS – LIVING LIFE ONE WORD AT A TIME and 5 WAYS GOD CAN CHANGE YOU.

how do you combat fearhow do you combat fear

Janis is author of Tadeo Turtle. Read more about him here.

How do you combat fear?

 

Sunday Stillness – LISTEN

Sunday Stillness – LISTEN

LISTENThinking today of how much I don’t listen to God. How I get going with things and forget – oh yes Lord – what do you think? Then this acronym came to me. I loved the chairs I found at PicMonkey – just what I needed to sit and reflect on His Word.

Please read the wonderful blogs who have linked below.

You are welcome to link if you follow the rules.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends who are listening to God as He speaks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those visiting please check out the posts that are linked below. And everyone loves comments.

If you write about God’s Word, join us in providing your link about what God has spoken to you about this week. Thanks so much to the wonderful contributors.

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Do you have a Scripture that spoke to you this week? Please link below. If you post to Twitter use #sundaystillness and @authorjaniscox.

Feel free to pin the picture. Follow me at AuthorJanisCox on Pinterest.

I would love it if you would subscribe to my blog. See the sidebar to enter your email address.

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY – 
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community

Still Saturday

 

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Scripture and Snapshot

The Weekend Brew

 


WHAT CAN I PRAY FOR?

What Can I Pray For?

by T. L. Wiens

QUESTION

What Can I Pray For?

I recently ran into the idea that we must only pray for what we need. Although I don’t agree, it did get me thinking about what should be the nature of our prayer requests.

David prayed for many things in the Psalms― safety, forgiveness and, at times, his prayers were praise to God. David’s prayers seem to go far beyond what I would label as needs.

In Romans 8:15-16 we read:

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

“Abba” translates as “Daddy.” What would I ask my daddy for?

Since our excitement losing our roof, wind bothers me. Is it a need for the wind not to blow? Some might argue that I need more faith that God won’t let the roof blow away again. Whatever the case, I have prayed on several occasions for the wind to stop blowing and God has heard my prayers. On one particular occasion, I looked at the forecast—three solid days of wind. I cried to God and the wind stopped. We had three days of calm. Was it a need? Not really but God heard me and answered.

Should we limit our prayers to only what we see as needs? Romans 8:26 says:

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

If I don’t even know what to pray for, how do I know when my prayers encompass my needs? I talk to God about everything. I leave my requests in His hands and trust He knows my needs and will differentiate between the frivolous and the necessary. He is, after all, my “daddy.”

Related articles

 

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.

 

HOW TO FIND GOD WHEN IT’S CRUNCH TIME

Finding God when it’s Crunch Time

-that is the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

by Janice Keats

Storm

Starting a business has its challenges. There are set-up costs, staffing, supplies and purchases, and so on but who would have thought that a natural storm would come into play?

With a truck and U-Haul in tow, my daughter, along with her husband and infant made our way to Newfoundland to open their business. The long drive from one end of the province to the other was long and tiresome but that wasn’t an issue. The set-up of the business while it was hard work that wasn’t an issue either. It wasn’t until we completed the job that we were faced with a storm.

It was a combination of hurricane sandy and a Nor’easter. When we made it back to the ferry terminal, Marine Atlantic announced that all service to Nova Scotia had come to a standstill due to high winds. That was after we waited in line for 6 hours. As luck would have it we were the very next vehicle to board the ferry if there was one.

We were informed that another ferry was on its way and we were rescheduled. So another 6 hour wait. Not so fast…more grim news. With the gentle tapping on our window from the worker we knew what it meant. That’s when the agonizing moments reached its height.

What do we do now? We cannot put my little grandson through another long wait, it was too hard for him. It had been a hard working week and we were all ready to be in our own homes comfortably settled after this journey.

We had no idea when the ferry service would be back on track. So we drove to Corner Brook for the night and possibly longer. So what do we do?

After a long debate we decided that my daughter and her baby and myself would fly back to Halifax and my son-in-law would be on stand by for the ferry service. It was how we made our decision that everything worked out for the good. As we were agonizing what to do, we settled it God’s way.

We finally agreed that if the ferry service was on schedule the following morning we would return but if it wasn’t we would fly home. We waited and trusted God for the answer. Well, it wasn’t on schedule. We got the “maybe” and “later” but no confirmation except God’s and we were certainly at peace with that.

It was the handing over the situation to God that brought the peace that was needed during those trying moments. We settled on the fact that we knew what to do in the morning. That’s leaving it with God. That’s trusting God in the heart of a storm!

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

CAN I DUMP MY ANGER?

After sharing a short testimony at a prayer time, Janis asked me to write a guest blog. I’m so happy to be able to share how God answered my prayer to conquer anger.

Each issue that causes us to nurture anger within is so similar in so many ways that to tell the specifics and cause isn’t necessary for this testimony. ~ Elizabeth.

We welcome this guest post from Elizabeth.

Can I Dump my Anger?

stern_anger

by Elizabeth Michel

At first my anger and hurt came easily. It was delicious to unwrap yet another angle of what had happened and savour it. But after a few weeks, my mind became trained by repetition to constantly throw angry thoughts into its forefront. I couldn’t break the pattern and what was sweet had become bitter. My own thoughts were exhausting and repugnant to me but like a broken record they played over and over.

“But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears” (Psalm 18:6 NLT).

Because God created me to be a visual artist, He knew what I needed. Just as I shut my eyes to pray again for help, God placed a simple image of a rain barrel in my mind that has helped me cope often since that day.

The outside of the barrel was a lovely turquoise but a look at its holdings revealed green sludge and algae. Full to the brim and ready to crack, the rain barrel symbolized me and the sludge within was my anger.

The barrel sat at the edge of a hill and I knew what I had to do. I pushed on the rain barrel as hard as I could while my frustration and tears slopped out and ran down. One more huge push toppled the barrel and the stagnant slime gushed down the hill, leaving me an empty vessel to be filled with greater care.

The scene reminded me of an illustration I had been working on from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Find the illustration at www.intoabookbybee.com.

When Christian looked to the cross he finally lost his burden of sin as it rolled down the hill and into the sanctuary. We can echo Christian in his praise for the One who frees us from our binding sin when we look to the cross and ask.

Burden Relieved by Elizabeth Michel

Burden Relieved by Elizabeth Michel

“Thus far did I come loaden with my sin,
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this?

Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me, crack?

Blessed Cross! Blessed Sepulchre! Blessed rather be
The man that there was put to shame for me.”

-Christian (in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress)

Elizabeth is a visual artist who is striving to be more involved in the children’s book industry through illustrating and writing. She and her husband live in Port Perry, Ontario where she also enjoys oil painting during her downtime. Visit her sites at www.elizabethmichel.com  and   www.intoabookbybee.com

HOW WILL I KNOW?

How Will I Know?

by Patricia Day

How will I hear my mother's voice?

How will I know my mother’s voice?

Watching “Happy Feet”, the movie, recently, I was enamored by the little penguin who, when waiting for his mother to return from feeding, was told to listen for her voice.  His response was:

“But, father, how will I know her voice?”

Good question – especially when, on the horizon appear thousands of female penguins returning to their partners and babies.  It was essential that he recognize her call, in order to be fed; otherwise he would perish.  He was not to know that instinct would kick in and, yes, he would recognize her voice.

Non-Christians are often skeptical, when hearing that Christians listen to God.

‘How do you know it’s God?’ they ask.  ‘It could be you listening to your own sub-conscious thinking’.

Well, yes it could, but the difference is that the voice invariably has advice that we had not thought of ourselves; or it is an idea that takes us by surprise when we have covered all the angles or options.  It is always wise, sound advice.  It is never negative or harmful and often saves us from disaster.

God tells us in His Word (the Bible):

“I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep [my people], as I said to you.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:25-29 NKJV). Emphasis is the author’s.

I love this analogy.  It is a clear expression of the doubt of not knowing the source of unseen power, also of not trusting that good old gut-feeling.  We always have to logic away anything we cannot understand.

To hear God’ voice is a very simple act of quietly listening and trusting, because what we hear feels right or good and, as in the case of the little penguin, it could be life-saving.

Prayer: 

Lord God, help us to quiet ourselves and listen to the whisper that we are often aware of, but choose to ignore.  In this New Year, let us choose to follow you and be led by Your voice, Your guidance, and let us be sheltered by Your protection.  Amen.

Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Writing has always been a passion of Patricia. She can express myself better in writing, than verbally.  She enjoys creating short stories and devotionals. Her favourite past-times: family-time; gardening; reading; walking and listening to good music. Married.  Mother of two sons; step-Mom to a son & daughter and Nana to ten.

Look for her devotionals at Pepe Prays and her blog at Patters Matters.

Patricia has recently completed her first novel – Eleanor, A Stolen Childhood – which is in the process of publication.  Her second novel, Priscilla – Hidden in the Shadows is now being written.