Tag Archives: Spirit

Regeneration: 3 Ways to Keep in Step with God’s Spirit

I wanted to look at 3 ways to keep with God’s Spirit. This post was first published on Medium.com. I needed regeneration.

We have a water softener in our home in Arizona because the water is extremely hard. For this reason I found my hair didn’t feel as clean as at home with our well water.

Water softeners work by using resins to soften the water.

After a period of time, the resin beads get coated with hard minerals and need to be cleaned. This is called regeneration. Push a button on the water softener and the resin is flooded with the brine water cleaning the hardness and sending the residue down the drain.

I liked that picture in a spiritual sense. I thought of myself as the water softener — my body or the Flesh as the Bible calls it. I know my flesh can get stale, crusty and hardened because of sin.

Sometimes these are sins I don’t even recognize.

I need a water softener (Jesus) to be constantly keeping my flesh clean. But I also need a regenerator system to flush out the stuff that sticks to my insides.

Our sermon this week helped me see this. The pastor focused on Galatian 5:16–25.

Listen to verses 16 and 17:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

So how do I do this? If my flesh wants to control?

But I want to walk in the power of the Spirit. Don’t you?

How?

Galatians 5:22–23 explains the outcome of walking in the spirit — Fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

And verse 25

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

All right I want to do this. I want to walk in the Spirit, keep step in the Spirit.

To listen to the podcast click on picture.

But HOW?

I think there are 3 essential ways that I can keep in step with the Spirit and keep the power of the Spirit flowing through me.

Daily Bible Reading: Reading of God’s Word is essential for anyone who wants to get closer to God. His Word is truth. This is where we get our nourishment. It is where God speaks to us. We need to establish a daily routine to read at least 1 verse per day.

There are many ways to do this.

Some people read a devotional with a scripture to ponder over. Others may read chapters and settle on something that God has pointed to.

I have a method called the SIMPLE method where I can search one verse, study it in context and then listen to what God is saying. And I want to memorize it too. I find art helps me do this too.

Sometimes I draw and colour what a Scripture means to me.

regneration

Sometimes I draw my thoughts into my Bible – Bible Journaling

regneration

Prayer: Yes we need to talk to God. I always pray before during and after I study God’s Word. And throughout the day as well. I want to stay close to the One who gives me life. He speaks when I listen. I must communicate with Him.

Clean out my system: This is what I found out this weekend. I have to clean out my system. Routinely. Yes I need to regenerate. Even with regular Bible study and prayer my soul can get hardened. I can let unfruitful fleshy things infest my soul.

I need to push that REGENERATE button.

How can I do that?

In private I can confess my sins to God and receive His forgiveness.

But a more powerful way is to partake of Holy Communion with a group of like-minded believers. This can cleanse me of all sin (even those hidden ones) and God’s mercy flows during the taking of the blood and wine.

This happened this Sunday. I felt the flow of His forgiveness as I took the bread and the wine. He flushed me clean. He inspired me anew to write for His glory.

Just as the old hymn says:

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now I am renewed, reinvigorated, and regenerated.
I am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, ready to do His will.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, we love that you want this close relationship with us. We want to get closer and closer to you. We know you have set up the means for us to do that — through your Word, Prayer and Communion. Thank You so much. Help us to grow and produce much fruit to glorify Your Name. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

Until next time, think about this: Are you using the 3 methods of producing spiritual fruit? Learn to hear God’s Word through scripture and prayer. And be cleansed by His blood through confession and taking of the elements in communion.

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EMPTY – Five Minute Fridays

I knew I had written on this word before. Here is my post from 2012 with my new thoughts following it. This week’s word from Five Minute Friday is EMPTY.

empty

When I first thought of empty I thought negatively – no thing left. Then I started to think that when something is empty something else fills it up. When you empty your dinner plate – you are full. When we give of our selves or our money we are filled with a feeling of joy being able to help someone else.

So as we empty we fill something else up. It has to go somewhere.

Would the same hold true for emptying ourselves before the Lord?

Giving everything to the Lord we then become empty of the problems, the sin, the frustrations, even the anger. As we empty ourselves we leave a space for God. He enters and we are filled with the goodness of God.

When we cast all our burdens on Him we have the room to become full – full of His grace, full of His compassion, full of His love and forgiveness.

Now I don’t feel empty is a negative word – it is filled with His blessings. (tweet this)

Time’s up (first time in 2012)

Today, 2017, when I think of empty here are my thoughts:

empty

If we don’t empty “us of us” we can’t be filled with the Spirit. (tweet this)

Jesus speaks of being filled with living water. It is what our souls need. In a dry and thirsty desert where we spent the winter I know the need for water.

On finding and accepting Jesus we are no longer empty.

Today I read Oswald Chamber’s and I see that there might still be some things that I have not emptied from my soul. If you read the post you will see that Oswald talks about the high places that were left. Read 2 Chronicles 15:17.

It is the little things that can hold us back. (tweet this)

God wants you to be entirely His. ~ Oswald Chambers

Are you entirely His? Have you completely emptied yourself of all that is not of Jesus?

It takes time. It doesn’t happen with the snap of your fingers. But I believe we need to focus on this.

Be in His Word. Read, pray, talk with other believers.

Time’s up  (second time)

Join others at Five Minute Friday.

empty

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How Can I live a Vital Life?

How Can I live a Vital Life? #WOGSlinkup

I want to live a vital life in Christ. This week I learned the secret.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

I learned from Oswald Chambers that rest does not mean lying down.

  • It does mean rest from being weary or burdened.
  • It means freedom from worry and strife.
  • It means release.
  • It means vitality and joy.

It is like getting out of jail. – running into freedom. Getting far away from where we have been kept in captivity.

It’s expansive. It’s expressive.

Our chains have been let go.

How Can I live a vital life?

Here is Chris Tomlin singing Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone.

Vital

Come to Me – says Jesus
Yes run to Him
Then fly in His freedom

Oswald Chambers says: “I [Jesus] will imbue you with the spirit of life, and you will be stayed by the perfection of vital activity.”

Christ makes Himself the touchstone (Oswald Chambers)

Perpetual vitality – do you want it? Live in the Kingdom of God NOW.

Come to Jesus for a life of vitality.

Find that quiet time to rejuvenate.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, help us to come to You. To be in Your Kingdom each day, to find the rest needed to be vital for Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweets:

Life in the Kingdom of God is expansive, expressive. It is full of life. (tweet this)

Perpetual vitality – do you want it? (tweet this)

I am very excited to announce the publication and arrival of my books of The Kingdom of Thrim. You can find out more at my bookstore.Thrim Pregnancy

Don’t forget you can get 2 free ebooks by signing up to my newsletter.

Today is Word of God Speak – linkup – #WOGSlinkup Please use this hashtag when you tweet.


 

Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

Are you led by the Spirit or Man? Word of God Speak Linkup

This will be a different Word of God Speak today. God has shown me what I need to do and that is listen to His Spirit. Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

I had decided to join an online Bible study that was doing 17 New Testament books in 17 weeks. I realized that it wasn’t for me. I felt rushed and stressed when I thought of doing my studying that way. I’m one who likes to see each individual tree – not the whole forest.

Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

I like to dive deep into one passage or verse. (tweet this)

God stopped me in my tracks. He told me to “stop and smell the roses”. I have a plate that reminds me of that – I just didn’t listen.

Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

I am reading through the Bible in two years and that takes enough effort and time. I read until God shows me something. This morning he showed me Deuteronomy 8:12-14. God is warning the Israelites to obey His Word.

 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down,  and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Last week I did take a look at Galatians 1 and 2 and focused on Galatians 2:20. You can read my post here and listen to my podcast each Tuesday on Hope Stream Radio.

I also painted in one of my regular Bibles as I haven’t bought a Bible journal here in Canada. I actually like the paper in this one which I had found at a garage sale.

But as I continued with Galatians I stopped again at Galatians 3:3:

Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

The Galatians were  being misled by the work of the flesh. Paul calls them foolish (verse 1) and asks if they have received the Spirit by law or by believing.

I live by faith in the Son of God
Who loved me and gave Himself for me (words from I’ve Been Crucified by Christ by Robin Mark).

Are you led by the Spirit or man? Listen to God. (tweet this)

I read a message from a woman in the First5 App who had started back to school and felt overwhelmed a couple of weeks into the semester. She sees the forest and panics. I believe we must see each individual minute as a gift from God; to live each day in a relationship with Him.

And to help me out this week I have started a new way to do my day. I write down 5 tasks I want to complete. I focus on those tasks. I have been doing this and it’s working.

I see each tree and not the forest.

This week’s memory verse is Galatians 3:3 because it reminds me that in everything I will live in the Spirit.

As you can see God led me through many things to get me back on the path of being led by the Spirit and not man. I’m glad to be back.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord for speaking to me about what I can do and not do. Thanks for stopping me and redirecting my path. Let me continue to live in the Spirit – being guided continually each and every moment of the day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

See each tree and not the forest, write down 5 tasks per day and follow that. (tweet this)

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

Are you led by the Spirit or Man?Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

Today is the Linkup for Word of God Speak

 

 

 

[inlinkz_linkup id=625016 mode=1]

Thoughtful Tuesdays – Creative Tuesdays – My Word for 2015

Thoughtful Tuesdays – Creative Tuesdays – My Word for 2015

One of my goals this year was to be intentional – so one way was to join Creative Tuesdays. Every couple of weeks we are given an art challenge.

These were the instructions for this time:

You may have heard of the one little word movement but if you’re still stuck, not to worry! Here’s just one woman’s example.

 

However you choose to focus on your word, the idea is that it’s one that thrills you to action and contemplation.

 

It’s more about using intention for the year which is far more inspiring than making a new year’s resolution that invariably fails with its rather rather energy-sapping tasks.

(Creative Tuesdays).

 

For the last part of 2014 I struggled finding my WORD for this year. I settled on Intentional (which took 2 more posts, an addendum and God Changed my mind). After 16 days of rest, due to a bad bout of flu, I can say that I have been listening to Him.

Here is my artwork that describes my WORD for 2015.

 Word-for-2015webI think my Word for 2015 is RESTORE.

Restore – to grow in each area of my life and produce a crop for Jesus.

I have been reading Titus and also Ed Hird’s book, Restoring Health, Body, Mind and Spirit. Then the Scripture I read next made so much sense.

My life verse is John 21:15, “Feed my lambs”.

So looking at Mark 4:20, I read:

Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown (Mark 4:20, NIV).

The landscape in the background Is my life here on earth – the places I have been, the places I will go to.

The butterfly is to remind me of my freedom in Christ. I was in a cocoon and now I am free – no longer caught in sin but saved by grace.

It is good to look back over 2014, to reflect on accomplishments and to see where God led me.

And I think that it is good to look ahead, but not so focused that I plow before seeding and planting and check the soil conditions too.

Food has been on my mind. I wrote at Family and Faith Matters how we have changed our diet to eat all healthy, natural foods. I want to nourish my body. I hope to write about this again as we closed Family and Faith Matters.

I even went further to look at each area and what I might want to focus on:

MIND – get rid of excess clutter, focus on one thing at a time

BODY – eat good healthy food, lots of fruit, vegetables, grain fed meats, chicken, fish, no GMO if I can help it, no sugars, no grains. I also need daily exercise and fresh air.

SPIRIT – to spend more time in prayer and studying the Bible.

Prayer: Lord, help me to focus on these areas in my life. Be in each area as I make changes and learn more. Help me in my prayer life – teach me to pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Thanks to Michael for his Creative Tuesdays linkup.

I will be pinning my artwork on my wall to remind me of my WORD – RESTORE.

What’s your WORD for 2015. I would love to hear from you.

Tweetable:

What’s your WORD for 2015? Mine is Restore. See how God let me that word. (Click to Tweet)

I joined Creative Tuesdays. What is my Word for 2015? @dottyhill (click to Tweet)

#UTCOP – A prayer for expanding awareness

A prayer for expanding awareness

by Susan Hitchman

A-prayer-for-expanding-awareness
Eternal Lord, by Your great mercy and grace, enable me to know Your presence within me; develop in me a sixth sense, a growing awareness of You, that I may: see the unseen, hear Your silent footfall, taste Your goodness O Bread of Life and Living Water, feel the touch of Your Spirit on mine like fire.

Blind me to this world’s vain fancies, my God. Force me to use my deeper senses to acknowledge and be open to You.

Every day, every hour, every minute, every breath, be thou my vision, O God of my heart.

Tweetable:

Discover a prayer for expanding awareness. by Susan Hitchman #UTCOP A Month of Prayers #prayer. (tweet this)

Here is a version of Be Thou my Vision.

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

 

#UTCOP – How to Exercise your spirit with Prayer

How to Exercise your spirit with Prayer

by Kimberley Payne

How-to-exercise-your-spirit-Kimberley

What is Prayer

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6, NIV).

Prayer builds your spiritual strength. It can include praise, confession, thanksgiving or appeal. Prayer puts you in contact with God, Who has more power than you could ever imagine. When you pray, He hears you and fills you with the power to do things you never thought you could do.

What cardiovascular exercise and strength training do for building a strong body, prayer does to build spiritual strength. Your body requires exercise and food, and it needs these things regularly. You cannot just take care of it at the beginning of the week and forget about it. Your spiritual life is similar to your physical body in that way.

You cannot pray just once and a have healthy growing spiritual life.

What prayer is not

 

Prayer is not just for highly-spiritual people. God delights to have you come to Him with your requests. You do not have to be “good enough” to pray.

Like exercise, prayer is not a one-time thing. You can pray every day, anywhere and any time. It is important to spend time in private prayer each day – just you and God.

Prayer is not talking to others, reading or studying. It is not “doing” something. You need to let everything inside you get still. You may feel compelled to cram every moment with activities and external stimuli.

Still your mind and listen for God’s voice to emerge. (based on Psalm 46:10).

Prayer is not just about you talking to God, but God talking to you.

With prayer you can have a private audience with the Lord. An intimate dialogue goes on inside where there may not be an audible voice, but Spirit to spirit.

Benefits of prayer

 

Allows intimate dialogue with God.

Encourages you to face a new day.

Provides information and strategies.

Accomplishes the impossible.

Develops deeper relationship.

A pure motive delights God.

Prayer, when combined with quiet time, can decrease respiratory rate, heart rate, elevated blood pressure and muscle tension. During prayer, the body escapes from the stresses of everyday life and enters into a relaxed state.

This is an excerpt taken from Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual & physical health

 Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You that we can come to You as we are. You love us and want to hear from us. You are a good and gracious Father.

Tweetable:

Learn how to exercise your spirit through prayer. (tweet this)

 

Kimberley Payne

Kimberley is a motivational speaker and author. Her writings relate raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire people to live lives that glorify God. You can visit her website at www.kimberleypayne.com

 

What is a Weary Prayer?

We have the privilege and pleasure to welcome Tanya of God’s Character as our newest contributor to Under the Cover of Prayer. Please welcome her in the comment section and visit her blog.

What is a Weary Prayer?

by Tanya

pray

 Have you ever made one of those prayers when you were so weary from the praying and seeming to not be getting any answers?

You know the ones in which you just lay there and just sigh because you don’t know what else to say.

I’ve had those types of prayers.

And when I have those prayers I am assured by this promise in God’s Word.

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26, NASB).

Be assured today, that even when you feel
like you can’t pray anymore, God’s Spirit is praying for you.
(tweet this)

 Tanya – from God’s Character

Tanya is a child of God, wife, stay at home mom and homeschooler. She loves the Lord and loves telling people about who He is. By God’s grace her husband and she intend to live out Joshua’s statement “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And so her greatest desire is to see her Lord face to face and along with her family, join in the joyous strains of triumphant voices praising our Lord and King. Check out her blog at God’s Character.

Do I Think Too Much?

Do I Think Too Much?

by Janis Cox

Do I think too much?

Obviously if you are reading this blog, Under the Cover of Prayer – UTCOP, you are interested in prayer and the facets surrounding the practice of prayer.

It seems to me the more I read, the less I know. Why is that? I believe it’s because my brain is trying to learn it all.

But indeed I know that my spirit knows more than my brain thinks.
(click to tweet this)

As I read Oswald Chambers every morning I realize I do think too much. This week I tried to listen to the Holy Spirit rather than my brain.

Oswald Chambers says the “I” factor takes us from interceding for others. We think of what is on the “to do” list. We think of “ifs”. Or we question what should we do.

Chambers asks:

How long is it going to take God
to free us from the morbid habit
of thinking about ourselves?
(Oswald Chambers, June 21) (click to tweet this)

Here’s a Haiku I wrote:

Saved
Jesus Christ
Freed, Open, Peace
Accepting the Holy Spirit
Life

Now I can:

Pray on the realization that you are only perfect in Jesus Christ, not on this plea – “O Lord, I have done my best, please hear me” (Oswald Chambers, June 21).

Prayer:

As I give over my thoughts to the Holy Spirit, help me hear the names of those I am called to pray for. As I become open to the Spirit I thank You for that connection. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

In the coming weeks I will choose to do the priestly work of prayer.
(click to tweet)

I will let the Holy Spirit guide me.

I linked to:

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters. Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

WEDNESDAY’S WORD – Worship

Wednesday’s Word – Worship

Worship by Janis Cox

Watercolour Painting by Janis Cox

Sunday was Ascension Sunday – and we heard a great sermon called “Home Again”. Some of the truths I learned about worship:

      • worship is not just singing to God
      • worship is exercising your spirit (your mind and feelings can be part of this)
      • one of the keys to spiritual power is worship
      • to exercise our spirits we need to work at it – it is like a muscle that needs to be stretched and toned
      • when we sing we need to listen and appreciate the words we are singing
      • we exist to tap into the power of the risen Christ
      • if Jesus is home again, then we are at home with Him
      • the age to study the Bible is now
      • Jesus is at home now preparing a place for us. 

That last one struck home as that is the first piece of Scripture I memorized as a child at a Bible camp:

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:1-6, KJV).

As I worship – whether in prayer, in singing, in walking outside – every way I worship I am working at being aware of God, thanking Him and coming into His Presence.

W.O.R.S.H.I.P.

Willingly Offering Reverence Showing Him Intentional Praise

“Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – This is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV).

This week let’s try to exercise our spiritual muscle. (tweet this)

Each Wednesday we hold a Wednesday’s Word Community. Please check the rules of Wednesday’s Word if you are here for the first time. Feel free to add your link below about God’s Word. And we all love comments.

May you look at worship in a different way this week.

After you link please go to the blog that is in front of you and comment on their site. Words of encouragement mean so much to each of us. If you have time visit more of the writers.
Linking on Wednesdays to:

PROWESS AND PEARLS DEVOTIONALS BY MICHELL PULLIAM