Thought for the day: Advice. Who do you go to for advice? Why? We all have that person, or people, we seek advice from when we are at a crossroads. The real question is: do you follow their advice? It has worked both ways for me. There are a handful of people who I go to. And by handful, I mean less than five. God is included in that count. Sometimes I listen and follow, other times…. Perhaps I didn’t like what they said (including God), so, I did my own thing anyway. You? I’m pretty sure, our stories of doing our own thing all turned out similar. Difficult, and stressful. Can you relate? Why, do we do that? Two words: pride, easy. Our pride that we know best gets in the way, and we want an easy, comfortable, life. Yet, we get the opposite. You? There was a man that at every trun in his life sought advice from God. Moses. He led the Israelites out of Egypt. No simple task. Throughout the Book of Exodus we can read over and over, he cried put to God. May we take his example and when we cry out to God for advice, DO what He says. “Then Moses cried out to the LORD,… So Moses did this…” Ex. 17:5-6 #spreadthewordacrosstheglobe #advicelistenanddo
Ahhh, the infamous holiday made just for couples is approaching – Valentine’s Day!
While many seem to be planning, and preparing for this weekend’s big couples event, Valentine Day, you choke back another tear and try to cover up the pain. We have four days until Valentine’s Day; the coveted day which all couples are honored. They will fill restaurants, and movie theaters; jeweler’s will over staff employees, greeting card manufacturers will make millions of cards, candy makers will box their finest chocolates into multiple sizes of heart shaped boxes, and retailer’s will sell out. As the day approaches many will feel the excitement in anticipation of the gift their loved one will bring them.
Yet, there are also others that have their relationship crumbling around them. The joy that was in their step is now a stumble, and the light of love has darkened.
They are in a relationship, but are unfulfilled. While in their relationship they are made to feel less than, told that conversations with them are difficult, and life was easy before them. They keep the hurts secret from the outside world. They stay hidden from the freedom that being in a true love relationship brings. The laughter, and joy, once shared fades into the background as two lives move deeper into the fork of the road. Some may sit and stare at a Valentines gift that was purchased with love, hope for the future, and joy in anticipation of the look on their spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend’s, face. All along wondering do I give it to them, put it up, or return it? They pray, try harder, keep hoping and waiting all along thinking things will change. But, they don’t. At least for the better they don’t. In this week of “love” instead of feeling loved and special. You feel alone, and broken hearted. If this is you – I understand.
I know what it’s like to have a relationship begin to crumble, and with each day more and more pieces fall away. You try to glue them back on, yet with each setback the glue breaks free and takes a bigger piece with it. I know what it’s like to chase a lie. To have that relationship where you feel less than. Where the gas tank of hope for a future, to build and share life together moves to empty. Where the lies are revealed over and over until finally – the pixie dust that gave the illusion of glam and glitter fade to gloom and grief.
The question that lies before us when our relationship begins to fade, and crumble, is:
“How long will you … pursue a lie?” Ps. 4:2b
I’m not saying because you may be going through a rough time, not to give it your all. I’m not saying if you are married to get a divorce. What the question poses is: who are you loving more? Who are you giving your focus, and energy to?
God says we are to put Him first.
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” Ex. 20:3-5a
- Are you pursuing a lie by worshiping a relationship that you know is not right?
- Have you put the other person ahead of God?
- Do you try to please them more than pleasing God?
- Have you made them your idol?
If you answered yes to any of those, God asks – “How long.” How long will you continue to do that?
Questions I once had to ask myself, and answers I had to face.
If you are in a relationship that is abusive: physically or mentally seek help immediately. God never calls us to be abused.
As we approach Valentine Day may we turn our hearts to The One that created it:
“For it was You who created my inward parts.” Ps. 139: 13a
He is the One who:
“The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.” Zeph. 3:17 HCSB
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 Jn. 3:1a NIV
“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.” Ez. 34: 15-16a NIV
“He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.” SS. 2:4 NIV
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” Dt. 7:6 NIV
As Valentine’s Day approaches lets ask ourselves those hard questions, and face the answers. Answers that my be painful, but ones we need to realize. Answers that may tell us to stop pursuing the lie, and instead pursue our Creator.
May you find your true valentine; The One that waits for you with open arms.
“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Pe. 3:9b NIV
This year let us allow Him to be our True Valentine.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015, re-post 2/11/2017 and edited
*picture by nanahood, forestwander, sermonsfromseattle
They say: God’s timing is perfect; God’s way is the best way; God will lead you on the path He has for you; and God has something better in store for you.
Those are a few things I’ve heard over the last six months. And yet, in the last six months I’ve seen none of those come to fruition. I’ve even spoken those words to others, and to myself. But lately when I hear those things my response has been “well that’s the rumor isn’t it.” Does that mean I no longer trust God, or believe Him? For some of you reading this it may be longer than six months, it may be years.
There’s an area in my life that has not come to fruition in years. So I can relate on the waiting. This writer does not claim to be a patient person, nor ask for patience. No, no, no. Careful with that.
Recently I sat in a church service where people were sharing their testimonies’ and one of them shared “we were faithful, tithed, and now we are debt free!” Speaking for myself my eyes flashed a picture of my current circumstance and I immediately tuned out. Instead my conversation with God began – I too tithed faithfully, yet received double debt, AND no job, while being on the path I believed you had for me. Can you relate?
When I shared my frustration with some of my friends here came the “sayings.” Again I responded with “well that seems to be the rumor.” I share this with you because I don’t want any of my readers to think I have a perfect life and everything is roses all the time. I am just as human with my own faults, struggles, doubts, and fears. Sometimes it’s not until my fingers hit the keys of my lap top, and I begin to seek out His answers for me that I begin to see His view. If you can relate let’s go through this together. When life gets hard it makes it somewhat easier to have a friend go through it with you. Let me say too, I do not negate my friends they mean well, they love me, and want the best. I love and cherish each one of them. However, when you are on a different road it’s sometimes hard to relate. So girlfriend, guy friend, if you’re on the same road of Struggle Street let’s do this together.
“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” Ro. 1:12 NLT
What is the rumor?
- Is it that God knows best?
- Is the underlying tone God strings us along only to bring us to our demise?
Look at the last question that is what Satan would want us to believe in an effort to get us away from God. We need to be careful not to allow bitterness to seep in and take over.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Heb. 12:15 NLT
According to Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary rumor is defined as, “information or a story that has passed from person to person yet has not been proven to be true.” Yes, you and I may be in our positions because of decisions we made. However, God uses everything (that word is an all-inclusive) for the good of those that love Him, and who have been called according to his purpose. Ro. 8:28. Even if you are in your current position by someone else’s decisions Romans 8:28 still applies.
The question remains: how do we get past the rumor and move on to truth?
There’s a saying that is used when people are in the middle of a difficult time: you can’t see the tree when you are looking at the forest. I know – that’s the rumor. Thought I’d try a little humor! It made me chuckle, hopefully you did too. Using the metaphor combined with God’s Word let’s try looking at the tree past the forest.
In Joshua chapter four the Israelites just crossed the Jordan River and God has directed them to gather twelve stones one for each tribe represented. I imagine the look on their faces must have held the question: what for? God proceeds to tell them because the stones will serve as a reminder of what God has done. (Jos. 4:1-9) Rumor or Truth? No rumor there. They lived it, breathed it, saw it, felt it, and walked it. That my friends is pure truth. For a moment let’s take a look back into our own lives. Grab a pen, pencil, crayon, lipstick, or mascara, whatever you have handy to write with, and a piece of paper. I’ll wait.
Moving past the rumor write down events in your life where God clearly was at work. It may have been 5, 10, 15, even 20, years ago, write it down! It’s all relevant. There may be one big thing or several things, our goal is to make our own standing stones.
“These stones are to be a memorial to (us) forever.” Jos. 4:7b parenthesis mine
If God did for the Israelites (and for us), does he change? Rumor? No.
“I the LORD do not change.” Mal. 3:6a NIV
God does not change, but our circumstances do. The rumor Satan would have us believe is that God changed. Things may be difficult now, the future unknown and unseen, yet –
“God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Ro. 11:29 NIV
So the next time the forest blocks the tree –
- Point your face towards the heavens
- Get out your standing stones
- Recite them out loud with confident conviction – there is no rumor – it’s all truth: I lived it, breathed it, saw it, felt it, and walked it! Our God does not change.
“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.” Dn. 6: 26b – 27a. NIV
When we seek Him, He allows us to find him. (Jer. 29:13-14) At this I am humbled, and grateful, that we serve a God that is merciful, understanding, and loving.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2014, re-post with edits Dec. 2016
*picture by fisherynation, 12stone
My writing is late today for several reasons, but the main one is I couldn’t pull any thoughts together. Then tonight while watching Tim Allen in Santa Clause 3, it occurred to me – do we treat God like Santa?
I ask because in the beginning there is a scene with Tim Allen -as Santa, and he says “What does Santa do? He delivers!” What does Santa deliver? Gifts, toys, and our wants – down to our last whimsical wish. This is the season for Christmas movies, and I love all of them! They are upbeat, always end good, and everyone ends up happy. They are a great escape for a couple of hours because real life doesn’t always work that way.
As we get older do we still ask Santa for things, and deep down hope he delivers? Last night’s movie was Elf with Will Farrell, I laugh every time I see it. Towards the end, Michael Hobbs, played by Daniel Tay grabs Santa’s big book. In it all the names are written and what each person asked for, Michael Hobbs is trying to improve the Christmas Spirit when he takes it to a reporter and proceeds to tell her what she asked Santa for, after sharing what several children had asked for. She asked for an engagement ring, and for her boyfriend to stop dragging his feet. Deep down there’s still a kid in all of us, or we wouldn’t take our requests to Santa. There’s the inner child that loves to hear the Ho-Ho-Ho, and get the candy cane from the white glove! We put on our best clothes to go see the man in the red suit, and prepare months in advance what we will ask for. We can recite our items in seconds, and may even take time to write it down. Just in case Santa forgets.
Parents, and grandparents, listen intently to each child’s request in an effort to obtain the item requested of Santa. We don’t want to make Santa look bad, after all we don’t always get what we ask for from God. Because of that do we attempt to make Santa real? Could it be because we can touch, feel, and see Santa we gravitate towards the belief? His kindness and infectious laugh that makes his belly jiggle like a bowl full of jelly, the help he gets with the elves, and Rudolph’s red nose! Have we made Santa bigger than God?
About 10 feet away stands a three foot Santa, next to the nativity scene. Santa is taller, and figuratively bigger, but the power to behold is the comparison to the three inch baby in the manger.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isa. 9:6 NLT
My Santa has packages in his bag, and hanging from his arm. The baby lies in a blue blanket holding nothing.
“She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger.” Lk. 2:7 NLT
I love Christmas, Santa, snowmen, sleighs, and songs but they don’t compare to the reality of Jesus in my life. The gifts Santa brings are tangible, and eventually will break, get donated, thrown away, retuned, or put up never to be seen again. The gift baby Jesus has is intangible. It is the gift of eternal life.
“The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Lk. 2:11 NLT
His gift cannot be taken away, discarded, put up, or given to another. His gift is for you, me, and all who believe. In Jesus, not Santa.
“If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. The LORD helps and delivers them; He will deliver them from the wicked and will save them because they take refuge in Him” (Ro. 10:9 & Ps. 37:40 HCSB)
HE is: The True Deliverer! Who do you seek gifts from?
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016 re-post from 2014
*picture from savingsmania, fanpop
As the study of Daniel came to a close today I found the title Beth gave ironic, “Time Gives Way To Eternity.” (Moore – Daniel Lives of Integrity Words of Prophecy) What is the end, really becomes the beginning. So many times in life we get so caught up in the ending, and look at it as a bad thing.
What if we changed our perspective and instead said,
“This is just the beginning for a new thing!” In Revelation Jesus says, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5a HCSB)
Even Daniel, as the book closes in chapter twelve, is told by God, “As for you go on your way to the end, you will rest, then…” (Dn. 12:13a HCSB). The word “then” indicates a next thing, something else, and it’s not over. What is it in your life that appears, by all the surrounding circumstances, to be the end?
In my life I have had several things that I thought was the end, however given some time it was not. When one job would end and I would think, I’ll never find another job, one would present itself. When a relationship would end, another would begin. Maybe not right away, which is a good thing. You may be thinking, well it was the end because of a death. I cannot say if that person will be in heaven or not and you will see them again, only God knows. What I can say to you is:
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There is no favoritism with God.” (Ro. 10:13 & Ro. 2:11 HCSB)
Isn’t that refreshing! Everyone! No favoritism! In my family my brothers and I have a joke with our parents that one of us is the favorite. Since I am the only girl, my line is “I am the favorite daughter!” Of course by reverse logic, as my youngest brother likes to point out, the opposite would also be true. I’d be the least favorite, ha-ha! Either way, there’s a favorite. Our mother, like any other mother, takes the politically correct route by saying each of us is her favorite by position in the family, or by career. That’s safe because there’s only one oldest, one middle, and one youngest, and we each have our own careers. One is not better or more loved than the other. The same is with God – no favorites.
As life moves us through our planned out journey each step builds on the other. As we go through twists, turns, trials, and triumphs we take with us a piece of that experience into the next place, path, and purpose. Take a moment to reflect on your life. What have you learned, and gained, from each experience? Did you think at a particular moment –this is the end? Yet, you are still here.
Earlier this week, I will share with you, it was not good for me. I was feeling like everything was hopeless. I called one of my best friends and shared my frustrations, thoughts, and feeling with her. Since I know her and the struggles she has, I knew she would agree with me. That’s what I was looking for. I can’t be the only one that knows who to call when I want someone on my side. I wasn’t looking for encouragement. The invitation was to join in on my pity party. Can you relate? Do you do the same thing? Can I just tell you, I had my party hooked up! Balloons, streamers, confetti – it was an all-out event full of “woe is me’s,” and I had someone to join me! Together we were having one of the best pity parties until – another One showed up.
This is what happens when a child of God throws a fit, and thinks it’s the end. The Holy Spirit in the midst of the party interceded, in the weak moment of: woe is me, all is lost, it’s the end – He shows up “and helps us in our weakness.” (Ro. 8:26a NLT). At that the party was over, and she and I laughed! Our sorrow turned to joy! Oh don’t get me wrong the troubles are still there. Just not as prevalent because
“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Ro. 8:28 NLT).
God has no favorites, and in fact waited for two of His children to get together before intervening and ending the pity party. Your sorrow will turn to joy, as a new thing begins.
When we find our self in the wilderness, and the forest thick before us, with darkness surrounding, dig deep in the recess of our memory and proclaim,
“forget all that (whatever is in front of you, behind you, covering you) – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun (by ending what was)! Do you not see it?” (Isa. 43:18-19a NLT parenthesis mine)
So what we think is the end is really the beginning.
Dear one, like Daniel, your story is not over. Girlfriend, guy friend, we have eternity ahead of us. The time with God will be for an eternity. How do you even begin to measure that? I am such a goal-oriented, people person, that given any opportunity to make a list, and I’m on it! I’m your girl! Thinking of eternity for me, gives me time to make quite the to-do list, and sitting at the top will rest these words:
“Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5a HCSB)
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2014 – re-post, edited, Dec. 2016
*picture by thehappinesszone, deviantart, webmastergrade
Tomorrow will mark another day I journey across the Bay.
Last week I was listening to some lessons on-line by Beth Moore, in this particular lesson she said, “Sometimes God has us experience things so we can minister to another, and so that we can speak about it.” I agree, yet my spirit cried out “when can I stop experiencing all the hard things, and begin to experience good things?”
Have you been going through some rough days, months, or years?
I may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I firmly believe that we all do experience things so that we can help another, and encourage another, when they experience them.
But man. You too? I know, right.
I will echo the words of the Apostle Paul –
“And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.” Phil. 1:12 NLT
Before someone tells me we are very fortunate in America. That there are millions across the globe that have nothing, and daily have to walk miles for food. There are millions of others that deal with an illness, or incurable disease. I agree with you. Travesties far worse. When your world was flipped upside down, it becomes a challenge to put those things into perspective as you stare into the forest before you.
My perspective is from someone that had their life mapped out, everything was going well, until – it was flipped upside down. The table began to tilt with the lay-off. Three and a half years later it was upside down. But isn’t it funny that while upside down I had only one way to look – UP.
I’ve heard it said “it is better to have nothing than to have and lose it all.” I never really understood that. I was one of those that would say, “It’s only things,” “If you lose your job you can get a new one.” Those statements are true, but the ability to cope is much tougher. It was three years before I found a job, a full-time, permanent, with benefits, job. The ones in-between were part time, or seasonal, and the pay was marginal.
“…the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me; this will lead to my deliverance.” Phil. 1:19b NLT
Can you relate? Have you been there? Are you there now?
If you are, I understand. When the table of our life gets flipped upside down its:
“Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Phil. 2:4 NLT
I know how your emotions can be up one day and down the next. I know how others close to you won’t, or don’t, even offer to help. Their reason – “you never asked.” I mean really? You can’t just do something? I know how the people you thought were your friends never called and asked – how are you? How are things? Instead they stayed away. If someone would have asked me five years ago, if all this would have happened. I would have probably said, “unlikely.” How wrong I would have been.
None of us know the path God has laid out for us. But what I do know, having journeyed on the road you may be on today, is to keep going. Don’t give up.
When you want to stay in bed, with the covers over your head. Get up.
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Phil. 4:12 NLT
What may be in front of you now is the forest, and you can’t see the tree, but friend just put one foot in front of the other, and keep going.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13 NLT
During this time look for what God wants you to do? In the midst of everything this blog was birthed. It came with ease, although at times I suffer writer’s block, or time constraints, but God will make a way for His will to be done.
Each day I made a list of three things. I had to do these three things in order:
- Read my bible
- Apply for 3 jobs
- Write on my blog
Start small. Make your list to fit your situation. Find at least three things to do each day. Something to keep you busy, productive, and focused, as you journey on your path.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Mt. 6:33 NLT
We who love Jesus are all called to spread His Good News. Wherever God plants your feet – share. Talk to people. Friend, you and I are not alone in our struggles. It may be dressed differently, but it brings with it the same fears, tears, and doubts.
“Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Ps. 96:2-3 ESV
I wish I could tell you that tomorrow your struggle will be over. But, I cannot. I have no idea. Except that one day it will end. The gates of heaven will open and things will begin to change. Hang in there. In the meantime, sing, seek, and declare glory to Him.
In the years of my struggle, I learned a side of God that I had not known before. Friend, I pray as you seek Him in your time of struggle you will learn more about the God that loves you. His Son that gave His life for you, and the Spirit He gives today for wisdom.
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be hoy and without fault in his eyes.” Eph. 1:4 NLT
Tomorrow as I journey across the Bay, day in and day out, I’ll watch for opportunities to share, encourage, and inspire, another – for His glory.
“No, dear brother and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Phil. 1:13 NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by tenspeedhero, imgarde, pixgood
Recently I saw the movie Florence Foster Jenkins. Even though the setting was early 1900’s the reviews had all been good, so why not see it. In the beginning I was a bit hesitant about it, but thankfully I had my popcorn to keep me busy as the movie progressed. I’m one of those people that have to have my popcorn. I could go to dinner before the movie, be completely full, but once I get in and the aroma hits my nose – I have to have it! Are you like that? Or you could be like one of my friends who has to have milk duds at the movies. I don’t know what it is about milk duds and popcorn at a movie, I’d like to think they help with concentration.
If you’ve seen it then you can picture the scenes in your head, if not I’ll try to paint the picture. She was a woman who was well to do, and had founded a music club in New York City. Her 2nd husband was the narrator of the performances. She held such a love of music that it spilled over into her own home, and eventually onto Carnagie Hall.
What’s the big deal you may think. Ok, fair. But she could not hold a tune, much less put several together. She had a well known vocal teacher conduct lessons. He would encourage her despite the shrills and shreks that viberated from her vocal chords. She had also hired an young pianist to play while she sang. Everyone was to encourage her. They told her she was spectacular! They told her she sang beautifully!
Is that wrong? If a person has no talent, but filled with courage and passion, should we encourage them to continue? Let’s sit on that for a minute.
As if being tapped on the shoulder I turned my attention to the Apostle Paul, and as if I were in the midst of the crowd at Philipi as his letter was read:
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.” Phil 1:27-30 NLT
I thought of Florence Foster Jenkins. She pressed on, fought the good fight to keep music alive. She was not intimidated, but instead pressed on to rent out Carnagie Hall! And, to top it off – gave 1000 tickets away. I must admit, like the others in the movie, I was shocked too. All of the encouragement she had received pushed her to do, what others only thought – the impossible.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crused. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.” 2 Cor. 4:8 NLT
What is it in your life that you need courage for? What are you facing that seems by all standards – impossible?
Florence lived with syphyllis and with each day she had no idea if it would be her last, yet that did not stop her. With grace and passion she lived her dreams. She grabbed the moments and each word of encouragement and pressed on. With her as an example – aren’t we to do the same thing for Christ?
Christ does not call us to live by:
- Fear – “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.” Ps. 112:7 NLT
- Regret – ”For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” 2 Cor. 7:10 NLT
- Anxiety – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Pe. 5:7 NIV
- Worry – “People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Mt. 6:32b-33MSG
We each have a ministry to fulfill while we are on this planet. I don’t know what God has called you to do? For Florence Foster Jenkins He called her to sing her heart out, enjoy the moment, and live life to enrich others with music. For me He has called me to teach. For now it is to teach in Corporate America. To use the gift of gab to encourage, coach, motivate, and guide others to know how to do their jobs. Along the way I can share the love of Christ thru my actions, and words. A smile here, kind word there. There’ll be no singing from me. No one would encourage that, trust me.
What about you? What’s your song?
I’ve had people say to me:
- “I just don’t know what I want to do with my life.”
- “I’m not sure what God wants me to be?”
- “How will I know?”
Friend, if that’s you, I can’t answer those questions. But what I can tell you is, the lesson I learned before seeing Florence Foster Jenkins. If the doors open by faith, as long as it is not immoral or illegal, walk through it. I thought I was to go to law school and become an attorney. But, after one year God said “not this my child.” The door closed. Had I not followed I would have never met great people whom today I call friends. Learned that I had more in me to give than I thought, and learned out prioritize as to what is important. For one year I sang my heart out.
To know what God has for you, you have to:
- Be IN His Word. Read it. Study it. – Daily.
- Pray – communicate with Him – Daily.
- Watch for those doors to crack open – Daily.
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jer. 29:11 MSG
With that get on your stage of Carnegie Hall. Perform like you are the only one in the room. As far as the question of encouraging someone with no talent is right or wrong, well, I will let God be the judge of that. For now you and I are just to follow Him, and perform!
And as the letter to those in Philippi was read we are encouraged by Paul to trust in Christ until the end. Our sustaining power.
“Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.” Phil. 1:28-30 NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by clatl, suggest-keywords
Good morning everyone!
Here we sit in mid-July, and I hope you have had a wonderful summer so far. If you have found yourself busy, or with little time, I hope you have something planned. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant trip, but some time to sit with God and reflect. Ponder His word, and look at His glory that surrounds us.
Last night I walked out my back door, and suddenly my breath left me for a moment. My eyes had landed on the most spectacular sunset I’d seen in a while! There were so many colors, all intertwined with each other radiating beauty. I stopped what I was doing, snapped a picture and just sat for a moment. Have you ever found yourself in those moments? Moments that take your breath away.
The bible tells us about the glory of God, yet I don’t think I really grasp it until something takes my breath away. What about you?
As the boldness of the colors shouted God’s glory and presence this week I thought we’d focus on a verse the Israelites found themselves looking at the glory of the LORD. I don’t know about you, but I want God to show me His glory!
“And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the LORD in the cloud.” Ex. 16:10 NLT
Friends, this week look for the glory of God. He will take your breath away. I promise.
This week God, show off for us! So that we may see, and boast of, your glory!
© Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
This weekend we will move into July 4th. Time to remember the benefits of the gift we have received.
A time to remember those that fought for our freedom. They gave their lives, so we could have a life. A life of safety, choices, and free speech. We live in a country where we can pick our religion without the fear of being persecuted.
Yet, there was an even greater freedom that was given to us. The freedom from our sins. The freedom that God gave us through His Son, Christ Jesus.
Our verse for week 5, as we spend this time remembering, and reflecting.
“Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.” Ro. 11:33 MSG
From myself to you and yours – a very happy, and safe, July 4th!
*picture from: orchidsofflight
I’ve heard many times from sermons, and from the Word of God itself – Everyone has a spiritual gift from God. And, it is up to us if we uses them or not. I guess that’s where our free will comes into play.
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Pe. 4:10 NLT
Did you notice the word variety? That would mean there are more than one gift God could have given us. Maybe some of you have more than one, and perhaps we only have one. One that is the most dominate. Have you ever wondered what the gifts are? Most of us would equate that with wealth, and the accumulation of a lot of *things.* But, that is not what God means when he says “spiritual gifts.” The gifts could be anyone of, or a combination of:
“In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophecy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Ro. 12:6-8 NLT
As for me, my gift is kindness. Another word for that is compassion. Although I knew what my gift was – I tried not to use it. Why? Because what I typically found was, it got me in some sort of trouble. No matter what someone didn’t like what I did, or had to say. Being kind got me nowhere. At least in my own eyes that is what I saw. Yet, I quickly learned God was not going to go along with me ignoring the gift He gave me.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isa. 55:9 AMP
Over the years my children would invite their friends to stay the night. Over time I noticed a reoccurring theme – their friends would just start talking and I always knew what to say to them. God would organize the words from my mouth. It was exactly what needed to be said to that person and just the right time in their life. Each scenario was different. Each time I’d think – wow! God is so good! I’d like to say everyone took the advice that came from me, but they did not. Some were able to be helped.
In the recent past my son had a friend stay the night. This friend was living with his foster parents. Over time I got to know him pretty well. He would stay at our house every other weekend. He would share what happened to him, how he felt, and what was on his mind and heart. Sometime later his foster parent contacted me to see if I was interest in becoming a foster parent myself. What?! My reaction was simple – No.
All the reasons as to why not went through my mind as to why not, and each one made perfect sense to me. But friends, the more I would not listen to God the harder it got each time I would see him. Oh there goes God again with his ways, and thoughts. He was going to get his way. Have you ever had that? Something is presented and it. Just. Won’t. Go away. That is the Spirit trying to get your attention.
“I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.” Ps. 32:8 TLB
So, like an obedient child, I contacted the case worker and things just took off! Imagine that! I also had peace about it. Of course that was no surprise, because when God directs our steps He has already went ahead and prepared the way.
Things moved quickly! On a Thursday we filled out the paper work, then went down to get finger printed. I told the case worker and within one hour our prints and back ground came back. Everyone was surprised on how fast everything came back. Except for me and my husband. We knew. We knew Who had already gone ahead and worked things out. By Tuesday the following week the young man was in our home to live.
I know for a fact that this is God’s plan for us to be parents to this young man. This young man God has a plan for, and we are so thankful He has allowed us to play a role in his life. God is good.
Whenever you question, or get a pressing feeling over and over, that is God. Listen, and do what he is leading you to do. He will never steer you wrong. Nor will He go against His word. If what you sense is going against what God says, then it is NOT of God.
Pray to God and things happen. He will move mountains for you. God has entrusted me with the gift of compassion, and now I embrace it to help others.
“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Ro. 11:33 NLT
What is your gift? Are you using it for God’s glory?
By, Melissa Mills, June 2016
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by riverglenwealth, openwalls, pollyanna