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
Several days have passed since I posted Thankful Day 7. It’s really more like day 17, but I’ll pick up where I left off.
For the last 10 days I, along with about million other people, have had to deal with Hurricane Irma. Added not having power for a few days after, then once my power came back on my son and his family came to stay with me, until their power was back on.
There’s so much to be thankful for. During the stress, and uncertainty, of Irma God remained faithful. Many of us in Florida were out of power, and many are still without power.
During that time God reminded me to focus on the positive. To think about what I am thankful for. He knew what was coming. He knew the devastation people would face. The heat, no water, power, air conditioning, stress increases, and patience runs short. In it all what I witnessed was friends taking in other friends. Family taking in family.
Of all my friends I was the only one without power, so I went to stay with one of them until it was on. I became the refugee. It wasn’t me having someone stay at my house. I was the one needing help. My friend took me in. I am thankful she opened her house to me.
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed help, and a friend stepped in? If so, you know what a relief it is.
“Share in each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2 NLT
After my power came on, my son and his family came up to stay a few days. They had no power. I enjoyed having them, and spending time with my grandchildren. I don’t get to see all of my grandchildren as much as I’d like, so any time I get to see them I am thankful to God.
During the time of Irma, admits the chaos, I am thankful God allowed me to spend valuable time with friends and family. That we were all able to help one another in a time of need! After all, that’s what it’s all about.
To imitate Christ is to put others ahead of self, and help. Even if it means we have to be out of our routine for a while.
“If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Gal. 6:3 NLT
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
One week of posting, it feels good. I didn’t have time last night due to final preparations for Hurricane Irma. So this Day 7 is on Day 8, but for yesterday.
In times like this you realize who your friends are. Who cares about you, and is concerned. I’ve had friends reach out to me and offer their homes, both in Florida and those that live out of state. God has given me good friends, and I am very thankful for all of you! To my friends out of state that offered, I won’t be there for Irma; however, I have you on my list as a vacation destination for later!
I will be watching the storm closely today as she is projected to make her arrival into Tampa in the wee morning hours of Monday, 9/11. By tonight I will have made the decision to stay hunkered down in my house, or go to a nearby friends home.
“..if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Ro. 12:8b NLT
With the impends storm headed this way I’m thankful God had planted in me a week ago to focus on the positives in my life. A week ago the storm was headed for the East Coast of Miami, and Tampa would get wind and rain by the time she made it up the state. However, God already knew the path of Irma. He knew the panic that would set in within people. Yet, as I sit and type this I am so thankful He placed in my heart peace, and positivity, even in the midst of possible destruction.
No one knows the outcome. If you listen to the news, its Armageddon. I’ve been in contact with my family, and friends, in Southwest Florida checking on status. Getting real time updates.
Those that I know, we have done all we can do in preparations. We prepare for the worst, and pray for the best. It is in God’s hands. I’m thankful to know He is with all of us, watching and protecting.
Friends, look for God in the details. Not in the big things – life becomes an adventure when you see Him in the details.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Gal. 5:22-23 NLT
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Today was rather adventurous. Each day when I think all the preparations for the storm are done, something else comes up. Incase you don’t know there’s this hurricane headed our way – Irma.
When there’s a category 5 hurricane headed your way it makes it difficult to focus at work. The list just kept growing. Things to do to prep.
Relief came at 12:20pm this afternoon. An email. It was the news everyone was waiting for. All offices were closing at 1:00pm. It was the extra hours I needed to get things done. For that I am thankful.
Later this evening, I am grateful the opportunity presented itself to be able to help another person. At first I declined the offer. Within a couple of seconds I saw the opportunity begin to pas away. Thankfully the Holy Spirit quickly intervened to have me change my mind.
I once heard my pastor say “your neighbor is anyone you have the ability, time, and/or resources, to help.” I am thankful I had the opportunity to help “my neighbor.”
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Prov. 11:25 NIV
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
There’s so much going on in the news with Hurricane Irma that it’s easy to lose focus on things. People are evacuating, and preparing. Those of us that are riding it out are making final preparations.
In all of this, I am still thankful that God gives me the ability each day to get up, and go to work. He provides each day, and today was no different. There was food on my table, and clothes on my back. Part of me feels like I should be worried about the impending storm. Yet, I remind myself of His word:
“So don’t worry about these things, saying,’What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows your needs.” Mt. 6: 31-32 NLT
Tonight I had one last item to pick up in order to prepare. A bag of charcoal. Incase we lose power we can still cook food. Typically charcoal is easy to find, and no reason to ever think they’d be sold out. Not at the current moment. There are items that are now scarce, no where to be found: water, any non-perishable food, gas, propane takes for grills, lighter fluid, and charcoal. I stopped at a popular hardware store to see about charcoal, and the shelves were empty. When I left I stopped at the grocery store across the street. As I walked in I prayed that God would allow me to find one. To my left – two bags. To top it off, the kind that did not need lighter fluid! Immediately I whispered, “thank you Jesus!” Paid. Then on my way home.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Th. 5:18 NLT
Thank you Jesus, even for the charcoal.
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Today is day three of my posts on what I am grateful for.
As many of you may know, there’s a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic right now. Hurricane Irma. As she moves towards Florida I am preparing for the possibility of being without power for a few days. Irma is projected to hit somewhere in Florida, and the city where I reside could take a direct impact.
With the Weather Channel giving updates in the background I am thankful for technology. At times it can be overwhelming. It can be frustrating when my electronic devices do not work correctly. But, without technology millions of people in Hurricane Irma’s path would not know about the impending storm. Evacuations have begun, gas stations are running out of gas, in the stores water and non-perishables are no where to be found. Yet, for some of us there is still time to prepare.
For all those feeling her wrath now my prayers to you, and yours, for safety. She’s nothing to play around with. Be safe.
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” Ps. 5:11 NLT
I can’t help but continue to feel, with all the chaos around me, peace in my spirit. When you begin to focus on what you’re thankful for Satan will try to deter you. Trials and troubles may come. Yet, instead of focusing on that. I am thankful that the Bible reminds me – Jesus is on my side. He loves me. And, He is always with me. That gives me peace. It does not remove the trial, worry, or concern. It reassures me that He is there. He has already gone ahead and worked it all out before I get through it. For that I am thankful.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you or abandon you.” Dt. 31:8 NLT
What are you thankful for?
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Each day up until Thanksgiving I have decided to write about two things each day that I am thankful for. Why wait until November, or the week of Thanksgiving to start realizing what to be thankful for?
I have three reasons for doing this:
- It helps to keep my focus on God’s presence in my life
- Keeps me focused on the positive things in my life
- Gets me back into writing on the blog
My day started out with a no call, no show, from a potential contractor. Some morning plans were put on hold as we waited for his 11am arrival. The time for him to arrive came, and went. After an hour we proceeded with our plans. It wasn’t until 2:30pm my phone rang. It was the contractor. He forgot. At that moment I thanked God for keeping me from any future stress had I chosen to hire that contractor.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.” Heb. 4:13a NLT
Later in the afternoon, my grandchildren and I had a few minutes to spare before they headed back home. We decided to do some window shopping. Fall season is here and we spent some time looking at Halloween and fall decorations. As we pulled into the parking lot a front row spot opened up. I pulled right in and said, “thank you Jesus.” My granddaughter said, “do you thank Jesus for parking spots?”
I am thankful that parking spot allowed me to share with her why we should tell Jesus “thank you.” He is in control over everything.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Ps. 107:1 NLT
There’s so much negative in the world today. If we focus on those things we lose sight of the good that is occurring all around us. God is not only in the big things, but also in the details of our lives – even parking spots.
What are you thankful for?
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Ps. 136:1 NLT
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, or written, on my blog. Sorry. Over the past 2 years I’ve had a lot of good intentions to sit down and write. Many times the words would leave my mouth, but never seem to find their way to the keyboard of my lap top. Life has changed since I’ve last written. Many times the desire to share them with you was in my heart. The battle I faced was with Father Time.
As many of you know I was unemployed for a few years, living off savings, and only able to find part-time, or contract work. There was plenty of time for my fingers to dance across the keyboard. And dance they did! It was great! Then God, in his great mercy and faithfulness, opened up employment for me. And, at just the right time. It was exactly what was needed.
Have you been there? Then you know what I’m talking about.
Are you there now? If so, let me reassure you – hang in there. Keep being faithful. Oh I know doubt will enter in, and the battle will begin. But, God is faithful. 1 Th. 5:24b
Yesterday – in my quite time the thought came to me – there is so much negativity in the world. And, in the last two weeks I’ve heard two people say, “why can’t I be happy?”
We can get so caught up in the day to day mundane, and the demands of the world, that we lose sight of The One that provides for us. Life has so many demands, but Jesus has said,
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Mt. 11:29 NLT
My goal is each day to write about at least two things I am thankful for. There’s so much to be thankful for, yet when we allow the dark clouds of adversity to take precedence, we only see the darkness, and not the light that is shining right in front of us.
I am very grateful for my job! God gave me a new one in February this year. The task ahead of me is great, and the lifting heavy – but God continues to be faithful. He led me through the first project to completion! Friends, He. IS. faithful! If you are in a situation at work where you are unhappy, ask yourself these question:
- Did I put myself there? Perhaps out of familiarity, or comfort.
- Did I ask God if that is where He wanted me to work?
If the answer to question one is “yes.” No need to go further. If the answer is, no. Ask God what He wants you to do for Him there? There is a reason, perhaps a co-worker needs to hear about Jesus? Perhaps, you are to be an example to others of Jesus while there? Perhaps, God is teaching you something? Sit, ask, wait, watch, listen.
If your answer to question two is “no.” No need to go further. If the answer is “yes.” Then ask God what does he want you to do, who there needs to hear about Jesus?
I’ve learned over the years, God does not place us in a particular workplace just to get a paycheck. Or, just to be comfortable. There is reason. Someone needs to hear about Jesus. Someone needs you to be the example of how merciful, forgiving, and loving, Jesus is.
“But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” Isa. 49:4 NLT
I am very grateful for His provisions! Christmas came early. Recently, I hosted family in my house while they were in-between houses. Before they arrived my dryer was on its way out. It was with each load I’d wonder – is this the last one. Or is this one even going to complete its full round? You see, the drum was lose and with each round it sounded like a machine pounding cement into tiny pieces. I often wonder what my neighbors thought was going on in my house. They never said word. Well if they did, no one would have heard them when the dryer was on. The washer, was also on its way out, just not as fast as the dryer. Right before they moved out, yep. Christmas came early, and I was surprised with a new washer and dryer! God knows what you need and will provide it at just the right time. Not only am I thankful, but I’m pretty sure my neighbors are too!
“And God will generously provide all you need.” 2 Cor. 9:8a NLT
Friends, those are just two things I am thankful for. Stay tuned, as my goal is to share each day at least two things I am thankful for. And, for those of you thinking “it’s not all about material things.” You’re right, it’s not. And, it won’t always be.
Tell me – what are you thankful for?
Gentle Whisper Ministries September 3, 2017
Nooooooo, not yet!! It’s too early! I don’t want to think about it. I don’t have any money.
I’m sure that as soon as you read the title one or more of those thoughts raced to your mind. Christmas seems to bring that initial response out in people. Retailers seem to be setting up right after Labor Day, while Halloween and Christmas share isles, and Thanksgiving’s corner gets moved each year to a single shelf, on an end cap.
At this time, I will challenge each of us to move towards Christmas with a new outlook and focus. We have nine months until Christmas, and within nine months another event is anticipated with joy and excitement. This year won’t you please join me as we await the arrival of a birth! A birth of a baby boy.
Awaiting the arrival of a new born baby can be the most exciting time, and the most worrisome time. Emotions can be all over the place. It’s been a while since my children were born, however just four short years ago my family anxiously awaited the arrival of the youngest of my grandchildren.
During this study we will focus on the meaning of “Christ”mas, and what the birth of Jesus brings to a lost world. What His birth did for us, and Who He is.
“But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter— From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel. He’ll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.” Micah 5:2-3 MSG
This is a nine-month focus. The same term as a pregnancy. We will begin in April and go to December. Each month we will focus on one aspect of anticipating the arrival of a baby. There will be an item that I will ask you to place in your house and scripture readings for that item. Each item will lead to the expected arrival of our Lord and Saviors birth. To the true meaning of Christmas and celebration behind the commercialized holiday.
“The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you!” Zech. 2:10NLT
This idea came to me as we just moved through Easter. We celebrated His resurrection from the grave, and how he conquered death. But, it all began with His birth. God becoming a baby, born to a virgin, in a manger, surrounded by animals, and wrapped in swaddling cloths. Notice I said cloths, not clothes. Big difference. There was no fancy hospital, skilled doctors, and blankets.
With that I quickly counted on my fingers and wondered – how many months before Christmas? What do you know – nine months. The number of months a woman carries her child before giving birth.
I then took my thoughts down memory lane. What did I do, prepare for, and start stocking up on? Then took my thoughts on a stroll through Babies R Us. Mary, Jesus mother, did not have the luxury of Babies R Us, or the local store to begin stocking up. There were no registries, or showers, to provide much needed items. However, like any expectant mother I’m confident she did some preparing, and planning. Even if it was only mental preparation.
If you’ve never experienced giving birth to a child, or are expecting a child, you know mental preparation is just as important. Your life is about to CHANGE. And that is exactly what happed to the world when Jesus was born. Life CHANGED. That is what happens to us when we embrace Jesus as our Savior – our life CHANGES.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9 LB
If you’ve not had children of your own that’s ok, because I’m pretty sure you have anticipated the arrival of other babies. Family, or close friends, all welcoming in a new member to the family. You have seen, heard, or been a part of the anticipated arrival.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jer. 23:5 LB
So, what is it we do when we are anticipating the birth of a child.
- Pick out names
- Start to prepare a room – paint, buy furniture
- Begin to purchase necessities – until we know the gender we keep it neutral
- We stock up on diapers, wipes, and all the things we know we will need
- Purchase a few starter toys
We will begin this week with the announcement – the news that a baby is coming! And, based on conception this baby will be born at Christmas! The greatest present we will ever receive.
The announcement has been made! A baby is coming!
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” Isa. 11:1 LB
Please join me in this nine-month focus as we are Moving towards “Christ”mas.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
*picture thehaystack, littledribble, pinterest
“He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves” Ps. 107:29 NLT
What do you think of when you hear these four words, it’s the perfect storm, used to describe someone’s situation? Most of us would say something to mean the situation is not good, and there is a strong possibility it will get worse. When I hear “it’s the perfect storm” my mind goes to the movie based on a true story called – The Perfect Storm. It is about fishermen from a town in Massachusetts that set sail, and a storm comes upon them. Not just from behind, but also in front they are caught in the middle of the two storms colliding. The result is life ending because their fishing boat could not weather the wind, and waves. I won’t give any more of the movie away in case you have not seen it.
Yet, if you are a Christian the words perfect storm are often used to describe a situation in which the only thing left is God. Throughout the bible many were in situations that looked life ending. Life had carried them into the perfect storm where it appeared they would not recover from the circumstance, or situation.
Let’s look at a few women who found themselves in perfect storms. In the storm life gets loud, dark, and uncertain. Each one faced the storm with courage, certainty, and calmness. They were in situations they did not see coming, and could not control.
Rahab – is working as a prostitute in Jericho. All of a sudden she finds herself lying to the king’s guards while hiding the spies. Later her city is under siege, while she and her family are locked in her house. Her perfect storm was her past life and new life colliding. (Josh. 2) In Matthew chapter one she is listed in the lineage of Jesus. Her new life outperformed her prior life.
Ruth– finds herself a widow, and childless. She leaves her home country to go with her mother-in-law to a land she does not know. Ruth was leaving a past life on a new road that would introduce her to her Redeemer! The one which would give her and her mother-in-law a new life. Her perfect storm was the loss of her past life of comfort, familiarity, and security, to her new life towards the unknown. Her new life prevailed. (Ruth 1-4)
Esther – a young Jewish girl who hid her nationality, and later became Queen. As Queen she is not to see the king unless he summons for her, the results would be costly otherwise. She learns of a plot to kill all her people the Jews. She intercedes for them to the king, and they are spared. Her prefect storm is risking it all by going to the king without being summoned, revealing her nationality, and facing the possible fate that awaited for such an act, with victory for her people, and the realization that sometimes you have to take a risk, and speak up. (Esther 1-14)
“Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esth. 4:14)
Elizabeth mother of John the Baptist – An older woman, past her child bearing age, who had no children with her husband; all of a sudden becomes pregnant. Her perfect storm was dealing with disgrace daily because she and her husband had no children, to a pregnancy late in life. To being the mother of John the Baptist who would be the front runner for Jesus. A barren life gives birth to a new life! (Luke 1)
Mary mother of Jesus – A young girl engaged to be married. A virgin. All of a sudden finds herself being visited by the Holy Spirit telling her she will become pregnant with God’s Son. She is now faced with telling her fiancé Joseph, and hoping he will believe her. Her perfect storm certainly came swooping in like a gale force wind. She is planning a wedding, a future, dreaming of children, parties, and dinners to now – telling her fiancé, her parents, and hoping they believe her, and will not stone her. Her perfect storm collided both worlds into one, and introduced Jesus into the world. (Luke 1:26 – 2:20)
In each of these women’s lives they were just living life as normal as they knew it to be. Then one day – one day – everything changed. They were faced with looking at their past, and comparing it to a new future. A new way of life. The contrast gave the appearance of a drastic change, but how this would all occur would be left for time to reveal. Each woman only had to trust in God, and embrace the new.
In a perfect storm you are caught in a situation in which you cannot control. It is where two worlds collide. You may be there now, in the middle of a perfect storm. Your life is caught in-between the past, and an unknown future. The swells are so high you can’t see over them to catch a glimpse of what is on the other side. The wind roars so loud that you can hardly hear yourself think. And with the movement of each day, until this storm passes and brings you to the other side, no amount of Dramamine will help. We will not be called to be the mother of the Messiah, or the mother of the one that would pave the way for the Messiah.
You very well may find yourself:
- interceding for another
- living a life you know is not worthy of who you are
- a life where men use you and/or abuse you
- abandoned, rejected, isolated, broke, jobless, homeless, childless, or locked in the captivity of sin.
Whatever your perfect storm is that is tossing you around batten the hatches, and like the women above- call upon God. Expect Him to show up, and embrace him like the disciples did.
“Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” Then they were eager to let him in the boat; and immediately they arrived at their destination.” (Jn. 6:19-21 NLT)
If this is you, and today you are sitting in the middle of a perfect storm, let Him in the boat. He is the one that will calm the storm, and make your new life prevail!
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015, re-post 2/2017
*pictures by becuo, bible-women, usised-Oadz