Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can we talk again about the Speaking God?

Our Father is so amazing. Directly into our lives (my life) He speaks. The trick is to be listening.

I just started following this sweet blog a few days ago. I checked in this morning to find words just for me, like:

each of us has a choice about how we look at life

     God wants you to be content in your circumstances

give you anxieties to God

          pray specifically

choose to be thankful

          choose to dwell on the positive

Really? This is what I find today? And yesterday God spoke directly from my Dr. Stanley One Year Life Principles Bible:

Feb. 24 readings
Psalms 27:1-3 
The LORD is my light and my salvation.
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

Proverbs 10:9
He who walks with integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will become known.

And Dr. Stanley's Life Example. Just the title pierced me:
     How Adversity Reveals Our Level of Faith
(basis: Mark 4:35-41)
When hardships come our way, do we respond, "God, I trust you to bring me through this"? Or do we tend to say, "I'm doomed, and there's nothing anybody can do?"
God once sent a storm on the Sea of Galilee to teach Jesus' disciples a lesson faith. Jesus had said to His men, "Let us cross over to the other side" and they should have taken His statement as a sure sign that He expected a safe trip. But when a terrible windstorm threatened the boat, they panicked. The terrified disciples asked Jesus, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"

How many times have we said the same thing? "Don't you care, Lord, that this is happening to me? Don't You love me enough, Lord, to do something about this hardship?"

Jesus rebuked the wind, and immediately a great calm settle on the lake. Then He turned to His disciples and said, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:40).

God has given to each one of us a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), and He expects us to use it to overcome our fear. Fear always accompanies adversity; in fact, a degree of fear is what makes something an adversity instead of just another experience. 

Dot. Dot. Dot.

I can see that I didn't pannick, thinking I've been abandoned. I have asked why. I ask why. But I am asking God to show me what He's doing. And He seems to be growing new me. He also seems to be showing a place of dangerous behavior. I know we're human and we're going to behave like humans.

But all too often, we behave like humans and ask God to bless us in the midst of horrible rebellion and disobedience. Gossiping is disobedience. Savoring gossip is too. So, there's more to learn. More to be revealed.

I can see also, a bit more about my question: how do I pray.

Oh! He's teaching me. I need not to fear the circumstance.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blessed are the peacemakers

I thank God (and Ann at A Holy Experience) for the timing of Memorize the Mount.
Over and over. Over and over. I hear the words.

Blessed are the Peacemakers.

I don't even want to hear the, "because." Just the reminder. I hear it as direction from The Father. 

"Vicki, daughter, you are to be the Peacemaker."

Oddly, I finished Peacemaker training not so long ago. And now I find myself in a horrible situation.  A situation many of us have been through: transgression and gossip. 

I was the transgressor.
And now I'm the transgressor not just to the one, but to many.

My flesh wants to fix it. To silence the stories that simply aren't true. To stop the third and fourth parties from talking about who I am. (It's gone a bit beyond my error.)

But God is speaking. "Patience. Strength." and "Blessed are the Peacemakers."
So I wait.
And listen.
And consider.

I have thought about taking the bowl of flour to the other. Writing the words.
Dispelling the thoughts.
Making peace.
Not really so much for my sake, though I would be glad. 
But for the sake of the Body. And not the work community as a body. But for the sake of the Body of the Kingdom. 

For now, I only trust God. I have to take every thought captive. (My hurting flesh thinks too much.)

I have to be patient for more of His guidance. I have to be diligent in prayer. I am called to be the Peacemaker. Even if I never consider the rest of the passage. 

But simply, obey.

Because He has called me out of my fleshly pit and I am listening.

Pray with me?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Discipline, discipling, being in discipleship

The words string together.
          Being discipled.
                    Staying close.
To learn something as important as The Sermon on The Mount or John 15, I have to be willing to accept and agree to a discipline which will help me to achieve the goal.
Make an agreement.
     To follow.
               To do.
                    To find myself in a position to accept the gift I long for.
Agreeing to discipleship.
     For the purpose.
          To be a disciple.
                    To live is Christ.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Today, a big chunk of my gratitude is found in the huge foot next to mine. It belongs to my little girl, who is not so little any more. (And neither are her feet.) But she, who could be anywhere else, is right next to me learning about using her singing voice. Listening. Trying. Randomly enjoying. Randomly trying. Randomly speaking. Singing. Playing.
And all the while the foot on my thigh and the foot on the table.
I am ever so grateful.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Memorizing - The Sermon on the Mount

I'm just beginning to memorize. Joining in with Ann at A Holy Experience. I'm so excited. And my lovely friend, Marjorie, is coming with me on the adventure. So excited for the Word to be tucked in to the crevices of my heart.
Come along?

The Speaking God.

God always amazes me. But I have to be awake. And present. And listening. This week He humbled me in a very beautiful way. I'm part of a speaking/teaching team of women at my church. We're assigned topics based on a study with a rather large women's Bible Study group.

The group is called Woman's Walk. It's a big room of women who meet faithfully each Wednesday morning and, well, walk together through scripture studies. Last year, I was spoke on Rahab and Lydia. I loved every minute of preparation and then sharing. Rahab was prepared and ready to go, complete with a red satin chord for each of us to hold onto and pray that we'd be so obedient to the God of the Hebrews. The night before I spoke, God awakened me at 1:00 to revise my talk. As I reread the story He showed me that Rahab must have been spoken to by His Holy Spirit. Because she knew who God was. She trusted Him completely with her life and her family, obeying. Joshua 2:9 has her saying, 

 “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you."

I know. She knew.

It was wonderful fun to share how we meet him through Rahab. My experiences have been wonderful. I learn so much each time and have the pleasure of hearing from women, later, as we go about how the LORD spoke to them in the study.

This time? Limited prep. I shared the story of Jairus. The study had us look deeply into what happens to our faith in the face of death. It was good. I'd told the story more than once in VBS, where God takes me deeper than I ever expect. I reviewed. I prayed, but I didn't get to the real preparation the way I like to. Somehow though, I didn't feel fearful.

At 1ish, God met me at my dining room table and showed me how He wanted us to look at the story. (Mark 5, Luke 8) He wanted a comparison of the man, the (hemorrhaging) woman and Jesus. And He wanted me to precede the entire discussion with a heart-piercing observation from a book by Elizabeth Alves. The author and her husband were in Africa in the 70's and saw huge works of the Holy Spirit. 23,000 people had been healed of illnesses, etc. and she was taken by the fact she was living out the book of Acts. She pondered the why and why not and asked God if it were that we don't receive these healings because we're so attached to doctrine and tradition. She shared His reply:  

"No, Daughter, these people are receiving because they have no fear of man."

The words are perfect. We don't receive because our fear God is eclipsed by our fear of man. But it wasn't for Jairus. Or the bleeding woman. Jairus set aside his status at the synagogue and knelt at Jesus feet. Desperation meets understanding of who Jesus is. And he sets aside the truth that the priests will likely be furious. He risks much.

And the woman, the unceremonially clean woman who can't be touching the people in the crowd, to say nothing of this amazing Rabbi, Jesus, sets aside all fear and makes sure she touches the tzitzit. She knows there is healing there, with Him, and she doesn't care what the people of Capernaum think, or perhaps, do to her. 

My fear of man is on notice. It gets in the way of living the abundant life and has no place in abiding in Him.

So, I got to share more than the story of the miracle, but the reality of what might be stopping us from receiving from the One Who Loves Us. And isn't that a miracle in itself.