Thursday, April 28, 2016

Whisper Yes to quiet time with Jesus

Why do we struggle to spend quiet, undistracted time alone with God in His word and in prayer?

I tell myself every evening that tomorrow will be different. Nothing else will happen in my day until I’ve had my time following Jesus into the word of God. Then the next day comes and the day comes flying at me.

Now, I know people always say to just get up earlier before anyone else gets up in my house. There’s a bit of a problem with this though. My husband gets up between 4 and 4:30 every morning. I’m not going to to try to beat him out of bed in the morning.

So once I’m awake the day just starts to slip away. Distractions, even minor ones, creep in and try to steal my time.

The enemy of our heart tries to destroy us with distractions.

I don’t know about you but then I’m trying to “squeeze” time for God in while I do other things.  Maybe it’s just me but I often find myself reading from my Bible app while I’m walking dogs only to have my phone ring.

I sometimes feel like I can’t focus for more than about a minute at a time most days. So I find myself praying while I shower, out feeding sheep or doing dishes.

Now I want to make it perfectly clear, I want to spend time talking to God while I do all those things. There isn’t anything wrong with listening to God’s word from a Bible app when I’m walking dogs.

But...Jesus has been calling me away from the distractions. Asking me if I will whisper yes to following Him into the quiet.

As for me, this means when distractions want to run rampant in my life I will choose to put them on hold.

One of the most important steps I’ve made is no social media before my quiet time with the Lord. I want my genesis thoughts each day to be centered on truth I can trust, not the chaos of the world.

Another one is realizing silence has actually scared me. I’ve been known to fill my days with sound of some kind all day.

Saying yes to hearing from God more clearly 
means saying no to so much noise!

This may sound a little simple but I also find when I first wake up, before I ever roll out of bed, I say “Good morning, Jesus.” Simply speaking His name first thing each day invites Him into my day.

Let’s be on guard for the distractions satan tries to throw at us to steal our time quiet time with our Heavenly Father. Stand firm against them!

I’m praying our daily whisper of YES to take Jesus’ hand will echo throughout our day.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Do you treasure people or things?

How do you want to be remembered? Is it for the things you’ve accomplished? Maybe the awards and “stuff” you’ve collected?
What about the people we’re blessed by along the journey?
I’m a competitive person by nature. I like to set a goal and then go for it. I spent most of my youth competing in as many sports as possible.
One of my favorites was rodeo. I particularly liked to rope. Every free moment I had you’d find me roping a dummy in backyard or working with my horses.
Now I’m not what you’d call a hoarder. If you have something that means a lot to you it probably needs nailed down before I start cleaning. It could easily go out if no ones used in a certain amount of time.
Because of this I would have told you I always put people over stuff any day of the week.
But...when I won my first belt buckle as a kid rodeoing, I never looked back. It became my mission to win as many as possible. It was a bit of an addiction.
That same desire carried over into my adult years when I switched to training dogs instead of horses. Still working towards collecting as many prizes as I possibly could.
I was on a slippery slope of collecting stuff over people.
Along the way God quietly started working on my heart. He was showing me it wasn’t about how many prizes I could collect but how many people I could love.
Now I’m not saying goals are bad. I still set goals and work towards them. What I have learned is all the “stuff” I’ve collected over the years is basically collecting dust. It sure doesn’t give me any kind of love back!
People - they're what’s worth collecting!
The time spent chasing my dreams wouldn’t mean much without the people who are on the adventure with me. I cherish the countless times we’ve laughed, loved and prayed together.
Love is what makes life worth living.
We may have to dust off a relationship from time to time but it’s an investment worth making.
The memories with people far outweigh any kind of award I’ve ever won.
When we’re willing to follow where God leads all the stuff in this world won’t matter. Our focus shifts. Hearts take the lead role.
When Jesus called the disciples and asked them to come with Him they left everything and followed. All the earthly treasures stored up couldn’t compare to the desire to follow where He lead. He asked them and he’s still asking us to put people over things.
When we’re following the heart of Jesus we’ll find the 
hearts of those He loves. (Click to tweet)
I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

But if You say so...

Have you ever known God is telling you to move but not sure what that means? Or even if you know where He’s calling you but it just doesn’t make any sense? I’ve been there a time or two as well.

We’d had a special speaker at church and I’d been hearing God whispering to me during the whole service, “Come”. It didn't make sense. Come where? Do what?

“Lord, I NEED some details. Okay, maybe need isn’t the right word but I would LIKE some details.”

No details were given. Simply a chance to follow Him.

As we neared the end of the service I knew God was inviting me to be obedient and get baptized.

Why would God ask me to do something that made no sense and honestly felt really strange?

You see, I’d been baptized when I was young. I wrestled with God about it in my heart for quite some time. I even left the service right after and sat in my car for a bit.

As I sat there I tried to explain to God how this didn’t make sense. Why would I need to do this again? I was 41 years old, the pastor’s daughter and led the youth ministry. What would my “kids” all think of me?

I’m not proud to say those thoughts went through my head but am so grateful God never stops loving me. Despite my weaknesses.

No big bolt of revelation came. No profound understanding. Only a choice to come with Him or not. As He had shown me time and time again, the choice was mine. Would I say yes?

A little side note here, we’re what you’d call a “cowboy church”. Our baptism’s most often happen in a livestock watering tank. We’re not talking heated and comfortable by any means.

I bet you’re praying this is where I walked back in with my head held high and said, “Whatever it may be, bring it on!”

Nope. It was more of a quiet, “But if you say so God”. Not a resentful, apprehensive yes but a calm, expectant yes. A yes full of trust.

I let my need to see before I believed slip away as 
I followed God into the unknown.

He’s faithful and I’ve met Him in the unknown many times before. Each time I’ve answered, “But if You say so” He’s been right there to meet me.

Faith works when we use it.

When Jesus asked Simon Peter to drop his nets again it didn’t make sense either. Peter’s day of fishing had already proven unsuccessful. He could have tried to reason with Jesus why it wasn’t the best idea. But I love his answer!

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” Luke 5:5

Now I know we can read on after and see what a glorious night of fishing it ended up being. But...Simon Peter had NO idea what the outcome would be when he said YES.

I love how we’re given such a great example to step out in faith even if we don’t understand. I find it so reassuring how Peter doesn’t come back with some lofty type of answer. He’s honest and real.

As I broke the plane of the cold baptism water I still didn’t understand. I simply made the choice to follow. Coming up out of the iciness I felt a huge wave of blessing wash over me.

Lord, if you say so...

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~