Tag Archives: God

Somebody to Listen

The rock group Queen used to sing a song called, Somebody to Love. That’s true, we all do want somebody to love, but many times we just want somebody to listen. This amazing thing! God tells us that He wants to listen. He says to call on Him and He will show us great and might things we do not know. He also says that He is near to those who call on Him. God wants to be your someone who listens.

Call upon God

Yes, the God of the universe who created the galaxies, set the stars and earth in orbit, and made the animals and humans. How is it that He should take an interest in us and have the time to listen?

We are smaller than a speck for One who has the whole universe as His view. Yet He wants a relationship with me and you. I wonder how He can keep all of these singular relationships up. There must be millions of voices calling out to Him simultaneously, how does He do it? Yet, He listens and He speaks to each. He speaks just what He knows I need or wants me to know and He speaks to millions of others, too. Amazing!

He speaks to us and He’s also there to listen to our pain, grief, sorrow, and joy just like any good friend would. He’s the One who has the resources, power, knowledge, wisdom, and might to accomplish far more than we could even imagine. To think, all this is available through just talking and listening to Him.

Today, or even right now, take a quiet moment and tell Him what’s happening in your life, what you are concerned about and what brings you joy. He cares and will listen.

Getting to Know Him

In his book, Prayer, Tim Keller says we cannot pray until we understand the One we are praying to. In fact, he says all prayer is responding to God. God is the initiator. If we find ourselves wanting to pray, God is drawing us, It follows that we have some knowledge of God to even have the desire to pray. That one we are praying to is the God of the Bible, who speaks His Word, and reveals who he is through His Word.

So, to understand and know God better we would want to spend a lot of time reading, studying and thinking about His Word. Sometimes our reading can be a little boring, even exhausting, we put off coming to the Word because it doesn’t seem to fit us or come alive.

I got to thinking today that maybe it’s really a heart thing with us. Our daughter is dating a guy that she sees almost daily. Every night she heads to her room early, where I often hear her on the phone with her guy, chatting away. They want to talk, they make time to talk — they give up TV shows and activities to spend time talking.

Maybe that’s a picture of how we would be approaching the Word of God, if our heart was really devoted to Him, if we were in close relationship. These thoughts today are making me take a deeper look and admit that there must be something keeping me from wholeheartedly saying, ‘I want to meet (talk) with God tonight.’

Do you find yourself skipping out on reading the Bible, getting to know Him better, and so end up with a boring prayer life?

Solution For the Troubled Heart

Wisdom from a Country Preacher series                                                                 

(Because of the high interest in my dad’s sermon notes, I decided the first Faith Friday post should be from his messages.)

Today we are talking about a troubled heart. I’m not talking about our heart that beats 70 times per minute, not the one you can have a leaking valve in or weak muscle. We’ve got surgeries and pills for that, in fact, we have medicines today for most everything — headache, pain, colds. There’s no pill for the troubled heart. The heart that is troubled is really our mind and emotions, our thoughts.

Notice John 14:1. Jesus tells his disciples, Let not your heart be troubled. Hmmm, Let not. So there is something we can do when troubles come and our minds run off with us. Verse 2, Believe in God.

The news, magazines, and talk shows try to tell us nowadays that our trouble comes from where we are raised, our parents, our affluence. Blame someone else. Jesus says we are responsible for our troubled heart. He says, don’t be troubled, believe in God.

What God? The God that created this universe, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in Him we see God.

Jesus says in verse 2 to also believe Him. Believe in God, believe also in me. Follow him. Jesus taught us to believe in God as He did as He let them nail Him to the cross. Verses23-27 says,                                                                                                        23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When we believe in Him, He gives peace — even in troubles, even when we have a troubled heart. There’s no feeling as that of loneliness, being alone, unloved, forsaken. It’s the heart of an unbeliever. Jesus lives in us as Christians. We are never alone. He is our best friend. He says, I will come to you and be with you always.

We don’t have to endure troubles alone. Jesus is closer than a friend. He is there to assure us, comfort us, give us guidance, strength and hope.

Let not your heart be troubled — Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

 

 

 

Faithpondering

Red Lodge, MTOk, so it’s been way too long since we have posted. Maybe we (I) haven’t been
doing what our blog name implies, pondering faith.

Got too busy, too distracted, to take time to ponder.

Today is a good day to begin again.
It’s so good that God doesn’t condemn when we take those ‘sabbaticals’ .  He
patiently waits until we tune into Him again. Oh, I’ve come to Him since
February, that’s for sure, but more with my agenda than spending quiet time,
silent time to hear what He would say to me.

Imagine if I hiked a tall mountain to speak to a wise person and when I got there all I did was talk, then left to make my descent.  I didn’t spend any time sitting and listening or
asking questions and waiting for an answer or enter conversation? That would be
a waste of time and energy…

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Rolling stones

Rolling stones is a really interesting thought. Stones in and of themselves normally stay put , are used for bases for roads, foundations for homes, fireplaces and so much more. But when a stone starts rolling it takes on a life of it’s own.  Did you ever kick a stone down the road? I like to walk and take turns kicking a stone just to see which path it takes, each time it hits the ground it bounces in a different direction, sometimes straight, sometimes really a skewed. It depends on the angle it’s kicked, what it hits when it landed, what side of it hit the ground, and other variables.  

We can choose a life of a foundation stone, laid where it’s not going to be moved, strong and sturdy whether in a job, in a hometown, or relationship. Or we can be a rolling stone allowing ourselves to go where the wind or circumstances take us.

Sometimes it’s not by choice, storms come and wash us down stream to a different spot than we normally would be.  Or our personality or life circumstances pry us from sedentary ways or cause us to stay put.

It’s good to ponder what kind of stone we are, it helps us understand ourselves, how God made us and maybe even how we got where we are.

The Gift of Pondering

Red Lodge, MTOk, so it’s been way too long since we have posted. Maybe we (I) haven’t been
doing what our blog name implies, pondering faith.

Got too busy, too distracted, to take time to ponder.

Today is a good day to begin again.
It’s so good that God doesn’t condemn when we take those ‘sabbaticals’ .  He
patiently waits until we tune into Him again. Oh, I’ve come to Him since
February, that’s for sure, but more with my agenda than spending quiet time,
silent time to hear what He would say to me.

Imagine if I hiked a tall mountain to speak to a wise person and when I got there all I did was talk, then left to make my descent.  I didn’t spend any time sitting and listening or
asking questions and waiting for an answer or enter conversation? That would be
a waste of time and energy, wouldn’t it.

I feel like I do that a lot. Spend all my time asking God for this and that, but no time actually allowing Him to communicate with me.

On this long holiday weekend, maybe it’s a good time to sit and listen to the wind blow, the birds sing, ponder God’s written Word (the Bible) and allow God to speak.

Preferring the rich

rich and poorWant to be hit right to the core?  Read James 2: 1-7 in the Bible.

What happens when someone comes to your meeting who is dressed fancily, in the latest styles, and someone else comes in not quite so put together? It doesnt even need to be a stark contrast. Maybe one is overweight, or plain-looking, or has a physical ailment or deformity. Who do we gravitate towards? The one who socially sticks out? What do we miss, what do we overlook? Who do we give attention to in the meetings? Who gets to speak and is given more respect? The wealthier, oh they must be more knowledgable.

Not so, the Bible says God chooses the foolish things to confound the wise. The weak to shame the strong. The poor to be rich in faith if they love him.

Oh, we are pitiful. We run after Hollywood stars who dress so fine and outlandish and deck themselves out with gold and silver. We look for any word from them on matters they know nothing about.

People in power are looked upon as great and wonderful and the little guy is silenced. Disgusting and so twisted.  

Oh God, change my disgusting and twisted thoughts and prejudices. I can’t change the world, but I can change myself. Help me to see and appreciate the poor in riches, but great in faith. Help me show no favoritism nor put any weight to words or appearance of those who would seek it for their own mis-guided gain or notoriety.

Contentment and the What ifs of Life

the grass is greenerContentment.
All of us want it, yet it seems like so many of us don’t have it. Why are we unable to accept and make the most of the circumstances we all find ourselves in? I know I so often get caught in the ‘What if’s’ and ‘If only’s’. ‘What if I would have decided to go to a different college? What if I had gone with that major instead of this major? What if I would’ve said this or that, would it have changed things?
If only I could do that over again, things would be different.’ I think all of us do this at one time or another. If only we had that job. If only we made that kind of money. We think if only we knew certain people or had certain things then life might be more like we envisioned it and how we wanted it to be. We are so focused on wondering how our lives might have been better and we can sometimes be caught in the rut of jumping from one level of discontentment to another.
How do we really become content? I heard contentment defined as freedom from the relentless pursuit of more. And I think there truly is freedom in giving up that pursuit, in remembering what we already have and the amazing people that surround us. We can disillusion ourselves into thinking that the grass might be a little greener..if only. The truth is that we will never find real fulfillment from anything life has to offer; our true contentment and fulfillment only comes through having hope in Christ.

Striving for Perfection

Janine and Rob2I come from a long line of perfectionists.  I’m not going to list names because I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but you know who you are!  That personality disposition has manifested itself in my life and I’m seeing it now more than ever.

It hurts to say it because the truth hurts sometimes, but at this moment I’m unemployed.  I wasn’t forced or asked to leave; I chose to leave to relocate with my husband.  This is the first time since 2004 that I’ve been without a job.  At first, I thought I’d love the freedom and the break that unemployment would provide.  I’d spend time renovating the house, sleeping in, meeting new friends, and exploring my new stompin’ grounds.  But in reality, it’s been none of those things!  It’s actually been quite the opposite.  I find myself getting up when my husband gets up, so there goes sleeping in.  I have made a couple of acquaintances, but haven’t even invited them over.  How am I to make friends that way?  I would like to work on house renovations and improvements, but have learned that it’s not as easy Janine and Rob 1as it looks on tv!  I don’t know anything about installing light fixtures, sewing and hanging scarf valences, staining wood trim, tearing down walls, and all those things that need done in this old, new house of mine.  Sure, I can watch videos, but when it comes right down to it, I’m scared to try it.  Why?  Because I’m afraid of messing up.  I’m worried I will fail.  I’m fearful of not being perfect.  I liked it so much better when my life was centered in and around people, places, and things that were ‘put together’ and established: my organized house, my decorated classroom, my talented students, my chorus lessons.

I was reading in my devotions this morning and came across this one sentence that really put everything into perspective.  In her book “Jesus Calling,” Sarah Young writes the following: “Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: the Perfect One.”  Psalm 46:10 (NET) echoes this. “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God!  I will be exalted over the nations!  I will be exalted over the earth!”  I like the sounds of that….sounds so…perfect!

Five Unusual Signs of Blessing

‘Gblessing stoneod bless you.’  I’ve said that to people, have you?  What do we mean when we say that?  I think I’ve meant – ‘may everything go your way’.

But some of the ways Jesus described blessing in the Bible seem to be a little different.  In Matthew 5, in what is called the Beatitudes, Jesus refers to a whole range of people being blessed that I wouldn’t think of having a blessing  —-

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit
  • Blessed are those who mourn
  • Blessed are the meek
  • Blessed are the peacemakers
  • Blessed are you when people insult you…because of me

Jesus puts us in a topsy-turvy world with these words.  Maybe blessing will bring about circumstances that humble us, so that we are poor in spirit.  Maybe to be blessed will bring about mourning, so we can understand comfort.  Maybe to be blessed will bring about strife, so we can learn to be peacemakers.

Our self-centeredness makes us want exactly what we want.  What God is about is having a close relationship with Him and making us more like Him   Sometimes that means having the opposite of what we think will be a blessing occur to us so that the blessing can follow.

So, when you are going through troubles it might just be God blessing you, you just haven’t seen the end results yet.