Finding inspiration for everyday life in everyday life

Category Archives: Hearing from God

acoustics1

Theatres, recording studios, and even home media rooms have all had a lot of time and money perfecting the acoustics. From special wall treatments to ceiling panels, and probably a host of other “things” of which I have no idea! All techniques and tools to enhance the art of listening. The aim of bringing clarity, purity to the sound being made.

I’m no sound expert or even remotely interested in the science of it, but as always it has me on a tangent. Learning to hear from God is a lifelong journey of discovery. God is constantly speaking to us in a myriad of ways. He doesn’t restrict how He speaks to us today by how He spoke to us yesterday. And as much as people spend time creating spaces with special acoustic treatments we need to create an atmosphere for listening to God in our lives. Jenn Johnson of Bethel Music said this “My life is worship; I stay connected to the Lord always. Sometimes we can all feel when the connection is not as strong, it’s ok because it’s life. Even if you have 5 seconds in your car when you are driving, turn your affection to the Lord. When you are shopping for groceries just say, “I love You so much”. Stay in your connection with Him throughout the day.”

Builders might be armed with acoustical foam, diffusers and panelling, but all we need to be armed with is a heart that is set towards God and an expectation that God is speaking to us.

Whatever you are doing in your day take time to incline your ear to God.

 


rest3

“Life is loud. You need to search out the quiet.” (Holly Gerth)

Life is noisy! It’s busy and it’s fast. There’s always something to be done, people to see, places to go. But in the rush of 21st Century living we need to learn to search out the quiet. We need to give our souls the opportunity to breathe. To find the peace, to find the rest and embrace it.

It is in the quiet places that we can hear the tenderest of whispers from God. It is in the quiet that we learn that life is more about being than doing. In the stillness we discover afresh that God’s love for us is for who we are not what we do. It is in the quiet that our soul finds rest. And it is God’s intention that in our daily lives we would find it.

It says in Psalm 23 that “He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Or as the Message Bible puts it “You let me catch my breath.” God wants us to pause, to rest. To relax into His protection and comfort.

In the quiet our soul is restored.

“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” (Psalm 116:7)

Sitting here now at my desk I can hear a plane flying overhead, the hum of the dishwasher. If I incline my ear though I can hear the birds outside, the rustling of the wind through the trees and the wind itself. And as I continue to pause, to embrace the quiet I become aware of the Presence of the Lord around me. And I know “surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6)

It is in the quiet that our soul finds its equilibrium again – it finds its rest in God.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God” (Psalm 62:5)


sunlight1

Social media has helped people across the planet to keep in touch, to share their lives – their news, thoughts, opinions and photos in a way like never before. Applications like Instagram take it to the next level and enable us to show carefully curated photos – chosen, cropped, edited and filtered at our discretion. At best these are just aspects of our lives. Glimpses really. More often than not they’re the best parts of the best days and provide us with only a fragmented picture of what our life is like. Just like glimpsing the sun through trees – partial, incomplete and suggesting there is more.

I have often wondered about the woman who touched Jesus cloak and received healing. Had she heard stories of how Jesus healed? Did hope arise in her spirit and encourage her to find Him? This woman would have been an outcast, spent years in isolation. No one would have gone near her for fear of becoming unclean themselves. I imagine her standing apart from everyone else, nervous, scared, watching the crowd. I see her catching glimpses of Jesus as He moved through the people clamouring for His attention. I see her eyes following Jesus trying to see more of Him. And those glimpses that she caught of Jesus gave her courage to walk toward the crowd and to press through, past people, risking derision and rejection. Bravely she pushes through until she lays hold of Jesus coat. She knows with Him lies her healing.

Her glimpses of Jesus then become an encounter with Jesus. He turned, saw her, spoke to her and she received her healing. In our daily lives we can too catch glimpses of Jesus. Glimpses as we read our Bible, through worship, through prayer. These glimpses all carry with them the potential for an encounter with God. As we read our Bible we hear His voice speaking to us, to our situation. In worship we encounter His presence and feel His love. Through prayer we hear His heartbeat and love for us. We just have to push through, to know that the glimpses holds the promise of more of Him.

Let our glimpses of Jesus take us into an encounter with Him.

 

 

 


joy

This image, for me, immediately brought to mind the song “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart”. It was a song I used to sing at Sunday School. In Church Halls we gathered around a teacher playing the keyboard or a guitar, and sang the words written on large pieces of cardboard. No video clips, no power point slides, no ipod adding extra volume. But still it was fun,  we sang our hearts out and we encountered God. We sang lyrics of “If I were a butterfly, I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings”, “Peter and John went to pray”, and one of my personal favourites, “I may never march in the infantry…but I’m in the Lord’s army!”

All these years later, it doesn’t take much to bring these songs rushing back to my mind. I know I can never read in the Bible of Peter and John heading to the temple to pray without singing it in song! My children have endured (?) and learnt these songs too as I sing them in the car to them, eager to pass on these delights. That is until the 3 year old tells me “no song mummy, no song”. A reflection I think more on my singing than on the song itself!

There’s something about the eternal dimension of these songs that worship Jesus. It’s like my heart as a child grabbed hold of them, as much as it grabs hold of Scripture and engraves it on my heart. And there these songs and Scripture wait, ready to be recalled to mind when I need it.

“I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.” (Jeremiah 31:33)

With this song, with its verses of “I’ve got the joy”, “the peace that passes understanding” and “the love of Jesus”, it has all the elements of the life that God wants me to live! He wants me to live in peace in all circumstances even when the circumstances contradict the ability to be at peace. He wants me to live in joy, knowing that I can be content no matter what. And He wants me to live my life from the revelation and knowledge that I have the eternal,  everlasting and ever faithful love of Jesus in my heart and upon my life.

It’s certainly something to sing about!

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Where?  Down in my heart!
Where?  Down in my heart!
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,
down in my heart
down in my heart to stay.

I’ve got the peace that passes understanding,
Down in my heart,
Where? Down in my heart!
Where? Down in my heart!
I’ve got the peace that passes understanding,
down in my heart
down in my heart to stay.

I’ve the got love of Jesus, love of Jesus
Down in my heart,
Where? Down in my heart!
Where? Down in my heart!
I’ve the got love of Jesus, love of Jesus
down in my heart,
down in my heart to stay.


monkey

It would be fair to say that sometimes my mind could be described as a monkey mind – a mind that jumps from thought to thought like a monkey jumps from tree to tree. Random and varied thoughts! It’s like aerobics are taking place in my head. I’m thinking about what is going on at work, what groceries I need, which child has an appointment to attend or needs money for a school trip, what to cook for dinner, when I can have another coffee! I find myself often quoting Scarlett O’Hara and saying “I’ll think about that tomorrow!”

According to researchers we all have approximately 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts a day! And of these many, many thoughts I have a choice as to which ones can set up shop and linger a while. I have a choice as to which thoughts to send packing. Our thoughts need to line up with the Word of God, and what God thinks and says about us. These are the thoughts that we can let linger, that we can ponder on  a while. But when thoughts of fear, confusion, torment or doubt start crowding in, we need to set up a road block and not let them take up residence. We can’t prevent negative thoughts from popping into our heads, but we don’t have to invite them in to hang around in our head for an entire day.

It’s critically important that we’re vigilant about observing our thoughts. That we pay attention to what we’re thinking about. The mind is the placenta for the life that we live. As someone once said “every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” Joyce Meyer also wrote in her book, The Battlefield of the Mind, “You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind.” Thoughts have an impact on our lives!

So I try to apply the wise advice from St Paul – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Permission granted for the positive thoughts, the happy thoughts, the noble thoughts and the lovely thoughts to board!

I’m thinking of…..

….handbags!

 

 


Kinder Surprise

 

My 3 year old loves kinder surprises. In fact all my boys do. There is much excitement whenever they receive one. And their excitement is not so much for the chocolate egg, although don’t get me wrong, that is very quickly demolished! Their excitement is for the yellow container within the egg and the promise of the toy inside. Particularly at the moment as each egg holds the potential for containing a superhero collectable. The excitement when a superhero toy does prove to be inside is huge.

It doesn’t take a prophetic gift to see the junk in our lives. It does however, require the eyes of God to see broken people like Simon (broken reed) and in the midst of their brokenness, call them Peter (Rock). Most people know what is wrong with them but they are unaware of the greatness that God has placed in their lives.  That is what prophecy does it calls out the greatness. It finds that yellow container with the gift inside of it and brings it into the open.

In Saul’s first encounter with the Prophet Samuel, he says “Am I not a Benjamite of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?”

The story goes on to describe how Samuel anoints Saul king and tells him that he is going to encounter a group of prophets coming down from the hills. When he joins them, he will be changed into another man. By the time Saul turned to leave, he was changed into another man. He was transformed back into the man that he was designed to be from the beginning. The real man who was hidden under low self esteem and sin was revealed and restored.

Low self esteem has caused many people to lose sight of the greatness that God has place in them. The goal of the gift of prophecy is to bring out the best in people. It is to mine for that gold and find the hidden treasure in peoples’ lives. It is to look past the negative, to prophecy the answer not the problem.

At the end of the day the chocolate egg is long gone, but the toys – well, they are treasured and collected. They’re the real gift.

There is treasure inside of me! There is treasure inside of you! And God is longing for that treasure to be revealed and released to the world around us!

 

 


fog4

I woke this morning to find our house shrouded in fog. In a fog, driving becomes more difficult as visibility drops to only a few feet in front of the car. We drive slower and more carefully, trying to distinguish the road in front of us. Yet all that has changed is the atmosphere around us. The road hasn’t changed. All that is compromised is our vision. As the fog clears we can see that the road was still there in front of us. We just had to focus harder and pay attention more to where we are going.

Sometimes it can feel that God has disappeared – that He is far off and we can no longer see Him. It is like we are surrounded by fog, only to discover that He was there all the time – our vision was just impaired.

 

Corrie Ten Boom wrote this – “Faith is like radar that sees through the fog – the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.”

Next time you’re in a fog remember to drive carefully. But if you’re in a spiritual fog – hang in there. The fog will lift and you will see that God was there the whole time, unchanged – still good, still for you!

 

 

 



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