Yes Child, God knows your name!

 

 

For those who need to hear this:

 

I was going to type a lot encouraging words but nothing seemed to say it as poetically as this song does. It has helped me through a lot of hard times and I hope it helps you too. Watch it twice if you need to. Let it sink into your deepest, loneliest place. He loves you. Don’t give into the thoughts that bind you and keep you from having joy.

I was awakened a few months ago with God telling me to repeat the phrase below over and over for about 10 minutes. I didn’t know why at that time why I needed to say it so much. I wondered if it was because I was under a spiritual attack at that moment. And maybe I was, but I now know that He wanted me to remember it clearly and POWERfully for moments when satan and his demons try to taunt me with doubtful thoughts and stop me from doing what I need and know to do.  I feel lead now to share it with you for you to use when doubtful, self-deprecating or unfavorable thoughts attack you. Say it loud and strong:

I am a Child of the Most High God, the Great I AM, the Beginning and the End
Who defeated you (satan) on the cross
and I claim all the power and authority
that belong to the Children of God!

 

 

 

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Drink the Water

Craig was excited to finally go on the vacation with his family. He, his wife Renae, and their two sons, Titus and Micah ages 6, 9 and their daughter, Kari, 11 were excited for the hiking adventure along the Grand Canyon rim. They wouldn’t be camping, thanks to Renae, but they would be hiking different trails all along the southern rim in Arizona. In preparation they walked the hilliest trails nearby in the Ozarks many times. But it was cooler weather than what would be where they were going. They knew it would be hot, but once they arrived in Arizona, in June, they realized just how intense the heat truly was. Thankfully, there was some reprieve in the shade. They knew that they would need to drink their water at regular intervals so they wouldn’t get dehydrated and were glad to know that there were a few water stations along the longer trails.

On the day of their first hike, a semi-steep 8 mile loop, they dressed in their light clothing and set off from the hotel before the sun rose. They got to the start of the trail just as the sun was peaking over the ridge. They started their hike joyfully with their water bottles full and a nice packed lunch in their backpacks. After 10 minutes of hiking, Craig reminded everyone to take a drink of water. He continued to do this at regular 10 minute intervals. His kids complied, but Renae wasn’t thirsty so she didn’t take a drink. Instead, she pulled out a piece of gum to chew. It kept her mouth moist. After the fourth reminder, she finally took a drink but didn’t take another until they reach the halfway mark where they would eat their lunch. It was a beautiful shaded spot overlooking canyon. They all were tired and ready for the rest and food. Renae guzzled her water down, refilled her bottle at the water station and promptly drank it all gone. Craig and the kids watched her with concern.

“Haven’t you been drinking your water when dad reminded us to, Mom?” Micah asked.

“I wasn’t thirsty and I had gum in my mouth.” Renae answered sheepishly. Her kids shook their heads at her answer. Kari put her hands on her hips and gave her a disappointed stare.

Craig smiled at her and said, “You know that out here if you feel thirsty it is too late. Your body will never get enough water and you may not have enough energy to make it back.”

“I am fine now,” she quickly answered, “The food is helping. I just need to sit in the shade a little longer.”

They continued eating their lunch and sat to enjoy the view for a bit longer than planned. They disposed of their trash and refilled their water bottles. Renae filled hers took a long drink and filled it to the top again.  They set off on the trail again. Craig continued to remind them to take a drink. After three miles, Renae had ran out of water and was hot and tired. She needed to sit in the limited shade that part of the trail provided. Thankfully there was a water station nearby so she could refill and continue on. Finally they reached the end of the trail. The boys raced to the car. They took off their backpacks and grabbed the bag of candy they saved for that moment.

By the time they reached the hotel a little after noon, they were all tired. But after a good nap Craig and the kids were ready for the next planned activity..a waterpark. Renae was still recovering. She felt weak and couldn’t drink enough water. So going to the waterpark was out of the question. She didn’t even want to think about it. She sent them on without her. Kari made a smug comment about how her mom was just reaping the consequences of her actions. Craig hushed her and reluctantly took the kids promising to be back around dinner time. They had made reservations at a fancy revolving rooftop restaurant. Once they had left, Renae cranked up the AC and laid down for another long nap. By the time they got back, she was feeling better so they got ready and went on to the restaurant.

The next day on their hike Renae appreciated and took advantage of Craig’s consistent and constant reminders to drink water though she would rather he stop warning them by saying they didn’t want to “pull a Mom/Renae” because they knew how that turned out.

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I thought this story serves as a great reminder that we need Jesus daily – all day. We need to walk and talk with Him and linger in His presence. We need to read the Word of God and gain wisdom and understanding for the road we are walking.  We need the living water to keep us healthy and ready for whatever we are going through and that which is to come. If we don’t consistently and constantly go to the well and take a drink, we get dry, overheated, and sickly.  We may even dehydrate if we aren’t careful. Whether we feel dry at the moment or not we need to daily drink of the water.

How does one die of dehydration spiritually? Temptations. Temptations that we would normally be able to withstand in the power of Christ, suddenly overpower us. We become weak. Spiritually sick. We start allowing things and people into our lives that don’t belong there. They are like the gum in the story.  They make our lives seem pleasant and okay, but like the gum, they are only providing fake happiness and are masking the lack of Christ – our daily water.

DRINK!! Drink the water. Spend time in the Word. Talk with Christ. Daily. Set reminders if you have to.

In case you need a drink right now, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q8dYPNV4OQ

 

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Random Rambling

I have so many things going on in my head at any one given moment. And sometimes my face tells on me to the point those I am with will look at my face and ask Whats wrong? or What’s so funny? or my favorite What’s that face about? It is embarrassing how far my mind can wander away from any conversation I am having or task I am doing. It usually starts wandering with one word or phrase that the other person has said, or a song lyric or object I see, or really just about anything. I do have an uncanny ability to see weird things that go on in the background. Anyway, the distraction quickly links to a thought that leads to another and then another and then another until it is completely in a different realm of its own. AND it has nothing to do (usually) with how boring the other person is – no, it is completely my squirrel chasing brain. Let me reiterate that – It has NOTHING to do with whether the person/task/object is boring or not. I can get lost in the most interesting of stories or even my favorite songs.

And the worst thing about it my mouth is in cahoots with my brain. It will open and say things that are totally off subject and may not even be directed at the right person. Then I look like I wasn’t listening to the person I was talking to, except that I totally was, because somehow, that is how my brain functions. Most of the time, I can tell you what was said all the while thinking about whatever.  * Have you ever seen the TV series Limitless? If not the main character guy can hear what is going on while thinking and solving difficult mysteries. People get annoyed and accuse him of not listening, but if he stops and “recaps” he is able to repeat what is said. Of course he has to take a special pill that enables him to do this.  I don’t. I have that ability – not to solve difficult mysteries, haha, no, but to “recap” what was said while chasing random thoughts. Again it isn’t because I am bored, but because ….I don’t know why. It just happens. AND I KNOW IT NEEDS TO STOP. I do.

I really have been practicing listening. Really listening. AND more importantly – NOT talking. Listening without adding to the conversation in my head. Listening without letting my brain think ahead of what I need to say or mostly want to say. Hard but doable. Listening without chasing word squirrels – not so easy; in fact, very difficult for me. Especially if the word leads to a song. A good song is the worst because it is the hardest to ignore. Note* I classify a good song as any song to which I know more than a couple of words. AND if we are in a conversation and you say a phrase or word from a song I know (or half know) OR if the conversation warrants a lyric from a good song then you should expect me to sing it. I am not alone in this. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the song, “Let it go, Let it go!” sang to someone by someone else.

 

However, it isn’t just a good song, I also quote movies. Most of the time it will be some random weird movie that no one else knows that well. That is when I get the “what?” look, to which I just whisper, “Title of Movie, nevermind”.  But how awesome it is when the person I am conversing with actually knows the quote and says the movie! I love it when that happens. Except, usually we just start talking about the movie and stray from the original conversation.  My favorite two movies to quote are What About Bob and Galaxy Quest, just in case you were wondering. They both have a lot of good one liners that relate to so many different situations. I highly recommend both movies for a good laugh. galaxy-quest

So what is the point of this random rambling blog post? Well, I said all that to say, please, please, don’t look at my face and think that you said something wrong to me or that what you are saying doesn’t matter to me. You do matter to me. What you have to say is important to me. If you feel me slipping away from the conversation, just say my name, I will snap out of it. But if I am cleaning/organizing and I seem in my own different world, please let me stay there. I hate cleaning. That is unless, I look sad or frightened, then please get me out. I do go to dark places sometimes.  I don’t know why. Although, sometimes I think if I imagine something bad happens then it won’t really happen. Do you ever do that?

 

 

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I don’t think that word means what you think it means

funny_hell

Funny…but not really. It is inconceivable to me that anyone would want to spend eternity in Hell.  I have heard many a people say “well I’m going to Hell anyway so I might as well__”.  It is popular thinking that Hell is a place bad people (murderers, pedophiles and/or nonspiritual) go to spend eternity. Most people will tell you it is a hot place surrounded by walls of fire that they will spend forever with all their other inferior friends partying it up and throwing rocks at the devil. I suppose they think that they will eventually get used to the boiling hot temperature, and maybe even carve out their own little space to have some enjoyment for themselves. They talk as if it weren’t meant for eternal punishment.

Hell. It is a real place. It will be an eternal home for many – sadly. And I am here to tell you, it isn’t an even remotely tolerable place. It is pure torment. Unimaginable torture – think water-boarding times 1 million and then multiply again and again.  Hell, also referred to as Hades, was created for Satan and the fallen angels. The Bible describes Hell in the following ways:

  • fiery lake of burning sulfur – Rev. 21:8
  • blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth – Matt. 13:50
  • unquenchable fires – Mark 9:44
  • separation from the Lord, never to see the glory of His power – 2 Thes 1:9

I get it…Hell isn’t something people like to think about or talk about. But Jesus did. Why? Because He knew how horrible Hell is and He doesn’t want anyone to suffer eternal damnation. He came, because He loved all of us, so NO ONE would have to spend eternity in that place.

So who will go there? The Bible  says in Revelation 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he/she was thrown into the lake of fire”.

How does someone/anyone get their name written in the Book of Life? Good question! Ephesians 1:13 says that for all who heard the Good News and believed and trusted in Christ, we are then marked as belonging to Christ by His Holy Spirit. If we belong to Christ then our names are written in His Book of Life. Jesus also says that we are to forgive those who trespass against us, and warns that if we do not then neither will our Father in Heaven forgive our trespasses (Mark 11:25-26).

So what is the Good News?  I am so glad you asked! Here is the truth –  Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son, loved the world so much that he came to earth in human form and died for our sins on the cross, so we didn’t have to. Yes you read correctly – HE TOOK OUR PLACE on the cross! And then three days later He rose from the dead conquering death and is now in Heaven preparing a place for us and will come again to gather us and take us home to Heaven.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here is what God’s Word says:

John 3:16,17 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:36 – He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

You see, God desires that all men be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ, who gave himself ransom for all (1Timothy 2:4-5). Therefore, you don’t have to go to Hell. Please don’t! You can choose a different ending. And you must choose. By not choosing Jesus Christ, you will, by default, choose Hell.  God gave you a free will and wants you to choose HIM. Because He know that whoever finds Christ finds life. Life with Him – in Heaven – for all eternity. God loves you. He made a way for you to have eternity with Him.

Don’t wait to choose. Choose life. Choose Jesus Christ. Choose Him now – while you still can.

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I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or questions you may have. I do filter all comments, so it may take a while for them to show up. I will also try to answer any questions quickly and as best as I am able. May God bless you – Judi

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Will It Take a Whale?

He stood there protesting and whining. I had told him to take the trash out and he grumbled out an “okay”. When I came back into the kitchen 10 minutes later, it hadn’t been done. So I ordered him in there and to get it done. The trash collectors would be there soon. “Mom, this isn’t fair!! Why can’t someone else do it?! I always do it!!” Wrong thing to say to me. I wasn’t a pushover mom or even a fair mom – but I did love him – and I did expect compliance. Immediate. Thorough.  So, I promptly told him to get the trash taken out and then added a job to the list. I also let him know that if he would have just been obedient immediately he would already be finished and back to playing, AND if he said one more word there would be no playing for him for a long, long time but instead there would be work- work he would not enjoy. He complied-begrudgingly. Why? Cause I had shown my kiddos that I didn’t speak idle words. I meant what I said and I followed through.

Have you ever been asked or told to do a task that you didn’t want to do?  Why you?  I imagine that is what Jonah was thinking when God gave him an assignment – Why me? Which is why he ran. Ran far. But he still couldn’t hide from God. But God did love Jonah. So He prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. Many have debated over what kind of fish or whale there was that could possibly have swallowed Jonah without killing him – and have even proven that certain whales can indeed swallow a person and that person can survive. BUT that isn’t the important issue. The important thing to learn is that God didn’t want Jonah to be harmed or to die, yet He did want Jonah to thoroughly learn not to run or hide from His commands. The kind of fish didn’t matter because God prepared the fish’s insides to receive and keep Jonah alive for 3 days. That said, I don’t believe it was a comfortable place as the Sunday School lessons almost always depict.

No, not like that at all…not even close. How do I know this? Jonah’s prayer.

Out of the belly of death I cried….and floods surrounded me; All your billows and Your waves passed over me…The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head.  Jonah 2:3,5

No, I don’t think those three days and nights were enjoyable nor comfortable. I believe they were pure torment. Imagine being in a small jail cell that is made of squishy sponges and filled with water, seaweed and fish – dead and probably alive. It stank.  It was dark. Maybe even a little cold.  Three days and Three nights. Why Three days and nights? Well, my guess is that since it took three days to walk the whole of Nineveh, that God was telling Jonah that this was very important to Him. The town of Nineveh was lost and in danger or suffering from God’s anger. Also, it could have been a reminder that if he would have done it immediately, he would already be done. 

Many times God prepares a place for us to learn the lesson of obedience. Often it isn’t enjoyable nor comfortable  and may leave us gasping for air. Why? Because He loves us and wants to use us in important places and situations. Could he use someone else? Yes, but He has chosen you because you have that certain something that only you possess (see previous post- https://listen4godwhispers.wordpress.com/20…/…/27/doing-my-5).

So what has God called you to do that maybe you have put off or ignored? Are you in the belly of a fish right now? If so, follow Jonah’s example and get on your knees and pray! Repent and pray and when God sets your feet on land – Follow through. 

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I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below. All comments are monitored so it may take a while for it to show up. Thanks, Judi

 

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Doing my 5%

Well, I am here. I committed to start writing a few months ago. And I kinda did it. I wrote in my little black journal but not on this blog. It was easy to just sit and write every so often, but I knew I still wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing. I was using every excuse in the book – I needed a laptop, yeah, that was what I needed to be able to write more often. So I got one. Well, I needed a place that was quiet and had coffee. Umm, my house is empty and the coffee is fresh, tasty and free! Yeah, but I keep getting distracted by all the things I need to clean, put away, get rid of or organize. I am easily distracted. So here I sit in a local restaurant with free wifi and coffee. It isn’t quite quiet; I need headphones – done. No I need noise cancelling headphones. Oh woe is me!

Do you relate? Do you have something that God has called you to do and you keep coming up with excuses?

I recently heard a great piece of…for lack of better word, information. It worked as a fire under my feet for me, I guess you could say. This is what I heard:

“85% of your talents and abilities are the same as others. In other words, 85% of what you do can be done by someone else. 10% of your talents and abilities are a learned discipline that only a few others who have also learned that discipline can do. But there is that last 5% of your talents and being that is uniquely and specifically yours and only you can do.”

Only I have the family I have. Only I am the fourth child of my parents. Only I live in the house with my husband and children. So then, only I have the experiences I have. And God wants to use those specific things that only I have.  The same is true for you. I just need to stop making excuses – which frankly are pitiful and really only mask a fearful and doubting spirit.

So here I sit. And here I write. No more excuses. I always feel so free when I do what I am supposed to be doing. Why? Cause there is nothing as great as doing the will of the Father. When you know your purpose and then do it, you can know our heavenly Father is pleased. And in truth – that is all I want – to please my Father.

What is your 5%? Seriously, take a minute and think about it.  What does God want you to do with that 5%.  Let me encourage you to put down your excuses and just let God use you. Maybe it is to raise your kiddos, or be a good, in-person friend to someone right now. Maybe you are to volunteer somewhere, or be a Christian example where you work. Whatever it is – press on. Why? Cause God has put you where you are to do what only you can do. No one can do it like you would.

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Did you hear me?

Listening – the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process.  To hear something with thoughtful attention :  give consideration.  

hearing

Listening takes time. It takes discipline, self-control and more than just using your sense of hearing. It takes focus. And it takes practice.  It is essential for being heard. Yet, most people don’t know how to truly listen. Even more disturbing, fewer and fewer people are developing the skill. They may have the ability to hear but they don’t take the time to process the message. 

Developing the skill of listening is so important for so many situations. For instance, parenting. If your child feels like they have been heard and understood as a child, it is more likely they will know they can trust their parent when they are teens (Adults feel the same way). Too often though, parents freak out before hearing the whole situation and just start yelling and punishing. 

It is becoming more prevalent that people interrupt, causing the speaker to repeat, sometimes word for word, what was already spoken. It is so very aggravating!!!! (okay maybe a few too many exclamations, but seriously it is bothersome- I am sure you can relate.) More often than not, they interrupt because they are so focused on getting their agenda/idea/philosophy across that they don’t take the time to listen to what is being said. 

Okay, now for confession time…I have been the irritating interrupter. (sigh) yes, it is true. I admit, I have a tendency to either try to get my point of view heard that I stop listening or to  _Squirrel!_ oh, sorry, what were we talking about?  (I would insert a “haha” here, but really it isn’t all that funny when it happens.) 

A short while ago, as I was conversing with a few of my friends, I realized I was taking up the whole conversation, but thought what I needed to say was too important  when God whispered, “They don’t need to know every thought you have.” (Ouch!)

However, I am working on all of that and with God’s help, I am getting better. It has taken a lot of practice of holding my tongue and focusing myself to really listening to what is being said. After all, I don’t ever again want to be the person that is referred to in the following verse.

Proverbs 18:13 – He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.

So how is your hearing?


Follow up scripture: Proverbs 10:19, James 1:19

 

 

 

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