I Recognize That!

 

phone notification

Floured hands are not the best way to answer a cell phone.  Ask me how I know!
One day my cell phone was ringing, and not knowing who it was, I ran to answer it, flinging pie dough into the bowl and the counter, and also leaving a trail of flour with every step I took.  It was a telemarketer (how do they find me even after I register my number on the “Do not annoy call” list?).  Grrr.

It was then that I started using a different notification and ringtone for each group of people in my life so I could determine, just by the sound, if this was a call that really needed my immediate attention.

My husband’s notification has an ukulele song.  My daughters have a harmonica (they know why!).  My parents and sisters have a nostalgic kind of song. My close friends have a catchy little ditty.  Everyone else gets a standard ring.  Now when I’m driving down the Interstate at 70 MPH, I know who is calling just by the sound, and I know whether this is an urgent call that is worth digging sideways into my purse to find my phone!  It’s all by the recognition of the notification that I know who’s prompting me to answer!

The Lord used that simple irritation and example to show me that I was not recognizing the Holy Spirit’s promptings in my heart throughout the day.  Oh, I start off right – I get up and have my Bible study and prayer time and give myself and my day to the Lord first thing and I hear from Him then.  But after I finish, I get going on my schedule and it seems the later it gets in the day, the less sensitive I am to the Spirit’s prompting and directing my heart and my life.  Pretty soon, I’m not aware of His conviction, His leading, or His speaking to my heart because I’ve tuned out the recognition of His Spirit.

But what if I stayed sensitive to His promptings all day, just like those notifications on my phone?  What if I was aware and recognized His nudging to witness, His conviction of sin, His warning to not speak that word of criticism?  I could “pick up that call” and be directed so that I might avoid the sin, or share the Gospel with a person who is lost.

I want to recognize God’s Spirit in my life greater than I want to know when I’m getting a really important phone call.  I’m asking Him to help me to be sensitive to His whisper and nudging in my heart, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.  It’s even sweeter than that loving text from my husband, and I think you know how much I like those!

Are you recognizing the Spirit’s nudging notifications in your life today?

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 px

Are You Living for The Next Thing or Content With Now?

Image result for disney world

Perusing through Social media recently made me wonder how many of us live for “The Next thing” that’s coming our way down life’s road.  It might be:

  • Marriage, then
  • Children, then
  • A home purchase, then
  • Vacation or Cruise, then
  • Another Child, then
  • A new car, then
  • When the children are in school, then,
  • A job promotion, then
  • The purchase of the newest gadget, then
  • When the children are on their own, then
  • Another great vacation…
  • When the grandchildren are born…

It goes on and on.  There’s nothing wrong, of course, with having goals, but some people seem unsatisfied until they attain that “Next thing.”  It’s such an easy trap to fall into, isn’t it?  Everything we see and hear in our world encourages that discontentment.  We’re always urged to want more and to do more and long for the next season of life.

But what if we could put on glasses with lenses that help us to really see what we have “Now”?  If we could really embrace the  joy of this stage, the gladness for these few possessions, the awe of this status of our lives?  Would we not be really living out the beauty the contented, Christian life that Paul’s wrote of when he said,

I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased and how to abound, every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Philippians 4:11-13

If we feel a frequent restlessness with today and we’re  on the search for something else – big or little – to get us to through the next hoop of our life, it may be that what we’re really missing is not the newest toy from the electronic department, but biblical contentment.  

Where does that kind of contentment come from?  It’s not found at the Apple store, it’s found in the Secret Place of prayer.  When Paul spoke of “being instructed to be full and hungry,” he was talking of being initiated into the secret of contentment, and that can only come when we go to our God in prayer.

When we pray, we tell Him about our anxious heart, our longing for that something else.  We ask Him to give us joy in this day, this moment, this status, this car, this house, this marriage.  When you get up off your knees, you’ll find that instead of longing for something more, you will have found Someone who was enough!

Ask yourself (or better yet, ask God), “Am I living for The Next Thing, or am I content with right now?”  Respond as God reveals the Truth to your heart, and you’ll be staring the sweetest possession right in the face – REAL, TRUE CONTENTMENT.

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 px

Family Friday – How To Pray for Your Children/Grandchildren

 

pray for children.jpg

When I became an adult there was a day when my mom apologized to me for the lack of “big” family vacations while my sisters and I were growing up.  It was such a surprise to me to hear her even mention that because it never entered my mind that I had missed out on anything!  We didn’t have yearly adventures at theme parks or cross-country road trips, but our family had daily/weekly worship times, family times, games, fun and a loving environment and that was enough to allow me the blessing of growing up fulfilled and more than satisfied with all that our home provided.

But I understood my mom’s heart.  Parents who love their children know that those little ones need so much. From nurturing, to physical care, education, and daily provision, there’s so much to provide for each child.  But if we are trusting the Lord for wisdom to know how to give them what they need, He will not only give to them spiritually, but will also provide everything else that is essential in their lives, just as He did in our home.

A huge part of the spiritual provision comes when we pray for our children.  As I’ve mentioned before, if we’re not praying for our children, who is? Here’s a great list of prayer requests to pray for your child, with Scriptures to use as your platform to come to God.

  • To know the Scriptures which are able to make them wise unto salvation.  II Tim. 3:15
  • To grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  II Pet. 3:18
  • To be obedient to parents. Eph 6:1
  • To be respectful to parents Eph. 6:2
  • To have a heart for God. Deut. 5:29
  • To know God and serve Him.  I Chron. 28:9
  • To hate sin. Ps 97:10
  • To understand their sin will be found out.  Num 23:23
  • To choose the right friends. Prov 13:20, I Cor:15:33
  • To say “no” to sin. Prov 1:10
  • To learn to submit to God. James 4:7
  • To have a repentant heart.  Ps 51:103
  • To be teachable. Prov 13;1
  • To be a servant to others.  Phil. 2:3,4
  • To trust God for their future mate and ministry.  Prov. 3:5,6
  • To remain pure for their future mate and future mate pure for them. II Cor. 6:18-20
  • To surrender their heart and life completely to God. Rom. 12:1,2
  • To stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Col. 4:12

There is no greater gift you can give your child than to faithfully pray Scripture for them.  It’s bigger than Disney world, and more impacting that the view of the Grand Canyon. Also, aside from what it will do for your child/grandchild, it will also change you, and that’s something NO vacation can do!

Pray and refresh others!

Have a great weekend,

Denise Signature 150 px

Deliverance From Fear of the Enemy

Bibles 1.jpgIt was morning and I had had a fitful night’s rest prior to waking up.  The weeks prior to this day had been crammed full of caring for others, a couple of trips, lots of study, sickness and then the emotional drain all that brings.  Now I found myself staring at yet another hardship and the day had barely gotten started.

The blessing of this moment was that I was also in my normal spot first thing in my day – I was in my Quiet Place.  My Bible was open and I was thirsty for its Living Waters.  I opened to a Psalm I’d been meditating on for several days – Psalm 63.  It comforted my heart to do what the psalmist had done and stop and remember all that God been and accomplished for me in recent days. Ii was reminded of His goodness.

Then I went on to Psalm 64:1

Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

It was as though I could literally hear the brakes squalling, bringing my fretfulness to a complete stop!  The psalmist was asking God NOT to deliver him from the enemy, but from the fear of the enemy.  The Lord showed me at that moment that here was my problem – I was fearful of what the enemy might do, of what the enemy could do, of what the enemy was thinking of doing.  The enemy is powerless before my God!  I was jumping the gun and just having fear OF THE ENEMY.  Our enemy doesn’t have to do anything if we can be filled with fear about what they might do!

What is your fear today?  Usually we fear something that hasn’t even happened yet.  We fear

  • a poor blood test before the blood is drawn
  • our children leaving home before they’re even grown
  • running out of money when we retire before we ever even retire
  • what someone might do to sabotage our plans before the time for those plans has come

The list is endless.  But the point is that we fear things that haven’t come yet, so it’s not that thing that’s causing the fear, it’s the fear of what might be!  It’s a fear of NOTHING because we’re imagining everything.  It’s a futile, empty circle that only leads us to the pit of despair.

I dropped to my knees and asked God to forgive me for fearing what had not even come.  I put the matter at His feet.  I then asked for direction for the day.  I now had a purpose for the day ahead because the fear was no longer blocking my view of God’s plan for my day.  I moved on in victory over the fear of the enemy.  

My day was productive.

My heart was joy-filled.

My burden was lifted.

Do you have a fear of the enemy today?  Recognize it and then repent.  No child of God should be living with fear striking terror and dread in your heart.  Christ is victorious over this fear, and you have victory, too!

Do you deal with fear of the enemy?  How will you deal with it today?

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 px

Throwback Memories of My Weekend in the UP

Yikes!  I haven’t stopped to share about my weekend in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan almost two weeks ago!  Let’s fix that today!  I’ll share some of the highlights of that great time with some really special ladies!

I went to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to speak for their “Ladies Day.”  Traveling and speaking is never anything I ever sought out to do.  The Lord has put this privilege before me, and I have loved it so much.  I always learn far more than anyone I speak to!  For that reason alone, I am so thankful to my God!  But I would never/ could never travel if I didn’t have the support, encouragement and prayers of my husband.  He cheers me on every step of the way.  The picture below was on our way to the airport when we stopped to have lunch before he dropped me off.  What a man I am blessed with!

Michigan 1.jpg
It’s all about the People!
My friend, Kellie traveled with me and she was such a blessing.  It’s lots more fun navigating a trip with a friend at your side!

Th next picture of the pretty blonde is the sweet young woman who invited me to her church.  Lisa was a member here at our church until she got married and her husband moved them waaaaay up north!  It was a joy beyond compare to be with her for the weekend, to see her church, her home and her heart for God!

I met lots of precious women.  I won’t post them all here, but they were welcoming, open to God’s Word, and very friendly to this Tennessean!

Michigan 3
The decor
The ladies used the white birch around them to help decorate the platform for their theme “Deeply Rooted.”  They had verses about being rooted in God’s Word all over – on the bulletin boards, in frames – everywhere.  They did a wonderful job carrying the theme throughout the whole church!

Michigan 4
The Fellowship
Part of the blessing of a weekend like this was fellowship with other ladies.  Aside from our main sessions and workshops, we had times of sharing a meal, a dessert, and a game.  That’s when you really get to know others!  We had lots of fun together!  We played a game using our purses.  You know, it’s amazing what some people carry in theirs (that would be me!)

Michigan 2
The SNOW!!!
There was plenty of snow all weekend!  They had a few flurries while I was there, but the piles have been there since December.  As we say in the south – Bless their hearts!  It sure was beautiful – but then I got to leave it after a weekend and come home to green grass!

There’s nothing better than serving God!  Look where He takes me!  Look who allows me to meet!  Look at what He teaches me in His Word!  I never would have dreamed that I’d be so blessed, but isn’t that just like our God?  He surprises us over and over and over!

FBC ladies, thank you for having me.  Thank you for being such a blessing to me.  I am the richer for it!

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 px

I’m Not Going!

possible.jpg

Reflecting back on the retreat I was privileged to be a part of this weekend makes me shake my head in amazement once again at my great God.  That He would allow me to share His Word with ladies and teach them from the overflow of what He’s taught me, is absolutely amazing!  It is a  joy beyond compare!

It’s also the hardest thing I ever do.  There is such an overwhelming understanding of the responsibility to handle God’s Word correctly and lead ladies to Truth, and to do it in a way that God alone gets the glory.

If you could hear me before I go to speak, you might wonder why in the world God would send me!  Seriously!  I go through the agony of:doubting that what I’ve spent many hours preparing is what I should be doing.  I gasp and wonder what in the world I was thinking when I was sure this is what God wanted me to share!  My husband and close friends will hear me say,

I’m not going!

It’s then that they know they need to pray much for my weakness.  It’s also at that point that I fall on my knees before Him once again and give Him everything – myself, my words, my outline, my heart, myself.  It’s  a cycle that happens every. single. time.  But it’s necessary, you see, because it empties me of myself and makes me realize that I indeed do NOT have what it will take to go speak and help anyone.  I CANNOT make anything happen in myself.  I am totally nothing without God’s empowering.
My words are empty. My strength is weak.  My plans will fail.

But God…

  • is strong when I am weak.
  • is almighty.
  • is able to do exceeding abundantly .
  • is my all in all.

I sincerely believe that the Lord allows me to speak so that I will continually be drawn to Him in utter dependence.  I’m so thankful for that!  I don’t want what I can do because I’ve seen what He can do!!

What is it in your life right now that is making you realize that you are so very unable to do what is before you?  God gives each of us at least one thing to cause our eyes to look upward, pleading for His possible power when the situation seems impossible to us!

Lift your hands toward heaven and remember that He is your All in All!  He can do the impossible in and through you when you let go and trust solely in Him.

Do you have an impossible situation?  Will you allow Christ to be your All in All this moment?  He is enough. Take it from someone who knows because she DID go, and God did all the work.  Praise His name!

Denise Signature 150 px