Tag: wisdom

God is with us!

I believe you and I are in a new season. And I don’t mean Fall.

Our lives have been so radically changed over the past 2 years that we are finding ourselves in situations we don’t have any reference for, or know how to cope with.  We’re anxious to get on with all the things we’ve put on hold…

The leaves are turning colors and falling off the trees so it seems things should be changing. And yes, we may have added pumpkin spice to our hot drinks, but we’ve been enduring the new “normal” and so many things have stood still, like travel and social plans, while our bodies have continued to age! Wrinkles, aches and pains!  We’ve gotten older, but are we wiser for the time we’ve circled the sun twice?

Covid has had an impact on our jobs, schools, travel, finances, and personal relationships. Some of us have lost loved ones and are dealing with grief, financial strains, or new health challenges. We don’t have solutions to these problems yet … we can’t see an end in sight.

And quite honestly, may not even know how to pray.

But here’s the constant: God

God IS with us, wherever we go. Joshua 1:9

AND He will provide all that we really NEED – spiritual gifts, support, encouragement, direction – if we can remember to look for it.

2 things may confuse us though:

1 – it will be what we NEED, not necessarily what we want.

2 – it will look different than how He’s provided in the past because we are in a different place now.

I’ve been singing the words to a worship song by Jenn Johnson and Ian McIntosh  lately…

winner-4912049_640God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed

give me vision, to see things like You do

God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from,

give me wisdom, You know just what to do…

Click HERE to sing along

My prayer for you:

May you sense God’s presence that He has promised, in real and tangible ways.

May God give you vision and wisdom to deal with your life and circumstances.

May you see with clarity all that God brings to you – even if it looks different than you might expect.

And may you accept and act on His direction.  Amen

Geese: Silly or Smart? Part 2

Still seeing and hearing the geese around – even in this below-freezing weather!

Here’s 3 more lessons to add to the last post about what I’ve learned from these silly/smart birds:

canada-goose-3190675_640#3   Communicate with those around you

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other.

Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions.

I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

wild-geese-1148985_640#4   Circle before you land

Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

goose take off#5   Travel light

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially over long distances. So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward? We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high. Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, and whatever else entangles you.

Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

canada-geese-826022_640We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world.

But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created.

Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.  And be a little Silly…or Smart!

Geese: Silly or Smart? Part 1

Here in Colorado we get a huge influx of Canadian Geese this time of year.  They have migrated south for the winter from Canada.  And will be here till spring when they make their return flight.

Pomona GeeseGoose interaction with people usually leaves something to be desired. But observing the geese relating to each other and watching their behavior together can teach some valuable lessons to Christians.

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#1     Travel in a group
Not only is there safety in numbers, but the principle of flying in a V shape in the wake of the bird ahead has been proven to save a lot of energy. This allows the group to go much farther than the individuals could travel on their own.

When we pray together, encourage one another, mentor each other and work together, we can accomplish so much more than we can being loners. The Christian lifestyle is hard enough in our world today. With all the pressures and temptations, we need one another to stay on track and accountable.

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# 2     Take turns leading.
Because the lead goose literally pulls more weight than the others by being the first to break the air resistance, it tires out more quickly. So as they travel, the lead position is rotated.

The lead goose drops back to the end of the V and another in the line takes the lead.

Because of the energy conserving benefit to the other geese in the V, this allows the group to go farther, faster than they could go alone.

We tend to go till we drop, burn the candle at both ends, wearing ourselves out. Especially in positions of leadership, share the responsibilities. Sure there are some things we need to do ourselves, but knowing when to simply say “no” or delegate is great wisdom.

To maintain this balance in your life, learn that there are seasons for the flow of activity. Balance refueling with expending energy to stay effective. And training up others to take our place should be part of our plan. Even if we continue in a ministry, sharing the load teaches and enriches others.

goose-1391251_640More lessons next time, but try these in your life and ministry. 

God has placed wisdom all around us, in all shapes and sizes.  We can learn from everything He’s created. 

Try out some wisdom from a “silly goose” and then decide – silly?  Or smart?

Googling God part 3

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I believe God is speaking all the time. Are you willing to listen?

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When you have tuned into God’s frequency, (see last 2 posts) and invited the Holy Spirit to silence other noise and lead you into hearing Him; be prepared to be blown away!

I also believe when He says something, it’s important enough to write down.  First, so you don’t forget it.  Next, to check to be sure what you heard is really from God.

hand-453220_640How can you know if what you hear IS from God or some other voice?

When you believe you have heard from God regarding a situation in your life, or direction you should take, or a decision you have to make, put the answer to these 3 tests:

question-mark-40876__3401 – Does it agree with what God has already said in His Word?

question-mark-40876__3402 – Will it produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life and those around you?

question-mark-40876__3403 – Will it draw you closer to God in your relationship with Him?

 

You are looking for 3 yes answers to confirm what you have heard is from God.

If you hit a no, I would urge you to go back to God and ask again, making sure you have invited the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth.

question-mark-40876__340

 

Do you know what God already has said on the subject, and does it agree with what you think you are hearing?  God will not contradict Himself.

For instance, if you know that God has said “do not steal” then you can be sure that the voice telling you to steal what you need is not from God.

solution-2480514_640So, look in the Bible.  Again, God will never tell you something contrary to what He has already said in His Word.  You can use a Concordance – a list of words used in the Bible and where they are found.  There’s one in the back of many Bibles, or online.

If you need help, a Christian friend or pastor can help you find scripture dealing with your topic. Be sure you find what the Bible says, not just what you think it says.  For instance, “God helps those who help themselves” is NOT in the Bible.   Neither is “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

If there is nothing on your topic, or you are unsure, ask God to reveal the truth of your matter to you.

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it shall be given.”

question-mark-40876__340

 

Is the anticipated result in the situation the Fruit of the Spirit?

 

James 3:14-17 tells us the wisdom of the flesh will produce envy, selfish ambition, disorder and every evil practice.  And that the wisdom from heaven is pure, peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit.

Galatians 5:19-23 also outlines what is produced.  The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.

solution-2480514_640You are looking for how it will affect your situation, the people around you, your relationships. Of course, you can’t predict the future, but you can usually be reasonably sure which way the outcome is leaning.

So, what will be produced by you following what you believe God is telling you to do?

question-mark-40876__340

 

Will it draw you closer to God asks about the condition of your heart.

 

I believe EVERYTHING we do either benefits your relationship with God, or weakens it.

solution-2480514_640Ask yourself:  Does this benefit my relationship with God?

Will it help me become more like Jesus?

If the answer is No, pray for the strength to say “No” to whatever you have heard.  It is not from God.

Philippians 4:13 God has promised “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”

If all 3 are “Yes” then commit your way to the Lord and thank Him for direction.

 

YIELD  sheet

Here’s a worksheet to get your thoughts down on paper and see how what you are hearing lines up with scripture, what it will produce, and how it will affect your relationship with God.

 

 

My concern

 

 

What I think God is telling me

 

 

What Scripture says

 

 

What will it produce

 

Will it benefit my walk with God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use your Panic Button

panic-button-1375953_640Wouldn’t it be great if we all came equipped with a “Panic Button”?

We could press our buttons to send out a message that says, “Please come quickly, I need help.”

 

panic key1

 

I remember when cars first came out with built-in car alarms and that button on the key fob that said “Panic.”  A small, black piece of plastic housed the advanced ability to lock and unlock your car doors from a distance, and set or set off  the alarm.

If you pressed the button a loud, fairly high-pitched sound came from the car that people all around could hear.

There have been times when I sounded the “Panic” button just for fun, and times when I needed help in locating my car in a large parking lot.  Thankfully though, I have never had a real emergency where I needed to use it to summon police or other assistance.

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But it started me thinking . . . What a wonderful gift it would be to have the assistance we need at the push of a button.

How many times have you really needed some help, but didn’t ask someone?

 Do you keep piling on responsibilities until you are at your breaking point?  A lot of us do.

Do you try and make it look like you have it all together and are in control, when nothing could be further from the truth?

Do you just collapse in a heap feeling overwhelmed and hopeless?

The truth is, we all DO have amazing resources we can use as “panic buttons.”

call-us-1817506_640More often than not, people you have met and connected with are ready and willing to help you when they can.  And it is totally OK to ask for help.

You may need practice saying the words “I really need some help.”  Or “Can you help me?”

Practice by saying it to your children. It will teach them that it’s ok to ask for help, and will also give them the joy of being able to help you.

superhero-2503808_640Practice by saying it to your husband or wife. The truth is, they WANT to help you; to be your Superman, your Wonder Woman, your hero.

Practice by saying it to a friend.  You’ll be surprised how willing people are to help you if you ask.

But your best resource is God.  In the Psalms, the Bible tells us He is our ever-present help in trouble, our refuge, our strength.  Psalm 46:1

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We need only call out to Him.   Romans 10:13 tells us For everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved. 

If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, know that He loves you, and He is waiting to hear from you.  He will not force His way into your life, but will wait for you to ask Him to come in.

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You can do that in a simple prayer.  Prayer is just talking to God.  Sometimes out loud, sometimes silently in your heart.  You can do it on your own, any time, and He will respond.  You can also talk to a pastor or Christian if you want to know more or have questions.

prayer conversations candle

As our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ knows what we need, and is waiting to be asked for His help.  We are also told that He grants wisdom to all who ask in faith for it, and that when we call on Him, He will answer us and tell us great and marvelous things which we do not know.

He has resources that we can’t even imagine.  And He wants to give us good things.  He has a plan for our lives, to prosper us and not to harm us; to give us a hope and a future.

It’s OK to call for help. Ask friends, they will respond to you.

Push your button.

Call on the Lord.

He will answer.