Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sentence Tuesday

He is no Christian who does not seek to serve his God. -C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, July 30, 2012

When God is Silent, teaching from camp

Happy Monday!
A week ago this very hour, I was standing before a room of 70+ youth girls. God had spoken to me a good word to share with them: When God is Silent. A friend asked me to share my notes and so, here they are.
When God is Silent
Opening Exercise:
Ask the girls to close their eyes and not open them till I tell them to. Both the girls and myself are not to speak at all. Do not tell them for how long they will sit in silence.
Once I have them open their eyes, point out:
* Though there was silent, I was still present // Though there is silence from above, God is still present
* Though I was silent, I was still at work // Though God is silent, He is still at work on their behalf
* I wasn't silent because I was upset at them // God is not silent because He is upset at them
* My love for them didn't change because of my silence // God's love for them is unchanging
Key Verses:
* Psalm 42:1-3 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 
Psalm 13:1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
Personal Experience: 
Briefly share these experiences.
* Four years ago I felt like the Psalmist, abandoned by the Lord
* Brokenhearted by the betrayal of a friend
* Felt useless when I was taken out of ministries
* Felt like a failure as I applied for many jobs and not one company called me back
* I continued to seek the Lord to heal my depression, but He remained silent 
Doubt became fear 
* I grew faithless 
I was angry, confused, bitter
* As I compared by life to others, I complained to God about mine
* Pity parties 
* Hopeless I fell down on my face into God's word
It was through the reading of God's Word that I learned on my own the lessons I am about to teach you. 
1. Recognize the ways God speaks 
Remind the girls to simply listen and take notes of all scripture references
  1. Creation - Psalm 19:1-3 // ex: Rainbow covenant
  2. Audibly - Genesis 2 // ex: God spoke to Adam 
  3. Miracles & Signs - Hebrews 2:3-4 // ex: Right (God parting the red sea for the people of Israel is him speaking for them to continue). Wrong (If he wears a green shirt he is my future husband). 
  4. Bible - 2 Timothy 3:16 // self explanatory
  5. Circumstance - Ruth 1-4 // Through our trials He speaks comfort, provision and faithfulness
  6. Prophet - Deuteronomy 18:18 // a messenger
  7. Judgement - Romans 6:23 // His judgement speaks of His jealous love for us
  8. Without Words - Luke 12:10-12 // Through the Holy Spirit
  9. His Word Incarnate: Jesus - John 1:1-5 // The most important of all! 
2. When is God Silent?
This is not a checklist, so do not self diagnose God's silence. Seek Him. 
  1. He is giving us space to make a decision // ex: Meli had to choose between school or a job (both good but the choice was hers)
  2. He isn't ready to speak 
  3. He has already spoken
  4. He is testing us - 2 Chronicles 32:31b // He tests us not to cause us to fail but to perfect our faith
  5. He knows we won't listen // Usually when we are rebellious and in disobedience (He's a gentleman and though He pursues, He won't impose Himself on us.)
  6. Something or Someone is hindering our listening // Learn to recognize His voice
3. How NOT to respond when God is Silent
  1. Do not doubt God or His Word - James 1:5-8 // Our limited knowledge and worldly wisdom will be as the waves tossed and driven by the wind. We are unstable when we doubt. Continue seeking God's Word and godly council/prayer. 
  2. Do not live by sight - 2 Corinthians 5:7 // The opposite of faith is sight. "God, because I do not trust you I live by sight." -Bob Coy
  3. Do not become angry - Proverbs 25:28 // When we give in to anger, we are driven by emotions and lose self control/discipline. We become broken down walls, causing us to be vulnerable and defenseless to spiritual attacks.
  4. Do not complain - Exodus 16 // The people of Israel could have entered the promise land. It wasn't fear of the giants that kept them from entering, it was their complaining. They wandered for forty years because they complained constantly. They compared their misery to their slavery days. Greatest pity party in history: They longed for onions! YUCK! When we complain, we keep ourselves from the "promise land" and a perfected faith. We then become wanderers. 
4. How to respond when God is Silent
  1. View His last order(s) as standing orders // Whatever He told you to do last, continue doing that
  2. Remember past victories/promises of God and rest your faith in that 
  3. Long for the Lord as David did in Psalm 42, don't let the passion/zeal die 
  4. Recognize that silence can be an intimate place with God
  5. Keep talking to God
5. When was God silent in the Bible
  1. Job suffered many horrific troubles. Chapters 1-37 God is silent, He finally speaks in chapter 38. That's a lot of time! 
  2. David's life, through the Psalms, we read Him crying out for God to speak and work on his behalf. His enemies even mocked Him because God was silent. We also that God never left His side. 
  3. Hannah prayed for a child and God's silence was reflected in her barrenness. God opens and closes the womb in scripture. He speaks as Hannah and Elkanah conceive Samuel the Prophet. 
  4. When Mary and Martha called fro Jesus to heal their brother Lazarus who was sick. Jesus didn't move for two days, by then Lazarus was dead. They may have felt neglected. When they all thought all was lost, Jesus spoke, "Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus, still wrapped in burial wraps came back to life. 
  5. The woman caught in the very act of adultery, stood before a crowd ready to stone her to death for her sin. Jesus, the only one who could have rightfully judged and condemned her, was silent as He wrote on the floor. There in the presence of Jesus' silence, as she waited to die, all her accusers left, one by one. And then He spoke, "Go, and sin no more."
  6. From the last word in the book of Malachi to the first word spoken in the book of Matthew, God was silent. That is 400 years, making that the longest period of time that God was silent. Imagine living your entire existence without ever hearing from God. The time of greatest silence was needed in order for God to do His greatest work. He became man and died the worst death, that today we would be able to live. 
* Silence can be likened to being stranded in a desert. 
* "The desert is fertile ground for our spiritual transformation and for God's grace to be revealed in magnificent ways." -Bianca Juarez 
* Every season of our lives is to be accepted as a gift from God. Even the seasons of silence.
Embrace this season.

* Hosea 6:1-3, "Come, let us return to the LordHe has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the LordLet us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” 

  • The rains in early spring was extremely important. If it did not rain in the spring, the land would not bear fruit that would sustain them in the seasons of drought and winter. 
  • God promises that when we pursue Him, He will be to us the dew of Israel, watering (the Holy Spirit work through the application of His Word) our lives so that we can bear much fruit and yes, even faith for the seasons of silence.
*Hosea 10:12, "Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Break up the fallow and hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lordthat He may come and shower righteousness upon you.
There you have it. I pray that Lord may have spoken to you, as He spoke to me these lessons. If you need prayer, shoot me an email [livingasalily@gmail.com]. May the Lord guard your heart and mind as you seek Him in the silence.

Last week at Uth Camp as the girls sat in silence. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

back from youth camp

I am back, rested up and ready to share with you. 
But, you'll have to wait till tomorrow. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lyrical Friday - Sit With You Awhile

Happy Friday!
Life has been busy, and time is against me. And like many, I am marked with a Martha stamp (read Luke 10:38-42). Being still and sitting for just a little while seems unreasonable, in comparison to my to do list, but it's a must. I constantly have to choose stillness over busyness. I prefer mornings and enjoy sitting with Jesus as I drink my coffee and eat my toast. I'll be honest, more than often, my "quiet time" is rushed and I take in enough Jesus to get me through the day. But oh how glorious are the days that I get to sit without an agenda or a to-do list that follows. Effectively seeking Jesus is not marked by the length of time you spend sitting, reading and praying. It is marked by a renewed spirit, a renewed mind and a fruitful life. 
I know that there are times that we are weary, discouraged and don't feel like sitting with God. I also know that there is a war we wrestle, flesh against spirit. Are you feeding the flesh or are you feeding the Spirit? The one you feed the most will conquer you. So, if you are up for an assignment, do a word search in the New Testament of  the word "sat". You will find, as I did, that there is a lot of sitting in the New Testament. Jesus sat, the disciples sat, people sat and even the dead sat up again. They either sat to hear Jesus or they sat to pray. They had busy lives and were afflicted by great trials but they made time to sit with Jesus some even pursued Him till He stopped to speak. I was blown away by this. I don't think I sit enough. 
It is my prayer that we be a sitting people, who desire God's presence and yearn to hear Him speak into our lives. Not the lazy sitting, but the Mary kind. Mary had chosen that which was good: sitting at the feet of Jesus. The truths we hear and learn, at His feet, will never be taken from us. It is at His feet that we begin to know Him intimately. Let's practice sitting as we listen to and meditate on these lyrics, while making them our own words. God bless YOU!
Sit With You Awhile, Sarah Kelly

I know that You are here
And all I want to do is get closer to You
And just sit with You awhile
And live in this moment
Cause I don't love You for who they say You are
But for who You are to me
You are my peace
You are my hope
You are my life oh Lord
And there's no place else
I’d rather be
Than with You, I love You
Oh Lord
Now to the one with endless grace
Now to the one who died in my place
I want to sit with You awhile
And live in this moment

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sentence Tuesday

The Christian walk isn't about becoming a better person,
it's about a relationship with the God who in prayer makes us better.
-Josiah James 


Monday, July 16, 2012

He is Kanna.

Teacups full of Treasures

You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. Exodus 20:4-5a

They angered God by building shrines to other gods; 
they made him jealous with their idols. Psalm 78:58
You must worship no other gods, for the Lord
whose very name is Jealous, 
is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. Exodus 34:14
For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 2 Corinthians 11:2-3
Teacups Full of Treasures nailed it once again. Today it quiets my busy mind and brings my heart to stillness. And in my silence my beloved Jesus whispers, “You are My beloved and I am jealous for you.” God is jealous for me for the reason that He is at risk of being displaced in my life. Heartbreaking as it may sound, choosing gods over God is not an unlikely reality. I am guilty of it. People, to-do list, events, beauty, internet and just about anything can easily become a god/idol in my life.
Therefore, I must continuously return to the basics: prayer and His word. There is no greater combo than prayer and God’s Word, to ignite a passionate love for God. And genuine love produces a life of obedience. And an obedient life desires nothing more than to please, honor, glorify, and position God over all else.
But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations 
on those who love me and obey my commands. Exodus 20:6
I also share in Paul’s jealousy for you. You are God’s beloved bride, and it is my responsibility that your devotion for Christ be pure, undefiled and undivided. And so, I encourage you to drop the gods. Repent and return to your first love by doing the very thing you did when you first met Him: prayer and the Word. May we be a people who desire nothing else but to love God and obey His commands. "God doesn't want something from us. He simply wants us." -C.S.Lewis

Thursday, July 12, 2012

He fights for you!

The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes. Deuteronomy 1:30
For the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:4
The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. TheLORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if youforsake Him, He will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15:2
You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation ofthe LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17
And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 15:20 
As I read all these scriptures and Old Testament stories, I am overcome with joy and strength. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our circumstances change, some trials are heavier than others, but our God never changes. Today, we can experience the same victories in our life. May your hope be renewed and your spirit strengthened as you trust in the God that fights your battles. He is with you and for you. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

you are known by God

Teacups full of Treasures 
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. 
She said, “You are the God who sees me [El Roi].” 
She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” Genesis 16:13 NLT
The story of Hagar is one of my favorites. The Bible doesn't describe how she felt, or her thoughts. Her plan of action was unknown. We only have the facts written in the Word: she was an Egyptian slave, a mistreated maidservant, and a despised mistress who was pregnant and running away
This verse rocked my world before I was even a Christian. I had planned to run away the day I read this story. I learned that God took notice of a servant. He saw and knew the heart of a woman who (in worldly terms) was of little worth. And she saw Him. Surely God would take notice of me, even if no one else did. I began to believe that He could see and know my heart, even though I believed I was of little worth. The difference was, I didn't look to Him. I remained believing I was worthless, because both worth and value are only found in Christ. Soon after, I fell into the whirlwind of Anorexia. 
It wasn't till the day I surrendered to God that I was able to share Hagar's joy. My head knowledge of God had connected with my heart. I was known by God and now I knew Him. 
As I look to Him, my worth is made new. -2 Corinthians 5:17
As I look to Him, my circumstances change. -Acts 20:24
As I look to Him, I gain new purpose. -1 Peter 2:9-12
As I look to Him, my strength is renewed. -Isaiah 40:29-31
I am known by God and He is known by me. You too are known by God. Do you know Him? (Psalm139)
If you don't, invite Him into your heart that He may make your heart His home. Then, talk to Him. That is was prayer is, talking to God. How will He respond? His Word, the Bible. This is how I got to know Him. There is now doubt in my mind that the God of Hagar can speak life into yours, as He did in her life. May you find worth,value and purpose as you get to know God, your God!
 So she called the name of the Lord Who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, for she said, Have I [not] even here [in the wilderness] looked upon Him Who sees me [and lived]? Or have I here also seen [the future purposes or designs of] Him Who sees me? Genesis 16:13 (Amplified Bible)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sentence Tuesday

Jesus prayed for the thieves on the cross 
and thus demonstrated that no one is beyond the reach of prayer. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lyrical Friday - You Ruin Me

Happy Friday beautiful friends.
Update on my Mother: Surgery went well and her eye is physically improving. As for her eye sight, there has been progress. Monday she was able to finally see. It's not the best vision but she can see more than she was able to which was nothing. As the days and weeks come along there will be progress. The doctors aren't able to determine how much progress or even if her eye sight will be fully restored. What they do know is that will definitely need cataract surgery on both eyes. Then will she be able to see clearly. Thank you for your fervent prayers, continue to lift her up as well as the medical staff of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
Moving into Lyrical Friday business...
JJ Heller is my go-to girl when it comes to days when I just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.  You know, those days when you need to shut out all noises, voices and cares. 'You Ruin Me' definitely ruins me. And that is a good thing, because I am no good for myself. My mind constantly thinks of the worst case scenario, what could go wrong, what is wrong and and dwells on past failures. My heart can be self-centered, desperately wicked,  deceiving, and adulterous. My faith, it wavers, it withers, and doubts. But God's love ruins all of that. His Word ruins my mind, my heart and my faithlessness. As I am ruined, He is magnified in me. My friends, I pray that you too may be ruined, so that He could be magnified in you.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:2-3
I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines. Jeremiah 31:4
You Ruin Me, JJ Heller 

There is no recovery
The damage has been done
Your love is a hurricane that I cannot outrun
You ruin me
You make it so hard to be without you
I thought I was fine 
With both my feet upon the ground
Your love is the ocean 
And I think I'm gonna drown
You ruin me
You make it so hard to be without you
Your love a firestorm
My heart goes up in flames
Oh love, you won the war
And I surrender

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sentence Tuesday

God seldom gives us all we need in order to understand, 
but He always gives us all we need to obey. 

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