Monday, October 26, 2009

Hear His Voice

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. ~~John 10:27 ESV

Children recognize the voice of their mother and fathers. I remember watching my boys when they were babies. I walked into the room talking and their heads turned toward me. I watched them as the watched me and listened to me talk to them. They cooed back to me as I held them in my lap and spoke to them.

Interestingly, on the flip side, I could recognize my baby’s cry out of all the other babies in the nursery. Or even when a group of children were playing together, I could hear the sound of my child’s voice in the group. The Lord gave parents an ability to distinguish their child from others.

I remember studying about zebras with my youngest last year when I homeschooled him. Each zebra has it’s own particular pattern of stripes. When the foal is born, the mother doesn’t let it see any other zebra’s except her until it can recognize the stripes and sound of it’s mother. Then she’ll let it wander in the group.

Jesus stated that He is the shepherd and we are the sheep. As His sheep, we recognize his voice. I do not know much about shepherding, but I gather that the shepherd spends much time with the sheep that they get to know his voice.

Are we spending enough time with our Shepherd that we know His voice? Voices can be deceptive. There are lots of voices vying for our attention. Competing with the Shepherd’s voice are the voices of others, our own voice and the voice of the enemy—the devil.

Why do we need to listen for the voice of our Good Shepherd, Jesus? He desires the best for us. As humans, our hearts are deceitful. We can fool ourselves into believing anything. And the enemy prowls around looking for someone to devour, so we must stand firm. Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life.

How do we listen to Him? First, I suggest reading the Bible daily for if we know what it says about matters, then we won’t be easily fooled. Second, I pray about everything asking the Lord for advice and answers. I pray about my schedule, which fruit to buy, if I should buy those pants or blouse. I pray before I take a test. I’m working at praying more before I spout out answers (as it does avert disagreements). And then I practice listening for His voice. Sometimes, it pops into my head as an idea or a thought. Other times, I’ll think of something, but dismiss it then to hear it on the radio, television or someone else later.

Our Lord speaks to us in a myriad of ways. If we spend time with Him then we will know His voice like our children know our voice and we know theirs. Take time daily to hear His voice.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Be Ready

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. ~~ Matthew 25:10 ESV

Since I started taking college classes again now that my son returned to school, I have learned that I must be more prepared and organized to keep our lives functioning properly. For classes, I must keep track of assignments and when they are due. For the Bible study I must set aside time in my week to prepare the lessons. For my home, I must create lists of what needs to be done. I’ve even implemented an organization system so I can track the order of tasks to prioritize my time efficiently so I can be ready.

In the above Scripture, Jesus told a parable about the ten virgins. Five were wise and five were foolish. The foolish ones failed to think things through to be ready for the bridegroom’s arrival. Granted, they did not know when He would arrive, but they knew he would come. Since they did not have the needed oil to light their lamps, the wise virgins instructed the foolish ones to go buy their own oil for if they shared, there would not be enough for all of them.

When we’re preparing, some things we just cannot share. When I must take an exam in college, I cannot share the grade of another student. I must prepare for myself to have my own grade. Just like I know when a test is scheduled, the virgins knew the bridegroom could come at anytime. The wise virgins could not share with them.

As a result, by the time the foolish virgins arrived at the door, it was shut. Just as some instructors will not allow students in the classroom once a test begins. They’re locked out and fail the exam. The foolish virgins were locked out and failed to enjoy the marriage feast.

The marriage feast discussed in this passage is the marriage supper with the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. That is one feast we do not want to miss. It will be the best of the best and nothing on this earth can compare to it. We do not know exactly when the Bridegroom will come, but we know He is coming.

We need to be ready today for that feast. We cannot delay for “today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). We need to be assured that we know the Bridegroom by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, repenting of our sins and committing to live our life for Him.

If you’re not certain you’re ready for Christ’s return and join in the marriage feast, then say a prayer from your heart expressing your desire to admit you’re a sinner, believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and commit to living a life for Christ. Then if He returns today, you’ll be ready and welcomed into the feast.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Find Rest in God

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” ~~ Psalm 62:1 (NIV)

This past month I found the pressures of being a wife, mother, college student and Bible study teacher more than fulfilling. After I started, I wondered if I would find the key to having balance in my life.

Before when I stayed home and homeschooled, my life seemed to be busy. But after my son started public school and I returned to college myself, I realized what a cozy life I had before. I felt like I went from zero to sixty in a minute flat. I felt like I was on a highway with no rest stops.

After the movie, Cars, came out I frequently sang the theme song by Rascal Flatts, Life is a Highway. The lyrics to the verse read, “Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long. If you’re goin’ my way, I wanna drive it all night long.” The other day I heard the song and I told my husband, “I want to find a rest stop! I don’t want to drive all night long!”

He knew what I meant. I needed a rest or waiting period. Building up to last Friday, I stressed myself by fretting about mid-term exams. Chase in his 12-year old relaxed, no worry straight A student tone said, “Mom, why do you stress? You know if you stress you won’t remember what you studied.” Friday I finished my mid-term exams, came home and rested all weekend. Needless to say, my soul found my rest stop in God.

This weekend, I found myself resting in the Lord. I have found comfort and peace with Him knowing that all I do, I must do for the glory of Him. I can do nothing in and of myself anyhow. Now that I’m rested, I do not feel stressed about what tasks lay before me. I have lots to do, but I will make my plans and ask the Lord to direct my steps. I will wait for Him to lead and guide.

I’m learning how to balance my life being outside the home more these days. I realize I must find my rest in the Lord. I understand a bit better why He commanded us to take a day to rest—for only in Him can we truly rest!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What is Your Driving Personality?

Today my Purely Personalities post published on Take Root and Write. Here's a sneak peek:

I've been driving in the rush hour traffic a lot more these days since both my son and I returned to school this fall. During this time, I've observed various driving styles. As I thought about it, driving styles could possibly reveal a person's personality type (at least the personality trait being displayed at that very moment as most of us have personality blends). The early morning and afternoon traffic times creates pressure on people when they're driving. I can now differentiate those drivers who are prepared to those who are not. Let's explore some of the possibilities of personalities while driving.

To read what each personality may look like while driving and see which personality you have while driving, click here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A New Look

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. ~~ Isaiah 43:19 NIV

“Those were the good ol’ days!” Have you heard anyone make that declaration? I recall my grandfather used to tell me about his days in the Navy, remembering times that seemed to be better than the current moment.

As I’ve gotten a bit older, I’ve caught myself doing the same thing. But Scripture promises us that we will have better days ahead. Those who believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah have the hope of a glorious eternal future.

But for the here and now, we have God’s promises and hope of new life here on earth because we’re sealed with the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 1:13) The Holy Spirit guides us in our daily living. He leads us the way through “the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

When living in our “desert” and “wasteland,” it is a place where reliance and dependence on the Lord’s provision is the only option. He is our only source of provision and all things come from Him.

The Lord does new things for us along our journey. There have been times I read the above Scripture and cried out, “No! I can’t see it! I don’t perceive it. Please show me Lord!” But He is faithful to show us in His timing—it’s a matter of faith and trust.

Well the Lord is doing new things in my life. Things I only imagined and dreamt of before this year. In the years past, I felt the call to be a women’s teacher and speaker. Years I’ve worked in preparation for this year. Now I can see the new thing.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m teaching a weekly ladies Bible study that I am writing, and speaking at women’s conferences and retreats. And now the Lord blessed me with a new makeover on the blog as part of this new season in my life.

I want to thank the Lord for placing Crissy, a blog designer, in my life at precisely the right moment for I knew this meeting came from Him. Crissy captured my heart and the heart of the ministry I feel the Lord has entrusted to me. Crissy prayed for several days about how to design the blog. I felt so blessed by the Lord to guide me to such a prayerful blog designer.

As the Lord leads me in this new season, I now perceive it as He places the right people in my life at the right time for whatever it is I need. I can remember the “good ol’ days” but better yet, I can look forward to days yet to come as the Lord does a new thing!

Can you perceive the new things the Lord is doing in your life? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Also leave Crissy your thoughts on the new look too. Thank you Crissy!