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Hearing God Holy Spirit Joy Love

Joy comes in the morning

“Joy comes in the morning”, Ps. 30:5

This morning I woke with joy.

Reminded me of waking as a child, I would wake with joy and also with joyful anticipation of what wonderful things I would get to see and experience that day.

Joy is a gift from our Lord, which you and I get to receive.

Love is a gift from our Lord, which you and I get to receive.

Jesus gave us these gifts. From heaven. Gifts are already given from heaven. These gifts are yours! Already yours. Now are yours.

Open and receive that your joy may be full.

Share the joy and love which God has already given you. The more you share such gifts, the more you learn to live in them. And the better prepared you are to share your gifts with yet more people.

Be contagious with joy and love! It’s easy.

Just ask for more of Holy Spirit. Then follow Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit gives you gifts such as love and joy – already given. Already yours. It’s effortless.

No effort on your part. No working up or getting excited, no pumping yourself up. These gifts are already yours. Receive what Jesus has already given; it really is this easy.

And look for and feel the joy which is already given to you in the morning. Each day, this wonderful gift is yours through Jesus Christ.

Categories
Conversation with God Hearing God Holy Spirit Journal Ministry Prayer

Trouble Praying?

Photo by Sam Rios, through Unsplash

Does your mind wander? Do you have trouble keeping your attention on your prayer session? Do you get bored or not know what to say and do?

Is what you do or learned to do feel like an obligation that you are not keeping as well as you like?

When you have an honest and sincere two way conversation with God, prayer is empowering and exciting. Jesus surprises and delights; does not condemn. Accepts you and loves you as you are. Jesus equips you with whatever he calls you to do. It is never boring. Your mind will not wander. There is no sense of obligation. It’s natural. It’s supernatural. It’s as easy as a two way conversational prayer with our loving Lord.

How? First, by giving up any obligation or ideas about how you should pray. A good way to do this is to simply ask for – and receive by faith – more of Holy Spirit. Or simply deeply intend, right now, to put righteousness and the Kingdom of God first. Second, by conversing with God, having a two way conversation with our Lord.

Whether wondering how to minister, how to engage in spiritual warfare, or to experience more of the Presence of God, how to lead, even how to follow leadership, how to intercede for others…whatever you seek to pray for, there is a solution that is powerful, effective, simple and easy. If it’s new to you, the initial learning curve is not that long.

Here are valuable resources for knowing about how to hear God better, and how to have an effective two-way conversation with our Lord. Crucial key – alternating rhythms of talking, then listening. Write both down – short term memory, no matter how vivid and strong, can evaporate rapidly.

These approaches are so good that you will do well to learn them.

When you have an honest and sincere two way conversation with God, prayer is empowering and exciting. Jesus surprises and delights; does not condemn. Accepts you and loves you as you are. Jesus equips you with whatever he calls you to do. It is never boring. Your mind will not wander. There is no sense of obligation. It’s natural. It’s supernatural. It’s as easy as a two way conversational prayer with our loving Lord.

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P.S. From Mark Virkler, above, he gives us these Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice:

Very simply stated, the four keys to hearing God’s voice are:

Stillness: Quiet yourself so you can hear God’s voice.

Vision: Look for vision as you pray.

Spontaneity: Recognize God’s voice as spontaneous thoughts that light upon your mind.

Journaling: Write down the flow of thoughts and pictures that light upon your mind.

Virkler, Mark. 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice (Kindle Locations 172-175). Destiny Image. Kindle Edition.

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P.P.S. From the Immanuel Approach above, we have these notes:

Immanuel Approach Pointers – from video notes, he repeats these in each video at the beginning.

-1.  Immanuel truth: God is always with us, god is always glad to be with us, and God always wants to connect with us.

-2. Relational circuits: We have circuits in our brains that serve as the neurological hardware for running relationships.  And we can connect with each other and with God much more easily when these relational circuits are online and strongly active. 

-3.  Positive memories and appreciation: We can predictably, reliably, and consistently get these relational circuits online and strongly active by recalling and connecting with positive memories and then deliberately generating, or stirring up, strong appreciation. 

-4.  Interactive connection with God: We can establish a living, interactive connection with God by inviting God’s presence into the positive memory, asking God to help us perceive His presence, and then noticing whatever comes into our awareness.

-5.  The special value of God-connection positive memories: 

-Our relationships are memory-mapped – our relationships are carried in our memories.

-Reconnecting with memory recreates, at least to some extent, the same mind-brain conditions that were present at the original experience.

-Using positive memories that include an experience of God’s presence takes advantage of these two pieced of brain science. 

-6 Our brains are designed to work best in community: 

-Describing out internal mental content, out loud to another person, helps us to feel it’s importance and to recognize it’s meaning. 

-Including this piece in our Immanuel prayer will enable us to perceive subtle manifestations of the Lord’s presence that we might otherwise miss, and enable us to recognize and receive subtle interactive content from the Lord that we might otherwise miss. 

-7.  Immanuel Approach safety nets: At the beginning of the session we set up a positive-memory, appreciation, connection-with-God “home base” and then we can coach the recipient to go back to this home base if we get into trouble at any point later in the session, or if we run out of time at the end of the session and the recipient is still connected to unresolved traumatic content. 

-8. Splinter-free memories: It is really important to use splinter free positive memories for the safety net.

From Videos in the Resource Page at: https://www.immanuelapproach.com/

Categories
Conversation with God Hearing God Holy Spirit Prayer

The Answer isn’t Always What You Think

When you are praying and seeking an answer, you are likely to get a good reply. God is like that.

Here’s what can be confusing. You get a reply. You think it is your answer. And in a way it is –

  • It may be a direct answer. All you need.
  • It may be an indirect answer. Something that leads you to what you are seeking. It’s your next step in your search.

Here’s an example:

I recently was looking for some information about my wife, her Social Security Number. There was a need for this. I had not memorized it. Could not find it.

Then Holy Spirit showed where I should look. I opened up that storage area and looked and did not find the folders I was looking for. Instead, I found something else that had the information I was looking for.

If I had not followed the lead I was given, I’d still be without what I was seeking. I followed the lead, thinking it was an answer. It was a lead to my answer.

I praise God for such wisdom in how to lead me to answered prayer. Through what I thought was the answer and yet was a lead or hint or clue that led to the answer and information I needed.

Thank you, Lord, for how you lead us!

Categories
Hearing God Holy Spirit Learning

Follow Holy Spirit and Improvise?

https://achristianpilgrim.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/following-the-leading-of-the-holy-spirit-acts-413-21/

How do you start a small business successfully, minister successfully when the unexpected happens, adapt to changes in the classroom or with a family member – and deal with other situations no one can figure out in advance?

(I know small businesses are told to use linear business plans like large businesses, and this works out well only in certain instances. That’s another story.)

You improvise. Or follow Holy Spirit. Or best of all, do both!

How do you give a prophecy? Often, by opening your mouth and starting. Follow Holy Spirit.

How do you follow Holy Spirit?

  • One or two steps at a time. Discover, then walk more. Like moving in the dark with a candle.
  • In a non-linear way. You cannot figure it out in advance.
  • God loves to give us wonderful surprises!
  • God seems to make it up for you as you go along.

How do you Improvise? Here’s a start:

  • Agree. Don’t say, “No”. Don’t block what is going on.
  • Do something new, add to the action.
  • Don’t ask open ended questions.
  • Focus on the hear and now.
  • Establish where you are.
  • Be specific and add details.
  • Do something different – change!
  • Make it up as you go along, following in flow with your partner.

Make it up as you go alone. Pay attention and add something specific and clear. Focus on the here and now, being where you are. Be specific. Add something different!

You cannot work for linear plans to do improvisation. They just won’t work. Respond to what is in front of you, one step at a time. You cannot figure it out in advance.

Notice the similarity?

When following Holy Spirit, learn about and then forget the “rules” of improvisation. See how it goes, what you can learn, how you can do even better next time.

Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep listening and paying attention. Act on what you are learning, seeing and hearing.

I believe this is what Jesus did:

6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, [and] being made in the likeness of men

https://biblehub.com/nas/philippians/2.htm

You will be successful when you follow Holy Spirit and are willing to improvise.

Categories
Conversation with God Discipleship Hearing God Holy Spirit Joy Learning Ministry Miracles

Rest and Dream

Rest and dream. Be inspired. Like Jesus.

Artwork by Greg Olson

Pause. Just rest and watch the sky.

Categories
Calling Conversation with God Hearing God Prayer Presence of God Vocation

From Quarantine to Swamp

Dorothea finally got outside after having been in her apartment for months because of the quarantine. She’s been waiting for this! She needed to escape!

Stuck with her two children and her husband, who had become cranky. She’s been feeling responsible for them all and for taking care of them. She needed to do something for herself and to get out on her own. She was feeling desperate!

She drove past some stores, and decided to get away from people, so she kept going. Went out of town and finally stopped at a rest stop. Sat briefly at the picnic table and decided she had to move. So she got up to walk.

Starting walking next to the road and wanted to be even more away from people driving by, so she turned into the woods and started to enjoy the trees. The smell of pine, the texture of bark, the soft ground beneath her feet – captivated her senses. Dorothea felt joy.

And kept walking. And walking. And after a long while, had been walking so much she did not yet even realize that she was lost. She no longer had no idea where she was.

Suddenly she noticed that she was surrounded by trees and by forest which all looked very much the same: she finally realized, she no longer knew where she was or how to get back.

Still glad to be outside, she decided to just keep going. She was trying to get back. Humidity was increasing. The ground was gradually becoming more wet.

Finally, it dawned on Dorothea: she had entered the edge of a swamp. And she was afraid. Panic set in as she knew she was not only lost, she was in danger. Breathing became fast, humidity turned into sweat so heavy it was hard to see. Wet earth pulled at her shoes with a sucking sound when she lifted her feet. And the water became deeper, deeper by quarter inches, but deeper.

Finally, she knew. She was in trouble. She could die here. She turned and turned; if she was lost before and disoriented, she was completely disoriented now.

There is something about disorientation that affects us deeply, strongly, and that is much more strongly than we ever expect.

She tried to catch her breath. To be still. To look and see through the trees something she could recognize. None of it worked, and despite sweating profusely, she was getting cold. It had been getting darker, and she had not noticed. The absence of light coming through the trees was like a dark, heavy wet blanket being thrown over her, and she felt it. Weighed down.

She tried again to orient, to be calm, to see something she could recognize. To slow down…even to just slow down her breathing. Still, none of this was working. The more she tried and failed, the more complete and widespread her panic was becoming.

Desperate, she prayed. Not with good focus, but with urgency and panic. Out loud, she prayed. She heard her voice of desperation…and suddenly realized she had spoken out loud. She was moving into a frenzy.

In the distance she almost heard something, she thought. So she stopped. Listened. She heard it again, a little better this time. She could almost tell that it was a voice. But it was too far away to hear well. Too soft to make out the sounds.

And she realized, suddenly, there were no sounds. It was silence and stillness speaking to her, directly, from inside of her…not from a distance. The delicate whisper-like word she was hearing was Silence and Stillness speaking to her, directly.

Without words out of the stillness she heard. “Stop. Still, be still. Stop and be still” – if the stillness that was speaking so very directly to her were translated into words.

It was soft beyond soft, still beyond stillness. It was Stillness speaking to her without actual words – yet she knew in her deepest being that this was directed directly to her. A sense of accountability was already arising from within her as she began to hear.

“Stop. Still, be still. Stop and be still.”

And she stopped. Became still. Waited, expectantly.

She was realizing, it was coming to her, that she knew which way to turn. Which way to walk. And she had an inner confidence and fortitude that she did not have before. The fear and the lostness were authentic things that she pressed against and resisted now.

One step after another. She did not know where she was was going to, or what it would be like when she got there. Did not know how to get there. But the next step was always clear. Not the one after that, just the next step.

So she walked and walked, into the growing darkness, one step, then another and another step.

Then she saw it. Light! Kept going, almost trudging. She was exhausted. The deep tired that comes after great fear or having been lost and just keeping going on one step at a time.

She saw light coming from a window. Then a cabin. And she noticed that the ground wasn’t wet anymore.

She was home. She knew it. Deep in her bones she felt it and went almost to the door when an older woman stepped outside to greet her with a smile so warm you could bake cookies with it.

The lady took her inside, gave her clean, dry clothes. And she lay down and slept. She knew not for how long.

She woke in the morning light to the sounds of a crackling fire with fresh, dry wood – the fireplace.

The scent of cinnamon tea and something baked filled her nostrils. She was more hungry than a polite person could ever be, and it did not matter. She was given biscuits and tea and she just consumed them.

She told her story and was given answers to questions with no delay, she felt safe. She was surprised how safe she felt. She even told the nice lady this, how wonderfully safe and held she felt inside.

The grandmotherly lady, hearing Dorothea’s name, asked gently and warmly, “Do you know what your name means?” No…I never thought about it, Dorothea said.

The news about her name was surprising.

“Dorothy is a female given name. It comes from Greek Δωροθέα (Dōrothéa) meaning “God’s Gift”, from δῶρον (dōron), “gift”[1] + θεός (theós), “god”.[2] 

Although much less common, there are also male equivalents in English such as “Dory” from the Greek masculine Δωρόθεος (Dōrótheos).

Also, the given names Theodore and Theodora are derived from the same two Greek root words as Dorothy, albeit reversed in order. The name is variously abbreviated to “Dot”, “Dotty” and “Doll”.” From Wikipedia

Dorothea means, “God’s Gift”. Her life had purpose and meaning, and she has a destiny.

The lady told her, you followed Still Small Voice to get here; it was God who directed your steps, one by one. And you heard. And even in the middle of panic and huge fear, you followed…and came here. Of course our Lord takes you to a safe place.

I’ll not tell you more details of how she got home and to her family now, but I will tell you this, instead – which is far better. Without realizing it, she had stepped into a live experience of the Presence of God. She heard his voice, and she followed.

And she knew deep inside that she could always stop and be still and listen, when things were hard. And she would know deep within herself that she would be okay. She would always be okay. Safe. And even rescued, if such were needed.

A lesson you can have in your own heart and in the depths of your inner being. Just stop. Let go of everything else. Be still. Ask.

You will know. God’s help is yours and you have a destiny. So be glad. Even in these times. Especially in these times.

Categories
Hearing God Holy Spirit Joy

Letting Happiness Reign

Yesterday an excellent friend and ministry partner, Debi Mealey Pitcairn Flory, http://www.monentswithnettie.com/, reminded me I had not let happiness loose in her sight very much, lately. She was especially glad to see me letting loose with fun and happiness while we talked.

I didn’t recognize it then, but she was resonating with and saying what Holy Spirit was saying…. A very important thing.

Then, this morning, all of my three large dogs came to see me, very excited. Usually this means we should go out where I can watch them play – like children on a merry-go-round, they love to be watched when playing. It’s somehow very important.

I did something better, because in my mind’s eye I could clearly see D’s face and hear what she said to me yesterday. So I moved from computer and desk where the dogs cannot have good access to me to a nearby small couch. Now all three doggies can crowd around.

So I sang to them, using their names; telling them how good they are – all things they love. We played. Touched, tagged, and rubbed up against each other. I sometimes grabbed necks and kissed faces – right between the eyes.

They danced with happiness, and I let joy reign.

Later, while walking around (I recently stopped using aids to walk unless tired) I danced for the dogs! (I’d been doing what I call “chair dancing” for a while to Renaissance Dance and other delightful dance music, but I had not stood to dance in years.) Today I danced, standing. The dogs love it when I stand and dance. Go figure! <grinning>

All because of an excellent reminder from a brilliant friend!

How might you be a grand friend to someone today? How might you let happiness reign and rule for a while, magnificently, in your life?

What does Holy Spirit have to say to a friend of yours that you can agree with and say out loud? (You can ask and find out. A fine thing for you to be doing!)

Categories
Hearing God Kingdom of God

Both are Real – What do you trust in and Rely on?

Differing opinions, beliefs and ideas bombard you almost daily.

Many voices. Many are popular – which can tempt us.

Your choosing of what to do becomes more difficult.

The enemy is screaming – now!

And Holy Spirit is whispering – now.

Both are authentic experiences: the loud Adversarial world system, and the Presence, power and love of God: the Kingdom of God – the holy system.

Which will we trust, rely on, and depend upon?

You are a person of God. You have authority in your sphere of influence. You can rise and transform the environment and atmosphere around you.

When you listen to, respond to and obey the whisper of Holy Spirit instead of listening to the screaming of pain, panic, fear and anger of the Adversary – you help enforce God’s Kingdom.

Which Kingdom will you enforce?

Your answer will have deep and lasting effects on your life. And in the right contexts, it can even mean freedom from sickness and also freedom from unclean spirits.

Categories
Conversation with God Hearing God Key Article

Voices of God?

How God answers prayer or how he speaks to you is a part of his answer or instruction to you that prepares and equips you to respond. Transforming you to be better able to pray and to act and to get God’s will done. So you can better do your part. And so you grow more and more into his likeness as you gaze upon him.

Some examples of the distinct ways God speaks to us, his “Voices”:

  • Fear of Godholy awe establishes your relationship with God correctly. Enables you to hear more and to hear better. To pay deep attention. Aligns your values. Opens your ability to receive wisdom and all gifts from our Lord. Begin, always, with holy awe.
  • Scriptures – Not only teaches us, but gives us the standards by which we can understand and recognize God and his messages. What we receive will not contradict scriptures.
  • Still Small Voice – God asks you to be to be attentive and responsive. You are extra clear who this is from – from I Am (The Lord) – directly to you. (I Am is Yahweh, a personal name for God. Relating directly to you.) God increases, automatically, your experience of your accountability. You are extra certain that the correct answer is, “Yes!”
  • Inner knowingKnowing that you know that you know – providing you with deep inner certainty and even greater confidence. Increasing your ability to act and have great faith that empowers you to step out and risks.
  • Fruit of the SpiritEspecially love. God’s love spills through you to others. For ministry, and to just love, love and love! Equips you to obey the Great Commandment, to love God with all your heart, mind and soul – which is a lot of love! To love others with the same love.
  • Dreams, visions, parablesGod calls you to dig deeper, and to seek actively. Increases your motivation and ability to apply what he says (to the right person, situation or context).
  • Words of Knowledge – Insight into how someone or a situation is. Often analogue (mediated through the right brain), that calls for you to identify correctly a particular ministry target (person, place, etc.) Or pray for the person or situation to Holy Spirit helps you to identify. You get to experience aspects of God’s chosen target. Giving you additional insight.
  • Gift of Wisdom – Enables you to know better how to act and apply with greater wisdom. Tells you what to do with what you know.
  • TranceA trance focuses our attention completely onto what God is showing or telling us. Especially useful when an idea is hard to accept – you know you have received this message.
  • Angels – Angels are messengers. An angel is a messenger. And they can carry the atmosphere of the throne room of God. They are mighty, sometimes huge. Sometimes so much that people receiving a message from an angel will become so weak they cannot stand. Angels communicate great authority. All of this makes our standing on our own authority much less likely. Your attention has been strongly grabbed. So a message of great importance, that carries a lot of weight, that has huge consequences can be communicated without any doubt. We are sure of what we have received.
  • Thoughts in our own mindsEspecially useful to help us identify with those thoughts and impressions as being owned by us. Especially useful when what is important is the message but not the Authority or Author of the message. Seems ordinary and we have little resistance to thoughts that seem to be ours and that indeed may be ours. But which could also be from God.
  • NatureGod’s creation and beauty are for me a reliable context for me to hear God in. And for many other people. God speaks to us through his creation. I can go look at and be in the midst of God’s creation, on purpose, and I will easily hear God and I know it. I am grateful for such grace when I sometimes have too much difficulty hearing God.
  • Beauty and art – When we are inspired by great music, beauty of any kind, great art – opens us to appreciate and receive inspiration.
  • Worship – Opens us to God and what God says much like beauty and art can. Only we are establishing our experience of relationship on purpose. Gratitude and praise make it easier to hear God. Being reminded of previous experiences with God makes it much easier for us to be ready to experience and hear again.
  • Unanswered Prayer – This is surprising, yet unanswered prayer can cause us to investigate our previous prayers and ourselves as we seek additional insight about why.
  • Answered Prayer Causes us to give thanks, be grateful, rejoice. All of which helps us be more ready to hear what God has to say to us. We are prepared and ready to listen and to do as God says.
  • ConscienceCauses us to correct our ways.
  • CorrectionWhen God corrects me, he has my attention and my immediately stronger than normal readiness for me to agree to whatever I am being told to correct. Other people have told me they experience much of the same.
  • Signs & WondersLiterally point to messages from God, such as how much he loves us and wants to do for us. Help us to be exceedingly grateful! At which time a leap in our devotion and determination to relate and respond well to God is more likely to occur.
  • AnimalsAnimals talk to us, and sometimes we hear. Nearly always, we learn. Sometimes God speaks to us through animals – so pay attention and be ready!
  • PeacePeace can be a clear signal of God’s agreement with something, a message or a thought. (Lack of peace may show that there is no agreement from God.) I have a friend who found another place to live that looks wonderful – and who has no peace about it. Which he realized means that at least for now, God is not pointing him in that direction.
  • Coincidences – helps you learn to pay attention to, identify and respond with awe and great attention to Divine Appointments. Increasing your appreciation for and awe of God.
  • Other people – who affirm or inform can be comforting. Confidence building. And especially helps you experience community. Experiencing community with other members of the Body of Christ, especially as you are gathered in His name – gives you an experience of Jesus among you. And more! What few people notice consciously, but experience at least a taste of, is that you are having an experience of communing with and in Trinity. The community of God! You get to share in the communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — the family that birthed you anew! Your most genuine family. And this is just a beginning of what will happen….

Pay attention to the distinct ways God speaks to you. Transforming you. Be better prepared and equipped to do as God wants you to do.

P.S. I just found this, what a wonderful addition to this article, or even an improved substitute: Guest Post: Hearing God’s Voice

Categories
Hearing God Jesus's Communication

Jesus Confuses on Purpose

It has long been my observation that Jesus would sometimes speak metaphorically, while speaking of it as if he were speaking literally. (See John 3:1-7, for example.) I suspect this is a way of shocking his listeners. This was especially strong when he was saying to eat his flesh and drink his blood. He lost listeners. He had to know what was happening; and he did it anyway.

This has had such a powerful impact that down through the years this still gains great attention and thought. Jesus did this on purpose, I believe. And not infrequently, either. It’s part of the way Jesus surprises us with how he communicates.

Surprising communication gains attention and thought. This is part of how Jesus communicates. On purpose. Even today….

Would you like to learn and practice learning how to communicate like Jesus? (I know I am eager to do this. Easier to say than to do.)

I could have inserted “Sometimes” in the title but did not. How am I doing? A bit of shock and confusion? If I succeed, you will remember this.