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Joy Learning Lessons Love Presence of God

My Dogs Teach Me about God

Ryke Porras, at Unsplash.com

My dogs are a sign of God’s love and constant attentiveness, given by our Lord. They are like footprints left behind for me to notice and appreciate.

Usually they teach me about – and show something of – how God loves. Unconditionally. Constantly. Generously. Without judgement.

Today my most non-verbal dog (a Doberman) came while I was reading and reflecting about the other end of this – a sign of how I am to be open and receptive to being loved with great tenderness, gentleness, constant attentiveness given and receiving all of this well.

And now I know my dogs are also a sign of and a demonstration of some of God’s love, and how to receive and soak in and appreciate God’s love.

How generous, kind and loving God is to leave me such signs of him, such examples and teachers. I am filled with wonder, amazement, deep appreciation and gratefulness.

I think I will stop writing now, and just soak in this and reflect and receive being this way…I have nothing else and nothing better to be doing. Thank you, Lord!

Categories
Discipleship Getting Help Jesus's Communication Joy Kingdom of God Prayer

Weary? A Slightly Surprising Answer

Rest in Christ

28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30; https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+11&version=NRSV

When you are weary, rest and relief is available. It may be a little different than expected, though; Jesus is often surprising.

I’ll get right to it, no fooling around and being careful and slow. Here it is: he will give us rest. Especially as we add to ourselves some of his qualities. Such as being gentle and humble of heart.

When we are learning from Jesus and allowing him to take our (heavy) yoke, not only is he stronger than we, he is also being gentle and humble of heart.

Which means we are not being proud, when we ask him like this. Not being proud, when we are being gentle and humble of heart.

I don’t know about you, but when I am weary and find rest, by hindsight is is easy for me to be clear: while I was weary I had been being proud. Carrying a heavy burden and being proud about it.

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Conversation with God Getting Help Ministry

Minister to Yours – Only?

Bible Clip Art: Jesus Walking on the Water Matthew 14:26-29

Ministry goes best, is easiest, and most powerful when we minister to those that God gives to us. Jesus did this. (He ministered to his own disciples a lot. Taught them and saved them. A valuable clue.)

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24; and there are other passages like this.

Woman at the Well, American Gallery

He did make rare exceptions. Such as when he ministered to the woman at the well. A Samaritan woman. He broke cultural and Jewish cultural expectations: he talked with a woman – and a Samaritan, with whom Jews seldom spoke with. Accepted water from her. And he’s previously said he came only for Israel. But she wanted his ministry and desired it strongly! Such was a worthy exception to the norm of ministering only to those who you are called to. It’s sort of a safety exception – allowing unusual ministry.

Minister to those you are called to. How do you know who these people are, what people group it is?

  • First, seek to remember what God has already shown you or told you that gives clues and hints.
  • Second, Ask! Ask God and pay attention to what you experience next; this could be an answer from God. Even if unexpected.
  • Third, if you still don’t know, ask God how to pray for guidance. He will show you an answer – keep praying for it until that answer is in good effect.
  • Forth, notice that you get along better with some people who draw the best out of you. They are actually gifted to receive from you and through you. You are gifted and called to minister to such people.
  • Fifth, avoid temptation: do not try to minister to others unless they want to receive through you strongly, like the Samaritan woman at the well.

If you allow yourself to be busy with those you are not called to, your energy, time and ministry will be siphoned away from those you should be ministering to. You will be tired. You will be much less effective in your ministry. You will be ministering to those whom God never called you to, and disobeying the call God has on your ministry. Avoid such temptations; you will be exhausted and distracted, vulnerable and hurt. And with poor results. Best is to always do as God shows you and tells you to do.

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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/

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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
Conversation with God Freedom Healing Joy Ministry Worship

What Does it Mean?

What does it mean when someone has been healed or set free and you see them light up? Is it just gladness for their improvement? Gladness, yes. Being lit up? Might it mean more?

What does it mean when they have Holy Spirit? In biblical terms, in the Greek, they have experienced sozo. Which can mean that they have been healed, set free, even saved. Does that mean all of these or only one of these things? I wonder….

Maybe they just have Holy Spirit on them, helping them heal or be set free. Could be. Like the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, they have Holy Spirit on them just for a bit? Or in them? I wonder…and I do not know, yet.

So I will watch. If after being set free and being healed, they stay lit up with Holy Spirit evident in their lives over a period of time, there is a greater chance that they have Holy Spirit in them and not just on them for a brief time. Meaning it is more likely that they have been saved. I wonder, as I watch for such things, what will I discover and see before me that is obvious? I do not know, and I wonder.

I do know this for a certainty. God is more merciful than we are. God loves more and better than we do. And I do know this: God’s theology is wider, more inclusive and more generous than the theology of we human beings.

And so, I wonder. I will ask our Lord. I will listen. And I will watch people who have received ministry with wonderful success. I will see Fruit of Holy Spirit, or not. I will see obvious evidence of Holy Spirit in them, or not.

And I do not know what will become obvious.

Even if it’s only some ministered to who have such evidence of Holy Spirit, and not all or even most, I will rejoice.

And if I cannot identify any with certainty and confidence that they have Holy Spirit…what will I do? I will rejoice!

For our Lord has saved many of us. Has ministered to many of us. And Jesus is still Immanuel, God with us. And he is coming! Hallelujah!

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Healing Key Article Pain

The Purpose of Pain, Version 2

The Purpose of Pain is for first grabbing attention, then to aid healing.

The Purpose of Pain is simple. It’s to gain our attention to injury or trauma.

First, to help us see if we need first aid.

Second, to then to aid in protecting and aiding in resolving trauma and healing.

Pain grabs our attention. If a physical injury, do we need first aid? To stop bleeding or to take other immediate measures? If emotional injury, do we need to stop everything else right away because the injury is so large and we have no free attention left for doing other things?

Pain also helps us protect trauma and injury for healing. And this is what too many of us have been missing for far too long.

It’s simple; but I didn’t see this for most of my life. It’s somewhat obvious by hindsight, yet easy to miss or even to dismiss as not important. Especially the second part. It’s done well in two parts, one part after the other:

-1. Pay attention to pain that has grabbed your attention with the “front” of your mind. Assess and do what needs doing.

-2. Pay attention to pain with the back of the mind. The body and mind will work behind the scenes to protect what hurts. And then to heal, and to resolve trauma or injury. This does not need as much conscious attention as assessing and seeing if first aid is needed. Some “back of the mind” attention does need to continue, for the best protection and for the best resolving and healing of the causes of pain.

Both body and mind have mechanisms already in place. And it’s my observation that they work better when attention is continued with the “back of the mind”. Attention will be grabbed somewhat, anyway, because of the pain. But it is safe after the assessment to give only “back of the mind” attention.

This works best when we are breathing with our lower belly or abdomen, rather continuously. How to get stuck in trauma or to not complete processing: stop breathing continuously. Hold your breath for periods of time.

Emotional trauma resolves best when we use our attention properly and continue breathing – without holding our breath.

So….

The Purpose of Pain: is to attract and keep our attention first for first aid assessment and then for continued protection of injury and resolution of trauma and healing.

This works well for all kinds of pain, including emotional and physical.

Especially if you are breathing continuously and avoid holding your breath.

Getting this backwards is how we get stuck and stay in pain. (To get this backwards, keep paying attention with the front of your mind to how much you hurt. You won’t be able to do as much because you have little attention left over. You may become prone to holding your breath, which allows emotional trauma to continue.)

I think this is how David played his harp and helped King Saul when he was bothered by an unclean spirit.

A friend of mine, Gregg McIver, told me of examples where he’d play one of his many flutes and help people who were overloaded and angry, or otherwise in some emotional pain. Helped a dentist relax when facing a difficult procedure. Helped his own self with pain of a tooth having been knocked out.

Keys to Succeeding:

  • Keep Breathing.
  • Keep some of your “back of the mind” attention – on the pain or trauma until it resolves.
  • Keep your “front of the mind” on something else (after the initial “first aid” assessment).
  • You can do some things with front and back of the mind awareness, like listening to a Native American wooden flute, pan flute or David’s harp with a pentatonic scale. I suspect that wide notes or lots of overtones are an excellent help in holding your attention and keeping it spread out between both front and back of your attention.

That said, how did Jesus do these things? Easy. Simple. He showed us and he told us. (Be careful to notice what he shows us and what he tells us – or we miss important lessons.)

  • Jesus healed with gentle compassion. This gets your attention right for healing.
  • Gentleness is related to humility. We hear Father better. We have a better two-way conversation: prayer.
  • Compassion brings our heart into our actions.
  • Doing these things, being these ways, you find that your heart and your attention is set correctly and well for healing injury, sickness, or trauma. In yourself and in others.
  • Do as he said. Proclaim the nearness of the Kingdom of God. Heal the sick and free the bound!
  • Go! Share the Good News and heal the sick and free the bound. Go!

A journal entry from later in the day:

I can talk to God in the Spirit, and even without words, yet actively relating and connecting, and actively putting Him and his Kingdom first. 

     This changes everything.

     Even overload and pain.  The need to process.  (Take time out to process, and talk to God during this.  It’s better!  He is merciful and good.) 

12:20 P.M., 15-Aug-2020

So…be filled with wonder and joy at how wonderful a Lord, God and Savior we have! While you process, talk to God in the Spirit. Relate! Putting Jesus and his Kingdom first. This alone changes everything. And doing this literally transforms your automatic and deep processing, and it takes such processing to a new level that transforms and heals.

So…please practice, practice and practice. Learn this for yourself and make new habits which will serve you and others for the rest of your life.

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Blessings Multiply Key Article

Blessings Love to Multiply

Trust God To Multiply Your Resources, Even When They Don't ...

Blessings love to grow greater in us and in our lives.

Blessings love to spread to others.

In both these ways, blessings love to multiply.

Learn to enjoy watching them do this.

Help them do this even more and better by giving good blessings, yourself: stating and telling the truth about what Jesus has given us. Such as love, great favor, and so on.

Help blessings multiply even more and better by teaching others how to give good blessings.

It’s too easy in life to say a curse to ourselves or others without even realizing what we are doing. So make a deep decision before God to not do this anymore, and to always receive every blessing given you with joy, rejoicing, and open acceptance.

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Holy Spirit Kingdom of God Ministry

Minister Before You Minister

https://www.findshepherd.com/Jesus-begins-his-ministry.html

Jesus would create a context where ministry could take place, and he often did this first. Before he did what people recognized as his official acts of ministering to the needs of particular people.

For instance, he would preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God and often instructed us to do this and then heal the sick and free the bound.

He would ask questions such as, “Do you want to be healed?

He would clear a room, maybe even a house, of people without faith for raising the dead – before raising the dead.

He would tell stories, parables. He would teach.

As a coach, teacher, leader, father, husband – in many roles and ways, I have noticed that the context seems to limit and control what can happen. If what is happening is not sufficiently good, re-create the context.

He created a context for ministry, with Holy Spirit, and you can, too.

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.