January’s Gifts!

January 1000 Gifts

1. Gregorian Chant CD, birds chirping and dogs barking, my daughter’s voice lulling me to sleep

2. I had raspberry sweet cream cheese crepes from Ihop for breakfast, taking my Christmas decorations down and having everything back to normal, looking at the trees and my little tree with white lights.

3. Someone who had a premature baby that I know told me he is now 10 pounds after 6 months and is out of the hospital! Two other people said they had a great Christmas!

4. Old- watching and listening to old noggin cartoons, shows and moose with zee. New- a book called Not by Sight: A fresh look at old stories of walking by faith. Blue- watched Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader tryouts with my daughter.

5.Reading my four books I got for Christmas, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Hungry For More of Jesus, Pleasing God, Letters from The Desert. Seeing Steven Furtick preach for the New Year, unstop your heart for the water to flow. The blessings from God. Making time to help my son, to help him unstop his heart to let blessings flow from God into his schoolwork. To change his outlook and attitude about school. To help him see complaining is stopping God’s flow in his life.

6. In my bag- money, in my fridge- backyard potatoes, in my heart- love

7. My daughter put her hand on my hand after I had hurt it on the door and it did make it feel better. My husband opened a can for me. My husband put the left over dinner in the fridge for me.

8. The morning has been foggy outside and cold. It is a typical winter day with a coziness with it. I was watching Becoming Jane and her reflection in the window carriage was a surprise.  I watched Spirited Away with my kids and we saw a lot of shadows.

9. My family members held. Passed by food at the grocery store. Sat with my dog.

10.  A gift sour could only be that my husband didn’t sell a lot today. A gift sweet would be he won money for being top seller. A gift just right would be the sermon I watched live from Elevation church.

11. I already had a gift of mercy this morning by listening to the Holy Spirit and avoiding an accident near my house! God has made a way for us financially to get through the month! The mechanical pencils I had to buy for my kids were buy one get one free!

12. Something above is the roof over my head. Something below is the floor I walk on. Something beside is all the beautiful things God has blessed me with to make my house feel like a home.

13. I’m grateful that I am quiet, small and that I really truly have come into the experience and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

14. My son’s teacher called to give him work to do so he will pass the class! My older son got a curve on his math exam and got an A and will now pass! We got extra money we didn’t plan on in the bank!

15.  Getting my hair cut. Getting my kids hair cut. Our dinner from Buffalo Wild Wings.

16. My husband getting a spiff at his part time job. Realizing I didn’t have to do my regular housework because Monday is a holiday which means no school! My daughter singing and playing the piano keyboard and my son playing the trumpet.

17.  My husband and son making me laugh.  Watching Elevation church this morning for prayer. Quiet would be seeing monks talk about their chant on The Sunday Morning Show and realizing from watching them talk about it how it has really affected my life.

18. That the Holy Spirit helps me succeed. Zachariah 4:6 I am already living in God’s glory. II Corinthians 3:18 Procrastination is disobedience to God. Haggai chapter 1

19. My husband, my children, my time that I get to spend with Jesus.

20. The design of a snowflake. The little freckles on my daughter’s nose. The fur on my bunny.

21. The sun. Life is in water. Memory is a gift in itself because without it we wouldn’t be. Like Aristotle said, Memory is the scribe of the soul. I love that!

22. Money to order Pilgrim’s Progress Journey to Heaven DVD. My computer screen to watch T.D. Jakes sermon My Dream.  As my day unfolded with my family home from work and school, God showed me through my husband and the book Pilgrim’s Progress that I can’t stop what I am learning and doing because what I am involved in doing with God is affecting my family. If I stopped it would not be good for them, do it for them, do it for love.

23. He is wonderful counselor, prince of peace and mighty God.

24. The blue sky that I can see today with the sun shining. The blue background screen on Steven Furtick’s stage today that read SUPPLY: God’s provision is Seasonal, God’s provision is Unusual, God’s provision is Proportional, God’s provision is Personal, God’s provision is Local, God’s provision is Yours. My Gregorian Chant CD I listened to.

25. A grace borrowed could be Miss Beck telling me about Elevation church a few months back. A grace found is all the books I found to read on Amazon and now one has led me to my movie I will get soon called Pilgrim’s Progress A Journey To Heaven. A grace inherited is my Catholic background and Native American heritage.

26. My music. Watching a show called The Code and my husband calling me. My husband getting another spiff at work!

27. Coffee, food, working appliances

28. They always listen, they tell you what your good at, they are there when you need them

29. Yeha Noha song, I love you from my husband, the sun shining today!

30. hearing, music, The massiveness of God. The awareness of how intelligent He really is.

31. All the scripture in the Bible and all my books I am reading, the humor in my husband cause he keeps me laughing, all the beautiful art in the St. John’s Bible found here

 

The Changes In Me Two Months Later

The rate at which I am experiencing changes is slow but I do sense the change. I have noticed myself craving healthier foods and drinks. I have followed through with these cravings and feel better because of it. I don’t crave the soda anymore and I am not addicted to caffeine like I was. My speech is getting better, I don’t intentionally say things I don’t like but when I do say something it really pops out at me now. I have been a little overwhelmed with the 4 books I got for Christmas so I decided today to take just one book and begin reading it from start to finish before starting another one. The one I will be reading is called Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul. It has to do with sanctification. I have been listening to Steven Furtick a lot again and in one of his sermons he talks about progress and how sometimes your year will just be about the inner work of God. The fruit is on the inside. I feel like that is me this year. I would say sometimes I think I should be more involved with people but I guess taking care of my family counts, right? They are my main focus after I spend time with God. This pretty much takes all my time besides writing here and there. I read in my book Letters From The Desert by Carlo Carretto that any action we do with love counts.  Love is still a big focus for me and I have been struggling with obedience since Christmas break is over. It kinda goes up and down from day to day. My study with God Treks got off track during the holiday and still haven’t started back so my plan is to start back today. I did begin counting my 1000 gifts with Ann Voskamp and will be posting my January gifts at the end of the month. I decided to look at what to look for every morning and then approach it as a scavenger hunt through the day, that has made it fun and makes me more aware of what is happening. I want to mention I prayed a lot for my husband to sell a lot so we would have money for the last two weeks of January and my prayer wasn’t answered so I am really trusting Jesus for whatever happens. I know God hears me and I know I hear Him because I have had confirmations of this so that isn’t the problem. I am trusting God has another way and everything will work out. My prayer life has grown during these two months. I now pray every morning before I get up. I have found myself going back to saying a couple prayers I learned as a child being Catholic. It has been comforting for me and also makes me feel closer to God. I realize that some practices I used to do weren’t robotic after all. Maybe they were back then because I just did what I was taught but now when I say the prayers and really mean what they say and pay attention to the words they feel different now. After learning about sin being the act of forgetting myself and God, I have been making an effort to stay aware. It is difficult at times but I heard a line in a movie over the weekend that I liked. It’s from Song One with Anne Hathaway. The guy said,” Do you ever have a feeling that you don’t want to fade away but you don’t know how to keep it?” And he said the way he keeps it is by playing his guitar and singing. So, this line hit me cause I thought about the feeling I get when I feel Jesus or God close to me. I never know when it’s coming and when I have it I don’t want to lose it and how do I make it stay? So, I have been really listening to my music but what I don’t get is how special it was and can be but sometimes it seems mundane. I don’t know why. It’s easy to slip back into sleep, not being fully aware. I guess this is the fight. Writing connects me to God also which is why I do it. I also thank God all through the day for whatever is going on to continuously be praying as much as I can. Oh and my Bible scripture memorization is going pretty good. I have 9 so far and working on the tenth. They are from Ann Voskamp’s Jesus Project from the book of John. I am really enjoying it although I have to admit it has been harder to do now that our routine is back in place. I think that is all for now.

Hayah and Chata’ah

I was researching one day recently and came across a blog that introduced me to the Hebrew name for God which is Hayah. It means God, I am that I am. http://alexanderbackman.com/hayah_code.htm Here is a link to the article which I found interesting. Finding this made me remember the song Yeha Noha that I mentioned in a couple other posts. I said it was a song of love to me from Jesus. Because the word hayah can be read in both directions I was led to take Yeha Noha and write it backwards to see what I could come up with. It is, ahey ahon. I looked up these words to see if they are Hebrew. The first part of ahey is “ah” which means God, the one who sees. The second part is”ey” which means to see. The word ahon means peace, intimacy. So, I found out that this song is really about God and having peace and intimacy with Him. It’s being able “to see” God, the one who sees. I read in a book called Not By Sight by Jon Bloom that “to see” is not with our physical eyes but with our heart. When we can “see” with our heart we will feel God.  We can experience Him. It is actually in John Piper’s forward to the book that speaks of this. You can find it on Amazon.

While I was looking this up I came across something else really interesting. I found the Hebrew word for sin which is chata’ah. What it means is being absent, forgetting yourself, not being fully aware. I read this article, https://www.facebook.com/notes/earth-we-are-one/the-original-hebrew-word-for-sin-has-been-wrongly-translated-its-true-meaning-wi/312081935474801/

I was amazed at what was said that sin is any action of unconsciousness. So, when we aren’t fully present in the moment we are sinning. And what that means is, is we aren’t fully experiencing God the way He intended. In the garden before the Fall, they had no division from God and they were always in His presence. This is what we have to strive for. Satan has devised many ways for us to forget God but it is up to us to be aware of God.

Satan has blinded us to the Truth! 1 John 5:19,  We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.  2 Corinthians 4:4, among them the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Here is a paragraph from the link above,

Now, if you don’t understand the real meaning of sin, you are bound to misinterpret the whole statement and Jesus will look too harsh, too violent. Saying, “If you right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away,” does not look like his statement. A man of profound love and compassion, he cannot say this, he cannot be so violent. But this is how Christians have interpreted him.

What he means is this: Whatsoever causes you to forget yourself, Even if it is your right eye… That is just to emphasize the fact. It is simply a way of talking, an emphasis: “If your right eye causes you to forget yourself, then take it out and throw it away.” He is not saying anything that has to be taken literally; it is a metaphor. He is saying that it is better to be blind than to be forgetful of yourself, because the blind man who remembers himself is not blind, he has the real eye. But if a man who has eyes forgets himself, what is the use of having eyes? He cannot see even himself; what ELSE can he see?

I am still deciphering all this in my mind. I wanted to get it all down so I could look at it and see if a meaning came to me. I feel my brain hurting from trying to comprehend all this. I also interpret this word for sin as forgetting God, that is the sin. I wrote a poem about that here  If Satan can get us so distracted with things of this world we forget ourselves and if we forget ourselves how can we perceive God? This is why God says, Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

God sees us and wants us to see Him in everything. He wants communion with us in our every moment. We need to “see” Him in our hearts to experience Him. We do that by staying in the Word- Jesus.  Jesus said whoever sees Him, sees the Father. John 12 :45, And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

In conclusion, if you want to “see” God spend time reading and learning about Jesus. Go on research excavations and see where the Holy Spirit leads you. I know from experience it is the most exciting adventure I have ever been on! And if I stop, like I have before, life has no meaning or purpose. I look for God as He looks for me.

 

 

The Greatest Gift Is A Wonderful Life!

I have never participated in Advent until 2015. I decided I would experience Advent with Ann Voskamp’s devotional book called The Greatest Gift. It really was an experience like never before at Christmas. I never felt closer to God and Jesus during this season than in 2015. Her title refers to Jesus being the greatest gift. He is the only true gift of Christmas. One night after Christmas was over I woke up from being sick and felt drawn to go in the living room to take medicine and to open my Bible. I opened the Bible to Ephesians 5: 15-20. It talks about time and spending it wisely and also about praising God with songs and hymns. Giving thanks is included as well. It says we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Joyce Meyer sums it up in her life point as this: To stay filled with the Holy Spirit we have to speak to ourselves and others with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. We need to keep our thoughts and words full of God’s Word by continuously offering praise and giving thanks to Him.

As I was reading this in the still of the night, a bell on my Christmas tree rang. I knew it was a sign from God. Then a couple nights later I had a dream about a man who I was trying to get directions from cause I was lost. I told him I wasn’t spiritually lost just physically. I asked him his name and he told me Clarence. I said you must be an angel! I remembered the angel in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life. Then I woke up. I decided God wanted me to watch the movie so I did.  In the movie I noticed a saying on the wall, it said, ” You only take with you what you have given away.”  I saw in the movie that people let money rule their happiness. The lack of money tries to steal our joy. George said to Clarence that money comes in pretty handy down here! But when Clarence shows George what the town would have been like with out him, he changes inside. He sees where money isn’t the answer to joy or happiness. It’s our presence in the lives of others that really matters. This is what makes a difference. Not the money you give but time, words of encouragement, thanking God and praising Him together. This is what counts in God’s eyes.

After watching the movie I decided to research how it came about. This movie was based off a story of 72 pages written in 1943 by Philip Van Doren Stern. Guess what the name of his book was? The Greatest Gift! Frank Capra took the short story and made it a little different and then called it what we know as “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Here is a link to the history of it, http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/12/its-a-wonderful-life-was-based-on-a-christmas-card-short-story-by-philip-van-doren-stern/

This was very interesting to me. I sat and wondered what message God had in all this for me and yesterday it came to me the title of this post, The Greatest Gift Is A Wonderful Life! Have you ever heard people say God gave us life as a gift and our gift to Him is a life well lived? Our greatest gift is a life filled with Jesus which produces a wonderful life! And it tells us in Ephesians 5:15-20 how to have that wonderful life! If we can get our focus off of money, which we can’t take with us by the way, then we can truly live a wonderful life. If we put into practice praising, thanking and learning God’s Word and encouraging others to do the same the Holy Spirit will reside in us and make all blessings flow. I watched Steven Furtick today and he said something very important. He said as children of God we already have the promises and blessings of God. Some may say that they don’t experience any and Steven says why that is. He said it’s because your heart is stopped up. There are foreign objects in your heart preventing you from receiving God’s blessings. He named things like complaining, grumbling, addictions. When we dig out these things that are from Satan to hinder us then the water can flow. In John 4:13-14 it says,  Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.” This verse comes from the story of the woman at the well. He told her the water from the well is temporary relief but the water He can give is eternal relief! Faith in Jesus brings blessings and promises but they can’t be received if we are blocking them with other stuff.  Yesterday Steven Furtick talked about practice. He used a football player catching the ball as an example. In the video it looks effortless and lucky. But Steven shows footage of the player in practice and also before the game doing this catch over and over and over again which proves it wasn’t “lucky” but the result of hard work! So, we have to practice these things in Ephesians over and over to see results. 

In the link above it talks about the real people who inspired the story.  The character of George Bailey was actually based partly on the founder of Bank of America, A.P. Giannini.  If you read the article you see that he wasn’t money oriented but people oriented. Because of this, God blessed him. He had it right. He was the inspiration to the movie and he should be an inspiration to us all that it really can be a wonderful life!

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