This is great! Awesome idea. Pastor James on the cutting edge.
Instead of focusing on the negative and going into my spin cycle this is making me stop and ask what "we" should do next (not what I should do). Exhaling a sigh of thanks. . .for this is not habit (yet).
Rough start but I'm determined to know a God in a better way, in my every moment, that is where I know there's peace in the mist of my day to day storms. My challenge thus far has been family
I have to keep reminding myself that the name of Brother Lawrence's book is PRACTICING His Presence…It's all about practice, practice and more practice…I love setting reminders on my phone and leaving notes on my computer and around the house….anyone else find this helpful?
After hearing about getting out of the seat of God, I had a sudden onslaught of events. I'm realizing God is with me, giving me a peace that I can't comprehend. I'm not going to question that peace. I'm going to stay out gf God's way and let it all go. It's kind of like falling back into someone hoping they'll catch you. Well, He's been catching me. My son wrote a scripture from Sunday school on a little post-it. Proverbs 19:21..."Many are the plans in the minds of man, but it the will of the Lord that will stand". It was all I needed to hear directly from God. If I wanted to really hear from God...well, there He isWITH ME.
I had a very real talk with God this morning. So real, in fact, that it scared me. I had been avoiding my emotions and anger towards God, which was slowly eroding my heart and soul. I realized how I've dulled my soul by not being open and honest with my Father, who wants to see me freed. After these past few sermons, I now have the utmost respect for the status of my soul, and am more aware of taking safeguards in order to insure that it continues to be cultivated. After my honest prayer this morning, I noted how strong I felt Him near me. I hadn't felt His presence that real in a long time...and it's apparent that it was my own lack of honesty with God that was my biggest hindrance to connecting with Him.
I've spent time in God's presence the past three days while raking leaves with worship music, while running and while having a solo lunch with Him - peace in His presence. Still practicing as Pastor James said....
This week at work has been extremely busy with the holiday being last week. I knew it would be a challenge to "stay centered" and keep my eyes and heart on God and that is why I have purposely set reminders on my computer that say "Stay Centered". It gets me to take a breath, remember that He is there with me and cares about what is going on - I even changed by screen saver!! I love that we are being given practical tools to PRACTICE His Presence. It is easy to tell everyone to DO something, but it is great that we are being shown what to do actually do to make it happen.
As I think about this "With God" lifestyle, I am realizing that I sometimes compartmentalize spirituality. In other words, there is the practical, mundane, day to day that we all have and then, there is the time to be spiritual through reading the word, worship and prayer. Practicing His Presence to me, is including God in all the mundane monotony of our daily lives! Being 'immersed' in His presence like Aaron was in the oil of God in Ps. 133:2... "It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down on the collar of his robe." God's love and presence pouring over us with so much excess that it consumes us, running over our entire body and pooling at our feet (there's a song to be written in there I'm sure!) :)
As PJ was preaching on Sunday, I was reminded of a news story that came out last week. An Amityville man, stopping in a 7/11 to get some food for the homeless, left his car running as he went into the store. When he came out, someone was trying to steal his car and he was killed by his own car in trying to stop the criminal. It made me think about that 'still small voice' that comes to us so often in the little things, like 'make a left here' or 'don't go to that event tonight,' etc., for whatever reason. I can't help but think that this person may have heard a hesitation about leaving his car running because I know it has happened to me. I am getting better at listening and obeying that voice in the small stuff but it takes 'practice.'
The lesson is that God is always speaking but we need to listen because He cares for us and loves us so much that He wants to be involved in our every day, daily lives and to walk this Journey "with us!" Lord may you continue to show yourself and speak to me in my everyday life and give me the discipline to stop and listen for your voice in all that I do! Amen!
It was about 7 pm and I was walking back to my car across a very large parking lot. The day had started around 5 am and now my legs and feet were very tired. The wind and rain were both doing their jobs fantastically, making me brace to keep warm.
But as clear as day the practice element came up from church. I stopped and said a simple little chilly prayer, then continued on. It wasn't much, just an invitation. I truly felt met, lifted and accompanied on the rest of my walk. It was a stolen moment that I was present and grateful for.
I am SO very thankful to our Pastors and to God for relentlessly guiding us to this 'WITH GOD LIFE' In my busyness and alone-ness it is often difficult to concentrate on Gods Presence, so for me- I truly find the greatest time of experiencing Him is with other believers! Small groups or one on one times are just a wonderful opportunity for hearing His voice through others.
Realizing more and more how important it is to see God in ALL things and to
Thank Him continually. Rather than question "why?" I remind myself "this is all part of God's plan". I have also become more aware of those times when I am trying to sit in His chair. The past few weeks have been so instrumental
In my life. I am so appreciative of those who have brought the Word. You were all truly sensitive to what Gof wanted to speak to us!
I find it difficult to find a specific time each day to talk to GOD even though I have a lot of free time. Therefore,I have created a strategy that every time I enter my car,before I enter the key I will take a few minutes to talk and listen to HIM. Upon reaching my destination when the key shuts off I will spend a few more minutes with him.This hopefully will offer me 5 to 6 opportunities daily to enjoy his company
Now that it is Friday, I can look back on this week & reflect how different things have been this week when I actually tried to include God in my every day mundane things. Problems still crept up & still needed to be dealt with, but my reaction to those problems was different than it normally would have been. By bringing God into the "every day" (which I never really thought of Him being interested in that, to be honest), it makes me remember who Jesus is, how he would treat people and how, in turn, I should treat people and respond to the things that happen in life. I now can truly see that Jesus wants to spend as much time with us as possible and He truly cares about what we experience each and every moment. Really uplifting to finally get that. :)
Well, feeling like God is WITH me has been a challenge. The enemy wants to make me feel like all odds are against me. Finances, home life, work, all I do during the week. Like a tidal wave inside is coming toward me daily. I take the little victories & cherish them, because every little step closer to feeling He's really with me is monumental to God. Every overcoming I do reminds me to stay the course. I can say I'm getting it...even though there are crazy, doubtful times here & there. I trust He'll keep me in His strength. This is how I've been keeping the reality He is with me no matter what. This is a tough thing when I'm used to "taking charge & controlling" everything. He is showing me He is in control, despite my own thinking. He is stronger than my own thinking & the self in me that wants to do it my way, stronger than my fears/insecurities. My eyes must stay on Him no matter what's going on around me. He promised me peace in my storms. I'm taking Him at His word. It's better than my own way!
This week I began practicing His presence by slowing down. Reading small portions of scripture and meditating on maybe a word or two that jump out to me. Stopping to see people in the stores not with critical and judgmental eyes, but with sympathy and compassion. Then I saw a bird, a cardinal, and I just stared at it and my mind was filled with the splendor of God's creation. Here was this little bird, a single flicker of color against the backdrop of leafless trees, that just reminded me that God is always with me, no matter what the season. I could not believe how much of life I was missing just by my hurried pace.
I dont mind leaving my name because its more about leaving my thoughts and experiences this week. As some of you know I am a Detective with the NYPD and im not about to turn this into a debate or discussion but I would like to just express myself on how I have related to GOD this week because I have found myself talking with him more than ever. With all of the events this week I found myself in the rear of a police van looking into a sea of people who were filled with emotion.. mostly directed at hate towards the NYPD, and law enforcement in general. Being called a racist, killer and a murderer. I found myself filling with emotion, asking God why this was happening. I know 99% of my colleagues would gladly put there lives on the line to help a stranger and here was a group of people who thought the complete opposite. I asked GOD to show me a way, show me how to endure knowing you are doing the right thing. It flashed into my brain like a lightning bolt, I just kept thinking about when Jesus was presented by Pontius Pilate to the people of Jerusalem. Jesus knowing full well all of the good he has done, all the people he has helped and the sacrafice
sorry hit submit buy accident..
he was about to make with his own life. The crowd yelled that they would rather have Barabbas a murderer rather than someone who has done so much good in the world. It gave me stringth, it gave me conviction and most importantly gave me clam and love.
I am becoming more and more aware and conscious of how God sees me. He made me beautiful. Not because I do things right, but because He made me beautiful and it's the LIFE of Christ IN me that sees. Knowing that I'm cherished by Him makes me want all the more to live my life WITH Him moment by moment.
I used to keep my distance from God when I felt ashamed of my sin and weaknesses, but now I'm drawing close even and especially during my times of failure and sin. Resting in His intimate love for me
Had a wonderful, emotional soul freeing experience this morning. Hearing the testimonies from my sisters overwhelmed me. All the feelings I feel down deep into my soul are also felt by my sisters. I am not alone. I am not alone!! Thank you my sisters for the fellowship! Xo
Dear Lord, rest is hard to come by because I get so caught up in the things of life. Help me Father to rest and appreciate all You are and all You do for me daily. Help me Father to rest and listen for the sound of your voice in the silence of that rest. Amen
So...it's funny when you don't think He hears you. By talking about Jesus to others, it seems like in those moments I hear him most. I always felt it difficult to hear His voice in quiet. We're all so busy, like Pastor James has spoken of in his sermons, that we think we can't hear Him. But He's been speaking to me in many ways. More than I imagined. I've been serving the Lord close to 30 years and I'm learning for the first time how to have a personal relationship, personal...He & I...with Him. No distractions, just One on one. I'm finding it amazing. As amazing as people are when they hear about the love of God for them! Fears, worries, all of it; He's showing me that it's true I can do all things in Him because He strengthens me. I'm learning He's the reason for every breath I take, He's the solution for every problem that may ruse, the comfort for all my sorrow, the Living God WITH ME. And I have to say, I'm blown away He loves me so much. And my family. All under His plan. I'm simply floored that He's gt it all under control as I let it go. And the more I let go, the more peace I seem to be getting! I'm starting to know what the words " To God be the Glory" reallllly means! I'm loving the fellowship and will continue to submit to His will! With a joyful heart. Amazing. I'm simply amazed.
What a wonderful experience this Saturday at the women's breakfast! What freedom it is to be able to share in unity with your sisters and not be judged by anyone! In this world we are so worried about what everyone thinks. We need more events like this to remind us that God is our center, not other people, but that we DO NEED EACH OTHER to keep us centered with God and get us through this journey of life. It was wonderful.