Thursday, June 20, 2019

Breath of Life - Summer Series

2019 Summer SeriesWhisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson takes us on a spiritual journey, a journey of how to listen for God and what God can reveal to us. I read this book about a year ago and am re-reading it this summer. As I share some excerpts from his writing, I hope you will be encouraged to read along. - Donna

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV

To escape being killed by Jezebel, Elijah runs. Exhausted, he says to God, “It is enough!” and lies down and sleeps. God sends provisions of food and water and gives him rest to prepare for his 200 mile, 40-day journey to the mountain of God. In our Scripture, we find Elijah discouraged and alone, hiding in a cave. In contrast to the powerful miracles God had performed with consuming fire, God now teaches Elijah that His greatest plans are long-term, His most intimate language comes another way, through stillness and in silence.

We live in a world that is overcrowded with noise, full of constant interruptions and consistent distractions. God desires to communicate with us and often speaks in a gentle and quiet way, personal and intimate. Like Elijah who is desperate to hear God, we expect that God’s way will be spectacular, but we learn that God’s ways are not our ways. Batterson says, God “woos us with a whisper. And His whisper is the very breath of life.” (Whisper, p10) As you listen for God’s voice to speak to you this week, anticipate the unexpected in the simple and silent gestures of life. Listen for God’s whisper. Then do what Batterson suggests, “Obey the whisper and see what God does.” (Whisper, p11) - dho

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hear God’s Voice - Summer Series

2019 Summer Series: Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson takes us on a spiritual journey, a journey of how to listen for God and what God can reveal to us. I read this book about a year ago and am re-reading it this summer. As I share some excerpts from his writing, I hope you will be encouraged to read along. - Donna

Samuel said, “Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 

In his book, Whisper, Mark Batterson suggests this Scripture from the book of Samuel captures the essence of seeking God’s voice and calls it “the seven-word prayer that can change your life”. He describes God’s voice this way: 

His voice is love. 
His voice is power. 
His voice is healing. 
His voice is wisdom. 
His voice is joy.  - Mark Batterson/Whisper, p2

As we spend time this summer learning how to better listen for God’s voice, we must first ask ourselves a question Batterson asks: “Is God’s voice the loudest voice in your life?” I hope you will journey with me and explore listening for God’s direction, revelation, encouragement, comfort, and mercy. -dho

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Holy Wind... Pentecost Sunday!

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them.” Acts 2:1-4 NCV

On April 21st this year, we celebrated Easter. After this, we often just go about our days participating in the end of school events and recitals, with preparations for summer trips and Vacation Bible School. Today, Sunday June 9, 2019, is Pentecost Sunday, the day most liturgical Christian churches celebrate of the Holy Spirit coming to be with those who follow Jesus. 

Jewish history recounts that the curtains in the Temple that separate the Most Holy Place would sometimes move and describes this phenomenon as Rauch HaKodesh, a Hebrew phrase meaning “Breath of the Holies”. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people understand the Holy Spirit to be God’s influence over humanity and the universe. In Psalm 51:11 David pleads with God, “Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” God always desires to dwell in the presence of His people.

After Jesus ascends back to heaven, as promised, the Holy Spirit descends to His followers. The Holy Spirit is the Helper, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. Now, Jesus sits at the right hand of God, and the Holy Spirit becomes God’s Presence with us. 

Holy Spirit, come alongside of me and breathe holy life into my thoughts, my purpose, my service. In You I know the presence of the Lord. Holy Wind, embrace me, encourage me, empower me. Count me alive in Christ. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. - dho 

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Mark of Jesus - I AM the Resurrection and the LIfe

Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in Me and will never perish. John 11:25-26 NLT

We find everlasting joy in the seventh “I AM” statement of Jesus, reflected annually with Easter celebrations around the world. Easter Sunday is full of joy, praise and hallelujahs that proclaim once again Extravagant Love! His love not only precedes us, it exceeds us. Resurrection marks the transition between life and overcoming death. His resurrection bears the marks of His Passion for mankind. This Everlasting Grace conquers the spiritual death. With certainty we find our Blessed Assurance even in the darkest times. The resurrection of Jesus restores life, offers new life to all, and gives enduring peace. Holy, Holy, Holy; Holy is the LORD. Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. 

  • Celebrate the resurrection; consider Extravagant Love
  • Share the resurrection; offer Christ to another.

Holy One, such love wraps my life with assurance of life, and Grace weaves my life into Your community of believers. Mark me as Yours; restore my soul. Hallelujah to the Love Most High! - dho