I was talking with a friend the other day about a book that she had just finished by Bill Johnson called Strengthen yourself. It's concept that Bill speaks about often - remembering the things the Lord has told you, the promises and how He thinks of you. This is a practice that David modeled and consistently and consciously engaged in. When the people around him began to trash him or to doubt him, he turned his thoughts and his heart to what God had told him.
Today, I read John Paul's October eletter, yes, I'm a bit behind in my reading, and he addresses the same subject. You can read it for yourself here. When we teach The Art of Hearing God, I like to have the album I Am: 365 Names, Attributes and Characteristics of God playing. This album is John Paul reading 365 names, attributes and characteristics of God. There is power in this album. Not only does it set the mood for the class, but it turns our hearts and minds toward God and enables our Spirits to catch what the Spirit is saying and how He's moving. For several years this album or the instrumental version, The breath of I AM, have been part of my 24/7 soaking music. BTW - if you're interested, you can find the album here .
Back to my point... this practice of remembering the things that God has said to me has become so important that I have added scripture and promises to some of the photography I have taken and used them as book marks and as reminders hanging on the walls. There are no less than a dozen promises surrounding me at my desk. One of the things I have done is to take scripture and pray it over myself, and several years later I am seeing the fruits of that scripture in my life. This concept of encouraging myself has become so important to me that I make it a conscious effort to place reminders everywhere.
Take my new phone for instance. Chris bought me a My Touch, it's an android phone very smiler to an iPhone. I love it. I've set up the wallpaper to show a photograph of Antelope cave. I believe it's in Arizona somewhere. What strikes me about this picture is that there is a shaft of light that comes down from the roof and illuminates the entire cave. This is a visual prayer that reminds me that this is my prayer about God illuminating me, every part of me, as well as a prayer that this is what I do when I walk into a room or a situation. When I selected my new ring tone, I selected a song that impacted me the first time I heard it and expressed the cry of my heart - Where You go I'll go. I needed to get a shell for my phone, and rather than pick one off the shelf, I designed my own. It has promises on it as well as the scripture that I've been praying over myself for several years. The colors are purple and green, reminding me of my royal heritage and inheritance and the growth that I have achieved and the growth yet to come.
So, do you encourage yourself? If so, how do you encourage yourself? How do you remember what the Lord has told you and promised you?
Since I’m a guest writer here on Yvonne’s site, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Marty, I’m 20 young years, and I live on a farm in Iowa. I am currently working towards an RN degree, and have found the work very rewarding and inspiring. The number one question I get asked is, “What do you write about?” I have no answer. I don’t understand what makes me write or gives me inspiration, but I do know that it has a lot to do with God. As I sit in the morning with my coffee, I enjoy reading from His word, allowing Him to teach and direct the path of my life. So, here are a few thoughts from today:
When I awoke this morning, I could hear the thunder gently whispering in the distance. As I laid there, I noticed how it slowly was getting more vocal as it were arguing with itself in the heavens. Getting ready for the day, the house was suddenly shaken by a clap of thunder so loud, its deafening presence shook the windows.This scenario reminded me of how our relationships can be with the people around us. Maybe your spouse is working late… again. Maybe your child refuses to do their homework. Maybe the groceries you picked up at the supermarket were on sale, but when you got to the register, were double the price. All sorts of little circumstances happen everyday, all kinds of conversations take place, and sometimes we need to address the situation.
We tell the lady at the supermarket we are positive they were a different price – the thunder gently rolls in the distance. She apologizes, and calls a manager that is apparently taking a break. Impatiently, you mutter how long this is taking – the thunder increases forcefully, getting closer. The manager appears, nonchalantly telling you that it was the generic brand that was on sale. You complain even louder, allowing them to know this is your last time to shop here – the thunder claps.
I know this is an extreme situation, but allow yourself to think of the way the thunder approaches every time you find yourself in these situations. Keep these little encounters with thunderstorms in control, never allowing the situation to get out of control. By keeping the thunder in the distance, gently whispering, everyone involved will be happier...
To read more of Marty’s blog go here: http://coffeewithmarty.com.
Through this miracle called the internet I met Marty by reading his blog and helping each other figure out how to blog and by sharing our thoughts back and forth. In that sharing, we have decided to be a guest blogger on the others blog. So, on Thursday, you will have the supreme pleasure of meeting Marty. And... if you'd like to read my guest blog, on Thursday you will find me at http://coffeewithmarty.com.
Last Friday at this time I was teaching The Art of Hearing God in Plains MT. The material itself is amazing. I really enjoy teaching every part of it, seeing peoples faces light up with understanding. Seeing the Spirit move in peoples lives. I enjoy the connection that happens when an intense experience is shared, a time where both parties are transparent, open and reaching to be the best that they can be as well as helping others to become the best that they can be. Possibilities and destiny collide in the atmosphere.
The material is intense, not just for the teachers, Rob has taught this 21 hour long class alone, but also for the students. The course impacts students on several levels - on the physical level there is a lot of sitting, and then you don't realize you haven't moved because you were focusing so hard that it's only when move that you realize how long it's been since you moved. In addition, your concentrating, hard, and there's a lot of writing as well, not just to fill in your workbook but these nuggets of truth just keep dropping from heaven. And you have to catch as many of them as possible.
On the Spiritual level, there is so much information being thrown at you, there is a reason we warn you at the beginning of the class that you will feel like you are drinking from a fire hose. None of the material is new, but the way that it is pieced together and the dots that are connected have the effect of a nuclear bomb going off in your Spirit. Things that never made sense before now make sense. New insights and questions arise. You alternately move from being pleased with where you're at to regretting your past mistakes, to realizing how far you need to go. And through it all there is no condemnation, only encouragement to become all that you were created to be.
In this atmosphere hopes are shared, fears are expressed and released, friends and family come to mind, change is in the air, caffeine is a requirement and staying late to soak up whatever you can is imperative. I don't know if that's a better description for me as the teacher or of the students... All I can say is that I walked out of my Art of Hearing God class a changed person, and that change has inspired me to become a teacher, to strive to be a living example of these materials and an encourager to those who are impacted in a similar way.
Are you bored with your life? Come, take the class... and hold on, it's a wild ride.
PS This picture was taken on our way East at Iron Horse monument just above Vantage WA.
I returned from Montana on Monday, more on that in later posts, but all of us who went got sick so I've spent the week recovering. I really haven't had a appetite since Sunday so I've been drinking chicken broth simmered with ginger, but I ran out of ginger so my wonderful husband ran to the store for me. It wasn't till the next morning that I got around to unpacking the ginger he bought me... and saw that it was the size of a dinner plate! I had to laugh. This was his way of telling me that he loves me and making sure I wouldn't run out again.
In beating this cold I was reminded of all the old remedies passed down from my grandmother - eating raw white onions, the only other thing I was craving, drinking hot liquids, using saline in my nose, and gargling with hot salt water. Not to mention plenty of sleep. I'm definitely on the mend, and don't plan to revisit a cold or entertain the flu the rest of the season. May you and yours prosper and enjoy amazing health this "cold and flu season"!
Chris and I found a new series that we have been enjoying. It ran for six years, 1996-2001, but we've only just been introduced. It's called Ballykissangel, named after the fictional village where it takes place. The name is Irish, "Baile Coisc Aingeal", meaning "The town of the fallen angel". We enjoy it because it gives us a glimpse of life in Ireland, I'm dying to go back, but it's also shown us a bit about ourselves.
There are two Priests involved in the story, at least in season one as that's all we've finished. Father Peter Clifford, an English Priest sent to BallyK as a curate and Father MacAnally the Priest in charge.
Father Clifford is a man who cares about his fellow man, who causes people to think, who isn't judgmental, who is encouraging, who chooses to do the right thing and who takes the time to build relationships. And through these relationships he helps people to make the right choices.
Father MacAnally on the other hand is a Priest who likes the power of his position and ordering people around.
The contrast between the two is marked and we can't help but like Father Clifford, all good shows have someone you like and someone you hate. But this show reminded us what we like and what we don't like in the church, and people in general. We like, we're drawn to someone who's more concerned about relationship rather than giving orders. When I speak of relationship I'm not speaking about building a relationship with Chris and I, but rather with the Originator of relationships.
God is a Triune God. He's very clear that He desires relationship. And like all relationships, building a relationship with Him requires time, effort and attention.
Found this by accident... love the retelling of a story that really could be our story...
I'm dedicating it and today's blog to Phil - Beetle, Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary aficionado. Thanks for all that you taught me.
Today I will arrive in Plains MT to teach the Art of Hearing God with my friend Rob. Been looking forward to this class. I'm getting more and more comfortable teaching and sharing with a group of people I have only just met. This will also be the largest class I've taught.
So two weeks ago I gave you some highlights from the Understanding Dreams and Visions teacher training I attended in Dallas. The Art of Hearing God is the prerequisite class. It was life changing for both Chris and I. For those of you that are curious I've added this link to the promo video for the The Art of Hearing God class. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
I've scheduled some blogs to post while I'm traveling. Hope you enjoy them and I'll reply back to your comments when I return.
If you haven't seen Speed Racer, I am about to give away a major part of the plot. You have my permission to miss this post if you have not yet seen the movie. OK, are you ready??? Racer X is Speeds older brother. Are you shocked. I know.... so was I.
I was sitting there thinking about the movie, about Racer X, as his alias watching the Grand Prix that Speed is just about to win. He sees the win before it happens, because he's seeing Speed in the groove, completely in sink with the Holy Spirit, doing the impossible, totally unstoppable. Blowing away the competition. Leaving them in the dust or in small little pieces. In that moment, he is proud of his little brother. Proud because he sees that he has come into his own, that he is truly an artist behind the wheel, that he has made a difference simply by not giving in to the darkness that wants to control his world. I realized that Speed couldn't have done what he'd done if his brother hadn't made a sacrifice 10 years earlier. Without his brothers sacrifice the path that Speed was on wouldn't have been laid.
And that made me understand a concept that was first introduced to me by the Art of Hearing God - That what we do today, what we pour into people creates a way for them in the future. Put another way, our successes, and our failures, lay the groundwork for other people. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding calls this concept living for a generation you will never see. Who are the people that have laid the ground work in your life? What groundwork are you laying for others to succeed?
I loved Speed Racer as a kid. I think it was Speed's character, desire to do the right thing and sense of justice that attracted me. A couple of nights ago, Chris brought home Speed Racer the movie from the library. Not one of his favorites but he knows that I really like it, so he brought it home. Yes, I am a lucky girl! We watched it together and I was reminded again how much I like the movie. This afternoon I watched the final race scene again, and consciously realized why I like it so much, besides all those things previously mentioned.
In the final race scene, when Speed is in the cockpit and is getting ready, the flag has not yet fallen nor has the starting gun gone off, there is a montage of all of his enemies which subtly shifts to a montage of all of his supporters, all those who are for him. It struck me that this is what the Great Cloud of Witnesses must look like. There are those who are watching us that desire our downfall, some that even hate us, some that are looking to profit regardless of the impact on us. And then there are those who are for us. They love us, support us, challenge us, partner with us and stand by us. They are the ones cheering us on. They are the ones who's voices are loudest. And they are the ones who count.
My favorite segment is when he is stalled in the bowl, the Gray Ghost has just been flushed, literally and figuratively, and Speed is seemingly out of the race. Hearing/remembering his brothers words from many years ago, he listens with his heart to the car. Communing with it. Listening, feeling, sensing for what she needs so that they can get back in the race - because they aren't done yet. And then... he connects, the Mock 6 roars to life and he uses the place of his despair to catapult him, not only back into the race, but he gains momentum a renewed focus and determination. He is unstoppable. From this place of communion, not just with his car, but with every fiber of his being, moving in a way that everyone recognizes is special, and from that place, energized in a way that wouldn't have been possible without those trials, he goes on to win the race.
This is a picture to me of how we look when we have connected with the Holy Spirit. When we are moving not by instinct but far more than those words can convey. We know what to do and how to move before we need to. Time slows down, we are poetry in motion. We are unstoppable. This is the place I desire to live in moment to moment, not occasionally but in every action, word, thought and deed. Can you imagine how the races of our lives would look? I can. We'd be unstoppable.
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Been having an email conversation with Ron about the need for accountability for the words we release... been greatly encouraged and challenged. I created this picture a few weeks ago as I began playing with Photoshop elements. Ron, this piece is dedicated to you. May we live to see maturity and accountability become the norm. Lead the way my friend.
The past few weeks I've been thinking about stuff Chris and I have dealt with, lived through and grown through the pass 10 years or so. When we were first plunged, unwillingly I might note, into some of our trials, we felt like we were in the desert. Today, I can look back at the growth we've experienced and am actually thankful for those painful experiences. Even more so when I am seeing new possibilities opening up for others to benefit from our growth experiences. In may ways that makes the pain we endured worth every bit of it. Love that someone else will be able to stand on our shoulders and have their desert time cut short because of our experiences.
When Chris and I began dating, one of our major topics was the dissolution of my previous marriage. When I married, I had married for life. It became apparent that my former husband had different ideas and the only course of action was a divorce. I can remember the day I was listening to a radio program as I ironed my yellow skirt and I came face to face with the inevitable. I stomped my little foot and told God that if I had to do this then He better make sure that someone, somehow someway could benefit from my experience. He, in His grace and mercy has been faithful to do just that, many times. In my widest dreams I never imagined that my conversations with Chris would lead him to be able to help someone very close to me maneuver through a painful divorce.
Earlier this week a friend emailed with the news that she had an ultrasound, brought on because of a nasty fall off a ladder than put both wrists in casts for about 3 months. The ultrasound found an ovarian tumor, and she undergoes surgery on Wednesday. When this whole thing started with the falling off a ladder, she never imagined all the positive things that would come from that accident.
If I stop to think about it, this is the reason why I teach the Art of Hearing God. If my experiences can help someone avoid something I've done, or move them in some positive way because of my experiences, then all that I've endured, all that I have learned is so worth it.
What about you. What have you grown through that has turned out for the better, when you first thought it would kill you???
The day after arriving home for the teacher training, I found myself asking Chris why he hadn’t cleaned this or done that. Even to me I sounded like a shrew.
I found myself thinking about something John Paul had said during our class: We can not blame people for not wanting what we have not shown them. Display God so that they are hungry. Then I began wondering how my shrewish behavior was causing a positive change in Chris. Was I helping him to reach for his best or was I pulling him down? How to I encourage others? Do I give them something that causes them to want what I have or do I put them off? My heart is to help people to grown in love and understanding. To know that they are loved, right where they are without judgment and without having to change to look like me. Face it, I’m human, and I screw up on a regular basis. I don’t live my life looking at a mere mortal, why should I require someone else live their life patterned after a mortal. I choose to focus my eyes and my steps on one greater than I. One that I don’t belittle by making Him seem smaller than He is, or view Him as a temporal one. He is eternal. He is truth and He makes me hungry for more of Him and His ways. Who are you hungry for?
"Dreams – a fragment of eternity coming into creation to alter it." John Paul Jackson
This past week John Paul made the above statement during our Teacher Training in the Understanding dreams and visions class. While I have had that understanding, I have never put it into words that were that clear. So how do dreams affect our lives?
Dreams can warn us – I have a friend who escaped with her family from Vietnam many years ago. The family had paid for passage on a boat leaving the next morning. Her mother had a dream that told her that boat wouldn’t be taking them away. She woke up, got the whole family up and they caught a boat that left that night.
Dreams can wash us clean of all the gunk that we’re exposed to.
Dreams can encourage us to continue what we’re doing, or encourage us to change our course of action.
Dreams spark creativity with in us. Did you know the sewing machine was created because of a dream? Dali was inspired by his dreams and Handel wrote the Messiah, and preformed in a new way, because of his dreams.
So how do you understand your dreams?
Begin by honoring them. They are there for a reason. Write them down. Seek out an accurate interpretation of them. This one’s a tricky one because there are lots of dictionaries and websites that say they’ll help, when in reality they only confuse the matter. How do you know you’ve gotten the right interpretation? You’ll know. Something will rise up within you and say “That’s it!”. And sometimes when an interpretation is correct, other parts of the dream or a similar dream will fall into place. You’ll know that “Ah ha” moment.
All the parts or elements of your dreams are in a language you will understand. For example. Lets say you had a dream about your dog chasing you and using these concrete resources you interpreted it to mean that you were being chased by something that wanted to hurt you. You hear the interpretation but it doesn’t connect with you. But by understanding your dream language, you understand that your dog is a good symbol. You realize that you are being chased by good. That this dream is about playing with your dog, the good that he represents, and you are encouraged and move through your day with confidence and a smile.
Need help understanding your dreams? Drop me a line and we’ll interpret them together!
Flew home early yesterday morning. Chris picked me up at the airport, bringing Miss Moo with him. It was a very relaxing day, and even though I really enjoyed my time in Dallas and the people I met, I am glad to be home.
So what did I learn last week??? Here's a few things:
That our presence and support for people is as important as their support for us.
I met people I'd only heard of or had an online connection with as well as new people. Each one has added to my life in some way.
I heard stories and testimonies of how big God is and how He's moving in peoples lives.
I learned that being taught comes in different forms than just a teacher speaking from the front of the class.
I realized that I needed to recap what how the class, the people I meet and Dallas impacted me.
I was encouraged and enlarged in my metaphorical thinking.
I made connections for projects that have been on my heart for several years now.
I saw old friends meet and got to witness their love flare up and be fed.
I was witness to the long distance flirting of 2 friends and the engagement of another couple. Both encouraged me and my love for Chris.
I gained an appreciation for home.
In my Facebook updates and blogs I plan to share some of that, hoping that you will be impacted by what I gained in Dallas.
I know, you've all been holding your breath. By popular demand I will be entering Windswept glory into the contest. I have to say that it was the one I was leaning toward. Here's a longer view shot, taken at another angle, before I zoomed in:
Found a new blog to follow: Good morning world. Love Marty's approach to life and looking at things. Grab a cup of coffee and join him.
Marty has graciously allowed me to post something he wrote that captured my eye:
I like to believe that a person is not defined
by how big a splash he makes in the world,
by the laughter preceding the cannon ball... Marty
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