New year, new ideas

It was the new year.  I was on holidays, and I was feeling well, and relaxed.  A friend of mine made an innocent comment about a business idea that I had been already dabbling in.  Wow!  This was a great idea!  Let’s do this!  So I started researching what was involved.  I sourced the materials and equipment I would need from the internet.  I even wrote out a business plan and then looked up the government sites as to what was required of me legally – did I need to register a business name, product name, tax requirements etc.  I was pumped!

And then…. I read an article by Andy Sayers called  “2016: My Kingdom Come, My Courts Be Done!”  This is the opening paragraph of his article.

At the beginning of 2015 I set out ready to conquer the world through a deep passion that I’ve worked in for many years – called publishing. By February, bizarre disappointments piled up fast. By the time fall came, I was exhausted and ready to pull my hair out (what’s left of it).

He went on to say why:

  1. I was building an empire with my own strength.

    On my high horse but going nowhere fast. Photo Pixabay

  2. I wasn’t putting the Lord first in every aspect of my life.
  3. I had to be knocked off my high horse 

I felt a few ‘tuggings’ in me.  Hmmm…. had I even asked God if this is what He wanted to do?  I realised to my chagrin that I hadn’t.  What if I had taken off with this ‘building my own empire’ as he puts it, only to have it not succeed and ending up discouraged and burnt out?  I hadn’t even finished the last thing He had told me to do (writing).

So on to the back burner it had to go, and I had to ask Him to take away my desire for this Ishmael.  I am now back to writing, and intimacy (and work or course!)  And God may open the door again for this business idea to happen and I will know if that is the case when the desire comes back.  Stay tuned.

To read the full article by Andy Sayers:

http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=15585

Journaling

So HOW do we journal?

Relax and enjoy the process.  You will get better at this the more you do it.  You will make mistakes and sometimes hear the flesh more than you hear God.  But even in that, there will be gems in what you write that you know weren’t you.

Find a quiet place free from distractions and where you will least likely be interrupted. Journal

Put on some quiet worship music if you like.

Commit this time to the Lord.  Present your mind and heart to God and ask Him to fill them.

Start off by writing or typing out what you want to say to God.  You may feel more comfortable talking to Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  He is three in one, so He will hear you, regardless of Who you address your journals to.

An example of what you write may be:

  1. I seem to be having a bit of a struggle this morning Father. So here I am for our chat.  What are You saying in this?
  2. Father, I seem to be so angry, and yet I don’t know why! I just can’t seem to get on top of it.  It frightens me.
  3. Good evening Father. Boy it is cold today!  Thank You that I am feeling well at present.  I have just come to spend some time with You.  What would You like to do tonight?

Pause for a bit, and wait for Him to respond.  Write down what you feel He is saying to you.  Not sure if what you are hearing is God?  Write it down anyway.  This is an act of faith, and it seems to ‘prime the pump’ and gets the flow going.

So what does He sound like?  In most probability, He will not talk to you audibly.  I can almost guarantee that He won’t.  He will speak to you through your thoughts.  They will sound different to your own thoughts, and will be in the first person, ie using words like ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘me’, ‘my’ etc.  They will be a spontaneous flow of thoughts, feelings, words etc that will seem to ‘pop’ in your mind.

These are examples of the replies to what I have written above 1, 2, 3 etc

  1. I love you. I am your healer.  I am greater than any scary thoughts, because My word is truth, not the thoughts.  I will bring you through this.  All is well, and you are safe, safe with Me.
  2. I will draw the poison out of you with My presence. But you must come to Me, and come to Me often.  And  you will become more like Me as you come into My presence.  I am not angry at you, but pleased that you come to Me with your problem.
  3. I would like to whisper secrets to you. I love you.  You are precious to Me.  You are more precious than the most precious of gems.

How can you be sure you have heard from God, and are not being deceived?  There are three things you can test it against.

  • The Word of God – does it line up with the Bible? If you are hearing that you are to have an affair, or murder someone (!), then it does not line up with the Word.  Scrap it.
  • Does it witness with your spirit – does it sit right with you, or do you get a ‘check’ in your spirit? I recently thought I heard Him talking to me about chocolate chips, but I think it was more my bed calling to me.  It wasn’t sitting right or even making sense for that matter!
  • Ask a trusted, mature Christian friend to read through your journal and give you their honest opinion.

I would love to hear how you go.

Adapted from from Dialogue with God by Mark Virkler

Additional material from my e-book Staying Afloat due to come out later this year.

Photo  Flickr

Groceries

I have always had an interest in nutrition, and this was the reason I called my blog groceries and grace.  I always felt it was important to eat healthy foods and I was going to share with the world the importance of eating as naturally as possible.  Eating organic vegetables and dairy, as well as grass fed/organic meat ensures we get the lowest chemical and hormonal  load from our food.  That is, until we came upon hard financial times.  Really hard.

Gone were the organic carrots and butter, the grass fed beef and organic chicken.  These were replaced with fatty mince, sausages, and chemical sprayed vegetables.  I would have to shop from the church’s food relief store, and would have to take what they had. OrganicThis included YoGo, frankfurts, ice creams and white bread. Now don’t get me wrong, I was extremely grateful to have food at all, but I felt I needed to eat healthily to stay healthy.

What was I to do?  Then God gave me a verse:

But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.  Exodus 23:25  NASB

The answer was a simple as saying grace before each meal, with intent. And Who was going to remove sickness from my midst?  Well, not the food!  I found this a hard mindset to break, but here I am and still healthy.

Maybe I should have called my blog ‘justgrace’!

 Photo Flickr