Pay Attention

Pay close attention, my child, to your father’s wise words and never forget your mother’s instructions.  For their insight will bring you success, adorning you with grace-filled thoughts and giving you reins to guide your decisions. Proverbs 1:8-9 TPT

I told my daughter the other day that I was going to write a book for her. It was going to tell her treatments for all minor illnesses and what not to do based on my discoveries. For example, sweet oil for earaches, never peppermint oil as an alternative. It does however make you forget about your earache.

Cinnamon oil in baby oil may keep the no-see-ums from biting your legs, but you should always apply on a small area first to make sure you’re not allergic to it. Hives vs bites are not a good thing. All I can say is some people just learn through hands on lessons.

There are some things I’ve never experienced and have no point of reference to. But the lessons I have learned are only passed on to those who will listen. I can’t speak into those who have no desire to know. Neither can you, so stop beating yourself up when your children refuse to hear you. That feeling of frustration you’re experiencing right now, that’s merely the feeling of lost control over something you were never meant to have.

That’s why Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Your training time is when they’re young. If they come to you as an adult, you can tell them to read the entire book of Proverbs in various translations until they learn the path of wisdom for themselves.

I can pass things on to my children, but only if they wish to know. I can share stories of my own walk with God and the instructions I received, but it may not work for them. They must seek their own instructions and know that they will be different, God is particular that way. There are no shortcuts to relationship with Him. When you seek Him, you will find Him, but only when you desperately seek Him with your whole heart.

Sandy G

A Verse Packed With Promise

I will satisfy you with a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation! Psalm 91:16 TPT

Here’s a couple words I want you to see. First the word salvation; the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.

The word satisfy; to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); give full contentment to: to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision.

And last but not least, the word fullness: the quality or state of being filled completely or to utmost capacity: the state of having eaten enough, especially more than enough: the quality or state of being filled or rounded out, as in form or shape.

Put that all together now to show you just what God meant when He said that.

I will fulfill the desires, expectations and needs or demands and give full contentment by sufficient and ample provision and give you a fulfilling life with all I do for you. For you will enjoy the quality or state of being filled completely or to utmost capacity: the state of having eaten enough, especially more than enough: the quality or state of being filled or rounded out, as in form or shape, My salvation, the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.

There’s a whole lot packed into that small verse, but that is what God wants you to know about it. It’s His covenant promise to you. The end of Psalm 91 says so much that we’ve missed simply because we don’t know the depth of the words used.

Combine that with unspeakable love, grace beyond measure and unshakable faith, and allow your face to turn toward the heavens, your hands raised in worship and let loose the praise that must now be on your lips.

Thank You Lord for such an amazing mouthful of promises. I will hold fast to the rope You’ve thrown me in the middle of my storm. You are well able to keep me, strengthen me and reveal to me the joy of my salvation.

Sandy G

Puzzle That

I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will feel my presence in your time of trouble. I will deliver you and bring you honor. Psalm 91:15 TPT

When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honor them. Psalm 91:15 GNT

I’ve had this up on my laptop for a few days now. I keep looking at it and asking the Lord what He’s trying to show me because there are times He just wants to show you His version. I hope you get that!

What is His version? It’s personalized.

So the one thing that’s different in The Passion Translation verses the Good News Translation is just that; it’s personalized. I realize that the Word was written for everyone, but just as our relationship with God is personal, so is His Word to us. Let us remember that as we read through His Word and ask Him, what are you trying to say to me? What are you trying to show me?

My cry for help is a personal cry. I have my own set of issues, problems and they are just that–personal. No one knows the extent of what I carry in my heart but the Holy Spirit who is in me. That is why when I read His Word, He shines His light on it and speaks directly to me about things I’m going through.

How do I feel His presence while I’m going through trouble? By getting out my eraser and using it on my brain. I wipe away all my human reasoning, all my attempts to problem-solve, and I lay the dirty eraser before Him. I surrender it to Him. I don’t have the answers, but He does and He promises to show me things I don’t know.

Then I wait. Sometimes I walk away with the answer. Sometimes only a tiny instruction which usually goes against everything I’m feeling, but an instruction that takes faith to follow. And isn’t that what our walk with God should look like?

Go dip in the Jordan River! Build an ark using these specifications. Leave your family and go to a place I’ll show you. With 300 men, you’ll defeat your enemies.

God doesn’t give it all to you so it makes sense. He wants to know if you’re willing, even when you can’t see the ending. Are you? Willing that is? Make a move and see God put it all together. Just like a 1500 piece puzzle, find the corners and let Him fill in the blanks.

Sandy G

What Do Your Relationships Look Like?

Anyone who wanders away and does not remain faithful to the teaching of Christ has no relationship with God. But those who remain in the teaching of Christ have a wonderful relationship with both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:9 TPT

How does one have relationship with God? Well, my answer is actually a question; how do you have relationship with anyone? By spending time with them, getting to know them, writing to them if it’s a long distance relationship, making memories together, sharing life with them.

Each and every relationship is unique because we are. I am not like any of my friends, although there is usually some common thread woven through the tapestry, each and everyone of them are strong willed women. Everyone of them have a deep love for God and love talking about Him. We’ve learned to draw upon one another in times of strength and weakness, but most importantly, we love to laugh.

My relationship with God began around the age of 15. I had already been visited with tragedy, but needed someone to talk to and I wasn’t very good with words. I remember taking my bible, opening it randomly and reading aloud, as though talking to God. I began to ask Him questions and than listening and it wasn’t long that I began to hear answers. I knew it had to be God because I honestly didn’t know the answers.

I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will feel my presence in your time of trouble. I will deliver you and bring you honor. Psalms 91:15 TPT

Do you know God that way? Do you sit alone with Him and talk with Him? Do you take to Him all of your heavy burdens and place them at His feet? He’s waiting. No one but He knows what you’ll face today but Him, and He will not leave you to face it alone. That’s my kind of friend!

I invite you to learn at His feet today. To do it first thing is life changing, to wait till afterward is a step behind. Begin your day wisely and He will direct your steps.

Sandy G

What Are Your Expectations With God?

What do you talk about more than anything else? Have you ever listened, I mean really listened to what comes out of your mouth? I challenge you to take a day and measure your words.

Psalm 20:7 Amp says, “Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God.”

What does that mean? I believe it’s means to remember and talk about the goodness of the Lord. Do you know that when you’re talking about Gods goodness in your past and present, you spend less time talking and thinking about the problems you’re facing in the now?

I still remember Philippians 4:8-9 because it tells us what to think about. How easy is that, right? It’s like God is giving us a choice of what’s behind door number 1, 2 or 3 and saying, choose door number 1-it has the good stuff!

Who wouldn’t do choose door 1? I’ll tell you who…..it’s those who have a bible sitting on their table but don’t open it, even when their facing life size problems. They seek out others who have a quick answer, a feel good word, they’ve already spent time with God, it’s just easier.

My precious friend, that just ain’t right! You can’t know God through someone else and reap all the benefits of that friendship. II Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

What does that mean? Don’t take someone else’s word for the Word. Read it for yourself and ask God to lead you into deeper understanding and relationship with Him. It’s personal. Between you and God, applied to your personality, gifting and future.

Father, I want to know You for myself. Be my friend. Not through my pastor, my worship leader or someone who has a deep relationship with You. I want to know You for me, because each friend I have brings something unique into the relationship, I want to be unique to You.

Help me to remember to measure my words today and speak of Your goodness to everyone I meet. There is no one like You, Lord. Your goodness is from everlasting to everlasting.

Sandy G

A Word Released

For I’m releasing these words to you this day, yes, even to you, so that your living hope will be found in God alone, for he is the only one who is always true. Proverbs 22:19 TPT

What a beautiful word for today. As if God looked down and saw where you’re standing and released a word for you alone. He didn’t address your dead dreams, but your living hope, found in Him alone, for He is the only one who is always true.

Can you see that? Regardless of distractions. Regardless of discouragement. Stir up the hope in your heart, the hope that only God can give. Living, moving, breathing hope set to burn by the fire of the Holy Spirit. Bask in that. Allow His fire to burn away all the dross, the cobwebs that have filled the space where hope lies inside of you.

Stop looking at all the turmoil going on around you. Leave that to God because He alone knows the outcome. You ask what He would have you do and then leave the rest to Him. Move along to the next thing, the next person to show love to, to give hope to. He didn’t bring you this far just to have you give up hope now.

The world around you doesn’t know the hope we have. It’s up to us to show them what that looks like.

I just had a man say to me, “Sandy, I’m losing hope. So much senseless death and tragedy. I have faith, but I’m losing hope.” To which I replied, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don’t lean on your own understanding of what’s going on, but rather acknowledge that He is still God, still the same yesterday, today and forever and stop watching all the storm going on around you. Your anchor of hope is in Him and He is enough.”

I release that same word to you today. Take it with you. Don’t let what you see become bigger than the God you serve.

Sandy G

Do What’s Asked of You

The father approached the second son and said the same thing to him. The son replied, ‘Father, I will go and do as you said.’ But he never did—he didn’t go to the vineyard. Matthew 21:30 TPT

Have you ever asked someone to do something only to find that they never did it? Can I get a hardy AMEN from all the parents out there? You know they heard you, they acknowledged you, even repeated it back to you, still not done. Perhaps you gave them consequences (ie punishment) if it wasn’t done and still, not done. Nothing used to get my pot boiling like that scenario! Wonder where they learned it from? Because you know children usually model what they see in us.

There’s a verse in James 1:22 that got my attention; “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” We can plug our ears and do the ‘la la la’ thing all we want, but God knows we heard Him. Guess what? Since it’s a choice, we only deceive ourselves!

Something happens when I choose to obey. I believe it opens a door that can’t be closed. When I change from just reading and hearing to actually doing, watch out. I’ll be marked for life. I’ll be called ‘radical’, ‘weird’, ‘one of those kinds of Christians’, ‘unbalanced’, ‘over zealous’, ‘too heavenly minded to be earthly good’. Let me tell you something; I can still hold an intelligent conversation with the best of them, can still function (definitely better) in my job, enjoy dinner with friends and still do the will of my Father who sent me.

Yeah, that’s right! I still have my warped sense of humor, still roll my eyes at Walts weird jokes, still watch normal shows on TV. So what’s different about me? I’ve made an investment in the Word, not just to hear it, but to do it. I’ve made the same investment in prayer, not just to talk about it, but to do it. That’s right, I even intercede in tongues that I never learned.

I am a believer in every sense of the word and I’m unashamed of the power that Word had in changing me and my family. I don’t want to be like the world, I want to be different because the Word told me to be separate and I’m doing it. I’m getting myself ready for King Jesus who has promised to return for me. That’s right, I even believe Jesus is coming soon. I work the Word because the Word works!

Sandy G

Good-Faithful-True

“…Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings!” Amos 9:13 MSG

Wouldn’t you like to see that happen? I sure would! I feel like things are definitely happening so fast that it makes my head swim, and not necessarily good things either. But here’s your encouragement for the day; He’s promised blessings and blessings He will give.

It’s easy to get hung up looking at all the trouble. In fact on my ride home from my sisters last night, I was thinking of the verse that says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: But the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 That there is one big promise.

He may not deliver me the way I want, but He’s still my deliverer and always will be. He may not bless me the way I want, but He still blesses me and always will.

So good or bad, fast or slow, I will lift my hands and thank Him for being good, faithful and true. Be encouraged today to do the same. Everywhere you look will be blessings, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Sandy G

What Happens When We Cry Out?

“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

Don’t ever think for a moment that God doesn’t see you in your trouble and hear you when you call out to Him. He knows the exact amount of hairs on your head (even those who have a small count!). Over and over in His Word, we see how much God loves and cares for us, yet our thinking is always so far from Him, it’s on the problems we face.

After Jesus had fed the multitudes with some kids snack, and they had taken up 12 baskets of leftovers, Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side, He’d catch up with them later. So they get out in the middle of the lake and a storm came up and they look and see Jesus walking on the water.

OK, why were they freaked out by the storm? Jesus said to get in and go to the other side. If He had intended for the waves to take them, He wouldn’t have told them the end result, go to the other side! I submit to you, my friends, even the disciples who took up the 12 baskets of leftovers had their mind on the wrong things. Let’s get our mind off the waves and on to the 12 baskets of leftovers. Let’s tell of His great provision for every need we have.

Do you remember when we had nothing left in our cupboard and someone brought us 5 bags of groceries? If He did it then, He’ll do it now. He wants us talking of His goodness, not staring at our brokenness. Let’s not be like the Israelites who God did miracle after miracle to prove His mighty power to deliver, only to put up with a bunch of whiny, ungrateful people. They did not realize who they were; a holy and chosen people.

Let’s not forget who WE are and that our God hears our cry for help. Our God has heard and help is on the way!

Sandy G

If You Want To Hear From God-Learn To Listen

The boy Samuel was serving God under Eli’s direction. This was at a time when the revelation of God was rarely heard or seen. One night Eli was sound asleep (his eyesight was very bad—he could hardly see). It was well before dawn; the sanctuary lamp was still burning. Samuel was still in bed in the Temple of God, where the Chest of God rested. Then God called out, “Samuel, Samuel!”

Samuel answered, “Yes? I’m here.” Then he ran to Eli saying, “I heard you call. Here I am.”

Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” And so he did.

God called again, “Samuel, Samuel!”

Samuel got up and went to Eli, “I heard you call. Here I am.”

Again Eli said, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” (This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.)

God called again, “Samuel!”—the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, “Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am.”

That’s when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, “Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen.’” Samuel returned to his bed.

Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.”

God said to Samuel, “Listen carefully. I’m getting ready to do something…..” Read the rest of the story in I Samuel 3

I hear the Lord saying, “I want to reveal myself to my sons and daughters, but they spend more time talking then listening. They want to know my plans, but they won’t be still before me to hear it. They’re full of their own thoughts and agendas, and if I don’t work quickly according to their plans, they just move on.”

To hear from God, we must first have revelation of God. Please understand that there is no one bigger than God. From the beginning of time, He created man to converse with him. One thing noted in Genesis is that God walked with Adam in the cool of the day. Friends talk! He loves to reveal Himself and all of His astounding attributes to us.

The second most important thing, is to recognize His voice and make ourselves available to listen. You can’t recognize Gods voice if you don’t read His Word because He IS His Word. John 1:1-5;

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Little Samuel heard an audible voice calling to him in the night and thought it was Eli, the priest. It took a few times for Eli to realize that God was the one doing the calling because it had been so long since he himself had heard Gods voice. I wonder how it made him feel?

The bible says that the voice of God was rare in that time. Kind of like today, don’t you think? Is it because man didn’t want to hear? Perhaps they’d made their own plans and didn’t want interference. It’s like they had life all figured out; plans, goals, seeking after money, fame. They had grown accustomed to no God voice and that was ok with them. No voice, no guilt! Let’s keep moving! Sound familiar?

Father, to not hear Your voice would be horrible! I can’t imagine my life without You! Each day when I rise and say, “Good morning, Lord!” Your response is music to my ears and I feel my heart stir within me. I’m so thankful that You sent Your Spirit to live in me. I don’t have to wait for a certain time, I can access you every minute of everyday. I want to know You in ALL of Your glory!

Speak Lord! Your servant is listening.

Sandy G