Taste and See

If you had your choice, which would you rather do?  Visualize for a moment that you have just gotten your favorite coffee drink.  Would you rather get that coffee to go, or would you rather sit in your favorite part of your home or a favorite spot and drink that coffee?  Does your environment play a part in how you enjoy your coffee?

To most of us, I think we would say that our environment plays a huge part in how much we enjoy something.  Take coffee, for example.  I drink a mocha.  So for me, when I drink my mocha, I want to savor the taste.  I want to hold it in my hands, feel the warmth of the cup in my hands, and I want to enjoy each sip I take.  If I can have quiet while I’m drinking it, so much the better.  Or, take it to a special spot that I love and enjoy, and to sit with the mocha there is a treat too.

So what is the point?  Well…our environment is the point.  Where we are, and what we surround ourselves with, is key.  We can’t have those moments if our life is going a hundred miles an hour.  We can’t experience the peace of the moment if we live in chaos.  We certainly won’t be savoring the moment because we will be on to the next thing.  It is the same with our relationship with Jesus.  If we don’t give Him more than a passing nod in our day, we certainly can’t expect to hear His whisper or prompting, let alone act on it.  We can’t even take action on the scripture that says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”  We are too busy gulping our coffee down as we get on to the next thing we THINK we have to be doing.

I think God leaves it up to us how we will invite Him into our day.  He isn’t going to force Himself into your life.  He is gracious like that and will wait to be invited.  I know personally, the benefit of taking those moments to ask Him in for a cup of coffee or tea with me has changed my life.  Invite Him for a sit down at the table of your life to talk.  And don’t do all the talking; listen to His side of the conversation.  It’s hard to hear Him when we keep ourselves so busy that He can’t get in a Word edgewise.  His Word is alive.  So read it during your coffee times.  Light a candle, turn on a lamp, go to the water, enjoy your coffee and let His message to you sink all the way to your toes…just like that feeling you get when you taste a really good cup of coffee or tea.  You close your eyes and say, “Ahhh…so good!”  Let us say that about Him!

Lifting my cuppa to you today!  This is what God spoke to me this morning, so I’m sharing it with you.  He wants to be a daily part of your life.  Invite Him in for coffee.  He doesn’t even care if you have bed-head.  He is just happy to be invited.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

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Amber Beads and Harvest

ImageThis morning, as I was walking by my desk, I saw my string of amber beads hanging from my desk organizer and this question came to mind: “What do those beads remind you of?” I immediately thought of Fall and Harvest, and colors and pictures that go with it. What came next was this question: “Did you know that prayer is like a harvest?” By now, I know I need to take the time and really think about this because there is a lesson right here in my office over a string of amber beads. So… here is what my thoughts are about what God laid on my heart today.

When we think of harvest, we think of receiving the benefits of what we have planted. We believe that if we plant seeds, water them properly, fertilize them properly, keep the weeds at bay, we will get results; a harvest of what we have planted. 

I sensed God saying our prayer life is just like that. If we want answers (harvest) to our Key Moments Photographyprayers, we must plant our prayers in faith, fertilize them with the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to water them, and ask God to keep us full of Him, so we will receive the harvest God has for us. We can’t get a harvest by standing in the field and wishing for one. For example:  “I wish God would answer this prayer. Or, I have been praying about that for a long time, maybe I should just quit.” Prayer is like being out and tilling the field. You are preparing your soil for harvest. Prayer is like a muscle that you have to exercise. You have to do it consistently, with commitment and faith if you expect a good harvest/result.

Next, He led me to Matthew 12:43 where evil comes into a man and then he decides to turn His life over to Christ and he is made clean. But then God talks about the man needing to ask to be filled up with Him because otherwise, Satan will come along with seven more demons to fill that space. We need to be asking God to fill us daily so we have no room for doubt, negative feelings or discouragement or a sliver of space for satan to get in. 

We need to:

  • Plant, water and fertilize our prayers with faith
  • Believe that God WILL answer
  • Be in the Word of God which will enrich our lives
  • Ask God to fill us.

If we do these things, our prayers will yield a great harvest. We don’t want to throw a prayer out in the air and hope it comes to pass. If the farmer goes out and throws out the seed with no plan or reason, he will find it very difficult to cultivate his harvest. So it is with our prayers. We need to filled with God, operate in faith in our asking, pray through with God’s Word, and expect a great harvest reward. If we, as Beth Moore shared in a study, BELIEVE GOD and not just believe IN God, then we know He wants nothing more then to answer your prayers. Just keep in mind that YOUR idea of an answer might be different from His. That’s the faith part; you have to trust Him for your best no matter how it make look in the physical!

So, I asked myself today, “Is there anything JoAnn that you have been praying for that is lacking in faith in order for God to answer it? Do you believe that God is the God of A Great Harvest? Are you in the Word consistently so that you are built up in your faith? Do you ask to be filled with God daily?” Now, I ask you those same questions. Hummm…be honest with yourself and with God right now, and listen carefully.

Key Moments PhotographyGod spoke to me today about a very important subject matter over a string of amber beads! Amazing! If our harvest is plenty within us, so will our light shine so that we are equipped for the harvest “out there”.

P.S. ~ I bought this string of beads from a little thrift shop with the idea of doing a craft with them. None of these ideas came to me at the time. I just liked how clear and beautiful they were. But you see, I think God places things or people or circumstances in our lives, SO THAT (my favorite words), at just the right time, for just the right reason, He has something to say to us. I love that about Him! 

I am watching… listening… for His leading, and as always…walking the journey with you.

 

 

Rains of Change Revisited

This is a post that I had written quite some time ago, actually in September of 2011. So as I was reviewing it, I realized it started that day! I now see the pieces coming together.

In Washington, we have a lot of experience with rain. However, we also enjoy the beautiful lush green color that goes with it! We know a refreshing rain is good for many things. One of those things is the freshness to the air we breathe. So, as I sat yesterday inside my cozy office, I was thinking about that. I decided to take a moment and I went outside to listen and to watch as the rains came down.

As I watched the rain and saw this little plant, I realized, or God chose to remind me, “so it is with our lives”. We need times of refreshing so that we can continue to grow and revive our weary souls. New beginnings so to speak; renewed every morning. We may decide on a different direction for our lives, a move, re-arrange our home or decor, or maybe even our change our schedules so that we CAN have more times for the soft rain of change to happen. It brings peace and calmness to our souls. You may be in a torrent of rain right now, but all the more important for you to really pray over these words for your life circumstances. Ask God to reveal Himself in the circumstances.

So here is what I felt as I watched the rain. I feel change coming. Have you ever had one of those seasons where you feel like something is about to happen and you aren’t sure what? You are kind of excited but not sure what God is up to? I have been living with this feeling for a long time. I feel God calling me to rely on the Holy Spirit for direction. I am in preparation for something yet unknown, but its going to be great! Crazy, huh? But…exciting!

I think that is the whole idea, though, don’t you? He wants us to live in expectancy of His next move or work. But we have to lay a foundation for that work before hand. Think about this…satan lays his groundwork before he plays out his full hand. Have you ever thought about that? He doesn’t just hit you with an attack. He has been laying ground work by planting doubt, discouraging you with circumstances, causing insecurities, hurt in relationships and anything else he can come up with. Then, before we know it, he is inside our door! One little chink in our armor and he will use that to turn your life upside down. Spend time with the Lord and let His refreshing rain fall over you and give you what you need when you need it. Use the Word to stand against it, pray always, so you are laying a solid groundwork!

What refreshing rains are falling on you?  What will you re-arrange so that you can have times of refreshing in your life? You see, 10 months later, I am finding out that there is a move in my future to a different home, and selling the home we have lived in for over three years. He is moving me into a different season and I am moving forward TOWARDS it as each day passes!

Funny isn’t it? No…not funny, but exciting to see the hand of God move in our lives and see all the pieces of the puzzle start coming together. God bless you as you throw the umbrella away and let the soft rains of change wash over you! Walking the journey with you…in the rain!

Where Do You Go?

If you could choose a place where you can go when you need to be refreshed, where would it be? Where can you go, that when you get there, you can dial down, hear God’s voice, and actually feel your spiritual tank getting filled back up? In Romans 15:32, it says “… so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.”

My place?  Anywhere near the water. That’s a beach, ocean, river, stream; it doesn’t matter. I love to sit and look out on the water. When I am there, I can feel my body calming down, I can breathe deep of the fresh air and feel the relaxation that the water brings to my soul. The ocean is one of my most favorites but I will take what I can get where I am, which is usually the bay, a lake or river. I can think and create there, and it is there that often times God places special things in my heart. If we know our place of replenishment, then why don’t we go there more often? We know what it can do for us, we know it gets our creative juices flowing again, and that our spirit is renewed. So, what is the problem?

I think it has to do with what we tell ourselves. What do you tell yourself that keeps you from being in that spot where you can be lifted up? Is it the time? You might have to do somethings differently to make it happen, but you can. Is it children? It may mean taking kids along with you. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and milk with you. GO! Even if it is cold, you can go with the kids and have a car picnic and enjoy the view and talk about all things fun with your kids while you look out, see the beauty, and let God speak into your heart. Even a ride through the country can change a mood pretty quickly when you see the beauty all around you. Maybe it isn’t the water at all but a country farm, or a hike. Whatever it may be, find it. Search it out. If it is just you and your sweetheart, then pack a love basket, bundle up and go for a walk on the beach, and look for shells, or just go for a drive. If you are a camera bug like me, make some memories with your camera. BUT DO SOMETHING!

What if you can’t get to a beach or to your special place outside the home? Ladies, our home is our sanctuary. Find that place in your home that can give you that same kind of lift! It may be a corner of a room with a chair and light next to it. Make it your corner. Add your favorite reading materials, your bible and maybe get a candle to place there when you are sitting there. The man’s spot may be in front of the fireplace, out fishing, or in his work shop. For me? I have my office. I love it there and it is the first place I set when we  have moved. Why? Because I know I need that in my life. It’s my creative space. In my office, I have a little fountain that I run that also helps me feel close to the water. I love the sound. I have candles to light up my life. I have music that makes my heart sing. Key word: do SOMETHING!

God wants some time with you, when you aren’t distracted. When you can hear His voice, and it is quiet enough in your spirit to be refreshed. Let’s go to that place! Know where it is! Let’s get refreshed! Let’s ask God to help us arrange it. Let’s ask Him to speak specifically in that place of renewal. I’m ready! My car is packed. My camera is in the back seat! I want to hear what He will give me next! How about you? Let’s go!

God bless you as you find the “sweet spot” where you can be refreshed with Him. Walking the journey with you….