Nov 16, 2013

TEN ways to LOVE... Devotional Series!

As I was on GOOGLE and pinning on PINTEREST, I found this poster/picture! I saved it and knew it would make a GREAT devotional blog theme series! Might just make a GREAT series for my ABLAZE JR HIGH Ministry group as well! (and a SERIES will hopefully get me to being FAITHFUL in my devotional posts as well!)

Key Verse Proverbs 18

It has been said to me that I am a great listener, as I enjoy listening to people (sometimes fortunately & unfortunately even when they do not know I am listening). God has granted me an excellent hearing/listening ability!

Hearing VS Listening... Do you know the difference?? Some people have differing views, and mine is definitely not the 'be all that ends all', but it sums it up well for me, and others I know have a similar view on the topic.

Hearing is the passive activity that your ears were created to do -- Listening is the active activity that involves your ears and your mind! Hearing can involve noises, music, talking in a crowded room, birds, etc. Listening involves actually being involved in the conversation or the noise itself. If I can hear a bird it's sweet, I know the bird is there. But if I truly listen to the bird, I can tell you approximately where the bird is, what kind of bird it is and MORE. Listening involves your two ears and your one mind... You were meant to listen twice as much as you speak, as you only have one mouth!

This is where TODAY's MESSAGE fits in; Listen without interrupting. We all have something to say, and when we are listening to someone else talk, we just want to put our 'two cents' in. There is a difference between interjecting and interrupting as well. Interrupting involves you taking over the conversation, and sometimes its not even about the topic or theme that the conversation was about in the first place. Interjecting is also giving your opinion or view on something that someone is talking about, and you have to technically interrupt sometimes to get your voice heard, but it still remains part of the original conversation, and the first person talking should be able to just continue with what they were saying.

We all have the need to interrupt and interject. I find myself more of an interjector, and I know I have been 'in trouble' for interjecting. It is seen as a problem, as I seem to want my 'two cents' to be heard. Most cases, it's because the total truth is not coming out in the conversation, and I know there are things that should be said but aren't being said. Sometimes, it us just in fact a need to talk.

We all know SOMEONE who comes to mind when you bring up this subject of listening without interrupting... because there is always that one person who needs to be heard. They want everyone to listen to what they have to say. For example, one person I know (not naming names or sexes or places to keep it 'professional') continuously interrupts during a conversation, and so many people are annoyed by it, but it helps when the person in charge can easily bring the conversation back to where we were. Little 'bunny trails' as people like to say are alright for a brief time, but EVERY time is a little ridiculous. (Sometimes they actually have NOTHING to do with what the conversation is about).

Because I am a teacher, I strive to 'listen' to all of the children, tweens, teens and adults that are in my care. It also reflects on you as a person, if you are living the example of listening and not just hearing. But it is also in the way that you speak that is important! Showing LOVE is the BEST way to go!

That golden rule always comes back into play -- 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!' How would you want others to respond and listen to you when you are talking.

I found this GREAT picture online when googling hearing vs listening:

PROVERBS 18:13 says: "Answering before listening
    is both stupid and rude." (The Message Version)

The MOST important person that you need to HEAR and LISTEN to is GOD! When you just HEAR words, you do nothing with them. But when you are actually LISTENING to the voice of God, or to the WORD of GOD when you read the Bible, then you can ACTIVELY participate in God's plan for your life.


"Sorry I've been gone so long!" - Devotions are important!

The only time FACEBOOK time should come before GOD time is in the DICTIONARY!!

DEVOTIONS have been slacking, as time goes by. Does this sound like anyone you know? You awake, hit the snooze button (maybe 2-3 times), jump up, get ready, and you are out the door to tackle the day! Problems come, and problems go... you might say a few prayers through the day... 'help me Lord'... you say your grace at meals, you share the love of Jesus (when you can)... you come home, relax, watch TV, read a book, check facebook... head to bed... oh and say a prayer before sleep (unless you fall asleep too quick).

I had a chat with my Pastor and he was letting me know (something which I did already know, as I have been an Assistant Pastor's wife, and observed situations myself in churches, as I've been in church since I was little) that there are people in the church who 'blame' Pastors for not getting 'fed'. Our Pastor's job is not to feed you daily, he feeds you ONCE a week (maybe twice if you go to a mid-week group like our church). It is OUR responsibility to keep up with devotions, or listen to CDs/DVDs, or watch Christian programming, etc through the week to keep us fed spiritually! I know I have been slacking, but I never ever blame my Pastor or Elders or other Church Leadership.

I realize that this devotional that I share here can touch MANY, as you never know who may stumble upon your webpage/blog. I want to truly apologize, as I know some of you have been faithful readers, faithful to come check if there's something new, and I haven't written anything here since July! It is now November! What kind of witness is that?? So for those of you who are reading now, I pray that you will get into a REGULAR routine with JESUS! You will want to see what HE says, if HE has a message for you before you check out your tweets on Twitter or your Facebook newfeed/timeline. I am reminded of that each and every time that I think, 'ooh I wonder what so and so thinks' or 'is there a message for me, and who is it from', etc. GOD always has a MESSAGE for us, we just have to be ready to listen and hear it!

I was also reminded by a faithful encourager in our church that I haven't been posting devotionals, as she also reads them, and she messaged me to say that she misses them. So, here is my attempt to get back to writing my devotional blog posts. I know I have said it in the past, and I have said 'Sorry I've been gone so long' many times before... but ONE thing I know, is that even when we prove somewhat unfaithful, our GOD is ALWAYS FAITHFUL! He is always there, and even if I don't have a 'quiet time', He still finds ways through the day to speak to me, if only I stop to listen! Each encouragement, idea, inspiration, etc I give credit to Holy Spirit! My life is run by Holy Spirit, and only He can sustain me and grant me the grace (through God the Father) to get through each day!

So I pray for you my readers, that you will be BLESSED as you TAKE TIME OUT FOR JESUS, because HE TOOK TIME OUT FOR YOU!

"If you find yourself slipping then the thing to do, take time out for Jesus, He took time out for you!" Just one step back gets you there... no matter how far away you think you are!

Remember, if you don't have this beautiful relationship with God -- Learn your A,B,C's...

**If you have never prayed the 'salvation prayer' before or experienced the peace & EVERLASTING LOVE that is spoken of above, then here's your chance today. The only thing you are giving up is things that aren't going to last long anyway -- which if you don't give up, will only make your own life not last as long as it could (which is eternally). --- You've already made the first step known - admit to God that you are a sinner, because after all - all of us are sinners. (Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God") After that you need to believe that God is God, and that Jesus is His Son. He sent His Son to die for us, so that we as sinners didn't need to be condemned to death. (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, bu the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.") Then do as we did above, and Confess your sins to Him and ask for forgiveness -- and then confess aloud that JESUS IS LORD. (Romans 10:9-10 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.") We need to daily ask for forgiveness, because we are human and we will always mess up in some way or another. God is willing and able to forgive us, and welcome YOU into His family. I don't like to write out a prayer to say word for word, as this important step is something that you need to tell God in your own words. Just tell Him what's in your heart - you're a sinner, you want to believe in Him but it may be hard, you want Him to forgive you of what you've done, and you want to choose life with Him through His Son Jesus. It's as simple as that. **


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Dancing in the Rain
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