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From A Listening Heart: Sharing some of my thoughts and "God moments" as God grows me in my faith and speaks to my heart, while I seek His face and to know Him.

My friend, something I have learned is that: Your past does NOT define you... It is through the eyes of grace, and how GOD sees you, and what you let Him do IN YOU and THROUGH you (because of your past), that defines who you are, and shapes who you become!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

God Does Speak

God does speak-- sometimes one way and sometimes another--
even though people may not understand it.

(Job 33:14 NCV)


     My Friend, God does speak to His people. He has no desire to be a "lofty" figure up high and distant from us. And, when He has a message for us-- especially when we have been seeking Him and calling out to Him-- He will find a way to bring it to us, in many different ways.

     I truly believe that Scripture is true, that God does speak to us, sometimes in one way-- but sometimes in another, even if we do not realize it at first as it is happening.  I would like to take a moment to share with you one of the ways God did this for me a few weekends ago.
     
     It was one of those weekends that got the better of me. I was just really sad-- in my spirit and in my heart. I had a lot on my mind, and even shed a few tears. On Saturday afternoon, my oldest son needed to run some errands for some work up at our office he was doing. So instead of going with him, I let him use my car. That evening, I didn't really want to get out, so I decided to let him keep my car overnight. On Sunday morning I woke up and there was a part of a song going inside my heart. It was a song I had not heard in actually quite a while, and it wasn't one the radio stations had been playing recently. As I was waking up, I realized in my heart-- I was "worshipping." I got up and let the dogs out, curled up on the couch and just decided I was going to listen to a sermon via an mp3 download and take my time enjoying a slow Bible study.

     As strong as the song was in my heart; I was kind of surprised that the verse I knew it came from, didn't come up at all that morning. Not during the sermon, or my personal Bible study time. After lunch my son called and said he could bring me the car whenever I was ready, but I told him I didn't really have anywhere I needed to go, so for him to just finish up his project and keep it in case he needed to go get anything else.

     Later that evening when I couldn't put it off any longer, I called my son to come get me so we could "swap." Because, I would need my car the next morning. So he came and got me. I took him back up to his apartment, and went over to my office for a moment. I watered the plants, picked up a few things, walked outside and look around-- just not in any big hurry to do anything else. A few minutes later, I got in my car and started it. My friend, the EXACT song I had been singing in my heart that morning was playing on the radio! In fact, it was at the EXACT part in the song that I had in my heart that morning!

     My friend, God spoke to me through that incident! He showed me He had been with me all along, throughout the whole day, from the time I woke up and until I had finally called my son and got the car swapped back. It showed me an incredible thing that I would like for you to think about today: even before I woke up, God was preparing my heart to receive His message. Before I got out of bed, He was already speaking to me. And, it showed me that even though I wasn't aware of just how my day would go, or where my steps would lead-- He had already been there. He knew exactly what steps I would take.

Look at what Scripture says,

"In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the LORD establishes their steps."
(Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

     I may have thought that it was ME leading my steps that evening-- I'm the one who didn't really want to get out of the house. I'm the one who decided to water the plants... BUT had I done anything differently I would have been in the car at a different time instead of at the right time to hear the words to the song in my heart that morning. Oh-- and by the way, it was an older worship song, so  again, it wasn't like it was something new and was being played all the time-- every time you turn around.

     What I realized is that the Lord was helping to lead my footsteps that day. It showed me that He knew what I had been feeling and He "spoke to me" even though I didn't understand it at first-- that morning. However, He made sure that I would receive His message He wanted to share with me which was, "that He was with me."

So my friend, take heart, because God really does speak to us. Sometimes in this way-- and sometimes in another way.  And sometimes, in ways we do not understand when at first it is happening.

Take care,
Kassie


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Have a wonderful and blessed day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Finding My Tree



My Tree
On Sunday, March 15th 2009 I decided to go for a drive. For some odd reason, known only to God at the time, I pulled over onto a dirt road and saw a beautiful Cotton Wood tree, and parked my car under it.  Suddenly, like a dam bursting, I started crying tears of hurt and grief that had been bottled up for quite some time.


I poured my heart out to God about things that had happened over the past two years and events I truly felt had been answered from Him--but showed no signs of ever coming to pass. I remember looking up at the sky which could barely be seen from where I was sitting, and asking God “Is there something that is hindering You from fulfilling Your promises to me?” I sobbed, “If I am to believe You, then…” Over and over again I sobbed this until there were no more tears--just silence between me and God.


I finally started the car back up and drove home, thankful that my kids were with their dad that night. I went to bed with a horrible headache and exhausted; but much to my surprise, I woke up every hour on the hour to the thought, “Without faith.” I got up the next morning feeling horrible, but got ready for work, and before I left, I wrote in my journal, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” At work I found my had crashed, and we had to have someone come in and work on it most of the day; so I was not able to check my email until much later. I had a few devotionals that had been sent o me, but due to the time, I almost didn’t read them. However at the last minute,I  decided to. As I skimmed through the third and last devotional, I was tired and emotionally (and Spiritual) drained, so I almost deleted it, but then something caught my attention, and I slowed down to really read it-- and there at the bottom-- on the last line was: “Without faith you cannot please God” (Heb. 11:6). Needless to say, I was quite surprised!


For the entire rest of the week, Hebrews. 11:6 came up from six different sources! And on Saturday night, (actually right before I went to bed), it was texted to me from a friend who was watching a sermon online, and the verse  had just been quoted to them! She had texted me to say, “Guess what I just heard…”  She had no idea of the confirmation this gave me, or how it completed the week’s events and what it would mean to me. (Who says God will not use a cell phone?)


     On Sunday I went back to that spot under the tree that I had found a week before , to simply ask God. “What do you want from me?” Afterwards I went to the bookstore to browse around, and I came across a book my friend (who had texted me) had mentioned a few days earlier, that somehow I had never heard of. And on March 22nd, I started my reading my first in-depth Bible study called, “Believing God” by Beth Moore.


     The reason this was so profound to me, is that I had poured my heart out to God and had written in my journal everyday that week, “God in Heaven, I believe in you, I know that You are real, I know that You exist…” And here I was holding a book that was quoting Isa. 43:10 saying God wanted us to BELIEVE HIM.


     That spot at the tree has now become a very special place to me, it is where I continue to go when I need to find peace and have fellowship with God. He taught me something very important that day! Before a person can believe God, you have to KNOW GOD! And He set about introducing Himself to me.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Barrier or Obstacles

From my heart:
Two weeks ago Thursday, I was coming back into town to pick up my friend's sons and drive them to a church event since she couldn't get there in time, and I was praying about a situation that I am facing. As I was praying I found myself praying that the barriers would be broken down. What surprised me was the word barrier, as that is NOT a word I ever use. Typically I pray about the obstacles in my way, but that evening as I said it, the word barrier just resounded in my spirit and felt so STRONG that I knew that God's Spirit was in my prayer, and the more I prayed about it; the more it felt like a right and powerful prayer.

The next morning as I was waking up I heard in my spirit singing, "You tore the veil, you made a way when you said it was done." Now this verse went over and over in my heart-- not just a song stuck in my head-- but from my heart, inside of me. So again I knew it was of God. I couldn't remember any of the rest of the song-- just that part.

I finally got up and was starting my Bible study and decided to check on a pastor's site I had not been on in quite some time, and to my complete surprise was an entire devotional about barriers keeping us from growing into all that we are to be! I was so surprised but also so overwhelmed because I knew this was of God. It was a very good devotional, and one I printed out, the only problem was that the pastor's advice was to figure out what the barriers were and get rid of them-- the barriers in my way, only God is going to be able to bring down. But still-- an entire devotional about barriers?? Come on that was GOD!

About 5'oclock that same evening I was going to run up to my office for a bit, but my middle son stopped me by asking if he and his younger brother could go out to a friend's house and spend the night. I wound up staying in his room making plans until almost 5:30! I still decided I had time to run up to my office real quick, and as I got in the car and turned the corner, I turned on the radio and there is was! The ending of the song and the verse I had been singing that morning: "You tore the veil, you made a way when you said it was done."  I found out what song it was and  later was able to look it up on utube and come to find out, God put me in the car at just the right time, because that part of the song is only towards the end where it is reaped several times! I was so overjoyed if I had left to go to the office when I first thought, I would have completely missed it! This was all God's timing!

That night after spending quite some time on the phone with a friend from my women's group, I decided to look something up on a church website that I like to listen to. I stumbled across a sermon I had not heard that sounded interesting, so I downloaded it. I listened, and it was really good, and very enlightening. At the end a woman's voice came on and made mention of a  sermon that would be broadcasted the following weekend and there is was-- the word barriers! I found the mentioned sermon, and though it was good, though it didn't really speak about barriers in our lives (and it never used the word). However God had my attention!

The following morning which would be Saturday, I kept thinking about "Don't throw away your confidence." I knew what verse this was coming from, however I kept being reminded of a study I had listened too way back from Beth Moore on this. So I decided to google it to see if I could find it, which I did, and listened to it, but it was not what I felt God impressing on me. However, as I was googling for Beth Moore's study I saw a link to a blog I have never visited that caught my attention. So I went to it; it was short, very nice and at the end of the post the writer commented on barriers in our way, and not to back down and lose our confidence over these obstacles!


The next day (Sunday) while I was reading a new magazine, I went to an article that looked interesting and in it, the writer commented on "Bible barriers." So NOW I am so totally knowing that God is speaking to me-- or at least showing me He heard my prayers on Thursday, and it gave me hope and the encouragement to continue to pray about these barriers.

Later that afternoon, I went and sat at my tree with just my Bible and prayed. I asked God why barriers? And what was the difference between praying that these barriers would be broken down verses obstacles? After all weren't they the same thing? And the more I prayed over it-- the more important it seemed that I needed to know and understand what God was showing me, and why I needed to change my prayers over this situation.

I came home and visited with my youngest son for a bit (who also helped me to move my desk to another corner of the room), and then I went to the closet to get the dictionary. As I turned around I hit my little toe on a brick by the mantle that has been there for years! I have walked by that thing a hundred times, I have gone to that closet weekly to get things out or put things back, and have never touched that brick-- but on this day, I broke my toe!

After much crying (I am such a girl) and my sons coming out to check on me; I was finally able to look the words up. By definition in the elementary school dictionary we have for the boys; obstacles are things that are in the way that causes a hindrance, and can be overcome and even avoided.  A barrier is something that halts all progress and keeps things separated and apart from being with something else! So there I had it-- there IS a difference, and now I understood what God was showing me and why I needed to change my prayers. There are not simply obstacles in my way hindering me-- there are barriers keeping me separated from what God has promised me. And I was beginning to understand why I had to break my toe on a brick to learn this lesson!

By the following Tuesday I had seriously been praying about these barriers being broken down-- completely, and ALL the barriers that are holding me back as I know there are a few. About lunchtime, I went out to my tree with my Bible, and was meditating on God's Word and decided that I wanted to look up a verse that had been brought to my attention early that morning from two different studies I had read. However, I couldn't remember the exact verse, only that it came for Eph. 2, so I opened my Bible up to Eph 2 and skimmed down looking for what I thought it might be when my eyes landed on verse 14! I was so floored! I read; "He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall" (NASB).


I read this over and over again wondering why I had never really seen this verse before, and so praying about what it meant to me. Now as a Bible teacher, I understand the overall historical teaching of this verse, and what Paul was talking about-- but personally I was so taken by it being lit up in me. When I got home I did a word search to see how often the word barrier was in the Bible, and after pulling up five different translations (and you figure 5 times over 33,000 verses...) the word barrier only came up THREE times!! Two of the times it referred to God putting up a barrier that was not to be moved, and one time about being a barrier broken down! (Which was the verse I had read.)

I was so taken by God bringing this verse to my attention-- here I had been praying about barriers and the verse I read is about the barriers being broken down-- not the ones that were set into place to stay! I cried, and prayed some more and thanked God. I wrote the verse down in my journal and prayed over it all day-- everything else I had read seemed to melt away. I meditated on this verse all day!

The next morning (Wednesday almost a full week to the beginning of my prayer) I got up and was checking my email and in a very short devotional I received that day, that was written ages ago-- but still something I enjoy reading in a daily basis; was a brief devotional with Eph. 2:14 as the verse for the day! It was written from the KJV so the working was slightly different, but of course the meaning was the same: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us (Eph 2:14 KJV); I was so stunned and so excited and so very thankful that God would go to such extremes to show me He was with me and speaking to me!

So I am standing on this verse as a promise from God and praying that every barrier be broken down according to His Word that keeps me separated from what He has promised and keeping us (and Cypress Ministries) from growing into all that He has determined and shown me. The exciting thing is that as of today which is now two weeks from the first day I started praying about barriers, this word is everywhere I turn around! I have gone from never seeing it-- to seeing it all the time, which helps me to know that God is indeed listening to me and that this is a Word from Him.

My toe is healing and yesterday I did a faith walk from where I park my car under my tree to the spot at the river that is very special to me and back SEVEN times! It would be about 4 miles total. And during this walk, I praised God, called for the barriers to be broken down, and enjoyed fellowship with Him who I know is faithful.

I have true hope of seeing walls come crumbling down! I know that it was not normal for me to use the word barrier that Thursday-- and then seeing the word come up so many times just made it that much stronger, but seeing it in GOD's WORD!! That sealed it for me, and I have confidence that what I am praying for is indeed part of God's Will, because the verse that was brought to me was the verse with the barriers being broken and the two groups coming together-- and NOT either of the other two verses where the barriers were set to stay. It just seems to me, if the barriers I am praying for be broken down, was not pleasing to God or according to His Will, then God would have led me to the verses showing that they were meant to stay!

In case you are wondering what the other verses were, here they are:

  • Jeremiah 5:22
  • English Standard Version
  • Do you not fear me? declares the LORD. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
  • New International Version
  • Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
  • Ezekiel 40:12
  • English Standard Version
  • There was a barrier before the side rooms, one cubit on either side. And the side rooms were six cubits on either side
  • New American Standard Bible
  • There was a barrier wall one cubit wide in front of the guardrooms on each side; and the guardrooms were six cubits square on each side

SO-- I am thanking God for showing me there is a difference and that all this time I have been praying that obstacles be removed, was not near powerful for what really needs to be prayed down. I am so hoping you will stand with me in these prayers that we shall see God's Word fulfilled and that the barriers that have been stopping me for so long will be broken down and that I will see new life begin to grow!



Praying in Faith:
"Father God, I come before You it totally thanks giving. Lord, thank You for hearing my prayers the other night, thank You for being with me, and helping me to pray according to Your will. Thank You for changing and directing my prayer and showing me the difference. Lord, thank You for moving in such amazing ways to show me that this was and is of You. Lord, BREAKTHROUGH!! Lord, may You breakthrough these barriers like a mighty flood water so that I may grow and come into all that You would have for me, my family and this ministry. Lord, every barrier, for I know there are many. Lord, let it be according to Your Word. Lord, thank You for being my peace. Lord, thank You that You are bringing us together and that the dividing walls will be broken down. Yes Lord! Thank You Lord, I stand to watch how You will bring this about, I stand to watch Your faithfulness and to be amazed. Lord, I wait to see how You will bring this to pass, and if there is anything I need to do-- Lord, if there is something that I need to do as my part, show me what it is and help me to be obedient. Lord these barriers I see, can only be moved and brought down by YOU-- Lord, I can't. Lord these barriers that have been obstacles in front of me for so long, can only be broken down by You. Lord, please let me see You do this-- Lord, please let me see You move on my behalf. Lord, every one of these barriers that have kept us separated and from growing, Lord I ask You to break them DOWN-- and I am standing in faith that I will see this done.
In Jesus' Name, Amen."

Have a wonderful and blessed day,
Kassie.