You Better Recognize

Sometimes it seems hard to really listen with the intent to apply (not reply) [to] what we hear.

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As you read the title, many of you may remember that phrase from years ago, or I think it has been years ago. As I “Googled” (looked up on the internet) when the phrase was popular, I came across an article by Robert Brereton on a site called LinkedIn. He specializes in social change and conflict management. He began his article with these two sentences [regarding “you better recognize”]: This famous quote, widely known for its affiliation with urban culture is used to relay the importance of realizing what is happening in real time.   The recipients of these words are urged to process the underlying meaning within the message. 

I always think of this phrase when I go to search for something online and my phone is being sluggish. It sits on the screen and says “listening”.

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Maybe I should be glad it’s taking the time to listen. Maybe it’s listening closely so it will really register what I am saying; that maybe my words are being absorbed so deeply that there will be no mistaking in what I have said.

I’ve come across a certain quote several times that says, “The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand; we listen to reply.”

Sometimes it seems hard to really listen with the intent to apply (not reply) [to] what we hear. I can be quite the “talker” at times and when I’m having a conversation with another “talker” it can be quite the battle to get a word in.

Now, back to the phone- (I told you i can be a talker). After a long aggravating wait, the words on the screen finally change to “recognizing”. Each time I see this, I say to myself, “You better recognize.”

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We have become so impatient and reliant on these devices, I believe we expect perfection. We tend to forget everything (and everyone) fails at some point except the Lord. Even at this exact moment as I write this my satellite TV has gone completely blank! I’m glad I’m not engrossed in the program that’s on (haha). (Ok Lord, so I’m getting this right?)

Proverbs 2:1-5 NKJV My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.

When it comes to the Lord, listening and recognizing is extremely mportant. It’s necessary to listen to God’s Word and recognize what He is trying to tell us! It will save us such heartache and regret.

Maybe it’ll be different next time when I see my phone slowly take in what I say. When I see the little dots rotating on the screen as it’s recognizing what I say, I hope to remember I need to be as my phone: I need to take time to hear what the Lord would have to say to me. For my own good I better recognize!

Thank you for reading and may God bless you!

Nothing New Under the Sun

Although what you have to say may have already been said, you never know who might read your posts when others’ have gone unread.

I used to love to read Christian books. I loved finding deals at yard sales, thrift stores, book stores and anywhere else I could find them. I would come home and put them on a bookshelf. Any time I would walk by and look, one would catch my eye. I would pull it off the shelf, open it and it would be something that would speak to my heart.

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When I first started working on my own book, I quit reading other books. I even got rid of a bunch of them. I feared something would stick in my mind and I would unconsciously plagiarize. I didn’t want to be labeled “copycat” so I chose to stick with the Bible as being the only book I would read.

Although I read articles from time to time, I still haven’t touched but a handful of books over the past 4 years.

It’s been a little less than a month and a half since I started this journey in my life called blogging and it has been a roller coaster of a ride. I’ve had moments of excitement as well as moments of discouragement. Not long in, I even wished I’d never started so no one would know I had quit.

One night I was so discouraged, I desperately picked up my phone and “Googled” when you’re a discouraged blogger (or something to that effect). I read the first thing that popped up on my screen, which was a blog and just as the books I used to open, that post was exactly what I needed. It spoke to my heart.

Recently I ventured out onto the blogging site I use and read some fellow bloggers’ posts and even subscribed to some of their sites! I joined a social media group of blogging women. I have found a special community and they have welcomed me in with open arms. It has been a huge blessing to say the least!

And do you know what? I’ve read a post someone wrote about getting a speeding ticket (and they wrote theirs before I wrote mine). I’ve read posts about some things I wrote about in my book. I’ve read posts where someone used the same Bible verse last week that I used the other day. I’ve read posts about things that have been weighing on my mind and heart heavily. I’ve read good godly advice about blogging and the Christian life. I’ve read about our faults and His grace. And do you know what else I’ve read?

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 NKJV   9) That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.  10) Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

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I have realized I’ve been robbing myself of blessings for quite some time now. As my friend Elizabeth told me- the root word of relationship is relate. When you can relate, it builds relationships. We understand one another! So, to all my newfound blogging friends, I want to thank you!

If you’re not a blogger and you have something to say, start a blog!

Although what you have to say may have already been said, you never know who might read your posts when others’ have gone unread.

Now I’m beginning to sound like Dr. Seuss so I’m signing off for now (haha).

Thank you for reading and God bless!

The Dryer

There seemed to be no escape, no matter how hard or fast I ran, He was still there, walking. And then there I was- bent over, holding my side, barely able to catch my breath.

As I lie here in bed, the clothes in the dryer are nearly approaching their last tumble. I’m tired, but earlier this evening I heard a terrible racket. I tracked it down and found it to be the dryer. Something is causing a horrible sound. It’s a little scary and I’m not sure what exactly is going on in there but work clothes need to be dried for the workday ahead.

I figured I need to stay close, stay awake and stay aware to make sure all will be well, so again, I am last at getting in the bed. This wasn’t my plan at all. Early on I asked everyone to get their clothes ready to wash and told my daughter to get her shower and get in bed at a decent time so I could be in the bed before 10 p.m.

Instead, I find myself playing the role of the watchman: watching for anything that may harm my family so I can call out to them if (or when) danger comes.

I am once again reminded of the conversation I had with my brother-in-law not long ago. It’s rare I talk to him through the week, but I was stuck at home waiting for that package that never came (Click here for the related story) so I know our meeting was a divine appointment.

We talked about the Lord with tears in our eyes and as he told me one particular thing, my eyelids gave way and the tears began to roll down my cheeks. He said, “If your family is ever going to be saved, it will be because of you.” (Meaning my obedience to the Lord.) Click here for the related story

That was a lot to take in, but it wasn’t as much of a shock as it was the first time it had been revealed to me. It was, however, a heavy weight on my arthritic shoulders. But what about the role of a watchman? That word alone is enough to bring me to my arthritic knees.

As with so many topics, there are many, many verses but I will only post a chosen few:

Ezekiel 33:6-7  NKJV  6) ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ 7) “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.

Ezekiel 33:11 NKJV  “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the LORD GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

Any time I have felt the Lord speak to me about being a watchman I have been driven not only to my knees, but to my knees weeping and sobbing. So much so that my husband once thought there had been a death.

The truth of the matter is that it scared me, but even more, it pained my flesh. It was a death- a death to myself and I just wasn’t willing to pass away.

Not long ago I ended up running from the position and the One who seems to want me to have it, only to have Him gently walk alongside me. There seemed to be no escape, no matter how hard or fast I ran, He was still there, walking. And then there I was- bent over, holding my side, barely able to catch my breath. Even with something as calm as a gentle breeze blowing the last of the leaves on a big oak tree I would hear Him simply say, “It’s up to you.”

Him never leaving my side, I returned to Him knowing the people I love, the people in my life- they have souls. The weight doesn’t seem as heavy now because He’s proven to this “doubting Thomas” that He’ll never leave my side on the watchtower.

So tonight, and every other hour, it is a privilege that I must take seriously, for the sake of my family- physically, at times (such as tonight), but also, more importantly- spiritually. I love them, and since I do, I will watch for them. The concern is always: but will they still love me? That is the reason for the tears but I have to love them to life, not love them to death.

Have you ever been called for a position in which your response was nothing short of begging and pleading for Him to accept a simple “no thank You”?

I’m sure you’ve found the Lord is adamant when it comes to His will being done. If not yet, just wait. The good thing is, you’ll never “go it” alone: He will be with you.

Do you happen to be running like I was? Take just a second and look beside you. Yep, there He is.

Thank you for reading and may God bless you and yours.