Listen With Your Heart

God simply told me: Comfort Her.

I was disappointed when I realized how much student loan debt I would have if I began college this Fall to pursue a dream. See, I knew that I was supposed to pursue a degree in counseling. I just knew that it was finally going to become a realization. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to burden my family with student loan debt at my age. I’d be in the nursing home before it would be profitable for us.

Fast forward a month. A certain ministry peaked my interest. After researching it I was struck with the fact that what I would be doing would be a form of counseling.

Fast forward a few more days.

My favorite day of the year was today. Special holiday? Birthday? Nope. It was my annual appointment at that place that all of us ladies just LOVE to go. {insert sarcastic laugh}

Not only was it my favorite day, but I had to miss the second week of my BSF (bible study fellowship) group! Ugh.

That waiting room (the second one that they take you to) was packed. I sat down at the back wall that allows me to face the entrance and other people. You know, to people watch.

This young girl came back from the third place we ladies get to go. The area where we get to stand fully clothed with all of our jewelry on and wait for the magic number to appear. She was alone. She was talking on her cell phone to friends.

I thought: “she’s talking on her phone and all of us are sitting here listening or pretending we were not listening.” Why in the world. People these days.

I began to listen. She was sitting on the seat right beside me. I couldn’t help it.

Then it struck me. She was serious when she said she was about to cry. She repeatedly said it. Among other things. She was alone.

I’m a Momma. It’s the best “job” I’ve ever been blessed with. My favorite job. I’m also a little older than I used to be and I hope a little wiser.

I was filling out my forms. Yes, we are so lucky that we get to fill out the same forms every single time. Do they lose them? Asking for a friend.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you that I have never heard God speak audibly. Like I haven’t heard an actual voice with my ears. Did you know that you can listen with your heart?

Then came that nudge. Could not ignore it. Meanwhile, everyone else can hear what’s going on and can tell she’s upset while looking over or not looking over their cell phones. (I’m guilty sometimes too.)

Today I purposely chose not to scroll through my phone and ignore my surroundings. (Don’t pat me on the back. I normally scroll.) I took my Sudoku book to keep me occupied and I worked on an advertisement for the business.

The voice I heard, the voice I always hear, is a whisper in my head and a stirring in my chest. It is a voice that I cannot ignore in good conscience.

God simply told me:

“Comfort Her”.

I thought about it a second… or two.

Instinctively, I reached over and rubbed her right arm. She just looked at me with tears in her eyes and stopped talking on the phone. I asked her name and asked how old she was. Just a baby herself. I stroked her arm while saying: “It’s gonna be okay. It’s all gonna be ok. This baby will be a blessing. You may not have been prepared for this and you may not have expected this, but God knew. And it’s going to be ok.”

That’s all I said. Then I went back to what I was doing. She went to the room to see the doctor. I never saw her again.

Y’all, I did not have those words prepared. You know, just in case this type of incident ever takes place. Nope. Sure didn’t.

Could have heard a pin drop in that room. I swear that either we were invisible or everyone else was blind or had earplugs in. I pray that I always pay attention to the opportunities around me where I can comfort and encourage others.

I’ve been that person that didn’t see. Oh what blessings I must have missed along the way.

This is NOT about me at all. Whatever you take from this blog post, remember that this message is not about ME. It’s about God. It’s a message about the comfort that he gives us. The comfort that God gives us through the obedience of others.

I’m so thankful for the people in my life that have been obedient and brought me His comfort.

She was all alone. In a crowded room. All alone and terrified.

The instructions were simple.

COMFORT HER

Just two words. No more, no less.

God is The God of Comfort.

How does he comfort us?

Through the obedience of His people. Through the hugs, the prayers, the smiles, the words of wisdom. So many ways. He comforts us. And HE cares! So much so that he will whisper little commands to us. Commands that are meant for bringing HIM GLORY.

There are many times in my life that He has asked me to say or do something that at times seemed so tiny to me. But when I obey… WHEN I obey. I don’t always obey or listen. But when I do, I realize the reason.

Listen with your heart. We all have fallen short. We all still fall short. BUT God. But Grace. But…COMFORT HER.

At the same time, God comforted me. Again.

He reminded me. Again. You don’t need a degree to love people. You don’t need a degree to care. You don’t need a degree to counsel and encourage people. You just need to open your eyes and listen with your heart and use your gifts wherever I place you.

Open your eyes. Listen with your heart. Use your gifts wherever God places you.

I pray that you never feel alone. I pray that you know the love of God. I pray that you use your gifts wherever God places you.

Seeking Him,

Wrong Label

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Labels are for cans of food. Labels are for items of clothing. Labels are NOT for people.

They shouldn’t be…that is.

Romans 2:3 ~ Do you suppose, O man —- you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself —- that you will escape the judgement of God?

Hmmm. OUCH.

So…. we are all guilty? Maybe? Definitely?

GUILTY.

 

Psalm 9:7,8 ~ But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the people with uprightness.

 

See, GOD…HE judges out of LOVE. He is not capable of using labels on people…judging people from outside appearances. Unlike most of the human population. Myself included.

Our Lord looks at our heart. So why don’t we look at the heart first?

 

1 Samuel 16:7 ~ But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

Maybe you aren’t a judgmental person…..anymore. Maybe you never have been.

Maybe you have been the object of judgement. And it hurt. Deeply.

I wish that one blog post could change us all. It can’t. Real change only happens when we truly want to change.

If the heart isn’t right, then the behavior won’t be right. Upright. Like God. Christ-like.

Who wants to be labeled like a can of soup?

Who are we to label others anyway?

Being labeled as a snob because you aren’t as outgoing as the person labeling you hurts. To assign a label to someone before you’ve even talked to them is wrong.

Being labeled as stuck-up because you are just not confident or comfortable making small talk… hurts.

I truly believe that to judge someone before we’ve even talked to them is dead wrong. How can we do that?

How can we truly say that someone is “preppy”. “gothic”, “redneck”, “rich”, “poor”, “saved”, “not saved”, “shy”, “scary”, without even giving that person a chance to show us their heart?

We have to give others the chance to show us who they are. We have to teach our kids this. Labels hurt…especially when we are labeled wrong.

We have all been guilty of this behavior at some point in our lives. Hopefully we chose to STOP being this way. To give people a chance to show us who they are on the inside before assuming they are some other way by the outside.

It’s so heartbreaking to hear story after story of how teens and kids will even approach other teens and kids, BOLDLY telling them what they think the other teen is like…and they have never ever spoken to this person before. All based on appearance or heresy.

I wish I could say that it gets better with time. It doesn’t. Adults judge unfairly as well.

When is it going to stop?

Good news is this: One person CAN make a difference. One person can change. One can stand up for another. One can share of the hurt judging causes. One person CAN make a difference.

Will you be that person? Will you teach your children to be THAT PERSON? Will you choose to make a difference?

Until Next Time,

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Don’t Be A Blessing Robber

 

Photo: HDawkins
Copyright 2013

 

There are times when we least expect it that GOD reaches out and loves on us. We don’t deserve it, none of us do, but HE freely gives us HIS LOVE. I don’t know why it still shocks me sometimes…

My FATHER GOD, HE loves me! So much that HE speaks to me in a language that touches my soul. Through the obedience of a friend that HE gave me..even though we have never met in person. As she said, ” Jesus is KOOL like that.”

Right at the moment when I needed it most, my friend sent me this poem that she wrote…right then… For ME. She said that the words kept coming and she stopped what she was doing and had to type them out. She said that she knew that I had to see it right then. That’s obedience friends! That’s using her gift to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Here is her original work.. She’s a published author.. A talented poet:

To see the truth!!

Oh how some see it!
That look in your eyes!
That feeling of hurt!
That you try to disguise!

The smile you send!
To hide those tears!
The laughter you give!
To fight your fears!

Just be yourself!
For you are loved!
Your healing will come!
From Jesus above!

Despite feeling weak!
You are very strong!
Jesus will help you!
Find where you belong!

Your heart was broken!
Your life has been a mess!
Jesus is healing!
You are beautifully blessed!

Copyright 2013
Jeanie Burkett

Still completely blown away by how my Jesus cares. Time AND Time again. HE is SO GOOD!

My life is blessed. Even in the messy times. Even when times are tough. Aren’t we all a mess sometimes? My life IS blessed. Even on days that I feel weak, HIS SPIRIT IS STRONG IN ME. All of us have fears and All of us hurt at times.

 

Maybe this poem is for you, too. I have a feeling I’m not the only one that ever feels weak or smiles through the struggles, or has yuck days.

 

There IS HEALING in JESUS!

James 5:16 (NLT) ~ Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Amen!

 

God uses us… HIS children, to speak to others and to serve others with whatever spiritual gifts HE has gifted us with. It’s the Holy Spirit using our bodies and the talents that HE enables us with, to BLESS others and to in turn BRING HIM GLORY.

Romans 11:36 (NLT) ~ For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

 

I pray that you don’t refuse the gifts that HE has given you. That’s saying NO to God. That’s refusing to let God love others through you. That’s robbing others of a blessing. I’ve been guilty of that as well. I’d bet that most of us have.

1 Peter 4:10 (NLT) ~ God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

 

My hope in sharing this with you is for you to reflect on times when God blessed you through the obedience of someone. Then, I hope you will remember how you felt and use your ears to listen for when God wants you to obediently serve someone else with your gift.

Blessings to YOU!

 

Humbly HIS,

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Kind Words

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A little bit of encouragement goes a long way. Am I right? Definitely.

Those of us who have ran in races know that this is true! Anyone who competes in any type of sport..knows this to be true. When you are feeling as though you can’t go any farther, and you hear cheers…your spirits lift and you know for a second that you can!

Our minds. our thoughts,  and the way that we talk to ourselves really play a huge part in our success or failure.

 

 

 If we believe that we can, then we will. If we tell ourselves that we will, then we can. It’s our inner voice that hold us back.

 

 

The Bible tells us that We CAN do ALL things through CHRIST who gives us STRENGTH!

It doesn’t say that we have to do anything on our own strength…

It doesn’t say that we can do SOME things through the strength that is given to us by Christ.

Paul says it best..when referring to his ability to make it through ANY situation:

Philippians 4:12,13 ~ I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

 

 

We are our own worst enemy at times. Why? Because of the way that we talk to ourselves. Who cares what others may say about your abilities! God made you…and HE loved you before HE even made the world. As believers and followers of God, we need to remember that our FATHER (GOD), doesn’t talk ugly to us or about us. HE loves us. HE is not capable of sinning. HE is LOVE. AND HE does NOT talk to us the way that we tend to talk to ourselves.

If you are a believer in Jesus, then this is YOU that HE is talking about:

Ephesians 1:4, 5 ~ Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

See how much HE loves us!!!

 

 

While we are on the subject of talking nice to ourselves, it would do us well to remember that we should only speak words to others as well, that edify and build up.

Ephesians 4:29 ~ Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

What does this have to do with talking in a  positive way to ourselves (our inner voice)?  Everything!  The reason being, what we repeatedly hear..we start to believe. If all we ever hear about ourselves is negative..then how easy it is to think that way about ourselves. Now, this doesn’t mean to go around giving out meaningless flattery all day. (That’s another blog for another day.) This simply means to be an encourager and think before you speak, because as Ephesians 4:29 says (and I am paraphrasing of course) : If it doesn’t help someone, and if it isn’t nice, and if it doesn’t build the other person up, then don’t say it. 

 

 

I love this little acronym :

THINK, is what I am saying, texting, or typing

True

Helpful

Important

Necessary

Kind ?

 

 

Everybody can use some kind of encouragement… Talking kind to ourselves and others is something we all struggle with at times. Let’s build up instead of tear down.

 

 

            Until Next Time,

 

 

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REMEMBER

 

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You never know where you may find a heart….

 

 

Well, tomorrow is Vday. AKA Valentines.. Sweethearts…day of expressing love and feelings.. Could be to a special someone or it could be to your family.. friends…etc..

Some people dread the day. Some love it! Some have no expectations and some have too high expectations.

What is Vday to you? Do you dread it or love it? Why?

I sometimes have really high expectations. Truth. I think it’s because such a big deal is made about a day that should be celebrated ALL YEAR LONG. Not just ONE day a year.

Love. It’s sweet. It’s even painful at times. It’s an action word. Not just a feeling.

Oh how we sometimes forget ( those of us who have been Valentines a long time)… that it’s an ACTION word. Ladies…we can’t blame our men completely for this. Men, you can’t blame us ladies completely either.

See, a couple.. Is 2. Two people. Two who have to do their part.

Ouch.

That feeling you had when you first met.. Remember it?

That excitement you felt when you saw your sweetheart… Remember that?

Remember how you felt when you didn’t get to see the one you loved?

What are you doing different now?

Think about it.

We get in a rut. We let “life” steal and “still” the romance. We let “life” take priority. That’s the problem. We choose to put that “sweetheart” on the back burner.

When we do that..the pot cools off.. The fire starts to slowly die.

Won’t work. It takes work. Intentionality.

It’s time to stop complaining… Stop whining..and do our own part.

So tomorrow.. On this day that’s been commercialized… Remember the days of old. And… Do your part.

Love is so sweet. New love appears to be even sweeter. BUT…Isn’t “old” love even sweeter?

Nothing sweeter than seeing a couple…with wrinkled faces and graying hair…holding hands and smiling. Because… They worked at this thing called LOVE. They stuck it out. They lived and learned and loved.

So.. I’m challenging us all.. To remember and to do our part…

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~ Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 

Now..read that passage again and again and again. There’s a bit of work involved… BUT, it’s so worth it. Anything worth having is worth working for..and fighting for.

 

I am so thankful for each one of you.. Happy Valentines Day to you all!

 

             Until Next Time,

 

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THANKFUL THURSDAYS ~ October 4th

It’s that time again! I have been looking forward to Thursday all week!

  I wonder…did you think more about what you were thankful for?

I did! I loved the comments.. Loved hearing what YOU were thankful for!

 

 Colossians 4:2 ~ Devote yourselves to prayer  with an alert mindand a thankful heart.

 

Not only are we to pray. We are to thank HIM when we pray. We are to  be thankful..when we pray. Prayer is a privilege. It is our lifeline to God. HE owes us nothing..yet, HE allows us to have a conversation with HIM. HE loves for us to “hang out” with HIM in prayer. Prayer is an act of worship. Being thankful to God is an act of worship.

   So, let me hear it!

 

  What THREE things are you thankful for this week?

 

   Psalm 107:22 NLT ~ Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

 

Don’t forget to thank HIM!

  AND…Maybe, you need to thank someone else too. Just a thought. You never know how much a thank you may mean to someone.

   PLEASE...share with me! Leave a comment with your 3 things that you are thankful for this week! Follow me on twitter @hgdSimpleTruths or click on the box in the top right corner of this post to get Simple Truths free to your email. You can also like my FB page..it is listed as Simple Truths Blog.

 

Here is my list of THREE things:

    1) I am thankful for a husband who loves me faults and all.

    2) I am thankful for a wonderful Dstudy group at my church.

   3) I am thankful to be able to run and work out! 

 

 

         UNTIL NEXT TIME,

 

Show Them Jesus

Recently, someone asked me a question.

HOW DO YOU TELL SOMEONE ABOUT JESUS? Someone who doesn’t want to hear about HIM..someone who has chosen to reject HIM..

My answer: You live it. They simply need you to SHOW THEM JESUS. They don’t need for you to hit them over the head with The Bible..they don’t need your condemnation. They just need to SEE JESUS.

Sound simple enough?

LIVE IT. BE A DOER..NOT JUST A HEARER.

James 2:17 (NIV) ~ In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

It can be so hard to hold our tongues…we just want them to know HIM. We want them to have what we have.

It takes patience. It takes intentionality. It takes perseverance. Time. Prayer. Obedience.

Patience, because of the many times you may hear “no” or “not interested” or “I’ve tried that”…

Intentionality, because when God calls you to do something HE is calling you to give it your all.

Perseverance, because it may not be easy..and you may feel like giving up. DON’T. GIVE. UP.

Time, because not everything happens fast. God’s timing is not our timing.

Prayer, because we need to communicate with God..we need to listen to HIM.

Obedience, because our obedience to God’s call will lead to blessing..and if the one we are witnessing to is obedient..it will lead to them knowing our God.

One more thing: Don’t take rejection personally. They aren’t rejecting you. Sadly, they are rejecting God.

What an awesome question that I was asked! Made me smile inside. Just knowing that the ones asking desired to share God with others.

Remember the saying…YOU may be the ONLY BIBLE that some people ever read.

We as followers of Jesus Christ, are called to ACTION. We are called to LIVE IT. To let our light shine..so that others may see Jesus in us!

Matthew 5:15, 16 (NIV)~ Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Keep Shining my friends! Don’t. Give. Up.

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

P.S. ~ stay tuned for more posts about sharing Jesus.. Because not only do you need to Show them Jesus, but you have to KNOW His Word and know HIM..so that you can shine for HIM! 🙂