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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog Videos

Does God Still Want Relationship After We Mess Up?

In the Garden of Eden, we see humanity make a massive mistake – disobeying God’s one and only direction. Immediately, they experience consequences – shame, fear, blaming others, loss of connection, and more. WATCH VIDEO…

As the Bible continues on, we see that the story has only begun. God continues to move in pursuit of the heart of humanity. He reaches down to individuals and nations, gives opportunities to change their way of perceiving reality and return to Him. Some do and others don’t.

But His heart is always for restoration, redemption, reconnection.

Paul wrote: “…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Not after we cleaned up our act – because we don’t have the power to do it anyway. Not after we checked off all the boxes of requirements to get into His good graces. While we were still living lives defined by sin, He died…for us…to restore that connection.

His heart longs for us regardless of our performance.

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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog Videos

Does God Really Want to Be Close to Us?

Think of someone in your life who can uplift the atmosphere of a room just by walking into it. Suddenly, dull becomes vibrant. Sullen becomes joy-filled. Negative complaining turns to hope-filled conversation. WATCH VIDEO…

In the Garden of Eden, we see that God made a habit of walking with humans in the garden. He created a space where He could connect on all levels with His creation. God’s intention was and is to have relationship with humanity. Not merely collectively, but also individually, uniquely.

This life we live on planet Earth is filled with daily opportunities to connect with God’s presence. Moment-to moment we can experience His nearness if we will seek Him out.

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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog Videos

Can We Hear God Speak?

In Genesis 1-3, we see that God spoke to His triune self, to humanity, and to the serpent). He stated His intentions and reasons to create, declared a reality that being alone is not good for man, called out to the humans who hid from Him, confronted the man, woman, and serpent with Truth, gave consequences of their rebellion, and gave a promise of a future redemption. WATCH VIDEO…

God’s Voice was literally heard by others in both the spiritual and physical realms.

All throughout scripture, we discover times where God spoke and people heard. Sometimes it felt normal, sometimes they had no idea what was going on at first. And, His Voice came in various ways to various people in various situations.

Communication is vital to any good relationship. And what God wants most for us is that we live in relationship with Him.

Imagine a couple in love, separated by war. One goes off to fight, while the other stays home. They exchange letters, reminding one another of their love, commitment, and promises for the future. Even though they can’t physically feel the one they love, they sense their nearness inwardly and they are reassured of their character.

That’s what the Bible is for us. It’s not a list of rules to oppress us. It’s a love letter; God reminding us of His love, commitment, and promises for the future. It’s one way we can remember His nearness and be reassured of His character.

He didn’t stop speaking when the Bible was canonized.

God is still speaking today. And we can hear Him. We also have the benefit of the Bible to both help us get more familiar with the sound of His Voice and the character of His nature. Anything we hear, we need to weigh against proven scripture to test its validity because God’s is not the only Voice speaking. (We also hear ourselves, other people, and the enemy.)

Let’s lean in further to the sound of His Voice.

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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog

Obedience is Exciting?!?

Today’s guest post is written by Kendra Hunt, a warm, wonderful, welcoming friend whose depths of wisdom and love never seem to end. Through life’s everyday circumstances, and often a touch of humor that lifts the spirit, she cuts to the heart of what a day-to-day relationship with God looks like lived out. I pray you’ll be blessed by the message she’s brought to you here! 

 

A few years ago I was chatting with a friend who’d come to my home for a visit. We both had little kids who seemed always to be at our feet. Conversation was sporadic at best and we could count in the course of a night the number of sentences we actually completed. It was the end of the year and we were discussing the church-wide fast for January.

We would start a sentence and then change a diaper, start a sentence and then fill a sippy cup, start a sentence and then dart to save a little one from falling off a chair. Do you see a pattern? It is amazing that I remember anything from that night, but I do. I distinctly remember my friend talking about what God had put on her heart to fast – and she was excited. What?

How could she be excited about depriving herself of something??

She multitasked while sharing her excitement to live in obedience regarding what God was asking of her. It was strange and yet very enticing. The conversation got me to thinking about obedience. So many principles in the Bible are vastly contrary to popular culture. Who would think obedience to an invisible God would be exciting? The thought of giving up something you are very attached to, such as sugar or social media, or worse, chocolate, was not something that would seem exciting.

As I continued to think about obedience, I imagined a puppy, a family’s treasured pet. Have you ever seen a puppy when they have been disobedient? They hang their head and tuck their tail down. They stay at a distance, scared of the discipline that may follow their disobedient behavior, like a shadow attached to a kid playing in the sun.

So what does an obedient puppy do? Why yes!! They are excited. They wag their tails and come close to you, waiting for a pat on the head or a rub behind their ear.

Obedience is exciting because, when it is done from a heart of love, it brings you closer. Obedience strengthens a relationship and draws you closer to the one to which you have subjected your will. 

Obedience from love opens the door for God to do a transformative work in your life.

The apostle Peter gives instruction in the New Testament telling the people to continue to be obedient, even in their suffering. He reminds them of their hope and tells them that obedience will multiply their grace and peace.

“God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!” 1 Peter 1:2 (The Message)

Obedience is exciting because it brings you nearer to a God whose number one desire is for you to be close to Him. He sent His son to live a life of obedience so that you could be close to Him.

“By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19 (KJV)

Don’t be fooled by the world and its message that living for God is living a life that is not fun and exciting. Obedience to God is exciting in a way the world will never know.

 

Kendra Hunt picKendra’s boys say that she spends her time making dinner and wrestling them for hugs. Kendra spends the rest of her time as a full-time mom, a full-time pastor’s wife, a part-time accountant, a ladies group leader, a PTA board member, and the director of the mentoring program for Gateway Church’s NFW campus. She is also the author of Encouragement Between Loads of Laundry, a hilarious, yet poignant collection of inspirational devotions for women. While Kendra doesn’t even enjoy making dinner, she is proud that it is first on her boys list! The rest are just details!

Get your copy of Kendra’s book here! Available for Kindle and in paperback.

 

{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase from a site I may earn a small commission on your purchase. These commissions help support my family and are a blessing to us at no additional cost to you. Thank you!}

 

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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog

Releasing the Religious

You know those words that have been so overused they’ve nearly lost their meaning? They’ve been somehow merged with other terms we can’t even conjure a definition for. Nowhere is this more true than in the terms of the church.

We can get lost in the flow of religious terms and bogged down by the assumed weight of the restrictions we feel they place on us. But here are a few words that were given to us to help take the weight off, to help us understand our roles, our identities, our purpose.

Believer. Disciple. Apostle.

These words are not synonymous with each other, though we tend to use them interchangeably. What’s the difference between them? And why does that matter?

BELIEVER

A believer believes. Simple, right? A believer has encountered the truth and the grace of the gospel. (More “religious” and overused terms if we’ve lost their meanings.) Breaking it down, a believer is someone who has had a personal encounter with a Person, Jesus, and in that meeting realizes that the God of the universe loves them so incredibly much that He did something unprecedented: He came down to our level, to meet us in our mess and mistakes. A believer has received a gift, something they could never achieve on their own: an intimate, secure, eternal relationship with the God who loves them passionately. (That’s the gospel!) They didn’t earn it. (That’s grace!)

A believer is a member of God’s family.

DISCIPLE

But, then there’s that word, disciple. Jesus’ last command before He ascended to Heaven was, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 29:19) But what does that mean? He didn’t say, “Go make believers of all nations.” He said disciples. The Message version gives a wonderful explanation of what this means: “Go out and train everyone you meet, near or far, in this way of life…”

Go out and train people. Train them. Equip them with the tools they’ll need. Teach. Uplift.

Jesus had His twelve primary disciples and hundreds more who followed Him, learning from His life and teachings. They did life together. He invested in them as individuals. He helped prepare them for what was coming. He taught them a new way of living and being.

A disciple is a close friend of God.

APOSTLE 

So, what about this super-religious sounding title, apostle? We may think it only applies to the select few God appointed in the New Testament to go plant churches and kick-start the early church. And, yes, it does. But that’s not all.

The word apostle actually means “someone who is sent out.”  An apostle is an ambassador going into new territory, which may or may not be geographical. They have a message to share, tools to give, hope and love to multiply. There’s a mission. A purpose.

An apostle is a partner of God. 

First, we believe. Then we’re discipled, or trained. Then, we are apostles, going out to train up others. And the cycle continues. We continue stretching our beliefs when they’re challenged by others or by tough circumstances. We continue learning because there’s always more. We continue going out to reach others with love because we have a mission.

And, the bottom line: It’s not about religion. It’s about relationship. We’re part of the family. We’re dear friends. We’re partners, doing things together, on purpose!

 

One thing I LOVE about my church is that they make all aspects of this relationship a priority. I will be teaching an Equip class which is founded on belief, training up, and reaching out. If you are local to the DFW area, I would love to invite you to join me for this 3-week class discussing the value, source, and design of our unique identities beginning THIS week! To register or just get more information for “I am who I AM says I am”, click HERE. I hope to see you there!

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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog

What’s Getting in the Way of Hearing God?

Chatter Phone Toy

 

I’ll admit I’m not so savvy about the options of phones out there…especially when it comes to comparing features and all.  But one thing I do know about my phone is that the speaker phone setting leaves a lot to be desired.

So, when my husband is calling from an out-of-town job and the kids are talking all over each other with tumbling thoughts and zero-context subjects, adding the speaker phone feature to the mix is downright stressful.  I’m going between speaker phone (to let them have their say and hear Daddy’s voice) and the standard mic settings so I can “translate” what’s being said.

In the midst of the annoyance…and missing him while he’s away…we’re all just so desperate to hear his voice, to share our hearts.  Yet this speaker issue gets in the way.  The VERY THING that should be a tool connecting us in our time apart is making the whole situation more frustrating and more isolating.

It makes me wonder what other “speaker phones” I have lying around that keep me from hearing an even more important Voice.  What so-called “tools” are out there in my daily life that rather than enhance my walk with God, actually hinder it?

After all, if my relationship with God (as with any genuine relationship) is based in regular communication, then a hindrance to that communication is actually a hindrance to the QUALITY of the relationship, right?

Is the Bible devotional I’m doing out of a sense of obligation getting in the way?  Am I doing it to check things off a list rather than sit and have a “real” conversation with my Daddy?

Am I just so busy doing the things He has called me to that I can’t sit still long enough to hear Him?

Are there thoughts and subjects tumbling over themselves in my mind…worries and concerns and cares of this world invading the time that I just want to spend enjoying Him?

What keeps me from hearing His voice clearly?

What keeps you from hearing?

 

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