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The Scent of Smoldering Doubts

by Cathy Baker

I don’t mind being wrong. I just don’t want to be misunderstood. (That makes sense, right?)

Like, I’m perfectly okay if someone doesn’t agree with my perspective on something as long as they understand my heart on the matter. This mode of thinking, however, has sometimes handed the enemy his sharpest darts of doubt to penetrate my peace of mind.

Recently, one of his darts took flight soon after writing a difficult email. I had prayed prior to sending it, asking God to check my heart. Nevertheless, this question continued to encircle my thinking: 

What if the meaning of my email was misinterpreted by the recipient? 

Enter, God’s whisper: 

I know your heart. Rest in this truth. 

The enemy may have fiery darts (Eph. 6:16) but our God wields a swift and mighty sword (Hebrews 4:12) that snuffs out doubts, leaving nothing but smoldering splinters in its wake. 

When God reminded me of his truth—that he is omniscient, knowing all things, especially the heart and intentions of his creation—I could rest, and I did. Later that day, God graciously confirmed my initial concern with confirmation that my heart had indeed been understood. A praise of thankfulness quickly followed. 

How has God snuffed out your doubts in recent days with Truth? Let the praises begin!

The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees all the children of man;
from where he sits enthroned he looks out
    on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all
    and observes all their deeds.
Psalm 33:13-15
**** Don’t miss Monday’s post as I’ll be offering a beautiful tea cup and saucer from my personal collection for a drawing. It’s a gift from me to you as we close out this month’s series. 

When a Whisper Sounds More Like A Shout

by Cathy Baker

When the breath of God plays in the form of a melody it serenades and soothes a stirred-up soul much like a mother holding a sick child. The unsettled part of us clings and sinks deeply into a place of comfort, the Word.  

That’s the only way I know how to describe a recent “God whisper” that took place while driving to the local hospital for tests. I felt unusually unsettled about a health situation that could possibly take place while Brian was in France the following week. A battle erupted in my mind between truth and lies. In that moment, I remembered a recently purchased CD. With one click of the button, God’s Word, spoken through David Teems, waved the palm branch of victory in truth’s direction. 

If you’re unfamiliar with David, you need to get acquainted. I’ve listened to him for 20+ years and every class I’ve taught during those years heard his voice at least once. His gift is reading the Word of God (verbatim) while playing ambient music in the background. My most recent purchase was David’s, Speak to Me, focuses on excerpts from the Old Testament (which I love!)

The victory that morning began when David paused, and then slowly uttered six words: 

God is our refuge and strength, 
a very present help in trouble. 
Psalm 46:1

I sat there, awestruck by the power of God’s living word. (Hebrews 4:12) He knew my inner struggle, my fear of being alone if trouble came knocking. His answer came in the form of a whisper but it resonated more like a shout in my soul. 

His Word—the very essence of life, awaits to be devoured. For only then does it truly become our joy and heart’s delight. 

When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. Jeremiah 15:15 NLT  
Awake, My Soul

Here’s the best six minutes you’ll spend today. David begins reading scripture around the 1:30 mark. Prepare to be blessed, my friend. Click here to watch the Youtube reading of one of my all time favorites, or click on David’s CD below to view.

http://youtu.be/WAmiHLaboHk
www.davidteems.com/music


To God be the glory!

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via The Book

 { Day 23 }

My name is Cathy Baker and I am a Book O’ Holic. 

Slender binding
Threadbare spines
Fresh printed ink
Crisp white pages, and
Well worn ones too. 

They’re all there – residing on my bookshelves, side by side, rubbing spine on spine.

Some have yet to be read
Some are on a perpetual rotation
Some left an indelible impression 
Some simply left a mental ✔ by their title 

Yes…

I may learn how to be a better wife, mom, and friend through a study or book written by a devoted author but only the Book, God’s active living Word, penetrates to the deepest, darkest layers within and brings current thoughts and actions to a screeching halt.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged
sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and
marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

 
I may learn how to be a more efficient make-up applier, decorator, and cook by perusing my stack of magazines but only the Book teaches me what’s really important. 
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:19-21

I may become a better writer or poet by studying the reference books that line my shelves, but only in the Book will I find the overarching purpose for putting pen to paper. This is vital for it is my motivation to write.

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1
 

Well, I do!

 

I consider all my books to be a gift from God. Each one teaches me something. They have value, or else I wouldn’t purchase them. But, because of the fleshly tendency to reach for a book “fix”, I have to remain alert to
the truth that no book trumps God’s Word. No, not one. Not even the most soul persuasive Christian book. Nope.

Okay, so am I alone? If not, sign-ups begin Monday for all my fellow Book O’ Holics (just kidding, but it’s nice knowing I’m not alone!)

Staying in Step with the Holy Spirit: A plethora of books—magnificent books!—line our stores but only the Book is inerrant, alive and active on our behalf. When the Bible has the right priority in our lives, we can’t help but stay in step with Him. 

Heavenly Father, Your words are our very life, the well from which we draw wisdom, encouragement, exhortation, and conviction. Everything we need in life You provided in one breath. Help us to lean on You, Your Word, above else. 

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17

{ Day 15 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Paper Bookmark
{ Day 16 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start
{ Day 17 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Spontaneous Service
{ Day 18 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 3
{ Sunday } 
{ Day 20 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Mini-Getaway
{ Day 21 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Piped Icing
{ Day 22 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Knock at the Door


 

3 Habits That Breathe Life Into Your Spiritual Journey

Wrap the habits of your soul in the sweet lavender of your Lord’s character. -Meyer
Habits. We brush our teeth, pour the coffee, buy new notebooks before filling the last one (or is that just me?). But what about the habits of our soul—those choices that breathe life into our spiritual journey? While there are many, I chose three I’m currently highlighting in my own walk.

Chew, don’t swallow. These days, there’s much to do about eating clean (unprocessed) foods to ramp up energy and kick start our metabolism. Why would we feed anything less to our souls? God’s Word is pure, active and alive (Hebrews 4:12). Try choosing one or two verses to focus on throughout the week. Don’t swallow it whole. Chew on it—ask God questions, search out His answers, and watch with anticipation to see how He makes Himself known. 

Embrace solitude. If Jesus made it a priority, why wouldn’t I? He knew what many of us are still learning: Solitude energizes the soul. Jesus intentionally withdrew from people in order to commune with the Father, listen without interruption, and rest. With so much noise clamoring for our attention today, it’s imperative that we too become intentional, even if only for a few moments each day. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Be Your Story. Yes, we need to tell our stories but sometimes we’re only seen, not necessarily heard. We pass people in our cars, ride their bumpers, stand a few buggies behind them in the store, interact with our spouses and children in public, etc. What do others learn about us when seeing us from a distance? I can talk all day about how I’m supposed to be kind, patient, slow to anger, etc. but is that what my actions, even my expressions, are revealing to those I may never have the opportunity to talk to? I fail often, but I want the sweet waft of Christ to be evident to all who see me, as well as hear me. 

Do you have a habit of the soul to add? I’d love to learn more!

“Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
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