Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘THE MESSAGE’ Category


The Message

First Post of January 2018

“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you; let the birds tell you what’s going on. Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics. Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand— Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature? Isn’t this all just common sense, as common as the sense of taste? Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom,  that you have to grow old before you understand life?” ~ Job 12: 7-12, The Message (MSG)  

Can we find God in an exquisite sunrise or sunset, or in those days when the sky is gloomy all the day long? Can we look at nature and find the one who created this mystery we call Earth? Can we search in the broken places or is He in the luxury hotels waiting for us to find Him? Why does God have to be male or female, I mean isn’t it possible that God is so powerful that there is no gender? Is God found in the shadows or can He be found only in the sunlight? Is God just known to us sinners on this rock which orbits around one of trillions upon trillions of stars which dot the night sky? Is God found in just this universe, or is He also the creator of trillions of more universes than just ours? In thinking this out further I guess God could arguably be bigger than anything we could ever imagine or infinitely as small as the smallest particle ever discovered. But I really like how Job put it when he was arguing with the elders, I enjoyed how simply put his words where on this specific topic about who God is, for Job said it best, “Ask the animals what they think?”

Who is God to Me?

“God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says?  Does he promise and not come through?” ~ Numbers 23:19, The Message (MSG)

As a boy growing up I would look up into the night sky and see the brilliantly lit stars overhead and wondered where God was among all those points of light. In church, I was taught that Jesus was the light and the way. God seemed to be a super being far outshining anything in my big imagination. As I grew I wrestled with the idea that Jesus was God and they were one and the same. At first, it did not make sense at all, for here is God the Father; an all-powerful being and here was Jesus a man born of flesh and blood. Sunday school taught that God was not a man, yet Jesus clearly was. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties traveling around South East Asia in the United States Navy that I finally got it!  See before this point God was an angry, vengeful, fiery judge deserving of a healthy dose of fear deep in my heart; He was a being who took mercy on us and finally decided to come down to help us mortals out. To some extent this was done out of love; but also out of impatience. In reflection, this description was very much one befitting me.  But on the day I got it all that went away as for the first time I saw God in my shipmates, I saw God in the people of the various countries we visited, and I saw God in an Irish man who gave me and my friend the money to get back to our ship late one night in Dubai. I started recording the random acts of kindness of others as each day passed. Strangers helping strangers, crewmates putting aside their differences for the common good of the division. I grew up thinking I would only have one family in my life, but as I traveled I become a valued member of many other families who otherwise would be considered strangers. The more this happened the more I grew closer to God and truly understood what being a member of God’s family was all about. I truly grew up in the Navy because of those experiences and I would not trade them in for anything in this world. But like everything in life when times get hard faith starts to wane taking a back seat to the various dramas being played out. It wasn’t until I had gotten married, lived outside of the security of my biological family, and alone in my complicated life full of doubt about God; who as I saw it had abandoned me. It was in that very moment of spiritual starvation when once again God saw fit to further push me to grow with a true miracle. For God had revealed Himself as a ray of brilliant light which shook me to my very core. For as I waited in a Hospital in California, my heart racing in anticipation on the verge of an emotional meltdown; I  bore witness breathlessly to the birth of my daughter. I could see and feel His presence descend upon me with such love and grace as the doctor asked me to cut her umbilical cord, then the doctor placed her into my unsteady arms as I struggled to pull her close to me. I was speechless as she cried then our eyes met for the first time. In that moment I knew love, I knew hope, and I was introduced to fatherhood. In reflection upon this most profound of questions, “Who is God?” I have to admit that perhaps maybe He is the ultimate father, mother, uncle, cousin, friend, lover, child, grandparent, and lifelong teacher.  

God Is!

“I love you, God — you make me strong.  God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.”  Psalm 18:1, The Message (MSG)

It’s too easy to declare, “My God Is!”, rather my brothers and sisters let us say simply and purely that, “God is so many different things to each one of us and in many ways, He is the same thing to all of us!”  For God is just not my God alone, He is also your God, our neighbors God, our friends from overseas God, and the God of the Universe! We all are of Him, and in no way could we ever deny this and be sincere or credible. In this way, God is absolute, unchanging, forever loving and gives mercy and forgiveness to us in ways that we do not deserve. For all who run to Him find love, find true success, and above all safety. In every way, God sustains His children, weak and strong alike. God is family, eternal and everlasting, for He washed my dirty soul with life-giving waters. God is the spirit of hope, life, death, judgment, and any other descriptive word you could come up with. But above all other things, God is my salvation and I will love Him with all my heart for as long as He will have me live on this Earth. It is in His image I was created, His image of which I became a teacher and father, and it is in His image I shall have everlasting life after this life is over. This is my covenant with God, and it is through His will I reach out to His family, all of you who want to simply declare out loud that, “God Is!”

Question: “Who is God to you?”

Want More? Listening Faithfully eStore is now open – Click Here

Amen, Alleluia!

Join us Today!

Become a Subscriber today and receive weekly insights to effective prayer and devotionals that will enrich your life.

Primary Goal: To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Ways to Communicate – Social Media

BOOKSTORE: Click Here!

On Facebook:

Listening Faithfully

Listening Faithfully Community

Listening Faithfully Blog

FB Groups: Friends Who Like Listening Faithfully / LF Prayer Group – Make all your Bible and Liturgy of the Hours Purchases here. Powered by Amazon. (All proceeds go to support Listening Faithfully Blog in the transition from a wordpress.com to a .org site.)

Twitter

Don’t forget to email me with your prayer requests:  Email – listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com

Ways to Support Others:

To help support education click the link in the sidebar entitled – Current Fundraisers. It’s just a little that means so much in this season of giving.

View current promotions – Click Here / Take a Private Quiz – CLICK HERE

Listening Faithfully Survey – Help us make improvements for you. CLICK HERE

 

“Let’s grow together as children of God” 

Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

 

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Read Full Post »


Try Something New!

22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”~ Psalm of David, 55:22 (NRSV) 

What I find interesting is that when people hear they can put their troubles aside they don’t. Instead, they elect to hold on to all the nasty feelings and roll around in it and seek answers that are on their own terms.  What I find is people trust in themselves more than their loving and forgiving creator. So my first message today is simple when you have doubts give them to God, when you have worries that keep you up at night give them to God, and if there is something you know is wrong done to you to someone in your family or a problem you cannot solve then give it all to God.

I recently was told of a new Bible called, ‘The Message’ by a friend of mine named Fr. Tom who is a retired Preist.  I wanted to get his opinion on several other Bibles I had purchased as it relates to the translation. Well, as always Fr. Tom shocked me with The Message. So I went to the store and bought a copy  even though I was a little nervous because it’s not written like any other Bible I have ever read! What is awesome about it is that the author scripted the Bible to be more fitted to our generation.

So I wrote all that to say this, The Message has the same message as does all my other Bibles regardless the verbiage.  God still wants you to give him all your worries.

22 ” Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders-he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin.” ~ Psalm of David, 55:22 (The Message)

Therefore, my brothers and sisters if you have never really given your problems to God, trust in this message, trust in the fact that there is a God who loves you so much he is willing to take care of all your problems for you. Try something new!

7 “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7 (NRSV) 

Try This on for Size!

6 ” So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. 7 Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-7 (The Message)

Live freely before God is hard if you’re not trusting God with your pain, mistakes, worries, regrets, sorrows, problems, and / or hopes, dreams, and wishes. Living freely before God is hard if you’re too busy hiding everything you’re into.  Living freely before God is impossible if you have never called on him, never asked a single question, never listened to his words and promises, and never truly developed a real relationship with him. Thus, if you have never done any of those things then this is for you….

7 ” Look at me – I shout ‘Murder!’ and I’m ignored; I call for help and no one bothers to stop, God threw a barricade across my path – I’m stymied; he turned out all the lights – I’m stuck in the dark. He destroyed my reputation, robbed me of all self-respect. He tore me apart piece by piece – I’m ruined! Then he yanked out hope by the roots. He’s angry with me – oh, how he’s angry! He treats me like his worst enemy. He has launched a major campaign against me, using every weapon he can think of, coming at me from all sides at once.” ~  Job 19:7 -12 (The Message)

Blaming God is not the answer to your problems, Job was being tested by Satan. Perhaps God is doing the same with you, testing you, seeing if you will come to him. Statements your heart is too engaged in that pulls you down look like this;

1.) “I’m completely in the dark!” – Then get up light a candle and ask God for help.

2.) “My life is just an illusion of security!” – Open your eyes and look around, God’s promises are real and are the very definition of security!

3.) “I have no place to hide!” – Why are you hiding in the first place? God knows everything, he is everywhere, and the best part is you are never alone so talk with Him he’s calling you!

4.) “Why is God not on my side?” – Who said that he wasn’t on your side? God wants everyone to be saved and to meet Him in heaven and live an eternal life with Him! The word, ‘EVERYONE’ is all inclusive because God is all inclusive. Ask for His forgiveness and pray, know He hears you, loves you, and forgives you of all your trespasses as if you had never done them!

*If you have any more statement’s that pull you further into the nine-hole then write to me and I will add them to my next reflection and back them up with Scripture.

God is always the answer, He is always there with you, he is never off ignoring your problems rather he wants to be engaged in solving them. Put yourself in God’s shoes – millions of people are praying to you, millions of people refuse to pray to you for help. Who are you logically going to help first? Just saying! Just calm down and think with a level head, God sent his only son Jesus to die for you, for me, for the world! What more do you want?

CLOSING PRAYER

by Germaine Copeland (Gold Letter Edition – Prayers that avail much – 2012)

Adoration:

“Your Name Be Honored as Holy”

Our Father in heaven, I honor Your name as holy.

Praise the Lord, oh my soul! I call on my entire being to praise Your holy name. You have my adoration and love this day.

I praise Your name, Elohim, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, who was in the beginning. It is You who made me and You have crowned me with glory and honor. You are the God of power and strength. I honor Your name as holy!

I praise Your name, El-Shaddai, the all-powerful One of blessings. You bless me with blessings of the skies above and of the deep springs below. I honor Your name as holy.

I praise Your name, Adonai, my Lord, and my Master. You are Jehovah – the Completely Self-Existing One, always present, revealing in Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I honor Your name as holy.

I bless Your name, Jehovah-Jireh, the One who sees my needs and provides for them. I honor Your name as holy.

I praise Your name, Jehovah-Rapha, my Healer and the One who makes bitter experiences sweet. You sent Your Word and healed me. You forgave all my sins and healed all my diseases. I honor your name as holy!

I praise Your name, Jehovah – M’Kaddesh, the Lord who makes me holy. You have set me apart for Yourself. I honor Your name as holy!

Jehovah – Nissi, You are my Victory, my Banner, my Standard. Your banner over me is love. When the enemy – the one who hates me – comes in like a flood, You lift up a standard – a mighty wall – against him. I honor Your name as holy!

Jehovah – Shalom, I praise Your name. You are my Peace – the peace which exceeds anything I can understand. Your peace will guard my heart and mind as I live in Christ Jesus. I honor Your name as holy!

I bless You, Jehovah – Tsidkenu, my Righteousness. You made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for my sin so that I could be made right with God through Christ Jesus. I honor Your name as holy!

Jehovah – Rohi, You are my Shepard, and I have everything I need. Because I trust in You, I will lack no good thing. I honor Your name as holy!

I praise You, Jehovah – Shammah, the One who will never leave or abandon me. You are always there. I take comfort and am encouraged and confidently and boldly say, the Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm – I will not fear or dread or be terrified. What can man do to me? I honor Your name as holy!

I worship and adore You, El-Elyon, the Most High God, who is Possessor and Maker of heaven and earth. You are Eternal God, the Everlasting Father, the Mighty God, the Merciful God, the Faithful God. You are Trust, Justice, Righteousness, and Perfection. You are El-Elyon – the Highest Sovereign of the heavens and the Earth. I honor Your name as holy!

Father, You have made Your name and Your Word greater than anything, and You have magnified Your Word above all Your name. The Word became a human and lived among us – His name is Jesus. I honor Your name as holy! Amen.

Scripture References

Matthew 6:9 HCSB

Psalm 103:1 GNT

Genesis 1:1-2 NIV

Psalm 8:5 NLT

Judges 6:24 NLT

Philippians 4:7 NLT

Jeremiah 23:5-6 NLT

2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT

* For more information about the names in the prayer please click: BLUE LETTER BIBLE

As always, I humbly invite you to stay connected by sending me a message at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com, or by visiting Listening Faithfully Facebook page.

Don’t forget to become part of this awesome community by signing up at Listening Faithfully Community Page. In addition, I have started a new page where you can also visit me at fb.me/listeninfaith and send me messages at m.me/listeninfaith.

Finally, another means of direct communication is by sending me a tweet on Twitter at Brian Keith@Listeninfaith, or become a part of our spiritual group:Friends who Like Listening Faithfully…. “Let’s grow together as children of God” 

FullSizeRender (1)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: