06.11.20 Psalm 91 Sign

Our son Chip and his wife Misty have a sign in their yard that says “Psalm 91”  We asked them about it and Misty got one for us. Yes, she’s a keeper!

Before seeing it in their yard I have to say I wasn’t very familiar with that chapter in the book of Psalms. I looked it up and, read it through. I realized how much this scripture talks to what Christ means to Christians and the strength and comfort we get from being His children.

This is the sign in our front yard!I figured some of ya’ll would see the signs around town so I’m sharing here what Psalm 91 says. I know that the New Living Translation is not preferred by those in the Bible know but it is easy for me to read and understand!

Psalm 91 New Living Translation (NLT)

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

Ya’ll have a Blessed day!

05.10.20 Treasured Photos from Trinity’s 2018 Mother’s Day Presentation

Before the wonderful Trinity Mother’s photos, I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to my mama, Jo (Josie Mae) Blum Traylor who is Heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I miss you every day sweet mama! Josie Mae taught Harriett and I how to be mothers through the life she lived. I am so thankful for that.

 

Harriett, Mama and Me in Mama’s younger days
Mama, her daughters, son in-laws and her four grandchildren in the early 1980s
Mama’s wedding day to Mr. Vivian

We may not be together in our church this Mother’s Day 2020 but I hope you feel the closeness between our Trinity Baptist Church family members and their mothers in the photos below. Young mothers, old mothers, and all in between!

These pictures below were originally published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 and were shared during Sunday morning’s Worship Service on May 13, 2018.  So many church members participated and sent in their treasured photos of their Mom or their children/grandchildren with their Mom/Grandmother.

Thanks to everyone that participated! We have a wonderful church family and I love seeing our extended family through these photos!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

Mother's Day - Proverbs 31:26

 

 

11.05.18 Early Voting – Vote Republican, Painted Rocks, Cucumbers, Baseball Cards!

Monday, November 5, 2018 – Early voting for the mid-term elections is over.  In our first voting as new (again) Louisiana voters we went to the Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse and voted at the Registrar of Voters office last Monday.  Seems that gone are the days of stepping inside the big voting pole and having the curtain closed behind you.  Now there is a fairly open to everyone small electronic voting booth.  Every one of these small booths was occupied which confirms what I’ve heard of high percentages of people choosing to vote early rather than waiting for voting day.

America has been becoming Great again since the day President Donald J. Trump was elected.  It is over the top important that every one gets out to vote on November 6th and more important that just voting is to

I do not like all the tacky, untasteful, etc. words that sometimes come out of our President’s mouth.  I do LOVE all the progress our country has made under his Presidency. He is, regardless of the fake news, Making America Great Again. I firmly believe we need more REPUBLICANS in the Senate and House so that the President’s agenda can continue to move forward.  Please get out on voting day, November 6th and vote intelligently, vote REPUBLICAN.

After we met with Elisa from People’s Health, Roy and Chip went on a guy’s road trip.  When our sons were young they collected baseball cards and have a huge collection.  Chip remembers when he’d go to work with his dad, Roy, they would buy a box of baseball cards and open all the packs. He loved that.  Someone posted on Facebook that they had a wrapped box of 1990 Upper Deck baseball cards (the good ones) for sale in Pearl River.  They drove there, bought the cards and came home to open them!  It was fun for even me watching them open the packs and reminisce about pro ball players we’ve followed in years past.

Our vegetable garden is doing well. The cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, turnips and radishes are doing great.  We pick lettuce every day and have harvested the radishes and planted more lettuce and radishes in their place.  The lettuce is reproducing itself each time we pull some leaves! The carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower are doing well but I don’t know if they will produce before it gets too cold.  We’ll see!  All of the lessons we are learning with this crop will help us with the spring garden.

The cucumbers in the photo below are just a tiny portion of the crop we have growing!  There must be 100 cucumbers on the vines! I’m going to learn how to pickle cucumbers and would love anyone’s tried and true pickling recipe and instructions for how to do it!

The little watermelons, cantaloupe and peanut garden that is located down the hill near the pond are another learning experience.  When the time is right next year we’ll do this again in the same place.  Here’s how the watermelons are doing right now.  I think they are adorable, just too little to eat yet!

I love the view out of our living room windows.  When the cows are in the picture it is even better!  We have squirrels scampering around now and I love it!  The sun setting view is exceptional! The colors in the picture are just a smidgen of the beautiful colors we actually see.

I am still loving my rock painting and took pictures when I finally got it straightened up and back to being organized!

My view of the back yard, pond and garden out the rock painting room window is very special!

We had bad weather come through a couple of days ago and we woke up to the garden being in bad shape.  Everything is now standing back up and I am hopefully the emergency care will help the plants do well again.

We delivered Dora yesterday evening to LSU’s campus for a weekend of tailgating.  It is such an amazing campus, we really enjoyed this delivery to a really great lady and her family!

That’s the goings on in Chauvin world last week! Ya’ll come back now ya hear!

07.09.18 Doctor, doctor, doctor, no doctor – in reverse!

Monday, July 9, 2018 – I wrote a nice long blog post to document, for me, recent doctors appointments that happened and didn’t happen.  I need that level of detail to help me remember these things.  I’ve decided all this doesn’t really need to be public (I know, I decide this after years of telling everything!) so below is the very brief version of the nice long blog post!

Yes I did make an appointment to see Dr. Mortesia Shamsnia, the doctor I swore I’d never go to again a couple of years ago. After making the appointment for May 22nd and receiving the “new patient” packet (because it had been so long since I’d seen him that I had to fill out a new patient packet), I received an odd phone call. I was totally flabbergasted when a young lady called to say that Dr. Shamsnia was no longer with Advanced Neurodiagnostics in Metairie and hadn’t been since February of this year.  The clinic’s website is still active at http://www.adneuro.com/physicians.html if you’d like to check it out.  He’s just not with them though the website says he is.  He is now associated with Tulane Medical Center. To see him I have to get a referral (long story) which I don’t feel like doing.  For now, no appointment, no new improved MRI.   So no I didn’t see Dr. Shamnia and who knows if I ever will again!

First doctor I did see is Dr. Valdes.  Saw him last week and my a1c is down to 7.4. He made some changes to my diabetic medicine to help push it on down to the goal of 7.0.

Second doctor I did see is Dr. Blessey. Since we no longer have Dora (our motorhome) available to go to Tennessee and stay for a while like Roy did while he recovered we made a decision.  Image result for dr. peter blesseyI decided to look for a local doctor who does partial knee replacements. The pain in my knee is worse than it has ever been mostly because of the activity lately getting the motor home ready to rent, moving into our house and getting everything in the house set up as much as possible.  A friend recommended Dr. Peter Blessey with Ochsner in Covington.  Roy and I went to see him and really liked him.  He does a similar type partial knee replacement as Dr. Schrader does and the surgery is done outpatient!  Surgery is scheduled for July 31st.  We have a class scheduled on July 13th with them that will discuss my surgery and aftercare plans as well as go over my medical history and medications.

Third doctor is one Roy saw. The long awaited visit with Dr. Pulin Shah at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans was on June 6. He said he could do the lens replacement and do the asteroid hyalosis removal.  But he, just like Dr. Creed, wanted Roy to get and wear glasses for a while to see if that could correct some of the problems without doing surgery.  Of course, Roy has hardly worn the bifocals we bought after Dr. Creeds recommendation, and who knows if he will wear the monovision glasses if we bought them.  Roy still has trouble seeing but it’s up to him and no one can make him wear the glasses. We really liked Dr. Shah and his office door was so cool I had to take a photo of it!

I now have a terrible toothache which I’m living on pain medicine for until I see the dentist this afternoon.  More fun!

That’s enough medical stuff!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

 

 

07.08.18 Trust Me When I Say God Always Has A Plan, by Taunya at Love, Life, Relationships

Trust me when I say God knows what he’s doing. Even if you’re confused and you don’t know how you’re going to move forward or where you’re going to go, he will always open a new door for you. An unexpected door. A door that could lead you to a kind of happiness you never imagined. A door that puts an end to the hard days.

Trust me when I say God doesn’t take things away without giving you something better. God knows when something has served its purpose even if you can’t see it. God knows when things should end even if you’re not ready.

God is planning what’s next for you because he knows that you need a change. He knows that he’s taking you to a better destination or guiding you to a more fulfilling life.

Trust me when I say God hears your prayers. He’s listening to you and he’s giving you exactly what you want but in his own way. Maybe his way is different from yours but his way is always the right way. When you ask for happiness and you find yourself drifting away from the people you love, he’s telling you that these are not the people to surround yourself with because they drain you. When you ask for peace and you lose your job, he’s telling you that your future is better somewhere else. When you ask for love and he gives you heartbreak, he’s telling you that you need to make a better choice. He’s telling you you’re loving the wrong people. He’s always answering your questions, you just need to trust his answers.

Trust me when I say God is looking out for you. It may not be easy to see at times and it might be impossible to understand why things happen the way they do but one thing I know for sure is that God won’t leave you alone in the dark. He will guide you. He will inspire you. He will rearrange things in your life so you can change your life. 

Trust me when I say God wants you to count on him. He wants you to learn that people are unpredictable and they change their minds every second. He wants you to know that nothing in life is secure or complete. He wants you to know that there will be times when you’ll just have to count on your faith instead of your logic. He wants you to go through enough problems so you can have enough wisdom to know that he’s the only constant in this life and he’s the only one who can truly heal you.

Trust me when I say God always has a plan for you and that plan always includes what’s best for you.

by Taunya at Love, Life, Relationships

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

07.07.18 ‘Good Cemeterian’ honors veterans by restoring gravestones, celebrating their stories, by Allie Raffa | Fox News

On any given day, Andrew Lumish arrives at a historic Tampa-area cemetery without fanfare or attention. He’s there to carefully restore veteran’s gravestones blackened by the elements and decades of neglect.

Cemeteries across the country will show you a similar scene—thousands of long-forgotten monuments belonging to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

But Lumish, a cleaning company owner, aims to refurbish the memories – and the gravestones – of America’s heroes whose time-worn tombstones have started falling apart.

Lumish said he stumbled upon a Tampa cemetery five years ago to photograph some gravestones, but what he saw that day would change his life.

“So many veteran’s monuments…were in really poor condition and it was upsetting to me,” he said. “I didn’t want for them to be forgotten…I started to research how to properly restore monuments.”

His preparation is always the same, even after 1,500 completed restorations.

He is given permission to restore a monument from cemetery staff or a descendant, charges no fee for his services and brings all his own equipment—a few 5-gallon water containers, some microfiber towels and an assortment of over 12 brushes ranging in shape and size.

Recent, he was restoring the gravestone of Milton H. Phelps, a U.S. Army Private First Class in World War II who died in 1973 at the age of 67.

“Each one tells a story…our subject right here is originally from New York state,” says Lumish, as he methodically sprays the stone while scrubbing away mold and mildew so deeply permeated that each swirl of his brush creates a wave of green muck.

He rinses the stone with water to check his progress and sprays it again with something called D/2 biological solution, which Lumish said is the only product used to clean monuments in national cemeteries.

Lumish said in a typical eight-hour day, he can complete the first cleaning phase of four to five monuments.

“A monument restoration has to be done by hand, you cannot use a pressure washer…so a monument will take minimally two months to restore and some take in excess of a year,” he said. “I won’t reveal a restoration until it’s reached its pinnacle and peak and it’s ready to be shown.”

This is the first of many visits he will make to Phelps’ burial site over the coming months, and each time, he will learn more about each veteran’s personal story.

“It’s very important to me,” he said. “It’s become a mission of sorts.”

Joe Caltagirone, caretaker of the L’Unione Italiana cemetery, where Lumish has completed several restorations, said his work means a lot to the families of the deceased veterans.

“He is treating the individual veterans as if they were members of his family,” Caltagirone said. “Words can’t express how much we appreciate that.”

Lumish’s mission doesn’t end once the gravestones are clean. He takes before-and-after photos and posts them to his Facebook page and website, titled with his nickname “The Good Cemeterian,” along with a short biography so his thousands of followers can celebrate their life.

“You find these things that are unbeknownst to anyone when you walk by or drive by a stone in a cemetery…it represents a life that we should respect and remember because we learn so much,” Lumish said.

He and his assistant, Jen Armbruster, use numerous genealogical websites and old newspaper articles to tell the story of the person behind the name.

RAFFAANGELFLAG
“I never anticipated that these restorations from 100 or longer years ago would personally affect people in today’s times the way that they do,” Lumish said. (Fox News)

“The individuals that we honor didn’t consider themselves heroes, they didn’t toot their own horn or pat themselves on the back—we’re doing it now…we don’t only talk about their service, we talk about their lives, from the day they were born until their last day on earth,” he said. “We are delving into that person’s life so that we can respectfully tell what that person went through…I don’t want anyone to be forgotten.”

One of those Lumish wants everyone to remember is his friend, 12-year U.S. Air Force veteran Chris Scala, who took his own life in 2013 after battling post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

“We honor the past, but I also always honor him,” he said.  “I always think of him.”

Lumish’s dedication to Scala and others is getting nationwide attention—hundreds of new “Good Cemeterians” across the country are joining his cause. He plans on providing them with starter cleaning kits to use in their own local cemeteries.

Inspired by the outpouring of support for his work, he created “The Good Cemeterian Historial Preservation Project,” a non-profit raising money for gold star families and veterans suffering from PTSD.

At the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ national convention in Kansas City, Mo. later this month, Lumish will be honored with a National Citizenship Award.

“Personally, I’ve learned a lot through these restorations and telling these stories…I learn every single day and unless you’re learning every single day, you’re not living,” he said. “So, I’m going to live this life, however long it’s going to be, and leave it a better place than I came into it. That’s my goal.”

Allie Raffa is a multimedia reporter for Fox News based in Tampa.

 

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

 

 

07.01.18 A Quiet Thought, July 1st, by Rev. Bob Adams

Different expressions of the Christian faith offer grace to needy people in different ways. Some churches seek to convey grace to others through rituals and liturgies, others through sermons and events, and most through some form of music. All these are loving efforts of faithful people trying to awaken broken lives to the presence of Jesus.
However, beyond the rituals and liturgies and apart from books and sermons, is a vast army of un-robed, un-ordained, un-elected, un-commissioned conveyers of grace. These grace-carriers appear as teachers in classrooms, truck drivers in big rigs, store clerks in logo shirts, managers in offices, grey-haired grandparents in dated clothes.
These unofficial, unnoticed agents of heaven come and go day and night in multiplied thousands of places, reaching far more broken lives than faith expressed in institutions and rituals can hope to reach.
Each quiet act of grace from these unheralded believers (like many of you) is nothing less than a blood transfusion for a fainting soul. In their words and deeds Jesus Himself is shared from one life to the other, all of it being empowered by the Spirit who is Jesus present with them.
So to all the grace-carriers, known and unknown . . . Thank you!

06.23.18 Emptying, cleaning, stocking and renting Dora!

Saturday, June 23, 2018 Our big girl Dora is carrying another family around the country this week and she’s happy to do it!  Over two weeks ago we moved out of Dora into the house we built in Amite three years ago.  Before that we worked almost constantly getting Dora spotless and packing up the mountain of things we carried with us in Dora.

When we started getting rental bookings for Dora we were so happy.  Seven weeks of rentals were booked while we were preparing to move into the house.  Then a wonderful family contacted us about renting Dora beginning last Sunday.  That one happened fast so we sped up all the work involved in moving everything out, cleaning Dora and getting all of the things we offered as “extras” to those who rent Dora.

First here Dora is getting ready to say goodbye to her mom and dad who moved into their house next door to her.

Every storage bin outside and every drawer, cabinet, storage place inside had to be emptied and cleaned.  As we moved things from Dora to the house and started to fill up the house we realized how very much we really carried with us in Dora!

The photos below start with Dora pretty much all torn apart inside and outside getting her ready to be rented. Yes I am courageous in showing you all our mess while moving.  I’ve sure we’ve all experienced this at some point in the moving process.  Ours was just all confined to a 400 sq. foot home!

From all that mess to a nice straightened up and pretty empty Dora!

   

I knew Dora was out there sad and lonely.  We visited often and even brought others to meet and get to know her.  The families who are going to rent her came one at a time to familiarize themselves with all that is Dora and to drive her so they are comfortable, and so we are comfortable with them driving her.  We are finding that some really great people want to travel our country with our big girl Dora.  They love her and I can’t wait till they each return after their trips to share with us how she does!

Here’s some pictures with Roy teaching them all about Dora’s many systems and features.

This is Jeff posing for me so we could see what he will look like while they are touring this beautiful country!

This is Jeff faking like he’s stuck in traffic! 

We decided to stock the RV with lots of items including cleaning items, first aid kit, coffee pot and filters, toaster, stainless eating utensils, pot holders, chip bag clips, cooking utensils and pans, induction cooktop as an alternative to the propane stove, pots and pans, sheets, pillows, bedspreads, quality paper plates, saucer and bowls, cups, coffee cups, medium outside table, six foldable chairs in bags, large outside mat, and several other things.  We’re expanding that soon to include a small ironing board, iron, towels, wash clothes, clothes hangers, and shampoo. We want our motor home to be the one renters choose and are learning that these things will help. 

Here’s Roy giving Dora a final complete washing before she leaves.

The moment our dear Dora left with her first rental family heading to Tennessee and Arkansas.  Great family of four hoping to create lasting memories together.  I can’t wait till they get home to hear all about it!

   Here’s Roy working hard getting the beams level again and the gravel leveled off while Dora’s off having fun.

Dora’s patio is empty now, everything moved to the house.  This week’s renters left their vehicles with us while they are off enjoying their time with Dora!

Well, Dora comes home this evening late.  We have a quick turn around before she leaves for 17 days with a sweet couple from about a hour from here.  After that she is rented until middle of August.

We are making slow small steps to making our house into our home.  This is the console we purchased that our tv sits on.  The TV will eventually be mounted on the wall but for now it’s happy on the console.  The wood color matches the color of our kitchen cabinets in the adjoining kitchen.

The guest bathroom is all dressed up and ready to be used!  She needs some wall decorations still but that will come!

Our fig trees have lots more figs on them than last year!  They should start ripening soon.

My rock painting took a two week break but I’m back at painting!  One of our bedrooms has become Roy’s computer room and the other has become my rock painting room and Madisyn’s room for when she comes to visit overnight.  I’ve started creating medium size rocks for our renters to help them remember their adventures with Dora.  I’ll post pictures of them after the renters receive them.

This is the view from my rock painting room!  I love it!  It’s way prettier than the picture shows.  When the wind is blowing and the trees move and water rripples across the pond it is such an amazing sight!!

Our master bedroom has nothing but a new king size mattress, box springs and frame but I sleep like a baby in that big bed!  We do have sheets but just not in this picture!

We just had a three day Dora rental book for September and one is pending for October.  Dora is renting out really well and we couldn’t be happier.  If any of ya’ll are interested in renting her please let us know!

Roy and I put many hours into creating an instruction manual for the renters to learn about all of Dora’s systems and features. Our dear friends, Cindy, Jacqueline and Donna helped proof read the manual and made many, many helpful recommendations.  Thanks ladies, you are all wonderful friends and we appreciate you!

Once those recommended changes were made in the manual it is now ready to give to the next renters.  We email a .pdf copy of the manual to renters once they pay and book their trip so they can learn about her at home ahead of time.

Chip, Misty and Madisyn came over after church for Father’s Day and were the first company in our new home!  I cooked a big pot of spaghetti sauce in my big (compared to Dora’s) kitchen and we enjoyed spending time together.  Our older son’s children called Roy to wish him Happy Father’s Day.  I loved hearing their small voices tell him they love him.

I’ve made a decision about having the partial knee replacement.  I also haven’t shared about Roy’s visit with Dr. Pulin Shah at Ochsner in New Orleans or about why I’m not going to see the neurologist in New Orleans that I thought I was going to see back in May.  Maybe next time I can write about all that!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

 

 

 

06.20.18 HEARING GOD IN THE ABUNDANCE OF HIS METHODS by Sam Williamson

Like Sam Williamson says below most believers long for – desperately long for – clearly hearing God’s voice. 

Oh how many times have I longed for verbally hearable words to come from God’s mouth to my ears.  As I’ve been reading through the Old Testament this year when God speaks out loud to someone I wish so deeply that I’d have one of those moments or more than one would happen in my life.  When making a major decision or minor ones I always ask God for guidance.  Through many of the ways Sam talks about below God does speak to me, just not verbally or with the loud clear voice I think we all long for.

When an unexpected person in my life shared with me long ago that when you keep feeling little “nudges” towards a decision or towards reaching out to someone, that is God. And time after time that has proven true.  Getting into the scriptures daily or more often opens my eyes to so much of God’s wisdom and the messages in the Bible are God’s way of letting us know what we should do.  I think that is why every time I read the Bible I see new wisdom in the same verse I got a different message from before.

I hope, if nothing else, my blog encourages you to learn more about my amazing, BIG, ever present God.  Read his Word, pray with him

(directly with him, He listens to us when we reach out to him directly), open your life to scriptural preaching (not the Joel Osteens of this world) from genuinely God lead pastors, associate yourself with a Godly person who you can go to for mentoring, counseling or  just to ask a question, attend a Bible Study or Sunday School class (same thing).

I encourage you to reach out to someone whose life displays God to find that Bible Study, or find the church where scripture is genuinely preached.  Your life will never be the same when you connect to God.  Not only will your life be

changed, your children will see God in your life and their lives will be changed.  The most important thing a parent can do for a child is to introduce them to God and what Jesus did for us, through your life and your Christian guidance.

I don’t know where all of this came from, just now.  Well yeah I do, God put it in my heart to share.  That’s the kind of thing He does.  If God can use a woman with dementia to share her faith when sometimes I can’t make a complete sentence, He can work in your life too.   I think Sam Williamson shares his message below very clearly.  Here it is!

 

HEARING GOD IN THE ABUNDANCE OF HIS METHODS by Sam Williamson – Beliefs of the Heart

Most believers long for—desperately long for—God’s voice, but most of us experience silence. Scripture says, “God speaks in many and diverse ways, but nobody notices” (Job 33:14). We miss his voice because he’s not a paint-by-number God. He speaks in ways we don’t expect.

Well-meaning people often mislead us when they describe their conversations with God. Their exchanges with God sound like dialogues written by master playwrights:

I asked God: What should I do with my life?
God answered: Are you willing to take a risk?
I replied: Yes, but I don’t know what to do.
God said: Move to Timbuktu.

When people tell us these stories, we think, I never hear God so clearly. Let me tell you a secret: neither do they. At least not most of the time. Their stories are usually shorthand summaries of hours spent reading Scripture, reflecting on his words, praying, getting Godly nudges, and recognizing God’s voice in circumstances or through friends.

Because God speaks through his infinitely imaginative, artistic mix of methods.

Methods

Let’s not put God in a box. If we limit his voice to a few methods—the scripted dialogue or heavenly visions—we will miss his voice when he paints his words with different brushstrokes. Below are seven common methods in which God speaks.

Responsive Resonance: God’s Spirit often resonates in our spirits as a response to external events. Perhaps it’s a burning in our heart or a sense that God has something significant for us in this moment: a Scripture passage leaps out at us in prayer, or we overhear a “chance” comment in the coffee shop. God moves speaks to our hearts to pay attention.

For example, “While waiting in Athens, Paul’s spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was full of idols” (Act 17:16). Now, think with me: there were idols every city Paul visited, but God stirred something in him in that moment in Athens.

Spontaneous Nudging: Sometimes God nudges our heart out of the blue: to pray for a friend or to act on an issue. It comes more as a sense on the heart than as a direct word.

I once got a sense to pray for a friend, so I phoned him. He had been let go from his job just hours before. We prayed on the phone and he thanked me for my concern. Only I hadn’t been concerned—I hadn’t even known—it was a concerned God who spontaneously nudged me.

Direct words: Sometimes God speaks direct words—usually just a sentence or two, or perhaps just a phrase. The first time I heard God speak, I had just become a ten year-old atheist. He simply said, “Sam, I am realy and you don’t understand.” For me, most direct words—if any—usually only come after I pursue God in prayer and reflection following a resonance or nudging.

Unbidden Memories: Sometimes God brings to mind a past event. I once remembered my twelve-year old self saying something harsh to a neighborhood kid. Weeks after remembering, I bumped into that kid, now a grown man. I reminded him of the story and repented. He too remembered and wept when I repented. (My eyes teared up as well. Just don’t tell anyone.)

Planted Images: God isn’t limited to nudges and words. Sometimes he even paints pictures.

Around 1915, my grandfather received a mental picture in which the letters KWANGSI were spelled in red letters across the sky. In the local library he discovered that the letters spelled a province of China (now spelled GuangXi). He spent the next two decades living in that very province, founding four churches. Should we tell God we won’t accept a vision?

Recalled Passages: God often brings unbidden passages to mind at just the right moment.

Once while talking with a man—and when I had zero wise words to say—a verse popped to mind: We comfort others with the comfort we’ve been given (a paraphrase of 2 Cor. 1:4). I told him of a comforting word God had recently given me. Nothing wise, just comfort. It answered an unspoken question of his. Since my Bible memorization is abysmal, it simply had to be God.

God Shaped Thoughts: Perhaps these are the hardest to recognize because our thoughts feel like our own. Yet how many times have you felt utterly empty, no words to pray, and then a brilliant (and obvious) thought streaks through your mind? C. S. Lewis expressed it like this:

Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
The listener’s role and through
My dumb lips breathe and into utterance wake
The thoughts I never knew.

God speaks in many and various ways. Let’s not box him in.

Sam

P. S. This article is an excerpt from my book Hearing God in Conversation. Its topics include:

Learning to recognize the sound of God’s voice
Hearing God in his silence
Hearing God for another person (and how to respond when someone gives us “a word”)
Hearing God in the ordinary
Hearing God for guidance

To read more of Sam Williamson’s writings check it out at http://beliefsoftheheart.com

 

Dora is out in the big world with new explorers this week.  I hope to write next time about getting Dora ready to travel with others and how the rental process is coming along!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia