mysaviorspeaks

So God created…

“And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.”  So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.” – Genesis 1:19-21

 

Question for the day:  How many of us experience the presence of God in nature?

 

I ask this question because, of all the thousands of ways that God communicates, this is the area in which I open myself up to Him the least.  I have heard so many wonderful stories from others about the magnificence of meeting God in nature.  I, however, can’t really say that.

But my God, in His gracious nature, blessed me this morning.  And since it is so out of the ordinary for me, I thought I would share it.

I awoke around 5:30 a.m. before sunrise.  The Spirit told me to go outside, so I picked up my Bible and prayer journal and headed to my back porch.  I sat there doing all my normal activities:  reading through scripture, writing in my journal – but I couldn’t stay focused.

Finally, I heard a voice saying, “Just be still.”

As I sat there listening to the birds singing, and watching the sun I rise – I had a sudden awareness that “God is here, in this place and it has nothing to do with me.”

There is a whole world out there that God created for His glory long before I was in existence.  And for me to sit and witness the wonders of creation is very much an act of prayer and worship.  I am a very small part of a very big story.  And how comforting that is.

I would love to hear how some of you experience His presence through the life of this marvelous world.  Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section if you feel so led.

Heavenly Lord,

Praise be to You, the Creator of the universe.  How blessed I am by the beauty and order of this world You have created.  I can see Your divine fingerprints everywhere I look, if I only take the time.  Precious Lord, please teach me to see You in the fabric of life.  Give me an awareness of Your presence in all the elements.  Be glorified in my world today.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

Pray without ceasing…

“pray without ceasing…” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

So I am reading this book, “The Way of a Pilgrim,” translated by Olga Savin.  It is the story of a Russian peasant that is so moved by a sermon on this scripture, that he quits his job, leaves his home, and sets out on a quest to find someone who can teach him how to pray.

Along the way, he encounters a monk that teaches him the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.)  By learning to pray this prayer constantly, he finds his way into experiencing the presence of Jesus at all times.  The rest of the story chronicles his struggles, his hardships in staying committed, and the life transformation that comes from mastering this discipline.

When I first began reading it, I admit that my thoughts were that a phrase as simple as this could not possibly have such an impact on me.  Forgive me Lord for my arrogance.  I too struggle with the question, “How can I pray every minute of the day?”

However, God gave me a moment of clarity this morning.  In my own way, I have been praying unceasingly for the last few days without even realizing it.

For those of you that attended Liberty Crossings UMC this past Sunday, maybe you remember a song from the contemporary service, “Jesus Be The Center.”  I had such an incredible worship experience through this song (Thanks to Steve Wingo and the Praise Team.)  I have not been able to get that song out of my head since that time.  I have sung it, hummed it, prayed it, and even noticed it as the background music in my head while doing other things.

The great thing about this song for me, is that I feel the presence of Christ around me when I hear it.  I have this complete and total surrender of my heart when I hear that all-powerful name – JESUS.  It is a mystical experience for me.

Forgive me, Lord, for ever doubting the transformative power of uttering Your name.

If you didn’t get a chance to hear the song and would like to, below is a link to a youtube video.  It looks a little long, but I encourage you to turn it on, close your eyes, and let the words sink into your heart.  It is powerful.

So my question for today is:  “How do you practice the presence of God?  Is anyone else searching for their way of “praying without ceasing?” I would love to hear your stories.  Please feel free to share them in the comment section if you feel so led.

As a resource for all the pilgrims on their way, we have a tremendous gift of the Spirit among us.  Father William Wilson, a bishop in the Anglican Church here in Birmingham is associated with our church through his beautiful wife, Susan and his children, Will and Sue.  Father William spent 25 years as a Benedictine monk with a ministry of Spiritual Formation Director for the monks of his order.  In our terms, he knows how to pray!

Father William has generously offered to teach anyone that searches, the practice of Contemplative Prayer.  If you are seeking a deeper way of connecting with God, I urge to you take advantage of this opportunity with Father William.  You will be blessed.

Anyone wishing to gather more information  may contact me:  Lana@libertycrossingsumc.org; as we are hoping to put a group together to take the class.  Or you may contact Father William directly, william0816@me.com

Gracious Lord,

May I worship today the only name that brings peace, and healing, and wholeness, and salvation – JESUS CHRIST.  Forgive me for not acknowledging the transformative power You have for me.  Teach me to pray without ceasing, to call on Your Holy name in all circumstances – that I might continually dwell in Your presence.  Please let Your grace flow over me, and lead me to a relationship with You that is deeper still.

In the name of Jesus Christ I pray,

Amen

Empower us as bold witnesses…

” Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul.  

One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”  So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.” – Acts 13:1-3

 

I love this story.  It is one of the clearest pictures in the Bible of the Holy Spirit moving in the midst of believers.  It is the story of the commissioning of the Apostle Paul (Saul) in his first missionary journey.

Read it closely.  God did not speak to only to Paul and Barnabas about their calling, He spoke to the entire church.  And the amazing thing is, everyone heard the same message.  And the greatest missionary in the history of the world was launched.

How I thank God that these faithful “church people” opened themselves up to the Lord and were willing to share what the Spirit had told them.    I imagine the scene.  Which one in the room was the first to have enough courage to say, “I think God wants Paul and Barnabas to leave us and go share the Good News with other folks.”  Was he afraid of being ridiculed?  Or worse, incurring the anger of others by suggesting such a thing?  Regardless of whatever else was going on with this first member, he was faithful and spoke the truth that God had given him.

It is my prayer that this be a faith community of people seeking God, listening for God, and sharing what He is doing in our lives.  There is great power to be released in the kingdom when we come together and share our witness to the  activities of God in the here and now.

Please join our conversation as you are led through our comment section.  And may we all rejoice together in this journey of faith that we share.

 

Heavenly Father,

Praise be to Your Holy name!  For You are a loving and active God.  You are continually working in our lives for our benefit.  Give us the boldness to be faithful witnesses to Your goodness.  Help us as a community to tear down any walls that impede the work of Your Holy Spirit in our church.  And bless us with an understanding of Your Will for our community.  

May You Be Glorified In Our Lives Today!

In the name of Jesus we pray,

Amen

“My sheep know my voice…”

Welcome to My Savior Speaks!  An online community dedicated to those seeking to walk more closely with Jesus Christ and to more effectively hearing His voice each day.

As an extension of the Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church Spiritual Formation Ministries, this site is a place to share our journeys of faith as well as our encounters with the living God.

Our community will be characterized by our openness to explore the different ways that God speaks to each of us,as well as our sharing of our experiences as they build the community of Christ.

I can’t wait to hear the stories that come from our collective experiences.

 

In Christ,

Lana