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In this Issue:
4. - Consider the Content
In previous newsletters; we completed the first three segments of this series on Hearing God Speak:
In the introduction, Examine Your Expectations, we realized that God speaks to all of us, but may not be saying what we expect or want to hear. In Come to Christ, we looked at salvation as the first step of a conversational relationship with Him. In Master the Minors, we considered some foundational disciplines of life that may seem ‘minor’, but must be mastered before you proceed to higher plateaus. Today we’ll see that we need to Consider the Content so we’ll know if it’s a word from God or something else.
When you turn the dial on a radio you find that there are many stations to choose from. How do you decide which one to listen to? The content. You listen and then choose the station that’s playing what you need to hear.
In your relationship with Jesus - When He speaks to you – do you respond like a cat or a dog? There’s a big difference. When you call the name of your pet; what does it do? If it’s a cat, the only response may be a slight twitch of it’s tail.(that’s cat for ‘don’t bother me’) It’s been proven that cats understand words, but they’re just naturally independent and aren’t particularly motivated to please you. Unfortunately, this is the kind of response God gets most of the time.
On the other hand, your dog lives to please you and will come running, tail wagging with glee. Sheep are kind of like dogs and not at all like cats. They develop a relationship with their shepherd and come to him when called. That’s why shepherds can bring their flocks together and let them mix in the same pen. When it’s time to leave, all they have to do is call and their sheep follow. Jesus used this picture to teach us an extremely important lesson:
That may seem a little mystical, but think about it. How did God inspire the Bible? All those writers heard something that they recognized as the voice of God. For most of them it was not a thundering voice from the heavens, but a still small voice within.
Jesus, the prophets before Him, and the apostles that followed Him all taught and practiced a personal relationship with God that included receiving personal direction from the Holy Spirit. Consider Romans 12:2:
Perfect will of God for who? You. God has a plan for your life. And not only that; He has a plan for your life today. People who get in the habit of listening for God’s direction find that He daily directs them to divine appointments for witness and ministry.
But how can you be sure the ‘still small voice you’re hearing is from God. The Biblical test for a prophet was that his prophesy was verifiably correct.(Deut 18:21-22) If it proved to be wrong, it wasn’t from God. You should apply that same principle to the voice of God in your life. If God has spoken to you; it will be verifiably correct. Remember, God is not secretive. He wants you to know His voice.
Here are several Biblical ways to consider the content of what you’ve heard so you can be sure you’ve tuned-in to the Lord.
In short, you learn to recognize the voice of The Good Shepherd the same way sheep do. Every time you hear Him speak and confirm it with the tests above; you become more and more confident.
Sometimes you mess up, but that too can help you better recognize the difference between His voice and your own subconscious. However, a mistake is sometimes debilitating. You thought you were doing just what God had told you, but it turned out to be a mistake. Now you’re terrified that it will happen again.
The worst possible thing you could do is decide not to listen for the voice of God out of fear. The first time the SOS distress call was used on the high seas was the night the Titanic sank. Not far away was the ship California that could have come to their aid, but their radio operator had turned off the radio and gone to sleep. Know why? He had sent a message to the Titanic that the California had stopped because of so much ice and the response from the Titanic radio operator was, “Shut up, I’m busy!” He was busy because the rich passengers on the Titanic were demanding his time to send radio messages to Europe and America.
Isn’t it amazing that two young men, doing a job most thought of as a curiosity, held the fate of so many, and didn’t know it? From then on it became law that ship radios had to be monitored 24/7.
I hope you would never say to the Lord of the universe, “Shut up, I’m busy.” Or even worse, turn off your spiritual radio because you’re frustrated and would rather just go to sleep.
Well, we’re learning that Hearing God Speak is no simple task and even when we’re doing our best to listen; it can be difficult to understand. Next time we’ll work on getting a clearer signal by removing noisy interference.
Items from our store to help your prayer life and ministry:
New Ministry Brochure
We have a new brochure that's not just for the prayer conference. Feel free to print some up and give them to anyone who could benefit from our message on prayer.
Prayer Guide eBook
The Prayer Guide book that you can download to your computer or electronic reading device.
$4.95 (no S&H)
Click Here for more information.
Conference CD Set
This CD-Set has the Five main sessions of the Journey Into the Presence of God Conference of Prayer, plus five prayer times. Click here to go to our store.
Conference on DVD
Here's everything you need to help your congregation or small group experience prayer that encounters God.
DVD Viewing Guide
This is the Viewing Guide that comes with the prayer conference DVD Kit on sale below. It walks you through the preparations and presentation of the video conference in your church or small group.
Click Here to see all sixteen pages of the DVD Viewing Guide.
Mac Sisson, 1947-2010
Mac (Peggy’s brother) passed away suddenly March 8 in Arkadelphia, Ark. of a heart attack at the age of 62. He was our biggest encourager. Google his name and you’ll find that he was an encourager to many. In fact, it was the core of his being. Like his father before him; he loved to bless others.
Mac was born 40 years after his time; he should have been part of that ‘great generation’. He didn’t care for technology or being trendy. He was Christian, loved America, loved his family, worked hard, and lived for others.
He eventually got a cell phone, but sending something to you with a stamp was his preference and he did it regularly. A picture, a card, something cut from the newspaper. He just wanted you to know he was thinking about you.
He didn’t own a pair of jeans or tennis shoes. I never saw him in anything but street clothes. His parents gave him a new pair of dress shoes every Christmas and he’d take last years pair off and put the new ones on. We gave him a pair of tennis shoes one year just to see what would happen. He had a good laugh then gave them to his son, Alan.
He read the newspapers religiously and was an encyclopedia of current events and politics. He believed it was un-American to be uninformed and a moral obligation to vote intelligently.
Another way Mac was like so many of the great generation – though he laughed easily and often; he hid his hurt. At his core, his desire was to bless you, and laying any of his burdens on you just wasn’t something he could do.
Thank you Lord for Mac. I miss him.
Pray! Network – blogs and forums
I asked you a while back if you knew of any blogs where folks talked about their prayer issues. Phil Miglioratti (who has some great blogs of his own) pointed me to Pray! Network. It’s what I’ve been looking for - a place to share ideas with people from many different perspectives.
For instance, a lady mentioned 4/4 prayer as if everyone would know what it was. That’s probably true in her denomination, but I’d never heard of it so I asked her to explain. Here’s some of her answer:
She went into quite a bit of detail on how they did each step with a different way of praying. That’s the second part of the 4/4. It was very good and I think helpful to a lot more people than just me. My point is that blogs like this help us learn from each other. I encourage you to click on this link and join the Pray! Network web site.
You can use the web site without joining of course, but I suggest that you do. And you don’t have to participate in discussions to benefit from them. Click on ‘FORUM’ at the top of the Pray! Network web page and then click ‘All Discussions’. Find a discussion that you’re interested in and scroll down to the bottom of that discussion. There you’ll find the option to ‘Follow’ that discussion. Click on that and they’ll email you anytime someone adds a comment.
Results of the survey
We would still like to have more of you to take our survey if you participated in our prayer conference more than a year ago (and have not yet done the survey). Please click here to take the survey.
Here’s a synopsis of the results:
Pastor recommends follow-up prayer conference
Dr. T.O. Spicer helped me put together the first Awakening conference and here’s some of what he had to say about it:
If you’ve hosted the Journey Into the Presence of God conference of prayer; I hope you’ll contact me about hosting this follow up conference.
We took pictures on the back porch because the wind was blowing. Kind of looks like we're running for congress with the flag.
Me, Keith, Peggy, Natalie, Kale, and Meredith.
Matthew has moved to LasVagas, NV so we missed him this year.
Spiritual Awakening -
Prayer in the real world
Please forward this email to every praying person you know.
Prayer of Jesus Journal
Through this 7-week experience, Ken Hemphill, author of the best-selling book The Prayer of Jesus, offers you his daily insight and encouragement, as well as Scriptures and journaling questions to help you keep the Lord's Prayer top-of-mind all the time. Click here for more information.
Get the Prayer Guide and a devotional book for one great price!
Only $16.95 - total retail value - $30
Pray better privately and corporately. Along with the Prayer Guide book you'll receive one of two great devotional books. Choose from:
Returning to Holiness by Gregory Frizzell
The Prayer of Jesus Journal by Ken Hemphill
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Dr. Frizzell has given every believer and pastor a tool for doing that most important of all works - purifying the church at this crucial time in her history. T.W.Hunt
This is not your typical five week devotional book. If you're serious about a daily encounter with God and desire to be filled with the Spirit; here's a great starting place. Lowell Snow
Click Here for more information.
Please forward this email to every praying person you know.
The Journey Into the Presence of God conference of prayer is so unique that many struggle to understand what it is. If you're considering hosting the conference or purchasing the DVD Set; the following videos should help.
These are the videos from the Promo DVD which is available at the web site and comes with the DVD Set.
Header picture taken by me in Crossett, Ark, down the street from Peggy's home.
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