One Step at a Time

By Pastor Karen Adams

Psalm 37:23 says “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way”. God orders the steps of a good man. It’s amazing to me that it doesn’t say “God orders the LIFE or even the DAY of a good man, but it says he orders the STEPS of a good man.” He is concerned about every little detail and every little step of your day”. He wants to take the lead in your life.

Romans 8:14 says “For as many are LED by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. We must recognize that the Spirit of God’s role is to LEAD. We pray for the Lord to guide us every day but many times only to the places we want to go. It’s like dancing. If a woman tries to take the lead, she ends up stepping all over the man’s feet. If we allow the Holy Spirit to take the lead, whether you are in a season of the waltz or the foxtrot you can enjoy the dance, because He is leading.

The definition of the word step in the dictionary is simple. “a movement made by lifting your foot and putting it down in a different place.” It refers to small movements. There are steps in life that we can’t skip. You never started in 7th grade skipping grades 4, 5, and 6. You are promoted one grade level at a time. In our spiritual lives, we often want to skip steps that God is ordering for us. So many times the Lord has to speak to us and say, “Hey, you skipped a step. You need to go back and do that again”. Shortcuts often cause us to end at destinations we never intended to be. We miss what the Lord had for us- new experiences, new skillsets, and new revelations of Him.

Steps and order are mentioned in another verse. Psalm 119:133 says “Order my steps in Your Word and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” What a heart! Order my steps in Your Word! Order in our lives according to the Word of God must consist of first, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Order in our lives must follow biblical patterns of putting the spirit first, soul (our mind, will and emotions)second, and the body to follow. To get our steps right we have to allow the Holy Spirit to establish order! Things are never in order when you put soul first, body second and spirit last.

I challenge you today. Give the Holy Spirit permission to LEAD. When He leads He establishes order, and once we have His orders we can begin to take ONE STEP AT A TIME to be all that we can be in Him!

Sound has the Power to Create!

by Kelita Deems
“Be Careful What You Hear. Sound has the power to create.” – Robert Heidler

There are many ways to hear or to listen….you can listen to someone while hearing background noise. You can actively listen, intently and focusing. You can halfheartedly listen while thinking about other things. How do we listen? We listen different ways to different sounds, usually by the importance it has in our lives. We listen to our boss, perhaps more than we listen to a co-worker. If a loud noise erupts, we listen, we have no choice.. Or, if you are like me, chirping birds or wind chimes can get your attention.

Listening often demands actions. For instance, if an ambulance blows a siren, we listen and obey by moving over to let them pass by. If you are in school and the bell rings, you listen and promptly get up to change classes. When your mother yells your name, you listen and heed her instructions. Listening…….

Then there are things we actively choose to listen to. Music in our earbuds, tv shows or movies on the screen, conversations and other sounds. Listening…..

One of my favorite scriptures about hearing (listening) is Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. In other words, you don’t just listen once and you are done. You listen, and listen and listen – it implies an ongoing process. As we hear the word of God over and over, it will cause faith to grow, which is important because without faith it is impossible to please God!

We all know that our words create. Jesus framed the world with words, we are made in the likeness and image of God. Our words frame our world as well. Look around, what do you see? Your words have carried you to the place you are today. If you don’t like what you see, change what you speak. Proverbs 18:21 says the power of life and death are in the tongue. If you speak life you will reap life, if you speak death you will reap death. Our words are seeds. But, that’s another lesson!

Hearing. Listening. Speaking to hear….. Proverbs 4:21-22 says My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
So, we see that speaking and hearing scriptures are life to us and healing to us as well! (remember Romans 10:17?)

In Mark 4, Jesus was teaching the parable of the sower. He says Listen! He says take heed what you hear! He says he that has ears to hear, let him hear, all within that one parable. Those words mean to physically listen and to also understand. So, not only are we to hear the word, we are to study the word, meditate on it and understand it! THEN it will be life to our flesh!

Listening……sounds…..sounds evoke emotions. How about the joy we feel when we hear a baby laugh, or the panic of a fire alarm? What about the fear of a loud sound in the night? Or the calming sound of birds on a summer’s day. Do you know that some scientists believe that sounds can heal? Sounds and listening. Hearing……..How are we listening to Him? How are we hearing what He says?

Many times we cannot control what we hear. When you are at work, you may hear unpleasant conversations, or when you are out in public as well. This alone is reason enough to make sure we are daily spending time with the Lord, in His word and presence. But, let’s look at a few things we can control in our hearing:

• Gossip. It happens to all of us. We end up in a conversation where someone is speaking a negative truth about a person who is not present. This does nothing to lift your spirit or bring life to you or anyone else. Lord, may we recognize clearly and remove ourselves from that conversation! Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

• Unholy Communication on TV or in Music – (especially in music because adding music to words causes them to penetrate deeper into our soul!) We could use Ephesians 4:29 again because if we would not let unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, then why would we let strangers say it in our living room through the television or stereo? But let’s try Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

• Self-talk – our self-talk is important because we believe ourselves more than anyone. The enemy will put thoughts in your head to see if you will bite and accept them as your own. This had me deceived for years! The scripture that says take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5) means just that. When you find yourself thinking a thought and pondering it and it does NOT line up with the Word of God, take it captive! I often just say out of my mouth – “I march this thought to the cross of Christ because ______________(whatever scripture refutes the thought) and then I speak a truth of what His word says instead. Another way is – and this really works – I say OUT LOUD – NOPE! Not today! Why out loud? Because Satan can’t read your thoughts, he plants thoughts in your mind and then waits for your reaction. He is hoping those negative thoughts will become negative words out of your mouth – why? Words/sounds create! So, by taking these thoughts captive, you are denying him a building permit in your life!

Be careful what you listen to. What do you WANT to hear? I want to hear Him. I want to know when He speaks. I want to Hear His voice. I am learning to hear Him more. He has always been speaking, but I haven’t always been hearing. I have spoken to Him for years, but never stopped to listen to what He wanted to say. The more time I spend with Him, in prayer, in the word, the easier it is to recognize His voice.

Be careful the sounds you make/the words you speak. What do you want to speak? Speak LIFE! Speak truth! Speak love! Speak kindness! Speak according to the Word of God. The Word of God is LIFE! We speak and the sound of our words create. This also implies that when we hear sounds/words, those words create in us an emotion or call to action. How we respond, what emotion we release, and how we react with the words we choose, will release building blocks from what we have heard. Listening, hearing is more than the physical act of hearing. Hearing goes into our very being and causes a reaction. It will determine thought processes, and steps. How we hear, what we hear is the vehicle of our life!

Be careful what you hear. Sound has the power to create.

Prayer – Father, thank You for Your word and for understanding of Your word. Lord, first we repent for allowing negative sounds to create negative emotions and for acting and speaking to build on those negative situations. Holy Spirit, we ask You going forward to convict us quickly when we are about to create something in our lives that is not for our good or for the good of others. We pull up every negative seed we have sown with negative sounds that have come from our mouths. We pull down every stumbling block we have laid. We choose, this day to live free from the participation in gossip and unholy communication when it is in our power to do so. Convict us of our hearing! We want to hear YOU. We want to hear Your voice and create and frame our world with the words that bring life. Thank You Lord. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Just Go Out and Do It

Years ago, someone said if you wait until you think you’re ready to have kids you never will. And I’ll just say, if you say you’ll invest in your marriage when you aren’t so busy with your kids, you won’t. By then you’ll be two strangers in an empty house. Luckily for me, that’s what my parents did, but by the grace of God I got to watch them fall in love with each other all over again once we were out of the house. But what I didn’t get to do was to learn as a child what a healthy marriage really looked like. Unfortunately for me it caused me to make a lot of wrong decisions in my life and caused me to have the wrong idea of what a marriage and family was supposed to look like.

“We charge our cell phones daily but let our marriages die. If your smart phone receives more daily charging than your spouse, then you’re spending too much time talking to the wrong people.”

This quote is a punch in the gut for so many. But when life is crazy there are some simple things we can do to make our marriage as intentional as we can, just like we make sure we are keeping our cell phones with us and charged.

Pray – before we get into practical things, I want to remind you to not underestimate the power of prayer in your marriage. Pray for your hearts and attitudes toward each other. Pray for your relationship with God and each other to deepen.

Family Calendar – We are all living this crazy thing called life. When you write out everyone’s schedule, it’s easy to find time to connect. Time to connect with your spouse and time to connect with your kids.

Lower Expectations – We all know I love to watch a good chick flick or Hallmark movie as do many of you, but that’s not really reality nor do we necessarily want it to be. Kelsey Furguson, said on her blog, “I’m the fairy-tales-are-true and lets-talk-about-our-feelings wife. But reality is a lot like, talking about our day while I nurse my daughter and son climbs all over my husband.” Sometimes in our house, connecting is trying to figure out a weekly dinner menu before I go to the store. Or chatting while I do the ironing for the week. A special occasion may be curled up on the couch watching a movie once the kids are in bed. (That is if I managed to stay awake while laying with the littles in their bed until they fell asleep, instead of the usual of Jeff coming and waking me up and coaxing me to go get in our bed.)

Time Management –  This is tricky…I get it, sometimes you pass at the door coming in as the other leaves for work, or shuffling practices etc. Maybe you decide to connect driving down the road. Or maybe you can take the time while you’re cooking dinner. Get the kids started on homework at the table, start dinner and while it’s cooking, break all the rules you have for your kids. Sit on the counter while dinner cooks and talk with your spouse while dinner gets ready. It has become one of our favorite times. Sometimes when our schedule gets busy and maybe that hasn’t happened for a while, Jeff will send me a pic of the counter and say, “You’re spot is waiting on you.” Then I know, we’ve gotten to busy and it’s time to connect with him. We can have that time right in the middle of our crazy!

Do What Makes Sense, Right Now – If you have little ones, it probably doesn’t make sense to leave them at home over the holidays and go to Cancun. If you have a blended family and you find your kids will be with their other family, by all means take the trip. If you’re “empty nesters” maybe you want to plan a trip for yourselves b/c you never took the time when your kids were home. Or maybe you want to keep the grandbabies so your kiddos can have a day together. Maybe you’re stuck in the, “I’m not sure who the person lying beside me in bed is anymore?” Then have a first date again and get to know your spouse.

Just Go Out and Do It – There’s a new show on HGTV called Home Town. I’ve never watched it, but I love Erin’s (the wife on the show) saying “Just Go Out and Do It.” Just go out and do it – plan the time away just the two of you. Our situation is a little unique in that sometimes around specific holidays we find ourselves alone. Our kiddos are with their other families and we have time just the two of us which make it easier sometimes. But at the same time, we want our kids to see us making our relationship a priority, so sometimes we plan stuff purposefully during a time when they are home so they can see that their parents make their relationship a priority. Otherwise when they are older, they’ll never understand that they need to do the same.

So plan a small trip if you can financially, or if you can’t, find a grandparent, friend or someone that can help with the kids staying overnight and have a romantic night at home just the two of you. It seems like a big deal, but I promise your kids will thank you later. Connecting with your spouse isn’t about the perfect setting or candlelight, it’s about making the time and effort to spend time together.


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