His Gentle Whispers


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“The whisper wafted into her heart. Again? He’d been sending her on these little missions more frequently these days. Not that she really minded. Amanda felt humbled that he would choose her. She wasn’t anyone special.”

Amanda Grace Stiles, A Mighty Wind

God calls Amanda Grace Stiles to befriend a mysterious stranger who lies in a coma after sustaining life-threatening injuries. Who is this woman and is there hope for her? Can Amanda help her survive the past that’s put her in danger? Book three in the Winds of Redemption series is coming this summer. ⁠

In this, the third book in the Winds of Redemption series (When the Wind Blows is book one and Where Blows the Wind is book two, coming this spring), God speaks to a young women and leads her to intersect with another whose tragic life has led her to the lowest possible place. Through Amanda, the mysterious stranger will encounter healing through Jesus, who sustains life and leads us in purpose.

Here’s the thing….

We never know where the Spirit of God will lead us. He is like a mighty wind blowing us in and out of situations in life that will impact not only us, but those we come in contact with.

That is, if we will yield to his control.

Will we let Holy Spirit direct us into unknown places that may not make sense? Will we lean in and listen to catch the whispers of his heart for the lost and broken so that he can lead them to Jesus who saves? Are we willing to take risks that cost us something? Maybe our perception, reputation, or relationships?

Scary, huh?

But what if we learn to trust and follow that mysterious Spirit the way the Israelites followed the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night? What if we surrender what we think we know and allow Him to lead us into the unknown? What if that is where breakthrough, healing, peace, and joy are found?

The move of Holy Spirit is where:

  • dry bones turn into an army (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
  • axe heads float (2 Kings 6)
  • armies of ten thousands are defeated by 300 men (Judges 6-8)
  • a donkey talks (Numbers 22:28)
  • a blind man sees (John 9:1-12)
  • a lame man walks (Acts 14:8-10)
  • a little girl is raised from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26)

Today, Holy Spirit is living in each of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. (John 14:15-17) He leads us into all truth. It is by his power that we enter into a spiritual realm to see miracles accomplished in the name of Jesus.

Today, people are being healed in soul and body, delivered from the bondage of pain and addiction, released from depression and anxiety. Revival is here.

The world is desperate for Jesus.

As we listen and give way to the gentle whispers of Holy Spirit, we will experience an outpouring of such abundant joy and blessing, not only for ourselves and our lives, but through seeing others touched as we obey and intersect with their lives.

While the world is in turmoil, we live in a supernatural world of the incredible, the impossible, the unbelievable, the magnificent come to life. It’s a wonderful place to live.

Will you join me?

Looking Toward Possibility


“For nothing is impossible with God.”   Luke 1:37

     At our previous church in California, we hosted a week-long day camp for Vacation Bible School each summer. Every day, we would lead kids in chanting that VBS was F-U-N, and at the end, VBS was D-U-N. But one of the songs we sang that year, Nothing is Impossible, continued to play in my mind. God proved those words to me over and over during that year’s VBS, and I want to live according to that truth every day.

     As the VBS traffic directors for the first time, my husband, Brendan, and I really didn’t know what we were doing. We certainly had tremendous help from the previous director; we had the notebook containing all the guidelines for what to do and expect; and we had abundant encouragement and support from our VBS director. Still, as VBS drew closer, a bit of anxiety began to stack up against the peace I felt during the previous couple of preparation months.

     Within thirty minutes of arriving on Monday morning, I had a meltdown. My walkie-talkie wouldn’t work; I was on the wrong channel; people had questions for me, but I had no answers – AND cars we were supposed to be directing continued to steadily stream in while I struggled with my equipment and fought back frustration tears.

     Our director and her team were wonderfully helpful. They provided me with working equipment, showed me how to use it and prayed for me. Then she said something like, “Laura, VBS is going to happen. Cars will park and kids will arrive no matter what we do or don’t do. God is in control, and He will make it happen.” It clicked. Something I had known in my head shot straight to my heart, and I was able to grasp and actually believe it. What a relief!

     Then I recalled how at prep day, one of the guys had talked about the “nothing” he felt he had to offer. Like the widow with two small coins (Luke 21:2), or the boy with a meager lunch of bread and fish (John 6:9). I could relate. I felt like I had nothing to offer. No real grasp of the job I would be doing and not enough people to help us do it, but I could offer the “nothing” I had and let God make the impossible happen.

     And He did. Each day that week, God brought unexpected people to help us, and he gave us the ability to do our job. He even gave us some new ideas that were helpful. The week turned out to be—believe it, or not—easy, or at least relaxed, even in spite of some unforeseen traffic situations.

     In the years since then, I’ve attempted to live in that place of believing that NOTHING is impossible for God to make happen – in myself, in my marriage, in my family and in every aspect of life’s daily challenges. I think we can all agree that this year of 2020 has needed the hope that God will make good things happen, and nothing is impossible for Him!

No matter what the remainder of this year brings or looks like, we can be confident that God always has possibilities ahead for us. He promises that when we put our hope in him, we will not be disappointed even if circumstances bring pain, or people let us down. With God all things are possible.

Full or Empty Cup?


close up of coffee cup on table
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An empty cup can be filled, but a full cup can’t hold what God wants to pour into us.

What are we full of?

Fear, hurt, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, anxiety, dread, depression, anger?

OR

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith, hope?

Do we fill our cup each day with “what if’s” that breed fear?

OR

Are we filled with excitement, dreams, possibilities and “God will”?

Jesus said that for all of us who are heavily burdened to come to him and trade whatever is weighing us down for his life of love, joy, peace, and hope. Laying everything down at his feet, we can let him handle our concerns and let him lead us by still waters.

Sometimes we find it hard to empty ourselves.

Pride, fear, shame, and disappointment can cause us to not trust God. We feel the need to control. But every step of faith that gives God more control yields relief and a lesser weight on us. Then we are free to let God determine our journey.

And his ways are far better than what we think we need or want.

He blows my mind with the healing, blessings, fulfilling ways my life expands and gets to touch others. His word says he gives us the desires of our hearts. I testify to the truth of that!

So today, are you empty or full? What is your cup full of?

Why Perspective Matters


perspective

Did you see snow on mountain tops or sand on beach rocks?

I took this picture at the beach, and I still think of snowy alps nearly every time I see the photo in my gallery.

Interesting, isn’t it?

A couple of days ago, I was driving somewhere and pulled up next to a car at a stop light. The car had an Indiana license plate, but at first glance I thought it said Nevada. As a matter of fact, I absolutely believed, in that initial moment, that the car was from Nevada. (Could it be because I lived in Nevada for 10 years?)

Until I took a second look.

How can we be so convinced that the way we see something is actually the way it is when it isn’t? My children were all raised in the same household, but each of them remembers incidents the others don’t, or from a different angle. Kind of like the movie Vantage Point in which we watch a plot unfold from several different angles.

What affects our perspective?

  • Exhaustion – the day I saw the Indiana plates I had little sleep and much stress
  • Anxiety – seeing life through anxiety places a filter of fear over every situation
  • Age – a three year old and sixty year old will have a vastly different perspective
  • Culture – a thumbs up here in the States is positive, but elsewhere it’s an insult
  • Point of View – asking my grandchild seated in a stroller if he can see what I see over a fence is kind of pointless, right?
  • Attitude – are you a half-full or half-empty kinda guy?
  • Preconceived concepts – our values and beliefs become ingrained in us
  • Experiences in life – each joy filled or painful circumstance defines how we will perceive the next similar situation

Everything we process is in relation to all of these things in our mind, heart and life.

No wonder people experiencing the same situation can have vastly different perspectives of what has happened. Granted, perhaps we can agree on general absolutes like the color red. But even as I write red, what color comes to mind? Tomato? Strawberry? Cherries?

I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this concept.

I know what is in my heart or mind when I do, say or see something, but what if the next person has an opposite view of my action, words or vision? Is one wrong and the other right?

Or are they both right?

2 + 2 = 4   seems pretty absolute and concrete to me. And I, by nature, tend to see things pretty black and white. But my math-loving husband might throw a variable in there and contest that even numbers can change it up. (Unless they’re absolute numbers, right? But now we are in a realm for which I have limited perspective.)

So, how do we handle perspective?

My go to reference is the Bible. Here are a few things I’m learning and working on:

  1. Speak truth in love. My perspective is my truth, but I can present it kindly.
  2. Consider others’ interests not only mine. Their view is their truth so listen to them.
  3. Respecting each other honors Christ. Humility benefits us both.
  4. Be honest with myself. I may not see the whole picture.
  5. Don’t assume. I’m not someone else so even if I think I know what they feel, I don’t.

In the end, only God sees everything. The entire world, universe without time and distance is his. He can see from every angle and into every heart and mind. The Psalmist said,

Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord.”  Psalm 139:4

That’s good news, because I can ask him to help me see as he does. From his perspective. He says if we lack wisdom (his way of thinking) we can ask him, and he’ll give it to us. And even better is that he can transform us by renewing our minds – changing our perspective.

The brief moment when I had an inaccurate perception about the car with the Indiana license plate didn’t matter in the big picture of life, but when my spouse or kids or friends and I think differently it can cause turmoil if we can’t tolerate and accept each other’s view of things. Even if we don’t agree.

Even now in our world, huge battles are taking place because of perspective.

Their perspective is true. My perspective is true. But only God’s perspective is 100% accurate.

What is your perspective about this blog post?