Ballet Turtles


Ever watched a turtle perform ballet?

I hadn’t either. But one day on a date at Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium with my husband, we happened upon these turtles that appeared to be stretched out in arabesques. We laughed to see these reptiles pretend to dance on their log. Or, at the barre, if you will.

I’m sure they didn’t know what it looked like to us. Certainly, they were simply enjoying the sunny day, but it appeared purposeful. At least in theory.

It made me think of what positions we take that appear to be something they’re not.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Lately, I’ve been stunned and saddened by the stance of many who claim to know and love God, profess to be followers of Jesus, but adopt positions that flagrantly oppose what the Bible says. Mean spirited posts from ones who are to extend the love of Jesus. Demands for rights that do anything but consider others in humility. Embracing patterns of the world with lifestyle, choices, and outright destructive behavior.

I have to look at myself too. I’m not finger pointing.

We’re reading Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge and today’s chapter on Self Life and what it means to truly surrender my life to Jesus convicted me. How can I show love if I’m quick to react to something my spouse says instead of calmly conversing? If I write a retort to that post that offended me? When I’m impatient because I’m not getting something I need or want when I want it?

I suppose we could pretend to be like the turtles and say we don’t really know what we’re doing.

But we aren’t. We know what we’re doing.

It may seem like a silly comparison, but if the arabesque fits…

By the way, have you taken time to enjoy nature lately? Here are some other scenes we enjoyed that day. What did you learn from your time in the wild?

What If You Could Hear God?


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Have you ever wondered if you could hear from God how that might change things in your life?

Maybe you’ve listened to people who say “I heard God say…” and thought they were deluded, misguided, bragging, or fanatical?

Who actually hears God?

Everyone.

Yep. You read that correctly. Everyone can hear God.

Because he speaks to everyone. All. The. Time.

The real question is are we listening? Do we recognize his voice when he speaks? Can we distinguish his words from the barrage that we deem is our own thoughts or maybe other “voices”?

The truth is that God says when we seek him, he’s waiting to be found. When we talk to him, he’s listening and will answer us. We can call him Father (Rom. 8:15), and we are his sons and daughters. The Bible tells us that even when we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit groans on our behalf to God.

Sound too good to be true?

It is good, AND it’s true.

Here’s the thing…do you recognize your parent’s voice? Your children, spouse or best friends? Why?

You spend or spent time with them in close settings. They are familiar because you’ve been around them so much. You’ve paid attention to when they speak and what they say. You’ve listened to them and talked with them. Sometimes you can even finish their sentences because you know them so well. Right?

Jesus says his sheep know his voice. Sheep know their shepherd’s voice because they are in his/her care all day and night long. They hover around their shepherd. They’re in his/her presence all the time. They recognize the voice of the one caring for them.

They also know the difference between an enemy and the shepherd. When a wolf comes, the sheep huddle around each other, knowing it isn’t their caretaker.

We are like those sheep. Jesus cares for us. He searches for us when we’re lost. His voice is stern when calling us back from danger and lovingly kind when he’s ministering to our wounds or needs. When we spend time with him, we will know his voice.

When he speaks, we will hear him.

There’s no great mystery or secret about hearing God if we want to. If we’re asking. If we’re listening.

Jesus said many times in his word:

He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15

I hear him. You can too.

Sometimes he speaks through his word, the Bible, sometimes through a friend, leader or pastor. He speaks through creation, music, art, pictures(visions) and dreams. Often, he whispers in our hearts, and sometimes we may even hear his audible voice.

If you want to hear him, ask him to help you. If you don’t know him, tell him you want to.

Hearing God is for everyone and anyone who so desires. We are all his children. He loves us. He’s for us. He wants us to know him. And we CAN hear him.

If we’re listening.