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Listening to God

Faith Filled Friday blog

Scripture: James 1:19-25

The Lord wants all believers to walk in a close relationship with him. Listening to God is necessary to walk with God. We must learn to listen to God, to hear His voice in order to know God’s will for us.

Listening to God

There are two types of listeners

Be purposeful in listening by attending church and listening so that you learn and grow in the Lord. It is also necessary to put into practice what you learned.

Passive listeners will sit through a sermon and even enjoy it, but they have no intention of applying what they hear. Church attendance might be part of their lives, but they fail to grow spiritually.

The Bible teaches us to listen intently

God spoke to Peter, James, and John encouraging them to listen to his Son (in Matthew 17:5).

In Mark 4:3, “Hearken” Christ said to begin his parable of the sower. He wanted their attention.

And in Mark 7:14 when the Lord wanted to make sure everyone was listening, he said, “Hearken unto me everyone of you and understand.” In Mark 7:16, Jesus says, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.”

God has spoken throughout history

The Bible gives many examples of God speaking to us. Think of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Saul of Tarsus, Jonah, the apostle John, and many more.

What happens when believers don’t listen to God?

Those who do not have Jesus in their hearts are primarily influenced by news articles, television shows, family, and the advice of friends, even a few strangers.

If you do not know the scriptures or spend time talking with Jesus, you can be easily deceived and drift into sin.

Unwise decisions and sinful choices mark our lives and almost always hurt those around us.

You might decide to ignore biblical passages that do not agree with your choices. That is not a smart thing to do.

How do we listen to God?

1. Read the Bible. He will never tell you something that contradicts his Word. Read at least a small portion of Scripture each day, and ask God to speak to you through it.

2.Listen to the Holy Spirit. One of his jobs is to guide you by speaking to your spirit.

3. Pray. Prayer is talking and listening to God. You can pray to God any time of the day or night. You can make a quick one-sentence prayer or enjoy a lengthy chat.

4. Be watchful. Look for the Lord to reveal himself to you through circumstances. When life takes you by surprise, ask him what He is doing. Watch for him to guide you through open and closed doors.

5. Expect Him to guide you through others. He will use pastors, parents, friends, family members, and at times, even strangers to lead you. Just be careful to evaluate everything in the light of the scripture.

What’s the appropriate way to listen to God?

1. Reflective – Meditate on the Bible passages that you read. That is, slowly and thoughtfully read a section over and over again.

2. Prayerful – As you read God’s Word, ask for his help in understanding and applying it.

3. Submissive – Be willing to obey whatever the Lord tells you to do. That it not always easy to do and it may even be something you do not want to do.

4. Expectant – God promises to speak to us, which means you should expect that he will meet you in a personal way.

5. Patient – On important decisions, it’s sometimes necessary to pray for days, weeks, or even longer before understanding what the Lord is saying.

Conclusion: As a Christian it is important to have a personal closeness with Jesus. Nothing in this world compares to hearing God’s voice. Remember, God does not always speak out loud to us. It is that still small voice we hear.

Here are a few more verses:

Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. Proverbs 22:17

Make me to hear joy and gladness… Psalm 51:7a

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me. Revelation 3:20

In Trouble?

Faith Filled Friday by Connie Terpack

Who hasn’t been in trouble? Job 5:7 says, “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” We can all say “amen” to that.

First, remember we have a promise from God – “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me.” Psalms 50:15.

God wants to hear from us, call upon me, and I’m thankful that he does. You can call on him anytime of the day or night, any day of the week, from anywhere you are.

You do not have to limit your time with God to only the day of trouble, but that is usually when he hears from most of us. Tell him about the problem, how you feel, your worries and concerns.

He has words of encouragement for us: I will deliver you. He does not list any exceptions to this. God give us his promise; we can believe and trust him.

God does expect us to glorify him, You will glorify Me. To thank someone after they help you is common courtesy. Giving God the glory is a small price to pay for his help. Just remember, His help may not be in our time frame nor the way we expect.

The phrase “as sparks fly upward” gives me a little trouble since I do not understand what it means. At every campfire I have sat around the sparks always flew up into the sky and disappeared. Maybe that is God’s way of telling us out troubles will fly up to Him and disappear also.

After you give your troubles to God, you will soon notice that your joy and a good attitude return, along with becoming an encouragement to those around you. Maybe even someday in the future, you will be a help to someone in the midst of “their trouble” by sharing the very principles and Bible verses that God taught you.

We serve a wonderful God!

Pacific War Trials – part two

Pacific Paratrooper

Courtroom spectators, Manila

The Allies also established the United Nations War Crimes Commission (the UNWCC) in 1943.  The UNWCC collected evidence on Axis war crimes and drew up lists of suspected war criminals for Allied prosecution after the war.  In 1944, a sub-commission of the UNWCC was established in Chungking to focus on the investigation of Japanese atrocities.

The major trials being held in Tokyo were presided by the U.S., Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, France, China and the Philippines and began in May 1946. General MacArthur, as supreme commander of the Allied powers, largely controlled the progress of the trials. They started with 25 defendants, but two passed away during the proceedings and another was evaluated as too mentally deficient to participate.

Hideki Tojo listening to testimonies.

Hideki Tojo was the most infamous face to symbolize Japanese aggression being that he was the Prime Minister at the time of Pearl…

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God’s Stickers

Faith Filled Friday post by Connie Terpack

Earlier today I read an article about a retired husband frequently interrupting his wife while she was writing. To some people an author who writes at home is not really working. So I can relate to her frustration about being constantly interrupted. I can easily lose my train of thought and may never get it back to finish what I started.

One day she happened to think of the stickers that her children got. He left her alone all afternoon and she got a lot of writing done. She gave him a sticker. Hubby was delighted to get a sticker and it soon become a challenge for him to get more.

What if God gave us stickers for what we did? I asked my friends at Bible study this morning and they suggested getting stickers for praying and going to church. One suggested putting stickers earned for the day on that date on their calendar.

Little kids wear their stickers on their clothes with pride and let everyone know, “I got a sticker!” They stick out their chest so you can see it better. Older children and teens usually put theirs on their book covers or notebooks. This past election day they handed out “I Voted” stickers to wear on your shirt.

What if God gave you a sticker for different tasks and behavior? Maybe you would get a sticker for each time you prayed–“I Prayed.”

How about getting a sticker when you go to church, sing hymns, witness to someone about the Lord’s salvation, put money in the offering, sing in the choir, or give someone a ride to church.

Should some things merit a sticker each time you do it or just one to cover the whole day? When you go to church and sing three hymns is that three stickers or just one? When you help your neighbor then a few hours later have to help your sister does that count as two stickers?

What if God gave out stickers for bad behavior also? I would hate to wear a sticker that said “I Lied” or “I Didn’t Help.”

Think about what stickers you might have earned today and have a blessed day.

The following are a few verses on rewards: Psalm 62:12b; Matthew 6:1-6; Ephesians 6:8; Hebrews 10:35; Revelation 22:12

Faith Filled Friday: How Great Thou Art

I love a lot of hymns and have many favorites. I numbered each stanza since this did not copy the way I have it typed. Please share your favorite hymn. ~Connie T.

1: Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

2: When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.

When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur

And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

3: And when I think that God, His Son not sparing;

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on a Cross, my burdens gladly bearing,

He bled and died to take away my sin.

4: When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.

Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,

And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”


Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Quotes for Faith Filled Friday

The only remedy for all this mass of misery is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why do we not plead for it every time we hear the clock strike? ~Anthony Ashley-Cooper

We Christians have allowed this crazy age to steal from us the quiet hour. We too have been caught in the whirl and we cannot minster to others because we are as tired and feverish and hurried as the world is. ~ Vance Havner

Political correctness is not really about sensitivity and courtesy, which require mutual respect. Rather, political correctness entails intolerance for some prejudices but impunity for others. ~James Taranto

I believe the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert back to the horrors of brutal paganism. ~Theodore Roosevelt

We talk about Heaven’s being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. ~ D. L. Moody

Time writes no wrinkles on the brow of eternity. ~Billy Sunday

Without a vision of Hell, souls will perish forever. May a vision of a burning Hell be dynamite to change our thinking, our living, our giving. ~Lee Roberson

Covid and Kids, What are the Long-Term Effects?

I’ve wondered the same thing. It’s hard enough on adults, but some kids are growing up not knowing any other way of behaving except to be paranoid and isolated. I still pray for everyone. I trust the Lord will get us through this. ~Connie

Loreeebee on health & wellness, gardens & grandkids

I worry about the short and long term effects of this covid pandemic on our children. Social distancing does not come naturally to them. It is difficult enough for us adults, but we (most of us) can see and understand the reason behind the rules. We also do our best to explain these rules to our kids and grandkids.

When we were not allowed to hug or touch each other I would tell my grandchildren that “grandma is sick and doesn’t want to make you sick.” This little white lie worked, but I could see the confusion on their sweet little faces.

The primary (pun intended) lesson learned in sending our kids to school at four years old is supposed to be the development and practice of social skills. You know, stuff like sharing, trading, empathy, taking turns and more. How can they do this if social distancing is their…

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Faith Filled Friday: Jesus’ Love

I wrote this poem several years ago. I enjoy writing, but I am not the best poet. I hope this will give you cause to reflect on your relationship with Jesus. ~Connie Terpack

Jesus loves me – so great to know

Since my childhood I’ve known his love;

How he came to earth a long time ago

from his glorious home in heaven above.


Jesus walked in my shoes and grew

from a newborn babe to a young man.

He faced sin – the same that I knew –

and guided me with his loving hand.


We all have heard John 3, verse 16,

That God so loved us and gave us the way –

He gave us his son, so pure and clean,

to take away our sins on the cross that day.


Romans 3, verse 25 reinforces the thought.

There’s nothing that we, the sinner, can do

Jesus paid the price – our sin He bought

Jesus paid the price – for me and you.


In John chapter 3, verse 3,

Jesus says that if we are not born again,

the kingdom of God we’ll never see.

More in Romans 5, verses 8 through 10


Romans 5, verses 20 and 21,

tell us of God’s abounding love and grace.

Heaven is our home when our time here is done.

It will be wonderful to see Jesus face to face.


It will be so wonderful to sit at Jesus’ feet,

to hear his stories and words of wisdom.

Seeing old friends and new ones to meet.

Joy is never-ending in the heavenly kingdom.

Faith Filled Friday: Being A Thief

by Connie Terpack

Matthew 6:19-21

19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal;

20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal;

21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Thieves are generally bad. They rob people of what they worked hard to get and often sell it for less than it was worth only to use the money to buy drugs.

Robin Hood was considered a good thief because he stole from the rich to give to the poor. I liked Robin Hood, still do. He was my hero, but robbing made him a bad guy even though his intentions were good. Often the rich guy had cheated the poor man, so Robin Hood was good since he was seeking retribution. I wonder how the law would look at him today?

A lot of robberies often occurred after dark, but I’m not sure about that now. Thieves take advantage whenever they can. Homeowners on vacation? The robber may dress as a gardener and go into the house through the back door. All during the daytime.

You can steal ideas. An employee might steal info from his office computer during his nine to five job. Stealing supplies like pens, pencils, and paper clips is super easy to do.

Have you ever had someone steal your happiness about something? Or maybe take away your dream of becoming an astronaut or doctor?

Robbers come in all shapes and sizes and in any age. My youngest son was around three when he started his life of crime. We would go to the convenience store to pick up a couple things. I’d spend a few minutes talking to the clerk while my son walked around to the front of the display case. Busy chatting, I never noticed the case was open nor how fast he could gobble up a donut. We usually made a weekly trip there. As we were leaving after a visit I saw white powder around his mouth. He told me he ate a donut. I paid for the donut. The clerk made sure the display window was closed from then on!

How many of us steal from God? I do not spend as much time reading my Bible and praying as I should. I put money in the offering plate every time I go to church, but I do not think it covers what I should be tithing.

What other ways do we steal from God?

Most importantly, remember that Jesus will be returning for us one day. You need to ask him to forgive your sins and become your savior now. In Revelation 3:3 he tells us: Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Be ready.

Home Front – Hard to keep the good times rollin’

Pacific Paratrooper

[ This post was originally a guest post I wrote for Judy Guion @ Greatest Generation Lessons.  Being as times are rough these days, I thought a bit of comparison with what our parents and grandparents went through was in order. ]

Columnist Marquis Childs said after Pearl Harbor: “Nothing will ever be the same.”  Thirty-five years later he added: “It never has and never will be.”

We need to remember that in 1941 as much as 40% of U.S. families lived below the poverty level, approximately 8 million worked for less than minimum wage and another 8 million were unemployed.  The median income was about $2,000 per year.  The government, in virtually fighting two separate wars, entered into civilian lives by raising taxes, rationing, controlling prices and allotting jobs.

Once the war began, truck convoys became commonplace and train depots burst into arenas of activity.  The movement was not…

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