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Jan 26, 2014
Shenandoah National Park - Big Meadows
Thistle with Bees on Flowers
View Enlarged Imageby Donna L. Watkins

Sometimes we can place too much responsibility on the Lord and not take our own stand in a decision-making process. God gave us the Holy Spirit to "teach us all things" (John 14:26).

We have to be plugged in to hear. Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice and we follow.  But often we have so many voices we're not sure which one is the Lord's.

Some people have more TV time than God time. Listening to and reading a lot of bad news reports counter-balances the Truth we plant in our hearts by meditating on the Word.  No wonder fear is rampant amidst our minds.

If we are serious about wanting to KNOW what God wants for our lives, then we will make it a priority, as we do other important things in our lives.  Ask yourself honestly ... are television programs more important than God?  If they are, you can stop here.  Leave God behind and continue on the path you're on.  At least you'll have more peace not being in the continual struggle of waiting for God to do something.

Knowing the Word is so critical to knowing the will of God.  God will not violate His Word.  So you can discern whether the voice you believe to be God's is saying something of Truth or know you're being deceived by the devil.

You ALWAYS have time to do what you WANT to do.

We can't expect God to do miracles in our lives every day, when He says that He has given us power over the Enemy (Satan), so we need to stand against the confusion we are allowing him to put within us. (Luke 10:19). God gave us free will and He sticks by that. Consider this ....

Mark 6:5 says that "He (Jesus) could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." In that instance, it is evident that the reason Jesus couldn't do any mighty work was not because He didn't possess the power, but because our faith is part of the equation.  How often did He ask people what they wanted Him to do?  Or ask them "Do you believe I can do what you ask?"  He also used phrases like, "your faith has made you whole" and "be it unto you according to your faith."  It's something to ponder as you read the words of Jesus and His method of healing.  Notice He didn't go after people to heal them.  They came to Him ... other than the man by the pool of Bethsaida who couldn't move.

We often stay stuck in a situation waiting for handwriting on the wall or a star in heaven to point the way. We have the Almighty God in us (imparted at salvation) and He is directing our steps all of the time.  Isaiah 30:21 tells us, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way; walk in it."

We need to be able to hear His voice and that requires relationship with Him.  We know the voices of those with whom we speak often.  We gain this relationship by being with Him, not in books and devotionals and teachings, but with Him alone so we can listen to what He wants to tell us.

The Word is alive and active (Heb. 4:12) so it comes alive in our spirit.  God is spirit (John 4:24) and He communicates to our spirit.  If our flesh has been ruling our body (entertainment, food, doing to gain acceptance, etc.), then it's like we've packed away our spirit in the attic.  Don't get hung up on "having to" read the Bible each day, rather read it because you want to discover more and more about Him.

Remember that the early Christians didn't have the written Word of the New Testament for decades and then it was not something every Believer possessed. The Holy Spirit was to be their guide and teacher.  That should still be our focus for today.  I'm just saying that we can get a Law mindset of "having to" read the Bible and God may be calling us simply to sit and listen to Him on some days.

Beginning of Homestead Purple Verbena BloomAt some point we need to realize that God can work with decisions we make in faith believing they are His will, but to get to that belief, you need relationship.  When you have it, even if you make the wrong decision, I believe God will bless it (and possibly alter it through circumstances) simply because He loves us so much.  He wants to see us stepping out and walking in victory.

The devil wants us walking in defeat and encumbered by many activities.  We live in a swirling whirling world these days.  It takes a determination to keep life simple so that we don't enter into the "hurry, worry, scurry" mindset of life today.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  (John 10:10)

If your life is feeling empty ... it's not because Jesus hasn't given you something better ... you've just not believed and walked in it.  Just like the folks in Jesus' hometown.  They knew too much about Him in the physical realm.  Who His parents were, his brothers, and had seen Him growing up.  How could they believe and receive from this person they knew so well to be simply a person, not the Messiah.

Don't let the devil steal all the blessings God has given you.  His love made a great sacrifice so you could have an abundant life ... make time for Him and you will be amazed at how different life becomes.  Need some practical teaching to kick-off a new lifestyle?  Here's some links to get you started.

Related Articles
Hearing God - Donna L. Watkins
Hearing God's Voice - Devotional by Andrew Wommack
Hearing God's Voice - Donna L. Watkins
How To Hear God's Voice - Andrew Wommack
Leaning Into God - Donna L. Watkins
How To Hear God's Voice - Audio Teaching by Andrew Wommack



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Posted: Jan 26, 2014 8:15am
Jan 26, 2014
I read an article about friendly birds and found some insightful information on a few different species.  Birds have such great personalities and very varied ones too.  They are not only fascinating to watch, but lovely to hear a background serenade as I go about my daily business.

Learn a bit more about Chickadees, Nuthatches, Nutcrackers and Sparrows.  Read the article at Birds and Blooms.
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Posted: Jan 26, 2014 6:15am
Jan 26, 2014
Rejoice in the Lord - Always
by Andrew Wommack

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

The world experiences joy and happiness in direct proportion to their circumstances. Bad circumstances produce depression and sorrow, while good circumstances produce joy and peace. That's bondage, and does not have to be the case for a Christian. Our joy is not dependent on things, but rather on the person of Jesus Christ. He is our peace and joy.

The way we take advantage of this joy and peace in the midst of tribulation, is to have our minds and hearts stayed on things above and not on things of this earth. The invisible things of God are eternal while the visible problems on earth are only temporary. All the problems of this life grow very dim when we compare them to the glory of God that is ours through Jesus.

We can rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4) because rejoicing is an action, not a reaction to our environment. Joy is a gift from God that was given to us at salvation. It was placed within our born-again spirit and it doesn't fluctuate or diminish; it is constant. The Lord has put the joy inside us and we are to "work it out" by choosing to obey this command in scripture.

We are commanded to rejoice "IN THE LORD." Many people are not experiencing true joy because their joy is in their circumstances. That is, they are waiting to rejoice when things in their lives are going good, and that doesn't happen very often. We are suppose to "rejoice in the Lord always."

That means we are supposed to rejoice in who the Lord is and what He has done for us. He never changes (Heb. 13:8) and His mercies and compassions are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23).

Visit Andrew's Website.


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Posted: Jan 26, 2014 1:30am
Jan 26, 2014
 Video by Dr. Sarah   
    
Sleet. Snow. Ice. These things make most folks want to huddle indoors cozied up by the fire. But dogs are not most people. Often, the chill in the air sparks their anticipation for fun romps through the wintery mix.

But, there are dangers lurking under that blanket of white. Thankfully, Dr. Sarah is ready to reveal handy tips in the latest episode of Pet Talk, to keep your pet kids fully protected during outdoor playtime.  Watch the video now....


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Posted: Jan 26, 2014 1:21am
Jan 18, 2014
From Being Part of the New Covenant

In the healing of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1–16), Jesus knew that for 38 years, the man had been flat on his back, unable to do anything for himself or others, no matter how hard he struggled.

In the case of the woman oppressed with a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10–13), Jesus knew that the woman had been bowed over for 18 years. And in that condition, she saw very little that was beautiful in life, only the dusty ground, dirty sandals and bruised feet.

What about the man with a withered hand? (Luke 6:6–10) Jesus knew from His carpenter days how a useless hand could have easily given the man a very poor sense of self-worth.

I believe that all three of them must have struggled for so long to get back on their feet, to try to lift themselves up, to attempt to do something about their situations, only to be disappointed each time they failed.

In fact, they got so frustrated with striving to get better that by the time they met Jesus, they had probably given up trying to change their situations. It was then that Jesus came and extended His offer to turn their situations around.

And when they embraced His offer, they received the miracles that they had sought for so long. You too may have been struggling to get back on your feet, or to lift yourself out of the problem that has sorely weighed you down. You have attempted to do whatever you could, hoping that it would amount to something, but you have been frustrated time and again.

My friend, God wants you to cease from all your struggling and accept the offer He extends to turn your situation around. It is no coincidence that all three of them received their miracles on the Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews. God’s Word says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” The day you cease from your own laboring and striving, and rest in the finished work of Christ, is the day you receive your miracle. 

Jesus has done all the work. Whatever you need has been provided for at the cross. So just be at rest and receive your miracle!


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Posted: Jan 18, 2014 8:21am
Jan 18, 2014

You can attract a variety of backyard birds with these common kitchen foods.  You don't have to buy them just for the birds, you can give them leftovers.  We eat a lot of apples from August through April and I cut mine by making 4 slices around the core, leaving behind a square core which I can break in half and toss out for the birds.

In the winter I try to share a bit more since it helps the wildlife even more.  It's amazing how many critters enjoy banana peels.  Only in winter though ... they have more favorite choices in good weather I guess, because they don't consume them when it's warm.

Here's a few ideas ....

Apples

Biggest fans: Eastern bluebird, pine grosbeak, gray catbird, northern cardinal, northern flicker, American robin, scarlet tanager, cedar waxwing and red-bellied woodpecker.

Serving suggestion: Slice them up and remove the seeds.

Bananas

Biggest fans: Northern cardinal, gray catbird, gray jay, scarlet tanager.

Serving suggestion: Remove the peel and cut in half lengthwise.

Cooked pasta and rice

Biggest fans: Blue jay, brown thrasher, tufted titmouse, red-bellied woodpecker.

Serving suggestion: Serve both plain, and chop pasta into little bits to make it easier to eat.

Get more ideas in the rest of the article ....
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Posted: Jan 18, 2014 6:17am
Jan 18, 2014
The Secrets of Cat Whispering (Video)
by Dr. Sarah

If the thought of petting a cat makes you a little nervous or uncomfortable, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah shows you all of the sweet spots where cats love affection and offers helpful tips on how to safely approach an apprehensive kitty. Watch this video episode now.

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Posted: Jan 18, 2014 1:30am
Jan 18, 2014
According to the latest work from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) researchers, physicians tend to rate their diagnostic capabilities firmly above average, whether the case at hand is classified as difficult or fairly evident. The problem arises in the fact that most diagnoses for difficult cases tend to be incorrect.

According to the latest work from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) researchers, physicians tend to rate their diagnostic capabilities firmly above average, whether the case at hand is classified as difficult or fairly evident. The problem arises in the fact that most diagnoses for difficult cases tend to be incorrect. See the results>
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Posted: Jan 18, 2014 12:02am
Jan 15, 2014
                    View This Newsletter On the Website.                    


"Human love is fickle but God's love is constant.  It is the bedrock of the universe and the reason you are here.  Just look at the night sky.  He put those stars there to impress you with the astronomical extravagance and of His love.
 -- Paul Ellis, The Gospel in 10 Words

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Donna with Chloe the Camel
Blue Ridge Mountains Farm
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Hello Dear Friends!
Now that we're into 2014 I've been thinking about how fast birthdays come and go the older you get ... and one of my favorites was my 60th birthday year when I decided to find 60 new adventures to enjoy during that year.  

Our son came to visit for my actual birthday in September and as usual most of our time was spent outdoors and one of our favorite places is the Blue Ridge Mountains.  One of the highlights of the day was to meet Chloe, a camel at Mountainside Petting Farm.  What a delight to be loved on by a camel.  Chloe was super friendly and this was one main adventure of the 60 I discovered that year.  [View blog posts of the 60 adventures.]

We've had some pretty cold days here in Central Virginia but from what I've heard, it's been cold in many places.  It certainly makes you count heat as a daily blessing, along with a nice warm quilt or blanket to cover up with at night.

I am always amazed at God's provision for the creatures.  He uses our hands to provide for them and they give us such enjoyment.  Their persistence of doing what needs to be done each day, which is mostly get a full tummy of food to stay alive during the night.  It sure brings "simple living" to another level with that one focus in Winter.  I wonder if they think about Springtime also.  Many species get paired off during Fall and Winter and others call for a mate when Spring arrives.  Do birds dream of the future?

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Posted: Jan 15, 2014 8:20am
Jan 8, 2014
by Donna L. Watkins

Many of us carry wounds in our minds from childhood which are based on promises that were never fulfilled. Maybe it was something as simple as a family camping trip, or something as grave as a promise that a parent would never leave you ... and then they did. When promises don't come to fulfillment, they leave a scar on our hearts and a notch in our ability to trust.

Purple Columbine Flowers
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When we grow up not being able to trust, we will have a more difficult time when we get saved. As we read more and more of His promises and seemingly factual statements, we become more confused because our lives are certainly not portraying what we read.

We are "a new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17), but we look like the old one in the mirror. We are "more than conquerers" (Romans 8:37), but we seem to be on the losing end of every battle we take on. "By His stripes we are healed" (I Peter 2:24), but we deal with the same health issues, pain, deformity, fatigue, disabilities, that we had before salvation. We have the Holy Spirit in us and the fruit of that “is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:22), but our harvesting basket has slim pickings.
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Posted: Jan 8, 2014 10:18am

 

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Donna Watkins
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