Episode 31: Giving the Best Gift

emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, Peter, John, Beautiful, podcasting, katina horton, blog, episode 31, best gift

Episode 31: Giving the Best Gift
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Giving the Best Gift Podcast Outline

  • Analyzing Gift-Giving
  • Shame over Gift-Giving
  • Peter and John’s Gift

There have been quite a few times over the years when I would see someone that’s homeless on the streets and was deeply moved with compassion and empathy for their situation. Majority of the time, when this happened, usually one of two things were going on: either I didn’t have cash on me, or I literally didn’t have the money. I would feel bad inside, then let them know that I wish that I had the money to give, and then say, “God bless”. Then, they would usually nod.

emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, Peter, John, Beautiful, podcasting, katina horton, blog, episode 31, best gift
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What I said didn’t fill their physical need. However, saying, “God bless” told them that I did care. Sometimes, we see Christians and non-Christians, and we wish that we could help, but for whatever reason, we just can’t. Satan often uses these times as tools to place a stronghold of shame on us. Money isn’t all that we can give others. We also have our time and our talents that we can bless others with. However, once we start the comparison trap, then this reality goes out the door along with everything else.

Peter and John faced the same situation with a man at the gate Beautiful, asking for money from the passersby. They didn’t have money to give him. They had something better: the gift of salvation leading to eternal life:

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

Acts 3:1-9, KJV

And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

And all the people saw him walking and praising God:

Dear God,

We thank you for when we have money to help others who are in need. We also thank you for when we don’t have the money, knowing that the best help that we could ever give is the plan of salvation. Please help us to remember this when we encounter certain situations.

In your name we pray,

Amen

Lest We Forget Podcast: Episode 30

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Keep Running

running, strength, devotional, weakness, spiritual health, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living

Keep Running

It was on a fall morning about six years ago. I remember being extremely out of breath. I had lost track of the time, as usual. And there I was running down the hill and into the big, open field next to my home. I kept thinking to myself, ” I’m not going to make!” I was finally on the same side of the street as the bus stop. But I still had to walk into 7-Eleven to get change to get on the bus. I said to myself, “I can’t run any more! I am so tired.” Then, I decided to give it my all, run into 7-Eleven, and give it my all to make it back to the bus stop.

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As I was running into 7-Eleven, the verse kept playing in my head, ”


But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

How many of us say the same thing that I did day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year when we are facing insurmountable trials?

“I can’t run any more! I am so tired.”

We all have. When this is happening, we have to remember that God is trying to do the running for us instead of us doing it in our own strength. When we give the race to God, then our legs become lighter and we reach the FINISH LINE like I did that morning when I made it to the bus stop.

Refinery

refinery, gold, maturity, fruit, trials, spiritual health, transpire, God, work

When we get placed in the fire, it doesn’t feel good, but when God sees the shiny result, and he smiles, we know that the refinery was necessary.

Katina Horton
refinery, gold, maturity, fruit, trials, spiritual health, transpire, God, work
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Refinery

Refined Like Gold

It’s What We’re Told

We’re Put through the Fire

So Fruit Can Transpire.

The Pain is Intense.

The Trials are Immense.

Maturity is unfolding.

God’s work you’re Beholding.

Related posts:

Will God Deliver?

Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2

emotional health, mental health, psychology, spiritual health, katina horton, podcasting, podcast, blog, author life, scornful, prodigal son, Jonah, bitterness, resentment, cynical, sin, anger

Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2
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In case you missed last week’s recording, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”, you can find that here. Today’s recording is Episode 26-The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.

The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Outline

  • Reflection on Part 1
  • Dissection of The Older Brother
  • Jonah’s Rights
  • Our Rights
  • Solution
  • Closing
  • Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Part 2.  Today’s recording is episode 26:  The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.  Just as a quick recap from Part 1, we discussed the fact that Cynicism has several factors that lead up to its brokenness as a state of mind:

Reflection on Part 1

Those factors are:

  • You have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
  • There are historical patterns of things not working out in your favor, or working out in a way that is undesirable to you.
  • You get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to think that things will be different.
  • Most of the people that you trusted let you down.
  • The few times that you thought things would turn out good, they turned out bad, and you lost faith in believing that things could be different.

In the case of the two stories that we are going to look at today, the two biblical characters carried out the sin of cynicism because of two main reasons:

  • The historical pattern of character of the authority figures.
  • The lack of legalism that existed for these authority figures.

The two men that we are going to dissect is Jonah and the older brother of the prodigal son. 

Their reasons for cynicism contradict the normal factors.  Cynicism set in with both of these men because of the recognition of the good qualities of the father and God.

Dissection of The Older Brother

  • Let’s explore the story of the prodigal son first.
  • The dad was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

After the prodigal son returned home penniless, hungry, and exhausted from wild living, the father could have greeted him with judgment, coldness, and distance.  Instead he accepted his son, welcomed him with a grateful heart that he was safe and sound, and embraced him for who he was. 

The fact that he ran to meet him to diffuse being shamed by the community was a bonus.  It showed the son that he was going to be welcomed.  There is nothing worse than messing up big time, and not knowing what other Christians are going to say as you reenter the house of God or run into them while you are in public.

Luke 15 tells us:  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The father knew that hitting rock bottom was enough of a consequence for the younger son.  He didn’t need to enforce further punishment.  He also possessed enough self-acceptance that he didn’t worry about being embarrassed in regard to the reaction of the community.

Oh Self-Pity

The older son dwelled on his sin of cynicism that is evidenced through dialog that is filled with scornfulness, bitterness, and resentment.  He felt that he had been failed.  He didn’t focus on his younger brother’s condition of going from “lost to found”.  Along with his cynicism, he was filled with self-pity and envy: Luke 15: 28-31 reads:  “28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The father tried to get the older son to go in twice.  We are left wondering what eventually happened.  Did he stay outside and continue to sulk?  One thing this clear about the brother’s dialog is that not only is he resentful, but he is filled with broken thinking.  Two words suggest broken thinking when resentment is present: “always and never”.

Our dialog goes something like this: 

“I always have to clean the house.”

“She always gets to do something special.”

“I never have the opportunity to do anything.”

Nine times out of ten, these statements aren’t true.  If they are true, there is some type of dynamic that has been setup that needs to change.  Or, perhaps, the financial situation has changed that allows you to do more for the younger child than you were able to do for the older child.  Whatever the case may be, broken thinking is present.

First-born children tend to be rule-followers.  With that thought in mind, the older son definitely felt that he was cheated since he was the “rule-follower”.  However, one thing about rule followers is that they can get caught up in being legalistic because they follow the rules.  God is more concerned about our hearts than checking off boxes to say that we did something.

Let’s explore the story of Jonah.

Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to warn them about their sin and God’s judgment for their sin if they continued going in the direction that they were going.

Jonah decided that he knew best, and so, he skipped out on the trip altogether, and took a boat ride to a different part of town.  God had a fish to swallow Jonah.  And Jonah prayed inside of the fish for God’s mercy and grace, and the fish released Jonah. 

Let’s discuss the character of the authority figure in Jonah’s story.

In Jonah’s story, this figure is God.  Not surprisingly, the dad in our first story is actually a representation of God.

What are the characteristics of God that Jonah was familiar with?

  • God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

In Jonah’s story, Jonah was bitter, resentful, and cynical because God proved that his heart was all of those characteristics that were just mentioned.  It was okay for God to have all these attributes when it came to saving him.  However, it wasn’t okay for him to possess them when it came to saving the Ninevites.

 

God gave Jonah a chance to get it right.  He sent him to Nineveh a second time:

 

Jonah 3 King James Version (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of theLord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Part 2

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

The Ninevites didn’t have to suffer consequences because they repented right away: 

Jonah 4: 10 says:

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Like the older brother in the prodigal son story, Jonah was so angry that he didn’t know what to do with himself.  God tried reasoning with him.  Unfortunately, Jonah wasn’t haven’t it.

His cynicism showed up in verses 1-2, when he basically said, “See, this is why I didn’t do what you told me.  I know this is how you would respond.”

Here are his exact words: “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

God told Jonah that the people were lost, just as the father tried to help his older son to understand about the prodigal: 

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Jonah 4: 7-11, KJV

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Jonah and His Rights

Jonah pouted outside of the city underneath the tree just as the older brother pouted outside of the party celebration that was going on inside for the prodigal son.  Both men felt that they were right.  Both authority figures tried reasoning with them twice.  Both were caught up in anger, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism.  And both missed out on blessings because of it.  But why?  They ignored the sovereignty of God.  We have all been in both of their shoes.  WE know best.  WE know what justice should look like.  WE can play God and have mercy and grace poured out on us, and others should not.  When we don’t adhere to God’s plans, his timing, and his will, we trade whole faith for broken pieces of bitterness, resentment, and cynicism every time.

When cynicism becomes our brokenness, it becomes our idol, and we began to scorn God directly and indirectly because of our trials and other peoples’ success.  This is how Satan works.  If he can get us to lose trust in our faith due to our trials, others’ brokenness, and the hurt and pain of “church hurt”.  Then, he has got us.

Solutions

So, the question is, how do we get out of this sin.  Prayer.  Lots of it.  Cynicism is spiritual like all other sin.  Getting grounded in our identity.  Getting rid of our broken thinking.  Changed thinking equals changed talking and changed talking equals changed behavior.  Accept that God is sovereign.  Pray and ask God to help you to be able to trust again, knowing that we can’t live in this world without it.  It takes time to heal, but it is possible.  Trust God’s sovereignty and plans for our lives.

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s episode.  Thank you for listening, and if today’s episode has impressed upon your heart, share it with a friend or coworker.

God bless! 

Episode 25: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1

emotional health, ptsd, trauma, mental health, sin, cynicism, mockery, scornful, katina horton, healing, spiritual health, podcaster, author, author life, blogger

Episode 25: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1
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Hello everyone! I have a new podcast episode over on the blog. Just in case you missed the last episode, you can find that one here. Today’s podcast episode is entitled, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”. My podcast is now available on YouTube. Click here to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for podcast episodes.

emotional health, ptsd, trauma, mental health, sin, cynicism, mockery, scornful, katina horton, healing, spiritual health, podcaster, author, author life, blogger
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

The Sin of Cynicism Podcast Outline

  • Definition of Cynicism
  • Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism
  • Abuse and Cynicism
  • Podcast Transcript

Good evening!  Welcome to the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast.  Today’s recording is Episode 25: “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”

Definition of Cynicism

Cynicism is the process of being a scorner, doubter, scoffer, having paranoia, mistrust, and skepticism about things.  Everyone is cynical at one time or another, however, cynicism becomes a concern when it gets in the way of life’s joys for us, other people being around us, and it is labeled as part of our brokenness.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

(Psalm 1:1)

Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism

There are several factors that make up the reasons for one adopting cynicism as part of their lifestyle:

  • You have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
  • There are historical patterns of things not working out in your favor, or working out in a way that is undesirable to you.
  • You get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to think that things will be different.
  • Most of the people that you trusted let you down.
  • The few times that you thought things would turn out good, they turned out bad, and you lost faith in believing that things could be different.

Whatever, the case may be, from the outside looking in, it is easy to be judgmental to something we don’t understand.  It is not a license for us to commit the sin.  However, empathy helps us to understand that the sin of cynicism is just like having any other sin.   It becomes addictive, spreads like a disease, creates negativity, and begs for more.

After having to deal with a divorce from a toxic individual, I experienced some cynicism creeping in.  As a matter of fact, I had someone to mention it to me.  It made me become more aware of when I was allowing it to get a foothold. 

Abuse and Cynicism

I have also noticed that when individuals have been abused, and the abuser has run an all-out smear campaign packed with lies against the victim , and then brainwashes, and pulls in the victim’s family, it becomes the perfect tool for Satan to intertwine inside this person as a stronghold, rather than just a phase of grief. 

The individual starts to believe that no one can be trusted.  We know that this isn’t true.  However, when we are in pain, we often shake hands with Satan for all kinds of addictions and coping mechanisms to cover up our hurt.

We can vacillate from one end of the spectrum to another.  Either we are too trusting, or we distrust everyone.

Trust takes a while to gain.  When trust is broken through lies and betrayal, we are left with the thoughts in our minds that everyone will do the same thing that this person or persons did to us.

Replacing our pain and hurt with healing is the hard, but fruitful way out of cynicism.  But as with any coping mechanism, what we have allowed to go on for so long becomes part of our normal and dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

When things aren’t happening our way, in our will, and in our timing, we trade whole faith and God’s promises for broken pieces of cynicism.

I want to leave you with some bible verses to help you if the sin of cynicism is a part of your brokenness:

Romans 11 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Remnant of Israel

11 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,[a] a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

The Example of Christ-Romans 15: 1-7

15 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Thank you for listening to Episode 25 of Healing Our Brokenness:  “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”.  Remember if this podcast is making a difference in your life, recommend a friend for listening.  Thanks, and have a beautifully blessed weekend!

The Work of the Potter

potter, clay, shattered, glass, restoration, broken pieces, healing., emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, freedom, control, author, katina horton, poetry, blogging

The Potter-This poem depicts the awesome work of our Creator, God himself. He is going to keep working on us, if we allow him to be in control instead of us trying to take the reigns. If you didn’t read my last poem, “Refusal to Heal”, you can find that one here.

potter, clay, shattered, glass, restoration, broken pieces, healing., emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, freedom, control, author, katina horton, poetry, blogging
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The Potter

He’s twisting and turning.

And molding the clay.

The Potter, Creator.

Making it His Way.

The Pieces.

Once Shattered.

Manifesting as Dust.

When the Artist is Finished.

The End Product We’ll Trust.

Saying No

saying no, boundaries, emotional health, mental health, character development, priorities, initiative, family time

Saying “No” is easier for some of us than others.  However, when we learn how to use this word, it probably means that we are growing in our emotional and mental health, and learning how to set boundaries.  Saying “No” doesn’t translate over to being mean to others.  As a matter of fact, the inability to say “no” is being unkind to ourselves.  We end up running ourselves ragged pleasing everyone else, and then we are joyless ourselves.

saying no, boundaries, emotional health, mental health, character development, priorities, initiative, family time
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We forget that we do not have never-ending amounts of energy.  What we don’t say “NO” to today, will say “NO” to us on tomorrow.  This is usually when we start saying “No!”  It is when God gives us a time-out.  Either we can willingly learn the skill, or we are forced to learn it because our physical health ends up taking a plunge.

When we are able to say “No” to some things, we open ourselves up to being able to say “Yes” to others.  These are the things that we have been gifted for.  These are the things that involve our spouses, life-giving friends, and children.  It also invites our “NO” to become someone else’s opportunity to step up and say “yes”.  So, then why is it so hard?  It is hard because we have been trained to help others by completely sacrificing ourselves in the process.  Helping others requires the sacrifice of dying to ourselves.  Sometimes we can get too caught up in our own problems and our family’s problems. We forget that there is a whole ‘nother world outside of us.

However, there is a balance.  This is where self-awareness and realization of our limitations come in.  It is also hard for us to say “No” if we grew up in a family where we were served guilt for exerting boundaries or having feelings of our own.  Initially, it will be difficult.  However, the more we practice saying it, the more we are free to prioritize what God wants us to do.

 

So, let’s practice saying “No”, so that God can say “Yes!” to using us as only he can!

 

 

Other posts to check out:

 

No excuses!

Blessings,

 

Katina

 

Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling

opposition, opposition against your calling, push, negativity, inner circles, relationships, emotional health, psychology, physical health, spiritual health, brokenness, healing, encouragement, testing the spirit, katina horton, podcaster, podcast

Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling
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opposition, opposition against your calling, push, negativity, inner circles, relationships, emotional health, psychology, physical health, spiritual health, brokenness, healing, encouragement, testing the spirit, katina horton, podcaster, podcast
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Opposition Against Your Calling Podcast Outline

  • Analyzing Calling
  • The Effects of Our Calling
  • What Happened to Me in My Calling
  • Nehemiah and his Calling
  • Solutions for Opposition
  • Podcast Transcript

 

Good afternoon!  Welcome to Episode 22 of Healing Our Brokenness.  Today’s Episode is entitled, “Opposition Against Your Calling”. 

 

Analyzing Calling

How many of you have been told by God that you were destined for a calling?  You went through the steps of walking in that calling until Satan started to shame you with your personal struggles, and what your present reality is, rather than God’s truth.  That is what has happened to me as well.

When life’s disappointments begin to scream at us from every direction known to man, we start to second guess what it is that God already promised us.  As a matter of fact, when God spoke your calling over your life, the promise was so strong, that you could feel God’s peace over you.

God is not a liar.  His word will not return unto him void.  However, we are not in charge of the timing.  But, because we don’t see God’s promise coming to fruition right away, we allow the enemy to shame us with doubt and negative views of God.  We detach ourselves from seeing his provision, faithfulness, and goodness while we wait.

The Effects of Our Calling

When God puts a calling on our lives, it can bring out the best or the worst in people.  Some people will cheer you on and confirm the calling that has been spoken to you clearly about.  They might even offer to help you with anything that you need to get started.  These are usually the ones who will pray for and with you and walk through the entire birthing process that God has placed upon you.

But then we have the second group of people.  This is the group of people who will try to do everything that they can do to discourage you from stepping into what God has already told you is yours.  I have had this to happen to me unfortunately.  They will spew out everything that they can possibly think of in the area of negativity.  There will be subtle hints of how you should do something else.  Or hints of your current status not being representative of anything close to your calling.  They might make comments about your clothing or physical appearance.

Unfortunately, in my own personal experience, I had all three of the above instances to occur.  I noticed there was a pattern that occurred.  As I celebrated each small accomplishment, there were suggestions that I should do something else.  It took me a while to catch on.  What becomes dangerous, and something that we very much must watch out for is when people will use the Holy Spirit to speak into what you are supposed to do, and it is not lining up with what God has told you.  God does speak to other people.  However, if it is in direct contradiction with what we have been told, we need to be careful.  The scriptures tell us to test the spirits.

One thing about negativity is that when it gets into your head, it becomes like a disease.  It is easy going in, but not easy getting out.  Your mood will shift from one of being upbeat to depression until you start noticing where the source of this negativity is coming from.

What Happened to Me in My Calling

When everything fell apart in my life in 2018, and I started the beginning of my job trials, Satan tried to convince me to stop following the steps of my calling.  However, now that I look back, his work was so evident that he decided to have almost every single appliance in my home to break down one after the other.  It was unbelievable.

Then, within the last week, as I was coming to a place of acceptance of letting God direct me in my next steps, and on a spiritual high from this “new place”, once again, Satan showed up in trying to prevent me from doing my calling.  Out of nowhere, I had major problems with my printer.  Then, I narrowed it down to realizing that the issue was just with my laptop.

Then, I thought, “Oh Great!”  I found myself getting upset because it took several hours away from productivity for the day.  I had already had two days where I couldn’t do as much work since I wasn’t feeling well, and this particular day, I was ready to get things done.  However, the printer was not.  I came up with a plan to tackle it later and kept going.

What Happened to Me in My Calling- Part 2

And the enemy kept going.  I had three blog posts to get done, and two podcast recordings to complete before the week was out, and my blog’s website had a three-part glitch.  The technicians fixed two problems and gave me a workaround solution for third fix so that I could get back to working.

The temporary fix caused about six other problems.  At this point, I had to pray.  I admitted to the Lord that I was really angry at this point.  I asked him to help me not to sin in this anger, and to work through the problem.  Sometimes we just have to get honest with our feelings.  He was already aware of what was going on.  The six other problems resolved by this morning, and I am still working in a temporary editor until their developer fixes the bug.  But God is good!  Satan didn’t totally cripple me from doing what I needed to do.  However, there was a lot of frustration along the way.

As Nehemiah and his people tried to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, they faced a lot of opposition.  Like with myself, people tried any and everything in order to get Nehemiah to come down from building the wall.  Sanballat and his crew even sent a false prophet to Nehemiah to make it seem like the Lord had given orders.

Commercial

Let’s listen in on this story:

Nehemiah 6 New International Version (NIV)

Nehemiah and his Calling

When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages[a] on the plain of Ono.”

But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.

Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:

“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem[b] says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”

I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

Scripture Part 2

10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”

11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.

14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Opposition to the Completed Wall

16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.

17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

 

Just like with Nehemiah and myself, Satan will send anybody and anything to stop you from doing what God wants you to do.  He will send your kids, your family, your friends, appliance and technology failure, etc.  Anything!  He will send people to us to have us to waste five hours that could be invested in getting things done.  Or better yet, waste five hours surfing on social media, and then for sure you aren’t going to want to do anything afterwards.

Solutions for Opposition

How do we combat the opposition against our calling?

  • Be aware of patterns of behavior in others in others that cause depression and sadness through the spirit of negativity.
  • Prepare yourself to do some exchanging of your inner and outer circles.
  • Know that if at no other time, your calling will be the time when it will be clear if you will have to let some friendships go.
  • Test the spirit to see if what was prophesied lines up with what God promised you.
  • Keep yourself prayed up and encouraged in the Lord. There are many times that David had to do that.
  • Persevere with consistency and give yourself grace along the way.
  • Be honest with your feelings when opposition comes your way.

Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness: Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling.  I hope that you have been able to have some takeaways to add to your healing.  God bless!

Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos

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Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos
Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...

 
 
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There are a lot of voices that we hear on a daily basis. However, discerning the voice of God becomes the most important one that we need to focus on. Do we know what to look for? Is it the same voice for everyone? These questions and more will be answered in this week’s episode: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.

emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, podcaster, podcast, podcasting, author, blogger, writer, blog, katina horton, listen, obey, trust, follow
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  • Podcast Outline
  • How to Know It’s God
  • How God Speaks to Me
  • Truths on Hearing God’s Voice
  • Samuel and the Voice of God

Part #1 Hearing God’s Voice

Podcast Transcript:

Good afternoon!  Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness Podcast!  Today we are on episode 18, entitled, Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.  When we think about hearing God, we often associate it with the Ten Commandments movie where God spoke to Moses on the mountain.  Sometimes God is just that powerful.  However, often hearing God can come in the small, subtle, or least grand ways than we expect. 

So, the question that you all are probably asking is, “Well, if it is small, how will I know?”

We do three things: 

  • We slow down enough to hear him.  If we aren’t slowed down enough, we won’t hear God, or gain clarity on anything else that is going on. 
  • We pray and ask God to help us to become discerning in regard to noticing his voice.
  • WE look for God to speak to us in themes or patterns.  This can be via sermons at church, small groups and bible studies, therapy, or via inner circle advice.

Part #2 Hearing God’s Voice

I have realized for myself that God speaks to me through my work.  Since I read and listen to a lot of blogs, articles, podcasts, and sermons, God will have them to center around a certain theme for me to understand that it is something that I need to work on. 

Sometimes he speaks to me in dreams to prepare me.  I have heard others say that God doesn’t speak to other people in dreams as in biblical times.  I beg to differ.  God knows each and everyone of us by name, the number of the strands of hair that is on our heads, and the names of all the stars.  I believe that God will use whatever means necessary for us to know that it is him. 

A few years ago, after going through a horrific divorce, I longed to see my dad who I hadn’t been in contact with for a while.  I searched for him, and unfortunately, came to a dead end.  About two weeks later, I had a dream that I was with him on the bus in Chicago, and he was wearing the leather jacket that he often wore when I was a kid.  I looked down at his shoes and pants, and I realized that he had the appearance of not keeping himself up.  So, in the dream, I pondered over asking him if he was homeless, but I was afraid to ask.  I woke up, wondering what this all meant.  Less than a week later, my dad got on the bus that a family friend was driving, and he was able to connect with my aunt who brought him to my house. 

The sight of him nearly made me fall to the ground.  He had indeed hit hard times and was homeless for a period of nine months.  God has given me a lot of situations like this to speak to me.

In several other instances, I thought that it was me being strong-willed/lazy in regard to something that someone else wanted me to do with them.  I am not a strong-willed person.  However, I am human, and a sinner.  And like all of us broken individuals, there are things that we know that we should do, but don’t feel like doing, and we fuss and go on and do it.  I thought this was the case in about three situations, then I realized my whole will had changed because God was trying to tell me that it is something that I shouldn’t be doing. 

It took a while to see the pattern.  They weren’t bad things.  They were things that I had already dealt with in my healing.  There was literally a pulling in my chest, and a feeling in my spirit that said, “No!  This is not for you.”  I was surprised because one time I had planned to write a certain devotion, and I felt God’s Spirit telling me, “No!”.  I decided to write on a different topic that night: Handpicked by God.  As I was riding in the car the following morning, I received confirmation that I made the right choice by getting a 3-minute clip on a Bible Teacher’s message.  It coincided with the new devotion.  The words that came out of her mouth were almost verbatim to what I had said in my devotion.  I choked up with tears.  What I thought was simplicity was God exemplifying that he is a God of order.

God can also have us to sense things in our spirit that something is wrong when we talk to people.  Their emotions and psychological dysfunctions can enter our emotional, psychological, and spiritual space.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure this out.  We are usually able to detect this in patterns after a while. 

A few months ago, I had the feeling that my confidence had been stripped away.  This was due to the trauma and the cycle of shame that revolved around it.  Even if there were things that I knew how to do, I would get afraid of not being able to do them.  This is indeed a problem with trauma, where you can forget how to do certain things temporarily at any point and time.  However, it isn’t often that it happens.  And I realized just recently, that Satan was using this fact to create low confidence in everything that I did.  Right around the time that revelation hit, I had three different instances of God speaking to me in regard to this confidence. 

The first one included a conversation with someone that I met who was able to discern this.  The second conversation was from someone wishing me a happy birthday, and then stating that 2019 would be the year of confidence for me.  The third time was reading a book, and having a specific chapter speak on self-confidence, the importance of it, and how to lean into God’s love to get it.  For some reason, I had never thought about praying for confidence. 

Here are some Truths that we can meditate on when it comes to Hearing from God in the Midst of Chaos

  • Being too busy will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
  • If we are limited to our way, we will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
  • The failure to act in obedience in the small window of time that God gives us in emergency situations may hinder us from hearing God’s voice.
  • When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we miss the opportunity to bless someone.
  • When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we also miss the opportunity of bringing possible correction or rebuke to that person on an issue that God was already trying to show them.

Part #3 Hearing God’s Voice

Samuel learned to identify God’s voice.  And unfortunately, he had some sad news to give to Eli, who had neglected his duties as the person in charge of the temple in 1 Samuel 3:

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.

And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.

And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

I have had situations where I felt God speaking to me about sharing with someone in regard to my own person struggles.  However, I allowed my own shame, and the worry about other peoples’ perception of me get in the way of obedience.  There have been other times that I was more afraid of ugly face crying and losing control in the process of vulnerability rather than the obedience itself.  I had to speak truth to myself about this.  It is sin.  I am calling it what it is.  When we know to do good, and we don’t do it, it is flat out sin.  I hope that you have enjoyed our episode of Hearing from God in the midst of Chaos.  God bless, and until next time.

Related Post:

Hearing God

Hearing God

hearing God, katina horton, valley of grace, hearing God's voice, Elijah, Samuel, poetry, author, podcaster, blog. listen, waiting

Background on Hearing God

This poem is meant to uplift your hearts when you are crying out and hoping to hear from God with a word of assurance. Be blessed!

hearing God, katina horton, valley of grace, hearing God's voice, Elijah, Samuel, poetry, author, podcaster, blog. listen, waiting
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Hearing God

We will hear him.

Just be still.

He will guide us.

Father’s will.

May be big.

May be small.

No mistaking

When he calls.

Holy Spirit

Is our Helper.

Thank you God

For “Intercessor”.

Other Related poetry

Little Whispers: Songs in My Heart

Comfort of Worship

Bible Verses to Meditate On:

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Psalm 32:8-9

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3