Don’t Stifle the Holy Spirit

ABC’s of Faith
1 Thes 5:19
Don’t stifle the spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a fire burning inside each of us. That fire can be a steady, bright guiding beacon or a soft glow in a dimly lit room. The fire can also be stifled into an unsteady flickering and inconsistent smolder that ebbs and flows in an unpredictable fashion.

The Holy Spirit wants to articulate himself in all we do. Oftentimes however, we do not allow the Spirit to be seen in what we do with our lives. In fact there are times we douse the fire with water by doing what we know full well is wrong or not doing what we are being prompted to do.

One thing is certain. Normally, a fire is not quenched by accident. When we are camping and it is time to go to bed we take definite steps to make sure the fire is completely out and will not burst into flames during the night. The last thing we want is for a storm to blow in and for the sparks from our fire to blow all over the campground and start other fires outside our fire ring. So we take steps to make sure the fire is completely out.

I am relatively certain it is safe to say that our inner fires go out from neglect or because someone takes the necessary steps to put them out.

How do we put that fire in us out every single day?

This is how.

Disobedience, criticism, sin that we just can’t seem to let go, bitterness, unforgiveness, no compassion, gossip in any form, these things will stifle the Holy Spirit as surely as if we drowned the fire with gallons and gallons of water. As detrimental as those things are, the real dousing of the fire comes when we know we are ignoring God’s call, the real dousing comes with repeated refusals to do anything about these things.

Surely the biggest way to put that inner fire to bed for good is to say NO to God.

We must answer when God calls. But we all know that often the call that God gives is met with a resounding answer from us that goes something like this. Seriously God? Do you know who I am and what I am doing here? You cannot ask me to do this now, I can’t, sorry I am doing too much good where I am, catch me next round, we will talk then.

Without even realizing it we have just lost time, opportunity and possibly even lost life. Life will go on to be sure but in a much more difficult way.

If we answer when God calls and obey, the Spirit’s fire will burn strong in our hearts. It is like adding wood to the campfire and watching it bring light to the surrounding darkness.

The actual fire may be contained in a fire ring but the evidence of your light can be seen in the whole campground of your life and I guarantee you people will be drawn to your light.

So let the sparks of the Holy Spirit fly and watch as those embers drift away and ignite the waiting, watching and listening bystanders at your campfire with the same fire that burns inside us.
Dottie
……………………and so I rideDistant-campfire-Thompson-Nicola-British-Columbia-Canada 12002332_10206656297400053_5005078583630896450_n

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Cast Your Cares on the Lord…really

ABC’s of Faith

Cast your cares on the Lord

Psalm 55:22New International Version (NIV)

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

In other versions this same verse says, Give you burdens to the Lord.

This particular version seems to fit a little more closely as life can seem like a burden at times. Life is life, life is driven by worldly passions and life can become a heavy burden that quickly goes beyond our power to manage. Life is heavy. Burdens can make your heart feel heavy and burdens are usually prominent when we see something painful in our future.

We are told to give those burdens to God; it doesn’t matter if those burdens are lost jobs, financial ruin, wayward children,  poor health or any number of other painful things. Scripture tells us to give those things over to God and HE WILL SUSTAIN US.

How to turn those things over seems to be the real question. Yes we want God’s help in troubled times, who wouldn’t? But handing things over is easier said than done. How?

Prayer is the way we communicate with God, but think about how you approach God.

Look at Hebrews 4:16. Hebrews 4:16

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Do you approach God with boldness and confidence or meekly and afraid? Are you afraid to ask God to meet your needs even though scripture tells us again and again He is there to help us?

Notice in Hebrews 4:16 that God does not promise that we won’t get blasted with some mighty ugly stuff, we all know that we just may, in fact probably will at some point. However and more importantly, He does promise grace and mercy to get us through these times. When He allows painful events, He will provide for EVERY NEED those events create.

Check out Psalm 50:15 also.

Listen my friends, He promises that He will provide……..take the time to read the following scripture and store it in your heart.

Cast your burdens on Him and know that in times of trouble you will receive the wisdom you need to make the tough decisions. James 1:5

Cast your burdens on Him and know that you will receive the finances you need to fulfill the call He puts on your life. Matthew 6:33

Cast your burdens on Him and know that you will receive the comfort you need for all your heartaches. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Cast your burdens on Him and know that you will receive the grace you need to be faithful to God when the going gets tough. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Cast your burdens on Him and know that your will receive the strength you need to carry on. Phil 4:13

Cast your burdens on Him and receive all the joy in Him that makes the situation bearable. Romans 8:18

It is quite simple really (not the same as easy). If you trust God and take Him at His word, go ahead, give Him your burdens, He will sustain you. Period. Do you believe it kinda, sorta or do you believe it enough to just do it?

Dottie

…………….and so I ride

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But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God- Matthew 6:33-34

ABC’S of Faith
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33
Sometimes we think of our Christian lives as the blessings that God should continually give us. We seek Him for the doors He opens, and for the dreams He can make come true. There are times, probably more often than not that we believe every day should be like Christmas morning if we are Christians. After all we follow God, right?
God does want to fulfill all that we desire, but only if it furthers His Kingdom. He ALWAYS knows what is best for us, EVERY SINGLE TIME, no matter what we may think.
Humble obedience however is a prerequisite, as is faith, belief in God’s timing and a love of our Father God that outshines all else.
Everything we think, all we desire, and do should reflect God’s desires. We must mold our lives into what God desires. However, we tend to do that when it is convenient, when we aren’t armpit deep in work/family/friends. I don’t think that is what God had in mind.
Simply put we are to surrender all. Every corner of our lives, every crack, crevice, every dark hole and our closed closets. Give it to God.
Daily sacrifice of self is not only welcomed by God but it is a necessary part of seeking the Kingdom of God.
Seeking the Kingdom of God will open the door for Him to rain down His gifts on us. It is only when we seek His Kingdom that we can fully realize that God wants to fulfill the desires of our hearts and to believe that He can do what He says!
Many of us we have felt for many years that we were the only ones we could really count on, it is darn scary to give control over to anyone, even God. However, if we trust God, the first time and every time, things will fall into place because God will put them in place, His Place.
Put your doubts in your pocket and simply trust. Realize that an eternity with our Father is worth far more than anything this world can offer us anyway. Throw your cares on Him and trust that as you are seeking His Kingdom He will be there to receive you into Glory.
Dottie
………………and so I ride
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The ABC’s of Faith

The ABC’s of Faith
A
Always Give Thanks-
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18New International Version (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Life is………well life. Not every day can be wonderful and great. In fact some days can be downright tragic. It is those days we look around and ask ourselves, how in the world do I pull off this being thankful thing?
I don’t think that you have to be thankful that you got a diagnosis that shattered your life or that you are hit with financial hardship, that you wrecked your car or lost your job.
You can throw Satan a curve ball though,
You can stand in thankfulness while you are going through your situation. Thank your Father in Heaven and shout praises to Him in the middle of your crisis.
Be thankful to God in all things and through all things. Being thankful will bring you joy, peace and happiness. Being thankful will change your outcome.
Be thankful for those who show up in your life at just the right time.
Be thankful that even though your body hurts, sometimes to the point of distraction, you are still alive and there is plenty that is still right.
Be thankful the sun is shining, the moon is rising, and the rain is replenishing the earth. The grass is growing and the birds are singing. Have you stepped outside and just looked?

Be thankful that there are simple pleasures that make you feel joy, that make you happy and make your smile. What about the things that bring you comfort.
Be thankful that you have an inheritance through Christ.
Be thankful that your sins are forgiven.
Be thankful that you have been adopted as a child of God and you are unconditionally loved.
Real faith is exemplified by realizing that even though we have not received what we want from God, we have accepted what He has given. Often the good things that come out of a situation are not clearly seen, but we can rest assured that God is working to strengthen us inwardly and mold us into the image of Christ.
I found this quote and love it. “Where we cannot trace God’s hand, we can trust His heart.”
Be thankful for you are loved.
Dottie
…………………and so I ride

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Walk in Love- The Heart of the Christian Life

LOVE

I would like you to consider four verses of scripture this morning.
1 Corinthians 13:13
1 John 4:7-19
Ephesians 5:1
Luke 10:27-28

Eph. 5: 1. “Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children ……
Paul puts that pretty plain and to the point doesn’t he? “Be imitators of God…..”
Simply put, we are told to be Godlike in an ungodly world.
Not Gods, but Godlike, there is a difference.
To be Godlike is to reflect the only one true and holy God. We are to be strong………in Christ, we are to be happy but not in the way the world lusts after. We are to be wise and kind and have power, but once again, not as the world knows……..we have power in Christ. We love our neighbors as ourselves.
The rest of the verse says “therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
We reflect God and God is love.
The bottom line is LOVE is the very heart of the Christian life, we are to walk in love.
Love one another, just as God loves us. I think the world has a pretty skewed idea of what love is. Love does not exist to make us feel good. Yet I think that we all have sacrificed our ethical and moral principles in one way or another to gain that feeling. We have a million ways to justify our actions when we do things to others that lack even the smallest amount of love.
However, real love is more than a feeling, love is a choice and an action. Love is selfless.
A few ways God shows and has shown love:
• Creator
• Provider and sustainer
• Healer
• Counselor
• Comforter
• He guides, guards, directs us
Tough act to try to live up to isn’t it? Except we don’t have to do it alone. Tap into the one who gives us the resources to live how He desires us to.
You are after all a LOVED child of God. Each and every day God will provide you all you need, he will heal your mind, body and soul, He will guide, guard and direct you. Would God ever direct us to do something that He will not give us the support to do? NO! There is truth to the saying that “If He brings you to it, He will get you through it.
Go ahead, walk in love. You will be surprised the momentum you will gain.
Dottie
…………………….and so I ride

Ride hard but don’t forget to refresh and renew!

Those of us who have motorcycle ministries and even those who don’t, have had a busy summer. Although we may never know how many or how deeply we have touched lives, we have rode hard for God this season.
This past weekend we found a chance for refreshing and renewing of our spirits. It was a weekend of fellowship, good food, good riding and the quieting of our minds.
A period of renewal and refreshing is so important for doing the work of the Lord can be as exhausting as it is exhilarating. This weekend we gathered with our Christian friends, we invited new friends that we were camped beside and offered the best fried fish to any one that happened by. We had biscuits and gravy and world famous blueberry pancakes together in the mornings. Mugs of hot tea went from campsite to campsite and I found a fellow chocolate milk lover. There was more than a little good (ok phenomenal) riding that brought childlike smiles and heart felt high fives!
It was a way to gather close to those we love and invite new friends into that circle. It was healthy, invigorating and spiritually renewing. Everyone was free to come and go as the Spirit led them. That was the beauty of this weekend, no schedules, no expectations and time to follow where God lead us each individually. There was no room for hard feelings as we all went in the direction that God directed.
If felt as if the edges of my world were slowly giving way to the dry and crusty desert and this weekend I saw that dry and dusty desert burst back into bloom.
It certainly looked different for each of us as we all took different directions to the same place. The one common denominator was that parched souls found the healing power of living water. It was beautiful, restful and peaceful.
I am pretty sure that the feeling of a successful weekend is with all of us. As God’s word refreshes and renews our minds our spirits become more in sync with that which God wants for us. Sometimes it is necessary to get completely away from “life” to find the things that are most important.
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jeremiah 31:25 – NIV
Dottie
………………………and so I ride
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The End of the Conversation

The end of the conversation went like this. “God bless you”, which was answered by “He already did!” Both parties then went on their way and if I had to bet I would say that neither gave a second thought to how the phrase “He already did” was so abundantly true.
By not acknowledging our blessings every single day we might as well be saying ‘just where and when did He bless me, I am not seeing it”
Ouch, that must hurt God when it is so perfectly obvious that we are so very blessed. We like to keep God in the box we have fashioned for Him as it pertains to our lives. We love to tell others, God has got this, let Him do it, while we are stuffing Him back into the box we have given Him in our lives. With God securely in His box it is easy to miss the everyday blessings.
We can continue to ignore the blessings heaped on us but I wonder just what we are missing out on when we refuse to let God into what constitutes the whole of our lives.
Look around you, blessings abound, no matter your circumstances, God is there. Are you missing the blessings? Are you walking right by the blessing because it is not conventional or it does not look the way you thought it would look?
Are you missing the blessing because you have preconceived ideas of what your life should look like and how it should progress? We must remember that God uses unorthodox methods to bring about extraordinary results.
Oh, He can follow the status quo but as often as not, He does not. God is wonderfully unorthodox and will use whatever means He needs to bring you into line with Him.
Look around you and allow the sense of wonder that only God can generate to permeate you. Let God out of His box because to be narrow or single minded could very well mean that you will miss the best of God.
Open the lid, let God know that you are on board when He works in your life, when He works in His time, with the people He chooses and in His way. Open that box and watch the light penetrate the darkness, watch the light change your world.
God is blessing you, God is answering our prayers, it just may not be in the way we expected, however that does not mean He is not doing it. God will get you exactly where you are supposed to be. You can count on it, I promise.
Dottie
………………..and so I ride
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