Wyoming Wind

My husband and I were studying the Holy Spirit this morning. This devotional is adapted from what we studied.

Living in Wyoming we are well acquainted with the wind. They say our mountains are to low and our prairies are to high, therefore we deal with an excess of wind.

There are days that if you are a woman you don’t wear dresses or skirts because they end up around your neck. There are days that the car doors are blown shut on your legs, hands or fingers. There are winter days that the already low temperature feels doubly cold because the wind is blowing and it drives the wind chill way down. It is so windy here that the wind blows the wind turbines over. It is so windy that by the time you have shoveled the snow off the driveway and sidewalks you have to start over because it has blown shut again.

Heaven forbid if you try to walk against this horrendous WY wind. Walking against the wind is a struggle, it creates drag and walking becomes harder and harder and you become tired very quickly.

I like to think of the Holy Spirit as the wind. When we walk against the Spirit we are fighting against the wind, we are creating a drag on our life and we get worn out and stumble easily.

However, turn and walk with the wind, The Holy Spirit, and you will find no drag. It will be much easier. The Holy Spirit will guide you to what is holy and away from what is unholy. Walk with the Holy Spirit and you will be moved ahead, you will be empowered and the power of the wind will be at your back.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Advertisements

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

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
IMG_0228

ee82d4fc35d5a45474394092ae969854

You sparkle like a snowflake

You sparkle like a snowflake.

Spiritual Gifts
I have a dear friend who lifts me up no matter the circumstances. She stands by me no matter the situation and plain and simple understands me. We were talking about spiritual gifts after church the other day and she was downhearted because she didn’t feel she had anything to give and she was struggling to see where her spiritual gift(s) lie. The truth was perfectly obvious to me about her gifts but I wrestled with how to get her to see the truth.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about spiritual gifts. 1Corinthians 12 says that the Holy Spirit gives us gifts or special abilities to use to attend to the needs of other believers. It should be noted that the real purpose of our gifts, no matter what they may be, is to lift up and minister to other believers. Though some of these gifts like writing, singing, etc can be used in the world to make us rich and famous, or to bring glory to ourselves, their first and really only purpose we should strive for is to use our gifts to minister to other believers and bring glory to God.

So how do you find what your spiritual gifts are? I found spiritual gift tests online you could take, books you can read, even programs and group studies that you can participate in.
There are several places in scripture that list spiritual gifts, Romans 12: 6, 1 Cor 12:8, Ephesians 4:7-12, 1 Peter 4:11, to start. I do not think that these lists are meant to be a ‘choose the one that fits you best list,. N a check all that fit you list and then go do it whether it fits, feels good and you are good at it kind of list. I think that instead of a menu it is more like a place to start, a list to think and pray over.
I truly believe that God wants to use your personality and uniqueness in a way that is true to only you and is duplicated in no on else. We quite possibly and most probably have more than one spiritual gift that is mixed and measured to be used by us personally in a way that cannot be duplicated by any other.
We are kind of like snowflakes in that they all originate from the same circumstances but fall to earth distinctly different and each quite beautiful in their own right. So it is with God’s children, we all have gifts that originate from Him but by the time they fill us they are unique to us and distinctly and uniquely beautiful.
So it doesn’t matter if we can write about what matters to God, or sing about it, photograph it, paint it or if our gift is a simple as a hug, or to be able to lift shattered spirits, to stand by a friend no matter what or to be able to offer a heartfelt “I understand” ………………whatever the gift is that God has bestowed on you , it is a beautifully unique gift given to a beautifully unique you. No one else can use the gift that God has given you quite like you can.
Your gift may no be apparent to you my friend, but it shines all around you.
Dottie
……………………and so I ride

Spiritual Gifts

A Personal Road Captain for the Journey.

Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

I ask for guidance all the time and I know God answers my prayers. I have seen it happen again and again. However, I am human to the core and I not only need guidance, I need a detailed map, that has the plan laid out step by step with landmarks, photos, directions and a road captain.

This makes me think of our 4000 mile motorcycle vacation this summer, we had all the modern technological navigation devices available to man, we had a couple of GPS devices, and everyone had a map application on their phone. But that didn’t change the fact that we ended up turning around and going back to find the right road (a lot), then finally huddled somewhere along the route with Earl, Bob Welch and John P McClelland hauling the old standard, paper maps out of the saddle bags to help us find our way.

ImageImage

It would have helped if we would have had someone along the way who knew the way and the plan intimately and who made sure we interpreted the information correctly. We didn’t however and we encountered many wrong turns, detours and aggravation but we did eventually arrive at our destination!

Like I mentioned earlier, I ask for guidance all the time, for personal reasons, to guide me at work, for every situation you can imagine. What I tend to forget is that I do have a personal Road Captain, I do have someone along with me who knows the details of the plan and who knows the way.
However, that human part of me likes to strike out on my own without waiting for God, my Road Captain and that causes countless detours and at times the road gets washed out completely and I have to start over from the beginning.

Though Earl, Bob and John got us to our destination and I love all three of them dearly, God is my Road Captain, the Bible is my detailed map and the Holy Spirit is always available to nudge me back on course.

It is nice to have a personally guided tour available to me.

Dottie