Close

Encouraging and Engaging (e2) Christ-Centered
Media for the Church and the "Christ-Curious"

  • CONNECT WITH US
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Reflections of Grace Slider

I felt as if I was going through the motions of life, but without the joy.  “Lord, where is my joy today…. I was walking along a river, and my surroundings were beautiful, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  I knew Jesus was there, but I was yearning for something more this day and wasn’t sure what. I felt cantankerous and out of sorts.  I just kept walking.  All at once, Jesus was on the scene.  Activity was going on all around me, but it was as if I was encapsulated in the sweetest air that was almost palpable.  I stopped, took a deep breath, and looked up.  There, above my head on a bare tree branch, was a lone sparrow.  He was hopping around and just stopped when I looked at him, and he looked right back at me.  At that moment, I remembered Jesus’ Words in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Matthew 6:28 & 10:29)

Honestly, at that moment I had this profound sense that Jesus knew what kind of day I was having, and He was letting me know through this little sparrow just how important I was to Him.  Interesting, too, that I was having a woman kind of day. You know, one of those days when you feel totally unattractive. Then He shows me this unattractive little brown bird.  And at that moment I saw the sparrow through His eyes, and I actually felt love and was delighted with the little guy.   Jesus cared that I was having an out-of-touch kind of day, and He was walking with me through it by sharing this little bird with me.

Image: R.F. Hadley

Image: R.F. Hadley

The way I see it, we have three choices each day, to experience Jesus in this way, in our every-day, get-up, wash-face, eat-breakfast, do-laundry, clean-house kind of day:

♥ Choice 1: When you rise in the morning, at that moment, make a conscious, determined decision that He is present no matter how you “feel.”   Don’t assume that because you are feeling a negative emotion, that He isn’t right there.  He didn’t say, “I will be with you only on good days,” He said, “I will be with you always.”

♥ Choice 2: Start talking. Yes, acknowledge His presence and start talking to Him.   This takes effort.  We are so in tune to having a visible person in our presence when we are talking, that it is hard to just start talking to Jesus about just anything.  You see, I believe that God created us for His pleasure and companionship.  Didn’t He walk and talk with Adam and Eve before the fall?  When sin entered in, it cut them off from enjoying God’s daily tangible presence in their lives.  So tragic.  But then Jesus came to restore the fellowship with God that we were created for.  He paid the price for our sins long ago, so that we now have direct access to God through His Son–who is perfect in every way, and He says, “When you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”   We can walk and talk with Him now, just like Adam and Eve did.   I know this to be true because I do it.  So, as an act of your will, start talking.  Tell Him how you feel that day.  Tell Him your concerns, joys, and about the things you need to surrender to Him and are struggling with.  Don’t forget to be thankful and tell Him of your love for Him.

♥ Choice 3:  Exercise your faith.  Believe He is there, because He is.  (In Him we live, and move, and have our very being.)   Remember, faith is something you can’t see or feel, but simply must believe because He says it is so.  So, keep talking and believing, and this will move you into the realm of His Spirit.

You will be rewarded with a tangible presence of Jesus Himself.  This kind of walk doesn’t come overnight.  It takes time to develop.  But why on earth, if we know this kind of relationship with Him is possible, don’t we want to take the time to press into it?  And keep pressing into it until we begin to hear His voice.   Yes, He will talk back.  You will become more and more able to know it is really Him speaking.  You will be conversing with God!   He will not let you down.

Most people I know who struggle with this, have a hard time believing it is His voice they hear.  He is always talking, we just don’t believe it is Him.  Have wildly abandoned faith, friends.  Be willing to get outside the box of your doubt and unbelief, and just write down what He says that you think you are making up.  That is His voice.   It comes as a thought you know you didn’t think.

The Lord constantly speaks to us and gives us His direction. It’s never the Lord who is not speaking, but it’s us who are not hearing. Jesus made some radical statements about hearing His voice in John 10:3-5. He was speaking about Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep and the only way to enter the sheepfold.

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:3-5)

 

Notice that He said in verse three: His sheep hear His voice. He didn’t say His sheep CAN hear His voice or SHOULD hear His voice. He made the emphatic statement that His sheep DO hear His voice. Most Christians would question the accuracy of that statement since their experiences don’t line up. But it’s not what Jesus said that is wrong; all true believers can and do hear the voice of God; they just don’t recognize what they are hearing as being God’s voice.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Reflections of Grace Slider

Though we have the promise that as His sheep we hear his voice, too many believers are starved for that intimate relationship that alone can satisfy the desire of their hearts. Many people who have read my blogs ask me how I can be so sure what I am hearing is really Him. Do I just make it up in my head? I get the looks. You know the ones; the small smirk because they really think you are crazy. No one can talk to God, right?. When you are ready to really press in and exercise your faith, I can assure you that when you truly hear Him, there is no one who can convince you that it is not His voice you hear.

This kind of intimacy with Jesus is the key to all that you struggle with in your life. When you know you hear His voice, you will never feel alone again. The awareness that His presence is always there gives you confidence that He is in control, even at the most terrifying times.

Key 1: God’s voice in your heart often sounds like a flow of spontaneous thoughts that you come to realize is not coming from you. It is just like a real conversation, because it is. I imagine Him seated next to me at the table where I study and talk to Him as if we are having coffee (which I usually am). It was at one of these times that He told me to write a book, told me what title to give it, and who to talk to when it was completed. More on that in a later chapter.

Key 2: Be still in your mind so you can sense God’s flow of thoughts and emotions within. I had to learn how to bring all my thoughts captive, and then throw them off. We are always at war with an enemy who wants nothing more than to cloud our communication with his destructive suggestions:

“What will people think? You are deceiving yourself. You are just really losing it, Dixie. What makes you think God Himself will talk to you?

And it goes on and on as long as I am receptive to his suggestions of doubt and fear, and agree with him. Remember, Satan can’t read our minds. He can only introduce his voice as if it is God’s. Don’t agree with him…you can judge it by the Word and how you feel when he speaks. Jesus only brings peace.

Image: cwgministries.org

Image: cwgministries.org

Key 3: As you talk to Him, fix the eyes of your new heart upon Jesus, seeing in the Spirit the dreams and visions of Almighty God. He gave us an imagination to use to exercise our faith. This is exciting. Step out there in the Spirit. Believe in His supernatural power working in and through you. Use your imagination and see Him sitting there smiling at you, chuckling in delight with your personality. He will show you things to come and give you visions and Words. Did you know He has a great personality? We laugh and cry together. I sing to Him, and He sings to me.

Key 4: Journaling. The recording of your prayers and God’s answers brings great freedom in hearing God’s voice. It is a two-way conversation on paper. I have found it to be a fabulous catalyst for clearly discerning God’s inner spontaneous flow, because as I journal, I am able to write in faith for long periods of time, simply believing it is God. Doubt blocks divine communication. When you are familiar with His Word and His Spirit within you, you know when the voice you’re hearing is not His. With journaling, I can receive in faith, knowing that when the flow has ended, I can test and examine it carefully, making sure that it lines up with scripture. My belief is that when you blindly step out in faith, He will never let you down. Jesus smiles and is delighted that you are venturing outside your reasoning. Isn’t that what faith is?

You will be amazed when you journal. Doubt may hinder you at first, but throw it off, reminding yourself that it is a biblical concept, and that God is present, speaking to you, His child. Relax. When we cease our labors and enter His rest, God is free to flow (Hebrews 4:10). Sit back comfortably, take out your pen and paper, smile, and turn your attention toward the Lord in adoration, seeking His face. I just write out my heart to Him…I talk to Him on paper, fixing my gaze on Jesus. I even tell Him about my poor attitudes, my doubts, and my frustrations. When I am through with my prayer, almost immediately I begin to write again as His voice speaks to my spirit. I entitle it “Jesus says:” It sometimes goes faster than I can write, but I simply write it down. Later, as I read my journaling, I am always blessed to discover that I am indeed dialoguing with God. And the best part? When I go back and read what He said, weeks or months later, I have yet to find a time when everything He says hasn’t come to pass.

Just step out there and do it!! Don’t be afraid you are making it up. That is what faith is. You will fall in total love with this wonderful, exciting, personable, smiling, and full-of-love Jesus.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Thank You
Wisdom Matrix
Patheos
Bizvid

e2 media network presents its first live webcast featuring Jeff Allen (An Examined Life Podcast), Dixie Diamanti (Reflections of Grace Podcast), Dewey Bertolini (Jesus in HD) and Suzanne Lederer (Experience God). Together with host Jefferson Drexler (Parent Like You Mean It), they discuss various aspects of encountering and experiencing God healing in peoples’ lives in the 21st century.

The webcast was taped live on February 25, 2015.
Four more live webcasts are planned throughout the year, with the next one coming in April regarding Educating and Equipping Families.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.

Luke 10:38-42

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.  But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Check out suzannelederer.com for a deeper look into the age old worship practice.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.

Colossians 1:19-22 (NLT)

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself.
  He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
 by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.  Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

Check out suzannelederer.com for a deeper look into the age old worship practice.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.

Luke 10:30-37 (NLT)

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

From Suzanne:

Christians have been practicing Lectio Divina for 1,500 years. It was designed to cultivate a slower, more reflective reading of Scripture, a devotional approach. Think about a letter you receive from a special friend or lover, you can’t wait to open it, you savor every word, and it is personal and intimate; words just for you. This is the heart of practicing Lectio Divina! It forces you to get out of your head and tap into your heart, your emotions, and to stop and listen to what God has to say to you, paying attention to the deeper layers of your soul which are often hiding and need to be surrendered to God where you will receive grace and love. This can be scary at first, which was my experience. I was not really in touch with my deeper feelings and motives, and wondered: will God meet me as things begin to surface? My desire for Him to change me in the deepest places propelled me to move forward, to be open and make myself available through the practice of Lectio Divina.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.

Colossians 2:11-14 (NLT)

11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Check out suzannelederer.com for a deeper look into the age-old worship practice.

 

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.

Romans 6:6-11 (MSG)

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

Check out suzannelederer.com for a deeper look into the age-old worship practice.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.

Luke 11:5-9 (MSG)

5-6 Then he said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’

“The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’

“But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

“Here’s what I’m saying:

Ask and you’ll get;
Seek and you’ll find;
Knock and the door will open.

Check out suzannelederer.com for a deeper look into the age old worship practice.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.

Luke 12:15-21 (MSG)

15 Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”

16-19 Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’

20 “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’

21 “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.”

Check out suzannelederer.com for a deeper look into the age-old worship practice.

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Podcast Directory - Audio and Video Godcasting
  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • easysite large
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc