Noise

If you read my blog yesterday you know the story of how I got in my car yesterday and the Holy Spirit whispered some meaningful words to me. If you didn't read it... go read it :)

Today the Lord spoke to me about what happened. As I got in the car I immediately turned on my radio. It wasn't until after I turned off the radio that I received the impression in my Spirit.

Many times we are so busy, and have so much noise going on in our lives, that we don't stop to LISTEN to the Holy Spirit speaking to us.

Ps. 46:10
BE STILL, and know I am God

Most of us can quote 1 Kings 19...
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

I believe the enemy has done a great job of making my generation afraid of stillness and silence. There is hardly ever time for sitting peacefully and listening for the voice of the Father. Many kids these days can't even study or do homework without music on, they can't sit on the couch without the tv on in the background, we don't ride in the car without the radio on etc...

Yesterday I went with my neighbor for some much needed "girl time". I have been so busy that most of my friends have gotten for the most part shoved to the side. I had free time yesterday evening so Katelyn and I decided to go spend some time going to a nice dinner and doing some shopping in the Woodlands. The whole way over and back in the car the radio was off because Katelyn and I had much to talk about. Why would I turn the radio up to make Katelyn have to scream to be heard? No, I wanted to hear what she was saying... so I turned the radio off and in result we had awesome conversation and real quality time.

What makes us think it should be different with God? To facilitate a real relationship with Him there must be dialogue! Times when I talk and times when I listen. Times when I SET APART time just to hear my Daddy God's heart and yes to share mine. Times when I turn off the cell phone, the radio, the tv, cd's, itunes, and sit in stillness and silence to listen to God speak.

Here is the question I had to ask myself "if I knew God was whispering would I still turn the radio on?"

The fact is I know is that God does speak in a gentle whisper to my Spirit, and I know that God wants to talk to me!!! (I won't go on my rant about the fact that all Christians hear the voice of God, I'll just say go read John 10:27)

So how much time are we spending in set apart time in stillness, silent, listening, because we want to hear the voice of God.

Just as I wanted to know what was going on in my friend's life, I had to set apart time, turn off the radio, and listen.

Turn off your radio,
Be Blessed,
J. Tate

The Insignificance of Me

There are almost 7 billion people living on planet earth. There are over 300 million in the United States alone. Abraham’s descendants have become as numerous as the stars, just as God promised.

This morning I walked out of my house abnormally in a rush. I tend to work on the schedule that early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. So as I was feeling late this morning I was in a haste to get to work and admittedly hadn’t said one word to the Lord from the time I woke up (late) to the time I stepped out my door.

Now before you completely judge me I have to say that I have my “quiet time” in my office, so my worship, prayer, and Bible reading is typically not done until I get to my office.

Right before I climbed into my car, I happened to glance up and was captivated by the pure awesomeness and beauty of the stars. Many of my most intimate times with God have been while beholding His natural creations like the stars, sunsets, sunrises, waterfalls etc. The stars were so awe inspiring as they spread across the early morning sky I felt so small and so humbled. I just whispered “Lord I’m so small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things” and I sat my bags down to just take a minute to admire how big and powerful my Creator, my Daddy, is.

Let me make a note here, never be in such a rush because of your own schedule and agenda that you step out of being led by the Spirit. So many times we miss intimate and impactful moments with our Father because we’re so concerned with our own agenda. As much as I HATE being late, I’d be late 1,000 times over for heartfelt conversation with God, I’d be late to anything if it meant hearing from God about something, He wanted to talk about. There is nothing in my life that takes priority over Him, His agenda, His voice, His leading, or simple and sweet time with Him.

After a minute or two I went ahead and put my bags in my car and climbed in once again intent on beginning my day as usual. As I started the ignition the radio came on and I began to sing along to my morning praise music that I listen to every morning as I drive to the school, but this morning something just didn’t feel “right”. I turned off the music as I slowed to a stop at a stop sign and I sat still for just a few seconds until I heard the impression in my Spirit:
“All of those stars and I know them by name, I put them in place, I know where they are, I know when they move; All of the people in the world and I know you by name, I put you in place, I know where you are, I know when you move, you are not insignificant to Me”

I’m a 23 year old single female who lives in the middle of nowhere Texas. I graduated college at Texas Tech University and now I teach school at the local junior high, coaching various sports. I attend church and try to be as involved as possible serving when needed. Perhaps to anyone who receives my resume’ I seem quite insignificant and unimpressive, and yet I get to use the Creator of the Universe as a reference.

All I can really say is go talk to Him about what He says about me because He says I matter to Him. I may never be internationally known or have great influence over millions of people, but I can pray and He hears me. I can hurt and He cares for me. I can weep and He catches my tears. I praise and He inhabits my praise. I intercede and He moves on behalf of my prayers.

Small and Insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but I find my identity in Him.

Be Blessed,
J. Tate

Bufelo

Today in my class my students were playing a modified game of tag in the gym. I decided to have some music playing to make it more entertaining for them. As they were taking their water break I just started dancing to the song that was playing. I make a habit of often being a little goofy to let my students see that yes I am stern, tough, and demand respect, but I also have a fun side and am human. Being goofy and opening up often leads to opportunities to find out more about who they are and to share more of who I am... a Christian.

As I started dancing the girls just laughed and laughed and one said “Coach Tate, you’re always just so FULL OF LIFE”. I thought to myself praise God, she’s noticing!!! As we were going into the locker room she said “Coach why are you always so happy?”. Of course you know me I’m waiting for any opportunity for a door to open. So I said well, I’m happy and full of life because I am a Christian and FULL OF JESUS! She just sort of looked at me weird and went on in to the locker room.

I firmly believe that every time I’m in similar situations and I’m given opportunities to explain why I am joyful, why I don’t listen to that type of music, why I don’t watch that show, why I act the way I do, every time I’m planting a seed for them to remember that Coach Tate was different, and different because she had Jesus.

Everyday we make decisions. We make decisions on what our attitude will be like, how we choose to react to various situations (positive and negative), we choose to be joyful or not, we choose to see everywhere we go as a mission field or not, life is full of choices and someone is always watching those choices.

Joy is something that every Christian should have. The bible says that in the presence of God is fullness of joy, it says that a fruit of the spirit is JOY (and the Spirit resides in me), we have a Savior that died for us. We have no reason not to be joyful!!

I remember while teaching in Botswana one of the young ladies on staff for LBOM told me one day that she was giving me the African name of “Bufelo”. Bufelo meant “life” and she said Jessika, You’re just so full of life!!!

I know what I’m full of and it is life, it is THE life of Jesus Christ. He fills me up and He flows out of me. I pray that in the hard days and the easy days I’ll remember what I’m full of and make the choice to let Jesus flow out of me. To let His joy, love, mercy, compassion, humor, and care flow out of me to everyone I’m around, so that they will see that Jesus brings life.

The blog I wrote in Africa when I got my nickname:

http://jessinbotswana.blogspot.com/2010/02/bufelo-quick-update.html

Be Blessed,
J. Tate