Leslie Vernick
March 3rd, 2015                                                                                
What's New?
  • To All Our Pennsylvania Friends: Leslie will be speaking in the Lehigh Valley on Saturday April 11th for a morning session on "Lord, I Just Want To Be Happy". Pre-Register by calling Jordan UCC at 610.395.2218

 

 
 
 
Feedback

My Relationship With God Has Grown Stale .. Now What?

By Leslie Vernick
 
Sometimes my spiritual life feels boring. I go through the motions but I’m not really growing. My heart doesn’t love God more nor am I really thinking about His glory or His will throughout the day. My learning is informational truth but fails to become transformational truth.
 
When I get into those slumps (as I’m sure you do too) it’s time to make a switch. Here are five changes I make (at different times) that help me recharge and refresh my time with God.
 

1. Read the Scriptures out loud, or listen to it audibly on CD. Sometimes when we read the same Bible verses over and over again they start to get stale and fail to grab our heart in fresh ways. By listening to God’s word out loud you will hear things differently and will fall more deeply in love with who God is.

 

2. Memorize a portion of Scripture that has an action step. For example, James 1:19says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Join my “Do the Word Challenge" for 2015 where we are memorizing a new verse each month, not merely learning the verse but also practicing what it says for the entire month. You’ll be amazed at your transformation by the end of one year.

 

3. Slow Down. Sometimes when I read my Bible, I’m rushing to get a certain amount read each day. Although I loved reaching my goal of finishing the entire Bible last year in 90 days, sometimes I am none the wiser because of it. Slow down your reading. Focus your attention on a few words, or a single phrase. Psalm 139 is a wonderful Psalm to savor. Begin with the first line, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.”   What does that mean to you? Can you trust that God completely knows you and that you never have to fear the loss of his love?

 

4. Meditate. Meditation focuses our intellect, reason, imagination and will on a particular topic, story, verse, or image, allowing God to speak to our heart in specific ways. The Psalmist says, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Psalm 119:15,16).

 

Once I was struck by the story of those who brought their friends to Jesus for healing (Matthew 15:29-31). I imagined people bringing their sick friends before Jesus filled with hope about this miracle man who healed people.
 
Maybe their sick friends didn’t want to come, maybe they were skeptical, yet it was the arms and legs of their friends that carried them to Jesus when they could not, or would not bring themselves. I asked myself, how could I do this for my friends? How could I carry those that I knew were sick, crippled with fear or blind with unbelief to Jesus? Praying for my friends now became more than words, it became dynamic action. 

 

5. Go silent. What would it be like for you to spend a day or weekend with no cell phone, computer, television or talking?   To be alone with God? We live in a world that bombards our senses. Rarely do we take time out of our demanding lives for quiet and solitude. Yet God says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). It’s often in those quiet times where God shows up. Practicing silence even for five or ten minutes at first can be quite unnerving.

 
Yet, by carving out periods of time whereby we are quiet, both our inner life and our outer life become renewed. It is in this space that we not only come to understand our own thoughts better, but to begin to grasp the mind of God.
 
Learning without application isn’t real learning. It’s head knowledge, not heart change. The Lord asks, “For who is he who will devote himself to be close to me” (Jeremiah 30:21)? Will you? 
 
Martin Luther wrote:
 
 “This life therefore,
is not righteousness but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be,
but we are growing toward it;
the process is not yet finished but it is going on’
this is not the end but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.”
 
 
 
 
Can God Be My Deepest Friend?
 

Question: I’ve been a Christian for a long time. I believe in the Bible and have asked Jesus to forgive my sins but I want to experience a deeper spiritual life. I don’t really know what it means to practice God’s presence or abide in him. Can you help me learn how to do this?

 

Answer: I know what you mean. For a long time in my own Christian life I knew the right things to believe and believed them but I didn’t understand what I could do other than read my Bible and pray to experience a closer walk with God.

 

Many of us never receive any training in learning how to experience God’s presence or how to listen for his still small voice. We know we should but actually knowing what to do to make that more likely to happen isn’t taught very often.

 

I don’t claim to be an expert in this. I am still learning so I will share some of my observations and experiences with you and some ways I have learned to experience God more fully. Perhaps others can comment so that we can collectively learn other ways of how to abide in Christ and he in us.

 

First we are not going to experience God if we are too busy to hear him or even notice him. God assures his people that he is always present with us (Hebrews 13:5) but we are not often present to him. He says he is in us, all around us, and Paul reminds us that “in him we live and move and have our being (Acts17:28). We are never alone (Luke 17:21) and so the problem isn’t figuring out how to get God to be present to us, but rather how to get us to be aware of God’s Presence that is already with us.

 

Recently I was struck by the words of Job. He said, “Behold he passes by me and I see him not; he moves on me but I do not perceive him” (Job 9:11). God is in us and with us but we don’t perceive him. In another example, Jacob woke up from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it” (Genesis 28:16).

 

So how do we learn to be more aware of God? First, slowing down and being still is key to perceiving God’s Presence. He tells us to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

 

Our lives are so full of noise that we must be intentional about creating pockets for quiet and stillness. I’d recommend making silence a regular part of your daily prayer. I have discovered that prayer is much more about listening for God than telling him what he already knows. Start with 5 minutes of silence and work up to 20-30 minutes each day. When distracting thoughts start swirling around in your mind, just gently let them go and return to being still.

 

One way of thinking of this period of silence is being willing, eager and open for God to make himself known. You can’t make yourself “see” him or “perceive” him anymore than you can make a seed take root. But you can make it more likely that a seed will take root if you prepare the soil and water the ground. In the same way, practicing the discipline of stillness and silence, prepares you heart to “notice” the Presence of God more readily.

 

It prepares your heart to be “in tune” with a larger spiritual reality that is always there, but like radio waves or cell phone waves, we can’t “experience” them unless we are tuned in to the right frequency.

 

A second way to be more present to God is to spend more time in nature. The psalmist declares that, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Paul tells us that we can know God by observing the natural world. (Romans 1:19,20), but instead of honoring him and thanking him we exchanged the truth of God for a lie and became foolish and our hearts were darkened.

 

As I write this I am on the beach in California. It is hard to not experience God’s Presence amidst such beauty. But our busyness and priority on productivity robs us of actually experiencing beauty, even though it may be all around us.

 

How many times do we fail to notice what is right in our own backyard just because we are too busy getting things done or worrying about the next thing on our list of errands or chores. Slowing down and intentionally noticing what is already there, helps us be more able to “notice” those God moments as well.

 

Lastly, Jesus tells us throughout the gospels, especially in the book of John that abiding in him and in his word is key to experiencing his Presence. Abide means to stay close and connected. It is an experiential knowing, not an intellectual assent.

The Word of God isn’t merely the scriptures; it is Jesus himself (John 1:1-14).

 

How close would you feel to someone if they were always too busy doing other things to spend time with you? How connected would you feel if whatever he or she said you didn’t remember, or didn’t believe or think was importantJesus told the religious leaders “my word finds no place in you” (John 8:37). Instead of seeing your time with God as one more thing to “do” in your day, begin to cherish your time with God as if you were a lover in love and see what happens.

 

As you read God’s words to you, ask him what he wants you to pay attention to. When something jumps out at you, take time to ponder it throughout your day. I believe as you do these things, you will become much more aware of God in you and with you.

 

Connect With Me
 
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE
 
ARTICLE

My Relationship With God Has Grown Stale .. Now What?

 

COACHING 
Accepting Coaching Applications
Click here to get started.
 
WHAT'S NEW? 
Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie
 
BOOK GIVEAWAY 
I Believe In Heaven by Twila Belk
 
LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
Can God Be My Deepest Friend?

 
 
COACHING INFORMATION
For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below:

 

Coaching Programs

 
 
BOOK GIVEAWAY
Interesting Image
I Believe In Heaven
by
Twila Belk

What is heaven like?
When I die, will I go immediately to heaven?
Will I see my loved ones there?

Have you ever asked these questions? Maybe you can only imagine the answers, but now you can better know what to expect. I Believe in Heaven contains inspirational, true stories from the Bible, history and today that will give you hope, comfort and assurance about the place that awaits you. You'll read . . .

• Firsthand accounts of people who died and returned to tell their stories


• Biblical and historical evidence of life beyond this life


• Consistent reports of overwhelming peace, love and joy in another realm

 

The recent renaissance of interest in heaven is inspiring. After all, the death rate here on earth is 100 percent. Twila Belk’s new book couldn’t be more timely. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. 

I Believe in Heaven is an excellent book that will help you and those whom you love be prepared. Read and enjoy...you’ll love what happens next! 


- Don Piper

 
If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide your name and email address.

 

The Winners of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spagethi by Bill and Pam Farel are William W. & Julie S.

 
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 

March 6, 2015
First Friday Event
SouthLake, TX
 
March 11, 2015

Leslie will speak on "Discovering the Hidden Blessings Of An Imperfect Marriage"

Wednesday March 11, 6:30-8pm.  Casablanca Bridal Flagship Store
Crystal Cove Shopping Center
7942 East Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Our R.S.V.P. is: 949.205.1440 or [email protected]

 

April 11, 2015
Leslie will be speaking in the Lehigh Valley on Saturday April 11th for a morning session on "Lord, I Just Want To Be Happy". Pre-Register by calling Jordan UCC at 610.395.2218

 

May 22, 2015

NCBA Conference

7 PM - 9 PM

Lancaster, PA

 
 
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING
 

 

"Living in a destructive relationship was like sinking in quicksand. I'm not sure I would have made it out on my own. Leslie provided the hand I needed to begin to pull me out and help me dust myself off.

 

She helped me see how much God valued me and that I was not honoring Him by allowing myself to be dishonored and destroyed. Most importantly, I learned that though God hates divorce, He hated what was happening to me in my destructive marriage even more. I am so thankful for Leslie's sound, biblically-based teaching on these issues.”  

 

-Woman in a destructive marriage

 
 
LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
 

Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.


Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.


Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.

If you no longer wish to receive our emails, click the link below:
Unsubscribe
Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States