Day Seven: The Place God Prepares For You

Day Seven: The Place God Prepares For You

by David Shannon Wooten – January 13, 2018

Your Heavenly Father claims you as His child. He declares it to the world. You are His. To clarify His love for you He uses the example of how a shepherd cares for his sheep. The shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures so they are fed; always protected and always provided for.

Psalm 100:3, “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

Don’t ever doubt God’s care for you. He does not abandon His people. This year you may go through some dry seasons, but you never have to doubt that God will leave you in a barren place for a long period of time. In fact, the place that “feels” like barren to us, God is still providing. His promise to you…

There will be more green pastures in your life than barren places. Not only has God prepared some green bountiful places for you this year, Jesus promises to lead you there.

John 10:3-4, “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.”

Rejoice in His abundance. He is a good Father. He is a good Shepherd that knows how to lead his people.

“We are His people who live in His pasture. God never lets his pasture get barren. He knows how to care for you.”


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Day Four: Prayer is the Path to Peace

Day Four: Prayer is the Path to Peace

by David Shannon Wooten – January 10, 2018

There are a lot of verses in the Bible that instructs us to not worry. It is obvious God is speaking to us to not allow worry to rule our life. Worrying will not solve problems, but it will have a negative impact on our mind and health. When we worry we begin to take our focus off God and place them on our fears. Worry magnifies our problem; prayer magnifies God. Worry is the enemy to your faith. Scripture instructs us that the path to peace is prayer.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you”.

Keep our mind in a place of prayer, in a conversation with God or meditating on His goodness can all be forms of prayer. These forms of prayer will lead us down the path of God’s peace. Worry leads us down the path of anxiety, fear, doubt and a lot of emotional and health problems. Choose the path of peace.

Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“Worry magnifies our problem; Prayer magnifies God.”


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Press the Pause Button – Rest, Reflect & Renew

 

Do you like the ON DEMAND feature of pressing the pause button? The option of recording your favorite show so you can watch it later. In the middle of watching a movie and you start craving popcorn or ice cream and you are able to press the pause button so you don’t miss anything as you walk to the kitchen. You hear a movie quote, or a cool scene that you have to back up and watch again. You’re in an intense moment in the movie, eyes and ears are glued to the screen, and all of a sudden someone comes walking loudly in the room! You can’t hear the dialogue in the movie for the disruption. You press the pause button so you don’t miss the scene. Our life can be full of distractions.

Taking time to rest and reflect is like pressing the pause button on the ON DEMAND controller. If we are not careful we can be so overloaded by the “noise” of life; we can miss the opportunities to pause, think and reflect on what is going on around us. It is important to pause and think deeply about the importance of the people in your life.

Things are not meant to keep producing, growing and running non-stop. Winter is a season for things to reset & rest. Trees take a break from producing and growing during the winter. Even bears go into a level of hibernation during the winter! They are able to sleep for up to 100 days without eating, drinking or passing… ugh… waste!

Our vehicle cannot run non-stop without it eventually shutting down and blowing the engine. The vehicle will run out of gas, the oil will eventually break down and lose its properties to lubricate the engine properly. The wheel bearings and tires will eventually wear without proper maintenance.

My point is most things in life need to pause to take a break. They need to rest and renew. So do YOU. Our bodies and minds are not meant to keep going at the same level of pace all the time.

Listen MOM. Put down the mop. Let the dishes pile up for one day. You don’t have to sweep the floor and fold the laundry everyday. You must put in your weekly schedule a routine, a time for you to press the pause button so you can rest, reflect and renew.

Dad… You too. You cannot work two jobs, constant overtime, 10 to 12 hour days without a system in place for you to rest, reflect and renew. Our performance for our jobs, relationships at home and abroad will not be at its optimum level.

Leaders, CEO’s, doctors, nurses, team members, managers, teachers, pastors, ministry leaders, … we need you and we want to keep you around for a long time. We don’t want you breaking down or blowing an engine. I’m urging you to make it a priority to schedule a weekly routine to rest, reflect and renew.

Determine Your Levels of Rest

How can you pace yourself for better performance and success without burning out? You are probably like me; we have a full schedule every week. Multiple responsibilities. We cannot afford to “take off” 100 days like a bear or the whole winter season. In fact, disengaging for a long period of time is detrimental to our relationships, parenting, career, as well as our emotions, body performance and mental capacity. That’s another lesson for another time. I want us to think about our system, procedure or habits of how we rest. We must evaluate how much daily, weekly and yearly rest we need.

Yearly rest can be a week or several days of vacation each year. If your company does not give you paid vacation days, take advantage of holiday weekends that do not require you to miss work. Yearly rest is where you plan to take more than three consecutive days off. You can plan and budget a trip or just plan a “staycation”. Stay home and rest. Set an instant return message on your emails and phone to let your clients and team know that you are taking a vacation. You will return their call or email when you return from your vacation. While you are taking this time to rest, make it priority to truly unplug from your job and rest your mind and renew your spirit. This time is an opportunity for you to think about all the blessings in your life. Be grateful for what God has given you. Appreciate family, friends, relationships, provision and your purpose.

Weekly rest may be an entire day or half a day. This is where you “unplug” for a short period of time. Put away the phone. Get with friends or family and have FUN! Don’t bring up work, issues, and problems. Go watch a movie, play some board games, go to dinner, go hiking, canoeing, golf, skiing, fishing, shopping. Laugh, cut up, smile, enjoy each other’s company and live in the moment. This level of rest can be weekly or once every two weeks.

Daily rest includes your daily amount of sleep and a quiet time for reading, reflection and prayer. Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Prepare your bedroom and your brain for good quality sleep. Shut or silence phone notifications that may beep or cast a blue light through the night. Your brain will pick up lighting changes and sounds, while you are sleeping. Read a book before you sleep. A devotional and Bible is a great way to bring peace and relaxation to your mind and emotions.

3 Ways to Rest, Reflect & Renew

Developing a habit to rest and reflect will help you bring renewal to your mind, emotions and body. This routine is like reenergizing your batteries. It’s like refueling and providing preventive maintenance on your vehicle. A constant habit to rest will prevent you from not just burn out, it will keep you performing at a high level of creativity, passion and focus to reach your goals and desires for success in every area of your life.

  1. Rest & Read. Schedule a quiet time in your day that you will read something that will be beneficial for personal and spiritual growth. What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t happen. Set the atmosphere that is conducive for reading and reflecting. What do you like? What do you enjoy? What relaxes you? Drinking coffee or hot tea in the morning? Sitting on the deck watching the sunrise or sunset? Playing worship, jazz, classical music on a low volume as background music? Pure silence? Prepare the moment. Your brain and emotions will anticipate and crave these quiet moments of rest.
  2. Reflect by writing in a journal. Express what you are reading, learning, how you are applying new principles, where you find joy, what areas you feel fulfilled. Write creative thoughts that come to you. Quotes that touch your heart and soul and express a deep truth. You can journal business ideas, ideas for inventions. Poems or songs may come to you in this time of reflection. Don’t be surprised when answers and solutions become clear for certain problems you are facing. Reflect on what is making your relationships healthy. Evaluate your priorities, are you reaching your goals, do you need a “tune up” or preventive maintenance in any of these areas?
  3. Renew your mind, soul and spirit. When you feel like life is spinning out of control; schedules and to-do list are increasing, I have found one small action has helped. Take time to get quiet. Get still. Press pause on life and give time for your mind and emotions to calm. I discovered something years ago that I love. Its one very simple way that brings quick rest and peace to my mind. On a warm June day in Tennessee, I was a young boy lying on my back in the middle of a grassy field. As I’m gazing into the sky, I notice a slight summer breeze that seemed to push and squeeze the clouds that looked like huge cotton balls. I was amazed as I watched the clouds begin to press together and form bigger clouds. As the clouds scrolled, the deep blue sky and spotless white clouds were intensified. As I’m watching this amazing scene, I realized how calm, relaxed and at peace my mind and emotions settled over me. I love God’s creation. I love how taking time to appreciate nature and God’s creation seems to bring rest and renewal to my soul. There is something so peaceful about taking quiet moments to gaze at the mountains, walking in the woods, staring into the bright blue sky or a starry night. Don’t underestimate the power of pressing pause throughout your day so you can embrace creation, nature, and the meaningful relationships in your life. Find a park and take a walk. Find a trail in the woods and embrace the sights and sounds of God’s nature. While you are in your quiet time, meditate on scripture, talk with God; thank Him for His creation and the blessings in your life. You will find this small step of pressing pause will bring clarity to your mind, calm your emotions and renew your spirit.

You may think you have to quit, you don’t have the strength to continue on, but what your body and mind may be telling you is develop a habit to frequently press a pause to rest, reflect and renew. I believe you will find renewed strength, energy and passion.

Isaiah 40:31 (NASB) Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.