Christian Living

4 WAYS TO ENSURE GOD HEARS YOU

Is there any way to be certain that God is hearing your hearts cries? Any way to know for sure He is listening? The answer is yes! The Bible actually provides us with 4 simple steps to follow that will guarantee God’s ear. So you want to be heard? Here’s how:

4 Ways To Ensure God Hears You - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

Step 1: Be humble

  • humble- not proud, haughty, arrogant, or assertive; not thinking of yourself as better than others; reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission; not costly or luxurious

For a lesson in humility, look no further than Jesus. In the book of John, chapter 13, we find Jesus showing us the perfect example- the Son of God humbled himself to serve each of His disciples by washing their feet.

Step 2: Pray

  • pray- to make a request in a humble manner; to address God with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving

It’s important to have a prayer life. In Matthew 6:5-18, Jesus teaches us the to do’s and not to do’s of prayer and supplies us with a model prayer, telling us to pray in that manner.

Step 3: Be a seeker

  • seek- to search for or go in search of; to try to find; to try to discover; to try to acquire or gain; to ask for or request; to make an attempt

God longs for us to seek His face. Many times our prayer life consists of maybe 10% of thankfulness (if that), and 90% of asking. We rarely set aside time for seeking, although the Bible clearly tells us in numerous places that we are to seek!

Check for yourself- Deuteronomy 4:29, Jeremiah 29:13, Psalm 9:10, Proverbs 8:17, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 7:7-8, Colossians 3:1-2, Isaiah 55:6

Step 4: Turn away from wickedness

  • turn- to cause your body/a part of your body/something to face an opposite or different direction
  • wicked- morally bad; having or showing slightly bad thoughts in a way that is funny or not serious; very bad or unpleasant

Isaiah 55:7 encourages the wicked to forsake his way. God cannot hear us if we refuse to turn away from that which is wicked and not of or like God.


 

These 4 steps are so simple that if there is anything blocking us from heaven, it’s because we’re making it too hard. How do I know that these 4 steps will guarantee God’s ear?

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”- 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us step by step what our part is and when we do our part, we find an amazing promise of results. Not only will God hear us, but He will also forgive and heal!

So you want to be heard? Yes. It’s really that simple.

*All definitions taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary app.

Sticky Hands

Please Pray For The Borrelli Family!

If you follow us on Facebook, you may already know of the tragic loss that struck Danielle’s family last week.

 

Thursday night, Danielle was notified that her son, Brian, had unexpectedly passed away.

 

Please pray for the Borrelli family!

 

I don’t have to explain to you how devastating this has been for Danielle, her husband, and their daughters. Having never lost a child that I have held and nurtured, I cannot even fathom the pain. My siblings are living, so I don’t know the anguish that the girls are tormented with. We do all know that it is a horrible thing to have to experience though, even if we haven’t been there.

 

All of us at Raising Sticky Hands to Heaven consider Danielle a dear friend. She is known for stepping up to help others in time of need. Just a few months ago she rallied others together to donate crafts and activities to a hospital where one of her daughters is receiving treatment. They were running out of supplies for their children’s program because their funds were low. The Borrelli family made sure that it was taken care of though and was able to bless the program with an abundance of items, thanks to many that were able to give.

 

If it were one of us in this situation, we know without a doubt that Danielle would go out of her way to help the one who was hurting. I can’t even count how many times she has reached out to me during hard times, just to let me know I was loved.

 

Please pray for Danielle and her family!

 

More than anything, the Borrelli family needs prayer during this difficult time and the journey ahead. Please please PLEASE, keep them in your prayers.

 

If you feel lead, we have created GoFundMe page to hopefully help offset the burden of the expense that has come up. On top of the cost of arrangements, the family has had to travel and spend time away from work. No gift is too small as anything is a blessing. We do not have a set day to close the page, so if you are unable to help right away the page will still be open. The family is set to be the ones to withdraw the donations, so you don’t have to worry about anyone filtering anything out.

 

I want to emphasize that none of them have asked us for help. This was something that we decided to do behind the scenes. (We did ask her if it was okay first, though.)

 

Again, please only give if you feel lead. We know that many are unable, and that is why I want to highlight, again, to please keep them in your prayers as that is what the Borrelli family needs most right now.

 

We love you, Danielle and Borrelli family!

 

 

Christian Living, Sticky Hands

Are You Using What You Have?

Spring is definitely here. The grass and trees are green (and so is the air – pollen!), and the birds are singing songs of joy with the rest of us that the long, cold days of winter are over. We’re not the only ones who have noticed the increase in activity among the birds. A little cat next door has managed to catch two or three birds in the past thirty-six hours. We’ve been watching out our kitchen window as she engages in this barbaric activity.

But really, she’s just doing what she was made to do. She was created to stalk, catch, and kill prey. It’s a job she does well.

We have two cats. The difference between ours and the little bird-catcher is that ours live inside. They only leave the house to make their annual trip to the vet, and that excursion makes them very unhappy. They chase each other around the house, wrestling, jumping, and running to their hearts’ content, but the only hunting they do involves torturing the occasional spider that makes its way into the house.

Our cats have the same abilities that the little cat next door does, but they don’t use theirs to full potential. They have limited opportunities to use them, that’s true, but they could definitely hone them to the point that the spiders don’t get so far into my house!

Using What You Have - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

God has given me abilities that may not be exactly the same but are definitely as potentially powerful as the ones He has given to the people I admire and want to be like. The question is: Am I using my abilities to their full potential?

Unfortunately, the answer is probably not. When I start dreaming big, I bring myself down to earth all too quickly with excuses and reasons why I can’t. I forget that God has given me abilities to do whatever He plants in my heart to do—with His help. I just need to follow His plans and use the gifts and talents He has given me. I have the tools I need, but I have to use them, just like my cats could do a better job of using their hunting abilities.

So, mama, my question to you is: Are you using what you have?

I understand that you have dishes to wash, clothes to fold, meals to prepare, diapers to change, homework to help with, and a husband to stay connected to, all while managing the chaos that is your household with children. But God has plans for you, and you have something to offer the world. Use what God has given you to further His kingdom.

Pray about it. God is just waiting for you to ask Him how He wants you to use what you have.

Christian Living

BELIEVING IN FAITH

“And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”- Matthew 8:13

In Matthew 8:5-13, we read about the centurion who approached Jesus on behalf of his sick servant. At the end of their conversation, Jesus tells the centurion, “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.

 

What a statement! I read that line and immediately thought, what if that was God’s answer for all of us? We know how the centurion believed…he had great faith and believed Jesus was a healer. How do we know? Because the last line of the passage says, “And his servant was healed the selfsame hour.” Wow.

 

We know how the centurion believed. Now consider this, how do WE believe? If Jesus was to make the same statement to us and the answer is hinging on how we believe, would our loved ones be healed? Would the lost be saved? Would the addict be delivered? Would the bound be set free?

Believing in FAITH - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

I believe the answer to those questions for the centurion would have been a resounding yes. He was so full of faith that in verse 10 Jesus said He hadn’t found so great faith in all of Israel. What would those answers be based on MY faith and believing? Ouch! On January 11th of this year, during Sunday morning worship, God spoke to me that we are to start praying and expecting Him to do the impossible (in us/through us/in general). Why? Because He can!

 

The centurion’s faith was so great that the Bible says Jesus marveled. Is our faith anywhere close to that level? Would God marvel at the faith we have in Him or at our surety that He can do the impossible? I want badly for my answer to those questions to be yes. If God says to me, “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee,” then I want to see miracles. I want to see the impossible. I want to have the kind of faith that makes God marvel. All I know is, it’s up to me!

Believe and expect the impossible!

Sticky Hands

When Nothing Seems Familiar

I know I’m not the only one that feels like this.

Maybe you even feel like this…

Either way, I don’t think anyone fully enjoys this sense of not knowing where they are or how they got here. Sure, it feels exciting and adventurous, but also scary.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with where I am. It’s just that life is not what I thought it was going to be. It’s better, more beautiful, and a ton more work… but it’s just not what I ever thought life would be. Perhaps this is why people have a mid-life crisis and jump completely out of their own character and into a personality completely parallel to anything that resembles them. I can kind of see how it happens now, as without Christ I would probably stand back some days and shake with fright. Actually, I pretty much did that during a divorce at 22, so I get it. But now I’m 33. I do way too much thinking about “how will this all work out” and while I seem to have moments of tears and stress, I don’t completely snap.

Because, if I’m being honest, it is the excitement of “What will God do with this next?” that keeps me from freaking out.

Romans 8:28 - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

My first dream, before anything else came to thought, was to be a Mom. It was always at the top of my goals. There was a time as a little girl that I wanted to be a lawyer and later a doctor. Different hopes and dreams were born and faded, but the only dream that grew was to have a family.

What I didn’t dream of was heartbreaking miscarriages, divorce, becoming a non-custodial parent, and having special needs children. I didn’t plan for illnesses, failed moves, children in surgery 1800 miles away, extended business trips, unfinished blog series, a kitchen covered in dish soap, and a lot of waiting. I never anticipated so many tears. Ever.

I look around some days and wonder where I am and how I got here, because nothing seems familiar.

But without those broken dreams, I wouldn’t appreciate the blessings that God has given me. I wouldn’t understand how miraculous it is to give birth to a living child. Never would I have understood how rare it is to find a good man who loves his family, puts them above all else, and after years together still puts up with this neurotic wife of his. Maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated all the little moments with each of my children if 2 of my kids were not with me all the time. While the most difficult job I’ve ever had, being a special needs Mom has brought more love into my life than I ever imagined. Everything has brought growth and wisdom that I would have never gained otherwise.

Over the last few days, I realized that I need to put a reoccurring dream on hold once again. I’m not going to say that I’m not disappointed. I am. But again, I can’t wait to see what God will do next! The dream isn’t broken, just on hold. The peace that Jesus brings is so sweet and nothing else can compare.

After all, my biggest dream has come true. Waking up every day as his wife and their Mom is a wonderful feeling, and being God’s child is amazing!

God is unchanging, and will always be familiar.

If you’re looking around and not quite sure of where you are and how you got there, cling to our Heavenly Father. He knows exactly what He’s doing and has a better plan than any we could ever imagine.