It’s a Book Review

“Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God”

by Mark Batterson

 

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Whisper” is about learning to comprehend what God is saying to us in areas we may not have considered before. 

The Book begins with an effect called The Tomatis Effect. It’s the idea that we have been deafened by the sound of our own voice. And in the words of Dr. Tomatis, “The voice can only reproduce what the ear can hear. (p.1). Batterson brings up a thought invoking question. “Is it possible that what we perceive to be relational, emotional, and spiritual problems are actually hearing problems– ears that have been deafened to the voice of God? And it’s that inability to hear His voice that causes us to lose our voice and lose our way.” (p.2)

Part One is broken into three parts explaining the power of hearing the whisper. 

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The majority of the book is spent in the second part. The Seven Love Languages.

Scripture

Desires 

Doors

Dreams

People

Promptings

Pain

And it ends with a beautiful epilogue. It really was a grand finale.

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The book is full of history stories and science lessons. With every page, I feel like I learned something so interesting. Batterson talks about hearing God’s voice in areas other than the Bible. This could be somewhat controversial but Batterson uses scripture to back up everything he says. At first I was a bit skeptical but everything he says lines up with the Bible. “Whisper” is set up into two main parts and each chapter is shortened into smaller sub-chapters. This makes the book easy to read for those with less time. Every reference is well cited in the back of the book. 

 

I feel like a learned some of the most interesting things while reading this book. It’s filled with history and science, but best of all, it all ties back to the scriptures. Everything he says is backed up by the Bible. To me, that makes it worth reading. 

“Whisper” is set up where each chapter is shortened into smaller sub-chapters. This makes the book easy to read for those with less time. Every reference is well cited in the back of the book. 

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This book was sent to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

Also reviewed on Amazon.

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The beginning is coming. We’ve made it back around to January. We’ve got New Year Resolutions, big plans, and confetti flying at us from every direction. I just wanted to hop on here and share one of my resolutions with all of you. 

Our Pastor, at FAC of Rome, challenged everyone to read the entire Bible this year. So, we ordered Bread Bibles. They give you a certain amount of reading for each day to ensure you read every book of the Bible before the year ends. I’ll be starting January 1st, along with a whole bunch of people from my church. If you’ve been thinking about picking up your Bible but you don’t know where to start, this is a perfect time. 

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See you next year,

Olivia Fortner

Teach Me to Speak– Teach Me to Listen

Our lives have to show a real love for our Savior so that Christianity doesn’t become just something that we do because it seems good. We must hold tight to their hand and lead them home. We’ve got the roadmap, remember? 

This year, I’ve realized how the world is so much bigger than just my generation. My grandfather passed away. This was the first time I’ve experienced the grief of death. A new baby was born from my generation and it just doesn’t seem like we’ve been here long enough for such. We were the new kids on the block and now they’re saying we’re the experienced ones who have to show the other kids the way around. We have the roadmap in our head and we’ve got to walk them home. No-ones holding our hand guiding us anymore. But they are holding our hand following us.

 

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Nearly the most important thing a person learns is a language to communicate with their surroundings. When one begins to teach a language, the student must already have experienced that language in some way. Children pick up a language by watching and listening to someone else use that language. They need the basics before they can communicate enough to excel in speaking and listening effectively.

. . .

Why is it hard to learn spiritual communication? Why is it, often times, difficult to pray? Why does talking to God seem foreign to us, like a language we’ve never learned to speak? I think it is because the basis of our language learning is observing others communicate in that language, and we don’t always get that initial introduction. We skip straight to the grammar and spelling books when we haven’t yet learned the alphabet. We fumble through digging deeper into understanding great volumes of theology before we learn to speak to God in fragments and simple sentences.

But why are we so compelled to launch into those harder things first? Maybe the observing stage goes undone because it’s awfully hard to observe anymore. 

 

I’ve been studying Spanish, but I’ve only read the textbook and I’ve done it by myself. I haven’t listened to how people annunciate their words in Spanish. I never watch their body language in approaching a situation. I’ve never picked up on how to communicate in a real setting. As a result, I cannot communicate, in Spanish past a little bit of head knowledge that is probably used incorrectly anyway. 

This happens in the language of prayer. While we should not pray to be seen, we should be seen praying. This is such an important factor in the spiritual education of our children. This is the first steps in learning how to communicate. Observation. 

How does one know how to worship if they’ve never seen what worship looks like? We must position ourselves for a miracle so that those who don’t know how to kneel at the feet of Jesus will learn. We have to set disciplines in our prayer life or they will never know that discipline is a necessary factor in consistent prayer. Reading the Bible, listening to God speak, has to be in our daily routine as their example. Our lives have to show a real love for our Savior so that Christianity doesn’t become just something that we do because it seems good. We must hold tight to their hand and lead them home. We’ve got the roadmap, remember? 

Remind them it’s ok to speak in broken sentences when the meaning behind them is communicated real and raw. It’s alright if we don’t have every detail figured out. Let them know it takes trust and hard work, but it is worthwhile. 

We have to teach them the lingua franca of God. We must show them how to listen to and speak with Him. It’s a language all it’s own.

 

. . . 

“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,” –Titus 2:7

. . . 

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” –1 Timothy 4:12

. . . 

” Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” –Matthew 5:14-16

. . . 

” …being examples to the flock.” -1 Peter 5:3

 

Leading beside you, 

Olivia Fortner

A Note: & The Blog Turns 2

This blog has been around for two years now. 

So, here’s a quick note since it’s the 2nd Birthday of this space. 

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“If I ever do get to be a fine writer, it will not be because I am a fine writer but because God has given me credit for a few of the things He kindly wrote for me.” -Flannery O’Conner

 

There have been times filled with words and inspiring writing and there have been days where my brain felt stuck and I couldn’t write a thing. But still, I put my fingers to the keys and type away. Sometimes the things I write are terrible; sometimes they actually sound ok. I know I’m not a fine writer, as Flannery described, but I do know that what I write can affect people. I’m not writing just for the sake of doing it. I want to take this ability God has given and use it for His glory.

 

I think that’s what we all should be doing. Using the things we’re given to bring God praise. Multiplying our talents (Matthew 25). Growing the Kingdom. Making disciples

 

Whatever comes, we should take the spark inside and spread the fire to the people around us. We often talk about catching the world on fire or changing the world, but we need to spread the Holy Ghost fire to the people nearest to us. We need to change ourselves before we can ever think about changing the world. Start small. Keep building. The small things will add up. One day, every brick and every little bit of mortar we’ve laid will be a beautiful piece in the story God is writing us all into. 

 

Go eat some cake,

Olivia Fortner

 

Photo cred: http://avetisiperoz.ro/5-feluri-de-a-impacheta-cadourile-mai-altfel/

Do you love me?

Jesus spoke these words three times, to Peter.

“Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. -John 21:17 KJV

 

“I don’t want to hear God say, ‘You cared more about following people than me. You were supposed to feed the others, not follow them’.” -Hannah Brencher-

 

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” –Galatians 6:2 

 

I am not here to follow people. I am here to serve people; to feed them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am here to bear the burdens of those around me. I am here to be here. To be present. To be where my feet are. To show up when people need me. To turn off the screens and look people in the eye when they speak to me. To let them know I’m listening. I’m here to show people that they are more important than whatever is happening on the other end of the screen. Because they are here. This is now. And we’ll never have this time again. “Today is not rehearsal. This is your life.” -Dale Partridge- FullSizeRender (1)

This is our life. It’s time to really start living. We don’t get a redo and being present is our calling. 

 

Jesus is calling us to feed His sheep.  

He wants us to be doers like He was. He wants us to meet with people. Go over for dinner even when people think we’re crazy for being that person’s friend. Remember the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19)? Cry with people and laugh with them too. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” –1 Corinthians 12:26-

 

 

It takes more than showing up.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” Hebrews 10:24

Wow. Provoke? Every time I think of that word, I think of someone making me extremely angry on purpose. Consider others and provoke them to love. Provoke them. Push them to the point of love, on purpose. Intentionally make them want to do good things. 

 

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:25. We’ve got to band together with the people who can teach us and with people willing to be taught by us. The Bible says exhort each other.  

Synonyms for exhort: 

Call upon

Encourage 

Advise 

Persuade 

Counsel 

Insight

Prompt

Propel

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” –Hebrews 3:13

 

Juxtapose that and think about the real effects of exhortation. 

We’ve got to show up, but we must do. Action is key. Love. Doing good. Togetherness. Being the catalyst for the person next to us. That is how we feed His sheep. 

 

 

When I read John 21, I imagine it went down kind of like this:

 

    Jesus looks to Simon Peter and says, “Do you love Me more than anything else?

    Peter replies with something I’m sure we’d all say if we were sitting next to Jesus at dinner, “Yes. You know I do.”

    But Jesus doesn’t come back with a typical reply. He says something that kind of seems out of the blue. “Feed my sheep.” 

    Peter goes back to his dinner.

    Again, Jesus asks him, “Do you love Me?”

    This look forms on Peter’s face like, can you hear me? You just asked me that. “Of course I do.” 

    And Jesus throws His same response back at Peter. “Then why aren’t you feeding my sheep?” 

    (Crickets chirping on Peter’s end…)

    Jesus, “Do you love Me?” It’s like a cycle of do you love me, yes, then prove it; but there seems to be no action to prove it.

    Peter pipes in again, “Come on Man, I just told you I love you. You already know everything. You can read my mind.  I do love You!”

    Still, Jesus is sitting there, getting a response in words when He’s looking for a response of action. “Then what are you standing here for?” I imagine Jesus saying. “Feed my sheep.” If I could read Jesus’ mind I’d imagine Him thinking “If you did love me, you wouldn’t be sitting here talking about it. You’d be out there feeding My sheep.” 

 

 

I want to prove my love for my Savior. 

Let’s prove the love we have for Him. He deserves it. Let’s call upon each other for encouragement and advice. Let’s set each other up to do great things; to love and to do good. Let’s propel each other forward by bringing excitement in the Word of God. I want us to be a people who are in love with the things that will keep us in love. Let’s be in love with the Word of God and prayer. They are the things that will keep us. Let’s join together and listen to the preaching from a man sent by God, Himself. Let’s be there for each other and do good things for the people who are here in our lives, right now. Do you love Him? Then where is your proof?

Olivia Fortner

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In-Between — Candor

“In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.” (Sid Caesar) Throughout our lives, we will experience in-betweens. I am personally experiencing an in between, and am struggling. I was seeking the Lord on how to approach this, and I felt led to listen to Amanda Cook of Bethel Music, as […]

A great post to read via In-Between — Candor

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Memorial Day: Live worthy of what you’ve been given.

Memorial Day. The day we bring to remembrance and give honor all who have given their own life for ours and for the life of our country. 

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

 

Without the fight for freedom, surely we’d be under a dictating rule. Without all that they gave, our nation would be no more. But thankfully our states are united and our freedom and rights remain. Oh the miser, pain, and torture they went through to attain such a great thing for us.

Let me tell you, even though courageous men and women sacrificed themselves so we could live, we still have wake up every morning and choose to live a life worth dying for. They thought the lives of their future generations were worth dying for. Let’s not let that be in vain. Soldiers gave their lives because they knew you and I were capable of doing something great– of doing something worthy of what they gave.

 

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Along with those American soldiers we are honoring, there’s someone else who gave their lives so we could live and live freely. The veterans who have fought and died for us gained our physical life and freedom; but nother warrior gave His life for our spiritual life and freedom.

Physical pain and suffering. Having to leave loved ones. Torture and death. Just like the soldiers who died for us, Jesus died for us. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” I Corinthians 15:22. 

 

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John 10:18

 

Here’s the question I’m asking today. Are you living a life worthy of what you’ve been given? If you feel like you’re living anything less, know that there’s more. There are greater things. Through the death of those before you and the coming to life again of our beautiful Saviour, there are greater things for you and me. There is freedom from all that keeps us from choosing the Higher Call, and it is attainable.

Let’s stand in honor to those who’ve gone before us. Those who’ve redeemee our freedom. Let’s thank them by waking up every morning and choosing life. Over and over again, I will choose life and live worthy of all I’ve been given.

 

Olivia Fortner

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