Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Staci Stallings - Talking to Mountains

Talking to Mountains

By: Staci Stallings

I have a new favorite preacher. He comes on on Sunday morning when I'm getting ready for church. I can get more out of listening to him for three minutes than I get out of most in 30. I'm constantly going, "Man, that's good. I've got to write that down!"

One of the latest revelations from one of his sermons was this: In the verse, "If you had the faith of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Be thou removed and be cast into the sea,' and it would obey you..." God says we can talk to mountains and command them to move. I've heard this verse many times before, but when Dr. Simpson said, "Understand, in this situation, somebody is talking to somebody," I stopped like slamming on the brakes. "You see, either you are talking TO the mountain, or the mountain will be talking to YOU, but somebody will be doing some talking!"

I'd never thought about it quite like that before, but think for a minute about the attributes of a "mountain." It's BIG for one. Also, we don't normally think of mountains as being on wheels--i.e. they are tough if not impossible to move. Finally, mountains are just "there." They don't seem capable of listening or even caring what we think. They simply stare down at us, proving our smallness to all the world.

Dr. Simpson went on to this effect: You have your own mountains, and you hear them talking. Maybe it's in the middle of the night when you can't sleep. They are talking--telling you that you can't handle this, you are not strong enough to cope with this, that THIS is something you can't ever fix or find a solution for. That mountain continually taunts you to believe in your smallness. In short it says, "This is too big for you."

It's a mountain all right.

I don't know what your mountain is. It might be a financial mountain of debt. It might be a mountain of health problems or social problems. Your family might be your mountain or your lack of faith. Your mountain might be going back to school or deciding to stay home and raise your kids. It might be a friend or former friend. It might be someone who's hurt you terribly. It might even be a dream you thought you had to have but is now slipping from your grasp.

Or maybe it's another kind of mountain--drugs or alcohol, a habit you simply cannot break, a love you can't let go of even though you know it's killing you. Maybe your mountain is your spouse or your children. Maybe it's yourself.

Whatever your mountain is, I'm quite sure you know its voice well. "You can't..." "What's wrong with you..." "Why does this work out for everyone else but never for me..." "Why me...?" "This isn't fair..." "It's just not right..." "If only..."

You've heard your mountain's voice. There's almost no doubt about that. The question is: Has that mountain heard YOUR voice, or even better GOD'S voice?

In order to talk to your mountain, you need some words from The Word--yes, that means The Bible, but it also means The Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. In other words, you need to start hearing the words of Jesus, spoken into your life on a continual basis, so you will learn what to TELL that mountain.

"Mountain, you do not control me because although compared with me, you may be big, compared with my GOD, you are nothing but a grain of dust. Understand me. I am now giving you to my God (that's the having the faith of a mustard seed part--not trying to deal with this on your own, but learning to give those mountains in your life over to God and His wisdom). I am putting you in God's hands. I am trusting in God's love for me more than in the illusion of your power over me. God, please break the illusion of power that this mountain tries to exert in my life. Set me free..."

Talk to that mountain. Talk TO that mountain.

And it will be cast into the sea.

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2008

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Staci has a special surprise for you today and tomorrow only...


Feb. 1 & 2, 2012, Staci's novel

Coming Undone

If you've ever searched for love, been afraid to love, or lost someone you love, you will love Coming Undone."

The story of two people trying to live life by the world's rules who find that loving someone only happens when you learn to love without asking what you're going to get in return. Available as a free download from Amazon today and tomorrow only!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Praise God in Advance!

Our praise is one of the most powerful weapons that we as Christians have. There are many things that we can accomplish through our praise that we could never accomplish one our own. But what is praise really? Praise is the act of expressing approval or admiration. It is also the offering of grateful homage in words or songs as an act of worship. When we praise God we are telling him that we admire Him, we admire his intervention in our lives and we admire his creations.

When we praise, we confuse the enemy

In 2 Chronicles 20 we see that the Israelites were being threatened by the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites. All these armies came together to fight against them. They formed a very large army and Jehoshaphat did not think that he would be able to beat them. Before he did anything, Jehoshaphat inquired of God what his next move should be. In verse 15-17 God sent his word to Jehoshaphat comforting him. The Lord said to Him “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

When I read that verse, I was comforted in my Spirit. The Lord was saying to Jehoshaphat that he need not fight, the battle was not his, but God’s.

Jehoshaphat heeded the word of the Lord and assembled his people, but he did something very pivotal, he placed the singers in front first. Not the warriors, but the singers, the praisers, those who would usher in the presence of God. Jehoshaphat knew that God resides in the praises of his people so he set up a praise. By the time they neared the enemy, their camp was in disarray. The allied army began to fight among themselves. God used the praises of his people to confuse the enemy and they were defeated without even having to fight.

Praise also moves the hand of God

In Joshua 6 we see how the Israelites marched around Jericho for seven days upon the counsel of the Lord. On day seven, when they shouted, the wall of the city came tumbling down. Now, it is not the shout of the people that brought down the wall, but, upon hearing the praise, God moved on their behalf.

Praise God in Advance

Sometimes it is necessary to praise God in advance. We may see a problem that seems insurmountable and nothing that we could ever do would get us out, but praise unto God in spite of our circumstances lets him know that we trust him and we trust his judgment. It says “God, I know that you have my best interest at heart and that you will move on my behalf.” It also says “God, even if you don’t do what I want you do for me, I will still praise you.”

Praise solidifies our relationship with God and shows him that we appreciate his goodness. I encourage you to praise God in advance of your victory and watch the hang of God move on your behalf. Watch him confuse your enemies and watch your situation turn around!


Joana James - Author of Nightmare at Emerald High & Alana and Alyssa's Secret

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quit Driving from the Back Seat

It's easy to love God isn't it. I mean, somebody sent their ONLY son to die in your place. He took away all your sins the moment you confessed them and asked for forgiveness. He spends time in heaven looking out for you, counting the hairs on your head, orchestrating plans to make sure the vehicle that should have hit you today passes by just a split second before you step onto the street. I mean, how could you not love a God like that, right?

Loving him is easy. But can you trust him? If you love to be in control of your own life like me, then you probably have a big problem trusting God, just like I do. It's not that I don't trust him in general, It's exercising that trust and then letting him take control of the vehicle of my life that's the issue. I find myself doing some back seat driving. Telling him where and when to turn, telling him that he's driving too slowly and getting angry when he tells me that I we have to stop some place when all I really wanna do is go further, faster.

I'm sure many of you would agree with me that a relationship will never work without trust. No matter how much love there is floating around in there, if there's no trust, two people can drive each other crazy! (remember Marcus and Angie in "Why Did I Get Married?")

Well, my encouragement to both of us is this: Learn to trust the one you love, he's already saved your life, so obviously he has your best interest at heart. Quit driving from the back seat. Let Him do his thing. He knows where to go and how to get there. Let Him do his thing!

Joana James - Author of Nightmare at Emerald High & Alana and Alyssa's Secret

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Five years ago today...

Five years ago on January 17, 2007 I was wheeled into an operating room, strapped to a table and cut open. My doctors were afraid that they would have to remove my left kidney completely. Six weeks before that, I learned that I was born with a defect in my kidney that meant it never drained completely.  My doctors didn't find it until I was 23 years old so for 23 years my kidney was racked with infections that threatened to render it useless.

As I reflect on the last 5 years, I am extremely thankful to still be here. Part of that journey felt like an uphill battle but I'm still alive and I'm still kicking! I still have two kidneys even though I am still struggling with constant infections. I can do things that many people can't. I still dance full time, I still sing for hours on end at my church. I still work hard, study hard and play hard. And I owe every minute of my life to my heavenly father. The going was rough sometimes and many times through the years I felt like God would never heal me. But the fact that I'm still here is testament to his goodness.

So as I pass this small milestone I just had to say thank you publicly to my heavenly father for keeping me. Now, five years later, I've published two books and I'm slowly making progress and fulfilling some of the things I've always wanted to.

For that, I will be eternally grateful.

Joana James - Author of Nightmare at Emerald High & Alana and Alyssa's Secret