Category Archives: Guide Dog Adventures

Transforming Our Hearts

TRANSFORMING OUR HEARTS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV

We’ve been invited to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. We must travel back in time two-thousand years. We don’t know the bride and groom, but we know many in attendance. There’s Mary, the mother of Jesus. And there is Jesus with His disciples.

Mary looks disturbed as she speaks to Jesus. It seems they have run out of wine. Mary told the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do, so Mary must have been in charge of these festivities to some degree.

John 2:6 tells us six water pots of stone are present. Jesus tells the servants to fill them to the brim with water.

Afterward, Jesus   told the servants to draw from these same six water pots and take it to the master of the feast.

Shocked and relieved, the servants gasped when the master declared this was the good wine. The servants knew Jesus had turned the water into wine.

But I think we overlook something here. Six is the number of man. Why is it important that there were six water pots? The stone water pots could be the hearts of men. The stony dead heart of a man unregenerate by God. The unsaved man. The man without a relationship with Jesus Christ.

But when Jesus enters, that cold heart is transformed into a heart of flesh. Just like the water was transformed into wine. The same miracle takes place in our hearts when Jesus saves us.

There is a change. One noticeable by all who come in contact with us. Everything is different and new.

Speaking of Himself, Jesus said,

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38NKJV)

Jesus has the living water we thirst for. Nothing else will satisfy us. We can try to quench our thirst with what the world offers. We can try to fill that void with sex, drugs, porn, money, and careers, but until you have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, you will never be satisfied.

As Christians, we receive our daily renewal from the water of the Word and the Holy Spirit, making daily Bible study a vital part of a healthy spiritual life.

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, )Titus 3:5 NKJV)

As we read, the Spirit applies the Word to our hearts, and we are continually being sanctified.

Have you experienced the heart transformation that only comes through Jesus Christ? If not, today could be your day of salvation. Christian, have you slipped away from spending time in God’s Word? Now is a great time to begin. Jesus truly is the greatest heart surgeon.

Holy Spirit, cleanse and sanctify me through the Word. Mold me into the image of Jesus. Thank You for saving me and transforming me into a new creation. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read John 2:1-11.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is something you can do this week to spend more time with God? A great start may be to brainstorm ideas to prevent interruptions during your quiet time. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

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Guide Dog Tale: Enemy Resistance

 

ENEMY RESISTANCE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 NKJV

When people speak to me (or any visually impaired person), I either respond cheerfully because I recognize the voice, Or I sound hesitant because I am uncertain whose voice it is. Discerning the voice of God isn’t easy. Many years passed after God saved me before I recognized His voice, in particular that still small voice.

But when Satan speaks, we usually hear him loud and clear. He vocalizes the fears and concerns we are fighting to overcome. He appeals to the old man, our flesh. In order to adhear to the correct voice, we need to follow the advice of James.

Submit to God. Obey God. Listen to God. A week prior to my Gatlinburg trip, I distinctly heard from the Lord. Empty myself. Fill up on God, and then begin writing. I bubbled with excitement about what God had in store for me on my writing retreat.

But when we arrived at the hotel, I began drowning in despair. The desk clerk alerted us to the park rangers who were tranquilizing the bears there. What? Iva and I had a bear encounter last year, but we were trusting God for our safety.

“Don’t go outside alone, especially with the dog.”

In horror, I gasped, “I am staying here alone. My husband is returning home.”

I unpacked as I debated on going home with my husband and forfeiting my time with God.

We went to get groceries, but I chose to wait in the car with Iva. In a dark parking lot, I found verses about fear and protection on my phone. While my hubby shopped, I spoke verse after verse over myself. Peace began to chase panic away. I called a friend who prayed Scripture over me.

When hubby opened the car door, I heard a tree frog. That was God’s exclamation point. The song of one tree frog had comforted me my first night at guide dog school in New York. Now, it consoled me here, especially when I heard some outside my mountain hotel room.

Speaking the Word of God and the Lord’s encouragement, I resisted the devil. If I had left, I would have defied God rather than being submissive.

For ten days, bears roamed, but we avoided them. God surrounded us with an army of angels.

Can you distinguish the voice of God? Which voice do you listen to? The voice of faith or the voice of fear. The voice of peace or the voice of panic.

As you pray, lean in to learn the voice of God. Intimacy with God resists intimidation from Satan. Then the enemy will flee.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.