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Musings in Color

Musings in Color

November 2021 Newsletter …. to sign up send me an email at mmontreuil @ ymail.com – enjoy!

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Moving God’s Word from Your Head to Your Heart

Moving God’s Word from Your Head to Your Heart

After a few years of many bible studies, formal and informal, I longed so much to see Jesus. I began to not only read the gospel scenes but I’d close my eyes and imagine them—I’d even see myself in them. I’d interact with Jesus in my mind’s eye.

One day, after I had imagined being with the Lord in a gospel event, I wondered what He thought about it. Was I like a child who hadn’t learned to stop imagining and pretending? Was it fantasizing? The dictionary describes fantasizing as “indulging in daydreaming about something desired.” And the word “imagine” used with “fantasy” is described as “wanting something to happen and imagining it.” I had to admit, that described my situation. I reasoned further that God would want what is real for me and Him, and not what isn’t true.

I asked the Lord to forgive me if I’d done something wrong. I asked Him to show me how else I could “see” Him because I longed for Him. Later in the day, the same yearning for more of Jesus drove me to go to a Christian book store. I felt if I read an inspired book about Him then my desire would be somewhat quenched.

After perusing books for more than an hour, with my arms full of the ones I had chosen, I headed to the store’s cash register until I sensed God’s thoughts within me say: “You don’t have the right book.” I was surprised. I realized these were God’s thoughts that had come to me.

I returned to the bookshelves and put all the books I had selected back in the right places. I prayed, “What book?” No answer. However, I looked at a few more titles on the spines of the books. Then I caught sight of a title that piqued my interest: The Joy of Listening to God by Joyce Huggett.

I opened the book to its middle section and read:

Imagine that you have been allowed the privilege of walking with the eleven, out of Jerusalem to the Mount of Ascension.

Stay behind them as you leave the noise and clutter and the stifling heat of Jerusalem behind. Feel the heat warming your body as you start the steep climb.

Feel the warm dust creeping into your sandals. What can you see?

What can you hear?  . . .

What can you smell? . . .

Become an integral part of it. How do you feel?

Look at your companions, the eleven disciples. What sort of people are they?

. . . Now you are nearing the place where Jesus promised to meet you.

. . .  And now—there He is—standing in front of you! Take a good look at Jesus.[1]

 

The author’s visual instruction was more than I quoted here. Can you imagine how I felt holding that book in my hands? I think the shock of reading such a perfect answer to my prayer about imagining myself with Jesus in the gospels was definitely one of those times I knew that I knew God was showing me something important. He obviously liked that I used my imagination the way I did.

 

I learned from Huggett’s book that this kind of imaginative meditation has been documented as useful since the third century. The idea is to let the Scriptures touch and speak to us using our senses. My desire for Jesus had led me into a true and real experience with Him. This kind of prayer helps a person to “be” with Jesus spiritually. Especially when one’s desire is to see Him, the Holy Spirit is part of the experience.

I later read about this type of prayer and meditation on the Scriptures in other well-respected authors’ books. By using our God-given imagination, especially with Scripture, we can see the things God wants us to see and experience Him up close.

Jesus came so that we would know God and relate to Him. Our imaginations were created by God for God. Why should self, Satan, or the world be the only ones to show their scenes? God certainly wants to use our imaginations—He expresses Himself through visual displays, through story, images, pictures, visions, words, and dreams. They all pass through our imaginations.

If we pray to the Holy Spirit and enter into the Scriptures prayerfully, humbly, with a desire for God Himself, we will encounter Him.

The most significant part of meditating on the gospels with my imagination was that I saw Jesus’s humanity for myself. I prayed with my imagination for many years. I don’t that much anymore. But that’s okay; we are always changing. What worked for me then doesn’t now.

God is our companion and guide. The key is to live from our hearts and that means paying attention to what makes our heart beat faster for God, or what gives us the greatest joy in how we experience Him.

[1]The Joy of Listening to God by Joyce Huggett, copyright ©1986 InterVarsity Press. Used with Permission.

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This blog is an excerpt of THE ART OF LOVING GOD: How to Live From Your Heart in God’s Epic Love Story.

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Words from Heaven for These Times

Words from Heaven for These Times

Never before has this Scripture meant more to me: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

About twenty years ago God gave me the title for a book and I was given prophetic words by others that I’d write a book for the Last Days. Well, here we are. This is, I believe, that certain book. Coincidentally, it just happens to be ready to be published at this time. I feel this is Heaven’s gift. I am His word-artist, just doing my thing, for such a time as this. “Do not be afraid, I am with you,” says the Lord.

GOD IS ON THE THRONE.  HE IS IN OUR HEARTS. HE IS EVERYWHERE. HE LOVES YOU PARTICULARLY. WE’RE IN A CRISIS IN THE STORY RIGHT NOW. ALL STORIES HAVE THEM. EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY — HE’S WITH US!

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=margaret+montreuil&ref=nb_sb_noss

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Heartsickness

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12 NIV

How is it that our days can be so filled with joy and happiness, zest for life, and other days feel like all is desperately wrong and an emotional state of sorrow pervades everything?

I had a talk with my heart today. Instead of longing for an impossible situation to be miraculously fixed, I told myself to desire God’s presence instead. Not His help. I’ll let you know how the tree of life’s fruit tastes soon . . . already I’m feeling hopeful.

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Deep, Sweet Thoughts of Jesus

Not often enough do we turn our hearts to heaven for the sheer joy of seeing Jesus. We fill our days with trivial pursuits, do we not?

Drink from the fountain, the Life-giving fountain, and fill your thirsty soul with the wine of heaven.

That just bubbled up.

And here’s a practical approach.

Imagine the gospel scene of the wedding in Cana and how Jesus turned gallons and gallons of water into wine. Think deeply about what happened by imagining being there. This is a dynamic, creative way to pray, to turn and see Jesus. Notice everything about Him. Be there.

Our imaginations were made for God above all else. We should invite Him in more often.

Another way to experience being with Jesus is to be more aware of His company. We can converse with Him inwardly all day long.

Or, look closely at a flower and consider the miracle and beauty of it and that God made it. The wonder of creation is just a taste, a hint of the stunning, unimaginable wonders to come. This earth and life is a stage on which the Divine Drama is unfolding. Keeping this perspective helps us live through the horrors of evil as well as the boredom, stress, disappointments, and daily grind we all must endure.

A. W. Tozer wrote: “If you will narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. ‘Jesus only’ seems to the unconverted man to be a motto of death, but a great company of happy men and women can testify that it became to them a way into a world infinitely wider and richer than anything they had ever known before. To know Him in growing intimacy is to increase in appreciation of all things good and beautiful. The mansions of the heart will become larger when their doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it.” -A.W. Tozer, The Size of the Soul.

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THE FIRE OF ATTRACTION

The saints have seen the burning heart of God.

Their own love has leaped out in flaming response,

and they have loved the Lord their God with all their heart and soul and strength and mind—and their neighbor as themselves.

 W. E. Sangster

 

Not until Jesus unveiled the burning heart of the Creator at Calvary could anyone imagine God’s kind of love. Solomon’s inspired love song penned the essence of it and spoke from God’s heart: “. . . for love is as strong as death, passion as cruel as Sh’ol; its flashes are flashes of fire, [as fierce as the] flame of Yah. No amount of water can quench love, torrents cannot drown it” (Song of Songs 8:6 & 7 CJB).

We hunger for a love we see reenacted over and over in love stories. The lover we’re drawn to in these stories is selfless and kind. He’s unwilling to be apart from his beloved. He’s attractive, so attractive, and expressive of his love, but never smothering. He knows no sacrifice too great in pursuit of the one he loves, to the point of heroism. Unlike all others, he wants only the highest good for the one he loves.

God created us to experience His love and know Him—that is our highest good. “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 NRSV).

What is the psalmist specifically talking about? David was a man after God’s heart. Do you think he meant that his pleasures were found in, and from, knowing God’s heart? Were the favors of God’s right hand spiritual favors? They are far better than earthly ones. David loved being with God!

When God is drawing us close, all it takes is a single spark to set our hearts on fire.

 

 

Here is a link to the third issue of FIRE – a journal for those who long for more of God. Please feel free to pass this on and be sure to subscribe to http://burningheartsforgod.com for future quarterly issues.

 

PLAN A SPIRITUAL RETREAT DAY FOR YOUR SMALL GROUP OR CHURCH!

Rekindle your heart and plan a special day with God. Check HERE and on the Burning Hearts for God website for ideas and themes.

Contact me directly for personal spiritual retreat day material: mmontreuil@ymail.com

 

 

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