Welcome to Hanging Out With Jesus

...Where you will find resources to help you spend more time, being in the prescence of God through practicing spiritual disciplines.

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Hi, I’m Lyvita Brooks, a Christian with a busy schedule, seeking daily to spend time with Jesus, just like you. This site is designed to equip and encourage you to become all that God’s called you to do. It contains a devotional-style blog, podcast (Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast) and YouTube Channel where we help you let go of “stuff” hindering you from growing and moving forward in Christ Jesus. As Sojouners, together, let’s pave the path for intentionally and daily, walking and spreading the Gospel.  

 


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Recent Posts

Book Review: Hey, God Can We Talk

4/8/2021 7:00:00 AM BY Lyvita

Book Review: Hey God, Can We Talk? Real-life God Encounters for Real-Life Circumstances by Sarah Bowling

Summary: This book opens your eyes to confront fears about talking, praying to God. It provides ample examples from biblical encounters with the author’s experiences to help you understand the simplicity of conversing with God? Each chapter contains questions for reflection and conversation starters which help you focus on a particular prayer concern. I like how the author uses the word “talk” instead of “prayer” because it frees our traditional understanding of “praying” allowing us to understand that God talks to us when we pray.

It would be of a Reader’s best interest to read through the Table of Content and identify the chapter that presently resonates with them. Begin practicing that conversation starter, as suggested by the author, for 5 to 7 months (or as the Lord leads) before moving on to another chapter.

For Readers who read this book in its entirety. You find it is heavy with experiences from the author’s life and examples from the Bible which prolongs each chapter. I don’t recommend doing this if you have a specific concern. Take care of your concern about talking to God first, practice it until you feel lead to move on. 

Book Highlight: One highlight of the book is its conversation starters. Insightful examples of how to get started in a way that you can personalize it and then pray openly and honestly, because Sarah, the author, has given you the tools to get the conversation started. Another thing you will learn is that God is always there and ready, regardless of where you are, to be a part of the conversation. 

Final Thoughts: This is not a book you need to complete, but a book you need to apply in different seasons of your life. So take your time.

Next Step: Although, we have practiced some of the conversation starters on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast, chapter 10 provided an experiment that we can participate in April. See Monthly Opportunities below.

You can share your comments below about the book. Check out Episode 27, where Sarah goes into more detail about this book on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast. Thank you, Saints, for joining me in our February Opportunities for Growth activity of reading this book before broadcasting it on the podcast.  

 

Monthly OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH - April

April Challenge: Join me in practicing one of the Conversation Starters for the next two weeks from Hey God Can We Talk. Here’s the simple version: “Give God 3 minutes of undivided attention 3 times a day for 2 weeks. Then, document daily your feelings, benefits, frustrations, or effect.” Let’s summarize our experiences in the comment section below on April 24th. I’ll send you a reminder link, so you’ll need to subscribe (see #4 below). Also get the book because it gives examples of what to do during those times and ways God might converse with you. 

Remember, you are practicing how to converse with God, so begin the process today:

  • Select 3 times, spread out throughout your day, now. Just for 3 minutes.
  • Then set your timer with a reminder to set the times for the next day. 
  • During those 3 minutes you can give your full attention to God by listening, reciting a scripture or memorizing one. More examples are given in the book in chapter 10 of Hey God, Can We Talk?
  • Click on this link to join and subscribe to this blog: Link here
  • Once you subscribe, you will receive a link to share your last comments on 4-24-21 on Facebook, Instagram or the comment section below. Together we will help each other to grow.

Spiritual Disciplines discussed on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast: Prayer, Bible Study, and Worship

Shalom!

Celebration Time!

3/25/2021 7:30:00 AM BY Lyvita Brooks

It’s our podcast and blog’s one year anniversary! Time to celebrate. I feel like “leaping and praising God,” like the Lame Beggar who was healed in Acts 3:1-10.

God loves to celebrate with us, to join in celebrating all that He has done for us. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3-5) meaning that’s where you can find Him and if you trust Him, well, expect deliverance.

It’s shouting time! God brought this website and podcast, and now YouTube channel, from never being an idea, to an idea, then into existence as I cried out to Him, the impossibilities, the struggles, and the fears of “going where I’ve never been before” (sounds like Star Trek), a new career in the internet world. When God impressed on my heart Jeremiah 33:3, last year, He has done nothing but amazed me with “great and might things” I hadn’t a clue about.

Have you ever felt this way? So overwhelmed with God’s goodness until you’d want to do what David did in 2 Samuel 6:14-15?

“Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets”

Oh how great it is to dance before the Lord, unhindered, unafraid, and even looking foolish. When you praise, celebrate and glorify the Lord, it has nothing to do with what you are wearing, the neatness of your hair, your fancy dance moves, your dance shoes or the jewelry you’re wearing. It’s all about Praising The Holy One, God Almighty.

Celebrate the Lord from the richness of your heart. It will make you feel glad, validated, fulfilled, uplifted, loved and whole. It puts rejoicing in your heart, almost like a drunkenness.

Celebration is a joy that sustains you and keeps you moving forward in Christ Jesus. Rejoice with me in giving Him praise by underlining all the verses you find in Psalm 145 to 148 that give words to how you can praise the Lord. Praise God for what He has brought you through, and where you are going. Give Him praise for bringing you through the unknown and being there even when you didn’t acknowledge His presence. Praise God for Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast and this website, with us. Praise God for His presence and faithfulness. 

Praise His Holy and Righteous Name. Shout! Dance from your heart to Him. Sing of His goodness. Laugh until your heart overflows. Cry with tears of joy and appreciation.

But whatever you do… let His praises continually, always, forever more, be in and coming out of your mouth. Hallelujah, all praises to God Almighty!

When praises go up, blessings rush down, the Triune God shows up, and the enemy scatters.

I’d love to hear how you stepped out to do what God’s called you to do. Either comment below or privately contact me. Check out our celebration on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast. It’s so cool to hear how a person succeeded against their fears and triumphed in doing what God called them to do.

 

MONTHLY OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH - March

30 Day Bible Reading & Prayer Calendar Downloadable: March Bible Reading & Prayer Calendar.  Opportunities to share comments and ask questions on Instagram and private Facebook group. Click on guide to participate.

Spiritual Disciplines discussed on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast: Prayer, Bible Study and Worship

FREE DownloadablePersonal Prayer Retreat Guide

Shalom!

What's in Your Heart?

3/11/2021 6:00:00 AM BY Lyvita Brooks

What’s in your heart?

It’s a scary question to answer, especially when you hope to please the Lord. You hope that your heart is doing better than it was the day before.

Paul was awaiting execution. Death. The end to his mission. And yet, he took time to write a second letter to Timothy.

I wonder what was in Paul’s heart. What aching he felt? What had his senses on alert? Or was it all a stirring of the Holy Spirit to support another (and us in the future) in growing as a believer?

Paul wrote a letter of exhortation to Timothy, about being bold, having endurance, and being faithful in the face of false teaching. He wrote of having sound doctrine and guarding what they (his grandmother, mother, and Paul) deposited into him.

So what’s in your heart?

Is it anything, like the information I found on barna.com:

Older Generations Are More Likely to Identify with & Practice Christianity
Reporting on a three-year average, FaithView shows us that:

  • Elders are the most likely generation of U.S. adults to self-identify as Christian (83%)
  • Boomers are close behind at eight in 10 (80%)
  • Gen X (73%)
  • Millennials, with just shy of two-thirds claiming Christianity (64%)
  • Practicing Christians (defined by Barna as self-identified Christians who attend church every month and say their faith is very important in their lives). Found four in 10 Elders (37%) practice their faith in this way, Boomers (30%) to Gen X (26%) and Millennials (22%)
  • We see an overall 9 percent difference between Christian Elders (66%) who strongly agree that their religious faith is very important in their life and Millennials (57%) who say the same
  • Barna has seen early signs that a decline in affiliation is extending to teens in this next generation, who are more likely than older adults to identify as atheists

 Hurts your heart, doesn’t it?

A war has begun and we need everyone on the battlefield. Suited up, prayed up, faith resting in the promises of God, eyes fixed on Jesus, hearts determined to endure to the end of fulfilling the mission, and standing boldly as Followers of Jesus Christ.

  • No time for slackers
  • No time for sin
  • No time for double-minded believers
  • No time for bickering over who is worthy or vanity
  • No time for division
  • No time …

It is a time for… “such a time as this” for Joshua’s too boldly and courageously lead, forward. For the Elijah’s stepping forward, out of the crowds of timid and lukewarm believers to pray humbly to Jehovah on behave of them. For Esther’s going before kings and evildoers, confidently in the name of Christ Jesus seeking favor towards believers. It’s time for Ruth’s, to leave their comfort zones and follow in-step with true believers to a place that is unknown where the rewards are greater than the fears.

It’s time for you to do what God’s called you to do. It’s time to reclaim what’s ours, instead of accepting the world’s standards.

What’s in your heart?

  • Fear, frozen, panic-stricken?
  • Lack of confidence, anxious, self-conscious?
  • Confusion, hesitant, doubt?
  • Depression, melancholy, despondency?
  • Still rehashing the negative, expecting the worst, feeling defeated before you do anything?
  • Trying to convince God that He has the wrong person, again?

What you don’t see, God sees. Remember, He made you. He designed you to be the opportunity (a living sacrifice) to participate in His bringing about an increase in other’s lives and yours. 

God’s calling you out. Your heart is unsettled, sweat on your brow, heart beating unsteadily, breathing is off and your entire body is now at attention. A struggle pursues between the old nature and the new nature. Depending on which one you feed daily, will depend on which way you will lean. Hopefully, you have been meditating on God’s word regularly and diligently studying it and praying. Now is the time where the rubber meets the road … time for “motion”.

  • Take a deep breath
  • It’s time
  • Step forward
  • Then get ta-steppin’ (moving)
  • Share the Gospel, like only you can. Your way will look daunting, but with Jesus as the treasure in your heart, “Victory Is Yours and Ours”!

 What’s in your heart? 

The boldness and courage to do what God’s called you to do, to advance the Kingdom of God. Now that’s always in a believers heart.

Get up! Go!

Shalom.

 Share in the comments below so I and others can cheer you on. Take this blog one step further, by clicking on Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast for a discussion on Accountability Partners. It’s about the people or person who cheers you on regularly and how you can be an effective believer in cheering another person into the place that God’s called them to go.